Sorry I missed the live hangout with Vic Vuchic

Conversation with Vic Vuchic, Hewlett FoundationI was really looking forward to Vic Vuchic’s turn with edstartup’s Google Hangouts! I was just on my way back north so Internet access was becoming a real challenge. But I am getting caught up now that I’m back in snowy Whitehorse and I listened to the posted recording yesterday (

Thanks to Vic (and the facilitators of the Edstartup101 sessions). Lots of food for thought and I’ve got a list of references to follow up on (e.g., Hewlett Foundation’s OER grantees sessions, deeper learning, assessment-driven learning, ShowEvidence, Rand study on deep learning, NRC report on learning and revised (reorganized?) 21st century skills….)

I have done some reading about Hewlett’s support and promotion of OER and open learning/education over the years…ever since they helped MIT set up the OpenCourseWare site and materials. I’ve been astounded at the breadth of their investment and support of open education and materials. But I had missed the change in focus to deeper learning. As Vic acknowledged, it’s not a new concept. Nor is their pursuit of portfolio-style assessment to measure/evaluate more than retention (higher level learning). What is exciting is to hear of the development of tools that will make it easier for teachers and students to identify, track, evaluate, defend a student’s learning. I’ve checked out a bit of the ShowEvidence too and, if it proves out it could be invaluable.

Our institution (as so many others) have promoted the development and use of rubrics and, in my role as edtech educator I’ve demonstrated and supported the use of Web2.0 and our current LMS’s tools for creating digital rubrics. But it’s not enough. It is still challenging to develop good, flexible rubrics and then to have them in a digital format that is easy to access, use and share.

I would love to hear more about the deeper learning schools that Hewlett is working with as I found Vic’s enthusiasm for the level of metacognition awareness demonstrated by students he had observed very interesting. I find students are increasingly aware of their education, perhaps partly because of the media focus on the new approaches to teaching and learning? I wonder how much of what Vic observed was due to the culture of the school and how much was due to mobile access to online social sites that allow students to share experiences at school and while learning?

I was surprised to hear Vic speak about the difference between design for student engagement and design for learning. A great message to share with educational startup folks although I’m not sure how many of them want to stay in the field long enough to develop the expertise to provide substantive learning assistance.

I’m also going to see what I can find out about the University of Colorado science simulations. I’m not sure if I find the thought of “embeddable, trackable learning sensors” a good thing or yet another step down the road to a Borg-type existence.

Although I’m not doing the actual coursework for Edstartup101, it’s been a continuing source of new ideas about education. Thanks David Wiley et al.


About Cloudsyl

Now a mid-Island observer of the Cloud
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