More colleges are breaching their debt requirements: S&P — from highereddive.com by Ben Unglesbee
Amid operating pressures, some institutions are struggling to meet financial metrics stipulated in their bond and loan covenants.

Dive Brief:

  • A growing number of colleges are breaching bond and loan stipulations, known as covenants, that require them to stay within certain financial health parameters, according to a new report from S&P Global Ratings.
  • The agency cited 12 colleges it rates that have breached covenants since last June. In most cases, bondholders waived the violation. Some covenants could allow debtholders to accelerate repayment, which could add to an institution’s liquidity and ratings risks.
  • S&P downgraded ratings for about half the institutions with violations, typically because of underlying financial issues. “We see continued credit quality divergence in the U.S. higher education sector, with weaker-positioned institutions experiencing budgetary pressure and covenant violations,” the analysts said.

Student Loan Borrowers Owe $1.6 Trillion. Nearly Half Aren’t Paying. — from nytimes.com by Stacy Cowley (behind a paywall)
Millions of people are overdue on their federal loans or still have them paused — and court rulings keep upending collection efforts.

After an unprecedented three-year timeout on federal student loan payments because of the pandemic, millions of borrowers began repaying their debt when billing resumed late last year. But nearly as many have not.

That reality, along with court decisions that regularly upend the rules, has complicated the government’s efforts to restart its system for collecting the $1.6 trillion it is owed.


Universities Investing in Microcredential Leadership — from insidehighered.com by Lauren Coffey
As microcredential programs slowly gain traction, more universities are looking for leaders to coordinate the efforts.

Microcredentials—also known as digital badges, credentials, certificate, or alternative credentials—grew in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now they are attracting renewed interest as institutions look to widen their nets for nontraditional students as an enrollment cliff looms.

In addition to backing these programs, some universities are going further by hiring staff solely to oversee microcredential efforts.


A Plan to Save Small Colleges — from insidehighered.com by Michael Alexander
Small colleges could join forces through a supporting-organization model, Michael Alexander writes.

The challenges are significant. But there is a way to increase the probability of survival for many small colleges or spare them from a spartan existence. It involves groups of colleges affiliating under a particular structure that would facilitate both (1) a significant reduction in operating costs for each college and (2) a rationalization of each college’s academic offerings to concentrate on its strongest programs.

 

Microschooling Movement’s Latest Wave of Major National Media Coverage — from microschoolingcenter.org by Don Soifer

Today’s microschooling movement continues to attract major coverage in national and local media outlets around the country. This week saw important new feature articles highlighting microschools in two of the most influential.

The New York Times ran this piece by its lead national education reporter Dana Goldstein, who visited several Georgia microschools and conducted research and interviews with leaders there and around the country. “…The appeal goes beyond the Republican base and includes many working- or middle-class Black and Latino parents — especially those whose children are disabled, and who feel public schools are not meeting their needs,” the article found. The National Microschooling Center was pleased to see several of the Times’ explanations and background about our exciting movement cited in our own published research.

Also this week, The Hill, Congress’ own daily newspaper, published its own article, “What Are Microschools? The Small Classrooms Growing Large in the School Choice Movement.”


Also relevant, see:

Maine’s Microschooling Movement: As New Wave of Schools Launch, Many Old Ones Are Redefining Themselves — from the74million.org by Kerry McDonald; via GSV
McDonald: Founders across the state see a growing movement toward smaller, simpler, more holistic educational models.

It’s part of a growing trend, both in Maine and nationally, of new schools and spaces offering smaller, more individualized, more flexible learning options that parents and teachers desire. Many of these programs, including School Around Us, are part of the VELA Founder Network that supports alternative education environments across the U.S. with grants and entrepreneurial resources.

According to the new Johns Hopkins UniversityHomeschool Hub, homeschooling numbers now hover around six percent of the total K-12 school-age population, a dramatic increase from pre-pandemic estimates. Maine has seen its homeschooling numbersremainhigh since 2020. 


Public Schools Violate Their Sacred Mission When They Turn Students Away — from the74million.org by Tim DeRoche
DeRoche: There needs to be more legal oversight of school and district enrollment policies to ensure that public education is truly open to all.

Some readers may be surprised to learn that many U.S. high schools deny entry to legally eligible students. It is, after all, conventional wisdom that public schools are open to all families and that they eagerly seek to serve all potential students.

Available to All launched in early 2023 as a nonpartisan watchdog defending equal access to public schools. We have documented many cases in which schools turn away students, either unfairly or illegally, based on discriminatory criteria…

Families should have the legal right to apply to any public school, and the school should be required to publish a formal letter of denial if a child is rejected, explaining the legal basis for the decision. Every public school should be required to publish application and enrollment data, and every American family should have the right to appeal denial of enrollment to a neutral third party (as families already do in a handful of states, including California and Arkansas).


And speaking of homeschooling…

Outschool Launches Courses to Support Increased Interest in Homeschooling and Alternative Education — from prnewswire.com by Outschool

SAN FRANCISCO, June 19, 2024/PRNewswire/ — Leading online learning platform, Outschool announced today the launch of Courses, new classes and features designed specifically for homeschool and alternative education families. Outschool’s Courses is designed to empower homeschooling families and power-users of Outschool to craft their own individualized education with expert teachers, unique and engaging classes, easy scheduling, and progress tracking. Outschool Courses has been created to help families put their learner’s unique educational needs first.


A Record Number of Kids Are in Special Education—and It’s Getting Harder to Help Them All — from wsj.com by Sara Randazzo and Matt Barnum (behind a paywall)
What’s driving a rise in special education: pandemic disruptions, a shrinking stigma

More American children than ever are qualifying for special education, but schools are struggling to find enough teachers to meet their needs.

A record 7.5 million students accessed special-education services in U.S. schools as of 2022-2023, including children with autism, speech impairments and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. That is 15.2% of the public-school student population…

From DSC:
For anyone who really believes that teaching is easy, try attending a few Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings. You’ll be blown away about how intricate and challenging teaching can be.

 

Employers Partnering to Provide Microcredential and Training Programs on the Rise, New Study From Collegis Education and UPCEA Reveals — from prweb.com by Collegis Education
Opportunities are growing, but higher ed institutions are losing ground to private providers

OAKBROOK, Ill. Jan. 23, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Companies partnering externally to provide training or professional development to employees increased by 26 percent (nearly 15 percentage points) between 2022 and 2023, according to a new study released today by Collegis Education and UPCEA, the online and professional education association. In addition, the report, “Unveiling the Employer’s View: An Employer-Centric Approach to Higher Education Partnerships,” revealed that more than 61 percent of companies without external training partnerships are interested in developing them.

In the second year of an ongoing research series, Collegis partnered with UPCEA to survey more than 500 employers to better understand their perceptions of collaborating with higher ed on professional development programs and alternative credentials.



Instructure Completes Acquisition of Parchment, the World’s Largest Academic Credential Management Platform and Network — from prnewswire.com
Expands Instructure’s market-leading teaching and learning ecosystem by providing learners with a lifelong record of their journey

SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 1, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Instructure Holdings, Inc. (Instructure) (NYSE: INST), the leading learning ecosystem and maker of Canvas, announced today it has completed the acquisition of Parchment, the world’s largest credential management platform and network. Parchment has over 13,000 customers and has exchanged more than 165 million credentials over two decades. This acquisition is expected to significantly expand Instructure’s existing customer base and unlock exciting new growth opportunities.

“The addition of Parchment to the Instructure ecosystem enables our customers to offer flexible lifelong learning experiences to meet the needs of the ever-growing sector of non-traditional learners,” said Steve Daly, CEO of Instructure. “By providing a verifiable and comprehensive digital passport of achievement records and outcomes for learners, we’ll be able to help our customers navigate skill mastery, transfer credits, provide proof of prior learning, and much more.”

From DSC:
Instructure’s purchase here represents an important piece of our future learning ecosystems— a way to document/prove the learning a person has done throughout their ***lifelong learning*** journey.


The Importance of Credit for Prior Learning — from evolllution.com by Alexa Dunne
Higher ed needs to focus on providing credit for prior learning that properly communicates what learners know to provide them with more opportunities in the workforce.

According to research from the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) and Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE)**, students complete their credentials at a substantially higher rate when they are awarded 15 or more credits for prior learning. For institutions, awarding CPL is an easy—and equitable—way of helping students succeed. Do we want a 22-point increase in credential completion? Yes, please!


Addendum on 2/9/24:

Lego my Metaphor — from onedtech.philhillaa.com by Glenda Morgan
The problem with how we think about stackability of microcredentials=

A key aspect of microcredentials promise is that they are small and have fewer barriers to entry in terms of time and cost than for degrees. But given that microcredentials are small, they can only take a learner so far. This is where stackability comes in. By stacking these microcredentials (i.e., adding multiple credentials, each building on the other) they can be combined to make a more meaningful overall set of qualifications or to create an entryway into a new career. Microcredential stackability is a key assumption underlying many higher education institutions microcredential efforts, as well as a central thread in how they are speaking about and marketing the microcredentials.

In the coming months I want to explore more about microcredentials, as I think they are going to be a key part of higher education in the future. Right now, in higher education I see a lot of talk about microcredentials but less execution and less success than most people would like. Microcredentials are difficult to get right, but we need to start by talking about them in the right way.

 

The future of learning — from moodle.com by Sonya Trivedi

Self-directed and continuous learning
The concept of self-directed and continuous learning is becoming increasingly popular, reshaping our approach to knowledge and skill acquisition in both formal education and workplace settings. This evolving landscape reflects a world where traditional career paths are being replaced by more dynamic and flexible models, compelling learners to adapt and grow continuously.

The Future of Learning Report 2022 highlights this shift, noting the diminishing concept of a ‘career for life.’ With regular job switching and the expansion of the gig economy, there is an increasing need for a workforce equipped with a broad range of skills and the ability to gain qualifications throughout their careers. This shift is underlined by learners increasingly seeking control over their educational journeys, understanding that the ongoing acquisition of knowledge and skills is essential for staying relevant in the rapidly changing world of work. Reflecting this trend, a significant portion of learners, 33%, are choosing online platforms for their flexibility and ability to cater to individual needs and schedules.

From DSC:
The next paragraph after the above excerpt says:

Much like how companies such as Uber and Airbnb have reshaped their respective industries without owning traditional assets, the future of education might see universities functioning as the ‘Netflix of learning.’ In this model, learners comfortably source their educational experiences from various platforms, assembling their qualifications to create a personalised and continuously evolving portfolio of skills??.

But I don’t think it will be universities that function as the “Netflix of learning” as I don’t think the cultures of most institutions of traditional higher education can deal with that kind of innovation. I hope I’m wrong.

I think it will be a new, global, lifelong learning platform that originates outside of higher education. It will be bigger than higher education, K12, corporate training, or vocational training — as such a 21st-century, AI-based platform will offer all of the above and more.

Learning from the living AI-based class room


Slow Shift to Skills — from the-job.beehiiv.com by Paul Fain

Real progress in efforts to increase mobility for nondegree workers is unlikely during the next couple years, Joseph Fuller, a professor at Harvard University’s business school who co-leads its Managing the Future of Work initiative, recently told me.

Yet Fuller is bullish on skills-based hiring becoming a real thing in five to 10 years. That’s because he predicts that AI will create the data to solve the skills taxonomy problem Kolko describes. And if skills-based hiring allows for serious movement for workers without bachelor’s degrees, Fuller says the future will look like where Texas is headed.


Report: Microcredentials Not a Strategic Priority for Many Colleges — from insidehighered.com by Kathryn Palmer
A new report finds that while most colleges surveyed embrace alternative credentials, many have a decentralized approach for creating and managing them.

While the majority of colleges focused on online, professional and continuing education have embraced alternative credentials, a significant number of those institutions haven’t made them a strategic priority.

That’s one of the key takeaways from a new study released Monday by UPCEA, the organization previously known as the University Professional and Continuing Education Association. University Professional and Continuing Education Association.

“While a lot of institutions want this, they don’t necessarily all know how” to deliver alternative credentials, said Bruce Etter, UPCEA’s senior director of research and consulting. “Embracing it is great, but now it needs to be part of the strategic plan.”


The Higher Learning Commission’s Credential Lab — from hlcommission.org

HLC’s Credential Lab


10 higher ed trends to watch in 2024 — from insidetrack.org by

Trend 1.
Linking education to career paths

Trend 2.
Making sense of the AI explosion

Trend 3.
Prioritizing mental health on campus

…plus 7 other trends


North Carolina’s Community Colleges Make a Big Bid to Stay Relevant — from workshift.opencampusmedia.org by Margaret Moffett
The system is poised to ask state legislators to overhaul its funding formula to focus on how well colleges prepare students for high-demand, well-paying jobs.

The new formula would pay a premium to each college based on labor-market outcomes: the more students enrolled in courses in high-demand, high-paying workforce sectors, the more money the college receives.

Importantly, the proposed formula makes no distinction between curricular courses that count toward degree programs and noncredit continuing education classes, which historically offer fewer slots for students because of their lower FTE reimbursement rates.



Supporting Career and Technical Education — from bloomberg.org via Paul Fain

The American job market is changing. A high school diploma is no longer a ticket to a good job now, an increasing number of employers are offering “middle-skill jobs” that require more than a high school diploma but less than a bachelor’s degree. Industries like health care, IT, advanced manufacturing, and financial services continue to see sustained growth at all levels, and they need workers with the experience and the credentials to fill new positions. Bloomberg Philanthropies is investing in programs that help young people get the specialized training they need through internships, apprenticeships, academics, and work-based learning.

 

How to Co-Design Curriculum: Fostering Inclusivity through Shared Family Narratives — from gettingsmart.com by Jimmy McCue

Key Points

  • Discover a learner-centric curriculum at Embark Education, where learners recently co-designed a transformative project centered around family narratives and recipes.
  • Explore the intersection of culinary traditions, empathy, and critical analysis as learners delve into the complexities of cultural revitalization, shifting demographics, and systemic inequities in their communities.
  • Engage with a hands-on approach to competency-based education, culminating in the creation of a culturally rich product in collaboration with local community partners, fostering a deep sense of pride and ownership among learners and their respective communities, alike.

From DSC:
I especially like the learner-centered approach, along with the collaboration with local community partners here. As described in Getting Smart’s Smart Update:

Microschool Spotlight: Embark Education


Getting Smart admires Embark Education’s innovative approach for reimagining the middle school experience, recognizing the pivotal nature of adolescence. With a commitment to providing personalized and relevant learning experiences, Embark supports learners in courageously exploring, engaging, and discovering their sense of self, contributing to the broader mission of revolutionizing education.

“We are anchored in the unwavering belief that by simply trusting learners, both youth and adults, we create the conditions for them to curiously and confidently unlock their potential – and that their potential is limitless.” – Brian Hyosaka, Head of School

 

Learners’ Edition: AI-powered Coaching, Professional Certifications + Inspiring conversations about mastering your learning & speaking skills

Learners’ Edition: AI-powered Coaching, Professional Certifications + Inspiring conversations about mastering your learning & speaking skills — from linkedin.com by Tomer Cohen

Excerpts:

1. Your own AI-powered coaching
Learners can go into LinkedIn Learning and ask a question or explain a challenge they are currently facing at work (we’re focusing on areas within Leadership and Management to start). AI-powered coaching will pull from the collective knowledge of our expansive LinkedIn Learning library and, instantaneously, offer advice, examples, or feedback that is personalized to the learner’s skills, job, and career goals.

What makes us so excited about this launch is we can now take everything we as LinkedIn know about people’s careers and how they navigate them and help accelerate them with AI.

3. Learn exactly what you need to know for your next job
When looking for a new job, it’s often the time we think about refreshing our LinkedIn profiles. It’s also a time we can refresh our skills. And with skill sets for jobs having changed by 25% since 2015 – with the number expected to increase by 65% by 2030– keeping our skills a step ahead is one of the most important things we can do to stand out.

There are a couple of ways we’re making it easier to learn exactly what you need to know for your next job:

When you set a job alert, in addition to being notified about open jobs, we’ll recommend learning courses and Professional Certificate offerings to help you build the skills needed for that role.

When you view a job, we recommend specific courses to help you build the required skills. If you have LinkedIn Learning access through your company or as part of a Premium subscription, you can follow the skills for the job, that way we can let you know when we launch new courses for those skills and recommend you content on LinkedIn that better aligns to your career goals.


2024 Edtech Predictions from Edtech Insiders — from edtechinsiders.substack.com by Alex Sarlin, Ben Kornell, and Sarah Morin
Omni-modal AI, edtech funding prospects, higher ed wake up calls, focus on career training, and more!

Alex: I talked to the 360 Learning folks at one point and they had this really interesting epiphany, which is basically that it’s been almost impossible for every individual company in the past to create a hierarchy of skills and a hierarchy of positions and actually organize what it looks like for people to move around and upskill within the company and get to new paths.

Until now. AI actually can do this very well. It can take not only job description data, but it can take actual performance data. It can actually look at what people do on a daily basis and back fit that to training, create automatic training based on it.

From DSC:
I appreciated how they addressed K-12, higher ed, and the workforce all in one posting. Nice work. We don’t need siloes. We need more overall design thinking re: our learning ecosystems — as well as more collaborations. We need more on-ramps and pathways in a person’s learning/career journey.

 

The Rise of Learning Societies — from educationnext.org by Alan Gottlieb
A small experiment in rural Idaho holds big promise for student success 

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The basic idea is this: Some parents who, for a variety of reasons, hesitate to send their children to a traditional brick-and-mortar school have neither the time, inclination, or temperament to homeschool or to monitor a full-time online program. Learning Societies provide an intimate environment where kids, supervised by professional educators, learn online and in small, in-person groups for six hours a day. Gem Prep leaders describe it as a sweet spot between traditional schooling and at-home online learning. It is particularly well suited to rural areas.

Learning Societies have the potential to achieve a happy medium that combines the strengths of both homeschooling (or online learning from home) and a traditional brick-and-mortar school.

A typical school day at a Gem Prep Learning Society sees some students engaged in online lessons on laptops while others receive instruction from a teacher in a small group, all within the same classroom. Both modalities use Gem Prep Online’s well-regarded curriculum.

 

Education evolves to match the speed of tech innovation — from Tech predictions for 2024 and beyond — from allthingsdistributed.com
Higher education alone cannot keep up with the rate of technological change. Industry-led skills-based training programs will emerge that more closely resemble the journeys of skilled tradespeople. This shift to continuous learning will benefit individuals and businesses alike.

Similar to the software development processes of decades past, we have reached a pivotal point with tech education, and we will see what was once bespoke on-the-job-training for a few evolve into industry-led skills-based education for many.

We have seen glimpses of this shift underway for years. Companies like Coursera, who originally focused on consumers, have partnered with enterprises to scale their upskilling and reskilling efforts. Degree apprenticeships have continued to grow in popularity because education can be specialized by the employer, and apprentices can earn as they learn. But now, companies themselves are starting to seriously invest in skills-based education at scale.

All of these programs enable learners at different points in their career journey to gain the exact skills they need to enter in-demand roles, without the commitment of a traditional multi-year program.

But there will be many industries where the impact of technology outpaces traditional educational systems. To meet the demands of business, we will see a new era of industry-led educational opportunities that can’t be ignored.

From DSC:
It seems to me that this is saying that higher education is not able to — nor will it be able to in the future — match the speed of innovation taking place today. Therefore, alternatives will continue to hit the learning landscapes/radar. For example, Amazon’s CTO, Dr. Werner Vogels, mentioned Amazon’s efforts here:

Amazon just announced that it has already trained 21 million tech learners across the world in tech skills. And it’s in part thanks to programs like the Mechatronics and Robotics Apprenticeship and AWS Cloud Institute.

 

 

More Chief Online Learning Officers Step Up to Senior Leadership Roles 
In 2024, I think we will see more Chief Online Learning Officers (COLOs) take on more significant roles and projects at institutions.

In recent years, we have seen many COLOs accept provost positions. The typical provost career path that runs up through the faculty ranks does not adequately prepare leaders for the digital transformation occurring in postsecondary education.

As we’ve seen with the professionalization of the COLO role, in general, these same leaders proved to be incredibly valuable during the pandemic due to their unique skills: part academic, part entrepreneur, part technologist, COLOs are unique in higher education. They sit at the epicenter of teaching, learning, technology, and sustainability. As institutions are evolving, look for more online and professional continuing leaders to take on more senior roles on campuses.

Julie Uranis, Senior Vice President, Online and Strategic Initiatives, UPCEA

 

Why Entrepreneurship Might Save Our Kids—and the Rest of Us. — from gettingsmart.com by Katie Kimbrell

Key Points (emphasis DSC):

  • We need to be asking our students “How did you put your ideas into the world today?”.
  • To be human is to be entrepreneurial.

One of my favorite mom friends asks her young school-aged kids every day, “What did you make today?”

I love how subtly subversive this question is. Not, “How was school today?” “Were you good today?” or, “How’s [insert school subject] going?” But, How did you put your ideas out into the world today?” 

That simple question understands this fundamental truth: to be human is to create, to employ our imaginations and partake in forming the world we want to live in.


Microschool in a Box: Programs Enabling the Microschool Movement — from gettingsmart.com by Nate McClennen

Key Points

  • Microschools are not new. In fact, they are as old as learning itself.
  • Funding and operations can be difficult within a microschool model. Programs and other organizations can support planning, design and implementation.

Microschools are meeting strong market demand for more personalized, more contextualized and more relevant learning for every student. Programs like ASU Prep’s Microschool in a Box make it possible for more learners to become future-ready with access to affordable, relational microschool learning.

Nate McClennen


The Science of Classroom Design — from edutopia.org by Youki Terada and Stephen Merrill
Our comprehensive, all-in, research-based look at the design of effective learning spaces.

Topics include:

  • Light
  • Ventilation and air quality
  • Complexity and color
  • Data walls
  • Nature, plants, and greenery
  • Representation
    • Students can experience representation in classrooms by seeing their own or peers’ artifacts on walls and in shared virtual spaces, or by being exposed to images and references that mirror their interests, passions, and backgrounds.
  • Flexibility
  • Learning differences and neurodivergence
  • Heat
  • Acoustics/noise
  • Seating arrangements
  • Learning Zones

Addendum on 12/1/23:

 

Four Scenarios for the Future of Legal Education — from denniskennedy.com by Dennis Kennedy

Scenario 1: Fully Digitalized Law School
Scenario 2: Blended Law School Experience
Scenario 3: Specialized Legal Education
Scenario 4: Decentralized Legal Education

In the decentralized legal education scenario, the traditional model of law schools is disrupted by the emergence of alternative education platforms and micro-credentialing. The concept of a law degree is replaced by a more flexible and personalized approach to legal education. Students can choose from an array of legal courses offered by various providers, including universities, law firms, online platforms, and even government agencies.

 

In Iowa, a “Billy Madison Project” Yields a Different Way to do School — from by Sam Chaltain
A great flood reveals a new path . . .

The idea was simple: ask sixty community leaders to fan across the city’s public schools, follow in the footsteps of its youngest citizens, and report back on what they saw.

Fifty-nine said yes. What they found, Pickering says, “were kids with dead eyes. Kids not engaged. And kids who knew that school was a game – and the game was rigged.”

So the Billy Madison team used its findings to design a prospective high school that would actually produce what its participants said they wanted to see: 

Let kids pursue their passions. Give them real work to do.  And get them out of the school building, and in the community. 

Passion. Projects. People.


How 9 of the World’s Most Innovative Schools Ignite Children’s Love for Learning — from learntrepreneurs.com by Eva Keffenheim
And equip the next generation to become changemakers.


This thought-provoking discussion delves into the topic of system replacement in education. Is school transformation possible without replacing the existing education system? Joining [Michael] to discuss the question are Thomas Arnett of the Christensen Institute and Kelly Young of Education Reimagined.

In an educational landscape that constantly seeks marginal improvements, [Michael’s] guests speak to the importance of embracing new value networks that support innovative approaches to learning. They bring to light the issue of programs that remain niche solutions, rather than robust, learner-centered alternatives. In exploring the concept of value networks, [Michael’s] guests challenge the notion of transforming individual schools or districts alone. They argue for the creation of a new value network to truly revolutionize the education system. Of course, they admit that achieving this is no small feat, as it requires a paradigm shift in mindset and a careful balance between innovation and existing structures. In this conversation, we wrestle with the full implications of their findings and more.

From DSC:
This reminds me of the importance of TrimTab Groups who invent or test out something new apart from the mothership.


Technology in education — from unesco.org by ; via Eva Keffenheim
A tool on whose terms?

The 2023 GEM Report on technology and education explores these debates, examining education challenges to which appropriate use of technology can offer solutions (access, equity and inclusion; quality; technology advancement; system management), while recognizing that many solutions proposed may also be detrimental.

The report also explores three system-wide conditions (access to technology, governance regulation, and teacher preparation) that need to be met for any technology in education to reach its full potential.



Campus Road Trip Diary: 8 Things We Learned This Year About America’s Most Innovative High Schools — from the74million.org by Greg Toppo & Emmeline Zhao

Since last spring, journalists at The 74 have been crossing the U.S. as part of our 2023 High School Road Trip. It has embraced both emerging and established high school models, taking us to 13 schools from Rhode Island to California, Arizona to South Carolina, and in between.

It has brought us face-to-face with innovation, with programs that promote everything from nursing to aerospace to maritime-themed careers.

At each school, educators seem to be asking one key question: What if we could start over and try something totally new?

What we’ve found represents just a small sample of the incredible diversity that U.S. high schools now offer, but we’re noticing a few striking similarities that educators in these schools, free to experiment with new models, now share. Here are the top eight:
.

Campus Road Trip Diary: 8 Things We Learned This Year About America’s Most Innovative High Schools

.


.

Learners need: More voice. More choice. More control. -- this image was created by Daniel Christian

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Empowering Parents: School Choice and Technology — from obviouslythefuture.substack.com
Ep 2 | Joe Connor, Odyssey Education, ESAs, Streamlined Technology Platform, Informed Choices

What does it take to empower parents and decentralize schooling? Why is a diversity of school models important to parents? Are we at a tipping point?
.


PROOF POINTS: Lowering test anxiety in the classroom — from hechingerreport.org/ by Jill Barshay
Review of 24 studies finds quizzes boost achievement and alleviate stress over exams

Several meta-analyses, which summarize the evidence from many studies, have found higher achievement when students take quizzes instead of, say, reviewing notes or rereading a book chapter. “There’s decades and decades of research showing that taking practice tests will actually improve your learning,” said David Shanks, a professor of psychology and deputy dean of the Faculty of Brain Sciences at University College London.

Still, many students get overwhelmed during tests. Shanks and a team of four researchers wanted to find out whether quizzes exacerbate test anxiety.  The team collected 24 studies that measured students’ test anxiety and found that, on average, practice tests and quizzes not only improved academic achievement, but also ended up reducing test anxiety. Their meta-analysis was published in Educational Psychology Review in August 2023.


The End of Scantron Tests — from theatlantic.com by Matteo Wong
Machine-graded bubble sheets are the defining feature of American schools. Today’s kindergartners may never have to fill one out.


Benefits of Pretesting in the Classroom — from learningscientists.org by Cindy Nebel

There are several possible reasons why pretesting worked in this study.

  1. Students paid more attention to the pretested material during the lecture.
  2. The pretest activated prior knowledge (some of them are clearly doing a lot of prework), and allowed them to encode the new information more deeply.
  3. They were doing a lot of studying of the pretested information outside of class.
  4. There are some great spaced retrieval effects going on. That is, students saw the material before lecture, they took a quiz on it during the pretest, then later they reviewed or quizzed themselves on that same material again during self-study.

 


Big Ideas in Education — from edweek.org by various

Big Ideas is Education Week’s annual special report that brings the expertise of our newsroom—and occasionally those beyond our newsroom—to bear on the challenges you might be facing in your classroom, school, or district. Big Ideas questions the status quo and explores opportunities to help you build a better, more just learning environment for all students. Browse our collection.


 

 
 

Will one of our future learning ecosystems look like a Discord server type of service? [Christian]

 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian