Teaching: Why an Active-Learning Evangelist Is Sold on Online Teaching — from chronicle.com by Beth McMurtrie

Excerpts:

Now, says Mazur, the results are in and he’s convinced: online teaching is better. Not in all circumstances, to be sure. But in his applied-physics courses, students showed larger learning gains and felt more supported than students had in in-person classes. In fact, they appear to have learned so much more effectively in this new format that he wonders if it’s “almost unethical,” to return to the classroom this fall.

“I have never been able to offer a course of the quality that I’m offering now,” he says. “I am convinced that there is no way I could do anything close to what I’m doing in person. Online teaching is better than in person.”

One benefit of this setup, says Mazur, is that students go at their own pace. He has thought a lot about how classroom-based work, even when it is student-led, is hostage to the clock and the instructor. Not every group works at the same pace, yet everyone has to wait until others are ready, or rush ahead when they fall behind. When groups set their own pace, it gives them the space to work through problems or get help as needed. The value of self-paced learning is also evident outside of class, says Mazur, who built more asynchronous work into his online course.

“I have never seen students work this hard for my course,” he says. “Never. And so consistently.”

Also see:

A snapshot of Eric Mazur's physics class from Canvas.

But he’s so convinced of how valuable this model is that he asked Harvard to allow him to keep teaching online this fall. 

Also relevant/see:

 

Leveraging EdTech: brilliant tools for student voice — from global-edtech.com by Cecilia Astolfi
Cecilia Astolfi provides three very useful tips for any teachers wishing to promote student voice in the classroom

There are three tools I recommend in order to enhance the ability of students to express their views in a constructive and valuable manner.

Best Microsoft PowerPoint Tips and Tricks for Teachers — from by Luke Edwards
You may be amazed to see how much you can get out of Microsoft PowerPoint as a teacher

Excerpt:

5. Create Instagram Stories in PowerPoint
Another social media app that has great traction with students is Instagram, specifically the Stories feature that allows you to share images or videos from the day, which are wiped for a fresh set each day.

Imagine doing this in class? Perhaps the students could carry on a story you were studying in class. Maybe they could tell the tale of a comet as it travels through space. The options are huge and it’s easy to do using this PowerPoint template as a starting point.

6 kids games that make math learning engaging and entertaining — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

BBC School Radio Maths is an excellent educational resource we learned from MakeUseOf‘ s list of 10 Cool Math Games for Kids. School Radio Maths offers a wide variety of educational games to help kids develop their math skills. Kids will get to grapple with various numeracy challenges that involves a higher degree of mental skills. The games are entertaining enough to keep pupils motivated and focused on the learning task at hand.

6 strategies to help you improve your math skills — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:
As a child, did you love math back in the elementary? Now that you are an adult, do you feel awkward with your Mathematic’s skills? Let’s admit it – not everyone is great at Math. Some find it fun, brilliant, stimulating others find it too difficult to comprehend.

However, the stigma associated with math learning is not always true especially knowing that Math is omnipresent and is being used in almost every facet of our life. The purpose of this post is to share with you  some of the ways to help you  strengthen your Math skills.

This map lets you fly along the path of a drop of water from any place in the U.S. — from fastcompany.com by Adele Peters
Click on any spot or enter an address, and it will show where the water is likely to flow. Good for both learning how pollution and plastic spreads, but also for an aerial visual ride of the country’s waterways.
Also see: river-runner.samlearner.com/

This image portrays a map of the United States.

Hands-On with the Lego Snapchat Augmented Reality Experience That Lets You Build With Friends Remotely — from next.reality.news by Adario Strange

Excerpt:

The world of Lego is timeless primarily because everyone, regardless of age or background, can build a wide variety of amazing things with the simple component blocks from the classic toymaker.

But now that Snapchat has brought that dynamic to augmented reality via the Rebuild the World Snapchat Lens the possibilities are truly endless.

Snap Spectacles Early Prototype, Volkswagen Drives into AR, Inside Lego Snapchat, & Instagram Updates AR — from next.reality.news by Tommy Palladino

Best Apps To Learn The Korean Language — from edtechreview.in by Saniya Khan

Excerpt:

Korean, one of the popular Asian languages for non-native speakers, is the official language of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea).

This is an increasingly important language globally considering South Korea’s powerful economy, geopolitical importance, and growing presence in Asian pop culture; perhaps one reason for garnering a surprising amount of interest in people worldwide to learn the Korean language.

5 Places to Sell Your Artwork Online — from hongkiat.com

Excerpt:

Selling art online is making a comeback. Artists have been selling their work on the Internet but as of late, there’s an increase in online art sales. You can of course build your own website to share your art, run your own marketing and promotional exercise via social media and other channels but you will probably gain more exposure with the following websites . Time to get your beautiful art out there.

12 good edtech tools to use in your distance education — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

Looking for some educational websites to help you with the management of your online (and also face-to-face) classroom teaching? The list below has you covered. It features a collection of  some popular web tools you can use to perform a wide variety of educational tasks. These include: creating interactive video lessons, collect formative assessments and provide real-time feedback to students, enhance students learning through the use of digital games and flashcards, create online classes and share assignments and learning resources with students, organize students into appropriate learning groups and many more. Links to these websites are under the visual.

 

Curiosity Stream Is the Streaming Service Tailored for People Who Love To Learn — from
And for less than $20 a year, Curiosity Stream offers something for everyone.

Curiosity Stream, a streaming service that’s committed to educational, informative content that enlightens as it entertains.

curiosity stream

Excerpt:

Once upon a time, channels like Discovery and The Learning Channel sought to enlighten their viewers about the world around them with documentaries and other educational programing. But today, there are fewer and fewer channels committed to this goal, and watered-down “reality television” reigns supreme. It seems the golden age of basic cable television is gone all but gone. Luckily, there’s Curiosity Stream, a streaming service that’s committed to educational, informative content that enlightens as it entertains.


 

Per Elnaz Sarraf (She/Her), Chief Evangelist at ROYBI Robot:

ROYBI INC, the creator of the award-winning ROYBI Robot, announced today that it was named the winner of the World Economic Forum Smart Toy Awards 2021 in the category of Smart Companion. This is a remarkable achievement!

ROYBI won one of the Smart Toy Awards as presented by the World Economic Forum

The category winner had to meet four important criteria:

  1. Data Privacy & Cybersecurity
  2. Accessibility
  3. Innovative Use of AI Transparency
  4. Healthy Play in Childhood Development.

According to the World Economic Forum representative, Seth Bergeson, our ROYBI Robot met and exceeded these important criteria. ROYBI’s award acceptance ceremony can be watched here.


Also see:

ROYBI provides a sophisticated 1-on-1 private tutoring experience using artificial intelligence. ROYBI Robot introduces kids to technology, math, science, and language arts.

 

20 Best Websites to Help Kids Learn From Home in 2021 — from wizcase.com by Julia Olech

Excerpt:

That’s why I rounded up a list of the 20 best free websites that provide engaging and fun learning experiences for you and your children. I made sure each website caters to a wide range of ages with games and interactive lessons that won’t bore even the most fidgety kids. The best part is that you can use them all at no cost!

 

 

Enrich your history and social studies classes with these resources — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

Below are three websites we are featuring in our blog for the first time. These are platforms where teachers (and students) can access resources and teaching materials to help them with their history teaching (learning).

Addendum on 5/4/21:

 

Even as colleges pledge to improve, share of engineering and math graduates who are Black declines — from hechingerreport.org by Melba Newsome; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource
The supply of Black scientists, engineers and mathematicians is flat or falling even as demand goes up

Excerpt:

Black enrollment in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math — is among the issues that urgently demand attention, said Cato Laurencin, CEO of the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science. “We need to move from talking about the issue of Blacks in STEM and systemic racism to making concrete changes,” Laurencin said.

The proportion of bachelor’s degrees in science awarded to Black graduates remained flat at about 9 percent from 2001 to 2016, according to the most recent available figures from the National Science Foundation; in engineering, it declined from 5 percent to 4 percent; and in math, it dropped from 7 percent to 4 percent.

 

 

 

Rebooting the final exam — from roberttalbert.medium.com by Robert Talbert

Excerpts: 

It’s probably better not to give final exams at all, but if you must, then here are some alternative approaches that do more to help students.

Here are some ideas for what your students might do on a final exam like this.

  • Create a mind map of the course or a portion of it.  
  • Write a new catalog description for the course.  
  • Write a letter to an incoming high school student who will be taking the course next semester.  
  • Write a short essay about: What are the main ideas of this subject, and how do they all connect together?  
  • Write about their metacognition.  
  • Leave one piece of advice to the next round of students taking this course. 
 

Frank Gehry reveals latest design for supertall skyscraper in Toronto — from dezeen.com by India Block

Excerpt:

Frank Gehry has released visuals of a pair of twisting shiny skyscrapers, one of which will be over 300 metres, for King Street West in Toronto.

Currently named the Gehry Project, the plan is to build a 289-metre-high supertall and a 262-metre-high skyscraper at the intersection King Street West and Ed Mirvish Way.

Frank Gehry reveals latest design for supertall skyscraper in Toronto -- from dezeen.com by India Block

Also see:

Richard Rogers balances his final building over Provence vineyard — from dezeen.com

 

An important distance learning resource for teachers, students, & parents — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

Wide Open School (WOS) is a platform developed by the leading non-profit for kids and families Common Sense media. WOS provides access to a wide range of resources designed specifically to help enhance the quality of distance learning. The work of Wide Open School is a fruit of a partnership with more than 80 leading educational organizations and services including Kahoot, Google, Khan Academy, National Geographic, PBS, Scholastic, Smithsonian, TED Ed, and many more.

 

Also see:

The work of Wide Open School is a fruit of a partnership with more than 80 leading educational organizations and services including Kahoot, Google, Khan Academy, National Geographic, PBS, Scholastic, Smithsonian, TED Ed, and many more.

 

Microsoft Education offers a free tutoring service to help students with their math problems — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

In today’s post I want to bring to your attention this interesting math resource from Microsoft Education called Tutoring Experts. As its name indicates, Tutoring Experts allows students to seek help with their math problems from tutors that are available 24/7.

Also see:

Get instant math help from expert tutors.

From DSC:
One wonders if there aren’t some opportunities here for more online-based tutoring services. Perhaps graduates from schools of education will move more towards this type of thing…

Perhaps the online-based materials in the future will have a question mark “?” icon that instantly connects to that service’s teachers, professors, trainers, pastors, and/or other SMEs. Or perhaps this type of thing is already there…I’m not sure.

 

Best Online Educational Games for High School Students — from edtechreview.in by Saniya Khan

Excerpt:

…the introduction of educational games to kids helps increase their motivation and engagement, enhance visual skills, improve students’ interaction and collaboration abilities with their peers, and apply gaming values in a real-world situation; most importantly, it improves learning.

Learning Apps For Kids To Explore in 2021 — from edtechreview.in by Priyanka Gupta

Excerpt:

Living in a digital era and in times when technology has kept education going, let’s look at some promising learning apps for kids to explore in 2021.

 

 

From DSC:
Our oldest daughter showed me a “Bitmoji Classroom” that her mentor teacher — Emily Clay — uses as her virtual classroom. Below are some snapshots of the Google Slides that Emily developed based on the work of:

  • Kayla Young (@bitmoji.kayla)
  • MaryBeth Thomas 
  • Ms. Smith 
  • Karen Koch
  • The First Grade Creative — by C. Verddugo

My hats off to all of these folks whose work laid the foundations for this creative, fun, engaging, easy-to-follow virtual classroom for a special education preschool classroom — complete with ties to videoconferencing functionalities from Zoom. Emily’s students could click on items all over the place — they could explore, pursue their interests/curiosities/passions. So the snapshots below don’t offer the great interactivity that the real deal does.

Nice work Emily & Company! I like how you provided more choice, more control to your students — while keeping them engaged! 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

From DSC:
I also like the idea of presenting this type of slide (immediately below, and students’ names have been blurred for privacy’s sake) prior to entering a videoconferencing session where you are going to break out the students into groups. Perhaps that didn’t happen in Emily’s class…I’m not sure, but in other settings, it would make sense to share one’s screen right before sending the students to those breakout rooms and show them that type of slide (to let them know who will be in their particular breakout group).

The students in the different breakout sessions could then collaboratively work on Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides and you could watch their progress in real-time!

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

Also see:

 

Maths mastery through stop-motion animation — from innovatemyschool.com by Rachel Cully

Do you want your learners to be resilient, confident mathematicians with secure conceptual understanding and a love of Maths? Well, come with me to a land of stories and watch the magic unfold.

Maths mastery through stop-motion animation -- by Rachel Cully

Also see:

 

Many students complain that online-based learning doesn’t engage them. Well, check this idea out! [Christian]


From DSC…by the way, another title for this blog could have been:

WIN-WIN situations all around! The Theatre Departments out there could collaborate with other depts/disciplines to develop highly engaging, digitally-based learning experiences! 


The future of drama and the theatre — as well as opera, symphonies, and more — will likely include a significant virtual/digital component to them. While it’s too early to say that theatre needs to completely reinvent itself and move “the stage” completely online, below is an idea that creates a variety of WIN-WIN situations for actors, actresses, stage designers, digital audio/video editors, fine artists, graphic designers, programmers, writers, journalists, web designers, and many others as well — including the relevant faculty members!

A new world of creative, engaging, active learning could open up if those involved with the Theatre Department could work collaboratively with students/faculty members from other disciplines. And in the end, the learning experiences and content developed would be highly engaging — and perhaps even profitable for the institutions themselves!

A WIN-WIN situation all around! The Theatre Department could collaborate with other depts/disciplines to develop highly engaging learning experiences!

[DC: I only slightly edited the above image from the Theatre Department at WMU]

 

Though the integration of acting with online-based learning materials is not a new idea, this post encourages a far more significant interdisciplinary collaboration between the Theatre Department and other departments/disciplines.

Consider a “Dealing with Bias in Journalism” type of topic, per a class in the Digital Media and Journalism Major.

  • Students from the Theatre Department work collaboratively with the students from the most appropriate class(es?) from the Communications Department to write the script, as per the faculty members’ 30,000-foot instructions (not 1000-foot level/detailed instructions)
  • Writing the script would entail skills involved with research, collaboration, persuasion, creativity, communication, writing, and more
  • The Theatre students would ultimately act out the script — backed up by those learning about sound design, stage design, lighting design, costume design, etc.
  • Example scene: A woman is sitting around the kitchen table, eating breakfast and reading a posting — aloud — from a website that includes some serious bias in it that offends the reader. She threatens to cancel her subscription, contact the editor, and more. She calls out to her partner why she’s so mad about the article. 
  • Perhaps there could be two or more before/after scenes, given some changes in the way the article was written.
  • Once the scenes were shot, the digital video editors, programmers, web designers, and more could take that material and work with the faculty members to integrate those materials into an engaging, interactive, branching type of learning experience. 
  • From there, the finished product would be deployed by the relevant faculty members.

Scenes from WMU's Theatre Department

[DC: Above images from the Theatre Department at WMU]

 

Colleges and universities could share content with each other and/or charge others for their products/content/learning experiences. In the future, I could easily see a marketplace for buying and selling such engaging content. This could create a needed new source of revenue — especially given that those large auditoriums and theaters are likely not bringing in as much revenue as they typically do. 

Colleges and universities could also try to reach out to local acting groups to get them involved and continue to create feeders into the world of work.

Other tags/categories could include:

  • MOOCs
  • Learning from the Living[Class]Room
  • Multimedia / digital literacy — tools from Adobe, Apple, and others.
  • Passions, participation, engagement, attention.
  • XR: Creating immersive, Virtual Reality (VR)-based experiences
  • Learning Experience Design
  • Interaction Design
  • Interface Design
  • …and more

Also see:

What improv taught me about failure: As a teacher and academic — from scholarlyteacher.com by Katharine Hubbard

what improv taught me about failure -as a teacher and academic

In improv, the only way to “fail” is to overthink and not have fun, which reframed what failure was on a grand scale and made me start looking at academia through the same lens. What I learned about failure through improv comes back to those same two core concepts: have fun and stop overthinking.

Students are more engaged when the professor is having fun with the materials (Keller, Hoy, Goetz, & Frenzel, 2016), and teaching is more enjoyable when we are having fun ourselves.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian