Peer Learning

Super Awesome Sylvia

Thursday, August 08, 2013 Comment woman in lab coat and virtual reality headset in front of Evil Mad Scientist building

When I was ten years old, one television program was magical to me: Meet Mr. Wizard. Mr. Wizard was a friendly, knowledgeable old guy (he was probably in his 40s) who explained scientific phenomena to his young friends through various experiments and contraptions. At that time, the notion of science – of using knowledge to make things happen (blow up, emit smoke, become visible, change colors) – was as magical to me as Harry Potter’s magic wand was to a later generation. Chemistry sets for kids were still legal. I could buy potassium permanganate and glycerin


How and Why to Make Your Digital Publications Matter

Monday, May 21, 2012 Comment infographic showing digital publications and outcomes

I don’t have the metrics, but I’ll stake my professional reputation on the following  statement:  In the last one or two years, there has been a seachange in how even the most traditional academic, nonprofit, or corporation values, respects, and “counts” relevant, professional online publication and interactivity.  The keywords are “relevant” and “professional” and how you present your digital contributions is not only key to your success, but also itself contributes to the larger culture of peer learning. This year, as I’ve been on leave and been on what is turning into a never-ending lecture tour


DIY U: Interview with Anya Kamenetz

Wednesday, May 09, 2012 Comment 2 students sitting against brick wall sharing one set of headphones

I was very excited by Anya Kamenetz’s book, DIY U, which I highly recommend, and her free ebook, The Edupunk’s Guide! I’m also very interested in what Anya is doing with P2PU and teaching people, helping people, learn to be self learners. Her work serves as a bridge between blended learning and peeragogy. I previously wrote about Shelly Terrell and personal learning networks. Kamenetz has introduced the idea of the ‘personal learning plan’ in the course she taught at P2PU. Here are a few highlights of our interview, but check out the whole video below: Most


Reality, the Game: Interview with Interactive Expert Jeff Watson

Friday, April 27, 2012 Comment webpage screenshot investigative reporting letters of my lai

When I read Henry Jenkins’ description of the Pokemon-like card game he played with entering students at USC’s interdisciplinary Cinema School, I realized that the project Tracy Fullerton had described in September, 2011, had come to pass. Don’t think “gamification of education.” Think “turning a social icebreaker into transdisciplinary collaboration among former strangers.” Jenkins described his own encounter with the game: A few weeks ago, I was sent a pack of collector’s cards — with my picture on them! — and asked to show up in the courtyard outside the USC Cinematic Arts facilities so that


A Collaborative Guide to Best Digital Learning Practices for K-12

Monday, April 09, 2012 Comment picture taken through a window of teacher helping student with work

Below you will find a collaboratively written document produced in Bangkok, Thailand, at the March 28-31 teacher’s meeting of EARCOS, the East Asia Regional Council of Schools.  EARCOS is an organization of 130 primary and secondary schools that primarily use English as the language of instruction.  These include AP and IB schools and a number of other private schools.  We produced the document below on a public Google doc at a workshop, which I structured on the model of an “innovation challenge” of the kind that web developers use to bring together communities to complete a


The Ethics and Responsibilities of the 21st Century Classroom: Part One

Monday, April 02, 2012 Comment lecture hall full of students

When I think about the “ethics and responsibilities of the 21st century classroom,” I think not only about our ethical responsibilities toward students but about our ethical responsibilities toward teachers.  I am very concerned that the drop-out rate of K-12 teachers is even higher than the drop-out rate of K-12 students in the U.S. and in many other countries around the world.  As I’ve gone around the U.S. and abroad talking with teachers, I’ve seen over and over how beleaguered they are: by (a) too many rules, (b) too many constantly-changing systems and theories, by (c)


Learning Reimagined: Participatory, Peer, Global, Online

Friday, July 22, 2011 Comment group of adults working on laptops in conference room

This is a golden age for motivated self-learners, given the availability of open educational resources – from MIT’s OpenCourseWare, Wikipedia, Wikiversity, and YouTube EDU to the Khan Academy and Apple’s iTunes U, together with every possible online communication tool a learner could want – audio, video, forums, blogs, wikis, chat rooms, whiteboards, social bookmarking, mindmapping, and curation services, all free of charge or inexpensive. A population interested in online learning, a mountain of content, and a cornucopia of communication media are almost sufficient for explosive growth of networked, collaborative learning, but require one additional key ingredient: