New Pathways: Experiencing Success In What’s Next — from Getting Smart

Excerpt:

Some of you were able to attend our official kick-off event yesterday (on 6/21/22), but for those who weren’t able to make it we wanted to let you know that our new campaign, New Pathways, has officially begun!. Over the next few years, and in partnership with ASA, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Stand Together and the Walton Foundation, we will be dedicated to tracking innovations in the following six pillars:

  1. Unbundled Learning
  2. Credentialed Learning
  3. Accelerated Pathways
  4. New Learning Models
  5. Support & Guidance
  6. Policies & Systems
We believe that when combined, these pillars enable learners to find success in what’s next in their professional lives, their personal lives and in their communities.

 

 


 

How parents can set up a productive home learning space for students — from blog.neolms.com by Charlie Fletcher

Excerpt:

Most schools have now reopened, and students across the nation and the world are back to learning in person. But, that doesn’t mean that remote learning is over. Plenty of schools still follow a hybrid model, and some students who fared better in remote learning conditions have stuck with virtual classrooms. This means that parents must know how to set up a productive learning space, both for remote learning and as a great study area.

Fortunately, there are plenty of resources to help parents and guardians who want to create a home learning space. This means that whatever your budget, every student can have their own space to study for exams and complete homework.

 

 

From DSC:
This looks like an interesting set of educational resources!

This is a screenshot of the Twinkl Education Blog


From DSC:
One of our daughters — the one who is going to be teaching third graders next year — said that the above siteand resources reminded her of Teachers Pay Teachers. So I thought I’d include that here as well.

This is a screenshot of the Teachers Pay Teachers website

 

 

From DSC:
The following items made me reflect upon the place of COVID-19 in causing the current ills within higher education — but also thinking about the ills that were present long before Covid hit us.

Key point:
We should be careful not to conveniently use COVID-19 as the scapegoat for all that’s wrong within higher education.


On the faculty/staff side of the house


The Season of Our Professorial Discontent — from chronicle.com by Paul Musgrave
The pandemic irrevocably changed the student-teacher relationship — and not for the better.

Excerpts:

As pandemic slides into endemic, it’s worth asking: Did the pandemic break something fundamental about academe? Was the spring of 2022 the end of pandemic disruptions, or the start of a new normal?

This time, as I delivered the lines to an audience of 30 in a course with 200 students enrolled, I was wondering whether I wanted to give a lecture ever again.

From DSC:
Regarding the first quote…several things were broken within academe long before COID-19. Re: the second quote, what should that tell us if only 30 students showed up in a class with 200 students in it?

Faculty autonomy and faculty satisfaction are being whittled away.

From DSC:
From what I can tell, that’s been happening for years within the K-12 learning ecosystem. It seems like this trend is now occurring within the higher ed learning ecosystem. (I could go off on a tangent about why we didn’t help our fellow educators within K-12 — whose “product” directly impacts those working within higher ed — but I better not. This posting is already packed with reflections.)

Below are some relevant quotes from Kevin McClure’s 5/27/22 article out at The Chronicle of Higher Education (emphasis DSC). I agree with much of what Kevin is saying here.

Don’t Blame the Pandemic for Worker Discontent
It hasn’t just been a tough two years. It’s been a tough two decades.

Excerpt:

The pandemic alone didn’t cause the low morale and turnover you might be seeing among your faculty and staff members just as the lack of personal protective equipment didn’t solely give rise to the Amazon Labor Union. Yes, today’s workers are re-evaluating their workplaces, seeking reassignment within their institutions, and in some cases resigning from jobs altogether. But they are doing so for many of the same reasons they did 20 years ago — poor working conditions.

So burnout isn’t just about people struggling to cope with stress; it’s about people struggling in workplaces where stress never subsides.

In my own interviews on morale, higher-education workers have talked about leaders who aren’t listening, low compensation, and understaffing.

We see our workplaces differently, and our tolerance of poor working conditions has evaporated.

 


On the student side of the house


“It hasn’t just been a tough two years. It’s been a tough two decades.” The same — and likely more — could be said for the student side of the house, especially in regards to the price of education and how relevant/up-to-date the content has been. As the prices of obtaining a degree have skyrocketed over the last several decades, students and parents now HAVE to ask, “What’s the Return On Investment (ROI) here? Am I gaining the skills in college that will get me hired after college?”

Again, the point I’m trying to make here is that we should be careful not to conveniently use COVID-19 as the scapegoat for all that’s wrong within higher education.

Along these lines, the following two quotes seem relevant to me from Beth McMurtrie’s (6/2/22) Teaching e-newsletter (also from The Chronicle):

I asked Walton to tell me more about the setup at his university. He said classes were fully in person but instructors were encouraged to record lectures and be highly flexible with due dates. The result: Most days he had less than 50-percent attendance, and he received a lot of last-minute emails from students who said they woke up that morning with a headache or otherwise not feeling well. A few filed documented absence requests, but not many, suggesting that these were not serious illnesses, like Covid.

I’ve never had more incompletes for courses than in the last two years, so signaling to students that their distribution courses are flexible and accommodating has only let them de-emphasize them even more.

There’s likely a variety of causes/possibilities here — and I’m sure that Covid-related reasons are among them. But it makes me really wonder if students don’t think that the content is all that valuable or relevant to begin with these days. Is college even worth it anymore? Why am I here in the first place? Where is the motivation coming from? Is it extrinsic or intrinsic motivation?

Perhaps it’s time to change the curriculum/content as well as the price.


Daniel S. Christian: My concerns with just maintaining the status quo (from 2009).

A graphic I created back in 2009, with Yohan Na’s assistance.


 

CLASSROOM AND AT-HOME ACCOMMODATIONS FOR DYSLEXIA — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

For most kids of school age, recognizing letters and learning to pronounce them comes as easy as possible. However, for children living with Dyslexia, it is typically an uphill task to achieve. Dyslexia is a reading disorder that impedes a child’s early academic development by significantly decreasing the ability to process graphic symbols, especially where it concerns language. Such children may struggle with language development before school age and experience difficulties learning to spell when they eventually enroll in school. Some symptoms commonly exhibited by dyslexic children include reversed letter and word sequences, weak literacy skills, and poor handwriting.

In all these, the good news for parents and educators with dyslexic children in their care is that with early diagnosis and suitable accommodations, they can learn to read like the other children.

CLASSROOM AND AT-HOME ACCOMMODATIONS FOR DYSCALCULIA — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

If you have a child struggling with basic math skills and you’ve done everything else to resolve the situation yet it persists, the child might be suffering from Dyscalculia. Dyscalculia is a learning disorder typified by an inability to grasp basic math skills. The peculiar thing about this learning disorder is how it seems only to concern itself with foundational math skills. Lots of people living with this disorder will go on to learn advanced mathematical principles and concepts without any problems. Although manifestations of Dyscalculia will differ from person to person, another symptom commonly associated with the disorder is visual-spatial struggles or difficulty in processing what they hear.

It does not matter whether you are a parent or a teacher; if you are looking for the right accommodations needed to aid students with Dyscalculia, you have come to the right post. These are some steps you can take both in the classroom and at home to ease learning for students with Dyscalculia.

CLASSROOM AND AT-HOME ACCOMMODATIONS FOR DYSNOMIA — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

When kids struggle with recalling words, numbers, names, etc., off the top of their heads without recourse to a visual or verbal hint, they might likely be suffering from Dysnomia. Dysnomia is a learning disability marked by an inability to recollect essential aspects of the oral or written language.

CLASSROOM AND AT-HOME ACCOMMODATIONS FOR DYSGRAPHIA — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

Like most learning disabilities, Dysgraphia makes learning difficult for students. In this case, this learning disorder is peculiar to handwriting and motor skills proficiency. Students living with Dysgraphia can suffer from problems ranging from forming letters accordingly, transferring their thoughts onto paper, tying their shoelaces, and zipping a jack. It is pretty standard that Dysgraphia sufferers compensate for their struggles with handwriting by developing remarkable verbal skills. However, this disorder is prone to misdiagnosis. It is due to a lack of sufficient research on the subject.

As a parent or an educator, if you have students who live with Dysgraphia, this post will show you which accommodations you need to put in place to help them learn correctly.


Also relevant/see:

EARLY INTERVENTION: A GUIDE — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

Educators must effectively identify a student who needs early intervention, whether for autism, learning disorders, or even reading difficulties. The more serious the issue, the more essential early action becomes.


 

From DSC:
The items below reminded me that things aren’t looking good for higher education these days. Having a son a quarter of the way through college makes this even more relevant/personal for our family.


The Big Quit | Even tenure-line professors are leaving academe. — from chronicle.com by Joshua Doležal

Excerpts:

We have become accustomed to the exodus of graduate students, postdocs, and adjuncts, but before Covid it was still possible to see tenured and tenure-track faculty members as relatively immune from the stresses of working in higher ed. No more. A 2020 study by The Chronicle and Fidelity Investments found that more than half of all faculty members surveyed were seriously weighing options outside of higher education: either changing careers entirely or retiring early.

“If a return to normal simply means restoring the burnout conditions that the pandemic inflamed, then the rumble of faculty members leaving may build to a roar that no amount of magical thinking can explain away.”

Here’s a relevant quote from a weekly newsletter — Teaching — from The Chronicle of Higher Education (by Becky Supiano)

The bottom line? “You don’t get student success,” McClure says, “unless you have invested in faculty well-being.”

The quote is from Kevin McClure, who is “trying to get the challenges front-line faculty and staff face on the radar of more college leaders.” As primarily a former staff member, I appreciate that he’s including staff members here. Staff are important members of the academe as well.


Drop in Spring-2022 Enrollment Is Worse Than Expected — from chronicle.com byAudrey Williams June

Excerpt:

New data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center provide a final tally on enrollment for the spring of 2022 — and reveal a persistent trend: College attendance continues to decline.

Undergraduate enrollment fell 4.7 percent from a year earlier, a shortfall of more than 662,000 students. Since the pandemic began, the undergraduate student body has dropped by almost 1.4 million students.

But also in play, he said, are students who increasingly question the value of college, are wary about taking out student loans to pay for it, and who have options to join the labor market instead.


Michigan colleges experience nation’s worst spring enrollment dive, new report shows — from mlive.com by Samuel Dodge

Excerpt:

College enrollment across Michigan plummeted 15% during the spring semester this year, dragged down by a 20% hit to four-year public universities, a new report shows. Spring enrollment across all sectors dropped to 360,220 students, a decrease of more than 62,000 from 2021 to this year, according to data released Thursday, May 26, by the National Student Clearinghouse.


[Cost of Inequity]  The Student Loan Crisis — from businessinsidre.com by various
How the student loan industry put a $1.7 trillion price tag on the American dream and the proposed reforms that could pay the bill.


A somewhat-related item:

The Future of Higher Education Is the Hybrid Campus — from campustechnology.com by Dr. Jeffrey R. Docking
Blending the best of face-to-face instruction with the flexibility of online learning can enhance the higher ed experience for all types of learners, lower the cost of a degree and better prepare students for the workforce.

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

What Students Want
Students and families are increasingly rethinking whether a traditional college education is worth the investment, leaving higher ed leaders searching for innovative ways to showcase their school’s value and entice students. When we think about what students really want, they want more than a degree — they want skills training that will ensure a well-paying, rewarding career. In fact, 62% of college students say they would be more likely to re-enroll if their institution offered “new programs and certificates tailored to the new economy” with high-demand majors and education that connects them to employability. This makes sense since employers are continuing to find value in students developing a “broad skill base that can be applied across a range of contexts.”

But over the last several years, and after seeing the success of it at Adrian College, I’ve become convinced that the future of residential colleges is not face-to-face or online, but an intelligent blend of both modalities.


A somewhat-related item:

Navigating career turbulence — from ted.com by Adam Grant; with thanks to Deirdre Honner for this resource

Description:

Everyone’s career will hit some turbulence at some point. Instead of pushing harder against the headwinds, we’re sometimes better off tilting our rudder and charting a new course. In this episode, host Adam Grant speaks with people who have taken unusual steps to battle uncertainty, rethought their approach to finding and landing a job and reached out for help in unexpected places — as well as an expert on recessions who forecasts the future by looking to the past. Listen and subscribe to WorkLife with Adam Grant and more podcasts from the TED Audio Collective wherever you’re listening to this.

 

The Science of Learning: Research Meets Practice — from the-learning-agency-lab.com by Alisa Cook and Ulrich Boser; with thanks to Learning Now TV for this resource
Six Research-Based Teaching Practices Are Put Into Practice

Excerpt:

For the nation’s education system, though, the bigger question is: How do we best educate our children so that they learn better, and learn how to learn, in addition to learning what to learn? Additionally, and arguably just as challenging, is: How do we translate this body of research into classroom practice effectively?

Enter the “Science of Learning: Research Meets Practice.” The goal of the project is to get the science of learning into the hands of teaching professionals as well as to parents, school leaders, and students.

 

Michigan Learning Channel: A Free Tool for Summer Learning — from michiganvirtual.org

Excerpt:

In this course, you will:

  • Recognize the what, why, and how of Michigan Learning Channel (MLC) resources.
  • Identify opportunities for family engagement that align with literacy, math, and science learning goals.
  • Consider ways to share these fun and free activities with students and families.

Also relevant/see:

FUTURE OF ME — from michiganlearning.org
Explore STEM careers by meeting women who work in those fields.

AGE RANGE: 6th – 12th Grade
SUBJECT: Career Exploration, Math, Science

TV Schedule — from michiganlearning.org



 

The Exit Interview Nine departing presidents on how the job — and higher ed — is changing. — from chronicle.com by Eric Kelderman

“One of the things I’ve learned in this job is that it’s time for us to really think hard about the obligations the postsecondary educational sector has to the country,” Quillen said. “What is, as it were, the social contract between that sector and the society that supports us? And what do we need to do to fulfill our obligations there?”

Carol Quillen


Carol Quillen
 

From DSC:
Wow…I hadn’t heard of voice banking before. This was an interesting item from multiple perspectives.

Providing a creative way for people with Motor Neurone Disease to bank their voices, I Will Always Be Me is a dynamic and heartfelt publication — from itsnicethat.com by Olivia Hingley
Speaking to the project’s illustrator and creative director, we discover how the book aims to be a tool for family and loved ones to discuss and come to terms with the diagnosis.

Excerpt:

Whilst voice banking technology is widely available to those suffering from MND, Tal says that the primary problem is “that not enough people are banking their voice because the process is long, boring and solitary. People with MND don’t want to sit in a lonely room to record random phrases and sentences; they already have a lot to deal with.” Therefore, many people only realise or interact with the importance of voice banking when their voice has already deteriorated. “So,” Tal expands, “the brief we got was: turn voice banking into something that people will want to do as soon as they’re diagnosed.”

 

Digital Classroom Newsletters: Tips for Engaging Students and Their Grownups — from blog.edmentum.com by Troy Minton

Excerpt:

Newsletters can be a very effective tool for getting quick and engaging information to students and their families, whether you teach online or in the physical classroom. Class newsletters can also be a quick and visually pleasing way for parents and guardians to stay informed on class activities and keep student supporters in the loop about grade level expectations, all the while building the essential communication lines. It allows supporters to ask specific questions about events happening in their child’s classroom more so than a simple question like “how was class?” would.

There are several free tools or versions that are available to educators that provide me a quick and effective method of getting information to students in an engaging and visually pleasing format. Let’s take a look at why a digital newsletter can be handy, and a few ways you can make sure to get the most out of yours.

 

From DSC:
For the last few years, I’ve been thinking that we need to make learning science-related information more accessible to students, teachers, professors, trainers, and employees — no matter what level they are at.

One idea on how to do this — besides putting posters up in the hallways, libraries, classrooms, conference rooms, cafeterias, etc. — is that we could put a How best to study/learn link in all of the global navigation bars and/or course navigation bars out there in organizations’ course management systems and learning management systems. Learners of all ages could have 24 x 7 x 365, easy, instant access as to how to be more productive as they study and learn about new things.

For example, they could select that link in their CMS/LMS to access information on:

  • Retrieval practice
  • Spacing
  • Interleaving
  • Metacognition
  • Elaboration
  • The Growth Mindset
  • Accessibility-related tools / assistive technologies
  • Links to further resources re: learning science and learning theories

What do you think? If we started this in K12, kept it up in higher ed and vocational programs, and took the idea into the corporate world, valuable information could be relayed and absorbed. This is the kind of information that is highly beneficial these days — as all of us need to be lifelong learners now.

 

Grandpa Creates Hologram Twin For Future Grandkids Using VR — from vrscout.com by Kyle Melnick
Not even death will stop this tech-savvy grandfather from meeting his great-grandchildren.

“I think it is a wonderful way to preserve my family’s history for future generations,” said Jerry while speaking to Jam Press. “To see myself like that, is just mind-blowing — it feels like watching a movie. By not just reading the words as in my memoir but to actually get the chance to see and hear me recalling the stories is just magical.”

Also from Kyle Melnick:

How VR/AR Technology Is Being Used To Treat Autism
XRHealth brings its unique VR/AR therapy to the United States.

Excerpt:

Previously available in Australia, the technology has been used to treat the effects of autism, from anxiety and stress to attention, memory, mobility/coordination, and frustration tolerance. XRHealth’s healthcare platform offers a variety of professional services. This includes one-on-one meet-ups with XRHealth therapists as well as virtual group sessions, all of which accessible remotely using modern VR headsets.

 

College & Career Guide for Students with Disabilities — from study.com by Jamie Julh, Lisa Keith, Nicole Nicholson, Taylor McGillis; with thanks to Alysson Webb for this resource

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Students with disabilities made up 19.4% of enrolled undergraduate students in the U.S. according to the most recent data release from the Department of Education (DoE). However, many of these students may be afraid to or not know how to advocate for themselves and obtain the assistance they need. Data on graduation rates for students with disabilities can be hard to come by, but based on a recent study by the DoE National Center of Education Statistics, only 54.2% had graduated with a bachelor’s degree after six years. One possible reason for this low graduation rate is that only 35% of students with disabilities chose to disclose those disabilities to the college or university they attended, and only 24% chose to utilize accommodations. This guide is intended to help students with disabilities learn about their rights, the laws that protect them, and the resources available to help them see through their goal of obtaining higher education.

Also relevant/see:

 

How Much Does College Really Cost? — from chronicle.com by Phillip Levine
The opacity of pricing hurts students — and institutions.

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Many institutions have reported average statistics on their own web pages for quite some time to no avail — students do not believe average statistics. What they want to know is how much is this college going to cost me?

Real affordability is sacrificed in the name of perceived affordability at these institutions.

A college education is an investment that generates substantial returns. It does not need to be free. It just needs to be affordable — and not just for the rich, but for everyone.

Also relevant/see:

My in Tuition dot com -- a quick college cost estimator

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian