Digital Learning Definitions — from wcet.wiche.edu

Excerpt:

Higher education uses many variations of terms to describe slightly different digital learning modalities,  such as: “in-person,” “online,” “hybrid,” “hyflex,” “synchronous,” “asynchronous,” and many more. These variations have long confused students, faculty, administrators, and the general public,

WCET has worked on this issue in the past, and continues to advocate for simple, easy to understand terms that can bring consistent agreement to the use of these phrases. The WCET Steering Committee has made it a priority to attack this issue.

In 2022, WCET sponsored and led a partnership with Bay View Analytics and the Canadian Digital Learning Research Association to conduct a survey to explore the use of the terms by higher education professionals. The Online Learning Consortium (OLC), Quality Matters (QM), and the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) assisted with survey participation and promotion. The works published below highlight the findings of the study.

Also relevant/see:

 

AI/ML in EdTech: The Miracle, The Grind, and the Wall — from eliterate.us by Michael Feldstein

Excerpt:

Essentially, I see three stages in working with artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML). I call them the miracle, the grind, and the wall. These stages can have implications for both how we can get seduced by these technologies and how we can get bitten by them. The ethical implications are important.

 

Ed tech leaders just predicted these 3 trends will unfold in higher education — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz
Ed tech leaders gathered in New York on Thursday to discuss trends in the sector. Here’s what they had to say.

Excerpt:

NEW YORK — It’s a brutal moment for ed tech companies.

The stock market has been battered over the past few months, and the technology sector has been particularly hard hit. Meanwhile, colleges are experiencing enrollment declines at the same time their coronavirus relief funds are drying up, potentially constraining how much they can spend with vendors.

Still, ed tech CEOs and investors remained bullish about their own sector’s future during a conference in New York on Thursday held by HolonIQ, a market analysis firm. Here are three trends they say are coming down the pike.

 

Lessons Learned from Six Years of Podcasting — from derekbruff.org by Derek Bruff

Excerpt:

Last month on Twitter, I shared some of the many, many things I’ve learned from podcast guests over the last six years. I encourage you to check out that thread and listen to a few of my favorite episodes. Here on the blog, I’d like to share a few more general reflections about what I learned through producing Leading Lines.

Finally, one lesson that the podcast reinforced for me is that faculty and other instructors want to hear stories. Sure, a peer-reviewed journal article on the impact of some teaching practice is useful, but some of those can focus too much on assessment and not enough on the practice itself. Hearing a colleague talk about their teaching, the choices they’ve made, why they made those choices, what effects those choices have had on student learning… that can be both inspirational and intensely practical for those seeking to improve their teaching. A big part of Leading Lines was finding instructors with compelling stories and then letting them shine during our interviews.

Speaking of digital audio, also relevant/see:

With Audiobooks Launching in the U.S. Today, Spotify Is the Home for All the Audio You Love — from newsroom.spotify.com by

Excerpt:

Adding an entirely new content format to our service is no small feat. But we’ve done it before with podcasts, and we’re excited to now do the same with audiobooks.

Just as we did with podcasting, this will introduce a new format to an audience that has never before consumed it, unlocking a whole new segment of potential listeners. This also helps us support even more kinds of creators and connect them with fans that will love their art—which makes this even more exciting.


Addendum on 9/30/22:


 

Instructional Audio: 4 Benefits to Improving It — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
Ensuring every classroom has instructional audio capabilities helps all students hear what the teacher is saying.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Sound is a key component of education. If students can’t hear their instructor well, they’re clearly not going to focus or learn as much. That’s why more and more schools are investing in instructional audio systems, which are high-tech public address systems designed with classrooms, teachers, and all students in mind.

Terri Meier is director of education technology for Rio Rancho Public Schools in New Mexico where all new classrooms are being built with voice amplification systems in place and many existing classrooms are being retrofitted with similar systems. These systems are key for schools in their accessibility efforts and in providing quality instruction overall, she says.

And speaking of accessibility-related postings/items, also see:

 

Spacing Retrieval is More Important than Extra Retrieval — from learningscientists.org by Cindy Nebel

Excerpt:

Educators: Quiz your students. Absolutely you should incorporate retrieval practice. Just space it out over time instead of providing blocked weekly quizzes just over that week’s content. But congratulations! You don’t have to do the extra work of writing and grading more quiz questions to get this benefit!

Students: Quiz yourselves and when you do, make sure you’re reviewing old material. Build in frequent study sessions, but you don’t have to double the time you’re spending studying to get great benefits, as long as you’re doing what you should be doing throughout (spaced retrieval).


Speaking of memory, also see:


 

Zovio takes steps to dissolve, aims to sell Fullstack Academy for $55M — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz

Excerpt:

  • Zovio, a troubled educational services company, is taking steps to sell off its assets and shut down, according to a Tuesday (9/20/22) filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • The company’s board is recommending that Zovio liquidate its assets and pay any remaining cash to shareholders after the company fulfills legal and other financial obligations. Liquidation would include selling Fullstack Academy for as much as $55 million, which would give the company up to $20.3 million to distribute to shareholders  though it said it could not make any guarantees.
 

Course Awareness in HyFlex: Managing unequal participation numbers — from hyflexlearning.org by Candice Freeman

Excerpt:

How do you teach a HyFlex course when the number of students in various participation modes is very unequal? How do you teach one student in a mode – often in the classroom? Conversely, you could ask how do you teach 50 asynchronous students with very few in the synchronous mode(s)? Answers will vary greatly depending from teacher to teacher. This article suggests a strategy called Course Awareness, a mindfulness technique designed to help teachers envision each learner as being in the instructor’s presence and engaged in the instruction regardless of participation (or attendance) mode choice.

Teaching HyFlex in an active learning classroom

From DSC:
I had understood the hyflex teaching model as addressing both online-based (i.e., virtual/not on-site) and on-site/physically-present students at the same time — and that each student could choose the manner in which they wanted to attend that day’s class. For example, on one day, a student could take the course in room 123 of Anderson Hall. The next time the class meets, that same student could attend from their dorm room.

But this article introduces — at least to me — the idea that we have a third method of participating in the hyflex model — asynchronously (i.e., not at the same time). So rather than making their way to Anderson Hall or attending from their dorm, that same student does not attend at the same time as other students (either virtually or physically). That student will likely check in with a variety of tools to catch up with — and contribute to — the discussions. As the article mentions:

Strategically, you need to employ web-based resources designed to gather real-time information over a specified period of time, capturing all students and not just students engaging live. For example, Mentimeter, PollEverywhere, and Sli.do allow the instructor to pose engaging, interactive questions without limiting engagement time to the instance the question is initially posed. These tools are designed to support both synchronous and asynchronous participation. 

So it will be interesting to see how our learning ecosystems morph in this area. Will there be other new affordances, pedagogies, and tools that take into consideration that the faculty members are addressing synchronous and asynchronous students as well as online and physically present students? Hmmm…more experimentation is needed here, as well as more:

  • Research
  • Instructional design
  • Design thinking
  • Feedback from students and faculty members

Will this type of model work best in the higher education learning ecosystem but not the K-12 learning ecosystem? Will it thrive with employees within the corporate realm? Hmmm…again, time will tell.


And to add another layer to the teaching and learning onion, now let’s talk about multimodal learning. This article, How to support multimodal learningby Monica Burns, mentions that:

Multimodal learning is a teaching concept where using different senses simultaneously helps students interact with content at a deeper level. In the same way we learn through multiple types of media in our own journey as lifelong learners, students can benefit from this type of learning experience.

The only comment I have here is that if you think that throwing a warm body into a K12 classroom fixes the problem of teachers leaving the field, you haven’t a clue how complex this teaching and learning onion is. Good luck to all of those people who are being thrown into the deep end — and essentially being told to sink or swim.

 

3D Scanner Lets You Capture The Real World In VR — from vrscout.com by Kyle Melnick

Excerpt:

VR is about to get a whole lot more real.

Imagine having the power to capture your real-world environment as a hyper-realistic 3D model from the palm of your hand. Well, wonder no more, as peel 3d, a developer of professional-grade 3D scanners, today announced the launch of peel 3 and peel 3.CAD, two new easy-to-use 3D scanners capable of generating high-quality 3D scans for a wide variety of digital mediums, including VR and augmented reality (AR).

 

NASA & Google Partner To Create An AR Solar System — from vrscout.com by Kyle Melnick

Excerpt:

[On 9/14/22], Google Arts & Culture announced that is has partnered with NASA to further extend its virtual offerings with a new online exhibit featuring a collection of new-and-improved 3D models of our universe brought to life using AR technology.

These 3D models are for more than just entertainment, however. The virtual solar system exhibit features historical annotations that, when selected, display valuable information. Earth’s moon, for example, features landing sites for Apollo 11 and China’s Chang’e-4.

 

The next chapter for Learning on YouTube — from blog.youtube by Jonathan Katzman

Next year, qualified creators can begin offering free or paid Courses to provide in-depth, structured learning experiences for viewers. Viewers who choose to buy a Course can watch the video ad-free and play it in the background.

…to help learners apply what they’ve learned, we’re introducing Quizzes — a new way for creators to help viewers test their knowledge.”

.

 

To Improve Outcomes for Students, We Must Improve Support for Faculty — from campustechnology.com by Dr. David Wiley
The doctoral programs that prepare faculty for their positions often fail to train them on effective teaching practices. We owe it to our students to provide faculty with the professional development they need to help learners realize their full potential.

Excerpts:

Why do we allow so much student potential to go unrealized? Why are well-researched, highly effective teaching practices not used more widely?

The doctoral programs that are supposed to prepare them to become faculty in physics, philosophy, and other disciplines don’t require them to take a single course in effective teaching practices. 

The entire faculty preparation enterprise seems to be caught in a loop, unintentionally but consistently passing on an unawareness that some teaching practices are significantly more effective than others. How do we break this cycle and help students realize their full potential as learners?

From DSC:
First of all, I greatly appreciate the work of Dr. David Wiley. His career has been dedicated to teaching and learning, open educational resources, and more. I also appreciate and agree with what David is saying here — i.e., that professors need to be taught how to teach as well as what we know about how people learn at this point in time. 

For years now, I’ve been (unpleasantly) amazed that we hire and pay our professors primarily for their research capabilities — vs. their teaching competence. At the same time, we continually increase the cost of tuition, books, and other fees. Students have the right to let their feet do the walking. As the alternatives to traditional institutions of higher education increase, I’m quite sure that we’ll see that happen more and more.

While I think that training faculty members about effective teaching practices is highly beneficial, I also think that TEAM-BASED content creation and delivery will deliver the best learning experiences that we can provide. I say this because multiple disciplines and specialists are involved, such as:

  • Subject Matter Experts (i.e., faculty members)
  • Instructional Designers
  • Graphic Designers
  • Web Designers
  • Learning Scientists; Cognitive Learning Researchers
  • Audio/Video Specialists  and Learning Space Designers/Architects
  • CMS/LMS Administrators
  • Programmers
  • Multimedia Artists who are skilled in working with digital audio and digital video
  • Accessibility Specialists
  • Librarians
  • Illustrators and Animators
  • and more

The point here is that one person can’t do it all — especially now that the expectation is that courses should be offered in a hybrid format or in an online-based format. For a solid example of the power of team-based content creation/delivery, see this posting.

One last thought/question here though. Once a professor is teaching, are they open to working with and learning from the Instructional Designers, Learning Scientists, and/or others from the Teaching & Learning Centers that do exist on their campus? Or do they, like many faculty members, think that such people are irrelevant because they aren’t faculty members themselves? Oftentimes, faculty members look to each other and don’t really care what support is offered (unless they need help with some of the technology.)


Also relevant/see:


 

What if smart TVs’ new killer app was a next-generation learning-related platform? [Christian]

TV makers are looking beyond streaming to stay relevant — from protocol.com by Janko Roettgers and Nick Statt

A smart TV's main menu listing what's available -- application wise

Excerpts:

The search for TV’s next killer app
TV makers have some reason to celebrate these days: Streaming has officially surpassed cable and broadcast as the most popular form of TV consumption; smart TVs are increasingly replacing external streaming devices; and the makers of these TVs have largely figured out how to turn those one-time purchases into recurring revenue streams, thanks to ad-supported services.

What TV makers need is a new killer app. Consumer electronics companies have for some time toyed with the idea of using TV for all kinds of additional purposes, including gaming, smart home functionality and fitness. Ad-supported video took priority over those use cases over the past few years, but now, TV brands need new ways to differentiate their devices.

Turning the TV into the most useful screen in the house holds a lot of promise for the industry. To truly embrace this trend, TV makers might have to take some bold bets and be willing to push the envelope on what’s possible in the living room.

 


From DSC:
What if smart TVs’ new killer app was a next-generation learning-related platform? Could smart TVs deliver more blended/hybrid learning? Hyflex-based learning?
.

The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV

.

Or what if smart TVs had to do with delivering telehealth-based apps? Or telelegal/virtual courts-based apps?


 

How to Use Edtech to Engage Introverted Learners — from edsurge.com by Stacey Roshan

Excerpts:

But we can leverage technology to create more equitable and empowering forums for discussion—to shift from a culture that praises the first person to raise their hand, to one where every individual has a platform to make their ideas seen and heard. I’m talking about using simple web apps.

As an introverted perfectionist who needed time to process and formulate a response before I was ready to share, I began to confuse faster with smarter. Because I saw my peers answering more questions than I was in class—and getting praised for it—I struggled to feel like I measured up.

And so, as a math teacher, it has become my mission to find ways to spotlight all of the unique voices and personalities in my classroom, and to celebrate the diverse approaches students choose to share, rather than valuing one.

 

Top Tools for Learning 2022 [Jane Hart]

Top Tools for Learning 2022

 

Top tools for learning 2022 — from toptools4learning.com by Jane Hart

Excerpt:

In fact, it has become clear that whilst 2021 was the year of experimentation – with an explosion of tools being used as people tried out new things, 2022 has been the year of consolidation – with people reverting to their trusty old favourites. In fact, many of the tools that were knocked off their perches in 2021, have now recovered their lost ground this year.


Also somewhat relevant/see:


 

The State of the Digital Divide in the United States — from pcrd.purdue.edu by Roberto Gallardo

Introduction

The COVID-19 pandemic shed a bright light on an issue that has been around for decades: the digital divide. As parents, children, and workers scrambled to learn, socialize, and work from home, adequate internet connectivity became critical. This analysis takes a detailed look at the digital divide as it was in 2020 (latest year available), who it affected, and its socioeconomic implications by using an innovative metric called the digital divide index. It should also increase awareness on this issue as communities and residents prepare to take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime investment in both broadband infrastructure and digital equity, components of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Data for this analysis came primarily from the U.S. Census Bureau 5-year American Community Survey. Additional sources include but are not limited to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Lightcast (formerly known as Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. or EMSI) and Venture Forward by GoDaddy. The unit of analysis was U.S. counties for which DDI scores were calculated 1 .

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian