Building Learning Communities 2011

7/29/2011 10:39:00 am

These are the slides from the three presentation I did at the Building Learning Communities Conference in Boston this week. While I've played with many of the ideas in these presentations before, in other contexts, I worked hard to re-imagine and rework them for the conference. In particular, the last one, Design (still) Matters! took many hours to put together and I felt like I was going out on a limb because I wanted to continue a conversation I hope started here last year. I'm already thinking about where a third incarnation of that talk might go. As alway, I had so much more to share but, alas, time is short. ;-)

The first and last were recorded as videos which will be shared soon. If you saw any of these presented or in the video archive afterward (I'll update this post with links when they're online) please leave your reflections, stories or personal tales of how they struck you. The comments of critical friends is greatly appreciated.

FYI: there are many active links to the content I discussed embedded on the slides. Click around the centre of each slide to follow the link if there is one.

21st Century Bricoleurs part one
Seymour Papert describes bricolage as a way to learn and solve problems by trying, testing and playing around. How do we learn by playing around with digital stuff? Can we create deep learning experiences that encourage students to show and share what they know with the world and contribute to the global knowledge commons? We will unleash a cornucopia of concrete student centred learning experiences that leverage the power of the world wide web and focus teachers instructional design through lenses that are student centred, knowledge centred, assessment centred and community centred. We will look at both small short term assignments and larger long term projects that will amaze you with what your students can learn and share as 21st century bricoleurs.

21st Century Bricoleurs part two

Design (still) Matters!
A practical exploration of the intersection between visual design, presentation design and instructional design. Every day, several times a day, teachers everywhere are called upon to educate, entertain, elucidate, enlighten and maintain attention and amongst their students. With the advent of interactive white boards and/or video projectors in classrooms everywhere, the intersection of these skills is fast becoming a centrepiece of an educators toolkit. This workshop will model and illustrate concrete ways in which teachers can incorporate these skills into their pedagogical practice.

Many people asked for a copy of the Pre-Show slide deck. They are all archived in my flickr account and part of how I participate in the Great Quotes About Learning and Change group. The slides are embeded below but I also have a design challenge for you based on this and Ewan McIntosh's keynote.

In his keynote at the end of the 1st day of the conference Ewan asked everyone to read Dylan Williams 12 page article Inside the Black Box (pdf). He also encouraged people to read A systematic review of the impact of summative assessment and tests on students' motivation for learning (pdf).

Here's your design challenge: Read those articles, or just the bits that most interest you. Pull out a powerful quotation from the article. Find a striking creative commons image on flickr analogically related to your quote. Mash them together and contribute them to the pool of photos in the Great Quotes About Learning and Change group. I can't wait to see your thinking made visible in this way. ;-)

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  1. Thanks so much for sharing these materials; I will use them as resources for my B.Ed. Students.

  2. Thanks for dropping by David. Glad you have plans to repurpose it.

    I'd be interested to learn how your students respond to these ideas. Please encourage them to share their insights back. ;-)

  3. @ Darren
    I enjoyed your presentations at BLC11. You do great work!

  4. Thanks Charlie! I wish we had spent some time chatting together. ;-) Let's make a point of that next time we get the chance. ;-)

  5. Anonymous2/8/11 04:41

    Thanks for the post! A lot of great ideas I can relate to.

    How about a post on "how to bring the higher education and those who decide to the 21st century?" to apply these to the curriculum design and to the whole educational system and thus create a larger change? ;)

  6. @Marko I suspect that's a bigger project than a blog post. ;-)

    For what it's worth, I'm am working with a dynamic group of educators from across Canada to, in part, address just that issue. You may want to check out

    Do you think there's a place for something like that in Finland?

  7. Nice Sharing...Its very useful material for M.Ed and B.Ed students. It will be very useful for teacher if they got it...