Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Virtual Worlds - Best Practices in Education Conference 2011


The FREE conference runs March 17-19, 2011 in the virtual environment of Second Life.

The Master Schedule is at -> http://vwbpe11.vwbpe.org/
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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cathedrals...Bazaars....

I keep hearing the refrain the schools are cathedrals. I first heard this from H. Songhai
a few years ago at Educon.
Clarence Fisher writes about schools, bazaars, and cathedrals.  He points readers to an essay entitled "The Cathedral and the Bazaar."
Chris Lehman mentions schools being like cathedrals in his recent TEDx Philly talk.
Using a metaphor like cathedrals conjures up rituals, priests in control, liturgical calendars.  Are schools to be that rigid?  If we as instructors laminate our lesson plans then we ARE extending the cathedral metaphor.
But the ideal learning situation is more like a bazaar, with a cacophony of selling, buying, and greetings going on. The connections of many different events going on at the same time is just like differentiated learning, where not everyone learns in the same way or through the same intelligence. I've never been to a bazaar in Istanbul, I think I would love it. I have been to one in Korea, and it was very colorful, noisy, confusing, and crowded.
Is your classroom more like a cathedral with one person in charge reading a script that doesn't change year to year or is your classroom more like a bazaar with multi-modal connections, crowded PLNs, varied routes to a goal, which changes over time as needed?

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