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.

 

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 post this with great hesitation. But there’s some truth in here.

 

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.

 

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 .

 

When a child’s anxiety looks like anger — from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Excerpt:

Simply put, anxiety does not always look the way we think it does in children.

When we limit the experience of anxiety to only what can be seen and combine that with the limit of emotions children are aware of, it is a recipe for the perfect storm.

Generally, children don’t recognize anxiety when they’re experiencing it. Like learning primary colors first, children are only aware of a handful of emotions they can experience. Happy, sad, afraid, angry, excited. Their emotional experiences are painted with these primary feelings, leaving them with only a few options to choose from.

Simply recognizing that the vigilance and tension he’s feeling are actually anxiety have helped my son to let go of some of the anger and fear he’d been using in an attempt to cope with the overwhelming feelings he didn’t understand.

 

Fluid students flowing in and out of education are higher ed’s future. Here’s how colleges must adapt. — from highereddive.com by Anne Khademian
The Universities at Shady Grove’s executive director adapts the fluid fan idea reshaping the business of sports, shedding light on higher ed’s future.

We need less tweaking and more rethinking of how to deliver greater access, affordability and equity in higher education, and we must do it at scale. We need a new paradigm for the majority of students in higher education today that commits to meaningful employment and sustainable-wage careers upon completion of a degree or credential.

The challenge is the same for the business of higher education in serving future, more fluid students — and today’s nontraditional students. Many need to flow in and out of jobs and education, rather than pursue a degree in two or four years. Increasingly, they will seek to direct their educational experience toward personalized career opportunities, while stacking and banking credentials and experience into degrees.

From DSC:
Coming in and going out of “higher education” throughout one’s career and beyond…constant changes…morphing…hmm…sounds like a lifelong learning ecosystem to me.

#learningecosystems #learningfromthelivingclassroom
#highereducation #change #lifelonglearning

75% of master’s programs with high debt and low earnings are at private nonprofits — from highereddive.com by Lilah Burke
Urban Institute report undermines narrative that programs with poor student outcomes are all at for-profit colleges and in the humanities.

Although private nonprofit institutions accounted for 44% of all master’s programs in the data, they made up 75% of programs with high debt and low earnings.

Tuition increases, lower capital spending likely in store for higher ed as inflation persists, Fitch says — from highereddive.com by Rick Seltzer

The next inflation-driven worry: Rising college tuition — from washingtonpost.com by Nick Anderson and Danielle Douglas-Gabriel
Families are concerned about affordability of higher education

Spiraling rents are wreaking havoc on college students seeking housing for the fall — from by Jon Marcus
Big hikes are forcing students deeper into debt, risk pushing more out of school altogether

From DSC:
From someone who is paying for rent for a college student — along with tuition, books, fees, etc. —  this has direct application to our household. If there isn’t a perfect storm developing in higher ed, then I don’t know what that phrase means.

#costofhighereducation #inflation

HBCUs see a historic jump in enrollments — from npr.org with Michel Martin; with thanks to Marcela Rodrigues-Sherley and Julia Piper from The Chronicle for the resource

Also from that same newsletter:

What would Harvard University’s ranking be if the only criteria considered was economic mobility? According to The Washington Post, it would be 847th out of 1,320. First place would go to California State University at Los Angeles.

A New Vision for the Future of Higher Education: Prioritizing Engagement and Alignment — from moderncampus.com with Amrit Ahluwalia and Brian Kibby

Excerpt:

Change is a constant in higher ed, just as it is in the labor market. Staying up to date and flexible is more important than ever for colleges and universities, and through the pandemic, many relied on their continuing and workforce education divisions to support their agility. In fact, 56% of higher ed leaders said the role of their CE units expanded through the pandemic. 

The pandemic led to some of the biggest innovations in continuing ed in recent memory.  

Students Lobby Lawmakers to Improve College Experience for Neurodiverse Learners — from edsurge.com by Daniel Lempres

Excerpt:

Lobbying for more support for students with learning disabilities in higher education, the students called for increased funding for the National Center for Special Education Research and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA Act) — legislation which requires that children with disabilities be given a free and appropriate public education, and makes it possible for states and local educational agencies to provide federal funds to make sure that happens. They also encouraged lawmakers to pass the RISE Act, a bill designed to better support neurodiverse students in higher education.

What a Homework Help Site’s Move to Host Open Educational Resources Could Mean — from edsurge.com by Daniel Mollenkamp

How can leaders bridge the gap between higher ed and employers? — from highereddive.com by Lilah Burke

Dive Brief:

  • Partnerships between higher education institutions and employers can be difficult to create, often because of misalignment between the cultures, structures and values of the two groups, according to a July report from California Competes, a nonprofit policy organization focused on higher education.
  • Higher ed leaders could improve employer relations by making industry engagement an expected responsibility of both faculty and staff, said the report, which drew from 28 interviews with people at colleges and employers.
  • Robust employer engagement can strengthen enrollment and job outcomes for students, the authors argued, while also benefiting state and local economies.

Price-fixing lawsuit against 568 Group of top-ranked universities can continue, judge rules — from highereddive.com by Rick Seltzer

Termination of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools as an ED Recognized Accrediting Agency — from blog.ed.gov

 

A Best-Selling Textbook Is Now Free — from insidehighered.com by Liam Knox
A popular chemistry book’s jump from a publishing titan to an OER pioneer could be pivotal for the open access movement. For the author, it’s also a fitting tribute to his late son.

Excerpt:

John McMurry’s textbook Organic Chemistry has helped millions of students across the globe pass the infamous gauntlet of its namesake class — also known among stressed-out pre-med students as “orgo” — since the book was first printed in 1984.

For his bestseller’s 10th edition, McMurry has decided to part ways with his longtime publisher, the industry giant Cengage, which has published the book since the beginning. He recently sold the rights to OpenStax, a nonprofit based at Rice University that is dedicated to developing open education resources (OER), learning and research materials created and licensed to be free for the user.

From DSC:
From someone paying for a young adult to get through college, I hope this kind of thing happens more often! 🙂 But seriously, there are too many instances when students have been treated as cash cows, when we should have been bending over backward to help them get their educations.

For example, if I pay an invoice from our son’s university by credit card, I get a 3% charge — of the total invoice/$$ amount!!! — added to the bill. Are you kidding me? I have to pay several hundred dollars just for an electronic transaction?!

Can you imagine if the same thing happened to the rest of us at restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, etc. out there? Consumers would throw a fit! And I’d be right there with them.


Also related, see:

Millennials have money problems — from linkedin.com by Taylor Borden

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The average millennial is $117,000 in debt, but don’t blame avocado toast. According to new research, more than 70% of millennials have some form of non-mortgage debt, typically linked to student loans and credit cards.

Too Broke to Finish a Ph.D. Program? Tell Us About It — from the chronicle.com by Fernanda Zamudio-Suarez

Excerpt:

Doctoral programs can be long, trying, and expensive — even cost-prohibitive, depending on your circumstances.


 

24 Tips for Dorm Living — from custom-writing.org; with thanks to Julia Reed for this resource

Excerpt:

Dorms become like a second home to many students during their university experience. And while dorm life can mean making new friends and having exciting adventures, adjusting to new routines is not always easy. Since most students who come to the dorms have no prior experience living outside their parents’ homes, the reality of taking care of themselves and sharing space with strangers can be overwhelming.

Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that dorm life has to be a total culture shock. This list of excellent tips compiled by Custom-Writing.org will help you settle in and make the most out of your student life.


Addendum on 8/13/22:

Lisa L. Lewis on the Sleep-Deprived Teen — from gettingsmart.com

Key Points

  • Middle and high school should start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. This is just one factor in the life of the sleep deprived teen, but it is a policy issue.
  • California will become the first state with a start school later policy.

 

25 Best Parks In The United States — from htownbest.com by Anna Smith; with thanks to Apple Smith for this resource

Excerpt:

There’s something about national parks that make you feel so in touch with nature. It’s also a fantastic place to bond and spend time with friends and family over fun activities like hiking, swimming, fishing, and biking.

In this article, we listed down the best parks you can find in the country along with helpful descriptions to help you find the best ones for your needs and preferences.

This guide is for couples looking for a grand adventure, families that are looking for a fun vacation, hikers in search of their next trail, and just anyone who’s curious and wants to know more about the top national parks you can find here in the United States.

 

Bryce Canyon National Park; Image from: Utah National Park Trips Image from: Utah National Park Trips

 

For Native Americans, Unequal Child Care Funding Leaves Tribes in Need — from edsurge.com by Nadia Tamez-Robledo

Excerpt:

Native communities are in desperate need of quality child care. And yet, they are the least likely demographic to get it.

Tribal leaders have long known that access to child care is essential to making sure their members can work. That was true four decades ago, when researcher Linda Smith—now director of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Early Childhood Initiative—was starting her career in early childhood education by establishing a child care center on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana.

Over the years, she says little has changed in the way of getting tribes more support to meet the child care needs of their members.

 

Anxiety in children: Physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms — from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Excerpt:

This continues our new series, all about homeschooling a child with anxiety. Today, we discuss the physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms of anxiety in our children, as well as how we can help.

 

Providing foster children with better educational outcomes — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

Foster children have a difficult life ahead of them. They have a higher chance of having a bad life than the rest of the population. Adults who were in foster care as children are more likely to be homeless, jobless, and on welfare than the general population. They also have higher chances of being jailed, consuming drugs and alcohol, and having physical or psychological problems.

We owe it to them to help children grow up to be productive, well-adjusted people, and none of this is their mistake. Lawmakers and educational activists should work diligently to improve foster care children’s educational possibilities by broadening their alternatives. Foster children in the United States will benefit from higher educational attainment that will prepare them for a healthy transition to adulthood.

 

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.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian