From DSC:
Very nice! “The Contemplative Commons at the University of Virginia” — from csc.virginia.edu
The Contemplative Commons embodies a new model of higher education at the University of Virginia that is based upon immersive, experiential, and participatory modes of deep learning that facilitate student flourishing.

 

The Contemplative Commons at the U of VA

 

 

Moving to remote instruction immediately: Where to get started — from thejournal.com by Dian Schaffhauser
To help schools make the transition as quickly and comprehensively as possible, THE Journal reached out to education technology experts across the country to answer the questions we believe nearly every educator is rushing to answer right now.

 

Learning ecosystems across the globe are going through massive changes! [Christian]

Learning ecosystems are going through massive changes!


From DSC:

Due to the impacts of the Coronavirus, learning ecosystems across the globe are going through massive changes!

Each of us has our own learning ecosystem, and the organizations that we work for have their own learning ecosystems as well. Numerous teachers, professors, and trainers around the world are now teaching online. Their toolboxes are expanding with the addition of several new tools and some new knowledge. I believe that will be one of the silver linings from the very tough situations/times that we find ourselves in.

Expanding our teaching toolboxes


At the WMU-Cooley Law School, our learning ecosystem is also fluid and continues to morph.
This blog posting speaks to those changes.

https://info.cooley.edu/blog/learning-ecosystem-simply-defined-sources-for-learning

 

Learning from the Living [Class] Room: Due to the impacts from the Coronavirus, this is happening today across many countries. But this vision is just beginning to develop. We haven’t seen anything yet.

 

How innovations in voice technology are reshaping education — from edsurge.com by Diana Lee
Voice is the most accessible form you can think of when you think about any interface. In education, it’s already started to take off.

It could be basic questions about, “Am I taking a class to become X?” or “How strong are my skills relative to other people?” An assistant can help with that. It could potentially be a coach, something that follows you the rest of your life for education. I’m excited about that. People that can’t normally get access to this kind of information will get access to it. That’s the future.

From DSC:
The use of voice will likely be a piece of a next-generation learning platform.

Voice will likely be a piece of the next generation learning platform

 

Toward Inclusive Learning Spaces: Physiological, Cognitive, and Cultural Inclusion and the Learning Space Rating System — from er.educause.edu by Richard Holeton
Inclusive learning space design should be based on a tripartite framework addressing the diverse physiological, cognitive, and cultural needs of learners.

Excerpt:

Students with learning disabilities may have specific limitations in auditory perception and processing, visual perception and processing, information processing speed, abstract reasoning, long-term or short-term memory, spoken and written language ability, mathematical calculation, or executive functioning (e.g., planning and time management). Those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may suffer from impaired social interaction, diminished communication abilities, and sensory processing problems that may lead to agoraphobia or difficulty moving through spaces. Applying universal design and UDL principles, designers can and should go beyond the legal requirements to design truly inclusive spaces. Learning space design features that can help those with ASD include providing ordered and comprehensible spatial structures, a mix of large and small spaces, and some user control of environmental conditions, such as the amount of stimulation from light and bold colors.

The three main principles of UDL—to provide learners with multiple means of representation, multiple means of expression, and multiple means of engagement—address cognitive diversity primarily through pedagogical design. Instructors applying UDL may provide course materials in multiple media, offer students different options for demonstrating their understanding and mastery, and build various ways for students to engage with instructors and one another.

Size and Space for Approach and Use: Accommodate diverse physical attributes by providing furnishings and equipment that fit various body sizes and shapes and by allowing appropriate space to permit the use of assistive devices and to accommodate reach and manipulation regardless of body size, posture, mobility, or hand and grip size.

 

From DSC:
When I saw the learning space as pictured below, I couldn’t help but ask a couple of questions:

  • Doesn’t this look like a colorful, fun, engaging active learning space?
  • One that encourages communication and collaboration?

The natural light is wonderful. And the physical setup seems to let the students know that they will be collaborating with each other the second they walk into this learning space…and it does so without saying a word. 

This type of learning setup seems like learning could be very fun and collaborative!

 

From DSC — and with a shout out to Brad Sousa for this resource:
For those involved with creating/enhancing learning spaces as they relate to pedagogies:

https://www.avisystems.com/higher-education-trends-part-one

How Has Technology Impacted Higher Education?
In part one of this three-part series, AVI Systems CTO Brad Sousa talks with Jeff Day, Founder of North of 10 Advisors, to discuss the key ways education and, specifically, pedagogy differs from 10, 5, even 3 years ago.

Discussion Topics

  • The impact of active learning and the introduction of the internet of things (IoT) in the classroom
  • Recommendations for deploying modern learning environments with technology partners
  • Classroom systems design, then and now
Some timestamps (roughly speaking)
  • 5:15 — changes in pedagogy
  • 7:15 or so — active learning
  • 15:30 design needs around active learning
  • 17:15 DE rooms and active learning — software-controlled platform
  • 21:30 — advice; look to outcomes & expectations that want to achieve/meet; uses cases

Media controller w/ intuitive interface to mimic the way someone teaches / way a classroom goes:

  • “Class start” — chaotic; mics on everywhere
  • “Lecture” — gates /mics closed and focus shifts to the professor
  • “Class interaction” — presents roster of who’s there (20:00 mark roughly)

Also see this introductory posting re: the implications of active learning in the higher ed market.

 

Concept3D introduces wheelchair wayfinding feature to support campus accessibility — from concept3d.echoscomm.com with thanks to Delaney Lanker for this resource
System makes wheelchair friendly campus routes easy to find and follow

Excerpt:

Concept3D, a leader in creating immersive online experiences with 3D modeling, interactive maps and virtual tour software, today announced the launch of a new wheelchair wayfinding feature that adds a new level of accessibility to the company’s interactive map and tour platform.

With the new wheelchair accessible route functionality, Concept3D clients are able to offer a separate set of wayfinding routes specifically designed to identify the most efficient and easiest routes.

Concept3D’s wayfinding system uses a weighted algorithm to determine the most efficient route between start and end points, and the new system was enhanced to factor in routing variables like stairs, curb cuts, steep inclines, and other areas that may impact accessibility.

Also see:

Wayfinding :: Wheelchair Accessible Routes — from concept3d.com

https://www.concept3d.com/blog/higher-ed/wayfinding-wheelchair-accessible-routes

 

Measure for assessing how investing in spaces for learning results in a robust return for students, for the institution, & for the community beyond the campus — from pkallsc.org

Excerpts:

How do you make the case that the investment in institutional investment in the physical environment for learning makes a difference? How will you know? What evidence makes that case? From the LSC spaces that work collection II, some potential measures of success can be distilled. These stories about recent projects embrace but go beyond attention to impact of learners while students and alumni; they set forth project goals that are measurable, returns that will be benefit the institution in the future—in regard to increased enrollments and graduate rates, of collaborative research between campus and community and more.

 

2020 Top 10 IT Issues — from educause.edu
The Drive to Digital Transformation Begins | EDUCAUSE Review Special Report

Excerpt:

Colleges and universities are working to unmake old practices and structures that have become inefficient and are preparing to use technology and data to better understand and support students and to become more student-centric.

They are working to fund technology and to sustainably manage and secure data and privacy. Higher education institutions are applying data and technology to innovate student outcomes and experiences.

The role of the CIO is undergoing its own transformation in order to advance institutional priorities through the use of technology.

The focus in 2020, then, is to simplify, sustain, innovate, and drive to Dx in all of our institutions and places of higher learning.

 

 

From DSC:
To me, one of the key roles of today’s collegiate CIO should be to collaborate with the academic side of the house to identify ways to strategically use technologies to significantly lower the cost of obtaining a degree. Higher education affordability is listed as #8. That’s waaaaaay underestimating the issue and another key reason the backlash continues to build against traditional higher education. If things don’t change and a much cheaper — but still effective — means comes along, look out. Students and families are feeling the weight of the gorillas of debt on their back — weight that lasts for decades for many people today. Along these lines, issues involving privacy and data security — while also important to students — are mainly a CYA for colleges and universities. They don’t address the gorillas of debt as much as other solutions might.

Sorry if you don’t want to hear it, but one of the best solutions involves offering a significant amount of 100% online-based offerings. While this was mentioned, you can still get major pushback about this strategy. But you can’t tell me for one second that offering online-based classes is more expensive than offering traditional, face-to-face based classes. Why? What?! How could I possibly assert this?! The answer is quite simple. One just needs to request to review the budget of your Physical Plant Department. That’s why. Check it out if you can — you’ll see what I mean.

Also, though data is important, it won’t save colleges and universities from closing. What are some things that stand a better chance of doing that?! Here are some:

  • Vision
  • Developing a culture that supports innovation and a willingness to experiment/change 
  • Finding ways to significantly lower the price of obtaining a degree
  • Scanning the horizons to see what’s coming down the pike and how that will impact our students’ futures. Then, develop the curriculum to best help our students prepare for their future.

“The CIO’s ‘role at the table’ has evolved to be one that is less about the mechanics of the IT organization and more about how IT can serve as a strategic partner in helping the institution execute its mission.”(source)

 

Also see:

Live from Bett: What’s new in EDU–Free resources to boost engagement and collaboration — from the Microsoft Education Team on January 22, 2020

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

In addition, on the day of a presentation, educators and students now can help every person in the classroom or audience understand what they’re saying by clicking on “Present Live.” Live Presentations enables every audience member to view the presentation on their own device, such as a laptop, tablet or phone. Each audience member can turn on live captioning and choose subtitles from more than 60 languages. They can even navigate between slides, so they don’t miss a single, important detail. The audience is engaged throughout the presentation and sends reactions in real-time. After the presentation, the audience can provide feedback on the content and delivery of the presentation, which educators and students can use to improve skills over time.

Live Presentations will be coming soon to PowerPoint for the web as part of Office Education, which educators and students can access for free. If you haven’t already done so, get started with Office 365 Education now.

 

From DSC:
Might this type of functionality be a solid component of a global, next generation learning platform? Hmmmm…

 

Explore Revit models in VR with Unity Reflect — from by Nick Davis
Unity Reflect makes it easy to bring Building Information Modeling (BIM) data into virtual reality (VR). Learn how you can use the Unity Reflect VR Viewer to conduct immersive design reviews with Autodesk Revit models.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The value of VR in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry is well documented. It provides an unrivaled medium for gathering rich feedback, catching design flaws, and reducing the need for physical mockups. Studies have shown construction professionals are twice as likely to spot design errors when reviewing designs in VR versus PCs.

Today, 60% of AR and VR content is powered by Unity. Unity’s AEC customers use VR for a wide range of use cases, from conducting immersive walkthroughs that help their clients catch errors pre-construction and save hundreds of thousands of dollars on individual projects, to creating immersive training programs that lead to safer job sites.

 

From DSC:
If you are using a tool like Cisco Webex in your school, consider implementing the idea below.
I’d like to thank Mr. Steve Grant and Mr. Nelson Miller from the WMU-Cooley Law School for their work in implementing/recommending this approach.

If you are using a tool like Cisco Webex, you can use it to share content to displays, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. If the professor starts a Cisco Webex Meeting Center session using their own personal room, the students can then join that meeting via their devices. (To eliminate noise and confusion — as well as to reduce bandwidth — the students should mute their microphones and choose not to send the video from their webcams.)

If you were doing a think-pair-share, for example, and you really liked what a certain pair of students had going on, one of the students could share their work with the rest of the class. By doing so, whatever was going on on that student’s device could be displayed by any projectors in the room, as well as on any other devices that were connected to the Cisco Webex Meeting Room.

“So you could project any student’s work as students proceed with in-class exercises. Projecting student work adds another level of accountability, excitement, and concentration to in-class exercises.” 

*********

Also, using the Cisco Webex Meeting Center in your face-to-face classroom not only opens up that sort of collaboration channel, but, via the chat feature, it can also open up a running backchannel to draw out your more introverted students, or those students who have questions but don’t want to have the spotlight thrown on them. 

*********

 

DC: Precursor to a next gen learning platform…? Another piece is falling into place.

 

Active Learning on the Uptick?— from LinkedIn.com by Carrie O’Donnell

Excerpt:

The evidence is overwhelming that employing active learning strategies leads to deeper learning, increased retention and higher performance. In fact, the EDCAUSE Horizon Report: 2019 Higher Education Edition states 73 percent of universities surveyed indicate active learning classrooms are in the planning process or being implemented in 2020.

Active learning is an instructional approach that puts the student in the center of the learning. This teaching methodology actively engages the learner and is a contrast with the traditional lecture-based approaches where the instructor does most of the talking and students are passive. Some of the many strategies that instructors use to promote active learning include group discussions, peer instruction, problem-solving, case studies, role playing, journal writing and structured learning groups.

Several trends we’ve seen on campuses across the country bode well for active learning:

 

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