708 Matching Annotations
  1. Jul 2016
    1. His family loves to walk together outdoors. “Now you add this new wrinkle,” in the form of a game that may be more compelling than the conversation that forges bonds among them. “You have to ask,” said Dr. Freed, “will this facilitate that connection?”

      I'm a little dubious about the expert's response here. My daughters and I are talking about the game and learning together. The question I'd ask is, does this shared experience lead to engaged, interest-driven dialogue?

    2. “My 18-year-old and his friends walked and biked 25 plus miles in two days, outside, in the heat and rain,” said Lisa Romeo, a mother of two who lives in Cedar Grove, N.J. Phil LeClare of Salem, Mass., said that after three days of Pokémon Go while on vacation in Maine, his 11-year-old son proudly said that he’d walked 30 miles. Along with the stories of calories burned come the benefits of unexpected family time. The real-world component of walking and hunting for the creatures seems to make playing Pokémon Go alone unappealing. Instead, even teenagers are inviting siblings and parents along. Add in the likelihood of meeting other players at Poké-stops, and the game begins to feel like a social event.

      This is consistent with what I'm seeing with my own daughters and the other youth in my neighborhoods. They've definitely come out to play even in some oppressive heat. I appreciate this article's approach, which is a little more measured.

    1. Even Google couldn’t make Ingress work without reskinning it as Pokémon. And while Pokémon is popular and basically harmless, the alternating reality it offers is still that of a branded, licensed, kiddie cock-fighting fantasy. Even if paranoia fiction is aesthetically facile and retrograde, and even if location-based entertainment need not be serious and political, there’s still something fundamentally revolting about celebrating the Pokémonization of the globe as the ultimate realization of the merged social and technological potential of modern life.

      I think this analogy of a kiddie cock-fighting fantasy lays the author's bias bare. Isn't it more helpful to notice the connection to Japanese culture?

      Godzilla's popularity explains global interest in monster vs monster fiction in a much more understanding way that doesn't deficitize fans. Lastly, why spin Google and Ingress' iterations with the game as failures? Isn't it more important to understand the tipping point that resulted in global game craze?

    1. Below is a collection of catchy sayings that work as cues to be quiet, the first ones appropriate for early and middle grade students, and the later ones field tested to work with high school kids.

      Using humor to get a class's attention is a great strategy, and when a class pays attention, try to point out the positive things you notice in their work and learning, even on tough days. Students will learn that the teacher isn't asking for attention to scold them and they'll learn that you're paying attention to positives while ignoring and minimizing negatives.

    2. The strategy always, always works, says Johnson, because it gives students adequate warning. Another technique, playing classical music (Bach, not Mahler) on low volume when learners enter the room, sets a professional tone. I played music with positive subliminal messages to ninth graders until they complained that it gave them headaches.

      No strategy "always, always works." Any threat of punishment runs the risk of inviting youth to engage in a power struggle. This particular threat means the teacher will give non-compliant students extra public attention and that class will end with some authoritative dismissal. Better to challenge high schoolers with something cognitively demanding and then pay attention to successful efforts in a cognitively demanding task. "For those of you who were able to do _, that kind of engaged effort will pay dividends all day for you and all year in this class. If you were unable because you were socializing or messing around, think about how you might be productively social. Do you need to change groups or seats? Feel free to discuss your learning needs with me."

    3. One of the best ways to maintain a quiet classroom is to catch students at the door before they enter. During these encounters, behavior management expert Rob Plevin recommends using "non-confrontational statements" and "informal chit-chat" to socialize kids into productive behaviors, as modeled in Plevin's video.

      I love this strategy but not the goal. I have no interest in maintaining a quiet classroom. Instead, I'd want to see engaged activity. Informal chit-chat at the door that prefaces what learners will be doing in class does socialize kids into productive behaviors. I can say, "Good to see you. How are you? (Listen.) I've put a question on the board that everyone can discuss in table groups for the next five minutes. After five we'll share out what we're thinking."

      Starting class this way with social interaction that leads into reading, writing or a whole group discussion scaffolds comprehensibility of the lesson and it allows me to not worry about getting the room quiet right away. Instead of asking for silence, I can ask what groups are talking about or what they think.

    1. Podcasts. Both creating and listening to podcasts. I love podcasts and I’m not alone. Podcasts are HOT right now.

      What might youth author in podcasts? Can this be authentic journalling, planning and strategy? Can youth experts who are experienced with Pokemon make podcasts for their classmates to give the background of the game?

    2. Very few students will be using PearDeck, or Socrative outside of a school setting, so why not use what they will use or do use: Twitter, Snapchat, Instragram, Minecraft are all powerful tools inside and outside the classroom.

      This is a strange rationale. Instead of focusing on the inevitability of youth using phones, I would look at the possibility of connecting story, myth, strategy, mapping, exercise and social interaction.

    1. Don’t stay silent even if it feels like the same thing again and again—until every citizen is truly protected and served. 

    2. We hear people proclaim, “All lives matter,” and I agree that is true—but it’s black people who are being targeted. Until more people understand that, nothing will change.

    1. The first set, called Math Instructional, was for apps that would make math relevant for students by linking it to their lives and enabling students at different ability levels to work together
    2. IDEO identified key learning challenges affecting both students and teachers, including different levels of proficiency within a classroom, word problems not being relevant to students, andlack of parental engagement.

      I appreciate this because I can see CRE themes.

    3. a better match between schools’ needs and developers’tools

      Is there a root cause analysis that determined a mismatch? This seems to privilege software developers as the supermen ed is waiting for.

    4. receive feedback from teachers whose classroomused it.

      This is a vital step in tool development. Does it go past tool development to looking at student work and shifting practice?

    5. The Gap App programwas designed to procure apps for personal computers or mobile devices to address specific learning challenges in NYC schools

      What gaps? What apps? What is the relationship between the app and practice? So often our assessment of the tools remove teachers and instructional decision making from the conversation. I would hope to see a model with a learning goal, a tool or technology specified and some instructional practices outlined. Does this type of an approach- finding apps for gaps- starts with the premise that a software tool will address a gap and education's role is to pair apps to gaps? In our short techquity work, elementary teachers interested in learning more about ed tech expressed frustration at the press for them to use skill building software that isolated students in their experiences and decreased student talk opportunities. Not having an answer, I have a bias toward powerful practices like paired programming that privilege discourse. I also know that language learners who are challenged to build houses together in Minecraft struggle over vocabulary and stretch their language production while they laugh and strategize about design.

    6. we focused our study of the interview data on three aspects of implementation: usage, teacher-developer partnerships, and student experience. We then used the transcript data related to each of these topics to create detailed outlinesof key findings.

      Three aspects of implementation. All of these are complex and multi-faceted. For example, usage depends on teacher access and capacity. Teacher partnerships depend on the flexibility of support and the opportunities for teachers to participate. Student experience is dependent on pedagogy.

    1. The blog roll of this course’s learners is available at right, and weekly peer-to-peer feedback about assignments is regularly provided via Hypothesis. In this respect, Hypothesis functions as a means of informal peer review. Regardless of whether or not these annotations are public or private, the social reading practices afforded by Hypothesis have allowed learners to create meaning together, hold one another accountable, and even scaffold comprehension.

      Powerful that the pedagogy produces a digital footprint for the learning community and the teacher-researcher to study.

    2. I’ll briefly comment upon how learners are using Hypothesis web annotation in INTE 5340, particularly as it extends and also differs from the pedagogy, design, and practice exhibited in INTE 5320 Games and Learning.

      Interesting to reflect on how mark up strategies and the instructional approaches differ across classes. Are they an evolution in Remi's thinking? Does the class or Remi have a sense of what is "effective" as an instructional approach, or what is effective in terms of a learner's personal process.

    3. INTE 5340 is a DS106 course

      What does this declaration signify for the instructor? For the students? For the #DS106 community?

  2. Jun 2016
    1. As fans have long speculated, it appears that R+L really does = J — Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark are the true parents of Jon Snow, and Ned kept his sister’s secret to protect Jon from the wrath of Lyanna’s betrothed, Robert Baratheon, claiming his nephew as his own bastard son

      Here's the answer to your question, J + F.

    1. the moment you think only of yourself, the focus of your whole mind narrows, and because of this narrow focus uncomfortable things can appear huge and bring you fear and discomfort and a sense of feeling overwhelmed by misery. The moment you think of others with a sense of caring, however, your mind widens.

      mind narrows or widens depending on your view of others.

    2. We can see that all the desirable experiences that we cherish or aspire to attain are dependent upon cooperation and interaction with other sentient beings. It is an obvious fact.

      Interdependence is the reason we must cultivate the thought that other sentient beings are precious and valuable.

    1. Like any high-performing educators, we strive to competently use data for short-term wins and next-goal planning. To accomplish those wins, we've become "data geeks." We triangulate the data from reading inventories, state accountability measures, and national college readiness exams.

      So important to know why you're using this data. This article reveals that if we read data to identify gaps and deficits, it can reinforce negative biases of teachers and youth. If we read data to identify short-term wins, we can include data in asset-focused work.

    1. Girls and reality TV are a potent combo, Girl Scouts report says

      This article is part of a text set being used in a mini unit for argument writing. In the unit, students are asked to mark insights from the research with an asterisk and important facts with an F.

      How might this type of a coding strategy support meaning making and a student's subsequent ability to use this text as evidence in an argument?

    1. “[If] minority people are to effect the change which will allow them to truly progress, we must insist on skills within the context of critical and creative thinking.”

      These are powerful marching orders for educators who seek to create more equitable teaching and learning.

    2. Despite the compelling arguments for ambitious intellectual work, in inner-city schools, where children typically score below their grade level on standardized tests, policy makers and local educators often worry more about basic skills instruction because they believe that students cannot do more challenging work until they master the basic skills. In this context, including such schools in Chicago, teachers rarely get to the more ambitious tasks.47 Clearly, teachers need to work with students on intellectually engaging tasks while at the same time helping them develop written and oral communication and other basic skills.

      I want to name this phenomenon so that I can point it out when I see it the way a ship's captain has to use clear language point out an iceberg on the horizon. Because this smacks of a deficit focus that I think can be exacerbated when the teacher has a different cultural background than the learners, I want to call this something like, "The deficit-focused, skill-building death spiral." Though "death spiral" might be a little strong, I believe it is appropriate because teachers, sure that students need low-level instruction that fills gaps, can become increasingly resolute about the need to provide repetitive skill instruction, often outside of a meaningful context. Students on the other hand, disenchanted with school that makes them leave culture at the door, receive a daily dose of instruction that doesn't connect with them because it is a supposed precursor to engaging work which is always just another remediation away.

    1. Additionally, the leaders will take action to end deportations and criminalization with a march and rally to demand that Harris County – responsible for more deportations than any other – stop collaborating with federal immigration agents.

      I'm interested to understand the nature of the collaboration between this Texas county and federal immigration agents.

      Also, it is noteworthy that activists want to end the criminalization of immigration. Do politicians on the left embrace this? I think it is a rational approach since the current system has normalized the way our economy attracts and depends on an "illegal" workforce. We situationally enforce a law against workers but rarely hold businesses who employ undocumented workers accountable for running afoul of the law.

    2. United We Dream members will also celebrate the 4th birthday of their victory – the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) which is now protecting well over 700,000 from deportation.

      The youth activists are celebrating the impact their advocacy has had in the past.

    1. denigrates women and minorities

      This seems to be the role of the media in this campaign- to shift from fact checking what candidates say to supporting with evidence the conclusions they draw as they are awash in half-truths and spin. Instead of fact checking the next speech, it is perhaps more important that journalists ask about the implications of the statements candidates make. When it is clear that one candidate denigrates women and minorities, the media should report it as fact and ask if that is disqualifying. Fittingly, in a democracy the people will decide.

    2. Because American history, despite periods of nativism and bigotry, has from the first been a grand experiment in bringing people of different backgrounds together, not pitting them against one another;

      Our periods of nativism and bigotry have been missteps in a grand experiment about freedom and the effort to make America a metaphoric melting pot.

    3. The following is a statement signed by more than 450 U.S. writers, regarding the candidacy of Donald J. Trump for the Presidency of the United States.

      This petition is a unique textual artifact in this presidential campaign because it represents a coalition of artists, specifically writers, opposing a candidate on a number of grounds and using their celebrity to seek support for this opposition. I've annotated it to highlight their concerns with Trump's xenophobia because it meshes with my topic of interest today- immigration.

    1. she believed that the teenager was proud of “taking advantage of the system.”

      It is sad that a classmate's mother took the opportunity to speak out against the valedictorian. ApparentlyHere's hoping that more youth take advantage of our public education system.

    2. “State law also does not distinguish between documented and undocumented graduates of Texas high schools in admissions and financial aid decisions,” the statement said. “University policies reflect that law.”

      It is heartening that universities like UT accept, and grow stronger by accepting, documented and undocumented alike.

    3. Ms. Ibarra wrote in a tweet posted last week, hours after she gave her valedictory speech to fellow graduates at David Crockett High School in Austin.

      This tweet was retweeted over 9,000 times and liked almost 20,000. Though she opened herself up to racist attacks, her choice of medium put her in the same channel as Trump and the post got as much attention as his do. Twitter confounds traditional candidates and, though notably inane at time, it is a medium that deserves and receives much attention.

    4. “I have never thought about deporting a child who graduated from a U.S. high school and fought against the odds to be successful. Until this moment,” Ms. Davis wrote on Facebook.

      These young women flipped an instant switch in their lives, which opened a stream of racist response from the communities they live in. By speaking openly about their undocumented status and calling into question the everyday racism they encounter, they make themselves greater targets and they make racism more plain.

    1. It’s a brand new discussion we have here. Which has the greater effect on literacy: the method-and-the-text, or the affective quality of the relationship between the teacher and the taught? My hunch is the latter: that the emotional interplay between teacher and taught may one day prove to be the most important factor in the teaching of reading and writing. Needless to say, I have no quantitative research to back my claims, only stories. Many stories.

      Such an important point. Educators can dig in their heels and engage in pedagogical debates about theory and approaches (see the reading wars) When we work with teachers, do we fall into place in these familiar battle lines and dutifully serve theory? When we pursue equity I think that requires that we think a lot about love.

    1. The man, whom police have identified as Brock Turner, at the time a Stanford swimmer, attempted to flee. Jonsson testified that he gave chase, tripping Turner and then jumping on him. Arndt joined him shortly afterward while a third man called sheriff's deputies.

      This is why the "men's rights movement" that seeks to polarize this topic along gender lines is ridiculous. Men are not pro rape and certainly not pro rapist. Jonsson and Arndt did the right thing.

    1. As a facilitator, it’s important to customize such events to their needs, making sure you are encouraging a gender appropriate, inclusive and supportive environment.

      I think it is important for teachers to understand that current practices lead to inequitable experiences in STEM for girls. These tips are really suggested changes.

    1. Arizona's K-12 public district and charter schools in the next few weeks will get an additional $224 million to apply to the current fiscal year. For the next fiscal year, which starts July 1, they will receive an additional $230 million over 12 monthly payments.Each district controls its share of the money, which is tied to enrollment. Many of the largest districts have indicated they intend to use much of the extra money for teacher pay raises, bonuses or other financial rewards.Arizona voters narrowly passed Prop. 123 last month, approving a measure that is expected to provide public schools $3.5 billion over the next 10 years. About $2.2 billion of that is supposed to come from the land trust fund.

      How might teachers remix these stories to ask community members for support during tight elections?

    1. White supremacists associated with the alt-right, many of them avid supporters of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, like to highlight Jewish users for targeting with parentheses: (((Rosenberg))), for example.

      I've been exposed to feminist hate speech via gamergate but I was unaware of this until the ((())) showed up in my feed by colleagues who aim to show solidarity and "mess with the Nazis." As we think about interest topics and #2nextprez, I wonder about articles related to combating hate online.

    1. said “there could be” a line that the presumptive nominee crosses that would make him withdraw his support.

      Important to know that Corker doesn't consider Trump's proposed Muslim ban or his previous racism against Mexicans as behavior that is over the line. Nor is this recent episode, a "textbook definition of racism" over Corker's imagined line.

    1. In the late summer, L2P 2.0 converts to a massive, open online publishing platform

      This is an opportunity for educators to think about public writing with networked group of peers who can support what might be shift in practice for some.

    2. A growing list of nonpartisan educational partners are committed to providing learning opportunities and resources.

      When we combine learning opportunities with learning resources, we set the stage for powerful collaboration and important iteration. How might a teacher- or educator of any sort- filter this site for resources for their context?

    3. With support from teachers and mentors, the resulting websites, news coverage, and publications brought the voices of young people into the public discourse and invited young people around the country to write letters to the future president about their concerns, hopes, and perspectives. If you’d like to read some of the student letters from the 2008 iteration of Letters to the Next President, this report from the National Commission on Writing features writing that was selected from the online publishing project sponsored by the National Writing Project and Google. The Letters to the Next President 2008 website featured 6,466 letters from 212 schools across the country on topics such as global warming, the economy, healthcare, education, and immigration.

      Do youth participating now know about the scale and scope of the last project? Would knowing this information stoke youth's interest?

    4. How can we support our youth to participate as productive and active citizens?

      This is a great essential question for this whole project with many possible write answers. I hope this question inspires us to prepare community ready and civic ready students with a strong feeling of agency.

    1. I feel like I’m always yelling, “Ugh, no, you don’t get it!” and then slamming a metaphorical bedroom door whenever I read something about young people and The Evils of Social Media.

      I feel like I'm always__, " and __ing a metaphorical ___ "

  3. May 2016
    1. Wonder is a black box. Technology won't save us other than to amplify our screams.

      Technology won't save us, nor will the latent glue on an envelope that awakens and seals a message when we moisten it. What will save us is this groundbreaking practice of sharing seeds in the mail. What will save us is this landmark innovation of sharing a poem publicly and convening conversations in the digital margins. What will save us is tinkering in the interest of connecting. That taste on your tongue when you lick the glue on an envelope and send the toy you've hacked to someone you've never met? That taste is connection.

    2. They were seemingly dormant. I sent the seeds to Autumm.

      Additional research on MOOCs and online learning to study loose ties and affection, love in networks, snail mail and strawberry seeds, is clearly warranted.

    3. I don't want factory farming, I want wild meadows. I don't want deadlines, I want lifelines.

      The system I'm in so often asks for factory farming when it wants lifelines of wild meadows.

    4. I don't want morbid collections of pressed flowers. It is the act of giving freely which interests me.

      What is my gardening metaphor? What am I interested in planting? Harvesting?

    5. I hadn't been down to the allotment for a few years now. There was no reason to do so since my parents were buried. It comes back to me now. In an instant we are alive. "What is for lunch?"

      Teaching, memory, mortality.

    1. Glumly I went back to my unproductive survey through the telescope. The esker remained deserted. The hot sand began sending up heat waves which increased my eyestrain. By 2:00 p.m. I had given up hope. There seemed no further point in concealment, so I got stiffly to my feet and prepared to relieve myself. Now it is a remarkable fact that a man, even though he may be alone in a small boat in mid-ocean, or isolated in the midst of the trackless forest, finds that the very process of unbuttoning causes him to become peculiarly sensitive to the possibility that he may be under observation. At this critical juncture none but the most self-assured of men, no matter how certain he may be of his privacy, can refrain from casting a surreptitious glance around to reassure himself that he really is alone. To say I was chagrined to discover I was not alone would be an understatement; for sitting directly behind me, and not twenty yards away, were the missing wolves. They appeared to be quite relaxed and comfortable, as if they had been sitting there behind my back for hours. The big male seemed a trifle bored; but the female's gaze was fixed on me with what I took to be an expression of unabashed and even prurient curiosity.

      This, a favorite scene from a favorite book, also sums up the experience of the teacher bent on control of students and sure that his instructional methods are air tight.

    1. One wonders now where our leaders got the idea that mass torture would work to our advantage in Indochina. It never worked anywhere else. They got the idea from childish fiction, I think, and from a childish awe of torture. Children talk about tortures a lot. They often make up what they hope are new ones. I can remember a friend's saying to me when I was a child: "You want to hear a really neat torture?" The other day I heard a child say to another: "You want to hear a really cool torture?" And then an impossibly complicated engine of pain was described. A cross would be cheaper, and work better, too. But children believe that pain is an effective way of controlling people, which it isn't--except in a localized, short-term sense. They believe that pain can change minds, which it can't. Now the secret Pentagon history reveals that plenty of high-powered American adults things so, too, some of them college professors. Shame on them for their ignorance.

      Vonnegut on torture and where the appeal stems from. How lucky I was to stumble across this article while looking for another online this morning.

      This commentary offers me hope in an election year where the Republican candidates boasted about how, if they were elected, they would embrace torture.

    1. Applying ordinary free-speech protections to electoral expression ensures that government will still depend on the back-and-forth of open debate, generated by free citizens in all their variety.

      So he's painting huge corporate influence as a level playing field. What does the constitution look like when he finishes with it?

    2. Why not, then, provide an income-adjusted tax credit for political contributions? A tax credit of $50, phased out as income rose, would encourage millions of citizens of modest means to donate (collectively) large sums to their favorite candidates. Another concern about money in politics is that political contributors can win economic favors for themselves.

      Not a bad idea but without an upper limit, there is still exaggerated influence for the wealthy which means the system will perpetuate economic immobility, and political immobility.

    3. Its power to distort opinion is surely as great as, or greater than, that of the wealthy.

      Talk about distortion. Who owns newspapers? Who owns the large networks? The market ensures that the wealthy have undue influence in their ability to control the media the same way the market ensures the wealthy will have undue influence in their ability to control political campaigns. Our marketplace allows only a few the disposable income to make large donations. What this writer is really arguing for is 800 pound gorilla style influence for big business.

    4. Not only did he ignore the substantial interest that politicians have in protecting their incumbency, Breyer was even willing to rethink the meaning of the 1st Amendment, arguing that it’s best understood as in part a “collective right,” with a goal of connecting the nation’s legislators

      This argument claims that lawmakers are unfit to make laws. The constitution already creates checks and balances. We have term limits, etc... Corporations don't factor into those checks and balances.

    5. And if an association has that right, why would it lose it when it takes corporate form?

      Because these interests are often at odds with safety and equality. An unemployed man's vote should count as much as a CEO's. A CEO may be able to donate more, but he shouldn't be able to buy outsized influence.

    6. Why, then, should money spent on political campaigns be any different?

      Because our democracy becomes increasingly skewed by politicians' need to solicit huge donations and endlessly fundraise. They have to appeal to a smaller group of wealthy donors to be successful instead of listening to citizens and appealing to peoples' interests. Corporations aren't citizens. They're staffed by citizens who have equal votes. Is he getting to the part where citizens aren't supposed to have equal influence in our democracy?

    7. Even as liberals have abandoned their traditional support for free political speech

      I missed the part of the essay where he established how liberals oppose free speech. Unless you accept that corporate influence IS free speech. Does anyone accept this?

    8. ideologically balanced than journalists and academics

      This is hokey. Media companies, while often staffed by liberal leaning reporters, are controlled by very powerful big money interests which are fiscally conservative and champions of the status quo.

    9. Northwestern University School of Law

      Where he is oppressed by liberals, no doubt. Thank goodness he's standing up for downtrodden corporations...err.. citizens.

    10. providing opportunities for citizens who aren’t academics or media representatives to speak about public matters.

      Citizens like two simple brothers... Koch brothers. And a guy named Sheldon... Sheldon Adelson.

    11. liberals continue to control the institutions that set the nation’s political agenda

      What about the role of money as influence? Money certainly isn't speech.

    12. If you hold sway over the media and the academy and yet still fail to convince a majority of voters with your views, suppressing speech that counters those views can start to seem like a constitutional imperative

      Liberals are boogeymen and still no mention of corporate influence in politics. Hmmm. Say more.

    13. upholding Americans’ 1st Amendment right to criticize or praise politicians running for office through nonprofit corporations.

      This is a strange reframing of the dramatic corporate influence that Citizens United facilitates.

    1. All of us must to work together to replace cycles of trauma and punishment if we hope to build a culture of health and learning. As long as our first instinct is punishment instead of healing, we will lose kids before they ever have the opportunity to find their own potential.

      Can we draw this cycle?

    2. Children living in inadequate housing with problems such as mold and insects might miss school because they are chronically sick. When parents themselves have poor health at home, children are often sidelined or unable to complete assignments because of their role as part-time caretakers.

      Is chronic absenteeism a potential marker of trauma?

    3. For example, black children account for 18 percent of the preschool population, but represent 48 percent of suspensions.

      This is an important pattern to point out. Also important to identify that the problem is with the school systems and the adults who create and run it.

    4. When young people have behavioral challenges, the system usually asks, "What is wrong with this child, and how do we stop it?" Instead, they ought to be asking, "What happened to this child, and how do we help them?"

      This is common in developing interventions for kids- we look at challenges like struggling at reading or disruptive behavior as isolated cases of troubled or broken kids. We ought to see these challenges as predictable and in need of systemic support.

  4. Apr 2016
    1. “It was just really enjoyable,” said Edson. “By the end of [the course], you know their names, at least if they’ve come enough times, so you can see them at the library and say ‘hi’ and have a more personal conversation with them than before, just sitting at a reference desk.”

      This highlights how librarian roles need to evolve and how this effort supports that evolution.

    2. Libraries, in general, have some work to do in spreading the word about the services they offer; a recent Pew Research Center survey found that many people don’t know about education resources offered by libraries. Of people surveyed by Pew, half didn’t know if their local libraries offered online programs for GED completion or mastery of new skills.

      It is also interesting to note how dominant computers and tech use have become in the library space.

    3. P2PU developed a Learning Circles Facilitator Handbook — with the input of CPL librarians — which gives facilitators the tools they need to run a program.

      This type of innovation is important because it engages people in powerful face to face work and documents the processes of the leaders.

    4. “You come up with this contract: no cell phones, you’ll pay attention, be respectful of your fellow learners,” said Edson “so it gives them a sense of accountability in that first week. How serious they take it, it depends, but I feel like setting some ground rules in the first week is helpful.”

      Interesting to note that the woman pictured below is breaking the cell phone rule, which also seems to have no place here if you set positive norms that highlight the way peers might support one another.

    5. Librarians said it felt similar to hosting a book club, but unlike preparing for a book discussion, they had less knowledge in advance. In many cases, the librarians learned alongside students as they completed the course.

      This is a helpful analogy that emerges from an innovative use case. Book groups are interest driven, discussion centered and fundamentally social.

    6. Learning Circles add a social element to what is otherwise a solitary learning experience by bringing people together in person to take an online course together over six to eight weeks, with the help of a facilitator.

      I love the concept of learning circles and that a librarian might help organize the face to face work of groups of students who are accessing MOOCs.

    7. For all the promises of online courses disrupting education, completion rates are notoriously low. Some studies found that about five percent of those enrolled in massive open online courses (known as MOOCs) completed the course. And those who took the courses tended to be more educated already – 70 percent of survey respondents had bachelors degrees and 39 percent identified as teachers or former teachers.

      Who is making these promises? In these experimental efforts, it is important to see what different use cases arise for these online courses but higher ed studies them with a fixed set of historical metrics.

    1. Dave Cormier

      Cormier offers the rhizome as a metaphor for networked, digital age learning, and tests his analogy-as-theory in open online courses named for the rhizome. Here is a foundational text of his describing how community can be curriculum.

    2. The work of scholarship should be the work of imagination.

      This is why the early cMOOCs are so fascinating. They were courses designed to both share and test theories of digital age learning: connectivism, or connective knowledge, or rhizomatic leanring.

    3. Students with digital access can now go to the library and pore over the books they are most interested in, with or without permission, with or without curriculum, and generally entirely without a rubric, learning outcomes, or scaffolding. Dinosaurs were not a popular subject at my elementary school, and independent study for a fifth grader wasn’t rewarded. My motivations were entirely those of my hungry imagination. For many of today’s students, those dinosaurs of mine are everywhere. In every nook and cranny of their days. And in their back pockets.

      This speaks to the power of interest-driven learning and the learners' need to find others with like interests in order to go deep into a content.

    4. For now, there are no texts, so we’ll go digging in the dirt.

      Maybe this means there are no traditional textbooks that are so familiar to the university context.

      There very definitely are texts.

      Personal Learning Networks, by Will Richardson and Rob Mancabelli

      Cognitive Surplus, by Clay Shirky

      Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom, edited by Antero Garcia

      Hanging Out, Messing Around and Geeking Out, edited by Mimi Ito

      While this is something of a random list presented in a random order, each of the books above had an impact on me. They speak to the way digital tools and the Internet are impacting learning and they offer promising practices that educators can build on. It is important that we can point to texts and a body of scholarship that frame the experiments we conduct when we use open online practices.

    5. We can no longer look for the old structures of rigor echoed in this more rambunctious learning.

      What are the characteristics of this rambunctious learning? Is it an Edupunk notion of following your interests while thumbing your nose at the ivory tower?

    6. It’s the kind of thing that many instructors new to the digital — or leery of its experimentation — shrug off as teaching that requires no real effort and no real accountability.

      The first time I used Genius.com with a group of students, one boy- a senior happily adding notes to a poem- began speaking in a robotic voice saying, "Must... accrue... Rap... Genius... points." He was joking for the benefit of his peers but he was also responding to a social platform with novel features. As a teacher, I appreciated the energy and the sense of discovery that day.

    7. Audrey Watters

      Is Watters an outlier on this list? To me she's an important critical voice who challenges the educational technology industry and points out how it might replicate inequitable outcomes. I don't think she's someone who experiments with teaching and learning in these digital spaces except to the degree that she is a powerful voice in the blogosphere.

    8. In part, this is because the use of digital technology to widen the parameters of human interaction and knowledge production is still in its most experimental stage. It’s not kids reading about dinosaurs in books, it’s passionate paleontologists picking at the dirt in the middle of Wyoming.

      This stage is marked by adults using computers for social and personal purposes in ever increasing numbers while educators generally hold tight to traditional methods and tools due to discomfort with change. Into this stasis disguised as change, software companies offer expensive but simple solutions where the educators should know no solutions exist.

    1. BUT...I can empathize with the questions. It's understandable that teachers and principals might want limits on availability.

      This strikes me as important... empathizing with real teacher challenges or frustrations.

    2. Teachers have a lot going on during class and with a rule like this, teachers that move around the room interacting with students can keep their students on the desired site effectively.

      The hope, to me, is that active proctoring isn't necessary because the students know that the teacher will be able to see what they have done later and that the work is important, compelling and engaging. Alas, YouTube is instant gratification for the distracted student.

    3. Then I saw a tweet from Richard Wells @EduWells - “How do we scaffold self-management?” I followed that discussion, and there were some great thoughts - break it into small chunks and help students identify behaviors from Jacque Allen @jacquea, set mini goals within the student’s zone of proximal development from Barend Blom @blominator.

      Showing students how you track their progress is one step. Even more important for them to see how they can track their own progress and self assess. Is it possible to get them hooked on productivity and the flow of interest-driven learning, especially if they are able to see and study their digital footprint on their most engaged days?

    4. At the very least, it lets me know just how far I fell into the seemingly never-ending time suck of facebook or Inside Texas - my Longhorn Football fix.

      Cool to test the tool out for yourself. Does it have importance for you personally? Professionally? If yes, then that's a good story to share.

    1. Teachers have a lot going on during class and with a rule like this, teachers that move around the room interacting with students can keep their students on the desired site effectively.

      The hope, to me, is that active proctoring isn't necessary because the students know that the teacher will be able to see what they have done later and that the work is important, compelling and engaging. Alas, YouTube is instant gratification for the distracted student.

    2. Then I saw a tweet from Richard Wells @EduWells - “How do we scaffold self-management?” I followed that discussion, and there were some great thoughts - break it into small chunks and help students identify behaviors from Jacque Allen @jacquea, set mini goals within the student’s zone of proximal development from Barend Blom @blominator.

      Showing students how you track their progress is one step. Even more important for them to see how they can track their own progress and self assess. Is it possible to get them hooked on productivity and the flow of interest-driven learning, especially if they are able to see and study their digital footprint on their most engaged days?

    3. At the very least, it lets me know just how far I fell into the seemingly never-ending time suck of facebook or Inside Texas - my Longhorn Football fix.

      Cool to test the tool out for yourself. Does it have importance for you personally? Professionally? If yes, then that's a good story to share.

    4. BUT...I can empathize with the questions. It's understandable that teachers and principals might want limits on availability.

      This strikes me as important... empathizing with real teacher challenges or frustrations.

    1. She hasn’t gone back. A group of friends sitting with her in the Mouse offices, all boys, shook their heads in sympathy; they’ve seen this behavior “everywhere,” one said. I have been unable to find solid statistics on how frequently harassment happens in Minecraft. In the broader world of online games, though, there is more evidence: An academic study of online players of Halo, a shoot-’em-up game, found that women were harassed twice as often as men, and in an unscientific poll of 874 self-­described online gamers, 63 percent of women reported “sex-­based taunting, harassment or threats.” Parents are sometimes more fretful than the players; a few told me they didn’t let their daughters play online. Not all girls experience harassment in Minecraft, of course — Lea, for one, told me it has never happened to her — and it is easy to play online without disclosing your gender, age or name. In-game avatars can even be animals.

      This behavior is everywhere and youth have choices about what communities they frequent and can even design the norms that make them feel safe. Is it possible these virtual worlds are a positive place to learn how to navigate bullies and misogyny?

    2. Three years ago, the public library in Darien, Conn., decided to host its own Minecraft server. To play, kids must acquire a library card. More than 900 kids have signed up, according to John Blyberg, the library’s assistant director for innovation and user experience. “The kids are really a community,” he told me. To prevent conflict, the library installed plug-ins that give players a chunk of land in the game that only they can access, unless they explicitly allow someone else to do so. Even so, conflict arises. “I’ll get a call saying, ‘This is Dasher80, and someone has come in and destroyed my house,’ ” Blyberg says. Sometimes library administrators will step in to adjudicate the dispute. But this is increasingly rare, Blyberg says. “Generally, the self-­governing takes over. I’ll log in, and there’ll be 10 or 15 messages, and it’ll start with, ‘So-and-so stole this,’ and each message is more of this,” he says. “And at the end, it’ll be: ‘It’s O.K., we worked it out! Disregard this message!’ ”

      The point is that this isn't rare and that these youth are developing skills because of the complex constraints of an inviting space like this server.

    3. What this means is that kids are constantly negotiating what are, at heart, questions of governance. Will their world be a free-for-all, in which everyone can create and destroy everything? What happens if someone breaks the rules? Should they, like London, employ plug-ins to prevent damage, in effect using software to enforce property rights? There are now hundreds of such governance plug-ins.

      Community norms in these servers are fascinating. Youth set rules for other youth and mediate conflict. It all plays out in a digital space and leaves a fascinating footprint.

    4. Next year he plans to study computer science in college. “In the redstone community,” he says, “a lot of people around me are programmers.” Teaching himself coding is much like learning Minecraft, he found; you experiment, ask questions on Internet forums. He described his YouTube channel on his college application, and that, too, “seems to have helped,” he says. The university accepted him without even seeing his final school grades.

      This connection to college readiness is important.

    5. Minecraft, as the novelist and technology writer Robin Sloan has observed, is “a game about secret knowledge.”

      If you look at the Minecraft wiki and the millions of YouTube tutorials, I think you'd conclude that Minecraft is about shared knowledge and community meaning making.

    6. One player spent weeks assembling a giant roller coaster whose carts were powered by redstone tracks only to have an update change the way rails functioned, and the entire roller-­coaster mechanism never worked again. Others ruefully described spending months crafting cities on their own multiplayer servers, only to have a server crash and destroy everything.

      Lessons: save your work and make a note of which version of the game runs the roller coaster correctly.

    7. Mimi Ito, a cultural anthropologist at the University of California, Irvine, and a ­founder of Connected Camps, an online program where kids play Minecraft together, has closely studied gamers and learning. Ito points out that when kids delve into this hackerlike side of the game — concocting redstone devices or creating command blocks — they often wind up consulting discussion forums online, where they get advice from adult Minecraft players. These folks are often full-time programmers who love the game, and so younger kids and teenagers wind up in conversation with professionals.

      MC play can lead to cross-generational connected learning.

    8. nytmag.hypixel.net

      This server allows players to take a tour of a world that was built to illustrate, sometimes tongue in cheek, the creative capacity of the tool. It doesn't allow players to build or dig.

    9. These AND and OR gates are, in virtual form, the same as the circuitry you’d find inside a computer chip. They’re also like the Boolean logic that programmers employ every day in their code. Together, these simple gates let Minecraft players construct machines of astonishing complexity.

      This complexity is what draws adults to see Minecraft as a design space.

    10. The game was a hit. But Persson became unsettled by his fame, as well as the incessant demands of his increasingly impassioned fans — who barraged him with emails, tweets and forum posts, imploring him to add new elements to Minecraft, or complaining when he updated the game and changed something. By 2014, he’d had enough. After selling Minecraft to Microsoft, he hunkered down in a $70 million mansion in Beverly Hills and now refuses to talk about Minecraft any more.

      By creating a sandbox game that allowed players to mod and connect in servers, he created a digital tool that people didn't move on from. Instead, they demanded more and the potential of the tool captivated them. Everyone was invested in improving the original. No one wanted the sequel.

    11. In this way, Minecraft has succeeded Lego as the respectable creative toy. When it was first sold in the postwar period, Lego presented itself as the heir to the heritage of playing with blocks. (One ad read: “It’s a pleasure to see children playing with Lego — Lego play is quiet and stimulating. Children learn to grapple with major tasks and solve them together.”) Today many cultural observers argue that Lego has moved away from that open-­ended engagement, because it’s so often sold in branded kits: the Hogwarts castle from “Harry Potter,” the TIE fighter from “Star Wars.”

      A good podcast about the connection between Lego play and creativity. In the first five minutes there are some important thoughts about kits vs buckets of unsorted blocks.

    12. The Danish landscape architect Carl Theodor Sorensen urged that areas in cities ruined by World War II be turned into “junk playgrounds,” where children would be given pickaxes, hammers and saws and allowed to shape the detritus into a new civilization, at child scale. (Several were in fact created in Europe and were quite popular.) In Sweden, educators worried that industrialization and the mechanization of society were causing children to lose touch with physical skills; they began teaching sloyd, or woodcrafting, a practice that continues today.

      Here's an Atlantic article I'll read to learn more about junk playgrounds and risky play. It might inform makerspace thinking.

    13. Children would start with simple blocks, build up to more complex patterns, then begin to see these patterns in the world around them. Educators like Maria Montessori picked up on this concept and pioneered the teaching of math through wooden devices.

      This happens with open-ended practice and can also develop more rapidly with teacher prompting. For example, showing students how to create cylinders and spheres using the world edit mod invites them to start experimenting with the radii and volume of those shapes. Selecting, cutting and pasting cuboid regions also helps them see how objects can be manipulated.

    14. As Ian Bogost, a game designer and professor of media studies at Georgia Tech, puts it, Minecraft may well be this generation’s personal computer.

      Interesting to think about all the skills students might learn in Minecraft and how the game deepens their fluency with computers. They learn about a computer's file structure, how to capture screenshots, how to change or create an avatar, how to read and use coordinates in 3D map, etc...

    15. Minecraft encourages kids to get under the hood

      The company's encouragement of modding is probably key to the longevity. It also expands the complexity of the game as a platform.

    16. He built a pen out of gray stones and installed “pressure plates” on the floor that triggered a trap inside the maze. He stuck the mooshroom inside, where it would totter on and off the plates in an irregular pattern.

      This is computational thinking that transfers to coding and game design. He's thinking about the agents in the game as tools to use to build a trap.

    1. If no learners or students depend on us how can we be teachers? "What do you do?" "I'm a teacher." "Oh yeah? But there are no students." "So?"

      This is a good point. Is Cormier trying to observe learning in the wild? Is he denying his own role? Certainly he initiates networked interactions and tries to step out of those interactions to see what happens among the learners but he has a role in the sense making, and the norm setting, and the framing of the whole thing. Dependence, dependence, dependence.

    2. Sometimes, not often, I was almost envious. He had died doing what gave him meaning. This is 'my direction.' I had a short Twitter exchange

      I wonder about these Twitter exchanges, which can sometimes sound like people writing rough draft bumper stickers, this exchange notwithstanding. Do we understand one another on Twitter at all? Does it matter?

      What did Noah think of this exchange?

    3. I found the page with the cage that I had drawn at the age of twenty one on graduating.

      I wonder how much looking this took. I used to fill up paper notebooks and have set them aside these last few years in favor of the computer. I did so because I wanted to be able to search for and recall quickly my notes.

      You must have a good filing system.

    1. Research on the brain is often among the most impenetrable for a lay audience but the knowledge that is being produced by neuroscientists, if communicated well, may be the spark that finally ignites productive change in mathematics classrooms and homes across the country.

      This seems wrong. More basic science research that is supposed to inform the classroom but strips away all the complexity of the classroom is not what is needed. Classroom level experimentation and innovation should unearth promising practices.

    2. It is hardly surprising that students so often feel that math is inaccessible and uninteresting when they are plunged into a world of abstraction and numbers in classrooms. Students are made to memorize math facts, and plough through worksheets of numbers, with few visual or creative representations of math, often because of policy directives and faulty curriculum guides.

      I would say these kinds of biases from teachers often exist in spite of policy directives and curriculum guides. They stem more from tradition and teachers' historical experiences.

    3. Stopping students from using their fingers when they count could, according to the new brain research, be akin to halting their mathematical development. Fingers are probably one of our most useful visual aids, and the finger area of our brain is used well into adulthood.

      My youngest daughter never crawled when she was a baby. She just rolled around and scooted, but never really got up on all fours. A pediatrician told us that if she skipped this developmental stage she would probably crawl later, after she learned to walk. Sure enough, at the age of 10, she crawls around the house all the time and most of her pants have worn knees.

    4. That knowledge is critical. As Brian Butterworth, a leading researcher in this area, has written, if students aren’t learning about numbers through thinking about their fingers, numbers “will never have a normal representation in the brain.”

      This is a tough concept for me to grasp. It is interesting that debates like this take place because they reveal how the mind-body problem is relevant in education. Complex stuff, I tell you.

    5. A mother called me to report that her 5-year-old daughter had come home from school crying because her teacher had not allowed her to count on her fingers. This is not an isolated event—schools across the country regularly ban finger use in classrooms or communicate to students that they are babyish.

      Strange when teachers have an aversion to scaffolds and approximations. We can also kill a child's love of writing by fixating on errors and insisting on perfect papers.

    1. Kids today are learning, engaging, and producing in richly productive and collaborative ways.

      This is an asset-focused assertion about youth. Do we accept it?

      We look for evidence of this when we go into classrooms. That's an asset-focused lens.

    1. At the same time, there is a need for the development or improvement of measures of students' technical, occupational, and career readiness skills. Finally, there are a number of existing career-focused schools or programs and state or district policies or reforms to support CTE that need to be evaluated to determine their impact on student education outcomes: e.g., awarding of vocational diplomas, district use of career-readiness measures, implementation of career academy models, awarding academic credit for CTE courses, schools' offering of online career exploration tools, and CTE teacher certification requirements.

      Our badging initiative is a district-level career-focused program that supports CTE. Our badges credential career-readiness measures in the form of Colorado's 21st Century skills as defined by Colorado's Academic Standards.

      Is the specific focus on CTE something we want to invite given our research questions?

    2. connections with employers and postsecondary institutions, increased emphasis on industry credentials, innovative delivery structures such as career academies and pathways, and increases in state funding to enact policies to support CTE expansion.

      Connections with industry is a cornerstone of our developing badging initiative because we're developing "handshakes" or value propositions for our badges with industry partners. Further, our project is also an effort to iterate on and innovate on a longitudinal pathways program.

    1. There’s a lot of truth to that. Female bloggers have a long, sordid history of harassment on the Web—Gamergate is just the tip of the iceberg—and while Genius-enabled annotations could theoretically bring a larger audience to unknown writers, some denizens of the Internet are not seeking to broaden their page views; they actively wish to stay in their own circles, avoiding potential readers who are likely to be unfriendly.

      This is where the argument gets really thin. While the potential for abuse is there, this seems to be taking a logical leap or two. In this hypothetical, how did social annotation draw unfriendly readers to the blog post of the person who doesn't want their blog widely read? Is this scenario a reach?

    2. “But your blog is public! People can comment on Twitter, Fb etc; Genius is in its simplest form a more efficient tool for this.”

      This strikes me as a fair argument. No one is marking her blog directly, nor are they putting their comments where readers have to encounter them. Respectfully, this blogger sounds conflicted about writing in public space.

  5. Mar 2016
    1. In those decades everyone, white and black, had jobs at the docks and the plants and the mills, and the middle class was prosperous and unions were strong and income taxes were high and inequality was low. But then those jobs were automated or went to the Carolinas and Mexico and China, and the middle-class and unions went soft and taxes went down and inequality shot up, and because of all this the cities declined.

    2. $100,000 loan from the Baltimore Development Corporation to help cover the cost of the shuttle

    3. “As much attention as we give to the trials of the officers who are charged with killing Freddie Gray, we should give to a decision that implicates 10,000 construction jobs and billions of dollars of infrastructure investment in Baltimore that were eliminated in a single day by a single decision made by a single person.

    4. “What happens to the trees we were planning, the other designs? Who do we talk to?”

    5. And Richard Chambers, a local transit activist, rose to demand why the cancellation of such a major project wasn’t being challenged from a civil rights perspective. He pointed out that the state legislature had voted on an increase in the gas tax with the understanding that it would be used for a transit project to benefit low-income minorities in Baltimore. Instead, the money was now being entirely redirected to road projects in wealthier, mostly white outlying areas. “It’s almost unprecedented,” he said. “This is a ‘fuck you’ to Baltimore.”

    6. Not only were the gleaming new buildings — largely focused on stimulating tourism — not doing much to benefit those in nearby West and East Baltimore; the subsidized projects were, quite literally, capitalizing on their struggles: their private sector developers were qualifying for tax breaks from the city on the grounds that things were so bleak so close by that the only way these new projects could succeed was with public subsidy. The men who ran the Baltimore Development Corporation had a phrase for it: “the Baltimore arithmetic.”

    7. When students got out of Frederick Douglass High and other nearby schools that Monday afternoon, just after Freddie Gray’s memorial service had concluded, and headed for Mondawmin Mall, the transit hub for some 5,000 of them, they found several hundred police waiting, mobilized by social media rumors

    8. Any fallout Hogan might have risked from his decision was quickly overshadowed by the events of the city’s terrible summer of 2015

    9. the Democratic former mayor of Baltimore, Martin O’Malley, was more supportive, but over his two terms he didn’t act with much urgency — as much as he championed his city, he’d never focused closely on its inadequate public transit, and the NIMBY resistance to the line in Canton had given him pause

    10. Schmoke’s efforts to de-escalate the campaign were the partial inspiration for the “Hamsterdam” episodes of The Wire, described by one commentator as its “bravest and most radical story line.

    11. In these precincts, an air of liberal concern for the rest of the city predominated — these residents were, after all, willing to pay far higher taxes than they would if they moved to the County. But the extremity of the gaps was undeniable: life expectancy in Roland Park was twenty years longer than in West Baltimore neighborhoods like Sandtown-Wincester or Harlem Park or Upton-Druid Heights.

    12. “And once they get to school and maybe don’t have their homework and maybe haven’t had their breakfast, what’s the teacher’s reaction to that student?” Ifill said in an interview. “What’s our reaction as a society to those children? We talk about that mother, about people not doing their job. But we aren’t willing to follow the thread to that bus stop on Edmondson Avenue — to understand the larger problems in the context of transportation decisions over decades, in the context of why Baltimore doesn’t have a city-wide system.”

    13. a bewildering scattering of lines that typically followed the old streetcar routes, comprehensible only to those with no alternative but to rely on them

    14. Baltimore had unraveled — had been unraveling for decades, unspooling itself over a wide expanse of central Maryland

    15. “Students were trapped in the mess, whether they were choosing to participate or not,” one teacher who’d witnessed the scene recounted in a post on Facebook.

    1. Flint residents still want to know when they can again safely drink unfiltered water from their faucets.

    2. his 75-point plan.

    3. And in Flint, some residents are frustrated that the plan doesn't call for immediately removing all lead service lines.

    1. The definition of blended learning is a formal education program in which a student learns: (1) at least in part through online learning, with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace; (2) at least in part in a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home; (3) and the modalities along each student’s learning path within a course or subject are connected to provide an integrated learning experience. The majority of blended-learning programs resemble one of four models: Rotation, Flex, A La Carte, and Enriched Virtual. The Rotation model includes four sub-models: Station Rotation, Lab Rotation, Flipped Classroom, and Individual Rotation.

      How does this definition of Blended Learning fit our work? Is it missing or marginalizing anything that is important?


      This is just the first of the four essential principles of BL. The other three are:

      1. One size does not fit all.
      2. Don't let software dictate learning goals.
      3. Support teachers and include them in decision-making process.

      What do you think?

    1. I’ve quickly become overwhelmed by the flood of acronyms — and more and more convinced that they are being tossed around without much consensus about what they mean in terms of course structure and instructional quality. Saying that your course utilizes blended learning may elicit approving nods, but structure does not strong pedagogy magically make. I think that it is important for us as educators to remember that it is our job to mix and match and pick and choose from the tools available and make them work to meet the needs of the students in front of us. As I’ve oft repeated in my posts, it is fundamentally human, relational work (with tech assistance).

      Does blended learning mean entirely different things to different educators? Does that matter? What do you think about Nicole's reflection here?

    1. A teacher who made a successful foray into blended learning shares five helpful tips for exploring the process. For the past several months, teachers have regularly posted cries for help like this one on my blog: "My school is transitioning to the Common Core State Standards, and teachers are being asked to integrate technology. I'm overwhelmed by the prospect!" Many of these pleas come from veteran teachers with years of classroom experience.

      This teacher author uses the Clayton Christiansen Institute's definition of blended learning in a technology integration model that seems typical in our work and thoughtful. Is she stretching the definition?

    1. On Saturday, Lewandowski was again caught getting rough on camera, this time with a protester in Arizona, and again the campaign denied it despite visual evidence.


      Again, with facts almost indisputable and so easily accessible, they seem to be devalued as if the law of supply and demand applied.

    2. We used to fact-check everything, every day,” another reporter told me, “but it gets hard to keep up.” For a writer filing on deadline an hour after a rally ends, there’s not enough time to thoroughly fact-check the dozens of fabrications that spilled from the stage. It’s also hard to know who the fact-checking is for. At this point, anyone who hates Trump has ample evidence he’s a liar. And anyone who loves Trump doesn’t care.

      Interesting how humanity's capacity to fact check everything has led to a disregard for facts.

    1. I ask Hidalgo if she visits news sites or anything political. No way, she says: "I'm paying for this; I'm not going to waste my money on politics."

    1. People for Bernie, a large unofficial pro-Sanders organization founded by veterans of the Occupy movement and other lefty activists.

    1. Less than two weeks ago, Mr. Lewandowski was accused of roughly grabbing a reporter from Breitbart News, Michelle Fields, as she tried to trail Mr. Trump to ask a question after a news conference in Jupiter, Fla. Ms. Fields has filed a police complaint against Mr. Lewandowski, who has not been charged. He has denied that anything happened and has called her “delusional” on Twitter.

    2. In another incident, cameras recorded Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and a man who appears to be a member of the security detail confronting a protester.

    3. another in an American flag shirt

    1. Michael, a CLMOOC participant who had participated in the 2013 CLMOOC and had then spent the school year remixing his classroom space based on newfound desires for creating a learning-centered classroom, tweeted in response that there should be a special in-depth CLMOOC-hosted Make with Me Google Hangout devoted to the conversation. Rather than a space for focused discussion about an idea, Make with Me’s were typically focused on sharing and demonstrating approaches to making and composing. However, the participation structure afforded extended conversations, allowing participants to delve deeply into their shared inquiry questions. In the next tweet, Karen, a CLMOOC facilitator, who had also expressed that she was challenged with the idea of “story” across the weeks, agreed to do the backend work to set up the Hangout through the CLMOOC website. It was then co-hosted by Karen and Michelle with five other participants and facilitators on the screen and several simultaneously tweeting during and after the Hangout. In these ways, they appropriated the Make with Me Google Hangout structure to sustain and grow a participant-driven conversation.

      emergent leadership

    2. Undeterred, both Amy and Terry responded saying that they were not offended or disrupted. Amy tagged Vera again stating that she wasn’t offended by the comments and hoped that the sharing of images would promote a discussion of perspectives on those images. Terry rejoined similarly with, “No exception taken by me here. So glad to see folks engaging”. He then continued to interrogate the United States’ border actions, linking the anti-immigrant tide to issues like the Common Core State Standards, as a sorting and privileging function. He ended with an invocation to elaborate on images because “like quotes, they don’t speak for themselves”. Encouraging participants to come to voice and develop positions and stances that must be articulated in nuanced ways. Amy then posted a comment that agreed wholeheartedly with Terry’s invitation. Next, Vera shared a link to a petition for child refugee resources and a blog post she composed herself in response to this interaction that curated new posts, news, petitions, activism, and blog rolls around both adjunct labor conditions in the academy and immigration issues. Original blog author Ava rounded out the discussion by thanking participants for taking up her work and detailed a para-curricular workshop she taught with undocumented youth which engaged them in analyzing multimodal texts and producing compositions that worked at the intersections of image and words to articulate experience and promote reflective and empathetic connections.

      I was unaware of this interaction and was happy to learn about it here. What an interesting study of what can arise in an open course. It strikes me that everyone involved probably was prompted to think deeply about the interaction and reflect on this hands-on experience with connected learning. This retelling speaks to the need to research these types of courses for their potential as learning spaces for engaged participants. If we only judge online courses for completion rates or some notion of scalability, we fail to acknowledge these courses potential for helping us understand learning as discourse, learning as negotiation, and learning as relationship building- potential which is amplified because of the rich digital footprint a course like #clmooc creates.

    3. a livestreamed Google Hangout which was called “Make with Me”
    1. I want to reiterate that I don't like restricting access and I definitely don't like the idea of blocking YouTube.

      I hope we can identify a few things to try and then look to effectively partner with the IT department to test solutions. When we have variables to tinker with like search restrictions, Google domain management tools, and school-level blocks, we ought to be able to work toward a more palatable view of access.

    2. Since I am unfamiliar with what the Google admin panel allows in the way of customization, I don't really have a ready-made solution to propose, but I do feel strongly that we have to do something or we risk principals and teachers refusing to use the chromebooks in all of the powerful ways they can be used.

      I think this is a place where we should identify our ability to test and experiment with solutions. For example, could we whitelist content providers on YouTube? Are there other school districts who use their admin panel effectively to restrict access to mature content?

    3. Lansing has had three instances of students watching porn and A Hills is having trouble with 7th grade boys doing the same, so we did a quick little test.

      I think these types of issues require us to help our schools develop workable solutions. Is it important/helpful that schools can block YouTube for just their sites?

    4. I know that IT turned off restrictions because what they restricted were so hit and miss; our screencasts got censured while near naked women running on the beach in slow motion were the top hit on a seemingly innocuous search. That said, we’ve got to get with IT and figure something out

      This is important to me because you've identified an important inquiry question: How might we establish restrictions that effectively limit access to mature content on our network?

    1. We’ll conclude with some crowdsourcing of people, ideas, and resources.

      This is a great way to end the chat. I wonder if there's a need and/or a way to curate outside of Twitter? Does it make sense to send people to a Google Doc?

    2. future of open annotation

      I think that larger groups will develop norms and best practices the way Wikipedia has established them. I think that will be necessary because of the noises, not because the annotations need to be encyclopedic- they don't.

    3. what pedagogy

      Modeling, for one. Also, a chance to debrief the practice and refine the practice in the groups that form.

    4. are pros

      The possibilities of teaching and learning in open online spaces are just emerging. Open annotation provides another significant frontier in that exploration.

    5. Readers will invariably use Hypothesis to comment upon – and begin discussions about – the following, and I will synthesize contributions and alter my chat moderation plans accordingly.

      A good idea to allow the discussion that takes place in the margins inform the upcoming chat.

    6. thanks Joe Dillon for organizing

      Always happy to try to herd a few cats.

    1. Note: I have been inspired by colleagues of mine to think more about tools like hypothesis that let us create small private groups in which we can annotate articles together and then you can choose to make those comments public or not.

      Maybe an inspiring text and the conversations your class has around that text in the margins could be the picnic blanket, or the sets of tables pushed together.

    2. Now, checking myself here, I realize that ED677 is a graduate class and that one of the “deals” with school, is that we have safe spaces for talking through complicated ideas without always being subject to public scrutiny. And I also know that educators today are under enormous pressure and public spaces are not always safe and supportive (to say the least).

      "Public or private?" is decision we all make regularly working online, so "public" and "private" are important concepts to for all of us to understand more deeply. These students will gain practical experience these concepts.

    3. Most recently I have been learning from two new-to-me online communities of practice – Wattpad for Writers and DeviantArt for Artists. Their online designs and supportive networked ways of working prompt me to continue thinking about the power of open ways of working in such communities.

      So powerful to look at people engaged in networked learning "in the wild" in order to design interest-driven learning in classroom settings.

      I like to think of this type of experiment as a form of "blended learning," where you're blending elements of 3rd space learning into formal schooling.

  6. Feb 2016
    1. Design tasks that end with a public product: In one of the videos in the collection below, educator Kathleen Cushman describes the highly engaging work students do at High Tech High, a school whose curriculum focuses on project-based learning.

      How do public products connect with students' lives?

    2. When you have constructive feedback to give, follow the same principle and make it specific. Rather than telling a student she “needs to work harder” on her assignments, tell her what to work on. Is neatness an issue? Does she need to read the questions more slowly? Is she doing the advanced math right, but messing up with the basic addition and subtraction? If a student knows what to work on, she will be far more motivated to do that work.

      Choice Words.

    3. I’m going to give you a sheet of math problems. The first ten are required, the last two are for extra credit. I’m going to give you a sheet of math problems. The first ten should be fairly easy, but I want to see how many of you can do the last two–those are the challenge problems. You guys have learned enough that I think you can solve at least one of them, maybe both.

      I love this framing because it shows how language matters and how a teacher might move from a strategy that extrinsic motivation to one that promotes student reflection.

    4. Consider letting them choose: seating: Could students do some assignments on the floor? In the hall? Or just in different seats? work groups: Some students thrive in groups, while others do better on their own. intake mode: If you want a student to read a particular book, and an audio version is available, you could occasionally make that an option. output mode: For some assignments, it may be possible to have students deliver their response in an audio or video recording, rather than in writing. timing: If students don’t absolutely have to do the same thing at the same time, why not let them choose the order of activities they do?

      Possible choices to provide to students.

    5. Isn’t that kind of prep work more in line with worksheet-oriented teaching, where students are doing low-level work that was largely prepared by the teacher? If students are engaged in more long-term, authentic, creative projects, it’s much easier to provide them with choices, because we aren’t constantly trying to provide them with new busywork every day.

      So many digital texts are free and easily curated for students. It should be easier now than ever to connect them with their interests and passions.

    6. If you want something faster, take a look at the 2 x 10 strategy, shared by Angela Watson, which has teachers spend two minutes a day for ten days casually chatting with underperforming students.

      Reminds me of Love and Logic approach of just noticing things about struggling students.

    7. Are we passing the buck? Maybe. It’s certainly easier to blame outside forces than it is to make big changes in the way we teach. Unfortunately, even if ALL of the above statements are true, we can’t do anything about those things. The only piece we really have control over is what goes on in our own classrooms.

      Also, those factors each have potential that we won't tap if we're sure that they are to blame for making our work more challenging.

    1. Through open annotation, students in Games and Learning are appropriating contexts not designed for play – including graduate education, online learning, and asynchronous text-based discussion.

      It strikes me that adopting a playful attitude about these contexts that are so often stripped of their fun increases the potential for innovative ideas to emerge and might also lead to stronger connections between learners. Notably, I don't think playful attitudes detract from the seriousness of the topic.

    2. What are the playful qualities of learners’ open and socially networked annotation?
    3. Like writing in the margins of a book, I too appreciate how easily Hypothesis allows me to author and share “my thoughts as I go” – and to do so for a broader audience (anyone who installs the browser extension), and through a greater range of expressive representation (including text, hyperlinks, and embedded media).

      Agreed. It is nice to be able to respond inline because it provides a specificity of context to each comment.

    1. A politician whose persuasive stump speech does not rely on the resonance of value-laden memes?

      Image Description

    2. The increasing use of within-text hyperlinks and QR codes deserves consideration in academic journals. “I’ve done my homework, here are the shoulders upon which I stand, but feel free to read on coherently to process the idea I am trying to convey.” The flow of this in typical journalism is both more immediate and more honest.

      This type of online annotation might inform a truly transparent and "honest" process, too.

    3. MLA and APA police still rule, however, even as the Internet increases available and accessible content at exponential rates, and the real need to teach source and content evaluation supersedes the need to teach note-taking and citation.

      MLA and APA police still rule in the classroom and largely in academia, but when academics engage in professional back-and-forth blogging, they are quick to dispense with many of the formalities.

    4. For substantially all ideas are second hand, consciously or unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources and daily use by the garnerer with a pride and satisfaction born of the superstition that he originated them; whereas there is not a rag of originality about them any where except the little discoloration they get from his mental and moral calibre and his temperament, which is revealed in characteristics of phrasing.

      Some "discoloration" might also result from the modality and the digital tools someone employs in the remix, an evolution of phrasing.

    5. We watch as solid, slow moving, hermetic traditions of the academy are challenged by the fluid, fast-moving, and crowd-sourced affordances of contemporary digital media.

      Challenged and replaced, for all practical purposes. Pettitt's concept of the Gutenberg Parenthesis resonates. Image Description

    1.  I should just put my cynical self aside for the day, and try to pop into some of the conversations when I can (or check out the archives later).

      My thought is that you should give cynical Kevin the day off but let critical, reflective Kevin run wild. Critical, reflective Kevin can keep days like this from becoming knee-jerk tech boosterism. He can also call out "fetishization" of tools. Channel your inner Diego the Explorer. He rights wrongdoing and has a jaguar as a pet. Image Description

    2. If we want a brighter future for all of our students, regardless of gender and socioeconomics, then we have to be having these discussions, and here, the folks at Digital Learning Day have given over the stage to it.

      Image Description We'll know that efforts like #dlday are having an impact when we can see authentic teacher discourse about equity and when the student work that results shines a light on promising equitable practices.

    3. And I don’t see a Pearson in the mix.

      This reminds me of watching Dora the explorer with my daughter when she was young and how we would boo when Swiper the fox showed up. No matter how loudly we yelled, "Swiper, no swiping!" that fox fleeced Dora and confounded her plans every time.Image Description Sticking with that crazy analogy, Dora's friends Backpack and Map are good guys who help her in her efforts. Can we see the good guys on #dlday? In my mind, when teachers have a voice and a platform to model innovative instruction, they can advocate for useful tools (Backpack) and promising practices (Map) that might inch teaching and learning forward. Image Description

    4. It can feel as if it is government influencing our views of how to reform education. The mission statement about digital learning reads like a passage of the Common Core. Still, there is an entire page of video tours of various schools who are sparking change with digital learning opportunities for students. And I do see some classroom teachers will be part of the webinars.

      I think you're doing an important critical read of this event. I've looked at the Hour of Code and Computer Science Education Week in a similar way. There is usually some industry influence behind this but it is also heartening that both of these events put issues of equity at the center of their promotion. How can we use events like these to champion equity?

    5. In the past, I have tried to do digital learning activities on Digital Learning Day, if only to bring my students into the national conversation about learning in the age of technology

      This seems like a good rationale. These kinds of events can feel contrived for teachers, especially for those who use digital tools thoughtfully throughout the year. The potential benefit probably lies in helping students connect with the world, so to speak, and to understand how teaching and learning are changing as a result of technology advancements.

    1. The Indian kids crowd the classroom. Many are writing their own poems, short stories and novels. They have read my books. They have read many other books. They look at me with bright eyes and arrogant wonder. They are trying to save their lives. Then there are the sullen and already defeated Indian kids who sit in the back rows and ignore me with theatrical precision. The pages of their notebooks are empty. They carry neither pencil nor pen. They stare out the window. They refuse and resist. "Books," I say to them. "Books," I say. I throw my weight against their locked doors. The door holds. I am smart. I am arrogant. I am lucky. I am trying to save our lives.

      Alexie wrestles with how to inspire "already defeated Indian kids." He tries to communicate his passion for books and the real world urgency of being able to connect with the larger world.

    1. At the same time I was seeing the world in paragraphs, I also picked up that Superman comic book. Each panel, complete with picture, dialogue and narrative was a three-dimensional paragraph. In one panel, Superman breaks through a door. His suit is red, blue and yellow. The brown door shatters into many pieces. I look at the narrative above the picture. I cannot read the words, but I assume it tells me that "Superman is breaking down the door." Aloud, I pretend to read the words and say, "Superman is breaking down the door." Words, dialogue, also float out of Superman's mouth. Because he is breaking down the door, I assume he says, "I am breaking down the door." Once again, I pretend to read the words and say aloud, "I am breaking down the door" In this way, I learned to read.

      Maybe this passage speaks to what a literate life is. Alexie sees the world in paragraphs even before he can decode words. Texts help us understand our world and then share the way we understand our world.

    2. Our house was filled with books. They were stacked in crazy piles in the bathroom, bedrooms and living room. In a fit of unemployment-inspired creative energy, my father built a set of bookshelves and soon filled them with a random assortment of books about the Kennedy assassination, Watergate, the Vietnam War and the entire 23-book series of the Apache westerns. My father loved books, and since I loved my father with an aching devotion, I decided to love books as well.

      I recognize that my house is filled with books in crazy stacks and that my daughters might see this the way Alexie saw his father's reading.

    1. In particular, we don’t know how to educate African-American boys, who, according to the Schott Foundation for Public Education, graduate high school at rates no better than fifty-nine per cent.

      It is worth looking at how teacher function in this inequitable system, but blaming them and over-emphasizing their culpability is both easy and misguided.

    2. Our view of American public education in general has been warped by our knowledge of these failing kids in inner-city and rural schools. In particular, the system as a whole has been described by “reformers” as approaching breakdown. But this is nonsense. There are actually many good schools in the United States—in cities, in suburbs, in rural areas. Pathologizing the system as a whole, reformers insist on drastic reorganization, on drastic methods of teacher accountability.

      It is true that we paint public schools with a broad brush when it is easy to see drastic discrepancies in funding and achievement which reveal an inequitable system. Our public schools get results in predictable cases, but they fail to serve all communities well. Focusing on teacher accountability takes the focus off of our inability to support schools in impoverished communities.

    3. We can admit that bad teachers, if they can be fairly identified, should be removed. But what can be done to recruit a new cadre of better teachers? Most centrally, we can increase teacher pay and status.

      This simplification is a big problem. I don't accept the assertion that this is a just an issue of talent and retention. Preparation, support and leadership opportunities for teachers are lacking but where they exists, they help teachers find success and gratification for the work they do. The issue of pay is important but can be minimized as concern if teachers are supported well and provided professional learning that meets their needs.

    4. We have to make teaching the way to a decent middle-class life. And that means treating public-school teachers with the respect offered to good private-school teachers—treating them as distinguished members of the community, or at least as life-on-the-line public servants, like members of the military. We also have to face the real problem, which, again, is persistent poverty. If we really want to improve scores and high-school-graduation rates and college readiness and the rest, we have to commit resources to helping poor parents raise their children by providing nutrition and health services, parenting support, a supply of books, and so on.

      There is an opportunity here to design better community compacts where public schools serve impoverished communities and where teachers serve students from diverse backgrounds.

    5. Last December, Governor Andrew Cuomo established a task force that recommended temporarily banning schools from making decisions about teacher status based on these scores. But, by that time, teachers had been humiliated yet again.

      Schools are so desirous of spreadsheet performance data that they'll sometimes accept any data, even where there is no baseline, even if the story the spreadsheet tells about their school and students is a negative one.

    6. The political atmosphere in the country has become so polarized that spirited teachers—men and women who actually say something—will not survive hostile parents or a disapproving principal without the protection of tenure. Abolishing tenure would create instability and even chaos.

      I wonder about this. I've found that vocal teacher leaders with strong voices are valued. In cases where a teacher can't coexist with a principal, I wonder if schools benefit from constructive teacher mobility. I've seen lots of cases where a teacher devalued in one school thrived in another where she was a better fit with school values.