Thursday, March 19, 2009

Open Source Learning

Open Source learning. Knowledge Ecosystem. Be your own educational dj! Richard Baraniuk is a professor at Rice University professor. Baraniuk has a giant vision: to create a free global online education system that puts the power of creation and collaboration in the hands of teachers worldwide. The realization of this vision is via Connexions, a website that allows teachers to quickly "create, rip, mix and burn" coursework -- without fear of copyright violations.

Connexions' open-source system cuts out the textbook, giving teachers the opportunity to share course materials, modify existing work and disseminate it to their students. This is all for free, thanks to Creative Commons licensing. Text books are price and become a burden to the student. You can't buy the book you can't get the info. This could become a powerful force in leveling the education playing field. Everyone has access to this as long as they have access to the internet. Currently Connexions encompasses hundreds of online courses and is used by a million people worldwide. Baraniuk's virtual educational system is revolutionizing the way people teach and learn. How can our architecture be responsive to this as well?

Hyperlinked text books. This type of learning will help to show the connected learning which Ken Robinson's was talking about. It's an educational mash-up in your brain. Let's allow the kids to mix it themselves and spit it out so they understand it better.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Kids say the darndest things...

Sir Ken Robinson is a brilliant British author who has published many books some of which entitled- Learning Through Drama, All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education (The Robinson Report) , and his recent book The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything. I totally agree with his mentality. Education should include everything. We can just focus on math and English and science and disregard everything else. Math is in EVERYTHING. Teaching children such would only help them learn. Same thing with science and English. You need to learn how to COMMUNICATE. English is part of that, so is art, so is dance. Theater is English class.
Some of the points in this talk that I'd like to highlight are the following::
All kids have tremendous talent and we squander them pretty ruthlessly.
Creativity is as important as literacy and we should treat it with the same urgency.
We may not see this future but our children will and its our job to help them make something of it.

We have to focus on interactive learning and interactive teaching. How do we then design for these spaces for amalgamated learning lets say. You have to find what you like and go for it. But where is the platform for children to find their niche and then follow it to the ends of the earth.
We really have to not direct children but help them to find out what it is inside them that they can do.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

you are the future

I am working on a research project for Push Architecture and JCJ Architecture based on the LAUSD system. Having all this new knowledge, I thought why not have a blog about this and have this info in a concentrated form with my own criticisms of course. I will also try to get some teachers' point of views. I am looking at public/charter/private schools but really focusing on the potential of change in public and charter because they are free. We have to help our youth learn that they are brilliant and they can do anything and make anything. How can the space help reveal self confidence and social comfort? How can the space be a place for Project Based Learning?