Saturday, April 4, 2009

Concord's experiment in online learning

Teaching, meet your future.

I ran across this on Will Richardson's Weblogg-ed today, the blog that every good teacher must read, and every bad teacher must fear.

Below is a plan from Concord School to teach kids, really little kids with disabilities, no less, how to network using online social media. It's quite a plan, encompassing photo sharing, blogging, game making, music creation, social networking, and more.

In an age where many teachers' idea of incorporating new media into the classroom is to look up stuff using Google, this is - as Richardson says - visionary.
"They used Scuttle to house their own social bookmarks, WordPress MU to blog, and Scratch and others for social game making activities. Be sure to spend some time on the skills matrix at the bottom. All in all, it’s an impressive suite of tools and pedagogies that did much to change learning."
I've called a May meeting for the Creative Communications program at Red River College, in which we'll discuss more collaborative learning that incorporates new media, and knocks down the walls (at least a bit) between our classic majors: Advertising, Journalism, PR, and Broadcast.

I'm looking forward to the meeting - I've had nothing but positive feedback from my fellow instructors since I set it up. There are probably two lists we need to make at that meeting: things we can do now ourselves to get started, and things we can do down the road with help from the college (in terms of tech support, permission, scheduling, red tape, etc).

This is not to say that new media tools are the solution to the traditional issues that prevent "good teaching," just new ways to learn using a medium with which all of our future grads will need to master in order to function and lead the workplaces of the future. That's all.

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