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.

Steelcase: Using our heads and our hands to give information physical form

 

Excerpt:

When we take notes during a lecture, however, something amazing happens. As we write, we create spatial relationships between the pieces of information we’re recording. The region of the brain that handles spatial information is engaged and, by linking it with the verbal information the brain filters wheat from chaff.

Research bears this out. In a study of a lecture class, students who took notes remembered no more content than the students who didn’t take notes; the act of taking notes did not increase the amount of what they remembered. But the students who took notes remembered more key facts, those who merely listened remembered more or less random content from the lecture.

Note taking isn’t the only way to help the brain recall important stuff. Other kinds of writing, such as scrawling ideas on a whiteboard or pencilling a reminder on a calendar, create a link between the spatial and verbal parts of our brains and strengthen how important information is stored in our brains.

Students think they can multitask. Here’s proof they can’t. — from Faculty Focus by Maryellen Weimer

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Excerpt:

With easy access to all sorts of technology, students multitask. So do lots of us for that matter. But students are way too convinced that multitasking is a great way to work. They think they can do two or three tasks simultaneously and not compromise the quality of what they produce. Research says that about 5% of us multitask effectively. Proof of the negative effects of multitasking in learning environments is now coming from a variety of studies.

The question is, how do we get students to stop? We can tell them they shouldn’t. We can include policies that aim to prevent it and devote time and energy trying to implement them. I wonder if it isn’t smarter to confront students with the facts. Not admonitions, but concrete evidence that multitasking compromises their efforts to learn. The specifics are persuasive and here are some examples to share with students.

 

From DSC:
If you can’t beat ’em, join em! 🙂   I vote for having students use such devices in achieving the same learning outcomes/objectives that you normally would like the students to cover.  That is, to integrate the technologies that they are so engaged with — if possible.  But I like Maryellen’s thought about just confronting them with the facts — that if they choose to “multitask,” they will significantly reduce their ROI that they’re making in their education.

 

 

More than 16 million U.S. children currently live in food insecure households, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). These families too often confront a painful choice—pay bills, provide shelter, or put food on the table. To address this increasing need, nonprofits, foundations, government, and corporations must work together to make sure more children have access to the safety net programs that can provide them with the food they need to thrive.

 

—  Collaboration and Partnerships: The Path to Ending Child Hunger
Neil Nicoll, YMCA of the USA – Posted August 27, 2012

Also see:

 

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.


American Educator

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Example article:
Principles of Instruction — from American Educator by Barak Rosenshine
Research-based strategies that all teachers should know

Excerpt:

The following is a list of some of the instructional principles that have come from these three sources. These ideas will be described and discussed in this article:

  • Begin a lesson with a short review of previous learning.
  • Present new material in small steps with student practice after each step.
  • Ask a large number of questions and check the responses of all students.
  • Provide models.
  • Guide student practice.
  • Check for student understanding.
  • Obtain a high success rate.
  • Provide scaffolds for difficult tasks.
  • Require and monitor independent practice.
  • Engage students in weekly and monthly review.

 

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