OPINION: Meet certificates and “microcredentials” — they could be the future of higher education — from hechingerreport.org by Arthur Levine and Scott Van Pelt
In years to come, they will become prevalent — and possibly preferred — to college degrees

Excerpt:

What is new is that we are calling them badges and microcredentials and using them primarily to certify specific skills, such as cross-cultural competency, welding and conversational Spanish.

So what are they? Microcredentials are certifications of mastery; badges verify the attainment of specific competencies.

No matter what we are calling them, they may be here to stay.

We now live in a time that is more open to rethinking college and university credentials. We are witnessing experimentation with competency-based education, through which students earn credits by demonstrating skills instead of spending time in courses. We are also seeing discussion of free or reduced tuition, along with subscription pricing that lets students take as many courses as they like for one low cost.

Also see:

Can an AI tutor teach your child to read? — from hechingerreport.org by Jackie Mader
Some AI reading programs are boosting early literacy skills

Excerpt:

Artificial intelligence has been used for years in education to monitor teaching quality, teach classes, grade assignments and tailor instruction to student ability levels. Now, a small but growing number of programs are attempting to use AI to target reading achievement in the early years — a longstanding struggle for America’s schools.

 

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.

 

Why “Challenging” Isn’t The Right Goal — from byrdseed.com by Ian Byrd

Excerpt:

If I asked you to alphabetize the US state capitals in under 90 seconds, you’d certainly be “challenged”! But you’d also feel stressed out and frustrated.

I wish I had realized this years ago. Something can be “challenging” and also be at the very bottom of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Something can be “challenging” and even impede learning.

So here’s the word I use now when I’m planning lessons for Byrdseed.TV: interesting.

I want to “interest” students. A student who is interested will work over the weekend simply because they want to know more. An interested student will stay in from recess by choice to keep at it. An interested student is intrinsically motivated.

From DSC:
This reminds me yet again of this graphic that readers of this blog will recognize:

In the future, learning channels will offer us more choice and more control

 
 

Google Earth

Google Earth Lesson Plan — from techlearning.com by Stephanie Smith Budhai

Excerpt:

The 3D interactive online exploration platform Google Earth provides a pathway to endless learning adventures around the globe. For an overview of Google Earth and a breakdown of its unique features, check out How to Use Google Earth for Teaching.

 

 

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

 

Scaling HyFlex for the Post-Pandemic Campus — from er.educause.edu by Jennifer Rider and Ayla Moore

Excerpt:

Setting up HyFlex courses on any campus requires thoughtful planning, careful analysis, continual assessment, and faculty support. But is HyFlex something that higher education institutions can and should permanently adopt in a post-pandemic world?

 

Fort Lewis College's USDA Grant Proposal

 

The Tomorrow Room on campus is a space where new technology will be showcased so that faculty can become familiar with the room design and technology before teaching in a HyFlex classroom.

 

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!

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian