Putting Deep Learning into Practice

At some point, enough reading, enough thinking… it becomes time to put theories into practice. Obviously, those lesson plans and projects should be based on effective methods and strategies, those that we learned about during this COETAIL journey, those that will facilitate deep learning.

Here are some concrete frameworks and tools to achieve that goal, some that will get students excited and involved!

Image by Jan Kosmowski from Pixabay

Challenge-Based Learning (CBL)

Challenge-based learning (CBL) is a framework for learning while solving real-world Challenges. The approach is collaborative and hands-on, asking all participants (students, teachers, families, and community members) to identify Big Ideas, ask good questions, discover and solve Challenges, gain in-depth subject area knowledge, develop 21st-century skills, and share their thoughts with the world. The process and the result are authentic and lead to global discussion about real issues.

Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

Virtual and Augmented Reality

Virtual reality (VR)  is a simulated experience that can be similar to or completely different from the real world. Applications of virtual reality include entertainment (e.g. video games) and education (e.g. medical or military training).

Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory, and olfactory.

Virtual and Augmented Reality:
Stepping Into the New Frontier of Learning (Maya Georgieva & Emory Craig )

During a Tech Fair (see below) I had the chance to visit the Eiffel tower while on campus in Brussels. I have been to Paris many times but never climbed this world-famous site as I don’t do well with heights (but visited the original underground hydraulic lift system though, on a specific Heritage Day, much more special). It was incredible as it felt so real (of course, I even screamed when I got too close to the edge); I loved how I could choose the time of the day, and see the sun rising on Paris roofs.
Another experience: a camera had been fixed on one of our American football player’s helmet during a practice game: it was amazing to be IN the game (although I still don’t get the rules lol). The objective was to help all players to analyze their tactics from within the game.
There are many possible educational use of this newest technology, for sure!

Game-based learning

Gaming is playing (that’s the case to say!) a great role nowadays in children and teenagers’ lives, and acknowledging this and using their interest for learning objectives. Check it out in the following blog post: Gameful Design: A Potential Game Changer. And you can find some workshop resources in The ALLURE of Play: Game Design for Deep Learning.

Project-based learning

Project-based learning (PBL): What is it? It is a teaching method in which students learn by actively engaging in real-world and personally meaningful projects. Student are given time to explore a topic and/or answer a more complex question, and will deliver they findings or share their creation to an audience other than their teacher alone.

Don’t hesitate to join this 30-minute free webinar on Getting Started with P.B.L.

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash

Design Thinking

Collaboration, here again, is a key concept, along with and problem-solving. The design process is a structured framework for identifying challenges, gathering information, generating potential solutions, refining ideas, and testing solutions. Design thinking is used to enhance learning and support creative thinking, teamwork, and student responsibility for learning.
Here are some resources for Getting Started with DesignThinking.   You can also join this Webinar developed by Dr John Spencer, or look at the Design Thinking in Education (HGSE) where you will also find links to ready-made activities, workbooks, and curricular guides.
d.school from Stanford University also curated a collection of resources from their classes and workshops for us to explore. Have fun!

At my school

Teaching and learning at the International School of Brussels is anchored in five interrelated, research-based principles. A lot of those principles are aligned with what we have been exploring in the COETAIL program, including with most of the above frameworks and tools, as the school states that:

  1. Learning is maximized when individuals own the process through personal relevance, choice, autonomy, and creation.
  2. Learning involves ongoing construction of meaning through a constant cycle of inquiry, critical thinking, feedback, and reflection.
  3. Learning is enhanced through connections, communication, and collaboration across diverse perspectives.
  4. Learning in a rapidly changing landscape requires high levels of information fluency, media literacy, and technology integration.
  5. Learning can best be transferred when it is embedded in authentic contexts and is used to address real-world issues in creative ways.

ISB hosted an Open Door Technology Fair that opened to the whole community in November 2019. The event brought together a range of technology companies with a focus on education. The purpose of the fair was to consider our ISB Learning Principles and how new and emerging technologies might help us achieve them. The fair gives students and teachers a hands-on opportunity to explore and create, thereby gaining insights into the possibilities and future of educational technology. 

Apple: a pop-up classroom allowing participants to unleash their creativity through drawing, photography, video, music, coding, and augmented reality.
DELL a programming workshop and  VR devices with interactive educational software.
Lenovo: VR in the Classroom, eSports, and the Orchestration Solution and showcase Google Expeditions.
Microsoft: “Hack your classroom with Hacking STEM” for teachers and  Minecraft: Education Edition for students. From computer science and mathematics to chemistry, Minecraft: Education Edition offers endless possibilities for students to learn programming and to stimulate digital knowledge acquisition.
HP: is presenting  VR/AR/XR Learning Experience , E-Sports Arena experiencelatex printing  and  scanning & 3D printing .
Pi-top: opportunity for visitors to experience first hand the initial “out of the box” challenge with a pi-top.