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InsiderOnline Blog: February 2011

Education Reform as Hacking

School choice, says Tom Vander Ark, is a form of hacking, if one defines “hacking” as “re-configuring or re-programming of a system to function in ways not facilitated by the owner, administrator, or designer.” But technology is making it possible to hack the public-school-classroom model in numerous ways, which Vander Ark reviews in his post “10 Ways to Hack Education” (Edreformer blog, January 28, 2011.) Here’s a taste of what’s going on:

“[P]ersonal digital learning holds the potential to personalize learning in ways that increase persistence, motivation, understanding, and achievement. Curve bending learning experiences will include games (e.g., MangaHigh), sims (e.g., Phet), virtual environments (e.g., MuzzyLane), and adaptive content (Dreambox). … [V]irtual charter schools make it possible to learn at home and on the road (speed skater Apolo Ohno was an online learning pioneer). It’s possible for almost anyone to learn anything anywhere for free or cheap. Online learning makes it possible for community-based organizations (CBO) to become schools blending the best of online education and onsite support. … [C]ompetency-based models (e.g, merit badges, portfolios, adaptive assessments, and evidence systems) will slowly replace courses and credits. In some job categories new forms of evidence will displace degrees and certifications. (see iNACOL report on competency-based learning) … [O]pen education resource (OER) developers are hacking the textbook adoption process with free textbooks (CK12, Flatworld), courseware (Curriki, OER Commons), content and software. … [T]he viral adoption of free content and software is a new backdoor to the classroom that avoids the slow bureaucratic district procurement process. Free platforms like Edmodo and Spiral Universe have gained quick global acceptance.” [Via Diana Cieslak at Liberty Live.]

Posted on 02/03/11 02:44 PM by Alex Adrianson

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