Your new post is loading...
by Ariel Schwartz
"At a time when companies and universities that run massive open online courses arestruggling to prove their value, Columbia University professor and physicist Brian Greene thinks he has a new and potentially more effective way to teach students online: World Science U, a science education platform that offers everything from two-minute educational videos to full-fledged university-level classes.
"Greene knows a little something about creating science content that's understandable to the masses. In addition to his teaching at Columbia, he is the co-founder of the annual World Science Festival, a host of Nova science documentaries, and author of a number of popular books that explain abstract physics theories to average readers. Instead of using the Internet as a new delivery vehicle for old-fashioned teaching (as many other MOOCs do), Greene explains that his new platform "turns abstract ideas into interactives that people can play with."
"In March 2014, Smith, Aronson & Associates interviewed Matthew Pittinsky, Ph.D., the CEO of Parchment. Matthew is on the faculty of Arizona State University and serves on the Board of Trustees of The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. In 1997, Matthew co-founded Blackboard Inc., and served first as its CEO and then as Executive Chairman. Matthew straddles the fence between two education silos: education technology and higher education."
How do you see the movements between the various education sectors unfolding?
"The silos within higher education still exist, but most education technology companies are thinking about creating pathways between K-12 and higher education institutions. They are focused on serving students and institutions. This is the space where the next valuable company will be built. It will not be a K-12, higher ed, or corporate training organization focused inside those sectors alone. It will be a pathway company that crosses those dimensions. And one that will hold on to students outside the institutional relationship."
by Philip Guo
"The optimal video length is 6 minutes or shorter -- students watched most of the way through these short videos. In fact, the average engagement time of any video maxes out at 6 minutes, regardless of its length. And engagement times decrease as videos lengthen: For instance, on average students spent around 3 minutes on videos that are longer than 12 minutes, which means that they engaged with less than a quarter of the content. Finally, certificate-earning students engaged more with videos, presumably because they had greater motivation to learn the material. (These findings appeared in a recent Wall Street Journal article, An Early Report Card on Massive Open Online Courses and itsaccompanying infographic.)
"The take-home message for instructors is that, to maximize student engagement, they should work with instructional designers and video producers to break up their lectures into small, bite-sized pieces."
summary by EdSurge
"Those hoping that MOOCs were going to radically "disrupt" higher education and allow students to get university-level credentials without forking over inane amounts of dollars may be disappointed so far. Kaltura's Leah Belsky and Michal Tsur take a look at MOOC's missed opportunities. They argue that ultimately, MOOCs "highlighted the importance of high quality teaching and top teachers (not always the top researchers)."
"The ConnectEDucators program would help educators leverage technology and data to personalize learning and improve college- and career-ready instruction, ensuring that as schools increase access to broadband Internet through the ConnectED Initiative, teachers and leaders are prepared to use these resources in a way that increases student learning and achievement. [expand/collapse]"
by Alexandra Usher and Nancy Kober
"This series of papers examines topics related to students’ academic motivation, a critical but often overlooked aspect of education. The summary paper, Student Motivation: An Overlooked Piece of School Reform, pulls together research findings from the six background papers, each of which includes a brief overview of research findings, examples of current programs and policies, and implications for the future, offering a more in-depth look at specific themes surrounding student engagement, including: why motivation is important and how it might be defined and measured; whether rewarding students can result in higher motivation; whether students can be motivated by goal-setting; the role of parental involvement, family background, and culture; strategies schools might use to motivate students; and nontraditional approaches to motivating otherwise unenthusiastic students. The appendix outlines four major dimensions of motivation and how they are defined by major scholars in the field."
by Hollie O'Connor
summary by MiddleWeb SmartBrief
"A group of Texas fourth-graders plans to form a nonprofit to supply books to libraries at schools touched by natural disasters. The students, Woodway Elementary School's fourth-grade robotics team, got the idea while researching for this year's First Lego League competition, which is themed "Nature's Fury." They connected with schools in Galveston, Texas, to see how they can help the libraries damaged by Hurricane Ike in 2008. The students have taken to social media to get the word out about their efforts to help school libraries"
by Evgeny Morozov:
“A third industrial revolution is stirring—the Maker era,” Kelly writes in the introduction to “Cool Tools.” “The skills for this accelerated era lean toward the agile and decentralized. Therefore tools recommended here are aimed at small groups, decentralized communities, the do-it-yourselfer, and the self-educated. . . . These possibilities cataloged here will help makers become better makers.”
"...The maker era might not be upon us yet, but the maker movement has arrived. Just who are these people? Like the Arts and Crafts movement—a mélange of back-to-the-land simplifiers, socialists, anarchists, and tweedy art connoisseurs—the makers are a diverse bunch. They include 3-D-printing enthusiasts who like making their own toys, instruments, and weapons; tinkerers and mechanics who like to customize household objects by outfitting them with sensors and Internet connectivity; and appreciators of craft who prefer to design their own objects and then have them manufactured on demand."
by Gary Stager
"Both of these classes exemplify the trend that is pushing its way into more schools-the maker movement. The shift to "making" represents the perfect storm of new technological materials, expanded opportunities, learning through firsthand experience, and the basic human impulse to create. It offers the potential to make classrooms more child-centered: relevant and more sensitive to each child's remarkable capacity for intensity. Making is predicated on the desire that we all have to exert agency over our lives, to solve our own problems. It recognizes that knowledge is a consequence of experience, and it seeks to democratize access to a vast range of experience and expertise so that each child can engage in authentic problem solving."
By: Jennifer Rowland.
"So you want to flip your classroom. That means creating a ton of lecture videos and hosting them on your college’s learning management system or online, right?
"There are some great resources out there that you can use to teach course concepts, and many of them are free."
by Matt Asay
"I work for an engineering-driven Big Data startup, so I understand the importance of engineering and I don't for one minute doubt that Silicon Valley's war over engineering talent is justified and will only increase.
"Small wonder, then, that ananalysis of the salaries of University of Virginia graduates found that systems engineering and computer science graduates stand to make more than twice as much as their peers studying the liberal arts.
"A strong developer is worth her weight in gold, but engineering is only half the picture in any tech company, and certainly in any startup. For every company that can develop an incredible hardware or software product, there are more companies who fail in the attempt to get someone interested in buying that product.
"This is why former Twitter and Google executive Santosh Jayaram told The Wall Street Journal that "English majors are exactly the people I'm looking for" in building up his startup, Daemonic Labs.
"English majors, according to Jayaram, can "tell stories," which is increasingly the difference between success and failure in a startup:"
Jim Lerman's insight:
If you're into professional development regarding writing, the site housing this webinar is the entryway to a host of resources on CCSS writing on the middle and secondary level. The webinar itself offers a good discussion of the planning for a year-long PD program. Be sure to follow the links to the several websites on this page; they take you to a mountain of resources.