Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Remote Learning Poses Unique Challenge

Dr. Pam Northrup is an expert on educational media and instructional systems and the founder of a higher education innovation institute. With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing into the latter half of 2021, Pam Northrup and other researchers are investigating the impact of remote learning and how the landscape of education is changing in response to new applications of technology.

For many, remote learning is a necessity and has been ongoing for more than a year. However, Australian researchers have pointed out that some students are still struggling with remote learning, namely those who come from non-English-speaking backgrounds. These students make up one in four Australian students in primary and secondary education. Children from these backgrounds have reported that they find the experience distressing and isolating, as the language barrier has become tougher to surmount with limited ability to interact in the classroom.

Teachers have since recognized this in these students, often the children of immigrants who are already isolated, and schools have partnered with social services to strengthen support for these families. The effort is especially noted in rural areas, where some schools have become support centers for these children.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Educators Learn from Theme Park?

A higher education consultant in Pensacola, Florida, Pam Northrup has worked for years with Universal Studios professionals on innovative approaches to STEM education. Pam Northrup and her TEQGames at Universal Studios colleagues have discussed ways to make classrooms more like theme parks.

The dissemination of knowledge was a big part of the fundamental mission behind the world’s first major theme park, Disneyland. In fact, Walt Disney welcomed “teachers and pupils” to Disneyland as a place to find “greater ways of understanding and education.”

While public education critics have long bemoaned what they call the “factory model” that most school systems have adopted, some innovative educators have presented other models that draw inspiration from theme parks. Specifically, educators can follow in the footsteps of Walt Disney by stressing the instructional power of narrative and play, two things that people gravitate toward naturally. Curriculum designers can also follow in the footsteps of theme park designers by establishing clear landmarks (which enable students to look forward to future learning) and establishing demarcated transitions (which take students from one themed “land” to another).

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Most Anticipated Events in Antiquing

An education professional with a PhD in instructional systems and education media, Pam Northrup offers consultation services on the role of strategic innovation in training and higher education. An avid traveler, Pam Northrup also enjoys antiquing, especially the spring and fall antique fairs in the area of Round Top, Texas.

The antique fairs in Round Top are huge events for antique lovers of all sorts, from casual collectors to professional dealers. The fairs started in 1968 as a two-day event. Today, there are three fairs annually, in the spring, fall, and winter.

The fall and spring fairs last two-and-a-half weeks and attract about 100,000 visitors; the winter fair, a recent addition, lasts just half of a week. The pandemic forced the closing of all three fairs in 2020, but the 2021 schedule calls for a fall fair from Thursday, October 14, to Sunday, October 31. The next winter and spring fairs will be held in January and in March 2022.

The fairs comprise multiple shows at multiple venues, more than 60, in Round Top and the surrounding communities. Most of the shows and parking are free.

Visitors looking for the best deals should come near the end of a fair when dealers are more inclined to cut a deal and eliminate the cost of transporting items to the next venue. Visitors who don’t like crowds should go early each week, from Monday to Thursday, since most visitors go on weekends. Those seeking the best selection, however, should go early, while inventories are large.