Exemplar of successful implementation of tech in schools — from donaldclarkplanb.blogspot.com by Donald Clark

Excerpts:

It was impressive to find a school network that took technology as seriously as Curro, in South Africa. They had invited me to give a keynote on AI for Learning, based on my book and experience but I hung around as the teacher sessions were so damn good. This is what I learnt, as I think it is a recipe for success.

This was the big surprise. There were glowing testimonials from teachers about the power of adaptive learning, using AI, to personalise learning for students. It was described as a ‘gamechanger’ by the teacher who presented, with clear targeting, so that efficient and relevant, individual interventions could be made for students. It was clear that they knew why they wanted this technology, had implemented it well and were using teacher feedback to spread the word internally.

I was giving a talk as part of that process. The day’s activities were under the banner of ‘Imagining 2022’. It’s hard enough to Imagine what any year will bring these days but it was clear that this was a learning organisation, willing to learn from their mistakes and make the effort to plan forward.

Also see:

 

14 Predictions for Higher Education in 2022 [Schaffhauser]

14 Predictions for Higher Education in 2022

14 Predictions for Higher Education in 2022 — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpt:

Ask people working in higher education what they expect will happen in the new year, and the outlook is filled with visions that build on what we’ve been experiencing on college and university campuses for the last two years: a major focus on learning formats; continued exploitation of new technology; and the use of new digital models that move users “beyond Zoom.” Here we present the collective predictions of 14 IT leaders, instructional folks and a student about what they anticipate seeing in 2022. As one put it, “Let’s go, 2022! We have work to do!”

From DSC:
I’d like to thank Dian Schaffhauser, Rhea Kelly, and Mary Grush for letting me contribute some thoughts to the various conversations that Campus Technology Magazine hosts and/or initiates. I inserted some reflections into the above article and I hope that you’ll take a moment to read my and others’ thoughts out there.

 
 

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?


 

What motivates students to learn? — from edte.ch by Tom Barrett
In this article, we explore the key factors that influence and predict student academic motivation.

Excerpt:

Here are the top three ranked, according to this meta-analysis, from l’Université Laval, Monash University and Curtin University.

1 — Competence (I can do this!)
2 — Autonomy (I get to choose)
3 — Belonging (I am not alone)

 


From DSC:
I’m once again reminded of the following graphic:

Tom’s posting also reminds me of the power of storytelling, as Tom makes a solid point:

A notable missing piece of the student motivation paper is the role of emotion in learning. When I search the document for reference to ‘emotion’, the only returns I get are from citations and other works.

Along these lines, see/listen to:


 

Got Teacher Burnout? Launch A Microschool — from forbes.com by Kerry McDonald

Rather than abandoning their passion for teaching, some educators are discovering that they can do what they love and avoid the bureaucracy and stress of a conventional classroom by starting their own microschools.

Microschools are modern twists on the quaint, one-room schoolhouse model, where small, multi-age groups of students learn together in more intimate educational settings, such as private homes, with individualized attention from adult educators and facilitators. Interest in microschools accelerated over the past year, as school shutdowns led parents to consider home-based “pandemic pods” to help their children learn in small, safe groups. 

 

Can Higher Ed Help Early Ed Grow Up? — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt:

“We know how important it is to cultivate a next generation of educators that is really reflective of educators and the communities they serve,” DeHaas says.

It’s an example of the strategies some colleges are using to help train more people to provide high-quality early childhood education. A new report from the National Association for the Education of Young Children explores how to make schooling and care for infants, toddlers and children through age eight a bigger priority at colleges and universities—and assesses what the barriers are to making that happen.

Much of what has held early childhood education back at colleges comes down to money: low pay for workers, a dearth of dollars for research and high tuition costs for students. Evans Allvin is hopeful that federal proposals for investing in the sector will make it a bigger priority for higher education.

 

Why Aren’t Professors Taught to Teach? — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
Professors are experts in their subject matters but many have limited training in actually teaching their students.

Excerpt:

“A lot of faculty are just modeling their instruction after the instruction they’ve received as an undergraduate or graduate student,” says Tanya Joosten, senior scientist and director of digital learning at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the lead of the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements.

As a perpetually short-on-time adjunct professor, I understand those who worry about mandatory training and required course reviews, but Pelletier stresses that she’s advocating for a more organic shift and that a top-down approach isn’t best. “That’s not as collaborative and generative as really just embracing that we have these two different kinds of experts, one type of expert is an expert in their subject, and the other expert is an expert in teaching and learning,” she says. More attention is needed to meld these two kinds of expertise. 

From DSC:
It’s not just that colleges and universities are big business — if you have any remaining doubts about that perspective, take a moment to look at this new, interactive database to see what I mean. But it’s also that this type of business often rewards research, not teaching. And yet the students over the last several decades have continued to pay ever-increasing prices for skilled researchers, instead of increasingly skilled teachers. 

Healthcare and higher education face similar challenges and transformations -- costs continue to soar

Image from Inside Higher Ed

 

Would people put up with this with other types of purchases? I don’t think so. I wouldn’t want to…would you?  Would we like to pay for something that we aren’t getting — like paying for all the extra options on a new car, but not getting them?

What goes around, comes around.
But by allowing this to have occurred, a backlash against the value of higher education has been building for years now. In many learners’ minds, they are questioning whether it’s worth taking on (potentially) decades’ worth of debt. At a minimum, the higher the price of obtaining degrees and/or other credentials becomes, the less Return on Investment (ROI) is realized by the learners (i.e., the purchasers of these goods and services). So while getting a degree is often still worth it, the ROI is going down.
And this doesn’t address how relevant/up-to-date the educations are that these learners are receiving, which the employers out there will take issue with.

From an Instructional Designer’s perspective, it isn’t just time that’s the issue here. There continues to exist a tiered hierarchy within higher education. Faculty see themselves as more knowledgeable because they are teaching and because they are the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). But they are not expert teachers. Many full-time faculty members don’t listen to people who are knowledgeable in the learning science world, and they often don’t value that expertise. (This can be true of administrators as well.) But when a fellow faculty member (i.e., their “true peer” from their perspective) suggests the same idea that Instructional Designers have been recommending for years, they suddenly open their eyes and ears to see and hear this seemingly new, wonderful approach.

Some possible scenarios
Thus, a wave has been building against traditional institutions of higher education — readers of this blog will have picked up on this years ago. Once alternatives significantly hit the radar — ones that get the learners solid, good-paying jobs — there could be a mass exodus out of what we think of as traditional higher education. At least that’s one potential scenario.

For example, if a next-generation learning platform comes along that offers teams and individuals the ability to deliver lifelong learning at 50% or more off the price of an average degree, then be on the lookout for massive change. If professors and/or teams of specialists — those who are skilled in instructional design and teaching —  can go directly to their learners — it could be an interesting world indeed. (Outschool is like this, by the way.) In that scenario, below are two potential methods of providing what accreditation agencies used to provide:

  • Obtaining the skills and competencies being requested from the workplace to “pass the tests” (whatever those assessments turn out to be)
  • Voting a course up or down (i.e., providing crowd-sourced rating systems)

Other possible scenarios
Another scenario is that traditional institutions of higher education really kick their innovation efforts into high gear. They reward teaching. They develop less expensive methods of obtaining degrees. They truly begin delivering more cost-effective means of obtaining lifelong learning and development “channels” for educating people.

And there are other possible scenarios, some of which I could think of and many I would likely miss. But to even ask the solid and highly-relevant question as plainly stated in the article above — Why Aren’t Professors Taught to Teach? — that is something that must be dealt with. Those organizations that use a team-based approach are likely to be able to better answer and address that question.

 

Some Pods Will Outlast the Pandemic  — from educationnext.org by Michael Horn
Students, parents say they appreciate the support

At the KaiPod Learning pod in Newton, Massachusetts, students are taught one on one or in small groups by former school teachers.

And yet many pods that have an institutional structure behind them, rather than being fully parent-run, have survived. They are finding their niches and growing. Despite fears that pods would benefit only people in prosperous suburbs such as Newton, some of the most robust pod experiments have taken place in school districts disproportionately serving low-income and minority students.

 

3 Tips for Making Passion-Based Learning Work Successfully — from thejournal.com by Dennis Pierce

Excerpt:

Passion-based learning, a form of self-directed learning in which students pursue projects of interest to them, is becoming more popular in schools — and for good reason: Educators who have set aside time for passion-based learning have discovered that students become highly engaged and motivated when learning about topics that intrigue them, while taking their learning much deeper than they would in a traditional lesson.

 

We Need to Make Schools Human Again. That Means Treating Teachers With Respect. – from edsurge.com by Jennifer Yoo-Brannon

Excerpts:

The first thing I noticed when we returned to school after remote learning was that my conversations with teachers got real deep real fast.

But we are not just educators, of course. We are mothers of multiple school-aged children, parents of special needs students who need a high level of support, individuals with anxiety disorders exacerbated by the worldwide anxiety of the pandemic. We are human too. While we transform our schools into welcoming spaces for students, we must also make them a human place to work for educators as well. We can’t forget that we saw each other’s humanity—shared a universal human experience—and then return to business as usual. We must make schools human again.

Avoid toxic positivity. Toxic positivity is the belief that no matter how bad a situation is, we should all have a positive mindset about it. Toxic positivity isn’t optimism. Toxic positivity rejects or refuses to acknowledge how difficult things can be. This message is for administrators in particular.

From DSC:
When I read this…

In other words, the question is not “How do we get teachers to participate in professional development?” but rather, “How can we create a context in which everyone will want to engage in professional learning?” To feel human in our workplace, we all need to feel like we have choices and teachers need to feel trusted and empowered to make those choices.

…I’m thinking to myself…isn’t this the same for our students?

 

5 Ways to Make Edtech More Inclusive — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
Better communication with students and more representation within edtech are just some ways we can better serve all special education students with technology, says University of California, Irvine’s Gillian Hayes.

Excerpt:

Making edtech accessible to all students has always been important but as it is now an essential part of the classroom, it has never been more vital.

Gillian Hayes, vice provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate Division at University of California, Irvine, has studied edtech accessibility extensively. Making technology more accessible in the classroom is one of her goals at The Connecting the EdTech Research EcoSystem (CERES), which she coleads with UCI colleague Candice Odgers.

She shares strategies for how educators, programmers, and researchers can help foster more accessibility in edtech.

 

From DSC:
I was reading about a Ph.D. who was currently doing some research into the science of learning. This person had been teaching in a School of Education for years, but just (relatively) recently embarked on a Ph.D. During this person’s research, they came across a lot more information regarding the science of learning.

If this was true with someone who had been in education for years (and I can relate to that as well), it made me wonder:

  • How can we better get the word out to our learners re: how they can maximize their Return On Investment (ROI) from their studying time and efforts…?

Then I thought, why couldn’t we put these tips directly into our banners on our CMS’s and LMS’s and/or link our banners to some other web pages/resources that provide such best practices and tips for our learners!?!  This could occur within the corporate training world as well.

Examples:

Let's put best practices on studying directly within our LMSs banners!

Or we could link to resources regarding best practices in studying!

Along these lines, we should have 11×17 (or larger) posters like this plastered in every hallway of every learning space out there:

 

We should plaster these types of posters throughout our learning spaces!!!

 

A Crusade to End Grading in High Schools — from washingtonpost.com by Thomas Toch and Alina Tugend; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource
One educator is leading an effort to evaluate students differently. Can it catch on?

Excerpt:

He envisioned schools where students learned math, history and science not as isolated subjects in classroom-bound courses but while working together to address real-world issues like soil conservation, homelessness and illegal immigration. Such learning would make schooling more meaningful for students and thus more engaging, Looney believed. It would let students demonstrate more talents to colleges, holding out the prospect of a wider, more diverse range of students entering higher education’s top ranks.

The existing high school transcript, however, with its simple summary of courses and grades, wouldn’t do justice to the interdisciplinary, project-based learning he wanted. It wouldn’t capture students’ creativity, persistence and other qualities. Looney needed a radically different way to portray students’ high school experiences, one that replaced grades with a richer picture. But he didn’t know what it was.

Today, 275 private high schools and 125 public schools are part of the nonprofit Mastery Transcript Consortium (MTC). They are in various stages of designing and launching the transcript — and working to make Looney’s radical vision a reality. Started in 2017, the organization is expanding rapidly.

 

An excerpt from Eva Keiffenheim’s Learn Letter re: A New Education Paradigm (emphasis DSC)

Here are a couple of underlying assumptions within our current education paradigm:

  • assessment through standardized testing and grades
  • outcome-focus on academic achievements
  • the purpose of education is to produce future workforce
  • teachers and professors are the unique source of knowledge
  • an inherent dominance (adults > children; professionals > students)
  • lectures and listening are a valid form of learning
  • subjects exist in hierarchies (math, languages > art, music)
  • content should be delivered in discrete subjects

I invite you to question the current paradigm: How would schools and universities look like so that all young people can flourish?


From DSC:
Eva’s reflections remind me of what I was trying to say the other day about how ideas start out as fragile…but if they take hold, they become very powerful. Today’s education paradigms are a great example of that. These paradigms have deep roots that are very hard to change.

Ideas start out fragile...but if they take root, they grow to be very strong.


 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian