Howard Rheingold, author, virtual community pioneer and self-described “online instigator and expert learner,” has interviewed more than 100 innovative and inspiring educators who exemplify connected learning: a fundamentally different mode of learning from education that is centered on fixed subjects, one-to-many instruction and standardized testing. The following are some of his most relevant picks for learner agency, co-learning, making, 21st-century learners, networked publics, media literacy, civic engagement and pedagogy.
Learner Agency: Sharing Control of the Classroom Agenda
There are any number of ways to encourage students to take more responsibility for and power over their own learning. While adroit use of digital media can amplify this enterprise, learner agency is primarily about pedagogy—and the mindset of the teacher.
Co-Learning: Modeling Cooperative-Collaborative Learning
“When I understood that my fear of revealing what I didn’t know about teaching was subtly conveying a fear of trial-and-error learning, I started pushing my experiments with social media in the classroom to the point where something would go wrong, thus affording me an opportunity to debug my errors aloud.” — Howard Rheingold
Making is a Stance Toward Learning: Combining Learner Agency with Tinkering, Debugging and Project-Based Learning
“Messing, tinkering, building projects that actually interest learners is about developing skills of autonomous learning, cultivating an appreciation for and fluency in using learning communities and experienced guides, and practice at thinking big.” — Sylvia Libow Martinez
Networked Publics: Learning and Creating as a Global, Interconnected, Interactive, Community Enterprise
The era of individual learning, in which collaboration was largely treated as cheating, has given way to the reality of a networked world where collaboration skills are as important as individual literacies.
Media and Civic Engagement: Growing Youth Enthusiasm for Digital Media into Connected, Engaged Citizenship
Educators have a responsibility and a role to play in connecting youth enthusiasm for digital media and the kind of civic engagement that democracy depends on.
Reteaching Teaching: Pedagogy and Teacher Training for the Age of Interactive Media
Innovation is bubbling up from many experiments by connected educators, from preschool to graduate studies.