Twitter in the Classroom

twitter It is nice to see some college classes making use of current technologies that are all the rage in the private sector and amongst early-adopters. It is another thing for a professor to formally integrate this by having students sign up for their own accounts.

Such is the story in the recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, where a professor uses Twitter to interact with his students. Thankfully I saw this article in my newsreader on the Twitter blog. While I applaud the effort, it will be wonderful when non-technology or media faculty begin integrating these technologies into their syllabi for their educational value alone, even beyond the technical “wow” factors. This is a wonderful start, and reminds me of when I taught high school years ago and began using email with students to review for exams and work on assignments back in 1997. How times have changed.

I wish I would have tried this with my class that just ended. It would have been great to discuss current news stories, share ideas about upcoming assignments, and even debrief what was learned. This debriefing is where I believe much learning is done, yet it is the connection between what happens in the classroom and how that gets realized in life that formally gets overlooked in the race to “do the assignments.”

I would be happy to speak with any of my former students via Twitter.

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Evidence-Based Dilbert

As an advocate of evidence-based practice (EBP) in human resource development (HRD), adult education, and instructional design, I saw this Dilbert cartoon and laughed. This demonstrates some of the issues in and around EBP in the modern world.

Have you ever experienced something like this?

Volunteerism and Technology: New Ways to Expand Capacity and Build Community

Yesterday I spoke at the Volunteerism and Technology: New Ways to Expand Capacity and Build Community conference that was organized by the United Hospital Fund in New York City. I presented on Webinars within non-profits. I uploaded the slides into SlideShare.

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Working in instructional design and project management of organizational learning initiatives, this fits well with my previous position in knowledge management and technology training.

Pouring in learning

I am currently participating in a discussion entitled Active Learning Strategies for Online Learning at SCoPE, and one of the participants posted this image that struck me as very applicable to a host of learning issues. funnelI used to believe that information could be dumped in, but have since learned that socio-cultural and historical factors make this impossible. No two people could ever learn the same thing in the same way–context is against it.

I think about how this exemplifies Paulo Freire and his criticism of traditional pedagogy as “banking” education. In this form, education is banked and thus controlled by those in power to choose a curriculum. All knowledge is conveyed through this lens, with what is considered right and wrong, good and bad, and just and unjust seen in this manner as being what should (morality?) be done. Power is thus maintained by promoting a worldview that protects the establishment, even while on the surface claiming to challenge it. There is no more certain way to challenge a social system than by challenging both the content as well as the methodology of its educational establishment.

It is no wonder why many in society complain about our current state of education, yet it seems nearly impossible to fundamentally change the system itself. That would disrupt many whose careers are built around promoting the very thing that they claim is wrong. I wonder, in a psychoanalytic way, if this is a veiled form of self-hatred?

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