GlobalCiv: A New Learning Ecology

It is with a huge smile and pensive thoughts that I write on GlobalCiv: A New Learning Ecology.  An outgrowth of my design based research some 6 years ago, GlobalCiv is special to me for so many reasons.


After a core design of what Global Civ was to be , I sought a next generation developer.  That young person would give feedback and create for what was then a new organization The Institute for Global Civic Culture. Instead of the informal inputs I thought would occur with young people, I was incredibly fortunate that 15 year old Jake Maxmin entered the design process directly and became a full time student co-founder and designer.  Three years later, Jake is off to Georgetown and I sense a major chapter in my research and praxis about to iterate. In this first post on Global Civ I offer a few “views” from the eLearning Nexus (a Mahara instance that served as a learning portal for the project).

The North American Experience Syllabus From the syllabus:

“In this project we will learn about place through North American culture and history.  By  exploring  the relationship between landscape and the North American Identity we will seek to understand how different peoples have encountered, experienced, and represented North America from 10,000 years ago to contemporary times. How have the experiences of North American shaped the places in North America? How has the North American’s understanding of society, environment, and economy shaped a sense of who they are and how they impact an ecoregion?”

Global Civ Fieldwork (An Example) Global Civ experimented with Mobile “fieldwork” based in part on university anthropology fieldwork forms applied to specific settings.

Global Civ 21st Century Literacies (A Student Perspective) This work was based on the Institute for Global Civic Cultures Learning Ecology Framework created in the original design,

“an approach to learning embodied in an integrated and integrative curricular core will be intensified through eLearning. This nexus between highly student centric curriculum and eLearning will provide the learning community with a new learning ecology. This ecology will allow young people and their communities both local and global to connect in authentic, effective and exciting ways.”

“Project based and collaboration rich software such as the Mahara, 37 signals, and Elluminate will enable our learning spaces to have a flexible web 2.0 enabled system that work within Global Civ’s many project based learning endeavors. Throughout the first year of operations and then on a continual basis, the whole community of Global Civ will find and validate new eLearning tools for the proliferation of our learning spaces. This integrative process will allow for young people to use and develop the technologies they see as integral to their learning.

“Global Civ’s learning ecology will provide the frameworks necessary to utilize mLearning in expansive ways. Mobile Learning using, iPhones, netbooks, and other portable tools will offer the learning community chances to take learning in highly dynamic situations to a new level.”



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