The DiRT Directory is a registry of digital research tools for scholarly use. DiRT makes it easy for digital humanists and others conducting digital research to find and compare resources ranging from content management systems to music OCR, statistical analysis packages to mindmapping software.
Jackie GERSTEIN: I was asked recently why I have a strong interest and innate understanding of the growth mindset. I believe it comes from a background of being an adventure educator, and even though it was not labeled as such, the adventure educator embraces a growth mindset when working with participants. The underlying tenet of adventure education is “You are capable of so much more than you can even imagine. I believe in you and your capabilities; and I will set up the conditions for you to develop and amplify that same belief in yourself.”
Vygotsky’s earlier concept of mediation, which encompassed learning alongside others (Zone of Proximal Development) and through interaction with artifacts, was the basis for Engeström’s version of Activity Theory (known as Scandinavian Activity Theory). Engeström’s approach was to explain human thought processes not simply on the basis of the individual, but in the wider context of the individual’s interactions within the social world through artifacts, and specifically in situations where activities were being produced.
In Activity Theory people (actors) use external tools (e.g. hammer, computer, car) and internal tools (e.g. plans, cognitive maps) to achieve their goals. In the social world there are many artifacts, which are seen not only as objects, but also as things that are embedded within culture, with the result that every object has cultural and/or social significance.
Tools (which can limit or enable) can also be brought to bear on the mediation of social interaction, and they influence both the behavior of the actors (those who use the tools) and also the social structure within which the actors exist (the environment, tools, artifacts). For further reading, here is Engeström’s own overview of 3 Generations of Activity Theory development. The first figure shows Second Generation AT as it is usually presented in the literature.
This Saturday and Sunday, TEDx communities across the globe will be celebrating TEDxYouthDay, a weekend of TEDx events dedicated to the ingenuity of kids worldwide. Every year we’re taken aback by the amazing things that come out of these events, and to celebrate, we’re featuring some of our favorite TEDx Talks from young people. Below, three great TEDx Talks from kids you have to watch.
In school, we learn about geniuses and their ideas, but how did they get those ideas? What are the mental processes, attitudes, work habits, behaviors, and beliefs that enable creative geniuses to view the same things as the rest of us, yet see something different?
There is mounting evidence that complementing or replacing lectures with student-centric, technology-enabled active learning strategies and learning guidance—rather than memorization and repetition—improves learning, supports knowledge retention, and raises achievement. These new student-centered blended learning methods inspire engagement, and are a way to connect with every student right where they are while supporting progress toward grade level standards.
In our emerging digital world, a new medium of exchange has developed: online engagement, especially via social media. Effectively engaging online requires a myriad of skills that we strive to foster in school – effective written communication, brevity and civility. These components are often highlighted in Digital Citizenship programs, but in tradition-bound K12 education, we often deride social media as trite or ineffective.
As students work on a teacher-made Classkick assignment on their iPads, teachers see every students' work progressing all at once. Students can privately raise hands, teachers give individualized, real-time student feedback, and so much more.
"Last week the New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative released their 12th annual Horizon Report on technology integration in higher education. Each year these groups coordinate the work of a diverse panel of more than 50 experts to identify “key trends,” “significant challenges,” and “important developments” in educational technology. The final report includes predictions for future adoption of various tools and approaches in the short term, as well as over the next five years and beyond.
This year’s Horizon Report identifies two key trends influencing tech adoption over the next two years on a global scale."
"Using technology for learning makes sense. Technology creates access, transparency, and opportunity. Any smartphone or tablet is media incarnate–video, animation, eBooks, essays, blog posts, messages, music, games. The modalities of light, color, and sound all arranged just so to communicate a message or create an experience."
sparks & honey produces regular reports tracking the pulse of trends throughout society. While primarily a public relations agency, their insights tend to be very current, impressive with regard to method, and uncommonly perceptive. This slide deck on the characteristics of Generation Z has much to interest educators.
Educational institutions should enter the mobile age and embrace the opportunity to be more effective, efficient, and cost sensitive than ever before. The challenge, like with any disruption, is to rethink the system design and utilize new concepts, such as multi-persona, that align with this new age of mobility. Exciting times are ahead for educators.
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