What impacts learning are changes in instructional design and pedagogical practices supported by the introduction of new technologies, not the technology itself.
We still have a lot to learn about digital education. Rather than continuing to ask the same tired questions though, stakeholders need to search for answers to the questions for which we don't know much about: What is the nature of learning in digital learning environments? How do emerging technologies enable and support new approaches to teaching and education? How does our education system need to change to accommodate the learning needs of a global and networked society? And, how, and under which conditions, do emerging technologies foster the design of effective, powerful, and caring digital learning environments?
A Philadelphia center puts making connections between concepts and experiences central to the creative process for student-driven learning.
Open Connections is based on the premise that “learning is natural and self-motivated, does not have to be compelled, and is experiential, as in the Confucian proverb, ‘I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand,’” Bergson says. Its other core beliefs: There is variation in human development; there is inherent value in free play and taking pleasure in learning; collaboration is more useful than competition; learners have the right to pursue their own interests; and people learn best in mixed-age groups, in an atmosphere free of the anxiety generated by artificial grading and testing.
Having taught science and engineering for nearly twenty years, I was recently reflecting on what has changed about the technology I use to teach STEM topics. Is it that I now infuse projects with robotics, computer-based data logging systems and rapid prototyping? Nope. On their own, these technologies are “so last-century.” Or are they?
What is new, and why is the beginning of the 21st century an amazing time to be teaching and learning STEM with digital technology tools? Let’s examine a few trends.
Turing predicted that in 50 years there would be machines that, for five minutes, could fool a human questioner 30% of the time. Even though that is an exceedingly low bar, after more than 60 years, the only machines that can make feeble claims of passing the Turing Test are those programmed to give clever parlor-trick ripostes, and no one would believe they are actually engaged in serious thinking. More to the point, philosophers led by Berkeley professor John Searle contend that it would be wrong to ascribe intentions and consciousness and "thinking" to a machine, even if it could fool 100% of questioners indefinitely.
Despite occasional breathless headlines, the quest for pure artificial intelligence has so far proven disappointing. But the alternative approach of connecting humans and machines more intimately continues to produce astonishing innovations.
When someone has an idea, there's a natural desire to learn whatever is necessary to make it a reality. If there’s a need to know math to accomplish the goal, he or she is suddenly interested in math. If there’s a need to understand something about science to make a creation work, then science becomes attractive. If there’s a need to operate a machine to fabricate something that may never before been created, then there’s an interest in knowing how the machine works. Concepts and theories that were once thought to be useless information suddenly take on meaning and purpose when there is a concrete use for knowledge.
Access to technologies, including cell phones and the Internet has grown steadily across the globe. The number of mobile broadband subscriptions has reached 2.3 billion, according to the International Telecommunication Union’s 2014 report.
With access to technology on the rise, the focus in education has shifted to getting students to interact with technology and learn the basics at early ages.
Why do so many people watch others play video games on Twitch? Because the fans don’t look much different from the celebrities. They all play the same games.
Twitch’s real-time chat validates their interests. They don’t have to feel weird for thinking games are cool. It’s okay to nerd out. Go ahead and draw some fan art. The running dialogue makes the bleachers feel like a lively place to be. Unlike stale, asynchronous comment reels on YouTube, Twitch gives an immediate gratification of community
It could be tempting to reduce computational thinking to just another subject to be taught in schools. However, if we take a more aspirational viewpoint (again the examples here are very interesting long version of Jeanette Wing’s presentation) – then the interplay between humans and computers will change the behaviour of both.
A more sweeping definition of Computational Thinking would call for new skills, new ways of thinking and make a radical change to the economies who adopt these principles.
Holly Wyatt is surrounded by a dozen middle and high school students, all Chukchansi tribal members, with their eyes glued to the screen of a tablet, smartphone or computer. She doesn't see mere students — she sees the next generation of Chukchansi speakers.
Wyatt and the students were at Fresno State on Thursday and Friday to help create educational apps that teach the Chukchansi language. The students are creating the artwork and some programming for the apps, and Wyatt is providing the voice translation into Chukchansi.
The apps aim to teach children and adults the Chukchansi language in the style of an e-book. The stories are Chukchansi folklores originally published in English in 1944. Now, the tribe is translating the stories back into Chukchansi.
As tech jobs evolve at the pace of light through fiber-optic cable, Saunders and other leaders of tech firms such as Mozilla, Reddit and Tumblr say students should consider schools that not only will teach them traditional skills like coding, but also the softer skills that aren’t listed in the course guide but are essential to the 21st-century workplace: working with others, problem-solving, the ability to pick up enough from disciplines other than their own to create products users believe are indispensable to their lives.
This study was designed to gather empirical data related to the theory that games could help do what inquiry activities in science classes could not, that is, foster scientific habits of the mind. The study defines scientific habits of mind as strategies for thinking such as sharing and debating hypotheses in light of evidence through the kind of discourse that mimics the methods used in scientific communities.
A survey of business school professors, deans and directors reveals that academics think learning tech will force universities to shut their doors or merge.
But tech also offers an opportunity, according to CarringtonCrisp. More than 90% of respondents said that technology will promote the growth of new business models, while 70% agree or strongly agree that technological innovation will bring new entrants to the business education market.
That is, despite all the potential to do things differently with computers and with the Internet and with ubiquitous digital information, school still puts content in the center. Content, once delivered by or mediated through a teacher or a textbook, now is delivered via various computer technologies.
Peer learning, networked learning — we talk a lot about these quite a bit in ed-tech today. We make some gestures to that end — the possibilities afforded to us, not so much by conference calls, but by newer forms of connectivity. By the Internet.
But more often than not, we still lasso technology for the more traditional purposes and practices of education: for content delivery. We keep designing education technology with an emphasis on knowledge acquisition, despite all our glee about a move into an information age where our relationship to knowledge will supposedly be transformed.
The readable, writable, programmable Web is so significant because, in part, it allows us to break from programmed instruction. That is, we needn’t all simply be on the receiving end of some computer-mediated instruction, some teacher-engineering. We can construct and create and connect for ourselves. And that means that — ideally — we can move beyond the technologies that deliver content more efficiently, more widely. It means too we can rethink “content” and “information” and “knowledge” — what it means to deliver or consume those things, alongside what it makes to build and control those things.
The 21st Century Fluencies are not about hardware, they are about headware and heartware. We need to move our thinking beyond our primary focus on traditional literacy to an additional set of 21st-century fluencies that reflect the times we live in.
For students to embrace the skills needed in a changing technology landscape, teachers must coordinate knowledge, instructional practices, and technologies to positively influence academic achievement.
Leaders who demonstrate a continual desire to learn and connect whenever possible help set a precedence of transparency and innovation in a school's culture.
Starting with a foundation of openness to learning new ideas and encouraging innovation among teachers is also important because social media often amplifies whatever school culture already exists. “If you don’t have a culture that’s a collaborative one, that’s relationship-based, that’s selfless, that’s constantly taking an inquiry stance, then a lot of the social media stuff isn’t going to fit the vision,” Mazza said.
The idea: Some previously unknown technology could, all by itself, catalyze a revolution in children’s learning, especially in the developing world.
‘We don’t know if this is going to work, but if it does, it’s transformative, and why not try?’
The latest incarnation of this idea was announced this week. The $15 millionGlobal Learning XPRIZE is being billed as the largest-ever technology competition in the private sector, to “revolutionize global education.”
The winning team of the Global Learning XPRIZE, organizers say, will “develop a free, open-source and scalable software solution in 18 months that can enable children to teach themselves basic reading, writing and arithmetic.” The software, says the challenge’s director, Matt Keller, will be designed to be deployed on very low cost Android tablet computers.
The belief that technology can automate education and replace teachers is pervasive. Framed in calls for greater efficiency, this belief is present in today’s educational innovations, reform endeavours, and technology products. We can do better than adopting this insipid perspective and aspire instead for a better future where innovations imagine creative new ways to organise education.
There are a number of models, but popular blended learning methods include swapping brick-and-mortar class time for time spent reporting in the field or on site visits, rolling back time spent in class in favor of online activities like blogging or taking a quiz, and having students learn a new program on their own ahead of in-person meetings, so they are primed for discussion.
Teaching students how to use social media in their reporting lends itself well to experimenting with ways to break up the “monotony of lecturing,” Sue Robinson, an associate journalism professor at UW-Madison, said.
One of the great ironies of online learning is that a tool created to foster personalized learning is actually quite impersonal, in practice. It doesn’t have to be that way. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) are based on a simple premise: deliver free content from the world’s greatest professors to the masses, and a global…
Are you aware that smart robots and other smart machines have skills that we used to think of as exclusively human? Machines powered by artificial intelligence are reading MRIs and writing news articles; robots are helping the elderly perform daily tasks; and driverless vehicles are being deployed in the mining industry. It might sound like science fiction, but it's actually science nonfiction. And the next five to ten years are expected to bring yet more stunning technology advances. Carl Frey and Michael Osborne of the University of Oxford predict that 66 percent of the current U.S. job force has a medium to high likelihood of being replaced by technology over the next decade or two. Good jobs could well be in short supply.
All children have some level of innate curiosity that drives them to explore the way things work.
"Exploration is the central foundation of scientific endeavors," Gottfried said. So children who've learned to search for answers without the promise of an extrinsic reward may be more skilled at it or drawn to it.