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Some News

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Personally, I'm not a Facebook user, but I am still deeply vested in the practices of Silicon Valley's infamous geeky and down-to-earth gajillionaire couple,  Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. Business Insider was kind enough to share quotes from Mark Zuckerberg's recent FB post on his wife and his new Chan Zuckerberg Initiative- inspired by their first daughter, Max!


The new parents are donating a whopping "99% of their Facebook shares — about $45 billion — to advancing human potential and promoting equality... The new company will fund nonprofits, make private investments, and participate in policy debates, focusing initially on personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people, and building strong communities."


Personalized learning is truly the way to go in education. While I was working closely with the Digital Solutions team, I was fortunate enough to sit in on the software development team's ideation phase where they brainstormed activities and resources that made the learning experience more at pace with individual students. This is how I learned that LaunchPad's LearningCurve adaptive quizzing activity is already fulfilling the personalized learning pathway. While this can be scary- thinking about computers memorizing student learning patterns and adjusting to each individuals' pace, it is proven to be more effective and to receive more participation by multitasking/distracted students.

My thoughts now go out to how can we make LearningCurve even more personalized, when will we be able to release this to students and teachers, and last, how can we make graphing activities more adept to personalized learning.


Congratulations to the birth of the Facebook princess and hoorah for the Zuckerberg Chan Initiative supporting the functionality that LearningCurve provides.

Mark Zuckerberg has a girl named Max - Business Insider


and more on LearningCurve as a learning and teaching tool


- SN

ugh are we too late?

Posted by sarah.nguyen Employee Nov 11, 2015

When I applied for my current position as Development Editor for Economics, I had to submit a writing/analysis sample of my impression on a chapter within a current principles book. I remember suggesting we include tags on how concepts and theories could relate to vocational opportunities. Sometimes I like to convince myself that my random ideas are that amazingly persuasive, but my employment is most likely because I have a degree from University of California's economics program. Either way, I have found countless crossovers from my courses to my job search and to my daily work environment. I wish the correlation between concepts and work force life were more prominently pointed out to me while I was a student. These days those graphs and derivatives seem much more tangible on how to understand my better decision-making. (Plz excuse my bias since I'm surrounding myself with econ and edu here, but I swear this is only after climbing my way through various companies and industries!)


Anyway, a little bit late, but I saw this federally funded contest (kudos Michelle O.) announcement on creating the "Best Mobile Vocational Advice App". While including hints and marginal bubbles in principles books might not be as fancy as giving youngins' a finger swipe to find their dream career, this is quite exciting for the future of upping our human capital:

The Reach Higher Initiative and U.S. Department of Education Launch Mobile App $225K Competition to Help Students Prepare for their Future


So... should we include a new book feature that give students ideas on career paths? That might step on our College Success group's toes but we're all supporting the same thing here!



xkcd: MarketWatch



The evidence is mostly based off of secondary schooling but there's still good support for us LaunchPadders and Flipit-ists in yesterday's article from Ed Week Teachers: Technology Isn't Bad for Students. In Fact, It's Character Building.

With self-paced programs in which content is dictated by the progress of the individual user, for example, students aren’t forced to move on to new online lessons as they might be in a regular class lesson. So they get the choice to take their time and coast through lessons or work diligently to excel through. The learners have the ultimate control, and thus they develop self-awareness of their work and ownership of their learning.

^^ FlipIt and LearningCurve are "self-paced programs" and honestly, I could've used much more "self-awareness" of my "work and ownership of [my] learning" back in the day. So much more.

Whether it’s the software or the hardware, they need to learn how to navigate such issues. At first, students will immediately ask for help in addressing technical problems. But as they observe more and more issues get resolved, they figure out how the systems work and develop the courage to try problem solving themselves. They figure out that they can try some tricks (refreshing a page or restarting the system, to name a couple) and see if their hypotheses work.
^^ Can we spin interactions with Tech Support to be a problem-solving learning experience? e.g. How did that phone call with the tech support agent relate to deriving the deadweight loss of city bike share programs?


- SN