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Notes from "The Future of Teaching & Learning" conference — Howard Rheingold's keynote

First Keynote from Howard Rheingold.

Started teaching a digital journalism class then moved on to teaching digital literacy. When first started teaching classrooms, thought about how to use online media to overcome disadvantages of teaching in classrooms namely a) not all teachers good at speaking extemporously and b) classroom learning militates against thoughtfulness, can’t share thought that occurs an hour after class.

First started experimenting with using online tools for learning in 1995.

When first started teaching in 2005? Used wikis from one tool, forums from another, blogs from another. Immediate feedback from students was this was too complex. So thought about consolidating tools. Entered Haystack competition and won some money to create the socialmediaclassroom.com.

Socialmediaclassroom tool is freely downloadable or you can ask for hosted version. He’s developed a number of lesson plans for introducing participatory media to students.

Developed way within Drupal to tie all work done around a lecture to be listed on page.

Says forums not used as much as 10-15 years ago.

Unique accordance of forums — long-lasting conversations on topics. Help students get to know each other. Continue classroom discussions asynchronously online.

Introducing other features of socialmediaclassroom — blogs w/ rich media, group chat, syllabus in the wiki, social bookmarking (which is new to a lot of students) — use to collect resources for class project. Depending on class, sends students to delicious or diigo for discovery of different resources.

Has found that moving classroom chairs into a circle resulting in increase in classroom conversation.

Has co-teaching teams made up of students. He asks them to lists concepts and terms talked about in each class. Then other classmates fill out the descriptions.

Surprised at how illiterate most students were when he started teaching college students.

Essence of what skills needs to teach children — How can you find the answer to any question? How do you know that what you find is accurate?

Example he uses — if do search for “martin luther king jr” The 8th result is from martinlutherking.org — which is a website slamming on MLK. Used whoisit.com to find martinlutherking.org owned by white nationalist site Stormfront.

Seems clear that youth are moving from passive consumption to active participation. Youth can create as well as consume online.

Gave a number of examples of how students are using social tools to help organize collective action.

We need to look at network theory, sociology research, network literacies, media theory as we redesign education for the digital age.

Don’t just pay attention to technology, also pay attention to literacies.

Social medias are not always appropriate to teaching

Not add ons, essential elements of student’s lives of today and tomorrow. Need to help students understand social media.

Tagged with education | future of learning | teaching | socialmediaclassroom

Posted April 17, 2010


Kyle Mathews lives and works in San Francisco building useful things. You should follow him on Twitter