quinta-feira, 17 de março de 2016

4 Changes That Will Shape The Classroom Of The Future: Making Education Fully Technological

It’s difficult to discuss the classroom of the future, as if it is something that it exists in some faraway time. The truth is, education is changing right now. Technology and expanded knowledge of the learning process have already resulted in a metamorphosis of the classroom and of teaching methods. There will be even more changes in the future.

How will the classroom of the future look like? Here are some of the changes that have already become commonplace in the classroom:

Online posting of grades and assignments.
Group projects completed through collaborative software.
Assignments completed online and uploaded through classroom portals.
Students using cloud storage instead of flash drives or paper to store their work.
Teachers, parents, students, and administrators communicating via social media platforms designed specifically for education.
These are just the changes that have been rolled out in average schools. School districts, academies, and other places of learning that have chosen to really embrace technology have advanced even further.

What’s the average classroom going to look like in the next 5 to 7 years? Here are 4 solid predictions about the classroom of the future.

The layout of the classroom will change immensely.
Forget about neat rows of chairs and desks from which students focus intently on the teacher delivering a lecture and demonstrating concepts on the whiteboard. That’s already falling out of favor today. Seating arrangements in the future will be flexible so that they are appropriate for the task that students are working on, and there will also be more focus on the comfort of the students. Here are just a few things that will become more commonplace in the classroom of the future:
Standing desks for students who have difficulty maintaining focus while sitting.
Accommodation for students who need more movement.
Private workstations will be available for individual tasks while collaborative workspaces will be available for group projects.
Interactive projectors and other technology will replace interactive whiteboards.
Students will be given more autonomy on how and where to sit.
Moving walls will make spaces more adaptable.
Virtual and augmented reality will change the educational landscape.
Imagine this: A student opens a book to what appears to be a page with a picture of the earth on it. Then, the student puts on a pair of special glasses and a three dimensional images pops out at them. Now, instead of seeing a simple, flat image, they can see various landforms; look at a cross section of the planet to see all of the various layers going down to the earth’s core. Picture a student walking through an art gallery and scanning a code next to a picture using a special app on their cell phone and then being able to watch a video of the artist speaking about their own work. This is all possible today because of a technology known as augmented reality. Apps and other educational devices act upon trigger images to create an augmented learning experience. Here’s something else to imagine: Middle school students in a rural classroom, more than 100 miles from the nearest major city are told that they will be spending the day touring a science museum. There are no buses to take them anywhere. Instead, the students are each given a pair of inexpensive virtual reality headsets that have been constructed largely from cardboard, and a glove. With just these two items they are able to virtually walk through the museum, page through books, watch presentations given by docents, and view any image they want from any angle. What does all of this mean for the classroom of the future? It means that geography and finance will cease being a barrier for teachers who want to give students access to enrichment material that can only currently be found outside of the school building. It also means that various learning styles can be accommodated by adding sound, video, images, and interaction to what used to be a text based, 2 dimensional world.
Flexible assignments will accommodate multiple learning styles.
Today, in the majority of classrooms, students all complete the same assignments. For example, if the assignment is to use MS word to write a research paper on tools developed during the Bronze Age, which is the assignment each student must complete. The only time when exceptions are made is usually when the student has special needs and accommodations are required. Unfortunately, these one size fits all assignments don’t take into consideration learning styles. With flexible assignments, the teacher will be more interested in proof of competency than in receiving 25 assignments all completed using the same methods. So, instead of passing out an assignment to write a research paper, the teacher will outline for students what skills or understanding they must demonstrate to successfully complete the assignment. The student will then be given the autonomy to decide how they will do that. This might include recording a video, creating an elaborate timeline, giving a presentation, or putting together a traditional research paper.
MOOCs and other online learning options will impact secondary education.
You have to stay in school. You have to get good grades. You have get your diploma. If you don’t do these things, you cannot get into college. If you don’t get into college, you won’t be able to get the degree that leads you to the career that you love. All of these seem like very logical statement, and chances are most people reading this were raised being told these very things by their parents and their teachers. There’s just one problem. The diploma simply isn’t as necessary or as valuable as it used to be, and neither is the college degree. In the future, students will feel less inclined to spend 4 years in high school learning the basics, plus another 4 years in college, especially when the first two years is simply covering the basics yet again. Today, a thirteen year old with an email address and access to the internet can sign up at Khan Academy and complete courses of study in a variety of academic disciplines, all for free. They can sign up for free classes designed and taught by professors at prestigious universities that are created and distributed using MOOC. In the time that it takes to finish high school, a student who is particularly motivated could have mastered multiple technologies; learned as much about history, business, mathematics, science, economy, etc. as a college graduate, and earned industry recognized certifications.
Does this mean that high school and college are becoming irrelevant? Absolutely not. There will always be students whose goals and educational needs are best met through a more traditional educational model. Just as there will be always be certain professions for which a more regulated and verifiable educational process is necessary, e.g., the medical fields. What it does mean is that schools will have to become more flexible and learn to accommodate the needs and goals of each student. This could be done by giving students more options when it comes to the educational path that they choose, creating cooperative educational programs with outside institutions, implementing flexible schedules, and allowing the option of distance learning. Many schools might consider offering alternative learning environments, not just for students with behavioral problems and other issues, but also for students with specific interests and areas of focus.

Conclusions About The Classroom Of The Future

Technology will certainly be a major factor in how education in the future differs from education today. However, it won’t be the only influence. Successful educators will realize that they need to rethink the entire model of education and redesign it so that it is more student-centered. This means adopting new technologies, but it also means giving up on archaic attitudes about what constitutes educational success and recognizing that educational competition is a reality.

Flip Your Classroom with iPad

Flip Teaching interfuses educational content demonstration through web presentations and engaging activities with students in class. It delivers knowledge to students with online presentations as well as home assignments and tasks. Teachers help students after they try to solve the problems themselves. Pedagogue can be attentive towards all the students individually and students can help each other thus making class time for hands-on work. Flipping the classroom also allows teachers to contribute more time to students’ individual needs and provide more tailored education. The implementation of iPad changed the traditional, old-fashioned teaching practice and can contribute enormously in a flipped classroom.

IPad can help student access subject knowledge in less time and deal with the problems arising in the classroom during a lecture. In a flipped classroom, no students can hide themselves and sit idly; they have to work with their fellows. The ability to characterize learning is being emphasized with introducing of iPad. In the flipped iPad classroom students learn the lessons at their best suitable time and location. With the paused-recording-setup, writing, typing, finding images, drawing diagrams, loading web pages comes on demand thus allowing students to focus during the face-to-face class. The students can discuss the problems and solve the issues amongst themselves in the online class forum; the feedbacks from the teachers and comments from classmates or parents are possible. For each discipline, it will be less about sitting-and-getting and more about learning by doing.
Before using iPad for flipped learning, some preliminary things you should carefully consider and get familiar with the techniques. It is crucial to provide engaging learning objects for students to consume at home in order to acquire content. You can either acquire high quality off-the-shelf content from Apple education Store, such as the science app “Focus on Plant” from TouchApp; or you can create your own teaching materials using flip teaching support tools. For example, iPad app “E-Lecture Producer“ can help you to recorder and publish voice-over PPT online. From a technical perspective, you should always grasp the basic before starting your iPad journey, understand how to ‘Transfer files from a computer to iPad’,  ‘Display or Mirror your iPad screen on an external projector’ and ‘Tablet security concerns and solutions in the classroom’ etc. General iPad tools are available to help you manage classroom, interact with students and improve education outcome.
Flipping is an erratic method for a teacher towards a more focused classroom but it is a great bridge between the teacher and learners with innovative ideas. Still in its early stages, flip teaching with iPad definitely requires time for its consolidated use in project-based learning, challenge-based learning and getting appreciation by a large community.

How to Instill the Love of Reading

Philip Pullman said that "after nourishment, shelter, and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world." Any person breathing knows this to be true. From telling stories around the fire, to the invention of the printing press, to binge-watching Netflix, our culture has always revolved around stories.

Stories Are Everywhere
It is through stories that we define our world and discover our place in it. Stories help us understand the world we live in, teach us about where we came from, and help us see possible futures. Stories are our education and our escape. They lull us to sleep and inspire us to action! Indeed, it is through the stories we tell each other that we literally create the world as a reflection of who we are.

I begin with this discussion of stories because it is important to understand that, whether they know it or not, every child is already halfway to being a book-lover. Every child already loves stories. Whether it's through movies, television, or video games, every child already has a preferred method of story intake. This is fine! Movies, television, and video games are not our enemies as educators. They are simply alternative methods of storytelling.

What we have to do is encourage each child to appreciate storytelling through the written word at least as much as they appreciate storytelling through visual mediums. Movies and television are wonderful, and I know because I've spent a little bit of my life making stories through those mediums! But it is difficult, if not impossible, to reach one's full potential without being able to read. To be literate is to be on the pathway to becoming a lifelong learner, and literacy is essential if we're to have educated individuals and a truly free society.

How Do We Inspire Our Kids to Love Reading?
1. Meet students in their comfort zone.
We have to show up where kids are hanging out, and bring them back to the written word. Reading Rainbow has always done this, first through the original TV series, and now by bringing children's books to the web and digital devices. But as teachers know, there are many other ways to meet kids where they are:

Talk to them about their favorite movies, TV shows, or video games. Find books that expand on those universes and characters that already have kids captivated.
Show them how dynamic visuals and written storytelling work together in comic books and graphic novels.
Have kids make their own comics or write their own fan-fiction, and share their work with their classmates.
2. Surround kids with good books.
When we give kids access to a rich library, we provide hundreds of opportunities every day for their eye to fall on an intriguing title, or for them to see another student choose a book and become engrossed in it. When we surround kids with books, we show them that reading is something that permeates life, something to do at any moment of the day. When we give kids a library and let them choose their own reading material, we provide opportunities for learning that are deeper, more pervasive, more personal, and most importantly, student driven.

3. Read books aloud.
The best thing that you can do to foster a child's love of reading is to read with him or her. Reading aloud is a low-pressure and foolproof way to engage the imagination through the written word. Once you have them well and truly hooked, leave copies of the book lying around the classroom and give them free reading time. How many students do you imagine will choose to pick up the book and finish it on their own?

4. Show students how much you love reading.
In my childhood, it was my mother, an avid reader, who was my first introduction to the joy of reading, but teachers are no less influential in the lives of their students. When I look back to my school days, I remember a few teachers whose passion for a subject inspired a similar passion in me. When teachers find ways to show students how important reading is in their own lives, it opens the door for reading to be important in their students' lives.

Only the Beginning
A love of stories is hardwired into every human being, and we have more media for receiving these stories than we've ever had in the course of human history. In video games, we get to guide a character through a story. In movies and television, we can see an entire lifetime play out in front of us in a few short hours. And in books, we can read about the complex emotions and motivations that wrestle beneath the surface of a stoic façade. Each medium has its unique appeal and limitations. When used together, we can inculcate in our students not only a love for storytelling in all of its forms, but give them a sense of how we as human beings have storytelling in our DNA.

But you don't have to take my word for it.


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KIDINJURY é uma aplicação que se destina aos pais e a todas as pessoas que lidam diariamente com crianças.

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terça-feira, 15 de março de 2016

Is using technology for learning a good idea?

Monica Bulger takes a critical look at a recent OECD report about the benefits and drawbacks of using computers and technology to aid children’s learning. She concludes that talking to children about what they like to learn and how is the best way forward to support them. Monica leads the Enabling Connected Learning initiative at the Data & Society Research Institute specialising in children’s rights in digital and learning spaces.

 As parents are equipping their homes with technology to support their children’s learning, new findings suggest this might actually be in vain. In a recent report, Students, computers and learning: Making the connection, the OECD finds that while moderate use of educational technologies relates to improved PISA scores, ‘students who use computers very frequently at school do a lot worse in most learning outcomes, even after accounting for social background and student demographics.’ This finding is certainly counter to many reports of learning improvements with technologies. So with these conflicting findings, where might the truth lie?

As Sonia Livingstone found in her 2012 review of research on the benefits of ICTs in education, measuring learning is challenging given the varied expectations of ‘success’ in learning, the complex factors contributing to learning outcomes, and the expense of longitudinal studies. Likewise, the variety of learning technologies available and in use, combined with diverse pedagogies, lead to inconclusive findings.

Neil Selwyn challenges the often binary nature of educational technology research. Whether learning outcomes are improved with or without technology is the commonly asked question, but should it be? Technology is simply a tool, Selwyn argues, and factors such as pedagogical application, teacher engagement and the socio-cultural background of the student all influence the efficacy of any learning experience.

Technologists like Nicholas Negroponte promote the idea that in the hands of a child a laptop can transform their world. Perhaps it can, but unfortunately, these anecdotal claims have caused many to believe they can simply drop laptops into a classroom, add internet access, parachute a variety of devices into poor, rural areas, and magically, learning outcomes will improve. This myth of an easy technical fix has led to misspent resources in struggling school districts as well as large ones. As demonstrated in the US by the failure of iPads in the Los Angeles Unified School District and New York City School’s recent ending of their relationship with Pearson, evaluations of technology use must be paired with consideration of the broader ecosystem of support and training.

When the OECD seeks to explain learning scores with high or low use of technology, they are pursuing a limited view of how learning happens. Much of the interesting work around technology and education looks at the broader picture of how children’s everyday social and digital practices impact their education (see, for example, It’s Complicated, The Class, Leveling Up, The Digital Edge).

Questionable measures

In the OECD’s report, measures of computer use are based on unverified self-reports from school principals. Their responses are then ‘weighted so that they are proportionate to the number of 15-year-olds enrolled in the school.’ ICT use in schools was measured by ‘frequency of browsing the internet for school’, with analysis comparing ‘once a week or more’ as high frequency use. Thus, the measure of educational technology use is constructed from principal reports of whether internet browsing occurs once a week in their school, and is then applied to all students within that school, regardless of their actual experience, yet analysed against individual student performance on the PISA tests.

Better ways to measure educational technology use

Ask the children. As part of the demographic data collected by PISA tests, adding questions about use of technology in the classroom would be a stronger and more accurate measure. School administrators might feel pressured to report on ideal use or expected use rather than actual use, but asking an entire cohort of students about their use will likely result in more accurate averages. Further, given the number of classes and teachers at any given school, expecting principals to be aware of specific practices might be unreasonable.
Limiting the questions to frequency of internet browsing may not address the rich classroom practices of technology engagement. More interesting measures could be developed through classroom observation or focus group discussions with teachers, or a review of a growing and diverse body of research. Using multiple methods can address technology use from the teacher and student perspectives while also measuring academic performance Starting points might be how technologies are used for creating materials in classrooms, how they are used for learning science, maths, history or art, how they are used for communicating with peers, their local community, and beyond the classroom.
If truly aiming to measure the effects of potentially excessive classroom internet use on student learning outcomes, more precise measures (e.g., daily use) would be more effective.
Finally, any responsible analysis of 15-year-old students’ learning performance must take into account their lived experience. Plenty of evidence shows that household income level and parents’ education level are crucial predictors of a child’s academic performance. The OECD reports that economic, social and cultural status accounts for 12% of variation in performance on maths and reading scores across OECD countries. So instead of removing socioeconomics as a variable when evaluating the effects of educational technology use, it would be interesting to add it in, and see how the effects of technology on learning scores might shift when relative poverty is considered.
Parents can also think about these measures in the home, when working out what best supports their child. Talking to children about what they like and what they find challenging is a way to step beyond whether the technology is helping them learn, and opens up a broader range of possibilities for understanding and supporting their learning experience.

segunda-feira, 14 de março de 2016

New approach needed to deliver on technology’s potential in schools

15/09/2015 - Schools have yet to take advantage of the potential of technology in the classroom to tackle the digital divide and give every student the skills they need in today’s connected world, according to the first OECD PISA assessment of digital skills.

“Students, Computers and Learning: Making The Connection” says that even countries which have invested heavily in information and communication technologies (ICT) for education have seen no noticeable improvement in their performances in PISA results for reading, mathematics or science.

Ensuring that every child reaches a baseline level of proficiency in reading and mathematics will do more to create equal opportunities in a digital world than solely expanding or subsidising access to high-tech devices and services, says the OECD.

In 2012, 96% of 15-year-old students in OECD countries reported having a computer at home, but only 72% reported using one at school. Overall, students who use computers moderately at school tend to have somewhat better learning outcomes than students who use computers rarely. But students who use computers very frequently at school do much worse, even after accounting for social background and student demographics.

“School systems need to find more effective ways to integrate | technology into teaching and learning  to provide educators with learning environments that support 21st century pedagogies and provide children with the 21st century skills they need to succeed in tomorrow’s world,” said Andreas Schleicher, OECD Director for Education and Skills. “Technology is the only way to dramatically expand access to knowledge. To deliver on the promises technology holds, countries need to invest more effectively and ensure that teachers are at the forefront of designing and implementing this change.”

The report found that the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students in digital reading was very similar to the differences in performance in the traditional PISA reading test, despite the vast majority of students using computers whatever their background. This suggests that to reduce inequalities in digital skills, countries need to improve equity in education first.

To assess their digital skills, the test required students in 31 countries and economies* to use a keyboard and mouse to navigate texts by using tools like hyperlinks, browser button or scrolling, in order to access information, as well as make a chart from data or use on-screen calculators.

Top performers were Singapore, Korea, Hong Kong-China, Japan, Canada and Shanghai-China. This reflects closely their performances in the 2012 print-reading test, suggesting that many of the skills essential for online navigation can also be taught and learned using standard, analogue reading techniques.

But the report reveals striking differences. Students in Korea and Singapore perform significantly better online than students in other countries with similar performance in print reading, as do students in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong-China, Japan and the United States. In contrast, students in Poland and Shanghai-China – both strong performers in print reading – do less well transferring their print-reading skills to an online environment.

* Participating countries and economies: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Chinese-Taipei, Colombia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Hong Kong-China, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Macao-China, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Russian Federation, Shanghai-China, Singapore, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Arab Emirates and the United States.

More information on the assessment and findings of this report is also available at: http://www.oecd.org/education/students-computers-and-learning-9789264239555-en.htm.