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.


 

Can MasterClass teach you everything? — from newyorker.com by Tad Friend

Can MasterClass teach you everything?

Malala Yousafzai on set. Though the site’s C.E.O., David Rogier, says, “Learning is uncomfortable,” the shoots are lavish. Photograph by Lewis Khan for The New Yorker

Excerpt:

When MasterClass launched, in 2015, it offered three courses: Dustin Hoffman on acting, James Patterson on writing, and Serena Williams on tennis. Today, there are a hundred and thirty, in categories from business to wellness. During the pandemic lockdown, demand was up as much as tenfold from the previous year; last fall, when the site had a back-to-school promotion, selling an annual subscription for a dollar instead of a hundred and eighty dollars, two hundred thousand college students signed up in a day. MasterClass will double in size this year, to six hundred employees, as it launches in the U.K., France, Germany, and Spain. It’s a Silicon Valley investor’s dream, a rolling juggernaut of flywheels and network effects dedicated to helping you, as the instructor Garry Kasparov puts it, “upgrade your software.”

 

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.”

 

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.

 

Higher Education Needs to Move Toward Mass-Personalization — from fierceeducation.com by Susan Fourtané

Excerpt:

Every industry, from health sciences to marketing to manufacturing, is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to facilitate the delivery of mass-personalization, yet education has been slow in its adoption. These smart systems create personalized solutions targeted to meet the unique needs of every individual.

Artificial Intelligence-based technologies have the potential of serving as tools for educators to provide personalized learning. However, for mass-personalization to work, institutions first need to align their leadership. In his feature session What Is It Going to Take to Move from Mass-Production to Mass-Personalization?, during the recent Online Learning Consortium virtual event, Dale Johnson, Director of Digital Innovation at Arizona State University, addressed the issue of mass personalization in higher education.

Johnson reinforced the idea that with mass-personalization professors can deliver the right lesson to the right student at the right time.

Mass-personalization software does not replace the professor. It makes the professor better, more focused on the students.

 

Why inexperienced workers can’t get entry-level jobs — from bbc.com by Kate Morgan; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource

Excerpt:

As anyone who’s graduated from university or applied for their first job in recent years can attest to, something new – and alarming – has happened to entry-level jobs: they’ve disappeared.

A recent analysis of close to 4 million jobs posted on LinkedIn since late 2017 showed that 35% of postings for “entry-level” positions asked for years of prior relevant work experience. That requirement was even more common in certain industries. More than 60% of listings for entry-level software and IT Services jobs, for instance, required three or more years of experience. In short, it seems entry-level jobs aren’t for people just entering the workforce at all.

“Internships are now the entry level,” he says. “Most of the students in college are doing or trying to do internships, and now it’s increasingly common to do more than one.”

From DSC:
I love the idea of internships. (In my days in college, internships were reserved mainly for engineers; few of us had them back then.)

But with an eye on the cost of obtaining a degree, internships should be PAID internships. That is, interns should receive decent/proper compensation. I’m concerned that businesses will take advantage of free labor here (though that’s less likely given the tight labor market I suppose). But businesses have taken advantage of free labor in the past. “It takes a village…”

Also see:

 

3 Tips for Making Passion-Based Learning Work Successfully — from thejournal.com by Dennis Pierce

Excerpt:

Passion-based learning, a form of self-directed learning in which students pursue projects of interest to them, is becoming more popular in schools — and for good reason: Educators who have set aside time for passion-based learning have discovered that students become highly engaged and motivated when learning about topics that intrigue them, while taking their learning much deeper than they would in a traditional lesson.

Passion-based learning initiatives include Genius Hour and 20time, both inspired by Google’s program that lets employees spend 20% of their time on projects of their choosing to spark innovation.

Giving all students the option to explore their interests can be challenging on a large scale. To overcome this hurdle and make the process easier for teachers, Sonora Elementary uses a new peer-to-peer learning platform called Tract, which is a collection of video content organized into self-directed learning paths.

tract.app allows students to be creative and practice their storytelling and multimedia skills

From DSC:
I love the type of tool/app like Tract — as students can work on a variety of skills:

  • multimedia development
  • music
  • acting
  • writing/composing
  • digital storytelling
  • …and more

Such projects/tools can unleash a great deal of creativity, engagement, and positive energy. Learning becomes more relevant, enjoyable, and interesting when we can provide more choice and control to our students.

 
 

Common Anxieties in Beginning HyFlex: Learning to Teach a HyFlex Class — from hyflexlearning.org by Brian Beatty

Excerpt:

Not surprisingly, one of the biggest anxieties – FEARS – for many faculty considering or implementing a HyFlex approach for the first time is learning how to do so, and to do so effectively the very first time. No one likes to feel like they aren’t equipped to do the work they are required (or challenged) to do; perhaps especially teachers who are normally in full control of their classrooms and the activities that take place in them. When you are planning to teach HyFlex, it may seem like you are planning for CHAOS, or at least planning to lose control over the class environment(s), the teaching process, and ultimately student learning. Let’s address those concerns one at a time, but briefly.

If we assume you are an effective classroom teacher, then a common design path that I usually recommend is to start with your plans for an effective classroom experience and work to translate those to the other modes, accessing expert guidance as needed (such as, instructional designers, online course design books, your colleagues). What are the learning outcomes (or instructional objectives) for the classroom? How will those translate into the online mode(s) you are planning? What about the instructional content and associated activities for the classroom? How do those translate? What about plans for assessment? Start with what you know, and are confident with, and then layer in approaches for the other modes. 

 

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:

 

Resources from “The Science of Learning” — from deansforimpact.org

Excerpt:

The Science of Learning summarizes existing cognitive-science research on how students learn, and connects it to practical implications for teaching. The report is a resource for teacher-educators, new teachers, and anyone in the education profession who is interested in how learning takes place.

Deans for Impact believes all teacher-candidates should know the cognitive-science principles explored in The Science of Learning. And all educators, including new teachers, should be able to connect those principles to their practical implications for the classroom.

One of those resources is:

Also see:Learning by Scientific Design -- a report from Deans for Impact

The use of regular quizzes is extremely effective in committing something to long-term memory


There are six major takeaways from our first administration of our Learning by Scientific Design assessment:

  1. In general, future teachers are unfamiliar with basic principles of learning science – and they struggle to connect these principles to practice.
  2. Encouragingly, future teachers recognize the critical role that background knowledge plays in learning.
  3. Future teachers struggle to identify effective forms of practice – and they appear to conflate student engagement with learning.
  4. For the most part, teacher-candidates hold beliefs about teaching and learning that align to principles of learning science –- but there are clear areas for improvement.
  5. Teacher-candidate understanding of learning science does not vary based on key categories we might expect.
  6. Teacher-educators in the LbSD Network do better at identifying learning-science principles in practice than just the principles in the abstract.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian