Category: Edge of Learning

Interdisciplinary Courseware to the Rescue?

In the midst of all the bling of media-rich, adaptive, personalized, [insert-buzzword-here] digital products, there is a lurking underlying problem:   Teaching the same 100-yr old curriculum via innovative digital methods is not solving the real learning problems. #DLNchat #needbetter — Maria H. Andersen (@busynessgirl) October 11, 2016 The general education curriculum in higher education has barely changed. Today’s world is cross-disciplinary, culturally diverse, and team-oriented. There is almost no problem that can be solved in a silo content area with a team of one. We need new cross-disciplinary curriculum. We need courses that are more engaging and reflective of today’s...

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Why prototype a digital course?

Very few of us would buy an unbuilt home without at least viewing a model home that conveys the look and feel of the interior and exterior of the rest of the community. We should be unwilling to build (or buy) an entire course (a “row” of units, modules, chapters, or weeks of content) without seeing at least one “model unit” first. In the software world, a low-fidelity prototype is used to give the look and feel of a future product. With this prototype there is some hand-waving (mockups) to explain away missing functionality and potential users are asked how they...

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The Road Back to Higher Education

In 2012, I left Higher Education to work in the software world. It was bittersweet, because I had finished a Ph.D. on Higher Education Leadership only one year before I left. My decision to leave was a hard one, but I couldn’t see an effective solution path to change learning within traditional higher education. I studied effort after effort to make changes within departments, institutions, and systems, only to see that potential innovations to higher education rarely moved the needle very far from the traditional steady-state. The semester that I finished my Ph.D. was the same one that huge...

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What does Math Teaching look like in 2020?

This is from a presentation today looking at the future of teaching math from a K-12 perspective. Here are my predictions for math teaching at the K-12 level in 2020: (1) Learning math becomes a team activity, where technology is one of the team members. (2) Teachers shift from the role of an instructor to the role of a learning coach. (3) We solve the mobile devices and assessment problem. (4) Students can move seamlessly between in-person and digital experiences. (5) Teacher planning periods shift from lesson planning to examining analytics and choosing digital / in-person learning activities.  ...

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Adding Future Proof Skills to Course Syllabii

There are many college-level courses that are required but not beloved by students. Math requirements, in particular, are particularly disliked by most students. I believe that we teach mathematics to help students develop logical thinking, attention to detail, and a method for attacking problems of all types. The subject of mathematics provides a common language and structure to allow the development of these skills. Unfortunately, in our zeal to explain “when we are going to use this” we wander into the dark land of contrived application problems and ridiculous problem constraints. But what if there were another way to...

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