Monday, November 30, 2009

Multimedia fishbowl = great teaching @ Arapahoe High School

Two highly innovative teachers at Arapahoe High School - Anne Smith & Maura Moritz - Thank you for sharing your success and helping students learn.

Over the past year I have been fortunate to observe Anne Smith and Maura Moritz as they teach using their multimedia fishbowl process. They not only allowed me to observe them in class but committed their time over the summer allowing me to interview them about their engaging instructional activity - the multimedia fishbowl.

Furthermore, we are now published! Yes, our article was accepted and is now published within the Journal of School Educational Technology. I have included the citation and abstract below for those who are interested.

Folkestad, J., Smith, A., & Moritz, M. (2009). Phenomenology of a multimedia fishbowl: A learning ecosystem that encourages individuals to innovate through collaborative discovery. I-manager’s Journal on School Educational Technology, 5(1), 66-80.

Abstract: The success of each nation will depend on the agility of its citizens to acquire and utilize knowledge. In response to this imperative governments have crafted and followed rigorous educational strategies. For example, the European Union’s Lisbon Agreement outlines an agenda for education and training focusing on educational benchmarks and indicators. The United Kingdom outlines their national strategy in “Every Child Matters” and the United States defines rigorous learning goals within “No Child Left Behind.” Despite almost a decade of work to transform the quality and reach of education, these strategies have proven insufficient to significantly raise citizens’ academic performance.

The problem is that “top down” strategies themselves are part of the systemic issue. In the old industrial system, benchmarks and indicators were sufficient to encourage school-level improvements. However, we need to move beyond promoting/demanding innovation from the local schools and teachers (via benchmarks), to engaging each individual learner to innovate their scholarship. This phenomenology examines an innovative use of streaming video, live-blogging, and discussion to create an ecosystem that places the student at the center of the learning, allowing them to use the Internet and freely-available collaborative tools to acquire new information and to work together in discovery.

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