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

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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.

 

Top Tools for Learning 2022 [Jane Hart]

Top Tools for Learning 2022

 

Top tools for learning 2022 — from toptools4learning.com by Jane Hart

Excerpt:

In fact, it has become clear that whilst 2021 was the year of experimentation – with an explosion of tools being used as people tried out new things, 2022 has been the year of consolidation – with people reverting to their trusty old favourites. In fact, many of the tools that were knocked off their perches in 2021, have now recovered their lost ground this year.


Also somewhat relevant/see:


 

From DSC:
Below are some reflections based on an article entitled, Understanding learning transfer through Archwell Academies. It’s from chieflearningofficer.com and was written by Erin Donovan and Keith Keating.

Excerpt:

To capitalize on learning transfer and extend learning beyond traditional training periods, practitioners have established capability academies. According to Josh Bersin, capability academies are the evolution of traditional training and self-directed learning. Bersin posited:

Capability academies are business-driven, collaborative learning environments that facilitate learning retention. . . . Going beyond rote lessons, capability academies help companies prepare for transformation by helping employees develop complex skills and providing guidance on how to apply them in the context of the business.

The core concept of capability academies rests on the importance of collaboration between the trainers and the business. The intention is to provide learners with practice of conceptual understanding and comparative scenarios in the context and environment where they will ultimately apply their skills. Capability academies focus on providing training distinctly aligning with learners’ job responsibilities.

From DSC:
First of all, I have a lot of respect for the people that this article mentions, such as Josh Bersin and Will Thalheimer. So this article caught me eye.

It seems to me that the corporate world is asking for institutions of traditional higher education to deliver such “capability academies.” But that makes me wonder, could this even be done? Surely there aren’t enough resources to develop/deliver/maintain so many environments and contexts, right? It took Archwell, a global mortgage services outsourcing provider, an entire year to systematically design and develop such customized capability academies — just for their clients’ businesses. 

The article goes on:

The core concept of capability academies rests on the importance of collaboration between the trainers and the business. The intention is to provide learners with practice of conceptual understanding and comparative scenarios in the context and environment where they will ultimately apply their skills. Capability academies focus on providing training distinctly aligning with learners’ job responsibilities.

Context. Skills. Acquiring knowledge. Being able to apply that knowledge in a particular environment. Wow…that’s a lot to ask institutions of traditional higher education to deliver. And given the current setup, it’s simply not going to happen. Faculty members’ plates are already jammed-packed. They don’t have time to go out and collaborate with each business in their area (even with more sabbaticals…I don’t see it happening).

I’m sure many at community colleges could chime in here and would likely say that that’s exactly what they are doing. But I highly doubt that they are constantly delivering this type of customized offering for all of the businesses in each major city in their area.

I can hear those in corporate training programs saying that that’s what they are doing for their own business. But they don’t provide it for other businesses in their area.

So, what would it take for higher education to develop/offer such “capability academies?” Is it even possible?

We continue to struggle to design the ultimate learning ecosystem(s) — one(s) whereby we can provide personalized learning experiences for each person and business. We need to continue to practice design thinking here, as we seek to provide valuable, relevant/up-to-date, and cradle-to-grave learning experiences.

The problem is, the pace of change has changed. Institutions of traditional higher education can’t keep up. And frankly, neither can most businesses out there.

I keep wondering if a next-generation learning platform — backed up by AI but delivered with human expertise — will play a role in the future. The platform would offer products and services from teams of individuals — and/or from communities of practices — who can provide customized, up-to-date training materials and the learning transfers that this article discusses.

But such a platform would have to offer socially-based learning experiences and opportunities for accountability. Specific learning goals and learning cohorts help keep one on track and moving forward.

 

States Crack Open the Door to Teachers Without College Degrees — from edweek.org by Madeline Will

Excerpt:

As states brace for the potential for starting the school year with thousands of unfilled teacher vacancies, several are easing certification requirements. But Arizona and Florida have gone one step further by lifting the requirement that teachers hold bachelor’s degrees in certain instances.

From DSC:
You can probably guess where I’m going to go with my comments here…and you’re right.

Teaching is extremely hard. To do it well, one has to have a lot of knowledge and practice. I, for one, would not want to be thrown into the deep end of teaching without a fair amount of background knowledge and experience. 

Even highly experienced teachers can’t do it all. Even they can’t provide a personalized, customized education for 25-30 students at a time — each and every day. Even they can’t address a spectrum of abilities and paces of learning. They are operating within a system whereby the train leaves at specific times and travels at a specific pace and then stops at specific times.

K-12 education in America is a like a quickly moving train that stops for no one.

I hope the experiment works and that it can diversity the profession — and be open to trying different things in different ways — as proponents assert. But I must admit that I’m a bit skeptical here.

I’d rather see the system change than try to make the existing system work with different people. I do like what Tonya Strozier said:

“If we want something different, we’ve got to do something different,” Strozier said.

Which reminds me of what Kelly Niccolls said out this piece from GettingSmart.com:

I’m hopeful for the rebuilding of what can be and for the doors that open for folks with skill sets that otherwise have been ignored or devalued. These skills are what we need now for these new times.

Kelly Niccolls


Also relevant/see:


 

The future of learning: Co-creating skills development strategies with employee preferences — from chieflearningofficer.com by Stacey Young Rivers
The limitations of developing just-in-time learning strategies perpetuate a paradigm where learning and development can appear ineffective for teams that have to move quickly and fail fast.

Excerpt:

I believe the future of learning will be a system where employees and learning teams co-create experiences. No longer will skills development programs be created in silos for employees to consume. Gone will be the days of conducting exhaustive needs analysis that can add layers of complexity for program delivery.

The limitations of developing just-in-time learning strategies perpetuate a paradigm where learning and development can appear ineffective for teams that have to move quickly and fail fast. Thinking about how to overcome these challenges conjures a solution similar to a metaverse, a persistent virtual world that is always open. One value proposition of a metaverse is that everyone can create their own adventure in an ecosystem supporting curiosity and experimentation, two areas undergirding skills development.

With this lens, understanding employee preferences for learning is the beginning of co-creating experiences, and one approach for how L&D leaders can begin to structure skills development programs. While conducting a study to engage employees in training, we uncovered new insights into where corporate L&D is headed in the future.

Also relevant here, see:

Workplace Learning: Still a Mess — from eliterate.us by Michael Feldstein

Excerpt:

There’s a mantra these days that higher education needs to get better at listening to industry so they can better prepare students for work. And while there is definitely some truth to that, it assumes that “industry” knows what it needs its workers to know. Former HP CEO Lew Platt once famously said, “If only Hewlett Packard knew what Hewlett Packard knows, we’d be three times more productive.”

In other words, a lot of vital know-how is locked up in pockets within the organization. It doesn’t reach either the training folks or the HR folks. So how are either universities or EdTech professional development companies supposed to serve an invisible need?

It’s not that they don’t know how to learn or they don’t like to learn online. It’s because their experience tells them that their valuable time spent “learning” might not equate to actual skills development.


Addendum on 8/15/22:


 

It’s Time to Rethink the ‘One Teacher, One Classroom’ Model — from edweek.org by Irene Chen & Stephanie Banchero
How to build a happier and more effective teaching force

Excerpt:

Let’s address this crisis by reenvisioning the traditional school staffing model, which has not changed in generations. We need innovative, differentiated staffing that creatively utilizes educators and plays to their strengths. This means schools must deploy adults to work collaboratively in response to the needs of individual students, rather than asking one teacher to meet the needs of all students in one classroom. This approach can address children’s specific skills gaps, while also diversifying the workforce, retaining the most effective teachers, and extending great teaching.

 

Aurora Institute: Federal Policy Priorities and Recommendations 2022 — from aurora-institute.org

Introduction:

It is critically important for our country to reimagine education and focus on investing in our future, not our past. The current K-12 education system has not produced equitable outcomes for all students. We must change policies and invest in innovation to transform our education systems. Student-centered policies are needed for true systems change and innovations for equity. We must challenge frames and investments that perpetuate tinkering with the existing system, rather than reimagining it. The time is ripe to redesign education to align with future needs and purposes to achieve human flourishing.

To ensure all learners are prepared for life’s uncertainties, as well as a more knowledge-driven workforce and economy, we must restructure the education system to universally recognize anytime, anywhere learning. Many states and districts have taken steps to move in new and improved directions, but more work must be done to meet students where they are and accelerate them to successful futures and prosperity. We must question the fundamental purposes of our education system, align our goals to that purpose, and expand learning to anytime and anyplace, with greater opportunities for next generation learning.

Aurora Institute’s latest Federal Policy Priorities represent an equity-oriented and future-focused set of recommendations designed to ensure that the nation’s education system moves from its current state to a system capable of preparing all learners with the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve lifelong success.

 


From DSC:
I post this because I like the design thinking exhibited herein. I love the idea of greater collaboration between K-12, higher education, vocational training, and the workforce/workplace. We should consider eliminating — or at least building much better bridges between the — existing silos. These silos seem to be easier to put up than they are to take down.


 

 

7 Amazing Ways Technology Is Changing Higher Education for the Better — from innotechtoday.com by Emily Newton

Excerpt:

As society has stepped decidedly into the digital age, there’s been a lot of debate about how technology is changing higher education. Some people believe there are benefits of technology in education, while others are concerned about tech’s impact on learning and motivation. Technology in higher education can be a major distraction or an incredibly helpful resource.

Technology is only as good or as bad as what you do with it. In education, AI, coding, and media creation are tools that teachers can use to motivate their students and help them grasp new ideas. Keeping pace with everyday tech is important for modern students. Here are seven amazing ways technology is changing higher education for the better.

 

After an AI bot wrote a scientific paper on itself, the researcher behind the experiment says she hopes she didn’t open a ‘Pandora’s box’ — from insider.com by Hannah Getahun

Excerpt:

  • An artificial-intelligence algorithm called GPT-3 wrote an academic thesis on itself in two hours.
  • The researcher who directed the AI to write the paper submitted it to a journal with the bot’s consent.
  • “We just hope we didn’t open a Pandora’s box,” the researcher wrote in Scientific American.

AI Empowers Scalable Personalized Learning and Knowledge Sharing — from learningsolutionsmag.com by Markus Bernhardt

Excerpt:

AI aids in providing true personalization
Automation through AI is providing us with the tools necessary to deploy fully personalized digital learning, extremely fast and at scale. With the advent of this technology, we will see a revolution in digital training; in addition, I predict that the impact the digital piece will have on human-led efforts will lead to a further revolution of education, training, workshops, mentoring, and coaching.

How A.I. Could Help You Design Your Perfect Office (or Store) — from inc.com by Ben Sherry
Artificial intelligence may soon help fill the gap between your interior design skills and your imagination.

Excerpt:

Boom Interactive is one of several companies attempting to streamline the interior design process using automation. The Salt Lake City-based startup’s free app, Bubbles, which is scheduled to soft launch in the third quarter of 2022, uses artificial intelligence to read floor plans and create a “digital twin” of your real-life space, according to CEO and founder Timber Barker. Once a “twin” has been created, users have full freedom to customize the space by adding doors, erasing walls, and placing furniture.

The Increasing Role of Artificial Intelligence in Our Lives — from rdene915.com by Rachelle Dene Poth

Excerpt:

All of this recent information has made me even more curious about the role artificial intelligence will play over the next few months as we hopefully get back to more of a normal life experience and can engage in work and learning but also in leisure activities. What can we learn from the recent uptick in AI information and how can it help us in the future?

Optical illusions could help us build the next generation of AI — from digitaltrends.com by Luke Dormehl

 

How to Use Backward Chaining to Differentiate Instruction — from cultofpedagogy.com Jennifer Gonzalez

Excerpt:

Backward chaining is a specific kind of scaffolding that has the student begin a task closer to the end, rather than starting it from the beginning. Where the starting point is depends on the student’s particular needs. “There’s no telling where the gum in the straw might be for somebody getting stuck doing something,” Meehan explains. So finding it will require assessment and experimentation.

For example, if you are teaching a child how to brush their teeth, and that child doesn’t quite have the fine motor skills to put the toothpaste on the brush, you’d do that step for them and have them start with the brushing itself. Eventually, as they build confidence with brushing, you’d have them move backward and add on the skill of toothpaste application.

 

The 2022 L&D Global Sentiment Survey — from donaldtaylor.co.uk by Donald Taylor

Excerpt:

This year’s L&D Global Sentiment Survey, the ninth, shows L&D at a turning point, as the result of two forces. One is the demands of organisations, as they emerge from the pandemic, for more training delivery, very often with unchanged or reduced resources for L&D. The other is the need to deal with the emergency measures put in place in 2020 to deal with the immediate impact of COVID-19.

This sense of practitioners being under pressure is amply illustrated by responses to the free text question ‘What is your biggest L&D challenge in 2022?’ 40% of respondents answered, with the answers painting a picture of practitioners being asked to do more, in difficult circumstances, to support the learning of overworked employees and uninterested employers.

It is tempting to see this as a return to business-as-usual for L&D. Hasn‘t it always been the case that the department needed to fight for the attention of both executives and employees? Behind this undeniable reality, however, there are definite signs of longer-term trends emerging.


 


 

New Pathways: Experiencing Success In What’s Next — from Getting Smart

Excerpt:

Some of you were able to attend our official kick-off event yesterday (on 6/21/22), but for those who weren’t able to make it we wanted to let you know that our new campaign, New Pathways, has officially begun!. Over the next few years, and in partnership with ASA, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Stand Together and the Walton Foundation, we will be dedicated to tracking innovations in the following six pillars:

  1. Unbundled Learning
  2. Credentialed Learning
  3. Accelerated Pathways
  4. New Learning Models
  5. Support & Guidance
  6. Policies & Systems
We believe that when combined, these pillars enable learners to find success in what’s next in their professional lives, their personal lives and in their communities.

 

 


 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian