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:

 

Why “Challenging” Isn’t The Right Goal — from byrdseed.com by Ian Byrd

Excerpt:

If I asked you to alphabetize the US state capitals in under 90 seconds, you’d certainly be “challenged”! But you’d also feel stressed out and frustrated.

I wish I had realized this years ago. Something can be “challenging” and also be at the very bottom of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Something can be “challenging” and even impede learning.

So here’s the word I use now when I’m planning lessons for Byrdseed.TV: interesting.

I want to “interest” students. A student who is interested will work over the weekend simply because they want to know more. An interested student will stay in from recess by choice to keep at it. An interested student is intrinsically motivated.

From DSC:
This reminds me yet again of this graphic that readers of this blog will recognize:

In the future, learning channels will offer us more choice and more control

 

Reimagining Education: What to Keep/What to Ditch — from techlearning.com by Matthew X. Joseph
When reimagining education, the focus needs to be on finding and keeping the best learning practices

 We have a unique opportunity to look at programmatic and philosophical shifts to promote energetic and curious learners. 

 

New Research: Flipped Classrooms Improve Student Academics and Satisfaction — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
A new analysis of more than 317 studies found flipped classrooms to be tremendously successful although a partially flipped classroom might be best of all.

Excerpt:

In a meta analysis recently published in the Review of Educational Research, Bredow and her co-authors examined 317 high-quality studies with a combined sample size of  51,437 college students in which flipped classes were compared to traditional lecture classes taught by the same instructors. They found significant advantages for flipped versus traditional lecture in terms of academics, interpersonal outcomes, and student satisfaction.

But there were also some surprises in where and when flipped classrooms worked.

From DSC:
I love the idea of the flipped classroom due to its powerful ability to turn over more choice and more control to the students. They have much more control over the pacing of the delivery of content.

 

What I Learned: 4 Things L&D Should Borrow from Peloton — from learningsolutionsmag.com by JD Dillon

But modern technology has evolved the experience in ways that can inspire L&D solutions.

Excerpt:

Engagement is personal. What motivates me may not motivate you. Therefore, the best gamified systems allow users to make their own choices with regards to how they engage. Some will change their behavior to earn points, ascend the leaderboard, and capture rewards. Others will disengage if they’re forced into a competitive environment. It’s fun to scroll through my Peloton badge collection, but it doesn’t bring me back for the next ride.

 

Teaching: Why an Active-Learning Evangelist Is Sold on Online Teaching — from chronicle.com by Beth McMurtrie

Excerpts:

Now, says Mazur, the results are in and he’s convinced: online teaching is better. Not in all circumstances, to be sure. But in his applied-physics courses, students showed larger learning gains and felt more supported than students had in in-person classes. In fact, they appear to have learned so much more effectively in this new format that he wonders if it’s “almost unethical,” to return to the classroom this fall.

“I have never been able to offer a course of the quality that I’m offering now,” he says. “I am convinced that there is no way I could do anything close to what I’m doing in person. Online teaching is better than in person.”

One benefit of this setup, says Mazur, is that students go at their own pace. He has thought a lot about how classroom-based work, even when it is student-led, is hostage to the clock and the instructor. Not every group works at the same pace, yet everyone has to wait until others are ready, or rush ahead when they fall behind. When groups set their own pace, it gives them the space to work through problems or get help as needed. The value of self-paced learning is also evident outside of class, says Mazur, who built more asynchronous work into his online course.

“I have never seen students work this hard for my course,” he says. “Never. And so consistently.”

Also see:

A snapshot of Eric Mazur's physics class from Canvas.

But he’s so convinced of how valuable this model is that he asked Harvard to allow him to keep teaching online this fall. 

Also relevant/see:

 

President Speaks: 5 higher education trends the pandemic is accelerating — from highereddive.com by Adam Weinberg
Technology, student choice and career prep will factor more heavily into colleges’ decision-making going forward, one president explains.

Excerpt:

Over the last several weeks, it has become clearer what the post-COVID-19 higher education landscape will look like. The trends that will shape the sector’s future are not new. But the pandemic has accelerated them.

Trends are like water. As they run faster, they cut deeper and in unexpected ways. Here are five that COVID-19 has given momentum to.

 

 

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.

 

The best advice I can give you: Become a student of your child — from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Excerpt:

One of the best pieces of advice I give a parent is to become a student of their child. To really pay attention and discover what your child is interested in, passionate about, or wants to explore further so you can use that information to design the best homeschool ever. In today’s episode, we revisit a conversation with Andrew Peterson all about how to practically become students of our children. You will also find all of our best resources for becoming a student of your child…

A young girl looking at some artwork.

 

20 Best Websites to Help Kids Learn From Home in 2021 — from wizcase.com by Julia Olech

Excerpt:

That’s why I rounded up a list of the 20 best free websites that provide engaging and fun learning experiences for you and your children. I made sure each website caters to a wide range of ages with games and interactive lessons that won’t bore even the most fidgety kids. The best part is that you can use them all at no cost!

 

 

One wonders what this type of tech will do for online-based learning, &/or hybrid/blended learning, &/or hyflex-based learning in the future [Christian]

From DSC:
It will be interesting to see — post Covid19 — how vendors and their platforms continue to develop to allow for even greater degrees of web-based collaboration. I recently saw this item re: what Google is doing with their Project Starline. Very interesting indeed. Google is trying to make it so that the other person feels like they are in the same space with you.

.
Time will tell what occurs in this space...but one does wonder what this type of technology will do for online-based learning, and/or hybrid/blended learning, and/or hyflex-based learning in the future…?

 

Improving Digital Inclusion & Accessibility for Those With Learning Disabilities — from inclusionhub.com by Meredith Kreisa
Learning disabilities must be taken into account during the digital design process to ensure digital inclusion and accessibility for the community. This comprehensive guide outlines common learning disabilities, associated difficulties, accessibility barriers and best practices, and more.

“Learning shouldn’t be something only those without disabilities get to do,” explains Seren Davies, a full stack software engineer and accessibility advocate who is dyslexic. “It should be for everyone. By thinking about digital accessibility, we are making sure that everyone who wants to learn can.”

“Learning disability” is a broad term used to describe several specific diagnoses. Dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, nonverbal learning disorder, and oral/written language disorder and specific reading comprehension deficit are among the most prevalent.

An image of a barrier being torn down -- revealing a human mind behind it. This signifies the need to tear down any existing barriers that might hinder someone's learning experience.

 

Reimagining Higher Education: The Post-Covid Classroom — from er.educause.edu by Rob Curtin
As we prepare to return to campus, many of the technologies that helped us simply survive and sustain classroom continuity will become permanently embedded in our educational methods and play a pivotal role in the refinement of practices consistent with an ongoing shift to more student-centered learning.

Videoconferencing -- a professor teaching a class of virtual students

Credit: as-artmedia / Shutterstock.com © 2021

As learning practices continue to evolve, new remote learning and collaboration technologies, in concert with pedagogy, will be critical to enabling inclusive, personalized, and engaging hybrid learning experiences to bring students together beyond simple videoconferencing and recording of lectures. 

 

If equity is a priority, UDL is a must — from cultofpedagogy.com by Katie Novak

Once you identify the firm goal, ask yourself, “Based on the variability in my class, what barriers may prevent learners from working toward that goal and how can I eliminate those barriers through design?”

Excerpt:

When we design the same learning pathways for all learners, we might tell ourselves we are being fair, but in fact, single pathways are exclusionary.  Beverly Daniel Tatum, author of the critically acclaimed book, Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race, challenges us to focus on impact over intentions. It may not be our intent to exclude our learners, but the reality is that many students do not have opportunities to learn at high levels or to access curriculum and instruction that is accessible, engaging, culturally sustaining, and linguistically appropriate.

Luckily, there is a framework that rejects these one-size-fits-all solutions and empowers educators to proactively design learning experiences so all students can increase their brainpower and accelerate and own their learning. The framework is Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

UDL is a framework for designing learning experiences so students have options for how they learn, what materials they use, and how they demonstrate their learning. 

From DSC:
I put together this graphic as I’m working on a Module (for Canvas) to address the topic of accessibility:

An image of a barrier being torn down -- revealing a human mind behind it. This signifies the need to tear down any existing barriers that might hinder someone's learning experience.
By Daniel Christian March 2021
 

From DSC:
This is what we’re up against –> Reskilling 1 billion people by 2030” — from saffroninteractive.com by Jessica Anderson

Excerpts:

According to the World Economic Forum, this statistic is a critical economic imperative.

Does this shock or scare you? Perhaps you’re completely unflappable? Whatever your reaction, this situation will undoubtedly impact your organisation and the way you tackle skills development.

What are the roadblocks?

So, we’ve laid down the gauntlet; an adaptable, agile, multi-skilled workforce. What stands in the way of achieving this? A recent survey of the top 5 challenges facing learning leaders sheds some light:

1. Building a learning culture
2. Learning in the flow of work
3. Digital transformation
4. Learner engagement and ownership
5. Keeping informed of best practices

From DSC:
The article mentions that nations could lose billions in potential GDP growth. And while that is likely very true, I think a far bigger concern is the very peace and fabric of our societies — the way of living that billions of people will either enjoy or have to endure. Civil unrest, increased inequality, warfare, mass incarcerations, etc. are huge concerns.

The need for a next-gen learning platform is now! The time for innovation and real change is now. It can’t come too soon. The private and public sectors need to collaborate to create “an Internet for learning” (in the sense that everyone can contribute items to the platform and that the platform is standards based). Governments, corporations, individuals, etc. need to come together. We’re all in the same boat here. It benefits everyone to come together. 

Learning from the living class room -- a next generation, global learning platform is needed ASAP

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian