Teaching Social Skills to Improve Grades and Lives

Educational Innovation Weekly Review for Academics
Curated by Tecnológico de Monterrey's Observatory of Educational Innovation
July 28, 2015
Contact us observatorio@itesm.mx
Teaching Social Skills to Improve Grades and Lives
The New York Times
  • Studies suggest that if we want many more children to lead fulfilling and productive lives, it’s not enough for schools to focus exclusively on academics. Indeed, one of the most powerful and cost-effective interventions is to help children develop core social and emotional strengths like self-management, self-awareness and social awareness.
  • “These early abilities, especially the ability to get along with others, are the abilities that make other kids like you, and make teachers like kids,” said Mark T. Greenberg, a professor of Human Development and Psychology at Penn State.
  • “Social and emotional learning has always been a critical foundation of education,” observes Ed Graff, superintendent of the Anchorage School District. “People are now at a point where they’re beginning to see the true value and benefits of it. It’s not something that’s a trend. It’s the fabric of what we do in education."
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/SocialSkills4Life

Keywords: education, social skills, 21st century skills, character education
What Does It Mean to Have ‘Grit’ in the Classroom?
The Atlantic
  • “If we think of noncognitive factors as all of the things that are not just content knowledge and academic skills that go into academic performance, then really we’re talking about psychological factors, emotional factors, social factors” as well other aspects that determine how a student learns, explained Camille Farrington, a leading scholar on noncognitive factors who’s based at the University of Chicago’s Consortium on Chicago School Research.
  • “A teacher who knows that all of that stuff is contributing to a young person’s ability to pay attention, to get involved, to get engaged, and think about what they are learning—that’s what we’re talking about when we talk about noncognitive factors.” These factors can be described as the art of learning—the technique and finesse a student uses when handling the challenges of receiving new, complex information.
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/GritAndClassroom

Keywords: education, noncognitive skills, 21st century skills, grit, character education
Lessons from the Digital Classroom
MIT Technology Review
  • In four small schools scattered across San Francisco, a data experiment is under way. That is where AltSchool is testing how technology can help teachers maximize their students’ learning. Founded two years ago, AltSchool runs schools filled with data-gathering technology.
  • AltSchool's goal is to create highly individualized instruction built on a system that can grow to reach a broad scale. Information is captured from the moment each student arrives at school. For part of the day, students work independently on “playlists” of activities that teachers have selected to match their personal goals. Data about each student’s progress is captured for teachers’ later review. 
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/EducatingData

Keywords: AltSchools, data analytics, big data, personalized learning
Campus Suicide and the Pressure of Perfection
The New York Times
  • In the United States, the suicide rate among 15- to 24-year-olds has increased modestly but steadily since 2007: from 9.6 deaths per 100,000 to 11.1, in 2013. Anxiety and depression, in that order, are now the most common mental health diagnoses among college students, according to the Center for Collegiate Mental Health at Penn State.
  • Elite colleges often make it difficult for students to take time off, and readmission is not always guaranteed, something frequently cited as a deterrent to getting help. Citing a “perception that one has to be perfect in every academic, cocurricular and social endeavor,” the task force report described how students feel enormous pressure that “can manifest as demoralization, alienation or conditions like anxiety or depression.”
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/CampusSuicide

Keywords: higher education, student life, elite universities, counseling
Universities assess remote tracking to maximise study habits
Financial Times
  • As universities explore the use of digital analytics to monitor youngsters’ online study habits, students are under more scrutiny than ever. First developed by the Open University, a new algorithm is able to predict a student’s final grade within a week of their starting their course.
  • The OU’s prediction mechanism works by combining data about how studiously the new recruits are reading their online textbooks, and how enthusiastically they are participating in web learning forums, with information about their social and economic backgrounds.
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/RemoteTracking

Keywords: education, data analytics, study habits
Taking Serious Games Seriously in Education
Educause Review
  • Games can serve as a means of not just developing domain-specific knowledge and skills but also identity and values key to professional functioning. The data from games enable understanding how students approach and solve problems, as well as estimating their progress on a learning trajectory.
  • Research on games and learning has moved from asking "Do games help students learn?" to "What features of games help students learn what kinds of knowledge, skills, and attributes?" Consumers of learning games can likewise demand more sophistication from the games available for educational purposes.
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/TakingGamesSeriously

Keywords: teaching and learning, games, gamification, student skills
Blackboard unveils totally redesigned learning platform
eCampus News
  • Blackboard is launching a new platform, called the New Learning Experience, which aims to bring together all of its various products and services under one roof, with the goal of making it seem more focused on students and learners, not administrators.
  • The goal is to get beyond the traditional LMS, said Jay Bhatt, President and CEO of Blackboard in a video outlining the launch. It is also designed to move with students, from K-12 to higher ed and possibly even beyond as they look for and land jobs after they graduate.
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/NewBlackboardLMS

Keywords: Blackboard, LMS
Transform Teaching With the Diffusion of Innovation
  • Effective teaching is a continual work in progress. As educators, we adapt our practice each year, we adopt new curricula and apply new standards and mandates. We are always on the lookout for new approaches and strategies demonstrated by educational research to work in the classroom. But all these changes can be hard.
  • For decades, social scientists have been studying how change happens, and you may find the implications of that research useful in endeavors to implement transformational teaching changes in your school with colleagues, administrators, parents, and other stakeholders
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/TeachingInnovation

Keywords: teaching and learning, educational innovation, educational trends
Importance of Social Media in Higher Education
EdTech Review
  • Social media plays an important role in every student’s life. It is easier and convenient to access information, provide information and communicate via social media. Teachers and students are connected to each other and can make good use of these platforms for the working of their education.
  • Professors use social media as a way of teaching by creating groups and accounts for students where the information can be accessed. One of the main reasons behind professors adapting to social media in classrooms is that they can do marketing via social media. Not only they are able to make the work easy but also are branding themselves professionally, creating a name for them in the community. 
Visit Website: http://bit.ly/SocialMediainEdu

Keywords: education, social media, teachers, collaboration, social networking
Educational Innovation Weekly Review is curated by Tecnológico de Monterrey's  Observatory of Educational Innovation. With the highlights of the week on innovation, technology and education. If you require more information about a specific note, please email us: observatorio@itesm.mx. TECNOLÓGICO DE MONTERREY, 2015.

Observatory of Educational Innovation

Tecnológico de Monterrey's Observatory of Educational Innovation: We identify and analyze the educational innovation trends that are shaping the future of learning and education. 

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