Thursday, March 10, 2011

Create a Technology Revolution? How about a Learning Rave!

Challenge. It's highly unlikely that any technology revolution will start from within the current structure of public education. Here is my three-step action plan for a technology revolution -- I call it the New Rules for Learning.
  • First, disrupt the learning process ala Clayton Christensen's disruptive innovations approach that engages leaders, teachers, and students in a new setting and under new rules for learning -- instead of one teacher for large groups of learners, shift to thousands of teachers for each learner. That's done through online learning communities.
  • Second, develop learning layouts for blended strategies rather than units and lessons for courses. Integrating technology into the current classroom has not and will not scale to a revolution level. Learning layouts are a new way of mixing people, teaching, and technology to create new and better ways of learning.
  • Third, start a learning rave -- through online teacher-led social learning communities -- where teachers actively innovate, co-create, and share standards and practices that work for each learner in the disruptive innovation. This will demonstrate the results of new ways of teaching and learning.
Action. And the revolution requires the three action steps be converted into the form of job expectations within the disruptive innovation setting. This sets the vision and expectations for employing teachers committed to building the approach and evolving with it. In the New Rules for Learning, professional development occurs as part of the job of facilitating learning. This approach builds the scaling-up process needed for the revolution to play itself out successfully over time.

Learn More. Hey leaders of learning, let's do it! I've written more about this topic and the New Rules for Learning here:

Integrating Learning Into Social Media

Dear LearningFront Colleagues:

Wow! Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, LearningFront, and on and on! Educators are excited and engaged in the social media world and loving it. And what question do you think has surfaced? You’re right: How do we integrate social media into education, into curriculum, into teaching, into assessment. 

Hold on! I think we need to remix the question. For example, how do we integrate learning, teaching, and assessment into Twitter, into YouTube, and so forth. We’ve been integrating new processes into education for decades. And what happens? Typically, the same structure, the same teacher-pupil ratios, and the same blocks of time prevail with their usual cast of obstacles. I believe combining learning and social media causes excitement, fun, and new and potentially better ways of teaching and learning.

At LearningFront, we’re exploring ways to design classroom lessons that remix learning, teaching, and social media -- we’re calling them Learning Layouts. We invite you to co-create and share them with the LearningFront online community.

As I said in a recent tweet: “What I like is how Twitter updates PD topics, delivers learning links, and pushes the buzz -- with fun and in real time! I’m not sure I could say that about an after school workshop. Exciting stuff is happening!

What do you see on the frontier of learning?

Nick Hobar
President, LearningFront

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Web 2.0 Products and Performances!

New TaskBuilderOnline Templates! One of the challenges teachers face is how to select student work and exit performances for instructional units and daily lessons that reflect the intent and substance of content standards -- especially if the goal is to integrate the content standard into technology.
Web 2.0 tools offer a way to address this challenge and engage students in timely and relevant approaches for learning any content standard. As part of the lesson and assessment development process in LearningFront, teachers use the TaskBuilderOnline tool to access examples of written, oral, graphic, psychomotor, and, now, Web 2.0 products and performances. This means they can align Web 2.0 tool products and performances with the content standards, real world setting, activities, scoring tools, and results of their lessons or assessments.
When Web 2.0 tools are used to produce a student product or performance related to a content standard, teachers get closer to answering the question: How did technology help my students to increase their knowledge and skills on classroom work and external tests used for improvement and accountability purposes.
Please check out the Web 2.0 products and performances in the LearningFront PD tool, TaskBuiderOnline, and let us know what you think or how they might be improved.
Nick Hobar
President, LearningFront