As with so many types of tech, how useful (and potentially harmful) robots can be to education will have more to do with how educators and students choose to use them than with the technology itself. We may not be on the cusp of having robot teachers like in the Jetsons, but robots have already made their mark in education and will continue to do so.
The teaching of thinking is a critical endeavour for teachers and one that brings enhanced learning opportunities for students. Unfortunately thinking is not something that we naturally do well and as a consequence it is a skill we need to learn. Understanding this is the first step towards establishing a culture of thinking in your classroom
Professors in the philosophy department at San Jose State University wrote the following letter to make a direct appeal to Michael Sandel, a Harvard professor whose MOOC on "Justice" they were being encouraged to use as part of the San Jose State curriculum. (See a related article and a response from Mr. Sandel.)
Last year’s graduate labour market was the toughest on record. More people completing degrees and fewer jobs meant lower rates of full-time employment. A third of recent graduates seeking full-time work in 2014 were still looking four months after completing their studies.
A new research report, Effective practice in the design of directed independent learning opportunities shows the need to direct independent learning through integrating it into programmes and ensuring its benefits are clearly communicated to students. These benefits include the development of deep understanding, taking personal responsibility for learning, and the enhancement of skills expected of graduates.
Higher education is characterised by independent learning. The study, which was conducted by Professor Liz Thomas, references recent debates about what determines the quality of the students’ educational experiences, including whether contact hours are a useful measure, and the ways in which students engage in their learning.
The research shows that effective independent learning involves providing a clear structure and ongoing support for students, especially as they make the transition to higher education learning. A collection of good practice from across different disciplines has been created.
"The PDF is the digital equivalent to the desk drawer – a place where scientific results are hard to find and easily forgotten. And yet the PDF is still the default way for scholarly publishers to disseminate research on the web.
To communicate research efficiently today, we need a new format for the digital age: one that’s open, easy to work with and social."
Robert Farrow's insight:
"Openness should not be seen as a risk, but an opportunity"
Are universities about to be disrupted the way Kodak, Borders, and Blockbuster, all recently in bankruptcy, were disrupted? Blended courses, online learning, and MOOCs are moving at light speed compared to the typical university. ... Higher education institutions must modify their business models in response to technology-driven influences.
Nothing will ever take the place of one person actually being with another person. Let’s not get so fascinated by what technology can do that we forget what it can’t do. A computer can help you learn to spell “H-U-G,” but it can never know the risks or the joy of actually giving or receiving one. It’s through relationships that we grow best–and learn best.
One-size-fits-all policies are common. Policies that were designed for on-campus adjuncts were frequently applied to those who teach online, which can present challenges in the different modality.Adjuncts teaching online are often given responsibility and flexibility. Thirty-one percent of online adjunct faculty are often given responsibility for course design, and 21 percent of institutions allow online adjunct faculty the ability to totally customize the courses they teach.There are two approaches to how institutions have adjunct faculty develop online courses. Colleges and universities tend to fall into two camps, either using a “master course” philosophy (the institution develops the course) or “full development/customization” (the faculty member develops the course.Professional training and development are not guaranteed. Eighty-four percent of respondents reported high levels of technical and instructional design support, but most professional development and training requirements were offered face-to-face or on campus.Recruiting is the same for online and on-campus adjuncts. Online adjuncts are hired using the same advertising and screening methods used to hire on-campus adjuncts.
The sheer scale of numbers of students led to bold proclamations of education disruption and a sector on the verge of systemic change. However, from the perspective of 2015, these statements appear increasingly erroneous as moocs have proven to be simply an additional learning opportunity instead of a direct challenge to higher education itself. Many of the issues confronting early mooc development and offerings could have been reduced if greater consideration was given to research literature in learning sciences and technology enabled learning.
Sadly when most educators think of Bloom’s they think of just the single domain, the Cognitive, that rules so much of what we do in education. Had we focused on all three domains equally we may have better understood the part we do use and be much closer to a holistic view of education where the ‘Affective’ and ‘Psychomotor’ domains are viewed as equals to the cognitive. It is a shame that partly due to our obsession with Bloom’s we ignore the important aspects of our student’s feelings (hearts) and their doings (hands) despite these clearly playing a part in the taxonomy.
Warwick University is to start trialling a new way of employing hourly paid staff. The ‘Teach Higher’ scheme has been met with strong opposition by both staff and students so far – but what does it tell us about academic precarity today? 1. We should get used to the idea of ‘internal outsourcing’. Precarious work […]
In Canada today, it’s estimated that more than half of all undergraduates are taught by contract faculty. They often teach the large introductory courses that tenured faculty like to avoid. They put in 60- to 70-hour weeks grading hundreds of essays and exams, for wages that sometimes barely break the poverty line.
It’s what Kimberley Ellis Hale calls the university’s “dirty little secret.”
Our universities are rightly celebrated for their great achievements in research. That’s what attracts the money, the prestige and the distinguished scholars. But the core of the teaching is being done by the most precarious of academic labourers.
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