DC: The next generation learning platform will likely offer us such virtual reality-enabled learning experiences such as this “flight simulator for teachers.”

Virtual reality simulates classroom environment for aspiring teachers — from phys.org by Charles Anzalone, University at Buffalo

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Two University at Buffalo education researchers have teamed up to create an interactive classroom environment in which state-of-the-art virtual reality simulates difficult student behavior, a training method its designers compare to a “flight simulator for teachers.”

The new program, already earning endorsements from teachers and administrators in an inner-city Buffalo school, ties into State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher’s call for innovative teaching experiences and “immersive” clinical experiences and teacher preparation.

The training simulator Lamb compared to a teacher flight simulator uses an emerging computer technology known as virtual reality. Becoming more popular and accessible commercially, virtual reality immerses the subject in what Lamb calls “three-dimensional environments in such a way where that environment is continuous around them.” An important characteristic of the best virtual reality environments is a convincing and powerful representation of the imaginary setting.

 

Also related/see:

 

  • TeachLive.org
    TLE TeachLivE™ is a mixed-reality classroom with simulated students that provides teachers the opportunity to develop their pedagogical practice in a safe environment that doesn’t place real students at risk.  This lab is currently the only one in the country using a mixed reality environment to prepare or retrain pre-service and in-service teachers. The use of TLE TeachLivE™ Lab has also been instrumental in developing transition skills for students with significant disabilities, providing immediate feedback through bug-in-ear technology to pre-service teachers, developing discrete trial skills in pre-service and in-service teachers, and preparing teachers in the use of STEM-related instructional strategies.

 

 

 

 

 

This start-up uses virtual reality to get your kids excited about learning chemistry — from Lora Kolodny and Erin Black

  • MEL Science raised $2.2 million in venture funding to bring virtual reality chemistry lessons to schools in the U.S.
  • Eighty-two percent of science teachers surveyed in the U.S. believe virtual reality content can help their students master their subjects.

 

This start-up uses virtual reality to get your kids excited about learning chemistry from CNBC.

 

 


From DSC:
It will be interesting to see all the “places” we will be able to go and interact within — all from the comfort of our living rooms! Next generation simulators should be something else for teaching/learning & training-related purposes!!!

The next gen learning platform will likely offer such virtual reality-enabled learning experiences, along with voice recognition/translation services and a slew of other technologies — such as AI, blockchain*, chatbots, data mining/analytics, web-based learner profiles, an online-based marketplace supported by the work of learning-based free agents, and others — running in the background. All of these elements will work to offer us personalized, up-to-date learning experiences — helping each of us stay relevant in the marketplace as well as simply enabling us to enjoy learning about new things.

But the potentially disruptive piece of all of this is that this next generation learning platform could create an Amazon.com of what we now refer to as “higher education.”  It could just as easily serve as a platform for offering learning experiences for learners in K-12 as well as the corporate learning & development space.

 

I’m tracking these developments at:
http://danielschristian.com/thelivingclassroom/

 

 

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

 


*  Also see:


Blockchain, Bitcoin and the Tokenization of Learning — from edsurge.com by Sydney Johnson

Excerpt:

In 2014, Kings College in New York became the first university in the U.S. to accept Bitcoin for tuition payments, a move that seemed more of a PR stunt than the start of some new movement. Much has changed since then, including the value of Bitcoin itself, which skyrocketed to more than $19,000 earlier this month, catapulting cryptocurrencies into the mainstream.

A handful of other universities (and even preschools) now accept Bitcoin for tuition, but that’s hardly the extent of how blockchains and tokens are weaving their way into education: Educators and edtech entrepreneurs are now testing out everything from issuing degrees on the blockchain to paying people in cryptocurrency for their teaching.

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
I’m posting this in an effort to:

  • Help students learn how to learn
  • Help students achieve the greatest possible returns on their investments (both their $$ and their time) when they are trying to learn about new things

I’d like to thank Mr. William Knapp, Executive Director at GRCC for Distance Learning & Instructional Technology, for sharing this resource on Twitter.


A better way to study through self-testing and distributed practice — from kqed.org

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

As I prepared to write this column, I relied on some pretty typical study techniques. First, as I’ve done since my student days, I generously highlighted key information in my background reading. Along the way, I took notes, many of them verbatim, which is a snap with digital copying and pasting. (Gotta love that command-C, command-V.) Then I reread my notes and highlights. Sound familiar? Students everywhere embrace these techniques and yet, as it turns out, they are not particularly good ways to absorb new material. At least not if that’s all you do.

Researchers have devoted decades to studying how to study. The research literature is frankly overwhelming. Luckily for all of us, the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest published a review article a few years ago that remains the most comprehensive guide out there. Its 47 pages hold valuable lessons for learners of any age and any subject — especially now, with end-of-semester exams looming.

The authors examined ten different study techniques, including highlighting, rereading, taking practice tests, writing summaries, explaining the content to yourself or another person and using mnemonic devices. They drew on the results of nearly 400 prior studies. Then, in an act of boldness not often seen in academic research, they actually awarded ratings: high, low or moderate utility.

The study strategies that missed the top rating weren’t necessarily ineffective, explains the lead author John Dunlosky, a psychology professor at Kent State University, but they lacked sufficient evidence of efficacy, or were proven useful only in certain areas of study or with certain types of students. “We were trying to find strategies that have a broad impact across all domains for all students,” Dunlosky says, “so it was a pretty tough rating scale.”

 

In fact, only two techniques got the top rating: practice testing and “distributed practice,” which means scheduling study activities over a period of time — the opposite of cramming.

Practice testing can take many forms: flashcards, answering questions at the end of a textbook chapter, tackling review quizzes online. Research shows it works well for students from preschool through graduate and professional education.

Testing yourself works because you have to make the effort to pull information from your memory — something we don’t do when we merely review our notes or reread the textbook.


As for distributed practice vs. cramming, Dunlosky and his fellow authors write that “cramming is better than not studying at all,” but if you are going to devote four or five hours to studying for your biology mid-term, you would you be far better off spacing them out over a several days or weeks. “You get much more bang for your buck if you space,” Dunlosky told me.

 

 

Also see:

Improving Students’ Learning With Effective Learning Techniques — from journals.sagepub.com by John Dunlosky, Katherine A. Rawson, Elizabeth J. Marsh, Mitchell J. Nathan, and Daniel T. Willingham
Promising Directions From Cognitive and Educational Psychology

Excerpt:

In this monograph, we discuss 10 learning techniques in detail and offer recommendations about their relative utility. We selected techniques that were expected to be relatively easy to use and hence could be adopted by many students. Also, some techniques (e.g., highlighting and rereading) were selected because students report relying heavily on them, which makes it especially important to examine how well they work. The techniques include elaborative interrogation, self-explanation, summarization, highlighting (or underlining), the keyword mnemonic, imagery use for text learning, rereading, practice testing, distributed practice, and interleaved practice.

 

 

 

In fact, only two techniques got the top rating: practice testing and “distributed practice,” which means scheduling study activities over a period of time — the opposite of cramming.

 

 

From DSC:
This is yet another reason that I like the approach of using streams of content to help people learn something new. Because you can implement distributed practice, encourage recall, etc. when you put the content out there at regular intervals.

 

 

 

From DSC:
One of the biggest gifts that we can give our students today is learning how to learn. Along those lines, I was thinking about note-taking the other day.

Many students may not know how to take good notes, and to make the notes/thoughts their own. So I was thinking, wouldn’t it be great if, for each professor’s class, there was a place where students could go to see what exemplary notes look like for several — even many — of the sessions of a particular class?! If there were an accompanying audio-based or a video-based commentary that could relay the note-taker’s thinking/information processing, all the better.

These notes could be provided by the professor herself/himself or by a 4.0-type of student who has demonstrated solid study habits and shows a strong capacity for processing information.  The notes would want to:

  • Demonstrate what good note taking looks like
  • Provide examples of one’s own wording/understanding of the material
  • Identify/show any gaps in understanding by listing their own remaining questions. This type of gap analysis could help the learners see what a metacognitive check-in might look like.

By doing something like this, students could see what the main points were, what effective note taking looks like, and to see that the note-taker has taken the time to put some of their own reflections/summaries alongside the larger set of notes.

It would also be interesting to provide a platform whereby students could contribute/share their own notes to help others better understand not only the materials covered, but what different methods of note-taking might look like. Perhaps a certain style of note-taking would jump out at any given learner. Also, doing so would foster a more collaborative approach, as is often needed in the real-world.

An accompanying forum could be made available for students’ discussions of a particular class/topic. This forum could highlight for the professor what the areas of struggle are as well as how the material is being processed by the students.

 


On a separate thought…we also need to help students form habits of learning, such as regularly checking into streams of content (i.e., micro-learning).  If we can model this in the ways that we relay content and encourage dialog around a topic, then they will be that much better equipped to:

  • Deal with the new pace of exponential change
  • Reinvent themselves, if need be
  • Practice lifelong learning
  • Learn how to pulse-check their surroundings

 

 

 

Love this VR of a classroom lesson – 7 uses that really takes you there — from donaldclarkplanb.blogspot.com by Donald Clark

Excerpt:

I received a fascinating link via Twitter from Chris Edwards, a Deputy Head in Surrey, who was interested in views on his experiment with a 360 camera and VR. In the 360 degree video, Mike Kent, a Geography teacher, delivers a great lesson and you can look round the entire room as students and teacher move around, get things done, interact with the teacher and go through a Q&A session. It is fascinating. They’re using this approach for lesson observations allowing the teacher, or their colleagues, to watch it back in full Virtual Reality. This gives the teacher a view of themselves, from the student’s point of view, as well as observe ‘everything’ that happens in the classroom. It made me think of different possibilities…..

 

Good lessons by great teachers must surely be worth viewing by novice teachers. The rich set of processes, actions, behaviours, body language and interactions that go into a great lesson are complex, wonderfully captured in this example and could be done on any subject. A bank of such lessons would be far more useful than dry lesson plans.

 

From DSC:
Donald covers a range of ideas including using these 360 degree cameras and VR in regards to addressing:

  1. Exemplar lessons
  2. Teacher training in school
  3. Behaviour training
  4. Students
  5. Parents
  6. Class layout
  7. Research

 

Also see:
(You can turn around/view the entire room and somewhat move about the space by zooming in and out):

bubl-in-classroom-july2016

 

Also see:

bubl-july2016

 

 

 

Do the math: New math learning lab offers one-stop shop for student success — from udel.edu by Ann Manser and Juwan Montalvo

Excerpt:

If there’s a University of Delaware department that really knows how to rely on numbers, it’s Mathematical Sciences, and faculty members there have been seeing some worrisome data — a large proportion of freshmen failing or dropping their beginning math courses and, too often, difficulties with math causing interested students to abandon STEM classes altogether.

“We know that, nationally, a large number of students enter college with an interest in STEM [science, technology, engineering and math], but those numbers drop off,” said John Pelesko, professor of mathematical sciences and interim associate dean for the natural sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences. “A lot of that attrition is due to negative experiences in college math classes, so we decided to address it. We realized that we can’t fix this problem by doing the same things that got us here.”

The department and the college came up with what they think is a solution.

 

 

TeachingInADigitalAge-TonyBates-April2015

Teaching in a Digital Age
A.W. (Tony) Bates
Guidelines for designing teaching and learning for a digital age

The book examines the underlying principles that guide effective teaching in an age when everyone, and in particular the students we are teaching, are using technology.  A framework for making decisions about your teaching is provided, while understanding that every subject is different, and every instructor has something unique and special to bring to their teaching. The book enables teachers and instructors to help students develop the knowledge and skills they will need in a digital age: not so much the IT skills, but the thinking and attitudes to learning that will bring them success.

 

As Tony mentions here, his intended audience is primarily:

  • college and university instructors anxious to improve their teaching or facing major challenges in the classroom,
  • school teachers, particularly in secondary or high schools anxious to ensure their students are ready for either post-secondary education or a rapidly changing and highly uncertain job market.

 

An example chapter:
Chapter 7: Pedagogical differences between media

 

 

 

Information from Amy Ashline and the kids that she works with

“…the kids thought of the brilliant idea to email you in the first place, because they wanted to share a resource they found: http://www.pc-wholesale.com/pc-wholesale-com-s-guide-to-keyboarding.html . They thought it’d be a great fit for your page and that maybe other visitors would find it fantastic as well.”

 

PC Wholesale.com’s Guide to Keyboarding

Excerpt:

With the increasing usage of computers, keyboarding skills have become essential. Children must learn keyboarding skills early on as part of using computers and in order to type lessons and reports. Parents need to encourage kids to practice typing outside of school as it takes a lot of time to become efficient. It is also important to teach the proper hand and body positioning as well as correct typing techniques in order to prevent things like carpal tunnel syndrome. Learning to type need not be a boring chore; today, there are many fun games, lessons, and tests online to help kids learn keyboarding skills. With entertaining games like this, kids will love to type!

Examples:

 

readysettype-11-4-13

 

ElmosKeyboardORama-Nov2013

 

DanceMatTyping-Nov2013

 

From DSC:
Typing/keyboarding has been one of the most useful skills I’ve ever learned. 

Quick story:
I got a detention slip from my typing teacher in 7th grade for looking at my hands while typing. That seemed to help me quite a bit actually. After that, I practiced really hard at NOT looking at my hands.  Anyway, if you’re still out there, thanks Mrs. Worthy for teaching me how to type!!!

 

 

 

 

 
 

3 demos available now from socraticarts.com — per Roger Schank (@rogerschank)

 

Excerpt from SEO module:

How is this course different than most university courses?

This course differs from a typical university course in many ways. It is based on a story-centered, learn-by-doing approach, rather than lectures and exams. The context in which you work is not a classroom but a job, with task assignments similar to those done by professionals in the real world. Unlike the real world, we are here to help you as you move through the scenario.

  • Our support resources, which include books and links, have been carefully selected to be directly relevant to the tasks you need to accomplish. They are appropriate for beginners, and aligned with the current professional standards of best practice.
  • Our mentors will give you detailed, informative critiques of your solutions, pointing out how your solutions can be dramatically improved.

The net result of the above is that if you successfully complete this course, you will achieve not just basic understanding of key concepts, but actual mastery of the skills needed in the real world.

 

50 suggestions for implementing 70-20-10 (2) — from Jay Cross

Excerpt:

The 70 percent: learning from experience

People learn by doing. We learn from experience and achieve mastery through practice.

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