ECAR Study of Community College Faculty and Information Technology, 2020 — from by Joseph Galanek and Dana C. Gierdowski
Community colleges have historically positioned themselves as institutions that respond to local and regional educational needs. Understanding community college faculty technology preferences and experiences can aid institutional efforts to increase student success.

Excerpt:

ECAR Study of Community College Faculty and Information Technology, 2020 provides community college technology and higher education leaders with recommendations for addressing the most pressing technology support and solution needs for faculty, with the goal of enriching faculty teaching experiences on campus and helping advance student success.

 

Ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt is working to launch a university that would rival Stanford and MIT and funnel tech workers into government work — from businessinsider.com by Katie Canales

Excerpts:

  • Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt is leading a federal initiative to launch a university that would train a new generation of tech workers for the government, according to a OneZero report.
  • The school, named the US Digital Service Academy, looks to rival Stanford and MIT, two established tech talent pools.
  • The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence — an organization created to push the US ahead in the race for artificial intelligence — voted unanimously in a meeting Monday to recommend the university to Congress.
  • Schmidt left his role as a technical adviser at Google in February amid his increased involvement in affairs pertaining to military technology.
 

How might tools like Microsoft’s new Whiteboard be used in online-based learning? In “learning pods?” [Christian]

The new Microsoft Whiteboard -- how might this be used for online-based learning? Learning pods?

The new Microsoft Whiteboard -- how might this be used for online-based learning? Learning pods?

Questions/reflections from DSC:

  • How might this be used for online-based learning?
  • For “learning pods” and homeschoolers out there? 
  • Will assistants such as the Webex Assistant for Meetings (WAM) be integrated into such tools (i.e., would such tools provide translation, transcripts, closed captioning, and more)?
  • How might this type of tool be used in telehealth? Telelegal? In online-based courtrooms? In presentations?

#onlinelearning #collaboration #education #secondscreen #edtedh #presentations #AI #telehealth #telelegal #emergingtechnologies

 
 

Trying to make sense of a fluid fall — from insidehighered.com by Doug Lederman
As more colleges announce their instructional plans, two simulations suggest some of the likely challenges to a physical return. Others see opportunity for experimentation around teaching and learning.

Some interesting simulations for face-to-face (F2F) classrooms from Caltech
Some interesting simulations for face-to-face (F2F) classrooms from Caltech
Some interesting simulations for face-to-face (F2F) classrooms from Caltech
Some interesting simulations for face-to-face (F2F) classrooms from Caltech
Some interesting simulations for face-to-face (F2F) classrooms from Caltech

 

From DSC: I’d like to thank Ryan Craig for mentioning several interesting articles and thoughts in a recent Gap Letter. At least 2-3 of the articles he mentioned got me to thinking…


With a degree no longer enough, job candidates are told to prove their skills in tests — from hechingerreport.org by Jon Marcus
Instead of relying on credentials, more employers want applicants to show their stuff

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Among the many frustrations ahead for millions of Americans thrown out of work by the pandemic is one that may surprise them: To get a new job, it’s increasingly likely they will have to take a test.

As the number of candidates balloons while health risks make it hard for hiring managers to meet with them in person, a trend toward “pre-hiring assessments” — already under way before Covid-19 — is getting a huge new push.

Skeptical that university degrees are the best measure of whether candidates have the skills they need, employers were already looking for ways that applicants could prove it — including in fields where that was not previously required.

“It’s like try before you buy,” said Price.

It's very possible that students will have to take assessments to get that job -- assessments that are based on a completely different set of Learning Objectives (LO's).

PDF version here.

Also see:

From DSC:
There is a huge misalignment between the Learning Objectives (LO’s) that the corporate world supports — and ultimately hires by — as compared to the LO’s that faculty, provosts, & presidents support.

This happened to me a while back when I was looking for a new job. I traveled to another city — upon the company’s request (though they never lifted a finger to help me with the travel-related expenses). Plus, I dedicated the time and got my hopes up, yet again, in getting the job. But the test they gave me (before I even saw a human being) blew me away! It was meant for PhD-level candidates in Computer Science, Programming, or Statistics. It was ridiculously hard.

The article above got me to thinking….

Higher education increasingly puts a guerrilla of debt on many students’ backs, which adds to the dispiriting struggle to overcome these kinds of tests. Also, the onslaught of the Applicant Tracking Systems that students have to conquer (in order to obtain that sought after interview) further adds to this dispiriting struggle.

How can we achieve better alignment here? Students are getting left holding the bag…a situation that will likely not last much longer. If higher ed doesn’t address this situation, we shouldn’t be surprised to see a mass exodus when effective alternatives pick up steam even further. Last call to address this now before the exodus occurs.

Along these lines see:

Better Connecting College and Career — from insidehighered.com by Steven Mintz
How to improve career readiness.

Excerpt:

How can colleges best prepare students for careers in a volatile, uncertain environment? This is the question recently asked by Marie Cini, the former provost at University of Maryland University College and former president of CAEL.

Career service offices, she observes, are first and foremost job search centers: reviewing résumés, publicizing job openings and arranging interviews. What they are not about, for the most part, is career preparation, a longer and more intense process involving self-analysis, skills building and genuine insights into the job market.

 
 

Zoom Launches Zoom for Home

Zoom Launches Zoom For Home — from which-50.com

Excerpts:

Zoom Video Communications has announced Zoom for Home, which it describes as a new category of software experiences and hardware devices to support remote work use cases. The focus is on improving employee experiences to connect remotely and be productive.

Features for the all-in-one 27-inch device include: three built-in wide-angle cameras for high-resolution video; an 8-microphone array for crystal-clear audio in meetings and phone calls; and, an ultra-responsive touch display for interactive screen sharing, whiteboarding, annotating, and ideation.

Also see:

From DSC:
Again, we see some further innovation in this space. The longer the Coronavirus impacts things, the further ahead the online-learning space will be catapulted. This type of device consolidates several devices into one, while making it intuitive and likely easy to annotate items on it.

Zoom Launches Zoom For Home
 

 

7 Things You Should Know About the HyFlex Course Model — from library.educause.edu

Excerpt:

What is it? The hybrid flexible, or HyFlex, course format is an instructional approach that combines face-to-face (F2F) and online learning. Each class session and learning activity is offered in-person, synchronously online, and asynchronously online. Students can decide—for each class or activity—how to participate. As Brian Beatty notes in Hybrid-Flexible Course Design, the result is “a student-directed, multi-modal learning experience.” The HyFlex approach provides students autonomy, flexibility, and seamless engagement, no matter where, how, or when they engage in the course. Central to this model is the principle that the learning is equivalent, regardless of the mode. The approach was developed with a focus on student flexibility, but the benefits also extend to faculty. For example, an instructor, along with some students, could “attend” class remotely, while other students join physically from a room on campus.

 

 

Pedagogical considerations for instructional videoconferencing sessions — from onlinelearningconsortium.org by Amanda Major

Excerpt:

Presented here are recommendations and strategies to support educators.

We hope you find these pedagogical considerations for faculty holding a synchronous class session via a video conferencing tool as timely, practical, and rewarding. The intent is to allay your anxieties about offering quality instruction to your students; thereby, helping you to adapt quickly to this new situation.

The ending points of your content delivery should make a lasting impression. Try these ideas:

    • Wrap-up your session with a Parking Lot designed as a quadrant (see below), use a shared document and include the following quadrant headings/questions so students can respond in real time:

 


 

 


 

Also see the idea of a learning journal here.

Have the students keep a learning journal, while answering these questions each week

 

 

What should schools, colleges and Universities do in September? …7 actions — from donaldclarkplanb.blogspot.com by Donald Clark

Excerpts:

Let me start with a tough question. Weighing your wish to return to schools or campuses, given the current surge of Covid cases, is the return to the classroom or chasing the cash worth a single dead student, teacher or parent? Or should we see the September return as an opportunity to change things for the better and by that I mean for teachers, lecturers, students and parents? We need a reset.

Necessity is the mother of invention. I hope that this human tragedy allows us to transform the learning landscape to be better and more inclusive through Blended Learning. We have an opportunity to use contemporary technology to reduce teacher workload and improve learning at the same time.

 

A New Model for Career Exploration in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous (VUCA) World — from ed2work-com.cdn.ampproject.org by Marie A. Cini

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Career development is not the same as job placement. Almost everyone confuses the two, including the learners using these services. Too often, students would get through their entire program of study and then visit the “career center” to begin the process of finding and getting placed in a job. Instead, I would challenge them to learn more about themselves and what they wanted in their life and in a career as part of their development process.

In the US, we emphasize the importance of “getting a job” over helping an individual deeply explore their talents, preferences, and desires.

From DSC:
This was a major difference that I noticed working at a Christian college for many years. The idea of a calling was emphasized much more so than I experienced anywhere else. Students were encouraged to be very introspective in terms of what they perceived their passions, gifts, interests, and abilities to be. They were encouraged to pray to the LORD and listen for His leading in their lives…to seek His counsel. Where does the LORD want them? What purpose are they called to fulfill/address?

One more solid quote from Marie here:

The problem lies in an imperfect, incomplete market that does not provide comprehensive information over an individual’s lifetime to encourage a broader awareness of careers. Nor do we help individuals understand that career development is a process and not a destination, while showing them how to develop their lifelong approach to making a living.

 

Why some colleges embraced a virtual fall sooner than others — from educationdive.com by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf; July 20, 2020
More schools are expected to make the switch in the coming weeks.

Excerpt:

These colleges aren’t likely to be exceptions for much longer, as higher ed experts predict the trickle of schools staying online will become a flood as the pandemic persists.

“I expect a bunch of colleges to announce their actual fall setup within 72 hours of each other in the next two weeks,” said Robert Kelchen, an associate professor of higher education at Seton Hall University. “It just takes a few colleges to lead the way and then their competitor institutions will follow.”

Also see:

Colleges walk back their fall plans as coronavirus cases spike — from educationdive.com by Natalie Schwartz; July 16, 2020

Dive Brief:

  • As the pandemic worsens, more colleges are ditching plans for in-person instruction this fall in favor of a mostly virtual term.
  • At least six colleges have announced in the past week that they’re planning for a remote term after previously indicating they might bring students back to campus.
  • They join others including the University of Southern California, which changed its fall plans at the beginning of July. Higher education experts expect more reversals to follow over the next few weeks.
 

2020 trends in online student demographics -- from bestcolleges.com

2020 trends in online student demographics — from bestcolleges.com, with thanks to Lisa Marquez for this resource

A Note from BestColleges on Coronavirus and the Transition to Online Education
The data reported here was collected shortly before the coronavirus outbreak. The students who participated in this study had already chosen or were planning to take online courses. Their insights into the challenges of becoming successful online students, including lessons learned along the way, help to inform the development of future online programs.

 

Stay apart or stay home — from insidehighered.com by Greta Anderson
Colleges are implementing social contracts or making addenda to code of conduct policies requiring students to abide by social distancing guidelines this fall. Some institutions have said they will remove students from campus for noncompliance.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

As college leaders move ahead on plans to reopen their campuses this fall, it is becoming more clear that they lack confidence in their ability to control student behavior that can spread the coronavirus.

In addition to plans to regularly test students for COVID-19, college administrators are putting faith in conduct codes and written pledges that mandate students refrain from large gatherings, follow social distance guidelines and wear face masks. The administrators are setting up clear expectations for how students must conduct themselves and getting the message out through campus health campaigns and online training modules. What is less clear is how far colleges can go beyond their gates to enforce healthy behavior, which some students have already proven they are not willing to engage in.

She said it will also be important for campuses to come up with enforcement measures for noncompliance. A feasible university response to students who violate expectations is to remove or ban them from campus, she said.

From DSC:
Do we really think college-age students will wear masks all the time and practice social distancing? I agree with Professor Scott Galloway’s recent comments at the Remote Conference — i.e., that we are either delusional in thinking this will occur or worse, we are being dishonest. 

I’m not saying this type of thing is an easy decision and I don’t envy those folks having to make such difficult decisions. But there will likely be some colleges and universities who go ahead and make the decision to bring their students back to campus — and they do so in order to keep their doors open and/or to meet their goals for their forecasted budgets. That is, they will be sure to get the students’ tuition $$, room and board, books, fees, etc., and then after a few weeks on campus, tell everyone to go back home and finish out the term online.

These organizations better think twice before following that strategy. That strategy is short-sided. It may work for one year — or maybe not even that. Perhaps only for one semester or only for one quarter. But the bottom line is that you will get ONE shot at doing the right thing. You may not be getting those students back, as their trust in your organization will have been shattered.

Even if that isn’t your organization’s strategy, it could turn out to be a trust/PR nightmare if such a situation develops at your campus. Your organization may be unfairly compared to or lumped with other organizations who followed this strategy.

Had this Coronavirus situation happened 30-40 years ago, it would have been a different situation I think — at least trust wise. But even prior to the Coronavirus hitting us, there has been a growing backlash against higher education, especially in the last 2 decades. These days, are colleges/universities really confident that when they enforce things (and play the “heavy”), there isn’t going to be an even bigger backlash? As we’re in the process of multiplying many of the changes that we are going through by 10 years, are we ready for a 10-year leap in the backlash against higher education?

I’m grateful that the law school where I currently work — the WMU-Cooley Law School — decided early on to keep all of our courses in a 100% online-based format for this fall. It was/is the right call I think, given the current circumstances and highly uncertain future. It does the best job of protecting the students, faculty, staff, and members of administration.

But all that said, I realize this is a tough situation; there are likely many issues no matter which route(s) we take. I just encourage people and organizations to be as transparent and honest as possible here. Trust in higher education as one of our key institutions is at stake.

 

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