Thursday, December 18, 2014

Open Letter to "Mapping the Future..."

Cathy Davidson's post to the students in the Mapping the Futures of Higher Ed post contains a great description of what she labels, The Big Why?, why we are doing all of this....

Key quotes, 'First, we believe higher education is crucial to a productive, happy, independent, socially responsible adult life. '

'The interactive, adaptive methods we will be using in this class are based on research directed toward promoting student success: student study groups, peer-leadership, interest-driven learning, systematic un-learning, peer-mentoring, public contribution to knowledge, and constant feedback on learning progress.  NB: These methods work for everyone, from doctoral students to economically disadvantaged middle-school students.  The best research on the efficacy of study groups for educational success was undertaken at Harvard and replicated in Chicago urban public middle and high schools.'

'Higher education needs to be revitalized and transformed for the contemporary world of cultural diversity, technological complexity, and constant change.'

More here at the Futures Initiative....

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

12 Principles of Peer-Led, Connected, Interactive Education

Cathy Davidson writes about an upcoming course entitled, 'Mapping the Futures of Higher Education,' in this post from HASTAC, and cross posted here at CUNY's Academic Commons Futures Initiatives pages.

Here are those main principles of Connected Learning:

  • Learning is teaching.  
  • Learning is research and research is learning.  
  • Learning is institutional and socially-engaged learning changes institutions. 
  • Learning together is key—in class, in study groups, online.  
  • Learning is a formative test–not a high stakes summative one
  • Learning makes a public contribution to knowledge.  
  • Learning in public requires digital and data literacies, being aware of how, why, and by whom one’s knowledge is being used.  
  • Learning is a social activity and social responsibility.
  • Learning is interest-driven–and even fun.  
  • Learning opportunities are everywhere;
  • Learning is vocational–in a good way.  
  • Learning is about access, equity, and equality. 
  • Learning is sustainable.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Crash-only Thinking

Came across something called Ribbonfarm, where there was a great piece on Crash-only Thinking, about transitions and changes.

Key phrase, 'Crash-only means there is no such thing as gracefully starting and stopping non-trivial parts of your life or business.  You have to crash what you’re doing and recover in a more promising direction. The fact that it is a crash means that, unlike normal decisions, there is a sharply increased probability of not coming out the other end.


Crashes are traumatic, high-entropy, messy ways to achieve transitions, which is why transitions in life and business are so hard. We want clean, smooth turns that smoothly and isentropically shed momentum in one direction and accumulate it in another direction.....It doesn't happen.'

Strong identities, brands, compelling narratives and self-talk that run counter to what's really happening contribute to the crash-only state, necessitating a clean start, a reboot and refresh.  

Is that what's happening here in education, at our institutions, in the state-supported systems?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Good, Bad, Very Bad, Really, Really Bad

And, then, there's the perspective of Maha Bali, an educator and Connected Courses standout, from Egypt.

http://blog.mahabali.me/blog/uncategorized/good-bad-very-bad-and-really-really-bad/

Key quotes, 'BUT when someone over here in Egypt talks about safety online, it’s along the lines of possibly getting arrested, jailed and possibly tortured for your political beliefs.'

And, 'Something crossed my Twitter stream the other day, with a question “Are our schools worth dying for?” and a reference to Malallah. Umm. Not sure what the link is for, but I’m guessing, assuming here, that I’m sure Malallah’s school, the quality of it, was probably not worth dying for. It’s possible most schools even in the developed world are not worth dying for. The situation Malallah found herself in, that’s the REALLY REALLY bad. That’s not my country. Yet.'

Is that the situation where I work?  Where others, teachers, students, their families work, live, eat, sleep?   Are our schools worth dying for?  What if we approached our work believing that our schools were worth dying for?  

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Rebirth of Cool: Trust, Tech, and Dystopias

Tressie McMillan Cottom writes about joining in a MOOC and discusses the tools that participants are using there and in the classes she teaches and observes.  Lots of DIY here and emphasis on what works that is appealing.

Key phrase  "They don’t much like your top-down ed-tech tools. They use the tools they already have in service of what they need and want. They are making spaces that institutions do not provide them. They are adapting those spaces relative to their social locations and I suspect the differences are partially about who and what they trust."

Here's the complete post.

tressiemc is worth following!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Future of Education: Programmed or Programmable

Audrey Watters nails it in this transcript of a talk at Pepperdine.

Key quotes, 'The readable, writable, programmable Web is so significant because, in part, it allows us to break from programmed instruction. That is, we needn’t all simply be on the receiving end of some computer-mediated instruction, some teacher-engineering. We can construct and create and connect for ourselves.'

'One of the most powerful things that you can do on the Web is to be a node in a network of learners...'

"Do we want programmed instruction? Do we want teaching machines? Do we want videotaped lectures? Do we want content delivery systems? Or do we want education that is more student-centered, more networked-focused. Are we ready to move beyond “content” and even beyond “competencies”?'