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Open Educational Resources (OER): Resource Roundup

Open Educational Resources (OER): Resource Roundup

www.edutopia.org
Liz Courtney Liz Courtney
5 months ago
An educator's guide to open educational resources (OER), including online repositories, curriculum-sharing websites, sources for lesson plans and activities, and open textbooks
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Five Research-Driven Education Trends At Work in Classrooms

Five Research-Driven Education Trends At Work in Classrooms

blogs.kqed.org
Liz Courtney Liz Courtney
6 months ago
educators are looking to research about how kids learn to influence teaching practices and tools. What seemed like on-the-fringe experiments, like game-based learning, have turned into real trends, and have gradually made their way into many (though certainly not most) classrooms
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effort, not outcomes
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When they believe skills and abilities can grow throughout one’s lifetime, they’re better able to rise to challenges
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Educators are also teaching learning strategies, helping students find out the best ways to not just learn content, but how to learn. Ideas like remembering facts when they are set to music
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Universities like Harvard, MIT and the University of Wisconsin’s Game and Learning Society are studying how game-playing helps student engagement and achievement, and well-known researchers in the field like James Paul Gee and University of Wisconsin professor Kurt Squire show are using their own studies to show that games help students learn
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The idea that failure is an opportunity to learn and improve, not a roadblock to achievement, is often referenced as one of the most important life skills a student can take with him beyond the classroom
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Some research has shown that too much homework has “little to no impact” on student test scores. Other research on how brains work challenges the common method of asking students to practice one discreet skill at home. Overall, there’s a push to reevaluate the kinds of work students are being asked to do at home and to ask whether it adds value to their learning
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Increasingly business leaders and educators are realizing that creativity is a uniquely human quality that will set future graduates apart from the ever smarter computers that are playing increasingly important roles in society
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Long-form projects often allow students to demonstrate their creativity more than assignments that every student must complete the same way
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Digital Comic Books Offer Students New Ways of Learning

Digital Comic Books Offer Students New Ways of Learning

mashable.com
Liz Courtney Liz Courtney
6 months ago
Perhaps even more than generating excitement around reading, Tubbs thinks comic books have the potential to get kids talking about a host of subjects they're already learning about in a formal capacity
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in an earlier talk titled "Bringing Digital Comics Into Schools and Libraries," panelists discussed a service called Comics Plus that streams the books online to school libraries.

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The New Collaboration

The New Collaboration

edtechdigest.wordpress.com
Liz Courtney Liz Courtney
6 months ago
Why aren’t study groups a more common practice?
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We have this proven learning technique that students who learn in groups, from each other are able to do exponentially better in school and retain the knowledge far better than their counterparts but in reality are facing a brick wall due to the typical behavior of a student
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Introduce connected devices, smartphones and tablets with digital learning services such as StudyBlue — and you shatter the barrier to group study and clear the path for a new sort of collaboration. Students are able to share their thoughts and ideas asynchronously without the inhibitions and logistical issues associated with meeting in person. Students can now study together, on any device, at any time, any place, for any class when it suits them; share and compare their understanding of concepts their trying to learn; and master the material much more effectively as a result
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Collaboration on the Go

Collaboration on the Go

edtechdigest.wordpress.com
Liz Courtney Liz Courtney
6 months ago
A safe way for teachers to communicate with  students and parents via text, the product was built in close consultation with K-12 teachers across the country as a way for text-crazy students to get reminders about assignments and exams.
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Mobile technology can have an incredible impact on saving teachers time, increasing student success and engaging parents in a meaningful way
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Windows tablets in education: They plug right in | ZDNet

Windows tablets in education: They plug right in | ZDNet

www.zdnet.com
Liz Courtney Liz Courtney
6 months ago
From the school IT's point of view, probably the most appealing feature of Windows tablets is that they plug right into the existing infrastructure
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I have nothing against iOS or Windows devices and think both can be used effectively and efficiently in education and business, although iOS more limited in business. As for Android devices, the OS is clumsy and cheap looking as their devices are and suffer from botware, viruses, large fragmentation and overall a poor user experience. So if I were in any of these lines of business from education to the factory floor, I would put way more emphasis on Windows and iOS based devices and ecosystems
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My local school adopted Chromebooks.

They're still using Windows PCs though.

While notes and research have been shifted to the netbooks, specialized classes like Photography, Programming, and Modeling continue to use the desktops
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How Cheap Online Certificate Programs Like MIT’s “XSeries Certificate” Are Disrupting Higher Education

How Cheap Online Certificate Programs Like MIT’s “XSeries Certificate” Are Disrupting Higher Education

www.slate.com
Liz Courtney Liz Courtney
6 months ago
Much in the way that 12-song albums gave way to 99-cent iTunes purchases, universities are now under pressure to offer more ways to slice off smaller bits of education
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Universities are also wary of diluting the value of their traditional degrees, so they are creating smaller coinage: sequences, certificates, and the like. These aren’t recognized as formal degrees. Yet, at many institutions, they have a tantalizing appeal: a way to share a little bit of a university’s prestige with the masses while bringing in some extra cash. Most universities have already put a chunk of their courses online, so crafting a new certificate program allows them to simply repackage that same content into a smaller bundle, then sell the new format. In MIT’s case, it is looking to find an economically sustainable way to deliver its massive open online courses, or MOOCs, which so far have been offered for free
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the number of certificates awarded surpassed the 1 million mark in 2010, a more than threefold increase from 1994. Certificates are now more common than associate or master’s degrees
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“The dilemma is how not to eat your own lunch,” says Anshuman Razdan, a computer science professor at Arizona State University. “All the institutions are struggling with this. Like with airlines, once one starts cutting prices, the rest are forced to do the same.”
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Annotations for articles are great – except when they’re not | David Bauer. Journalist+

Annotations for articles are great – except when they’re not | David Bauer. Journalist+

www.davidbauer.ch
Nadia Uddin Nadia Uddin
7 months ago
Citation needed!
Should be a requirement for all digital content as it would promote critical thinking
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One way to think about this is enabling only certain ways to contribute, based on what kind of piece it is or who the user is (as in: you need to earn a «reputation» to be granted access to certain tools).
Could be a struggle to prevent strong viewpoints or contributors from dominating
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I teach. I think.: 20% Project: The Bad Idea Factory

I teach. I think.: 20% Project: The Bad Idea Factory

www.iteachithink.com
Annotary Research Annotary Research
7 months ago
Ask people for their “worst” solutions to a problem and people tend not to hold back at all – laughs are had and the terrible ideas flow. And while the initial suggestions might feel stupid, pointless or ridiculous to the originating team members, these awful ideas can take on a spectacular new lease of life in the hands of another, unrelated group.
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Setting Up a Digital Classroom Takes Time! | Avoid Too Much, Too Fast

Setting Up a Digital Classroom Takes Time! | Avoid Too Much, Too Fast

tapintoteenminds.com
Annotary Research Annotary Research
7 months ago
What I hope I have learned from this past week is that I need to take it slow. If I put myself in the shoes of the inexperienced iPad user, I quickly realize that tossing all of these new ideas is the same thing as trying to pack too many curriculum expectations into a single lesson. While some students may have an iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad or other mobile technology, they are likely not utilizing the tools I am introducing to them and some might be using an iPad for the first time.
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While they have cell phones, and they text and watch YouTube, they are not digitally savvy.
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You’re right on the money when it comes to how much students know about technology. Many believe that students can just grab a device and go, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Students appear to be tech “savvy” because we can see how fast they text with their own device from under their desk – however, that is simply because they are using a device they have spent much time practicing with. Toss a new piece of tech or a new workflow idea such as annotating PDF files and saving to the cloud and we quickly realize students aren’t as savvy as we initially believe.
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Why I Lead... #SAVMP

jenniesnyder.com
Annotary Research Annotary Research
7 months ago
I now see leadership as inextricably bound to my own learning and the learning of others.  By approaching my work with deep curiosity, a willingness to take risks, a genuine desire to seek and understand — I strive to foster the conditions that make learning and growth possible for the students and the communities I serve. Leadership is not separate from learning and teaching; it is at its core.
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I agree that leadership is about overcoming obstacles and moving through fear. As leaders, I think, we help others to see and draw upon their strengths to meet challenges.
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People usually think the leader is the one who ‘knows more than others people do’. I agree with you in thinking that the leader is the one who knows how much he still has to learn and the one with the biggest ‘hunger’ for learning. I keep on admiring your insight!

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I teach. I think.: Help! Johnny Circled Me in Google Plus

I teach. I think.: Help! Johnny Circled Me in Google Plus

www.iteachithink.com
Annotary Research Annotary Research
7 months ago
One of the features of Google+ is circles. You can have your “teacher” circle, your “spin class” circle, and your “wine book group” circle. Google+ allows you to focus your posts to match your diverse groups of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. As long as you don’t post publicly or put Johnny in one of your circles, he will not see the posts you submit. Likewise, you will not see his posts in your Google+ feed. Again, you can safely ignore the notification that he circled you.
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I don’t trust Facebook. The other part is that I don’t trust my Facebook friends. Private posts on Facebook can easily become public thanks to a bonehead “friend” from high school. I post publicly on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus mostly because I’m always happy to expand my PLC, and public posts help me connect with more teachers, which means I learn more.
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The truth is, all of these social networks are simply communication tools. To me, they’re tools that fix the broken system of email, and the sooner we embrace them, the better. Google Plus’s killer app is HANGOUTS!
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What comes first, learning or knowing?

starrsackstein.com
Annotary Research Annotary Research
7 months ago
Most of us agreed that memorization wasn’t really learning and that there should be a de-emphasis on memorizing facts (as they can be googled) and a focus more on the process of discovery to make learning authentic.
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I’d argue that facts that are memorized don’t necessary get committed to long term memory. If I’m learning something that seems disconnected and unnecessary for the sake of a test, I may remember (not know) for  week and then like water passes through a membrane, it can usher out when new short term knowledge comes in.

Real learning comes when a student is introduced to an idea, it connects to something that came before. It is then synthesized into something we make into our own to commit it to our long term memory. Without connection and meaning, the facts won’t stick.

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If we can google specific facts, why force kids to memorize? Or if memorization is necessary for some facts, how do we determine where the line should start and stop?
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The problem arises when we think that any one learning mechanism is the only mechanism.  I have met some people who learn through exploration and remember through memorization.  


Conversely, memorization without understanding what it is your memorizing is laughable and I would claim of little value.

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I understand the root behind the statement "if it can be googled, it should not be taught" but that assumes the content is the only learning outcome.  As a 5th grade accelerated math teacher, I used to require that my student memorized 1-25 squared and 1-15 cubed.  While I think there is value in knowing this content,  I actually think the real learning in this with the connection to my classes past and future. This is an activity, learning, right-of-passage that all my students participated in and spoke about in years after.  This activity and this content would certainly fall in the easily googled or even more appropriately easily solved on a calculator, but I still believe it held value.
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A Data Science Rant

insideanalysis.com
Annotary Research Annotary Research
7 months ago

Data Science is real and it’s not just two words put together -> The first known modern reference to the term ‘data science’ to mean as such was a paper by William Cleveland from Bell Labs in 2001: http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/ms/departments/sia/doc/datascience.pdf

There is a lot more science going on that you are stating, many years of College and a logical or mathematical background make a great foundation for Data Science but I do agree, this is nothing new. I’ve been at it for 15+ years and don’t see many names from the ASA above. Data Science is more that just analysis and statistics, it is understanding data structures, understand how to clean and glean insight…. I can go on and on but hope you read some more information on Data Science before totally ranting on a field that has been bread and butter for a lot of talented people for decades. Have a terrific week!

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@doug_laney
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Computer Programming Goes Back to School

Computer Programming Goes Back to School

www.edweek.org
Annotary Research Annotary Research
7 months ago
But it’s digitally based youth cultures, not schools, leading this revival
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Wing argued that understanding the world computationally gives a particular lens to understanding problems and contributing to their solutions. Computational thinking — while often strictly associated with computer science — actually is better understood as extending computer science principles to other disciplines in order to help break down the elements of any problem, determine their relationship to each other and the greater whole, and then devise algorithms to arrive at an automated solution. Computational thinking isn’t limited to mathematics and the sciences but also applies to the humanities in fields such as journalism and literature.
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students need to know not only more about computer science but what it ultimately means to think more systematically in order to more efficiently solve all types of problems.
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Several professional groups like the Computer Science Teachers Association and nonprofits like Shodor have developed academic standards and instructional activities to make computational thinking more accessible for K-12 education.
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Every tool needs an audience and the opportunity to bring like-minded creators together via the Internet. Accordingly, tools like Scratch and Alice now have extensive online communities of millions of young users. The latest version of Scratch — version 2.0 released this past spring — actually now exists entirely online so children can program and share from a single web site, tacitly highlighting the fact that the community of practice effectively has become the key tool for learning to code.
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While only a few of us will become computer scientists who will write the code and design the systems that undergird much of our daily life, learning, and leisure, many will encounter the need for some form of programming at some point in our lives. All of us are and will remain users of digital technologies and thus will need at times to be able to critically and constructively examine designs and decisions that went into making them. In terms of the magnitude of what any literacy affords the individual, Paulo Freire estimated that “reading the word is reading the world.” We see reading code very much about reading today’s world in terms of understanding and having the opportunity to remake it. Schools, their leaders, teachers, and students play a critical role in realizing this opportunity.
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Central-library charter school opens

Central-library charter school opens

www.utsandiego.com
Annotary Research Annotary Research
7 months ago
As is the case with many nontraditional schools, attending e3 Civic High comes with some trade-offs. There are no football games, cheerleading squads or other trappings of the American high school. What students will get is an education that prepares them for college or a vocational program in a way that takes advantage of the changing world, said Matt Spathas, a member of the school’s board of directors.
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“It looks more like a Starbucks and less like a school,” Spathas said. “Let’s make a place you want to come to, not one you have to come to.”
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