The Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality Revolution

There are two technologies that have really captured the attention of educators as well as futurists. These are artificial intelligence and virtual reality. What are the implications of these new technologies in education? Quite simply they can revolutionize our educational system. The question is, at what cost to the educator? There are many articles that state that technology will never replace a teacher, but I am of the opinion that technology might not replace a great teacher, but technology is already replacing the traditional, average teacher. Let’s consider a classroom of a traditional teacher: Students come into the classroom and begin to work on a worksheet. The teacher then delivers the content for that class. It might be a lecture, video, or reading from a text. Then the students do an activity with that newly learned content. Then the teacher offers more work to practice the content usually in the form of homework. Generally this is a standard day in a classroom of a traditional teacher. Do you see anything in this example that cannot be done by Artificial Intelligence or a Virtual World? Here are five things that an AI/VR school system can do just as easily as a Read More …

Dr. Rob’s Presentation at #KySTE17 Video

Dr. Rob’s full Future Ready Challenge presentation at the Kentucky Society for Technology in Education 2017 Spring Conference in Louisville, KY. Dr. Rob discusses how technology can play a significant role in preparing students for achievement in the future. The presentation includes questions and answers with conference attendees and information about the skills needed to move education forward in a productive, effective way. Dr. Rob also includes details about his book, The Future Ready Challenge: Improve Student Outcomes in 18 Weeks, available here.

Teach the Future, Guest Post by Peter Bishop

When should students begin to learn about the future? Should they learn about the future at all? That’s a rhetorical question, of course, because the future is not yet part of any curriculum that I know of. Nevertheless, the South Park Elementary Center is one of the few schools that have actually taught the future. Jason Legg, a technology teacher, taught three lessons on the future last year with the concurrence of Dr. Furman. Does not sound like much, but it is a big step forward. Before describing the lessons, let me sort things out. First of all, we all know that history is one of the core subjects in school, from Pre-K through the general education requirements in college, but there is virtually no mention of the future in schools. Why is that? One simple reason is that teachers have not been taught about the future so they cannot teach what they do not know. Another, more complicated reason is that teaching the future is different from teaching most other subjects. Most teachers focus on the content in their subject, the stuff in the textbook. History is about the periods and events of the past. So students learn about Read More …

Dr. Rob Presenting at #KySTE17 in Louisville, KY

Register now for the Kentucky Society for Technology in Education (KySTE) Spring Conference, March 8-10, 2017 at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY. Registration Link Dr. Rob will be presenting on March 9; at 10:30 am attendees will be asked to participate in the Are You Future Ready Challenge and at 2 pm, Dr. Rob will be discussing Motivating the Reluctant Reader. Keep up with the conference by using hashtag #KySTE17 Share your thoughts with us by posting on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook using the hashtag #DrRobAnswers!

Coming Spring 2017! The Future Ready Challenge by Dr. Rob

Dr. Rob’s newest book, The Future Ready Challenge, published by ISTE will be out in just a few months. “Future Ready” is an 18 week challenge that will help educators create a classroom/school that is based on skills for the future. Consider it a self-help book for those who need that jump start into 21st century teaching. Here’s a sneak peak at the cover as well as some advance reviews…. The Future Ready Challenge by Rob Furman has given us a sure plan to begin addressing twenty-first century skills into daily lessons. The strategies provided are easy to integrate into the content areas and the scaffolding that is suggested will begin to imbed these skills in the planning and delivery of instruction. Time to move away from the old delivery model of education to one that is preparing our young people to be successful and to be contributors in the technology driven society in which they will be members. – Len Ference In his latest success, Dr. Furman accurately outlines the elements critical to 21st century learning. In this work, he provides an accessible way for any teacher to make the critical shift from teacher-centered, knowledge-based teaching to student-centered, skills-based Read More …

Public Education Must Evolve or Become Extinct

I recently presented to a group in Virginia about the need for educators to look at relevance in their teachings and subjects. We can do away with handwriting and spelling. We can save time by eradicating the pointless subjects and archaic skills and replace them with skills we know our students will need in their future. There was one participant that got upset with me. She was upset by my comparison of no longer needing a horse and buggy or needing the skill of reading and writing in hieroglyphics to the need to still use handwriting or learning to spell. There are just some things of which we can let go. At first I felt badly about this participant being upset. But then I realized that more people should get upset, but not at the reality that things need to change. Get upset with the people who are unwilling to adapt and change for the betterment of their students. I had a teacher the other day tell me that he still lectures and has traditional homework assignments “because that’s the way I teach”. Never once did he say anything about the way his students learn. Never entered his mind! Education Read More …

Top 5 Things To Do on Your Brand New School Issued Google Chrome Book

“So I got my Chromebook, now what?” This is a common phrase immediately after receiving a school sanctioned device. After taking about 2 minutes to test all of your normal internet haunts and realize that your device can not get beyond the reaches of the school filters, it is time to find something to do with this thing. This short guide will give you the Top 5 Things To Do on Your Brand New School device. Start a conversation with your friends. Ok I guess you didn’t expect that one, but really it is only a matter of time before you figure out that this machine can be social as well. Honestly, we want you to be social and enjoy conversations with your friends; we just want you to do it in a safe and smart way. So, open up a google doc and share it with your friends. This will be the same experience you will use when doing group projects and collaboration work anyhow so the experience will be useful. Read the News For you older students, or students that like to stay current, create your own Google newspaper. Google news is a great resource for just about Read More …

A Teacher who gets it!

I was wandering around the educational blog world and I found this really simple looking site about math. As I looked around I found this post: http://new-to-teaching.blogspot.com/2016/06/clash-royale-and-unit-rates.html The person who wrote it is named Trevor Reech. Congratulations man! You get it! This article is about using a video game called Clash Royale. He uses this game to not only have students working with math on their interest level, but he gets them to think and problem solve. He makes them defend their decisions based on math and results of the game. He makes them WRITE!! OMG!! If anyone ever wants a real world example of how to use video games in a classroom this is a prime example of a job well done! Thanks Trevor for doing it the 21st century way. Share your thoughts with us by posting on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook using the hashtag #DrRobAnswers!

Warning! Music Class Will Never Be the Same!

I have never been shy when it comes to asserting my opinions about the need for educators to “get with the 21st century program”. My recent post on the need for a video game curriculum met with a very positive response. This post is along the same lines and deals with accommodating students in the field of music with a video game curriculum. One of those video games is titled Rocksmith, and being a former music teacher, I found this to be a very exciting and innovative approach to teaching music. Rocksmith has its roots in the rhythm-style games of the late 90’s, such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Many gamers who were enjoying games like Guitar Hero were probably wondering, “Why don’t we use a real guitar to play these games”? Just imagine if kids were spending hours playing these rhythm games, and learning to play an instrument at the same time. I would venture to say that these kids would be rock gods! Used with Permission Ubisoft (the company who created Rocksmith) saw an opportunity to take these rhythm-style games and offer gamers the opportunity to become musicians. Thus Rocksmith was born. This is significant because for Read More …