Digital Learning Definitions — from wcet.wiche.edu

Excerpt:

Higher education uses many variations of terms to describe slightly different digital learning modalities,  such as: “in-person,” “online,” “hybrid,” “hyflex,” “synchronous,” “asynchronous,” and many more. These variations have long confused students, faculty, administrators, and the general public,

WCET has worked on this issue in the past, and continues to advocate for simple, easy to understand terms that can bring consistent agreement to the use of these phrases. The WCET Steering Committee has made it a priority to attack this issue.

In 2022, WCET sponsored and led a partnership with Bay View Analytics and the Canadian Digital Learning Research Association to conduct a survey to explore the use of the terms by higher education professionals. The Online Learning Consortium (OLC), Quality Matters (QM), and the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) assisted with survey participation and promotion. The works published below highlight the findings of the study.

Also relevant/see:

 

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.

 

Course Awareness in HyFlex: Managing unequal participation numbers — from hyflexlearning.org by Candice Freeman

Excerpt:

How do you teach a HyFlex course when the number of students in various participation modes is very unequal? How do you teach one student in a mode – often in the classroom? Conversely, you could ask how do you teach 50 asynchronous students with very few in the synchronous mode(s)? Answers will vary greatly depending from teacher to teacher. This article suggests a strategy called Course Awareness, a mindfulness technique designed to help teachers envision each learner as being in the instructor’s presence and engaged in the instruction regardless of participation (or attendance) mode choice.

Teaching HyFlex in an active learning classroom

From DSC:
I had understood the hyflex teaching model as addressing both online-based (i.e., virtual/not on-site) and on-site/physically-present students at the same time — and that each student could choose the manner in which they wanted to attend that day’s class. For example, on one day, a student could take the course in room 123 of Anderson Hall. The next time the class meets, that same student could attend from their dorm room.

But this article introduces — at least to me — the idea that we have a third method of participating in the hyflex model — asynchronously (i.e., not at the same time). So rather than making their way to Anderson Hall or attending from their dorm, that same student does not attend at the same time as other students (either virtually or physically). That student will likely check in with a variety of tools to catch up with — and contribute to — the discussions. As the article mentions:

Strategically, you need to employ web-based resources designed to gather real-time information over a specified period of time, capturing all students and not just students engaging live. For example, Mentimeter, PollEverywhere, and Sli.do allow the instructor to pose engaging, interactive questions without limiting engagement time to the instance the question is initially posed. These tools are designed to support both synchronous and asynchronous participation. 

So it will be interesting to see how our learning ecosystems morph in this area. Will there be other new affordances, pedagogies, and tools that take into consideration that the faculty members are addressing synchronous and asynchronous students as well as online and physically present students? Hmmm…more experimentation is needed here, as well as more:

  • Research
  • Instructional design
  • Design thinking
  • Feedback from students and faculty members

Will this type of model work best in the higher education learning ecosystem but not the K-12 learning ecosystem? Will it thrive with employees within the corporate realm? Hmmm…again, time will tell.


And to add another layer to the teaching and learning onion, now let’s talk about multimodal learning. This article, How to support multimodal learningby Monica Burns, mentions that:

Multimodal learning is a teaching concept where using different senses simultaneously helps students interact with content at a deeper level. In the same way we learn through multiple types of media in our own journey as lifelong learners, students can benefit from this type of learning experience.

The only comment I have here is that if you think that throwing a warm body into a K12 classroom fixes the problem of teachers leaving the field, you haven’t a clue how complex this teaching and learning onion is. Good luck to all of those people who are being thrown into the deep end — and essentially being told to sink or swim.

 

What’s next for online education? — from educationalist.substack.com by Alexandra Mihai

Excerpt:

An ecosystem not a dichotomy
As you’re hopefully already getting from my thoughts so far, I personally see our options for quality education in the future more like an ecosystem and not a series of mutually exclusive paths. It’s time to discard- or at least question-the “online vs. in person” dichotomy, almost always unfavourable to online education. It’s time to think in a more nuanced way about this. And, yes, you’ve guessed, more nuanced is always more difficult. Seeing the shades of grey requires a critical lens that we don’t need to see black and white.

The extent to which online education will be used in the future does not depend only on people (micro level), it depends on institutions (meso level) and policies (macro level).

The learning ecosystem, in my view:

  • includes various modalities used in a complementary way and as a continuum;
  • serves a multitude of audiences, at different stages of learning, with different aims and degrees of engagement;
  • requires comprehensive and interconnected support structures at institutional level, for students and faculty.
 

Arts Integration and STEAM Resources for K-12 Educators

Unlock the power of creativity -- arts integration and STEAM resources for K-12 educators

Official Trailer (Art Works for Teachers)

Excerpt:

Introducing the Art Works for Teacher Podcast Trailer! Get a quick sneak peek at what you can expect from this new show, launching September 22, 2022. New episodes will be available each Thursday on your favorite podcast platform, on YouTube, and right here on our site.


From DSC:
Along these lines, also see WEST MICHIGAN CENTER FOR ARTS + TECHNOLOGY. Such a learning environment builds skills and creativity while supercharging participation and engagement!

 

 

Teachers Are Ready for Systemic Change. Are Schools? — from edweek.org by Madeline Will
Schools need effective, transformative change. Leaders must be ready to take it on

Excerpt:

So many people in education—from teachers to U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona—have called this moment, as schools emerge from the darkest shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, our chance for a “reset in education.”

It’s a sentiment that repeatedly comes up in my interviews with teachers. They wonder if the pandemic’s disruption of schools was a once-in-a-generation chance to transform the education system, which is riddled with inequities and pedagogical practices that date back decades.

Some educators also wonder if we’re on the verge of squandering such a chance. That may be; in the rush to get students back on track, we’re at risk for overlooking many of the lessons learned from the last couple years.

“The teachers know what works,” Kelly said. “We need more people to not only listen to teachers, but we also need them to implement the things that teachers say.”

From DSC:
If the K12 learning ecosystems out there don’t change, students, families — and teachers — may let their feet do the walking. We’re seeing a similar situation within higher education, with mostly students’ feet who are starting to do the walking (to alternatives). Some employers’ feet are getting itchy to walk as well.

If you were going to weigh the power that each area holds, what would you put on the weight employers have to effect change these days? Institutions of higher education? Students and their families? Hmmm…change needs to be in the air. The status quo hasn’t been working well within K-12 or within higher education.

Also relevant within K-12, see:

Exit Interview: Why This Veteran Teacher is Leaving the Profession — from edsurge.com by Jennifer Yoo-Brannon

Excerpt:

It’s a frank and sometimes emotional conversation between Jennifer Yoo-Brannon, an instructional coach at El Monte Union High School District in California, and Diana Bell, a veteran teacher of more than 18 years who recently decided to leave the profession. They talk about what led to that departure and how teaching could change to better support educators.

Many Eyes Are on the Teachers Who Leave. What About the Ones Who Stay? — from edsurge.com by Patrick Harris II

Excerpt:

My own experience sits among countless narratives from other teachers, including teachers of the year, revealing the difficulty and the emotion behind the decision to leave a school—and for some, the choice to part ways with a system that never had their best interest at heart.

A lesser told story is the plight of the teachers who stay behind. The emotional narratives about their experiences, their feelings and the pressures they carry.

 

From DSC:
I signed up to receive some items from Outlier.org. Here’s one of the emails that I recently received. It seems to me that this type of thing is going to be hard to compete against:

  • Professionally-done content
  • Created by teams of specialists, including game designers
  • Hand-picked professors/SME’s — from all over the world
  • Evidence-based learning tools

Outlier dot org could be tough to compete against -- professional-executed content creation and delivery

 

The next chapter for Learning on YouTube — from blog.youtube by Jonathan Katzman

Next year, qualified creators can begin offering free or paid Courses to provide in-depth, structured learning experiences for viewers. Viewers who choose to buy a Course can watch the video ad-free and play it in the background.

…to help learners apply what they’ve learned, we’re introducing Quizzes — a new way for creators to help viewers test their knowledge.”

.

 

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.

 

From DSC:
Now you’re talking! A team-based effort to deliver an Associate’s Degree for 1/3 of the price! Plus a job-ready certificate from Google, IBM, or Salesforce. Nice. 

Check these items out!


We started Outlier because we believe that students deserve better. So we worked from the ground up to create the best online college courses in the world, just for curious-minded learners like you.

The brightest instructors, available on-demand. Interactive materials backed by cognitive science. Flexible timing. And that’s just the beginning.

Outlier.org

MasterClass’s Co-Founder Takes on the Community-College Degree — from wsj.com by Lindsay Ellis
A new, online-only education model promises associate degrees via prerecorded lectures from experts at Yale, NASA and other prestigious institutions

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

One of the founders of the celebrity-fueled, e-learning platform MasterClass is applying the same approach to the humble community-college degree—one based on virtual, highly produced lectures from experts at prestigious institutions around the country.

The two-year degrees—offered in applied computing, liberal studies or business administration—will be issued by Golden Gate University, a nonprofit institution in San Francisco. Golden Gate faculty and staff, not the lecturers, will be the ones to hold office hours, moderate virtual discussions and grade homework, said Outlier, which is announcing the program Wednesday and plans to start courses in the spring.

Golden Gate University and Outlier.org Reinvent Affordable College with Degrees+ — from prnewswire.com

Excerpt:

For less than one-third the price of the national average college tuition, students will earn an associate degree plus a job-ready certificate from Google, IBM, or Salesforce

NEW YORK, Sept. 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Golden Gate University is launching Degrees+, powered by Outlier.org, with three associate degrees that reimagine the two-year degree for a rising generation of students that demand high quality education without the crushing cost. For annual tuition of $4,470 all-inclusive, students will earn a two-year degree that uniquely brings together the best of a college education with a career-relevant industry certificate.

Beginning today, students can apply to be part of the first class, which starts in Spring 2023.

“Imagine if everyone had the option to go to college with top instructors from HarvardYale, Google, and NASA via the highest-quality online classes. By upgrading the two-year degree, we can massively reduce student debt and set students up for success, whether that’s transferring into a four-year degree or going straight into their careers.”

Aaron Rasmussen, CEO and founder of Outlier.org
and co-founder of MasterClass

Outlier.org & Universities Call for Greater Credit Transfer Transparency — from articles.outliner.org

Excerpt:

“Outlier.org is working with leading institutions across the country to build a new kind of on-ramp to higher education,” said Aaron Rasmussen, CEO and Founder of Outlier.org. “By partnering with schools to build bridges from our courses into their degree programs, we can help students reduce the cost of their education and graduate faster.”


From DSC:
All of this reminds me of a vision I put out on my Calvin-based website at the time (To His Glory! was the name of the website.) The vision was originally called “The Forthcoming Walmart of Education” — which I renamed to “EduMart Education.”

By the way…because I’m not crazy about Walmart, I’m not crazy about that name. In today’s terms, it might be better called the new “Amazon.com of Higher Education” or something along those lines. But you get the idea. Lower prices due to new business models.

.


 

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?


 

Per Adobe today (emphasis DSC):

And we’re live! Starting 9:30am pst on Adobe Live’s YouTube Channel

After years of partnering with the Creative Cloud YouTube channel to bring our community inspiration and advice, Adobe Live will be streaming to our own YouTube channel (+Behance!) starting 9/6! This gives the Adobe Live team an exciting opportunity to connect closely with YOU, our community, through tailored content, YouTube’s community tab and, of course, LIVE streams.

Make sure to subscribe to the Adobe Live channel NOW!
.

Adobe Live is now on YouTube -- as of 9-6-22

 

EdTech Giant Unacademy Launches 50 New Channels On YouTube To Democratise Online Education — from edtechreview.in by Shalini Pathak

Excerpt:

Unacademy, an Indian EdTech unicorn and one of the leading online learning platform, has recently launched 50 new education channels on Google-owned YouTube. The channels significantly help in increasing accessibility for millions of learners across academic and non-academic categories.

Few of these 50 channels are built on the existing content categories as offered by Unacademy. They mark Unacademy’s foray into newer terrains such as ‘Tick Tock Tax’- to simplify the direct and indirect tax concepts, and Life After IIT – a platform to crack JEE and discuss success stories of top rankers.

 

ABA cleans up accreditation rules surrounding distance education for law schools — from highereddive.com by Lilah Burke

Dive Brief (emphasis DSC):

  • Recent amendments to American Bar Association accreditation standards addressed definitions of distance education, but Leo Martinez, immediate past chair of the ABA Council for the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, says the resolution won’t change much for law schools without waivers allowing them to conduct extra distance education.
  • The changes, made at the ABA’s annual meeting in August, were meant to clarify language in accreditation standards.
  • The ABA, which serves as the accreditor for 199 law schools and programs, requires waivers for institutions that want to offer more than one-third of J.D. program credits online. But it remains interested in reviewing distance education.

From DSC:
For an industry in the 21st century whose main accreditation/governance body for law schools still won’t let more online learning occur without waivers…

…how can our nation expect future lawyers and law firms to be effective in an increasingly tech-enabled world?

Here’s the pace of change in the world today:

The exponential pace of change is like warp speed for the U.S.S. Enterprise (Star Trek) or the hyperdrive on the Millennium Falcon (Star Wars).

Yet here’s the pace that the American Bar Association (@ABAesq) has been taking — and continues to take — at least in the area of supporting online-based learning as well as in developing sandboxes/new methods of improving access to justice (#A2J):

.

It’s high time the ABA did their research re: online-based learning and majorly picked up their pace. Undergraduate online-based education started back in the late 1990’s for crying out loud! (And the number of students taking one or more of their courses completely online has been increasing ever since that time.)

Plus, many law school students are adults who have jobs as well as families. They often don’t have the time nor the money to travel to campuses in order to take part in something that they could have easily accomplished online.

It’s also appropriate to recognize here that the current learning ecosystems out there continue to move more towards hybrid/blended learning models as well as a hyflex model. 

The ABA is not serving law school students nor our citizenry well at all in this regard.

 

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.

 

How to Use Edtech to Engage Introverted Learners — from edsurge.com by Stacey Roshan

Excerpts:

But we can leverage technology to create more equitable and empowering forums for discussion—to shift from a culture that praises the first person to raise their hand, to one where every individual has a platform to make their ideas seen and heard. I’m talking about using simple web apps.

As an introverted perfectionist who needed time to process and formulate a response before I was ready to share, I began to confuse faster with smarter. Because I saw my peers answering more questions than I was in class—and getting praised for it—I struggled to feel like I measured up.

And so, as a math teacher, it has become my mission to find ways to spotlight all of the unique voices and personalities in my classroom, and to celebrate the diverse approaches students choose to share, rather than valuing one.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian