Archive of ‘student-centered learning’ category

online learning attitudes

online learning attitudes

Students match their preference for hybrid learning with a belief that it is the most effective learning environment for them.

Despite the fact that faculty prefer teaching in a hybrid environment, they remain skeptical of online learning. Nearly half do not agree online 45% learning is effective.

https://library.educause.edu/~/media/files/library/2017/9/studentst2017infog.pdf

 

Students asked what technologies they wish their instructors used more, and we asked faculty what technologies they think could make them more effective instructors. Both agree that content and resource-focused technologies should be incorporated more and social media and tablets should be incorporated less.

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more on the use (or not) of ed technology in the classroom in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2017/04/03/use-of-laptops-in-the-classroom/

Robert Paxton

The Cultural Axis

The Nazi-Fascist New Order for European Culture

by Benjamin G. Martin
Harvard University Press, 370 pp., $39.95
“When I hear the word ‘culture,’ I reach for my revolver.”
Kultur, he explains (along with Bildung, or education), denoted in pre-unification Germany those qualities that the intellectuals and professionals of the small, isolated German middle class claimed for themselves in response to the disdain of the minor German nobles who employed them: intellectual achievement, of course, but also simple virtues like authenticity, honesty, and sincerity.
German courtiers, by contrast, according to the possessors of Kultur, had acquired “civilization” from their French tutors: manners, social polish, the cultivation of appearances. As the German middle class asserted itself in the nineteenth century, the particular virtues of Kultur became an important ingredient in national self-definition. The inferior values of “civilization” were no longer attributed to an erstwhile French-educated German nobility, but to the French themselves and to the West in general.
By 1914, the contrast between Kultur and Zivilisation had taken on a more aggressively nationalist tone. During World War I German patriotic propaganda vaunted the superiority of Germany’s supposedly rooted, organic, spiritual Kultur over the allegedly effete, shallow, cosmopolitan, materialist, Jewish-influenced “civilization” of Western Europe. Martin’s book shows how vigorously the Nazis applied this traditional construct.
Goebbels and Hitler were as obsessed with movies as American adolescents are today with social media.
Music was a realm that Germans felt particularly qualified to dominate. But first the German national musical scene had to be properly organized. In November 1933 Goebbels offered Richard Strauss the leadership of a Reich Music Chamber.
Goebbels organized in Düsseldorf in 1938 a presentation of “degenerate music” following the better-known 1937 exhibition of “degenerate art.”
As with music, the Nazis were able to attract writers outside the immediate orbit of the Nazi and Fascist parties by endorsing conservative literary styles against modernism, by mitigating copyright and royalty problems, and by offering sybaritic visits to Germany and public attention.
Painting and sculpture, curiously, do not figure in this account of the cultural fields that the Nazis and Fascists tried to reorganize “inter-nationally,” perhaps because they had not previously been organized on liberal democratic lines. Picasso and Kandinsky painted quietly in private and Jean Bazaine organized an exhibition with fellow modernists in 1941. Nazi cultural officials thought “degenerate” art appropriate for France.
Science would have made an interesting case study, a contrary one. Germany dominated the world of science before 1933. Germans won fifteen Nobel Prizes in physics, chemistry, and physiology or medicine between 1918 and 1933, more than any other nation. Far from capitalizing on this major soft power asset, Hitler destroyed it by imposing ideological conformity and expelling Jewish scientists such as the talented nuclear physicist Lise Meitner. The soft power of science is fragile, as Americans may yet find out.
American soft power thrived mostly through the profit motive and by offering popular entertainment to the young.

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The Original Axis of Evil

THE ANATOMY   OF FASCISM By Robert O. Paxton. 321 pp. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. $26.

fascism — unlike Communism, socialism, capitalism or conservatism — is a smear word more often used to brand one’s foes than it is a descriptor used to shed light on them.

World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 contributed mightily to the advent of fascism. The war generated acute economic malaise, national humiliation and legions of restive veterans and unemployed youths who could be harnessed politically. The Bolshevik Revolution, but one symptom of the frustration with the old order, made conservative elites in Italy and Germany so fearful of Communism that anything — even fascism — came to seem preferable to a Marxist overthrow.

Paxton debunks the consoling fiction that Mussolini and Hitler seized power. Rather, conservative elites desperate to subdue leftist populist movements ”normalized” the fascists by inviting them to share power. It was the mob that flocked to fascism, but the elites who elevated it.

Fascist movements and regimes are different from military dictatorships and authoritarian regimes. They seek not to exclude, but rather to enlist, the masses. They often collapse the distinction between the public and private sphere (eliminating the latter). In the words of Robert Ley, the head of the Nazi Labor Office, the only private individual who existed in Nazi Germany was someone asleep.

t was this need to keep citizens intoxicated by fascism’s dynamism that made Mussolini and Hitler see war as both desirable and necessary. ”War is to men,” Mussolini insisted, ”as maternity is to women.”

For every official American attempt to link Islamic terrorism to fascism, there is an anti-Bush protest that applies the fascist label to Washington’s nationalist rhetoric, assault on civil liberties and warmaking.

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Is Fascism Back?

https://www.project-syndicate.org/onpoint/is-fascism-back-by-robert-o–paxton-2016-01

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Paxton, R. O. (1998). The five stages of fascism. Journal Of Modern History70(1), 1.

Paxton, R. O. (2012). The Civic Foundations of Fascism in Europe: Italy, Spain and Romania, 1870-1945. New Left Review, (74), 140-144.

Paxton, R. O. (2000). Nationalism, Anti-Semitism and Fascism in France (Book Review). Journal Of Modern History72(3), 814.

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more on history in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=history

Google in the classroom

How Has Google Affected The Way Students Learn?

con?:with the advent of personal assistants like Siri and Google Now that aim to serve up information before you even know you need it, you don’t even need to type the questions.

pro: Whenever new technology emerges — including newspapers and television — discussions about how it will threaten our brainpower always crops up, Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker wrote in a 2010 op-ed in The New York Times. Instead of making us stupid, he wrote, the Internet and technology “are the only things that will keep us smart.”

Pro and conDaphne Bavelier, a professor at the University of Geneva, wrote in 2011 that we may have lost the ability for oral memorization valued by the Greeks when writing was invented, but we gained additional skills of reading and text analysis.

conDaphne Bavelier, a professor at the University of Geneva, wrote in 2011 that we may have lost the ability for oral memorization valued by the Greeks when writing was invented, but we gained additional skills of reading and text analysis.

con: A 2008 study commissioned by the British Library found that young people go through information online very quickly without evaluating it for accuracy.

pro or con?: A 2011 study in the journal Science showed that when people know they have future access to information, they tend to have a better memory of how and where to find the information — instead of recalling the information itself.

pro: The bright side lies in a 2009 study conducted by Gary Small, the director of University of California Los Angeles’ Longevity Center, that explored brain activity when older adults used search engines. He found that among older people who have experience using the Internet, their brains are two times more active than those who don’t when conducting Internet searches.

the Internet holds great potential for education — but curriculum must change accordingly. Since content is so readily available, teachers should not merely dole out information and instead focus on cultivating critical thinking

make questions “Google-proof.”

“Design it so that Google is crucial to creating a response rather than finding one,” he writes in his company’s blog. “If students can Google answers — stumble on (what) you want them to remember in a few clicks — there’s a problem with the instructional design.”

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more on use of laptop and phones in the classroom in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2017/04/03/use-of-laptops-in-the-classroom/

managing phone use in class

3 Tips for Managing Phone Use in Class

Setting cell phone expectations early is key to accessing the learning potential of these devices and minimizing the distraction factor.
https://www.edutopia.org/article/3-tips-managing-phone-use-class
Ten is now the average age when children receive their first cell phones
develop a positive mobile mental health in the first weeks of school by discussing their ideas on cell phone use, setting up a stoplight management system, and establishing a class contract
Build a digital citizenship curriculum that includes mobile device use.

Ask your students questions such as:

  • What do you like to do on your cell phone and why? (If they don’t have one, what would they like to do?)
  • What are the most popular apps and websites you use?
  • What do you think are inappropriate ways that cell phones have been used?
  • What is poor cell phone etiquette? Why?
  • How can cell phones help you learn?
  • How can cell phones distract from your learning?
  • How do you feel about your cell phone and the activities you do on your phone?
  • What should teachers know about your cell phone use that you worry we do not understand?
  • Do you know how to use your cell phone to gather information, to collaborate on academic projects, to evaluate websites?
  • How can we work together to create a positive mobile mental health?

Using a Stoplight Management Approach

Post a red button on the classroom door:  the cell phone parking lot.
Post a yellow button on the classroom door
Post a green button on the classroom door

Establishing a Class Contract: Ask them to brainstorm consequences and write them into a class contract.

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more on the use of BYOD in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2017/04/03/use-of-laptops-in-the-classroom/

VR headset future

VR’s future depends on you buying a dorky headset

Oculus, the VR company that Mark Zuckerberg bought for more than $2 billion, has a problem: It’s struggling to convince people to buy its gear.

https://www.cnet.com/news/vr-virtual-reality-future-depends-on-you-buying-a-dorky-headset-oculus-zuckerberg-playstation-vive/

Oculus Connect, starting Wednesday in San Jose, California. Facebook’s Oculus VR division promises discussions on how health care, movies and video games are adapting to this still nascent technology. One panel will explore how the disability community can benefit from VR gear and presentations.

Facebook chief competitors, Sony and HTC, followed suit. The PlayStation VR dropped to $400 from $500, and the Vive dropped to $599 from $799 all in the past three months.

Survios made Raw Data more widely available for Oculus, Vive and PlayStation VR. Survios is also looking beyond VR for customers, redesigning Raw Data to work in arcades as well.

Over the summer, Apple and Google announced new technologies called ARKit and ARCore, respectively, that are designed to help iPhones and iPads or any device powered by Google’s Android software marry computer-generated images with the real world.

A $2.99 app, Star Guide AR, highlights stars and constellations in the sky once you point your phone at them. Another, Ikea Place, previews furniture in your home with a tap. Walk around your living room and you can see the furniture you placed while looking through the screen on your phone. So far, both are available only for the iPhone.

App developers I spoke with say they’re excited by augmented reality and believe it may help spur people to buy VR systems as well.

Microsoft’s focusing on both AR and VR. In an October update to its Windows 10 software for PCs, the company is partnering with device makers like Lenovo, Dell, HP, Acer and Samsung to create headsets based on its designs. They’ll sell for as little as $300 each when they begin hitting store shelves Oct. 17.

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more on virtual reality in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=virtual+reality

instructional design

Developments in Instructional Design

https://library.educause.edu/~/media/files/library/2015/5/eli7120-pdf.pdf

Mobile computing, cloud computing, and data-rich repositories have altered ideas about where and how learning takes place.
designers can find themselves filling a variety of roles. They might design large, complex systems or work with faculty and departments to develop courses and curricula. They might migrate traditional resources to mobile or adaptive platforms. They might help administrators understand the value and potential of new learning strategies and tools. Today’s instructional designer might work with subject-matter experts, coders, graphic designers, and others. Moreover, the work of an instructional designer increasingly continues throughout the duration of a course rather than taking place upfront
Given the expanding role and landscape of technology—as well as the growing body of knowledge about learning and about educational activities and assessments—dedicated instructional designers are increasingly common and often take a stronger role.
Competency based learning allows students to progress at their own pace and finish assignments, courses, and degree plans as time and skills permit. Data provided by analytics systems can help instructional designers predict which pedagogical approaches might be most effective and tailor learning experiences accordingly. The use of mobile learning continues to grow, enabling new kinds of learning experiences.
In some contexts, instructional designers might work more directly with students, teaching them lifelong learning skills. Students might begin coursework by choosing from a menu of options, creating their own path through content, making choices about learning options, being more hands-on, and selecting best approaches for demonstrating mastery. Educational models that feature adaptive and personalized learning will increasingly be a focus of instructional design.
Instructional designers bring a cross-disciplinary approach to their work, showing faculty how learning activities used in particular subject areas might be effective in others. In this way, instructional designers can cultivate a measure of consistency across courses and disciplines in how educational strategies and techniques are incorporated.
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more on instructional design in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=instructional+design

students entitlement and disruptiveness

Student Entitlement: Key Questions and Short Answers

By: 

https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-professor-blog/student-entitlement-key-questions-short-answers

What is student entitlement? 

“tendency to possess an expectation of academic success without taking personal responsibility for achieving that success.”

How widespread is it?

The research (and there’s not a lot) reports finding less student entitlement than faculty do.

Can a student be entitled without being rude and disruptive? 

Yes. Students can have beliefs like those mentioned above and only discuss them with other students or not discuss them at all. Part of what makes entitlement challenging for teachers are those students who do verbally express the attitudes, often aggressively.

Are millennial students more entitled than previous generations? That’s another widely held assumption in the academic community, but support from research is indirect and inconsistent.

Is entitlement something that only happens in the academic environment? No, it has been studied, written about, and observed in other contexts (like work environments

What’s causing it?

A number think it’s the result of previous educational experiences and/or grade inflation. Some blame technology that gives students greater access to teachers and the expectation of immediate responses. Fairly regularly, student evaluations are blamed for the anonymous power and control they give students. And finally, there’s the rise in consumerism that’s now associated with education. Students (and their parents) pay (usually a lot) for college and the sense that those tuition dollars entitle them to certain things, is generally not what teachers think education entitles learners to receive.

How should teachers respond?

It helps if teachers clarify their expectations with constructive positive language and even more importantly with discussions of the rationales on which those expectations rest. Teacher authority gets most students to follow the rules, but force doesn’t generally change attitudes and those are what need to be fixed in this case.

October 18 for Student Entitlement: Truth, Fiction, or Some of Both and stay tuned for more in-depth information and resources that we’ll make available in Faculty Focus Premium in subsequent weeks.

References: Elias, R. Z. (2017). Academic entitlement and its relationship to cheating ethics. Journal of Education for Business, 92 (4), 194-199.

Greenberger, E., et. al. (2008). Self-entitled college students: Contributions of personality, parenting and motivational factors. Journal of Youth Adolescence, 37, 1193-1204.

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Responding to Disruptive Students

Negative attention doesn’t help difficult students change their ways, but teachers can alter classroom dynamics through this exercise.

Mapping Behavior

Draw a map of your classroom, including doors, windows, desks, blackboards—all significant items and areas. I’m sure you’ve already got a clear idea of where the most challenging students usually sit. Now imagine teaching class on a regular day. Trace the paths you usually take across the room. Do you sometimes speed up for a particular reason?

Now put your breathing on the map. Are you conscious of the way you breathe during class? Use a new color and draw a wavy line on top of the lines and arrows you’ve already sketched. Does the wavy line look even, or have you drawn some chaotic or nervous zigzags? Could it be that you’ve sometimes forgotten to breathe?

Investing time in building physical and emotional familiarity with the learning environment, instead of nervously anticipating disruption, changes the educator’s perspective toward the whole class, their interaction with individual students, and their self-awareness. Negative attention stops being a solution—instead it is seen as a hindrance to the process of understanding students’ needs.

interactivity for the library

In 2015, former library dean purchased two large touch-screen monitors (I believe paid $3000 each). Shortly before that, I had offered to the campus fitting applications for touch screens (being that large screens or mobiles):

Both applications fit perfect the idea of interactivity in teaching (and learning) – http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=interactivity

With the large touch screens, I proposed to have one of the large screens, positioned outside in the Miller Center lobby and used as a dummy terminal (50” + screens run around $700) to mount educational material (e.g. Guenter Grass’s celebration of his work: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2015/04/15/gunter-grass-1927-2015/ ) and have students explore by actively engaging, rather than just passively absorbing information. The bus-awaiting students are excellent potential users and they visibly are NOT engaged by by the currently broadcasted information on these screens, but can be potentially engaged if such information is restructured in interactive content.

The initial library administration approval was stalled by a concern with students “opening porno sites” while the library is closed which, indeed, would have been a problem.

My 2015 inquiry with the IT technicians about freezing a browser and a specific tab, which could prevent such issues, but it did not go far (pls see solution below). Failing to secure relatively frigid environment on the touch screen, the project was quietly left to rot.

I am renewing my proposal to consider the rather expensive touch screen monitors, which have been not utilized to their potential, and test my idea to engage students in a meaningful knowledge-building by using these applications to either create content or engage with content created by others.

Further, I am proposing that I investigate with campus faculty the possibility to bring the endeavor a step further by having a regularly-meeting group to develop engaging content using these and similar apps; for their own classes or any other [campus-related] activities. The incentive can be some reward, after users and creators “vote” the best (semester? Academic year?) project. The less conspicuous benefit will be the exposure of faculty to modern technology; some of the faculty are still abiding by lecturing style, other faculty, who seek interactivity are engulfed in the “smart board” fiction. Engaging the faculty in the touch screen creation of teaching materials will allow them to expand the practice to their and their students’ mobile devices. The benefit for the library will be the “hub” of activities, where faculty can learn from each other experience[s] in the library, rather than in their own departments/school only. The reward will be an incentive from the upper administration (document to attach in PDR?). I will need both your involvement/support. Tom Hergert by helping me rally faculty interest and the administrators incentivizing faculty to participate in the initial project, until it gains momentum and recognition.

In the same fashion, as part of the aforementioned group or separate, I would like to host a regularly-meeting group of students, who besides play and entertainment, aim the same process of creating interactive learning materials for their classes/projects. Same “best voted” process by peers. My preferable reward: upper administration is leaving recommendation in the students’ Linkedin account for future employers. I will need both your involvement/support. The student union can be decisive in bringing students to this endeavor.  Both of you have more cloud with the student union then only a regular faculty such as me.

In regard to the security (porn alert, see above) I have the agreement of Dr. Tirthankar Ghos with the IS Department. Dr. Ghosh will be most pleased to announce as a class project the provision of a secure environment for the touch screen monitor to be left after the group meetings for “use” by students in the library. Dr. Ghosh is, however, concerned/uncertain with the level of cooperation from IT, considering that for his students to enable such environment, they have to have the “right” access; namely behind firewalls, administrative privileges etc. Each of you will definitely be more persuasive with Phil Thorson convincing him in the merit of having IS student work with SCSU IT technician, since it is a win-win situation: the IT technician does not have to “waste time” (as in 2015) and resolve an issue and the IS student will be having a project-based, real-life learning experience by enabling the project under the supervision of the IT technician. Besides: a. student-centered, project-based learning; b. IT technician time saved, we also aim c. no silos / collaborative SCSU working environment, as promised by the reorganization process.

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