Monday, November 17, 2008

Progress Report on Final Project

It was great getting together with my colleagues to sort out what we want to do for the final project for this class. It was also great to have time to reflect on how we could best use the readings that we had done during the first half of the course. The time to reflect was essential for us to begin planning for technology in education in 2030 - 2035. Digital learning is fast emerging as the new way for people to become lifelong learners. The needs of the students 20 - 25 byears from now will be greatly different from our needs and so the tools they use need to be different.

We worked on a Star Trek type of future and considered the 4 C's in our planning. Each of us has a share of the pie and we plan to use the wiki as the means of pulling all our resources together from Paso Robles to San Luis Obispo to Agoura Hills - after all, it is the new and exciting way of learning.

Monday, November 3, 2008

What does the future hold?

After reflecting this past week on the Phoenix piece by Dr. Faverty and looking at our group wiki, I believe the real wrok is about to begin. To be able to create a new and exciting learning process is down right scary. I think that PDA's or a watch that acts as a PDA could revolutionaize instruction. It would have all the capability of a phone, the Internet, emailing, text messaging, a GPS system and access to many of the large depositories of knowledge.

In classrooms teachers could check for understanding, guide student learning, develop an ongoing project and see where the students are in their own personal learning. Students could access information at the touch of their PDA. All communication would be digital and immediately available to other learning groups electronically. To see students truly engaged and connected to the real world would be the best outcome anyone could hope for in the 21st century.

As a result of the class readings I need to pursue some of the other websites mentioned in the articles we read. So much to do so little time! This theme is getting very redundant.

Monday, October 27, 2008

So Much To Absorb, So Little Time to Reflect

It seems like the past five weeks have been filled with an avalanche of information on technology and what is going on in the world we live in. For me this has been an "E ticket" ride through a whole new vocabulary of technological wonders. I read the articles that we were assigned as a class, take a "bird walk" to some sites that are cited in the readings, and think that this is only the tip of information going on in the world. It is almost as opening one door leads to several more doors that need to be opened for discovery.

Being a relative novice, but certainly digitally literate in technology, I find that there are so many new areas for me to explore and "play" in on the Internet, in blogs and wikis that I do not know where to begin. If I were the largest sponge that ever existed I do not think that I could take everything in such a relatively short period of time. After all five weeks in the big scheme of things is not enough time to absorb and reflect on this new body of learning.

In reading about being tech savvy, what schools can do to improve policies on digital citizenship and look at a proposal for lifelong learning that gazed into the future, the readings have taken on new meaning. The framework for 21st century learning was very succinct and spoke to some very desirable outcomes for students. It appears that the core curriculum needs to be revamped for the 21st century. Creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication become the necessary skills for individuals to learn in order to be successful in this relatively "brave new world".

I look forward to spending some quality time to reflect on what I am experiencing and continuing to experience. Reflection requires some soak time, some quite time and a long walk to nowhere in particular. I know that quality time will be set aside so that this can happen. Our group has alreadt begun using our wiki to begin the reflection space that we need to begin to work on our class project. The time at the end of class this evening was a great opportunity to begin forming an innovative and creative plan for learning in the year 2035!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Technology and Society

I reviewed the Horizon Reports for call on Oct. 6, 2008 and was overwhelmed by the wealth of resources contained in those reports. The reports had a great chronology over the past four years as to how technology is rapidly developing and growing in use. In trying to relate this to the final project for this course, i can see that there is not limit on how to design a plan for schools in 2025. As a mater of fact, the resources talk about the evolutionary development of technology in all aspects of our lives.

Communication will become instantenous and will not rely on printed material but on electronic or digital material. While we will be saving trees - we will have to rely on an "electronic memory" for anything comminicated in this amnner. The class discussion about intentionality was very helpful to me because sometimes what you say and how you say it does not strike a positive note with the audience you are addressing. I believe that you have to check for understanding and be sensitive to the listen's feelings. You may want to ask, "How did you come across?"

That being said the opportunity to design a learning plan using technology in 2025 is wide open. The possibilities are limitless to be creative, but I had not had enoufg "soak time" to begin to formulate a plan. I am sure I will get the hang of being creative before too long.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Authentic Learning

I learn best by doing. As a seque to the article about digital learning, students/learners are able via the Ineternet and technology to learn how to solve real world problems. ANother common theme is that in an authentic learning environment, "learning becomes as much social as cognitive, as much concrete as abstract, and becomescintertwined with judgment and exploration". The interpersonal connection between mentor and apprentice (protege) is key to achieving the social aspect of authentic learning.

The discipline of being able to judge the reilability of information; to be patient to follow longer arguments; to synthesize patterns; and the flexibility to work across subject and cultural boundaries allows authentic learning. What I valued most in this article was how by using technology, a researcher can perform experiments with multiple resources, collaborate with others, sustain their investigation and integrate assessment in their constructivist approach to learning. Using simulations, student created media, inquiry based learning, peer-evaluation, working with remote instruments, working with research data, and reflecting and documenting achievements further shows the importance of authentic learning.

The list of universities using authentic learning is impressive but I know for a fact that the number of university professors comfortable using this technique is a miniscul minority. Universities need to inservice their repective professorial faculty on the benefits of authentic learning and break from the tradition of lecture ad nausiam. Professors also need to develop mentor - apprentice relationships with students to "seal the deal" in developing life-long learning colleagues.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Reflective Synthesis - Learning in the Digital Age

This article combined how learning in a digital age has changed some of the social nature of learning comnunities (i.e., colleges and universities). Knowledge has two dimesnions: explicit (facts, data) and tacit (know how). Practice (learning by doing) helps develop skills and that is what a learning community at a university should promote. This communities should be gaining knowledge from every form of electrical and digital resource available. The author discusses the shift from textual information to digital information. Technology will enhance student learning. He discusses several types of technology being used by universities.

There is a strong tie to constructivism in this article since the 21st century student has been encouaged to be creative in making new connections and assertions in their learning. The author further believes that a balance between time on campus and time online should be maintained. Video conferencing allows for a social context for learning and textbooks can become interactive electronic media with some work. Students cold have more access to scholarly individuals and practices. The structure of learning would change or be expanded. Universities could draw on cultural institutions (libraries, museums, corporations and governments) to foster lifelong learning needs. University professors could act as mentors to graduate and doctoral students. Higher education needs to resahpe its architecture to move teaching and learning into the digital age.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Richard J. Malfatti
Born in San Francisco, California
Educator K - 12
Professor in GSEP @ Pepperdine University
Doctoral Student @ UCSB & Cal Poly, SLO