50 Sites & Apps for K-12 Education Games — from techlearning.com by Diana Restifo and David Kapuler
Game-based learning is a great way to integrate technology into the classroom while engaging kids with real learning.

Excerpt:

Game-based learning turns potentially tedious study time into an adventurous knowledge quest, complete with catchy soundtracks and digital rewards. It helps keep kids engaged with the subject matter and motivated to pursue greater expertise. Best of all, web- or app-based gameplay integrates easily into both online and in-person classes.

With the demise of Flash at the end of 2020, many favorite educational game sites went under. That’s why we decided to update our popular list below to include the latest and best sites and apps for K-12 education games. Many are free (or offer free basic accounts) and some provide progress tracking and analysis tools for teachers. All will help kids enjoy learning.

Also relevant/see the following resource and excerpt from Goldie Blumenstyk’s The Edge (from the Chronicle of Higher Education)

Creative Acts for Curious People: How to Think, Create, and Lead in Unconventional Ways — by Sarah Stein Greenberg

Excerpt:

Greenberg also makes a compelling case for the “playful and joyous” approaches the d.school has been championing, like the secret handshake or building several prototypes of an ideal chair using tools like cardboard, pipe cleaners, and chewing gum and toothpicks. After so many months of loss and social deprivation, she told me last week, “those elements are more important than ever.”

 

jobtensor.com/uk <– an AI job board from the UK — with thanks to Dr. Jakob Sidoruk for this resource.

From DSC:
Jakob mentioned that Jobtensor has built a tool for jobs in tech, science and engineering and that the goal of this tool is to make job searches more fun and efficient for job seekers. I’m glad to see this from the other side of the table. That is, there have been plenty Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) out there that have essentially weeded people out time and again — while making many job searches long, expensive, and emotionally draining. 

jobtensor.com/uk -- an AI job board from the UK

jobtensor.com/uk -- an AI job board from the UK


From DSC:
It is exactly this kind of tool that could — and should — be integrated into a next-generation learning platform. Have an AI-enabled system of identifying the most current needs out in the workplace. Provide a mechanism/listing of those needs along with the existing courses, streams of content, podcasts, and more that could help someone learn those skills.

Learning from the living class room

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


 

Higher Education Needs to Move Toward Mass-Personalization — from fierceeducation.com by Susan Fourtané

Excerpt:

Every industry, from health sciences to marketing to manufacturing, is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to facilitate the delivery of mass-personalization, yet education has been slow in its adoption. These smart systems create personalized solutions targeted to meet the unique needs of every individual.

Artificial Intelligence-based technologies have the potential of serving as tools for educators to provide personalized learning. However, for mass-personalization to work, institutions first need to align their leadership. In his feature session What Is It Going to Take to Move from Mass-Production to Mass-Personalization?, during the recent Online Learning Consortium virtual event, Dale Johnson, Director of Digital Innovation at Arizona State University, addressed the issue of mass personalization in higher education.

Johnson reinforced the idea that with mass-personalization professors can deliver the right lesson to the right student at the right time.

Mass-personalization software does not replace the professor. It makes the professor better, more focused on the students.

 

3 Promising Opportunities to Teach Your Kids From Home — from medium.com by Eva Keiffenheim
These organizations innovate homeschooling.

Excerpt:

What follows are three organizations that rethink the way children learn from home.

 


Outschool is one of the three organizations highlighted in this article.


From DSC:
My wife teaches for Outschool and really enjoys it! She develops solid relationships with her students and is able to personalize things (as she deals with 1-3 students at a time). She doesn’t charge much at all, but she enjoys it.

 

8 ways to keep learning and developing new skills while at home — from babbel.com by Alice Austin
Being stuck inside doesn’t have to mean an end to personal development. Here’s how to keep learning new things while staying at home.

Excerpt:

Free Code Camp has been assembling a long list of courses that span multiple disciplines, from Data Science and Business to Personal Development and Art. They’re all Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and they allow you to take university-created online classes through providers such as Coursera or Udacity.

So that class you missed out your first time going to college? Now would be the time to go back and really enjoy it.

There are tons of online tutorials on YouTube and many apps that can help you hone your skills. Yousician is an app that provides video tutorials to learn piano, guitar, bass and ukulele. There are other apps that specialize in one area, like Flowkey for piano, or SingTrue for vocals. Whatever instrument you have lying around, there are definitely resources out there for you to improve your skills.

 

Common Anxieties in Beginning HyFlex: Learning to Teach a HyFlex Class — from hyflexlearning.org by Brian Beatty

Excerpt:

Not surprisingly, one of the biggest anxieties – FEARS – for many faculty considering or implementing a HyFlex approach for the first time is learning how to do so, and to do so effectively the very first time. No one likes to feel like they aren’t equipped to do the work they are required (or challenged) to do; perhaps especially teachers who are normally in full control of their classrooms and the activities that take place in them. When you are planning to teach HyFlex, it may seem like you are planning for CHAOS, or at least planning to lose control over the class environment(s), the teaching process, and ultimately student learning. Let’s address those concerns one at a time, but briefly.

If we assume you are an effective classroom teacher, then a common design path that I usually recommend is to start with your plans for an effective classroom experience and work to translate those to the other modes, accessing expert guidance as needed (such as, instructional designers, online course design books, your colleagues). What are the learning outcomes (or instructional objectives) for the classroom? How will those translate into the online mode(s) you are planning? What about the instructional content and associated activities for the classroom? How do those translate? What about plans for assessment? Start with what you know, and are confident with, and then layer in approaches for the other modes. 

 

AI+ alumni + real-world practitioners + accreditation agencies = outcomes for next year -- by Daniel S. Christian

 

AI+ alumni + real-world practitioners + accreditation agencies = outcomes for next year -- by Daniel S. Christian

 

Learning from the living class room

 

UMass Goes Big Online, Launching ‘UMass Global’ — from wgbh.org by Kirk Carapezza; with thanks to Michael Horn for this resource

Excerpt:

The University of Massachusetts system is launching “UMass Global” — a new online college focused solely on adult learners — whose long-term, strategic goals President Marty Meehan listed two years ago in his annual address.

“Addressing the workforce skills gap. Meeting employer demand. Improving economic mobility for Massachusetts residents. And ensuring that the University of Massachusetts continues to thrive for generations to come,” Meehan said.

 

Why everybody’s hiring but nobody’s getting hired — from vox.com by Rani Molla and Emily Stewart; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource
America’s broken hiring system, explained.

Tim Brackney, president and COO of management consulting firm RGP, refers to the current situation as the “great mismatch.” That mismatch refers to a number of things, including desires, experience, and skills. And part of the reason is that the skills necessary for a given job are changing faster than ever, as companies more frequently adopt new software.

“Twenty years ago, if I had 10 years experience as a warehouse manager, the likelihood that my skills would be pretty relevant and it wouldn’t take me that long to get up to speed was pretty good,” Joseph Fuller, a management professor at Harvard Business School and co-author of a recent paper on the disconnect between employers and employees, said. “The shelf life of people’s skills for a lot of decent-paying jobs has been shortening.”

From DSC:
I also think those hiring don’t think people can reinvent themselves. Folks who hire someone (and/or the applicant tracking systems as play) always seem to look for an exact match. There is little vision and/or belief that someone can grow into a position, or to lead differently, or to go in a different but better direction. They reach for their cookie cutters and shove their imaginations and ability to think bigger aside.

Employers could help people by investing in their employees’ growth and development — even if it means they actively help an employee take a right turn. Such an employee could hopefully find a new fit within that organization — if they do, they would likely turn out to be fiercely loyal.

Even if it means offering an employee 1-2 courses a year that they want to learn about — NO STRINGS ATTACHED — the learning culture would get a huge boost!!! Peoples’ love/enjoyment of learning would grow. Morale would improve. People would feel valued.

Let me offer a personal example:

  • My old boss, Mr. Irving Charles Coleman Jr, let me take a Photoshop class while I was working in the IT Department at Kraft Foods’ headquarters. Kraft paid for it, even though it wasn’t directly related to my position at the time. That course ended up changing my life and my future direction. No kidding. Thank you Irv! You’re the best!
 

Can colleges compete with companies like Coursera? — from highereddive.com by Rick Seltzer
Arthur Levine discusses how trends like personalized education are unfolding, what’s driving them, and what can go right or wrong for colleges.

Excerpt:

They say colleges will see their control over the market slip while consumers increase their power. New content producers like companies and museums are entering the postsecondary market. Students will often prioritize personalized education and low prices. Measuring learning by time in seats will transition to outcome-based education. Degrees won’t necessarily be the dominant form of credential anymore as students turn to “just-in-time education” that quickly teaches them the skills for microcredentials they need for the labor market.

For higher education to be successful, you have to have its feet in two worlds. One world is the library, and that’s human heritage. And the other is the street. That’s the real world, what’s happening now. It’s jobs, it’s the workplace.

What happens when we change quickly is we continue as institutions to keep our hold on the library, but we lose traction in the street.

Institutions have to reestablish their traction. They have to prepare students for careers. They have to prepare students for the world…

From DSC:
I also like the part where is says, “So you’ve got to ask yourself, what are they offering that would draw people there? One thing they are offering is 24/7. Another thing that they’re offering is unbundled. Another thing they’re offering is low cost, and that’s very appealing.”

 

From DSC:
For IDs, trainers, teachers, faculty members, & teams who are working on creating and delivering online-based learning……the following article is a good one for us to check out and reflect upon:

Most Online Courses Are a Waste of Your Time — Here’s How You Know — from medium.com by Eva Keiffenheim
A quick guide that helps you find the worthy ones.

Excerpts:

Not all learning investments are created equal. People who’ve excelled at their craft are often not the best teachers. Likewise, creators who write the best sales copy don’t offer the most value.

Here’s precisely how you can spot bad online courses so that you won’t waste your time and money.

 

Could AR and/or VR enable a massive 3D-based type of “Voicethread?” [Christian]

From DSC:
What if we could quickly submit items for a group to discuss, annotate, and respond to — using whichever media format is available/preferable for a person — like a massive 3D-based Voicethread? What if this type of discussion could be contributed to and accessed via Augmented Reality (AR) and/or via Virtual Reality (VR) types of devices?

It could be a new 3D format that a person could essentially blow all the way up into the size of a billboard. Think, “Honey, I shrunk the kids” type of stuff.  

Input devices might include:

  • Augmented Reality (AR) glasses
  • Virtual Reality (VR) headsets/glasses
  • Scanners
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Desktops and laptops
  • SmartTVs
  • Other types of input devices

For example, a person could take a picture of a document or something else and then save that image into a new file format that would be vector-based. I say a vector-based file format so that the image could be enlarged to the size of a billboard without losing any resolution (i.e., wouldn’t become grainy; the image would remain crystal clear regardless of how big the image is). I’m thinking here along the lines of “Honey, I shrunk the kids!”

Other thoughts here:

  • The files could be accessible online for attendees of classes or for audiences of presentations/webinars
  • The files could be displayed on the walls of learning/presentation spaces for marking them up
  • One could manipulate the 3D image if that person was using a virtual/immersive environment
  • Users should be able to annotate on those images and/or be able to save such annotations and notes

A question for phase II:
Could this concept also be used if virtual courts take off?

Hmmmm…just thinking out loud.

 

Discovery Education Collaborates with AWS to Enhance Recommendation Engine — from discoveryeducation.com

Excerpt:

SILVER SPRING, MD [On Monday,?September 27, 2021] — Discovery Education—a worldwide edtech leader supporting learning wherever it takes place — announced that it has enhanced its K-12 learning platform with Amazon Web Services (AWS) machine learning capabilities. The pioneering use of machine learning within the Discovery Education platform helps educators spend less time searching for digital resources and more time teaching.

Several months of planning and deep collaboration with AWS enabled Discovery Education to innovatively integrate Amazon Personalize technology into the “Just For You” area of its K-12 platform. The “Just For You” row connects educators to a unique, personalized set of resources based on the grade level taught, preferences, and assets used in the past.

“For some time, educators have desired more resources to help personalize teaching and learning. ML technology is already being used to curate our entertainment experiences, help with workforce productivity, and more, and it’s exciting to see this innovation is being integrated into classrooms,” said Alec Chalmers, Director, EdTech and GovTech Markets at AWS.

From DSC:
It looks like Amazon continues to make inroads into the education space. Team up this type of recommendation engine with an AI that’s pulling the latest skills that are needed for — and embedded within — job descriptions and you have a learning powerhouse. 

Disruption ahead…?

 

Learning from the living class room
Also see:

  • How Machine Learning Is Having an Impact on Education — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
    Discovery Education has partnered with Amazon Web Services to enhance its platform with machine learning. It’s one of many ways machine learning is being used in K-12 today.
 

From DSC:
Also check one of the things that Scott mentioned in his talk — Behance, a network of creatives. They consistently offer livestreams — where the learner has more choice, more control over what they learn about.

Livestreams are one of the services offered out at Behance.net

The search function out at Behance.net

 


 


Also see:

 


 

 

Surviving Among the Giants — from chronicle.com by Scott Carlson
As growth has become higher ed’s mantra, some colleges seek to stay small.

Excerpts:

The pressures on the higher-education business model are changing those attitudes. The Council of Independent Colleges’ fastest-growing initiative is the Online Course Sharing Consortium, which allows small colleges to offer certain courses to students at other institutions. Currently, there are 2,200 enrollments among almost 6,000 courses on the platform.

“The higher-ed business model is broken,” says Jeffrey R. Docking, who has been president of Adrian College for 16 years. “But where it’s most broken — and the first ones that are going to walk the plank — are the small private institutions. The numbers just don’t work.” Combining some backroom functions or arranging consortial purchases is just “dabbling around the edges” — and won’t get close to driving down the cost of tuition by 30 to 40 percent over the next several years, which is what Docking believes is necessary.

From DSC:
Docking’s last (highlighted) sentence above reminds me of what I predicted back in 2008 when I was working for Calvin College. The vision I relayed in 2008 continues to come to fruition — albeit I’ve since changed the name of the vision.

Back in 2008 I predicted that we would see the days of tuition being cut by 50% or more

From DSC (cont’d):
I was trying to bring down the cost of higher education — which we did with Calvin Online for 4-5 years…before the administration,  faculty members, and even the leadership within our IT and HR Departments let Calvin Online die on the vine. This was a costly mistake for Calvin, as they later became a university — thus requiring that they get into more online-based learning in order to address the adult learner. Had they supported getting the online-based learning plane off the runway, they could have dovetailed nicely into becoming a university. But instead, they dissed the biggest thing to happen within education in the last 500 years (since the invention of the printing press). 

Which brings me to one last excerpted quote here:

“For so many years,” Docking says, “all of these really smart people in Silicon Valley, at the University of Phoenix, at for-profits were saying, We’re going to do it better” — and they came around with their “solutions” in the form of MOOCs, or massive open online courses, and other scaling plans. Small colleges didn’t want to hear it, and, Docking says, maybe it was to their peril.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian