Reimagining Education: What to Keep/What to Ditch — from techlearning.com by Matthew X. Joseph
When reimagining education, the focus needs to be on finding and keeping the best learning practices

 We have a unique opportunity to look at programmatic and philosophical shifts to promote energetic and curious learners. 

 

Below are two excerpts from the Lecture Breakers Weekly — by Dr. Barbi Honeycutt — re: teaching asynchronous online courses + podcast choice boards

Several great podcasts are mentioned in this graphic -- including The Learning Scientists Podcast, Lecture Breakers Podcast, Think UDL podcast and 3 others.

Above choice board created by Greg Jung

In this example, the teachers in a professional development workshop could choose which of the podcasts they wanted to listen to and discuss. I love this strategy combined with the use of podcasts! It could easily be adapted to any course as a creative way to increase student engagement and motivation.

 

Episode 75: How to Create More Engaging Asynchronous Online Courses with Dr. Monica Burns

Episode 75: How to Create More Engaging Asynchronous Online Courses with Dr. Monica Burns — by Barbi Honeycutt, Ph.D.

 

From DSC:
As a follow up to The Chegg situation is worse than you think [Feldstein] (which discussed cheating, buying answers, selling answers, proctoring software, and more), it seems to me that one of the challenges that we face in our teaching and learning efforts has to do with the transformation of our students: Helping them move from a K-16 world to the world of work. The below graphic tries to capture that idea. 

Transforming gameplayers into lifelong learners.

DSC: This is a picture I took of the Michigan Hall of Justice, in Lansing, MI.

What I mean to say is that our learners’ future clients don’t care about our learners’ ability to cram and score high on tests and then forget about topic XYZ. They want our learners to know and be able to apply topic XYZ in order to solve their problems/issues/needs. (Not to mention that being able to cram and do well on a high-stakes test is not nearly as helpful as spacing out their retrieval of topic XYZ over a much longer span of time.)

I hope that our students are hearing/experiencing from us: “We’re on your team. We’re here to help you.” And being transparent with our teaching techniques is key (i.e., here’s WHY I’m assigning this item or asking you to do this activity).

 

We want students to be creative, but how do we assess this? — from spencerauthor.com by John Spencer

Excerpt:

We know that creativity is vital for student learning. We also know that we tend to value the things we assess. However, when we assess creativity, we can unwittingly cause students to become risk-averse. So, how do we assess creativity in a way that encourages students to become more creative?

 

Nearly three-quarters of pandemic affected parents feel students should learn subjects they’re passionate about, not those of little interest — from newswire.ca by Unschooling School

Excerpt:

TORONTO, Feb. 1, 2021 /CNW/ – A nation-wide survey of Canadian parents released today finds that nearly three in four of them (73%) believe the education system today would be better for students if it were structured to give them more choice and time to just learn those subjects and topics, they are either excited or passionate about.

Also, more than two-thirds (67%) want a school reset, so students learn more of the subject areas they’re passionate about and not those of little interest to them.

From DSC:
I feel the same way about many K12 systems here in the United States. Our youngest daughter — who has been studying at home this past year — has so much more energy and passion when we give her more agency to do the things that *she* wants to do and to learn about the things that *she* wants to learn about.

Learning channels of the future will provide us with more choice, more control.

And readers of this blog know that I’m all about the love of learning (or even liking it better), seeing as we all need to be lifelong learners these days.

The more we enjoy learning = The better, more fulfilling, enjoyable that our lives will be! (Not to mention how much more productive we’ll be as well.)

 

 

Here’s the Real Life Use of Every Element on the Periodic Table — from interestingengineering.com by Trevor English
A list to satisfy your curiosities about every element on the periodic table with brief descriptions and real-life applications.

Excerpt:

The elements on the periodic table are everywhere, in fact, they make up everything.

Understanding how to read a periodic table is one thing, but it doesn’t tell you whether the element is useful, what it looks like, or even how it is used.

To answer some of these questions, we have put together this “quick look” guide to help give you an easy to read and navigate resource for some of the uses of every element in the periodic table.

All of the elements of the periodic table are included below and are arranged by the atomic number from 1 to 118.

 

 

Don’t force square-peg students back into wrong-shaped holes — from crpe.org by Robin Lake Paul Hill

But what gets lost in the reopening debate is the growing evidence that a significant portion of students and their families are actually happier and learn better outside of traditional schooling.

Excerpt:

Some of the “square-peg” children are the most creative and bright students in their class, but had struggled academically or socially in the traditional classroom. According to informal surveys of parents and teachers, new approaches to learning are benefiting:

  • Students with special needs, like ADHD or autism, who focus better on learning without disruptions from other kids, and who—when learning from home—can take breaks and calm themselves when needed, not just when the classroom schedule permits.
  • Students who didn’t speak up or ask questions in regular classrooms for fear of being mocked, but are now able to send private questions to teachers or make written contributions.
  • Socially-awkward or otherwise different kids who experienced bullying.
  • Kids who best learn from small-group instruction.
  • Students who have mastered all the regular class material and are motivated to learn advanced materials and explore on their own.
  • Students who learn best by hearing about a new idea and then quickly practicing or applying it on their own.

From DSC:
One of our daughters needs a team of people around her to help her learn and grow. The one-size-fits-all, the-train-stops-for-no-one type of educational system that she often encountered did not work well for her.

K-12 education in America is like a quickly-moving train that stops for no one.

Homeschooling has seen her grow a lot more. She even has her own blog now — and she’s excited about it! She loves reading and writing — and she’s very creative (albeit her writing gets pretty dark at times. But come to think of it…my second-grade teacher thought that my friend Andrew’s and my 38-page book with vampires, witches, and werewolves was pretty morbid too!)

 

 

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.

 

 

Building your own website is cool again, and it’s changing the whole internet — from protocol.com by David Pierce
Writers, creators and businesses of all kinds are looking to set up their own space online again. To do that, companies are trying to figure out how to deal with two very different internets.

Excerpt:

Websites are back. After years of being sucked into the vortexes of Facebook and Yelp pages, devoting their time to amassing Twitter followers and Instagram likes, creators and businesses alike have seen the benefits of hanging up their own shingle again. Legions of writers are setting up Substack newsletters. Millions of people and businesses are setting up shop for the first time online using Squarespace or WordPress. Wix reported 7.8 million new users in the last quarter alone, and more than 29% revenue growth.

Substack doesn’t see itself as a newsletter platform, or an email-based product. The company is fundamentally interested in fostering direct relationships between readers and writers, rather than let them be mediated by companies whose interests are not always aligned with either side.

The driving force behind all that growth? Thanks to a pandemic closing stores, keeping people at home and leaving a lot of people without jobs, the only way to move forward is to figure out the internet. 

From DSC:
Though I really like WordPress — and this blog uses it — look at the stock performance in 2020 for Wix!

Stock price of Wix is way up in 2020

Our youngest daughter and I are going to set up a blog for her, as she loves to write. The idea was from her and my wife, but I love it! I think it’s highly motivating to her and she can have a voice…that she can share her writings with others. She’s got quite an imagination — so look out all!  🙂 

 

Present and accounted for? Coronavirus-related school closures create attendance challenges — from educationdive.com by Linda Jacobson
Experts say regardless of the method used to track e-learning participation, ongoing contact with students will be essential.

Excerpt:

Alisa Belzer, an education professor at Rutgers University, says K-12 teachers can learn from those who teach online in higher education.

“When instructors stay on top of evaluating the work they are asking learners to complete, they can easily determine who is ‘there’ and who’s not. A key ingredient in this process is creating engaging assignments with clear deliverables,” she says. “When instructors give feedback that is specific, clear, and actionable, students know their instructors are very much a part of their learning process. This also encourages ‘attendance.’”

From DSC:
I also think the more choice we give students will help with their levels of motivation — their sense of purpose. They will chose what’s relevant, enjoyable to them — what they are curious about and want to learn more about. I’ve witnessed this with our daughter, whose spark for writing has ignited. Her imagination is great, and she loves to write. She is going to start her own blog, which will allow her to practice. It’s highly motivating/exciting to her — to have a voice and to be able to share her work with a wider audience.

I think that if we could give students some more leeway to study what they want to study, we wouldn’t have to worry nearly as much about attendance and lack of learning. Naive? Maybe. But I’ve witnessed the K-12 runaway train that won’t stop for anyone. It travels fast, and it doesn’t stop, no matter if mastery is achieved or not.

K-12 education in America is a like a quickly moving train that stops for no one.

I’ve also seen controlling K-12 environments that create gameplayers (our son is one of them).

In these rough times, I hope we don’t throw away the chance to change what’s not working within our K-12 systems. Let not this pain go to waste. My vote is to give students more agency.

 

 

Lincoln Financial CIO: How to build a learning culture – even in a pandemic — from enterprisersproject.com by Ken Solon
Lincoln Financial CIO Ken Solon shares how he’s bringing a virtual perspective to his longtime commitment to prioritizing the people behind the technology

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

In the spirit of test-and-learn, we created “Lean In and Learn IT,” an interactive digital program that provides a deep dive into one key IT strategy each month. Topics include digital and architecture, agile and DevOps, cloud, big data, and cybersecurity.

Based in our virtual collaboration platform, each topic features a kick-off video followed by a drip of content and interaction, including snackable articles, video clips, quizzes, and prizes to keep the team engaged. The month wraps up with a webcast focused on a key business application of the strategy, featuring subject matter experts both from within the IT organization and our business partners.

The involvement of partners is key, as our surveys tell us that few things motivate our teams as effectively as seeing the impact of their work.

From DSC:
Love their use of “streams of content.”

 

From DSC:
Many people talk about engagement when they discuss learning, and with good reason. It seems to me that what they are really getting at is the topic of getting and maintaining someone’s *attention.* Attention is the gatekeeper to further learning. I wonder if some of the next generation learning platforms that employ some level of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled features, will look to a learner’s preferences (as stored in their cloud-based learner’s profile) in order to help gain/maintain such attention.

And this also helps explain why allowing more learner agency — i.e., more choice, more control — in pursuing their own interests and passions really helps: A motivated learner is paying closer attention to what’s going on.

 

Attention is the gatekeeper to further learning.

 

 

From DSC:
And along these lines, that’s one of the key reasons I’d like to see more involvement from the Theatre Departments, Computer Science Departments, and from those involved with creative writing across the land — in terms of helping develop content for remote and online-based education. Actors, actresses, set designers, costumer designers, audio/video editors, programmers/software developers, and more who could collaborate on these kinds of ideas.

Last comment on this. I don’t mean that we should present our classes like many advertisements do (i.e., running a thousand images by me within 30 seconds). But changing things up periodically — both visually and audibly —  can help regain/reset your students’ attentions.

 


From DSC:
Instead of the way I put it in the above graphic, they use words like empowerment and agency. But the bottom line is the same. Huge energy gets released when students own their own learning and are intrinsically motivated (i.e., can pursue their own interests, passions). Parents, teachers, profs should know about this and encourage it.

 
 

Per Dr. Honeycutt, also see:

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian