Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Latest 2010 Issue: Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology

CJLT 36(1) - Fall 2010

Table of Contents

Editorial: A Special Issue of the Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology on Knowledge Building, by Michele Jacobsen

Abstract: In a pervasive media and technology landscape that is increasingly global, participatory and connected, one in which learners and teachers can increasingly become creators of knowledge rather than mere consumers of prepared messages and ideas, it is vital for the field of educational technology to take stock of the latest research on knowledge building. Marlene Scardamalia and Carl Bereiter, innovative pioneers in the area of Knowledge Building in education, define the construct of Knowledge Building as having several characteristics that distinguish it from constructivist learning in general. Two key characteristics of Knowledge Building are intentionality and community knowledge. Intentionality captures that people engaged in knowledge building know they are doing it and that advances in knowledge are purposeful. Community knowledge captures that while learning is a personal matter, knowledge building is done for the benefit of the community. Scardamalia and Bereiter emphasize that in contrast to being spontaneous, a knowledge building culture requires a supportive learning environment and teacher effort and artistry to create and maintain a community devoted to ideas and to idea improvement. Distinct from improving individual students’ ideas and understanding, the collective work of Knowledge Building is explicitly focused on the creation and improvement of knowledge of value to one’s community – advancement of the knowledge itself.

A Brief History of Knowledge Building, by Marlene Scardamalia and Carl Bereiter

Knowledge Building and Mathematics: Shifting the Responsibility for Knowledge Advancement and Engagement, by Joan Moss and Ruth Beatty

Developing Deep Understanding and Literacy while Addressing a Gender-Based Literacy Gap, by Yanqing Sun, Jianwei Zhang, Marlene Scardamalia

Social Network Analysis to Examine Interaction Patterns in Knowledge-Building Communities, by Donald N. Philip

Partnerships for Knowledge Building: An Emerging Model, by Thérèse Laferrière, Mireia Montané, Begona Gros, Isabel Alvarez, Merce Bernaus, Alain Breuleux, Stephane Allaire, Christine Hamel & Mary Lamon

Knowledge Society Network: Toward a Dynamic, Sustained Network for Building Knowledge, by Huang-Yao Hong, Marlene Scardamalia, Jianwei Zhang

Understanding the nature of science and scientific progress: A theory-building approach, by Maria Chuy, Marlene Scardamalia, Carl Bereiter, Fleur Prinsen, Monica Resendes, Richard Messina, Winifred Hunsburger, & Chris Teplovs

Early Development of Graphical Literacy through Knowledge Building, by Yongcheng Gan, Marlene Scardamalia, Huang-Yao Hong and Jianwei Zhang

Towards a Knowledge Building Community: From Guided- to Self-Organized Inquiry, by Stefano Cacciamani

Beyond Courseware: Designing for Collaborative Knowledge Building in Undergraduate Interprofessional Health Sciences Education, by Leila Lax, Marlene Scardamalia, Judy Watt-Watson, Peter Pennefather, Judith Hunter & Carl Bereiter

Conclusion--Can Children Create Knowledge? By Carl Bereiter and Marlene Scardamalia

CJLT 36(1) - Fall 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Engaged Teaching or Leave? Is that the question when students text in class?

Much like our counterparts in schools, campus teachers are having to re-tool their practices to take advantage of the latest technology innovations in support of engaged teaching, and to respond thoughtfully and effectively to students who have ready access to media and technology (and know how to use it!).  The quest towards more innovative, responsive and engaged teaching practices can be an exciting adventure for some, and a long, hard slog for others - depending upon their teaching philosophy, the learning theory and perspectives behind their current practices, and their skill and creativity with technology. In fact, a colleague and I are currently researching how to use audience response systems in large lecture environments - it is a great learning journey!

A colleague sent me this recent Inside Higher Education article, entitled "Should Profs Leave Unruly Classes?". In brief, the article describes how some profs are choosing to deal with distractions and distracted students -- they walk out. Huh? I sent this along to my graduate students, who offered these comments:

1. "As we allow Student Owned Devices into all of the schools, we have encountered similar concerns. My argument is, if you engage the students, the you will not have the problem. Is it any different for students to be doodling in there “notebooks”. Profs, as with any educational professional, need to pick up their game. I’m not sure why they are concerned with student being off task in their class, the worst that will happen is that they will fail the class. These are my 2 cents."

2. "I agree... I think if kids are "doodling" with their personal devices, this can be a learning opportunity for the teacher or prof. What can they do differently to better engage students? True, we can put it on the students and say they will fail, but I think this is an attitude of complacency in our practice. Surely we can do better than that."

What do you think?  Have your say by commenting on this blog...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Network of 21 Century School Systems - CASS

A new community of educators is gaining momentum....

Working Toward the 12th Dimension of the CASS Framework for School System Success

In fall 2010 CASS initiated the Network of 21st Century School systems to build leadership capacity by combining research and practical wisdom in four areas: • a forward looking, shared vision of 21st century learning and teaching, • transforming school and system leadership • IT governance • school systems as knowledge building organization". Check it out:

Is it also true for Canadian Intellectuals?

Just read an interesting article [forwarded by a colleague]:  The Crisis of the American Intellectual. I couldn't help but wonder, is this true for Canadian intellectuals, as well? As a "cautionary tale" thought experiment, I reworded one paragraph that stuck out by inserting bold words:

... But the biggest roadblock to change today is that so many of Canada’s best-educated, best-placed educators are too invested in old social models and old visions of schooling to do their real job and help society and the education system transition to the next level.  Instead of the opportunities that inquiry and technology bring to the classroom, too often, they see threats; instead of hope, too often they see danger; instead of the possibility of progress they see the unraveling of everything beautiful and true....

What do you think? Is there any truth to this thought experiment?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Five minutes to Twitter

I had a few minutes to spare today... thought a meeting started at 9:30, and it is actually scheduled for after lunch... Anyways, I figured it would be neat to start a twitter account... something I have been meaning to do for a few years now...

My first tweet:  This holiday weekend I am looking forward to four hockey games, three shopping trips, two big sleeps and a very large bottle of red wine!

And my first re-tweet: Dave Hancock - Minister Hancock responds to Alberta Views article "More Choice, Less Education"

I am now following 24 other tweeters and have a follower!

Fun to come!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Jacobsen: Engaging Ideas in Education - Dec 7th

Engaging Teaching in a Participatory Digital World

Abstract:  A participatory digital world calls for changed mindsets about schooling, knowledge, teaching, learning, and assessment. Information delivery approaches to schooling must give way to active, engaged, and collaborative teaching and learning relationships made possible by social networks and a changed media and technology landscapes.  Already comfortable with broadcast and interactive technologies, teachers need support to embrace online and blended participatory learning designs for students who build knowledge in the 21st century.  Simply training teachers how to use current technologies will not shift how they work with disciplinary knowledge, how they design for learning and assessment, and how they embrace technology for idea improvement. Instead, teachers require continuous professional support as they learn to design rich, authentic learning tasks and cultivate a knowledge building culture with their students.

Post-talk Conversation and Reflection

Thank you for attending my talk, and for asking such great questions!  I hope that you will comment on my blog! Just click on comment, and follow the steps.

The complex challenges that arise when technology comes to school require that all members in the educational system to establish a shared vision (Alberta Education's Inspired Education is a great start! - Thanks, Dave Minister Hancock; The Institutional Learning and Teaching Plan, UCalgary - Thanks, Dennis Sumara!), to work together and think creatively to find solutions and appropriate actions, and then to pull in the same direction to achieve widespread changes.

Here are the videos I referenced during my talk - enjoy the full-length versions:

Seymour Papert Interview - One Laptop per Child (OLPC)
Innovator: Powerful Ideas, Children and Computers

Students Take on Modern Technology
Digital technology affects opportunities for learning

Sunny View School in Toronto
Choice and Voice for Every Child

I Wish... By Crosbie Heights
Hands on Vs. Hands U

Ridgeway Crystal Beach High School
What kids love to do with technology

Helpful Horse: Wild and Free
Inquiry Exemplars: Galileo Network

Check out these AMAZING Galileo Network Inquiry Exemplars:
Other Cool Videos that I wanted to show, but did not have time:

SMART Table - Touch. Learn. Together.
Touch interactivity

Cisco TelePresence... Just for Fun! 
Kids being kids

The Internet of Things
An interconnected system of systems

Arthur C Clarke predicting the future in 1964
Nobody has a crystal ball

Idea new ad on 'Education for all'
Mobile and Participatory Learning Opportunities - I showed this one to my own children, who shared my wonder and dismay that all children in the world do not get to go to school.