How Design Thinking Transforms Communities, One Project at a Time — from gettingsmart.com by Kyle Wagner and Maggie Favretti

Key Points

  • For many, entrenched in an outdated system, what if’s are the stuff of science fiction.
  • Too many structures hold this kind of innovation back — from standardized tests, to grades, to unwavering curriculum.
  • Design Thinking can transform communities.

#Whatif

What if every course began with a single Essential Question?

What if people were rewarded for having ideas and not ownership of them?

What if every student experienced success in solving a community problem?

What if school buildings were leveraged as community centers?

What if success in school was measured based on contribution to your community, rather than rote knowledge?

What if every learner could co-author their learning journey?


 

Will Microcredentials be the Rx Needed to Fix Our Ailing Degree Systems? — from evolllution.com by David Leaser | Senior Program Executive of Innovation and Growth Initiatives, IBM
Amidst the dramatic social and economic upheaval caused by the pandemic, microcredentials are presenting themselves as the viable solution to getting learners prepared quickly and effectively for desperately needed jobs. 

Excerpts:

Pace of Change Accelerates Beyond Our Wildest Imagination 
But the world of work is changing at a pace that traditional education systems cannot match. Cloud computing, big data and AI technologies are replaced or improved monthly—and often faster than that.

The U.S. college system is organized around an all-or-none framework: You only get a credential after completing the entire learning path.  But when a large number of students cannot commit to a long-term commitment (the situation we have faced for decades), shouldn’t we break the learning down into credentials along the way?

The MicroBachelors: A Major Win for Credential As You Go
Today, most microcredentials provide the opposite of college degrees: high skill-signal strength but low social-signal strength.

MicroBachelors programs are a series of college classes that have been customized and grouped together to meet employers’ real-world needs. The programs typically take two to four months to complete and provide credentials and college credits.

 

 

 

How to Support Students and Families through Technology and Innovation — from thejournal.com by Jeremy Davis

Excerpt:

Here are just a few district-wide innovations that resulted from the pandemic:

  • Worked with our local public access television station to broadcast district updates and educational resources. We contracted with Discovery Education to post some of their content to local channel 3 for students without home Internet access, and we built a television studio where our Innovation team worked with district teachers to produce content for local cable from 8–3 every week day.

DC: Which reminds me of this idea/graphic:

  • Students were provided with Internet hotspots to ensure every student in the district could access the content and the video conferencing lessons with their teachers.
  • The Educational Services department created an amazing curriculum and summer school program where students could log in and complete curricular activities as enhancements to the curriculum and throughout the summer.
  • Created videos of “how” we could do both live and online teaching at the same time to help teachers feel more comfortable with the new way of teaching.
 

Higher Education Needs to Move Toward Mass-Personalization — from fierceeducation.com by Susan Fourtané

Excerpt:

Every industry, from health sciences to marketing to manufacturing, is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to facilitate the delivery of mass-personalization, yet education has been slow in its adoption. These smart systems create personalized solutions targeted to meet the unique needs of every individual.

Artificial Intelligence-based technologies have the potential of serving as tools for educators to provide personalized learning. However, for mass-personalization to work, institutions first need to align their leadership. In his feature session What Is It Going to Take to Move from Mass-Production to Mass-Personalization?, during the recent Online Learning Consortium virtual event, Dale Johnson, Director of Digital Innovation at Arizona State University, addressed the issue of mass personalization in higher education.

Johnson reinforced the idea that with mass-personalization professors can deliver the right lesson to the right student at the right time.

Mass-personalization software does not replace the professor. It makes the professor better, more focused on the students.

 

AI+ alumni + real-world practitioners + accreditation agencies = outcomes for next year -- by Daniel S. Christian

 

AI+ alumni + real-world practitioners + accreditation agencies = outcomes for next year -- by Daniel S. Christian

 

Learning from the living class room

 

Intel expands AI education program to 18 total community colleges — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz

Excerpt:

The technology giant is supplying curriculum and faculty development for participating schools, and is partnering with Dell to provide technical and infrastructure expertise for the program, which can lead to a certificate or associate degree.

The future of AI: Deeper insights, personalization and problem-solving stand to transform how we use AI across devices and industries — from protocol.com by Alex Katouzian

Excerpt:

What comes to mind when you think of AI? In the past, it might have been the Turing test, a sci-fi character or IBM’s Deep Blue-defeating chess champion Garry Kasparov. Today, instead of copying human intelligence, we’re seeing immense progress made in using AI to unobtrusively simplify and enrich our own intelligence and experiences. Natural language processing, modern encrypted security solutions, advanced perception and imaging capabilities, next-generation data management and logistics, and automotive assistance are some of the many ways AI is quietly yet unmistakably driving some of the latest advancements inside our phones, PCs, cars and other crucial 21st century devices. And the combination of 5G and AI is enabling a world with distributed intelligence where AI processing is happening on devices and in the cloud.

Latest Trends in Artificial Intelligence –from newark.com

Excerpt:

Over the past decade, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has meshed into various industries. The era witnessed a dramatic increase in tools, applications, and platforms based on AI and Machine Learning (ML). These technologies have impacted healthcare, manufacturing, law, finance, retail, real estate, accountancy, digital marketing, and several other areas.

Companies are investing in AI research to find out how they can bring AI closer to humans. By 2025 AI software revenues alone will reach above $100 billion globally (Figure 1). This means that we will continue seeing the advancement of AI and Machine Learning (ML)-related technology in foreseeable future. AI changes notably fast, so you’ll need to go out of your way to keep up with the latest trends if you want to stay as informed as possible. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the latest AI trends.

 

 

From Skill to Instinct: How Higher Education can Bridge the Gap Between Classroom and Career — from edtechreview.in by Stephen Soulunii

Excerpts:

Higher education has conventionally focused on providing quality education for its students. However, modern students are increasingly attending higher education, not for scholarly pursuits, but to increase their value in an intensely competitive job market.

From DSC:
Funny how that happens when the price of getting a degree has skyrocketed through the years — and then one sees one’s family members struggling with getting out from crushing loads of debt (a process that often can take decades to do).

There is a lot that could be said here, but looking at this article makes me see how misaligned things are these days. The learning objectives that would be put forth from the corporate world don’t match up with the learning objectives as put forth by professors.

No wonder there’s a major disconnect. 

One last quote drives the point home — which swims against the current that many faculty members swim in:

65% of HR professionals believe teamwork and collaboration are the most foundational people skills – and 40% believe these skills are the most lacking in new hires.

 


Also relevant here, this is an excerpt of a piece sent to me by Christina Ioannou:

Skills Union offers accredited cohort-based, active learning courses in partnership with leading universities and employers. Their career-focused content ranges from software engineering and UX/UI design to growth marketing and digital entrepreneurship.

The company announced a US$1.5 million seed investment round, supporting its mission to bridge the global tech skills gap, through university accredited courses that meet the needs of the rapidly growing tech sector. The investment round was led by Online Education Services (OES), part of the Seek group of companies, with notable investors including KDV, Hustle Fund, Koh Boon Hwee, Siu Rui Quek, Ishreth Hassen, Sumardy Ma, Simin Zhou and Anvesh Ramineni.

Skills Union dot com

 

Optimizing High-Quality Digital Learning Experiences A Playbook for Faculty — from onlinelearningconsortium.org

 

Optimizing High-Quality Digital Learning Experiences A Playbook for Faculty

Excerpts:

This playbook is a collaboration between the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), and the Every Learner Everywhere Digital Learning Network. This playbook is designed to serve as a concise guide to address faculty needs for online course design, teaching, and continuous improvement.

One strategy that can enhance teaching presence in an online course is to provide audio and video content that can be developed with relative ease using multimedia applications. Creating micro-lectures along with other multimedia is a great option for designing online course content.

Creating your own closed-caption video content, along with video transcripts, is a practical option for communicating course concepts to students. You might also consider providing supplementary written materials or curating content from other sources to help students master course concepts.

 

Nalukai Academy: Harvesting Hawai’i’s Next Generation of Leaders — from gettingsmart.com by Ashley Ranan

Excerpt:

Nalukai’s program curriculum includes 5 areas of interest:

  • Digital storytelling – branding & marketing, content creation, web design
  • Leadership – project management, collaboration, team dynamics
  • Entrepreneurship – networking, investor pitches, business plan development
  • Design thinking –  prototyping, mind-mapping, iteration
  • Technology – coding, web development, digital business tools

Also see:

The Nalukai Academy offers intensive tech, entrepreneurship, leadership, and design programs for Hawai?i high school students. This image portrays some of those students.

 

States and School Systems Can Act Now to Dismantle Silos Between High School, College, and Career — from crpe.org by Georgia Heyward, Sarah McCann, & Betheny Gross | May 2021

We offer four ways states can engage K–12:

  • Invest in virtual platforms that support college and career navigation.
  • Incentivize bold experimentation with hybrid learning to design new models that blend school and workplace learning or connect with postsecondary microcredentials.
  • Step in to encourage and regulate high-quality, postsecondary microcredentials that stack toward associate and bachelor degrees.
  • Combine policy with technical assistance to help districts credit out-of-school learning.
 

Let’s Teach Computer Science Majors to Be Good Citizens. The Whole World Depends on It. — from edsurge.com by Anne-Marie Núñez, Matthew J. Mayhew, Musbah Shaheen and Laura S. Dahl

Excerpt:

To mitigate the perpetuation of these and related inequities, observers have called for increased diversification of the technology workforce. However, as books like “Brotopia” by Emily Chang and “Race after Technology” by Ruha Benjamin indicate, the culture of tech companies can be misogynistic and racist and therefore unwelcoming to many people. Google’s firing of a well-regarded Black scientist for her research on algorithmic bias in December 2020 suggests that there may be limited capacity within the industry to challenge this culture.

Change may need to start earlier in the workforce development pipeline. Undergraduate education offers a key opportunity for recruiting students from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic, gender, and disability groups into computing. Yet even broadened participation in college computer science courses may not shift the tech workforce and block bias from seeping into tech tools if students aren’t taught that diversity and ethics are essential to their field of study and future careers.

Also mentioned/see:

  • Teaching Responsible Computing Playbook
    The ultimate goal of Teaching Responsible Computing is to educate a new wave of students who bring holistic thinking to the design of technology products. To do this, it is critical for departments to work together across computing, humanistic studies, and more, and collaborate across institutions. This Playbook offers the lessons learned from the process of adapting and enhancing curricula to include responsible computing in a broad set of institutions and help others get started doing the same in their curricula. 
 

5 Ways to Marry Higher Ed to Work — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpts:

  1. Treat employers as customers.
  2. Move beyond the idea of the bachelor degree as the end-all.
  3. Link coursework with competences.
  4. Develop a “shared vocabulary of skills” that can be used by employers and peer institutions.
  5. Design for equity and inclusion.

From DSC:
It’s great to see more articles like this that promote further collaboration — and less siloing — between the worlds of higher education and the workplace.

My guess is that those traditional institutions of higher education who change/adapt quickly enough have a much greater chance at surviving (and even thriving). Those that don’t will have a very rough road ahead. They will be shadows of  what they once were — if they are even able to keep their doors open.

Disruption is likely ahead — especially if more doors to credentialing continue to open up and employers hire based on those skills/credentials. One can feel the changing momentums at play. The tide has been turning for the last several years now (history may show the seeds of change were planted in times that occurred much longer ago).

 

The Great Contraction Cuts alone will not be enough to turn colleges’ fortunes around. — from chronicle.com by Lee Gardner

Excerpts:

With higher education facing average revenue losses of 14 percent or more due to Covid-19, the pandemic presents an existential challenge for the hundreds, maybe thousands, of colleges that entered last March with already precarious finances. Every week or so seems to bring new headlines about institutions making jaw-dropping cuts.

But slashing budgets alone, experts agree, isn’t enough to survive. Struggling colleges must cut strategically and adapt to a new way of operating, in order to find a way to eventually grow and thrive.

From DSC:
As I mentioned to a friend who wondered about those two words –“grow” and “thrive” in the last sentence above…

For too long many colleges and some universities have not been experimenting with other business models. They didn’t pay attention to the surrounding landscapes and economic realities of the masses. I think some of the institutions out there will grow and thrive — but it will be far fewer institutions who see such growth. SNHU, Arizona State, Western Governors University, and the like have done well. But then again, they thought big as well and did so years ago. They have a major leg up on other institutions.

She has served as a college president for nearly 20 years, and in that time, she has watched students’ view of higher education shift to be predominantly about “the outcome of being prepared for a job,” she says.

Funny how that corresponds directly to the increase in tuition, fees, books, room and board, etc. that took place during that same time. 

 

Nearly three-quarters of pandemic affected parents feel students should learn subjects they’re passionate about, not those of little interest — from newswire.ca by Unschooling School

Excerpt:

TORONTO, Feb. 1, 2021 /CNW/ – A nation-wide survey of Canadian parents released today finds that nearly three in four of them (73%) believe the education system today would be better for students if it were structured to give them more choice and time to just learn those subjects and topics, they are either excited or passionate about.

Also, more than two-thirds (67%) want a school reset, so students learn more of the subject areas they’re passionate about and not those of little interest to them.

From DSC:
I feel the same way about many K12 systems here in the United States. Our youngest daughter — who has been studying at home this past year — has so much more energy and passion when we give her more agency to do the things that *she* wants to do and to learn about the things that *she* wants to learn about.

Learning channels of the future will provide us with more choice, more control.

And readers of this blog know that I’m all about the love of learning (or even liking it better), seeing as we all need to be lifelong learners these days.

The more we enjoy learning = The better, more fulfilling, enjoyable that our lives will be! (Not to mention how much more productive we’ll be as well.)

 

 

An important distance learning resource for teachers, students, & parents — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

Wide Open School (WOS) is a platform developed by the leading non-profit for kids and families Common Sense media. WOS provides access to a wide range of resources designed specifically to help enhance the quality of distance learning. The work of Wide Open School is a fruit of a partnership with more than 80 leading educational organizations and services including Kahoot, Google, Khan Academy, National Geographic, PBS, Scholastic, Smithsonian, TED Ed, and many more.

 

Also see:

The work of Wide Open School is a fruit of a partnership with more than 80 leading educational organizations and services including Kahoot, Google, Khan Academy, National Geographic, PBS, Scholastic, Smithsonian, TED Ed, and many more.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian