Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Presenting Research at AERA in New Orleans, April 2011

Sharon Friesen and I presented our research findings at AERA in New Orleans, Louisiana, in April 2011 this year. The session was entitled, "A Three-Year Design Based Research Initiative That Influenced Practices in a One-to-One Laptop School". Those who follow me @dmichelej on Twitter know that a highlight of the conference was listening to the Presidential Address by Kris Guttierrez on designing resilient ecologies and a human science of learning. Another highlight was meeting Dr. Bill Ayers, who got an education award, in person (I have used his text, To Teach, in my undergraduate teaching for the last 14 years). 

In addition to cultivating our minds, Sharon and I enjoyed food for the soul at some of New Orleans' French Quarter hot spots, such as Brennan's for breakfast, Landry's Seafood House for dinner, and Pat O'Brien's for a late night Hurricane. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Thomas and Seely Brown's book, A New Culture of Learning

I recently wrote a review of Thomas and Seely Brown's new book, A New Culture of Learning, which appears in the Summer 2011 issue of Education Canada. URL:  I believe that ALL education students, both graduate and undergraduate, and ALL Education faculty members should read this book to gain new awareness about participatory learning beyond school. 

Here are the opening paragraphs:

"Play is neither trivial nor frivolous; it is how we learn. Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown take seriously the role of play as a mindset that needs to be cultivated in education. In A New Culture of Learning, they invite us to see how a world in constant flux is not either a problem to solve or a challenge to overcome. Via richly textured stories about what learning and play look and feel like in digitally connected participatory cultures, the authors invite readers to imagine how teaching might respond to a world in constant change."

"In a skillful analysis of shifting learning contexts and cultures, the authors explore learning as a cultural, social, and continuous process of inquiry, engagement, and participation in the world around us. Given that knowledge and information are dynamic and changing, that current technologies are participatory and emergent, they argue that learning environments must be transformed into knowledge building collectives that constantly create and respond to change".

I encourage you to read the rest of my review:  URL:

And of course, to read the book itself!!  Thomas and Brown's, A New Culture of Learning:  Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change.  URL: