:: The 4th Era ::
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:: The 4th Era ::
Exploration of the new era in human history marked by invention of the Internet
Curated by Jim Lerman
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Group work advice for MOOC providers - by George Siemens

Group work advice for MOOC providers - by George Siemens | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

From the website

 

"The most valuable aspect of MOOCs is that the large number of learners enables the formation of sub-networks based on interested, geography, language, or some other attribute that draws individuals together. With 20 students in a class, limited options exist for forming sub-networks. When you have 5,000 students, new configurations are possible.

 

"The “new pedagogical models” (A Silicon Valley term meaning: we didn’t read the literature and still don’t realize that these findings are two, three, or more decades old) being discovered by MOOC providers supports what most academics and experienced teachers know about learning: it’s a social, active, and participatory process.

 

"The current MOOC providers have adopted a regressive pedagogy: small scale learning chunks reminiscent of the the heady days of cognitivism and military training. Ah, the 1960′s. What a great time to be a learner.

In order to move past this small chunk model of learning, MOOC providers will need to include problem based learning and group learning in their offerings. That won’t be easy. MOOCs have high dropout rates. Which means that if you’re assigned to a group of 10 learners, by the end of the course, you’ll be the only one left.

 

"The large MOOCs can improve the quality of learning by creating a model for rapid creation/dissolution of groups. If you have teenagers in your house (or if you are a gamer), you’re likely familiar with how groups form in many video games or virtual worlds. There are two extreme opposites: World of Warcraft involves highly cohesive social units where individuals spend long periods of time together in solving problems and engaging in quests. In contrast, Call of Duty has low social cohesion as groups are formed on the spot and once a player logs off, the group dissolve (yes, you can log in and play with friends in a more cohesive unit on CoD as well). The latter model is worth considering for MOOCs."


Via Ana Cristina Pratas
Jim Lerman's insight:

Quite an important article for those considering the design of MOOCs.

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Ana Cristina Pratas's comment, March 11, 2013 11:58 AM
Absolutely Jim!
Mark Gillingham's curator insight, March 12, 2013 3:56 PM

Thinking of using a MOOC for your students or yourself? Think about the limitations that are usual but not necessarily forced in the typical MOOC and break into groups. Although many drop out of MOOCs, many do because they didn't find a suitable group or didn't think to look for one. 

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Testing Resistance & Reform News: February 28 - March 6, 2013 | FairTest

Testing Resistance & Reform News: February 28 - March 6, 2013 | FairTest | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

Links to 9 articles that appeared in the past week.

Jim Lerman's insight:

March (Testing) Madness Takes Over Schools
   http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/cmts_capt_begin/id_55546

 

Seattle Teachers Stoke National Debate About Standardized Tests
   http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/03/us-usa-education-testing-idUSBRE92207B20130303?feedType=RSS&feedName=domesticNews

Boycott Gains Voice in Legislature with Bill to Report Costs of Testing
   http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweekly/2013/03/anti-testing_movement_gains_vo.php

Colorado Students Plan March 14 Walk Out to Protest High-Stakes Exams
   http://www.students4ourschools.org/calender-and-events.html

Standardized Testing Becomes the Great Divide in School Policy
    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-teachers-testing-20130304,0,4686481.story

High-Stakes Testing Threatens Civil Rights by Widening Racial Gaps
   http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com/article/20130228/OPINION01/302280017/Editorial-High-stakes-testing-civil-rights-issue

Testing, Other Policy Trends De-Professionalize Teaching
   http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/policy-reforms-deprofessionalization

Florida Bill Would Delay Common Core Assessments Until New Exams Meet the Test
   http://stateimpact.npr.org/florida/2013/03/04/bill-would-delay-next-generation-test-until-schools-have-technology-ready/

Five Things to Know About the SAT: Old or "New"
   http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/03/01/five-things-to-know-about-the-sat/

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The Arcane Rules That Keep Low-Income Kids Out of College | The Atlantic

The Arcane Rules That Keep Low-Income Kids Out of College | The Atlantic | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it
The labyrinth surrounding scholarships and admissions doesn't account for the messy realities of poor families' lives.
Jim Lerman's insight:

Excellent article

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Brown University creates first wireless, implanted brain-computer interface

Brown University creates first wireless, implanted brain-computer interface | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

Brown’s wireless BCI, fashioned out of hermetically sealed titanium, looks a lot like a pacemaker. Inside there’s a li-ion battery, an inductive (wireless) charging loop, a chip that digitizes the signals from your brain, and an antenna for transmitting those neural spikes to a nearby computer. The BCI is connected to a small chip with 100 electrodes protruding from it, which, in this study, was embedded in the somatosensory cortex or motor cortex. These 100 electrodes produce a lot of data, which the BCI transmits at 24Mbps over the 3.2 and 3.8GHz bands to a receiver that is one meter away. The BCI’s battery takes two hours to charge via wireless inductive charging, and then has enough juice to last for six hours of use.


Via Szabolcs Kósa, Amy Cross
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Nacho Vega's curator insight, March 5, 2013 5:10 AM

Where do we go?!!!

Gust MEES's curator insight, March 5, 2013 4:17 PM

 

These 100 electrodes produce a lot of data, which the BCI transmits at 24Mbps over the 3.2 and 3.8GHz bands to a receiver that is one meter away.

 

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zSpace - a virtual-holographic experience

Infinite Z, Inc.® is a digital design technology provider that enables natural interaction with virtual-holographic 3D imagery to bring designs to life. The ...

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Personalized Learning

Personalized Learning | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

David Freeburg asked a question about resoureces on Personalized Learning in Google+. The responses are yielding quite a collection of resources for those interested in the topic. -JL

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Dr. James "Buster" Brown Centennial Celebration

"On his centennial weekend, we gather to celebrate his soaring spirit of love and generosity and the artful mastery of his chosen means of expression…tap dance. We rejoice in the teaching and re-creation of some of his most famous dance pieces, immerse ourselves in films of his work and discussions of his importance, and bring it home to party at Swing 46, site of one of his most enduring and endearing creations, the Buster Brown Tap Jam. This will be a weekend packed with memories to last a lifetime."x

Jim Lerman's insight:

I know there are some tap dance fans and supporters out there!

 

My daughter, Michela, was a close protege of Buster Brown's, and our whole family were close friends with him.

 

We are so happy and proud that Michela is organizing a centennial celebration for Buster, one of one of the great human beings, and performers, of the 20th century. Joining with her in this effort are Tony Waag and the American Tap Dance Foundation.

 

Please watch this video and consider donating to the Kickstarter campaign in support of this wonderful event. Any amount will be greatly appreciated.

 

And if you can, please share this post with all in your social network.

 

Finally, of course, please consider attending what will be a wonderful weekend.

 

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Creating an Online Student Lounge | Edutopia

Creating an Online Student Lounge | Edutopia | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Heather Wolpert-Gawron

 

"It is not hard to create a virtual student lounge in an online classroom. Think about what a student union provides and go from there. Make sure that students go there first, familiarize themselves with the space, and are encouraged to return to it time and again to recharge their social batteries.

 

"t should be a place where everyone can hang out and share, posting, uploading and downloading. You can also create a "water cooler" thread of some kind that serves as just a fun way to build your community, introducing students to each other as members of a Virtual Learning Community (VLC.) It's important to re-introduce students to each other online even if you are a classroom teacher. Students have an interesting way of sharing online fascinating facts about themselves and their thoughts about lessons in a way that sometimes doesn't come out in the traditional classroom."

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Infographic: 29 Ways To Stay Creative

Infographic: 29 Ways To Stay Creative | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

Creativity is defined as the ability to create, but sometimes, we seem to lose that ability all of a sudden. 

Luckily, Jordan-based art director Islam Abudaoud has created a useful infographic that teaches us ways to stay creative. 

Titled ‘29 Ways To Stay Creative’, the infographic illustrates the “creative process and methods to keep a person moving forward and motivated to keep doing more”. 

For more information, check out the infographic at designtaxi.com...


Via Lauren Moss
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Jacqui Hogan's curator insight, March 14, 2013 10:26 AM

EVERYone can be creative. 

Robin Martin's curator insight, April 28, 2013 8:22 PM

Love this inforgraphic! Very "creative!!"

Julien CHARLES's comment, May 16, 2013 7:40 AM
Really interesting and inspiring - Thx a lot.
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Miguel Nicolelis: A monkey that controls a robot with its thoughts. No, really. | Video on TED.com

A TEDMED talk, recorded in 2012, released in Feb. 2013. 

Simply amazing. -JL

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Hacking at Education: TED, Technology Entrepreneurship, Uncollege, and the Hole in the Wall

Hacking at Education: TED, Technology Entrepreneurship, Uncollege, and the Hole in the Wall | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Audrey Watters

 

"I always feel like it’s hard to get a word in edgewise in TED Talks. Indeed, they’re designed that way: well-scripted and highly-polished presentations — 15 to 20 minutes on “ideas worth spreading.” The audience is supposed to bask in the ideas — get carried away in the prose and in the delight of human curiosity and the superstar delivery and “why hadn’t I thunk of that” problem-solving.

 

"You are not supposed to interrogate a TED Talk. You’re supposed to share the talk on Facebook.

 

"But I have questions.

 

"I have questions about this history of schooling as Mitra (and others) tell it, about colonialism and neo-colonialism. I have questions about the funding of the initial “Hole in the Wall” project (it came from NIIT, an India-based “enterprise learning solution” company that offers 2- and 4-year IT diplomas). I have questions about these commercial interests in “child-driven education” (As Ellen Seitler asks, “can the customer base be expanded to reach people without a computer, without literacy, and without any formal teaching whatsoever?”).

 

"I have questions about the research from the “Hole in the Wall” project — the research, not the 15 minute TED spiel about it. I have questions about girls’ lack of participation in the kiosks. I have questions about project’s usage of retired British schoolteachers — “grannies” — to interact with Indian children via Skype.

 

"I have questions about community support. I have questions about what happens when we dismantle public institutions like schools — questions about social justice, questions about community, questions about care. I have questions about the promise of a liberation via a “child-driven education,” questions about this particular brand of neo-liberalism, techno-humanitarianism, and techno-individualism.

 

"You don’t get to ask questions of a TED Talk. Even the $10,000 ticket to watch it live only gives you the privilege of a seat in the theater."

Jim Lerman's insight:

Watters adds to the growing questioning of the one-way communication flow from TED that seems to repeat endlessly schools are bad and tech is good.

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How Teachers Are Using Technology at Home and in Their Classrooms | Pew Internet & American Life Project

How Teachers Are Using Technology at Home and in Their Classrooms | Pew Internet & American Life Project | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Kristen Purcell, Alan Heaps, Judy Buchanan, Linda Friedrich

 

"A survey of 2,462 Advanced Placement (AP) and National Writing Project (NWP) teachers finds that digital technologies have helped them in teaching their middle school and high school students in many ways. At the same time, the internet, mobile phones, and social media have brought new challenges to teachers.

 

"In addition, they report that there are striking differences in the role of technology in wealthier school districts compared with poorer school districts and that there are clear generational differences among teachers when it comes to their comfort with technology and its use in their classrooms.

 

"Asked about the impact of the internet and digital tools in their role as middle and high school educators, these teachers say the following about the overall impact on their teaching and their classroom work:

92% of these teachers say the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to access content, resources, and materials for their teaching69% say the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to share ideas with other teachers67% say the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to interact with parents and 57% say it has had such an impact on enabling their interaction with students"

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How Is Creativity Killed? | ASCD

How Is Creativity Killed? | ASCD | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Yong Zhao

 

"One of the most sought-after assets in the 21st century is also one of the casualties of test-oriented education in China: creativity. In his book The Writing on the Wall: How Asian Orthography Curbs Creativity, linguist William Hannas (2003) documents the fact that modern development in Asian countries has relied primarily on technology transfers from the United States and European countries. Leaders of Asian nations are acutely aware of their creativity (lack thereof) problem and have been trying to address it, albeit with limited success; but somehow this fact escapes the attention of leaders and educators in the United States, "where East Asia's technical skills are typically confused with real creativity, and where people have little clue about the degree to which their creative resources are utilized abroad for commercial profit" (Hannas, 2003, p. 4). As a result, Asian nations have been working on closing the creativity gap, while the United States has been troubled by the "achievement gap" revealed by international comparison tests, such as TIMSS and PISA."

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Adaptability to Online Learning: Differences Across Types of Students and Academic Subject Areas

CCRC conducts research on community colleges and contributes to the development of practice and policy to promote success for all higher education students.

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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Tom Perran's curator insight, March 10, 2013 10:07 AM

Using a dataset containing nearly 500,000 courses taken by over 40,000 community and technical college students in Washington State, this study examines how well students adapt to the online environment in terms of their ability to persist and earn strong grades in online courses relative to their ability to do so in face-to-face courses.

Gust MEES's curator insight, March 10, 2013 4:48 PM

 

Check it out and learn more...

 

ThePinkSalmon's comment, March 16, 2013 3:48 AM
A really interesting research to learn more, many thanks
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Wall of Films! | Over 500 Social Change Documentaries on 1 Page

Wall of Films! | Over 500 Social Change Documentaries on 1 Page | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

From the website

 

"Films For Action is a community-powered alternative news center and learning library for people who want to change the world

 

"At an International Level:
Films For Action uses the power of film to raise awareness of important social, environmental, and media-related issues not covered by the mainstream news. Our goal is to provide citizens with the information and perspectives essential to creating a more just, sustainable, and democratic society.

Our website has cataloged over 900 of the best films and videos that can be watched free online.

"At the Local Level:
On the ground, our City Chapters are working to create alternative media channels that will inform, connect, and inspire action at a community level."

Jim Lerman's insight:

Be wise and preview these films before having students view them.

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Alison Hewett's curator insight, April 12, 2014 9:32 PM

This is great and something I didn't previously know about. Good resource when looking at both sides of a debate.

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Sugata Mitra: Build a School in the Cloud | Video on TED.com

Onstage at TED2013, Sugata Mitra makes his bold TED Prize wish: Help me design the School in the Cloud, a learning lab in India, where children can explore and learn from each other -- using resources and mentoring from the cloud.

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Cisco Virtual Forum for Education Leaders

Cisco Virtual Forum for Education Leaders | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

Cisco is proud to convene this year’s online Forum of extraordinarily talented education leaders who are transforming education today. March 19/20 2013 


Via Anna Hu , Amy Cross
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This game is a movie: 'New Cinema' explores the altered future of film

This game is a movie: 'New Cinema' explores the altered future of film | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

Peter Jackson's high frame rate Hobbit and the second coming of 3D have probably been the most publicized attempts to revive the stagnating movie industry. But elsewhere, the future of cinema seems to be converging on something more closely resembling a video game as artists, hackers, and filmmakers process the language of film through the lens of code.


Via Amy Cross
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Imagination: Creating the Future of Education and Work

Imagination: Creating the Future of Education and Work | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

From the website

 

"Americans are currently faced with a shortage of jobs, but by 2018 the nation will be faced with a shortage of educated workers. This project began in Louisiana, where 100,000 skilled labor jobs are currently unfilled. If the future workforce continues to be trained for the past, particularly as other countries look ahead, Americans will no longer be globally competitive as the domestic economy and infrastructure continue to collapse.

 

"Can that be prevented, and if so, how? With the industrial era crumbling behind us and technological developments rapidly accelerating toward a hybrid reality that still hasn’t fully manifested, the co-directors of this project, Rita J. King and Joshua Fouts, call this fleeting period between the two longer eras the “Imagination Age,” a time during which humanity must imagine and then create, together, the systems of the new global economy and culture.

 

"Since 2007, the directors of this project have been collaborating on the development of imagination as the driving force behind this shift. The research and field work covered in this project began in January 2009. Rather than publishing results as a book or white paper, both of which are one-sided approaches to a subject that demands a conversation, an interactive site was chosen as the format.

 

"This site doesn’t just present theories and ideas, but rather actionable solutions that can be immediately and easily implemented in service of a relevant education for American students who need to gain proficiency if not mastery of core subject areas while at the same time being prepared for the reality of future work. Imagination is a broad topic, encompassing everything the mind can conjure, so the findings in this report are focused on those that overlap with the changing world of work."

Jim Lerman's insight:

This site is a remarkable piece of work. The authors, King and Fouts, have assembled a series of essays and resources about the medium range future and how we can make it better.

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Amy Cross's comment, March 5, 2013 7:34 AM
Love this! Thanks for sharing.
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Response: "Ten Elements Of Effective Instruction" | Education Week

Response: "Ten Elements Of Effective Instruction" | Education Week | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

by Larry Ferlazzo

Summary by Accomplished Teacher

 

"Autonomy, mastery and purpose drive motivation, writes National Board Certified Teacher David B. Cohen. In his response to a blog post by Larry Ferlazzo, Cohen writes that understanding motivation can help English teachers improve their craft. "Purpose may be the most essential of the three components of motivation," he writes. "The more we understand and believe in the purpose of a task or challenge, the more we are willing to persevere, and even relinquish some autonomy."

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Character Education Seen as Student-Achievement Tool | Education Week

Character Education Seen as Student-Achievement Tool | Education Week | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Carolee J. Adams

 

"Many school administrators are realizing character education, once thought of as an intrusion on the school day, can actually help students perform better.

 

"A growing body of research supports its effectiveness, and educators say they've seen a difference in students when positive value lessons become part of the school's culture.

 

“Good character education is good education,” said Marvin Berkowitz, a professor of character education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

 

"If kids come to schools where they feel valued, safe, and feel teachers have their best interests at heart, … they commit themselves," said Marvin Berkowitz, a professor of character education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. "They work harder, there are fewer distractions, and kids are more motivated. Of course they learn more."

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Who Are You? Putting Faces on Virtual Learners | Faculty Focus

Who Are You? Putting Faces on Virtual Learners | Faculty Focus | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Cynde Gregory

 

"One of the first and most difficult tasks an online instructor faces is how to establish the presence of a learning community. Learning in isolation may be possible, but it’s neither enjoyable nor complete, and many online students end up quitting or failing the course simply because they miss the classmate support that is readily available in face-to-face classes. To ignore the importance of peer learning and personal connection in any classroom, including those in which participants might not physically meet, is to deny the significance of social interaction in learning. "

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K-12 student database jazzes tech startups, spooks parents | Reuters

K-12 student database jazzes tech startups, spooks parents | Reuters | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

By Stephanie Simon

 

"An education technology conference this week in Austin, Texas, will clang with bells and whistles as startups eagerly show off their latest wares.

But the most influential new product may be the least flashy: a $100 million database built to chart the academic paths of public school students from kindergarten through high school.

 

"In operation just three months, the database already holds files on millions of children identified by name, address and sometimes social security number. Learning disabilities are documented, test scores recorded, attendance noted. In some cases, the database tracks student hobbies, career goals, attitudes toward school - even homework completion.

 

"Local education officials retain legal control over their students' information. But federal law allows them to share files in their portion of the database with private companies selling educational products and services.

Entrepreneurs can't wait.

 

"This is going to be a huge win for us," said Jeffrey Olen, a product manager at CompassLearning, which sells education software."

 

 

 

Jim Lerman's insight:

This would apper to be something to get very concerned about. Do any readers feel differently?

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TPACK Learning Activity Wiki - home

TPACK Learning Activity Wiki  - home | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

This is a virtual place for folks interested in learning to "operationalize TPACK" (Technology, Pedagogy, and Content Knowledge) using curriculum-based learning activity types ('LATs'), teaching strategies, and performance assessments.

The curricula in which we are developing and refining learning activity type and teaching strategies taxonomies appear on the left. If you have suggestions for changes, please email them to us using the links on our names, below.


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New K12 Poll: More American Parents Customize Their Coffee Than Their Child's Education

New K12 Poll: More American Parents Customize Their Coffee Than Their Child's Education | :: The 4th Era :: | Scoop.it

"As online education gains acceptance and becomes more mainstream, individualized learning in pre-kindergarten through high school is expected to become more the norm, as it has in other sectors, including retail, banking, healthcare and entertainment.  According to a new K12 Inc.-commissioned study conducted online in February by Harris Interactive among more than 2,200 U.S. adults, nearly nine-in-ten parents (86%) with a child between the ages 6–17 say they customize some aspect of their lives, including the way they shop, bank, and watch television; however, only 29% customize their child’s schooling."

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