Divergent convergence: THE THINKING
This is the time to think beyond convention. To explore the possibilities. To consider ways to synthesize and create new ways of thinking about teaching. To provide opportunities for young people to learning and express understandings.
As long as teachers have used books, we've used resources to support reading. When reading the book Stellaluna, you might use a bat model, bat puppet, listen to the audio version or do a play based on the book.
We need both divergence and convergence. In a multi-platform world, we can do both effectively.
- Divergent thinking calls on the ability to draw on ideas from across disciplines or fields of inquiry to reach a deep understanding. Rather than everyone focusing on a question with a single answer, divergent thinkers look for many possible solutions to a problem. Each student brings their interests and experiences into a learning situation. By providing a variety of resources, materials, and options, young people can construct knowledge in ways that meet their individual learning needs.
- Many tools allow young people to explore many solutions, experiment through interactives, record using different devices, explore many different ways to acquire and communicate information. The multi-platform world means that many different technologies and channels of communication can provide opportunities and options for differentiation in the classroom
- Students are able to explore varied resources, record with many devices, experiment with multimedia interactives, and consider many solutions.
- Example: In learning about the Vietnam War, young people can draw on a wide range of resources including graphic histories such as the Dwight Zimmerman's Vietnam War: A Graphic History, a collection of short stories such as Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, and websites such as the Library of Congress Veteran's History Project. The resources and technologies come together as the student uses a maps, photos, a Flipcamcorder and SchoolTube and Google Docs to share her project. The teacher infuses tools such as a VoiceThread to bring the learning experience together through photos, video, and website materials to motivate and engage.
- Convergent thinking involves putting many different ideas together into a single solution that is effective, efficient, and appealing. The focus is on speed, logic, and application of information.
- Through interlinking and connectivity of technologies including cloud computing tools, many ideas and approaches can more easily be shared and accessed making collaborating and using many tools at once more realistic. I can easily read a book, watch a video, try a simulation, and discuss all at the same time through one or many devices....Multiplatform world means all technologies can come together to create synergy and synthesis.
- Students are able to synthesize ideas and information, collaborate in the cloud, contribute to the crowd, and create synergy.
In Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide by Henry Jenkins discusses the relationship among three ideas: media convergence, participatory culture, and collective intelligence.
- Media convergence being the flow of content across multiple media platforms.
- Participatory culture being the use of social technologies to make connections and interact with others. Examples: Facebook, Craigslist, YouTube, Flickr, Monster, LibraryThing, GoodReads.
- Collective intelligence being what happens when many minds work together to solve a problem or take action. Example: Wikipedia. The Encyclopedia of Life is begin built with the cooperation of thousands of people.
In the past, new technology displaced old media. Today the media are combining to create something new and more complex systems of information access and interaction. For instance, Google Earth began as a collection of satellite images, but now it's a system that includes images, audio, video, website links and more. It's changing both the way media is consumed and created. Young people are at the core of this change.