I was expecting this to be pop pseudoscience, and while it's a bit pop, the five things seem pretty solid to me. They are: you can't learn when stressed, learning is based on similarity, learning requires repetition, the brain changes and adapts, and assessment (and hence reflection) is important. The interviewee is Ramona Persaud, producer and director of the documentary, Grey Matters. Interviewer Vicki Davis sometimes struggles with some of the concepts - you can see her try to match the ideas to things she already knows. But she does a service by bringing these to her readers and would do well to revisit these ideas in future columns.
Frontiers for Young Minds
Frontiers for Young Minds is a scientific journal written by leading researchers but directed toward and edited by kids. "Distinguished scientists are invited to write about their cutting-edge discoveries in a language that is accessible for young readers, and it is then up to the kids themselves – with the help of a science mentor – to provide feedback and explain to the authors how to best improve the articles before publication." I love this concept. And there are so many scientists - it could be extended almost indefinitely. It was launched in 2014 and has involved 300 authors and 500 reviewers since then.
I don't have a PhD but I have a PhD education - that is, I completed all the coursework for my PhD, passed five rigorous comprehensive exams, and prepared a dissertation proposal. I also spent four or five years teaching classes as part of my graduate assistantship. What I didn't do was to complete the dissertation; my committee felt I shouldn't be studying network theories of mind. So I am in a position to evaluate (for myself at least) Kamadia's assertion based on the work involved, not the paper you get. Was it worth it? For me, yes. But note: I never paid tuition, and I was paid through my assisstantship throughout. But it made me twice the philosopher I was when I started. It was the difference between knowing about philosophy and doing philosophy.
This post draws a useful distinctoon between viewing education as a product and viewing it as a process. Quoting from Rogers’ Freedom to Learn Gurstein writes, "The most socially useful learning in the modern world is the learning of the process of learning, a continuing openness to experience and incorporation into oneself of the process of change." The article lists the benefits of a process-based approach for both learners and educators, and points to examples of process-oriented learning activities.
The most interesting bit is the pair of disclosures at the bottom of the article. What is the "yet-to-be-announced e-Literate project" being sponsored by Pearson? What is the other "yet-to-be-announced e-Literate project" being sponsored by Unicon? Further, why does Michael feldstein call Apereo, a university non-profit, "the closest thing higher education has to the Apache Foundation," as opposed to, say, Moodle? Anyhow, the main point in this article is that Pearson open-sourced Equella, a type of learning object repository, and did it "properly", handing it off to Apereo to run.
This article descibes China's embrace of electronic payments using WeChat and Alipay, and discusses its extension into personal credit. It them suggests a linkage between various plans to allocate people 'social credit' according to their social behaviour (for example, whether they were charged with offenses, whether they disrupted spociety). In fairness, it then contrasts these with credit rating systems in North America. It raises questons about the surveillance such systems require, and questions the accuracy of the ratings that result. Yes, social credit could be employeed as an unaccountable means of social control. On the other hand, it could be a way to finally address the problem of corruption and cheating in society.
For something that's supposed to be dead, MOOCs are still very much alive. And according to this articlee, they have more potential for the future. "Moocs are still multiplying and branching out into new forms of accredited learning experiences," write the authors. Millions of people "are capable of studying online but live too far from affordable campus education. For them, online learning might be their only chance to study. Given that the digital world now enables remote employment as well as remote learning, online learning could be a lifeline to a level of prosperity that has never before been possible." But they have yet to reach their goal of offering access to learning to children. "We need tens of millions of as-yet untrained teachers to educate school-age children. Moocs cannot directly teach those children, but they can train non-professional adults to become those teachers."
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