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Thinking About Connectionism

For most of human history, communication was an aural or gestural activity. We spoke and we made gestures, other heard and saw our movements. In both cases, the communication was ephemeral. Unheard words and unseen gestures are lost. There is evidence of humans creating painting and other artifacts which presumably were intended for meaningful communication, Read More

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Authentic Learning

Much of the 20th century recitation script for education, in particular the articulation of measurable goals and the focus on efficiency, was based on the assumption that becoming educated was a tame problem. So that curriculum goals could be achieved efficiently, the problems that became learner tasks were de-contextualized; the context of rich information and Read More

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Thoughts on Digital Information in Culture

In the 20th century, electronic media (such as radio, movie, and television) became widely used throughout the industrial world. In the last quarter of the 20th century, electronic media also included computers. In the last decade of the 20th century, telecommunications networks to which computers could be connected further extended the media landscape in many Read More

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Profile of an Early Adopter

This is an excerpt from some work I did recently in which I described school leaders whose adoption of technology planning appeared to reflect Rogers’ (2003) stages of adoption of innovations. Our school had been struggling with some aspects of our educational technology. Both our teachers and our technology people were trying, but we seemed Read More

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Perspectives on Learning

One of the reasons there is so much debate about teaching and learning and what we should have students spend their time doing when they are in schools is that there are different theories about human learning. By theories, of course, I mean ideas supported by evidence that accurately predict and explain what we observed. Read More

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On Psychology

What educators believe about how human brains function and what causes brains to change is one of the most important factors that determines how they organize curriculum and deliver instruction. Even those educators who claim to be unaffected by psychology or learning theory (in my experience a large majority of teachers eschew theory), their teaching Read More