Archive for the 'Pedagogy' Category

March 22nd 2009

Academic Earth

Academic Earth

Academic Earth is an organization founded with the goal of giving everyone on earth access to a world class education.

Interesting site with a lot of lectures/information on many topics.  Needs more English topics!

As more and more high quality educational content becomes available online for free, we ask ourselves, what are the real barriers to achieving a world class education?  At Academic Earth, we are working to identify these barriers and find innovative ways to use technology to increase the ease of learning.

We are building a user-friendly educational ecosystem that will give internet users around the world the ability to easily find, interact with, and learn from full video courses and lectures from the world’s leading scholars.  Our goal is to bring the best content together in one place and create an environment that in which that content is remarkably easy to use and in which user contributions make existing content increasingly valuable.

http://academicearth.org/

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March 9th 2009

Puente Pedagogy and Praxis

Puente Pedagogy and Praxis

To piggy-back on yesterday’s post, I should add that I am presenting at 4Cs, not just attending.  I’m in a panel of Puente Instructors (which has dwindled as life caught up to us) presenting on the Puente Project and it’s possibilities for teaching in other places, near or far.

So, 9:30 to 10:45 this Friday join me in SanFrancisco!

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November 11th 2008

Fair Use

Fair Use

Because I often teach online; and because I often use movies and other visual content in my face-to-face classrooms, the subject of fair use is important to me.  There’s a lot of sturm und drang about it, but I pretty much do as see fit for my learners–everything I do in the classroom is for the classroom, so I figure I’m covered… at least I hope so.

Anyway, this month, The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education was released by a group of media literacy educators (more than 150 members of leading educational associations)–and it’s both comprehensive and activist.  It addresses “the transformative uses of copyright materials in media literacy education that can flourish only with a robust understanding of fair use.”

This document is a code of best practices that helps educators using media literacy concepts and techniques to interpret the copyright doctrine of fair use. Fair use is the right to use copyrighted material without permission or payment under some circumstances—especially when the cultural or social benefits of the use are predominant. It is a general right that applies even in situations where the law provides no specific authorization for the use in question—as it does for certain narrowly defined classroom activities.

This guide identifies five principles that represent the media literacy education community’s current consensus about acceptable practices for the fair use of copyrighted materials, wherever and however it occurs: in K–12 education, in higher education, in nonprofit organizations that offer programs for children and youth, and in adult education.

The Guide does not explore the limits of Fair Use, but it does exhort educators to be leaders and to challenge “misguided institutional policies” that may restrict Fair Use.  The Guide was created to deal with the recurring activities teachers must use in media literacy education and to outline principles that apply to such teaching.  There’s a short video (below) and you can download the full report.

More information on Fair Use can be found on the NCTE blog.

[img source]

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October 5th 2008

Faculty Inquiry: A New Carnegie Grant

Faculty Inquiry: A New Carnegie Grant

This last week, I attended the Academic Senate for California Community CollegesStrengthening Student Success Conference; this was one of the sessions I attended.

The Faculty Inquiry pre-conference session focused on professional development, one of the integral strands of the Basic Skills Initiative in California (specifically, strand C).  I attended primarily because I am interested in professional development that supports not just my interests, but my classroom needs.

Moderated and presented by the Carnegie Foundation, this session focused on what has been learned in the SPECC (Strengthening Pre-Collegiate Education in Community Colleges) initiative as well as on what is next for the initiative.  The speakers defined Faculty Inquiry as “a different way to think about professional development” and listed a number of key elements that make it a worthwhile pursuit:

  1. FI is not just one flex day here and there, but involves “regular work.”  That is, the process of FI is woven through the ongoing tasks and activities in the classroom in order to build a process of inquiry and excellence into our teaching.
  2. FI is connected to our goals for student learning.  Thus, our professional development is intimately connected to outcomes (SLOs perhaps)–in this case, a shared sense of outcomes (see the next bullet).
  3. FI is collaborative, both within and between departments and divisions.
  4. FI is grounded in inquiry and evidence-gathering in our own classrooms.  In the process, we can ask consequential questions of our own student constituents and then look at how our evidence fits into the broader picture of others in our divisions, at our college, and in the results of outside research.
  5. FI is a means of engaging thoughtful questions and learning from experience in a complex setting.

The idea is that “intensive work with a select group of faculty” is better than lunchtime workshops (which may be sparcely attended or irrelevant to classroom work).

The work of FI happens in small groups:  faculty work with colleagues teaching the same course or in the same program to frame common questions about student success, problems, etc.  They then ask these questions of their students, developing research from the ground up and connecting it to institutional initiatives and other research.

Katie Hern, from Chabot College, presented a facsinating example of FI in action in “When Capable Students Fail“.  Her work, accessible through the Windows on Learning section of the SPECC site (click on English: Cases) looked at what she called the “academic sustainability gap,” that gap between what our students often show that they can do but can’t sustain long enough to acheive a passing grade.  Her work identified a number of “archetypes” of students we see all the time, including the quiet, non-questioner, the student who disappears after Thanksgiving or Spring break, etc.  Her inquiries led her to identify a pretty cool Venn diagram of reasons these students gave for their failure to sustain success–which she uses (and via her site, so can we) with other classes to help students identify their weaknesses and involve them in their learning.  I urge you to check it out, and then also check out the other areas in the Windows on Learning site, which includes Math cases and other resources.

FI is also a grant opportunity through the Carnegie Foundation–there is a Call for Proposals to be part of the Faculty Inquiry Network: Basic Skills in Complex Contexts.  You can download a copy of the FIN Call for Proposals that Katie passed out in the session.  Complete application materials will be available after October 10, 2008 at www.chabotcollege.edu/fin.

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August 22nd 2008

4Cs 2009 Convention in San Francisco

4Cs 2009 Convention in San Francisco

Not only is it too cool to have the 4Cs Convention in our state next year, but it is in my favorite city!  I lived in SF for a year or so a long time back, but I’d lived there in my head from the moment I stumbled on Gary Snyder in high school (more than a long time back).

So, I talked to some other people and wrote up a proposal for a panel presentation–and we’re in!  I suppose there are people who have written and presented at 4Cs so much that it’s nothing any more.  Not me; I’m like a kid over it.

Our panel is on the Puente Project in California and srategies we use that can filter back to others, we hope.  My co-presenters and friends are Scott Sandler, Susie Huerta, Maria Tuttle, and Grace Ebron.  If you’re there, come root for us!

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July 26th 2008

Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch has passed. His last lecture is a must-watch.

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