Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Collaboration and Learning

According to a study by American Institutes for Research, collaborative group work may help support students' individual needs. This study looked at whether student-centered learning could happen within the context of group work. It focused on four unidentified high schools, two in the Southeast, one in New England and one in the Midwest.  Almost 90 percent of the students responded that they had learned through collaboration in their math and English classes. Zeiser and her colleagues found that the more that students reported experiencing high-quality group work, the more they also reported that their individual learning needs were met. Zeiser speculates that’s because students often choose their projects or topics and how they will conduct the projects and divide up tasks. Higher amounts of high-quality group work were also strongly associated with students feeling engaged with their schoolwork and feeling more motivated.

Surr, W., Zeiser, K. L., Briggs, O., & Kendziora, K. (2018). Learning with others – A study exploring the relationship between collaboration, personalization, and equity. Washington, D.C.: American Institutes for Research.

Internet Connecting the Classrooms

According to a new analysis by the nonprofit broadband advocacy group EducationSuperHighway, more than 44 million students now learn in classrooms with high-speed internet connections, up from just 4 million five years ago. The group’s 2018 State of the States report says such “incredible progress” puts the U.S. on the cusp of providing broadband connections to nearly every public school in the country, the goal set by President Barack Obama in 2013. The report states that the median bandwidth delivered by districts meeting the FCC's minimum connectivity target has continued to grow, showing schools' desire to continually expand their internet usage.

EducationSuperhighway (2018). 2018 State of the states: Expanding digital learning to every classroom, every day. San Francisco, CA: EducationSuperhighway.

Virtual Reality Aiding Memory

In this paper, the researchers explore whether using virtual memory palaces in a head-mounted display with head-tracking (HMD condition) would allow a user to better recall information than when using a traditional desktop display with a mouse-based interaction (desktop condition). The study found that virtual memory palaces in HMD condition provide a superior memory recall ability compared to the desktop condition. The researchers believe this is a first step in using virtual environments for creating more memorable experiences that enhance productivity through better recall of large amounts of information organized using the idea of virtual memory palaces.

Krosos, E., Plaisant, C., & Varshney, A. (2018). Virtual memory palaces: Immersion aids recall.
Virtual Reality.