More than a sandbox: Augmented reality lets students explore changing landscapes — from schoolnewsnetwork.org by Beth Heinen Bell

Excerpt:

Lowell — Have you ever wanted to make it rain with just a wave of your fingers? Carve a river into an empty field and then make it flood? Topple a mountain with your bare hands and see what happens to the surrounding landscape?

At the augmented reality (AR) sandbox in Jennifer Bolhuis’ fourth-grade classroom, students wield all this power and more. The sandbox is an Eagle Scout project and gift from one of Bolhuis’ former students, Lowell High School sophomore David Johnston.

 

Reimagining the Future of Accessible Education with AI (Part I) — from blogs.microsoft.com by Heather Dowdy

Reimagining the Future of Accessible Education with AI (Part 2) — from blogs.microsoft.com by Heather Dowdy
[During Feb 2021], the Microsoft AI for Accessibility program [called] for project proposals that advance AI-powered innovations in education that will empower people with disabilities. Through a two-part series, we are highlighting projects we are supporting.

And an excerpt from Brad Smith’s (4/28/21) posting:

That’s why today we’re announcing the next phase of our accessibility journey, a new technology-led five-year commitment to create and open doors to bigger opportunities for people with disabilities. This new initiative will bring together every corner of Microsoft’s business with a focus on three priorities: Spurring the development of more accessible technology across our industry and the economy; using this technology to create opportunities for more people with disabilities to enter the workforce; and building a workplace that is more inclusive for people with disabilities.

 

How Teaching Robotics Fosters Tech and Soft Skills — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
Students who compete in robotics competitions learn STEM skills, but equally important are the social skills they gather

Group of 5 young students with their projects for robotics competition

Excerpt:

Beginning on May 17, Fausto and his teammate’s on the Owlbots 3028x will compete at the first-ever Live Remote VEX Robotics World Championship. The event runs through May 29 and is hosted by The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation and VEX Robotics.

 

Improving Digital Inclusion & Accessibility for Those With Learning Disabilities — from by Meredith Kreisa
Learning disabilities must be taken into account during the digital design process to ensure digital inclusion and accessibility for the community. This comprehensive guide outlines common learning disabilities, associated difficulties, accessibility barriers and best practices, and more.

“Learning shouldn’t be something only those without disabilities get to do,” explains Seren Davies, a full stack software engineer and accessibility advocate who is dyslexic. “It should be for everyone. By thinking about digital accessibility, we are making sure that everyone who wants to learn can.”

“Learning disability” is a broad term used to describe several specific diagnoses. Dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, nonverbal learning disorder, and oral/written language disorder and specific reading comprehension deficit are among the most prevalent.

 
An image of a barrier being torn down -- revealing a human mind behind it. This signifies the need to tear down any existing barriers that might hinder someone's learning experience.

 

Reimagining Higher Education: The Post-Covid Classroom — from er.educause.edu by Rob Curtin
As we prepare to return to campus, many of the technologies that helped us simply survive and sustain classroom continuity will become permanently embedded in our educational methods and play a pivotal role in the refinement of practices consistent with an ongoing shift to more student-centered learning.

Videoconferencing -- a professor teaching a class of virtual students

Credit: as-artmedia / Shutterstock.com © 2021

As learning practices continue to evolve, new remote learning and collaboration technologies, in concert with pedagogy, will be critical to enabling inclusive, personalized, and engaging hybrid learning experiences to bring students together beyond simple videoconferencing and recording of lectures. 

 

NJ High School Adds New Recording Studio to Learning Spaces — from spaces4learning.com by Matt Jones

Excerpt:

A career and technical high school in New Jersey has added new professional recording gear to one of its teaching spaces. County Prep High School, part of Hudson County Schools of Technology, added hardware from Solid State Logic (SSL), a UK-based company that manufactures analog and digital audio consoles for music and audio production. Students in the music and audio technology program learn how to write their own songs and produce their own music. The senior project involves putting a label together and releasing songs.

 

The Studio at County Prep High School in New Jersey installed at the front of a teaching space with seating for about 16 students -- it overlooks a tracking room with a piano and two soundproof booths.

The new studio at County Prep High School features professional equipment from Solid State Logic.
Source: Solid State Logic

Also see:

A different view on the console at this New Jersey High School

Addendum on 4/1/21:

  • Control Room 42 ushers in the future of broadcasting — from derivative.ca
    Excerpt:
    Control Room 42 (CR42) a project from RTBF, public broadcaster for the French speaking part of Belgium, gives broadcasting’s traditionally hardware-based control room a radical makeover enabled by TouchDesigner in ways its designer Hugo Ortiz thought impossible a few years ago. Recipient of The European Broadcasting Union’s Technology and Innovation Award 2020, this new software-based control room prototype that also integrates Artisto for audio and Smode for real-time graphics brings game-changing innovation to the broadcasting industry.
 

A New Online Tutoring Market Has Emerged — In Construction. It Requires a Surprising Number of Books. — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt:

There’s a high-stakes exam that’s created an entire industry selling test-preparation products and services to people willing to shell out big bucks for help honing their skills and strategies.

It’s not the SAT, or the MCAT. In fact, it’s not related to academic admissions at all. Yet it has generated lots of online guides and courses, and studying for it requires many, many books.

It’s the exam to become a licensed construction contractor. And companies that offer remote instruction to help tradespeople get ready to take the test say business has been booming during the pandemic—perhaps driven by the fact that demand for construction workers is high.

 

ARHT Media Inc.
Access The Power Of HoloPresence | Hologram Technology | Holographic Displays | Hologram Events

Excerpt:

ARHT Media mounted a holographic display at the event in Vancouver and had Sunlife’s executive captured and transmitted live as a hologram to the event from our Toronto studio. He was able to see the audience and interact with them in realtime as if he was attending the event and present in the room.

ARHT Media Inc. launches the Holopod | A holograph of the head of global sales appears on stage. Access The Power Of HoloPresence | Hologram Technology | Holographic Displays | Hologram Events

From DSC:

  • Will holographic displays change what we mean by web-based collaboration?
  • Will this be a part of the future learning ecosystems inside of higher education? Inside of the corporate training world? Inside the world of events and webinars?
  • How will this type of emerging technology impact our communications? Levels of engagement?
  • Will this type of thing impact telehealth? Telelegal?
  • How will this impact storytelling? Media? Drama/acting? Games?
  • Will the price come down to where online and blended learning will use this type of thing?
  • Will streams of content be offered by holographic displays?

 

 

We want students to be creative, but how do we assess this? — from spencerauthor.com by John Spencer

Excerpt:

We know that creativity is vital for student learning. We also know that we tend to value the things we assess. However, when we assess creativity, we can unwittingly cause students to become risk-averse. So, how do we assess creativity in a way that encourages students to become more creative?

 

It takes a village: The pandemic learning pod movement, one year in — from crpe.org by Alice Opalka, Ashley Jochim, and Joe Lollo

Excerpt:

Since the spring of 2020, learning pods have evolved from a new idea to a significant feature of the pandemic learning landscape. As the pod movement grows in real-time through the current school year and morphs into new models and approaches, the work of learning is moving beyond the four walls of the school building and into communities across the country.

Our database of learning pods—also referred to as learning hubs—now hosts nearly 330 entries of pods organized by institutions with publicly available information from across the country. While this landscape is not a representative sample and is limited by information available on program websites, it offers a snapshot of how learning pods are reshaping education one year into the pandemic.

Our latest analysis shows that community-based organizations and adults beyond the teacher are playing an increased role supporting students and their families through the pandemic.

 

When the Animated Bunny in the TV Show Listens for Kids’ Answers — and Answers Back — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt:

Yet when this rabbit asks the audience, say, how to make a substance in a bottle less goopy, she’s actually listening for their answers. Or rather, an artificially intelligent tool is listening. And based on what it hears from a viewer, it tailors how the rabbit replies.

“Elinor can understand the child’s response and then make a contingent response to that,” says Mark Warschauer, professor of education at the University of California at Irvine and director of its Digital Learning Lab.

AI is coming to early childhood education. Researchers like Warschauer are studying whether and how conversational agent technology—the kind that powers smart speakers such as Alexa and Siri—can enhance the learning benefits young kids receive from hearing stories read aloud and from watching videos.

From DSC:
Looking at the above excerpt…what does this mean for elearning developers, learning engineers, learning experience designers, instructional designers, trainers, and more? It seems that, for such folks, learning how to use several new tools is showing up on the horizon.

 

Nearly three-quarters of pandemic affected parents feel students should learn subjects they’re passionate about, not those of little interest — from newswire.ca by Unschooling School

Excerpt:

TORONTO, Feb. 1, 2021 /CNW/ – A nation-wide survey of Canadian parents released today finds that nearly three in four of them (73%) believe the education system today would be better for students if it were structured to give them more choice and time to just learn those subjects and topics, they are either excited or passionate about.

Also, more than two-thirds (67%) want a school reset, so students learn more of the subject areas they’re passionate about and not those of little interest to them.

From DSC:
I feel the same way about many K12 systems here in the United States. Our youngest daughter — who has been studying at home this past year — has so much more energy and passion when we give her more agency to do the things that *she* wants to do and to learn about the things that *she* wants to learn about.

Learning channels of the future will provide us with more choice, more control.

And readers of this blog know that I’m all about the love of learning (or even liking it better), seeing as we all need to be lifelong learners these days.

The more we enjoy learning = The better, more fulfilling, enjoyable that our lives will be! (Not to mention how much more productive we’ll be as well.)

 

 

What 2021 Means for Learning — from GettingSmart.com

What 2021 Means for Learning from Getting Smart on Vimeo.

Last week we hosted a live conversation to talk about what 2021 has in store for learning, a new set of shared priorities including mutuality and agency and emerging trends and topics that we are excited to explore this year.

 

10 Resolutions for Special Education in 2021 — from gettingsmart.com by Karla Phillips-Krivickas

Excerpt:

Include Students with Disabilities in Definitions of Equity
A hallmark of 2020 education policy has been a laser like focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Rightfully so, however, references to students that have been historically marginalized or disadvantaged too often do not include students with disabilities.

Action:
Ensure all state initiatives, including those led by non-profit organizations, include students with disabilities in definitions of equity.

 

Musical Mentors Collaborative Announces Requiem-20
The resulting compendium is a tribute to the pandemic world we live in today

Philadelphia, PA — January 19, 2021 — Musical Mentors Collaborative (“MMC”), which provides free private music instruction and instruments to students who would not otherwise have access, presents Requiem-20, a collaborative, multimedia, multi-genre reflection on the ineffable loss of life in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Featuring music by young but brilliant early-career composers, this project offered these artists a chance to help culture make meaning in a time of seeming creative impossibility. Produced in cooperation with Musical Mentors Collaborative and performed by MMC’s Teaching Fellows, this project represents a coalescence, a meeting place for creative artists to express and process the difficulties of this time.

“With the looming loss of millions of lives to Coronavirus, 11 composers and 23 artists have come together to form a musical collaborative work called, Requiem-20, a modern day Requiem in response to Covid-19. During this pandemic and with the lack of so many live performances, composers, especially young composers are feeling that their musical voices are not able to be displayed as normal and are looking for ways to stay connected and be relevant to the world right now.

This is their musical reaction to all the loss that is experienced during this time. A requiem not just for the loss of so many lives, but also for the loss of everyday life as we knew it, the loss of so many things that we had, the loss of getting to do things we love and see the people we love, the loss of so many jobs and livelihoods, the loss of so much continues and is expressed here in this montage and continuous melange of 11 short expressions that is interwoven to formulate Requiem-20,” says Says Daniel Matsukawa, principal bassoon of the Philadelphia Orchestra, professor at the Curtis Institute of Music, and the creator of this project.

Given the continuing loss of so many musicians’ jobs and livelihoods, we hope that the feelings and stories conveyed through Requiem-20 give you faith that artistic expression lives on as robustly as ever. We also hope that this project may prompt other musicians to compose and add to the concept, thus creating their own musical tribute in response to the current pandemic-filled world.

“Musical Mentors Collaborative encourages creativity through connection, and employs the ingenuity of economically displaced musicians to create connections in communities with the least access to music’s undisputed benefits. This project furthers our mission of connecting artists and young people with this crucial resource in this troubled time,” said Teddy Poll, Artistic and Educational Director of MMC. “We are excited to share Requiem-20 and for the public.”

Requiem-20, as well as more detailed information about the piece, can be seen/heard here: www.requiem-20.com.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian