Another type of learning ecosystem (online, but from beautiful places!)

From DSC:
I instantly see the inequities involved here — as only those with the resources can choose this route. Also, one would have to be careful about how many others are around you choosing to do the same thing. (Otherwise, it defeats the purpose of social distancing, and one might as well be back in a physical classroom.)

All that said, I post this because I’m intrigued by the different ways people are enhancing their learning ecosystems. The creativity out there is wonderful to see. Learning should be fun.

For that matter, a few words could be interchanged to create a slightly different perspective here…

Teach from here instead

Work from here instead

 

I’m a teacher headed back to school next month. It’s going to be traumatic. — from co.chalkbeat.org by Autumn Jones
A teacher mental health crisis is coming. Schools should prepare themselves now. 

Excerpts:

Last week, the Colorado district where I teach announced schools would return August 18 for a hybrid of in-person and remote learning. That means that teachers must face the reality of walking into a school building where little of what we were taught about being a teacher will apply. We will be expected at school five days a week, teaching alternating groups of students while also providing remote instruction for those learning from home.

What happens when, instead of getting the virus, we see educators experience anxiety, panic attacks, or stress-induced ailments? Do schools have the necessary supports in place to care for the mental health of its educators?

From DSC:
Which brings up some important questions re: teacher education / student teaching:

  • How are schools of education dealing with the Coronavirus? For example, can a student-teacher get the appropriate credits if they teach a learning pod?
  • How are schools of education modifying how they prepare the teachers of tomorrow? Are they (hopefully) introducing more training in how to teach online? 
  • What curriculum changes are in the works (hopefully) as I write this? 
  • Will many teachers leave this area of work and pursue other pathways/opportunities?
  • And numerous other questions I’m sure.

 

 

To the editor: One problem frequently cited as a reason not to open schools is space. Social distancing requirements would be difficult to meet if students congregated in classrooms.

Hotels and motels were opened to homeless people and healthcare providers. This arrangement helped those businesses stay open.

Similarly, why not use restaurants as classrooms? They have tables and chairs that can be spaced far apart, restrooms that can be supplemented with portable units in the parking lot, food services, water and air conditioning.

Renting the spaces might help keep these businesses alive too. Movie theaters might also be considered as facilities that could meet our educational needs.

Jennifer M. Rapaport, Los Angeles

 

Ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt is working to launch a university that would rival Stanford and MIT and funnel tech workers into government work — from businessinsider.com by Katie Canales

Excerpts:

  • Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt is leading a federal initiative to launch a university that would train a new generation of tech workers for the government, according to a OneZero report.
  • The school, named the US Digital Service Academy, looks to rival Stanford and MIT, two established tech talent pools.
  • The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence — an organization created to push the US ahead in the race for artificial intelligence — voted unanimously in a meeting Monday to recommend the university to Congress.
  • Schmidt left his role as a technical adviser at Google in February amid his increased involvement in affairs pertaining to military technology.
 

Learning ecosystems across the country — especially those involving K-12 — are morphing once again.

Have you heard about the explosive interest and potential growth involving “learning pods” — also called “pandemic pods”!?! It’s amazing to see how quickly things are changing in this fluid situation. This is another great example of how the macro-learning ecosystem for K-12 is changing — as well as the changes happening at more of a micro-level. (To see how true this is, put a Google Alert or two out there for “learning pods,” “pod learning,” and/or “pandemic pods.”)

For some information about these changes, see some of the example articles below:


From DSC:

Though very interesting to see what occurs here, I, too, am concerned about the inequalities and the potential for expanding the learning gaps across the country (between the folks who have the resources and those folks who do not). For example, consider that the cost ranges from $1,500 to $2,500 dollars per studentper month — in the San Francisco Bay Area. (See COVID-19 learning pods: Here’s how they work and what Bay Area schools say about them by Luz Pena.) Or see

On the other side of things…maybe this will be a new area of opportunity for the student teachers and education programs out there.
 
 

The 12 Shifts for Student-Centered Hybrid Environments — from gettingsmart.com by Kyle Wagner

During the time of remote learning, our students have become more independent and empowered. They have been given more freedom in establishing their own learning outcomes, and organizing schedules and deadlines to meet them. When they return to us in the fall, whether for an in-person, hybrid, or a 100% online learning experience, we will have to offer them something different than we have in the past. Instead of disconnected, impersonalized, one-size-fits-all learning, we will need to offer our students deep, personalized, and more connected learning experiences.

Our role as a result will shift from being the ‘sage on stage,’ to a ‘facilitator of learning experiences.’ To make this transformation possible, we will have to make 12 key shifts.

The 12 shifts are the result of conversations and insights from expert practitioners worldwide, who have not only adapted to an uncertain education climate, but thrived.

The 12 Shifts for Student-Centered Hybrid Environments

From DSC:
This was a great article with numerous solid ideas and suggestions! What I saw several times was offering the students more choice, more control. In fact, the point hit close to home. Our son finally said, “I actually want to learn this stuff!” (i.e., how to act and thrive within the world of the theatre). When we’re able to tap into students’ intrinsic motivation, we unleash a *huge* amount of creativity,  energy, and effort!!!

 

Surveys: Most teachers don’t want in-person instruction, fear COVID-19 health risks — from blogs.edweek.org by Madeline Will

Excerpts:

Teachers are more likely than administrators to express concerns about returning to school. The vast majorities of school leaders (96 percent) and district leaders (90 percent) say they are willing to return to their school building for in-person instruction, compared to 81 percent of teachers.

Also, teachers of color are more likely than white teachers to be concerned about going back into the classroom. Just 35 percent of teachers of color say there should be in-person instruction this fall, compared to 47 percent of white teachers. Eighty-three percent of white teachers said they’re willing to go back into school buildings, compared to 66 percent of teachers of color.

Those are some of the key findings from a nationally representative online survey by the EdWeek Research Center. The survey was conducted July 22-23, and 1,366 educators responded—873 teachers, 251 principals, and 242 district leaders.

Also see:

 

How to homeschool your child during the pandemic — from learningliftoff.com by AnnElise Hatjakes

Excerpts:

According to J. Allen Weston, the executive director of the National Home School Association (NHSA), parents’ interest in homeschooling has skyrocketed in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. In an interview with The Sacramento Bee, he explained that the NHSA used to receive 40-50 emails a day. Now, it is receiving thousands. More parents are exploring this option for the first time as they confront the uncertainties surrounding the 2020-2021 school year.

Homeschooling is an educational format in which parents are responsible for all of the instructional and administrative duties associated with schooling. Parents who homeschool their children choose the curriculum, teach that curriculum, and keep records in accordance with their respective state’s laws.

If you were to do an online search of homeschool curriculum, you might be overwhelmed by the number of results. A good place to start is with Cathy Duffy’s curriculum reviews, which is a well-known resource for homeschoolers.

 

Zoom Launches Zoom for Home

Zoom Launches Zoom For Home — from which-50.com

Excerpts:

Zoom Video Communications has announced Zoom for Home, which it describes as a new category of software experiences and hardware devices to support remote work use cases. The focus is on improving employee experiences to connect remotely and be productive.

Features for the all-in-one 27-inch device include: three built-in wide-angle cameras for high-resolution video; an 8-microphone array for crystal-clear audio in meetings and phone calls; and, an ultra-responsive touch display for interactive screen sharing, whiteboarding, annotating, and ideation.

Also see:

From DSC:
Again, we see some further innovation in this space. The longer the Coronavirus impacts things, the further ahead the online-learning space will be catapulted. This type of device consolidates several devices into one, while making it intuitive and likely easy to annotate items on it.

Zoom Launches Zoom For Home
 

 

Florida educators file lawsuit to protect health and well-being of students, educators and communities — from feaweb.org, with thanks to Staci Maiers for this resource

Excerpt:

TALLAHASSEE — Along with educators and parents, the Florida Education Association filed suit Monday against Gov. Ron DeSantis, Commissioner Richard Corcoran, the Florida Department of Education, the Florida State Board of Education and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez to safeguard the health and welfare of public school students, educators and the community at large. The lawsuit intends to stop the reckless and unsafe reopening of public school campuses as coronavirus infections surge statewide.

Also see:

 

6 tips for homeschooling in fall 2020 — from forbes.com by Kerry McDonald

Excerpt:

As schools and districts across the country finalize back-to-school plans amidst the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, some parents are instead choosing independent homeschooling. My inbox has been filling lately with messages from parents who may never before have considered homeschooling but are worried about their children’s potential exposure to the virus at school. Others are turned off by social distancing requirements being implemented by many schools, such as wearing masks all day and limiting interactions with peers.

Fortunately, research shows low infection rates for children, who seem to avoid the virus’s worst outcomes. New findings out of Germany, where schools have been reopened for several weeks, also suggest low infection rates for young people. Despite these encouraging signs, more parents are looking for schooling alternatives. As The New York Times reported this week, “a growing number of families are thinking about home schooling this fall.”

Here are 6 tips for parents considering homeschooling for this academic year…

 

20 formative assessment examples to use in your online classroom — from tophat.com
Informal assessments are an easy way to stay connected with your students and understand their progress in your course

Excerpt:

As learning environments evolve to incorporate online and remote learning, so too has the need for different approaches that provide flexibility in assessing students in-class, online or in blended learning environments. The following examples of formative assessment techniques can not only help you share more regular, reliable and useful feedback on student progress, they can also help you get started in thinking of other formative assessment strategies to incorporate into your lesson plans.

 

Welcome to Three-Minute Ed Talks, where educators from across the globe are invited to share an insight, a teaching strategy, or an invaluable lesson you learned during the rapid transition to online learning. Your challenge is to do it in just three minutes. Three-Minute Ed Talks are part of the month-long Second Wave Summit on reopening schools and universities and preparing for “the new normal.” Do you have a powerful idea for a Three-Minute Ed Talk? See how to make a submission here.

From DSC:
I remember being at a conference years ago when the Instructional Designer from a library spoke about doing “lightning rounds” with faculty members. The faculty member would record a 3-5 minute presentation about their idea/experiment and what problem they were trying to solve. They reported on whether the pedagogy worked or whether it didn’t work as planned. Great call me thinks!

Besides teachers and professors, trainers could do this with each other. So could those involved in homeschooling. 

 

Teachers at high risk for COVID-19 face a terrible choice: Your job or your health — from edsurge.com by Stephen Noonoo

Excerpt:

Yet a majority of teachers aren’t sold, due to poor guidance from state and district administrators and few realistic ways to achieve social distancing on school buses and in crowded classrooms that were overspilling with students even before schools closed in March. On social media and in interviews, they cite health concerns and age—about 30 percent of teachers are over age 50—as well as the disastrous school reopenings in Israel that reportedly contributed to a surge of new cases.

 

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