50 Sites & Apps for K-12 Education Games — from techlearning.com by Diana Restifo and David Kapuler
Game-based learning is a great way to integrate technology into the classroom while engaging kids with real learning.

Excerpt:

Game-based learning turns potentially tedious study time into an adventurous knowledge quest, complete with catchy soundtracks and digital rewards. It helps keep kids engaged with the subject matter and motivated to pursue greater expertise. Best of all, web- or app-based gameplay integrates easily into both online and in-person classes.

With the demise of Flash at the end of 2020, many favorite educational game sites went under. That’s why we decided to update our popular list below to include the latest and best sites and apps for K-12 education games. Many are free (or offer free basic accounts) and some provide progress tracking and analysis tools for teachers. All will help kids enjoy learning.

Also relevant/see the following resource and excerpt from Goldie Blumenstyk’s The Edge (from the Chronicle of Higher Education)

Creative Acts for Curious People: How to Think, Create, and Lead in Unconventional Ways — by Sarah Stein Greenberg

Excerpt:

Greenberg also makes a compelling case for the “playful and joyous” approaches the d.school has been championing, like the secret handshake or building several prototypes of an ideal chair using tools like cardboard, pipe cleaners, and chewing gum and toothpicks. After so many months of loss and social deprivation, she told me last week, “those elements are more important than ever.”

 

From DSC:
Perhaps folks might want to experiment with the teaching strategy as mentioned below from Dr. Barbi Honeycutt’s Lecture Breakers Weekly e-newsletter.


From The Scholarly Teacher blog — who just added a new section on the blog which includes teaching tip infographics.

This week, they shared variations of Think, Pair, Share. In this teaching strategy, you give the students a problem or question. Then, you ask them to think about the question, pair up with a partner to discuss it, and then share it with the rest of the class (hence the name “think, pair, share”).

In this adaption, you do the same process, but instead of asking them to share with the class, you ask them to post a tweet using a class hashtag. Then you can read the tweets aloud, integrate them into your lecture, and/or facilitate a class discussion. This teaching strategy works well for blended, in-person, and online course formats, so it’s very adaptable to any topic or lesson.

 
 

Here’s an example of what an engaging and exciting online course might [look like]. 

You start with a short video that introduces the subject. It focuses on the course’s main ideas, and how they relate to one another, getting your learners interested in the topic and making them eager to learn more.

 

 

Could AR and/or VR enable a massive 3D-based type of “Voicethread?” [Christian]

From DSC:
What if we could quickly submit items for a group to discuss, annotate, and respond to — using whichever media format is available/preferable for a person — like a massive 3D-based Voicethread? What if this type of discussion could be contributed to and accessed via Augmented Reality (AR) and/or via Virtual Reality (VR) types of devices?

It could be a new 3D format that a person could essentially blow all the way up into the size of a billboard. Think, “Honey, I shrunk the kids” type of stuff.  

Input devices might include:

  • Augmented Reality (AR) glasses
  • Virtual Reality (VR) headsets/glasses
  • Scanners
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Desktops and laptops
  • SmartTVs
  • Other types of input devices

For example, a person could take a picture of a document or something else and then save that image into a new file format that would be vector-based. I say a vector-based file format so that the image could be enlarged to the size of a billboard without losing any resolution (i.e., wouldn’t become grainy; the image would remain crystal clear regardless of how big the image is). I’m thinking here along the lines of “Honey, I shrunk the kids!”

Other thoughts here:

  • The files could be accessible online for attendees of classes or for audiences of presentations/webinars
  • The files could be displayed on the walls of learning/presentation spaces for marking them up
  • One could manipulate the 3D image if that person was using a virtual/immersive environment
  • Users should be able to annotate on those images and/or be able to save such annotations and notes

A question for phase II:
Could this concept also be used if virtual courts take off?

Hmmmm…just thinking out loud.

 

Discovery Education Collaborates with AWS to Enhance Recommendation Engine — from discoveryeducation.com

Excerpt:

SILVER SPRING, MD [On Monday,?September 27, 2021] — Discovery Education—a worldwide edtech leader supporting learning wherever it takes place — announced that it has enhanced its K-12 learning platform with Amazon Web Services (AWS) machine learning capabilities. The pioneering use of machine learning within the Discovery Education platform helps educators spend less time searching for digital resources and more time teaching.

Several months of planning and deep collaboration with AWS enabled Discovery Education to innovatively integrate Amazon Personalize technology into the “Just For You” area of its K-12 platform. The “Just For You” row connects educators to a unique, personalized set of resources based on the grade level taught, preferences, and assets used in the past.

“For some time, educators have desired more resources to help personalize teaching and learning. ML technology is already being used to curate our entertainment experiences, help with workforce productivity, and more, and it’s exciting to see this innovation is being integrated into classrooms,” said Alec Chalmers, Director, EdTech and GovTech Markets at AWS.

From DSC:
It looks like Amazon continues to make inroads into the education space. Team up this type of recommendation engine with an AI that’s pulling the latest skills that are needed for — and embedded within — job descriptions and you have a learning powerhouse. 

Disruption ahead…?

 

Learning from the living class room
Also see:

  • How Machine Learning Is Having an Impact on Education — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
    Discovery Education has partnered with Amazon Web Services to enhance its platform with machine learning. It’s one of many ways machine learning is being used in K-12 today.
 

From DSC:
Also check one of the things that Scott mentioned in his talk — Behance, a network of creatives. They consistently offer livestreams — where the learner has more choice, more control over what they learn about.

Livestreams are one of the services offered out at Behance.net

The search function out at Behance.net

 


 


Also see:

 


 

 

Surviving Among the Giants — from chronicle.com by Scott Carlson
As growth has become higher ed’s mantra, some colleges seek to stay small.

Excerpts:

The pressures on the higher-education business model are changing those attitudes. The Council of Independent Colleges’ fastest-growing initiative is the Online Course Sharing Consortium, which allows small colleges to offer certain courses to students at other institutions. Currently, there are 2,200 enrollments among almost 6,000 courses on the platform.

“The higher-ed business model is broken,” says Jeffrey R. Docking, who has been president of Adrian College for 16 years. “But where it’s most broken — and the first ones that are going to walk the plank — are the small private institutions. The numbers just don’t work.” Combining some backroom functions or arranging consortial purchases is just “dabbling around the edges” — and won’t get close to driving down the cost of tuition by 30 to 40 percent over the next several years, which is what Docking believes is necessary.

From DSC:
Docking’s last (highlighted) sentence above reminds me of what I predicted back in 2008 when I was working for Calvin College. The vision I relayed in 2008 continues to come to fruition — albeit I’ve since changed the name of the vision.

Back in 2008 I predicted that we would see the days of tuition being cut by 50% or more

From DSC (cont’d):
I was trying to bring down the cost of higher education — which we did with Calvin Online for 4-5 years…before the administration,  faculty members, and even the leadership within our IT and HR Departments let Calvin Online die on the vine. This was a costly mistake for Calvin, as they later became a university — thus requiring that they get into more online-based learning in order to address the adult learner. Had they supported getting the online-based learning plane off the runway, they could have dovetailed nicely into becoming a university. But instead, they dissed the biggest thing to happen within education in the last 500 years (since the invention of the printing press). 

Which brings me to one last excerpted quote here:

“For so many years,” Docking says, “all of these really smart people in Silicon Valley, at the University of Phoenix, at for-profits were saying, We’re going to do it better” — and they came around with their “solutions” in the form of MOOCs, or massive open online courses, and other scaling plans. Small colleges didn’t want to hear it, and, Docking says, maybe it was to their peril.

 
 
 

What Will Online Learning Look Like in 10 Years? Zoom Has Some Ideas — from edsurge.com by Stephen Noonoo

Excerpt:

This week at Zoom’s annual conference, Zoomtopia, a trio of education-focused Zoom employees (er, Zoomers?) speculated wildly about what hybrid Zoom learning might look like 10 years from now, given the warp speed advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning expected. Below are highlights of their grandiose, if sometimes vague, vision for the future of learning on Zoom.

Zoom very much sees itself as one day innovating on personalized learning in a substantial way, although beyond breakout rooms and instant translation services, they have few concrete ideas in mind. Mostly, the company says it will be working to add more choices to how teachers can present materials and how students can display mastery to teachers in realtime. They’re bullish on Kahoot-like gamification features and new ways of assessing students, too.

Also see:

An Eighth Grader Was Tired of Being Late to Zoom School. So He Made an App for That. — from edsurge.com by Nadia Tamez-Robledo

“I could not find anything else that exists like this to automatically join meetings at the right times,” says Seth, a high school freshman based in Walnut Creek, Calif. “Reminders are just really easy to ignore. I’ll get a notification maybe five minutes before my meeting, and it’ll just sit there and not do anything. [LinkJoin] interrupts whatever you’re doing and says, ‘Join this meeting. In fact it’s already opening, so better get on it.’”

 

 
 

Active Learning: 5 Tips for Implementing the Approach — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
Active learning provides ways to get your students engaged without needing to revamp how you teach.

Excerpts:

However, neither listening to a lecture or reading a textbook is the most efficient way to learn or what active learning is truly about. “What exactly do we mean by active learning?” Deslauriers says.  “We mean that first, you have to be engaged. Obviously, that’s number one. Number two, you have to be engaged productively. And number three, the productivity has to be toward a goal that is deemed worthwhile*.”

— Louis Deslauriers, Director of Science Teaching and Learning
in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University


From DSC:
I appreciated seeing/reading this solid article. Just a couple of reflections and highlights here…


* But worthwhile for whom? For the faculty members? The teachers? The trainers? Or for the learners, the students, or the employees? Where is agency here? Where does more choice and control come into play here? Where’s the motivation for me to learn something if someone keeps telling me what’s important to THEM? What’s relevant to THEM? Why should I care about this topic? How is it relevant? How will it help me get a job and/or make a positive difference in this world? Can I choose how deep I want to dive in?

Later…Deslauriers goes on to make a great point when urging a pause for students to practice some metacognition:

  • Does this make sense to me?
  • How is this relevant? <– DSC: There it is.
  • Does it connect with something I already know? And if so, how do I integrate with what I already know?
  • What sort of questions do I have right now?
  • Can I repeat what the instructor just did? Or is it going to require a lot of practice?

“There’s no way you can undergo these mental processes when someone keeps talking,”  Deslauriers says. But if educators pause during their lectures and encourage this type of focus, they can help their students learn more efficiently.


 Instructors can hand out electronic clickers, use web-based tools such as Google forms, or even go completely low-tech by giving color-coded cards to students that correspond to different answers. 


Also see:

 

FLEXspace with LSRS v.3 Integration: Your Key to Future Proofing Learning Spaces — from campustechnology.com by Mary Grush
A Q&A roundtable with FLEXspace and LSRS leaders and innovators

Excerpt:

A little more than a year ago, the EDUCAUSE Learning Space Rating System was integrated into FLEXspace. Now, users have a “one-stop shop” to access both the media-rich resources of FLEXspace and the quantitative evaluations of the LSRS.

Here, a round table discussion provides five perspectives on what the integration has meant to users.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian