5 Ideas to Soothe IT Staff Burnout — from campustechnology.com by David Raths
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on the mental health of students, faculty and staff alike. But IT in particular has borne the brunt of keeping institutions’ technology infrastructure afloat through relentless change, often in the face of budget cuts and staffing shortages. Here are ways to help mitigate stress and better support IT teams during this challenging time.

Excerpt:

Faced with an increasingly stressed-out IT workforce, CIOs are trying to find innovative ways to boost morale, maintain work/life balance and enhance communication among teams. We spoke to three IT leaders who offered the following five suggestions, based on their own experiences over the past year and a half.

 

College Was Supposed to Close the Wealth Gap for Black Americans. The Opposite Happened. — from wsj.com by Rachel Louise Ensign and Shane Shifflett
Black college graduates in their 30s have lost ground over three decades, the result of student debt and sluggish income growth

Excerpt:

The drop is driven by skyrocketing student debt and sluggish income growth, which combine to make it difficult to build savings or buy a home. Now, the generation that hoped to close the racial wealth gap is finding it is only growing wider.

More than 84% of college-educated Black households in their 30s have student debt, up from 35% three decades ago, when many baby boomers were at the same age. The younger generation owes a median of $44,000, up from less than $6,000. By comparison, 53% of white college-educated households in their 30s have debt, up from 27% three decades earlier. The median amount rose to $35,000 from $8,000. All figures are adjusted for inflation.

Also see:

American Talent Initiative 2021 | Third Annual Progress Report — from sr.ithaka.org by Martin Kurzweil, Tania LaViolet, Elizabeth Davidson Pisacreta, Adam Rabinowitz, Emily Schwartz, Joshua Wyner; with thanks to Goldie Blumenstyk at The Chronicle of Higher Education for this resource

Excerpt:

The progress report includes new enrollment data from the 2019-20 academic year as well as Fall 2020. The pre-COVID and COVID era data reveal four key findings:

  1. Before the pandemicbetween 2015-16 and 2019-20, ATI members (130 during this data collection period) collectively increased Pell enrollment by 10,417
  2. In the years leading up to the pandemic, 2018-19 and 2019-20, ATI’s progress leveled off and began to reverse, with an enrollment decline of 3,873 Pell students, attributable to two main factors: (1) substantial declines at a set of ATI member institutions that enroll very high shares of Pell students, and (2) insufficient progress at a set of institutions with lower Pell
  3. Fall 2020 enrollment data for 115 ATI members show a single-year drop of 7,166 Pell students (compared to Fall 2019). Driven in large part by declines in first-time and transfer Pell student enrollment at public institutions, and decreased Pell student retention rates at private
  4. COVID-era declines have nearly returned Pell enrollment levels among ATI members to 2015-16
 

Best Restorative Justice Practices and Sites for Educators — from techlearning.com by Diana Restifo
Best practices, resources, guides, sites, and more for implementing restorative justice in schools

Excerpt:

In recent years, the conversation around school discipline has shifted from the punitive-based approach to an admittedly more complex, holistic approach known as restorative justice (RJ) or restorative practices (RP). Using carefully facilitated conversations, students, teachers, and administrators work together to solve behavior problems in schools. There may still be suspensions or expulsions—but as a last resort, not first.

The following articles, videos, guides, professional development opportunities, and research are a great starting point for educators and administrators to learn what it takes to institute restorative practices in their schools—and why it matters.

 

 
 

 

The College Program Attracting — and Retaining — Black Male Teachers — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

A group of black male graduates -- photo by Patrick Wright, Clemson University, Photographic Services-University Relations.

Excerpt:

When the initiative started two decades ago, people “really didn’t believe that we would be successful at being able to attract a 17- or 18-year-old Black male to become a second or third grade teacher,” says Roy Jones, a provost-distinguished professor at Clemson and the executive director of Call Me MISTER.

And yet, the program has graduated about 300 African American men from college education departments in South Carolina, more than doubling the number of Black men teaching in elementary and middle schools in the state.

 

No, it doesn’t need to be a Zoom — from wired.com by Chris Stokel-Walker
We’re wasting hours of our lives on inefficient video calls. Here’s how to decide when you should jump on a Zoom – and when not to

Excerpt:

Academic research has pinpointed four reasons why we’re growing sick of video calls. For one thing, we’re engaged in an unnaturally large amount of eye contact, which can prove exhausting, according to Jeremy Bailenson professor at Stanford University and founding director of the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab. We’re also stressed out by being confronted with our own face for hours on end (even if you can’t stop staring at it). Bailenson compares it to be followed around with a mirror all day.

From DSC:
What comes to my mind here is that videoconferencing — and meeting in general — requires mental work — and thus energy. Why? Because, as I mentioned in this posting, we are constantly processing auditory and visual channels. 

 

What is cognitive load? And why should I care about it?
What is cognitive load? And why should I care about it?

Transcript here.

 

From DSC:
So having to process auditory and visual information hour after hour takes major energy! And some presentations/presenters require a lot more energy than others.

Having to process auditory and visual information hour after hour takes major energy!

 

watching a presentation by Steve Jobs requires a lot less auditory and visual processing

 

For College Finances, There’s No ‘Return to Normal’ — from chronicle.com by Mark S. LeClair
The critical problems facing higher education won’t end with the pandemic.

Excerpt:

Higher ed is in trouble. It faces a demographic crunch in 2026, when smaller high-school graduating classes will mean greater competition for students. That will lead to tuition discounting and underenrolled classes for many colleges. And yet that demographic crisis is only one of many significant challenges the sector faces. As noted by Forbes in its annual review of college and university financials, approximately 20 percent of all institutions now warrant a “D” ranking (its lowest). Many are under serious financial strain and may not survive.

The Forbes financial analyses have been warning of a worsening situation for years. The added stresses from the Covid-19 pandemic will further aggravate the untenable circumstances facing hundreds of institutions. There is now a very short window within which we must carry out significant reforms.

 

Nalukai Academy: Harvesting Hawai’i’s Next Generation of Leaders — from gettingsmart.com by Ashley Ranan

Excerpt:

Nalukai’s program curriculum includes 5 areas of interest:

  • Digital storytelling – branding & marketing, content creation, web design
  • Leadership – project management, collaboration, team dynamics
  • Entrepreneurship – networking, investor pitches, business plan development
  • Design thinking –  prototyping, mind-mapping, iteration
  • Technology – coding, web development, digital business tools

Also see:

The Nalukai Academy offers intensive tech, entrepreneurship, leadership, and design programs for Hawai?i high school students. This image portrays some of those students.

 

Growth Mindset Leadership & The Pygmalion Effect — from by Trevor Ragan and the Learning Lab; featuring Robert Rosenthal, Christine Rubie-Davies, and Michael Merznich. With thanks to Chris Church, Tenured Professor and prior Associate Dean of Academic Programs at the WMU-Cooley Law School
Our mindsets impact others more than we realize. As leaders, we can use this to improve the learning environment.

Excerpt:

We know that our individual mindsets (growth mindset & fixed mindset) can impact our capacity to grow. But how do our mindsets impact others?

Renowned researcher, Robert Rosenthal outlines his work and shows how our expectations can have a huge impact on the performance and development of the people around us.

Christine Rubie-Davies from the University of Auckland shows us how teacher expectations play a role in student development.

From DSC:
I highly recommend that all professors, teachers and student teachers, trainers — and even those supervising others — check this piece out! Nice work Trevor & Company! Below are some snapshots from this presentation.

The agenda for Trevor Ragan's presentation re: the Pygmalion Effect

 

Whatever you think your limits are...you're wrong.

 

There are many labels that we put on others -- and that has real consequences and ramifications...both positive and negative depending upon the label.

Teachers expectations of someone matters!

 

The Pygmalion Effect -- our labels and expectations can become self-fulfilling prophecies

 

Put the label of learner at the top! We can all grow and learn, even though we aren't all equally gifted in all disciplines.

 

Microsoft President Warns of Orwell’s 1984 ‘Coming to Pass’ in 2024 — from interestingengineering.com by Chris Young
Microsoft’s Brad Smith warned we may be caught up in a losing race with artificial intelligence.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The surveillance-state dystopia portrayed in George Orwell’s 1984 could “come to pass in 2024” if governments don’t do enough to protect the public against artificial intelligence (AI), Microsoft president Brad Smith warned in an interview for the BBC’s investigative documentary series Panorama.

During the interview, Smith warned of China’s increasing AI prowess and the fact that we may be caught up in a losing race with the technology itself.

“If we don’t enact the laws that will protect the public in the future, we are going to find the technology racing ahead, and it’s going to be very difficult to catch up,” Smith stated.

From DSC:
This is a major heads up to all those in the legal/legislative realm — especially the American Bar Association (ABA) and the Bar Associations across the country! The ABA needs to realize they have to up their game and get with the incredibly fast pace of the twenty-first century. If that doesn’t occur, we and future generations will pay the price. Two thoughts come to my mind in regards to the ABA and for the law schools out there:

Step 1: Allow 100% online-based JD programs all the time, from here on out.

Step 2: Encourage massive new program development within all law schools to help future lawyers, judges, legislative reps, & others build up more emerging technology expertise & the ramifications thereof.

Google’s plan to make search more sentient — from vox.com by Rebecca Heilweil
Google announces new search features every year, but this time feels different.

Excerpt:

At the keynote speech of its I/O developer conference on Tuesday, Google revealed a suite of ways the company is moving forward with artificial intelligence. These advancements show Google increasingly trying to build AI-powered tools that seem more sentient and that are better at perceiving how humans actually communicate and think. They seem powerful, too.

Two of the biggest AI announcements from Google involve natural language processing and search.

Google also revealed a number of AI-powered improvements to its Maps platform that are designed to yield more helpful results and directions.

Google’s plans to bring AI to education make its dominance in classrooms more alarming — from fastcompany.com by Ben Williamson
The tech giant has expressed an ambition to transform education with artificial intelligence, raising fresh ethical questions.

Struggling to Get a Job? Artificial Intelligence Could Be the Reason Why — from newsweek.com by Lydia Veljanovski; with thanks to Sam DeBrule for the resource

Excerpt:

Except that isn’t always the case. In many instances, instead of your application being tossed aside by a HR professional, it is actually artificial intelligence that is the barrier to entry. While this isn’t a problem in itself—AI can reduce workflow by rapidly filtering applicants—the issue is that within these systems lies the possibility of bias.

It is illegal in the U.S. for employers to discriminate against a job applicant because of their race, color, sex, religion, disability, national origin, age (40 or older) or genetic information. However, these AI hiring tools are often inadvertently doing just that, and there are no federal laws in the U.S. to stop this from happening.

These Indian edtech companies are shaping the future of AI & robotics — from analyticsinsight.net by Apoorva Komarraju May 25, 2021

Excerpt:

As edtech companies have taken a lead by digitizing education for the modern era, they have taken the stance to set up Atal Tinkering Labs in schools along with other services necessary for the budding ‘kidpreneurs’. With the availability of these services, students can experience 21st-century technologies like IoT, 3D printing, AI, and Robotics.

Researchers develop machine-learning model that accurately predicts diabetes, study says — from ctvnews.ca by Christy Somos

Excerpt:

TORONTO — Canadian researchers have developed a machine-learning model that accurately predicts diabetes in a population using routinely collected health data, a new study says.

The study, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, tested new machine-learning technology on routinely collected health data that examined the entire population of Ontario. The study was run by the ICES not-for-profit data research institute.

Using linked administrative health data from Ontario from 2006 to 2016, researchers created a validated algorithm by training the model on information taken from nearly 1.7 million patients.

Project Guideline: Enabling Those with Low Vision to Run Independently — from ai.googleblog.com by Xuan Yang; with thanks to Sam DeBrule for the resource

Excerpt:

For the 285 million people around the world living with blindness or low vision, exercising independently can be challenging. Earlier this year, we announced Project Guideline, an early-stage research project, developed in partnership with Guiding Eyes for the Blind, that uses machine learning to guide runners through a variety of environments that have been marked with a painted line. Using only a phone running Guideline technology and a pair of headphones, Guiding Eyes for the Blind CEO Thomas Panek was able to run independently for the first time in decades and complete an unassisted 5K in New York City’s Central Park.

Deepfake Maps Could Really Mess With Your Sense of the World — from wired.com by Will Knight
Researchers applied AI techniques to make portions of Seattle look more like Beijing. Such imagery could mislead governments or spread misinformation online.

In a paper published last month, researchers altered satellite images to show buildings in Seattle where there are none.

 

Student Experiences Learning with Technology in the Pandemic — from educause.edu

Excerpts:

However, as most institutions pivoted to remote learning as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic in 2020, we also pivoted to conduct a special fall 2020 study to gain insights on the student experience during what has been an exceptional time of disruption. In this report, we share results from the study related to student experiences with technology in the for-credit courses they were taking in fall 2020 in which they felt they were learning the most. Specifically, we asked students to think about their best course—the one in which they learned the most—and tell us about the learning environments and modalities of those courses, as well as instructors’ uses of technology in, the organizational and design features of, and the most and least effective uses of technology they experienced in those courses.1

Steps You Can Take
Institutional leaders should consider the following steps as they continue to respond to the most immediate needs of students and plan for a post-pandemic future.

  • Invest in the design, development, and implementation of hybrid course models and the people who support them.
  • Connect faculty with instructional designers and instructional technologists.
  • Put students at the center of your teaching.

The best student experiences were the ones that were focused on student learning experiences and did so from a position of empathy, care, and flexibility. If we learn one thing from higher education’s pandemic year it’s that higher education needs to invest in promoting caring, student-centered, and adaptive pedagogies.

 

Michigan appeals to former teachers as districts face ‘dire’ shortage — from mlive.com by Kayla Miller

Kindergarten teacher Melissa Sanborn instructs students Kindergarten teacher Melissa Sanborn instructs students…Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020 at Cook Elementary School in Grand Blanc. (Jake May | MLive.com) Jake May | MLive.com

Excerpt:

Looking ahead to August, Beecher Community School District is expecting to be short about a quarter of their needed teaching staff for the 2021-22 school year.

The Flint-area district is one of many schools across Michigan fighting to keep educators in classrooms amid a statewide teacher shortage. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is now appealing to former teachers to get recertified and back to work.

David Crim, spokesperson for the Michigan Education Association, said multiple factors are keeping people from pursuing teaching and forcing young teachers to leave the profession.

“There’s no respect for teachers, no respect for the profession and poor compensation,” Crim said. “We have the perfect storm.”

From DSC:
It feels like there are major changes occurring throughout the K-12 learning ecosystems out there. It will be interesting to see what shakes out from this period of disruption.

By the way, those with little respect for teachers clearly have never taught themselves. Teaching is a very difficult profession. You try providing personalized learning to 25-30+ students at a time. Once you begin to scratch the surface, you’re retiring. We need to continue to try to share our knowledge, learnings, effective pedagogies/research, growth, tools, contacts, and more to help the next generation of teachers, students, administrators, and leaders.

Personally, I would like to see teachers have far more agency themselves. Don’t straight jacket them so much with standardized testing every ___ weeks/months. And allow more choice and control for the students (where possible). And allow the damn trains to slow down and/or vary their pace — allow them to stop if necessary for a student or a group of students. 

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

I don’t see real personalized learning occurring until more technologies get involved/integrated into the classrooms out there — things like learner preferences, cloud-based learner profiles, AI and more.

 

States and School Systems Can Act Now to Dismantle Silos Between High School, College, and Career — from crpe.org by Georgia Heyward, Sarah McCann, & Betheny Gross | May 2021

We offer four ways states can engage K–12:

  • Invest in virtual platforms that support college and career navigation.
  • Incentivize bold experimentation with hybrid learning to design new models that blend school and workplace learning or connect with postsecondary microcredentials.
  • Step in to encourage and regulate high-quality, postsecondary microcredentials that stack toward associate and bachelor degrees.
  • Combine policy with technical assistance to help districts credit out-of-school learning.
 

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian