Archive for Professional Development

EdCamp Sessions Impress Again

Last week, over 70 educators from 50+ public and private education institutions, from Kindergarten to School of Education, gathered on a Saturday to explore topics of interest. Participants proposed and led all of the discussions, and all attendees actively participated. U Prep hosted the fourth edition of EdCamp Puget Sound.

I was uniquely impressed with the range and thoughtfulness of sessions. Titles included:

  • Teach (blank) Through (blank); Integrating Interests and Project-Based Learning
  • Twitter 101
  • Lecture-less, Screencast-based Learning in the New Technology classroom
  • Painless Failure, Practice, Revision & Creativity
  • Learning from and teaching 2E (twice-exceptional) kiddos
  • Construct meaning through experience; Service learning & moreSupporting
  • Stem & First Robotics: How is Special Ed Suppose to support?
  • Not “Mad Men”: Use advertising techniques to communicate like a leader
  • Content-area disruption: New school subjects?
  • Online Discussions & Journaling
  • Mentoring: What does it mean?
  • Let’s All Learn About #MysterySkype
  • Effective Group Work and Accountable Talk
  • Conversation Around Blended Learning
  • Teacher Leaders; Teachers of the Year; Tech & Learning
  • U Prep Ac. Tech Q&A:Device Program, Comp Sci, Maker Lab (etc.)
  • Engaging social justice w/all students (not just the ones who opt in!)

I also benefited from the vast range of perspectives and life experiences present at the conference. EdCamps truly bring together a vibrancy of shared ideas unmatched by other education professional development events.


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Faculty Professional Development Days

Each year, U Prep devotes a number of full or half in-service days to professional development to support continuous improvement of teaching practices in our faculty. These full-faculty workshops complement the individual and group professional development that the school also supports. We have held two of these in-service half days so far this year. What did the faculty do when school was dismissed early?

October: Differentiated Instruction and Technology

Differentiated instruction is the practice of varying teaching content and methods so that students are appropriately challenged and significantly learning every day. The opposite of “one size fits all,” differentiated instruction assumes that students have varying learning needs and therefore should receive varied instruction. Teachers design learning environments to appropriately engage and challenge all students, based on their facility and interests.

Differentiated instruction methods include: providing students with activity choices; asking students to work at their own pace; giving students a variety of presentation format options; providing material to students in different forms of media; assigning open-ended projects and individualizing feedback.

Dr. Jane Cutter, U Prep’s Learning Resources Coordinator, notes that many teaching techniques originally designed as learning accommodations are also effective with our entire student population. Scholars Carol Ann Tomlinson and Tonya R. Moon note that instruction can be differentiated through content (the information provided to students), process (learning activities), product (how students demonstrate mastery), and environment (resources and classroom setup).

Technology is a powerful tool to facilitate all of these forms of differentiation. Teachers can quickly provide varied materials through Schoology, individually communicate with students at any time, and link students to a variety of online activities and media. Students can organize their own work environment, collaborate with classmates, and demonstrate learning through a variety of means.

During this workshop, teachers attended a joint session together and then participated in one of five, topical breakout sessions. Sybille Stadtmueller, Meg Shortell, Karen Slon, Brad Gosche, Yayoi Brown, Moses Rifkin, and Alec Duxbury shared examples of differentiation from their work and facilitated the sessions. Teachers explored the connection of differentiation to assessment, creative work, and student voice.

Further reading: http://bit.ly/differentiation (Carol Ann Tomlinson interview in Education Week)

November: Attention, Mindfulness, and Technology

U Prep has worked hard over the past years to keep pace with rapid technological changes occurring in society. The main event has been a huge infusion of tablet and laptop devices that we have placed in students’ hands, plus consideration of how to change our instructional practices to take advantage of the devices’ many capabilities.

At the same time, we feel equally strongly about the importance of balance in our lives. Balance between high-tech and low-tech learning environments; balance between email and face-to-face communication; balance between productivity and reflective practice.

In one of the faculty’s summer readings, William Powers wrote:

We’re losing something of great value, a way of thinking and moving through time that can be summed up in a single word, depth. Depth of thought and feeling, depth in our relationships, our work and everything we do. Since depth is what makes life fulfilling and meaningful, it’s astounding that we’re allowing this to happen.

Even in a hyper-connected world, everyone has the ability to regulate his or her own experience. It’s the same theme that great thinkers have struck time after time over the last two thousand years, but it keeps getting forgotten. The answer to our dilemma is hiding in the last place we tend to look: our own minds. The best tool for fighting back is still the mind itself.

With this introduction, the faculty considered five current approaches to attention and mindfulness in a technology-rich world.

Executive Function: neurobiology, memory, and learning

Mindfulness: contemplation and quality of life

Engagement: project-based learning and progressive education

Mastery: getting control of technology by getting better at it

Social media: what students are doing behind those screens

David Levy, Professor of Information Sciences at the University of Washington, facilitated on of the sessions. Megan Reimann, parent and special education expert, facilitated another. Many thanks to both.

Further watching: http://bit.ly/davidlevy (Prof. David Levy on information overload)

More Professional Development Coming Later This Year

February: project-based learning with technology

March: cultural competency in a diverse community

April: a model for technology lesson planning

Attention and Mindfulness in Technology Use: Five Perspectives

U Prep facilitates professional development opportunities for the individual teacher, group of teachers, and whole faculty. This year, at least three of these sessions consider our new iPad and laptop program, wholly within the context of principles of teaching and learning and youth development. Today, we explored the topic of attention and mindfulness in the context of technology use.

On the one hand, we are working hard so that our school keeps up with rapid technological changes occurring in society. The main feature is a huge infusion of tablet and laptop devices that we have placed in students’ hands, plus consideration of how to change our instructional practices to take advantage of the many capabilities of this change.

At the same time, we heard a clear message from our community as we designed the program last year—we want and need balance in our lives. Balance between high-tech and low-tech learning environments; balance between email and face-to-face communication; balance between productivity and reflective practice.

What does imbalance look like? When we feel compelled to answer emails at our desk instead of seeing colleagues in the staff room. When we spend hours addressing a technical problem instead of getting work done. When we find students watching a video or playing a game instead of paying attention to class. Looking to the future, one might image a dystopic view of technology in our lives. Let’s take a look.

In one of our faculty summer reads, William Powers wrote:

We’re losing something of great value, a way of thinking and moving through time that can be summed up in a single word, depth. Depth of thought and feeling, depth in our relationships, our work and everything we do. Since depth is what makes life fulfilling and meaningful, it’s astounding that we’re allowing this to happen.

What does balance look like? When tech is truly complementary, part of the environment, rather than taking center stage. When we have the necessary self-control to avoid immediately responding to that ding, buzz, or alert window. When we feel that our humanity is preserved in our very personal practice of living and working within a learning community.

Again, quoting William Powers:

History is replete with moments when some astonishing new invention came along that suddenly made it easier for people to connect across space and time. And those earlier shifts were as exhilarating and confusing to those who lived through them as today’s are to us.

Even in a hyper-connected world, everyone has the ability to regulate his or her own experience. It’s the same theme that great thinkers have struck time after time over the last two thousand years, but it keeps getting forgotten. The answer to our dilemma is hiding in the last place we tend to look: our own minds. The best tool for fighting back is still the mind itself.

We must move a step forward in our understanding of attention and mindfulness, so that we may open the classroom to technology without feeling ruled by it.

How do we achieve this? First, let’s understand that the study of attention and mindfulness with technology is an emerging field. Different approaches exist: some support each other. Others contradict. It’s quite likely that some combination of approaches will be best.

Let’s take a look at five approaches to attention and mindfulness in a technology-rich world. We may identify which aspects of these approaches have the most potential, so that we may implement them broadly throughout the school, incorporate them into our behavioral and professional norms and expectations.

Executive Function

This topic asks what brain research can tell us about learning and technology use. Karen Bradley, a teacher at Head-Royce School in Oakland, describes executive functions as, “our judgment, the ability to set priorities, to choose a ‘go’ versus a ‘no-go’ action, to distinguish junk from useful information.” The use of executive function is critical for young people to learn, as they make decisions about whether to pay attention in class, do homework, and consider thematic concepts in the curriculum.

Frequent interruptions by technology may impede executive function, as students lack the “quiet space” to think deeply, and as their working memory is bombarded by new inputs. Brain scientists such as John Medina tell us that multitasking is a myth, that frequently switching our attention is a detriment to productive thought.

Let’s take a whimsical look at multitasking with designer Paolo Cardini.

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Megan Reimann is an expert in special education. She has taught study skills, resource room, language arts, and social studies and is a U Prep ninth grade parent. Megan currently specializes in working with students who have executive function deficits to help them create strong study habits. Megan ran one of our breakout sessions during the professional development day.

Mindfulness

Our second topic is mindfulness. Did you know that you may actually hold your breath when you open your email app to check for new messages? The tense moment of uncertainty—what’s in there?—triggers our fight-or-flight response; our physiology is on high alert while we wait to find out.

How is our quality of life when these moments of alertness happen all day, in quick succession? What can we do to create contemplative spaces and improve our quality of life? How may we teach our students to do the same?

David Levy is a professor at UW’s Information School and an expert in information, contemplative practices, and the quality of life. David is a former computer scientist, researcher on the nature of documents, and student of calligraphy and bookbinding. Dr. Levy’s more recent work has focused on contemplative practices, the quality of life, and how to use digital tools more mindfully. He gave a superb talk on the activities teachers can organize for their students to promote self-awareness and mindfulness. This video provides a brief introduction to his work.

Engagement

This topic looks at attention and mindfulness from the perspective of student engagement. Maybe our students and their technologies aren’t the problem. Maybe our educational paradigm needs to change instead.

Cathy Davidson, another of our summer book authors, asks whether we need to update our definitions of attention and engagement. She argues that distraction actually helps us receive a variety of input that supports creativity, connection, and collaboration. Instead of keeping technology at arm’s length, perhaps we should embrace it and change our educational environments to match. Information is no longer scarce, and teachers have a new, exciting role to play as the architects of student-directed learning environments. Progressive education and project-based learning meet technology in this topic.

In this video, Alan November describes one such learning experience (jump to 3:35).

Further reading:

Connected Learning: An Agenda for Research and Design” (Mizuko Ito et al)

Exploring the Edge: New Learning Environments for the 21st Century” (John Seeley Brown)

Mastery

This topic asks whether we feel uncomfortable with technology simply because we have not fully mastered it. Alerts and notifications can be turned off. We can get better at how we use communication and collaboration tools, so that they truly become part of the background of our educational environment.

In Send, David Shipley provides perspectives and techniques to allow you to take control of your email inbox.

Howard Rheingold invites us to tune our “crap detector” and “attention muscles” (to borrow a term from David Levy) to restore control over our electronic interactions. “Dive into the deep end,” Rheingold tells us.

Clay Shirky says that the problem is not information overload, rather it is filter failure. The key skill now is to be able to set up systems to bring the most relevant, stimulating content to our attention.

Further reading:

Attention, and Other 21st-Century Social Media Literacies” (Howard Rheingold)

It’s Not Information Overload. It’s Filter Failure” (Clay Shirky)

Personal Learning Networks: Knowledge Sharing as Democracy” (Alison Seaman)

Students’ Social Media Lives

What are students doing behind those screens? Anthropologists Mimi Ito and danah boyd have a lot to tell us about how young people experience life through social media. Understanding their perspectives may help us work with students in classes and evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of separating students from their devices.

Further reading:

Living and Learning with New Media: Summary of Findings from the Digital Youth Project (MacArthur Foundation)

Teens and Technology 2013” (Pew Research Center, Berkman Center for Internet and Society)

Teens, Social Media, and Privacy” (Pew Research Center, Berkman Center for Internet and Society)

Faculty Summer Reads

The faculty summer read promotes the sharing of fresh perspectives on education among us when we are away from classes and students. U Prep purchases these books and provides them to all faculty members and those staff members who would like to participate. During opening faculty meetings, the three authors will join the U Prep faculty via Skype for a question and answer session about the readings.

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Hamlet’s BlackBerry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age (William Powers, 2011)

A crisp, passionately argued answer to the question that everyone who’s grown dependent on digital devices is asking: Where’s the rest of my life? Hamlet’s BlackBerry challenges the widely held assumption that the more we connect through technology, the better. It’s time to strike a new balance, William Powers argues, and discover why it’s also important to disconnect. Part memoir, part intellectual journey, the book draws on the technological past and great thinkers such as Shakespeare and Thoreau. “Connectedness” has been hconsidered from an organizational and economic standpoint—from Here Comes Everybody to Wikinomics—but Powers examines it on a deep interpersonal, psychological, and emotional level. Readers of Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point and Outliers will relish Hamlet’s BlackBerry.

Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn (Cathy Davidson, 2012)

A brilliant combination of science and its real-world application, Now You See It sheds light on one of the greatest problems of our historical moment: our schools and businesses are designed for the last century, not for a world in which technology has reshaped the way we think and learn. In this informed and optimistic work, Cathy N. Davidson takes us on a tour of the future of work and education, introducing us to visionaries whose groundbreaking ideas will soon affect every arena of our lives, from schools with curriculums built around video games to workplaces that use virtual environments to train employees.

Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World (Heidi Hayes Jacobs, 2010)

If you believe that an essential role of schooling is to prepare students to be successful in today’s world, then here is a must-read book that makes a powerful case for why and how schools must overhaul, update, and breathe new life into the K–12 curriculum. World-renowned curriculum designer Heidi Hayes Jacobs leads an all-star cast of education thought leaders who explain:
– Why K–12 curriculum has to change to reflect new technologies and a globalized world.
– What to keep, what to cut, and what to create to reflect 21st century learning skills.
– Where portfolios and new kinds of assessments fit into accountability mandates.
– How to improve your use of time and space and groupings of students and staff.
– What steps to take to help students gain a global perspective and develop the habits of mind they need to succeed in school, work, and life.
– How to re-engineer schools and teaching to engage and improve students’ media literacy.

Cultivating Innovative Leaders Slides

Here are the slides and bibliography from the School Leadership Summit presentation that Carla Silver and I made on March 28.

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Download the PDF

Join Us for Innovative Leadership

I will be co-leading this summer’s seminar on Innovative Leadership, offered by Santa Fe Leadership Center and Hillbrook School Center for Teaching Excellence. It would be great to see you there. This seminar is a great opportunity to engage deeply with ideas of innovation, risk, creativity, and school change, within a retreat setting, and along with 40 thoughtful colleagues from other schools. Seminar leaders include Carla Silver, Greg Bamford, Ryan Burke, and me. Guest presenters will include Jump AssociatesThe Grove Consulting, and Patricia Ryan Madson.

Innovative Leadership
June 23-27, 2013 :: Silicon Valley, CA

Flip.Shift. Disrupt.

  • Why innovate? What forces or compels us to innovate?
  • What are the qualities of innovators and how might I develop these qualities in my own leadership?
  • How can I develop a culture of innovation at my school?
  • What are sustaining and disruptive innovations on the horizon?
  • How do I implement innovations and manage the full spectrum of responses from my community?
  • How do I distinguish between sticky innovations and passing fads?

Learn more and register

E-learning and Digital Cultures MOOC

I am excited to start work on the E-learning and Digital Cultures MOOC, offered by the University of Edinburgh through Coursera. This is my second MOOC, and already I feel that this experience will match my expectations better than my first. The course structure is easy to understand, divided into three “blocks,” Utopias and Dystopias, Being Human, and the final assessment. The approach to teaching is more familiar, starting with taking in information through articles and videos, engaging in discussions through a variety of electronic media, and then producing an individual, final product. The path to a rich learning experience seems both in my control and well-informed by the instructors.

The social sciences have for a long time appealed to me as a means to better understand student and teacher engagement with learning. Studies such as Hanging Out, Messing Around, And Geeking Out have helped provide insight and understanding regarding new student behaviors that we did not experience when we were young. Sociology, anthropology, psychology, and other fields help us navigate our changing world and adjust our educational systems to keep up.

E-learning and Digital Cultures promises to use selected artifacts from contemporary culture to illustrate deeply-held feelings about technology and self that underly passionate opinions about technology in education. For example, the opening topic, utopias and dystopias, will explore dominant, deterministic dialogues about education technologies. Not only will this help me navigate the landscape that I experience at work, but it will also help our community members better understand their own conceptions about education technologies. As our school strives to increase its use of computing in the service of learning, I plan to share selected pieces to help people think about their own thinking.

My current position is academic dean at an independent, grades 6-12 day school in Seattle, Washington, USA. I am responsible for oversight of curriculum and professional development, primarily working with administrators and teachers to coordinate the instructional program, facilitate a culture of professional sharing and growth, and help the school grow in new directions.

I look forward to participating in the social aspects of this course, connecting with other course participants through Twitter, discussion forums, Google+ circles, and other vehicles. I hope you will feel free to post comments on my writings here. Thank you in advance to the instructors for planning to hold a Google Hangout to offer some live interaction with participants.

 

A Brief History of Design Thinking

Each of the past two summers, I have participated in workshops on a method for program development called design thinking. You may have heard of it, as it has been the subject of workshop presentations at education conferences, articles in education publications, and faculty retreats. In this article, I recount the history of design thinking in independent schools as I understand it. Call it “Design Thinking: West Coast Edition,” if you will. I would love to hear your experiences as well. Then, in a second article, I plan to tell the story of design thinking here at U Prep, particularly the experience of applying design thinking theory to on-site practice.

Design thinking has its origins in the world of business, specifically product design. A better chair, shoe, or building design have been common subjects of design thinking over the years. IDEO‘s David Kelley is cited as the pioneer of design thinking. Concurrently with explorations of design thinking, independent schools were engaged in a process of “professionalization”, looking to learn from business practices such as employee expectations, employment, and evaluation. The Summer 2011 edition of Independent School featured the theme of “Developing a Professional Culture in School.”

Independent schools were perhaps also attracted to the prestige of a national leader in design thinking, Stanford University. The Institute of Design (a.k.a., d.school), and its offspring IDEO, reached out to schools as early as 2009 (12), and a number of independent school leaders visited and attended their workshops.

A smaller but also prominent school is also located along the Peninsula south of San Francisco, Nueva School. The school came into contact with the Stanford d.school, found that these ideas resonated with its practices of experiential education, and decided to make design thinking a core feature of its instructional program. This led to the development of a dedicated space for prototype fabrication, hiring of a program director, and the integration of design thinking methods throughout the school’s curriculum. Nueva staff took design thinking one step further, adopting it as a process for learning environment design, and began to train its own staff as well as those from other schools. This led to several much-cited conference presentations, Nueva’s summer institute for design thinking, as well as its Innovative Learning Conference.

The 2012 NAIS Annual Conference featured workshops on design thinking (12). Architecture firms developed design thinking partnerships with educators (12). Mount Vernon Presbyterian School used a community-based design thinking workshop to inform the redesign of the school’s library and held a Design Thinking SummitRiverdale Country School and IDEO offered a free online course in design thinking and published an educator’s guide to design thinking. A number of schools began to try design thinking in classrooms and community projects (1, 2). Personally, I have been involved in the design thinking work of Santa Fe Leadership Center and Leading Is Learning. You may be interested in some upcoming Leading Is Learning events, a free webinar on Jan 30 (offered with Whipple Hill) and a design thinking event in June 2013 at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School.

We have engaged with design thinking in a number of ways at University Prep. My next article will explore these efforts and investigate the differences between attending a workshop on design thinking and implementing it in school practice.

Inquiry and Experimentation in Professional Development

U Prep’s faculty professional development program includes a wide range of activities that provides diverse opportunities for knowledge and skill development. The program includes individual, small group, and whole faculty activities and complements both long and short-term school improvement efforts.

Individualized Teacher Improvement Program

The Individualized Teacher Improvement Program (ITIP) is the cornerstone of faculty professional development at U Prep. Each faculty member, in concert with the department and division head, identifies an area of teaching practice for improvement, based on the school’s Characteristics of Good Teaching. The teacher then follows a three-year sequence of study, experience, reflection, and demonstration, focused on improvement in that one area of teaching practice. The sequence includes peer observations of one’s teaching, professional development outside of the independent school world, and the development of a portfolio of work. The school pays for up to $2,200 worth of teacher-selected professional development activities for each ITIP. After completion of a three-year ITIP cycle, the teacher moves up one step on the salary scale.

Whole Faculty PD Days

Each year, the school identifies one or two themes for whole faculty work. Approximately three full and three half PD days are dedicated to these school-wide themes, allowing for sustained investigation of key topics by all faculty members. Activities are typically internally organized and include guest speakers, small group work, readings,  sharing of information, and others. The organization of common PD experiences for all faculty members helps cultivate ongoing, daily conversations on these schoolwide themes. This year, U Prep’s two themes are cultural competency in the classroom and uses of technology to support teaching and learning.

Conferences and workshops

Individual teachers also attend conferences and workshops that are not part of their ITIP plans. These include subject-specific workshops and regional meetings of professional associations, special-interest conferences, unconferences, symposia, and more. These experiences are supported through our general faculty professional development fund and approved by the department head, division head, and academic dean. Some take place far away and incur travel and lodging expenses, whereas others are free and local. Often, U Prep faculty attend such events in twos and threes, which provides opportunities for reinforcing the experience and sharing back with colleagues at school. Whole departments and grade-level teams also attend PD events together.

Faculty Meetings

At U Prep, faculty meetings provide an opportunity for professional development that is highly responsive to emergent needs. The school holds only a handful of division faculty meetings each year, so they are typically not used for basic information sharing. The agenda is not often determined far in advance, so division directors can use these faculty meetings for diverse purposes. Meeting formats vary.

Graduate Course Work

A number of faculty members pursue graduate degrees at local universities. Supported by an auction special appeal, a portion of these expenses are reimbursed by the school. Some teachers pursue graduate degrees in their subject area, whereas others study in the field of education. Advanced study not only benefits the individual teacher, but teachers also have a practice of sharing their experiences with colleagues.

Summer Paid Planning

Faculty members apply for summer grants to substantially change school program, in collaboration with their colleagues. Summer provides longer periods of time for focused work with colleagues, free from the time and schedule constraints of the school year. To some extent, such collaborative work also support professional improvement.

Department Retreats

From time to time, a department will take a day away from school to do generative work, such as a grades 6-12 curriculum review.

How These Work Together

Different PD structures may complement and enrich each other. At opening meetings this year, those who completed summer paid professional development shared their experiences with the faculty and invited individuals to follow up with them later. The PD experiences included conferences, graduate study, and department work. Wanting to further explore these topics, upper school teachers suggested that we hold unconference-style faculty meetings this year. Teachers proposed topics, and teachers selected sessions they wished to join.

Taking an Online Course Together

Yesterday, Lori Hébert from College Prep (Oakland) invited BAISNet subscribers to take an online course with her, and as of this morning, 14 BAISNet members have signed up! This is the first online offering from an education school that I have seen in any of the new generation of social, free online courses from major universities.

Stanford Online: Designing a New Learning Environment
INSTRUCTOR: Paul Kim
Chief Technology Officer and Assistant Dean, School of Education, Stanford University
October 15 – December 20, 2012

The Course

What constitutes learning in the 21st century? Should reading, watching, memorizing facts, and then taking exams be the only way to learn? Or could technology (used effectively) make learning more interactive, collaborative, and constructive? Could learning be more engaging and fun?
We construct, access, visualize, and share information and knowledge in very different ways than we did decades ago. The amount and types of information created, shared, and critiqued every day is growing exponentially, and many skills required in today’s working environment are not taught in formal school systems. In this more complex and highly-connected world, we need new training and competency development—we need to design a new learning environment.

The ultimate goal of this project-based course is to promote systematic design thinking that will cause a paradigm shift in the learning environments of today and tomorrow. Participants are not required to have computer programming skills, but must have 1) a commitment to working in a virtual team and 2) the motivation to help people learn better. All of us have been involved in the learning process at some point in our lives; in this course we invite educators, school leaders, researchers, students, parents, entrepreneurs, computer programmers, illustrators, interface designers, and all those who are interested in working together, to create a new learning environment.

After the completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify advantages, disadvantages, limitations, and potentials of at least 10 interactive learning models and solutions.
  • Describe how online communication, collaboration, and visualization technology play a role in the behavioral, cognitive, constructivist, and social dimensions of learning.
  • Describe the major components and processes involved in development of interactive education systems.
  • Communicate rationales of learning technology design approaches through team-oriented collaborations.
  • Evaluate the value of ideas, principles, and techniques used in educational media or systems.

As a Final Team Project, students will design a new learning model catering to 21st century environments and learners. Each self-formed team will design and develop an application or system that combines team interaction activities and learning support features in ways that are effective and appropriate for today’s computing and communication devices. Students must consider potential idiosyncrasies with various learning devices (e.g., tablet, phone, PC), infrastructure requirements (e.g., cellular network, wi-fi, Bluetooth), and any special hypothetical circumstances if relevant. In addition, each team must create and defend a business model (non-profit, for-profit, or hybrid) for the launch and scale up their solution.

Additional consideration will be given to teams that come up with system feature ideas presenting meaningful learning interaction and performance analytics.

More online offerings than ever before

In related news, I sent the following list of online course offerings to our faculty yesterday, and one colleague added to the list.

Coursera
https://www.coursera.org/
198 courses from 33 universities, including Stanford, UW, Princeton, Berklee, and U. Michigan.

Stanford Online
http://online.stanford.edu/
Some courses offered via Venture Lab, a new online learning platform designed specifically for group collaboration [3]

EdX
https://www.edx.org/
7 courses from MIT, Harvard, and UC Berkeley in science, programming, and public health

Udacity
http://www.udacity.com/
Started by the former director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
14 courses, mostly in programming and math.

OpenCulture: 530 Free Online Courses from Top Universities
http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses

iTunes U
http://itunes.apple.com/us/genre/itunes-u/id40000000?mt=10

Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative
http://oli.cmu.edu/learn-with-oli/see-our-free-open-courses/