Jeff Bezos Wants to Go to the Moon. Then, Public Education. — from edsurge.com by Dominik Dresel

Excerpts:

Jeff Bezos’ $2 billion investment to establish a Montessori-inspired network of preschools may be shrugged off by many as the world’s richest man dabbling in another playground. Instead, we should see it for what it is: the early days of Amazon’s foray into public education.

It would be easy to think that Amazon’s rapid expansion into industry after industry is just the natural, opportunistic path of a cash-flush company seeking to invest in new, lucrative markets. But Jeff Bezos, himself a graduate of a Montessori preschool, doesn’t think in short-term opportunities.

Yet, the world has had its first taste of the disentanglement of schooling from school buildings. Even though in 20 years we will still have school buildings—much like we still have bookstores—there is little doubt that the future will see more, not less, online instruction and content delivery.

 

 

Building a Learner-Centered Ecosystem -- from the Strada Education Network

Strada Institute identified five key pillars these lifelong learners will need from an education and training system designed for them:

  1. It has to be easy to navigate.
  2. Supports are needed to help learners balance their lives.
  3. Targeted education should lead to a job.
  4. Hiring practices must be transparent and fair.
  5. Students must be able to earn while learning.

Also see:

Are we ready for this? — from stradaeducation.org by Andrew Pelesh
Preparing the Education-Workforce System for the 100-Year Career

 

As an alternative to a full master’s degree, edX and Coursera offer MicroMasters and MasterTrack certificate programs at a fraction of the cost of grad school — from businessinsider.com by Mara Leighton; with thanks to Ray Schroeder for sharing this resource

Excerpt:

  • edX and Coursera both offer cheap or free online graduate courses, many from top universities like MIT, Duke, and the University of Michigan.
  • edX MicroMasters and Coursera MasterTracks are bite-sized portions of master’s degree programs.
  • They can be used to build stand-alone skills to advance your career or as a stepping stone to a full master’s program.
  • We compared MicroMasters and MasterTracks for you here. Overall, the deciding factor will be the program itself. But generally, edX’s offerings are cheaper, have more options, and are more lenient than Coursera’s.
 

Online Education Isn’t the Sideshow. It’s the Main Event. — from edsurge.com by Chip Paucek

Excerpt:

Over the course of 2020, there has been plenty of discussion about what will and won’t return to “normal” once we’ve fought COVID-19 into submission. I can’t predict the future, but my bet is that many of the innovations and changes we’ve witnessed this year will stick around. And I know two things for certain: first, many students will go back to in-person learning, but the demand for high-quality online education and shorter, non-degree learning pathways—like boot camps and short courses—will continue to grow as people upskill, reskill and look for greater flexibility in education. And second: demand for online undergraduate and graduate degrees will grow too.

James DeVaney, associate vice provost at the University of Michigan put it best in his recent tweet, saying that we “need to move from ‘what’s your rev share’ to ‘what value do you create?’ And tailored to higher ed, ‘what is your contribution to learning?’ I care about reach, research, $ development, reputation, and revenue—but all in the context of learning. That’s the transparency we need.”

 

The Year TV Leaped Into The Future [Roettgers]

The Year TV Leaped Into The Future [Roettgers]

The Year TV Leaped Into The Future — from protocol.com by Janko Roettgers

The lockdowns this year have transformed our homes into offices, schools, concert halls, movie theaters and gyms. Our homes are working harder for us, but so is our technology. The device that is working the hardest is perhaps the TV—becoming our lifeline to a far more virtual world.

Addendums:

The Second Year of The MOOC: 2020 Saw a Rush to Large-Scale Online Courses

The Second Year of The MOOC: 2020 Saw a Rush to Large-Scale Online Courses — from edsurge.com by Dhawal Shah

Excerpt:

This was the year that more people learned what a MOOC is.

As millions suddenly found themselves with free time on their hands during the pandemic, many turned to online courses—especially, to free courses known as MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses. This phenomenon was compounded by media worldwide compiling lists of “free things to do during lockdown,” which tended to include MOOCs.

Within two months, Class Central had received over 10 million visits and sent over six million clicks to MOOC providers. These learners also turned out to be more engaged than usual. In April 2020, MOOC providers Coursera, edX and FutureLearn attracted as many new users in a single month as they did in the entirety of 2019.

.

From DSC:
The pieces continue to come together…

Learning from the living class room

...team-based content creation and delivery will dominate in the future (at least for the masses). It will offer engaging, personalized learning and the AI-based systems will be constantly scanning for the required/sought-after skills and competencies. The systems will then present a listing of items that will help people obtain those skills and competencies.

#AI #LearningProfiles #Cloud #LearningFromTheLivingClassRoom #LearningEcosystems #LearningSpaces #21stCentury #24x7x365 #Reinvent #Surviving #StayingRelevant #LifeLongLearning and many more tags/categories are applicable here.

 

How E-Learning Content Is Evolving: 7 Trends You Need to Know About — from trainingmag.com by Tiffany Harper
Continuous, personalized learning in small bites through a storytelling approach—that sums up the future of the e-learning industry.

Excerpt:

VR and AR
Technological innovations let us play better games. The progress of VR and AR technology (virtual reality and augmented reality) is closely related to the gaming industry, but that doesn’t mean it stays there.

We can turn any space into an environment that’s ready to explore. If we learn about the universe, we can see it around us. If we learn about industrial technology, we can be virtually present in a plant. This technology is especially important for corporate learning. Instead of sending employees away to develop new skills, companies benefit with lower expenses and greater convenience.

We haven’t seen the best of virtual and augmented reality in e-learning yet. But as the trend progresses and more learners get their devices, it won’t be unusual for AR and VR to be included in every online course of the future.

 

Trends Report for 2021: Three Scenes from the Future -- from Frog Design

Trends 2021: Three Scenes from the Future — from frogdesign.com

Excerpt:

This year, we decided to lean into this unreality. For our tenth annual Trends list, we asked frogs to not only imagine the societal and technological shifts that will impact our future, but to project the future worlds these shifts will create. From perspectives on the accelerated adoption of remote work, to visions of distorted realities and changing consumer behaviors, we’re sharing different possible views of 2021 and beyond—and the products, services and experiences that will shape our future worlds.

 

Can algorithms save college admissions?

Can Algorithms Save College Admissions? — from chronicle.com by Brian Rosenberg
We’ve tried a system based on competition long enough. It isn’t working.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Here is an alternative and much more radical proposal: What if we replaced the current and longstanding admissions process among private colleges with a match process, similar to what has for years been used to match medical-school graduates with residency and fellowship positions? What if, in other words, we used data and algorithms instead of travel, merit aid, and free food to drive college admissions?

From DSC:
Love the “What if…” thinking here and the spirit of innovation behind it. I wonder if AI and cloud-based learner profiles might play into something like this in the future…?

Also see:

7 Ways To Make College Admissions More Equitable — from stradaeducation.org by Patty Reinert Mason and Jeff Selingo
Is it time to reconsider early-decision applications, legacy preferences, and reliance on feeder high schools?
Selingo offers these practical steps colleges and universities can take to make admissions more equitable:

  • Eliminate early-decision applications.
  • Be upfront about what you’re looking for in this year’s incoming class so students and parents have the information they need.
  • Be transparent about what it costs to study at your school.
  • Look beyond traditional “feeder high schools” for recruitment, creating opportunity for a more diverse group of students.
  • Reduce preferences given to athletes and legacies.
  • Rethink application requirements to put more emphasis on high school coursework and grades and less on extracurriculars, recommendations, and essays.
  • Expand the size of freshman classes.

Also see:

 

Teaching with Amazon Alexa — from Sylvia Martinez

Excerpt:

Alexa is a voice-activated, cloud-based virtual assistant, similar to Siri on Apple devices, or Google Assistant. Alexa is an umbrella name for the cloud-based functionality that responds to verbal commands. Alexa uses artificial intelligence to answer questions or control smart devices, and has a range of “skills” — small programs that you can add to increase Alexa’s capabilities.

Many teachers are experimenting with using smart devices like Alexa in the classroom. Like most other Amazon features and products, Alexa is primarily designed for home use, anticipating that users will be household members. So in thinking about Alexa in a classroom, keeping this in mind will help determine the best educational uses.

Alexa is most often accessed in three ways…

 

A new category of devices from Cisco -- the Webex Desk Hub

From DSC:
In yesterday’s webexone presentations, Cisco mentioned a new device category, calling it the Webex Desk Hub. It gets at the idea of walking into a facility and grabbing any desk, and making that desk you own — at least for that day and time. Cisco is banking on the idea that sometimes people will be working remotely, and sometimes they will be “going into the office.” But the facilities will likely be fewer and smaller — so one might not have their own office.

In that case, you can plug in your smart device, and things are set up the way they would be if you did have that space as a permanent office.

Applying this concept to the smart classrooms of the future, what might that concept look like for classrooms? A faculty member or a teacher could walk into any room that supports such a setup, put in their personal smart device, and the room conditions are instantly implemented:

  • The LMS comes on
  • The correct class — based on which day it is and then on the particular time of day it is — is launched
  • The lights are dimmed to 50%
  • The electric window treatments darken the room
  • The projector comes on and/or the displays turn on
  • Etc.
 

From DSC:
Our oldest daughter showed me a “Bitmoji Classroom” that her mentor teacher — Emily Clay — uses as her virtual classroom. Below are some snapshots of the Google Slides that Emily developed based on the work of:

  • Kayla Young (@bitmoji.kayla)
  • MaryBeth Thomas 
  • Ms. Smith 
  • Karen Koch
  • The First Grade Creative — by C. Verddugo

My hats off to all of these folks whose work laid the foundations for this creative, fun, engaging, easy-to-follow virtual classroom for a special education preschool classroom — complete with ties to videoconferencing functionalities from Zoom. Emily’s students could click on items all over the place — they could explore, pursue their interests/curiosities/passions. So the snapshots below don’t offer the great interactivity that the real deal does.

Nice work Emily & Company! I like how you provided more choice, more control to your students — while keeping them engaged! 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

From DSC:
I also like the idea of presenting this type of slide (immediately below, and students’ names have been blurred for privacy’s sake) prior to entering a videoconferencing session where you are going to break out the students into groups. Perhaps that didn’t happen in Emily’s class…I’m not sure, but in other settings, it would make sense to share one’s screen right before sending the students to those breakout rooms and show them that type of slide (to let them know who will be in their particular breakout group).

The students in the different breakout sessions could then collaboratively work on Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides and you could watch their progress in real-time!

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

 

A snapshot of a Bitmoji Classroom created by Emily Clay

Also see:

 

Maths mastery through stop-motion animation — from innovatemyschool.com by Rachel Cully

Do you want your learners to be resilient, confident mathematicians with secure conceptual understanding and a love of Maths? Well, come with me to a land of stories and watch the magic unfold.

Maths mastery through stop-motion animation -- by Rachel Cully

Also see:

 

Temperament-Inclusive Pedagogy: Helping Introverted and Extraverted Students Thrive in a Changing Educational Landscape — from onlinelearningconsortium.org by Mary R. Fry

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

So how do we take these different approaches to learning into account and foster a classroom environment that is more inclusive of the needs of both extraverts and introverts? Let’s first distinguish between how extraverts and introverts most prefer to learn, and then discuss ways to meet the needs of both. Extraverts tend to learn through active and social engagement with the material (group work, interactive learning experiences, performing and discussing). Verbalizing typically helps extraverts to think through their ideas and to foster new ones. They often think quickly on their feet and welcome working in large groups. It can be challenging for extraverts to generate ideas in isolation (talking through ideas is often needed) and thus working on solitary projects and writing can be challenging.

In contrast, introverts thrive with solitary/independent work and typically need this time to sort through what they are learning before they can formulate their thoughts and articulate their perspectives. Introverted learners often dislike group work (or at least the group sizes and structures that are often used in the classroom (more on this in a moment)) and find their voice drowned out in synchronous discussions as they don’t typically think as fast as their extroverted counterparts and don’t often speak until they feel they have something carefully thought out to share. Introverted learners are often quite content, and can remain attentive, through longer lectures and presentations and prefer engaging with the material in a more interactive way only after a pause or break.

From DSC:
Could/would a next-generation learning platform that has some Artificial Intelligence (AI) features baked into it — working in conjunction with a cloud-based learner profile — be of assistance here?

That is, maybe a learner could self-select the type of learning that they are: introverted or extroverted. Or perhaps they could use a sliding scaled to mix learning activities up to a certain degree. Or perhaps if one wasn’t sure of their preferences, they could ask the AI-backed system to scan for how much time they spent doing learning activities X, Y, and Z versus learning activities A, B, and C…then AI could offer up activities that meet a learner’s preferences.

(By the way, I love the idea of the “think-ink-pair-share” — to address both extroverted and introverted learners. This can be done digitally/virtually as well as in a face-to-face setting.)

All of this would further assist in helping build an enjoyment of learning. And wouldn’t that be nice? Now that we all need to learn for 40, 50, 60, 70, or even 80 years of our lives?

The 60-Year Curriculum: A Strategic Response to a Crisis

 

After the Pandemic, a Revolution in Education and Work Awaits — from nytimes.com by Thomas Friedman
Providing more Americans with portable health care, portable pensions and opportunities for lifelong learning is what politics needs to be about post-Nov. 3.

No job, no K-12 school, no university, no factory, no office will be spared. 

Excerpt:

Your children can expect to change jobs and professions multiple times in their lifetimes, which means their career path will no longer follow a simple “learn-to-work’’ trajectory, as Heather E. McGowan, co-author of “The Adaptation Advantage,” likes to say, but rather a path of “work-learn-work-learn-work-learn.”

“Learning is the new pension,” Ms. McGowan said. “It’s how you create your future value every day.”

The most critical role for K-12 educators, therefore, will be to equip young people with the curiosity and passion to be lifelong learners who feel ownership over their education.

 

From DSC:
Many people talk about engagement when they discuss learning, and with good reason. It seems to me that what they are really getting at is the topic of getting and maintaining someone’s *attention.* Attention is the gatekeeper to further learning. I wonder if some of the next generation learning platforms that employ some level of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled features, will look to a learner’s preferences (as stored in their cloud-based learner’s profile) in order to help gain/maintain such attention.

And this also helps explain why allowing more learner agency — i.e., more choice, more control — in pursuing their own interests and passions really helps: A motivated learner is paying closer attention to what’s going on.

 

Attention is the gatekeeper to further learning.

 

 

From DSC:
And along these lines, that’s one of the key reasons I’d like to see more involvement from the Theatre Departments, Computer Science Departments, and from those involved with creative writing across the land — in terms of helping develop content for remote and online-based education. Actors, actresses, set designers, costumer designers, audio/video editors, programmers/software developers, and more who could collaborate on these kinds of ideas.

Last comment on this. I don’t mean that we should present our classes like many advertisements do (i.e., running a thousand images by me within 30 seconds). But changing things up periodically — both visually and audibly —  can help regain/reset your students’ attentions.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian