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.

 

Future of Learning Council on Statewide Grassroots Strategies & Pathways — from gettingsmart.com

Description of podcast:

On this episode of the Getting Smart Podcast Shawnee Caruthers is joined by Dr. Dave Richards, the Executive Learning Strategist for Michigan Virtual and a key part of Future of Learning Council, a partner that we’ve loved working alongside over the last year.

We are also joined by two superintendents who are a part of this project – Dr. Christopher Timmis, Superintendent of Dexter Community Schools and Dr. John VanWagoner of Traverse City Area Public Schools.

 

From DSC:
It will be interesting to watch the pre-K-12 learning ecosystems out there, especially if the exodus from traditional school systems gathers momentum — both student *AND* teacher-wise.


‘Alternative to school:’ Las Vegas has self-directed learning center — from reviewjournal.com by Julie Wootton-Greener

Excerpt:

It’s part of a movement called “microschooling.” The trend accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic — particularly, while Clark County School District campuses operated under a year of distance education until in-person classes resumed in spring 2021.

Southern Nevada is home to more than 20 microschools, which are “multifamily learning arrangements,” said Don Soifer, president of Nevada Action for School Options and a former board member for the Nevada State Public Charter School Authority.

Most are operating with children who are considered homeschooled, he said, while some are small private schools.
.

Showing up in our homeschools — from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Excerpt:

What do you want your kids to think about homeschooling? What do you want their homeschooling experience to be? Choose how you want that to look and then work on it, set an intention for the day or for the week and show up that way.

Take a deep breath. When things get difficult, respond with peace, not anger.

Notice little things, be curious about what’s going on in your homeschool, and then find ways to make it look the way you want it to look.

I share more in depth strategies all about making this intentionality happen in today’s episode of the podcast.
.

A Guide to Rethinking Education After Pandemic — from edsurge.com by Michael Staton

Excerpt:

During the pandemic, there were those who rose to the occasion—innovators who forged a new path, students who learned more than they knew they could, teachers who felt unbound by convention, administrators who mobilized bureaucracies known for inertia and parents who saw first-hand that another world is possible. There were many individuals and organizations who knew it was a once in a millennium moment to rethink what has been, to experiment with what could be, to create an upgraded education model and a better school experience.

Michael Horn’s new book, “From Reopen to Reinvent: (Re)Creating School for Every Child,” highlights key organizations and individuals who seized the moment—some because they were prepared; some because they were lucky enough to have a quirky vision which suddenly made sense to try during pandemic lockdown; some because they were forced to adapt and had no other choice. From those, Horn sheds light to help others learn a brighter path forward.
.

Pandemic “Learning Loss” Actually Reveals More About Schooling Than Learning — from fee.org by Kerry McDonald
The alleged “learning loss” now being exposed is more reflective of the nature of forced schooling rather than how children actually learn. 

As we know from research on unschoolers and others who learn in self-directed education settings, non-coercive, interest-driven learning tends to be deep and authentic. When learning is individually-initiated and unforced, it is not a chore. It is absorbed and retained with enthusiasm because it is tied to personal passions and goals.

 

What if smart TVs’ new killer app was a next-generation learning-related platform? [Christian]

TV makers are looking beyond streaming to stay relevant — from protocol.com by Janko Roettgers and Nick Statt

A smart TV's main menu listing what's available -- application wise

Excerpts:

The search for TV’s next killer app
TV makers have some reason to celebrate these days: Streaming has officially surpassed cable and broadcast as the most popular form of TV consumption; smart TVs are increasingly replacing external streaming devices; and the makers of these TVs have largely figured out how to turn those one-time purchases into recurring revenue streams, thanks to ad-supported services.

What TV makers need is a new killer app. Consumer electronics companies have for some time toyed with the idea of using TV for all kinds of additional purposes, including gaming, smart home functionality and fitness. Ad-supported video took priority over those use cases over the past few years, but now, TV brands need new ways to differentiate their devices.

Turning the TV into the most useful screen in the house holds a lot of promise for the industry. To truly embrace this trend, TV makers might have to take some bold bets and be willing to push the envelope on what’s possible in the living room.

 


From DSC:
What if smart TVs’ new killer app was a next-generation learning-related platform? Could smart TVs deliver more blended/hybrid learning? Hyflex-based learning?
.

The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV

.

Or what if smart TVs had to do with delivering telehealth-based apps? Or telelegal/virtual courts-based apps?


 

A New Initiative to Tackle Education’s Big Problems — from the74millioin.org by Andrew J. Rotherham
Rotherham: For all the rhetoric around ‘reimagining’ and ‘reinventing’ schooling, there’s precious little to show for it. There’s another way

Excerpt:

Instead, experts operate in silos to find solutions, reform and pandemic fatigue abound, and dysfunctional reactionary politics define various debates.

Beta by Bellwether, [which launched on 8/31/22], is a new initiative bringing viewpoint- and background-diverse experts together to tackle big problems and develop blueprints, strategies and tools that can help communities address structural educational problems. We’re building on our 12 years of work at Bellwether bridging policy and practice with a perspective that should be mundane but in this climate seems radical: the belief that the best ideas often lie between different perspectives and are strengthened through serious debate. No faction owns solutions, good ideas or virtue.

Bellwether Beta -- A New Initiative to Tackle Education’s Big Problems

Bellwether.org 

From DSC:
This is something to keep on your K-12 learning ecosystems radar.

Bellwether dot org -- something to keep on your K-12 learning ecosystems radar


Also see:

National Microschooling Center launches, proving ‘modern one-room schoolhouse’ is no flash-in-the-pandemic phenomenon — from reimaginedonline.org by Tom Jackson

Excerpt:

Writing for the Manhattan Institute, researcher Michael McShane lays out the framework and the appeal of microschools:

Neither homeschooling nor traditional schooling, [microschools] exist in a hard-to-classify space between formal and informal learning environments. They rose in popularity during the pandemic as families sought alternative educational options that could meet social-distancing recommendations.

But what they offer in terms of personalization, community building, schedules, calendars, and the delivery of instruction will have appeal long after Covid recedes.

Long-time education choice advocate Don Soifer concurs.

“For whatever reason, families are just rethinking the public education system,” he says. “The research is telling us now that microschooling serves 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 million learners as their primary form of education.”


Also see:


Learning Pods Are Here, Are You In? — from schoolchoiceweek.com by National School Choice Week Team

Excerpt:

If you’ve stumbled into an education conversation or joined a parent discussion group recently, you’ve surely heard of pods or micro-schools. As families grapple with a changing education environment, some hope to find the flexibility, safety, and community they desire in small, local learning arrangements called learning pods. Whether you have your heart set on joining a pod or just want to better understand education choices for your child, we’ve broken down all types of pandemic pods here.

 

The State of the Digital Divide in the United States — from pcrd.purdue.edu by Roberto Gallardo

Introduction

The COVID-19 pandemic shed a bright light on an issue that has been around for decades: the digital divide. As parents, children, and workers scrambled to learn, socialize, and work from home, adequate internet connectivity became critical. This analysis takes a detailed look at the digital divide as it was in 2020 (latest year available), who it affected, and its socioeconomic implications by using an innovative metric called the digital divide index. It should also increase awareness on this issue as communities and residents prepare to take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime investment in both broadband infrastructure and digital equity, components of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Data for this analysis came primarily from the U.S. Census Bureau 5-year American Community Survey. Additional sources include but are not limited to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Lightcast (formerly known as Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. or EMSI) and Venture Forward by GoDaddy. The unit of analysis was U.S. counties for which DDI scores were calculated 1 .

 

From DSC:
I wanted to pass this along to the learning space designers out there in case it’s helpful to them.

“The sound absorbing Sola felt is made from 50% post-consumer recycled PET.”

Source


Acoustic Static Links lighting by LightArt — from dezeen.com

 

Yale Study: Vast Majority of High Schoolers Unhappy at School — from fee.org by Kerry McDonald
The Yale findings echo previous conclusions about young people’s attitudes toward school.

Excerpt:

Most high school students are not happy at school. A new study by Yale researchers finds that nearly three-quarters of high schoolers report negative feelings toward school. The study surveyed more than 20,000 high school students in all 50 US states and found widespread dissatisfaction at school across all demographic groups, with girls reporting slightly more negative emotions than boys. According to Yale co-author Zorana Ivcevic,

It was higher than we expected. We know from talking to students that they are feeling tired, stressed, and bored, but were surprised by how overwhelming it was.

From DSC:
If you were to have polled him during his ninth through eleventh-grade years, our son would have been one of the very disgruntled students going through high school. His senior year was spent doing exactly what he wanted to be doing — and he was much happier, more engaged, and more motivated to learn the material. He was also around an entirely different student body his senior year — where students were there because they wanted to be there and they were all pursuing their craft.

Fast forward a couple of years, and he actually enjoyed a good deal of his learning experiences this summer and he’s really looking forward to his film and acting classes this fall. It’s amazing the amount of energy and determination/interest that gets unleashed when the motivation is intrinsic.
.

Learners need: More voice. More choice. More control. -- this image was created by Daniel Christian

Also from fee.org by Kerry McDonald:

.
9 Digital Etiquette Tips — from techlearning.com by Lisa Nielsen
Teaching proper digital etiquette to students starts with modeling it

Excerpt:

It’s undeniable that the pandemic changed the way we teach, learn, work, and live, but when some people returned to in-person learning and their schools, it seemed they could use some advice on digital etiquette for the new, and extremely connected, world in which we are now operating. This is a world where at any time you may be meeting or teaching in-person, via video, phone, or a combination thereof at the same time.

While adapting was easier for some, others could use a bit of help. For those people, you may want to share or discuss these tips with them.

A Guide To Design Thinking For Kids — from edtechreview.in by Saniya Khan

Excerpt:

The concept is active and inclusive. What’s more, children embrace design thinking with enthusiasm. Across the globe, schools are embracing design thinking as a new way to learn and increase student participation. It should be on our education agenda. Of course, this is more complicated than standard repackaged evaluations. However, conceptual thinking gives children golden opportunities for commitment and creativity, two prerequisites for true learning.
.

 

How Accredible Makes Learning Credible — from gettingsmart.com by Tom Vander Ark

Key Points

  • To increase the value of credentials, Accredible launched Spotlight Directory.
  • This allows issuers to provide a home base for people that hold their credentials.

Excerpts:

Learners store credentials in their Accredible wallet and can incorporate them into their LinkedIn profile.

To increase the value of credentials, Accredible launched Spotlight Directory which allows issuers to provide a home base for people that hold their credentials. For example, the Hootsuite Certified Professionals Directory showcases everyone that has earned a Hootsuite credential.

The faster the world of work changes, the more the transcripts lose signal value and the more we need finer grained and more dynamic ways of communicating capabilities.

Tom Vander Ark


Addendum on 8/22/22:

What parents should say to teachers (according to teachers) — from washingtonpost.com by Elizabeth Chang

Excerpt:

“Parents are often surprised by stories of other parents’ treatment of teachers,” wrote Margaret Flaherty, 42, a high school English teacher at a public school in Byfield, Mass. “When I share some of the things parents have said or written to me, mouths go agape. They can be mean. Very mean. And we are so tired. Start with assuming good intentions and take it from there.”


 

The Metaverse Is Not a Place — from oreilly.com by Tim O’Reilly
It’s a communications medium.

Excerpt:

Foundations of the metaverse
You can continue this exercise by thinking about the metaverse as the combination of multiple technology trend vectors progressing at different speeds and coming from different directions, and pushing the overall vector forward (or backward) accordingly. No new technology is the product of a single vector.

So rather than settling on just “the metaverse is a communications medium,” think about the various technology vectors besides real-time communications that are coming together in the current moment. What news from the future might we be looking for?

  • Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality
  • Social media
  • Gaming
  • AI
  • Cryptocurrencies and “Web3”
  • Identity

#metaverse #AI #communications #gaming #socialmedia #cryptocurrencies #Web3 #identity #bots #XR #VR #emergingtechnologies

 

Mindful Leadership for Change — from gettingsmart.com by Rebecca Midles

Key Points

  • This blog builds upon Framing and Designing the How.
  • It digs into strategies for determining the ideal pace for implementation of innovation.

Also from gettingsmart.com, see:

States Partner on Micro-Credentials to Personalize Teacher Learning — from gettingsmart.com by Tom Vander Ark

Key Points

  • In 2020, more than 2000 educators earned more than 4000 micro-credentials.
  • Schools and systems adopted this new approach to give teachers more voice and choice in their learning.
 
 

Accommodations for students with ADHD — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Accommodations for students with Dyspraxia — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew

Excerpt:

Dyspraxia, also known as Apraxia, is a learning disability that is noticeable by difficulty in carrying out routines that need balance, fine motor skills, and coordination. Often, we think of these kids as being ordinarily “clumsy” or “awkward.” Kids with Dyspraxia need to be that an occupational therapist treats them to help boost their fine gross motor skills. Verbal Dyspraxia describes a reduction in the capacity to use speech sounds, which is commonly the sign of a developmental delay. Verbal Dyspraxia can either be separate or accompany Dyspraxia. Children with Dyspraxia may also suffer from a bit of impediment in speech and short-term memory loss.

From DSC:
If you don’t think teaching is incredibly tough, check out these lists of potential accommodations for just a few of the potential students in a classroom.

 

In Fight Against Ableism, Disabled Students Build Centers of Their Own — from chronicle.com by Adrienne Lu

Excerpt:

Thanks to student advocates, including Sullivan and Lockwood, the university recently became the latest in a growing number with disability cultural centers, which aim to shine light on the perspectives and experiences of disabled people, foster a sense of community, and promote activism and disability justice. Altogether, at least 12 disability cultural centers now exist nationwide; in addition, students are working to create new centers on about a dozen other campuses.

 

‘Hologram patients’ and mixed reality headsets help train UK medical students in world first — from uk.news.yahoo.com

Excerpts:

Medical students in Cambridge, England are experiencing a new way of “hands-on learning” – featuring the use of holographic patients.

Through a mixed reality training system called HoloScenarios, students at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, part of the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, are now being trained via immersive holographic patient scenarios in a world first.

The new technology is aimed at providing a more affordable alternative to traditional immersive medical simulation training involving patient actors, which can demand a lot of resources.

Developers also hope the technology will help improve access to medical training worldwide.

 

From DSC:
Below are several observations re: our learning ecosystems — and some ideas on how we can continue to improve them.


It takes years to build up the knowledge and skills in order to be a solid teacher, faculty member, instructional designer, and/or trainer. It takes a lot of studying to effectively research how the brain works and how we learn. Then we retire…and the knowledge is often lost or not passed along. And the wheel gets reinvented all over again. And again. And again.

Along these lines — and though we’re making progress in this area — too often we separate the research from the practical application of that research. So we have folks working primarily in learning science, neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and related fields. But their research doesn’t always get practically applied within our learning spaces. We have researchers…and then we have practitioners. So I greatly appreciate the likes of Pooja Agarwal and Patrice Bain out at RetrievalPractice.org, Daniel Willingham, Eva Keiffenheim, The Learning Scientists, James Lang, and several others who bridge this gap.

We need to take more of the research from learning science and apply it in our learning spaces.

Perhaps more researchers, faculty members, teachers, trainers, instructional designers, principals, provosts, etc. could blog or be active out on social media.

***

Along these lines, we need to spend more time helping people know how best to study and to learn.
If that type of thing is ever to be learned, it seems like it’s often learned or discussed in the mid- to later years of one’s life…often after one’s primary and secondary days are long gone.

Instead, we should consider putting these easy-to-understand posters from the Learning Scientists in every K-12 school, college, and university in the nation — or something like them.

***

To provide the most effective engaging learning experiences, we should consider using more team-based approaches. As appropriate, that could include the students themselves.

***

We put way too much emphasis on grades — which produces gameplayers who seek only to do the minimum amount of work necessary to get the A’s.  Doing so creates systems whereby learning is not the goal — getting a 4.0+ is.

***
As we are now required to be lifelong learners, our quality of life as a whole goes waaaay up if we actually enjoy learning.  Many people discover later in life that they like to learn…they just didn’t like school. Perhaps we could place greater emphasis within K-16 on whether students enjoyed their learning experiences or not. And if not, what might have made that topic more enjoyable to them? Or what other topics would they like to dive into (that weren’t’ on the original learning menu)?

This could also apply in the corporate training/L&D space as well. Such efforts could go a long way in helping establish stronger learning cultures.

***

We don’t provide enough choice to our students. We need to do a better job of turning over more control to them in their learning journey. We turn students off to learning because we try to cram information that they don’t care about down their throats. So then we have to use the currency of grades to force them into doing the work that they could care less about doing. Their experience with learning/school can easily get soured.

Learners need: More voice. More choice. More control. -- this image was created by Daniel Christian

We need to be more responsive with our curricula. And we need to explain how the information we’re trying to relay is relevant in the real world and will be relevant in their futures.

***

So those are some ideas that I wanted to relay. Thanks for your time and for your shared interests here!

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian