DIY Learning: A Path toward Personalized Learning

The following is an excerpt from an article by Marie Bjerede on O’Reilly Radar. It spotlights a few educational innovations that continue to gain traction.

The “DIY ethic is now seeping into one of the most locked-down social institutions in existence: education. Educators, parents, technologists, students, and others have begun looking at the components, subassemblies, assemblies and specifications of excellent education and are finding ways to improve, reimagine, and reinvent learning at every level…In every way, they are looking at the components of teaching and learning, and finding ways to re-create them to be more efficient; more effective; and, critically, more modular.” (Source)

Key Terms

The following are few terms that are included within the article. Regardless of your philosophical leanings it is important that we are aware of current trends and innovations within education. Take a few moments to make sure you are familiar with their meanings.

  • Schoolers
  • Edupunks
  • Makers
  • Maker Faire

Personalized Learning

Bierede concludes, “In a pretty fundamental way, DIY is intrinsically about owning your learning as well as your hardware. No wonder there is a growing movement to open it up, void the warranty, and tinker. What will you make of it?” (Source)

We’re on a path toward personalized learning.

Our Book Is Now Available

Developing Technology-Rich Teacher Education Programs: Key Issues

Drew Polly, Clif Mims, and Kay A. Persichitte

Developing Technology-Rich Teacher Education ProgramsDescription

Though technology is expanding at a rate that is alarming to many skilled laborers concerned for the welfare of their industry and jobs, teachers should feel safe in their position; however, teachers who refuse to adapt to technology will be left behind.

Developing Technology-Rich Teacher Education Programs: Key Issues offers professional teacher educators a rare opportunity to harvest the thinking of pioneering colleagues spanning dozens of universities, and to benefit from the creativity, scholarship, hard work, and reflection that led them to the models they describe. Contributors from 32 universities from around the world came together as authors of case studies, methodologies, research, and modeling to produce the work that went into this reference work. The target audience for this book includes faculty, leaders, teacher educators, and administrators within higher institution and every level of education.

Overview

Teacher education programs, more than ever before, are under severe scrutiny from national and state government, policy, and accreditation organizations. Teacher education programs are being asked to provide evidence of their impact on teacher candidates, as well as the indirect impact of teacher education programs on PK-12 students. Reforms in teacher education programs focus on the integration of 21st century skills, which include knowledge and skills related to information technology, creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2004).  Technology is an essential component of these 21st Century reforms.

The focus of teacher education programs is to prepare teacher candidates to effectively teach in 21st Century learning environments. These classrooms have access to Internet-connected educational technologies, including computers, hand-held, or portable devices (U.S. Department of Education, 2010). As a result of the technology-rich nature of PK-12 schools, it is critical for teacher education programs to examine their effectiveness related to preparing teacher candidates to effectively use educational technologies to support teaching and learning processes.

The construct of Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPACK) has explicated the knowledge and skills related to technology integration. Candidates develop the knowledge and skills related to technology integration through educational technology courses, methods courses, and technology-rich field experiences (Schrum, 1999). In this book, contributors address all of those contexts and provide examples of how technology-rich teacher education programs have developed TPACK and related skills in teacher candidates and faculty.

The purpose of this book is to provide examples and frameworks related to creating effective models of infusing technology into teacher education programs. This book is intended for faculty and others associated with teacher education programs as a resource of creating technology-rich teacher education programs.  As a result, each chapter has clear directions and implications for adopting their ideas into teacher education programs.  Further, the ever-changing landscape of what constitutes current educational technologies, has led the editors to focus this book on examples and models that address current educational technologies, but are likely to be relevant over the next decade or two as well.

The book is divided into six sections, which focus on:  Frameworks for Technology Integration, Web 2.0 technologies, Teacher Education Courses, Integrating Technology across Content Areas, Field Experiences, and Ways to Support Teacher Education Faculty.

Testimonial

“This book offers professional teacher educators a rare opportunity to harvest the thinking of pioneering colleagues spanning dozens of universities, and to benefit from the creativity, scholarship, hard work, and reflection that led them to the models they describe.  Teacher educators are, indeed, fortunate to have this opportunity to make informed decisions that will transform teacher education at this important moment in the history of education.”

Kyle L. Peck, Associate Dean for Outreach, Technology, and International Programs and Professor of Education at Penn State University, USA

Personal Note

I’d like to thank everyone that contributed to this book and worked with us during the past year and a half. I’d especially like to note the contributions and dedication of my friends, colleagues, and co-authors, Drew Polly and Kay Persichitte.

I hope this work enhances teacher education and technology integration ultimately blessing the education and lives of all learners.

– Clif

Suggested Reading: Literacy and Mobile Learning

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

Book Apps: A Reading Revolution, or the End of Reading?
“Even if high-quality apps do manage to change the way we read, though, it’s unclear how many current readers will respond. The mere fact that something is possible does not automatically make it desirable.”

Books vs. Screens: Which Should Your Kids Be Reading?
“Canadian author Margaret Atwood thrilled her 285,000-plus Twitter followers by defending their kind as “dedicated readers” who are boldly exploring new frontiers in literacy. Calling the Internet in general “a great literacy driver,” she defended even the most minimal form of screen-based reading as an unalloyed good – “because reading is in fact extremely interactive from a neurological point of view,” she said. “Your brain lights up a lot.””

For Some Kids, a Book Is Just an iPad That Doesn’t Work
“[Calvin] Wang designs interactive storybooks for the iPad. He was inspired, he says, by watching his daughter interact with a movable cardboard book. Since then, Loud Crow, his Vancouver-based firm, has turned an array of children’s picture books that take the pop-up concept into the digital age. Books such as Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit now respond to touch by moving, twirling, speaking and noise-making.”

Digital Lit: How New Ways to Read Mean New Ways to Write
“The e-book is changing the publishing business, but will digital technology actually change the way we tell stories, the way writers write – for better or for worse?”

Suggested Reading: Education and the Future

Learning 2025: Forging Pathways to the Future

21 Things That Will Be Obsolete by 2020

Technology is a Game Changer for Learning

The Education Industry Needs to Wake Up to the Future

Future School Day: Self-Paced Learning, Creating, and Collaborating

Suggested Reading: STEM Education

Texas Tech alumnus Rick Husband was the final ...
Image via Wikipedia

Overview

“The acronym STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The STEM fileds are those academic and professional disciplines that fall under the umbrella areas represented by the acronym. According to both the United States National Research Council and the National Science Foundation, the fields are collectively considered core technological underpinnings of an advanced society. In many forums (including political/governmental and academic) the strength of the STEM workforce is viewed as an indicator of a nation’s ability to sustain itself.”
(Source)


Suggested Reading

STEM at Work: Students become Physicians-in-Training

Where Will Your STEM Education Take You?

NASA Launches STEM Education Video Game

STEM Resources and Discovery Education


Tech & Learning’s Question of the Week

Which device do you think is best for 1:1?
Cast your vote.

Suggested Reading: Clickers in Education

More Professors Give Out Hand-Held Devices to Monitor Students and Engage Them – The New York Times

Simple Technology, Profound Results – Cyberpop!

Using Clickers in the Classroom — Writing Effective Questions – Connexions

Designing Clicker Questions that Promote Classroom Discussion – Northern Arizona University e-Learning Center


Image Source: Dallas News.com

Suggested Reading for 04/27/2010

A Radical Notion by Chris Lehmann

The Allure of “Magic Bullets” in School Reform by Larry Cuban

60 Educational Game Sites That You’ve Probably Never Seen by Keith Ferrell

A Brief History of Photo Fakery from The New York Times

How the iPhone Could Reboot Education from Wired
NOTE: Diigo users can engage in the conversation occurring “on top” of this article.

Suggested Reading for 03/09/2010

Building a Better Teacher – NY Times

US DOE’s new National Educational Technology Plan – US DOE

TN DOE Prepares New Assessment – Tim Childers

I Don’t Think Blocking Networked Learning in Our Schools Is an Option – Darren Draper

Using Maps in an Elementary School Math Lesson – Richard Byrne

Use Drop.io’s Upload Widget to Collect Student Work – Richard Byrne