Liked The evolution of the global education industry during the pandemic (codeactsineducation.wordpress.com)

Overall, the project has revealed a particular set of mutations in the global education industry during the Covid-19 pandemic. It has documented some ways in which privatization of education has expanded – through increasing participation of private actors in public education – and of how commercialization of education has developed through the creation, marketing and sale of education goods and services to schools (and parents) by external providers. We understand this as a particularly intense instantiation of fast policy involving multisector actors and networks, and as an accelerated realization of sociotechnical imaginaries of a highly digitalized future of education. The shifting landscape of commercialization and privatization in education we have surveyed will require sustained attention by educators, unions and researchers to ensure that all stakeholders, and not just private or commercial organizations, can participate democratically in imagining the post-Covid future of public education.

Bookmarked What Is Distance Learning For? by Keith Gessen (The New Yorker)

We have missed school very much during this time—have missed its warmth, its diversity, its sense of a common cause. That is what school is, I’ve come to understand. It is child care, yes, for parents who need to work. And it is some instruction in reading and writing and math. But, most of all, it is a shared experience—of play, and conflict, and even boredom—overseen by professionals who know what they’re doing.

Keith Gessen reflects on his experiences of learning online during the pandemic. Balancing with the stress and apathy, he discusses how he found equilibrium when he stopped trying to imitate the school schedule and cut things back.

We cut Raffi’s schoolwork down to the bare minimum—letters, numbers, name. We cut the Zooms to one per week. And the rest of the time we spent outside in the park: digging for worms, climbing rocks, building “pizzas” out of dirt.

This comes back to Will Richardson’s new normal of learning.

Bookmarked Four Levels of Real World Home Classrooms (wiobyrne.com)

Online learning has shown significant growth over the last decade as the Internet and other communication technologies are use to provide learners with the opportunity to gain new skills. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, online learning has become more of a reality in people’s lives.
As our classrooms and learning spaces shift from public buildings to our homes, it can be a challenge to consider how best to connect digitally. This post will share some of the tools and profiles involved in online learning to help you stay connected.

Ian O’Byrne maps out four levels of home classroom. Starting with a Chromebook and a phone then ending with a desktop and two 24 inch monitors side-by-side. Maybe Troy Hunt’s epic setup is level five?

This also builds on reflections from Doug Belshaw and Aaron Parecki about options associated with remote working. This really is something that I need to look into.

Bookmarked Blended Content Studio (emergencyonline.blog)

A week or so ago, a video I made for an internal course here went viral, and many people (a hundred or so?) tracked down my email and asked to be a part of it.

It occurred to me that both those emailing and many at WSU would benefit from having access to all the materials outside of the Canvas course shell. Not the quizzes and not the recorded sessions, but the videos and text in a meaningful sequence.

I am publishing this today with a couple hours that miraculously was not scheduled and there seems to be no current emergency. All the same, I do apologize that this will be put up in a basic form that wouldn’t meet course standards if I was teaching a public course. But I hope it’s useful.

The course consists of three core modules, structured around the Connect, Explain, Engage concept:

Mike Caulfield breaks down some of the pieces associated with the structure of blended learning and some consideration in regards to the creation of video content. I really like how he addresses the different options, as well as things to consider. I find reading these pieces useful in that it forces me each time to reconsider my thoughts.

Some things that stood out to me were the use of unlisted YouTube videos:

I use unlisted YouTube videos for a lot of my materials. It’s not secure — anyone with the link can watch it. But for things where I don’t care who sees it, it’s a good technique for sharing course video.

Nudging up the personal ‘you’:

whatever volume you normally do “you” — you need to nudge it up just a bit if you are recording a video of any length. There’s something that asynchronous video does where it shaves of a bit of enthusiasm, a bit of emotion. Something about it being recorded.

Or maybe it’s when we don’t have an energy on the other end of the conversation, when we don’t have that audience energy, we just don’t give it our all?

Online time is different to face-to-face time:

So maybe divide it by 1.6, or 1.5. Two hours and 40 minutes of class might be replaced by 1 hr and 36 minutes of explanatory video. If you add in questions or activities in between the videos — short quizzes, reflection, discussion prompts, it’s even less. You might end up with 50 minutes of video and 50 minutes of reflection/quizzing. And as long as the videos are introducing new material and concepts in a concise way, this holds whether the videos you’re asking students to watch were made by you or someone else.

Importance of signalling, segmenting and weeding:

We talked about signalling, where we use one channel of audiovisual communication to help students organize another. Segmenting, where we give students a chance to process information periodically. And weeding, where we remove extraneous material that might be confusing to students.

A couple additional things: speak quickly (speech on video seems slower than in person). Give a sense of immediacy, the sense you’re talking to the specific person listening at a time approaching now. And we talked about this a bit in terms of segmenting, but give the students opportunities for active learning. You don’t learn what you don’t integrate, and integration is linked to doing, not listening.

Bookmarked Librarians turned Google Forms into the unlikely platform for virtual escape rooms by Aliya Chaudhry ([object Object])

By going through the games, players develop their problem-solving and reading comprehension skills, Brooke Windsor, a librarian at Richmond Hill Public Library in Ontario says. She’s made several escape rooms, including ones themed around Star WarsMarvel superheroes, and Jurassic World. In addition to honing those skills, the problems and puzzles often involve geography or math.

“We still want to sneak in that learning, broccoli-in-the-brownie style,” says Windsor.

These activities provide a vehicle for teachers to get students interested in different subjects. Lockard says that her ancient Egypt-themed escape room is used in history classes, and her space-themed one is used by science teachers and Girl Scouts groups.

Aliya Chaudhry reports on how some librarians have turned to digital escape rooms. Cory Doctorow explains how:

The librarian-creators link these puzzles into online resources from their collections and the whole world, turning them into jumping-off points for self-directed research and learning.

 

Replied to 9 Ways Online Teaching Should be Different from Face-to-Face (cultofpedagogy.com)
  1. The first weeks of school should be devoted to community building and digital competency.
  2. Communication with parents needs to be more thorough, streamlined, and predictable.
  3. Community and connection need to be a priority for teachers, too.
  4. Teacher collaboration is even more important.
  5. “Face-to-face” time should be used for active learning.
  6. Content needs to be simplified and slowed down.
  7. Instructions should be easy to find, explicit, and multimodal.
  8. Traditional grading practices should take a backseat to feedback.
  9. Summative assessment should focus on creation.
Jennifer, I really enjoyed your interview with Melanie Kitchen. As both a parent and an educator, I think that that making the lines of communication between home and school is really important. One of the things that I found challenging was what information to pass back to the teacher in regards to my daughter.
Replied to

Thank you Ben for the podcast recommendation about online learning. Not sure exactly what a ‘Type 2’ Ben Collins course would look like. Maybe it is about bringing your own problem or something. Look forward to what you come up with.

You might be interested in Jon Dron and Terry Anderson’s book Teaching Crowds. I discussed it here.

Listened Will Mannon: Running an Online Course by David Perell from perell.com

SHOW NOTES:

1:50- David and Will’s focus on customer happiness. Type one and type two online courses. What online educators can learn from the Navy Seals.

13:45- How fear is a part of transformational experiences. What held Will back from starting writing. What music can teach us about great writing.

19:27- Why we fear achieving our vision. Write of Passage guilt. How Write of Passage prioritizes helping people make friends.

27:23- Striking the balance between creating community and letting it grow naturally. How interest groups allow students to create their own communities. The structure of Will’s job as course manager.

35:58- Forte Lab’s yearly planning process. The three phases of Will’s course management. How Will and David are thinking about data collection.

49:14- How Will and David met. How Will’s course feedback led to working with David. Why classical education theory doesn’t really apply to online education.

59:11- Why Will and David create “type 2” courses. Why David learns from his students. How Write of Passages integrates feedback.

1:07:20- What feedback David listens to. The future of Write of Passage. Why David tries to solve very specific problems using software.

1:12:10- How the Internet makes attention a commodity. Why WOP can thrive with zero cold traffic marketing. How the Internet will help make creators money in the future.

This was a really interesting conversation, especially in regards to Type 1 and Type 2 styles of learning. I was particularly intrigued by the discussion of online pedagogy and how this differs from a professor who has studied education for thirty years. I agree that context is important and that online learning is different to the classroom, however I am sceptical of ignoring someone else’s knowledge and experience.
Bookmarked The 7 elements of a good online course (The Conversation)

Research shows few differences in academic outcomes between online and face-to-face university courses. A professor who’s been teaching online for years offers advice on good online courses.

George Veletsianos reflects on his experience studying online learning to provide some advice about what to look for as many sectors stay online for the foreseeable future.

  • A good online course is informed by issues of equity and justice.
  • A good online course is interactive.
  • A good online course is engaging and challenging.
  • A good online course involves practice.
  • A good online course is effective.
  • A good online course includes an instructor who is visible and active, and who exhibits care, empathy and trust for students.
  • A good online course promotes student agency.

I particularly like Veletsianos’ closing remarks:

These qualities aren’t qualities of good online courses. They are qualities of good courses, period.

Although online learning is different, I feel that what is most interesting is the distance it provides and the opportunity to reassess. This is something that David White and Will Mannon have been discussing.

Liked How much ‘work’ should my online course be for me and my students? by dave dave (davecormier.com)

Those 6 total work hours are going to work out to 90 hours of work over an average term of 15 weeks. (please note, the Carnegie unit wants that to be 120 hours, but we’re going to ignore that). We have 90 hours to work with over the term for a course. How do you want to break that down? It’s going to be drastically different for different courses and styles. But whatever you’re teaching, keep trying to think about it from the perspective of what a student is actually going TO DO.

Simple break down (not quite 90, yes i know)

Watch 3 hours of video* – 5 hours
Read stuff – 20 hours
Listen to me talk – 15 hours
Talk with other students in a group – 15 hours
Write reflections about group chat – 7.5 hours
Respond to other people’s reflections – 7.5 hours
Work on a term paper – 10 hours
Do weekly quiz – 3 hours
Write take home mid-term – 3 hours
Write take home final – 3 hours

Liked Teacher Reflections: What Worked/What Didn’t with Distance Learning (dogtrax.edublogs.org)

Distance Learning Pros Cons
I facilitated a workshop with colleagues the other day on using Google Classroom with students, but first, I brought us all into a collaborative document to write and reflect together on the previous three months of unanticipated Distance Learning. I was curious to know t…

Liked Technology is not Pedagogy (Sean Michael Morris)

What happens when learning goes online? This is not a question technology can answer. It’s one we need to answer. Teachers, librarians, learning designers, students. Actually good online education comes not from the purchase of another platform, but out of dialogue, out of the will to empower everyone involved in teaching and learning to create together a digital learning that isn’t just instrumental, that isn’t just performative, but that’s authentic, meaningful, and just.

Liked 7 Strategies Designed to Increase Student Engagement in Synchronous Online Discussions Using Video Conferencing (catlintucker.com)

Caitlin Tucker with guidance on keeping it simple as you design online video discussions.

  • Provide students with an agenda and a list of discussion questions ahead of time;
  • Communicate your expectations for participation and behavior online;
  • Ask students to generate their own discussion questions;
  • Start every virtual conferencing session with an icebreaker question or a quick check-in;
  • Use the chat window strategically;
  • Host shorter sessions with fewer students;
  • Ask students to assess their participation online.
via Ian O’Byrne
Liked https://blog.williamferriter.com/2020/06/13/another-remote-learning-tip-use-real-world-events-to-engage-students/ (blog.williamferriter.com)

I’ve kept the products that students have to produce here simple. Venn diagrams, 3 – 2 – 1 lists, 25 word summaries and Claim – Evidence – Reasoning paragraphs push students to think at high levels without requiring them to have access to tons of materials or tons of time to show me what they know.

That matters, y’all.

It may be fine to ask students to produce complicated final products as demonstrations of mastery when they are in your classroom and have access to your support for seven hours every day, but when students are working on their own from home, we need to lean on “no-frills” tasks that encourage higher order thinking without adding time and resource demands onto our students.

Watched
In a webinar about the return to onsite learning in Victoria following the move learning online, Simon Breakspeare makes the call to build back better. The fear he raises is that if we do not act we could easily find ourselves snapping back into our previous defaults and habits, dishonoring the effort and adaption that occurred. The focus therefore should be on renewal, not just recovery. What is therefore needed is a three step approach: gather the data, joining the dots and then weaving in new plans and opportunities into existing habits and practices. The challenge faced is making sure that the initial data is collected now while it is still fresh. This might include a parent survey, educator feedback, student reflections and any positive deviance from the data associated with learning online. The next steps can be carried out over the coming months, the sense making and creating a project nest. From there pivot plans and changes to practice can be tested and refined.

Breakspeare’s breakdown of the process for change adds to Steven Kolber’s own call to build back better and Kath Murdoch’s search for gold. Although the Victoria government has started its own process, what stood out from Breakspeare’s presentation is that such change is best done locally using an agile methodology.

Replied to Rabbit Hole Learning (bryanmmathers.com)

“As it turns out, the answer is not that simple. You see, Sir Professor Isaac of Newton was so clever, he was born in BOTH 1642 and 1643…”
Taken from the current issue of the Visual Thinker. You can subscribe here.
You can use this image for free without changing it as long you include the at…

I really enjoyed this account Bryan. I have found the challenge associated with supporting my daughter intriguing. Sadly, coxing her down rabbit holes has been a bit of a challenge as I am not her ‘real teacher’. Although she has enjoyed diving into Minecraft which has been her supposed bonus passion project.
Replied to Lessons of remote learning (a macgirl in a pc world)

It’s been a very interesting Term 2. We’ve settled into remote learning (as much as we can) and have built some routines around it. The exhaustion hasn’t shifted and the hours req…

Thank you for sharing your experience while teaching online Gill. It has helped me appreciate the classroom side, especially as I call schools to help them with things.

There has been a lot said about building back better and taking on some of the learnings, however the one thing that concerns me is that we take on some of those time consuming habits without recognising the additional work involved.

Bookmarked Move to Online Learning: 12 Key Ideas by dave dave (davecormier.com)

I got asked by a long time colleague if I was willing to do a post of all the things that I’ve learned in the last eight weeks about moving online. Not ’emergency teaching’ but actual lessons about people moving to teaching with the internet. I’ve worked with over 100 faculty at my own institution this past few months, taking them through a 1 week intensive course. I’ve also been in constant contact with folks from around the world both through my interviews on http://oliah.ca and in endless backchannels and side chats. Here’s what I got.

Dave Cormier reflects upon the current crisis and his experiences associated with supporting online learning. In summary, he shares 12 ideas. This feels like a return to ideas discussed in the Rhizo MOOCS that content is actually people and community as curriculum. One point I particularly liked was the idea of ‘teacher presence’ and possibly writing a post correcting misconceptions.

You can easily write one post responding to all the posts on a given subject, highlighting themes and correcting misconceptions. Less duplication for you, and it still shows students that you’re involved.

Dave Cormier and Ashlyne O’Neil have also elaborated these ideas further in an online book that is designed to serve as a short course.

Bookmarked Mining for gold…what have we discovered? And what now? (kathmurdoch.com.au)

This week, students and teachers are beginning to return to school here in Australia.
return: “an act of coming or going back to a place or activity”
It’s a word I have been trying to avoid as I speak with my partner schools. Instead of thinking about it as a return to…let’s think about it…

Kath Murdoch reflects on some of the discoveries from the forced move online/offsite.  Some of her wonderings included:

  • What would happen if we offered learners the opportunity to create their timetables?
  • Can we team up to allow children to engage in independent inquiry (with one or two educators supporting them in the space) while others work with target groups across the day?
  • What if we met at the end of each day for a short, focussed reflection and thought about how we might adjust plans for tomorrow?
  • Can we build on our online experiences to use more ‘flipped’ models for home learning

Along with Riss Leung’s reflection, this provides a useful provocation for moving forward.

Personally speaking, it makes me wonder about some of the lengths that teachers and schools have gone to during the current pandemic and the danger of turning an exception into a habit. I agree that we need to ‘build back better‘ as Steven Kolber puts it, however we also need to identify what we take off the plate to sustain such change.

On another note, Murdoch speaks about the call to ‘go home’

I recall many years ago, listening to Allan Luke talk about how hard it can be to sustain change in schools. He described the ‘lure of home’ … the longing we have even unconsciously, to ‘go home’ to the safety and comfort of what we know. I can feel it in myself as I have ventured out into this new world of online workshops. There are days when I long for ‘home’ (which, ironically for me was NOT being at home!) and then other days when I am relishing the adventure, the discomfort and all I am learning.

This reminded me of what John Goh’s discussion of our tendency to go back to our ‘default’.

In Episode 7 of the TER Podcast on ‘Engagement’, John Goh spoke about the ‘default’ value that we all have as teachers. Formed during our training to become teachers, it lays the foundation for the way we teach. He suggested that the challenge is to make sure that we continually move away from that starting point.