Just another new Academic Year? Think again! — from The Educationalist by Alexandra Mihai

Excerpt:

Welcome to a new issue of “The Educationalist”! For many of us the new Academic Year just started or is about to start. These are busy times: catching up with our academic (and administrative) duties, reconnecting with colleagues and with students. It’s all too easy to fall back into an old pattern and go into the classroom with the same set of assumptions and expectations from previous years. That’s why I would like to call for a pause. A moment to collect our thoughts and acknowledge where we are. Think of what’s important. I believe this exercise is not a luxury; it is extremely necessary right now as it allows us to take stock of the current situation and decide on our next steps. Intentionally and not “by default”.

But how about letting go of the idea of “normal”? How about we take a moment to meaningfully reflect on our experience in the past three years in a try to see how it shaped the way we teach, learn, work, the way we interact with each other and with our environment?

 

Apple just quietly gave us the golden key to unlock the Metaverse — from medium.com by Klas Holmlund; with thanks to Ori Inbar out on Twitter for this resource

Excerpt:

But the ‘Oh wow’ moment came when I pointed the app at a window. Or a door. Because with a short pause, a correctly placed 3D model of the window snapped in place. Same with a door. But the door could be opened or closed. RoomPlan did not care. It understands a door. It understands a chair. It understands a cabinet. And when it sees any of these things, it places a model of them, with the same dimensions, in the model.

Oh, the places you will go!
OK, so what will this mean to Metaverse building? Why is this a big deal? Well, to someone who is not a 3D modeler, it is hard to overstate what amount of work has to go into generating useable geometry. The key word, here, being useable. To be able to move around, exist in a VR space it has to be optimized. You’re not going to have a fun party if your dinner guests fall through a hole in reality. This technology will let you create a fully digital twin of any space you are in in the space of time it takes you to look around.

In a future Apple VR or AR headset, this technology will obviuosly be built in. You will build a VR capable digital twin of any space you are in just by wearing the headset. All of this is optimized.

Also with thanks to Ori Inbar:


Somewhat relevant/see:

“The COVID-19 pandemic spurred us to think creatively about how we can train the next generation of electrical construction workers in a scalable and cost-effective way,” said Beau Pollock, president and CEO of TRIO Electric. “Finding electrical instructors is difficult and time-consuming, and training requires us to use the same materials that technicians use on the job. The virtual simulations not only offer learners real-world experience and hands-on practice before they go into the field, they also help us to conserve resources in the process.”


 

New Directory of Innovative School Models Aims to Encourage Experimentation — from edsurge.com by Daniel Mollenkamp

Excerpt:

A new online library called the “Innovative Models Exchange,” unveiled Monday, hopes to give educators an easy place to quickly consider some possibilities. The exchange—developed by the nonprofit Transcend Education with funding from the Gates Foundation—allows schools to search through a database of “innovative” models that Transcend says are ready to be adopted by schools.

The nonprofit hopes that the database will shake up the education system.

 

Arts Integration and STEAM Resources for K-12 Educators

Unlock the power of creativity -- arts integration and STEAM resources for K-12 educators

Official Trailer (Art Works for Teachers)

Excerpt:

Introducing the Art Works for Teacher Podcast Trailer! Get a quick sneak peek at what you can expect from this new show, launching September 22, 2022. New episodes will be available each Thursday on your favorite podcast platform, on YouTube, and right here on our site.


From DSC:
Along these lines, also see WEST MICHIGAN CENTER FOR ARTS + TECHNOLOGY. Such a learning environment builds skills and creativity while supercharging participation and engagement!

 

 

The next chapter for Learning on YouTube — from blog.youtube by Jonathan Katzman

Next year, qualified creators can begin offering free or paid Courses to provide in-depth, structured learning experiences for viewers. Viewers who choose to buy a Course can watch the video ad-free and play it in the background.

…to help learners apply what they’ve learned, we’re introducing Quizzes — a new way for creators to help viewers test their knowledge.”

.

 

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?
.

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

.

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.

 

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.

 

Augmented Books Are On The Way According To Researchers — from vrscout.com by Kyle Melnick

Excerpt:

Imagine this. You’re several chapters into a captivating novel when a character from an earlier book makes a surprise appearance. You swipe your finger across their name on the page at which point their entire backstory is displayed on a nearby smartphone, allowing you to refresh your memory before moving forward.

This may sound like science fiction, but researchers at the University of Surrey in England say that the technology described above is already here in the form of “a-books” (augmented reality books).

The potential use-cases for such a technology are virtually endless. As previously mentioned, a-books could be used to deliver character details and plot points for a variety of fictional works. The same technology could also be applied to textbooks, allowing students to display helpful information on their smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs with the swipe of a finger.

From DSC:

  • How might instructional designers use this capability?
  • How about those in theatre/drama?
  • Educational gaming?
  • Digital storytelling?
  • Interaction design?
  • Interface design?
  • User experience design?

Also 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:


 

The Metaverse Is Not a Place — from oreilly.com by Tim O’Reilly
It’s a communications medium.

Excerpt:

Foundations of the metaverse
You can continue this exercise by thinking about the metaverse as the combination of multiple technology trend vectors progressing at different speeds and coming from different directions, and pushing the overall vector forward (or backward) accordingly. No new technology is the product of a single vector.

So rather than settling on just “the metaverse is a communications medium,” think about the various technology vectors besides real-time communications that are coming together in the current moment. What news from the future might we be looking for?

  • Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality
  • Social media
  • Gaming
  • AI
  • Cryptocurrencies and “Web3”
  • Identity

#metaverse #AI #communications #gaming #socialmedia #cryptocurrencies #Web3 #identity #bots #XR #VR #emergingtechnologies

 

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

 

Coding Isn’t a Necessary Leadership Skill — But Digital Literacy Is — from hbr.org by Sophia Matveeva

Summary (emphasis DSC):

While most leaders now know that tech is a vital part of business, many are wondering what they really need to know about technology to succeed in the digital age. Coding bootcamps may appeal to some, but for many leaders, learning to code is simply not the best investment. It takes a long time to become a proficient coder, and it still doesn’t give you a holistic overview of how digital technologies get made. The good news is that most leaders don’t need to learn to code. Instead, they need to learn how to work with people who code. This means becoming a digital collaborator and learning how to work with developers, data scientists, user experience designers, and product managers — not completely retraining. The author presents four ways for non-technical leaders to become digital collaborators.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian