New Media

The Situational Approach to Learning with New Media

Thursday, August 18, 2016 Comment A situational approach to learning: electronic reading and pencil and paper writing

The topic of whether or how children should use new and emerging technologies for learning is evergreen, particularly as the new school year commences. I’ve written in this space before about reactions to tools for electronic reading and writing, and I’ve begun to notice that commentators on these subjects adopt a few different approaches for discussing learning with new (and old) media. I call them the nostalgia, work habits, and the situational approaches. Nostalgia Approach The nostalgia approach tends to focus on personal and emotional connections to books. When this approach is evoked, advocates note their

Paper Circuitry Illuminates ‘Writing as Making’

Monday, August 18, 2014 Comment student paperwork projects drawings showing writing is making

There has been a great deal of buzz lately about “making” and production-centered learning. As a professor of literature and writing, I have been enthusiastic about the role “making” might play in the classroom. (Even those classrooms or courses that don’t inherently seem to lend themselves to making in the most obvious sense.) But the truth is, this new found enthusiasm is sometimes an uphill march. Should we relinquish our valuable classroom time to such endeavors that seem at best a crafty indulgence, or at worst, a waste of precious instructional time? This summer, I have

Study Proves Why We Need Digital Literacy Education

Thursday, August 14, 2014 Comment teacher giving classroom lesson to male students with computers showing digital literacy in classroom

A few months ago, the Internet buzzed with the results of a study comparing students’ note-taking on computers versus note-taking with paper and pen. In the article, authors Pam A. Mueller and Daniel M. Oppenheimer shared the results of three experiments comparing these two note-taking conditions, and their conclusion was signaled in the title: “The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard.” Following the authors’ lead, most media reports treated these results as proof that using laptops for note-taking — or, some argued, any classroom use — was detrimental to learning. However, I think the results point

Making Learning More Connected

Monday, July 21, 2014 Comment connected educators graphic with word collage that represents their role

I consider myself pretty invested in the Connected Learning community. I had the privilege of co-chairing the “Civic Education and Youth Serving Organizations” strand of the Digital Media and Learning conference in 2013, I contributed to an eBook edited by Antero Garcia focused on the application of Connected Learning principles to the classroom, and I am a Connected Learning Ambassador for the National Writing Project. Nonetheless, whenever I prepare to talk about Connected Learning with classroom teachers, as I did last week during a workshop with the UCLA Writing Project, I find myself a bit uneasy

Conversation with Alan Levine, Pedagogical Technologist

Monday, April 21, 2014 Comment alan lavine pedagogical technologist giving presentation with projection

“Instructional technologist” is an inadequate description for what Alan Levine has done at Maricopa Community Colleges, the New Media Consortium and the University of Mary Washington, often from his connected cabin in the Arizona highlands.  A better description might be: Alan Levine is a pedagogical technologist and architect of open, connected learning systems that enable students to take power over and responsibility for (and joy in!) their own learning. In Levine’s worlds of ds106, Phonar, and other open online courses, his coding and technical design often go beyond supporting existing pedagogy, by enabling learners to become