Category: Edge of Learning

Education is NOT prepared for the 21st Century

Today, I’m sending you to read this article “21st Century Learning: ‘We’re Not Even Close‘ from THE Journal. This article summarizes the highlights of a paper published jointly by SETDA, ISTE, and the Partnership for 21st Century Learning, called Maximizing the Impact: the Pivotal Role of Technology in a 21st Century Education System. Here are some highlights (or lows, depending on how you look at it): “education is dead last in technology use compared with all major industrial sectors, and that has to change in order for schools to meet the challenges of 21st century learning” we need to incorporate technology comprehensively to prepare students for 21st century skills technology needs to be used to support innovative teaching & learning educators need training in 21st century skills themselves… our skills have become outdated as our schools have become outdated. Did you catch that last one? TRAINING!!! It took me a while to find a working link to the actual report, but I did find one here. This is a report aimed primarily at K-12, but keep in mind that K-12 students eventually become College students … and some of our community college students are really catching up on skills they should’ve learned in their K-12 eduction. If K-12 catches up with technology, and we don’t… well, you can imagine how that will go down! Possibly Related Posts: Teaching in...

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Books about Brain Science

There seem to be quite a few talks this year on brain science and how it relates to teaching… specifically math. The one I could attend in my schedule was Ed Laughbaum’s talk “Teaching Developmental Algebra Isn’t Brain Science. Wait… Yes it is.” Here is a link to Ed’s website, where I assume he will post the presentation. Ed had a fantastic list of references (some of which I have read and some that I have not… so it will be time to abuse my account again): On Intelligence by J. Hawkins and Sandra Blakeslee (2004) Wider than the sky: The phenomenal gift of consciousness by G. Edelman (2004) The first idea: How symbols, language and intelligence evolved from our primate ancestors to modern humans by Greenspan & Shanker (2004) How the Mind Works by S. Pinker (1997) The seven sins of memory: How the mind forgets and remembers by D. Schacter (2001) Minds, brains, and learning: Understanding the psychological and educational relevance of neuroscientific research by J. Byrnes (2001) Memory by Thompson & Madigan (2005) The power of mindful learning by E. Langer (1997) The mind and the brain: Neuroplasticity and the power of mental force by Schwartz & Begley (2003) The new brain: How the modern age is rewiring your mind by R. Restak (2003) This last one looks like one I will definitely have to...

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Dimenxian: “Learn Math or Die Trying”

This was a featured article in What is it? It’s an algebra game produced by Tabula Digita called Dimenxian. You can download a demo of the game on the Dimenxian website. They also provide a list of alignments to NCTM Standards for Algebra with the game. For the record, the website says there is a trailer for the game… but I can’t get it to work, so if someone else figures it out, please comment on how to do it. I have downloaded the demo and tried the first “mission” … but I think I need more practice moving around and navigating in the game. From my five minutes of trial, it seems 90% game and 10% algebra, but perhaps that’s just because I’m not good at it yet. I’ve got some time trapped in airports this weekend, so I’ll give it another go and see if I can’t find more algebra in it. The game also does not encompass all of the topics we teach in algebra (really, it seems to focus on topics related to graphing). But it does engage the students and they learn algebra (read the article, research on middle school students). However, I’ve been saying for a while now that college textbooks are only a few years from becoming multimedia experiences first, and books second (or not at all)… here is my evidence...

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“Out of Control” blogger

Like my brother-in-law Chris, I am joining the “Out-of-Control” bloggers with two blogs … aiming for a different readership on this one. The Teaching College Math Technology Blog [Update: No longer online]  will be devoted to teaching math online and technology that you can use to teach math both online and in the classroom. Those of you who are technology afficianados might like to follow along even if you don’t teach math… some of the technology is pretty cool after all. For those of you who insist on watching and listening to the “purple-skinned bald math teacher with yellow sunglasses” more than once, you should know that you will be limited to only 2 listens per week (hey – it costs money to have an avatar and you are limited to a certain number of streams per month). Would you go to online class more often if your instructor’s appearance and location changed daily? Possibly Related Posts: Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast about ESIL Lens ESIL: A Learning Lens for the Digital Age Bringing the Real World to Your Math Class Every Day Reimagining Calculus Keynote Adjuncts shouldn’t have to fix a broken...

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We (the world) feel better

Most of the time I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of technology and the Internet and “what’s out there” but sometimes I am completely blown away by something I find. Tonight is one of those nights. I am sitting at the computer, posting assignments for my fall classes while simultaneously browsing/watching/listening to stuff on the Internet (this is why I have so much viewing space). Keep in mind that I have been at it for several hours and it is now 1 a.m. (for those of you that think that instructors don’t do any work in the summer). I was perusing the new Ted Talks and watched this talk by Jonathan Harris about two of his websites, We Feel Fine and Universe. To truly understand just how amazing these sites are, you really have to watch the talk, browsing will probably not do them justice. The We Feel Fine website is constructed using up-to-the-hour blog data and computer programs that scan blogs for specific phrases about feelings. The software is absolutely stunning. For example, in the interaction below I discovered that at the current moment (in the world) there are 7,544 people feeling “special” and 128,155 people feeling “better.” You can also find really specific blogs… like from all the people 30 years of age in 40 degree celsius weather in Montenegro in 2007 (for example)....

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