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untitled Education Theory/Constructivism and Social Constructivism - UCD - CTAG "Constructivism is the philosophical and scientific position that knowledge arises through a process of active construction."(Mascolol & Fischer, 2005) "As long as there were people asking each other questions, we have had constructivist classrooms. Constructivism, the study of learning, is about how we all make sense of our world, and that really hasn’t changed." Background Constructivism and Social Constructivism are two similar learning theories which share a large number of underlying assumptions, and an interpretive epistemological position. Underlying Assumptions Jonassen (1994) proposed that there are eight characteristics that underline the constructivist learning environments and are applicable to both perspectives: Constructivist learning environments provide multiple representations of reality. Epistemology The default epistemology in education is an empirical/reductionist approach to teaching and learning. There is no absolute knowledge, just our interpretation of it. Dewey Piaget

Badges for Lifelong Learning | untitled The Future is Now: Unpacking Digital Badging and Micro-credentialing for K-20 Educators In higher education contexts, forward thinking educators such as Alex Halavais, Arizona State University and Daniel Hickey, Indiana University have piloted the use of badge schema to supplement or replace more traditional grading schemes in courses. In a recent post to his blog, Remediating Assessment, Dr. Hickey articulates his methodology in issuing digital badges to students in a doctoral class in Educational Assessment (Hickey, 2012). Interest in using digital badges in higher education is gaining purchase: writing recently for the HASTAC blog (Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Advanced Collaboratory), Sheryl Grant considers some of the innovative higher education projects such as the Open Michigan badges initiative to acknowledge scholarly contributions to an open education initiative (University of Michigan). What are Digital Badges? Digital badges are essentially credentials which may be earned by meeting established performance criteria. Dr. Resources: Cited works:

untitled Khan Academy Founder Proposes a New Type of College - Wired Campus Salman Khan’s dream college looks very different from the typical four-year institution. The founder of Khan Academy, a popular site that offers free online video lectures about a variety of subjects, lays out his thoughts on the future of education in his book, The One World School House: Education Reimagined, released last month. Though most of the work describes Mr. Khan’s experiences with Khan Academy and his suggestions for changing elementary- and secondary-school systems, he does devote a few chapters to higher education. In a chapter titled “What College Could Be Like,” Mr. “Traditional universities proudly list the Nobel laureates they have on campus (most of whom have little to no interaction with students),” he writes. Mr. In the book, Mr. [Image courtesy of Hachette Book Group.] Return to Top

The Shortness of Life: Seneca on Busyness and The Art of Living Wide Rather Than Living Long “How we spend our days,” Annie Dillard memorably wrote in her soul-stretching meditation on the life of presence, “is, of course, how we spend our lives.” And yet most of us spend our days in what Kierkegaard believed to be our greatest source of unhappiness — a refusal to recognize that “busy is a decision” and that presence is infinitely more rewarding than productivity. I frequently worry that being productive is the surest way to lull ourselves into a trance of passivity and busyness the greatest distraction from living, as we coast through our lives day after day, showing up for our obligations but being absent from our selves, mistaking the doing for the being. Despite a steadily swelling human life expectancy, these concerns seem more urgent than ever — and yet they are hardly unique to our age. Seneca writes: It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. To those who so squander their time, he offers an unambiguous admonition: Thanks, Liz

Pedagogy and Space: Empirical Research on New Learning Environments (EDUCAUSE Quarterly Key Takeaways In the new technology-enhanced learning spaces at the University of Minnesota, students outperformed final grade expectations relative to their ACT scores. When instructors adapted their pedagogical approach to the new space by intentionally incorporating more active, student-centered teaching techniques, student learning improved. Students and faculty had positive perceptions of the new learning environments but also had to adjust to the unusual classrooms. In a previous EDUCAUSE Quarterly article,1 we reported the results of quasi-experimental research on the University of Minnesota's new, technology-enhanced learning spaces called Active Learning Classrooms (ALCs). Here, we report on the next phase of learning-spaces research at the University of Minnesota (UMN), which had two components. Two specific research questions guided this phase of our research: Methodology and Methods Learning Environments Examined Figure 1. Figure 2. Figure 3. Figure 4. Data Collection Methods

untitled Minnesota Gives Coursera the Boot, Citing a Decades-Old Law - Wired Campus Coursera offers free, online courses to people around the world, but if you live in Minnesota, company officials are urging you to log off or head for the border. The state’s Office of Higher Education has informed the popular provider of massive open online courses, or MOOC’s, that Coursera is unwelcome in the state because it never got permission to operate there. It’s unclear how the law could be enforced when the content is freely available on the Web, but Coursera updated its Terms of Service to include the following caution: Notice for Minnesota Users:Coursera has been informed by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education that under Minnesota Statutes (136A.61 to 136A.71), a university cannot offer online courses to Minnesota residents unless the university has received authorization from the State of Minnesota to do so. But Ms. Daphne Koller, a co-founder of Coursera, said she was surprised to receive the letter from Minnesota in July. Ms. >> What You Need to Know About MOOC’s

Ecosystem Valuation - The Big Picture Why Estimate Ecosystem Values? Faced with tightening budgets and growing needs for environmental actions, government agencies must make difficult decisions about how to allocate public investments to protect and restore the natural environment. In making such decisions, environmental program managers may consider many objectives, including environmental quality, threats to ecosystem integrity, and effects on people’s quality of life. Agencies must justify their decisions, not only in terms of benefits to the natural environment, but also in terms of fiscal accountability and public support. For some decisions, such as those involving endangered species or serious public health or safety concerns, economic considerations will be secondary. Why are estimates of ecosystem benefits needed? To justify and decide how to allocate public spending on conservation, preservation, or restoration initiatives. Finding Appropriate and Practical Answers Overview of Ecosystem Valuation