Peer to Peer Learning

The Great Peer Learning Pyramid Scheme

Monday, March 10, 2014 Comment 2 students working on tablet and computer designing project together

I often get asked questions like these: Does peer learning really work? Don’t we need experts to learn from? Can the (proverbially) blind really lead the blind? Those are good questions and I will get back to them in a second. Then, there is another question about peer learning that doesn’t get asked very much, which I would like to talk about in this post: Could peer learning be the (only) answer to scale meaningful learning and education for a growing global population? Let’s briefly talk about the first set of questions. Peer learning works because


Unhangouts

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


Assessment: Turning a Blunt Instrument Into a Powerful Learning Tool

Monday, November 26, 2012 Comment 3 students sitting together in library studying working on computer

It’s ironic that assessment in schools is most often “something adults do to students,” as Rick Stiggins puts it, because all humans are highly evolved for learning, and self-assessment is a powerful tool all learners use. Whether you are trying to master a recipe, solve an equation, improve your golf swing, you continually ask yourself questions such as “Have I learned to do what I need to do?” “What did I do wrong?” “How do I improve?” and, most importantly, “How did I learn that?” All, assessment. Wouldn’t it be great if schools didn’t turn a


The Global One-Room Schoolhouse: John Seely Brown

Monday, September 24, 2012 Comment play is essential and key graphic

John Seely Brown has been immersed in innovation and learning for the last three decades. As a visiting scholar and adviser to the provost at the University of Southern California, co-chair of the Deloitte Center for the Edge, former chief scientist at Xerox Corporation and director of its research center, PARC, he has deep expertise in radical innovation. Combine this with his strong interest in digital youth culture and digital media and the result is a message that will likely resonate with anyone working at the intersection of learning, technology and youth. In this video, which


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


Digital Literacies and Web Literacies: What’s the Difference?

Monday, August 20, 2012 Comment graphic showing difference between digital and web literacies

I’m currently iterating some work around Web Literacies for the Mozilla Foundation (you can see the latest version of my thinking here). Perhaps the biggest consideration when dealing with so-called ‘New’ Literacies is distinguishing them from one another. As I’ve discussed many times before, without some clear thinking on this issue both theorists and practitioners alike tend to talk past one another using imprecise terminology. What I want to consider in this post is the relationship between Digital literacies and Web literacies. Aren’t they just synonyms? The topic of digital literacies was the focus of my


Learning from Failure: Feminist Dialogues on Technology, Part II

Thursday, August 09, 2012 Comment Girl sitting on outside bench in the evening working on laptop

Professor Anne Balsamo has been collaborating with Professor Alexandra Juhasz and a group of more than one hundred feminist scholars to pilot a new kind of online course devoted to feminist dialogues on technology. Balsamo recently left the University of Southern California to occupy a new post as dean of the School of Media Studies at the New School for Public Engagement in New York.  In this position she will continue to work on one of her other ambitious new projects that involves collaboration with an extended network of researchers and designers to create a digital


Bodies in Classrooms: Feminist Dialogues on Technology, Part I

Monday, August 06, 2012 Comment 2 girls intensely focussing on their hand held games

Next year, over a hundred feminist scholars are slated to teach a new kind of online course—the first “MDCLE” or “massively distributed collaborative learning experiment”—tentatively titled “Feminist Dialogues on Technology.”  Drawing on the model of the “MOOC,” or the massively open online course, like the artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction courses at Stanford that have enrolled tens of thousands of students, this venture is also aimed at a very large audience, although taught and thought through a feminist architecture and pedagogy.  With some start-up funding from the Mellon Foundation, Pitzer professor Alexandra Juhasz and University of


Teaching Teachers, Honoring Learners: Interview with Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach

Friday, April 20, 2012 Comment 2 women doing paperwork on a train

As digital media and networks make possible more networked and collaborative pedagogies, who teaches the teachers how to take advantage of the opportunities (and avoid the pitfalls) that new technologies afford? I have recounted previously on this blog how I discovered Will Richardson’s book, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms, when I started combining my own classroom teaching with social media. Richardson and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, a former classroom teacher, charter school principal, district administrator, technology coach, and university instructor, teamed up to found the Powerful Learning Practice Network to not only enable,