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Taking Tablet Learning Global | EducationNext

Can learning technology eradicate illiteracy in less-developed countries? according to Michael Horn, cofounder and the Executive Director of Education at the Christensen Institute. 

In Lilongwe; Malawi; a girl in Standard (Grade) 2 is completely focused as she learns to read.
Malawi, in southeastern Africa, is one of the world’s least-developed nations. Many of its children are among the roughly 250 million worldwide who are not in school of any kind. Countless others are among those who attend school but do not learn to read or write. A look inside schools in the capital city of Lilongwe shows why: they enroll between 4,000 and 5,000 students who attend classes of up to 200 at a time, with students sitting on the floor as a teacher holds up a single book.

These are daunting circumstances. Yet two Lilongwe schools are part of the most audacious experiment occurring in education. Rather than participate in sprawling, traditional teacher-led classes each day, a group of young students filters into a learning center in each school where, for 45 minutes, they learn math or reading through instructional software on tablets that are charged by solar power.

The question this and other experiments like it are asking is: can students learn to read, write, and do basic math through technology with little to no adult instruction?...

This state of affairs represents what Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen calls vast pockets of “non-consumption.” These groups of individuals have no access to something simply because it is too inconvenient or expensive—but would be delighted by an offering that fits their life realities. In this case, the non-consumers are children who have no access to a formal education. For some girls, for example, the distance to the closest school represents a safety hazard in the form of a treacherous two-kilometer walk that renders it a nonstarter.

Source: EducationNext

10 Benefits of Online Learning | Lifestyle - StyleNest

Charlie Bloom, Editor — StyleNest says, If you’re looking to enter back into education, but are struggling to juggle a work, family, and social life, online learning may be the right option for you.

Photo: http://www.energepic.com/Not only can you gain reputable qualifications, studying online can give you the flexibility you need to slot in your learning around your busy day to day life.

Here are 10 benefits of online learning.

Source: StyleNest

Blended learning: How is this learning component relevant? | Lifestyle - The New Times

According to Stanley Mukasa, a Kigali-based educator, this form of learning is an approach to education that avails opportunities for interaction since it combines online education and traditional place-based classroom methods.

Photo: Perspectives Charter Schools/Flickr Whereas blended learning is a new aspect in education, a number of institutions and students themselves have quickly embraced it.

Blended learning is a type of education that combines traditional/face-to-face learning and that of online.

The combination of these teaching methods (traditional classroom and online learning) facilitates learners to reach their full potential, since different students prefer different learning styles...

He explains that this is because with the face-to-face or traditional learning environment, one has to come in for a specific time, but for online learning, they can always catch up with everything at any given time.
Mathias Nkeeto, a mathematics teacher at Green Hills Academy, says blended learning allows students to study in their preferred settings and these can include home, school or even work, for those who juggle study and work...

Mukasa notes that blended learning also helps prepare students for the future.

Source: The New Times

U of A STEM Center Hosting Camp for Kids | University of Arkansas Newswire

The University of Arkansas' STEM Center is hosting a Summer STEM Camp and registration is now open through July 26, inform University of Arkansas' STEM Center.

The camp is for students entering first through sixth grades and will run July 29 through Aug. 2. 

Each day will be dedicated to a variety of STEM fields, including archaeology, food science, robotics and engineering, paleontology, poultry science and soil science. 

Cost is $175. Campers can choose either a morning or afternoon session. The morning session will be 8-11:30 a.m., and the afternoon camp will be from 1:30-5 p.m. Students will be involved in hands-on STEM lessons during each 3.5-hour camp day.

Source: University of Arkansas Newswire

Building trust in artificial intelligence | Machine Learning & AI - Phys.Org

From telecommunications to road traffic, from healthcare to the workplace—digital technology is now an intrinsic part of almost every area of life by University of Bonn.

Photo: CC0 Public DomainYet how can we ensure that developments in this field, especially those that rely on artificial intelligence (AI), meet all our ethical, legal and technological concerns? In a project led by the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS, and with the participation of Germany's Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), an interdisciplinary team of scientists from the Universities of Bonn and Cologne are drawing up an inspection catalog for the certification of AI applications. They have now published a white paper presenting the philosophical, ethical, legal and technological issues involved.

Artificial intelligence is changing our society, our economy and our everyday lives in fundamental ways. And in doing so, it is creating some exciting opportunities in how we live and work together. For example, it already helps doctors to better evaluate x-rays, which often leads to a more accurate diagnosis. It is the basis of chatbots that provide helpful answers to people looking for advice on, for example, insurance. And, before too long, it will be enabling cars to become more and more autonomous. Current forecasts indicate that the number of AI applications is set to increase exponentially over the coming years. McKinsey, for example, projects additional global growth from AI of up to 13 billion U.S. dollars by 2030.

At the same time, it is clear that we need to ensure that our use of AI and the opportunities it brings remains in harmony with the views and values of our society...

The certification process will revolve around questions such as: Does the AI application respect the laws and values of society? Does the user retain full and effective autonomy over the application? Does the application treat all participants in a fair manner? Does the application function and make decisions in a way that are transparent and comprehensible? Is the application reliable and robust? Is it secure against attacks, accidents and errors? Does the application protect the private realm and other sensitive information?
Read more...  

Additional resources
White paper: www.iais.fraunhofer.de/ki-zertifizierung

Source: Phys.Org

Preschoolers Who Practice Phonics Show Stronger Math Skills, Study Finds | Math Instruction - Education Week

New research from Liverpool John Moores University in England found that learning about letter-sound interactions at home positively predicted young children's ability to count, calculate, and recognize numbers, explains Sarah Schwartz, reporter for Education Week.
Teaching Now BlogYoung children who spend more time learning about the relationship between letters and sounds are better at counting, calculating, and recognizing numbers, a new study has found.  

Researchers from Liverpool John Moores University in England looked at the reading and math learning experiences that young children have at home with parents. They asked the parents of 274 preschoolers—children who were on average about 4 years old—how often they did different educational activities with their kids.

These activities were split into three categories: code-focused literacy experiences (including singing songs about letters or the alphabet, or teaching kids how to sound out words), meaning-focused literacy experiences (such as discussing the plot of stories or describing pictures), and number experiences (like discussing quantities of things, or pointing out numbers in books or the environment). The researchers also measured parents' attitudes about math...

Why does learning about the sounds that letters have anything to do with math skills? Some of the relationship can be explained by language ability, said Fiona Simmons, a senior lecturer in the school of Natural Sciences and Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University, and one of the authors of the study.

"Some aspects of [number skills], like your ability to read and recognize numerals, we'd imagine ... to be reliant to some extent on your vocabulary abilities," said Simmons. But in the researchers' statistical models, language ability didn't account for the entire effect.

Additional resources

Source: Education Week 

A Strategic Leader for Student Success: An Argument for the Chief Academic Technology Officer | EDUCAUSE Review

Academic technology developments, which offer potential solutions to improving student success, demand an institutional academic technology strategy led by the Chief Academic Technology Officer (CATO).
Photo: Helen Chu
Photo: Bill HogueAcademic technology is changing by Helen Chu, Associate Dean of Libraries, Chief Academic Technology Officer and Bill Hogue, Senior Clinical Professor of Information Science and Executive Consultant for Enterprise Initiatives at the University of South Carolina.

Instruction is becoming more of a team sport: instructional faculty want support from professionals who are fully versed in technology, video production, disciplinary content, and the evidence-based pedagogical practices documented in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Active learning classrooms and faculty development efforts can help increase passing grades, learning, comprehension, and content retention for all students—and disproportionately so for students from underrepresented groups.1 The explosion of new academic technology facilities (e.g., innovation labs, makerspaces, data-visualization labs, and studio classrooms with learning glass or light boards), as well as third-party services (e.g., educational video-streaming services, applications that can be integrated into the LMS, and systems that offer API access to data), demand the oversight and management of knowledgeable academic technology staff.

These changes in academic technology are potential solutions to improving student success. Data analytics, early warning, intervention, and advising systems promise to ameliorate DFW (D/F/Withdrawal) rates and attrition. Course planning software for administrators and for students can help identify and resolve course sequencing or scheduling issues, shorten curricular pathways, and increase access to gateway courses—all of which should contribute to improved time-to-degree and graduation rates. The fusion of data management, data visualization, research computing, and digital scholarship with digital pedagogy prepares students intellectually, technologically, and practically. Offering hands-on experience in cutting-edge technology could be the differentiating factor in post-graduation job searches.
At many institutions, the evolution of online education—from adult education to MOOCs to hybrid and exclusively online mainstream degree programs—brings together the work of extension and distance education units with courses for matriculated students...

The goal of creating the CATO position—and defining a career path for academic technology professionals—is about developing a structural framework for deep collaborations among academic campus partners to support the strategic role of academic technology in the research and instructional mission.

Source: EDUCAUSE Review

Eureka! An Accumulation of the Best Teaching Advice | Teaching and Learning - Faculty Focus

Take a closer look at this aticle by Tierney King, Author at Faculty Focus.

Photo: Kenneth Alford, PhD and Professor, Brigham Young University.The 2019 Annual Teaching Professor Conference offered numerous tactics and strategies to implement in the classroom, but Ken Alford, PhD, Brigham Young University, took a different approach in his session for instructional vitality and divulged the best teaching advice he’s received throughout his teaching career.
Here’s what he’s gathered:

Source: Faculty Focus

Futureproof your career at the University of Witwatersrand | University - Study International News

Can we learn how to thrive in a transforming world?  continues Study International News.

Photo: Study International NewsThat’s the question educators around the world are asking as humanity stands on the precipice of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Described by the World Economic Forum as a range of “new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, ”it is a movement that will jolt all disciplines, economies and industries.” Everything that we know about what it means to be human will be challenged.

At the University of the Witwatersrand, the answer is that, yes, we can learn to thrive. Higher education can and must prepare today’s generation for the challenges of tomorrow.

From self-driving cars to robots taking over our jobs, the 4th IR will change how we live, work and relate to one another. A PwC report found that more than one-third of workers are worried about automation putting jobs at risk. Nearly two-thirds believe, “few people will have stable, long-term employment in the future”. A McKinsey report estimates that by 2030, the time spent on technological skills will grow at the most rapid rate – 50 percent in the United States and by 41 percent in Europe – as companies deploy automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, advanced analytics, and other new technologies.

As in all times of change, this technology revolution will require universities to push the boundaries of teaching and learning...

One of the many ways Wits University does this is through the innovative teaching of the humanities, giving students a critical orientation to explore complex human-to-human and human-to-robotic relations.

The usual study of humanities trains students in critical thinking, debating and creative problem solving. Taking this further, Wits also offers a joint undergraduate programme that meshes engineering with the arts to develop a programme in game design and digital arts. At the postgraduate level, students can also enrol for a programme on e-Science or Data Science as well as an MSc in Robotics or Artificial Intelligence.

Source: Study International News

Online Learning vs Traditional Learning: Considerations for Educators and Students | Blog - Voices.com

A comprehensive look at the key differences, as well as the pros and cons, between online learning and traditional learning by Keaton Robbins, Content Marketing Specialist at Voices.com 

Photo: Voices.com The debate for choosing online learning vs. traditional learning is growing each year.

The National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Department of Education revealed that in 2018, nearly six million students were enrolled in online learning courses at degree-granting, post-secondary institutions in the U.S.

While online learning offers students incredible flexibility and on-demand learning, post-secondary institutions who provide online courses also stand to benefit from increased recognition in new markets or countries, as well as a larger student base to draw revenue from...

In this piece, we’ll explain what the key differences are between delivering traditional learning and online learning, highlight the pros and cons to offering online learning and hear from those who have taken online courses to successfully pivot in their careers.

Source: Voices.com

Study Finds that at Summer Camp, Teens Feel Relieved to Leave their Mobile Devices Behind | Editor’s Picks - eLearningInside News

Technology and screens are making an increasing impact on the North American classroom—often for the better, summarizes Henry Kronk, Writer/Editor at eLearning Inside News.

Photo: Photo: Liam Macleod, Unsplash. But as teachers and students rely more and more on technology for the task of learning, it makes time spent outside of the classroom and away from mobile devices all the more important. Summer, and summer camp, offer a great opportunity to make that happen. A survey published by Screen Education, a non-profit dedicated to researching mobile device use, has discovered that most teens who attend camp recognize this. A large majority—93%—said they experienced a sense of relief after leaving their phones and social media at home.
Screen Education tapped their affiliation with the Jewish Community Center (JCC) Association to conduct the investigation and also invited any camp to participate via an online survey. An initial round took place during the summer of 2018 and involved researchers interviewing people at participating camps and conducting their own observations. With the second phase, Screen Education sent out an online survey. In all, they heard from 1,073 11- to 16-year-old campers...
Should Summer Camp Access Become a Policy Issue?
Meanwhile, the Screen Education report strongly advocates for the digital detoxes provided by overnight summer camps and urges camps to maintain their device-free policies. What’s more, they say the experience should be available to anyone who wants to attend.

“Given that overnight camps are essentially the only societal institutions providing children with an extended digital detox experience, it would be beneficial to provide as many children as possible—ideally, every child—with the overnight camp experience,” the authors write...
Read the full report here 
Source: eLearningInside News

The 20 Most Popular LinkedIn Learning Courses of the Year | New Courses - The Learning Blog

Photo: Sophie Smith Sophie (Wharton) Smith, Senior Insights Analyst at LinkedIn writes, Great professionals are always learning – it’s what makes them great. But the challenge for many professionals isn’t getting motivated to learn, but instead choosing what skill to learn.

Photo:  Learning Blog - LinkedIn LearningThere are a few different paths you can take to answer that question. You can look at what skills are the most sought-after by organizations. You can look at the fastest growing skills at top companies. Or, you can look at the skills professionals are learning the most.

This article is centered on that last point. It is a list of the 20 LinkedIn Learning courses professionals viewed the most over the past year, a testament to both the need for that skill and the effectiveness of the course:
Read more... 

Additional resources  
LinkedIn Learning has more than 14,000 courses covering virtually every professional skill. 
See our full library today

Source: The Learning Blog

Conversation boosts women’s participation at scientific meetings, Stanford study finds | Science & Technology - Stanford University News

Not only are women underrepresented at scientific meetings, they participate less than men in question-and-answer sessions, self-limiting their involvement and participation, according to Amy Adams, Director of Science Communications at Stanford University. 

A Stanford-led study reports that women at scientific meetings asked questions at a level that fell well below their level of representation, but their questions picked up once the observation was pointed out. 
Photo: Getty ImagesBut a public discussion of the problem helps.

Recently, some prominent men in science have publicly declared they wouldn’t attend scientific meetings that don’t adequately represent women, but a new study suggests the problem isn’t just representation – women also don’t participate at the same level as men, even when they are well represented.

A Stanford-led study published June 27 in the American Journal of Human Genetics reports that women asked questions at a level that fell well below their level of representation at two national genetics meetings over the course of four years...

A mathematical approach
Telis started noticing the disparity in question-asking as an undergraduate student in math. “The entire first day of a meeting, I was the only woman to ask a question,” she said. “I thought that was weird.”

Telis started thinking about the problem numerically. If women make up 10 percent of attendees, then one in 10 questions should come from women. But that wasn’t what she found. From then on, Telis made a habit of tracking women’s participation at meetings and talks.

When Telis joined the Stanford lab of Jonathan Pritchard, a professor of genetics and of biology, Glassberg noticed Telis taking notes on question-asking during meetings and grew curious.

Source: Stanford University News

‘I Was Done With All the Silences’: How an Academic Got Personal in ‘Notes to Self’ | Books - The New York Times

John Williams, The New York Times writes, Reviewing Emilie Pine’s “Notes to Self” in The Irish Times, Martina Evans wrote: “It’s the kind of book you want to give to everyone, especially young women and men, so that we can learn together to take ourselves and each other more seriously.”
“I wrote it quickly, over the course of a year. Or you could say it took me 40 years to write it,” said Emilie Pine of her new book “Notes to Self.”
Photo: Patricia Wall/The New York Times
A lot of readers must have taken her advice, because the essay collection became the No. 1 best-selling book in Ireland, where Pine is an associate professor of modern drama at University College Dublin. Pine had written academic books before, but the subject matter and the perspective in “Notes to Self” were a radical departure. She writes in these six essays about the effect of her father’s alcoholism on her family, her unsuccessful attempts to have a baby, menstruation, body image and sexual violence. Her tone is both frank and measured, confessional and confidently self-contained. Below, Pine talks about the “volcanic pressure” she felt to write these things, her surprising connections with readers and more...
Persuade someone to read “Notes to Self” in 50 words or less.
I was done with all the silences around women’s lives and bodies, so I wrote the book that I wanted — that I needed — to read. It was my way of processing, and possessing, the hardest parts of my life; it was my way of making something joyful out of pain.Read more...
Source: The New York Times

Dundalk bookshop leading the fightback amid the digital gloom | Dundalk Democrat

Tom Muckian is beavering away in the back office at Roe River Books on Park Street in the heart of Dundalk’s town centre, reports David Lynch, Managing Editor, Dundalk Democrat.

Photo: Roe River Books It’s a rain-flecked, but sunny, Thursday afternoon. He’s busy putting together important school books orders.

Although the term is just finished, it is among the busiest times of the year right now, ahead of the start of the new school term in September.

Tom appears from the back of the shop, with glasses perched on top of his head, wearing a black T-shirt and jeans - for all the world looking like one of those tech start-up types - heaven forbid! He admits, though, that school books keep the doors open to a large extent.

The store was, in a previous life, home to a video/DVD rental shop called Planet. Now it has floor-to -ceiling shelves lined with books. While the DVD and video market has gone the way of the dinosaurs, the fortunes of book shops have, if not improved, at least stoically held fast as the digital age dawned...

By his own reckoning, Tom believes it was book shops that took the first hit when the online retail boom kicked-off in the early-2000s - the impact was huge and the industry struggled to stabilise. There were casualties. However, as the reach of the retail digital monster increased, all other sectors on the high street have fallen in due course. But, the way Tom sees it, book shops learned early and have managed to hold on to their diminished niche admirably as the onslaught continues.
Read more... 

Source: Dundalk Democrat

12 New Books We Recommend This Week | Book Review - New York Times

Follow on Twitter as @GregoryCowlesSuggested reading from critics and editors at The New York Times by Gregory Cowles, Senior Editor, Books.  
From Sarajevo to New York to Damascus to San Francisco, cities are prominent among this week’s recommended titles: their architecture, their landmarks, their roiling energy and occasional descents into chaos or lawlessness. The real estate journalist Julie Satow delivers a portrait of New York’s iconic Plaza Hotel, once owned by Donald Trump and forever ruled by the fictional Eloise. In twin memoirs, the novelist Aleksandar Hemon (now a Chicagoan) looks back on his childhood in 1970s Sarajevo, before that city was irrevocably altered by war. In “The White Devil’s Daughters,” Julia Flynn Siler offers a history of San Francisco’s Chinatown and the heroic struggle to banish sexual slavery there. And in “Assad or We Burn the Country,” the foreign correspondent Sam Dagher writes about his time in Damascus and the damage the Assad regime has unleashed on Syria.
We also suggest a couple of newly translated novels by the Italian writer Natalia Ginzburg, along with a surreal story collection by Karen Russell and comic novels by Leah Hager Cohen (about a wedding in upstate New York) and Randy Boyagoda (about a college professor turned suicide bomber). Fans of Kate Atkinson’s crime novels probably know that she has a new Jackson Brodie mystery out, but the rest of you should check it out too. Finally, Nigel Hamilton completes his trilogy of biographies about Franklin Roosevelt as a wartime president, and Douglas Brinkley retraces the path to Apollo 11 just in time for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.Read more...
Source: New York Times  

Achieving excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education | Education - Open Access Government

Here, we examine the mission of the National Science Foundation’s Directorate of Education and Human Resources to achieve excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education by Open Access Government.

Photo: Open Access Government
Within the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Directorate of Education and Human Resources (EHR) has a clear mission for excellence to be achieved when it comes to supporting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in the U.S. The notion here is that this aim applies at all levels and in all settings so that the development of a well-prepared and diverse workforce of scientists, technicians, engineers, mathematicians and educators are supported.

The goals of EHR can be summarised as follows:
  1. To get the next generation of STEM professionals ready and to retain and more Americans for careers in STEM.
  2. To encourage a robust research community that can undertake a rigorous evaluation and research that support excellence in STEM education.
  3. To increase the scientific, technological and quantitative literacy of everybody in the U.S to help them be responsible citizens and live productive lives in today’s technological world.
  4. To broaden participation and close achievement gaps in all STEM fields.
Capacity-building strategies of EHR include facilitating the translation of research into practice and creating supportive learning environments and STEM pathways by developing models of reform/systemic change at both institutional and multi-institutional levels through partnerships, networking, alliances and collaborations.1...

Closing remarks 
The aforementioned examples of news from the STEM field take us back to the earlier point about the mission of the NSF achieve nothing but excellence when it comes to supporting STEM education in the U.S.

Source: Open Access Government

What a PhD is and what it is not | Columns - Lusaka Times

Dr. Masauso Chirwa explains, After having completed a PhD degree myself, and having supervised and co-supervised a number of PhD students, I would like to offer some humble advice and pointers to those aspiring to pursue a PhD degree. 
I find that many people misunderstand the purpose of getting a PhD degree and the commitments and sacrifices that it calls for. A PhD is the highest academic and research degree from a university. I have seen both remarkable successes and disappointing failures amongst students pursuing this academic accolade. It takes more than just brain power to complete a PhD.

A degree by research is very different from a degree by coursework. A degree whether at the undergraduate or masters level is heavily structured. Students just have to be disciplined and rigorous in following this predetermined structure regimentally, without much creativity required of them. Of course, creativity is demanded from the student in completing assignments and projects but the demand is nothing close to what is required for a PhD degree be it PhD by coursework or PhD by research only.

The most important prerequisites for pursuing a successful PhD programme are passion, inquisitiveness, creativity, discipline, persistence, perseverance and meticulousness (or attention to detail). I did not mention intelligence not because it is not important, but because it is less important than the other attributes I have mentioned. Others may have different views...

So what does it mean when you have a Dr. before your name? Does it mean that you are an expert on a certain subject matter? Hardly so. It means that you are both a seeker as well as a generator of knowledge. It means that you have enriched the world and added on to the vast body of knowledge through your PhD contribution. The world has become a slightly better place from the knowledge that you have contributed through your PhD thesis, discoveries and publications. Your work get referred and cited by other researchers in your field, as they absorb your new knowledge to generate new discoveries and knowledge of their own.

Source: Lusaka Times

Teaching-Focused Philosophy PhD Programs | Philosophy - Daily Nous

Which philosophy PhD programs focus on training students to teach and getting them placed into permanent teaching-oriented jobs (with some success)? inform Justin Weinberg, Associate Professor of Philosophy at University of South Carolina and creator and editor of Daily Nous, a philosophy news website. 

Photo: Philippe Baudelocque, “Universe”
If you’re aware of departments that are particularly teaching-focused, or have a teaching-focused option, let us know about them.
Read more... 

Source: Daily Nous


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