November 26, 2020

21C LEARNing Blog

These posts explore issues related to learning and teaching for the 21st century, with an eye toward promising practices and how to make systemic change happen. Sponsored by The Council on 21st Century Learning.

Learning In and For the 21st Century

A couple of weeks ago I attended/observed an excellent daylong professional learning day at Flagstaff Academy, a charter K8 in Longmont, Colorado. The title for the day was “EdTech 2010: Filling in the GApps.” Session topics included how to use GoogleDocs, how to use Google Forms, how to create a class website (on, you guessed […]

Digital Game Changers

Recently a reporter from Courier-Life Publications in Brooklyn, NY, asked me some questions about my views on the future of education. She had run across my paper, “Future Trends Affecting Education,” that I’d written for Education Commission of the States some years back. I’ll share my thoughts in several posts. What are some of the […]

21st Century Learning Rules

Rule #8 — Learning occurs simultaneously and interactively within the individual, the community, and the organization. We think of the learning as something the person is doing. At the same time, the community in which the person is participating is also learning — whether a community of two (“teacher” and “learner”) or more (e.g., collaborative […]

Real Learning

My 11-year-old daughter came home from school several weeks ago all fired up about an idea she and a friend had. They noticed during lunch that the trash can was overflowing with styrofoam lunch trays — they keep piling up and they aren’t biodegradable. So Dana and Claire decided they would DO something about it! […]

Information Theory of Learning, Part 3

Applying constructivist learning theory pretty much rips apart the way we do school. Learning theory says that the learner must make meaning of new information. To do that she needs context — a way to connect new input to what she knows already. Not this-will-be-useful-later appeals, but real connection — like reaching a personal goal, […]

Information Theory of Learning, Part 2

In the preceding blogpost, I claim that constructivism is a theory of learning. So…? This means that the theory of behaviorism — the lodestar of schooling — is wrong. We do not learn in response to the application of rewards and punishments. We adapt our behavior to get the rewards and avoid the punishments. We […]

An Information Theory of Learning — Part 1

Constructivism is a dirty word in K12 education. While educators generally acknowledge constructivism as a pedagogical theory, they doubt its practicality — Too unstructured; takes too much time; OK in the arts or Gifted classes, but doesn’t work for all subjects and all learners. Here’s something to consider: Constructivism is not a theory of pedagogy. […]