MIT: 16 Recommendations to Engage a New World

MITSimmons

Reposted from MIT News:

“The MIT education of the future is likely to be more global in its orientation and engagement, more modular and flexible in its offerings, and more open to experiments with new modes of learning. Those are some themes of the 16 recommendations contained in the final report of the Institute-Wide Task Force on the Future of MIT Education, convened 18 months ago by President L. Rafael Reif to envision the MIT of 2020 and beyond.

Among other priorities, the Task Force’s report urges the establishment of an MIT Initiative for Educational Innovation, to foster ongoing experimentation and research in teaching and learning, and recommends that MIT engage with teachers and learners worldwide to broadcast this educational innovation well beyond its own campus. The report also suggests that MIT consider offering different levels of certification through its online-learning ventures, MITx and edX, and recommends that the Institute redouble its commitment to access and affordability — possibly by increasing MIT’s undergraduate population, which has remained stable for decades despite increasing demand, or by providing flexibility to allow students to complete a traditional undergraduate degree in less than four years.

In its final report, the Task Force organizes its 16 recommendations around four themes:

  1. laying a foundation for the future, by creating a proposed Initiative for Educational Innovation;
  2. transforming pedagogy, largely through “bold experiments” sponsored by the proposed new initiative;
  3. extending MIT’s educational impact, to teachers and learners well beyond its own campus; and
  4. enabling the future of MIT education, by cultivating new revenue streams and envisioning new spaces to support learning at MIT.”

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“MIT Blossoms” Proffers Low-Tech Blended Learning Model

blossoms

Reposted from the Hechinger Report:

MIT BLOSSOMS, one of the most exciting and effective uses of educational technology to help high school students learn math and science, doesn’t boast the latest in artificial intelligence or adaptive algorithms. Its secret weapon is, rather, a canny understanding of human psychology—both students’ and teachers’. Technologically speaking, its basic model could be executed with an old television and VCR.

In fact, it was. BLOSSOMS was born a decade ago when Richard Larson, a professor of engineering systems at MIT and an early advocate of educational technology, visited a rundown school in rural central China. The classroom was lit by two bare bulbs hanging from the ceiling, and was so cold that students kept their coats on inside. It did have a used TV and VCR, which the teacher employed to play a video of a science lecture. She would show a few minutes of the tape, then turn it off and engage her students in a surprisingly dynamic, interactive lesson. This was followed by a few more minutes of the video, then back to interaction with the students.

Clearly, MIT BLOSSOMS (the name stands for Blended Learning Open Source Science Or Math Studies) isn’t gaining fans by virtue of whiz-bang technology. Rather, it exerts its appeal through an unassuming but remarkably sophisticated understanding of what it is that students and teachers actually need. It’s an understanding that is directly at odds with the assumptions of most of the ed tech universe.”

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