A great conversation that just skims over the deeper feeling I have that “we” are slowly working out the problems with the current system and working out how to deliver a revolution.
We’ve had a spate of books that point to the internet as making this generation dumber or damaging our brains, or making us all more distractable. But thanks to Pew Research and work by MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning Program, we have excellent research that says none of that is true.
So now we can relax, get a little more calm and think more creatively and critically about what we need to do better to prepare students and adults for the possibilities and challenges of the new technology.
The Web has unlocked the keys to a worldwide virtual school, potentially leveling the playing field for students around the world.
The observation that there hasn’t been a major disruption in the education industry (such as the like seen in music, film and books) is so true. And just imagine the effects of such a disruption! Traditional education institutions becoming as relevant as Blockbuster was to the film industry.
There have been changes sure, wikipedia, youtube, google and electronic text books - but nothing that means students learn more out of the institutions than inside them. These changes have been no different that what the CD was for music.
This is where I think the “gaming layer” will break that ground. Such initiatives as Gameful and all the other game based learning software that I’ve been mentioning in previous posts, will mean that the hours and hours spent by people playing games will actually replace the hours and hours spent sitting in a class room doing tasks and projects.
The prime example I always refer to - imagine if Pokemon was based on biological science! We’d have a whole generation that could skip 1st year biology class.
The Web gives lifelong learners the tools to become autodidacts, eschewing exorbitant tuition and joining the ranks of other self-taught great thinkers in history such as Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, Paul Allen and Ernest Hemingway.
Educational apps are usually flashcard, textbook or calculator substitutes: They make games that help with memorization, are references for information, or give you the answer. What’s exciting about Wolfram Alpha’s new apps is that they sometimes give you not just the answer, but a step-by-step explanation of how they arrived at it. Instead of just spitting out an answer and a line for a one-variable equation, for instance, the Algebra app shows each step of the equation.
To those that argue that copyright impedes knowledge, we say this: copyright creates diversity. It is an essential component of a democratic society. It should be available to those who want to benefit from its existence, and respected by those who wish to access materials created under its protection.
I can see how schools paying $54.3m to the Copyright Agency Ltd in 08-09 could be considered creating diversity but I would like to know what the schools are paying for. Is it specific educationally designed material? I am wondering if anyone can access these survey results:
Last year surveys were carried out in over 300 educational institutions, including 280 schools, 8 universities, 15 TAFEs and 6 community colleges. Digital use continues to increase in schools…
I hope these results reveal quality, educationally sound resources.
Stephen Heppell, one of the world’s leading education reformers, talks about education.
Schools are full of things that our descendants will look back on and laugh out loud at: ringing a bell and expecting 1,000 teenagers to be simultaneously hungry; putting 25 children together in a box because they were born between two Septembers; assessing children based on how well they work alone; and so on.
… rather than fearing the globalization of higher education, which will be counterproductive, we should embrace it. As executives in the tech industry know, the best strategy to compete is to hire all stars from wherever you can find them.
An entertaining but relevant look at Tangential Learning and the divide between “edu” games and mainstream video games. Well done to the authors (Daniel Floyd & James Portnow) for recognising that this style of education tends to become a historians utopia (as most of the ‘learning’ tends to quickly descend into historical) and providing some alternate examples… possibly could have explored that a bit more though.
Reading the comments on the youtube page is interesting too as many say what they’ve learned through this approach in current mainstream video games.
A more emotional than statistical look at education. I am reluctant to tag it with infographics but, well, there is some there. It’s strength, as Nathan from FlowingData points out, is in it’s flow and style.
After watching the movie trailer and the premise of the campaign behind it I can see that this animation fits in well with the emotional strings the campaign is trying to pull.
This is a great trailer for an up and coming documentary directed by ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ Davis Guggenheim, hopefully some poignant truths will be explored. The more discussion about how to improve education the better!
The trailer introduces the very disturbing selection criteria that students lives hang upon; elegantly laying the foundation of what getting a good education has become.
A 10-week after school program that teaches New York City high schoolers to use design to change their communities. Run by three MFA Interaction Design students - Derek Chan, Carmen Dukes, and Katie Koch - their students are encouraged to “tackle issues that matter to them with the prospect of creating viable solutions. The 1 page Curriculum Overview shows what they cover and, for high school students, what a brilliant heads up to the opportunities available to them in the design field.
It’s really important to introduce kids to the intricacies of investigating and solving the problems in their local communities; as adults they are more likely to attempt proactive solutions when issues arise.
Front End Web Designer and Educator living in Adelaide working for the ABC mainly on Behind the News.
I am deeply interested in Education from all aspects and hope this blog contributes to that discussion.