Cross-curricular? Critical thinking? How do these rather different educational concepts work together, and why should we want them to be a part of our teaching practice? Let’s start with critical thinking, a skill we must consider to be a fundamental goal in all of our work as educators. President Obama publically identified critical thinking as a crucial 21st-century skill that learners of all ages need to master to be successful in both the educational arena and the ever-evolving global economy. Adding in the advice of old John Dewey, we see how learning experiences that stimulate thinking by having students engage in creating meaning out of a variety of facts, scenarios, and variables (rather than just memorizing a single, linear timeline or algorithm with no context or supportive background) puts the learner in the center of the learning process.
I am going to be teaching ICT and computing for the first time this year, and I wanted to think about ways of gamifying the course for years seven and eight. I have decided that rather than refer to the elements of learning as ‘units,’ I will be calling them ‘levels’ with a digital …
Finland will go through a new education reform that will take over in the academic year 2016-2017. Phenomenon-Based Learning will be complementing Finland’s traditional subjects. The Phenomenon or Topic Based Learning is being planned to be conducted over periods during the year and could be paced in projects – is the old new in Finland’s education. For more than three decades, Finnish schools have had a form of Phenomenon-Based Learning. What will change in 2016-2017 is that it will be obligatory in all basic schools for seven to 16-year-olds.
Phenomenon-Based Learning tackles real-world scenarios holistically from different subject areas’ perspectives. This method will entail a rich learning experience, which is relevant to learners’ lives. The interdisciplinary learning could be conducted in a simple way, by linking similar knowledge areas between different subjects and introducing them at the same slot of the academic year.
This develops awareness of how curricula intersect to form the broader frame of knowledge. A more sophisticated interdisciplinary approach, such as Phenomenon-Based Learning occurs when we go beyond simply linking different subjects to applying, organising centers and essential questions to plan topic teaching. One example could be the questions students have about a topic such as the importance of the European Union. To answer these questions knowledge and skills from economics, history, geography and languages are to be integrated.
The Future of Education – Personalized, Perfect & Free (Thanks to AI and VR)
Right now, online platforms like Khan Academy and Coursera have made a plethora of educational resources available 1) for free and 2) on demand, such that you can pick and choose what you learn and at what speed you learn it.
Khan Academy has delivered over 300 million lessons since it started in 2006, features 5,000 free instructional videos in 65 languages, and allows users to complete 4 million exercises every day – simply amazing.
In 2011, Stanford professor Andrew Ng decided to put his machine learning course online for free, thinking that maybe a few additional people would tune in with his students. Within days, 100,000 people had signed up to take the course.
We are already seeing technology democratize access to education – but soon the education itself will become even more powerful with the help of AI and virtual and augmented reality.
In the near future, artificial intelligence will be able to personalize learning platforms to each individual student.
The AI will have unlimited access to information and will deliver it at the optimal speed to each student in an engaging, fun way.
By Jeff Alderson, Principal Analyst When Google, one of the largest technology companies in the world, wanted to build more awareness and encourage adoption of its products in the education market, it made all of the training for those products available to any teacher or administrator online at no cost. Launched in July of this …
Tim Hopper's insight:
Google making its services free for teachers to use. Connects to the largest population of next generation consumers.
Aggression, high-risk behaviour, anxiety, depression – parents are well versed in the negative effects of gaming. But some researchers point to cognitive skill development as a reason to let your kids heed the call of duty
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