Blurring the lines between education and workforce — from hechingerreport.org by Javeria Salman
A proposition to ‘blur’ the boundaries between K-12, higher ed, and the workforce industry

Excerpts:

One idea that’s been gaining steam since last year is to break down barriers between high school, college and career to create a system that bridges all three.

The concept is called the “Big Blur.”

“What would it look like to change the typical, or what we think of as the conventional high school experience and instead design something that was built for the modern economy?” said Vargas.

Vargas said that JFF is arguing for new programs or institutions that serve students in grades 11 through 14 (grades 13 and 14 being the first two years of college, under our current configuration). The institutions would be co-designed with regional employers so that all students get work-based learning experiences and graduate — without tuition costs — with a post-secondary credential that has labor market value.

 

From DSC:
After thanking Diana for the posting, I replied:

Not to be negative here, but this visual strikes me as something that our “one-size-fits-all” K12 learning ecosystems sometimes do here in the U.S.

 

Meet the metaverse: Creating real value in a virtual world — from mckinsey.com with Eric Hazan and Lareina Yee

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Welcome to the metaverse. Now, where exactly are we? Imagine for a moment the next iteration of the internet, seamlessly combining our physical and digital lives. It’s many things: a gaming platform, a virtual retail spot, a training tool, an advertising channel, a digital classroom, a gateway to entirely new virtual experiences. While the metaverse continues to be defined, its potential to unleash the next wave of digital disruption is clear. In the first five months of 2022, more than $120 billion have been invested in building out metaverse technology and infrastructure. That’s more than double the $57 billion invested in all of 2021.

How would you define the metaverse?
Lareina: What’s exciting is that the metaverse, like the internet, is the next platform on which we can work, live, connect, and collaborate. It’s going to be an immersive virtual environment that connects different worlds and communities. There are going to be creators and alternative currencies that you can buy and sell things with. It will have a lot of the components of Web3 and gaming and AR, but it will be much larger.

Also relevant/see:


Also relevant/see:


 

Changing the narrative on degree requirements — from workshift.opencampusmedia.org by Paul Fain; with thanks to Ryan Craig (I believe) for this resource
An ad campaign from Opportunity@Work and the Ad Council will call on employers to drop the “paper ceiling” and hire more skilled workers without four-year degrees.

Excerpt:

A new national advertising campaign will seek to influence employers to look beyond the four-year degree in hiring, with the message that a “paper ceiling” holds back half the U.S. workforce.

The ads from Opportunity@Work and the Ad Council are slated to start running in September. With slick production and some big corporate partners, including Walmart and Google, the campaign is designed to nudge hiring managers across the country to make good on the growing number of pledges from company C-suites, state capitals, and the White House to drop barriers for skilled job seekers who lack bachelor’s degrees.

This group of more than 70M Americans includes community college graduates, experienced workers, veterans of the U.S. military, and completers of job training programs or alternatives to college, according to the nonprofit Opportunity@Work. The ads will celebrate these workers, which the group says are skilled through alternative routes (STARs).


Also relevant, see:

Americans support student loan forgiveness, but would rather rein in college costs — from npr.org by Cory Turner; with thanks to Bryan Alexander for posting this on LinkedIn

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Erasing old debts vs. fixing the system
In one of the poll’s most unexpected findings, respondents were asked to choose which sentence they agreed with more:

    1. “The government should prioritize making college more affordable for current and future students”
    2. “The government should prioritize forgiving some debt for those with existing student loans”

A whopping 82% said the government’s priority should be making college more affordable for current and future students. Just 16% believed forgiving student debts should take priority.

What that tells me is that, while student loan forgiveness for some is seen as a good proposal and a short-term fix, where we actually need to go from here is true, systematic change,” Newall says.

 

4 Trends to Watch in Education — from caitlintucker.com by Caitlin Tucker

Excerpt:

Last month, I delivered a keynote on the future of education. It’s a vast topic, so I focused on four trends likely to impact our work as educators.

  1. Continued growth in blended and online learning.
  2. Districts confront record-high teacher turnover.
  3. Students continue to struggle with trauma and learning loss.
  4. Increased concerns about equity and access.

As school leaders prepare for the 2022-2023 school year, these four trends can help them identify district priorities and create a strategic plan for the year ahead.

Also see:

What is “unschooling”? My Reflection Matters believes “it takes a village” — from ctpublic.org (Connecticut) by Katie Pellico and Luch Nalpathanchil

Excerpt:

Families are asked to log their “exit” from public school with the state agency. There were 550 exits reported in 2019, and that number rose to “around 3,500 in 2020.” By 2021, that number was at 2,300, though the Department of Education notes “students who have not returned to school by October 1 could still have returned to school any day after that for the remainder of the year.”

14 QUICK WAYS TO TECH-UP YOUR CLASSROOM — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

With technology becoming a more significant part of the classroom, you might feel that incorporating tech-enabled tools into your classroom is a difficult job, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of useful and fun apps out there that can help you bring technology into your classroom in a way that’s both entertaining and engaging.

Young learners are always surrounded by and exposed to technology, and it’s something that they have a natural affinity for. That’s why technology can be a useful educational tool to boost learner engagement and content retention.

Here are 14 easy ways that you can incorporate tech into your class…

5 Tips for Tackling Classroom Redesigns — from techlearning.com by Ellen Ullman
Creating learning spaces that are accessible for students with specific needs almost always leads to positive outcomes for all learners

 

GreenLight Means Go: Where Learner and Employment Records Are Headed — from gettingsmart.com by Getting Smart Staff

Excerpt:

New solutions present a unique solution to these challenges by providing a user-controlled technology to store, share, search, and match acquired competency with opportunity. One of the key players in this space is GreenLight Credentials, a frictionless, user-controlled talent search and credential-communicator that addresses these issues. On the outbound side, institutions and their learners can store any type of verified record including transcripts, credentials, badges, or other documentation of learning. These learning experiences are then translated into data – competencies, skills, interests, and accomplishments that are then matched with scholarship, university and employment opportunities. Universities and employers can join the network to discover and connect with prospective students or employees.

The vast majority of students who graduate from high school in the United States typically have their learning diluted to a single one-page transcript that lists courses and grades – and often a GPA.

What young people need now are repetitions in design thinking – to repeatedly find, frame, address complex problems and deliver value to a community.

— Getting Smart Staff

Also relevant/see from Getting Smart:

Innovating Together: the Geopolitical and Educational Path Forward — by Tom Vander Ark

Key Points

  • The new mission of school is cultivating curiosity, purpose and problem solving by inviting learners into real world challenges in diverse teams using smart tools.
  • The path forward is innovating together.

The VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) is now hyper-connected (VUCAH).

Also relevant/see:

 

As Challenges in Education Persist, Our Coverage Will Elevate Educator Voices — from edsurge.com by EdSurge Staff

Excerpt:

Elevating the diverse voices of educators—particularly the perspectives of those traditionally marginalized—is critical for making change. That’s especially important at this moment, during what appears to be an inflection point in the history of American education.

During this period of upheaval, we’ve amplified the voices of educators as they navigate the fallout from the pandemic through our Voices of Change project, creating opportunities for educators to reflect, share and learn from one another through journalism, storytelling and research.

From DSC:
This is great to see, especially seeing as we are in a game-changing environment. These folks are on the front lines, so to speak. As such, we need to listen to them very carefully. Their voices should be the first to be considered and heard as we move forward into the future of education.


Also relevant/see:

Teachers of the Year Say Educators Deserve More Trust — — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt:

“We have this idea that they’ve lost learning, but I really want to change that narrative into: Their learning has shifted,” she explains. “They learned a lot. It might not have been the science I wanted them to learn, but they learned how to learn online and in person; they learned how to change at a moment’s notice, they learned how to keep themselves and … their family safe. I’m pretty sure they all have graduate degrees in technology at this point.”

Rivera believes that education would improve if leaders at every level listened to teachers more, trusted them as experts and drew on their insight when making decisions.

 

 

CLASSROOM AND AT-HOME ACCOMMODATIONS FOR DYSLEXIA — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

For most kids of school age, recognizing letters and learning to pronounce them comes as easy as possible. However, for children living with Dyslexia, it is typically an uphill task to achieve. Dyslexia is a reading disorder that impedes a child’s early academic development by significantly decreasing the ability to process graphic symbols, especially where it concerns language. Such children may struggle with language development before school age and experience difficulties learning to spell when they eventually enroll in school. Some symptoms commonly exhibited by dyslexic children include reversed letter and word sequences, weak literacy skills, and poor handwriting.

In all these, the good news for parents and educators with dyslexic children in their care is that with early diagnosis and suitable accommodations, they can learn to read like the other children.

CLASSROOM AND AT-HOME ACCOMMODATIONS FOR DYSCALCULIA — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

If you have a child struggling with basic math skills and you’ve done everything else to resolve the situation yet it persists, the child might be suffering from Dyscalculia. Dyscalculia is a learning disorder typified by an inability to grasp basic math skills. The peculiar thing about this learning disorder is how it seems only to concern itself with foundational math skills. Lots of people living with this disorder will go on to learn advanced mathematical principles and concepts without any problems. Although manifestations of Dyscalculia will differ from person to person, another symptom commonly associated with the disorder is visual-spatial struggles or difficulty in processing what they hear.

It does not matter whether you are a parent or a teacher; if you are looking for the right accommodations needed to aid students with Dyscalculia, you have come to the right post. These are some steps you can take both in the classroom and at home to ease learning for students with Dyscalculia.

CLASSROOM AND AT-HOME ACCOMMODATIONS FOR DYSNOMIA — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

When kids struggle with recalling words, numbers, names, etc., off the top of their heads without recourse to a visual or verbal hint, they might likely be suffering from Dysnomia. Dysnomia is a learning disability marked by an inability to recollect essential aspects of the oral or written language.

CLASSROOM AND AT-HOME ACCOMMODATIONS FOR DYSGRAPHIA — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

Like most learning disabilities, Dysgraphia makes learning difficult for students. In this case, this learning disorder is peculiar to handwriting and motor skills proficiency. Students living with Dysgraphia can suffer from problems ranging from forming letters accordingly, transferring their thoughts onto paper, tying their shoelaces, and zipping a jack. It is pretty standard that Dysgraphia sufferers compensate for their struggles with handwriting by developing remarkable verbal skills. However, this disorder is prone to misdiagnosis. It is due to a lack of sufficient research on the subject.

As a parent or an educator, if you have students who live with Dysgraphia, this post will show you which accommodations you need to put in place to help them learn correctly.


Also relevant/see:

EARLY INTERVENTION: A GUIDE — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

Educators must effectively identify a student who needs early intervention, whether for autism, learning disorders, or even reading difficulties. The more serious the issue, the more essential early action becomes.


 

Above video from Steve Kerr’s statement on school shooting in Texas

From DSC:
Steve Kerr has it right. Powerful. Critically important. 

“Enough!”  “We can’t get numb to this!”

 

From DSC:
The items below made me reflect on the need to practice some serious design thinking to rethink/redesign the cradle-to-grave learning ecosystems out there.


Real World Learning in Action — from gettingsmart.com by Shawnee Caruthers

Key Points

  • The Real World Learning initiative was created to address a simple, but equally complex challenge: How do you prepare students for life after high school?
  • The traditional, go to classes, earn some credits, participate in some activities and earn a diploma wasn’t working, at least not equitably.

Creating a new high school experience starts with innovative thinking and advocates willing to say yes. As a result of collaborations, visiting best practice sites and numerous convenings, the Kansas City region is now a hub for pathways, wall-to-wall academies, microschools, innovation academies, student-run businesses, strong client-connected project examples and more. Educational stakeholders can now go across state lines to see future-forward thinking for students.

Also relevant/see:

Framing and Designing the HOW — from gettingsmart.com by Rebecca Midles

Key Points (emphasis DSC):

  • The referenced circle graphic is intended to guide how we talk about our work as a system, internal and externally.
  • It also is about understanding our why on a personal level.
  • Learning systems are specifically designed to get the results they have, and to change results, we have to redesign the system.

Also relevant/see:

Fewer People Are Getting Teacher Degrees. Prep Programs Sound the Alarm — from edweek.org by Madeline Wil

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

As teacher dissatisfaction rates rise and concerns about teacher shortages intensify, colleges of education are sounding the alarm: Enrollment has been steadily declining for the past decade, and the pandemic has likely made things worse.

Smaller and Restructured: How the Pandemic Is Changing the Higher Education IT Workforce — from educause.edu by Jenay Robert

Excerpt:

Several prominent themes emerged from the analysis of these responses and are supported by other recent EDUCAUSE research:

  • Though most respondents reported a reduction in force, some were able to justify adding new positions to their units in 2021, primarily to meet new institutional needs.
  • Budget cuts were the main cause of reductions in force.
  • Work factors such as flexible, remote work options and competitive salaries are playing a central role in attrition and recruitment.
  • Increased workloads and personal stressors related to the pandemic have resulted in widespread burnout among staff.
  • IT units have plans to reorganize in 2022 to become more agile and efficient and to respond to the evolving needs of their organizations.

Allan: With $175G Grants, Accelerate ED Looks to Better Link K-12, College & Work — from the74million.org by Sara Allan

Excerpt:

Today, most states require high school students to complete a set of defined courses, assessments and experiences in order to graduate on a career-ready pathway. However, the number of schools that fully embrace coherent programs of study that connect K-12, higher education and employment remains frustratingly small.

.


What if every high school student had the chance to take an additional year of courses related to their interests and earn enough credits to complete their associate degree one year after high school while gaining valuable experience and career preparation—at little to no cost?

— from Seamless Pathways to Degrees and Careers

From DSC:
The above quote is the type of “What if…” question/thinking that we need to redesign our cradle-to-grave/lifelong learning ecosystems.


A relevant addendum on 6/1/22:

 

27 Fun Ways to Celebrate the End of the School Year — from commonsense.org by Erin Wilkey O.

Excerpt:

This year, things are closer to “normal,” but we can still be creative in recognizing and celebrating students’ accomplishments. Use this list of ideas to help you plan some fun end-of-year activities — we’ve included a special section at the end for celebrating the class of 2022. Many of the ideas here play out in the digital world, but we’ve mixed in some offline options as well.

We hope these activities bring you and your students some much-deserved joy as we close out the 2021–2022 school year.

 

Best colouring and painting apps for kids — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

Below is a collection of some of great painting and colouring apps to help your kids unleash their expressive creativity and develop fine motor skills. These apps, mostly colouring games, provide kids access to a wide variety of colouring pages featuring images covering different topics from animals and mandalas to horoscopes and flowers to colour. Using game-based activities and interactive lessons, these apps offer kids a learning friendly space where they can exercise their painting, and drawing skills, improve their hand-eye coordination, and expand their imagination and creativity.

 

The Science of Learning: Research Meets Practice — from the-learning-agency-lab.com by Alisa Cook and Ulrich Boser; with thanks to Learning Now TV for this resource
Six Research-Based Teaching Practices Are Put Into Practice

Excerpt:

For the nation’s education system, though, the bigger question is: How do we best educate our children so that they learn better, and learn how to learn, in addition to learning what to learn? Additionally, and arguably just as challenging, is: How do we translate this body of research into classroom practice effectively?

Enter the “Science of Learning: Research Meets Practice.” The goal of the project is to get the science of learning into the hands of teaching professionals as well as to parents, school leaders, and students.

 

Michigan Learning Channel: A Free Tool for Summer Learning — from michiganvirtual.org

Excerpt:

In this course, you will:

  • Recognize the what, why, and how of Michigan Learning Channel (MLC) resources.
  • Identify opportunities for family engagement that align with literacy, math, and science learning goals.
  • Consider ways to share these fun and free activities with students and families.

Also relevant/see:

FUTURE OF ME — from michiganlearning.org
Explore STEM careers by meeting women who work in those fields.

AGE RANGE: 6th – 12th Grade
SUBJECT: Career Exploration, Math, Science

TV Schedule — from michiganlearning.org



 

Teacher Moves That Cultivate Learner Agency — from edutopia.org by Paul Emerich France
Helping students become independent, questioning thinkers begins with stepping back and guiding them to take the lead in their learning.

Excerpt:

Cultivating learner agency is an endless journey. It not only entails knowing our students as human beings but also requires identifying and unlearning patterns in our teaching that unknowingly engender dependence in learners.

The term agency comes from the Latin agere, meaning “to set in motion.” It is precisely what agency should do in our classrooms: empower learners so that their minds and hearts become the engines that drive learning in our classrooms. This isn’t as simple as some might believe. Providing too much voice and choice without proper scaffolds can be counterproductive, resulting in chaos in the classroom.

Consider the following moves that cultivate learner agency—and choose one to try in your classroom.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian