EDUCATION UPDATE 8/19/15

Image source: Chung Ho Leung, Flicker, 8/18/15

Image source: Chung Ho Leung, Flicker, 8/18/15

Taking Notes: Is The Pen Still Mightier Than the Keyboard?

The answer to the title question may seem obvious, but the question is still worth asking since digital note-taking increases with the rising appearance of digital tools in the classroom. Two researchers take on the task of testing whether comprehension of a lecture is higher when taking notes longhand or digitally. The results found that students typing on a laptop transcribed the content verbatim and took more notes, but comprehended less than the longhand note-takers when tested shortly after the lecture. The researchers also tested a third “intervention” group, where the subjects were told when  “taking notes on a computer, verbatim notes weren’t a good way to remember and notetakers should slow down.” Longhand note-takers still performed better in comprehension, illustrating the method aids in processing and recalling information.

Image source: AP, usnews.com; 8/10/15

Image source: AP, usnews.com; 8/10/15

Teachers Hope to Take Guitar-Themed Lessons Into Classrooms

A new program in Laramie, WY, is teaching 18 educators during a 5-day workshopHosted by Laramie High School (LHS) and the University of Wyoming, the workshop developed from a partnership between the National STEM Guitar Project and the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education Centers. The workshop’s goal is to teach qualified educators to build their own solid-body guitar and integrate related STEM lessons in the classroom. Pete Kontaxes, a participant in the workshop, said “he could create an entire course based on the science of the guitar, including topics such as sound waves, the tensile strength of wood and the laws of strings, among others.” At the end of the workshop, participants take home a signed copy of the LHS principal’s guitar along with their own.

film-fest-classroom-makeovers-thinkstock

Five-Minute Film Festival: Classroom Makeovers to Engage Learners

I’m switching up the format a little on this post with a short, fun film festival  posted on the blog, Edutopia, which curated 9 short videos showing how some educators are mixing up their classroom spaces. The design of a classroom, especially one that is overcrowded, can at times be a challenging environment to facilitate learning. Most educators intuitively understand where children spend much of their time can impact how students learn. These videos highlight the questions: How important is environment to learning? What small changes can you make in seating, organization, lighting, and decor to build your own space into a better place to teach and learn? Watch now! 

Education Update is a weekly blog post highlighting recent developments in the world of education. The linked articles and summaries are not endorsements, rather frame points of view to begin conversations about the state of education, trends, and how we as designers can play an active role in shaping schools.

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