Category: Innovation

The campaign trying to make subtitles the default for kids’ TV

“If you suddenly found subtitles on your children’s Netflix account last year – that wasn’t a coincidence”

This story starts back in 2019, when Henry Warren had a conversation with Oli Barrett over coffee about a news article that Oli had read on how turning on subtitles on children’s TV content had a dramatic positive impact on their reading proficiency, writes Nina Hale from the Turn On The Subtitles campaign. 

Slightly sceptical but intrigued, the two sought out the academic who had conducted the study and took his research, along with a mountain of similar studies, to The National Literacy Trust to review.

Once validated, they set off on a quest to make sure this information reached every household with young children.

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Global partnerships: together we are an ocean

“Individual strengths joined together on a global level can, indeed, move mountains”

The esteemed Japanese writer Ryūnosuke Akutagawa once wrote: “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.”

As human beings, we know that we are stronger when we work together rather than when we work in isolation, says Class2Class’ Suzanne Orzech. Akutagawa’s words seem to have come to life on a global scale as we look at the plethora of global educational partnerships that have emerged recently, thanks to human ingenuity and the desire to keep moving forward despite extreme global challenges.

Class2Class is excited to provide the technology solutions to many global pioneers who have come together to develop virtually collaborative courses, projects, and internships as an affordable and inclusive model for international education with other universities, NGOs and businesses around the world during a time of limited physical mobility. What is truly inspiring to see is the evolution of collective thought.

As different and varied as all of these partnerships are, they have the same goal in mind: advance international education and make it accessible to all, despite some extremely severe obstacles.

Resilient teaching in times of change

“Minimise the dependency on specific tools or activities so that if we lost those features, the classes would still work”

Resilience is the ability to spring back to your original shape, and that applies to teaching in a big way.

As highlighted in a recent Coursera white paper, resilient teaching is the ability to facilitate learning, designed to be adaptable, to fluctuating conditions and disruptions.

It is a teaching ability that can be seen as an outcome of a design approach that attends to the relationship between learning goals and activities and the environment in which they are situated.

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The importance of social engagement in the online class

“I can’t tell who is more frustrated, the teacher or the student”

How do you show friendliness in an online classroom? Now that we’re past the survival stage of virtual learning, we can think about what’s missing in how we teach and what we can do to achieve better quality communication.

I remember those moments, before the pandemic, when a student would walk into my classroom and I’d say, “hey, how’s it going today?” And that student could feel the impact of personal attention, that a teacher is actually “seeing” them. Those kinds of socially intuitive interactions are lost in the online teaching we are doing today.

What’s also missing are the little things that indicate friendliness, like someone getting closer to you when you’re saying something. In fact, students indicate that they miss the tactile aspects of face-to-face classes, like the feeling of having a physical classmate sitting close to them in class.

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Covid-19 is a chance to make education inclusive

Disabled students face significant disadvantage, but we can deliver learning that’s truly accessible

 

As universities adapt around Covid-19, Kellie Mote – accessibility specialist at the education and technology not-for-profit, Jisc – highlights the opportunity to deliver more inclusive experiences for all.

To say this is a busy and unsettled time for universities is an understatement. The pressures applied by Covid-19 continue to demand agility and vision from sector leaders, with institutions moving in and out of lockdown, and the move to online or hybrid teaching presenting multiple challenges – particularly when staff are unsure whose responsibility it is to test and update aspects of a large digital estate.

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Why virtual exchange is more important than ever

“Virtual exchange, when done correctly, can be an extremely enriching, engaging and rewarding experience”

Suddenly we find ourselves at a crossroads in higher education, writes Matthew Hightower, CEO and founder of Class2Class. Many educators worldwide don’t know which way to turn. We cannot exactly go back in the direction from which we came, but taking the path less traveled into the unknown can be equally as daunting.

As educators we have to ask ourselves: Isn’t one of our primary goals to foster the development of 21st century skill sets within our students? If our answer to that question is an emphatic “yes”, then shouldn’t we be encouraging open-mindedness and risk-taking from ourselves as well as from our students as we reimagine what higher education could and should look like?

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Migrating digital natives to home-learning in the wake of school closures

“The human interaction aspect of e-learning is crucial for student success and wellbeing – and for teachers too”

This latest blog is by Daniel Jones, Chief Education Officer of Globeducate, one of the world’s leading international school groups that has seen schools in all markets migrate to temporary home-schooling due to Covid-19 in less than a month.

Having anticipated possible school closures early in the new year our leadership team began planning a global strategy for online learning by the start of February. When the news of school closures in Italy broke, ICS Milan, Rome International School and Southlands International School were ready to launch their virtual learning programmes for students aged 3 to 18.

What has been asked of students and teachers all over the world has been immense – students have had to adapt to learning at home, away from the routine of school and the familiarity of their friends and teachers, and teachers have been engaging students in an entirely new environment.

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The role of think tanks in education

“Education is an important and lasting way in which university-affiliated think tanks can impact the world”

By connecting the worlds of the practitioner and the scholar, says Aaron McKeil of  LSE IDEAS, think tanks – university-affiliated think tanks especially – act as conduits between the two.

They strive to convey concepts and ideas from academia to practice and to bring experience and insider knowledge from practice to academia. Research and working groups are some of the most common mediums for this activity, but education has an important function and role too.

Think tanks, especially university-affiliated think tanks, can provide education by conveying academic knowledge to practitioners, at various levels. They can also provide education by connecting students to the distinct type of expertise that professional practitioners can provide.
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Rethink 2020: Five trends to watch

“In these trying times, rather than fret about the future, it’s useful to take a step back and assess”

Recent head-spinning events – raging fires causing university closures in Australia; the UK exiting Europe; and most recently, a coronavirus outbreak bringing global mobility to a standstill – has the international education sector battered as if by a hurricane of headlines, writes Anna Esaki-Smith, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Education Rethink.

While none of these occurrences relates directly to education, they pose fundamental risks to an industry whose very core is rooted in the free movement of people. However, in these trying times, rather than fret about the future, it’s useful to take a step back and assess.

In Education Rethink’s latest report, Rethink 2020: Five Trends to Watch, we go back to basics by examining the foundational undercurrents driving student mobility towards the English-speaking world.

Consider that, in 2019, the total population of international students across the US, UK, Australia and Canada – grew by more than 115,000, according to the latest student visa issuance data.

But focusing on increasing numbers alone is not enough. Where are students coming from? And what are the factors driving those flows?

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Is COVID-19 a moment for online education to take the lead?

“Beyond helping the students and the industry, edtech can also help with the impact of the coronavirus more generally”

As the international education sector grapples with the impact COVID-19 is having on student mobility, Chief Content & Partnership Officer at FutureLearn, Justin Cooke, argues that the technology is available for the education sector to lead the way in combating the coronavirus, both the spread of the virus itself and its impact on learning and economies.

In the US, Chinese students make up over one third of all international students. In the UK, one-third of all non-EU students at British campuses are now from China. And in Australia, Chinese students make up 10 per cent of all students. It is clear that Chinese students represent a significant percentage of international cohorts so it’s no surprise that the education sector, as well as those students, are being impacted by the coronavirus. But the question is what are we going to do about it?

With the coronavirus and the related travel bans, many Chinese students can’t enter the countries they are supposed to be studying in. This impacts their studies, of course, but also the economies of those countries.

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