Archives for posts with tag: #caleducamp

Cal Educamp UNconference off and running on the Berkeley campus. Teaching+Learning in Education with Technology? It’s complicated, to say the least.

This is a peer-programmed event, so the attendees create the programming (presentations and workshops) the very morning of the day of the event!


11:22 AM – I’m excited to see a webcast presentation by Howard Rheingold (only external presentation of the day, but he couldn’t make it physically). Learning right now. Watching a presentation by Jeff Brain about drawing comics in the classroom. Middle school students learn about telling stories, storyboarding, and visual queues! They use graphic editing software–especially GIMP, a free, open-source software!!! Students use photographs to learn to draw comics based on source images. Check out this book if you’re curious about Drawing Words, Writing Pictures.

11:33 AM – Howard Rheingold presenting now, talking about Social Media Classroom (SMC), a social media website tool for use in all kinds of classrooms, which is open source, free, and built on Drupal. SMC is going to make it to the new version of Drupal (7). Among the new features is the ability to visualize a mind-map of your course wiki (wow! I wonder if Sakai can do that!?).

Teaching is a submissive activity

And that needs to change!

Rheingold introduced a new term to describe self-organizing and peer-based education models: “peeragogy” —  I love it! Check out this book if you want to learn more: A New Culture of Learning.

From Twitter @elicochran posted this cool K12 education blog: and I dig it.

Lost-Track-of-Time Stamp – The rest of the event was a lot more hands-on, chaotic, and consuming! I had a lot of fun, and facilitated a couple discussions. First, we had a big conversation titled “Why Open? (license) and Why Public? (visible)” focused on the aspects of Open and Public in education/learning. We tried to decided qualities of publishing openly, say with an open license, perhaps in making an open educational resource (OER). Further, we questioned when public sharing and practices help or make sense (like running your course on Google Sites or some blog instead of in a closed citadel like Sakai, Moodle, or Blackboard). The conversation roamed far and wide, especially delving into Textbook creation, and how to sort out a better future for “texts” (which perhaps looks nothing like a textbook!). The needs are clear for a non-profit textbook industry, and alternative income models for valuable curation and cohesion services that publishers currently provide. Kickstarter, or perhaps some other crowd-source platform for educational resources, anyone?

Check out some research and practitioner groups in attendance at the Camp Today:

OKAY, so the title is a little brash. And everyone’s got an opinion about the fall of journalism, the great tragedy of the dying newspaper, the vacuum of local news media… but here’s one more, with a twist!

Let’s depart from all this mourning and woe-bearing, away from the image of the journalist laden with heavy wood cross, dragging it about for the benefit of the rest of us. Don’t get me wrong here. I love journalists, and I will sing them praises any day. But can we please stop pretending there’s something so precious about 20th century American journalism?

If we look at the state of the world today (or perhaps pre-2000 for the sake of argument), how effective has journalism been? How has the news industry served a noble role? Undoubtedly there were many issues (some we will never know) that came to resolution through both the active work of journalists and the realistic possibility of journalistic investigation. The processes and the social construction of journalism can have positive, wide-scale effects! However, what has journalism not been able to mitigate?

The rise of the corporation, the corruption of our government (sometimes of money, but mostly of dependence and influence), the continued destruction of the Earth’s environment (to a degree that threatens all life on the planet), illegal wars waged on the basis of no real evidence, and (of course) the list continues.

Journalism can’t–and shouldn’t–be held responsible for any of these things. But, these are things its practice has not been able to prevent. Great, all this argument and we’ve figured out journalism isn’t perfect–so what!?

Well, instead of mourning journalism, why not take this opportunity to reinvent it? Why not take this opportunity to create forms of journalism-esque practices that succeed where journalism has not?

Take for example that a dominant portion of journalism (with all its damn integrity) were for-profit ventures! Today we have the opportunity to support a non-profit journalism industry that is not fueled by sensations that supplement bottom-lines.

Further, and this is the crux of my argument, I suggest that in the stead of the independent, investigative journalist, there may rise the role of the 21st century activist. Using this word with caution (activist is a tricky one indeed), I mean to say that individuals with pointed goals, with narrower scopes of interest, can fulfill the roles (and more) of the 21st century journalist. Why? We can have more of them. So many more. The term activist has often been a specialized term, but the one I draft here is much more broad–anyone can be an activist, and we all should. No, we all must, else the misgivings of this last century continue through the next.