27 Fun Ways to Celebrate the End of the School Year — from commonsense.org by Erin Wilkey O.

Excerpt:

This year, things are closer to “normal,” but we can still be creative in recognizing and celebrating students’ accomplishments. Use this list of ideas to help you plan some fun end-of-year activities — we’ve included a special section at the end for celebrating the class of 2022. Many of the ideas here play out in the digital world, but we’ve mixed in some offline options as well.

We hope these activities bring you and your students some much-deserved joy as we close out the 2021–2022 school year.

 

Google accelerates audiobook production exponentially — from provideocoalition.com by Allan Tépper

Excerpt:

In March 2022, I published Google’s Aloud auto-dubs your English video in Castilian or Portuguese, free. Now, Google is doing a similar quantum leap for audiobook production. In fact, I already converted and published one of my own books as an audiobook successfully using Google’s semi-automatic voices. Ahead, I’ll explain how Google’s process can convert the manuscript into a presentable audiobook in a few hours instead of over a month of work, using one of Google’s automated voices which are available for different languages and regions.

 

Best colouring and painting apps for kids — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

Below is a collection of some of great painting and colouring apps to help your kids unleash their expressive creativity and develop fine motor skills. These apps, mostly colouring games, provide kids access to a wide variety of colouring pages featuring images covering different topics from animals and mandalas to horoscopes and flowers to colour. Using game-based activities and interactive lessons, these apps offer kids a learning friendly space where they can exercise their painting, and drawing skills, improve their hand-eye coordination, and expand their imagination and creativity.

 
 

Opportunities for Education in the Metaverse -- from downes.ca by Stephen Downes

Opportunities for Education in the Metaverse — from downes.ca by Stephen Downes

Excerpt:

This short presentation introduces major elements of the metaverse, outlines some applications for education, discusses how it may be combined with other technologies for advanced applications, and outlines some issues and concerns.

Also relevant/see:

What Should Higher Ed in the Metaverse Look like? – from linkedin.com by Joe Schaefer

Excerpt:

The Metaverse is coming whether we like it or not, and it is time for educators to think critically about how it can benefit students. As higher education continues to evolve, I believe every learning product and platform working with or within the Metaverse should, at least, have these functionalities:


Addendum on 5/23/22:


 

10 Best Web Highlighters for Desktop in 2022 — from hongkiat.com by Kei Watanabe

Excerpt:

Have you used any web highlighters? It helps us improve our productivity by copying and pasting important texts you’ve found online automatically, saving good articles in your directory, and highlighting important sentences on articles so that you can remember them when looking back.

In this article, I’ll introduce you to 10 useful web highlighters for the desktop. All these tools offer different features and you can read about each tool in detail in the following.

 

The Pandemic’s Lasting Lessons for Colleges, From Academic Innovation Leaders — from edsurge.com by Nadia Tamez-Robledo, Rebecca Koenig, and Jeffrey R. Young

Excerpts:

“Universities are in the business of knowledge, but universities do a very poor job of managing their own knowledge and strategy,” says Brian Fleming, associate vice chancellor of learning ecosystem development at Northeastern University. “You may have faculty members who study organizational development, but none of that gets applied to the university.”

University leaders should learn to think more like futurists, he argues, working to imagine scenarios that might need planning for but are beyond the usual one-year or five-year planning cycles.

The pandemic prompted more faculty to ask the question, “What do we actually want to use class time for?” says Tyler Roeger, director of the center for the enhancement of teaching and learning at Elgin Community College. And the answer many of them are landing on, he adds, is: “Actual face-to-face time can be dedicated to problem-working, and working in groups together.”

 

4 Online Tactics to Improve Blended Learning — from campustechnology.com by Megan Burke, CPA, Ph.D.
An accounting professor shares how best practices from online pedagogy have helped her create a blended learning environment that supports student success.

Excerpts:

Now that students are back in the classroom, I have been combining these tactics with in-person instruction to create a blended learning environment that gives my students the best of both worlds.

The right activities, on the other hand, can make a significant difference. For example:

  • Breakout rooms (for think/pair/share);
  • Polls and quizzes that are low-stakes and anonymous to encourage full engagement;
  • Using the whiteboard option; and
  • Having reviews of material at the end of class.

I also encourage faculty (and myself!) to get out and meet with employers and ask what we can do to better prepare students, so that we can get a better feel for what first-year staff really need to know — and ensure that we present that knowledge and information in the classroom.

 

A Rubric for Selecting Active Learning Technologies — from er.educause.edu by Katie Bush, Monica Cormier, and Graham Anthony
A rubric can be an invaluable aid in evaluating how well technologies support active learning.

Excerpt:

Because the use of active learning is characterized by a broad range of activities in the classroom, comparing technology and determining which option provides more benefit to an active learning classroom can be difficult. The Rubric for Active Learning Technology Evaluation can provide some differentiation when comparing technology offerings. It has been designed to reveal subtle but impactful differences between technology in the context of active learning. The rubric was designed to be a tool for comparative technology evaluation and as such should be quick to use when comparing similar technologies. It is freely available to use and adapt under a Creative Commons license.

 

 

How to integrate storytelling as design thinking in your classroom — from bookcreator.com by Michael Hernandez

Excerpt:

I’ve been thinking a lot about the need to prepare my students for their future and how I can help develop the skills and mindset they’ll need to solve some pretty big global challenges we now face.

While I see my STEM and science colleagues integrating skills like creativity, problem-solving and ideation, technology use and innovation, I often wondered how I could integrate these skills into my journalism, film and photography classes.

Until I realized that I already do.

Often thought of as either a frivolous hobby during our downtime, or a one-way fire hydrant of information from textbooks in school, working with student storytellers over the past 23 years has illuminated the idea that, if done right, student-made digital stories can be a powerful learning experience and creative problem solving exercise.

 

Entrepreneur Education Platform GeniusU Raises $1.5M Seed Funding at $250M Valuation — from edtechreview.in ed by Stephen Soulunii

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Genius Group has recently announced that its EdTech arm, GeniusU Ltd, has raised $1.5 million in a seed round to support the development of its Genius Metaversity virtual learning plans.

With the fresh funding, GeniusU plans to extend its courses and programs to interactive learning environments in the metaverse, with students and faculty connecting and learning in global classrooms and virtual 3D environments. It also plans to integrate each student’s AI-based virtual assistant ‘Genie’ into the metaverse as 3D virtual assistants that accompany each student on their personalized journey and integrate its GEMs (Genius Education Merits) student credits into the metaverse. GEMs are earned by students as they learn and can be spent on products and services within GeniusU and counting towards their certifications.

 

Best Free Virtual Escape Rooms for Schools — from techlearning.com by Diana Restifo
Virtual escape rooms incorporate riddles, puzzles, math, logic, and literacy skills to create an exciting adventure in education.

Excerpt:

Virtual escape rooms are a form of gamified learning that incorporates riddles, puzzles, math, logic, and literacy skills to create an exciting adventure in education. Students demonstrate their skills and knowledge in order to unlock each level, eventually earning their liberation. Some escape rooms are one-page affairs, while others weave an intricate backstory to enthrall players. Many also offer hints when an incorrect answer is given, thereby encouraging kids to persevere until success is achieved.

There’s no charge for any of these virtual escape rooms, so feel free to free yourself, for free!

Also relevant/see:

Storybird Lesson Plan — from techlearning.com by Stephanie Smith Budhai, Ph.D.
This Storybird Lesson Plan is designed to help educators utilize a digital learning platform to support teaching and learning

Excerpt:

Storybird is an attractive and easy-to-use reading and writing online edtech tool with beautiful images to inspire students as they develop their literacy skills. Storybird goes beyond reading online books, and provides an accessible platform for learners of all ages to engage in a wide variety of reading and writing genres including descriptive, creative, and persuasive writing as well as longform stories, flash fiction, poetry, and comics.

For an overview of Storybird, check out What is Storybird for Education? Best Tips and Tricks. This sample lesson plan is geared toward fiction storytelling writing instruction for elementary students.

 

Inside Microsoft’s new Inclusive Tech Lab — from engadget.com by C. Low; with thanks to Nick Floro on Twitter for some of these resources
“An embassy for people with disabilities.”

Increasing our Focus on Inclusive Technology — from mblogs.microsoft.com by Dave Dame

Excerpt:

In recent years, tied to Microsoft’s mission of empowering every person and organization on the planet to achieve more, teams from across Microsoft have launched several products and features to make technology more inclusive and accessible. [On May 10, 2022], as part of the 12th annual Microsoft Ability Summit, we celebrate a new and expanded Inclusive Tech Lab, powerful new software features, and are unveiling Microsoft adaptive accessories designed to give people with disabilities greater access to technology.

Microsoft’s Latest Hardware Is More Accessible and Customizable — from wired.com by Brenda Stolyar
The wireless system—a mouse, a button, and a hub—is designed to increase productivity for those with limited mobility.

Excerpt:

Microsoft if expanding its lineup of accessibility hardware. During its annual Ability Summit—an event dedicated to disability inclusion and accessibility—the company showed attendees some new PC hardware it has developed for users with limited mobility. Available later this year, the wireless system will consist of an adaptive mouse, a programmable button, and a hub to handle the connection to a Windows PC. Users set up the devices to trigger various keystrokes, shortcuts, and sequences. These new input devices can be used with existing accessories, and they can be further customized with 3D-printed add-ons. There are no price details yet.

Along these lines, also see:

  • 14 Equity Considerations for Ed Tech — from campustechnology.com by Reed Dickson
    Is the education technology in your online course equitable and inclusive of all learners? Here are key equity questions to ask when considering the pedagogical experience of an e-learning tool.
 

Technology for HyFlex Classrooms: Major Considerations — from hyflexlearning.org by Brian Beatty

Excerpts:

This post describes four aspects of classroom technology that are very important to address when developing a HyFlex approach that can be effective at scale.

The classroom technology needs can be organized into four areas:

  1. two-way audio stream (connection),
  2. incoming video presentation of remote learners
  3. outgoing video presentation of classroom and learners
  4. interactive technology to support interaction, engagement, and formative assessment

Also re: hyflex teaching — where some students are physically present and some are coming into the class remotely– see:

Part I – Motivating Learners by Building Efficacy (Confidence) through Scaffolding and Support— from hyflexlearning.org by Jeanne Samuel

Excerpts:

HyFlex delivery may be new to many learners. Therefore, it is important to provide them with the supports they need to be successful. Regardless of the delivery mode, learners are motivated by success and by instructor presence. In part one of this topic post, we will write about how instructor support and feedback (a form of guidance) can motivate learners and build learner confidence.

PART II- Feedback for Improving Student Success and Satisfaction — from hyflexlearning.org by Jeanne Samuel

Excerpt:

In part 1 of this post, we focused on how feedback and support promote learner confidence. Learner confidence can lead to improved learner retention, progression, and success regardless of the class delivery mode. In part 2, we focus on feedback strategies.

 

A Turning Point for Prison Education — from chronicle.com by Taylor Swaak
With reinstatement of Pell Grants imminent, the programs weigh technology’s long-term role.

Excerpts:

Incarcerated people who participate in postsecondary-education programs are 48 percent less likely to return to prison, according to a 2018 study from the RAND Corporation.

Three colleges that The Chronicle spoke with are in varying stages of adding technology to their prison-ed programs.

Addendum on 5/11/22:

It was a proud, and somewhat routine commencement ceremony for Calvin University on Monday, May 9, though held in the confines of a state prison.

Calvin University and Calvin Theological Seminary joined the Michigan Department of Corrections Monday to host the graduation ceremony for Calvin Prison Initiative (CPI) students at the state’s Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia.

Addendums on 5/16/22:

 
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