Connected Learning

10 Connected Learning Lesson Plans from the Remake Learning Network

Monday, January 22, 2018 Comment students making in a library

For me, one of the greatest joys of teaching is the chance to learn from other educators: the opportunity to peek under the hood at all the moving parts behind a dynamite lesson plan, a thriving classroom, an effective teacher. When I started teaching history, my more experienced colleagues were my greatest resources. They recommended discussion questions for starting class, activities for getting my students engaged, and multimedia resources that I never would have found on my own. When I moved to Pittsburgh, I saw some especially effective educators in action through my work on the


Learner Agency: Sharing Control of the Classroom Agenda

Monday, January 15, 2018 Comment student at computer

When I reflect on the 10 years I spent teaching at UC Berkeley and Stanford, and look back over the 127 interviews I did with innovators in digital media and learning, “learner agency” was the first thought that came to mind when I asked myself about what still seems important. What I mean by this phrase: students are explicitly addressed as learners (better yet: co-learners); students are allowed to use their own interests and networks to explore issues that matter to them (scaffolded by teachers with the curricular knowledge that will make more sense to students


From Tech Engagement to Tech Scholars

Monday, December 11, 2017 Comment College of DuPage's 50th annual Commencement

One of the reasons I was very excited to join a community college is because there is a gap in how we think about bringing digital media and technology into learning. While there is a lot of research on K-12 and higher education in general, there isn’t as much research on students who are at risk of failing to continue their education at community colleges. These years are a unique opportunity when it is imperative that people in a position to do so work to close the various achievement gaps. The one people are most familiar


Reframing the ‘Progressive’ vs. ‘Traditionalist’ Debate in Education

Monday, November 27, 2017 Comment picture frames

One of the unfortunate side effects of the 2007-8 global economic crash has been our decade-long slide into intolerance of the unfamiliar and unknown. Rival groups trade blows over their proposed solutions to economic problems, which inevitably spill over into increased polarisation in other politically-charged areas, such as education. To my dismay, over the past five years in particular, I’ve seen an unhelpful and unhealthy bifurcation in educational discourse into “traditional” and “progressive” camps. Proponents of each approach never fully explain their position, instead defining it as the opposite of whatever “outrageous” statement has been made


Watchworthy Wednesday: Feeding Mind and Body

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 Comment students at UCI food pantry

A University of California, Irvine undergrad, whose mother died two years ago leaving her to care for her grandfather and younger brother, was lucky when she could afford a meal for herself. The transfer student, commuting from L.A. five days a week and working 10-15 hours per week, “was rarely eating one meal per day because she would use any funds she had to feed her grandfather and brother first. In addition, she has a medical condition (post-concussion syndrome), and her lack of appropriate nutrition was making it worse because she was always fatigued and feeling


Watchworthy Wednesday: Day of the Dead Resources Guide Educators

Wednesday, November 01, 2017 Comment altar

Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, today celebrated Nov. 1 and 2, is a tradition of honoring ancestors, and more educators are seeking ways to teach about it. Started by the Aztecs some 3,000 years ago, the ritual, which includes honoring deceased loved ones by erecting altars adorned with their pictures and favorite foods, colorful parades and skull face painting, has been spreading throughout the U.S. It’s featured in the movies, museums, schools and cultural centers. And, among the many resources offered to teachers, parents and other educators online, is the Smithsonian Latino


Three Myths About Education Technology and the Points of Light Beyond

Monday, October 30, 2017 Comment Tween boys using digital tablets and cell phone in sunny autumn park

Three powerful myths persist in our narratives around education technology. The first is that technology has the capacity to disrupt systems. For all the hope and hype that technologies can enable major organizational changes in educational systems through personalization, unbundling, or information access, but in reality, the reality is that culture domesticates new technologies. New apps, software, and devices are put in the service of existing structures and systems, rather than rearranging them. The most widely adopted education technologies are those that add a little efficiency to existing practices in school systems. The second myth is


Watchworthy Wednesday: How Arts and Humanities Games Celebrate Life

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 Comment Walden game scene

What would happen if games that go beyond simple situational conflict, such as combat and confrontation, instead took on more complex questions about life? Game designer Tracy Fullerton offered her thoughts during her keynote address at the recent Games for Change Festival. “Real life is neither either or, it’s not on or off or versus, it’s not black or white, it’s not any kind of duality no matter how we try to simplify it,” she said. “We all know in our experience that life is filled with grays, with nuance, with layers of perspective and problematising


Watchworthy Wednesday: More Twist Fate Reflections

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 Comment Gangsters of Zootopia By Amberlina-Chan

Why did Rumpelstiltskin want a first-born child? The Brothers Grimm fairytale never gave a reason. A fascinating explanation is revealed in “Rumpelstiltskin and His Husband,” a twist on the classic story written by Eva Nemirovsky for the Twist Fate Challenge, an international art and writing challenge for 13 to 17 year olds that published a book featuring the best entries. “This is a great explanation,” author Sara Ryan said this week in an Educator Innovator webinar on the challenge. “Because he is not allowed to adopt with his husband because of oppressive laws, he needs to


Reflections on Youth Efficacy in the Twist Fate Challenge

Monday, October 16, 2017 Comment

I think the Twist Fate Challenge is AMAZING….It gives young writers a chance to expand their imaginations. (Simone)*  Sometimes the only thing separating a hero from a villain is a curious twist of fate. An unexpected turn of events — a chance encounter, a hasty decision, an unexpected detour, a best intention — can spark a chain reaction that upends our expectations of familiar fantasy tropes and storylines. In Spring of 2016, young writers and artists were invited to conceptualize their own hypothetical hero/villain twist of fate in the “Twist Fate Challenge.” Together with DeviantArt (DA)