I chose to learn how to cook mushroom risotto for my networked learning project. I wanted to learn how to cook mushroom risotto because my wife enjoys ordering risotto when we go out to eat and I wanted to surprise her with my cooking. In the video above, I talk about the process of cooking the risotto and what resources I used in learning this new skill. I also reflect on what changes had to be made the second time I cooked the risotto.
For this project I was only allowed to use free internet resources to learn a new skill. It didn’t seem that hard when I first started to think of the skill I wanted to learn and searched for resources to use. The further I got into the learning process I found myself feeling restricted in my learning. I wanted to be able to use other ways of gathering information such as: magazines, cookbooks, and family members who cook. By only using internet resources I had to think about the skills I already had and what skills I needed to learn in order to cook the risotto effectively. This required me to think more deeply and reflect on my learning as it was happening.
From the publication How people learn: Brain, mind, experience and school, Bransford, J., Brown, A.L., & Cocking, R. R. (2000) I learned that expert learners use a strategy called metacognition. Metacognition is the process of thinking about your thinking and “determining learning goals and monitoring your progress in achieving those goals” (Bransford et al., 2000, p. 18). Using the strategy of metacognition in conjunction with the internet resources I feel I was more prepared to learn any new skill.
James Paul Gee describes learning using internet resources as the “affinity school system…This system is technology-rich, language-rich, literacy-rich, and socially-rich when it operates at its best” (Gee 2013, p. 15). I found this to be absolutely true when I wanted to learn how to cook risotto. The system operates at its best when the learning goal is defined and the learner is driven to find rich resources to achieving the learning goal.
I will continue to learn new skills in this “networked” way because of the learning process it required of me. I was more engaged and more reflective during the learning process because of the resources available to me. I will encourage all of my students to learn using the “affinity school system” and show them how to use it so they, too, can find technology-rich, language-rich, literacy-rich, and socially-rich resources. Thank you for taking the time to watch my video and I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts. I welcome and encourage comments or reflections.
Bransford, J.D., Brown , A.L., & Cocking, R.R. (Eds.). (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
Gee, J. P. (2013). Digital Media and Learning: A Prospective Retrospective Retrieved from http://jamespaulgee.com/pdfs/Digital%20Media%20and%20Learning.pdf
*video is my own