recentpopularlog in

robertogreco : blendedlearning   11

Learn Different - The New Yorker
"Students at AltSchool are issued a tablet in pre-K and switch to a laptop in later years. (For now, AltSchool ends at the equivalent of eighth grade.) When I visited a mixed classroom for second and third graders, most of the children were sunk into their laptops. All were engaged in bespoke activities that had been assigned to them through a “playlist”—software that displays a series of digital “cards” containing instructions for a task to be completed. Sometimes it was an online task. Two children were doing keyboarding drills on a typing Web site. Their results would be uploaded for a teacher’s assessment and added to the student’s online Learning Progression—software developed by AltSchool which captures, in minute detail, a student’s progress.

The curriculum is roughly aligned with the Common Core, the government standards that establish topics which students should master by the end of each grade. But AltSchool’s ethos is fundamentally opposed to the paradigm of standardization that has dominated public education in recent decades, and reflects a growing shift in emphasis among theorists toward “personalized learning.” This approach acknowledges and adapts to the differences among students: their abilities, their interests, their cultural backgrounds.

A girl in the class was completing an offline task—reading a book about polar bears. A boy lay on his stomach on the carpeted floor, headphones on, using a Web site called BrainPOP to learn how to calculate the perimeters of basic shapes. “Two out of five!” he shouted at one point, as oblivious of those around him as a subway rider wearing earbuds and singing along to Drake.

Not all the activities were solitary. Two girls sat together, laptops before them, using Google Images to scroll through pictures of seals for a social-studies assignment; occasionally, they paused to compare notes. Every so often, a student spoke with the teacher, a young woman in jeans and a loose top, her iPhone tucked under her thigh as she sat on the carpet. One girl had been using her laptop to research castles—an area of sustained interest. She and the teacher discussed princesses and castles, and whether they always went together. “That’s a good question,” the teacher said, and then asked, “Does America have princesses?”"



"At the same time, educators at AltSchool are discussing whether children really need to attain certain skills at particular stages of their educational development, as the Common Core implies. Seyfert thinks that it might be more useful to think of learning not as linear but as scrambled, like a torrent file on a computer: “You can imagine all the things you need to learn, and you could learn it all out of order so long as you can zip it up at the end, and you are good to go.”

Like other AltSchool teachers, Seyfert was drawn to the startup because of its ambition to make systemic change. Two or three times a week, she told me, she gives colleagues feedback about the school’s digital tools. The Learner Profile, Stream app, and other tools are only about a year old, and AltSchool’s personalization still requires considerable human intervention. Software is updated every day. Carolyn Wilson, AltSchool’s director of education, told me, “We encourage staff members to express their pain points, step up with their ideas, take a risk, fail forward, and fail fast, because we know we are going to iterate quickly. Other schools tend to move in geologic time.” (Ventilla may question the utility of foreign-language acquisition, but fluency in the jargon of Silicon Valley—English 2.0—is required at AltSchool.)

Ventilla told me that these tools were central to a revised conception of what a teacher might be: “We are really shifting the role of an educator to someone who is more of a data-enabled detective.” He defined a traditional teacher as an “artisanal lesson planner on one hand and disciplinary babysitter on the other hand.” Educators are stakeholders in AltSchool’s eventual success: equity has been offered to all full-time teachers."



"Some education advocates are wary about potential privacy violations that might result from data collection on the scale intended by AltSchool, particularly given that AltSchool is a for-profit company. (Most independent schools are not-for-profit institutions.) These concerns could complicate the adoption of AltSchool software by public school systems. Ventilla says that there is no intention to use AltSchool data for commercial purposes, and that AltSchool can gather data in a way that will respect a student’s anonymity. Only salient moments in the classroom videos are saved, he says, and most are not even stored. “I would never want to record all the things a kid says and keep them around,” he said. But he added that looking at vocabulary-acquisition patterns in aggregate could provide teachers with valuable information that will help them teach each individual more effectively. “The collection of any kind of data is not free,” Ventilla acknowledged. “But the alternative is the incredibly invasive, inaccurate standardized-testing regimen that we have now, which comes at a lot of cost, psychic and otherwise, and doesn’t provide nearly the amount of benefit that we want.”

Daniel Willingham, an education scholar at the University of Virginia, told me that adopting technology in schools can be maddeningly inefficient. “The most common thing I hear is that when you adopt technology you have to write twice the lesson plans,” he told me. “You have the one you use with the technology, and you have the backup one you use when the technology doesn’t work that day.” Willingham also notes that the most crucial thing about educational software isn’t the code that assesses student performance; it’s the worthiness of the readings and the clarity of the math questions being presented onscreen. “People are very focussed on the algorithm,” he said. “But equally important is the quality of the materials.”

The gap between AltSchool’s ambitions for technology and the reality of the classroom was painfully obvious the morning that I spent in the Brooklyn school. One kindergartner grew increasingly frustrated with his tablet as he tried to take a photograph of interlocking cubes that he had snapped into a strip of ten. (He was supposed to upload the image to his playlist.) He shook the unresponsive tablet, then stabbed repeatedly at the screen, like an exhausted passenger in a cab after an overnight flight, unable to quell the Taxi TV.

Even when AltSchool’s methods worked as intended, there were sometimes questionable results. The two girls whom I watched searching for seals on Google Images found plenty of suitable photographs. But the same search term called up a news photo of the corpse of a porpoise, its blood blossoming in the water after being rent almost in half by a seal attack. It also called up an image in which the head of Seal, the singer, had been Photoshopped onto a sea lion’s body—an object of much fascination to the students. To the extent that this exercise was preparing them for the workplace of the future, it was also dispiritingly familiar from the workplace of the present, where the rabbit holes of the Internet offer perpetual temptation."



"There had been some bumpy moments for the Palo Alto school, which opened last fall. One family left after concluding that there wasn’t enough homework. Other parents wanted to know the curriculum in advance—an impossible demand in a school dedicated to following children’s interests. A look around the classrooms confirmed that for some children the ability to follow their own passions reaped rich dividends. I observed the kindergarten-and-first-grade classroom during afternoon “choice time,” and saw two children separately involved in complicated long-term projects. A seven-year-old boy with an avid interest in American history had built a dining-table-sized model of Fort Sumter out of cardboard—he was painting black-splotch windows on its perimeter. He had also composed a storybook about Paul Revere, which was vibrantly written, if impressionistically spelled. Another seven-year-old boy had undertaken a physics experiment, building two styles of catapult out of tongue depressors and tape. He was measuring their power with the help of a yardstick affixed to the wall, and recording the data in a notebook. The AltSchool environment—and an inspiring young teacher named Paul France—had liberated these children’s individual creativity and intellectual curiosity in just the way that the parents of a potential Elon Musk might hope.

The boys’ classmates, however, had made less demanding use of their choice time, and this had apparently allowed the teaching staff to provide the necessary support for the more ambitious projects. Four boys were seated on the floor making primitive catapults with Jenga blocks. Half a dozen girls had chosen “art creation,” and were sitting around a table affixing stickers to paper and chatting. One girl had opted to work in clay. But no students had chosen to engage in dramatic play, or to work at the light table, or to do jigsaw puzzles—options that were displayed on a wall chart. The remaining eight children—six boys and two girls—had selected “tablet time.” They were sitting around a table, each with headphones on, expertly swiping and clicking their way through word or number games. Their quiet immersion would be recognizable to any parent who has ever bought herself a moment’s peace from the demands of interacting with her child by opening Angry Birds on her phone."



"When the AltSchool technologists who participated in the December hackathon shared their discoveries at the end of the session, the team that had focussed on bookmarking video seemed particularly pleased with its innovations. The team had decided to try to find a “fun route” to help … [more]
altschool  education  schools  2016  children  learning  pedagogy  amplify  teachtoone  brooklyn  paloalto  maxventilla  surveillance  standardization  blendedlearning  howweteach  howwelearn  automation  technology  edtech  sanfrancisco  gender  siliconvalley  commoncore  standards  brainpop 
march 2016 by robertogreco
Palimpsest of School Reform: Personalized Learning | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice
"There were two main ideas, anchored in what was then emerging as a “science of education,” that spurred and divided U.S. progressives. First, student-centered instruction, small group and individualized learning (adherents were sometimes called “pedagogical progressives“) and, second, business-oriented advocates of “scientific management” (sometimes called “administrative progressives”) who sought to prepare children and youth to fit into work and society far more efficiently than the traditional schooling of the day. Both wings of the progressive movement drew from the writings of John Dewey and his embrace of science."



"The pumped up language accompanying “personalized learning” resonates like the slap of high-fives between earlier Progressive educators and current reformers. Rhetoric aside, however, issues of research and accountability continue to bedevil those clanging the cymbals for “student-centered” instruction and learning. The research supporting “personalized” or “blended learning” is, at best thin. Then again, few innovators, past or present, seldom invoked research support for their initiatives.

But accountability in these years of Common Core standards and testing is another matter. As one report put it:
Personalized learning is rooted in the expectation that students should progress through content based on demonstrated learning instead of seat time. By contrast, standards-based accountability centers its ideas about what students should know, and when, on grade-level expectations and pacing. The result is that as personalized learning models become more widespread, practitioners are increasingly encountering tensions between personalized learning and state and federal accountability structures.


Tensions arise over end-of-year testing, meeting annual proficiency standards, and judging school performance on the basis of student scores. Few policymakers and present-day Progressive reformers eager to install “personalized learning” in their schools have yet taken note of these conflicts.

Current innovations such as “personalized instruction,” “student centered learning, and “blended learning” are written over the underlying, century-old text of Progressive education. Efficiency in teaching students (faster, better, and at less cost) while teachers individualize instruction combines anew the two wings of the century-old Progressive education movement."
education  larrycuban  history  progressive  progressives  pedagogy  personalization  2015  blendedlearning  student-centeredlearning  personalizedinstruction  openclassroom  progressiveeducation 
june 2015 by robertogreco
STEAMstudio | Projects
"STEAMstudio is an experimental, project-based course designed and taught collaboratively by students and faculty at Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. This course explores strategies for creating blended learning communities where residential students and online students learn and collaborate together."

[via: http://www.cd-cf.org/gallery/steamstudio-fictional-tech-project/

"This past summer, high school student from across the world, and undergraduate students from Brown and RISD, embarked on an experiment in blended + flipped online/residential learning through the Summer@Brown program. The result is STEAMstudio, a course that introduces students to design principles, presented in the context of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math).

Our "Fictional Tech" project not only provided a foundation in digital fabrication techniques and iterative prototyping, incorporating skill sets such as 3D printing, CAD, Illustrator, Photoshop, sketching, and "looks like" sketch models, it also gave us the opportunity to imagine the contexts for which we were designing. Students were asked to iteratively develop a prototype for a device that did not exist... but could. They were asked to document their process and product (using the STEAMstudio site, Facebook, and Tumblr, integrating native social media into the blended + flipped classroom). Their project deliverables were a final "looks like" prototype and a means of "telling the story", which took a variety of forms ranging from advertisements, to videos, to performances." ]
risd  brownuniversity  steam  stem  projectbasedlearning  highschool  blendedlearning  design  prototyping  designthinking  lcproject  openstudioproject 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Your Job is Political: Tech Money in Politics
"Tech companies have made a lot of people very rich. A few fortunes have been made through profits off of sales but most of them come from profits from a large "exit event": an IPO or sale. Profits are split between shareholders, which usually includes some employees but is composed mainly of outside investors, both people and firms. We call early stage investors--who usually take very large percentages of ownership in return for the risk of investing in an unknown--venture capitalists or VCs. When we work at tech companies, our labor is going to grow the investment these people have made. When those investments do pay off, more & more of these obscenely rich people have been spending their money on political campaigns and races. I gave a talk at JSFest Oakland exploring some of the issues they're spending it on and what we might see in the future; this is the cleaned-up text version of that talk, with sources."
politics  money  california  kelseyinnis  2014  influence  power  sixcalifornias  corporatism  technology  siliconvalley  wealth  rockershipschools  johndanner  reedhastings  timdraper  proposition38  proposition39  privatization  schools  californianideology  venturecapital  lobbying  petewilson  greydavis  arthurrock  menloventures  accelpartners  benchmarkcapital  kleinerperkins  johndoerr  publiceducation  publicschools  vouchers  blendedlearning  edtech  ronconway  charterschools 
december 2014 by robertogreco
dy/dan » Blog Archive » Adaptive Learning Is An Infinite iPod That Only Plays Neil Diamond
"If all you've ever heard in your life is Neil Diamond's music, you might think we've invented something quite amazing there. Your iPod contains the entire universe of music. If you've heard any other music at all, you might still be impressed by this infinite iPod. Neil wrote a lot of music after all, some of it good. But you'll know we're missing out on quite a lot also.

So it is with the futurists, many of whom have never been in a class where math was anything but watching someone lecture about a procedure and then replicating that procedure twenty times on a piece of paper. That entire universe fits neatly within a computer-adaptive model of learning.

But for math educators who have experienced math as a social process where students conjecture and argue with each other about their conjectures, where one student's messy handwritten work offers another student a revelation about her own work, a process which by definition can't be individualized or self-paced, computer-adaptive mathematics starts to seem rather limited.

Lectures and procedural fluency are an important aspect of a student's mathematics education but they are to the universe of math experiences as Neil Diamond is to all the other amazing artists who aren't Neil Diamond.

If I could somehow convince the futurists to see math the same way, I imagine our conversations would become a lot more productive.

BTW. While I'm here, Justin Reich wrote an extremely thoughtful series of posts on adaptive learning last month that I can't recommend enough:

Blended Learning, But The Data Are Useless
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/edtechresearcher/2014/04/blended_learning_but_the_data_are_useless.html

Nudging, Priming, and Motivating in Blended Learning
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/edtechresearcher/2014/04/nudging_priming_and_motivating_in_blended_learning.html

Computers Can Assess What Computers Do Best
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/edtechresearcher/2014/04/computers_can_assess_what_computers_do_best.html "
danmeyer  edtech  adaptivelearning  education  2014  blendedlearning  lectures  neildiamond  computing  computers  closedsystems  transcontextualization  via:lukeneff  transcontextualism 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Small is Beautiful | Henderson Hallway
"Recently in my Global Issues class, our learning community looked at E.F. Schumacher’s notion of Small is Beautiful [http://www.ee.iitb.ac.in/student/~pdarshan/SmallIsBeautifulSchumacher.pdf ]. We read his infamous essay and watched the film below created by the National Film Board of Canada on his idea. What he suggests is a rethinking of the prevailing trend that unfettered economic growth is essential to the development of the species. We have had great discussions related to ungrowth, systems thinking, and the idea that we are all connected to every system and species on this planet.

Democracy Now! recently interviewed Elizabeth Kolbert, the author of a new book entitled the Sixth Extinction – a book identifying how humans are causing the largest mass extinction since the fall of the dinosaurs. Our investigations over the last few days got me thinking about my role as an educator and how I am to foster learning communities, not just learning environments, where learners can find opportunities for transformation that can address the issues raised by Kolbert and Schumacher. I find this even more challenging given that I am teaching the Global Issues course as an online course.

Small Is Beautiful: Impressions of Fritz Schumacher by Donald Brittain by Barrie Howells & by Douglas Kiefer, National Film Board of Canada

I have started to read at great length about how to create learning communities that are transformative from a virtual platform from the likes of Richard Schweir and Jay Roberts. Both of these scholars have really impacted my understanding of how we can foster ecologically literate communities. Thomas Steele-Maley and I, over the past year or so, have had critical conversations about how to develop these virtual communities, for which I am eternally grateful.

[video]

What I am beginning to understand, much like Schumacher did, is that vibrant and vigorous learning communities, whether online or face-to-face, need to be small, based on connectedness, and the transformation of knowledge. I love the way Jay Roberts puts it:
So, bring on MOOCS, bring on distance learning, flipped classrooms, and blended education. Use this new Gutenberg moment to supplement and highlight what transformative teachers have always done best– curating high impact learning experiences for the students in their care.

As opposed to MOOCS and giant groups of learners, I feel from my perspective that my online learning communities need to be intimate and small. We need to know each others history and create a collective identity while respecting each other as individuals. I am just on the beginning of my quest, but would love to hear what other educators and student have to say."
education  learning  groupsize  matthenderson  thomassteele-maley  globalissues  globalstudies  efschumacher  elizabethkolbert  bighere  smallnow  bignow  longehere  extinction  mooc  moocs  donaldbrittain  barriehowells  douglaskiefer  virtualcommunities  onlinelearning  distancelearning  flippedclassrooms  blendedlearning  2014  small 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Report: Blended learning could hit or miss | Policy | eSchoolNews.com
"The big danger with integrating technology into education, said Horn, is “that we do what we’ve always done, which is to implement it as a sustaining innovation rather than a disruptive one—that we simply layer technology over the traditional system, which would then co-opt it.”"
education  technology  onlinelearning  learning  edtech  1to1  blendedlearning  traditional  1:1 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Encuentro con los interesados a matricularse en USDE | ecosistema urbano
"Con Urban Social Design Experience (USDE) queremos experimentar un nuevo modelo de educación que se acerque a la denominada Educación Expandida. Nuestro modelo de referencia es lo que se ha definido como B-Learning (formación combinada, del inglés blended learning) y consiste en un proceso docente semipresencial; esto significa que un curso dictado en este formato incluirá tanto clases presenciales como actividades de E-learning.<br />
<br />
En la primera sesión de USDE (Febrero > Mayo 2011) los cursos “experience” se realizarán por medio de herramientas digitales para las sesiones online y para el seguimiento personalizado de los proyectos de los participantes, pero también queremos acompañar el lanzamiento del proyecto con eventos y encuentros presenciales."
laescuelaexpandida  españa  e-learning  blendedlearning  education  teaching  learning  2011  via:javierarbona  spain 
january 2011 by robertogreco
What happened to studying? - The Boston Globe [Related: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/opinions/view/opinion/8-Theories-on-Why-College-Kids-Are-Studying-Less-4235]
"average student at 4-year college in 1961 studied ~24 hours/week. Today’s average student hits books for just 14 hours…

Whatever the reason, one thing is clear: The central bargain of college education — that students have fairly light classloads because they’re independent enough to be learning outside the classroom — can no longer be taken for granted. & some institutions of higher learning have yet to grapple w/, or even accept, the possibility that something dramatic has happened.

Studying has long been considered a key part of college student’s growth, both as a means to an end — a deeper understanding of subject matter — & as valuable habit in its own right. A person who can self-motivate to learn, academics argue, is not only more likely to be a productive worker, but more fulfilled citizen. As a result, universities for decades have stated—sometimes officially—that for every hour students spend in class each week they are expected to be studying for 2 on their own."
academia  studying  students  learning  college  culture  education  efficiency  technology  pedagogy  teaching  blendedlearning  philosophy  engagement  research  highereducation  highered 
august 2010 by robertogreco
10 ways to foster a love of learning… « What Ed Said
"1. Show that you’re a learner too... 2. Encourage creativity... 3. Make it meaningful... 4. Flatten classroom walls... 5. Demonstrate your passion... 6. Respect your students... 7. Provide variation... 8. Implement inquiry as a stance... 9. Play games... 10. Encourage students to be responsible for their own learning"
blendedlearning  education  learning  pedagogy  teaching  tcsnmy  inquiry  interested  interestingness  play  modeling  passion  respect  interestedness 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies, U.S. Department of Education
"on average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction...difference btwn student outcomes for online & face-to-face classes...was larger in studies contrasting conditions that blended elements of online & face-to-face instruction with conditions taught entirely face-to-face..blended conditions often included additional learning time & instructional elements not received by students in control conditions...suggests that the positive effects associated with blended learning should not be attributed to the media, per se...unexpected finding was small number of rigorous published studies contrasting online and face-to-face learning conditions for K–12 students. In light of this small corpus, caution is required in generalizing to the K–12 population because the results are derived for the most part from studies in other settings" [via:http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/19/study-finds-that-online-education-beats-the-classroom/]
education  learning  elearning  e-learning  technology  comparison  teaching  onlinelearning  pedagogy  trends  research  blendedlearning  online  study  filetype:pdf  media:document 
august 2009 by robertogreco

Copy this bookmark:





to read