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.

 

Learning ecosystems across the globe are going through massive changes! [Christian]

Learning ecosystems are going through massive changes!


From DSC:

Due to the impacts of the Coronavirus, learning ecosystems across the globe are going through massive changes!

Each of us has our own learning ecosystem, and the organizations that we work for have their own learning ecosystems as well. Numerous teachers, professors, and trainers around the world are now teaching online. Their toolboxes are expanding with the addition of several new tools and some new knowledge. I believe that will be one of the silver linings from the very tough situations/times that we find ourselves in.

Expanding our teaching toolboxes


At the WMU-Cooley Law School, our learning ecosystem is also fluid and continues to morph.
This blog posting speaks to those changes.

https://info.cooley.edu/blog/learning-ecosystem-simply-defined-sources-for-learning

 

Learning from the Living [Class] Room: Due to the impacts from the Coronavirus, this is happening today across many countries. But this vision is just beginning to develop. We haven’t seen anything yet.

 
 

 Coronavirus has led to a rush of online teaching. Here’s some advice for newly remote instructors — from edsurge.com by Jeff Young & Bonni Stachowiak

Excerpt:

The simplest way to go online is to shift to a video conference platform
Stachowiak says that just lecturing to a webcam instead of an in-person class isn’t the best way to teach online, but it is the easiest way to switch. Under the circumstances, it is better than nothing. “I’d rather that you do that for your students, for yourself than to cancel all the classes,” she argues.

Think shorter
If it’s hard to hold students’ attention in person, it’s even harder online, says Stachowiak: “You’ll want to think about shortening that experience. The online environment tends to have shorter, more-compact opportunities and then other things to do that are more engaging than just sitting and listening.”

 

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
 

How online education went from teaching reform to economic necessity for colleges — from edsurge.com by Robert Ubell

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

When online was first introduced as a pedagogical advance, faculty members often rose up against it—or more often, just ignored it, the most devastating form of resistance. If it weren’t for economic necessity, online might not have grown to the force it has today—these days a third of the nation’s higher ed students take courses online.

Millions of working adults must turn to digital degrees to improve their employability in a post-industrial economy that demands higher-level skills than on the assembly line. Corporations are being pressed to find agile, high-tech workers for their digital processes and products. Powerful new digital-recruitment techniques now make massive global markets open to any college with deep enough pockets.

From DSC:
The market will decide how colleges and universities will change — and which ones will survive. Presidents, provosts, members of administration, board members, and faculty members do not control this anymore (if they ever did).

 

Three thoughts on active learning and self-teaching — from rtalbert.org Robert Talbert
“The teacher isn’t teaching and I’m having to teach myself the material” has three embedded misconceptions that need to be addressed.

Excerpts:

First: Learning is a process, not an action that one person performs on another.

But in the end, an outside person cannot cause you to learn. This isn’t how learning works. Learning instead is a process that moves back and forth, sometimes focused on an instructor but other times focused on the learner or a group of learners together.

Second: Not being lectured to all the time is not the same thing as having to teach yourself.

Third: In any event, the skill of self-teaching is essential in college and needs to be developed.

But in general, we need to see — and we have work to do in communicating this to students — that self-teaching is a feature, not a bug.

 

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

 
 
Flipped Learning 3.0

 

The January issue of FLR features an exciting new career path for frustrated Flipped Learning teachers. Yes, the first edition for 2020 is all about new trends and new directions Flipped Learning educators are pursuing as we move into the new decade.

 

Featured articles include:
  • Micro-Schools: An Exciting New Career Path for Frustrated Flipped Learning Teachers
  • It’s a New Decade: Time for a Flipped Learning Reality Check
  • 2020: Taking Your Flipped Learning Effectiveness to the Next Level
  • It’s 2020: I’m Never Going Back
  • The Missing Link: Getting Flipped Learning Assessment Right
  • Frustrated With the Status Quo?
  • Flipped Learning To-Do List for 2020
  • Top 10 Must-Read Research Papers in January
  • Why I Want My Students to Struggle in Class This Year
 

Modular, stackable learning — What it means and why it will transform learning in the workplace — from linkedin.com by Anant Agarwal

Excerpt:

One example is by unbundling the traditional learning “packages” — Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degrees — into more manageable learning chunks that are also tied to real career and life outcomes. This is what we call modular learning, and it’s the foundation of all the programs available on edX. Modular learning enables working professionals to learn new skills in shorter amounts of time, even while they work, and those seeking a degree are able to do so in a much more attainable way. They also earn credentials for the smaller modules of learning, thereby garnering value and positive feedback early in the process of advancing towards full degrees. This early positive feedback also increases motivation for learners to persist towards the full degree, if that is their goal.

 

Pearson Bets on Adaptive Learning (Again) With $25M Acquisition of Smart Sparrow — from edsurge.com by Tony Wan

Excerpt:

Smart Sparrow, which provides course-authoring tools for faculty and instructional designers to build adaptive courseware, has found a new home in a much bigger nest.

Last week, Pearson announced it paid $25 million to acquire Smart Sparrow’s technology, in a move that the publisher says will bolster the digital infrastructure that will soon support all its future higher-education offerings.

In recent years, Ben-Naim says his team has been building the next iteration of its adaptive course-creation tool. Called Aero, the platform has been in the works since 2017. And though Aero has not been publicly released or announced, that was the technology that attracted Pearson, he adds.

 

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. 

*********

 

 

Learning from the living class room

 

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