The Infinite Hotel, a thought experiment created by German mathematician David Hilbert, is a hotel with an infinite number of rooms. Easy to comprehend, right? Wrong. What if it’s completely booked but one person wants to check in?
A Look at MOOCs and Online Learning in Africa EdSurge Kamentz takes a look at entrepreneurial efforts in Kenya, Nigeria and Kenya that leverage MOOCs and other online resources to offer educational paths that lead to jobs.
Education 3.0 is what we can achieve when we begin to transform education. It’s the underpinning for things that we know, frameworks that we are creating, and models that we have studied for years.
Education 3.0 is what I believe we can aspire to so as to educate our students, at all levels, in ways that actually promote 21st-century skills and prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow (aka, the jobs that don’t exist today but which will be required in the future). It’s the coming together of creativity, outcomes, critical thinking, big data, personalization, and much more. For me, it’s really the confluence of three crucial education elements: Neuroscience, Cognitive (Learning) Psychology, and Education Technology. And so, in this first blog post, I will begin to discuss the infrastructure for Education 3.0: Education Technology.
From Pencils to Personalized Learning: What is Ed Tech?
Ed Tech has taken on a whole new meaning in the last two decades. While some might argue that Ed Tech began with the humble pencil, I’m really talking about technology that is web-based, digital, and/or mobile. I’m talking about websites, apps, LMS’, hardware, software, and anything else with an ‘e’ in front of it. I’m talking big data, little data, personalization, and machine learning. I’m talking about dashboards, on-demand reports, and visualizations of information. Education technology has changed what we can deliver, how we can assess, and how we might connect learners to each other, to instructors, and to content. And that connection changes … well, everything.
We Can’t Afford to Slow Down: Focus on Tomorrow
Recently, I attended a retreat with executives from about 25 colleges and universities. Presidents, provosts, and deans discussed the landscape of Higher Education, from risks to opportunities, and Ed Tech was in the middle of every single conversation. In fact, the last day of meetings included a talk from Jack Uldrich – a futurist who has ties to national security, education, and economics. He pointed out, as explained in one of his 11 books, “Jump the Curve”, that the education sector is focusing far too much about what existed yesterday, some about what exists today, and very little about what will exist tomorrow. He challenged the “Choice Architects” of today to stop creating employees for the jobs of yesterday and start focusing on careers of tomorrow.
When the available quantity of information in almost every field and with regard to almost every concept doubles every 4-5 years, it is impossible not to have significant change arise. Two of his examples were extremely poignant to illustrate this point. First, just a few years ago, there were a couple of billionaires (one American, one Chinese) who wanted to map their genomes. (It’s a good thing they were billionaires, as the procedure cost about $150 million to accomplish.) And so, at the time, many were stating that mapping individual genomes was just out of reach. It was far too expensive. In other words, they forgot what happens to information, processing speed, and cost.
Fast forward to today and you find a procedure that costs about $10,000. In just a few years, it will cost about $1,000 to map an individual genome. And according to Uldrich, by 2020, it will cost more to flush your toilet than to map your genome. His question was then about preparation. Are we preparing scientists to work with this kind of technology, this kind of sequencing, this kind of thinking? Or are we still teaching biology and chemistry the way we have for decades, using the same methods, theories, and concepts that helped us in 1950? Do the science classrooms of today look more like labs fifty years ago, or do they look like the labs of the future? Do our science books look like windows into tomorrow, or like rusty portals to the past?
The second poignant example he gave was very brief, but it’s near and dear to me right now. In the last year, I worked on the release of a short-film entitled, “School of Thought.” This film is broken into 3, seven-minute vignettes and is about the possibilities for education if and when Education 3.0 comes together. One of the stories shows a middle school student (Victoria) in the midst of global, gamified learning experience – connected through social media technology. But the part of that shot that has gotten the most attention is the auto-translated content between students from America, Brazil, and South Korea. They have a conversation as if they were in the same room, all speaking the same language. Keep in mind that Pearson is the largest provider of English as a Second Language teaching in the world! But we are fully aware of work by men like Kurzweil and others as they try to create technology that translates perfectly with almost no latency. That is exactly what Uldrich showed us. He showed a clip of a Microsoft executive who was speaking to a group in China. He spoke a very lengthy, technical sentence which was translated in less than 3 seconds at 93% accuracy. The audience erupted with applause!
But it begged some questions of these academic executives. For instance, how long before 93% accuracy is 100%? (Most believe it will take less than 3 years…) How long before interpreters are no longer needed for a single language because our tools translate into ANY language? How long before organizations stop hiring because of language fluency? How long will we require foreign language courses at Universities? How will this impact entire departments dedicated to foreign language? Please know that I can almost hear the groans of my Spanish and French teachers. I get it. How can your life’s work become solely a niche hobby in the matter of a decade? And I know a great case can also be made for the neuroscience of language learning. More to come on this in the next Education 3.0 post, but we know that second languages are both processed and housed in other parts of the brain, thereby “stretching” the neuroplasticity and encouraging new pathway creation. Of course, we also know that there are other ways to do that same thing…
As Finland looks to boost its profile as an international startup hub, the country is turning its attention toward tech-oriented youth training programs.
I truly believe that porgramming of any kind, is the fourth literacy joining reading, writing and mathematics. Given the nature of our technology integrated society, we must all have some level of literacy in this skill.
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Harding Google Hangouts Mason City Globe Gazette They were totally engrossed and are eager for the next time they reconnect with their virtual classmates, Zweibohmer said. Astronomy is popular with her young learners right now.
How Can Developers Make Meaningful Learning Games for Classrooms?
I challenge all game developers to step up and really provide compelling educational opportunities. It's difficult to maintain interest in the screen generation, but who better to do it than those who provide them hours of immersive experiences.
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Center For Online Learning Topics Meet the Team Resources Videos Teaching in a Digital Age Rapid Feedback Collaboration Get Involved Videos: School of Thought Expectations for students and educators have never been higher.