I work in the Learning and Performance Support Systems program at the National Research Council, a multi-year effort to develop personal learning technology and learning analytics. I am one of the originators of the Massive Open Online Course, write about online and networked learning, have authored learning management and content syndication software, and am the author of the widely read e-learning newsletter OLDaily.


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New Study Shows the Impact of PBL on Student Achievement


When I was in school my favourite and most impactful learning was project-based learning. So I've had a soft spot for it ever since. This post reports on "a large study of the effects of PBL on social studies and some aspects of literacy achievement in second-grade classrooms [called] Project PLACE: A Project Approach to Literacy and Civic Engagement." Of course, project-based learning can work in all schools, not just high-poverty schools. I would resist (where the authors do not) classifying PBL as a means of catching up to high Socio-Economic Status (SES) schools.

Today: 110 Total: 282 Nell K. Duke, Anne-Lise Halvorsen, Edutopia, 2017/06/21 [Direct Link]

Accenture and Microsoft give millions of refugees digital IDs


I have nothing against digital identities (provided we can have more than one of them, and provided we can choose our own usernames and email addresses). But this practoce of experimenting with new technology on disaster victms should stop. If the leaders of finance and digital commerce want us to adopt a practice, let them try it out on themselves first. Let's use the 'official documentation' to py open bank records and overseas accounts before we use it to make sure refugees aren't getting double rations.

Today: 79 Total: 222 BBC News, 2017/06/21 [Direct Link]

Micro Learning in the Workplace and How to Avoid Getting Fooled by Micro Instructionists


"This post," writes Christian Glahn, "is a response to Mirjam Neelen and Paul Kirschner's post that comes with a lot of references but leaves out the most important aspects of micro learning and argues that micro learning is a meaningless concept. " The Neelen-Kirschener post also contains an actual photo of excrement, something that despite my sometimes-critical nature I have never done in a blog post. Glahn is careful to position microlearning as a learning strategy, to tie it to such concepts as spaced learning, and to insist on measurable outcomes. "Micro learning is primarily about the structure and the arrangement of learning activities as feedback loops," he writes. "The concepts of micro learning are useful to enrich the learning experiences and broaden the learning environment where conventional macro learning solutions are unsuitable."

Today: 96 Total: 250 Christian Glahn, LO-F.AT, 2017/06/21 [Direct Link]

The Worst Approach to Teaching Students About Social Media


A good comment from George Couros: "This is what is so hard about social media in education. If you are too intrusive, kids will block you out (could be literally or figuratively), or they will move somewhere else." P.S. he needs to give his meme-posts a second thought. Today's, for example, neds a good edit. He posts: "In education, our learning not only impacts our own growth, but the growth of others we serve." Too many words. He means: "When we learn, others learn." Fewer comfort words (like 'we serve'), but more punch.

Today: 82 Total: 229 Connected Principals, 2017/06/21 [Direct Link]

To study real thinking, scientists shouldn’t give easy tasks


I've prefaced a few of my talk recently with some caveats about models. The selection of a model, I argue, presupposes the ouycome of the research in which it is used. We have, as this article notes, a bias toward simle models. This has an impact in the design of thinking achines, and also in our understanding of thinking. Jumping from phenomenon to simple model to prediction is a lot more complex - and potentially misleding - than jumping from phenomenon straaight to prediction.

Today: 77 Total: 314 Mike Williams-Rice, Futurity, 2017/06/20 [Direct Link]

Facebook and Twitter are being used to manipulate public opinion – report


From where I sit, this is a case of the latest centralized news media being used for the same purpose centralized news media have always been used: to, um, educate the public. 'The reports... cover nine nations including Brazil, Canada, ChinaGermany, Poland, Ukraine, and the United States. They found “the lies, the junk, the misinformation' of traditional propaganda is widespread online and 'supported by Facebook or Twitter’s algorithms” according to Philip Howard, Professor of Internet Studies at Oxford.'"

Today: 81 Total: 381 Alex Hern, The Guardian, 2017/06/20 [Direct Link]

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.