I've named my list 'personal learning tools' because I think of learning as an activity that blends my own activities as a 'student' with those as a 'teacher'. It's a practice that thinks of learning as immersive and ongoing; I work, teach and learn all in the same sweep of the quill.
This article describes gamification for interns at PwC. No matter what the educational outcome, the use of gamification fosters better feelings about working there. "83% of those who received gamified training felt motivated. However, 61% of those who received non-gamified training said they felt bored and unproductive." It's worth highlighting the most significant element of this story: the use of chat with gamification. "PwC's Take Flight game juxtaposed the intimacy of a classic board game with people sitting around a table."
This MOOC has just started so there's still time to enroll yourself, your kids, your prospective students, your whatever. "In this five-week course, you explore the fundamentals of the learning process and various models of online courses to determine your learning preferences and which forms of online learning are best for you. Activities address common misconceptions, frustrations and fears about online learning, and introduce techniques to help overcome such obstacles and gain confidence as a learner.
The annual call has gone out, and includes Jane Hart's own list. Topping her list is Twitter. It makes me think that of those in the field who post online (and to be sure, many still don't) we could divide them into those who put Twitter at the top of the list, and those who don't. Count me as among those who don't. Anyhow, here's my list for 2020.
One result of the 'pivot to remote learning' is that many of the issues first discussed in the late 90s and early 00s are emerging again as fresh concerns. This post is a case in point. "Now, as classes go online, there’s no locking the classroom door. It’s easy for parents to listen in on their children’s classes." It's no surprise that some parents disagree with what is being taught, and that some teachers are pushing back. "I can see why teachers are nervous about being second-guessed by parents," writes Joanne Jacobs. "I also can see why parents are nervous about teachers who see their jobs as 'destabilizing' students’ beliefs about gender, sexuality and race." And as we've surely seen by now, not every parent's beliefs about what should be taught in these areas and more should prevail. No easy answers here, as we learned twenty years ago.
Josh Scott reports that Canada Learning Code, a non-profit funded under the CanCode initiative, has developed a national computer science education framework "designed to serve students from kindergarten to Grade 12." There aren't really national curricula or education standards in Canada, and while the document makes the case for one, I am not convinced. Anyhow, I read through the Framework (53 page PDF) and found it to be static and fixed on a particular view of computing and code. It is in many ways quite comprehensive, but I have to ask whether every student would need all aspects of this curriculum? And having said that, it seems to me that there is a lot about contemporary computing - ethics, inclusion, network effects, bad actors, context collapse, and so much more - tat are completely absent from the curriculum. It treats computing as a technical subject, not (as perhaps it should be) a social subject. Still, it's worth a look, and I'm sure people will find it useful, especially the lists of resources near the end.
This article describes "seven concrete areas to consider when developing any type of remote learning activity for maximum student engagement." I think it's a pretty good list - I've used elements of it in the past andf will probably steal from it in the future. The seven elements are: relevance, discourse, collaboration, flexibility, personalization (i.e., "a more personal learning experience", 'programmed instruction'), agency (i.e., choice, voice and modality), and feedback.
Irving Wladawsky-Berger takes as his starting point The Age of Decadence by Ross Douthat in which it is argued that "the real story of the West in the 21st century is one of stalemate and stagnation." There's an argument to be made, to be sure, when compared with the era that brought us flight, freeways and the atomic bomb. In response, Wladawsky-Berger references some well-worn arguments pointing to continued environmental and economic progress. The argument is that progress is gradual and incremental, and hence, not noticed. I have an alternative view. In the past, innovation led to progress only after sweeping social change; it took the development of institutions like democracy and labour unionism to transform innovation into prosperity for all. Similarly, while technological progress has not slowed over the last half-century, we haven't seen the impact of it because we haven't developed the necessary social institutions. The problem isn't that society is decadent, the problem is that society is unjust.
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