For makerspaces out there, check out the Shaper Origin product! — with thanks to Mr. Joe Byerwalter for this excellent resource/find!

Excerpt:

We fuse computers with handheld tools to simplify the process of making. Shaper Origin is the world’s first smart handheld cutting tool. From intricate design work to dining room tables, Origin tackles projects of every size and complexity.

 

ShaperOrigin-August2016

 

 

 

From DSC:
How much longer before the functionalities that are found in tools like Bluescape & Mural are available via tvOS-based devices? Entrepreneurs and VCs out there, take note. Given:

  • the growth of freelancing and people working from home and/or out on the road
  • the need for people to collaborate over a distance
  • the growth of online learning
  • the growth of active/collaborative learning spaces in K-12 and higher ed
  • the need for lifelong learning

…this could be a lucrative market. Also, it would be meaningful work…knowing that you are helping people learn and earn.

 


 

Mural-Aug-2016

 

 

Bluescape-Aug2016

 

 

 

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

 

 

 
 

Now you can build your own Amazon Echo at home—and Amazon couldn’t be happier — from qz.com by Michael Coren

Excerpt:

Amazon’s $180 Echo and the new Google Home (due out later this year) promise voice-activated assistants that order groceries, check calendars and perform sundry tasks of your everyday life. Now, with a little initiative and some online instructions, you can build the devices yourself for a fraction of the cost. And that’s just fine with the tech giants.

At this weekend’s Bay Area Maker Faire, Arduino, an open-source electronics manufacturer, announced new hardware “boards”—bundles of microprocessors, sensors, and ports—that will ship with voice and gesture capabilities, along with wifi and bluetooth connectivity. By plugging them into the free voice-recognition services offered by Google’s Cloud Speech API and Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service, anyone can access world-class natural language processing power, and tap into the benefits those companies are touting. Amazon has even released its own blueprint and code repository to build a $60 version of its Echo using Raspberry Pi, another piece of open-source hardware.

 

From DSC:
Perhaps this type of endeavor could find its way into some project-based learning out there, as well as in:

  • Some Computer Science-related courses
  • Some Engineering-related courses
  • User Experience Design bootcamps
  • Makerspaces
  • Programs targeted at gifted students
  • Other…??

 

 

 

Teaching while learning: What I learned when I asked my students to make video essays — from chronicle.com by Janine Utell, Professor of English at Widener University

Excerpt:

This is not exactly a post about how to teach the video essay (or the audiovisual essay, or the essay video, or the scholarly video).  At the end I share some resources for those interested in teaching the form: the different ways we might define the form, some of the theoretical/conceptual ideas undergirding the form, how it allows us to make different kinds of arguments, and some elements of design, assignment and otherwise.

What I’m interested in here is reflecting on what this particular teaching moment has taught me.  It’s a moment still in progress/process.  These reflections might pertain to any teaching moment where you’re trying something new, where you’re learning as the students are learning, where everyone in the room is slightly uncomfortable (in a good, stretching kind of way), where failure is possible but totally okay, and where you’re able to bring in a new interest of your own and share it with the students.

Take two:  I tried this again in an upper-level narrative film course, and the suggestions made by students in the previous semester paid off.  With the additional guidance, students felt comfortable enough being challenged with the task of making the video; a number of them shared that they liked having the opportunity to learn a new skill, and that it was stimulating to have to think about new ways of making choices around what they wanted to say.  Every step of realizing their storyboard and outline required some problem-solving, and they were able to articulate the work of critical thinking in surprising ways (I think they themselves were a little surprised, too).

Some resources on the video essay/scholarly video:

 

 

From DSC:

A couple of comments that I wanted to make here include:

  1. I greatly appreciate Janine’s humility, her wonderful spirit of experimentation, and her willingness to learn something right along with her students. She expressed to her students that she had never done this before and that they all were learning together. She asked them for feedback along the way and incorporated that feedback in subsequent attempts at using this exercise. Students and faculty members need to realize/acknowledge/accept that few people know it all these days — experts are a dying breed in many fields, as the pace of change renders it thus.
    .
  2. Helping students along with their new media literacy skills is critical these days. Janine did a great job in this regard! Unfortunately, she is in an enormous minority.  I run a Digital Studio on our campus, and so often I enter the room with dismay…a bit of sorrow creeps back into me again, as too many times our students are not learning some of the skills that will serve them so well once they graduate (not to mention how much they would benefit from being able to craft multimedia-based messages and put such messages online in their studies while in college). Such skills will serve students well in whatever future vocation they go into.  Knowing some of the tools of the trade, working with digital audio and video, storyboarding, working with graphics, typography, and more — are excellent skills and knowledge to have in order to powerfully communicate one’s message.

 

 

 

 

Microsoft Surface Hub is now shipping – – from avinteractive.com

Excerpt:

Surface Hub is… “a new category of device that will transform the way companies work by delivering a new kind of productivity experience made for group collaboration. It was designed from the ground up for ink and touch, and harnesses the best collaboration and security features of Windows 10, Skype for Business, Office, OneNote and Universal Windows apps.”

 

 

Microsoft Surface Hub finally starts shipping — from informationweek.com by Nathan Eddy
Microsoft’s Surface Hub promises to revolutionize the way companies collaborate and communicate, but are businesses ready to pay a hefty price to do so? The giant, Windows 10-based device starts at $9,000.

 

 

Also see:

 

MicrosoftSurfaceHubNowShipping-3-31-16

MicrosoftSurfaceHub2-NowShipping-3-31-16

 

You can choose between 55” HD and 84” 4K options.
Start meetings on time with a tap of the screen.
End your session with an option to save & send meeting content to the group for later use.

 

 

From DSC:
Though this hardware is targeted towards the corporate space, I can’t help but think of the applications to higher education as well.  This is yet another tool that could facilitate active learning & stronger collaboration — whether that be in classrooms or in conference rooms.  Note how these solutions are often able to bring in remote learners/employees into the discussions.  In several of these kinds of solutions, the remote learners/employees can see and interact with the same content…such as in Bluescape.

 

Bluescape-3-31-16

 

 

 

 

Active Learning: In Need of Deeper Exploration — from facultyfocus.com by Maryellen Weimer

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The one proposed by Bonwell and Eison in an early (and now classic) active learning monograph is widely referenced: involving “students in doing things and thinking about the things they are doing.” (p. 2)

Those are fine places to start, but as interest in active learning has grown—and with its value now firmly established empirically—what gets labeled as active learning continues to expand. Carr, Palmer, and Hagel recently wrote, “Active learning is a very broad concept that covers or is associated with a wide variety of learning strategies.” (p. 173) They list some strategies now considered to be active learning. I’ve added a few more: experiential learning; learning by doing (hands-on learning); applied learning; service learning; peer teaching (in various contexts); lab work; role plays; case-based learning; group work of various kinds; technology-based strategies such as simulations, games, clickers, and various smart phone applications; and classroom interaction, with participation and discussion probably being the most widely used of all active learning approaches. Beyond strategies are theories such as constructivism that have spun off collections of student-centered approaches that promote student autonomy, self-direction, and self-regulation of learning.

 

 

“It’s Not You, It’s the Room”— Are the High-Tech, Active Learning Classrooms Worth It? [2013] – from cvm.umn.edu by Sehoya Cotner, Jessica Loper, J. D. Walker, and D. Christopher Brooks

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Several institutions have redesigned traditional learning spaces to better realize the potential of active, experiential learning. We compare student performance in traditional and active learning classrooms in a large, introductory biology course using the same syllabus, course goals, exams, and instructor. Using ACT scores as predictive, we found that students in the active learning classroom outperformed expectations, whereas those in the traditional classroom did not. By replicating initial work, our results provide empirical confirmation that new, technology-enhanced learning environments positively and independently affect student learning. Our data suggest that creating space for active learning can improve student performance in science courses. However, we recognize that such a commitment of resources is impractical for many institutions, and we offer recommendations for applying what we have learned to more traditional spaces.

We believe that the investment in ALCs at the University of Minnesota was worth it. Documented increases in student engagement and confirmed average gains of nearly 5 percentage points in final grades are improvements in the student academic experience that few educational interventions could aspire to. However, whether these improvements warrant the capital investment in ALCs is a judgment each educational institution must make for itself, drawing on local priorities and resources.

Instructors may need to think seriously and creatively about changing the manner in which they deliver their courses in spaces such as these —not only for the sake of navigating the challenges of teaching in a decentered space, but also to take advantage of the features of the room that allow us to better realize the benefits of active learning. The classroom architecture is bound to frustrate the efforts of faculty who don’t yield to the rooms’ novel demands. There is no well-identified “stage” from which to deliver a traditional lecture. Half of the students in the class may be facing away from the instructor at any given time. Teachers who view silence as engagement will need to adjust their perceptions, as one goal of decentralized classrooms is increased small-group interaction and this activity can be noisy and difficult to monitor. And, in the case of the ALCs at our institution, there is a learning curve with respect to the technological capabilities of the rooms.

 

 

Excerpt from the University of Minnesota’s Active Learning Classrooms web page:

What Is an Active Learning Classroom (ALC)?
ALC is the term often used to describe the student-centered, technology-rich learning environments at the University of Minnesota. U of M ALCs feature large round tables with places for nine students. Each table supports three laptops, with switching technology that connects them to a fixed flat-panel display projection system, and three microphones. There is a centered teaching station which allows the instructor to select and display table-specific information. Multiple white boards or glass-surface marker boards are distributed around the perimeter of the classrooms.

 

 

 

5 steps for creating a custom makerspace — from eschoolnews.com by Laura Fleming

Excerpt:

The maker movement has created opportunities for all educators to give students authentic learning opportunities that go beyond the typical classroom experiences and to rethink traditional learning environments to include those that nurture the kinds of creativity and innovation that will benefit our students both in school and beyond. We know children learn by exploring and playing and doing and making and that these kinds of things lead to deeper engagement. The maker movement embodies opportunities for experimentation and innovation to occur across all grade levels and all content areas.

Physical makerspaces have allowed us the opportunity to pull some of this excitement of the maker movement into our schools. Makerspaces can help set the stage for meaningful student learning, as well as help cultivate a culture of innovation within a school. My makerspace inspires innovation, passion, and personal motivation and interests, and has encouraged students to pursue STEM subjects and careers.

 

 

Top ten makerspace favorites of 2015 — from worlds-of-learning.com by Laura Fleming

Excerpt:

The most successful makerspaces include tools, materials and resources that inspire and allow for an environment rich with possibilities, allowing all students the opportunity for open-ended exploration.  In addition to tried-and-true favorites such as Spheros, Makey-Makey kits, littleBits, and Legos, there is now such a vast array of makerspace-related products available.

As this year draws to a close, we can’t help but reflect upon some of our favorite makerspace things.  Upon doing so, Travis Lape and I, have compiled a list of our ‘Top Ten Favorite Makerspace Items of 2015’.  In this post, we have provided links to all of the products, as well as a brief description of each. It is our hope, that this versatile and fun list will get you thinking about things you have never thought of before and help your makerspaces to continue to grow and evolve.

 

 

Resources for youth makerspaces — from makered.org

 

MakerEd-Oct2015

 

 

6 Back to the Future projects as cool as the movie — from makezine.com by Lisa Martin

 

Delorean-MakerOct2015

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
Some of the items that I see at Singularity Hub — and the perspectives held and lifted up by some of the authors therein — are over the top…at least for me they are. Nevertheless, at other times I think that there are some pretty solid articles at the site.  Along these lines, the following two postings are worth a read.

 

Automation is eating jobs, but these skills will always be valued in the workplace — from singularityhub.com by Alison Berman
If you’d asked farmers a few hundred years ago what skills their kids would need to thrive, it wouldn’t have taken long to answer. General skills for a single profession that only changed slowly.

Excerpt:

Finland recently shifted its national curriculum to a new model called the “phenomenon-based” approach. By 2020, the country will replace traditional classroom subjects with a topical approach highlighting the four Cs—communication, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration. These four skills “are central to working in teams, and a reflection of the ‘hyperconnected’ world we live in today,” Singularity Hub Editor-in-Chief David Hill recently wrote.

Hill notes the four Cs directly correspond to the skills needed to be a successful 21st century entrepreneur—when accelerating change means the jobs we’re educating for today may not exist tomorrow. Finland’s approach reflects an important transition away from the antiquated model used in most US institutions—a model created for a slower, more stable labor market and economy that no longer exists.

In addition to the four Cs, successful entrepreneurs across the globe are demonstrating three additional soft skills that can be integrated into the classroom—adaptability, resiliency and grit, and a mindset of continuous learning.

These skills can equip students to be problem-solvers, inventive thinkers, and adaptive to the fast-paced change they are bound to encounter. In a world of uncertainty, the only constant is the ability to adapt, pivot, and get back on your feet.

 

From DSC:
I’m glad to see that they added 3 additional soft skills to the 4 C’s mentioned above: adaptability, resiliency and grit, and a mindset of continuous learning.

 

These skills can equip students to be problem-solvers, inventive thinkers, and adaptive to the fast-paced change they are bound to encounter. In a world of uncertainty, the only constant is the ability to adapt, pivot, and get back on your feet.

 

Given the pace of change, I think that one of the most overlooked competencies that is quickly becoming critical is the ability to scan the horizons to see what’s coming down the pike. We often have our eyesight turned downwards, focusing on the tasks at hand. But we don’t always do a good job of looking up, glancing around the various relevant landscapes to one’s job/position, and ascertaining which of the developing trends might impact us. We often either don’t know how to strategize or we don’t take the time to come up with plans for what we should do if those trends might adversely affect us.  Instead, we move forward with our eyesight pointing downwards — then we suddenly get blindsided.

Also see:

How would today’s smartest teens overhaul education? We asked them — from singularityhub.com by Libby Falck
What happens when you gather 14 of the world’s brightest teenagers at Singularity University and ask them to design the future of education? During last summer’s Exponential Youth Camp, we found out.

Excerpts:

The first thing that became very clear during our conversation was that our group of “Generation Me” millennials expect their learning to be highly personalized. It should be “my choice” to pursue “my interests” at “my pace,” they argued. Although this may at first sound childish, these demands are far from selfish. Why? Because personalization is necessary to compete in today’s intricately specialized world.

Nonetheless, our XYC teens told us they are looking for more than hands-on practice in the classroom; they want opportunities to work on projects in the real world as well. For them, contributing to the local community sparked engagement and motivation in a way that classroom work couldn’t match. Furthermore, the teens told us that most tests “just don’t make sense.”

The teens told us online courses are “great for educated specialists” but don’t cater to beginners. They cited a lack of time to complete online coursework and internet connectivity issues faced by many schools as additional issues. Mostly, the teens didn’t like the idea of “going it alone.” The problem wasn’t that online learning content was bad, the students simply desired guidance in navigating the material.

The teens told us they value traditional subject matter, but opportunities to build more practical skills were lacking. Interest in learning more about money management and soft skill development — like teamwork, problem solving and conflict resolution — was mentioned multiple times.

 

 

 

Creating Movies With Students — from ipadsammy.com by Jon Samuelson

Excerpt:

“Here’s looking at you, Kid” – Presentation From BSD Future Ready Summit

Getting students started creating videos can seem like a daunting task. There isn’t enough time in the day to get your regular subjects done, how are you supposed to give students time to create videos? I am here to tell you it can be done. I hope that this post/presentation will provide what you need to get started.

Students can create videos on a variety within the context of what they are learning right now. Video story problem for math, a how to science experiment, or a book trailer that covers important story traits are all good ideas. Here is a list of apps, PDF Templates, and equipment that can be helpful when creating movies.

 
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