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Seems that the following post has upset the moderator of the G Suite for Education community.

The moderator, one +Bill Pier, has blocked the post and blocked me from accessing the community. That seems a bit over the top.

Here's the post.

Perhaps someone can enlighten me as to why this should lead to a blocking. I'm a fairly well-respected educator, with provincial, national and international awards. I have a wide following on multiple social media platforms. I've been on G+ from day 1.

Anyone getting requests to abandon GSuite in favour of Microsoft Teams/O365 etc.?

Has Microsoft upped the ante with the slew of changes it announced Friday?

-School Data Sync automatically populates classes with student rosters connected to the school’s information system.

-OneNote Class Notebooks built into every class allow teachers to organize interactive lessons and deliver personalized learning right from Teams.

-Apps integrate into the classroom experience, so teachers can quickly access the Office 365 apps they already use — like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Planner — and customize their classroom with education apps.

-End-to-end assignment management in Teams enables teachers to move effortlessly from creation and distribution to grading and feedback in no time.

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Narrowing the Global Gap in Cognitive Skill Formation

Decades of International Surveys of Student Learning (c.f. OECD and IEA Student Achievement Studies) have estimated benchmarks based on level of thinking skills. As nations rise in economic complexity, their student populations experience needs for higher order skills including analyzing and evaluating. Higher order problem solving arises once students master basic learning by gaining a wide range of information skills that combine into concepts to give complex meaning. Finding ways to improve learning go far to reduce global gaps in universal learning.

Findings consistently reveal that in advanced economies, on average 80 percent of students at various age/grade levels master basic skills while 20 percent attain higher order problem solving. In developing nations, findings reveal only 5 percent master advanced skills. Of the remaining students, 2/3 master level two basic skills, while almost 1/3 are not able to answer questions using basic information.

These differences are large and caused by differences in maturation stage of economic development that require higher and higher levels of problem solving skills in the population. Advanced nation educational systems are charged with devising a wide array of student-centred learning activities that get students to apply understanding and application skills to higher order problem solving useful for employment.

For developing nation systems, the challenge is to first get the significant bottom-end of the student population to master basic skills. Doing this alone will raise national levels considerably in reaching international average. In addition, these nations need to build capacity so all students can uniformly advance up the cognitive skill ladder.

Generally, skill levels derived for various subjects strengthen cognitive levels beginning with answering very basic questions given sufficient information. Higher levels include comprehending concepts of information, applying them, and finally employing knowing to solve problems such as interpretation, prediction, and synthesis. Each skill mastered represents a rung on the ladder leading from simple to abstract, and can be applied to reasoning in any subject or domain including emotional intelligence. In all nations, administrators, educators, teachers, parents, and students are called upon to find solutions to learning whether in the classroom, home or online.

In the early days of investigating learning patterns, most countries surveyed were western and industrialised so their patterns for learning science, math, and reading appeared similar. In this research average scores in science were compared, but no in depth analysis relating cognitive skills were examined. Early research employing path analysis to the Bloom Taxonomy was used in the 1970s to examine how student skill profiles reinforced one another as students traversed age/grade divisions of schooling. Using verbal ability as a control because in the early years of schooling, Verbal IQ was found to be a strong determinant of reading and learning.

Also, it was found that verbal ability was tied to information gathering, and comprehension of concepts formed by combining information. In the early grades these direct paths formed and strengthened while indirect paths reduced in importance including verbal fluency. Over time, comprehension and application skills strengthened to reinforce higher order skills including synthesis and evaluation (c.f. Loxley, below).

In the case of advanced systems at that time, Scotland (think of the “Prime of Miss Jean Brody” movie) manifested a system common to Europe where in the early years the focus was on verbal ability, information gathering and comprehension, with weaker links to application and higher order skills. Older age cohorts cemented these direct links and eliminated indirect links, eventually building strong direct paths to advanced skills. By age 17, comprehension and application equally reinforce advance skills suggesting that the British ideal of experimentation (i.e., application skills) played an equal part in advancing thinking along with theory (i.e., comprehension/understanding).

The pattern for Middle Europe (e.g., Hungary) showed a similar pattern except that the direct path of application to higher order skill was much weaker than the more theoretical comprehension skill. This was not unexpected because the education systems of Middle Europe seemed to place great importance on theory over practice in the sciences. Overall, the European learning model fits the Bloom taxonomy. The EU model, including the Anglo-Saxon cultures outside Europe, revealed in the early 21st century surveys, reinforce this pattern where countries perform at international average or above.

The story is somewhat different for developing nations. The same analysis applied to Chile in 1970 when the country was still in the developing nation mode, revealed a slightly weaker pattern of direct links. Across 10- and 14-year- old cohorts, in early years, the links between verbal fluency, information gathering, and comprehension appeared the focus of building a skill profile with direct verbal links to each skill in the taxonomy. This pattern suggests that lecture and reading were hallmarks of learning at that time.

By age 17, the pattern revealed continued strong verbal fluency to all skills including higher order skills while direct paths of comprehension and application skills to higher order skills were relatively weak compared to the European model. These results for Chile were somewhat similar to findings showing pattern styles of thinking for Hindu speaking Indians in the 1970s.

In addition to European and developing nation models, there is yet another: the North Asia Model including the city-states of Singapore, HK, Shanghai, Macao, along with Taiwan, and the nations of South Korea and Japan. In these education systems, 90 percent of students master the basic skills and on average while 35 percent of students by age 14 master higher order skills well above the global average although there is still no clear knowledge of how each of the cognitive domains reinforce one another.

These Asian systems all have the resource capacity to organise and implement new forms of home, school, and Internet learning. Some evidence suggests that the North Asian nations place great emphasis on knowing and application and less on reasoning skills. In short, they employ memorising and drill at the expense of inquiry learning much-touted in Australia.

Regardless of existing patterns, developing nations need to get about one in three students (mostly in rural and disadvantaged knowledge environments) up to par in mastering level 1 (information gathering) and level 2 (using given facts to solve problems) skills. Furthermore, these education systems need to prepare the organisational climate of the education system to accommodate student-centered learning.

Advanced nations everywhere need to integrate the capacity of the education system departments to create the capability to provide whatever works to raise national cognitive production. Will traditional teacher-centered, top-down administration work better to create authentic learning than student-centered cooperative styles, and if so under what conditions in what environments?

Those interested in learning more can read Smart World Dumb World: Developing Knowledge Rich Economies available on i-books at no cost.


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Google Allo adds the feature to make Duo video calls from the chat app

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Thank you Google educators 

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Hidden features of Google Drive

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Looking for teachers for volunteering tuitions for low incomefamily children, in Pune, online or offline- pl. mail me if interested , Class V- IX, CBSE, Thank you 
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