Blurring the lines between education and workforce — from hechingerreport.org by Javeria Salman
A proposition to ‘blur’ the boundaries between K-12, higher ed, and the workforce industry

Excerpts:

One idea that’s been gaining steam since last year is to break down barriers between high school, college and career to create a system that bridges all three.

The concept is called the “Big Blur.”

“What would it look like to change the typical, or what we think of as the conventional high school experience and instead design something that was built for the modern economy?” said Vargas.

Vargas said that JFF is arguing for new programs or institutions that serve students in grades 11 through 14 (grades 13 and 14 being the first two years of college, under our current configuration). The institutions would be co-designed with regional employers so that all students get work-based learning experiences and graduate — without tuition costs — with a post-secondary credential that has labor market value.

 

Meet the metaverse: Creating real value in a virtual world — from mckinsey.com with Eric Hazan and Lareina Yee

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Welcome to the metaverse. Now, where exactly are we? Imagine for a moment the next iteration of the internet, seamlessly combining our physical and digital lives. It’s many things: a gaming platform, a virtual retail spot, a training tool, an advertising channel, a digital classroom, a gateway to entirely new virtual experiences. While the metaverse continues to be defined, its potential to unleash the next wave of digital disruption is clear. In the first five months of 2022, more than $120 billion have been invested in building out metaverse technology and infrastructure. That’s more than double the $57 billion invested in all of 2021.

How would you define the metaverse?
Lareina: What’s exciting is that the metaverse, like the internet, is the next platform on which we can work, live, connect, and collaborate. It’s going to be an immersive virtual environment that connects different worlds and communities. There are going to be creators and alternative currencies that you can buy and sell things with. It will have a lot of the components of Web3 and gaming and AR, but it will be much larger.

Also relevant/see:


Also relevant/see:


 

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.

 

 


 

Slido Lesson Plan — from techlearning.com by Stephanie Smith Budhai, Ph.D.
This Slido Lesson Plan is designed to help educators implement the digital tool into their instruction

Excerpt:

Slido is an exciting online engagement edtech tool that can be used to connect all students with academic content while getting them involved in the lesson.

While Slido is often used to incorporate polling into virtual workshops and presentations, there are a wide range of student engagement features within the Slido platform that can be used by teachers during lessons.

Also see:

Slido -- your go-to interaction app for hybrid meetings

 

Conduct Your Own Virtual Orchestra In Maestro VR — from vrscout.com by Kyle Melnick

Niantic moves beyond games with Lightship AR platform and a social network — from theverge.com by Alex Heath
The maker of Pokémon Go is releasing its AR map for other apps and a location-based social network called Campfire

Excerpt:

Niantic made a name for itself in the mobile gaming industry through the enduring success of Pokémon Go. Now the company is hoping to become something else: a platform for other developers to build location-aware AR apps on top of.

disguise launches Metaverse Solutions division enabling next-level extended reality experiences — from etnow.com

Excerpt:

UK – disguise, the visual storytelling platform and market leader for extended reality (xR) solutions has launched its Metaverse Solutions division to enable the next generation of extraordinary live, virtual production and audiovisual location-based experiences for the metaverse.

The recent rise of real-time 3D graphics rendering capabilities in gaming platforms means that today’s audiences are craving richer, more immersive experiences that are delivered via the metaverse. While the metaverse is already defined as an $8 trillion dollar opportunity by Goldman Sachs, companies are still finding it challenging to navigate the technical elements needed to start building metaverse experiences.

On this item, also see:

disguise.one

disguise launches Metaverse Solutions division — from televisual.com by

Excerpt:

“Our xR technology combines key metaverse building blocks including real-time 3D graphics, spatial technologies and advanced display interfaces – all to deliver a one-of-a-kind gateway to the metaverse,” says disguise CXO and head of Metaverse Solutions Alex Wills.

 

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.


 

Into the metaverse: What does it hold for the future of L&D? — from chieflearningofficer.com by Calvin Coffee

Excerpt:

Instead of putting learners in front of 2D videos where they’re answering questions or just clicking boxes, the metaverse allows learners to experience what a job is actually like before accepting and will enable leaders to see if employees are ready for the next level of work. In the same way flight simulators can prepare pilots for many aspects of operating and flying an aircraft, through technologies like VR the metaverse can prepare employees for almost anything at work.

“This technology can impact every stage of the HR journey for an employee,” Belch says. “We all know the interviewing process is flawed and riddled with bias. Let’s have someone do the job and show us whether or not they can do the job.” And if they mess up in VR, they’re not going to take down the whole factory. From hiring and beyond, there is an abundance of potential spaces that the metaverse can capitalize on and improve.

Research in medical training has found that information retention rates can reach 80 percent after a full year of training through immersive simulated experiences compared to just 20 percent for traditional training. “People are picking it up and are much more comfortable performing their tasks after going through the simulation,” Jordan says. “It’s incredibly powerful.”

Also from chieflearningofficer.com:

 

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.


 

How an Escape Room Is Building Students’ Digital Skills at Northampton Community College — from campustechnology.com by Rhea Kelly

Excerpt of description of podcast:

We spoke with Beth Ritter-Guth, associate dean of online learning and educational technology at the college, to find out how the Learning Lab is engaging students, building digital literacy and providing valuable training in the job skills of the future.

Also see:

Breakout EDU gamifies learning to create an engaging and empowering experience for students of all grade levels.

Five Concepts You Can Teach Through Geocaching — from freetech4teachers.com by Richard Byrne

Excerpt:

Geocaching is one of the things that I spend a good bit of time talking about in both my workshop and in my webinar about blending technology into outdoor learning. Geocaching is a great activity to do to get kids outside for hands-on learning experiences. Here are five things that you can teach through geocaching activities.

From DSC:
This next one may be useful for educators and/or parents, but it’s useful for pretty much all of us

Tip of the week: A great group packing tool — from Jared newman

Excerpt:

As an alternative to clunky spreadsheets or endless email chains, WhoBrings is a brilliantly simple way to figure out who’s bringing what.

Just type the name of your packing list into this free website, add some items, then share the link with the rest of the group. Anyone who has the link can then claim responsibility for an item or add new items to the list. You can also specify a number of units for any item—12 beach towels, for instance, or three packs of beer—and people can choose how many they’ll bring.


Also see:

Learning, doing, and teaching biology through multimedia — from MIT Open Learning
Producing multimedia for online courses involves lifelong learning


 

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.

 
 

What The Future Of Technology In The Workplace Means For Office Design And Operations — from workdesign.com by Mara Hauser

Excerpt:

Advances in technology continue to influence the workplace as corporate entities and coworking operators are confronted with modern challenges surrounding productivity and collaboration. We lead teams to execute intentional designs that reflect brand vision and produce lively, productive workspaces. With the growing demand from employees for workplace flexibility, these technological advancements must be reflected in both office design and business practices in order to add value and ultimately achieve operational excellence.

.

Podcasting studio at FUSE Workspace in Houston, TX.

 

4 Online Tactics to Improve Blended Learning — from campustechnology.com by Megan Burke, CPA, Ph.D.
An accounting professor shares how best practices from online pedagogy have helped her create a blended learning environment that supports student success.

Excerpts:

Now that students are back in the classroom, I have been combining these tactics with in-person instruction to create a blended learning environment that gives my students the best of both worlds.

The right activities, on the other hand, can make a significant difference. For example:

  • Breakout rooms (for think/pair/share);
  • Polls and quizzes that are low-stakes and anonymous to encourage full engagement;
  • Using the whiteboard option; and
  • Having reviews of material at the end of class.

I also encourage faculty (and myself!) to get out and meet with employers and ask what we can do to better prepare students, so that we can get a better feel for what first-year staff really need to know — and ensure that we present that knowledge and information in the classroom.

 

Teacher Moves That Cultivate Learner Agency — from edutopia.org by Paul Emerich France
Helping students become independent, questioning thinkers begins with stepping back and guiding them to take the lead in their learning.

Excerpt:

Cultivating learner agency is an endless journey. It not only entails knowing our students as human beings but also requires identifying and unlearning patterns in our teaching that unknowingly engender dependence in learners.

The term agency comes from the Latin agere, meaning “to set in motion.” It is precisely what agency should do in our classrooms: empower learners so that their minds and hearts become the engines that drive learning in our classrooms. This isn’t as simple as some might believe. Providing too much voice and choice without proper scaffolds can be counterproductive, resulting in chaos in the classroom.

Consider the following moves that cultivate learner agency—and choose one to try in your classroom.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian