Border Crossings and Contact Zones: Transformative Learning with Social Software across (Traditional) Educational Settings

Presenter (s): 

Barbara Ganley

Out in the edublogosphere, we hear a good deal about visioning and experimenting with new worlds of education: dynamic, inclusive, connected, networked student-centered learning. But what about the realities facing teachers and students in traditional educational settings?

How might we transform our teaching and learning landscapes now even within the rigid requirements of syllabus and standards, helping learners develop as creative, collaborative and critical thinkers as well as attending to a range of literacies both traditional and emerging? How can we erase the participatory gaps within our classrooms?

How do we teachers lift our hands and heads from the controls of the classroom? How do we return to a place where learning is about glorious failures, and not every one has to learn every thing? In this talk I will explore ways in which integrating social software deep into the learning landscape can shift the learning and social dynamics, blur the boundaries between classroom and real-world learning, and put learning's responsibility squarely in the hands of the learner--all while making our roles as leader-mentors more rewarding, exciting, and effective.


UPDATE I am particularly interested in initiating a conversation about the intersection of learning spaces, relationships and technologies for teachers of GenerationMe (if you get a chance, read Generation Me by Jean Twenge, a book I found via danah boyd--whose blog, apophenia, is a must-read for any teacher of young people). How do we put to effective use what school offers (extended time together in a learning community) while throwing open the windows and doors to the world, where learners engage in informal learning through what James Paul Gee calls affinity spaces

 If anyone wants to throw out some questions/comments at this point, please do!