In something of a stunning reversal , the American Academy of Pediatrics has changed its stance on the potential harm devices can do to developing children.
t's no longer a question of whether parents will allow small screens on tablets and smartphones into the lives of their young children, it's just a question of how. To that end, the group has come up with a new set of advisories.
Digital media can be used to facilitate executive function, build self-control and problem-solving skills
Digital media can be used to facilitate executive function, build self-control and problem-solving skills, and improve children’s ability to follow directions," reads one passage from the new position paper released by the AAP earlier this month.
The group's expert panelists also found that "parent and child’s co-viewing and co-participation with media facilitates any educational experience gained from media activities in the youngest children."
Design educator, Howard Stern puts his passion for architecture simply, "I like building things." And so do many students throughout NYC but, more often than not, the typical classroom curriculum doesn't leave much room for children and teens to tap into their love of design and construction. Fortunately, since 2003 the Center for Architecture has functioned as the hub for anyone fascinated by the built environment. With famed skyscrapers, tunnels, and detailed facades as the perfect backdrop for celebration and study, the Center for Architecture is home to many exhibitions, special events, and educational programs that cater to the general public, professionals in the field, and young enthusiasts.
As creatives we all want the same things: To be known. To make an impact. To connect with people who care about and support our work. Succeeding in this has always required imagination, curiosity, discipline and grit.
But as contemporary creatives we’re faced with a further challenge: To create, share, and promote our work in a rapidly evolving digital landscape. To succeed in this we must cultivate an entirely new mindset.
Because the context for our work now spans two worlds: A physical one, where time and place and sensory details create one kind of context for meaning and work; and a digital one, where connection, communication, and innovation happens in the digital now: Where the past is flat— archived and searchable—and everything is happening and available this minute, anywhere.
The beginning of the school year is a time to set the tone for a student’s learning experience, including what teachers expect from students and families. But that first week of school is also the time to teach valuable learning skills that will be used throughout the year.
Arguments for the dual-role professor seem logical. Knowledge production should make one a better instructor. Students should benefit from teachers producing the latest knowledge. But there’s precious little data to support that adding the research job to the instruction job improves student outcomes.
The downside is that both jobs require significant expertise and commitment to do well. And so I often think about this question: would faculty be better teachers and produce superior student outcomes if we asked them to focus solely on instruction? If today’s answer is “maybe,” tomorrow’s will be “probably” due to three shifts that will make instruction more complex and involved, requiring specialized knowledge and skills and unquestionably a full-time commitment.
Many teachers, parents and administrators say that laptops, tablets and the various apps help engage and motivate special ed students, while also making it easier for teachers to individualize instruction and track progress.
But some specialists believe that children with certain kinds of disabilities, such as those on the autism spectrum, respond especially well to technology programs because the programs behave in consistent, predictable ways. And unlike earlier technologies for students with special needs, the tablets and laptops are portable and indistinguishable from devices used by other students.
Students once learned more out of the classroom than in it.
Is this old-fashioned culture of self-improvement making a comeback? The mainstream school system - with its barrage of tests, Common Core and "excellent sheep" - encourages learning as a passive, standardized process. But here and there, with the help of YouTube and thousands of podcasts, a growing group of students and adults are beginning to supplement their education.
School isn't going away. But more and more people are realizing what their 19th-century predecessors knew: that the best learning is often self-taught.
Do teachers grasp edtech concepts as swiftly as they think they do
In this study, researchers measured teachers’ ability to develop their TPACK, or technological pedagogical content knowledge, in math and science classrooms. The teachers, who taught grades K-8, were in a three-year-long online Master’s program for practicing teachers of math and science, and worked to apply their own increasing knowledge of the benefits of technology in the classroom throughout the three-year duration of the study.
The findings of the study demonstrated a disconnect between teacher perceptions of their own TPACK development and their actual implementation of technology within their lessons. Many teachers indicated on their self-assessments that they were farther along in their TPACK than the observers found while watching the same teachers in the classroom.
As some of you might know, I’ve been working on a book for a while now called Teaching Machines that explores the history of education technology in the twentieth century. In part, the project grows out of my frustration with the claims made by the latest batch of Silicon Valley ed-tech entrepreneurs and their investors that ed-tech is “new” and that education – I’m quoting from The New York Times here – “is one of the last industries to be touched by Internet technology.” This is a powerful and purposeful re-telling and revising of history, I’d contend, designed to shape the direction of the future. In fact, education was one of the “industries” – I loathe that word, that framing too – that helped create Internet technology in the first place. Education – or more accurately, I suppose scientific and technical research at universities – was one of the first industries to be “networked” by the Internet.
The Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access was awarded a $500,000 grant to fund a two-year research project on digital learning.
They will analyze teacher and student use of more than 1 million digital learning assets and tools from the Smithsonian’s collections that are available through the Learning Lab. Designed for learners of all ages, the Learning Lab is an engaging digital destination for the discovery, creation and sharing of new ideas and knowledge and supports development of critical, lifelong skills.
Here’s a conundrum: The smaller the college, the fewer resources it has to experiment with different models to meet the demands of a rapidly changing workforce. At the same time, students are increasingly eyeing “bootcamps” and non-institutional providers that promise industry-relevant skills—but may not be able to afford their costs.
Ted Mitchell, Under Secretary of Education at the US Department of Education, thinks he has an answer. Today he is announcing that the federal government will loosen restrictions on schools that work with “alternative education providers,” including massive online open course (MOOCs) developers and coding bootcamps.
Several schools are embracing self-organized learning environments as a way to engage students through inquiry, ownership and collaboration by starting with a "messy question."
Recently, Bechtel has been experimenting withSelf-Organized Learning Environments, or SOLEs, in her elementary school classes. SOLEs are short forays into the kind of self-organized learning that Sugata Mitra found to be so powerful.
In a classroom SOLE, Bechtel asks her students a “messy question,” something that doesn’t have just one right answer, then sets them loose to research the question in small groups. Students choose who they work with, find their own information, draw their own conclusions and present their findings to the whole class. It can be a bit chaotic, but Bechtel says that’s often good.
A COMMUNITY OF SCIENTISTS, ENGINEERS & CHILDREN, CREATING TOGETHER.
We believe children learn by building. Engineering design challenges are hands-on projects inspired by the cutting-edge work of scientists and engineers. In each challenge, children are presented with a complex problem to solve, and they progress with support from a trained mentor who guides and encourages them to persist through failure and bring their ideas to reality.
History is full of faulty proclamations about the future of education and technology. (No doubt, Silicon Valley and education reformers continue to churn out these predictions – many prophesying doom for universities, many actively working to bring that doom about.)
What’s striking about these early 20th century predictions is that Thorndike set the tone, over one hundred years ago, for machines taking over instruction. And while he was wrong about films replacing textbooks, Edison was largely right that the arguments in support of education technology, of instructional technology would frequently be made in terms of “efficiency.” Much of the history of education technology, indeed the history of education itself, in the twentieth century onward involves this push for “efficiency.” To replace, to supplant – to move from textbooks to film or from chalkboards to interactive whiteboards or from face-to-face lecture halls to MOOCs or from human teachers to robots – comes in the name of “progress,” where progress demands “efficiency.”
Stop thinking of Silicon Valley as an engineer's paradise. There's far more work for liberal arts majors -- who know how to sell and humanize.
Throughout the major U.S. tech hubs, whether Silicon Valley or Seattle, Boston or Austin, Tex., software companies are discovering that liberal arts thinking makes them stronger. Engineers may still command the biggest salaries, but at disruptive juggernauts such as Facebook and Uber, the war for talent has moved to nontechnical jobs, particularly sales and marketing. The more that audacious coders dream of changing the world, the more they need to fill their companies with social alchemists who can connect with customers–and make progress seem pleasant.
“Studying philosophy taught me two things,” says Butterfield, sitting in his office in San Francisco’s South of Market district, a neighborhood almost entirely dedicated to the cult of coding. “I learned how to write really clearly. I learned how to follow an argument all the way down, which is invaluable in running meetings. And when I studied the history of science, I learned about the ways that everyone believes something is true–like the old notion of some kind of ether in the air propagating gravitational forces–until they realized that it wasn’t true."
Project based learning lessons (PBL) involve giving students a complex question or problem and having them take a long period of time to solve it. Students are allowed to use various collaboration methods as well as their critical thinking skills. In today’s age and time, however, many teachers have started giving their students another valuable resource—social media.
The realities of the “digital divide” are increasingly apparent. In a consumer culture that equates status with early adoption of the newest iPhone, access to new technology necessarily splits pretty clearly along socio-economic class lines. According to U.S. census data, for example, more than 30 million homes have no broadband access, most of them concentrated in some of the poorest parts of the country.
Digital tools are not only changing the way we learn, they are also changing the way we behave. Students who learn with laptops, tablets and other digital devices will internalize particular social and emotional skills, specific thought patterns and ways of interacting with the world that will eventually become the new ‘ordinary.’ Students who do not have access to these technologies, or who receive exposure only in a minimally integrated way, will find themselves disadvantaged.
Creative Commons license image source There are Many Reasons Why Flexible, Active Learning Classrooms Should be Widely Adopted We’ve converted a few classrooms to more collaborative spaces over the last few years at The College of Westchester, and faculty reaction has generally been quite positive. These initial room changes have revolved around modifying the layout of a few classrooms from the row-by-row footprint of the traditional lecture room to a more interactive, group-oriented layout of round tables.
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