Why Quality Professional Development for Teachers Matters Edutopia
"Please look at the labels on the walls and with your elbow partner; pick the top three priorities for educators and schools." Posted around the walls were the words: Curriculum, Assessment, Instruction, Professional Development, Student Learning, Equity, Differentiation, and Classroom Management.
Some thought it was an obvious trick question and chose student learning as the number one priority. Wrong answer. Professional development should be the top priority for educators and schools.
And here is why:"If we want students to learn, the most critical element is the teacher. So professional development is the overall most important thing we can do to help students learn." It is completely out of the control of teachers to make students learn; the students have to do it by themselves.
So where should a school invest effort, time, and resources to help students? Invest in either finding the best teachers or providing exceptional professional development to help them become the best.
The focus of educators should be, and for most educators is, "How do I prepare myself to be the best teacher possible?"
XPRIZE Announces Its Next Moonshot: Bringing Literacy to 250 Million Children Around the World Xprize
XPRIZE Chairman and CEO, Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, announced the launch of the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE. The Global Learning XPRIZE is a five-year competition challenging teams to develop open source and scalable software that will enable children in developing countries to teach themselves basic reading, writing and arithmetic.
At the same time, XPRIZE will launch an online crowdfunding campaign to mobilize a global street team of supporters to get involved with the Global Learning XPRIZE.
“Today, we are thrilled to launch our next world-changing competition to revolutionize global literacy. We will never build enough schools or train enough teachers to meet demand, which brings us to a pivotal moment where an alternative, radical approach is needed. This open source solution can be iterated upon, scaled and deployed around the world, bringing quality learning experiences to children no matter where they live,” said Diamandis.
Co-Teaching a Blended Class Across Universities Inside Higher Ed
Last term Tom Gleeson co-taught a graduate class in advanced groundwater hydrology with Grant Ferguson (University of Saskatchewan) and Steve Loheide (University of Wisconsin – Madison).
Instead of being a MOOC , the course was a SPOC – a small, private, online classroom. Students and professors simultaneously meet in real classrooms at each university and connect as a video conference. Students collaborate on projects across universities and each professor leads instruction for part of the term and participates in all classes.
A number of students have said ‘wow, it’s like three courses in one!’ There are some advantages for instructors too, for example: learning new ideas from other instructors, international collaboration in co-developing and co-teaching a course and sharing the teaching load.
You can probably guess the two main disadvantages: the software tools are not perfect and interaction between real classrooms can be stilted but so far, co-teaching a blended graduate class across universities has been a win-win for students and professors.
Building on Competency-Based Education Campus Technology
Argosy University System is among the first institutions in a movement toward competency-based education, creating new models of direct assessment that promise to reduce time-to-degree and offer greater relevance for graduates in the job market.
The university assembled a professional advisory board, consisting of industry experts from different business verticals, so that they could inform them about core competencies their graduates would need to have. They asked them what skills, knowledge, and abilities they would look for when hiring.
"Fast-tracking the students who already have competencies in core areas can have a huge impact on cost and time to degree. Of course, reducing or eliminating seat time requirements can also help the non-traditional student who may be working and needs a more flexible schedule," said Ruki Jayaraman, Argosy University System's vice chancellor for academic affairs.
Palabras Clave: Aprendizaje basado en competencias
The Melbourne Curriculum The University of Melbourne
The Melbourne curriculum was introduced in 2008 and offers degrees in three broad cycles. At Bachelor degree level, students select from one of six degrees offering a total of 87 major fields of study. These programs lay the intellectual foundations for employment or further study.
The key features of the Melbourne curriculum are choice and flexibility at undergraduate level, together with diversity and applicability at graduate level.
The curriculum encompasses a wide range of study options and pathways, and allows students to make more timely and informed decisions about career directions.
Most professional qualifications are offered at Master’s level, where students can choose from a variety of professional or specialist graduate programs offering intensive, focused graduate-level experiences that promote deep professional learning. At Doctoral level, students develop research skills working alongside international leaders in a broad range of fields.
Palabras Clave: Educación profesional, planes de estudio
How Adaptive Learning Can Make Higher Ed More Customized and Effective
(Parts 1 and 2) The EvoLLLution
What if an online learning environment could adapt to an individual student’s needs with data collected in real time about his or her ability level? Rather than being forced to learn at the average speed of the class, each student could take the time necessary to learn.
This is the promise of adaptive learning. Adaptive learning can help students learn at their own pace, by targeting areas they need improvement in and quickly moving beyond areas they’ve mastered. By modifying the presentation of content dynamically based on student interaction with content, learning can be tailored to each student’s ability level.
The data created by the student’s interaction with the adaptive software creates value at multiple levels: to the student, for the purposes of self-awareness; to the instructor, for the purposes of focused instruction and feedback; to support services such as tutors; and to the institution, for a greater understanding of student needs with regards to curriculum, instruction and support.
An adaptive learning platform allows universities to identify the most common concepts for which remediation and reinforcement are needed, information that will be used to improve instruction and course design.
The Thiel Fellowship: Meet the College Dropouts Ready to Change the World The Telegraph
If you offered most students $100,000 to drop out of university and follow their dreams, you might expect them to take the world’s most deluxe gap year.
Billionaire co-founder of PayPal and technology entrepreneur Peter Thiel has done that: each year his Thiel Fellowship awards $100,000 to twenty people under the age of twenty in order to give up formal education and pursue “their most ambitious project”.
Thiel is of the opinion that for some of the brightest and best young thinkers, university education is nothing more than an expensive distraction. Instead, he believes that offering young people the mentors, guidance and, of course, cash required to realise their ideas is far more beneficial.
So far, projects have included everything from robotics to green energy, and teaching aids to molecular biology. Meet some of the prodigies currently enrolled.
MIT's Super-Stealthy Robot Cheetah Can Run You Down Business Insider
The latest invention developed by MIT researchers is a robotic "cheetah" that can run, bound, and jump obstacles in its path all while running on a quiet electric motor, giving the robot its stealthy cat-like quality.
The researchers working on the project, funded by DARPA, have developed an algorithm that enables them to control how much force the animal's feet exert when they contact the ground, which any sprinter can tell you relates to how fast you go down the track.
Right now, robotic cheetah can reach speeds up to 10 mph with its quiet electric motor, and researchers anticipate that it could top out at 30 mph. That's faster than Usain Bolt's record sprint in 2009, he ran the 100 meter dash in 9.69 seconds, corresponding to a speed of 23 mph.
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