The Promise and Potential of Personalized Digital Learning -- from Tom Vander Ark on November 4, 2011

Also see:


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A comprehensive look at the promise and potential of online learning
In our digital age, students have dramatically new learning needs and must be prepared for the idea economy of the future. In Getting Smart, well-known global education expert Tom Vander Ark examines the facets of educational innovation in the United States and abroad. Vander Ark makes a convincing case for a blend of online and onsite learning, shares inspiring stories of schools and programs that effectively offer “personal digital learning” opportunities, and discusses what we need to do to remake our schools into “smart schools.”

— Examines the innovation-driven world, discusses how to combine online and onsite learning, and reviews “smart tools” for learning
— Investigates the lives of learning professionals, outlines the new employment bargain, examines online universities and “smart schools”
— Makes the case for smart capital, advocates for policies that create better learning, studies smart cultures

Addendum on 11/29/11:

Building Learning Communities 2011 Keynote: Dr. Eric Mazur — from November Learning

Excerpt:

Today, we are officially relaunching our opening keynote from BLC11 with Dr. Eric Mazur. Dr. Mazur is the Area Dean of Applied Physics and Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA.

In his keynote, Dr. Mazur shares his vast research on teaching and learning. Students in Dr. Mazur’s class are moving far away from the traditional stand and deliver lectures given in many k-12 and university classrooms around the world, and they are gaining a much deeper understanding of the material being taught in the process.

As you watch this video, we invite you to take some time and respond to one or more of the following questions…

 

From DSC:
What I understood the key points to be:

  • Teaching and learning should not be about information transfer alone; that is, it’s not about simply having students “parrot back” the information.  That doesn’t lead to true learning and long-term retention.
  • The more a teacher is an expert in his/her content, the more difficulty this teacher has in understanding how a first time learner in this subject struggles
  • Rather we need to guide and use peer instruction/social learning/collaboration amongst students to construct learning and then be able to apply/transfer that learning to a different context
  • Lecturing is not an effective way to create a long term retention of information
  • Peer instruction/human interaction creates effective learning
  • “The plural of anecdotes is not data.”
  • Eric is seeking data and feedback to sharpen his theories of how to optimize learning
  • Technology serves pedagogy — technology should afford a new mode of learning
  • Towards that end, Eric and team working on “Peer instruction 2.0”
  • How do I design good questions?  Optimize the discussions? Manage time? Insure learning is taking place?
  • Eric is working with several other colleagues to create a system for building and using data analytics to give useful information to instructor about who’s “getting it” and who isn’t; about how we learn
  • Peer instruction not without issues — how people group themselves and who students choose to collaborate with can be problematical
  • Why not have the system do the pairing/grouping?
  • System uses algorithms, facial recognition, posture analysis; cameras, microphones
  • Surveys also used
  • The system is attempting to help Eric and his team learn about learning
  • The system being used at Harvard and by invitation only

Eric ended with a summary of the 2 key messages:

  1. Education is not about lecturing
  2. We can move way beyond the current technologies and use new methods and technologies to actively manage learning as it happens

 

From DSC:
After listening to this lecture, the graphic below captures a bit of what he’s getting at and reflects some of my thinking on this subject as well.  That is, we need diagnostic tools — along the lines of those a mechanic might use on our cars to ascertain where the problems/issues are:
 


 

National Standards for Quality Online Courses -- from iNACOL -- Version 2 from October 2011

Excerpt:

The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is to ensure all students have access to world-class education and quality online learning opportunities that prepare them for a lifetime of success. National Standards for Quality Online Courses is designed to provide states, districts, online programs, and other organizations with a set of quality guidelines for online course content, instructional design, technology, student assessment, and course management.

Getting at-risk teens to graduation — from educationnext.org by June Kronholz
Blended learning offers a second chance

Excerpt:

People who deal with at-risk teenagers say dropping out is not an event; it’s a process. Youngsters miss school and get “backed up” in class, so they miss more school because they’re bewildered or embarrassed, and fall further behind. Seeing few ways to recover, “they just silently drop out,” said Richard Firth, who showed me around the Hampton school and two others in Richmond that are using online learning to derail the cycle.

Finding the right learning mix — from Chief Learning Officer by Lance Dublin
Learning organizations are experiencing a kind of renaissance, with new technology prompting new thinking about how to enhance, extend and enable learning.

Some items re: Blackboard’s announcement of their Collaborate product:

 

 

Blended learning -- infographic from Knewton.com

The New 3 E's of Education: Enabled; Empowered; Engaged -- May 2011 from Project Tomorrow

 

Excerpt from introduction (emphasis DSC):

Three factors are driving this new interest and enthusiasm for digital learning by educators. First, teachers and administrators are increasingly become technology-enabled themselves, using emerging technologies such as mobile devices, online classes and digital content to improve their own productivity. This development of a personal value proposition with the technology is propelling educators to think creatively about how to leverage these same tools in the classroom. Second, students and increasingly parents are demanding a different kind of learning experience and that is forcing even the most reluctant teachers and administrators to re-evaluate their perspectives about the value of technology within learning. As noted in prior Speak Up national reports, students have a very clear vision for 21st century learning. Their preference is for learning environments that are socially-based, un-tethered and digitally rich. Parents are also supportive of this new learning paradigm and as we noted in our first Speak Up 2010 report (released in April 2011) the emergence of a new trend of parental digital choice is an indication of this unprecedented support level. And schools and districts are waking up to this new trend. Concerns about parents’ capability to, for example, enroll their children in non-district provided online classes are compelling many districts to start virtual schools themselves. The third factor, the economy, and its resulting financial pressures on school and district budgets, has created a sense of urgency to more fully investigate how technologies can help educators meet their instructional goals with less expense.

All three factors converging at the same time has opened up a new window of possibilities for achieving the promise of technology to transform education. Evidence of this shift in perspective and vision by educators is noted in some comparative Speak Up findings over the past few years.

This report is the second in a two-part series to document the key national findings from Speak Up 2010.

In this companion report, “The New 3E’s of Education: Enabled, Engaged, Empowered – How Today’s Educators are Advancing a New Vision for Teaching and Learning,” we explore how teachers, principals, district administrators, librarians and technology coordinators are addressing the student vision for learning around three key trends. These trends have generated significant interest in the past year at conferences, in policy discussions and within our schools and districts: mobile learning, online and blended learning and digital content.

While each of these trends includes the essential components of the student vision of socially-based, un-tethered and digitally-rich learning, they also provide a unique backdrop for investigating the role of educators to engage, enable and empower students through the use of these emerging technologies.
• Role of Librarians and Technology Coordinators: To enable student use of the emerging technologies through their planning, support and recommendation responsibilities.
• Role of Classroom Teachers: To engage students in rich, compelling learning experiences through the effective use of these technologies in the classroom.
• Role of School and District Administrators: To empower both teachers and students to creatively envision the future of digital learning, and to provide opportunities for exploring the elements of a new shared vision for learning.

 

Online learning begins to explode into mainstream in blended schools — from Disupting Class posted by Michael Horn

This week, Innosight Institute, where I am the executive director of the education practice, released a landmark report, titled The rise of K-12 blended learning: Profiles of Emerging Models, which profiles 40 different operators leading the rise of K-12 blended learning.

Across America a skyrocketing number of K-12 students are getting their education in blended-learning environments. Over 4 million K-12 students took at least one online course in 2010, according to Ambient Insight, and this space is growing now by a five-year compound annual growth rate of 43 percent—much faster than the growth of charter schooling or other K-12 education reforms, for example. And the majority of this growth is occurring in different types of “blended learning.”

Also see:

 

The Rise of K-12 Blended Learning -- May 2011


 

A hugely powerful vision: A potent addition to our learning ecosystems of the future

 

Daniel Christian:
A Vision of Our Future Learning Ecosystems


In the near future, as the computer, the television, the telephone (and more) continues to converge, we will most likely enjoy even more powerful capabilities to conveniently create and share our content as well as participate in a global learning ecosystem — whether that be from within our homes and/or from within our schools, colleges, universities and businesses throughout the world.

We will be teachers and students at the same time — even within the same hour — with online-based learning exchanges taking place all over the virtual and physical world.  Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) — in the form of online-based tutors, instructors, teachers, and professors — will be available on demand. Even more powerful/accurate/helpful learning engines will be involved behind the scenes in delivering up personalized, customized learning — available 24x7x365.  Cloud-based learner profiles may enter the equation as well.

The chances for creativity,  innovation, and entrepreneurship that are coming will be mind-blowing! What employers will be looking for — and where they can look for it — may change as well.

What we know today as the “television” will most likely play a significant role in this learning ecosystem of the future. But it won’t be like the TV we’ve come to know. It will be much more interactive and will be aware of who is using it — and what that person is interested in learning about. Technologies/applications like Apple’s AirPlay will become more standard, allowing a person to move from device to device without missing a  beat. Transmedia storytellers will thrive in this environment!

Much of the professionally done content will be created by teams of specialists, including the publishers of educational content, and the in-house teams of specialists within colleges, universities, and corporations around the globe. Perhaps consortiums of colleges/universities will each contribute some of the content — more readily accepting previous coursework that was delivered via their consortium’s membership.

An additional thought regarding higher education and K-12 and their Smart Classrooms/Spaces:
For input devices…
The “chalkboards” of the future may be transparent, or they may be on top of a drawing board-sized table or they may be tablet-based. But whatever form they take and whatever is displayed upon them, the ability to annotate will be there; with the resulting graphics saved and instantly distributed. (Eventually, we may get to voice-controlled Smart Classrooms, but we have a ways to go in that area…)

Below are some of the graphics that capture a bit of what I’m seeing in my mind…and in our futures.

Alternatively available as a PowerPoint Presentation (audio forthcoming in a future version)

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

— from Daniel S. Christian | April 2011

See also:

Addendum on 4-14-11:

 

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A question of balance — by Clive Sheperd
Excerpt:

The issue, as ever, is getting the balance right between taking advantage of new developments as they come available, while continuing to exploit the potential of long-standing approaches.

 

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