The rise of educational escape rooms, prior knowledge as an unexpected obstacle to learning, and why is it so hard to learn math?

August 2, 2016

The Rise of Educational Escape Rooms

The Atlantic

  • Over the last year, there’s been worldwide growth in educational escape rooms, and many educators are adapting the concept to fit the needs of their students—in both physical and digital learning environments. They’re an innovative way to bring technology and critical thinking into the classroom, and the benefits are twofold: Games have a history of promoting engagement in a learning environment, and the collaborative elements help students develop social skills.

Prior Knowledge as an Unexpected Obstacle to Learning

Faculty Focus

  • Prior knowledge is essential for learning because it helps us make sense of new ideas and information. But when that prior knowledge is incomplete, confused, or flawed, it can create barriers to learning. Even with all the necessary prerequisites met, students commonly begin courses with inadequate prior knowledge or with prior knowledge that is confused. What’s an expert to do?

Why Is It So Hard to Learn Math?

Michael Crow | LinkedIn

  • Language is hard. In fact, it’s infinitely harder and more complicated than math. And yet, nearly every small child can learn and master language. Why is math so overwhelming for so many students? And how high is the price we pay from having so many math-terrified or even math-illiterate people in our society? Too high, especially as the ability to grasp data and pursue advanced work that involves math is becoming increasingly important for both citizens and job applicants.

Disruptive Innovations in Learning

Stephen Downes

  • In this presentation, Stephen Downes outlines the characteristics of innovation and considers them in the light of educational technology. Downes also questions some major innovations from the perspective of idea, benefit and execution. Finally, he looks at the changing nature of benefits in education and takes learning beyond innovation and into transformation.

Pedagogy Before Technology

Connected Principals

  • Ross Cooper has some really interesting insights on learning. In his last post, he talks about the phenomenon of “Pokemon Go”, and how educators seem to be clamouring to embed into their classrooms this fall. Yet, in a world where constantly new technologies are so prevalent, simply adopting an “either/or” ideology could be limiting. According to Cooper, while technology has its place, we first and foremost want to make sure we’re prioritizing effective pedagogy.

Study Finds Chinese Students Excel in Critical Thinking. Until College.

The New York Times

  • A new study, by researchers at Stanford University, found that Chinese students lose their advantage in critical thinking in college. Critics argue that lack of motivation among students, apathy and poor teaching are eating away at advantages seen in primary and secondary schools. Many students believe that the gloomy job market is to blame for their lack of motivation, “Some students just give up, because no matter how hard they work, they still will never get their dream jobs.”

How to Become and Remain a Transformational Teacher


  • However talented, no one is a natural-born teacher. Honing the craft takes significant care and effort, not just by the individual, but also by the school at large. Transformational teachers share best practices, build mentoring relationships, observe their peers, keep things fresh, model their subject's usefulness, and demonstrate caring beyond what they teach.

14 Surprising Facts About Educators’ Social Media Use

eSchool News

  • Social media has fast become an educator’s dream, with almost immediate responses to questions about teaching strategies, resources, and professional development opportunities. But how are educators really using social media, and is it really as widely-used as everyone assumes? A survey of 1,000 K-8 educators reveals surprising results about social media use.

Learning Technology Strategy for the Modern Learner (Aug 3)
Supporting Community College Faculty & Administrator Engagement in Learning Outcomes Assessment (Aug 3)
Step-by-Step: Lesson Planning Using Universal Design for Learning (Aug 3)
Learn How Analytics Can Drive Student Success (Aug 4)

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Educause 2016 (Oct 25-28)
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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, 2016.

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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