Matt Bower from Macquarie University in Australia has just published a new book with this title. Here’s the TOC:
A lot of us have been equating “personalized learning” with the technology that makes (or will make) individualized learning paths possible, but this article makes the point that, as is pretty much always the case, it’s about the practices and not the technology; technology may help to implement, but it’s not going to do it “all by itself.”
Quote for today:
“If we want to make a dent in the problem of digital distractions in class, we must begin by clarifying the policies we have created and the reasons behind them. Those reasons might look different from teacher to teacher.” — James Lang, professor of English at Assumption College. (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
A good thought while preparing the syllabus. Not just “turn it off,” but this is WHY I don’t want you on Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat during class and it has to do with acquiring both the skills AND the discipline to be successful in life and in the workplace.
This roundup of tools is interesting because it doesn’t target educators. Some great ‘quick and dirty’ solutions!
“Personalized learning” is a huge buzzphrase these days, but, like the blind men and the elephant, it seems to mean many different things to many different people. This article (ignore the horrible headline!) has a description of the process some instructors are using, in conjunction with their Learning Management System and a few specialized tools, to create personalized learning pathways. As someone who has just converted a course from face-to-face to “anytime, anywhere,” I am a bit in awe of the amount of work that these instructors have undertaken to make this happen; I think it would take me a lot longer than a summer! But I’d love to see some samples and more practical implementation tips for doing this, nonetheless. And I would love to take a closer look at tools like Gooru’s “Learning Navigator” that is mentioned in the article. Does it really promote learner success or is it a step toward creating “assembly line” teaching? What do you think?
I’d love to use more games in my classes but haven’t found any that have anything to do with our lesson material. One company is trying to change that. Legends of Learning has created several games that are available to play for free and hundreds more for which your “first $300 are free,” and support state and national education standards (for K-12, but that’s great for a college review, in my book!) I’m encouraged to hear about the development of games to support education and see some interesting titles, especially in the “Life Sciences” category, although I’m not very clear how far my 3000 credits will go. How about you — are you using games in the classroom?
An article in the Chronicle for Higher Education Review discusses the Janus-faced nature of social media. On the one hand, students “curate” their accounts, maintaining a pristine appearance to the world since they know the information will be used by anybody who can get to it to influence decisions about their future. On the other hand, students “let off steam” in anonymous forums and accounts with “temporary” posts like Snapchat and Instagram. Is the dichotomy contributing to student stress and anxiety? Should educational institutions do more to help students understand, analyze and navigate these treacherous waters?
The Electronic Frontier Federation is “dedicating to defending your rights in the digital world.” A recent report they have compiled analyzes student privacy (K-12) — or lack thereof — in light of school-provided technology and school-required accounts with various ed-tech vendors. In the 3-part report, they talk about the laissez-faire approach many schools take with regard to student relationships with the outside vendors, they discus the relevant laws and also make recommendations for change.
In light of recent legislation that allows ISPs to sell subscriber data, this becomes an even more interesting question. A Wisconsin congressman, James Sensenbrenner, recently opined that this shouldn’t be a problem because “Nobody’s got to use the Internet.” However, if I require my students to sign up with an online provider to view or participate in an educational module they make available, or to use a tool that they supply, they don’t really have a choice… and are probably also quite unaware of the potential consequences.
What do you think? How can we better protect student’s privacy as we’re required to do by FERPA? How can we better educate students about their own rights and responsibilities in this matter?
This Edsurge article talks about how Professional Development at California University, Channel Islands, is being ‘untethered.’ My first thought as a faculty member was, oh, you mean you want to make it easier for me to do this on my own time, rather than when I am “at work,” but that was ungenerous; after all, my main complaint about our own Professional Development offerings is that they are held at times when I am in class and thus unable to attend.
“Untethering” apparently refers to changing face-to-face meetings to virtual and, whenever possible, asynchronous ones. As someone who loves email over phone calls simply because it means the two participants don’t have to be available at the same moment, something that seems to happen all too infrequently during the school day, I appreciate that. However, I also feel like, many days, I barely see my colleagues, let alone exchange words with them; an excuse to be face-to-face with them is usually welcome.
CSU Channel islands asks these four questions to determine whether untethering might be right for you:
- We struggle with low faculty engagement.
- We are seeking a way to build digital literacy among faculty.
- Our faculty want more just-in-time resources.
- We employ remote faculty who currently are unable to attend our faculty development opportunities.
Those things certainly seem to apply at Kirkwood Community College; do they at your school? What do you think?
A list of trending tools from our friends at EdTech, including some oldies but goodies and some newbies, at least to me. I’d not heard of Breakout.edu, described as an immersive games platform where “players work collaboratively to solve a series of critical thinking puzzles in order to open a locked box.” I wonder about applications for healthcare and criminal justice, in particular. Anybody using Breakout.edu?