Technology and Relationships

iron lung
I found myself really fascinated by this article about the development of respiratory ventilators. It does a really good job in walking the reader through the history of the development of medical apparatuses to support breathing. Two things really stuck out for me. The first is that the first major hurdle in developing these types of devices was a conceptual one -- and not a technological one. In order to help patients breathe, we needed to understand how breathing works. The lungs r...
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Current Research into Student Interaction Networks, Part 2 – (the second of a series)

Previously on... For the past four years, I have been experimenting with a social learning platform, which I call Pace Commons, which is based on Elgg social networking software. Pedagogically, my major goal was to flatten the typical instructor centered hierarchies endemic to most learning management systems (such as Blackboard). As a teacher educator, it seemed philosophically inconsistent to be working with teachers and teacher candidates to promote student-centered, autonomy supportiv...
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Current Research into Student Interaction Networks (the first of a series)

Introduction For the past four years, I have been experimenting with a social learning platform, which I call Pace Commons, which is based on Elgg social networking software. Pedagogically, my major goal was to flatten the typical instructor centered hierarchies endemic to most learning management systems (such as Blackboard). As a teacher educator, it seemed philosophically inconsistent to be working with teachers and teacher candidates to promote student-centered, autonomy supportive cl...
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Classroom Discussions in Science, Part 4

This is the third of a four part series. Here is part 1. Here is part 2. Here is part 3. I have been working to delineate and describe a typology of four types of conversations that could be powerful and effective in secondary science classrooms. They are: Conversations that gather, focus student experiences or insightsConversations that make real the processes of science and reflect science as a human (as opposed to received) activity.Conversations that deepen and expand observations mad...
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Classroom Discussions in Science, Part 3

This is the third of a four part series. Here is part 1. Here is part 2. I have been working to delineate and describe a typology of four types of conversations that could be powerful and effective in secondary science classrooms. They are: Conversations that gather, focus student experiences or insightsConversations that make real the processes of science and reflect science as a human (as opposed to received) activity.Conversations that deepen and expand observa...
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Classroom Discussions in Science, Part 2

This is the second of four part series. Here is part 1. I have been working to delineate and describe a typology of four types of conversations that could be powerful and effective in secondary science classrooms. They are: Conversations that gather, focus student experiences or insightsConversations that make real the processes of science and reflect science as a human (as opposed to received) activity.Conversations that deepen and expand observations made during classroom demonstrations or l...
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#EL30 MOOC, Take 2

Back in October, I began participating a the E-Learning 3.0 MOOC organized by Stephen Downes. While I got a lot out of participating in the MOOC, I never did all the work I wanted to do. But this is why I am so interested in this work: "Connectivism is based on the idea that knowledge is essentially the set of connections in a network, and that learning therefore is the process of creating and shaping those networks." [This last piece has shaped a good deal of my own research over the pas...
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Classroom Discussions in Science, Part 1

I was asked last week, preparation for professional development work I had been asked to do with some high school science teachers, to describe ways that classroom discussion could be used in secondary science classrooms. To my surprise, I was able to delineate and describe a typology of four types of conversations that could be powerful and effective in secondary science classrooms. They are: Conversations that gather, focus student experiences or insightsConversations that make real the...
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Microgrids and Education

I have been spending a lot of time recently thinking about and researching the role that networks and networking plays in learning environments. Mostly, I have been working at ways to promote, support, and foster what Paul Baran called distributed networks in schools and classrooms. This article talks about energy/power microgrids, which due to their decentralized nature, can survive the breakdowns associated with larger, more centralized power grids. It left me wondering about analogues in ...
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