Why gamified learning works so well for gifted children — from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Excerpt:

The gamification of learning can be critical for gifted children in particular, who often struggle to stay focused, engaged, and challenged in a traditional educational environment. Gamification can be so effective in gifted education because the learner forgets they are “working” and instead feels they are “playing.” It allows the gifted brain to relax into the “flow” of learning, and more effectively use their intellect for problem solving and creativity.

Also see:

Synthesis dot com


Addendum on 4/27/22:

Homeschooling our gifted children: The power of artful questions — from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Examples of artful questions for learning:

  • Why do you think that might have happened?
  • What would you have done differently?
  • What did you notice about that?
  • What would you suggest we do instead?
  • That’s a good point. How can you reconcile these two things?
  • Do you have an idea for how we could make this better?

From DSC:
Perhaps we should post those types of questions up on the walls of many board rooms and conference rooms around the nation…or have it be a slide in a presentation…or…

 

We need to use more tools — that go beyond screen sharing — where we can collaborate regardless of where we’re at. [Christian]

From DSC:
Seeing the functionality in Freehand — it makes me once again think that we need to use more tools where faculty/staff/students can collaborate with each other REGARDLESS of where they’re coming in to partake in a learning experience (i.e., remotely or physically/locally). This is also true for trainers and employees, teachers and students, as well as in virtual tutoring types of situations. We need tools that offer functionalities that go beyond screen sharing in order to collaborate, design, present, discuss, and create things.  (more…)

 

Reflections on “Do We Really Want Academic Permanent Records to Live Forever on Blockchain?” [Bohnke]

From DSC:
Christin Bohnke raises a great and timely question out at edsurge.com in her article entitled:
Do We Really Want Academic Permanent Records to Live Forever on Blockchain?

Christin does a wonderful job of addressing the possibilities — but also the challenges — of using blockchain for educational/learning-related applications. She makes a great point that the time to look at this carefully is now:

Yet as much as unchangeable education records offer new chances, they also create new challenges. Setting personal and academic information in stone may actually counter the mission of education to help people evolve over time. The time to assess the benefits and drawbacks of blockchain technology is right now, before adoption in schools and universities is widespread.

As Christin mentions, blockchain technology can be used to store more than formal certification data. It could also store such informal certification data such as “research experience, individual projects and skills, mentoring or online learning.”

The keeping of extensive records via blockchain certainly raises numerous questions. Below are a few that come to my mind:

  • Will this type of record-keeping help or hurt in terms of career development and moving to a different job?
  • Will — or should — CMS/LMS vendors enable this type of feature/service in their products?
  • Should credentials from the following sources be considered relevant?
    • Microlearning-based streams of content
    • Data from open courseware/courses
    • Learning that we do via our Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) and social networks
    • Learning that we get from alternatives such as bootcamps, coding schools, etc.
  • Will the keeping of records impact the enjoyment of learning — or vice versa? Or will it depend upon the person?
  • Will there be more choice, more control — or less so?
  • To what (granular) level of competency-based education should we go? Or from project-based learning?
  • Could instructional designers access learners’ profiles to provide more personalized learning experiences?
  • …and I’m certain there are more questions than these.

All that said…

To me, the answers to these questions — and likely other questions as well — lie in:

  1. Giving a person a chance to learn, practice, and then demonstrate the required skills (regardless of the data the potential employer has access to)
    .
  2. Giving each user the right to own their own data — and to release it as they see fit. Each person should have the capability of managing their own information/data without having to have the skills of a software engineer or a database administrator. When something is written to a blockchain, there would be a field for who owns — and can administer — the data.

In the case of finding a good fit/job, a person could use a standardized interface to generate a URL that is sent out to a potential employer. That URL would be good for X days. The URL gives the potential employer the right to access whatever data has been made available to them. It could be full access, in which case the employer is able to run their own queries/searches on the data. Or the learner could restrict the potential employer’s reach to a more limited subset of data.

Visually, speaking:


Each learner can say who can access what data from their learner's profile


I still have a lot more thinking to do about this, but that’s where I’m at as of today. Have a good one all!


 

Five Building Blocks in the New Architecture of High Schools — from gettingsmart.com by Tom Vander Ark

Key Points

  • Schools personalizing learning and moving to mastery often use five linked learner experience systems to promote growth on learning goals.
  • Each system has unique learner experiences, feedback protocols, supports and staffing strategies.
  • These systems work independently and together to promote learner-centered growth toward shared outcomes.

Schools personalizing learning and moving to mastery or competency-based learning models often use five linked learner experience systems to promote growth on learning goals: skill-building, projects, immersion, advisory, and out-of-school learning. Each system has unique learner experiences, feedback protocols, supports and staffing strategies. These systems work independently and together to promote learner-centered growth toward shared outcomes (i.e., learner profile or portrait of a graduate).

 

Methods and tools to develop future-ready skills — from blog.neolms.com by Rachelle Dene Poth

Excerpt:

Because of the changes that we experienced in the past year, I believe that it is important to have various options, whether teaching in-person, hybrid, or virtually. Choosing methods like Genius hour or project-based learning, activities such as scavenger hunts or learning stations, or selecting digital tools that promote more interaction with and between students will help foster the development of essential future-ready and SEL skills.

There are many methods and tools to explore, but it’s important to focus on the why behind the choices we make for our students. The use of digital tools promotes collaboration, communication, creativity and many more essential skills while also promoting the power of choice for students to share what they have learned.

More choice. More control.

Also see:

Escape rooms have become very popular as a place teams can go to work out how to get free from the room in which they are “trapped.” It’s like a real-world version of a computer game that makes you work together to solve puzzles to escape from somewhere.

Breakout EDU helps to bring that experience to educators so as to better engage students and help them learn while having fun.

 

Why the Science of Teaching Is Often Ignored — from chronicle.com by Beth McMurtrie
There’s a whole literature on what works. But it’s not making its way into the classroom.

Excerpts:

Yet, teaching reformers argue, the dangers of ignoring the expanding body of knowledge about teaching and learning are ever more apparent. Traditional teaching may have sufficed when college campuses were more ivory tower than lifeboat, educating future generations of scholars and other elites rather than trying to lift up a diverse group of students and prepare them for an increasingly complex world.

Studies have also shown that faculty members are more likely to try evidence-based teaching practices if they feel they have supportive colleagues and departments. Faculty learning communities can be particularly helpful, teaching experts say, because instructors meet regularly over a series of months to tackle complex challenges, often by exploring the research and experimenting with small changes to their teaching.

Reforming teaching evaluations so that they reflect the hard work of reading and reflecting on teaching scholarship is also a critical lever for change.

 
 

A Crusade to End Grading in High Schools — from washingtonpost.com by Thomas Toch and Alina Tugend; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource
One educator is leading an effort to evaluate students differently. Can it catch on?

Excerpt:

He envisioned schools where students learned math, history and science not as isolated subjects in classroom-bound courses but while working together to address real-world issues like soil conservation, homelessness and illegal immigration. Such learning would make schooling more meaningful for students and thus more engaging, Looney believed. It would let students demonstrate more talents to colleges, holding out the prospect of a wider, more diverse range of students entering higher education’s top ranks.

The existing high school transcript, however, with its simple summary of courses and grades, wouldn’t do justice to the interdisciplinary, project-based learning he wanted. It wouldn’t capture students’ creativity, persistence and other qualities. Looney needed a radically different way to portray students’ high school experiences, one that replaced grades with a richer picture. But he didn’t know what it was.

Today, 275 private high schools and 125 public schools are part of the nonprofit Mastery Transcript Consortium (MTC). They are in various stages of designing and launching the transcript — and working to make Looney’s radical vision a reality. Started in 2017, the organization is expanding rapidly.

 

HOW SCHOOLS ARE REWRITING THE RULES ON CLASS TIME FOR STUDENTS—AND EVEN DITCHING GRADE LEVELS — from wsj.com by Yoree Koh
Educators are testing competency-based education, a form of personalized learning that emphasizes mastery of skills over hours spent in a classroom

 

 

Transforming the classroom with augmented learning — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

Forbes documented the many ways that augmented reality (AR) has come to life in recent years. They list several award-winning apps that use AR. A few are:

  • The “Gatwick Airport Passenger” App, which helps passengers navigate the airport;
  • The “Dulux Visualizer” App, which  lets you virtually scan and paint your room any color you choose;
  • “Envisioned by the Mine” App, which lets you put 3D images of any type of accessory or furnishing in your home that Lowe’s offers;
  • “Sephora Virtual Artist”, which allows you to “put makeup on” without actually touching brush to face;
  • “Accuvein”, which doctors and nurses use to scan a patient’s vein network (it reduces escalations by 45%);
  • And, of course, there are apps like the “BIC DrawyBook App” just for fun.

But what about the classroom? Can we see a future in transforming the classroom with augmented learning?

From DSC:
Along the lines of developing creativity with edtech…

I saw another item recently about Book Creator, something that’s made this blog before. I love that type of tool because it promotes creativity, unleashes a student’s imagination, promotes their artwork and writing/storytelling and their musical or acting abilities, and it develops skills in design and developing multimedia-based artifacts. For teachers, it could be a nice project-based learning exercise. 

I asked our youngest daughter if she would like to use it…we’ll see. You can get a free account that allows you to publish up to 40 books. (Plus there is pricing for schools and districts.)

And who knows…? This type of thing might just produce the next J.K. Rowling or a J.J. Abrams.

Book Creator -- check it out

Book Creator -- check it out

Book Creator -- check it out

 

Today’s Tech Jobs: Skills More Important Than Knowledge — from rtinsights.com by Kwame Yangame; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource
New tech jobs require workers skilled in the use of technologies and able to handle the complexities and interconnectedness of today’s world.

What then is needed in terms of tech education?
The tech education that is needed, then, is formed on the basis of active learning, project-based learning, and learning by doing: science and researched-backed learning methods, the efficacy of which has been proven, and the result of which is true preparation for work in tech jobs in the 21st century. It’s clear that companies want skills and are moving towards skills-based hiring, so it’s well past time that education moves into real skills-based learning.

The classroom-type learning was designed for high schools and universities dating back to a point in time when the most advanced technology was the printing press – before the steam engine, penicillin, the telephone, the automobile, and the personal computer.


From DSC:
I remember teaching a class called the Foundations of Information Technology. This class filled a requirement for those who didn’t major in Computer Science or some other disciplines. So several students in the class didn’t really want to be there and didn’t like technology at all. I still remember hearing some students say, “After this class, I don’t see using technology again.” Or, “I don’t see technology as being a part of my future. I don’t like it.”

My thought then and now? Good luck with that.


With a thanks to Ryan for the following resource as well:

By bridging the gap between what high schools teach and industries need, P-TECH, initially a partnership among IBM, the New York City school system and City Tech, has opened doors for thousands of students in communities with high concentrations of poverty. Its 266 schools now operate in 12 U.S. states and 28 countries…

 

What is Book Creator and How Can Educators Use It? — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang

 Excerpt:

Book Creator is a free tool that allows educators and their students to create multimedia ebooks based off of class assignments and topics.

Available on Apple and Android tablets and phones, and on Google Chrome for desktop use, Book Creator is a digital resource that helps students explore their creative sides while learning.

The tool lends itself well to active learning and collaborative projects of all kinds, and is appropriate for various subjects and age groups.

Book Creator gives students the ability to upload images, vidoes, audio, and more within the ebooks they create. It also empowers them to draw, take notes, and collaborate in real-time with their classmates and instructor.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about Book Creator.

Also see the Book Creator’s website:

Clicking here will take you to the Book Creator website, where they are offering SEL template books that you can use today.

Addendum on 5/21/21:

  • Sketch, draw, and doodle — apps to unleash students’ creativity — from educatorstechnology.com
    How about using arts-based approaches to engage students in meaningful learning experiences? Drawing, sketching, doodling, and painting are three expressive forms of art with huge educational potential that students can use to unleash their creativity. They can be applied in writing, reading, speaking, and in storytelling activities. Finished products can also be included in students’ portfolios to document and showcase their learning. To this end, the selection below features some good apps students can use in this regard. Check them out and share with us your feedback.

Addendums on 5/24/21:

As with all of Book Creator we have made the image search fully accessible to screen readers and keyboard navigation. But we thought we could go a bit further with the image search and make it accessible to younger kids or ELL students who aren’t super confident with their spelling by introducing a voice search.

Addendum on 6/7/21:

  • A rubric for Book Creator — from bookcreator.com
    Sam Kary talks about helping his students elevate their work by introducing a rubric for their digital book projects, helping them focus on design and multimedia.
 

Equipping Youth to Change the World — from gettingsmart.com by Tom Vander Ark

Excerpt:

Through self-directed learning and impact projects, participants build stronger mindsets, develop real-world skills, learn to code, and expand their social capital. TKS’ teachers hail from leading companies in every sector.

The TKS team works with big companies to see what problems they are facing. This creates a bank of problems students can choose to work on. “[TKS] is as much about problem finding as it is about problem-solving,” says Navid.

 

 


Along the lines of technologies’ potential impact on the legal realm — especially Access to Justice (#A2J), see:


Meet the 27 startups pioneering the Justice Tech market — medium.com by Felicity Conrad

Starting with coining the umbrella term “Justice Tech,” we’re developing a common language, a community of folks working in the space, and formalizing the newly-minted Justice Tech market.

Texas Bar and Paladin Partner to Launch Statewide Pro Bono Portal — from lawsitesblog.com by

Excerpt:

A free online portal launched today in Texas is designed to help lawyers find volunteer opportunities and assist residents of the state find help with their legal needs.

The new portal, Pro Bono Texas, was launched as a partnership between The State Bar of Texas and the justice tech company Paladin. The portal provides volunteer lawyers and law students with a centralized location to search and sign up for pro bono opportunities across the state.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian