Tip of the week: Make websites more readable — from fastcompany.com by Jared Newman
How to easily hide ads, auto-play videos, and other clutter in every major browser.

Excerpt:

Ever get annoyed by the intolerable reading experience on certain websites? By activating your browser’s reader mode, you can make web pages more reader-friendly by hiding ads, menus, pop-ups, and other distractions. Some web browsers even let you switch to reader mode automatically on specific websites. Here’s how:

 
 
 

Fall’s Final Enrollment Count Is In. Colleges Lost More Than 475,000 Students. — from chronicle.com by Audrey Williams June

Excerpt:

New data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center provides a somber final tally of total college enrollment in the fall of 2021: It dropped 2.7 percent from a year earlier, a decline of 476,100 students.

Undergraduate enrollment, which was down at every type of institution, slipped by 3.1 percent — or 465,318 students — from the fall of 2020. The total decline among undergraduates since the fall of 2019 — just before the pandemic hit — was more than a million students, the center said.

Addendum on 1/19/22:

 
 

14 Predictions for Higher Education in 2022 [Schaffhauser]

14 Predictions for Higher Education in 2022

14 Predictions for Higher Education in 2022 — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpt:

Ask people working in higher education what they expect will happen in the new year, and the outlook is filled with visions that build on what we’ve been experiencing on college and university campuses for the last two years: a major focus on learning formats; continued exploitation of new technology; and the use of new digital models that move users “beyond Zoom.” Here we present the collective predictions of 14 IT leaders, instructional folks and a student about what they anticipate seeing in 2022. As one put it, “Let’s go, 2022! We have work to do!”

From DSC:
I’d like to thank Dian Schaffhauser, Rhea Kelly, and Mary Grush for letting me contribute some thoughts to the various conversations that Campus Technology Magazine hosts and/or initiates. I inserted some reflections into the above article and I hope that you’ll take a moment to read my and others’ thoughts out there.

 

Why the Science of Teaching Is Often Ignored — from chronicle.com by Beth McMurtrie
There’s a whole literature on what works. But it’s not making its way into the classroom.

Excerpts:

Yet, teaching reformers argue, the dangers of ignoring the expanding body of knowledge about teaching and learning are ever more apparent. Traditional teaching may have sufficed when college campuses were more ivory tower than lifeboat, educating future generations of scholars and other elites rather than trying to lift up a diverse group of students and prepare them for an increasingly complex world.

Studies have also shown that faculty members are more likely to try evidence-based teaching practices if they feel they have supportive colleagues and departments. Faculty learning communities can be particularly helpful, teaching experts say, because instructors meet regularly over a series of months to tackle complex challenges, often by exploring the research and experimenting with small changes to their teaching.

Reforming teaching evaluations so that they reflect the hard work of reading and reflecting on teaching scholarship is also a critical lever for change.

 

Reflecting and Planning With Four Lists — from byrdseed.com by Ian Byrd

Reflecting and Planning With Four Lists - continuing to NOT do, continuing to do, stopping, and starting

(Parenthetically, be sure to see
Ian’s list of items he put into Byrdseed TV in the year 2021.)

 

A Case for ‘Radical Simplification’ in Higher Education — from edsurge.com by Robert Talbert
This article is part of the guide Survival Mode: Educators Reflect on a Tough 2021 and Brace for the Future.

Excerpt:

The practice is a common retrospective technique known as Start/Stop/Continue, and it poses three questions:

• What are we not doing, that we should start doing?

• What are we doing, that we should stop doing?

• What are we doing, that we should keep doing?

Sitting in my home office running through this mental exercise, here’s what I came up with…

 

From DSC:
I haven’t tried this Chrome extension, but it looks interesting.


lunanotes.io — websiteChrome extension page

LunaNotes helps you take notes within YouTube, while still watching the video(s). You can customize your notes with their easy-to-use editor, take screenshots of the video and write, draw or add shapes over the screenshot with their screenshot editor.

 

If the vision of the “Web3” comes to fruition, how might these developments impact the future of lifelong learning? [Christian]

The next age of the internet could suck power away from Big Tech while living on the same backbone as cryptocurrencies. Here’s what to know about Web3. — from businessinsider.com by Katie Canales

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

  • Web3 is the next generation of the internet and will exist on the blockchain.
  • It will be decentralized, meaning it won’t be controlled entities like Facebook or Google.
  • Twitter, GameStop, Reddit, and VC firm a16z are all putting resources into building Web3.

One aspect of the metaverse is that users will hopefully be able to go virtually from platform to platform with one single account — just like we will in Web3. 

And NFTs, one-of-a-kind tokens representing your ownership of a virtual good, could be more easily bought and sold with cryptocurrencies within a space like Web3. 


From DSC:
How might “Web3” translate into the future of lifelong learning? Here’s one vision/possibility:

There could be several entities and services feeding one's cloud-based learner profile

Each person would have a learner profile/account that could seamlessly log into multiple education/training providers’ platforms and services. The results of that learning could be stored in one’s cloud-based learner profile. This type of next-generation learning platform would still need subject matter experts, instructional designers, programmers, and other team members. But the focus would be on building skills — skills that an artificial intelligence-backed interface would demonstrate are currently being requested by the modern workplace.  This constantly-being-updated list of skills could then link to the learning-related experiences and resources that people could choose from in order to develop those skills.

The following vision/graphic also comes to my mind:

Learning from the living class room


 

Antonio Sacre on the Power of Storytelling in Education — from spencerauthor.com by John Spencer

Per John:

I had the honor of interviewing celebrated author Antonio Sacre on the power of storytelling in education. Check out the podcast below.

The power of story in education -- Spencer and Sacre

Born in Boston to a Cuban father and Irish-American mother, Sacre is an internationally touring storyteller, author, and solo performance artist, based in Los Angeles. He has performed at the National Book Festival at the Library of Congress, the Kennedy Center, the National Storytelling Festival, as well as museums, schools, libraries, and festivals. Deemed “a charismatic, empathetic presence” by the Chicago Tribune, his stories have appeared in numerous magazines, journals, and on National Public Radio.

 

What motivates students to learn? — from edte.ch by Tom Barrett
In this article, we explore the key factors that influence and predict student academic motivation.

Excerpt:

Here are the top three ranked, according to this meta-analysis, from l’Université Laval, Monash University and Curtin University.

1 — Competence (I can do this!)
2 — Autonomy (I get to choose)
3 — Belonging (I am not alone)

 


From DSC:
I’m once again reminded of the following graphic:

Tom’s posting also reminds me of the power of storytelling, as Tom makes a solid point:

A notable missing piece of the student motivation paper is the role of emotion in learning. When I search the document for reference to ‘emotion’, the only returns I get are from citations and other works.

Along these lines, see/listen to:


 

Making Your Research Applicable for Mainstream Audiences — from insidehighered.com by Diana Brazzell
Four ways to extend the reach of your scholarly work beyond academe.

Excerpt:

Many academics I work with struggle to make their research applicable for audiences outside academia. They’re doing important, even ground-breaking work, but they aren’t sure how their ideas can make the leap from labs and libraries to newspapers, boardrooms, hospitals and the halls of government.

Below are four ways you can make your research applicable to policy, business, public health and people’s everyday lives, along with examples of how some of the academics we collaborate with at Footnote have used these techniques.

From DSC:
Faculty members, doing this could help reduce the backlash that’s been building against higher education. Folks out in society could see how the work that you are doing is relevant to them. For example, your podcasts, Tweets, postings out on LinkedIn, your vidcasts, or your blog postings could be read by students, teachers, administrators or others within the K-12 space. And the topic could peak their interest and curiosity. Who knows, your research may just jump start someone else’s passion in that area or even someone else’s career. But at minimum, it could show that some faculty members are interested in talking to/with a far wider audience than just the peers in their discipline.

 

EDUCAUSE 2022 Top 10 IT Issues — from educause.edu

EDUCAUSE's 2022 Top 10 IT Issues

 

EDUCAUSE's 2022 Top 10 IT Issues

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The EDUCAUSE 2022 Top 10 IT Issues take an optimistic view of how technology can help create the higher education we deserve —through a shared transformational vision and strategy for the institution, a recognition of the need to place student success at the center, and a sustainable business model that redefines “the campus.”

See the 2022 Top 10 IT Issues

Almost two years into a global pandemic, it’s clear the higher education we knew will never return and now we can focus on getting the higher education we deserve.

 


From DSC:
I’m assuming that the we in the we deserve (as highlighted above) includes the students, as *the students* are the ones who most need for things to change.

That said, I’m doubtful such profound change will occur within higher education as it stands today. The existing cultures may prevent such significant and necessary change from occurring — and higher ed isn’t used to dealing with the current exponential pace of change that we’re experiencing. Plus, the downward spirals that many institutions are in don’t always allow for the new investments, programs, and/or experiments to occur. But who knows? When institutions of traditional higher education have their backs pressed up against the walls, perhaps such institutions and the people within them will be forced to change. There are innovative individuals and institutions out there. (I’m just not sure how much they’ve been listened to in many cases.)

To help students truly succeed means to change one’s core products/services — one’s story. But higher ed loves to play around the edges…rarely letting the core products/services get touched. 

To me, student success includes having students pay far less and, while still getting a solid liberal arts education/foundation, can get solid jobs immediately upon graduation. At least that’s my hope as we head into 2022. 

But what student success looks like may be different in the future.

Perhaps in 5 years, we will have moved much more towards a lifelong learning situation. Individuals may have joined a global, next-generation learning platform whereby one teaches for X minutes of the day, and learns for Y minutes of that same day. AI-based dashboards let people know which skills are in high demand, and then offer a menu of choices for how to acquire those skills.

A couple of lasts comments:

  • Being data-driven won’t save an institution. Vision might. But being data-driven has its limits.
  • The digital transformations being talked about within institutions of traditional higher education may be too little, too late. This conversation should have taken place a decade or more ago. (I think I just heard an “Amen!” from some folks who used to work at Blockbuster. They didn’t think a transformation was necessary either….but they learned their lesson the hard way. We should have learned from their situation…a long time ago. And I’m sure that you can think of other examples as well.)

 

No Textbooks, No Lectures, and No Right Answers. Is This What Higher Education Needs? — from chronicle.com by Beth McMurtrie
From DSC: Though this was back from 2/10/19, Beth recently linked to it on The Chronicle and it caught my eye due to it’s focus on solving real-world issues and problems.

Excerpts:

Tackling big problems is the point of JMU X-Labs, a four-year-old experiment in undergraduate education. Through a blend of interdisciplinary collaboration, project-based learning, and unscripted, open-ended research, each course takes students through the long and often aggravating process of developing new ways of thinking about complex problems.

They might design drones to help with environmental problems, tackle foreign-policy challenges, build autonomous vehicles, or develop medical innovations to help with the opioid crisis.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian