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Archive for May, 2006

Reflections on Brain Gain

Monday, May 15th, 2006

The Brain Gain discussion last Tuesday was great. Preparing for the talk helped me organize some new thinking around the role of computer science in junior/senior high school curricula that will inform the work I do in the autumn. Next year, grades 6, 7, and 8 will not have a separate CS course. Rather, I will be working with teachers of “core” subjects to integrate the material that was previously housed in my junior high CS classes. For example, can the semantic, organizational principles of XHTML find a place in a Language Arts class? Can we teach online identity and citizenship during our Advisory blocks?

Blurring the boundaries of the nebulous “Computer Science” curriculum is a way for junior high schools to address the online lives of their students. Primary goals of the new, distributed coursework will be similar to the previous years’ CS coursework, however, I think linking it explicity to students’ Math, Science, English and Social Studies classes will lead to more lasting, meaningful learning experiences.

Slides from the Brain Gain talk “Tomorrow’s Learners Today” are available in Powerpoint and HTML formats (love to OpenOffice export features!)

Brain Gain: Tomorrow’s Learner

Monday, May 8th, 2006

On Tuesday (5/9), I’ll be visiting the Brain Gain discussions with the HBS Education Technologies & Multimedia Development group (ETMM) to talk about “Tomorrow’s Learner Today.” We’re going to start from a discussion of online identity management and the tremendous value of Myspace before spreading out to other key technological challenges facing students at an urban high school: leapfrogging the digital divide and the state of originality and plagiarism. Take a look at Denis Saulnier’s blog for some more jump-off points.

If you’re free around 2pm, come by with your thoughts and curiosity. The talk is located at Harvard Business School, 25 Travis St, Suite 100 [Directions to ETMM].