My thanks to a friend for causing me to further reflect on this article: “Can computers ever replace the classroom?” [Beard]


From DSC:
I’d like to thank Mr. Eric Osterberg — a fraternity brother and friend of mine — for sending me the following article. I wrote back to him. After thanking Eric for the article, I said:

Such an article makes me reflect on things — which is always a good thing for me to try to see my blindspots and/or to think about the good and bad of things. Technologies are becoming more powerful and integrated into our lives — for better at times and for worse at other times.

I’m wondering how the legal realm can assist and/or help create a positive future for societies throughout the globe…any thoughts?


Can computers ever replace the classroom? — from theguardian.com by Alex Beard
With 850 million children worldwide shut out of schools, tech evangelists claim now is the time for AI education. But as the technology’s power grows, so too do the dangers that come with it. 

Excerpts:

But it’s in China, where President Xi Jinping has called for the nation to lead the world in AI innovation by 2030, that the fastest progress is being made. In 2018 alone, Li told me, 60 new AI companies entered China’s private education market. Squirrel AI is part of this new generation of education start-ups. The company has already enrolled 2 million student users, opened 2,600 learning centres in 700 cities across China, and raised $150m from investors.

The supposed AI education revolution is not here yet, and it is likely that the majority of projects will collapse under the weight of their own hype.

The point, in short, is that AI doesn’t have to match the general intelligence of humans to be useful – or indeed powerful. This is both the promise of AI, and the danger it poses.

It was a reminder that Squirrel AI’s platform, like those of its competitors worldwide, doesn’t have to be better than the best human teachers – to improve people’s lives, it just needs to be good enough, at the right price, to supplement what we’ve got. The problem is that it is hard to see technology companies stopping there. For better and worse, their ambitions are bigger. “We could make a lot of geniuses,” Li told me.

 

From DSC:
Below are some resources for teaching at home. And some of this (much of this?) is not typical homeschooling, just as much of what’s being done out there isn’t necessarily typical online-based learning. And some out there may not like such lists, and would prefer a detailed report on just one tool. But this last week was incredibly busy — and time is not a luxury I have right now. And these resources might provide someone out there with just the right tool or pedagogy that they’ve been looking for.

Also, I might suggest:

  • Creating a Google alert (google.com/alerts) on HSLDA, on homeschooling, on homeschoolers, and/or on related searches.
  • Create a Keyword Alert on an RSS aggregator such as Feedly
  • Follow relevant hashtags on Twitter such as #homeschooling

Some analog ideas:

  • Reading a book together
  • Watching a play, drama, or another type of program together
  • Taking a walk out in nature together
  • Gather together as a family and/or lingering over breakfast or dinner
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Taking pictures

And now is a great time to see what your child or children WANT TO LEARN ABOUT! Turn over the control to them for a while — and watch what happens when intrinsic motivation takes hold! 


Not a teacher but find yourself homeschooling? These educational apps are free — from parade.com by Stephanie Osmanski

  • This posting covers 25 Free Learning Apps

We are all homeschoolers now (podcast) — from cato.org featuring Kerry McDonald and Caleb Brown
Thanks to COVID-19, many parents find themselves with kids at home all day. What’s the best way to keep them engaged in their educations? Kerry McDonald, author of Unschooled, comments.

Getting Smart’s Getting Through

Free, Online Learning Resources When Coronavirus Closes Schools — from cato.org by Kerry McDonald

Homeschooling Mother and Author: 6 Ideas For Parents While Schools Are Closed — from fee.org by Kerry McDonald
Amid the Covid-19 lockdown, there are steps parents can take to make time at home with their children more rewarding and tolerable.

Apps for Special Needs Students—As School Buildings Shutter — from edutopia.org by Janey Clare
The coronavirus creates a unique challenge for special needs students—educators share recommendations for apps to support learning at home.

How to Support Home Learning in Elementary Grades — from edutopia.org by John Thomas
A first and second grade teacher shares his home learning plan for his students and how he is engaging their families.

6 Lessons Learned About Remote Learning During the Coronavirus Outbreak — from blogs.edweek.org by Mark Lieberman

 
 

From DSC:
For those of you who teach and/or give presentations, you might be interested in a new video that I put together regarding cognitive load. It addresses at least two main questions:

  1. What is cognitive load?
    and
  2. Why should I care about it?

 

What is cognitive load? And why should I care about it?

What is cognitive load? And why should I care about it?

Transcript here.

 

How do I put it into practice?

  • Simplify the explanations of what you’re presenting as much as possible and break down complex tasks into smaller parts
  • Don’t place a large amount of text on a slide and then talk about it at the same time — doing so requires much more processing than most people can deal with.
  • Consider creating two versions of your PowerPoint files:
    • A text-light version that can be used for presenting that content to students
    • A text-heavy version — which can be posted to your LMS for the learners to go through at their own pace — and without trying to process so much information (voice and text, for example) at one time.
  • Design-wise:
    • Don’t use decorative graphics — everything on a slide should be there for a reason
    • Don’t use too many fonts or colors — this can be distracting
    • Don’t use background music when you are trying to explain something
 

Play is disappearing from kindergarten. It’s hurting kids. — from edsurge.com by  Joe Martin

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

In an increasing number of schools, teachers of very young students are pressured to pack every moment of the day with structured, academically rigorous tasks. One recent whitepaper linked the practice to preparing kids for the long road of schooling ahead, in which progress is measured through standardized testing starting in third grade.

Friedrich Froebel, a pedagogue of modern education, coined the term “kindergarten” in 1840 after recognizing the importance of play in the development of young children. Inspired by the idea of a garden, he designed a classroom where the teacher presented children with objects, which they were allowed to play with in any way they could imagine. When they lost interest in one object, they would be presented with a new one to spark curiosity and creativity. Children were encouraged to grow and flourish in this free form, play-based environment.

From DSC:
Given that we are all into a lifelong learning situation now, I vote for more importance being placed on whether someone enjoyed their learning experience. That said, I know there is struggle in learning…and learning in the struggle. But we focus so much on grades and standardized testing. This robs the joy from the teaching and learning environment — for the teachers as well as for the kids.

Also see:

 

From DSC:
When I saw the learning space as pictured below, I couldn’t help but ask a couple of questions:

  • Doesn’t this look like a colorful, fun, engaging active learning space?
  • One that encourages communication and collaboration?

The natural light is wonderful. And the physical setup seems to let the students know that they will be collaborating with each other the second they walk into this learning space…and it does so without saying a word. 

This type of learning setup seems like learning could be very fun and collaborative!

 

From DSC — and with a shout out to Brad Sousa for this resource:
For those involved with creating/enhancing learning spaces as they relate to pedagogies:

https://www.avisystems.com/higher-education-trends-part-one

How Has Technology Impacted Higher Education?
In part one of this three-part series, AVI Systems CTO Brad Sousa talks with Jeff Day, Founder of North of 10 Advisors, to discuss the key ways education and, specifically, pedagogy differs from 10, 5, even 3 years ago.

Discussion Topics

  • The impact of active learning and the introduction of the internet of things (IoT) in the classroom
  • Recommendations for deploying modern learning environments with technology partners
  • Classroom systems design, then and now
Some timestamps (roughly speaking)
  • 5:15 — changes in pedagogy
  • 7:15 or so — active learning
  • 15:30 design needs around active learning
  • 17:15 DE rooms and active learning — software-controlled platform
  • 21:30 — advice; look to outcomes & expectations that want to achieve/meet; uses cases

Media controller w/ intuitive interface to mimic the way someone teaches / way a classroom goes:

  • “Class start” — chaotic; mics on everywhere
  • “Lecture” — gates /mics closed and focus shifts to the professor
  • “Class interaction” — presents roster of who’s there (20:00 mark roughly)

Also see this introductory posting re: the implications of active learning in the higher ed market.

 

Optimal Video Length for Student Engagement — from blog.edx.org by Candace Hazlett and Philip Guo

Excerpt:

In this first post, I’ll share some preliminary results about video usage, obtained from initial analyses of a few edX math and science courses. Unsurprisingly, students engaged more with shorter videos. Traditional in-person lectures usually last an hour, but students have much shorter attention spans when watching educational videos online. The graph below shows median engagement times versus video length, aggregated over several million video watching sessions:

From DSC:
If you have access to a tool like Canvas Studio, then you can probably extend the length of your videos if you are interspersing your videos with a healthy dose of interactivity — i.e., inserting quiz questions every few minutes.

 

6 Ed Tech Trends to Watch in 2020 — from campustechnology.com by Rhea Kelly with:

  • Bridget Burns, Executive Director, University Innovation Alliance
  • James Frazee, Chief Academic Technology Officer and Associate VP, Instructional Technology Services, San Diego State University
  • Ernie Perez
    Director, Educational Technology, Digital Learning & Innovation, Boston University

This year’s top issues in education technology reflect the bigger picture of a student’s pathway from individual courses all the way to graduation and career.

Topics include:

1) Workforce Readiness
2) Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots
3) Extended Reality (XR)
4) Video and Accessibility
5) Predictive Analytics and Advising
6) Industry Partnerships

 

Also see:

Live from Bett: What’s new in EDU–Free resources to boost engagement and collaboration — from the Microsoft Education Team on January 22, 2020

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

In addition, on the day of a presentation, educators and students now can help every person in the classroom or audience understand what they’re saying by clicking on “Present Live.” Live Presentations enables every audience member to view the presentation on their own device, such as a laptop, tablet or phone. Each audience member can turn on live captioning and choose subtitles from more than 60 languages. They can even navigate between slides, so they don’t miss a single, important detail. The audience is engaged throughout the presentation and sends reactions in real-time. After the presentation, the audience can provide feedback on the content and delivery of the presentation, which educators and students can use to improve skills over time.

Live Presentations will be coming soon to PowerPoint for the web as part of Office Education, which educators and students can access for free. If you haven’t already done so, get started with Office 365 Education now.

 

From DSC:
Might this type of functionality be a solid component of a global, next generation learning platform? Hmmmm…

 

Soros urges world leaders to back his $1-billion Global Education Network — from chronicle.com by Dan Parks

Excerpt:

George Soros urged world leaders on Thursday to back his Open Society University Network, a $1-billion effort to integrate teaching and research across higher-education institutions worldwide to solve big problems.

The Central European University, which Soros founded, and Bard College will team up with Arizona State University and other institutions around the globe, according to a news release.

From DSC:
This is not an endorsement of the GEN nor do I have any perspectives to relay one way or another re: George Soros. I just find the idea of a global learning network/platform very interesting…and likely a piece of our future learning ecosystems.

 

From DSC:
If you are using a tool like Cisco Webex in your school, consider implementing the idea below.
I’d like to thank Mr. Steve Grant and Mr. Nelson Miller from the WMU-Cooley Law School for their work in implementing/recommending this approach.

If you are using a tool like Cisco Webex, you can use it to share content to displays, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. If the professor starts a Cisco Webex Meeting Center session using their own personal room, the students can then join that meeting via their devices. (To eliminate noise and confusion — as well as to reduce bandwidth — the students should mute their microphones and choose not to send the video from their webcams.)

If you were doing a think-pair-share, for example, and you really liked what a certain pair of students had going on, one of the students could share their work with the rest of the class. By doing so, whatever was going on on that student’s device could be displayed by any projectors in the room, as well as on any other devices that were connected to the Cisco Webex Meeting Room.

“So you could project any student’s work as students proceed with in-class exercises. Projecting student work adds another level of accountability, excitement, and concentration to in-class exercises.” 

*********

Also, using the Cisco Webex Meeting Center in your face-to-face classroom not only opens up that sort of collaboration channel, but, via the chat feature, it can also open up a running backchannel to draw out your more introverted students, or those students who have questions but don’t want to have the spotlight thrown on them. 

*********

 

Active Learning on the Uptick?— from LinkedIn.com by Carrie O’Donnell

Excerpt:

The evidence is overwhelming that employing active learning strategies leads to deeper learning, increased retention and higher performance. In fact, the EDCAUSE Horizon Report: 2019 Higher Education Edition states 73 percent of universities surveyed indicate active learning classrooms are in the planning process or being implemented in 2020.

Active learning is an instructional approach that puts the student in the center of the learning. This teaching methodology actively engages the learner and is a contrast with the traditional lecture-based approaches where the instructor does most of the talking and students are passive. Some of the many strategies that instructors use to promote active learning include group discussions, peer instruction, problem-solving, case studies, role playing, journal writing and structured learning groups.

Several trends we’ve seen on campuses across the country bode well for active learning:

 

Below are some thoughts from Michal Borkowski, CEO and Co-Founder of Brainly, regarding some emerging edtech-related trends for 2020.

2020 is coming at us fast, and it’s bringing a haul of exciting EdTech trends along with it. A new decade means new learning opportunities created to cater to the individual rather than a collective hive. There are more than one or two ways of learning — by not embracing all of the ways to teach, we risk leaving students behind in subjects they may need extra help in.

Michal Borkowski, CEO and Co-Founder of Brainly– the world’s largest online learning platform with 150 million monthly users in 35 countries– has his finger on the pulse of global education trends. He was selected to speak at Disrupt Berlin, the world’s leading authority in debuting revolutionary startups and technologies, this year and has some insightful predictions on the emerging trends 2020 will bring in EdTech.

  1. Customized learning via AI
    AI systems with customizable settings will allow students to learn based on their personal strengths and weaknesses. This stylized learning takes into account that not every student absorbs information in the same way. In turn, it helps teachers understand what each individual student needs, spend more time teaching new material, and receive higher classroom results.
  2. Responsible technological integration
    Students today are more fluent in technology than older generations. Integrating tech through digital resources, textbooks, game-style lessons, and interactive learning are efficient ways to captivate students and teach them responsible usage of technology.
  3. Expansive peer-to-peer learning
    Allowing students access to a platform where they can view different student’s educational interpretations, and one specific perspective may help information click, is invaluable. These learning platforms break down barriers, encourage active learning anywhere, and cultivate a sense of community between students all over the world.
  4. From STEM to STEAM
    Science, technology, engineering, and math curriculums have been the major educational focus of the decade, but 2020 will see more integration of classical liberal arts into educational modules, turning STEM into STEAM. Incorporating the arts into a tech-based curriculum enables students to create important connections to the world and allows them to have a well-rounded education.
  5. Options in learning environments
    Who says learning has to take place in a classroom? Advancements in EdTech has provided new and exciting avenues where educators can experiment. Grade and high school level teachers are experimenting with webinars, online tutorials, and other forms of tech-based instruction to connect to students in environments where they are more inclined to learn.

2020 is the year that education forms itself around each student’s individual needs rather than leaving kids behind who don’t benefit from traditional instruction.

 

Coming down the pike: A next generation, global learning platform [Christian]

From DSC:
Though we aren’t quite there yet, the pieces continue to come together to build a next generation learning platform that will help people reinvent themselves quickly, efficiently, constantly, and cost-effectively.

Learning from the living class room

 

Learning from the living class room

 

Learning from the living class room

 

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