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:

 

Redefining Norms Critical to Sustained Relevance in the Changing Postsecondary Environment — from evolllution.com by Hunt Lambert
Sticking to the status quo will end in disaster for most postsecondary institutions. To stay relevant, institutions have to rethink all aspects of the higher education product, from programming to student support to organizational models.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Higher education has existed for over a millennium in an effectively unchanged state, but the impetus to transform has arrived. Fast-changing labor demands, evolving learner expectations and transformed market realities are forcing college and university leaders to rethink the traditional postsecondary model and find ways to serve the growing numbers of lifelong learners. This idea has been broadly articulated as the 60-Year Curriculum (60YC), and executing on this vision demands a fundamental change in how higher education institutions must operate to serve students. In this interview, Hunt Lambert expands on the 60YC vision and shares his insights into how the organizational models of postsecondary institutions need to evolve to adapt to this approach.

The 60YC proposes that higher education providers, who happen to be best in the world at knowledge creation and dissemination through well-designed curriculum, expand that curricula concept from the current two-year AA, four-year BA, two-year master’s and seven-year PhD learning models into a 60-year model inclusive of 15- to 75-year-old learners and, most likely, beyond.

 

 

XR for Teaching and Learning — from educause

Key Findings

  • XR technologies are being used to achieve learning goals across domains.
  • Effective pedagogical uses of XR technologies fall into one of three large categories: (1) Supporting skills-based and competency-based teaching and learning, such as nursing education, where students gain practice by repeating tasks. (2) Expanding the range of activities with which a learner can gain hands-on experience—for example, by enabling the user to interact with electrons and electromagnetic fields. In this way, XR enables some subjects traditionally taught as abstract knowledge, using flat media such as illustrations or videos, to be taught as skills-based. (3) Experimenting by providing new functionality and enabling new forms of interaction. For example, by using simulations of materials or tools not easily available in the physical world, learners can explore the bounds of what is possible in both their discipline and with the XR technology itself.
  • Integration of XR into curricula faces two major challenges: time and skills.
  • The adoption of XR in teaching has two major requirements: the technology must fit into instructors’ existing practices, and the cost cannot be significantly higher than that of the alternatives already in use.
  • The effectiveness of XR technologies for achieving learning goals is influenced by several factors: fidelity, ease of use, novelty, time-on-task, and the spirit of experimentation.

XR for Teaching and Learning

 

The Research is in: 2019 Education Research Highlights — edutopia.org by Youki Terada
Does doodling boost learning? Do attendance awards work? Do boys and girls process math the same way? Here’s a look at the big questions that researchers tackled this year.

Excerpt:

Every year brings new insights—and cautionary tales—about what works in education. 2019 is no different, as we learned that doodling may do more harm than good when it comes to remembering information. Attendance awards don’t work and can actually increase absences. And while we’ve known that school discipline tends to disproportionately harm students of color, a new study reveals a key reason why: Compared with their peers, black students tend to receive fewer warnings for misbehavior before being punished.

CUT THE ARTS AT YOUR OWN RISK, RESEARCHERS WARN
As arts programs continue to face the budget ax, a handful of new studies suggest that’s a grave mistake. The arts provide cognitive, academic, behavioral, and social benefits that go far beyond simply learning how to play music or perform scenes in a play.

In a major new study from Rice University involving 10,000 students in third through eighth grades, researchers determined that expanding a school’s arts programs improved writing scores, increased the students’ compassion for others, and reduced disciplinary infractions. The benefits of such programs may be especially pronounced for students who come from low-income families, according to a 10-year study of 30,000 students released in 2019.

Unexpectedly, another recent study found that artistic commitment—think of a budding violinist or passionate young thespian—can boost executive function skills like focus and working memory, linking the arts to a set of overlooked skills that are highly correlated to success in both academics and life.

Failing to identify and support students with learning disabilities early can have dire, long-term consequences. In a comprehensive 2019 analysis, researchers highlighted the need to provide interventions that align with critical phases of early brain development. In one startling example, reading interventions for children with learning disabilities were found to be twice as effective if delivered by the second grade instead of third grade.

 

Learning for a Living — from MIT Sloan Mgmt Review by Gianpiero Petriglieri

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Calls for learning have long been common at corporate retreats, professional conferences, and similar gatherings. But with the furious pace of change that technology has brought to business and society, they have become more urgent. Leaders in every sector seem to agree: Learning is an imperative, not a cliché. Without it, careers derail and companies fail. Talented people flock to employers that promise to invest in their development whether they will stay at the company or not.

If we are after transformative learning, what we need is a familiar yet open frame — a playground of sorts that magnifies our habits and the culture that breeds them so that we can examine both, and imagine and try new ways of being.

A boot camp must replicate workplace constraints to help us master ways of navigating them more efficiently. Whether it’s a course on, say, reaping insights from data analytics or a training session on giving respectful feedback, the space supports practice and improvement. A playground must remove most constraints to promote experimentation. Providing some distance from day-to-day reality allows us to get real in a deeper sense. A boot camp amplifies and exploits the shame of learning, helping us learn how not to be found wanting. A playground exposes and challenges that shame, helping us realize that if we were less anxious, it might be easier to claim what we want and discover how to get it.


From DSC:

A heads up. The way they use the word bootcamp is different from the way I’ve heard that word used these last 5-7 years. I think of bootcamps as more along the lines of a 10-12 week, intensive course — often involving programming. I don’t see them as internal training courses. But this article uses the word bootcamp in that way.

 

AI and smart campuses are among higher ed tech to watch in 2020 — from edtechmagazine.com by Adam Stone
Early adopters tap emerging tools to achieve cost savings and improve learning outcomes.

Excerpt:

In parallel with the rise of municipal smart cities, higher education continues to push toward the smart campus, a vision of a digitally interconnected learning space in which data and devices combine to enhance the student experience. Colleges need to get smart to stay competitive.

Below is an excerpt from Deloitte’s report — Smart campus: The next-generation connected campus — which the above article links to.

Innovations used in smart banking, smart retail, smart digital workplaces, and smart venues like hospitals and stadiums could be extended to higher education campuses. These smart environments are enabling an easy and seamless experience by leveraging the most advanced and next-generation technologies available to them. And more importantly, they continually
modernize and adjust their practices to meet the needs of their constituents. To stay sustainable and relevant, institutions should employ technology and analytics-based insights to enhance the well-being of the communities in which they are rooted.

 

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