The Top 20 Education Next Articles of 2018 — from educationnext.org

Excerpt:

Every December, Education Next releases a list of the most popular articles we published over the course of the year based on readership.

The article that generated the most interest this year was one that looked at the policy of inclusion, or mainstreaming, in special education. A response to that article was our third most popular article of the year.

Some other popular articles were studies finding that teachers’ impact on non-cognitive skills is 10 times more predictive of students’ longer-term success than teachers’ impact on test scores; an analysis of the effectiveness of instructional coaching for teachers instead of regular professional development; and a look at whether teacher preparation programs can be evaluated based on the learning gains of their graduates’ students.

Other articles collected data on public support for higher teacher pay and greater school spending, the decline in private school attendance by middle school families, and whether states are lowering their proficiency standards.

Here’s the list of 2018’s Top 20 articles…

 

 

Modern Learners 2018 Provocation of the Year — from modernlearners.com by Bruce Dixon

Excerpt:

In this context, provocation is therefore about deconstructing meanings and hidden agendas, challenging assumptions and seeking new ways of thinking not just about what we do, or how we do it, but most importantly, why we do what we do.

It is in this context that the choice for our 2018 Provocation of the Year came down to a single word… assessment.

 

 

“Indeed as one of the most prolific writers on the topic, Alfie Kohn suggested, ‘assessment should be an unobtrusive servant of teaching and learning.’ Now there’s a provocation to really start a vibrant conversation.“

 

From DSC:
First of all, an excerpt from an email from RetrievalPractice.org:

Last week, we talked about an activity we call Flash Forward. Simply ask your students these questions:

“Now that you’ve taken this class, what is one thing you want to remember 10 years from now (and why)?”

“How will you remember that one thing? What will you do to make sure you don’t forget?”

Second of all, the topic of remembering something 10 years from now (from some current learning) made me think about obtaining a long-term return on investment (ROI) from that learning.

In the online-based course that I’ve been teaching for a while now, I’m all about helping the students in my classes obtain long-term benefits from taking the class. Grades aren’t the key. The learning is the key!

The class is entitled, “Foundations of Information Technology” and I want them to be using the tools, technologies, services, and concepts (that we learned about) loooooong after they graduate from college! We work on things like RSS feeds, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress, building their network, building their personal brand, HTML/web design, Microsoft Excel, the Internet of Things and much more. I want them to be practicing those things, leveraging those tools, pulse-checking their surroundings, networking with others, serving others with their gifts, and building on the foundations that they put into place waaaay back in 201__.

 

 

 

Forecast 5.0 – The Future of Learning: Navigating the Future of Learning  — from knowledgeworks.org by Katherine Prince, Jason Swanson, and Katie King
Discover how current trends could impact learning ten years from now and consider ways to shape a future where all students can thrive.

 

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
This is where the quizzing features/tools within a Learning Management System such as Canvas, Moodle, Blackboard Learn, etc. are so valuable. They provide students with opportunities for low-stakes (or no-stakes) practice in retrieving information and to see if they are understanding things or not. Doing such formative assessments along the way can point out areas where they need further practice, as well as areas where the students are understanding things well (and only need an occasional question or two on that item in order to reduce the effects of the forgetting curve).

 

 

 

 

Teachers across America are obsessed with Google products — here’s how Apple and Microsoft plan to win them back — from businessinsider.com by Rachel Premack

Excerpt:

  • Google has taken over technology in the classroom from education stalwarts Microsoft and Apple.
  • That’s a valuable market to dominate. Ed tech is expected to hit $43 billion in value by 2019, just under half of which is based in K-12.
  • Chromebooks are cheaper than hardware from Microsoft and Apple, and Google’s classroom management software is a teacher favorite because of how easy it is to use.
  • Here’s what the two plan to do to take back some market share from Google.

 

 

 

 

 

100 voices of AR/VR in education — from virtualiteach.com

 

 

Ambitious VR experience restores 7,000 Roman buildings, monuments to their former glory  — from smithsonianmag.com by Meilan Solly
You can take an aerial tour of the city circa 320 A.D. or stop by specific sites for in-depth exploration

Excerpt:

Ever wish you could step into a hot air balloon, travel back in time to 320 A.D., and soar over the streets of Ancient Rome? Well, that oddly specific fantasy is achievable in a new virtual reality experience called “Rome Reborn.”

The ambitious undertaking, painstakingly built by a team of 50 academics and computer experts over a 22-year period, recreates 7,000 buildings and monuments scattered across a 5.5 square mile stretch of the famed Italian city. The project, according to Tom Kington of the Times, is being marketed as the largest digital reconstruction of Rome to date.


A snapshot from Rome Reborn

 

VR Isn’t a Novelty: Here’s How to Integrate it Into the Curriculum — from edsurge.com by Jan Sikorsky

Excerpt:

While the application of VR to core academics remains nascent, early returns are promising: research now suggests students retain more information and can better synthesize and apply what they have learned after participating in virtual reality exercises.

And the technology is moving within the reach of classroom teachers. While once considered high-end and cost-prohibitive, virtual reality is becoming more affordable. Discovery VR and Google Expeditions offer several virtual reality experiences for free. Simple VR viewers now come in relatively low-cost DIY cardboard view boxes, like Google Cardboard, that fit a range of VR-capable smartphones.

Still, teachers may remain unsure of how they might implement such cutting-edge technology in their classrooms. Their concerns are well founded. Virtual reality takes careful planning and implementation for success. It’s not simply plug-and-play technology. It also takes a lot of work to develop.


From DSC:

Reduced costs & greater development efficiencies needed here:

“In our case, to create just 10 minutes of simulation, a team of six developers logged almost 1,000 hours of development time.”

 

 

Unveiling RLab: the First-City Funded VR/AR Center in the Country Opens Doors at Brooklyn Navy Yard — from prnewswire.com
New York City’s Virtual and Augmented Reality Center Will Fuel Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Education, While Creating Hundreds of Well-Paying Jobs

Excerpt:

BROOKLYN, N.Y.Oct. 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME), the NYU Tandon School of Engineering and the Brooklyn Navy Yard today announced the launch of RLab – the first City-funded virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) lab in the country. Administered by NYU Tandon with a participating consortium of New York City universities, including Columbia UniversityCUNY and The New School, RLab will operate out of Building 22 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and will cement New York City’s status as a global leader in VR/AR, creating over 750 jobs in the industry.

 

 

New virtual reality lab at UNMC — from wowt.com

 

 

 

 

This VR-live actor mashup is like your best absinthe-fueled nightmare — from cnet.com by Joan Solsman
Chained, an immersive reimagining of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, weds virtual reality with a motion-capture live actor. Could it be the gateway that makes VR a hit?

 

 

Also see:

 

…and this as well:

 

See the results of a months-long effort to create a HoloLens experience that pays homage to Mont-Saint-Michel, in Normandy, France, in all its forms – as a physical relief map and work of art; as a real place visited by millions of people over the centuries; and as a remarkable digital story of resilience. In this three-part Today in Technology series, they examine how AI and mixed reality can open a new window into French culture by using technology like HoloLens.

 

 

 

Teachers urged to instill assignments with ‘choice and relevancy’ — from thejournal.com by Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

new report from the Education Trust looks at the role of two “powerful levers” — choice and relevancy — in motivating and engaging students. This national nonprofit works on issues that disproportionately affect students from low-income families and students of color. In its new paper the organization offered guidance to help educators bring relevancy to their assignments and give students “authentic choices.”

 

As they concluded, “When teachers consistently offer assignments that include choice in content, product or process, students will find the learning ownership needed to stay engaged and achieve at high levels.”

 

 

From DSC:
At this stage in life, my wife and I have one of our kids in high school…our son, who is now in his junior year. He is a very intelligent young man who wants to go into acting/drama/the theater. But he is a game player. He knows how the game is played and he plays it (most of the time). He can’t wait until the next phase of life because he views so much of his current education as being forced down his throat. Many of the topics that his courses deal with are things that he doesn’t care anything about. He would much rather study topics that HE wants to learn about.

He shared two recent examples with me:

  1. In his acting class, his acting teacher gave some of his own personal background and how he came to be where he is today; every eye and ear were open my son said…it was completely quiet in the room
  2. In his econ class, the teacher shared about the value of time on investing and gave some examples involving the growth of some investments over time; again, every eye and ear was open according to my son.

These were items of extreme relevance to those classes/audiences. And the students were paying attention, big time.

Also, when given more choice, students are apt to be much more engaged in their learning — even, perhaps, developing more of an actual enjoyment of learning.

Funny (but not really) how many times we hear of adults who later on went on to love learning…but they hated school.

 

 

 

 
 

Combining retrieval, spacing, and feedback boosts STEM learning — from retrievalpractice.org

Punchline:
Scientists demonstrated that when college students used a quizzing program that combined retrieval practice, spacing, and feedback, exam performance increased by nearly a letter grade.

—-

Abstract
The most effective educational interventions often face significant barriers to widespread implementation because they are highly specific, resource intense, and/or comprehensive. We argue for an alternative approach to improving education: leveraging technology and cognitive science to develop interventions that generalize, scale, and can be easily implemented within any curriculum. In a classroom experiment, we investigated whether three simple, but powerful principles from cognitive science could be combined to improve learning. Although implementation of these principles only required a few small changes to standard practice in a college engineering course, it significantly increased student performance on exams. Our findings highlight the potential for developing inexpensive, yet effective educational interventions that can be implemented worldwide.

In summary, the combination of spaced retrieval practice and required feedback viewing had a powerful effect on student learning of complex engineering material. Of course, the principles from cognitive science could have been applied without the use of technology. However, our belief is that advances in technology and ideas from machine learning have the potential to exponentially increase the effectiveness and impact of these principles. Automation is an important benefit, but technology also can provide a personalized learning experience for a rapidly growing, diverse body of students who have different knowledge and academic backgrounds. Through the use of data mining, algorithms, and experimentation, technology can help us understand how best to implement these principles for individual learners while also producing new discoveries about how people learn. Finally, technology facilitates access. Even if an intervention has a small effect size, it can still have a substantial impact if broadly implemented. For example, aspirin has a small effect on preventing heart attacks and strokes when taken regularly, but its impact is large because it is cheap and widely available. The synergy of cognitive science, machine learning, and technology has the potential to produce inexpensive, but powerful learning tools that generalize, scale, and can be easily implemented worldwide.

Keywords: Education. Technology. Retrieval practice. Spacing. Feedback. Transfer of learning.

 

 

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