‘Spaces Matter’ — from insidehighered.com by Colleen Flaherty
Limited access to active learning spaces may disproportionately hurt historically excluded groups, and institutions should build more of these spaces in the name of equity, according to a new study. Where does higher ed stand on next-generation learning spaces?

An interactive lecture hall at Rutgers University at New Brunswick, surrounded by active learning spaces across the U.S.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

A new study is therefore concerning—it found that limited access to active learning classrooms forced students to self-sort based on their social networks or their attitudes toward learning. The authors warn that limited access to active learning spaces may create a marginalizing force that pushes women, in particular, out of the sciences.

The solution? Invest in active learning spaces.

From DSC:
The groups I worked in over the last 15 years created several active learning spaces, but the number of rooms was definitely limited due to the expenses involved. Students liked these spaces and the feedback from faculty members was positive as well. Some students often staked their claims in these rooms so that they could study together (this was especially true for those majoring in Engineering).

 

ADA Accessibility Lawsuit Tracker: Final Numbers for August 2022 — from info.usablenet.com

Also see:

Download our 2022 Mid-Year Report on Digital Accessibility Lawsuits — from info.usablenet.com
Our Digital Accessibility Report highlights the newest trends in digital accessibility lawsuits.

 

 

A New Initiative to Tackle Education’s Big Problems — from the74millioin.org by Andrew J. Rotherham
Rotherham: For all the rhetoric around ‘reimagining’ and ‘reinventing’ schooling, there’s precious little to show for it. There’s another way

Excerpt:

Instead, experts operate in silos to find solutions, reform and pandemic fatigue abound, and dysfunctional reactionary politics define various debates.

Beta by Bellwether, [which launched on 8/31/22], is a new initiative bringing viewpoint- and background-diverse experts together to tackle big problems and develop blueprints, strategies and tools that can help communities address structural educational problems. We’re building on our 12 years of work at Bellwether bridging policy and practice with a perspective that should be mundane but in this climate seems radical: the belief that the best ideas often lie between different perspectives and are strengthened through serious debate. No faction owns solutions, good ideas or virtue.

Bellwether Beta -- A New Initiative to Tackle Education’s Big Problems

Bellwether.org 

From DSC:
This is something to keep on your K-12 learning ecosystems radar.

Bellwether dot org -- something to keep on your K-12 learning ecosystems radar


Also see:

National Microschooling Center launches, proving ‘modern one-room schoolhouse’ is no flash-in-the-pandemic phenomenon — from reimaginedonline.org by Tom Jackson

Excerpt:

Writing for the Manhattan Institute, researcher Michael McShane lays out the framework and the appeal of microschools:

Neither homeschooling nor traditional schooling, [microschools] exist in a hard-to-classify space between formal and informal learning environments. They rose in popularity during the pandemic as families sought alternative educational options that could meet social-distancing recommendations.

But what they offer in terms of personalization, community building, schedules, calendars, and the delivery of instruction will have appeal long after Covid recedes.

Long-time education choice advocate Don Soifer concurs.

“For whatever reason, families are just rethinking the public education system,” he says. “The research is telling us now that microschooling serves 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 million learners as their primary form of education.”


Also see:


Learning Pods Are Here, Are You In? — from schoolchoiceweek.com by National School Choice Week Team

Excerpt:

If you’ve stumbled into an education conversation or joined a parent discussion group recently, you’ve surely heard of pods or micro-schools. As families grapple with a changing education environment, some hope to find the flexibility, safety, and community they desire in small, local learning arrangements called learning pods. Whether you have your heart set on joining a pod or just want to better understand education choices for your child, we’ve broken down all types of pandemic pods here.

 

The 21-day challenge for disability equity -- offered by the United Way of South Central Michigan

To view previous content, click HERE.
Also see the following resources from this challenge.

Below are some local and general resources related to disability justice and advocacy that may be helpful. There is a Disability Network or Center for Independent Living serving all of the counties in the state of Michigan. You can find the office that covers your area by going to https://dnmichigan.org/

If you have questions about the information in this 21 Day Challenge, please contact Disability Network Southwest Michigan.


Michigan Resources


  • Find your local Disability Network or Center for Independent Living: https://dnmichigan.org/ 
  • Disability Rights Michigan is the independent, private, nonprofit, nonpartisan protection and advocacy organization authorized by Federal and State law to advocate and protect the legal rights of people with disabilities in Michigan: https://www.drmich.org/ 
  • Michigan Disability Rights Coalition cultivates disability pride and strengthens the disability movement by recognizing disability as a natural and beautiful part of human diversity while collaborating to dismantle all forms of oppression: https://mymdrc.org/
  • Self-Advocates of Michigan is an advocacy organization comprised of people with developmental disabilities and intellectual disabilities, working together to make a difference: https://selfadvocatesofmichigan.wordpress.com
  • The Arc promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports full inclusion and participation in the community. https://arcmi.org/.

General Resources


  • Americans with Disabilities Act information and technical assistance: www.ada.gov
  • Disability is Natural is a source for new ways of thinking about disability and moving beyond the status quo: www.disabilityisnatural.com
  • Job Accommodation Network is a one-stop web page to get information regarding accommodations at work and advocating for disability rights in the workplace: www.askjan.org
  • Disability Scoop is the nation’s premier source for developmental disability news and information: www.disabilityscoop.com
  • Rooted in Rights tells authentic, accessible stories to challenge stigma and redefine narratives around disability: www.rootedinrights.org
  • Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) serves as a national grassroots disability rights organization for the autistic community, advocating for systems change and ensuring that the voices of autistic people are heard in policy debates and the halls of power: www.autisticadvocacy.org
  • Sins Invalid promotes leadership opportunities for people with disabilities within our communities and within the broader social justice movement: www.sinsinvalid.org
  • The Disability Visibility Project is an online community dedicated to creating, sharing, and amplifying disability media and culture: https://disabilityvisibilityproject.com/
  • The National Association of the Deaf is the nation’s premier civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States of America: https://www.nad.org/
  • The National Council on Independent Living is the longest-running national cross-disability, grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities: https://ncil.org
  • National Federation of the Blind is the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans. The National Federation of the Blind is continuously working toward securing full integration, equality, independence, acceptance, and respect for all blind Americans: https://nfb.org
  • Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) is the United States’ national self-advocacy organization: https://www.sabeusa.org
  • Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution is a feature-length documentary about the disability rights movement available on Netflix and YouTube: https://youtu.be/OFS8SpwioZ4
[Image description: photo of Mia Mingus on a colorful striped background with her quote, “Understanding disability and ableism is the work of every revolutionary, activist and organizer – of every human being.” Mia Mingus, writer and community organizer for transformative justice and disability justice.]

To view previous content, click HERE.


A somewhat relevant resource:

 

Learning 3.0: A data-fueled, equitable future for corporate learning — from chieflearningofficer.com by Marc Ramos and Marc Zao-Sanders
Learning pedagogy, technology and practice inevitably draw on (but tend to lag behind) the developments of the web, the world’s main stage for advancement and innovation.

Excerpts:

Tomorrow could be extraordinary. Many of the crowning jewels of Web 3.0 and web3 have been designed to be open source, user-friendly and ship with APIs, such as OpenAI’s GPT3, which generates natural language to an expert human level, seemingly at will. This means that the time between the launch of cutting-edge technology and it reaching corporate learning will decrease substantially. Learning might finally advance from the back seat to a board seat. There is already a growing list of GPT3 content creation tools that will impact creators, publishers, academic and corporate education materials as well as the design process.

We’re less than five years from this. The technology is here already. What’s missing is the data.

 

 

Here Are Some Dos And Don’ts Of Disability Language — from forbes.com by Andrew Pulrang

Excerpt:

Is there a way for anyone to navigate disability language clearly, safely, and respectfully?

Obviously, it’s impossible to satisfy everyone. But that doesn’t mean there are no useful guidelines. Here are a few tips to sort through the competing schools of thought on disability language, and ride the various waves of popularity and revision that disability language goes through.

1. Recognize obviously insulting terms and stop using or tolerating them.
2. Aim to be factual, descriptive, and simple, not condescending, sentimental, or awkward.
3. Respect disabled people’s actual language preferences.

Disability Language Style Guide — from National Center on Disaplity and Journalism (ncdj.org)

Disability and Health Overview  — from cdc.gov

Research Center | ALICE in focus studies:
Financial Hardship Among People With Disabilities

Excerpt:

According to the outdated Federal Poverty Level, 18% of people with disabilities in the U.S. lived in poverty in 2019. Yet United For ALICE data shows that another 34% were also struggling, in households that earned above the FPL but less than what it costs to afford the basics. These households are ALICE: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.

Disability & Socioeconomic Status — from the American Psychological Association (apa.org)

Excerpt:

Socioeconomic status (SES) encompasses not just income but also educational attainment, financial security, and subjective perceptions of social status and social class. Socioeconomic status can encompass quality of life attributes as well as the opportunities and privileges afforded to people within society. Poverty, specifically, is not a single factor but rather is characterized by multiple physical and psychosocial stressors. Further, SES is a consistent and reliable predictor of a vast array of outcomes across the life span, including physical and psychological health. Thus, SES is relevant to all realms of behavioral and social science, including research, practice, education and advocacy.

Those with Disabilities Earn 37% Less on Average; Gap is Even Wider in Some States — air.org

Subminimum Wage and Sheltered Workshops — from United Way of South Central Michigan

Congress enacted the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938 as part of the New Deal; one of the Act’s provisions, Section 14 (c), grants special certificates allowing for the employment of workers with disabilities below the federal minimum wage.

Many employers operating under 14(c) have historically employed people with disabilities in segregated work centers commonly referred to as sheltered workshops. This creates a situation where the employer profits from paying sub-minimum wages to their employees with disabilities. Some states have prohibited the practice of subminimum wages and sheltered workshops altogether; however as of 2020, 46 states and the District of Columbia continue to allow 14(c) certificates. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights revealed that in 2017 and 2018, the average wage of a person with a disability working under a 14(c) certificate was $3.34 per hour and the average number of hours worked was 16 hours per week, making the average wage just $53.44 per week.

Employment First is a state and national movement to help individuals with disabilities realize their fullest employment potential through the achievement of individual, competitive, and integrated employment outcomes. Employment First in Michigan has established guidelines to help move the state to community-based and integrated employment by using executive orders and passing legislation.

 

College Rankings Are ‘a Joke,’ Education Secretary Says Brianna Hatch

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Education Secretary Miguel A. Cardona called college rankings “a joke,” and took aim at selective colleges’ obsession with them, as he made a broader push on Thursday for closing stubborn equity gaps in the nation’s college-graduation rates.

“Many institutions spend enormous time and money chasing rankings they feel carry prestige, but in truth do little more than Xerox privilege,” Cardona said, attributing the phrase to the president of a historically Black college.

There’s a “whole science behind climbing up the rankings” that leads to misplaced priorities, Cardona said. The best-resourced colleges are playing a prestige game instead of centering “measures that truly count,” he said. “That system of ranking is a joke.”

Cardona called for a “culture change” in higher ed so that institutions would value inclusivity, use data to help students before they dropped out, and create more-accessible pathways for adult learners, rural students, and first-generation students.

“Let’s confer prestige on colleges’ breaking cycles of poverty. Let’s raise the profiles of institutions delivering real upward mobility, like all of you,” Cardona told attendees, echoing an essay he wrote for The Chronicle on Thursday. “Let’s turn the universities that walk the walk on equity into household names.”

From DSC:
The above item re: culture change caught my eye. Coming out of college, I didn’t think about the culture of an organization. It didn’t mean anything to me.

But as the years went by — and especially as I was working for Kraft Foods at the time when it got acquired by Philip Morris — I began understanding the power and influence of the culture of an organization. That power and influence could be positive and helpful or it could be negative and could stunt the growth of the organization.

I personally question whether many of the existing cultures within our colleges and universities have the ability to change. Time will tell. But the culture of places where I’ve worked had a (sometimes strong) distaste for the corporate world. They didn’t want to be called a “business.” I put that word business in quotes purposefully — as the term was spoken with disdain. The higher calling of higher education could not be considered a business…yeh right. Looking at things these last few years, one can certainly not claim that any longer.

The cultures of our traditional institutions of higher education may be the biggest challenge to their survival. Perhaps some tips in this article may help — though it has to go waaaaay beyond the IT Department.

 

Providing foster children with better educational outcomes — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

Foster children have a difficult life ahead of them. They have a higher chance of having a bad life than the rest of the population. Adults who were in foster care as children are more likely to be homeless, jobless, and on welfare than the general population. They also have higher chances of being jailed, consuming drugs and alcohol, and having physical or psychological problems.

We owe it to them to help children grow up to be productive, well-adjusted people, and none of this is their mistake. Lawmakers and educational activists should work diligently to improve foster care children’s educational possibilities by broadening their alternatives. Foster children in the United States will benefit from higher educational attainment that will prepare them for a healthy transition to adulthood.

 

10 Arguments for Inciting Learning — from insidehighered.com by Cathy N. Davidson and Christina Katopodis
Active learning has been clearly shown to be more effective than traditional modes, write Cathy N. Davidson and Christina Katopodis, who outline its many merits to those who continue to resist it.

Excerpts:

So what can we do to convince more instructors to actually support and use active learning? Over the past several years, we’ve been researching and interviewing faculty members around the world for our upcoming book on teaching and learning, The New College Classroom. And a number of those faculty have asked us how they can best explain the merits of active learning to colleagues and administrators—and even to students and their parents— who continue to be resistant to it. Here are 10 principles, or convincing arguments, that we’ve shared with them.

“Nothing will change until faculty incentives do.
Until we change our academic reward structures for hiring and promotion, faculty members have no reason to take valuable time out from writing monographs or refereed papers to rethink their role in the classroom. We cannot incite students to learn without inciting—and incentivizing—their instructors first so they will invest in understanding and applying active learning. We’ve already made the case for why such an educational approach is vitally important, so we now say simply to top administrators: let’s do it!

Audre Lorde

 

Aurora Institute: Federal Policy Priorities and Recommendations 2022 — from aurora-institute.org

Introduction:

It is critically important for our country to reimagine education and focus on investing in our future, not our past. The current K-12 education system has not produced equitable outcomes for all students. We must change policies and invest in innovation to transform our education systems. Student-centered policies are needed for true systems change and innovations for equity. We must challenge frames and investments that perpetuate tinkering with the existing system, rather than reimagining it. The time is ripe to redesign education to align with future needs and purposes to achieve human flourishing.

To ensure all learners are prepared for life’s uncertainties, as well as a more knowledge-driven workforce and economy, we must restructure the education system to universally recognize anytime, anywhere learning. Many states and districts have taken steps to move in new and improved directions, but more work must be done to meet students where they are and accelerate them to successful futures and prosperity. We must question the fundamental purposes of our education system, align our goals to that purpose, and expand learning to anytime and anyplace, with greater opportunities for next generation learning.

Aurora Institute’s latest Federal Policy Priorities represent an equity-oriented and future-focused set of recommendations designed to ensure that the nation’s education system moves from its current state to a system capable of preparing all learners with the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve lifelong success.

 


From DSC:
I post this because I like the design thinking exhibited herein. I love the idea of greater collaboration between K-12, higher education, vocational training, and the workforce/workplace. We should consider eliminating — or at least building much better bridges between the — existing silos. These silos seem to be easier to put up than they are to take down.


 

 

Accommodations for students with ADHD — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Accommodations for students with Dyspraxia — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew

Excerpt:

Dyspraxia, also known as Apraxia, is a learning disability that is noticeable by difficulty in carrying out routines that need balance, fine motor skills, and coordination. Often, we think of these kids as being ordinarily “clumsy” or “awkward.” Kids with Dyspraxia need to be that an occupational therapist treats them to help boost their fine gross motor skills. Verbal Dyspraxia describes a reduction in the capacity to use speech sounds, which is commonly the sign of a developmental delay. Verbal Dyspraxia can either be separate or accompany Dyspraxia. Children with Dyspraxia may also suffer from a bit of impediment in speech and short-term memory loss.

From DSC:
If you don’t think teaching is incredibly tough, check out these lists of potential accommodations for just a few of the potential students in a classroom.

 

In Fight Against Ableism, Disabled Students Build Centers of Their Own — from chronicle.com by Adrienne Lu

Excerpt:

Thanks to student advocates, including Sullivan and Lockwood, the university recently became the latest in a growing number with disability cultural centers, which aim to shine light on the perspectives and experiences of disabled people, foster a sense of community, and promote activism and disability justice. Altogether, at least 12 disability cultural centers now exist nationwide; in addition, students are working to create new centers on about a dozen other campuses.

 

7 Surprising Ways ADHD Shows Up in the Classroom — from additudemag.com by Mark Bertin, M.D., Beverley Holden Johns, Kathy Kuhl
ADHD in the classroom is easy to mistake for carelessness, defiance, laziness, or a learning difference. Here are the 7 ADD symptoms that educators seldom recognize at school — and solutions for each.

Excerpt:

ADHD sometimes manifests in obvious ways — like when a second grader blurts out an answer (again) or when a high school student forgets her completed assignment at home (again). Just as often, though, signs of ADHD in the classroom are more subtle and easily overlooked because they don’t align with stereotypes. Here are seven less-recognized ways ADHD symptoms show up at school, and productive ways to address each one.


Also relevant/see:

 

Optimizing Your Website for Screen Readers and Other Accessibility Tools — from hongkiat.com by Jori Hamilton

Excerpt:

But what is web accessibility, and how, exactly, can you prioritize this on your website?

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what web accessibility means and tips for how to design a website that is more accessible to all users.

 

Best Sites and Apps for Digital Storytelling — from techlearning.com by Diana Restifo
Digital storytelling can help boost communication and presentation skills

Excerpt:

…storytelling is a great way for kids to learn to love reading and writing. But almost any school subject can be considered through a dramatic frame, from history to geography to science. Even math can be taught through narrative (word problems, anyone?). Most importantly, storytelling gives kids the opportunity to be inventive with language, graphics, and design, and to share their creations with others.

The following sites and apps for storytelling range from basic to advanced. Many are designed for educators or include guides for use in education. And while most are paid products, the prices are generally reasonable and nearly every platform offers a free trial or free basic account.

6 best classroom noise meters for teachers — from educatorstechnology.com by Med Kharbach

Excerpt:

One of the effective ways to monitor and reduce noise levels in classrooms is by making noise visible. Enabling students to visualize their noise raises awareness to their sound levels and makes them noise conscious. There are several noise meter tools and apps to use in your classroom to bring down students noise and therefore help in creating optimal learning experiences. Below is a collection of some of the best noise meters for classroom use.  They are simple, easy to use, and cost-effective.

Digital age classroom projects — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

Classroom learning today has left the era of flipping through textbooks trying to be on the same page with the teacher, though not for every class lesson. Educators today are seizing the opportunities of digital devices and media to expand learning opportunities beyond pencil and paper homework. Also, assessment is not just a multiple-choice test.

Consider trying one of these projects:

The Education of Incarcerated Youth with Disabilities Ep.14 — from edcircuit.com

Excerpt:

The School Justice Project (SJP) champions an extremely vulnerable population: incarcerated youth with disabilities. The SJP’s mission is to ensure every learner, in or out of prison facilities, receives the education they were promised and deserve. Their current class action lawsuit against the DC prison system underscores the impact of their efforts. Featured guest, Claire Blumenson, pulls no punches as she forces us to look, and not to look away, in this pivotal moment.

We are educators, parents, siblings, and friends who aren’t satisfied with the quality of the content our students are exposed to. We know they deserve better, and are committed to bringing authentic, engaging, diverse and accessible content to all learners.

Business Leaders Say Computer Science Needs to Be A Core Subject — from edsurge.com by Daniel Mollenkamp

Excerpt:

[On July 12], a collection of more than 500 prominent business, education and nonprofit leaders called on states to update their K-12 curriculum to make computer science a core subject.

In a letter sent to governors from all fifty states, they write, “computer science provides an essential foundation—not only for careers in technology, but for every career in today’s world,” and call upon state leaders to update curriculum to ensure that all students have an opportunity to learn computer science in school.

What is Microsoft Sway and How Can it Be Used to Teach? Tips & Tricks — from techlearning.com by Luke Edwards
Microsoft Sway is a presentation tool that works really well for teaching

Excerpt:

Microsoft Sway is the company’s alternative to PowerPoint as a presentation tool that embraces collaborative working. As such, this is a powerful system for teachers and students to use in the classroom and beyond.

The idea behind Sway is to offer a super simple setup that allows anybody to create presentation slideshows. This makes it good for both younger students and teachers for in-class or online-based presenting.


For a somewhat related item, see:

Exploring some different instructional strategies and discovering how to incorporate them into the classroom process can rekindle a love affair with teaching. Finding the right instructional strategy to fit your classroom can make a world of difference to your students by allowing them to make meaningful connections with what they are learning. Take a look at a few different strategies, and see which one might suit your students this academic year.


 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian