By Putting Tensions on Stage, Colleges Aim to Change Campus Culture — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt:

That’s the creative solution more colleges are turning to as they try to make their cultures more inclusive for people who find themselves marginalized within academia. Programs for applied theater at institutions including University of Michigan, University of New Hampshire, University of Virginia and Florida International University bring to life higher ed troubles and tensions through original sketches, shows and the occasional musical number.

An applied theater sketch is like a pane of glass. For some viewers, it’s a mirror that reflects their personal experiences. For others, it’s a window into the lives of their colleagues and students. And for everyone willing to engage, it’s a magnifying lens that enlarges the details of daily interaction for clearer inspection.

From DSC:
I say we expand this line of thought even more: Here’s another idea/approach to leveraging the talents of Theatre Majors throughout higher education.

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!

 


Also from edsurge.com:

Counting U.S. Postsecondary and Secondary Credentials – 2021 Report — from credentialengine.org

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Learners, educators and policymakers understand that high school completion and education beyond high school are critical to thrive in the workforce. However, until recently an inventory of the number or type of secondary and post-secondary credential opportunities in the United States did not exist. This is the third annual report from Credential Engine that attempts to count all these credentials. The report identifies 967,734 unique credentials in the U.S. in 16 detailed credential categories across four types of credential providers…

 

Asynchronous Video Conversations: 11 Tips and Best Practices — from er.educause.edu by Rob Gibson

Excerpt (first 4 of 11):

1. Closely align video conversations with the stated module, course, and/or program learning objectives. Clearly indicate those alignments in the course outline.

2. Use the syllabus, an introductory course video, or a sample student video recording to prepare students in advance for this type of activity. Since many students will use their smartphones to record, provide information about best practices for creating quality video using a phone.

3. Some students are uncomfortable recording themselves. Depending on the product, consider offering alternatives such as an audio/mic-only mode, a text-only mode, or using a proxy image or avatar in the video.

4. Consider using threaded video conversations for course introductions to build a sense of humanizing the course. Michelle Pacansky-Brock supports the use of video conversations as an alternative to text. In her book How to Humanize Your Online Class with VoiceThread, she indicates that video tools maximize presence, a dimension of online connectivity to fellow students, the faculty, and the content. Research in her own courses found an increase from 25 percent to 75 percent in voluntary voice-video comments.Footnote5 This also helps form common goals and dispositions among students—dispositions are affective learning dimensions, such as motivation, attitude, persistence, empathy, and problem solving.Footnote6

 

 

The Future of Higher Ed Viewed from Cape Town, South Africa — from eliterate.us by Michael Feldstein

Excerpt:

A while back, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by friends at the University of Cape Town about the future of higher education as part of a short video they were compiling for their senior leadership. Here’s what they came up with:

The University of Cape Town in South Africa

 

From DSC:
As a follow up to The Chegg situation is worse than you think [Feldstein] (which discussed cheating, buying answers, selling answers, proctoring software, and more), it seems to me that one of the challenges that we face in our teaching and learning efforts has to do with the transformation of our students: Helping them move from a K-16 world to the world of work. The below graphic tries to capture that idea. 

Transforming gameplayers into lifelong learners.

DSC: This is a picture I took of the Michigan Hall of Justice, in Lansing, MI.

What I mean to say is that our learners’ future clients don’t care about our learners’ ability to cram and score high on tests and then forget about topic XYZ. They want our learners to know and be able to apply topic XYZ in order to solve their problems/issues/needs. (Not to mention that being able to cram and do well on a high-stakes test is not nearly as helpful as spacing out their retrieval of topic XYZ over a much longer span of time.)

I hope that our students are hearing/experiencing from us: “We’re on your team. We’re here to help you.” And being transparent with our teaching techniques is key (i.e., here’s WHY I’m assigning this item or asking you to do this activity).

 

Today’s Teens Questioning the Status Quo When It Comes to College — from prnewswire.com by with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource
National survey finds high schoolers want lower-cost, quicker paths to careers: 50 percent are open to something other than a four-year degree

Excerpt:

For those who have been following the discussion, it will not come as a shock that this demographic is extremely concerned about the cost of higher education. In fact, the number one thing teens would change about college is the price tag. Their second top concern is making sure the path they take directly connects them to a future career. Specifically, the top three things Gen Z teens are most concerned about:

  • 50 percent—graduating with a high amount of debt
  • 44 percent—not getting a job after they graduate
  • 40 percent—not being prepared for a job after school ends

From DSC:
I sometimes use the tag “surviving” and it often has to do with individuals and families. But over the last few years, I have found myself using it for institutions of traditional higher education (as I did for this posting).

It’s time for reinvention if we want those institutions to survive. Those who can’t wait until the status quo returns are likely in for a disappointment, if not outright shock. Over the last several years, many people have already lost their jobs throughout higher ed, positions have gone unfilled, and early retirement offers were made (and often snatched up). The headcounts have been decreasing for years and the workloads have increased for the survivors of such cuts. The use of adjunct faculty members has been on the increase for many years now. 

Those institutions that have cultures that support experimentation, innovation, and support strategic, nimble, entrepreneurial thinking have a better chance of surviving.

 

From DSC:
This is what we’re up against –> Reskilling 1 billion people by 2030” — from saffroninteractive.com by Jessica Anderson

Excerpts:

According to the World Economic Forum, this statistic is a critical economic imperative.

Does this shock or scare you? Perhaps you’re completely unflappable? Whatever your reaction, this situation will undoubtedly impact your organisation and the way you tackle skills development.

What are the roadblocks?

So, we’ve laid down the gauntlet; an adaptable, agile, multi-skilled workforce. What stands in the way of achieving this? A recent survey of the top 5 challenges facing learning leaders sheds some light:

1. Building a learning culture
2. Learning in the flow of work
3. Digital transformation
4. Learner engagement and ownership
5. Keeping informed of best practices

From DSC:
The article mentions that nations could lose billions in potential GDP growth. And while that is likely very true, I think a far bigger concern is the very peace and fabric of our societies — the way of living that billions of people will either enjoy or have to endure. Civil unrest, increased inequality, warfare, mass incarcerations, etc. are huge concerns.

The need for a next-gen learning platform is now! The time for innovation and real change is now. It can’t come too soon. The private and public sectors need to collaborate to create “an Internet for learning” (in the sense that everyone can contribute items to the platform and that the platform is standards based). Governments, corporations, individuals, etc. need to come together. We’re all in the same boat here. It benefits everyone to come together. 

Learning from the living class room -- a next generation, global learning platform is needed ASAP

 

A message about learning from the C-suite — from chieflearningofficer.com by Patricia A. McLagan
Executives are increasingly saying they want to create “learning organizations” and support “lifelong learning.” So, what should executives be saying to their workforce about learning today? Consider this sample letter to employees from the C-suite.

Excerpts:

How are you keeping up your skills and knowledge in our increasingly complex and fast-changing world of work? As today’s pandemic turmoil reminds us, it is hard to predict how the future will evolve. But one thing we do know is that continuous learning will be a key survival meta-skill for all of us — learning that each of us consciously guides every day, moment to moment, alone, in teams, with any resource, anywhere and anytime.

Consider: More than 50 percent of today’s jobs will probably disappear or change radically within 10 years. There are many reasons for this.

Beyond technology, companies like ours need more agility, innovation and self-management from everyone. We used to manage more by job descriptions, and you were best described as a box on the organization chart — probably with little expectation that you could experiment, take risks, and act with discretion and autonomy. But today and into the future, your skills and creative thinking matter more. Your “job” responsibilities shift as you move into and out of teams and as we call on you to support new strategies, customer groups and priorities.

From DSC:
I really appreciated reading this solid article from Patricia McLagan. She captured so many solid points. That said, I was bummed to see the following item included in this article (emphasis DSC):

Of course, our company is committed to supporting your learning and development, to providing formal training and access to learning opportunities for everyone. But even in the best of times, we will only be able to formally support a small part of what you will need and want. This is why I am sending this note to you: to tell you that we care about your learning and development, that we will do our best to support it, but that 95 percent of your learning is in your hands.

Of course, our company is committed to supporting your learning and development, to providing formal training and access to learning opportunities for everyone. But even in the best of times, we will only be able to formally support a small part of what you will need and want. This is why I am sending this note to you: to tell you that we care about your learning and development, that we will do our best to support it, but that 95 percent of your learning is in your hands.

Our company is committed to supporting your learning development — yeh…right…all 5% of it. 
Whoopie. The other 95% of it belongs to you and me. (Which reminds me that words are so easy to say but much harder to truly back up.) And you and I will likely do it on your/our own time. That seems to be more of the reality…the expectation…especially when job cuts are occurring all over the place and the job plates continue to expand for those who survived the cuts.

My experience over my career has been that corporations used to promote and truly support their employees’ professional development. They sent more people to courses and significantly helped many people obtain their MBA’s as well as other relevant master’s degrees and/or certifications/ and/or just to support some professional interests.

For example, I’m forever indebted to one of my formers bosses, Irvin Charles Coleman III. I worked for Irv at Kraft Foods’ HQ’s and he once let me go to a seminar on Photoshop. Though I used Photoshop in my work, it wasn’t in my formal description. That seminar changed many things for me. It supported my growth and learning and it fed my passion for designing and creating content.

I’m sure this kind of thing still occurs, but from what I can tell, it doesn’t happen at nearly the level that it used to. That said, I don’t blame the corporate world for getting bummed out at their employees that they had invested in — only to see those same employees grab the degrees and credentials and leave for greener pastures. Through the years, it seemed like the corporate world backed off from providing such a level of training/professional development.

These days, it seems like the corporations and the businesses out there have the hiring expectation that you will hit the ground running from day one. Learning and development are up to you and me. Nevermind that the way learning is supposed to go is that you:

  • introduce the learning objectives to someone
  • give them the information/content
  • provide the relevant and aligned learning activities that help them truly engage with the content
  • provide aligned formative and summative assessments along the way to ascertain whether they learned the material/concepts or not.

So I’m amazed that corporations are putting recent grads through their own tests on things that many of these students have never actually studied. (Yeh, I can hear the push backs now…and while I agree with some of them, it’s not fair to the students. They just followed what the colleges and universities offered for$100,000-$400,000+).

I could go on, but I need to go do my taxes. Gotta run. I hope to pick this line of thought up later.

 

Specialties In Instructional Design and What They Do — from teamedforlearning.com
Specialties in instructional design can help both job seekers and hiring managers find the right fit for digital learning courses and programs.

Excerpt:

An instructional designer is anyone who designs and develops digital learning experiences. That may sound straightforward, but within that vague job title nest dozens of specialties. Even more confusingly, instructional designers may also be called learning designers or learning architects. Their work often overlaps with that of instructional technologists and content creators. Specialties in instructional design help both teammates and hiring managers to navigate this evolving position.

Untangling the complexities of the instructional design role can help both job seekers and hiring managers find the right fit. Identifying a specialty can help professionals carve out their own niche in the instructional design ecosystem. Greater clarity around what instructional designers actually do can help team leaders find the right instructional designer for their project.

 

Putting Your Best Self Forward: 6 Keys For Filming Quality Videos — from er.educause.edu by Jered Borup
The difference between a video that students watch and one that is ignored often comes down to a few, easily addressed factors.

Excerpt:

  • Key #1: Convey Your Voice—Is the audio clear, or is there background noise or reverberations in the room that distract from your message?
  • Key #2: Find the Light—Are you well lit with a light source in front of you, or are you backlit and/or have shadows on your face?
  • Key #3: Frame and Maintain Eye Contact—Are you about at arm’s length and eye level with the camera, or are you looking down or up at the camera?
  • Key #4: Stage—Do you have personal and/or interesting things in the background, or are you recording in front of a blank wall?
  • Key #5: Be Prepared and Natural—Are you speaking naturally in a way that conveys your interest in the topic, or do you sound somewhat robotic and/or scattered?
  • Key #6: Keep it Short—Is the video under six minutes?

This article is part of a series about incorporating asynchronous video into educational activities:

 

 

Hiperwall Introduces Cost-Effective ‘Essentials’ Video Wall Hardware and Software Packages — from hiperwall.com with thanks to Michael Farino for this resource
Hiperwall Essentials video wall bundles eliminate barriers to entry for organizations wanting enhanced collaboration, clearer communication, and the ability to make informed real-time decisions

Excerpt:

February 24, 2021 – IRVINE, Calif., – Hiperwall Inc., an industry-leader in commercialized, IP-based visualization technology, today introduces ‘Hiperwall Essentials,’ two all-inclusive video wall hardware and software bundles that get users started with a full-featured, control-room grade video wall powered by Hiperwall for just $9,995.

Most major decisions made in the public and private sectors are driven by vast amounts of data. Due to the volume of data sources, data complexity, and different analytics tools, video walls have become the perfect canvas for decision-makers to put all of this data together clearly to arrive at an informed decision faster and more confidently.

At a price point that effectively removes barriers to implementation for small to medium businesses, small government agencies, and local law enforcement, Hiperwall Essentials serves as a great baseline for integrating video wall technology into any organization. As dependence on the video wall grows, Hiperwall’s modular platform makes scaling the video wall footprint and capabilities seamless and cost-effective.


Below are some example settings:

For those interested in video walls, this is worth checking out. These pictures are example settings.

 

For those interested in video walls, this is worth checking out. These pictures are example settings.

 

For those interested in video walls, this is worth checking out. These pictures are example settings.

 

For those interested in video walls, this is worth checking out. These pictures are example settings.

 

For those interested in video walls, this is worth checking out. These pictures are example settings.

 

Never Going Back: What Online Teaching in the Times of COVID Can Add to Our Teaching Toolkits – Elisabeth Sandberg — from cft.vanderbilt.edu with thanks to Beckie Supiano at the Chronicle for this resource

Excerpt:

Teaching online has not been all challenges for Sandberg. From this period of teaching, she has gathered a set of experiences that, she expects, will benefit her in an in-person setting, too. For one thing, Sandberg has explored new ways of optimizing the element of time in students’ learning. Realizing that even the most entertaining presenters become soon-to-bore lecturers in online settings, she became more attentive to keeping her prerecorded video lectures brief and dividing them into pieces interwoven with online activities. The Explain Everything app (a collaborative virtual whiteboard platform with multi-media features) has been helpful for annotating these short pieces of recorded lectures. Sandberg’s renewed attention to student attention has also made her more mindful of things she assigns out of class, and what these might represent in terms of student efforts. “I learned over the summer,” she said, referring to the CFT’s Online Course Design Institute, “how to be more cognizant of how much time the things that I consider easy work really take the students. And that was really a revealing piece that I will carry with me when we return to in person.”

 


From DSC:
I agree…the teaching toolboxes have expanded. In the future, teachers, professors, trainers, (and now parents) will have a wider selection of options/tools/pedagogies to select from.

Whats in your teaching toolbox?

 

Look at the choice and control possibilities mentioned in the following except from Immersive Reader in Canvas: Improve Reading Comprehension for All Students

When building courses and creating course content in Canvas, Immersive Reader lets users:

  • Change font size, text spacing, and background color
  • Split up words into syllables
  • Highlight verbs, nouns, adjectives, and sub-clauses
  • Choose between two fonts optimised to help with reading
  • Read text aloud
  • Change the speed of reading
  • Highlight sets of one, three, or five lines for greater focus
  • Select a word to see a related picture and hear the word read aloud as many times as necessary

Also see:

All about the Immersive Reader — from education.microsoft.com

The Microsoft Immersive Reader is a free tool, built into Word, OneNote, Outlook, Office Lens, Microsoft Teams, Forms, Flipgrid, Minecraft Education Edition and the Edge browser, that implement proven techniques to improve reading and writing for people regardless of their age or ability.

 

Teacher, Are You There? Being “Present” in Online Learning — from er.educause.edu by Richard West

Excerpt:

Video technologies are part of that shift in helping online learners feel connected to teachers and peers. This connection comes from people developing the sense that they are “present” in the class, even if they are not physically in the same room. How is it possible to be present when you are physically separated?

 

 

Public Viewpoint: COVID-19 Work and Education Research — from cci.stradaeducation.org

Excerpt:

In the recovering economy, employers will play a central role as Americans look to reskill, upskill, and compete in the workforce. But what do people want and expect from employers’ hiring, advancement, and training practices? In this research we explore the public’s perceptions on skills-based hiring, preferences for employer-provided education and training benefits, and beliefs about who should fund education and training.

This week’s data are based on the Strada Student Viewpoint and Strada-Gallup Education Consumer surveys. The research is intended to provide insights to the education and training providers, policymakers, employers, and individual Americans who are navigating the COVID-19 crisis.

 

 

 

It’s Time to Take College Student Hunger and Homelessness Seriously — from edsurge.com by Jireh Deng, Nicole Delgado, Rashida Crutchfield and Stephanie Ibarra

Excerpt:

Students cooking ramen noodle packets in the dorm microwave have come to symbolize what is deemed to be the universal college experience. However, that image demeans the dire situation of students experiencing food and housing insecurity in higher education.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Through advocacy on campuses and in communities and ongoing state and federal investment in the real cost of higher education—including housing, food and other supports—we can and should make a firm commitment to students who are doing everything they can to become economically self-sufficient.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian