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Facing the Future of Technology and Learning

In the last decade, technologies like adaptive learning, smartphones, learning analytics, OER, and MOOCs have been chipping away at the corners of traditional education. In the near future we’ll be dealing with even more disruptive technologies like bots and artificial intelligence. Technology-enhanced learning is here to stay and it is altering formal education, like it or not. This is a guide to successfully navigating and thriving in this new world and preparing yourself and students for what is to come.

Learning is Not a Spectator Sport

When we examine the research around highly effective learning experiences, there is a disconnect between what faculty believe and what the research says. Spoon-feeding of content is not good for long-term retention. Effective learning needs to include varied practice, productive failure, interleaving of concepts, and interaction design.

Learning at Scale: Using Research To Improve Learning Practices and Technology for Teaching 

In the last 5 years, there has been a rise in what we might call “large-scale digital learning experiments.”  These take the form of centralized courses, vendor-created courseware, online homework systems, MOOCs, and free-range learning platforms. If we mine the research, successes, and failures coming out of these experiments, what can we discover about designing better digital learning experiences and technology for learning?

Harmonizing the Opposing Forces in Teaching and Learning Mathematics

Teaching math is a struggle between covering content and getting to appropriate depth. It is a balance between appropriate scaffolding and productive failure. There is a tug-of-war between keeping half the class from being bored and the other half of the class from being frustrated. We want to help the struggling students to succeed and nurture the creativity of bright students at the same time. Understanding of math student personas, principles from the game industry, and appropriate use of technology can help bring some of these struggles into a more stable balance.

Surviving and Thriving in the Age of Technology-Enhanced Learning

With every new iteration of technology, we create generations of students whose primary media “language” for learning and interacting with the world is different than the generation before it. In the last five years, technologies like online homework, personalized learning software, mobile devices, learning analytics, OER, and MOOCs have been chipping away at the corners of higher education and traditional teaching. Technology-enhanced learning is here to stay and it will alter formal education, like it or not. This is a guide to navigating and thriving in this new world and preparing yourself and students for what is to come.

A Recipe for Free Range Learning

Never has there been a time where information could be so freely found outside of formal education.  It’s a time when you can learn just about anything you desire.  However, it’s not enough to just have access to the information. To engage in learning (in or outside of education) you need to have the essential ingredients and a good recipe.  What can you do today to enhance the effectiveness of free‐range learning, and how will the new free-range learning ecosystem affect learning in the future?

Future-Proof Their Education

How do you prepare students for uncertain career paths where technical knowledge doubles every two years? You pay attention to the skills that surround the content: Interact, Flex, Learn, Explain, Analyze, and Focus.  In this presentation we focus on a simple strategy for making every course relevant to students by focusing on the skills they will need in the future.

Aha Moments: Engagement and Exploration in Online Math

Do you sometimes worry like your online course is a bit too much like a correspondence course? Are students just going through the motions completing tasks for points? Learn how to use active learning techniques and exploration-based activities in online math to create “aha moments” for engaging students.

The Promise and Perils of Personalization

The future promises a world where everything from Internet search to medical treatments to education is personalized to the individual. While this vision is tantalizing from an individual experience, what will the effect be on society? What ethical questions will we grapple with? How will individuals cope with the parts of their life that are not personalized experiences? How will relationships be affected by a world where we each live in our own personalized bubble? We’ll look at some of the areas of everyday life where personalization is likely to be a growth industry and grapple the potential consequences of these shifts.

Creating Formative Digital Activities that Spark Learning

Meaningful and high-quality formative activities encourage the learner to engage deeply with learning resources and scaffold the learning for greater success. A digital learning experience built without the architecture of frequent, formative learning interactions is just another passive content delivery system. There are now hundreds of digital platforms used to construct learning experiences and many of these platforms have features to allow inclusion of formative interactions. However, faculty and instructional designers struggle with the creation of meaningful activities. In this session, we’ll walk through best practices for writing formative activities in digital learning environments.

The Future of eLearning

In the future we will see a separation of content, coaching, and assessment in learning. This will be facilitated, among other things, by the rapid development of eLearning tools that can be personalized to the individual, the recognition that coaching is crucial to successful learning in the majority of individuals, and the widespread use of open content.

Playing to Learn? 

Children love to learn, but at some point they lose that love and become adults that don’t like formal learning. Let’s explore why “play” has gotten such a bad rap and figure out how to get it back in higher education. This presentation includes a collection of educational games for all subjects.

Organize Your Digital Self

The role of the instructor is changing – no longer the guardians of information, we are quickly becoming the facilitators of learning – however that learning takes place. The classroom is not our only stage these days, and to meet learning needs, we communicate by email, manage online homework, build websites and courses in learning management systems. However, all this “going digital” can be a bit overwhelming. How do you manage the mountain of email and grading? How do you keep track of your links, files, and website materials? How do you go about organizing and sifting through the vast array of resources on the Internet and turning them into an easy‐to‐use and coherent set of learning materials for the teaching? Let me share some of my strategies for coping with the information overload and the new digital era.

The Secret Technology Club

If you think that technology power‐users have a whole bunch of “secret” tricks and shortcut, you might be right. We’ve been immersed in computer‐use for decades now, but very few of us have had much formal training.  We learn through trial and error, but it’s difficult to learn what you don’t know exists!  Years of working in professional development have given me a selection of random tricks and tips about browsers, Internet searches, and software that many average computer users do not know.  If you train others on software, or if you suspect you’ve fallen behind and would like to fill some of those silly technology gaps, this is for you. You too can become a member of the “Secret Technology Club” by learning and sharing these secret technology handshakes.