As colleges and universities grapple with reopening plans for the Fall, they now have a third alternative to in-person classes or traditional online lectures. That's why Dr. Gene Levinson has invented a groundbreaking solution that will lead to an entirely new approach to online and hybrid education, not only during the pandemic, but for years to come.
"With the very survival of colleges and universities in serious jeopardy, I asked my team to focus on a practical, scalable Convergent Learning solution that brings out the best in both college professors and students," says Dr. Levinson, a scientist and educator-turned software inventor, now founder and CEO of SmartNoter Inc., a Northern Virginia startup
Instead of passive lectures or one-size-fits-all textbook assignments, the patented, 21st century approach leverages the power of the Internet and multimedia, to create an interactive, personalized learning experience, by bringing multiple sources of information, and a variety of digital media formats, to a single, on-demand screen.
"It's important to realize that no technology can replace human creativity, or the mutual desire for professors and their students to assure each student's success, Levinson adds. "It's still up to the professor to create the course, but instead of a 60 minute passive lecture and rote memorization, with the Convergent Media approach, the professor might streamline the lecture to just 15 minutes of narrative that's segmented into focused topics. Each topic is identified by a thought question, and based on relevance of the ideas in each topic, each question is creatively linked to a broad range of curated, reliable sources of information which can be internal, or may come from a variety of multimedia sources on the Internet. Each professor chooses exercises and deliverables for the students that foster critical thinking, deep understanding and long-term retention."
Dr. Levinson says that his unusually broad and diverse career experience prepared him to reimagine how courses should be taught. Trained in biology, and specializing in molecular genetics at the University of California, as a graduate student he discovered the fundamental mechanism by which DNA sequences expand, a discovery that propelled him to do postdoctoral research as well as to tutor undergraduate students at Harvard University. Later, he logged thousands of hours as a one-on-one tutor, primarily for high school students in biology and chemistry.
"Ask just about any student (or any parent or professor, for that matter) whether they are happy with passive lectures and rote memorization for exams. Given half a chance, students have innate curiosity, tremendous potential to discover something new, and a strong desire for mastery. They deserve better than we are offering them now, either in high school or in college."
SmartNoter is offering early access and a variety of discounts to help professors rapidly migrate their courses to the improved online versions, and to offer colleges a practical solution to reopening safely in the Fall.
More information is available at smartnoter.com
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“Given half a chance, students have innate curiosity and tremendous potential for discovery. Given half a chance, students will tap into their strong desire for mastery and to make meaningful contributions to society. These are qualities that are deeply embedded in our human DNA.”
So says Gene Levinson, founder of SmartNoter, and speaking of DNA, he’s the scientist who discovered the fundamental mechanism by which DNA sequences expand.
Dr. Levinson went on to become an award-winning one-on-one science tutor, but was appalled at the way that we miseducate students, all the way through college. As he puts it, “our students deserve more than passive lectures and rewards for rote memorization”.
That’s what led him to work with the SmartNoter team to develop new technology to create on-demand lesson flow that’s based on the ways that people learn-- approaches designed to bring out the best kinds of interactions in both teachers and students--interactions based on mutual respect and a mutual desire for success.
Then the pandemic struck, and the very survival of colleges was, and is, threatened. So the SmartNoter team decided to focus on college courses-- to help professors rapidly migrate their existing materials to a dramatically improved, safe, online learning experience that students love.
This led to SmartNoter’s Convergent Learning approach, where students personalize their own interactive, on-demand lesson flow. Our toolkit makes it easy for professors to apply their own best teaching practices to their own content, while easily adding high-quality, reliable content from a variety of sources on the Internet. Multimedia content is delivered to a single screen, and lesson flow focuses on student deliverables that encourage critical thinking, deep understanding, creative synthesis of new ideas, and long-term memory and applicability to real-world problems.
Please take a few moments to explore this website-- we provide several ways to learn more, and to quickly deploy this groundbreaking approach in your own college community, this Fall.
Here you can watch a two-minute video introduction, read our press release, request free access to our course migration/creation toolkit, or schedule an informal, virtual meeting with the founder or another member of the SmartNoter team.
Here you’ll find deep discounts for new customers this Fall, plus additional 2-way discounts for referrals.
We offer tutorials, with user-friendly, self-guided software, plus support if you need it, so that you can quickly and easily prepare materials for the Fall semester.
Please join us, and become part of the Convergent Learning revolution. Together, we can bring college courses back to the future. Thanks for your time and interest.