I can’t imagine how difficult it has been for so many since the events in Christchurch last Friday, and we have seen weak, and at times shameful, comments from leaders across the world, including those in Australia.
Jacinda Ardern has been a light in the darkness, showing strength, contained emotion, and clarity.
This speech an outstanding example. So good to have the transcript there as well as the video.
And when asked to comment on the statements of Australian Senator Fraser Anning, her response, “Disgraceful. Next question.” – pitch perfect.
ask students an un-Google-able question e.g. what does the human body have 5 of… lobes of the lungs
this then is a gateway question for exploration – why 5?
AR and VR we will get over the awkwardness of the tech
need to recognise the unique affordances of each
VR – good for learning to deal with life threatening situations in a safe environment, or difficult to replicate environments e.g. fire fighting, Black Friday sales (people have been killed in stampedes at these sales)
Myles Runham – Content Design
Why don’t we always do what users need?
we don’t talk to them enough
they don’t know what they need
someone else has asked you to do something that is not in line with what users need – stakeholders might not know what users need – they have a particular perspective
Remember who is really in charge
3Ps – Putting users at the heart
purpose / vision
Boser – Learning to Learn
Boser repeated kindergarten due to ‘learning problems’
Author of Learn Better, listed as one of the 2017 Best Science books of the Year by Amazon
10 Principles for us to think about learning better
1. Make meaning
- learning is an active process
- the “hyper-correction” effect …. when shown to be wrong, you are more likely to remember this in the future
- the bigger error that we make the more that we learn
- explaining something to themselves, or quizzing yourself
- or explaining something to someone else
- management practice – “repeat back”
2. The blessing and curse of knowledge
- Heath Brothers book
- “The Humming Game” – hard for others to get but you hear it so clearly in your own head!
- Thinking and learning is infused with knowledge
- the way we think is embedded with the things we know
- it is so hard to get out of our heads
- that is the curse of knowledge
- knowledge is also a blessing
- What is the best predictor of learning?
3. Honour short term memory
- How much can you store in your brain’s working memory?
- don’t overwhelm short term memory
- knowledge allows us to expand our short term memory association)
- why we can’t multi-task
- on the net during lectures reduces learning
4. Think about thinking (meta-cognition)
- we need to plan what we are going to learn
- when we learning, we need to monitor our learning – could I explain this to a child? and reflecting on this
- model this as instructors
5. Promote feedback
Mark Bernstein – brain surgeon who kept a reflective journal – after each surgery he wrote what he did wrong during the surgery
the power of the tutor
6. Remember to remember
- How much will you remember after 24 hours?
- “The forgetting curve”
- using highlighters … no evidence for these helping
- the forgetting curve – when you re-learn you retain this knowledge for longer
- we need to know that people will forget and give them opportunities to remember
- some evidence that all experience is stored in your brain
- the problem is retrieval
7. Respect emotions
- think about your childhood bedroom
- when we ask people to think back, they lean back
- when we ask people about the future they lean forward
- you think with your bodies
- how we feel and our emotions is central to us gaining expertise
8. Gain deep features
- Surface features
- details for marketing, to capture attention
- when we learn – what is important is the deeper feature
- mixed approach is more effective for practice e.g ABCABCABC is more effective than AAABBBCCC
- this is after you have developed rudimentary skills
- why? it helps you see the deeper principle
9. Uncover connections
analogies e.g. we need an Uber for child care, we need an Uber for hair cuts
10. reflect, reflect, reflect
- what is the most effective length of a pause during a presentation – 3 seconds …..
- we are usually in such a hurry to get the information out there
- reflection – we needs these moments of pause to understand
- 3 seconds is long …. awkwardly long …..
multi-choice questions are not retrieval
- multi-choice is a trade-off
- you can create them so people think deeper
- also hyper-correction effect has value
one thing you can do to help your learning
1. Get Feedback 2. Use Feedback
Taken from this post, 12 Things you should never do when you teach online.
This must be a critical discussion to have – our assumptions about people, how they learn, and what they do with what they learn. My work focuses on workplace learning and I see great differences in not just the approach to the design of ‘training events and materials’ but in the fundamental design principles we use to decide whether we are about ‘filling people up with the exact knowledge that we want to give them’ or providing environments where people can learn and can apply what they learn in ways that are useful to their work.
Coincidentally I was reading this blog post tonight (The Education Scientist: What’s holding education back?). The challenge that Michael Connell describes is this:
What if education is being held back by a number of common assumptions about learning and teaching that seem completely obvious to most people but that are nonetheless completely and utterly wrong? What if these assumptions are so obvious and so deep-seated that many people aren’t even aware they are assumptions, and what if education can’t move forward until we surface these assumptions, examine them critically, and get people to revise them?
I like his proposal that, rather than feelings of engagement leading to learning, that engagement is a product of learning. He writes:
If learning drives engagement, then we actually have to start with high-quality learning experiences if we expect to produce high-quality learning outcomes. Instead of “injecting” fun to make the learning happen, we’ll know the learning is happening when we see students engaging deeply with the subject matter itself. In this view, “fun” (or engagement) is not something one puts into the teaching so much as something one expects to see coming out of the learning.
This approach provides a way of thinking about creation of learning environments that make the learning explicit – that is, that we can see something going on for the learners, and that learners are doing something with their newly constructed or extended knowledge and skill….
Recently I viewed a recording of a keynote presentation delivered by Professor John Boyer – aka the “Plaid Avenger“. Below are my sketchnotes of the presentation, but before looking to those, a couple of other comments.
Ustream is an amazing video streaming site, which includes live presentations. A “Social Stream” allows for live chat during the broadcast. Some broadcasts are continuous, like the Monterey Bay Aquarium. That was really cool!! Just saw a huge school of tiny fish creating a whirlpool…… They are still going – this massive spinning school of fish! While the quality of the video from the aquarium is patchy, it is still amazing that you can just hop onto the site and check out what the fish are up to whenever you want.
Screenshot – Ustream broadcast – Monterey Bay Aquarium
Blended Learning Symposium – Griffith University – 2012
The presentation mentioned above was a keynote address during a symposium held last year at Griffith University in Brisbane. The other presentations can also be viewed on Ustream, and highlight a range of innovations introduced at the University to broaden and strengthen learning activities. Some interesting insights were shared on tools and strategies.
3 Things to Remember to Engage Students – Professor John Boyers
Turning now back to the keynote presentation, Professor John Boyers has become well known for the large lecture audiences attending his geography classes, as well as the way he employs a range of technologies to engage students. His two sites, Professor Boyer, and the Plaid Avenger (you’ll see why if you check out his photos or videos), are well worth a visit.
Sketchnote 1 – John Boyer Keynote
Sketchnote 2 – John Boyer Keynote
When to stop drinking from the hydrant
A follow up from the earlier post… I found a useful post by Jill Chivers identifying two different approaches to seeking data – data gatherers, and data assessors. Data gatherers cast a wide net, collecting as much as possible, and then struggling to organise their bounty so that they can make use of it. Data assessors seek data when they need it, and potentially miss out on possibilities.
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/will-lion/2595497078/ (Creative Commons licence)
When I first read this quote (one night of reading on the Internet!) it seemed to exactly capture that experience of wanting to follow so many different connections, different threads, being afraid of forgetting something, or missing something. Some people seem to be able to take in huge volumes information and then synthesise it, adding new insights, and thus create even more information!
This is where the work of people such as Howard Rheinhold and Harold Jarche has particular power. Rheinhold writes about being “Net Smart”, or consciously discerning, when searching for information. He teaches others in the skill of “Crap Detection”, an essential skill when conducting research. Jarche writes and teaches on “Personal Knowledge Management”, another approach to drinking safely from the hydrant. Having such models in mind when seeking information on the net is essential to allow time to personally process what we come across, and to ensure we think more deeply than mere ‘information bursts’.
Choosing curation tools has allowed me to drink without getting knocked over in the blast. It took me a little while to work out what was going to work for me. For now, I tend to use Pinterest for personal interests and hobbies and Pearltrees for links relating to learning. I joined ScoopIt and Delicious but find I don’t use them very often. The visual and structural aspects of Pinterest and Pearltrees appeal to me, and I find that it takes too much time, and becomes too confusing, to use multiple tools.
It is interesting to compare these two tools – I have spent hours on Pinterest as there is so much to look at right there, without ever visiting the source sites of the images. In contrast Pearltrees is not as engaging as a source of information, but is useful as a repository of links.
For me the key to safely drinking from the rushing water is discernment – just follow a manageable amount of trickles while keeping an eye on the broader direction of the flow of the gushing hydrant.
Harold Jarche in his short book on Personal Knowledge Management:
As knowledge management expert Dave Snowden says, we are not very good at articulating our knowledge; “We always know more than we can say, and we will always say more than we can write down.”
If we take on this perspective, what does that mean for how we support people to learn….
We must provide opportunities for observations, for questioning and reflecting….
We must also provide space and time for conversations….