Connectivism, scholarship in public

Microgrids and Education

I have been spending a lot of time recently thinking about and researching the role that networks and networking plays in learning environments.

Mostly, I have been working at ways to promote, support, and foster what Paul Baran called distributed networks in schools and classrooms.


This article talks about energy/power microgrids, which due to their decentralized nature, can survive the breakdowns associated with larger, more centralized power grids. It left me wondering about analogues in educational settings.

Your thoughts?

pedagogy, scholarship in public

Presentation – “Learning Computational Thinking Together”

I gave a presentation today at SITE 2018 called “Learning Computational Thinking Together.” It focuses on research I have done on participants in a sixth grade robotics program and how they talked about problem solving, building, and coding.



scholarship in public

Learning as a social activity

This really interesting video of UK neuroscientist Sophie Scott has her discussing some really interesting research into conversation. It is pretty short (about 6 minutes) and very compelling. I need to check out the research she mentions. What I took away was that conversation is an act that goes beyond distinctions of signal and noise, of conveying information, and is more about establishing and maintaining social connections.

This made me think of how learning and education are also not solely (or even primarily) about signal and noise and conveying information. And, if that is the case, then the way we assess learning is too thin and one-dimensional and needs to be radically rethought.

For more, see Dr. Scott’s TED Talk on why we laugh.

Image from Aeon.