The Gamification of Education Infographic

Technology & the Myth of Education's Golden Past

Will future students be more intellectual? Check out my predictions. 

"One of the biggest misconceptions today is that the new emphasis on technology in schools and popular culture will erode the traditional liberal arts education and reorient school so that it favors vocational, practical training (“just-in-time” knowledge) instead. In other words, some fear that technology integration will have students learning the latest trends and techniques instead of studying the classics and deep disciplinary knowledge. The truth? There is no golden past…”


There's a Reason It's Called "Venture" Capital

A post by Jose Ferreira

"I started Knewton to do my bit to fix the world’s education system. Education is among the most important problems we face, because it’s the ultimate “gateway” problem. That is, it drives virtually every global problem that we face as a species. But there’s a flip-side: if we can fix education, then we’ll dramatically improve the other problems, too. So in fact, I started Knewton not just to help fix education but to try to fix just about everything…

Okay, yes, that’s crazily ambitious. But we have a vision of how it will happen and a plan to get there. It won’t be easy and maybe we won’t accomplish all of our goals. But whatever progress we make will be extremely positive.

So if I had to give one piece of advice to a budding entrepreneur, I would say: aim big. Go after a giant problem, one of the great problems of our time, a problem that, if solved, would usher in an era of large-scale transformation across industries and nations. It won’t be easy. The really BIG PROBLEMS, like education, are big problems for a reason. But there are already too many entrepreneurs and venture capitalists going for the easy and obvious stuff…”

5 Ways to Make Students Smarter

Ever wondered why some students get trapped in a negative cycle in school while others only seem to become smarter and more motivated? This article explains why success breeds more success in the school environment:

"Self-perception, social expectations, and previous experiences shape our academic ability more than we realize. Just think: how many times does your belief that you are gifted at something combine with positive external validation to help you overcome challenges in that area, increase your confidence, and lead you to explore that area more thoroughly and take more risks than others might?

Similar dynamics apply to school. Students who perceive themselves as ‘smart’ tend to be more resilient and show greater perseverance in school, which ensures that they perform better academically, continue to put themselves in situations that require cognitive work, and so forth. Success breeds more success. On the other hand, many students dislike school because a combination of factors lead them early on to believe that school is ‘not for them.’ This results in poor performance and negative feedback, which further reduces student interest in school as well as the likelihood of future academic exploration and exposure.”

STEM Education: Does America Have the Right Stuff? [INFOGRAPHIC]

(click to get a closer look at the STEM education infographic)

Posted on Wednesday 6 July with 4 notes.
Great find - Chronicle of Higher Ed's "Tech Therapy" Blog

An invaluable resource:

"Technology continues to change college life, and each month The Chronicle's Tech Therapy podcast offers analysis and advice on what the latest gadgets and buzzwords mean for professors, administrators, and students.

Join hosts Jeff Young, a Chronicle reporter (left), and Warren Arbogast, a technology consultant who works with colleges, for a lively discussion—as well as interviews with leading thinkers in technology.”

Posted on Wednesday 6 July with 2 notes.
Gamechanger: Digital Media plus Student-centered, Immersive, Peer-led Learning

"In the middle of one of the hottest and driest summers on record, twenty Austin, TX, area high school students showed up for school everyday for four weeks. While the four-week project took place inside a school, how the students worked, the roles they assumed, and what they produced was a total redesign of school and what it means to be a learner. Their mission: create a casual video game for AMD that highlights the green architecture that earned the company’s Lone Star Campus (based in Austin) a gold certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) honor.  A local game development company was recruited to evaluate the games and select one to be featured on AMD’s website.

Over the four weeks I spent several hours with the students, attended some of the fieldtrips that were arranged for them, and followed the evolution of their games from mere ideas, sketches, and paper prototypes to playable demos. I observed how digital media, peer-to-peer learning ecologies, student-centered processes, and immersive, open, and playful educational environments can transform the lives of schools and, most important, the lives of young learners.”

Posted on Friday 1 July with 3 notes.
Mathematics, Creativity, and the Essence of Good Teaching

How important is “play” to brain development?

"Mathematics is a language, a way of thinking, a set of disciplines that help us in the endless, infinitely challenging job of creating a life. We haven’t really learned Pi, until we can think about Tau, and have fun with it."

Posted on Friday 1 July with 3 notes.
6 Different Types of "Failure": How many are actually constructive?

The piece examines 6 different types of failure with examples of each…. seems like there are some implications for education…

"Most of the time, I’m in complete agreement with this sensibility, but what concerns me is that in this counterintuitive embrace of failure we may be conflating different kinds of failure, and doing so at some risk. Perhaps all this is a necessary antidote to capitalism’s “success at any cost” mentality. But I have a creeping sense of anxiety that the rise in the rhetoric of failure dovetails in troubling ways with a shift toward esteem building in child raising and general education — in other words, trophies for the last place team, too. And not to sound like a hard-driving, unforgiving “tiger mother,” but I do wonder what this ubiquitous positive vibe surrounding failure really means for a nation in decline on almost every measure of productivity, achievement, and social equity. Coincidence?"

Posted on Friday 24 June with 1 note.
Online education infographic

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