Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Will on Fire

I can't believe the quantity and quality of writing coming out of a few of the bigger-named edubloggers lately. Will Richardson in particular has really been on fire, throwing wisdom around like it's going out of style. Highlights:
  • A quote I loved, because it articulates simply in 21 words what I tried to say in a thousand words: "I write my blog because I wish that things were different, and I'm thinking about how to make them that way."
  • The Case Against Textbooks: You can't share it in any meaningful way...You can't have the most up to date information about the topic...You can't edit it...etc. It all seems quite absurd when you consider the costs.
  • More reflection on the big questions: "The question is how long will it take us to see the growing irrelevance of the traditional system of education and seriously rethink what we do in the classroom to make learning more meaningful to our students. Right now, it's feeling like this mountain is pretty darn high..."

The Learning Landscape and Community Building

I've been meaning to link to David and Ben's excellent vision for their learning landscape model: A Roadmap for the Personal Learning Landscape. What struck me suddenly this week was how a simplified version of their elgg application could be used for small community groups like our Association of Citizens for Summerland project.

At the root, it's an educational project, getting people together to learn, collaborate and get to know each other. Some of the communication of the group could be done privately and some displayed publicly, with the potential to share documents and links in one place...all with the benefit of being tied into the larger web to make outside connections. Although the members are all local, we're already finding the e-mail load quite onerous and the blog has some limitations as well -- sharing documents and files would be beyond many of the older members, and it's not good for tracking several threads or projects at once. Great potential...

Saturday, April 16, 2005

More Rob Paterson on Education

In School is so Boring, Daddy, Rob bounces off of Will's excellent post with this comment that makes me so happy he's actually taking action to provide better models:
"I am now convinced that our approach of 'Imposition' vs 'Invitation' is at the heart of the profound disengagement that we are seeing in our schools. I am off this afternoon to join a group who seek to change this on PEI. We are made up of folks from our local Community College, the Faculty of Education at UPEI, the School Board and a few odd folks like me. Our intent - to ask kids what they would like to do and find out ways of making this happen."
He's had a few other gems lately as well:

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Corporate Pathology

Brian Alger consistently bends my brain with the biggest and most difficult questions about the purpose of schooling. Last week he was examining the pathology of corporations and how they relate to the perceived purpose of the education system:"In schools we help students 'prepare' for the workforce, or the world they will live in (at least as we imagine it). Many students, however, look out into the world and wonder exactly what is going on and ask why they would want to participate in it in the first place. I have seen many students ponder over a decision for long periods of time -- and so they should. It may be, that taking time away from school and traveling or experiencing some other dimensions of life are precisely what is needed to fuel a student's inner strength.

So many students graduate from school system to corporate existence. And if the corporation as generic structure is at least partly, 'a pathological institution, a dangerous possessor of the great power it wields over people and society' then is all our career planning merely fueling the pathology?"

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Open Source ELGG

David Tosh is looking for developers to help them take his open-source learning landscape application to the next level. It's a great model with excellent potential, combining portfolios and social networking. If you can do some PHP programming and have an interest in working on the project, let Dave know.