710 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2016
    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. As recent surveys have shown, the high-stakes testing mania has demoralized the profession as whole. It has forced teachers, if they want to survive, to teach to the test, in effect giving up curriculum for test preparation. Trying to score high, some schools gamed the system, or simply cheated on the tests; some abandoned such essentials as the arts, gym, and even recess. Teachers were discouraged from coöperating and from sharing material—this competitive ethos found in school, where coöperation and the sharing of information, particularly in the lower grades, is essential.

      I see teachers demoralized by high-stakes testing and, in some places, the deemphasis of art, gym and recess. I don't see teachers discouraged from sharing. Instead, teachers are likely to scrutinize ideas and materials based on their perception of test alignment.

    1. A map without a story which engages

      I read this line and questioned it. Then I thought about the Lord of the Rings and JRR Tolkien's map of Middle Earth. Tolkien's map

      Hailey, age 10, and I are reading the Warriors series by Erin Hunter. We're on the fifth of six books in this little epic fantasy of anthropomorphized cats forever at war for territory. My daughter and I have committed this map to memory generally but we still break from the narrative to study it when we can't quite picture where the latest cat drama is taking place. At bedtime and in our leisure time we worry, we predict, we rejoice and we study these fictional cats who are forever at war for territory. Image Description

    1. In no way does it capture the territory

      The map isn't the territory. The map gives us a better access to the territory.

    2. I think that turning the map into a game board is worth considering–research project as game board.

      These strike me as two different, related things: a choose your own adventure game vs a research board game. One is a branched narrative, or a narrative maze of sorts, while the other is a set of rules, turns and processes which frame decisions.

    3. My students asked me for a map

      Backpacking with friends, it is one type of experience when I walk off into the woods having only glanced at the map. When my buddy Donald carries the map, I trust his time estimates and his route selections. I know I'm going to stay with the group, following and chatting. When Donald errs and we end up setting up camp in the dark, I get to complain.

      On other occasions, when I'm walking on my own with a map in my backpack, the decisions and the trip calculus are my own. I've got more thinking work to do but also a sense of freedom.

      When I ask the map it is because I want to make a few decisions or I want to study closely the decisions being made for me. Image Description

    4. Humbling

      Good for you. This suggests to me a negotiation where students push back and grapple with project expectations, outcomes and deadlines. It seems really appropriate that the teacher walks away wanting to reflect.

    5. my map, their territory

      I'm on my second read of this piece. My first was on my phone when I knew I didn't have time to annotate. The map looked like scribbles to me until I zoomed in on my laptop. It scares me a little now that it makes perfect sense to me. Looks like a supportive class process, inside of which students' processes will fit.

    1. "Sweet is the lore which Nature brings; Our meddling intellect Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:— We murder to dissect."

      Image Description

    2. I am this corpse. I fear they think me dead, yet I haunt these words.

      Image Description

    3. I haunt these words.  I hear their steps. They pause... But I remain static.

      Nothing is more painful to the human mind, than, after the feelings have been worked up by a quick succession of events, the dead calmness of inaction and certainty which follows, and deprives the soul both of hope and fear.

      Chapter 9

    1. Sarah Gross, a high school teacher and contributor to our blog, did recently using Hypothesis with her senior class as they read the Opinion piece “What Really Keeps Women Out of Tech.”

      Will this work? When this teacher asks her class to annotate online about an equity issue, the students are working in an environment where they might encounter public feedback and also influence public opinion.

    1. After Gavin came out as male, he began using the boys’ bathroom at Gloucester High. After seven weeks, angry parents raised the issue with the school board. Their complaints prompted the board to pass a policy requiring students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their “biological gender” and requiring transgender students to use separate, unisex facilities.

      This is a fight against history and tradition, against historical and traditional fears. We know that youth when surveyed are much more accepting of LGBT rights than adults. How would youth voices inform this situation?

    1. Nothing is more painful to the human mind, than, after the feelings have been worked up by a quick succession of events, the dead calmness of inaction and certainty which follows, and deprives the soul both of hope and fear.

      The painful fate of the intellectual.

    1. How on earth can our growth be measured? Can pedagogy be sustainable if it does not accept change?

      My favorite article from Peter Johnston is one called "Teachers as evaluation experts." To paraphrase my favorite part, he says the true measure of a teacher's ability can be judged by their ability to answer the question, "What can your students do?" I have always liked this positive framing and accepted it as a measure of my own teaching. I hope I'm better able to answer the question every year and that my pedagogy changes so that I can better see learner's assets and capabilities.

    2. "Colossal rigidity, whether in dinosaurs or dictatorships, has a very poor record of evolutionary survival."

      In educational leadership conference, I hear the expression, "What is loose and what is tight?" It strikes me that any place we are flexible we have opportunity for inquiry, innovation, and discovery. "Tight" only serves to frame experiments.

    3. I ask myself questions: "What are the feelings and emotions that lie behind our actions words, as teachers/instructors?" "What are the feelings and emotions that lie behind the words and actions of learners?" "What are the patterns of feelings behind an 'educational system'?" "What patterns of feeling do our rituals conceal?"

      So important to create self-discipline for listening.

    4. "The problem with feeling competent is that we can take on too much," he said. "I ended up with burnout and depression." I listened to him. I nodded.

      I like the poetry and the truth in this. It reminds us that the beginner's mind is so useful for learning and the mantle of expert is useful for stubbing your toe, tripping and falling.

    1. Textbooks don’t do that. They are too neat. And knowledge is not neat. Students need to know that as early as possible. And textbooks trick them into believing otherwise.

      They are too neat.

      They strip away complexity in many ways to create instruction-friendly chunks of content. It strikes me that the web is a complex resource and text to leverage, filter and explore. With curation tools everywhere, it seems like textbooks and their publishers should be obsolete because they are notoriously bad curators of content, historically.

    2. D. That some faculty would take the digital side of a textbook and feel great by just consuming what has been pre-packaged by a publisher and feeling proud of themselves?

      Education is so historically dependent on textbook publishers and that dependency is hard to break in a lot of ways. We've historically depended on them for content and it is frustrating when we look to them now for ways to incorporate digital tools.

    1. career-ladder systems for teachers, strong teacher induction, and consistent, high-quality PD that is led by teachers themselves.

      How do you ensure high-quality PD that is teacher led? What structures and commitments ensure high-quality?

    2. "There is a need to become much clearer about what is and is not good instruction," Jensen said via email. "U.S. districts should—and many do—have clear instructional models. But these should not be so granular that they lead to compliance responses," he added, saying that states and districts need to allow more room for educator expertise.

      How does inquiry help us arrive at a clearer picture of what is and isn't good instruction? How do we frame it broadly enough so that it isn't a compliance model but a continual inquiry model?

    3. One case study from the Jensen report offers a glimpse at an elementary school in which the principal acts as the primary substitute teacher so that her faculty could spend time on classroom observation.

      A high premium on peer observation.

    4. An August 2015 study by the teacher-training and advocacy group TNTP questioned the impact of PD activities in U.S. schools and criticized districts for overemphasizing workshops and other trainings that teachers often don't find helpful.

      In a large district like ours, we're looking for large scale solutions in response to "challenge trends." This big picture view doesn't usually lend itself to establishing collaboration and trusting the people in the classrooms.

    5. For all these types of models to operate effectively, channels for teacher collaboration are essential, the researchers emphasized. "This is a profound shift for many systems given the efforts to develop precise school performance measures over the past few years," the Jensen report says. "It requires faith and trust in the people making professional judgments."

      The key phrases here for me are "channels for teacher collaboration" and "trust in the people making judgments."

    6. To that end, advanced Shanghai teachers are turned into researchers, using the classroom to develop and test instructional approaches and interventions, the Zhang report shows.

      Develop and test- how do we develop and test approaches in response to the students in front of us? What might development look like? What does testing look like?

  2. Jan 2016
    1. In addition, Zhang said at the NCEE forum, Shanghai schools aim to embed PD throughout instruction. "Teachers are encouraged to write and reflect so they can figure out why some things work and can share it," he said.

      They conduct experiments and reflect. I like the generally positive frame: Why do some things work?

    1. listening to a Tall Tale

      I remember just a few - Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, Pecos Bill- but a quick search revealed interesting media representations of these characters. Are these characters evolving (devolving?) from mystical explanations of natural phenomena into second rate cartoon characters? Image Description Do they live on only in the readers and writer's workshop?

    2. Tall Tale story venture we aim to cook up

      I wonder about an origin story for #DS106 itself, or the invention of the Internet. Maybe Al Gore rides a twister.

    1. Ferguson protesters, who faced down tanks, tear gas and assorted forms of military-grade hardware, tasted what many activists suffered throughout the 1950s and 1960s. As these examples show, the fight to end the criminalization of black protest, and of black people more broadly, lies at the heart of African American freedom struggles then and now.

      I'm reminded of what President Obama said recently in an interview with NPR. Essentially, the racism we see so explicitly on social media as part of #blacklivesmatter is not new. Only smartphones and the ability of the oppressed to leverage media channels is new. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNop1dom1m8

    2. King observed in the “Letter From a Birmingham Jail”:

      his mugshot

      King's mugshot In recent years there has been a growing critique of the US media for publishing mugshots of victims when black citizens are shot by police. In these instances, critics point out that the officers under investigation for misconduct are pictured in dress uniforms with American flags behind them while The innocent citizens are shown as criminals. Looking at King in a mugshot now, I know history will remember him as a formally dressed minister but I see the importance of his decision to dress as a common man and subject himself to arrest and jailing. Seeing him photographed this way might slow the judgements we make about the people our popular media frames in mugshots.

    3. In the last speech of his life

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WZbxYGy3As

      A powerful excerpt from the last speech of his life.

    4. “A state trooper pointed the gun, but he did not act alone,” King said. “He was murdered by the brutality of every sheriff who practices lawlessness in the name of law. He was murdered by the irresponsibility of every politician, from governors on down, who has fed his constituents the stale bread of hatred and the spoiled meat of racism.”

      A quick search on Jimmie Lee Jackson taught me that King revised the eulogy he used for the four girls who died in the bombing of the 16th St Baptist Church in order to speak about Jackson's killing. Obviously a big difference resulting from that revision would be lines like the ones quoted here that denounce the police and the political system. Back to sanitizing, we're more comfortable as a culture in denouncing racist terrorism like the bombing of the church but we struggle to see systemic racism in our government agencies. picture snapped from thekingcenter.org

    5. While a sanitized image of King as a Southern civil rights crusader has been enshrined in popular memory, his dream of ending American militarism has proved more difficult to accept.

      To what degree have we sanitized King to make his image palatable to white America? One way we have, in my mind, is by canonizing his "I Have a Dream" speech with its positive vision while focusing less on the critiques of the white church he levels in "Letter From a Birmingham Jail."

      Maybe these myths serve to support this sanitized view, which works in service of "the politics of personal exoneration" that Coates writes about in Between the World and Me. Coates excerpts

    6. King’s speech to Memphis sanitation workers a month before his 1968 assassination, on the economic disparities between blacks and whites, is a better measure of his mature thought. His words could have been written in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis: “When there is vast unemployment and underemployment in the black community, they call it a social problem. When there is vast unemployment and underemployment in the white community, they call it a depression.”

      Image Description The Huffington Post published a good article in 2014 about why King was in Memphis in the first place. That text paints a clearer, more specific context by describing the mistreatment of black sanitation workers.

    1. Between these two incidents I have witnessed and heard innumerable reports from Black parents across the nation of similar encounters.  Black students, usually males, being viewed not as potentially gifted, needing enrichment or more academic challenge, but as disrupters and distractions. So-called professional educators not questioning their own weak classroom practices, lack of differentiated instruction, poor preparation, or implicit biases, but instead wanting these non-compliant Black boys drugged into passivity.

      I remember early in my career being teamed with a teacher who allowed Vietnamese students to speak Vietnamese in math class, but wouldn't allow Hispanic students to speak Spanish. She insisted that the Vietnamese students were helping each other with the math while the Hispanic students were off task, even though she spoke neither language and couldn't tell. My eighth grade students told me about her practice and even labelled it as racist. They felt safe to do so because I encouraged them to use peer support and their native languages whenever they felt it would help.

      I spoke up. I pointed out the inequity in her practice to her and when she dismissed my concerns, I spoke to our administrator about the practice, explaining that I thought it was racist and had a negative impact on student engagement and learning.

      This was a challenge for me as a white teacher because I was working in an urban school with a high referral rate and the vast majority of classrooms had white teachers teaching students of color. In this case, because I spoke out, my colleague was asked to change the practice by an administrator. This probably served to add to some ideological friction between she and I. Still, I'd do it again in the same circumstances but my experience was that the system doesn't thank you when you speak out this way. It takes moral courage and a willingness to feel isolated.

    1. Fighting the impacts of systemic racism and white supremacy in our schools and among teachers.

      How can this happen in open spaces, in a way that invites other interested educators to join and support the effort?

    2. If you ain't talking about the teacher in the classroom, I ain't listening. Teacher quality matters. Too many in the profession are quick to awfulize students in poverty to rationalize poor results. Better teaching inspires students and gets better results. Better teaching engages students and keeps them in classrooms, rather than the streets. Better teaching is the one thing we never really talk about. Better teaching is the only mechanism we have left.

      What are some ways to significantly improve teaching in these communities? The teaching doesn't happen in a vacuum and we need a plan to counteract the systemic forces at work that maintain the status quo.

    1. Do you think Caveparents freaked out when the Caveteens figured out how to make fire for the first time? Probably! But then the caveteens were probably like, “Hey, wild idea, but what if we cracked these weird orbs coming out from under the chickens over the fire and then tried eating them?”

      Image Description

      This young author reminds me that it is habitual to worry about how youth respond to changing times. To what degree does that cause us to generalize about or inaccurately portray what they do?

    2. 1. The “Why Do Teens Sext? Probably Because They Are So Sad From Meeting All Those Craigslist Killers On Facebook” category. These are the stories that paint teens as reckless drones who are helpless in this new frontier of technology and social media. 2. The “While Other Teens Were Playing Angry Birds, This 14-Year-Old Invented an App That Cures Cancers” category. These stories are inspiring tales of ingenuity but make other teens out to be lazy for, like, just using the internet to unwind by looking at memes.

      Image Description

      This author has a different spin than the one presented in Participatory Culture in a Networked Era (excerpt pictured above). In addition to the pseudo snarky tone which is a distinct difference, she reminds us that our culture celebrates the extreme outliers - here, the app inventor who cures cancer - at the expense of understanding real-world, mainstream uses of the web that are constructive for many youth.

    1. The second thing RoN does to solve the problem of letting players know where the cutting edge of their competence is is to render the whole matter social.

      Interesting here how he sees the supports, including the community, as part of the game. Certainly it is part of his game play experience.

    2. a sandbox

      A sandbox tutorial seems different than a sandbox game. A sandbox tutorial keeps novices from experiencing the cause-effect algorithms of the game. In a sandbox game, a learner experiences open-world choices and isn't constrained by the game designer's narrative.

    3. the very design of the game

      ...the very algorithm written by some dude on a computer guessing about the learner's needs.

    4. Information is always given “just in time” when it can be used and we can see its meaning in terms of effects and actions.

      Information can't be given a little too soon, or in an unwanted way in this game? Surely this is a variable as game designers create games and surely they can be at risk of over helping and under helping.

    5. This never happens in RoN or any other good game

      Gee claims that learning in a meaningful context is vital and once again sees the simple system of a video game as an ideal compared to the complex systems of classrooms and schools. I wonder if a more appropriate comparison is to compare a good game to strong problem-based learning inquiry. In medical schools, a simple problem is created using a simulated patient or "Standardized Patient." This contextualizes the med students' learning better than traditional lecture or labs. I'd argue that strong simulations provide context and can exist in games and schools.

    6. failing to be able to learn and enjoy these sorts of games

      I'd interrogate this a little. Is he really at risk here when he's determined to learn it, he's built background about the genre and is wanting to publish his results? Instead, I'd say he's faced with a complex task because of his lack of experience with games. I'll take his point that the background we bring to learning tasks can put us at risk of abandoning those tasks or falling short of externally established learning goals.

    7. sorts of learning that goes on in schools

      This critical lens is important but it suffers if we fog up the lens with a generalization so broad that it is almost unapproachable.

    8. Like all RTS games, RoN involves players learning well over a hundred different commands, each connected to decisions that need to be made, as they move through a myriad of different menus (there are 102 commands on the abridged list that comes printed on a small sheet enclosed with the game). Furthermore, players must operate at top speed if they are to keep up with skilled opponents who are building up as they are. RoN involves a great deal of micro-management and decision-making under time pressure.

      Like all stories about history, this one is a narrative crafted by an expert authority. In this example, though, players experience the text as a series of choices framed by the algorithms programmed into the game. Can we critique these and mod them?

    1. We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character--that is the goal of true education. The complete education gives one not only power of concentration, but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate. The broad education will, therefore, transmit to one not only the accumulated knowledge of the race but also the accumulated experience of social living.

      How do schools and classrooms support the accumulated experience of social living? Does this accumulated experience bolster empathy? Collaboration? Networked learning? (Below is King in his cap and gown at Morehouse.) Image Description

    1. Decisions like ending Pell Grants for prisoners, for example.

      Image Description And here's the gap she sees that she wants us to see; the leap she wants us to make. If we break from these traditional learning structures online we can unlock political and civic opportunities. First, we have to see the opportunity to detour. If we can label what we see online as a democratization of sorts, then how do our detours muster influence? How does an annotation flash mob develop political momentum?

    2. Programmed instruction doesn’t simply fix the content; it fixes the relationship between learner and instructor (whether machine or human). There is no reciprocity there, for starters. And there’s little opportunity to express oneself outside the pre-ordained — the programmed — design.

      Can we see potentials for a shift here in cMOOCs? Even those conducted with the "instructors as experts" operate in a space where the traditional authority structure breaks down really quickly as learners connect, interact, and pursue learning paths of their own. Even when those paths are brief detours from the central content, the opportunity to group up and detour is unique and holds promise as a model. Image Description

    3. Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own: “A woman must have money, and a room of her own, if she is to write fiction.”

      Interesting to note that we can find this text in seconds, ready for a slow read or collaborative study online. Here it is on genius. Here it is on Project Gutenberg of Australia. Certainly the avenues to being "intellectually productive" have changed.

    4. One of the most powerful things that you can do on the Web is to be a node in a network of learners, and to do so most fully and radically, I dare say, you must own your own domain.

      As I'm currently obsessed with social annotation, I reflect that my experience as I click through texts and engage in these interactions in the margins is very much the experience of being a node in a network of learners. Image Description

    5. The readable, writable, programmable Web is so significant because, in part, it allows us to break from programmed instruction.

      Here's a great article by Jim Groom and Brian Lamb which includes an argument against the LMS, and argues for user-driven innovations. Reclaiming Innovation It has also been marked up a little already...

    6. All teaching — with or without machines — was viewed by Skinner as reliant on a “contingency of reinforcement.”

      Image Description This reminds me of the Story of Crossy Road. The video game industry pushes designers to create games that engage players in reinforcement loops of clicking, blinging and granular achievement feedback. Computer programs are very good at structuring behaviorist loops.

    7. I should say that on the average we get about two percent efficiency out of schoolbooks as they are written today

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zq6h5_NUPB0&feature=youtu.be James Gee shares research that shows that a textbook is less supportive as a learning resource than nothing at all.

    8. The content could not be “delivered,” because our analysis of political violence had to be constructed and deconstructed and negotiated, with full recognition of those who were in the class and had experienced, enacted forms of political violence — whether those students were in the pen or not. The class — connected through telephony — was networked, as in turn was the learning.

      Does the interaction cMOOCs begin to make this type of learning visible? Here, it is anecdotal that the class discourse drove and shifted the content but in digital spaces we can screenshot it, mark it up and say, "This qualitative snapshot equals learning."

    9. Whether it’s in a textbook or in a video-taped lecture, it’s long been the content that matters most in school. The content is central. It’s what you go to school to be exposed to. Content.

      This is steeped in tradition and baked into education business models.

    10. I’d heard some not-too-nice things about the community college statistics instructor, so I decided to take Introduction to Statistics through a correspondence course. I received in the mail a giant box containing the textbook, the worksheets I needed to complete and return to the professor, and half a dozen or so videotapes containing all his lectures.I really had a hard time with the course.

      My first experience with an online graduate course was similarly frustrating. Hiding behind the LMS, the instructor piled on a workload twice that of f2f classes and graded harshly. There was no effort to engage with or interact with students, just assign, grade and repeat.

    1. I reflect on what I can do... I return to the question of mentoring. I return to the question of wide ranging networks. I return to the question of a more 'hands on approach' to language learning. I return to the importance of communication. I return to the importance of the diverse messages necessary to communicate. I return to the question of who such communication should be most effectively targeted to. I return to Daniel Bassill and his Tutor Mentor Program in Chicago. I am just an English teacher. I am not just an English teacher... I repeat it to myself, it doesn't always help.

      This open reflection is powerful. I appreciate how Maha's critical thinking about her conference and how Daniel's passion for his work inform your self talk... and how you put that self talk back out there for a personal learning network. To me, you're an English teacher who's scratching away at something because you know it has potential.

    2. I conclude that I do not want to be Pasi Sahlberg if I have to cite PISA. Pasi Sahlberg is not the change I am looking for. I return to conversations between Daniel Bassill, Terry Elliott and myself.

      How powerful the collaborative conversations you have with peers can be, reassuring you that you can identify measures and goals that will resonate with you.

    3. I keep having to accept that I am not 'just an English teacher', I am not 'just a teacher'. It is an insidious message that repeats itself: "But you're you, you're hopeless, you know you are...you've got no time, mind your own business....you're just a bloody English teacher."

      Fascinating self talk. My sense is that "just and English teacher" doesn't originate with you. There's some cultural devaluing that's been done there that you're fighting against. Recently, I heard Ernest Morrell say that teaching English is a political act. I like that much better.

    1. Students are able to think about their own thinking and the thinking of their peers.Students engage in deeper thought and comprehension after a blend of verbal, in-person communication and typing/writing that uses technology as portal for students to talk.Sometimes technology comes before verbal and sometimes verbal comes before technology.Students are “heard.”Students go beyond the classroom walls both to get input for learning and to demonstrate/share learning and thinking.Teachers learn from students, students learn from students, and students learn from teachers and other adults.All students are able to share their learning.Tech use supports students in talking through their thinking for an audience.Tech use supports what students are learning rather than usage being the end goal itself.

      I appreciate the way they've shared the process- group brainstorm, the tool- Padlet, and the results of the activity.

    2. But which uses of technology in schools support young people’s development better than, say, using a pencil? And which are, in fact, worse than a pencil?

      I appreciate this question because it engages teachers in critical thinking about specific tech uses as opposed to simply asking them to learn a tool. Ultimately, they're asked to identify a strong classroom practice that "supports all students talent development."

    3. Smart Tech Use for EquityThe Smart Tech Use for Equity participants are K-12 teachers of science, math, special education and English (including English as another language). In 2014-15, 10 founding teachers each explored one tech use with their students, documented the effects and shared their learning with other teachers. The same process is underway for 2015-16. (You can watch videos about their work here.)

      Image Description

      This tweet of the article showed that it captured the interest of our Ed Tech coaches. In the retweets and likes, we also see a loose connection with the author, Mica Pollock, and a participating teacher Kim Douillard from the San Diego Area Writing Project.

    1. Cardiovascular exercise is also critical. When the heart muscles pump faster, they release a peptide believed to help produce se-rotonin. That means considering a brisk walk before an afternoon meeting — or better yet, walk and talk. Steve Jobs regularly held “walking” meetings. Mark Zuckerberg does too. The serotonin exercise produces not only will make a person more creative and productive but it also improves the quality of sleep, creating a positive cycle all around.

      Where will this post go? I'm viewing a pdf in a Lumin PDF viewer. Will others access the same link? I doubt it since the file is in my Google Drive.

    1. We need translation zones where there’s sharing of power between interest-driven, peer-driven, and institution-driven imperatives. The Chicago YOUmedia learning lab, as well as others that are opening up around the country, are examples of experiments in this vein.

      I like this idea and I think this is a place where we can see potential for digital badging. When a mentor can identify and badge the work and learning that is taking place in these spaces that aren't school, students can see the connections better and articulate their strengths and learning styles.

    2. In our New Media Literacies work, we have an activity where we ask students to map their identities as readers, to identify the many different things they read and write and the roles they play in their lives – from menus and cereal boxes to magazines and websites (Jenkins, Reilly, and Mehta, 2013). We’ve had any number of students complete the activity and come to the realization that, while schools have long classified them as not very good readers, they read all the time. Reading is a key part of their lives, but they simply don’t engage in the kinds of reading that schools value. They don’t read the right things or in the right way.

      What an important mapping activity! I think there is all kinds of potential for learners to map how they are interacting and learning in social spaces. We could map how we engage with this slow reading book study and that might teach each of us something about how we learn, or how we might approach the next collaboration.

    3. Teenagers tell me that they’ve been told that Wikipedia is bad while Google is good. When I push them on this, I find that they’re often not sure exactly what this means. But they’ve been taught to read certain platforms as trustworthy and to eschew others, with no critical apparatus to understand why. I’m saddened by the low level of computational and media literacy out there and the broad refusal to engage with these issues. It’s easier to be afraid of technology and media than to engage critically with it.

      Usually teens are told that Wikipedia is bad because the teacher sees how heavily they rely on Wikipedia. I usually reflect that the teacher is acting as a "scold" instead of acting as a translator. When we explain how Wikipedia works and how learners can use it strategically, we're translating. These can be really productive conversations with teens that lead to critical thinking.

    4. What does it mean to be literate in an environment where information isn’t just at your fingertips but flooding your senses?

      I like this as an essential question for 21st century learners. It is the question I hear Terry grappling with when he tries to find signal in the noise of online communication. It is the puzzle that newcomers to cMOOCs grappler with when trying to figure out how to engage productively in a swarm of information and participation.

    5. Rather, we should think about literacy as involving the capacity to engage with networked publics, to share what you write, and to receive feedback from some kind of larger community. In that sense, we were trying to move literacy from the capacity to produce and consume information to the capacity to participate in some larger social system. This expanded conception of literacy brings new kinds of ethical expectations – a greater sense of accountability for the information we produce and share with others given the impact of our communication practices on the people around u

      This is a view that is not so far removed from the ambitious goal of asking students to read for authentic purposes and write for authentic audiences. In my experience, writing for an authentic audience is logistically trickier without the web and interactive platforms.

    6. In the Digital Youth study we found that most young people were going online to hang out with friends in ways that were not particularly focused on academic or expertise-oriented learning. A significant number did use online networks to geek out in areas of interest, such as gaming or fandom, and many of these groups were intergenerational in composition. But only a very small handful of resourceful young people were taking their community-based learning and connecting it to in-school, civic, or career-relevant settings. I realized it wasn’t enough simply to celebrate the cool things that kids were creating and learning in their affinity networks if we wanted to make these activities matter for education and other forms of opportunity.

      Hence the needs for adults to act as translators. We know that type of learning matters, can we explain to students how it does?

  3. gamesandlearning.wordpress.com gamesandlearning.wordpress.com
    1. And because in the spirit of participatory culture – a key feature of many games, and a core commitment of this course – this blog is a forum inviting others interested in games and learning to connect with us, participate, and build shared knowledge. Welcome!

      I appreciate the detailed explanation of why you are using a blog. This paragraph hints at the benefit of thinking and learning in public. Is the public nature of your commitment something you might also highlight here?

    2. so download the Hypothesis browser extension

      Do you want to link to the hypothes.is quick start guide for teachers? It might save you some questions.

    1. course’s first cycle

      "Cycle" is also language we used in #clmooc to highlight the potential openness of concepts that we explored and also to suggest flexibility with the time structure of the collaborative work we were doing. Is there a cyclical nature to how this course will work? Are you pushing back against "units" or "topics" as organizational structures?

  4. gamesandlearning.wordpress.com gamesandlearning.wordpress.com
    1. know via Twitter and the hashtag #ILT5320.

      I think it is important that you have a suggested use for Twitter here. It points to the possibility for a public discussion of media resources. I wonder if this is something participants will appreciate being able to contribute to? How do you think they'll see the reading selections and load?

      Another idea: is there any benefit to embedding a tweet here that models how one written for this purpose would look?

    1. The hashtag went viral and sparked a broader dialogue about diversity in children’s literature. I found this hashtag valuable not only because it alerted me to an egregious example of a culturally insensitive text that helps sustain systemic racism, but also because it provided me with a wealth of reading to help me go beyond a single text and think about the larger civic issue of the lack of diverse authors/perspectives in this genre.

      To me this is a tension point for educators and newcomers to Twitter. When we're confronted to massive streams of information that also include things like spam, and flaming comments, how do we inquire with students about how to navigate and filter these streams. My contention is that we can't without practice and if educators are unskilled in navigating these media channels, they'll default to safe characterizations of activism as "slacktivism."

    2. Considering that knowledge is one of the first steps toward civic engagement, shouldn’t we consider Twitter a valuable addition to our civic toolkit?

      Image Description These four steps are excerpted from MLK's Letter From a Birmingham Jail. It certainly seems that steps 1 and 2 require the use of the web and digital tools today.

    3. But most of all, I love Twitter because of its ability to bring stories to light from around the country (and around the world) that spark social and political dialogue.

      I've been bothered by recent characterizations of the Internet suggesting that it keeps people in a constant state of fury or anger. I prefer this take because it highlights how the web can keep us aware and also present possibilities for civic action.

    1. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season."

      In this 1- minute clip http://www.tubechop.com/watch/7604174 from a discussion about the legacy of Dr King, Dr. Cornel West asks how we can avoid the sanitization, or the "Santa Claus-ification" of Dr. King. It occurs to me reading this letter that King's disappointment with white moderates, which he expresses here is rarely quoted, for example. By taking his work and words out of context to filter for only the uplifting content, we contribute to this "Santa Claus-ification."

    1. Ian talked about having students in his college courses annotate the syllabus with suggestions and comments. Joe talked about the power of the crowd, coming together on a single document (apparently, that is going on tonight with the State of the Union speech) as an example of social networking. Jeremy (of Hypothesis) talked about (or wrote about) how teachers can keep track of student work, and the article references how this might fold into student learning portfolios. Terry noticed Karen working all through the hour, and talked about how one might video-capture with reflection the act of annotation as a way to show your learning and thinking. Remi noted how this kind of active annotation might have more value than Twitter chats and other social gathering activities, where too much affirmation and cordiality might soften some deeper learning and sharing of insights.
    2. hung out in a Google Hangou

      Those conversations about text can reside in the margins, too. Although I have to admit I can't seem to get a YouTube video to embed in an annotation even though I've seen annotations with vids embedded. Do you know what I might be doing wrong?

    3. We did not have a solid answer, except to note that teaching the art of curation is getting relatively short-thrift in a lot of our classrooms. Ian noted that by not teaching curating, we are missing an opportunity and important skills in the information-rich Digital Age.

      I wonder if the mess naturally precedes the beautiful curation effort. In a museum like the one pictured below, you can imagine the back rooms cluttered with treasures and artwork that needs sifting and organizing by someone with any eye toward presentation. Does the mess stimulate the meaningful curation? Image Description

    4. animated GIFs

      The margins can really come to life when .gif files appear. swirly gif

    5. But the act of annotating an online article together, as a crowd, is always an interesting experience. There are a lot of tools out there to do this, from the comment feature in Google Docs to Genius to Diigo and more. Hypothesis is a nice tool, clean to view, and if the tool is activated, when you come to a page that someone else has annotated, it allows you to view and comment and add to other people’s annotations.

      I think it is important how you note that there are a number of tools with which to engage in social annotation and the social experience is something unique. Really, there are two reviews people might do: a tool review and a reflection on the experience.

    1. A portfolio should incorporate some principle of selection. (“Curation,” if we really have to have a no-longer-trendy buzzword.) There should be some metacognitive element, wherein the learner is able to reflect on all their experiences–academic, co-curricular, undergraduate research, athletics, work-related–and demonstrate their accomplishments in a meaningful way.

      A key point. When I think about a portfolio, I like the real world analogy of a photographer or architect who has a messy studio from which they pull pieces for real world audiences and would-be employers. They emerge from the studio with a polished, clean, audience-specific presentation. With curation so easily done online, wouldn't we want the metacognitive aspect and the awareness of audience? Image Description

    2. As Quantified Students declare majors and continue to accrue skills, four years of academic work will find a permanent home in the cloud rather than in the trash.

      Here, too, the idea that a portfolio is build for and stays with the student is a palatable one. Again, I struggle with the idea of quantifying something that can really give a more complete narrative about someone's learning, passions and successes.

    3. Quantified Students will be able to map current skillsets against the requirements of target careers, evaluate the gap, and then select the educational program or path that gets them to their destination quickly and cost effectively.

      It seems like this "Fitbit of higher ed" is not such a repulsive notion, if we accept that a student might have personal goals and want to track progress toward them. The "quantified student" on the other hand flies in the face of what I think workforce wants and the world needs- the truly "qualified" student.

    1. If so, why are American citizens paying so much of that bill?  Why ain’t anyone else helping foot the bill?  I suppose the answer is that we all are paying and that because Americans benefit the most they should pay the most.  It is interesting that while I jack up my barn, I am connected intimately to the fate of the Chinese economy.  No one is an isolated jack handler unto himself.

      What a turn. I expected one thing when I saw the picture of the farm jack and got another. I was unprepared for this ending but I also appreciate the stream of consciousness reflection as an engaging public brain-dump.

      Image Description

    2. And here is some fun I had with a quote from the book and my new best app friend Legend.

      The stacked .gif files is a wild effect that I may have only seen in #ds106 until now. I really think it is a great visual device. one gif Two gifs

    3. I teach with two important principles in mind.  One is iconoclasty and the other is improvisation.  This book is full of lots of improv principles and applications that might really messify your classroom/office for the better. Here are a few of those principles boiled down in this marvelous list from the end of the book

      Now I think this might be about lists and the usefulness of them, somehow. In that case, roll with your podcast list idea, my friend, and scratch my unsolicited advice. I'm interested in your thoughts about this book because it is the second time in a few weeks I've heard someone mention it.

    4. Decide which podcasts give the best ROI and why I think so. Describe how I derive better signal over noise as I listen more intentionally over the next year. Get Bryan (and other podcast afficionadi) to articulate how they decide what to listen to.

      I wonder about drilling into one or three, really shortening the list since his is extensive but overwhelming to you. It might be more "signal oriented" for others if you describe why one podcast is a favorite and even touch on episode specifics. Just a thought.

    5. Looks like I will be “reading” Bryan Alexander’s blog post, “Fine podcasts for 2016: a mega-list of what I’m listening to“, for quite awhile.  Or should I say I will be living his listening life.  I am a huge podcast fan as well, but I have a problem–how do I unpack this?  How do make signal here out of what I consider to be an overwhelming mass of  beautiful noise?

      I've been listening to the Note to Self podcast about technology Note to Self podcast and thinking how they would make great media texts to study with high school students or to launch personal learning inquiries with teachers. I wonder what kind of unpacking you envision?

    1. Those with money and power will gain greater control over the decisions that could send a young soldier to war, or allow another economic disaster, or roll back the equal rights and voting rights that generations of Americans have fought, even died, to secure.

      Here's one of those with money in search of greater control.

      Trump pic

    2. And if we want a better politics, it’s not enough to just change a Congressman or a Senator or even a President; we have to change the system to reflect our better selves.

      Significant increases in the number of people who vote seems the easiest way to bring about change and also seems possible given the recent shifts. Stats pulled from "What would it take to turn red states blue?" on Fivethirtyeight.com

      from 538

    3. Fifty years of isolating Cuba had failed to promote democracy, setting us back in Latin America.  That’s why we restored diplomatic relations, opened the door to travel and commerce, and positioned ourselves to improve the lives of the Cuban people.  You want to consolidate our leadership and credibility in the hemisphere?  Recognize that the Cold War is over.  Lift the embargo.

      Image Description

    4. carpet bomb

      Carpet bombing image from Wikipedia

    5. Gas under two bucks a gallon ain’t bad, either.

      Image Description

    6. You’ll be pretty lonely, because you’ll be debating our military, most of America’s business leaders, the majority of the American people, almost the entire scientific community, and 200 nations around the world who agree it’s a problem and intend to solve it.

      melting glaciers

    7. how do we reignite that spirit of innovation to meet our biggest challenges?

      Maybe with annotation flash mobs. ;)

    8. Anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction

      Fortune magazine made just his claim last summer. Fortune mag article

    9. It’s how we reformed our health care system, and reinvented our energy sector; how we delivered more care and benefits to our troops and veterans, and how we secured the freedom in every state to marry the person we love.

      Image Description

    10. It promises education for girls in the most remote villages, but also connects terrorists plotting an ocean away.

      Is this a reference to the claims of far-reaching xMOOCs.

    1. Several years ago, the website Genius (formerly Rap Genius) was established to annotate music lyrics hosted on its platform. It’s proven to be something young people happily do on their own, discussing the word choices and poetic devices used by their favorite musicians in the same way their teachers ask them to discuss great works of literature in class.

      These participatory online platforms are used by a small number of youth, who engage with the web to pursue their interests. Most youth, studies show, use the web for friendship-driven practices and aren't familiar with learning platforms. That's an equity issue, especially if youth learn about the potential of the web for self-directed learning at home and in "third spaces."

    1. What explains this difference? The experience of Union City, as well as other districts, like Montgomery County, Md., and Long Beach, Calif., that have beaten the demographic odds, show that there’s no miracle cure for what ails public education. What business gurus label “continuous improvement,” and the rest of us call slow-and-steady, wins the race.

      PDSA cycles At the 2014 Digital Media and Learning Conference, keynote speaker Louis Gomez made the case for ethnographic research methods and research partnerships with public schools to foster continuous improvement. He used the (PDSA cycle pictured here) as an example.

    1. This is a key political conversation that continues today with people from different points on the political spectrum- who or what is to blame for the blight we see in inner cities.

    2. At various stages in the campaign, some commentators have deemed me either "too black" or "not black enough."

      This kind of discourse about the "blackness" of Obama persisted throughout his presidency. In 2015 billionaire media baron Rupert Murdoch commented that Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson would be "a real black president who can properly address the racial divide." The Atlantic magazine published, "A Short History of Whether Barack Obama is Black Enough, Featuring Rupert Murdoch," by David A. Graham.

    3. This was one of the tasks we set forth at the beginning of this campaign - to continue the long march of those who came before us, a march for a more just, more equal, more free, more caring and more prosperous America.

      I think the choice of the word "march" is intentional here and the repetition intended to call to mind the Civil Rights Movement (and marches like Dr. King's march from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, pictured below.) This image is from the HistoryChannel.com

  5. Dec 2015
    1. Then Justice Antonin Scalia deepened an already painful wound when he questioned the abilities of black students to succeed at fast-paced institutions, an idea rooted in the widely discredited “mismatch theory.” Their questions left many black scientists, myself included, reeling from the psychological blow.

      This relates to how schools look at students from nondominant cultures: instead of trying to discover how the system repeatedly fails them and acknowledge the need for improvement, schools develop intervention systems that label students and look exhaustively for the students' deficit. The assumption is that the student- found lacking even before we get to know him- is a bad fit for a good system.