ement gaps and improve equal participatory opportunity. Administrative micro-management and tinkering won't get us to where we need to be, soon enough. Innovation is inherently risky. Not everything works as it's intended.
A good starting point is to open up the use and access to the Internet and social media in the classroom. Remove the limitations designed to program out all risk and possibilities of a "failure." Start from the position of "trusting" the classroom teacher. (Some will betray our trust and must be dealt with on an individual basis, but it should not be the canon of administrative rules that eliminating one mistake takes precedent over a spirit of open access and innovation for the vast majority of teaching professionals who possess a lot more innovative spirit and creativity than they are given credit for by a system of risk/liability management.)
So, the grand bargain is: Open up access to the Internet at the classroom teacher level. Give teachers and students more responsibility and freedom for access choices and tools (i.e., social media and new applications). Allow tech staffs to play "advisory roles." But we need to move away from the position of "tech autocracies." It severely limits creativity and innovation in teaching in an era where five socio-technology trends (social production, social networking, a semantic web, media grids, and biology as the mother-science of the 21st century) redefine the meaning of knowledge and learning. In exchange for open access, prepare the community, school administrators and "leadership," and education professionals for less fear of the consequences of risk and mistakes.…
fferent people. You can see samples at http://tutormentor.blogspot.com
Are you aware of the www.socialedge.org forum? You have lots to offer and share and that's a good place for networking of social entrepreneurs.…
front page. We are starting to see, under the radar, the skill sets that you define as schools and universities move to a more Constructivist education with requirements like "service learning" and international experiences which may become almost mandatory. The EU under the Bologna Process is pushing this latter element, internally and focusing on the currently 3 million international students, globally.
Perhaps one of the prescient ideas to come out of the science fiction literature is Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age which centers around an interactive learning device, a mix of technology and human linkages for guiding a student's growth tailored to their specific needs at the moment.
The problem that exists is how does one measure and compare the level of knowledge. The operative term is "measure" which has resulted in a reductionist path created when the enlightenment philosophers, Saint Simon, Compte, and others, tried to map the 17th century, successful models of science into the social domain. What this essentially does is to define acquired knowledge narrowly, leave the determination of that knowledge acquired to the teachers and maintaining the hegemony of the current system.
There also exists another significant problem. As we move to self-learning/acquisition devices, we focus on the individual's skills. This would be fine if the human were basically a singular, functioning biocomputer. Unfortunately, one of the problems that the world of work and the world outside of work have is effective human relationships, hard to do with current "social networking" in the virtual universe with, perhaps, some possibilities in the MMORPG virtual worlds and variances thereof.
One does not reject the value of knowledge experts which we find in our faculty, preK->gray. What is difficult to imagine is the disruption of an entrenched infrastructure, an entire industry which moves students in grade-defined, lockstep paths through the education system. Part of this is due to the old "whoever has the gold makes the rules". Under the guise of protecting or maintaining the public trust, governments which pass out, at all levels, the majority of the funding believe they are charged with oversight. And, if the only tool they have is the current measure, grade advancement, test scores, etc, then change becomes difficult.
Unfortunately, the system is unraveling with the rise of distributed knowledge which is no longer locked inside the ivory tower or the little red school house. This leaves the only tool at the disposal of the current system as "certification" where the providers are also the certifiers. As the social networking world goes international, new criteria are developing and even the certification hegemony is weakening.…
empowerment has a significant impact on
course readiness and the educational attainment of students in a long-term treatment facility.
These students too are both low-income and a high risk for failure. Social networking is an innovative way to connect any student to the workforce.…
Date: Tuesday, August 4th, 2009
Time: 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern / 6pm GMT (next day) (international times here)
Duration: 30 minutes
Location: In Elluminate. Log in at http://tinyurl.com/futureofed.
Dave Tosh is the co-founder and CEO of Elgg, a leading open source social networking engine.
Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/davetosh
Elgg - http://elgg.org/
The Elluminate room (http://tinyurl.com/futureofed) 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. Recordings of the session will be posted within a day of the event.…
Date: Thursday, October 1st, 2009
Time: 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern / 12am GMT (next day) (international times here)
Duration: 1 hour
Location: In Elluminate. Log in at http://tinyurl.com/futureofed. 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. Recordings of the session will be posted within a day of the event.
Allan H. Weis is the author of The Business of Changing Lives: How A High-Tech Company Invested in Kids and Creativity (Greenleaf Book Group, September 2009), a new book that details the creation and growth of his company, Advanced Network & Services (ANS). He celebrates two decades of social entrepreneurship, as ANS has earmarked all of its resources - $128,000,000 – to build national networking infrastructure and foster significant social change. He is the founder and president of ANS, a company he started in 1990 to advance education and science by accelerating the use of computer networking technology. An Internet pioneer, Mr. Weis led the ANS team that built the largest and fastest part of the Internet , which provided the underlying network for the National Science Foundation. In 1995, the assets and operations of ANS were sold to America Online Inc. With the proceeds of that sale, ANS became a preeminent force in education and philanthropy. A passionate believer in the power of the “Net” to revolutionize learning and close the educational resources gap among students, Mr. Weis founded ThinkQuest® in 1995. A philanthropic initiative designed as a competition, ThinkQuest honored its annual winners with up to $2,000,000 in scholarships and cash awards, and became the fastest growing Internet-based educational program in the world. ThinkQuest helps students and educators learn computer and networking technology as they create educational Web sites that are used as teaching tools. In 2002, ThinkQuest was donated to the Oracle Foundation, except for a successful spin-off, ThinkQuest NYC.
Mr. Weis was also instrumental in creating the Internet2 project, a collaborative program between universities and corporations to construct the next generation of the Internet. In addition, he started the National Tele-Immersion Initiative, the most challenging network application that integrates virtual reality and networked computing.
Prior to his work with ANS, Mr. Weis spent 30 years with IBM. Before he retired in 1990, Mr. Weis served as vice president of IBM’s Engineering & Scientific computing business, where he had worldwide responsibility for strategy, development and technical support for IBM’s high performance systems and applications. His department served the nation’s top research labs and universities.
Mr. Weis has served on many national committees that deal with the future of communications and computing technologies, such as the panel on Information Technology and the Conduct of Research of the National Academy of Sciences. He has been a member of the World Technology Network since 2002 and was a member of the CEO Forum on Educational Technology.
Mr. Weis attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, where he earned a Master of Science degree. He resides in Sarasota, Florida. For more information, please consult: www.advanced.org.…