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Friday, June 22, 2018

How Do Diverse Classes Fare with Video-Based Active Learning? | eLearningInside News

Henry Kronk, Writer/Editor at eLearning Inside News reports, "Classroom environments that use digital tools and active learning get a lot of attention these days. But discussion tends to lack nuance."
Photo: Hermes Rivera, Unsplash.

An educator might implement a new pedagogy and measure learning outcomes, grades, engagement, or some other ‘across-the-board’ metric. But how does video-based active learning work for students from different socioeconomic backgrounds? With different learning abilities? With different GPAs? A recent study by professors from California State University, Fullerton asks just that. Published in the June issue of the Online Learning Journal (put out by the Online Learning Consortium) the study is titled “Student-Produced Videos Can Enhance Engagement and Learning in the Online Environment.”

Researchers Denise Stanley and Yi Zhang conducted this study among 87 learners in two online sections of a managerial economics class. For the treatment group, they asked learners to prepare their own instructional video on how to solve a typical multiple choice exam question. They then uploaded this video to their LMS, and others were asked to comment on them. Students were subsequently surveyed based on their background, learning expectations, engagement, and performance throughout the course.

Video-Based Active Learning With Diverse Learners 
This example of video-based active learning asks students to go beyond mere comprehension or memorization. By creating a video used to teach others, they must master the subject first themselves.

“Our particular strategy represents an example of active learning and student peer provision of learner support and feedback, which could influence student success directly and/or indirectly through its contribution to student course engagement and satisfaction,” the authors write. “Yet it is a component that requires some technical skills, fluency in English, and comfort with public presentations. So analysis of student background characteristics and their possible interplay with the component can shed light on the observed actual learning outcomes.”

For student backgrounds, researchers looked at gender, GPA, race and culture, whether they received a Pell Grant, their mother’s education, and whether English is their first language.
In doing so, the researchers hoped to answer two research questions:
  1. Does the student-generated video component increase student engagement with the class and improve learning outcomes?
  2. 2. Are there any differences among groups of students with varied demographic backgrounds in terms of online education readiness, engagement in the online environment, and/or learning outcomes and satisfaction in online classes?

Source: eLearningInside News

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Commentary: How our LA charter high school is reimagining education for homeless and foster care youth | LA School Report

Photo: Erin Whalen
"As graduation season comes to a close, school leaders across the country have the opportunity to reflect on the way our schools are helping students from all walks of life prepare for their future, including students who are homeless, living in foster care, or experiencing challenges that prevent them from thriving in traditional school settings" says Erin Whalen, founding assistant vice principal at Da Vinci RISE High School.

Photo: Da Vinci RISE High

The harsh reality is that more than 63,000 homeless students live in Los Angeles County and another 28,000 are in foster care. In the face of such sobering statistics, a bright spot: education can be the tool that empowers our youth to rise above the circumstances they’ve been dealt, and charter schools are uniquely positioned to meet these students where they are and ultimately help them achieve stable and successful lives.

At Da Vinci RISE High School, we believe this is one of the biggest social justice issues of our time and aim to create intentional spaces for “disconnected” students to reach their full potential. Our students don’t have the option of focusing on just being students and consequently, school isn’t and can’t be a one-size-fits-all solution. Yet, instead of providing additional support for these communities, bureaucratic school systems continue to disenfranchise and exclude them–pushing them out of the educational narrative altogether. Many of our students’ educational experiences have required them to check their experiences and identity at the door. This simply doesn’t work.

At RISE, we lead with the idea that our students already have the answers–and we need to listen. When we leverage their voices, instead of pushing them out, success inevitably follows. That’s why we created RISE hand in hand with the communities we seek to serve. Every component of our school, from curriculum to teaching staff, was built to meet our youth exactly where they are.

By continually engaging RISE scholars in conversations around what hasn’t worked for them in prior schools, what challenges get in the way of their education, and what kind of support they wished they had, we began to hear the same themes surface time and time again: accessibility issues, inflexible scheduling, and inadequate understanding and support from instructors.

Getting to school consistently can be one of the biggest hurdles students face. To remedy this, it was important for us to find a location for our school that would be easy for students to access. RISE is located in A Place Called Home, a safe and inclusive space for underserved youth in South Central LA, and we also have a facility in nearby Hawthorne. 
Read more... 

Source: LA School Report

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What Are Unique, Science-Based Careers In Math? | Steam - CBS Los Angeles

"California’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) program is designed to provide the state’s students with a background in five key disciplines, inform Mark G. McLaughlin, CBS Los Angeles.

The rapidly changing modern job market not only rewards but often also requires people who can work across disciplines, or take what they have studied in one field and apply it to another. Multi-tasking not only means being able to do two or more things at once, but combining two or more things to enhance the final product. Here, for example, are just five unique careers pertaining to science that many do not automatically think of as math related.

Additional resources 
What Are Unique Careers In Science? 
What Are Unique, Science-Based Careers In Tech?
What Are Unique, Science-Based Careers In Engineering?
What Are Unique, Science-Based Careers In The Arts?

Source: CBS Los Angeles

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Northern Virginia Community College offers new ‘cloud’ degree | Business & Finance - WTOP

Northern Virginia Community College will this fall become one of the first community colleges in the country to offer a cloud computing degree, as WTOP reports. 

Photo: Courtesy Northern Virginia Community College

The college has partnered with Amazon Web Services’ AWS Educate program to offer a cloud computing specialization as part of its associate of applied science degree in information systems technology.

Teresa Carlson, the vice president of worldwide public sector business for Amazon Web Services, made the announcement at an AWS Public Sector Summit in D.C. Wednesday.

According to LinkedIn, the No. 1 in-demand global skill for the past three years in a row has been cloud and distributed computing.

The two-year ITS cloud computing degree program is a 63-credit associate degree mapped to the skills and competency-based credentials required by AWS and other employers using cloud-based-services. All students will also receive free membership in the AWS Educate program and access to hands-on experience with leading cloud technology and tools.

Source: WTOP

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Nine Educational Institutions Choose Motivis Learning to Improve the Student Experience and Learning Outcomes | PR Web

Innovative higher education, K-12, and professional development providers will implement the Motivis platform to deliver outcomes-based programs to learners around the world. 

Photo: Motivis Learning

Motivis Learning is honored to announce nine new partner institutions began implementing Motivis’ teaching and learning platform in April and May to deliver their outcomes-based student experiences. The new partners include colleges and universities, charter schools and public school districts, professional development programs, and statewide education initiatives, including:

ExcEL Leadership Academy in Shelton, CT
Huntley Community School District 158
IIAD Global
New Hampshire Learning Institute and New Hampshire Department of Education
Next Charter School
Marian University of Wisconsin
Southern New Hampshire University School of Business
Texas Technical University Curriculum Center for Family and Consumer Sciences
Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (VLACS)

“Our team is honored, and excited, to welcome these innovative educators to our fast-growing family of partners,” says Brian Peddle, CEO of Motivis Learning. “We know legacy learning management systems and related tools often create obstacles to efforts to improve the student experience and learning outcomes, even at the most forward-thinking institutions. Our mission at Motivis has always been to empower teachers, students, and everyone else involved in helping students achieve their goals with the right tools to make learning experiences better, more relevant, and more engaging.”

Motivis replaces traditional learning management systems and supports a full range of pedagogical models, including competency based education, micro-credentials, and other outcomes-based models in addition to traditional course-based approaches. 

To learn more about Motivis Learning, please visit

About Motivis Learning
The Motivis Learning platform goes beyond the traditional learning management system (LMS), connecting institutions with the analytics, advising, student information, and social learning capabilities to engage students, improve retention, and personalize learning. Motivis supports outcomes-based educational programs at institutions around the world, helping them deliver high quality, engaging, career-relevant experiences to learners at all stages of their education.

Source: PR Web

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Let Students Take Control of Their Learning | Education Week

"A principal shares his alternative school's approach to connecting the most challenging students to their education through real-world experiences" reports Matthew Lynch, Professor, Author, Advocate and Futurist.

Education Futures: Emerging Trends in K-12
At Kankakee School District, we asked our students the question, "What was your most memorable moment in school?" More than 90% of their responses reflected a project they created on their own, and the relationship they had with a teacher during it. They remember the moments where they were excited and felt in charge of their own learning.

For a long time, we've been trying to nail down that golden learning style that works best for every student. But ultimately, every single person thinks and learns differently. To unlock every student's potential for growth, we have to start by letting them take control of their own learning.

'This is my classroom, and my work'
Since 2007, I've played a role in educating students, from being a middle school science teacher to becoming assistant principal in the Chicago Public School District. In my current role as a principal of an alternative school in the Chicago suburb of Kankakee, I've come to realize the importance of taking learning styles seriously in a way that encourages students to find their passion and truly fall in love with learning.

To do this, we held our own project-based learning day for the very first time this year. Students showcased their work and explained the steps they took.  For example, they explained how they visited the county attorney's office over a period of time to better understand the court system. One student even discovered an interest in law and policy when visiting the county attorney's office! They were so proud of their efforts and the lessons they learned, because they were able to choose their project and guide their own learning. A project like this, where it's hands-on, real-world experience, truly brings the learning experience to a new level.

We made projects like this happen with the implementation of our online PBL platform Defined STEM, which provides a resource to guide teachers and students on their own competency-based learning journey. Students were able to articulate their understanding through their project in a way that suited them, whether it was a video they made or a presentation where they confidently talked to an audience. When students feel in control, it shows through in their excitement about learning new ideas and topics.

The impact of students owning their learning styles has been reflected in their achievement. For example, we've seen minor and major infractions decline tremendously, and attendance has increased since we started working on implementing a PBL platform more than two years ago. We've seen students who were on the verge of dropping out graduate with flying colors and talk about how excited they were to pursue a career that truly sparked their interests. Our students are on a path to excellence, with test scores going up and averaging the same as a nearby magnet school for gifted students.

Students are learning in an entirely new way that exposes them to ideas they may have never known they had an interest in. They feel connected and meaningfully involved in school when they can talk to issues that reflect their passions, interests, and personalities. Now that we've transitioned from a traditional classroom set-up with rows of chairs, teachers are playing the role of a facilitator, and students have said, "This is my classroom, and my work."

Source: Education Week

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Best music apps for iPhone and Android | Digital Trends

Music junkie? Here are the 24 best music apps for consuming and creating tunes, as Digital Trends reports.

Based on our independent research, we estimate that there are probably between a zillion and a jillion different music apps on Google Play and the iOS App Store.

Photo: Digital Trends
Those aren’t exact figures, but we reckon we’re not far wrong. With all this choice, you have access to just about any type of music program imaginable, from internet radio and streaming apps, to guitar tuners and portable DJ stations. But even if you wanted to, using them all would take more time than you likely have — and would waste all your phone’s memory too. Since you can’t download all zillion apps available not yet, anyway we’ve dug up the best music apps available for Android and iOS.

Most are available free of charge, but many also feature in-app purchases andmonthlysubscription fees. Nonetheless, below are our picks for the best music apps, whetheryou’re looking to simply listen to music, learn musical skills, or create your own tunes. And before we start, don’t forget that music is best listened towith a good pair of cans, so check out our picks for the best headphones you can buy and the best noise-canceling headphones.

Source: Digital Trends

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Bamboo Music is a new Alexa Skill that makes learning music fun for the family | Digital Trends

Follow on Twitter as @luchanglu

And now, he and co-founder and education expert Irina Fine have debuted an education-focused software and services startup known as Bamboo Learning. Its first skill is Bamboo Music, which promises to help anyone and everyone learn music and music theory. While there’s no promise that Bamboo will turn your child into the next Chopin, there’s still plenty of reason to teach your tot music from an early age, as research has shown that a music education also boosts learning and memory capabilities. And with the new Bamboo Music, learning music doesn’t have to be a chore.

The Alexa skill introduces basic music concepts like notes, scales, chords, tempo, dynamics, intervals, and the sounds of different instruments. And by way of a wide range of exercises that were designed based on well-known music theory teaching methods, students regardless of age can begin learning how music is structured. As you practice and master skills, you’ll earn Bamboo Badges, and Bamboo Music will automatically take you to the next level of difficulty...

“Bamboo’s approach to developing the Bamboo Music Alexa Skill is to focus on learning that works well on a voice device, build lessons based on solid educational research and philosophy, make the Alexa Skills fun for the entire family, and enable parents to easily track progress,” said Fine.

Source: Digital Trends and Ian Freed Channel (YouTube)

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Faculty books published in 2018 | William & Mary News

The following books were authored or edited by William & Mary faculty members and published in 2018. 

Photo: William & Mary News

Books are listed in alphabetical order within the following categories: arts & sciences and law. Additional categories may be added throughout the year as more books are published. The information contained herein was submitted by the authors. Additional books may be submitted via this online form. - Ed.
Read more... 

Source: William & Mary News

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New textbook claims learning math causes ‘harm’ to students | Campus Reform

In a chapter for a new textbook, University of Exeter professor Paul Ernest warns that mathematics education can cause "collateral damage" to society by training students in "ethics-free thought."  

He even argues that since money involves mathematics, math is "implicated in the global disparities of wealth" because math students are taught to value "detached" and "calculative" reasoning.

Toni Airaksinen, New York Campus Correspondent writes, "A professor at the University of Exeter claims in a new textbook that learning mathematics can cause “collateral damage” to society by training students in "ethics-free thought."" 

Photo: Campus Reform

“The Ethics of Mathematics: Is Mathematics Harmful” was written by University of Exeter Professor Paul Ernest, and published as a chapter in a 2018 textbook he edited called The Philosophy of Mathematics Education Today. 

Despite the myriad benefits math offers to society—such as increased scientific knowledge and improved healthcare, allowing us to live longer and happier lives—Ernest warns of three ways mathematics education causes “collateral damage” to society. 

First, Ernest asserts that “the nature of pure of mathematics itself leads to styles of thinking that can be damaging when applied beyond mathematics to social and human issues,” since math facilitates “detached” and “calculative” reasoning.

“Reasoning without meanings provides a training in ethics-free thought,” he writes, fretting that this “masculine” paradigm “valorises rules, abstraction, objectification, impersonality, unfeelingness, dispassionate reason, and analysis.” 

Second, he argues that the “applications of mathematics in society can be deleterious to our humanity unless very carefully monitored and checked,” worrying particularly about how math facilitates transactions of money and finance. 

“Money and thus mathematics is the tool for the distribution of wealth,” he states. “It can therefore be argued that as the key underpinning conceptual tool mathematics is implicated in the global disparities in wealth.”

Finally, Ernest worries of the personal impact math has on “less-successful students,” especially women, since math is often perceived as a “masculine” and “difficult” subject. 
Read more... 

Source: Campus Reform

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