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Udacity's Sebastian Thrun, Godfather Of Free Online Education, Changes Course

Udacity's Sebastian Thrun, Godfather Of Free Online Education, Changes Course | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

The dream that new technologies might radically disrupt education is much older than Udacity, or even the Internet itself. As rail networks made the speedy delivery of letters a reality for many Americans in the late 19th century, correspondence classes started popping up in the United States. The widespread proliferation of home radio sets in the 1920s led such institutions as New York University and Harvard to launch so-called Colleges of the Air, which, according to an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, prompted a 1924 journalist to contemplate a world in which the new medium would be "the chief arm of education" and suggest that "the child of the future [would be] stuffed with facts as he sits at home or even as he walks about the streets with his portable receiving-set in his pocket." Udacity wasn't even the first attempt to deliver an elite education via the Internet: In 2001, MIT launched the OpenCourseWare project to digitize notes, homework assignments, and, in some cases, full video lectures for all of the university's courses.

 

And yet, all of these efforts have been hampered by the same basic problem: Very few people seem to finish courses when they're not sitting in a lecture hall. Udacity employs state-of-the-art technology and sophisticated pedagogical strategies to keep their users engaged, peppering students with quizzes and gamifying their education with progress meters and badges. But a recent study found that only 7% of students in this type of class actually make it to the end. (This is even worse than for-profit colleges such as the University of Phoenix, which graduates 17% of its full-time online students, according to the Department of Education.) Although Thrun initially positioned his company as "free to the world and accessible everywhere," and aimed at "people in Africa, India, and China," the reality is that the vast majority of people who sign up for this type of class already have bachelor's degrees, according to Andrew Kelly, the director of the Center on Higher Education Reform at the American Enterprise Institute. "The sort of simplistic suggestion that MOOCs are going to disrupt the entire education system is very premature," he says.

 

 

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Ken Robinson: How to escape education's death valley | Video on TED.com

Sir Ken Robinson outlines 3 principles crucial for the human mind to flourish -- and how current education culture works against them. In a funny, stirring talk he tells us how to get out of the educational "death valley" we now face, and how to nurture our youngest generations with a climate of possibility.

 

Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we're educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence

 

 

Miloš Bajčetić's insight:

“The real role of leadership in education … is not and should not be command and control. The real role of leadership is climate control, creating a climate of possibility.”

 

Great Talk!

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Tatiana Kuzmina's curator insight, September 7, 2013 2:58 PM

Worth watching..

Laurent Picard's curator insight, January 22, 2014 12:22 PM

Une vidéo trés intéressante (et amusante) où Ken Robinson parle du système éducatif américain. Mais ses propos s'appliquent aussi au notre...

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Becoming a Blended Learning Designer - Free MOOC from EDUCAUSE and Univ. of Central Florida

Becoming a Blended Learning Designer - Free MOOC from EDUCAUSE and Univ. of Central Florida | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

Course starts Feb. 23 and runs for 5 weeks. Aimed at K-16 educators.

 

" EDUCAUSE and the University of Central Florida (UCF) are bringing back the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Instructure's Canvas Network with "BlendKit2015: Becoming a Blended Learning Designer," their second installment on the merits and methods of blended learning. The BlendKit2014 course was EDUCAUSE's first-ever MOOC, and it elicited a tremendous response from the higher education and K-12 communities."


Via Jim Lerman
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10 Charts Comparing Popular Ed Tech Tools

10 Charts Comparing Popular Ed Tech Tools | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

"Over the last six weeks of 2014 I published a series of charts comparing popular ed tech tools. Judging by the number of visits to those posts, the charts were popular. Someone asked me this week if I had put them all together in one place. I hadn't until now. In this Google Drive folder you will find ten charts comparing popular ed tech tools."

 

Richard Byrne has created 1o charts that provide options for popular ed tech tools. Having published these on his blog within a series of posts, he has not gathered them  into one Google Drive folder. You will find charts that cover the following tools (quoted from his post):

* Alternatives to Google Image Search

* Backchannel and informal assessment tools

* Building classroom websites

* Building classroom blogs

* Creating multimedia textbooks

* Creating multimedia quizzes

* Audio editing tools

* Multimedia timeline tools

* Mind-mapping tools

* Mobile video creation apps


Via Beth Dichter
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Beth Dichter's curator insight, January 27, 9:27 PM

Richard Byrne has created 1o charts that provide options for popular ed tech tools. Having published these on his blog within a series of posts, he has not gathered them  into one Google Drive folder. You will find charts that cover the following tools (quoted from his post):

  • Alternatives to Google Image Search
  • Backchannel and informal assessment tools
  • Building classroom websites
  • Building classroom blogs
  • Creating multimedia textbooks
  • Creating multimedia quizzes
  • Audio editing tools
  • Multimedia timeline tools
  • Mind-mapping tools
  • Mobile video creation apps

This is a great resource. Quickly find four or more options to explore. If you want additional information on the tools do a quick search on his blog to find more detailed reviews.

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Being Neglected Harms Brain Development in Kids

Being Neglected Harms Brain Development in Kids | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
Kids put in institutions have different brain compositions than kids in foster care

'-------------------------

Childhood neglect leads to harmful changes in the brain, a new study says.

 

In new research published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, researchers looked at brain differences between Romanian children who were either abandoned and institutionalized, sent to institutions and then to foster families, or were raised in biological families.

 

Kids who were not raised in a family setting had noticeable alterations in the white matter of their brains later on, while the white matter in the brains of the children who were placed with a foster family looked pretty similar to the brains of the children who were raised with their biological families.

 

Researchers were interested in white matter, which is largely made up of nerves, because it plays an important role in connecting brain regions and maintaining networks critical for cognition. Prior research has shown that children raised in institutional environments have limited access to language and cognitive stimulation, which could hinder development.

 

These findings suggest that even if a child were at a risk for poor development due to their living circumstances at an early age, placing them in a new caregiving environment with more support could prevent white matter changes or perhaps even heal them.

 

More studies are needed, but the researchers believe their findings could help public health efforts aimed at children experiencing severe neglect, as well as efforts to build childhood resiliency


Via Maggie Rouman
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How To Find Openly Licensed Educational Resources You Can Use [Infographic]

How To Find Openly Licensed Educational Resources You Can Use [Infographic] | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
Most of us turn to the internet when we are looking for resources to use for a presentation, report or article. The internet holds the key to so many robust resources.

Yet how many of these resources can you legally use for free? How many of them can you adapt?

That’s where Open Educational Resources (OER) can help. Here’s an infographic from the Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (at the University of Texas at Austin) that can help.

Via Dennis T OConnor, juandoming, Rui Guimarães Lima
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Becky Roehrs's curator insight, January 28, 9:12 AM

Nice step-by-step instructions on how to search and use Creative Commons content.

JUAN NUÑEZ MESINA's curator insight, January 28, 10:14 AM

How To Find Openly Licensed Educational Resources You Can Use [Infographic] | @scoopit via @wiredinstructor http://sco.lt/...

Lúcio Botelho's curator insight, January 28, 6:06 PM

Excelentes dicas para procurar recursos educacionais de "Licença Livre" - Open Educational Resources (OER)

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Degrees in Education and Teaching Certificates Infographic - e-Learning Infographics

Degrees in Education and Teaching Certificates Infographic - e-Learning Infographics | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
An education degree is designed to prepare the student for a career as an educator. The Degrees in Education and Teaching Certificates Infographic presents the latest data on education degrees and teaching certificates in the United States and details the current job outlook, the outlook over the next ten years, top salaries, and top degree types for education and teaching positions.
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From Visible Thinking Routines to 5 Modern Learning Routines

From Visible Thinking Routines to 5 Modern Learning Routines | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
I have been a fan of Visible Thinking Routines which were developed by Project Zero from Havard, for a while now. I have used these routines with students, as blogging routines and in professional development workshops.

Read more at: http://langwitches.org/blog/2015/01/11/from-visible-thinking-routines-to-5-modern-learning-routines/ | Langwitches Blog

I have been a fan of Visible Thinking Routines which were developed by Project Zero from Havard, for a while now. I have used these routines with students, as blogging routines and in professional development workshops.

 

Silvia Tolisano shares updated visual thinking routines for:

1. Read > Write> Comment
2. Learn > Reflect > Share
3. Contribute > Feedback > Grow
4. Watch > Do > Teach
5. Document > Present > Disseminate
Along with a visual for each of these routines she also explains each step. She also shares three additional routines that she uses with students, as blogging routines and in professional development.

 


Via Beth Dichter
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Beth Dichter's curator insight, January 25, 7:14 PM

Silvia Tolisano shares updated visual thinking routines for:

1. Read > Write> Comment
2. Learn > Reflect > Share
3. Contribute > Feedback > Grow
4. Watch > Do > Teach
5. Document > Present > Disseminate
Along with a visual for each of these routines she also explains each step. She also shares three additional routines that she uses with students, as blogging routines and in professional development.

Elizabeth Karvonen's curator insight, January 27, 12:40 AM

I  have also found that the Visible Thinking techniques really work in class. The  ' I See - I think - I wonder' technique is particularly successful in an oral proficiency class I give. Thanks to the British Council for first introducing me to this! 

Vanessa Camilleri's curator insight, January 27, 6:09 AM

A really wonderful representation of what being digital in this era is all about - learning in the digital era, is more of a contribution rather than a passive absorption of online information. 

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Free E-Book: 20 Ways to Cut Your Grading Time in Half ~ Cult of Pedagogy

Free E-Book: 20 Ways to Cut Your Grading Time in Half ~ Cult of Pedagogy | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

by Jennifer Gonzalez

 

"I have collected 20 really smart strategies to help you grade less, work more efficiently, and still give students the feedback they need. It’s my very first e-booklet, 20 Ways to Cut Your Grading Time in Half, and it’s FREE to everyone who subscribes to my e-mail list, which I use to send out weekly teaching tips, tools, inspiration, and the occasional freebie!"


Via Jim Lerman
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The 5 Cs in Education... What if...

Want to Work with Me? Contact me via http://globallyconnectedlearning.com We live in a time and space when it is is truer than ever that “change is the onl…

Via Anne Whaits
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Anne Whaits's curator insight, January 25, 9:14 AM

Another stunning presentation from Silvia (@langwitches) in which she talks to 5 Cs in Education - Critical Thinking, Communication, Connecting, Creating and Collaborating. How well are you modelling these skills for your students? Does the design of your learning activities develop and promote these skills for your students?

 

Do also look at Dr Doug Belshaw's 8 essential elements of digital literacies (that looks at 8 Cs)

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4 Elements of an ID Strategy – An Infographic

4 Elements of an ID Strategy – An Infographic | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
Instructional Design (ID) strategy is the high level approach, followed to teach a particular subject. To be more specific, it constitutes a set of events which are designed to support the internal processes of learning with the given resources and parameters. It is important to have an ID strategy for your eLearning course to achieve your learning goals.

You need to have clear learning objectives and set goals to formulate an effective design strategy. They are four key elements of an ID strategy. Let’s see more about them.

Given these components, how do you come up with an instructional strategy? The answer lies in understanding the types of strategies.
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3 Basic Elements for E-learning Screen Design – An Infographic

3 Basic Elements for E-learning Screen Design – An Infographic | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
It is common knowledge that effective visual design goes a long way in enhancing the efficacy of an online course. Besides good visuals, you also need to use the appropriate color theme and make the best use of screen elements to engage the learner efficiently.

So, how do you use different elements of a screen while designing an eLearning course? How do you use the Graphical User Interface (GUI), audio script and the on-screen content area to motivate your learners to complete the course? Take a look at the info-graphic below to know how to come up with a winning visual design strategy.
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Joining the dots

Joining the dots | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
What happens when you remove restraints from learning, and allow students to discover for themselves? What happens when students are given problems to solve rather than solutions to apply? What happens when students are given blank canvases, digital cameras, an open space? Often, the result is some form of creativity. Time and again I have heard stories from teachers of extraordinary things students have created because they have been given freedom to do so. Give children a camera, and they will show creativity. They will learn to 'see at a higher level'. Ask them to tell their own stories, and they will use their imagination. Give them the chance, and children will astound you with their inventiveness.
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Struggling with Time — An Introduction - Hybrid Pedagogy

Struggling with Time — An Introduction - Hybrid Pedagogy | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
I am a product of the Industrial educational complex. But what does that mean for me, personally? Physically, it means straight rows of desks and long periods of sitting still. Psychologically, it means remaining quiet, responding only when expected and as expected, and predicting what my teachers want to get that ‘A’ grade. I was disciplined well and as a result I am very good at working the system (except for sitting still which I’ve never been able to accomplish skillfully). I have the ability to decide how to accomplish an assignment before the teacher is even done giving it; I work so well to deadlines that when there isn’t one, I get a little stressed out (and have recently met several others who operate similarly); When asked to make decisions on my own, I have a hard time if I don’t know exactly what is expected of me. I often struggle to see where others struggle within a system where I am trained to excellence. And yet, I have never been very equipped to operate in any other system.

But we mustn’t be blind to education’s position in the larger capitalist landscape. After all, this is my personal position in the system; my struggles in academia are contextualized by a systemic illusion that my world is somehow not real. Sustaining this illusion has consequences. This column seeks to name them, critique them, and encourage others to do the same. The elusive world of the academy is densely populated and we all have different experiences that can add to this conversation. Our struggle is real. Each of us struggles in a unique way. And they need to be heard collectively.

The consequences of my situation are intricately bound up in the discourse of power. Michel Foucault, a theorist known for writing about power and subjectivity, makes the following claim about the ‘real world’: “Truth is a thing of this world: it is produced only by virtue of multiple forms of constraint. And it induces regular effects of power. Each society has its regime of truth, its ‘general politics’ of truth: that is, the types of discourse which it accepts and makes function as true” (“Truth and Power” 131). In other words, our reality is what our culture — our society — decides is true. And when that society says a teacher is valued less than an entertainer (through income disparity, fame, etc.), imagine the impact that has on the education system. The results are devastating. If society decides that students should have a stake in their own learning, the reverse is also true. Imagine, then, what would happen to all those rows of desks.
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In Connectivism, No One Can Hear You Scream: a Guide to Understanding the MOOC Novice - Hybrid Pedagogy

In Connectivism, No One Can Hear You Scream: a Guide to Understanding the MOOC Novice - Hybrid Pedagogy | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
This article is an attempt to address a possible gap in Connectivist thinking, and its expression in cMOOCs. It’s to do with the experience of technology novices, and unconfident learners...

Via Dr. Susan Bainbridge
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Using Design Thinking in Higher Education (EDUCAUSE Review) | EDUCAUSE.edu

Using Design Thinking in Higher Education (EDUCAUSE Review) | EDUCAUSE.edu | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

Design thinking focuses on users and their needs, encourages brainstorming and prototyping, and rewards out-of-the-box thinking that takes "wild ideas" and transforms them into real-world solutions.


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Powerful Tools for Teaching and Learning: Web 2.0 Tools ~ University of Houston

Powerful Tools for Teaching and Learning: Web 2.0 Tools ~ University of Houston | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

FREE ONLINE COURSE FOR K-16 EDUCATORS

 

Powerful Tools for Teaching and Learning: Web 2.0 Tools is a free online class taught by Dr. Sara G. McNeil & Bernard R Robin of University of Houston System

 

"Are you overwhelmed by the tidal wave of new technology tools available for teachers and learners? Powerful Tools for Teaching and Learning: Web 2.0 Tools can help channel that flood into a manageable power source for student engagement and motivation in your classroom! This course is designed to provide teachers with strategies to effectively integrate Web 2.0 technologies into their instruction. 

 

"You will learn how to use these tools effectively in your classroom through unique problem-based scenarios that will help you understand how to choose the best Web 2.0 tool. Our approach focuses on the task rather than the tool in an effort to improve communication, collaboration, presentation, creativity, problem solving, and critical thinking in your learners. You will take part in a robust exchange of practical ideas while participating in online discussion forums and sharing your experiences and learning from fellow teachers about best practices with Web 2.0 tools in your content area."


Via Jim Lerman
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This Is How to Create Flipped Videos by Adding Interactive Elements and Annotations to YouTube Clips

This Is How to Create Flipped Videos by Adding Interactive Elements and Annotations to YouTube Clips | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

Adding interactivity is a great way to boost engagement and rigor with the videos you create for students


Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa) , Juergen Wagner
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Kelly's curator insight, January 28, 8:14 PM

Practical and easy ways to use YouTube's standard editing features to insert spotlights, text bubbles, clickable links, etc. at specific time-markers in an uploaded video thereby expanding available options and scope of learning.

 

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ADHD: Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis?

ADHD: Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis? | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

ADHD: Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis? According to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in every 10 children has been diagnosed with ADHD. Two-thirds of these children are taking prescription drugs for this condition. 5.9 million children from the age of 3 through 17 have been diagnosed since the CDC began keeping the records.

I don’t know about you, but I think these numbers are staggering and worrisome. I also think they’re wildly exaggerated. Exaggerated because the diagnosis isn’t always accurate. And if the diagnosis isn’t accurate, then a lot of children are taking medication for something they don’t have. Maybe your child? There is no blood test for ADHD. No x-ray for ADHD. No culture or biopsy for ADHD. The diagnosis is essentially anecdotal, based on questions from the DSM5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition). The answers to the questions about a child’s behavior usually come from parents.

Unfortunately, the answers to the questions can also describe something that isn’t ADHD, including serious illness. For example, a child who is diagnosed as having ADHD without hyperactivity could have diabetes instead.

In addition to how loosely we all use the terms “ADD” and “ADHD,” every expert (and lots of non-experts) has a pet theory of what “causes” ADHD. A few of these theories blamed for “causing” ADHD include:

* Poor diet and too much junk food
* Poor parenting skills
* Poor teachers
* Bad schools
* Vaccinations
* School is boring
* School is too hard
* Learning disabilities

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Randal Koene – The Neuroscientist Who Wants To Upload The Mind To A Computer

Randal Koene – The Neuroscientist Who Wants To Upload The Mind To A Computer | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

RANDAL KOENE IS RECRUITING TOP NEUROSCIENTISTS TO HELP HIM MAKE HUMANS LIVE FOREVER

 

While the first upload of a human brain remains decades—if not centuries— away, proponents believe humanity may be far closer to reaching another key technological milestone: a preservation technique that could store a brain indefinitely without damaging its neurons or the trillions of microscopic connections between them.

 

“If we could put the brain into a state in which it does not decay, then the second step could be done 100 years later,” says Kenneth Hayworth, a senior scientist at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, “and everyone could experience mind uploading first hand.”

 

To promote this goal, Hayworth cofounded The Brain Preservation Foundation, a nonprofit that is offering a $106,000 technology prize to the first scientist or team to rise to that challenge. He says the first stage of the competition—the preservation of an entire mouse brain—may be won within the year, an achievement that would excite many mainstream neuroscientists, who want to map the brain’s circuitry to better understand memory and behavior.

 

Current preservation methods (aside from cryonics, which has never successfully been demonstrated to preserve the brain’s wiring) involve pumping chemicals through the body that can fix proteins and lipids in place. The brain is then removed and immersed in a series of solutions that dehydrate naturally occurring water and replace it with a plastic resin. The resin prevents chemical reactions that cause decay, preserving the brain’s intricate architecture. But in order for all of the chemicals to fully permeate brain tissue, scientists must first slice the organ into sections 100 to 500 microns thick—a process that destroys information stored in connections made along those surfaces.

 

Shawn Mikula, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, Germany, developed a protocol that appears to safeguard all of the brain’s synapses. It preserves the extracellular space in the brain so that the chemicals can diffuse through myriad layers of the whole organ. Then, if the brain is sliced and analyzed at a future date, all of its circuitry will remain visible. Hayworth is currently using electron microscopy to examine the mouse brains sent to him as proof of principle. (In order to win the technology prize, the protocol must also be published in a peer-reviewed journal.) So far, Hayworth says, Mikula’s technique seems effective.

 

If immortality is defined as brain preservation via plastination, Mikula says, then it’s a reasonable extrapolation of his research results. But as for actually uploading it to a computer: “Who can predict these things? Science is modern-day magic,” Mikula says, “and in the absence of a strong argument against the future feasibility of mind uploading, anything is possible.”


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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6 Design Principles Of Connected Learning

6 Design Principles Of Connected Learning | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

by Terry Heick

 

"Along with the others, Connected Learning Alliance is on our short list of thought leaders that help push us to think about how education is changing in a modern world, which is why we’ve shared some of their models in the past, including their iconicConnected Learning model. Recently, we also discovered that they’ve shared the design principles of that model, along with a description of each.

These ideas appear below–and of course, check out CLA and DML for further reading."


Via Chris Carter, Jim Lerman
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Chris Carter's comment, January 25, 8:24 PM
Thank you, Luciana, for passing this article on to your PLN. this piece hits so many of my philosophy cylinders!
Luciana Viter's comment, January 26, 5:09 AM
My pleasure, Chris, and thanks for the special mention! :)
Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, January 27, 9:25 PM

We have to be careful that we don't think design and teaching are the same thing. I found that some of my best classes were knowing when to go with the flow. Certainly, there was some advanced planning and the six principles likely fit into that, but improvising was part of what unfolded.

 

@ivon_ehd1

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Communications & Society: Connections, Flows, and Freire in #moocmooc

I'm taking a break from prepositions—at least from writing about them—to talk about MOOCMOOC and critical pedagogy. MOOCMOOC assigned reading for this week included Chapter 2 of Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1993). It's been many years since I read Freire, and it's pleasant to see how my latest readings are re-informing my understanding of him now. The most surprising idea to emerge from this week's reading was his reliance on movement and flow in his critique of the traditional banking model of education. He doesn't actually discuss flow as such—the term doesn't appear in the translation of Chapter 2 that I read—but I see the concept informing much of what he does discuss.

For instance, early in Chapter 2 he talks about inquiry as a practice necessary for humanity: "For apart from inquiry, apart from the praxis, individuals cannot be truly human. Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other" (1). His words imply movement: knowledge emerges … restless, impatient continuing … human beings pursue. Inquiry is not passive, cannot be passive, but is active, moving, flowing. It reminds me of Deleuze and Guattari's flows of desire that drive all human activity—and I would say desire drives all natural activity.
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Word Cloud Generator

Word Cloud Generator | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

Enter a URL below, or paste some text.


Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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Carmen Ramos's curator insight, January 26, 10:10 AM

Tolles Tool zum Erstellen von Word Clouds!

rwestby's curator insight, January 26, 1:47 PM

Easy to use...just type/paste url. 

juanjovilar's curator insight, January 28, 1:21 AM

Para generar nubes de palabras.

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Authentic Assessment of Student Learning

Authentic Assessment of Student Learning | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

When you hear the word "assessment," what comes to mind? Multiple choice tests? Essays? What about group work, presentations, in-class polls and practice activities? Assessment is key in determining if your students learned what they were supposed to in your course. Fortunately, there are many ways to assess student learning that go beyond multiple choice tests.

 

 


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Teaching and learning through dialogue

Teaching and learning through dialogue | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
A few months ago, I wrote a blog post entitled 'Learning as dialogue' which was essentially about how students can learn through conversation and by discussing their ideas with each other. This theme is echoed in my new book Learning with 'e's which was published this week. An extract from the book relates one of my own student experiences:

"The teachers who have inspired me most are those who have been accessible rather than remote, personable instead of stand-offish, and knowledgeable without being arrogant. Most importantly, they conversed with me rather than lectured. One of the lecturers in the first year of my undergraduate degree inspired me to learn more and to push myself to my limits to become more knowledgeable in my subject area.

"Dr Ken Gale did this using nothing more than a whiteboard and pen, along with constant discussion and questioning. Ken has since become one of my valued colleagues. This kind of simple Socratic discourse was deceptively powerful, did wonders for my self esteem and piqued my appetite for more knowledge. There was no need for him to use any other visual aids or learning resources. Ken simply pointed us in the direction of relevant reading, and strategically slipped the names of key theorists into his discussions with us.

"For me this was a skillful, but relaxed and unobtrusive kind of pedagogy, involving every student in the room, debating, deliberating and generally exploring together the nuances and intricacies of our subject. There was no lecturing, and there were no absolutes. Just the inspiration of the discussion and the joy of knowing that you were going to leave the classroom with more questions than when you came in.

"It seems clear to me that to encourage open and frank dialogue in a formal learning environment, the power differential between teacher and student must be removed. When teachers wish to promote democratic learning, students are given license to challenge and encouraged to discuss, debate, argue. Passive consumption of delivered knowledge is then replaced by full engagement with the subject matter through conversation. The conversation around the topic becomes the new curriculum, enabling each student to act as an open minded, independent thinker who can defend his or her position without resorting to dogmatic assertions based on partial understanding or incomplete knowledge.

"The best teachers encourage all students to participate and value all contributions, incorporating as many as possible into an extended conversation around the topic."
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Making Connections Using Text

Making Connections Using Text | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

by Eveyn Wassell

 

"I found this site (http://bit.ly/101tagxedo)from Hardy Leung, creator of Tagxedo, about 101 ways to use Tagxedo, and thought about the myriad of ways it can be used in the classroom.  The images created by Tagxedo and their derivatives are free for personal, non-commercial use, subject to the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike License.  And what teacher doesn't love the word free???

"One of my favorite ways to use Tagxedo is to compare two groups of text to look for connections.  Yes, they are pretty to look at but the real use of word clouds comes from analysis of the cloud itself.  Imagine a lesson where students are asked to compare and contrast two speeches from historical figures.  Students are given the two speeches and asked to give the comparison on their own.  What might happen if they were asked to list two items the speeches have in common?  Many students may have a problem completing this assignment depending on the complexity or length of the text."


Via Jim Lerman
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The importance of Social Presence in Online Courses

The importance of Social Presence in Online Courses | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

To me, Social Presence depends a lot on how participants choose to take part in an online course. Of course, it also depends on the opportunities of interaction provided during the course.


Via Nik Peachey
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nicolaperry's curator insight, January 26, 4:13 AM

This is so important for distance learning and too many people seem reluctant to do it.

Mª Jesús García S.M.'s curator insight, January 27, 2:01 AM

La importancia de la presencia social en los cursos en línea

david's curator insight, January 28, 3:44 PM

Is it about design or the type of learner?