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Creating "niched" learning opportunities

Here's an interesting blurb that appeared on an Educause Learning Initiative site exploring the future of education:

"When Chris Dede, the Timothy E. Wirth professor in Learning Technologies at Harvard University, sat down with students in a Philadelphia private school to talk about their personal learning preferences, no one delivered the same answer. One student liked research papers, preferring a clear template and an assignment with a defined start and finish. Another loved multimedia projects, relishing the opportunity to think about something in many different ways. Another said their mind worked like the video games they liked to play.

Now imagine, Dede said in an interview at EDUCAUSE 2007 in Seattle, if those three students walked into your classroom. And they came with a group of peers whose learning preferences weren’t even on that same menu.

“If I were designing a learning environment for those students], it would really have to be like an ecology,? Dede said. “It would have to have a lot of different niches in it because from one day to the next, any one particular student may want a different kind of niche. And different types of students might want different kinds of niches…"

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