Are universities going the way of CDs and cable TV? [Smith]

Are universities going the way of CDs and cable TV? — from theatlantic.com by Michael Smith; with thanks to Homa Tavangar & Will Richardson for this resource
Like the entertainment industry, colleges will need to embrace digital services in order to survive.

Excerpts:

We all know how that worked out: From 1999 to 2009, the music industry lost 50 percent of its sales. From 2014 to 2019, roughly 16 million American households canceled their cable subscriptions.

Similar dynamics are at play in higher education today. Universities have long been remarkably stable institutions—so stable that in 2001, by one account, they comprised an astonishing 70 of the 85 institutions in the West that have endured in recognizable form since the 1520s.

That stability has again bred overconfidence, overpricing, and an overreliance on business models tailored to a physical world. Like those entertainment executives, many of us in higher education dismiss the threats that digital technologies pose to the way we work.

Information technology transforms industries by making scarce resources plentiful, forcing customers to rethink the value of established products.

Paul Krugman, Economist, teaching on Masterclass.com

 

Learning from the Living Class Room

From DSC:
I can’t help but hear Clayton Christenson’s voice in the following quote:

An analogous situation prevails in higher education, where access to classroom seats, faculty experts, and university diplomas have been scarce for half a millennium. When massively open online courses first appeared, making free classes available to anyone with internet access, universities reflexively dismissed the threat. At the time, MOOCs were amateuristic, low-quality, and far removed from our degree-granting programs. But over the past 10 years, the technology has improved greatly.

 
 

Learning experience designs of the future!!! [Christian]

From DSC:
The article below got me to thinking about designing learning experiences and what our learning experiences might be like in the future — especially after we start pouring much more of our innovative thinking, creativity, funding, entrepreneurship, and new R&D into technology-supported/enabled learning experiences.


LMS vs. LXP: How and why they are different — from blog.commlabindia.com by Payal Dixit
LXPs are a rising trend in the L&D market. But will they replace LMSs soon? What do they offer more than an LMS? Learn more about LMS vs. LXP in this blog.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Building on the foundation of the LMS, the LXP curates and aggregates content, creates learning paths, and provides personalized learning resources.

Here are some of the key capabilities of LXPs. They:

  • Offer content in a Netflix-like interface, with suggestions and AI recommendations
  • Can host any form of content – blogs, videos, eLearning courses, and audio podcasts to name a few
  • Offer automated learning paths that lead to logical outcomes
  • Support true uncensored social learning opportunities

So, this is about the LXP and what it offers; let’s now delve into the characteristics that differentiate it from the good old LMS.


From DSC:
Entities throughout the learning spectrum are going through many changes right now (i.e., people and organizations throughout K-12, higher education, vocational schools, and corporate training/L&D). If the first round of the Coronavirus continues to impact us, and then a second round comes later this year/early next year, I can easily see massive investments and interest in learning-related innovations. It will be in too many peoples’ and organizations’ interests not to.

I highlighted the bulleted points above because they are some of the components/features of the Learning from the Living [Class] Room vision that I’ve been working on.

Below are some technologies, visuals, and ideas to supplement my reflections. They might stir the imagination of someone out there who, like me, desires to make a contribution — and who wants to make learning more accessible, personalized, fun, and engaging. Hopefully, future generations will be able to have more choice, more control over their learning — throughout their lifetimes — as they pursue their passions.

Learning from the living class room

In the future, we may be using MR to walk around data and to better visualize data


AR and VR -- the future of healthcare

 

 

Meet the new face of Webex Assistant — from blog.webex.com by Kacy Kizer

Excerpt:

You may be familiar with Webex Assistant, the AI-powered voice assistant for work. Now known as Webex Assistant for Webex Rooms, our original digital assistant allows you to control compatible Webex Rooms devices with your voice, making it easy to join a meeting with just a few words, manage your meetings and devices from anywhere in the room, and much more.

  • A voice-activated assistant allows you to easily control the meeting through a set of voice commands.
  • Simply ask your AI-powered Webex Assistant to do things like create actions items, take notes, and even set up future meetings—with just your voice.
  • Your Webex Assistant will automatically transcribe the entire meeting in real-time.
  • With visual animation, your virtual AI assistant interacts with you and your meeting attendees during the meeting and when called upon.

The Cisco Webex Digital Assistant -- how might AI impact the online-based learning experience?

From DSC:

  • How might these types of technologies impact online-based learning?
  • What new affordances might they bring to the learner’s experience?
  • For example, what if a listening assistant (AI) could identify some key issues/topics and then go out and grab/present some URL’s of relevant journal articles, chapters from a given textbook, blog postings, etc.? What if each student’s AI could be directed to do so independently?

#IntelligentTutoring | #IntelligentSystems |  #AI |  #EmergingTechnologies | #Collaboration | #Productivity | #PersonalizedEducation

Also see:

Cisco Webex Desk Pro -- AI integrated into Webex Meetings

 

To provide the best learning environment while keeping everyone safe, WMU-Cooley Law School made the decision to continue teaching classes ONLINE for the Fall 2020 semester.

 

From DSC:
We at the WMU-Cooley Law School are working hard to enhance and expand our teaching toolboxes, so that we can pivot as necessary in the future. 

DanielChristian-EnhancingOurTeachingToolboxes.jpg

Whether we need to deliver our cognitive-science based, modern legal education via 100% online-based means, or whether it’s a blended/hybrid approach, or whether it’s 100% face-to-face again at some point in the future, we need to be ready for multiple methods and modes of teaching and learning. 

 

 

But I have to say, the work is hard. There are more and different kinds of people on the front lines of this Covid-19 situation than just the wonderful folks in healthcare. Many Instructional Designers (IDs), Information Technology (IT)-related staff, faculty members, and members of administration and are working overtime, all-the-time. It’s not easy. That said, I do believe that there will be some silver linings in this situation. Many faculty members are coming to appreciate the teaching and learning power of some of these tools — and will likely integrate several of these new tools/methods even if and when they return to our face-to-face-based classrooms.

 


Below is a snapshot from a video that
Kim O’Leary, Professor at the WMU-Cooley Law School did regarding the topic of giving (and receiving) individualized feedback.

As a relevant aside here, I want to send a shout out to Kim, as she is incredibly devoted to the craft of teaching and learning and to developing solid, competent learners and lawyers. She is a fantastic professor, as well as a caring, hard-working person — an excellent colleague whom I’m very grateful to have the privilege of working alongside.

Daniel: Do our learning environments and systems promote our students' self-motivation? I don't think so. No way.

When I saw this quote from Thomas Friedman, I wondered…

  • Are our school systems creating students who are self-motivated?

Sorry…but my answer (based on what my own learning experiences in K-16 were like as well as from having observed the learning experiences of our three kids) was, “No way…at least not yet.” And the ramifications of this are getting increasingly serious as our kids need to be able to navigate an often chaotic, quickly-changing world from here on out.

  • We don’t offer nearly enough learner agency.
  • We create gameplayers who only focus on grades.
  • We tell students what to learn.
  • We don’t offer nearly enough choice and control to students.

 

 

From DSC:
I, for one, am glad that we made the investments in the telecommunications and networking infrastructures, in the PCs, Macs, laptops, tablets, other items in the #edtech realm, as well as investing in a variety of technologies through the years. Given the need to move online due to the Coronavirus, I’d say such investments offered many a solid ROI throughout K-12, higher education, as well as in the corporate world. But I realize that not everyone has access to these things…which is something we must work on as a nation.

But had we not made those investments, where we would be now?

Also see:

Teaching during COVID-19: Why We’re Fortunate — from er.educause.edu by Gardner Campbell

 

Not in the Future—Now — from er.educause.edu by John O’Brien

Excerpts:

…technology can no longer be seen as a utility working quietly in the background. Now more than ever, technology is a strategic asset that is vital to the success of every higher education institution.

Digital transformation (Dx) can no longer be considered an aspirational concept. It must be understood as an imperative. And that well-worn, precious notion of campus technology professionals doing work that is noticed only when there is an outage? This too is a thing of the past.


[Technology] is not just a lifeline that got us through a tricky situation. It is and must increasingly be understood as an integral, strategic part of the successful college or university. Not in the future. Now.

 

 

Learning channels of the future will offer us more choice. More control. [Christian]

 

From DSC:
And this phenomenon of learning from the living [class] room will likely pick up steam; some learning-related services are already heading that way.

 

Learning from home -- masterclass dot com

Learning from home -- masterclass dot com

 

Also see:

Preparing Students for a Lifelong Disruptive Future: The 60-Year Curriculum — from evolllution.com by Chris Dede | Professor of Learning Technologies in the Graduate School of Education, Harvard University and John Richards | Professor in the Graduate School of Education, Harvard University

Although written before the pandemic, a just-published book, The 60-Year Curriculum: New Models for Lifelong Learning in the Digital Economy (Dede and Richards, 2020), describes the looming challenge/opportunity of a coming, epic half-century whose intensity of disruption will rival the historic period civilization faced from 1910-1960: two world wars, a global pandemic, a long-lasting economic depression and unceasing conflicts between capitalism and communism.

In our tactical responses to moving teaching online because of the pandemic, we have the strategic opportunity to develop a new model that blends higher and continuing education and realizes the potential of next-generation methods of instruction and assessment (National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, 2018) to focus on lifelong learning.

 

Higher ed needs to build more mature Digital Learning Ecosystems

Higher Ed Needs a Long-Term Plan for Virtual Learning — from Harvard Business Review by James DeVaney, Gideon Shimshon, Matthew Rascoff, and Jeff Maggioncalda

Excerpts:

The staggering impact of Covid-19 on education systems around the world is unlike anything we have seen in the post-war era. More than 1.6 billion students have been affected, representing over 91% of all students in the world. Unsurprisingly, demand for online learning has skyrocketed. In the last 30 days, there were 10.3 million enrollments in courses on Coursera, up 644% from the same period last year.

As the emergency subsides but normal fails to return, higher ed institutions need to do more. There’s a good likelihood that virtual learning — in some capacity — will need to be a part of education for the foreseeable future. Higher ed institutions need a response framework that looks beyond the immediate actions. They have to prepare for an intermediate period of transition and begin future-proofing their institutions for the long term.

 

 
 

With thanks to my sister, Sue Ellen Christian, for forwarding me Jeremy Caplan’s site/newsletter.

Also see:

…and this one as well:

Three words of advice that I wish I had heard when I first started teaching

 

From DSC:

Will tools like Otter be much more integrated into our future learning ecosystems, meetings, & teleconferences?

 

A quick-start instruction manual for teaching from home -- from edsurge.com by Andrew Ng

A quick-start instruction manual for teaching from home — from edsurge.com by Andrew Ng

Excerpt:

How can you migrate a live, in-person class to an online setting quickly, without needing to redesign the class? If you have time to redesign the class into five-minute videos and auto-graded homework, that’s great! But if you don’t, here’s what you can do.

We will go through three quick options with increasing levels of complexity and equipment/setup needed. I recommend using the most sophisticated of these options that you feel comfortable with.

Also, see this PDF file for the full guide.

 

10 ways COVID-19 could change office design — from weforum.org by Harry Kretchmer

“Think road markings, but for offices. From squash-court-style lines in lobbies to standing spots in lifts, and from circles around desks to lanes in corridors, the floors and walls of our offices are likely to be covered in visual instructions.”

 

From DSC:
After reading the above article and quote, I wondered..rather than marking up the floors and walls of spaces, perhaps Augmented Reality (AR) will provide such visual instructions for navigating office spaces in the future.  Then I wondered about other such spaces as:

  • Learning spaces
  • Gyms
  • Retail outlets 
  • Grocery stores
  • Restaurants
  • Small businesses
  • Other common/public spaces
 

From DSC:
On the positive side…

What I appreciate about ‘s article is that it’s asking us to think about future scenarios in regards to higher education. Then, it’s proposing some potential action steps to take now to address those potential scenarios if they come to fruition. It isn’t looking at the hood when we’re traveling 180 mph. Rather, it’s looking out into the horizon to see what’s coming down the pike. 

6 Steps to Prepare for an Online Fall Semester — from chronicle.com b

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Plan for a multiyear impact. If colleges are forced to maintain online-only instruction in the fall and to defer reopening their campuses to in-person instruction to January 2021, the impact will be felt for years. College leaders should start thinking now about how to manage and potentially adjust spring-2021 (and beyond) course offerings, course sequencing, and degree requirements to avoid saddling students with graduation delays and the accompanying direct and indirect financial costs. In addition, colleges should anticipate a smaller-than-normal entering first-year class in fall 2020 (and thus a larger-than-normal enrollment a year later) and devise strategies to help mitigate the resulting stresses on admission rates and classroom and dorm capacity for first-year students entering in fall 2021 and beyond.

If instruction remains online-only in the fall, colleges won’t be able to afford that sort of inefficiency. College departments should start now to identify opportunities for collaborations that would draw on the collective wisdom and labor of faculty members from multiple institutions who are teaching similar courses. This would lessen the burden of migrating teaching materials and techniques to an online format.

From DSC:
I’ve often wondered about the place of consortiums within higher ed…i.e., pooling resources. Will the impacts of the Coronavirus change this area of higher ed? Not sure. Perhaps.

On the negative side…

I take issue with some of John’s perspectives, which are so common amongst the writers and academics out there. For example:

Conversely, an entire generation of current college students is now learning that it can be pretty boring to be one of several hundred people simultaneously watching a Zoom lecture.

You know what? I did that very same thingover and over again — at Northwestern University (NU), but in a face-to-face format. And quite frankly, it’s a better view on videoconferencing. It’s far more close up, more intimate online. I agree it’s a different experience. But our auditoriums were large and having 100-200+ students in a classroom was common. There was no interaction amongst the students. There were no breakout groups. The faculty members didn’t know most of our names and I highly doubt that the well-paid researchers at Northwestern — who were never taught how to teach in the first place nor did they or NU regard the practice of teaching and learning highly anyway — gave a rat’s ass about body language. Reading the confusion in the auditorium? Really? I highly doubt it. And those TA’s that we paid good money for? Most likely, they were never taught how to teach either. The well-paid researchers often offloaded much of the teaching responsibilities onto the teacher assistants’ backs. 

Bottom line:
Face-to-face learning is getting waaaay more credit than it sometimes deserves — though sometimes it IS warranted. And online-based learning — especially when it’s done right — isn’t getting nearly enough credit. 


Addendum: Another example of practicing futures thinking in higher ed:

 

From DSC:
The article below is meant as fodder for thought for us now…until we get back to holding class in physical learning spaces again. But it caught my attention because I’d like to see us give students “More choice. More Control.” in all areas of their learning — whether that be in the physical realm or in the digital/virtual realm.

 

 

4 reasons to build choice into classroom design — and how to make it work for students — from spaces4learning.com by Deanna Marie Lock
A look at the key elements of a modern and highly engaging learning space

 

providing more choice and more control to students within the physcial classroom

 

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

© 2020 | Daniel Christian