I wonder if we should spend some time explaining to pupils why we choose the tools we use, the affordances of said tools and the drawbacks. In the case of “free” tools why companies give them away. I don’t believe we think about these reasons in enough depth.
Founded by ex-Googler Max Ventilla, AltSchool has been burning cash in a failed attempt to create a profitable private school network and fighting to sell an expensive edtech product in a crowded field.
But as Ventilla admits when he lets his guard down, reaching profitability will be quite a stretch. The story of how AltSchool arrived at this point—burning cash in a failed attempt to create a profitable private-school network and fighting to sell an expensive edtech product in a crowded field—shows that the best intentions, an impressive career in tech and an excess of Silicon Valley money and enthusiasm don’t easily translate into success in a tradition-bound marketplace where budgets are tight.
efore starting AltSchool, Ventilla says, he read two dozen books on education and emerged a fan of Sir Ken Robinson, a British TED Talk speaker known for lamenting the dearth of creativity in early education, and Angela Duckworth, a psychologist and the winner of a MacArthur “genius” grant who has written about the need for children to cultivate “grit.” The quality of primary and secondary education in America, stuck in an industrial-age model, has been in steady decline for the last century, says Ventilla, citing the most recent Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results, a worldwide test of reading, math and science ability in which U.S. 15-year-olds ranked 38th out of 71 countries.
Though Ventilla’s business plan was no more than a vague outline, he was a Silicon Valley insider, and investors bought in. “He was talking about a shift from a lecture-based model of education to a learner-centric model,” says First Round Capital partner Josh Kopelman, who sits on AltSchool’s board. “That made total sense to us.”
via Audrey Watters
In this post I look at what is happening and how teachers can help students navigate social media platforms and critically reflect on issues they may face on a daily basis.
- Find out what students are doing with social media and what challenges they face
- Develop understandings of the structure of social media platforms
- Provide opportunities to critically reflect on the construction and interpretation of digital identities
- Analyse how news is presented on social media
I still think that the most effective way to engage with social media is through the use of a managed environment. I really like the way Edublogs classroom blogs supports this and think blogging is a useful starting point for understanding the structure. In regards to reflecting on what students are doing, I have found Dave White’s Visitor/Resident tool the most useful.
The most useful education technology knowledge does not come from globe-trotting ‘gurus’, keynote speakers and product evangelists. Instead, the best technology advice can often come from simply trying things out for yourself and/or speaking with colleagues working in similar situations and circumstances. There is still a lot to be said for teachers drawing on local knowledge and trusting their own judgement.
- Be clear what you want to achieve
- Set appropriate expectations
- Aim for small-scale change
- Pay attention to the ‘bigger picture’
- Think about unintended consequences
- Technology use is a collective concern
- Beware of over-confident ‘experts’
This reminds me of my call forwhen it comes to technology. Also another post to add to my list of .
For those who want to use this structure to create your own Privacy Postcards, I have created a skeleton structure on Github. Please, feel free to clone this, copy it, modify it, and make it your own.
I believe that people sometimes need to learn to work building their objectives on the fly given what they’ve been confronted with. So how do I design activities that allow for people to learn to persist through that uncertainty and still be willing to accept half answers when that’s as far as they will get?
Meme histories. That’s how.
I wanted to do a lot of screaming at the event, I confess.
But I didn’t want to just scream at the investors and entrepreneurs about the misinformation they heard and they spread. I wanted to scream at all those reporters and all those pundits who uncritically repeat these stories too and at all those educators who readily take it all in.
Another interesting listen, with so much to reflect upon.
One thing that stood out though was Will Richardson’s reference to “a post shared on LinkedIn and Facebook.” I wonder if this is the ‘Modern’ world, one ruled by platform capitalism? If:
We need to stop “playing around the edges” and make changes that really get to the core
then I wonder if this is really the core?
I understand our focus should be about ‘learning’, but if there is anything to come out of the recent Cambridge Analytica revelations, then it is surely that we need a better model moving forward.
The future may not involve everyone to #DeleteFacebook, but I would hope that those leading technological change would lead the way? I have the same concern about Anil Dash writing about the open web in a post on Medium. For me, the future is the IndieWeb, for others it is a Domain of One’s Own. I think that both of these discussions touch upon the idea of a canonical URL.
In a Secondary environment, this allowed access to multiple stakeholders, both teachers and students. In hindsight, it did not work. Not only did students feel that reading was done to them, but it was also left to the English teachers. I reflected about it here.
When I moved down to Primary, I discovered the limits of capturing things like running records digitally. I can really see the possibilities of the pen in supporting this.
How do you see this continuing to evolve? Are students actively involved?
Do I need this tool? Why? How does it really support learning?
What are the costs, both monetary and otherwise, of using this service? Do the rewards of use outweigh the risks?
Is there a paid service I could explore that will meet my needs and better protect the privacy of my information and my students’ information?
How can I inform parents/community members about our use of this tool and what mechanisms are in place for parents to opt their children out of using it?
When this tool and/or its plan changes, how will we adjust? What will our plans be to make seamless transitions to other tools or strategies when the inevitable happens?
Type I webinars are a mistake in 2018, and they need to die. We can leave them behind and take our presentations and conversations to other platforms, either Type II or by flipping the webinar. Or we can re-invent, re-use, and reboot Type I. In a time where discussions are more fraught and also more needed, we should do this now.
In this episode of “Ask the Tech Coach,” we sit down with Jon Corippo and Marlena Hebern to discuss their new book Bring Your Teaching into Focus: The EduProtocol Field Guide