Friday, March 21, 2014
LMS vs Net? Deep decision time on budgeting types of learning software
Digital systems are excellent for delivering instructional content that is prescribed, measured, monitored, reported and managed, and content that can be delivered with edutainment’s high-interest state of the art multimedia and interactive response resources.
DigiAcademy Web site drilling down into elements of digital literacy and its implications.
In this digital palette infographic, shown on the right, there is a ring or collar around the inner circle of composing and understanding. It is titled team workflow, representing teamwork. That teamwork area represents an ocean of diverse Web apps, that are far too numerous to fit into that space. Most fortunately, they are wonderful charted in the infographic below by Brian Solis and JESS3. Will they are someone turn them all into a Web graphic of hotspots some day that link directly to the apps?
Web apps excel at using some combination of the digital palette media above to stimulate many different elements of teaming. This network nature of Web includes sharing, evaluation, critique, praise, collaboration, cooperation and more. Twitter is just 1 part of the ocean of local and global team conversations.
Click the image below for a larger view of the circle. Even Blogger and Twitter are just a part of a much larger ocean of the social media of teaming.
Dr. Young Zhao examined our current national and state efforts at standardization and school reform, along with views of education in China and India, and concluded that: "The only way to go is to liberate human beings so they can create their own space."
See some of his TEDx presentation below.
Monday, March 17, 2014
Keeping 21st Century Faith in Middle Level Educational Philosophy
In short, the adult world is awash in the "new oil", digital information, the product of the silent, invisible and endlessly expanding information explosion; information dominates all other forms of capital, and the economy and culture use digital technology to build new businesses and new careers on it every day. Over 80% of the population in the United States uses the Net and the Web every day if not through most of its hours. Such a rapidly changing culture requires inquisitive, question-seeking, self-actualizing edupreneurs. To survive let alone thrive in such a current setting requires a learner centered, student centered educational system that graduates everyone with such skills.
Such thinking has long been central to stated Middle Level educational goals and this is reinforced by elements of the Common Core. These goals are further supported by a new movement that is helping to change community perspective about the value of open-ended project based learning. The makerspace movement (see part of global makerspace map below) has been creating community centers to share 3D printers and other digital fabrication devices for personal projects, and individuals, teams and families have begun to explore their potential.
The longer view then shows multiple forces at work pulling and pushing to build a learner centered question and project focused culture: the adult economy; middle school philosophy; the NC legislature requirement for 2017 to be the year in which all textbooks and instructional materials are digital; 1/3 of state schools (map and discussion) on the march by the fall of 2013 to having a digital device for every student in that (see map above); Common Core making higher order thinking skills a priority; and the new industrial revolution creating a new makerspace explosion on top of the cyberspace explosion still underway.
Against that background it is important to look at the resistance to such change. Have conditions changed in the last decade or if it is still the case that "intelligent inquiry is an illusion at this point in educational practice" (Graesser, Ozuru and Sullin, 1994, p. 122)? The evidence questions our progress: “State and national systems of so-called accountability have had a devastatingly negative effect on student-centered middle school programs” (George, 2014, p.3). Legislative action has treated students as excess labor at a time when we have run out of enough brains to bring in the harvest from the digital information frontier. This is also leading to one more surge to expand the H1B visa program to import talent from other countries. Such argument is being made without equal emphasis on refinancing schools at the level needed. Of equal concern, too many legislatures think finance invents all by itself and are thereby anxious to lower taxes under the theory that this produces jobs. Our state and the nation are left without any evidence that one day we can meet the demands of the digital age with our own citizens.
"We have met the enemy and it is us" (Pogo cartoon). What questions will continue to drive us in the right direction?
George, P. S. (2014). The struggle for middle school in North Carolina: Taking the long view. A speech to commemorate the life and work of John Van Hoose. North Carolina Middle School Journal, 28(1), 1 – 9.
Graesser, A.C., & Person, N.K. (Spring 1994). Question Asking During Tutoring. American Educational Research Journal, 31(1) 104-137.
Shortened Web address for this posting: http://bit.ly/PHAXkH. Hashtags: #50NCMLE14, #makerspace
Twitter: Follow @rshoughton
Saturday, March 08, 2014
Finance builds, schools starve – stupid fixable equation
Private and public capital did its planning atop this digital table, wisely using this foundation to plan and execute numerous oil-rig style dot.com gushers of value and profit (try listing the companies). The smorgasbord of opportunities provided by what already sits atop the table of the Net extends over the horizon for everyone that we can seat next to it. Sadly, those seated next to it are accompanied by a sea of empty chairs.
In spite of such opportunity, state schools and many families are starved for the resources to get to first base in the digital age, a computer with Net access. Students who don't have a personal digital device to take to and from school begin far behind the starting blocks. The map gives some idea of progress in North Carolina. Progress towards the first step in mining infinite information, 1:1 computing, is at a crawl. You will note that despite much desire to do so our major cities like Charlotte (Batten, 2014) and Raleigh (Hibbets, 2013) are not on board.
At the same time that financial interests are arguing for knocking down the door for H1B visa cards to import talent from abroad to drive our digital age; they are not knocking down the door to the funding for schools to support the digital literacy of the kids who are already here. Shouldn't we be making a deal to do both? The key ingredient, the key capital that is restraining future gushers and more economic and cultural wealth for everyone is more educated people that know how to leverage their digital tools. Public schools and universities are choking for the investment needed to exploit this opportunity.
A brain is a terrible thing to waste. Our culture wastes them when taxpayers conceptualize them as an excess resource on whom tax support is wasted and then teaching those that remain in classrooms as if they were containers instead of generators, using curriculum that is largely blind to to the empowering literacy of the age. It is time to end the stubborn persistence of the digital divide (Badger, 2014). In our age of infinite data, there is long term social and economic loss for every single person that is lost to the capacity of creatively working the digital frontier. It is not a case of someone else picking up the slack. There is no someone else. Everyone else that is digitally literate is already busy with their own little piece of the frontier, which continues to grow.
Politics is the allocation of resources. We have been squeezing state funds out of education based on the belief that freeing financial capital stimulates the most hiring. At a time in which anyone should be able to tap into the immense water tower of information wealth, this squeeze on schools now does more to perpetuate cycles of poverty than it does for business growth. Too many schools and communities across our nation cannot even provide sufficient safety (For one example, see ABC News report on Strawberry Hill High School. How many of our school principals in NC could produce an all too similar video?)
In the digital age it is the educated that can and must invent jobs; today it is invention that stimulates the most hiring. Unfortunately, the "finance first" framework is a now devastatingly backwards political policy. It has historically grown out of long experience with the logic of the possession of land, goods and finance. A new and non-rival logic has upset that fruit cart of possessions and created a new and very wild vineyard. Our digital age wine needs a new skin.
Let's do the math. Poverty is far too common (Frontline report on Poor Kids). How well can we solve the equity equation by Keeping Our Eyes on the Prize, (Uri Treisman giving the M. Carl Equity Address at NCTM, 2013, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6VEyCA1pN0)?
Through dated logic our culture has misplaced priorities for how to create capacity and results in the digital age. Entrepreneurs emerge through the educated that build their own personal learning networks towards their own creative goals, their projects, not those designated by the state or educators. Why is this approach of project centered education best for preschoolers and adults and not those in-between? This is knowledge that the ideas of Montessori, Dewey, Freire, Piaget, Papert and many others have been trying to communicate for a very long time. It is in fact how the rapidly expanding value of the Web builds on itself today. Now that society is deep into the digital age, our culture needs a four-lane highway to their thinking. How quickly can we flip policy designed around problems of possession to policy designed for the new non-rival and infinite fuel of the knowledge society?
Once we comprehend that the prize ingredient for everyone thriving is everyone's opportunity to learn and create from our digital stockpile, then Treisman's data makes it clear that the greatest restraints on the education necessary for thriving are poverty and income inequality. Said another way, insufficient quality education fuels poverty. Poverty is not just a personal problem; in the digital age it is the albatross hanging around all our necks. To build finance by starving schools is an especially stupid design in a knowledge economy. Let's work on a smarter equation; finance schools as invention engines; build the knowledge society.
Let's change all the nouns to verbs, and change conditions to actions. Not finance builds, schools starve, but finance schools, starve poverty, build economy. Are you and your organizations building the bridges that will educate every elected official possible and the communities that vote for them?
Given sufficient people capital and a goldmine to work of infinite data, it is now not just reasonable to have a vision of the future without poverty, it is down-to-earth practical. Let's find the little bit extra. As with the Barclay's ad, "What's a vision without the capital to achieve it?"
Some related "Find your tribe" hashtags for possible allies in this effort - #ncties14 #policy #H1B #immigration reform #immigrationre #ConnectEd #edtech #edchat #edpolicy #edstem #digln
(50 Hashtags for connected educators)
Twitter: Follow @rshoughton
Updated - 3/20/2014
Thursday, March 06, 2014
Who are the NC edtech bloggers?
I took this to mean the longer form of blogging beyond Tweeting but I've included everyone's Twitter link as well. Our university student teachers need these examples and role models. My thanks to everyone for this dedication and labor of love. This provides a wonderful cross-section of the digitally literate thinking going on in our state.
If more bloggers surface, send 'em my way. I've left them in time order to give a sense of the flow and progression as news and ideas emerge over a two day conference.
My first impression is that more of this group are more active as micro-bloggers, e.g., Twitter composers, than longer form blog sites. Only a few are also maintaining Web sites or least claiming such on their Twitter home page. I wonder how this will evolve in the years ahead.
- http://iteachteacherstech.com 9:22 am 3/6 @BoucherLauren
- http://loquaciouslibrary.com 9:27 am, 3/6 @susanrmyers
- klickingwithkrista.blogspot.com 9:27 am, 3/6 @KristaBTeacher
- http://ecrop.blogspot.com, 9:28 am, 3/6 @rshoughton
- http://primaryteacherhood.blogspot.com @PrimaryTeachNC
- tiny.cc/592acx 10:14 am 3/6 @curriculumblog
- http://2cents.onlearning.us/ @davidwarlick
- candidlibrarian.blogspot.com 3:25 pm 3/6 @candidlibrarian
- http://mrfrye.weebly.com/ (not blog, class web site but he quoted blogging as essential so maybe one will emerge) 8:57 am 3/7 @mrjamesfrye
- http://outputfilter.blogspot.com/ 8:59 am 3/7 @ericcole
- http://techninjablog.blogspot.com/ 11:00 am 3/7 @Tech_Ninja_Blog
- http://techloot.blogspot.com/ 1:31 pm 3/7 @techloot
- http://socialjugg.com/ 1:46 pm 3/7 @Jovan367
- http://www.librarygirl.net/ @jenniferlagarde
- http://divastechnology.blogspot.com/ @mrhgaddis
- http://mnrizzo.wordpress.com/ @mnrizzo
- http://blog.web20classroom.org @web20classroom
- http://kellyhines.wordpress.com @KellyHines
- http://techtipsforteachersblog.blogspot.com/ @jaymelinton
- http://kennycmckee.com/ @kennycmckee
- http://sciencetoybox.com/wordpress/ @braveneutrino
- http://edurealms.com/ @lucasgillispie
- http://lhmiles2.wordpress.com/ @lhmiles2
- http://transparentlearning.blogspot.com/ @bethanyvsmith
- http://www.melissaedwards.org/ 9:49 am 3/8 @mwedwards
- http://blog.discoveryeducation.com/ 8:36 am 3/7 @
- http://lesliefisher.com/resources/blog/twitter-and-replies-did-you-know-this 9:54 am 3/7 @
- http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/, Vicki Davis, Cool Cat Blog, Georgia.
- http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org, Larry Ferlazzo, English Language Learners, CA
- http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au, Kathleen Morris, Primary Tech. Australia
- http://gingerlewman.wordpress.com/ @GingerLewman
- http://www.edtechchic.blogspot.com/ @edtechchic
- http://www.thenerdyteacher.com/ @thenerdyteacher
Other Media Channels
- Video podcasts - http://edurealms.com/edgeekcast/
Other examples might include (with an example of the genre): still image (Flickr), audio (Podcasts), video (YouTube), 2D animation, 3D animation (Minecraft, Second Life), 3D objects (TinkerCad), or sensor/robotics/Internet of Things projects (Plant Link). That may simply be something that was not mentioned or in the rapid flow I may have missed it. Whatever the reason, it will be hard to expect such work to emerge from student activities in teacher's classrooms until we do more modeling for our learners. We now have an infinite number of possibilities for invention and creation that are well within our educational grasp.
Twitter: Follow @rshoughton
Last updated March 7, 4:22 pm
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
Code Red As Brand-New Pedagogical Model
Fumero, A. (2006). EDUWEB 2.0 - ICAMP & N-GEN Educational Web. In proceeding of: WEBIST 2006, Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Web Information Systems and Technologies: Society, e-Business and e-Government / e-Learning, Setúbal, Portugal, April 11-13, 2006.
= = = =
One can feel the pressure to leap into a fully formed new something and the global need for new pedagogical models is not immune. Many see that new facts have been and can be further arranged in new ways for fascinating purposes. Why? Why is such possibility in the air and does it require an antidote, scaffolding or simply the freedom to roll?
Everyone's doing it.
The university scene is excited about MOOCS. Educators unsatisfied with the results from lecture halls of hundreds are pushing for massive online courses of tens of thousands.
Public schools in the United States are close to the tipping point for a massive rollout of 1 digital device per student and North Carolina is an active leader in this effort.
The Federal planners also saw opportunity and planned the roll-out of a new online health care system of education, registration and management.
And with that last thought, we have an educational case study. The resulting national crisis of the health care Web site, its failure and its 6 week resurrection, is instructive. This story is told in some detail in Steven Brill's insightful article, Code Red (Time Magazine, March 10, 2014, pp. 26-36). Some of our cultural leaders have gained sufficient knowledge to talk the talk and dream and envision, but too often lack the operational knowledge and systems to walk the walk, and that's just part of the problem. Is there anyone familiar with IT who cannot tell similar stories just on a more local scale? There is aspirational; there is functional, and then there is useful. Or as has been quoted many times, the future is here, it's just not widely distributed.
An underlying cause of the vision of opportunity is a disturbingly silent and tragically invisible character, the explosion of knowledge (chapter length), giving us a smorgasbord of options (multiple textbooks). This invisible character may be THE cause. From this overloaded table of goodies of constantly new facts and new tools, inventive minds will create new forms and start to use them. Enter, stage left, invisible character two, chaos and self-organizational theory; better understand the former before attempting to understand the latter. It is important to understand that this is only going to accelerate, not settle out, level off or whatever hopeful term one might invent for the world reaching a point that it might be comprehendible, predictable and controllable. Code Red is the demonstrated new pedagogical model.
A further underlying cause is an educational system that has yet to face to facts of this new world and its new systems of communication and thinking. It is not about the haves and have-nots of hardware. It is about education. University systems have been marinating in a deep pool of the hardware stuff for 20 years and still seek to match traditional models with cyberspace. Such systems appear to continue to pass on the question of defining the actual elements of digital literacy. It is a debatable as to whether MOOCs are the tip of the old system or the tip of the new. Next up are public schools, which have been starved for full-scale digital funding. It is only with the rapid price drops of recent years that they have started taking steps for massive participation in the near future. Which continues to beg the question, participate in what?
It is hard to imagine what it will take for long standing institutions to recognize let alone accept the implications of what is standing in front of them in the digital era. There is a way out. Use models that are working. Edupunk, personal learning networks, social networks and makerspaces are the current most representative role models of the global cyberspace educational system. They form as seemingly the anti-particles of post-industrial culture. Physics appears to have made peace with the anti-particle conundrum; can our current institutions? A deeper examination than Brill's piece of the training, education and philosophies of the cast of characters that quickly saved the heath care site from cardiac arrest would be informative.
The first national Web catharsis provided some national lessons. I surmise there is no going back. There is no antidote to the knowledge explosion and its role as the fuel injector for ever more intense nonlinear chaos and self-organization, fundamental late 20th century concepts still greatly misunderstood. Green lighting new digital projects will only lead to endless Code Red unless the Geeks get further into the wheel house. They'd like to help and they are a little disappointed at their reception. If a crisis loop of Code Red in digital thinking continues, at some point that might provide just enough incentive for them to all drop out and form their own movement and systems. That may be the long term outcome.
Even as Code Red thinking has now reached recognition on a national political scale, let's stamp it out with the new models that are working. If it has become impossible to get our arms around the future, then what? Iterate. A revolution, with scaffolding and scaling, can become self-educating for those that will listen.
Twitter "find your tribe" hashtags: #edupunk #makerspace #pedagogy #pln
Updated with links, March 6.