Gary Ackerman Brief CV_web

Reflecting on Pandemic Teaching

While I am a distance learning professional and I spend most of my time working at a computer and encouraging educators to use computers, I am an educator before I am a technologist. Teaching decisions must be made to benefit students. For much of my career, it has been easy for many individual educators to reject all technology-based and distance learning options categorically. They were justified in reasoning they could […]

Gary Ackerman Brief CV_web

On Extended Minds

“The extended mind” has focus some of my attention recently. It seems to be one of the basic epistemological assumptions upon which many teaching, learning, and schooling decisions are made. First, the mind. Let’s adopt the materialist view that it exists in the brain. There can be little debate in the central role for that […]

Gary Ackerman Brief CV_web

On Echo Chambers

A friend and I were recently discussing John Perry Barlow’s “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace.” Barlow’s ideas resonate with both of us. We were wondering if we (as a culture) had achieved what Barlow had envisioned. We challenged ourselves to compose a brief summary of what we have observed in the last few years. […]

Gary Ackerman Brief CV_web

Elevator Pitch on Transfer

John Dewey wrote “education is not preparation for life, it is life itself.” While this may be true, many students enroll in higher education to be better prepared for the profession they will enter after they graduate. It seems reasonable, then, that educators should take steps to ensure their students can use what they learn […]

Gary Ackerman Brief CV_web

On Social Cognition

Humans are social creatures. Our brains function differently when we are engaged with others compared to when we are engages alone. We have capacity to solve much more complex problems when working together compared to when we work alone, but we also have greater capacity to deceive ourselves.  This summer, I finally read Edwin Hutchin’s Cognition […]

Gary Ackerman Brief CV_web

How to Use Occam’s Razor

We all experience circumstances that we know cannot be due to coincidental. We see things on our digital devices that we interpret as evidence our devices are “spying,” as they “know” what we want. I had such an experience earlier this week. I needed an address… a real address where I was sending a piece […]

Gary Ackerman Brief CV_web

The Affordances of Virtual Classrooms.

The idea of affordances has been used in the last few decades to capture the idea that the environment allows us to do certain things. Some environments afford some actions, other environments afford different actions. In this post, I consider the characteristics of virtual classrooms and what they afford students and teachers.   First, technology has […]

Gary Ackerman Brief CV_web

Some Things No Longer Tenable in Education

As we return to “normal,” teachers will be building classrooms in which teaching and learning happens in both physical places and online spaces.  Until now, most educators have perceived clear boundaries between online teaching and face-to-face teaching. That separation is no longer tenable.  For decades, educators have heard “the jobs your students will have do not exist yet.” Until recently that has not been true; as we […]