Jeff Bezos Wants to Go to the Moon. Then, Public Education. — from edsurge.com by Dominik Dresel

Excerpts:

Jeff Bezos’ $2 billion investment to establish a Montessori-inspired network of preschools may be shrugged off by many as the world’s richest man dabbling in another playground. Instead, we should see it for what it is: the early days of Amazon’s foray into public education.

It would be easy to think that Amazon’s rapid expansion into industry after industry is just the natural, opportunistic path of a cash-flush company seeking to invest in new, lucrative markets. But Jeff Bezos, himself a graduate of a Montessori preschool, doesn’t think in short-term opportunities.

Yet, the world has had its first taste of the disentanglement of schooling from school buildings. Even though in 20 years we will still have school buildings—much like we still have bookstores—there is little doubt that the future will see more, not less, online instruction and content delivery.

 

 

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.

 

How E-Learning Content Is Evolving: 7 Trends You Need to Know About — from trainingmag.com by Tiffany Harper
Continuous, personalized learning in small bites through a storytelling approach—that sums up the future of the e-learning industry.

Excerpt:

VR and AR
Technological innovations let us play better games. The progress of VR and AR technology (virtual reality and augmented reality) is closely related to the gaming industry, but that doesn’t mean it stays there.

We can turn any space into an environment that’s ready to explore. If we learn about the universe, we can see it around us. If we learn about industrial technology, we can be virtually present in a plant. This technology is especially important for corporate learning. Instead of sending employees away to develop new skills, companies benefit with lower expenses and greater convenience.

We haven’t seen the best of virtual and augmented reality in e-learning yet. But as the trend progresses and more learners get their devices, it won’t be unusual for AR and VR to be included in every online course of the future.

 

Social strikes back — from a16z.com
Social Strikes Back is a series exploring the next generation of social networks and how they’re shaping the future of consumer tech. See more at a16z.com/social-strikes-back.

Excerpt:

Until recently, it was commonly accepted that “social” was done. The market had been fully saturated, the thinking went, dominated by the holy trinity of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Turns out, rumors of social’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Not only are we seeing the rise of innovative new social networks—from the earshare of Clubhouse to the seamless interactivity of cloud gaming—but having a social component has become a powerful acquisition and retention tool for every consumer product, across education, shopping, fitness, food, entertainment, and more. In this series, we reveal what new social looks like, the forces that are driving it, and how to build it.

Meet Me in the Metaverse — from a16z.com by Jonathan Lai

Excerpts:

There are many competing visions for how we’ll build the Metaverse: a persistent, infinitely-scaling virtual space with its own economy and identity system.

New social modalities will emerge in the Metaverse. Advances in cloud streaming and AI will enable new forms of engagement with friends—for example, the ability to pop into a persistent virtual world and discover new people and experiences together, entirely unplanned.

Live, Social, and Shoppable: The Future of Video — from a16z.com by Connie Chan

Excerpt:

Now, we’re about to enter a whole new era of video-first products that extend far beyond entertainment and gaming. If phase one of video was a laid-back experience, video 2.0 will be far more interactive and participatory, with users engaging with the platform, giving direct feedback on the content, and fundamentally shaping the experience in real time.

Also see:

Edtech’s Answer to Remote Learning Burnout — from a16z.com by Anne Lee Skates and Connie Chan

Excerpt:

While previous generations of edtech largely focused on in-school content distribution, more recently founders have turned their attention to after-school and out-of-school education. There’s a lot left to build. We believe post-COVID online education will differ from the past in key ways.

The old and new models of education -- post-COVID online education will differ from the past in key ways.

 

A new category of devices from Cisco -- the Webex Desk Hub

From DSC:
In yesterday’s webexone presentations, Cisco mentioned a new device category, calling it the Webex Desk Hub. It gets at the idea of walking into a facility and grabbing any desk, and making that desk you own — at least for that day and time. Cisco is banking on the idea that sometimes people will be working remotely, and sometimes they will be “going into the office.” But the facilities will likely be fewer and smaller — so one might not have their own office.

In that case, you can plug in your smart device, and things are set up the way they would be if you did have that space as a permanent office.

Applying this concept to the smart classrooms of the future, what might that concept look like for classrooms? A faculty member or a teacher could walk into any room that supports such a setup, put in their personal smart device, and the room conditions are instantly implemented:

  • The LMS comes on
  • The correct class — based on which day it is and then on the particular time of day it is — is launched
  • The lights are dimmed to 50%
  • The electric window treatments darken the room
  • The projector comes on and/or the displays turn on
  • Etc.
 

Marni Baker Stein on What’s Next For Higher Education — — from gettingsmart.com by Getting Smart Staff

Excerpt:

On this episode of the Getting Smart Podcast, we’re talking with Marni Baker Stein, Provost and Chief Academic Officer at Western Governors University (WGU).

For example, with regards to skills: WGU put together a skills architecture team alongside national competency networks. They then used EMSI, a common way to describe skills, to tag them to a competency and execute dynamic audits of performance.

“Learners desperately need education to organize itself around what they need it to become.”

 

Digital Credentials: A Better Way to Capture and Communicate Learning — from gettingsmart.com by Tom Vander Ark, Rebecca Midles and Rashawn Caruthers

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

There is an invention opportunity to better credential units of learning, to open up individual learning pathways, to better communicate capabilities, and to reduce friction in talent transactions.

The pandemic is accelerating this shift to verified credentials. Enrollment in short-term credential classes increased by 70% over last year while freshman college enrollment dropped by 16%.

There are six opportunities to better capture and communicate learning.

 

The Opportunity for Personalized and Local Guidance — from gettingsmart.com by Tom Vander Ark, Rebecca Midles and Rashawn Caruthers

Excerpt:

There is a big opportunity to create tools that complement advisor efforts to help learners better understand themselves, spot and try out possible futures, make informed decisions about what’s next, and persist through challenges.

 

The Dice Q3 Tech Job Report | Tech Hiring and COVID-19: What You Need to Know

The Dice Q3 Tech Job Report Tech Hiring and COVID-19: What You Need to Know

The Dice Q3 Tech Job Report: Tech Hiring and COVID-19: What You Need to Know — from techhub.dice.com
The report, issued quarterly by Dice, provides exclusive statistics and analysis on the tech hiring landscape, including top cities and states, top employers and the most sought-after skills and occupations.

From DSC:
One can quickly see how valuable this information would be as a data feed into an AI-based, next-generation learning platform.

The platform would connect the marketable skills with the courses, websites, blogs, RSS feeds/streams of content, etc. that would help a learner quickly and affordably build such in-demand skills. Given the shortening half-lives of many kinds of information, such a service is needed desperately…especially now with the impact of the Coronavirus.

Also relevant: See how ISTE built its upcoming virtual event!

 

Temperament-Inclusive Pedagogy: Helping Introverted and Extraverted Students Thrive in a Changing Educational Landscape — from onlinelearningconsortium.org by Mary R. Fry

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

So how do we take these different approaches to learning into account and foster a classroom environment that is more inclusive of the needs of both extraverts and introverts? Let’s first distinguish between how extraverts and introverts most prefer to learn, and then discuss ways to meet the needs of both. Extraverts tend to learn through active and social engagement with the material (group work, interactive learning experiences, performing and discussing). Verbalizing typically helps extraverts to think through their ideas and to foster new ones. They often think quickly on their feet and welcome working in large groups. It can be challenging for extraverts to generate ideas in isolation (talking through ideas is often needed) and thus working on solitary projects and writing can be challenging.

In contrast, introverts thrive with solitary/independent work and typically need this time to sort through what they are learning before they can formulate their thoughts and articulate their perspectives. Introverted learners often dislike group work (or at least the group sizes and structures that are often used in the classroom (more on this in a moment)) and find their voice drowned out in synchronous discussions as they don’t typically think as fast as their extroverted counterparts and don’t often speak until they feel they have something carefully thought out to share. Introverted learners are often quite content, and can remain attentive, through longer lectures and presentations and prefer engaging with the material in a more interactive way only after a pause or break.

From DSC:
Could/would a next-generation learning platform that has some Artificial Intelligence (AI) features baked into it — working in conjunction with a cloud-based learner profile — be of assistance here?

That is, maybe a learner could self-select the type of learning that they are: introverted or extroverted. Or perhaps they could use a sliding scaled to mix learning activities up to a certain degree. Or perhaps if one wasn’t sure of their preferences, they could ask the AI-backed system to scan for how much time they spent doing learning activities X, Y, and Z versus learning activities A, B, and C…then AI could offer up activities that meet a learner’s preferences.

(By the way, I love the idea of the “think-ink-pair-share” — to address both extroverted and introverted learners. This can be done digitally/virtually as well as in a face-to-face setting.)

All of this would further assist in helping build an enjoyment of learning. And wouldn’t that be nice? Now that we all need to learn for 40, 50, 60, 70, or even 80 years of our lives?

The 60-Year Curriculum: A Strategic Response to a Crisis

 

The State of AI in Higher Education — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser
Both industry and higher ed experts see opportunities and risk, hype and reality with AI for teaching and learning.

Excerpts:

Kurt VanLehn, the chair for effective education in STEM in the School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering at Arizona State University, knows how challenging it can be people to come up with examples of effective AI in education. Why? “Because learning is complicated.”

Nuno Fernandes, president and CEO of Ilumno, an ed tech company in Latin America, isn’t ready to count adaptive learning out yet, if only because adaptivity has worked in other industries, such as social platforms like Netflix and Amazon, to identify what could work best for the user, based on previous activities and preferred formats of curriculum.

As Ilumno’s Fernandes asserted, AI won’t “substitute for faculty in any of our lifetimes. What it will do is give us tools to work better and to complement what is being done by humans.”

From DSC:
The article is a very balanced one. On one hand, it urges caution and points out that learning is messy and complex. On the other hand, it points out some beneficial applications of AI that already exist in language learning and in matching alumni with students for mentorship-related reasons.

From my perspective, I think AI-based systems will be used to help us scan job descriptions to see what the marketplace needs and is calling for. Such a system would be a major step forward in at least pointing out the existing hiring trends, needed skillsets, job openings, and more — and to do so in REAL-TIME!

Colleges, universities, and alternatives to traditional higher education could use this information to be far more responsive to the needs of the workplace. Then, such systems could match what the workplace needs with courses, microlearning-based feeds, apprenticeships, and other sources of learning that would help people learn those in-demand skills.

That in and of itself is HUGE. Again, HUGE. Given the need for people to reinvent themselves — and to do so quickly and affordably — that is incredibly beneficial.

Also, I do think there will be cloud-based learner profiles…data that each of us control and say who has access to it. Credentials will be stored there, for example. AI-based systems can scan such profiles and our desired career goals and suggest possible matches.

We can change our career goals. We don’t have to be locked into a particular track or tracks. We can reinvent ourselves. In fact, many of us will have to.

 

Canvas Certified Educator program for higher education

Per “Instructure Launches Canvas Certified Educator Program” out at The Journal by Dian Schaffhauser:

Each course is expected to take about four weeks to finish. They include:

  • Core 1: Foundational frameworks, which explores the impact of technology on student learning and the classroom and how Canvas can be used to help educators boost student achievement, motivation and engagement;
  • Core 2: Engagement strategies, to examine how Canvas can help enrich teaching practices and maximize student achievement;
  • Core 3: Personalized learning, to dive into personalized learning and learn how to create opportunities for student voice and choice within the learning environment;
  • Core 4: Transformational practices, to help participants learn how to evaluate open standard digital learning tools that can enhance learning through Canvas; and
  • Electives, described as a series of optional courses that can be selected by educators based on interests and needs.
 
 

Learning in the Cloud: Canada’s First University to Move Operations into One Secure Cloud Infrastructure Sets the Stage for the Future of Learning — from globenewswire.com by Athabasca University
Athabasca University (AU) lays the groundwork to build a more accessible and personalized future for post-secondary learners

Excerpt:

Edmonton, Alberta, Sept. 23, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — At a time when you can personalize everything from your online shopping experience to your dating prospects, it seems only reasonable to ask: why can’t students “swipe right” on their course load? Why can’t a degree be structured around what someone wants to learn or how they learn, instead of what’s traditionally part of the program? In other words, why isn’t it possible to choose your own adventure in a university environment?

Athabasca University (AU), Canada’s Online University, recently completed a six-month rapid cloud migration project with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to construct a secure, flexible, and global infrastructure required to make personalized learning an infinitely scalable reality. With the completion of its cloud migration project, AU became the first post-secondary institution in Canada to move its entire digital operations infrastructure into its own secure AU cloud environment powered by AWS.

 

DC: You want to talk about learning ecosystems?!!? Check out the scopes included in this landscape from HolonIQ!

You want to talk about learning ecosystems?!!? Check this landscape out from HolonIQ!

Also see:

Education in 2030 -- a $10T market -- from HolonIQ.com

From DSC:
If this isn’t mind-blowing, I don’t know what is! Some serious morphing lies ahead of us!

 

From DSC:
Yet another example of the changes occurring in the learning ecosystems out there.

COVID-19 Fuels Big Enrollment Increases in Virtual Schools — from edweek.org by Mark Lieberman

Excerpt:

Florida Virtual School’s enrollment is up 54 percent year over year for its individual online course offerings and 64 percent for full-time programs. Public schools’ online programs managed by the for-profit provider K12 Inc. have grown from 122,000 enrollments in fall 2019 to 170,000 a year later. Applications to Connections Academy, a virtual school provider owned by Pearson, are up 61 percent.

The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School filled up months before it usually starts receiving the bulk of new applicants. An Oklahoma virtual charter school earlier this summer was enrolling 1,000 students a day. Enrollment in virtual schools is also up in ConnecticutOhio, and Wisconsin.

 

From DSC:
Below are but some of the changes to the learning ecosystems out there. Certainly, more are coming.


Ex-Google employees form virtual tech ‘school’ for gap year students amid college closures — from cnbc.com by Jennifer Elias

KEY POINTS
  • Current and former Google employees are forming an online program aimed at preparing students for the workforce if they’re taking time off school due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • It comes as many college students defer school as universities shift learning models to mostly online amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Google execs past and present have volunteered to mentor college students on topics ranging from career trajectory to how to stand out in virtual Zoom interviews.

Along these lines, see:

  • Google has a plan to disrupt the college degree — from inc.com by Justin Bariso
    Google’s new certificate program takes only six months to complete, and will be a fraction of the cost of college.
    Excerpt:
    Google recently made a huge announcement that could change the future of work and higher education: It’s launching a selection of professional courses that teach candidates how to perform in-demand jobs. These courses, which the company is calling Google Career Certificates, teach foundational skills that can help job-seekers immediately find employment. However, instead of taking years to finish like a traditional university degree, these courses are designed to be completed in about six months.

From DSC:
Also, to see some more changes to the learning ecosystems out there, set up a Google Alert (or something similar in Feedly or via another tool) for “Learning Pods,” “Pandemic Pods,” and/or the “growth of homeschooling.” Here’s but one recent example:

Zoo Knoxville to start virtual learning pods for students

 


 

Check out the Academic Warriers website

About Academic Warriors:

Life can be very hard for autistic, gifted and special needs learners.  Autistic and gifted learners often times struggle in school because they learn very differently than their peers. These special learners need a personalized approach to their education that allows them to learn in their own way at their own pace.

Many times parents and students feel as if they are the only ones like them in the world. This can often times lead to isolation and frustration. It is important for all autistic, gifted and special needs to unite in order to support one another. We are named Academic Warriors because all our students are superheroes in a world that doesn’t always understand and/or appreciate them. We help our students to become strong, independent and positive learners despite what the world may think of them.

It is the mission of Academic Warriors to help create positive learning experiences and communities throughout the United States for autistic, gifted and special needs learners. We offer online courses, programs, private school and in person events that foster an unique learning environment that promotes unity among all our students and families. We strive to create online and in person learning communities in every state that will provide educational opportunities for all families of autistic, gifted and special needs students. Together we can create a better world for the autistic, gifted and special needs learner.

 


From DSC:
As part of a homeschooling-based situation, my wife received the following item for one of our daughters (who needs additional/personalized assistance to learn). Simultaneously, she and our daughter sent them a Michigan Exchange Box. Very cool.

My wife and one of our daughters received this set of things from a homeschooler in Mississippi! Very cool!

I believe my wife found this out at the following group in Facebook:

 


Some channels out on Youtube that have to do with learning:
(and by the way, according to Jane Hart’s recent Top 200 Tools for Learning, YouTube is in the #1 spot for the 5th year in a row!)

Snake Discovery -- videos out on YouTube

Bondi Vet - videos on YouTube

 


 

From the Off-Trail Learning website, here are some self-directed learning centers

 


The Barn for Equine Learning

“Horse Sense Tutoring Services is a unique resource that combines the power of Equine Assisted Learning with evidence-based reading and math strategies that engage the mind, body, and emotions in learning.  We use the principles of discovery, experience, movement, reflection, and connection in partnership with our horse friends.

Based at The Barn for Equine Learning…my program offers targeted reading, math, and basic horsemanship tutoring for students in grades K – 8. Horses become teaching and learning partners as students experience academics and social-emotional learning in a whole new way.

If you are looking for a unique tutoring and confidence-building experience for your child, PM for more information.  Sessions are held outdoors and/or in an open barn setting.

(Small group field trips with an introduction to basic horsemanship skills are also available).

 


From DSC:
So these are just a few examples of how the learning ecosystems are changing out there! Surely, there will be more changes coming down the pike.


 

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian