Is the body the next breakthrough in education tech?

Remember those teacher preparation courses you took when you learned about kinesthetic learning and figured that was just for kids in shop class, art, dance, or gym? Think again.
Favorite quote:
“The richer the perceptual experience provided by the computer program, the greater the students’ understanding and retention of the material.”

Is the body the next breakthrough in education tech? | Hechinger Report.

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Your students are prepared for the test…but not for life.

Kudo’s to A. J. Juliani’s guest blog post on Edutopia about employing the smart “20% time” concept to schools. Innovated originally by Google (heard of them, right?) it is the practice of allowing people 20% of their work time (read school time) working on anything they want to that is related to their passions and interest.
Did you catch that? Their interests – not the employer’s or, in this case, the teacher’s or school’s.
Your students are probably doing great. They’re learning what the state and district say they must. They’re scoring well on tests and quizzes. They may even be doing well on the tests you and your colleagues have been so intent on preparing them to take.
But would they do any of this if they didn’t have to? What will they do when they leave school and there’s no one there to tell them what to think about, care about and do to make them feel the bliss of following their passions?
I suggest that you can help them to develop this sense of passion – and at the same time improve interest, engagement and performance in your courses if you gave them 20% of their time to work on a project – related to your course – that they defined and were interested in pursuing.
Have you tried it already?
If so, how’d it go?
If not – why not?
I challenge you to give it a shot. Heck, do it for a month and see what your kids come up with.
But be sure to come back here and share what you experienced.

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Where’s the squeak?

A colleague of mine shared a story from her past life as a product manager for a large personal care product company. The company has a very core belief in what makes a high-quality skin cleansing product (yep…people actually think about that stuff). However when they took their product to certain Asian countries, their market research found a significant issue: Their product didn’t ‘squeak’ when rubbed on the skin. The company that had, until that time, had a veritable corner on the Asian skin cleanser market had trained consumers that the sound of ‘squeaky’ skin meant the skin was clean. In fact, it really meant that the skin was very dry – something that was completely opposite to the core product values of my colleague’s company.

So what did they do?

They added ‘squeak’. They changed their product so that it squeaked when rubbed, while not compromising their product (it still didn’t dry out your skin).

This made me think. What’s the ‘squeak’ that traditional educational models and systems have trained students and families to look for to prove their getting a ‘quality education’? What are those things that parents and students expect that – while it may make them feel good about their school – really has no positive impact on the effectiveness of their education?

I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts on where we have – explicitly or implicitly – added squeak where it was not necessary.

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