Making your campus neurodivergent friendly — from timeshighereducation.com
How to create a university where neurodivergent staff and students feel welcome and thrive in the classroom, in the lab and throughout campus

Neurodivergent students and staff think about, interact with and see the world differently from their neurotypical peers and colleagues. Universities that adopt inclusive practices to welcome people with ADHD, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia and other disabilities to campus also foster their distinct strengths and talents in the classroom, labs, boardrooms and social spaces. This collection of resources offers advice for teachers, researchers, PhD supervisors and administrators for supporting neurodiversity in higher education.


Some Colleges Will Soon Charge $100,000 a Year. How Did This Happen? — from nytimes.com by Ron Lieber; via Ryan Craig
Some Vanderbilt students will have $100,000 in total expenses for the 2024-25 school year. The school doesn’t really want to talk about it.

It was only a matter of time before a college would have the nerve to quote its cost of attendance at nearly $100,000 a year. This spring, we’re catching our first glimpse of it.

One letter to a newly admitted Vanderbilt University engineering student showed an all-in price — room, board, personal expenses, a high-octane laptop — of $98,426. A student making three trips home to Los Angeles or London from the Nashville campus during the year could hit six figures.

This eye-popping sum is an anomaly. Only a tiny fraction of college-going students will pay anything close to this anytime soon, and about 35 percent of Vanderbilt students — those who get neither need-based nor merit aid — pay the full list price.

But a few dozen other colleges and universities that reject the vast majority of applicants will probably arrive at this threshold within a few years. Their willingness to cross it raises two questions for anyone shopping for college: How did this happen, and can it possibly be worth it?


‘Running Out of Road’ for FAFSA Completion — from insidehighered.com by Liam Knox
The number of students who filled out the federal aid form is down nearly 30 percent. The ramifications for access and enrollment could be devastating.

And that’s probably an optimistic estimate, said Bill DeBaun, NCAN’s senior director of data and strategic initiatives; if the pace of completion doesn’t pick up, the decline could be closer to 700,000 students. That could translate to up to a 4 percent drop in college-goers come fall, DeBaun said, which would be the largest enrollment drop since the COVID-19 pandemic—and one that’s likely to be made up primarily of low-income and first-generation students.


Study: Nearly 40 Percent of Students Started, Never Finished College — from insidehighered.com by Kathryn Palmer
Federal researchers followed the post-secondary outcomes of 23,000 students for 12 years. 

Only 60 percent of students who enrolled in college earned a degree or credential within eight years of graduating high school.

That’s one of the biggest takeaways from a new report the National Center for Education Statistics released Monday that analyzed the enrollment, completion and financial aid outcomes of students.

The researchers tracked the postsecondary educational outcomes of roughly 23,000 students beginning in 2009 when they were freshman in high school through 2021, when the cohort was eight years out from graduating high school.


Race to the Finish | The rise of faster bachelor’s degrees raises the question: What is college for? — from chronicle.com by Kelly Field; from Jeff Selingo

Taken together, the two recent decisions illustrate a blurring of the lines between the two- and four-year sectors that is taking place not just in Idaho, but nationwide, as colleges struggle to overcome enrollment declines and skepticism about the value of a bachelor’s degree.

“It’s pretty clear that higher education is in a funk,” said Robert M. Zemsky, a University of Pennsylvania professor, who has been advocating for three-year programs for more than 15 years. “There’s a sense that we have to do something to make the product better, more relevant, and less costly to students.”


Excerpt from Next — from/by Jeff Selingo

Bottom line: While critics of a shorter degree see it as a lesser replacement for the four-year baccalaureate degree, advocates see it as another option for students who might not be interested in college at a time when enrollment is falling.

  • “We need to use this opportunity to redesign and do things better,” Carrell said. “That means that we all need to stay curious. We need to be a learning enterprise…and learn from the evidence we produce.”

Job-Ready on Day One — from the-job.beehiiv.com by Paul Fain

The U.S. faces a serious shortage of workers in the skilled trades—fields like HVAC, plumbing, electrical, solar, and construction. And those labor gaps are likely to widen as the federal government spends billions on infrastructure projects.

Employers in these industries are desperate for hires, says Doug Donovan, the founder and CEO of Interplay Learning. Yet the “challenge is not employer demand for workers,” he says, “but rather ensuring that learners learn about skilled trades careers and pursue them.”

The Austin-based Interplay offers online and VR training for workers in the skilled trades. The company was founded in 2016 with a focus on upskilling the hands-on worker. Even before the pandemic exacerbated labor shortages, Donovan says companies in these trades needed to hire workers who didn’t have all the skills required for jobs.

Interplay’s online courses and 3D, interactive simulations get close to what a learner is going to see on the job, says Donovan. “We aren’t trying to replace hands-on, instructor-led training,” he says. “We are trying to deliver tools that enhance that hands-on time or make it more efficient.”


 

 

The University Student’s Guide To Ethical AI Use  — from studocu.com; with thanks to Jervise Penton at 6XD Media Group for this resource

This comprehensive guide offers:

  • Up-to-date statistics on the current state of AI in universities, how institutions and students are currently using artificial intelligence
  • An overview of popular AI tools used in universities and its limitations as a study tool
  • Tips on how to ethically use AI and how to maximize its capabilities for students
  • Current existing punishment and penalties for cheating using AI
  • A checklist of questions to ask yourself, before, during, and after an assignment to ensure ethical use

Some of the key facts you might find interesting are:

  • The total value of AI being used in education was estimated to reach $53.68 billion by the end of 2032.
  • 68% of students say using AI has impacted their academic performance positively.
  • Educators using AI tools say the technology helps speed up their grading process by as much as 75%.
 

Corporate Learning Is Boring — But It Doesn’t Have to Be — from hbr.org by Duncan Wardle; via GSV

Summary:
Most corporate learnings aren’t cutting it. Almost 60% of employees say they’re interested in upskilling and training, but 57% of workers also say they’re already pursuing training outside of work. The author, the former Head of Innovation and Creativity at Disney, argues that creativity is the missing piece to make upskilling engaging and effective. From his experience, he shares four strategies to unlock creativity in trainings: 1) Encourage “What if?”, 2) respond “How else?” to challenges, 3) give people time to think by encouraging playfulness, and 4) make training a game.

 

[Report] The Top 100 AI for Work – April 2024 — from flexos.work; with thanks to Daan van Rossum for this resource
AI is helping us work up to 41% more effectively, according to recent Bain research. We review the platforms to consider for ourselves and our teams.

Following our AI Top 150, we spent the past few weeks analyzing data on the top AI platforms for work. This report shares key insights, including the AI tools you should consider adopting to work smarter, not harder.

While there is understandable concern about AI in the work context, the platforms in this list paint a different picture. It shows a future of work where people can do what humans are best suited for while offloading repetitive, digital tasks to AI.

This will fuel the notion that it’s not AI that takes your job but a supercharged human with an army of AI tools and agents. This should be a call to action for every working person and business leader reading this.

 
 

Say Goodbye to Antiquated Performance Reviews — from td.org by Magdalena Nowicka Mook

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Most leaders understand the value of investing in an onboarding process for orientation, productivity, and retention, but few associate onboarding with strong performance over the employee’s full tenure with the organization. By contrast, everboarding is a newer approach that prioritizes ongoing learning and development rather than only an initial commitment. Insights from Deloitte indicate organizations that establish an ongoing learning culture are 52 percent more productive with engagement and achieve retention rates 30–50 percent higher than those that don’t.

When implemented effectively, everboarding embraces proven elements of a coaching culture that establish an ongoing commitment to skill development, deepens understanding of the organization, and supports real-time feedback to prevent stagnancy in high-potential employees brought in through strong hiring practices.

 

3 Steps for Creating Video Projects With Elementary Students — from edutopia.org by Bill Manchester
A straightforward plan for facilitating multimedia projects helps ensure collaborative learning and a fun classroom experience.

Having elementary students make their own videos instead of consuming content made by someone else sounds like a highly engaging educational experience. But if you’ve ever tried to get 25 third graders to use a video editing software platform that they’ve never seen before, it can get really frustrating really fast. It’s easy for the lesson to become entirely centered around how to use the software without any subject-area content learning.

Through years of trial and error with K–6 students, I’ve developed three guiding concepts for elementary video projects so that teachers and students have a good experience.


Supporting Students As They Work Independently — from by Marcus Luther and The Broken Copier
4 tools that have helped me improve “independent work time”


Movement-Based Games That Help Students With Spelling — from edutopia.org by Jocelyn Greene
Games that combine spelling with physical activity can make it easier for young students to learn new words.

Like actors, students are often tasked with memorization. Although education has evolved to incorporate project-based learning and guided play, there’s no getting around the necessity of knowing the multiplication tables, capital cities, and correct spelling.

The following are movement-based games that build students’ abilities to retain spelling words specifically. Ideally, these exercises support them academically as well as socially. Research shows that learning through play promotes listening, focus, empathy, and self-awareness—benefits that build students’ social and emotional learning skills.


Quizlet Survey Reveals Students Crave Life Skills Education — from prnewswire.com by Quizlet; via GSV

The survey’s key findings included:

  • Financial and life skills uncertainty: One-third of recent graduates don’t believe they have or are unsure they have the financial and core life skills needed to succeed in the world.
  • Appetite for non-academic courses: 68% of recent graduates think non-academically focused courses in formal education settings would better prepare students for the real world. This belief is especially strong among respondents that attended public schools and colleges (71%).
  • Automotive maintenance skills are stalled: More than any other skill, nearly one in five recent graduates say they are the least confident in handling automotive maintenance, such as changing a tire or their oil. This is followed by financial planning (17%), insurance (12%), minor home repairs (11%), cooking (11%), cleaning (8%) and organizing (8%).
  • Financial planning woes: A majority (79%) of recent graduates said financial planning overwhelms them the most – and of all the life skills highlighted in the survey, 29% of respondents said it negatively impacts their mental health.
  • Social media as a learning tool: Social media is helping fill the skills gap, with 33% of recent graduates turning to it for life skills knowledge.

From DSC:
Our son would agree with many of these findings. He would like to have learned things like how to do/file his taxes, learn more about healthcare insurance, and similar real-world/highly-applicable types of knowledge. Those involved with K12 curriculum decisions, please take a serious look at this feedback and make the necessary changes/additions.


How Can Educators Build Support Systems for Students Eyeing Technician Jobs? — from gettingsmart.com by Dr. Parminder Jassal

Key Points

  • Integrating technical skills into the high school curriculum can inspire and prepare students for diverse roles. This approach is key to fostering equity and inclusivity in the job market.
  • By forging partnerships with community colleges and technical schools, high schools can democratize access to education and ensure students from all backgrounds have equal opportunities for success in technical fields.
  • High schools can expand career possibilities by providing apprenticeships as viable and lucrative alternatives to traditional four-year degrees.
 

The New Academic Arms Race | Competition over amenities is over. The next battleground is technology. — from chronicle.com by Jeffrey J. Selingo

Now, after the pandemic, with the value of the bachelor’s degree foremost in the minds of students and families, a new academic arms race is emerging. This one is centered around academic innovation. The winners will be those institutions that in the decade ahead better apply technology in teaching and learning and develop different approaches to credentialing.

Sure, technology is often seen as plumbing on campuses — as long as it works, we don’t worry about it. And rarely do prospective students on a tour ever ask about academic innovations like extended reality or microcredentials. Campus tours prefer to show off the bells and whistles of residential life within dorms and dining halls.

That’s too bad.

The problem is not a lack of learners, but rather a lack of alignment in what colleges offer to a generation of learners surrounded by Amazon, Netflix, and Instagram, where they can stream entertainment and music anytime, anywhere.

From DSC:
When I worked for Calvin (then College, now University) from 2007-2017, that’s exactly how technologies and the entire IT Department were viewed — as infrastructure providers. We were not viewed as being able to enhance the core business/offerings of the institution. We weren’t relevant in that area. In fact, the IT Department was shoved down in the basement of the library. Our Teaching & Learning Digital Studio was sidelined in a part of the library where few students went to. The Digitial Studio’s marketing efforts didn’t help much, as faculty members didn’t offer assignments that called for multimedia-based deliverables. It was a very tough and steep hill to climb.

Also the Presidents and Provosts over the last couple of decades (not currently though) didn’t think much of online-based learning, and the top administrators dissed the Internet’s ability to provide 24/7 worldwide conversations and learning. They missed the biggest thing to come along in education in 500 years (since the invention of the printing press). Our Teaching & Learning Group provided leadership by starting a Calvin Online pilot. We had 13-14 courses built and inquiries from Christian-based high schools were coming in for dual enrollment scenarios, but when it came time for the College to make a decision, it never happened. The topic/vote never made it to the floor of the Faculty Senate. The faculty and administration missed an enormous opportunity.

When Calvin College became Calvin University in 2019, they were forced to offer online-based classes. Had they supported our T&L Group’s efforts back in the early to mid-2010’s, they would have dove-tailed very nicely into offering more courses to working adults. They would have built up the internal expertise to offer these courses/programs. But the culture of the college put a stop to online-based learning at that time. They now regret that decision I’m sure (as they’ve had to outsource many things and they now offer numerous online-based courses and even entire programs — at a high cost most likely).

My how times have changed.


For another item re: higher education at the 30,000-foot level, see:


Lifelong Learning Models for a Changing Higher Ed Marketplace — from changinghighered.com by Dr. Drumm McNaughton and Amrit Ahluwalia
Exploring the transformation of higher education into lifelong learning hubs for workforce development, with innovative models and continuing education’s role.

Higher education is undergoing transformational change to redefine its role as a facilitator of lifelong learning and workforce development. In this 200th episode of Changing Higher Ed, host Dr. Drumm McNaughton and guest Amrit Ahluwalia, incoming Executive Director for Continuing Studies at Western University, explore innovative models positioning universities as sustainable hubs for socioeconomic mobility.

The Consumer-Driven Educational Landscape
Over 60% of today’s jobs will be redefined by 2025, driving demand for continuous upskilling and reskilling to meet evolving workforce needs. However, higher education’s traditional model of imparting specific knowledge through multi-year degrees is hugely misaligned with this reality.

Soaring education costs have fueled a consumer mindset shift, with learners demanding a clear return on investment directly aligned with their career goals. The expectation is to see immediate skills application and professional impact from their educational investments, not just long-term outcomes years after completion.


 

The $340 Billion Corporate Learning Industry Is Poised For Disruption — from joshbersin.com by Josh Bersin

What if, for example, the corporate learning system knew who you were and you could simply ask it a question and it would generate an answer, a series of resources, and a dynamic set of learning objects for you to consume? In some cases you’ll take the answer and run. In other cases you’ll pour through the content. And in other cases you’ll browse through the course and take the time to learn what you need.

And suppose all this happened in a totally personalized way. So you didn’t see a “standard course” but a special course based on your level of existing knowledge?

This is what AI is going to bring us. And yes, it’s already happening today.

 

GTC March 2024 Keynote with NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang


Also relevant/see:




 

Below are some items for those creatives who might be interested in telling stories, designing games, crafting audio-based experiences, composing music, developing new worlds using 3D graphics, and more. 


CREATING THE SOUNDS OF LIGHTFALL — from bungie.net; via Mr. Robert Bender

The sounds of any game can make or break the experience for its players. Many of our favorite adventures come roaring back into our minds when we hear a familiar melody, or maybe it’s a special sound effect that reminds us of our time performing a particularly heroic feat… or the time we just caused some havoc with friends. With Lightfall sending Guardians to explore the new destination of Neomuna, there’s an entire universe hidden away within the sounds—both orchestral and diegetic—for Guardians to uncover and immerse themselves in. We recently assembled some of Destiny’s finest sound designers and composers to dive a little bit deeper into the stunning depths of Neomuna’s auditory experience.

Before diving into the interview with our incredible team, we wanted to make sure you have seen the Lightfall music documentary that went out shortly after the expansion’s release. This short video is a great introduction to how our team worked to create the music of Lightfall and is a must-see for audiophiles and Destiny fans alike.

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Game Dev Diaries: The Hidden World of Audio — from lianaruppert.medium.com by Liana Ruppert, via Mr. Robert Bender

Every game has a story to tell, a journey to take players through that — if done well — can inspire wonderful memories that last a lifetime. Unlike other storytelling mediums, the art of video games is an intricate interweaving of experiences, including psychological cues that are designed to entrance players and make them feel like they’re a part of the story. One way this is achieved is through the art of audio. And no, we aren’t just talking about the many incredible soundtracks out there, we’re talking about the oftentimes overlooked universe of audio design.

What does an audio designer do?
“Number one? We don’t work on music. That’s a thing almost everyone thinks every audio designer does,” jokes Nyte when opening up about beginning her quest into the audio world. “That, or for a game like Destiny, people just assume we only work on weapon sounds and nothing else. Which, [Juan] Uribe does, but a lot of us don’t. There is this entire gamut of other sounds that are in-game that people don’t really notice. Some do, and that’s always cool, but audio is about all sounds coming together for a ‘whole’ audio experience.”


Also relevant/see:

The New Stack of Entertainment, Tensions of the AI Age, & Navigating Cambrian Explosions — from implications.com by Scott Belsky
Let’s explore some fun albeit heretical Hollywood possibilities, face key tensions, and talk about how to stay grounded with customer needs.

On the Transformation of Entertainment
What company will be the Pixar of the AI era? What talent agency will be the CAA of the AI era? How fast can the entertainment industry evolve to natively leverage AI, and what parts will be disrupted by the industry’s own ambivalence? Or are all of these questions myopic…and should we anticipate a wave of entirely new categories of entertainment?

We are starting to see material adoption of AI tools across many industries, including media and entertainment. No doubt, these tools will transform the processes behind generating content. But what entirely new genres of content might emerge? The platform shift to AI-based workflows might give rise to entirely new types of companies that transform entertainment as we know it – from actor representation, Hollywood economics, consumption devices and experiences, to the actual mediums of entertainment themselves. Let’s explore just a few of the more edgy implications:

 

Edtech Unicorns Are Evolving Rather Than Disrupting — from bloomberg.com by Alex Webb

Consider Coursera Inc., the most prominent survivor of that early edtech hype. It’s now a public company, with a hefty $2.3 billion valuation. Finally, 12 years after it was founded — by, incidentally, another Google veteran in Andrew Ng — it’s set to report its first profit this year, according to analyst estimates. And the enterprise business is considerably more profitable, enjoying a 68% gross margin in 2023, compared to the consumer business’s 53% margin.

Figuring out the right match between training and utility is how several business schools seem to have developed successful online courses — which they are charging top dollar for. They’re in close contact with the sort of large corporations who hire their graduates, giving them a more intimate understanding of what those businesses seek.

Harvard Business School is one example. It made $74 million from online courses in fiscal 2022, the most recent year for which data is available

 

LinkedIn Learning: Workplace Learning Report 2024 — learning.linkedin.com

L&D powers the AI future

The AI era is here, and leaders across learning and talent development have a new mandate: help people and organizations rise to opportunity with speed and impact. 

As AI reshapes how people learn, work, and chart their careers, L&D sits at the center of organizational agility, delivering business innovation and critical skills. This report combines survey results, LinkedIn behavioral data, and wisdom from L&D pros around the globe to help you rewrite your playbook for the future of work. 

 

Accenture to acquire Udacity to build a learning platform focused on AI — from techcrunch.com by Ron Miller

Excerpt: (emphasis DSC):

Accenture announced today that it would acquire the learning platform Udacity as part of an effort to build a learning platform focused on the growing interest in AI. While the company didn’t specify how much it paid for Udacity, it also announced a $1 billion investment in building a technology learning platform it’s calling LearnVantage.

“The rise of generative AI represents one of the most transformative changes in how work gets done and is driving a growing need for enterprises to train and upskill people in cloud, data and AI as they build their digital core and reinvent their enterprises,” Kishore Durg, global lead of Accenture LearnVantage said in a statement.

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Career-Connected Learning: Preparing Students for a Dynamic Future — from gettingsmart.com by Tom Vander Ark and Victoria Andrews

Key Points

  • Connecting young people with career awareness needs to start at an early age to provide them with the necessary landscape view of opportunity and skills.
  • Whether young people engage client-focused opportunities, internships, or endure academically challenging coursework, career-connected learning is an environment to cultivate a sense of self-awareness, determination, and direction, essential for their success in both education and life.

Also from Getting Smart, see:

CHILD: A Microschool Unlocking the Potential for Unique Learners — by Maureen O’Shaughnessy

Key Points

  • The success of adaptive learning is not solely based on the program, but rather on the people behind it.
  • Clarity on “who you serve” is critical to success.
 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian