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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research study suggests VR can have a huge impact in the classroom — from uploadvr.com by Joe Durbin

Excerpt:

“Every child is a genius in his or her own way. VR can be the key to awakening the genius inside.”

This is the closing line of a new research study currently making its way out of China. Conducted by Beijing Bluefocus E-Commerce Co., Ltd and Beijing iBokan Wisdom Mobile Internet Technology Training Institution, the study takes a detailed look at the different ways virtual reality can make public education more effective.

 

“Compared with traditional education, VR-based education is of obvious advantage in theoretical knowledge teaching as well as practical skills training. In theoretical knowledge teaching, it boasts the ability to make abstract problems concrete, and theoretical thinking well-supported. In practical skills training, it helps sharpen students’ operational skills, provides an immersive learning experience, and enhances students’ sense of involvement in class, making learning more fun, more secure, and more active,” the study states.

 

 

VR for Education – what was and what is — from researchvr.podigee.io

Topics discussed:

  • VR for education: one time use vs everyday use
  • Ecological Validity of VR Research
  • AR definition & history
  • Tethered vs untethered
  • Intelligent Ontology-driven Games for Teaching Human Anatomy
  • Envelop VR
  • VR for Education
  • Gartner curve – then and now

 

 

 

Virtual reality industry leaders come together to create new association — from gvra.com

Excerpt:

CALIFORNIA — Acer Starbreeze, Google, HTC VIVE, Facebook’s Oculus, Samsung, and Sony Interactive Entertainment [on 12/7/16] announced the creation of a non-profit organization of international headset manufacturers to promote the growth of the global virtual reality (VR) industry. The Global Virtual Reality Association (GVRA) will develop and share best practices for industry and foster dialogue between public and private stakeholders around the world.

The goal of the Global Virtual Reality Association is to promote responsible development and adoption of VR globally. The association’s members will develop and share best practices, conduct research, and bring the international VR community together as the technology progresses. The group will also serve as a resource for consumers, policymakers, and industry interested in VR.

VR has the potential to be the next great computing platform, improving sectors ranging from education to healthcare, and contribute significantly to the global economy. Through research, international engagement, and the development of best practices, the founding companies of the Global Virtual Reality Association will work to unlock and maximize VR’s potential and ensure those gains are shared as broadly around the world as possible.

For more information, visit www.GVRA.com.

 

 

 

Occipital shows off a $399 mixed reality headset for iPhone — from techcrunch.com by Lucas Matney

Excerpt:

Occipital announced today that it is launching a mixed reality platform built upon its depth-sensing technologies called Bridge. The headset is available for $399 and starts shipping in March; eager developers can get their hands on an Explorer Edition for $499, which starts shipping next week.

 

 

From DSC:
While I hope that early innovators in the AR/VR/MR space thrive, I do wonder what will happen if and when Apple puts out their rendition/version of a new form of Human Computer Interaction (or forms) — such as integrating AR-capabilities directly into their next iPhone.

 

 

Enterprise augmented reality applications ready for prime time — from internetofthingsagenda.techtarget.com by Beth Stackpole
Pokémon Go may have put AR on the map, but the technology is now being leveraged for enterprise applications in areas like marketing, maintenance and field service.

Excerpt:

Unlike virtual reality, which creates an immersive, computer-generated environment, the less familiar augmented reality, or AR, technology superimposes computer-generated images and overlays information on a user’s real-world view. This computer-generated sensory data — which could include elements such as sound, graphics, GPS data, video or 3D models — bridges the digital and physical worlds. For an enterprise, the applications are boundless, arming workers walking the warehouse or selling on the shop floor, for example, with essential information that can improve productivity, streamline customer interactions and deliver optimized maintenance in the field.

 

 

15 virtual reality trends we’re predicting for 2017 — from appreal-vr.com by Yariv Levski

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

2016 is fast drawing to a close. And while many will be glad to see the back of it, for those of us who work and play with Virtual Reality, it has been a most exciting year.

By the time the bells ring out signalling the start of a new year, the total number of VR users will exceed 43 million. This is a market on the move, projected to be worth $30bn by 2020. If it’s to meet that valuation, then we believe 2017 will be an incredibly important year in the lifecycle of VR hardware and software development.

VR will be enjoyed by an increasingly mainstream audience very soon, and here we take a quick look at some of the trends we expect to develop over the next 12 months for that to happen.

 

 

Murdoch University hosts trial of virtual reality classroom TeachLivE — from communitynews.com.au by Josh Zimmerman

Excerpt:

IN an Australian first, education students will be able hone their skills without stepping foot in a classroom. Murdoch University has hosted a pilot trial of TeachLivE, a virtual reality environment for teachers in training.

 

The student avatars are able to disrupt the class in a range of ways that teachers may encounter such as pulling out mobile phones or losing their pen during class.

 

murdoch-university-teachlive-dec017

 

 

8 Cutting Edge Virtual Reality Job Opportunities — from appreal-vr.com by Yariv Levski
Today we’re highlighting the top 8 job opportunities in VR to give you a current scope of the Virtual Reality job market.

 

 

 

Epson’s Augmented Reality Glasses Are a Revolution in Drone Tech — from dronelife.com by Miriam McNabb

Excerpt:

The Epson Moverio BT-300, to give the smart glasses their full name, are wearable technology – lightweight, comfortable see-through glasses – that allow you to see digital data, and have a first person view (FPV) experience: all while seeing the real world at the same time. The applications are almost endless.

 

 

 

Volkswagen Electric Car To Feature Augmented Reality Navigation System — from gas2.org by Steve Hanley

Excerpt:

Volkswagen’s pivot away from diesel cars to electric vehicles is still a work in progress, but some details about its coming I.D. electric car — unveiled in Paris earlier this year — are starting to come to light. Much of the news is about an innovative augmented reality heads-up display Volkswagen plans to offer in its electric vehicles. Klaus Bischoff, head of the VW brand, says the I.D. electric car will completely reinvent vehicle instrumentation systems when it is launched at the end of the decade.

 

 

These global research centers are a proof that virtual reality is more than gaming — from haptic.al by Deniz Ergürel

Excerpt:

For decades, numerous research centers and academics around the world have been working the potential of virtual reality technology. Countless research projects undertaken in these centers are an important indicator that everything from health care to real estate can experience disruption in a few years.

  • Virtual Human Interaction Lab — Stanford University
  • Virtual Reality Applications Center — Iowa State University
  • Institute for Creative Technologies—USC
  • Medical Virtual Reality — USC
  • The Imaging Media Research Center — Korea Institute of Science and Technology
  • Virtual Reality & Immersive Visualization Group — RWTH Aachen University
  • Center For Simulations & Virtual Environments Research — UCIT
  • Duke immersive Virtual Environment —Duke University
  • Experimental Virtual Environments (EVENT) Lab for Neuroscience and Technology — Barcelona University
  • Immersive Media Technology Experiences (IMTE) — Norwegian University of Technology
  • Human Interface Technology Laboratory — University of Washington

 

 

Where Virtual and Physical Worlds Converge — from disruptionhub.com

Excerpt:

Augmented Reality (AR) dwelled quietly in the shadow of VR until earlier this year, when a certain app propelled it into the mainstream. Now, AR is a household term and can hold its own with advanced virtual technologies. The AR industry is predicted to hit global revenues of $90 billion by 2020, not just matching VR but overtaking it by a large margin. Of course, a lot of this turnover will be generated by applications in the entertainment industry. VR was primarily created by gamers for gamers, but AR began as a visionary idea that would change the way that humanity interacted with the world around them. The first applications of augmented reality were actually geared towards improving human performance in the workplace… But there’s far, far more to be explored.

 

 

VR’s killer app has arrived, and it’s Google Earth — from arstechnica.com by Sam Machkovech
Squishy geometry aside, you won’t find a cooler free VR app on any device.

Excerpt:

I stood at the peak of Mount Rainier, the tallest mountain in Washington state. The sounds of wind whipped past my ears, and mountains and valleys filled a seemingly endless horizon in every direction. I’d never seen anything like it—until I grabbed the sun.

Using my HTC Vive virtual reality wand, I reached into the heavens in order to spin the Earth along its normal rotational axis, until I set the horizon on fire with a sunset. I breathed deeply at the sight, then spun our planet just a little more, until I filled the sky with a heaping helping of the Milky Way Galaxy.

Virtual reality has exposed me to some pretty incredible experiences, but I’ve grown ever so jaded in the past few years of testing consumer-grade headsets. Google Earth VR, however, has dropped my jaw anew. This, more than any other game or app for SteamVR’s “room scale” system, makes me want to call every friend and loved one I know and tell them to come over, put on a headset, and warp anywhere on Earth that they please.

 

 

VR is totally changing how architects dream up buildings — from wired.com by Sam Lubell

Excerpt:

In VR architecture, the difference between real and unreal is fluid and, to a large extent, unimportant. What is important, and potentially revolutionary, is VR’s ability to draw designers and their clients into a visceral world of dimension, scale, and feeling, removing the unfortunate schism between a built environment that exists in three dimensions and a visualization of it that has until now existed in two.

 

 

How VR can democratize Architecture — from researchvr.podigee.io

Excerpt:

Many of the VR projects in Architecture are focused on the final stages of design process, basically for selling a house to a client. Thomas sees the real potential in the early stages: when the main decisions need to be made. VR is so good for this, as it helps for non professionals to understand and grasp the concepts of architecture very intuitively. And this is what we talked mostly about.

 

 

 

How virtual reality could revolutionize the real estate industry — from uploadvr.com by Benjamin Maltbie

 

 

 

Will VR disrupt the airline industry? Sci-Fi show meets press virtually instead of flying — from singularityhub.com by Aaron Frank

Excerpt:

A proposed benefit of virtual reality is that it could one day eliminate the need to move our fleshy bodies around the world for business meetings and work engagements. Instead, we’ll be meeting up with colleagues and associates in virtual spaces. While this would be great news for the environment and business people sick of airports, it would be troubling news for airlines.

 

 

How theaters are evolving to include VR experiences — from uploadvr.com by Michael Mascioni

 

 

 

#AI, #VR, and #IoT Are Coming to a Courthouse Near You! — from americanbar.org by Judge Herbert B. Dixon Jr.

Excerpt:

Imagine during one of your future trials that jurors in your courtroom are provided with virtual reality headsets, which allow them to view the accident site or crime scene digitally and walk around or be guided through a 3D world to examine vital details of the scene.

How can such an evidentiary presentation be accomplished? A system is being developed whereby investigators use a robot system inspired by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover using 3D imaging and panoramic videography equipment to record virtual reality video of the scene.6 The captured 360° immersive video and photographs of the scene would allow recreation of a VR experience with video and pictures of the original scene from every angle. Admissibility of this evidence would require a showing that the VR simulation fairly and accurately depicts what it represents. If a judge permits presentation of the evidence after its accuracy is established, jurors receiving the evidence could turn their heads and view various aspects of the scene by looking up, down, and around, and zooming in and out.

Unlike an animation or edited video initially created to demonstrate one party’s point of view, the purpose of this type of evidence would be to gather data and objectively preserve the scene without staging or tampering. Even further, this approach would allow investigators to revisit scenes as they existed during the initial forensic examination and give jurors a vivid rendition of the site as it existed when the events occurred.

 

 

Microsoft goes long for mixed reality — from next.reality.news

Excerpt:

The theme running throughout most of this year’s WinHEC keynote in Shenzhen, China was mixed reality. Microsoft’s Alex Kipman continues to be a great spokesperson and evangelist for the new medium, and it is apparent that Microsoft is going in deep, if not all in, on this version of the future. I, for one, as a mixed reality or bust developer, am very glad to see it.

As part of the presentation, Microsoft presented a video (see below) that shows the various forms of mixed reality. The video starts with a few virtual objects in the room with a person, transitions into the same room with a virtual person, then becomes a full virtual reality experience with Windows Holographic.

 

 

nmc-digitalliteracyreport-oct2016

 

The New Media Consortium (NMC) has released Digital Literacy: An NMC Horizon Project Strategic Brief in conjunction with the 2016 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference.

In analyzing the progress and gaps in this area, the NMC’s report has identified a need for higher education leaders and technology companies to prioritize students as makers, learning through the act of content creation rather than mere consumption. Additionally, the publication recommends that colleges and universities establish productive collaborations with industry, government, and libraries to provide students with access to the latest technologies and tools.

Based on the variety and complexity of these results, NMC cannot identify just one model of digital literacy. Instead three different digital literacies are now evident, each with distinct standards, potential curriculum, and implications for creative educators.

 

digitallits-nmc-oct2016

 

 

The aim of this publication is to establish a shared vision of digital literacy for higher education leaders by illuminating key definitions and models along with best practices and recommendations for implementing successful digital literacy initiatives.

 

 

To be digitally literate, you need to be:
fluent at critical thinking,
collaborating,
being creative, and
problem-solving in
digital environments.

 

 

Computer science and digital media classes can instruct on everything from office productivity applications to programming and video editing, for example.  Sociology courses can teach interpersonal actions online, such as the ethics and politics of social network interaction, while psychology and business classes can focus on computer-mediated human interaction. Government and political science classes are clearly well equipped to explore the intersection of digital technology and citizenship mentioned above. Communication, writing, and  literature classes have the capacity to instruct students on producing digital content in the form of stories, arguments, personal expression, posters, and more. 

 

 

 

From DSC:
If faculty members aren’t asking students to create multimedia in their assignments and/or take part in online/digitally-based means of communications and learning, the vast majority of the students won’t (and don’t) care about digital literacy…it’s simply not relevant to them: “Whatever gets me the grade, that’s what I’ll do. But no more.”

This type of situation/perspective is quite costly.  Because once students graduate from college, had they built up some solid digital literacy — especially the “creative literacy” mentioned above — they would be in much better shape to get solid jobs, and prosper at those jobs. They would be much better able to craft powerful communications — and reach a global audience in doing so. They would have honed their creativity, something increasingly important as the onward march of AI, robotics, algorithms, automation, and such continues to eat away at many types of jobs (that don’t really need creative people working in them).

This is an important topic, especially as digitally-based means of communication continue to grow in their usage and impact.

 

 

Part of digital literacy is not just understanding how a tool works but also why it is useful in the real world and when to use it.

 

 

 

 

55% of faculty are flipping the classroom — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser, Rhea Kelly
Our first-ever Teaching with Technology survey gauged educators’ use of the flipped classroom model, blended/online teaching environments and more.

Excerpt:

The majority of higher education faculty today are flipping their courses or plan to in the near future, according to Campus Technology‘s 2016 Teaching with Technology survey. The survey polled faculty members across the country about their use of technology for teaching and learning, their wish lists and gripes, their view of what the future holds and more.

 

 

From DSC:
Speaking of flipping the classroom…I’ve listed some ideas below for a recording studio for your college or university — with the idea to provide more choice, more control to faculty members who want to record their lectures.

A small recording booth with a Mac in it that has ScreenFlow loaded on it; alternatively, you could use a PC with a desktop recording app such as Adobe Captivate, Camtasia Studio, Jing, or something similar.

screenflow

 

A larger recording room that has a LightBoard (NU) or Learning Glass (SDSU) in it:

Image result for lightboard

 

A larger recording booth that simply has some whiteboards and/or some easels with paper on them

 

 

A Microsoft Surface Hub, or a SMART Board Interactive Display, or perhaps an Epson BrightLink, or something similar for writing and capturing annotations, images, graphics, etc.

 

mssurfacehub

 

…and likely other booths with other options that faculty can walk in and use. Again, the idea is to let the faculty members choose what’s most comfortable/convenient for them. 

 

 

MoreChoiceMoreControl-DSC

 

IBM Foundation collaborates with AFT and education leaders to use Watson to help teachers — from finance.yahoo.com

Excerpt:

ARMONK, N.Y., Sept. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Teachers will have access to a new, first-of-its-kind, free tool using IBM’s innovative Watson cognitive technology that has been trained by teachers and designed to strengthen teachers’ instruction and improve student achievement, the IBM Foundation and the American Federation of Teachers announced today.

Hundreds of elementary school teachers across the United States are piloting Teacher Advisor with Watson – an innovative tool by the IBM Foundation that provides teachers with a complete, personalized online resource. Teacher Advisor enables teachers to deepen their knowledge of key math concepts, access high-quality vetted math lessons and acclaimed teaching strategies and gives teachers the unique ability to tailor those lessons to meet their individual classroom needs.

Litow said there are plans to make Teacher Advisor available to all elementary school teachers across the U.S. before the end of the year.

 

 

In this first phase, Teacher Advisor offers hundreds of high-quality vetted lesson plans, instructional resources, and teaching techniques, which are customized to meet the needs of individual teachers and the particular needs of their students.

 

 

Also see:

teacheradvisor-sept282016

 

Educators can also access high-quality videos on teaching techniques to master key skills and bring a lesson or teaching strategy to life into their classroom.

 

 

From DSC:
Today’s announcement involved personalization and giving customized directions, and it caused my mind to go in a slightly different direction. (IBM, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and others like Smart Sparrow are likely also thinking about this type of direction as well. Perhaps they’re already there…I’m not sure.)

But given the advancements in machine learning/cognitive computing (where example applications include optical character recognition (OCR) and computer vision), how much longer will it be before software is able to remotely or locally “see” what a third grader wrote down for a given math problem (via character and symbol recognition) and “see” what the student’s answer was while checking over the student’s work…if the answer was incorrect, the algorithms will likely know where the student went wrong.  The software will be able to ascertain what the student did wrong and then show them how the problem should be solved (either via hints or by showing the entire problem to the student — per the teacher’s instructions/admin settings). Perhaps, via natural language processing, this process could be verbalized as well.

Further questions/thoughts/reflections then came to my mind:

  • Will we have bots that teachers can use to teach different subjects? (“Watson may even ask the teacher additional questions to refine its response, honing in on what the teacher needs to address certain challenges.)
  • Will we have bots that students can use to get the basics of a given subject/topic/equation?
  • Will instructional designers — and/or trainers in the corporate world — need to modify their skillsets to develop these types of bots?
  • Will teachers — as well as schools of education in universities and colleges — need to modify their toolboxes and their knowledgebases to take advantage of these sorts of developments?
  • How might the corporate world take advantage of these trends and technologies?
  • Will MOOCs begin to incorporate these sorts of technologies to aid in personalized learning?
  • What sorts of delivery mechanisms could be involved? Will we be tapping into learning-related bots from our living rooms or via our smartphones?

 

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

 

 

 

Also see:

 

 

 

Point:


 

CollegeLecture-Atlantic-July2016

 

Should colleges really eliminate the college lecture? — from theatlantic.com by Christine Gross-Loh

Excerpt:

But that lack of training is not unusual; it’s the norm. Despite the increased emphasis in recent years on improving professors’ teaching skills, such training often focuses on incorporating technology or flipping the classroom, rather than on how to give a traditional college lecture. It’s also in part why the lecture—a mainstay of any introductory undergraduate course—is endangered.

But is it the college lecture itself that’s the problem—or the lecturer?

Concerns about the lecture derive from anecdotal impressions as well as research data, including one meta analysis of 225 studies looking at the effectiveness of traditional lectures versus active learning in undergraduate STEM courses. That analysis indicated that lecturing increased failure rates by 55 percent; active learning—meaning teaching methods that are more interactive than traditional lectures—resulted in better grades and a 36 percent drop in class failure rates. High grades and low failure rates were most pronounced in small classes that relied on active teaching, supporting the theory that more students might receive STEM degrees if active learning took the place of traditional lecturing.

Still, although proponents of the movement to move away from the lecture cite data on its ineffectiveness, the debate has failed to take into account the fact that academics are rarely, if ever, formally trained in public speaking.

Many people think riveting lecturers are naturally gifted, but public-speaking skills can be, and are, taught. The art of rhetoric was practiced and taught for millennia, beginning in ancient Greece over 2,000 years ago; oratory skills were a social asset in antiquity, a way to persuade, influence, and participate in civic life.

 


Counterpoint:


 

On eliminating lectures, a reality-check: Part 1 — from rtalbert.org by Robert Talbert

Excerpt:

Today’s The Atlantic contains an article entitled “Should Colleges Really Eliminate the College Lecture?” that has really inspired me to write, in a way that the pending deadline on my book has not. Ordinarily I just ignore pieces like this except for maybe a tweet or two about them. But this time, I feel like this article has so many factually incorrect claims, glosses over so much research, and has such potential to spread bad ideas to a very wide audience that I felt the need to address its points one at a time. This is Part 1 of that response.

The article opens with a lament that, actually, I agree with completely: New Ph.D.’s do often lack the training in pedagogy that they need to be successful in their work. This training should include all forms of pedagogy, including lecture, and it should expose new instructors to the full range of pedagogies that are out there, as well as the research that informs their effectiveness (the concept of “evidence”: hold on to this idea) and the skill of selecting a combination of teaching methods that best suits the learning environment they are tasked with creating. Many universities are wising up to this need for training, but more need to get on board.

However from here, things start to go downhill…

And here, we find the lede that was buried by the headline: The whole problem with lecture is that we’re not well-trained enough in how to give great lectures. Training, insofar as it occurs at all, is focused on all these “modern” pedagogies and on technology. If we devoted as much training time to lecture as we did to the other stuff, then we’d see better results with lecturing. That is the claim as I understand it. It makes sense; but it’s wrong, and I’ll be explaining why as we go.

 

On eliminating lectures, a reality-check: Part 2 — from rtalbert.org by Robert Talbert

Excerpt:

But this time, with this article, I felt that I needed to respond — because of how thoroughly wrong it is on basic and easily-checked facts, because I’m tired of my colleagues in higher ed making teaching decisions based on their own interests rather than students’, possibly because it’s getting near the end of the summer and I’m getting punchy. Whatever the reasons, here was Part 1 of the response in which we found (by actually checking the articles to which the original linked) that many of the claims about “eliminating lecture” in the first 1/4 of the article were flat-out wrong.

This is yet another instance of one of the worst things about this Atlantic article: The stubborn insistence that teaching in any way other than pure lecture is the same thing as “eliminating lecture”.

 

But keep this in mind: The discussion about active learning and lecture is not about what’s “new” or “traditional”, “modern” or “outdated”. It is, or at least ought to be, about what works best for student learning.

 

Here we have a meta-analysis of 225 existing studies that cuts across a wide spectrum of institutional types, student demographics, and instructional styles and shows a profound impact by active learning techniques on student learning and achievement.

 

I’m not sure what your reaction will be when you read that PNAS study [here]. But I will go out on a limb and say that any college or university professor who gives half of a damn about the well-being of his or her students will read that study, and then stop and at least think for a moment about whether his or her teaching in the classroom is part of the problem or part of the solution.

 

 

On eliminating lectures, a reality-check: Part 3 — from rtalbert.org by Robert Talbert

Excerpt:

Our students need a learning environment that is supported by an instructor but which does not depend on the instructor bringing his or her “A” game to every class meeting. This is what active learning provides. It is what lecturing most definitely does not provide, and “more training” won’t change this.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

From DSC:
Though the title of Ashley Coolman’s blog posting out at smartsparrow.com mentions technology in it, the article is largely not about technology at all — but rather about the benefits of active learning. That’s why I’m highlighting it here.


 

Enabling active learning through technology — from smartsparrow.com by Ashley Coolman

Excerpts:

To many, it seems as though any learning can be considered active. Is a student taking notes not actively engaged in a class, especially when compared to their peers sleeping or playing on their phones in the back of the room?

The problem here is that while the note-taking student may be engaging with the class and professor, they are not engaging with the material. When furiously scribbling notes, students are more focused on getting every word down rather than evaluating, understanding, and analyzing what it is they are writing. They have engaged with the lecture, but not the material being relayed — which is the most important part.

In a study on active learning called “Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom”, the researchers stated:

“Surprisingly, educators’ use of the term “active learning” has relied more on intuitive understanding than a common definition. Consequently, many faculty assert that all learning is inherently active and that students are therefore actively involved while listening to formal presentations in the classroom. Analysis of the research literature (Chickering and Camson 1987), however, suggests that students must do more than just listen: They must read, write, discuss, or be engaged in solving problems. Most important, to be actively involved, students must engage in such higher-order thinking tasks as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.” (Bonwell and Eison 1991)

It is the degree and form by which students are actively engaging that matters. It is “learning by doing” that students really need.

 

Active learning is any learning activity in which the student INTERACTS or ENGAGES with the material, as opposed to passively taking in the information.

 

Furthermore, Cornell University found that research suggests learner attention starts to wane every 10–20 minutes during lectures. Incorporating active learning techniques a few times throughout class can encourage more engagement.*

*A side note from DSC:
A tool like
Socrative may come in useful here.

 

The blog posting from Smart Sparrow also linked to this resource:

Cornell-ActiveLearning-July2016

 

The problem is that lecture-based learning is not like filling a jug — you just don’t catch it all. Learning from lectures is more like holding out your hands and trying to keep the imparted knowledge from spilling through the cracks in this tidal wave of new information. Ultimately, students will catch some of the water, but most of it will be lost.

 

A side note from DSC to Calvin College faculty members:
If you doubt the immediately preceding quote, see if you can *fully* recall exactly what last Sunday’s sermon was about — including all examples, details, and wisdom that the preacher was trying to relay.

Ultimately, it’s about impact. What strongly impacts students stays with students — and isn’t that true for all of us?

 


 

Ashley lists the following resources re: active learning at the end of her posting:

  1. Using Active Learning Instructional Strategies to Create Excitement and Enhance Learning
  2. Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom
  3. Where’s the evidence that active learning works?
  4. How Does Active Learning Support Student Success?
  5. How To Retain 90% Of Everything You Learn

 


 

 

Connecting the education community with research on learning — from digitalpromise.org

Excerpt:

When designing a program or product, many education leaders and ed-tech developers want to start with the best knowledge available on how students learn. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done.

Although thousands of academic articles are published every year, busy education leaders and product developers often don’t know where to start, or don’t have time to sift through and find studies that are relevant to their work. As pressure mounts for “evidence-based” practices and “research-based” products, many in the education community are frustrated, and want an easier way to find information that will help them deliver stronger programs and products — and results. We need better tools to help make research more accessible for everyday work in education.

The Digital Promise Research Map meets this need by connecting education leaders and product developers with research from thousands of articles in education and the learning sciences, along with easy-to-understand summaries on some of the most relevant findings in key research topics.

 

Also see:

DigitalPromise-ResearchMapJune2016

 

 

DigitalPromise-ChordView-June2016

 

DigitalPromise-NetworkView-June2016

 

DigitalPromise-NetworkView2-June2016

 

 
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