Saturday, November 29, 2014

News Round-Up: November 29

Here is some stuff I found online that mattered to me this week; more news round-ups here. And since a lot of this has to do with Connected Courses (naturally!), I'll tag this for #ccourses too.

Co-Learning: An Act of Creation. As colearning has been the topic in Connected Courses this week, there has been all kinds of great stuff making the rounds, like this post here from Tony Brainstorms: "Co-learning is the act of creation, rather than regurgitation, of content."

Educating Educators: Q&A With Connected Learning Advocate Kira Baker-Doyle. More on colearning and connected learning with Kira Baker-Doyle from DMLCentral.

Blogging and Modern Educational Leaders. Great stuff here from Chris Kennedy, with quotes also from Will Richardson, on the incredibly important role that blogging can play in education. I wish we had a real blogging culture at my school! Sad to say, we do not.

On the Academic Commons. Powerful reflections on "the Commons" here from Richard Hall. Just as we are badly in need of a blogging culture at my school, we are also badly in need of an academic commons online.

Sharing What Works in Online Higher Education. Keith Hampson shares here a powerful model for what it would mean to have a shared vocabulary of teaching practice.

Note-Taking: A Writing Genre Worthy of a Curriculum of its Own. This post by Anna Gratz Cockerille will be really helpful as I keep on exploring my students' reading diaries, learning from what they did this semester and working on how to improve that experience for next semester's students.

On Not Silencing Students: A Pedagogical How-to. Wonderful post from Chris Friend: "Student writing should be made public whenever possible."

Mozilla Web Literacy Map: Composing for the Web. Some comments from me about Mozilla Web Literacy Map. It's not a tool that is really working for me, but I hope it can prove to be useful for others!

How to Provide Student Feedback in the Digital World. Great stuff from Mark Barnes: "student feedback in the digital world replaces traditional grades, which are subjective and punitive, and the blog, LMS and social network create comfortable environments that put the conversation in the palms of students’ hands."

Math Instruction versus Natural Math: Benezet’s Example. Much to learn here in Laura Grace Weldon's post about an educational experiment, almost one hundred years ago, which still has a lot to teach us about student-centered learning and standardized testing and instruction.

Why Universities Should Make it a Top Priority to Cultivate Expert Learners. Great stuff here from Bernard Bull; I am really enjoying the way he shares old blog posts via Twitter, along with the new — his blog is so full of information and inspiration!

Can You Answer These 25 Questions about the Origin of Modern Educational Trends and Practices?. Lots of links to follow up on all these good questions from Bernard Bull.

What Behavior is Reinforced 16,000 Times by High School Graduation?. Another item from Bernard Bull, and I won't spoil the surprise... but if you think back to your school days, I bet you can guess the answer (I did!).

15 Online Resources to Challenge Our Thinking about Grading and Assessment. And yet another powerful and useful post from Bernard Bull.

Five Common Reasons for the Importance of Letter Grades. Yep, one more item from Bernard Bull. He provides some possible defenses of letter grades, none of which ring true for me; I loathe grading and the five-word vocabulary of ABCDF.

4+1 Interview: Linda Nilson. I'm really looking forward to Robert Talbert's hangout with Linda Nilson coming up later this week. Her "specifications grading" resonates a lot with what I am doing in my classes, and I am curious to learn more.

Assessing Assessment. Important article from Inside Higher Ed by Christopher Nelson about how these new assessment regimes are ignoring the importance of student agency: "The assessment procedure accurately measures the effectiveness of the curriculum precisely to the extent that the student’s personal freedom is discounted. To the extent that student’s freedom is acknowledged, the assessment procedure has to fail."

Algorithmically generated content. The future of e-learning?. You can file this one under "signs of the coming apocalypse." What a nightmare!

The Purpose of Education. Paul Simbeck-Hampson is in the process of migrating his blog which has become a great occasion to visit wonderful old posts like this one!

Is Digital Learning More Cost-Effective? Maybe Not. I teach with digital tools because they help me to be a better teacher... not because it is cheaper. My thoughts on this important piece at NPR can be found here at Google+.

You Are Asking The Wrong Questions About Education Technology. Very nice article from Jordan Shapiro about the very human questions we need to be asking about educational technologies: "Embedded in every technological solution is a moral/ethical stance, an image of the good life, and a narrative of the idealized self."

Wild Day at the UC Regents: The Stakes of the Tuition Wars. And on the subject of the costs of teaching and research, this great post by Chris Newfield raises important questions for all of us, not just for the University of California.

Google Books: An Invaluable Resource for Students and Educators. Glad to see Google Books getting well-deserved recognition from the folks at Fractus Learning.

Interventions AKA Helping Students. I also really enjoyed this post by Shaun Allison, especially the notion of the "struggle zone" which is high challenge but low stress!

Two design models for online collaborative learning: same or different?. Very useful post (as always) from Tony Bates. Although "intellectual convergence" is not really something I am aim for, in other ways this model of group discussion is very helpful in terms of identifying some processes in my classes:

Inspiration for Working Out Loud. Great stuff from Harold Jarche; last week was International Working Out Loud Week #WOLWeek. Plus, I love the graphic:
And, yes, a video — Successful Colearning — from Connected Courses which was definitely my favorite of all the videos I have watched so far: very inspiring stuff here about colearning!

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