From DSC:
After viewing the items at A visual guide to every single learning theory [edudemic.com; Robert Millwood] can anyone see a silver bullet for designing learning experiences?

I can’t / didn’t either. 

Learning is messy and teaching is not easy.  Anyone who thinks that teaching is easy has clearly never tried to teach or train anyone else on an ongoing basis. The mind is amazingly complex and there is no agreement amongst academics/scholars/researchers/etc. on thee best learning theory or thee best way to teach someone something.  

The end result of all of this for me is this:

  • Provide the content in as many ways as you possibly can and let the students select the media that they prefer to work with
  • Try to provide relevant, real-world examples and assignments and explain how that topic/assignment is relevant
  • Turn over as much control to the students as possible — i.e. let them drive
  • Make the learning experience as engaging and enjoyable as possible — invite active participation and discussion wherever possible

I’m sure there are many more items, but those are the ones off the top of my head .

Also see:

Tagged with:  

50 suggestions for implementing 70-20-10 (2) — from Jay Cross

Excerpt:

The 70 percent: learning from experience

People learn by doing. We learn from experience and achieve mastery through practice.

Classrooms of the Future

Excerpt:

This image gallery from Fielding Nair International, a group of architects working in education, shows lots of images from new and innovative schools around the world.

 

imgur-learningspaces-2012

 
Addendum on 2/13/13, also see:

 

Vitra School Brotorp Rosan Bosch Architects

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Vitra School Brotorp Rosan Bosch Architects

What if the hokey-cokey really is what it’s all about? Social networking & psychology of learning — from Donald Clark

Excerpt:

Psychology of learning in 5 words
What makes good learning practice? Well, I always think the psychology of learning can be summed up in three wordsless is more’. You could add another two ‘…and often’. There’s a number of established and well researched ways to improve memory and therefore learning:

Mayer & Clark – 10 brilliant design rules for e-learning — from Donald Clark

Excerpt:

Richard Mayer and Ruth Clark are among the foremost researchers in the empirical testing of media and media mix hypotheses in online learning. Their e-Learning and the Science of Instruction (2003) covers seven design principles; multimedia, contiguity, modality, redundancy, coherence, personalisation, and practice opportunities. Clear explanations are given about the risks of ignoring these principles – with support from worked examples and case study challenges. It should be a compulsory text for online learning designers.

Less is more — from Harold Jarche

Excerpts:

If you were to sum up the psychology of learning in three words, it would be ‘less is more’. Donald Clark

In FrogDesign’s presentation on Design is Hacking How we Learn, slide #27 clearly shows where the emphasis of our learning efforts should be, and where organizations should place the most support and resources: practice.
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how we learn

 

 

From DSC:
In the corporate world, my thought is to provide the training as to where and how employees can get/stay in the know — especially by encouraging the use and ownership of blogs, social media, and developing/leveraging their personal learning networks.  But also to provide the infrastructure and tools — the plumbing if you will — to allow for people to quickly connect with each other and to easily share information with each other (i.e. to develop their own learning ecosystems). Formal classes won’t cut it. As Harold and other members of the Internet Alliance have long been saying, it’s about informal learning. (Speaking of his Internet Alliance colleagues, Charles Jennings recently discussed how the pace of change is affecting the corporate world big time; and, just as in higher ed, being able to adapt is key to staying relevant.)

As a relevant aside…my issue with my Master’s Program in Instructional Design for Online Learning was that there was too much emphasis on theory and not enough emphasis on practice.

 

 

 

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:
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A relevant addendum on 1/10/12:

TryBeingMe-Jan2013

 

Driven to distraction: How to help wired students learn to focus — from eschoolnews.com by Larry Rosen

Excerpt:

A recent Pew Internet & American Life Project report surveyed 2,462 middle and high school Advanced Placement and national writing project teachers and concluded that: “Overwhelming majorities agree with the assertions that today’s digital technologies are creating an easily distracted generation with short attention spans, and today’s students are too ‘plugged in’ and need more time away from their digital technologies.”

Two-thirds of the respondents agree with the notion that today’s digital technologies do more to distract students than to help them academically.

Mind you, we are talking about teachers who typically teach the best and brightest students and not those who we would generally think of as highly distractible.

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If attention can be visualized as a gate...is it getting harder to get through the gate?

 

From DSC:
If I’m an educator or a trainer and I can’t get through the gate (i.e. get someone’s attention), I have zero chance of getting a piece of information into someone’s short-term memory/working memory — and then ultimately into their long-term memory.

Also, from my own experience…
Especially in regards to information in a textual format, I know that I’ve grown increasingly impatient when someone doesn’t get to the point. When drinking (information) from the firehose, I seem to be almost forced into this type of situation/perspective.

 

The  article, “Technology changing how students learn, teachers say,” reminds me of the graphic below. It appears that teachers now have a definite answer to the question I was asking back in June 2010:

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If attention can be visualized as a gate...is it getting harder to get through the gate?

 

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Teachers who were not involved in the surveys echoed their findings in interviews, saying they felt they had to work harder to capture and hold students’ attention.

“I’m an entertainer. I have to do a song and dance to capture their attention,” said Hope Molina-Porter, 37, an English teacher at Troy High School in Fullerton, Calif., who has taught for 14 years. She teaches accelerated students, but has noted a marked decline in the depth and analysis of their written work.

 

Bottom line:
Like so much in life, we have very little control of most things. Students are changing and we cannot control that situation — nor should we seek to. Why? Because most people I know — including myself — do not like to be controlled.  We can and should attempt to pulse check these sorts of changes, plan some experiments around them, and then see and report on what works and what doesn’t work.  This all relates to something I saw on earlier today on Twitter from Anya Kamenetz (@anya1anya):

If you declare a no-media classroom, you better be damn fascinating.

 

 

Also, a relevant quote:

The biggest problem area for teachers is students’ attention span, with 71% saying saying entertainment media use has hurt students either “a lot” (34%) or “somewhat” (37%) in that area.

— from Children, Teens, and Entertainment Media: The View From The Classroom
A Common Sense Media Research Study – NEW REPORT
November 1, 2012
Download the full report

Mobile furniture moves classrooms towards the future — from schoolconstructionnews.com by Torrey Sims
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Mobile furniture moves classrooms towards the future

Steelcase Education Solutions showcased its
collaborative learning furniture at CEFPI in San Antonio.

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Steelcase Education Solutions’ furniture
focuses on the concept of active learning.

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Excerpt:

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The future of classroom furniture can now be found in more compact and flexible designs. Education Solutions, a division of Steelcase Inc., has redefined its approach to classroom furniture by incorporating designs that accommodate the needs of students, teachers and the educational approach of the future.

From DSC:
Being involved with planning our Next Generation Smart Classroom, what I especially appreciate about what Steelcase has done here is to allow for more flexible seating solutions. Faculty can have students quickly and efficiently re-arrange their seating configurations in order to enable greater collaboration. There are several other advantages/features in their offerings, but I wanted to highlight that one.

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