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March 18 2012

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Sugata Mitra's new experiments in self-teaching


Hochgeladen von TEDtalksDirector am 07.09.2010 Indian education scientist Sugata Mitra tackles one of the greatest problems of education -- the best teachers and schools don't exist where they're needed most. In a series of real-life experiments from New Delhi to South Africa to Italy, he gave kids self-supervised access to the web and saw results that could revolutionize how we think about teaching.

January 19 2012

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Justin Reich, Berkman Center Fellow

Will Free Benefit the Rich? How Free and Open Education Might Widen Digital Divides (permalink - Berkman Center)

Tuesday, Janary 17, 2012

The explosion of open education content resources and freely available collaboration and media production platforms represents one of the most exciting emerging trends in education. These tools create unprecedented opportunities for teachers to design and personalize curriculum and to give students opportunities to collaborate, publish, and take responsibility for their own learning.  Many education technology and open education advocates hope that the widespread availability of free resources and platforms will disproportionately benefit disadvantaged students, by making technology resources broadly available that were once only available to affluent students. It is possible, however, that affluent schools and students have a greater capacity to take up new innovations, even free ones, and so new tools and resources that appear in the ecology of education will widen rather than ameliorate digital divides. In this presentation, we will examine evidence for both the "tech as equalizer" and "tech as accelerator of digital divides" hypotheses, and we will examine technology innovations and interventions that specifically target learners with the most needs. A lively discussion will follow to consider how educators, technologists, and policymakers can address issues of educational digital inequalities in their work. An introduction to these issues can be found in this video op-ed.

About Justin

I’m a doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Fellow at the Berkman Center for the Internet and Society. I’m the project manager for the Distributed Collaborative Learning Community, a Hewlett Foundation funded initiative to study issues of excellence, equity and analytics in the use of social technologies in K-12 settings.

I’m also the co-director of EdTechTeacher, a social venture that provides professional learning services to schools and teachers. Our mission is to help educators leverage technology to create student-centered, inquiry-based learning environments. We also publish the Best of History Web Sites and Teaching History with Technology.

Fundamentally, I’m motivated by the belief that young people are tremendously capable, and we need to develop educational systems that tap their energy, creativity, drive and talent.

Personally, I’m a husband and father and an avid adventurer and traveler. I have a long association with Camp Chewonki.


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Reposted byLegendaryy Legendaryy

September 09 2011

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Salman Amin 'Sal' Khan (Bengali: সালমান খান) is an American educator and founder of the Khan Academy, a free online education platform and not-for-profit organization. From a small office in his home, Khan has produced over 2400 videos elucidating a wide spectrum of academic subjects, mainly focusing on mathematics and the sciences. As of August 2011, "Khan Academy" had attracted more than 166,000 subscribers. [source WP]

Reposted frommonolith monolith viaRK RK

September 08 2011

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We have to call it school, a short film by Peggy Hughes filmed between 1972 and 1974 at Bagsvægd Ny Lilleskole, a free school near Copenhagen, Denmark. (via Caterina Fake)

Reposted fromrobertogreco robertogreco

August 29 2011

#Stiegler -

It seems appropriate somehow to think again of Bernard Stiegler’s opening comments in Taking Care of Youth and the Generations after a few days of rioting and endless irrelevant comments in the spectacle about the causes. Stiegler’s underlying proposition is that the spectacle, which he refers to as the culture industry undermines what it is to be an adult. “An adult human being is one recognized as socially adult and thus responsible. Responsibility is the adult’s defining trait; an adult who is irresponsible, stricto senso, loses both adults rights and duties…” Stiegler defines the process of becoming adult, becoming responsible through the Freudian moment, since “…Freud it has been clear that the formation of this responsibility, this becoming adult, develops from infancy through a relationship of identification with parents who educate the child. This is what Freud calls primary identification…” and which enables adulthood and responsibility to be transmitted between the generations.

This might be challenged by those who find the psychoanalytical understanding problematic, perhaps preferring an evolutionary psychology model or a neuro-psychological model,(though the idea of challenging this through such a biologically deterministic model does amuse me). However this would clearly change nothing of significance in Stieglers argument, unless you wish to use such an anti-psychoanalytical perspective to argue against the positive values assigned to adulthood and responsibility. For what Stiegler is raising is that the culture industry, the spectacle is working to subvert the process of becoming adult, becoming responsible… as follows: So that “… this process of identification is precisely what the contemporary culture industry subverts, in diverting and capturing the attention of young minds in their time of ‘brain availability’ passive in the face of demands to consume but increasingly subject to attention problems…” Typically the new stereotypes are used to subvert, short-circuit and infantilize parental authority. The culture industry derides parental stereotypes and in so doing works to place itself in their stead. It is this process which we have seen repeated in the aftermath of the riots…Even in the abbreviated version briefly outlined here I would ask how does this read as yet again we have heard mothers and fathers derided by the political elites and their priests of the spectacle ?

concrete rules, differences & equivalences (#Stiegler -)

June 07 2011

Project Euler

Project Euler is a series of challenging mathematical/computer programming problems that will require more than just mathematical insights to solve.
Reposted fromsofias sofias

Learn to Program By Giving Yourself Open Ended Problems to Solve

Leonhard euler CTO James Somers wrote recently for The Atlantic about his multi-year struggle to learn programming. When he was a teenager, he started trying to learn with a book on C++.

"I imagined myself working montage-like through the book, smoothly accruing expertise one chapter at a time," Somers wrote. "What happened instead is that I burned out after a week." Somers writes that he repeated this process over and over again. He thought for a while that he just didn't have the right kind of brain for programming.

Eventually, though, he discovered Project Euler and his relationship to programming changed.


Project Euler is a series of computational problems, each building on the last. Each problem would be difficult and time consuming to solve by hand, so you need to write computer programs to solve them. It's structured like a game - you answer one problem, and you level up to the next.

You're only given a problem, and a text box to plug in an answer. Once you provide the correct answer to a problem, you are given access to a discussion forum based around that problem, but you're on your own to figure out how to solve them. You can use pretty much any programming language to solve the problem. The point is just to get an answer and learn the process.

"Those books that dragged me through a series of structured principles were just bad books. I should have ignored them," Somers wrote. "I should have just played."

Project Euler gave Somers a set of questions, and he was able to work on solving them on his own. It's an approach to learning math and programming that I've heard a lot about, and it's a good one. Here are some other good tips for teaching yourself new skills (not necessarily programming).

I like Project Euler and its approach to teaching computer science. But I the problems solved aren't immediately practical. Tools like Scratch (and its offspring Waterbear) make it possible to build games in only a few hours. With Google App Inventor you can make your own mobile applications. And you can quickly learn to make generative art with Processing. Project Euler is better than these at teaching computer science, but each of those projects makes the programming more immediately useful.

Has anyone seen anything that blends these approaches?


June 06 2011


Learn how to code

Ein schöner Text darüber, wie Lernen im Umfeld von Computern funktionieren kann.

Nimmt Bezug auf Project Euler


// oAnth


What's especially neat about it is that someone who has never programmed -- someone who doesn't even know what a program is -- can learn to write code that solves this problem in less than three hours. I've seen it happen. All it takes is a little hunger. You just have to want the answer.

That's the pedagological ballgame: get your student to want to find something out. All that's left after that is to make yourself available for hints and questions. "That student is taught the best who is told the least."

It's like sitting a kid down at the ORIC-1. Kids are naturally curious. They love blank slates: a sandbox, a bag of LEGOs. Once you show them a little of what the machine can do they'll clamor for more. They'll want to know how to make that circle a little smaller or how to make that song go a little faster. They'll imagine a game in their head and then relentlessly fight to build it.

Along the way, of course, they'll start to pick up all the concepts you wanted to teach them in the first place. And those concepts will stick because they learned them not in a vacuum, but in the service of a problem they were itching to solve.

Project Euler, named for the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler, is popular (more than 150,000 users have submitted 2,630,835 solutions) precisely because Colin Hughes -- and later, a team of eight or nine hand-picked helpers -- crafted problems that lots of people get the itch to solve. And it's an effective teacher because those problems are arranged like the programs in the ORIC-1's manual, in what Hughes calls an "inductive chain":

The problems range in difficulty and for many the experience is inductive chain learning. That is, by solving one problem it will expose you to a new concept that allows you to undertake a previously inaccessible problem. So the determined participant will slowly but surely work his/her way through every problem.

This is an idea that's long been familiar to video game designers, who know that players have the most fun when they're pushed always to the edge of their ability. The trick is to craft a ladder of increasingly difficult levels, each one building on the last. New skills are introduced with an easier version of a challenge -- a quick demonstration that's hard to screw up -- and certified with a harder version, the idea being to only let players move on when they've shown that they're ready. The result is a gradual ratcheting up the learning curve.





Reposted fromschlingel schlingel
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