In the second task, we had to read two chapters of a book: "Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age" (Starkey, 2012) and then two different things. The main topic was the complexity within schools.

- In Chapter 1, we had to look for a piece of new related to each of the six subparts of this chapter and explain the relationship. Finally, we also had to add the link to the news.

-In Chapter 2, we had to imagine a situation that reflects the five different subparts of this chapter, one scenario per subpart.

Chapter 1. The Complexity of Schools

  • Complexity theory

Through this piece of news we can identify how teaching and learning depends on the multilevel structures of a concrete school, in other words, the boundaries of the levels in an organization are connected because of their participants. In this example there is a school of Extremadura which organizes a "culture week" during which students can get familiar with different local things. This happens because of the specific network of local teachers, students, and parents, who can exchange information about that topic in this event. Doing this activity, the experiences, culture and knowledge from each participant, levels and so on are shared and transferred  among them and to others levels.

  • The context of a complex organization

Through this piece of news it is explained that because of the circumstances of each school a different knowledge is created, this means that, for example, the personality of the leader of a school would probably affect the relationships between the teachers and, furthermore, to the information emerged by the connexion of knowledge.

  • Emerging knowledge through connections

Through connections among participants, levels and organizations, new knowledge or ideas emerge. In this piece of news different connections through which knowledge has emerged can be identified. Some of these connections are the schools which share the program, they can exchange results, data, or impressions; within schools, these connections can be among the teachers involved, where knowledge emerges through conversations, discussions with parents, reading or researching; or among students who exchange information in the classroom setting; this program emerged among the educational community, through meetings with parents.

  • Diversity and redundancy

Diversity and redundancy in class when students are agents knowledge emerges when they are not, this means that in the middle of the edge of chaos knowledge is likely to appear. In this piece of new, there is a different understanding of how schools must work. This is a consensus among different organizations, schools, teachers, politicians and so on. The connections among them make knowledge emerges and makes possible develop this project. They are in a balanced situation, keeping a deterministic order because of their organization, structure, rules… On the other hand, they are also through a process of diversity and randomness introducing and checking their innovative and unusual way of how schools must work, different methodologies and so on, having better results than in the usual context.

  • Balancing randomness and deterministic order

This piece of news is about the implantation of a new methodology in Finland. We can establish a relationship with “Balancing randomness and deterministic order” because this new methodology can be considered an innovation (balancing randomness), but there are some teachers that are used to teaching another way and they are not very keen on changing their methodology. Those teachers would represent a more traditional way of teaching (deterministic order). This pressure to innovate or stay the same is the balance in which knowledge emerges.

  • Complexity theory and change in schools

Although some schools invest a lot of money in computers they don’t see any improvement in performance achievement. This is because most of the teachers continue working in the same way they did before, using the computers as a support for the traditional practices. In another study where a teacher used technologies in a constructivist way, they found out that he had low success because his students were so used to the traditional way that he couldn’t take advantage of the new one. With these examples we can see how schools are a complex organization and results of innovation can not be determinate beforehand. Complexity theory is embedded in school context and it depends on his structures, values, processes, etc…

Chapter 4: Connections & Relationships

  • Teacher-student connection

In a class, the teacher is asking about the homework she asked the students to do. One of the students had done the homework in a different way. However, when the teacher checked the homework, she did some research on the Internet to validate if his answers were right, and discovered that the work this student did was good anyway, so he accepted it as valid, and praised the work of this student.

From this experience we found out that the teacher has learned a something from a student, which can be taught to other students, and this student found reward and satisfaction for making an extra effort. If there’s a good teacher-student relationship, the environment will be ideal.
  • Connection with peers

A teacher wants the students to work in groups, which would be formed by the teacher. One of the students is really shy and introvert, but he knows that if he wants to get a good mark he must cooperate with the group. Once they start working, he realizes these people are nice so now he feels much more comfortable working and has more support in the class.

At the end this group get a good mark, and that student that in the beginning felt uncomfortable being in a group because of his shyness now feels more confident about himself and more supported by the class.

  • Connections within the learning context
We think of some school in a country area. Let’s imagine that the teacher arrives to the classroom with five pieces of fruit from five different countries. Before that, he should find information about each piece of fruit to know what he needs to know. When in class, the teacher will pretend to not know anything about those fruits, so students would try and “teach” him about the fruits.
Therefore. the teacher will take advantage from those students whose families have farms, orchards, fruit shops and so on. These students will know the most about the subject, so they will share their knowledge with their peers, the teacher and context, making connections and creating a context of learning.
  • Connections beyond the classroom

A classroom in which everyone is somehow connected to a partner online, using some tool like Skype. Let’s suppose the two classes that use this method are from the United States, one from Hawaii, and the other one from Washington. This way, the children could chat with their partner, and learn more about the other regions of their country. Also, this could be taken into an international level, like in the example in the text, which will allow children not only to learn about other places, but also other languages.

We can see that not only does it affect their personal relationships, but also allows the children to learn about some custom, activity or language, taught by a person who thinks of said knowledge as something usual in someone’s life.

  • Connections within learning

A technological classroom. A teacher and 30 students. Topic: photosynthesis. The teacher divides the classroom into two parts: 20 of the students will work in groups of 5 people (4 groups in total) and the other 10 will work individually.
Each group will have to do an online poster which illustrates the photosynthesis, so they combine individual perspectives to develop shared knowledge. They will be guided by some links given by the teacher. At the same time, each of the students that work individually, will have to do an online writing explaining photosynthesis process, so he or she is able to develop his or her unique perspective and understandings. They will also be helped by some links given by the teacher. After the task is finished, all the students, by groups and individually will present their work in front of the class to check possible mistakes or misunderstandings, add more information and discuss their results. Through this process new knowledge is emerging.
Before doing that work, they studied the different parts of the plant (roots, stem, leaves...) and their functions, so they can create new knowledge doing that work through connections made between existing knowledge.


  1. Hi Friskies! I am the journalist of the Fluffy Guardians and we have to say that your cases for the different subtittles of the task 4 are great!And we really liked the casting for being the presentator that your three hedgehogs did on wednesday! Greetings, continue like that, see you. :D

    1. Hi guys!I am Pepi, the facilitator this week! Thanks for your kind and ecouraged words!!See you in class!!1