Igniting Conversation About the Future of Education

cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by ViaMoi

We are going to be watching a number of Ignite Talks from the 2012 Digital Media and Learning Conference. Here’s their description:

The Digital Media and Learning Conference is an annual event supported by the MacArthur Foundation and organized by the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub at University of California, Irvine. The conference is meant to be an inclusive, international and annual gathering of scholars and practitioners in the field, focused on fostering interdisciplinary and participatory dialog and linking theory, empirical study, policy, and practice.

You were assigned one talk to watch for which you are going to respond to in a blog post in a few ways:

  1. Embed the video in your post. And do some research about the speaker. I a few sentences please give us some context as to who they are and what they do. Also hyperlink to any references you used.
  2. Find two or more quotes from the talk you find interesting and share them with your classmates in two ways: write out the quotes and hyperlink to the quotation points in the video using the Youtube timing link by adding “#t=00m00s” at the end of the link. Here’s an example:
  3. Next you are going to poll your fellow classmates about the two quotes using an embedded Google Form. You will need to create a Google account (or gmail email) if don’t already have one to create your form. Also you will need to edit the form embed code a little bit for it to show up in your post. These are the edits you will need to make:
    So the code will now look like this:

In your poll you can ask simple agree/disagree questions using a multiple choice, as well as you should ask students to back up their perspective in a follow-up question. All the answers you receive will be anonymous and sortable in Google spreadsheet. You are to report out your results of the survey in a second blog post on Wednesday morning.

Grant Potters and such

Grant Potters talk is very interesting to me. I feel that it is important that he creates this sort of confidence in his students and doesn’t put emphasis on assessment but rather he creates a free space for creativity and consciousness. He states that students should appreciate screw-ups and learn how to leverage them, which is something I entirely can agree with. I do feel that there is always a negative stigma to failure which in most cases there can be, but at the same time trying again or fixing mistakes is what life is all about. I feel that grant is preparing students for reality and this is a lesson you couldn’t often get anywhere else. Grants radio project, is an amazing way to have students participate as well as build confidence by encouraging them to take risks. Grant creates an open space to share thoughts, ideas, criticisms and this is special in the learning environment. It is okay to fail, you can fall it is important. I think Grants opinion about assessment is true as he feels that projects don’t need to be assignments but rather an expectation. “It is a journey, there will be struggles, states Grant.” Grant approaches things in a more holistic way which can make for positive changes in our students. I really loved when Grant says that we have to make it part of the culture that failure is part of learning process in a classroom. A few important issues that someone brought up in the question and answer is that Girls are not geared towards building, and he stated that it isn’t as true today. I feel that Grant is correct at the same time most families are still structured in old ways and these students are still and may possibly still be affected by gearing. Males still are possibly more geared towards building then girls. Another great question from the Q and A stage was about special needs students and building, how it can help them as learners. I don’t feel that Grant posed a very good answer because he may not have have had a good answer about that issue, I feel that he almost couldn’t answer it. As amazing as maker culture is, how can we include students of special needs? This is the only hindrance for me to absolutely loving his methods of teaching.

I suppose I may make a space craft, but am likely to change my mind – Teachers can introduce to students the concept of frictionless motion by building a hovercraft themselves. I figure students can always modify their hovercraft by using other things that float in the air, maybe electric powered airplanes. Honestly this idea is dry and when its dipped in the water may change.

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