The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education — from bigthink.com by Dr. Michael Crow, President of ASU

Excerpt:

Third, it is abundantly apparent that universities must leverage technology to increase educational quality and access. The rapid shift to delivering an education that complies with social distancing guidelines speaks volumes about the adaptability of higher education institutions, but this transition has also posed unique difficulties for colleges and universities that had been slow to adopt digital education. The last decade has shown that online education, implemented effectively, can meet or even surpass the quality of in-person instruction.

Digital instruction, broadly defined, leverages online capabilities and integrates adaptive learning methodologies, predictive analytics, and innovations in instructional design to enable increased student engagement, personalized learning experiences, and improved learning outcomes. The ability of these technologies to transcend geographic barriers and to shrink the marginal cost of educating additional students makes them essential for delivering education at scale.

Far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student’s family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted. And without new designs, we can expect post-secondary success for these same students to be as elusive in the new normal, as it was in the old normal.

This is not just because some universities fail to sufficiently recognize and engage the promise of diversity, this is because few universities have been designed from the outset to effectively serve the unique needs of lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color.

 

Just-in-time online tutoring: Supporting learning anywhere, anytime — from er.educause.edu by Stefan Hrastinski

Excerpt:

What if learning could be supported anywhere, anytime, based on the needs of learners? This is a question that has been explored in different ways in research and teaching. Although an abundance of digital education resources are available online, learners have questions and need guidance when they are studying. Just-in-time online tutoring attempts to meet this need. It also has great potential as a complement to scheduled education.

Just-in-time learning has been defined as “anywhere, anytime learning that is just enough, just for me and just in time.”

 

COVID-19 Intensifies Need to Tackle Digital Accessibility — from campustechnology.com by By Glenda Sims
More learning content than ever before has migrated online, bringing accessibility concerns to the forefront. Here’s how higher ed institutions are making progress toward equitable access.

Excerpt:

Accessibility lawsuits in education are not new. However, with colleges and universities undertaking their own digital transformations (moving more content and services online), lawsuits targeted at equitable access to physical facilities (like bathrooms) have logically expanded to digital offerings for students relying on assistive technologies to access them. The current COVID-19 crisis is likely to exacerbate this, as more learning content than ever before has migrated online in these unprecedented times. Persons with disabilities will demand nothing less than completely equitable access, particularly when it comes to their safety. While many higher ed institutions still have much to do for their accessibility initiatives, there have been many promising developments…

 

 

Cisco takes a lesson from the coronavirus pandemic with new solutions for remote work and learning — from cnbc.com by Jordan Novet

Key points:

  • Cisco has helped some of its customers set up remote work and education technologies. Now it wants to bring those capabilities to more organizations.
  • While Cisco remains number one in the conferencing software as a service market, Zoom is becoming a bigger force.

Also see:

 

“How has your school delivered on the promise of equal access and educational excellence, particularly during these challenging times?”

YouTube Contest, “With Justice for All,” Seeks Submissions from Students About the Effect of Covid-19 and Recent Tragedies on Their Educational Experience

Prizes include 11 scholarships for students who best address the question, “How has your school delivered on the promise of equal access and educational excellence, particularly during these challenging times?”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Center for Education Reform (CER), in partnership with the Freedom Coalition for Charter Schools, the Children’s Scholarship Fund, and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, today launched “With Justice for All,” a national YouTube contest for students.

Over the last few months, students and schools have faced significant challenges from distance learning and national tragedies. Times like these highlight how a great education is the most important asset a student has to effectively change the world.

So CER decided to ask students directly: Has your school delivered on the promise of equal access and educational excellence, particularly during these challenging times? Tell us how well your school did — or didn’t do — in providing you a great education.

“We want you to be able to take charge of your education,” said Jeanne Allen, CER’s founder and chief executive. “We want to assist you in writing the next chapter of your education story. Tell us your story, and we’ll tell everybody who needs to know, especially those in power.”

Videos must be shorter than three minutes, hashtagged with #MyEducationVideo, and submitted to MyEducationVideo.com by 11:59 PM EDT on July 4, 2020. Submissions will be evaluated by a panel of celebrity judges. Awards include 10 $2,500 scholarships — and one $20,000 scholarship — to the high school or college of a student’s choice. Winners will be announced during a live-streamed ceremony (date and time T.B.D.), and their videos may be shown to delegates at both of the 2020 national conventions this summer.

“We’ve designed this contest for students ages 13 and older, because we know it can be hard to get your ideas about education heard when you’re a kid,” said Allen.

For more information, visit MyEducationVideo.com.

https://www.myeducationvideo.com/

 

Also see:

“If we are not centering equitable student success, we’re gonna be put back decades and decades. And we’re already trying to retrofit.”

 

Blockchain Can Disrupt Higher Education Today, Global Labor Market Tomorrow — from cointelegraph.com by Andrew Singer
Blockchain can play its part in the education sector — record-keeping in 2–3 years and then adoption by the labor market?

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

In the post-pandemic world, individuals will need to seize ownership and control of their educational credentials — documents like degrees and transcripts — from schools, universities and governments. That notion received key support last week from the American Council on Education in a study funded by the United States Department of Education focusing on the use of blockchain in higher education.

“Blockchain, in particular, holds promise to create more efficient, durable connections between education and work,” wrote Ted Mitchell, the president of ACE, in the foreword to the study published on June 8, adding: “In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, learners will be more mobile, moving in and out of formal education as their job, health, and family situations change.”

A key theme of the report is personal data agency — i.e., how “distributed ledger technologies [DLT] can ‘democratize’ data and empower individuals with agency over their personal information.”

 

Blockchain has been described as a hammer in search of a nail. If so, academic credentialing appears to be as obvious a nail as one can find. The current international trade in fake academic degrees, after all, is “staggering,” as the BBC reported, and with a global labor market increasingly mobile, the world could badly use a decentralized, borderless, tamper-free ledger of verifiable credentials — both for education and the broader labor market.

 

 

 

Per Kim O’Leary, here are some resources re: the topic of giving/receiving feedback:

 

Other items re: feedback worth checking out:

How ‘Learning Engineering’ Hopes to Speed Up Education — from edsurge.com by Jeff Young

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

One insight Lepper brought is that when education software tools simply list all the errors students made and points out what they should have done instead, what many end up hearing is, “You’re wrong, you’re wrong, you’re wrong.” For students, this is a discouraging engagement, Lepper says.

“That kind of feedback would be perfect if you had a robot learner on the other end,” he says. “The robot learner would be delighted to have you say, ‘Okay, you made three errors in problem number one,’ and being a robot learner, they’d be able to take out those bugs and do better the next time. Real kids, especially real kids who are kind of phobic about math and who think they can’t do it, they leave and say, ‘See I can’t do it.’”

Don’t water down feedback to your student — from teachingprofessor.com by John Orlando

RetrievalPractice.org/feedback

From OLC session “Carl Rogers, Teaching Presence, and Student Engagement in Online Learning” Cheng-Chia (Brian) Chen, Denise Bockmier-Sommers, & Karen Swan (emphasis DSC)

  • Use student’s first name in feedback
  • Speak directly to them
  • Paraphrase their words
  • Provide video feedback
  • Sandwich method — Include the strengths of student’s reasoning or responses in addition to your constructive critique(s)
  • Acknowledge student contributions
  • Let them know you care and appreciate them
  • What’s timely feedback? The quicker the better, but whatever your availability is, tell what students can expect, and stick to that. Put that into your syllabus along with communication methods (email, LMS message, phone, other)

Leveraging Feedback Experiences in Online Learning — from er.educause.edu by Erin Crisp

4 dimensions of feedback

Here are some design tips to increase the probability for success.

  • Structure the course so that there are opportunities for instructors and peers to provide formative feedback several weeks before final projects/papers are due.
  • Identify key time frames in the course when instructors will be heavily engaged in providing written or video feedback that is individualized and moves the learning forward.
  • Create a bank of content-specific feedback comments that instructors can use for common issues and errors.
  • If end-of-course survey evaluations are low, implement strategies to provide feedback that directly connects to learners as individuals.
  • If you teach and grade papers in a professional discipline, provide feedback related to the course and program learning outcomes, and focus less on grammar and language usage.
 

Remote collaboration and virtual conferences, the future of work — from forces.com by Charlie Fink

Excerpts:

Ten weeks ago, Jesse Damiani, writing on Forbes.com, told the story of a college professor who turned his course about XR into a research project about remote collaboration and virtual conferences.

He and his students reimagined the course as an eight-week research sprint exploring how XR tools will contribute to the future of remote work—and the final product will be a book, tentatively titled, Remote Collaboration & Virtual Conferences: The End of Distance and the Future of Work.”

This is a chapter of that book. It will be available on June 15.

The thing everyone wants is not a technology, it’s engagement. The same kind of engagement that you would have in real life, but better, faster, cheaper *and safer* than it was before.

Also see:

 

The Post-Pandemic Outlook for Edtech — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpts:

For the edtech industry, the pandemic poses a paradox. Never before have schools and colleges so urgently needed digital tools and services to facilitate remote learning—and been less able to afford them.

Consumer edtech, then, may be where the market is hottest moving forward. And experts say a new key audience has emerged in the sector: parents. Many have been thrust—begrudgingly—into the role of homeschool teacher, and they’re looking for ways to keep kids on track academically that don’t require them to spend hours brushing up on fractions.

“The new audience for edtech companies, whether they sell directly to consumers or not, is the parent. That’s a major and permanent change,” he explains. “Whether it’s needed all the time or not, it needs to be built in.” 

— Frank Catalano

Online Tutoring Services
It’s been a hot few years for companies that connect students with tutors who teach online. Between 2016 and 2019, online tutoring services raised more than $1.2 billion in venture capital.

 
 

33 Great Ways to Teach English with Technology –from englishpost.org

Excerpt:

How to Teach English with Technology is about language and second language teaching using the best educational technology resources for the ESL Classroom.

When technology integration in the classroom is seamless and thoughtful, students not only become more engaged, they begin to take more control over their own learning, too.

 

XR for Learning – June 3, 2020 — from twist.learningguild.net

Excerpt:

Augmented, Virtual, and other mixed reality technologies are rapidly emerging and advancing, creating new and exciting opportunities for training and education. XR for Learning collects some of the best XR content that learning professionals can learn from.

Here’s this week’s recommended content.

 

ECAR Study of the Technology Needs of Students with Disabilities, 2020 — from er.educause.edu by Dana Gierdowski and Joseph Galanek
Technology in higher education can be both an aid and a challenge for students with disabilities. Institutions and instructors can take steps to ensure that these students have equitable access, and those same measures can help all students, particularly during the era of emergency remote teaching.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

We asked students, “What is ONE thing you would like your instructors to do with technology to enhance your academic success?” In our analysis of their responses, we identified two overarching themes, as well as prominent patterns within those themes:

  • Online Access to Materials and Resources
    • Class notes and slides
    • Assignments, tests, and quizzes
    • Recorded lectures
    • The LMS and the user experience
  • Teaching with Technology
    • Mobile devices in the classroom
    • Training students and faculty in using technology
    • Multiple methods of presenting course materials
    • Engagement through the use of technology

Read full report: PDF | HTML

Access other materials: Executive Summary | Infographic

 


Also see:

ADA -- Disability and Covid-19

 

From DSC:
After reading the following item from Jeremy Caplan’s most recent e-newsletter entitled, “Tiny Stuff I Love“…

Alfred = Saves me time on copying and pasting
If you copy and paste stuff frequently, get a clipboard manager. I use Alfred throughout every workday. It keeps the last 100+ things I’ve copied in a neat list so I can paste anything I’ve used recently into a browser, document, or wherever else.

This is super-handy when I’m copying and pasting things repeatedly from one place to another. Sometimes I’m moving a bunch of stuff from a document into an email. Or putting several links or notes into a Zoom chat window.

Lots of tools do something similar. I also like the Copied App, $8 on the Mac App store. It has a companion iPhone app.

 

…I instantly thought of how useful this type of tool would be for teachers, professors, and perhaps trainers as well — especially when grading!

From this page (emphasis DSC):

What Does a Clipboard Manager Do?
The default clipboard in Windows works well, but it’s quite basic. The biggest limitation is that it can only hold one item at a time. If you copy a piece of text, forget to use it, then copy an image later, the text will be gone. Another hassle is that you can’t view what you’ve copied without pasting it.

For anyone who copies and pastes all the time, these are big problems. Thankfully, this is where clipboard managers come in. They greatly expand the functionality of your clipboard by remembering dozens of entries, allowing you to pin frequently used snippets for easy access, and much more.

 

Afred 4 for the Mac

Alfred is a clipboard manager for the Mac

 

Readers of this blog might also be interested in some of the other tools that Jeremy mentions, including:

  • Toby = Save and share my browser tabs

Toby -- save and load sets of browser tabs

 

Coursera Makes Certificate Programs Free to College Students During Pandemic — from campustechnology.com by Rhea Kelly

Excerpt:

Online learning provider Coursera has opened up its certificate programs to current undergraduate, graduate or recently graduated college and university students. Students with a verified school e-mail address can sign up for free access to more than 3,800 courses, 150 guided projects, 400 specializations and 11 professional certificates on the platform. They must enroll before July 31, and have until Sept. 30, 2020 to complete the programs.

 

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