Learn Smarter Podcast — from learnsmarterpodcast.com

Learn Smarter Podcast educates, encourages and expands understanding for parents of students with different learning profiles through growing awareness of educational therapy, individualized strategies, community support, coaching, and educational content.

Learn Smarter Podcast educates, encourages and expands understanding for parents of students with different learning profiles through growing awareness of educational therapy, individualized strategies, community support, coaching, and educational content.

Somewhat along these lines…for some other resources related to the science of learning, see cogx.info’s research database:

Scientific Literature Supporting COGx Programs
COGx programs involve translation of research from over 500 scientific sources. The scientific literature below is a subset of the literature we have used and organized by subject area to facilitate access. In addition, we have worked directly with some of the authors of the scientific literature to help us translate and co-create our programs. Many of the scientific papers cited below were written by COGx Academic Partners.

Topics include:

    • Information Processing
    • Executive Function
    • Long-Term Memory
    • Metacognition
    • Emotions & Engagement
    • Cognitive Diversity

Also see:

USEFUL LEARNING WITH EFRAT FURST (S3E10)  — from edcircuit.com with Efrat Furst, Tom Sherrington, and Emma Turner

Bringing the science of learning to teachers

 


 

What factors help active learning classrooms succeed? — from rtalbert.org Robert Talbert

Excerpt:

The idea that the space in which you do something, affects the thing you do is the basic premise behind active learning classrooms (ALCs).

The biggest message I get from this study is that in order to have success with active learning classrooms, you can’t just build them — they have to be introduced as part of an ecosystem that touches almost all parts of the daily function of a university: faculty teaching, faculty development and support, facilities, and the Registrar’s Office to name a few. Without that ecosystem before you build an ALC, it seems hard to have success with students after it’s built. You’re more likely to have an expensive showcase that looks good but ultimately does not fulfill its main purpose: Promoting and amplifying active learning, and moving the culture of a campus toward active engagement in the classroom.

From DSC:
Thank you Robert for your article/posting here! And thank you for being one of the few faculty members who:

  • Regularly share information out on LinkedIn, Twitter, and your blog (something that is all too rare for faculty members throughout higher education)
  • Took a sabbatical to go work at a company that designs and develops numerous options for implementing active learning setups throughout the worlds of higher education, K12 education, and the corporate world as well. You are taking your skills to help contribute to the corporate world, while learning things out in the corporate world, and then  taking these learnings back into the world of higher education.

This presupposes something controversial: That the institution will take a stand on the issue that there is a preferred way to teach, namely active learning, and that the institution will be moving toward making active learning the default pedagogy at the institution. Putting this stake in the ground, and then investing not only in facilities but in professional development and faculty incentives to make it happen, again calls for vigorous, sustained leadership — at the top, and especially by the teaching/learning center director.

Robert Talbert


 

From DSC:
A few items re: ChatGPT — with some items pro-chat and other items against the use of ChatGPT (or at least to limit its use).


How About We Put Learning at the Center? — from insidehighered.com by John Warner
The ongoing freak-out about ChatGPT sent me back to considering the fundamentals.

Excerpt:

So, when people express concern that students will use ChatGPT to complete their assignments, I understand the concern, but what I don’t understand is why this concern is so often channeled into discussions about how to police student behavior, rather than using this as an opportunity to exam the kind of work we actually ask students (and faculty) to do around learning.

If ChatGPT can do the things we ask students to do in order to demonstrate learning, it seems possible to me that those things should’ve been questioned a long time ago. It’s why I continue to believe this technology is an opportunity for reinvention, precisely because it is a threat to the status quo.

Top AI conference bans use of ChatGPT and AI language tools to write academic papers — from theverge.com by James Vincent; with thanks to Anna Mills for this resource
AI tools can be used to ‘edit’ and ‘polish’ authors’ work, say the conference organizers, but text ‘produced entirely’ by AI is not allowed. This raises the question: where do you draw the line between editing and writing?

Excerpt:

The International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) announced the policy earlier this week, stating, “Papers that include text generated from a large-scale language model (LLM) such as ChatGPT are prohibited unless the produced text is presented as a part of the paper’s experimental analysis.” The news sparked widespread discussion on social media, with AI academics and researchers both defending and criticizing the policy. The conference’s organizers responded by publishing a longer statement explaining their thinking. (The ICML responded to requests from The Verge for comment by directing us to this same statement.)

How to… use AI to teach some of the hardest skills — from oneusefulthing.substack.com by Ethan Mollick
When errors, inaccuracies, and inconsistencies are actually very useful

Excerpt:

Instead, I want to discuss the opportunity provided by AI, because it can help us teach in new ways. The very things that make AI scary for educators — its tedency to make up facts, its lack of nuance, and its ability to make excellent student essays — can be used to make education better.

This isn’t for some future theoretical version of AI. You can create assignments, right now, using ChatGPT, that we will help stretch students in knew ways. We wrote a paper with the instructions. You can read it here, but I also want to summarize our suggestions. These are obviously not the only ways to use AI to educate, but they solve some of the hardest problems in education, and you can start experimenting with them right now.

NYC education department blocks ChatGPT on school devices, networks — from ny.chalkbeat.org by Michael Elsen-Rooney

Excerpt:

New York City students and teachers can no longer access ChatGPT — the new artificial intelligence-powered chatbot that generates stunningly cogent and lifelike writing — on education department devices or internet networks, agency officials confirmed Tuesday.

Teachers v ChatGPT: Schools face new challenge in fight against plagiarism — from straitstimes.com by Osmond Chia; with thanks to Stephen Downes for this resource

Excerpt:

SINGAPORE – Teachers in Singapore say they will likely have to move from assignments requiring regurgitation to those that require greater critical thinking, to stay ahead in the fight against plagiarism.

This comes on the back of the rise of ChatGPT, an intelligent chatbot that is able to spin essays and solve mathematical equations in seconds.

ChatGPT Is Not Ready to Teach Geometry (Yet) — from educationnext.org by Paul T. von Hippel
The viral chatbot is often wrong, but never in doubt. Educators need to tread carefully.

Excerpt:

Can ChatGPT provide feedback and answer questions about math in a more tailored and natural way? The answer, for the time being, is no. Although ChatGPT can talk about math superficially, it doesn’t “understand” math with real depth. It cannot correct mathematical misconceptions, it often introduces misconceptions of its own; and it sometimes makes inexplicable mathematical errors that a basic spreadsheet or hand calculator wouldn’t make.

Here, I’ll show you.


Addendum on 1/9/23:

9 ways ChatGPT saves me hours of work every day, and why you’ll never outcompete those who use AI effectively. — from .linkedin.com by Santiago Valdarrama

A list for those who write code:

  1. 1. Explaining code…
  2. Improve existing code…
  3. Rewriting code using the correct style…
  4. Rewriting code using idiomatic constructs…
  5. Simplifying code…
  6. Writing test cases…
  7. Exploring alternatives…
  8. Writing documentation…
  9. Tracking down bugs…
 

From DSC:
For those seeking a doctorate in education: Here’s a potential topic for your doctoral thesis.

Homelessness is a huge issue. It’s a complex issue, with many layers, variables, and causes to it. I once heard Oprah Winfrey say that we are all one to two steps away from being homeless, and I agree with that.

But as I was passing a homeless person asking for money on the exit ramp from a local highway the other day, I wondered what place, if any, education played (or didn’t play) in people’s lives. Was/is there any common denominator or set of experiences with their education that we can look at? If so, can we use design thinking to get at some of those root issues? For examples:

  • Was school easy for them? Hard for them?
  • A source of joy for them? A source of pain for them?
  • Were they engaged or disengaged?
  • Were they able to pursue their interests and passions?

It might turn out that education had little to do with things. It could have been health issues, broken relationships, systemic issues, the loss of a job, addictions, intergenerational “chains,” or many other things. 

But it’s worth someone researching this. Such studies and interviews could turn up some helpful directions and steps to take for our future.

#homelessness #society #education #passions #participation
#research #educationreform #K12 #lifelonglearning

 

10 Must Read Books for Learning Designers — from linkedin.com by Amit Garg

Excerpt:

From the 45+ #books that I’ve read in last 2 years here are my top 10 recommendations for #learningdesigners or anyone in #learninganddevelopment

Speaking of recommended books (but from a more technical perspective this time), also see:

10 must-read tech books for 2023 — from enterprisersproject.com by Katie Sanders (Editorial Team)
Get new thinking on the technologies of tomorrow – from AI to cloud and edge – and the related challenges for leaders

10 must-read tech books for 2023 -- from enterprisersproject.com by Katie Sanders

 

Can a Group of MIT Professors Turn a White Paper Into a New Kind of College? — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young

Excerpt:

A group of professors at Massachusetts Institute of Technology dropped a provocative white paper in September that proposed a new kind of college that would address some of the growing public skepticism of higher education. This week, they took the next step toward bringing their vision from idea to reality.

That next step was holding a virtual forum that brought together a who’s who of college innovation leaders, including presidents of experimental colleges, professors known for novel teaching practices and critical observers of the higher education space.

The MIT professors who authored the white paper tried to make clear that even though they’re from an elite university, they do not have all the answers. Their white paper takes pains to describe itself as a draft framework and to invite input from players across the education ecosystem so they can revise and improve the plan.

IDEAS FOR DESIGNING An Affordable New Educational Institution

IDEAS FOR DESIGNING An Affordable New Educational Institution

The goal of this document is simply to propose some principles and ideas that we hope will lay the groundwork for the future, for an education that will be both more affordable and more effective.

Promotions and titles will be much more closely tied to educational performance—quality, commitment, outcomes, and innovation—than to research outcomes. 

 

These are the most important AI trends, according to top AI experts — from nexxworks.com
Somewhat in the shadow of the (often) overhyped metaverse and Web3 paradigms, AI seems to be developing at great speed. That’s why we asked a group of top AI experts in our network to describe what they think are the most important trends, evolutions and areas of interest of the moment in that domain.

Excerpt:

All of them have different backgrounds and areas of expertise, but some patterns still emerged in their stories, several of them mentioning ethics, the impact on the climate (both positively and negatively), the danger of overhyping, the need for transparency and explainability, interdisciplinary collaborations, robots and the many challenges that still need to be overcome.

But let’s see what they have to say, shall we?

Also relevant/see:

AI IS REVOLUTIONIZING EVERY FIELD AND SCIENCE IS NO EXCEPTION — from dataconomy.com by KEREM GÜLEN

Table of Contents

  • Artificial intelligence in science
    • Artificial intelligence in science: Biology
    • Artificial intelligence in science: Physics
    • Artificial intelligence in science: Chemistry
  • AI in science and research
    • How is AI used in scientific research?
      • Protein structures can be predicted using genetic data
      • Recognizing how climate change affects cities and regions
      • Analyzing astronomical data
  • AI in science examples
    • Interpreting social history with archival data
    • Using satellite images to aid in conservation
    • Understanding complex organic chemistry
  • Conclusion

Also relevant/see:

  • How ‘Responsible AI’ Is Ethically Shaping Our Future — from learningsolutionsmag.com by Markus Bernhardt
    Excerpt:
    The PwC 2022 AI Business Survey finds that “AI success is becoming the rule, not the exception,” and, according to PwC US, published in the 2021 AI Predictions & 2021 Responsible AI Insights Report, “Responsible AI is the leading priority among industry leaders for AI applications in 2021, with emphasis on improving privacy, explainability, bias detection, and governance.”
  • Why you need an AI ethics committee — from enterprisersproject.com by Reid Blackman (requires providing email address to get the article)
 

Teaching: Flipping a Class Helps — but Not for the Reason You’d Think — from the Teaching newsletter out at The Chronicle of Higher Education by Beckie Supiano

Excerpt:

The authors propose a different model of flipping that gives their paper its title, “Fail, Flip, Fix, and Feed — Rethinking Flipped Learning: A Review of Meta-Analyses and a Subsequent Meta-Analysis.”

Their model:

  • Fail: Give students a chance to try solving problems. They won’t have all the information needed to arrive at the solution, but the attempt activates their prior learning and primes them for the coming content.
  • Flip: Deliver the content ahead of class, perhaps in a video lecture.
  • Fix: During class time, a traditional lecture can deepen understanding and correct misperceptions.
  • Feed: Formative assessment lets students check their level of understanding.

I find this paper interesting for a number of reasons. It ties into a challenge I’d like to dig into in the future: the gap that can exist between a teaching approach as described in research literature and as applied in the classroom.

From DSC:
Though I haven’t read this analysis (please accept my apology here), I would hope that it would also mention one of the key benefits of the flipped classroom approach — giving students more control over the pacing of the content. Students can stop, fast-forward, rewind, and pause the content as necessary. This is very helpful for all students, but especially for students who don’t have English as their primary language.

I like this approach because if students fail to solve the problem at first, they will likely be listening more/very carefully as to how to solve it:

Drawing on related research, we proposed a more specific model for flipping, “Fail, Flip, Fix, and Feed” whereby students are asked to first engage in generating solutions to novel problems even if they fail to generate the correct solutions, before receiving instructions.

Plus, students will begin to recall/activate their prior knowledge on a subject in order to try to solve the problem. That retrieval practice in and of itself can be helpful.

 

What researchers learned about online higher education during the pandemic — from hechingerreport.org by Jon Marcus
Its massive expansion created a worldwide laboratory to finally assess how well it works

Excerpts:

Now the results of this experiment are starting to come in. They suggest that online higher education may work better than pre-pandemic research showed, and that it is evolving decisively toward a combination of in-person and online, or “blended,” classes.

“Initially when we were doing that research it was always on the class or the course level and very rarely were you able to see how online education worked across programs and across institutions,” never mind across the world, said Michael Brown, assistant professor of higher education and student affairs at the Iowa State University School of Education.

By last year, more than half of all faculty said they “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that they wanted to combine online with face-to-face instruction, a Bay View Analytics survey found. A Harvard University task force found that 82 percent of faculty there were interested in adding digital tools they adopted while teaching remotely to their in-person classes.

“It’s going to take years for us to really be able to see, out of the things coming out of the pandemic, what works well, what works well in some settings and what works well for some students and not for others,” Hart said.


Also from hechingerreport.org by Jon Marcus, see:


 

A $500 Million International Project Will Create the Most Detailed Map of the Brain Ever — from singularityhub.com by Edd Gent

Excerpt:

That’s why the National Institutes of Health’s BRAIN Initiative has just announced $500 million in funding over five years for an effort to characterize and map neuronal and other types of cells across the entire human brain. The project will be spearheaded by the Allen Institute in Seattle, but involves collaborations across 17 other institutions in the US, Europe, and Japan.

“These awards will enable researchers to explore the multifaceted characteristics of the more than 200 billion neurons and non-neuronal cells in the human brain at unprecedented detail and scale,” John Ngai, director of the NIH BRAIN Initiative, said in a statement.

From DSC:
The LORD does awesome work. I wonder how many of these scientists and researchers will become believers while doing this project.

Proverbs 27:1

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

 

The real strength of weak ties — from news.stanford.edu; with thanks to Roberto Ferraro for this resource
A team of Stanford, MIT, and Harvard scientists finds “weaker ties” are more beneficial for job seekers on LinkedIn.

Excerpt:

A team of researchers from Stanford, MIT, Harvard, and LinkedIn recently conducted the largest experimental study to date on the impact of digital job sites on the labor market and found that weaker social connections have a greater beneficial effect on job mobility than stronger ties.

“A practical implication of the research is that it’s helpful to reach out to people beyond your immediate friends and colleagues when looking for a new job,” explained Erik Brynjolfsson, who is the Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Professor at Stanford University. “People with whom you have weaker ties are more likely to have information or connections that are useful and relevant.”

 

Why aren’t people going to college? — from highereddive.com by Rick Seltzer
Many of those who didn’t enroll or complete degrees say college was too expensive — but they also cite stress and career uncertainty, new research finds.

Excerpts:

Researchers offered four main insights for higher education:

  • Who attends college isn’t just a demographic question
  • The education marketplace is fundamentally different today than it has been in the past
  • Higher education’s language is missing the mark, and so are educational pathways
  • Students are willing to pay for college if they know returns will follow

Also relevant/see:

Some High-School Grads Say No to College. Here’s Why — and What Might Change Their Minds. — from chronicle.com by Audrey Williams June

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The data also underscore how the education marketplace has shifted in recent years, said Adam Burns, chief operations officer and senior research analyst for Edge Research, during a media call. For instance, nearly 47 percent of the young adults surveyed said they had taken a class offered via YouTube or were currently doing so.

“As we all know,” Burns said, “there are more educational options at people’s disposal than ever before.”

MIT Professors Propose a New Kind of University for Post-COVID Era — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young

Excerpt:

Five professors at Massachusetts Institute of Technology say they have some answers.

They released a white paper yesterday called “Ideas For Designing An Affordable New Educational Institution,” where they lay out a framework for essentially a new class of university that would take advantage of various trends that have emerged in the past few years.

 

To Improve Outcomes for Students, We Must Improve Support for Faculty — from campustechnology.com by Dr. David Wiley
The doctoral programs that prepare faculty for their positions often fail to train them on effective teaching practices. We owe it to our students to provide faculty with the professional development they need to help learners realize their full potential.

Excerpts:

Why do we allow so much student potential to go unrealized? Why are well-researched, highly effective teaching practices not used more widely?

The doctoral programs that are supposed to prepare them to become faculty in physics, philosophy, and other disciplines don’t require them to take a single course in effective teaching practices. 

The entire faculty preparation enterprise seems to be caught in a loop, unintentionally but consistently passing on an unawareness that some teaching practices are significantly more effective than others. How do we break this cycle and help students realize their full potential as learners?

From DSC:
First of all, I greatly appreciate the work of Dr. David Wiley. His career has been dedicated to teaching and learning, open educational resources, and more. I also appreciate and agree with what David is saying here — i.e., that professors need to be taught how to teach as well as what we know about how people learn at this point in time. 

For years now, I’ve been (unpleasantly) amazed that we hire and pay our professors primarily for their research capabilities — vs. their teaching competence. At the same time, we continually increase the cost of tuition, books, and other fees. Students have the right to let their feet do the walking. As the alternatives to traditional institutions of higher education increase, I’m quite sure that we’ll see that happen more and more.

While I think that training faculty members about effective teaching practices is highly beneficial, I also think that TEAM-BASED content creation and delivery will deliver the best learning experiences that we can provide. I say this because multiple disciplines and specialists are involved, such as:

  • Subject Matter Experts (i.e., faculty members)
  • Instructional Designers
  • Graphic Designers
  • Web Designers
  • Learning Scientists; Cognitive Learning Researchers
  • Audio/Video Specialists  and Learning Space Designers/Architects
  • CMS/LMS Administrators
  • Programmers
  • Multimedia Artists who are skilled in working with digital audio and digital video
  • Accessibility Specialists
  • Librarians
  • Illustrators and Animators
  • and more

The point here is that one person can’t do it all — especially now that the expectation is that courses should be offered in a hybrid format or in an online-based format. For a solid example of the power of team-based content creation/delivery, see this posting.

One last thought/question here though. Once a professor is teaching, are they open to working with and learning from the Instructional Designers, Learning Scientists, and/or others from the Teaching & Learning Centers that do exist on their campus? Or do they, like many faculty members, think that such people are irrelevant because they aren’t faculty members themselves? Oftentimes, faculty members look to each other and don’t really care what support is offered (unless they need help with some of the technology.)


Also relevant/see:


 

Brandon Hall Group to Launch Study on Transforming L&D — from globenewswire.com
Just over one-third of the organizations in Brandon Hall Group’s Transforming Learning for the Future of Work study say that their approach to learning is positioning them well for the future of work. This upcoming study explores how and why organizations need to make learning much more personalized in order to meet the rapidly changing needs of both learners and the business.

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Boca Raton, FL, Aug. 24, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Brandon Hall Group, the leading independent HCM research and analyst firm, is launching a study on August 30 to determine and understand the impact personalized learning has on individual and organizational outcomes.

To participate in this study, go to https://www.research.net/r/HTBD85F. Participants will receive summary results of the survey six to eight weeks after the survey launch and will get immediate download access to Brandon Hall Group’s eBook, Personalization for Performance.

Along the lines of research about our learning ecosystems, also see:

Technology Access in Higher Education in Prison Programs — from by Steve Pokornowski, Kurtis Tanaka
New Survey Launch

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

We are excited to announce the launch of a new survey on the landscape of technology access in higher education in prison programs. This survey is a part of Ithaka S+R’s larger work on access to information for incarcerated students and the role of media review in higher education in prisons.

This survey launches today, August 23, and will remain open for responses until September 30, 2022. We will conduct follow-up interviews with a select number of programs that demonstrate particularly expansive or interesting implementations of technology.

If you direct or coordinate a higher education in prison program and would like to make sure that someone from your program has the opportunity to take the survey, please email surveys@ithaka.org for more information.

 

Augmented Books Are On The Way According To Researchers — from vrscout.com by Kyle Melnick

Excerpt:

Imagine this. You’re several chapters into a captivating novel when a character from an earlier book makes a surprise appearance. You swipe your finger across their name on the page at which point their entire backstory is displayed on a nearby smartphone, allowing you to refresh your memory before moving forward.

This may sound like science fiction, but researchers at the University of Surrey in England say that the technology described above is already here in the form of “a-books” (augmented reality books).

The potential use-cases for such a technology are virtually endless. As previously mentioned, a-books could be used to deliver character details and plot points for a variety of fictional works. The same technology could also be applied to textbooks, allowing students to display helpful information on their smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs with the swipe of a finger.

From DSC:

  • How might instructional designers use this capability?
  • How about those in theatre/drama?
  • Educational gaming?
  • Digital storytelling?
  • Interaction design?
  • Interface design?
  • User experience design?

Also see:


 
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