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Randolph Hollingsworth

ASU - Service Learning USL210 - 5 views

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    COURSE OBJECTIVES: This is a graded internship that allows you to integrate your own coursework with a hands-on service learning experience. The central objective of this course is to provide students with community experiences and reflection opportunities that examine community needs, the importance of civic engagement, and social justice issues affecting ethnic minorities and marginalized populations in contemporary American society. Students dedicate 70 hours at a pre-approved site (including Title I K-12 schools, youth programs, health services, social services, environmental programs, government agencies, etc.) directly serving a population in need or supporting activities that contribute to the greater good of our community. A weekly seminar, course readings, discussions, and reflection assignments facilitate critical thinking and a deeper understanding of cultural diversity, citizenship, and how to contribute to positive social change in our community. The course is also designed to provide "real-world" experiences that exercise academic skills and knowledge applicable to each student‟s program of study and career exploration. STUDENT LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Student will be introduced to essential skills associated with their baccalaureate studies to actively serve the local community. While completing this in-depth study of cultural diversity, citizenship and social justice issues facing our community, students will gain an understanding of the value of Social Embeddedness and the importance of incorporating civic engagement into their collegiate careers, as they strive to become civically engaged students. Students will be introduced to inequalities, discrimination, and other community issues facing ethnic minorities and marginalized populations, as well as the correlation with greater societal issues. INTERNSHIP RESPONSIBILITIES:  Service hours - 70 hours of community outreach (spread throughout the semester in which you are enrolled in the course)
Randolph Hollingsworth

Ariz State Univ - Service Learning syllabus (USL410 Indep Placement) - 7 views

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    COURSE OBJECTIVES: This is a graded internship that allows you to integrate your own coursework with a hands-on service learning experience. The central objective of this course is to provide students with community experiences and reflection opportunities that examine community needs, the importance of civic engagement, and social justice issues affecting ethnic minorities and marginalized populations in contemporary American society. Students dedicate 70 hours at a pre-approved site (including Title I K-12 schools, youth programs, health services, social services, environmental programs, government agencies, etc.) directly serving a population in need or supporting activities that contribute to the greater good of our community. A weekly seminar, course readings, discussions, and reflection assignments facilitate critical thinking and a deeper understanding of cultural diversity, citizenship, and how to contribute to positive social change in our community. The course is also designed to provide "real-world" experiences that exercise academic skills and knowledge applicable to each student‟s program of study and career exploration. STUDENT LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Student will be introduced to essential skills associated with their baccalaureate studies to actively serve the local community. While completing this in-depth study of cultural diversity, citizenship and social justice issues facing our community, students will gain an understanding of the value of Social Embeddedness and the importance of incorporating civic engagement into their collegiate careers, as they strive to become civically engaged students. Students will be introduced to inequalities, discrimination, and other community issues facing ethnic minorities and marginalized populations, as well as the correlation with greater societal issues. INTERNSHIP RESPONSIBILITIES:  Service hours - 70 hours of community outreach (spread throughout the semester in which you are enrolled in the course)
Peter Beens

Education Week Teacher: Teaching Secrets: Communicating With Parents - 1 views

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    Teaching Secrets: Communicating With Parents By Gail Tillery Premium article access courtesy of TeacherMagazine.org. You will face many challenging tasks as a new teacher. Dealing with parents is probably among the most intimidating, especially if you are young and in your first career. While communicating with parents can be tricky, a little preparation will help you to treat parents as partners and to be calmer when problems arise. Here's the first rule to live by: Your students' parents are not your enemies. Ultimately, they want the same thing you want, which is the best for their children. By maintaining respectful and productive communication, you can work together to help students succeed. Second, whenever problems arise, remember that parents are probably just as nervous about contacting you as you are about returning the contact-and maybe more so. I'll confess: Even after 26 years of teaching, I still get a little frisson of fear in my belly when I see an e-mail or hear a voicemail from a parent. But I have seen time and again that parents are often more nervous than the teacher is-especially if their child doesn't want them to contact the teacher. Indeed, some parents may even fear that if they raise concerns, their child will face some kind of retaliation. Remember that parents' tones or words may reflect such fears. In your response, try to establish that everyone involved wants to help the child. Here are some practical tips for communicating effectively with parents: Contact every parent at the beginning of the year. Do some "recon." Telephone calls are best for this initial contact, since they are more personal than e-mail. Ask the parent to tell you about his or her child's strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, etc. Make sure to ask, "What is the best thing I can do to help your child succeed?" Remember to take notes! Once you've gathered the information you need, set a boundary with parents by saying, "Well, Ms. Smith, I have 25 more parent
Maria Nuzzo

Three Elements of Great Communication, According to Aristotle - Scott Edinger - Harvard Business Review - 99 views

  • Three Elements of Great Communication, According to Aristotle by Scott Edinger  |   9:00 AM January 17, 2013 Comments (78)         In my nearly 20 years of work in organization development, I've never heard anyone say that a leader communicated too much or too well. On the contrary, the most common improvement suggestion I've seen offered up on the thousands of 360 evaluations I've reviewed over the years is that it would be better if the subject in question learned to communicate more effectively. What makes someone a good communicator? There's no mystery here, not since Aristotle identified the three critical elements — ethos, pathos, and logos. — thousands of years ago. Ethos is essentially your credibility — that is, the reason people should believe what you're saying. In writing this blog I made an effort to demonstrate my ethos in the introduction, and here I'll just add that I have a degree in Communication studies (emphasis in rhetoric for those who want the details) for good measure. In some cases, ethos comes merely from your rank within an organization. More commonly, though, today's leaders build ethos most
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    Three aspects of communication as outlined by Aristotle.
anonymous

What are the Disadvantages of Online Schooling for Higher Education? - 18 views

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    "hat Are the Disadvantages of Online Schooling for Higher Education? Today, online schooling for higher education is prevalent across many fields. While there are several benefits to online schooling, such as flexibility and convenience, there are also real and perceived disadvantages. Explore some of the potential drawbacks of online learning. View 10 Popular Schools » Online Schooling In 2012, about a quarter of undergraduate college students were enrolled in distance education courses as part -- if not all -- of their studies, according to a 2014 report from the National Center for Education Statistics. That same data found that 29.8% of graduate students in this country are enrolled in some or all distance learning classes as well. A 2013 report from Babson Survey Research Group and Quahog Research Group, LLC, pointed out that approximately 86.5% of higher education institutions offer distance learning classes. Clearly, online schooling is commonplace. Disadvantages: Student Perspective Despite advantages, online schooling is not the right fit for every student. Taking online courses is generally believed to require more self-discipline than completing a degree on campus, a belief that is supported by SCHEV -- the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Because online schooling options often allow students to complete much of the coursework at their own pace, students must be motivated to stay on schedule and manage their time accordingly. Other potential disadvantages from a student's viewpoint may include the following: Less Instructional Support Although instructors are available to students via e-mail, telephone, Web discussion boards and other online means, some students may see the lack of face-to-face interaction and one-on-one instruction as a challenge. A lack of communication or miscommunication between instructors and students may frustrate students who are struggling with course materials. That could be exacerbated by the casual nature
donnawesley

Gray, T. (2014). Enabling e-Learning: Professional learning community. Personal Blog. - 17 views

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    This item will be referenced in my paper, but is not a part of the 3 item diigo annotated bibliography. This professional learning community blog discusses how PLC's and Communities of Practice can enable e-Learning community members to engage more with each other, to help define/discuss/debate e-learning theory, pedagogy and practice.
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    This item will be referenced in my paper, but is not a part of the 3 item diigo annotated bibliography. This professional learning community blog discusses how PLC's and Communities of Practice can enable e-Learning community members to engage more with each other, to help define/discuss/debate e-learning theory, pedagogy and practice.
Tony Baldasaro

HOW TO: Build Community on Twitter - 1 views

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    Your Twitter community is your life line. The strength of your community determines overall what you will (or won't) get out of the microblogging platform. What do you want to use Twitter (Twitter) for? I wanted to build a community where I could engage in dialogue, stay ahead of the social media curve, and share some laughs.
Maureen Greenbaum

The role of communities of practice in a digital age - 36 views

  • Wenger argues that there are three crucial characteristics of a community of practice: domain: a common interest that connects and holds together the community community: a community is bound by the shared activities they pursue (for example, meetings, discussions) around their common domain practice: members of a community of practice are practitioners; what they do informs their participation in the community; and what they learn from the community affects what they do.
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Adrienne Michetti

Where Everybody Knows Your (Screen) Name: Online Games as "Third Places" - 52 views

    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      This is, I think, why I'm more keen on today's social networks than I am on games -- games do not provide deep emotional support.
  • "bowling alone" hypothesis (Putnam, 2000), which suggests that media are displacing crucial civic and social institutions
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      Putnam - need to check this article. Interesting; not sure I agree.
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  • According to Putnam, time spent with relatively passive and disengaging media has come at the expense of time spent on vital community-building activities.
  • The evidence to date is mixed
  • A core problem on both sides of the debate is an underlying assumption that all Internet use is more or less equivalent
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      SO True
  • It would be more plausible and empirically rigorous, then, to consider how specific forms of Internet activity impact civic and social engagement as a result of their particular underlying social architectures
  • combining conclusions from two different lines of MMO research conducted from two different perspectives—one from a media effects approach, the other from a sociocultural perspective on cognition and learning.
  • By providing spaces for social interaction and relationships beyond the workplace and home, MMOs have the capacity to function as one form of a new "third place" for informal sociability much like the pubs, coffee shops, and other hangouts of old.
  • loosely structured by open-ended narratives
  • They are known for their peculiar combination of designed "escapist fantasy" and emergent "social realism"
  • from two research projects: one an examination of the media effects of MMOs, the other an ethnographic study of cognition and culture in such contexts.
  • the conclusions of both studies were remarkably aligned.
  • the assumption that the most fruitful advances are sometimes made when congruent findings are discovered through disparate means
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      Love this quote.
  • demonstrate the "effects" of game play vs. no game play.
  • first project was a traditional effects study
  • second project, a qualitative study of cognition and learning in MMOs (
  • ethnography
  • sociocultural perspective
  • as a way to tease out what happens in the virtual setting of the game and how the people involved consider their own activities, the activities of others, and the contexts in which those activities takes place
  • a reasonable level of generalizability (random assignment to condition in the first study) and contextualization (ethnographic description of existing in-game social networks and practices in the second)
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      but I wonder why he chose these games -- this is not specified. Only their success in US and abroad?
  • brick-and-mortar "third places" in America where individuals can gather to socialize informally beyond the workplace and home
  • the exaggerated self-consciousness of individuals.
  • In what ways might MMOs function as new third places for informal sociability?
  • virtual environments have the potential to function as new (albeit digitally mediated) third places similar to pubs, coffee shops, and other hangouts.
  • in this section we analyze the structural form of MMOs that warrants this "third place" assertion.
  • eight defining characteristics of third places
  • there is no default obligation
  • To oblige any one person to play requires that explicit agreements be entered into by parties
  • the default assumption is that no one person is compelled to participate legally, financially, or otherwise.
  • Unless one transforms the virtual world of the game into a workplace (e.g., by taking on gainful employment as a virtual currency "farmer" for example, Dibbell, 2006; Steinkuehler, 2006a) or enters into such agreement, no one person is obligated to log in
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      and this is why, in my opinion, you will never see games in school. The game cannot be the Third Place because school is a Second Place.
  • Yee's (2006) interviews also reveal that individuals who game with romantic partners or family find that such joint engagement in the "other world" of MMOs allows them to redefine the nature and boundaries of their offline relationships, often in more equitable terms than what may be possible in day-to-day offline life
  • the relationships that play-partners have with one another offline are often "leveled" within the online world
  • an individual's rank and status in the home, workplace, or society are of no importance
  • appeal to people in part because they represent meritocracies otherwise unavailable in a world often filled with unfairness
  • conversation plays an analogous role
  • "In all such systems, linguistic interactions have been primary: users exchange messages that cement the social bonds between them, messages that reflect shared history and understandings (or misunderstandings) about the always evolving local norms for these interactions" (p. 22).
  • third places must also be easy to access
  • such that "one may go alone at almost any time of the day or evening with assurance that acquaintances will be there"
  • accessible directly from one's home, making them even more accommodating to individual schedules and preferences
  • barriers to initial access.
  • "What attracts a regular visitor to a third place is supplied not by management but by the fellow customer,"
  • "It is the regulars who give the place its character and who assure that on any given visit some of the gang will be there"
  • affective sense
  • As one informant satirically commented in an interview, "You go for the experience [points], you stay for the enlightening conversation.
  • engendering a sense of reliable mentorship and community stability.
  • Oldenburg argues that third places are characteristically homely, their d�cor defying tidiness and pretension whenever possible. MMOs do not fit this criterion in any literal sense
  • In neither of our investigations did the degree of formality exhibited by players within the game bear any relation to the degree of visual ornamentation of the players' immediate vicinity.
  • Thus, while the visual form of MMO environments does not fit Oldenburg's (1999) criterion of "low profile," the social function of those environments does.
  • Oldenburg (1999) argues that seriousness is anathema to a vibrant third place; instead, frivolity, verbal word play, and wit are essential.
  • The playful nature of MMOs is perhaps most apparent in what happens when individuals do bring gravity to the game.
  • the home-like quality of third places in rooting people
  • Participation becomes a regular part of daily life for players and, among regular gamemates such as guild members, exceptional absences (i.e., prolonged or unforeseen ones) are queried within the game or outside i
  • create an atmosphere of mutual caring that, while avoiding entangling obligations per se, creates a sense of rootedness to the extent that regularities exist, irregularities are duly noted, and, when concerning the welfare of any one regular, checked into
  • Are virtual communities really communities, or is physical proximity necessary?
  • Anderson (1991), who suggests that geographic proximity itself is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for the emergence and preservation of "community."
  • Social capital (Coleman, 1988) works analogously to financial capital; it can be acquired and spent, but for social and personal gains rather than financial
  • operates cyclically within social networks because of their associated norms of reciprocity
  • bridging social capital is inclusive.
  • This form of social capital is marked by tentative relationships, yet what they lack in depth, they make up for in breadth.
  • On the one hand, bridging social capital provides little in the way of emotional support; on the other hand, such relationships can broaden social horizons or worldviews, providing access to information and new resources.
  • bonding social capital is exclusive.
  • social superglue.
  • it can also result in insularity.
  • shows that bridging and bonding social capital are tied to different social contexts, given the network of relationships they enable.
  • Virtual worlds appear to function best as bridging mechanisms rather than as bonding ones, although they do not entirely preclude social ties of the latter type.
  • One could argue that, if the benchmark for bonding social capital is the ability to acquire emotional, practical, or substantive support, then MMOs are not well set up for the task:
  • While deep affective relationships among players are possible, they are less likely to generate the same range of bonding benefits as real-world relationships because of players' geographic dispersion and the nature of third places themselves.
  • Despite differences in theoretical grounding and methodologies, our conclusions were remarkably similar across complementary macro- and micro-levels.
  • It is worth noting, however, that as gamers become more involved in long-term social networks such as guilds and their activities become more "hardcore" (e.g., marked by participation in large-scale collaborative problem-solving endeavors such as "raids" into difficult territories or castle sieges), the function of MMOs as "third places" begins to wane.
  • It may be, then, that the structure and function of MMOs as third places is one part of the "life cycle" for some gamers in a given title.
  • In such cases, MMOs appear to enable a different kind of sociability, one ostensibly recognizable as a "community" nonetheless.
  • However, our research findings indicate that this conclusion is uninformed. To argue that MMO game play is isolated and passive media consumption in place of informal social engagement is to ignore the nature of what participants actually do behind the computer screen
  • Perhaps it is not that contemporary media use has led to a decline in civic and social engagement, but rather that a decline in civic and social engagement has led to retribalization through contemporary media (McLuhan, 1964).
  • Such a view, however, ignores important nuances of what "community" means by pronouncing a given social group/place as either wholly "good" or "bad" without first specifying which functions the online community ought to fulfill.
  • Moreover, despite the semantics of the term, "weak" ties have been shown to be vital in communities, relationships, and opportunities.
  • is to what extent such environments shift the existing balance between bridging and bonding
  • In light of Putnam's evidence of the decline of crucial civic and social institutions, it may well be that the classification "lacking bridging social capital" best characterizes the everyday American citizen. T
  • Without bridging relationships, individuals remain sheltered from alternative viewpoints and cultures and largely ignorant of opportunities and information beyond their own closely bound social network.
  • it seems ironic that, now of all times, we would ignore one possible solution to our increasingly vexed relationship with diversity.
onepulledthread

Teach the Web (MOOC) - 3 views

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    Laura Hilliger blog zythepsary.com here discusses the mozilla Teach the web" MOOC to start may 2. content to include: Introduction to Webmaker is all about community, openness and collaboration. Remix and Contextualize is all about putting web literacy skills into other types of learning plans. Do and Share is about experimenting with collaborative, participatory learning spaces and using the online community to improve your practice. Within each topic are 3 subtopics - Those are the themes we'll be focusing on weekly. 9 themes, 9 week MOOC - nice how that worked out, don't cha think? For each theme, we'll be MAKING things to explore ideas because, you know, you learn lots when you make. We'll have a chance to look at each other's makes, give feedback, and hack on ideas throughout the 9 weeks. There will be several ways to follow along. Here's what we're thinking for communication channels: Sign up to the webmaker.org/teach list to participate Keep your eye on hivenyc.org/teachtheweb Submit your blog for aggregation Join G+ Webmaker Community Use #teachtheweb on Twitter Bookmark the Big Blue Button link for May 2nd, 23rd, and June 13th, 4pm UTC Check the calendar for Twitter chats and Big Blue Button sessions
Michele Brown

The National Networker (TNNW) Blog: BEYOND THE CUBICLE - CORPORATE CULTURE: Tweeple, Twibes and Tweets…the culture of virtual communities - 9 views

  • The culture appears to be grounded in not only a need to share, but also a desire to be recognized. Retweets – when someone sends your tweet (message) out to their followers (a term supporting the need for recognition) somehow elevates your status within this community.
  • Social Media as a dominant force for communicating has penetrated every element of society. Can a virtual community possess a culture? Every company and organization possesses a definable culture. Behaviors, decision-making models, intrinsic and extrinsic actions and how people are treated may all play a part in defining it. These elements of culture are measureable and easy to define within a controlled entity. Social media lives and breathes in a virtual reality. It permeates all corners of the world, allows people to communicate across all traditional boundaries and thrives 24 hours/day. So…does it have a definable culture? If you have spent any time on Twitter, you quickly realize thousands of people have a need to respond to the question, “What’s happening?” Twitter has developed it’s own language with tweets, retweets, tweeple, twitpics, twibes, etc. You can follow topics with a hashtag and people with lists. What is most apparent is the need people have to share. The culture appears to be grounded in not only a need to share, but also a desire to be recognized. Retweets – when someone sends your tweet (message) out to their followers (a term supporting the need for recognition) somehow elevates your status within this community. There are etiquette protocols as many people publicly thank you for following them and for retweeting. Retweeting becomes a type
  • As you get deeper into the structure of Twitter, you can join a twibe or tweeple group, which provides inclusion – another indication that the need for recognition is systemic.
  • ...2 more annotations...
  • Social media lives and breathes in a virtual reality. It permeates all corners of the world, allows people to communicate across all traditional boundaries and thrives 24 hours/day. So…does it have a definable culture?
  • The culture appears to be grounded in not only a need to share, but also a desire to be recognized. Retweets – when someone sends your tweet (message) out to their followers (a term supporting the need for recognition) somehow elevates your status within this community.
Jon Tanner

What's the point of media specialists...? on School Library Journal - 49 views

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    "Joyce Valenza Ph.D On the librarian: What's the point . . ? The Twitter conversation April 30, 2009 @karlfisch: What's the point of having a media specialist if they aren't specialists in the media forms of the day? I was nearly finished copying and pasting, figuring out how best to post Tuesday's Twitter conversation, when I discovered that Karl Fisch (@karlfisch), who kinda started it all, already took care of that. (You likely know of Karl's very popular and provocative videos.) I am still not sure how best to frame this conversation on the place of the information/media specialist in today's school. What is clear is that a lot of smart people--people who are out there teaching, speaking, moving, and shaking--are disappointed in what they see when they see school librarians. Either we have a perception problem or we need to do some serious retooling. I'd say we have to deal with both. In a hurry. Being an information (or media) specialist today means being an expert in how information and media flow TODAY! It is about knowing how information and media are created and communicated. How to evalute, synthesize, and ethically use information and media in all their varied forms. It is about being able to communicate knowlege in new ways for new audiences using powerful new information and communication tools. Forgive me if it hurts. In my mind, if you are not an expert in new information and communication tools, you are NOT a media specialist for today. Tuesday's conversation happened in the open, on Twitter. We need to be aware that these conversations are happening where we cannot hear them--at conferences, at Board and cabinet meetings. We also need to make sure that our voices are heard and that we hear the voices of others in places like Twitter, where so many educational leaders and thinkers are chatting about us and many other things. I've selected the remarks that resonated loudest for me. (I've shuffled a bit, but you can visit Karl'
Lucinda Keller

12 Expert Twitter Tips for the Classroom: Social Networking Classroom Activities That Employ Critical Thinking - 51 views

eileenanne

edWeb.net - 47 views

shared by eileenanne on 12 Jan 14 - No Cached
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    edWeb.net is a highly-acclaimed professional social and learning network that has become a vibrant online community for exceptional educators, decision-makers, and influencers who are on the leading edge of innovation in education. edWeb won the 2012 Edublog Award for Best Free and Open Professional Development for Educators and was ranked the #1 professional social network specifically for educators by the SIMBA PreK-12 Professional Development Market Forecast 2012-2013, CoSN's K-12 IT Leadership Survey 2013, and the 2012 Survey of K-12 Educators on Social Networking, Online Communities, and Web 2.0 Tools.
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    edWeb.net is a highly-acclaimed professional social and learning network that has become a vibrant online community for exceptional educators, decision-makers, and influencers who are on the leading edge of innovation in education. edWeb won the 2012 Edublog Award for Best Free and Open Professional Development for Educators and was ranked the #1 professional social network specifically for educators by the SIMBA PreK-12 Professional Development Market Forecast 2012-2013, CoSN's K-12 IT Leadership Survey 2013, and the 2012 Survey of K-12 Educators on Social Networking, Online Communities, and Web 2.0 Tools.
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    Go to: http://home.edweb.net/ Excellent resource for online learning, many communities
Florence Dujardin

Using Wenger's Communities of Practice to Explore a New Teacher Cohort - Journal of Teacher Education - 14 views

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    This qualitative study explores a cohort professional development experience that brought new teachers together every few weeks from across an urban school district. Observation data were analyzed through Wenger's (1998) Communities of Practice social learning framework. The purpose was to examine how a cohort can be a valuable resource of new teacher support, particularly in areas where novices, who are being prepared largely through alternative routes, start their careers in some of the most challenging teaching assignments. Key theoretical insights resulting from the analysis include (a) the importance of interactivity of the Wenger elements, (b) the centrality of the community component, and (c) the implications of what legitimate peripheral participation looks like for a solely novice community of practice. Implications of these theoretical considerations are discussed and then linked to possibilities for practice and research to supplement current, traditional induction and mentoring practices.
Andrew McCluskey

Occupy Your Brain - 111 views

  • One of the most profound changes that occurs when modern schooling is introduced into traditional societies around the world is a radical shift in the locus of power and control over learning from children, families, and communities to ever more centralized systems of authority.
  • Once learning is institutionalized under a central authority, both freedom for the individual and respect for the local are radically curtailed.  The child in a classroom generally finds herself in a situation where she may not move, speak, laugh, sing, eat, drink, read, think her own thoughts, or even  use the toilet without explicit permission from an authority figure.
  • In what should be considered a chilling development, there are murmurings of the idea of creating global standards for education – in other words, the creation of a single centralized authority dictating what every child on the planet must learn.
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  • In “developed” societies, we are so accustomed to centralized control over learning that it has become functionally invisible to us, and most people accept it as natural, inevitable, and consistent with the principles of freedom and democracy.   We assume that this central authority, because it is associated with something that seems like an unequivocal good – “education” – must itself be fundamentally good, a sort of benevolent dictatorship of the intellect. 
  • We endorse strict legal codes which render this process compulsory, and in a truly Orwellian twist, many of us now view it as a fundamental human right to be legally compelled to learn what a higher authority tells us to learn.
  • And yet the idea of centrally-controlled education is as problematic as the idea of centrally-controlled media – and for exactly the same reasons.
  • The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was designed to protect all forms of communication, information-sharing, knowledge, opinion and belief – what the Supreme Court has termed “the sphere of intellect and spirit” – from government control.
  • by the mid-19th century, with Indians still to conquer and waves of immigrants to assimilate, the temptation to find a way to manage the minds of an increasingly diverse and independent-minded population became too great to resist, and the idea of the Common School was born.
  • We would keep our freedom of speech and press, but first we would all be well-schooled by those in power.
  • A deeply democratic idea — the free and equal education of every child — was wedded to a deeply anti-democratic idea — that this education would be controlled from the top down by state-appointed educrats.
  • The fundamental point of the Occupy Wall Street movement is that the apparatus of democratic government has been completely bought and paid for by a tiny number of grotesquely wealthy individuals, corporations, and lobbying groups.  Our votes no longer matter.  Our wishes no longer count.  Our power as citizens has been sold to the highest bidder.
  • Our kids are so drowned in disconnected information that it becomes quite random what they do and don’t remember, and they’re so overburdened with endless homework and tests that they have little time or energy to pay attention to what’s happening in the world around them.
  • If in ten years we can create Wikipedia out of thin air, what could we create if we trusted our children, our teachers, our parents, our neighbors, to generate community learning webs that are open, alive, and responsive to individual needs and aspirations?  What could we create if instead of trying to “scale up” every innovation into a monolithic bureaucracy we “scaled down” to allow local and individual control, freedom, experimentation, and diversity?
  • The most academically “gifted” students excel at obedience, instinctively shaping their thinking to the prescribed curriculum and unconsciously framing out of their awareness ideas that won’t earn the praise of their superiors.  Those who resist sitting still for this process are marginalized, labeled as less intelligent or even as mildly brain-damaged, and, increasingly, drugged into compliance.
  • They are taught to focus on competing with each other and gaming the system rather than on gaining a deep understanding of the way power flows through their world.
  • This is what we spend our childhood in school unlearning. 
  • If before we reach the age of majority we must submit our brains for twelve years of evaluation and control by government experts, are we then truly free to exercise our vote according to the dictates of our own common sense and conscience?  Do we even know what our own common sense is anymore?
  • We live in a country where a serious candidate for the Presidency is unaware that China has nuclear weapons, where half the population does not understand that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11, where nobody pays attention as Congress dismantles the securities regulations that limit the power of the banks, where 45% of American high school students graduate without knowing that the First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees freedom of the press.   At what point do we begin to ask ourselves if we are trying to control quality in the wrong way?
  • Human beings, collaborating with one another in voluntary relationships, communicating and checking and counter-checking and elaborating and expanding on one another’s knowledge and intelligence, have created a collective public resource more vast and more alive than anything that has ever existed on the planet.
  • But this is not a paeon to technology; this is about what human intelligence is capable of when people are free to interact in open, horizontal, non-hierarchical networks of communication and collaboration.
  • Positive social change has occurred not through top-down, hierarchically controlled organizations, but through what the Berkana Institute calls “emergence,” where people begin networking and forming voluntary communities of practice. When the goal is to maximize the functioning of human intelligence, you need to activate the unique skills, talents, and knowledge bases of diverse individuals, not put everybody through a uniform mill to produce uniform results. 
  • You need a non-punitive structure that encourages collaboration rather than competition, risk-taking rather than mistake-avoidance, and innovation rather than repetition of known quantities.
  • if we really want to return power to the 99% in a lasting, stable, sustainable way, we need to begin the work of creating open, egalitarian, horizontal networks of learning in our communities.
  • the very root, the very essence, of any theory of democratic liberty is a basic trust in the fundamental intelligence of the ordinary person.   Democracy rests on the premise that the ordinary person — the waitress, the carpenter, the shopkeeper — is competent to make her own judgments about matters of domestic policy, international affairs, taxes, justice, peace, and war, and that the government must abide by the decisions of ordinary people, not vice versa.  Of course that’s not the way our system really works, and never has been.   But most of us recall at some deep level of our beings that any vision of a just world relies on this fundamental respect for the common sense of the ordinary human being.
  • And what could we create, what ecological problems could we solve, what despair might we alleviate, if instead of imposing our rigid curriculum and the destructive economy it serves on the entire world, we embraced as part of our vast collective intelligence the wisdom and knowledge of the world’s thousands of sustainable indigenous cultures?
  • They knew this about their situation: nobody was on their side.  Certainly not the moneyed classes and the economic system, and not the government, either.  So if they were going to change anything, it had to come out of themselves.
  • As our climate heats up, as mountaintops are removed from Orissa to West Virginia, as the oceans fill with plastic and soils become too contaminated to grow food, as the economy crumbles and children go hungry and the 0.001% grows so concentrated, so powerful, so wealthy that democracy becomes impossible, it’s time to ask ourselves; who’s educating us?  To what end?  The Adivasis are occupying their forests and mountains as our children are occupying our cities and parks.  But they understand that the first thing they must take back is their common sense. 
  • They must occupy their brains.
  • Isn’t it time for us to do the same?
  •  
    Carol Black, creator of the documentary, "Schooling the World" discusses the conflicting ideas of centralized control of education and standardization against the so-called freedom to think independently--"what the Supreme Court has termed 'the sphere of intellect and spirit" (Black, 2012). Root questions: "who's educating us? to what end?" (Black, 2012).
  •  
    This is a must read. Carol Black echoes here many of the ideas of Paulo Freire, John Taylor Gatto and the like.
Gareth Jones

Looking in the Wrong Places | Edge.org - 5 views

  • We should be very careful in thinking about whether we’re working on the right problems. If we don’t, that ties into the problem that we don’t have experimental evidence that could move us forward. We're trying to develop theories that we use to find out which are good experiments to make, and these are the experiments that we build.   We build particle detectors and try to find dark matter; we build larger colliders in the hope of producing new particles; we shoot satellites into orbit and try to look back into the early universe, and we do that because we hope there’s something new to find there. We think there is because we have some idea from the theories that we’ve been working on that this would be something good to probe. If we are working with the wrong theories, we are making the wrong extrapolations, we have the wrong expectations, we make the wrong experiments, and then we don’t get any new data. We have no guidance to develop these theories. So, it’s a chicken and egg problem. We have to break the cycle. I don’t have a miracle cure to these problems. These are hard problems. It’s not clear what a good theory is to develop. I’m not any wiser than all the other 20,000 people in the field.
  • I’m still asking myself the same question that I asked myself ten years ago: "What is going on in my community?" I work in the foundations of physics, and I see a lot of strange things happening there. When I look at the papers that are being published, many of them seem to be produced simply because papers have to be produced. They don’t move us forward in any significant way. I get the impression that people are working on them not so much because it’s what they’re interested in but because they have to produce outcomes in a short amount of time. They sit on short-term positions and have short-term contracts, and papers must be produced.
  • The field that I mostly work in is the foundations of physics, which is, roughly speaking, composed of cosmology, the foundations of quantum mechanics, high-energy particle physics, and quantum gravity. It’s a peculiar field because there hasn’t been new data for almost four decades, since we established the Standard Model of particle physics. There has been, of course, the Higgs particle that was discovered at the LHC in 2012, and there have been some additions to the Standard Model, but there has not been a great new paradigm change, as Kuhn would have put it. We’re still using the same techniques, and we’re still working with the same theories as we did in the 1970s.
  • ...10 more annotations...
  • That makes this field of science rather peculiar and probably explains why there hasn’t been much progress. But it’s not like we don’t have any questions that need to be answered. There are a lot of questions that have been around for decades. For example, what is dark energy? What is dark matter? What are the masses of the Standard Model particles? And what’s up with the foundation of quantum mechanics? Is a theory that's fundamentally not deterministic, where we cannot predict outcomes, the last word that we have, or is there something more to it? Is there maybe another underlying structure to reality?
  • but we haven't reached the fundamental level. Maybe we will never reach it. Certainly, the theories that we have right now are not all there is. The question is, of course, if we don’t have any guidance by experiment, how do we make progress? And are we doing the right thing?
  • We’ve reached this point where we have to carefully rethink if the criteria that we’re using to select our theories are promising at all. If one looks at the history of this field in the foundations of physics, progress has usually been made by looking at questions that, at least in hindsight, were well posed, where there was an actual mathematical contradiction. For example, special relativity is incompatible with Newtonian gravity. If you try to resolve this incompatibility, you get general relativity.
  • There are various similar examples where such breakthroughs have happened because there was a real problem. There was an inconsistency and people had to resolve it. It had nothing to do with beauty. Maybe beauty was, in some cases, the personal motivation of the people to work on it. There’s certainly some truth to this, but I don’t think it’s good to turn this story around and say that if we only pay attention to this motivation that comes from ideals of beauty it will lead to progress.
  • If we are working with the wrong theories, we are making the wrong extrapolations, we have the wrong expectations, we make the wrong experiments, and then we don’t get any new data. We have no guidance to develop these theories. So, it’s a chicken and egg problem. We have to break the cycle. I don’t have a miracle cure to these problems. These are hard problems. It’s not clear what a good theory is to develop. I’m not any wiser than all the other 20,000 people in the field.
  • The way that research is funded in foundations of physics and in many other fields just puts a lot of things at a disadvantage that are not pursued anymore. Typically, everything that takes longer than three years to complete, no one will start it because they can’t afford it. They can literally not afford it.
  • Who makes the decisions about the funding? Superficially, people say that it's a funding agency, so it’s the university who get to hire people. But that puts the blame on the wrong party. In the end it’s the community itself who makes the decisions. What do the funding agencies do if they get a proposal? They send it to reviewers. And who are the reviewers? They're people from the same community. If you look at how hiring decisions are being made, there’s some committee and they are people from the same community. They have some advisory boards or something, which contains people from the same community.
  • Even if that wasn’t so, what the people in these committees would be doing is looking at easy measures for scientific success. Presently, the most popular of these measures are the number of publications and the number of citations. And maybe also whether the person has published in high-impact journals. So, these are the typical measures that are presently being used. But what do they measure? They primarily measure popularity. They indicate whether somebody’s research is well received by a lot of people in the same community. And that’s why once a research area grows beyond a certain critical mass, you have sufficiently many people who tell each other that what they’re doing is the good thing to do. They review each other’s papers and say that that’s great and it's what we should continue to do. It’s a problem in all communities that grow beyond a certain size.
  • I later came to the United States and then Canada, and that gave me the opportunity to learn a lot about quantum gravity. I also figured out that much of what goes on in quantum gravity is very detached from reality. It’s pretty much only mathematics. Yes, the mathematics is there, but I still don’t know if it’s the mathematics that describes reality.
  • That’s the very reason why we don’t normally think of gravity as a weak force. It’s the only force that is left over on long distances, and the reason for this is that it adds up. It gets stronger the more mass you pile up. More precisely, we should say that the reason we find it so hard to measure quantum gravitational effects is that we either have a particle that has very pronounced quantum properties, like, say, a single electron or something like that, but then it’s so light that we cannot measure the gravitational field. Or we have some object that is so heavy that we can measure the gravitational field, but then it doesn’t have quantum properties. Okay, so that’s the actual problem.
Shannon Knight

Discovery Education Community | Digital textbooks and standards-aligned educational resources - 21 views

  •  
    "The Discovery Education Community is a community of practice focused on connecting educators to their most valuable resource, each other. Whatever your role in education, you deserve a supportive learning environment that helps you improve your practice, provides valuable networking opportunities, fosters the sharing of great ideas, and focuses on the joy of teaching and learning."
Thieme Hennis

About | The Open Master's Program - 21 views

  •  
    "Learning- even "self-directed learning"- is an inherently social activity. The Open Master's is a global community of small groups for self-directed learners, offering each other the structure, accountability, relationships, and sense of forward direction that are often hard to find outside formal programs and institutions. These groups are using and building on an open source framework of shared practices to help us: Master the art of social, self-directed learning Be more intentional about our learning journeys Take bolder risks in our journeys of becoming Discover and share our unique gifts Ensure that our short-term learning goals feed into our longer-term vision for transformation for ourselves and the world We invite any existing community, organization, or even groups of friends or colleagues to use the Open Master's framework to make their own learning process more intentional.  You can do that simply by: Mapping out a personal plan or curriculum, including a clear statement of purpose and some intentions for your own learning journey, and sharing them on a personal website or blog Bringing the rhythm of semesters back into your life, including regular opportunities for evaluation and reflection Developing deeper relationships with study buddies, mentors, and advisers Starting an Open Master's group with a clear commitment to study together, support each other, and share your work Offering a presentation or organizing a study group on a topic that interests you Maintaining a portfolio of learning projects (including professional work) you've completed and reviewed with peers and mentors We also invite you to link up with the broader global community of Open Master's groups by joining regional or global events to spotlight members, mix with members across groups, and cross-pollinate ideas or strategies that are working in different contexts."
Trevor Cunningham

Google+ Communities - Where I'm At | - 3 views

  • My #1 rule to make a community work is that I no longer accept e-mails unless it is a personal issue. Instead all communication outside of class goes to the community. Questions from students become conversations and this is where the real learning happens. communication has greatly improved in my class, especially for my ESL and shyer students.
    • Trevor Cunningham
       
      Excellent point, email only addresses questions unilaterally. While appropriate for personal issues, email is a terrible blended learning tool.
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