In the future, the whole world will be a classroom — from fastcoexist.com by Marina Gorbis

 

TheFutureOfEducation-Gorbis-6-28-13

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From DSC:
What Marina is asserting is what I’m seeing as well. That is, we are between two massive but different means of obtaining an education/learning (throughout our lifetimes I might add).  What she’s saying is also captured in the following graphic:

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streams-of-content-blue-overlay

 

Also see:

 

From DSC:
1) To start out this posting, I want to pose some questions about “The Common Core” — in the form of a short video. <— NOTE:  Please be sure your speakers are on or you have some headphones with you — the signal is “hot” so you may need to turn down the volume a bit!  🙂

With a special thanks going out to
Mr. Bill Vriesema for sharing
some of his excellent gifts/work.

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DanielChristian-SomeQuestionsReTheCommonCore-June2013

 

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Having asked those questions, I understand that there is great value in having students obtain a base level of knowledge — in reading, writing, and basic math.  (Should we add keyboarding? Programming? Other?  Perhaps my comments are therefore more appropriate for high school students…not sure.)

Anyway, I would be much more comfortable with moving forward with the Common Core IF:

* I walked into random schools and found out which teachers the students really enjoyed learning from and whom had a real impact on the learning of the students.  Once I identified that group of teachers, if 7-8 out of 10 of them gave the Common Core a thumbs up, so would I.

* The Common Core covered more areas — such as fine arts, music, drama, woodworking, videography, photography, etc.    (Just because STEM might drive the economic engines doesn’t mean everyone enjoys plugging into a STEM-related field — or is gifted in those areas.)

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2) Secondly, here are just a few recent items re: the Common Core:


 

Good Read: Who’s Minding the Schools? — from blogs.kqed.org by Tina Barseghian

Excerpt: (emphasis DSC)

For those uninitiated to the Common Core State Standards, this New York Times article raises some important questions:

“By definition, America has never had a national education policy; this has indeed contributed to our country’s ambivalence on the subject… The anxiety that drives this criticism comes from the fact that a radical curriculum — one that has the potential to affect more than 50 million children and their parents — was introduced with hardly any public discussion. Americans know more about the events in Benghazi than they do about the Common Core.”

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The Common Core Standards

 

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Editorial: Make the Common Core standards work before making them count — from eschoolnews.com by Randi Weingarten
AFT President Randi Weingarten calls for a moratorium on the high-stakes implications of Common Core testing until the standards have been properly implemented.

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How to train students’ brains for the Common Core — from ecampusnews.com by Meris Stansbury
Excerpt:

According to Margaret Glick, a neuroscience expert and educational consultant at the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE), the Common Core State Standards and the accompanying assessments will cognitively require more than past standards. “They will require a deep understanding of content, complex performances, real-world application, habits of mind to persevere, higher levels of cognition and cognitive flexibility,” Glick said during “The Common Core State Standards and the Brain,” a webinar sponsored by the Learning Enhancement Corporation.

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Common Core testing will require digital literacy skills — from ecampusnews.com by Dennis Pierce
Excerpt:

It also will require students to demonstrate certain digital literacy skills that go beyond the core curriculum, observers say. These include technology operational skills such as keyboarding and spreadsheets, as well as higher-order skills such as finding and evaluating information online. And many observers have serious concerns about whether students will be ready to take the online exams by the 2014-15 school year.

 

Minn. moves ahead with some Common Core education standards — from minnesota.publicradio.org by Tim Post

 

Carry the Common Core in Your Pocket! — from appolearning.com by Monica Burns

Excerpt:

Whether you are a parent or educator, you have likely heard the buzz around the Common Core Learning Standards. Here’s the deal.

Across the United States schools are adopting these national standards to prepare students for college and careers by introducing rigorous content to children in all subject areas. The standards cover students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 in English Language Arts and Mathematics. The Common Core Standards app by MasteryConnect organizes the CCLS for students, parents and teachers with mobile devices.

 

 

Addendum on 6/19/13:

Addendum on 6/27/13: 

 

Northern Arizona wins regional accreditor’s approval for personalized learning program– from nextgenlearning.org by Nancy Millichap

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

It’s all systems go, at last: Northern Arizona University, one of the ten institutions presently developing breakthrough degree programs with NGLC support, recently got the green light to start enrolling students in their Personalized Learning program. The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC), NAU’s regional accreditor, approved their application to offer a competency-based degree program that moves away from the credit hour standard to use an approach referred to as “direct assessment” instead. In this approach, students receive credit related not to their presence in a real or virtual classroom for a specified period of time but instead to their successful completion of assessments that show they have mastered clearly defined competencies or are able to perform specific, predetermined tasks. HLC has created a pilot group of four institutions now approved to offer a competency-based degree program: NAU, the University of Wisconsin Colleges (a system of two-year campuses), the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and Capella University.

Teacher gives epic resignation in video — from eSchoolNews.com by Meris Stansbury
“Everything I love about teaching is now extinct.”

 

 

InPursuitOfHappiness-ATeachersResignation-May2013

 

From DSC :
After listening to this, I can’t help but reflect on the run-away train/emphasis on standardized tests. It appears that not only has such an emphasis robbed the joy, curiosity, wonder, initiative, and creativity of our students, but also that of our teachers. 

With each day that passes, I want to see more programs and opportunities that support an amazing variety of pathways and choices.  We each have different gifts, abilities, passions, callings, etc.  — teachers as well as students.   The very words “standards” and “standardization” seem to be incongruous with how we are actually made.

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Perhaps I should have called this posting, “Assessment gone awry…?”

 

 

 

 

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It’s a 401(k) world — from nytimes.com by Thomas Friedman

Excerpts:

Something really big happened in the world’s wiring in the last decade, but it was obscured by the financial crisis and post-9/11. We went from a connected world to a hyperconnected world.

…the combination of these tools of connectivity and creativity has created a global education, commercial, communication and innovation platform on which more people can start stuff, collaborate on stuff, learn stuff, make stuff (and destroy stuff) with more other people than ever before.

But this huge expansion in an individual’s ability to do all these things comes with one big difference: more now rests on you.

Government will do less for you. Companies will do less for you. Unions can do less for you. There will be fewer limits, but also fewer guarantees. Your specific contribution will define your specific benefits much more. Just showing up will not cut it.

 

From DSC:
Makes me reflect on if we’re preparing our youth for the world that they will encounter. Makes me wonder…how does all of this emphasis on standardized tests fit into this new/developing world?  Does the Common Core address these developing needs/requirements for survival? Are we preparing students to be able to think on their feet? To “pivot?”  To adapt/turn on a dime?  Or does K-20 need to be rethought and reinvented? 

It seems that creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, and lifelong learning are becoming more important all the time.

What say ye teachers and professors? If your students could have a super job tomorrow, would they come back to your class/school/program? If not, what would make them come back — and w/ eagerness in their step?  That’s where we need to head towards — and I think part of the solution involves more choice, more control being given to the students.

The new term (at least to me) that is increasingly coming to my mind is:

Heutagogy — from Wikipedia (emphasis DSC)

In education, heutagogy, a term coined by Stewart Hase of Southern Cross University and Chris Kenyon in Australia, is the study of self-determined learning. The notion is an expansion and reinterpretation of andragogy, and it is possible to mistake it for the same. However, there are several differences between the two that mark one from the other.

Heutagogy places specific emphasis on learning how to learn, double loop learning, universal learning opportunities, a non-linear process, and true learner self-direction. So, for example, whereas andragogy focuses on the best ways for people to learn, heutagogy also requires that educational initiatives include the improvement of people’s actual learning skills themselves, learning how to learn as well as just learning a given subject itself. Similarly, whereas andragogy focuses on structured education, in heutagogy all learning contexts, both formal and informal, are considered.

 

 

Education standardization: Essential or harmful? — from gettingsmart.com by Marie Bjerede

 

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Moving exams out of the classroom — from campustechnology.com by Linda L. Briggs

Excerpt:

The idea of moving exam-taking out of the classroom and into dedicated testing centers on campus is gaining currency. The approach frees up valuable class time, and allows for more frequent and varied testing approaches.

Despite these benefits, though, a number of challenges persist for on-campus testing centers, including providing sufficient seats during peak times such as midterms and finals, keeping student data secure, and finding good exam-building software.

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‘Warnings from the trenches’ — from insidehighered.com by Colleen Flaherty

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

“Thus, students arriving in our high school lacked experience and knowledge about how to do the kinds of writing that are expected at higher levels of education,” he wrote. And even though high school teachers may try their best to make up for lost time, they, too, are held accountable for standardized test scores. Beyond mandatory state tests, the broad scope of Advanced Placement exams can have the same short-sighted effect on instruction, he added (many of Bernstein’s courses were AP U.S. government and politics).

Consequently, he said in an interview, students now arriving at college — even elite ones — are better at “filling in bubbles” than thinking outside a discrete set of multiple choices, in the ways the higher education and adult life demand.

Bernstein said he’d planned on retiring from his Maryland high school several years from now, but decided to leave last month due to a combination of factors, including the increasingly frustrating nature of teaching in a test-focused system.

 

From DSC:
I saw a question out on the blogosphere the other day that asked, “After the SATs are gone, then what?”  I’d like to see us pursue that line of thinking, as we need to strive to do more things for students’ learning and not so much because that’s the most efficient way to “manage” education.  (I wonder about CMS’s/LMS’s in this regard as well.)  My vote is for helping students identify their God-given talents, interests, passions, abilities and to help them develop those gifts — creating WIN-WIN situations throughout society and the globe. Assessment is a key element of teaching and learning, but I think we’ve gone too far with these standardized tests — the pendulum needs to swing back the other way.

 

Also see:

  • The Future of Education .. from Isaac Asimov, 1988 #edcmooc — from dontwasteyourtime.co.uk
    Excerpt:
    “Once we have computer outlets in every home, each of them hooked up to enormous libraries where anyone can ask any question and be given answers, be given reference material in something you’re interested in knowing … you ask,you can find out, you can follow it up and you can do it in your own home, at your own speed, at your own direction, in your own time, then everyone will enjoy learning.

A warning to college profs from a high school teacher — from washingtonpost.com by Kenneth Bernstein
For more than a decade now we have heard that the high-stakes testing obsession in K-12 education that began with the enactment of No Child Left Behind 11 years ago has resulted in high school graduates who don’t think as analytically or as broadly as they should because so much emphasis has been placed on passing standardized tests. Here, an award-winning high school teacher who just retired, Kenneth Bernstein, warns college professors what they are up against. Bernstein, who lives near Washington, D.C. serves as a peer reviewer for educational journals and publishers, and he is nationally known as the blogger “teacherken.”  This appeared in Academe, the journal of the American Association of University Professors.

Excerpt:

Where do I begin? I spent the last thirty minutes listening to a group of arrogant and condescending noneducators disrespect my colleagues and profession. I listened to a group of disingenuous people whose own self-interests guide their policies rather than the interests of children. I listened to a cabal of people who sit on national education committees that will have a profound impact on classroom teaching practices. And I heard nothing of value. “I’m thinking about the current health-care debate,” I said. “And I am wondering if I will be asked to sit on a national committee charged with the task of creating a core curriculum of medical procedures to be used in hospital emergency rooms.”

The strange little man cocks his head and, suddenly, the fly on the wall has everyone’s attention.

“I realize that most people would think I am unqualified to sit on such a committee because I am not a doctor, I have never worked in an emergency room, and I have never treated a single patient. So what? Today I have listened to people who are not teachers, have never worked in a classroom, and have never taught a single student tell me how to teach.”

 

From DSC:
I remember one of my first coaches saying, “always change a losing game. Never change a winning game.” Standardized tests = a losing game.

From DSC:

In real estate, one hear’s the mantra:
Location. Location. Location.

In higher education, I have it that we’ll be hearing this for a while:
Experimentation. Experimentation. Experimentation.

Consider the following reflections on Steve’ Kolowich’s solid article, The new intelligence (from InsideHigherEd.com)

Excerpt:

And for the largest public university in the country, it is hardly fiction. Arizona State University has become ground zero for data-driven teaching in higher education. The university has rolled out an ambitious effort to turn its classrooms into laboratories for technology-abetted “adaptive learning” — a method that purports to give instructors real-time intelligence on how well each of their students is getting each concept.
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From DSC:
Besides being used in blended learning environments…some predictions:

  • These technologies will become integrated into what MOOCs eventually morph into and provide a significant piece of the assessment/guidance puzzle
  • Such tools will be a part of one’s future learning ecosystem
  • Such tools will be part of interactive, massively open online educationally-related games
  • Such tools will be integrated into personalized learning agents — spiders/recommendation engines that scan the web for relevant items that one needs to complete one’s cognitive gaps in a subject/topic
  • They will be accessible from your living room as well as from your mobile devices
  • They will integrate into web-based learner profiles

It’s the sort of thing I was trying to get at with this graphic from 3 years ago:
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Like a mechanic...

 

Please don’t misunderstand me, the human mind is far beyond the complexity of an engine. But I still think that there will be more tools & technologies developed that will help the teachers/professors in their efforts to guide students into the knowledge of a discipline.

I beseech the corporate world to get involved more here — and not with the end goal of earning profits — but rather, with the aim of making the world a better place and giving a huge gift to the generations yet born. 

I urge the corporate world to reach into their deep pockets (1.X trillion in cash at this point in time) and team up with our youth/teachers/professors/instructional designers/programmers/etc. to develop sophisticated, educationally-related, engaging games that are relevant to the world that our youth will be growing up in; and/or create interactive simulations that provide more choice/more control to the learners. 

I urge more of the corporate world to join Knewton and Pearson and allocate some significant resources to help develop the next gen learning tools.  I’ll bet that we’ll be amazed at what can be produced! Your daughters, sons, granddaughters, and grandsons will really appreciate the work that you did for them!!!

 

 

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