Learning in the Digital Microlaboratory of Educational Data Science

In the last few years, Educational Data Science has emerged as a new field of inquiry in educational research. Where did it come from, what is its likely future impact on the production of knowledge about educational practices and learning processes, and how might it affect studies in digital media and learning? In sociological research, it has become quite fashionable to conduct studies of particular academic fields, their historical origins and development, and their methods of knowledge production. Influential research has been conducted, for example, to trace the development of psychology, neuroscience, behavioural sciences, and the

Blended, Hybrid, Flipped, Online: Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

This is my second post in a series exploring my journey to develop and teach a graduate “Multimodal Literacies” course for pre-service and in-service teachers based on the connected learning framework. You can see the first post here and my original inspiration here. Now that I have a sense of the conceptual and thematic organization of my course and have decided upon some focus texts, I am confronted with the task of setting up weekly structure and my methods for communicating content. Several of my colleagues have asked me whether, considering the multimodal subject I am

The Closed Loop of Digital Literacy Debate

Here’s a quiz for you, reader. The following quotes were written about popular books on the effect of technology on our behavior and culture. One was written in the late 1990s and one was written this year. See if you can guess which is which (no Googling, cheaters). Our rapturous submission to digital technology has led to an atrophying of human capacities like empathy and self-­reflection, and the time has come to reassert ourselves, behave like adults and put technology in its place. And …computer-based environments for the practice of literacy are described as contributing to

Connecting Colleagues in Cyberspace

If #connectedlearning is an educational approach designed for our ever-changing world, then Virtually Connecting is a #connectedlearning community that is reshaping the ways we think about professional collegiality.   In a traditional model of professional development, conferences have always been the key location to build conversations and connections. Conferences enrich our growth as educators and scholars in countless ways. That said, some conferences are simply more friendly than others (read accessible/open vs. elite/prestigious). Either way, it has always been the case that there are more wonderful conferences on the annual calendar than one could ever possibly

Loss, Trauma and the Digital Language of Empathy in Schools

My father passed away part way through my second year as a teacher. This happened in the middle of one of our school breaks and I was able to use the time away from kids to take care of family arrangements. What I didn’t do during this break was find the time to process, reflect, grieve. And so, when the time came to go back to school, I made the rookie mistake of putting on a smiling face and continuing in my classroom as if it was business as usual. The need to process my own

Deliberate Practice and Digital Literacies

There are some phrases — “communities of practice” and “close reading” spring to mind — that we as educators tend to use automatically. It’s never just an “online community” or “reading.” Sometimes, this is because we’re not aware of the very specific meaning of these terms; sometimes it’s because we want to make what we’re doing sound more important or useful than it is. I have to confess that I was using the term “Deliberate Practice” (which I’ll capitalise for emphasis) incorrectly. I had been using it to mean “practice done deliberately.” My mother sitting me