Connected Learning

Hacking the Curriculum 101

Monday, July 09, 2012 Comment apple macbook laptop covered in stickers

At a time when so many teachers and administrators fear and forbid student access to the internet from school, a high school teacher on the California coast is encouraging students by the hundreds to blog, Skype, gamify, and mindmap collaboratively in public. Problems? Zero. Enthusiasm — I can personally testify as one of the people Dr. Preston invited to videoconference with his students — blows the roof off. Preston’s students are enthusiastic about the texts, the ideas, the possibility of reaching out to the authors of those texts and inviting them into the class, and the


George Couros: Why School Administrators Should Embrace the Social Web

Thursday, June 28, 2012 Comment shot overview of 2 students sitting in class working on laptops

By encouraging administrators to become learner-leaders, to use social media to connect with each other, share best practices and experiment, Canadian school principal George Couros is leading by example, exhortation, and instigation the people who are supposed to be leading our schools into the future. He created and regularly contributes to the website that serves as an online gathering place especially for school principals, Connected Principals, and has blogged in detail about why and how school administrators should be using social media in practical ways in their schools — linking in this one compendium post to


Should We Fear Children Accessing Facebook?

Thursday, June 21, 2012 Comment
close up of iphone with facebook loading on screen

In recent months, there has been an intense media and policy vortex surrounding the questions of when and how children – especially those under 13 – should gain access to popular online sites like Facebook. The outcome of these cultural and political conversations will have a profound effect on key components of connected learning from values such as full participation and social connection to activities that are peer-supported, interest-powered, and openly networked. The focus on age as a metric for assessing the appropriateness of children’s online interactions primarily comes from several historical sources, including alcohol and


A Vision for Learning Designed by Youth for Youth: Notice. Dream. Connect. Do. Be.

Monday, June 04, 2012 Comment quote what if problems we work on in school are real life world saving problems

The basics as defined by school is a very limited and restrictive set of skills. The word basic is often referred to as essential. Essential translates to absolutely necessary or extremely important. This mindset calls our publicly prescribed school basics into question. If we see something as basic it should by its nature show up as we live…no? We have a vision for an approach to learning that eradicates the standardization perpetuated in public education. The “we” is youth from the innovation lab in Thompson School District in Loveland, CO, who have just finished year two


Why Critical Design Literacy is Needed Now More Than Ever

Tuesday, May 01, 2012 Comment 3 students conducting video interview and holding script

One thing is clear in our work at Texas City High School (TCHS) this year: students like to create their own media.  Students at TCHS create their own YouTube channels, compose original music, comics, games, Tumblr pages, art work, and fashion designs.  As young people’s use of social and digital media applications continues to evolve they are developing what I call a “design disposition.”  This is a reference to a distinct generational view that they expect to not only consume media content but create content, too.  Throughout the year we have sought out ways to both


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,


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)


Webinar: How Can We Disrupt the “Banking” System of Education?

Thursday, March 29, 2012 Comment
bracelet love thy library Gale cendade learning

Earlier today, connectedlearning.tv hosted a live webinar with librarian Buffy Hamilton, aka “The Unquiet Librarian,” on the topic: How do libraries cultivate participatory literacy to disrupt what Paulo Freire calls the “banking” system of education? For this webinar series, anyone can be a part of the conversation via Livestream (http://livestream.com/connectedlearningtv) and Twitter (#connectedlearning), pose questions in real-time to the guest speaker, and connect with others in the emerging connected learning community. The webinar’s page on connectedlearning.tv now has a video recording as well as a growing list of the questions asked and resources mentioned. Joining Buffy


The Future of Learning and Teaching: It’s Time for ‘Audacious Goals’

Friday, March 16, 2012 Comment women sitting in the aisle of packed DML conference room

In an impassioned call to action, Diana Rhoten kicked off the 2012 Digital Media and Learning conference by suggesting that education will never see its long-overdue renaissance without “audacious goals.” Senior vice president for strategy in the new Education Division of News Corp. and the conference chair, Rhoten spoke of the urgent need for researchers, practitioners, teachers, educators, technologists, as well as entrepreneurs and investors, to join together in the cause of a learning revolution. Without “audacious goals” and a diverse community willing to come together at this historic moment of convergence, most would-be education reformers