Today’s awkward Zoom classes could bring a new era of higher education — from edsurge.com by Debra Spar

Excerpt:

Indeed, the forced march to Zoom has also forced colleges and universities to wrestle at last with the incipient promise of educational technologies; with the power that was evident, if not yet realized, in the early MOOCs. Much of that power has to do with scale–the ability to take a single course, even a single lecture, and share it across a vast universe of learners. But some also comes from the strange intimacy of the small screen, and from the possibilities of collapsing both time and space.

Office hours, for instance, migrate easily. Bringing in guest speakers works remarkably well, allowing faculty to introduce a wide range of voices into their classroom conversations. On the screen, everyone can see and hear and participate. 

 

Learning from the Living [Class] Room

 

Reflections on some nice ideas from Dr. Barbi Honeycutt [Lecture Breakers Weekly!]

Per this week’s Lecture Breakers Weekly! from Dr. Barbi Honeycutt:

Break up your online lectures with the Watch Party! Here’s how you can do it: 

  • Pre-record your mini-lecture or find a video you want to use for your lesson. 
  • Instead of asking students to watch the video on their own, play it during your synchronous/live class time.
  • Explain to your students that they are watching the video all at the same time and that you will be facilitating the chat and answering their questions as they watch the video together. It’s a watch party!
  • Option: Take the conversation out of Zoom or your LMS. Create a hashtag for your course on Twitter and invite other experts, colleagues, or friends to join the conversation.

Instead of presenting during the synchronous class time, you can now focus completely on managing the chat, prompting discussion, and responding to students’ questions and ideas in real-time. And be sure to record and save the chat for students who couldn’t attend the live session or want to review it later.

From DSC:
This is one of the kind of things that I envisioned with Learning from the living class[room] — a next-generation, global learning platform.

Learners could be watching a presentation/presenter, but communicating in real-time with other learners. Perhaps it will be a tvOS-based app or something similar. But TV as we know it is changing, right? It continues to become more interactive and on-demand all the time. Add videoconferencing apps like Zoom, Cisco Webex Meetings, Blackboard Collaborate, Microsoft Teams, Adobe Connect and others, and you have real-time, continuous, lifelong, relevant/timely, affordable, accessible, up-to-date learning.

Also, you have TEAM-BASED learning. 

Add videoconferencing apps like Zoom, Cisco Webex Meetings, Blackboard Collaborate, Microsoft Teams, Adobe Connect and others, and you have real-time, continuous, lifelong, up-to-date learning.

 

 

 

From DSC:
The perfect storm continues to build against traditional institutions of higher education. The backlash continues to build strength. And there WILL BE change — there’s no choice now. Alternatives to these traditional institutions of higher education continue to appear on the scene.

Over the last several decades, traditional institutions of higher education had the chance to step in and do something. They didn’t take nearly enough action. As in other industries, these days of the Coronavirus just hasten the changes that were already afoot. 

Also see:

  • Alternative Credentials on the Rise — from insidehighered.com by Paul Fain, with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource
    Interest is growing in short-term, online credentials amid the pandemic. Will they become viable alternative pathways to well-paying jobs?
 

From DSC:
I’ve heard many people mention that what we did throughout K-16 in the spring of 2020 was remote teaching — an emergency response to the Coronavirus. And I would agree with that assessment and verbiage — that was/is very true. It wasn’t online-based learning as many of us have come to know it over the last 20+ years. It didn’t offer a lot of the things that organizations like the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) and Quality Matters have been trying to promote and get us to achieve for years.

But then I hear the expectation that everything has been vastly improved over the summer and suddenly, almost overnight, all teachers, professors, trainers, adjunct faculty members, etc. have become highly proficient in matters involving online-based teaching and learning. In other words, the expectations say that:

  • Students should expect a top-notch experience now that summer is over.
  • Suddenly, Rome was built in a day!

But it wasn’t, and it isn’t.

It takes time and practice to become proficient in how to teach online. That’s the truth. It also takes a great deal of time and investments in hardware, software, tools, training/education/professional development, networking and telecommunications infrastructure, and more. It takes numerous skillsets to do it well. (By the way, that’s why I like to think in terms of team-based content creation and delivery.)

Also, often times, it takes MORE time to teach online than it does to teach in a face-to-face classroom. That is certainly the case for the first time that you will be teaching online. You need to know that going into it. You have to put your course together PLUS learn how to deliver it effectively in an online-based format. You need to learn a variety of tools and related ecosystems. Not a simple, overnight kind of task, I can assure you.

So students, don’t expect your faculty members to become professional online-based teachers overnight Again, it takes time and practice…just like anything we set out to do.

And for you student teachers and Education Departments/Programs out there, keep at it. Don’t dismiss this time as a brief period/phenomenon that will simply go away and we’ll get back to “normal.” Make the necessary adjustments to your curriculum, toolsets, “teacher placements,” and more. Let’s get prepared for the future, come what may.

For higher ed, if you want to continue to use adjunct faculty members to handle a significant amount of the teaching load out there, you will need to better address the training and the $$/reimbursements that you provide to them.

And for all of the teachers, trainers, faculty members — and now even parents and/or guardians — out there, cut yourself some slack, give yourself some grace, and keep trying. One step at a time. Don’t get discouraged.

Also relevant/see:

Build and accelerate beyond the pandemic: Consciously deliver a great online experience for lifelong learners — from evoLLLution.com by Philip Regier

Excerpt:

Today’s learners have high expectations as expert consumers in all aspects of their lives. Higher education needs to create an infrastructure that meets the needs of this tech-savvy demographic. Institutions need to recognize that the online environment is here to stay and is in need of a rebuild in order to deliver the best student experience possible, even post-pandemic. In this interview, Phil Regier discusses the today’s learners’ expectations, scaling a high-quality online environment, and how to build the right infrastructure to support learners in this new and digitized normal.

 

The Digital Experience and the Analog Institution — from evoLLLution.com by Adrian Haugabrook | Executive Vice President and Managing Director of the Horizon Group, Southern New Hampshire University

For decades, higher education had to follow a more rigid structure built for the traditional student—now the minority of the higher ed learner population. Institutions need to rethink their infrastructures to fit non-traditional students, who look for a more flexible and customized digital experience. In this interview, Adrian Haugabrook discusses key elements to redesigning the student experience, higher ed’s responsibility to their consumer and how to create this high-quality experience as we head into a recession.

Excerpt:

The second element would be options and choices. We typically think of the educational process as linear—from point A to point B to point C. But what if it was a cyclical process, one where students are coming in and out of your learning ecosystem in different ways. This is especially true for adult learners. Their demands are very different than those we heard from traditional students. So, how do you provide the right options that allow for positive decision-making and progression?

 

Alternative Credentials, Scaled Degrees, and the New Higher Ed Matthew Effect — from insidehighered.com by Joshua Kim
The potential impact of elite-branded affordable online certificates and degrees on regionally-branded tuition-dependent colleges and universities.

Excerpt:

I pulled those quotes from the 8/10/20 IHE article At Home, Workers Seek Alternative Credentials. Given the crazy times, I’m not sure if that article is getting the attention across higher ed that it deserves. Everyone is entirely focused on the near-term challenges of academic continuity during the pandemic. And that is the right place to be focusing. You can’t plan for the long-term when the short-term is so unstable.

But today, I’m going to ask you to do just that. If you can, step back from thinking about COVID-19 and what is happening to your school in the fall, and give some thought to the medium-to-long-term impact of the rise of alternative credentials and scaled degrees to your institution.

First, let me ask you a question. How does your school balance its books? Where does the money come from?

 

#lifelonglearning #stayingrelevant #reinvent #learning #surviving

 

Speaking of career-related items…also see the powerful commentary out at:

From DSC:
That article reminded me that there are a variety of people working on the “front lines” of this pandemic. 

 

With an eye towards the future…what questions should we be asking about learning experience design (#LXD)? [Christian]

From DSC:
Some of the following questions came to my mind recently:

  • In this age of the Coronavirus, how can we think differently about learning experience design (#LXD)?
  • How can *teams* of people come together to reimagine what learning could look like in the future? Who might be some new players at the table? More students? Artists? Actors? More animators? More technicians and people from A/V? Specialists in XR? Corporate trainers coming together with Instructional Designers from higher ed and from K-12? #learningecosystems #future
  • How can we better tighten up the alignment between K-12, higher ed / vocational programs, and the corporate world?
  • How can we make self-directed learning more prevalent (which would release an enormous amount of energy & creativity)? #heutagogy

Maybe those aren’t even the right questions…

If not, what do you think? What questions should we be asking about learning these days?

#LXD #learningecosystems #future #lifelonglearning #onlinelearning #highereducation #K12 #corporatelearning #heutagogy

 

The main thing we need to remember is that this space no longer serves as an accessory to face-to-face teaching. It is now our main contact point with learners, so it needs to play different roles: communication channel, learning path, interaction platform and community space. Teachers therefore need a certain degree of freedom to design this space in the best way that suits their teaching style and philosophy as well as their course content and learning objectives.

What became obvious in the past months is that when it comes to teaching and learning
 fully online, the learning experience design aspect, including look, feel and logic of the platform from the users’ perspective- be it teachers or students-, are at least as important as the content.

(source)

 

Facial Recognition Start-Up Mounts a First Amendment Defense — from nytimes.com by Kashmir Hill
Clearview AI has hired Floyd Abrams, a top lawyer, to help fight claims that selling its data to law enforcement agencies violates privacy laws.

Excerpts:

Litigation against the start-up “has the potential of leading to a major decision about the interrelationship between privacy claims and First Amendment defenses in the 21st century,” Mr. Abrams said in a phone interview. He said the underlying legal questions could one day reach the Supreme Court.

Clearview AI has scraped billions of photos from the internet, including from platforms like LinkedIn and Instagram, and sells access to the resulting database to law enforcement agencies. When an officer uploads a photo or a video image containing a person’s face, the app tries to match the likeness and provides other photos of that person that can be found online.

From DSC:
Many, if not all of us, are now required to be lifelong learners in order to stay marketable. I was struck by that when I read the following excerpt from the above article:

“I’m learning the language,” Mr. Abrams said. “I’ve never used the words ‘facial biometric algorithms’ until this phone call.”

 

At home, workers seek alternative credentials — from insidehighered.com by Lindsay McKenzie
Interest in alternative online credentials spiked after people started working remotely this spring. Will the surge continue long-term?

Excerpt:

Several leading massive open online course providers, coding bootcamps and business schools offering non-degree credentials reported manyfold increases in web traffic, inquiries and enrollments.

 

From DSC:
After reading
Jeff Young’s article re: learning engineering and seeing the Nudge application from Duke University...it once again occurred to me that we really need a standard for loading questions into a memory-refreshing application. Just like HyperText Markup Language (HTML) made the World Wide Web so successful and impactful, we need an easy-to-use standard for dumping questions into a personalized database of questions for each cloud-based learner profile.

After taking a module, you would be asked if you wanted to be reminded of / quizzed upon the key ideas presented therein. You would then receive periodic quizzes on those items. You can choose to opt-out of that learning module’s content at any time.

Such an application would help reduce the impact of the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve. This type of standard/feature would really help students and people in:

  • law schools, dental schools, medical schools, and seminaries
  • vocational programs
  • traditional undergraduate and graduate programs
  • K-12 systems
  • Homeschooling-based situations
  • Places of worship
  • Communities of practice — as well as lifelong learners

A person could invoke a quiz at any point, but would be quizzed at least once a day. If you missed a day, those questions would not be taken out of the pool of questions to ask you. If you got a question right, the time interval would be lengthened before you were asked that question again. But questions that you struggled with would be asked more frequently. This would also help interleave questions and aid in recall. Such spaced repetition would cause struggle from time to time, aiding in deeper learning.

 

How ‘Learning Engineering’ Hopes to Speed Up Education — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young

Excerpts:

Simon spent the latter part of his career as a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, making the case for bringing in a new kind of engineer to help improve teaching. He knew it would mean a major change in how instruction of complex subjects happens, moving it from a “solo sport” of a sage on the stage to a community-based one where teams build and design learning materials and experiences — and continually refine them.

Ten years ago, only about 1,300 instructional designers worked at U.S. colleges, but that has grown to more than 10,000 today.

Even so, we’re still a long way from having a mature practice of learning engineering in place. But proponents of the approach say they are beginning to build the infrastructure necessary for their moonshot of turbo-charging the speed and the quality of learning. Some learning engineers believe they can help students reach mastery of complex subject matter as much as 10 times faster than with traditional approaches.

 

Another type of learning ecosystem (online, but from beautiful places!)

From DSC:
I instantly see the inequities involved here — as only those with the resources can choose this route. Also, one would have to be careful about how many others are around you choosing to do the same thing. (Otherwise, it defeats the purpose of social distancing, and one might as well be back in a physical classroom.)

All that said, I post this because I’m intrigued by the different ways people are enhancing their learning ecosystems. The creativity out there is wonderful to see. Learning should be fun.

For that matter, a few words could be interchanged to create a slightly different perspective here…

Teach from here instead

Work from here instead

 

A New Model for Career Exploration in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous (VUCA) World — from ed2work-com.cdn.ampproject.org by Marie A. Cini

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Career development is not the same as job placement. Almost everyone confuses the two, including the learners using these services. Too often, students would get through their entire program of study and then visit the “career center” to begin the process of finding and getting placed in a job. Instead, I would challenge them to learn more about themselves and what they wanted in their life and in a career as part of their development process.

In the US, we emphasize the importance of “getting a job” over helping an individual deeply explore their talents, preferences, and desires.

From DSC:
This was a major difference that I noticed working at a Christian college for many years. The idea of a calling was emphasized much more so than I experienced anywhere else. Students were encouraged to be very introspective in terms of what they perceived their passions, gifts, interests, and abilities to be. They were encouraged to pray to the LORD and listen for His leading in their lives…to seek His counsel. Where does the LORD want them? What purpose are they called to fulfill/address?

One more solid quote from Marie here:

The problem lies in an imperfect, incomplete market that does not provide comprehensive information over an individual’s lifetime to encourage a broader awareness of careers. Nor do we help individuals understand that career development is a process and not a destination, while showing them how to develop their lifelong approach to making a living.

 

Online learning critical to the ‘reskilling’ of America — from thehill.com by Jeff Maggioncalda
[From DSC: As Jeff is the CEO of Coursera, a worldwide online learning platform, it causes this to be an opinion piece for sure; but his points are nevertheless, very valid in my opinion as well.]

Excerpts:

America is facing the worst unemployment crisis since the Great Depression. One in four American workers has filed for unemployment insurance since March. In less than four months, over 44 million American workers have watched their jobs be put on hold or disappear entirely — and that number is expected to grow in the coming months.

Policymakers should use this opportunity to launch a large-scale effort to help Americans develop the skills to do the jobs of the future.

Amidst this pandemic, Americans require a solution that meets them where they are, offering a safe learning environment during social distancing while preparing them for in-demand jobs now and post-COVID.

Online learning helps workers develop skills at an unparalleled speed and scale, as seen with the recent experience of training tens of thousands of contact tracers in a matter of weeks.

Learning from the living class room

 

 

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