ICT · Springer · Teaching

Technology-Resiliency in Education

Techno-Resiliency in Education: A New Approach For Understanding Technology In Education

Title: Technology-Resisliency in Education

Author: Rob Graham

English | 2015 | ISBN: 3319220101 | 114 Pages

This book formulates a greater understanding of how to enable a capacity for building social professional practice related to technology-enriched teaching and learning (TETL) specific, but not limited to, educational settings.

Blended · Books · Data · Emerging Trends · Geography · Smart Education · Springer · Teaching

Data-driven approaches to Digital Education

Title: Data-driven approaches to Digital Education

Authors: Springer Conference

English | 2017 | ISBN: 3319666096 | 621 Pages
Data Driven Approaches in Digital Education: 12th European Conference

This book constitutes the proceedings of the 12th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, EC-TEL 2017, held in Tallinn, Estonia, in September 2017.

The 24 full papers, 23 short papers, 6 demo papers, and 22 poster papers presented in this volume were carefully reviewed and selected from 141 submissions.

The theme for the 12th EC-TEL conference on Data Driven Approaches in Digital Education’ aims to explore the multidisciplinary approaches that eectively illustrate how data-driven education combined with digital education systems can look like and what are the empirical evidences for the use of datadriven tools in educational practices.

Books · Emerging Trends · Storytelling

In It Together

Title: In IT Together

Authors: Debbie Zacarian, Michael Silverstone

English | 2015 | ISBN: 1483316777 | 184 Pages
In It Together: How Student, Family, and Community Partnerships Advance Engagement and Achievement in Diverse Classrooms 1st Ed

Harness the power of teacher, student, school, family, and community partnerships to promote student success

Teaching effectively in diverse classrooms has become more complex than ever. “Building meaningful relationships in education can be difficult, particularly when the parties involved are different from one another in identity, experience, and other ways. As a result, although in principle collaborations and partnerships in education are universally lauded, in practice they are often ignored. What we need are examples of partnerships that work. In it Together, by Debbie Zacarian and Michael Silverstone, suggests productive ways to work with, learn from, and form authentic relationships with diverse communities. Combining their abundant experience in classrooms and schools, and using examples from caring teachers in diverse classrooms, the authors demonstrate what it means to really be “in it together.” Teachers, administrators, and everyone who cares about the future of education in a diverse society will benefit from the strategies they suggest.”

Books · Smart Education · Springer · Uncategorized

Citizen, Territory and Technologies

Title: Citizen, Territory and Technologies

Author: Springer Conference

English | 2018 | ISBN: 3319613219 | 228 Pages

Citizen, Territory and Technologies: Smart Learning Contexts and Practices: Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference

This book gathers a selection of the articles accepted for presentation and discussion at the 2nd International Conference on Smart Learning Ecosystems and Regional Developments (SLERD 2017), held 22–23 June What characterizes smart learning ecosystems? What is their role in city and regional development and innovation? How can we promote the engagement of citizens in smart learning ecosystems? These are some of the questions addressed at SLERD 2017 and documented here.

The proceedings include scientific papers that endeavor to understand, devise and promote innovative human-centric design and development methods, education/training practices, informal social learning, and citizen-driven policies. The individual papers elaborate on the notion of smart learning ecosystems, study the relation of smart learning ecosystems with As such, they help to foster the social innovation sectors, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and economic development and deployment strategies, alongside new policies for smarter, proactive citizens – making them a valuable resource for researchers and policymakers alike.

Books · English · Routledge

Handbook of Writing, Literacy and Education in Digital Cultures

Title: Handbook of Writing, Literacy and Education in Digital Cultures

Author: Kathy A Mills
English | 2018 | ISBN: 1138206334 | 327 Pages
Handbook of Writing, Literacies, and Education in Digital Cultures

At the forefront of current digital literacy studies in education, this handbook uniquely systematizes emerging interdisciplinary themes, new knowledge, and insightful theoretical contributions to the field. Written by well-known scholars from around the world, it closely attends to the digitalization of writing and literacies that is transforming daily life and education. The chapter topics—identified through academic conference networks, rigorous analysis, and database searches of trending themes—are organized thematically in five sections:

– Digital Futures
– Digital Diversity
– Digital Lives
– Digital Spaces
– Digital Ethics

This is an essential guide to digital writing and literacies research, with transformational ideas for educational and professional practice. It will enable new and established researchers to position their studies within highly relevant directions in the field and to generate new themes of inquiry.

Books · Educational Philosophy · Emerging Trends · Research · Teaching

LEARNING to Realize Education’s Promise

Title: LEARNING to Realize Education’s Promise

Author: World Bank’s World Development Report

English | Oct. 16, 2017 | ISBN: 1464810966 | 239 Pages
World Development Report 2018: Learning to Realize Education's Promise

Every year, the World Bank’s World Development Report (WDR) features a topic of central importance to global development. The 2018 WDR―LEARNING to Realize Education’s Promise―is the first ever devoted entirely to education. And the time is right: education has long been critical to human welfare, but it is even more so in a time of rapid economic and social change. The best way to equip children and youth for the future is to make their learning the center of all efforts to promote education.
The 2018 WDR explores four main themes:
First, education’s promise: education is a powerful instrument for eradicating poverty and promoting shared prosperity, but fulfilling its potential requires better policies―both within and outside the education system.
Second, the need to shine a light on learning: despite gains in access to education, recent learning assessments reveal that many young people around the world, especially those who are poor or marginalized, are leaving school unequipped with even the foundational skills they need for life. At the same time, internationally comparable learning assessments show that skills in many middle-income countries lag far behind what those countries aspire to. And too often these shortcomings are hidden―so as a first step to tackling this learning crisis, it is essential to shine a light on it by assessing student learning better.
Third, how to make schools work for all learners: research on areas such as brain science, pedagogical innovations, and school management has identified interventions that promote learning by ensuring that learners are prepared, teachers are both skilled and motivated, and other inputs support the teacher-learner relationship.

Books · Coding · Gamification · Play · Teaching

Programming for the Puzzled

Title: Programming for the Puzzled

Author: Srini Devadas
English | ISBN: 0262534304 | 2017 | 272 pages
Programming for the Puzzled: Learn to Program While Solving Puzzles

Learning programming with one of “the coolest applications around”: algorithmic puzzles ranging from scheduling selfie time to verifying the six degrees of separation hypothesis.

This book builds a bridge between the recreational world of algorithmic puzzles (puzzles that can be solved by algorithms) and the pragmatic world of computer programming, teaching readers to program while solving puzzles. Few introductory students want to program for programming’s sake. Puzzles are real-world applications that are attention grabbing, intriguing, and easy to describe.

Each lesson starts with the description of a puzzle. After a failed attempt or two at solving the puzzle, the reader arrives at an Aha! moment – a search strategy, data structure, or mathematical fact – and the solution presents itself. The solution to the puzzle becomes the specification of the code to be written. Readers will thus know what the code is supposed to do before seeing the code itself. This represents a pedagogical philosophy that decouples understanding the functionality of the code from understanding programming language syntax and semantics. Python syntax and semantics required to understand the code are explained as needed for each puzzle.

The Puzzle Approach to Coding Mastery

Programming is a skill that’s easy to start learning. You can head over to a site like Codecademy and get up and running instantly. But once you finish a few introductory courses, it’s not as easy to keep making progress. You need another approach.

How to Get Better at Programming

There are two ways to keep learning a programming language once you have the basics down:


Option #1: Work on a project

The project could be your own project. Or if you have the right kind of job, you could convince your boss to let you work in a new language.

When you’re learning a programming language by working on a project, you should actually care what your program does. Don’t just code for the sake of practice. If you decide to learn Python by writing a Twitter client, then read and post to Twitter using your program. If neither you nor anyone else is going to use your project when it’s done, you should pick a different project.

Option #2: Work on puzzles

Programming puzzles are dreamed up solely for the sake of learning or competition. You write small programs to solve them. Once you’re done with a puzzle solution, you don’t use it for anything. It has no practical purpose.

Projects are a great way to learn programming. Since they involve solving a practical problem, you get to learn about requirements and scope trade-offs. You learn a wider variety of language features than you do with puzzles. You often find yourself maintaining your code over time, so you get to see the consequences of your design choices. Projects are great. Ultimately they’re the reason that you learn programming: so you can write programs that do useful things. But in this post, I’m going to focus on the benefits of working on puzzles.

What is a Programming Puzzle?

The programming puzzles I’m talking about consist of a problem statement, some sample input data, and the corresponding output data. The goal is to come up with an algorithm that takes any input data that meets the requirements explained in the problem statement, and outputs the correct results. A wide variety of puzzles can be expressed using this input text/process/output text format. For example, each input line could be a word, and the output could be all of the anagrams that can be formed by the letters in the word. Or each input line could contain numbers representing temperature and water flow limits, and the output could be the settings required to fill a bathtub as quickly as possible to a particular temperature.

Programming puzzles are often associated with competitive programming, since programming contests are all about solving them. For the purpose of this discussion, I’m talking about using puzzles to learn programming, not necessarily competitive programming. When someone says they’re practicing competitive programming, they usually mean that they’re preparing to compete in events, like Google Code Jam or a TopCoder Single Round Match. Although there are reasons to use that type of preparation, you can also use puzzles for their inherent learning benefits, without worrying about contests and ratings.

Advantages of the Puzzle Learning Approach

Learning a language using programming puzzles has some benefits that are more difficult to achieve using the project approach:

What you learn stays useful longer

Solving programming puzzles requires problem-solving techniques more than knowledge of technical infrastructure, like databases or network routing. The program runtime environment is as simple as it could possibly be: you read from standard input, process the data, and write your answers to standard output. The same approach was used 45 years ago in the first programming competitions. Since you don’t have to deal with environment details, all of your effort can go into problem solving and implementation using core language features.

When you’re learning a language by working on a project, you have a wider variety of topics to cover, and they tend to become obsolete faster. For example, consider a project in which you’re building a mobile app. In addition to the programming language that you’re using, you have to take into account how your app will run on different devices and whether you need to update it when new operating system versions appear. There are plenty of benefits to developing app development skills, but there is also a trade-off that leaves you with less time to develop expertise in a programming language.

You can compare your solution with someone else’s

You can learn a lot from reading someone else’s code. Even better is solving a problem and then comparing it with someone else’s solution to the same problem. While this arrangement is rare in real-world programming, you can do exactly that at puzzle sites that allow you to view others’ solutions. Even for those sites that don’t, you can often find solutions posted online. If you Google a UVa problem number, you’ll generally find numerous solutions. For CodeForces problems, you can find submitted solutions along with the problem. Solutions are helpful for getting you unstuck, and also for picking up new ideas. And since you have spent some time with the problem, it’s easier to understand the code that you’re looking at.

It’s useful preparation for technical interviews

Many companies prefer to use programming puzzles rather than technology-specific questions when interviewing candidates. This is a controversial topic that generates a lot of debate among programmers. Nevertheless, preparing for or at least tolerating these types of interviews gives you a wider range of jobs to choose from. For a summary of why these types of coding interviews are used, see Proving That You Can Juggle Code.

You can take advantage of gamification

Gamification is only slightly less controversial than coding interviews, but once again it can be useful if you can put aside any aversion you may have towards it. When you’re working on a project, you have to supply your own motivation. Programming puzzle sites, on the other hand, often come with badges and leaderboards. If you treat these as games, you can find yourself practicing regularly and making progress on your learning.

Where to Find Programming Puzzles

Even if you’re not interested in participating in competitions, contest sites are a good source of puzzles. UVa Online Judge and SPOJ have a large collection from many years of competitions. TopCoder, Codeforces, and CodeChef hold regular contests, so they are continually adding to their problem archives. Project Euler is a popular site with hundreds of problems. One thing to keep in mind though: they have more of a math emphasis than other sites. Unless you have a strong math background, you’ll probably end up studying more math than programming if you choose that one. My current preference is UVa Online Judge, as I’ll explain below.

How to Use Programming Puzzles

You’ll get some learning benefit from solving puzzles even with no particular study system. But the process known as deliberate practice is the most efficient way to get better at a complex skill like programming. One of the principles that distinguishes deliberate practice from regular practice is metacognition, or thinking about thinking. Rather than just solving puzzles, take the time to evaluate yourself as you work through each step of the solution. The best way to do this is to make notes as you work through the problems. When you encounter a difficulty, make a note of it so you remember to think about it later and look for ways to improve.

With programming practice, one of the most common challenges you’ll encounter early on is remembering syntax. An effective way to tackle this problem is to maintain a source file that you update whenever you need to look something up in the language documentation. This file helps solidify your language knowledge, and provides snippets of code that you can use as you solve other puzzles. You can find my version of this file on GitHub. As noted above, programming puzzles don’t draw on all of the features of a language. By maintaining a code reference, you can focus on the subset of the language that is most useful for puzzle solving.

Project 462

I’m trying out all of the ideas in this post as part of an experiment I’m calling Project 462. The number refers to the 462 starred problems on uHunt, a companion site to UVa Online Judge. If you want to try out the puzzle approach to coding mastery, uHunt is a reasonable place to get started. It provides a friendly interface to the UVa OJ problems, and a way to keep track of your progress.

One caveat: UVa OJ only supports C, C++, Java, and Pascal. If you want to use a different programming language, then another popular option is SPOJ, which supports over 45 languages.

Following Along

I post here every week on topics related to programming, learning techniques, and the programming puzzle approach. If you’re interested, you can follow along. I’m @RedGreenCode on Twitter, and you can find other ways to follow me on the RedGreenCode home page.

Books · Educational Philosophy · Experiential · Gamification · Play · Research · Springer · Teaching

Creativity, Technology & Education

Title: Creativity, Technology & Education

Authors: The Deep-Play Research Group
English |  2018 | 124 Pages | ISBN : 3319702742

Creativity, Technology & Education: Exploring their Convergence
In this collection of beautifully written essays, Mishra, Henriksen, and the Deep-play Research Group challenge myths about technology and creativity, debate time-honored instructional practices, and play with new ideas for schools to care for and nurture, rather than constrain, creativity. These essays are provocative … refreshing, [and] insightful —Dr. Yong Zhao, Foundation Distinguished Professor, University of Kansas and Fellow, Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy, Victoria University, Australia.
What is creativity? Why is it important? What does it look like across different disciplines and contexts? What role does technology play, if any, in the creative process? And finally, what do creativity and technology have to do with education? These are the questions that underlie the collection of articles in this book.

These essays provide a broad analytic frame for thinking about creativity, technology and education and describe classroom examples as well as strategies for evaluating creative artifacts and creative environments. All of these are grounded in specific examples from across a wide range of disciplines and contexts—art, mathematics, engineering, computer science, graphic design, architecture, science to name just a few. The final essays take a broader perspective on creativity and technology focusing both on our highly inter-connected YouTube world but also possibilities for the future.

Creativity, Technology & Education: Exploring their Convergence is a vital resource for educators and practitioners as they seek to incorporate creative work and thoughtful pedagogy in their personal and professional lives.

Books · Coding · Computer Science · Emerging Trends · Programming · Teaching

Connected Code

Title: Connected Code

Author: Yasmin B Kafai
English | July 18th, 2014 | ISBN: 026252967X | 200 pages

Connected Code: Why Children Need to Learn Programming
Why every child needs to learn to code: the shift from “computational thinking” to computational participation.

Coding, once considered an arcane craft practiced by solitary techies, is now recognized by educators and theorists as a crucial skill, even a new literacy, for all children. Programming is often promoted in K-12 schools as a way to encourage “computational thinking” – which has now become the umbrella term for understanding what computer science has to contribute to reasoning and communicating in an ever-increasingly digital world.

In Connected Code, Yasmin Kafai and Quinn Burke argue that although computational thinking represents an excellent starting point, the broader conception of “computational participation” better captures the twenty-first-century reality. Computational participation moves beyond the individual to focus on wider social networks and a DIY culture of digital “making.”

Kafai and Burke describe contemporary examples of computational participation: students who code not for the sake of coding but to create games, stories, and animations to share; the emergence of youth programming communities; the practices and ethical challenges of remixing (rather than starting from scratch); and the move beyond stationary screens to programmable toys, tools, and textiles.

Books · Portfolio · Presentations · Storytelling · Teaching

Digital Portfolios in the Classroom

Title: Digital Portfolios in the Classroom

Author: Matt Renwick (Author, Contributor)
ASCD | English | 2017 | ISBN-10: 1416624643 | 165 pages

Digital Portfolios in the Classroom

Assessment is messy. Day-to-day, in-the-moment assessments not only reveal information that drives future instruction but also offer a comprehensive picture of students’ abilities and dispositions toward learning. As teachers, we might know what this looks and feels like, yet it can be hard to put into action”hence the messiness.

Say hello to digital student portfolios”dynamic, digital collections of authentic information from different media, in many forms, and with multiple purposes. Using digital portfolios to capture student thinking and progress allows us to better see our students as readers, writers, and learners”and help students see themselves in the same way!

Matt Renwick’s <em>Digital Portfolios in the Classroom</em> is a guide to help teachers sort through, capture, and make sense of the messiness associated with assessment. By shining a spotlight on three types of student portfolios”performance, process, and progress”and how they can be used to assess student work, Renwick helps educators navigate the maze of digital tools and implement the results to drive instruction.