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Tero Toivanen

Digital Citizenship | the human network - 0 views

  • The change is already well underway, but this change is not being led by teachers, administrators, parents or politicians. Coming from the ground up, the true agents of change are the students within the educational system.
  • While some may be content to sit on the sidelines and wait until this cultural reorganization plays itself out, as educators you have no such luxury. Everything hits you first, and with full force. You are embedded within this change, as much so as this generation of students.
  • We make much of the difference between “digital immigrants”, such as ourselves, and “digital natives”, such as these children. These kids are entirely comfortable within the digital world, having never known anything else. We casually assume that this difference is merely a quantitative facility. In fact, the difference is almost entirely qualitative. The schema upon which their world-views are based, the literal ‘rules of their world’, are completely different.
  • ...13 more annotations...
  • The Earth becomes a chalkboard, a spreadsheet, a presentation medium, where the thorny problems of global civilization and its discontents can be explored out in exquisite detail. In this sense, no problem, no matter how vast, no matter how global, will be seen as being beyond the reach of these children. They’ll learn this – not because of what teacher says, or what homework assignments they complete – through interaction with the technology itself.
  • We and our technological-materialist culture have fostered an environment of such tremendous novelty and variety that we have cultured the equations of childhood.
  • As it turns out (and there are numerous examples to support this) a mobile handset is probably the most important tool someone can employ to improve their economic well-being. A farmer can call ahead to markets to find out which is paying the best price for his crop; the same goes for fishermen. Tradesmen can close deals without the hassle and lost time involved in travel; craftswomen can coordinate their creative resources with a few text messages. Each of these examples can be found in any Bangladeshi city or Africa village.
  • The sharing of information is an innate human behavior: since we learned to speak we’ve been talking to each other, warning each other of dangers, informing each other of opportunities, positing possibilities, and just generally reassuring each other with the sound of our voices. We’ve now extended that four-billion-fold, so that half of humanity is directly connected, one to another.
  • Everything we do, both within and outside the classroom, must be seen through this prism of sharing. Teenagers log onto video chat services such as Skype, and do their homework together, at a distance, sharing and comparing their results. Parents offer up their kindergartener’s presentations to other parents through Twitter – and those parents respond to the offer. All of this both amplifies and undermines the classroom. The classroom has not dealt with the phenomenal transformation in the connectivity of the broader culture, and is in danger of becoming obsolesced by it.
  • We already live in a time of disconnect, where the classroom has stopped reflecting the world outside its walls. The classroom is born of an industrial mode of thinking, where hierarchy and reproducibility were the order of the day. The world outside those walls is networked and highly heterogeneous. And where the classroom touches the world outside, sparks fly; the classroom can’t handle the currents generated by the culture of connectivity and sharing. This can not go on.
  • We must accept the reality of the 21st century, that, more than anything else, this is the networked era, and that this network has gifted us with new capabilities even as it presents us with new dangers. Both gifts and dangers are issues of potency; the network has made us incredibly powerful. The network is smarter, faster and more agile than the hierarchy; when the two collide – as they’re bound to, with increasing frequency – the network always wins.
  • A text message can unleash revolution, or land a teenager in jail on charges of peddling child pornography, or spark a riot on a Sydney beach; Wikipedia can drive Britannica, a quarter millennium-old reference text out of business; a outsider candidate can get himself elected president of the United States because his team masters the logic of the network. In truth, we already live in the age of digital citizenship, but so many of us don’t know the rules, and hence, are poor citizens.
  • before a child is given a computer – either at home or in school – it must be accompanied by instruction in the power of the network. A child may have a natural facility with the network without having any sense of the power of the network as an amplifier of capability. It’s that disconnect which digital citizenship must bridge.
  • Let us instead focus on how we will use technology in fifty years’ time. We can already see the shape of the future in one outstanding example – a website known as RateMyProfessors.com. Here, in a database of nine million reviews of one million teachers, lecturers and professors, students can learn which instructors bore, which grade easily, which excite the mind, and so forth. This simple site – which grew out of the power of sharing – has radically changed the balance of power on university campuses throughout the US and the UK.
  • Alongside the rise of RateMyProfessors.com, there has been an exponential increase in the amount of lecture material you can find online, whether on YouTube, or iTunes University, or any number of dedicated websites. Those lectures also have ratings, so it is already possible for a student to get to the best and most popular lectures on any subject, be it calculus or Mandarin or the medieval history of Europe.
  • As the university dissolves in the universal solvent of the network, the capacity to use the network for education increases geometrically; education will be available everywhere the network reaches. It already reaches half of humanity; in a few years it will cover three-quarters of the population of the planet. Certainly by 2060 network access will be thought of as a human right, much like food and clean water.
  • Educators will continue to collaborate, but without much of the physical infrastructure we currently associate with educational institutions. Classrooms will self-organize and disperse organically, driven by need, proximity, or interest, and the best instructors will find themselves constantly in demand. Life-long learning will no longer be a catch-phrase, but a reality for the billions of individuals all focusing on improving their effectiveness within an ever-more-competitive global market for talent.
  •  
    Mark Pesce: Digital Citizenship and the future of Education.
Steve Ransom

Technology in Schools Faces Questions on Value - NYTimes.com - 9 views

  • Critics counter that, absent clear proof, schools are being motivated by a blind faith in technology and an overemphasis on digital skills — like using PowerPoint and multimedia tools — at the expense of math, reading and writing fundamentals. They say the technology advocates have it backward when they press to upgrade first and ask questions later.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      A valid criticism when technology implementation is decoupled from meaningful and effective pedagogy. You can't buy measurable change/improvement.
  • district was innovating
  • how the district was innovating.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Again, this is very different than how TEACHERS are innovating their PRACTICES. It's much more challenging than making a slick brochure that communicates how much technology your district has.
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  • there is no good way to quantify those achievements — putting them in a tough spot with voters deciding whether to bankroll this approach again
  • “We’ve jumped on bandwagons for different eras without knowing fully what we’re doing. This might just be the new bandwagon,” he said. “I hope not.”
    • Steve Ransom
       
      There's a confidence building statement for you....
  • $46.3 million for laptops, classroom projectors, networking gear and other technology for teachers and administrators.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Exactly... and how much was spent on equipping teachers to change their practices to effectively leverage this new infrastructure?
  • If we know something works
    • Steve Ransom
       
      And what is that "something"? New technology? If so, you missed the boat.
  • it is hard to separate the effect of the laptops from the effect of the teacher training
  • The high-level analyses that sum up these various studies, not surprisingly, give researchers pause about whether big investments in technology make sense.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Why does the argument for making schools relevant and using current cultural tools need to be backed with performance data? Give politicians and superintendents horses instead of cars and see how long that lasts.
  • Good teachers, he said, can make good use of computers, while bad teachers won’t, and they and their students could wind up becoming distracted by the technology.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Finally, a valid point.
  • “Test scores are the same, but look at all the other things students are doing: learning to use the Internet to research, learning to organize their work, learning to use professional writing tools, learning to collaborate with others.”
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Exactly. But somehow, "value" has been equated with test scores alone. Do we have a strong body of research on pencil effectiveness or clay effectiveness or chair effectiveness?
  • “It’s not the stuff that counts — it’s what you do with it that matters.”
  • “There is a connection between the physical hand on the paper and the words on the page,” she said. “It’s intimate.”
  • “They’re inundated with 24/7 media, so they expect it,”
    • Steve Ransom
       
      And you expect them to always engage enthusiastically with tools that are no longer relevant in their culture?
  • The 30 students in the classroom held wireless clickers into which they punched their answers. Seconds later, a pie chart appeared on the screen: 23 percent answered “True,” 70 percent “False,” and 6 percent didn’t know.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Okay... and you follow up with a totally trivial example of the power of technology in learning.
  • term” that can slide past critical analysis.
  • engagement is a “fluffy
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Very true
  • rofessor Cuban at Stanford argues that keeping children engaged requires an environment of constant novelty, which cannot be sustained.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      If that is so, why not back up your claim by linking to the source here. I have a feeling he has been misquoted and taken out of context here.
  • that computers can distract and not instruct.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Computers don't really "instruct". That's why we have teachers who are supposed to know what they are doing and why they are doing it... and monitoring kids while keeping learning meaningful.
  • guide on the side.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      But many teachers are simply not prepared for how to do this effectively. To ignore this fact is just naive.
  • Professor Cuban at Stanford
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Are they in love with Cuban or something? Perhaps they should actually look at the research... or interview other authorities. Isn't that what reporting is all about? I think this reporter must be a product of too much Google, right?
  • But she loves the fact that her two children, a fourth-grader and first-grader, are learning technology, including PowerPoint
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Again, the fact that any supporter is happy that their kids are learning PowerPoint illustrates the degree of naiveté in their understanding of technology's role in learning.
  • creating an impetus to rethink education entirely
  • Mr. Share bases his buying decisions on two main factors: what his teachers tell him they need, and his experience. For instance, he said he resisted getting the interactive whiteboards sold as Smart Boards until, one day in 2008, he saw a teacher trying to mimic the product with a jury-rigged projector setup. “It was an ‘Aha!’ moment,” he said, leading him to buy Smart Boards, made by a company called Smart Technologies.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Herein lies another huge problem. Mr. Director of Technology seems to base no decisions on what the learning and technology literature have to say... nor does he consult those who would be considered authorities on technology infused learning (emphasis on learning here)
  • This is big business.
    • Steve Ransom
       
      No kidding.
  • “Do we really need technology to learn?” she said. “It’s a very valid time to ask the question, right before this goes on the ballot.”
    • Steve Ransom
       
      Anyone who asks that should volunteer to have their home and work computer confiscated. After all, it's just a distraction, right?
Fatima Anwar

The Integrated Learning Platform: Cardiff Univeristy - Cardiff is everything a good university should be - 0 views

  •  
    Cardiff University is recognized in independent government tests as one of The British leading educating and analysis colleges. Established by Royal Charter in 1883, the University today brings together impressive modern facilities and a powerful approach to educating and analysis with its proud culture of service and accomplishment. Cardiff University is the biggest University of mature education and learning in Wales, with the Cardiff Center for Long term Studying offering several hundred programs in locations across Southern Eastern Wales. The University's lifelong learning actions also include the professional growth work performed by educational institutions for companies, and many of these is custom-made to match an individual culture's needs. The Center also provides culture terminology training at all levels. Founded: 1883. Structural features: Merged with University of Wales College of Medicine (UCWM) in 2004. Location: Close to Cardiff city center. Healthcare care learners also at hospital website, Heath Recreation area University, 1 mile away. Getting there: Cardiff Primary Place on the national train network; trainers to bus station (next to train station); M4 from London and M5 (west county and Midlands). For school, frequent teaches from Primary Place to Cathays station (on campus), regional vehicles from bus station (53, 79, 81 for main campus; 8 or 9 for hospital site). Academic features: 4-year incorporated food techniques, 5-year two-tier techniques in structure and town planning. 5-year medical and dental programs, plus foundation season for those without science backgrounds; medical teaching throughout Wales. Awarding body: Cardiff University; Wales University for some healthcare programs. Main undergrad awards: BA, BD, BDS, BMus, BN, BSc, BEng, BScEcon, LLB, BArch, MB BCh, MPhys, MChem, MEng, MPharm. Length of courses: 3 years; others 4 and 5 decades. Library & IT facilities: Integrated collection,
J Black

The Three-E Strategy for Overcoming Resistance to Technological Change (EDUCAUSE Quarterly) | EDUCAUSE - 0 views

  • According to a 2007 Pew/Internet study,1 49 percent of Americans only occasionally use information and communication technology. Of the remaining 51 percent, only 8 percent are what Pew calls omnivores, “deep users of the participatory Web and mobile applications.”
  • Shaping user behavior is a “soft” problem that has more to do with psychological and social barriers to technology adoption. Academia has its own cultural mores, which often conflict with experimenting with new ways of doing things. Gardner Campbell put it nicely last year when he wrote, “For an academic to risk ‘failure’ is often synonymous with ‘looking stupid in front of someone’.”2 The safe option for most users is to avoid trying something as risky as new technology.
  • The first instinct is thus to graft technology onto preexisting modes of behavior.
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  • First, a technology must be evident to the user as potentially useful in making his or her life easier (or more enjoyable). Second, a technology must be easy to use to avoid rousing feelings of inadequacy. Third, the technology must become essential to the user in going about his or her business. This “Three-E Strategy,” if applied properly, has been at the core of every successful technology adoption throughout history.
  • Technology must be easy and intuitive to use for the majority of the user audience—or they won’t use it.
  • Complexity, however, remains a potent obstacle to realizing the goal of making technology easy. Omnivores (the top 8 percent of users) revel in complexity. Consider for a moment how much time some people spend creating clothes for their avatars in Second Life or the intricacies of gameplay in World of Warcraft. This complexity gives the expert users a type of power, but is also a turnoff for the majority of potential users.
  • Web 2.0 and open source present another interesting solution to this problem. The user community quickly abandons those applications they consider too complicated.
  • any new technology must become essential to users
  • Finally, we have to show them how the enhanced communication made possible through technologies such as Web 2.0 will enhance their efficiency, productivity, and ability to teach and learn.
  •  
    First, a technology must be evident to the user as potentially useful in making his or her life easier (or more enjoyable). Second, a technology must be easy to use to avoid rousing feelings of inadequacy. Third, the technology must become essential to the user in going about his or her business. This "Three-E Strategy," if applied properly, has been at the core of every successful technology adoption throughout history.
Steve Ransom

Education Week: The Classroom Is Obsolete: It's Time for Something New - 17 views

  • The following is a fairly universal list of education design principles for tomorrow’s schools, though it would be tailored to the needs of particular communities: (1) personalized; (2) safe and secure; (3) inquiry-based; (4) student-directed; (5) collaborative; (6) interdisciplinary; (7) rigorous and hands-on; (8) embodying a culture of excellence and high expectations; (9) environmentally conscious; (10) offering strong connections to the local community and culture; (11) globally networked; and (12) setting the stage for lifelong learning.
  • we still think that yesterday’s classroom equals tomorrow’s school.
  • These initiatives would not necessarily get rid of classrooms, but instead redesign and refurbish them to operate as “learning studios” and “learning suites” alongside common areas reclaimed from hallways that vastly expand available space and allow better teaching and learning.
Steve Ransom

Peter T. Coleman, PhD: The Consequences of Our Games - 2 views

  • "At a time when games are becoming ever more realistic, reality is becoming more gamelike."
  • The problem is not that games are inconsistent with many aspects of our lives; it is that they provide a limited and skewed lens on the world
  • Seeing more and more aspects of our lives as games to win through maximization has a sort of self-perpetuating effect with perverse consequences, not the least of which is the impairment of what Diesing terms social rationality; the cherishing of unique relationships, personal connectedness, cooperative functioning, solidarity and sentiment.
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  • It stresses the strategic interdependent interests of humans and assumes that in games there is always a rational choice which is the best counter-choice to your opponent's.
  • If winning efficiently is the goal, then the rules (ethical, moral, legal, and spiritual), are essentially obstacles to game.
  • In our schools, competition for access to elite preschools, for grades, for social status, in sports, over positions of leadership, and for admission to exclusive colleges transforms one of our most basic institutions for fostering community, ethics and learning into competitive, individualistic corporate training-grounds. In these settings, the importance of competitive sports becomes paramount, for both financial and training purposes, and the artistry of cheating (see this year's Stuyvesant High School cheating scandal) and rule-bending (see Joe Paterno) revered. Such intense competition encourages the professionalization of parenting -- through tutors, highly-educated nannies, prep courses, and professional training camps (such as investment camps). You can imagine the deleterious effects these trends have on the ethos of care and moral responsibility in our families and schools, a critical buffer against bullying and violence in the lives of our children.
  • We become hyper-connected through technologies, boasting our number of "friends" on Facebook, and have less and less intimacy.
  • We choose friends with benefits or Internet porn over romantic relationships as they are less messy, more efficient.
  • Life is a race and we are losing.
  •  
    A great piece worth the time to reflect on. Mindfulness needs to be practiced frequently.
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