The 82 Hottest EdTech Tools of 2017 According to Education Experts — from tutora.co.uk by Giorgio Cassella

Excerpt:

If you work in education, you’ll know there’s a HUGE array of applications, services, products and tools created to serve a multitude of functions in education.

Tools for teaching and learning, parent-teacher communication apps, lesson planning software, home-tutoring websites, revision blogs, SEN education information, professional development qualifications and more.

There are so many companies creating new products for education, though, that it can be difficult to keep up – especially with the massive volumes of planning and marking teachers have to do, never mind finding the time to actually teach!

So how do you know which ones are the best?

Well, as a team of people passionate about education and learning, we decided to do a bit of research to help you out.

We’ve asked some of the best and brightest in education for their opinions on the hottest EdTech of 2017. These guys are the real deal – experts in education, teaching and new tech from all over the world from England to India, to New York and San Francisco.

They’ve given us a list of 82 amazing, tried and tested tools…


From DSC:
The ones that I mentioned that Giorgio included in his excellent article were:

  • AdmitHub – Free, Expert College Admissions Advice
  • Labster – Empowering the Next Generation of Scientists to Change the World
  • Unimersiv – Virtual Reality Educational Experiences
  • Lifeliqe – Interactive 3D Models to Augment Classroom Learning

 


 

 

 

 

The Hidden Costs of Active Learning — from by Thomas Mennella
Flipped and active learning truly are a better way for students to learn, but they also may be a fast track to instructor burnout.

Excerpt:

The time has come for us to have a discussion about the hidden cost of active learning in higher education. Soon, gone will be the days of instructors arriving to a lecture hall, delivering a 75-minute speech and leaving. Gone will be the days of midterms and finals being the sole forms of assessing student learning. For me, these days have already passed, and good riddance. These are largely ineffective teaching and learning strategies. Today’s college classroom is becoming dynamic, active and student-centered. Additionally, the learning never stops because the dialogue between student and instructor persists endlessly over the internet. Trust me when I say that this can be exhausting. With constant ‘touch-points,’ ‘personalized learning opportunities’ and the like, the notion of a college instructor having 12 contact hours per week that even remotely total 12 hours is beyond unreasonable.

We need to reevaluate how we measure, assign and compensate faculty teaching loads within an active learning framework. We need to recognize that instructors teaching in these innovative ways are doing more, and spending more hours, than their more traditional colleagues. And we must accept that a failure to recognize and remedy these ‘new normals’ risks burning out a generation of dedicated and passionate instructors. Flipped learning works and active learning works, but they’re very challenging ways to teach. I still say I will never teach another way again … I’m just not sure for how much longer that can be.

 

From DSC:
The above article prompted me to revisit the question of how we might move towards using more team-based approaches…? Thomas Mennella seems to be doing an incredible job — but grading 344 assignments each week or 3,784 assignments this semester is most definitely a recipe for burnout.

Then, pondering this situation, an article came to my mind that discusses Thomas Frey’s prediction that the largest internet-based company of 2030 will be focused on education.

I wondered…who will be the Amazon.com of the future of education? 

Such an organization will likely utilize a team-based approach to create and deliver excellent learning experiences — and will also likely leverage the power of artificial intelligence/machine learning/deep learning as a piece of their strategy.

 

 

 

As teaching and learning spaces, technologies and applications continually evolve, it’s crucial to determine where we’re headed and what we hope to accomplish. EDUCAUSE, higher education’s largest technology association, is offering a variety of online webinars and sessions exploring key topics within the future of higher ed teaching and learning in the coming months:

 

* A primary goal of the Horizon Report is that this research will help to inform the choices institutions are making about technology to improve, support or extend teaching, learning and creative inquiry in higher education across the globe. There is no fee for participating in this webinar.

 

 

The woman who thinks time has rendered Western education obsolete — from unlimited.world with thanks to Maree Conway for her tweet on this

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

For years, Finland has loitered in the upper echelons of global literacy and numeracy tables, leading politicians from other Western nations to see its education system as a model of inspiration. Why, then, is the Finnish government submitting it to a radical overhaul?

Dr. Marjo Kyllonen is the Education Manager for Helsinki. Having devised the blueprint for the future of Finland’s school system, she is playing a pivotal role in driving these changes through. She is doing so because she sees the structure and aims of current education systems in the West as increasingly irrelevant and obsolete, relics of an Industrial Age that we started to leave behind a long time ago. She argues that we need to rethink our entire relationship to education to equip future generations with the tools they need to face the challenges to come –challenges such as climate collapse, automated workforces, urbanisation and social division. The key to her blueprint is an emphasis on collaborative, holistic, “phenomenon” teaching – a routine that is less beholden to traditional subject-based learning and instead teaches pupils to work together to deal with problems they will face in their everyday lives, including those they encounter online and in the digital world.

Other:

  • If schools were invented today, what would they be like?
  • Instead of studying different subjects in isolation, learning should be anchored to real-life phenomena, things that kids see around them, so they see the connection between what they’re learning and real life. The traditional way of teaching isolated subjects with a teacher as the sole oracle of knowledge is widening the gap between the lives kids are living today and what they do at school.
  • So we have to think, what skills will people need in 60 years? Life is not split into subjects, so why is learning? What is more crucial for future society is cross-disciplinary thinking; all the experts say that the big problems of tomorrow won’t be solved if you only have one approach.

 

From DSC:
Whether one agrees with Marjo or not, her assertions are very thought provoking.  I really enjoyed reading this piece.

 

 

What educators can learn about effective teaching from a Harvard prof — from ecampusnews.com by Alan November

Excerpt:

Harvard professor David Malan has managed to pull off a neat trick: His Computer Science 50 course is the most popular course at both Harvard and Yale. By examining his success, we can learn some important lessons about effective teaching.

CS50 assumes no prior knowledge or skill in computer programming, yet it’s extremely demanding. Despite its rigor, CS50 regularly attracts thousands of students each year. While some aspire to become software engineers, others enroll just to experience the course.

Why is Professor Malan’s course so popular, even with students who don’t plan a career in computer science—and even though it requires a lot of work? Here are three keys to Malan’s effective teaching that I think all schools everywhere should apply, from K-12 schools to colleges and universities.

  • Strengthen the social side of learning.
  • Teach students to self-assess.
  • Provide a public audience to inspire students to invent.
 

HarvardX rolls out new adaptive learning feature in online course — from edscoop.com by Corinne Lestch
Students in MOOC adaptive learning experiment scored nearly 20 percent better than students using more traditional learning approaches.

Excerpt:

Online courses at Harvard University are adapting on the fly to students’ needs.

Officials at the Cambridge, Massachusetts, institution announced a new adaptive learning technology that was recently rolled out in a HarvardX online course. The feature offers tailored course material that directly correlates with student performance while the student is taking the class, as well as tailored assessment algorithms.

HarvardX is an independent university initiative that was launched in parallel with edX, the online learning platform that was created by Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Both HarvardX and edX run massive open online courses. The new feature has never before been used in a HarvardX course, and has only been deployed in a small number of edX courses, according to officials.

 

 

From DSC:
Given the growth of AI, this is certainly radar worthy — something that’s definitely worth pulse-checking to see where opportunities exist to leverage these types of technologies.  What we now know of as adaptive learning will likely take an enormous step forward in the next decade.

IBM’s assertion rings in my mind:

 

 

I’m cautiously hopeful that these types of technologies can extend beyond K-12 and help us deal with the current need to be lifelong learners, and the need to constantly reinvent ourselves — while providing us with more choice, more control over our learning. I’m hopeful that learners will be able to pursue their passions, and enlist the help of other learners and/or the (human) subject matter experts as needed.

I don’t see these types of technologies replacing any teachers, professors, or trainers. That said, these types of technologies should be able to help do some of the heavy teaching and learning lifting in order to help someone learn about a new topic.

Again, this is one piece of the Learning from the Living [Class] Room that we see developing.

 

 

 

 

Highlights from the 2016 Flipped Classroom Conference — from Harvey Mudd Colleg, with a special thanks to Calvin College Engineering Professor Jeremy VanAntwerp for this resource

 

 

 

 

Optimizing the Flipped STEM Class:  Higher Ed Tools, Contexts, and Assessments
This one-time conference for faculty in the STEM disciplines at 2- and 4-year higher education institutions focused on tools, contexts, and assessments relating to flipped classrooms. What techniques, strategies, and tools use flipped classroom pedagogy to improve student learning outcomes? What does the research say about the different contexts and environments in which flipped instruction will lead to optimal results? How do we measure whether our efforts are producing the best student learning? The conference was designed for those who are new to flipped classrooms and to those who are current practitioners and want to improve outcomes. Participate had plenty of opportunities to share with each other in a small conference setting.

The conference took place from January 11 to 12 at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA. Limited funding for travel and lodging for U.S. residents was available. This conference was generously funded by the National Science Foundation (DUE 1244786) and Harvey Mudd College.

 

Networks for Lifelong Learning: A Tale of Two Students — from novemberlearning.com by Alan November

Excerpts:

Where to begin in leading this shift? There are many possible first steps. This article focuses on two broad areas of digital design that can provide the foundation for an empowered culture of learning:

  • Multimedia content
  • Online communities of social interaction with classmates and professors

I have experienced this transformative shift of expanding the boundaries of learning with my own college-age children. My daughter, Jessica, graduated from university in 2010 and my son, Dan, will graduate in 2017. They both will earn equivalent grades at two different but highly competitive universities. How they studied, how they were supported in their learning, and how they interacted with classmates and professors represent two different worlds. Both of my children are convinced that Dan, the younger sibling, will be much better prepared for the world of work because of this transformation.

Here are five guidelines for leaders who are planning to maximize the investment in network technologies to improve teaching and learning:

  • Provide all students with immediate access to subject content in all formats (full text, video, audio)
  • Support a community of learners who can continuously help one another
  • Provide educators with insights into how students are thinking in online communities
  • Encourage educators to teach students to “learn how to learn”
  • Allow students to continue to tap their campus networks as a lifelong resource

 

 

 

From DSC:
The following article reminded me of a vision that I’ve had for the last few years…

  • How to Build a Production Studio for Online Courses — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser
    At the College of Business at the University of Illinois, video operations don’t come in one size. Here’s how the institution is handling studio setup for MOOCs, online courses, guest speakers and more.

Though I’m a huge fan of online learning, why only build a production studio that’s meant to support online courses only? Let’s take it a step further and design a space that can address the content development for online learning as well as for blended learning — which can include the flipped classroom type of approach.

To do so, colleges and universities need to build something akin to what the National University of Singapore has done. I would like to see institutions create large enough facilities in order to house multiple types of recording studios in each one of them. Each facility would feature:

  • One room that has a lightboard and a mobile whiteboard in it — let the faculty member choose which surface that they want to use

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • A recording booth with a nice, powerful, large iMac that has ScreenFlow on it. The booth would also include a nice, professional microphone, a pop filter, sound absorbing acoustical panels, and more. Blackboard Collaborate could be used here as well…especially with the Application Sharing feature turned on and/or just showing one’s PowerPoint slides — with or without the video of the faculty member…whatever they prefer.

 

 

 

 

  • Another recording booth with a PC and Adobe Captivate, Camtasia Studio, Screencast-O-Matic, or similar tools. The booth would also include a nice, professional microphone, a pop filter, sound absorbing acoustical panels, and more. Blackboard Collaborate could be used here as well…especially with the Application Sharing feature turned on and/or just showing one’s PowerPoint slides — with or without the video of the faculty member…whatever they prefer.

 

 

 

 

  • Another recording booth with an iPad tablet and apps loaded on it such as Explain Everything:

 

 

  • A large recording studio that is similar to what’s described in the article — a room that incorporates a full-width green screen, with video monitors, a tablet, a podium, several cameras, high-end mics and more.  Or, if the budget allows for it, a really high end broadcasting/recording studio like what Harvard Business school is using:

 

 

 

 

 


 

A piece of this facility could look and act like the Sound Lab at the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP)

 

 

 


 

 

 

5 Online Education Trends to Watch in 2017 — from usnews.com by Jordan Friedman
Experts predict more online programs will offer alternative credentials and degrees in specialized fields.

Excerpts:

  1. Greater emphasis on nontraditional credentials
  2. Increased use of big data to measure student performance
  3. Greater incorporation of artificial intelligence into classes
  4. Growth of nonprofit online programs
  5. Online degrees in surprising and specialized disciplines

 

 

The Future of Online Learning Is Offline: What Strava Can Teach Digital Course Designers — from edsurge.com by Amy Ahearn

Excerpt:

I became a Strava user in 2013, around the same time I became an online course designer. Quickly I found that even as I logged runs on Strava daily, I struggled to find the time to log into platforms like Coursera, Udemy or Udacity to finish courses produced by my fellow instructional designers. What was happening? Why was the fitness app so “sticky” as opposed to the online learning platforms?

As a thought experiment, I tried to recast my Strava experience in pedagogical terms. I realized that I was recording hours of deliberate practice (my early morning runs), formative assessments (the occasional speed workout on the track) and even a few summative assessments (races) on the app. Strava was motivating my consistent use by overlaying a digital grid on my existing offline activities. It let me reconnect with college teammates who could keep me motivated. It enabled me to analyze the results of my efforts and compare them to others. I didn’t have to be trapped behind a computer to benefit from this form of digital engagement—yet it was giving me personalized feedback and results. How could we apply the same practices to learning?

I’ve come to believe that one of the biggest misunderstandings about online learning is that it has to be limited to things that can be done in front of a computer screen. Instead, we need to reimagine online courses as something that can enable the interplay between offline activities and digital augmentation.

A few companies are heading that way. Edthena enables teachers to record videos of themselves teaching and then upload these to the platform to get feedback from mentors.

 

 

DIY’s JAM online courses let kids complete hands-on activities like drawing or building with LEGOs and then has them upload pictures of their work to earn badges and share their projects.

 

 

My team at +Acumen has built online courses that let teams complete projects together offline and then upload their prototypes to the NovoEd platform to receive feedback from peers. University campuses are integrating Kaltura into their LMS platforms to enable students to capture and upload videos.

 

 

We need to focus less on building multiple choice quizzes or slick lecture videos and more on finding ways to robustly capture evidence of offline learning that can be validated and critiqued at scale by peers and experts online.

 

 

 

 

 

 
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