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Archives Tagged Education

So this is something I really had to share with you guys because…

So this is something I really had to share with you guys because I think that is almost directly applies to what we are doing at the moment. 

Might wanna check the playlist out that is being spoken about here.

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Posted in All Students, Group 8, Work Teams
This was originally published at community word

Grainne Conole keynote on Online Open Learning

Conole keynote in_suedu: This one is for my fellow #CommProj12 faculty team — as we explore the implications of an open course. The viability of reuse of parts of this course seem to be a critical element of deciding about its viability. Take a look and let me know what you think!
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Posted in All Students, Faculty
This was originally published at Nancy's Project Community Reflection

“Since we cannot know what knowledge will be most needed in the future, it is senseless to try to…”

“Since we cannot know what knowledge will be most needed in the future, it is senseless to try to teach it in advance. Instead, we should try to turn out people who love learning so much and learn so well that they will be able to learn whatever needs to be learned.”

- John Holt
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Posted in All Students, Group 1, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Bart Hoekstra's Tumbleblog

Humanica Alfabet

I am participating in an educational pilot where we try to connect the ‘knowledge subjects’ (sorry for that term) with the art subjects. So far it has been a great journey. We actually see really motivated students work together on fun projects. Although a lot of things don’t go as planned, we are learning very much during the process.

Throughout the year we work on a couple of projects around a central theme and subthemes. The central theme for this year is ‘tension’. Subthemes are for example the French Revolution and Slavery. During a trimester students connect knowledge they gather about certain periods of time with forms of art. So in the very first trimester students were asked to create a trailer about a modern-day scene which can be related to the French Revolution.

The current subtheme is slavery. What we are trying to do — especially in this project — is to have students imagine what slavery is like. That’s why we decided to do a workshop on what it is like to travel (to be sailed) across the Atlantic as an African slave. So that’s why we measured out an area on a piece of paper where the students could lay down on and then feel like they were crammed like slaves on a ship. As it turned out that was completely awkward for most of them (of course; it makes you realize how big your physical comfort zone actually is). It does cost you your comfort zone, especially since they were being folded together in some way. Doing that and seeing it makes you realize how bad the situation would be for a slave on a ship from Africa to North America. Especially because you are on that ship for around 10 weeks. Horrible…

After that part of the workshop we decided to make use of the situation. Students were feeling a ‘little’ less awkward about their disrupted comfort zones, so we decided to have them form letters on the ground. The end result, or more like the first draft, turned out to be coolest of all. So we are currently working on our ‘humanica’ font/alfabet/whatsoever.

The cool thing about all that was that we initially didn’t know whether we connected with the imagination the students had, but in the end we found out we did. A group of boys and girls were so very inspired and happy with forming letters on the ground and the other things we did, they wanted more. So we turned out brainstorming about increasing the scale of the idea, using different types of colored clothing, and even created a couple of different pieces of the modern alfabet, meaning :-)’s, :P’s, ;)’s etcetera. Was truly great!

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Posted in All Students, Group 1, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Bart Hoekstra's Tumbleblog

Apple, please — please — kill analog educational textbooks (softly)

Rumors are spreading all over the internet of an upcoming Apple event next Thursday. 

Apple is slated to announce the fruits of its labor on improving the use of technology in education at its special media event on Thursday, January 19. While speculation has so far centered on digital textbooks, sources close to the matter have confirmed to Ars that Apple will announce tools to help create interactive e-books—the “GarageBand for e-books,” so to speak—and expand its current platform to distribute them to iPhone and iPad users.

~ Ars Technica

Now imagine that being true. That’d most definitely mean the end for paper textbooks. And probably that results in the creation of some kind of App Store for (educational) ebooks. That looks like a bright future to me. I’m sure some of you are frowning real hard now, so let me explain it by summing up a couple of reasons why the paper textbook doesn’t work (so well) or why the digital variant is just better.

  1. Paper books are outdated the moment they’re printed. Well, that’s a little exaggerated, but the essence of it is true and becoming a more and more serious problem. Through the internet we are gathering vast amounts of knowledge, information and data at such a pace that sooner or later it is going to be the case. I wouldn’t want to end up being stunned at the sight of our rapidly becoming obsolete knowledge, so it’s a good thing to prepare for that moment.
  2. Books can get interesting, again, by being interactive. I guess most of us really love interactive ebooks. Some really good examples have been published the last couple of years. For example: Al Gore’s Our Choice, which tells you about climate change and ways to solve our world’s problems. Those ‘books’ are far more interesting than any paper book can ever become, mainly because:
  3. Interactive storytelling can make boring stuff interesting. We people are storytellers. For thousands of years stories have been a very powerful learning tool, but only in the last couple of centuries we lost track of the importance of storytelling. I’m sure you had a teacher years ago that you still know of now like it was yesterday. Good chance that he or she was a really good storyteller. Someday soon some ebook might be just as good.
  4. Digital = more democratic. Now that nearly everyone has access to some kind of app store, nearly everyone has the chance to suit his- or herself with a personal and really good arsenal of apps. Besides that — not taking into account Apple and others censorship here and there — everyone is able to publish apps to the most popular online shops ever. What if the same were true for educational ebooks? Everyone would be able to publish his or her knowledge for the world in a very friendly manner. Friendly manner? Yeah, I think ebooks are more friendly than websites are. The same holds very much true for apps, and ebooks will probably be looking more and more like apps in the near future.
  5. Digital textbook alternatives allow for a more organic learning experience. The moment we buy a learning method, we are in some way obliged to follow its planned path for mostly at least a year. That’s actually really strange since learning usually doesn’t follow such a path. Learning is organic, not linear. Digital textbooks, which can be produced for a small bit of the price of paper ones can solve that. Now and even more so in the future we will need to be able to ‘download’ necessary information anytime and anywhere. Just like we do with apps nowadays. I think Apple knows that and is going to change that for education.
  6. Digital textbooks are less hefty. Remember the times when you were in highschool walking around with a heavy stuffed bag? That doesn’t need to be if we have all our educational material on our iPads.
  7. Digital is cheaper to distribute and easier to update. Doesn’t really need an explanation, does it?
  8. Etcetera. Probably lots of, if not thousands of, pros can be thought of.
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Posted in All Students, Group 1, Idea Networks
This was originally published at Bart Hoekstra's Tumbleblog