Building a Learner-Centered Ecosystem -- from the Strada Education Network

Strada Institute identified five key pillars these lifelong learners will need from an education and training system designed for them:

  1. It has to be easy to navigate.
  2. Supports are needed to help learners balance their lives.
  3. Targeted education should lead to a job.
  4. Hiring practices must be transparent and fair.
  5. Students must be able to earn while learning.

Also see:

Are we ready for this? — from stradaeducation.org by Andrew Pelesh
Preparing the Education-Workforce System for the 100-Year Career

 

The top content management systems — from w3techs.com

Excerpt:

38% of the websites use none of the content management systems that we monitor.
WordPress is used by 39.7% of all the websites, that is a content management system market share of 64.1%.

From DSC:
Though I love WordPress and it continues to do well market share-wise…for people who want to get into blogging and/or who want to get their voice out there, I’m disappointed that WordPress has gone the way of web design and production (i.e., into major complexities). WordPress needs a WordPress-Lite version or an easier-to-use interface/theme/template section for beginners (or something along those lines).

 

 

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.

 

Best Online Educational Games for High School Students — from edtechreview.in by Saniya Khan

Excerpt:

…the introduction of educational games to kids helps increase their motivation and engagement, enhance visual skills, improve students’ interaction and collaboration abilities with their peers, and apply gaming values in a real-world situation; most importantly, it improves learning.

Learning Apps For Kids To Explore in 2021 — from edtechreview.in by Priyanka Gupta

Excerpt:

Living in a digital era and in times when technology has kept education going, let’s look at some promising learning apps for kids to explore in 2021.

 

 

CuriosityStream: The streaming service for people who love to learn.

Start the New Year off Right With Thought Provoking Content From CuriosityStream — from futurism.com
It’s the streaming service for people who love to learn.

Excerpt:

With the arrival of the New Year, it’s time to make your New Year’s resolutions. And if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to learn more about the world and its wonders, you’re in luck. CuriosityStream is a streaming service for people who love to learn. It hosts numerous award-winning, thought-provoking educational content covering history, science, technology, and sports. Offering everything from documentaries about the Declaration of Independence to the life of an oak tree, CuriosityStream is guaranteed to transform your binge-watching habit into an entertaining educational experience. And best of all, CuriosityStream offers a “sneak peek” so you can sample everything CuriosityStream has to offer.

Also see:

CuriosityStream is a streaming service for people who love to learn

CuriosityStream is a streaming service for people who love to learn

From DSC:
While I haven’t used this service, I find it incredibly interesting! So while I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the content, it reminds me of the Learning from the Living [Class] Room vision.

Learning from the Living Class Room vision

 

From DSC:
Videoconferencing vendors out there:

  • Have you done any focus group tests — especially within education — with audio-based or digital video-based versions of emoticons?
    .
  • So instead of clicking on an emoticon as feedback, one could also have some sound effects or movie clips to choose from as well!
    .

To the videoconferencing vendors out there -- could you give us what DJ's have access to?

I’m thinking here of things like DJ’s might have at their disposal. For example, someone tells a bad joke and you hear the drummer in the background:

Or a team loses the spelling-bee word, and hears:

Or a professor wants to get the classes attention as they start their 6pm class:

I realize this could backfire big time…so it would have to be an optional feature that a teacher, professor, trainer, pastor, or a presenter could turn on and off. (Could be fun for podcasters too!)

It seems to me that this could take
engagement to a whole new level!

 

Best Headphones for Students in Remote Learning — from techlearning.com by Luke Edwards
Get the best headphones for students to hear and be heard in remote learning

Excerpts:

  • Sony WH-1000XM4: Best headphones overall for students
  • Plantronics BackBeat Go 810: Best affordable wireless headphones for students
 

From DSC:
I want to thank my sisters for the following items, all involving Christmas:

My sister’s watercolor of a Christmas scene:

Merry Christmas! Emmanuel -- God with us!

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Also see this fun piece from another of our sisters — Christmas according to kids:

Also see:

If you want to see, hear, and experience some wonderful creativity, artwork, music, and animation that relate to Christmas, you might want to check out the Christmas section out at JacquieLawson.com.

Christmas related artwork, music, and animation from JacquieLawson.com

Christmas related artwork, music, and animation from JacquieLawson.com

Christmas related artwork, music, and animation from JacquieLawson.com

Christmas related artwork, music, and animation from JacquieLawson.com

 

Marian Croak, the inventor of VOIP, explains what it takes to innovate

The woman who created the technology behind internet calls explains what it takes to innovate — from bigthink.com by Gayle Markovitz
She’s the reason you’re able to work and chat from home.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

If you’ve ever wondered how a Zoom call works, you might want to ask Marian Croak, Vice-President of Engineering at Google.

This is the woman who invented “Voice over Internet Protocol”: the technology that has enabled entire workforces to continue to communicate and families and friends to remain in touch throughout 2020’s lockdowns – and inevitably beyond.

What can kids teach tech innovators?
Wonder and naivete are powerful tools. Croak argues that children have rich imaginations – which is the fuel of invention. “You need to be childlike. A little naïve and not inhibited by what’s possible.”

Matlali’s work with disadvantaged teenagers brings her directly into this world, where she sees that “children are passionate but hopeful for the future. For them, everything is possible. You want kids to have the imagination and passion for them to achieve their dreams.”

Croak said her motivation for 2021 was to keep her own childlike curiosity going, forgetting about her personal circumstances and focusing on the “painpoints”.

Also see:

Marian’s entry out at Wikipedia.org where it says:

She joined AT&T at Bell Labs in 1982.[4] She advocated for switching from wired phone technology to internet protocol.[2][5][6] She holds over two hundred patents, including over one hundred in relation to Voice over IP.[7] She pioneered the use of phone network services to make it easy for the public to donate to crisis appeals.[8][9] When AT&T partnered with American Idol to use a text message voting system, 22% of viewers learned to text to take part in the show.[10][11] She filed the patent for text-based donations to charity in 2005.[10] This capability revolutionised how people can donate money to charitable organisations:[12] for example, after the 2010 Haiti earthquake at least $22 million was pledged in this fashion.[13] She led the Domain 2.0 Architecture and managed over 2,000 engineers.[14][15]

 

 

Fall’s Enrollment Decline Now Has a Final Tally. Here’s What’s Behind It. — from chronicle.com by Dan Berrett

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The decrease in undergraduate enrollment was the primary driver of the overall decline across the sector. Enrollment among undergraduates dropped 3.6 percent, or by more than 560,000 students, from the fall of 2019. The most notable drop was among first-time freshmen, who declined 13.1 percent.

Meanwhile, graduate enrollment went up by the same percentage, 3.6 percent, that undergraduate enrollment fell, but the actual growth in the number of students enrolled in graduate or professional programs, nearly 99,000, was smaller than the drop in the number of undergraduates.

The above article linked to:

 

Gift giving ideas from Ian Byrd

Excerpt:

Here are a few gift-giving articles I like to share every December:

 

5 things we’ve learned about virtual school in 2020 — from npr.org by Anya Kamenetz

Excerpts:

  1. The digital divide is still big and complex.
  2. Relationships are everything when it comes to keeping kids engaged remotely.
  3. Digital teaching can be good, even great with the right support for teachers. But that’s far from the norm.
  4. Hybrid models are extremely challenging.
  5. Some kids are not learning much online. They’ll be playing catch-up in years to come.
 

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:

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian