High-Tech, High Touch: Digital Learning Report and Workbook, 2017 Edition — from Intentional Futures, with thanks to Maria Andersen on Linkedin for her posting therein which was entitled, “Spectrums to Measure Digital Learning
Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Our work uncovered five high-tech strategies employed by institutions that have successfully implemented digital learning at scale across a range of modalities. The strategies that underscore the high-tech, high-touch connection are customizing through technology, leveraging adaptive courseware, adopting cost-efficient resources, centralizing course development and making data-driven decisions.

Although many of the institutions we studied are employing more than one of these strategies, in this report we have grouped the institutional use cases according to the strategy that has been most critical to achieving digital learning at scale. As institutional leaders make their way through this document, they should watch for strategies that target challenges similar to those they hope to solve. Reading the corresponding case studies will unpack how institutions employed these strategies effectively.

Digital learning in higher education is becoming more ubiquitous as institutions realize its ability to support student success and empower faculty. Growing diversity in student demographics has brought related changes in student needs, prompting institutions to look to technology to better serve their students. Digital courseware gives institutions the ability to build personalized, accessible and engaging content. It enables educators to provide relevant content and interventions for individual students, improve instructional techniques based on data and distribute knowledge to a wider audience (MIT Office of Digital Learning, 2017).

PARTICIPATION IN DIGITAL LEARNING IS GROWING
Nationally, the number of students engaged in digital learning is growing rapidly. One driver of this growth is rising demand for distance learning, which often relies on digital learning environments. Distance learning programs saw enrollment increases of approximately 4% between 2015 and 2016, with nearly 30% of higher education students taking at least one digital distance learning course (Allen, 2017). Much of this growth is occurring at the undergraduate level (Allen, 2017). The number of students who take distance learning courses exclusively is growing as well. Between 2012 and 2015, both public and private nonprofit institutions saw an increase in students taking only distance courses, although private, for-profit institutions have seen a decrease (Allen, 2017).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some reflections on students owning their own learning — from DSC:
Sometimes when students are introduced to a new method of learning something — say when a professor introduces a new pedagogy into an active learning-based classroom — they may not like it. It not only looks and feels different, but at times this new method of learning may require additional time and/or effort from them. For example, this could occur with a flipped/inverted classroom approach. In that model of learning, the students are supposed to review some learning-related materials online ahead of time so that their face-to-face time in the (physical) classroom can be used for group discussions, group work, problem solving, debates, etc.  Coming to class prepared may take some additional time and/or effort. Also, to think of where the gaps are in one’s understanding — a metacognitive activity — requires effort, time, and reflection.

Students may balk at having to do these things. These methods don’t match up to their histories…to the ways things have always been done. In fact, a student may ask, ‘Why should I do these things? It’s a lot more work than listening to the lectures in class, then doing the homework outside of class. I’ve/We’ve never done it this way before.”

Here are some of my answers to that WHY question:

  • You need to OWN your OWN learning and be open to new ways of learning. Your future will require it.
  • You need to be active — and even proactive — in your own learning. Intentionally build your own learning ecosystem and make adjustments to it as necessary.
  • To stay marketable and relevant today, each of us is now required to be a lifelong learner. No longer is it a situation of going to college for four years and calling it good. You need to learn how to learn.
  • When you graduate, it’s likely no one will be there to give you a Betty Crocker list of next steps. You need to think of and own those decisions.
  • When you get into your first job, you will likely get some training (if the company or organization is any good). But there will be times when the training isn’t enough to get you ready to take the next step in your career (and I’m not talking about a job ladder, which often doesn’t even exist anymore). In fact, you could easily be laid off from that first job due to a new direction that the company decided to take. Or you could be let go because the company was acquired by another organization — and you have to move or lose your job (which happened to me…twice). Or perhaps your group is being let go due to a decline in sales. Or perhaps some technological changes were made by everyone else in your industry — except your company — and now your company is being blown out of the water by its competition. There are a myriad of reasons you could lose your job. Then, what will you do? No one is there to spoon feed you. You need to be able to pivot, think for yourself, practice real-life problem solving, reflect on your values and where you want to contribute, etc.  This will be on YOU, and no one else. You need to be able to learn new things.

Also, it’s not just what you know. It’s what you can do with what you know. “Yeh, yeh, yeh…blah, blah, blah…I’ve heard it all before” (I can hear some of you saying.) B.S.! This is serious business. Wake up! Let me give you some concrete, real-world motivation then that relates to whether you will be able to put some bread and butter on your table, and whether or not you will be able to pay your bills, and whether or not you will be able to pay for decent housing and medical care, and whether or not you will be able to save enough money for retirement, and more:

  • You didn’t get that software developer position because, though you knew a lot about programming, your applications were uninspiring/weak/not very useful and they weren’t easy to use.
  • You didn’t get that User Experience Design position because, although you had a UX degree from ___, the app that you submitted on your application was hard to use and not very intuitive.
  • You didn’t get that new sales job because your previous sales didn’t match the other applicants’ sales figures.
  • You didn’t get that marketing position because your competitions’ marketing campaigns were far better, more polished, and more effective than yours was.
  • You didn’t get that web developer position because your web sites didn’t employ the latest and greatest designs, colors, navigation methods, scripting, extended technologies, and more.
  • You didn’t get that editor position because, although your writing was grammatically correct, was boring and verbose. We need sharp, concise, engaging copy!
  • Etc., etc., etc.

There’s your bottom line. Not only do you need to know things — you need to be able to do good, solid work with what you know.

So, you need to own your own learning — you want to own your own learning. Now!

 

Some potential/relevant hashtags for this posting might be (even if they don’t currently exist):
#stayingrelevant | #surviving | #reinvent | #heutagogy | #lifelonglearning | #nomorespoonfeeding
#motivation | #ownyourlearning | #adaptingtochange | #paceofchange | #beingabletopayyourbills

 

 

Myths and Facts About Flipped Learning — from er.educause.edu by Robert Talbert

Key Takeaways

  • The combination of rapidly-accumulating research on the effectiveness of active learning combined with improvements in technology have created an ideal environment for almost any instructor to move their courses from a traditional to a flipped model.
  • Many articles on flipped learning contain misconceptions that can lead potential practitioners into error or away from using flipped learning entirely, to the detriment of their students and themselves.
  • This article looks at some of the myths about flipped learning and provides contradictory facts about this pedagogical approach.

 

Flipped learning, sometimes called the “flipped classroom,” is a pedagogical approach which uses time and space in a different way from the way courses are typically taught. In traditional instruction, students’ first contact with new ideas happens in class, usually through direct instruction from the professor; after exposure to the basics, students are turned out of the classroom to tackle the most difficult tasks in learning — those that involve application, analysis, synthesis, and creativity — in their individual spaces. Flipped learning reverses this, by moving first contact with new concepts to the individual space and using the newly-expanded time in class for students to pursue difficult, higher-level tasks together, with the instructor as a guide.

Flipped learning is a pedagogical approach whose time has come. The combination of rapidly-accumulating research on the effectiveness of active learning combined with improvements in technology have created an ideal environment for almost any instructor to move their courses from a traditional to a flipped model. At the same time, despite its popularity and the efforts of groups like the Flipped Learning Network to explain and operationalize flipped learning, it remains a somewhat poorly-understood concept among many. Many published articles on flipped learning contain misconceptions that can lead potential practitioners into error or away from using flipped learning entirely, to the detriment of their students and themselves.

Let’s take a look at some of the myths about flipped learning and try to find the facts.

 

 

 

Video on Its Way to Becoming Education Norm — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpt:

Video has become as ubiquitous in higher education classrooms as big screens in the fitness center and Hulu in residential halls. The use cases abound. The most popular use right now is to help with remote teaching and learning; 73 percent of institutions in a recent survey report the use of video for that purpose. That’s followed by the showing of video in classrooms (70 percent), as supplementary course material (66 percent) and for lecture capture (65 percent). But video is also gaining steam in student assignments, teaching skills and recording students as they practice them, recording campus events for on-demand viewing, as part of library media collections, to deliver personal introductions and to give feedback on student assignments and instructor teaching practices.

These examples aren’t the only ones cited in the latest results of Kaltura’s “The State of Video in Education.” The 2017 survey, done in May and June 2017, drew responses from more than a thousand people, 81 percent of whom work in higher ed (the rest from K–12 and other educational organizations). Most of the survey respondents hold one of four primary roles: instructional design, IT, faculty and media. Kaltura is a company that sells video products and services.

 

 

 

Also see:

Survey: Blended Learning on the Rise — from campustechnology.com by Rhea Kelly
Most faculty in our second annual Teaching with Technology Survey said they employ a mix of online and face-to-face instruction, and many are using the flipped model in their courses.

Excerpt:

In a nationwide survey on the use of technology for teaching and learning, an increasing number of higher education faculty members said they employ a mix of online and face-to-face learning in their courses. A full 73 percent of respondents said they use the blended model — that’s up from 71 percent in 2016. And while 15 percent of faculty are still teaching exclusively face-to-face, 12 percent have gone fully online (an increase from 10 percent teaching online in 2016).

Those findings came out of Campus Technology‘s 2017 Teaching with Technology Survey, in which we asked faculty to dish on their approach to teaching, use of technology, views of the future and more.

 

 

 

 

Smartwatches Deemed Least Valuable Technology in the Classroom — from campustechnology.com by Rhea Kelly
In our second annual Teaching with Technology Survey, faculty revealed what technologies they use in the classroom, the devices they most value, what they wish for and more.

Excerpts:

Smartwatches may be one of the hottest gadgets in the consumer market — making up nearly a third of all wearables sales this year — but the climate in the classroom is noticeably cooler for the wrist-worn devices. In our 2017 Teaching with Technology Survey, smartwatches came in dead last in the list of technologies faculty consider essential or valuable for teaching and learning. Just 9 percent of faculty called the devices “valuable” (an increase from 5 percent in 2016), and not a one deemed them “essential.” What’s more, 9 percent of respondents considered smartwatches “detrimental.”

When we asked faculty what computing devices were most valuable for teaching and learning, laptops came out on top, considered “essential” by 54 percent of respondents (up from 49 percent in 2016). Workstations (defined as higher-end computers with faster processors, more RAM, more storage and dedicated graphics cards) came in second, followed by all-in-one computers, traditional desktops and detachable tablets. (The lineup was similar last year.)

 

 

 

Making a MOOC — from harvardmagazine.com by Jonathan Shaw

Excerpts:

Now, as one of a small number of Harvard faculty members each year whose course is selected to become a MOOC (a massive, online, open course), he is about to go global. Just 20 new courses are chosen by a faculty review committee annually, all of them ultimately offered to learners in at least one free version—part of Harvard’s commitment to improve access to education globally through HarvardX (HX), the University’s online course initiative. Hernán’s course is based on Epidemiology (EPI) 289: “Models for Causal Inference,” the core offering he’s taught for 14 years at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health (HSPH). Harvard Magazine accompanied Hernán during the making of his MOOC to find out what it takes to produce one, and how that compares to creating a traditional course.

Faculty members typically spend 96 to 142 hours helping produce and run an eight-week MOOC, according to HarvardX estimates. …But when complete, it will free him from much of the time and expense of traveling to teach this fundamental introductory material.

It takes a team of skilled professionals—HX employs a staff of about 45, including managers, videographers, graphic designers, digital editors, and even a copyright attorney and an accessibility coordinator (who helps make the materials usable for sight- and hearing-impaired learners)—to make each MOOC, at a cost that ranges widely, depending on the nature of the course and the sites of location shoots. This one cost about $100,000 to make.

Among the University’s goals in supporting the production of courses like Hernán’s is maximizing their “reach” as part of “Harvard’s contribution to a rising tide of education globally,” says HX faculty director Robert Lue.

A video lecture therefore becomes a short unit in which to make one point, “not five. Because if I try to make five points, I need 50 minutes.” The hooks—the real-world applications—mean that “I start each lesson by telling students why this is important, why they should keep watching….You are in a competition for attention…

 

“For example, it seems obvious, but there’s only one Miguel Hernán. And he can either teach a class of 70” once a year, “or develop this course that reaches many more around the world and across different disciplines.”

 

 

 

 

 

The Higher Education Technology Paradox — from edtechmagazine.com by Hank Lucas
The academic rewards system will continue to stymie technology adoption unless higher ed administrators promote organizational change.

Excerpts:

The number one paradox in higher education is that technology is both transforming and disrupting universities around the world. Institutions that adapt to the technology and become content producers will survive and flourish; those confined to being content consumers will struggle to stay in business.

What does it take for a university to develop the kind of materials described above? Obviously, it requires money, but more than money it needs a motivated and committed faculty. The reward system in most institutions and the inherent conservatism of faculty members create a huge barrier to adopting new technologies for education. (Many faculty members are in denial that the technology can improve student learning and that it will be widely implemented.)

How does the reward system impact technology adoption?

  • Assistant professors at research universities are rewarded for publishing scholarly articles and books, which they must do to be granted tenure. They cannot risk the time needed to master the new technologies.
  • Tenured faculty can largely do what they want, and by the time they have received tenure have fallen into a rhythm of research and teaching; once tenured they are expected to undertake more service to the institution. Where does the time come from to adopt a new approach to the classroom?
  • Non-tenure track instructors are employed because they are good, or at least adequate, teachers. Adopting new technology in the classroom is risky and could result in lower student evaluations, which in turn could affect their employment status.

 


From DSC:
This is one of the reasons why I believe that a new organization will arise in the future that uses a solid, team-based approach from day 1. They will have teams of experts from a variety of fields/disciplines — and they will have the types of incentive systems that one would expect to see in startup companies. They will value innovation and will see to it that ideas can be grown and supported.

Anybody come to mind? How about Amazon.com? 

Also, faculty members — like all of us — have a limited amount of time and energy. The current workplace has loaded up faculty members’ job plates — they don’t have much time to experiment with new technologies. Also — again, like all of us — they have a variety of skills and interests. Many times, those skills and interest don’t involve working with technology. 

Look for more team-based approaches to dominate the future of higher education.


 

The 2017 Dean’s List: EdTech’s 50 Must-Read Higher Ed Blogs [Meghan Bogardus Cortez at edtechmagazine.com]

 

The 2017 Dean’s List: EdTech’s 50 Must-Read Higher Ed Blogs — from edtechmagazine.com by Meghan Bogardus Cortez
These administrative all-stars, IT gurus, teachers and community experts understand how the latest technology is changing the nature of education.

Excerpt:

With summer break almost here, we’ve got an idea for how you can use some of your spare time. Take a look at the Dean’s List, our compilation of the must-read blogs that seek to make sense of higher education in today’s digital world.

Follow these education trailblazers for not-to-be-missed analyses of the trends, challenges and opportunities that technology can provide.

If you’d like to check out the Must-Read IT blogs from previous years, view our lists from 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.

 

 



From DSC:
I would like to thank Tara Buck, Meghan Bogardus Cortez, D. Frank Smith, Meg Conlan, and Jimmy Daly and the rest of the staff at EdTech Magazine for their support of this Learning Ecosystems blog through the years — I really appreciate it. 

Thanks all for your encouragement through the years!



 

 

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
For you ed tech vendors, programmers, and/or entrepreneurs out there, would you please create the software to do this? By the way, for purposes of equal access, this could be done in class — it doesn’t have to be done outside of normal school hours.

 

 

 

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