Category: Edge of Learning

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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The Invasive Valley of Personalization

About 9 months ago, I gave a presentation at the World Future Society Conference called The Promise and Perils of Personalization. After thinking, reading, discussing, and musing about personalization for about a year, I realized that there is a fine line between useful personalization and creepy personalization. It reminded me of the “uncanny valley” in human robotics. So I plotted the same kind of curves on two axes: Access to Data as the horizontal axis, and Perceived Helpfulness on the vertical axis.  For technology to get vast access to data AND make it past the invasive valley, it would...

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Full version of Algeboats is out!

In case you’ve been waiting, the full version of Algeboats is out in the iPad store for $4.99. You can see some of the gameplay for the Lite version of Algeboats on Youtube. The game is designed to teach students about what algebraic variables mean and to begin to understand equations. It’s clever because the students don’t see equations to solve, but in the process of finding crate values that “make” the flags, they begin working backwards and thus solving the equations created by boat=flag. I’ve seen learners as young as 5 be absolutely delighted by the game (and the...

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