Updated: Feb 7
Curiosity is at the heart of learning; it is the impulse that encourages learners to seek both new questions and new answers. It is the catalyst by which learners acquire and use the soft skills necessary to become thinkers, problem-solvers, and creators: motivation, creativity, tolerance, civility, and resilience.
The Center for Curiosity (https://centerforcuriosity.com) is devoted to understanding curiosity. It seeks to understand ho
w curiosity might be defined and measured, so that it might be harnessed in order to empower both teachers and learners.
The Center for Curiosity promotes curiosity through:
Research initiatives to understand the science and characteristics of curiosity, ways to trigger it and the relationship of curiosity with other human endeavors, such as creativity, innovation, leadership, etc.;
Development of curricular materials to enhance curiosity among students and encouraging their adoption by schools and colleges;
Creating and distributing tools to measure and encourage curiosity in children and adults;
Popularizing curiosity in the academic and public spheres by sharing knowledge and organizing events on curiosity.
As such, it has partnered with Reimagine Education, offering an award to an outstanding project that can:
Improve the existing framework through which curiosity is understood;
Create robust tools or metrics by which curiosity might be measured;
Suggest innovative ways in which curiosity might be harnessed to improve one or more learning outcomes;
Demonstrate that their methods enhance curiosity among learners, and in doing so improve learning and/or employability outcomes.
For the past 3 years, thanks to the partnership with Reimagine Education conference, the Center for Curiosity has been able to support meaningful work in the field of Academic Curiosity. We look forward to enable potential projects to reach their goals and cultivate curiosity in the academic environment.
Want to find out more about the Centre for Curiosity’s mission and activities before applying? Their research can be found here!
Among the defined objectives of the Center for Curiosity is the development of practical tools that can assist educators in nurturing curiosity. To further this purpose, the center supports companies innovating in the field. In 2017, the center met the team at Acadly, who is working on a problem relevant to the center’s interest.
Acadly (www.acadly.com) is a Classroom Response System and Attendance Automation platform that helps educators boost engagement inside the classroom and reduce the time spent on administrative chores.
As of September 2019, Acadly is being used at over 300 North American universities to enrich the in-class experience for professors and students. It has been used to solve diverse teaching-learning problems at universities such as the University of Texas at Austin (case study on teaching a graduate class), the University of Idaho (case study on online teaching), Western Kentucky University (case study on teaching a large undergraduate class), and several others.
The key teaching-learning features of Acadly include:
Mesh-network technology based one-tap attendance
Live polls and quizzes
Word Clouds for open discussions
Social classroom Q&A led by students
Acadly also helps universities streamline classroom teaching at the enterprise scale with powerful administrative tools that help it integrate with universities’ existing IT infrastructure. These administrative tools include:
Administrator LTI plugin, that helps the university leadership:
Centralize course setup for a group of professors
Export essential data for a number of courses
Sync student enrolment between the LMS and Acadly
Professor LTI plugin, that helps instructors:
Export data to the Acadly gradebook at the tap of a button
Sync enrolment dynamically to allow students access to their courses
Learning Analytics and Early Alerts dashboard to help universities:
Identify students who may academically be at risk early on in the semester
Analyze student learning patterns along understandable behavioral metrics
In addition to the work Acadly is doing to further the cause of fostering curiosity with their core product, is their hugely popular Smarter Lecture Project, a series of infographics posted on the Acadly blog that highlight ways of incorporating technology into classroom teaching. The popularity of the blog among educators catapulted the Acadly blog to Medium’s Top 50 blogs on Education. Some of their most popular blog posts include:
15 Ways to Use Technology in the Classroom
10 Ways to Use Word Clouds in the Classroom
Comparison of Clickers and Classroom Polling Apps
10 Ways to Use Polls in the Classroom
Acadly is free for individual classrooms. With an innovative technology stack, it can help a classroom save as much as $3000 per 100 students per semester. The Acadly team’s efforts to democratize access to cutting-edge innovative technology has helped it scale rapidly in a competitive and fast-growing in-class technology market.
The team is delighted to partner with the Center for Curiosity and co-sponsor the Cultivating Curiosity Award at Reimagine Education 2019!