Why our schools are NOT failing your children

This morning I read this article by recent graduate Johanna O’Farrell in The Age.  Of course any article which opens with “Why your schools are failing your children: a teacher tells” piqued my interest.  I have always advocated for teachers telling their stories in our media rather than politicians but this one had my heart rate rising as she spoke of schools tossing aside “any sort of rigour, routine or repetition when it comes to classroom learning.”

I am truly concerned of Johanna’s experiences in schools where she believes that the strategy is that students “will simply learn to read and write by osmosis” and that rote learning should be a valid part of learning.…

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Assessing Complex Systems and Sonnet 73

As my own views about education continue to emerge, I understand them best within the context of the conversation about complexity—complexity as a large, transdisciplinary conversation that has been emerging for centuries, but that was made unavoidable by the emergence of relativity and quantum physics at the beginning of the 20th century.… Continue reading

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MOOCs, Transdisciplinarity, and Thinking Big

In his 2004 Phi Beta Kappan essay entitled Thinking Big: A Conceptual Framework for the Study of Everything, self-described contrarian educator Marion Brady writes that “the main task of educating is to help students make more sense of the world, themselves, and others” (p. 277). He attacks the current state of knowledge as represented in the plethora of academic subjects and disciplines and… Continue reading

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MOOCs "Not a Course. It’s a Collaboration"

Terry Elliot, one of the participants in the Making Learning Connected MOOC #CLMOOC that started a couple of weeks ago posted an article… today showing some of the people he’s connected with, including me. In the article he included a line saying “This is not a course, it is a collaboration.”

I’ve written articles about MOOCs and their potential for supporting the on-going learning of groups of people trying to solve complex problems, like inner city poverty and related issues. Continue reading

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Knowledge? #etmooc

A little note: “… Increasingly, people … have to use higher thinking skills (and less lower skills  like ?Knowledge?). … “

Lower thinking skills are now needed more than ever. Knowledge of the use of media, knowledge of language, it is  necessary knowledge.  The pyramid of the thinking skills of Bloom and the categories of Romiszowski could be very confusing.…

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Writer’s Jam

http://theselvedgeyard.files.wordpress.com

It happened, writer’s block, or maybe I should call it writer’s jam because that might be a better description. Like this image, I have numerous connected learning logs trying to squeeze through into one coherent, flowing… post but nothing is getting through. Continue reading

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Misadventures in Connected Learning … But That’s Not All!

Before this second week of #etmooc “Connected Learning” slips by, I wanted to write a post reflecting a bit on the prompt: ”Is it possible for our classrooms to support this kind of (connected) learning? If so, how?

cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo shared by dennisar

I definitely think that our classrooms can support connected learning and that technology can make the “how” much easier and more feasible to facilitate that learning.…

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Expanding, Sustaining Funding – New Thinking Needed

I’ve been part of an Education Technology MOOC (#ETMOOC) this week where more than 1000 people from around the world are connecting on-line and sharing ideas about uses of technology in education, learning, media and network building.

I’ve been trying for the past 20 years to build this type of learning community, connecting all of those who are concerned with the gap between rich and poor in America, the education system, workforce diversity, social justice, violence, public health, and a number of other reasons to be involved. Continue reading

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Individual differences? Using vodcasts as a blended learning strategy. An Action Research project

This is the outline plan for an Action Research project for #mscmmel.  I have posted it so that any critical friends can comment.  I need all the help I can get, believe me!

CONTEXT

Teaching:

I work in a FE college in the UK, where I teach the Association of Accounting Technician (AAT) syllabus from Level 1 to 4.…

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School – Family Partnerships for the 21st Century

I read a lot of articles about improving the school – family dynamic in public education. Some focus on parent involvement, others go toward parent engagement. I have been inspired by the work of Joyce Epstein and Debbie Pushor as they both encourage the development of true partnerships based on mutual respect and a desire to enhance student learning.…

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