Learning

Getting Serious About Reimagining Learning in the Digital Age

Monday, April 18, 2011 Comment female student sitting in glasroom

I want to have a conversation about what it’s going to take to turn schools around and why digital media — as it’s currently being used — isn’t yet helping. I’m going to start with a not-so-subtle secret: if we want to be innovative and if we want to make a significant impact on public schools (statistics suggest we should), we’re going to have to conduct work in schools. As broken as the current schooling system may seem, as much as we may belabor the ongoing gutting of arts, the mass-testing, and the lack of technology


Participation, Technology, and the Power of Sharing

Monday, September 20, 2010 Comment people celebrating and hi fiving in conference room

This year’s convention of the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH) attracted more than 20,000 programmers, artists, researchers, filmmakers, and gaming professionals – as well as students and academics from almost 80 countries.  Apparently SIGGRAPH is also promising to transform contemporary education. Most came to SIGGRAPH to see the newest products in computer graphics and interactive technologies, which were hawked by the 160 exhibitors vying for the audience’s attention on the 46,000-square-foot floor of the Los Angeles Convention Center.  It was a prime location, close to many Los Angeles


If technology is making us stupid, it’s not technology’s fault

Monday, August 16, 2010 Comment 2 students smiling working on laptop computers together in classroom

There has been growing concern that computers have failed to live up to the promise of improving learning for school kids.  The New York Times, The Washington Post, and PBS have all done stories recently calling into question the benefits of computers in schools.  When computers fail kids, it’s too easy to blame the technology.  And it’s disingenuous simply to cast aspersions on the kids.  Those are responses that do little if anything to account for what is a much more layered set of conditions.  Computers don’t define how they are taken up socially, people do. 


Probing What’s Next in Learning and Technology, Pt 2

Monday, July 12, 2010 Comment educator teaching students and teachers in Africa how to use computer

Children in Nigeria use laptops from the One Laptop Per Child movement. In the second part of my interview with Keene Haywood, Director of Research at the New Media Consortium, publisher of the annual Horizon Report on technology in education, we covered: the future of textbooks, visualization teaching methods, use of augmented reality and gesture-based computing, open content movement, new media literacies, and practical strategies for advancing the field of digital media and learning In light of the rise of open content and other forms of electronic communication, how viable will the book be in 2-3


Searching for What’s Next in Learning and Digital Media

Tuesday, July 06, 2010 Comment little indian girl working at kids computer at home

A young girl in rural South America uses a laptop from the One Laptop Per Child movement.  The New Media Consortium (NMC) is publisher of the annual Horizon Report, which “seeks to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have considerable impact on teaching, learning, and creative expression within higher education.”  I recently had an opportunity to talk with Keene Haywood, Director of Research at NMC, and probe a bit further into the 2010 Horizon Report, which covered trends in mobile learning, open source content, the future of textbooks, among many other pressing topics at the


10 Innovative Digital Media & Learning Projects Win $1.7M

Thursday, May 13, 2010 Comment
reimagining learning banner

The results of the MacArthur Foundation’s 2010 Digital Media and Learning Competition are in, and the 10 winning projects can’t help but to inspire anyone even remotely interested in understanding the potential of the Internet and digital technology to transform learning and knowledge creation. Among the winners: a project to show youth-produced videos on 2,200 Los Angeles city buses and an initiative that will use webcasting, video blogging, and social networking to connect kids from Chicago’s West Side with kids in Fiji to work together to protect Fiji’s coral reefs. Sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation and


In Praise of Mo’ Better Grading

Monday, May 10, 2010 Comment street sign steep grades sharp curves

Meanwhile, back at the pedagogical ranch…You may remember that back in November I reported on my experiment in grading, combining the long tradition of contract grading with what I call “crowdsourced grading.”  Since I was already constructing “This Is Your Brain on the Internet” (ISIS 120) as a peer-taught course, I decided that the students responsible for team-leading each class would also be responsible for determining if that week’s required blogs on their reading assignments measured up to the contract standard.  It didn’t seem like such a radical idea.  This is a course on cognition and


Librarian 2.0: Buffy J. Hamilton

Monday, May 03, 2010 Comment 4 kids couch4 kids working together sitting on couch

Which of the following two assignments is more likely to engage high school students and inspire them to learn something?1.  Write a paper about contemporary US war veterans.2.  Create a multimedia resource of news feeds, archival video, student interviews with veterans, document how you accomplished it, and share your findings with the world. Buffy J. Hamilton, “The Unquiet Librarian,” teamed with classroom teacher Susan Lester at Creekside High in Canton, Georgia, and betting on the second alternative, they created “the veteran’s issues research project.” Each student started by using the free Netvibes feed aggregator to create


A Digital Native Reflects on the Concept

Thursday, April 29, 2010 Comment teens sitting on stairs texting during school

There is an assumption that digital natives are naturally predisposed to understanding how to use computers and technology, just because we grew up with the Internet, texting, and emailing. I’m 21 years old, I am a so-called digital native, but my experience has been that the concept of digital literacy is far more meaningful than the concept of digital native – and it has little to do with age or any broad generational differences. Yes, most of my college-age friends know how to operate a computer and navigate online. But they come to me if they


The iPad and Generativity

Monday, April 19, 2010 Comment 2 indian children holding chalk pads look like ipads

Since the announcement of Apple’s iPad, reactions to the device have been extremely polarized. While some people have been highly critical of the device, others have reacted positively. Still others have reacted first negatively then positively or, more disorientingly, both at the same time. A striking similarity of many of the most-cited negative reviews of the iPad is that they appeared before the reviewers ever had a chance to interact with the device. For both positive and negative reviewers, this approach made it much easier to praise or critique the iPad as an idea, rather than