The Argos Education Blog is Up — from eliterate.us by Michael Feldstein

Per Michael:

I’m trying to maintain some separation between my writing on e-Literate and content about Argos (the startup I co-founded with Curtiss Barnes). It won’t be perfect because I write about what I think about and right now I’m thinking about Argos-related stuff a lot. But I’m going to post about Argos-centric topics—the design, the thinking behind the company, etc.—on the new Argos blog. You can read my posts, posts by my colleagues (like the great one by Anita Delahay that’s up now), and news updates.

Read and subscribe here.

 


A different kind of ecosystem from Argos Education

From Argos Education:

Retaking textbooks
Several disruptive teams at Carnegie Mellon University and Arizona State University have been designing, building, and distributing next-generation digital textbook replacements.

Their products are provably effective, sell for significantly less than digital products from textbook publishers, and can generate more money for the programs creating them than they cost to create.

Argos believes this model is the future. We exist to bring that future into being.


 

Best Cameras for Vlogging in 2022 — from futurism.com

Excerpt:

Whether you’re looking for a camera to start your journey to internet stardom, or would just like to improve your video quality, this list of the best cameras for vlogging will not only capture you as you ham it up, but produce some seriously crisp content that you won’t have to patch up in editing.

Sony - ZV-1 20.1-Megapixel Digital Camera for Content Creators and Vloggers - Black

Also see:

The Best Vlogging Cameras and Gear — updated in May 2021 — from nytimes.com (Wirecutter) by Geoffrey Morrison and Phil RyanU

 

Universities can combat misinformation by sharing research with the public — from edsurge.com by Avery M. D. Davis

Here’s my New Year’s resolution for higher education: extend the reach of research to the people.

Avery M. D. Davis

Excerpt:

It’s part of a growing recognition that research really belongs to the people. Even as the postsecondary industry opened its doors to become a more-accessible system for students, it locked up the research conducted by its faculty and staff. But it’s often individuals from outside of academia who construct topical questions of interest for scholars, serve as study participants, and fund organizations producing such work.

And yet, open science ambitions have cautions worth noting, such as the challenges of interpreting research publicly and the potential political misuse of study findings. To address this, higher education must revisit its roots in educating citizens, preparing both students for society and society for itself.

From DSC:
Yet another benefit/reason for faculty members to write for a public audience! I wish citizens could tap into more faculty/staff-driven streams of content.

streams of content are ever flowing by -- we need to tap into them and contribute to them

 

 
 

The Push-Pull of Leading Motivation Using Microlearning — from learningsolutionsmag.com by Robyn Defelice

Excerpt:

So, let’s pick up from there: You’re a learning leader in an organization that has aligned all these elements and is ready to see microlearning put to good use. So, what’s the obstacle in your path?

Maybe you’re stuck on using microlearning as a motivational tool for performance growth but are not sure if a formal or informal approach will have more appeal. Should you push or pull, as they ask. Let’s get you out of this tug-of-war and address how your L&D team can lead the way in motivating the learning audience for new performance gains by implementing a microlearning campaign (or two or three)!

Push (formal) vs pull (informal)

 

Top 300 Tools for Learning 2021 [Hart]

Top 300 Tools for Learning 2021 — from toptools4learning.com by Jane Hart

Excerpt:

2021 was the YEAR OF DISRUPTION! There were a substantial number of new tools nominated this year so the main list has now been extended to 300 tools to accommodate them, and each of the 3 sub-lists has been increased to 150 tools. Although the top of this year’s list is relatively stable, there is quite bit of movement of tools on the rest of the list, and the effect of the new tools has been to push other established tools down – if not off the list altogether. Further analysis of the list appears in the right-hand column of the table below.

This table shows the overall rankings as well as the rankings on the 3 sub-lists: Top 150 Tools for Personal Learning (PL150), the Top 150 Tools for Workplace Learning (WL150) and the Top 150 Tools for Education (ED150). NEW tools are shaded YELLOW, tools coming BACK on the list are shaded GREEN. The most popular context in which each tool is used is also highlighted in BLUE.  Click on a tool name to find out more about it.

 


Top 300 Tools for Learning 2021 -- from Jane Hart


 

 
 

Top blogging platforms worth considering in 2021 — from webdesignerdepot.com by Rebekah Carter

Excerpt:

Want to know which of the top blogging platforms you should consider using this year?

Blogging is still one of the best ways to draw attention to your brand, generate thought leadership, and build your credibility. Research suggests that US internet users spend 3x more of their browsing time on blogs than on email. Additionally, people view about 20 billion blog pages on average each month.

So, how do you join the blogging revolution? You’ll need the right platform.

Essentially, a blogging platform is a CMS (Content Management System) which supports blog creation. Many come with additional tools like SEO support and integrations with email marketing too. There are tons of great blogging platforms out there, which means knowing where to start searching can be tough. To help you, we’ve put together this list of the leading blogging platforms.

Top blogging platforms worth considering in 2021 -- from webdesignerdepot.com by Rebekah Carter

From DSC:
This is a great list of tools for those who want to blog — complete with the pros and cons of each platform/tool. Students, I would encourage you to start blogging — as it helps you process information, pulse check the landscapes, improve your writing, shows others what you are thinking about, and more.

 

Podcasting for Educators — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
Most educators have skills sets that translate well to the podcasting world. Here’s how to get started with your podcast.

Excerpt:

Tech & Learning talked with Young as well Dr. Kecia Ray and Dr. Frances Gipson, hosts of Tech & Learning’s Honor Role podcast, for some best practices and tips. We also collaborated with the six hosts of the AV SuperFriends podcast, asking questions for this story but recording the entire conversation for a future episode of their podcast. Watch for the release of that episode here.

From DSC:
I’d love to see even more teachers, trainers, and professors share their expertise out there. Podcasting is a great way to do that. And so is blogging. It would be nice to see the expertise of those folks reach a far greater audience — society — than just the (behind-the-paywall) journals.

 

Don’t force square-peg students back into wrong-shaped holes — from crpe.org by Robin Lake Paul Hill

But what gets lost in the reopening debate is the growing evidence that a significant portion of students and their families are actually happier and learn better outside of traditional schooling.

Excerpt:

Some of the “square-peg” children are the most creative and bright students in their class, but had struggled academically or socially in the traditional classroom. According to informal surveys of parents and teachers, new approaches to learning are benefiting:

  • Students with special needs, like ADHD or autism, who focus better on learning without disruptions from other kids, and who—when learning from home—can take breaks and calm themselves when needed, not just when the classroom schedule permits.
  • Students who didn’t speak up or ask questions in regular classrooms for fear of being mocked, but are now able to send private questions to teachers or make written contributions.
  • Socially-awkward or otherwise different kids who experienced bullying.
  • Kids who best learn from small-group instruction.
  • Students who have mastered all the regular class material and are motivated to learn advanced materials and explore on their own.
  • Students who learn best by hearing about a new idea and then quickly practicing or applying it on their own.

From DSC:
One of our daughters needs a team of people around her to help her learn and grow. The one-size-fits-all, the-train-stops-for-no-one type of educational system that she often encountered did not work well for her.

K-12 education in America is like a quickly-moving train that stops for no one.

Homeschooling has seen her grow a lot more. She even has her own blog now — and she’s excited about it! She loves reading and writing — and she’s very creative (albeit her writing gets pretty dark at times. But come to think of it…my second-grade teacher thought that my friend Andrew’s and my 38-page book with vampires, witches, and werewolves was pretty morbid too!)

 

 

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).

 

 

From DSC:
After seeing the following two items, I wondered…should more professors, teachers, and staff members be on Substack?

DC: Should more professors, teachers, staff members, & trainers be on Substack?


Heather Cox Richardson Offers a Break From the Media Maelstrom. It’s Working. — from nytimes.com by Ben Smith
She is the breakout star of the newsletter platform Substack, doing the opposite of most media as she calmly situates the news of the day in the long sweep of American history.

Excerpt:

Last Wednesday, I broke the news to Heather Cox Richardson that she was the most successful individual author of a paid publication on the breakout newsletter platform Substack.

Early that morning, she had posted that day’s installment of “Letters From an American” to Facebook, quickly garnering more than 50,000 reactions and then, at 2:14 a.m., she emailed it to about 350,000 people.

The news of her ranking seemed to startle Dr. Richardson, who in her day job is a professor of 19th century American history at Boston College. The Substack leader board, a subject of fascination among media insiders, is a long way from her life on a Maine peninsula — particularly as the pandemic has ended her commute — that seems drawn from the era she studies.

Is Substack the Media Future We Want? — from newyorker.com by Anna Wiener
The newsletter service is a software company that, by mimicking some of the functions of newsrooms, has made itself difficult to categorize.

Excerpt:

…Substack, a service that enables writers to draft, edit, and send e-mail newsletters to subscribers. Writers can choose whether subscriptions are free or paid; the minimum charge for paid subscriptions is five dollars a month or thirty dollars a year, and Substack takes ten percent of all revenue.

 

Building your own website is cool again, and it’s changing the whole internet — from protocol.com by David Pierce
Writers, creators and businesses of all kinds are looking to set up their own space online again. To do that, companies are trying to figure out how to deal with two very different internets.

Excerpt:

Websites are back. After years of being sucked into the vortexes of Facebook and Yelp pages, devoting their time to amassing Twitter followers and Instagram likes, creators and businesses alike have seen the benefits of hanging up their own shingle again. Legions of writers are setting up Substack newsletters. Millions of people and businesses are setting up shop for the first time online using Squarespace or WordPress. Wix reported 7.8 million new users in the last quarter alone, and more than 29% revenue growth.

Substack doesn’t see itself as a newsletter platform, or an email-based product. The company is fundamentally interested in fostering direct relationships between readers and writers, rather than let them be mediated by companies whose interests are not always aligned with either side.

The driving force behind all that growth? Thanks to a pandemic closing stores, keeping people at home and leaving a lot of people without jobs, the only way to move forward is to figure out the internet. 

From DSC:
Though I really like WordPress — and this blog uses it — look at the stock performance in 2020 for Wix!

Stock price of Wix is way up in 2020

Our youngest daughter and I are going to set up a blog for her, as she loves to write. The idea was from her and my wife, but I love it! I think it’s highly motivating to her and she can have a voice…that she can share her writings with others. She’s got quite an imagination — so look out all!  🙂 

 

Present and accounted for? Coronavirus-related school closures create attendance challenges — from educationdive.com by Linda Jacobson
Experts say regardless of the method used to track e-learning participation, ongoing contact with students will be essential.

Excerpt:

Alisa Belzer, an education professor at Rutgers University, says K-12 teachers can learn from those who teach online in higher education.

“When instructors stay on top of evaluating the work they are asking learners to complete, they can easily determine who is ‘there’ and who’s not. A key ingredient in this process is creating engaging assignments with clear deliverables,” she says. “When instructors give feedback that is specific, clear, and actionable, students know their instructors are very much a part of their learning process. This also encourages ‘attendance.’”

From DSC:
I also think the more choice we give students will help with their levels of motivation — their sense of purpose. They will chose what’s relevant, enjoyable to them — what they are curious about and want to learn more about. I’ve witnessed this with our daughter, whose spark for writing has ignited. Her imagination is great, and she loves to write. She is going to start her own blog, which will allow her to practice. It’s highly motivating/exciting to her — to have a voice and to be able to share her work with a wider audience.

I think that if we could give students some more leeway to study what they want to study, we wouldn’t have to worry nearly as much about attendance and lack of learning. Naive? Maybe. But I’ve witnessed the K-12 runaway train that won’t stop for anyone. It travels fast, and it doesn’t stop, no matter if mastery is achieved or not.

K-12 education in America is a like a quickly moving train that stops for no one.

I’ve also seen controlling K-12 environments that create gameplayers (our son is one of them).

In these rough times, I hope we don’t throw away the chance to change what’s not working within our K-12 systems. Let not this pain go to waste. My vote is to give students more agency.

 

 

Thanks to Jane Hart for the below diagram of a learning technology ecosystem! This diagram is accessible out at Jane’s recent posting entitled, “Back to Basics: 10 lessons for virtual L&D for 2021.

 

From DSC:
Notice how these tools, vendors, business relationships, etc. can — and do — morph over time. It’s not a static system…but an ever-changing system.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian