A new report from Silicon Schools: All that we've learned: 5 years working on personalized learning -- Cover of report

 

A new report from Silicon Schools: All that we've learned: 5 years working on personalized learning

 

 

 

“Personalized learning seeks to accelerate student learning by tailoring the instructional environment — what, when, how, and where students learn — to address the individual needs, skills, and interests of each student. Students can take ownership of their own learning, while also developing deep, personal connections with each other, their teachers, and other adults.”

 

 

 

A new report from Silicon Schools: All that we've learned: 5 years working on personalized learning

 

WE’VE ALWAYS HAD FOUR STRONG BELIEFS:

  1. Students’ ownership of their learning is critical to long-term success.
  2. When it comes to learning, students should get more of what they need exactly when they need it.
  3. Ensuring equity requires getting each student what he or she needs to succeed.
  4. It is possible to redesign schools to work much better for students and teachers.

 

 

 

 

We do not believe that there is yet definitive proof that personalized learning works better than other models. Ultimately, we hope that personalized learning will improve life outcomes for students, with clear evidence to support its efficacy. In the interim, we look to traditional academic measures (e.g. state assessments or assessments like NWEA MAP), to provide early signs of the efficacy of personalized learning.

Despite the lack of conclusive proof, there are two important data sets that we find compelling. First, RAND conducted a study of 11,000 students and 62 personalized learning schools nationally and found that “students made significant gains in mathematics and reading overall, and in elementary and middle schools [1].” More recently, RAND published the third of its studies of personalized learning. It again found statistically significant gains in math, however, the effect size had decreased notably [2].

 

Technology Moves to the Head of the 21st Century Classroom — from technologyreview.com

 

Tomorrow’s jobs will demand collaborative workers steeped in hands-on problem solving. To that end, digital learning is leveling the playing field for far-flung disadvantaged students who previously would have had no chance to be part of this new workforce, as well as boosting the skills of students and workers closer to home. Cloud, virtualization, and software-defined networking—along with consumer electronic devices—are among the many advanced technologies enabling this development.

 

Excerpt:

The potent combination of globalization and digital transformation is upending the requirements for tomorrow’s workforce, underscoring the need for programs like the VMware-powered curriculum at the LEAP school. Such digital learning initiatives shift emphasis away from rote book- and lecture-style teaching to interactive experiences focused on collaboration, personalized content, and hands-on problem solving. The ability to leverage core IT infrastructure such as virtualized servers, networking, and storage, in concert with mobile technology, enables students in remote communities from Diepsloot to rural America to participate in digital learning experiences to which they previously had no access.

New learning prototypes are critical as the accelerated pace of change disrupts traditional business models and creates new 21st century jobs that demand different skill sets. According to a World Economic report, 35 percent of core workplace skills will change between 2015 and 2020, with complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration in high demand. At the same time, the report found that 65 percent of children entering primary school today will end up working in jobs that don’t currently exist, underscoring the need for new skills training using hands-on and exploratory learning techniques.

 

 

 

 

Summer 2017 Human++ — fromcambridge.nuvustudio.com
Human-Machine Intelligence, Hacking Drones, Bio Fashion, Augmented Video Games, Aerial Filmmaking, Smart Tools, Soft Robotics and more!

Excerpt:

NuVu is a place where young students grow their spirit of innovation. They use their curiosity and creativity to explore new ideas, and make their concepts come to life through our design process. Our model is based on the architecture studio model, and every Summer we use imaginative themes to frame two-week long Studios in which students dive into hands-on design, engineering, science, technology, art and more!

 

 

ISNS students embrace learning in a world of virtual reality — from by

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

To give students the skills needed to thrive in an ever more tech-centred world, the International School of Nanshan Shenzhen (ISNS) is one of the world’s first educational facilities now making instruction in virtual reality (VR) and related tools a key part of the curriculum.

Building on a successful pilot programme last summer in Virtual Reality, 3D art and animation, the intention is to let students in various age groups experiment with the latest emerging technologies, while at the same time unleashing their creativity, curiosity and passion for learning.

To this end, the school has set up a special VR innovation lab, conceived as a space for exploration, design and interdisciplinary collaboration involving a number of different subject teachers.

Using relevant software and materials, students learn to create high-quality digital content and to design “experiences” for VR platforms. In this “VR Lab makerspace” – a place offering the necessary tools, resources and support – they get to apply concepts and theories learned in the classroom, develop practical skills, document their progress, and share what they have learned with classmates and other members of the tech education community. 

 

 

As a next logical step, she is also looking to develop contacts with a number of the commercial makerspaces which have sprung up in Shenzhen. The hope is that students will then be able to meet engineers working on cutting-edge innovations and understand the latest developments in software, manufacturing, and areas such as laser cutting, and 3D printing, and rapid prototyping.  

 

 

 

The freelance economy: Top trends to watch in 2017 — from blog.linkedin.com

Excerpt:

Freelancers now account for nearly 35% of the U.S. workforce and the trend is only picking up speed with more professionals opting to create their own jobs in lieu of more traditional full-time employment.

As we head into the new year, we want to shed a bit more light on this burgeoning sector of the workforce. What kind of location, industry and demographic trends are surfacing among the freelance professionals of 2016? You might not know, for example, that a whopping 40% of our freelancers are concentrated in just four states: California, Texas, Florida and New York. Or that more senior men are most likely to take the leap into freelancing.

The time is ripe to be a freelancer in America so we’re revealing insider insights like these to help you learn more about this trending profession. Check out the report below – gleaned from a survey of more than 9,500 of our ProFinder professionals – to see what we discovered.

 

From DSC:
Besides the workforce moving towards the increased use of freelancers, the pace of change has moved from being more linear in nature to more of an exponential trajectory.

 

 

 

Some important questions, therefore, to ask are: 

  • Are our students ready to enter this type of workplace? 
  • Can they pivot quickly?
  • Do they know how to learn and are they ready to be lifelong learners? (Do they like learning enough to continue to pursue it? Peoples’ overall quality of life would be much higher if they enjoyed learning, rather than be forced to do so in order to keep the bread and butter on their tables.)
  • Are they able to communicate in a variety of ways?
  • How are their customer service skills coming along?
  • How are their problem-solving skills coming along?
  • Do they know how to maintain their businesses’ books and do their taxes?
  • Are they digitally literate and do they have an appreciation for the pluses and minuses of technology?

I sure hope so…but I have my serious doubts. That said, many institutions/organizations representing K-12 and higher education are not doing a great job of innovating either. Though there certainly exists some strong pockets of innovation in some of our institutions out there — and the ability to pivot — taken as a whole, our institutions and organizations haven’t been as responsive, nimble, and innovative as our students need them to be.

After all, we are trying to prepare students for their futures (with the externality effect being that we, too, will also be better prepared for that future).

 

 

 

nmc-digitalliteracyreport-oct2016

 

The New Media Consortium (NMC) has released Digital Literacy: An NMC Horizon Project Strategic Brief in conjunction with the 2016 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference.

In analyzing the progress and gaps in this area, the NMC’s report has identified a need for higher education leaders and technology companies to prioritize students as makers, learning through the act of content creation rather than mere consumption. Additionally, the publication recommends that colleges and universities establish productive collaborations with industry, government, and libraries to provide students with access to the latest technologies and tools.

Based on the variety and complexity of these results, NMC cannot identify just one model of digital literacy. Instead three different digital literacies are now evident, each with distinct standards, potential curriculum, and implications for creative educators.

 

digitallits-nmc-oct2016

 

 

The aim of this publication is to establish a shared vision of digital literacy for higher education leaders by illuminating key definitions and models along with best practices and recommendations for implementing successful digital literacy initiatives.

 

 

To be digitally literate, you need to be:
fluent at critical thinking,
collaborating,
being creative, and
problem-solving in
digital environments.

 

 

Computer science and digital media classes can instruct on everything from office productivity applications to programming and video editing, for example.  Sociology courses can teach interpersonal actions online, such as the ethics and politics of social network interaction, while psychology and business classes can focus on computer-mediated human interaction. Government and political science classes are clearly well equipped to explore the intersection of digital technology and citizenship mentioned above. Communication, writing, and  literature classes have the capacity to instruct students on producing digital content in the form of stories, arguments, personal expression, posters, and more. 

 

 

 

From DSC:
If faculty members aren’t asking students to create multimedia in their assignments and/or take part in online/digitally-based means of communications and learning, the vast majority of the students won’t (and don’t) care about digital literacy…it’s simply not relevant to them: “Whatever gets me the grade, that’s what I’ll do. But no more.”

This type of situation/perspective is quite costly.  Because once students graduate from college, had they built up some solid digital literacy — especially the “creative literacy” mentioned above — they would be in much better shape to get solid jobs, and prosper at those jobs. They would be much better able to craft powerful communications — and reach a global audience in doing so. They would have honed their creativity, something increasingly important as the onward march of AI, robotics, algorithms, automation, and such continues to eat away at many types of jobs (that don’t really need creative people working in them).

This is an important topic, especially as digitally-based means of communication continue to grow in their usage and impact.

 

 

Part of digital literacy is not just understanding how a tool works but also why it is useful in the real world and when to use it.

 

 

 

 

5 essential skills you need to keep your job in the next 10 years — from fastcompany.com by Gwen Moran
Automation may affect half of jobs. Here are five areas to develop to keep yourself employed.

Excerpts/quotes (emphasis DSC):

  1. Trendspotting
  2. Collaborating in new ways
  3. Building brands—even as employees
  4. Learning next-level technology
  5. Developing your emotional intelligence

 

  • Trendspotting
    With the workplace changing so quickly, it’s essential to develop systems to not only monitor those changes, but to distill the information and training you’ll need to keep up with them. That means staying abreast of industry developments, taking classes, attending trade events, and following thought leaders who are talking about your sector. It also means being observant about the day-to-day tasks and functions that matter and how they’re changing, separating anomalies from trends.
  • Looking for the next changes and remaining ahead of the curve in learning about them will be essential to remaining among the most marketable employees.
  • In addition, following trends and thought leadership in your own sector and ensuring that your skills are staying up to date will also play a role.
  • …remaining employable will require embracing rather than eschewing tech changes
  • Pay attention to what’s happening in the most advanced workplaces in your field and prepare. That way, you’ll be ahead of the game when the changes come to you.

 

 

From DSC:
It is great to see an article that encourages trendspotting, being aware of what’s happening in the world around us, and looking upwards/into the horizons as key skills!  Given the pace of change, this is becoming critical for people to do — otherwise, we risk being blindsided by changes — by incoming “waves” of change — that we didn’t see coming. We don’t want to be tapped on the shoulder, personally escorted to that conference room with all of the windows having cardboard on them, and then be let go…to our utter shock and dismay.

 

Laid Off Get Back On Track

Image from:
ttp://www.careerealism.com/laid-off-get-back-immediately/

 

This also means that we should be teaching more about trendspotting and futurism in K-20.

 

Further questions/thoughts:

  • Will our students be able to pivot? To reinvent themselves? To practice lifelong learning?
    .
  • Will our students have the ability to peer into the horizons and be able to ascertain potential scenarios and directions that could impact them? Will they have the problem solving skills to plan for potential plans of action to address these scenarios?
    .
  • Does each of us have an effective learning ecosystem that is robust enough — and up-to-date — that will help us adapt, learn, and grow?

 

 

 
 

HarveyMuddJan2016-FlippedClassroomSTEM

 

Example slides from one of the presentations at the Flipped Classroom Conference 2016
[Held at Harvey Mudd College in January; with special thanks to Mr. Jeremy VanAntwerp,
Professor of Engineering at Calvin College for this resource]

 

HarveyMuddJan2016-FlippedClassroomSTEM-Slide

 

HarveyMuddJan2016-FlippedClassroomSTEM-Slide2

HarveyMuddJan2016-FlippedClassroomSTEM-Slide3

 

HarveyMuddJan2016-FlippedClassroomSTEM-Slide4

 

 

Three reasons for switching to flipped learning — from rtalbert.org by Robert Talbert, Mathematics Professor at Grand Valley State University in Michigan [USA]

Excerpt:

  1. The argument from pedagogy: We use flipped learning because it puts the best-known/best-available practices for teaching and learning in the spotlight, including active learning of all kinds, student-centered instruction, constructivist techniques, differentiated instruction, spaced repetition, Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development idea, self-regulated learning, and the like. Whereas these things can be featured in a traditional classroom but it feels unnatural, like the wrong tool for the job.
  2. The argument from logistics
  3. The argument from relationships

 

 

Peer instruction for active learning — by Harvard University Prof. Eric Mazur on difficulties of beginners, teaching each other, and making sense of information

 

EricMazur-ActiveLearningSpeechSep2014-2

 

Also see Eric’s presentation out at Auburn University from back in September 2014:

EricMazur-ActiveLearningSpeechSep2014

 

 

Why are we so slow to change the way we teach? — from facultyfocus.com by Maryellen Weimer, PhD

Excerpt:

However, lecture isn’t the only example of where we’re slow to change. Many aspects of teaching—course design, approaches to testing, assignments, and grading—have also changed little. Granted, some faculty do change, a lot and regularly, but not the majority. The question is, “Why?” Here are some possibilities I’ve been considering.

 

 

 

Crafting questions that drive projects — from learninginhand.com by Tony Vincent

Excerpt:

Not only does project based learning motivate students because it is an authentic use of technology, it facilitates active learning, critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity. Projects begin with a driving question—an open-ended question that sets the stage for the project by creating interest and curiosity. Writing an effective driving question is surprisingly challenging. You want the question to be intriguing and irresistible to students, which makes it very different from the typical questions they encounter on tests.

A Driving Force
Like many educators, I call the “mission statement” of a project a driving question.  It captures the heart of the project by providing purpose using clear and compelling language. With so many different flavors of project based learning (including problem based learning, challenge based learning, student centered learning, exploration, student driven inquiry, and authentic learning), it’s not surprising that we have a variety of other terms for a question or statement that is the project’s driving force. These terms include essential question, challenge, prime question, WILD HOG question, focus question, and smart question. I’ll stick with driving question, but do know that sometimes the driving question is not interrogative. It might be a statement, but I’ll still refer to is as a question.

 

 

 

 

Literacy help: Alan Peat story bags – How to develop story writing and literacy skills in younger children. — from hubpages.com

Excerpt:

There is no getting away from the fact that the more a child has been read to and the more they try to read themselves then the better their literacy skills are going to be. Parents have a massive influence on this. As a parent myself I considered reading to and teaching my daughter to read the one most important thing I could do to aid her life at school.

Sadly this is not always the case and too many students we teach read rarely at home or in rare cases don’t even own a book. Sad I know and to be honest I can’t imagine a house without books in it. I jokingly refer to my daughters collection ‘her library’ because she has so many which are updated as she reads through them.

But lets be fair, it is not only the students who struggle with reading that need help with story writing. A lot of students will benefit from this approach including your high flyers. I have taught this in year 3, although i would consider it to be more a KS1 activity, but in year 3 they do need certain aspects of a KS1 curriculum to help there development as it is a hard transitional year. Saying that I have seen other teachers use it in higher years than that and why not if it will benefit their writing.


On the front of each bag, so every child can read it easily should be the questions:

  1. Who?
  2. Where?
  3. Where next?
  4. Why?
  5. What goes wrong?
  6. Who helps?
  7. Where last?
  8. Feelings?

 

 

Simple tips to create a blended learning classroom — from blog.edmentum.com by Jasmine Auger

Excerpt:

We’ve compiled this list of five easy ways to start incorporating technology into your classroom and building a blended environment!

Blogging
Social Media
Virtual Presentations
Infographics
Video

 

 

Other somewhat related items:

Full STEAM ahead: Why arts are essential in a STEM education — from edutopia.org by Mary Beth Hertz

Excerpt:

The connection is also obvious for anyone who has ever worked in any traditional STEM career. Everyone from software engineers and aerospace technicians to biotechnical engineers, professional mathematicians, and laboratory scientists knows that building great things and solving real problems requires a measure of creativity. More and more, professional artists themselves are incorporating technological tools and scientific processes to their art.

Also see: 
STEM to STEAM: Resources Toolkit — from edutopia.org | Originally Published: 5/21/14 | Updated: 1/20/16
Whether you are looking for resources on integrating science, technology, engineering, and math or on infusing the arts to transform STEM into STEAM, these curated compilations will help you plan different approaches to integrated studies.

…and a related item re: curriculum, but at the collegiate level:

 

What is the value of an education in the humanities? — from npr.org by Adam Frank

Excerpt:

In spite of being a scientist, I strongly believe an education that fails to place a heavy emphasis on the humanities is a missed opportunity. Without a base in humanities, both the students — and the democratic society these students must enter as informed citizens — are denied a full view of the heritage and critical habits of mind that make civilization worth the effort.

So, these are my traditional answers to the traditional questions about the value of humanities and arts education vs. science and engineering. From my standpoint as a scholar, I’ll stand by them and defend what they represent to the last breath.

But the world has changed and, I believe, these answers are no longer enough.

It’s not just the high cost of college that alters the equation. It’s also vast changes that have swept through society with the advent of a world run on information (i.e., on data). So, with that mind, here is my updated — beyond the traditional — response to the value of the humanities in education: The key is balance.

It is no longer enough for students to focus on either science/engineering or the humanities/arts.

 

Report from Davos: 5 million jobs to be lost by 2020 because of tech advances — from siliconbeat.com by Levi Sumagaysay

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

A new report predicts a loss of 5 million jobs in the next five years because of technological advances, but don’t blame it all on the robots.

The other culprits: artificial intelligence, 3-D printers and advances in genetics, biotech and more.

The World Economic Forum, which is holding its annual meeting in Davos this week, in its report details the effects of modern technology on the labor market, for better or for worse.  It says “the fourth industrial revolution” will be “more comprehensive and all-encompassing than anything we have ever seen.”

The report actually estimates a loss of 7 million jobs in 15 economies that today have 1.86 billion workers, or about 65 percent of the world’s workforce, but it also expects 2 million new jobs to be created.

 

From DSC:
If this turns out to be true, how should this affect our curricula?  What should we be emphasizing and seeking to build within our students?

 

 
© 2017 | Daniel Christian