From DSC:
For me the Socratic method is still a question mark, in terms of effectiveness. (I suppose it depends on who is yielding the tool and how it’s being utilized/implemented.)

But you have one student — often standing up and/or in the spotlight — who is being drilled on something. That student could be calm and collected, and their cognitive processing could actually get a boost from the adrenaline.

But there are other students who dread being called upon in such a public — sometimes competitive — setting. Their cognitive processing could shut down or become greatly diminished.

Also, the professor is working with one student at a time — hopefully the other students are trying to address each subsequent question, but some students may tune out once they know it’s not their turn in the spotlight.

So I was wondering…could the Socratic method be used with each student at the same time? Could a polling-like tool be used in real-time to guide the discussion?

For example, a professor could start out with a pre-created poll and ask the question of all students. Then they could glance through the responses and even scan for some keywords (using their voice to drive the system and/or using a Ctrl+F / Command+F type of thing).

Then in real-time / on-the-fly, could the professor use their voice to create another poll/question — again for each student to answer — based on one of the responses? Again, each student must answer the follow up question(s).

Are there any vendors out there working on something like this? Or have you tested the effectiveness of something like this?

Vendors: Can you help us create a voice-driven interface to offer the Socratic method to everyone to see if and how it would work? (Like a Mentimeter type of product on steroids…er, rather, using an AI-driven backend.)

Teachers, trainers, pastors, presenters could also benefit from something like this — as it could engage numerous people at once.

#Participation #Engagement #Assessment #Reasoning #CriticalThinking #CommunicationSkills #ThinkingOnOnesFeet #OnlineLearning #Face-to-Face #BlendedLearning #HybridLearning

Could such a method be used in language-related classes as well? In online-based tutoring?

 

Could AI-based techs be used to develop a “table of contents” for the key points within lectures, lessons, training sessions, sermons, & podcasts? [Christian]

From DSC:
As we move into 2021, the blistering pace of emerging technologies will likely continue. Technologies such as:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) — including technologies related to voice recognition
  • Blockchain
  • Augment Reality (AR)/Mixed Reality (MR)/Virtual Reality (VR) and/or other forms of Extended Reality (XR)
  • Robotics
  • Machine-to-Machine Communications (M2M) / The Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Drones
  • …and other things will likely make their way into how we do many things (for better or for worse).

Along the positive lines of this topic, I’ve been reflecting upon how we might be able to use AI in our learning experiences.

For example, when teaching in face-to-face-based classrooms — and when a lecture recording app like Panopto is being used — could teachers/professors/trainers audibly “insert” main points along the way? Similar to something like we do with Siri, Alexa, and other personal assistants (“Heh Siri, _____ or “Alexa, _____).

Like an audible version of HTML -- using the spoken word to insert the main points of a presentation or lecture

(Image purchased from iStockphoto)

.

Pretend a lecture, lesson, or a training session is moving right along. Then the professor, teacher, or trainer says:

  • “Heh Smart Classroom, Begin Main Point.”
  • Then speaks one of the main points.
  • Then says, “Heh Smart Classroom, End Main Point.”

Like a verbal version of an HTML tag.

After the recording is done, the AI could locate and call out those “main points” — and create a table of contents for that lecture, lesson, training session, or presentation.

(Alternatively, one could insert a chime/bell/some other sound that the AI scans through later to build the table of contents.)

In the digital realm — say when recording something via Zoom, Cisco Webex, Teams, or another application — the same thing could apply. 

Wouldn’t this be great for quickly scanning podcasts for the main points? Or for quickly scanning presentations and webinars for the main points?

Anyway, interesting times lie ahead!

 

 

EdSurge Reflects On a Year of Pandemic-Era Education Journalism — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey Young, Rebecca Koenig and Tony Wan

Excerpts:

[Wan] It has never been a better time to be in education. It has also never been a worse time to be in education.

Which is it for you?

The answer depends on where you are in this ecosystem.

[Koenig] If I didn’t know before, I do now: Education is not merely the transmission of knowledge. It is experiences shared and relationships nurtured among people who have not only brains, but also bodies and spirits. Lungs vulnerable to viruses and eyes to screen fatigue. Hearts susceptible to fear and grief and doubt and loneliness.

[Young] There will probably be lessons from all the forced experimentation. But during 2020, there was little time for reflection, only a push to turn in something that looked as much like a college experience as possible.

 

Trends Report for 2021: Three Scenes from the Future -- from Frog Design

Trends 2021: Three Scenes from the Future — from frogdesign.com

Excerpt:

This year, we decided to lean into this unreality. For our tenth annual Trends list, we asked frogs to not only imagine the societal and technological shifts that will impact our future, but to project the future worlds these shifts will create. From perspectives on the accelerated adoption of remote work, to visions of distorted realities and changing consumer behaviors, we’re sharing different possible views of 2021 and beyond—and the products, services and experiences that will shape our future worlds.

 

The Future of Hybrid Learning — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
HyFlex pioneer Dr. Brian Beatty discusses what’s working and what’s not in hybrid learning, and what’s to come

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

When designing his own classes these days, Beatty tends to think about the asynchronous vs. synchronous experience rather than online vs. in-person. 

Beatty says instructors should attempt to create a reasonably good asynchronous version of a course but don’t need to build the perfect version. Instructors then need to block out time to respond to forum posts and other online components of the class the same way online students need to schedule time to work. He advises a mindset of, “I’m learning how to teach differently, and I’m reserving this time for that. So maybe I’m not going to be part of that committee.”

From DSC:
The teaching toolboxes throughout the continuum (PreK-12, higher ed, vocational programs, other alternatives to higher ed, corporate training & development) have been enhanced and expanded greatly during 2020. The ramifications of these larger toolboxes will benefit many for years to come. They should allows us to pivot and adapt much more quickly — while providing a greater array of teaching techniques/tools to choose from.

Enhancing our teaching toolboxes

 

 

The transformative power of virtual courts

The transformative power of virtual courts — from raconteur.net by Ben Edwards

Excerpt:

At the Odeon cinema in Edinburgh’s Fort Kinnaird retail park, the movie posters have been taken down and the popcorn machines covered up as jurors take their seats in one of the four auditoriums to attend a virtual court hearing.

These remote jury centres have allowed the Scottish High Court to restart criminal trials by beaming live court action directly onto the cinema screen, allowing jurors to watch and hear evidence while maintaining social distancing, something that wouldn’t have been possible inside the main court building. With a further 11 screens available in Glasgow, the court is now back up to full capacity.

“The real beauty in this approach is it provides a way of scaling up; we have a model that works and can be applied anywhere,” says Tim Barraclough, executive director of the Judicial Office for Scotland.

Also see:

Reynen Court Now Lets You Take Legal Tech Products For A Test Drive — from legaltechmonitor.com by Bob Ambrogi

Excerpt:

Reynen Court, the platform that describes itself as the app store for legal technology, has introduced a new feature, appropriately called One-Click Test Drive, that makes it easy for law firms and legal departments to test products without having to buy them or negotiate trial licenses.

Using Test Drive, a user can quickly deploy a pilot of a pre-configured application in a secure environment. The application comes fully loaded with dummy data and transaction or case materials. It can be easily launched without requiring IT support.

Legal Tech Traditionally Favored Law Firms. That May Be Changing — from law.com by Frank Ready
Ironclad’s “State of Digital Contracting, Winter 2020: AI and the Elusive Promise of Smart Contracting” virtual event delved into how changes in service delivery models could help to drive a new wave of legal tech directed toward in-house attorneys and nonlawyers.

Excerpts from Working Remote: Advantages Gained from Legal Technology Adoption — from law.com
In this episode of the Perspectives podcast, sponsored by AbacusNext and hosted on Law.com, we’ll hear highlights from the September 9th presentation titled, Working Remote: Advantages Gained Through Legal Technology Adoption.

The Top 25 Artificial Lawyer Articles of 2020 — from artificiallawyer.com by Richard Tromans

What Is Quantum Computing and How Is It Disrupting Law Firms? — from lawtechnologytoday.org by Shannon Flynn

 

Designed to Deceive: Do These People Look Real to You? — from nytimes.com by Kashmir Hill and Jeremy White
These people may look familiar, like ones you’ve seen on Facebook or Twitter. Or people whose product reviews you’ve read on Amazon, or dating profiles you’ve seen on Tinder. They look stunningly real at first glance. But they do not exist. They were born from the mind of a computer. And the technology that makes them is improving at a startling pace.

Is this humility or hubris? Do we place too little value in human intelligence — or do we overrate it, assuming we are so smart that we can create things smarter still?

 

A new category of devices from Cisco -- the Webex Desk Hub

From DSC:
In yesterday’s webexone presentations, Cisco mentioned a new device category, calling it the Webex Desk Hub. It gets at the idea of walking into a facility and grabbing any desk, and making that desk you own — at least for that day and time. Cisco is banking on the idea that sometimes people will be working remotely, and sometimes they will be “going into the office.” But the facilities will likely be fewer and smaller — so one might not have their own office.

In that case, you can plug in your smart device, and things are set up the way they would be if you did have that space as a permanent office.

Applying this concept to the smart classrooms of the future, what might that concept look like for classrooms? A faculty member or a teacher could walk into any room that supports such a setup, put in their personal smart device, and the room conditions are instantly implemented:

  • The LMS comes on
  • The correct class — based on which day it is and then on the particular time of day it is — is launched
  • The lights are dimmed to 50%
  • The electric window treatments darken the room
  • The projector comes on and/or the displays turn on
  • Etc.
 

Distracted Minds: The Role of Tempo in Good Teaching — from chronicle.com by James Lang
To help students stay attentive in class, think like a conductor, and recognize that students need you to change the pace and the action.

Excerpt:

In this third installment of a series on distraction and attention in education — based on my new bookDistracted: Why Students Can’t Focus and What You Can Do About It — I want to draw inspiration from creative artists who have long counted it as one of their tasks to keep audiences attentive to works that stretch over long periods of time. Directors and playwrights, conductors and composers, all recognize the limited attention span of an audience, which is why they structure the work itself and its performance in particular ways.

The classroom is one of the only places where we expect humans in seats to maintain their attention through an extended, uninterrupted performance of an hour or more. I suspect that’s the case because we (the teachers) are able to keep ourselves fully engaged during the class period: We’re managing our slides, thinking about the next discussion question, writing on the board, and more. It’s all very engaging — for us — but not necessarily for our students.

From DSC:
I appreciated reading this solid article by James Lang — in it, he offers up some excellent points and suggestions. I would guess that the top reasons why these things don’t occur most offer are:

  1. The design of a class takes time. Time is hard to come by. That’s why instructional design is very helpful but is sometimes put on a backburner…to the students’ detriment.
  2. There aren’t enough Instructional Designers to go around.
  3. Faculty don’t seek out Instructional Designers or, when an Instructional Designer is around, they may have a queue that’s way too long and they’ve become a bottleneck.
 
 
 

Many students complain that online-based learning doesn’t engage them. Well, check this idea out! [Christian]


From DSC…by the way, another title for this blog could have been:

WIN-WIN situations all around! The Theatre Departments out there could collaborate with other depts/disciplines to develop highly engaging, digitally-based learning experiences! 


The future of drama and the theatre — as well as opera, symphonies, and more — will likely include a significant virtual/digital component to them. While it’s too early to say that theatre needs to completely reinvent itself and move “the stage” completely online, below is an idea that creates a variety of WIN-WIN situations for actors, actresses, stage designers, digital audio/video editors, fine artists, graphic designers, programmers, writers, journalists, web designers, and many others as well — including the relevant faculty members!

A new world of creative, engaging, active learning could open up if those involved with the Theatre Department could work collaboratively with students/faculty members from other disciplines. And in the end, the learning experiences and content developed would be highly engaging — and perhaps even profitable for the institutions themselves!

A WIN-WIN situation all around! The Theatre Department could collaborate with other depts/disciplines to develop highly engaging learning experiences!

[DC: I only slightly edited the above image from the Theatre Department at WMU]

 

Though the integration of acting with online-based learning materials is not a new idea, this post encourages a far more significant interdisciplinary collaboration between the Theatre Department and other departments/disciplines.

Consider a “Dealing with Bias in Journalism” type of topic, per a class in the Digital Media and Journalism Major.

  • Students from the Theatre Department work collaboratively with the students from the most appropriate class(es?) from the Communications Department to write the script, as per the faculty members’ 30,000-foot instructions (not 1000-foot level/detailed instructions)
  • Writing the script would entail skills involved with research, collaboration, persuasion, creativity, communication, writing, and more
  • The Theatre students would ultimately act out the script — backed up by those learning about sound design, stage design, lighting design, costume design, etc.
  • Example scene: A woman is sitting around the kitchen table, eating breakfast and reading a posting — aloud — from a website that includes some serious bias in it that offends the reader. She threatens to cancel her subscription, contact the editor, and more. She calls out to her partner why she’s so mad about the article. 
  • Perhaps there could be two or more before/after scenes, given some changes in the way the article was written.
  • Once the scenes were shot, the digital video editors, programmers, web designers, and more could take that material and work with the faculty members to integrate those materials into an engaging, interactive, branching type of learning experience. 
  • From there, the finished product would be deployed by the relevant faculty members.

Scenes from WMU's Theatre Department

[DC: Above images from the Theatre Department at WMU]

 

Colleges and universities could share content with each other and/or charge others for their products/content/learning experiences. In the future, I could easily see a marketplace for buying and selling such engaging content. This could create a needed new source of revenue — especially given that those large auditoriums and theaters are likely not bringing in as much revenue as they typically do. 

Colleges and universities could also try to reach out to local acting groups to get them involved and continue to create feeders into the world of work.

Other tags/categories could include:

  • MOOCs
  • Learning from the Living[Class]Room
  • Multimedia / digital literacy — tools from Adobe, Apple, and others.
  • Passions, participation, engagement, attention.
  • XR: Creating immersive, Virtual Reality (VR)-based experiences
  • Learning Experience Design
  • Interaction Design
  • Interface Design
  • …and more

Also see:

What improv taught me about failure: As a teacher and academic — from scholarlyteacher.com by Katharine Hubbard

what improv taught me about failure -as a teacher and academic

In improv, the only way to “fail” is to overthink and not have fun, which reframed what failure was on a grand scale and made me start looking at academia through the same lens. What I learned about failure through improv comes back to those same two core concepts: have fun and stop overthinking.

Students are more engaged when the professor is having fun with the materials (Keller, Hoy, Goetz, & Frenzel, 2016), and teaching is more enjoyable when we are having fun ourselves.

 
 

Purdue Shares Look Inside HyFlex Classroom — from campustechnology.com by Rhea Kelly

Excerpt:

He started blending both face-to-face and online instruction in his classrooms weeks before Purdue officially shifted to remote learning last spring.

Mentzer wanted his students to be able to participate in class remotely in real time or physically attend on any given day, according to a university news story.

“If students are unable to come to class for a period of time because they are in isolation or quarantined, they can complete the requirements online and continue progressing in the course,” she noted.

 

The Edge: Let’s Give a Kiss Goodbye to These 10 Pandemic-Endangered Practices — from chronicle.com by Goldie Blumenstyk

Excerpt:

Goodbye to traditional class lectures, in-person faculty office hours, and the college visit. Likewise, how about a fond farewell to inflexible academic calendars, the face-to-face faculty meetings filled with pontification, and the place-based conferences — with all their exclusionary trappings.

Dozens of you responded to my question over the past two weeks about what higher-ed practices paused by the pandemic should never come back. Thank you! The suggestions I cited above, along with four others, are the ones that stood out to me because they point to a more efficient or engaging way to operate. Also, in many cases, the replacements and adjustments reflect a more equitable approach. Hmm. Did we really need a pandemic to see that?

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian