From DSC:
On one hand:

Next-gen supercomputers are fast-tracking treatments for the coronavirus in a race against time  — from cnbc.com by Charlie Wood

Key points:

  • Scientists are using IBM’s Summit, the world’s fastest supercomputer, to help find promising candidate drugs to fight the coronavirus epidemic.
  • Using the computer’s muscle, researchers digitally simulated how 8,000 different molecules would interact with the virus.
  • The project was able to identify 77 candidate molecules that other researchers can now test in trials.
  • Supercomputing is also being used to tackle other major global issues, such as climate change.

On the other hand:

AI could help with the next pandemic—but not with this one — from technologyreview.comby Will Douglas Heaven
Some things need to change if we want AI to be useful next time, and you might not like them.

“The hype outstrips the reality. In fact, the narrative that has appeared in many news reports & breathless press releases—that AI is a powerful new weapon against diseases—is only partly true & risks becoming counterproductive.”

 

 

From DSC:
I’ll say it again, just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

From the article below…we can see another unintended consequence is developing on society’s landscapes. I really wish the 20 and 30 somethings that are being hired by the big tech companies — especially at Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft — who are developing these things would ask themselves:

  • “Just because we can develop this system/software/application/etc., SHOULD we be developing it?”
  • What might the negative consequences be? 
  • Do the positive contributions outweigh the negative impacts…or not?

To colleges professors and teachers:
Please pass these thoughts onto your students now, so that this internal questioning/conversations begin to take place in K-16.


Report: Colleges Must Teach ‘Algorithm Literacy’ to Help Students Navigate Internet — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

If the Ancient Mariner were sailing on the internet’s open seas, he might conclude there’s information everywhere, but nary a drop to drink.

That’s how many college students feel, anyway. A new report published this week about undergraduates’ impressions of internet algorithms reveals students are skeptical of and unnerved by tools that track their digital travels and serve them personalized content like advertisements and social media posts.

And some students feel like they’ve largely been left to navigate the internet’s murky waters alone, without adequate guidance from teachers and professors.

Researchers set out to learn “how aware students are about their information being manipulated, gathered and interacted with,” said Alison Head, founder and director of Project Information Literacy, in an interview with EdSurge. “Where does that awareness drop off?”

They found that many students not only have personal concerns about how algorithms compromise their own data privacy but also recognize the broader, possibly negative implications of tools that segment and customize search results and news feeds.

 

The Secret to Student Success? Teach Them How to Learn. — from edsurge.com by Patrice Bain

Excerpt:

Abby’s story is hardly unique. I often teach students who react with surprise when they do well in my class. “But I’ve never done well in history,” they say. This is almost always followed by a common, heartbreaking confession. “I’m not smart.” Every time I hear this, I am faced with the gut-wrenching realization that the student has internalized failure by age eleven. Yet every year I see these same students soar and complete the class with high grades.

This raises two questions for me: How can we turn eleven-year-olds who have internalized failure into students like Abby who retain information for years? And how can we teach that poor grades don’t indicate failure, but rather that we haven’t found the correct learning strategy?

Enter research.

 

Using a Research-Based Approach – It’s Up to Us  — from wcetfrontiers.org by Andria Schwegler

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

This discrepancy suggests that perceptions are heavily influenced by idiosyncratic, personal experiences instead of by research.

Nearly a decade ago, a meta-analysis of studies comparing student learning in online, blended, and face-to-face contexts revealed no significant differences in learning across course modality (Means, Toyama, Murphy, Bakia, & Jones, 2010). Today, a growing body of research corroborates no significant differences exist (National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements, 2019). That some faculty attitudes are not aligned with this information suggests that concerns regarding course delivery are confounded with beliefs about course modality. Leveraging existing research on teaching and learning and conducting new research to address gaps can clarify how to address concerns with course delivery to facilitate students’ ability to meet learning outcomes instead of assuming course modality is the problem.

 

 

120 AI predictions for 2020 — from forbes.com by Gil Press

Excerpt:

As for the universe, it is an open book for the 120 senior executives featured here, all involved with AI, delivering 2020 predictions for a wide range of topics: Autonomous vehicles, deepfakes, small data, voice and natural language processing, human and augmented intelligence, bias and explainability, edge and IoT processing, and many promising applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies and tools. And there will be even more 2020 AI predictions, in a second installment to be posted here later this month.

 

The Research is in: 2019 Education Research Highlights — edutopia.org by Youki Terada
Does doodling boost learning? Do attendance awards work? Do boys and girls process math the same way? Here’s a look at the big questions that researchers tackled this year.

Excerpt:

Every year brings new insights—and cautionary tales—about what works in education. 2019 is no different, as we learned that doodling may do more harm than good when it comes to remembering information. Attendance awards don’t work and can actually increase absences. And while we’ve known that school discipline tends to disproportionately harm students of color, a new study reveals a key reason why: Compared with their peers, black students tend to receive fewer warnings for misbehavior before being punished.

CUT THE ARTS AT YOUR OWN RISK, RESEARCHERS WARN
As arts programs continue to face the budget ax, a handful of new studies suggest that’s a grave mistake. The arts provide cognitive, academic, behavioral, and social benefits that go far beyond simply learning how to play music or perform scenes in a play.

In a major new study from Rice University involving 10,000 students in third through eighth grades, researchers determined that expanding a school’s arts programs improved writing scores, increased the students’ compassion for others, and reduced disciplinary infractions. The benefits of such programs may be especially pronounced for students who come from low-income families, according to a 10-year study of 30,000 students released in 2019.

Unexpectedly, another recent study found that artistic commitment—think of a budding violinist or passionate young thespian—can boost executive function skills like focus and working memory, linking the arts to a set of overlooked skills that are highly correlated to success in both academics and life.

Failing to identify and support students with learning disabilities early can have dire, long-term consequences. In a comprehensive 2019 analysis, researchers highlighted the need to provide interventions that align with critical phases of early brain development. In one startling example, reading interventions for children with learning disabilities were found to be twice as effective if delivered by the second grade instead of third grade.

 


Per RetrievalPractice.org:

Download ALL our free guides, research, and resources!

We’re here to make your life easier. In order to unleash the science of learning, we strive to make it easy to access and quick to implement.

That’s why we really want you to download everything from our library, including free practice guides, book club resources, research, and more.

 

6 reasons why higher education needs to be disrupted — from hbr.org by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Becky Frankiewicz

In our view, until the entire higher educational system prioritizes the classroom over the research lab, it will be a challenge for this dynamic to change.

Excerpts:

  1. Employers need skills, not just knowledge or titles:
  2. Students want jobs, not knowledge or titles:
  3. Students are paying more and more to get less and less:
  4. Students have unrealistic expectations (understandably) about college:
  5. Many elite universities prioritize research, often at the expense of teaching:
  6. Instead of boosting meritocracy, universities reinforce inequality:

The fundamental question we see is this: If a university claims to be a top educational institution, shouldn’t it admit the people with the lowest test scores, and turn them into the leader of tomorrow (as opposed to admitting the people with the highest income and test scores, who would probably rule the world tomorrow regardless of those three or four years in college)?

From DSC:
My hat’s off to those who teach in those institutions who “open wide” the gates of entry!!! They are the professors who have to work their tails off to help their students. 

And shame on the elite institutions who continue to value research/grant $$ waaaaaay over teaching — all while charging more and more for less and less…and while many graduates students end up teaching a lot of the undergraduate students. Those graduate students most likely haven’t been taught how to teach either!

And what higher ed pays adjunct faculty members is a complete disgrace — while many coaches make millions of $’s. Full-time faculty members — and administrators/provosts/other members of leadership — who were suddenly put into the adjunct faculty member’s role/wages would be outraged and demand immediate change.

 

Everyday Media Literacy — from routledge.com by Sue Ellen Christian
An Analog Guide for Your Digital Life, 1st Edition

Description:

In this graphic guide to media literacy, award-winning educator Sue Ellen Christian offers students an accessible, informed and lively look at how they can consume and create media intentionally and critically.

The straight-talking textbook offers timely examples and relevant activities to equip students with the skills and knowledge they need to assess all media, including news and information. Through discussion prompts, writing exercises, key terms, online links and even origami, readers are provided with a framework from which to critically consume and create media in their everyday lives. Chapters examine news literacy, online activism, digital inequality, privacy, social media and identity, global media corporations and beyond, giving readers a nuanced understanding of the key concepts and concerns at the core of media literacy.

Concise, creative and curated, this book highlights the cultural, political and economic dynamics of media in our contemporary society, and how consumers can mindfully navigate their daily media use. Everyday Media Literacy is perfect for students (and educators) of media literacy, journalism, education and media effects looking to build their understanding in an engaging way.

 

My Favorite Book about Teaching and Learning is…33 Books to Inspire You! — from linkedin.com by Barbi Honeycutt

Excerpt:

…I recently posted this fill-in-the-blank question to all of my social media pages:

My favorite book about teaching and learning is ______________.

The response has been fantastic! Professors, instructors, teachers, educators, and faculty development professionals from a variety of disciplines from around the world responded with their favorite book about teaching and learning.

I’ve compiled the list and here are the 33 books recommended by colleagues throughout my network (many books were recommended more than once).

 

‘The Dangers of Fluent Lectures’ — from insidehighered.com by Colleen Flaherty
A study says smooth-talking professors can lull students into thinking they’ve learned more than they actually have — potentially at the expense of active learning.

Excerpt:

The paper also provides important insight into why active learning hasn’t taken deeper root in academe, despite the many studies that have previously identified its effectiveness as compared to more passive approaches (namely the lecture). In a word: students. That is, while professors are often seen as the biggest impediments to innovative teaching, the study describes an “inherent student bias against active learning that can limit its effectiveness and may hinder the wide adoption of these methods.”

Compared with students in traditional lectures, students in active classes perceived that they learned less, while in reality they learned more. Students also rated the quality of instruction in passive lectures more highly, and expressed a preference to have “all of their physics classes taught this way,” despite their lower test scores.

In some ways, he said, “the study confirms what we have suspected anecdotally for a long time — that students feel more comfortable in a lecture environment and believe that they are learning more because of the expectations they have for a college learning environment.” But, in fact, he said, they’re “actually learning more in the environments where they are actively engaged in building knowledge about key concepts.”

 

From DSC:
The part about the students feeling more comfortable in a lecture environment and believing that they are learning more reminded me of this research/paper (which the graphics below reference and link to as well), where they mention the practices of highlighting and re-reading some text. Students feel like they are really learning the content more thoroughly when they are doing these things (and this is what I did in college as well). But the evidence shows that the utility of these methods is low. Instead, practice testing — which involves retrieval practice, as well as distributed practice and interleaved practice produce stronger results.

So what students feel and what’s actually occurring can be different…as Colleen’s article from insidehighered.com points out.

That said — and as the article asserted as well — is that some lecturing is fine to do:

At the same time, Eyler stressed that existing literature shows that some limited lecturing is “definitely OK,” as “students need to know content in order to engage in higher order thinking.”

 

 

Addendum on 9/14/19:

 

 
 

 

Research Posters Are a Staple of Academic Conferences. Could a New Design Speed Discovery? — from edsurge.com by Jeff Young

Excerpts:

Scholars around the world share their latest research findings with a decidedly low-tech ritual: printing a 48-inch by 36-inch poster densely packed with charts, graphs and blocks of text describing their research hypothesis, methods and findings. Then they stand with the poster in an exhibit hall for an hour, surrounded by rows of other researchers presenting similar posters, while hundreds of colleagues from around the world walk by trying to skim the displays.

Not only does the exercise deflate the morale of the scholars sharing posters, the ritual is incredibly inefficient at communicating science, Morrison argues.

Morrison says he has a solution: A better design for those posters, plus a dash of tech.

 

 

To make up for all the nuance and detail lost in this approach, the template includes a QR code that viewers can scan to get to the full research paper.

 

From DSC:
Wouldn’t this be great if more journal articles would do the same thing?  That is, give us the key findings, conclusions (with some backbone to them), and recommendations right away! Abstracts don’t go far enough, and often scholars/specialists are talking amongst themselves…not to the world. They could have a far greater reach/impact with this kind of approach.

(The QR code doesn’t make as much sense if one is already reading the full journal article…but the other items make a great deal of sense!)

 

 

Four research-based strategies every teacher should be using — from cultofpedagogy.com  by Jennifer Gonzalez

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

[Per Jennifer] Cognitive scientist Pooja Agarwal and K-12 teacher Patrice Bain have collaborated on a new book, Powerful Teaching: Unleash the Science of Learning. In the book, they go into detail about what it looks like when we actually apply four research-based “Power Tools” in the classroom: retrieval practice, spaced practice, interleaving, and feedback-driven metacognition—which is one we haven’t covered at all on this podcast. Today I’m going to talk with Pooja and Patrice about these strategies, the research behind why they work, and some ways you can start using them right away in your instruction.

 

Instead of assigning homework to give students practice with course material, give mini-quizzes at the start of each class that ask 3-5 questions about the prior day’s learning. These should either receive no grades or be given a very low point value, because the goal of these is to reinforce the learning, not measure or grade student work. 

In her social studies classroom, Bain used to assign homework most nights, and found that not only was she spending up to two hours a night grading it, it also was doing nothing to help students retain information.

 

 

 

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