After a brief break for the Thanksgiving Holiday, we’re back with another installment of the Talk of the Task Force. We’ve rounded up all the best news and stories from around the web, Twitter and beyond. See what the Task Force is reading, watching and sharing below.
As always, for those of you in the mix: let us know if there's an article or new item you want to add to next week's Talk of the Task Force alert. Send links, notes or words of wisdom to firstname.lastname@example.org. If we use something you send us, we’ll give you a shout out!
MEET TASK FORCE MEMBER WANDA COOK-ROBINSON: She’s the Superintendent of Southfield Public Schools (just outside of Detroit), a true model of the future of learning. Watch the video, then share with your friends: http://bit.ly/1dOvGlA
CODING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM: Computer Science Education Week is next week, December 9-13. The goal? Get 10 million students to try their hand at computer science for at least one hour during that week. To get your school to participate, click here: http://csedweek.org/participate
SPEAKING OF CODE: Edutopia has a great rundown on “Coding Across the Curriculum.” Did you know that efforts to teach kids code in school started back in the late 1970s and early 1980s? Check out the full article for a Logo Turtle flashback and more: http://bit.ly/1cTZHf8
COLLEGE TECH: Inc. predicts the ways that technology will transform college in the next 10, 20 and 30 years. Check out their predictions and see if you agree: http://bit.ly/1h7oMsc
INSPIRING YOUNG INVENTORS: How do we inspire the next generation of young inventors? Cultivating an interest in STEM learning is a solid start. The Mindshift blog dives in to discover where the next inventors are. http://bit.ly/IdDNdc
DOING THE ROBOT: Primo is an Arduino robot that teaches kids programming logic through play. The game requires kids to “use logical thinking to build up longer sequences of instructions to complete the challenge,” according to TechCrunch. Read more about Primo here: http://tcrn.ch/IDaUXr
TWO DAYS IN THE DESERT: In case you missed it, the Aspen Task Force headed west for a meeting at Sunnylands to discuss our core task—a report and recommendations for ways to optimize learning in a connected world. See highlights here: http://bit.ly/1bg1jN6
ALL THE BUZZ: Check out this 5th grade teacher who decided to show her students what happens when you put your photo online. The resulting memes are hilarious, but it speaks to a greater issue of online safety and privacy. http://bit.ly/1bH800Q
CONNECTED LEARNING FOR ALL: Worldreader is a nonprofit organization that is bringing e-books to kids in developing countries through Kindles and cellphones. This is a great showcase of tech’s potential to transform learning across the world: http://n.pr/1c7Gvsb
QUICK TIPS: Parents and teachers, here are four online tools to connect your kids to real world math. Let us know which apps and sites work best for your child, we’re curious how these tools work for different learners. http://bit.ly/1cNWw8C
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Last week, the Aspen Task Force on Learning and the Internet headed west for their third meeting. It was a productive two days at the Annenberg Sunnylands retreat center in Rancho Mirage, California. Sunnylands has hosted many heads of state and global leaders, most recently President Obama and Chinese President Xi of the People's Republic of China.
So it was with this historic backdrop that we dug into the specifics of our task—a report and recommendations for ways to optimize learning in a connected world.
Task Force members covered a lot of ground, and while the report isn’t finished, we established a solid framework for our thinking and writing. Namely, all of our findings are centered on the young learner and all of our recommendations strive to support kids learning on their own, in class, as a team, everywhere and all the time.
We’ll be meeting again in early 2014 to put the finishing touches on the report which will zero in on issues of trust, access and literacy. Sign up here and be the first to know when the report is released.
Another week of news and stories from around the web, Twitter and whispered at the back of this week's big conferences. See what the Task Force is reading and sharing below.
Also, for those of you in the learning mix: let us know if there's an article or new piece you want to add to next week's Talk of the Task Force alert. Send links, notes or words of wisdom to email@example.com. Of course, if we use something you send us, we’ll give you a shout out!
CHOICE EQUALS POWER. When students are given the power of choice and the opportunity to select their own curriculum, they become more motivated and connected learners according to Mindshift. Read more on the impact of choice in the classroom: http://bit.ly/1dU0dKE
FACEBOOK IMPROVES STUDENT WRITING. “For younger high school boys particularly, social networking has actually improved writing – not the product or the process, but the sensitivity and inward focus required to even begin to produce a draft that will eventually be worth editing,” explains teacher Andrew Simmons in The Atlantic. http://bit.ly/18MOoSY
FLIPPING THE CLASSROOM. What’s the biggest hurdle to flipping your classroom? Jon Bergmann gives a first hand account for Edutopia. http://bit.ly/18KlfYC
LIVED CURRICULUM. Read Task Force Member Anne Collier’s latest blog installment on digital citizenship and the “lived curriculum.” In Part 1, Collier examines citizenship as a “practice in digital environments, not an academic subject to be taught.” And in Part 2 she explores an educator's perspective on digital spaces in a classroom. Part 1: http://bit.ly/1h1iCcV; Part 2: http://bit.ly/186vSKI
ELEMENTARY TECH. Finland is in the process of integrating computer programming classes into elementary school curriculum in an effort to teach tech skills at an early age. We are following the progress on this one. http://on.mash.to/18JqsQa
DIGITAL LIVES OF TEENS. According to Edutopia, in order to bring the underground lives of teens above ground, school communities must first build trust and create partnerships with parents. http://bit.ly/1fEi3Te
GOOGLE PLAY FOR EDUCATION. A new app from Google will make discovering educational apps easier and less time consuming for teachers. Google Play for Education will sync up with its own tablets that are preloaded with materials designed to help both students and teachers. http://tcrn.ch/19qLum0
MATH APPS ADD UP. New tablet-based apps introduce math and reasoning skills in a way that lets kids learn by playing games. This piece from The New York Times suggests and reviews a handful of math based apps. http://nyti.ms/18lsXMa
We’re back with your weekly rundown of the stories, reports and news articles about technology, ed and learning that we're reading and sharing.
Have a story we should know about? Want to add something to next week's Talk of the Task Force? Send links, notes or words of wisdom to firstname.lastname@example.org. If we use something you send us, we’ll give you a shout out!
TASK FORCE SNEAK PEEK AT THE FOSI CONFERENCE. On November 6th, the Aspen Task Force hosted a panel at the Family Online Safety Institute’s annual conference in Washington D.C. Check out our latest blog post for a quick recap. http://bit.ly/HSOi4M
FINLAND BRINGS TECH TO THE CLASSROOM. Huffington Post reports on Finland, where educators are slowly introducing technology into the classroom, arguing it must make sense in terms of pedagogy and help build meaningful connections to existing ideas for students. http://huff.to/1fzb2mA
RAISING KIDS IN THE DIGITAL AGE. NPR’s tech team reports on digital media, school-issued iPads, teens and social media and more in their latest podcast. Stream the podcast on KQED’s MindShift blog. http://bit.ly/1buOwbZ
75 MOOCS FOR TEACHERS & PARENTS. There’s a MOOC for everyone on this list from Cool Cat Teacher. The list is segmented by topic, ranging from MOOCs on mathematics to resources for teachers to improve their methods.http://bit.ly/1dmrsxl
TWEETING TEACHERS. Edudemic reports on findings from a new survey that examines how faculty use social media in higher education. Their results show only 41% of faculty interviewed use social media in the classroom, but this number continues to rise each year. Click for more findings: http://bit.ly/1cSPz6r
TALK TO TEENS ABOUT THE INTERNET. This week, The Atlantic shared a post about how one high school teacher approaches talking to his students about the internet: “As a teacher, I believe it’s my job to warn kids about the dangers of being online—and to show them the benefits.” http://bit.ly/1egr5rK
Image courtesy of Family Online Safety Institute
The Aspen Task Force on Learning and the Internet took the conversation to the tech, education, childhood safety and privacy experts at the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) Annual Conference last week.
The Aspen Institute’s Charlie Firestone moderated the discussion and introduced the process and priorities of the Task Force on a panel dedicated to the Task Force’s work.
Co-Chair John Bailey talked about the opportunities of the connected ecosystem, and real problems and safety issues that the Task Force is aiming to address. “In our zeal to provide for children’s safety, we often filter out important information,” said Bailey.
Task Force member Anne Collier called for a “trust framework,” a new way of thinking and responding to the possibilities of connectivity in a positive, empowered way—rather than a fear-based approach—where children are empowered and have the ability to take risks, make mistakes and self-correct.Task Force Co-Chair Maria Teresa Kumar discussed the evolution of learning where technology and personalization can help modernize our education system to a more student-centered learning infrastructure.
Task Force member Delia Pompa agreed with Kumar’s notion but warned that the challenge of optimizing learning in a connected world will require societal change, not just a change at the school level.
The FOSI audience has some good public feedback for the panel, including a call for “horizontal” modes of teaching that embrace open access to information and the need for teachers that connect the many dots of extra-curricular and academic interests for young learners.
In response to a question about whether or not federal curriculum standards are helpful, John Bailey suggested that Common Core could actually unleash more innovation. Today, students can talk to their peers across the country, a change particularly important with math.
These are the challenges the Aspen Task Force on Learning and the Internet is reviewing and aims to address—from finding opportunities in public policy so we can embrace new models of learning that are student-centered and interest-driven to expanding digital literacy and other forms of access to the new learning environment. The playing field has changed intensely over the last decade but the Task Force is working to ensure that kids are tapping the new opportunities afforded by connectivity and technology.