Showing posts with label technology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label technology. Show all posts

Thursday, January 3, 2008

I Traveled to Mount Everest using Google Earth and Left My Mark (Placemark that is!)


Thanks to David Jakes' first post of the year on The Strength of Weak Ties, I learned how to create a placemark using Google Earth. I noticed on Twitter that David had created his first post of 2008. Mixed Media-Extreme Environments was a tutorial on how to use an online HTML editor to create a placemark for GE. When I learn how to upload and embed files to Blogger posts, I'll let you see the results. Impressive. Text, picture, links, video link (David helped my over Skype and we learned after much trial and error, that GE does more support videos in placemarks for Macs), and resource web page for National Geographic.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Is there a Professional Knowledge Base for Using Web 2.0 tools for Student Learning?: A Question, The Education Context, The Implementation Context

A Question

Why not start [teacher's modeling for students] earlier, right from the moment our students sign in [to their blog] for the first time?

Patrick Higgins, who works for the Sparta Township, NJ Public Schools, posted on his blog, Chalkdust: the latest incarnation of my professional self, about the help he gave to one of his colleagues who wanted to set up a blog for her class. His protocol for assistance in this case involved
... showing her what the other Civics class blog looked like, including the types of assignments and assessments the class was using, and the general pattern we followed to allow the students to transition into writing on blogs. A couple things stood out to me as I was describing the process to Carole on Friday:
  • allowing students time to get used to the space is essential
  • rigor is also necessary; time given to assimilate onto the blog should be limited and have a definitive end time where the students know that they can still play, but they are being held accountable for their content.
After we had set her up to play with the blog and finalize her vision for where she wanted to go with it, which she will have time to do over the holiday break, I headed home, still thinking about how I described the process to her.
Later in the post Patrick comments that he read a post by Kim Cofino.
When reading this passage from Kim Cofino, something new was apparent to me about the blog spiel that I deliver to teachers:
All too often, teachers set up an online space for their students and then just “let them have a go” - basically leaving the students on their own in this new environment (sometimes because the teacher is not sure where to start). Not only does this provide fertile breeding ground for misbehavior, but it is definitely not something teachers would do in the physical world, so there’s really no rationale for letting them go in a virtual environment. Teachers must be the model for appropriate behavior online, just like they are in the physical classroom.
It makes perfect sense: teachers rarely give students directions so vague and expect anything of quality to return. As Kim states, it's a breeding ground for trouble to begin. We ask our teachers to be present online, as it insures that they are an integral part of the process the students undergo online; our most successful teachers with students online are our most frequent commenters. Why not start that process earlier, right from the moment our students sign in for the first time? Instead of "hey, let them play for a couple of days," I think I will advocate having the teachers model how to customize their page and require that they "assign" a few of the layout changes to the students by a specified date.
I responded to Patrick Higgins post with the following comments on the educational context I believe is very relevant to the question raised by his post.

The Education Context

Patrick,

As you know, it is not about technology, it is about learning.

We need to professionalize PK-21 leadership and learning. The way to do that is for everyone in the profession to always use our knowledge base to guide our decisions and actions each day for each student. We meet with student 180+ days a year to help them learn. Each of those days is precious and must include relevant learning activities and formative assessments guided by three beliefs: 1) What we are doing today is important; 2) You can do what I am asking you to do; 3) I(we) am(are) not going to give up until you have learned what we believe is essential for you to learn. It is critical that we communicate these beliefs in our words and actions to students throughout school day, each and every day.

Are activities using technology any different?

A blog provides a tool for learning. "Students, what we will do today with this blog is important, you can do it, etc." Prior to that event in the class, our grade-level team or department team should have asked what is essential for the students to learn? We decided that using the blog is the best way to help the kids learn the essential "it." During and after students have used the blog, we check (formatively assess and then summatively) to see if the kids learned what we believe is essential for them to learn.

But what do we do if students do not learn what we consider essential?

As a team, department, and as a school we must have a plan in place to ensure that students will receive emotional and academic support from a variety of different angles and providers to ensure that we find a way for students to learn the essential "it" that, so far, they have not learned.

Providers that could be part of the plan for helping students learn the essential "it:"
  • Guidance counselor
  • Administrator
  • Faculty advisor
  • Upper class student mentor
  • Teaching team members with special skills
  • Grade-level or cluster team leader
  • Department head
  • Special education teacher
  • Volunteer mentor
  • Volunteer tutor
When it comes to the essentials, I think we need to trim down the learning standards that the academic associations and the states have set as targets for student learning and integrate the Framework for 21st Century Learning (21stcenturyskills.org) and the new literacies for powerfully using the internet for learning. We need to act on "What are the essential" standards students need to learn.

FYI, I am collecting information related to 21st Century Net Literacies on a wiki in case you are interested.

Thank you for the prompt your post provided. I hope my comments are helpful!

Regards,

Dennis

The Implementation Context

Kim Corvino on her blog, always learning: teaching technology abroad, posted about the first year implementation of social networking with elementary school students at the International School, Bangkok, Thailand. She pushes the profession to take Web 2.0 very seriously, as serious as any other effort to establish a meaningful learning environment. Kim models what we need to do to advance the knowledge base in this area. It is an excellent commentary on academics, technology, implementation, change, learning and leadership. Thanks Kim.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It’s Not Your Father’s Internet Anymore or A Framework for the Emerging Field of Study Examining the Effects of Digital Media on Learning and Youth

December 12, 2007

"The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning examines the effect of digital media tools on how people learn, network, communicate, and play, and how growing up with these tools may affect peoples sense of self, how they express themselves, and their ability to learn, exercise judgment, and think systematically.

Thanks to the generous support of the MacArthur Foundation, open access electronic versions of all the books in this series are available. Follow the links ... below to read these editions."

What? So What? What's Next?


The Digital Media and Learning series is a major
six-volume publication by the MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with MIT Press on the effects of digital media on young people and learning that will be used as a framework, beginning in 2008, for the new International Journal of Learning and Media. The IJLM will continue the investigation of the relate topics introduced by the framework. The prominence that this publication and associated journal lends to this emerging field of study seems important, certainly, but what really makes the effort significant in my eyes in addition to the content is "...the participatory and open online review process [used in the initiative that] is helping to establish new collaborative approaches to scholarship.” "Open discussions were held in virtual worlds and on a wiki hosted by the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education.

Excerpts from December 12, 2007 Press Release


The MIT Press today announced the publication of a new series on digital media and learning supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The new six-volume series
examines the effect of digital media on how young people learn, play, socialize and participate in civic life.
The series’ release marks the launch of the new International Journal of Learning and Media, through which
core issues facing young people in the digital age will be explored.
In a departure from traditional publishing, articles were subject to a robust review process that took place in a series of online conversations among the authors, editors, and the public. These open discussions were held in virtual worlds and on a wiki hosted by the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education.

A Framework for the Emerging Field of Digital Media and Learning

“The series and the new journal are critical tools in providing a framework for the emerging field of digital media and learning,” said Jonathan Fanton, President of the MacArthur Foundation. “Of equal importance is the way in which the articles were written and developed. In a field made up of diverse researchers and practitioners,
the participatory and open online review process is helping to establish new collaborative approaches to scholarship.”
Vol. 1 ~ Civic Life Online: Learning How Digital Media Can Engage Youth

Lance Bennett points out that the future of democracy is in the hands of the young people of the digital age in Civic Life Online: Learning How Digital Media Can Engage Youth.

Michael Xenox and Kristen Foot tackle the generational gap in online politics. As they point out, it’s “not your father’s internet anymore.”

Vol. 2 ~ Digital Media, Youth, and Credibility

The contributors to Digital Media, Youth, and Credibility look particularly at youth audiences and experiences, considering the implications of wide access and the questionable credibility of information for youth and learning.

Vol. 3 ~ The Ecology of Games


In The Ecology of Games, noted game designer Katie Salen of the Parsons New School of Design has gathered essays not only from those who study games and learning but from those who create such worlds

… the volume contains an article on participatory culture by Cory Ondrejka who as CTO of Linden Labs helped create Second Life and a case study on collective intelligence gaming by Jane McGonigal, premier puppet master of the new genre Alternate Reality Games.

Vol 4 ~ Youth, Identity, and Digital Media

Youth, Identity, and Digital Media
, edited by David Buckingham explores how young people use digital media to share ideas and creativity and to participate in networks that are small and large, local and global, intimate and anonymous.

Vol 5 ~ Digital Youth, Innovation, and the Unexpected


The range of topics touched on in Tara McPherson's volume Digital Youth, Innovation, and the Unexpected is perhaps the widest of all in the collection. Lest we forget lessons learned from other eras she includes essays by Justine Cassell and Meg Cramer of Northwestern on moral panic in the early days of the telegraph and telephone and Christian Sandvig of Illinois and Oxford evokes the collective imagination applied in the early days of wireless technology and analogizes it to that of the era of short wave radio.

Vol 6 ~ Learning Race and Ethnicity


Anna Everett of the UC Santa Barbara draws on the work a diverse group of scholars including Chela Sandoval and Guisela Latorre from her own campus, Raiford Guins of the University of the West of England, Anotonio Lopez of World Bridger Media, Jessie Daniels of Hunter College and Doug Thomas of USC and others who in Learning Race and Ethnicity draw out lessons from Chicana/o activism, Hip Hop, and digital media in native America as well as hate speech and racism in online games.

International Journal of Learning and Media


Beginning in 2008, the new International Journal of Learning and Media will continue the investigation of the effects of digital media on young people and learning. Supported by the MacArthur Foundation, the new journal will be published quarterly by The MIT Press in partnership with the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education. Funds also have been provided to support an on-line community for discussing the articles in the journal and the issues that are central to the emerging field.

MIT Press Digital Media and Learning

Beginning on December 12, 2007, all the books in The MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning will be available in bookstores as well as electronically at MIT Press Digital Media and Learning.

About the MacArthur Foundation

About MacArthur Foundation Digital Learning Initiative

About The MIT Press


About the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education

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