An excerpt from Eva Keiffenheim’s Learn Letter re: A New Education Paradigm (emphasis DSC)

Here are a couple of underlying assumptions within our current education paradigm:

  • assessment through standardized testing and grades
  • outcome-focus on academic achievements
  • the purpose of education is to produce future workforce
  • teachers and professors are the unique source of knowledge
  • an inherent dominance (adults > children; professionals > students)
  • lectures and listening are a valid form of learning
  • subjects exist in hierarchies (math, languages > art, music)
  • content should be delivered in discrete subjects

I invite you to question the current paradigm: How would schools and universities look like so that all young people can flourish?


From DSC:
Eva’s reflections remind me of what I was trying to say the other day about how ideas start out as fragile…but if they take hold, they become very powerful. Today’s education paradigms are a great example of that. These paradigms have deep roots that are very hard to change.

Ideas start out fragile...but if they take root, they grow to be very strong.


 

Why we need some humility about online learning – and about face-to-face teaching — from tonybates.ca by Tony Bates

Excerpt:

Those of us who have been fighting to get online learning accepted over the last 20-25 years have argued strongly the merits of online learning. We have argued that not only can it increase access, especially for older, working and lifelong learners, but it can also teach as well, and under certain circumstances, even better than face-to-face teaching. Covid-19 in particular showed the value of online learning, allowing students to continue their learning, even during a pandemic.

The limits of online learning
However, Covid-19 also taught us that online learning has its limits. When there was no access to face-to-face learning, we found that online learning was not able to help certain students. We also found that there are important aspects of face-to-face or campus based learning that cannot easily be replaced by online learning. Let’s look at some of these limitations.

We need to not only accept that both online learning and face-to-face teaching have equal value, but also to strive to understand what each does best. This will vary by subject matter, by types of students, and by instructors’ training and experience. We all have a lot to learn.

Also from Tony, see:

The future of online learning with Dr. Tony Bates

 

 

The Great Education Unbundling and How Learning Will be Rebundled — from gettingsmart.com by Nate McClennen, Tom Vander Ark

Key Points

  • The pandemic accelerated the great unbundling of learning – at least for those with access, agency, and advocates.
  • While unbundling will expand, how learning is rebundled will emerge as the next innovation — accessible, personalized, accountable and massive.

Excerpts:

By removing the barrier of full credit/school offered, schools become more robust in terms of richness of offerings as well as more personalized to meet the needs of students and communities.

The majority of unbundled experiences still fall back on the course level as the smallest granular level of choice. Following the lead of industry, unbundling in schools should mean a reduction in grain size so that skills are the level of unbundling rather than courses.

 
 

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.”

 

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.

 

Education and Justice Departments Warn of Covid’s ‘Profound Toll’ on Student Mental Health — from chronicle.com by Sarah Brown

Excerpt:

As the pandemic drags on past 19 months in the United States, the Education Department and the Justice Department on Wednesday implored colleges and schools to be especially attentive to students who are showing signs of self-harm or suicide.

If institutions don’t adequately support students with mental-health diagnoses, as required by federal law, the departments warned that they could draw an investigation.

Suzanne B. Goldberg, a former senior administrator at Columbia University who’s now the Education Department’s acting assistant secretary for civil rights, wrote in a letter to educators that the Covid-19 era had “taken a profound toll” on students’ mental health.

 

 

3 Promising Opportunities to Teach Your Kids From Home — from medium.com by Eva Keiffenheim
These organizations innovate homeschooling.

Excerpt:

What follows are three organizations that rethink the way children learn from home.

 


Outschool is one of the three organizations highlighted in this article.


From DSC:
My wife teaches for Outschool and really enjoys it! She develops solid relationships with her students and is able to personalize things (as she deals with 1-3 students at a time). She doesn’t charge much at all, but she enjoys it.

 

 
 

Think-Pair-Share: The Basics! — from lillyconferences.com by The Scholarly Teacher Team
Think-Pair-Share is a collaborative learning strategy that promotes critical thinking and peer learning. This is an excellent place to start if you want to add active learning to your lecture-based course without taking much class time.

From DSC:
The ability of many videoconferencing systems to automatically create breakout groups/sessions for you can be very helpful here. 

 

Talking About Forgetting with Students — from theeffortfuleducator.com by Blake Harvard

Excerpt:

Over the course of 24 hours, students are going to forget a lot of what we cover in class. So, when they show up to class and I provide a review, I shouldn’t expect them to necessarily do too well. The students’ mindset should not be ‘I should be getting all of this correct’, but ‘let me see what I remember and what I don’t so I better know what to review later’. But that’s not the mentality we approach most assessment opportunities with…they’re seen more as a ‘gotcha’ for students or, at least, students believe they’re supposed to remember all of this because it’s on the review.

We need to work to change this mindset. Let the students in on the ‘secret’ of memory and forgetting. Tell them forgetting is normal and expected. And the reason we’re doing these formative assessments is to simply indicate what you do remember and what you’ve forgotten so future studying can be more efficient and effective.

Also see:

 

A guide to overexcitabilities and gifted children — podcast from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Excerpt:

Polish psychologist/psychiatrist Kazimierz Dabrowski developed the theory of overexcitabilities. Gifted children are highly likely to be more intense than their typical peers. This increased awareness, sensitivity, and intensity can present challenges that make them difficult children to parent.

The Five Overexcitabilities
Dabrowski identified five different areas of overexcitabilities when he developed his Theory of Positive Disintegration. Not all gifted kids exhibit overexcitabilities, but they are more prevalent among the gifted population than any other.

 

A ‘New Normal’ Requires New Tools for Attendance and Family Engagement — from edsurge.com by Liesel Carlson

Excerpt:

Mini arrived at the Office of School Culture in Michigan’s Lansing School District in December 2020. She came on board to help us assess our attendance goals and strategies several months into a global pandemic. Mini immediately organized our scattered data and got to work pushing critical information about attendance to families by sending positive “nudges” via text messages, offering empathetic support and guidance.

Mini happens to be a chatbot.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian