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How Universities Can Create Their Own Active-Learning Classrooms

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Higher education institutions are moving away from traditional, lecture-style pedagogy toward an active-learning model, which emphasizes collaboration, flexible spaces and the use of technology to engage and interact. 

As educators evaluate their own campus needs for active-learning solutions, the following best practices can guide them toward the most effective implementations. 

Create a Space That Encourages Flexibility

Early versions of active-learning classrooms encouraged students to collaborate by seating them at round tables. But these lacked the flexibility that is a hallmark of contemporary learning spaces, whose designs allow students and faculty to adapt the space to their needs. 

“Fixing [circular] tables to the floor is repeating the same thing you did in the old-style, theater lecture halls,” says Malcolm Brown, the director of learning initiatives for EDUCAUSE. “[Universities] adopt themselves to a certain learning style, but they can’t be universal if things are bolted down.”

Flexibility can come in the form of movable desks and chairs, but it also means giving students tools, such as interactive whiteboards, that they can use as they move around the room and interact

“It is important to have marker board space that is dedicated to each respective table so that students feel empowered to get up to do diagrams, to engage with one another, to map out what it is they are talking about, or sometimes there are just activities that require you to make lists,” says Christopher Brooks, research director for EDUCAUSE. 

Robust Internet Is Essential for Active Learning

Although active-learning environments do not require advanced classroom technologies, reliable networking on campus is essential to ensure students can fully participate in active-learning activities. 

“Active learning has to extend outside of the classroom,” says Top Hat CEO Mike Silagadze. “It’s not about just what happens during the lecture. It’s also about what happens before class and then after class.”

posted Mar 4 by Darareaksmey

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With a new generation dominating the society today, one can no longer assume that educated young people will enter a workforce where their skills are wanted. Having said so, schools no longer must worry to prepare students for jobs that do not yet exists. Rather their focus should be to prepare them to be agile and adaptable in the face of profound skills.

How Can We Create an Entrepreneurial High School Experience?

The students can go into a constantly changing world that will require flexibility, creativity, collaboration and the nimbleness to adapt to rapid change. And increasingly, the students will need to think like entrepreneurs. In fact, entrepreneurship has almost become the buzz word of the decade. Realizing the importance of such skills in the rapidly changing economy, many schools have therefore taken the leap to implement entrepreneurship as an important subject in the curriculum.

But there are also schools that are unable to do it well and considering it, here are certain ways following which other schools too can join the league of visionary schools and start creating an entrepreneurial high school experience in schools.

1. Promote Key Entrepreneur Traits

Entrepreneurs are individuals who exercise initiatives and are synonymous with start-ups. With such in mind, schools need to foster key traits such as high level of self-reliance and optimism as well as the motivation to strive for excellence in students. Once such traits are nurtured rightfully, students automatically realise that they indeed are entrepreneurs in something.

2. Making the Learning Experience Practical & Real World like

Merely including entrepreneurship in the curriculum isn’t enough. The bottom line in teaching entrepreneurship in the classroom and make such experience as practical and real world as possible. A good way to start is to think of learning entrepreneurship as you would any other apprenticeship. The student should take on project-based work and be given opportunities to be resourceful and creative.

Organizations such as Wildfire Education assists schools in creating learning experiences which help students master skills and gain confidence by solving real-world problems on teams. Similarly, hack in a box is a school program that evokes students to solve real-world challenges.

3. Highlight Soft Skills and High-Level Thinking

 

Teamwork and collaboration is mandatory and needs to be incorporated into task completion. Students need to be taught to think critically and analytically. Such implies that the focus on concepts, principles and values need to take priority over knowledge of the curriculum. Entrepreneurs not only need to be intelligent but flexible as well to adapt to changes that occur in their field. The other essential skill that is regarded as extremely essential in the technology-dominated world is communication skills because entrepreneurs must know how to communicate their vision clearly.

4. Encourage Students to Study the Success and Failure Stories

An important section that schools need to include in entrepreneurship is research on current businesses in a specific field. Students should know the art of analyzing the companies as well as learn the philosophies of all-time greats.

Alongside reading the success stories of companies, students need to also read the failures or why companies turn up unsuccessful and analyse the reasons. Such practice gives an excellent opportunity to the students to learn from other companies’ mistakes and also know on the trade secrets among successful entrepreneurs.

5. Developing the Ability to Influence

Perhaps one of the most important attributes that every entrepreneur needs to have a strong grip over is to develop the ability to influence. In the practical world, entrepreneurs need the ability to sell their ideas or perhaps even their company. This is why, while teaching entrepreneurship in schools, particular attention needs to be given on including the important skills to articulate thoughts clearly and effectively. Stakeholders buy-in aspect is the most important part of running and leading an organization. Entrepreneurs need to be influencers and they must know the art to lead and have a plan to back up their vision.

Thus, schools looking up to create an entrepreneurial high school experience for students can succeed in their mission only if they start helping students develop entrepreneurial mindsets.

Do you think likewise? What are your views? Write to us and express your opinion on it to take the discussion forward.

 

+2 votes

I’m often asked, “What value does Virtual Reality (VR) bring to education?”

To which I typically reply, “Equity.” While most, including my immediate peers, usually squint and ask, “How so?” there is currently a myriad of VR experiences that can bring equity to education where no other tool has been able to.

Research completed at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education, led by Professor Sean Reardon, largely addressed the inequities in education that challenge students daily.

“The socioeconomic profile of a district is a powerful predictor of the average test score performance of students in that district,” said Reardon. “Nonetheless, poverty is not destiny: There are districts with similarly low-income student populations where academic performance is higher than others. We can—and should—learn from such places to guide community and school improvement efforts in other communities.”

So, how can VR bring equity to education?

Regarding virtual reality in education, most educators have heard of Google Expeditions by now. At just over three years old, Google Expeditions has paved the way for immersive education in schools. Using mobile VR technology, three degrees of freedom (3DOF), students are guided through a virtual tour. The tour includes teacher resources in the form of discussion points, and the ability for the teacher to control what the students are seeing while the students still have control over the angle and direction of their focus in the 360, VR virtual field trip.

Is this low tech? Sort of. Perhaps that’s why I wasn’t such a huge fan of “virtual field trips” initially. It wasn’t because I’m a hater, it was because I was narrow-minded and enthusiastic about all of the other amazing immersive VR experiences coming out.

However, earlier this year, I had the pleasure of watching a recording of Jeremy Bailenson speaking about his book, Experience on Demand (which is amazing, by the way). He stated four reasons why we should use VR and those were:

  1. It’s impossible
  2. It’s counterproductive
  3. It’s expensive/rare
  4. It’s dangerous

It immediately clicked for me. Depending on the situation, Virtual Reality can add tremendous value and even provide equity where there once was none.

When does VR provide benefits for students?

Say, for example, in your situation, which includes cost and proximity, you have easy access to go to the zoo. In this case, a virtual field trip might not be a worthy use case for VR. Instead, you can physically take a field trip to the zoo. If your situation is such that it’s cost prohibitive, far, etc., then a virtual field trip to a zoo is a worthwhile experience.

Generally speaking, access to a zoo falls largely into the category of funding. If a school felt there was value in taking students to a zoo and money was no object, they could fly a class to their zoo of choice. If the research that Reardon conducted is true, then this lack of funding results in a lack of experiences for students and would likely translate into lower test scores within that school.

What about the impossible?

It’s not possible for us to revisit World War II and speak to Holocaust victims. Yes, there are museums, and there are still some schools who have access to survivors that visit and share their first-hand accounts. But this invaluable experience isn’t something that every school has access to. Programs like New Dimensions in Testimony (NDT) exist to archive and bring Holocaust survivor testimony to people, most importantly schools. This brings equity by creating this experience.

Lastly, explaining the benefits of the counterproductive.

I love the idea of bringing the best of the best to everyone, anywhere, anytime. Programs like Engage and Rumii offer educator-focused collaborative VR learning environments. Imagine a lecture hall where all of the participants and the presenter are in VR. Think back to “Ready Player One,” a futuristic novel set in 2045, where nearly everyone constantly lives in VR. In the book, there is a planet within VR called Ludus, where all of the schools are located.

In the book, Ernest Cline describes in detail what the educational system on Ludus looks like. He describes a flexible and customizable learning environment, one that I think could bring equity to learning, whether you’re connecting from an affluent or impoverished neighbourhood. He describes that teachers can instantly take students on interactive virtual field trips, which provide high levels of immersion translating into a better understanding of the subject.

The counterproductive involves learning a powerful lesson that you wouldn’t want to do out in the real world. For example, seeing the effects climate change up close, or learning about the mistakes of the past by seeing them unfold in front of you. From the example of “Ready Player One,” we can also imagine that students had access to visit historical events in high fidelity and full immersion. Imagine too, the ppossibilityof constructing new outcomes with “artificially intelligent virtual interaction,” an experience that would place you in a historic place and time. You could interact with and examine how different choices might have changed the outcome of history.

Hopefully, you can see why I’m so excited for Virtual Reality in Education.

Dropping into VR provides a real world, immersive experience that links key critical core senses together. When hearing, sight, and touch are linked, the subconscious mind cannot distinguish the experience as fake and thus strong memories are created. This ability to create memories from experiences that are typically impossible is the power that VR yields. So with VR experiences like NDT, virtual field trips to zoos, and collaborative learning environments like Engage and Rumii, we can bring equitable experiences to education that could ultimately provide not just higher test scores, but increased opportunity, knowledge, and most importantly, an inspiration to all students.

+2 votes

Degree Level: Not Specified Country: Korea, North Deadline: 31 Mar 2019

Summer Korea Experience Program 2019 for High School Student

ELIGIBILITY

The participants of the Korea Experience Program should meet the criteria as follow: 
- High School Students (14 – 18 years old) 
- Commit to join full program 
- Able to adapt new environment easily 
- Able to pay the program fee and transportation to and from Korea 
- Health physically and mentally

BENEFIT

Live for 5 days in Seoul, Korea 
Learn and understand Korean culture directly 
Heritage walking tour around Seoul 
Experience to be like local people by experiencing the local traditions 
Experimental learning 
Certificate of participation from AYFN

DESCRIPTION

Experience Korea with the AYFN’s Korea Experience Program. This program is open to high school students and learners desiring a short-term immersion program in Korean language and Korean culture. 

With the goal of increasing foreign students’ understanding of The Republic of South Korea, The AYFN Exchange Academy and Seongbuk Global Cultural Village are offering an invaluable Korean learning cultural immersion program. The program combines Korean language training with daily activities and cultural excursions to enhance the Korean experience. It’s open to High School students. 

This entails a program which is specifically designed to offer Korean classes for students/youth from ages 14-18, as well as a chance for these students to gain a cultural understanding of Korea. This will be done through both visiting famous Seoul attractions and partaking in typical cultural activities such as experiencing Korean tradition (wear handbook), making your own Korean dumplings or learning about traditional Korean Calligraphy. 

Our aim is to inspire the students to open their minds to other cultures and recognize the importance of language learning at the same time. We want the students to end their trip by leaving with a better knowledge of Korea and a firm basis of the Korea language. 
During the program, students will take public transport (Bus, Metro, subway train) to deepen understand about Korean way of life and be like a local.

HOW TO APPLY

Please send these documents into korea.ayfn@gmail.com and cc into ayfn.hq@gmail.com 
:: Mandatory documents::
1. Scanned passport 
2. Scanned student card 
3. Short essay: “Why would you like to join our program and your expectation” (A4, 1 page only, Time new roman 12) 
4.Curriculum vitae or resume

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