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.

 

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.

 
 

Top 300 Tools for Learning 2021 [Hart]

Top 300 Tools for Learning 2021 — from toptools4learning.com by Jane Hart

Excerpt:

2021 was the YEAR OF DISRUPTION! There were a substantial number of new tools nominated this year so the main list has now been extended to 300 tools to accommodate them, and each of the 3 sub-lists has been increased to 150 tools. Although the top of this year’s list is relatively stable, there is quite bit of movement of tools on the rest of the list, and the effect of the new tools has been to push other established tools down – if not off the list altogether. Further analysis of the list appears in the right-hand column of the table below.

This table shows the overall rankings as well as the rankings on the 3 sub-lists: Top 150 Tools for Personal Learning (PL150), the Top 150 Tools for Workplace Learning (WL150) and the Top 150 Tools for Education (ED150). NEW tools are shaded YELLOW, tools coming BACK on the list are shaded GREEN. The most popular context in which each tool is used is also highlighted in BLUE.  Click on a tool name to find out more about it.

 


Top 300 Tools for Learning 2021 -- from Jane Hart


 

 

10 Ways You Can Use Podcasts in Your Course to Engage Students — from barbihoneycutt.com by Barbi Honeycutt, Ph.D.

Excerpt:

Have you used podcasts in your courses yet? If not, you might want to consider it! Podcasts can be an excellent tool to add to your lesson to enhance a message, present more in-depth perspectives, and offer a different medium for students to engage with the course content.

And, podcasts are popular! There are more than 630,000 podcasts representing a variety of topics: current issues, education, writing, research, science, leadership, politics, management, business, skill development, hobbies, etc. The list just goes on and on.

I’m almost positive there is at least one episode in one podcast somewhere you could integrate into your course. And if there isn’t, then you and your students could create one!

 

Elaboration Strategies That Benefit Learning — from theelearningcoach.com by Connie Malamed

Excerpt:

Although retrieval practice and spaced learning may be more well-known, elaboration is an instructional strategy worth our attention. Elaboration strategies refer to the many ways of connecting prior knowledge to what someone has newly learned. This has the potential to make the new material more memorable and meaningful.

We all know that new learning requires a foundation of prior knowledge. Elaboration techniques give people opportunities to make the connections stronger. In the book Make It Stick, the authors write, “The more you can explain about the way your new learning relates to your prior knowledge, the stronger your grasp of the new learning will be, and the more connections you create that will help you remember it later.” (Listen to my conversation with one of the authors of Make It Stick.)

 
 

From DSC:
You might be interested in reviewing one or more of the items out at Faculty Focus Live Podcasts.

Some example podcasts:

  • Episode 11: Assessing Online Student Learning: How You Can Gauge Activities and Writing Through Online Assessment
  • Episode 9: Live with Wendy Trevor: Overcoming Student Distaste for Collaborative Group Work Online
  • Episode 8: Establishing and Revisiting Our Teaching Philosophies and Teaching Personas
  • Episode 7: Finding the Missing Piece: How to Help Your Students Who Are Struggling with Online Learning

 

 

 

Why Professors Should Ask Students For Feedback Long Before the Semester Is Over — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig
This article is part of the guide Better, Faster, Stronger: How Learning Engineering Aims to Transform Education.

Excerpt:

About a month into each semester, Gayle Golden sets aside a little time to ask her students about their learning.

The journalism instructor at the University of Minnesota keeps the process simple, with brief questions similar to these:

  • What should keep happening in this class?
  • What should we start doing in this class?
  • What should we stop doing in this class?

Golden collects the results, which students give anonymously, then studies the feedback and makes a list of all the information she’s received. During the next class period, she discusses the findings with her students. She tells them which suggestions she plans to put into practice, which recommendations she can’t act on, and why.

From DSC:
Speaking of feedback…

I think it would be good to have our students journal about their learning — integrating their notes, readings, experiments, lectures, etc. Students could check in on these 3 questions for example.

And in the (potentially) digital process, they could also submit a form to their faculty member to answer the question:

  • What do I want my professor to know about my learning experience today?

Such a question could be electronically delivered to the professor on any given day. This type of feedback loop would provide real-time, formative feedback to the professor as well as help the students develop their metacognitive skills.

I would think that such a process could also be used within the K-12 realm, including homeschoolers.


Also from edsurge.com, see:


 

 

Elevating Your Streaming Production Quality — from avnetwork.com by Cindy Davis

Excerpt:

The instructional studios started with a mobile standing desk, which serves as the command center for instruction. The desk has a room controller, document camera, and an interactive display with an adapter for laptop content sharing. Behind the desk is a whiteboard with a whiteboard camera. In front of the desk, we designed an AV cart that includes a shotgun mic pair, LED light panels, two large displays, one off-lens teleprompter, and PTZ camera.

The studios put the instructor in control of the meeting using a Zoom Rooms controller— allowing them to easily switch between and share multiple types of content simultaneously: main camera, document camera, laptop content, digital annotations, and whiteboard writing.

Picture of a mobile streaming studio's setup

 

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.

 

Podcasting for Educators — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
Most educators have skills sets that translate well to the podcasting world. Here’s how to get started with your podcast.

Excerpt:

Tech & Learning talked with Young as well Dr. Kecia Ray and Dr. Frances Gipson, hosts of Tech & Learning’s Honor Role podcast, for some best practices and tips. We also collaborated with the six hosts of the AV SuperFriends podcast, asking questions for this story but recording the entire conversation for a future episode of their podcast. Watch for the release of that episode here.

From DSC:
I’d love to see even more teachers, trainers, and professors share their expertise out there. Podcasting is a great way to do that. And so is blogging. It would be nice to see the expertise of those folks reach a far greater audience — society — than just the (behind-the-paywall) journals.

 
 

From DSC:
Videoconferencing vendors out there:

  • Have you done any focus group tests — especially within education — with audio-based or digital video-based versions of emoticons?
    .
  • So instead of clicking on an emoticon as feedback, one could also have some sound effects or movie clips to choose from as well!
    .

To the videoconferencing vendors out there -- could you give us what DJ's have access to?

I’m thinking here of things like DJ’s might have at their disposal. For example, someone tells a bad joke and you hear the drummer in the background:

Or a team loses the spelling-bee word, and hears:

Or a professor wants to get the classes attention as they start their 6pm class:

I realize this could backfire big time…so it would have to be an optional feature that a teacher, professor, trainer, pastor, or a presenter could turn on and off. (Could be fun for podcasters too!)

It seems to me that this could take
engagement to a whole new level!

 

Could AI-based techs be used to develop a “table of contents” for the key points within lectures, lessons, training sessions, sermons, & podcasts? [Christian]

From DSC:
As we move into 2021, the blistering pace of emerging technologies will likely continue. Technologies such as:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) — including technologies related to voice recognition
  • Blockchain
  • Augment Reality (AR)/Mixed Reality (MR)/Virtual Reality (VR) and/or other forms of Extended Reality (XR)
  • Robotics
  • Machine-to-Machine Communications (M2M) / The Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Drones
  • …and other things will likely make their way into how we do many things (for better or for worse).

Along the positive lines of this topic, I’ve been reflecting upon how we might be able to use AI in our learning experiences.

For example, when teaching in face-to-face-based classrooms — and when a lecture recording app like Panopto is being used — could teachers/professors/trainers audibly “insert” main points along the way? Similar to something like we do with Siri, Alexa, and other personal assistants (“Heh Siri, _____ or “Alexa, _____).

Like an audible version of HTML -- using the spoken word to insert the main points of a presentation or lecture

(Image purchased from iStockphoto)

.

Pretend a lecture, lesson, or a training session is moving right along. Then the professor, teacher, or trainer says:

  • “Heh Smart Classroom, Begin Main Point.”
  • Then speaks one of the main points.
  • Then says, “Heh Smart Classroom, End Main Point.”

Like a verbal version of an HTML tag.

After the recording is done, the AI could locate and call out those “main points” — and create a table of contents for that lecture, lesson, training session, or presentation.

(Alternatively, one could insert a chime/bell/some other sound that the AI scans through later to build the table of contents.)

In the digital realm — say when recording something via Zoom, Cisco Webex, Teams, or another application — the same thing could apply. 

Wouldn’t this be great for quickly scanning podcasts for the main points? Or for quickly scanning presentations and webinars for the main points?

Anyway, interesting times lie ahead!

 

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian