From DSC:

  • What if you want to allow some remote students to come on into your face-to-face classroom?
    .
  • What if you want to allow those remote students to be seen and communicated with at eye level?
    .
  • What if you want Remote Student A to join Group 1, and Remote Student B to join Group 2?
    .

Well…how about using one of these devices  in order to do so!


 

New video collaboration robot: TelePresence gets moving — from cisco.com by Dave Evans

Excerpt:

That is why Cisco’s new joint effort with iRobot—demonstrated publicly this week for the first time—is so exciting: We’ve created a mobile Cisco TelePresence unit that brings collaboration to you—or, conversely, brings you to wherever you need to collaborate. Called iRobot Ava 500, this high-definition video collaboration robot combines Cisco TelePresence with iRobot’s mobility and self-navigation capabilities, enabling freedom of movement and spontaneous interactions with people thousands of miles away.

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irobot-june-10-2013
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iRobot Ava™ 500 Video Collaboration Robot — published on Jun 10, 2013
iRobot and Cisco have teamed to bring the Ava 500 video collaboration robot to market. The robot blends iRobot’s autonomous navigation with Cisco’s TelePresence to enable people working off-site to participate in meetings and presentations where movement and location spontaneity are important. The new robot is also designed to enable mobile visual access to manufacturing facilities, laboratories, customer experience centers and other remote facilities.

 

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Double Robotics Double

http://www.doublerobotics.com/img/use-office.jpg

 

 

MantaroBot™ TeleMe

 

 

 

From Attack of the Telepresence Robots! — from BYTE  by Rick Lehrbaum

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Kubi

http://twimgs.com/informationweek/byte/reviews/2013-Jan/robotic-telepresence/kubi.jpg

 

 

MantaroBot “TeleMe” VGo Communications “VGo” Anybots “QB” Suitable Technologies “Beam”

 

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RP-7i ROBOT

RP-7i Remote Presence Robot

 

Also see:

 

25PercentCompanyTrainingNoValue-Hart-April2013

 

From DSC:
This data further supports my thoughts on helping people build their own learning ecosystems — something Jane points out as well when she states that “workers find other (self-organised and self-managed) ways of learning at work far more valuable – with team collaboration being the highest rated.”

I recommend helping folks learn how to create their own blogs and learn how to subscribe to others’ blogs, access relevant wikis, use Twitter, employ Google Alerts, etc.  

Provide each employee with some relevant names/blogs/websites/etc. to get employees started (i.e. of some knowledgeable accountants, legal counsel, product designers, engineers, digital marketing experts, cloud computing strategists, programmers for mobile computing apps, etc.).  I realize this presents issues with companies’ sensitive information such as patents and/or intellectual property.   But if Harold Jarche is correct in saying that we live in a post-jobs world, what we know of the modern corporation may be very different in just a few years anyway.  (i.e. You’re on your own. You are your own corporation/business; so build your own brand and expertise. Build your own valuable network of peers/colleagues — who you can contribute to as well as to learn from.)

Admittedly, this changes some of the roles of the training department from creating e-learning modules to becoming excellent researchers, social media experts, quasi-librarians, etc.

(Come to think of it, I wonder if that might happen in higher ed as well — i.e. provide students with the relevant/key experts, important thinkers, streams of content, etc.)

 

streams-of-content-blue-overlay

 

 


Below are some resources and some inspirational items re: learning spaces — from Calvin College’s Learning Spaces Learning Community, one of the Learning Communities that have been discussing and researching various items at Calvin College since last fall.   Members include Debra Buursma*, Jo-Ann VanReeuwyk*, Joel Adams, Pat Bailey, Marcie Pyper, Cynthia Slagter, and Daniel Christian.

* Co-Leaders of the Learning Spaces Learning Community


 

 

 

My thoughts on the future of higher education -- March 2013 by Daniel Christian

 

Also, the PDF file of this article is here.

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From DSC:
Though the title of this article I wrote says 10 years, it may be more or less (and given the pace of change, I would lean towards sooner rather than later).  

If you haven’t read Christensen’s/Horn’s/Johnson’s work re: disruption — such as Disrupting Class and/or The Innovator’s Dilemma — it would be worth your time to do so. They are right on the mark. What they have been asserting is happening within higher education.  The article briefly addresses face-to-face learning and hybrid learning as well.  Readers of this blog will know that I have been pressing for higher ed to reinvent itself in order to stay relevant. There is danger in the status quo, especially when the conversation continues to move away from traditional higher education.

See other perspectives out at evoLLLution.com as well.

 

 

Excerpt from Beyond school choice — from Michael Horn

With the rapid growth in online and mobile learning, students everywhere at all levels are increasingly having educational choices—regardless of where they live and even regardless of the policies that regulate schools.

What’s so exciting about this movement beyond school choice is the customization that it allows students to have. Given that each student has different learning needs at different times and different passions and interests, there is likely no school, no matter how great, that can single-handedly cater to all of these needs just by using its own resources contained within the four walls of its classrooms.

With the choices available, students increasingly don’t need to make the tradeoff between attending a large school with lots of choices but perhaps lots of anonymity or a small school with limited choices but a deeply developed personal support structure.

 

Excerpt from Cooperating in the open — from Harold Jarche

I think one of the problems today is that many online social networks are trying to be communities of practice. But to be a community of practice, there has to be something to practice. One social network, mine, is enough for me. How I manage the connections is also up to me. In some cases I will follow a blogger, in others I will connect via Google Plus or Twitter, but from my perspective it is one network, with varying types of connections. Jumping into someone else’s bounded social network/community only makes sense if I have an objective. If not, I’ll keep cooperating out in the open.

 

 

From DSC:
Perhaps helping folks build their own learning ecosystems — based upon one’s gifts/abilities/passions — should be an objective for teachers, professors, instructional designers, trainers, and consultants alike. No matter whether we’re talking K-12, higher ed, or corporate training, these ever-changing networks/tools/strategies will help keep us marketable and able to contribute in a variety of areas to society.

 

 

 

Addendum on 2/5/13:

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JayCross-LearningEcosystem2013

 

 

Also see:

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classrooms of the future

 

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Addendum on 11/14/12:

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The Teaching and Learning Spaces Working Group (TLSWG) endeavors to enhance teaching and learning at McGill by creating a vision for teaching and learning space development that is aligned with University strategic directions. Its mandate is to…

Exemplary week paves the way for higher education online — from edcetera.rafter.com by Kirsten Winkler

Excerpt:

This week was quite telling for the changes the higher education sector is currently going through. And the direction the industry is heading towards seems obvious: online. This week, up-and-coming education startups raised money and introduced new products whereas leaders in the space had to announce cuts.

From DSC:
This reminds me of how University of Massachusetts President Emeritus Jack Wilson described online learning at last week’s Sloan-C Conference:

“Online learning is a relentless force that will not be denied. The trends are so relentless in fact, that they take students, faculty, and administrations along with them.”

 

From DSC:
The wetakeyourclass.com website below is very disturbing in terms of the questions it raises — though such questions and activities are certainly not limited to what occurs in the online classroom, as evidenced by The Shadow Scholar (from The Chronicle by Ed Dante) where a man confessed to writing ~5,000 scholarly papers for students, including grad students.

Questions:

  • Should the owners of this site go to jail? Or is this just capitalism gone awry? 
  • Does this business make a profit?  If so, why and what does that say?
  • Is this type of thing happening for just a handful of people out there? How would we know?  Can the turnitin.com’s of the world detect/stop this?
  • If their services are in demand, should that inform or influence any differences in the strategies or pedagogies we utilize within higher education?  Do we need to re-evaluate what’s really being achieved and not achieved? That is, if employers didn’t look to a college degree, would students come to learn anyway or would they be gone by morning?
  • What, if anything, does it say about students’ ethics?  Matters of the heart?

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WE take your class dot com -- should these people go to jail?

 

Look at some of the “services,” “benefits,” and messages being offered therein:

  • We take your online classes for you and you get an A
    Underlying message: We’ll help you get that piece of paper so you can move on to what really counts.  (Don’t worry about not knowing anything…you won’t have to prove yourself later on…and never mind about your work ethic, this is a one-time-cutting-the-corners type of decision, right? Isn’t it? Isn’t it?!)
  • Life is too short to spend on classes you have no interest in
  • Give us a deadline and we will meet it!
    Underlying message: Corporations outsource many things, why shouldn’t you?  (Never mind that learning should be your core business and should not be outsourced.)


How about you all, what are some questions that this type of thing raises in your minds?

 

‘Clicks’ could be future of higher education — from Voice of America by Ted Landphair

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

But a new survey of more than 1,000 Internet experts, researchers and observers of American education found that higher education may soon be more about “clicks” than “bricks.”

The survey was conducted by Elon University in North Carolina and the Pew Internet & American Life Project.  Sixty percent of its respondents agreed with the statement that, by 2020, “there will be a mass adoption of teleconferencing and distance learning” in order to give students greater access to real-world experts.

But not all the experts who were polled are thrilled with this vision.  According Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet Project, they worry that long-distance learning “lacks the personal, face-to-face touch they feel is necessary for effective education.”

Colleges are realizing that traditional classroom instruction “is becoming decreasingly viable financially,” says Rebecca Bernstein of the State University of New York at Buffalo.  “The change driver will not be demand or technology.  It will be economics and the diminishing pool of students who can afford to live and study on campus. “

From DSC:
For those faculty members and institutions offering the majority of their courses with small classroom sizes of 10-20 students, I can appreciate such worries (though I would still say that there’s no where to hide in an online class of 15-20 students either). 

But for those faculty and institutions who are holding to this viewpoint — and who are offering intro courses to 100-300 students at a time — I have the following questions concerning this so called “personal, face-to-face touch” being alluded to:

  • If I were your student in your  Intro to Pysch or your Organic Chemistry class on your campus, and I had 150 other students taking such classes with me, would you even know my name if I met you walking down the street?
  • Would you know my major? My passions? My interests?
  • Would you know what I’m trying to accomplish or where I’m trying to get to?
  • Would you even care to know these things or would you be grudgingly teaching courses, while anxiously awaiting your return to your research lab?  (Not that research is bad at all…it’s just that few people can both teach well and research well at the same time — teaching is as much an art as it is a science and it takes a ton of work to do well…learning is messy.)

So this “personal, face-to-face touch” that’s often alluded to in order to achieve effective education simply doesn’t hold water for a great majority of the courses being offered throughout higher education today.  I’d loved to be proven wrong here —  and I hope that things have changed since my Big 10 educational experience.

 

 

 

 

Conflicted: Faculty and Online Education - June 2012

 

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Excerpt:

The study was based on a pair of related surveys about online education, co-designed by Inside Higher Ed and administered and analyzed by the Babson Survey Research Group, which has studied online education for more than a decade. The surveys garnered responses from representative samples of 4,564 faculty members (of about 60,000 who were sent invitations to participate) and 591 academic technology administrators, from all types of institution. The surveys asked a wide range of questions of both groups about their perceptions of online quality, institutional support and training in instructional technology, and compensation, among other things. The response rates for both surveys were below 10 percent.

A PDF copy of the study report can be downloaded here. To read the text of the report, click here.

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From DSC:
I urge faculty members to give online learning a try — not only for your students’ sakes, but for your own career’s sake:
  • Take a course from an organization that has a good reputation for their online courses
    or
  • Take a course re: instructional design for teaching online
    or
  • Try your hand at teaching your own course online.
I don’t mention this piece of advice as a threat or to come across as a scaremonger.  Online learning has been — and continues to be — reality.  In Christensen’s terms, face-to-face classrooms practice sustaining innnovations but online learning is a disruptive technology that keeps gaining ground.   [When either mode are done well] it’s now not only at least as good as face-to-face learning, but the powerful tools that keep being added to online learning will take it far beyond what we are able to currently offer in a face-to-face classroom.
One comment at the end of the article stood out for me as well:
  • “In a capitalistic society consumer demand dictates the products it will provide and sell.”  

For those interested in this topic, take a moment to check out the other comments as well.

Some sharp learning spaces

The Weston Family Learning Centre / Hariri Pontari Architects — from archdaily.com by Diego Hernandez

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© Tom Arban

 

© Tom Arban

 

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Addendum on 5/8/12:

 

 

Tagged with:  

Flick content from your phone to your TV with a single swipe [Video] — from PSFK by Emma Hutchings

Excerpt:

Panasonic have recently added the Media Flick function to the Viera Remote Android app, which allows content to be shared between a smartphone and a TV with just the swipe of a finger.

From DSC:
  • What if students could quickly do this in class — without interrupting the flow of the class —  and transfer a paper they wrote, or a song they composed, or a website they found, etc., up to the main “screen” to “play” it for the rest of the class?
    .
  • What if faculty could just as quickly send files/items to students’ devices?
    .
  • And/or, what if such gestures quickly sent such files up to a cloud-based repository for that course, accessible 24x7x365?

 

Right now, Apple and other vendors need to work out the wireless network (and related) issues to make this a more feasible idea for an entire campus to implement this. 

But, it would sure be nice!  🙂

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
This is exactly what I was getting at with The Forthcoming Walmart of Education (2008) and it points out, again, that innovation is much faster and stronger in the online world than it is in the face-to-face world. The tools being developed to engage, track, diagnose, and adapt continue to be developed. What may have once been poo-pooed continues to pick up steam. (Christensen, Johnson, & Horn are right on track.) The trend will be towards more team-based endeavors that can be made available at a greatly reduced price. They will be multimedia-based, highly-interactive, and state-of-the-art (technically and pedagogically).

Treating Higher Ed’s ‘Cost Disease’ With Supersize Online Courses — from The Chronicle by Marc Parry

Excerpt (with emphasis from DSC):

Professors should move away from designing foundational courses in statistics, biology, or other core subjects on the basis of “intuition,” she argues. Instead, she wants faculty to work with her team to put out the education equivalent of Super Bowl ads: expensively built online course materials, cheaply available to the masses.

“We’re seeing failure rates in these large introductory courses that are not acceptable to anybody,” Ms. Thille says. “There has to be a better way to get more students—irrespective of where they start—to be able to successfully complete.”

Her approach brings together faculty subject experts, learning researchers, and software engineers [from DSC — a TEAM-based approach] to build open online courses grounded in the science of how people learn. The resulting systems provide immediate feedback to students and tailor content to their skills. As students work through online modules outside class, the software builds profiles on them, just as Netflix does for customers. Faculty consult that data to figure out how to spend in-person class time.

From DSC:
Such learner profiles will most likely reside in the cloud and eventually standards will be established to insert new data into these profiles. The access to view/edit these profiles will be controlled by the individual learners (hopefully!).  What if learners could selectively grant corporations access to this type of profile as their new resume?

For items concerning team-based approaches, see this recording (June 2009) as well as this collection of items.

For items concerning consortia and pooling resources, see here and here.

 

 

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