Online and In Control: Emerging Adaptive Software Puts Faculty Members in Charge of Course Creation Inside Higher Ed
The spread of adaptive learning technology in higher education, to some, is the rise of the machines -- replacing professors with software and an automated, cheapened form of instruction. To Ariel Anbar it’s a tool that helps him teach in new ways.
Anbar was trying to create an interactive, game-like science course for non-science majors. He wanted the course, called Habitable Worlds, to be fully online, so Anbar could teach classes of up to 400 students in an interactive way. Habitable Worlds needed robust, user-friendly discussion boards, led by teaching assistants.
That’s where Dror Ben-Naim came in. He based his Ph.D. on how to design adaptive, or personalized, virtual learning laboratories. Ben-Naim’s doctoral research grew into Smart Sparrow. “I don’t want to replace the teacher,” said Ben-Naim. “I want to give them tools to empower them.”
Watson Could Power ‘Tech that Teaches Teachers’ EdTech Magazine
Imagine a teaching assistant who’s always awake, always hooked into the latest information and who always explains its reasoning with pinpoint precision. That’s how IBM envisions its cognitive computing system, named Watson, being used to help teachers in the future.
Teachers would ask the program questions, and it would draw on information from massive databases, scientific journals and other educational materials to formulate its answers.
"It's not about replacing teachers but giving them a lever to do their jobs far more effectively," said Michael D. King, vice president of Global Education Industry at IBM. The technology could provide teachers with instant guidance on lesson plans and classroom strategies or help them discover new ways of measuring student progress.
Metacognition: The Gift That Keeps Giving
How to Teach Students to Be More Metacognitive Edutopia
Students who succeed academically often rely on being able to think effectively and independently in order to take charge of their learning. These students do not need to rely on their teacher as much as others who depend on more guidance to initiate learning tasks and monitor their progress.
Many teachers enjoy teaching students how to wield one of the most powerful thinking tools: metacognition, or the ability to think about your thoughts with the aim of improving learning. A metaphor that resonates with many students is that learning cognitive and metacognitive strategies offers them tools to "drive their brains."
The good news for teachers and their students is that metacognition can be learned when it is explicitly taught and practiced across content and social contexts. Here are 5 ways to teach students to be more metacognitive.
Palabras Clave: Estrategias de aprendizaje, herramientas didácticas
Carnegie Mellon’s LearnSphere to Use Data, MOOCs to Improve Schools Education News
Carnegie Mellon University has announced that it will participate in a 5-year, $5 million project that will create a large infrastructure in an effort to improve educational outcomes and advance learning.
Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the project, LearnSphere, will be able to access over 550 datasets from a variety of databases, including online tutoring systems, MOOCs, and educational games, allowing instructors to improve their teachings and the learning of their students by redesigning their courses to coordinate with learning styles.
Learning models based on the wide variety of datasets housed in LearnSphere will enable new forms of personalized, just-in-time support for learning.
Palabras Clave: Big Data, analíticas de aprendizaje
Who Needs Algebra? New Approach To College Math Helps More Pass NPR
A growing number of educators believe it may be time to rethink the algebra requirement. In the United States teachers are trying a new way of teaching math that gets rid of most algebra altogether. It's being tested on almost 5,000 students across the country and so far, many more students are succeeding in the courses.
The new approach seeks to largely skip over abstract algebraic formulas and go directly to math concepts that students will use and find engaging. "Adult learning theory tells us that adults learn better when the intellectual work is applicable to their lives," says Gail Mellow, the president of LaGuardia Community College in Queens, N.Y.
This may sound like the old debate over replacing "pure math" with "applied math" or "business math." But Karon Klipple, who directs the Pathways project, says what's even more important to this new approach is changing how teachers teach, and how students think about math — and even how they feel about it.
Education, like pretty much everything else in our lives these days, is driven by data. Our childrens’ data. The data collection begins even before he steps into the school.
In the last decade, the United States government has handed states more than $600 million to create a giant database, known as a “statewide longitudinal data system.” The idea is that “if we could keep track of our kids from kindergarten to 12th grade we'd have a much greater handle on what's working, what's not working, what needs to be added to the curriculum.”
But The government isn’t the only one gobbling up data about your kid. Knewton claims to gather millions of data points on millions of children each day. “We literally know everything about what you know and how you learn best, everything (...) We have five orders of magnitude more data about you than Google has,” says Jose Ferreira, Knewton’s CEO.
Palabras Clave: Big Data, analíticas de aprendizaje
EdX to Offer Professional Courses Next Year for a Fee Education News
Leading MOOC provider edX, will begin to charge for professional education courses starting next year. So far, five courses have been announced and the fees range from $49 to $1,249.
The five professional education courses so far are in cyber-security, energy, sustainability, healthcare, innovation, and laboratory safety. These courses will begin in 2015 and will be offered by Rice University, MIT, and Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.
Anant Agarwal, edX CEO, says that the edX platform will enable its member organizations to offer professional courses much less expensively than through traditional methods and will reach a broader and larger base of learners. What edX offers its learners is flexible scheduling and timing, courses that will run for only a few weeks or even days.
This year’s Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to three Japanese scientists for the invention of blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs), a technology that has touched society in innumerable ways.
Without blue LEDs, the world wouldn’t have backlit smartphones, TV and computer LCD screens, Blu-ray players, many forms of lighting, and countless other technological marvels.
LEDs are now being explored for their potential to transmit data from the Internet across open space, similar to WiFi. Such a system could transmit a lot more data than WiFi alone. This high bandwidth is possible because LEDs can turn on and offmillions of times per second.
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