Eric.ed.gov – Constructivists Online: Reimagining Progressive Practice. Occasional Paper Series 34

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In this issue of the Occasional Paper Series, the authors reimagine progressive pedagogy within the framework of digital pedagogy and online practice. The issue begins with “Notes from the Special Issue Editors,” Helen Freidus, Mollie Welsh Kruger & Steven Goss. In the first set of essays, “Inside the Online Classroom,” the authors present the experiences of educators who have entered the square room but have refused to be limited by its constraints. These are teacher educators who have designed their courses for the online venue. Some enthusiastically chose to teach online; others were mandated to do so. Regardless of how their journey began, each author describes the work she or he is doing to bring constructivist practice online. To the surprise of each of these educators, they find that not only is the work possible, but it leads them to reframe the ways in which they approach their face-to-face teaching. This section begins with “Beyond a Digital Status Quo: Re-conceptualizing Online Learning Opportunities,” by Ellen B. Meier. Tamara Spencer, in “Preparing Teachers as Literacy Leaders in a Hybrid Classroom,” documents the process of taking new literacies and innovative pedagogy online, moving from a face-to-face to a hybrid course, she details the learning of both students and educator. Robin Isserles, in “Fostering Student Engagement: Creating a ‘Culture of Learning’ Online,” addresses the ways in which distance learning offers possibilities for mitigating inequitable access to higher education–supporting community college students’ ability to take ownership of their learning, and encouraging them to think critically about what they are learning. In Fred W. Freking & Jenny D. Ingber’s “Teaching Science Teachers in an Online Context with a Constructivist Approach”, the authors discuss the development of an online STEM-based teacher education program, providing a template for the inclusion of constructivist practices, such as course activities and student teaching Ramona Cutri, Erin Whiting & Stefinee Pinnegar, in “Activating Emotional and Analytic Engagement in Blended Learning: A Multicultural Teacher Education Example,” activate students’ emotional and analytic engagement with multicultural education through online classrooms. In “Creating Meaningful Learning Opportunities Online,” Hafdís Guðjónsdóttir, Karen Gísladottir & Svanborg Jonsdottir describe the ways in which they have used digital pedagogy to address the loneliness of the distance learner by making their online course more inclusive and interactive. In the second set of essays, “Beyond the Online Classroom,” authors describe their experiences in a range of online contexts. These authors came to their work with a vision of how technology might offer new pathways for learning. They ask: what do K-12 classrooms, business school courses, teacher communities of practice, and museum spaces look like when infused with the new opportunities technologies offer? The authors included in this section use constructivist practices to bring new visions to traditional experiences. They find that the outcomes are even richer than they had anticipated. In “Operations Management Outside of the Classroom: An Experiential Approach to Teaching Enabled by Online Learning,” Kristen A. Sosulski & Harry R. Chernoff employ online learning as a way to free their students from the confines of the lecture-based classroom. In “Reflection & Technology in Theory and Practice: Teen Engagement in Art Museums,” Chelsea Emelie Kelly discusses her experience using digital technologies to extend the young museum-goer’s voice beyond the walls of the museum and into online communities. In “Technology as a Tool for Collaboration, Understanding & Engagement,” Kai Johnson incorporates multimodal online inquiry to deepen the thinking of children in his elementary classroom. When he sees how engaged his students are in their work, he realizes that this is a true picture of constructivist learning. Marvin Cohen, Babette Moeller & Michelle Cerrone document the ways in which online communities of practice enable teachers to have meaningful conversations sharing practices and discussing the nuances of teaching math in “Constructing Online Communities of Practice.” Across these articles, the reader will find educators engaging with the challenges they encountered and emerging with new visions of constructivist practice. Authors who began as skeptics discovered possibilities. Authors who thought they understood the potential of online practice were struck by their students’ and their own increased insight. The hope is that the ideas presented in this edition of the Occasional Paper Series will encourage readers to experiment with and document their own forays into online practice. (Individual papers contain references.)

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Troels Gannerup Christensen

Jeg er ansat som lektor hos Læreruddannelsen i Jelling, hvor jeg underviser i matematik, specialiseringsmodulet teknologiforståelse, praktik m.m. Jeg har tidligere været ansat som pædagogisk konsulent i matematik og tysk hos UCL ved Center for Undervisningsmidler (CFU) i Vejle og lærer i udskolingen (7.-9. klasse) på Lyshøjskolen i Kolding. Jeg er ejer af og driver bl.a. hjemmesiderne www.lærklokken.dk og www.iundervisning.dk, ggbkursus.dk og er tidligere fagredaktør på matematik på emu.dk. Jeg går ind for, at læring skal være let tilgængelig og i størst mulig omfang gratis at benytte.

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