Learning to create, manage and promote a professional learning network (PLN) will soon become, if it’s not already, one of the most necessary and sought after skills for a global citizen, and as such, must become a prominent feature of any school curriculum.
Students earn points (grades), gain levels (grades), and in a way, have leaderboards. There are class valedictorians and students are essentially ranked based on their grades when colleges are deciding who to accept. Currently, the typical grading system in schools has students starting off with a 100 average, which slowly (or quickly, depending on the student’s performance) gets lower and lower as the student receives anything less than a 100 on any assignments, tests, etc.
This system is subtractive, i.e. as a student achieves anything less than perfect, they are punished with a decrease in score. A subtractive grading system punishes students for taking risks and stifles creativity. Students tend to be taught a specific way to perform a task, and if students try to problem solve in another way and fail (which is a core part of the learning process), they are punished with a lower grade. Therefore, students are less likely to try thinking outside of the box.
When it comes to marketing strategy, videos are powerful. How powerful? On Facebook, for example, videos are shared 12 times more than non-video posts. And let’s not forget YouTube, the second largest search engine in the world (after Google, of course). The ability of videos to increase user engagement is unsurpassed.
According to YouTube’s statistics page, they get over 800 million unique visitors each month, users view more than 4 billion hours of video each month and upload 72 hours of video every minute. That’s a lot of potential for your video....
If you’re studying math or science, you are probably pretty familiar with Wolfram Alpha as a tool for figuring out complicated equations. That makes it a pretty good tool for cheating, but not necessarily for learning. Today, the Wolfram Alpha team is launching a new service for learners, the Wolfram Problem Generator, that turns the “computational knowledge engine” on its head.
The Problem Generator – which is available to all Wolfram Alpha Pro subscribers now – creates random practice questions for students, and Wolfram Alpha then helps them find the answers step-by-step.
The optimal video length is 6 minutes or shorter -- students watched most of the way through these short videos. In fact, the average engagement time of any video maxes out at 6 minutes, regardless of its length. And engagement times decrease as videos lengthen: For instance, on average students spent around 3 minutes on videos that are longer than 12 minutes, which means that they engaged with less than a quarter of the content. Finally, certificate-earning students engaged more with videos, presumably because they had greater motivation to learn the material.
Teachers are used to hearing about new ideas in education -- changes in instruction, technology and curriculum that are going to fix what's broken.
So what's the takeaway for us, as teachers?
Well, the students have already changed. Learning trends are no longer about preparation, but about mitigation, about reducing the erosive effect of pairing connected students with disconnected learning environments. Coming to terms with that is important for both teachers and other change agents. We're chasing, not leading.
"Underachievement in college students is linked to lack of motivation (Balduf, 2009 and references therein). Two major factors that contribute to poor motivation are inability of students to see the relevance of classroom activities to their chosen careers (Glynn et al., 2009) and lack of a sense of autonomy (Reeve and Jang, 2006; Reeve, 2009).
"In this article, I provide examples of how I addressed these two issues with activities that promote experiential learning and encourage students to be more active participants in their learning. These techniques were used mainly in science courses but could be adapted to other disciplines."
Wolfram gave me a glimpse under the hood in an hour-long conversation. And I have to say, what I saw was amazing.
Making the computer do the work
“In general, what we’re trying to do is so that as long as a person can describe what they want, our goal is to get that done. A human defines what the goal should be, and a computer does its best to figure out what that means, and does its best to do it,” Wolfram says.
Eighty-four percent of educators said the flipped model was a “better learning experience” for their students.
Ralph Welsh, a public health sciences professor at Clemson University, said that while there were more high marks on end-of-semester student evaluations, there was also a jump in low marks. This, Welsh said, showed that the flipped model had at least some polarizing potential.
“Most students want the recorded lecture, but if the tradeoff is not seeing the professor face to face, it might not be worth it for all of them,” said Welsh, who has experimented with the flipped classroom. “They liked it, but they still wanted to see the professor face to face in the classroom.”
Real-time presentations with dynamic slides. Create a presentation once, and it updates everywhere instantaneously. With Projeqt, students can access, share, create and review their work from anywhere, at anytime. Give comments and feedback and track student progress; your Projeqts live in real-time and can be shared for everyone to see. Break away from the exhausting effects of the one-dimensional PowerPoint presentation and create a social and interactive learning experience.
Classrooms should be spaces that students don’t want to leave. Some communities are still hesitant about these futuristic looking learning spaces and have resorted to older, traditional physical spaces. Hopefully, they will begin to embrace changes to better prepare students and move them in the 21st century global economy.
This paper reports the ongoing research project headed by the University of Porto and the research group Centre of Spatial Representation and Communication, from de R&D Centre of its Faculty of Architecture (FAUP), which aims the design and study of hybrid spatial environments:
E-Learning Centres. Our main objective is to present and discuss the contribution of the E-Learning Café project of the U.Porto and of the successful implementation of its program, focused on learning physical spaces able to combine social interaction with diverse pedagogical and cultural activities. All these have proven to be an important relational dimension for all the people working or studying at U. Porto and an asset to foster the openness of the University to the society.
Flipping the Classroom Facilitates Active Learning Methods – Experiential, Project Based, Problem Based, Inquiry Based, Constructivism, Etc.No study can deny this – freeing up class time enables teachers and students to pursue Active Learning.
You’ve dedicated your career to helping students learn. But with the number of new technologies rapidly transforming students’ learning experiences, how do you modify your teaching methods to accommodate changing learning styles?Click here to edit the title
Kim Flintoff's insight:
Some promotional material from ECHO 360 and its new LectureTools features.
“The world has over a trillion hours a year of free time to commit to shared projects,” says professor Clay Shirky. But what motivates dozens, thousands, even millions of people to come together on the Internet and commit their time to a project for free? What is the key to making a successful collaboration work? In this hour, TED speakers unravel ideas behind the mystery of mass collaborations that build a better world.