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Lisa C. Hurst

Inside the School Silicon Valley Thinks Will Save Education | WIRED - 9 views

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    "AUTHOR: ISSIE LAPOWSKY. ISSIE LAPOWSKY DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05.04.15. 05.04.15 TIME OF PUBLICATION: 7:00 AM. 7:00 AM INSIDE THE SCHOOL SILICON VALLEY THINKS WILL SAVE EDUCATION Click to Open Overlay Gallery Students in the youngest class at the Fort Mason AltSchool help their teacher, Jennifer Aguilar, compile a list of what they know and what they want to know about butterflies. CHRISTIE HEMM KLOK/WIRED SO YOU'RE A parent, thinking about sending your 7-year-old to this rogue startup of a school you heard about from your friend's neighbor's sister. It's prospective parent information day, and you make the trek to San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood. You walk up to the second floor of the school, file into a glass-walled conference room overlooking a classroom, and take a seat alongside dozens of other parents who, like you, feel that public schools-with their endless bubble-filled tests, 38-kid classrooms, and antiquated approach to learning-just aren't cutting it. At the same time, you're thinking: this school is kind of weird. On one side of the glass is a cheery little scene, with two teachers leading two different middle school lessons on opposite ends of the room. But on the other side is something altogether unusual: an airy and open office with vaulted ceilings, sunlight streaming onto low-slung couches, and rows of hoodie-wearing employees typing away on their computers while munching on free snacks from the kitchen. And while you can't quite be sure, you think that might be a robot on wheels roaming about. Then there's the guy who's standing at the front of the conference room, the school's founder. Dressed in the San Francisco standard issue t-shirt and jeans, he's unlike any school administrator you've ever met. But the more he talks about how this school uses technology to enhance and individualize education, the more you start to like what he has to say. And so, if you are truly fed up with the school stat
Shannon Smith

Need resources to assist in creating a 21st century learner training/ professional deve... - 131 views

Thank you! This is great information! James McKee wrote: > Shannon, > > I was recently referred to this video of Michael Wesch who teaches cultural anthropology at Kansas State University. He ...

professional development 21st century learners technology

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
Ross Davis

islt9440 - Group 7: Diigo for Education - About diigo.com - 86 views

  • Diigo highlighting tool allows the teacher or student to highlight in an article or a web page
  • The key concepts or vocabulary words could be highlighted to check for understanding. Some students have problems determining what should be highlighted in an article or passage. Teachers could use this tool to demonstrate how to correctly highlight and find the key points.
  • About diigo.com page Details and Tags Print Download PDF Backlinks Source Delete Rename Redirect Permissions Lock discussion history notify me Protected Details last edit by cmh459 Sunday, 7:53 pm - 36 revisions Tags none About diigo.comDiigo or Digest of Internet Information, Groups and Other stuff is a social bookmarking site that allows its users to bookmark and tag websites. Users are also able to highlight information and put sticky notes directly on the webpage as you are reading it. Your notes can be public which allows other users to view and comment on your notes and add their own or it can be private. Sites can be saved and stored for later reading and commenting. Users can also join groups with similar interests and follow specific people and sites. Teachers can register for an educator account that allows a teacher to create accounts for an entire class. In an education account, students are automatically set up as a Diigo group which allows for easy sharing of documents, pictures, videos, and articles with only your class group. There are also pre-set privacy settings so only the teacher and classmates can see the bookmarks and communications. This is a great way to ensure that your students and their comments are kept private from the rest of the Internet community. Diigo is a great tool for teachers to use to have students interact with material and to share that interaction with classmates. Best Practices for using Diigo tools Tagging Tool Teachers or students can tag a website that they want to bookmark for future reference. Teachers can research websites or articles that they want their students to view on a certain topic and tag them for the students. This tool is nice when researching a certain topic. The teacher can tag the websites that the students should use eliminating the extra time of searching for the sites that would be useful and appropriate for the project.Highlighting Tool Diigo highlighting tool allows the teacher or student to highlight in an article or a web page . 1The key concepts or vocabulary words could be highlighted to check for understanding. Some students have problems determining what should be highlighted in an article or passage. Teachers could use this tool to demonstrate how to correctly highlight and find the key points. Sticky Notes Tool The sticky note tool is a great addition to the tools of diigo. Students may add sticky notes to a passage as they are reading it. The sticky notes could be used to make notes or ask questions by the students. Teachers could postition the sticky notes in the passage for students to respond to various ideas as they are reading. Students could use sticky notes to peer edit and make comments on other student's work through Google docs. These are just a few ideas of how to apply the diigo tools to your teaching practices. Both students and teachers benefit form using these tools. The variety of uses or practices give both groups a hands on way of dealing with text while making it more efficient. Bookmark/Snapsho
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  • islt9440 - Group 7: Diigo for Education guest · Join · Help · Sign In · Join this Wiki Recent Changes Manage Wiki Group 7 Project HomeDiigo RSS FeedsSample Lesson Plans Social Studies Spanish Math (Functions) Math (Geometry) Collaboration Pages Collaboration Home Job Assignments Project Info Lesson Plan Ideas About diigo.com page Details and Tags Print Download PDF Backlinks Source Delete Rename Redirect Permissions Lock discussion history notify me Protected Details last edit by cmh459 Sunday, 7:53 pm - 36 revisions Tags none About diigo.com Diigo or Digest of Internet Information, Groups and Other stuff is a social bookmarking site that allows its users to bookmark and tag websites. Users are also able to highlight information and put sticky notes directly on the webpage as you are reading it. Your notes can be public which allows other users to view and comment on your notes and add their own or it can be private. Sites can be saved and stored for later reading and commenting. Users can also join groups with si
  • Diigo or Digest of Internet Information, Groups and Other stuff is a social bookmarking site that allows its users to bookmark
  • and tag websites
  • Diigo highlighting tool allows the teacher or student to highlight in an article or a web page.
  • The key concepts or vocabulary words could be highlighted to check for understanding
  • Diigo highlighting tool allows the teacher or student to highlight in an article or a web page. The key concepts or vocabulary words could be highlighted to check for understanding
  • Diigo highlighting tool allows the teacher or student to highlight in an article or a web page. The key concepts or vocabulary words could be highlighted to check for understanding. Some students have problems determining what should be highlighted in an article or passage. Teachers could use this tool to demonstrate how to correctly highlight and find the key points.
  • Diigo highlighting tool allows the teacher or student to highlight in an article or a web page.
  • Teachers or students can tag a website that they want to bookmark for future reference. Teachers can research websites or articles that they want their students to view on a certain topic and tag them for the students.This tool is nice when researching a certain topic. The teacher can tag the websites that the students should use eliminating the extra time of searching for the sites that would be useful and appropriate for the project.
  • The sticky note tool is a great addition to the tools of diigo. Students may add sticky notes to a passage as they are reading it. The sticky notes could be used to make notes or ask questions by the students.Teachers could postition the sticky notes in the passage for students to respond to various ideas as they are reading.Students could use sticky notes to peer edit and make comments on other student's work through Google docs.
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    My group for my grad class, "Learning with the Internet" created this wiki about using and implementing Diigo in the classroom.
tab_ras

The 2008 Plagiarism Landscape - 62 views

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    This briefing paper will seek to highlight key strategies in developing assessment processes which eradicate opportunities for plagiarism, and encourage tutors to "teach and assess in ways which make plagiarism unthinkable" (MacDonald Ross, 2008). Whilst by no means an exhaustive list, the following areas, identified and volunteered by members of the academic community are key to this approach. The paper will draw on examples of good practice in assessment design in these areas, which enhance student learning and nurture a learning culture in which original thought is rewarded.
Has Slone

Always Write: Cobett's "7 Elements of a Differentiated Writing Lesson" Resources - 10 views

    • Has Slone
       
      This is a neat way to start a writing class with the creating plot ideas....
  • One of the goals I ask teachers to set after my training is to find new ways to push students to analyze and evaluate as they learn to write.
  • As part of my teacher workshop on the writing process, we investigate multiple uses of student samples. One of my favorite techniques involves having student compare and contrast finished pieces of writing. During both pre-writing and and revision, this push for deeper student thinking both educates and inspires your students.
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  • The handout has student writers analyze two fifth graders' published writing with a compare and contrast Venn diagram.
  • Revision is hard, and most teachers recognize it as an area of deficiency; the truth is, a lot of really great writing teachers I know still freely admit that revision is where they struggle the most.
  • revision shouldn't be the first of the seven elements to work on
  • When students like what they've written in rough draft form, they're ready to move to revision. My other six elements aim at helping students increase their pre-writing time so they both like and see more potential in their rough drafts
  • I believe in the power of collaboration and study teams,
  • Professional development research clearly cites the study team model as the most effective way to have learners not only understand new ideas but also implement them enough times so they become regular tools in a teacher's classroom.
  • Below, find three examples created by study teams during past workshops. I use them as models/exemplars when I set the study teams off to work.
  • My students learn to appreciate the act of writing, and they see it as a valuable life-skill.
  • In a perfect world, following my workshop,
  • follow-up tools.
  • I also use variations of these Post-its during my Critical Thinking Using the Writing Traits Workshop.
  • By far, the best success I've ever had while teaching revision was the one I experienced with the revision Post-its I created for my students
  • During my teacher workshop on the writing process, we practice with tools like the Revision Sprint (at right), which I designed to push students to use analysis and evaluation skills as they looked at their own drafts
  • I used to throw my kids into writing response groups way too fast. They weren't ready to provide critical thought for one another
  • The most important trick learned was this: be a writer too. During my first five years of teaching, I had assigned a lot of writing but never once had I written something I intended to show my students.
  • I have the following interactive plot element generator (which can be replicated with three coffee cans and index cards) to help my students feel in control of their options:
  • If you want to hear my take on graphic organizers in detail, you're going to have to hire me to come to present to you. If you can't do that, then I'll throw you a challenge that was thrown once at me, and completing the challenge helped me become a smarter designer of graphic organizers. The challenge came in two parts: 1) learn how to use tables and text boxes in Microsoft Word; 2) for practice, design a graphic organizer that would help students be successfully with the following trait-based skills:
  • "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, etc," which is an interesting structure that students can borrow from to write about other topics, be they fiction or non-fiction.
  • Asking students to create daily journals from the perspective of other animals or even inanimate objects is a great way to borrow this book's idea.
  • it challenges students to analyze the author's word choice & voice skills: specifically his use of verbs, subtle alliteration, and dialogue.
  • Mentor Text Resource Page here at my website, because this topic has become such a big piece of learning to me. It deserved its own webpage.
  • Here are seven skills I can easily list for the organization trait. Organization is: 1) using a strong lead or hook, 2) using a variety of transition words correctly, 3) paragraphing correctly, 4) pacing the writing, 5) sequencing events/ideas logically, 6) concluding the writing in a satisfying way, 7) titling the writing interestingly and so that the title stands for the whole idea. Over the years, I have developed or found and adapted mini-lessons that have students practice these skills during my "Organization Month."
  • Now, let's talk differentiation:
  • The problem with focusing students on a product--instead of the writing process--is that the majority of the instructional time is spent teaching students to adhere to a formula.
  • the goal of writing instruction absolutely should be the helping students practice the three Bloom's levels above apply: analyze, evaluate, and create.
  • Click here to access the PowerPoint I use during the goal-setting portion of my workshop.
  • Improving one's ability to teach writing to all students is a long-term professional development goal; sticking with it requires diligence, and it requires having a more specific goal than "I want to improve writing
  • "Trying to get better at all seven elements at once doesn't work;
  • strive to make my workshops more about "make and take,
  • Robert Marzano's research convinced me years ago of the importance of having learners set personal goals as they learn to take responsibility for their own learning.
Elizabeth Amrien

New Eastern Europe - The Lingering of the Past - 12 views

  • The idea that Eastern Europe was, or is, a passive recipient of influences coming from the West is not the way life works; there is always an encounter, often an uncomfortable one. In one of Father Józef Tischner’s essays there's a beautiful passage in which he says that the encounter is a moment that initiates a particular drama, the course of which cannot be foreseen. I think that what happened in 1989 was not the filling of an empty space but rather that kind of encounter.
  • Krytyka Polityczna.
  • notion of a socially engagé intelligentsia who believes that ideas are to be lived.
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  • One of the things that made Solidarność so remarkable was that "Solidarity" was not just a slogan or a philosophy: the movement involved an empirical overcoming of long-standing divides between right and left, Catholics and Marxists; workers and intellectuals.
  • What the various totalitarian experiments tell us quite clearly is that most people most of the time are formed by the circumstances in which they find themselves. That does not mean that individual personality variables do not exist, or that there will not always be exceptions. There will always be extraordinary people like Władysław Bartoszewski, who seems to have emerged from childhood with an uncanny moral lucidity. But as a general rule: if you put people in bad circumstances, you will not, on a large scale, get good outcomes.
  • I wanted to write about historical periods prior to1989. But I was, of course, personally experiencing the post-Communist period: as I was sitting in the archives reading about the 1930s, I was also living in the 1990s. So I had this dual experience of discovering the past along with the present.
  • The Taste of Ashes is about how the past lingers and about what the afterlife of totalitarianism has been.
  • One of the first, most naïve questions I wanted to understand was: Why was there no “happily ever after”?
  • I thought that coming to Eastern Europe would be like arriving at a non-stop party, that everybody would be celebrating his or her liberation. Of course, it was nothing like that. The 1990s were in some ways not very happy times at all. There was a sense that now people were suffering and being exploited in entirely different ways from the ways in which they had suffered and been exploited under communism. And there was a sense of the past as tormenting.  
  • In some ways this book is my attempt to explain why the fall of communism in Eastern Europe was not a fairy tale's happy ending.
  • I think this kind of attempt to find a safe place for ourselves in the world will always fail. There is something rootless about the human condition.
  • The idea that Eastern Europe after communism was an empty space to be filled with things borrowed from the West is not convincing.
Martin Burrett

7 Ways To Improve Staff Meetings by @ICTMagic - 14 views

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    "When I look at my timetable for the week, it isn't the recorder practice which happens next door first thing every Monday morning which fills me full of dread, nor the infamous Friday afternoon slot which brings about a sense of foreboding. My true timetable terror occurs shortly after school on a Wednesday afternoon. The (unrelenting) weekly staff meeting should be a time to coordinate with colleagues, create inspirational ideas for the way ahead, and take key decisions for the future of the school. A chance to bring clarity to the chaos, and move the things forward."
Maughn Gregory

The Elusive Big Idea - NYTimes.com - 51 views

  • If our ideas seem smaller nowadays, it’s not because we are dumber than our forebears but because we just don’t care as much about ideas as they did. In effect, we are living in an increasingly post-idea world — a world in which big, thought-provoking ideas that can’t instantly be monetized are of so little intrinsic value that fewer people are generating them and fewer outlets are disseminating them, the Internet notwithstanding. Bold ideas are almost passé.
  • we live in a post-Enlightenment age in which rationality, science, evidence, logical argument and debate have lost the battle in many sectors, and perhaps even in society generally, to superstition, faith, opinion and orthodoxy. While we continue to make giant technological advances, we may be the first generation to have turned back the epochal clock — to have gone backward intellectually from advanced modes of thinking into old modes of belief.
  • Post-Enlightenment refers to a style of thinking that no longer deploys the techniques of rational thought. Post-idea refers to thinking that is no longer done, regardless of the style.
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  • In the past, we collected information not simply to know things. That was only the beginning. We also collected information to convert it into something larger than facts and ultimately more useful — into ideas that made sense of the information. We sought not just to apprehend the world but to truly comprehend it, which is the primary function of ideas. Great ideas explain the world and one another to us.
  • These ideas enabled us to get our minds around our existence and attempt to answer the big, daunting questions of our lives.
  • But if information was once grist for ideas, over the last decade it has become competition for them.
  • In effect, we are living within the nimbus of an informational Gresham’s law in which trivial information pushes out significant information, but it is also an ideational Gresham’s law in which information, trivial or not, pushes out ideas.
  • We prefer knowing to thinking because knowing has more immediate value. It keeps us in the loop
  • For one thing, social networking sites are the primary form of communication among young people, and they are supplanting print, which is where ideas have typically gestated. For another, social networking sites engender habits of mind that are inimical to the kind of deliberate discourse that gives rise to ideas.
  • Indeed, the gab of social networking tends to shrink one’s universe to oneself and one’s friends, while thoughts organized in words, whether online or on the page, enlarge one’s focus.
  • But because they are scientists and empiricists rather than generalists in the humanities, the place from which ideas were customarily popularized, they suffer a double whammy: not only the whammy against ideas generally but the whammy against science, which is typically regarded in the media as mystifying at best, incomprehensible at worst. A generation ago, these men would have made their way into popular magazines and onto television screens.
  • there is a vast difference between profit-making inventions and intellectually challenging thoughts.
  • There won’t be anything we won’t know. But there will be no one thinking about it.
Laura Doto

Final Report: Friendship | DIGITAL YOUTH RESEARCH - 1 views

  • Social relations—not simply physical space—structure the social worlds of youth.
    • Laura Doto
       
      A critical conclusion to be realized that can inform our assumptions as educators.
  • When teens are involved in friendship-driven practices, online and offline are not separate worlds—they are simply different settings in which to gather with friends and peers
  • these dynamics reinforce existing friendship patterns as well as constitute new kinds of social arrangements.
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  • Homophily describes the likelihood that people connect to others who share their interests and identity.
  • One survey of Israeli teens suggests that those who develop friendships online tend toward less homogenous connections than teens who do not build such connections
  • Teens frequently use social media as additional channels of communication to get to know classmates and turn acquaintances into friendships.
  • Some teens—especially marginalized and ostracized ones—often relish the opportunity to find connections beyond their schools. Teens who are driven by specific interests that may not be supported by their schools, such as those described in the Creative Production and Gaming chapters, often build relationships with others online through shared practice.
  • there are plenty of teens who relish the opportunity to make new connections through social media, this practice is heavily stigmatized
  • the public myths about online “predators” do not reflect the actual realities of sexual solicitation and risky online behavior (Wolak et al. 2008). Not only do unfounded fears limit teenagers unnecessarily, they also obscure preventable problematic behavior
  • As she described her typical session on Photobucket, it became clear that a shared understanding of friendship and romance was being constructed by her and other Photobucket users:
  • The fact that they draw from all of these sources suggests that youth’s friendship maintenance is in tune with a discourse of love and friendship that is being widely displayed and (re)circulated.
  • “It’s like have you noticed that you may have someone in your Top 8 but you’re not in theirs and you kinda think to yourself that you’re not as important to that person as they are to you . . . and oh, to be in the coveted number-one spot!”
  • Taking someone off your Top 8 is your new passive-aggressive power play when someone pisses you off.
  • Top Friends are persistent, publicly displayed, and easily alterable. This makes it difficult for teens to avoid the issue or make excuses such as “I forgot.” When pressured to include someone, teens often oblige or attempt to ward off this interaction by listing those who list them
  • Other teens avoid this struggle by listing only bands or family members. While teens may get jealous if other peers are listed, family members are exempt from the comparative urge.
  • to avoid social drama with her friends:
  • The Top Friends feature is a good example of how structural aspects of software can force articulations that do not map well to how offline social behavior works.
  • teens have developed a variety of social norms to govern what is and is not appropriate
  • The problem with explicit ranking, however, is that it creates or accentuates hierarchies where they did not exist offline, or were deliberately and strategically ambiguous, thus forcing a new set of social-status negotiations. The give-and-take over these forms of social ranking is an example of how social norms are being negotiated in tandem with the adoption of new technologies, and how peers give ongoing feedback to one another as part of these struggles to develop new cultural standards.
  • While teen dramas are only one component of friendship, they are often made extremely visible by social media. The persistent and networked qualities of social media alter the ways that these dramas play out in teen life. For this reason, it is important to pay special attention to the role that social media play in the negotiation of teen status.
  • primarily a continuation of broader dramas.
  • social media amplify dramas because they extend social worlds beyond the school.
  • Gossip and rumors have played a role in teen struggles for status and attention since well before social media entered the scene
  • social media certainly alter the efficiency and potential scale of interactions. Because of this, there is greater potential for gossip to spread much further and at a faster pace, making social media a culprit in teen drama. While teen gossip predates the Internet, some teens blame the technologies for their roles in making gossip easier and more viral
  • That’s what happened with me and my friends. We got into a lot of drama with it and I was like, anyone can write anything. It can be fact, fiction. Most people, what they read they believe. Even if it’s not true (C.J. Pascoe, Living Digital).
  • finds the News Feed useful “because it helps you to see who’s keeping track of who and who’s talking to who.” She enjoys knowing when two people break up so that she knows why someone is upset or when she should reach out to offer support. Knowing this information also prevents awkward conversations that might reference the new ex. While she loves the ability to keep up with the lives of her peers, she also realizes that this means that “everybody knows your business.”
  • Some teens find the News Feed annoying or irrelevant. Gadil, an Indian 16-year-old from Los Angeles, thinks that it is impersonal while others think it is downright creepy. For Tara, a Vietnamese 16-year-old from Michigan, the News Feed takes what was public and makes it more public: “Facebook’s already public. I think it makes it way too like stalker-ish.” Her 18-year-old sister, Lila, concurs and points out that it gets “rumors going faster.” Kat, a white 14-year-old from Salem, Massachusetts, uses Facebook’s privacy settings to hide stories from the News Feed for the sake of appearances.
  • While gossip is fairly universal among teens, the rumors that are spread can be quite hurtful. Some of this escalates to the level of bullying. We are unable to assess whether or not bullying is on the rise because of social media. Other scholars have found that most teens do not experience Internet-driven harassment (Wolak, Mitchell, and Finkelhor 2007). Those who do may not fit the traditional profile of those who experience school-based bullying (Ybarra, Diener-West, and Leaf 2007), but harassment, both mediated and unmediated, is linked to a myriad of psychosocial issues that includes substance use and school problems (Hinduja and Patchin 2008; Ybarra et al. 2007).
  • Measuring “cyberbullying” or Internet harassment is difficult, in part because both scholars and teens struggle to define it. The teens we interviewed spoke regularly of “drama” or “gossip” or “rumors,” but few used the language of “bullying” or “harassment” unless we introduced these terms. When Sasha, a white 16-year-old from Michigan, was asked specifically about whether or not rumors were bullying, she said: I don’t know, people at school, they don’t realize when they are bullying a lot of the time nowadays because it’s not so much physical anymore. It’s more like you think you’re joking around with someone in school but it’s really hurting them. Like you think it’s a funny inside joke between you two, but it’s really hurtful to them, and you can’t realize it anymore. Sasha, like many of the teens we interviewed, saw rumors as hurtful, but she was not sure if they were bullying. Some teens saw bullying as being about physical harm; others saw it as premeditated, intentionally malicious, and sustained in nature. While all acknowledged that it could take place online, the teens we interviewed thought that most bullying took place offline, even if they talked about how drama was happening online.
  • it did not matter whether it was online or offline; the result was still the same. In handling this, she did not get offline, but she did switch schools and friend groups.
  • Technology provides more channels through which youth can potentially bully one another. That said, most teens we interviewed who discussed being bullied did not focus on the use of technology and did not believe that technology is a significant factor in bullying.
  • They did, though, see rumors, drama, and gossip as pervasive. The distinction may be more connected with language and conception than with practice. Bianca, a white 16-year-old from Michigan, sees drama as being fueled by her peers’ desire to get attention and have something to talk about. She thinks the reason that people create drama is boredom. While drama can be hurtful, many teens see it simply as a part of everyday social life.
  • Although some drama may start out of boredom or entertainment, it is situated in a context where negotiating social relations and school hierarchies is part of everyday life. Teens are dealing daily with sociability and related tensions.
  • Tara thinks that it emerges because some teens do not know how to best negotiate their feelings and the feelings of others.
  • Teens can use the ability to publicly validate one another on social network sites to reaffirm a friendship.
  • So, while drama is common, teens actually spend much more time and effort trying to preserve harmony, reassure friends, and reaffirm relationships. This spirit of reciprocity is common across a wide range of peer-based learning environments we have observed.
  • From this perspective, commenting is not as much about being nice as it is about relying on reciprocity for self-gain
  • That makes them feel like they’re popular, that they’re getting comments all the time by different people, even people that they don’t know. So it makes them feel popular in a way (Rural and Urban Youth).
  • Gossip, drama, bullying, and posing are unavoidable side effects of teens’ everyday negotiations over friendship and peer status. What takes place in this realm resembles much of what took place even before the Internet, but certain features of social media alter the dynamics around these processes. The public, persistent, searchable, and spreadable nature of mediated information affects the way rumors flow and how dramas play out. The explicitness surrounding the display of relationships and online communication can heighten the social stakes and intensity of status negotiation. The scale of this varies, but those who experience mediated harassment are certainly scarred by the process. Further, the ethic of reciprocity embedded in networked publics supports the development of friendships and shared norms, but it also plays into pressures toward conformity and participation in local, school-based peer networks. While there is a dark side to what takes place, teens still relish the friendship opportunities that social media provide.
  • While social warfare and drama do exist, the value of social media rests in their ability to strengthen connections. Teens leverage social media for a variety of practices that are familiar elements of teen life: gossiping, flirting, joking around, and hanging out. Although the underlying practices are quite familiar, the networked, public nature of online communication does inflect these practices in new ways.
  • Adults’ efforts to regulate youth access to MySpace are the latest example of how adults are working to hold on to authority over teen socialization in the face of a gradual erosion of parental influence during the teen years.
  • learning how to manage the unique affordances of networked sociality can help teens navigate future collegiate and professional spheres where mediated interactions are assumed.
  • articulating those friendships online means that they become subject to public scrutiny in new ways;
  • This makes lessons about social life (both the failures and successes) more consequential and persistent
  • make these dynamics visible in a more persistent and accessible public arena.
  • co-constructing new sets of social norms together with their peers and the efforts of technology developers. The dynamics of social reciprocity and negotiations over popularity and status are all being supported by participation in publics of the networked variety as formative influences in teen life. While we see no indication that social media are changing the fundamental nature of these friendship practices, we do see differences in the intensity of engagement among peers, and conversely, in the relative alienation of parents and teachers from these social worlds.
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    MacArthur Foundation Study - Friendship chapter
Maureen Greenbaum

L3D Philosophy - 36 views

  • uture is not out there to be "discovered": It has to be invented and designed.
  • Learning is a process of knowledge construction, not of knowledge recording or absorption. Learning is knowledge-dependent; people use their existing knowledge to construct new knowledge. Learning is highly tuned to the situation in which it takes place. Learning needs to account for distributed cognition requiring knowledge in the head to combined with knowledge in the world. Learning is affected as much by motivational issues as by cognitive issues.
  • previous notions of a divided lifetime-education followed by work-are no longer tenable.
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  • Professional activity has become so knowledge-intensive and fluid in content that learning has become an integral and inseparable part of "adult" work activities.
  • require educational tools and environments whose primary aim is to help cultivate the desire to learn and create, and not to simply communicate subject matter divorced from meaningful and personalized activity.
  • current uses of technology in education: it is used as an add-on to existing practices rather than a catalyst for fundamentally rethinking what education should be about in the next century
  • information technologies have been used to mechanize old ways of doing business‹rather than fundamentally rethinking the underlying work processes and promoting new ways to create artifacts and knowledge.
  • important challenge is that the ?ld basic skillsº such as reading, writing, and arithmetic, once acquired, were relevant for the duration of a human life; modern ?asic skillsº (tied to rapidly changing technologies) will change over time.
  • We need computational environments to support "new" frameworks for education such as lifelong learning, integration of working and learning, learning on demand, authentic problems, self-directed learning, information contextualized to the task at hand, (intrinsic) motivation, collaborative learning, and organizational learning.
  • Instructionist approaches are not changed by the fact that information is disseminated by an intelligent tutoring system.
  • Lifelong learning is a continuous engagement in acquiring and applying knowledge and skills in the context of authentic, self-directed problems.
  • ubstantial empirical evidence that the chief impediments to learning are not cognitive. It is not that students cannot learn; it is that they are not well motivated to learn.
  • Most of what any individual "knows" today is not in her or his head, but is out in the world (e.g., in other human heads or embedded in media).
  • technology should provide ways to "say the 'right' thing at the 'right' time in the 'right' way
  • challenge of whether we can create learning environments in which learners work hard, not because they have to, but because they want to. We need to alter the perception that serious learning has to be unpleasant rather than personally meaningful, empowering, engaging, and even fun.
  • making information relevant to the task at hand, providing challenges matched to current skills, creating communities (among peers, over the net), and providing access to real practitioners and experts.
  • What "basic skills" are required in a world in which occupational knowledge and skills become obsolete in years rather than decades?
  • reduce the gap between school and workplace learning
  • How can schools (which currently rely on closed-book exams, the solving of given problems, and so forth) be changed so that learners are prepared to function in environments requiring collaboration, creativity, problem framing, and distributed cognition?
  • problem solving in the real world includes problem framing calls into question the practice of asking students to solve mostly given problems.
  • teachers should see themselves not as truth-tellers and oracles, but as coaches, facilitators, learners, and mentors engaging with learners
Mary Beth  Messner

5 Fantastic Ways to Use Wallwisher in the Classroom - SimpleK12 - 138 views

  • 5 fantastic ways to use Wallwisher in the classroom: Writing activities – Wallwisher has a 160 character limit for each comment/post that you leave on the wall. Which is, in a way, a good thing! It allows for short story/collaborative projects, essay plans, note-taking, memos, poems, etc… the writing possibilities are endless! Brainstorming activities – This is a great ice breaker for the beginning of class! And better yet, it’s a great way to post a homework assignment/food for thought for that evening and then discuss it the next day. Vocabulary/Grammar Activities – You could easily use Wallwisher for practicing tenses, definitions, vocabulary matching (you can even use audio or video!), or even find a theme and have the students fill the sticky notes with their ideas for the vocabulary theme! Speaking activities – I was never one to love speaking in front of people so Wallwisher is a great way to create short speaking activities to help students feel more comfortable in front of a group of people. These activities could be to talk about a photo or video for X minutes, create a story based upon X number of photos, or even put debate topics on a sticky note for the student to create. Notifications – That is the original thought, right? You could use Wallwisher for orientation information, classroom rules, student profiles, daily/weekly plan, or even fun messages to other students who might be out sick or on trips with their families.
Christophe Gigon

elearnspace. Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age - 17 views

  • Over the last twenty years, technology has reorganized how we live, how we communicate, and how we learn.
    • Rose Molter
       
      I aggree that as teachers we need to realize that technology has changed instruction and the way that our students learn and the way that we learn and instruct.
    • Orlando Gonzalez
       
      Technology has always changed the way we live. How did we respond to changes in the past? One thought is that some institutions, some businesses disappeared, while others, who took advantage of the new tech, appeared to replace the old. It will happen again and we as educators need to lead the way.
    • Maureen Curran
       
      With technology our students brains are wired differently and they can multi-task and learn in multiple virtual environments all at once. This should make us think about how we present lessons, structure learning and keep kids engaged.
    • Mike Burnett
       
      Rubbish. The idea that digital native are adept at multitasking is wrong. They may be doing many things but the quality and depth is reduced. There is a significant body of research to support this. Development of grit and determination are key attributes of successful people. Set and demand high standards. No one plays sport or an instrument because it is easy rather because they can clearly see a link between hard work and pleasure.
  • Information development was slow.
  • Many learners will move into a variety of different, possibly unrelated fields over the course of their lifetime.
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  • Informal learning is a significant aspect of our learning experience.
  • Learning is a continual process, lasting for a lifetime.
  • Technology is altering (rewiring) our brains.
  • Connectivism is the integration of principles explored by chaos, network, and complexity and self-organization theories.
  • Principles of connectivism:
  • Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions. Learning is a process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources. Learning may reside in non-human appliances. Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning. Ability to see connections between fields, ideas, and concepts is a core skill. Currency (accurate, up-to-date knowledge) is the intent of all connectivist learning activities. Decision-making is itself a learning process. Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality. While there is a right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision.
    • Rose Molter
       
      I think it is important for us to realize the importance of connections.
  • The organization and the individual are both learning organisms.
  • Classrooms which emulate the “fuzziness”
    • Maureen Curran
       
      So what does this look like? I feel that when I attempt this, evaluators and administrators don't necessarily understand. They want a neat, quiet, well-managed, orderly classroom.
    • Maureen Curran
       
      If new learning approaches are required, then why are we still being evaluated in a linear way?
  • John Seely Brown presents an interesting notion that the internet leverages the small efforts of many with the large efforts of few.
  • The pipe is more important than the content within the pipe. Our ability to learn what we need for tomorrow is more important than what we know today.
  • Knowledge is growing exponentially
  • amount of knowledge
  • is doubling every 18 months
  • To combat the shrinking half-life of knowledge, organizations have been forced to develop new methods of deploying instruction.”
  • (the understanding of where to find knowledge needed).
  • know-where
  • learning
  • a persisting change in human performance or performance potential…[which] must come about as a result of the learner’s experience and interaction with the world”
  • Learning theories are concerned with the actual process of learning, not with the value of what is being learned.
  • The ability to synthesize and recognize connections and patterns is a valuable skill.
  • knowledge is no longer acquired in the linear manner
  • What is the impact of chaos as a complex pattern recognition process on learning
  • An entirely new approach is needed.
  • Chaos is the breakdown of predictability, evidenced in complicated arrangements that initially defy order.
  • Meaning-making and forming connections between specialized communities are important activities.
  • Chaos, as a science, recognizes the connection of everything to everything.
  • If the underlying conditions used to make decisions change, the decision itself is no longer as correct as it was at the time it was made.
  • principle that people, groups, systems, nodes, entities can be connected to create an integrated whole.
  • Connections between disparate ideas and fields can create new innovations.
  • Learning is a process that occurs within nebulous environments of shifting core elements – not entirely under the control of the individual
  • decisions are based on rapidly altering foundations
  • The ability to draw distinctions between important and unimportant information is vital.
  • Behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism do not attempt to address the challenges of organizational knowledge and transference.
  • The health of the learning ecology of the organization depends on effective nurturing of information flow.
  • This cycle of knowledge development (personal to network to organization) allows learners to remain current in their field through the connections they have formed.
  • This amplification of learning, knowledge and understanding through the extension of a personal network is the epitome of connectivism.
  • Diverse teams of varying viewpoints are a critical structure for completely exploring ideas
  • An organizations ability to foster, nurture, and synthesize the impacts of varying views of information is critical to knowledge economy surviva
  • As knowledge continues to grow and evolve, access to what is needed is more important than what the learner currently possesses.
    • BalancEd Tech
       
      Access is not enough. Prior knowledge and understanding is needed. Processing is needed. Evaluation of processing and outputs is needed. Feeding that back into the "system" is needed.
  • learning is no longer an internal, individualistic activity
  • learning is no longer an internal, individualistic activity
Clint Heitz

The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens - Scientific American - 25 views

  • The matter is by no means settled. Before 1992 most studies concluded that people read slower, less accurately and less comprehensively on screens than on paper. Studies published since the early 1990s, however, have produced more inconsistent results: a slight majority has confirmed earlier conclusions, but almost as many have found few significant differences in reading speed or comprehension between paper and screens. And recent surveys suggest that although most people still prefer paper—especially when reading intensively—attitudes are changing as tablets and e-reading technology improve and reading digital books for facts and fun becomes more common.
  • Compared with paper, screens may also drain more of our mental resources while we are reading and make it a little harder to remember what we read when we are done. A parallel line of research focuses on people's attitudes toward different kinds of media. Whether they realize it or not, many people approach computers and tablets with a state of mind less conducive to learning than the one they bring to paper.
  • Both anecdotally and in published studies, people report that when trying to locate a particular piece of written information they often remember where in the text it appeared. We might recall that we passed the red farmhouse near the start of the trail before we started climbing uphill through the forest; in a similar way, we remember that we read about Mr. Darcy rebuffing Elizabeth Bennett on the bottom of the left-hand page in one of the earlier chapters.
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  • At least a few studies suggest that by limiting the way people navigate texts, screens impair comprehension.
  • Because of their easy navigability, paper books and documents may be better suited to absorption in a text. "The ease with which you can find out the beginning, end and everything inbetween and the constant connection to your path, your progress in the text, might be some way of making it less taxing cognitively, so you have more free capacity for comprehension," Mangen says.
  • An e-reader always weighs the same, regardless of whether you are reading Proust's magnum opus or one of Hemingway's short stories. Some researchers have found that these discrepancies create enough "haptic dissonance" to dissuade some people from using e-readers. People expect books to look, feel and even smell a certain way; when they do not, reading sometimes becomes less enjoyable or even unpleasant. For others, the convenience of a slim portable e-reader outweighs any attachment they might have to the feel of paper books.
  • In one of his experiments 72 volunteers completed the Higher Education Entrance Examination READ test—a 30-minute, Swedish-language reading-comprehension exam consisting of multiple-choice questions about five texts averaging 1,000 words each. People who took the test on a computer scored lower and reported higher levels of stress and tiredness than people who completed it on paper.
  • Perhaps, then, any discrepancies in reading comprehension between paper and screens will shrink as people's attitudes continue to change. The star of "A Magazine Is an iPad That Does Not Work" is three-and-a-half years old today and no longer interacts with paper magazines as though they were touchscreens, her father says. Perhaps she and her peers will grow up without the subtle bias against screens that seems to lurk in the minds of older generations. In current research for Microsoft, Sellen has learned that many people do not feel much ownership of e-books because of their impermanence and intangibility: "They think of using an e-book, not owning an e-book," she says. Participants in her studies say that when they really like an electronic book, they go out and get the paper version. This reminds Sellen of people's early opinions of digital music, which she has also studied. Despite initial resistance, people love curating, organizing and sharing digital music today. Attitudes toward e-books may transition in a similar way, especially if e-readers and tablets allow more sharing and social interaction than they currently do.
Tracy Tuten

Reading and the Web - Texts Without Context - NYTimes.com - 28 views

  • In his deliberately provocative — and deeply nihilistic — new book, “Reality Hunger,” the onetime novelist David Shields asserts that fiction “has never seemed less central to the culture’s sense of itself.”
  • Mr. Shields’s book consists of 618 fragments, including hundreds of quotations taken from other writers like Philip Roth, Joan Didion and Saul Bellow — quotations that Mr. Shields, 53, has taken out of context and in some cases, he says, “also revised, at least a little — for the sake of compression, consistency or whim.”
  • It’s also a question, as Mr. Lanier, 49, astutely points out in his new book, “You Are Not a Gadget,” of how online collectivism, social networking and popular software designs are changing the way people think and process information, a question of what becomes of originality and imagination in a world that prizes “metaness” and regards the mash-up as “more important than the sources who were mashed.”
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  • Mr. Lanier’s book, which makes an impassioned case for “a digital humanism,” is only one of many recent volumes to take a hard but judicious look at some of the consequences of new technology and Web 2.0. Among them are several prescient books by Cass Sunstein, 55, which explore the effects of the Internet on public discourse; Farhad Manjoo’s “True Enough,” which examines how new technologies are promoting the cultural ascendancy of belief over fact; “The Cult of the Amateur,” by Andrew Keen, which argues that Web 2.0 is creating a “digital forest of mediocrity” and substituting ill-informed speculation for genuine expertise; and Nicholas Carr’s book “The Shallows” (coming in June), which suggests that increased Internet use is rewiring our brains, impairing our ability to think deeply and creatively even as it improves our ability to multitask.
  • Steven Johnson, a founder of the online magazine Feed, for instance, wrote in an article in The Wall Street Journal last year that with the development of software for Amazon.com’s Kindle and other e-book readers that enable users to jump back and forth from other applications, he fears “one of the great joys of book reading — the total immersion in another world, or in the world of the author’s ideas — will be compromised.” He continued, “We all may read books the way we increasingly read magazines and newspapers: a little bit here, a little bit there.”
  •  
    Highly insightful and developed argument for how Web 2.0 is changing how we process information, learn, and develop opinions. 
Nathan Hopson

Thoreau - Walking - Webtext - 41 views

  • When I go out of the house for a walk, uncertain as yet whither I will bend my steps, and submit myself to my instinct to decide for me, I find, strange and whimsical as it may seem, that I finally and inevitably settle south-west, toward some particular wood or meadow or deserted pasture or hill in that direction. My needle is slow to settle—varies a few degrees, and does not always point due south-west, it is true, and it has good authority for this variation, but it always settles between west and south-south-west. The future lies that way to me, and the earth seems more unexhausted and richer on that side. The outline which would bound my walks, would be, not a circle, but a parabola, or rather like one of those cometary orbits, which have been thought to be non-returning curves, in this case opening westward, in which my house occupies the place of the sun. I turn round and round irresolute sometimes for a quarter of an hour, until I decide for the thousandth time, that I will walk into the south-west or west. Eastward I go only by force; but westward I go free.
    • Nathan Hopson
       
      West = new + free, East = old + constrained Not a reference to world history, but to the American context (West = frontier). The Americas were the West (to Europe) and the West was America (as Turner/Billington argue).
  • I must walk toward Oregon, and not toward Europe. And that way the nation is moving, and I may say that mankind progress from east to west.
    • Nathan Hopson
       
      See above...
meghankelly492

Project MUSE - Learning from Masters of Music Creativity: Shaping Compositional Experiences in Music Education - 7 views

  • n contrast to others who are not as prone to divulge their feelings about their creative process
  • "Variation in style may have historical explanation but [End Page 94] no philosophical justification, for philosophy cannot discriminate between style and style."3
  • The testimonies of the composers concerned bear on questions about (a) the role of the conscious and the unconscious in music creativity, (b) how the compositional process gets started, and (c) how the compositional process moves forward
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  • It is hoped that the themes that emerge by setting twentieth and twenty-first century professional composers' accounts of certain compositional experiences or phases of their creative processes against one another will provide a philosophical framework for teaching composition.
  • Furthermore, the knowledge of how professional composers compose offers the potential of finding the missing link in music education; that is, the writing of music by students within the school curriculum
  • Such involvement may deepen their understanding of musical relationships and how one articulates feelings through sounds beyond rudimentary improvisational and creative activities currently available
  • raw philosophical implications for music composition in schools from recognized composers' voices about their individual composing realities
  • It is hoped that the direct access to these composers' thoughts about the subjective experience of composing Western art music in the second half of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty-first century may also promote the image of a fragmented culture whose ghettoization in music education is a serious impediment to the development of a comprehensive aesthetic education.
  • n other words, there is a striking unanimity among composers that the role of the unconscious is vital in order to start and/or to complete a work to their own satisfaction.
  • I need . . . to become involved, to come into a state where I do something without knowing why I do i
  • This is a complex problem and difficult to explain: all that one can say is that the unconscious plays an incalculable rol
  • Nonetheless, these self-observations about the complementary roles of the unconscious and conscious aspects of musical creativity do not cover the wide range of claims in psychological research on creativity
  • I strongly believe that, if we cannot explain this process, then we must acknowledge it as a mystery.25 Mysteries are not solved by encouraging us not to declare them to be mysteries
  • When Ligeti was commissioned to write a companion piece for Brahms' Horn Trio, he declared, "When the sound of an instrument or a group of instruments or the human voice finds an echo in me, in the musical idea within me, then I can sit down and compose. [O]therwise I canno
  • Extra-musical images may also provide the composer with ideas and material and contribute to musical creativity.
  • ome composers need to have something for it to react against.38 Xenakis, however, asserted that "all truly creative people escape this foolish side of work, the exaltation of sentiments. They are to be discarded like the fat surrounding meat before it is cooked."
  • as, as these examples show, dreams can also solve certain problems of the creative process.
  • In other words, to compose does not mean to merely carry out an initial idea. The composer reserves the right to change his or her mind after the conception of an idea.
  • n sum, self-imposed restrictions or "boundary conditions"55 seem to provide composers with a kind of pretext to choose from an otherwise chaotic multitude of compositional possibilities that, however, gradually disappears and gets absorbed into the process of composition which is characterized by the composers' aesthetic perceptions and choices.
  • Therefore, it is not surprising that influences from the musical world in which the composer lives play an important role in the creative process
  • Thereby the past is seen as being comprised by a static system of rules and techniques that needs to be innovated and emancipated during the composers' search for their own musical identity.
  • I strongly suggest that we play down basics like who influenced whom, and instead study the way the influence is transformed; in other words: how the artist made it his own.
  • Nothing I found was based on the "masterpiece," on the closed cycle, on passive contemplation or narrowly aesthetic pleasure.61
  • Furthermore, for some composers the musical influence can emerge from the development of computer technology.
  • In sum, the compositional process proceeds in a kind of personal and social tension. In many cases, composers are faced with the tensive conflict between staying with tradition and breaking new ground at each step in the process. Thus, one might conclude that the creative process springs from a systematic viewpoint determined by a number of choices in which certain beliefs, ideas, and influences—by no means isolated from the rest of the composer's life—play a dominant role in the search for new possibilities of expression.
  • If a general educational approach is to emerge from the alloy of composers' experiences of their music creativity, it rests on the realization that the creative process involves a diversity of idiosyncratic conscious and unconscious traits.
  • After all, the creative process is an elusive cultural activity with no recipes for making it happen.
  • n this light, the common thread of composers' idiosyncratic concerns and practices that captures the overall aura of their music creativity pertains to (a) the intangibility of the unconscious throughout the compositional process,68 (b) the development of musical individuality,69 and (c) the desire to transgress existing rules and codes, due to their personal and social conflict between tradition and innovation.70
  • In turn, by making student composers in different classroom settings grasp the essence of influential professional composers' creative concerns, even if they do not intend to become professional composers, we can help them immerse in learning experiences that respect the mysteries of their intuitions, liberate their own practices of critical thinking in music, and dare to create innovative music that expresses against-the-prevailing-grain musical beliefs and ideas.
  • Therefore, it is critical that the music teacher be seen as the facilitator of students' compositional processes helping students explore and continuously discover their own creative personalities and, thus, empowering their personal involvement with music. Any creative work needs individual attention and encouragement for each vision and personal experience are different.
  • After all, the quality of mystery is a common theme in nearly every composer's accoun
  • Failing this, musical creativity remains a predictable academic exercise
  • Music teachers need to possess the generosity to refuse to deny student composers the freedom to reflect their own insights back to them and, in turn, influence the teachers' musical reality
  • Indeed, it is important that music teachers try to establish students gradually as original, independent personalities who try to internalize sounds and, thus, unite themselves with their environment in a continuous creative process.
  • Music teachers, therefore, wishing student composers to express and exercise all their ideas, should grant them ample time to work on their compositions,
  • n sum, music knowledge or techniques and the activation of the student composers' desire for discovery and innovation should evolve together through balanced stimulation.
  • While music creativity has been a component of music education research for decades, some of the themes arising from professional composers' experiences of their creativity, such as the significance of the unconscious, the apprehension towards discovering ones' own musical language, or the personal and social tension between tradition and innovation, among others, have not been adequately recognized in the literature of music education
  • By doing this, I strongly believe that musical creativity in general and composing in particular run the risk of becoming a predictable academic exercise
  • which merely demands problem-solving skills on the part of the student composers (or alleged "critical thinkers").
  • . On the other hand, only few music educators appear to draw their composer students' attention to the importance of the personal and social conflict between staying within a tradition or code, even if it is the Western popular music tradition, and breaking new ground at each step in the creative process and, possibly, shaping new traditions or codes.
  • Culture is a precious human undertaking, and the host of musics, arts, languages, religions, myths, and rituals that comprise it need to be carefully transmitted to the young and transformed in the process."85
  • Nevertheless, further research is needed in which women's voices can be heard that may offer an emancipatory perspective for the instruction of composition in education which will "challenge the political domination of men."
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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
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    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).
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    This is a must read. Carol Black echoes here many of the ideas of Paulo Freire, John Taylor Gatto and the like.
Amy Roediger

Reading Strategies for 'Informational Text' - NYTimes.com - 172 views

  • Four Corners and Anticipation Guides:Both of these techniques “activate schema” by asking students to react in some way to a series of controversial statements about a topic they are about to study. In Four Corners, students move around the room to show their degree of agreement or disagreement with various statements — about, for instance, the health risks of tanning, or the purpose of college, or dystopian teen literature. An anticipation guide does the same thing, though generally students simply react in writing to a list of statements on a handout. In this warm-up to a lesson on some of the controversies currently raging over school reform, students can use the statements we provide in either of these ways.
  • Gallery Walks:A rich way to build background on a topic at the beginning of a unit (or showcase learning at the end), Gallery Walks for this purpose are usually teacher-created collections of images, articles, maps, quotations, graphs and other written and visual texts that can immerse students in information about a broad subject. Students circulate through the gallery, reading, writing and talking about what they see.
  • Graphic Organizers:
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  • Making Text-to-Text/Text-to-Self/Text-to-World connectionsCharting Debatable IssuesListing Facts/Questions/ResponsesIdentifying Cause and EffectSupporting Opinions With FactsTracking The Five W’s and an HIdentifying Multiple Points of ViewIdentifying a Problem and SolutionComparing With a Venn Diagram
  • The One-Pager:Almost any student can find a “way in” with this strategy, which involves reacting to a text by creating one page that shows an illustration, question and quote that sum up some key aspect of what a student learned.
  • “Popcorn Reads”:Invite students to choose significant words, phrases or whole sentences from a text or texts to read aloud in random fashion, without explanation. Though this may sound pointless until you try it, it is an excellent way for students to “hear” some of the high points or themes of a text emerge, and has the added benefit of being an activity any reader can participate in easily.
  • Illustrations:Have students create illustrations for texts they’re reading, either in the margins as they go along, or after they’ve finished. The point of the exercise is not, of course, to create beautiful drawings, but to help them understand and retain the information they learn.
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    Update | Feb. 2012: We'll be exploring the new Common Core State Standards, and how teaching with The Times can address them, through a series of blog posts. You can find them all here, tagged "the NYT and the CCSS."
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    A good list of reading strategies for informational text from the New York Times.
Christian King

Teens Get Math/Science Help at Alleyoop - 94 views

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    An excellent adaptive learning site that provides online tutoring, interactive tools, and challenges in a fun and engaging way. Students need to use "yoops" (a virtual currency) to progress through activities. This does eventually require students to pay their way through the course as free yoops become increasingly difficult to acquire.. which is the largest drawback.
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