Penn students use digital platform Gather to imitate in-person office hours — from by Isaac Lee; with thanks to Professor Sue Ellen Christian for this resource

Excerpt:

As students yearn for in-person interaction and the familiarity of their school buildings, platforms like Gather are filling the void — virtually.

Gather, also known as Gather.town, simulates buildings and classrooms on campus where students, professors, and teaching assistants can interact with one another through personal avatars during office hours. Its main feature, “Interaction Distance,” launches a video call between users whose avatars are within five steps from each other in the virtual space. As the users’ avatars walk away from each other, their video and audio quality decrease, simulating an in-person interaction.

Also see:

Image shows how people can gather around at the office, in a conference room, at a university, other -- https://gather.town/

From DSC:
Now picture this in VR.

 

 

AI in education: Features already adopted by companies, universities, and schools — from belitsoft.com by Dmitry Baraishuk

Excerpt:

AI use cases in education include such kinds of applications as: Artificial Intelligence in training, learning and development, AI in higher education and Artificial Intelligence in K-12 education. We’ve gathered and outlined real-life examples of AI in education for each of these three application areas. If you’re an L&D or HR pro, you will find insightful the section “AI in talent management and in Learning and development.” College and university leaders will discover helpful tools to significantly improve their educational process in the section “AI in Higher Education.” For school leaders, we’ve prepared the section “Artificial intelligence in K-12 education.”

Screenshot of a software app showing what an interface might look like for creating a personalized learning journey for someone. You can select from industries, roles, employees, and more.

This screenshot of an app shows what type of skills-related information could be earned, tracked, gathered and displayed.

 

Improving Digital Inclusion & Accessibility for Those With Learning Disabilities — from by Meredith Kreisa
Learning disabilities must be taken into account during the digital design process to ensure digital inclusion and accessibility for the community. This comprehensive guide outlines common learning disabilities, associated difficulties, accessibility barriers and best practices, and more.

“Learning shouldn’t be something only those without disabilities get to do,” explains Seren Davies, a full stack software engineer and accessibility advocate who is dyslexic. “It should be for everyone. By thinking about digital accessibility, we are making sure that everyone who wants to learn can.”

“Learning disability” is a broad term used to describe several specific diagnoses. Dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, nonverbal learning disorder, and oral/written language disorder and specific reading comprehension deficit are among the most prevalent.

 
An image of a barrier being torn down -- revealing a human mind behind it. This signifies the need to tear down any existing barriers that might hinder someone's learning experience.

 

Apple CEO Tim Cook: AR Is “Critically Important” For The Company’s Future — from vrscout.com by Bobby Carlton

Excerpts:

When the subject of AR and it’s potential came up, Cook said “You and I are having a great conversation right now. Arguably, it could even be better if we were able to augment our discussion with charts or other things to appear.”

In Cook’s opinion, AR will change the way we communicate with our friends, colleagues, and family. It’ll reshape communication in fields such as health, education, gaming, and retail. “I’m already seeing AR take off in some of these areas with use of the phone. And I think the promise is even greater in the future,” said Cook.

Also see:

Woman using Augmented Reality to further learn about something.

And it is not enough to try to use existing VR/XR applications and tailor them to educational scenarios. These tools can and should be created with pedagogy, student experience, and learning outcomes as the priority.

 

Teacher Makes Beautiful Illustrations of Your Favorite Physics Formulas — from interestingengineering.com by Loukia Papadopoulos
From electromagnetism to the law of conservation of energy, this teacher illustrates all your favorite physics formulas.

From electromagnetism to the law of conservation of energy, this teacher illustrates all your favorite physics formulas.

From DSC:
Not all of us have these kinds of skills — but how cool to see this creative, artistic, multidisciplinary approach to teaching and learning. The use of teams comes to mind for the rest of us! 🙂 

 

 

Instructure: Building an Effective Learning Ecosystem — a recorded webinar from instructure.com from 3-4-21 (NOTE: You will need to provide some basic contact information to view it.)

Excerpt:

Hear from an expert panel of district leaders as they share their experiences with creating a learning ecosystem that includes integrating their learning management and assessment systems with quality benchmark and formative assessments. You will learn how a learning ecosystem has been an integral part of transforming teaching and learning during a challenging year.

Webinar from Instructure -- on 3-4-2021 -- Building an effective learning ecosystem

 

NJ High School Adds New Recording Studio to Learning Spaces — from spaces4learning.com by Matt Jones

Excerpt:

A career and technical high school in New Jersey has added new professional recording gear to one of its teaching spaces. County Prep High School, part of Hudson County Schools of Technology, added hardware from Solid State Logic (SSL), a UK-based company that manufactures analog and digital audio consoles for music and audio production. Students in the music and audio technology program learn how to write their own songs and produce their own music. The senior project involves putting a label together and releasing songs.

 

The Studio at County Prep High School in New Jersey installed at the front of a teaching space with seating for about 16 students -- it overlooks a tracking room with a piano and two soundproof booths.

The new studio at County Prep High School features professional equipment from Solid State Logic.
Source: Solid State Logic

Also see:

A different view on the console at this New Jersey High School

Addendum on 4/1/21:

  • Control Room 42 ushers in the future of broadcasting — from derivative.ca
    Excerpt:
    Control Room 42 (CR42) a project from RTBF, public broadcaster for the French speaking part of Belgium, gives broadcasting’s traditionally hardware-based control room a radical makeover enabled by TouchDesigner in ways its designer Hugo Ortiz thought impossible a few years ago. Recipient of The European Broadcasting Union’s Technology and Innovation Award 2020, this new software-based control room prototype that also integrates Artisto for audio and Smode for real-time graphics brings game-changing innovation to the broadcasting industry.
 

Self-Assessment (emphasis DSC)

Turn each of your learning outcomes or objectives into a question. Then, ask each student to self-score how confident they feel about being able to demonstrate that outcome or task.

Example:
Learning outcome: Students will be able to compare bacteria vs. viruses.

Change it to a question:  How confident are you in comparing bacteria vs. viruses based on today’s lesson?

Now ask students to score their confidence or ability to do this outcome using a simple scale such as:  “1 = I’m not confident that I can do it” to “5 = I am very confident that I can do it.”

 

Video Captions Benefit Everyone — from ncbi.nlm.nih.gov by Morton Ann Gernsbacher

Excerpts:

Video captions, also known as same-language subtitles, benefit everyone who watches videos (children, adolescents, college students, and adults). More than 100 empirical studies document that captioning a video improves comprehension of, attention to, and memory for the video. Captions are particularly beneficial for persons watching videos in their non-native language, for children and adults learning to read, and for persons who are D/deaf or hard of hearing. However, despite U.S. laws, which require captioning in most workplace and educational contexts, many video audiences and video creators are naïve about the legal mandate to caption, much less the empirical benefit of captions.

More than 100 empirical studies, listed in the appendix, document the benefits of captions.

With so many studies documenting the benefits of captions, why does everyone not always turn on the captions every time they watch a video? Regrettably, the benefits of captions are not widely known. Some researchers are unaware of the wide-ranging benefits of captions because the empirical evidence is published across separate literatures (deaf education, second-language learning, adult literacy, and reading acquisition). Bringing together these separate literatures is the primary purpose of this article.

 

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. 

 

Travel from home: 13 virtual museums and galleries to tour — from millionmilesecrets.com by Cynthia Paez Bowman; with thanks to Tatiana Rosado Vidal for this resource


Many museums are offering virtual tours. This image portrays people walking down a long hallway, perusing various works of art.


Excerpt:

Museums, movie theaters, concerts and other events have all taken a hit since COVID-19 emerged. Luckily, the creative world has gotten — creative — and found new, alternative ways to provide virtual cultural and educational experiences during these challenging times. If you’re hankering for a little art immersion, there are a variety of virtual museum tours you can take, all from the comfort of your home. Best of all, you won’t have to navigate a sea of crowds and selfie sticks to get a closer look at a Van Gogh or Monet.

The following list of virtual museums and galleries are organized based on interest:

Virtual Art Museums
Virtual Tour for Kids
Virtual Natural History and Science
Weird Virtual Museums

 

From DSC:
Below are some great questions and reflections from Mr. Andrew Thorburn:

“I’d like to suggest not only the tools to learn and adapt, but marry that with — and to the learning model of — forgiveness and growth from not getting it right the first time. Perhaps a reflection or question from an instructor, a friend, and/or a mentor asking:

  • What did you expect to gain from engaging this learning?
  • What was the outcome? Was it what you expected?
  • If you were to do it over, what would you do differently, expect, or hope the outcome to be?
  • What would you want yourself to be like?  Why?”

We need to change how we feel about learning and appreciate the process of personal growth. 

 

Below are two excerpts from the Lecture Breakers Weekly — by Dr. Barbi Honeycutt — re: teaching asynchronous online courses + podcast choice boards

Several great podcasts are mentioned in this graphic -- including The Learning Scientists Podcast, Lecture Breakers Podcast, Think UDL podcast and 3 others.

Above choice board created by Greg Jung

In this example, the teachers in a professional development workshop could choose which of the podcasts they wanted to listen to and discuss. I love this strategy combined with the use of podcasts! It could easily be adapted to any course as a creative way to increase student engagement and motivation.

 

Episode 75: How to Create More Engaging Asynchronous Online Courses with Dr. Monica Burns

Episode 75: How to Create More Engaging Asynchronous Online Courses with Dr. Monica Burns — by Barbi Honeycutt, Ph.D.

 

Coronavirus has taught Colorado school kids one key lesson: resilience — from coloradosun.com by Erica Breunlin
They have faced continued uncertainty, lost out on sporting events and missed time with friends. Through it all, kids have learned how to cope.

And as much as schooling has been disrupted in the past year, Colorado students have also grasped lessons beyond their years — the kinds of lessons that are often learned best outside the classroom: a sense of resilience, how to deal with disappointment and the ability to navigate waves of uncertainty from week to week. For all the classroom moments they’ve missed since last March, they’ve also gained a set of coping skills to steer them through whatever trying times come after the pandemic.

From DSC:
And perhaps this kind of learning is what our kids will need to survive and thrive in a rapidly-changing world.

 

Free Resources to Help with Remote Learning in 2021 — from thejournal.com by Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpt:

As the pandemic continues wreaking havoc in education through the current school year, districts, schools, teachers and parents are being more selective about the technology they choose for instructing and engaging students. While hundreds of education companies, nonprofits and other organizations made their software and services free during the immediate switch to remote learning, many have become more thoughtful about how they help educators master online and blended instruction. We’ve winnowed through our original collection and sprinkled additions throughout, to bring you this updated set of free resources to help with remote learning in 2021.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian