Surviving Among the Giants — from chronicle.com by Scott Carlson
As growth has become higher ed’s mantra, some colleges seek to stay small.

Excerpts:

The pressures on the higher-education business model are changing those attitudes. The Council of Independent Colleges’ fastest-growing initiative is the Online Course Sharing Consortium, which allows small colleges to offer certain courses to students at other institutions. Currently, there are 2,200 enrollments among almost 6,000 courses on the platform.

“The higher-ed business model is broken,” says Jeffrey R. Docking, who has been president of Adrian College for 16 years. “But where it’s most broken — and the first ones that are going to walk the plank — are the small private institutions. The numbers just don’t work.” Combining some backroom functions or arranging consortial purchases is just “dabbling around the edges” — and won’t get close to driving down the cost of tuition by 30 to 40 percent over the next several years, which is what Docking believes is necessary.

From DSC:
Docking’s last (highlighted) sentence above reminds me of what I predicted back in 2008 when I was working for Calvin College. The vision I relayed in 2008 continues to come to fruition — albeit I’ve since changed the name of the vision.

Back in 2008 I predicted that we would see the days of tuition being cut by 50% or more

From DSC (cont’d):
I was trying to bring down the cost of higher education — which we did with Calvin Online for 4-5 years…before the administration,  faculty members, and even the leadership within our IT and HR Departments let Calvin Online die on the vine. This was a costly mistake for Calvin, as they later became a university — thus requiring that they get into more online-based learning in order to address the adult learner. Had they supported getting the online-based learning plane off the runway, they could have dovetailed nicely into becoming a university. But instead, they dissed the biggest thing to happen within education in the last 500 years (since the invention of the printing press). 

Which brings me to one last excerpted quote here:

“For so many years,” Docking says, “all of these really smart people in Silicon Valley, at the University of Phoenix, at for-profits were saying, We’re going to do it better” — and they came around with their “solutions” in the form of MOOCs, or massive open online courses, and other scaling plans. Small colleges didn’t want to hear it, and, Docking says, maybe it was to their peril.

 

Differentiation Technique: Embed A Classic — from byrdseed.com by Ian Byrd

Excerpt:

Possibly my #1, most favorite way to increase the interest in a lesson is to simply remove the built-in examples in a lesson and replace them with some kind of classic.

Wait, What’s A “Classic”?
A classic may immediately bring to mind old works: Shakespeare, Beethoven, and Da Vinci. And those are indeed important! Use them.

But I’d say that The Wizard of Oz is a classic. Lord of the Rings is a classic. Hokusai’s painting of The Great Wave is a classic. The Beach Boys are a classic!

Classics are things that are culturally important. They could be stories, films, songs, paintings, photos, and so on. Classics are referenced constantly in daily conversation as well as in other creative works.

 
 

What Will Online Learning Look Like in 10 Years? Zoom Has Some Ideas — from edsurge.com by Stephen Noonoo

Excerpt:

This week at Zoom’s annual conference, Zoomtopia, a trio of education-focused Zoom employees (er, Zoomers?) speculated wildly about what hybrid Zoom learning might look like 10 years from now, given the warp speed advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning expected. Below are highlights of their grandiose, if sometimes vague, vision for the future of learning on Zoom.

Zoom very much sees itself as one day innovating on personalized learning in a substantial way, although beyond breakout rooms and instant translation services, they have few concrete ideas in mind. Mostly, the company says it will be working to add more choices to how teachers can present materials and how students can display mastery to teachers in realtime. They’re bullish on Kahoot-like gamification features and new ways of assessing students, too.

Also see:

An Eighth Grader Was Tired of Being Late to Zoom School. So He Made an App for That. — from edsurge.com by Nadia Tamez-Robledo

“I could not find anything else that exists like this to automatically join meetings at the right times,” says Seth, a high school freshman based in Walnut Creek, Calif. “Reminders are just really easy to ignore. I’ll get a notification maybe five minutes before my meeting, and it’ll just sit there and not do anything. [LinkJoin] interrupts whatever you’re doing and says, ‘Join this meeting. In fact it’s already opening, so better get on it.’”

 

 

Zoom product updates showcase the art of the possible for hybrid work — from diginomica.com by Derek du Preez
Zoom’s annual conference – Zoomtopia – kicked off with a number of impressive product updates that highlight how we should be thinking about the future of hybrid work.

Excerpt:

Zoom CEO Eric Yuan kicked off the collaboration vendor’s annual conference – Zoomtopia – with a swathe of product updates that effectively showcase how we should be thinking about the future of hybrid work.

What’s clear is that Zoom is thinking well beyond its video call roots and is creating a platform that’s an effective place for people to get work done. Upcoming integrations with the likes of Google Drive and Dropbox are just part of this.

Features such as being able to continuously access and collaborate on content in a meeting, whether that be chats or files, whilst also having call transcriptions instantly accessible within the Zoom client after a call is completed, and having access to Zoom Whiteboard to create visual presentations – and being able to do this wherever you are – gives you an idea of how the vendor is thinking about making remote work as seamless and productive as possible.

From DSC:
The intense competition between vendors like Zoom, Cisco, Microsoft, and others will only benefit all of us in the longer term. Here’s to innovation! Online learning may never be the same again. For that matter, learning may never be the same again.

 
 

Active Learning: 5 Tips for Implementing the Approach — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
Active learning provides ways to get your students engaged without needing to revamp how you teach.

Excerpts:

However, neither listening to a lecture or reading a textbook is the most efficient way to learn or what active learning is truly about. “What exactly do we mean by active learning?” Deslauriers says.  “We mean that first, you have to be engaged. Obviously, that’s number one. Number two, you have to be engaged productively. And number three, the productivity has to be toward a goal that is deemed worthwhile*.”

— Louis Deslauriers, Director of Science Teaching and Learning
in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University


From DSC:
I appreciated seeing/reading this solid article. Just a couple of reflections and highlights here…


* But worthwhile for whom? For the faculty members? The teachers? The trainers? Or for the learners, the students, or the employees? Where is agency here? Where does more choice and control come into play here? Where’s the motivation for me to learn something if someone keeps telling me what’s important to THEM? What’s relevant to THEM? Why should I care about this topic? How is it relevant? How will it help me get a job and/or make a positive difference in this world? Can I choose how deep I want to dive in?

Later…Deslauriers goes on to make a great point when urging a pause for students to practice some metacognition:

  • Does this make sense to me?
  • How is this relevant? <– DSC: There it is.
  • Does it connect with something I already know? And if so, how do I integrate with what I already know?
  • What sort of questions do I have right now?
  • Can I repeat what the instructor just did? Or is it going to require a lot of practice?

“There’s no way you can undergo these mental processes when someone keeps talking,”  Deslauriers says. But if educators pause during their lectures and encourage this type of focus, they can help their students learn more efficiently.


 Instructors can hand out electronic clickers, use web-based tools such as Google forms, or even go completely low-tech by giving color-coded cards to students that correspond to different answers. 


Also see:

 

FLEXspace with LSRS v.3 Integration: Your Key to Future Proofing Learning Spaces — from campustechnology.com by Mary Grush
A Q&A roundtable with FLEXspace and LSRS leaders and innovators

Excerpt:

A little more than a year ago, the EDUCAUSE Learning Space Rating System was integrated into FLEXspace. Now, users have a “one-stop shop” to access both the media-rich resources of FLEXspace and the quantitative evaluations of the LSRS.

Here, a round table discussion provides five perspectives on what the integration has meant to users.

 

Using a Systems Approach to Build a World-Class Online Program — from onlinelearningconsortium.org by Dr. Michele Norton and Dr. Ben Zoghi, Texas A&M University
In this blog, we unpack some of our insights and capitalize on them as we take a systems approach to continue building a world-class online program.

Excerpt:

Insight 1: Shifting from Assigning Tasks to Developing Collaborative Partnerships
We often create to-do lists for all the aspects of our online course: the videos, the articles, the quizzes, putting it on the LMS, etc. We forget that they all go together to create one learning experience for our students.

The person who edits the videos has ideas you may never have thought of, even if they are not experts in your content. Thoughts are everywhere; you have to value each person that has a hand in the process and be open to building a collaborative partnership instead of navigating a transactional checklist.

 
 

Personalized Learning Using AI — from datafloq.com by Dmitry Baraishuk

Excerpt:

Process of Implementing Personalized Learning Using AI

  • The system tested every learner using short quizzes and games. Then AI adapted the learning path to each learner’s knowledge of a topic based on the test results.
  • If a pilot struggled with a certain topic, the AI LMS repeated it by presenting the information in a new way.
  • After completing a section, every pilot was retested and progressed to the next module.

Personalized learning with AI encompasses all the core aspects of online training:

  • personalized learning path;
  • relevant content based on knowledge level, skills, interests, and goals;
  • automated knowledge checks;
  • prediction of knowledge gaps;
  • proactive learners’ support;
  • tutoring, etc.
 

The Story is in the Structure: A Multi-Case Study of Instructional Design Teams — from the Online Learning Consortium by Jason Drysdale (other articles here)

Excerpt:

Given the results of this study, it is recommended that institutions that are restructuring or building new instructional design teams implement centralized structures with academic reporting lines for their teams. The benefits of both centralization and academic reporting lines are clear: better advocacy and empowerment, better alignment with the pedagogical work of both designers and faculty, and less role misperception for instructional designers. Structuring these teams toward empowerment and better definitions of their roles as pedagogy experts may help them sustain their leadership on the initiatives they led, to great effect, during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study also revealed the importance of three additional structural elements: appropriate instructional design staffing for the size and scale of the institution, leadership experience with instructional design, and positional parity with faculty.

Also see:

A Practitioner's Guide to Instructional Design in Higher Education

 

Top 300 Tools for Learning 2021 [Hart]

Top 300 Tools for Learning 2021 — from toptools4learning.com by Jane Hart

Excerpt:

2021 was the YEAR OF DISRUPTION! There were a substantial number of new tools nominated this year so the main list has now been extended to 300 tools to accommodate them, and each of the 3 sub-lists has been increased to 150 tools. Although the top of this year’s list is relatively stable, there is quite bit of movement of tools on the rest of the list, and the effect of the new tools has been to push other established tools down – if not off the list altogether. Further analysis of the list appears in the right-hand column of the table below.

This table shows the overall rankings as well as the rankings on the 3 sub-lists: Top 150 Tools for Personal Learning (PL150), the Top 150 Tools for Workplace Learning (WL150) and the Top 150 Tools for Education (ED150). NEW tools are shaded YELLOW, tools coming BACK on the list are shaded GREEN. The most popular context in which each tool is used is also highlighted in BLUE.  Click on a tool name to find out more about it.

 


Top 300 Tools for Learning 2021 -- from Jane Hart


 

 

10 Ways to Reuse Your Pre-Recorded Videos — from barbihoneycutt.com by Barbi Honeycutt

Excerpts:

2. CLONE YOURSELF

My friend is a 2nd grade teacher, and this year, she is back in the in-person classroom with her students. After teaching online last year, she started wondering how she could reuse all of the videos she recorded.

She came up with the idea to play clips of the videos during her in-person class time. As the video is playing, she walks around the room and helps students in real-time as they are working through the lesson.

If they are struggling, she is right there to guide them through that part of the video or lesson. She can pause the video if many students are struggling, or she can let the video play as she works individually with students who need additional help.

She said this approach gives her instant feedback (and makes it easy for a substitute teacher to use if needed). She said, “I’m not tied to the front of the room at the board. It’s literally like having two teachers!” 


4. VIDEO EXCHANGE
Do you have a video that would be helpful for a colleague to share with his/her/their students? Maybe they have a video you need to integrate into your course? Here’s the perfect time to exchange videos! It’s like a giving a virtual guest lecture!

 

Teacher Tips: Starting the Year with Station Rotation — from catlintucker.com by Caitlin Tucker

Excerpt:

In an effort to reimagine the first weeks of school, I decided to use the station rotation model to encourage my new students to interact with one another and learn about our class. I designed a collection of stations to encourage them to explore expectations for conduct, course requirements, goal setting, what it means to collaborate, etc. The results were incredible! I was able to breathe and enjoy the relaxing, student-centered atmosphere I had created. Instead of standing at the front of the room talking at them, students worked independently and collaboratively on the tasks at various stations. I was freed to circulate, facilitate, and connect with my students.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian