Monday, January 30, 2012
Sunday, January 29, 2012
- How did you organize your process? (are you using paper and pencil, a phone, a piece of software)? I organized the process on my iGoogle a few days ago.
- What was it like for you going through the process the first time? I had setup keyword searches in my RSS feed and then one by one went through the links that came up and determined if they should be added to our SIG stack on delicious. This was an incredibly tedious task because some articles or blogs seemed interesting to me enough to read for pleasure but I had to remind myself of the task at hand and follow the workflow. If it was not of use to our project, I just bookmarked it for future read (as if I'll ever have time) and moved on.
- Do you think that this process will help you? Why or why not? I think this process could help me if I am able to actually stick to it and get a groove with it. However, I also think that strictly adhering to the process might actually slow me down because I already used a similar workflow process that had worked for me.
- Do you think you will continue this process? If not, what will your process be? Personally I am going to use it for the purpose of the SIG project because I think for research items it would be useful. As far as in my everyday work it most likely wouldn't be because I am constantly assigned new cases at work (non-education job for the moment) and have to regroup at various points in my day/week/month. I can see it being useful to a teacher though!!
International Society for Technology in Education - Learning & Leading Feature: Teach Your Students to Fail Better
If you were able to create your own classroom for the future, with your choice of resources, furniture, tools, and technology, how would you design it so that your students would be most capable of adapting in an increasingly complex world as a learner, professional, and citizen? And how would you design it so that your students were likely to have the greatest impact on the world around them? I believe this is the driving educational question for all of us in the digital age, and it has been tugging at me with increasing intensity over the past few years as technology has begun to dominate the larger conversation about learning and teaching.
Fail BetterLast spring, I was invited to speak at TEDxOverlake, a learning-focused event held at the Overlake School outside of Seattle, Washington, USA. When the event’s curators asked me what part of education I wanted to speak about, I answered decidedly, "failure."
From Designing Curriculum to Design Thinking
- I was always in charge of the problems they would solve.
- The problems were not always anchored in the real world (even if they were useful in terms of
academic skill development and general engagement).
- Deploying cutting-edge technology was often becoming the primary driver of the project itself.
- All too often, I felt pressured to prevent students from truly risking failure (and thus learning) in
a meaningful way.
Defining a Design-Thinking MindDT is about using design to improve the human experience. It combines the ideals of what we want for our students: collaboration, systems thinking, and the development of a balance of creative and analytical habits. It also fuels what our students want for themselves: making an impact on the real world in real time and having adults take their passions seriously.
centered questions and problems worth trying to solve. Better yet, it does so within a remarkably empathetic process that puts the experience of human beings at the center of the equation. It is no longer about answer keys with static facts that seem separate from the day-to-day lives of learners.
Ideation. Once a DT participant is able to identify a real-world problem worth solving, the next step is to explore ways to respond. The goal is not to find a perfect solution at this point. Instead, DT participants seek novel perspectives with a bias toward innovation. DT values the creativity and insights of all participants, regardless of specific expertise or a need to be "right" at first blush. It encourages outside-the-box thinking, which leads to unexpected creative solutions. DT relies on a creative process based on "building up" ideas (rather than the typical analytical process that looks to "break down" ideas). Key to this is the belief that there is no place for value judgments early on. The DT process rewards "and, and" responses from participants, as opposed to the "yeah, but" reactions that are typical of traditional academic experiences.
Prototyping. Once participants identify a wide range of possible solutions, the next step is to rapidly mock up examples. To DT advocates, the idea is to help make an idea real, tangible, and accessible. Ultimately, DT has a natural bias toward action. The best way to approach this—as many designers will tell you—is to use a rapid prototyping process fueled by an attitude of "fail and fail fast," something ideally suited for learning in a complex and often messy 21st century world.
Testing. Creativity and open minds aside, DT deeply values testing all assumptions. Solutions need to work. And better yet, solutions need to work in the real world and have an observable positive impact on the human experience. Because problems are found in the real world, answers need to be agile enough to adapt over time. Such a pedagogical framework naturally provides learners with the thinking tools to respond to an unpredictable future while remaining focused on the human experience.
Prototype Design CampGiven this understanding of DT, let’s go back to the original question: Imagine you were invited to create your own version of the classroom of the future. Where would you start?
time innovation in the classroom
and a designer working in the international school architecture field, this project offered precisely the type of challenge that brought together all
of my passions.
- The classroom can’t just be a showcase for technology.
- Students must be the center of the program.
- Adults must serve as mentors, sherpas, and allies.
- Students must solve real problems that they come up with.
Explore a range of remarkable possibilities. Once students returned to the classroom, they filled the space with colorful Post-It Notes and sketches rich with multilayered questions and descriptive idea sparks until each team identified their preferred problem. Problems ranged from how to empower young people to become global journalists while still in school to how to stretch the boundaries of a physical classroom and how to redesign the underlying relationship between learners and teachers. Working face to face with a cadre of professional designers, educators, and technology experts from around Ohio and the United States, design teams spent a day and a half exploring ways to come up with solutions worth prototyping.
Ask big questions of innovative thought leaders. In addition to having access to mentors within the physical prototype classroom, students also worked virtually with a range of national and global experts via Skype and various social media channels. This included ed tech visionaries Stephen Heppel in England and Ewan McIntosh in Scotland, Ming-Li Chai from Microsoft’s corporate futures team, "Project Runway" finalist Althea Harper, TEDx curators, and others. Simultaneously, Prototype Design Camp students and mentors collaborated with educators around the world via Twitter, Facebook, live streaming of key conversations, and live blogging.
Rapidly prototype a physical concept. Student teams spent a full day trying to make their most inspired ideas come to life. In addition to an assortment of cutting-edge technologies, including 3D projectors, iPads, and an immersive menu of web 2.0 tools and social networks, the students had a range of art supplies, building materials, and props. We gave them permission to redesign the classroom as needed, from deploying an array of furniture to crafting just-in-time spaces. The attitude was "by any means necessary." Perfection was not expected. Prototypes only needed to be good enough to suggest possibilities and engage audiences.
Present to a live jury of professionals and the globe. At the end of the three days, Prototype Design Camp teams presented their solutions to more than a dozen jury members from different professional perspectives. They included the founder of a nationally recognized theater group, an architect who had designed libraries around the world, an architect rebuilding schools in Africa, a professional writer based at a modern art museum, a range of artists across various media, an engineer working in both mechanical and software realms, an internationally known librarian, a graphic designer, marketing specialists, and others. We asked judges to avoid "yeah, but" reactions. Instead, they were expected to invest in the students’ ideas and offer real-world applications of those ideas. The final presentation was broadcast to the entire 6,000-person eTech Ohio conference and to the world via various social media channels.
Realize that even three intense days is only scratching the surface. Despite a remarkably immersive experience where our Prototype students successfully used a DT mindset to develop exceptional solutions to authentic learning problems, the real success lay more in students and mentors committing to the process itself than in the answers they presented.
- Volume: 39
- Issue Number: 5
- Issue Name: February 2012
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Anyway, I don't know that you intentionally put us all on your blog as contributors, but since I have that status I can at least use this route to try and express what I have tried to do twice with comments. That is:
I really appreciate your thoughtful post on concerns about the reliability and relevance of information you find online. While more traditional media isn't always accurate and unbiased, at least there is usually some large organization with some kind of philosophy and reputation behind it that we can use to help us evaluate the perspective and veracity of the information we get. Web 2.0 is great in giving people freedom to get things out to others, but that very unfettered nature also means any one can make any sort of unsubstantiated claim. So we really do need to be _more_ careful consumers of this information, and I like you idea of how using social networking can help us with that.
Perhaps developing a personal learning network is a way to get back to basics when searching for information. What I mean is, years ago you went to a doctor that friends or family used-by way of a word of mouth referral. You tried a restaurant because someone you trusted gave it 5 stars. Nowadays you may read a product or restaurant review and sit there wondering whether or not that person's opinion should even count with you? What is their background? What life experiences have they had that qualify them to have bearing on MY life? Having a personal learning network is like saying -I trust these people to advise me on information I need personally or professionally. I like the idea of now having my igoogle page to organize my blog, email, facebook, twitter, delicious, rss feed, etc. For me, my workflow needed serious organization because constantly visiting all those pages (or tabs in Firefox) can get exhuasting. I needed a personal assistant and I now have one (in addition to my iPhone)!
I also need the ability to bounce ideas off of my peers. I want to be able to see what teachers are struggling with in applying innovative technology to their classrooms so that I can research how to assist them. Though my role in the educational technology field will most likely not involve working with students, I can benefit from hearing their responses to edtech applications in the classroom. Being in the social networking environment allows us to stay connected to the most recent news and discussions regarding our personal and professional interests. I believe it is an excellent tool for anyone who wants to continue to grow as a person and stay informed on various issues.
Now, let's get it done.
I suppose I have been using the GTD process unknowingly for some time now.
This method is especially important in anyone's workflow as it almost guarantees timely results. You can't organize what you haven't collected or review what hasn't been organized without feeling overwhelmed.
Igoogle is now allowing me to facilitate the collection and organizational process of all of my social networking tools. It is up to me to review the information daily and then put it into action!
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Over the last few days, my RSS feed seems to have alot of information. However, I learned that sometimes I subscribe to sites that maybe mention my topic and that's what I found in a search but then move on to a totally different topic and never to back to my keywords. I deleted a lot of content that way. Here's what I saw tonight when I logged in.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
The company is selling textbooks from McGraw-Hill, Pearson and Houghton Mifflin at a price comparable to print versions, and it’s presented an unprecedented opportunity for teachers to compile their own materials.
But Apple has a long way to go — and logistical hurdles to clear in tens of thousands of schools — before it dominates K-12 classrooms the way it has done the music industry.
Instructional Technology Resource Teacher Jenny Grabiec recently purchased iPads for two of the ESL classrooms in her 160-school district using federal funds allocated for students with limited English proficiency.
Getting approval for the actual purchase was fairly easy. She sent a written request to the district CIO, and he approved it. But it took five months to get the iPads up and running after they arrived.
In order to download new apps, she needed to get the Apple volume purchase program approved as a vendor by the budget group. But who would explain to the budget committee the process of paying with an Apple ID? Who would be responsible for downloading the volume-purchased apps? Could the students use them outside of their hour-long ESL class? The list of logistical issues went on.
“Because nobody in our district had done it before, it took a long time,” Grabiec says.
Becoming The Next Big Thing
By Apple’s count, 1.5 million iPads are being used by schools. But there are 55.5 million students enrolled in more than 130,000 U.S. schools. No matter how you slice it, the iPad is not a mainstream phenomenon in K-12.
Nor is there any guarantee it will become so. One-to-one initiatives for laptops have been pushing forward for years without mainstream adoption. Maine, for instance, gave 33,000 middle school students and 3,000 teachers personal laptops as early as 2002.
But in 2009, a survey by the National Center for Education Statistics found that while 99% of public school teachers have some access to computers, just 29% of public school teachers use them during instructional time “often.” Just 3% of schools in a 2010 survey by the FCC said they have a one-to-one computer ratio.
iPads do have a couple of advantages over one-to-one laptop initiatives. Grabiec points out that the iPads’ batteries last longer than the laptops she oversees in other classrooms. They also have been less expensive to maintain than the computers — not a single one has been damaged — and don’t work as stand-ins for desktop computers, but as cameras, GPS devices and video cameras.
“With a laptop you were stuck with consuming content,” says Timothy Smith, who works as an Instructional Technology Specialist in the same district as Grabiec. “But with the iPad you’re taking videos and looking at ideas in a new way.”
Even though Apple’s first iPad textbooks will sell for $15 or less, they won’t be any less expensive for schools than paper books. Vineet Madan, head McGraw-Hill Higher Education eLabs, tells Mashable that iBooks will be sold to schools rather than directly to students, but that schools will grant students access to those books through their personal IDs.
In other words, even if a school reuses iPads, it won’t be able to reuse books. The books will be kept on individual students’ iTunes accounts.
Schools reuse the same paper book for about five years, and those books usually cost about $75. Because a new book will be purchased every year, the iBook version still costs $75 for five years.
Relying on iBooks as textbooks isn’t a feasible option for most public schools at the moment because Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill and Pearson have each dedicated just a small number of titles each. Madan puts the typical cycle for textbook approval in most states at about five years.
Unless the school happens to be using one of the selected titles, it can’t use iBooks yet. Most other options for digital textbooks that can be read on an iPad –including Coursesmart, Kno, Chegg and Inkling — focus on books for higher education.
Unless major publishers decide to add more of their titles to iBooks, it won’t be a feasible default reader in most schools. Madan says that McGraw has already committed to adding five additional titles before September, but it will commit to additional titles based on uptake.
Broadband and Red Tape
“It’s not atypical to see one classroom of students on connected devices bring down a network,” Madan says.
Before schools introduce connected devices, many of them will need to introduce better Internet connections. And that’s just one logistical issue. Schools and districts will likely have a longer list specific to their circumstances. Consider the situation that Smith, who recently helped put an iPad in the hands of every administrator in his district, faces when he thinks about introducing iPads district-wide:
Some types of funding, like the one used to buy iPads for the ESL classrooms, can’t be used for anything already being paid for by the school district. If the district bought iPads for some students, in other words, it would be cutting off other sources of funding. It’s a puzzle.
Bringing iPads to the Mainstream
Many schools already use iPads in their courses. Policies that allow students to bring their own devices to school might make make this more common.
According to a 2011 Pearson Foundation survey, 70% percent of college students and college-bound high school seniors are interested in owning a tablet device, and 20% expect to purchase a tablet within the next six months.
The inevitable price decline on the iPad could also make iPads a more mainstream conduit for educational material.
“This is a change in how school districts think,” Smith says, “and in a larger school district, that can take some time.”
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