From DSC:
Some of the areas likely to see such tools integrated into their arenas, operations, and ecosystems:

 

Educating all learners during COVID-19: An alliance emerges to provide support for virtual special education services — from gettingsmart.com by Rachelle Dene Poth

Excerpt:

One group that is developing a supportive space for educators looking to support students with disabilities during this time is the Educating All Learners Alliance (EALA), a group dedicated to equity and aimed at providing resources that students with disabilities need. The EALA is a collaborative project between a number of education groups to curate education resources specifically for schools that serve the nearly 7.5 million special needs students in America. Lauren Morando Rhim, co-founder and executive director of founding partner the National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools, explains the motivation for the project: “We’re already seeing schools finding creative and innovative ways to ensure teachers and students with disabilities can engage in teaching and learning remotely—our goal is to help educators share those strategies broadly with their peers.”

 

 

Virtual classroom engagement tactics for COVID-19 pandemic — from learningsolutionsmag.com by Bill Brandon

Excerpts:

In the two previous articles in this series (see “ICYMI” at the end of this article), I listed 10 resources for virtual classroom design and delivery, published in the past in Learning Solutions. In this article, I wrap up the series with an additional five that are more tactical in nature.

Tips for great delivery in the virtual classroom
Five Essential Skills for Virtual Classroom Facilitators: Cindy Huggett discusses “five key competencies” for virtual classroom delivery that she has identified in her research and through experience. Mastering these skills is essential to facilitating live virtual classroom sessions that are engaging, polished, and professional. Karen Hyder gives tips for “owning your message” through practice and preparation that will ensure authentic delivery.

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
On the positive side…

What I appreciate about ‘s article is that it’s asking us to think about future scenarios in regards to higher education. Then, it’s proposing some potential action steps to take now to address those potential scenarios if they come to fruition. It isn’t looking at the hood when we’re traveling 180 mph. Rather, it’s looking out into the horizon to see what’s coming down the pike. 

6 Steps to Prepare for an Online Fall Semester — from chronicle.com b

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Plan for a multiyear impact. If colleges are forced to maintain online-only instruction in the fall and to defer reopening their campuses to in-person instruction to January 2021, the impact will be felt for years. College leaders should start thinking now about how to manage and potentially adjust spring-2021 (and beyond) course offerings, course sequencing, and degree requirements to avoid saddling students with graduation delays and the accompanying direct and indirect financial costs. In addition, colleges should anticipate a smaller-than-normal entering first-year class in fall 2020 (and thus a larger-than-normal enrollment a year later) and devise strategies to help mitigate the resulting stresses on admission rates and classroom and dorm capacity for first-year students entering in fall 2021 and beyond.

If instruction remains online-only in the fall, colleges won’t be able to afford that sort of inefficiency. College departments should start now to identify opportunities for collaborations that would draw on the collective wisdom and labor of faculty members from multiple institutions who are teaching similar courses. This would lessen the burden of migrating teaching materials and techniques to an online format.

From DSC:
I’ve often wondered about the place of consortiums within higher ed…i.e., pooling resources. Will the impacts of the Coronavirus change this area of higher ed? Not sure. Perhaps.

On the negative side…

I take issue with some of John’s perspectives, which are so common amongst the writers and academics out there. For example:

Conversely, an entire generation of current college students is now learning that it can be pretty boring to be one of several hundred people simultaneously watching a Zoom lecture.

You know what? I did that very same thingover and over again — at Northwestern University (NU), but in a face-to-face format. And quite frankly, it’s a better view on videoconferencing. It’s far more close up, more intimate online. I agree it’s a different experience. But our auditoriums were large and having 100-200+ students in a classroom was common. There was no interaction amongst the students. There were no breakout groups. The faculty members didn’t know most of our names and I highly doubt that the well-paid researchers at Northwestern — who were never taught how to teach in the first place nor did they or NU regard the practice of teaching and learning highly anyway — gave a rat’s ass about body language. Reading the confusion in the auditorium? Really? I highly doubt it. And those TA’s that we paid good money for? Most likely, they were never taught how to teach either. The well-paid researchers often offloaded much of the teaching responsibilities onto the teacher assistants’ backs. 

Bottom line:
Face-to-face learning is getting waaaay more credit than it sometimes deserves — though sometimes it IS warranted. And online-based learning — especially when it’s done right — isn’t getting nearly enough credit. 


Addendum: Another example of practicing futures thinking in higher ed:

 

From DSC:
The “Pair & Share” method allows students to find a fellow student to talk about the question/topic at hand. Then, depending upon time and your learning objectives/lesson plans, some students can report back to the larger classroom about what they discussed. In the digital, synchronous realm, one can achieve this with private chat rooms — given that you’ve changed a setting to allow this to occur. Posting the pairings ahead of time should help establish a quick, smooth transition.

(The graphic below is for the Cisco Webex Meeting Center on a MacBook Pro).

Providing a quick pair and share method using the Cisco Webex Meeting Center product

 

 

NYC classrooms cancel Zoom after trolls make ‘Zoombombing’ a thing — from thenextweb.com by Bryan Clark

From DSC:
I’m a sinner. I know that all too well. But I’m tagging this with ethics, morals, and matters of the heart because I don’t have a tag for “I’m bumbed out that a solid technology gets ruined by a few bad apples.” It’s not the technology’s fault, per se. It has everything to do with the human heart….whether we like to admit/recognize it or not.

Also see:

“Zoombombing problems are more likely to occur for online events for which the link is circulated widely, or even posted on a public website.” (source)
 

Learning ecosystems across the globe are going through massive changes! [Christian]

Learning ecosystems are going through massive changes!


From DSC:

Due to the impacts of the Coronavirus, learning ecosystems across the globe are going through massive changes!

Each of us has our own learning ecosystem, and the organizations that we work for have their own learning ecosystems as well. Numerous teachers, professors, and trainers around the world are now teaching online. Their toolboxes are expanding with the addition of several new tools and some new knowledge. I believe that will be one of the silver linings from the very tough situations/times that we find ourselves in.

Expanding our teaching toolboxes


At the WMU-Cooley Law School, our learning ecosystem is also fluid and continues to morph.
This blog posting speaks to those changes.

https://info.cooley.edu/blog/learning-ecosystem-simply-defined-sources-for-learning

 

Learning from the Living [Class] Room: Due to the impacts from the Coronavirus, this is happening today across many countries. But this vision is just beginning to develop. We haven’t seen anything yet.

 

Future Today Institute's 2020 tech trends report

Key takeaways of this report:

  • Welcome to the Synthetic Decade.
  • You’ll soon have augmented hearing and sight.
  • A.I.-as-a-Service and Data-as-a-Service will reshape business.
  • China has created a new world order.
  • Home and office automation is nearing the mainstream.
  • Everyone alive today is being scored.
  • We’ve traded FOMO for abject fear.
  • It’s the end of forgetting.
  • Our new trust economy is being formed.

 

DC: Precursor to a next gen learning platform…? Another piece is falling into place.

 

Think you could learn Mandarin? This Kansas kindergarten classroom is Chinese-only — from by Robert Smith

Excerpts:

In a Wolf Springs Elementary School classroom with “Chinese Only Zone” signs taped to the walls, kindergarteners are learning their core subjects in the primary language of a global economic superpower located across the world.

This language-immersion class of kindergarteners is part of a new Blue Valley School District initiative to graduate high school seniors fluent in a second language, an asset school officials believe will give students a leg up as they pursue academics and careers and prepare students to participate in a global workforce.

Chinese Mandarin, a group of dialects spoken by more than 800 million people, is a tonal language in which the meaning of words can be reflected by voice pitch. Though its grammar is similar to English, words or phrases are represented by Chinese characters.

Besides the usual educational stresses, parents who put their children in the program would need to be committed to the program. Because these kindergarteners are expected to remain together in a Mandarin-speaking classroom all the way through high school, new immersion students can only enter the program in kindergarten.

While other elementary-aged students spend roughly 60 minutes studying Spanish per week, this group of kindergartens spends half of their school time each day with Pan learning math, science and social studies in Mandarin. The groups studies reading and literacy with teacher Haley Watkins in English.

 

“In under a minute we filled all of the slots. That afternoon we had hundreds of people on the waiting list.”

 

From DSC:
Wow! This is quite the K-12 cohort/immersion! Add to that type of setup tools like Cisco Webex, Blackboard Collaborate, Adobe Connect, etc. — and not to mention what happens with virtual reality in the next decade — and this type of cohort/immersion will likely be highly effective over time.

So what will the future classrooms of the world look like? My guess is that with 5G and virtual reality on the way, there will be a lot more “connections” being made in the future…with many nations/classrooms being involved.

iStock-1154674846-purchased-11-21-19
[From my purchase of iStock #1154674846.]

 

DC: In the future…will there be a “JustWatch” or a “Suppose” for learning-related content?

DC: In the future...will there be a JustWatch or a Suppose for learning-related content?

 

Is virtual reality the future of online learning? — from builtin.com by Stephen Gossett; with thanks to Dane Lancaster for his tweet on this (see below)
Education is driving the future of VR more than any other industry outside of gaming. Here’s why virtual reality gets such high marks for tutoring, STEM development, field trips and distance education.

 

 

 

Bigscreen TV launches with 50+ channels of video content — from vrscout.com by Allison Hollender

Excerpts:

Bigscreen, an immersive social platform that allows you to access your computer in VR, aims to continue revolutionizing the TV viewing experience with Bigscreen TV — a VR streaming experience that opens up access to over 50 major television providers.


“With Bigscreen, users can watch a Netflix show or a Twitch stream in an IMAX-like virtual movie theater,” Bigscreen reports. This means users from around the world can gather together to watch big championship games or their favorite shows with their friends as though they are together on the same couch.

 

How might immersive techs like those found in BigScreen TV impact teaching and learning related experiences?

 

From DSC:
Interesting…how might technologies and vendors like Bigscreen TV impact learning-related experiences? Hmmm….time will tell.

 

For a next gen learning platform: A Netflix-like interface to check out potential functionalities / educationally-related “apps” [Christian]

From DSC:
In a next generation learning system, it would be sharp/beneficial to have a Netflix-like interface to check out potential functionalities that you could turn on and off (at will) — as one component of your learning ecosystem that could feature a setup located in your living room or office.

For example, put a Netflix-like interface to the apps out at eduappcenter.com (i.e., using a rolling interface at first, then going to a static page/listing of apps…again…similar to Netflix).

 

A Netflix-like interface to check out potential functionalities / educationally-related apps

 

 

 

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