From DSC:
I, for one, am glad that we made the investments in the telecommunications and networking infrastructures, in the PCs, Macs, laptops, tablets, other items in the #edtech realm, as well as investing in a variety of technologies through the years. Given the need to move online due to the Coronavirus, I’d say such investments offered many a solid ROI throughout K-12, higher education, as well as in the corporate world. But I realize that not everyone has access to these things…which is something we must work on as a nation.

But had we not made those investments, where we would be now?

Also see:

Teaching during COVID-19: Why We’re Fortunate — from er.educause.edu by Gardner Campbell

 

Not in the Future—Now — from er.educause.edu by John O’Brien

Excerpts:

…technology can no longer be seen as a utility working quietly in the background. Now more than ever, technology is a strategic asset that is vital to the success of every higher education institution.

Digital transformation (Dx) can no longer be considered an aspirational concept. It must be understood as an imperative. And that well-worn, precious notion of campus technology professionals doing work that is noticed only when there is an outage? This too is a thing of the past.


[Technology] is not just a lifeline that got us through a tricky situation. It is and must increasingly be understood as an integral, strategic part of the successful college or university. Not in the future. Now.

 

 

Learning channels of the future will offer us more choice. More control. [Christian]

 

From DSC:
And this phenomenon of learning from the living [class] room will likely pick up steam; some learning-related services are already heading that way.

 

Learning from home -- masterclass dot com

Learning from home -- masterclass dot com

 

Also see:

Preparing Students for a Lifelong Disruptive Future: The 60-Year Curriculum — from evolllution.com by Chris Dede | Professor of Learning Technologies in the Graduate School of Education, Harvard University and John Richards | Professor in the Graduate School of Education, Harvard University

Although written before the pandemic, a just-published book, The 60-Year Curriculum: New Models for Lifelong Learning in the Digital Economy (Dede and Richards, 2020), describes the looming challenge/opportunity of a coming, epic half-century whose intensity of disruption will rival the historic period civilization faced from 1910-1960: two world wars, a global pandemic, a long-lasting economic depression and unceasing conflicts between capitalism and communism.

In our tactical responses to moving teaching online because of the pandemic, we have the strategic opportunity to develop a new model that blends higher and continuing education and realizes the potential of next-generation methods of instruction and assessment (National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, 2018) to focus on lifelong learning.

 

 

Homework gap a growing focus for nonprofits, lawmakers as closures persist — from educationdive.com by Shawna De La Rosa

Excerpt:

Dive Brief:

  • After declaring success in the goal of connecting most schools to fast, reliable internet, nonprofit EducationSuperHighway is turning its attention to the “homework gap,” according to The Hechinger Report. More than 9 million students still lack internet access at home.
  • Evan Marwell, CEO and founder of EducationSuperHighway, said school closures triggered a change in attitude about the importance of home internet service for students. Now, some lawmakers indicate they are willing to spend billions of dollars to bridge that gap.
  • The organization launched digitalbridgeK12.org to provide detailed information on the problem, as well as recommendations for policymakers and school leaders, and advice and best practices on topics like how to collect data on connectivity at the district level or purchase in bulk.
 

21 of the Best Educational Cartoon Channels for Both Learning and Entertaining

21 of the Best Educational Cartoon Channels for Both Learning and Entertaining — from graphicmama.com by Lyudmil Enchev

Excerpt:

Whether you are teaching online or homeschooling there are plenty of options available to liven up your lessons and vary the approach. One such method is educational animations or cartoons. They have the immediate benefit of attractive to the child or young learner, they don’t see it as work. The skill, style, and variation available for free is incredibly impressive, there are channels aimed at all age groups and covering an enormous range of subjects from the curriculum to social skills, often mixed together. Now is exactly the right time to take advantage and fill their screen time with something entertaining, fun, and worthwhile.

Also see:

 

Johns Hopkins trains 22,000 contact tracers on Coursera in the first week — from blog.coursera.org by Jeff Maggioncalda

Excerpt:

We are highly encouraged by the initial response — in just one week, more than 150,000 learners have enrolled in the course. More than 22,000 learners have already completed it, including over 2,500 prospective contact tracers who could be employed by the state of New York. Contact tracing will offer meaningful employment to those impacted by the economic downturn while fulfilling an urgent public health need.

 

 

Higher ed needs to build more mature Digital Learning Ecosystems

Higher Ed Needs a Long-Term Plan for Virtual Learning — from Harvard Business Review by James DeVaney, Gideon Shimshon, Matthew Rascoff, and Jeff Maggioncalda

Excerpts:

The staggering impact of Covid-19 on education systems around the world is unlike anything we have seen in the post-war era. More than 1.6 billion students have been affected, representing over 91% of all students in the world. Unsurprisingly, demand for online learning has skyrocketed. In the last 30 days, there were 10.3 million enrollments in courses on Coursera, up 644% from the same period last year.

As the emergency subsides but normal fails to return, higher ed institutions need to do more. There’s a good likelihood that virtual learning — in some capacity — will need to be a part of education for the foreseeable future. Higher ed institutions need a response framework that looks beyond the immediate actions. They have to prepare for an intermediate period of transition and begin future-proofing their institutions for the long term.

 

 

Remote Therapy for Special Needs Students Finally Viewed as Viable Option — from thejournal.com by Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpt:

“If there is a silver lining to this terrible virus, it is that out of necessity school districts have become more open to remote learning,” noted CEO Geneve Milne in a blog post. “This is a really important evolution because now school districts that have struggled to recruit speech language pathologists are likely to be more comfortable offering teletherapy to their students. This will help ease the lack of trained, licenses speech-language pathologists available to districts and help districts be more prepared when external forces keep students away from their special needs educator.”

 
 

What is unschooling? A parents guide to child-led home education — from yahoo.com by Nicole Harris

Excerpt:

Unschooling is a form of homeschooling that emphasizes a child’s interests, rather than a structured academic curriculum. “It’s a curiosity-led approach to education that relies on the natural creativity of young people,” says Krystal Dillard, co-director of the Natural Creativity Center, an unschooling center in Philadelphia. “There is no prescribed curriculum; rather, children are empowered to explore with adults offering guidance along the way.”

Parents who practice unschooling don’t set aside hours or places for education. Instead, they encourage learning as a natural part of everyday life. “As a result, self-directed education looks different for everyone, and can constitute anything from climbing a tree to building a computer to producing a film,” says Dillard. Unschooling can happen in the home, in the yard, at unschooling centers, or virtually anywhere else.

“As a result, self-directed education looks different for everyone, and can constitute anything from climbing a tree to building a computer to producing a film,” says Dillard. Unschooling can happen in the home, in the yard, at unschooling centers, or virtually anywhere else.

 

 

From DSC:
Here’s an idea that I’ve been thinking about for quite some time now. It’s not necessarily a new idea, but the seed got planted in me by a former colleague, Quin Schultze (which I blogged about in January of 2018). I’m calling it, “My Learning Journal.The purpose of this device is to promote your metacognition  — helping you put things into your own words and helping you identify your knowledge gaps.

I realize that such a learning strategy/tool could take some time to complete. But it could pay off — big time! Give it a try for a few weeks and see what you think.

And, with a shout-out to Mr. James McGrath, the President of the WMU-Cooley Law School, the article listed below explains the benefits of taking the time for such reflection:

Reflective learning – reflection as a strategic study technique — from open.edu

Excerpts:

Rather than thinking of reflection as yet another task to be added to your ‘to do’ list or squeezed into a busy study schedule, view it as something to practice at any stage. The emphasis is on being a reflective learner rather than doing reflective learning. 

Developing a habit of reflective learning will help you to:

  • evaluate your own progress
  • monitor and manage your own performance
  • self-motivate
  • keep focus on your learning goals
  • think differently about how you can achieve your goals by evaluating your study techniques, learning strategies and whether these best fit your current needs, identifying your skills development needs or gaps in knowledge
  • think about and overcome what may be blocking your learning by using a different approach, or setting more pragmatic (realistic/achievable) goals
  • support and enrich your professional practice ensuring that you are better placed to respond to and manage new, unexpected and complex situations – a key requirement at Master’s level.

From DSC:
Pastors, trainers, K-12 educators, student teachers, coaches, musical teachers, and others: Perhaps a slightly modified version of this tool might be beneficial to those with whom you work as well…?

And for educators and trainers, perhaps we should use such a tool to think about our own teaching and training methods — and what we are (or aren’t) learning ourselves.

Addendum on 5/14/20:

Perhaps someone will build a bot for this type of thing, which prompts us to reflect upon these things. Here are some examples of what I’m talking about or something like Woebot, which Jeremy Caplan mentioned here.

 

DC: Ouch! Likely a *major game-changer* — esp given the current landscape of #HigherEducation. [Christian]

From DSC:
Readers of this blog will know that I’m a big fan of online learning. That said, I realize it’s not for everyone. Our son, who is studying to become an actor, hates it.

Given:

  • our current technological tools, setups, and  infrastructures
  • the ways that we are used to doing things
  • our past and current educational systems 
  • and folks’ learning preferences

…it’s hard to do some things online. I get it.

That said, I wouldn’t rule out the further significant growth and development of online-based learning experiences by any stretch of the imagination. The Coronavirus will force traditional institutions of higher education (plus many K-12 school systems as well as corporate training programs) to invest much more aggressively in the research and development of online-based learning experiences. And with AI-based tools like Otter.AI, our future virtually/digitally-based learning ecosystems could be very powerful indeed.

As but one example, consider that AI technologies — as unseen but present participants in future videoconferencing calls — will “listen” to the conversation and likely provide us with a constantly updating sidebar that will consist of beneficial resources such as:

  • relevant research
  • websites
  • journal articles
  • blog postings
  • former team conversations
  • etc.

The output from that sidebar will likely be able to be saved /downloaded just like we do with transcripts of chat sessions. The available options for such a service will be customizable, and filtering mechanisms can be turned on, or off, or be adjusted.

Otter dot AI

 

All of that said, it IS time to reduce the investments that are being used to create new athletic facilities and/or other new physical buildings. And it’s time to start reallocating those millions of dollars of investments into creating/developing highly-effective online-based learning experiences. 

Don’t get me wrong. Going to campus is an ideal learning experience, and I hope that for everyone out there. But if the current trends continue — especially the increasing costs of obtaining a degree — that won’t be an option for a growing number of people (especially with the aftermath/ripple effects of the Coronavirus on our society).

#CostOfObtainingADegree #StudentRelated #AI #InstructionalDesign #IntelligentSystems #IntelligentTutoring #FutureOfHigherEducation #Innovation #LearningEcosystems #HigherEducation #Change #NewBusinessModels #Reinvent #StayingRelevant #Surviving

 

Dawn of the Age of Digital Learning [Moe & Rajendran]

Dawn of the Age of Digital Learning — from medium.com by Michael Moe and Vignesh Rajendran
An Acceleration of Trends That Have Been Building for Years

Excerpts:

Some of these new online learners will sink. Some will crawl out of the pool and never go back in. But we believe most will get the hang of it, like it, and will no longer be confined to the shore. Effectively, the genie is not going back in the bottle… digital learning has come of age. We have a B.C. (Before Coronavirus) world transitioning to A.D. (After Disease).

The Coronavirus has brought forth the Dawn of the Age of Digital Learning — a time for builders to create the platforms, tools, and technology to propel society forward.

We now believe Digital Learning will reach 11% of the education market by 2026, representing a ~$1 Trillion market and a 30% CAGR, close to double the rate of growth projected in Before Covid-19

 

From DSC:
So many of the things in this article reminded me of the things, developments, trends, needs, and possibilities that I have been tracking for years in this vision of a next-generation, global learning platform that I have entitled:

We need a next gen learning platform -- I call this vision Learning from the Living Class Room

My guess is that the large, primarily online institutions/organizations will come out of this ordeal in much better shape than the majority of the traditional institutions of higher education. It won’t matter what faculty members at liberal arts institutions think about online learning. And as much as some faculty members won’t like to see or hear about it, students will no longer need for such faculty members to be sold on it. Students will come to realize that it was under those faculty members watch that their own enormous gorillas of debt were created. And they are beginning to witness and hear that it’s taking (or will take) older family members decades to pay down their debt.

So, I think that the market will decide the fate of many traditional institutions of higher education. Lifelong learners will vote with their feet — and fingers actually, by typing in a new URL — and simply move to the SNHU’s, ASU’s, UMass Online’s, WGU’s, and Liberty University’s of the world. After 5-10 years of investments in online learning, there will likely be some pretty amazing learning experiences out there.

 

How the research on learning can drive change — from gettingsmart.com by Chris Sturgis

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

#2 Learning results from the interplay of cognition, emotion, and motivation.
The brain does not clearly separate cognitive from emotional functioning so that optimal learning environments will engage both. It’s important that students feel safe if learning is to be optimized. When we are afraid, our amygdala becomes activated making it harder to learn. Do students feel valued? Relationships matter in creating a culture of inclusivity and belonging. Are schools designed so that teachers and professors have the opportunity to build strong relationships with students? Do students feel that the school and teachers want them to be successful? Do they have chances to receive feedback and revise or do grading practices simply judge them?

 

From DSC:
Two instances — plus a simmering question — instantly stand out in my mind when I read the above paragraph.

First instance:
It was years ago and I was working at a Fortune 500 company outside of Chicago. I was given the chance to learn how to program in one of the divisions of this company. I was in a conference room with my brand new boss. I had asked him a question about a piece of code, which clearly must have let him know I had some serious misunderstandings.

But instead of being patient, he grew increasingly frustrated at my lack of understanding. The madder he got, the worse my learning became. My focus shifted from processing the expected syntax of the code — and the content/instruction overall that he was trying to relay — to almost completely being concerned with his anger. My processing shut down and things deteriorated from there.

Second instance:
My mom was a classical piano teacher for decades. Though she was often loved by her students, she could be very tough, strong, and forceful. (This was true of several of my siblings’ music teachers as well.) Most of the time, she developed wonderful, strong relationships with the vast majority of her students, many of which came back to our house around Christmastime / New Year’s to visit with her (even long after “graduating”).

I mention that as background to a different context…when I observed my mom trying to teach one of my nieces how to do a math problem in the kitchen of our old house. Again, the teacher in this case kept getting increasingly frustrated, while the student kept shrinking back into their shell…trying to deflect the increasingly hot anger coming at them. The cognitive processing stopped. The amount of actual learning taking place quickly declined. I finally intervened to say that they should come back to this topic later on.

(The counselors/therapists out there would probably rightly connect these two scenarios for what was happening in my mind (i.e., not wanting to deal with the other person’s growing anger). But this applies to many more of us than just me, I’m afraid.)

A simmering question involving law schools and a common teaching method:
In law schools, one of the long-standing teaching methods is the Socratic Method.

Depending upon the professor and their teaching style, one student could be under intense pressure to address the facts, rules, the legal principles of a case, and much more. They often have to stand up in front of the class.

In those instances, I wonder how much capacity to actually process information gets instantly reduced within many of the students’ brains when they get the spotlight shown on them? Do the more introverted and/or less confident students start to sweat? Do their fear levels and heart rates increase? With the issue of having other students attempting to learn from this grilling aside, I wonder what happens to the amygdalas of the students that were called upon?

You can probably tell that I’m not a big fan of the Socratic Method IF it begins to involve too much emotion…too much anger or fear. Not good. The amount of learning taking place can be significantly impacted.

A professor, teacher, or trainer can’t know all of the underlying background, psychology, personality differences, emotional makeup, and experiences of each learner. But getting back to the article, I appreciate what the author was saying about the importance of establishing a SAFE learning environment. The more fear, anger, and a sense of being threatened or scared are involved, the less learning/processing can occur.

 

Healthy looks different on every body...and learning looks different with every mind.

 
 

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