Teaching Is Not a Business

Teaching Is Not a Business


Business does have something to teach educators, but it’s neither the saving power of competition nor flashy ideas like disruptive innovation.

While technology can be put to good use by talented teachers, they, and not the futurists, must take the lead. The process of teaching and learning is an intimate act that neither computers nor markets can hope to replicate. Small wonder, then, that the business model hasn’t worked in reforming the schools — there is simply no substitute for the personal element.


Constructivism: Lecture and project-based learning

The blog entry title initially was:

Constructivism: Lecture versus project-based learning

Actually, the article is about both lecture and group work finding a niche in the complex process of teaching and learning.

Excellent points, ideas and discussion in and under a recently published article:

Anyone Still Listening? Educators Consider Killing the Lecture


“Professors do not engage students enough, if at all, when trying to innovate the classroom. It’s shocking how out of touch they can be, just because they didn’t take the time to hear their students’ perspectives.”

The article and the excellent comments underneath the article do not address the possibility of cultural differences. E.g., when article cites the German research, it fails to acknowledge that the US culture is pronouncedly individualistic, whereas other societies are more collective. For more information pls consider:
Ernst, C. T. (2004). Richard E. Nisbett. The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently … and Why. Personnel Psychology, (2), 504.
Nisbett, R. E. (2009). Intelligence and how to get it : why schools and cultures count / Richard E. Nisbett. New York : W.W. Norton & Co., c2009.
The article generalizes, since another omission is the subject-oriented character of the learning process: there are subjects, where lecture might be more prevalent and there are some where project learning, peer instruction and project-based learning might be more applicable.

The Overworked Bachelor’s Degree Needs a Makeover

The Overworked Bachelor’s Degree Needs a Makeover


see also our blog post: Generation Z – the time of emojis approaching
Advanced college degrees are less important to them. 64% of Gen Z-ers are considering an advanced college degree, compared to 71% of millennials.

What’s desperately needed is a bachelor’s-degree makeover, one that isolates the liberal-arts education everyone needs in a fast-changing global economy and is flexible enough to accommodate the demand for skills training throughout one’s life.


How Social Media Is Being Used In Education: excellent infographic

How Social Media Is Being Used In Education


Here is also an IMS blog entry about the use of Twitter in education:


how social media is being used in education

The Myth Of Student Engagement

The Myth Of Student Engagement


Teaching and Learning: The Chicken and the Egg

the heart of the student engagement myth: that adding or changing classroom elements, doing a new project, or exposing a student to a new technology or method of instruction will magically transform apathy into a white-hot fire of curiosity.

True engagement comes when a teacher knows a student’s strengths and interests beyond the classroom and uses that knowledge to deepen relationships. If we go into our rooms each day to teach but not connect, we can’t expect students to care beyond a test score, if that.

Can you answer these questions about your students? If you can, how do you apply that knowledge to connect with them?

*What home issues are affecting their work?

*Do they have a non-academic passion?

*What are their favorite shows, games, songs, or books?

*Do they have a preferred learning style?

*What is their hidden talent?

*What goals do they have for themselves in the future?

My note: easily said then done; if the instructor is overloaded with 4 classes 100 students per class, the suggestion above is rendered useless.

The 5 Step Model to Teach Students Critical Thinking Skills

The 5 Step Model to Teach Students Critical Thinking Skills


1- Determine learning objectives
This is the initial phase where you need to identify the behaviours you want your students to exhibit and work on encapsulating these behaviours in an overarching higher order thinking schema.
2-Teach through questioning
The importance of integrating questions into instruction is uncontested. Thought-provoking questions help students explore learning from different perspectives. The art of posing well-formulated questions is regaled by a set of techniques, some of which are included in this wonderful poster: Questions A Critical Thinker Asks.
3-Practice before you assess
This is where hands-on learning activities are called for. To consolidate their understandings and therefore increase the retention rate of information taught, students need to utilize all components of active learning such as simulation, experimentations,rehearsing…etc

4- Review, refine, and improve
Students’ feedback that you can garner either formally or informally constitute the backbone of your teaching procedure. It provides you with insights into areas that students need help with and also informs your teaching objectives and methodology. There are a variety of tools you can use to collect feedback from your students, check out the  8 Practical tools to easily gather students feedback.
5- Provide feedback and assessment of learning
As you need students feedback to help you inform your teaching methodology, students too  need your feedback. They need to learn how they are learning and assess their overall achievement. One way to do this is to provide them with grading rubrics for self-assessment. Here are some other resources to help you provide better feedback to your students:

10 technology hallmarks for every campus

10 technology hallmarks for every campus


1. High-speed wireless broadband.

According to the Center for Digital Education’s recent “2013 Yearbook: Technology Innovation in Education,” over 80 percent of education institutions surveyed said that wireless broadband was their “top priority for IT investment.”

2. 24/7 IT support.

We have 24/7 support for emergencies and much of our staff, just like at a hospital, are on call. That’s not a perk for the campus, it’s a necessity.

3. The cloud.

The cloud can also: acquire and implement the latest software and application updates; streamline enrollment and admissions processes; and turn to subscriptions that are scalable and provide options, says Edudemic.

4. Digital textbooks.

Planning for digital textbooks means not only boosting mobile device capabilities on campus, but helping faculty learn to implement digital resources into their course.

5. 21st Century PD for faculty and admin.

From offering a MOOC on classroom management online solutions, to hosting a PD session on Twitter, campus admin should offer multiple options for PD delivery, just like how faculty should offer students multiple options for learning–there’s no better way to teach something than to model it first!

6. MOOCs.

[Read: “3 pros and 3 cons of MOOCs.”]

7. Online course management system.

From sending in-class emails to checking grades, course management systems, like Blackboard, offer faculty and students a fairly intuitive way to manage courses more efficiently.

8. Big Data…

Future-proofing universities are beginning to deploy storage solutions to help manage the unstructured data in physical, virtual and cloud environments. More modern storage solutions are also open source for a high learning curve but low cost.


precautions can range from scanning existing databases on the university’s servers to determine where personal information is located and then, depending on the database, destroy the personal information or add more digital security; as well as put cybersecurity systems through a series of penetration tests to highlight security shortcomings.

[Read: “University data breach prompts ‘top-to-bottom’ IT review.”]

10. Social media done well.

of the major ways campuses use social media well is by serving up both “cake” and “broccoli,” or balancing the content that is important and good for the school (broccoli) and the content that is fun and delicious (cake). “If you share enough cake, your audience will consume the occasional broccoli,” she advises.

For Students, Why the Question is More Important Than the Answer

For Students, Why the Question is More Important Than the Answer


It’s a bit like the Socratic method flipped on its head.

Rule 1: Ask As Many Questions as You Can (Gives License to Ask). There are a number of potential stumbling blocks related to this rule, including:

  • Students struggle trying to produce the questions:
  • Students ask for examples:
  • Groups are working at different pace:
  • Some students are not participating or one student is producing all the questions:

Rule 2: Do Not Stop to Discuss, Judge, or Answer Any Question (Creates Safe Space and Protection).

Rule 3: Write Down Every Question Exactly as It Is Stated (Levels the Playing Field So All Questions and Voices Are Respected.)

Rule 4: Change Any Statement into a Question (Insists on the Discipline of Phrasing, Asking, and Thinking in Questions, Not Statement). Potential challenges that may arise with rule 4 include:

  • Students get off task and start talking:
  • Students are confused about the instructions:
  • The QFocus is not working:

A Digital Badge Initiative in First-Year Writing Courses

A Digital Badge Initiative in First-Year Writing Courses


a WordPress theme coupled with the BadgeOS plugin, a free program that enables credit issuing in the form of digital badges. The badges themselves were developed with Credly, a free online service that allows users to create, customize, store and issue achievement-based digital badges. In total, the only cost of the program development has been the domain hosting fee.