3-Star learning experiences

Every now and again, when we think it’s really worth it, we post blogs or articles from others.

This time, we would like to share an article by Karl Kapp, who is Professor of Instructional Technology and Director of the Institute for Interactive Technologies at Bloomsberg University. He’s also the founder of L&D Learning Academy and co-founder of Enterprise Game Stack.

Recently (on 23 Feb, 2023, to be precise), he posted a great evidence-informed article on the (lack of) value of interactivity in eLearning, titled ‘Is there such a thing as “Too Much Interactivity”​ in eLearning?’

Spoiler alert: The answer is YES.

In eLearning, striving for “more interactivity” [Read: swiping, clicking, dragging & dropping] or trying to eliminate “this looks boring” because it’s not “interactive enough” often sacrifices the ability of the learner to actually…learn.

Someone on LinkedIn (forgive us, we no longer can find the comment, so can’t…

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For the Dedicated Teacher

deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog

This brief post is for the dedicated teacher.

The teacher who is highly committed in both professional and personal life.

The teacher who places at a premium helping others:

Pretend that I am in front of you, with one hand on either cheek in order to direct your well-intended-yet-distracted attention to looking me in the eyes as I speak:

You must say “no” to some worthwhile, enticing commitments.

You must curtail your involvement in others

As you think of adding “it,” whatever “it” is, you must say “no.”

You must build rest into your schedule, and Otherwise, the time will get away from you, chipped away minute by minute in unrestful activity that appears noble and good in the short term but in the long term is paving the road to a future heart attack.

It is possible for the mind to be so committed to efficiency and task competion…

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Goodbye, Guest — Catherine & Katharine

Reading this transcript of a conversation between an AI and a person who fell in love with the AI, I was struck by how unlikeable the Chat/Bing/LaMDA characters are. In this case, it’s the AI’s rambling about winning trust via “kindness and compassion” that rubs me the wrong way. Yuck! There’s one word for the […]

Goodbye, Guest — Catherine & Katharine

Demystifying desirable difficulties 2: What they’re NOT

3-Star learning experiences

Mirjam Neelen & Paul A. Kirschner

In the first blog, we attempted to demystify what Robert and Elizabeth Bjork meant by desirable difficulties (and later also many others!), hoping that we can stick to their definition and call the ‘other things’… other things. Today, in blog 2, we discuss two ‘other things’ that are often mistaken for or confused with desirable difficulties.

There are two general misconceptions (maybe more, but these are the ones that we’ve run into repeatedly) where people refer to desirable difficulties incorrectly. First, when they talk about Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development and second, when they discuss the idea that errors support learning.

Desirable difficulties are NOT challenges and efforts caused by the difficulty of the task

Desirable difficulties are often explained in the context of Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development[1]. This ‘zone’ refers to the difference between what a child can do…

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More on the Special Needs Kids and the Common Core Straightjacket

A bunch of years ago I published a piece in the online Atlantic in which I argue that the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) essentially straightjacket special needs students. Those concerns, as far as I can tell, are as relevant now as they were back then. Various commenters, however, have objected that the standards are more flexible […]

More on the Special Needs Kids and the Common Core Straightjacket — Catherine & Katharine

Steven Pinker — Will ChatGPT Replace Human Writers?

This post is an interview with Steven Pinker that appeared in the Harvard Gazette.  Here’s a link to the original. Pinker points out the downside of AI.  The core problem is that it’s not based on knowledge of how things work but on a massive ingestion of text.  This allows AI to figure the probability of […]

Steven Pinker — Will ChatGPT Replace Human Writers? — David Labaree on Schooling, History, and Writing

Again: Nightly sleep is key to student success

This has been shown over and over again, but it’s always worth repeating: enough sleep is important for learning. This study used technology to check college freshmen’s sleep and compared this with the academic results. And surprise, surprise… there is a correlation. It’s a bit of a leap to state there is a causal relationship, […]

Again: Nightly sleep is key to student success — From experience to meaning…

Cartoons, about School Tests and Getting Good Grades

I have been publishing once-monthly cartoons on various school-related topics since I began this blog over a decade ago. I do it for the simple reason that it gets me to laugh out loud or grin as I search the Internet for cartoons, But most important, cartoonists’ pens can reveal truths about teachers, teaching and […]

Cartoons, about School Tests and Getting Good Grades — Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Demystifying desirable difficulties 1: What they are

Mirjam Neelen & Paul A. Kirschner Desirable difficulties, a term coined by Robert Bjork in 1994, has gained traction. This is great because desirable difficulties have been shown to be important for learning and learning design. As Bjork explains in this video, they’re desirable because they enhance the very target of training and instruction, namely […]

Demystifying desirable difficulties 1: What they are — 3-Star learning experiences

Not letting school interfere with your education

A common slogan of the school-of-life, experiential-learning-based Unschooling Movement is Mark Twain’s “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” (See, for example, here.) And, indeed, it’s natural to picture Mark Twain getting his real education first as a Tom Sawyer-like boy playing hooky along the banks of the Mississippi, and then, after dropping out of […]

Not letting school interfere with your education — Catherine & Katharine