Joho the Blog[liveblogging] SMART education - Joho the Blog

[liveblogging] SMART education

I’m at the STEAM ed Finland conference in Jyväskylä. Maria Kankaanranta, Leena Hiltunen, Kati Clements and Tiina Mäkelä are on the faculty of the School of Education at the University of Jyväskylä The are going to talk about SMART education.

NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key information. Introducing artificial choppiness. Over-emphasizing small matters. Paraphrasing badly. Not running a spellpchecker. Mangling other people’s ideas and words. You are warned, people.

SMART means self-directed, motivated, adaptive, reseource enriched, and technology-embedded learning. (They credit South Korean researchers for this.) This is a paradigm shift: From education a specific times to any time. From lectures to motivated ed methods. From teaching the 3Rs to epanding the ed capacity. From traditional textbooks to enriched resources. From a physical space to anywhere there is the enabling tech.

One project (Horizon 2020) works across disciplines to connect students, parents, teachers, and companies. Companies expect universities to develop the skills they need, but you really have to begin with primary school. The aim of the project is to create a pedagogical framework and design principles for attractive and engaging STEM learning environments. She presents a long list of pedagogical design principles that guide the design of this kind of hybrid learning enviroments. It includes adaptive learning, self-regulation, project-based learning, novelty, but also conventionality: “you don’t have to abandon everything.”

What beyond MOODLE can we do? The EU has funded instruments for procurement of innovation. The presenters have worked on IMAILE & LEA (LearnTech Accelerator). IMAILE ran for 48 months in four countries. To address problems, the project pointed to two existing solutions: YipTree and AMIGO (e-books publisher from Spain). YipTree provides individual personalized learning paths (adaptive materials), student motivation by a virtual tutor and by other students, gamificiation, quick assessment tools, and notifications when a student is having difficulties. They tested this in two schools per country. YipTree did well.

They have been training teachers in computational thinking, programming, and robotics. They use online, mobile apps to make it available and free for all teachers and students. They’re using different training models to motivate and encourage teachers to adopt these apps. E.g., they’re “hijacking” schools and workplaces to train them where they are. Teachers really want human engagement.

Schools have access to tech resources but they’re under-used because the teachers don’t know what’s available and possible. This presentation’s project is helping teachers with this.

Conclusion: Smart ed is not easy. It takes time. It requires getting out of your comfort zone. It requires training, tools, research, and a human touch.


Q: Does your model take into account students with disabilities?

A: Yes. Part of this is “access for all.” Also, IMAILE does. Imperfectly. They collaborate with a local school for the impaired.

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