Monthly Archives: February 2014

It’s complicated

A new book:  Social media of networked teens
( USA)
Read here
Author: Danah Boyd. 
Clicking in the author’s name you can e
xplore the webpage of the book and there is a link to her web page

An interesting table of content:

  1. identity why do teens seem strange online?
  2. privacy why do youth share so publicly?
  3. addiction what makes teens obsessed with social media?
  4. danger are sexual predators lurking everywhere?
  5. bullying is social media amplifying meanness and cruelty?
  6. inequality can social media resolve social divisions?
  7. literacy are today’s youth digital natives?
  8. searching for a public of their own

Digital education and learning series

Comments for the book  “DIGITAL MEDIA AND LEARNER IDENTITY”

“John Potter is an expert guide, navigating us across some of the great divides in this area: between media education and the new literacy studies, between multimodal and cultural theory, between media practices at home and at school, and, most crucially, between high theory and lived experience. His notion of ‘curatorship of the self’ takes thinking in media and multiliteracy education a significant step forward.”
– Mark Reid, Head of Education, British Film Institute, UK

“John Potter shows how learners’ creative engagements with new media form part of the ongoing ‘identity work’ of their everyday lives. His central metaphor of curatorship provides a thought-provoking means of exploring the broader implications of new media for personal identity. Unlike the utopian fantasies of some digital enthusiasts, this book provides a valuable source of critical reflection and creative inspiration for researchers, educators, and all who work with young people.”
– David Buckingham, Loughborough University, UK

“This is an important contribution to our emerging understanding of what young people are actually doing with digital media, and with what consequences. By focusing on the experiences of young people and developing the thesis of ‘new curatorship,’ Potter is able to move a number of debates forward in the fields of media literacy and educational technology.”
– Neil Selwyn, Monash University, Australia

“This book reflects two of the many strengths of John Potter’s work in the field of media education. The research is rooted in his experience as an educator of children, young people, and teachers and has an authority in practice. It also challenges us to think differently about our understandings of identity, digital media, and curatorship and encourages us to engage actively with new concepts of literacy in a digital age.”
– Avril Loveless, School of Education, University of Brighton, UK

“This authoritative new study cuts through the current confusions about young people, new media and learning. Potter’s clarity of thought and innovative use of the metaphor of curatorship produces valuable insights into the ways in which children use digital media to negotiate culture, identity and social roles. Rooted in long experience of classrooms and in detailed empirical research, it is an essential read for researchers, students and practitioners in the fields of literacy, new media, and childhood studies.”
– Andrew Burn, DARE (Digital/Arts/Research/Education), Institute of Education, University of London

“In this superb contribution to ideas about learning in the twenty-first century, John Potter artfully sidesteps the polarizing extremes of both technological determinism and its more reductive opposition to provide us with a research-based account of ‘the new curatorship.’ For academics, researchers and – most crucially – teachers seeking an intelligent and inclusive framework for bridging the widening gap between education and ‘lifeworld’ learning and between scales of access and new forms of digital ‘capital,’ this is exactly what we’ve been waiting for. Curatorship of identity and self through digital and social media is cultural, not merely technical, and Potter goes beyond observing this to map out a convincing strategy for our response.”
– Julian McDougall, University of Wolverhampton, UK and Editor, Media Education Research Journal

“This book makes an original and important contribution to scholarship in new media. Based on a study of children’s autobiographical film-making, John Potter vividly illustrates the explanatory power of the metaphor of curatorship. This is essential reading for those interested in new literacies and media studies.”
– Guy Merchant, Sheffield Hallam University, UK

DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES FOR SCHOOL COLLABORATION

Web-based school collaboration has attracted the sustained attention of educators, policy-makers, and governmental bodies around the world during the past decade. This book sheds new light on this topical but ever so complex issue. Drawing on a wealth of theoretical and empirical work, it presents the various models of available school twinning programs and explores the cultural, political, and economic factors that surround the recent enthusiasm regarding collaborative initiatives. Moreover, the book critically examines teachers’ and students’ experiences of web-based school collaboration. In particular, it develops a realistic perspective of the range of challenges they face and identifies the host of technological and non-technological issues that can shape participation in collaborative programs.

Praise

“Programs that provide opportunities for transnational collaboration between schools have been around for some time, but the potential expansion of these through new technology has yet to be evaluated in a principled way. Gouseti’s book does just that. Based on case studies of teachers’ and students’ experiences of the European eTwinning programme she provides a detailed analysis of the promises and pitfalls of web-based school collaboration . . . providing an excellent overview and critique of the rhetoric associated with web 2.0 and ‘participatory culture’. This is a book that is well-informed, well-argued and scholarly throughout, offering practical guidance on how to develop school collaboration through new media. – Guy Merchant, Professor of Literacy in Education, Sheffield Hallam University, UK
“The field of educational technology is full of broad expectations and assumptions. As such, detailed examinations of the complex realities of technology and education are always welcome. In this book, Gouseti provides just such an insight into the everyday constraints that have a significant bearing on digital education. This book offers a salutary reminder than very little in education is ever as straightforward as we are promised. An important book for anyone interested in contemporary schools and schooling.” – Neil Selwyn, Professor of Education, Monash University, Australia

Talk in Oxford at the Research in Progress day of the BSHM

Queens College, Oxford

My presentation at the Research in Progress day organised by the British Society for the History of Mathematics took place the 22 of February at Queens College in Oxford.

It was in front of a small but very knowledgeable audience. Many of them mathematics professors interested in the use of the history of mathematics for mathematics education and others historians of mathematics interested in the dissemination of historical material regarding the development of mathematics. Many of them are authors of interesting books like Jacqueline Stedall, Peter Neumann, Jan van Maanen, Steve Russ among others. Some of them new researcher in their 2 or 3rd year all of them researching in the history of mathematics with no further application.
One talk :
The Jesuits in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and their treatment of the mathematical sciences. Dagmar Mrozic, interested me because I saw again how education is really a powerful tool.  The other interesting talk was done by an undergraduate student  of Exeter University, Ryan Stanley,  who won the prize for the best essay. He wrote about Cantor, Dedekind and the rigor of calculus. One of the things I liked most was his attitude in the talk. Really captured my attention. Interesting material although with some misconceptions but as he said, he just looked at what someone said about what someone wrote about what he thought and so on…so the chances of understanding something wrong are high. Or even to understand right what others (2nd sources) understood wrong. He was very humble but very secure. Enjoying the adventure of knowing and exploring the life and ideas of two great mathematicians. He had a voice and assumed a position that really amused me for half on hour.

The public engaged very much with students designing  a PLE for the learning of mathematics and the idea to develop some topics for A-level related with the calculus. For me the power is the issue that they are going to be the designers of that space. Radical constructivist maybe? There are some initiatives already in integrating the history into the classroom but have not been executed. The overall comment is that it is not easy to do. I talked to skeptic professors that had maybe tried and they found it difficult. There is a difficulty I know, but the challenge is to see how can this be done. Look at what things that did not work in their cases and see how to change them.

One aspect that is still not resolved is the how to concretise, materialise the technology that is going to bring alive the PLES of students. Are they going to have just a bundle of tools loose and spread in the web (Siemens and Downes) or are they working with a pre-made space where some tools are available that are fixed and interoperable (Mash-up) or are they having a common platform (Moodle or desire2learn) and loose tools spread in the web. There is a factor of rapid change that I need to take into account if this is going to be sustainable within time. If the technology is to close it won’t work. I have to think in the structure and integration of RME-DS and A Universe of Knowledge. A universe of knowledge could be a platform where students can put in their intelectual artifacts and teachers their inputs for the particular learning experience. But the PLE I do not know how to work it out so it is able to last and can navigates the changes to come.

There is work to do regarding the development of the idea of the calculus flower. Learning more in depth about the calculus and its component. Analysing each of them in depth and understanding in which ways they are connected and intertwined. Calculus could be seen as fabric where the threads are carefully interwoven. Or maybe better as a flower which petals are connected and -sometimes they overlap. Look for that structure among the components.
Task: Look at the syllabus of the Vol. 1 of Apostol. Think about the order. Discuss.

Here my abstract for the talk:

Our way of thinking and feeding our mind has changed with humans’ intellectual tools throughout history. For example, the technologies of the map and the clock advanced the evolution of abstract thinking. A more conceptual example would be the calculus, an intellectual tool that from its very beginning has not only kept on changing our way of thinking and feeding our mind, but also revolutionised humankind, allowing it to ‘see’ the world from a different perspective. The world we live in —the earth— could now be seen from an unexpected place such as the moon. This fact changed radically the perspective we had of our own planet. The calculus, in the words of Morris Klein, is definitely a landmark in human thought.

Bringing this subject to life, integrating Newton’s original notes (available from the Newton Project) and some relevant passages from history, I aim to enrich the understanding of the roles played by cultural and mathematical context in the invention of new branches of mathematics; hence making mathematics more human, one of the fundamental ideas Hans Freudenthal had 30 years ago. The particular examples of what this integration will look like in practice are still open for research.

Just as the calculus has changed humans’ way of thinking, so are digital tools and the Internet changing how young people approach knowledge and therefore the way they learn. As the calculus gave a new perspective to the study of space, digital tools combined with the Internet are changing the perspective of ‘space’ and in particular of ‘learning space’.  Colliding virtual and physical spaces into one that I will call ‘Dynamic Space’.My research interest is precisely in how the learning of mathematics develops in such a space.

To summarize, the aim of my research project is to design a learning intervention using cultural context and historical material as a tool to foster connections among seemingly fragmented bits of inorganic mathematical knowledge, and to promote in 17–18-year-old students the learning of mathematics through knowledge re-invention, making mathematics a human activity. This is an idea that lies in the foundations of Realistic Mathematics Education theory, a way of learning introduced by Hans Freudenthal, for which, following van Maanen’s and Lawrence’s ideas, history will serve as a guide throughout the process, using technology as a workbench for the crafting of intellectual artifacts by young students in the learning process. If there are any contributions, advice or resources you wish to share with me, please visit http://MatHistory.wordpress.com, a collaborative place I have created for this purpose. It will grow organically with my work and your contributions. Thank you!