Point:


 

CollegeLecture-Atlantic-July2016

 

Should colleges really eliminate the college lecture? — from theatlantic.com by Christine Gross-Loh

Excerpt:

But that lack of training is not unusual; it’s the norm. Despite the increased emphasis in recent years on improving professors’ teaching skills, such training often focuses on incorporating technology or flipping the classroom, rather than on how to give a traditional college lecture. It’s also in part why the lecture—a mainstay of any introductory undergraduate course—is endangered.

But is it the college lecture itself that’s the problem—or the lecturer?

Concerns about the lecture derive from anecdotal impressions as well as research data, including one meta analysis of 225 studies looking at the effectiveness of traditional lectures versus active learning in undergraduate STEM courses. That analysis indicated that lecturing increased failure rates by 55 percent; active learning—meaning teaching methods that are more interactive than traditional lectures—resulted in better grades and a 36 percent drop in class failure rates. High grades and low failure rates were most pronounced in small classes that relied on active teaching, supporting the theory that more students might receive STEM degrees if active learning took the place of traditional lecturing.

Still, although proponents of the movement to move away from the lecture cite data on its ineffectiveness, the debate has failed to take into account the fact that academics are rarely, if ever, formally trained in public speaking.

Many people think riveting lecturers are naturally gifted, but public-speaking skills can be, and are, taught. The art of rhetoric was practiced and taught for millennia, beginning in ancient Greece over 2,000 years ago; oratory skills were a social asset in antiquity, a way to persuade, influence, and participate in civic life.

 


Counterpoint:


 

On eliminating lectures, a reality-check: Part 1 — from rtalbert.org by Robert Talbert

Excerpt:

Today’s The Atlantic contains an article entitled “Should Colleges Really Eliminate the College Lecture?” that has really inspired me to write, in a way that the pending deadline on my book has not. Ordinarily I just ignore pieces like this except for maybe a tweet or two about them. But this time, I feel like this article has so many factually incorrect claims, glosses over so much research, and has such potential to spread bad ideas to a very wide audience that I felt the need to address its points one at a time. This is Part 1 of that response.

The article opens with a lament that, actually, I agree with completely: New Ph.D.’s do often lack the training in pedagogy that they need to be successful in their work. This training should include all forms of pedagogy, including lecture, and it should expose new instructors to the full range of pedagogies that are out there, as well as the research that informs their effectiveness (the concept of “evidence”: hold on to this idea) and the skill of selecting a combination of teaching methods that best suits the learning environment they are tasked with creating. Many universities are wising up to this need for training, but more need to get on board.

However from here, things start to go downhill…

And here, we find the lede that was buried by the headline: The whole problem with lecture is that we’re not well-trained enough in how to give great lectures. Training, insofar as it occurs at all, is focused on all these “modern” pedagogies and on technology. If we devoted as much training time to lecture as we did to the other stuff, then we’d see better results with lecturing. That is the claim as I understand it. It makes sense; but it’s wrong, and I’ll be explaining why as we go.

 

On eliminating lectures, a reality-check: Part 2 — from rtalbert.org by Robert Talbert

Excerpt:

But this time, with this article, I felt that I needed to respond — because of how thoroughly wrong it is on basic and easily-checked facts, because I’m tired of my colleagues in higher ed making teaching decisions based on their own interests rather than students’, possibly because it’s getting near the end of the summer and I’m getting punchy. Whatever the reasons, here was Part 1 of the response in which we found (by actually checking the articles to which the original linked) that many of the claims about “eliminating lecture” in the first 1/4 of the article were flat-out wrong.

This is yet another instance of one of the worst things about this Atlantic article: The stubborn insistence that teaching in any way other than pure lecture is the same thing as “eliminating lecture”.

 

But keep this in mind: The discussion about active learning and lecture is not about what’s “new” or “traditional”, “modern” or “outdated”. It is, or at least ought to be, about what works best for student learning.

 

Here we have a meta-analysis of 225 existing studies that cuts across a wide spectrum of institutional types, student demographics, and instructional styles and shows a profound impact by active learning techniques on student learning and achievement.

 

I’m not sure what your reaction will be when you read that PNAS study [here]. But I will go out on a limb and say that any college or university professor who gives half of a damn about the well-being of his or her students will read that study, and then stop and at least think for a moment about whether his or her teaching in the classroom is part of the problem or part of the solution.

 

 

On eliminating lectures, a reality-check: Part 3 — from rtalbert.org by Robert Talbert

Excerpt:

Our students need a learning environment that is supported by an instructor but which does not depend on the instructor bringing his or her “A” game to every class meeting. This is what active learning provides. It is what lecturing most definitely does not provide, and “more training” won’t change this.

 

 

 

Microsoft refines Word with new Researcher and Editor features — from forbes.com by Tony Bradley

Excerpt:

Today, Microsoft unveiled new features for Word—Researcher and Editor—designed to make the application even smarter and easier to use.

When writing a research paper, a tech news article—or a political speech—proper citation is important. Everyone knows and expects that a writer has scoured other resources and has pulled thoughts and concepts from them. Having your work referenced and emulated is flattering, but nobody likes plagiarism. It’s important to give credit where credit is due by citing the original works used as reference, and Microsoft is making that simpler and more automated with the new Researcher feature in Word.

A blog post from Microsoft describes the new feature, “Researcher is a new service in Word that helps you find and incorporate reliable sources and content for your paper in fewer steps. Right within your Word document you can explore material related to your topic and add it—and its properly-formatted citation—in one click. Researcher uses the Bing Knowledge Graph to pull in the appropriate content from the web and provide structured, safe and credible information.”

 

Also see:

 

 


 

ResearcherAddedToWord-July2016

 


 

 

 

 

Prisons, a new frontier for edtech? — from online-educa.com

Excerpt:

Edtech is furthering the reaches of education, which is now available to more people in more remote areas for less money as a result. MOOCs from leading universities around the world have reached thousands of learners in developing countries. But for one demographic, even in the most developed countries, these benefits have not been felt. Mobilising tech to teach people behind bars will reduce the risk of prisoners reoffending, hence reducing the burden on prisons. It will also help prisoners to contribute to society productively when they are set free. Recently, slowly, this is starting to change.

The benefits of education and computer-assisted learning in prisons were laid out in 2013 through a frequently cited RAND report. Edovo CEO, Brian Hill describes this potential as “by far the greatest shift in corrections and the most significant step forward” for prison education.

 

Uploaded on Jul 21, 2016

 

Description:
A new wave of compute technology -fueled by; big data analytics, the internet of things, augmented reality and so on- will change the way we live and work to be more immersive and natural with technology in the role as partner.

 

 

Also see:

Excerpt:

We haven’t even scratched the surface of the things technology can do to further human progress.  Education is the next major frontier.  We already have PC- and smartphone-enabled students, as well as tech-enabled classrooms, but the real breakthrough will be in personalized learning.

Every educator divides his or her time between teaching and interacting.  In lectures they have to choose between teaching to the smartest kid in the class or the weakest.  Efficiency (and reality) dictates that they must teach to the theoretical median, meaning some students will be bored and some will still struggle.  What if a digital assistant could step in to personalize the learning experience for each student, accelerating the curriculum for the advanced students and providing greater extra support for those that need more help?  The digital assistant could “sense” and “learn” that Student #1 has already mastered a particular subject and “assign” more advanced materials.  And it could provide additional work to Student #2 to ensure that he or she was ready for the next subject.  Self-paced learning to supplant and support classroom learning…that’s the next big advancement.

 

 

 

 

DanielChristian-NeedForMoreTrimTabGroupsHE-July2016

 

The need for more “Trim Tab Groups” in higher education — from evolllution.com by Daniel Christian

Excerpt:

So to apply this concept to the world of higher education: what higher education institutions need to develop these days are those smaller, nimbler groups that can innovate and experiment with a variety of things. Those smaller groups can then hand over to the larger organization—or to a brand new branch of the existing organization—what is successful and is showing promise. Then the smaller, nimbler group can move onto something else.

By forming Trim Tab Groups throughout higher education, we gain the capacity to experiment with relatively small projects that will ultimately have much larger impacts on the institutions and the learners that those institutions serve.

 

trim-tab

 

 

As such, many segments of higher education must adapt and change—or risk servicing far fewer learners over the next two to three decades, as they watch their customers head elsewhere. And then it’s a costly game of musical chairs for faculty and staff, as the larger organizations downsize.

— Daniel Christian

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
After seeing the items below, I couldn’t help but wonder…what are the learning-related implications/applications of chatbots?

  • For K-12
  • For higher ed?
  • For corporate training/L&D?

 


 

Nat Geo Kids’ T-Rex chatbot aims to ‘get into the mindset of readers’ — from digiday.com by Lucinda Southern

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

It seems even extinction doesn’t stop you from being on Facebook Messenger.

National Geographic Kids is the latest publisher to try out chatbots on the platform. Tina the T-Rex, naturally, is using Messenger to teach kids about dinosaurs over the summer break, despite a critical lack of opposable thumbs.

Despite being 65 million years old, Tina is pretty limited in her bot capabilities; she can answer from a pre-programmed script, devised by tech company Rehab Studio and tweaked by Chandler, on things like dinosaur diet and way of life.

 

 

Also see:

 

HolographicStorytellingJWT-June2016

HolographicStorytellingJWT-2-June2016

 

Holographic storytelling — from jwtintelligence.com by Jade Perry

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The stories of Holocaust survivors are brought to life with the help of interactive 3D technologies.

New Dimensions in Testimony’ is a new way of preserving history for future generations. The project brings to life the stories of Holocaust survivors with 3D video, revealing raw first-hand accounts that are more interactive than learning through a history book.

Holocaust survivor Pinchas Gutter, the first subject of the project, was filmed answering over 1000 questions, generating approximately 25 hours of footage. By incorporating natural language processing from Conscience Display, viewers were able to ask Gutter’s holographic image questions that triggered relevant responses.

 

 

 

Love this VR of a classroom lesson – 7 uses that really takes you there — from donaldclarkplanb.blogspot.com by Donald Clark

Excerpt:

I received a fascinating link via Twitter from Chris Edwards, a Deputy Head in Surrey, who was interested in views on his experiment with a 360 camera and VR. In the 360 degree video, Mike Kent, a Geography teacher, delivers a great lesson and you can look round the entire room as students and teacher move around, get things done, interact with the teacher and go through a Q&A session. It is fascinating. They’re using this approach for lesson observations allowing the teacher, or their colleagues, to watch it back in full Virtual Reality. This gives the teacher a view of themselves, from the student’s point of view, as well as observe ‘everything’ that happens in the classroom. It made me think of different possibilities…..

 

Good lessons by great teachers must surely be worth viewing by novice teachers. The rich set of processes, actions, behaviours, body language and interactions that go into a great lesson are complex, wonderfully captured in this example and could be done on any subject. A bank of such lessons would be far more useful than dry lesson plans.

 

From DSC:
Donald covers a range of ideas including using these 360 degree cameras and VR in regards to addressing:

  1. Exemplar lessons
  2. Teacher training in school
  3. Behaviour training
  4. Students
  5. Parents
  6. Class layout
  7. Research

 

Also see:
(You can turn around/view the entire room and somewhat move about the space by zooming in and out):

bubl-in-classroom-july2016

 

Also see:

bubl-july2016

 

 

 

The top 10 emerging technologies of 2016 — from visualcapitalist.com by Jeff Desjardins

Excerpt:

  1. Nanosensors and the Internet of Nanothings is one of the most exciting areas of science today. Tiny sensors that are circulated in the human body or construction materials will be able to relay information and diagnostics to the outside world. This will have an impact on medicine, architecture, agriculture, and drug manufacturing.
  2. Next Generation Batteries are helping to eliminate one of the biggest obstacles with renewable energy, which is energy storage. Though not commercially available yet, this area shows great promise – and it is something we are tracking in our five-part Battery Series.
  3. The Blockchain had investment exceeding $1 billion in 2015. The blockchain ecosystem is evolving rapidly and will change the way banking, markets, contracts, and governments work.
  4. 2d Materials such as graphene will have an impact in a variety of applications ranging from air and water filters to batteries and wearable technology.
  5. Autonomous Vehicles are here, and the potential impact is huge. While there are still a few problems to overcome, driverless cars will save lives, cut pollution, boost economies, and improve the quality of life for people.
  6. Organs-on-Chips, which are tiny models of human organs, are making it easier for scientists to test drugs and conduct medical research.
  7. Petrovskite Solar Cells are making photovoltaic cells easier to make and more efficient. They also allow cells to be used virtually anywhere.
  8. Open AI Ecosystem will allow for smart digital assistants in the cloud that will be able to advise us on finance, health, or even fashion.
  9. Optogenetics, or the use of light and color to record activity in the brain, could help lead to better treatment of brain disorders.
  10. Systems Metabolic Engineering will allow for building block chemicals to be built with plants more efficiently than can be done with fossil fuels.

 

OpenAIEcosystem-July2016

 

 

 

Why IT leaders should pay attention to augmented reality — from gartner.com by Heather Pemberton Levy

Excerpt:

Business will be a leading use case for AR over the next several years. An example is DHL’s use of wearables and AR in a warehouse pilot program to achieve improvement in the picking process. Other AR apps allow for automatic sign translation, or in a hands-busy environment, technicians can get equipment maintenance instructions through their HMDs while keeping focused on the task at hand.

 

SWG_AR2-01

 

“Virtual reality (VR) and AR capabilities will merge with the digital mesh to form a more seamless system of devices capable of orchestrating a flow of information that comes to the user as hyperpersonalized and relevant apps and services,” said Mr. Blau. “Integration across multiple mobile, wearable, IoT and sensor-rich environments (the digital mesh) will extend immersive applications beyond isolated and single-person experiences. Rooms and spaces will become active with things, and their connection through the mesh will appear and work in conjunction with immersive virtual worlds. “

 

 

From DSC:
I would add those working in higher education to this as well — as well as vendors working on education-related solutions.

 

 

 

The new Google Arts & Culture, on exhibit now’  — from googleblog.blogspot.com

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Just as the world’s precious artworks and monuments need a touch-up to look their best, the home we’ve built to host the world’s cultural treasures online needs a lick of paint every now and then. We’re ready to pull off the dust sheets and introduce the new Google Arts & Culture website and app, by the Google Cultural Institute. The app lets you explore anything from cats in art since 200 BCE to the color red in Abstract Expressionism, and everything in between. Our new tools will help you discover works and artifacts, allowing you to immerse yourself in cultural experiences across art, history and wonders of the world—from more than a thousand museums across 70 countries…

 

Also see:

Google’s new app isn’t the next best thing to the Louvre. It might be better
Google Arts & Culture turns art from all over the world into a meta museum.

 

 

 

 
© 2017 | Daniel Christian