Friday, August 27, 2010

10 New Education Ideas That Are Changing How Our Students Learn

My students swallowed hard during the first day of classes when I assigned them the task of creating a professional Personal Learning Network tied to their studies using a number of diverse online social media platforms. After sitting down with the current issue of Good magazine [14 pages], I feel emboldened. Here are some quotes.

“Technology is a way to open the window for [students].” David Bitten, superintendent, Wyoming, Michigan, [colonelb on Twitter]

The Obama administration’s National Education Technology Plan: “It calls for teachers and students to be provided with an “access device” so they can stay connected to homework assignments, events and each other.” I have found a closer connection with my students as a result of online media which makes the class time more effective and their overall educational endeavors more effective.

“Education is a knowledge industry and in 2010 that really means access to technology.” Karen Cator, director of education technology for the US Dept of Education. And “Using technology for social reasons is very different from leveraging technology to think and learn and solve complex problems.”

I have incorporated a variety of social media formats into my classes since 2007. It has had the effect of building community and teamwork within the programs I direct.

Some assignments are public via these media, which has increased individual assessment and, as a result, learning. Students write more when they blog; when they write they better understand what they think. One of my favorite quotes is something to the effect of writers write in order to understand what they think. I add, artists make to understand what they think and feel about what is going on around them.

Indeed we are a globally networked society and students today [and all of us] need to understand how to be digital citizens.

  • an online platform for thought and action around education
  • goal: top create a vibrant discussion about these topics- online, in print, in the real world

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