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Bo Adams

The Future of Big Data and Analytics in K-12 Education - Education Week - 0 views

  • data scientists would then search the waters for patterns in each student's engagement level, moods, use of classroom resources, social habits, language and vocabulary use, attention span, academic performance, and more.
  • would be fed to teachers, parents, and students via AltSchool's digital learning platform and mobile app, which are currently being tested
  • AltSchool's 50-plus engineers, data scientists, and developers are designing tools that could be available to other schools by the 2018-19 school year.
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  • AltSchool is almost certain to provoke a backlash from parents and privacy advocates who see in its plans the potential for an Orwellian surveillance nightmare, as well as potentially unethical experimentation on children.
  • The term "big data" is generally used to describe data sets so large they must be analyzed by computers. Usually, the purpose is to find patterns and connections relating to human behavior and how complex systems function.
  • Analytics generally refers to the process of collecting such data, conducting those analyses, generating corresponding insights, and using that new information to make (what proponents hope will be) smarter decisions.
  • replacing the top-down, slow-moving bureaucratic structures that currently shape public education with a "networked model" in which students, teachers, and schools are connected directly by information and thus capable of learning and adapting more quickly.
  • 'Montessori 2.0': a kind of supercharged version of the progressive, project-based learning often found in elite private schools and privileged enclaves within traditional school systems.
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    Eventually, Ventilla envisions AltSchool technology facilitating an exponential increase in the amount of information collected on students in school, all in service of expanding the hands-on, project-based model of learning in place at the six private school campuses the company currently operates in Silicon Valley and New York City.
Bo Adams

Inside the School Silicon Valley Thinks Will Save Education | WIRED - 0 views

  • But what are they betting on? AltSchool is a decidedly Bay Area experiment with an educational philosophy known as student-centered learning. The approach, which many schools have adopted, holds that kids should pursue their own interests, at their own pace. To that, however, AltSchool mixes in loads of technology to manage the chaos, and tops it all off with a staff of forward-thinking teachers set free to custom-teach to each student. The result, they fervently say, is a superior educational experience.
  • heir own weekly “playlists,” queues of individual and group activities tailored to the specific strengths and weaknesses of each kid.
  • This puts AltSchool at the intersection of two rapidly growing movements in education. Along one axis are the dozens of edtech startups building apps for schools; along the other are the dozens of progressive schools rallying around the increasingly popular concept of personalized education. The difference is: AltSchool is not just building apps or building schools. It’s doing both. In that way, AltSchools are more than just schools. They’re mini-research and development labs, where both teachers and engineers are diligently developing the formula for a 21st century education, all in hopes of applying that formula not only to other AltSchools, but to private, public, and charter schools across the country.
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  • obsession with constant feedback
  • Ventilla likes to call AltSchool’s approach to teaching “Montessori 2.0.” The Montessori method emphasizes letting kids learn primarily through independent projects rather than direct instruction.
  • AltSchool has built a digital platform, called My.Altschool
  • “We think assessment can be much less invasive and much more accurate when you’re collecting data from many sources.”
  • The team is also working on a recommendation engine for teachers, not unlike those used by companies like Amazon and Netflix. This tool would take into account everything that My.Altschool knows about a student—from her playlist history to how she learns best to what her strengths and weaknesses are—to recommend activities. “It’d be great if the system could figure out that Johnny’s an auditory learner, who loves castles, and that he’s struggling with estimating,” Bhatia says, adding that an early version of that tool will likely be available this year.
  • Once these tools have been validated within the AltSchool environment, Ventilla’s goal is to bundle them up into what he calls an “operating system for a 21st century education” and license them to the education system at large.
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    HT @MikeyCanup
Jim Tiffin Jr

Let 'Em Out! The Many Benefits of Outdoor Play In Kindergarten | MindShift | KQED News - 0 views

  • With no explicit math or literacy taught until first grade, the Swiss have no set goals for kindergartners beyond a few measurements, like using scissors and writing one’s own name. They instead have chosen to focus on the social interaction and emotional well-being found in free play.
  • With many parents and educators overwhelmed by the amount of academics required for kindergartners — and the testing requirements at that age  — it’s no surprise that the forest kindergarten, and the passion for bringing more free play to young children during the school day, is catching on stateside.
  • “So much of what is going on and the kind of play they do, symbolic play, is really pre-reading,” Molomot said. “It’s a very important foundation for reading.
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  • Donnery notices that the gross motor skills of many of her kindergartners are underdeveloped, noting that usually means that fine motor skills are also lacking. “Developing those gross motor skills is just critical, can impact so much of later learning,” she said.
  • Scenes of rosy-faced children building forts in the snow are presented in sharp contrast to the academic (and mostly indoor) kindergarten in New Haven, Connecticut, where a normal day is packed full of orderly activities: morning meeting, readers’ workshop, writers’ workshop, a special activity (like art, gym, and music), lunch and recess, storytime, “choice” (a fancy word for play), math centers, then closing meeting.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      I would like to see this movie.
  • You’d be surprised at the importance of play.
  • lacking in the attention needed to learn, with more than 10 percent of the school population diagnosed with some kind of attention disorder.
  • occupational therapist Angela Hanscom opined in the Washington Post that there’s good reason our kids are so fidgety: more and more students come to class without having enough core strength and balance to hold their bodies still long enough to learn.
  • “In order for children to learn, they need to be able to pay attention. In order to pay attention, we need to let them move.”
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      But this has to be more than just a wiggle stool or yoga ball... HMW get greater movement into Kindergarten? (and it need not just be in the Kindergarten classroom)
  • A recent study by psychologists at the University of Colorado shows an even stronger reason for free play: children who experienced more undirected free play showed signs of stronger executive function, a strong predictor of success in school. “The more time that children spent in less-structured activities,” wrote researchers, “the better their self-directed executive functioning.”
  • Reading and recess are important enough that we need to do both.
  • While this kind of adult-led movement is a far cry from the nearly unstructured free play of a forest kindergarten, it does serve the school’s purpose of high academic standards for their kindergartners, in hopes this prepares them for future academic success.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      Note that it says "hope"...
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    Article contrasting two different approaches to Kindergarten - one outdoor-based and one indoor-based. Full of links to the research regarding the claims made in the article. Additionally, more language around executive function, and its importance for students, is used.
Meghan Cureton

School of the Future: Initiative > Expertise - Basecamp - 0 views

  • Department-based faculty tell kids what they’re supposed to study, then use grades to signal how far they are from “expertise.”
  • That design principle may be great for teachers who return to school year after year (and therefore become more and more “expert”). But what about the students? They graduate into an increasingly VUCA world.
  • But what if departments shifted focus from expertise to initiative?
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  • In an age of accelerations, expertise may still matter, but initiative matters even more. Schools of the Future will design accordingly.
Bo Adams

The Past, Present and Future of School Design | EdSurge News - 0 views

  • untapped opportunities involve further personalization of the curriculum, teaching, and assessment.
  • Schools will no longer be just free-standing buildings but will be more integrated into community life.
  • Segregating students by age will become less prevalent within learning spaces.
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    Tweet from @akytle: @jbrettjacobsen @boadams1 Here's part 2 #mvdesign The Past, Present and Future of School Design https://t.co/TQe1qbMklL #edtech via @EdSurge HT @akytle
Meghan Cureton

Following the lessons of learning science in schools isn't convenient - The Hechinger Report - 0 views

  • Following the lessons of learning science in schools isn’t convenient
  • “The mind is a sheet of paper for a professor to write on.” But that’s the wrong way to think about education, he said. The right way, he argued, is to think of a human as a plant to which educators offer fertilizer and water and sunlight when it needs it, or wants it, most. “This is a very different model,” Sarma said, “but it’s so inconvenient we ignore it.”
  • cognitive load theory posits that working memory is limited. Students who hear new information store it first in working memory, but this is short-term memory, and all short-term memories will be forgotten. There’s no way around it. The key, according to Sarma, is reinforcing that information and getting it into long-term memory, where it will last. Students can only focus on new information for eight to 14 minutes before their minds start to wander, Sarma said, so the best method of instruction is to offer such new information in bite-sized chunks.
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  • information is stored in memories created by a chemical connection between neurons in the brain, Sarma said. Over time, that chemical dries up and the memory disappears. But if reminded of that information before the original memory disappears, the brain creates a new connection and one that is long-term. The best way to retain knowledge, according to memory research, is to learn about it once, wait until you’re about to forget it, and then learn it again.
  • Also in contrast to standard scheduling patterns in schools is the idea of interleaved learning. Sarma said the brain looks for contrast. Learning one thing and then jumping to another topic and back again is helpful for long-term retention,
  • Sarma sees the future of learning as blended, individuated, fluid and hands-on. Learning science supports his vision. The question is whether schools can be reorganized to do the same.
Bo Adams

Meet the school with no classes, no classrooms and no curriculum - 0 views

  • their entire approach is centred around projects. This is a school focused on learning, not teaching.
  • Our teachers work five days, four days with kids, and on the fifth day I don’t allow them to work with kids, they have to observe other teachers and give them feedback.
  • And if they do that enough I say ‘get out of the school’, go to a museum, go to a laboratory, go to a business and tell us what you found there.
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  • Well if you look at the skills employers constantly cry out for: empathy, communication, teamwork, agility, flexibility, and the ability to design and make solutions to multidisciplinary problems
  • chief among their soft skills is a sense of confidence in their abilities to tackle problems and communicate with adults and each other.
Bo Adams

Is There a "Future of Work"? - 0 views

  • the speed and scale are going to shock those in education charged with preparing our children for it.
  • Like so many other things that we think of in the future tense, (climate change, surveillance, etc.) the changes in work have already arrived, we just don’t seem to realize it
  • we need to start thinking differently about what it means to be “career ready” (as well as, I suppose, “college ready.”)
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  • Why doesn’t education focus on what humans can do better than the machines and instruments they create?”
  • So, wouldn’t we be better off shifting the emphasis on the work of our teachers away from content and grades and curriculum to mentoring, apprenticeships, making, and discussion?
  • Finally, what role does leadership play in staying abreast of these types of shifts, articulating them to school and community, and in building capacity for those groups to engage in relevant, meaningful conversations around what changes may need to happen?
  • leaders better be building school cultures that learn, constantly.
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    HT @WillRich45
Bo Adams

Stop telling us it's not about the points | thebloggerina - 1 views

  • If I focused on just learning all of the material instead of playing for points, I would fail.
  • If I learn now, I’m denied a bright future of learning later.
  • Even though I have good grades, my academic confidence is very low.
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  • As far as I know, the people judging our transcript will always win.
  • Instead, I would introduce a system of portfolios to let schools judge your real work and see you as a person, not as an average of numbers and letters.
  • If I had to put a date on when points became my main priority, I would say it was my first day of high school.
  • You could be wondering “Why doesn’t she want to focus on simply learning?” My answer is very easy. No one has time for that. Just as my day is split into 7 periods, so is my time after school. There is only so much I can do and only so much that I can handle.
  • If I learn now, I’m denied a bright future of learning later.
  • When I hear the frustration of my teachers about the desperation students have for points, I feel two things: guilt and a longing to be able to say that I don’t live on points and I fully submerge myself in my subjects. But that possibility seems untouchable, a million miles away.
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    #stuvoice
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    HT @MeghanCureton
Bo Adams

A 'University' Model for High School | Edutopia - 0 views

  • recent launch of Learning Pathways, a competency-based approach to instruction that emphasizes self-paced, personalized learning.
  • interdisciplinary coursework and out-of-school learning experiences
  • To evolve their teaching practice, teachers need to carve out dedicated time to regularly observe and reflect—on themselves and their peers—say Anderson and other staff.
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  • The campus also offers microcredentialing, a system that allows teachers to pitch ideas and a plan of action for their own professional development.
  • When completed, they get a salary bump.
Trey Boden

The perils of "Growth Mindset" education: Why we're trying to fix our kids when we should be fixing the system - Salon.com - 0 views

  • The problem with sweeping, generic claims about the power of attitudes or beliefs isn’t just a risk of overstating the benefits but also a tendency to divert attention from the nature of the tasks themselves: How valuable are they, and who gets to decide whether they must be done?
  • Unfortunately, even some people who are educators would rather convince students they need to adopt a more positive attitude than address the quality of the curriculum (what the students are being taught) or the pedagogy (how they’re being taught it).
  • praise kids for their effort (“You tried really hard”) rather than for their ability (“You’re really smart”)
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  • But the first problem with this seductively simple script change is that praising children for their effort carries problems of its own, as several studies have confirmed: It can communicate that they’re really not very capable and therefore unlikely to succeed at future tasks.
  • what’s really problematic is praise itself
  • It’s a verbal reward, an extrinsic inducement, and, like other rewards, is often construed by the recipient as manipulation
  • Moreover, praise communicates that our acceptance of a child comes with strings attached: Our approval is conditional on the child’s continuing to impress us or do what we say.
  • We need to attend to deeper differences: between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, and between “doing to” and “working with” strategies.
  • If students are preoccupied with how well they’re doing in school, then their interest in what they’re doing may suffer.
  • A 2010 study found that when students whose self-worth hinges on their performance face the prospect of failure, it doesn’t help for them to adopt a growth mindset.
  • Even when a growth mindset doesn’t make things worse, it can help only so much if students have been led — by things like grades, tests, and, worst of all, competition — to become more focused on achievement than on the learning itself.
  • And this brings us to the biggest blind spot of all — the whole idea of focusing on the mindsets of individuals.
  • Ironically, the more we occupy ourselves with getting kids to attribute outcomes to their own effort, the more we communicate that the conditions they face are, well, fixed.
  • But why have so many educators who don’t share that sensibility endorsed a focus on mindset (or grit) whose premises and implications they’d likely find troubling on reflection?
  • I’m not suggesting we go back to promoting an innate, fixed, “entity” theory of intelligence and talent, which, as Dweck points out, can leave people feeling helpless and inclined to give up.
Meghan Cureton

Stop Teaching Classes And Start Teaching Children - 0 views

  • Too often bits and pieces are tacked onto curriculum as yet another perfectly-reasonable-sounding-thing to teach.
  • There is nothing wrong with changes in priority. In fact, this is a signal of awareness and reflection and vitality. But when education—as it tends to do—continues to take a content and skills-focused view of what to teach rather than how students learn, it’s always going to be a maddening game of what gets added in, and what gets taken out, with the loudest or most emotionally compelling voices usually winning.
  • Skills are things students can “do”—procedural knowledge that yields the ability to do something. This could be revising an essay, solving a math problem, or decoding words to read. Content can be thought of as a second kind of knowledge—a declarative knowledge that often makes up the face of a content area. In math, this might be the formula to calculate the area of a circle. In composition, it could be a writing strategy to form sound and compelling paragraphs. In history, it may refer to the geographic advantages of one country in a conflict versus another. Should schools focus on content and skills, or should they focus on habits and thinking?
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  • So then, hundreds of standards. Hundreds! This places extraordinary pressure on educators—those who develop standards, those who create curriculum from those standards, those who create lessons from that curriculum, and on and on—to make numerous—and critical—adjustments to curriculum, assessment, and instruction on the fly.
  • Why not try a different approach–one that not only decenters curriculum, but reimagines it completely?
  • Building A Curriculum Based On People
  • n the past, we’ve sought to add-to and revise. Add these classes and drop these. This isn’t as important as this. To make knowledge an index that reflects the latest thinking that reflects our most recent insecurities and collective misunderstandings. This doesn’t seem like the smartest path to sustainable innovation in learning.
  • Give me a curriculum based on people–based on their habits and thinking patterns in their native places. One that helps them see the utility of knowledge and the patterns of familial and social action. One that helps them ask, “What’s worth knowing, and what should I do with what I know?” Then let’s work backwards from that.
Bo Adams

Education Experts Explain the Role Teachers Would Play for Students in Classrooms in a Perfect World - The Atlantic - 0 views

  • With so many different learning styles and students at different places in their learning within a grade and within subjects, students and schools will benefit greatly from co-teaching models.
  • Individual teachers will not be responsible for individual students as much as the team of teachers will be responsible for the learning outcomes of each student they touch within the school day.
  • The notion of “teacher” will change significantly in the future. The growing number of formal and informal learning options is causing an unbundling of the teacher role.
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  • In the future, we will see teachers choose among a variety of options, including:Content experts who focus on developing curriculum Small-group leaders who provide direct instruction Project designers to supplement online learning with hands-on application
 Mentors who provide wisdom, social capital, and guidance Evaluators to whom other educators can give the responsibility of grading assignments and, in some cases, designing assessments Data experts
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    HT @eijunkie
Jim Tiffin Jr

How to Prepare for an Automated Future - NYTimes.com - 1 views

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    Article outlining the predictions experts have made about how education can best prepare students for a world with a greater degree of automation present in the workforce. Identifies the key skills and traits that schools need to help students develop.
Meghan Cureton

Mastery Credits? Mastery Transcript? « Competency Works - 0 views

  • the reductionist approach that wraps a student into one number – the GPA – is deeply problematic
  • MTC wants to create a system of credits and transcripts that represents the whole child, or whole teenager in the case of high schools
  • Credentials needs to have systems in place to provide confidence that they really do represent demonstrated knowledge and skills.
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  • they are drawing on the ideas of digital badging so that anyone can see the skill and who credentialed, and then look at an artifact to quickly assess if the level of performance is indeed what the college or employer is seeking.
  • There is actually a fourth principle: do not indicate how much time it takes someone to fulfill that credit.
  • structure the transcript around knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Credits, based on demonstrated mastery, are the building blocks for communicating how students are progressing toward the graduation competencies.
  • Perhaps they advance beyond grade level in some or all of the academic domains. Some schools have jettisoned honors courses and established the score of 4 to indicate honors level work.
  • Students need to have intrinsic motivation and value themselves for who they are and not their GPA. We want to develop students with a sense of purpose and excitement for creating their future.
  • What Happens When We Remove the Word Prepare?
  • Don’t Worry about College Admissions! He said that college admissions officers can figure out how to make the decisions they need to make. What is important is…that we do what is best for students and for helping them learn.
Bo Adams

What Is School? - Bright - Medium - 1 views

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    HT @jbrettjacobsen
Meghan Cureton

LinkedIn's 2017 U.S. Emerging Jobs Report - 0 views

  • 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately hold jobs that don’t yet exist.
  • Here’s what we found:
  • Tech is king:
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  • Soft skills matter:
  • Jobs with high mobility on the rise
  • Low supply of talent for top jobs:
  • Future-proofing skills is critical:
  • Comprehensive sets of skills that cover multiple disciplines are seemingly in higher demand. Many of the roles on this list cover multiple disciplines and are applicable to multiple industries.
  • Certain specialist roles are on the decline
  • We also took a look at the skills that were growing the fastest across these professions, and the same trend emerged: soft skills are represented across the board, as well as basic computer literacy.
  • We surveyed more than 1,200 hiring managers to find out what they’re looking for in a candidate when it comes to soft skills: Adaptability Culture Fit Collaboration Leadership Growth Potential Prioritization
  • It’s always a good reminder that soft skills will always be important, no matter the profession. The ability to collaborate, be a leader, and learn from colleagues will stand out in interviews, and even more once starting a job.
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