Foto: El País Brasil :: Matéria: Como Einstein educou seu filho

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Can lifelong learning compete with an alma mater’s logo?

“If you ask someone about their education, chances are they will tell you about their formal education—high school, university or an advanced degree. But formal learning only represents a small fraction of our total education.

What about the universal skills and experiences we gain on the job, the articles and videos we consume daily, the books we read, the experts we learn from, and everything else we do to gain expertise?

All learning and all skills should be measurable and communicable.

[…] We need to empower and reward learning, recognize the universal skills people have, and create a more open system of representation for people to display their earned expertise – one that goes beyond a traditional college degree.

[…]What we need instead are tools that can measure these inputs agnostically, augmenting irreplaceable human judgment with systematic rubrics to rank individuals according to their skills, achievements, and potential.

[…] We need to provide people with the tools they need to signal to the market what they can do and how they compare to others – not just a pedigree of logos and job titles.”

Why schools need to introduce computing in all subjects

“In his recent State of the Union address, President Barack Obama said schools need to offer every student hands-on computer science classes to be better prepared for the workforce.

President Obama is right: the next generation of learners will require a high level of fluency with modes of thinking in which computers act as interactive partners.

[…]There is widespread agreement that computing should play a more prominent role throughout our education system. For this reason, there have been more concerted efforts to increase computing classes in the K-12 grade levels.”

“In a society where machines are taking over more and more of our decision-making, we must acknowledge that the value of a university is not the academics who see their work as controlling access to specialised knowledge.

Rather, it’s that higher education institutions constitute spaces that encourage in-depth investigation into the nature of the world. The best university teachers don’t just focus on content because doing so would reduce their roles to information filters who simply make decisions about what content is important to cover.”

How software that learns as it teaches is upgrading Brazilian education

“It’s 10am on a sunny November day in Rio de Janeiro, and the scene inside the classroom is one of quiet application. At a dozen or so hexagonal tables, pupils work on laptops or in exercise books. At one of the clusters, a teacher sits to help a pupil, while another talks to a group of students at the far end of the room – a large salon in which almost half of the pupils at the school are seated. The rest of the school’s 213 students, aged between 11 and 14, are busy elsewhere in the building, which includes six small, more traditional classrooms.

Through the windows that run the length of the classroom, dark blue sea is visible in the distance, past green hills, while above the school Rocinha favela surges up the mountain in a clutter of concrete and peach-coloured brick.

This is André Urani Municipal School, a technology-focused experimental academy at the foot of Rocinha, which with 70,000 inhabitants is Rio de Janeiro’s largest favela. With almost all of its students drawn from the community, André Urani is a flagship adopter of an innovative educational software developed by a São Paulo startup, Geekie. Launched in 2011, Geekie Labs delivers the entire high-school syllabus in hundreds of digital lessons incorporating text, images, videos and exercises, and also evaluates the students’ performance at every step, feeding real-time data to teachers and the school. A separate, widely accessible app, Geekie Games, has the same components, bar the institutional integration.”

Education in America is on the cusp of a dramatic change. Will the country let it happen?

“Kids these days: Are they ready for the next generation of jobs? Whether there’s truly a shortage of engineers and scientists in the global workforce, either now or in the near future, is actually still a matter of debate.

In the US, that speculation is certainly being treated seriously.

Pressure has been mounting for some years now to bolster the country’s educational standards in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields, and the White House is now attempting to answer the call with a $4 billion proposal to bring computer science to K-12 students all over the country. Unveiled Feb. 9 as part of the Obama administration’s 2017 education budget, the program is hugely ambitious—if perhaps also a little questionable in its efficacy: As critics have pointed out, $4 billion is chump change next to the country’s overall half-trillion-dollar education budget, and the plan hinges on “continued investments” from states and districts.”

Computer Science, Meet Humanities: in New Majors, Opposites Attract

“Hannah Pho grew up playing the piano and went to a magnet high school for technology. When she applied to colleges and looked for programs that blended her seemingly disparate interests, she didn’t find many options.

She chose Stanford University, where she became one of the first students in a new major there called CS+Music, part of a pilot program informally known as CS+X.

Its goal is to put students in a middle ground, between computer science and any of 14 disciplines in the humanities, including history, art, and classics. And it reduces the number of required hours that students would normally take in a double major in those subjects.”

Science Is Not Your Enemy

“The great thinkers of the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment were scientists. Not only did many of them contribute to mathematics, physics, and physiology, but all of them were avid theorists in the sciences of human nature. They were cognitive neuroscientists, who tried to explain thought and emotion in terms of physical mechanisms of the nervous system. They were evolutionary psychologists, who speculated on life in a state of nature and on animal instincts that are “infused into our bosoms.” And they were social psychologists, who wrote of the moral sentiments that draw us together, the selfish passions that inflame us, and the foibles of shortsightedness that frustrate our best-laid plans.

These thinkers—Descartes, Spinoza, Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Rousseau, Leibniz, Kant, Smith—are all the more remarkable for having crafted their ideas in the absence of formal theory and empirical data. The mathematical theories of information, computation, and games had yet to be invented. The words “neuron,” “hormone,” and “gene” meant nothing to them. When reading these thinkers, I often long to travel back in time and offer them some bit of twenty-first-century freshman science that would fill a gap in their arguments or guide them around a stumbling block. What would these Fausts have given for such knowledge? What could they have done with it?”

MIT Dean Takes Leave to Start New University Without Lectures or Classrooms

Christine Ortiz is taking a leave from her prestigious post as a professor and dean at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to start a radical, new nonprofit university that she says will have no majors, no lectures, and no classrooms.

Many details about the new university are still undetermined, she says, but the basic idea is to answer the question, What if you could start a university from scratch for today’s needs and with today’s technology?”

Não é preciso estar dentro da escola para aprender, diz educador português

“Há 40 anos, uma escola em Portugal rompeu com as metodologias de ensino impostas a alunos e professores. Aboliu séries, provas, salas de aulas, disciplinas para garantir autonomia de aprendizado e fazer o estudo ter sentido para as crianças e os jovens. A Escola da Ponte fez sucesso, inspirou outros projetos em território português e aqui no Brasil.

A inspiração da Escola da Ponte levará à criação de estrutura mais ambiciosa no Brasil nos próximos meses. Segundo José Pacheco, idealizador do colégio português, no dia 23 setembro, a primeira Comunidade de Aprendizagem do Brasil será lançada. A experiência começará pela cidade de Cotia (SP), onde funciona o Projeto Âncora, já inspirado no modelo português.”

Doutorado Informal, criar sem depender da Academia

“Yaacov Hetch – educador israelense e estudioso da educação democrática – diz que muita gente acha que a vida das crianças que estudam nas escolas democráticas não requer muito esforço. Elas não têm que se submeter a aulas e disciplinas, mas  precisam sustentar-se num caminho autônomo de aprendizagem, escolhendo o que e como aprender, em interação com o mundo. Yaacov afirma exatamente o oposto do que tantas pessoas acreditam: buscar uma área de interesse, agir e refletir de forma auto coordenada demanda uma enorme reserva de força interior. E é exatamente assim com o doutorando informal: para seguir na espiral de aprendizagem que mais lhe encanta, é preciso empreender-se continuamente.”

Confessions of a MOOC professor: three things I learned and two things I worry about

“We have heard a lot of talk about MOOCs, or massive online open courses, over the last couple of years. On the plus side, MOOCs often draw enormous enrollments and are easy to sign up for and use; all you need, it seems, is an Internet connection and an interest to learn.

On the down side, they have significant attrition rates – about 90 percent of those enrolled never complete a course – and, according to their most alarmist critics, these courses may even threaten the jobs of college professors nationwide.

Indeed, despite the large dropout rate, MOOCs certainly end up serving a significant number of students. If the initial enrollment in a MOOC is 40,000 and only 4,000 actually complete the course, that’s still a lot of students compared to a traditional classroom. A professor teaching four courses a year in classes with 30 students each would have to teach for more than 33 years to reach 4,000 students.”

Technology is no longer a luxury for universities – it’s a necessity

“In the world’s new knowledge economy, innovation and technological change are recognised as the primary drivers of progress. Technological and digital literacy will be a crucial part of helping many countries move beyond their reliance on material resources.

Such literacy, and an understanding of technology in general, will also be crucial for university students. They will have to develop the ability to collaborate across multiple contexts, filter and synthesise information from a variety of sources. These skills will be necessary if students are to contribute to the world in the 21st century.”

Will video kill the lecturing star?

“You may have heard about the flipped classroom approach, in which lectures are viewed at home and class time is used for discussion, project work and other practical exercises. You may also have been wondering whether to bother with it, and how it actually would work in practice.

For our modules on conflict resolution and international relations, we have created short video lectures for our students – from first-year undergraduates to master’s – to watch at home. And when they come to class, we work on applying what they have already learned.”

Learning to live (on the future of learning)

“As new technological innovation is eating the world, the need to improve the connection between the academic and business world becomes dramatically urgent in order to predict future jobs. Our students need to be better prepared for an increasingly fast-paced and ever-changing job market and start using the relevant digital tools in a connected platform environment and more reflection towards a purposeful and meaningful future.

“Information Technologies have literally changed the way we work and live the past 20 years. New technological breakthroughs in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage and quantum computing will revolutionise our next 20 years at an exponential rate.” (Klaus Schwab — “The Fourth Industrial Revolution”) “.

US professors aren’t getting any more accepting of online learning—but students definitely are

“Online education comes with plenty of drawbacks. The cons tend to amplify when schools try to integrate e-learning into a broader bricks-and-mortar college experience: Students are said to get bored, learn less, or absorb only a portion of the intellectual atmosphere they’d find in physical classrooms.

Despite all that, online learning as part of university programs—also known as distance learning—has managed to wrangle more than a decade of continuous growth, according to an annual update from the Babson Research Group, which has tracked online education in the US since 2002. That’s even as higher education enrollment in the country in general is dropping.”

The Culture of Criticism

“Wherever we look today in academia, scholars are rushing to defend the Enlightenment ideas of political and individual liberty, human rights, faith in scientific reason, secularism, and the freedom of public debate. Why the worry? These ideas are, after all, enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. And yet, to hear the defenders of the Enlightenment, they are under assault. There is no shortage of enemies—from mullahs and Christian conservatives to science deniers and left-wing post-modernists.

Defending the Enlightenment has become an academic cottage industry with various camps hunkering down behind their own interpretations, and, in good academic form, attacking others. But recently, a few leading scholars have decided that it was necessary to present their defenses to a wider audience. Lynn Hunt’s Inventing Human Rights: A History (2007) was one of the first of such works; her argument made the case for Enlightenment values and the “soft power of humanity” in light of the use of torture by the U.S. government, but also, implicitly, because of the rise of new superpowers, like China, which openly reject human rights while embracing scientific progress. In The Enlightenment: And Why It Still Matters (2013), Anthony Pagden traced a history of Enlightenment philosophy, defending it from “theocracies” and the “fringe of the Christian right” that deny ideas of scientific progress, political liberty, and “global justice.”

What philosophy can tell Davos about educating for a better future

“How do you create a generation that can think its way out of problems and face the challenges of a rapidly changing world? The Davos meeting this year is all about how we can cope with the immense challenges posed by the so-called “Fourth Industrial Revolution” – an era of rapid and complex technological change, where our role in the world is resting on shifting sands.

The next generation of workers will have to be properly equipped to meet these enormous challenges. I believe that, if well-taught and using high-quality materials, philosophy classes can grant children, in Britain and across the world, extraordinary benefits as that era unfolds.”

REDUX: From Crisis to the University of Utopia aka MURI!

“We conclude this dark thematic week on University Crisis with our insistence to be also ‘tongue in cheek’. We remind both ourselves and others: when policy making is so absurd that it pushes one to the brink of tears, humour becomes the best tool of resistance! With these words we introduce to you the University of Muri, originally the fictional creation of critic and metaphysician Walter Benjamin and historian of Jewish mysticism and Philosopher Gershom Scholem.”

 

 

 

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