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|Rescooped by Jim Lerman from Digital Media Literacy + Cyber Arts + Performance Centers Connected to Fiber Networks|
Increasing a community's access to and use of information technology requires collaboration among libraries, local government, non-profits, and business. This is a fundamental basis of Building Digital Communities: A Framework for Action (The Framework), a resource that helps communities chart a course toward digital inclusiveness. For the past year, we at WebJunction have been providing support to and documenting the work of communities piloting The Framework.
Milwaukee is one of the communities piloting The Framework. Milwaukee is taking all the right steps: they have a local leadership team consisting of the City, the library and a leading non-profit; they partnered with a university to conduct an information technology access and use survey (analysis and report in process); they gathered an initial group of stakeholders into a digital inclusion advisory group; and they are planning a digital inclusion stakeholder summit to share results of the survey and define the digital inclusion goals and needs of the community. Then they asked a really good question – Who are the trail-blazing digital inclusion communities?
We researched the answer to their question and are happy to now be releasing the briefing report "Trail-Blazing Digital Inclusion Communities". The report is a resource for all libraries (and other community leaders) who want to establish sustainability for their digital inclusion work.
Click headline to access hot link to download report--
by Ben Williamson
"The idea that young people should learn to code has become a global educational aspiration in the last few years. What kinds of questions should digital media and learning researchers ask about these developments? I want to suggest three approaches: first, to take a historical look at learning to code; second, to consider it in political and economic context; and third, to understand its cultural dimensions."
- a way to make and see the schedule (a piece of paper on an overhead, a whiteboard, or a projected Google Doc)
- a topic / theme / text / stage in the writing process (ex. WWII, Leaders as Behavior Monsters, 1984, thesis statements)"
"The VE wiki continuously monitors and measures how well structured are the groups that collaborate on its pages. If needed, it can also be used to maintain collaborative work within certain levels of equity and evenness. Thus the tool serves a double purpose. On the one hand, it can be used as a monitoring tool, for understanding how collaboration is structured. On the other, it can be employed for adjusting collaboration along particular parameters desired by the instructor or site administrator. The wiki is built around the MediaWiki platform, through which content can be edited by any user, including non-registered ones, all changes are permanently stored, and access to information that was edited or added is instantaneous. In addition, all pages come with “talk” areas, which allow discussions and interactions about the editing process. This makes it well adapted for collaborative work, especially of a textual nature."
Howard Rheingold's insight:
"Wiki collaboration is one of the strongest forms of augmented collective intelligence, and as always, the technology requires intelligent use in order for emergent intelligence to manifest in any useful way. This tool enables groups and managers/facilitators of groups to see how contributions are made, who makes the most contributions, and to make these efforts visible to others. Based on research by Sorin Adam Mateir at Purdue, it can be adapted to collaborative learning or to collaborative production."
Rupert Murdoch’s new idea for how to educate America.
by Carlo Rotella
"To get the most out of educational technology, teachers must combine those traditional classroom skills with new ones. And their repertoires will have to expand as the tablet’s powers grow. This fall, mastery might mean giving a quick quiz, then breaking up the students on the fly into groups based on their answers and sending each group a different exercise from the teacher’s tablet. In not too many years, it might mean using sophisticated pattern-recognizing algorithms to analyze data from homework, games, leisure reading, social media and biometric indicators to determine that one student should be guided to an interactive simulation of coral-reef ecology, another to an essay exercise built around a customized set of coral-reef-related vocabulary words and concepts, and others to something else.
"Are our overwhelmed, besieged, haphazardly recruited, variably trained, underpaid, not-so-elite teachers, in fact, the potential weak link in Amplify’s bid to disrupt American schooling? Klein said that we have 3.5 million elementary- and middle-school teachers. “We have to put the work of the most brilliant people in their hands,” he said. “If we don’t empower them, it won’t work.” Behind the talking points and buzz words, what I heard him saying was Yes."
Jim Lerman's insight:
Originally published on Sept. 12, 2013, this article summarizes well the pros and cons (and hopes and doubts) surrounding the launch of the first large-scale rollout of Amplify's tablet and curriculum system. The launch has suffered some well-publicized problems during the fall (after the article was published). Author Rotella seems to try hard to take an optimistic stance, but in the end, shows more skepticism than faith in the implementation strategy chosen by the company. He sees Amplify's (or at least CEO Joel Klein's) lack of confidence in teachers as a significant sticking point.
For almost everyone who is a part of the online world coming up with fresh content consistently is a big challenge. Practically every guideline advises that content should be engaging, informative and relevant every single time. Consequently, content curation has taken off in a big way.
Simply put, content curation is the process of curating relevant and interesting content from various sources on the web and putting them together and publishing them on a personal site or blog. As a result of the popularity of the content curation process, a number of content marketing tools have been introduced. These tools are meant to help in the process of content marketing and SEO and facilitate the process of curation...
Jim Lerman's insight:
Preaching to the choir...
by Konrad Krawczyk
"Think your mouse and keyboard are pretty rad input devices? How about your 27-inch monitor? They’re like chisels and spears compared to inFORM, something that the wizards at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology just unveiled. inFORM can reproduce digital content physically in 3D, which allows you to interact with it. Simply put, this could be the future of PC interaction.Like something out of Back to the Future or TRON, the inFORM can also react to the world around it, as well as be used like an input device akin to a mouse or keyboard. The inFORM can be used for everything from physically rendering bar graphs and 3D models which you can touch like you would any other object. And forget Skype calls; the inFORM can create a physical version of someone who, for example, rings into a conference call from afar. The inFORM was developed by MIT PhD students Sean Follmer, Daniel Leithinger, and Professor Hiroshi Ishii, from MIT’s Tangible Media Group."
via The Committed Sardine
by Harold Jarche
"If “informal social relationships have always been linked to effective performance” then open organizations are really a business necessity. Moving organizations to the left is what Change Agents Worldwide is focused on. This is my work.
"We believe change is coming fast to the Enterprise. We believe in the principles that drive the evolving web: chief among these are transparency, sharing/collaboration, authenticity, and trust. We are excited about new behaviors, structures, and technologies that will fuel healthy, productive disruption to industrial-age beliefs, taxonomies, and processes. We share a passion for introducing change to large institutions that results in a step change in productivity, higher engagement, richer experiences, innovation, and growth."
description by Med Kharbach
"Here is another awesome infographic I have recently stumbled upon on Learndash. The graphic outlines 5 ways to prepare students for future. It also features some interesting stats concerning the digital behaviour of today's learners. In a nutshell, to prepare learners for tomorrows job market, teachers need to draw on these strategies : Using videos, embracing video games, encouraging on the go study or mobile learning, teaching digital citizenship, and flipping the classroom. Have a look below to learn more about these strategies."
"According to Code.org, 90 percent of U.S. schools are not teaching any computer science. Eyebrows have been raised this year as the U.K. passed a plan to educate every child how to code. In my opinion, parents of every student in every school at every level should demand that all students be taught how to code. They don't need this skill because they'll all go into it as a career -- that isn't realistic -- but because it impacts every career in the 21st century world. Any country recognizing that will benefit in the long term. Here's how you can start."
by Ben Schiller
"Where is life best? Traditionally, the answer to this question has mainly been to ask another question: Where is the economy best? But recently economists have started to focus on how people are experiencing life, and everything that goes into making that better or worse, instead of just peering at the latest economic output reports.
"The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's How’s Life? report is one of the most comprehensive efforts. It looks at 11 factors that affect well-being--from income and employment, to work-life balance and personal safety--creating a rounded perspective that goes well beyond GDP. The OECD just released the 2013 edition.
To accompany the report, the OECD has an interactive Better Life Index, which allows readers to compare countries themselves, using any of the 11 criteria. Here are a few charts we came up with, starting with all factors weighted equally [this is the one displayed above]
Jim Lerman's insight:
Interesting to compare this to the Corruption Index here.
"Looking at the Corruption Perceptions Index 2012, it's clear that corruption is a major threat facing humanity. Corruption destroys lives and communities, and undermines countries and institutions. It generates popular anger that threatens to further destabilise societies and exacerbate violent conflicts.
"The Corruption Perceptions Index scores countries on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). While no country has a perfect score, two-thirds of countries score below 50, indicating a serious corruption problem."
Jim Lerman's insight:
Interesting to compare these results to those of the Better Life index here.
by Pasi Sahlberg
"One thing that has struck me is how similar education systems are. Curricula are standardized to fit to international student tests; and students around the world study learning materials from global providers. Education reforms in different countries also follow similar patterns. So visible is this common way of improvement that I call it the Global Educational Reform Movement or GERM. It is like an epidemic that spreads and infects education systems through a virus. It travels with pundits, media and politicians. Education systems borrow policies from others and get infected. As a consequence, schools get ill, teachers don’t feel well, and kids learn less.
"GERM infections have various symptoms. The first symptom is more competition within education systems. Many reformers believe that the quality of education improves when schools compete against one another. In order to compete, schools need more autonomy, and with that autonomy comes the demand for accountability. School inspections, standardized testing of students, and evaluating teacher effectiveness are consequences of market-like competition in many school reforms today. Yet when schools compete against one another, they cooperate less."
To read more of this fascinating analysis, click here.
Jim Lerman's insight:
Originally published on June 19, 2012 in the Washington Post, I discovered this piece while dipping into the flow of reaction to the release of the newest PISA results on Dec. 3, 2013. I had not encountered the term "GERM" before (Global Education Reform Movement), but its view of the components that make it up is certainly familiar to many: Competition, School Choice, and Accountability.
Sahlberg elaborates on GERM more fully in an April 2012 post. He lists 5 characteristics common to GERM infection: Standardization, Focus on Core Subjects, Search for Low-Risk Ways to Reach Learning Goals, Use of Corporate Management Models, Test-Based Accountability Policies.
Sahlberg's 2011 book, Finnish Lessons, which tells the story of Finland's remarkable ascent to the top of the testing charts, received widespread critical and popular acclaim both internationally and in his native country.
It comes as no surprise, he is not a proponent of the GERM approach to educational improvement.
"Healthy online reading habits require constant gardening. Every Internet company provides us a little plot to tend for, and that’s how they keep our attention where they want it. But the soil is pretty gross in most of them, and the seeds are tightly regulated. If we want to read healthily, we have to build our own info gardens.
The most important gardening task is deciding what to plant — that is, what sources to read — and that’s a personal choice. The topics, tone, and perspective of your information sources are for you to determine. But the bulk of the work is in building and tending the garden, and this guide will suggest some tools and methods to help. And with the gardening work out of the way, you’ll spend most of your time cooking, eating, and sharing. That’s the delicious part, and this guide will offer my best recipes."
Succinct, relevant, practical tips on online literacy skills from a skilled infotention practitioner.
by Stephen Downes
"...while we may agree that these are weaknesses of the current model, the fact is that the advantages of MOOCs make it more desirable to press forward with the concept, rather than abandoning it and returning to traditional online and classroom-based courses and programs.
"The first advantage is accessibility. As the name 'Massive Open Online Course' suggests, MOOCs are available to everyone, requiring only an Internet connection (now 40 per cent of the world’s population, according to the International Telecommunications Union). Even if certification is not available, the fact that participants do not need to pay tuition makes them especially attractive to people outside the traditional university audience. As evidenced by the hundreds of thousands of people registering for courses like Stanford AI (artificial intelligence), there is significant demand for open access to higher education content.
"As important to accessibility is flexibility. People can, for the most part, pick their own time to study. Even if students miss the live online presentations, they can view the recorded archive. They can study the material at their own pace, and even if they fall behind, they can continue to access content, work through the examples and assignments, and continue to learn from the course.
"And this is what points to the most important element in the future of MOOCs. Today MOOCs are hosted by Coursera or Udacity are based at universities. But over time, they will develop their own presence and their own existence. Take, for example, the Stanford AI course, or the Introduction to Complexity course offered by Melanie Mitchell. While at the moment they are strongly associated with an individual university, over time on sites like Complexity Explorer they will forge their own identity, separating themselves from their university origin.
What will happen in such a scenario is that one course may be offered by several universities. There is no reason why the complexity course could not be shared by MIT, Stanford and the University of Calgary, with local services (such as tutorials, labs and social events) being provided by host institutions, while the content, community and activities are based in the online environment. In the past I have referred to this as the 'online-host provider framework'.
Students Need Professional Learning Networks, Too
Learning to create, manage and promote a professional learning network (PLN) will soon become, if it’s not already, one of the most necessary and sought after skills for a global citizen, and as such, must become a prominent feature of any school curriculum.
This chart looks at the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset by looking at eight areas:
* Evaluation of situations
* Dealing with setbacks
* Success of others
You may want to share this with students or other teachers at your school.