Don’t force square-peg students back into wrong-shaped holes — from crpe.org by Robin Lake Paul Hill

But what gets lost in the reopening debate is the growing evidence that a significant portion of students and their families are actually happier and learn better outside of traditional schooling.

Excerpt:

Some of the “square-peg” children are the most creative and bright students in their class, but had struggled academically or socially in the traditional classroom. According to informal surveys of parents and teachers, new approaches to learning are benefiting:

  • Students with special needs, like ADHD or autism, who focus better on learning without disruptions from other kids, and who—when learning from home—can take breaks and calm themselves when needed, not just when the classroom schedule permits.
  • Students who didn’t speak up or ask questions in regular classrooms for fear of being mocked, but are now able to send private questions to teachers or make written contributions.
  • Socially-awkward or otherwise different kids who experienced bullying.
  • Kids who best learn from small-group instruction.
  • Students who have mastered all the regular class material and are motivated to learn advanced materials and explore on their own.
  • Students who learn best by hearing about a new idea and then quickly practicing or applying it on their own.

From DSC:
One of our daughters needs a team of people around her to help her learn and grow. The one-size-fits-all, the-train-stops-for-no-one type of educational system that she often encountered did not work well for her.

K-12 education in America is like a quickly-moving train that stops for no one.

Homeschooling has seen her grow a lot more. She even has her own blog now — and she’s excited about it! She loves reading and writing — and she’s very creative (albeit her writing gets pretty dark at times. But come to think of it…my second-grade teacher thought that my friend Andrew’s and my 38-page book with vampires, witches, and werewolves was pretty morbid too!)

 

 

An important distance learning resource for teachers, students, & parents — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

Wide Open School (WOS) is a platform developed by the leading non-profit for kids and families Common Sense media. WOS provides access to a wide range of resources designed specifically to help enhance the quality of distance learning. The work of Wide Open School is a fruit of a partnership with more than 80 leading educational organizations and services including Kahoot, Google, Khan Academy, National Geographic, PBS, Scholastic, Smithsonian, TED Ed, and many more.

 

Also see:

The work of Wide Open School is a fruit of a partnership with more than 80 leading educational organizations and services including Kahoot, Google, Khan Academy, National Geographic, PBS, Scholastic, Smithsonian, TED Ed, and many more.

 
 

Microsoft Education offers a free tutoring service to help students with their math problems — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

In today’s post I want to bring to your attention this interesting math resource from Microsoft Education called Tutoring Experts. As its name indicates, Tutoring Experts allows students to seek help with their math problems from tutors that are available 24/7.

Also see:

Get instant math help from expert tutors.

From DSC:
One wonders if there aren’t some opportunities here for more online-based tutoring services. Perhaps graduates from schools of education will move more towards this type of thing…

Perhaps the online-based materials in the future will have a question mark “?” icon that instantly connects to that service’s teachers, professors, trainers, pastors, and/or other SMEs. Or perhaps this type of thing is already there…I’m not sure.

 

3 Main Changes to Help Fill College Classrooms — from fierceeducation.com by Alison Diana

Excerpt:

Reducing Tuition:
Southern New Hampshire University last month announced it will cut the cost of its Fall 2021 campus-based programs to $15,000 or $10,000 per year and use “an increased focus on experiential and project-based learning; a new and more transparent financial aid process, shifting from merit-based to need-based financial aid awards to level the playing field for all students.”

This marks more than a 50% reduction of its fees, according to SNHU. The university also plans to increase its on-site campus enrollment to 4,500 students from 3,000, although it did not say how or if it expects to adapt faculty or administrative staffing.

SNHU is not alone in addressing tuition to encourage people to attend their schools.

 

Best Headphones for Students in Remote Learning — from techlearning.com by Luke Edwards
Get the best headphones for students to hear and be heard in remote learning

Excerpts:

  • Sony WH-1000XM4: Best headphones overall for students
  • Plantronics BackBeat Go 810: Best affordable wireless headphones for students
 

Big Changes in the Federal Student-Aid System Are Coming. Here’s Why They Matter. — from chronicle.com by Eric Hoover

Excerpt:

After all, a recent NCAN analysis led the organization to conclude that fewer than half of community colleges and only a quarter of public four-year institutions are affordable for the average Pell Grant recipient.

That’s why the group plans to push for a doubling of the maximum award in the months ahead. “Fafsa simplification and getting more students to apply for aid is a first step,” Warick said, “but we know there are not enough affordable options out there for families considering higher ed. We need a broad investment in the Pell Grant program.”

Also see:

Their Stories Helped Lift a 26-Year Ban on Pell Grants for Prisoners — from chronicle.com by Katherine Mangan
A college education transformed former inmates’ lives. But some critics fear low-quality programs will rush in.

Excerpts:

“Every time we sat before elected officials, sharing expertise and stories about the transformative power of education, we lived a paradox,” Nixon wrote in a statement after the ban was lifted. “The power of our testimony came with the stigma of incarceration. Yet, chins held high, we claimed that we are worthy of educational opportunity. And many educators stood with us — keeping hope alive by providing college behind bars when Pell was not an option.”

Expanding such opportunities has enjoyed growing bipartisan support as a way to reduce recidivism, save taxpayers money, and mitigate the discriminatory effects of mass incarceration and unequal schooling. But some fear that inmates might end up exhausting Pell eligibility on poor-quality programs that are rolled out too quickly, without the wraparound supports and face-to-face contact they say incarcerated students especially need.

 

 

EdSurge Reflects On a Year of Pandemic-Era Education Journalism — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey Young, Rebecca Koenig and Tony Wan

Excerpts:

[Wan] It has never been a better time to be in education. It has also never been a worse time to be in education.

Which is it for you?

The answer depends on where you are in this ecosystem.

[Koenig] If I didn’t know before, I do now: Education is not merely the transmission of knowledge. It is experiences shared and relationships nurtured among people who have not only brains, but also bodies and spirits. Lungs vulnerable to viruses and eyes to screen fatigue. Hearts susceptible to fear and grief and doubt and loneliness.

[Young] There will probably be lessons from all the forced experimentation. But during 2020, there was little time for reflection, only a push to turn in something that looked as much like a college experience as possible.

 

A New School That Thinks Like a Kid — from gettingsmart.com

Excerpt:

Portal Schools has a vision—to create a high school that allows students to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and a Bachelor’s degree in an environment that is fully designed for them. This ambitious, yet promising goal for this emerging network of micro-schools is using this approach to foster diverse relationships and provide career-immersive learning.

Partnering with Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), students can customize their high school courses to fit their learning style, schedule, and interests. With Flex Days built into each week, students have time to engage in rigorous coursework, collaborate on real-world learning projects, and independently focus on their goals.

Also see:

Portal Schools: One school. Two Degrees. Designed for you.

 

Fall’s Enrollment Decline Now Has a Final Tally. Here’s What’s Behind It. — from chronicle.com by Dan Berrett

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The decrease in undergraduate enrollment was the primary driver of the overall decline across the sector. Enrollment among undergraduates dropped 3.6 percent, or by more than 560,000 students, from the fall of 2019. The most notable drop was among first-time freshmen, who declined 13.1 percent.

Meanwhile, graduate enrollment went up by the same percentage, 3.6 percent, that undergraduate enrollment fell, but the actual growth in the number of students enrolled in graduate or professional programs, nearly 99,000, was smaller than the drop in the number of undergraduates.

The above article linked to:

 

Gift giving ideas from Ian Byrd

Excerpt:

Here are a few gift-giving articles I like to share every December:

 

The transformative power of virtual courts

The transformative power of virtual courts — from raconteur.net by Ben Edwards

Excerpt:

At the Odeon cinema in Edinburgh’s Fort Kinnaird retail park, the movie posters have been taken down and the popcorn machines covered up as jurors take their seats in one of the four auditoriums to attend a virtual court hearing.

These remote jury centres have allowed the Scottish High Court to restart criminal trials by beaming live court action directly onto the cinema screen, allowing jurors to watch and hear evidence while maintaining social distancing, something that wouldn’t have been possible inside the main court building. With a further 11 screens available in Glasgow, the court is now back up to full capacity.

“The real beauty in this approach is it provides a way of scaling up; we have a model that works and can be applied anywhere,” says Tim Barraclough, executive director of the Judicial Office for Scotland.

Also see:

Reynen Court Now Lets You Take Legal Tech Products For A Test Drive — from legaltechmonitor.com by Bob Ambrogi

Excerpt:

Reynen Court, the platform that describes itself as the app store for legal technology, has introduced a new feature, appropriately called One-Click Test Drive, that makes it easy for law firms and legal departments to test products without having to buy them or negotiate trial licenses.

Using Test Drive, a user can quickly deploy a pilot of a pre-configured application in a secure environment. The application comes fully loaded with dummy data and transaction or case materials. It can be easily launched without requiring IT support.

Legal Tech Traditionally Favored Law Firms. That May Be Changing — from law.com by Frank Ready
Ironclad’s “State of Digital Contracting, Winter 2020: AI and the Elusive Promise of Smart Contracting” virtual event delved into how changes in service delivery models could help to drive a new wave of legal tech directed toward in-house attorneys and nonlawyers.

Excerpts from Working Remote: Advantages Gained from Legal Technology Adoption — from law.com
In this episode of the Perspectives podcast, sponsored by AbacusNext and hosted on Law.com, we’ll hear highlights from the September 9th presentation titled, Working Remote: Advantages Gained Through Legal Technology Adoption.

The Top 25 Artificial Lawyer Articles of 2020 — from artificiallawyer.com by Richard Tromans

What Is Quantum Computing and How Is It Disrupting Law Firms? — from lawtechnologytoday.org by Shannon Flynn

 

HolonIQ North America EdTech 100 — from holoniq.com
HolonIQ’s annual list of the most innovative EdTech startups across North America.

This annual list helps to surface the innovations occurring across all parts of the market, and the teams who are supporting institutions, teachers, parents, learners and employers.

HolonIQ North America EdTech 100 HolonIQ’s annual list of the most innovative EdTech startupsacross North America.

 

From DSC:
Our oldest daughter showed me a “Bitmoji Classroom” that her mentor teacher — Emily Clay — uses as her virtual classroom. Below are some snapshots of the Google Slides that Emily developed based on the work of:

  • Kayla Young (@bitmoji.kayla)
  • MaryBeth Thomas 
  • Ms. Smith 
  • Karen Koch
  • The First Grade Creative — by C. Verddugo

My hats off to all of these folks whose work laid the foundations for this creative, fun, engaging, easy-to-follow virtual classroom for a special education preschool classroom — complete with ties to videoconferencing functionalities from Zoom. Emily’s students could click on items all over the place — they could explore, pursue their interests/curiosities/passions. So the snapshots below don’t offer the great interactivity that the real deal does.

Nice work Emily & Company! I like how you provided more choice, more control to your students — while keeping them engaged! 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

From DSC:
I also like the idea of presenting this type of slide (immediately below, and students’ names have been blurred for privacy’s sake) prior to entering a videoconferencing session where you are going to break out the students into groups. Perhaps that didn’t happen in Emily’s class…I’m not sure, but in other settings, it would make sense to share one’s screen right before sending the students to those breakout rooms and show them that type of slide (to let them know who will be in their particular breakout group).

The students in the different breakout sessions could then collaboratively work on Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides and you could watch their progress in real-time!

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

Also see:

 

New York, NY – November 26, 2020 –  The Intercept has published a video investigation by filmmaker Emily Cohen Ibañez on the impact of the switch to remote learning –– and the Coronavirus pandemic –– on students in an agro-industrial town (Watsonville, CA) and an affluent Bay Area suburb (Pine Hills, CA).

The Intercepthttps://theintercept.com/2020/11/25/remote-learning-school-education-covid/

YouTube link: https://youtu.be/7_YoSFNe2lM

“Life at Watsonville High was fast-paced, full of a lot of energy, a lot of really amazing students,” said Dr. Sara Roe, an English Learner Coach at Watsonville High. “Watsonville High is 98 percent Latinx, Latino, Latina. We are made up of a higher percentage of first-generation students. Socioeconomically, we’re predominantly a low-income area, so 100 percent of our students receive free and reduced lunch, and most likely, their parents or someone in their family has worked in the fields or is currently working in the fields.”

“If we thought then that kids had social, emotional challenges, their needs weren’t being met in particular ways,” said Dr. Roe, “If we thought there were issues then, I don’t think we could have ever imagined what the implications of going online would uncover for us in terms of issues for students.”

#digitaldivide #education #remotelearning #K12 #edtech #digitalequity

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian