This course is a practicum that will engage students in the design and advancement
of social and technological innovations to move education from a craft to
a progressive, research-based enterprise on par with knowledge-creating enterprises
in other sectors. This course begins with the 4-day Knowledge Building Summer
Institute in August (www.ikit.org/summerinstitutes.htm), an event that brings
to Toronto scholars and practitioners of world renown, from approximately
12 nations. They mix with local teams and discuss advances and plans to extend
the limits of the possible in education, and to create next-generation possibilities
rather than simply replicate “best practice.” Attendance at the
summer institute is vital for meeting these innovators and creating the plans
for follow-up practica at local or distant sites. In addition to meeting colleagues
who will support practicum work, the summer institute provides students with
research tools and technologies required for follow-up virtual practica through
the fall and winter terms. Virtual work will be conducted in the Knowledge
Society Network (KSN: see www.ikit.org/ksn.htm).
Practicum arrangements will be fine-tuned to student interests and needs. They will typically involve (a) virtual visits to practicum site, along with work to support and create a profile of advances at these sites; (b) a monthly face-to-face or video conference meeting with colleagues at practicum-sites, and (c) research and development meetings to help support work at those sites. Students will create a portfolio, using Knowledge Forum software, and an end-of-practicum movie and/or written report. The goal is to capture aspects of the work at the practicum site that go beyond best practice, with contributions that will benefit the global KSN.