"Decoding 2016's Education Buzzwords" by Director of Academic Support Gia Batty
From Analog Learning to STEAM, 2016 was definitely the year of the education buzzword. Whether you were reading a blog, listening to the radio, chatting on the sidelines, or making small talk at a dinner party, it’s likely you’ve heard at least one of these terms this year. If you’ve ever wondered what any of them really mean, read on!
1. Analog Learning
Analog Learning, also known as “non-digital” or “low-tech” learning, is what I did in my sixth grade class in 1984. My teacher wrote on the board (with chalk), we did projects on posterboard and inside shoe boxes, and we used the World Book Encyclopedias in the school library to do research on our favorite presidents. In education today, there is a push for finding a balance between the very high-tech approaches that we now have access to and the benefits of the analog approach—like pen and paper projects and encouraging students to write their notes by hand.
Want to learn more? Read this article on Noodle, a great education resource for parents and teachers.
2. Blended Learning
Also known as hybrid learning, blended learning refers to teaching that incorporates both online and face-to-face learning experiences for students. You may have heard about our involvement with Global Online Academy (GOA), a consortium of leading independent schools from around the world whose teachers design and teach blended learning courses. Blended Learning classrooms bring together a variety of student voices and provide a diverse, global, and innovative learning environment.
To learn more about blended learning, check out the GOA website or poke around the GOA blog.
3. Growth Mindset
The idea of a growth mindset comes from Carol Dweck’s book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. A mindset is a self-perception or an idea that people hold about themselves—like that you are a creative person or a person who is bad at math. In a fixed mindset, people believe that their basic qualities, such as their intelligence or musical talent, are fixed, predetermined, inherent traits. On the other hand, the growth mindset is the belief that our most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. Embracing growth mindsets—the idea we can learn more or become smarter if we work hard and persevere—not only allows for quicker and more meaningful learning, but also encourages us to view challenges and failures as opportunities to improve ourselves.
For more about the benefits of a growth mindset, read Maria Popova’s review of Dweck’s book on her amazing blog Brain Pickings.
Also called a fab lab or an innovation station, the makerspace is a community space found in schools, libraries or other spaces that encourages making, learning, and exploring through the use of shared high- and low-tech equipment. Whether “makers” are using a 3D printer or legos, it’s the “maker mindset” of creating something new and exploring one’s own interests that’s at the core of a makerspace.
Check out Makerspace for Education for more about makerspaces or you can stop by our ever-evolving makerspace on Computer Street.
STEAM is basically STEM with the addition of art and design. Adding the A to the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) movement, highlights the need for creativity and design thinking within the STEM paradigm. Proponents of STEAM believe that without the A, there would be no STEM.
For more information about STEAM, check out this great article on Edutopia (an excellent resource for all things education).