Gaining Some Perspective on Badges for Lifelong Learning


I first read about the idea of Open Badges back in the middle of last year. It excited me. One thing I’ve always been interested in is how to shift the power dynamic within classrooms towards learners in a positive way. Changing (or at least providing additional) ways for students to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding is one way to do that. Using Mozilla’s Open Badges infrastructure, any organization or community can issue badges backed by their own seal of approval. Learners and users can then collect badges from different sources and display them across

Webinar: How Can We Disrupt the “Banking” System of Education?


Earlier today, connectedlearning.tv hosted a live webinar with librarian Buffy Hamilton, aka “The Unquiet Librarian,” on the topic: How do libraries cultivate participatory literacy to disrupt what Paulo Freire calls the “banking” system of education? For this webinar series, anyone can be a part of the conversation via Livestream (http://livestream.com/connectedlearningtv) and Twitter (#connectedlearning), pose questions in real-time to the guest speaker, and connect with others in the emerging connected learning community. The webinar’s page on connectedlearning.tv now has a video recording as well as a growing list of the questions asked and resources mentioned. Joining Buffy

The Role of Tech vs The Purpose of Education


Working in the field of digital media and learning, where the important role of new technologies in learning seems self-evident, the slow pace of change in mainstream education can feel frustrating. Responding to this challenge, we give a lot of attention to thinking about ways to support and encourage teachers to make greater use of the opportunities presented by digital media, but perhaps we should spend more time considering how and why technologies come to be used, or not used, in the first place. Ambitious Goals for the Transformative Potential of Digital Media Enthusiasm for the

What Tech Wants: A People Agenda


I loved Kevin Kelly’s book, and especially loved the message I heard from it. What I heard was that tech wants us to become more humane, not less. What I heard, was that tech wants us to get to know ourselves, each other, and the world around us, even better than we ever imagined, for good. This, to me, is about communication. It’s about changing up the conversations we have. It’s about spreading and sharing good ideas. It’s about intimate coffee house conversations on local-global as well as a global-global scales. It’s about exposing tacit knowledge.

What’s Next for DML?


I recently returned from the engaging and rewarding DML2012 both exhausted and invigorated. As I debrief the many ideas and challenges to existing learning practices that were shared and explored at this year’s DML conference, I am struck by the thought of where we, as a community, are headed. Throughout the conference, I occasionally had moments of hesitation: we’ve grown since the first DML conference in 2010 in San Diego. We’ve grown a lot. And I think I’m most excited about the fact that we’ve grown in terms of diversity within the DML community. A lot.

Reflecting on Dharun Ravi’s Conviction


On Friday, Dharun Ravi — the Rutgers student whose roommate Tyler Clementi killed himself in a case narrated through the lens of cyberbullying — was found guilty of privacy invasion, tampering with evidence, and bias intimidation (a hate crime).  When John Palfrey and I wrote about this case three weeks ago, I was really hopeful that the court proceedings would give clarity and relieve my uncertainty.  Instead, I am left more conflicted and deeply saddened.  I believe the jury did their job, but I am not convinced that justice was served.  More disturbingly, I think the

The Future of Learning and Teaching: It’s Time for ‘Audacious Goals’


In an impassioned call to action, Diana Rhoten kicked off the 2012 Digital Media and Learning conference by suggesting that education will never see its long-overdue renaissance without “audacious goals.” Senior vice president for strategy in the new Education Division of News Corp. and the conference chair, Rhoten spoke of the urgent need for researchers, practitioners, teachers, educators, technologists, as well as entrepreneurs and investors, to join together in the cause of a learning revolution. Without “audacious goals” and a diverse community willing to come together at this historic moment of convergence, most would-be education reformers

Reflexivity: Why We Must Choose to Shape, and Not Be Shaped By, Technology


In her new book, Consent of the Networked, Rebecca Mackinnon offers a reality check: “We have a problem,” she writes. “We understand how power works in the physical world, but we do not yet have a clear understanding of how power works in the digital realm.” In fact, we probably don’t even think about power when we update our statuses on Twitter, connect with old school friends and upload pictures on Facebook, buy a book based on a recommendation from Amazon or use Mail, Docs, Plus, Maps or search on Google. Software — from computer games

Distributed Writing: From Bad to Brilliant


In the report “Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture” the authors argue that distributed cognition is a key skill that citizens must master to be active in participatory culture. Of course, most writing depends on some form of participation; show me a great writer, and you will likely find that there is a great editor, and quite likely a group of interested readers, providing feedback and support for him or her. While I could quibble that distributed cognition is a thing that happens, rather than a skill to be developed, I think this report is notable

SXSWedu, Highlights


In just its second year, attendance at South by Southwest’s educational branch more than doubled from the inaugural year. SXSWedu offered a broad range of participants and guest speakers, including public K-12 educators, school district administrators, technology entrepreneurs, and education researchers. While some sessions and panels fell victim to “session bombing” by overzealous entrepreneurs and vendors, many attendees asked insightful questions in earnest attempts to gain insights and practices they could take home to their peers. Some Twitter users expressed surprise at the quality and volume of #SXSWedu Tweets and vowed to put the conference on