Young’s article about earning badges online brought up several points of interest regarding the future of education. Although I was not familiar with many of the sites/organizations referred to, the Khan Academy caught my attention because I have experience with using that both as a learner myself and as a teacher with my students. These online ‘badges’ can be earned easily and immediately. It requires very little time and energy to earn basic badges just for viewing a video or for passing a skills practice session. Because earning ‘badges’ is so quick and easy, learners are constantly receiving reinforcement for studying, practicing, and completing sessions. This affirms the learner’s confidence and ability to learn which leads to a continued interest in learning through the site.
Clarence Fisher’s website “Even From Here” is one that I am going to bookmark. This man seems to be an incredible teacher with innovative, intriguing, and interesting ideas for teaching his students despite their rural location in Canada. Although I’m not clear on how up-to-date the website is, there were several valuable ideas especially for me as I begin teaching in the Rio Grande Valley, along the border of Mexico this Fall.
I was blown away by all of the competitions and programs that the DML page offered. There are so many great ways to get students involved in the improvement of the Web and in bringing to life many innovative, creative ideas for appropriately using the Internet. I am not quite sure how, but I had never heard of this organization until now. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports some truly awesome causes, and this Project:Connect is certainly one. I have bookmarked the page and plan to find an event in my area for my students to learn more about “empowering the web to empower learning and democracy”.