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.

 

Curiosity Stream Is the Streaming Service Tailored for People Who Love To Learn — from
And for less than $20 a year, Curiosity Stream offers something for everyone.

Curiosity Stream, a streaming service that’s committed to educational, informative content that enlightens as it entertains.

curiosity stream

Excerpt:

Once upon a time, channels like Discovery and The Learning Channel sought to enlighten their viewers about the world around them with documentaries and other educational programing. But today, there are fewer and fewer channels committed to this goal, and watered-down “reality television” reigns supreme. It seems the golden age of basic cable television is gone all but gone. Luckily, there’s Curiosity Stream, a streaming service that’s committed to educational, informative content that enlightens as it entertains.


 

The image below was excerpted from:

 

A great example of a learning ecosystem from CommLab India!

 

As school districts move from “reopening” to “recovery,” what will they be recovering from? — from crpe.org by Paul Hill & Michael DeArmond

Excerpts:

Coming out of the pandemic, these leaders thought it was time to try something fundamentally different. “We have to rethink school, period,” one told us. 

They thought schools needed to “recover” from traditional conceptualizations of schooling that had never provided all students with high-quality learning opportunities. As these leaders talked about rethinking public education, they put lots of ideas on the table, some of which they piloted during the pandemic:

  • Hybrid or blended instructional models that combine in-person and online learning
  • Fully remote options
  • Learning pods where students work independently or receive one-on-one support
  • Mixed-age classes based on proficiency level
  • Grade band progression as opposed to grade levels
  • Self-paced individualized instruction
  • Co-teaching
  • Weekend and intersession camps and instructional programming
  • Evening learning opportunities (e.g., time in CTE shops, art studios, etc.)
  • Enhanced summer programming
  • “Do-over years” (where students aren’t identified as having been “retained”)

Also see:

How Six School Systems are Responding to Disrupted Schooling: Will It Be Enough?

From DSC:
When I see the word acceleration mentioned here…it (at least initially) raises a red flag for me. Speeding up the trains will leave many further behind. And if that’s not what’s happening here, I’d say that another word or phrase be identified and used here…as many others will have the same initial reaction to this word. A PR problem.

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

 

 

Per Elnaz Sarraf (She/Her), Chief Evangelist at ROYBI Robot:

ROYBI INC, the creator of the award-winning ROYBI Robot, announced today that it was named the winner of the World Economic Forum Smart Toy Awards 2021 in the category of Smart Companion. This is a remarkable achievement!

ROYBI won one of the Smart Toy Awards as presented by the World Economic Forum

The category winner had to meet four important criteria:

  1. Data Privacy & Cybersecurity
  2. Accessibility
  3. Innovative Use of AI Transparency
  4. Healthy Play in Childhood Development.

According to the World Economic Forum representative, Seth Bergeson, our ROYBI Robot met and exceeded these important criteria. ROYBI’s award acceptance ceremony can be watched here.


Also see:

ROYBI provides a sophisticated 1-on-1 private tutoring experience using artificial intelligence. ROYBI Robot introduces kids to technology, math, science, and language arts.

 

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.

 

A16z is betting $20 million on Maven, an ed tech and creator economy mashup — from protocol.com by Penelope Blackwell
Since launching in January 2021, instructors have sold over $1 million worth of courses on Maven.

Excerpt:

A little over a decade ago, Gagan Biyani founded Udemy, one of the main platforms that popularized massive open online courses. Now, he’s back with a new idea that jams together ed tech and the creator economy, and he thinks it can help more students stick out their online learning.

His new company, Maven, is focused on cohort-based learning. An expert tutor with a large online following leads an online course for a group of learners. The students join and move through content at the same pace, but much of the learning happens peer-to-peer as the students share their experiences over the web.

“There are thousands of experts, creators, and practitioners around the world who have valuable knowledge to share but aren’t traditional professors, and we think this is the best way for creators to monetize over the next decade,” said Biyani. “We’re creating the university of the future, built around these 21st-century professors.”

From DSC:
If adjunct faculty members want to go a different way in order to try their hand at making a lot more money, institutions of traditional higher education better look out! Especially if this new/alternative approach picks up steam! Such institutions have been paying extremely low rates for adjunct faculty members. And because these folks aren’t tenured faculty members, they rarely get much of a say in the strategies and directions that their institutions set and pursue.

With lifelong learning now a requirement, this type of alternative will be on an increasing number of peoples’ radars out there.

A picture of a radar

 

The best advice I can give you: Become a student of your child — from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Excerpt:

One of the best pieces of advice I give a parent is to become a student of their child. To really pay attention and discover what your child is interested in, passionate about, or wants to explore further so you can use that information to design the best homeschool ever. In today’s episode, we revisit a conversation with Andrew Peterson all about how to practically become students of our children. You will also find all of our best resources for becoming a student of your child…

A young girl looking at some artwork.

 

20 Best Websites to Help Kids Learn From Home in 2021 — from wizcase.com by Julia Olech

Excerpt:

That’s why I rounded up a list of the 20 best free websites that provide engaging and fun learning experiences for you and your children. I made sure each website caters to a wide range of ages with games and interactive lessons that won’t bore even the most fidgety kids. The best part is that you can use them all at no cost!

 

 

One wonders what this type of tech will do for online-based learning, &/or hybrid/blended learning, &/or hyflex-based learning in the future [Christian]

From DSC:
It will be interesting to see — post Covid19 — how vendors and their platforms continue to develop to allow for even greater degrees of web-based collaboration. I recently saw this item re: what Google is doing with their Project Starline. Very interesting indeed. Google is trying to make it so that the other person feels like they are in the same space with you.

.
Time will tell what occurs in this space...but one does wonder what this type of technology will do for online-based learning, and/or hybrid/blended learning, and/or hyflex-based learning in the future…?

 

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.
 

A second demographic cliff adds to urgency for change — from insidehighered.com by Ray Schroeder
The demographic cliff we have been anticipating since the drop in births with the 2008 recession now has a younger sibling — the COVID-19 cliff is coming with another deep drop in recent births.

Excerpts:

In sum, competition is rapidly growing; the pool of “traditional” students is evaporating; employers are dropping degree requirements; and, with student debt now surpassing $1.7 trillion, we all know that families are looking for more cost-effective paths to the knowledge and skills they seek. “The fundamental business model for delivering education is broken,” said Rick Beyer, a senior fellow and practice area lead for mergers and affiliations at the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. “The consolidation era started a few years ago. It will continue. We will see more closures.”

What, then, are the bright spots for postsecondary learning?

Online learning tops the list despite some bad press for the hastily put-together remote learning of last year. Adult students, in particular, prefer the flexibility and mobility of online. Enrollment in online programs has continued to increase while overall higher ed enrollments have declined each of the past dozen years.

 

Video Lectures: 4 Tips for Teachers — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
Creating short and engaging video lectures for students is a growing trend at education institutions

Excerpt:

To encourage a more professional type of evergreen video resource, the institution has invested in lecture capture studios, adding five new ones over the past year so each campus has at least one. Some of these studios are DIY, others require a crew, but all enable professors to record lectures in a professional recording environment, complete with green screens and high-quality lighting and audio. The recordings are then edited by the studio team who can help the professor follow the best pedagogical practices for video recordings, including keeping videos short and engaging.

Picture of a recording studio setup to record a professor at IUPUI

From DSC:
A great example of using of teams to create higher-quality, engaging, interactive learning content. 

 

Also see:

Adorama Business Solutions Equips New Classroom Studio for West Coast Baptist College Creative Arts Department — from svconline.com
Workspace Allows Department to Expand Video Production and Editing Course Offerings

Picture of a new classroom studio within a learning space

Picture of a new classroom studio within a learning space

 

Counting U.S. Postsecondary and Secondary Credentials — from Credential Engine; with thanks to Will Richardson  for this resource
February 2021

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Learners, educators and policymakers understand that high school completion and education beyond high school are critical to thrive in the workforce. However, until recently an inventory of the number or type of secondary and postsecondary credential opportunities in the United States did not exist. This is the third annual report from Credential Engine that attempts to count all these credentials. The report identifies 967,734 unique credentials in the U.S. in 16 detailed credential categories across four types
of credential providers:

  • Postsecondary educational institutions—359,713 degrees and certificates
  • Massive open online course (MOOC) providers—9,390 course completion certificates, micro-credentials, and online degrees from foreign universities
  • Non-academic providers—549,712 badges, course completion certificates, licenses, certifications, and apprenticeships
  • Secondary schools—48,919 diplomas from public and private secondary schools

Also see:

NLET Releases “Newest Economy” Paper

In The Newest Economy: Welcome to the Credential Currency Revolution, Gordon Freedman, NLET’s president, examines the discontinuity between high schools, community colleges, career and technical education, and workforce development programs and their alignment and linkages to high demand jobs and careers. The paper suggests moving beyond the current array of offerings and labor market tools to a marketplace solution using modern technology and data analytics to link credentials (badges, certifications, degrees) to hiring outcomes.

The paper is a collaboration among NLET, Credential Engine, Southern Regional Economic Board (SREB) and GoEducate, Inc. who together are building a Credential Alliance to further the work described in the report.

Press Release
Executive Summary
Download the Report

 
 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian