It's been a while (dog days of August.) Earlier this month I had a fabulous time in Madison Wisconsin, where I keynoted the 19th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning. Click Here to see the entire speech online!
I had a great dinner with Jim Gee, author of "What Videogames Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy" and caught up with Kurt Squire who is beginning his academic career at Wisconsin - Madison. Congrats, Kurt! and finally met Tom Abeles, the editor of the journal On The Horizon, where I have a regular column. Also among the many people I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time who are doing great things in the learning field were Ann Watts and Julian and Marilyn Lombardi.
I have also posted a new article "Really Good News About Your Children's Video Games" on my site.
Kelvin's comment on my last post calls for a long answer, which I will get to as soon as I can. One reason I can't respond immediately is that I am in the process of particpating in a very interesting online forum on What Can Education Learn From the Video Game Industry?. It is called a "Soapbox," and is sponsored by the Institute for the Advancement of Emerging Technologies (IAETE), an organization housed within the Appalachian Education Lab (AEL) and funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
The panel consists of myself, U of Wisconsin Professor James Paul Gee, Harvard Professor Chris Dede, and a young man named "Cory" (a pseudonym) who -- and this is both great and unusual -- represents the students that the rest of us are trying to help learn.
We are given a loose topic each day for five days and write short essays in response. Unfortunately, the results are not available online in real time, but they will be published shortly as an ensemble. (Update: As of September 26 the forum was still "in review" and not posted, but they were working to expedite things.)
Previously published Soapbox forums are avalilable online at www.iaete.org/soapbox
An interview by Mark Sheraden of IBM this week sparked some interesting questions.
We all know our education system in the US is declining, not in all places, but pretty much at all levels. But we seem to be content, with the exception of some testing in elementary school, to just let it keep on happening. Clearly when unemployment is low there's not much pressure to get educated to find a job. So I wonder
1. What will it take before we really consider this a serious crisis and mobilize nationally (i.e.at the level we have around homeland security?)
2. What if everyone who isn't a US citizen stayed home from work or school for a day or two? What would we learn about our own citizenry?
I welcome your thoughts.