Why we need some humility about online learning – and about face-to-face teaching — from tonybates.ca by Tony Bates

Excerpt:

Those of us who have been fighting to get online learning accepted over the last 20-25 years have argued strongly the merits of online learning. We have argued that not only can it increase access, especially for older, working and lifelong learners, but it can also teach as well, and under certain circumstances, even better than face-to-face teaching. Covid-19 in particular showed the value of online learning, allowing students to continue their learning, even during a pandemic.

The limits of online learning
However, Covid-19 also taught us that online learning has its limits. When there was no access to face-to-face learning, we found that online learning was not able to help certain students. We also found that there are important aspects of face-to-face or campus based learning that cannot easily be replaced by online learning. Let’s look at some of these limitations.

We need to not only accept that both online learning and face-to-face teaching have equal value, but also to strive to understand what each does best. This will vary by subject matter, by types of students, and by instructors’ training and experience. We all have a lot to learn.

Also from Tony, see:

The future of online learning with Dr. Tony Bates

 

 

The Great Education Unbundling and How Learning Will be Rebundled — from gettingsmart.com by Nate McClennen, Tom Vander Ark

Key Points

  • The pandemic accelerated the great unbundling of learning – at least for those with access, agency, and advocates.
  • While unbundling will expand, how learning is rebundled will emerge as the next innovation — accessible, personalized, accountable and massive.

Excerpts:

By removing the barrier of full credit/school offered, schools become more robust in terms of richness of offerings as well as more personalized to meet the needs of students and communities.

The majority of unbundled experiences still fall back on the course level as the smallest granular level of choice. Following the lead of industry, unbundling in schools should mean a reduction in grain size so that skills are the level of unbundling rather than courses.

 

50 Sites & Apps for K-12 Education Games — from techlearning.com by Diana Restifo and David Kapuler
Game-based learning is a great way to integrate technology into the classroom while engaging kids with real learning.

Excerpt:

Game-based learning turns potentially tedious study time into an adventurous knowledge quest, complete with catchy soundtracks and digital rewards. It helps keep kids engaged with the subject matter and motivated to pursue greater expertise. Best of all, web- or app-based gameplay integrates easily into both online and in-person classes.

With the demise of Flash at the end of 2020, many favorite educational game sites went under. That’s why we decided to update our popular list below to include the latest and best sites and apps for K-12 education games. Many are free (or offer free basic accounts) and some provide progress tracking and analysis tools for teachers. All will help kids enjoy learning.

Also relevant/see the following resource and excerpt from Goldie Blumenstyk’s The Edge (from the Chronicle of Higher Education)

Creative Acts for Curious People: How to Think, Create, and Lead in Unconventional Ways — by Sarah Stein Greenberg

Excerpt:

Greenberg also makes a compelling case for the “playful and joyous” approaches the d.school has been championing, like the secret handshake or building several prototypes of an ideal chair using tools like cardboard, pipe cleaners, and chewing gum and toothpicks. After so many months of loss and social deprivation, she told me last week, “those elements are more important than ever.”

 

Education and Justice Departments Warn of Covid’s ‘Profound Toll’ on Student Mental Health — from chronicle.com by Sarah Brown

Excerpt:

As the pandemic drags on past 19 months in the United States, the Education Department and the Justice Department on Wednesday implored colleges and schools to be especially attentive to students who are showing signs of self-harm or suicide.

If institutions don’t adequately support students with mental-health diagnoses, as required by federal law, the departments warned that they could draw an investigation.

Suzanne B. Goldberg, a former senior administrator at Columbia University who’s now the Education Department’s acting assistant secretary for civil rights, wrote in a letter to educators that the Covid-19 era had “taken a profound toll” on students’ mental health.

 

 

3 Promising Opportunities to Teach Your Kids From Home — from medium.com by Eva Keiffenheim
These organizations innovate homeschooling.

Excerpt:

What follows are three organizations that rethink the way children learn from home.

 


Outschool is one of the three organizations highlighted in this article.


From DSC:
My wife teaches for Outschool and really enjoys it! She develops solid relationships with her students and is able to personalize things (as she deals with 1-3 students at a time). She doesn’t charge much at all, but she enjoys it.

 

Why inexperienced workers can’t get entry-level jobs — from bbc.com by Kate Morgan; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource

Excerpt:

As anyone who’s graduated from university or applied for their first job in recent years can attest to, something new – and alarming – has happened to entry-level jobs: they’ve disappeared.

A recent analysis of close to 4 million jobs posted on LinkedIn since late 2017 showed that 35% of postings for “entry-level” positions asked for years of prior relevant work experience. That requirement was even more common in certain industries. More than 60% of listings for entry-level software and IT Services jobs, for instance, required three or more years of experience. In short, it seems entry-level jobs aren’t for people just entering the workforce at all.

“Internships are now the entry level,” he says. “Most of the students in college are doing or trying to do internships, and now it’s increasingly common to do more than one.”

From DSC:
I love the idea of internships. (In my days in college, internships were reserved mainly for engineers; few of us had them back then.)

But with an eye on the cost of obtaining a degree, internships should be PAID internships. That is, interns should receive decent/proper compensation. I’m concerned that businesses will take advantage of free labor here (though that’s less likely given the tight labor market I suppose). But businesses have taken advantage of free labor in the past. “It takes a village…”

Also see:

 

 

3 Tips for Making Passion-Based Learning Work Successfully — from thejournal.com by Dennis Pierce

Excerpt:

Passion-based learning, a form of self-directed learning in which students pursue projects of interest to them, is becoming more popular in schools — and for good reason: Educators who have set aside time for passion-based learning have discovered that students become highly engaged and motivated when learning about topics that intrigue them, while taking their learning much deeper than they would in a traditional lesson.

Passion-based learning initiatives include Genius Hour and 20time, both inspired by Google’s program that lets employees spend 20% of their time on projects of their choosing to spark innovation.

Giving all students the option to explore their interests can be challenging on a large scale. To overcome this hurdle and make the process easier for teachers, Sonora Elementary uses a new peer-to-peer learning platform called Tract, which is a collection of video content organized into self-directed learning paths.

tract.app allows students to be creative and practice their storytelling and multimedia skills

From DSC:
I love the type of tool/app like Tract — as students can work on a variety of skills:

  • multimedia development
  • music
  • acting
  • writing/composing
  • digital storytelling
  • …and more

Such projects/tools can unleash a great deal of creativity, engagement, and positive energy. Learning becomes more relevant, enjoyable, and interesting when we can provide more choice and control to our students.

 
 

Talking About Forgetting with Students — from theeffortfuleducator.com by Blake Harvard

Excerpt:

Over the course of 24 hours, students are going to forget a lot of what we cover in class. So, when they show up to class and I provide a review, I shouldn’t expect them to necessarily do too well. The students’ mindset should not be ‘I should be getting all of this correct’, but ‘let me see what I remember and what I don’t so I better know what to review later’. But that’s not the mentality we approach most assessment opportunities with…they’re seen more as a ‘gotcha’ for students or, at least, students believe they’re supposed to remember all of this because it’s on the review.

We need to work to change this mindset. Let the students in on the ‘secret’ of memory and forgetting. Tell them forgetting is normal and expected. And the reason we’re doing these formative assessments is to simply indicate what you do remember and what you’ve forgotten so future studying can be more efficient and effective.

Also see:

 

A guide to overexcitabilities and gifted children — podcast from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Excerpt:

Polish psychologist/psychiatrist Kazimierz Dabrowski developed the theory of overexcitabilities. Gifted children are highly likely to be more intense than their typical peers. This increased awareness, sensitivity, and intensity can present challenges that make them difficult children to parent.

The Five Overexcitabilities
Dabrowski identified five different areas of overexcitabilities when he developed his Theory of Positive Disintegration. Not all gifted kids exhibit overexcitabilities, but they are more prevalent among the gifted population than any other.

 

From DSC:
For IDs, trainers, teachers, faculty members, & teams who are working on creating and delivering online-based learning……the following article is a good one for us to check out and reflect upon:

Most Online Courses Are a Waste of Your Time — Here’s How You Know — from medium.com by Eva Keiffenheim
A quick guide that helps you find the worthy ones.

Excerpts:

Not all learning investments are created equal. People who’ve excelled at their craft are often not the best teachers. Likewise, creators who write the best sales copy don’t offer the most value.

Here’s precisely how you can spot bad online courses so that you won’t waste your time and money.

 

Could AR and/or VR enable a massive 3D-based type of “Voicethread?” [Christian]

From DSC:
What if we could quickly submit items for a group to discuss, annotate, and respond to — using whichever media format is available/preferable for a person — like a massive 3D-based Voicethread? What if this type of discussion could be contributed to and accessed via Augmented Reality (AR) and/or via Virtual Reality (VR) types of devices?

It could be a new 3D format that a person could essentially blow all the way up into the size of a billboard. Think, “Honey, I shrunk the kids” type of stuff.  

Input devices might include:

  • Augmented Reality (AR) glasses
  • Virtual Reality (VR) headsets/glasses
  • Scanners
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Desktops and laptops
  • SmartTVs
  • Other types of input devices

For example, a person could take a picture of a document or something else and then save that image into a new file format that would be vector-based. I say a vector-based file format so that the image could be enlarged to the size of a billboard without losing any resolution (i.e., wouldn’t become grainy; the image would remain crystal clear regardless of how big the image is). I’m thinking here along the lines of “Honey, I shrunk the kids!”

Other thoughts here:

  • The files could be accessible online for attendees of classes or for audiences of presentations/webinars
  • The files could be displayed on the walls of learning/presentation spaces for marking them up
  • One could manipulate the 3D image if that person was using a virtual/immersive environment
  • Users should be able to annotate on those images and/or be able to save such annotations and notes

A question for phase II:
Could this concept also be used if virtual courts take off?

Hmmmm…just thinking out loud.

 

Holt (1923 – 85) homeschooling and unschooling — from donaldclarkplanb.blogspot.com by Donald Clark

Excerpt:

John Holt graduated from Yale in 1943 but signed up to be a submariner in WW2. On discharge, he eventually became a teacher, in various schools. This led to a disillusionment with the US education system so deep that he became an advocate for homeschooling and unschooling. This emerged from his belief that education was so deeply embedded, structurally and culturally, that it was unreformable. Neither did he believe that alternative schools were the answer. He retains his reputation as the founding father of homeschooling.

National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI)

Excerpt:

NHERI is the National Home Education Research Institute. NHERI conducts and collects research about homeschooling (home-based education, home schooling), and publishes the research journal called the Home School Researcher. The institute has hundreds of research works documented and catalogued on home schooling, many of which were done by NHERI. Simply put, NHERI specializes in homeschool research, facts, statistics, scholarly articles, and information.

For those interested in home-schooling -- NHERI

Homeschooling – home education or home-based education – has grown from nearly extinct in the United States in the 1970s to just over 2 million school-age students. NHERI focuses on homeschooling research, homeschool facts, homeschool fast facts, and in-depth scholarly articles.

The Home School Legal Defense Association

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian