Archives for posts with tag: learning

I’m developing a behavior that’s new to me. I do not believe change occurs in the future, far off in the distance. I believe in the presence and immediacy of change today, tomorrow. The future makes me weary–it is heavy on the soul. But the present has opportunity, it is bearable and light.

It is not sufficient to suggest change (improvement or reconfiguration) must occur in the future alone. Change can and should happen in the present, with wider and longer views in mind.

This really has to do with approaching problems. I encourage anyone who reads this to think about a problem and how it can begin to be addressed by change today, tomorrow and continue to change from there.

Today I select education, its emphasis on “lecturing” and “dumping” knowledge on students. Today and tomorrow I can work on change by practicing new methods of education, like peer-to-peer learning at P2PU (through a course I’m running about writing Wikipedia articles this fall for free for anyone) and through strategizing how to get teachers and learners of all sorts to flip the classroom.

To get what I mean about education, read this. Note it’s not about technology, it’s about pedagogy and learning.

Reading a few old sources for a research project, I came across this snippet by Anya Kamenetz in DIY U. It’s written in the context of technology and education, offering some new perspectives (like those of Edupunks and Edupreneurs). However, I think it’s nearly universal:

Our best hope is to get better at empowering individuals to find answers for themselves. In other words, forget about giving the guy a fish, or teaching him how to fish, either. Teach him how to teach himself, and he’ll always be able to acquire the skills he needs to find food, skills you haven’t even thought of yet for things you didn’t know you could eat.

and from there, the anecdote gets real:

Fishing itself, it happens, is a great example of this. Today, 90 percent of fish species are over-exploited. Fish farming is people’s fastest-growing source of food and will probably remain so until 2025, says James S. Diana of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. The world needs people who can figure out new ways to repair the oceans and to find or grow renewable sources of food.

Here, here, Anya!

Although it does a great job of flipping the old “Teach A Person to Fish” story, there’s something to be desired in terms of community, cooperation, and social capital. Oh well, I’ll have to be on the look-out for that next great anecdote.

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: