Connecting Rural Educators: Professional Development Goes Digital


Many educators in our DML network will be familiar with The National Writing Project (NWP), a 45-year-old professional development network, whose focus is on improving the teaching of writing across all grade levels. With close to 200 writing project sites spread throughout the U.S., the NWP network is within reach of thousands and thousand of teachers. But even with the reach and impact the network has on teachers and students, the NWP still seeks to improve access to their professional development communities. One of the challenges, particularly in rural areas, has been the difficulty for teachers

Textransformations: Interactive Art Practice as Connected Learning


We find ourselves in a cultural moment that is particularly fraught with the impulse for instant gratification as online social networks have us “plugged in” and busy narrating our lives online. So many have become wholly accustomed to certain forms of digital interactivity by seeking approval and amplification in online forums. Jaron Lanier has effectively dubbed certain social media platforms as “behavior modification empires.”  The hazards are now plain to see. Open communication platforms profit from the data generated from our human interaction, making us take pause. Free and open interactivity exacts a certain cost.  

The Emergence of the ESU Digital Warriors


In the early weeks of the fall semester of 2017, we developed a series of events that provided students opportunities to create Esports activities that led to a universitywide showcase competition. We will be presenting these findings at the inaugural Connected Learning Summit, Aug. 2, 2018 at the MIT Media Lab. In April, students from across East Stroudsburg University (ESU) came together to hold a successful League of Legend event in the Digital Media Technologies department. This was the culmination of a year of hard work and exploratory active learning. How did we get there? Our

CLS Keynote Speaker to Deliver Talk on Importance of Connected Learning


As a kid in the early 1980s, Baratunde Thurston took part in myriad enrichment activities — from sports and community gardening to boy scouts, cultural spectating and political activism. His mother encouraged him to pursue his interests through after-school and weekend programs, and with mentors and peers. “My mother was always pushing for me to have experiences,” said Thurston, a humorist, social activist and author. “She was trying to enrich me and give me a bunch of perspectives to help me figure out what I care about, what I would enjoy or love so I could

Scientists Seek Genetic Data to Personalize Education


Researchers have begun to propose using genetic data from students to personalize education. Bringing genetics into education is highly controversial. It raises significant concerns about biological discrimination and rekindles long debates about eugenics and the genetic inheritance of intelligence. Current proposals to personalize learning by enabling “educational organisations to create tailor-made curriculum programmes based on a pupil’s DNA profile” demand very close and critical attention. The potential of “the new geneism” to reproduce “dangerous ideas about the genetic heritability of intelligence” has already raised concerns. Scientists may be seeking new technologies to personalize teaching and learning

Connected Learning and 21st Century English Teacher Education


Much of the current rhetoric about technology and education relates to devices and software programs — what types schools should purchase, how much money districts should spend on them, how they should be integrated into classroom learning, and what return on investment they should produce. The implicit message communicated by this rhetoric is that technology transforms education through the medium of specific tools — that these tools are what structure and produce powerful teaching and learning. Give teachers and students laptops and Google Classroom accounts and magic will ensue. Over the past several years, a group

Google Report Reveals State of K-12 Computer Science Education


Computer scientists still are in high demand in the U.S., people of color still are disproportionately underrepresented in the field and whether and how computer science (CS) is taught varies wildly, according to a new report on the state of Kindergarten-through-high school CS education. Authored by Paulo Blikstein, assistant professor of education and (by courtesy) computer science at Stanford, the report — Pre-College Computer Science Education: A Survey of the Field — was commissioned by Google to shine a light on where CS education stands today and where it needs to go. “CS education has the

Amplifying Student Voice Through Digital Resources, Part 2


“Our stories that we tell are so powerful because when we are the one’s telling it, we have control over our stories and the messages that we are sending.” — Alejandra Ramirez Bermudez I am regularly in awe at the goodwill our students extend faculty, myself included, as they attempt to make sense of and successfully complete our idiosyncratic assignments. Too often, students hear faculty respond to any confusion students might have by telling them to “read the syllabus” or “read the assignment,” as if none of the faculty have ever tried to put together an