Arduino and Learning: H.S. Teacher Ariel Simons


A powerful recipe for engaged learning: Show students how to command actions in the physical world – make lights blink, sounds sound, motors move, robots roam, sensors sense. Combine this concrete act of control over physical objects activity with the abstract power of programming – show students how to make those lights blink in response to the sounds, make the sensors guide the motors. Apply this combination of software and hardware hacking to measuring the radiation levels near Fukushima and aggregating radiation data, a task that the Japanese government apparently failed to do for months. Now

Reclaim Open Learning Symposium Keynote: “Let the Learning Drive the Technology”


Editor’s note: This is a timely curation and storification of the opening session of Reclaim Open Learning by guest blogger Luka Carfagna that we wanted to share (Image credit: Andrew Forgrave, Flickr) [<a href=”//storify.com/LBCarfagna/reclaim-open-learning-symposium-keynote” target=”_blank”>View the story “Reclaim Open Learning Symposium Keynote” on Storify</a>]

Digital Humanists Should Be Copyright Activists


In a recent blog post for the Society for U.S. Intellectual History, Ben Alpers argues that iBooks Author is not very well suited for humanities learning. I have written before about problems with iBooks Author’s Terms of Service, but Alpers critiques the program’s authoring tools, arguing that its bias towards the presentation of “concepts and facts,” along with whiz-bang features like live manipulation of 3D models and short video clips, are designed to support the learning that occurs in scientific and technical fields, rather than the humanities (In fairness, I would argue that the focus on

Is There Such a Thing as Digital Creativity?


In some ways, this question is of course impossible. Given the difficulty of defining creativity in the first place with scholarship, trying to focus on the distinctions between what is new, what is expressive, what is individual and what is social, trying to work out what difference the digital makes may seem like splitting angels on a pinhead. However, it is equally impossible to ignore the fact that the last two digital decades have closely entwined ideas about creativity with our emerging understanding of how digital technology works in practice. I don’t want to focus here

The View From Home


Classes recently began in the Los Angeles Unified School District, which is the second largest school district in the country, a place where the best practices of digital media and learning face the difficulties of effecting change at a truly massive scale.  This post serves as a challenge to philanthropic organizations, which often focus on boutique programs with younger children when aiming to reform K-12 education, and suggests that there is a vast pool of motivated digital learners who are currently underserved. I don’t tend to talk about my personal life as a DMLcentral blogger, but

The Ontology of the Web (Why I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Learning Standards)


At the beginning of 2013 the Mozilla Foundation announced its intention to work with the community to create a new learning standard for Web Literacy. I’m delighted to say that we’re well on course to release v1.0 of that standard at the Mozilla Festival in London at the end of October. In this post I want to give an overview of how I went from being initially skeptical to an enthusiastic project lead – all because of something I learned about ontology from Clay Shirky. If it’s impossible to create a completely coherent categorization, even when you’re doing

Digital Storytelling 106: Open, Participatory, Student-centric, Social…the Future?


Far more important to me than all the venture-capitalized consortia of elite university MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses) and the hundreds of thousands of students flocking to them is a course taught by an adjunct professor at University of Mary Washington. In my personal learning network, Jim Groom and ds106 are the stuff of legend. I’ve conducted more than 40 interviews for DMLcentral, and without a doubt, Jim Groom is the most excited and exciting educator I’ve talked to. If I had one wish regarding the way online education will happen in the future, it would

Creativity, Criticality and Curriculum Reform in Australia


I was recently at the biannual conference for the Australian teachers of media (ATOM) in Brisbane, Queensland. The teachers, university lecturers, educators and media producers who were at the event were all excited because the new arrangements for the national curriculum in Australia named ‘Media Arts’ as one of the five arts subjects that were now mandatory across the education system. Like all stories of curriculum reform there is a level of detail that does not travel well to other countries: however, if we set aside some of the details that concerned the locals and if