A message about learning from the C-suite — from chieflearningofficer.com by Patricia A. McLagan
Executives are increasingly saying they want to create “learning organizations” and support “lifelong learning.” So, what should executives be saying to their workforce about learning today? Consider this sample letter to employees from the C-suite.

Excerpts:

How are you keeping up your skills and knowledge in our increasingly complex and fast-changing world of work? As today’s pandemic turmoil reminds us, it is hard to predict how the future will evolve. But one thing we do know is that continuous learning will be a key survival meta-skill for all of us — learning that each of us consciously guides every day, moment to moment, alone, in teams, with any resource, anywhere and anytime.

Consider: More than 50 percent of today’s jobs will probably disappear or change radically within 10 years. There are many reasons for this.

Beyond technology, companies like ours need more agility, innovation and self-management from everyone. We used to manage more by job descriptions, and you were best described as a box on the organization chart — probably with little expectation that you could experiment, take risks, and act with discretion and autonomy. But today and into the future, your skills and creative thinking matter more. Your “job” responsibilities shift as you move into and out of teams and as we call on you to support new strategies, customer groups and priorities.

From DSC:
I really appreciated reading this solid article from Patricia McLagan. She captured so many solid points. That said, I was bummed to see the following item included in this article (emphasis DSC):

Of course, our company is committed to supporting your learning and development, to providing formal training and access to learning opportunities for everyone. But even in the best of times, we will only be able to formally support a small part of what you will need and want. This is why I am sending this note to you: to tell you that we care about your learning and development, that we will do our best to support it, but that 95 percent of your learning is in your hands.

Of course, our company is committed to supporting your learning and development, to providing formal training and access to learning opportunities for everyone. But even in the best of times, we will only be able to formally support a small part of what you will need and want. This is why I am sending this note to you: to tell you that we care about your learning and development, that we will do our best to support it, but that 95 percent of your learning is in your hands.

Our company is committed to supporting your learning development — yeh…right…all 5% of it. 
Whoopie. The other 95% of it belongs to you and me. (Which reminds me that words are so easy to say but much harder to truly back up.) And you and I will likely do it on your/our own time. That seems to be more of the reality…the expectation…especially when job cuts are occurring all over the place and the job plates continue to expand for those who survived the cuts.

My experience over my career has been that corporations used to promote and truly support their employees’ professional development. They sent more people to courses and significantly helped many people obtain their MBA’s as well as other relevant master’s degrees and/or certifications/ and/or just to support some professional interests.

For example, I’m forever indebted to one of my formers bosses, Irvin Charles Coleman III. I worked for Irv at Kraft Foods’ HQ’s and he once let me go to a seminar on Photoshop. Though I used Photoshop in my work, it wasn’t in my formal description. That seminar changed many things for me. It supported my growth and learning and it fed my passion for designing and creating content.

I’m sure this kind of thing still occurs, but from what I can tell, it doesn’t happen at nearly the level that it used to. That said, I don’t blame the corporate world for getting bummed out at their employees that they had invested in — only to see those same employees grab the degrees and credentials and leave for greener pastures. Through the years, it seemed like the corporate world backed off from providing such a level of training/professional development.

These days, it seems like the corporations and the businesses out there have the hiring expectation that you will hit the ground running from day one. Learning and development are up to you and me. Nevermind that the way learning is supposed to go is that you:

  • introduce the learning objectives to someone
  • give them the information/content
  • provide the relevant and aligned learning activities that help them truly engage with the content
  • provide aligned formative and summative assessments along the way to ascertain whether they learned the material/concepts or not.

So I’m amazed that corporations are putting recent grads through their own tests on things that many of these students have never actually studied. (Yeh, I can hear the push backs now…and while I agree with some of them, it’s not fair to the students. They just followed what the colleges and universities offered for$100,000-$400,000+).

I could go on, but I need to go do my taxes. Gotta run. I hope to pick this line of thought up later.

 

Putting Your Best Self Forward: 6 Keys For Filming Quality Videos — from er.educause.edu by Jered Borup
The difference between a video that students watch and one that is ignored often comes down to a few, easily addressed factors.

Excerpt:

  • Key #1: Convey Your Voice—Is the audio clear, or is there background noise or reverberations in the room that distract from your message?
  • Key #2: Find the Light—Are you well lit with a light source in front of you, or are you backlit and/or have shadows on your face?
  • Key #3: Frame and Maintain Eye Contact—Are you about at arm’s length and eye level with the camera, or are you looking down or up at the camera?
  • Key #4: Stage—Do you have personal and/or interesting things in the background, or are you recording in front of a blank wall?
  • Key #5: Be Prepared and Natural—Are you speaking naturally in a way that conveys your interest in the topic, or do you sound somewhat robotic and/or scattered?
  • Key #6: Keep it Short—Is the video under six minutes?

This article is part of a series about incorporating asynchronous video into educational activities:

 

 

Inclusivity Begins with Overcoming Bias — from scholarlyteacher.com by Spencer Benson

Excerpt:

On an individual level, we need to be mindful that small things that may seem inconsequential to us may have detrimental impacts on others. Numerous articles and resources are readily available detailing best practices for creating more inclusive environments for students. Small things that can help to foster a sense of belonging and inclusiveness include the following:

  • being intentional in selecting course content that reflects diverse people and voices,
  • ensuring that resources and materials reflect individuals from underrepresented groups,
  • sharing gender pronouns,
  • learning preferred names and asking students to correct mispronunciation,
  • having students do a short online biographic sketch,
  • using small group learning,
  • giving students agency in assessments and grading, and
  • using mid-term and end-of-term student surveys.
 

Never Going Back: What Online Teaching in the Times of COVID Can Add to Our Teaching Toolkits – Elisabeth Sandberg — from cft.vanderbilt.edu with thanks to Beckie Supiano at the Chronicle for this resource

Excerpt:

Teaching online has not been all challenges for Sandberg. From this period of teaching, she has gathered a set of experiences that, she expects, will benefit her in an in-person setting, too. For one thing, Sandberg has explored new ways of optimizing the element of time in students’ learning. Realizing that even the most entertaining presenters become soon-to-bore lecturers in online settings, she became more attentive to keeping her prerecorded video lectures brief and dividing them into pieces interwoven with online activities. The Explain Everything app (a collaborative virtual whiteboard platform with multi-media features) has been helpful for annotating these short pieces of recorded lectures. Sandberg’s renewed attention to student attention has also made her more mindful of things she assigns out of class, and what these might represent in terms of student efforts. “I learned over the summer,” she said, referring to the CFT’s Online Course Design Institute, “how to be more cognizant of how much time the things that I consider easy work really take the students. And that was really a revealing piece that I will carry with me when we return to in person.”

 


From DSC:
I agree…the teaching toolboxes have expanded. In the future, teachers, professors, trainers, (and now parents) will have a wider selection of options/tools/pedagogies to select from.

Whats in your teaching toolbox?

 

Teacher, Are You There? Being “Present” in Online Learning — from er.educause.edu by Richard West

Excerpt:

Video technologies are part of that shift in helping online learners feel connected to teachers and peers. This connection comes from people developing the sense that they are “present” in the class, even if they are not physically in the same room. How is it possible to be present when you are physically separated?

 

 

Panorama Project Releases Immersive Media & Books 2020 Research Report — from panoramaproject.org

Excerpt:

The Panorama Project, a cross-industry publishing initiative, released today Immersive Media & Books 2020 a comprehensive market study that gauges the role of books and consumer engagement by age groups, ethnicity, and more.  This report contains survey data from 4,300+ pre-qualified respondents and was authored by Dr. Rachel Noorda and Dr. Kathi Inman Berens, faculty members of the Portland State University graduate program in Book Publishing.

 Data collection and analysis for Immersive Media & Books 2020 were conducted in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and represent Panorama Project’s ongoing commitment to research.  The report is rich with data, including graphs and tables to illustrate provocative findings that will stimulate discourse between publishers, authors, librarians, booksellers, thought leaders, advocacy groups and the media.

Panorama Project -- Data-informed insights on public libraries and their impact on book discovery, author brand development, and sales

 
 

Excerpt from The Dialogic Learning Weekly #204 — by Tom Barrett • Issue #204

What, So What, Now What?
Three simple questions that pack a punch when explored together. Use this method when reflecting on a shared experience.

The precise split between what is observed and why it might be meaningful is powerful. It helps participants not get lost in the swamp of interpretation, too soon at least!

The outline of the steps below is from Liberating Structures.

  • If needed, describe the sequence of steps and show the Ladder of Inference (see below). If the group is 10–12 people or smaller, conduct the debrief with the whole group. Otherwise, break the group into small groups.
  • First stage: WHAT? Individuals work 1 min. alone on “What happened? What did you notice, what facts or observations stood out?” then 2–7 min. in small group. 3–8 min. total.
  • Salient facts from small groups are shared with the whole group and collected. 2–3 min.
  • Second stage: SO WHAT? People work 1 min alone on “Why is that important? What patterns or conclusions are emerging? What hypotheses can I/we make?” then 2–7 min. in small group. 3–8 min. total.
  • Salient patterns, hypotheses, and conclusions from small groups are shared with the whole group and collected. 2–5 min.
  • Third stage: NOW WHAT? Participants work 1 min. alone on “Now what? What actions make sense?” then 2–7 min. in small group. 3–8 min. total.
  • Actions are shared with the whole group, discussed, and collected. Additional insights are invited. 2–10 min.

 

 

Radio.Garden — with thanks to David Pogue for this resource

From DSC:
This is amazing! Some screenshots:

Radio.garden -- tune into thousands of live radio stations across the globe!

Radio.garden -- tune into thousands of live radio stations across the globe!

Several questions/reflections come to my mind:

  • What could those teachers and professors who are trying to teach someone a language do with this?!
  • If this can be done with radio stations, what can be done with learning-related streams of content?!
  • Talk about “More Choice. More Control.”  Man o’ man!

Streams of content


Addendum on 2/28/21:
Could this type of interface be used to navigate the world of work? Where instead of nations, you would have arenas of work?

 

How Much Has Covid Cost Colleges? $183 Billion — from chronicle.com by Paul N. Friga

Excerpt:

How bad is it? To answer that, my colleagues and I sought to go beyond surveys. We conducted an extensive review of publicly announced revenue and budget news from the top 400 universities in U.S. News & World Report, as well as its top 100 liberal-arts colleges, drawing from news released from March through December. We were able to obtain data from 107 of those institutions (21 percent). The results are dire. Our research suggests that we are experiencing the biggest financial losses our sector has ever faced. The institutions we tracked averaged an estimated 14-percent aggregate decline in revenues across fiscal years 2020 and 2021, and further losses loom as drops in enrollment, tuition freezes, and Covid-related expenses continue.

What do these cuts and losses add up to? We estimate the impact as follows: $85 billion in lost revenues, $24 billion for Covid-related expenses, and $74 billion in anticipated future decreases in state funding. That adds up to a whopping $183 billion.

Also see:

 

The Chegg situation is worse than you think — from eliterate.us by Michael Feldstein

Excerpts:

Forbes just ran with an article entitled “This $12 Billion Company Is Getting Rich Off Students Cheating Their Way Through Covid“.

Ouch.

Chegg -- This $12 Billion Company Is Getting Rich Off Students Cheating Their Way Through Covid

[Per Michael] To sum up:

  • Publishers, after selling expensive textbooks to students, sold the answers to the homework questions in those expensive books to Chegg.
  • Chegg sells the answers to the questions to the students, who often use them to cheat.
  • To combat this problem, universities pay for proctoring software, which is apparently more effective at preventing students from going to the bathroom than it is at preventing cheating.
  • To add insult to all of this injury, “to chegg” is now apparently a verb in the English language. We will all have to live with that linguistic violence.

Addendum on 2/9/21:

 

Five free keynotes on online learning for streaming into virtual conferences — from tonybates.ca by Tony Bates

These are the five keynotes:

  1. Developing quality blended learning courses
  2. Digital learning and the new economy
  3. New technologies and their potential and limitations for teaching and learning
  4. Ten lessons for online learning from the Covid-19 experience (based on research findings)
  5. Online learning in the (k-12) school sector

From DSC:
Thanks Tony for sharing these keynotes and your expertise — which is drawn from so much research and experience. Thanks for giving it away — may your gift bless many. (And I thought you were going to retire…?!? Selfishly, I’m/we’re glad you didn’t!)   🙂

 

From DSC:
THIS is incredible technology! Check out the Chroma-keying technology and the handwriting extraction feature of the Sony Analytics appliance.

#AR hits the active learning classroom! THIS in incredible technology/functionality! See through your instructor as they write on the board!

From Sony’s website (emphasis DSC):

No matter where the speaker is standing, the Handwriting Extraction feature ensures that any words and diagrams written on a board or screen remain in full view to the audience — via AR (augmented reality).

Even if the speaker is standing directly in front of the board, their ideas, thinking process, and even their animated presentation, are all accessible to the audience. It’s also easy for remote viewers and those playing back the presentation at a later date to become immersed in the content too, as the presenter is overlaid and the content is never compromised.

Also, the chroma keying tech can be useful/engaging as well.

Chroma keying hits the Active Learning Classroom as well

 

Grab your audience’s attention and increase their engagement with intelligent video analytics technology.

I saw this at IUPUI’s recent webinar/tour of their new facilities. Here’s further information on that webinar from last Friday, 1/29/21:

Designing Large Active Learning Classrooms webinar/tour on 1/29/21 from the Mosaic Program at Indiana University; also features rooms/staff at IUPUI.

 

Join your colleagues to explore the latest online learning research at the QM Research Online Conference

Join your colleagues to explore the latest online learning research at the QM Research Online Conference

During the FREE half-day virtual event, you will:

  • Pick the topics you want to delve into from a number of research-related subjects, including online course videos, the student perspective, QM implementation, and high-impact practices.
  • Ask questions of the expert presenters in real-time.
  • Discover elements that can be applied to your own practice.

Each session will include a takeaway handout to help you engage with and apply the research-based strategies shared by the presenters.

 

Flipping Virtual Classrooms for More Impact — from techlearning.com by Ray Bendici
Flipping virtual classrooms can help maximize teaching time and resources

Flipping Virtual Classrooms for More Impact

Excerpt:

The mantra of flipped learning is that you can reach every student in every class every day, said Bergman. So if you have less synchronous time, you need to provide more time with your students one-on-one to work on the hard stuff, and flipped mastery learning, in particular, accommodates that.

“Flipped learning teachers have been preparing for the pandemic for the past 10 years,” Bergman said. “It’s really a great way to amplify your reach to teach.”

When the pandemic hit, Bergman and his flipped learning team realized that the most important thing is connections with students and the physical time spent with them. “So what’s the best use of your face-to-face class time?” Bergman said. “I’m going to argue it’s not you standing up and then introducing new content, it’s giving students the new content first and allowing them to apply, analyze, and evaluate it.”

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian