Search Search. Newsletter Sign Up. Early Childhood Education and Minority Women. Search form Search. Education News. Latest Education News. Sexual assault cases persist from elementary school up through college, so what's the solution to make schools safer? Read More. Some experts are arguing that more classrooms that utilize blended learning will help decrease the high number of Parents in the Hazelwood School District are no different than many parents across the country in that they don't Philadelphia, the eighth largest district in the nation, has been battling school funding issues for the past few years Investigating the education candidate that never was.
This notice will help you determine those who will be interested in participating. The following poem might accompany the notice. Change the days of the week in italic type as needed so that the final revealing takes place on Halloween day. For example, in the poem below, Halloween day is on a Tuesday. Halloween is almost here So let's set out to spread some cheer. On Wednesday, start with a card Now surely, that won't be too hard. On Thursday, brighten up the room A decoration should lift the gloom.
On Friday, bring a little treat Something edible and fun to eat. On Monday, there's a pumpkin theme Pretty simple, it would seem. On Tuesday, bring a scary witch To complete your task without a glitch. At half-past-three we'll end the fun By trying to guess the guilty one. Can you pick the Ghost who has been concealed? On Tuesday, all will be revealed.
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Then each participant draws a name from the pumpkin and becomes that person's Secret Ghost. Or the Secret Ghost might have the gift delivered by another person. At the end of the week, assemble all participants so they can guess the identity of their Secret Ghost and see if their guesses are correct as they personally give the last gift of the week. And immediately after Halloween is a great time to buy candy on sale.
Stock up on some of the candy items below and when the time is right, attach an appreciative saying to the candy and give them at staff meetings, put them on staff members' desks, or drop them in teachers' mailboxes. Some examples of candy rewards include Starbursts -- You are bursting with enthusiasm! Peppermint Pattie -- Get students to have the sensation of learning!
Red Hots -- Our staff is "Red Hot! Soon after I gave him some goodies, he returned once more. I'll be back five more times tonight. Drive your staff happy! Halloween Fun: Secret Ghost. Scroll down or click for work sheet text and answer key. Click for our archive of Every-Day Edit activities from previous weeks.
How is the computer to offer us anything new? One way to approach the problem is to talk about all the different ways in which the computer can be employed within the learning process. There is not a single unique way, but a whole variety of ways, bearing on different aspects of some of the problems just identified. I should like to make it clear immediately that I do not consider all current uses of computers in education as progressive or even as pointing to useful future directions. Much of the existing computer material is less than impressive.
As with any new and powerful learning medium, we are at an early stage of learning how to use the medium. Yet we have made and continue to make progress in a variety of modes of computer use. We are beginning to understand both the process of how to use computers effectively in education and the process of producing effective course materials. I do not consider that the current equipment in our schools is the equipment that large-scale delivery of computer-based learning materials will use.
Although most of us are now running on time-sharing systems, the new generation of stand-alone equipment, the elegant products of the large-scale integration technology, will become more and more the dominant delivery mode. While time-sharing systems will still continue in modified forms to have some use in education, most future use will be primarily with systems in which all or almost all of the processing takes place at the device itself. Interactive learning. You might guess from the title chosen for this speech that the most valuable aspect of the computer in education is that it allows us to make learning interactive, with students constantly east as participants in the process rather than as spectators.
Psychologists agree that the best feedback is that which comes immediately after the event. In many lecture situations the students are passive. Good interactive computer programs can provide a very different environment. As soon as a small amount of information is given to the student, the program can begin to ask questions. The process can be, with skillfully written programs, a dialogue in the full sense of the word. The student is not conversing with the computer but rather with the authors of the material.
The authors of the material are creating not a single dialog but a whole collection of such dialogs, conversation with each student. In the computer dialogs just described each student response can be analyzed. Different actions can be taken depending on the exact student input. Cumulative records of student performance in that session and even previous sessions, can be maintained and used to affect the flow of the learning sequences. A student who does not learn with a particular approach can be presented with alternate learning materials.
The learning experience for each student can be unique, tailored to the needs, desires, and moods of that student. I see this individualization as a humanization of education, particularly compared to what typically happens in the large lecture situation. There the process is fundamentally the same for every student, a mass production system.
Interactive dynamics of imagination in a science classroom
With the computer each student can have a unique learning experience. I stressed earlier the role of experience in initial learning. But when a student enters the university, experiences directly relevant to the learning situation are not typically available. Here a new mode of use for the computer becomes important. It can amplify everyday experiences. The computer can create worlds which are not available in convenient form for the students to play with and explore the possibilities.
Thus, we can create realms of experience with the hope of enriching the formal learning environment to follow and with the hope of building up student insight and intuition about the physical processes that are later to be described by mathematical details. A typical example of such material is the use of electric field plotting to give insight into the way static electric fields, or later changing electric fields, behave. Visual representations of field lines and of equipotential surfaces can give students, through a structured set of experiences, a view of the charges lead to fields that are not obtainable by working with formulae or differential equations.
As with all play material, something is needed beyond the play. Our early experiences with this material at Irvine indicated that while faculty were often extremely interested in our controllable worlds, only the brighter students, a small fraction of the total class, made active use of them. It was a classic example of material that was attractive to the teacher but not that attractive to many of the students. This can be provided either directly within the dialog or in separate written material. We also work to give students some explicit way of seeing whether they have indeed understood what we hoped they would understand with this play.
So far the type of computer usage we have been observing is one in which students interact with programs prepared by others for some specific pedagogical purpose. But programming itself is increasingly a fundamental skill in modern society. Even more importantly, programming can often lead to new and powerful ways of approaching a subject matter. For example, if students are in a position to write programs, they can be brought much sooner to an understanding of the laws of motion as different equations.
Many of our beginning courses present the laws of motion as purely algebraic structures, in terms of the kinds of problems that the students can work. Yet we know from intermediate and advanced courses that the real power in these laws is in their use as differential equations. The fact that they are not discussed in the beginning level is due to the mathematical difficulty involved. This particular subject has been very well discussed in the literature, in noncomputer forms and in the Feynman lectures in physics and by many of us Luehrmann, Peckham, Merrill, and myself to mention only a few.
One of the advantages of this approach is that students grow up feeling that the computer is a natural tool to use in a variety of different areas. Such a tool will become as important as reading, writing, and arithmetic in the future. As with any learning tool we want to introduce it to students in such a way that they will use it in reasonable and proper ways. Student control of pacing.
Do all students learn at the same rate? Do all students spend the same amount of time in the learning process? These are not entirely settled research questions. The mid-quarter exam comes for everyone at exactly the same time. No allowance is made for students to move at differing rates through the material, perhaps reviewing individual learning sequences where necessary.
But the computer makes individualized pacing convenient and commercially practical. One of the advantages of variable pacing is that it allows for students with very different backgrounds. Thus, if remedial materials are available, students may be referred to those materials and may spend several weeks with such materials before continuing with the mainline materials. Such students are typically lost in our current courses, although some help possibilities may be available such as in the learning resources centers.
The computer can provide a much more flexible set of alternatives.
Time and sequence control. In a film the filmmaker constantly decides on timing. Pauses will be inserted to allow students to absorb a particular idea. This is in contrast with what happens when one turns the page of a book, where the entire material is spread out in front of the reader. There is no control over the order in which the material on the page is seen by the student and no control over the timing within that order. The computer more closely resembles the film, or with another analogy, the development of material on the backboard in a good lecture.
The sequence and timing are under program control, and can be modified on student request. The dialog can move back and forth between alphanumeric material and graphic material. Delays between such material can allow time for human concentration and reaction. Within alphanumeric material we can stop at the end of a sentence, allowing time for reading.
We can come back and reinforce ideas by various graphical approaches, such as underlining, making words flash, and encircling them. Student control over content. In a typical education situation every student sees almost the same content in a course. The only difference is in such things as term papers or special projects.
Thus, the main learning outlines fail to take into account any individual preferences or any differences in background. Because the computer can provide a great variety of interactive learning experiences, and can provide management capabilities to be discussed shortly, there is no reason why students cannot be allowed a variety of choices. The implication is not that the student could simply do anything.
The instructor can still control the types of sequencing that arc possible. But within these constraints students can be allowed considerable flexibility. In one of our courses we specified six different tracks through the quarter, based on two sets of materials. Testing as a learning mode.
One of the newest and most exciting roles of the computer is in an intimate combination of testing and learning.
This kind of use is of particular interest in a self-paced environment based on mastery learning, such as the PSI environment. Simply stated, mastery learning permits all students to learn to the same high degree of achievement regardless of the time period. Traditional education, on the other hand, permits the level of attainment to vary while the amount of time is perceived as a constant across the group of learners.
In a traditional course tests play several roles. They furnish an input to the grading system, typically unfortunately a norm-based grading system that compares students with other students rather than determining just what they have learned. In a PSI environment the tests are in a competency-based direction, with students obtaining feedback as to just which of the objectives in the unit needs further study before they can progress to the next unit. Thus, the emphasis moves away from the evaluation to aiding students in learning.
The computer as a medium for tests allows us to go much further than this.
Students can be reinforced immediately when an answer is correct not only by being told that the answer is good but by auxiliary construction or by review of the problem. A wrong answer can not only be identified immediately as wrong, but in many cases it is possible to determine just why the answer was wrong and to offer immediate learning sequences to the student dealing with that precise problem. It will be seen that such an experience is an intimate blend of testing and teaching.
In terms of student learning this mode of computer use, although new, is one of the most powerful and promising. We can provide immediate and precisely formulated feedback, offering direct aid to students. A variety of techniques can be used to make each exam unique, yet each testing for the same objective. Our physics tests, developed primarily by Franklin, Marasco, and myself, illustrate the tremendous power of such procedures. If students are taking tests on line, this leads naturally to the notion that the computer can also maintain the class records. In a large class environment, keeping accurate records and allowing students to check that no errors occur is a nontrivial problem.
In our own department we have a half-time secretary whose major occupation is to maintain records, primarily for the big beginning courses. Faculty members too put considerable amounts of time into this process, and no one would claim that this is the most productive use of their time. The computer is a very powerful information gathering and handling device.
The exams write directly into an online database; other items not covered with on-line exams can be entered into the same database. Feedback can be provided to both students and instructors as to what is happening, what problems are developing, and which students need aid.
Another use of the computer in classes is as an additional mode of communication, beyond the traditional ones usually available. The computer can drive an electronic mail system, with the instructor broadcasting messages to the students, with the students sending queries to the instructor, and with the instructor replying to such queries.
Interactive Learning Helps Students Learn Six Times More than MOOCs, Study Says Education World
In my own large courses this mode has assumed increasing importance. Typically I will answer about fifteen computer letters per night from my home terminal. Any way of increasing communication between the teacher and the student is desirable. The computer has no prejudices.
All of us are subject to inherent prejudices, often at the subconscious level. These unconscious personal feelings present in all of us may well affect our students. Many of us, for example, are consciously or unconsciously supporters of the better students, those most like us, and so tending to have our sympathy. The problems of students struggling to learn a particular piece of material are difficult for many instructors.
Even the best teachers with the most devotion to the vast majority of students may occasionally tire of such problems. I only touch on important issues concerning widespread availability. At the present time production of computer learning materials is almost at the cottage industry stage, with individuals producing and sending a few copies to friends. Journals, such as the American Journal of Physics , have aided in wider distribution. But so far these activities have only scratched the surface. Fundamental to widespread use of computer learning materials are more structured ways of producing and distributing the materials.
Efficient production demands that we examine carefully the process for production and distribution, setting up centers with particular expertise in this direction. These centers may be within universities or may be within commercial organizations. In the report seven such centers are suggested. No such centers have yel developed, but they still seem to be an attractive possibility.
What types of firms will be involved? Perhaps they will be the traditional book publishers. Perhaps they will be computer vendors. Perhaps they will be special companies, profit or nonprofit, formed particularly for the distribution of such materials. Within the elementary level a very successful company already exists, Computer Curriculum Corporation steered by Suppes. Perhaps universities will become the producers and distributors of these new types of curriculum materials. Production methods for these materials must take into account the variety of tasks.
The pedagogical specification of the materials is a different task from that of programming them to run on a particular machine and requires different talents. Graphic and instructional designers must also play an important role in the process. Programs must be easily modifiable over a considerable period of time, as experience is gained with direct student usage.
I have already suggested that institutional changes are likely to be drastic because of the demographic factor, the changing nature of our student body, increasing legislative and public control, occasional economic depressions. I realize the inertia of the system, but I believe these factors will be sufficient to overcome this inertia. The computer will offer us our best approach to coping during this difficult period. We already see signs of this change in our current institutions. Cross in Individualizing the System , edited by Dyckman W. Signs of that revolution have already appeared.
We can expect more self-paced courses, more emphasis on mastery learning. These changes are likely independent of the computer. Furthermore, we can expect more emphasis on self-paced curricula in which the curriculum is not tied in with fixed time constraints with courses beginning only at the beginning of the semester, but rather is adapted to individual students. There is no reason, given the computer environment discussed in this paper, why a student cannot start a course at any time and finish a course at any time, subject to any desired constraints.
The self-paced curriculum may lead to the final destruction of perhaps the single most sacred feature of American universities, the four year degree. New attitudes will be generated with regard to grading, with more emphasis on competency-based grading. The question of credit, and similarly degrees or other marks of achievement, may well be brought into question also. In all of these developments the computer will play an important role in suggesting solutions, with computer use steadily becoming larger.
Perhaps the most exciting development in institutional change will be the rise of entirely new kinds of institutions, ones that depart from our traditional patterns of education. They will compete with our traditional institutions for the limited number of students available. The most exciting example, although with little use of computers so far, is The Open University in the British Isles.
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