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My Digital Footprint

John Seely Brown

The web has just begun to have an impact on our lives. As fascinated as we are with it today, we’re still seeing it in its early forms… My belief is that not only will the web be as fundamental to society as electrification but that it will be subject to many of the same diffusion and absorption dynamics as that earlier medium.

The Linking for Learning Blog

Entries in learning (5)


Rethinking Learning by Mitch Resnick


Mitch Resnick (MIT Media Labs) explains the relationship between technology in the classroom and learning most succinctly in Rethinking Learning in the Digital Age.  He explains why we must rethink our approach to education to fit with the new possibilities of the digital age because too often we're not taking advantage of the possibilities.

  • We tend to use technology to deliver education to the learner which is not the most productive way of learning.
  • Technology has potential if used as the material to create and build things in the world - learning as the active construction of new knowledge.  Building on the theories of Piaget.  
  • Let learners explore new ideas themselves.
  • Sophisticated mathematical and engineering ideas typically studied in graduate courses can now be brought down into secondary level through students using technology to build and simulate ideas.
  • With technology you can build a quick prototype, try it out, see if it works.  
  • There's a constant spiral between ideas in your head and being able to try them out.  Technology expands the range of things we can design and therefore expands what we can learn.
  • The boundaries of where we can learn and with whom we learn are being broken down.  People with a variety of ages and abilities are learning with each other.  Peer-to-peer learning. 
  • Changing classroom practice and teaching methods won't happen without effort.
  • Schools put up lots of boundaries that inhibit the opportunities to learn - between disciplines, between age-groups, between inside and outside school.
  • The child must be in control of the technology.  If the child is not in control, the learning is not being enhanced to the extent that it could be.

Rethinking education.




7 Survival Skills for students today

In September 2013 representatives of business, education and community organisations met to discuss issues relating to the future at the (co)lab summit in Atlanta, Georgia.  Videos of presentations Including one from Will Richardson, are available on the (co)lab summit Youtube channel.

Education leader, Tony Wagner, delivered this address Reinventing education for the 21st century where he outlines the 7 survival skills that matter most for students in the new economy in which we live. 

1. Critical thinking and problem solving (ability to ask the right questions)
2. Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
3. Agility and adaptability to cope with the pace of change
4. Initiative and entrepreneurship (ability to set one's own goals)
5. Effective oral and written communication
6. Ability to access and analyse information
7. Curiosity and imagination. 



Individual learners - The Future of Learning

This week, as the first week of the new school year in Australia, I've been introducing the Year 7 student intake to their learning space on the college network, activating their accounts and setting them off on their digital citizenship journey in this stage of their education.

The overwhelming impression one has after working on this routine but semi-complex task with 239 students over such a brief time frame, is the range of students in our classes.  Students who are relatively the same age, because that's how we manage schooling, but vary so broadly in abilities, interests and potential result on the NAPLAN testing they will undertake in the coming months.

Perhaps it was this week's experience that made me look closely at the following infographic published in OnCUE, the journal of CUE - Computer-Using Educators, that arrived in my mailbox yesterday. Titled A Glimpse into the Future of Learning, it provides a forecast into 'a diverse learning ecosystem in which learning adapts to each child instead of each child trying to adapt to school'. 

We have already commenced the journey. This infographic provides an overview that is worthy of a discussion with colleagues.




John Seely Brown - Global one room schoolhouse

John Seely Brown is a visionary who can lead us beyond the known to think deeply about new ideas and possibilities for learning.

This video is animated highlights from his keynote address at the 2012 Digital Media and Learning Conference at University of California recently.  JSB speaks of the value of creating context in addition to content, the value of blogging and of networks of learners in creating a place of safety and permission for learning.  He says 'If you don't feel comfortable tinkering, you are going to feel a great sense of anxiety'.

Spend 11 minutes to view this thought provoking presentation The Global one room schoolhouse


The 'Flipped Classroom' model - an overview

I've recently had a number of conversations with colleagues about the 'Flipped Classroom' model of teaching and learning.  In a nutshell, it is the concept of using the time in class for learning, discussion and activity that benefits from close intervention of the teacher and allocating tasks as homework that can be brought back to the classroom for review and discussion with the support of the teacher.  

The Flipped Classroom model acknowledges that students often use class time to watch and listen, leaving them to do the puzzling and struggling with learning on their own at home or in the library with mates.  The model has sprung to prominence in recent years through the evolution of technology that has simplified the creation of video and audio with everyday tools.  It is not without controversy and to be fully understood should involve a review of actual practice in its various forms.

Bendigo Senior Secondary College teacher Andrew Douch has used the model with his VCE Douchy's Biology podcasts for many years and while not teaching fulltime in 2012, his podcast has approx 1000 downloads per day by students around the world. He's been 'flipped' for many years.

Gathered here are a number of resources that I consider, provide a balanced overview of the Flipped Classroom model.  They will inform and stimulate discussion of the topic.

Educause: The Flipped Classroom - Pro and Con (July 2012) In this article Educause have provided an excellent summary of both sides of the argument in relation to the Flipped Classroom model.  This is an extensive article and will require some time to explore fully.

Reflecting on the flipped classroom through student feedback (May 2012) I've chosen this article as it contributes student voice as feedback to support the discussion.

Reverse Instruction: Dan Pink and Karl’s “Fisch Flip” (November 2010) This post is a couple of years old but provides background philosophy with reference to the work of Daniel Pink author of A Whole new mind,

The Flipped Classroom Model: A full picture (June 2011) By Jackie Gerstein Ed.D, this is a comprehensive description including diagrams of the model and the presentation embedded above.

We are in a new age of learning that is providing opportunities for classroom innovation.  Do you have an experience of the Flipped Classroom model to share?