Rubbish Bin Learning

by 2:19 PM 0 comments
In a recent #CBModelTech meeting (a group of teachers in our district that help to incorporate technology in our schools), our moderator Devin Schoening (@dschoening) reminded us of an idea that all teachers know about, even if you don't realize it. And that's the idea: unintentional learning.

The backstory:
His daughter is taking part in an invention convention, and had an idea that works with trash cans. She needed consumer feedback, so created a Google Form and shared it with the world... literally. First, she had her mom (Erin) and dad retweet the form. And it went from there. By the time of our meeting the next day, she had over 100 responses, globally. One of the responses was from Australia, and in the comments mentioned that they don't have "trash cans" but instead call them "rubbish bins".

Devin pointed out that this unintentional learning is something she (or most of us) wouldn't have sought out on her own; and I think it's learning like this that will leave an impact. I find that most of what I have unintentionally learned is great trivia knowledge. But how I gained that knowledge was the basis.

The reason I wrote:
By no means is this an original idea. And, obviously, I am not claiming to have come up with the terminology or anything. But how much can we teach students about the world? We are striving to ready our students for post-secondary endeavorers, give them the (buzzword) 21st Century Skills necessary to be productive global citizens.

So, I am now (two days post-meeting) challenging myself to teach kids something they wouldn't normally know from their Journalism Adviser. But to do it discreetly, so they don't think they're learning anything. I don't know why.

  • Yesterday: if your handwriting slants in multiple directions , you could be an identified as a stressed-out person (I read it somewhere, in a book). 
  • Today: Trash cans are called Rubbish bins in Australia and Europe (I know, I really skimped on this one).

When I was in school, I distinctly remember one of my science teachers knowing everything about everything. Of course, I now know he just knew a lot of trivia, but it inspired me to dig into things more, and created a need to investigate. Honestly, it did. 

So, what has been your "rubbish bin" lately?



I do a lot of things. The best thing I do is fathering (I think). I'm the ol' "Jack of all trades, Master of none." I teach aspiring journalists. I run. I play guitar(s). I also host a running podcast. Oh, and I dabble in drawing. And I dabble in authoring... children's books no less. I just dabble. Sometimes I ramble.


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