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Jon Dron

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Teaching Crowds cover Latest book - Teaching Crowds: Learning & Social Media: buy the book or download for free

  • These are my slides for my keynote talk at the IEEE 11th International Conference on Cloud Computing, Data Science & Engineering (Confluence-2021), hosted by Amity University, India, 28th January 2021. Technically it was 27th January here when I...
  • Jon Dron commented on a bookmark EdTech Books December 5, 2020 - 12:07pm
    I couldn't add anything on homeschooling that Nicolosus hasn't said far better! Yes, the huge advantage of homeschooling is that you can follow the vein of gold that is a child's curiosity far more effectively than when you have to follow a...
  • Jon Dron bookmarked EdTech Books November 24, 2020 - 12:58pm
    This is a great, well presented and nicely curated selection of open books on education and educational technology, ranging from classics (and compilations of chapters by classic authors) to modern guides, textbooks, and blog compilations, covering...
    Comments
    • Ya this pandemic has been hard on everyone...

      To summarize my school years, from K-5 I was in public school, from 6-12 I was homeschooled. I loved it! But I was also not your typical kid... Smile I love to learn, and I learned at a faster rate than most of the other kids, I flourished in homeschooling as I could go at almost twice the pace. My school year was from October-April/May, and each day was from 8am-12pm. When I was older (14-16) I got jobs with local farmers, and also started lawn mowing for the older ladies who could not do it themselves. My last 3 years of school I worked extra hard and graduated a year early.

      So this was my experience, not your typical! I saw other homeschooled kids and familes with varying degrees of success, and my biggest take away was that if your child needs motivation and guidance, your going to need to invest. If your child is driven like I was, all my parents had to do was find good curriculum and buy it, I did the rest. So tailor your school envirenment to your children, learn how they learn best and work with that. Do some research as well on homeschooling curriculum, there are lots of resources out there, and a good curriculum will fill the gaps where you lack, and you'll probably learn some new things along the way too! Get the teachers guides too, if your going to school when your daughter is older too, solutions manuals for math are invaluable. Mostly, go with your instinct, you know your own daughter best, and obviously want the best for her so you will do great!

      Another tip with homeschooling, just because the books are closed and not in front of you, doesn't mean the learning and teaching have to stop! If your daughter shows an interest in "helping" in the kitchen (our son loves this, he is 3), teach her as you make dinner how things work. If you are adventurous, go hiking and teach about nature while you do it. Planning field trips are a great way to boost your childs learning if it is about what they are interested in.

      Nicolosus December 5, 2020 - 10:48am

    • I couldn't add anything on homeschooling that Nicolosus hasn't said far better! Yes, the huge advantage of homeschooling is that you can follow the vein of gold that is a child's curiosity far more effectively than when you have to follow a curriculum (though definitely worth having a menu of more conventional options and support for the trickier bits as needed). The social aspect, though, is really important - really useful to find other home-schoolers online or (especially) nearby and find ways to learn with others. The most inspiring person I ever met in this regard was Dale J Stephens, who was very young indeed when he did a keynote at a conference I was attending, probably more than 10 years ago. Very smart, delightful person, full of passion, and a great advert for the process. He had just founded Uncollege.org, which is a particularly brilliant resource for older kids and college-age students, though it has some very good resources that are valuable for pretty much anyone. Alas, his book on the subject (Hacking Education) is not open, but it's still worth reading.

      Jon

      Jon Dron December 5, 2020 - 12:07pm

    • Nicolosus and Dr. Dron,

      Thank you so much for your valuable insight into homeschooling. Your comments are highly appreciated and very valuable to me.

      Michelle Dina Lee December 6, 2020 - 8:44am

  • Thanks Rania: though I tend to reuse a lot of slides in my talks, that one was new in this presentation, so I'm glad that it resonated. Over 20 years ago I wanted to call my PhD (which involved the creation of a social bookmarking system designed...
  • Thanks Nicolosus - it's very nice to hear confirmation that it (at least sometimes) works! And yes, that process of searching is so important, and so powerful in helping us to learn to learn. It's also sometimes important, though, when the going...
  • These are the slides from my keynote at the University of Ottawa's "Scaffolding a Transformative Transition to Distance and Online Learning" symposium today. In the presentation I discussed why distance learning really is different from in-person...
    Comments
    • Thank you Prof. Jon,

      Those slides are interesting, I like the comparison between controlling and liberation patterns and I also like how you are able to use this approach within your courses.

      I learned how to learn from you, and I hope to learn how to teach as well.

      Rania Arbash November 23, 2020 - 4:29am

    • Thanks Rania: though I tend to reuse a lot of slides in my talks, that one was new in this presentation, so I'm glad that it resonated.

      Over 20 years ago I wanted to call my PhD (which involved the creation of a social bookmarking system designed to help the crowd to teach itself) 'Getting rid of teachers' but my supervisors (wisely) advised against it. In fact, it was exactly the opposite of what I was really doing, which was capitalizing on the fact that we are all teachers, even when we don't mean to be.  Though software can help to amplify and guide that process, I think it is also implicit in a lot of the human-enacted technologies of teaching: the things we normally refer to as pedagogies. A big part of much effective teaching - especially online - is not about telling people stuff or making them do stuff, but about helping to create conditions that make it easier for them all to learn from one another.

      One of the best side-effects my particular approach to doing that is that I wind up learning more from my students than they learn from me, so thank you for teaching me!

      Jon Dron November 23, 2020 - 10:37am

    • This all has bee encouraging for me to read! And yes you are correct, we all do at times need a little direction, can't overlook that fact, especially with some of us who get disctracted easily, and run down rabbit trails that, while not directly bad for our current study topic, are not exactly good for it either. I am one of those people, I also love to learn, and I want to learn EVERYTHING!

       

      Keep doing what you are doing Prof. Dron, it is encouraging to see and I just learned a little about teaching, and hope to take that with me when I start to teach others as well.

      Nicolosus November 24, 2020 - 1:06pm

  • This is a report on an interesting study which, unsurprisingly, confirms previous findings that the use of popular social media (in this case Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) correlates very closely with negative feelings, reduced well-being, and...
    Comments
    • This insight is very interesting, and it makes sense. Definitely agree that the impacts social media has on people heavily depend on who the users are and how the users use them.

      Jenny Chun Chi Lien November 21, 2020 - 10:57pm

  • Jon Dron commented on a bookmark Course Content - London Interdisciplinary School November 11, 2020 - 9:13pm
    I'm not sure, Nicolosus. Certainly there would be no need to study for multiple degrees, and the various disciplinary perspectives would be far more integrated than in most programs/courses. There are quite a few degrees that work in the way you...
  • Jon Dron bookmarked Course Content - London Interdisciplinary School November 6, 2020 - 12:24pm
    For those in other parts of the world, some translation may be needed here in order to understand what is novel about the London Interdisciplinary School (LIS): a course in the UK is equivalent to a program in North America, and a module is...
    Comments
    • Hi Jon,

       

      If I am understanding your post and the LIS website correctly, the format being used would be an approach more like "The problom I wish to solve would be the constraints of bio-engineering in todays technical limits", and upon that build out a degree program that includes the areas of study needed to work in that specific field, whereas instead with current institutions one would say have to study for a degree in biology, and then a degree in engineering, and maybe even a third in computer science?

       

      If so, how do they award degrees? Is it a customized title based on your criteria? Or more generic?

      Nicolosus November 9, 2020 - 3:13pm

    • I'm not sure, Nicolosus. Certainly there would be no need to study for multiple degrees, and the various disciplinary perspectives would be far more integrated than in most programs/courses. There are quite a few degrees that work in the way you suggest, such as the MSc/MA by Learning Outcomes at the University of Brighton, UK, in which a goal is decided upon, then outcomes are negotiated at the start between student, institution, and employer and modules are chosen to match, but I suspect this is not quite like that.

      If I were designing this then I would most likely identify some fairly broad course (=program) outcomes, addressing things like problem-solving, synthesis, values, and application, then map the specific module (=course) outcomes to those, allowing students to adapt their goals as they learn (unlike the 'by outcomes' approach), but I don't know if that's what LIS are doing here.

      It would be interesting to find out!

      Jon Dron November 11, 2020 - 9:13pm

  • Jon Dron uploaded the file Joyful assessment: beyond high-stakes testing November 4, 2020 - 4:17pm
    Here are my slides from my presentation at the Innovate Learning Summit yesterday. It's not world-shattering stuff - just a brutal attack on proctored, unseen written exams (PUWEs, pronounced 'pooies'), followed by a description of the rationale,...