Teaching

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


The Challenge of Teaching Networked Writing

Monday, June 25, 2012 Comment young boy holding flip phone over his eye

In my last post I wrote about what Derek Mueller calls the “digital underlife,” the writing practices of students that fall below the radar of classroom practice, but which are crucial ways in which these students practice literacy. In that post I argued that it is important for teachers to acknowledge the ways in which our students actually write and encourage them to think of themselves as writers. Yet doing so doesn’t answer another crucial question: how does this writing fit into our instruction? For a sense of perspective, it is worth noting that this is a


Digital Underlife and the Writing Classroom

Monday, May 14, 2012 Comment female student using hiding cell phone behind textbook in classroom

In a 1987 paper, Robert Brooke argued that instructors needed to pay attention to the ways that students didn’t pay attention, like passing notes in class or whispering conversations. Building on the work of Erving Goffman, Brooke argued that these behaviors represented a writing “underlife” that was a means for students “to show that their identities are different from or more complex than the identities assigned them” in the classroom or school as a whole (p. 230). Fast forward to now. In a recent paper, Derek Mueller argues that the underlife needs to be reexamined, as


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,


From Conversation to Collection

Monday, April 16, 2012 Comment guy taking a picture of him self in the reflection of his computer screen

Recently I had the opportunity to attend a symposium on the digital humanities hosted by the University of Pittsburgh’s Digital Media research group. The occasion was the publication of “Debates in the Digital Humanities,” a collection addressing the changing nature of this emerging field. A number of contributors to the collection attended the symposium and shared some really exciting research, but what jumped out at me was a conversation between Matt Gold, the editor of the collection, and Doug Armato, the book’s publisher. The two shared with the session the process that went into publishing the


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)


What’s Next for DML?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 Comment group of students working at computers on media project

I recently returned from the engaging and rewarding DML2012 both exhausted and invigorated. As I debrief the many ideas and challenges to existing learning practices that were shared and explored at this year’s DML conference, I am struck by the thought of where we, as a community, are headed. Throughout the conference, I occasionally had moments of hesitation: we’ve grown since the first DML conference in 2010 in San Diego. We’ve grown a lot. And I think I’m most excited about the fact that we’ve grown in terms of diversity within the DML community. A lot.


Bryan Alexander: Emerging Learning Technologies

Tuesday, February 07, 2012 Comment mystery and digital story inphographic northern voice 2010 by Bryan Alexander

I knew Bryan Alexander was intense when I first spotted him in the audience at a talk I gave in the late 1990s. Just look at him. Old Testament prophet? Civil War general? Straight out of Middle Earth or Hogwarts? It’s not just the beard and the eyes. When you watch my video interview with Bryan (below), you can’t help but notice he is always in motion. I’ve actually seen him pound the podium. He’s an educator and an educator of educators who can’t disguise his passion and doesn’t care if he stands out in the


Teaching Art in a Connected World: the Possibilities

Friday, January 20, 2012 Comment 3 girls covered in paint working on art projects in art class

Aaron Knochel is an assistant professor at SUNY New Paltz, teaching upper division courses in curriculum theory and practice and “technology in the art classroom” in the university’s Art Education program. This past August, Knochel received his PhD in Art Education at Ohio State University, where his research focused on the possibilities and opportunities that new media and technology provide to art education. He was also one of twelve scholars to take part in the DML Research Hub’s Research Associates Summer Institute 2011. As an artist and an educator, Knochel believes that visual skills and digital