Jeff Bezos Wants to Go to the Moon. Then, Public Education. — from edsurge.com by Dominik Dresel

Excerpts:

Jeff Bezos’ $2 billion investment to establish a Montessori-inspired network of preschools may be shrugged off by many as the world’s richest man dabbling in another playground. Instead, we should see it for what it is: the early days of Amazon’s foray into public education.

It would be easy to think that Amazon’s rapid expansion into industry after industry is just the natural, opportunistic path of a cash-flush company seeking to invest in new, lucrative markets. But Jeff Bezos, himself a graduate of a Montessori preschool, doesn’t think in short-term opportunities.

Yet, the world has had its first taste of the disentanglement of schooling from school buildings. Even though in 20 years we will still have school buildings—much like we still have bookstores—there is little doubt that the future will see more, not less, online instruction and content delivery.

 

 

Microsoft Education offers a free tutoring service to help students with their math problems — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

In today’s post I want to bring to your attention this interesting math resource from Microsoft Education called Tutoring Experts. As its name indicates, Tutoring Experts allows students to seek help with their math problems from tutors that are available 24/7.

Also see:

Get instant math help from expert tutors.

From DSC:
One wonders if there aren’t some opportunities here for more online-based tutoring services. Perhaps graduates from schools of education will move more towards this type of thing…

Perhaps the online-based materials in the future will have a question mark “?” icon that instantly connects to that service’s teachers, professors, trainers, pastors, and/or other SMEs. Or perhaps this type of thing is already there…I’m not sure.

 

A new category of devices from Cisco -- the Webex Desk Hub

From DSC:
In yesterday’s webexone presentations, Cisco mentioned a new device category, calling it the Webex Desk Hub. It gets at the idea of walking into a facility and grabbing any desk, and making that desk you own — at least for that day and time. Cisco is banking on the idea that sometimes people will be working remotely, and sometimes they will be “going into the office.” But the facilities will likely be fewer and smaller — so one might not have their own office.

In that case, you can plug in your smart device, and things are set up the way they would be if you did have that space as a permanent office.

Applying this concept to the smart classrooms of the future, what might that concept look like for classrooms? A faculty member or a teacher could walk into any room that supports such a setup, put in their personal smart device, and the room conditions are instantly implemented:

  • The LMS comes on
  • The correct class — based on which day it is and then on the particular time of day it is — is launched
  • The lights are dimmed to 50%
  • The electric window treatments darken the room
  • The projector comes on and/or the displays turn on
  • Etc.
 

The Digital Divide for Tribal College Students — COVID, CARES Act, and Critical Next Steps — from diverseeducation.com

Excerpt:

In this episode staff writer Sara Weissman shares a story that focuses on the digital divide for Native Americans by bringing in voices of tribal college leaders and their students during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Many don’t know but Native American colleges and universities have long struggled with the worst internet connectivity in the nation while ironically paying the highest rates for service. Hear first-hand how students from Diné College and other institutions are currently affected. Carrie Billie (Big Water Clan), President & CEO of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) and Dr. Cynthia Lindquist (Star Horse Woman), President of Cankdeska Cikana Community College in North Dakota, break down the data and lay out critical next steps necessary to address the digital divide.

Many don’t know but Native American colleges and universities have long struggled with the worst internet connectivity in the nation while ironically paying the highest rates for service.

From DSC:
When will there be justice!? Let’s join in and make amends and provide the funding, concrete assistance, products, and services to Native American colleges, universities, and communities. Some potential ideas:

  • For the short term, could there be Loon balloons deployed immediately to provide free and stronger access to the Internet?

Could Project Loon assist Native American colleges, universities, and communities?

  • Could our Federal Government make amends and do the right thing here? (e-rate program, put Internet access in, make policy changes, offer more grants, other?)
  • Could Silicon Valley assist with hardware and software? For example:
    • Can Apple, HP, Microsoft, and others donate hardware and software?
    • Can Zoom, Adobe, Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, and others donate whatever these communities need to provide videoconferencing licenses?
  • Could telecom providers provide free internet access?
  • Could MOOCs offer more free courses?
  • Could furniture makers such as Steelcase, Herman Miller, and others donate furniture and help establish connected learning spaces?
  • How might faculty members and staff within higher education contribute?
  • How could churches, synagogues, and such get involved?
  • Could the rest of us locate and donate to charities that aim to provide concrete assistance to Native American schools, colleges, universities, and communities?

We need to do the right thing here. This is another area* where our nation can do much better.

* Here’s another example/area where we can do much better and make amends/changes.

 


Addendum on 12/7/20:

 

From DSC:
Our oldest daughter showed me a “Bitmoji Classroom” that her mentor teacher — Emily Clay — uses as her virtual classroom. Below are some snapshots of the Google Slides that Emily developed based on the work of:

  • Kayla Young (@bitmoji.kayla)
  • MaryBeth Thomas 
  • Ms. Smith 
  • Karen Koch
  • The First Grade Creative — by C. Verddugo

My hats off to all of these folks whose work laid the foundations for this creative, fun, engaging, easy-to-follow virtual classroom for a special education preschool classroom — complete with ties to videoconferencing functionalities from Zoom. Emily’s students could click on items all over the place — they could explore, pursue their interests/curiosities/passions. So the snapshots below don’t offer the great interactivity that the real deal does.

Nice work Emily & Company! I like how you provided more choice, more control to your students — while keeping them engaged! 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

From DSC:
I also like the idea of presenting this type of slide (immediately below, and students’ names have been blurred for privacy’s sake) prior to entering a videoconferencing session where you are going to break out the students into groups. Perhaps that didn’t happen in Emily’s class…I’m not sure, but in other settings, it would make sense to share one’s screen right before sending the students to those breakout rooms and show them that type of slide (to let them know who will be in their particular breakout group).

The students in the different breakout sessions could then collaboratively work on Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides and you could watch their progress in real-time!

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

Also see:

 
 

Temperament-Inclusive Pedagogy: Helping Introverted and Extraverted Students Thrive in a Changing Educational Landscape — from onlinelearningconsortium.org by Mary R. Fry

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

So how do we take these different approaches to learning into account and foster a classroom environment that is more inclusive of the needs of both extraverts and introverts? Let’s first distinguish between how extraverts and introverts most prefer to learn, and then discuss ways to meet the needs of both. Extraverts tend to learn through active and social engagement with the material (group work, interactive learning experiences, performing and discussing). Verbalizing typically helps extraverts to think through their ideas and to foster new ones. They often think quickly on their feet and welcome working in large groups. It can be challenging for extraverts to generate ideas in isolation (talking through ideas is often needed) and thus working on solitary projects and writing can be challenging.

In contrast, introverts thrive with solitary/independent work and typically need this time to sort through what they are learning before they can formulate their thoughts and articulate their perspectives. Introverted learners often dislike group work (or at least the group sizes and structures that are often used in the classroom (more on this in a moment)) and find their voice drowned out in synchronous discussions as they don’t typically think as fast as their extroverted counterparts and don’t often speak until they feel they have something carefully thought out to share. Introverted learners are often quite content, and can remain attentive, through longer lectures and presentations and prefer engaging with the material in a more interactive way only after a pause or break.

From DSC:
Could/would a next-generation learning platform that has some Artificial Intelligence (AI) features baked into it — working in conjunction with a cloud-based learner profile — be of assistance here?

That is, maybe a learner could self-select the type of learning that they are: introverted or extroverted. Or perhaps they could use a sliding scaled to mix learning activities up to a certain degree. Or perhaps if one wasn’t sure of their preferences, they could ask the AI-backed system to scan for how much time they spent doing learning activities X, Y, and Z versus learning activities A, B, and C…then AI could offer up activities that meet a learner’s preferences.

(By the way, I love the idea of the “think-ink-pair-share” — to address both extroverted and introverted learners. This can be done digitally/virtually as well as in a face-to-face setting.)

All of this would further assist in helping build an enjoyment of learning. And wouldn’t that be nice? Now that we all need to learn for 40, 50, 60, 70, or even 80 years of our lives?

The 60-Year Curriculum: A Strategic Response to a Crisis

 

[Re: online-based learning] The Ford Model T from 1910 didn’t start out looking like a Maserati Gran Turismo from 2021! [Christian]

From DSC:
Per Wikipedia, this is a 1910 Model T that was photographed in Salt Lake City:

The Ford Model T didn't start out looking like a Maserati from 2021!

 

This is what online/virtual learning looks like further down the road. Our journey has just begun.

From DSC:
The Ford Model T didn’t start out looking like a Maserati Gran Turismo from 2021! Inventions take time to develop…to be improved…for new and further innovations and experiments to take place.

Thinking of this in terms of online-based learning, please don’t think we’ve reached the end of the road for online-based learning. 

The truth is, we’ve barely begun our journey.

 


Two last thoughts here


1 ) It took *teams* of people to get us to the point of producing a Maserati like this. It will take *teams* of people to produce the Maserati of online-based learning.

2) In terms of online-based learning, it’s hard to say how close to the Maserati that we have come because I/we don’t know how far things will go. But this I do know: We have come a looooonnnnnggggg ways from the late 1990s! If that’s what happened in the last 20 years — with many denying the value of online-based learning — what might the next 5, 10, or 20 years look like when further interest, needs, investments, etc. are added? Then add to all of that the momentum from emerging technologies like 5G, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, bots, algorithms, and more!


From DSC:
To drive the point home, here’s an addendum on late 9/29/20:

Mercedes-Benz Shares Video of Avatar Electric Car Prototype

 

From DSC: What if each learner/ person/ student could have a lifelong, cloud-based “tribute” site? [Christian]


From DSC: What if each learner/person/student could have a lifelong, cloud-based “tribute” site?

What if you could hire a career coach to sift through the tributes to find common themes?


From DSC:
I recently asked friends and family to help me celebrate a significant birthday for my wife by creating a tribute for her — using a service called Tribute.co. It was a fun, meaningful, relational experience — it opened the doors to some great communications.

Check out tribute.co -- what if each learner could have a lifelong, cloud-based tribute?

Here’s a video that describes what a Tribute is (from the company of that same name).

So I put out potential suggestions for what I hoped that we could relay to my wife, and people contributed their videos. Then a person at Tribute edited the videos to come up with a highlight reel. They also presented to my wife all of the videos, not just the highlight reel.

That got me to wonder, “What if each learner had a cloud-based, lifelong tribute site that parents, guardians, grandparents, teachers, coaches, musical directors, pastors, friends, and others could leave encouraging and instructive messages on? Or when they note something that might be of use later on in terms of career selection, they could “jot it down.” For example:

  • [First-grade teacher] “I noticed Anne that when we did the art projects, you were enthralled with any sort of creative endeavor or project. We almost lost you in another world!”
  • [Family member] “Tony, I’ve noticed ____. Here’s something to consider for your future pathways. Would you be interested in exploring _____ — such as if we signed you up for some lessons in that area?”
  • [Eight grade teacher] “Eloise, I saw that your engagement level skyrocket when we studied ____, especially when you did the project on ___.”
  • [Basketball coach] “Chan, I appreciated your hard work in practice today. Keep up the good work and you will be a super player! You are fast, strong, and seem to have a competitive spirit about you. Consider making a workout chart and charting out the workouts that you do each day. Monitor your progress over time. As of today, here are some apps to do just that: ___.
  • [Pastor] “So glad Amanda that you were able to join us on our youth group visit to ___. I appreciated your end-of-the-day reflections on the experiences of the day. I also appreciated your hard work helping others.”
  • [Friend] “It was great horsing around on Garageband with you today Zach. I look forward to diving into iMovie next with you. Let’s create a movie for each other. You seem to have a very creative side to you.”
  • [High school CS Teacher] “Keep up the good work programming Jeremy! I hope that you will consider going into some type of job that uses critical thinking, mathematics, problem-solving — perhaps it will be programming, perhaps it will be engineering, or something else.”
  • [College professor/advisor] “You mentioned that you hate college to me the last two times we met. You don’t seem happy studying ___. Have you considered ____?”
  • [Tennis coach] Remember to bend those knees…get low. Keep your eyes on the seams of the ball.”

The idea behind such a service would be to offer encouragement, feedback, (if carefully put) constructive criticism, a message that “I’m on your team”…and/or…”Here’s what I see in you.”


Additional functionality/options


  • Contributors:
    • Like Twitter imposes a limit on characters, there could be options to impose a time limit on the length of a video, ability to add more than one video, and/or set a limit on how many videos someone can upload
    • If submitting a written piece, the option would be there to limit the number of characters and/or the word count.
  • From learners themselves (to their own tribute)
    • No time limit, no word count or character limit
    • Would act like a multimedia-based diary/journal of learning
    • Option to select whether might be worth re-listening to for career selection purposes.
 

Teaching in a Hybrid Classroom – What’s Working, What’s Not — from derekbruff.org by Derek Bruff

Excerpt:

Now that we’re a few weeks into the semester, I wanted to know what was working and what was a continuing challenge for instructors, so I convened a conversation on teaching earlier this week attended by 18 of my faculty colleagues representing a range of disciplines. They were excited to be back in the classroom this fall. “There’s a different energy when we’re face-to-face,” one of them said. We had a lively discussion via Zoom about hybrid teaching, including what made it exciting and what made it frustrating, and I wanted to share a few highlights here on the blog.

I waited a minute or two while the participants thought and typed, and when it was clear that most of the participants were no longer typing, I said, “Ready, set, go!” Everyone hit enter, and a slew of responses appeared in the chat at the same time. At this point, we all spent a couple of minutes reading through the responses. I selected a couple that were particularly interesting and called on those participants to elaborate via video.

Also see:

Active Learning in Hybrid and Physically Distanced Classrooms — from cft.vanderbilt.edu by Derek Bruff

 

If I’m standing at the front of the classroom with half or a third of my students in the room with me, but sitting six feet apart from each other and wearing masks, while the rest of my students are joining class by videoconference, what strategies might I employ to engage all of my students in meaningful learning?

I’m going to try to outline some options here in this blog post, drawing on ideas and resources from across the higher education community, but I would enthusiastically welcome additional approaches in the comments below or via Hypothesis annotations.

Derek Bruff

 

From DSC:
Yet another example of the changes occurring in the learning ecosystems out there.

COVID-19 Fuels Big Enrollment Increases in Virtual Schools — from edweek.org by Mark Lieberman

Excerpt:

Florida Virtual School’s enrollment is up 54 percent year over year for its individual online course offerings and 64 percent for full-time programs. Public schools’ online programs managed by the for-profit provider K12 Inc. have grown from 122,000 enrollments in fall 2019 to 170,000 a year later. Applications to Connections Academy, a virtual school provider owned by Pearson, are up 61 percent.

The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School filled up months before it usually starts receiving the bulk of new applicants. An Oklahoma virtual charter school earlier this summer was enrolling 1,000 students a day. Enrollment in virtual schools is also up in ConnecticutOhio, and Wisconsin.

 

Reflections on some nice ideas from Dr. Barbi Honeycutt [Lecture Breakers Weekly!]

Per this week’s Lecture Breakers Weekly! from Dr. Barbi Honeycutt:

Break up your online lectures with the Watch Party! Here’s how you can do it: 

  • Pre-record your mini-lecture or find a video you want to use for your lesson. 
  • Instead of asking students to watch the video on their own, play it during your synchronous/live class time.
  • Explain to your students that they are watching the video all at the same time and that you will be facilitating the chat and answering their questions as they watch the video together. It’s a watch party!
  • Option: Take the conversation out of Zoom or your LMS. Create a hashtag for your course on Twitter and invite other experts, colleagues, or friends to join the conversation.

Instead of presenting during the synchronous class time, you can now focus completely on managing the chat, prompting discussion, and responding to students’ questions and ideas in real-time. And be sure to record and save the chat for students who couldn’t attend the live session or want to review it later.

From DSC:
This is one of the kind of things that I envisioned with Learning from the living class[room] — a next-generation, global learning platform.

Learners could be watching a presentation/presenter, but communicating in real-time with other learners. Perhaps it will be a tvOS-based app or something similar. But TV as we know it is changing, right? It continues to become more interactive and on-demand all the time. Add videoconferencing apps like Zoom, Cisco Webex Meetings, Blackboard Collaborate, Microsoft Teams, Adobe Connect and others, and you have real-time, continuous, lifelong, relevant/timely, affordable, accessible, up-to-date learning.

Also, you have TEAM-BASED learning. 

Add videoconferencing apps like Zoom, Cisco Webex Meetings, Blackboard Collaborate, Microsoft Teams, Adobe Connect and others, and you have real-time, continuous, lifelong, up-to-date learning.

 

 

From A New Way Forward:

Grab the remote! A series from Big Picture Learning!

Grab the remote! A series from Big Picture Learning!

Also see the following “Must Reads” from A New Way Forward:


From DSC:
Along these lines…in regards to digital equity, I’m reminded of this recent graphic:

Let's use television for folks who don't have access to the Internet -- Daniel Christian

 
 

With an eye towards the future…what questions should we be asking about learning experience design (#LXD)? [Christian]

From DSC:
Some of the following questions came to my mind recently:

  • In this age of the Coronavirus, how can we think differently about learning experience design (#LXD)?
  • How can *teams* of people come together to reimagine what learning could look like in the future? Who might be some new players at the table? More students? Artists? Actors? More animators? More technicians and people from A/V? Specialists in XR? Corporate trainers coming together with Instructional Designers from higher ed and from K-12? #learningecosystems #future
  • How can we better tighten up the alignment between K-12, higher ed / vocational programs, and the corporate world?
  • How can we make self-directed learning more prevalent (which would release an enormous amount of energy & creativity)? #heutagogy

Maybe those aren’t even the right questions…

If not, what do you think? What questions should we be asking about learning these days?

#LXD #learningecosystems #future #lifelonglearning #onlinelearning #highereducation #K12 #corporatelearning #heutagogy

 

The main thing we need to remember is that this space no longer serves as an accessory to face-to-face teaching. It is now our main contact point with learners, so it needs to play different roles: communication channel, learning path, interaction platform and community space. Teachers therefore need a certain degree of freedom to design this space in the best way that suits their teaching style and philosophy as well as their course content and learning objectives.

What became obvious in the past months is that when it comes to teaching and learning
 fully online, the learning experience design aspect, including look, feel and logic of the platform from the users’ perspective- be it teachers or students-, are at least as important as the content.

(source)

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian