John Hunter on the World Peace Game — TED March 2011 — my thanks to Mr. Joseph and Mrs. Kate Byerwalter for this great presentation

 

TED Talks -- John Hunter presents the World Peace Game -- March 2011

About this talk
John Hunter puts all the problems of the world on a 4’x5′ plywood board — and lets his 4th-graders solve them. At TED2011, he explains how his World Peace Game engages schoolkids, and why the complex lessons it teaches — spontaneous, and always surprising — go further than classroom lectures can.

About John Hunter
Teacher and musician John Hunter is the inventor of the World Peace Game (and the star of the new doc “World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements”).

 

 

If you want to truly engage students, give up the reins — from Ewan McIntosh

During the final half of 2010, I asked more than 1,500 teachers around the globe two questions: what are your happiest memories from learning at school, and what are your least happy experiences?

When I do the “reveal” of what I think their answers will be, every workshop has a “but how did he know?” reaction. It’s more akin to an audience’s response to illusionist Derren Brown than to the beginning of a day of professional development.

For teachers’ answers are always the same. At the top is “making stuff”, then school trips, “feeling I’m making a contribution” and “following my own ideas”. Their least happy experiences are “a frustration at not understanding things”, “not having any help on hand” and “being bored”, mostly by “dull presentations”. “Not seeing why we had to do certain tasks” appeared in every continent.
Most of these educators agreed that the positive experiences they loved about school were too few, and were outnumbered by the “important but dull” parts of today’s schooling: delivering content, preparing for and doing exams.

But while a third of teachers generally remember “making stuff” as their most memorable and happy experience at school, we see few curricula where “making stuff” and letting students “follow their own ideas” makes up at least a third of the planned activity.

More here…

What's the best way to deal with ever-changing streams of content? When information has shrinking half-lives?

From DSC:
After looking at some items concerning Connectivism*, I’ve been reflecting upon the following questions:

  • What’s the best way for us to dip our feet into the constantly moving streams of content?
    (No matter the topic or discipline, the streams continue to flow.)
  • What’s the optimal setup for K-12 based “courses”?
  • What’s the optimal setup for “courses” within higher education?
  • How should L&D departments deal with this phenomenon?
  • How do publishers and textbook authors want to address this situation?

Thinking of Gonzalez (2004; as cited in Siemens (2005)) description of the challenges of rapidly diminishing knowledge life:

“One of the most persuasive factors is the shrinking half-life of knowledge. The “half-life of knowledge” is the time span from when knowledge is gained to when it becomes obsolete. Half of what is known today was not known 10 years ago. The amount of knowledge in the world has doubled in the past 10 years and is doubling every 18 months according to the American Society of Training and Documentation (ASTD). To combat the shrinking half-life of knowledge, organizations have been forced to develop new methods of deploying instruction.”

Stephen Downes addresses this and points to a possible solution to this phenomenon in his presentation from 3/15/11 entitled “Educational Projection: Supporting Distributed Learning Online.”

Excerpt/slides:

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I need to put more thought into this, but wanted to throw this question out there…more later…

 

 


* From DSC: Some of the items I looked at regarding Connectivism — some directly related, others indirectly-related — were:


Siemens, G.  (2005).  Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age.  Retrieved from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm.

Downes, S.  (2005).  An introduction to connective knowledge.  Retrieved from http://www.  downes.  ca/post/33034.  Downes noted that this was published in Hug, Theo (ed.  ) (2007): Media, knowledge & education – exploring new spaces, relations and dynamics in digital media ecologies.  Proceedings of the International Conference held on June 25-26, 2007.  November 27, 2007.

Kop, R.  & Hill, A.  (2008).  Connectivism: Learning theory of the future or vestige of the past? International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, v9 n3 p1-13 Oct 2008.

Tracey, R.  (2009). Instructivism, constructivism or connectivism? Training & Development in Australia, December, 2009. p08-09, 2p.  Retrieved from EBSCOhost. ISSN 0310-4664.

Kerr, B.  (2007).  A challenge to connectivism.  Retrieved at http://learningevolves.  wikispaces.  com/kerr.

Sims, R.  (2008).  Rethinking (e)learning: A manifesto for connected generations.  Distance Education Vol.  29, No.  2, August 2008, 153–164.  ISSN 0158-7919 print/ISSN 1475-0198 online.  DOI: 10.  1080/01587910802154954

Lisa Dawley.   (2009).  Social network knowledge construction: emerging virtual world pedagogy.  On the Horizon, 17(2), 109-121.   Retrieved from ProQuest Education Journals.  (Document ID: 1880656431).

Hargadon, S.  (2011).  Ugh.  Classic politics now extends to social networking in education.  Retrieved from http://www.  stevehargadon.  com/2011/03/ugh-classic-politics-now-extends-to.  html.

Cross, J.  (2001).  Crowd-inspired innovation.  Retrieved from http://www.internettime.com/2011/03/crowd-inspired-innovation.

Rogers-Estable, M..  (2009).  Web 2.0 and distance education: Tools and techniques.  Distance Learning, 6(4), 55-60.  Retrieved from ProQuest Education Journals.  (Document ID: 2017059921).

Marrotte-Newman, S..  (2009).  Why virtual schools exist and understanding their culture.  Distance Learning, 6(4), 31-35.  Retrieved from ProQuest Education Journals.  (Document ID: 2017059881).

Hilton, J., Graham, C., Rich, P., & Wiley, D. (2010). Using online technologies to extend a classroom to learners at a distance.  Distance Education, 31(1), 77-92.  Retrieved from ProQuest Education Journals.  (Document ID: 2074810921).

Attwell, G. (2010). Personal learning environments and Vygotsky. Retrieved from http://www.pontydysgu.org/2010/04/personal-learning-environments-and-vygotsky.

Defining Active Learning

Defining Active Learning– from Faculty Focus by Maryellen Weimer, PhD

Greenwood defines active learning as “The process of having students engage in some activity that forces them to reflect upon ideas and how they are using those ideas. Requiring students to regularly assess their own degree of understanding and skill at handling concepts or problems in a particular discipline. The attainment of knowledge by participating or contributing. The process of keeping students mentally, and often physically, active in their learning through activities that involve them in gathering information, thinking and problem solving.”

I’m not proposing this as the “right” “best” or “only” definition for active learning, but I am proposing that it’s a good deal more specific than most of us would offer. Now, if we sat down and thought about active learning, if we talked about it with colleagues, I’m pretty sure that the definitions we’d develop would rival this one. But my point is we can regularly use terms like this without having done that careful thinking.

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