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The Promise of Learning Analytics [INFOGRAPHIC]

Learning Analytics

More and more students are working with digital learning material. The data that’s being generated by student interaction with this material is the fuel for the Learning Analytics engine. Analyses of this data can help to create a clearer picture of the progress a student is making, the level he or she is working on, and the way students prefer to learn. Kennisnet’s The Promise of Learning Analytics Infographic you will review the road to more differentiated and personalized education. Want more? Check out 5 Reasons Why Learning Analytics are Important for eLearning, that highlights some of the most significant arguments for why Learning analytics have the power to improve eLearning in education and training.

 

Your Next Generation of Professional Development

Northeast ASCD EdSpace Banner

Working with the ASCD Affiliates is one of the truly great pleasures in my professional life. They are some of the most expert, dedicated, innovative people I know. One of the major points of emphasis in their work is providing high-quality professional development to educators on the ground where they live and work. They have earned their reputation in their professional development work. So it is no surprise to me that they continue to push the envelope, even as educators find it increasingly difficult to get out of their districts and take advantage of PD offerings.

In gauging the best ways to serve educators in the current climate of increased accountability and dwindling dollars, there are four trends we have identified as key when educators select the PD offerings they choose to attend:

  • Networking – educators want to connect with like-minded colleagues outside their district, both locally and globally
  • Capacity Building – educators want to increase their professional capital and capabilities
  • New Value – educators want new skills and strategies they can immediately put into use on the job
  • Digital Productivity – educators want to use virtual tools to collaborate, share, learn and grow

As a result, we are launching a new kind of professional development that addresses these needs: ASCD EdSpace. Focusing on targeted content, useful skills and strategies, unconferencing principles, and web technologies, this format delivers a new professional development experience for educators. Most importantly, this is not cookie-cutter PD. ASCD EdSpace will look differently wherever it is offered, based on the needs and interests of educators in the region.

Piloted by North Carolina ASCD this past November, this ASCD EdSpace format uses a hybrid of virtual and face-to-face collaboration with built-in flexibility, so that participants get what they want with who they want out of the experience. Breaking new ground, five ASCD Affiliates from the northeast United States are planning a larger scale, live hybrid event to take place on Friday, March 27, 2015. ASCD’s Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont affiliates are bringing in Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey virtually to work with educators on the ground in their respective states in real time, learning about and collaborating around their FIT teaching model.

Fisher and Frey

FIT Teaching (the Framework for Intentional and Targeted Teaching) is an approach to instruction that ensures high-quality teaching through school and classroom culture, established purpose, gradual release of responsibility, and formative and summative assessments. It also assists educators in offering descriptive and actionable feedback while using classroom data to inform targeted instruction. It is a rich, meaningful, actionable approach that empowers educators to successful meet the challenges in today’s climate of education accountability.

When ASCD EdSpace was piloted in North Carolina, it was amazing how lively and personably Fisher and Frey came across virtually from their school in San Diego, where it was in the early light of morning for them as the event began. They gave a walking tour of their building, spoke with the audience as they worked from their offices during the school day, and even had students coming in unannounced on camera. Awkward or disruptive? Nooooo….Doug and Nancy parlayed those moments into opportunities for students to talk with the North Carolina audience about their experience as students in the FIT Teaching environment. It was spontaneous, informative, heart-warming and magical.

At certain points during the morning, Fisher and Frey take breaks to tend to their work at the school while participants work together on the ground to make meaning and collaborate around the FIT Teaching model. And the entire afternoon is open to participants forming self-selected groupings and working on FIT Teaching applications that can be used in the classroom on Monday morning. It is a powerful combination of content expertise and practitioner collaboration that reaps enormous dividends. Some educators come in teams from their schools and some come on their own to network with others they meet at the event. Either way, the benefits are numerous.

McKenzie and Weber

One added dimension of the Northeast Affiliates event on Friday, March 27th: at the end of the day all the participating northeast sites are coming together in a virtual meeting space to share and compare outcomes and takeaways. The affiliates see this as critical, since each state will look at FIT Teaching through the lens of its own culture. It is important to compare ideas and insights across the region at the end of the day. If there is interest among attendees during this sharing of takeaways from the day, the affiliates may offer a monthly follow-up virtual academy through the summer…an additional six months of ongoing PD and collaboration across the northeast. There’s no such thing as one-and-done in this brave new world.

Interested in attending? Visit the event page at http://www.ascd.org/professional-development/northeast-ascd-affiliate-culture-purpose-structured-teaching-pd-experience.aspx to learn more and select one of the five affiliate registration pages. Educators from outside the participating states are welcome to participate, too…just select the affiliate of your choice with whom to register. You will not only benefit from the PD experience, you will contribute to our learning as we gather feedback and continue to improve this new breed of professional development for educators everywhere. Help drive the future of educator professional development; participate in the Northeast Affiliates ASCD EdSpace event next month!

EdSpace Event Infographic

Publishing Scholarly Work Digitally

digitalscholarship

Reposted from Hybrid Pedagogy:

Vetting and gatekeeping has become as valuable a process in the social contract of academic publishing and scholarship as the work itself. The digital threatens to undo that by refiguring authority, by making knowledge open access and public, by constantly inspecting and pushing upon the boundaries of academic work, its location in culture and its relevance to that culture.

Academia must push past its archaeological origins. What logic, what sense at all is there in digital work being presented upon a flat page, where it loses not only its relevance to its own subject matter, but also its vitality? The digital is above all else changeable, hackable, as renewable as a natural resource. To confine it only to print — or only to letters and words — is to deny it its own action, the premise of its research, the effect of its affect.

Our attention was recently drawn to an effort by Kairos editor Cheryl Ball to create a guide “to useful scholarship on evaluating digital work for T&P purposes that people across the humanities can refer to.” An annotated list created in a collaborative Google document and advertised through social media, the guide itself is exemplary of digital work. Here are scholars working together not only to share information across the Humanities, inter-institutionally, but also to bolster the validity of work being done digitally. The first note in the document reads: “Annotations should provide enough information so that folks know how they might USE that piece to help make arguments/cases for digital scholarly activities at their institutions.” Because we must make arguments and cases despite the fact that this work forwards understanding of our fields, our practice in communities of scholarship, and our work in our classrooms.

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Digitizing the Humanities

humanities

Reposted from the New York Times:

In the Republic of Learning humanities scholars often see themselves as second-class citizens. Their plaintive cries are not without cause. When universities trim budgets it is often their departments that take the hit. In the last 10 years, however, there has been one bright spot: the “digital humanities,” a vast enterprise that aims to digitize our cultural heritage, put it online for all to see, and do so with a scholarly punctilio that Google does not.

The digital humanities have captured the imaginations of funders and university administrators. They are being built by a new breed of scholar able to both investigate Cicero’s use of the word “lascivium” and code in Python. If you want to read Cicero’s letter in which lascivium appears, or the lyrics of 140,000 Dutch folk songs, now you can. Texts are living things: Digitization transforms them from caterpillars into butterflies. But the true promise of digitization is not just better websites. Rather, it is the transformation of the humanities into science.

By “science” I mean using numbers to test hypotheses. Numbers are the signature of science; they allow us to describe patterns and relationships with a precision that words do not. The quantification of the humanities is driven by an inexorable logic: Digitization breeds numbers; numbers demand statistics. The new breed of digital humanists is mining and visualizing data with the facility that bioinformaticians analyze genomes and cosmologists classify galaxies. All of them could, if they cared to, understand each others’ results perfectly well.

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SETDA Guide to Implementing Digital Learning

SETDA

Reposted from the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA):

With the influx of new technology and increased connectivity, focused strategic planning is more important than ever to ensure digital learning opportunities for all students and educators. Most school districts have made investments in technology equipment, bandwidth and networking, training teachers and supporting both the technology and those using it. Many are looking at upgrading and expanding their use of technology either because of a specific initiative such as online assessment or for a broader push to a 1 to 1 program to accomplish specific school improvement goals.

There are a number of factors for districts to consider as they embark upon this effort, key among them being planning, professional learning, software and digital content, broadband, devices, pedagogy and technology support. This resource is intended to provide guidance for districts to consider as they heighten their focus to ensure smooth implementation of digital learning. In addition, this resource includes proven resources and digital learning examples from across the nation to support discussions.

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How to Curate Your Academic Digital Identity

curate digital ID

Reposted from the Chronicle of Higher Education:

Wow might academics – particularly those without tenure, published books, or established freelance gigs – avoid having their digital identities taken over by the negative or the uncharacteristic?

After all, no one wants to be associated almost exclusively with blogs of disgruntled students, Tumblr and Twitter hashtags like #IHateMyProfessor, Facebook hate groups such as “I No Longer Fear Hell, I Took a Course With Aruna Mitra,” and other potentially contentious sites like Rate My Professors. As an academic or would-be academic, you need to take control of your public persona and then take steps to build and maintain it. With drag-and-drop websites, automatic publishing tools like IFTTT (short for “If this, then that”), and social-media sharing, this task is not necessarily as time-consuming as it seems.

Take control. In a nutshell, if you do not have a clear online presence, you are allowing Google, Yahoo, and Bing to create your identity for you. As a Lifehacker post on this topic once noted: “You want search engine queries to direct to you and your accomplishments, not your virtual doppelgangers.”

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9 Features of Digital Citizenship [INFOGRAPHIC]

digital citizenshipHere is a new visual from ISTE on the concept of digital citizenship. The visual outlines some of the features characterizing ‘good’ digital citizens based on attributes of good citizens. The elements of digital citizenship, according to ISTE, “ are not so different from the basic tenets of traditional citizenship: Be kind, respectful and responsible, and just do the right thing”. The ideas are pretty basic and will definitely give students a very good initiation into this huge concept of digital citizenship.

See the original post here.