Archive for February, 2010


Adventure learning, as in the case of the GoNorth! series, seems to have been well received as a cool, innovative way to use technology to enhance K-12 education. Whether used in a curriculum-based, activity-based, standards-based, or media-based way, teachers and students have enjoyed the experience. Students seem to better grasp the information when they enjoyed the method of content delivery. The two things that struck me about this adventure learning example compared to other technology integration practices was the human element.

Students logged in every week because they were following real humans on adventure quests and learning along the way. The GoNorth! Team seems a lively bunch. They communicated directly with the students, keeping technology as a tool and people as the communicators. Peer interaction enhanced the experience for students.

For me personally, this adventure learning experiment was successful for that very reason. Technology allows for brilliant possibilities concerning education, but there is sometimes a tenancy, whether in excitement or merely inexperience, to promote technology in education for technologies sake and not for the betterment of the students.

I can see this type of adventure learning becoming a popular form of technological integration in the classroom.

As a side note: Where do we sign up to participate as GoNorth! team member?

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Links, articles, and information for K-12 Online Learning: Viruals Schools class on Thursday, Feb 11

To expedite the activities we have planned for our Teach IT!, here are some of the sites we will visit during class:

We will use the webspiration site to organize our individual and group thoughts about the readings. If you do not already have an account and you have time prior to class, please sign up.
http://www.mywebspiration.com/

We will spend some time discussing Florida Virtual School, you will have some time in class to browse through the website, but for deeper review, please explore the site if time permits.
http://www.flvs.net/Pages/default.aspx
http://www.flvs.net/Documents/WhyChooseFLVSVideo.aspx

Here is the link to enter the Adobe Connect meeting room:
https://meeting.austin.utexas.edu/r36932107/

virtual%20success

I have always struggled with learning theories, because I want to apply different parts to different situations, often times blending them. I have trouble understanding why it is necessary to pick only one to support for all learning situations. So, adding connectivism to the list further increases my feeling that parts of all of them apply at different times.

Connectivism = it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

Yea, that will get you far, but it doesn’t account for everything. It also erases the notion of the individual. Hey if I am at home doing something off-line and I suddenly figure something out – create new understanding and knowledge for myself – how does connectivism explain that? Or is it not really knowledge at all?

Every day, I deal with the dilemma that old educational methods have grossly fallen behind what new technology offers – speed, open knowledge, vast networks and communities, etc. But just because something “is” doesn’t mean that that is the “best way” or that it “should be.”

I like that information, access, and even advice are quickly available should I need them. But we don’t only live in a virtual world. We live in the real world, where we can smell and touch things. People learn from smelling and touching too. So why does all education and learning suddenly have to be contained in the virtual worlds created by technology?

I think I am a cynic and a skeptic because all of this talk brings the question to mind, “What good things are we leaving behind?”
There is truth and fact and both can be twisted in good and bad, right and wrong ways. I find it interesting that there are so few current educational articles that even come close to approaching those conversations. I get it – we are still defining “what” it is and can’t yet say which parts are truly innovative and which parts may actually be setting humanity back.

After all of this, I guess where I stand is unconvinced — not that there is benefit to social networking and the dissemination of some knowledge through technology, and that that should be explored for educational value, but that it should completely replace the old ways because newer, younger generations demand it to be so.