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Thread: MOOCs, sensors, apps and games: The revolution in education innovation

  1. #1
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    MOOCs, sensors, apps and games: The revolution in education innovation

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/nation...c=nl_headlines


    MOOCs, sensors, apps and games: The revolution in education innovation


    Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been touted by some as the breakthrough that will transform education. Top universities such as MIT, Harvard, and the University of California at Berkeley are scrambling to make their lectures available online. Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.) described one such program — a trial effort between online course platform Udacity and San Jose State University — as being “about our society, our future and how we can all improve our skills, how we can exercise our imagination.”

    Brown is right, but today’s online courses are just a baby step forward on education’s path to transformation, particularly early childhood education. Khan Academy founder Salman Khan will likely be seen in the near future as the modern-day equivalent of the radio star who first appeared on television, microphone in hand.

    Early education used to be delivered on a one-to-one basis. The craftsman passed down what he knew to the apprentice and parents imparted knowledge to their children. Then came the one-to-many model, with classrooms and eventually textbooks to facilitate learning via standardized lessons. The video-based learning of MOOCs is another incarnation of this one-to-many model, offering a window into the otherwise traditional classroom.

    Social networking is allowing for some of the more profound changes in modern education, offering a viable many-to-many model. MOOC platforms such as Udacity, Udemy, and Open Study are beginning to use Facebook-like applications to enable students to share ideas and coach one another. These applications allow students to rank online content and discuss what they learned. Gooru provides a search engine to help find pieces of knowledge and then assemble them into comprehensive lessons. Think of it as crowdsourcing the course-creation process. The collective knowledge of millions could lead to dramatic improvements in the quality of online education while growing the volume of courses exponentially.

    But all of this is still just the beginning of the education revolution. We are headed back to the one-to-one model with instruction geared towards the individual rather than the group.

    Adaptive learning platforms, such as the one Knewton is developing, start by understanding a student’s strengths and weaknesses and then suggest an appropriate learning path. These keep improving their recommendation engines by keeping track of what videos students with different backgrounds and strengths watch and how they perform on tests.

    There are thousands of apps that teach subjects such as history, geography, music, mathematics, and science. Adaptive technologies stand to make these standalone apps more effective and personalized. One app that I tested on the Aakash tablet is by a company with offices in the U.S. and India called Mango Learning. It teaches students math through games, which grow more challenging at each level. If the child doesn’t understand fractions the way they are taught in, say, India, the app allows the child to switch to a Chinese teaching method.

    But is there a method of detecting whether a student has learned anything? Quizzes and tests are imperfect measures. Enter, sensor-based technology, which could detect the interest, learning, and emotion of the student.

    For example, NeuroSky markets a headset called MindWave that the company says measures brainwave signals and transmits them via Bluetooth to a mobile device. The $99 device, according to the company, detects the attention level of students as they learn mathematics, science, or any other pattern-recognition disciplines. Affectiva is developing a biosensor bracelet called Q Sensor to measure electrodermal activity, which changes based on one’s emotional state. Ideally, the sensor would detect when a student is anxious, bored or excited.

    Now, imagine the digital tutor of the future. If a child likes reading books, it teaches mathematics and science in a traditional way. If that doesn’t work, the tutor tries videos. If that’s too boring, it switches to games or puzzles. The digital tutor takes the student into holographic simulations to teach history, culture, and geography. It teaches art and music through collaboration. The tutor, via sensor data, knows what the child has learned and the time of day when he or she learns the most. It asks experts from all around the world the questions it can’t answer. It tells the parents how the child is doing whenever they want to know. It becomes the child’s trusted guide — a teacher tailor-made to fit them.

    Washington Post Co. Chairman and chief executive Donald E. Graham is a member of Facebook’s board of directors.

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  3. #3
    Sure, why do we need human interaction for anything?

    I just love it when Im in a social setting and everyone has their heads buried in their cell phones on instagram.

    Banks being hacked into, identity theft, bullying on line, the break down of social interaction, yeah, lets give into, lets make it worse.

    Because we all know that Bill Gates, Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs were just fine human beings looking out for the good of all people with the way they treated their employees and others around them.

    Just stick those kids in front of a computer screen, that'll work!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by copernicus View Post
    Sure, why do we need human interaction for anything?

    I just love it when Im in a social setting and everyone has their heads buried in their cell phones on instagram.

    Banks being hacked into, identity theft, bullying on line, the break down of social interaction, yeah, lets give into, lets make it worse.

    Because we all know that Bill Gates, Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs were just fine human beings looking out for the good of all people with the way they treated their employees and others around them.

    Just stick those kids in front of a computer screen, that'll work!

    Uh, oh. You and I are in 100% agreement here. End of the world?
    I believe human interaction is critical to education. Plus socialization with others. I am, therefore, also against home schooling.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by palmetto defender View Post
    Uh, oh. You and I are in 100% agreement here. End of the world?
    I believe human interaction is critical to education. Plus socialization with others. I am, therefore, also against home schooling.
    LOLz, Worlds colliding PD! No problem, I know you are a good parent and person.......

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by copernicus View Post
    LOLz, Worlds colliding PD! No problem, I know you are a good parent and person.......
    This is about as real as the Kingons and Humans making peace on Organia.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by long island leprechaun View Post
    This is about as real as the Kingons and Humans making peace on Organia.


    Hey, I have no problem with cop as a person or even as a teacher. Good intentions.
    He just got involved in a no win career situation.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by palmetto defender View Post
    Hey, I have no problem with cop as a person or even as a teacher. Good intentions.
    He just got involved in a no win career situation.
    Yeah, I thought I was in a no win situation for the last 10 years under No Child Left Behind and now Common Core, this was created to allow politicians to use junk data from testing that would make any and every teacher look bad and ultimately fire them for budgetary reasons. Imagine the impact on these hard working educator's families who are being tricked into thinking they are incompetent and deserve to be fired?

    But the tide is beginning to turn and many citizens are beginning to see that the perception of our school system in shambles and that teachers were the cause of this was just a made up story by politicians with a monetary agenda. They are beginning to realize that they were tricked by their government into thinking that teachers were the cause of all the countries down falls. Tricked into handing over all the money that is meant for education to test corporations. Thankfully citizens are stepping up:

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Long-...11021932327048

    I have a "career win" situation because ultimately my students trust that I am guiding them in the right direction. I have had numerous former students come back to me as successful adults to thank me for being more than just a teacher but also a father figure. You cannot put a price on those moments. Many of the students who come back successful adults were troubled as a youth. They tell me it wasnt until years later that "it clicked." That the message their teachers were telling them made sense. Its part of the reason why a single test cannot judge a teacher. My message to my students are to respect others and themselves, work hard and question questionable leaders when you feel that they are unjust. These things will never show up on a test score but are so much more important for individual success.
    Last edited by copernicus; 04-07-2013 at 01:26 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by palmetto defender View Post
    I believe human interaction is critical to education. Plus socialization with others. I am, therefore, also against home schooling.
    I agree 100% with the part I quoted. However, I've been using these open source courses for almost two years now post-grad, and they are definitely revolutionary, and extremely productive.

    I've learned valuation and analysis for free from some of the same professors at top universities where I'd be spending $50k. I received the same sociable education as many others throughout the public school system, and went to a public university, but this still serves me well. I'm all for it, as long as people realize that it is not intended to replace a full formal education.

  10. #10
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    Regarding homeschooling: there is something to be said for kids learning to read early, count early, etc. Kids who go to Kindergarten knowing how to read do better. I do not think that can be refuted.

    I like the sensor idea. Done properly teaching methods, teachers, teaching styles and teaching settings can all be evaluated. The good stuff promoted and the bad done away with. This in my (somewhat uninformed) opinion is BRILLIANT!

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    Regarding homeschooling: there is something to be said for kids learning to read early, count early, etc. Kids who go to Kindergarten knowing how to read do better. I do not think that can be refuted.

    I like the sensor idea. Done properly teaching methods, teachers, teaching styles and teaching settings can all be evaluated. The good stuff promoted and the bad done away with. This in my (somewhat uninformed) opinion is BRILLIANT!
    Whoa, that's not homeschooling. That's a parent preparing her 2, 3, 4 year old.
    My mother was doing that in the late 40s. Responsible parenting.
    I believe very few (any) parents are capable of the full range of home schooling.
    Literature, history, foreign language, advanced math, advanced science, music, art, phys ed., practical arts. Hard to believe.

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