Sunday, November 18, 2007

CIT 2007 - General Session - Dr. Chris Dede

Dr. Chris Dede of Harvard University presented on the changes to learning, thinking, and how we as educators have to adapt to the new learning environments.

Learners need to be empowered - collaborate to accomplish and learn. thinking is now distributed across space, time, and media.

Ubiquitous computing (wireless, mobile devices), along with smart objects and intelligent contexts have enabled augmented realities. Dr. Dede described the HARP (Handheld Augmented Reality Project) - a PDA with GPS that allowed a more engaged, immersive learning environment. the end state for this project would be the use of cell phones and modern wireless devices (again in my opinion the iPhone is the learning device/PLE of the future).

Learning now occurs in communities - these communities can even be distributed learning communities over great distances - what these communities have in common is mediated, situated immersion. There is a need to adopt a new pedagogy - we must teach the way learners learn. Augmented reality can be place independent or place dependent (Mystery@MIT is an example of a place dependent augmented reality).

Neomillennial learning styles:
  • Collective learning
  • Fluency in multiple media types (they are just tools)new forms of rhetoric
This has implications for professional development. Learners want to be part of it:
  • Co-design
  • Co-instruct
  • Situated learning
Communities of unlearning are developing and this will be a critical professional development issue as we try to figure out how to meet learners where they are. For neomillennials media shapes their message, it shapes their participation, and infrastructures shape their civilization - implications for the future beyond McLuhan.

An interesting and relevant presentation - it describes the new learning landscape that we have to deal with as educators. Again the themes of engagement, mobility, flexibility, and going to where the learners are rang loud and clear...

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