Subject: Re: in need of some assistance [Curtiss] Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2006 14:57:00 -0500 From: "W. Curtiss Priest"
Organization: Center for Information, Technology & Society To: Ken Komoski , firstname.lastname@example.org CC: Mark Carey , Uri Guttman BCC: email@example.com References: 1 Ken Komoski wrote: > > Curt (and Andy): ... > Therefore, I want us to consider, the term 'Knowledge Cells' > (you, yourself used it the other day in an email to Uri). > > If we did this we would clearly separate ourselves from the competing > definitions of learning objects. ... Dear Ken, This is such a fine example of why we collaborate. We are both troubled with the phrase "learning objects." And I am glad you met Andy. We quite agree that it is not the "objects" that are the learning, it is what the "student" does with the materials qua objects that is the learning. You will recall that as we iterated on the AACE paper, this iteration is posted at http://object-one.blogspot.com , I felt compelled to talk of objects that contain the necessary information and the objects that have some pedagogical construction, to be the GUI connecting knowledge objects and via pedagogical objects. Pedagogy -- NOUN: 1. The art or profession of teaching. 2. Preparatory training or instruction. ETYMOLOGY: French p‚dagogie, from Old French, from Greek paidaggi, from paidaggos, slave who took children to and from school. See pedagogue Source: American Heritage Dictionary, 4th ed. At the 2004 AACE conference where we presented, one presenter from the UK was quite laudatory about Coffield's two year study on "learning styles." our paper, http://www.epie.org/object.doc And, small world, while we have only 10 footnotes in our paper, number 6 references: "Various publications, Learning Styles, Howard Gardner, Harvard University. (See also Frank Coffield, e.g., http://www.sourceuk.net/articles/a04814.html?print )" Which now is: http://www.sourceuk.net/article/4/4388/how_we_learn.html And, recall all of the research for our paper was out of CITS/EPIE discretionary funds. So, I return to your Papert-like suggestion that kids can play with knowledge cells, and, using Uri's analogy, link them like Tinker Toys. [See: http://stemsystems.com/slides/overview/slide-01 ] So, not only am I greatly in favor of using either "knowledge objects" or "knowledge cells," we can also escape the preconceptions around Logo, if we use the Uri metaphor. Plus, Uri's simple formalism defining "stem cells" can easily be the formalism for defining knowledge cells. [I have Uri's more precise distinctions in an e-mail from him, but, conveying those is not necessary at this level of discussion.] And, by separating knowledge cells from pedagogical cells, we meet your distinction in the paper between a-instructional resources and instructional resources. "a-instructional resources" -- "knowledge cell" "instructional resources" -- "knowledge cell" + "pedagogical cell" I sense something quite elegant brewing. Of course, one pedagogy, espoused by Dewey, is "self-directed" and "learning by doing." Does that remove the need for the "art of teaching?" I think not. Recall the Margaret Riel consulted to the U.S. Congressional OTA when I did, and she was very keen on creating "learning circles" with the teacher as a coach. See: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=Margaret+Riel+education And, it is not clear that every learner's style is ready for the, relatively, unstructured format of the works I have just mentioned. But, with "Tutor-Matcher" (our peer-to-peer) knowledge connector and with Osoft's "Wiki-like forums," we have all the pieces to start constructing the flexible tool that takes your estimate of no more than 1 hour per day, students' "time on task" and produces an environment where we increase time on task by one full order of magnitude. Now, imagine where we can actually garnished volunteer time, such as time devoted to Wikipedia, but, where the time is spent creating and connection both knowledge and pedagogical cells? Yes, some of that time will be provided by the "very children we wish to learn." However, as Coffield shows, there are learning styles that vary almost as much as each family varies from another. I.e., some learners will never be significant "creators" of the ensuing World Brain. Team work, critical in this "age of information," now can be more thoughtfully created, as, those of different learning styles are meshed to encourage creativity and innovation. (I cite my book, _Technological Innovation for a Dynamic Economy, Pergamon Press.) Regards, Curtiss -- W. Curtiss Priest, Director, CITS Research Affiliate, Comparative Media Studies, MIT Center for Information, Technology & Society 466 Pleasant St., Melrose, MA 02176 781-662-4044 BMSLIB@MIT.EDU http://Cybertrails.org