Beyond Academics: What a Holistic Approach to Learning Could Look Like

Educational Innovation Weekly Review for Academics
Curated by Tecnológico de Monterrey's Observatory of Educational Innovation
July 7, 2015
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Beyond Academics: What a Holistic Approach to Learning Could Look Like
  • From a child’s perspective, school, extracurricular activities and home are part of the continuous experience of life. From the perspective of teachers, coaches and parents, those experiences may seem more differentiated and are thus treated separately. 
  • However, if the adults in a child’s life approach his or her growth as a collaboration following a clear developmental path, every child will have a better chance at a life filled with choices and the skills to achieve goals, according to a report.
  • “Kids will be engaged in learning and internalize the academic side if you are also helping them work to develop in multiple ways,” said Jenny Nagaoka, lead author of the Foundations for Young Adult Success: A Developmental Framework and deputy director of the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research (CCSR). Engagement doesn’t come only from exciting content, but from a student’s own ability to self regulate, apply skills and find some relevance in the lesson.
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Keywords: education, learning, research, non-cognitive skills, social emotional learning
Microsoft launches new Minecraft in Education program
  • Microsoft its excited about what the world’s most popular video game could look like in the hands of more teachers. They’ve had folks running around the world looking at how the game is being used in classrooms everywhere. Now, with a new web destination,, they hope to support and encourage teachers as they explore the endless possibilities for using Minecraft in the classroom.
  • Minecraft is more than a game. It is a phenomenon that is literally shaping the consciousness of the next generation. At its best, Minecraft is a virtual indeterminate “maker-space,” a sandbox in which kids can practice both STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and ELA (English language arts) skills in a socially contextualized way. 
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Keywords: education, tech, Minecraft, gamification
The (possible) myth of young teachers being tech-savvy
The Hechinger Report
  • Older teachers, who tend to have more experience in the classroom, are more likely to say they feel ready to make use of the reams of data available through digital learning tools, according to a new survey. Younger teachers rate themselves as less ready.
  • More broadly, teachers of all ages report feeling inadequately prepared to use technology to enhance teaching and learning, according to a survey from the Software and Information Industry Association. “It’s hard to say,” said Susan Meell, CEO of MMS Education. “Is it because younger teachers are overwhelmed with teaching? Or is it because they are used to [technology] and are rating themselves at a lower level?”
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Keywords: education, technology, teacher development, professional development
Competency-Based Education: What We Learned from Experience
  • Mary W. Hendrix, Vice-President for Student Access and Success at Texas A&M University-Commerce, shares some of the lessons they have learned from experience in implementing competency-based education. In July 2012, the university began the process of establishing the first competency-based baccalaureate degree offered by a public university in the state of Texas.
  • For Hendrix faculty is crucial in CBE. "Faculty need to be involved from the beginning. Faculty led the process of learning what competency-based education is and is not, deliberating on what students should know and be able to do, and designing the curriculum, the instructional methods, and the assessment. This has been the most critical factor to the success of the program," Hendrix said. 
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Keywords: competency-based education, CBE, Texas A&M University-Commerce
Purdue Faculty Help Each Other Learn Steps of Tech Transfer
Campus Technology
  • To help innovators at Purdue University convert their technology ideas into commercial endeavors, the university is running a mentoring program where faculty help other faculty. Deliberate Innovation for Faculty (DIFF) is a team of faculty members who have already had success in moving an invention into commercialization. 
  • "This program not only allows faculty to help other faculty, but the experiences they gain from moving an innovation to commercialization also can enrich Purdue's academic goals," said Gary Bertoline, dean of the Purdue Polytechnic Institute.
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Keywords: faculty, innovation
Cornell Wants People to ‘Collide’ on Its New NYC Tech Campus
  • Designing “collision points,” or moments where individuals come together in spontaneous interactions, has long been a trendy idea. MIT’s famed Building 20 and the Pixar campus near San Francisco are two places designed to promote “crossing paths.”  This trend aligns with Cornell Tech’s overarching goal of building a “graduate school for the digital age."
  • “It’s about making connections between someone who might be working at Microsoft and some doctoral student who is working on ways of assembling information, and that rarely happens on an academic campus.” 
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Keywords: universities, technology, architecture
MIT Researchers Develop Model To Predict MOOC Dropouts
Campus Technology
  • Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a model that aims to predict when students will drop out of a massive open online course (MOOC). The model, presented at last week's Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, was trained on data from one course and is designed to apply to a wide range of other courses. 
  • "There's a known area in machine learning called transfer learning, where you train a machine-learning model in one environment and see what you have to do to adapt it to a new environment," said Veeramachaneni, a research scientist at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
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Keywords: MOOCs, online education, machine learning, MIT
Everything Teachers Need to Know about Project Based Learning - 6 Must Read Books 
Educational Technology and Mobile Learning
  • In its essence , project based learning is all about engaging learners in meaningful and goal-oriented learning activities. And technology is proved to be an effective means of creating and enhancing a PBL-based culture in and outside class. 
  • Today, we are grounding you in the theoretical as well as practical part of project based learning. We have selected for you some great books on PBL designed particularly for teachers and educators. These reads will definitely help you construct an informed understanding of what PB is all about and guide you towards a better implementation of its ethos in your teaching.
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Keywords: project-based learning, PBL, books
Why a Professor Asks Students to Exercise in Class
  • We know from studies of animals that exercise can improve learning and memory performance and decrease stress and anxiety lots. But how much of that research translates to humans? We can say with confidence that exercise is good for your brain but what I want to know, and this is the main work we’re doing in my lab, is exactly how much exercise you need.
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Keywords: health, education, brains, exercise
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: 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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