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Misha Miller

Using Groups Effectively: 10 Principles » Edurati Review - 50 views

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    "Conversation is key . Sawyer succinctly explains this principle: "Conversation leads to flow, and flow leads to creativity." When having students work in groups, consider what will spark rich conversation. The original researcher on flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, found that rich conversation precedes and ignites flow more than any other activity.1 Tasks that require (or force) interaction lead to richer collaborative conceptualization. Set a clear but open-ended goal . Groups produce the richest ideas when they have a goal that will focus their interaction but also has fluid enough boundaries to allow for creativity. This is a challenge we often overlook. As teachers, we often have an idea of what a group's final product should look like (or sound like, or…). If we put students into groups to produce a predetermined outcome, we prevent creative thinking from finding an entry point. Try not announcing time limits. As teachers we often use a time limit as a "motivator" that we hope will keep group work focused. In reality, this may be a major detractor from quality group work. Deadlines, according to Sawyer, tend to impede flow and produce lower quality results. Groups produce their best work in low-pressure situations. Without a need to "keep one eye on the clock," the group's focus can be fully given to the task. Do not appoint a group "leader." In research studies, supervisors, or group leaders, tend to subvert flow unless they participate as an equal, listening and allowing the group's thoughts and decisions to guide the interaction. Keep it small. Groups with the minimum number of members that are needed to accomplish a task are more efficient and effective. Consider weaving together individual and group work. For additive tasks-tasks in whicha group is expectedtoproduce a list, adding one idea to another-research suggests that better results develop
Lisa C. Hurst

Inside the School Silicon Valley Thinks Will Save Education | WIRED - 10 views

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    "AUTHOR: ISSIE LAPOWSKY. ISSIE LAPOWSKY DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05.04.15. 05.04.15 TIME OF PUBLICATION: 7:00 AM. 7:00 AM INSIDE THE SCHOOL SILICON VALLEY THINKS WILL SAVE EDUCATION Click to Open Overlay Gallery Students in the youngest class at the Fort Mason AltSchool help their teacher, Jennifer Aguilar, compile a list of what they know and what they want to know about butterflies. CHRISTIE HEMM KLOK/WIRED SO YOU'RE A parent, thinking about sending your 7-year-old to this rogue startup of a school you heard about from your friend's neighbor's sister. It's prospective parent information day, and you make the trek to San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood. You walk up to the second floor of the school, file into a glass-walled conference room overlooking a classroom, and take a seat alongside dozens of other parents who, like you, feel that public schools-with their endless bubble-filled tests, 38-kid classrooms, and antiquated approach to learning-just aren't cutting it. At the same time, you're thinking: this school is kind of weird. On one side of the glass is a cheery little scene, with two teachers leading two different middle school lessons on opposite ends of the room. But on the other side is something altogether unusual: an airy and open office with vaulted ceilings, sunlight streaming onto low-slung couches, and rows of hoodie-wearing employees typing away on their computers while munching on free snacks from the kitchen. And while you can't quite be sure, you think that might be a robot on wheels roaming about. Then there's the guy who's standing at the front of the conference room, the school's founder. Dressed in the San Francisco standard issue t-shirt and jeans, he's unlike any school administrator you've ever met. But the more he talks about how this school uses technology to enhance and individualize education, the more you start to like what he has to say. And so, if you are truly fed up with the school stat
Steven Parker

Does Facebook generation care if privacy is dying? - Opinion - Belfasttelegraph.co.uk - 26 views

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    Excellent opinion piece articulating the implications of the loss of privacy for individuals who put their personal data out into world in particular the surrendering of their sense of offline individuality to being a small part of a larger online community of people whereby their personal identity is reflected in their standing as part of an online network.
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    Excellent opinion piece articulating the implications of the loss of privacy for individuals who put their personal data out into world in particular the surrendering of their sense of offline individuality to being a small part of a larger online community of people whereby their personal identity is reflected in their standing as part of an online network.
Nigel Coutts

The challenge and promise of learning organisations - The Learner's Way - 2 views

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    There is a great deal that I like about this description of humanity at its best from Ryan & Deci. It is both a goal to be achieved and an indicator of conditions which are required for us to fulfil our potential. While the focus of this statement is on the actions of the individual we can see how society might act to deny individuals the opportunities to lead such an inspired and agentic life. I like to imagine what a school might be like if every individual who plays a part in its functioning strove to extend themselves, master new skills and apply their talents responsibly.  Maybe schools would be like the 'learning organisations' described by Peter Senge. 
Nigel Coutts

Culture, Change and the Individual - The Learner's Way - 17 views

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    A recent post by George Couros (author of The innovators Mindset) posed an interesting question about the role that culture plays in shaping the trajectory of an organisation. The traditional wisdom is that culture trumps all but George points to the role that individuals play in shaping and changing culture itself. Is culture perhaps less resilient than we are led to imagine and is it just a consequence of the individuals with the greatest influence? Or, is something else at play here?
Kay Bradley

Social contract - Wikipedia - 20 views

    • Carolyn Eccleston
       
      What does this mean?
  • Locke believed
  • Rousseau believed
  • ...6 more annotations...
  • Grotius posited that individual human beings had natural rights; Hobbes asserted that humans consent to abdicate their rights in favor of the absolute authority of government
    • Carolyn Eccleston
       
      What is the difference between the two beliefs?
  • The Lockean concept of the social contract was invoked in the United States Declaration of Independence.
    • Carolyn Eccleston
       
      What Lockean concepts appear in the US Declaration of Independence?
    • Kay Bradley
       
      The idea that citizens give up some individual freedoms in order to realize greater benefits from living in society.
  • Social contract arguments typically posit that individuals have consented, either explicitly or tacitly, to surrender some of their freedoms and submit to the authority of the ruler or magistrate
    • Carolyn Eccleston
       
      What does it mean to submit tacitly? Does the US Declaration of Independence require tacit submission?
    • Carolyn Eccleston
       
      I don't know. What do you think?
    • Kay Bradley
       
      Not the Declaration of Independence because that did not establish a social contract, but yes the Constitution and the system of law, The submission is tacit because each generation does not revise the social contract that is spelled out in the Constitution and the corpus of laws. Therefore, each generation that wants to live in the US must accept the existing social contract.
    • Robert Vigliotti
       
      According to Hobbes, whenever we benefit from the conditions of security and the goods that are only possible through the social contract, we have consented to the social contract, which includes obedience to the sovereign, even though we did not give explicit consent.
  • legitimacy of the authority of the state over the individual
Adrienne Michetti

Where Everybody Knows Your (Screen) Name: Online Games as "Third Places" - 52 views

    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      This is, I think, why I'm more keen on today's social networks than I am on games -- games do not provide deep emotional support.
  • "bowling alone" hypothesis (Putnam, 2000), which suggests that media are displacing crucial civic and social institutions
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      Putnam - need to check this article. Interesting; not sure I agree.
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  • According to Putnam, time spent with relatively passive and disengaging media has come at the expense of time spent on vital community-building activities.
  • The evidence to date is mixed
  • A core problem on both sides of the debate is an underlying assumption that all Internet use is more or less equivalent
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      SO True
  • It would be more plausible and empirically rigorous, then, to consider how specific forms of Internet activity impact civic and social engagement as a result of their particular underlying social architectures
  • combining conclusions from two different lines of MMO research conducted from two different perspectives—one from a media effects approach, the other from a sociocultural perspective on cognition and learning.
  • By providing spaces for social interaction and relationships beyond the workplace and home, MMOs have the capacity to function as one form of a new "third place" for informal sociability much like the pubs, coffee shops, and other hangouts of old.
  • loosely structured by open-ended narratives
  • They are known for their peculiar combination of designed "escapist fantasy" and emergent "social realism"
  • from two research projects: one an examination of the media effects of MMOs, the other an ethnographic study of cognition and culture in such contexts.
  • the conclusions of both studies were remarkably aligned.
  • the assumption that the most fruitful advances are sometimes made when congruent findings are discovered through disparate means
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      Love this quote.
  • demonstrate the "effects" of game play vs. no game play.
  • first project was a traditional effects study
  • second project, a qualitative study of cognition and learning in MMOs (
  • ethnography
  • sociocultural perspective
  • as a way to tease out what happens in the virtual setting of the game and how the people involved consider their own activities, the activities of others, and the contexts in which those activities takes place
  • a reasonable level of generalizability (random assignment to condition in the first study) and contextualization (ethnographic description of existing in-game social networks and practices in the second)
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      but I wonder why he chose these games -- this is not specified. Only their success in US and abroad?
  • brick-and-mortar "third places" in America where individuals can gather to socialize informally beyond the workplace and home
  • the exaggerated self-consciousness of individuals.
  • In what ways might MMOs function as new third places for informal sociability?
  • virtual environments have the potential to function as new (albeit digitally mediated) third places similar to pubs, coffee shops, and other hangouts.
  • in this section we analyze the structural form of MMOs that warrants this "third place" assertion.
  • eight defining characteristics of third places
  • there is no default obligation
  • To oblige any one person to play requires that explicit agreements be entered into by parties
  • the default assumption is that no one person is compelled to participate legally, financially, or otherwise.
  • Unless one transforms the virtual world of the game into a workplace (e.g., by taking on gainful employment as a virtual currency "farmer" for example, Dibbell, 2006; Steinkuehler, 2006a) or enters into such agreement, no one person is obligated to log in
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      and this is why, in my opinion, you will never see games in school. The game cannot be the Third Place because school is a Second Place.
  • Yee's (2006) interviews also reveal that individuals who game with romantic partners or family find that such joint engagement in the "other world" of MMOs allows them to redefine the nature and boundaries of their offline relationships, often in more equitable terms than what may be possible in day-to-day offline life
  • the relationships that play-partners have with one another offline are often "leveled" within the online world
  • an individual's rank and status in the home, workplace, or society are of no importance
  • appeal to people in part because they represent meritocracies otherwise unavailable in a world often filled with unfairness
  • conversation plays an analogous role
  • "In all such systems, linguistic interactions have been primary: users exchange messages that cement the social bonds between them, messages that reflect shared history and understandings (or misunderstandings) about the always evolving local norms for these interactions" (p. 22).
  • third places must also be easy to access
  • such that "one may go alone at almost any time of the day or evening with assurance that acquaintances will be there"
  • accessible directly from one's home, making them even more accommodating to individual schedules and preferences
  • barriers to initial access.
  • "What attracts a regular visitor to a third place is supplied not by management but by the fellow customer,"
  • "It is the regulars who give the place its character and who assure that on any given visit some of the gang will be there"
  • affective sense
  • As one informant satirically commented in an interview, "You go for the experience [points], you stay for the enlightening conversation.
  • engendering a sense of reliable mentorship and community stability.
  • Oldenburg argues that third places are characteristically homely, their d�cor defying tidiness and pretension whenever possible. MMOs do not fit this criterion in any literal sense
  • In neither of our investigations did the degree of formality exhibited by players within the game bear any relation to the degree of visual ornamentation of the players' immediate vicinity.
  • Thus, while the visual form of MMO environments does not fit Oldenburg's (1999) criterion of "low profile," the social function of those environments does.
  • Oldenburg (1999) argues that seriousness is anathema to a vibrant third place; instead, frivolity, verbal word play, and wit are essential.
  • The playful nature of MMOs is perhaps most apparent in what happens when individuals do bring gravity to the game.
  • the home-like quality of third places in rooting people
  • Participation becomes a regular part of daily life for players and, among regular gamemates such as guild members, exceptional absences (i.e., prolonged or unforeseen ones) are queried within the game or outside i
  • create an atmosphere of mutual caring that, while avoiding entangling obligations per se, creates a sense of rootedness to the extent that regularities exist, irregularities are duly noted, and, when concerning the welfare of any one regular, checked into
  • Are virtual communities really communities, or is physical proximity necessary?
  • Anderson (1991), who suggests that geographic proximity itself is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for the emergence and preservation of "community."
  • Social capital (Coleman, 1988) works analogously to financial capital; it can be acquired and spent, but for social and personal gains rather than financial
  • operates cyclically within social networks because of their associated norms of reciprocity
  • bridging social capital is inclusive.
  • This form of social capital is marked by tentative relationships, yet what they lack in depth, they make up for in breadth.
  • On the one hand, bridging social capital provides little in the way of emotional support; on the other hand, such relationships can broaden social horizons or worldviews, providing access to information and new resources.
  • bonding social capital is exclusive.
  • social superglue.
  • it can also result in insularity.
  • shows that bridging and bonding social capital are tied to different social contexts, given the network of relationships they enable.
  • Virtual worlds appear to function best as bridging mechanisms rather than as bonding ones, although they do not entirely preclude social ties of the latter type.
  • One could argue that, if the benchmark for bonding social capital is the ability to acquire emotional, practical, or substantive support, then MMOs are not well set up for the task:
  • While deep affective relationships among players are possible, they are less likely to generate the same range of bonding benefits as real-world relationships because of players' geographic dispersion and the nature of third places themselves.
  • Despite differences in theoretical grounding and methodologies, our conclusions were remarkably similar across complementary macro- and micro-levels.
  • It is worth noting, however, that as gamers become more involved in long-term social networks such as guilds and their activities become more "hardcore" (e.g., marked by participation in large-scale collaborative problem-solving endeavors such as "raids" into difficult territories or castle sieges), the function of MMOs as "third places" begins to wane.
  • It may be, then, that the structure and function of MMOs as third places is one part of the "life cycle" for some gamers in a given title.
  • In such cases, MMOs appear to enable a different kind of sociability, one ostensibly recognizable as a "community" nonetheless.
  • However, our research findings indicate that this conclusion is uninformed. To argue that MMO game play is isolated and passive media consumption in place of informal social engagement is to ignore the nature of what participants actually do behind the computer screen
  • Perhaps it is not that contemporary media use has led to a decline in civic and social engagement, but rather that a decline in civic and social engagement has led to retribalization through contemporary media (McLuhan, 1964).
  • Such a view, however, ignores important nuances of what "community" means by pronouncing a given social group/place as either wholly "good" or "bad" without first specifying which functions the online community ought to fulfill.
  • Moreover, despite the semantics of the term, "weak" ties have been shown to be vital in communities, relationships, and opportunities.
  • is to what extent such environments shift the existing balance between bridging and bonding
  • In light of Putnam's evidence of the decline of crucial civic and social institutions, it may well be that the classification "lacking bridging social capital" best characterizes the everyday American citizen. T
  • Without bridging relationships, individuals remain sheltered from alternative viewpoints and cultures and largely ignorant of opportunities and information beyond their own closely bound social network.
  • it seems ironic that, now of all times, we would ignore one possible solution to our increasingly vexed relationship with diversity.
Mark Swartz

Role and Function of Theory in Online Education Development and Delivery - 3 views

  • According to Bonk and Reynolds (1997), to promote higher-order thinking on the Web, online learning must create challenging activities that enable learners to link new information to old, acquire meaningful knowledge, and use their metacognitive abilities; hence, it is the instructional strategy and not the technology tha
  • According to Bonk and Reynolds (1997), to promote higher-order thinking on the Web, online learning must create challenging activities that enable learners to link new information to old, acquire meaningful knowledge, and use their metacognitive abilities; hence, it is the instructional strategy and not the technology that influences the quality of learning.
  • However, it is not the computer per se that makes students learn, but the design of the real-life models and simulations, and the students' interaction with those models and simulations. The computer is merely the vehicle that provides the processing capability and delivers the instruction to learners (Clark, 2001).
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  • Online learning allows for flexibility of access, from anywhere and usually at anytime—essentially, it allows participants to collapse time and space (Cole, 2000)—however, the learning materials must be designed properly to engage the learner and promote learning.
  • Cognitive psychology claims that learning involves the use of memory, motivation, and thinking, and that reflection plays an important part in learning.
  • The development of effective online learning materials should be based on proven and sound learning theories.
  • Early computer learning systems were designed based on a behaviorist approach to learning. The behaviorist school of thought, influenced by Thorndike (1913), Pavlov (1927), and Skinner (1974), postulates that learning is a change in observable behavior caused by external stimuli in the environment (Skinner, 1974).
  • Therefore, before any learning materials are developed, educators must, tacitly or explicitly, know the principles of learning and how students learn.
  • Constructivist theorists claim that learners interpret information and the world according to their personal reality, and that they learn by observation, processing, and interpretation, and then personalize the information into personal knowledge (Cooper, 1993; Wilson, 1997).
  • The design of online learning materials can include principles from all three. According to Ertmer and Newby (1993), the three schools of thought can in fact be used as a taxonomy for learning. Behaviorists' strategies can be used to teach the “what” (facts), cognitive strategies can be used to teach the “how” (processes and principles), and constructivist strategies can be used to teach the “why” (higher level thinking that promotes personal meaning and situated and contextual learning).
  • The behaviorist school sees the mind as a “black box,” in the sense that a response to a stimulus can be observed quantitatively, totally ignoring the effect of thought processes occurring in the mind.
  • Learners should be told the explicit outcomes of the learning so that they can set expectations and can judge for themselves whether or not they have achieved the outcome of the online lesson. 2.  Learners must be tested to determine whether or not they have achieved the learning outcome. Online testing or other forms of testing and assessment should be integrated into the learning sequence to check the learner's achievement level and to provide appropriate feedback. 3.  Learning materials must be sequenced appropriately to promote learning. The sequencing could take the form of simple to complex, known to unknown, and knowledge to application. 4.  Learners must be provided with feedback so that they can monitor how they are doing and take corrective action if required.
  • Cognitivists see learning as an internal process that involves memory, thinking, reflection, abstraction, motivation, and meta-cognition.
  • Online instruction must use strategies to allow learners to attend to the learning materials so that they can be transferred from the senses to the sensory store and then to working memory.
  • Online learning strategies must present the materials and use strategies to enable students to process the materials efficiently.
  • information should be organized or chunked in pieces of appropriate size to facilitate processing.
  • Use advance organizers to activate an existing cognitive structure or to provide the information to incorporate the details of the lesson (Ausubel, 1960).
  • Use pre-instructional questions to set expectations and to activate the learners' existing knowledge structure.
  • Use prerequisite test questions to activate the prerequisite knowledge structure required for learning the new materials.
  • To facilitate deep processing, learners should be asked to generate the information maps during the learning process or as a summary activity after the lesson (Bonk & Reynolds, 1997).
  • The cognitive school recognizes the importance of individual differences, and of including a variety of learning strategies in online instruction to accommodate those differences
  • The Kolb Learning Style Inventory (LSI) (Kolb, 1984) looks at how learners perceive and process information, whereas the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Myers, 1978) uses dichotomous scales to measure extroversion versus introversion, sensing versus intuition, thinking versus feeling, and judging versus perception. In the following discussion, we consider the Kolb Learning Style Inventory.
  • Attention: Capture the learners' attention at the start of the lesson and maintain it throughout the lesson. The online learning materials must include an activity at the start of the learning session to connect with the learners. Relevance: Inform learners of the importance of the lesson and how taking the lesson could benefit them. Strategies could include describing how learners will benefit from taking the lesson, and how they can use what they learn in real-life situations. This strategy helps to contextualize the learning and make it more meaningful, thereby maintaining interest throughout the learning session. Confidence: Use strategies such as designing for success and informing learners of the lesson expectations. Design for success by sequencing from simple to complex, or known to unknown, and use a competency-based approach where learners are given the opportunity to use different strategies to complete the lesson. Inform learners of the lesson outcome and provide ongoing encouragement to complete the lesson. Satisfaction: Provide feedback on performance and allow learners to apply what they learn in real-life situations. Learners like to know how they are doing, and they like to contextualize what they are learning by applying the information in real life.
  • Online strategies that facilitate the transfer of learning should be used to encourage application in different and real-life situations.
  • Constructivists see learners as being active rather than passive.
  • it is the individual learner's interpretation and processing of what is received through the senses that creates knowledge.
  • “the process of using a prior interpretation to construe a new or revised interpretation of the meaning of one's experience in order to guide future action” (p. 12).
  • Learning should be an active process. Keeping learners active doing meaningful activities results in high-level processing, which facilitates the creation of personalized meaning. Asking learners to apply the information in a practical situation is an active process, and facilitates personal interpretation and relevance.
  • Learners should construct their own knowledge rather than accepting that given by the instructor.
  • Collaborative and cooperative learning should be encouraged to facilitate constructivist learning (H
  • When assigning learners for group work, membership should be based on the expertise level and learning style of individual group members, so that individual team members can benefit from one another's strengths.
  •   Learners should be given control of the learning process
  • Learners should be given time and opportunity to reflect.
  • Learning should be made meaningful for learners. The learning materials should include examples that relate to students, so that they can make sense of the information.
  • Learning should be interactive to promote higher-level learning and social presence, and to help develop personal meaning. According to Heinich et al. (2002), learning is the development of new knowledge, skills, and attitudes as the learner interacts with information and the environment. Interaction is also critical to creating a sense of presence and a sense of community for online learners, and to promoting transformational learning (Murphy & Cifuentes, 2001). Learners receive the learning materials through the technology, process the information, and then personalize and contextualize the information.
  • Figure 1-6. Components of effective online learning.
  • Behaviorist strategies can be used to teach the facts (what); cognitivist strategies to teach the principles and processes (how); and constructivist strategies to teach the real-life and personal applications and contextual learning. There is a shift toward constructive learning, in which learners are given the opportunity to construct their own meaning from the information presented during the online sessions. The use of learning objects to promote flexibility and reuse of online materials to meet the needs of individual learners will become more common in the future. Online learning materials will be designed in small coherent segments, so that they can be redesigned for different learners and different contexts. Finally, online learning will be increasingly diverse to respond to different learning cultures, styles, and motivations.
  • Online instruction occurs when learners use the Web to go through the sequence of instruction, to complete the learning activities, and to achieve learning outcomes and objectives (Ally, 2002; Ritchie & Hoffman, 1997).
  •  
    From:  FOUNDATIONS OF EDUCATIONAL THEORY FOR ONLINE LEARNING
Diana Irene Saldana

Tagxedo - Word Cloud with Styles - 111 views

  • Welcome to Tagxedo, word cloud with styles Tagxedo turns words -- famous speeches, news articles, slogans and themes, even your love letters -- into a visually stunning word cloud, words individually sized appropriately to highlight the frequencies of occurrence within the body of text.
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    word clouds with style. Create shapes with word clouds
  • ...11 more comments...
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    "Tagxedo turns words -- famous speeches, news articles, slogans and themes, even your love letters -- into a visually stunning tag cloud, words individually sized appropriately to highlight the frequencies of occurrence within the body of text."
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    Imagine a site like "Wordle" but on steroids - Tagxedo allows you to make word clouds with images. Really cool possibilities as an ice breaker to the new school year.
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    "Tagxedo turns words -- famous speeches, news articles, slogans and themes, even your love letters -- into a visually stunning tag cloud, words individually sized appropriately to highlight the frequencies of occurrence within the body of text."
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    Does it only work on PCs...I tried to run this on my mac but can't get past the home page; when I go to create, I am asked to download Microsoft SilverLight, which I do. Then, nothing else happens.
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    The site allows you to choose or upload an image to go along with the tag cloud generated.
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    Similar to Wordle but now you can make them into images!
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    Tag Clouds
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    I genuinely want to ask: what is the educational point of 'word clouds'? To me there are useful as 'word searches' which have to be the almost useless. How have I got this so wrong?
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    The site for creating text shapes.
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    I genuinely want to ask: what is the educational point of 'word clouds'? To me there are useful as 'word searches' which have to be the almost useless. How have I got this so wrong? Totally agree!
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    Tagxedo turns words -- famous speeches, news articles, slogans and themes, even your love letters -- into a visually stunning word cloud
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    To Gerald Carey - As an English teacher, word clouds are a great tool. Taking text from literature or even from your own students' writing and placing it in a word cloud builder allows students to find theme words because the words used the most often are bigger than the others. I've used my students' quickwrite entries about a chosen piece of text and shown them that they are all thinking through the literature the same way. It's pretty eye opening for an English class!
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    Tagxedo turns words -- famous speeches, news articles, slogans and themes, even your love letters -- into a visually stunning word cloud, words individually sized appropriately to highlight the frequencies of occurrence within the body of text.
Andrew McCluskey

Occupy Your Brain - 111 views

  • One of the most profound changes that occurs when modern schooling is introduced into traditional societies around the world is a radical shift in the locus of power and control over learning from children, families, and communities to ever more centralized systems of authority.
  • Once learning is institutionalized under a central authority, both freedom for the individual and respect for the local are radically curtailed.  The child in a classroom generally finds herself in a situation where she may not move, speak, laugh, sing, eat, drink, read, think her own thoughts, or even  use the toilet without explicit permission from an authority figure.
  • In what should be considered a chilling development, there are murmurings of the idea of creating global standards for education – in other words, the creation of a single centralized authority dictating what every child on the planet must learn.
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  • In “developed” societies, we are so accustomed to centralized control over learning that it has become functionally invisible to us, and most people accept it as natural, inevitable, and consistent with the principles of freedom and democracy.   We assume that this central authority, because it is associated with something that seems like an unequivocal good – “education” – must itself be fundamentally good, a sort of benevolent dictatorship of the intellect. 
  • We endorse strict legal codes which render this process compulsory, and in a truly Orwellian twist, many of us now view it as a fundamental human right to be legally compelled to learn what a higher authority tells us to learn.
  • And yet the idea of centrally-controlled education is as problematic as the idea of centrally-controlled media – and for exactly the same reasons.
  • The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was designed to protect all forms of communication, information-sharing, knowledge, opinion and belief – what the Supreme Court has termed “the sphere of intellect and spirit” – from government control.
  • by the mid-19th century, with Indians still to conquer and waves of immigrants to assimilate, the temptation to find a way to manage the minds of an increasingly diverse and independent-minded population became too great to resist, and the idea of the Common School was born.
  • We would keep our freedom of speech and press, but first we would all be well-schooled by those in power.
  • A deeply democratic idea — the free and equal education of every child — was wedded to a deeply anti-democratic idea — that this education would be controlled from the top down by state-appointed educrats.
  • The fundamental point of the Occupy Wall Street movement is that the apparatus of democratic government has been completely bought and paid for by a tiny number of grotesquely wealthy individuals, corporations, and lobbying groups.  Our votes no longer matter.  Our wishes no longer count.  Our power as citizens has been sold to the highest bidder.
  • Our kids are so drowned in disconnected information that it becomes quite random what they do and don’t remember, and they’re so overburdened with endless homework and tests that they have little time or energy to pay attention to what’s happening in the world around them.
  • If in ten years we can create Wikipedia out of thin air, what could we create if we trusted our children, our teachers, our parents, our neighbors, to generate community learning webs that are open, alive, and responsive to individual needs and aspirations?  What could we create if instead of trying to “scale up” every innovation into a monolithic bureaucracy we “scaled down” to allow local and individual control, freedom, experimentation, and diversity?
  • The most academically “gifted” students excel at obedience, instinctively shaping their thinking to the prescribed curriculum and unconsciously framing out of their awareness ideas that won’t earn the praise of their superiors.  Those who resist sitting still for this process are marginalized, labeled as less intelligent or even as mildly brain-damaged, and, increasingly, drugged into compliance.
  • the very root, the very essence, of any theory of democratic liberty is a basic trust in the fundamental intelligence of the ordinary person.   Democracy rests on the premise that the ordinary person — the waitress, the carpenter, the shopkeeper — is competent to make her own judgments about matters of domestic policy, international affairs, taxes, justice, peace, and war, and that the government must abide by the decisions of ordinary people, not vice versa.  Of course that’s not the way our system really works, and never has been.   But most of us recall at some deep level of our beings that any vision of a just world relies on this fundamental respect for the common sense of the ordinary human being.
  • This is what we spend our childhood in school unlearning. 
  • If before we reach the age of majority we must submit our brains for twelve years of evaluation and control by government experts, are we then truly free to exercise our vote according to the dictates of our own common sense and conscience?  Do we even know what our own common sense is anymore?
  • We live in a country where a serious candidate for the Presidency is unaware that China has nuclear weapons, where half the population does not understand that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11, where nobody pays attention as Congress dismantles the securities regulations that limit the power of the banks, where 45% of American high school students graduate without knowing that the First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees freedom of the press.   At what point do we begin to ask ourselves if we are trying to control quality in the wrong way?
  • Human beings, collaborating with one another in voluntary relationships, communicating and checking and counter-checking and elaborating and expanding on one another’s knowledge and intelligence, have created a collective public resource more vast and more alive than anything that has ever existed on the planet.
  • But this is not a paeon to technology; this is about what human intelligence is capable of when people are free to interact in open, horizontal, non-hierarchical networks of communication and collaboration.
  • Positive social change has occurred not through top-down, hierarchically controlled organizations, but through what the Berkana Institute calls “emergence,” where people begin networking and forming voluntary communities of practice. When the goal is to maximize the functioning of human intelligence, you need to activate the unique skills, talents, and knowledge bases of diverse individuals, not put everybody through a uniform mill to produce uniform results. 
  • You need a non-punitive structure that encourages collaboration rather than competition, risk-taking rather than mistake-avoidance, and innovation rather than repetition of known quantities.
  • if we really want to return power to the 99% in a lasting, stable, sustainable way, we need to begin the work of creating open, egalitarian, horizontal networks of learning in our communities.
  • They are taught to focus on competing with each other and gaming the system rather than on gaining a deep understanding of the way power flows through their world.
  • And what could we create, what ecological problems could we solve, what despair might we alleviate, if instead of imposing our rigid curriculum and the destructive economy it serves on the entire world, we embraced as part of our vast collective intelligence the wisdom and knowledge of the world’s thousands of sustainable indigenous cultures?
  • They knew this about their situation: nobody was on their side.  Certainly not the moneyed classes and the economic system, and not the government, either.  So if they were going to change anything, it had to come out of themselves.
  • As our climate heats up, as mountaintops are removed from Orissa to West Virginia, as the oceans fill with plastic and soils become too contaminated to grow food, as the economy crumbles and children go hungry and the 0.001% grows so concentrated, so powerful, so wealthy that democracy becomes impossible, it’s time to ask ourselves; who’s educating us?  To what end?  The Adivasis are occupying their forests and mountains as our children are occupying our cities and parks.  But they understand that the first thing they must take back is their common sense. 
  • They must occupy their brains.
  • Isn’t it time for us to do the same?
  •  
    Carol Black, creator of the documentary, "Schooling the World" discusses the conflicting ideas of centralized control of education and standardization against the so-called freedom to think independently--"what the Supreme Court has termed 'the sphere of intellect and spirit" (Black, 2012). Root questions: "who's educating us? to what end?" (Black, 2012).
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    This is a must read. Carol Black echoes here many of the ideas of Paulo Freire, John Taylor Gatto and the like.
Marc Patton

Online Reading Assessment, Math Assessment and Supplemental Instruction - 1 views

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    LGL's mission is to provide automated, individualized diagnostic testing, data, reporting, and instruction to boost an individual student's performance in reading and math.
Javier E

'There's Something Very Exciting Going On Here' - Jordan Weissmann - The Atlantic - 20 views

  • One effort I started in June was to announce a seed grant program to support individual faculty and small teams that wanted to try different ways of teaching their course. So the internal funding helps support students or assistants or web developers or other people to help faculty recraft all or part of their course in order to see if new approaches really help.
  • here isn't an actual fixed fund. We got about 40 applicants. Maybe 20 of those things we funded. Each one was up to $25,000. I think I'd like to continue that on a quarterly basis. And really, we're new at all this. So the scale of this effort will depend on the faculty input and the outcome of how effective we find this to be.
  • We now have the ability for individual faculty or programs on campuses to produce appealing online content with relatively low effort and distribute that wide
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  • we'd like to see a number of things tried so we can have a good discussion that's informed by rational experiment and collected data. Beyond these individual experiments, one class at a time, I think it would be great to have one or two departments really try to integrate an online experience into their core curriculum so we can understand how that works, so we can provide students more options
  • Many of these first round of MOOCs were produced with a webcam by an individual instructor using a tablet PC. That's on the order of a thousand dollars worth of equipment. Maybe. Certainly, it's extremely inexpensive compared with a laptop 5 years ago. So the cost of the technology is lower. There's good software for editing video -- we're in an era where producing video is similar to word processing. And everyone is used to interacting with people online in different ways than were prevalent 10 to 15 years ago. The kind of discussion you can have online is more sophisticated. People understand social conventions for how to contribute constructively to an online discussion. Those factors really contribute to the effectiveness of a MOOC or a smaller scale online course.
  • I think we'll see an evolution of a range of different ways of using technology, and probably some expansion of the set of options that a student has. Instead of going off to college, maybe some students will live in their parents' homes or elsewhere and take a first year or two online. Or they'll spend two years in college and finish two years online as they work. There will be different, in effect, educational programs coming out of this phenomenon that offer credit, certification, job placement, and other things beyond the self learning that MOOCs provide. So I think we really are going to see a transformation in the way teaching and learning are developed and delivered
Roland Gesthuizen

City Teacher Data Reports Are Released - SchoolBook - 36 views

  • The rankings stem from a desire by policy makers to find an objective way to distinguish between effective and ineffective teachers, untainted by the subjective judgment of individual evaluators, like school principals.
  • Critics also say there are aspects of a child’s life — or distractions on test day — that the numbers cannot capture: supportive parents, a talented principal, the help of a tutor, allergies or a relentlessly barking dog outside the classroom.
  • there are schools where students are taught by multiple teachers, making it difficult to figure out the weight of their individual contributions
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  • The union has warned that the result will be sweeping, with good teachers steering clear of grades that have standardized tests, parents’ attempts to switch their children to other classrooms, low morale among teachers and worse.
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    After a long legal battle and amid much anguish by teachers and other educators, the New York City Education Department released individual performance rankings of 18,000 public school teachers on Friday, while admonishing the news media not to use the scores to label or pillory teachers.
Kenuvis Romero

Memory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - 0 views

  • Encoding of working memory involves the spiking of individual neurons induced by sensory input, which persists even after the sensory input disappears (Jensen and Lisman 2005; Fransen et al. 2002). Encoding of episodic memory involves persistent changes in molecular structures that alter synaptic transmission between neurons. Examples of such structural changes include long-term potentiation (LTP) or spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). The persistent spiking in working memory can enhance the synaptic and cellular changes in the encoding of episodic memory (Jensen and Lisman 2005).
  • Recent functional imaging studies detected working memory signals in both medial temporal lobe (MTL), a brain area strongly associated with long-term memory, and prefrontal cortex (Ranganath et al. 2005), suggesting a strong relationship between working memory and long-term memory. However, the substantially more working memory signals seen in the prefrontal lobe suggest that this area play a more important role in working memory than MTL (Suzuki 2007).
  • Consolidation and reconsolidation. Short-term memory (STM) is temporary and subject to disruption, while long-term memory (LTM), once consolidated, is persistent and stable. Consolidation of STM into LTM at the molecular level presumably involves two processes: synaptic consolidation and system consolidation. The former involves a protein synthesis process in the medial temporal lobe (MTL), whereas the latter transforms the MTL-dependent memory into an MTL-independent memory over months to years (Ledoux 2007). In recent years, such traditional consolidation dogma has been re-evaluated as a result of the studies on reconsolidation. These studies showed that prevention after retrieval affects subsequent retrieval of the memory (Sara 2000). New studies have shown that post-retrieval treatment with protein synthesis inhibitors and many other compounds can lead to an amnestic state (Nadel et al. 2000b; Alberini 2005; Dudai 2006). These findings on reconsolidation fit with the behavioral evidence that retrieved memory is not a carbon copy of the initial experiences, and memories are updated during retrieval.
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  • Physical exercise, particularly continuous aerobic exercises such as running, cycling and swimming, has many cognitive benefits and effects on the brain. Influences on the brain include increases in neurotransmitter levels, improved oxygen and nutrient delivery, and increased neurogenesis in the hippocampus. The effects of exercise on memory have important implications for improving children's academic performance, maintaining mental abilities in old age, and the prevention and potential cure of neurological diseases.
  • At the Center for Cognitive Science at Ohio State University, researchers have found that memory accuracy of adults is hurt by the fact that they know more, and have more experience than children, and tend to apply all this knowledge when learning new information. The findings appeared in the August 2004 edition of the journal Psychological Science.
  • Interference can hamper memorization and retrieval. There is retroactive interference, when learning new information makes it harder to recall old information[59] and proactive interference, where prior learning disrupts recall of new information. Although interference can lead to forgetting, it is important to keep in mind that there are situations when old information can facilitate learning of new information. Knowing Latin, for instance, can help an individual learn a related language such as French – this phenomenon is known as positive transfer.[60]
  • Methods to optimize memorization[edit] Memorization is a method of learning that allows an individual to recall information verbatim. Rote learning is the method most often used. Methods of memorizing things have been the subject of much discussion over the years with some writers, such as Cosmos Rossellius using visual alphabets. The spacing effect shows that an individual is more likely to remember a list of items when rehearsal is spaced over an extended period of time. In contrast to this is cramming which is intensive memorization in a short period of time. Also relevant is the Zeigarnik effect which states that people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed ones. The so-called Method of loci uses spatial memory to memorize non-spatial information.[72]
Chris Sloan

Journal of Media Literacy Education - 47 views

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    The Journal of Media Literacy Education is an online interdisciplinary journal that supports the development of research, scholarship and the pedagogy of media literacy education. The journal provides a forum for established and emerging scholars, media professionals and educational practitioners in and out of schools. As an extended conceptualization of literacy, media literacy education helps individuals of all ages develop habits of inquiry and skills of expression needed to become critical thinkers, effective communicators and active citizens in a world where mass media, popular culture and digital technologies play an important role for individuals and society. The Journal of Media Literacy Education is sponsored by the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE). Visit NAMLE at www.namle.net
Mary Glackin

AnthonyTeacher.com » The Ultimate Google Gradebook (with Individual Score Rep... - 64 views

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    Use Google Drive to create a grade book, using your favorite spreadsheet grading rubric and a script contained here that will let your students see their individual grade reports via their Gmail login.
Martin Burrett

GDPR and Education - 5 views

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    "New rights and responsibilities regarding personal data are set to be released in Europe on 25th May 2018 under the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). For individuals, new rights are given by knowing what information organisations hold about you, and what they can do with it. Organisations have new obligations, including ensuring permission has been given to hold such data and responsibilities about the way the data is held. The changes affect everyone, including schools, educational companies, and individuals."
Martin Burrett

Personalised Learning - Is it achievable? - 14 views

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    "A fascinating discussion which looked at how it is possible to achieve personalised learning within classrooms at all levels. It was evident that the term 'Personalised Learning' had a different meaning to different people from different settings. Although 'official' definitions were offered, the ambiguity still remains. Is it really possible to personalise the curriculum for 30 individuals within a classroom envirnoment? Even more of a challenge to secondary colleagues who are faced with cohorts from different year groups within the same day - being faced with over 100 individual pupils within any day?"
Martin Burrett

Actually Giving a Damn: The ONLY Thing That Matters? by @RichardJARogers - 7 views

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    "The events in this article are based on actual occurrences. The names and, in some instances, the genders of individuals have been changed to protect the individuals' privacy. The aroma of coffee did little to awake the senses. For a sleepy NQT who was in his first week back at school after the Easter vacation, the old routines were a sharp shock to the system."
meghankelly492

Classical Test Theory and Music Testing - Oxford Handbooks - 2 views

  • applications of classical test theory to K-12 music education assessment are considered
  • ransition from classical test theory to modern test theory is explored.
  • During this period, measurement was viewed as a mechanism by which human traits could be identified and individuals compared
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  • At the heart of CTT is the notion that error is endemic to measurement.
  • By the beginning of the 20th century, the concept of (p. 462) measurement error was well recognized, and psychometricians focused their efforts on estimating and accounting for error.
  • In CTT, an observed measure or score (X) consists of two constituent parts—the true score (T) and measurement error (E):
  • . Measurement error, however, also will account for a certain portion of score variance.
  • According to CTT, measurement error arises because mental processes are idiosyncratic and in a state of change such that individuals are incapable of performing optimally on a single test or performance task.
  • random error and systematic error.
  • (SEM) represents the average of the total random error for all individuals
  • SEM represents the spread of observed scores for a single individual if that person were tested multiple times.
  • That score, however, is an imperfect measure of the student’s true ability.
  • For example, CTT provides in-depth analysis of item characteristics,
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