Joquetta Lynn Johnson, aka The Digital Diva, is the newest Member of The Learning Collective. Joquetta brings many years of experience and success utilizing, and training others how to leverage, educational technologies.
Earlier this month, the MacArthur Foundation announced the winners of the third annual Digital Media and Learning competition. There are some great projects, especially the Learning Lab Awardees which won up to $200,000 to further their initiatives.
A computing device for every teacher and student so they can access the Internet at school or at home? That, along with an embrace of cloud computing, Creative Commons, and open-source technologies is part of a new set of recommendations from the U.S. Department of Education.
On March 5, the department released an 80-page draft of its National Educational Technology Plan entitled Transforming Education: Learning Powered by Technology. The plan lays out an ambitious agenda for transforming teaching and learning through technology.
Much of the NETP emphasizes “21st Century learning” as the path to transforming education: “engaging and empowering learning experiences for all learners… and leveraging the power of technology to provide personalized learning instead of a one-size-fits all curriculum.” The plan seeks to challenge the traditional model of the isolated teacher in a classroom, promoting the idea of “always on” learning resources and online communities for both educators and students.
In addition to changes to the US education model, there are some bold technology recommendations in the plan.
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Lawrence Lessig, is the foundational voice and an advocate of the free culture movement, Creative Commons and Open Source. The Open Video Allience will present a live webcast of a talk by Lawrence Lessig at the end of Feburary. For more background on his ideas view his speech: Free Culture: What We Need From You (Ogg). This was Prof. Lessig’s keynote speech at LinuxWorld in San Francisco. (via Lessig.Content: Audio/Video ) In this video he discusses the emerging remix culture as both the source and outcome of societies embrace of digital technology. Lessig feels a new literacy has emerged due to these changes which should be embraced and taught because it is the key to preparing society for further innovation into the 21st Century. Last year at Educause 2009 he stated:
The ‘ecology of education and science,’ Mr. Lessig said, is inherently collaborative, and it is being strangled by copyright-law principles based on exclusivity…”Scientists and educators are busy creating,” he continued, “so it is up to chief information officers and other information-technology specialists to devise ways to make those creations both legal and widely accessible.”
The iPad was unveiled this week by Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs to rave reviews from techies everywhere. It is predicted that base models will cost about $499. I was lucky enough to spot a pre-production version of one at an ad firm last summer and I have longed for one since then. This device promises the usability of the iPhone in a package that is better for learning because it offers more real estate for the display of information.
I can’t wait to see what app developers do with the screen extra space. Here is a video of a great app that proposes ways this tool can be used on the university level to do away with textbooks and enhance education:
It is also revolutionary because it offers the wealth of info found on the web to students anywhere, anytime if you opt to spend a bit more ($130 or so) for the 3G connected version. As an instructional designer/technologist the combination of form and function that this new learning tool offers is powerful. At this point iPhone OS is accepted as being rock solid and free from the crashes (and even mobile virus issues) that hinder Windows Mobile devices. That said, it is is still hindered by its inability to display Flash-based media on websites.
Digital and blended learning can work. Because technology is woven throughout theCommon Core State Standards, and there are myriad digital learning resources available, digital learning can be central to meeting the Common Core’s requirements.
Studies show that digital learning can keep school costs down (see U.S. DOE’s 2012 report and The Thomas Fordham Institute study). And, though 26% of school administrators cite significant concerns about evaluating online courses, the robust data generated through digital learning can significantly impact instruction. Notably, the U.S. Department of Education’s 2009 meta-analysis of more than 1,000 studies of online learning over a twelve-year period found that university students in online learning generally performed better than those in face-to-face courses.
There’s a lot to consider to make blended learning work. We define “blended learning” broadly to mean the increased use of digital learning technologies. There are many possible forms of blended learning, including some of these more complex models. Relatedly, schools and school systems need to consider grade levels and subjects served, teachers’ roles, PD, mobile, etc. Complicating matters, there are hundreds of vendors selling thousands of products and services.
The Learning Collective would like to help you make sense of it all and create yourcustomized blended learning plan.