Closing the digital divide in Black America — from mckinsey.com
Five steps could help to bring broadband and digital equity to every Black household in the United States—urban and rural—while bolstering efforts to create a more inclusive economy.

Excerpt:

But broadband access is only part of a much bigger picture. Ensuring all Americans can fully participate in civic life and the digital economy requires afford­able subscriptions, internet-enabled devices, applications, digital skills, and high-quality technical support. For example, while smartphone and tablet penetration are approximately equal among White, Black, and Hispanic and Latino adults in the United States, only 69 percent of Black Americans and 67 percent of Hispanic Americans have desktop or laptop computers, compared with 80 percent of White Americans (Exhibit 1).5 A 2020 OECD survey found that roughly half of Black workers had the advanced or proficient digital skills needed to thrive in our increasingly tech-driven economy, compared with 77 percent of White workers.6

 

Some example components of a learning ecosystem [Christian]

A learning ecosystem is composed of people, tools, technologies, content, processes, culture, strategies, and any other resource that helps one learn. Learning ecosystems can be at an individual level as well as at an organizational level.

Some example components:

  • Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) such as faculty, staff, teachers, trainers, parents, coaches, directors, and others
  • Fellow employees
  • L&D/Training professionals
  • Managers
  • Instructional Designers
  • Librarians
  • Consultants
  • Types of learning
    • Active learning
    • Adult learning
    • PreK-12 education
    • Training/corporate learning
    • Vocational learning
    • Experiential learning
    • Competency-based learning
    • Self-directed learning (i.e., heutagogy)
    • Mobile learning
    • Online learning
    • Face-to-face-based learning
    • Hybrid/blended learning
    • Hyflex-based learning
    • Game-based learning
    • XR-based learning (AR, MR, and VR)
    • Informal learning
    • Formal learning
    • Lifelong learning
    • Microlearning
    • Personalized/customized learning
    • Play-based learning
  • Cloud-based learning apps
  • Coaching & mentoring
  • Peer feedback
  • Job aids/performance tools and other on-demand content
  • Websites
  • Conferences
  • Professional development
  • Professional organizations
  • Social networking
  • Social media – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook/Meta, other
  • Communities of practice
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) — including ChatGPT, learning agents, learner profiles, 
  • LMS/CMS/Learning Experience Platforms
  • Tutorials
  • Videos — including on YouTube, Vimeo, other
  • Job-aids
  • E-learning-based resources
  • Books, digital textbooks, journals, and manuals
  • Enterprise social networks/tools
  • RSS feeds and blogging
  • Podcasts/vodcasts
  • Videoconferencing/audio-conferencing/virtual meetings
  • Capturing and sharing content
  • Tagging/rating/curating content
  • Decision support tools
  • Getting feedback
  • Webinars
  • In-person workshops
  • Discussion boards/forums
  • Chat/IM
  • VOIP
  • Online-based resources (periodicals, journals, magazines, newspapers, and others)
  • Learning spaces
  • Learning hubs
  • Learning preferences
  • Learning theories
  • Microschools
  • MOOCs
  • Open courseware
  • Portals
  • Wikis
  • Wikipedia
  • Slideshare
  • TED talks
  • …and many more components.

These people, tools, technologies, etc. are constantly morphing — as well as coming and going in and out of our lives.

 

 

37 predictions about edtech’s impact in 2023 — from eschoolnews.com by Laura Ascione
What edtech trends will take top billing in schools and districts in the new year?

Excerpts:

School districts will begin to offer microschool options. With 65% of K-12 parents backing school choice, school districts will realize that in order to stay competitive and meet the needs of students and parents, adopting and offering innovative learning models is key. One of the shifts the industry can expect to see in the coming years is school districts offering mircoschool options within the district itself. While historically independent learning institutions, microschools will be adopted within school districts that are responsive to this need for choice and evolving learning needs of students.
—Carlos Bortoni, Principal, Industry Advisor, K-12 Education, Qualtrics

In 2023, educators nationwide will benefit from the most recent wave of edtech consolidation. The various services and products acquired by consolidators over the last year or two will be integrated into increasingly comprehensive platforms offering instructional content, assessments, and classroom tools all in one place.  As this occurs, the power and effectiveness of those edtech resources will grow as they begin to work in concert with each other seamlessly. The combination of these resources will empower administrators, teachers, families, and students to better leverage edtech’s ability to improve learning.
–Kelli Campbell, President, Discovery Education

From DSC:
Vision is key here…not just data. If data provided all of the answers, being an effective, impactful leader/administrator would be far easier.


Also from Laura Ascione, see:


 

From DSC:
For me, I wish politicians and legislators would stay out of the way and let public and private educators make the decisions. But if any politician is about to vote on significant education-related policies, laws, etc. — I would like to suggest that society require them to either:

  • teach a K12-based class for at least one month
    or
  • be in the classroom for the entire day to observe — and do this for at least one month 

Perhaps we would have far less standardized testing. Perhaps we would have far more joy and wonder — for the teachers as well as for the students. Perhaps lifelong learning — and the love of learning — would get the wind in its sails that it so desperately needs.
.


From DSC:
Along these lines of enjoyment in everyday things, could this type of thing happen more within education?

 

Also see:

Redbridge | The future of lifelong learning — from redbridgesf.org and with thanks to Michael Horn for this resource

Excerpts from their home page:

  • Red Bridge is a school that teaches students to set goals, work together, reflect, and own their learning.
  • For families who value lifelong learning and share a sense of responsibility for their community.
  • Our vision is for all students to graduate with a sense of ownership over their learning and their lives – so that no matter what the future looks like, they have the capacity to adapt and flourish.

 

 

ChatGPT and The Professional’s Guide to Using AI — from linkedin.com by Allie K. Miller

Excerpt:

Real Ways Professionals Can Use ChatGPT to Improve Job Performance
Let’s dive into some real examples of how professionals across sales, marketing, product management, project management, recruiting, and teaching can take advantage of this new tool and leverage it for even more impact in their careers.

Teachers and ChatGPT

  1. Help with grading and feedback on student work.
    Example prompt: “Tell me every grammar rule that’s been violated in this student’s essay: [paste in essay]”
  2. Create personalized learning materials.
    Example prompt: “Help me explain photosynthesis to a 10th grade student in a way similar to sports.”
  3. Generate lesson plans and activities.
    Example prompt: “Create an activity for 50 students that revolves around how to learn the different colors of the rainbow.” or “Generate a lesson plan for a high school English class on the theme of identity and self-discovery, suitable for a 45-minute class period.”
  4. Write fake essays several reading levels below your class, then print them out, and have your students review and edit the AI’s work to make it better.
    Example prompt: “Generate a 5th grade level short essay about Maya Angelou and her work.”
  5. Providing one-on-one support to students.
    Example prompt: “How can I best empower an introverted student in my classroom during reading time?”

From DSC:
I haven’t tried these prompts. Rather I post this because I’m excited about the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help people teach and to help people to learn.

 

Michigan flags 112 low-performing schools for intensive intervention — from mlive.com by Matthew Miller

Excerpt:

“These are the urban high minority districts, right? So they were the ones that had the highest death rates, the highest case rates, the highest income and economic hits because of the pandemic,” she said. “We know that all of this goes into what we label as school quality even though it’s about so much more than the school or the district.”

The full list is here >>

From DSC:
I surely hope that what’s going on in the image below isn’t what’s going on within the state of Michigan (as well as other states) — but I have my fears/concerns in that regard. Though admittedly, my focus here isn’t so much about the financial pictures, but rather it has to do with the straight-jacketing of the teachers and students by legislators in Lansing (and other state capitals). If I were to redraw this image, I would have legislators in (far-away) Lansing seated in comfortable chairs and offices while frazzled/overworked educators are straight-jacketed in the classrooms.

We have too many standardized tests and too many one-size-fits-all methods of “doing school” that aren’t coming from the people on the front lines. Those same people, given the right environment, could unleash a far greater amount of joy, wonder, relevance, creativity, and counsel — for themselves as well as for their students.

.

The ‘Digital Equity’ Students Need to Learn May Not Come Without Community Outreach — from edsurge.com by Daniel Mollenkamp

Excerpt:

And that means, more than ever, getting an education requires access to fast, reliable internet. But while the infrastructure to make sure that everyone can use the internet has improved in the last couple of years, the process isn’t complete.

If we want to keep the digital divide from growing, experts say, it’ll mean districts thinking about themselves as just one part of the larger community composed of families, nonprofits, businesses—all of them potential partners in expanding internet access for students.

.

Missing an Opportunity: Ed Dept. Criticized by GAO for Teacher Shortage Strategy — from the74million.org by Marianna McMurdock
In recent report, GAO finds key recruitment, retention challenges impacting the profession, and why current federal strategy lacks teeth to succeed

Excerpt:

The challenge of cost of entry into the profession and concerns of return on investment, the GAO report found, is also significantly straining the country’s supply of teachers. Compounding the financial reality, many candidates fear being overworked and mistreated.

“The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare teachers’ discontent with aspects of their jobs, including a lack of support for their safety and value as professionals and an increasingly disrespectful and demanding workplace culture—and exacerbated teacher shortages nationwide,” the GAO stated, pulling data from focus groups held throughout the pandemic.


Addendum on 12/10/22:

 

How High School Should Change for an Era of AI and Robots — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young

Excerpt:

In other words, we have for the last century and a half in the knowledge economy been educating our students to become repositories of information—whether they’re lawyers or doctors [or engineers] and so forth. And then somebody pays them a great deal of money to extract some of that knowledge from their heads. What’s happening now is that’s being reposited in algorithms increasingly, and that’s only going to be more the case going forward, so that the most intelligent, capable medical diagnostician, I predict, will be a computer somewhere in the next 20 years.

What is the role of the doctor then? The doctor’s role is to be a knowledgeable interpreter of that algorithmic diagnosis—to check it, to make sure that there wasn’t a snafu, and to make sure that there is no social bias in the outcome. And also to help interpret that into a regimen for treatment and healing on the part of the patient in a human-connected, empathic way.

And [at Iowa Big], one of the very first questions that one of her teachers asked her was, ‘What makes you mad?’

The systems that we have for public education are becoming more rigidified, not more experimental and resilient. And they’re becoming increasingly non-functional. And I believe they’re going to face some sort of systemic collapse.

And here are several other items from the education space:

All Teacher Shortages Are Local, New Research Finds — from the74million.org by Kevin Mahnken
In a study released [on 12/1/22], researchers show that teacher vacancy levels vary drastically between schools in the same communities

Excerpt:

K-12 teacher shortages — one of the most disputed questions in education policy today — are an undeniable reality in some communities, a newly released study indicates. But they are also a hyper-local phenomenon, the authors write, with fully staffed schools existing in close proximity to those that struggle to hire and retain teachers.

The paper, circulated Thursday through Brown University’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform, uses a combination of survey responses and statewide administrative records from Tennessee to create a framework for identifying how and where teacher shortages emerge.

Why Are Americans Fleeing Public Schools? — from washingtonpost.com by John D. Harden and Steven Johnson
Seven parents on choosing private education for their kids

Excerpt:

The pandemic transformed the landscape of K-12 education. Some parents withdrew their kids from public school and placed them into private or home schools. Their reasons varied: Many preferred private schools that offered in-person instruction; others distrusted public schools’ pandemic precautions.

It’s not clear whether those trends will stick, and the factors are complex. So far, data show that since 2019, private enrollment is up, public enrollment is down and home schooling has become more popular. Families flocked to private and home schools at the greatest rate in a decade, according to American Community Survey estimates from the U.S. Census. The government projects that K-12 public school enrollment — already facing demographic pressures — will drop further to about 46 million students by fall 2030, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, reversing decades of growth.

 

 

Mississippi microschools are expanding education options for families — from spn.org by Kerry McDonald

Excerpt:

When Stephanie Harper decided to open Harper Learning Academy in Byram, Mississippi in August, her goal was to create a small, personalized educational setting in which her daughter would thrive. Conventional classroom environments weren’t a good match for Harper’s child. They also weren’t working well for the daughter of Harper’s colleague, Tekeeta Funchess. Harper and Funchess had been longtime teachers in the Jackson Public Schools before they left their jobs to provide educational consulting services to public school districts through the firm Harper founded in 2016.

As they worked together, they realized their daughters were experiencing similar challenges in standard school settings. “We’re mothers with children who learn differently who are trying to improve the system but realized that the system wasn’t working for our children,” said Harper, who is a certified teacher with a Ph.D. in education. They also suspected it wasn’t working for many other children as well.

 

Homeschooling high school with interest-led learning — from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Excerpt:

There is a misconception that interest-led learning is not appropriate for a high school education in your homeschool. The good news is that all the same benefits of interest-led learning still apply in the middle and high school years.

Think of an interest-led homeschool as one that functions more as a college than a high school. Just as a college student declares a major and the bulk of their study is in that topic area with supplemental general education, your interest-led high school can function the same way.

Allowing interests to guide the educational path you take in your high school has tremendous benefits including:

    • Less resistance
    • Less learner anxiety
    • Increased self-confidence in learning
    • More in-depth studies in topics of interest
    • Self-motivated learning that can be applied in later college and career settings
 

edX Announces 2022 edX Prize Finalists for Innovation in Online Teaching — from prnewswire.com by 2U, Inc.

Excerpt:

The 2022 finalists include (sorted alphabetically by institution):

Other recent items from GSV:

“The reason TikTok is so popular is because it’s short-form and engaging; the opposite to the usual two-hour training course.

“Spacing out micro-learning chunks across the course of a year gives you a much better chance of retaining it and actually acting on it. That’s why GoodCourse is built to engage a Gen Z workforce.”

 
 

4 Ways Classroom Design Impacts Executive Functioning — from edutopia.org by Andrew Ayers and Amelia Glauber
Effective classroom design can help elementary students develop skills like organization and task initiation.Excerpt:

Executive functions are process skills that allow us to successfully complete tasks. In any given classroom, there will be a wide range of students with a variety of executive functioning skill levels. These skills include working memory, task initiation, organization, metacognition, inhibition, planning and prioritizing, time management, emotional control, sustained attention, flexibility, and goal-directed persistence.

Also relevant/see:

Designing Classrooms Fit for Early Learners — from edsurge.com by Ozzie Tapia
With deliberate design, learning environments can promote independence, discovery and creativity for early learners.

Excerpt:

Working closely with districts has helped us hone these five strategies, which emphasize how the facility itself can play an active role in the teaching dynamic. When applied effectively, a facility—and the learning spaces inside and around it—becomes a tool for discovery and creative play, which is essential for learners at these early stages of development.

From DSC:
Along the lines of PreK-12th grade learning spaces, I’d like to see more innovations in regards to providing places within classrooms (or within a given facility at least) where students can go who want to/need to block out the cacophony of sites and sounds that may be occurring — in order to help them focus.

 

The Most STOP-Enabled Innovators of 2022 — from yassprize.org
MEET THE 32

Excerpt:

This year’s 32 semifinalists come from 23 different states and really prove that innovation is alive and well in education.  Micro schools, pods and hybrid learning environments almost unheard of two years ago are now being utilized by parents and educators across the nation.  Traditional public schools that operate more like a charter and charters that continue to flourish outside of traditional systems, private schools serving specialized populations that are often overlooked and leaders in the ed tech space who provide remarkable tools that can be integrated into any of the other full service models we are celebrating today.  Truly a remarkable group of visionaries that are transformational exemplars for all in this tumultuous 2022!

Also relevant/see:

 

What might the ramifications be for text-to-everything? [Christian]

From DSC:

  • We can now type in text to get graphics and artwork.
  • We can now type in text to get videos.
  • There are several tools to give us transcripts of what was said during a presentation.
  • We can search videos for spoken words and/or for words listed within slides within a presentation.

Allie Miller’s posting on LinkedIn (see below) pointed these things out as well — along with several other things.



This raises some ideas/questions for me:

  • What might the ramifications be in our learning ecosystems for these types of functionalities? What affordances are forthcoming? For example, a teacher, professor, or trainer could quickly produce several types of media from the same presentation.
  • What’s said in a videoconference or a webinar can already be captured, translated, and transcribed.
  • Or what’s said in a virtual courtroom, or in a telehealth-based appointment. Or perhaps, what we currently think of as a smart/connected TV will give us these functionalities as well.
  • How might this type of thing impact storytelling?
  • Will this help someone who prefers to soak in information via the spoken word, or via a podcast, or via a video?
  • What does this mean for Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), and/or Virtual Reality (VR) types of devices?
  • Will this kind of thing be standard in the next version of the Internet (Web3)?
  • Will this help people with special needs — and way beyond accessibility-related needs?
  • Will data be next (instead of typing in text)?

Hmmm….interesting times ahead.

 

Microschools: What Are They, What Do They Cost and Who’s Interested? — from edchoice.org by Ed Tarnowski

Excerpt:

Microschools are gaining steam.

Microschools, sometimes referred to as learning pods, is the reimagining of the one-room schoolhouse, where class sizes are usually fewer than 15 students of varying ages, and the schedule and curriculum is tailored to fit the needs of each class. This model of schooling can operate in either public, private or charter schools or separately on its own. Many describe microschools as a “mid-point” between traditional schooling and homeschooling. Most microschools are independently parent-led, but some are affiliated with a formal microschool network offering paid, in-person instructors. Lessons are taught in a range of approachable environments, such as homes, libraries and other community centers.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian