As a child, I was told never to say that I was bored. Being bored meant I wasn't able to find something interesting or engaging to do, which was not acceptable. “The world is big and full of opportunities, do something!”, as my mother would say.
Boredom, as highlighted in the May issue of the Kappan, a PDK International publication, "is a mismatch between wanting intellectual arousal but being unable to engage in a satisfying activity." The above description of boredom, from the article "Neuroscience Reveals That Boredom Hurts," suggests that students who seem to willfully defy urgings to focus on school assignments and work may simply be experiencing an involuntary brain reaction.
Boredom is a form of stress, in terms of effects on the brain. This complex organ may respond to repeated instances of boredom by building generalized prejudices against certain topics or activities and – when those topics and activities are related to school – ultimately result in impeding classroom performance. Put in a different way, it’s concerning when learning and school are too frequently associated with boredom. Moving beyond the importance of avoiding long stretches of boredom, student success is fueled by engagement and interest in the material and learning process.
The education community frequently notes that high standards and rigorous expectations are key components of what helps children learn. While that’s not wrong, it’s a narrow focus that moves the attention away from a wider view that includes other environmental factors that support student engagement. We may have performance expectations of children, but we rarely consider or discuss student expectations of their school, teachers, building leaders and their educational environment.
Submitted by Ariana Fine on Mon, 06/23/2014 - 5:09pmTuesday, June 24, 2014
The CK-12 Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to giving people access to high-quality K-12 educational materials, today announced it has added a high school-level journalism FlexBook, to its free library of open-source textbooks.
The book was written by Nina Scott, who is an instructor in English at Phillips Academy, an independent boarding school located in Andover, Massachusetts. A former journalist herself, Scott teaches a journalism elective to high school seniors every fall. She also serves as the faculty adviser to the school’s 136-year-old, student-run newspaper, The Phillipian.
Scott began collaborating with the foundation last spring, after learning of CK-12 at a conference sponsored by the Eight Schools Association Technology and Learning Institute. Inspired by CK-12’s mission, she reached out to the foundation with the idea of donating her journalism textbook to make it available to the public.
“When I heard the foundation’s vision, I immediately knew that I wanted to be part of it,” said Scott. “CK-12’s mission to collect superb academic resources and to make it all available for free so teachers can curate their own textbooks from that material is extraordinary. This struck me as an amazing gift to the world and I wanted to be part of it.”
Neeru Khosla, co-founder and Executive Director of the CK-12 Foundation said, “We are extremely grateful for Nina’s donation and excited about this addition to CK-12’s offerings. Contributions from authors like her are an integral source of our content and they are instrumental in helping our foundation advance its goal of providing and increasing access to high-quality educational resources. We would welcome additional donations to our library, whether from our partner organizations or individual members of our community.”
Scott started writing her book in 2006 after she had trouble finding a text to use in her new journalism course. The result was a first-person manuscript that explains the basics of journalistic skills and motivation against a backdrop of personal narrative, drawn from her own experiences as both a journalist and a teacher. “My book is more of a conversation and a story,” she said.
In the process of converting her textbook into a FlexBook, Scott also worked with CK-12 to embed links, images, videos and practice exercises throughout the book. CK-12 documented Scott’s work with the foundation as a case study to benefit future partnerships with other content contributors. Interviews with the author and a timeline of the FlexBook creation process will be made available in an appendix to the book. Access the Journalism 101 FlexBook at www.ck12.org/book/Journalism-101.
About the CK-12 Foundation
The CK-12 Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing access to high-quality educational materials for K-12 students all over the world. CK-12 offers free high-quality, standards-aligned, open content in the STEM subjects through an integrated set of tools for learning: digital textbooks, concept-based learning resources, SAT preparation and an interactive Algebra curriculum (with additional math and science subjects in progress). All products can be customized to match the needs of the student, educator or school. By providing these no cost resources, CK-12 is working toward educational equity for all. Learn more at www.ck12.org.
Educator’s aim is to get learners engaged in the hands-on learning activities and to do this, they use different tools. Among various tools video is one of the best instrument that interest learners a lot.
With sound and sight, videos are also right medium for those visual or auditory learners. Video stories not just generate interest as well as maintain that interest of the learner for long time. Moreover, it also facilitates educators to deliver curriculum content effectively.
With the advancement in technology, there are a lot of tools available that helps educators to create engaging and innovative videos to help their students in the learning process. Amazing engaging videos can be easily created using the devices like Wacom tablets and software like SmoothDraw and Camtasia Studio.
You must have heard about Salman Khan Academy - it is an ace academy in providing innovating and easy to learn videos for the students. So before you go ahead and learn about these two video making software take a look on this video explaining how Salman Khan uses Wacom tablet, SmoothDraw and Camtasia Studio to create amazing and innovative videos.
Just as ‘gaming engines’ revolutionized game making, adaptive learning engines are about to revolutionize education
Be prepared to be amazed…very amazed. A quantum leap in the way online learning materials are organized and presented to students is happening as you read this.
It will change forever the way that learning occurs…and it is becoming easier for teachers to implement.
Personalized learning made easy
Adaptive learning/personalized learning is the future. The days of presenting the same material to all students at the same time, in the same sequence and in the same way will be seen as an ancient and ineffective concept in a few years.
The problem to date has been the difficulty creating individual learning paths.
However, that is changing rapidly. In some ways, this replicates the development of the computer game industry.
Educator Competencies for the Blended Learning ClassroomThursday, June 19, 2014, 6:00-7:00 PM ET
Blended learning allows educators to personalize instruction – targeting each individual student’s needs for learning more rapidly; providing immediate responses to intervention; offering targeted support when needed; and allowing students to demonstrate deeper learning competencies and advance based on competency. As blended learning models become more prevalent, the need to identify and foster core educator competencies for strong blended learning instructional practice becomes greater.
A working group of educators, administrators, professional developers and researchers from a range schools, models and regions are developing a framework of competencies necessary for the blended learning teacher, building from the understanding that much of what makes a great traditional classroom teacher translates into a blended environment. This webinar will share the working group's process and findings.
Please join us to participate in this ongoing conversation and to provide your feedback.
Kathryn Kennedy, Senior Researcher, Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute
Allison Powell, Vice President, New Learning Models, iNACOL
Kerry Rice, Professor, Department of Educational Technology, Boise State University
Barbara Treacy, Director, ETLO, Education Development Center
Only 17 percent of high schools do not currently offer any online classes and more than 40 percent are offering online courses in English language arts, history, math or science, according to the latest report from Project Tomorrow's Speak Up report.
Dr. Gordon Dahlby's insight:
Guessing 83% do not create own content courses via their own staff and standards.
Udacity announces nanodegrees: compact, flexible and job-focused credentials that are stackable throughout your career.
In my role working with partners and external companies, people often ask me what differentiates Udacity’s culture. Out of everything I share with them, one thing stands out: our passion. There is a fire in the belly of every single person that works here at Udacity to create a better education and better opportunities for our students. It’s what defines our community. Lunch and hallway conversations revolve around how we can improve learning for the changing job landscape; what is most relevant to our students; how can we impact the world even in the smallest of ways with our courses. And throughout, we have worked with over 20 industry partners behind the scenes to help inform these conversations. As students, you’ve likely seen the results in courses built with the best experts from Google and Facebook to Cloudera and salesforce.com.
Today, we’re bringing these partnerships further to the forefront as we introduce credentials built and recognized by industry with clear pathways to jobs. Together with AT&T and an initial funding from AT&T Aspire of more than $1.5 million, we are launching nanodegrees: compact, flexible, and job-focused credentials that are stackable throughout your career. And the nanodegree program is designed for efficiency: select hands-on courses by industry, a capstone project, and career guidance. Efficient enough that you can get a nanodegree as you need it and earn new ones throughout your career, even if you need to switch paths since a career isn’t always a straight line. -
In classrooms where deeper learning is the focus, you find students who are motivated and challenged—who look forward to their next assignment. They apply what they have learned in one subject area to newly encountered situations in another. They can see how their classwork relates to real life. They are gaining an indispensable set of knowledge, skills, and beliefs, including:
Mastery of Core Academic Content: Students build their academic foundation in subjects like reading, writing, math, and science. They understand key principles and procedures, recall facts, use the correct language, and draw on their knowledge to complete new tasks.Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: Students think critically, analytically, and creatively. They know how to find, evaluate, and synthesize information to construct arguments. They can design their own solutions to complex problems.Collaboration: Collaborative students work well in teams. They communicate and understand multiple points of view and they know how to cooperate to achieve a shared goal.Effective Communication: Students communicate effectively in writing and in oral presentations. They structure information in meaningful ways, listen to and give feedback, and construct messages for particular audiences.Self-directed Learning: Students develop an ability to direct their own learning. They set goals, monitor their own progress, and reflect on their own strengths and areas for improvement. They learn to see setbacks as opportunities for feedback and growth. Students who learn through self-direction are more adaptive than their peers.An “Academic Mindset”: Students with an academic mindset have a strong belief in themselves. They trust their own abilities and believe their hard work will pay off, so they persist to overcome obstacles. They also learn from and support each other. They see the relevance of their schoolwork to the real world and their own future success.
When students are developing knowledge, skills, and academic mindsets simultaneously, they learn more efficiently. They acquire and retain more academic knowledge when they are engaged, believe their studies are important, and are able to apply what they are learning in complex and meaningful ways.
Mastery of academic content is critical to a student’s future success in college, careers, and life, so it is the foundation of—and never overlooked in—deeper learning classrooms.
Read more in-depth definitions of this set of knowledge, skills, and beliefs.
Research supports the value of educator collaboration. A recent report from the Rennie Center confirms that when teachers collaborate, students benefit. Too often, however, professional learning within communities of peers is merely a label.
With backward planning, schools can ensure that they choose professional development activities aligned with their most important goals.
One of my favorite films is The Emperor's Club, starring Kevin Kline as Mr. Hundert, the Western Civilization teacher at St. Benedict's Academy. In the film's opening scene, the headmaster of the school stands before the assembled student body explaining the meaning of the school motto, Finis Origine Pendet: The End Depends Upon the Beginning. "What you accomplish in life and the significance of your contribution," he counsels, "will depend largely on what you do here. How you begin determines what you will achieve."
As the film unfolds, we see this poignant message revealed in the lives of the students. What they do at the school and the relationships they develop powerfully affect the kind of persons they become and the nature of the lives they eventually lead. In the end, we realize that Finis Origine Pendet is the film's central message.
The same is true of professional learning for educators. What it accomplishes and the significance of its contribution depend largely on how it begins. This holds true not only for traditional forms of professional learning—seminars, study groups, workshops, conferences, mentoring, coaching, and so on—but also for "new" forms that include face-to-face or online professional learning communities, teacher exchanges, bug-in-the-ear coaching, data teams, individualized improvement plans, and unconferences. The effectiveness of any professional learning activity, regardless of its content, structure, or format, depends mainly on how well it is planned.
A Mixed History
Unlike many fields that have a history of steady improvement built on a continually expanding knowledge base, professional learning for educators has a mixed history at best. Sure, we have occasional success stories based on anecdotal evidence. Case studies here and there depict experiences that participants considered "effective" because these experiences offered useful ideas or were relevant to their on-the-job responsibilities. What we do not have, however, is strong and convincing evidence from activities and programs implemented in diverse contexts that resulted in better practice and improved student learning (see Hill, Beisiegel, & Jacob, 2013; Yoon, Duncan, Lee, Scarloss, & Shapley, 2007).
Many organizations expect eLearning designers and developers to be experts in multiple forms of media, including full-motion video, voiceovers, multiple audio effects, and animations that go far beyond flying bullet points and spinning logos. But f...
What most educators would call “subjects” or “disciplines,” Jeff Hopkins, principal of the Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry, regards as “silos” when they restrict the scope of learning and nodes of a knowledge network when they serve as...
All jobs require a certain set of talents and skills, whether natural or acquired. But what skills does an instructional designer need in order to be successful and stand out? Check out the following comprehensive list and bear in mind that it can be expanded depending on the course, its scope and the audience.
Margarida Romero [email@example.com], Université Laval, Canada, Mireia Usart [firstname.lastname@example.org], ESADE, Av. de Pedralbes, 60-62 E-08034 Barcelona, Spain
Higher Education increases flexibility with online learning solutions. Nevertheless, dropout rates in online university are large. Among the reasons, one aspect deserving further study is students’ Time Perspective (TP), which has been studied in onsite HE. It is necessary to know the TP profile of the growing population of online students, and consider its relation with students’ preference and convenience factors for choosing online or onsite contexts. In this study, learners’ TP in an online and an onsite Catalan HE institutions are compared. Results show that HE students present a high future orientation in general, while online students showed a higher orientation to past negativism. Basic guides are given to help institutions and students in the choice of the better suited learning context according to their TP.
Higher Education (HE), in general, and online distance education, specifically, advanced considerably in the final decades of the last century (Bates, 2004). According to Siemens and Matheos (2012) the growth of the social and participative web creates new technological and social change pressures in HE institutions that should adapt to “globalization, expansion, and economic uncertainty, overlaid by emerging technologies that enable the technologically savvy student body to interact in new ways with content and with each other” (para. 3). Modern society demands that citizens become lifelong learners and adapt to the ever-changing labour market. The progression of online learning has introduced a new source of diversity among students (Gallagher, 2007). However, there is a high dropout rate in distance education (Yukselturk, Ozekes & Türel, 2014) that makes necessary to establish the characteristics of the online HE student profile in comparison with onsite students who follow traditional onsite programs. Research on general demographic differences has identified several online learner characteristics such as the fact that they tend to be mature, have professional responsibilities, and little available time (Paechter & Maier, 2010; Palloff & Pratt, 2003). Nevertheless, a study of the intrapsychological factors that differentiate onsite and online learners has not been developed sufficiently to understand why students succeed or dropout. This paper aims to analyse one of the main intrapsychological factors influencing learning, the temporal perspective (TP), defined by Zimbardo, Keough and Boyd (1997, p.1008) as ‘the manner in which individuals, and cultures, partition the flow of human experience into distinct temporal categories of past, present and future’. From this definition, TP is an individual difference that has been previously related with age, learning performance and completion of studies (Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999) in onsite learning settings. TP is an important factor to consider in online learning because of its influence in the learning process and outcomes. Online students must self-regulate their temporal flexibility for learning. However, there has been no previous research on the online context, which results in a lack of knowledge about online student TP profiles. No previous studies have focused on the differing profiles of students in onsite and online universities. To assess online student TPs in relation to their onsite counterparts, this paper considers two main HE models – onsite and online universities. Onsite universities require that students attend lectures and classes, while online universities allow greater flexibility in terms of time and space and offer distance-based activities supported through a Computer Learning Environment (CLE).
Main factors involved in the student choice of onsite or online modalities are reviewed, before introducing specific challenges in these contexts.
Starting and Maintaining a Virtual School Thursday, June 26, 2014
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM (Eastern Time) Show in My TimezonePresented by Scott Merrick, v-Learning Support Specialist, Academy Coach, v-Lead Teacher, and All-Stars Lead Learner at the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools in Tennessee In this webinar, Scott Merrick will discuss how he went from being a private school teacher to being a vLearning specialist in the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. He will talk about the research that he and his team did to make sure set up would be cost-effective and sustainable. He will also share how the school makes sure that all students keep up with their studies, how he fosters discussions among teachers and students, and how he plans to help the school grow.
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM (Eastern Time) Show in My TimezonePresented by Angela Maiers, Choose2Matter, and Mark Moran, Finding Dulcinea Skilled online researchers typically have certain behavior sets, mindsets and beliefs that inform their approach to every research project. We call these Online Research Habitudes, a combination of habits and attitudes without which no researcher can succeed. Crucially, teachers must learn to model for students the habitudes of a skilled researcher. This session will help teachers do that with ease, intentionality and confidence.
"I feel teachers need to both create tasks that target the higher-order cognitive skills (Bloom's) as well as design tasks that have a significant impact on student outcomes (SAMR). A visual to illustrate that follows.
"Educators will argue they have seen redefinition tasks that only target the remembering level or have a creative assessment that is only at the augmentation level. Of course that is true, but I believe we should be planning for technology tasks, activities, and assessments that include both the higher levels of Bloom's Revised Taxonomy and the transformation area of SAMR model."
Jim Lerman's insight:
SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition) is gaining a great deal of attention currently as a way to conceptualize technology integration into teaching and learning. Schrock, one of the web's early and greatest collectors and curators, has gathered a cornucopia of excellent resources.
I personally find SAMR to bear considerable resemblance to the original 5 levels of tech integration posited by the Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow (ACOT) project back in the 1980's: Entry, Adoption, Adaptation, Appropriation, Invention. In fact, if one eliminates the first stage (Entry), the two frameworks seem almost identical. Does anyone have anything they'd like to say about this?
Much of the recent growth in the online course market has been driven by experiences similar to that of Lisa Andrejko, the superintendent of the Quakertown Community School District in Pennsylvania.
Five years ago, Ms. Andrejko discovered a drain of over 100 district students leaving for a Pennsylvania-based cyber charter school.
It was costly: for each departing student the 5,500-student, suburban Quakertown district had to pay the cyber charter $12,000, or $24,000 for special education students, eventually amounting to $1.2 million lost annually.
"For years, public schools didn't see the need for virtual schooling, but as kids started to leave because we weren't meeting their needs, it was hurting us financially," said Thomas C. Murray, the director of the district's technology and cyber education program.
Motivated by financial concerns, in 2009 Quakertown administrators created Infinity Cyber Academy, a district-run virtual school. Over time the cyber academy went from district-only students taking courses taught and provided by outside vendors, to welcoming students from 12 Pennsylvania school districts with access to a mixture of district-created and taught courses, as well as those provided by outside companies.
The same factors that pushed Quakertown to develop a virtual learning program are also fueling a vibrant marketplace for K-12 online learning. Extrapolated revenue growth for that sector increased from $73 million to $178 million between the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years, according to a survey conducted by the Washington-based Software & Information Industry Association, or SIIA.
The biggest player in the virtual education market is Herndon, Va.-based K12 Inc., one of the few publicly traded precollegiate education companies, which focuses on selling directly to districts to build blended-learning programs. The list also includes Apex Learning, Connections Academy, and others.
Blended-learning is on the rise. By 2019, half of all high school courses will be in some online form, predicts The Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, a San Mateo, Calif.-based think tank that studies blended learning.
But these numbers are hard to pin down, particularly when the definition of blended learning can be fluid.
Dr. Gordon Dahlby's insight:
Does your district discourage student enrollments or encourage enrollments in online courses? Are decisions student driven vs finance driven decision making?
Who are the final decision makers?
Are independent student online courses entered into transcripts and do they count toward graduation credits?
I am one of those people who regularly figures out exactly what to say after the moment has passed. I will be deep in conversation with someone, sharing thoughts and bouncing around ideas. Yet, as the thoughts swirl, I'll have an unsettled feeling. Often it is not until some time later, when the ideas have marinated, that I realize what matters most to me and how to say it. I find that the flow of learning for many of my students matches my personal need for intellectual reflection.
A Classroom Example
Recently, we spent a chunk of one of my world history classes discussing an excerpt from The Power of Myth, a conversation that Joseph Campbell had with Bill Moyers about enduring myths and the human condition. The students read the text during the previous class and had done a writing exercise that helped them begin to explore some of the different ideas contained in the dialogue.
The discussion was interesting but felt aimless. Some students were interested in the idea of learning deeper messages by reading the myths of others. Others were struck by Campbell's idea that we are all imperfect. For many, it was unclear if they found anything of meaning in the reading. The body language in the classroom was mixed. Some students turned to face whoever was speaking and eagerly responded, often referring to the text in front of them. Others were slouched in their chairs rarely looking at the text or at the speakers.
Students knew that this was the beginning of our religion unit and had spent time earlier in the week attempting to create a definition of religion, yet if felt as if no one knew how to successfully put these different pieces together into larger, coherent ideas with greater meaning. As teacher, I felt unsure about our status in this early part of our unit.
As the discussion slowed down and the clock began approaching the end of the period, I asked everyone to jot down a one-sentence final thought. After two silent minutes, we started in one corner of the room and quickly whipped around as, one after another, students shared final thoughts from the reading and/or discussion. It quickly became clear that a lot more deep and rich thinking had happened than I previously realized. "Religions are glorified myths," said a student who had been quiet all period. "We all need ways to find meaning in our lives," offered a young man who had previously seemed to find very little meaning in the discussion.
In his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed, the Brazilian educator Paolo Freirereinforces the idea that reflection is an essential part of learning and of becoming an agent of change in the world:
Within the word we find two dimensions, reflection and action, in such radical interaction that if one is sacrificed -- even in part -- the other immediately suffers . . .
Freire also reminds us that this process (that he has named concientizacion) involves a true exchange of ideas:
If it is in speaking their word that people, by naming the world, transform it, dialogue imposes itself as the way by which they achieve significance as human beings. Dialogue is thus an existential necessity. And since dialogue is the encounter in which the united reflection and action of the dialoguers are addressed to the world which is to be transformed and humanized, this dialogue cannot be reduced to the act of one person's "depositing" ideas in another, nor can it become a simple exchange of ideas to be "consumed" by the discussants.
The end of a class period may often feel like a time to slow down and regroup before another set of students arrives. An alternate view is that these last moments, which usually occur when ideas have had a chance to marinate, can be a time when quiet thinkers finally articulate their ideas and move toward Freire's idea of concientizacion. In these moments, students can deepen their own learning, and entire groups can share ideas and make meaning of content. Additionally, the time when a large piece of work is submitted is an important opportunity for students to articulate their own learning and self-evaluate in order to improve learning and the quality of their work for the future.
Closings and Reflective Activities
There are many different ways to integrate closings and reflective activities into classroom practice. Depending on the circumstances, closings and reflective activities can be quickly jotted down and shared out loud, or they can be larger writing assignments that are submitted with projects or posted as an introduction to blog posts of student work.
The following is a list of different reflection and closing prompts:
Share one thing you learned.Share a question for future investigation.Respond with a word.What worked? What didn’t work?What is one part of your work that you are proud of?How would you do this differently next time? Read more
Dr. Gordon Dahlby's insight:
Joshua Block HS humanities teacher at Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia
The ‘Global Smart Education and Learning’ market is expected to reach $220 billion by 2017, claims a new report called the “Smart Education and Learning Market: Advanced Technologies, Digital Models, Adoption Trends and Worldwide Market Forecast (2012 – 2017)’’ released by MarketsandMarkets states that:
“The smart education market is expected to increase from $73.8 billion in 2011 to $220.0 billion by 2017, showing a CAGR of 20.3%, from 2012-2017. Services segment accounted for maximum revenue in the products’ market with $24.6 billion in 2011, and is estimated to reach $97.9 billion by 2017 with a CAGR of 26.6%, from 2012 to 2017. Content segment is estimated to be $72.9 billion in 2017, at a CAGR of 12.1%, from 2012 to 2017. Software is estimated to reach $37.2 billion and hardware with the least market share is estimated to reach $12.1 billion in 2017.”
The Smart Education system is an online education system that takes all of the traditional classroom teaching methods and puts them into a virtual environment. This is done through the use of online classes and tutoring, virtual books and learning materials, and online data collection. It will speed up the process of delivering educational lessons and dictations to students, as well as expediting the process through which materials are delivered. The figures alone show how popular online learning is becoming.
The main idea here is to bring teaching into the digital age. The majority of kids’, and many adults’, lives center around the virtual world and technology. The Smart Education system is trying to communicate with kids and adults in the virtual world they know so well. This communication makes learning easier and more entertaining.
The study centers on a vast network of products especially needed for various applications in the smart education world, in which their features and performance are key factors, states MarketsandMarkets’ study. The hardware products used in the smart education system include Interactive White Board and Simulation Based Learning hardware. The software faction includes Learning Management Systems/ Learning Content Management Systems, Open Source software and Mobile education application. The most used services in the smart board sector are Portals, Learning Service Provider, support services, etc. The growth in product use permits flexible educational programs, learning portfolios, collaborative technologies, and virtual learning materials for educators and pupils.
The majority of buyers for the Smart Education system are colleges, high schools, elementary and middle schools, healthcare companies, the government, and business educators.