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.


 

 

From edsurge.com today:

THOROUGHLY MODERN MEDIA: This spring, a college theater course about women’s voting rights aimed to produce a new play about the suffrage struggle. When the pandemic scuttled those plans, professors devised a new way to share suffragist stories by creating an interactive, online performance set in a virtual Victorian mansion. And their students were not the only ones exploring women’s voting rights as the country marks the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment.

…which linked to:

The Pandemic Made Their Women’s Suffrage Play Impossible. But the Show Went on— Virtually — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpts:

Then the pandemic hit. Students left Radford and Virginia Tech. Live theater was canceled.

But the class wasn’t.

“Neither of us ever said, ‘Forget it,’” Hood says. “Our students, they all wanted to know, ‘What are we doing?’ We came to them with this insane idea.”

They would create an interactive, online production staged in a virtual Victorian mansion.

“Stage performance is different than film or audio. If you just have audio, you only have your voice. Clarity, landing sentences, really paying attention to the structure of a sentence, becomes important,” Nelson says. “Students got a broader sense of the skills and approaches to different mediums—a crash course.”

 

From DSC:
Talk about opportunities for interdisciplinary learning/projects!!!  Playwrights, directors, actors/actresses, set designers, graphic designers, fine artists, web designers and developers, interactivity/interface designers, audio designers, video editors, 3D animators, and more!!!

 

The performance website, “Women and the Vote,” premiered on May 18, 2020

 

At home, workers seek alternative credentials — from insidehighered.com by Lindsay McKenzie
Interest in alternative online credentials spiked after people started working remotely this spring. Will the surge continue long-term?

Excerpt:

Several leading massive open online course providers, coding bootcamps and business schools offering non-degree credentials reported manyfold increases in web traffic, inquiries and enrollments.

 

From DSC:
Perhaps faculty members and their students in Computer Science Departments across the nation could unleash some excellent products/projects/ideas to make this happen! Talk about Project Based Learning (PBL)! Students and faculty members could have immediate positive impacts on the nation for their work.

 

From DSC:
For current and/or future data scientists out there.

Guides on how to ace your next data science interview

Required Skills
The data analyst position at Amazon requires specialization in knowledge and experience. Therefore, Amazon only hires highly qualified candidates with at least 3 years of industry experience working with data analysis, data modelling, advanced business analytics, and other related fields.

Other basic qualifications include:

  • Bachelor’s or Masters (PhD prefered) in Finance, Business, Economics, Engineering, math, statistics, computer science, Operation Research, or related fields.
  • Experience with scripting, querying, and data warehouse tools, such as Linux, R, SAS, and/or SQL
  • Extensive experience in programming languages like Python, R,  or Java.
  • Experience with querying relational databases (SQL) and hands-on experience with processing, optimization, and analysis of large data set.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Excel, Macros and Access.
  • Experience in identifying metrics and KPIs, gathering data, experimentation, and presenting decks, dashboards, and scorecards.
  • Experience with business intelligence and automated self-service reporting tools such as Tableau, Quicksight, Microsoft Power BI, or Cognos.
  • Experience with AWS services such as RDS, SQS, or Lambda.
 

Young and in Legal Tech: Are You Sure You Want to Make the Leap? — from law.com by Zach Warren
Because of a changing law firm model, starting a legal technology company is becoming more attractive than ever for young law firm grads and associates. But legal tech founders say that while there are benefits, a smooth landing isn’t guaranteed

Excerpt:

Listening is the primary way to help balance on a precarious tightrope, Rubin adds. “It’s a delicate line to walk when you’re starting a company between being humble and really knowing that you’ve never started a company before and you haven’t been practicing for 30 years. There are a lot of things you don’t know. But also having conviction that you have an idea that you really stick to and that you believe can be a serious changemaker in an industry that has struggled with change.”

 

11 trending programming languages that are impacting the world around you — from interestingengineering.com by Donovan Alexander
…the languages on this list are a great place to start.

Excerpt:

To help you better get a hold of your programming conundrum, we are going to help you answer a few questions. What are the most popular programming languages? What career paths are out there for me? Where is the best place to start? What is the history behind the languages?

 

From DSC:
Some interesting reflections here:

Summer gigs for students are scarce. Think like an entrepreneur and build your own. — from edsurge.com by Dan Murphy

Excerpt:

If you are a student looking for new ways to continue along your trajectory during the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to share what I’ve learned with you. Students from any background can use these ambiguous times to do something beneficial. Here are my recommendations for how to spend your summer.

If there is a personal project or business opportunity you’ve been interested in trying out, there’s no better time than the present to dive into something new and challenging, acquaint yourself with failure, pick yourself back up again, and build the muscle needed for high-growth, lifelong learning. Find that one thing that is meaningful to you and relentlessly chase the goals associated with it.

 

How the research on learning can drive change — from gettingsmart.com by Chris Sturgis

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

#2 Learning results from the interplay of cognition, emotion, and motivation.
The brain does not clearly separate cognitive from emotional functioning so that optimal learning environments will engage both. It’s important that students feel safe if learning is to be optimized. When we are afraid, our amygdala becomes activated making it harder to learn. Do students feel valued? Relationships matter in creating a culture of inclusivity and belonging. Are schools designed so that teachers and professors have the opportunity to build strong relationships with students? Do students feel that the school and teachers want them to be successful? Do they have chances to receive feedback and revise or do grading practices simply judge them?

 

From DSC:
Two instances — plus a simmering question — instantly stand out in my mind when I read the above paragraph.

First instance:
It was years ago and I was working at a Fortune 500 company outside of Chicago. I was given the chance to learn how to program in one of the divisions of this company. I was in a conference room with my brand new boss. I had asked him a question about a piece of code, which clearly must have let him know I had some serious misunderstandings.

But instead of being patient, he grew increasingly frustrated at my lack of understanding. The madder he got, the worse my learning became. My focus shifted from processing the expected syntax of the code — and the content/instruction overall that he was trying to relay — to almost completely being concerned with his anger. My processing shut down and things deteriorated from there.

Second instance:
My mom was a classical piano teacher for decades. Though she was often loved by her students, she could be very tough, strong, and forceful. (This was true of several of my siblings’ music teachers as well.) Most of the time, she developed wonderful, strong relationships with the vast majority of her students, many of which came back to our house around Christmastime / New Year’s to visit with her (even long after “graduating”).

I mention that as background to a different context…when I observed my mom trying to teach one of my nieces how to do a math problem in the kitchen of our old house. Again, the teacher in this case kept getting increasingly frustrated, while the student kept shrinking back into their shell…trying to deflect the increasingly hot anger coming at them. The cognitive processing stopped. The amount of actual learning taking place quickly declined. I finally intervened to say that they should come back to this topic later on.

(The counselors/therapists out there would probably rightly connect these two scenarios for what was happening in my mind (i.e., not wanting to deal with the other person’s growing anger). But this applies to many more of us than just me, I’m afraid.)

A simmering question involving law schools and a common teaching method:
In law schools, one of the long-standing teaching methods is the Socratic Method.

Depending upon the professor and their teaching style, one student could be under intense pressure to address the facts, rules, the legal principles of a case, and much more. They often have to stand up in front of the class.

In those instances, I wonder how much capacity to actually process information gets instantly reduced within many of the students’ brains when they get the spotlight shown on them? Do the more introverted and/or less confident students start to sweat? Do their fear levels and heart rates increase? With the issue of having other students attempting to learn from this grilling aside, I wonder what happens to the amygdalas of the students that were called upon?

You can probably tell that I’m not a big fan of the Socratic Method IF it begins to involve too much emotion…too much anger or fear. Not good. The amount of learning taking place can be significantly impacted.

A professor, teacher, or trainer can’t know all of the underlying background, psychology, personality differences, emotional makeup, and experiences of each learner. But getting back to the article, I appreciate what the author was saying about the importance of establishing a SAFE learning environment. The more fear, anger, and a sense of being threatened or scared are involved, the less learning/processing can occur.

 

Healthy looks different on every body...and learning looks different with every mind.

 

My thanks to a friend for causing me to further reflect on this article: “Can computers ever replace the classroom?” [Beard]


From DSC:
I’d like to thank Mr. Eric Osterberg — a fraternity brother and friend of mine — for sending me the following article. I wrote back to him. After thanking Eric for the article, I said:

Such an article makes me reflect on things — which is always a good thing for me to try to see my blindspots and/or to think about the good and bad of things. Technologies are becoming more powerful and integrated into our lives — for better at times and for worse at other times.

I’m wondering how the legal realm can assist and/or help create a positive future for societies throughout the globe…any thoughts?


Can computers ever replace the classroom? — from theguardian.com by Alex Beard
With 850 million children worldwide shut out of schools, tech evangelists claim now is the time for AI education. But as the technology’s power grows, so too do the dangers that come with it. 

Excerpts:

But it’s in China, where President Xi Jinping has called for the nation to lead the world in AI innovation by 2030, that the fastest progress is being made. In 2018 alone, Li told me, 60 new AI companies entered China’s private education market. Squirrel AI is part of this new generation of education start-ups. The company has already enrolled 2 million student users, opened 2,600 learning centres in 700 cities across China, and raised $150m from investors.

The supposed AI education revolution is not here yet, and it is likely that the majority of projects will collapse under the weight of their own hype.

The point, in short, is that AI doesn’t have to match the general intelligence of humans to be useful – or indeed powerful. This is both the promise of AI, and the danger it poses.

It was a reminder that Squirrel AI’s platform, like those of its competitors worldwide, doesn’t have to be better than the best human teachers – to improve people’s lives, it just needs to be good enough, at the right price, to supplement what we’ve got. The problem is that it is hard to see technology companies stopping there. For better and worse, their ambitions are bigger. “We could make a lot of geniuses,” Li told me.

 

Guides to help kids learn coding — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

Below is a collection of some of the best books to help your kids learn coding. Kids will get to learn the basics of computer coding through a wide variety of interactive visuals, engaging games and project-based  activities. They will also get to experiment with different softwares and programming languages such as Python, Java, Scratch and many more. Links to the books are under the visual.

From DSC:
I don’t subscribe to the idea/expectation that every student should become a programmer and have extensive exposure to it. Why? Because:

  1. It’s been my experience that programming requires a different kind of passion, a different way of thinking and processing information, a different way of problem-solving, a different disposition/makeup that many people (including myself) don’t have. This is one of the reasons why coders are often in such demand and are often paid so much — because the vast majority of people don’t want to do it (at least as programming exists today).
  2. I’d like to see our students enjoy their learning. In fact, I’d like to see more emphasis on students enjoying their learning, and far less on grades. Given the new reality of lifelong learning, folks’ quality of life would increase if that were the case. To expect everyone to be able to code applications of some significance is an entirely different matter.

All that said, I do think it’s helpful for students to at least have some exposure to how to program — a basic understanding of coding and what are some of the things that are involved in that space. To have an appreciation of the process, some basic syntax, what’s possible, etc. would be helpful. 

Introduction to programming classes should explain why programming is relevant, list some of the various languages out there, list some different kinds of applications that we use today, and provide some basic elements of programming. Perhaps students could create some very basic, fun things. This could wet some students’ whistles big-time, while helping other students come to the conclusion of, “Well, I tried it, but I don’t want to do this for a living.”

 

IT career goals 2020: Most-wanted technology and core skills — from enterprisersproject.com by Carla Rudder |
What are the top technology and core skills IT professionals should explore now to advance their careers in the years ahead? Recruiters and tech execs speak

Excerpt:

If you are in IT, it’s wise to check in regularly on career progress – because staying still for too long could quickly lead to falling behind.

“You should be constantly evaluating whether you have the necessary skills to remain relevant and get ahead, and whether your career progression is aligning with your own goals and aspirations,” says Jim Johnson, senior vice president of Robert Half Technology.

If you are in IT, it’s wise to check in regularly on career progress – because staying still for too long could quickly lead to falling behind.

From DSC:
Especially for students/grads pursuing a tech-related career: Be sure you know what you’re getting into. Developing and enhancing your learning ecosystems are key things to do — throughout your career! #LifelongLearning.

 

Deloitte Legal to work with academic tech venture group — from artificiallawyer.com

Excerpt:

Deloitte Legal is to collaborate with Conception X, a nine-month programme designed to train PhD students in technology entrepreneurship and to support them in building ventures based on their original research during their degree.

Conception X accepts applications across several research areas including artificial intelligence, machine learning, genetic engineering, blockchain and quantum computing. The first two cohorts, prior to the link-up with Deloitte, have seen the start-ups incorporated by PhD teams collectively raising a total of £5m and generating revenues of £2m.

 

 

The 5 top tech skills companies want in new hires right now — from fortune.com by Anne Fisher; with thanks to Ryan Craig for his relaying this resource

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Tim Tully agrees. Chief technology officer at data giant Splunk—whose clients number 92 of the Fortune 100—Tully says that the most important trait IT job candidates need now is “a strong desire to learn.” It might be too broad of a requirement, but consider Tully’s own list of the five most essential tech skills now:

1. Real-time data management
2. Design thinking
3. App development
4. A.I. and machine learning
5. A composite of the first four skills

From DSC:
I’m especially posting this for students who are considering a tech-related career. If that’s you, Tim’s words ring true — you must have a strong desire to learn. And I would add, to keep learning and to keep learning and to keep learning…

If you are in IT, it’s wise to check in regularly on career progress – because staying still for too long could quickly lead to falling behind. (source)

Also, given the pace of change and today’s current marketplace, you need to be ready to be let go and take a right turn (i.e., be flexible and adaptable). You need to have a healthy learning ecosystem built up and maintained — one that will support you over the long haul.  Heutagogy comes into play here. And at least for me, prayer helps greatly here too — as one can easily put one’s eggs into the wrong basket(s) when we’re talking about tech-related jobs.

And for you applying for jobs, don’t get discouraged by those organizations/people who are looking for those “purple unicorns” that Ryan Craig talks about in his Gap Letter Volume II, #4 (i.e., the perfect candidate who meets a ridiculously long list of requirements for the job).

 


Also see:


Below is a relevant excerpt from that report:

 

From DSC:
This type of thing will be constantly running on a next-generation learning platform — i.e., scanning open job descriptions and presenting the top/”hottest” occupations/skills/employers — but then offering the relevant courses, modules, webinars, local learning hubs, discussion forums, etc. that will teach you the necessary skills (similar to what justwatch.com or suppose.tv provides for the entertainment industry).

 

 

 

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