Guided Deep Learning and the Future of Assessment

Victory’s spinoff metacog has been busy adding new features and functionalities. When companies look to incorporate metacog into their digital products, they want to know two things:

  1. How does metacog work?
  2. What can metacog help me do now that I couldn’t do before?

The answers to both questions lie in our unique approach to guided deep learning: machine learning steered by an understanding of real student outcomes.

Deep Learning

In education, deep learning is different from deeper learning, which is a pedagogical approach to instruction. In the world of Big Data, deep learning is an artificial intelligence (AI) approach that creates neural networks in which each “neuron” is a computer processor. This structure mimics how the human brain works in parallel processing.

Deep learning can be very effective, but it has a drawback: neural networks are so complex that we can’t know how they arrive at certain decisions. Continue reading

Pathways to Translation Solutions

To translate is defined as “to render or express in another language.” It also means to explain in simple language, to interpret or infer significance, and to transform or convert. A translation involves all of these aspects and more. Expert translation requires:

  • command of the source and target languages,
  • a deep understanding of the cultural context and nuances of both languages,
  • insightful knowledge of correlated idioms and etymology between the languages,
  • familiarity and experience in the subject matter, and
  • the ability to convey the same meaning expressed in the original message.

Can Machine Translation Do the Work?

Continue reading

EdTech Round Up (May 2017)

By now, we know that EdTech is here to stay. Not only has “classroom” education expanded to include digital classrooms and smart technology, but pedagogical theories have found ways to embrace EdTech too. So EdTech isn’t just a trend, it’s a movement that touches just about every corner of teaching and learning. As these links from around the web show, educators and thinkers are finding new applications for technology.

Gamification

Designers have rushed to align learning products with the buzzy idea of gamification, but what does gamification actually do to the learning process? While it’s important to understand more about key learning styles, engagement is likely the reason that gamification helps students process information more efficiently. And anecdotal evidence certainly points to increased student involvement and fun when games are involved.

www.thetechedvocate.org/how-does-gamification-affect-the-learning-process/

Mobile Technology

Continue reading

Curriculum Round Up

curriculum_120x105

Curriculum is changing. Schools are moving towards competency-based assessment and personalized learning is becoming popular in many districts. Many states are moving away from the Common Core. All of these issues affect what is being taught in the classroom. How to keep up with the trends and movements? Here are some links to help keep you abreast of what is happening now.

Personalized Learning

Is it right for your students? Here’s a definition and explanation of personalized learning that will help you decide if it would work for your students.

http://k12education.gatesfoundation.org/college-readiness/personalized-learning/

Competency-based Assessment

Continue reading

Building Curricula for Makerspaces

What’s the difference between makerspaces and other trends in EdTech?

Well, in fact makerspaces don’t just represent one trend but rather all of them. That’s because these hybrid computer labs/art studios/machine shops can encompass any educational device or technology a maker might want to put into them. The sky’s the limit, and more schools and libraries are beginning to take notice and incorporate makerspaces into innovative curricula.

Makerspace

What happens in makerspaces?

Makerspaces are places where learners can make things. Students are encouraged to:

  • create
  • experiment
  • tinker
  • collaborate

Continue reading

10 Benefits of Gap Analysis

The educational market is in flux. States are pushing back from both Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and assessments linked to the CCSS. States and publishers are waiting to see:

  • Will funding be directed to charter schools?puzzle-silo-small
  • How many more states will drop out of the CCSS?
  • Will states want summative, formative, or competency-based tests?
  • How will products align to changing state standards?
  • What products should states, districts, and publishers develop to meet current market needs?

Many states are moving to create their own standards. How will these new standards affect the educational market? What steps must states and publishers take?

All the uncertainty in the market calls for gap analyses. A gap analysis identifies how current products are aligned to new standards, which standards still correlate, and what’s missing—gaps where new standards are not well covered.gap-analysis-circle

Publishers need to ensure that their products and assessments readily address the changing needs of states and districts.

States and districts need to know how their new standards align to older standards. Since most states adopted CCSS, new standards usually are analyzed and compared to CCSS.

What actions are taken during a gap analysis?

Continue reading

4 Keys to Developing Spanish Assessments

world-languages

World Languages & Education #1 … an ongoing series

As we discussed in recent posts, the assessment market is in flux. But this is nothing new. The passage of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) in 2002 disrupted the market, and for some companies this turned out to be a boon, as spending on state-level assessments nearly tripled in the next 6 years. As you can see from this graph, state-level assessment spending has decreased since 2008, while classroom assessment spending has continued to grow.

Assessment-Spending-Graph

Source: based on Simba data reported by Education Week.

Just as the change in 2002 represented an opportunity for many companies, the shifts we see now may also have a silver lining. And for one area in particular, Spanish assessments, there may be continued growth, especially in the classroom market. Why? Regardless of other shifts that may occur, students with Spanish as the first language comprise by far the largest population among English Language Learners (ELL) in the United States, at 71%, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

Continue reading

9 Key Indicators to Watch in Assessment

assessments_120x105Assessment in Education #1 … an ongoing series on assessment

d3b15e0e-e320-474b-898e-9306d365fcbc

 

The assessment market is a billion-dollar business. However, the market is in flux and no one can predict what will happen. Here are 9 key indicators to watch in 2017:

1. Uncertainty over the new administration’s educational policies

On the campaign trail, the president said that CCSS had to go and implied that states should control education policy. These two quotes give some indication of what might happen:

“I want local education. I want the parents, and I want all of the teachers, and I want everybody to get together around a school and to make education great.”

“Common core is out!”

[Source: EdWeek]

2. New secretary of education supports charter schools/vouchers

Continue reading

Why It’s Critical to Implement Civics Lessons and the C-3 Framework

Recently, citizens once again exercised their right to vote. They used the power of voting to have their voices heard. But what does it all mean? Now is the time for civics lessons that teach students civic responsibility. As the saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words,” and students must know how to act, deciding which actions are responsible and which are not. How do students treat others while making their voices heard? Civics lessons provide answers to these questions.

“Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.” —John Locke

Focus on the Thinking and Motivation Behind Actions

Students need to see that every civic action has a reaction and a consequence. The actions establish a chain of events; each action is linked to a subsequent one.


© Nevit Dilmen [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
The heart of civics lessons is not necessarily the content, but rather understanding the thinking and motivation behind the actions taken by individuals or groups. When students read about events in history, they should be able to answer the following questions:

Continue reading

Top 10 Victory Blogs in 2016

What are your colleagues exploring? From instructional design to visual literacy to interactive lessons, here’s one way to find out: the top ten Victory blogs from 2016.

This year we had 6,187 unique visitors to our blog, and more than 2,100 of you kept coming back. Our top blog had 432 unique page-views, and it kept people interested for an average of 5 minutes. Yet we know we can do even better this year! Help us deliver educational insights that are important to you: request a Victory blog topic for 2017.

Top 10 Victory Blog Posts in 2016

1. Instructional Design 101
In educational publishing, design often refers to graphic design—envisioning and creating the visual look and feel of a book or product. However, graphic design is just one small part of another field of design essential to creating educational materials—instructional design.

2. Design: The Secret Behind Effective Digital Learning Experiences—Part 2
Imagine being able to see evidence of students’ analysis, the kinds of suppositions they make, and when and how they change their minds even before they write about it. Picture literally watching how their prior investigations influence their subsequent decisions. What if we could recognize not only students’ conclusions, but how their close reading of a text (or struggles with it) shapes their entire decision-making process?

3. U.S. Education Market Snapshot: English Language Learners (ELLs)
Overall, the number of ELL students in U.S. public schools is increasing steadily. According to the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), ELLs are the fastest growing segment of the student population. Growth in grades 7–12 is the highest and now comprises 10.5% of the nation’s K–12 enrollment. The number of ELL students in elementary grades is also increasing.

Continue reading