Trends in Ed, 4.1.10

Submitted by Joann Agnitti on Thu, 04/01/2010 - 11:39pm.
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The state of social learning: Present and future

This is a summary of a report by Jane Hart, social learning designer. It is written for an L&D audience but her points can easily be related to student learning.

Social learning is being used for different types of learning. Hart identifies 5 categories of social learning:

  • Formal structured learning – 9 letters: LMS, CMS, VLE.
  • Personal directed learning- Using Facebook or LinkedIn to connect to others and ask/answer questions; microblogging to share info; keeping up to date with an RSS feed
  • Group directed learning- Using Google groups, Facebook, Ning to share ideas, experiences, and resources; collaborative tools like google docs; social bookmarking (Diigo)
  • Intra-Organizational Learning- internal blogging and microblogging, self-hosted wiki tools, social intranet to allow file sharing
  • Accidental & Serendipitous learning (I love that name… “serendipitous learning”)- finding out about new things via Twitter, Faceook, RSS, YouTube, Flickr; finding links to resources using social bookmarking

    New York private school goes corporate

    Submitted by Joann Agnitti on Thu, 04/01/2010 - 12:01pm.
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    Recess: Necessary and beneficial or frivolous and overrated? If you ask the Wackadilly private school of West Des Moines, New York, it’s the latter. They have foregone the physical activities of recess in an effort to train students for the “real world” of Corporate America. For example, the familiar outdoor setting has been replaced by a "corporate simulation room", with access to laptops, mobile devices, and copious amounts of caffeine. Curriculum includes tasks such as surfing the internet, downloading malware, responding to chain emails, shopping online, chatting, and other productive-looking tasks.

    I can see it now… “Office Space 2: Corporate Kindergarten.”

    Credits: Adrienne Garber, co-writer



    Everything looks better when it's animated

    Submitted by Joann Agnitti on Thu, 03/25/2010 - 9:40am.
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    Advertisements can be educational, right? That's the question that design/advertising company This is real art has set out to answer. It has recently completed 7 short mesmerizing animated video installments for satellite company, Astra. Below is the second video of the series, "Physics." Satellites have never looked so good!

    Source: Creative Review


    MIT student invents pump for Haiti: It sucks!

    Submitted by Joann Agnitti on Wed, 03/24/2010 - 4:25pm.
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    PhD candidate Danielle Zurovcik's invention is astounding in its mere simplicity. It acts in a similar way to the negative-pressure pumps found in hospitals by plunging out bacteria and waste from wounds while creating healthy blood flow, drastically reducing the recovery time for victims. But you won't find the expensive hospital price tag on this medical marvel... it only costs $3! Genius.


    Source: Popular Science


    Will the band play on?

    Submitted by Joann Agnitti on Fri, 03/19/2010 - 12:12pm.
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    The most creative and brilliant teachers I ever had were music teachers.

    My best friend (now one of those esteemed music teachers) was laid off when her school decided that the music and art program could no longer be supported by the school's budget. I say that no school can afford not to have a music and art program. Here's a great example of why music is so important in students' lives:


    Trends in Ed, 2.25.10

    Submitted by Joann Agnitti on Thu, 02/25/2010 - 11:03pm.
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    Robot teachers: Education has never looked so…creepy

    Classrooms in South Korea will soon experience a boom in “R-Learning” programs with the introduction of robotic teaching assistants in 400 pre-school classrooms by 2012; 8,000 pre-schools and kindergartens are expected to have them by 2013. The robot TAs won’t have the responsibility of teaching the class by itself, but will assist by reciting stories and allowing parents to send messages to their kids. If the trial run has favorable results, the robot TAs could begin to make appearances in elementary classrooms.

    Nevermind its Mrs. Potatohead appearance-- I can't help but wonder if they'll end up offering more of a distraction to students than assistance to busy teachers.


    Trends in Ed, 2.18.10

    Submitted by Joann Agnitti on Thu, 02/18/2010 - 6:57pm.
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    Math sees a future with web 2.0

    Is it a match made in Heaven? According to Maria Droujkova, developer of Natural Math and Math 2.0, it is! Droujikova saw the need for math to catch up to other subjects with regards to web 2.0 communities. Her response was to create math programs in which learning takes place within communities and networks-- a mashup between traditional math practices and social networking. This has given birth to the concept of social math:

    Droujikova's framework covers five dimensions: mathematical authoring, community mathematics, humanistic mathematics, executable mathematics, and the psychology of mathematics learning and education.

    Of those dimensions I was most interested in humanistic mathematics because it supposedly,"promotes activities that an audience can enjoy" in part by "infusing mathematics into robust artistic and musical communities." Full disclosure: I loathe all things explicitly mathematical.... but I'd be interested to see what hiding it behind a song could do! I....don't think math raps really does it for me, though.

    But I admire what Droujikova is doing. You don't have to love math, but you do have to learn it. Why should this process be painful? Why not create innovate mashups; why not let math tell a story; why not try to understand math anxiety as a means to dispel it?

    You can find more about the Math 2.0 initiative here.

    And here's the article [the Journal] where you can read about Droujikova and her framework.


    Trends in Ed, 2.4.10

    Submitted by Joann Agnitti on Thu, 02/04/2010 - 4:49pm.
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    Kids and Media

    The Kaiser Foundation has released its latest report on kids’ (ages 8-18) media use and, not surprisingly, it’s up from 5 years ago.

    Key findings:

  • Kids spend over 7.5 hours a day with some type of device (computer, tv, iPod). Wait, let me add to that: With the variety of devices available to kids, they often multitask, dividing their attention to more than one contraption at a time. This means they cram over 10 hours of media use into those 7.5 hours.
  • Photobucket

  • …And how about that whole school thing?
  • Photobucket

    These kids should have been asked about their sleeping habits because… does that happen or what?


    Trends in Ed, 1.28.10

    Submitted by Joann Agnitti on Thu, 01/28/2010 - 5:45pm.
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    Online College Ed: Hot Hot Hot

    Since 2007, the number of students taking online courses has grown 17% (according to the Sloan Survey of Online Learning as reported by Yahoo). Perhaps the Swine Flu can be attributed to some of the growth glory: Many schools (two-thirds of those surveyed) have a contingency plan set up that they threw into action in the case of an outbreak.

    Of particular interest to us at the lab is the finding that faculty acceptance of online ed has remained the same as it was 2002. From the article: “Fewer than one third of chief academic officers--meaning provosts, deans, and the like--believe their faculty accepts the value and legitimacy of online education, the report says.” Yikes. Me thinks they should ease into the spirit by creating hybrid courses, which mix traditional and online learning; for example, alternating between in class sessions one week and online classes the next. Here’s the argument for that: “A new analysis of existing online-learning research by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) reveals that students who took all or part of their class on line performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction (source).”


    Admissions steps it up

    Submitted by Joann Agnitti on Fri, 01/22/2010 - 11:30am.
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    Drama! Catchy music! It makes me want to go to Yale!


    ...Or at least wish I had gone to Yale so I could have been in the video :)

    The Yale admissions office took a risk with this wacky marketing move... and I liked it! Were it not 16 minutes long, I would probably watch it again. The video is in no doubt a response to a decrease in applications for the class of 2014. So, in a rallying effort to inspire potential cash co— uh, students—to send in their applications, this little gem was born.

    Why am I posting a Yale vid on a Columbia blog? Well, because I think both schools, while undoubtedly held in high esteem, are also notorious. I applaud their willingness to harness the power of social media to spread their message. Is it all hype? It could be! But I don't see other schools {ahem} trying to invigorate its past-and-present patrons with risky maneuvers of their own!

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