Revolution in learning; Remembering 9/11/2001

Flashback 9/11/2001

September 11th came to North Carolina and the U.S. as it does every year, but differently since the World Trade Center. Here, it was the kind of lovely blue day that made the starkness of the tragedy especially poignant that day most of us remember where we were and exactly what we were doing at the exact moment that the first plane struck. Our sense of safety changed forever. Living in Washington, D.C. at the time, the closeness of the Pentagon strike was palpable, and for months, we woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of fighter jets overhead. My brother-in-law and his family lived blocks away from the Towers, and they saw the horror, walked in the terrible dust for months. Yesterday, we remembered. I remembered. I hope that the meanness, closed-mindedness and insensitivity that seemed so strident this year will diminish in the years to come.

The classroom is changing!

Friday, I attended part of Peer-to-Peer Pedagogy (P3) Workshop, an unconference at Duke sponsored by HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Advanced Collaboratory). (By the way, I was pleased to see a few of our faculty members there.) Ruby Sinreich, MS, their director of new media strategies, in an ESE graduate.  You can experience the presenters if you follow these links. There’s some very cool information in their blogs.

  • Nils Peterson, Assistant Director of the Office of Assessment and Innovation at Washington State University
  • David Gibson, Associate Research Professor of Education at Arizona State University
  • Anne Balsamo, Director of the Interactive Media Co-Design Lab and more

HASTAC is predicated on the assumption that new media, critical thinking and participatory learning are changing the nature of education. Many of today’s learners want to create content and knowledge, shape learning, provide feedback and network in ways that never before were possible. In the world of public health, where we consider participation a basic principle, we owe it to our students to be curious about, investigate and consider how this fits into what we do. Back-channel chats during lectures to provide real-time feedback to the instructor and fellow students? Student blogs? Open classrooms that invite the world into them? Collaborative learning? It’s a new world out there, and I just wish I had more time to read about it, live in it and figure out what to use now. This Prezi brief piece offers a glimpse of today’s learners. Their precocity with technology is light years ahead of where I was at their age. Teach us, students!

A word to the skeptics: I am not saying that we should unthinkingly adopt technologies our students are using. What I advocate is inquiry and an open mind. Today’s students might learn differently from the way we did, but it’s about them, not us.

There’s so much to learn! Happy Monday! Barbara

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