What’s the Point of a Professor?

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Educational Innovation Weekly Review for Academics
Curated by Tecnológico de Monterrey's Observatory of Educational Innovation
May 12, 2015
Contact us observatorio@itesm.mx
What’s the Point of a Professor?
The New York Times
  • We used to be mentors and moral authorities. Now we just hand out A’s. In 1960, only 15 percent of grades were in the “A” range, but now the rate is 43 percent, making “A” the most common grade by far. When college is more about career than ideas, when paycheck matters more than wisdom, the role of professors changes. 
  • But while they’re content with teachers, students aren’t much interested in them as thinkers and mentors. They enroll in courses and complete assignments, but further engagement is minimal.
  • Here are the meager numbers. In their first year, 33 percent of students report that they never talk with professors outside of class, while 42 percent do so only sometimes. Seniors lower that disengagement rate only a bit, with 25 percent never talking to professors, and 40 percent sometimes. We need face time.
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/WhatsProfessor

Keywords: education, mentoring, opinion
What The Best College Teachers Do
NPR Ed
  • What do the best professors know and understand about teaching? They certainly understand their discipline. They are accomplished scholars, artists and scientists. They know how to simplify and clarify complex subjects. They may not have studied human learning but they grasp important insights into how human beings learn and how to foster that learning through practice.
  • They treat their lectures and discussions as serious intellectual endeavors. The best teachers use a much richer line of inquiry to design a class and every encounter with students. 
  • We've had this dichotomy (in higher education) between research and teaching. And we've failed to recognize that teaching and research have something in common — learning. Over the last 30 years there's been a growing concern about meeting the demands of both.
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/TheBestTeachersDo

Keywords: education, learning, great teachers, books
Does Technology Belong in Classroom Instruction?
The Wall Street Journal
  • There’s no disputing that digital technology plays a major role in education. But that still leaves plenty of room for disagreement on whether technology should play a major role in the classroom itself—that is, whether teachers should rely on digital tools for a significant portion of their classroom instruction.
  • To thrive in a digital world, students need to learn how to sort through unlimited information sources. Schools need to arm them with the skepticism and critical thinking they need to do that. And that requires that schools embrace digital devices as learning tools. Using technology, students are still learning to think for themselves and along with others, but they’re also learning in ways they couldn’t before.
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/TechBelongClassroom

Keywords: education, technology, edtech, instruction
How To Transform Education With Video Games
Forbes
  • Consider the ease with which you learn the physics in Angry Birds, how quickly you came to understand Mario’s Mushroom Kingdom. What if we could leverage the skill with which games teach players to play? What if we could use similar strategies to help students to master traditional academic content? Many people are trying to do just that.
  • Greg Toppo, author of the new book 'The Game Believes In You: How Digital Play Can Make Our Kids Smarter', says that he worries about a couple of things: "First that people somehow think that games are going to “save” or “rescue” schools. [...] I say to people these days that I really hope games won’t be “the next big thing” in education, because the next big thing always sucks. Also, it rarely works. I hope games will be the next small thing – a stealth tool that will just keep on delivering, improving schools as it goes."
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/TransformwithGames

Keywords: gamification, video games, technology
Gates Publishes Top Ten Favorite Products of Teachers and Students
EdSurge
  • According to the aptly-named TEACHERS KNOW BEST, a Gates Foundation site that shares results from surveys about the digital instruction needs of 3,000 teachers and 1,200 students. And guess what? The top ten favorite products of teachers and students are not the same.
  • In the op 10 Product Preferences, the first five products for teachers and students are:
    #1 Teachers: Khan Academy/ Students: Google Search; #2 Teachers: BrainPOP/ Students: Khan Academy; #3 Teachers: Accelerated Reader/ Students: Google Docs; #4 Teachers: Edmodo / Students: YouTube; #5 Teachers: YouTube / Students: Edmodo
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/Top10EdtTechProducts

Keywords: education, technology, edtech

Brick by Brick: Next Generation Learning Management Systems
Inside Higher Ed

  • The next-generation learning management system shouldn't be a system at all, but a “digital learning environment” where individual components -- from grade books to analytics to support for competency-based education -- fit together like Lego bricks, a new white paper recommends.
  • Even though virtually all colleges and universities run some form of learning management system, many faculty members have a “love-hate relationship” with the software. On the one hand it’s technology “you can’t live without,” but on the other, it’s a source of frustration and impatience for many.
  • “The Next Generation Digital Learning Environment: A Report on Research,” advances Educause’s initiative to examine how faculty members and students feel about their LMS at a time when many universities are experimenting with new forms of delivering courses and awarding credit.

Visit Website: http://bit.ly/NextGenLMS

Keywords: learning, learning management systems, lms

Myth vs. Reality in a 1:1 Classroom
Edutopia

  • The biggest mistake a school can make when going 1:1 or bringing in any type of new technology is to focus all of the time and professional learning around applications or hardware. There should be a healthy balance of the two. Edtech consultants will focus on app smashing and devices rather than preparing teachers for rethinking or evolving their instructional design process.
  • Teachers need to begin seeing the new tools as supplements to what they're already doing really well. What the device and its applications really allow teachers to do is challenge students in new ways. It opens up new avenues in instructional designs and revises the role of the teacher to more of a facilitator for learning.

Visit Website: http://bit.ly/The1to1Class

Keywords: 1:1 implementation, blended learning, trends, edtech

UIUC, Coursera Partner to Offer iMBA, a $20,000 Graduate Degree
Education Dive

  • Coursera and the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign College of Business announced the launch of the iMBA, the first open, fully online MBA program to be offered through the MOOC platform. 
  • Access to all of the courses will be available on Coursera for free, with the option to enroll in the paid Specialization, demonstrate skills using career-relevant projects, and earn a Verified Certificate. This makes it the first graduate degree program made up of standalone, "stackable" building blocks that can be combined into a full MBA.

Visit Website: http://bit.ly/FirstAllMOOCMBA

Keywords: online education, MOOCs, Coursera, MBA

Drugmaker and University Ally to Seek Cure for AIDS
The New York Times
  • The British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline is teaming up with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to start a research institute and a company aimed at curing H.I.V. infection and AIDS.
  • GlaxoSmithKline will contribute $4 million annually over five years to the research center, set up on the North Carolina campus. The company and the university will each own half of the new company, Qura Therapeutics, which will have the rights to commercialize any discoveries. 
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/UniversitytocureAIDs

Keywords: Science, research, health, medicine
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Educational Innovation Weekly Review is curated by Tecnológico de Monterrey's  Observatory of Educational Innovation. With the highlights of the week on innovation, technology and education. If you require more information about a specific note, please email us: observatorio@itesm.mx. TECNOLÓGICO DE MONTERREY, 2015.

Observatory of Educational Innovation

Tecnológico de Monterrey's Observatory of Educational Innovation: We identify and analyze the educational innovation trends that are shaping the future of learning and education. 

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