Improved Student Engagement in Higher Education’s Next Normal — from er.educause.edu by Ed Glantz, Chris Gamrat, Lisa Lenze and Jeffrey Bardzell
Five pandemic-introduced innovative teaching adaptations can improve student engagement in the next normal for higher education.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The five teaching enhancements/adaptations discussed above—collaborative technologies for sense-making, student experts in learning and technology, back channels, digital breakout rooms, and supplemental recording—are well positioned to expand the definition of “student engagement” beyond traditional roll call and attendance tracking. Opportunities to include students at a distance have permitted inclusion of students who are reticent to speak publicly, students whose first language is not English, students with disabilities, and students less engaged through “traditional” channels. With these new conceptions of engagement in mind, we are prepared to be more inclusive of all students in the next normal of higher education.

 

Asynchronous Video Conversations: 11 Tips and Best Practices — from er.educause.edu by Rob Gibson

Excerpt (first 4 of 11):

1. Closely align video conversations with the stated module, course, and/or program learning objectives. Clearly indicate those alignments in the course outline.

2. Use the syllabus, an introductory course video, or a sample student video recording to prepare students in advance for this type of activity. Since many students will use their smartphones to record, provide information about best practices for creating quality video using a phone.

3. Some students are uncomfortable recording themselves. Depending on the product, consider offering alternatives such as an audio/mic-only mode, a text-only mode, or using a proxy image or avatar in the video.

4. Consider using threaded video conversations for course introductions to build a sense of humanizing the course. Michelle Pacansky-Brock supports the use of video conversations as an alternative to text. In her book How to Humanize Your Online Class with VoiceThread, she indicates that video tools maximize presence, a dimension of online connectivity to fellow students, the faculty, and the content. Research in her own courses found an increase from 25 percent to 75 percent in voluntary voice-video comments.Footnote5 This also helps form common goals and dispositions among students—dispositions are affective learning dimensions, such as motivation, attitude, persistence, empathy, and problem solving.Footnote6

 

 

Teaching: Why the Term ‘Hybrid Class’ Continues to Confuse — from chronicle.com by Beth McMurtrie

Excerpt:

Hybrid Confusion
Why is it so hard to define a hybrid class? Or, rather, why is it so hard for colleges to describe it in a course catalog? That was the question that popped into my mind after seeing this chart, tweeted out recently by Kevin McClure, an associate professor of higher education at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

A slew of different delivery formats...whew!

But is it really helping anyone to define every possible permutation of “hybrid”? More to the point, what should colleges take into account when trying to balance specificity with clarity in course descriptions?

 

From DSC:
I was reviewing an edition of Dr. Barbara Honeycutt’s Lecture Breakers Weekly, where she wrote:

After an experiential activity, discussion, reading, or lecture, give students time to write the one idea they took away from the experience. What is their one takeaway? What’s the main idea they learned? What do they remember?

This can be written as a reflective blog post or journal entry, or students might post it on a discussion board so they can share their ideas with their colleagues. Or, they can create an audio clip (podcast), video, or drawing to explain their One Takeaway.

From DSC:
This made me think of tools like VoiceThread — where you can leave a voice/audio message, an audio/video-based message, a text-based entry/response, and/or attach other kinds of graphics and files.

That is, a multimedia-based exit ticket. It seems to me that this could work in online- as well as blended-based learning environments.


Addendum on 2/7/21:

How to Edit Live Photos to Make Videos, GIFs & More! — from jonathanwylie.com


 

8 Higher Education IT Trends to Watch in 2021 [Stone]

8 Higher Education IT Trends to Watch in 2021 — from edtechmagazine.com by Adam Stone
Keep your eye on these trends as higher education prepares for a post-pandemic future.

Excerpt:

1. Get Used to More Advanced Learning Management Systems
At Virginia Tech, the Canvas learning management system (LMS) was critical for coordinating synchronous and asynchronous learning. Such systems will only become more sophisticated moving forward, says Randy Marchany, the university’s IT security officer. “With COVID, instructors have become more video savvy,” he says. “We’re all getting smarter about how we use these tools.”

2. A Rise in Sophisticated Videoconferencing Platforms
Even after the pandemic, educators might continue lecturing over Zoom and other videoconferencing platforms. However, they’ll be doing it in more sophisticated ways. “People will be making these experiences more collaborative, more authentic — with much richer interactions and conversations,” Grajek says. “We are all becoming more experienced consumers, and we will see a lot of innovation in this area.”

From DSC:
Yet another step closer…

Yet another step closer to the Learning from the Living Class Room vision

 

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.”

 

From DSC:
For me the Socratic method is still a question mark, in terms of effectiveness. (I suppose it depends on who is yielding the tool and how it’s being utilized/implemented.)

But you have one student — often standing up and/or in the spotlight — who is being drilled on something. That student could be calm and collected, and their cognitive processing could actually get a boost from the adrenaline.

But there are other students who dread being called upon in such a public — sometimes competitive — setting. Their cognitive processing could shut down or become greatly diminished.

Also, the professor is working with one student at a time — hopefully the other students are trying to address each subsequent question, but some students may tune out once they know it’s not their turn in the spotlight.

So I was wondering…could the Socratic method be used with each student at the same time? Could a polling-like tool be used in real-time to guide the discussion?

For example, a professor could start out with a pre-created poll and ask the question of all students. Then they could glance through the responses and even scan for some keywords (using their voice to drive the system and/or using a Ctrl+F / Command+F type of thing).

Then in real-time / on-the-fly, could the professor use their voice to create another poll/question — again for each student to answer — based on one of the responses? Again, each student must answer the follow up question(s).

Are there any vendors out there working on something like this? Or have you tested the effectiveness of something like this?

Vendors: Can you help us create a voice-driven interface to offer the Socratic method to everyone to see if and how it would work? (Like a Mentimeter type of product on steroids…er, rather, using an AI-driven backend.)

Teachers, trainers, pastors, presenters could also benefit from something like this — as it could engage numerous people at once.

#Participation #Engagement #Assessment #Reasoning #CriticalThinking #CommunicationSkills #ThinkingOnOnesFeet #OnlineLearning #Face-to-Face #BlendedLearning #HybridLearning

Could such a method be used in language-related classes as well? In online-based tutoring?

 

A new category of devices from Cisco -- the Webex Desk Hub

From DSC:
In yesterday’s webexone presentations, Cisco mentioned a new device category, calling it the Webex Desk Hub. It gets at the idea of walking into a facility and grabbing any desk, and making that desk you own — at least for that day and time. Cisco is banking on the idea that sometimes people will be working remotely, and sometimes they will be “going into the office.” But the facilities will likely be fewer and smaller — so one might not have their own office.

In that case, you can plug in your smart device, and things are set up the way they would be if you did have that space as a permanent office.

Applying this concept to the smart classrooms of the future, what might that concept look like for classrooms? A faculty member or a teacher could walk into any room that supports such a setup, put in their personal smart device, and the room conditions are instantly implemented:

  • The LMS comes on
  • The correct class — based on which day it is and then on the particular time of day it is — is launched
  • The lights are dimmed to 50%
  • The electric window treatments darken the room
  • The projector comes on and/or the displays turn on
  • Etc.
 

Bichronous Online Learning: Blending Asynchronous & Synchronous Online Learning — from er.educause.edu by Florence Martin, Drew Polly and Albert Ritzhaupt

Excerpt:

Overall, research shows that when synchronous communication features are integrated with asynchronous features, the online course is more engaging, increasing learning outcomes, positive attitudes, and retention.

Bichronous Online Learning: Blending Asynchronous and Synchronous Online Learning

 

How to Engage Students (and Identify Them) — from thejournal.com by Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

“The lessons that created the most engaging experiences for students often were a combination of opportunities that encouraged discussion, gave students learning choices and allowed students to create. These elements are immensely transferable both in the online and in-person classroom and can facilitate a positive learning environment, whether in a synchronous or asynchronous setting.”

The report is available with an email address through the GoGuardian website.

Go Guardian's 2020: State of Engagement Report

 

Purdue Shares Look Inside HyFlex Classroom — from campustechnology.com by Rhea Kelly

Excerpt:

He started blending both face-to-face and online instruction in his classrooms weeks before Purdue officially shifted to remote learning last spring.

Mentzer wanted his students to be able to participate in class remotely in real time or physically attend on any given day, according to a university news story.

“If students are unable to come to class for a period of time because they are in isolation or quarantined, they can complete the requirements online and continue progressing in the course,” she noted.

 

Zoom, but for X: How startups are building for our new video normal  — from protocol.com by Biz Carson
Meet the startups building the next take on video.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Trying to liven up the monotony of Zoom meetings, Phil Libin hung up a green towel behind his desk and started projecting images onto it, like Dr. Anthony Fauci hovering over his shoulder, just to make his team laugh. At first, it was a bit of a performance and a way to break up the monotony as Zoom fatigue set in a few months into the pandemic at the end of May. But then Libin, the former CEO of Evernote and founder of startup studio All Turtles, realized the “Weekend Update” style could be more than just a gimmick.

A bit of coding and a fantastic demo later, Libin closed a seed round of $4.5 million to launch his new company, Mmhmm. His big belief is that we’re moving to a hybrid world where things don’t fit neatly into boxes like in-person or online or live or recorded. Instead, it’s all going to be a mix.

Also see:

 

Teaching in a Hybrid Classroom – What’s Working, What’s Not — from derekbruff.org by Derek Bruff

Excerpt:

Now that we’re a few weeks into the semester, I wanted to know what was working and what was a continuing challenge for instructors, so I convened a conversation on teaching earlier this week attended by 18 of my faculty colleagues representing a range of disciplines. They were excited to be back in the classroom this fall. “There’s a different energy when we’re face-to-face,” one of them said. We had a lively discussion via Zoom about hybrid teaching, including what made it exciting and what made it frustrating, and I wanted to share a few highlights here on the blog.

I waited a minute or two while the participants thought and typed, and when it was clear that most of the participants were no longer typing, I said, “Ready, set, go!” Everyone hit enter, and a slew of responses appeared in the chat at the same time. At this point, we all spent a couple of minutes reading through the responses. I selected a couple that were particularly interesting and called on those participants to elaborate via video.

Also see:

Active Learning in Hybrid and Physically Distanced Classrooms — from cft.vanderbilt.edu by Derek Bruff

 

If I’m standing at the front of the classroom with half or a third of my students in the room with me, but sitting six feet apart from each other and wearing masks, while the rest of my students are joining class by videoconference, what strategies might I employ to engage all of my students in meaningful learning?

I’m going to try to outline some options here in this blog post, drawing on ideas and resources from across the higher education community, but I would enthusiastically welcome additional approaches in the comments below or via Hypothesis annotations.

Derek Bruff

 

From DSC:
Below are but some of the changes to the learning ecosystems out there. Certainly, more are coming.


Ex-Google employees form virtual tech ‘school’ for gap year students amid college closures — from cnbc.com by Jennifer Elias

KEY POINTS
  • Current and former Google employees are forming an online program aimed at preparing students for the workforce if they’re taking time off school due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • It comes as many college students defer school as universities shift learning models to mostly online amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Google execs past and present have volunteered to mentor college students on topics ranging from career trajectory to how to stand out in virtual Zoom interviews.

Along these lines, see:

  • Google has a plan to disrupt the college degree — from inc.com by Justin Bariso
    Google’s new certificate program takes only six months to complete, and will be a fraction of the cost of college.
    Excerpt:
    Google recently made a huge announcement that could change the future of work and higher education: It’s launching a selection of professional courses that teach candidates how to perform in-demand jobs. These courses, which the company is calling Google Career Certificates, teach foundational skills that can help job-seekers immediately find employment. However, instead of taking years to finish like a traditional university degree, these courses are designed to be completed in about six months.

From DSC:
Also, to see some more changes to the learning ecosystems out there, set up a Google Alert (or something similar in Feedly or via another tool) for “Learning Pods,” “Pandemic Pods,” and/or the “growth of homeschooling.” Here’s but one recent example:

Zoo Knoxville to start virtual learning pods for students

 


 

Check out the Academic Warriers website

About Academic Warriors:

Life can be very hard for autistic, gifted and special needs learners.  Autistic and gifted learners often times struggle in school because they learn very differently than their peers. These special learners need a personalized approach to their education that allows them to learn in their own way at their own pace.

Many times parents and students feel as if they are the only ones like them in the world. This can often times lead to isolation and frustration. It is important for all autistic, gifted and special needs to unite in order to support one another. We are named Academic Warriors because all our students are superheroes in a world that doesn’t always understand and/or appreciate them. We help our students to become strong, independent and positive learners despite what the world may think of them.

It is the mission of Academic Warriors to help create positive learning experiences and communities throughout the United States for autistic, gifted and special needs learners. We offer online courses, programs, private school and in person events that foster an unique learning environment that promotes unity among all our students and families. We strive to create online and in person learning communities in every state that will provide educational opportunities for all families of autistic, gifted and special needs students. Together we can create a better world for the autistic, gifted and special needs learner.

 


From DSC:
As part of a homeschooling-based situation, my wife received the following item for one of our daughters (who needs additional/personalized assistance to learn). Simultaneously, she and our daughter sent them a Michigan Exchange Box. Very cool.

My wife and one of our daughters received this set of things from a homeschooler in Mississippi! Very cool!

I believe my wife found this out at the following group in Facebook:

 


Some channels out on Youtube that have to do with learning:
(and by the way, according to Jane Hart’s recent Top 200 Tools for Learning, YouTube is in the #1 spot for the 5th year in a row!)

Snake Discovery -- videos out on YouTube

Bondi Vet - videos on YouTube

 


 

From the Off-Trail Learning website, here are some self-directed learning centers

 


The Barn for Equine Learning

“Horse Sense Tutoring Services is a unique resource that combines the power of Equine Assisted Learning with evidence-based reading and math strategies that engage the mind, body, and emotions in learning.  We use the principles of discovery, experience, movement, reflection, and connection in partnership with our horse friends.

Based at The Barn for Equine Learning…my program offers targeted reading, math, and basic horsemanship tutoring for students in grades K – 8. Horses become teaching and learning partners as students experience academics and social-emotional learning in a whole new way.

If you are looking for a unique tutoring and confidence-building experience for your child, PM for more information.  Sessions are held outdoors and/or in an open barn setting.

(Small group field trips with an introduction to basic horsemanship skills are also available).

 


From DSC:
So these are just a few examples of how the learning ecosystems are changing out there! Surely, there will be more changes coming down the pike.


 

 

Just released today! Jane Hart’s Top 200 Tools for Learning

Jane Hart's Top 200 Tools for Learning -- released on 9-1-20

Top 200 Tools for Learning — from toptools4learning.com by Jane Hart

Excerpt:

The Top Tools for Learning 2020 was compiled by Jane Hart from the results of the 14th Annual Learning Tools Survey, and released on 1 September 2020. For general information about the survey and this website, visit the About page. For observations and infographics of this year’s list, see Analysis 2020.

 

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian