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Digital Schools

How Technology Can Transform Education

Darrell M. West

Nearly a century ago, famed educator John Dewey said that "if we teach today's students as we taught yesterday's, we rob them of tomorrow." That wisdom resonates more strongly than ever today, and that maxim underlies this insightful look at the present and future of education in the digital age.

As Darrell West makes clear, today's educational institutions must reinvent themselves to engage students successfully and provide them with the skills needed to compete in an increasingly global, technological, and online world. Otherwise the American education system will continue to fall woefully short in its mission to prepare the population to survive and thrive in a rapidly changing world.

West examines new models of education made possible by enhanced information technology, new approaches that will make public education in the post-industrial age more relevant, efficient, and ultimately more productive. Innovative pilot programs are popping up all over the nation, experimenting with different forms of organization and delivery systems.

Digital Schools surveys this promising new landscape, examining in particular personalized learning; realtime student assessment; ways to enhance teacher evaluation; the untapped potential of distance learning; and the ways in which technology can improve the effectiveness of special education and foreign language instruction. West illustrates the potential contributions of blogs, wikis, social media, and video games and augmented reality in K–12 and higher education.

Technology by itself will not remake education. But if today's schools combine increased digitization with needed improvements in organization, operations, and culture, we can overcome current barriers, produce better results, and improve the manner in which schools function. And we can get back to teaching for tomorrow, rather than for yesterday.

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Digital Tools in Urban Schools

Mediating a Remix of Learning

Jabari Mahiri

"Today there is massive interest in how digital tools and popular culture are transforming learning out of school and lots of dismay at how digitally lost our schools are. Jabari Mahiri works his usual magic and here shows us how to cross this divide in a solidly grounded and beautifully written book." ---James Paul Gee, Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies, Arizona State University "Digital Tools in Urban Schools is a profoundly sobering yet inspiring depiction of the potential for committed educators to change the lives of urban youth, with the assistance of a new set of technical capabilities." ---Mimi Ito, Professor in Residence and MacArthur Foundation Chair in Digital Media and Learning, Departments of Informatics and Anthropology, University of California, Irvine "An uplifting book that addresses a critical gap in existing literature by providing rich and important insights into ways teachers, administrators, and members of the wider community can work together with students previously alienated---even excluded---from formal education to enhance classroom learning with appropriate digital tools and achieve inspiring results under challenging circumstances." ---Colin Lankshear, James Cook University, and Michele Knobel, Montclair State University Digital Tools in Urban Schools demonstrates significant ways in which high school teachers in the complex educational setting of an urban public high school in northern California extended their own professional learning to revitalize learning in their classrooms. Through a novel research collaboration between a university and this public school, these teachers were supported and guided in developing the skills necessary to take greater advantage of new media and new information sources to increase student learning while making connections to their relevant experiences and interests. Jabari Mahiri draws on extensive qualitative data---including blogs, podcasts, and other digital media---to document, describe, and analyze how the learning of both students and teachers was dramatically transformed as they utilized digital media in their classrooms. Digital Tools in Urban Schools will interest instructional leaders and participants in teacher preparation and professional development programs, education and social science researchers and scholars, graduate and undergraduate programs and classes emphasizing literacy and learning, and those focused on urban education issues and conditions.

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Do Elephants Have Knees?

And Other Stories of Darwinian Origins

by Charles R. Ault Jr.

Thinking whimsically makes serious science accessible. That's a message that should be taken to heart by all readers who want to learn about evolution. Do Elephants Have Knees? invites readers into serious appreciation of Darwinian histories by deploying the playful thinking found in children’s books. Charles R. Ault Jr. weds children’s literature to recent research in paleontology and evolutionary biology. Inquiring into the origin of origins stories, Ault presents three portraits of Charles Darwin—curious child, twentysomething adventurer, and elderly worm scientist. Essays focusing on the origins of tetrapods, elephants, whales, and birds explain fundamental Darwinian concepts (natural selection, for example) with examples of fossil history and comparative anatomy.

The imagery of the children’s story offers a way to remember and recreate scientific discoveries. By juxtaposing Darwin’s science with tales for children, Do Elephants Have Knees? underscores the importance of whimsical storytelling to the accomplishment of serious thinking. Charles Darwin mused about duck beaks and swimming bears as he imagined a pathway for the origin of baleen. A "bearduck" chimera may be a stretch, but the science linking not just cows but also whales to moose through shared ancestry has great merit. Teaching about shared ancestry may begin with attention to Bernard Wiseman’s Morris the Moose. Morris believes that cows and deer are fine examples of moose because they all have four legs and things on their heads. No whale antlers are known, but fossils of four-legged whales are. By calling attention to surprising and serendipitous echoes between children’s stories and challenging science, Ault demonstrates how playful thinking opens the doors to an understanding of evolutionary thought.

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Éducation, Environnement, Écocitoyenneté

Repères contemporains

Si au cours des 40 dernières années le champ de l’éducation relative à l’environnement s’est largement déployé, la nature des enjeux socioécologiques actuels appelle à un nouvel examen des assises de ce champ et à l’explicitation des courants qui émergent. Le présent ouvrage offre donc une mise à jour de plusieurs fondements de l’action éducative en matière d’environnement. Au fil des chapitres, les auteurs proposent un «patrimoine» de repères contemporains pour inspirer et fonder cette action, c’est-à-dire toute forme d’éducation ayant trait au rapport personnel et social au milieu de vie: l’éducation à la nature, à la conservation, à la santé environnementale, au développement durable, etc. Ces repères sauront rejoindre les enseignants en formation initiale et continue, de même que toutes les personnes qui œuvrent dans les domaines de la formation, de l’éducation spécialisée, de l’animation, de l’interprétation, de la médiation ou de la communication. Ils pourront nourrir leur réflexion éducative, donner plus de signification et de pertinence à leur pratique et inspirer ces professionnels pour qu’ils sachent mieux arrimer leur travail pédagogique aux enjeux et aux défis actuels d’ordres socioécologique, épistémologique, éthique, politique et autres.

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Dynamics Of Folklore

Barre Toelken

One of the most comprehensive and widely praised introductions to folklore ever written. Toelken's discussion of the history and meaning of folklore is delivered in straightforward language, easily understood definitions, and a wealth of insightful and entertaining examples.

Toelken emphasizes dynamism and variety in the vast array of folk expressions he examines, from "the biology of folklore," to occupational and ethnic lore, food ways, holidays, personal experience narratives, ballads, myths, proverbs, jokes, crafts, and others. Chapters are followed by bibliographical essays, and over 100 photographs illustrate the text. This new edition is accessible to all levels of folklore study and an essential text for classroom instruction.

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Engineering in Pre-College Settings

Synthesizing Research, Policy, and Practices

Edited by Senay Purzer, Johannes Strobel, and Monica Cardella

In science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in pre-college, engineering is not the silent “e” anymore. There is an accelerated interest in teaching engineering in all grade levels. Structured engineering programs are emerging in schools as well as in out-of-school settings. Over the last ten years, the number of states in the US including engineering in their K-12 standards has tripled, and this trend will continue to grow with the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards. The interest in pre-college engineering education stems from three different motivations. First, from a workforce pipeline or pathway perspective, researchers and practitioners are interested in understanding precursors, influential and motivational factors, and the progression of engineering thinking. Second, from a general societal perspective, technological literacy and understanding of the role of engineering and technology is becoming increasingly important for the general populace, and it is more imperative to foster this understanding from a younger age. Third, from a STEM integration and education perspective, engineering processes are used as a context to teach science and math concepts. This book addresses each of these motivations and the diverse means used to engage with them. Designed to be a source of background and inspiration for researchers and practitioners alike, this volume includes contributions on policy, synthesis studies, and research studies to catalyze and inform current efforts to improve pre-college engineering education. The book explores teacher learning and practices, as well as how student learning occurs in both formal settings, such as classrooms, and informal settings, such as homes and museums. This volume also includes chapters on assessing design and creativity.

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Enjeux contemporains de l'éducation scientifique et technologique

Sous la direction de Abdelkrim Hasni et Joël Lebeaume

Au cours de la dernière décennie, l’enseignement scolaire au Québec et en France a été profondément renouvelé et reconfiguré par des actions publiques en matière d’éducation et par les missions affectées à l’enseignement obligatoire. Les auteurs de cet ouvrage considèrent cette problématique en éducation scientifique et technologique. Ils montrent à la fois la diversité et la complémentarité des reconfigurations contemporaines de l’éducation scientifique et technologique dans la scolarité, touchant des sujets tels que l’enseignement général, l’enseignement agricole, la formation des enseignants, la formation citoyenne et l’éducation à l’environnement et au développement durable. Par les thématiques abordées, ils questionnent autant les curriculums dans leurs relations aux pratiques d’enseignement en classe que les impacts sur les objets et les questions de recherche en didactique. Avec des articles rédigés par Pierre Degret, Marc Boutet, André Giordan, Jean-Louis Martinand, Ghislain Samson et Laurence Simonneaux.

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Enjeux et défis de la formation à l'enseignement professionnel

Depuis plusieurs années, les milieux politique et éducatif ont mis en œuvre différentes avenues pour valoriser la formation professionnelle au Québec. À l’automne 2003, le baccalauréat en enseignement professionnel devient un programme de 120 crédits et la seule voie d’accès au brevet d’enseignement. Contrairement aux autres secteurs de formation à l’enseignement, les étudiants de ce secteur occupent déjà, à 81 %, un poste d’enseignant dans un centre de formation professionnelle, où ils ont été recrutés sur la base de leur expertise de métier ; ce n’est qu’une fois en poste qu’ils amorcent leur formation universitaire. Cette réalité et les changements politico-éducatifs ont représenté des défis pour l’implantation du baccalauréat en enseignement professionnel pour toutes les universités offrant le programme et pour tous les acteurs impliqués dans cette réforme. Ce collectif est le fruit d’une rencontre entre les auteurs et des chercheurs préoccupés par les défis de la formation à l’enseignement professionnel. Les perspectives multiples et les regards variés proposés par les chercheurs dans cet ouvrage soulèvent des enjeux émanant de la complexe réalité vécue par ces enseignants-étudiants.

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Essential Readings in Problem-Based Learning

Exploring and Extending the Legacy of Howard S. Barrows

Edited by Andrew Walker, Heather Leary, Cindy Hmelo-Silver, and Peggy Ertmer

Like most good educational interventions, problem-based learning (PBL) did not grow out of theory, but out of a practical problem. Medical students were bored, dropping out, and unable to apply what they had learned in lectures to their practical experiences a couple of years later. Neurologist Howard S. Barrows reversed the sequence, presenting students with patient problems to solve in small groups and requiring them to seek relevant knowledge in an effort to solve those problems. Out of his work, PBL was born. The application of PBL approaches has now spread far beyond medical education. Today, PBL is used at levels from elementary school to adult education, in disciplines ranging across the humanities and sciences, and in both academic and corporate settings. This book aims to take stock of developments in the field and to bridge the gap between practice and the theoretical tradition, originated by Barrows, that underlies PBL techniques. The book is divided into four sections, each containing contributions by leaders in the field. Chapters in the first section focus on the structure of PBL and the critical elements of the approach. Articulating the underlying problems to be addressed, the role of facilitators, and the process to be followed in achieving a successful PBL intervention are all discussed. The second section explores how PBL has been adapted to function in areas outside medicine, from climate science to teacher education, while the third section explores how the methodology has been combined with other approaches to teaching and learning, such as learning by design and project-based learning. The fourth section assesses the impact of PBL techniques on improving both research and teaching. An epilogue speculates about the future of PBL, synthesizing contributions from the previous chapters and suggesting key themes for further exploration.

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Everyday Writing Center

A Community of Practice

Anne E. Geller, Michele Eodice, Frankie Condon, Meg Carroll, Elizabeth H. Boquet

In a landmark collaboration, five co-authors develop a theme of ordinary disruptions ("the everyday") as a source of provocative learning moments that can liberate both student writers and writing center staff. At the same time, the authors parlay Etienne Wenger’s concept of "community of practice" into an ethos of a dynamic, learner-centered pedagogy that is especially well-suited to the peculiar teaching situation of the writing center. They push themselves and their field toward deeper, more significant research, more self-conscious teaching.

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