Making lasting change in schools is difficult not only because schools are communities made up of individuals with their own opinions about what’s best for kids, but also because, like most institutions, they are full of “bad habits” that can be tough to break. While habitual behavior can be good — like when it reinforces a positive culture or set of norms — it can also be a stubborn obstacle to enacting meaningful change.
At the EduCon conference hosted by Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, a room full of educators easily listed common “bad habits” they’ve experienced in their work, such as siloed learning, homework just for the sake of it, spending time planning with no action, keeping the door closed and visitors out, poor communication between administrators and teachers, traditional professional development, fixing problems by mandate rather than by team problem solving and initiative overload.
The mission Moran has set centers on preparing students for success in everyday life. That work starts as early as pre-K and elementary school, when youngsters can be taught to use technology to do basic research and access expertise available in the outside world.
Rather than using computers to assign digital worksheets, educators must show students how to harness technology to become producers and creators. Accordingly, older students have begun to solve problems in the community.
The multiage classroom represents several of Moran’s core beliefs about education: First, that children should make their own choices. Having influence empowers and encourages learners to pursue more challenging projects—even if they fail.
She worries that society has become overprotective of children. “Risk is what drives invention,” she says. “If we didn’t have people willing to take risks to try things, we wouldn’t have electricity, we wouldn’t have the telephone, we wouldn’t have democracy.”
During the past decade, we have seen the emergence of at least 30 different ways in which learning is changing—for instance, it is becoming increasingly collaborative, global, mobile, modifiable, open, online, blended, massive,visually based, hands-on, ubiquitous, instantaneous, and personal. These 30 learning andtechnology-related changes reflect three distinct “mega-trends”: (1) learner engagement, (2)the pervasive access to learning, and (3) the customisation and personalisation of learning. This paper is based on a keynote talk delivered at the biennial DEANZ Conference at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand, in April 2016. As highlighted in that talk, we have entered Education 3.0—an age of vast resource abundance and extensive opportunities for learner empowerment.
The toolkit lays the groundwork for you to share the latest education trends and inspire progress amongst your staff and community. From start to finish, the toolkit includes templates, suggestions and guidelines for school and district communication, presentations, and guides for hosting informational events–all in an effort to simplify the process and help you maximize the visibility of the report’s cutting edge results.
What really goes through kids’ minds when they create computer games? A recent study examined children's Thinking Maps and video recordings of group discussions to observe their thought process when creating games.
The study found that creating games alters children's typical thinking processes, making them more sequential and demonstrating that game design impacts their thought patterns differently than other activities. Student participants often describe their minds as a kind of virtual lab where they can plan, visualize, and test ideas. This allows them to check for errors and think through problems more deeply, particularly when teacher assistance is unavailable.
It started with a hole in the wall. Sugata Mitra, working for a software company in Delhi, cut a gap between his firm and the slum next door, putting out an Internet-connected computer for kids in the community to use. That simple experiment has turned into a radical idea that children can teach themselves in self-organized learning environments. Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports.
At one point in the not-so-distant past, it was the norm to specify that a game you were playing was an online game, or that the map you were using was Google Maps and not a fold-up one from AAA. Nowadays, people tend to just assume that the tool you’re using is an online one. This is the basis of the argument in this research article from Portugal. Even though the term e-learning is still used widely today, the authors suggest that as technology and electronic devices become more ubiquitous, the eused to denote an electronic version of a tool or resource will disappear entirely from the term.
Teachers who are moving to a blended learning paradigm soon realize that their traditional physical “classrooms” need modification. In most cases, traditional furniture in a traditional room with a whiteboard at the front doesn’t support any of the blended learning models.
This can produce a loss of momentum and enthusiasm as the teacher struggles to find a solution. Teachers who are implementing blended learning have to “mark time,” get frustrated or attempt to “get by” with what is available while flexible learning spaces are designed and built.
Thus, an organization that is moving to a blended learning model needs to be aware of a number of important planning, design and timing aspects of flexible learning environments. Some of the areas that need consideration are covered in this article. A radar graph is provided to allow an organization to determine its understanding of and commitment to the changes that are needed.
Students may not consider their interactions on Facebook, Pinterest, or LinkedIn as part of a digital narrative. The authors of the study hoped that this process would make students aware of their role in scholarly conversation and give them a greater understanding of their power in transforming language communications online.
Rebecca Mead on Max Ventilla’s startup, which uses big data, responsive lesson plans, and student surveillance in micro-schools.
Inside, the space has been partitioned with dividers creating several classrooms. The décor evokes an IKEA showroom: low-slung couches, beanbags, clusters of tables, and wooden chairs in progressively smaller sizes, like those belonging to Goldilocks’s three bears. There is no principal’s office and no principal. Like the five other AltSchools that have opened in the past three years—the rest are in the Bay Area—the school is run by teachers, one of whom serves as the head of the school. There is no school secretary: many administrative matters are handled at AltSchool’s headquarters, in the SOMA district of San Francisco. There aren’t even many children. Every AltSchool is a “micro-school.” In Brooklyn Heights, there are thirty-five students, ranging from pre-kindergarten to third grade. Only a few dozen more children will be added as the school matures. AltSchool’s ambition, however, is huge. Five more schools are scheduled to open by the end of 2017, in San Francisco, Manhattan, and Chicago, and the goal is to expand into other parts of the country, offering a highly tailored education that uses technology to target each student’s “needs and passions.”
We’re calling our project “MAD About Mattering,” and I can’t wait to get started! MAD About Mattering is a collaborative app-building challenge that is going to bring students together to create apps that will change the world for the better. By asking students to identify their heartbreak, we’re inviting them to work together to develop innovative solutions to spark real and lasting change in our world.
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."
Lessons learned from over 10 years of sustaining a school model that goes against the grain of traditional education.
Eleven years ago Chris Lehmann and a committed team of educators started Science Leadership Academy (SLA), a public magnet school in Philadelphia that focuses on student inquiry through projects in a community that cultivates a culture of care. The school has been so successful over the last decade that the district has tapped Lehmann to help other schools get started or transform themselves.
Machine learning is set to have a huge impact on education in 2017
In the present exam-driven world of education, whenever a new technology emerges people want to know how it can be used to make kids get better marks, how it can speed up teaching and cut the cost of learning, and could it be used to replace teachers altogether?
We’re beginning to understand what helps marginal students succeed, though, and it doesn’t look much like open online courses OR what passes for teaching on a traditional college campuse. An experiment at the City University of New York (CUNY), for instance, doubled graduation rates among remedial students by placing them in a structured, immersive experience: students had to enroll full-time, were part of a cohort, enrolled in courses with smaller class sizes that were offered in a block schedule, and received a tuition waiver, tutoring, and access to textbooks (among other things).
Carey recognizes the value of immersive experiences when he profiles “learning accelerators” like General Assembly and Dev Bootcamp—intense, in-person programs designed to help students land jobs in tech. Learning accelerators are often selective, high-touch, and quite expensive (by higher education standards). Students often spend upwards of 60 hours a week working closely with instructors and with their peers on group projects. In other words, these accelerators have little in common with the traditional undergraduate experience or the open, online courses that power Carey’s U of E.
Well, that depends on how you define ‘learning’ and what you’d consider ‘modern.’ Richard Olsen put together this useful visual way, way back in 2013–a chart that lays out three categories of a modern approach to learning–Modern, Self-Directed, and Social.
These broad categories are then broken up into four principles per category. Each principle is then described by its Reality (its function) and Opportunity (the result of that function). Honestly, these two categories are a bit confusing–or at least the distinction between some of the entries are (the ability to participate and enables modern learners to participate, for example).
The world today is changing quickly thanks to technology, and Stanford is keeping pace with these changes by re-imagining what undergrad education should entail. You won't want to miss the insights gained by rethinking the traditional educational models at Stanford.
In our imagined future, you see more student agency, individualization and self-pacing as people progress at different rates. That presents logistical challenges for how we structure classes and allocate living space. Technology on the back end could help us sort out those complex logistics to better utilize learning, working and living spaces.
Building students’ learning autonomy through data-driven online learning.
In today’s climate of prioritizing data-driven practices in education, it is usually teachers and administrators poring over student performance data; rarely is the focus ever on students using data to improve their learning. But recently, researchers conducted a study on two sixth grade science classes in the Midwest, hoping to answer the question of whether middle school students can think metacognitively about their learning and use data about their performance to seek appropriate supports in their learning.
After being introduced to the Internet of Things (IoT) by a local software company, Tiffany Davis’ first instinct was to consider what the concept would look like in the K-12 setting.
Defined by Gartner as “the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment,” IoT is a somewhat nebulous concept that promises to change the way we use objects, products, and technology in general. In A Simple Explanation Of ‘The Internet Of Things,” Forbes’ Jacob Morgandefines IoT as the act of connecting any device with an on and off switch to the internet (and/or to each other). In the consumer world, these devices include mobile phones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices like Fitbits, and even heavy equipment like jet engines.
Too often when we talk about “innovation” in education, we point to that new set of Chromebooks or those shiny new Smartboards as examples of our efforts to change what we do in the classroom. That is, after all, what “innovation” is all about, to “make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products.” Over the last few years, many schools in the developed world have done a pretty good job on the new products front, earning billions of dollars for vendors who sell their gadgets or code under the guise of “innovation” of some degree or another. We’ve definitely got more stuff. And it’s arguable that our methods are changing, even if just a bit; the Maker Movement in schools, when fully embraced, is one such example of shifting roles in the classroom. But on balance, is all of this “innovation” really changing us? Not so much. Our efforts at innovating, regardless of method, idea, or product, have been focused far too much on incrementally improving the centuries old structures and practices we employ in schools, not on fundamentally rethinking them. And the vast majority of “innovation” I’ve seen in my visits to schools around the world doesn’t amount to much change at all in the area where we need it most: using those new methods, ideas, or products to shift agency for learning to the learner. To put it simply, innovation in schools today is far too focused on improving teaching, not amplifying learning.
Parents are embracing technology to help their kids learning at school and are ready to ‘swap book lists for app lists’, according to newly released research from NBN..
According to the research – commissioned by nbn and conducted by Colmar Brunton, the majority of Aussie parents surveyed (76%) understand the need to harness the internet for education in the home in order to help prepare them for the future with almost half (48%) co-viewing educational material with their kids online to learn something new together.
Anytime, Anywhere Learning Foundation, President, Bruce Dixon said the nbn network was helping to break down the walls of the classroom by providing “access to experts, experiences and information which were previously unimaginable. We have found that online, collaborative learning supported by access to fast broadband in both the home and the school can motivate children to become even more engaged in their education.”
How do you build a modern learning environment, one that unleashes the thinking, doing, and creating opportunities made possible when technology is ubiquitous, personal, and wisely used?
#AnytimeAnywhereLearners is the essential guide for leaders of schools and districts seeking to create a learning environment built on the simple proposition that young people will have unprecedented opportunities for learning when they have unlimited access to their own personal, portable, fully functional digital device.
Since 1989, not only have individual schools and districts moved to what is often referred to as 1:1, but whole states and, in some cases, countries, have invested in providing their students access to their own personal, portable devices. The #AnytimeAnywhereLearners framework is based on the experiences of thousands of these 1:1 schools around the world and the courageous and committed educators leading them.
Not a checklist or set of instructions for an easy-to-assemble, 21st century school, the #AnytimeAnywhereLearners framework lays out a roadmap designed to help you, as district or school leader, determine what you need to know and do at each step of your 1:1 planning and development process. Written by Bruce Dixon, President and Co-founder of the Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation(AALF), and Susan Einhorn, AALF Executive Director, this in depth guide, with links to hundreds of additional resources, will help you make critical decisions, know the strategic questions to ask, understand what will be required of district personnel and school leadership, and have realistic expectations about what the outcomes will be.
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