From Passive Viewing to Active Learning
There’s a big difference between watching a video and learning something from it. Videos are great for presenting visual information and emotional appeals, but not particularly effective at diving below the surface of non-visual theoretical or abstract topics or for driving critical thinking. What’s more, any video presented in class must compete for attention and memory with the five-plus hours the typical student spends outside of class watching television programs, movies, and other onscreen entertainment. (Nielsen, 2013)
To help increase the educational effectiveness of an online course video, consider applying one or more of the following active learning strategies…
image via flickr:CC | Poetprince
Clenching Right Fist May Give Better Grip On Memory
Clenching your right hand may help form a stronger memory of an event or action, and clenching your left may help you recollect the memory later, according to research published April 24 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Ruth Propper and colleagues from Montclair State University.
The group that clenched their right fist when memorizing the list and then clenched the left when recollecting the words performed better than all the other hand clenching groups. This group also did better than the group that did not clench their fists at all, though this difference was not statistically ‘significant’.
“The findings suggest that some simple body movements — by temporarily changing the way the brain functions- can improve memory. Future research will examine whether hand clenching can also improve other forms of cognition, for example verbal or spatial abilities,” says Ruth Propper, lead scientist on the study.
image via flickr:CC | DenisGiles
Finding our centers: Becoming learning communities
“Communities are defined by their centers,” explains Thomas Sergiovanni, “repositories of values, sentiments, and beliefs that provide the needed cement for bonding people together in a common cause. Centers govern what is valuable to a community…They answer questions: What is this school about? What is our image of learners? What makes us unique? How do we work together as colleagues? How does this school, as a community, fit into the larger school community?”
image via flickr:CC | lululemon athletica
What is your school’s “center”?
“Technology in the classroom is here to stay. Consequently, it is time for educators to begin to have more sophisticated conversations about best practices and to explore the inherent challenges. The learning potential of educational technology is infinite, but as with every learning tool, platform, or approach, educators need to sift through the tensions and talk about the challenges and trade-offs. It’s time to give educators encouragement to apply critical thinking to technology without the fear of being labeled a Luddite.”
Testing helps maintain attention, reduce stress in online learning
Now researchers (Szpunar, Khan, & Schacter, 2013) have reported testing as a potentially powerful ally in online learning. College students frequently report difficulty in maintaining attention during lectures, and that problem seems to be exacerbated when the lecture occurs on video.
Data shows students’ minds wandered less with just the thought that they might be tested. Interesting…
photo via flickr:CC | konch
Many of those who say BYOT doesn’t work argue that schools have to provide all students with equal technology. We can’t wait around for that. Students need to be able to use technology to problem solve and think critically.
Many also argue that it will harm students who cannot afford expensive technology. Kids aren’t blind. They already realize through clothing, tennis shoes, etc. they come from various economic backgrounds. We need to educate and have open discussions about these real world issues and not decide to block access.
I have worked in various economic situations worldwide with mobile devices and the students learn they can be creative, learning can be engaging, and their devices even if just a cellphone, digital camera or cheap tablet gives them limitless possibilities to learn daily.
@ShellTerrell is an amazing person to follow on Twitter if you aren’t already.
“Fundamentally, the Core Knowledge reform movement is an effort to give all students the broad knowledge that will set them up for a good income and a lifetime of reading and learning. I won’t be around to see how it ends. With luck it could end with higher achievement and much smaller achievement gaps — but only if far more schools, parents, and concerned citizens become persuaded, as I did, that knowledge trumps skills.”
“What are parents doing at home? Are they creating websites with their children, assessing what is good and bad information, creating videos and podcasts, and so on? The majority of our students see the Internet as a place of consumption, not creation. We need to shift that focus.”