This Week’s Trends in Education and Technology (February 15-21)

[The Week in Education and Technology is a weekly summary of news, events, and ideas related to education.]

Notable Quote

Change is constant and everything inconvenient will change. How we prepare for that change will hinge in whether we are asking the right questions.

Chris Luebkeman, Global Director of Arup Foresight at last year’s Global Talent Summit.

Things That Caught My Attention

K-12

As I wrote in today’s Daily Take,  one real education issue we can’t afford to ignore is the challenges being faced by the rural school districts. These districts often struggle to lure and keep teachers and many are dealing with a lack of network or other technology deficiencies.

On the other hand, so many opportunities. For example, a new report addresses the number of high school students who could benefit financially from starting college early.

Should those students head off to college without having a senior year? Yes and no, a new report from Education Reform Now and the Alliance for Excellent Education argues. The report makes the case that there should be better pathways for these nearly 850,000 students — one-third of whom come from low-income households — to begin college coursework but still remain in high school, if they choose, and possibly save time and tuition money.

And finally, the Pew Research group has released its latest report on the behaviors of U.S. teens. Here are some key takeaways.

  • Overall, teens (ages 15 to 17) spend an hour a day, on average, doing homework during the school year.
  • Teens enjoy more than five and a half hours of leisure a day (5 hours, 44 minutes). Most of this is spent viewing various screens: 3 hours and 4 minutes on average. This figure, which can include time spent gaming, surfing the web, watching videos and watching TV, has held steady over the past decade.
  • Teens are less likely to work today than in the past.

Higher Ed

Papa John’s is the latest big company announcing free college tuition to its students via a university partnership. In this case, the pizza company is working with Purdue Global.

This is just one of many new and emerging business models we see aimed at funneling more people into postsecondary education programs. Some institutions are offering Income-Share Agreements (ISAs), while others are ramping up alternative-credential options.

Small liberal arts universities, in particular, are becoming increasingly aggressive with experimentation as they look for ways to thrive in a challenging higher education market. According to the President of Sterling College in Vermont, however, there are real, long-term issues that these institutions must address to be successful. “There are serious structural challenges and issues that small rural liberal arts colleges are going to face, and just contraction is not going to be enough.”

Learning Design

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that, with the rapid evolution of technology and business models, schools are beginning to look at how they can prepare students for the professional futures they face. Part of this effort is focused on experiential learning as a way to inculcate the literacies and competencies future workers will need. One solution? Focus less of information processing and more on real-world problem -solving (which doesn’t feature neat and tidy answers).

After 25 years of focusing on basic literacies, there is a broad movement to expand the definition of success to career and citizenship readiness. In the last few years, a number of outcome frameworks have been introduced that value success skills.

I think this shift toward experiential learning will continue to push folks toward blended learning strategies. With that in mind, here is a good post on lessons learned by one district’s move to blended learning.

Workforce Readiness and Education

At a very high level, the key takeaways from the 2019 Global Talent Summit look right. Of particular note for me are the conclusions that  (1) Education has never been more expensive or more worthless (2) The need for reskilling may perpetuate inequality, (3) New technologies impact different economies in different ways, (4) To solve the skills gap, we need to understand what skills are, (5) Soft skills development is vital and should start from an early age, (6) Talent is universal; opportunity is not, (7) Learning happens beyond and outside of school, and (8) Employers must foster a growth-focused environment to retain talent.

Also worth looking at are Workfront’s 2019 U.S. State of Work report,  and Getting Smart’s post on Preparing All Learners for an Uncertain Future of Work.

Interesting Media and Technology Developments

In media news, it seems that Pearson has finally found a way to shed its K-12 courseware business so that it can focus more narrowly on adaptive learning software, assessment, and online course services It’s hard to tell if this will really make the education giant more nimble or how it will affect the K-12 marketplace in general.

On the technology front, one big theme for the past week was “convergence.”  We learned that

Apple is reportedly planning to combine iPhone,IPad, and Mac apps by 2021. We also saw news about wearable devices that are integrating functionality from other mobile products (see here and here). And, while we don’t know where this trend is headed, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Samsung’s announcement of its new, foldable smartphone/tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Fold.

Of course, there were plenty of articles and posts on AI this week. Here are a few that will elicit further thought and discussion.

Research Articles and Posts for the Week

TEL Library Posts You May Have Missed

Self-Paced Online Courses Offer Homeschool Parents and Students Maximum Flexibility (Daily Takes)

The Best Bread in the World: A Parable (Parables on Learning)

Preparing Tomorrow’s Workers for an AI Future (Daily Takes)

How Will the New Wave of Wearable Devices Affect Education? (Daily Takes)

Education Futures Episode 4: Redefining Instruction for the 21st Century (Education Futures Podcast)

The Advantages of TEL’s College-Credit Courses for Homeschool Parents (Daily Takes)

Jae Strickland Named Academic Dean at TEL Library (News)

K-12 Education

Rural Students’ Technology Access Still Lagging Behind, ACT Report Shows

1.3 Million Homeless Students: New Federal Data Show a 70 Percent Jump in K-12 Homelessness Over Past Decade, With Big Implications for Academic Performance

Scores Show 850,000 High School Juniors Are Ready for College. Starting Early Could Save Them Time — and Money. New Report Asks: Why Make Them Wait?

The way U.S. teens spend their time is changing, but differences between boys and girls persist

Understanding Why We Work Should Inform Education

6 lessons our district learned from our move to blended learning | eSchool News

Rural Districts Fight to Keep Teachers

Higher Education

Papa Johnn’s offers free college tuition for employees

So You Want to Offer an Income-Share Agreement? Here’s How 5 Colleges Are Doing It.

The alternatives to four-year college aren’t what you think they are

Small Colleges Get Experimental in Bid to Survive – The Chronicle of Higher Education

Strength in Small Numbers?

Art Institute deal left Dream Center in ‘dire’ situation, receiver says | Education Dive

How buying the Art Institutes brought Dream Center to the brink of collapse | Education Dive

Report predicts alternative credentials’ sweeping impact on higher education

Online Learning at Public Universities | AASCU | The Learning House, Inc.

A National Study of Online Learning Leaders in US Community Colleges | Fredericksen | Online Learning

Could on-demand online tutoring be the gateway to personalizing learning for colleges? – Christensen Institute : Christensen Institute

Department of Education revamps proposals for regulation changes in response to criticism

Study documents economic gains from liberal arts education

Learning Design

New School Formula: Harder Problems and Fewer Answers

Understanding Why We Work Should Inform Education

6 lessons our district learned from our move to blended learning | eSchool News

Workforce Readiness

Understanding Why  Work Should Inform Education

Incarceration vs. education: America spends more on its prison system than it does on public schools – and California is the worst

Teaching Digital Subjects Alone Won’t Close the Skills Gap

Key Takeaways from the 2019 Global Talent Summit

Preparing All Learners for an Uncertain Future of Work

2019 US State of Work.pdf

Media Trends

Finally, Pearson Sells its US K-12 Courseware Business

Scripting News: Future of journalism, part 1

Barnes & Noble Made the List of “Bankruptcy Stocks to Watch” | The Digital Reader

Technology Trends

The Samsung Galaxy Fold is the Future of Smartphones

Apple reportedly planning to combine iPhone,IPad, and Mac apps by 2021

Glued to Their Phones? Study Says Children Still Watch More TV Than Anything

This AirBNB Does No Exist

Gartner Debunks Five Artificial Intelligence Misconceptions

JP Morgan is rolling out the first US bank-backed cryptocurrency to transform business payments

Can these glasses do what Google couldn’t?

Machine Learning Radically Improves Accuracy ofr Additive Manufacturing

Three types of AI that represent our fears for the future

Sign-language translator is as portable as Chapstick – Futurity

Website uses AI to create infinite fake faces

An AI that writes convincing prose risks mass-producing fake news – MIT Technology Review

New AI Tech Can Mimic Any Voice – Scientific American

OpenAI refuses to release software because it’s too dangerous

AI Could Widen Economic Disparity Between Urban and Rural Areas, Brookings Report Warns

Dollar Sales of Smartwatches in the U.S. Are Up 51 Percent, Totaling Nearly $5 Billion

Renewable energy will be world’s main power source by 2040, says BP | Business | The Guardian

Better Language Models and Their Implications

How to be “Team Human” in the digital future | Douglas Rushkoff – YouTube

AI is reinventing the way we invent – MIT Technology Review

A.I. Could Widen Economic Disparity in U.S., Report Says | Fortune

Nvidia unveiled a new AI engine that renders virtual world’s in real time – Fanatical Futurist by International Keynote Speaker Matthew Griffin

This is why AI has yet to reshape most businesses – MIT Technology Review

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