“Quality Education”: UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development, No. 4

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Global Goal number four:

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.


The UN also offers a site of educational resources to help primary- and secondary-school teachers conduct lessons focusing on the UN Global Goals. Here is the page keyed to “quality education”:


The lofty goal is further teased out on the “world largest lesson” site:

What does Quality Education mean?

  • Ensure education for all, starting from basic education.
  • Provide more opportunities for technical and vocational training to youth and adults so they can get better jobs.
  • End inequality in educational opportunities between men and women, for children with disabilities, indigenous people and victims of conflict.
  • Improve school facilities to provide a safe and positive environment for everyone.
  • Increase the number of scholarships for vocational and technical training, either in a person’s home country or abroad.
  • Increase the number of trained and qualified teachers.
  • Promote education for sustainable development.

And, finally, here is a post by Claire Boonstra, a World Economic Forum “Young Leader,” Dutch entrepreneur, public speaker and founder of oe Operation Education, an NGO seeking to take a lead on education reform, based in the Netherlands.


All of this sounds wonderful. However… there remains a question:

How do we manage it by 2030?

Do We Just Fire All the Teachers?

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Short answer: Absolutely not. We need teachers. We also need autonomous learning.

I have observed ambivalence in my successive enthusiasms and in my seemingly self-contradictory declarations in this blog and elsewhere. On the one hand, as a teacher, I am totally enthusiastic about teaching, pedagogy, learning theories, imagining new and better ways of promoting learning. I talk about what teachers need to do or think about to improve their work with learners. But then I also talk about how learners deserve autonomy and freedom to direct their own learning. I critique the ways in which many, if not most, educational systems and processes fail to align with how learners’ brains work, how many curricula fail to help learners thrive, and how teachers often fail to discern or provide the support and the opportunities that learners most need. My fluctuating attitudes seem to embrace incompatible sets of ideas and values. It makes me wonder about the intellectual soundness and good judgment of the person who continually flips between those broad points of view.

Clearly, as a teacher, I value my work with learners. I  believe that my skill and my labor doing so is of value to my institution of higher education and to learners enrolled there. Then I switch hats and find that as a learner, I value learner autonomy and believe that schools and curricula and teachers actually discourage  or impede learning in many cases or, at best, fall short of optimally supporting good, durable, resonant, meaningful learning. So… which one is it? Do I think that we need teachers, or not? Do I think that learners ought to have absolute freedom without undue interference from teachers and regulations, or not?

I am pretty sure that I’m not an intellectual hypocrite or the victim of cognitive dysfunction when I flip between these positions. What I mean is that my ideas about teaching and my ideas about learning are not necessarily mutually exclusive. They are more like positions along a continuum, with some distance between them, without being fully separated from each other. To put it another way… not only do I think that it is possible to have autonomous learning AND teachers, but I think that it is necessary. Indeed, I would say that it is unthinkable not to have teachers. So, just to be clear, even as I advocate for more autonomy for learners and for a full and proper place for self-directed learning across educational systems, I am not talking about “firing the teachers.”

I am talking about a radical change. In my emerging vision of education, many teachers will need to learn a very different way of proceeding. Institutions will be forced to rethink the ways in which they manage education, curricular rules, teachers and learners. And to be quite frank, I worry about whether or not it is possible to make a majority of these changes fully, in one fell swoop, on a large scale. I have my doubts about the feasibility of doing it across a single institution, much less across an entire citywide, region-wide or nationwide system. However, my very real concerns and doubts do not convince me that we ought to abandon the idea. Indeed, I think that it is worthwhile to try. In this, I am not alone.

There is, to borrow a theme from a recent conference at which I spoke, a certain urgency behind this questioning and this desire to rethink and to change how we approach teaching, learning and education. It has become increasingly clear to many that the metaphors and paradigms of majority-view Western European and American education are inefficient for learning in general and horrendously dysfunctional for many learners. Most of all, they are ill-adapted to the task of enacting the cultural and intellectual shifts that are needed in this time of crisis and transition, the Anthropocene.

Of course, if we think that everything is just great and that we ought to continue doing things exactly as we are — overexploiting natural resources, creating social and environmental catastrophes on a huge scale, blithely ignoring poverty, illiteracy, malnourishment, plastic-filled oceans and other extreme kinds of pollution, mass habitat destruction, mass extinction, deforestation, uncontrolled addiction in some communities, global warming, antibiotic-resistant microbes; or acknowledging but spectacularly failing to solve most problems in any sustainable way, continually building systems and social environments that leave the vast majority of human beings feeling dissatisfied, unfulfilled, sick, exploited or victimized (or all of the above) — then, by all means, we ought to stick with the educational systems and the modalities of thinking and doing that undergird Western industrial societies’ ways of doing things.

On the other hand, if we are going to address the underlying problems of the Anthropocene and create a society more in line with the possibility of sustainable thriving for the human race as a whole, we must change how we educate, how we learn and how we solve problems. Radically.

Teachers have an important role to play…

Even if it means that they must operate outside their comfort zone.

It’s important.




Reflections on Personalized Learning, Self-Directed Learning, and “Teaching”

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This entry extends my thinking about different forms of customized learning. I originally began articulating my ideas in an approximately 2000-word post in the eLearning Ecologies MOOC community update stream on Common Ground Scholar. (To read that post click the following title: “Teacher/Learner Agency and ‘Customized’ Learning”). The Scholar website comprises community pages (including my post) that are linked to a Coursera MOOC, e-Learning Ecologies. I am in the process of completing my work in the final module. (To earn a certificat for the course, we post four 300-word-minimum “updates” on concepts in the course, posted on either Coursera or Scholar and we must must peer-review similar posts by three other MOOC participants in each each of four units.) I chose to do all of my updates on Scholar because it’s a bit more flexible. I must also admit that was particularly enthusiastic about the idea of “community” on Scholar, although I can’t say that I’ve found it to be as vibrant or helpful as I had anticipated. There are a couple of folks with whom I’ve exchanged comments and agreed to connect as a “peer.” As it turns out, the “peer” status is, in fact, little more than facilitated communication through the website, and it does not provide a good mechanism for the connected co-creation of knowledge. At any rate, eLearning Ecologies is is definitely an xMOOC, not a cMOOC. To be expected, I guess.

At any rate, my Common Ground Scholar update (link above) is on the seventh of seven “affordances” that the teachers, Bill Cope and Mary Kalantzis, lay out in the course. They say that these affordances are important for “e-Learning Ecologies” and that they will shape the future of education. The particular affordance that is the general subject of my post is “differentiated learning,” a term that I find to be somewhat problematic. It corresponds to a designation used in Special Education regarding students with particular cognitive or physical needs, for whom a teacher is obligated to devise a “personalized learning plan.” I understand that Cope and Kalantizis are using the term “differentiated” in a more abstract or general way, without specific regulatory implications. Their intention is to evoke an approach where learners are not all treated the same. However, by employing a label that has precise technical, legal and educational denotations, they obscure that general meaning.

That’s why, in my Scholar post, I speak in some detail to distinguish between four kinds of “customized learning.” (Differentiated learning is one of those terms; the others are adaptive learning, individualized learning and personalized learning. ) The idea that I end the Scholar update is personalized learning, which I then proceed to assimilate to self-directed learning and autonomous learning, as if those labels are approximately the same thing. While it is true that all of these terms suggest a degree of learner agency and a focus on addressing learners’ needs, there are nuances and distinctions to draw among personalized, self-directed and autonomous learning. This ISTE webpage is helpful for drawing some of those distinctions:  “Personalized vs. differentiated vs. individualized learning.”

As one thinks about personalized learning when grouped together with individualized and differentiated learning, what jumps out about those terms? It’s the adjective in the form of a past participle. That linguistic construction suggests the passivity of the learner. It’s like the passive voice, where the agent is not, grammatically speaking, the actor in the sentence. That is, it’s not tantamount to saying “the learner personalized his or her own learning.” Rather, it’s: “The learning was personalized.” By whom? We don’t know. Yet what seems abundantly clear is that the learner is not in a leading role. It is implied the the personalization was done by someone else for the learner. In this, it is analogous to “differentiated learning” and “individualized learning.” Who does the differentiating or the individualizing? In the case of the former, it is clearly the teacher who discerns and adapts instructional planning according to the needs of the learner. In the case of the latter, even if the learner has some control, particularly of pacing, she or he is not really striking out on a unique, individual, path that she or he decides on. The teacher (or corporations of teachers) will draw up the map and plot the navigational charts, determining the learning trajectory, including each and every stop along the way. For that matter, even the fourth form of learning  that I mentioned, adaptive learning, agency belongs largely to those who create the learning content (activities, tasks, tests, standards of assessment, etc.) and to those who create the algorithms that manage the adaptive system.

Now, it’s true that there are other ways of thinking about it, for example when personalized learning is part of, say, a personal learning environment (PLE) or similar setup. There, it is the learner who is largely in control of the learning pathways and modalities. Sure, some parameters and functionalities of the personal learning environment are determined by the institution that hosts and facilitates it. Yet, the learner can still choose which lines of research to pursue, which connections to make, which artifacts to display as a demonstration of learning. The learner chooses with whom to collaborate and how to communicate.

Despite the availability of a plethora of personalized tools and approaches, it seems to me that most formal learning in the early 21st century remains almost completely under the control of folks other than the learner. In one sense, such has always been the case, whether in the pedagogy of the Ancient World (tutors who guided the development of individual young men in families of a certain status) or Church-dominated schooling and university education in the late Middle Ages in Europe, which dictated a certain ordered curriculum for all souls in their care, or the nineteenth- and twentieth-century models of production-line education, ostensibly constructed following scientific principles to produce large-scale optimal efficacy in learning. In these earlier learning models, the learner — who is, after all, the one best suited to say whether or not the concepts and information being presented make sense or the skills acquired seem firmly seated and have “stuck” (to echo a recent book on learning) — is treated more as a passive consumer or as a creature to be shaped and conditioned by others than she or he is considered an active agent doing what makes sense to her or him.

Here, then, is why I think that self-directed learning or autonomous learning is a better option in general. First, it is obvious to me that when the learning is meaningful and relevant, it is more likely to be effective and have lasting impact. (A situation that stands in contrast to imposed, obligatory learning that has little direct relevance to the learner’s life and connects in no way with her or his interests.) We learn most effectively and enduringly by connecting new learning to what we already know. Most human beings learn best by allowing our curiosity to draw us into a dialogue of inquiry and investigation, where we explore or uncover new aspects of topics that we are to focus on, which we then investigate or figure out, in order to make them comprehensible and meaningful for ourselves. My credo: Intrinsic motivation is more effective than extrinsic motivation. Self-regulation is better and more effective than arbitrary standards and pressure from others. Enthusiastic engagement stimulates and supports exciting, resonant, durable, meaningful learning more effectively than do fear or anxiety or grades.

Secondly, I believe that learners have a certain insight, a certain wisdom, if you will, about what learning they need to do. A 20-year-old intending to enter into the digital job market is likely to have at least as good an insight into what skills are most important for her or him to develop as a 50-year-old teacher who may not fully understand the implications of the digital economy. At the very least, the real learning needs probably need to take into account the learner’s insights and perceptions and weigh them appropriately and consider them in context. Teachers ought to be guides and coaches who support learning, not drill instructors moving learners through a restrictive, pre-defined obstacle course. Forcing all learners to follow approximately the same trajectory, leading to the same exit ramp seems foolish.

This is even clearer when we have the honesty to admit that the curriculum, that obstacle course that learners must pass through, is generally developed and modified in a haphazard and, frankly, slapdash manner, pushed here by one discipline’s standards and twisted there by some trustee’s personal priorities. In most cases, this process happens without teachers, faculty (whether tenure-track or contingent), psychologists, theoreticians of education, politicians or anyone else actually talking to each other and committing to an overarching design that serves learners first and foremost. Curricula are thrown together in a kind of free-for-all jostle for influence and discipline-focused, obsessive-compulsive insistence on certain processes, canonical sets of knowledge content and bits and pieces of standards and criteria. It is very rare that major curricular elements, courses, graduation requirements, educational frameworks, or teaching philosophies take a long-term, learner-centered, holistic view of learning. Rather, faculty in different disciplines compete for resources and prestige, keeping one eye on their discipline (usually very narrowly defined) and the other on their power and influence in academic governance. In all honesty, this is not a dynamic that makes for optimal learning plans or platforms.

The outcome of the crashing and grinding of these pressures, these tidal movements, all enacted by right-thinking, well-intentioned folks, leads to a mishmash that sometimes works for learners, sometimes motivates and transforms learners, but more often does not. Sometimes they produce life-sustaining toolkits, but more often they do not. Sometimes, they promote real engagement with the real world, with high levels of critical thinking and solution-producing skills. Mostly, though, it’s a muddle that serves a small number of learners very well. I submit to my fellow faculty and fellow teachers that we ought to be more focused on learners’ need for self-determination and self-fashioning than on our own need to affirm our authority or to control the classroom, the curriculum, or the Academy. After all, many teachers’ only real authority is based on disciplinary competence, but not on a deep and committed understanding of the complex process of learning. Teachers teach. They don’t necessarily foster learning. On the other hand, learners need help developing their learning. They need support, succor, encouragement, guidance. But not diktats.

The simple fact of the matter is that we cannot force learning. Whether we are aware of the fact or not, whether we admit it or not, we can’t really teach students. At most, we can inspire learners to follow the learning paths that we propose, to do the activities that we organize, to engage with the ideas, theories, values, frameworks and information that we present. In the end, though, it is the students who do the cognitive work of learning, of knowledge creation, of skills practice. Most of the ones who teach — including me — are not better equipped than our students to manage, assess or quantify their deep and durable learning. Most of us don’t know how learning, memory, or cognitive processing works. We don’t really understand what learning means to our students or what it feels like to the individuals we teach. Heck, most of us can’t even offer them very good advice for overcoming learning challenges. And since in the real cognitive work of learning, learners must forge meaningful connections for themselves, “teaching” is little more than the context in which our students do their cognitive work. If we are honest, we will recognize that our classroom context, our performance as teachers,  is far from optimal for supporting resonant, meaningful, deep-seated and durable learning. We can’t do the cognitive work for them, so why do we put ourselves in the driver’s seat and tell our passengers to shut up and enjoy the ride, whether it makes sense to them or not, whether it proves useful to them or not, whether it takes them along a road they want or need to explore or not, whether it seems worthwhile and interesting to them or not?

I acknowledge that education (whether primary, secondary or, in my case, postsecondary) is not only about personalized learning or self-directed learning. I know that there are other values that must enter into the process, including economic utility, disciplinary standards of truth-finding and truth-telling, specific skillsets for certain kinds of endeavors, and a contribution to the broad social good. I know that nation-states and potential employers have needs that must be met. I recognize that institutions have a moral obligation to obey laws, to follow rules and to heed the advice of state or federal departments of education, accrediting agencies and so forth. But the simple fact of the matter that all of those layers of obligation and rules, institutional imperatives and prescribed processes… are far removed and, in many cases, unconcerned about what ought to be at the center of the enterprise: learning. When we talk about assessment, are we truly thinking first and foremost about how meaningful and impactful learning is for students? When we devise general education requirements and lists of courses required for completing a particular major, are we really thinking about helping students engage in the process of knowledge creation? Are we truly, in our heart of hearts, motivated by a desire to create a love of learning, a desire to inquire, investigate and critique? When we talk about “promoting critical thinking,” do we really know what we are talking about? Are we truly willing to allow learners to exercise their critical judgments? Do we take seriously their questioning of our authority to dictate curricula?

I think that we (teachers at my own and other universities, scholars who lecture in the classroom and grade students, teachers in high schools, members of boards of education, the Secretary of Education and the plethora of undersecretaries) …we have a long way to go before we can honestly say that “learning” is at the heart of what we do. Whatever our rhetoric or our marketing message, most of us truly do not taken the autonomy and the intellectual merit of learners seriously. We believe that we are more qualified than they are to judge the effectiveness and the value of their learning, when it’s just untrue. Yes, we are qualified as disciplinary specialists. We are qualified as organizers and presenters of information. We are highly qualified as experts who can create testing artifacts that give us a sense of control over the learning experience. But are we truly, sincerely, honestly and effectively focused on learning per se? Not so much. If we were, we would give learners a hell of a lot more say in their own learning. We’d figure how to be truly effective as the “guide on the side,” supporting learners, advising them, and guiding them. But lecturing? Meh. Giving short-answer or multiple-choice or essay tests based on what *we* think they should know? Bof. That’s not learning. That’s “teaching.”

I simply don’t want to “teach” any more.


The Cognitive Underpinnings of Active Multimodal Learning

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This is a somewhat atypical blog post, although it does follow an oft-repeated pattern. To wit, my being inspired by an assigned task in (yet another!) MOOC that I’m taking. The course in question is “e-Learning Ecologies: Innovative Approaches to Teaching and Learning for the Digital Age,” taught by William (Bill) Cope and Mary Kalantzis, of U of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. It is atypical in the sense that I’m not just musing or thinking through the issue posed. Instead, I’m taking a position, making an argument. So… what I’m going to say here amounts to an evidence-based reaffirmation of some of the propositions that Cope and Kalantzis set forth in the course and elsewhere, specifically, their insistence on the importance and the real value of multimodal learning. In what follows, I’ll talk a bit about multimodality per se, then talk about a cognitive-science-informed understanding of learning, with arguments and evidence in favor of active multimodal learning. Finally, I’ll offer links to additional information and perspectives, research and websites. In short, I will argue that using multiple modes during active learning is more effective than limiting modalities during the learning process. NB: The following is an revised/adapted version of the post that I made to the Common Ground Scholar site that is associated with the MOOC. The original post may be seen here:



One of the first things that one notices on investigating the notions of multimodality or multimodal learning is that there is a plethora of groupings of “modalities.” For Bill Cope and Mary Kalantzis (e-Learning Ecologies MOOC, week 2, second video, affordance 3B, https://www.coursera.org/learn/elearning/lecture/SwQUq/multimodal-meaning-part-3b-multiliteracies-and-synesthesia), there are six (or seven) modalities facilitated by digital learning: textual, spoken, sound, visual, tactile/spatial and gestural. For others, though, the modalities that enter into learning can vary. For the folks behind the VARK packaging of pedagogy and “learning styles”, there are four modalities (visual, auditory, read/write and kinesthetic). For Kate O’Halloran, in this scholarly article on “multimodal discourse analysis”, the modes are essentially textual and visual. In this other discussion of the application of Michael Halliday’s Systemic Functional theory of language to multimodality, the range is somewhat broader, since it mentions language (presumably both spoken and written), gesture, proxemics, image, and layout. In a writing textbook that purports to guide students toward effectively expressing themselves multimodally, the authors lay out exactly five “modes of communication”: visual, aural, linguistic, spatial and gestural (Arola, Ball and Sheppard 2014, 4), even though the book itself focuses primarily on writing combined with visual elements (image, layout). Different lines of research in psychology or linguistics point toward yet other sets of modalities, like this lab focusing on “multimodal language” (which includes both gestures and sign language), or this paper, which summarizes research on “Cognition, multimodal interaction and new media,” including gestures, gazing, interpreting visual cues, forming mental images, writing, and so forth. In short, there are a number of different ways of define the sensory channels, dimensions of meaning or genres of expression that the term “multimodal” refers to. In short, a “mode” amounts to any socially recognized channel through which meaning can be expressed or interpreted. Multimodality, then, is any combination of two or more distinct channels of communication.

Learning, from a Cognitive Science Perspective

What we are beginning to learn, as we explore the functioning of the brain using increasingly precise tools and techniques, like the functional magnetic resonance imaging (or fMRI), is that the dynamic human brain is extremely complex. Many distinct neural circuits are implicated in a complex and coordinated way to perform what seem like simple or unitary functions. Reading, for example, seems like it is just one kind of cognitive activity. However, it involves a multitude of interconnecting functions that use different neural circuits, including those that transmit stimuli to the brain, that transform such input into perception of marks on the page, that recognize the patterns of marks as meaningful, that assign particular meanings to particular sets of marks (words, sentences, paragraphs, punctuation, blank spaces), and still other circuits that then juggle a multiplicity of meanings to form a coherent internalized version of the intended or presumed message, and still other neural pathways and brain structures function in complex ways to connect that interpretation to other textual or paratextual messages, and/or to previous learning and/or to current understandings and perceptions of the world. Reading, in and of itself, is a highly complex and multimodal activity. So are activities like conversing with a fellow student, viewing a video, listening to a song, drawing, laughing, navigating a crowded street, or simply walking, etc. Our brain constantly manages — and harmonizes — a multitude of neural modalities: sensory inputs, channels of perception, interpretation, emotion, volition and action. And we are able to manage all of these complex neuro-somatic activities, which we do continuously, because we do them largely without thinking about it. The brain is working hard, constantly and automatically, just to sustain life, bodily functioning, cognition and consciousness.

When it comes to learning, what we mean by “multimodality” is a bit different from what I called neural modalities. In learning, the “modes” of meaning or modes of communication are the complex groupings of cognitive functions that our brain can do while on autopilot. Generally speaking, we do not have to consciously recall a large set of rules about writing before we mark symbols or words on a page or begin typing at a keyboard. We do not need to consciously recall all of the rules of long narrative genres as we navigate from sentence to sentence or paragraph to paragraph in Pride and Prejudice or Gravity’s Rainbow. Much of the intellectual work that we do as thinkers, writers or learners draws on our previous learning, our previous training and our previous habitual conditioning. In short, we depend on what have become ingrained patterns of behavior or knowledge.

On the other hand, new learning is the setting up and reinforcing of a new neural pattern. It is the creation of a novel set of interrelated brain processes that trace preliminary synaptic connections. For learning to be effective in the long term, those connections must be reinforced until they “stick.” That is, the new learning must initially take place largely outside of “autopilot mode” and must be consciously rehearsed. Indeed, as it turns out, one of the conditions that makes for effective long-term learning is a high level of cognitive effort, or to put it another way, learning in a way that requires struggle. The more conscious effort we put into the process of inscribing the new neural patterns of our learning, the more likely it is that such learning will remain retrievable to our conscious mind. This is one of the fundamental ideas in Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning (Brown, Roedinger & McDaniel 2014). Now, one way to make new learning — and the subsequent rehearsal of what we have learned — far more challenging is to disrupt the “autopilot” pattern (easy-to-use, unconscious single communication modalities) when we approach new material, when we seek to comprehend or master it, then note, recap, recall and explain what we have learned. By using multiple modalities during new learning, during rehearsal of that learning and during production of artifacts based on new learning, one does two things. First, one makes the processes involved in learning (and reinforcing and recalling learning) more cognitively challenging because it forces the brain to juggle or switch among modalities. Second, it adds robustness to the retrieval of of new learning because that new pattern is inscribed in the brain in multiple interconnected but slightly different ways. Rehearsing what one has learned via one of the modalities helps support and reinforce its recall via other modalities. That is, using multiple modalities can mutually reinforce and strengthen multiple paths for retrieving what was learned. To be clear, there is significant evidence in cognitive scientists’ emerging views of learning that support the use of multiple modalities in learning.

(Side Note about “Learning Styles”)

Much has been made in the past of so-called “learning styles.” Cognitive science research does not support this framework for learning because there is no evidence to suggest that it is effective to customize learning activities or modalities to fit a particular student’s ostensible “learning style”. While it is true that some students may have a preference for hearing information and others for reading it, research strongly suggests that, absent particular disabilities or neurocognitive anomalies, students can learn equally well using a variety of modalities. Rather than focusing on a single learning modality in the case of any particular student, it is better to encourage use of a variety of modalities, preferably in multimodal ways, to increase cognitive load and to necessitate greater care and attention in attending to the learning tasks. What is more, learning is more effective when learning and recall are meaningful. For that reason, I would suggest, first, that it is appropriate to allow students to choose their own — meaningful — modalities for learning, for memory reinforcement and for communication of learning and, second, that multimodal learning practices are effective in ways that mono-modal learning-style-focused learning practices are not (see Brown, Roediger & McDaniel 2014, particularly chapter 6, “Get Beyond Learning Styles”).

Multimodal Learning (theory, sources, research, further reading)

All of this is intended primarily to offer support for Cope’s and Kalantzis’ model that focuses on the virtues of multimodal learning, while adding some nuance to the notion, drawing on my own (admittedly sketchy) understanding of cognitive science perspectives on learning. I also note that many other learning theorists and education visionaries have their own takes on multimodal learning. Here, I’ll add some links to a few additional resources:

Click the following link for an explanation of “multimodal literacy” on a WordPress site for the “Multimodal Literacy Learning Community” created by Victor Lim Fei, Deputy Director, Technologies for Learning, Educational Technology Division, Ministry of Education, Singapore:


A 2007 paper on computer-mediated multimodality in the classroom:


An entry on Guenther Kress, another proponent of taking multimodalities into account in pedagogy and learning theories:


A downloadable dissertation by Kevin R. Cassell, “A Phenomenology of Mimetic Learning and Multimodal Cognition” (2014):


A recent workshop position paper by Anne Marie Piper about the pedagogical affordances of multimodal tabletop displays:

http://inclusive.northwestern.edu/shared interfaces workshop_ampiper.pdf

And, finally, of course, the wiki page on “multimodality”:


My apologies for the length of this update. I guess my cognitive enthusiasm was more powerful than my sense of proportion and restraint! -Robert


Arola, Kristin L., Ball, Cheryl E., & Sheppard, Jennifer. (2014). Writer/Designer: A Guide to Making Multimodal Projects. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Brown, Peter C., Roediger, Henry L., & McDaniel, Mark A. (2014). Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning. Boston, MA: Belknap Press.