How Far?

My SnowflakeMy daughter starts her student teaching today. I don’t mind telling you that my first day of student teaching was 30+ years ago. The degree to which things have changed, at least in some classrooms, became apparent as I was scanning through some recent classroom teacher blogs, and I ran across a post that represented today’s agenda for an elementary class. One of the assignments read…

Go to The Snowflake Maker When there click on Make Your Own Snowflake. Move the scissors and click to cut the snowflake. Then save your snowflake and email to (teachers e-mail address).

Now my immediate response was, so what’s wrong with kids learning to use real scissors. But I’m sure that there are drawers of scissors in her classroom, and that her students have plenty of experience using them. Today, it is probably as important for students to learn to use scissors controlled by a mouse as it is to operate real ones.

The real kicker was the last statement in the post:

Next week we will work on our avatars in Portrait Illustrator.

Added 1/6/08:
I’ve not added this caveat until now, because this post has generated some useful conversation. But I want to note here that this entry was not intended as an advocacy of any particular applications for technology.  It was nothing more than an observation of how much things have changed between the time that I student taught and today, as my daughter has begun her student teaching.  A lesson involving virtual scissors and avatars would have simply seemed to weird back when computers, as we know the, hadn’t even been invented yet.

How Long?

This is not an education question in the sense that we are usually discussing.  But I’m real curious.  We got an appartment for my daughter because the school she is student teaching in is so many mountain miles from her college.  My question is this…

How long before she’s not calling mom four times during the preparation of a single meal?  I can imagine that meatloaf is a complicated dish to prepare, but please….


XOs in Peru

An Interesting story in eSchoolNews about laptops in rural Peru…

Top News – Laptop project enlivens Peruvian hamlet:

Since its announcement nearly three years ago, former MIT Media Lab director Nicholas Negroponte’s One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative has generated plenty of controversy. But if the experience of children in Arahuay, Peru, is any indication, skepticism of the program could be short-lived.

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Community without Walls

Snip from "The Story of My "Second Life"Kevin Jarrett writes a delightful blog post about his edu-evening in Second Life.  It’s a great description of community without walls.

When Virtual Worlds Collide | The Story of My “Second Life”:

So I’m covering my docent shift at ISTE HQ, and things are sorta quiet, as they have been lately … I’m chatting with Ellen Starostin, a fellow docent … so I decide to Twit that I’m there, knowing a few other SLers are probably just a mouse click away from providing me some company … sure enough, within moments, I’ve crowdsourced a small gathering of folks! Teacher, Lupin, Ellen and two new friends from Twitter, Heyjude Jenns and Ruby Lmako.

For years, I’ve wondered who HeyJude is…

Something about New School

Over the past few weeks, as part of a writing project, I’ve been trying to reconcile some ideas about teaching and learning that I’d formulated a few years ago, with some of the shifts that have been happening since — mostly with regard to web 2.0 and especially with the rich new conversations that have been occurring about this new information landscape — and through that landscape.

I’ve been trying to factor it all down to my customary three bullet points, and I think I’m nearly there — though it’s going to take more than one slide with up to three bullet points each. This diagram is my attempt to bring it together in front of my own eyes. It seems to me that putting it out here is a fitting thing to do on this first day of 2008.

This is the third version of the diagram based on gracious suggestions already received!
Click to see enlarged First Version Click to see enlarged Second Version Click to see enlarged Third Version

I started writing a long explanation, but then came to realize that it may be more useful to just put it out there and ask some of you to respond in any constructive way that seems appropriate.

This is not meant to be definitive in any way, just a conversation starter. The issues are nowhere near this simple and the barriers are never this clear. The overlap between the pedagogies of school 1.0 and school 2.0 are important in critical. But breaking it all apart and putting labels on it seems like a useful way to better understand it all.

Your constructive criticisms are welcome.

Added Later:
There is certainly a lot of School 2.0 happening inside of today’s schools. It’s happening as a result of visionary, inventive, and courageous administrators and teachers. There will also remain a good deal of School 1.0. The lecture won’t die.