I generally find Jaron Lanier a bit too reductionist, a bit too either/or, for my tastes. His recent New York Times column arguing for a return to innovative, creative educational approaches and a turn away from problematic assumptions inherent in algorithmic approaches to assessment (“Does the Digital Classroom Enfeeble the Mind?” Sept. 16, 2010) is characteristically both reductionist and either/or. This makes me worried, because the piece is also–characteristically–poetic and moving, which means we … Read more
In the video below of a presentation to the Education Writers Association 2010 Annual Conference, Jim Gee says this about how to introduce innovative ideas into education:
There’s a choice of strategies here…. One strategy is: Let’s take our innovations to the center of the school system and spread them as fast and quickly as we can. People believe that this current school system as it is will just co-opt those innovations and make them … just better ways to
I’ve been thinking lately about the burden of speaking for others.
Because I’m an educational researcher, and speaking for others is the heart of what we do. We walk into a classroom, watch some things happen for a little while, then make decisions about which stories are worth telling, and how, and why, and to whom. And this is precisely what we’re supposed to do. This is precisely why we head into the classroom in the first place: to tell … Read more
and why you should expect more from my model for integrating technologies into the classroom
I recently showed some colleagues my developing model for integrating computational technologies into the classroom. “This is,” one person said, “a really nice constructionist model for classroom instruction.”
Which is great, except that I’m not a constructionist.
Now, don’t be offended. I’ll tell you what I told my colleague when she asked, appalled, “What’s wrong with constructionists?”
Nothing’s wrong with constructionists. I just don’t happen … Read more
file under: if you’re not mad, you’re not paying attention.
I knew the recession had hit Michigan, my home state, harder than it’s hit any other place in the country; I knew this because I’ve been following the news and because my family lives in Metropolitan Detroit. But my recent trip to Michigan reminded me of just how bad things have gotten.
This is not the Michigan I remember. It’s not just that some stores are boarded up and some … Read more
Today, the Bloomington Herald-Times published a guest column written by Victoria Ison, a student at Bloomington High School North. The column is framed as a letter to students at Aurora Alternative High School, which is slated for closure at the end of this school year as a money-saving measure.
This piece, like almost all of the Herald-Times’ content, is not available to the general public, as the paper has made the foolish decision to erect a paywall. Yet another lesson … Read more
As part of an ongoing assignment for a course I’m taking called Computational Technologies in Educational Ecosystems, I’ve been designing and modifying a model for the role of technologies in the classroom. A previous version, a cellphone picture of a drawing on a sheet of notebook paper, looked like this:
Well. This is for a class on computational technologies, so a hand-drawn model would never do. Besides, one of the more useful affordances of new design technologies is … Read more
This makes me extremely happy, because as I’ve explained (more than once), I’ve struggled mightily with the very concept of modeling. I’ve also struggled with representation. The purpose of designing this model is to show my take on the role of new technologies in educational environments. But articulating a theory, even a working theory, about the role of technologies has been such an insurmountable challenge for me–which … Read more
Human goals are mediated by, and thenceforth only achieved through, the widespread adoption and use of new technologies.*
Human purposes for adopting and making use of new technologies are often highly individualized (though nearly always aligned with an affinity group, even if that group is not explicitly named and even if that group is not comprised of other members of the learning community).
While no educational researcher is qualified to articulate achievable