Chris Dede -- Emerging Interactive Media: What to Use, When, and How?

RECORDINGS:
Full Elluminate Recording: https://sas.elluminate.com/p.jnlp?psid=2009-05-21.1700.M.9EABC6C3F0...
Audio Only: http://audio.edtechlive.com/foe/chrisdede.mp3
Portable Video: http://audio.edtechlive.com/foe/chrisdede.mp4
Chat Log: http://audio.edtechlive.com/foe/chrisdede.rtf
Slides from Presentation: http://audio.edtechlive.com/foe/chrisdede.pdf

Over the past few years, the array of free interactive media for communities to create and share knowledge has greatly expanded. The menu for classroom use now includes writers’ workshops and fanfiction, online discussion forums, wikis, mashups, photo/video sharing, social networking sites, blogs, podcasts, social bookmarking, and collaborative social change sites. This session will present a conceptual framework for these media, describe some challenges, and provide the opportunity for interactive discussion on how we can use these media for teaching/learning.

Chris Dede is the Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. His fields of scholarship include emerging technologies, policy, and leadership. His funded research includes four grants from NSF and the US Department of Education to explore immersive and semi-immersive simulations as a means of student engagement, learning, and assessment. His co-edited book, Scaling Up Success: Lessons Learned from Technology-based Educational Improvement, was published by Jossey-Bass in 2005. A second volume he edited, Online Professional Development for Teachers: Emerging Models and Methods, was published by the Harvard Education Press in 2006.


Date: Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Time: 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern / 12am GMT (next day) (international times here)

Location: In Elluminate. Log in at https://sas.elluminate.com/m.jnlp?sid=2008350&password=M.65D7B4.... The Elluminate room will be open up to 30 minutes before the event if you want to come in early.

To make sure that your computer is configured for Elluminate, please visit http://www.elluminate.com/support. Video, audio, and chat recordings will be posted here after the show.

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It was a great talk. There are a lot of questions, threads from that talk that could continue.
One thing that's more and more apparent to me is the disconnect between the new creative social media and the way schooling is becoming tighter and tighter, more rigid and restricted. Anyone else seeing that dichotomy? What to do?
Yes, he used the word "custodial." I don't like to think on that role of the schools, but it's there.

I was just touring preschools this morning. . .one director (at a private school) assured me my son would not ever be allowed on the classroom computer without supervision and even then it would be to use one pre-approved site (hmmm. . . OK), and then she says computing skills are not taught until 4th grade (um, that's not OK). I told her I would prefer the children learn early from teaches and parents how to monitor and self-regulate their use of the Internet rather than have a blanket Internet filter that works ineffectively, such as is the case in our public schools. (Interesting side note: our local school district is named in a recent suit brought by the ACLU regarding blocked sites.)

I know that website access is just scratching the surface of what you mean by "tighter and tighter," but if students are forbidden to use email accounts on campus except the messaging system inside the locally hosted CMS, which is the case in my community, how can we ever get on to the business of creating and nurturing the "ecology of pedagogies" (*love* that) ??
Absolutely. In CT at the current, our state Tech Ed coordinator posts info for teachers on the State Dept of Ed site via a link to his blog. The state "8e6" filter, blocks his blog. Go figure. Three ideas: 1.) We need noted researchers at the higher ed level to lobby federal and state legislator's hard to bring critical changes to K-12 education. Grassroots from classroom teachers not enough. 2.) We also need greater accountability for teacher professional development and practice in the area of technology integration into instruction. What gets measured, gets done. Our kids deserve our passion to change to meet their learning needs. 3.) Higher ed needs to walk the talk and revamp teacher education training to prepare our next generations of teachers with the competencies to facilitate learning with emerging technologies. OK, I feel better now...
I'm bummed that I missed Chris Dede's talk. He has some fantastic things to say about educational technology. I learned so much from viewing his FETC presentation. Anybody know if I can view yesterday's talk on demand?
Eric,
I know Steve plans to make the talk and the slides available. It's all fantastic. Wait'll you see those slides--so much to talk about.
Ok, cool. I can't wait! By the way, I have video clips from Chris Dede's FETC presentation in this blog posting: http://speechlanguagepathologysharing.blogspot.com/2009/04/2009-fet...
Thank you for the thoughts, Jennifer and tmccabe.

Jennifer, touche--you nailed it with this comment: "I told her I would prefer the children learn early from teachers and parents how to monitor and self-regulate their use of the Internet rather than have a blanket Internet filter that works ineffectively, such as is the case in our public schools." I completely agree with you.

tmccabe, yes, "what gets measured gets done." A sad truth. That's mainly what I was talking about, although I agree with both of you that accessibility is a major issue. You are correct to say that there should be expectations for educators for techology integration in instruction. Absolutely. I'd say educators need to use and be engaged with the students as everyone together uses and learns technologies.

But I meant that the standards-movement and high-stakes accountability (as currently framed) are getting in the way of learning. We need fewer lists, not more. Teachers must be allowed to go for real learning in their classes and not feel that coverage of listed material overrides all else. This is what is killing the students, the teachers, the processes of learning. It leads ultimately to utter disengagement, which perhaps is the key component in the high drop-out rate.

Here's Diane Ravitch giving her summary of what's going on, in a recent letter to Deborah Meier on Bridging Differences (a great diablog at edweek).

"Data-driven Nonsense"


"This approach rests squarely on the high-stakes use of testing. One only wishes that the proponents of this mean-spirited approach might themselves be subjected to a high-stakes test about their understanding of children and education! I predict that every one of them would fail and be severely punished.

We agree that a better approach is needed to assess how well students are learning what they are taught. We agree that current standardized tests are not adequate to the task of determining the fate—whether they should be rewarded or punished—of children, teachers, and their schools.

I think that testing is important and can be valuable, as it helps to spotlight problems and individuals in need of help. But the determinative word here is "help." The so-called reformers want to use accountability to find people in need of termination and schools in need of closure. Let's hope this punishment-obsessed crowd is never put in charge of hospitals!

Unfortunately, events are not breaking in the direction we both prefer. The stimulus bill includes millions so that every state can create a data system. This system will track the test scores of every student, from pre-K to college, and attribute their test score gains (or lack thereof) to their teachers. When the information is available, it will be used and misused. Every teacher (at least those who teach the tested subjects) will have a public record detailing whether his or her students made gains or not. This information will be used to establish calibrated merit pay schemes, so that each teacher will get more or fewer dollars depending on the scores of the year. Is this piecework?

The federal government seems ready to impose a Dr. Strangelove approach on our schools to turn them into 'data-driven systems.' Not, as you suggest, 'data-informed' systems, but data-driven systems. Teachers will certainly teach to the tests, since nothing else matters. The only missing ingredient from this grand data-driven scheme will be education.

Remember when we used to debate 'what knowledge is of most worth?' Those were the days."




---So that's our current educational context.

I'm seeing such a huge contrast, a disconnect in what's going on for education. Big time.

On the one hand, there's a vice-like grip--getting tighter and tighter--about what teachers must be doing in their classes. There's an emphasis on monitoring in great detail that particular preset knowledge-bits are being dispensed. So time in class gets all used up in a particular direction.

And on the other hand there are new powerful, creative, and collaborative tools could be opening up all sorts of learning. Student motivation and involvement with learning could soar--like never before. We have right within our reach all sorts of possibilities for innovation, exploration, engagement. But can we get to them? Not if all the roads are pre-defined. This is what I worry about for the teachers of today. The standards-era has reached a new height. Is it the crest of the wave, and going down? Or are we stuck in this curious impasses for a while?

I'd like to know what people think about all this. This era in education seems oddly lifeless, when so much is possible. Maybe I've been talking to too many metro-Detroit teachers ("Ground Zero" is Detroit's new name...by Arnie Duncan). Maybe I've been hearing from too many education professors who bemoan the state of teacher-education, all focused on checklists of compatibility with standards and not enough time think through what learning really is, and how to best promote it. What do you think?
Discussions like this always upset me, because I see possibilities that I never had as a student that could help my own kids. But these opportunities are squandered in favor of tests. The local paper publishes the test scores and shows all the gains over last year. Great news!-- except the tests are absolutely meaningless.

Confession time: I was a supporter of NCLB. I was in favor of having highly qualified teachers, research-based instruction, teacher and student accountability. But the consequences of the federalization of our education system have been absolutely hideous, catering to the lowest common denominator.

I agree with the author of Disrupting Class; the changes will happen outside of public schools through homeschooling, virtual schooling and some private schools. I can see the custodial aspect being addressed through people starting "Virtual School Centers" where the people running them aren't teachers at all. The definition of "school" will undergo a fundamental shift in the next decade, as people seek safe and stimulating environments for their children that are outside of the system. It's certainly got me thinking.

So far, Christiansen has been right - the established entity (public education) is not able or even willing to adapt.
The new administration seems intent on delivering even more of the same-- data tracking for the tests. My school blocks everything "social networking" or "discussion forums". So my staff development is done on my own, at home which is where my kids seem to get the bulk of their in-depth education that meets their interests.

I do really like these discussions, even though they rather rile me up! It's good to know so many other people get it and are willing to have the conversation.
Thanks, Eric, for the video clips!

Daniel, I know what you mean about how you like having the discussions, even though they get us riled up! I'm thinking a lot about the whole thing. How'd we get into such dichotomies in education: the vice clamps--the freedom? The learning inside of school--the learning outside of school... The "knowledge bits disseminated by teacher to student" --the knowledge acquisition engendered by habits of minds of active, empowered learners. Splits. Contrasts. Disconnect.

Daniel, I agree with you: "But these opportunities are squandered in favor of tests. The local paper publishes the test scores and shows all the gains over last year. Great news!-- except the tests are absolutely meaningless."

You also said, "So far, Christiansen has been right - the established entity (public education) is not able or even willing to adapt." I wonder. I'm trying as hard as I can to imagine what's going to happen, to see into the future. Do you think innovative schools (charters?) will spring up and redefine education? Do you think school buildings themselves will not necessarily be associated with schooling? Do you think the requirements for schooling will change? Seems we are headed somewhere completely different now... but where? How?



For others on Future of Education:
I've been talking about US issues, the trends we're facing in education now. Are there similar dichotomies apparent in other countries? Or is an extreme focus on (a huge number of ) standards more of a US trend?
It'd be great to examine in some detail--have a discussion about--the slide in Chris Dede's talk:

"Jenkin's Framework for New Literacies"

(Can someone put that page up here? It's escaping me, how to do it--)

Jenkin's framework seems perfect as a guide for some of our Main Aims in education these days. What do you think?
Hoping this works...

Thanks, Steve, for putting the page up.

Now what do you think, educators and others out there: Is this a framework that could serve as a more useful guide than those detailed content-expectation standards? These are process expectations, behavioral expectations, thinking expectations.

What about having the students select ways they would demonstrate the above; and have peer/mentor/community members be part of their evaluation committee? What if the teachers have to show progress in the items on the list, too? And are evaluated by a diverse committee, too? (colleagues, students, community members, admin)

What if evaluation isn't for labeling, but for growth?

What if people had to write and share a self-evaluation on their progresses?

I'm interested in seeing how things can move along in the right direction in education. As I said, in the US we're in the midst of a giant dichotomy, a huge split. Many teachers are so constricted by having to jam lists of things into their students that there's little leeway for active exploration, for constructivist-connectivist approaches.

How do we weave the new learning with the old learning? How do we make the process of schooling connect better with the new literacies that seem to afford the best learning--but are now being used mostly outside of school... How do we repair the disconnect?

Or am I just thinking too simplistically, and what we really need to do is develop an entirely different model of schooling?

Anyhow, what's your view of the list that Chris Dede put up on Jenkins' Framework for New Literacies?

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