The State of the Digital Divide in the United States — from pcrd.purdue.edu by Roberto Gallardo

Introduction

The COVID-19 pandemic shed a bright light on an issue that has been around for decades: the digital divide. As parents, children, and workers scrambled to learn, socialize, and work from home, adequate internet connectivity became critical. This analysis takes a detailed look at the digital divide as it was in 2020 (latest year available), who it affected, and its socioeconomic implications by using an innovative metric called the digital divide index. It should also increase awareness on this issue as communities and residents prepare to take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime investment in both broadband infrastructure and digital equity, components of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Data for this analysis came primarily from the U.S. Census Bureau 5-year American Community Survey. Additional sources include but are not limited to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Lightcast (formerly known as Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. or EMSI) and Venture Forward by GoDaddy. The unit of analysis was U.S. counties for which DDI scores were calculated 1 .

 

Add BookWidgets To Your Next Google Classroom Assignment! — from teachercast.net by Jeffrey Bradbury

Excerpt:

One of the Google Classroom Add-ons that you can now select and include in your Assignments section is BookWidgets and I’m extremely excited to share my latest video tutorial demonstrating how to easily create a Google Classroom Assignment using BookWidgets.

Regarding tools, also see:

 

Learning Management Systems Are Getting Smarter — from campustechnology.com by Mary Grush and John Baker

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Grush: Why do you at D2L present a ‘common learning platform’?

Baker: The common learning platform is a critical part of our strategy for educators and learners alike. We decided years ago that we did not want to build multiple different platforms for K12, higher education, or the workplace — we found it better to focus on one platform that met different use cases.

One great example of how this single platform across markets helps is what we’re doing with D2L Wave — where we match employees in the workforce to our academic clients. This takes the friction out of all the steps required to enroll in micro-credentials and other programs, and it helps an employee with career progression. D2L Wave makes it easy to connect learners with the right education to help them take the next step in their career or to support them to get better at their craft — this is key for upskilling the workforce.

 

15 technical skills employers look for in 2022 — from wikijob.co.uk by Nikki Dale

Excerpts:

A technical skill is the ability to carry out a task associated with technical roles such as IT, engineering, mechanics, science or finance. A typical technical skill set might include programming, the analysis of complex figures or the use of specific tools.

Technical skills are sometimes referred to as ‘hard skills’ because you can learn how to do them and, in some cases, get qualified or at least certified.

Some technical skills employers are looking for include:

 

The state of teaching and learning in K12 — from Instructure

What began as an unplanned shift to remote learning two years ago has grown into a movement—a transformation, really—that has given way to a more measured approach to intentionally designed digital learning. The adoption of new educational technologies and instructional strategies has evolved teaching and learning as we know it at an unprecedented pace.

The state of teaching and learning in K12

TOC for the state of teaching and learning in K12

 

Higher ed investments in student systems doubled last year, report finds — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz

Dive Brief:

  • Higher education investments in student technology systems doubled in 2021 compared to the year before, marking the largest annual increase over the past decade, according to a new report from the Tambellini Group, a technology research and advisory firm.
  • However, many college leaders are hesitant to invest in modern cloud student systems because most of these products still lack the functionalities institutions seek. The Tambellini Group based its findings on technology spending by more than 3,600 U.S. institutions.
  • Vendors are adding new tools and enhancements to their student technology systems to respond to increased pressures on colleges to improve their enrollment, retention and other student success metrics. That includes by providing engagement analytics and automated alerts.

Also from highereddive.com:

 

From DSC:
The report below contains some great examples of a few of the elements in a learning ecosystem! Though there are many other elements in a learning ecosystem, tools and technologies are certainly two key components of one.

Some of the topics in this report at:

  • Knowledge bases and knowledge management technology
  • Microlearning
  • Learning record store
  • Learning Experience Platform (LXP)
  • Augmented reality / Virtual reality (AR/VR)
  • Adaptive learning / Intelligent tutor
  • Technology stack

2022 Trends in Learning Technology — from learningguild.com by Steve Foreman

Excerpt:

In this research report, Steve Foreman analyzes recent survey findings to examine eight learning technologies and explore how they impact the L&D space, organizations, customer satisfaction, and more.

This image contains some information regarding the learning record store

 

The Pandemic’s Lasting Lessons for Colleges, From Academic Innovation Leaders — from edsurge.com by Nadia Tamez-Robledo, Rebecca Koenig, and Jeffrey R. Young

Excerpts:

“Universities are in the business of knowledge, but universities do a very poor job of managing their own knowledge and strategy,” says Brian Fleming, associate vice chancellor of learning ecosystem development at Northeastern University. “You may have faculty members who study organizational development, but none of that gets applied to the university.”

University leaders should learn to think more like futurists, he argues, working to imagine scenarios that might need planning for but are beyond the usual one-year or five-year planning cycles.

The pandemic prompted more faculty to ask the question, “What do we actually want to use class time for?” says Tyler Roeger, director of the center for the enhancement of teaching and learning at Elgin Community College. And the answer many of them are landing on, he adds, is: “Actual face-to-face time can be dedicated to problem-working, and working in groups together.”

 

Entrepreneur Education Platform GeniusU Raises $1.5M Seed Funding at $250M Valuation — from edtechreview.in ed by Stephen Soulunii

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Genius Group has recently announced that its EdTech arm, GeniusU Ltd, has raised $1.5 million in a seed round to support the development of its Genius Metaversity virtual learning plans.

With the fresh funding, GeniusU plans to extend its courses and programs to interactive learning environments in the metaverse, with students and faculty connecting and learning in global classrooms and virtual 3D environments. It also plans to integrate each student’s AI-based virtual assistant ‘Genie’ into the metaverse as 3D virtual assistants that accompany each student on their personalized journey and integrate its GEMs (Genius Education Merits) student credits into the metaverse. GEMs are earned by students as they learn and can be spent on products and services within GeniusU and counting towards their certifications.

 

New Accessibility Features Coming to Apple Devices — from .lifewire.com by Cesar Cadenas; fact checked by Jerri Ledford
Helping people with disabilities navigate the world

Excerpt:

Door Detection is a new mode coming to Apple’s Magnifier app. As the name suggests, the feature helps people find the door and how far they are it, and describes various attributes of the door. These attributes include if the door is open or closed as well as how to open it.

 

Addendum on 5/19/22:

Addendums on 5/20/22:

 

Airbnb’s design for employees to live and work anywhere — from news.airbnb.com; with thanks to Tom Barrett for this resource

Excerpt:

Airbnb is in the business of human connection above all else, and we believe that the most meaningful connections happen in person. Zoom is great for maintaining relationships, but it’s not the best way to deepen them. Additionally, some creative work and collaboration is best done when you’re in the same room. I’d like working at Airbnb to feel like you’re working at one of the most creative places on Earth, and this will only happen with some in-person collaboration time.

The right solution should combine the best of the digital world and the best of the physical world. It should have the efficiency of Zoom, while providing the meaningful human connection that only happens when people come together. We have a solution that we think combines the best of both worlds.

We’ve designed a way for you to live and work anywhere—while collaborating in a highly coordinated way, and experiencing the in-person connection that makes Airbnb special. Our design has five key features…

Now, a thought exercise on that item from Tom Barrett:

While you are there, extend the thought experiment and imagine the new policy for a school, college or university.

  1. You can work from home or the office
  2. You can move anywhere in the country you work in, and your compensation won’t change
  3. You have the flexibility to travel and work around the world
  4. We’ll meet up regularly for team gatherings, off-sites, and social events
  5. We’ll continue to work in a highly coordinated way

From DSC:
As a reflection on this thought experiment, this graphic comes to my mind again. Teachers, professors, trainers, staff, and students can be anywhere in the world:

Learning from the living class room

 

 

A Turning Point for Prison Education — from chronicle.com by Taylor Swaak
With reinstatement of Pell Grants imminent, the programs weigh technology’s long-term role.

Excerpts:

Incarcerated people who participate in postsecondary-education programs are 48 percent less likely to return to prison, according to a 2018 study from the RAND Corporation.

Three colleges that The Chronicle spoke with are in varying stages of adding technology to their prison-ed programs.

Addendum on 5/11/22:

It was a proud, and somewhat routine commencement ceremony for Calvin University on Monday, May 9, though held in the confines of a state prison.

Calvin University and Calvin Theological Seminary joined the Michigan Department of Corrections Monday to host the graduation ceremony for Calvin Prison Initiative (CPI) students at the state’s Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia.

Addendums on 5/16/22:

 

From DSC:
For the last few years, I’ve been thinking that we need to make learning science-related information more accessible to students, teachers, professors, trainers, and employees — no matter what level they are at.

One idea on how to do this — besides putting posters up in the hallways, libraries, classrooms, conference rooms, cafeterias, etc. — is that we could put a How best to study/learn link in all of the global navigation bars and/or course navigation bars out there in organizations’ course management systems and learning management systems. Learners of all ages could have 24 x 7 x 365, easy, instant access as to how to be more productive as they study and learn about new things.

For example, they could select that link in their CMS/LMS to access information on:

  • Retrieval practice
  • Spacing
  • Interleaving
  • Metacognition
  • Elaboration
  • The Growth Mindset
  • Accessibility-related tools / assistive technologies
  • Links to further resources re: learning science and learning theories

What do you think? If we started this in K12, kept it up in higher ed and vocational programs, and took the idea into the corporate world, valuable information could be relayed and absorbed. This is the kind of information that is highly beneficial these days — as all of us need to be lifelong learners now.

 

How to make competency-based education possible through an intelligent learning platform — from blog.neolms.com by Ioana Solea

Excerpt:

Competency-based education plays an essential role in this endeavor. As its name suggests, this type of learning focuses on individual competency. It promotes a learner-centric approach in which students get from level A to level B after acquiring and demonstrating mastery of certain skills.

Competency-based learning is easier to implement when you have the right tools. An intelligent learning platform (ILP) is the ideal option. This technology already incorporates all the features you need to implement a competency-based learning model.

Learn how an ILP enables competency-based education.

 

What Educators Need to Know About Assistive Tech Tools: Q&A with Texthelp CEO — from thejournal.com by Kristal Kuykendall and Texthelp CEO Martin McKay

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

THE Journal: What are some examples of the types of assistive technology tools now available for K–12 schools?
McKay: There are a broad range of disabilities, and accordingly, a broad range of learning and access difficulties that assistive technology can help with. Just considering students with dyslexia — since that is the largest group among students who can benefit from assistive tech tools — the main problems they have are around reading comprehension and writing. Assistive technology can provide text-to-speech, talking dictionaries, picture dictionaries, and text simplification tools to help with comprehension.

It’s important that these tools need to work everywhere — not just in their word processor. Assistive technology must work in their learning management systems, and must work in their online assessment environment, so that the student can use the assistive tech tools not only in class, but at home as they work on their homework, and perhaps most importantly on test day when they are using a secure assessment environment.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian