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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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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).
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    From:  FOUNDATIONS OF EDUCATIONAL THEORY FOR ONLINE LEARNING
Shannon Smith

Need resources to assist in creating a 21st century learner training/ professional deve... - 131 views

Thank you! This is great information! James McKee wrote: > Shannon, > > I was recently referred to this video of Michael Wesch who teaches cultural anthropology at Kansas State University. He ...

professional development 21st century learners technology

tab_ras

50 Best Education Technology Blogs You Aren't Reading Yet - 173 views

  • Early EFL: Leahn is located in Spain, where she works as a freelance language assistant teacher and as a teacher trainer in workshops for primary and secondary school teachers.
  • Box of Chocolates: Join this EFL teacher from Recife, Brazil, who is very passionate about teaching
  • Neslihan Durmusoglu: This blog reflects on the world of EFL and about being a 21st-century learner and teacher.
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  • Reflections of a Teacher and Learner: David teaches kids at a private college in Turkey and he also is a distance student on the University of Manchester’s MA in EdTech & TESOL programme
  • An A-Z of ELT: This blog is managed by the man who wrote An A-Z of ELT in 2006, Scott Thornbury.
  • Authentic Teaching: This blogger has taught EFL in Brazil, and taught ELT for several years as well. He now is earning an MA in Education in London
  • Jeremy Harmer’s Blog: Jeremy is a writer and teacher/teacher-trainer for English to speakers of other languages, and he blogs about presentation.
  • Marisa Constantinides — TEFL Matters: This blogger runs CELT Athens, a teacher development center based in Greece.
  • Shaun Wilden’s Blog: Shaun has been involved in English language teaching for almost twenty years. He also maintains several online teaching sites including ihonlinetraining.net.
  • So this is English… This blog is filled with ideas, thoughts, discoveries, feedback and more about the teaching and learning of English.
  • Teaching Village: Barbara is an English teacher currently living in Kitakyushu, Japan, and using Web 2.0 tools and virtual worlds.
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    Technology and teaching - two words that seem to fit together perfectly today for most teachers and learners. So much so that a slew of new blogs have come on board to talk about education technology - or, edTech. This list of the 50 best education technology blogs are not inclusive, as there are so many new blogs available; however, if you look at links provided by many of these blogs to other edTech blogs, you may learn about even more blog that you aren't reading yet.
Dennis OConnor

Top News - Report challenges online-learning assumptions - 0 views

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    Some critics of distance learning say face-to-face classes give students a better learning environment, but a recent Indiana University study found that online learners reported deeper approaches to learning than classroom-based learners.
Marsha Ratzel

Learning Reimagined: Participatory, Peer, Global, Online - 0 views

  • what does a group of people need to know about pedagogy in order to self-organize into a peer learning community? 
  • Attitudes and methods are essential, too.
  • ersuasion - when everybo
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  • a more deeply satisfying and useful way than if students take responsibility only for their own learning
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    Reingold talks about the way to build a community of learners...co-learners and how to help that spirit grow amongst the participants.
Tonya Thomas

The Top Seven Trends in Workplace Learning - 43 views

  • Trainers and facilitators need to remember these numbers: 90, 20, 8, 6. 90 minutes is the ideal chunk of time for participants can learn and understand 20 minutes is how long participants can listen and retain information 8 minutes is the length of time you can talk for before before they stop listening. We are trained to focus for just eight minutes due to decades of TV watching, where ad breaks occur approximately every eight to ten minutes. 6 is the ideal number of times to present information to make sure a learner remembers the content.
  • the challenge for facilitators is to keep things changing so that learners’ RAS keep firing so they stay alert to the learning
  • short attention span
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  • It’s essential that trainers and facilitators keep learning themselves, to acquire new tools that will help them keep ensuring the training sticks!
  • And if you’ve been ignoring social media, now’s the time to reconsider because it’s clearly here to stay.
  • Blended learning is about mixing up face-to-face learning with webinars, blogging, emails, forums, video, online learning and social media.
  • trainers must move away from doing things in the same old way, must reach out to learners in new ways, personalise their learning campaigns, and help people connect to each other around issues they care about!
  • From planning phase to project end, things have to change – become familiar with new styles of presenting using multimedia, and carefully choose visuals to tell your story!
  • are you trapped in DDD – Dinosaur design and development?
  • Activity Based Curriculum Design
  • 70% of learning happens on the job 20% of learning happens through coaching and mentoring 10% of learning happens in training room and formal learning
  • BCF principle – better cheaper faster
  • no more plan-plan-do, its plan-do plan-do plan-do
  • Get used to bigger groups
  • Our community must start the shift by preparing learners for this new way of learning!
Susan Smith

More Remote Learners in Your Future | From the Bell Tower - 7/16/2009 - Library Journal - 0 views

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    What does this have to do with higher education? High gas prices got adult learners questioning the value of driving an hour each way to a college campus. Suddenly, online learning became vastly more attractive to a whole segment of higher education's market. Articles about fuel prices driving students to online courses became as prevalent as those about the impact of the recession on higher education are right now. While the price of fuel has retreated to a more manageable range, the number of Americans flocking to online higher education has shown no such decline.
Deborah Baillesderr

Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs: Online Activities - 32 views

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    "This is an update of the post listing online switch activities for learners with multiple or significant special needs. "
Marc Patton

WizIQ | Making Online Teaching & Learning Easier and Affordable - 73 views

  • Organizations can Create and manage teacher accounts Give or attend a class without signing up Download class recordings or host with us View attendance and other reports Give synchronous classes in Moodle Use our API for Virtual Classroom integration
  • Teachers can Teach in the free Virtual Classroom Earn more by teaching online Upload and Share Online Tutorials Create and Share Online Tests Build visibility in Communities List and sell courses with WiZiQ
  • Students can Learn in live, Online Classes Enroll in Online Courses View Online Tutorials Practice Online Tests Find Teachers to Learn Access Free Learning Resources
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    Making online teaching and learning easier for everyone Over 150,000 teachers and 2 million learners are using WizIQ
Michael Sheehan

Learning Never Stops: Learners TV - Free Online Education - 1 views

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    Useful site for college students. Over 29,000 free lectures, videos, animations, and other resources to help college level students.
Marc Patton

Digital Storytelling for Young Learners - LiveBinder - 3 views

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    Attend our free hands-on online workshop on how to use web storytelling tools and mobile apps to motivate young learners.
Xiaojing Kou

How Listening and Sharing Help Shape Collaborative Learning Experiences | MindShift | KQED News - 30 views

  • 1. How Listening and Sharing Works
  • In school, getting people to share can be difficult. Learners may be diffident, or they may not have good strategies for sharing. Children often do not know how to offer constructive criticism or build on an idea. It can be helpful to give templates for sharing, such as two likes and a wish, where the “wish” is a constructive criticism or a building idea.
  • But more often than not, it is because one or more of five ingredients is missing: joint attention, listening, sharing, coordinating, and perspective taking.
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  • Using a common visual anchor (e.g., a common diagram) can help people maintain joint visual attention.
  • Sharing operates on two levels: sharing common goals and sharing ideas.
  • Many college students dislike group projects. Some of this is naïve egoism and an unwillingness to compromise
  • Collaboration requires a great deal of turn-taking coordination.
  • It can be useful to establish collaborative structures and rules.
  • primary reason for collaborating is that people bring different ideas to the table. The first four ingredients—joint attention, listening, sharing, and coordinating—support the exchange of information. The fifth ingredient is understanding why people are offering the information they do. This often goes beyond what speakers can possibly show and say (see Chapter S). People need to understand the point of view behind what others are saying, so they can interpret it more fully. This requires perspective taking. This is where important learning takes place, because learners can gain a new way to think about matters. It can also help differentiate and clarify one’s own ideas. A conflict of opinions can enhance learning (Johnson & Johnson, 2009).
  • An interesting study on perspective taking (Kulkarni, Cambre, Kotturi, Bernstein, & Klemmer, 2015) occurred in a massive open online course (MOOC) with global participation. In their online discussions, learners were encouraged to review lecture content by relating it to their local context. The researchers placed people into low- or high-diversity groups based on the spread of geographic regions among participants. Students in the most geographically diverse discussion groups saw the highest learning gains, presumably because they had the opportunity to consider more different perspectives than geographically uniform groups did
Frances Brisentine

neccunplugged - home - 26 views

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    I plan on Attending this ISTE unlpugged session but first I think I'll check out that list of 50 ways to tell a story.  I have my first totally virtual class next year and I don't want to try to teach physics through lecture.  11:30 am - 12:00pm [Concurrent Session 6] Title: Beyond Lectures: How to Re-Invent Your Online Content Delivery in Face to Face, Hybrid and Fully Online Courses Description:Good pedagogy delivers content multiple ways to engage students and address different learning styles. Online learning, however, resides comfortably in lectures and discussion. This needn't be the case: learn to add free and easy tools to online content delivery that will appeal to all students and address the needs of multi modal learners. Inspired by Alan Levine's "50 Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story," this session will explore a variety of current tools that transform lecture delivery into an interactive multimedia activity that will engage myriad learning styles. Presenter: Pamela Kachka, MA.Ed.
Charity Fisher

Teachers Testimonials : TTS Online : Free Text to Speech : Read The Words - 83 views

  • find ReadTheWords.com to be one of the most useful services on the Internet today. Many LD (learning disabled) students struggle with auditory processing.
  • these students are very capable, they tend to favor auditory processing, versus the more common visual processing. It is important that these students learn how their mind works and modify their learning techniques accordingly.
  • 5 students incorporate this service for study of their weekly vocabulary words. We started by making an audio file of the words and definition, and turned it into an mp3 format. The students spent 10 minutes each day on the computer. Each student has averaged a minimum of a full letter grade higher. Two students have received perfect scores for the past 2 weeks.
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  • ReadTheWords.com been created to cater to these students.
  • ReadtheWords.com is an AMAZING SERIVCE for young students.
  • ReadTheWords.com allows me to create listening material for some learners that struggle a little bit. It allows my students to read along with the Virtual Avatar Reader. This saves a lot of time so I can focus on certain children without slowing down the rest of the class.
  • We create links to audio files that read our upcoming events, and we use it to help visually impaired patrons read anything - articles, letters they have received, emails that can be copy/pasted from their email account...the possibilities are endless! On a personal level, I have been using ReadTheWords toolbar plug in.
  • service with my university students who are learning English
  • brings the text to life, and stimulates my second language learners in a dynamic way. I would recommend this program to all foreign language teachers,
  • I have been assisting students to create audio files of study review materials. This greatly helps them decode and analyze the material for comprehension. I have seen a great improvement on test scores
  • Students listen to a piece of their own writing, so they can hear if what they wrote sounds correct. It helps students with comprehension, spelling, grammar and structuring sentences.
  • This service is godsend for many students, especially auditory learners. I cannot even begin to imagine how many people this will help in the future. We just received approval to offer this service to our entire school. (Email webmaster@readthewords.com to get a special deal like we did.
    • Charity Fisher
       
      I believe that the audio could act as a reinforcer of the written word as students read. This could be helpful not only with students who are Language Impaired, but also for students who struggle with reading comprehension.
    • Charity Fisher
       
      This website could be benefitical to students who are Hearing Impaired or Learning Disabled in Reading.
    • Charity Fisher
       
      Thsi tool can reinforce the written word and comprehension.
    • Charity Fisher
       
      Something not mentioned by these teachers is the possible benefit to Autistic and Aspergers students. I can this being used as a reward or incentive because the work could be done independently. Since these students generally feel more at ease working independently, it would a motivator to them.
    • Charity Fisher
       
      This could be a great tool for Language Impaired students, but also Learning Disabled in reading as well. The audio would act as a reinforcer of the written material. Even though this is learning or reading comprehension tool, students may see it as a reward thereby motivating them to read more. This could a aid to any teacher attempting to motivate reluctant or struggling readers.
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    readthewords.com for Special Ed, ESOL, Low Level Readers, Writing and More!
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    Read The Words could be a beneficial tool to students who are Language Impaired and/or Learning Disabled in Reading. The audio can reinforce the written word and increase comprehension. Also, it could be a valuable tool for autistic students who prefer to work independently. They can use this to aid comprehension and also it could be a reward. This tool could also add interest to text for any student.
Matt Claxon

Moving beyond technology in designing online learning - 70 views

  • Some loved them, some hated them, and few were indifferent.
    • Matt Claxon
       
      This is just like my students with the screencasts.  Look for a way to give the TV-haters more options and relevant learning media.
  • At the time (and for many years afterwards) researchers such as Richard Clark (1983) argued that ‘proper’, scientific research showed no significant difference between the use of different media. In particular, there were no differences between classroom teaching and other media such as television or radio or satellite. Even today, we are getting similar findings regarding online learning (e.g. Means et al., 2010).
  • different media can be used to assist learners to learn in different ways and achieve different outcomes. In a sense, researchers such as Clark were right: the teaching methods matter, but different media can more easily support different ways of teaching than others
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  • Thus requiring the television program to be judged by the same assessment methods as for the classroom lecture unfairly measures the potential value of the TV program. In this example, it may be better to use both methods: didactic teaching to teach understanding, then a documentary approach to apply that understanding. (Note that a television program could do both, but the classroom lecture could not.)
  • many media are better than one.
  • The use of different media also allows for more individualization and personalization of the learning, better suiting learners with different learning styles and needs.
  • technology on its own does not lead to the transfer of meaning.
  • This of course is what we do with technology in education. We try either to incorporate new technology into old formats, as with clickers and lecture capture, or we try to create the classroom in virtual space, as we do with learning management systems. What we are still developing but not yet clearly recognizing are formats, symbols systems and organizational structures that exploit the unique characteristics of the Internet as a medium.
  • Given the need to create and interpret meaning when using media, trying to use computers to replace or substitute for humans in the education process is likely to be a major mistake, at least until computers have much greater facility to recognize, understand and apply semantics, value systems, and organizational factors,
  • it is equally a mistake to rely only on the symbol systems, cultural values and organizational structures of classroom teaching as the means of judging the effectiveness or appropriateness of the Internet as an educational medium.
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    Defines the difference between technology and media and provides information (based on academic experience) about how to most effectively create online lessons and media.
Thieme Hennis

Home « MOOC Campus - 1 views

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    Very cool: offline campus focused on open online education and DIY learning principles. "What We Do The idea is simple. Online and DIY learners unite at a beautiful mountain resort to live an extraordinary lifestyle in a dynamic community of smart and motivated people."
Peter Beens

Next Vista for Learning - 22 views

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    An online library of free videos for learners everywhere - our goal is to gather a set of resources to help you learn just about anything, meet people who make a difference in their communities, and even discover new parts of the world. Next Vista for Learning wants to post your educational videos online, too. Everyone has an insight to share and yours may be just what some student or teacher somewhere needs!
H DeWaard

Far from bust: five ways MOOCs are helping people get on in life - World leading higher education information and services - 21 views

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    Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) - free, short courses made available to everybody online - were expected to herald the end of higher education as we knew it when they began. But the hype soon died away and critics bemoaned the fact that learners quickly lost enthusiasm and dropped out in large numbers.
tecno teach

Woodland, J. (2011) Psychology for the classroom: E-Learning. Oxon: Routledge - 4 views

    • tecno teach
       
      Chapter 4 - Pedagogy Motivation through the possible 'white heat of technology' - the newness. * Emotional engagement *Immediacy * Action Engagement * Cognitive Engagement - see the Hierarchy of Engagement on page 75. * Creative and Critical Thinking - Bono's Six Thinking Hats and Technology * Using VLEs * Social Interaction - Oliver and McLaughlin (1996) proposed five levels of teacher-learner interaction: social, procedural, expository, explanatory and cognitive. * Engagement * Assessment
    • tecno teach
       
      Chapter 2 - Theory: * Piaget's stages of cognitive development and technologies. * Skiiner's programmed learning theory - technology programmes that are task analysis, sequencing of learning and presentation of concepts through step by step positive reinforcement. * Wenger Communities of Practice * Gilly Salmon (2005) five-step model of levels of maturity in online environments: access and motivation/ online socialisation/ information exchange/ knowledge construction/ learner development. * GBL and Avatars discussed.
    • tecno teach
       
      Those against technology - Tanya Byron stating they technology is affecting children's minds.
    • tecno teach
       
      Changing attitudes whilst online - different identities - different ways some converse.
    • tecno teach
       
      * Motivation of learning - attention, confidence, satisfaction, appreciation and relevance
    • tecno teach
       
      Key aspects of book of relevance: * explains e-Learning - cybergogy (online pedagogy) * 3 modes of learning - expository, active and interactive * synchronous and asynchronous learning alongside cognitive and social natures of learning
  • cybergogy
  • current research,
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  • s illustrative case studies
  • grounding in both theory and pedagogical application
  • behaviourism, cognitivism and constructivism in the context of e-learning.
  • social networking;
  • cybergogy and new learning domains
Lisa C. Hurst

Inside the School Silicon Valley Thinks Will Save Education | WIRED - 9 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
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