Distracted Minds: The Role of Tempo in Good Teaching — from chronicle.com by James Lang
To help students stay attentive in class, think like a conductor, and recognize that students need you to change the pace and the action.

Excerpt:

In this third installment of a series on distraction and attention in education — based on my new bookDistracted: Why Students Can’t Focus and What You Can Do About It — I want to draw inspiration from creative artists who have long counted it as one of their tasks to keep audiences attentive to works that stretch over long periods of time. Directors and playwrights, conductors and composers, all recognize the limited attention span of an audience, which is why they structure the work itself and its performance in particular ways.

The classroom is one of the only places where we expect humans in seats to maintain their attention through an extended, uninterrupted performance of an hour or more. I suspect that’s the case because we (the teachers) are able to keep ourselves fully engaged during the class period: We’re managing our slides, thinking about the next discussion question, writing on the board, and more. It’s all very engaging — for us — but not necessarily for our students.

From DSC:
I appreciated reading this solid article by James Lang — in it, he offers up some excellent points and suggestions. I would guess that the top reasons why these things don’t occur most offer are:

  1. The design of a class takes time. Time is hard to come by. That’s why instructional design is very helpful but is sometimes put on a backburner…to the students’ detriment.
  2. There aren’t enough Instructional Designers to go around.
  3. Faculty don’t seek out Instructional Designers or, when an Instructional Designer is around, they may have a queue that’s way too long and they’ve become a bottleneck.
 

The Advantages of Teaching Soft Skills to CS Undergrads Online — from cacm.acm.org by Orit Hazzan; with thanks to Sarah Huibregtse for posting this out on LinkedIn.

Excerpt:

At first, I wondered whether teaching soft skills online is even possible since, unlike theoretical courses, I assumed that close face-to-face (F2F) interaction is required in order to practice such skills. Eventually, I realized that teaching this course online has, in fact, some advantages, that this teaching format opens up new opportunities, and that this medium can even foster several soft skills that I had not previously considered teaching in the F2F format. This blog demonstrates these advantages by focusing on the use of the breakout rooms option available in Zoom, which I used extensively in the course.

 

Soft skills mentioned by CS students

 
 

From DSC: What if each learner/ person/ student could have a lifelong, cloud-based “tribute” site? [Christian]


From DSC: What if each learner/person/student could have a lifelong, cloud-based “tribute” site?

What if you could hire a career coach to sift through the tributes to find common themes?


From DSC:
I recently asked friends and family to help me celebrate a significant birthday for my wife by creating a tribute for her — using a service called Tribute.co. It was a fun, meaningful, relational experience — it opened the doors to some great communications.

Check out tribute.co -- what if each learner could have a lifelong, cloud-based tribute?

Here’s a video that describes what a Tribute is (from the company of that same name).

So I put out potential suggestions for what I hoped that we could relay to my wife, and people contributed their videos. Then a person at Tribute edited the videos to come up with a highlight reel. They also presented to my wife all of the videos, not just the highlight reel.

That got me to wonder, “What if each learner had a cloud-based, lifelong tribute site that parents, guardians, grandparents, teachers, coaches, musical directors, pastors, friends, and others could leave encouraging and instructive messages on? Or when they note something that might be of use later on in terms of career selection, they could “jot it down.” For example:

  • [First-grade teacher] “I noticed Anne that when we did the art projects, you were enthralled with any sort of creative endeavor or project. We almost lost you in another world!”
  • [Family member] “Tony, I’ve noticed ____. Here’s something to consider for your future pathways. Would you be interested in exploring _____ — such as if we signed you up for some lessons in that area?”
  • [Eight grade teacher] “Eloise, I saw that your engagement level skyrocket when we studied ____, especially when you did the project on ___.”
  • [Basketball coach] “Chan, I appreciated your hard work in practice today. Keep up the good work and you will be a super player! You are fast, strong, and seem to have a competitive spirit about you. Consider making a workout chart and charting out the workouts that you do each day. Monitor your progress over time. As of today, here are some apps to do just that: ___.
  • [Pastor] “So glad Amanda that you were able to join us on our youth group visit to ___. I appreciated your end-of-the-day reflections on the experiences of the day. I also appreciated your hard work helping others.”
  • [Friend] “It was great horsing around on Garageband with you today Zach. I look forward to diving into iMovie next with you. Let’s create a movie for each other. You seem to have a very creative side to you.”
  • [High school CS Teacher] “Keep up the good work programming Jeremy! I hope that you will consider going into some type of job that uses critical thinking, mathematics, problem-solving — perhaps it will be programming, perhaps it will be engineering, or something else.”
  • [College professor/advisor] “You mentioned that you hate college to me the last two times we met. You don’t seem happy studying ___. Have you considered ____?”
  • [Tennis coach] Remember to bend those knees…get low. Keep your eyes on the seams of the ball.”

The idea behind such a service would be to offer encouragement, feedback, (if carefully put) constructive criticism, a message that “I’m on your team”…and/or…”Here’s what I see in you.”


Additional functionality/options


  • Contributors:
    • Like Twitter imposes a limit on characters, there could be options to impose a time limit on the length of a video, ability to add more than one video, and/or set a limit on how many videos someone can upload
    • If submitting a written piece, the option would be there to limit the number of characters and/or the word count.
  • From learners themselves (to their own tribute)
    • No time limit, no word count or character limit
    • Would act like a multimedia-based diary/journal of learning
    • Option to select whether might be worth re-listening to for career selection purposes.
 

Zoom, but for X: How startups are building for our new video normal  — from protocol.com by Biz Carson
Meet the startups building the next take on video.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Trying to liven up the monotony of Zoom meetings, Phil Libin hung up a green towel behind his desk and started projecting images onto it, like Dr. Anthony Fauci hovering over his shoulder, just to make his team laugh. At first, it was a bit of a performance and a way to break up the monotony as Zoom fatigue set in a few months into the pandemic at the end of May. But then Libin, the former CEO of Evernote and founder of startup studio All Turtles, realized the “Weekend Update” style could be more than just a gimmick.

A bit of coding and a fantastic demo later, Libin closed a seed round of $4.5 million to launch his new company, Mmhmm. His big belief is that we’re moving to a hybrid world where things don’t fit neatly into boxes like in-person or online or live or recorded. Instead, it’s all going to be a mix.

Also see:

 

How might tools like Microsoft’s new Whiteboard be used in online-based learning? In “learning pods?” [Christian]

The new Microsoft Whiteboard -- how might this be used for online-based learning? Learning pods?

The new Microsoft Whiteboard -- how might this be used for online-based learning? Learning pods?

Questions/reflections from DSC:

  • How might this be used for online-based learning?
  • For “learning pods” and homeschoolers out there? 
  • Will assistants such as the Webex Assistant for Meetings (WAM) be integrated into such tools (i.e., would such tools provide translation, transcripts, closed captioning, and more)?
  • How might this type of tool be used in telehealth? Telelegal? In online-based courtrooms? In presentations?

#onlinelearning #collaboration #education #secondscreen #edtedh #presentations #AI #telehealth #telelegal #emergingtechnologies

 
 
 

Pedagogical considerations for instructional videoconferencing sessions — from onlinelearningconsortium.org by Amanda Major

Excerpt:

Presented here are recommendations and strategies to support educators.

We hope you find these pedagogical considerations for faculty holding a synchronous class session via a video conferencing tool as timely, practical, and rewarding. The intent is to allay your anxieties about offering quality instruction to your students; thereby, helping you to adapt quickly to this new situation.

The ending points of your content delivery should make a lasting impression. Try these ideas:

    • Wrap-up your session with a Parking Lot designed as a quadrant (see below), use a shared document and include the following quadrant headings/questions so students can respond in real time:

 


 

 


 

Also see the idea of a learning journal here.

Have the students keep a learning journal, while answering these questions each week

 

 

Tips for managing remote culture fatigue — from trainingmag.com by Jo Deal, Chief Human Resources Officer, LogMeIn
Making sure employees know which virtual meetings/social gatherings are mandatory, giving them the freedom to prioritize other tasks, and learning from those who already have experience working remotely are all important lessons for finding the right cultural fit.

Excerpts:

1. Be clear about what is and isn’t mandatory.
2. Reinforce a healthy work/life balance.
3. Overhaul your meetings.
4. Learn from remote employees with experience.

 

 

“Existing meeting interfaces had been designed with a singular goal, to simply enable virtual conversations. How could we build a meeting interface from the ground-up that intentionally facilitates engaging, productive, and inclusive conversations?”

 

What will tools like Macro.io bring to the online-based learning table?!

 

Microsoft Teams Rolls Out Virtual Rooms to Fight ‘Meeting Fatigue’ — from cheddar.com by Taylor Craig

Microsoft introduced Together Mode -- July 2020

 

A common background in meetings helps reduce extraneous cognitive load

 

A common background in meetings helps reduce extraneous cognitive load

 

From DSC:
Again, the longer the Coronavirus hangs around and we are learning and meeting like this, the more innovations like these will occur.

 


Addendums on 7/14/20:

Microsoft’s Together mode can help address executives’ concerns over remote work productivity — from businessinsider.com by Hirsh Chitkara

Excerpt:

Together mode offers an alternative to “grid view,” in which video call participants are displayed on-screen — instead, through AI segmentation, participants are placed in a single virtual environment such as an auditorium or coffee bar, creating the illusion that they are in the same space.

The future of work—the good, the challenging & the unknown — from microsofot.com by Jared Spataro

Excerpt:

Together mode is a new option in the Teams meeting experience that uses AI segmentation technology to digitally place participants in a shared background. The view makes it feel like you’re sitting in the same room, which reduces background distractions, makes it easier to pick up on non-verbal cues, and makes back and forth conversation feel more natural.

 

A new affordance of a 100%-online-based learning environment: A visual & audible “Table of Contents of the Key Points Made” [Christian]

What new affordances might a 100%-online-based learning environment offer us?

 

From DSC:
As I’ve been listening to some sermons on my iPhone, I end up taking visual snapshots of the times that they emphasize something. Here are some examples:

A snapshot of one of the key points made during a sermon

 

Another snapshot of one of the key points made during a sermon

 

Another snapshot of one of the key points made during a sermon

 

Which got me to thinking…while tools like Panopto* give us something along these lines, they don’t present to the student what the KEY POINTS were in any given class session.

So professors — in addition to teachers, trainers, pastors, presenters, etc. — should be able to quickly and easily instruct the software to create a visual table of contents of key points based upon which items the professor favorited or assigned a time signature to. I’m talking about a ONE keystroke or ONE click of the mouse type of thing to instruct the software to take a visual snapshot of that point in time (AI could even be used to grab the closest image without someone’s eyes shut). At the end of the class, there are then just a handful of key points that were made, with links to those time signatures.

At the end of a course, a student could easily review the KEY POINTS that were made throughout the last ___ weeks.

****

But this concept falls apart if there are too many things to remember. So when a professor presents the KEY POINTs to any given class, they must CURATE the content.  (And by the way, that’s exactly why pastors normally focus on only 3-4 key points…otherwise, it gets too hard to walk away with what the sermon was about.)

****

One could even build upon the table of contents. For example…for any given class within a law school’s offerings, the professor (or another team member at the instructions of the professor) could insert links to:

  • Relevant chapters or sections of a chapter in the textbook
  • Journal articles
  • Cases
  • Rules of law
  • Courts’ decisions
  • Other

****

And maybe even:

  • That’s the kind of “textbook” — or learning modules — that we’ll move towards creating in the first place.
    .
  • That’s the form of learning we’ll see more of when we present streams of up-to-date content to folks using a next-generation learning platform.
    .
  • Future webinars could piggyback off of this concept as well. Dive as deep as you want to into something…or just take away the main points (i.e., the Cliff notes/summaries) of a presentation.

At the end of the day, if your communication isn’t in a digital format, there is no playback available. What’s said is said…and gone.


* The functionality discussed here would take a day’s worth of work for a developer at Panopto (i.e., give a presenter a way to favorite existing TOC items and/or to assign a time signature to slots of time in a recording) — but it would save people and students sooooo much time. Such functionality would help us stay up-to-date — at least at a basic level of understanding — on a variety of topics.


 

 
 

PowerPoint Live is now generally available — from microsoft.com by Derek Jo

Excerpt:

Earlier this year, we announced that Live Presentations was coming soon, and we are excited to share that it is now generally available on PowerPoint for the web.

When we first announced PowerPoint Live, we saw excitement from both enterprise and education customers around how this feature could be utilized during in-person events—conferences, lecture halls, corporate all hands, town halls, and more. Of course, the world has changed a lot since then. 

We know that as more physical events and meetings take place, PowerPoint Live will prove to be a very useful tool for connecting with your audience and communicating more effectively, which we are excited to show you. However, we also have tips below on how to use this capability now in remote work and learning scenarios.

 

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