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September 27, 2011
Mitch Weisburgh provides a useful English summary of the recently released - in Spanish - book Invisible Learning. The focus of the book is a necessary examination of the learning that takes place outside schools, the 'invisible learning'. "Whatever they are doing, they are learning, but what and how they are learning is invisible to the formal education system. There is thus a whole new environment of learning outside of formal education, including through social networks, games, and searching, with students playing, discussing, finding, and sharing information. The question is not, 'Are they learning on the Internet?' It’s 'what are they learning?'"
As Weisburgh explains, The book explores the roots of what makes learning invisible:
- schools are not adapting the technologies that students are using
- students are doing much more advanced tasks in non-school environments
- the skills and capacities acquired different
- these skills are not being explicitly taught
- many of the competencies learned are not tested
- lack of attention by those in the educational system
These are all great points. It may be students know less math today than in the 1970s, but I have to wonder how much programming (say), web design and videography the 1970s students knew.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Schools, Books, Video, Networks, Online Learning]
October 31, 2008
Mitchell Weisburgh identifies three trends from this year's EDUCAUSE conference: first, "there is an expanding market for technology inside the classroom as postsecondary is moving away from the lecture/readings/papers/tests paradigm," second, "efforts to increase effectiveness are forcing academic, student, financial, and administration systems to share information," and third, "there is a growing need for systems that allow institutions to track the costs, life, and usage of their assets."
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: EDUCAUSE, Academia, Paradigm Shift]
April 2, 2008
For those of us who do not get British television, it is totally worth spending some time to check you the Derren Brown videos demonstrating various way to trick people mentally. I found these through this article on PilotED summarizing some of the recent stuff I and others have been looking at on influence and control. A slot of this stuff supports - and in some instances had led to - my own views on associationism. But we have to be careful: the field is filled with shysters and charlatans claiming to do more than simple mental tricks. And another cautionary note: the purpose of covering this stuff isn't to introduce readers to neat tricks they can use on their students. Rather, it should be seen as an exercise in clearing our own minds. It should be impossible to look at this stuff and go away convinced that you somehow have access to The Real Truth about the world. We should be asking ourselves, how much of what we think we know is the result of campaigns of deception? If we can seriously ask ourselves this, we can begin to learn - and to know - for ourselves.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Great Britain, Video]
March 14, 2007
Curriki is intended to "improve education around the world by empowering teachers, students and parents with user-created, open source curricula, and it's all free!" This resource is an interview with Bobbi Kurshan, Executive Director of Curriki, who says, "We want to be like Wikipedia, but in curriculum: the first place people go to find curriculum. Whether it is top up or bottom down, if someone wants to teach something, we want them to look for it here first. They can make derivatives of it, teachers can make lesson plans from it, and they can post it back to the community for others to use."
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Open Source, Wikipedia, Online Learning]
January 31, 2007
Summary of a webinar held yesterday surveying outlooks for educational publishing. Interesting to note Leslie Wilson's observation that "There is a three year learning curve in instituting one to one computing into schools" and "Students feel more effective, they enjoy schoolwork more... [they] are doing more collaborative activities, more problem solving, they debate and question more, they integrate subjects areas better, and they discuss schoolwork with other students more. Test scores are significantly higher." So? As Gail Pierson says, "The Riverdeep/Houghton-Mifflin vision is that adoptions and larger contracts are requiring the winner to provide a solution that integrates both core curriculum and supplemental content, while also providing pacing calendars, curriculum and lesson planners (with content accessible from the planner), differentiated instruction, single sign-on, flexible print/online content with capabilities to change the lesson sequence and to fragment content, and content accessible from the district portal. One could say that they are betting the company on that vision."
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Schools, Accessibility, Books, Portals]
January 5, 2007
December 21, 2006
"With a daughter applying to university," writes Mitch Weisburgh, "we're wondering why we should be spending $40,000 a year for four years, when great learning materials are available free online." This post won't answer that question, but it sets in perspective an interview with the Open University's Patrick McAndrew. The Open University recently launched OpenLearn, a program intended to provide open access to online learning materials.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Online Learning, Open Access]
October 4, 2006
Mitchell Weisburgh summarizes the BMO Capital markets' Equity Research on Education and Training report (aside: I never did like the name switch to BMO. Contrived and artificial.) "There were $200 billion of private investments in the education market in 2000. There was $181 million in 2003. This bounced back to $364 million in 2005... Digital content represents about 20% of supplemental content market, but is expected to grow to beyond 25%. Smaller publishers are showing the most innovation, but these small companies are likely to be gobbled up by the larger players. Sales of tutoring services to schools has been growing by 17% a year."
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Schools, Books, Online Learning]
September 23, 2006
Mitch Weisburgh's newsletter, which I have been reading foir many years, is now a blog. " I've changed my PILOTed newsletter to a blog... Of course, I haven't figured out how (or had time) to put the old newsletters there, they are still accessible [here]. The latest two articles are on the Education Market report by BMO Capital Markets and the Back To School conference that they sponsored."
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Schools, Accessibility, Web Logs, Newsletters]
December 6, 2005
Interview with Robert Kvavik, co-author of the ECAR of Students and Information Technology. Some interesting bits. For example, "We hear all this hype about digital natives and millennial students, and then find that they only had a moderate preference for technology in the classroom." And "the results do not vary much by the institutions, nor by grade point average, which may be the typical ways we measure ability; that the use of IT transcends this, that students have an innate ability to work with and learn technology regardless of academic performance."
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Information, Academia]
September 22, 2005
More commentary on the state of learning in the U.S. (it seems to be a theme these days). Mitch Weisburgh observes, "When my sisters and I were in high school, our family hosted kids from Sweden, France, and Chile. The students from these countries were not able to keep up with the honors classes at our high school and enrolled in easier classes. Today, it’s a completely different story. Virtually every AFS high school student comes to the US ahead of our kids in math, statistics, chemistry, physics, and biology; even ahead of our elite kids." On the other hand, he observes, American kids get more exposure to sports and culture, and are able to respond better to poorly defined problems and ambiguity.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Schools, United States]
March 9, 2005
Synopsis of a briefing, with commentary, on Education policy given by the SIIA (Software and Information Industry Association). Mostlyh a discussion of Scientifically Based Research (yes, in capitals). "The crux of the argument for Scientifically Based Research for educational products is that this same basic system works with pharmaceutical companies and new drugs." Well, sure, but the author points to a number of issues in the conduct of this research.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Research, Information]
January 6, 2005
Discussion of podcasting and especially a list of things that will be needed: "First of all, the types of media will need to be expanded... Second, the user needs to have more choices for playback and data storage on different devices... Third, we’ll need some options for authentication so that content can be personalized... Fourth, for some types of content, there is a need for ecommerce and epayment capabilities." Note: I've covered podcasting quite a bit lately; see the full coverage here. Note that by clicking on [Research] you can always get more information - try it here!
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Personalization, Podcasting, Ontologies]
July 22, 2003
This month's edition of PILOT Online Learning Systems's monthly newsletter picks up on the topic of petterns in e-learning, a topic of interest in these pages before the, um, break. There are some nice observations in this short PDF, including a set of nine aspects to building a pattern around a certain skill. The author also draws out the concept with a short analysis of the Amazon navigation bar.
[Comment] [Direct Link] [Tags: Navigation, Usability, Online Learning, Newsletters]