Here’s how colleges should help close the digital divide in the COVID-Era — from edsurge.com by Dr. Mordecai I. Brownlee

Excerpt:

One key problem prevalent in many low-socioeconomic communities around the nation—like San Antonio, which now has the highest poverty rate of the country’s 25 largest metro areas—is the digital divide. Digital divide is a term used to describe the gap present in society between those who have access to the internet and technology and those who don’t.

It speaks directly to a primary challenge facing our education system in this COVID-era: Some students and families have the means to succeed in a remote learning environment, and others do not.

 

 

“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?!

 


Which links to this article:

Another regional accreditor drops geographic limits — from educationdive.com by Hallie Busta

Dive Brief:

  • The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) announced Monday that it will accept applications for accreditation from institutions located outside its historical territory, which is primarily the mid-Atlantic states.
  • It will also begin taking applications from international institutions seeking accreditation.
  • MSCHE is the second of the country’s seven historically regional accreditors to make such a move, the result of new federal regulations removing their geographic boundaries.

We will consider the ways that the Commission engages in its work and whether an alternative structure may be necessary to support the changing nature of accreditation, and its more modern demands. Believe it or not, our requirements and standards are also scheduled for evaluation.  We will need to begin to have conversations about the ways we can improve the language of our requirements and standards or our accreditation processes.  — source

 

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.

 

Best practices for engaging students online — from edtechmagazine.com by Amelia Pang
Norma I. Scagnoli, a higher education instructional design expert, shares her advice on how to humanize online learning.

Excerpt:

EDTECH: How do your instructors strengthen student engagement in entirely online courses?

Scagnoli: We built that engagement by following the Community of Inquiry Framework. This model was created by online learning experts such as Dr. Randy Garrison and Dr. Norm Vaughan, who research distance education and blended learning. This model focuses on cognitive presence, teaching presence and social presence to keep students engaged with online content.

You want to use every opportunity to promote critical thinking and trigger more class interactions and discussions. 

 

Scientists engineer air filter that can kill SARS-CoV-2 instantly  — from interestingengineering.com by Loukia Papadopoulos
Virus tests found that 99.8% of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was killed in a single pass.

This filter could be useful in airports and in airplanes, in office buildings, schools, and cruise ships to stop the spread of COVID-19…

 

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.


 

 

 

A new guide helps faculty plan equitable online courses for fall — from diverseeducation.com by Sara Weissman; guide from Every Learner Everywhere, the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) & the Association of Public & Land-grant Universities (APLU). With thanks to Ray Schroeder for the resource.

Excerpt:

A new guide for faculty, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, aims to help professors plan their online courses for fall as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

The faculty playbook, called “Delivering High-Quality Instruction Online in Response to COVID-19,” came out of a collaboration between Every Learner Everywhere, a network of non-profits focused on student outcomes, and two of its member organizations, the Online Learning Consortium and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). Their aim is to offer equity-minded online education strategies, especially for faculty who made their first foray into online education this year.

[Dr. Karen Vignare] sees the guide as a “concise” way to bring best practices together and to offer tools for “optimized online instruction,” she said.

The playbook is designed so that “you can really just dive in and get what you need,” she said. “You don’t have to read the whole thing from start to finish.”

Faculty playbook for online instruction -- concise, and meant to deliver education equitably

Faculty Playbook's Table of Contents -- Summer 2020

 

Also see:

Time For Class: COVID-19 Edition

 
 

Are universities going the way of CDs and cable TV? [Smith]

Are universities going the way of CDs and cable TV? — from theatlantic.com by Michael Smith; with thanks to Homa Tavangar & Will Richardson for this resource
Like the entertainment industry, colleges will need to embrace digital services in order to survive.

Excerpts:

We all know how that worked out: From 1999 to 2009, the music industry lost 50 percent of its sales. From 2014 to 2019, roughly 16 million American households canceled their cable subscriptions.

Similar dynamics are at play in higher education today. Universities have long been remarkably stable institutions—so stable that in 2001, by one account, they comprised an astonishing 70 of the 85 institutions in the West that have endured in recognizable form since the 1520s.

That stability has again bred overconfidence, overpricing, and an overreliance on business models tailored to a physical world. Like those entertainment executives, many of us in higher education dismiss the threats that digital technologies pose to the way we work.

Information technology transforms industries by making scarce resources plentiful, forcing customers to rethink the value of established products.

Paul Krugman, Economist, teaching on Masterclass.com

 

Learning from the Living Class Room

From DSC:
I can’t help but hear Clayton Christenson’s voice in the following quote:

An analogous situation prevails in higher education, where access to classroom seats, faculty experts, and university diplomas have been scarce for half a millennium. When massively open online courses first appeared, making free classes available to anyone with internet access, universities reflexively dismissed the threat. At the time, MOOCs were amateuristic, low-quality, and far removed from our degree-granting programs. But over the past 10 years, the technology has improved greatly.

 

Adobe Distance Learning Resources — from edex.adobe.com
Whether your school routinely supports distance learning or is facing unexpected closures, we’ve assembled these resources and learning opportunities to help educators engage remote students through online learning.

  • Talks and Webinars
  • Khan + Create Activities
  • Learn and Create for Social Justice
  • Courses, Articles, and Blogs
  • Go Paperless with your Teaching
  • Higher Ed and K-12 projects that make distance learning engaging
  • Resources to support young learners
 

To survive the pandemic, American colleges need a revolution — from linkedin.com by Jeff Selingo

Excerpts:

Moreover, the American higher education system is built largely for full-time students pursuing degrees that might take two or four years to finish. Unemployed workers want a new job in the next few weeks or months, not two years from now when they complete a degree. The newly unemployed also are accustomed to the cadence of regular work and can’t easily pivot to class schedules at colleges constructed for the convenience of faculty members, not students.

Higher education needs to reinvent itself for continual learning if it is going to remain relevant and expand opportunity for tens of millions of adults who find themselves unemployed in a fast-changing economy.  

 

 

Colleges face rising revolt by professors — from nytimes.com by Anemona Hartocollis
Most universities plan to bring students back to campus. But many of their teachers are concerned about joining them.

Excerpt:

College students across the country have been warned that campus life will look drastically different in the fall, with temperature checks at academic buildings, masks in half-empty lecture halls and maybe no football games.

What they might not expect: a lack of professors in the classroom.

Thousands of instructors at American colleges and universities have told administrators in recent days that they are unwilling to resume in-person classes because of the pandemic.

More than three-quarters of colleges and universities have decided students can return to campus this fall. But they face a growing faculty revolt.

In an indication of how fluid the situation is, the University of Southern California said late Wednesday that “an alarming spike in coronavirus cases” had prompted it to reverse an earlier decision to encourage attending classes in person.

 

Learning experience designs of the future!!! [Christian]

From DSC:
The article below got me to thinking about designing learning experiences and what our learning experiences might be like in the future — especially after we start pouring much more of our innovative thinking, creativity, funding, entrepreneurship, and new R&D into technology-supported/enabled learning experiences.


LMS vs. LXP: How and why they are different — from blog.commlabindia.com by Payal Dixit
LXPs are a rising trend in the L&D market. But will they replace LMSs soon? What do they offer more than an LMS? Learn more about LMS vs. LXP in this blog.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Building on the foundation of the LMS, the LXP curates and aggregates content, creates learning paths, and provides personalized learning resources.

Here are some of the key capabilities of LXPs. They:

  • Offer content in a Netflix-like interface, with suggestions and AI recommendations
  • Can host any form of content – blogs, videos, eLearning courses, and audio podcasts to name a few
  • Offer automated learning paths that lead to logical outcomes
  • Support true uncensored social learning opportunities

So, this is about the LXP and what it offers; let’s now delve into the characteristics that differentiate it from the good old LMS.


From DSC:
Entities throughout the learning spectrum are going through many changes right now (i.e., people and organizations throughout K-12, higher education, vocational schools, and corporate training/L&D). If the first round of the Coronavirus continues to impact us, and then a second round comes later this year/early next year, I can easily see massive investments and interest in learning-related innovations. It will be in too many peoples’ and organizations’ interests not to.

I highlighted the bulleted points above because they are some of the components/features of the Learning from the Living [Class] Room vision that I’ve been working on.

Below are some technologies, visuals, and ideas to supplement my reflections. They might stir the imagination of someone out there who, like me, desires to make a contribution — and who wants to make learning more accessible, personalized, fun, and engaging. Hopefully, future generations will be able to have more choice, more control over their learning — throughout their lifetimes — as they pursue their passions.

Learning from the living class room

In the future, we may be using MR to walk around data and to better visualize data


AR and VR -- the future of healthcare

 

 

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