Don’t force square-peg students back into wrong-shaped holes — from crpe.org by Robin Lake Paul Hill

But what gets lost in the reopening debate is the growing evidence that a significant portion of students and their families are actually happier and learn better outside of traditional schooling.

Excerpt:

Some of the “square-peg” children are the most creative and bright students in their class, but had struggled academically or socially in the traditional classroom. According to informal surveys of parents and teachers, new approaches to learning are benefiting:

  • Students with special needs, like ADHD or autism, who focus better on learning without disruptions from other kids, and who—when learning from home—can take breaks and calm themselves when needed, not just when the classroom schedule permits.
  • Students who didn’t speak up or ask questions in regular classrooms for fear of being mocked, but are now able to send private questions to teachers or make written contributions.
  • Socially-awkward or otherwise different kids who experienced bullying.
  • Kids who best learn from small-group instruction.
  • Students who have mastered all the regular class material and are motivated to learn advanced materials and explore on their own.
  • Students who learn best by hearing about a new idea and then quickly practicing or applying it on their own.

From DSC:
One of our daughters needs a team of people around her to help her learn and grow. The one-size-fits-all, the-train-stops-for-no-one type of educational system that she often encountered did not work well for her.

K-12 education in America is like a quickly-moving train that stops for no one.

Homeschooling has seen her grow a lot more. She even has her own blog now — and she’s excited about it! She loves reading and writing — and she’s very creative (albeit her writing gets pretty dark at times. But come to think of it…my second-grade teacher thought that my friend Andrew’s and my 38-page book with vampires, witches, and werewolves was pretty morbid too!)

 

 

An important distance learning resource for teachers, students, & parents — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

Wide Open School (WOS) is a platform developed by the leading non-profit for kids and families Common Sense media. WOS provides access to a wide range of resources designed specifically to help enhance the quality of distance learning. The work of Wide Open School is a fruit of a partnership with more than 80 leading educational organizations and services including Kahoot, Google, Khan Academy, National Geographic, PBS, Scholastic, Smithsonian, TED Ed, and many more.

 

Also see:

The work of Wide Open School is a fruit of a partnership with more than 80 leading educational organizations and services including Kahoot, Google, Khan Academy, National Geographic, PBS, Scholastic, Smithsonian, TED Ed, and many more.

 

Jeff Bezos Wants to Go to the Moon. Then, Public Education. — from edsurge.com by Dominik Dresel

Excerpts:

Jeff Bezos’ $2 billion investment to establish a Montessori-inspired network of preschools may be shrugged off by many as the world’s richest man dabbling in another playground. Instead, we should see it for what it is: the early days of Amazon’s foray into public education.

It would be easy to think that Amazon’s rapid expansion into industry after industry is just the natural, opportunistic path of a cash-flush company seeking to invest in new, lucrative markets. But Jeff Bezos, himself a graduate of a Montessori preschool, doesn’t think in short-term opportunities.

Yet, the world has had its first taste of the disentanglement of schooling from school buildings. Even though in 20 years we will still have school buildings—much like we still have bookstores—there is little doubt that the future will see more, not less, online instruction and content delivery.

 

 

Building a Learner-Centered Ecosystem -- from the Strada Education Network

Strada Institute identified five key pillars these lifelong learners will need from an education and training system designed for them:

  1. It has to be easy to navigate.
  2. Supports are needed to help learners balance their lives.
  3. Targeted education should lead to a job.
  4. Hiring practices must be transparent and fair.
  5. Students must be able to earn while learning.

Also see:

Are we ready for this? — from stradaeducation.org by Andrew Pelesh
Preparing the Education-Workforce System for the 100-Year Career

 

Thank you LORD for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.!!!

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Excerpt:

[Dr.] King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The campaign for a federal holiday in King’s honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed three years later. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

 

Microsoft Education offers a free tutoring service to help students with their math problems — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

In today’s post I want to bring to your attention this interesting math resource from Microsoft Education called Tutoring Experts. As its name indicates, Tutoring Experts allows students to seek help with their math problems from tutors that are available 24/7.

Also see:

Get instant math help from expert tutors.

From DSC:
One wonders if there aren’t some opportunities here for more online-based tutoring services. Perhaps graduates from schools of education will move more towards this type of thing…

Perhaps the online-based materials in the future will have a question mark “?” icon that instantly connects to that service’s teachers, professors, trainers, pastors, and/or other SMEs. Or perhaps this type of thing is already there…I’m not sure.

 

Best Online Educational Games for High School Students — from edtechreview.in by Saniya Khan

Excerpt:

…the introduction of educational games to kids helps increase their motivation and engagement, enhance visual skills, improve students’ interaction and collaboration abilities with their peers, and apply gaming values in a real-world situation; most importantly, it improves learning.

Learning Apps For Kids To Explore in 2021 — from edtechreview.in by Priyanka Gupta

Excerpt:

Living in a digital era and in times when technology has kept education going, let’s look at some promising learning apps for kids to explore in 2021.

 

 

A Record Year Amid a Pandemic: US Edtech Raises $2.2 Billion in 2020 — from edsurge.com by Tony Wan

Excerpts:

In 2020, U.S. education technology startups raised over $2.2 billion in venture and private equity capital across 130 deals, according to the EdSurge edtech funding database. That’s a nearly 30 percent increase from the $1.7 billion invested in 2019, which was spread across 105 deals.


Largest US Edtech Funding Deals in 2020


 

 

CuriosityStream: The streaming service for people who love to learn.

Start the New Year off Right With Thought Provoking Content From CuriosityStream — from futurism.com
It’s the streaming service for people who love to learn.

Excerpt:

With the arrival of the New Year, it’s time to make your New Year’s resolutions. And if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to learn more about the world and its wonders, you’re in luck. CuriosityStream is a streaming service for people who love to learn. It hosts numerous award-winning, thought-provoking educational content covering history, science, technology, and sports. Offering everything from documentaries about the Declaration of Independence to the life of an oak tree, CuriosityStream is guaranteed to transform your binge-watching habit into an entertaining educational experience. And best of all, CuriosityStream offers a “sneak peek” so you can sample everything CuriosityStream has to offer.

Also see:

CuriosityStream is a streaming service for people who love to learn

CuriosityStream is a streaming service for people who love to learn

From DSC:
While I haven’t used this service, I find it incredibly interesting! So while I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the content, it reminds me of the Learning from the Living [Class] Room vision.

Learning from the Living Class Room vision

 

From DSC:
Videoconferencing vendors out there:

  • Have you done any focus group tests — especially within education — with audio-based or digital video-based versions of emoticons?
    .
  • So instead of clicking on an emoticon as feedback, one could also have some sound effects or movie clips to choose from as well!
    .

To the videoconferencing vendors out there -- could you give us what DJ's have access to?

I’m thinking here of things like DJ’s might have at their disposal. For example, someone tells a bad joke and you hear the drummer in the background:

Or a team loses the spelling-bee word, and hears:

Or a professor wants to get the classes attention as they start their 6pm class:

I realize this could backfire big time…so it would have to be an optional feature that a teacher, professor, trainer, pastor, or a presenter could turn on and off. (Could be fun for podcasters too!)

It seems to me that this could take
engagement to a whole new level!

 

Could AI-based techs be used to develop a “table of contents” for the key points within lectures, lessons, training sessions, sermons, & podcasts? [Christian]

From DSC:
As we move into 2021, the blistering pace of emerging technologies will likely continue. Technologies such as:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) — including technologies related to voice recognition
  • Blockchain
  • Augment Reality (AR)/Mixed Reality (MR)/Virtual Reality (VR) and/or other forms of Extended Reality (XR)
  • Robotics
  • Machine-to-Machine Communications (M2M) / The Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Drones
  • …and other things will likely make their way into how we do many things (for better or for worse).

Along the positive lines of this topic, I’ve been reflecting upon how we might be able to use AI in our learning experiences.

For example, when teaching in face-to-face-based classrooms — and when a lecture recording app like Panopto is being used — could teachers/professors/trainers audibly “insert” main points along the way? Similar to something like we do with Siri, Alexa, and other personal assistants (“Heh Siri, _____ or “Alexa, _____).

Like an audible version of HTML -- using the spoken word to insert the main points of a presentation or lecture

(Image purchased from iStockphoto)

.

Pretend a lecture, lesson, or a training session is moving right along. Then the professor, teacher, or trainer says:

  • “Heh Smart Classroom, Begin Main Point.”
  • Then speaks one of the main points.
  • Then says, “Heh Smart Classroom, End Main Point.”

Like a verbal version of an HTML tag.

After the recording is done, the AI could locate and call out those “main points” — and create a table of contents for that lecture, lesson, training session, or presentation.

(Alternatively, one could insert a chime/bell/some other sound that the AI scans through later to build the table of contents.)

In the digital realm — say when recording something via Zoom, Cisco Webex, Teams, or another application — the same thing could apply. 

Wouldn’t this be great for quickly scanning podcasts for the main points? Or for quickly scanning presentations and webinars for the main points?

Anyway, interesting times lie ahead!

 

 

The 12/31/20 EIEIO from Michael Moe 

The 12/31/20 EIEIO from Michael Moe 

Excerpts:

The 10 Megatrends Shaping Our World

  1. Knowledge Economy
  2. Global Silicon Valley 
  3. Digitization
  4. Smart Everything
  5. HomeWork
    The Office has become optional but the Zoom Room has become essential. 88% of companies encouraged or required employees to work from home during the pandemic. A near term problem that is rapidly being solved is that only 1 in 4 people are set up currently to work efficiently from home but 99% of employees say they like that option. Overall, due to reducing commutes, office distractions etc., productivity on average rose for most knowledge workers up to 20% greater.It is expected that many knowledge workers will continue to work from home even post the pandemic.
  6. Winner Take All
  7. Data King
  8. Sustainability
  9. Everything is a Subscription
  10. Mission Corp

 

 

EdSurge Reflects On a Year of Pandemic-Era Education Journalism — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey Young, Rebecca Koenig and Tony Wan

Excerpts:

[Wan] It has never been a better time to be in education. It has also never been a worse time to be in education.

Which is it for you?

The answer depends on where you are in this ecosystem.

[Koenig] If I didn’t know before, I do now: Education is not merely the transmission of knowledge. It is experiences shared and relationships nurtured among people who have not only brains, but also bodies and spirits. Lungs vulnerable to viruses and eyes to screen fatigue. Hearts susceptible to fear and grief and doubt and loneliness.

[Young] There will probably be lessons from all the forced experimentation. But during 2020, there was little time for reflection, only a push to turn in something that looked as much like a college experience as possible.

 

5 Educational Concepts to Eliminate in 2021 — from principalsdesk.org by David Franklin

Excerpts:

Here are 5 educational concepts we need to eliminate in 2021. 

  1. Not Valuing 1-to-1 Devices for All Students
  2. Brick and Mortar Districts Not Offering a Virtual Learning Option
  3. Not Having Technology Use a Part of Teacher Evaluations
  4. Teachers Using Old, Outdated Technology
  5. Measuring Instructional Rigor By Seat Time
 

Interleaving: How Mixed Practice Can Boost Learning— from effectiviology.com

Excerpt:

Interleaving is a learning technique that involves mixing together different topics or forms of practice, in order to facilitate learning. For example, if a student uses interleaving while preparing for an exam, they can mix up different types of questions, rather than study only one type of question at a time.

Interleaving, which is sometimes referred to as mixed practice or varied practice, is contrasted with blocked practice (sometimes referred to as specific practice), which involves focusing on only a single topic or form of practice at a time.

Also see:

 Also see:

Excerpts:

Interleaving boosts learning by mixing up closely related topics, encouraging discrimination between similarities and differences. (Agarwal & Bain, p. 14)

It’s “re-arranging the order of retrieval opportunities during spacing without changing the content to be learned.”  It’s mixing up concepts. (Agarwal & Bain, pgs. 106-107).

Consider this basic example of practice problems in any math course:

Problem Set 1: AAAA BBBB CCCC DDDD [i.e., blocked practice]
Problem Set 2: ABCD BCAD DBAC CBDA [i.e., interleaved practice]

Both have the same practice problems, but they’ve been re-arranged. If letters represented addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, the students need to be able to choose and retrieve the appropriate strategy — vs. plug-and-chug without thinking about which strategy to use.

Also see:
retrievalpractice.org/interleaving

 

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian