White Bread Mold Experiment Teaches the Importance of Washing Hands — from interestingengineering.com by Donna Fuscaldo
An elementary school teacher used an experiment with white bread to show how important is to wash your hands.

Excerpts:

Flu season is around the corner and Jaralee Metcalf, a behavioral specialist who works with autistic students in elementary school wanted to teach the importance of washing hands to stave off the influenza virus.

“As somebody who is sick and tired of being sick and tired of being sick and tired. Wash your hands! Remind your kids to wash their hands! And hand sanitizer is not an alternative to washing hands!! At all!.” wrote Metcalf in his Facebook post.

 

Kids! Wash your hands!

 

With thanks to Mr. Joe Byerwalter for this resource.

 

Below are some thoughts from Michal Borkowski, CEO and Co-Founder of Brainly, regarding some emerging edtech-related trends for 2020.

2020 is coming at us fast, and it’s bringing a haul of exciting EdTech trends along with it. A new decade means new learning opportunities created to cater to the individual rather than a collective hive. There are more than one or two ways of learning — by not embracing all of the ways to teach, we risk leaving students behind in subjects they may need extra help in.

Michal Borkowski, CEO and Co-Founder of Brainly– the world’s largest online learning platform with 150 million monthly users in 35 countries– has his finger on the pulse of global education trends. He was selected to speak at Disrupt Berlin, the world’s leading authority in debuting revolutionary startups and technologies, this year and has some insightful predictions on the emerging trends 2020 will bring in EdTech.

  1. Customized learning via AI
    AI systems with customizable settings will allow students to learn based on their personal strengths and weaknesses. This stylized learning takes into account that not every student absorbs information in the same way. In turn, it helps teachers understand what each individual student needs, spend more time teaching new material, and receive higher classroom results.
  2. Responsible technological integration
    Students today are more fluent in technology than older generations. Integrating tech through digital resources, textbooks, game-style lessons, and interactive learning are efficient ways to captivate students and teach them responsible usage of technology.
  3. Expansive peer-to-peer learning
    Allowing students access to a platform where they can view different student’s educational interpretations, and one specific perspective may help information click, is invaluable. These learning platforms break down barriers, encourage active learning anywhere, and cultivate a sense of community between students all over the world.
  4. From STEM to STEAM
    Science, technology, engineering, and math curriculums have been the major educational focus of the decade, but 2020 will see more integration of classical liberal arts into educational modules, turning STEM into STEAM. Incorporating the arts into a tech-based curriculum enables students to create important connections to the world and allows them to have a well-rounded education.
  5. Options in learning environments
    Who says learning has to take place in a classroom? Advancements in EdTech has provided new and exciting avenues where educators can experiment. Grade and high school level teachers are experimenting with webinars, online tutorials, and other forms of tech-based instruction to connect to students in environments where they are more inclined to learn.

2020 is the year that education forms itself around each student’s individual needs rather than leaving kids behind who don’t benefit from traditional instruction.

 

Accessibility at a Crossroads: Balancing Legal Requirements, Frivolous Lawsuits, and Legitimate Needs — from er.educause.edu by Martin LaGrow

Excerpt:

Changes in legal requirements for IT accessibility have prompted some to pursue self-serving legal actions. To increase access to users of all abilities, colleges and universities should articulate their commitment to accessibility and focus on changing institutional culture.

 

Pre-to-3: App uses medical model to screen for dyslexia — from educationdive.com by Linda Jacobson
?Children can administer the assessment themselves, and teachers get resources on how to respond if students are missing key literacy milestones.

Excerpt:

That’s why she wanted to provide educators with a screening instrument children can administer themselves, and one that provides strategies to help children when they miss key early literacy milestones in areas such as vocabulary, oral listening comprehension and phonological awareness.

The Boston Children’s Hospital Early Literacy Screening System is a 20-minute, game-based, adaptive app being piloted in 40 schools in nine states.

 

Texas A&M Launches State’s First Inclusive 4-Year College Program for Students with Disabilities — from people.com by Char Adams
Aggie ACHIEVE is the state’s first four-year postsecondary education program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities

Excerpt:

Texas A&M University is opening the door to higher education for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities — making history as the first program of its kind in the state.

The school has vowed to help students with disabilities realize their dreams of becoming Aggies with a four-year post-secondary education program specifically designed to support them, the public university announced in a statement.

Texas A&M Launches State's First Inclusive 4-Year College Program for Students with Disabilities

 

 

Virtual reality helping those with developmental disabilities — from kivitv.com by Matt Sizemore
How VR is making autistic individuals more independent

Excerpts:

EAGLE, IDAHO — If you think modern day virtual reality is just for gaming, think again. New technology is helping those with developmental disabilities do more than ever before, and much of that can be found right in their own backyard.

“I see unlimited potential inside of their minds. I see us being able to unlock a certain person who can achieve things that we never thought could be done, and all of this could happen off of just exposing them to virtual reality,” said Smythe.

VR1 and the Autism XR Institute are constantly creating tools and ideas to help kids and adults with autism live a more independent life through virtual reality.

 

Also see:

Making a final wish comes true: Hospice expanding virtual reality therapy — from galioninquirer.com by Russell Kent

Excerpt:

ASHLAND — Hospice of North Central Ohio is extending its virtual reality therapy (VRT) in an effort to help Richland County hospice and palliative patients fulfill their last wishes, thanks to a $7,000 grant from the Robert and Esther Black Family Foundation Fund of The Richland County Foundation.

VRT uses video technology to generate realistic 360-degree, photographic or animated three-dimensional images, accompanied by sounds from the actual environment. When donning the headset and headphones, viewers are surrounded by visuals and sounds that give the impression of being physically present in the environment. Virtual reality therapy treatment allows patients to relive memories, return to places of emotional significance, or experience something or somewhere that they desire.

 
 

Legal Battle Over Captioning Continues — from insidehighered.com by Lindsay McKenzie
A legal dispute over video captions continues after court rejects requests by MIT and Harvard University to dismiss lawsuits accusing them of discriminating against deaf people.

Excerpt:

Two high-profile civil rights lawsuits filed by the National Association of the Deaf against Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are set to continue after requests to dismiss the cases were recently denied for the second time.

The two universities were accused by the NAD in 2015 of failing to make their massive open online courses, guest lectures and other video content accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Some of the videos, many of which were hosted on the universities’ YouTube channels, did have captions — but the NAD complained that these captions were sometimes so bad that the content was still inaccessible.

Spokespeople for both Harvard and MIT declined to comment on the ongoing litigation but stressed that their institutions were committed to improving web accessibility.

 

 

From DSC:
I ran into the posting below on my Twitter feed. I especially want to share it with all of those students out there who are majoring in Education. You will find excellent opportunities to build your Personal Learning Network (PLN) on Twitter.

But this idea/concept/opportunity also applies to current teachers, professors, trainers, special educators, principals, superintendents, school board members, coaches, and many, many others.

You will not only learn a great deal by tapping into those streams of content, but you will be able to share your own expertise, insights, resources, reflections, etc.  Don’t underestimate the networking and learning potential of Twitter. It’s one of the top learning tools in the world.

One last thought before you move onto the graphics below…K-12 educators are doing a super job of networking and sharing resources with each other. I hope that more faculty members who are working within higher education can learn from the examples being set forth by K-12 educators.

 

 

Also see:

 

Also see:

 

 

To Differentiate: Lower Floors and Raise Ceilings — from byrdseed.com by Ian Bryd
When you’re planning a task for a wide range of students, the terms “floor” and “ceiling” are easy mental shortcuts to increase the range of success for all kids.

Excerpt:

It should be our goal to develop tasks that all students can get started with, but that also scale up for students who are ready for more. This is the easiest way to create a task that can work for everyone.

My friend Lisa has a fantastic piece of differentiation advice:

Plan for your highest-ability students first, then figure out how to onboard your other learners.

Why? Because it’s really hard to increase the ceiling on a worksheet. It’s much easier to lower the floor on, say, a research project. You can always scaffold down – but you can’t always raise the ceiling.

 

Aiming for a low floor and high ceiling supports all students. Plus, it gives even low-performing kids a chance to go somewhere interesting. You’ll never know who will take advantage of that high ceiling.

 

 

Cambridge library installation gives readers control of their sensory space — from cambridge.wickedlocal.com by Hannah Schoenbaum

Excerpts:

A luminous igloo-shaped structure in the front room of the Cambridge Public Library beckoned curious library visitors during the snowy first weekend of March, inviting them to explore a space engineered for everyone, yet uniquely their own.

Called “Alterspace” and developed by Harvard’s metaLAB and Library Innovation Lab, this experiment in adaptive architecture granted the individual control over the sensory elements in his or her space. A user enters the LED-illuminated dome to find headphones, chairs and an iPad on a library cart, which displays six modes: Relax, Read, Meditate, Focus, Create and W3!Rd.

From the cool blues and greens of Relax mode to a rainbow overload of excitement in the W3!Rd mode, Alterspace is engineered to transform its lights, sounds and colors into the ideal environment for a particular action.

 

 

From DSC:
This brings me back to the question/reflection…in the future, will students using VR headsets be able to study by a brook? An ocean? In a very quiet library (i.e., the headset would come with solid noise cancellation capabilities build into it)?  This type of room/capability would really be helpful for our daughter…who is easily distracted and doesn’t like noise.

 

 

7 Things You Should Know About Accessibility Policy — from library.educause.edu

Excerpt:

Websites from the Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) of the California State University, Penn State, the University of Virginia, and the Web Accessibility Initiative feature rich content related to IT accessibility policies. A California State University memorandum outlines specific responsibilities and reporting guidelines in support of CSU’s Policy on Disability Support and Accommodations. Cornell University developed a multiyear “Disability Access Management Strategic Plan.” Specific examples of accessibility policies focused on electronic communication and information technology can be found at Penn State, Purdue University, Yale University, and the University of Wisconsin– Madison. Having entered into a voluntary agreement with the National Federation of the Blind to improve accessibility, Wichita State University offers substantial accessibility-related resources for its community, including specific standards for ensuring accessibility in face-to face instruction.

 

 

The information below is from Deb Molfetta, Outreach Coordinator at EdDPrograms.org


EdDPrograms.org helps educators and administrators research doctoral education opportunities. Their organization’s work in education began in 2008 with projects ranging from a new teacher survival guide to their own teacher education scholarship program. More recently they realized that there weren’t any websites dedicated to professional development through Doctor of Education (EdD) programs, which is why they created their own – EdDPrograms.org. It covers a lot of ground, but here are a few sections they think administrators will appreciate:

EdDPrograms.org is owned and operated by a group that has been creating post-secondary education resources since 2008. According to Deb, they have a history of providing students with objective, fact-based resources.

 

 

 

For the first time in its history, the Gerber spokesbaby is a child with Down syndrome — from cnn.com by Andrea Diaz

Excerpt:

(CNN) This cutie with a contagious smile is 18-month-old Lucas Warren and on (2/7/18) he made history: He’s the first child with Down syndrome to become Gerber’s “Spokesbaby of the year” in its 91-year history.

 

Meet the first Gerber Baby with Down syndrome

 

From DSC:
I just saw this item from last February… and I love it! 

 

 

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