Several weeks ago, I was in a meeting at Berkman with Howard Rheingold who recommended Ivan Illich's Deschooling Society, a remarkably prescient book from 1971 which predicts the rise of technology driven "Learning Webs". These Learning Webs are computer-mediated networks where learners identify their needs, find appropriate peers and mentors to advance their skills, and pursue their own individually-crafted education experience. What Neil Stephenson's Snow Crash did for immersive virtual worlds, Deschooling Society does for education: craft a compelling vision of a near future that we can watch come to pass around us.
One of the best parts of working with teachers is that every so often, a former workshop participant will get back in touch with me and share some of the amazing work that their students are doing. This week, I was incredibly pleased to hear from Kevin Delaney from Wayland High School and learn more about his students' most recent project.
From where I'm sitting, with one foot in research and one foot in practice, evidence continues to mount that schools and districts are making major iPad purchases at an astounding rate. In this post, I first want to share some evidence about the incredibly rapid adoption of iPads, and then share some things that I'm involved with to help educators make the most of this new technology.
A few links to things I'm reading.
Ian Quillen has blogged recently about very, very preliminary research on the psychological impact of digital media. His post reminds me of one of my favorite set of facts: The first television station in the U.S. began broadcasting in the 1920s. The first regular commercial broadcasting in the U.S. began in the 1940s. The first recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics for television viewing were published in 1984.
Back in April, after my AERA talks on Are Great Wikis Born or Made? (born) and Do People Actually Collaborate on Wikis? (not much), Emily Schneider invited me out to coffee. She's a first year doctoral student at Stanford&mdashthe hope of the profession!&mdashand she has some cool research plans ahead about the role of technology and learning in for profit colleges.
My friends at the Berkman Center finished editing the recording of a talk I gave in March at the Hewlett Grantee Meeting. The talk, "When Open Encounters Different Classrooms," is built around a simple premise: in places with profoundly inequitable school systems, our conceptual models of technology-enhanced education systems always need to account for these inequalities.
It's remarkable that in 2012 you can wake up in the morning and see a front page article in the New York Times depicting various young black men as "freaks" who "throw tantrums" and "do the first negative thing he can find" with computers. #notapostracialsocietyyet
I had a great time last week on RadioBoston chatting with Matthew Chingos about his study comparing an online statistics course with face to face course. Matt and his colleagues wanted to know whether the online version of a course had the same effect on student achievement (as measured by passing rates, grades, and standardized test scores) as a fairly traditional intro stats class. To make this comparison, they used a research method called a randomized control trial, where participants (students in this case) volunteer to be randomly assigned to either the regular (control) class or the online (intervention class). ...
Kevin Simpson and colleagues took me up on my offer to host reports from EdCamps around the world on this space. Here are some of the big insights from the very first EdCamp Dubai and the first EdCamp in the Middle East! Looking forward to hearing about many more in the future.