Instructional Audio: 4 Benefits to Improving It — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
Ensuring every classroom has instructional audio capabilities helps all students hear what the teacher is saying.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Sound is a key component of education. If students can’t hear their instructor well, they’re clearly not going to focus or learn as much. That’s why more and more schools are investing in instructional audio systems, which are high-tech public address systems designed with classrooms, teachers, and all students in mind.

Terri Meier is director of education technology for Rio Rancho Public Schools in New Mexico where all new classrooms are being built with voice amplification systems in place and many existing classrooms are being retrofitted with similar systems. These systems are key for schools in their accessibility efforts and in providing quality instruction overall, she says.

And speaking of accessibility-related postings/items, also see:

 

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.

 

‘Spaces Matter’ — from insidehighered.com by Colleen Flaherty
Limited access to active learning spaces may disproportionately hurt historically excluded groups, and institutions should build more of these spaces in the name of equity, according to a new study. Where does higher ed stand on next-generation learning spaces?

An interactive lecture hall at Rutgers University at New Brunswick, surrounded by active learning spaces across the U.S.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

A new study is therefore concerning—it found that limited access to active learning classrooms forced students to self-sort based on their social networks or their attitudes toward learning. The authors warn that limited access to active learning spaces may create a marginalizing force that pushes women, in particular, out of the sciences.

The solution? Invest in active learning spaces.

From DSC:
The groups I worked in over the last 15 years created several active learning spaces, but the number of rooms was definitely limited due to the expenses involved. Students liked these spaces and the feedback from faculty members was positive as well. Some students often staked their claims in these rooms so that they could study together (this was especially true for those majoring in Engineering).

 

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?


 

From DSC:
I wanted to pass this along to the learning space designers out there in case it’s helpful to them.

“The sound absorbing Sola felt is made from 50% post-consumer recycled PET.”

Source


Acoustic Static Links lighting by LightArt — from dezeen.com

 

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

 

‘Accessibility is a journey’: A DEI expert on disability rights — from hrdive.com by Caroline Colvin
Employers can wait for a worker to request reasonable accommodation under the ADA, but Kelly Hermann asks: Why not be accommodating from the start?

Excerpt:

Often, employers jump to the obstacles that exist in physical spaces: nonexistent ramps for wheelchairs, manual doors that lack motion sensors, and the like. But the digital world presents challenges as well. Hermann and the U Phoenix accessibility team likes to “demystify” disability for campus members seeking their counsel, she said.

“Are you making those links descriptive and are you using keywords? Or are you just saying ‘click here’ and that’s your link?” Hermann asked. Like a sighted person, an individual with a disability can also scan a webpage for links with assistive technology, but this happens audibly, Hermann said, “They tell that tool to skip by link and this is what they hear: ‘Click here.’ ‘Click here.’ ‘Click here.’ ‘Click here.’ With four links on the page all hyperlinked with ‘click here,’ [they] don’t know where [they’re] going.”

 

What The Future Of Technology In The Workplace Means For Office Design And Operations — from workdesign.com by Mara Hauser

Excerpt:

Advances in technology continue to influence the workplace as corporate entities and coworking operators are confronted with modern challenges surrounding productivity and collaboration. We lead teams to execute intentional designs that reflect brand vision and produce lively, productive workspaces. With the growing demand from employees for workplace flexibility, these technological advancements must be reflected in both office design and business practices in order to add value and ultimately achieve operational excellence.

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Podcasting studio at FUSE Workspace in Houston, TX.

 

Airbnb’s design for employees to live and work anywhere — from news.airbnb.com; with thanks to Tom Barrett for this resource

Excerpt:

Airbnb is in the business of human connection above all else, and we believe that the most meaningful connections happen in person. Zoom is great for maintaining relationships, but it’s not the best way to deepen them. Additionally, some creative work and collaboration is best done when you’re in the same room. I’d like working at Airbnb to feel like you’re working at one of the most creative places on Earth, and this will only happen with some in-person collaboration time.

The right solution should combine the best of the digital world and the best of the physical world. It should have the efficiency of Zoom, while providing the meaningful human connection that only happens when people come together. We have a solution that we think combines the best of both worlds.

We’ve designed a way for you to live and work anywhere—while collaborating in a highly coordinated way, and experiencing the in-person connection that makes Airbnb special. Our design has five key features…

Now, a thought exercise on that item from Tom Barrett:

While you are there, extend the thought experiment and imagine the new policy for a school, college or university.

  1. You can work from home or the office
  2. You can move anywhere in the country you work in, and your compensation won’t change
  3. You have the flexibility to travel and work around the world
  4. We’ll meet up regularly for team gatherings, off-sites, and social events
  5. We’ll continue to work in a highly coordinated way

From DSC:
As a reflection on this thought experiment, this graphic comes to my mind again. Teachers, professors, trainers, staff, and students can be anywhere in the world:

Learning from the living class room

 

 

Technology for HyFlex Classrooms: Major Considerations — from hyflexlearning.org by Brian Beatty

Excerpts:

This post describes four aspects of classroom technology that are very important to address when developing a HyFlex approach that can be effective at scale.

The classroom technology needs can be organized into four areas:

  1. two-way audio stream (connection),
  2. incoming video presentation of remote learners
  3. outgoing video presentation of classroom and learners
  4. interactive technology to support interaction, engagement, and formative assessment

Also re: hyflex teaching — where some students are physically present and some are coming into the class remotely– see:

Part I – Motivating Learners by Building Efficacy (Confidence) through Scaffolding and Support— from hyflexlearning.org by Jeanne Samuel

Excerpts:

HyFlex delivery may be new to many learners. Therefore, it is important to provide them with the supports they need to be successful. Regardless of the delivery mode, learners are motivated by success and by instructor presence. In part one of this topic post, we will write about how instructor support and feedback (a form of guidance) can motivate learners and build learner confidence.

PART II- Feedback for Improving Student Success and Satisfaction — from hyflexlearning.org by Jeanne Samuel

Excerpt:

In part 1 of this post, we focused on how feedback and support promote learner confidence. Learner confidence can lead to improved learner retention, progression, and success regardless of the class delivery mode. In part 2, we focus on feedback strategies.

 

EDUCAUSE QuickPoll Results: Learning Spaces Transformation — from er.educause.edu by Jenay Robert

Excerpts:

With an eye toward the future, IT units can help institutions create inclusive, flexible spaces that support a variety of learning activities and modalities. Appropriate technology infrastructure, strategic support from institutional leaders, and financial resources are among the most essential elements for transforming learning spaces.

.

Figure 1. Types of Learning Spaces Being Transformedbar graph showing percentage of respondents who said each type of learning space was being transformed. Small classrooms 52%; Spaces for remote classes 52%; Libraries 50%; Lecture halls 44%; Study spaces 44%; Experimental learning spaces 42%; Discipline-specific labs 39%; Gathering spaces; 36%; Residential spaces 20%; Hallways and foyers 16%.

 

We need to use more tools — that go beyond screen sharing — where we can collaborate regardless of where we’re at. [Christian]

From DSC:
Seeing the functionality in Freehand — it makes me once again think that we need to use more tools where faculty/staff/students can collaborate with each other REGARDLESS of where they’re coming in to partake in a learning experience (i.e., remotely or physically/locally). This is also true for trainers and employees, teachers and students, as well as in virtual tutoring types of situations. We need tools that offer functionalities that go beyond screen sharing in order to collaborate, design, present, discuss, and create things.  (more…)

 

The Digital versus Brick-and-Mortar Balancing Game — from educause.edu

Excerpt:

The blended campus required after two years of upheaval calls for out-of-the box thinking about what to keep and what to discard from both digital and physical work and learning spaces. Technology leaders face critical decisions regarding workplace culture, physical classroom design, and traditional campus spaces.

Making the move from fully in-person instruction to a learning environment that also accommodates remote students (and remote faculty) requires rethinking and redesigning physical learning spaces to provide an equitable experience for all learners. Technology leaders will need to overcome sizable obstacles to create inclusive classrooms that enable faculty and students to reap the many benefits of hybrid [hyflex] learning.

Also see some of the other most urgent issues in higher education here:

The EDUCAUSE showcase series spotlights the most urgent issues in higher education.

 

Now we just need a “Likewise TV” for learning-related resources! [Christian]

Likewise TV Brings Curation to Streaming — from lifewire.com by Cesar Aroldo-Cadenas
And it’s available on iOS, Android, and some smart TVs

All your streaming services in one place. One search. One watchlist. Socially powered recommendations.

Entertainment startup Likewise has launched a new recommendations hub that pulls from all the different streaming platforms to give you personalized picks.

Likewise TV is a streaming hub powered by machine learning, people from the Likewise community, and other streaming services. The service aims to do away with mindlessly scrolling through a menu, looking for something to watch, or jumping from one app to another by providing a single location for recommendations.

Note that Likewise TV is purely an aggregator.


Also see:

Likewise TV -- All your streaming services in one place. One search. One watchlist. Socially powered recommendations.

 


From DSC:
Now we need this type of AI-based recommendation engine, aggregator, and service for learning-related resources!

I realize that we have a long ways to go here — as a friend/former colleague of mine just reminded me that these recommendation engines often miss the mark. I’m just hoping that a recommendation engine like this could ingest our cloud-based learner profiles and our current goals and then present some promising learning-related possibilities for us. Especially if the following graphic is or will be the case in the future:


Learning from the living class room


Also relevant/see:

From DSC:
Some interesting/noteworthy features:

  • “The 32- inch display has Wi-Fi capabilities to supports multiple streaming services, can stream smartphone content, and comes with a removable SlimFit Cam.”
  • The M8 has Wi-Fi connectivity for its native streaming apps so you won’t have to connect to a computer to watch something on Netflix. And its Far Field Voice mic can be used w/ the Always On feature to control devices like Amazon Alexa with your voice, even if the monitor is off.
  • “You can also connect devices to the monitor via the SmartThings Hub, which can be tracked with the official SmartThings app.”

I wonder how what we call the TV (or television) will continue to morph in the future.


Addendum on 3/31/22 from DSC:
Perhaps people will co-create their learning playlists…as is now possible with Spotify’s “Blend” feature:

Today’s Blend update allows you to share your personal Spotify playlists with your entire group chat—up to 10 users. You can manually invite these friends and family members to join you from in the app, then Spotify will create a playlist for you all to listen to using a mixture of everyone’s music preferences. Spotify will also create a special share card that everyone in the group can use to save and share the created playlist in the future.


 

Picturesof learning spaces at KU Leuven, Imperial College London, University of Amsterdam, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Finland

Clockwise from top left (KU Leuven, Imperial College London, University of Amsterdam,
Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Finland

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A virtual tour of four advanced hybrid learning spaces — from zacwoolfitt.blogspot.com by Zac Woolfitt

Excerpt:

What are the next developments in the Hybrid Virtual Classroom? What kind of spaces might we be teaching in soon?

On March 16th we glimpsed the future. Colleagues from 4 higher education institutes gave virtual tours of their technology rich learning spaces in Belgium, England, Finland and the Netherlands. Media and Learning arranged the session [i]. (Disclosure: Zac is on their advisory panel of Media and Learning).

From DSC:
Here in the U.S., some would promote the use of the word “Hyflex” here instead of hybrid or blended learning — as it sounds like they are simultaneously teaching students in a physical classroom along with online-based learners.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian