A new report from Silicon Schools: All that we've learned: 5 years working on personalized learning -- Cover of report

 

A new report from Silicon Schools: All that we've learned: 5 years working on personalized learning

 

 

 

“Personalized learning seeks to accelerate student learning by tailoring the instructional environment — what, when, how, and where students learn — to address the individual needs, skills, and interests of each student. Students can take ownership of their own learning, while also developing deep, personal connections with each other, their teachers, and other adults.”

 

 

 

A new report from Silicon Schools: All that we've learned: 5 years working on personalized learning

 

WE’VE ALWAYS HAD FOUR STRONG BELIEFS:

  1. Students’ ownership of their learning is critical to long-term success.
  2. When it comes to learning, students should get more of what they need exactly when they need it.
  3. Ensuring equity requires getting each student what he or she needs to succeed.
  4. It is possible to redesign schools to work much better for students and teachers.

 

 

 

 

We do not believe that there is yet definitive proof that personalized learning works better than other models. Ultimately, we hope that personalized learning will improve life outcomes for students, with clear evidence to support its efficacy. In the interim, we look to traditional academic measures (e.g. state assessments or assessments like NWEA MAP), to provide early signs of the efficacy of personalized learning.

Despite the lack of conclusive proof, there are two important data sets that we find compelling. First, RAND conducted a study of 11,000 students and 62 personalized learning schools nationally and found that “students made significant gains in mathematics and reading overall, and in elementary and middle schools [1].” More recently, RAND published the third of its studies of personalized learning. It again found statistically significant gains in math, however, the effect size had decreased notably [2].

 

From DSC:
I appreciated hearing the perspectives from Bruce Dixon and Will Richardson this morning, as I listed to a webinar that they recently offered. A few key takeaways for me from that webinar — and with a document that they shared — were:

  • The world has fundamentally changed. (Bruce and Will also mentioned the new pace of change; i.e., that it’s much faster.)
  • We need to have more urgency about the need to reimagine school, not to try to improve the existing model.
  • “Because of the advent of the Web and the technologies we use to access it, learning is, in a phrase, leaving the (school) building.”
  • There is a newfound capacity to take full control of one’s own learning; self-determined learning should be at the center of students’ and teachers’ work; co-constructed curriculum
  • And today, at a moment when learners of all ages have never had more agency over their own learning, schools must unlearn centuries old mindsets and practices and relearn them in ways that truly will serve every child living in the modern, connected world.
  • Will and Bruce believe that every educator — and district for that matter — should articulate their own “principles of learning”
  • Beliefs about how kids learn (powerfully and deeply) need to be articulated and consistently communicated and lived out
  • Everything we do as educators, administrators, etc. tells a story. What stories are we telling? (For example, what does the signage around your school building say? Is it about compliance? Is is about a love of learning? Wonder? What does the 20′ jumbo tron say about priorities? Etc.)
  • Bruce and Will covered a “story audit” and how to do one

 

“Learning is, in a phrase, leaving the (school) building.”

Richardson & Dixon

 

 

Also see:

 

 

 

These educators have decades worth of experience. They are pulse-checking their environments. They want to see students thrive both now and into the future. For these reasons, at least for me, their perspectives are highly worth reflecting upon.

 

 

 

Five lessons for libraries looking to innovate in the 21st Century — from knightfoundation.org by Laura Sue Wilansky

Excerpt:

In June, Knight Foundation sent a cohort of U.S. librarians from institutions around the country to the Next Library Conference, an annual gathering held in Aarhus, Denmark that brings together library leaders from around the world to discuss innovative programs, services and ideas in the field. 20 U.S. librarians from 11 cities joined hundreds of colleagues who attended the conference from around the globe, from China to Kenya to the Caribbean.

The goal was to spread best practices in library innovation, while helping their capacity to meet new digital age demands. The initiative is part of Knight’s larger work to help libraries better serve 21st century information needs. We believe libraries are essential to addressing information challenges and creating opportunities for communities to engage with information, new ideas and each other. The conference was an opportunity to connect U.S. libraries in order to share practices and approaches being used to attract new patrons around the world, as well as gather insights from them that can help to further inform our strategy.

Here are some of the lessons the librarians brought home…

 

 

“We need to focus intently on making our buildings locations for experimentation, innovation, education, recreation and relaxation.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

What a future, powerful, global learning platform will look & act like [Christian]


Learning from the Living [Class] Room:
A vision for a global, powerful, next generation learning platform

By Daniel Christian

NOTE: Having recently lost my Senior Instructional Designer position due to a staff reduction program, I am looking to help build such a platform as this. So if you are working on such a platform or know of someone who is, please let me know: danielchristian55@gmail.com.

I want to help people reinvent themselves quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively — while providing more choice, more control to lifelong learners. This will become critically important as artificial intelligence, robotics, algorithms, and automation continue to impact the workplace.


 

The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV

 

Learning from the Living [Class] Room:
A global, powerful, next generation learning platform

 

What does the vision entail?

  • A new, global, collaborative learning platform that offers more choice, more control to learners of all ages – 24×7 – and could become the organization that futurist Thomas Frey discusses here with Business Insider:

“I’ve been predicting that by 2030 the largest company on the internet is going to be an education-based company that we haven’t heard of yet,” Frey, the senior futurist at the DaVinci Institute think tank, tells Business Insider.

  • A learner-centered platform that is enabled by – and reliant upon – human beings but is backed up by a powerful suite of technologies that work together in order to help people reinvent themselves quickly, conveniently, and extremely cost-effectively
  • An AI-backed system of analyzing employment trends and opportunities will highlight those courses and “streams of content” that will help someone obtain the most in-demand skills
  • A system that tracks learning and, via Blockchain-based technologies, feeds all completed learning modules/courses into learners’ web-based learner profiles
  • A learning platform that provides customized, personalized recommendation lists – based upon the learner’s goals
  • A platform that delivers customized, personalized learning within a self-directed course (meant for those content creators who want to deliver more sophisticated courses/modules while moving people through the relevant Zones of Proximal Development)
  • Notifications and/or inspirational quotes will be available upon request to help provide motivation, encouragement, and accountability – helping learners establish habits of continual, lifelong-based learning
  • (Potentially) An online-based marketplace, matching learners with teachers, professors, and other such Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
  • (Potentially) Direct access to popular job search sites
  • (Potentially) Direct access to resources that describe what other companies do/provide and descriptions of any particular company’s culture (as described by current and former employees and freelancers)

Further details:
While basic courses will be accessible via mobile devices, the optimal learning experience will leverage two or more displays/devices. So while smaller smartphones, laptops, and/or desktop workstations will be used to communicate synchronously or asynchronously with other learners, the larger displays will deliver an excellent learning environment for times when there is:

  • A Subject Matter Expert (SME) giving a talk or making a presentation on any given topic
  • A need to display multiple things going on at once, such as:
  • The SME(s)
  • An application or multiple applications that the SME(s) are using
  • Content/resources that learners are submitting in real-time (think Bluescape, T1V, Prysm, other)
  • The ability to annotate on top of the application(s) and point to things w/in the app(s)
  • Media being used to support the presentation such as pictures, graphics, graphs, videos, simulations, animations, audio, links to other resources, GPS coordinates for an app such as Google Earth, other
  • Other attendees (think Google Hangouts, Skype, Polycom, or other videoconferencing tools)
  • An (optional) representation of the Personal Assistant (such as today’s Alexa, Siri, M, Google Assistant, etc.) that’s being employed via the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

This new learning platform will also feature:

  • Voice-based commands to drive the system (via Natural Language Processing (NLP))
  • Language translation (using techs similar to what’s being used in Translate One2One, an earpiece powered by IBM Watson)
  • Speech-to-text capabilities for use w/ chatbots, messaging, inserting discussion board postings
  • Text-to-speech capabilities as an assistive technology and also for everyone to be able to be mobile while listening to what’s been typed
  • Chatbots
    • For learning how to use the system
    • For asking questions of – and addressing any issues with – the organization owning the system (credentials, payments, obtaining technical support, etc.)
    • For asking questions within a course
  • As many profiles as needed per household
  • (Optional) Machine-to-machine-based communications to automatically launch the correct profile when the system is initiated (from one’s smartphone, laptop, workstation, and/or tablet to a receiver for the system)
  • (Optional) Voice recognition to efficiently launch the desired profile
  • (Optional) Facial recognition to efficiently launch the desired profile
  • (Optional) Upon system launch, to immediately return to where the learner previously left off
  • The capability of the webcam to recognize objects and bring up relevant resources for that object
  • A built in RSS feed aggregator – or a similar technology – to enable learners to tap into the relevant “streams of content” that are constantly flowing by them
  • Social media dashboards/portals – providing quick access to multiple sources of content and whereby learners can contribute their own “streams of content”

In the future, new forms of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR) will be integrated into this new learning environment – providing entirely new means of collaborating with one another.

Likely players:

  • Amazon – personal assistance via Alexa
  • Apple – personal assistance via Siri
  • Google – personal assistance via Google Assistant; language translation
  • Facebook — personal assistance via M
  • Microsoft – personal assistance via Cortana; language translation
  • IBM Watson – cognitive computing; language translation
  • Polycom – videoconferencing
  • Blackboard – videoconferencing, application sharing, chat, interactive whiteboard
  • T1V, Prsym, and/or Bluescape – submitting content to a digital canvas/workspace
  • Samsung, Sharp, LCD, and others – for large displays with integrated microphones, speakers, webcams, etc.
  • Feedly – RSS aggregator
  • _________ – for providing backchannels
  • _________ – for tools to create videocasts and interactive videos
  • _________ – for blogs, wikis, podcasts, journals
  • _________ – for quizzes/assessments
  • _________ – for discussion boards/forums
  • _________ – for creating AR, MR, and/or VR-based content

 

 

From DSC:
I ran across this animation that I saw over 7 years ago (and recorded some audio/thoughts about it at that time).  I did so because I thought it was a great illustration of a Learning Ecosystem. I thought I’d re-post it here — because I still think that’s the case.

 

 

 

The first truly awesome chatbot is a talking T. Rex — from fastcodesign.com by John Brownlee
National Geographic uses a virtual Tyrannosaur to teach kids about dinosaurs—and succeeds where other chatbots fail.

 

 

Excerpt:

As some have declared chatbots to be the “next webpage,” brands have scrambled to develop their own talkative bots, letting you do everything from order a pizza to rewrite your resume. The truth is, though, that a lot of these chatbots are actually quite stupid, and tend to have a hard time understanding natural human language. Sooner or later, users get frustrated bashing their heads up against the wall of a dim-witted bot’s AI.

So how do you design around a chatbot’s walnut-sized brain? If you’re National Geographic Kids UK, you set your chatbot to the task of pretending to be a Tyrannosaurus rex, a Cretaceous-era apex predator that really had a walnut-sized brain (at least comparatively speaking).

 

She’s called Tina the T. rex, and by making it fun to learn about dinosaurs, she suggests that education — rather than advertising or shopping — might be the real calling of chatbots.

 

 

 

Also relevant/see:

Honeybot-August2016

 

Education Technology And Artificial Intelligence: How Education Chatbots [could] Revolutionize Personalized Learning — from parentherald.com by Kristine Walker

From DSC:
I inserted a [could] in the title, as I don’t think we’re there yet. That said, I don’t see chatbots, personal assistants, and the use of AI going away any time soon. This should be on our radars from here on out.  Chatbots could easily be assigned some heavy lifting duties within K-20 education as well as in the corporate world; but even then, we’ll still need excellent teachers, professors, and trainers/subject matter experts out there. I don’t see anyone being replaced at this point.

Excerpt:

As the equity gap in American education continues, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has been urging educators, investors and tech companies to be more open in investing time and money in artificial intelligence-driven education technology programs. The reason? Gates believed that these AI-based EdTech platforms could personalize and revolutionize school learning experience while eliminating the equity gap.

 

Also see:

Are ‘Motivation Bots’ Part of the Future of Education? — from educationworld.com

 

motivation-bots-aug-2016

 

The Motivation, Revision and Announcement bots each perform respective functions that are intended to help students master exams.

The Motivation bot, for instance, “keeps students motivated with reminders, social support, and other means,” while the Revision bot “helps students to best understand ways to improve their work” and the Announcement bot “tells students how much studying they need to do based on the amount of time available.”

 

 

 

 

Somewhat related:

Deep Learning Is Still A No-Show In Gartner 2016 Hype Cycle For Emerging Technologies — from .forbes.com by Gil Press

Excerpt:

Machine learning is best defined as the transition from feeding the computer with programs containing specific instructions in the forms of step-by-step rules or algorithms to feeding the computer with algorithms that can “learn” from data and can make inferences “on their own.” The computer is “trained” by data which is labeled or classified based on previous outcomes, and its software algorithms “learn” how to predict the classification of new data that is not labeled or classified. For example, after a period of training in which the computer is presented with spam and non-spam email messages, a good machine learning program will successfully identify, (i.e., predict,) which email message is spam and which is not without human intervention. In addition to spam filtering, machine learning has been applied successfully to problems such as hand-writing recognition, machine translation, fraud detection, and product recommendations.

 

 

 

 

Take a step inside the classroom of tomorrow — from techradar.com by Nicholas Fearn
Making learning fun

 

 

Excerpt:

But the classroom of tomorrow will look very different. The latest advancements in technology and innovation are paving the way for an educational space that’s interactive, engaging and fun.

The conventions of learning are changing. It’s becoming normal for youngsters to use games like Minecraft to develop skills such as team working and problem solving, and for teachers to turn to artificial intelligence to get a better understanding of how their pupils are progressing in lessons.

Virtual reality is also introducing new possibilities in the classroom. Gone are the days of imagining what an Ancient Egyptian tomb might look like – now you can just strap on a headset and transport yourself there in a heartbeat.

The potential for using VR to teach history, geography and other subjects is incredible when you really think about it – and it’s not the only tech that’s going to shake things up.

Artificial intelligence is already doing groundbreaking things in areas like robotics, computer science, neuroscience and linguistics, but now they’re now entering the world of education too.

London-based edtech firm Digital Assess has been working on an AI app that has the potential to revolutionise the way youngsters learn.

With the backing of the UK Government, the company has been trialing its web-based application Formative Assess in schools in England.

Using semantic indexing and natural language processing in a similar way to social networking sites, an on-screen avatar – which can be a rubber duck or robot – quizzes students on their knowledge and provides them with individual feedback on their work.

 

 

 

Will “class be in session” soon on tools like Prysm & Bluescape? If so, there will be some serious global interaction, collaboration, & participation here! [Christian]

From DSC:
Below are some questions and thoughts that are going through my mind:

  • Will “class be in session” soon on tools like Prysm & Bluescape?
  • Will this type of setup be the next platform that we’ll use to meet our need to be lifelong learners? That is, will what we know of today as Learning Management Systems (LMS) and Content Management Systems (CMS) morph into this type of setup?
  • Via platforms/operating systems like tvOS, will our connected TVs turn into much more collaborative devices, allowing us to contribute content with learners from all over the globe?
  • Prysm is already available on mobile devices and what we consider a television continues to morph
  • Will second and third screens be used in such setups? What functionality will be assigned to the main/larger screens? To the mobile devices?
  • Will colleges and universities innovate into such setups?  Or will organizations like LinkedIn.com/Lynda.com lead in this space? Or will it be a bit of both?
  • How will training, learning and development groups leverage these tools/technologies?
  • Are there some opportunities for homeschoolers here?

Along these lines, are are some videos/images/links for you:

 

 

PrysmVisualWorkspace-June2016

 

PrysmVisualWorkspace2-June2016

 

BlueScape-2016

 

BlueScape-2015

 

 



 

 

DSC-LyndaDotComOnAppleTV-June2016

 

 

 

The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV

 



 

Also see:

kitchenstories-AppleTV-May2016

 

 

 

 


 

Also see:

 


Prysm Adds Enterprise-Wide Collaboration with Microsoft Applications — from ravepubs.com by Gary Kayye

Excerpt:

To enhance the Prysm Visual Workplace, Prysm today announced an integration with Microsoft OneDrive for Business and Office 365. Using the OneDrive for Business API from Microsoft, Prysm has made it easy for customers to connect Prysm to their existing OneDrive for Business environments to make it a seamless experience for end users to access, search for, and sync with content from OneDrive for Business. Within a Prysm Visual Workplace project, users may now access, work within and download content from Office 365 using Prysm’s built-in web capabilities.

 


 

 

 

What are micro-credentials? — from onlineschoolscenter.com; with thanks to Arabella Bronson for the resource

 

What Are Micro-credentials?
Source:
OnlineSchoolsCenter.com

Also see:

 

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