From DSC:

  • What if you want to allow some remote students to come on into your face-to-face classroom?
    .
  • What if you want to allow those remote students to be seen and communicated with at eye level?
    .
  • What if you want Remote Student A to join Group 1, and Remote Student B to join Group 2?
    .

Well…how about using one of these devices  in order to do so!


 

New video collaboration robot: TelePresence gets moving — from cisco.com by Dave Evans

Excerpt:

That is why Cisco’s new joint effort with iRobot—demonstrated publicly this week for the first time—is so exciting: We’ve created a mobile Cisco TelePresence unit that brings collaboration to you—or, conversely, brings you to wherever you need to collaborate. Called iRobot Ava 500, this high-definition video collaboration robot combines Cisco TelePresence with iRobot’s mobility and self-navigation capabilities, enabling freedom of movement and spontaneous interactions with people thousands of miles away.

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irobot-june-10-2013
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iRobot Ava™ 500 Video Collaboration Robot — published on Jun 10, 2013
iRobot and Cisco have teamed to bring the Ava 500 video collaboration robot to market. The robot blends iRobot’s autonomous navigation with Cisco’s TelePresence to enable people working off-site to participate in meetings and presentations where movement and location spontaneity are important. The new robot is also designed to enable mobile visual access to manufacturing facilities, laboratories, customer experience centers and other remote facilities.

 

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Double Robotics Double

http://www.doublerobotics.com/img/use-office.jpg

 

 

MantaroBot™ TeleMe

 

 

 

From Attack of the Telepresence Robots! — from BYTE  by Rick Lehrbaum

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Kubi

http://twimgs.com/informationweek/byte/reviews/2013-Jan/robotic-telepresence/kubi.jpg

 

 

MantaroBot “TeleMe” VGo Communications “VGo” Anybots “QB” Suitable Technologies “Beam”

 

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RP-7i ROBOT

RP-7i Remote Presence Robot

 

Also see:

 

From DSC:
Some very frustrated reflections after reading:

Excerpt:

Right now, boys are falling out of the kindergarten through 12th grade educational pipeline in ways that we can hardly imagine.

 

This situation continues to remind me of the oil spill in the Gulf (2010), where valuable resources spilled into the water untapped — later causing some serious issues:
.

From DSC:
What are we doing?!!! We’ve watched the dropout rates grow — it doesn’t seem we’ve changed our strategies nearly enough! But the point that gets lost in this is that we will all pay for these broken strategies — and for generations to come!  It’s time to seriously move towards identifying and implementing some new goals.

What should the new goals look like? Here’s my take on at least a portion of a new vision for K-12 — and collegiate — education:

  • Help students identify their God-given gifts and then help them build up their own learning ecosystems to support the development of those gifts. Hook them up with resources that will develop students’ abilities and passions.
    .
  • Part of their learning ecosystems could be to help them enter into — and build up — communities of practice around subjects that they enjoy learning about. Those communities could be local, national, or international. (Also consider the creation of personalized learning agents, as these become more prevalent/powerful.)
    .
  • Do everything we can to make learning enjoyable and foster a love of learning — as we need lifelong learners these days.
    (It doesn’t help society much if students are dropping out of K-12 or if people struggle to make it through graduation — only to then harbor ill feelings towards learning/education in general for years to come.  Let’s greatly reduce the presence/usage of standardized tests — they’re killing us!  They don’t seem to be producing long-term positive results. I congratulate the recent group of teachers who refused to give their students such tests; and I greatly admire them for getting rid of a losing strategy.)

    .
  • Give students more choice, more control over what their learning looks like; let them take their own paths as much as possible (provide different ways to meet the same learning objective is one approach…but perhaps we need to think beyond/bigger than that. The concern/fear arises…but how will we manage this? That’s where a good share of our thinking should be focused; generating creative answers to that question.)
    .
  • Foster curiosity and wonder
    .
  • Provide cross-disciplinary assignments/opportunities
    .
  • Let students work on/try to resolve real issues in their communities
    .
  • Build up students’ appreciation of faith, hope, love, empathy, and a desire to make the world a better place. Provide ways that they can contribute.
    .
  • Let students experiment more — encourage failure.
    .

 

From DSC:
The other day, I mentioned how important it will be for institutions of higher education to increase the priority of experimentation. But, for a variety of reasons, I believe this is true for the K-12 world as well. Especially with the kindergarten/early elementary classroom in mind, I created the graphic below. Clicking on it will give you another example of the kind of experimentation that I’m talking about — whether that be in K-12 or in higher ed.

 

DanielChristianJan2013-ExperimentsInCustomizedLearningSpaces

 

From DSC:
I’m trying to address the students that are more easily distracted and, due to how their minds process information, have a harder time focusing on the task at hand.  In fact, at times, all of the external stimuli can be overwhelming. How can we provide a learning environment that’s more under the students’ control? i.e. How can we provide “volume knobs” on their auditory and visual channels?

Along these lines, I’m told that some theaters have sensory-friendly film showings — i.e. with different settings for the lights and sound than is typically offered.

Also see — with thanks going out to Ori Inbar (@comogard) for these:
.

 

A relevant addendum on 1/10/12:

TryBeingMe-Jan2013

 

Description of video:

Stephen Harris, Principal of Northern Beaches Christian School, gives a short tour of the SCIL Building, an open-plan, multi-modal learning space for student-directed learning. The SCIL Building features spaces and furniture than foster a range of learning modes and styles.

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Northern Beaches Christian School - tour by Stephen Harris Fall 2012

From DSC:
I understand that Mr. George Lucas is going to express his generosity in donating the $4.05 billion from the sale of Lucasfilm to education.

Here’s a question/idea that I’d like to put forth to Mr. Lucas (or to the United States Department of Education, or to another interested/committed party):

Would you consider using the $4+ billion gift to build an “Online Learning Dream Team?”

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Daniel Christian -- The Online Learning Dream Team - as of November 2012

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 Original image credit (before purchased/edited by DSC)
yobro10 / 123RF Stock Photo

 

 

From DSC:
What do you think? What other “players” — technologies, vendors, skillsets, etc. — should be on this team?

  • Perhaps videography?
  • Online tutoring?
  • Student academic services?
  • Animation?
  • Digital photography?

 

IBM’s Watson expands commercial applications, aims to go mobile  — from singularityhub.com by Jason Dorrier

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From DSC:
This relates to what I was trying to get at with the posting on mobile learning.  I would add the word “Education” to the list of industries that the technologies encapsulated in Watson will impact in the future. Combine this with the convergence that’s enabling/building the Learning from the Living [Class] Room environment, and you have one heck of an individualized, data-driven, learning ecosystem that’s available 24 x 7 x 365 — throughout your lifetime!!!

.

 

IBM Watson-Introduction and Future Applications

 

 


Also relevant here are some visions/graphics I created from 2012 and from 2008:


 

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

 

 

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Why couldn't these channels represent online-based courses/MOOCs? Daniel Christian - 10-17-12

 

 

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The Complete Parent’s List of Education Hashtags on Twitter — from onlinecollege.org
Excerpt:

As a parent, it’s important to be a part of the discussion about education. Informed parents can make a difference, not just in the lives of their own children, but in schools, policy, and more. You can stay in the loop and contribute your opinion by taking part in these chats and using these hashtags. Check out our list, and you’ll find more than 30 of the most relevant and useful hashtags for parents interested in education today.

10 College Business Incubators We’re Most Excited About — from bestcollegesonline.com
Excerpt:

College campuses are ripe with innovation, as students grow through education and experimentation in school. To help foster this innovation, many colleges and universities have opened business incubators, helping students and others in their community to help make their innovative dreams a reality. Whether they’re offering tricked-out labs or incredible funding opportunities, these incubators offer a great opportunity for students who are smart (and lucky!) enough to participate. Follow along as we explore 10 of the most exciting college business incubators around today, and be sure to share your own favorites in the comments.

The 10 Biggest Breakthroughs in the Science of Learning — from Online PHD Programs
Excerpt:

When it comes to human organs, none is quite so mysterious as the brain. For centuries, humans have had numerous misconceptions and misunderstandings about how the organ works, grows, and shapes our ability to learn and develop. While we still have a long way to go before we truly unravel all the mysteries the brain has to offer, scientists have been making some major breakthroughs that have gone a long way in explaining both how the brain functions and how we use it to organize, recall, and acquire new information. Here, we list just a few of the biggest and most impactful of these breakthroughs that have contributed to our understanding of the science of learning.

10 BYOD Classroom Experiments (and What We’ve Learned From Them So Far)” — from onlineuniversities.com
Excerpt:

With budgets tight, many schools are hoping to bring technology into the classroom without having to shell out for a device for each student. A solution for many has been to make classes BYOD (short for “bring your own device”), which allows students to bring laptops, tablets, and smartphones from home and to use them in the classroom and share them with other students. It’s a promising idea, especially for schools that don’t have big tech budgets, but it has met with some criticism from those who don’t think that it’s a viable long-term or truly budget-conscious decision. Whether that’s the case is yet to be seen, but these stories of schools that have tried out BYOD programs seem to be largely positive, allowing educators and students to embrace technology in learning regardless of the limited resources they may have at hand.

The 25 Best Resources For Finding Nonprofit Jobs — from bachelorsdegreeonline.com
Excerpt:

Finding a job that helps you make ends meet is great, but finding one that helps you make a real, lasting difference in the world can be even better, especially for those who have always dreamed of a career in the nonprofit or social services sectors. Luckily, there are a number of incredibly useful sites on the web that can help you network, share your resume, and find nonprofit job openings in your area. We’ve shared 25 of them here so you can get your nonprofit job search started on the right foot and hopefully find a job that lets you make a positive impact on the world and your community.

8 Career Mistakes New Grads Make (and How to Avoid Them) — from onlinedegreeprograms.com
Excerpt:

You’ve crossed the stage, thrown your hat in the air, and entered the real world. You’re probably eager to get your career started and are already thinking ahead 10 years when you’ll be running a company, saving the world, and making wads of cash. But slow down there, new grad. Your career starts with baby steps and avoiding some of the common mistakes young workers make. If you follow these tips and stay away from some pitfalls, you’ll be in that corner office in no time.

15 Libraries Taking Summer Reading to the Next Level — from the Online Education Database
Excerpt:

While not an exhaustive list (there are a lot of amazing libraries out there), here we highlight some of the libraries we think are going above and beyond in their summer reading initiatives, offering programs and activities that help readers spend their summers reading, learning, sharing, and growing.

8 Predictions for the Future of Academic Publishing — from the Online Education Database
Excerpt:

University presses and academic journals may perpetuate the world’s most groundbreaking research, but they tend towards the heavily conservative when it comes to changing anything and everything about their organization. But the inevitable influx of digital and new media ventures has already started trickling into the tightknit institutions, and many scholars are already calling for a dismantling of the old — and often unwieldy and inaccessible! Some of the latest experiments will stick, while others will go all Crystal Pepsi on humanity. Until time decides to tell, the following represent a few things academics are saying about where their research might be headed.

Top 25 Education Blogs for Proactive Parents — from onlinecollege.org
Excerpt:

As a parent, it’s your job to look ahead and plan for the future, whether that means packing lunch or creating a roadmap for college. Perhaps one of the most important things parents can look ahead to is education. School reform, college, and getting involved as a parent are all important topics for parents to stay on top of, and these blogs all offer great ways to do so. We’ve discovered 25 of the best education blogs for proactive parents, and we encourage you to check them out.


What TV operators are missing — from Emma Wells

From DSC:
It may not be that long before the word “learning” can either be added to — or substituted for — the word “TV” below (emphasis mine):

Many of the TV tablet apps have taken a few tentative steps toward personalisation, but no one has fully embraced the potential of TV interfaces that can learn and change according to an individual’s preferences and tastes.

What a lot of these operators seem to be overlooking is the chance not only to offer content anytime, anywhere, but to personalise the entire TV experience.

While watching the main TV tends to be a group experience, watching TV on an app is much more intimate and personal.

 

-- excerpt from What TV operators are missing [Wells]

Addendum on 6/17/11

So many learning style tests, so little time… — from Lasagna and Chips by Joitske Hulsebosch

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

I’m amazed that there are so many different learning style theories and tests! The families definitely help to choose what you’d want to work with if you are looking for a learning style test. I’d prefer a style test that acknowledges the dynamic nature of preferences. It may depend on the situation and what you want to learn what your preferences are. And I don’t believe in the auditory/visual/kinesthetic learner difference.

I still think the tests are helpful for learners to become self-aware. You can use it as a starting point to reflect about yourself and think for instance about your pitfalls and strengths as facilitator. Or as a learner- what activities work for you? Do you thrive on certain ways of learning? How to strengthen this? The downside is of course that you fill in the tests yourself (rubbish in- rubbish out!), so some feedback from others may be needed too.

From DSC:
I like how Joitske mentioned the word preferences a lot. With all the disagreement whether learning styles exist or not, I do believe people prefer to absorb/learn the required materials in certain formats. Certain manners of taking information in are more enjoyable, easier, or to me, more efficient. I can learn the information most of the ways it might be presented, but I prefer visuals…not all text, as an example. This idea is closely related to developing a love of learning (or conversely, a hatred towards learning).

Math that moves -- the use of the iPad in K-12 -- from the New York Times

.

From DSC:
I post this here — with higher ed included in the tags/categories — because if the trend within K-12 continues (i.e. that of using such technologies as the iPad, digital textbooks, mobile learning devices, etc.), students’ expectations WILL be impacted. When they hit our doorsteps, they will come with their heightened sets of expectations. The question is, will we in higher ed be ready for them?

‘The fundamentals of how children learn’ – ePace [from agent4change.net]
Maureen McTaggart explores a new service that helps kids learn and teachers teach

Mary Blake

A simple 45-minute test developed by an ex-teacher helps educators identify the strengths and weaknesses of all their pupils and then transform the way they teach and how those children learn. But the ePace online profiling tool, which will be launched at BETT 2011, is not about creating more record-keeping for teachers, says Mary Blake.

“We are looking at the fundamentals of how children learn rather than what attainment level they are going to get,” she says. “I think it’s an amazing thing for teachers to know but even more so for children because it empowers them to see for themselves how they are learning.”

The ePace (electronic profile of attainment cognition and efficiency) test evaluates 11 critical areas of learning – auditory memory, visual memory, listening skills, emotional control, decision making, focus, hand-eye co-ordination, mental speed, timing, literacy and impulsivity – and any child from the age of seven can take it. The support pack includes practical teacher resources and strategies and interactive sharing with students and parents is actively encouraged.

From DSC:
Below are some notes and reflections after reading Visions 2020.2:  Student Views on Transforming Education and Training Through Advanced Technologies — by the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Education, and NetDay

Basic Themes

  • Digital Devices
  • Access to Computers and the Internet
  • Intelligent Tutor/Helper
  • Ways to Learn and Complete School Work Using Technology

Several recurring words jumped off the page at me, including:

  • Voice activation
  • A rugged, mobile, lightweight, all-convergent communications and entertainment device
  • Online classes
  • Interactive textbooks
  • Educational games
  • 3D virtual history enactments — take me there / time machine
  • Intelligent tutors
  • Wireless
  • 24x7x365 access
  • Easy to use
  • Digital platforms for collaborating and working with others on schoolwork/homework
  • Personalized, optimized learning for each student
  • Immersive environments
  • Augmented reality
  • Interactive
  • Multimedia
  • Virtual
  • Simulations
  • Digital diagnostics (i.e. analytics)
  • Wireless videoconferencing

Here are some quotes:

Math and reading were often cited specifically as subjects that might benefit from the use of learning technologies. (p. 5)

No concept drew greater interest from the student responders than some sort of an intelligent tutor/helper. Math was the most often mentioned subject for which tutoring help was needed. Many students desired such a tutor or helper for use in school and at home. (p. 17)

…tools, tutors, and other specialists to make it possible to continuously adjust the pace, nature and style of the learning process. (p.27)

So many automated processes have been built in for them: inquiry style, learning style, personalized activity selection, multimedia preferences, physical requirements, and favorite hardware devices. If the student is in research mode, natural dialogue inquiry and social filtering tools configure a working environment for asking questions and validating hypotheses. If students like rich multimedia and are working in astronomy, they automatically are connected to the Sky Server which accesses all the telescopic pictures of the stars, introduces an on-line expert talking about the individual constellations, and pulls up a chatting environment with other students who are looking at the same environment. (p.28)

— Randy Hinrichs | Research Manager for Learning Science and Technology | Microsoft Research Group

From DSC:
As I was thinking about the section on the intelligent tutor/helper…I thought, “You know…this isn’t just for educators. Pastors and youth group leaders out there should take note of what students were asking for here.”

  • Help, I need somebody
  • Help me with ____
  • Many students expressed interest in an “answer machine,” through which a student could pose a specific question and the machine would respond with an answer. <– I thought of online, Christian-based mentors here, available 24x7x365 to help folks along with their spiritual journeys


Forget what you know about good study habits — from the NY Times by Benedict Carey

Take the notion that children have specific learning styles, that some are “visual learners” and others are auditory; some are “left-brain” students, others “right-brain.” In a recent review of the relevant research, published in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest, a team of psychologists found almost zero support for such ideas. “The contrast between the enormous popularity of the learning-styles approach within education and the lack of credible evidence for its utility is, in our opinion, striking and disturbing,” the researchers concluded.

Cognitive scientists do not deny that honest-to-goodness cramming can lead to a better grade on a given exam. But hurriedly jam-packing a brain is akin to speed-packing a cheap suitcase, as most students quickly learn — it holds its new load for a while, then most everything falls out.

“With many students, it’s not like they can’t remember the material” when they move to a more advanced class, said Henry L. Roediger III, a psychologist at Washington University in St. Louis. “It’s like they’ve never seen it before.”

When the neural suitcase is packed carefully and gradually, it holds its contents for far, far longer. An hour of study tonight, an hour on the weekend, another session a week from now: such so-called spacing improves later recall, without requiring students to put in more overall study effort or pay more attention, dozens of studies have found.

No one knows for sure why. It may be that the brain, when it revisits material at a later time, has to relearn some of what it has absorbed before adding new stuff — and that that process is itself self-reinforcing.

From DSC:

Re: research on learning styles…I would really like to know if these students were interviewed/reviewed in terms of which methods they preferred to learn by…which methods made learning more interesting…more fun..more efficient.

I’ll bet you “good students” can learn in spite of a variety of obstacles, issues, and/or teaching methods…they’ll learn what they need to in order to get the grade.

  • But which method(s) do they — as well as less “successful” students — prefer?
  • Which methods produce a longer-term ROI (besides just making it past the mid-term or final exam)?
  • Which method(s) are more engaging to them?
  • Which method(s) take less time for them to absorb the material?

We want students to love learning…but if you don’t like something, you surely won’t love it.

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