Inspiring Leaders | Anthony G. Picciano — from virtuallyinspired.org
Co-founder of CUNY Online and founding member of the Online Learning Consortium, shares his insights on his new book, “Online Education: Foundations, Planning, and Pedagogy,” building a community in an online classroom, gaming and more.

 

Excerpts/items mentioned in this video:

  • Research Initiative for Teaching Effectiveness, University of Central Florida
  • Reports from the Babson Survey Research Group, Babson College
  • 2010 U.S. Dept of Education meta-analysis — older now, but still a pivotal study
  • Tap into what students already know; have students bring their own experiences into the topics/discussions; bring their own materials and interests
  • Have students own the course as much as possible
  • Limit the amount of lecturing — introduce humor where possible; tap into students’ interests
  • Chunk lecturing up into 6-8 minute pieces — then introduce some activity that forces the students to do something
  • The River City — Chris Dede (mainly for high school students)
  • MIT elude — how to deal w/ depression
  • Fortnite
  • Elegance in simplicity — clean format, where things are, streamlined –6-7 clearly-labeled buttons, I understand what I have to do here; make it simple, not complex; use techs where makes good pedagogical sense
  • Future: AI, nanotechnology will lead to more quantum computing, cloud computing

 

Quantum computing is a whole of the level of digital circuitry design.  That will allow much more power, much more speed, the likes of which we have not seen in digital technology.  When that comes, that opens up lots of other possibilities in applications like artificial intelligence, like robotics, like cloud computing.  All of these will be significantly enhanced as we move to a quantum computing type environment.  When that happens, we will see a whole other level of digital activity not just in teaching and learning but everything we do.

 

 

Also see:

 

 
This is how you’ll look for a job in 2019 — from linkedin.com by Lydia Dishman
Some brand new strategies and time-tested traditions dictate the way job seekers will conduct the hunt in 2019.

Excerpt:

In addition to making sure you list at least five skills, Guo suggests adding the field you work in since more than 300,000 people search by industry on LinkedIn each week. And don’t forget to update the city you work in since this can make you up to 23 times more likely to be found in search, according to LinkedIn’s data.

 

From DSC:
This next article is likely somewhat of an ad to take courses out at Lynda.com, but it’s still helpful I think:

 

Also see (emphasis DSC):

  • These are the 10 most in-demand skills of 2019, according to LinkedIn — from weforum.org by Emma Charlton
    Excerpt (emphasis DSC):
    According to analysis from networking site LinkedIn, 2019’s employers are looking for a combination of both hard and soft skills, with creativity topping the list of desired attributes. The findings chime with the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report, which concluded that “human” skills like originality, initiative and critical thinking are likely to increase in value as technology and automation advances. “Strengthening a soft skill is one of the best investments you can make in your career, as they never go out of style,” LinkedIn Learning Editor, Paul Petrone wrote in a blog. “Plus, the rise of AI is only making soft skills increasingly important, as they are precisely the type of skills robots can’t automate.”

 

 

 

From DSC:
From Mary Grush’s recent article re: Learning Engineering, I learned that back in the late 1960’s, Herbert Simon believed there would be value in providing college presidents with “learning engineers” (see his article entitled, “The Job of a College President”).

 

 

An excerpt:

What do we find in a university? Physicists well educated in physics, and trained for research in that discipline; English professors learned in their language and its literature (or at least some tiny corner of it); and so on down the list of the disciplines. But we find no one with a professional knowledge of the laws of learning, or of the techniques for applying them (unless it be a professor of educational psychology, who teaches these laws, but has no broader responsibility for their application in the college).

Notice, our topic is learning, not teaching. A college is a place where people come to learn. How much or how little teaching goes on there depends on whether teaching facilitates learning, and if so, under what circumstances. It is a measure of our naivete that we assume implicitly, in almost all our practices, that teaching is the way to produce learning, and that something called a “class” is the best environment for teaching.

But what do we really know about the learning process: about how people learn, about what they learn, and about what they can do with what they learn? We know a great deal today, if by “we” is meant a relatively small group of educational psychologists who have made this their major professional concern. We know much less, if by “we” is meant the rank and file of college teachers.

 

What is learned must be defined in terms of what the student should be able to do. If learning means change in the student, then that change should be visible in changed potentialities of behavior.

Herbert Simon, 1967

 

From DSC:
You will find a great deal of support for active learning in Simon’s article.

 

 

Is Teaching an Art or a Science? New Book Takes a Fresh Look at ‘How Humans Learn.’ — from edsurge.com by Jeff Young

Excerpts:

Eyler: That is the perennial question. We actually wrote a post for our Teaching Center’s blog with that title, “Is teaching an art or a science?” It has by far been read more than any other blog post that we’ve written.

My answer might be a little unfulfilling because I think it’s actually both. I think there is a scientific element to teaching. The book is about understanding the science of how we learn, how learning has evolved over time, and the social interactions that shape teaching. And the best teachers also often approach teaching and teaching issues scientifically. They have a hypothesis of what they think will help students learn, and they’re going to test it out and then learn from it and revise.

But if we focus too much on the science, we lose the human element of teaching—what I think of as the art of teaching.

What’s the thing that surprised you most in your research or putting this book together?

Much of what surprised me most makes up a lot of the final chapter, which is on failure. As teachers, we don’t get trained to think of failure as a positive thing in any way, even though as researchers we know that failure is a part of the learning process. No one walks into a lab right away and comes up with the Nobel Prize-winning discovery. It’s an iterative cycle.

We have these educational systems that are set up to move in exactly the opposite way. We give students really high-stakes assignments and assessments with very few opportunities to do them.

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
For anyone out there who thinks that teaching and learning is easy and who agrees with the uninformed saying that goes “Those who can’t do…teach”…might I recommend a few potential to-do’s for you to try out…?

  1. Try teaching 30-35 students yourself for at least 4-6 weeks about a topic that you just found out that you’ll be teaching and one that you don’t know much about. (And see if you enjoy the process that some teachers sometimes have to go through…putting down the tracks right in front of the trains that are rapidly moving down the tracks right behind them.) Also, you must have at least one student in your class who requires an Individualized Education Program (IEP) as well as 4-5 students who constantly cause trouble and who don’t want to be in school at all.
    .
  2. Identify each student’s strengths, weaknesses, and learning preferences — and their Zone of Proximal Development — then customize the learning that each of your 30-35 learners receives (with the goal of keeping each student moving forward at their most appropriate pace, while staying encouraged and yet appropriately challenged).
    .
  3. Attend Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings and work with other IEP team members to significantly contribute to the appropriate student’s (or students’) teaching and learning environment(s). For a real challenge, at least one of those students will be someone who is struggling, but is very much hanging in there — someone who is “right in the middle of the pack,” so to speak. (My guess is that if you did this, you would never think of teaching, nor teachers, nor other specialists in quite the same way again. My guess is that you would develop a whole new appreciation for how complex teaching and learning really is.)

Regarding that last item about at least one of your students requiring an IEP, here are some questions that might come up:

  • What specialized services are needed this year?
  • What do the teachers need to know about this student’s cognitive processing/executive functioning?
  • How has the student been doing with the specialized services and teaching and learning strategies that have been attempted since the last IEP meeting? 
  • If their scores are going down, how are you going to address that issue (especially given limited resources)?
  • How is the student’s motivation level doing? Is attending school still a positive experience? Or are things starting to become negative and/or downright painful for the student? Are they starting to get bummed out about having to come to school?
  • How are they relating with and collaborating with other students? If poorly, how are you going to address that issue? How are you going to handle group-related projects (especially after reading all of those articles that assert which skills the workplace values these days)?
  • What do you do with grades and assessments? Do you treat the student differently and give them higher grades to keep them encouraged? But if you do that, will your school system back you up on that or will someone come down hard on you for doing that? Or, perhaps you will find yourself struggling internally — trying to figure out what grades are really for and wondering if they are helpful in the first place. In fact, you might find yourself wondering if grades aren’t really just a mechanism for ranking and comparing individuals, schools, and even entire school systems (which, as we know, impacts property values)? 
  • What do grades really produce — game players or (lifelong) learners? It won’t surprise you to know that I would argue that the former is what gets “produced.”  Grades don’t really produce as many learners as they do game-players (i.e., students who know the minimum amount of work that they need to do and still get that all important A).

So, as you can hopefully see here, learning is messy. It’s rarely black and white…there’s a lot of gray out there and a lot of things to consider. It’s not a one-size fits all. And teaching others well is certainly NOT easy to do! 

RELEVANT IDEAS:

While I’m thinking about related ideas here…wouldn’t it be great if EVERY. SINGLE. STUDENT. could have their own IEP and their own TEAM of specialists — people who care about their learning?

What if each student could have their own cloud-based learner profile — a portion of which would be a series of VoiceThreads per student, per period of time (or per mastering a particular topic or area)?  Such VoiceThreads could include multimedia-based comments, insights, and recommendations for how the student is doing and how they best learn. Through the years, those teams of people — people who care about that student’s learning — could help that student identify their:

  • strengths
  • weaknesses
  • passions/interests
  • their optimal learning strategies and preferences
  • potential careers

The students could periodically review such feedback.

 

 

For every single student, we could build a history of feedback, helpful suggestions, 
and recommendations via audio, video, text, graphics, etc.

 

 

2019 Top 10 IT Issues — from educause.edu

2019 Reveals Focus on “Student Genome”
In 2019, after a decade of preparing, higher education stands on a threshold. A new era of technology is ushering in myriad opportunities to apply data that supports and advances our higher ed mission. This threshold is similar to the one science stood on in the late 20th century: the prospect of employing technology to put genetic information to use meaningfully and ethically. Much in the same way, higher education must first “sequence” the data before we can apply it with any reliability or precision.

Our focus in 2019, then, is to organize, standardize, and safeguard data before applying it to our most pressing priority: student success.

The issues cluster into three themes:

  • Empowered Students: In their drive to improve student outcomes, institutions are increasingly focused on individual students, on their life circumstances, and on their entire academic journey. Leaders are relying on analytics and technology to make progress. Related issues: 2 and 4
  • Trusted Data: This is the work of the Student Genome Project, where the “sequencing” is taking place. Institutions are collecting, securing, integrating, and standardizing data and preparing the institution to use data meaningfully and ethically. Related issues: 1, 3, 5, 6 and 8
  • 21st Century Business Strategies: This is the leadership journey, in which institutions address today’s funding challenges and prepare for tomorrow’s more competitive ecosystem. Technology is now embedded into teaching and learning, research, and business operations and so must be embedded into the institutional strategy and business model. Related issues: 7, 9 and 10

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
I just found out about this and I wanted to pass it along to you aspiring young writers/playwrights out there! If it’s too late for this year, put it on your radar for next year!


Worldwide Plays Festival Submission Deadline: February 1, 2019

Announcing the judges of the 10th Annual Writopia Lab Worldwide Plays Festival Competition, an exciting, immersive festival of plays written by young playwrights ages 5-19, turning a multi-roomed theater space in midtown Manhattan into The Neighborhood, where audiences will be lead from place to place, play to play, plunged into the wacky and provoking minds of children and teens.

The Judges are:

  • Gideon Glick (currently on Broadway in To Kill A Mockingbird),
  • Abe Koogler (Obie Award Winner for Manhattan Theatre Club’s Fulfillment Center),
  • Jordana Spiro (Netflix’ Ozark),
  • Madhuri Shekar (writer on upcoming HBO’s The Nevers),
  • Matthew Shapiro (Emmy Winning Co-Producer Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)

Named after David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants due to funding of earlier festivals, Writopia Lab’s Worldwide Plays Festival has produced hundreds of full productions of plays written by young playwrights over the past decade.

This year, we invite playwrights from 1st through 12th grade around the world to enter our competition. We will select winning plays in three age groups: Elementary School, Middle School and High School.

From hundreds of submissions from across the country, 36 will be selected for production and three will receive a cash prize as part of our festival in May of 2019 at TheaterLab, in the theater district of New York City. Prizes include $750 for best high school play, $500 for best middle school play, and $250 for best elementary school play.

Winners will be notified by March, 2019.

For more information about how to submit, please visit: https://www.writopialab.org/programs/specialty-programs/worldwide-plays-festival

This Year’s Theme:

The Neighborhood
“Life is so rich when you go off the logical path and embark on eccentric adventures,”

Steve Young, producer and writer of Bathrooms over Broadway, and former head writer at The Late Show with David Letterman.

In this spirit, we ask playwrights from all walks of life-from homeless shelters to townhouses-to embark on eccentric adventures in their own neighborhoods and share their discoveries with us on the stage. Plays take place in one of three locations: The Convenience Store or Bodega, The Community Center (Church, Mosque, Synagogue, Yoga Studio, etc.) or Outside Your Door. Most of our writers attend highly segregated school systems and find great comfort-and meaningful challenge-in working closely in workshops with peers from diverse backgrounds.

At showtime, actors playing a rich array of complex neighborhood characters (also written by young writers), lead groups of audiences from room to room, weaving together a multitude of plays by young playwrights–urban and suburban, gay and straight, binary and nonbinary, outside and in-celebrating a totality of experience around the corner, down the block, across the hall in your America.

Festival Performances:
Where: Theaterlab, 357 West 36th Street, 3rd floor
When: Wednesday May 1st, 2019 to Sunday May 5th, 2019

Media Contact:
Lance Laytner
Public Good Relations
(917)573-8960
lance@publicgoodrelations.com

 


Also per Inside VR & AR:


Google has teamed up with Boston-based Commonwealth Shakespeare Company to produce a VR version of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” Called “Hamlet 360: Thy Father’s Spirit,”  the Bard’s classic tale of murder and revenge was tailored specifically for virtual reality, with some scenes lengthened and the overall run time pared way down. Director Steven Maler told the New York Times the production is a way “to show people how exciting it can be to be in the space where it’s happening.” The viewer sees the action from the point of view of the ghost of Hamlet’s father. Hamlet 360 was filmed on a Yi Halo 360 camera and is posted on WGBH-Boston’s YouTube channel. — NYTIMES

 

 

When the future comes to West Michigan, will we be ready?


 

UIX: When the future comes to West Michigan, will we be ready? — from rapidgrowthmedia.com by Matthew Russell

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

“Here in the United States, if we were to personify things a bit, it’s almost like society is anxiously calling out to an older sibling (i.e., emerging technologies), ‘Heh! Wait up!!!'” Christian says. “This trend has numerous ramifications.”

Out of those ramifications, Christian names three main points that society will have to address to fully understand, make use of, and make practical, future technologies.

  1. The need for the legal/legislative side of the world to close the gap between what’s possible and what’s legal
  2. The need for lifelong learning and to reinvent oneself
  3. The need to make pulse-checking/futurism an essential tool in the toolbox of every member of the workforce today and in the future

 

When the future comes to West Michigan, will we be ready?

Photos by Adam Bird

 

From DSC:
The key thing that I was trying to relay in my contribution towards Matthew’s helpful article was that we are now on an exponential trajectory of technological change. This trend has ramifications for numerous societies around the globe, and it involves the legal realm as well. Hopefully, all of us in the workforce are coming to realize our need to be constantly pulse-checking the relevant landscapes around us. To help make that happen, each of us needs to be tapping into the appropriate “streams of content” that are relevant to our careers so that our knowledgebases are as up-to-date as possible. We’re all into lifelong learning now, right?

Along these lines, increasingly there is a need for futurism to hit the mainstream. That is, when the world is moving at 120+mph, the skills and methods that futurists follow must be better taught and understood, or many people will be broadsided by the changes brought about by emerging technologies. We need to better pulse-check the relevant landscapes, anticipate the oncoming changes, develop potential scenarios, and then design the strategies to respond to those potential scenarios.

 

 

Philippians 4:9 New International Version (NIV) — biblegateway.com

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

 

James 1:22-25 New International Version (NIV) — from biblegateway.com

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in itnot forgetting what they have heard, but doing itthey will be blessed in what they do.

 

From DSC:
The word engagement comes to mind here…as does the association between doing and not forgetting (i.e., memory…recall…creating “mental hooks” to hang future learning/content on…which can ultimately impact our behaviors).

 

 

 

Towards a Reskilling Revolution: Industry-Led Action for the Future of Work — from weforum.org

As the Fourth Industrial Revolution impacts skills, tasks and jobs, there is growing concern that both job displacement and talent shortages will impact business dynamism and societal cohesion. A proactive and strategic effort is needed on the part of all relevant stakeholders to manage reskilling and upskilling to mitigate against both job losses and talent shortages.

Through the Preparing for the Future of Work project, the World Economic Forum provides a platform for designing and implementing intra-industry collaboration on the future of work, working closely with the public sector, unions and educators. The output of the project’s first phase of work, Towards a Reskilling Revolution: A Future of Jobs for All, highlighted an innovative method to identify viable and desirable job transition pathways for disrupted workers. This second report, Towards a Reskilling Revolution: Industry-Led Action for the Future of Work extends our previous research to assess the business case for reskilling and establish its magnitude for different stakeholders. It also outlines a roadmap for selected industries to address specific challenges and opportunities related to the transformation of their workforce.

 

See the PDF file / report here.

 

 

 

 

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