Friday, October 01, 2010

5 MORE TED Talks about Education and Learning: It's about Relevance

I LOVE TED.  No, I am not sharing any unusual amorous intentions. I just enjoy the wealth of genius that is shared through the TED network. 

I had a great response from you readers to the first 5 videos that I posted so here is another 5 videos on learning and teaching that I think you will enjoy:

Sugata Mitra shares How Kids Teach Themselves. He has successfully implemented student-centered learning throughout the world.   In 2007, he introduced his Hole in the Wall project that he has introduced in remote areas. He explores how children can learn through incidental learning. It is an innovative idea for learning about the essence of facilitating learning.

In his 2010 presentation, Child-Driven Education, Sugata Mitra talked about how he addressed the problem of having a great need for good teachers where schools don't exist. He provided a number of examples where computers were used to provide learning opportunities.  This is not about computer labs. It is about groups of children gathering around public computers.  My favorite quote was "Children will learn to do, what they want to learn to do."   Hmmm . . . . sounds like relevance is important to children as well as adults.  What do you think?

Arthur Benjamin's Formula for Changing Math Education  Arthur Benjamin questions the relevance of our secondary math curriculum. He suggests that we replace the calculus-oriented sequence with one that emphasizes statistics. It would be a huge upheaval of our present math system, but is our current math system still relevant to our students' needs?

Along those same lines, Liz Coleman issues a call to reinvent liberal arts education. She regrets the path that American education has take in emphasizing narrow pursuits of knowledge. She suggests that liberal arts need to be oriented to address real-world problems. She stats that "Deep thought matters when you're contemplating what to do about things that matter." Once again, it's ALL about relevancy.

A FUN presentation was given by David Merrill who Demos Siftables. Siftables are "cookie-sized, computerized tiles you can stack and shuffle in your hands." They put the opportunity for learning in the hands of the learners.  These tiles can do math, play music, and even talk with each other. It is an amazing opportunity for hands-on learning.


What do you think?  What did you learn from these videos?

1 comment:

  1. Dr. Z,

    When disciplines are broken up into smaller and smaller pieces, students have problems “putting the pieces back together.” That is, they cannot see the connect ions between them. Parts of grammar do not make a writer great.

    “Justice, equity, truth.” “Action-oriented curriculum: rhetoric, design, mediation, improvisation.”
    This video got me thinking about some of my students. When I assign an essay, students often ask for an extensively descriptive handout of the assignment, a step-by-step guide highlighting how they are to go about completing it, and a student example of the actual essay. I submit. However, what if instead of giving very clear guidelines, if I instead only gave them their learning objectives and ask that they complete the essay in an attempt to fulfill the learning goals?

    As an instructor who does not assign a page requirement, I upset the world of one of my students last year. After we discussed every essay in the course, he would stay after class and ask me how many pages would he minimally need to receive an “A.” Every time, I explained that I did not have page requirements. He would not let up. “I know, but…uh…well, if you were going to say what paper would definitely not get an ‘A,’ how short would it be?” Every time. Every essay. Instead, why don’t I remove all guidelines, give learning objectives, and ask that the students demonstrate their skill in rhetoric, design, mediation and improvisation?

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