Day 70 (of 184) limitations
Today is a twitter paradigm day. When I first think about 140 characters I think: that’s plenty. Then I have to edit, twist, and rethink how I communicate.
Today was also a fun twitter activity:
Keeping rants & vents to five words. It’s tougher than it first looked – and a lot of cheaters went to six words (ooh the anarchy!) some of us used our 5 words and then provided a context after the hashtag.
And in class today I had my students explore “Christmas around the world” during their Self Organized Learning Environment time but I also put a restriction on them: their report-out could only have 20 words maximum. They struggled. (I managed to trim my guided release model to 16 words but it wasn’t easy).
In our debriefing we discussed how the limitation became the focus. They/we focused so much on how few words can be used that they didn’t think (at the time) about going ‘beyond the rules’. I mentioned that I had an intention that they would get frustrated (in a controlled manner: 20 words but titles/named ‘didn’t count’) to help them see that they can work their way through anxious moments. Nobody died. Nobody failed. And the ‘stressors’ were limited in duration. And they did work their way through it. And there weren’t any tears (admittedly I wouldn’t do an activity like this in week one – we all know each other quite well by now; relationships are key)
When we were away from the stressful environment, then the students were able to better focus on alternatives: we discussed the usefulness of pictures (which most groups did get to) during the ‘work’ time, but creating their own pictures didn’t cross their minds at the time. Neither did the idea of creating a video. It did after….too bad it was after ‘the’ learning opportunity….
Oh wait. It’s not ‘the’ opportunity. It was ‘an’ opportunity.
And sometimes the lesson isn’t about what you did, but what can be done different, later.
This is learning that is difficult to show/share on a report card. But can be a powerful part of an eportfolio of learning….as long as we’re not limited to 140 characters. Hmmm or maybe we should be…