Some example components of a learning ecosystem [Christian]

A learning ecosystem is composed of people, tools, technologies, content, processes, culture, strategies, and any other resource that helps one learn. Learning ecosystems can be at an individual level as well as at an organizational level.

Some example components:

  • Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) such as faculty, staff, teachers, trainers, parents, coaches, directors, and others
  • Fellow employees
  • L&D/Training professionals
  • Managers
  • Instructional Designers
  • Librarians
  • Consultants
  • Types of learning
    • Active learning
    • Adult learning
    • PreK-12 education
    • Training/corporate learning
    • Vocational learning
    • Experiential learning
    • Competency-based learning
    • Self-directed learning (i.e., heutagogy)
    • Mobile learning
    • Online learning
    • Face-to-face-based learning
    • Hybrid/blended learning
    • Hyflex-based learning
    • Game-based learning
    • XR-based learning (AR, MR, and VR)
    • Informal learning
    • Formal learning
    • Lifelong learning
    • Microlearning
    • Personalized/customized learning
    • Play-based learning
  • Cloud-based learning apps
  • Coaching & mentoring
  • Peer feedback
  • Job aids/performance tools and other on-demand content
  • Websites
  • Conferences
  • Professional development
  • Professional organizations
  • Social networking
  • Social media – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook/Meta, other
  • Communities of practice
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) — including ChatGPT, learning agents, learner profiles, 
  • LMS/CMS/Learning Experience Platforms
  • Tutorials
  • Videos — including on YouTube, Vimeo, other
  • Job-aids
  • E-learning-based resources
  • Books, digital textbooks, journals, and manuals
  • Enterprise social networks/tools
  • RSS feeds and blogging
  • Podcasts/vodcasts
  • Videoconferencing/audio-conferencing/virtual meetings
  • Capturing and sharing content
  • Tagging/rating/curating content
  • Decision support tools
  • Getting feedback
  • Webinars
  • In-person workshops
  • Discussion boards/forums
  • Chat/IM
  • VOIP
  • Online-based resources (periodicals, journals, magazines, newspapers, and others)
  • Learning spaces
  • Learning hubs
  • Learning preferences
  • Learning theories
  • Microschools
  • MOOCs
  • Open courseware
  • Portals
  • Wikis
  • Wikipedia
  • Slideshare
  • TED talks
  • …and many more components.

These people, tools, technologies, etc. are constantly morphing — as well as coming and going in and out of our lives.

 

 

Employment for formerly incarcerated Americans poised to transform an industry — from standtogether.org

Excerpt:

Jason Wang’s worst moment came in his home driveway at age 15. While his mother watched in shock, he was arrested for aggravated robbery and began a four-year journey through the California prison system.

Jason had been on a path to prison his entire life: born into poverty, raised by an abusive father, and groomed by a gang. His arrest put the final nail in place to seal himself into a cycle of prison, recidivism, poverty, and hopelessness that defines generations of American families.

But Jason’s story didn’t end in a downward spiral. Today, Jason is the head of a pioneering nonprofit called FreeWorld. His organization lifts people who have been in prison into successful careers and gives them the stabilizing support systems to experience healthy families and fulfilling work. FreeWorld is a model for reducing recidivism, improving public safety, and progressing towards a better future.

Employment for formerly incarcerated Americans poised to transform an industry

“We now serve 1,400 people all across the nation. We have a less than 2% recidivism rate and our graduates are now taking care of their families. They’re eliminating all of their debt, they’re tax-paying citizens, and we’re saving the state and federal government millions of dollars in re-incarceration costs while keeping our communities safe.”

 

From DSC:
For those who dog the “doomsayers” of higher ed…

  • You need to realize many “doomsayers” are trying to get traditional institutions of higher education to change, experiment, lower their price tags, collaborate with K12 and/or with the corporate/vocational realms, and to innovate
  • While many of those same institutions haven’t closed (at least not yet), there are many examples of budget cuts, downsizing, layoffs, early retirements, etc.
  • Many of those same institutions are not the same as they were 20-30 years ago — not even close. This is becoming especially true for liberal arts colleges.

Here’s one example that made me post this reflection:

Why some rural universities are dropping dozens of programs — from npr.org by Ason Fuller, Lee Hale, and Sarah McCammon

NPR’s Sarah McCammon talks with Hechinger Report Author Jon Marcus about the financial woes of rural universities and why some are dropping dozens of programs.

Excerpt:

Many colleges and universities in rural America are slashing budgets as enrollment numbers continue to dwindle. And often, the first things to be cut are humanities programs like history and English. It’s forcing some students to consider transferring to other schools or leaving higher education altogether. Jon Marcus has been covering this erosion of funding at rural universities and its domino effects with The Hechinger Report, and he joins us now. Welcome to the program.

 

The talent needed to adopt mobile AR in industry — from chieflearningofficer.com by Yao Huang Ph.D.

Excerpt:

Therefore, when adopting mobile AR to improve job performance, L&D professionals need to shift their mindset from offering training with AR alone to offering performance support with AR in the middle of the workflow.

The learning director from a supply chain industry pointed out that “70 percent of the information needed to build performance support systems already exists. The problem is it is all over the place and is available on different systems.”

It is the learning and development professional’s job to design a solution with the capability of the technology and present it in a way that most benefits the end users.

All participants revealed that mobile AR adoption in L&D is still new, but growing rapidly. L&D professionals face many opportunities and challenges. Understanding the benefits, challenges and opportunities of mobile AR used in the workplace is imperative.

A brief insert from DSC:
Augmented Reality (AR) is about to hit the mainstream in the next 1-3 years. It will connect the physical world with the digital world in powerful, helpful ways (and likely in negative ways as well). I think it will be far bigger and more commonly used than Virtual Reality (VR). (By the way, I’m also including Mixed Reality (MR) within the greater AR domain.) With Artificial Intelligence (AI) making strides in object recognition, AR could be huge.

Learning & Development groups should ask for funding soon — or develop proposals for future funding as the new hardware and software products mature — in order to upskill at least some members of their groups in the near future.

As within Teaching & Learning Centers within higher education, L&D groups need to practice what they preach — and be sure to train their own people as well.

 

Skills, Skills, Skills Now is the time. — from by Katelyn Donnelly and Eric Scott Lavin
Skills matter more than ever.

Excerpt:

For years, the importance of building demonstrable skills has been growing. The research is clear: skills acquired through work experience increase lifetime earnings. Yet, a massive shift in how learners, educators, and employers think about skills is just beginning.

Three subtrends set the stage for a massive inflection point in how we think about skills…

Learning will be the only constant throughout a career.  Success in the modern workforce is learning experiences to build skills, and the best way to build skills is to do real-world projects.

Below is a sampling of organizations and companies pushing the boundaries. Some of these are established players with mature businesses and tested business models.

Also relevant/see:

The Job Skills of 2023 — from Coursera

The job skills of 2023 -- from Coursera

Excerpt from the Executive Summary Section

  1. The fastest-growing skills are digital skills
    The top ten overall fastest-growing skills are digital skills. The ongoing evolution of technology means employers are regularly seeking new digital competencies from potential hires while also reskilling existing workers.
  2. The fastest-growing digital skills are changing more significantly than the fastest-growing human skills
    The top ten digital skills vary significantly from last year—only two have carried over year-on-year: data visualization and user experience. The human skills in demand remain steadier, suggesting an evergreen demand for skills like change management and communication.

The job skills of 2023 -- from Coursera

 

Making a Digital Window Wall from TVs — from theawesomer.com

Drew Builds Stuff has an office in the basement of his parents’ house. Because of its subterranean location, it doesn’t get much light. To brighten things up, he built a window wall out of three 75? 4K TVs, resulting in a 12-foot diagonal image. Since he can load up any video footage, he can pretend to be anywhere on Earth.

From DSC:
Perhaps some ideas here for learning spaces!

 

25 Transferable Skills Employers Look For in 2022 — from wikijob.co.uk by Nikki Dalea; with thanks to Ryan Mein for this resource

Excerpt:

Transferable skills combine competencies, knowledge and skills that you have gained from the workplace during your career path, from school, internships or elsewhere and take with you to your next employment or career change.

General skills that can be used in different employment roles come under the transferable skills banner; they can be used in various industries and in roles at other seniority levels.

These can be hard skills – technical knowledge like using specific software – and soft skills, the competencies and abilities that are harder to be taught, like active listening and communication.

Communication, problem solving and teamwork are all examples of transferable job skills because they can be used in any employed role, your education or vocational training.

 

Using Virtual Reality for Career Training — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Indiana have had success using virtual reality simulations to teach students about career opportunities.

a Woman with a virtual reality set on occupies one half of the screen. The other shows virtual tools that she is controlling.

Excerpts:

Virtual reality can help boost CTE programs and teach students about potential careers in fields they may know nothing about, says Lana Taylor from the Indiana Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

One of those other resources has been a partnership with Transfer VR to provide students access to headsets to participate in career simulations that can give them a tactile sense of what working in certain careers might be like.

“Not all kids are meant to go to college, not all kids want to do it,” Taylor says. “So it’s important to give them some exposure to different careers and workforce paths that maybe they hadn’t thought of before.” 


AI interviews in VR prepare students for real jobseeking — from inavateonthenet.net

 

Returning Joy to Teaching & Learning — from gettingsmart.com by Trace Pickering

Key Points

  • Too many school-based reform efforts continue to have educators implicitly standing with the standards against the students.
  • Pivot your perspective for a moment to the opposite.
  • What does a school where its educators stand with the students against the standards look like?

From DSC:
My hunch is that we need to cut — or significantly weaken the ties — between the state legislative bodies out there and our public school systems. We shouldn’t let people who know little to nothing about teaching and learning make decisions about how and what to teach students. Let those on the front lines — ie., the teachers and local school system leaders/staff — collaborate with the community on those items.

 

The Most STOP-Enabled Innovators of 2022 — from yassprize.org
MEET THE 32

Excerpt:

This year’s 32 semifinalists come from 23 different states and really prove that innovation is alive and well in education.  Micro schools, pods and hybrid learning environments almost unheard of two years ago are now being utilized by parents and educators across the nation.  Traditional public schools that operate more like a charter and charters that continue to flourish outside of traditional systems, private schools serving specialized populations that are often overlooked and leaders in the ed tech space who provide remarkable tools that can be integrated into any of the other full service models we are celebrating today.  Truly a remarkable group of visionaries that are transformational exemplars for all in this tumultuous 2022!

Also relevant/see:

 

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.

 

New Salary Survey to Showcase the Promise of Horticulture Careers | Industry Participation Needed!— from research.seedyourfuture.org; with thanks to Jazmin Albarran for this resource

Excerpt:

Alexandria, VA – September 1, 2022 – Seed Your Future (SYF) and the American Floral Endowment (AFE) are launching an in-depth survey that promises to shed light on the salary potential in horticulture jobs. The Industry Salary Survey for Horticulture Sectors is designed to expand the understanding of wages and benefits in horticultural sectors ranging from floriculture, public gardens, garden centers, and landscape to fruits and vegetables.

“As Seed Your Future continues to work to promote horticulture careers to students and their families, we often run into a roadblock — the perception that all horticulture and related sector jobs are low paying,” says Seed Your Future Executive Director, Jazmin Albarran. “While entry-level positions, can be low paying, there are many more horticulture and horticulture-related careers that have robust salaries. This survey will give us a better understanding of which positions are providing living wages and higher.”

Culinary school enrollment drops even as need soars at restaurants — from washingtonpost.com

 

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.

 

Teens Have Changed Their Higher Ed Plans — Survey Shows They May Never Go Back — from the74million.org by John Kristof & Colyn Ritter
Kristof & Ritter: COVID-19 forced HS students to re-evaluate their learning plans. If colleges want enrollment to recover, they must adapt

Excerpt:

Each of the nearly 4 million students who graduated high school this spring faces major decisions this summer. Do they want to pursue further education? If so, what do they want to study and where? How will they afford it? Will they begin working immediately? If so, are they moving out of their family home? Are they prepared for the hassles of adulthood?

According to a recent survey we at EdChoice conducted in conjunction with Morning Consult, teenagers are embracing their agency in an increasingly broad array of choices. What they told us might worry institutions of higher education — because the next generation appears less interested in the traditional college pipeline.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian