Category Archives: Thinks Big Picture
Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning conjures both positive and negative opinions on these terms. For those into gaming, the many multi-player games on computers and gaming systems have incredible reaction times and awe-inspiring environments. For this into TV games, IBM’s Watson made quite a splash on the quiz show Jeopardy in 2011 against former winners Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings. And for movie-goers, Terminator’s Skynet world domination over the course of five films.
In the world of education, opportunities for teachers and students to create and design reactionary systems have found a common place thanks to a renewal in coding and making. Now to take this learning to higher level, there are children’s toys on the market that learn from the children that own them, there are robot/webcam systems that learn facial expressions, software systems that recognize a human voice and there is a great game below designed by Google Developers that shows a method that programmers use to teach computers to recognize in this case, hand drawing. It is called Quick, Draw! and it is a game where a neural net tries to guess what you’re drawing.
Watch the video to get the gist of Quick, Draw!
Are you ready? Do you want to train a “computer”? Go to https://quickdraw.withgoogle.com/ and have fun.
Questions to ask students:
- why would training a computer/system be important?
- if you could create one yourself, what would you like the computer/system to be able to do?
- besides the examples share in the post above, are there other movies, TV shows, articles, songs depicting artificial intelligence and/or machine learning? Share them with each other and on this post.
I just recently read Brian Aspinall’s (@mraspinall) blog post on Coding: Developing Rigorous Thinkers where he discusses the reason why students should learn to code – to think, problem solve, take risks, modify their work through trial and error, etc. All the competencies (specifics from Alberta Education) we want them to engage and grow as learner and it reminded me of an amazing TED Talk from Andrew Pelling where he “grows” human ears from other objects that you would never suspect.
He also recently founded pHacktory which is an independent research lab founded on extreme play, curiosity, undertaking audacious projects, taking risks and learning from failure.
I wonder how we could take Andrew’s zest for engaging in dramatic and disruptive learning and put it into our learning environments?
This is such a powerful and emotion story! Grab some tissues, sit down for 17 minutes and take time to watch this video. As you do so, think about:
- How can we design learning opportunities for students to experience a variety of different technologies so that they can communicate, create, and connect?
- What does independence mean to you?
- What is your definition of an Inclusive Classroom? How can you create one? Who can support you along this journey?
And many more concepts are certainly part of the education vernacular in 2016. These are not new concepts, however what is NEWer, is that schools, administrators and teachers are re-inventing the use of flexible learning opportunities by changing how the school day looks and feels. No more, ALL students should use the same No.2 pencil AT THE SAME TIME, but more time given by teachers to provide a space for students to engage in some really interesting learning.
The commercial below reminded of the amazing ‘innovative’ work that I get to see within PSD70 and via the #psd70 hashtag of engaged and effective learning!
To continue your learning, check out:
- LAUNCH new book by John Spencer and A.J. Juliani
- IDEO’s work
- The Virtual Crash Course in Design Thinking with Stanford’s DSchool
ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT (also ENGAGED THINKER, ETHICAL CITIZEN)
The Alberta Education system should strive to install the following qualities and abilities in our students:
- Engaged Thinker: who thinks critically and makes discoveries; who uses technology to learn, innovate, communicate, and discover; who works with multiple perspectives and disciplines to identify problems and find the best solutions; who communicates these ideas to others; and who, as a life-long learner, adapts to change with an attitude of optimism and hope for the future.
- Ethical Citizen: who builds relationships based on humility, fairness and open-mindedness; who demonstrates respect, empathy and compassion; and who through teamwo9rk, collaboration and communication contributes fully to the community and the world.
- Entrepreneurial Spirit: who creates opportunities and achieves goals though hard work. perseverance and discipline; who strives for excellence and earns success; who explores ideas and challenges the status quo; who is competitive, adaptive and resilient; and who has the confidence to take risks and make bold decisions in the face of adversity.
- Some great documentation is found with the Cross Curricular Competencies, created by the Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium (ERLC).
- Critical Challenges found in Alberta’s Social Studies Program of Studies (password-protected). Once in LearnAlberta portal, then search “Critical Challenges” and you’ll find a goldmine of resources!
- The Critical Thinking Consortium is also a great place for these resources. Some free but to dig into some more amazing stuff, get a membership! They also have some Critical Challenges but also so many more resources.
At the end of May, I had an opportunity to spend 1.5 days with some pretty ‘smart’ people regarding how emerging technologies can hold both a promise and a peril for individuals, families and communities. The evening lecture and the day long Invitational Research Colloquium on Growing Up Digital in Alberta: Children, Youth and Society shared some amazing findings. (I will make my best attempt at summarizing what these incredible experts shared.)
The evening was an overview and open to the public while the colloquium was invitational and hosted a variety of professionals and diverse groups from across the province. A few goals to think about as you delve further into this subject:
- To consider the extent to which technologies are (re) shaping the minds and bodies of children and youth
- To explore the neuroscience and psychology of digital distraction(s)
- To identify the issues, perspectives and contentions emerging from current Canadian and American research
- To discuss the 2015 findings of the Harvard University, Alberta Teachers’ Association and University of Alberta longitudinal study on Growing Up Digital (GUD) in Alberta
- To generate key questions to guide policy decisions and future research on emerging technologies, learning, teaching and the well-being of children and youth
Our expert speakers were:
Larry Rosen is a research psychologist with specialties in multitasking, social networking, generational differences, parenting, child and adolescent development, and educational psychology, and is recognized as an international expert in the “Psychology of Technology.”
Michael Rich came to medicine after a 12-year career as a filmmaker. His current areas of health research and clinical work combine his experience and expertise in medicine and media, making him the world’s first “mediatrician.”
Here is a visual and audio (I created) summary of Larry and Michael’s presentations. While watching and listening, think about:
How does this information challenge or affirm current practices and policies?
What key research areas or essential questions require further exploration?
Yet there is more. Watch the following THREE videos that continue this conversation and research on this topic.