Learning Technologies Free Summer Forum 2020 July 13-17

REGISTRATION IS OPEN
Learning Technologies Summer Forum 2020
A week of online learning collaboration, 13 – 17 July 2020

This year the 2020 Learning Technologies Summer Forum (#LTSF20) will take place online, looking at some of the key topics we examined at February’s conference. Once again, the Summer event is an opportunity to interact, experiment and try some new things together.

The Summer Forum has always focused on the practical and on sharing experience, and we’ve never been afraid to try out new things. This year, as well as going entirely online, we’re experimenting with the online conference format, providing a main structure around which other things will happen, including discussions on Twitter, the chance to catch up with speakers after their talks, and more.

We have great speakers and facilitators and over 20 sessions during the week covering all aspects of workplace learning. But the great content is only half the story. The L&D community is all about sharing, and we know that we’ll have great input from – and interaction with – everyone who attends.  Continue reading

AASA Guidelines for Reopening Schools 6/19/20

June 19, 2020 – AASA, The School Superintendents Association, the nation’s premier organization representing and supporting superintendents and other public school district leaders, is pleased to release today a consensus-driven set of guidelines for reopening schools effectively in the COVID-19 environment.

The AASA COVID-19 Recovery Task Force Guidelines for Reopening Schools: An Opportunity to Transform Public Education is comprised of recommendations by superintendents throughout the U.S. who shared their leadership experiences and insights throughout the pandemic.

“Perhaps the most striking outcome of the task force discussions is a universal commitment to transform the crisis we are facing into the opportunity to transform public education as we know it,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “We will continue to update this report as changes occur at federal, state and local levels. As part of this process, we invite superintendents and staff to share their success stories and updates on emerging issues confronting them in this process of reopening and transforming public education.”  Continue reading

My Observatory Odyssey – Part 5

Harry Keller 80By Harry Keller
Former ETCJ Science Editor
& President of SmartScience

Let me tell you about over-excavation in case you have never heard of it before.

May 10, 8:36 AM.  With a building permit approved and issued, we could move ahead with ancillary structures, which meant our 10’x10′ observatory. Here’s how we arranged everything. We paid Tuff Shed for a 10’x10′ standard shed without a roof attached. Because of the extra charge for the awkward location, it cost about the same as it would have with the roof.

The observatory foundation.

Continue reading

Latest Cloud Technology for Public Sector: Free Sessions 6/30/20

AWS (Amazon Web Services) Public Sector Online Summit
Deepen your cloud knowledge online
Cloud Tech AWS 2

June 30, a day of complimentary, virtual learning from the comfort of your home. Learn about the latest cloud technology and build your skills in over 25 sessions. Dive into tech demos and chat live with local AWS experts. Whether you’re a beginner or a superuser – sign up to learn something new.

Cloud Tech AWS 3

94% of Schools Nationwide Not Sure When They Will Reopen

AASA Survey: No Timetable Yet Regarding When Schools Will Reopen: More Than Half of Districts Lack Adequate Internet Access

June 16, 2020 – An overwhelming majority (94%) of superintendents nationwide indicate they are not ready to announce when their schools will reopen or resume in-person instruction, according to a survey released today by AASA, The School Superintendents Association.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, AASA issued a nationwide coronavirus school response survey to provide federal, state and local policy makers with data about how districts are adapting and responding to the virus, about prolonged closings, and about the resources and information superintendents are relying on. The results being released today are from the second iteration of this survey, which collected more than 500 responses from 48 states.  Continue reading

My Life in LA County During COVID-19: May 29

Harry Keller 80By Harry Keller
Former ETCJ Science Editor
& President of SmartScience

I do feel some trepidation about these visits to my doctor and dentist.

May 29, 2020 at 7:59 AM. It may not seem like much to most people, but big changes are underway here in the South Bay of Southern California. The beaches are open. You can walk or run on the sand without worrying about being hit with a $1,000 fine. You are not allowed to picnic or sunbathe but can even go in the water to swim or surf.

I am being a coward about this new opening and staying at home. My wife and I are in the age group that experiences 50% mortality if infected. While I think that this mortality is mostly due to underlying conditions accumulated during life, I would rather not take chances. I am not interested in becoming sick even if I survive and am even more concerned about my wife. Perhaps, I am just succumbing to the concept that others are more likely to die than am I, but I would be devastated were she to sicken and die because I did not take adequate precautions.

I now have four masks for $25 and from a local business. They are cloth, comfortable, and washable.

We have some new cloth masks now. Finally, someone started making them affordable. Our disposable masks may now be disposed of. What is affordable? That will vary. For me, $25 per mask was way too much. I recoiled from paying $100 for four masks. I now have four masks for $25 and from a local business. They are cloth, comfortable, and washable. We have two to wear while two can be in the wash. I just wish that I could have had a color other than black.  Continue reading

EDTECH WEEK 2020: June 1-4 Online & Free

EDTECH WEEK 2020 convenes thousands of innovators, educators, and entrepreneurs to address challenges of COVID-19 for PreK-12 and higher education

Speakers include Angela Duckworth, Wendy Kopp, Reshma Saujani, and many more

WhatEDTECH WEEK 2020 is a series of remote learning and networking events for the education and workforce learning community.
Why: To address urgent questions facing our community due to the striking impact of COVID-19, including:
  • How can schools reopen safely?
  • What role do parents play as we transition to a new normal?
  • How can we support the emotional needs of students and teachers?
  • Will this moment allow us to create a more equitable education system?
  • What is the future of higher education?
  • What new jobs will arise and how will we retool our workforce?
  • How will new innovations find funding and resources?
  • And much more!
Who: Produced by Catalyst @ Penn GSE + StartEd, EDTECH WEEK 2020 brings together educators, innovators, researchers, thought leaders, students, and entrepreneurs.
When/Where: Monday, June 1 through Thursday, June 4, 2020. Programming will be offered from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT. Visit edtechweek.com to register for free.

AASA Resolution to Reopen Nation’s Schools (5/29/20)

 AASA, The School Superintendents Association, the nation’s premier organization representing and supporting superintendents and other public school district leaders, is pleased to release a resolution to support a safe, healthy and district-specific reopening process that was informed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Today’s announcement comes following the creation of the AASA COVID-19 Recovery Task Force, comprised of superintendents from across the country charged with recommending solutions for our nation’s more than 13,000 school districts on how schools will reopen and what they will look like in the aftermath of the pandemic.  Continue reading

My Observatory Odyssey – Part 4

Harry Keller 80By Harry Keller
Former ETCJ Science Editor
& President of SmartScience

We are stopped cold by someone who reviews septic systems.

May 8, 2020, 9:33 AM. I first had to have a topological survey done. This is not an official survey but is much more precise. Amazing! The issues arise from legal considerations. I cannot even begin to explain what a monumental mental task it is to fit a house into a hillside and meet all of the county’s requirements. So, I won’t bore you with slopes and runoff and the rest.

I have a structural engineer, a rarity in the high desert, who designed the first foundation. We changed things so much that we had to have another one. Our foundation was now projected to be ten feet high due to the slope of the hill in which we planned to site our house. Our structural engineer looked at the as-yet-unapproved grading plan and told us that a seventeen-foot foundation was necessary. That’s huge! The cost of the foundation just went ballistic. The retaining wall portion had to be twelve inches thick. The footings are immense. We now have to walk up seventeen feet of stairs instead of eight feet, and we have to pay for those extra steps.  Continue reading

House Passes HEROES Act: Includes Billions for Schools and Colleges

WASHINGTON, 15 May 2020 — The House of Representatives today passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act or “HEROES Act.” The National Education Association — which represents more than 3 million educators working in U.S. public schools colleges and universities — has been tirelessly pushing Congress to pass relief legislation. While this bill isn’t perfect, it includes $100 billion specifically for K-12 and higher education along with $915 billion in state and local aid to address budget gaps that could be used to help public schools and college campuses.

The House passage of the HEROES Act comes just days after a coalition of five governors said that state and local governments needed $1 trillion in federal relief or they will be forced to decide between funding public health care programs or laying off teachers, police and other workersContinue reading

Science & Technology vs. Pandemics: A Virtual Panel 5/14/20

The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) is hosting “Small Foundation, Big Achievements: How science and technology are meeting the challenges of pandemics…present and future”, a 90-minute virtual panel discussion.

Date: Thursday, May 14, 2020
Time: 4:00-5:30 p.m. ET

The panel will be moderated by Aaron Kesselheim (RSI ’91), M.D., J.D., M.P.H. Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and include distinguished alumni of CEE’s Research Science Institute:

  • Lauren Ancel Meyers (RSI ’90), Ph.D., Professor of Integrative Biology, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Ben Silbermann (RSI ’98), Co- Founder and CEO of Pinterest
  • Patrick Tan (RSI ’86), M.D., Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, NUS and Professor, Cancer and Stem Cell Biology, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore
  • Feng Zhang (RSI ’99), Ph.D., Investigator, MIT McGovern Institute and pioneer of the revolutionary CRISPR gene-editing technology

“I’m so proud of CEE’s Research Science Institute alumni, who personify CEE’s role in nurturing excellence in STEM research,” said CEE’s President Joann P. DiGennaro. “This event will provide viewers with informative and consequential facts, and expose the results of the Center’s STEM programs to nurture the next generation of global scholars.”

To register for this dialogue, go to https://www.cee.org/rsvp5-14-20.

Video: Reimagining Your College Campus in the New Normal

By Jim Shimabukuro
Editor

I participated in this League for Innovation in the Community College webinar, “Reimagining Your Campus for the Future of Work and the ‘New Normal,'” featuring Matt Alex of Beyond Academics, this morning (12 May 2020) at 9:00 AM (Hawaii time). As promised, the League’s Cynthia Wilson and Rufus Glasper have posted the video recording in YouTube for all to enjoy. Please make the time to watch this. It runs approximately 60 minutes.

 

My Life in LA County During COVID-19: May 12

Harry Keller 80By Harry Keller
Former ETCJ Science Editor
& President of SmartScience

We will endure. We will prevail. We shall overcome.

May 12, 2020 at 6:48 AM. I am in the twilight zone of feelings. I have to get on with my life, but I see the heartbreak of over 80,000 deaths everywhere. I am sad. I must be upbeat about the future, but I know full well that we will exceed 100,000 deaths in two or three weeks. How can we live productive lives under this cloud? At one moment, I detest myself for choosing to work as I normally do. The next moment, I feel deep sadness. I must cheer up somehow.

We are still having our groceries delivered by people who are poorer than I and who are risking their health and even lives so that my wife and I can eat. They are probably reluctant heroes who must work to feed their families. Yet, they could find food banks and other means to survive. I am glad that they are doing this and hope that they are taking every precaution along with the store that employs them.  Continue reading

Stories Read Aloud for Children on Facebook

NORFOLK – WHRO Public Media has expanded online learning with a weekly online reading segment ‘Martha Reads’.  This new weekly Facebook segment features stories written by local children.

When Virginia leaders announced in March that schools across the Commonwealth would close for the remaining academic year due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, the education staff at WHRO Public Media quickly changed up their normal routines to seek new ways to support teachers and parents as they ventured into at-home learning.

Join us every Friday at 10 a.m. on our Facebook page for Martha Reads.

Since WHRO’s team couldn’t read to children in person, Martha Razor, manager of early childhood learning, decided to bring the stories to students virtually. Each week on Facebook, Martha will read a new story aloud. Rather than reading the books that children may already know, or could possibly find on their shelves at home, Martha will read stories that were submitted to WHRO’s annual Young Storytellers Contest. These short tales are stories written by children, for children, with accompanying illustrations. Continue reading

My Observatory Odyssey – Part 3

Harry Keller 80By Harry Keller
Former ETCJ Science Editor
& President of SmartScience

The unexpected costs just kept mounting.

May 6, 4:53 AM. The unexpected costs just kept mounting. We had to do a percolation test before our septic field could be approved, and the building permit could not be submitted until we had an approved percolation test. Of course, the testing people had a delay, and by the time they were ready, bad weather postponed it another month. We had the permit application all ready to go and just awaiting the “perc” test, which we received in January. The rate of more than one inch per minute was fantastic! It was literally off the charts. We were so happy.  Continue reading

My Observatory Odyssey – Part 2

Harry Keller 80By Harry Keller
Former ETCJ Science Editor
& President of SmartScience

This was to be the first of many skirmishes with the county officials.

May 4, 1:35 PM. You discover laws, rules, and regulations in strange ways sometimes. Property in the mountains of San Bernardino county has a number of rules. One set of rules has to do with it being in a FS-1 zone. That FS stands for fire safety, and one is the highest danger. We are tasked with removing weeds and low branches every year to comply.

We installed our rather plain and unassuming tool shed up near the top of the property so that it would not bother the neighbors.

All weeds must be less than four inches in height. All plant debris, such as leaves, must be no more than two inches thick. Trees taller than 12 feet must have all branches below six feet above the ground removed. You must gather up all of this debris and remove it. As you might imagine a wild 1/4-acre lot has plenty of this stuff. We decided that bringing our tools up 95 miles for every trip was silly and purchased a tool shed made from UV-resistant plastic.  Continue reading

My Observatory Odyssey – Part 1

Harry Keller 80By Harry Keller
Former ETCJ Science Editor
& President of SmartScience

I have had to learn some real patience in my quest for a mountain cabin as well as an observatory.

May 4, 11:18 AM. My Odyssey began long ago. I could write about it as an article, a short story, a novella, or an epic novel. You wouldn’t think that making a small personal observatory could even begin to qualify, but you would not realize the number of detours that this tale might take and actually did take. The ultra-short version is that my company had some excess cash (once only) and was interested in upgrading its astronomy lessons. Our lessons use real experiments, real pictures, and hands-on measurement by students for the most part.

As I write this, the observatory shed is complete, but the dome is not installed, and the telescope remains 95 miles away on my living room floor, a very expensive cardboard coffee table (still in its shipping box).

My wife and I had purchased some mountain land for a cabin, and that land has a site that is really good for an observatory at 6,200′ elevation. So, we purchased the shed, the dome, the telescope, and the camera. We wrote these off and saved on our corporate taxes. It was nice of Uncle Sam to help finance our observatory. That’s the short version.  Continue reading

My Life in LA County During COVID-19: May 6

Harry Keller 80By Harry Keller
Former ETCJ Science Editor
& President of SmartScience

I have seen people argue that the most at-risk people should be isolated, and the rest of the population should return to pre-virus behavior.

May 6, 2020 at 5:48 PM. Sure, we see some people fuming about shutdowns, about economic damage, and about loss of freedom. However, most people have come together by being apart. This is truly a wonderful response to a crisis. It has been weeks since my wife and I walked around on the streets here. On those few walks, though, people would go out of their way to stay far from us. We have gray hair and are more than most susceptible to mortality from this awful scourge, the novel coronavirus.

When you consider that death is the ultimate loss of freedom, this shutdown makes sense. When you understand that our economy cannot recover until we squash this virus, delaying until the science says that we can lift restrictions makes sense. So, we support the shutdowns and the self-isolation to speed the return to a close-to-normal life.  Continue reading

Reimagining Your Campus for the New Normal – Free Webinar 5/12/20

FREE WEBINAR: REIMAGINING YOUR CAMPUS FOR THE FUTURE OF WORK AND THE NEW NORMAL
Tuesday, May 12
2:00 PM (Central Time)
Click here to register.

Recognizing the fragility of former strategic plans, leaders are scrambling to rethink how to respond in areas like virtual preparedness, digital dexterity, access to campus insight, and student services. The League for Innovation and Beyond Academics are collaborating to present this webinar that will lead participants through a thoughtful discussion on how the COVID-19 pandemic will shape the future of work within campuses and the opportunities it presents us in the new normal.

M. Alex

In this session, Matthew Alex will speak to how the pandemic has accelerated the need to become more digital and accessible. The session will be centered around community college education viewed through the Future of Work lens to articulate the shift in how we serve and meet the needs of our constituents. He is Co-Founder of Beyond Academics, LLC, the company bringing the next generation of transformational frameworks to higher education. Alex is a former partner at Deloitte, where he led the Student Technology and Transformation practice. In that capacity, he oversaw some of the most complex Student Technology Transformation projects in the country. He also led Deloitte’s Smart Campus and Future of Work initiatives. At Beyond Academics, he continues to assemble the best and brightest minds in higher ed, entrepreneurship, innovation, and industry to accelerate the narrative around the Future of Work, Future of Student, and Future of Learning.

How to Future-Proof Your Career in a COVID-19 World

May 5, 2020: UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education, the workforce development arm of the university, announced a new series of free, hour-long webinars today that are designed to give working professionals the tools and skills to successfully find jobs and advance their careers during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. The weekly training sessions will focus on virtual interviewing, networking, and more.

A. Weiss

The series, “Future-Proof: How to Manage Your Career in Times of Change,” debuts on Wednesday, May 13th from 11:00 a.m.-noon, with future sessions scheduled every Wednesday through June 10th, 2020. Each webinar will include a Q&A session, allowing viewers to solicit advice on how to present themselves to potential employers and increase their ability to find a job. The sessions are taught by Andrea Weiss, M.S., a National Certified Counselor and Master Career Counselor, who teaches employee development workshops and provides career counseling for UC Davis departments and staff. For more information on the webinar series, including topic descriptions, or to register, visit https://cpe.ucdavis.edu/career-webinars.

The series provides the skills, tools and perspective to help working professionals succeed in a highly volatile job market, with each webinar building on the learning from previous sessions. Webinar topics include:

  • Career Resilience in Turbulent Times – May 13, 11 a.m.-noon
  • Career Networking Demystified – May 20, 11 a.m.-noon
  • Maximizing LinkedIn for Job Search – May 27, 11 a.m.-noon
  • Ace Virtual Interviews – June 3, 11 a.m.-noon
  • Accomplishment Statements as Success Stories – June 10, 11 a.m.-noon

With 74,000 annual enrollments in classroom and online university-level courses and more than 1 million enrollments on Coursera, UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education serves lifelong learners in the growing Sacramento region, all 50 states and more than 100 countries. This “Career Curriculum” supports working professionals as they refresh and expand job skills over the course of their careers.

Mute That Zoom, Please

Lynn ZimmermannBy Lynn Zimmerman
Associate Editor
Editor, Teacher Education

Since the stay-at-home orders started, many people have been using Zoom and other videoconferencing platforms. Those of us who are used to working remotely and/or teaching online are familiar with various platforms and use them with varying degrees of ease. However, you have probably found there are a lot of people using them now who aren’t quite sure what to do and how to do it. I’ve been in some non-work-related meetings in the past few weeks and the experience is definitely different when you are interacting with people who are new to the experience.

Photo from the Zoom site.

What prompted this article? I have recently discovered that my biggest pet peeve when attending these various meetings is that people often don’t voluntarily mute themselves, and, for whatever reason, the host doesn’t mute them either. If attendees will sit there quietly, it’s fine. However, I was in a meeting this week with 25 participants in which:

  • one participant was sitting outside and the wind was blowing, so there was a constant low whoosh throughout the meeting;
  • one participant kept blowing his nose;
  • one participant’s phone kept ringing; and
  • one participant was having side conversations with people in the room with her.

In other meetings there have been dogs barking, heavy traffic, etc. All of these were unnecessary distractions that judicious use of the mute button would have taken care of. And, yes, before you ask, I muted myself and stayed that way until I had a contribution to make, then immediately muted again.  Continue reading

Teacher Evaluations During COVID-19 Closures: NCTQ Review

By Kency Nittler & Patricia Saenz-Armstrong, 1 May 2020, National Council on Teacher Quality (updated 4 May 2020)

In this unprecedented time of school closures, districts must walk a fine line regarding teacher evaluations. Districts must hold teachers harmless from the challenges unique to the coronavirus environment, but they also have a public obligation to make sure students are being taught as effectively as is practical to expect. It is a new world. Currently, it is as if every teacher is a first-year teacher again, and they need extra support. Meanwhile, many students will fall behind in these months, starting the 2020-2021 school year at a disadvantage.

Now more than ever, teacher evaluations, albeit retooled, could provide the support teachers require and the oversight students need. Providing feedback and support to teachers can both equip them presently as they adjust their practice to distance learning, as well as guide focus areas for future growth once students and teachers return to their physical classrooms.  Continue reading

Colleges Preparing for Fall 2020 (5/5/20)

D. Lassner

May 4, 2020: David Lassner, UH President: “The University of Hawaiʻi plans to resume in-person classes on all 10 campuses beginning August 24, 2020, as scheduled. We all realize that the fall will absolutely not be a return to business as usual. Rather, UH will deploy a COVID19-aware safe approach to providing high-quality education…. Planning is now beginning for the necessary changes across our UH campuses to support appropriate social distancing and hygienic practices based on the guidance available. While the fall semester is being planned to ensure safe instruction on campus, we are also preparing for greater use of online resources and some classes shifting to hybrid modes with a mix of on-campus and online instruction.” UH News.

John Cox

May 4, 2020: “Cape Cod Community College is moving its fall semester online as the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus. The community college in West Barnstable, Mass. said that all courses for the rest of the summer semester, and the entire fall semester beginning in September will be moved to online, remote or hybrid learning formats…. John Cox, the community college’s president[:] ‘There’s no need for gap years or lost time towards degrees or certificates with our virtual doors now open for all students.’ … Boston University … officials shared additional details last week about a new format for the fall semester. The format involves 44 graduate and professional programs moving to a hybrid model that will offer classes on campus for students who can be in classrooms. A remote learning component is also planned for students both on or off campus, to accommodate potential safety requirements imposed by public health authorities.” -Hilary Burns, Boston Business Journal. Continue reading

Colleges Preparing for Fall 2020 (5/4/20)

R. Robbins

May 4, 2020: “University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins plans to resume in-person classes on Aug. 24 and says that all students, faculty and staff will be tested for COVID-19…. ‘Our plan is to test, trace and treat to present our campus community a flexible and adaptive teaching and learning environment,’ Robbins says. ‘There are many factors that remain beyond our control. However, we are tackling what is within our control to ensure our students have the opportunity for a full on-campus experience.'” -Matt Zalaznick, University Business.

May 4, 2020. “Colleges and universities are also adapting their curricula to the new normal…. training programs are being planned for people who have lost their jobs in the pandemic lockdowns or need more training to cope with it. The online learning platform edX, created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, has already launched a course on ventilator use for medical professionals, for instance. Central Ohio Technical College has made more than $1 million in financial aid available for career training for people out of work because of COVID-19. Wake Tech, a community college in North Carolina, is offering online entry-level computer courses to people who have lost their jobs.” -Felicia Mello, CalMatters, and Charlotte West, NBC News.  Continue reading

My Life in LA County During COVID-19: May 4

Harry Keller 80By Harry Keller
Former ETCJ Science Editor
& President of SmartScience

I live in a community of 36,000. I will be moving to one of 4,500.

May 4, 2020 at 3:45 AM. I live in a community of 36,000. I will be moving to one of 4,500. The former has 58 reported cases. The latter has one. Yes. Just a single reported case. I should note that my new community is known for its libertarian streak and distrust of government.

I was up there in the mountains and bought some stuff from the hardware store. It had a hand sanitizer dispenser at the entrance. People were using it as they entered. That’s nice if they were carrying the virus on their hands, but few seemed to be using it when they left. They were more likely to pick up the virus in the store and certainly should have used it as they left. Everyone was wearing masks, the registers had large plexiglass shields in front of them.

People are starting to go crazy with isolation around here.

People are starting to go crazy with isolation around here. After all, how many hours of Netflix can a person watch? We are experiencing a gigantic debate about opening the beaches. This seems a bit misplaced to me. How are open beaches going to help closed restaurants or furloughed employees?  Continue reading