Active Learning: 5 Tips for Implementing the Approach — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
Active learning provides ways to get your students engaged without needing to revamp how you teach.

Excerpts:

However, neither listening to a lecture or reading a textbook is the most efficient way to learn or what active learning is truly about. “What exactly do we mean by active learning?” Deslauriers says.  “We mean that first, you have to be engaged. Obviously, that’s number one. Number two, you have to be engaged productively. And number three, the productivity has to be toward a goal that is deemed worthwhile*.”

— Louis Deslauriers, Director of Science Teaching and Learning
in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University


From DSC:
I appreciated seeing/reading this solid article. Just a couple of reflections and highlights here…


* But worthwhile for whom? For the faculty members? The teachers? The trainers? Or for the learners, the students, or the employees? Where is agency here? Where does more choice and control come into play here? Where’s the motivation for me to learn something if someone keeps telling me what’s important to THEM? What’s relevant to THEM? Why should I care about this topic? How is it relevant? How will it help me get a job and/or make a positive difference in this world? Can I choose how deep I want to dive in?

Later…Deslauriers goes on to make a great point when urging a pause for students to practice some metacognition:

  • Does this make sense to me?
  • How is this relevant? <– DSC: There it is.
  • Does it connect with something I already know? And if so, how do I integrate with what I already know?
  • What sort of questions do I have right now?
  • Can I repeat what the instructor just did? Or is it going to require a lot of practice?

“There’s no way you can undergo these mental processes when someone keeps talking,”  Deslauriers says. But if educators pause during their lectures and encourage this type of focus, they can help their students learn more efficiently.


 Instructors can hand out electronic clickers, use web-based tools such as Google forms, or even go completely low-tech by giving color-coded cards to students that correspond to different answers. 


Also see:

 
 

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


 

 

A Robust and Timely Discussion of a New Kind of Homeschooling — from educationnext.org by Michael B. Horn
Hybrid approach combines at-home learning with school attendance

Excerpt:

Hybrid Homeschooling: A Guide to the Future of Education
by Michael Q. McShane
Rowman & Littlefield, 2021, $60; 142 pages.

As reviewed by Michael B. Horn

Hybrid learning and homeschooling have become prominent models over the past school year as millions more students learned from home, whether part or full time, during the coronavirus pandemic.

Against that backdrop, Mike McShane’s new book, Hybrid Homeschooling, would seem both topical and timely.

McShane’s book is instead a treatment of a strand of homeschooling that has received relatively little attention: “hybrid homeschooling,” which he defines as “a school that for some part of the week educates children in a traditional brick-and-mortar building and for some other part of the week has children educated at home.”

Also relevant/see:

  • What Is Modern Homeschooling In 2021? — from elearningindustry.com by Dariya Lopukhina
    The COVID-19 pandemic saw over 300 million students all over the world become homeschooled according to Thinkimpact. 
 

IU researchers introduce ambitious new model for large-scale research on student learning — from news.iu.edu

Excerpt:

“The main conclusion of the study — to the great surprise of many teachers — is that there is no overall effect of feedback timing that spans all learning environments,” said Fyfe, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. “The findings should provide some comfort to teachers. If they take a few days to return feedback, there is no evidence that the delay will hamper their students’ progress, and in some cases, the delay might even be helpful.”

From DSC:
I must admit that I publish this with some hesitation, as I’m a big fan of personalized, customized feedback. I just hope that study doesn’t stop or reduce faculty members from providing such valuable feedback.

Also see:

The Science of Studying Student Learning at Scale — podcast and transcript — from campustechnology.com by Rhea Kelly; with Emily Fyfe and Ben Motz at Indiana University

Excerpt:

MOTZ: So ManyClasses is really an attempt to try and expand the scope of research so that what we’re doing in asking a question of how people learn, is expanding beyond the boundaries of any single classroom, really aiming at developing inferences that could generalize beyond that narrow scope, but also that might be able to identify where a practice might have benefits.

FYFE: …I think when we are thinking of ManyClasses as a research team, we’re thinking of it as a new gold standard for how to conduct scientific research in classrooms

And so ManyClasses is a model for sort of combining the rigor of these randomized experiments within these authentic settings. And the goal is to sort of, as Ben said, to do this across many classes, so that we’re not just running one experiment, but we’re replicating it across all of these different authentic educational settings. And so really, at the heart of it, ManyClasses is a new model for conducting research in educational settings.

 
 

Combining Online Courses With In-Person Supports, ‘Hybrid Colleges’ Unite — from by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt:

Over the past decade, brick-and-mortar outposts have popped up across the U.S. to offer students who take online college courses a physical space to study and interact. In Denver, there’s a suite in an office complex. In Austin, there’s an airy hall that resembles a co-working facility. In Philadelphia, there’s room in a modern high-rise.

Calling themselves “hybrid colleges,” these mini campus centers have set big goals for themselves, such as bringing college within reach for people historically left out of higher education.

Now, more than a dozen of these nonprofits are strengthening their bonds and committing to shared goals by creating the Hybrid College Network.

Also see:

The Hybrid College Network -- two people studying/working together

 

Planning for a blended future: A research-driven guide for educators — from everylearnereverywhere.org by Every Learner Everywhere in partnership with Online Learning Consortium (OLC) & National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA)

Excerpt:

The purpose of this guide
This resource is a collaboration among the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advances (DETA), the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), and the Every Learner Everywhere Network. It is designed to serve as a resource for educators — faculty, instructors, instructional staff, instructional improvement staff, instructional designers, learning experience designers and developers, technological support staff, and other stakeholders — to guide strategic planning for blended learning courses and programs.

Therefore, blended learning is instruction that blends technological, temporal, spatial, and pedagogical dimensions to create actualized learning. Students feel they are successful when they actually learn and that does not always equate to grade and course completion.

Blended learning is instruction that blends technological, temporal, spatial, and pedagogical dimensions to create actualized learning.

KEY IDEAS

  1. Designing courses to meaningfully integrate the different environments and temporal cadence (online and onsite, live and overtime) while incorporating an active learning approach can improve student outcomes in blended and hybrid courses.
  2. Faculty must become guides for students and their engagement by intentionally and strategically using a variety of modalities to scaffold learning.
  3. By designing and scaffolding blended courses effectively, faculty can avoid the common pitfall of course and-a-half-syndrome, which occurs when the online portion of a course is tacked on, creating busywork for students.
 

Michigan appeals to former teachers as districts face ‘dire’ shortage — from mlive.com by Kayla Miller

Kindergarten teacher Melissa Sanborn instructs students Kindergarten teacher Melissa Sanborn instructs students…Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020 at Cook Elementary School in Grand Blanc. (Jake May | MLive.com) Jake May | MLive.com

Excerpt:

Looking ahead to August, Beecher Community School District is expecting to be short about a quarter of their needed teaching staff for the 2021-22 school year.

The Flint-area district is one of many schools across Michigan fighting to keep educators in classrooms amid a statewide teacher shortage. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is now appealing to former teachers to get recertified and back to work.

David Crim, spokesperson for the Michigan Education Association, said multiple factors are keeping people from pursuing teaching and forcing young teachers to leave the profession.

“There’s no respect for teachers, no respect for the profession and poor compensation,” Crim said. “We have the perfect storm.”

From DSC:
It feels like there are major changes occurring throughout the K-12 learning ecosystems out there. It will be interesting to see what shakes out from this period of disruption.

By the way, those with little respect for teachers clearly have never taught themselves. Teaching is a very difficult profession. You try providing personalized learning to 25-30+ students at a time. Once you begin to scratch the surface, you’re retiring. We need to continue to try to share our knowledge, learnings, effective pedagogies/research, growth, tools, contacts, and more to help the next generation of teachers, students, administrators, and leaders.

Personally, I would like to see teachers have far more agency themselves. Don’t straight jacket them so much with standardized testing every ___ weeks/months. And allow more choice and control for the students (where possible). And allow the damn trains to slow down and/or vary their pace — allow them to stop if necessary for a student or a group of students. 

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

I don’t see real personalized learning occurring until more technologies get involved/integrated into the classrooms out there — things like learner preferences, cloud-based learner profiles, AI and more.

 

73 percent of students prefer some courses be fully online post-pandemic — from campustechnology.comby Rhea Kelly

“When three-fourths of students and more than half of faculty want to experience at least some courses fully online, the key takeaway is that the pandemic did not threaten but in fact accelerated the long-term growth, acceptance, and desirability of online learning, and those numbers will only improve, as emergency remote offerings are rebuilt as modern online courses and programs.”

 

From DSC:
My wife recently told me about The Thrive Learning Center. Though we don’t have any of our kids there, it looks very interesting to me! They offer play, choice, agency, a learning community, a chance to pursue one’s interests, and more! I wish we had seen this several years ago. But maybe it will help someone else out there reenvision what learning could look and be like.


The Thrive Learning Center -- offering a student-centered learning community-- full of choice and agency.


 
 

Learn How To Study Using… Dual Coding — from learningscientists.org by Megan Smith & Yana Weinstein

Excerpt:

This is the final post in a series of six posts designed to help students learn how to study effectively. You can find the other five here:

What is dual coding?

Dual coding is the process of combining verbal materials with visual materials. There are many ways to visually represent material, such as with infographics, timelines, cartoon strips, diagrams, and graphic organizers.

When you have the same information in two formats – words and visuals – it gives you two ways of remembering the information later on. Combining these visuals with words is an effective way to study.

Now, look at only the visuals and explain what they mean in your own words. Then, take the words from your class materials and draw your own visuals to go along with them! 

Now, look at only the visuals and explain what they mean in your own words. Then, take the words from your class materials and draw your own visuals to go along with them!

From DSC:
As the authors comment, this is NOT about learning styles (as research doesn’t back up the hypothesis of learning styles): 

When we discuss verbal and visual materials, it does sound like we could be referring to learning styles. However, it is important to remember that a great deal of research has shown that assessing your learning style and then matching your study to that “style” is not useful, and does not improve learning (2). (For more, read this piece.)

 

The Pandemic May Have Permanently Altered Campuses. Here’s How. — from chronicle.com by Francie Diep
Trends accelerated by Covid-19 may make more sense than ever in the future, experts say.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Although they were not required to meet in person, students liked to do so anyway. They organized meet-ups in cities including San Francisco, Austin, and Bangalore. They formed groups like Nerdy Bones, for women, who made up 19 percent of the students in the fall of 2020. Administrators found that as many as 80 percent of the U.S.-based students in each cohort lived within a two-hour drive of one of 10 major population centers. That gave the administrators an idea: Build co-working spaces in those cities, where online students could work and meet one another. Each space, called an atrium, would have career and advising services too.

From DSC:
I haven’t heard that term used like this before — atrium. I’ve been thinking about this in terms of learning hubs…but the idea is the same. Nontraditional learning spaces.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian