Spaced Learning and its Value in Teaching

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

What is Spaced Learning? Spaced Learning is a pretty new learning method. It was first developed in 2008 by Dr Paul Kelley, a neuroscientist who was at the time investigating methods for long-term memory retention. In theory, spaced learning is when you condense learning content and repeat it three times, with two 10-minute breaks during which distractor activities (such as physical activities) are performed by the students. While this methodology is very unique, its ending is a common goal shared by teachers throughout the world – that is for students to retain knowledge long-term. So does Spaced Learning have a place in classrooms and workplaces? That’s something we will explore throughout this article. One thing we do know as educators is that effective long-term learning is rarely achieved by a one-off event, but according to the Association for Talent Development (ATD), designers all too often think about one-off events when building training solutions. This means that it is very likely for students to forget a lesson as soon as it ends. This problem isn’t new. In fact, it was first spotted by Hermann Ebbinghaus in 1885. He discovered that we as people do not only have a learning curve, but a forgetting curve where we lose what we learn if the information is not used regularly. So let’s try an experiment. If I give you a list of nonsense three letter words right now, how long do you think you will remember them? Ebbinghaus did this exact experiment more than …

Molding a Musician: 30hands Tips from a Music Teacher

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

“Lots of my shy students have started to become emboldened to sing louder and with more confidence as they’ve had chances to hear what they sound like.” These are the words of Kerrie French, a music teacher at Conant School in Acton, MA. Kerrie has credited technology and 30hands with bringing out the best in her students and strengthening their confidence, be it in performance or academically. She said: “With the older students, the more academic-oriented projects have allowed those who struggle with singing or other musical skills to find other ways to contribute and shine in my classroom. It has also motivated some of the older students to be more active participants in group-work because they all want to use the iPads to create the slides. “It can sometimes leads to arguments,” she chuckled, “but learning how to work well in a group is a very important and life-long skill.” Project-based learning is something the 30hands team encourages and sees great benefit in. Kerrie first heard about 30hands from her district’s educational technology specialist, Peggy Harvey, who taught a professional development class on digital storytelling. She played around with it and noted it was a quick and easy way for her students to record themselves singing. As a music teacher, she says, it can be hard to share what goes on in her classroom with families outside of performances. Kerrie saw 30hands as a great opportunity to share her students’ voices with their families and the school community. “I teach approximately 450 students each …

Practice makes perfect! Or at least it makes for more effective presenting…

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

Most people agree that presentation skills are important, but effective presentation skills are even more important. But how does one improve their presentation skills? The first time I ever gave a presentation was my first week of university. It was in my college’s biggest lecture hall and in front of about 100 people. It was terrifying. There is no better way to describe it than that. My voice shook, my words stumbled and the palms of my hands greased. It was a short, five minute presentation, though I have no idea how long I spoke for. It could have been a mere two minutes, or ten. I was just glad to get it over with and honestly didn’t care if I spoke well or not – as long as it was over. It was times like then, and this is something I even still think about, that I wish I had the chance to practice my presentation skills at a younger age. Confidence My first presentation was when I was 17 years old and my issues ultimately came down to a lack of experience which resulted in nerves and no confidence. Now, I see teachers from across the United States tweeting their students’ wonderful 30hands presentations, and these students are as young as kindergarteners. I firmly believe that there is a direct correlation between effective presentation skills and confidence. How do you build confidence in a task? And how do you implement effective techniques to engage your audience longer? Through …

Sharing Your Lesson Plans as Videos, The Newest Trend in Education?

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

Sharing lesson plans as videos with your colleagues can be a great way of both comparing ideas and obtaining new ones. Education is an incredibly time consuming gig and with much of a teacher’s time dedicated to the classroom and grading papers, it’s difficult to find the time to create new teaching materials. That’s why sharing materials is not only convenient, but educational. How do teachers benefit from this? Sharing your lessons online is a great way of expanding your knowledge and there are multiple websites which provide platforms for teachers to do so. Some of these (see Teachers Pay Teachers) have recently introduced the ability to do this through video. This is where 30hands shines in its ability to simplify, personalize and speed up the video creation process for teachers. Creating video can be a daunting task if one lacks experience in doing so, but with 30hands Storyteller, this fear quickly disappears as the app uses easy techniques which bring unique results. Unlike a lot of similar apps out there, 30hands Storyteller also makes it incredibly easy to edit your video, whether it’s to personalize it further or just to correct mistakes. There’s absolutely no need to alter your entire video just to fix one mistake! Creating 30hands videos from PowerPoints and Google Slides One of the best features of 30hands Storyteller is the ability to import your Google Slides or PowerPoint presentations and publish them as videos. This is done within a matter of seconds. If you have …

Rain or Shine, Snow or Sleet – Blended Learning Delivers Every Day

Eric Braun Blog 0 Comments

Who would have thought that blended learning was like the postman? Well, it’s true. Setting up class for blended learning not only help students learn more on a day-to-day basis, but it also keeps them learning and on track during snow and rain a sleet. It’s an accidental benefit of learning for the 21st Century. The promise of 21st Century technology does not mean we have to teach and learn 24 x 7, but it means we can. It means we can fit learning into the day whenever and wherever. It means we can play in the snow and still learn – before and after. My semester started out on slippery ice this year. I teach a weekly 3-hour course on Entrepreneurship at Tufts to highly motivated students, most of whom live on campus. Yet, after the first class session, we skipped 2 weeks before we had another class. Depending on how Mother Nature goes, we may miss another class this week. Am I worried? A bit, but not nearly as much as some of my colleagues who rely purely on teaching in the classroom. Here’s why. Before the semester began, I had my students all register for my course at the 30hands Cloud eClassroom. This got them into the mix of the digital content for the course, the syllabus, the assignments and some discussions. It also set an expectation that students needed to do work regardless of whether we were in class. This was so much more successful than when I …

“Fail Fast” – Teaching the Success of Failure

Eric Braun Blog 0 Comments

  In the past few weeks, I have run into “failure” several times. First, a colleague wanted to have a get together to talk about our collective failures in starting companies, which led to a roundtable discussion. Then, it seemed like I encountered more and more stories of failure at every turn — from my students to my fellow entrepreneurs, from videos I use in my class to articles I came across on the Internet. From the ubiquity of failure, it occurred to me again (my brain has gone down this path many times before) that failure is a natural part of life. I found myself telling my students not to be afraid of failure and, in fact, to embrace it. “Fail fast,” I said, “so you can pick yourself up, redirect your efforts and try something at last slightly intelligently better. This approach often leads to ultimate success. Just because 9 out of 10 startups fail does not mean that they fail forever. It means you may have to fail 9 times before you succeed once. But my students still have trouble embracing failure. As a society, we worship success so much that we think that failure is bad thing instead of part of the learning process. As toddlers, we only learn to walk, because we fall down enough times to figure out how to do it successfully. We only learn to talk, because when we say, “I want food”, it comes out “Goo-goo gaa-gaa”, and we do not …