Michelle Weise: ‘We Need to Design the Learning Ecosystem of the Future’ — from edsurge.com  by Michelle Weise

Excerpts:

These days, education reformers, evangelists and foundations pay a lot of lip service to the notion of lifelong learning, but we do little to invest in the systems, architecture and infrastructure needed to facilitate seamless movements in and out of learning and work.

Talk of lifelong learning doesn’t translate into action. In fact, resources and funding are often geared toward the traditional 17- to 22-year-old college-going population and less often to working adults, our growing new-traditional student population.

We’ll need a different investment thesis: For most adults, taking time off work to attend classes at a local, brick-and-mortar community college or a four-year institution will not be the answer. The opportunity costs will be too high. Our current system of traditional higher education is ill-suited to facilitate flexible, seamless cost-effective learning pathways for these students to keep up with the emergent demands of the workforce.

Many adults may have no interest in coming back to college. Out of the 37 million Americans with some college and no degree, many have already failed one or twice before and will be wholly uninterested in experiencing more educational trauma.We can’t just say, “Here’s a MOOC, or here’s an online degree, or a 6- to 12-week immersive bootcamp.”

 

We have to do better. Let’s begin seeding the foundational elements of a learning ecosystem of the future—flexible enough for adults to move consistently in and out of learning and work. Enough talk about lifelong learning: Let’s build the foundations of that learning ecosystem of the future.

 

 

From DSC:
I couldn’t agree more with Michelle that we need a new learning ecosystem of the future. In fact, I have been calling such an effort “Learning from the Living [Class] Room — and it outlines a next generation learning platform that aims to deliver everything Michelle talks about in her solid article out at edsurge.com.

The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV

 

Along these lines…I just saw that Amazon is building out more cashierless stores (and Walmart is also at work on introducing more cashierless stores.) Now, let’s say that you are currently a cashier. 2-5 years from now (depending upon where you’re currently working and which stores are in your community), what are you going to do? The opportunities for such a position will be fewer and fewer. Who can help you do what Michelle mentioned here:

Working learners will also need help articulating their learning goals and envisioning a future for themselves. People don’t know how to translate their skills from one industry to another. How does a student begin to understand that 30% of what they already know could be channeled into a totally different and potentially promising pathway they never even knew was within reach?

And that cashier may have had a tough time with K-12 education and/or with higher education. As Michelle writes:

Many adults may have no interest in coming back to college. Out of the 37 million Americans with some college and no degree, many have already failed one or twice before and will be wholly uninterested in experiencing more educational trauma. We can’t just say, “Here’s a MOOC, or here’s an online degree, or a 6- to 12-week immersive bootcamp.”

And like the cashier in this example…we are quickly approaching an era where, I believe, many of us will need to reinvent ourselves in order to:

  • stay marketable
  • keep bread and butter on the table
  • continue to have a sense of purpose and meaning in our lives

Higher ed, if it wants to remain relevant, must pick up the pace of experimentation and increase the willingness to innovate, and to develop new business models — to develop new “learning channels” so to speak. Such channels need to be:

  • Up-to-date
  • Serving relevant data and information– especially regarding the job market and which jobs appear to be safe for the next 5-10 years
  • Inexpensive/affordable
  • Highly convenient

 

 

 
 

Faculty Learning Communities: Making the Connection, Virtually — from by Angela Atwell, Cristina Cottom, Lisa Martino, and Sara Ombres

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Research has shown that interactions with peers promotes faculty engagement (McKenna, Johnson, Yoder, Guerra, & Pimmel, 2016). Faculty learning communities (FLC) have become very popular in recent years. FLCs focus on improving teaching and learning practice through collaboration and community building (Cox, 2001). Usually, FLCs are face-to-face meetings hosted at a physical location at a specific date and time. We understand the benefit of this type of experience. However, we recognize online instructors will likely find it difficult to participate in a traditional FLC. So, we set out to integrate FLC principles to provide our faculty, living and working all over the globe, a similar experience.

Recently, our Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence took the plunge and offered a Virtual Faculty Learning Community (V-FLC) for instructors at our Worldwide Campus. The first experience was open only to adjunct instructors teaching online. The experience was asynchronous, lasted eight weeks, and focused on best practices for online teaching and learning. Within our Learning Management System, faculty led and participated in discussions around the topics that were of interest to them. Most topics focused on teaching practices and ways to enhance the online experience. However, other topics bridged the gap between teaching online and general best teaching practices. 

 

 

 

Paying for Personalized Learning — from thejournal.com by Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpt:

Just how much does it cost to set up a personalized learning plan for an entire school, and is it really sustainable? Could a typical school budget cover the expense — and what would happen if budget cuts had to be made? Those are the questions addressed in a new report out from LEAP Innovations and Afton Partners. LEAP works directly with schools to implement personalized learning; Afton focuses on financial and operational efficiency aspects of public school districts and charter schools.

A joint study examined six district and charter schools in Chicago Public Schools that have implemented personalized learning models over the last two years. All of the schools are part of LEAP’s Breakthrough Schools initiative, which supports the launch of innovative school models.

 

 

 

 

 

For the schools in the study, introducing personalized learning models throughout the entire building required “modest investment to start.” Start-up costs ranged from $338,000 to $780,000; on a per-pupil basis that was between $233 and $1,135. The models could be sustained “without ongoing grant funding on typical district budgets,” even during severe budget cuts, Afton reported.

The report offered a series of recommendations on improving the cost effectiveness of personalized learning and scaling the personalized learning model. Among the advice:

  • Make sure principals understand the flexibilities regarding funding and other categories that are at their disposal;
  • Try piloting a compensation structure that supports the teacher-leader model;
  • Combine resources across a district for common unmet needs, such as adoption or development of a learning management system; and
  • Be strategic in the use of grant funding; for example, develop a five-year financial plan that shows how the models will remain sustainable even after the grant-funding expires.

 

 

 

Also see:

 

 

Excerpt:

This report represents an exciting beginning. For any innovation to take hold, it must be effective and sustainable. Already, we’re seeing promising indicators of success: increases in scores on the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test, taken by all Chicago Public Schools elementary students, in one Breakthrough Schools third-grade pilot classroom were striking. The school reports that reading attainment increased 51 percent in one year – growing from 35 percent of students meeting attainment benchmarks in 2015-2016 to 86 percent in 2016-2017. Their math results were equally impressive, reporting a 45 percent growth in student attainment – moving from 46 percent of students meeting attainment benchmarks to 91 percent within one school year. And as we outline here, not only can innovative school models be sustainable, but their innovative structures can make them so.

 

 

 

From DSC:
With some predictions saying that the workforce is going to be composed of upwards of ~50% of us being contingent workers, (I’ve already seen figures around mid 30’s and even 40%), the question I have is:

Are we teaching students how to protect themselves, how to sell themselves, how to sell their businesses, how to plan financially, etc.? 

Consider this article:

Would our students know about these types of mistakes?

Also, it seems to me that higher education should be helping students “future proof” themselves — or at least as much as possible. One of the values higher education should be bringing to the table is to identify which jobs are going to be around for the next 5-10 years and which ones aren’t.

Along these lines, lifelong learning and learning how to learn are becoming increasingly important. Thus, I will continue to try and post articles/resources on this blog in regards to metacognition and the like.

 

 

 

The Link to Content in 21st-Century Libraries — from er.educause.edu by Joan Lippincott

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

At the 2017 Designing Libraries for the 21st Century annual conference, architect Craig Dykers asked the audience what he described as a rhetorical question: Are libraries places for information, with people in them, or are they places for people, with information in them? He concluded that ideally, today’s libraries, as they have always been, are places for the interaction of people, knowledge, and technologies. One reason that library renovations have brought record numbers of people into the physical building is that the notion of how people interact with content began to expand when available technologies were introduced to libraries in the 1990s. Two specific concepts motivated many of the changes in library spaces beginning at that time. First was the realization that libraries could become places for students and faculty to create content rather than places merely to access content. Second was an increased emphasis in higher education pedagogy on active, collaborative learning, in contrast to the traditional, passive lecture mode. These trends led to some pervasive changes in library space configurations, but sometimes the emphasis on information or content got lost along the way.

 

Architect Craig Dykers asked the audience what he described as a rhetorical question: Are libraries places for information, with people in them, or are they places for people, with information in them? He concluded that ideally, today’s libraries, as they have always been, are places for the interaction of people, knowledge, and technologies.

 

From DSC:
I agree with my friend and colleague, Mr. Eric Kunnen (Associate Director, eLearning and Emerging Technologies at GVSU), when he mentions on Twitter that it would have been good to highlight the beautifully done Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons in this solid article.

 

 

 

How to Use Questions to Promote Student Learning — from scholarlyteacher.com by Spencer Benson

Excerpt:

Developing Faculty Generated Questions
Developing good questions that enhance student learning and engage all students is difficult. The challenge is constructing questions that engage learning and are “un-Googleable” meaning that students cannot find the answer with a simple online search engine. Some ways to help make questions “un-Googleable” are to

  • Avoid questions that simply ask for facts or definitions,
  • Ask the students to answer the questions based on their own personal experience,
  • Ask students for their personal opinion on an issue,
  • Ask students to describe the answer a different person might give, e.g., a relative, a famous person (historic or present), the textbook or assigned readings author, etc.

 

 

These three questions align with the various levels of Bloom’s cognitive taxonomy, “what” asks about facts and content (remembering), “how” asks about relationships (understanding and analyzing), and “why” asks about higher cognitive level skills (creating and evaluating).

 

 

 

You can now build Amazon Music playlists using voice commands on Alexa devices — from theverge.com by Natt Garun

Excerpt:

Amazon today announced that Amazon Music listeners can now build playlists using voice commands via Alexa. For example, if they’re streaming music from an app or listening to the radio on an Alexa-enabled device, they can use voice commands to add the current song to a playlist, or start a new playlist from scratch.

 

From DSC:
I wonder how long it will be before we will be able to create and share learning-based playlists for accessing digitally-based resources…? Perhaps AI will be used to offer a set of playlists on any given topic…?

With the exponential pace of change that we’re starting to experience — plus the 1/2 lives of information shrinking — such features could come in handy.

 

 

 

 

 

Where You’ll Find Virtual Reality Technology in 2018 — from avisystems.com by Alec Kasper-Olson

Excerpt:

The VR / AR / MR Breakdown
This year will see growth in a variety of virtual technologies and uses. There are differences and similarities between virtual, augmented, and mixed reality technologies. The technology is constantly evolving and even the terminology around it changes quickly, so you may hear variations on these terms.

Augmented reality is what was behind the Pokémon Go craze. Players could see game characters on their devices superimposed over images of their physical surroundings. Virtual features seemed to exist in the real world.

Mixed reality combines virtual features and real-life objects. So, in this way it includes AR but it also includes environments where real features seem to exist in a virtual world.

The folks over at Recode explain mixed reality this way:

In theory, mixed reality lets the user see the real world (like AR) while also seeing believable, virtual objects (like VR). And then it anchors those virtual objects to a point in real space, making it possible to treat them as “real,” at least from the perspective of the person who can see the MR experience.

And, virtual reality uses immersive technology to seemingly place a user into a simulated lifelike environment.

Where You’ll Find These New Realities
Education and research fields are at the forefront of VR and AR technologies, where an increasing number of students have access to tools. But higher education isn’t the only place you see this trend. The number of VR companies grew 250 percent between 2012 and 2017. Even the latest iPhones include augmented reality capabilities. Aside from the classroom and your pocket, here are some others places you’re likely to see VR and AR pop up in 2018.

 

 

 

Top AR apps that make learning fun — from bmsinnolabs.wordpress.com

Excerpt:

Here is a list of a few amazing Augmented Reality mobile apps for children:

  • Jigspace
  • Elements 4D
  • Arloon Plants
  • Math alive
  • PlanetAR Animals
  • FETCH! Lunch Rush
  • Quiver
  • Zoo Burst
  • PlanetAR Alphabets & Numbers

Here are few of the VR input devices include:

  • Controller Wands
  • Joysticks
  • Force Balls/Tracking Balls
  • Data Gloves
  • On-Device Control Buttons
  • Motion Platforms (Virtuix Omni)
  • Trackpads
  • Treadmills
  • Motion Trackers/Bodysuits

 

 

 

HTC VIVE and World Economic Forum Partner For The Future Of The “VR/AR For Impact” Initiative — from blog.vive.com by Matthew Gepp

Excerpt:

VR/AR for Impact experiences shown this week at WEF 2018 include:

  • OrthoVR aims to increase the availability of well-fitting prosthetics in low-income countries by using Virtual Reality and 3D rapid prototyping tools to increase the capacity of clinical staff without reducing quality. VR allows current prosthetists and orthosists to leverage their hands-on and embodied skills within a digital environment.
  • The Extraordinary Honey Bee is designed to help deepen our understanding of the honey bee’s struggle and learn what is at stake for humanity due to the dying global population of the honey bee. Told from a bee’s perspective, The Extraordinary Honey Bee harnesses VR to inspire change in the next generation of honey bee conservationists.
  • The Blank Canvas: Hacking Nature is an episodic exploration of the frontiers of bioengineering as taught by the leading researchers within the field. Using advanced scientific visualization techniques, the Blank Canvas will demystify the cellular and molecular mechanisms that are being exploited to drive substantial leaps such as gene therapy.
  • LIFE (Life-saving Instruction For Emergencies) is a new mobile and VR platform developed by the University of Oxford that enables all types of health worker to manage medical emergencies. Through the use of personalized simulation training and advanced learning analytics, the LIFE platform offers the potential to dramatically extend access to life-saving knowledge in low-income countries.
  • Tree is a critically acclaimed virtual reality experience to immerse viewers in the tragic fate that befalls a rainforest tree. The experience brings to light the harrowing realities of deforestation, one of the largest contributors to global warming.
  • For the Amazonian Yawanawa, ‘medicine’ has the power to travel you in a vision to a place you have never been. Hushuhu, the first woman shaman of the Yawanawa, uses VR like medicine to open a portal to another way of knowing. AWAVENA is a collaboration between a community and an artist, melding technology and transcendent experience so that a vision can be shared, and a story told of a people ascending from the edge of extinction.

 

 

 

Everything You Need To Know About Virtual Reality Technology — from yeppar.com

Excerpt:

Types of Virtual Reality Technology
We can segregate the type of Virtual Reality Technology according to their user experience

Non-Immersive
Non-immersive simulations are the least immersion implementation of Virtual Reality Technology.
In this kind of simulation, only a subset of the user’s senses is replicated, allowing for marginal awareness of the reality outside the VR simulation. A user enters into 3D virtual environments through a portal or window by utilizing standard HD monitors typically found on conventional desktop workstations.

Semi Immersive
In this simulation, users experience a more rich immersion, where a user partly, not fully involved in a virtual environment. Semi immersive simulations are based on high-performance graphical computing, which is often coupled with large screen projector systems or multiple TV projections to properly simulate the user’s visuals.

Fully immersive
Offers the full immersive experience to the user of Virtual Reality Technology, in this phase of VR head-mounted displays and motion sensing devices are used to simulate all of the user senses. In this situation, a user can experience the realistic virtual environment, where a user can experience a wide view field, high resolutions, increased refresh rates and a high quality of visualization through HMD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Is What A Mixed Reality Hard Hat Looks Like — from vrscout.com by  Alice Bonasio
A Microsoft-endorsed hard hat solution lets construction workers use holograms on site.

Excerpt:

These workers already routinely use technology such as tablets to access plans and data on site, but going from 2D to 3D at scale brings that to a whole new level. “Superimposing the digital model on the physical environment provides a clear understanding of the relations between the 3D design model and the actual work on a jobsite,” explained Olivier Pellegrin, BIM manager, GA Smart Building.

The application they are using is called Trimble Connect. It turns data into 3D holograms, which are then mapped out to scale onto the real-world environment. This gives workers an instant sense of where and how various elements will fit and exposes mistakes early on in the process.

 

Also see:

Trimble Connect for HoloLens is a mixed reality solution that improves building coordination by combining models from multiple stakeholders such as structural, mechanical and electrical trade partners. The solution provides for precise alignment of holographic data on a 1:1 scale on the job site, to review models in the context of the physical environment. Predefined views from Trimble Connect further simplify in-field use with quick and easy access to immersive visualizations of 3D data. Users can leverage mixed reality for training purposes and to compare plans against work completed. Advanced visualization further enables users to view assigned tasks and capture data with onsite measurement tools. Trimble Connect for HoloLens is available now through the Microsoft Windows App Store. A free trial option is available enabling integration with HoloLens. Paid subscriptions support premium functionality allowing for precise on-site alignment and collaboration. Trimble’s Hard Hat Solution for Microsoft HoloLens extends the benefits of HoloLens mixed reality into areas where increased safety requirements are mandated, such as construction sites, offshore facilities, and mining projects. The solution, which is ANSI-approved, integrates the HoloLens holographic computer with an industry-standard hard hat. Trimble’s Hard Hat Solution for HoloLens is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2018. To learn more, visit mixedreality.trimble.com.

 

From DSC:
Combining voice recognition / Natural Language Processing (NLP) with Mixed Reality should provide some excellent, powerful user experiences. Doing so could also provide some real-time understanding as well as highlight potential issues in current designs. It will be interesting to watch this space develop. If there were an issue, wouldn’t it be great to remotely ask someone to update the design and then see the updated design in real-time? (Or might there be a way to make edits via one’s voice and/or with gestures?)

I could see where these types of technologies could come in handy when designing / enhancing learning spaces.

 

 

 

Web-Powered Augmented Reality: a Hands-On Tutorial — from medium.com by Uri Shaked
A Guided Journey Into the Magical Worlds of ARCore, A-Frame, 3D Programming, and More!

Excerpt:

There’s been a lot of cool stuff happening lately around Augmented Reality (AR), and since I love exploring and having fun with new technologies, I thought I would see what I could do with AR and the Web?—?and it turns out I was able to do quite a lot!

Most AR demos are with static objects, like showing how you can display a cool model on a table, but AR really begins to shine when you start adding in animations!

With animated AR, your models come to life, and you can then start telling a story with them.

 

 

 

Art.com adds augmented reality art-viewing to its iOS app — from techcrunch.com by Lucas Matney

Excerpt:

If you’re in the market for some art in your house or apartment, Art.com will now let you use AR to put digital artwork up on your wall.

The company’s ArtView feature is one of the few augmented reality features that actually adds a lot to the app it’s put in. With the ARKit-enabled tech, the artwork is accurately sized so you can get a perfect idea of how your next purchase could fit on your wall. The feature can be used for the two million pieces of art on the site and can be customized with different framing types.

 

 

 

 

Experience on Demand is a must-read VR book — from venturebeat.com by Ian Hamilton

Excerpts:

Bailenson’s newest book, Experience on Demand, builds on that earlier work while focusing more clearly — even bluntly — on what we do and don’t know about how VR affects humans.

“The best way to use it responsibly is to be educated about what it is capable of, and to know how to use it — as a developer or a user — responsibly,” Bailenson wrote in the book.

Among the questions raised:

  • “How educationally effective are field trips in VR? What are the design principles that should guide these types of experiences?”
  • How many individuals are not meeting their potential because they lack the access to good instruction and learning tools?”
  • “When we consider that the subjects were made uncomfortable by the idea of administering fake electric shocks, what can we expect people will feel when they are engaging all sorts of fantasy violence and mayhem in virtual reality?”
  • “What is the effect of replacing social contact with virtual social contact over long periods of time?”
  • “How do we walk the line and leverage what is amazing about VR, without falling prey to the bad parts?”

 

 

 

 

The 4th Next Generation Learning Spaces event is right around the corner! Make plans to attend this conference -- you won't regret it!

The 4th Next Generation Learning Spaces event is right around the corner!

Take a look at the latest agenda.

Here is just a fraction of what you can expect:

  • Explore what’s next in learning spaces + design thinking that breaks the barriers of tradition and inspire innovation
  • Retool your learning environments with virtual & augmented reality
  • Connect your learning space design with strategic planning initiatives
  • Discover next generation learning solutions during our networking breaks
  • Overcome institutional and financial roadblocks to building active learning spaces
  • Redesign spaces with limited budgets

 


From DSC:
I am honored to be serving on the Advisory Council for this conference with a great group of people. Missing — at least from my perspective — from the image below is Kristen Tadrous, Senior Program Director with the Corporate Learning Network. Kristen has done a great job these last few years planning and running this conference.

 

The Advisory Board for the 2018 Next Generation Learning Spaces Conference

NOTE:
The above graphic reflects a change for me. I am still an Adjunct Faculty Member
at Calvin College, but I am no longer a Senior Instructional Designer there.

 

This national conference will be held in Los Angeles, CA on February 26-28, 2018. It is designed to help institutions of higher education develop highly-innovative cultures — something that’s needed in many institutions of traditional higher education right now.

I have attended the first 3 conferences and I moderated a panel at last year’s conference out in San Diego. I just want to say that this is a great conference and I encourage you to bring a group of people to it from your organization! I say a group of people because a group of 5 of us (from a variety of departments) went one year and the result of attending the NGLS Conference was a brand new Sandbox Classroom — an active-learning based, highly-collaborative learning space where faculty members can experiment with new pedagogies as well as with new technologies. The conference helped us discuss things as a diverse group, think out loud, come up with some innovative ideas, and then build the momentum to move forward with some of those key ideas.

If you haven’t already attended this conference, I highly recommend that you check it out.

 


 

 

 

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