Dr. Chris Dede, the Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, is encouraging teachers to embrace mobile learning devices to effectively engage more students, especially those who struggle with conventional instruction.
In an exclusive interview for the Verizon Thinkfinity Education Speaker Series, Dede discusses how technologies like cell phones, tablets, digital games and virtual worlds used for learning can add to a teacher's repertoire. Dede is the fourth speaker in the Thinkfinity Education Speaker Series, following retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Dr. Benjamin Carson and Earvin "Magic" Johnson.
"Teaching is like an orchestra," Dede said. "There are many different instruments, and to reach everyone you need to put a symphony of different kinds of pedagogy together. Learning technologies provide a set of instruments teachers can use to achieve that range of instructional strategies."
Reflecting on the opportunity to ignite a passion for learning through augmented reality, a technologically enhanced version of reality, and mobile learning devices, Dede offers teachers a guided tour of his vision for a 21st century education.
"Can you imagine a student standing in the middle of the real world, with all its confusion and challenges, but they have a device with them that knows who they are, how they learn, where they are, what around them has been augmented for learning, who they like to learn with, and how to reach those people? That's a very intriguing vision," Dede said.
Dede's conversation with Bob Hirshon of the American Association for the Advancement of Science is available for free only in the Verizon Thinkfinity Community section of the Verizon Thinkfinity.org website.
Al Browne, national director and vice president - education and technology, Verizon Foundation, said, "Dr. Dede's research applying learning technologies to the classroom is at the cutting edge. We hope that teachers will reflect on and respond to his vision for a 21st century education and his call for schools to evolve to meet the needs of today's global innovation economy."
Dede said, "I think the big shift between the industrial-era school and the 21st century learning environment is moving from teaching by telling and learning by listening, to learning by figuring things out, often collaboratively, and teaching by supporting, facilitating and guiding."
The Verizon Thinkfinity Education Speaker Series is an online series that enables educators and parents to connect with some of the most inspiring voices in education. Upcoming speakers include social media guru Jason Falls, available on Dec. 6.
The series is available exclusively to members of the Thinkfinity Community, a virtual home to engaging, thoughtful dialogue on some of today's most challenging classroom issues. Anyone can join the Thinkfinity Community for free at www.thinkfinity.org/community.
The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, uses its technology, financial resources and partnerships to address critical social issues, with a focus on education and domestic violence prevention. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.
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