Today is Banned Website Awareness Day, and all across the country, educators are doing their part to raise awareness of how overly restrictive blocking of educational websites affects student learning.
The dialogue around filtering must also include bring-your-own-device policies, appropriate use of social media in schools, and overall responsible use of technology in school. Each of these issues plays an important part in the equation that influences school policy around filtering websites. For example, do students and teachers use social media sites like Edmodo or even Facebook for class purposes? Are educational videos on YouTube part of teachers’ curriculum? In large school districts, does it make sense to have individual school policies? Are students allowed to use their cell phones?
The Presence Project came to my attention when I helped judge the Learning, Design, and Technology Program student projects at Stanford. Two graduate students “who feel passionate about developing tools for modern families,” sustainability-focused designer Kyle Williams and Emily Goligoski, a researcher in Stanford’s Calming Technology Lab, created a digital and tangible toolkit to help families talk about, explore, and do something about their attentional choices around digital media.
"A Platform for Good (PFG) is a project of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) designed to help parents, teachers and teens to connect, share, and do good online! At FOSI we work with leaders in the field of online safety and, regularly, we hear about incredible stories and exciting opportunities in our digital world. We hear stories of parents, teens, and teachers using technology to raise social awareness, encourage activism, enhance our education system, and of course, have fun!
What we have noticed, however, is that the stories reported in the news and infusing public conversation are focused heavily on the negative notions that don't support the research that says the majority of people's online experiences are positive. Given this climate, it is our hope that PfG will create a place to have a more balanced discussion about the role digital technology can play in our lives.
Our vision for A Platform for Good is to start a dialogue about what it means to participate responsibly in a digital world. While recognizing the potential risks, we will celebrate technology as a vehicle for opportunity and social change."
"How do people who’ve grown up using the internet engage in civic life?....In democratic states, citizens need information about what challenges a government faces and what it’s proposing to do about it to be effective citizens. And citizens need to be able to connect with one another to discuss, debate and propose solutions. What a communications medium makes possible has a shaping influence on civic life."
"The Internet's reach is so pervasive, it feels as though it has always been around. The reality is that the web is still in its infancy, and we don't really understand the risks it poses to our mental health....."
With the Chronicle of Higher Education’s recent story, “MOOC Mania,” even more people are talking about MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses – and a lot of this dialogue is happening right here on www.hastac.org. Check out the links below for insightful posts on MOOCs and how to use them to revolutionize teaching and learning.
The Flipped Classroom is a learning model where students are exposed to new ideas at home–often through videos–and then work applications of that learning at school–an approach that reverses, or “flips” the old approach.
"For whatever reason, discussions of online education are in the air. Cathy Davidson frequently writes about the challenges facing our education system on this blog, and when a consortium of top universities combined to create an online course initiative, it seemed that online education had grown past its infancy as was ready for mainstream acceptance.
"That initiative, Coursera, has clearly excited the public, as it now boasts over one million students taking free online courses. Yet it has not been without its critics." See site for more.
The key differentiator between those who feel overwhelmened by the volume of information available today and those who feel empowered and enthusiastic appears to be....know-how. --Howard Rheingold
"But now, there’s proof that all this worry about information overload, message meltdown and attention crash is overinflated hyperventilating. A study out of Northwestern University finds that “very few Americans feel bogged down or overwhelmed by the volume of news and information at their fingertips and on their screens.”
Published in the journal The Information Society, the findings were based on seven focus groups with 77 participants from around the country. According to study author Eszter Hargittai, associate professor of communication studies, “We found that the high volume of information available these days seems to make most people feel empowered and enthusiastic. People are able to get their news and information from a diverse set of sources and they seem to like having those options.”"
WNYC's Studio 360 asked us to create a new visual vocabulary that reflects the multidimensional role of the teacher. Listen to our interview with Kurt Andersen on Studio 360 and check out our full presentation.
"With YouTube, Wikipedia, search engines, free chatrooms, blogs, wikis, and video communication, today’s self-learners have power never dreamed-of before. What does any group of self-learners need to know in order to self-organize learning about any topic? The Peeragogy Handbook is a volunteer-created and maintained resource for bootstrapping peer learning."