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avatars & the young how technology is redefining creativity in the modern classroom

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Keynote Address at the American Creativity Association's International Conference on Creativity

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Page 1: Avatars & The Young Conference

avatars & the younghow technology is redefining creativity

in the modern classroom

Page 2: Avatars & The Young Conference

presentation outline

• Digital revolution and the impact on education

• What has and has not changed

• Our education system’s response to the challenges posed by web 2.0

• The gaps that need to be filled

• Some attempts at bridging the gaps

Page 3: Avatars & The Young Conference

Our students sit behind blue desks and chairs, studying from textbooks and lecture notes..

This is not a thing of the past….

Page 4: Avatars & The Young Conference

yahoo

eBay mySpace

Outside of school, they interact in

iTunes

skype

wiki

google earth

kazaa

MMORPG

facebook

flickr

friendster

youTube

… different sorts of learning communities

no books no pen no paper

Page 5: Avatars & The Young Conference

BUY PROPERTY, BUILD A HOUSE

DESIGN OWN VEHICLE TRAVEL ANY WAY THEY WANT

HANG OUT & CHAT

… they

… in SECOND LIFE

Page 6: Avatars & The Young Conference

… they

… in SIM CITY

POOL TOGETHER RESOURCES AND STRATEGISE TO BUILD A SUCCESSFUL CITY…

Page 7: Avatars & The Young Conference

… they

… in CITY OF HEROES

TAKE ON ROLES OF SUPERHEROES TO FIGHT VILLAINS AND ENSURE GOOD TRIUMPHS OVER EVIL IN MASSIVELY MULTIPLAYER ONLINE ROLE-PLAYING GAMES LIKE ….

OTJ training!no lecturesno textbooksno instructorsno age-groupsno entry requirements

Page 8: Avatars & The Young Conference

…in Sep 2008, they will go on to construct civilisations

Page 9: Avatars & The Young Conference

• A Global Imperative: The Report of the 21st Century Literacy Summit, New Media Consortium

• Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Cutlure: Media Education for the 21st Century, Henry Jenkins

• Got Game: How the Gamer Generation is Changing Business Forever, Beck & Wade

• “Don’t Bother Me Mom – I’m Learning”, Marc Prensky

• … ongoing work of MacArthur Foundation, John Seely Brown, James Paul Gee, Futurelab (UK), Learning Sciences Lab (Singapore) etc…

no experts…

Page 10: Avatars & The Young Conference

“The strategic conversation has shifted: from 21st Century literacy for studentsto 21st Century literacy for teachers….”

- 21st Century Literacy Summit “A Global Imperative”The New Media Consortium San Jose, California 2005

There is a disjuncture between what and how students are learning outside of the classroomand how they are learning in the classroom

Page 11: Avatars & The Young Conference

Half of all teens in US have created media content and roughly one third of teens who use the Internet shared content they produce. (Jenkins 2005)

In Singapore, among our youth 78% of those aged 10 to 14 and

89% of those aged 15 to 19 use the internet for communicating

58% of those aged 10 to 14, and40% of those aged 15 to 29 engage in computer games like Maple Story, World of Warcraft and Counter Strike. (Infocomm Development Authority 2007)

Page 12: Avatars & The Young Conference

My computer is switched on 24/7, and I spend most of my time at home talking to others online. It’s just a habit.”

Amelia, Sec 4, Paya Lebar MGS

“The Internet is a tool that helps me connect with friends, especially the ones whom I don’t get to meet every day. It really helps in bridging the gaps between me and my friends.”

Joel, Sec 3, Junyuan Sec

“Games are an intriguing study in strategy, mathematics and logic. Contrary to what people say, there’s not much luck involved, only skill.”

David, Sec 1, ACS (Barker)

Page 13: Avatars & The Young Conference

• parallel processing• connected• active• used to twitch speed• attuned to random access • prefer graphics first• like teaching themselves• move easily between world of fantasy and the real• accept multiple truths• are comfortable with multiple identities• used to cultural diversity• used to networking• know how to improvise and get round the rules

our students are…

Page 14: Avatars & The Young Conference

And it’s not all about technology….

Page 15: Avatars & The Young Conference

Minus the technology, what has changed for our students?

• They are communicating differently : interest-based, no social dividers, age-independent.

• They are sharing differently: they don’t keep their feelings locked up in a diary; they share all sorts of things, images, music, opinions with all sorts of people.

Page 16: Avatars & The Young Conference

• They buy and sell differently: have access to new wealth, niche markets, collectibles.

• They create differently: by teaching themselves, by combining media, and coming up with new products (“modding”)

• They learn differently: searching, evaluating, analyzing and reporting from multiple sources and from different sorts of people using different media.

Minus the technology, what has changed for our students?

Page 17: Avatars & The Young Conference

Their identities are constructed differently

Page 18: Avatars & The Young Conference

Singapore, IT Masterplan (1996), mp2 (2003)

We still give students a standard body of knowledge, from authorised sources – textbooks

We imagine we have a binary relationship with them.

We still test them the same way – pen & paper.

We expect them to hand in work in the same way.

We expect one solution to every problem we give them.

We focus on content instead of context.

We don’t realise that what’s happening with web 2.0 goes beyond the hardware, and software.

But something has not changed for many of our teachers…

Page 19: Avatars & The Young Conference

Trends arising from web 2.0 that will have an impact on education

Page 20: Avatars & The Young Conference

CONNECTIVITY

- Always on

- Complexity

- Fusion

• Blurring boundaries between play & learning, school & leisure, real & virtual

• Increasing focus on cross-curricular skills, collaborative learning and creative thinking.

Page 21: Avatars & The Young Conference

ACCELERATION

- smaller

- faster

- cheaper

• children want to and expect to learn more quickly

• focus on efficiency (technology as a time-saver)

• learning is on the global agenda – in spheres outside traditional school

• call for education accountability at all levels increasing

Page 22: Avatars & The Young Conference

INDIVIDUALISM

- personalised learning

- self-actualisation

- self-reliance

• loss of authority with regard to what to learn, class management, how learning takes place

• Greater demand for student involvement and choice

• greater demand diversity and learning styles, interests

• expectation of teacher performance keeps rising

Page 23: Avatars & The Young Conference

connectivity, acceleration and individualism interact…

acceleration

individualism

connectivity

…?!

Page 24: Avatars & The Young Conference

…?!

Page 25: Avatars & The Young Conference

Beyond gadgets & devicesLearning 2.0

is about…

Co-creationParticipation

Option CreationPattern Recognition

Sense MakingSocial Learning

Page 26: Avatars & The Young Conference

THE FUTURE: Singapore

1960s 2000s1980s

Labour Intensive

Capital Intensive

Technology Intensive

Skills intensive

Knowledge Intensive

Innovation / Experience

Intensive

Page 27: Avatars & The Young Conference

The world is looking for people who are able to:

find solutions to new/fuzzy problems• fit into many (new) careers• provide more than one answer to a problem• work with a diverse range of people & cultures• Be left and right-directed – “stories, play,

androgyny” (Pink)

…and we are not producing them in the numbers that Singapore/ the world needs.

WHAT LINDEN LAB WANTED….

Page 28: Avatars & The Young Conference

For Education 2.0 to happen, we need

Generation 2.0 Teachers

Page 29: Avatars & The Young Conference

From analog to digital – to engage learners in new and

powerful ways

Page 30: Avatars & The Young Conference

From knowing to creating context for learning – simulations, immersive environments, games-based learning

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From what to learn, to how to learn

Page 32: Avatars & The Young Conference

From moralising to ethical reasoning

Page 33: Avatars & The Young Conference

• Hougang Pri – mixed reality and RFID technology to teach science (collaboration with IDM Lab at NUS)

• Innova JC – Second Life/GP project (collaboration with NIE)

• Hwa Chong Institution & River Valley High – teaching science using IMAX and stereoscopic technology (collaboration with Advanced Design & Modelling Lab at NTU)

• Temasek JC - THINK Cycle to teach Science (Collaboration with Learning Sciences Lab at NIE)

• Tao Nan Sch – social science project at the zoo (collaboration with HP, IDA & CPDD)

• Nan Hua High – games-based learning for Humanities (collaboration with Futurelab and IDA)

lead@ICT schools & such

Page 34: Avatars & The Young Conference

5 futureschools@sg

• Virtual classrooms

• Virtual worlds

• Classroom of the future

Page 35: Avatars & The Young Conference

A Curriculum for the Future

- Hierarchy of subjects- Time allocated- Integration or compacting some subjects- School-based curriculum and assessment- More white space

RETHINK

Page 36: Avatars & The Young Conference

Curriculum Design

To incorporate elements of co-design and collaboration (mosh pits and mash ups)

example of

LEGO

RETHINK

Page 37: Avatars & The Young Conference

Pedagogy – how we teach….

RETHINK

Page 38: Avatars & The Young Conference

A STORY

…when CPDD, Cedar Pri, LEGO

(Denmark) and The Idea Factory

got together….

Page 39: Avatars & The Young Conference

• How should we be teaching this generation of students differently to prepare them for the 21st century world?

big question

Page 40: Avatars & The Young Conference

Trend scan:

Research into 12 important aspects of a future society:

Citizenship, Inclusivity, Pop Culture, Virtual Worlds, Education, Social Trends, Identity, Bioethics, Literacy, Morality, Work Places and Economy

Brainstorm skills that students will need to master in the future from the trends.

Page 41: Avatars & The Young Conference

Alpha Thoughts

Team was asked to identify aspects of teaching and learning that will provide a deeper experience for students.e.g.ImprovisationImaginationInteractionResilienceRisk SeekingNavigation

Page 42: Avatars & The Young Conference

Concept Trails

Team went on to brainstorm pedagogical strategies that related to each of the alpha ideas:

e.g.Focus-based, dream-driven pedagogyImmersiveDefeat-drivenJustice or ethics drivenCriticalExperimental …and how these would look like in the classroom

Page 43: Avatars & The Young Conference

Insight Quest:

Ethnography – 3 teachers, 6 students

– how they live and learn and what their aspirations are.

Page 44: Avatars & The Young Conference

Beta Ideas

10 ideas were picked and in groups, team members brainstormed examples of lessons centred on the key idea behind the pedagogy.

e.g. Inspiration-driven pedagogyMoshingDefeat-driven etc…

Page 45: Avatars & The Young Conference

Idea.Lab: What Cedar did….

Prototype pedagogical elements such as

Emotional– engagement, human feelingsDialogical – learnable momentsPraxis – theory to actionJustice – purposefully inclusiveSpontaneity – flexibility to capture teachable momentReal world – relevant

(playing with Lego bricks)

Page 46: Avatars & The Young Conference

Idea.Lab: What CPDD did….

Prototype the creation process in a school that was trying to find an answer to their BIG Question

(How do we make Project Work as a subject relevant and engaging for our students?)

….we also some of the pedagogical strategies.

Page 47: Avatars & The Young Conference

For each pedagogy, we discussed…

• Why the need?• How it would be done?• What would the result be?• What qualities and/or resources would

teachers need?

Page 48: Avatars & The Young Conference

Futuring

a pedagogy centred on contents of the future

Page 49: Avatars & The Young Conference

Pattern-breaking

A pedagogy centred on de-education

Identity-searching

A pedagogy centred on deep self-awareness

Page 50: Avatars & The Young Conference

Chaos Navigation

A pedagogy centred on sense-making

Option Creation

A pedagogy centred on choices

Inspire to Aspire

A pedagogy centred on dialogues for inspiration

Page 51: Avatars & The Young Conference

Responsible Rebellion

A pedagogy centred on championing a cause

Circle of Life

A pedagogy focused on the concept of ecological systems

Page 52: Avatars & The Young Conference

Defeat-driven Pedagogy

A pedagogy that exploits the merits of defeat or failure

Moshing

A pedagogy centred on collaboration and co-creation of knowledge

Page 53: Avatars & The Young Conference

Spin-a-Tale

A pedagogy centred on story-telling

Soak-it-In

A pedagogy centred on immersive environments

Page 54: Avatars & The Young Conference

Idea.Lab: What LEGO did….

Look into teacher development and assessment instrument for teacher competencies.

Page 55: Avatars & The Young Conference

Teacher traits…

• Facilitation• Questioning• Navigation• Connectivity (ability to synthesise)• Communication• Improvisation

Page 56: Avatars & The Young Conference

What The Idea Factory did….

Facilitate the process.

Page 57: Avatars & The Young Conference

A four-party, cross cultural collaboration

…way to go?

Don’t know for sure….but it mirrors our students’ experience in web 2.0