Homeschooling During the COVID-19 Pandemic — from cato.org by Kerry McDonald

Excerpt:

In a recent three-part Cato Daily Podcast series, I spoke with host Caleb Brown about this unprecedented educational moment, including sharing strategies and resources for overcoming the challenges of unexpected, unchosen homeschooling, as well as possible outcomes as more parents seek alternatives to conventional schooling post-pandemic.


More Free Resources For New Homeschoolers — from forbes.com by Nick Morrison

Excerpt:

Last month I highlighted some of the free resources available for parents — and teachers — during the pandemic, but since then a number of other organizations have offered their resources, expertise and support for free, so here is another selection, for the benefit of ordinary homeschoolers in these extraordinary times.


From DSC:
Below are excerpts from a recent email that I received as a cc: to our son and am passing it along in case it helps others out there.

I would like to share with you important guidance on how to get the most out of your online learning experience.

ORGANIZING YOUR SPACE
Set up your home classroom space. This is important. Be sure you have a space that is comfortable and where you can focus on your studies, your practice, your craft and your learning. This can be private or shared, whatever works for you and your family.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • Computer
  • Internet Access, preferably high-speed broadband, is required for video conferencing and class assignments. Most of the expected work will not require streaming, but a secure internet connection will help a lot.
  • Headphones help minimize extraneous noise. They can also help signal to others in your home that you are online and on-task.
  • Zoom, our preferred video conferencing software, can be downloaded here

SCHEDULE
You will complete your work and engage in your lessons in two ways. Some assignments are laid out in your Canvas class and can be completed at your own pace, turning work in when due. And some of your classes and lessons will require you to connect with faculty and students in real time. When a real-time option is possible, be sure to take it. 

STAYING CONNECTED
Again, be sure to connect in real time as often as possible. There are lots of opportunities to connect with faculty and students every day.

Join in as many real time experiences as you can. These human connections, across the internet, are so important during this time when we are all separated physically.

NORMS FOR VIDEO-CONFERENCING

  • Log in on time, and be fully prepared with any necessary materials, notebooks, etc.
  • Wear clothes like what you would wear to school.
  • Remain present and engaged throughout the session. Do not open additional windows or use other technology during the session, unless it is part of class.
  • Join sessions in a quiet space, if you can, where you will not distract others and not be distracted. 
  • Mute your microphone when not speaking.

SUMMARY OF STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Establish a daily routine for your school work.
  • Find a comfortable, distraction-free place in your home where you can work.
  • Check email and Canvas each day to learn about the expectations for your work.
  • Perform tasks as outlined by instructors in Canvas and seek clarification from teachers on any assignments where you need it.
  • For classes meeting “live,” login to real-time video services (Zoom) for dialogue with teachers and members of your class. Attend faculty office hours. They want to see you!
  • Put forth your best effort.
  • Communicate with your instructors, your advisor, your residence life coordinator, and/or Academic and College Counseling.
  • If you need anything, let us know.

Under the Table and Teaching: 11 Expert Tips for Schooling Kids with ADHD from Home — from additudemag.com
Unschooling. Homeschooling. Crisis schooling. What is the difference? And what are the best learning strategies for your child with ADHD at this stressful time? Here are tips and strategies from education experts who understand the distinctions and today’s inescapable realities.

Excerpts:

11 Ways to Support Learning at Home

    1. Focus learning on your child’s natural interests.
    2. If your child gets stressed, take a break.
    3. Make learning a game.
    4. Embrace Minecraft.
    5. Add movement to promote learning.
    6. Build focus with busy hands and feet.
    7. Tap into online tutors.
    8. Ditch the worksheets. Use educational videos, phone apps, educational podcasts, or other media to introduce or expand on a subject.
    9. Take things one day at a time.
    10. Follow your child’s lead.
    11. Accept that homeschooling may not work for you.

 

unschool


 

Research Quest Live sign up
Though the museum is currently closed, the Natural History Museum of Utah is allowing kids around the globe the opportunity to transport back in time to a past where dinosaurs roamed the world. With the recently launched Research Quest Live, offering a taste of the world with virtual tours and free access to daily online science classes taught by museum educators.


Common Sense Launches Wide Open School to Help Families and Educators Transition to Students Learning from Home — from commonsensemedia.org
As Schools Continue to Close as a Result of the Coronavirus Pandemic, Some of the Most Respected Companies in Education, Media, and Tech Join Forces to Offer a Free and Open Collection of Quality Online Learning Resources to Educators and Families. 

Excerpt:

SAN FRANCISCO, March 31, 2020—Common Sense, the leading nonprofit organization whose mission is to help kids, families, and educators thrive in a world of media and technology, has convened a group of education, media, and tech partners to launch WideOpenSchool.org, a free online resource to support families and educators who are transitioning to remote learning as a result of the coronavirus.

Wide Open School features the very best resources from publishers, nonprofits, and education companies, including the American Federation of Teachers, Amplify, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Head Start, Khan Academy, National Geographic, Noggin, PBS, Scholastic, Sesame Workshop,Time for Kids, XQ Institute, and YouTube. Find the full site at WideOpenSchool.org.

 

Canvas Video Resources — from instructure.com

Are you in the middle of #remotelearning, and could you use a refresher on how to do certain things w/Canvas LMS? Don’t worry, a group of community members came together & produced videos about key features to help you get moving.  

 


#edtech #onlinelearning #coronavirus #education #highered #k12 #CMS #LMS #Canvas

 

From DSC:
With a shout out to a colleague of mine for these resources:

 

Also see:

 
 

 Coronavirus has led to a rush of online teaching. Here’s some advice for newly remote instructors — from edsurge.com by Jeff Young & Bonni Stachowiak

Excerpt:

The simplest way to go online is to shift to a video conference platform
Stachowiak says that just lecturing to a webcam instead of an in-person class isn’t the best way to teach online, but it is the easiest way to switch. Under the circumstances, it is better than nothing. “I’d rather that you do that for your students, for yourself than to cancel all the classes,” she argues.

Think shorter
If it’s hard to hold students’ attention in person, it’s even harder online, says Stachowiak: “You’ll want to think about shortening that experience. The online environment tends to have shorter, more-compact opportunities and then other things to do that are more engaging than just sitting and listening.”

 

Higher Ed LMS Market for US and Canada: Year-End 2019 Edition — from listedtech-com.cdn.ampproject.org by Justin Menard

Excerpt:

With the release this week of MindWires’ Year-End 2019 report to subscribers (powered by our data), I thought it was time for us to look at updates on the institutional LMS market for North America’s higher education US and Canada). Note that MindWire’s coverage for the market analysis includes Europe, Latin America, Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, and surrounding island countries) as well as new coverage of the Middle East.

 

 

Optimal Video Length for Student Engagement — from blog.edx.org by Candace Hazlett and Philip Guo

Excerpt:

In this first post, I’ll share some preliminary results about video usage, obtained from initial analyses of a few edX math and science courses. Unsurprisingly, students engaged more with shorter videos. Traditional in-person lectures usually last an hour, but students have much shorter attention spans when watching educational videos online. The graph below shows median engagement times versus video length, aggregated over several million video watching sessions:

From DSC:
If you have access to a tool like Canvas Studio, then you can probably extend the length of your videos if you are interspersing your videos with a healthy dose of interactivity — i.e., inserting quiz questions every few minutes.

 

The Future of Education Technology (FETC) Conference…What did we learn this year? — from teachercast.net by Jeffrey Bradbury

“I couldn’t believe how many sessions this year revolved around audio or video creation.  I even counted more than 15 sessions that had the word Podcast in them (including mine).”

 
 

Preparing faculty for high-quality online programs — from campustechnology.com by Anne Frankel, Laurie Friedman, Jamie Mansell, Jennifer Ibrahim
Temple University’s College of Public Health is a diverse school experiencing significant growth online. Here’s how the institution is supporting the development and maintenance of high-quality online faculty.

Excerpt:

We recognized that faculty may be at different levels of preparedness and self-efficacy to start teaching in an online space — and we realized the challenges of organizing faculty in a single location at a given time. Therefore, we chose to deliver the training in a fully asynchronous environment, allowing faculty the time and space needed to digest the materials and practice with the content to build their confidence. Faculty are enrolled in the training during the semester prior to their assigned online class, and are asked to complete the training at least four weeks before the start of their online course to provide sufficient time for feedback to the faculty with lead time for changes to the course before launching, if needed.

We wanted the training to take the faculty member through the design of an entire online course, from syllabus creation, to choices in delivery style, to assessment techniques and more. Each of the nine modules included both pedagogical and technological pieces, encompassing everything from creating alignment (Module 3), to setting up your Canvas site (Module 4), to designing and delivering synchronous sessions (Module 8).

Within each module, there is an organized infrastructure to ensure a consistent experience for the faculty. The structure starts with a clear set of learning objectives, designed both to model best practices and to ensure alignment with activities and assessments. Following the objectives, there are diverse resources, including videos, instructional guides with screenshots, web links, journal articles and examples from our online classes. After the content, each module contains “assignments” for the faculty to complete. These assignments allow the faculty to demonstrate that they can incorporate both technological and pedagogical best practices within their own online course.

 

Per Jane Hart on LinkedIn:

Top 200 Tools for Learning 2019 is now published, together with:

PLUS analysis of how these tools are being used in different context, new graphics, and updated comments on the tools’ pages that show how people are using the tools.

 

 

 

Some basic HTML tips for when your LMS makes you nuts — from busynessgirl.com by Maria Andersen

Excerpt:

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language; it is the computer code of web pages.

Many editors in blogs, wikis, online learning systems like Canvas, Brightspace, Moodle, and Blackboard have WYSIWYG editors. WYSIWYG stands for “what you see is what you get.”

Most digital editors have an icon panel at the top with standard formatting tools. The location of the tools varies slightly from platform to platform (a few examples from common Learning Management Systems, or LMS’s, are below).

In most online editors, there is an option to switch back and forth from WYSIWYG to HTML. When you are trying to get a page to look just right and it’s not behaving, you might need to go make a few simple tweaks to the HTML. Just knowing that there is HTML code behind each page, and the basics of how it works will be helpful to figuring out why formatting is not “sticking” properly in the WYSIWYG editor.

You can go to PracticeBoard to practice some of the HTML in this post.

 
 

Instructure’s Age of Adolescence: A Conversation With CEO Dan Goldsmith — from edsurge.com by Tony Wan

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

…we sat down with Goldsmith in Long Beach, California, at InstructureCon, the company’s annual user conference, to learn more about what lays ahead for the company as it enters, in his words, the “adolescent phase.”

How big is the company now?
We’re over 1,200. A little less than half the company is focused on R&D, which is a pretty high percentage for a technology company like ours.

What’s connecting the dots between the education and corporate sides is actually the market itself. Educational institutions are recognizing that the largest growing population is the professional worker, and there’s a lot of opportunity for online programs. When institutions are extending those programs to build corporate relationships, it’s very common they use Canvas to do that. Then Bridge comes in to provide the employee development piece.

I asked [Instructure’s co-founder and former CEO] Josh Coates this five years ago, and now I’ll ask you. What three words would you use to describe Instructure today?
Mission-minded. Curious. Optimistic.
(Coates’ answers: Impactful. Open. Innovative.)

 

From DSC:
To those of you graduate students out there: Never underestimate the impact/influence that you can have!

Were it not for his volunteering as an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University, Coates might still be on vacation. In 2008, he was approached by two graduate students in his venture startup class with a fledgling idea that would become Instructure. Skeptical at first, Coates saw potential after they shared transcripts from interviews with 17 university administrators, detailing pain points and the need for a better product.

In 2014: 450 employees
In 2019: Over 1200 employees and now the #1 LMS within U.S. higher ed

 

Instructure: Plans to expand beyond Canvas LMS into machine learning and AI — from mfeldstein.com by Phill Hill

Excerpts:

On the same day as Instructure’s earnings call and release of FY2018 financial results, the company announced the acquisition of Portfolium for $43 million, a small startup focusing on “ePortfolio network, student-centered assessment, job matching capabilities, and academic and co-curricular pathways”.

Instructure now views itself as a company with a suite of products, and they are much more open to using corporate M&A to build this portfolio.

We already have analytical capabilities in our Canvas platform. I want to be really clear and delineate the difference between an analytics and reporting capability, and a machine learning and AI platform.

We have the most comprehensive database on the educational experience in the globe. So given that information that we have, no one else has those data assets at their fingertips to be able to develop those algorithms and predictive models.

What’s even more interesting and compelling is that we can take that information, correlate it across all sorts of universities, curricula, etc, and we can start making recommendations and suggestions to the student or instructor in how they can be more successful. Watch this video, read this passage, do problems 17-34 in this textbook, spend an extra two hours on this or that. When we drive student success, we impact things like retention, we impact the productivity of the teachers, and it’s a huge opportunity. That’s just one small example. Our DIG initiative, it is first and foremost a platform for ML and AI, and we will deliver and monetize it by offering different functional domains of predictive algorithms and insights. Maybe things like student success, retention, coaching and advising, career pathing, as well as a number of the other metrics that will help improve the value of an institution or connectivity across institutions.

 

 

 

 

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