Week 9 Blog #etlead What are the challenges in shifting content from “what” to “where” and “how”?


Education is shifting from the idea that teachers fill students with knowledge to the idea that teachers are providing students with the tools to make sense and create knowledge.  Today, students have access to information that is readily available so the focus now is on the where and the how of the information.  How to find and evaluate information is becoming more and more significant (Douglas & Seely, 2011).  Students need to be learning these skills to be successful in education.  The content does not change but the context does change (Douglas & Seely, 2011).  Students have different ways of learning, educators need to embrace the where and how of education to reach all of our students and not just focus on the what.  With this come several challenges in education. 


One challenge could be reliability of student-generated content.  In one study, students had difficulty accepting student-created content.  They were more likely to accept content from authority figures (Chang, Kennedy, and Petrovic, 2008).  This is a mind-set that needs to change because there is a lot of value in student-generated materials.    


Another challenge is getting people to see the value in play.  Knowing, making, and playing are important aspects of learning (Douglas & Seely, 2011).  Are we allowing our students enough time to play and explore?  Is it a valuable experience for them to play?  Is play seen as creating knowledge and supported by parents and administrators?    


“Todays questions don’t just have 1 answer, our opinions are the answer” (The EdEvolution, 2011).  Educators need to focus on guiding students in finding information and creating options based on their research.    


These are just some of the challenges that I thought were involved in shifting content from what to where and how.  I would like to hear more about other challenges that people think lie within this idea. 


Chang, Rosemary, Gregor Kennedy, and Tom Petrovic. “Web 2.0 and User-created

Content: Students Negotiating Shifts in Academic Authority.” Proceedings

Ascilite Melbourne (2008): n. pag. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.


The EdEvolution. “Education Evolution.” YouTube. YouTube, 04 May 2011. Web. 09

Mar. 2014.

Thomas, Douglas, and John Seely. Brown. A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the

Imagination for a World of Constant Change. Lexington, KY: CreateSpace?,

2011. Print.


One response »

  1. Megan,
    The shift has a lot of potential, but really scary as well. I am talking about the idea that teachers are providing students with the tools to make sense and create knowledge. There really is some good “stuff” about this concept, but also some “not so good” stuff. True, students need to be more involved in their learning, but not all students want to learn what will help them in their futures. Maybe teachers should also include the guidance necessary to help students learn the info necessary to be successful in college and the work force. I guess I have a real problem letting children make decisions that will affect their adult lives. I have parents who let their kids determine some really important life-altering decisions when they are ten years old, when the parents should be making these decisions for them. The same could be said about teaching. As long as the students are directed to learn the material necessary for the course, I really like the idea of allowing the students to direct their learning…but I always run into a large percentage of students who choose to “play around” rather than learn. Sorry, I think I got off onto a rabbit trail.

    Really? Someone actually said, “our opinions are the answer”? Tell that to the guy who jumps off the bridge and has the idea that gravity is just an opinion. Our world is built on “truths”. This is what holds it all together. If the answers to life are our opinions, then how can we make a hypothesis? How can we do math? As a math teacher, 2 + 3 = 5 regardless of any opinion. This is how we know that the sun will come up, that scientific rules are constant, etc. I go pretty ballistic when I hear this statement…sorry.

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