University Research: A Time of Disparate Change — from insidehighered.com by Peter Schiffer and Jay Walsh
During the pandemic, the research ecosystem has undergone a complex transformation, which will necessitate a multifaceted response

Excerpts:

At the present moment, however, roughly four months from when campuses were largely emptied across the United States, university scholars have vastly different experiences both behind them and ahead of them.

Each of these global shifts by themselves would be considered transformational to university research in a normal time. That they are happening during a global reckoning with the realities of racism, and along with the social upheaval of the pandemic, makes them all the more profound.

 

 

Few colleges are setting clear benchmarks for closing campuses — from educationdive.com by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf
Though many schools have publicly shared reopening plans, most don’t define guidelines for what would necessitate a campus shutdown.

Excerpt:

Tracking the factors that will determine if a campus can operate, such as testing for the virus, will prove complex. So colleges may try to avoid boxing themselves in by creating hard benchmarks that dictate when they must shut down. But they’re also answerable to families, who want to know the circumstances under which schools will send students away.

Few colleges have established these triggers. But more concrete campus closure scenarios are likely coming in the next few weeks.

“Colleges and universities follow each other’s lead,” said Sam Owusu, a student and research analyst at Davidson College’s College Crisis Initiative (C2i), which studies institutional responses to the pandemic. “We’ll see more of this.”

 

 

Ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt is working to launch a university that would rival Stanford and MIT and funnel tech workers into government work — from businessinsider.com by Katie Canales

Excerpts:

  • Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt is leading a federal initiative to launch a university that would train a new generation of tech workers for the government, according to a OneZero report.
  • The school, named the US Digital Service Academy, looks to rival Stanford and MIT, two established tech talent pools.
  • The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence — an organization created to push the US ahead in the race for artificial intelligence — voted unanimously in a meeting Monday to recommend the university to Congress.
  • Schmidt left his role as a technical adviser at Google in February amid his increased involvement in affairs pertaining to military technology.
 

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

 
 

Will the COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally remake the legal industry? — from abajournal.com by Lyle Moran

Excerpt:

They both note that while the Great Recession was a substantial shock to the economic system, COVID-19 has resulted in the sudden upheaval of society at large. This includes changing how members of the public can access the court system or connect with a lawyer.

“It is really fundamentally disrupting overnight every single component of the legal system, and that is very different than 2008-2009,” says Leonard, who is also Penn Law’s chief innovation officer. “I think it creates enormous opportunities for changing many of the ways we work as lawyers, the ways we provide legal services to our clients and also the ways the justice system as a whole works.”

In the short term, Leonard says the pandemic has resulted in massive “forced experimentation.”

People being sworn in on a laptop

In June, Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice McCormack swore in a cohort of law students via a Zoom conference. Photo courtesy of the Michigan Supreme Court; Shutterstock.

Also see:

 

Trying to make sense of a fluid fall — from insidehighered.com by Doug Lederman
As more colleges announce their instructional plans, two simulations suggest some of the likely challenges to a physical return. Others see opportunity for experimentation around teaching and learning.

Some interesting simulations for face-to-face (F2F) classrooms from Caltech
Some interesting simulations for face-to-face (F2F) classrooms from Caltech
Some interesting simulations for face-to-face (F2F) classrooms from Caltech
Some interesting simulations for face-to-face (F2F) classrooms from Caltech
Some interesting simulations for face-to-face (F2F) classrooms from Caltech

 

From DSC: I’d like to thank Ryan Craig for mentioning several interesting articles and thoughts in a recent Gap Letter. At least 2-3 of the articles he mentioned got me to thinking…


With a degree no longer enough, job candidates are told to prove their skills in tests — from hechingerreport.org by Jon Marcus
Instead of relying on credentials, more employers want applicants to show their stuff

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Among the many frustrations ahead for millions of Americans thrown out of work by the pandemic is one that may surprise them: To get a new job, it’s increasingly likely they will have to take a test.

As the number of candidates balloons while health risks make it hard for hiring managers to meet with them in person, a trend toward “pre-hiring assessments” — already under way before Covid-19 — is getting a huge new push.

Skeptical that university degrees are the best measure of whether candidates have the skills they need, employers were already looking for ways that applicants could prove it — including in fields where that was not previously required.

“It’s like try before you buy,” said Price.

It's very possible that students will have to take assessments to get that job -- assessments that are based on a completely different set of Learning Objectives (LO's).

PDF version here.

Also see:

From DSC:
There is a huge misalignment between the Learning Objectives (LO’s) that the corporate world supports — and ultimately hires by — as compared to the LO’s that faculty, provosts, & presidents support.

This happened to me a while back when I was looking for a new job. I traveled to another city — upon the company’s request (though they never lifted a finger to help me with the travel-related expenses). Plus, I dedicated the time and got my hopes up, yet again, in getting the job. But the test they gave me (before I even saw a human being) blew me away! It was meant for PhD-level candidates in Computer Science, Programming, or Statistics. It was ridiculously hard.

The article above got me to thinking….

Higher education increasingly puts a guerrilla of debt on many students’ backs, which adds to the dispiriting struggle to overcome these kinds of tests. Also, the onslaught of the Applicant Tracking Systems that students have to conquer (in order to obtain that sought after interview) further adds to this dispiriting struggle.

How can we achieve better alignment here? Students are getting left holding the bag…a situation that will likely not last much longer. If higher ed doesn’t address this situation, we shouldn’t be surprised to see a mass exodus when effective alternatives pick up steam even further. Last call to address this now before the exodus occurs.

Along these lines see:

Better Connecting College and Career — from insidehighered.com by Steven Mintz
How to improve career readiness.

Excerpt:

How can colleges best prepare students for careers in a volatile, uncertain environment? This is the question recently asked by Marie Cini, the former provost at University of Maryland University College and former president of CAEL.

Career service offices, she observes, are first and foremost job search centers: reviewing résumés, publicizing job openings and arranging interviews. What they are not about, for the most part, is career preparation, a longer and more intense process involving self-analysis, skills building and genuine insights into the job market.

 

Zoom Launches Zoom for Home

Zoom Launches Zoom For Home — from which-50.com

Excerpts:

Zoom Video Communications has announced Zoom for Home, which it describes as a new category of software experiences and hardware devices to support remote work use cases. The focus is on improving employee experiences to connect remotely and be productive.

Features for the all-in-one 27-inch device include: three built-in wide-angle cameras for high-resolution video; an 8-microphone array for crystal-clear audio in meetings and phone calls; and, an ultra-responsive touch display for interactive screen sharing, whiteboarding, annotating, and ideation.

Also see:

From DSC:
Again, we see some further innovation in this space. The longer the Coronavirus impacts things, the further ahead the online-learning space will be catapulted. This type of device consolidates several devices into one, while making it intuitive and likely easy to annotate items on it.

Zoom Launches Zoom For Home
 

 

7 Things You Should Know About the HyFlex Course Model — from library.educause.edu

Excerpt:

What is it? The hybrid flexible, or HyFlex, course format is an instructional approach that combines face-to-face (F2F) and online learning. Each class session and learning activity is offered in-person, synchronously online, and asynchronously online. Students can decide—for each class or activity—how to participate. As Brian Beatty notes in Hybrid-Flexible Course Design, the result is “a student-directed, multi-modal learning experience.” The HyFlex approach provides students autonomy, flexibility, and seamless engagement, no matter where, how, or when they engage in the course. Central to this model is the principle that the learning is equivalent, regardless of the mode. The approach was developed with a focus on student flexibility, but the benefits also extend to faculty. For example, an instructor, along with some students, could “attend” class remotely, while other students join physically from a room on campus.

 

 

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

 

 

What should schools, colleges and Universities do in September? …7 actions — from donaldclarkplanb.blogspot.com by Donald Clark

Excerpts:

Let me start with a tough question. Weighing your wish to return to schools or campuses, given the current surge of Covid cases, is the return to the classroom or chasing the cash worth a single dead student, teacher or parent? Or should we see the September return as an opportunity to change things for the better and by that I mean for teachers, lecturers, students and parents? We need a reset.

Necessity is the mother of invention. I hope that this human tragedy allows us to transform the learning landscape to be better and more inclusive through Blended Learning. We have an opportunity to use contemporary technology to reduce teacher workload and improve learning at the same time.

 

A New Model for Career Exploration in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous (VUCA) World — from ed2work-com.cdn.ampproject.org by Marie A. Cini

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Career development is not the same as job placement. Almost everyone confuses the two, including the learners using these services. Too often, students would get through their entire program of study and then visit the “career center” to begin the process of finding and getting placed in a job. Instead, I would challenge them to learn more about themselves and what they wanted in their life and in a career as part of their development process.

In the US, we emphasize the importance of “getting a job” over helping an individual deeply explore their talents, preferences, and desires.

From DSC:
This was a major difference that I noticed working at a Christian college for many years. The idea of a calling was emphasized much more so than I experienced anywhere else. Students were encouraged to be very introspective in terms of what they perceived their passions, gifts, interests, and abilities to be. They were encouraged to pray to the LORD and listen for His leading in their lives…to seek His counsel. Where does the LORD want them? What purpose are they called to fulfill/address?

One more solid quote from Marie here:

The problem lies in an imperfect, incomplete market that does not provide comprehensive information over an individual’s lifetime to encourage a broader awareness of careers. Nor do we help individuals understand that career development is a process and not a destination, while showing them how to develop their lifelong approach to making a living.

 

Why some colleges embraced a virtual fall sooner than others — from educationdive.com by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf; July 20, 2020
More schools are expected to make the switch in the coming weeks.

Excerpt:

These colleges aren’t likely to be exceptions for much longer, as higher ed experts predict the trickle of schools staying online will become a flood as the pandemic persists.

“I expect a bunch of colleges to announce their actual fall setup within 72 hours of each other in the next two weeks,” said Robert Kelchen, an associate professor of higher education at Seton Hall University. “It just takes a few colleges to lead the way and then their competitor institutions will follow.”

Also see:

Colleges walk back their fall plans as coronavirus cases spike — from educationdive.com by Natalie Schwartz; July 16, 2020

Dive Brief:

  • As the pandemic worsens, more colleges are ditching plans for in-person instruction this fall in favor of a mostly virtual term.
  • At least six colleges have announced in the past week that they’re planning for a remote term after previously indicating they might bring students back to campus.
  • They join others including the University of Southern California, which changed its fall plans at the beginning of July. Higher education experts expect more reversals to follow over the next few weeks.
 
 

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