This week, the GE Foundation released a solutions-driven white paper, titled "The Skills Gap and the New Economy: Implications for Low-Income Students," that outlines strategic steps needed to help low-income students succeed in college and career.
Through what I call “self-organized learning environments.” This is when a semi-chaotic group of learners with no supervision are asked a big question, then go find the answer. Kids have a natural curiosity—they always want to know ‘why?’ So if you can learn science in the process of answering big questions, they remember that information.
In this article, I highlight the dynamic diversity of unconventional, experiential learning providers and related exemplars, who promote fairly personalized instruction, who do not merely instruct online, and who are not degree-granting programs or institutions. These exemplars — the majority related to entrepreneurship — are by no means comprehensive. I caught up with these folks recently.
During one of our first visits to an iPad school, students told us that their favorite use of the tablet was for note taking. They had an app that enabled them to leave their paper notebooks at home and organize their notes in one place. We're not opposed to gains in productivity, but if all tablet computers do is replace notebooks with notebook apps, we're unlikely to look back on the United States' investment in tablets with much enthusiasm.
Getting computing devices into schools is relatively easy; changing classroom practice with technology is really, really hard. Over the past century, radio, television, video cassette recorders, desktop computers, laptop computers, handheld devices, tablets, and cell phones have all been heralded as potentially transformative classroom tools (Cuban, 1986, 2003). With every generation of computing technology, a small group of educators has been able to use new tools in transformative ways, but on the whole, classroom practices have proven stubbornly resistant to change. Consider this thought experiment: If you could take all the money that schools invested in computer labs in the 1980s and 1990s, would you spend that money again on those labs?
Edgar Dale (1900-1985) was an American educator who is best known for developing “Dale’s Cone of Experience” (the cone above) and for his work on how to incorporate audio-visual materials into the classroom learning experience. The image above was photocopied directly from his book, Audio-visual methods in teaching (from the 1969 edition).
You’ll note that Dale included no numbers in his cone. He also warned his readers not to take the cone too literally.
Unfortunately, someone somewhere decided to add the misleading numbers.
The learning industry also has responsibilities.
Educational institutions must ensure that validated information is more likely to be conveyed to their students, within the bounds of academic freedom…of course.Educational institutions must teach their students how to be good consumers of “research,” “data,” and information (more generally).Trade organizations must provide better introductory education for their members; more myth-busting articles, blog posts, videos, etc.; and push a stronger evidence-based-practice agenda.Researchers have to partner with research translators more often to get research-based information to real-world practitioners.
Kim Flintoff's insight:
As evidence-based practitioners, all teachers are now charged with considering the implications for teaching and learning. Many of us have assumed the validity of the memes that have been circulating.
As teachers we often claim to be informed but I suspect most of us are more trusting than critical when we are offered information in professional development settings. And few of us conduct our own studies.
The flipped classroom approach has been used for years in some disciplines, notably within the humanities. Barbara Walvoord and Virginia Johnson Anderson promoted the use of this approach in their book Effective Grading (1998). They propose a model in which students gain first-exposure learning prior to class and focus on the processing part of learning (synthesizing, analyzing, problem-solving, etc.) in class.
The skilled learners of the world don’t always excel in their studies. And I don’t mean Gates and Einstein. I’m talking about the huge number of people who are passionate about knowledge, who have a real knack for remembering facts, who are self-taught musicians and casual scholars. People who ignore homework because it’s boring to them, fail geometry because their teacher makes it boring to them, don’t listen to lectures because they’d rather absorb the information themselves. These people aren’t good students; they’re natural learners. And we’re doing them–and the world– a disservice by treating them like second class citizens.
The challenge is offering opportunities for meaningful engagement of skilled learners. Not everyone comfortably jumps through other people's hoops. Higher Education is charged with ways of enabling skilled learners to set up their own hoops.
"Last September I introduced the recently published Student Discovery Sets from the Library of Congress. These ebooks are collections of primary source sets designed to provide interactive, inquiry learning while introducing students to primary sources on common curricular topics."
Gone are the days when kids would get in trouble for passing notes in class. Today’s youngsters are much more sophisticated, technologically speaking, than those who grew up in the days of flip phones and CD players — let alone those whose only access to a phone growing up was a spin-dial one. This means there’s a lot more texting, tweeting, and Facebooking on smartphones in your average high school or college classroom than ever before.
Does this also mean that kids today are way more distracted by the bombardment of information reaching them via their tablets and iPhones? A new study out of the National Communication Association wanted to find out whether increased smartphone and social media use in class impacted student learning — and what they found was that it had both negative and positive effects.
In the study, researchers analyzed kids who were using phones in class to respond to text messages — both relevant and irrelevant to the class material. They measured the type of messages and the frequency of them, and found that students who were texting about the material actually scored higher on multiple choice tests about the subject than those who were texting about non-class related things.
Like every other skill – from playing the piano to factoring polynomials to reasoning about the likely causes of historical events – learning how to learn requires practice. Learners need opportunities to plan out their own learning and select their own study strategies and learning resources. Learners need opportunities to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the strategies and resources they’ve selected in support of their own learning. Learners need to experience – and reflect on – a range of successes and failures in regulating their own learning in order to understand what works for them, and how they should approach the next learning task they encounter in school or life.
nicely designed whiteboardDeekit is a shared whiteboard that enables online editing using any kind of content, be it drawing, text, image, anything. A whiteboard that is available anytime, anywhere on any device.
A policy expert and author explains why using technology to leverage new forms of teaching excites both teachers and students.
Today's classrooms are outfitted with the latest technologies, but too often the teaching methods don't take full advantage of the options these tools afford. Flipping the classroom — inverting the time spent on lecturing and homework — can create new inroads for learning by leveraging the technology used in classrooms and at home, says Kathleen Fulton, an author and president of Fulton Creative Consulting."
Building on Dewey’s work , David Kolb conceptualized an experiential learning theory composed of four cyclical stages: activity and practice, review and reflections, theories and concepts, applications and case studies. Reality Works has this wonderful free visual with more insights on Kolb’s theory together with some interesting nuggets on what experiential learning is all about.
Thanks to ===> http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2015/04/experiential-learning-visually.html <=== for proposing this great infographic.
Many education reformers and education pundits have been pushing for student-centered classrooms for quite some time. The teacher should simply be a facilitator of the class, and let students construct their own knowledge. Then students, left to themselves, with their natural curiosity and inner desire to learn freed from constraints, will take ownership of their learning and become lifelong learners. The reason many have been calling for this change is that classrooms have been too teacher-centered for a long time. In another post I shared some data from the Marzano Research group that indicates classrooms across the United States are heavily teacher-centered. So I get it. We need to move away from the teacher as the sole deliverer of content. But lets not throw out the baby with the bath water.
In recent years, transmedia has come into the spotlight among those creating and using media and technology for children. We believe that transmedia has the potential to be a valuable tool for expanded learning that addresses some of the challenges facing children growing up in the digital age. Produced by the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, this paper provides a much-needed guidebook to transmedia in the lives of children age 5-11 and its applications to storytelling, play, and learning. Building off of a review of the existing popular and scholarly literature about transmedia and children, this report identifies key links between transmedia and learning, highlights key characteristics of transmedia play, and presents core principles for and extended case studies of meaningful transmedia play experiences. The authors hope that T is for Transmedia will incite conversation among diverse stakeholders including educators, entertainment industry executives, creative artists, academic scholars, policy makers, and others interested in the future of children’s learning through transmedia.
In general, research has shown that the flipped classroom model has a positive impact on student outcomes. Last year, a University of Washington "meta-analysis" of 225 studies compared student performance in undergraduate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses under traditional lecturing vs. active learning: "The results indicate that average examination scores improved by about 6 percent in active learning sections, and that students in classes with traditional lecturing were 1.5 times more likely to fail than were students in classes with active learning," the study noted in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Nevertheless, faculty members, provosts and centers for teaching and learning continue to try to quantify the impact of flipping, using traditional lecture classes as control groups. There is still a lot to learn and a need for more evidence and detail on the many facets of a flip.
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