Curiosity

child question
   Image: Gerd Altmann

I read an article by Margot Machol Bisnow, author of  “Raising an Entrepreneur,” who did interviews with parents who raised highly successful people. She was curious about what skills they taught their kids at an early age. A simple takeaway from her research is that one skill they all agreed on was curiosity.

Curiosity can be defined as the desire to know something but that is oversimplified. Every teacher values curiosity of some kind. Sometimes teachers find that student curiosity can be overwhelming (or even annoying) when it doesn't match the path of a lesson. Questions off the topic at hand can hijack a lesson - or they can lead to interesting discussions.

So we might define curiosity as including trying to fix something, asking good questions, wanting to know how something works and wondering how it might be done differently or better.

From the article, here are 3 things parents did with their kids that should also be part of a classroom.

1. They encouraged their kids to fix things.
2. They instilled the confidence to tackle big, real-world problems.
3. They asked hard questions.
 

Streaming Learning

video playerThis past summer for the first time ever, streaming services captured more viewers than cable or broadcast TV, according to new data from Nielsen. Streaming has outperformed broadcast before, but never broadcast and cable in the same month. It's a close race though.
In the U.S., streaming captured 34.8% of viewership in July, while cable accounted for 34.4% and broadcast came in third at 21.6%.

When I read an article such as "Reasons Why Video Streaming Is The Future Of Education In 2022," the reasons are really the reasons why we should be offering online learning. Streaming is just a newer delivery method.

The history of distance learning goes from correspondence (snail mail) to broadcast and ITV, to videotapes, CDs and DVDs, the Internet (the earlier and slower version), and now streaming. When video first appeared in classrooms as broadcast, ITV and even on tapes it was sometimes considered controversial. Did it have educational value? Was it a lazy way to teach? Didn't students get enough video at home? But that is no longer true in almost every instance. Video is effective for learning. Online video has been shown to enhance comprehension and retention of information, support multi-modal learning, can help develop digital literacies when it is taught rather than just consumed. It can also be a more cost-effective learning solution, and can be repurposed in multiple ways.

Frequently, video is a supplement to make additional material available to students online. Some movements, like the flipped classroom, used online videos to swap lectures and classroom time. And this is true beyond traditional classrooms and schools as video became a training model for employees and customers.

When you use a streaming service (Netflix, Apple+ et al) you are almost always watching recorded videos. But the newer use of streaming is live streaming. Teachers are live streaming lectures and lessons to fully online students and also to students when you can’t meet in person. The real-time nature of live video allows a virtual classroom to be interactive in ways similar to in-person lessons.

Educational live streaming goes beyond lectures. There are also discussion panels, debates, guest speakers, presentations, virtual field trips, laboratory exercises, tutorials on demand and workshops.

Live streaming almost alw and "interact" sometimes ays ends up being recorded video later. Many presentations I register for that are live are later offered as a recording. That's great but it does make me feel less of an obligation sometimes to watch it live. Yes, I can sometimes ask questions in the live sessions, but I've gotten so used to recording TV programs and watching them later that it has carried over to "educational" applications.

Collaborative Robots at Work

collaborative robotRobots, yes - but cobots? The term 'cobot' is a portmanteau of  "collaborative robot", a robot designed for human interaction. Traditional industrial robots would typically be isolated from humans for safety reasons. Cobots operate alongside people within the same space.

Collaborative robots are promoted as being cost-effective, safe, and flexible to deploy. Cobots designed to share a workspace with humans make automation easier in a variety of applications, according to Universal Robots.

Robots that will be able to exist next to people in our homes, factories, and offices and navigate safely around us is seen as possible in the next 5-10 years.

Similar to industrial robots, cobots can automate manual processes but can also do jobs that humans don't want to do. What kind of jobs does that include? Tasks that are repetitive, tedious, dirty, or dangerous. So, injury reduction is one of the benefits of working with cobots. Strenuous lifting and repetitive movement are common workplace injuries.

Not to insult the humans reading this, but robots and cobots offer far higher levels of consistency than humans. That is a key benefit in tasks that require a high degree of precision.

The cobots we are using emerge tend to be more compact and lightweight than conventional robots. They are also more user-friendly and require fewer or no engineers or programmers to set up ad monitor operations.

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