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.
The idea for Fab Lab Egypt was sparked in 2010, during the second year of El-Zanfaly's Fulbright-funded master's program in the Design and Computation Group at MIT, where she is now a PhD student.
While El-Zanfaly identifies as a natural maker, her research at the Design and Computation Group takes an academic look at the processes of designing and building. Computational design is a field that asks, essentially, how formal rules or algorithms can be used in the design process. “Usually people consider design or art [to be] ambiguous process,” El-Zanfaly says. “But we look at how we can describe it and enhance it using these computational tools.”
How can we make school a joyful experience without sacrificing rigor? What's the best way to measure true learning? What's the purpose of school? The founders and teachers at the PlayMaker School, an all-game based school in Los Angeles, are asking those big, abstract questions that all teachers grapple with. And they’re trying to find their own answers through their constantly morphing, complex experiment....
lebanon-unicef-kids 1 Singularity University has a mission—use technology to positively impact the lives of a billion people in ten years. That's easy enough to say, but you don't make big changes without big ambition.
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.
If it seems like robots are everywhere today, that's because they are.
A quick glance at the weekly news and feature stories from the past couple of weeks has shown, among other things, a starfish shaped robot that cleans your rugs, curtains and floors; a newly-released X-Men movie featuring the giant assassin antagonists who happen to be robots; and a robot who is hitchhiking across Canada. Less well-known but well-worth knowing is some of the fascinating new research that uses robots and robotics to teach children about technology and a variety of educational concepts.
What's in a game? MaltaToday “The pedagogical scenarios followed are already interwoven within the games we propose, and the interface allows the educator flexibility and control over the game content experienced.
I read your article in The Globe and Mail (Saturday, Jun. 28 2014) with dismay. In the article, you assert that “21st century learning is nothing more than warmed-over romantic progressivism” with absolutely no evidence to support its efficacy. And while I agree that, like most movements for change, there is a fair amount of bandwagoneering, I do disagree fundamentally with your conclusion that “twenty-first century learning zealots” are engaged in some kind of groupthink that bears no questioning and has no merit.
The core reason for my disagreement is that you mention that there are no measurable advantages to twenty-first century learning approaches. The problem with this is that you (like many academic researchers – specifically those who found 'no merit' in teaching kids to their preferred learning styles) are predicating this aspect of your argument on measuring the ability to recall and regurgitate facts. Implicit in this is the belief that education is tantamount to memorization.
Susan Einhorn's insight:
Sean, thank you for writing this excellent response. Definitely worth reading.