What do we know about how novices learn webcraft and programming, and how can we apply that knowledge to teaching free-range learners?
Right now, people all over the world are learning how to write programs and create web sites, but for every one who is doing it in a classroom there are a dozen free-range learners. This group will explore how we, as mentors, can best help them. Topics will include:
What does research tell us about how people learn? Why are the demographics of programming so unbalanced? What best practices in instructional design are relevant to free-range learners? What skills do people need in order to bake their own web? How are grassroots groups trying to teach these things now? What's working and what isn't?
posted message: My thoughts on how this course went, and why: http://third-bit.com/blog/archives/4456.html. I'd be grateful for your feedback (either here, or as comments on that blog post). Thank you all for taking part --- I hope we'll have a chance to work together again some time.
posted message: Catherynne Valente's article has me thinking about the motivating examples we choose when we teach programming: http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2012/02/life-with-and-without-animated.html.
posted message: Reminder: please fill in the Doodle at http://www.doodle.com/z6cr3yvs5rt85tq3 so that we can arrange our final online meeting for this course. It will include a post-mortem discussion of what went right, what went wrong, and how we could do better next time.
posted message: Nice (thoughtful) exploration of the results of the Auburn, Maine study using iPads to teach: http://multiplepathways.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/responding-to-a-critique-of-auburns-ipad-research-claims/
posted message: Via Leigh Ann Sudol, a paper on motivation and learning:
"The Four Phase Model of Interest Development"
posted message: Hi everyone,
It looks like 10-11 am Eastern time on Wednesday, February 22, is the best time for our next online chat --- let's meet in IRC as before.
Look forward to seeing you all there,
posted message: Let's meet online next week to discuss our third task --- I've created a Doodle poll at http://www.doodle.com/cfytitdedgwc4vpe, so please let us know when you're available.
posted message: Many thanks to the people who took part in yesterday's online meeting. There was a lot of good discussion, and plenty of new ideas to chew on. I think the most important was how lucky we are: we can assume our learners are highly motivated and actually want to do the work, which isn't true of battery-farmed learners in traditional top-down classrooms. That may mean our models only work for a minority of people, but there are lots of people in that minority we can help.
Based on those discussions, I've written up Task #3: people can work on personalized projects to bring to the group in a couple of weeks, or double back and look at what the "big ideas" are that they're trying to convey. We'll aim to have it done in a couple of weeks.
posted message: It looks like good old IRC is the easiest thing for our first meeting, so let's rendezvous on freenode at #p2pu-530-how-to-tea tomorrow at 11:00 Eastern time. If you haven't used IRC before, it's like any other chat system; if you click on the linke "#p2pu-530-how-to-tea" next to 'Chat' in the information area in the left sidebar of the course home page, it will launch an in-browser chat client, or you can use Chatzilla or any other standalone tool to join us.
Look forward to speaking with you all tomorrow,
posted message: Reminder: we will be meeting online starting at 11:00 am (Eastern time) on Thursday, Feb 2. Please reply to this post with suggestions for venue: IRC? Skype chat (I doubt a conference call with two dozen people would work well)? A Google+ hangout? Something else? Vote early, vote often :-)
Looking forward to meeting you all,
posted message: Great discussion of what 21st Century learning can look like: http://www.stevenberlinjohnson.com/2011/12/anatomy-of-an-idea.html How much of this kind of thing do your learners do? How much do you expect or require them to do it? How does it vary by learner age?
posted message: The second part of this post (http://software-carpentry.org/2012/01/never-mind-the-content-what-about-the-format/), on what I'd like in a 21st Century replacement for PowerPoint, is probably not interesting to participants in this course, but I hope that the first part (which discusses what five different people want from instructional media) will be.
Also, please try to wrap up your descriptions of your own prototypical learners soon, so that we can discuss them next week.