The Humanities May Be Declining at Universities — But They’re Thriving on Zoom — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt:

Throughout the pandemic, versions of this close-reading conversation have taken place week after week. Organized through new nonprofits and small startups including the Catherine Project, Night School Bar and Premise, they bring together adults who want to spend their free time talking to strangers about literature and philosophy.

It sounds at first like an ambitious book club—except for the fact that many of these seminars are organized and led by college professors, some so eager to participate that they do it for free.

“Mostly it’s a way for them to do a kind of teaching they can’t do at their regular jobs,” explains Zena Hitz, founder of the Catherine Project and a tutor (faculty member) at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland.

From DSC:
I’ve often thought that online-based learning may be the thing that saves the liberal arts (i.e., available throughout one’s lifetime and would be far less expensive). It would be ironic though, as many liberal arts institutions have not been proponents of online-based learning.

 
 
 

What is NaNoWriMo and How Can It Be Used to Teach Writing? — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and there are plenty of ways to have your class participate and learn in the process.

Excerpt:

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) aims to help aspiring writers of all ages and levels, including students, get their novels written. Every year, tens of thousands of participating writers commit to writing a first draft of their novel within the month of November.

The NaNoWriMo program is designed to help writers silence their inner critic and get their thoughts down on the page, which it accomplishes by encouraging participants to wait until the end of the month to go back and edit, by helping them establish a deadline, and by using technology to help them connect and inspire one another.

Educators can facilitate their students’ participation in NaNoWrMo in order to teach storytelling, grammar, written communication, creativity, and more, all while helping encourage young novelists.

 

50 Sites & Apps for K-12 Education Games — from techlearning.com by Diana Restifo and David Kapuler
Game-based learning is a great way to integrate technology into the classroom while engaging kids with real learning.

Excerpt:

Game-based learning turns potentially tedious study time into an adventurous knowledge quest, complete with catchy soundtracks and digital rewards. It helps keep kids engaged with the subject matter and motivated to pursue greater expertise. Best of all, web- or app-based gameplay integrates easily into both online and in-person classes.

With the demise of Flash at the end of 2020, many favorite educational game sites went under. That’s why we decided to update our popular list below to include the latest and best sites and apps for K-12 education games. Many are free (or offer free basic accounts) and some provide progress tracking and analysis tools for teachers. All will help kids enjoy learning.

Also relevant/see the following resource and excerpt from Goldie Blumenstyk’s The Edge (from the Chronicle of Higher Education)

Creative Acts for Curious People: How to Think, Create, and Lead in Unconventional Ways — by Sarah Stein Greenberg

Excerpt:

Greenberg also makes a compelling case for the “playful and joyous” approaches the d.school has been championing, like the secret handshake or building several prototypes of an ideal chair using tools like cardboard, pipe cleaners, and chewing gum and toothpicks. After so many months of loss and social deprivation, she told me last week, “those elements are more important than ever.”

 

3 Tips for Making Passion-Based Learning Work Successfully — from thejournal.com by Dennis Pierce

Excerpt:

Passion-based learning, a form of self-directed learning in which students pursue projects of interest to them, is becoming more popular in schools — and for good reason: Educators who have set aside time for passion-based learning have discovered that students become highly engaged and motivated when learning about topics that intrigue them, while taking their learning much deeper than they would in a traditional lesson.

Passion-based learning initiatives include Genius Hour and 20time, both inspired by Google’s program that lets employees spend 20% of their time on projects of their choosing to spark innovation.

Giving all students the option to explore their interests can be challenging on a large scale. To overcome this hurdle and make the process easier for teachers, Sonora Elementary uses a new peer-to-peer learning platform called Tract, which is a collection of video content organized into self-directed learning paths.

tract.app allows students to be creative and practice their storytelling and multimedia skills

From DSC:
I love the type of tool/app like Tract — as students can work on a variety of skills:

  • multimedia development
  • music
  • acting
  • writing/composing
  • digital storytelling
  • …and more

Such projects/tools can unleash a great deal of creativity, engagement, and positive energy. Learning becomes more relevant, enjoyable, and interesting when we can provide more choice and control to our students.

 

Es Devlin creates UK Pavilion to represent “culturally diverse Britain” at Dubai Expo — from dezeen.com by Tom Ravenscroft

Es Devlin creates UK Pavilion to represent culturally diverse Britain at Dubai Expo

Speaking of buildings and art, see:

Adele Renault’s Beautiful Murals-- from fubiz.net

 

Five Tips for Launching an Online Writing Group — from scholarlyteacher.com by Kristina Rouech,  Betsy VanDeuesen, Holly Hoffman, & Jennifer Majorana — who are all from Central Michigan University

Excerpt:

Making time for writing can be difficult at any stage of your career. Pushing writing aside for grading, lesson planning, meeting with students, and committee work is too easy. However, writing is a necessary part of our careers and has the added benefit of helping us stay current with our practice and knowledge in our field. Lee and Boud (2003) stress that groups should focus on developing peer relationships and writing identity, increasing productivity, and sharing practical writing. Online writing groups can help us accomplish this. With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, working online has become a necessity, but it can take time to figure out what works best for you and your writing colleagues. We recommend five tips to help you establish an online writing group that is productive and enjoyable for all participants.

 

Could AR and/or VR enable a massive 3D-based type of “Voicethread?” [Christian]

From DSC:
What if we could quickly submit items for a group to discuss, annotate, and respond to — using whichever media format is available/preferable for a person — like a massive 3D-based Voicethread? What if this type of discussion could be contributed to and accessed via Augmented Reality (AR) and/or via Virtual Reality (VR) types of devices?

It could be a new 3D format that a person could essentially blow all the way up into the size of a billboard. Think, “Honey, I shrunk the kids” type of stuff.  

Input devices might include:

  • Augmented Reality (AR) glasses
  • Virtual Reality (VR) headsets/glasses
  • Scanners
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Desktops and laptops
  • SmartTVs
  • Other types of input devices

For example, a person could take a picture of a document or something else and then save that image into a new file format that would be vector-based. I say a vector-based file format so that the image could be enlarged to the size of a billboard without losing any resolution (i.e., wouldn’t become grainy; the image would remain crystal clear regardless of how big the image is). I’m thinking here along the lines of “Honey, I shrunk the kids!”

Other thoughts here:

  • The files could be accessible online for attendees of classes or for audiences of presentations/webinars
  • The files could be displayed on the walls of learning/presentation spaces for marking them up
  • One could manipulate the 3D image if that person was using a virtual/immersive environment
  • Users should be able to annotate on those images and/or be able to save such annotations and notes

A question for phase II:
Could this concept also be used if virtual courts take off?

Hmmmm…just thinking out loud.

 

Top 300 Tools for Learning 2021 [Hart]

Top 300 Tools for Learning 2021 — from toptools4learning.com by Jane Hart

Excerpt:

2021 was the YEAR OF DISRUPTION! There were a substantial number of new tools nominated this year so the main list has now been extended to 300 tools to accommodate them, and each of the 3 sub-lists has been increased to 150 tools. Although the top of this year’s list is relatively stable, there is quite bit of movement of tools on the rest of the list, and the effect of the new tools has been to push other established tools down – if not off the list altogether. Further analysis of the list appears in the right-hand column of the table below.

This table shows the overall rankings as well as the rankings on the 3 sub-lists: Top 150 Tools for Personal Learning (PL150), the Top 150 Tools for Workplace Learning (WL150) and the Top 150 Tools for Education (ED150). NEW tools are shaded YELLOW, tools coming BACK on the list are shaded GREEN. The most popular context in which each tool is used is also highlighted in BLUE.  Click on a tool name to find out more about it.

 


Top 300 Tools for Learning 2021 -- from Jane Hart


 

 

The Michigan Learning Channel is now available through your antenna on ALL Michigan PBS stations! 

The weekday summer 2021 schedule for the Michigan Learning Channel

 

The Importance of Curiosity and Tension to Storytelling — from janefriedman.com by Stefan Emunds
Today’s post is excerpted from The Eight Crafts of Writing by Stefan Emunds (@StefanEmunds).

Excerpt:

To maintain reader curiosity, you can raise and answer multiple questions on multiple levels—for example, a story question, an act question, a chapter question, and a scene question. Try to keep two to three questions open at any given time. Raise two questions in your opening and answer one. Then, raise two new questions and answer one. Then raise two new questions and answer two.

Take the world of TV and movie writing: screenplays have seven or eight sequences, and each sequence begins with a challenge/question and ends with an answer—success or failure. You can do the same thing with chapters and acts.

You can have multiple questions going on at the same time

 

 

 

 

 

Transforming the classroom with augmented learning — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

Forbes documented the many ways that augmented reality (AR) has come to life in recent years. They list several award-winning apps that use AR. A few are:

  • The “Gatwick Airport Passenger” App, which helps passengers navigate the airport;
  • The “Dulux Visualizer” App, which  lets you virtually scan and paint your room any color you choose;
  • “Envisioned by the Mine” App, which lets you put 3D images of any type of accessory or furnishing in your home that Lowe’s offers;
  • “Sephora Virtual Artist”, which allows you to “put makeup on” without actually touching brush to face;
  • “Accuvein”, which doctors and nurses use to scan a patient’s vein network (it reduces escalations by 45%);
  • And, of course, there are apps like the “BIC DrawyBook App” just for fun.

But what about the classroom? Can we see a future in transforming the classroom with augmented learning?

From DSC:
Along the lines of developing creativity with edtech…

I saw another item recently about Book Creator, something that’s made this blog before. I love that type of tool because it promotes creativity, unleashes a student’s imagination, promotes their artwork and writing/storytelling and their musical or acting abilities, and it develops skills in design and developing multimedia-based artifacts. For teachers, it could be a nice project-based learning exercise. 

I asked our youngest daughter if she would like to use it…we’ll see. You can get a free account that allows you to publish up to 40 books. (Plus there is pricing for schools and districts.)

And who knows…? This type of thing might just produce the next J.K. Rowling or a J.J. Abrams.

Book Creator -- check it out

Book Creator -- check it out

Book Creator -- check it out

 

As seen in this article:

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian