Interest-driven Learning

Modularity, the 20 Percent and Desks with Wheels

Thursday, April 24, 2014 Comment 2 girls squatting over a box with jars inside

I want to talk about the need for modularity in schools but first, I feel like I need to explain why this is such an important issue. It’s like this: the conversations I’ve had lately have been painting a frustrating picture of schools and the teaching profession. Non-educators have talked to me about how the system of schooling kills creativity, passion, and interest-driven learning. At the same time, the pre-service teachers I work with at Colorado State University share a frustration with not knowing the specific teaching practices they can immediately implement in their school sites


Friday, August 16, 2013 Comment webpage screenshot of ungangout videos chat conversations

Computers and the Internet are really good at copying information and sending it to lots of people at low cost. That’s why many of the recent innovations in online learning focus on packaging knowledge in the form of short video lectures, and sharing them online. Khan Academy and the recent spate of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are successful examples. They take the traditional model of instruction (sage on the stage) and scale it to vast audiences. But there is another approach to learning, that turns around the top-down model of instruction, and places the learner

In Pursuit of In(ter)dependent Learning: Kio Stark

Monday, April 22, 2013 Comment internet open sign with quote from web-based education

Humans are by far the most skilled social learners of this planet’s millions of species. We’re biologically equipped to pay attention to and learn from each other, and we’ve devised cultural tools such as speech and writing to augment our biologically endowed cognitive capabilities. We’ve created institutions to equip our young people to benefit from and contribute to civilization. Unfortunately, as is often the case with powerful inventions, schooling has its drawbacks – foremost among them the dulling of many young people’s hunger for independent learning. I’ve thought about these issues ever since I was identified

Global Transmedia MOOCs

Thursday, August 30, 2012 Comment group of people in purple room for mooc meeting

Nearly two years before Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrun shook up educational institutions with their massive open online course on artificial intelligence, using videos, blogs, wikis, and online tests, photography educators Jonathan Worth, Matt Johnston, and Jonathan Shaw at Coventry University organized online classes for thousands of students in hundreds of cities, using blogs, podcasts, RSSfeeds, a Flickr group, an iPhone app, a Soundcloud group, and a Vimeo group, and hashtags (#phonar and #picbod). Phonar, the course on photography and narrative, and Picbod, the course on photography and the body, were open to third year Coventry

Brazil: Kids Using Digital Media to Teach Each Other, Change Culture

Monday, February 13, 2012 Comment Internet Uvre students working in computer lab

Last year, Rio de Janeiro saw the birth of a new type of battle in the streets of the favelas: the “Small Step Battle.” In this battle, hundreds of kids and teenagers from the poor parts of Rio are fighting with a major weapon: dance steps. Everyday, kids are posting videos of themselves performing creative and often very difficult ‘funk’ dance steps on YouTube. These videos are now a fever: some have millions of viewers. The battle is on and these kids are challenging others to create better (and often, even more difficult steps) to dance