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Todd Suomela

From Good Intentions to Real Outcomes - Connected Learning Alliance - 0 views

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    "The growth of online communication, media, and gaming is driving dramatic changes in how we learn. Responding to these shifts, new forms of technology-enhanced learning and instruction, such as personalized learning, open online courses, educational games and apps, and tools for learning analytics, are garnering significant public attention and private investment. These technologies hold tremendous promise for improving learning experiences and outcomes. Despite this promise, however, evidence is mounting that these new technologies tend to be used and accessed in unequal ways, and they may even exacerbate inequity.

    In February and May 2017, leading researchers, educators, and technologists convened for in-depth working sessions to share challenges and solutions for how learning technologies can provide the greatest benefits for our most vulnerable learners.The aim was to develop guiding principles and a shared agenda for how educational platforms and funders can best serve diverse and disadvantaged learners. These principles include inclusive design processes, ways of addressing barriers, and meth- ods to effectively measure impact.

    This report synthesizes the research, learnings, and recommendations that participants offered at the two workshops. After framing the nature of the challenge, the report then describes promising strategies and examples, and it ends with recommendations for next steps in research and coalition building."
Todd Suomela

vSTEM.org - 0 views

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    "The simulations on this site are meant to give students the ability to experiment on traditionally static textbook problems and examples. We believe experimenting with a flexible, dynamic system can give students deeper insights into core engineering concepts than that gained from solving for single snapshots of a system. Tweak variables; solve for unknowns; experiment; see what happens and figure out why. This site is also used to augment hands-on experiments, by tracking student training on lab equipment and comparing lab with simulated data.

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Todd Suomela

Rescuing Student Participation Through Digital Platforms - DML Central - 0 views

  • One problem is that participation is largely taken for granted and under theorized in many classrooms. The way we make use of a term like participation is in need of rescuing: moving away from a limited view of participation as it is often linked to motivation, engagement, or hand-raising and toward the view that participation as a concept is more generative when connected to the idea of membership in communities of practice (Wenger, 1998). Our limited view of participation is evident by simply turning to the language included in most syllabi: often, syllabi list “participation points” as part of the grade of the course. I find this to be an odd way to think about participation. What we often mean is that we will give students some points for “talking in class” and “raising their hands.” But demonstrating engagement by hand-raising and talk are fairly limited views of participation, and in fact, these ways of being are more connected to performance — acting like a student — than participation. We certainly want students to participate more than 10 percent, or even half, of the time. Are they participating when they are listening and pondering the ideas of their peers? Of course they are, but how do they demonstrate that? In thinking about course design, we should consider how students become members of our classroom community and our disciplines. Social media sites can open up other avenues for participation, and further, connect students to communities of practice outside our classrooms that they hope to enter.
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