In the world we live in today, it is very easy for us to take all learning for granted. However, in the 21st century, we are living in a world of constant change. For this blog post, I had the chance to pick up a few new learning ideas from a new book called A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change. As I took the time to read this book, I was amazed by the ideas that were discussed as having an impact on learning environments. As I began to think about it, though, there are many challenges that are addressed about creating good learning environments. There are several ideas that I hope to bring to the HOBY atmosphere based off of what I read.
The first major idea that I want to bring is the idea of “inquiry.” When it comes to learning, conventional wisdom means people can be presented with the same information but learn it differently. We should allow all students to follow their passion and learn things in the way that they find most effective. The second major idea that I want to bring to light is the idea of “questions and answers.” We live in a world today where there is plenty of information readily available at our fingertips.
A new culture of learning has to take into effect that people have passion and that all people should think outside of the box for ways into which they should achieve those passions. Our current learning institutions are built into the model where questions are given to find answers. In today’s day and age, we have to look to questions, rather than answers, to see where our imagination can take us. We can ask questions and inquire, rather than seek answers in our compliance software and seek to find new solutions in our quest to solve problems. By investigating the practices of other non-profit organizations and looking at conventional wisdom differently, HOBY can have the chance to better train our technology staff by looking at old things in new ways. This would allow us to create a more significant learning environment for all of our staff engaged with the ActiveCollab program.
I think that the HOBY organization will encounter one big challenge in its quest to create a significant learning environment for our staff members and ambassadors. This big challenge is to overcome the resistance to change and adapt a “growth mindset,” as outlined in the book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck. The solution to this problem will be an implementation program to see change as an opportunity for growth instead of a nuisance that we have to encounter all the time. With the new implementation program, the changes will need to be as fun as our seminars. As Dweck outlined in her book, to adapt a growth mindset, you have to look for the best in others, embrace challenges, be persistent in setbacks, learn from criticism, and find inspiration in the success of others. At HOBY, this would involve using ActiveCollab as a tool for positive personal growth, rather than being seen as a negative side effect of conventional technology programs.
It is important that we create a learning environment for ActiveCollab that engages our entire organization in a positive way. It will require us to think outside of the box in a way that we never have before. We will have to use a broad and holistic approach to compare the best seminar sites by staying in compliance with the national standards of HOBY. There will have to be various conference calls and visits to other seminar sites to see how others perform and compare it to our own seminar. I believe that the best way to get people to think broadly and holistically about our current technology programs is to broaden the perspective of all our staff members. Letting them see what other businesses and non-profit organizations are doing to make their technology user-friendly can be beneficial for everyone. We also have to look inside our organization for ideas that other people have that could be duplicated to other seminar sites in our national program.
As far as my perspective goes, I think the HOBY program is good, but it needs to be broadened. I hope to travel to other seminar sites in the next year to see and observe what they are doing. This will give me a broad idea of how our technology programs are being using all over the world, and what we could do to make them better. There are many opportunities in this course to further my education on positive learning environments. In EDLD 5305, I had the chance to create a technology implementation plan with three phases that were “gather, move, and get comfortable,” with respect to disruptive innovation. I think that creating significant learning environments will give me the chance to put the word “elevate” into my three-step plan for implementation. I will put more emphasis into this plan by doing more research and putting a learning spin on how this program can be implemented. I would love to develop a learning assessment system and human side analytics to make sure that the learning process of ActiveCollab is as fun and engaging as our seminar program in Louisiana will be next weekend. This course will give me a good opportunity to continue to be that change that I want to see in the HOBY organization. When I look at the ambassadors we serve and the great staff members that volunteer in our prestigious organization, I cannot help but see a “growth” mindset for our chapter. After all, as John F. Kennedy once said, “Change is the law of life….and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” This exemplifies how I want to bring change to our organization through positive action. For all the resistance to change that I plan to encounter, a change in mindset is what I want to give. From here on out, this can lead us all to great things, and HOBY will only become more OUTSTANDING!
Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Random House.
Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, KY: CreateSpace?