From DSC:
More changes to the learning ecosystems in the U.S.


Microschools Can Lead to Macro Change — from gettingsmart.com by Tom Vander Ark and Rebecca Midles

Excerpts:

However, around the edges, the growth of pods and microschools has benefited thousands of learners. New tools and strategies have made it easier to create microschools of 15 to 150 students as a short-term pilot or long-term learning option.

Given their small size, microschools can be opened quickly in alternative spaces. Microschools quickly create new community-connected learning options (themes, careers, and experiences) for students. They can also be used to quickly address underserved student populations (preschool, dropout recovery, and career education).

Microschools make learning personal. With unique themes, links to community, and porous walls, they can ignite learning for students and innovation for districts.

Also see:

The Highly Competitive, Hypocritical, and Altogether Essential World of Pandemic Pods — from by Julia Beck
During the most stressful school year on record, learning bubbles are the one thing saving working parents’ sanity—so long as no one dares to break the rules.

Still, pod life isn’t all good grades and living by the golden rule. Pods have also been the source of criticism and conflict in the Boston area. They have been at the root of strained relationships in some suburban communities, and criticized for accelerating achievement gaps between the podded and the podless. 

 

From DSC:
This is what we’re up against –> Reskilling 1 billion people by 2030” — from saffroninteractive.com by Jessica Anderson

Excerpts:

According to the World Economic Forum, this statistic is a critical economic imperative.

Does this shock or scare you? Perhaps you’re completely unflappable? Whatever your reaction, this situation will undoubtedly impact your organisation and the way you tackle skills development.

What are the roadblocks?

So, we’ve laid down the gauntlet; an adaptable, agile, multi-skilled workforce. What stands in the way of achieving this? A recent survey of the top 5 challenges facing learning leaders sheds some light:

1. Building a learning culture
2. Learning in the flow of work
3. Digital transformation
4. Learner engagement and ownership
5. Keeping informed of best practices

From DSC:
The article mentions that nations could lose billions in potential GDP growth. And while that is likely very true, I think a far bigger concern is the very peace and fabric of our societies — the way of living that billions of people will either enjoy or have to endure. Civil unrest, increased inequality, warfare, mass incarcerations, etc. are huge concerns.

The need for a next-gen learning platform is now! The time for innovation and real change is now. It can’t come too soon. The private and public sectors need to collaborate to create “an Internet for learning” (in the sense that everyone can contribute items to the platform and that the platform is standards based). Governments, corporations, individuals, etc. need to come together. We’re all in the same boat here. It benefits everyone to come together. 

Learning from the living class room -- a next generation, global learning platform is needed ASAP

 

Time for Reinvention, Not Just Replication or Revision — from insidehighered.com by Ray Schroeder
With enrollments falling, college budgets under strain and employers dissatisfied with the relevance of graduates’ learning, now is a time for more than replication or revision — it is time for reinvention.

Excerpt:

We are at the confluence of massive economic, technologic and social changes that demand higher education do more than small fixes. We will not thrive if we merely tweak the system to replicate practices of the lecture hall in an online delivery system. This is not an empty warning — universities across the country are closing programs, laying off staff and faculty, and teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. I have personally been tracking these economic disadvantages for some time now.

Here are the key factors we must consider…(see rest of article)

Our centuries-old model of admitting 18-year-old high school graduates for a four-, five- or six-year baccalaureate, then sending them out for lifelong careers in business and industry is no longer relevant.

 

The Chegg situation is worse than you think — from eliterate.us by Michael Feldstein

Excerpts:

Forbes just ran with an article entitled “This $12 Billion Company Is Getting Rich Off Students Cheating Their Way Through Covid“.

Ouch.

Chegg -- This $12 Billion Company Is Getting Rich Off Students Cheating Their Way Through Covid

[Per Michael] To sum up:

  • Publishers, after selling expensive textbooks to students, sold the answers to the homework questions in those expensive books to Chegg.
  • Chegg sells the answers to the questions to the students, who often use them to cheat.
  • To combat this problem, universities pay for proctoring software, which is apparently more effective at preventing students from going to the bathroom than it is at preventing cheating.
  • To add insult to all of this injury, “to chegg” is now apparently a verb in the English language. We will all have to live with that linguistic violence.

Addendum on 2/9/21:

 

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.)

 

 

Equipping Youth to Change the World — from gettingsmart.com by Tom Vander Ark

Excerpt:

Through self-directed learning and impact projects, participants build stronger mindsets, develop real-world skills, learn to code, and expand their social capital. TKS’ teachers hail from leading companies in every sector.

The TKS team works with big companies to see what problems they are facing. This creates a bank of problems students can choose to work on. “[TKS] is as much about problem finding as it is about problem-solving,” says Navid.

 

What 2021 Means for Learning — from GettingSmart.com

What 2021 Means for Learning from Getting Smart on Vimeo.

Last week we hosted a live conversation to talk about what 2021 has in store for learning, a new set of shared priorities including mutuality and agency and emerging trends and topics that we are excited to explore this year.

 

Forever Changed: Education Predictions for 2021 — from thejournal.com by Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpt:

Teachers Will Become Massive Social Media Influencers
Teachers will be subject-matter experts who other teachers feature in video mixtapes and that parents will follow to support their students. Expect teachers to go live in Twitch-style “going live” environments. What can we expect in video?

 

9 BIG Questions Schools Must Answer to Avoid Going “Back to Normal” (*Because “Normal” Wasn’t That Great to Begin With) — from bigquestions.institute

Excerpt from email/e-newsletter (dated 1/27/21)

As we start to emerge from this dark moment, individuals and institutions need to be asking two important questions Given the trauma of the last 12 months, who are we now? And now that so much has changed about the world, who do we want to become?

Reflecting on those questions is especially important for educators. The “old normal” of schools is not coming back, nor should we want it to. Instead, this is an incredible opportunity to reset, to redefine our work.

To that end, we’ve written a new, free ebook9 Questions Schools Must Answer to Avoid Going Back to Normal (*Because Normal Wasn’t That Great to Begin With). Rather than innovate our way forward, Homa and I believe this is a moment to interrogate deeply the foundations of our work with children. That starts with a willingness to answer some big questions upon which we build our collective futures.

Q1: What is Sacred?  

Q2: What is Learning?  

Q3: Where is the Power?  

Q4: Why do we _________? 

Q5: Who is Unheard?  

Q6: Are we Literate? 

Q7: Are we OK?  

Q8: Are we Connected? 

Q9: What’s Next? 

“Real change will require us to leave many of our old ideas about school behind.”

From DSC:
We must figure out better ways to get away from creating game-players to developing curious, passionate learners instead. Even in law schools, points and grades are still used as the currency to get students to do some things. Holy smokes!  That pull/embedded behavior is a strong undercurrent even for adults learning about new things.

Students need to see their faculty members and/or teachers as people who ARE ON THEIR TEAM. Not an adversarial, controlling relationship. But one wherein the teacher or the professor is trying to help that person develop into a better, ___, ___, or ____.

I love the suggestion mentioned in the “Towards a new normal” on page 23 that says…

“Instead of ‘students’ and ‘teachers,’ refer to everyone in the school as ‘learners.'”


#behaviorism #learning #education #educationreform #K12 #lawschools and more.


Learning channels of the future will offer More choice. More control. Daniel Christian

 

10 Resolutions for Special Education in 2021 — from gettingsmart.com by Karla Phillips-Krivickas

Excerpt:

Include Students with Disabilities in Definitions of Equity
A hallmark of 2020 education policy has been a laser like focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Rightfully so, however, references to students that have been historically marginalized or disadvantaged too often do not include students with disabilities.

Action:
Ensure all state initiatives, including those led by non-profit organizations, include students with disabilities in definitions of equity.

 
 

Don’t force square-peg students back into wrong-shaped holes — from crpe.org by Robin Lake Paul Hill

But what gets lost in the reopening debate is the growing evidence that a significant portion of students and their families are actually happier and learn better outside of traditional schooling.

Excerpt:

Some of the “square-peg” children are the most creative and bright students in their class, but had struggled academically or socially in the traditional classroom. According to informal surveys of parents and teachers, new approaches to learning are benefiting:

  • Students with special needs, like ADHD or autism, who focus better on learning without disruptions from other kids, and who—when learning from home—can take breaks and calm themselves when needed, not just when the classroom schedule permits.
  • Students who didn’t speak up or ask questions in regular classrooms for fear of being mocked, but are now able to send private questions to teachers or make written contributions.
  • Socially-awkward or otherwise different kids who experienced bullying.
  • Kids who best learn from small-group instruction.
  • Students who have mastered all the regular class material and are motivated to learn advanced materials and explore on their own.
  • Students who learn best by hearing about a new idea and then quickly practicing or applying it on their own.

From DSC:
One of our daughters needs a team of people around her to help her learn and grow. The one-size-fits-all, the-train-stops-for-no-one type of educational system that she often encountered did not work well for her.

K-12 education in America is like a quickly-moving train that stops for no one.

Homeschooling has seen her grow a lot more. She even has her own blog now — and she’s excited about it! She loves reading and writing — and she’s very creative (albeit her writing gets pretty dark at times. But come to think of it…my second-grade teacher thought that my friend Andrew’s and my 38-page book with vampires, witches, and werewolves was pretty morbid too!)

 

 

Jeff Bezos Wants to Go to the Moon. Then, Public Education. — from edsurge.com by Dominik Dresel

Excerpts:

Jeff Bezos’ $2 billion investment to establish a Montessori-inspired network of preschools may be shrugged off by many as the world’s richest man dabbling in another playground. Instead, we should see it for what it is: the early days of Amazon’s foray into public education.

It would be easy to think that Amazon’s rapid expansion into industry after industry is just the natural, opportunistic path of a cash-flush company seeking to invest in new, lucrative markets. But Jeff Bezos, himself a graduate of a Montessori preschool, doesn’t think in short-term opportunities.

Yet, the world has had its first taste of the disentanglement of schooling from school buildings. Even though in 20 years we will still have school buildings—much like we still have bookstores—there is little doubt that the future will see more, not less, online instruction and content delivery.

 

 

5 Educational Concepts to Eliminate in 2021 — from principalsdesk.org by David Franklin

Excerpts:

Here are 5 educational concepts we need to eliminate in 2021. 

  1. Not Valuing 1-to-1 Devices for All Students
  2. Brick and Mortar Districts Not Offering a Virtual Learning Option
  3. Not Having Technology Use a Part of Teacher Evaluations
  4. Teachers Using Old, Outdated Technology
  5. Measuring Instructional Rigor By Seat Time
 

The Digital Divide for Tribal College Students — COVID, CARES Act, and Critical Next Steps — from diverseeducation.com

Excerpt:

In this episode staff writer Sara Weissman shares a story that focuses on the digital divide for Native Americans by bringing in voices of tribal college leaders and their students during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Many don’t know but Native American colleges and universities have long struggled with the worst internet connectivity in the nation while ironically paying the highest rates for service. Hear first-hand how students from Diné College and other institutions are currently affected. Carrie Billie (Big Water Clan), President & CEO of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) and Dr. Cynthia Lindquist (Star Horse Woman), President of Cankdeska Cikana Community College in North Dakota, break down the data and lay out critical next steps necessary to address the digital divide.

Many don’t know but Native American colleges and universities have long struggled with the worst internet connectivity in the nation while ironically paying the highest rates for service.

From DSC:
When will there be justice!? Let’s join in and make amends and provide the funding, concrete assistance, products, and services to Native American colleges, universities, and communities. Some potential ideas:

  • For the short term, could there be Loon balloons deployed immediately to provide free and stronger access to the Internet?

Could Project Loon assist Native American colleges, universities, and communities?

  • Could our Federal Government make amends and do the right thing here? (e-rate program, put Internet access in, make policy changes, offer more grants, other?)
  • Could Silicon Valley assist with hardware and software? For example:
    • Can Apple, HP, Microsoft, and others donate hardware and software?
    • Can Zoom, Adobe, Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, and others donate whatever these communities need to provide videoconferencing licenses?
  • Could telecom providers provide free internet access?
  • Could MOOCs offer more free courses?
  • Could furniture makers such as Steelcase, Herman Miller, and others donate furniture and help establish connected learning spaces?
  • How might faculty members and staff within higher education contribute?
  • How could churches, synagogues, and such get involved?
  • Could the rest of us locate and donate to charities that aim to provide concrete assistance to Native American schools, colleges, universities, and communities?

We need to do the right thing here. This is another area* where our nation can do much better.

* Here’s another example/area where we can do much better and make amends/changes.

 


Addendum on 12/7/20:

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian