Teaching is not easy. It is a profession that requires educators to be relevant. Being relevant doesn’t come with age. Just the opposite occurs, and it requires work to keep up. Teaching is not a profession that enables one to stop learning after the degree is earned and the job is secured. Technology is moving us all too fast for anyone to sit back relying on old methods and tools.
"We have come to a point in the education technology journey where it seems rather dull to still be asking if the iPad is the right device for the classroom. The answer, in case you’ve missed the last few years of debate is that it is a great option, but this is not universally accepted and never will be. Nonetheless, one of the attributes you’ll hear put forward is that it is easy to use because of the intuitive nature of iOS. This is absolutely true; you can put the iPad into the hands of almost any child and within a short period of time they will have mastered it.
So does it then follow that you can out the iPad into the hands of teachers and expect the same results?
The emphasis on iPads is a bit of a distraction here - the issue is related more to the ability of teachers to create engaging learnng opportunities where technology use extends and enhances the students' capacity for self-direction, information literacy, collaboration. culural awareness, etc... be it with an iPad or other ICT, the point is that too many teachers still rely on delivery and control, rather than authentic opportunities for learning.
People now buy songs, not albums. They read articles, not newspapers. So why not mix and match learning “modules” rather than lock into 12-week university courses?
That question is a major theme of a 213-page report released on Monday by a committee at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology exploring how the 153-year-old engineering powerhouse should innovate to adapt to new technologies and new student expectations.
"The New Yorker has made its archives since 2007 (and a few articles from before that) free for the next three months. That includes some great journalism on education — a tour of the biggest debates in K-12 and higher education.
"If you need something to read on your next flight, want a break from beach reading, or are aiming for a better grasp of the American education system before the kids go back to school this fall… here's your summer reading syllabus."
"This year’s “The Learning Curve” report from Pearson takes a look at education across the globe. One of the main things the report does is rank the world’s educational systems (which we’ll talk about in a different post). What I find even more interesting is the focus on what skills current students need to meet the ever changing needs of the global market, and some potential ways to address shortcomings in our collective educational systems."
Curtin University made this shift The University of Iowa will launch a new Office of Teaching, Learning and Technology for the fall 2015 semester in an effort to better meet the needs of faculty, instructors and teaching assistants.
Drawing upon contemporary digital tools and the rich traditions of humanities inquiry, Experimental Humanities is committed to the study of how technologies mediate our understanding of what it means to be human."
The 2-year-old Experimental Humanities is an interdisciplinary concentration involving the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences, with courses ranging from The Science of Creativity (Biology 122) to Digital Animation (Film 203) to Introduction to Computing (Computer Science 117). Courses that are part of the concentreation also focus on such diverse topics as religion, race, celebrity, architecture, video production, music history, Arthurian legends and the intersection of art and technology, among others.
Kim Flintoff's insight:
It seems to becoming evident to even the most die-hard conservatives that the shift to embrace new tools, new connections and new ways of understanding the world is an absolute necessity.
Plurality, indisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity are shifting from elite, obfuscated academic principles to core undergraduate expectations.
Striving for excellence: A guide for tertiary teachers
The Ako Aotearoa Academy of Tertiary Teaching Excellence (our member group of past TTEA recipients) has just released a two-volume reflective guide - Striving for excellence: A guide for tertiary teachers; making it easier for educators to access the growing body of good practice material from those recognised nationally for their sustained excellence in teaching, and apply it to their own teaching contexts.
"A new era of personalized professional development is sweeping into schools. We've created this guide to capture the extraordinary changes in PD tools and in the cycle of learning. We look here at tools that support how teachers engage with colleagues; that help teachers learn or find support for implementing fresh strategies and approaches; and that measure how that learning impacts practice in the classroom."
An art teacher and I (drama teacher) started to use a negotiated approach with students about 15 years ago. By working with students to be aware of curriculum expectations and discussing "what would this look like" we assisted students with developingntheir own learnign pathways and expressions of their learning - in keeping with the legislated requirements of curriculum. I've also noted over the years that elements of the International Baccalaureate - particularly the project work from MYP - reflects a similar approach.
Without reference to research literature, I'd speculate that this speaks to engagement, authenticity and relevance... and needn't be confined to K-12 contexts.... well-documented project work could be conducted outside the confines of formal classes and evidenced against formal assessment criteria.
This volume presents distinctive, innovative models of teacher education from Australia, discusses their successful elements and considers possibilities for successful teacher education in the twenty-first century. Each model is couched within the international teacher education concerns of the theory practice nexus, school-university partnerships, reflective practice, and the role of technology. The contributing authors, drawn from different contexts and locations around Australia, each offers research-based perspectives on successful teacher education. Responses to teacher education challenges in rural and regional contexts, metropolitan areas, among low socio-economic populations and Indigenous communities are considered. Ways in which technology, and in particular mobile technology, can be used to support learning across these diverse contexts are illustrated, as is the role of reflective practice to encourage critical reflection for improving teacher learning. Collectively, the authors present a range of directions that can guide the future of teacher education both nationally and internationally, demonstrating that context, partnerships, reflection and technology are critical elements in the provision of successful teacher education.
Kim Flintoff's insight:
Pleased to have contributed to Chapter 8... looking forward to reading the rest of the book!
Is self-directedness, in fact, innate? Though it doesn’t speak directly of autodidacts, the psychology of motivation and interest suggests that self-directed learners are not only born, but can be made. The research suggests it’s likely that the autodidacts among us did make the wrong turns and poor choices van Merriënboer and Kirschner warn about—made them, but then kept going until they got it right. It’s likely that their keen interest in their subjects carried them past the failures and frustrations that would have deterred less ardent learners.
This report highlights aspects of good practice in planning education in the UK (with ‘planning’ variously known for instance as spatial planning, urban and regional planning, city and regional planning, and town and country planning), in order to disseminate relevant ideas and innovations and thereby widen their use by ‘planning schools’ (the Royal Town Planning Institute [RTPI] - accredited higher education discipline units teaching planning). It also provides suggestions for how to improve the sharing of good practice within planning schools. Good practice is seen here simply as that which provides creditable outcomes in terms of learning and teaching effectiveness, as indicated by higher education providers and supported by wider evidence. The report is based on documentary evidence as well as a survey of the opinion of UK planning schools conducted in Spring 2014. It is intended to be of interest to academics within planning as well as the broader built environment field, but also to practitioners/employers who have an interest in initial (or pre-qualification) education and/or lifelong learning, for instance via their involvement in teaching/learning, mentoring or similar activities.
The report was sponsored by the Higher Education Academy, the RTPI and the Conference of Heads of Planning Schools.
Throughout the past decade, we have researched, studied, and explored a variety of face-to-face, online, and blended learning experiences across different modalities, contexts, and audiences. For students and instructors alike, one concept has remained the key to a successful experience: the power of human connectedness for learning.1
Our long-term research with administrators, teachers, and students suggests key strategies to better support faculty and students to develop this connectedness.
If it’s early May, then it must be time to talk about what student evaluations of teaching are worth. In a recent essay in Slate, Rebecca Schuman claims that student evaluations are “useless” in their current form, because they encourage students to punish rigorous teachers with low scores and mean comments (and, all too often, sexist or racist ones). The article has gotten a lot of attention from academics I know, who have shared their own stories of uninformed and upsetting comments.
The latest Ako Aotearoa Good Practice Publication, prepared by Dennis Keys, Cath Fraser and Oliver Abbott of Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, outlines how a practical house-build project and the accompanying ePortfolio assessment have improved student engagement and outcomes, and increased teacher satisfaction.
Some 10 percent of humanities scholars currently self-identify as digital humanists. As such, digital humanities is the consummate academic hot-button topic and everyone has vehement opinions. The post Will digital humanities disrupt the university?