5 Tech Implementation Challenges for Teachers

EmbarassingThe mechanics of technology integration, as well as the adoption of any new pedagogical paradigm, involves change.  With change comes the unexpected, which we can’t always prepare for.  We can do all the social learning and lay as much groundwork as possible, but we don’t usually anticipate some of the basic hurdles.  This article from Edudemic articulates what many of us have experienced.

 

“In all the excitement around what technology can do for education, the frustrations of the teachers faced with using it often get drowned out. Even educators who embrace the idea of using more technology with their students have found that it brings its share of challenges. And many of them feel powerless to address those challenges on their own.”

via 5 Tech Implementation Challenges for Teachers | Edudemic.

Here’s What Will Truly Change Higher Education: Online Degrees That Are Seen as Official

Digital credentials, such as badges or other open credentialing, are discussed in this NYT article which frames the traditional diploma as opaque.  What does it mean?  The work done for the degree is not apparent, the quality or what differentiates a job applicant from many others. “Diplomas and transcripts provide few means of distinguishing the great from the rest….”  Digital credentials can solve the problem, as they are more specific and can related directly  to necessary work competencies.   They are transparent and provide much more information about what was involved in achieving the credential.

I agree with the points made in the article.  I’m just not sure how fast a change like this can happen.  There are some industries that might be more likely to shift their mindset and adapt to digital credentials, but there are far more that have been using degrees and schools as a preliminary filter for many years.  It would require an entire education of the HR industry to understand what these new credentials mean, how to utilize the transparency, the power of  online learning – even traditional degrees earned online still carry stigma – and what digital artifacts and assurances of learning really portray.  There are many sides to new types of credentialing – educating the schools, the students, and the people who will ultimately hire them.

 

“Most important, traditional college degrees are deeply embedded in government regulation and standard human resources practice. It doesn’t matter how good a teacher you are — if you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, it’s illegal for a public school to hire you. Private-sector employers often use college degrees as a cheap and easy way to select for certain basic attributes, mostly the discipline and wherewithal necessary to earn 120 college credits.”

via Here’s What Will Truly Change Higher Education: Online Degrees That Are Seen as Official – NYTimes.com.

Signs That Virtual Reality Is on the Verge of Taking Off

Virtual reality, along with its potential, has been around for years.  While there were some apps that took advantage of its “wow” factor early in development by pointing us to the closest subway or restaurant through our smartphones, the rich applications have always required the use of a bulky pair of goggles.  These have not been lightweight goggles!  As researchers of education, we found them in university engineering labs but potential was never realized because of its cost and bulk.

Once Oculus Rift, a virtual reality company created for gaming was acquired by Facebook, development accelerated.  Other companies entered the commercial space.  The goggles are getting more lightweight.  Learning will see some incredible applications in the near future – this may be bigger than anyone anticipates.  It’s not just about gaming.

From the New York Times, “READY or not, here comes virtual reality.

Gaming was the focus of the original Oculus Rift headset, the virtual reality viewing device that set off the recent wave of interest in the technology. But now companies like Samsung, movie studios and Silicon Valley start-ups are racing to create new types of video experiences for virtual reality — and in some cases, even the cameras they will need to film it.”

via Video Feature: Signs That Virtual Reality Is on the Verge of Taking Off – NYTimes.com.

Learning in the Modern Workplace – it’s more than (e-)Training

“Learning is part of work, why are you separating it?” asked Harold Jarche in a comic he drew this week.  Often we are taken down that formal learning path, but Jane Hart explains what really works in this graphic (and her link below.)

 

Learning in the Modern Workplace – it’s more than (e-)Training | Learning in the Modern Workplace.

Social Learning Has Never Been About a Single Tool

There has been commentary in “best of” 2015 predictions that social learning is a fad.  For those who learned about social learning not as a theory but as something people were talking about last year, I can understand that.  Certainly there were a number of books and articles that made it all sound new.   It’s not new.  People have always learned socially.  Observing this, Alfred Bandura brought us social learning theory, which suggests that learning is most effective in social context.  Bandura published his first findings in 1963, but this was an observation of what was already happening.  Further research and theories, such as 70/20/10 examined by Center for Creative Leadership espoused that only 10% of on the job work is learned formally, 20% through mentorship or coaching, and 70% in social or networked work environments.  Charles Jennings has been further expanding on this theory, where 70% is experiential, on the job (and social) learning.

This article from Nick Leffler explains how social learning is not a “tool” in learning and development, but something much more important.

“People have used it to:

Develop their professional knowledge.

Learn about their hobbies.

Learn how to be more efficient at a job task.

Learn about what they didn’t know they didn’t know.

Learn about what they knew they didn’t know.

And more!

People have done all of this without L&D even being involved and the messiness and slowness that training and courses brings along with it.

Social learning will only grow, and L&D will have to catch up the further it falls behind. Weaving social learning into eLearning was only the first attempt of L&D mainstream to deal with social learning that inevitably happens. L&D has the unfortunate craving to control the experience and make everything pass through their gates.

L&D will fail at controlling, just as IT has failed at controlling. People are going to learn socially just as they are going to bring their own IT equipment to the office.

It’s up to L&D to figure how to work WITH social learning and empower people to use it even more effectively to learn, not fight it and control it and make it go through their gates.”

via Social Learning Has Never Been About a Single Tool — Technkl: Nick Leffler’s Portfolio & Learning Insights.

Management in a Digital Economy

MBAs have traditionally focused on finance, but is that a legacy degree?  Many argue that in a digital world, there should be a combination of skills that are in synch with what leaders need today.  This article from the New York Times discusses what business and academic leaders feel is needed from new programs – and most include an infusion of STEM or computer science curriculum that will enable leaders to understand technology well enough to have important conversations.  Link to article below.

“The best approach, Mr. Yoffie said, is frequently a partnership between a technologist and a business executive. Facebook, he says, is an example — a productive collaboration between Mark Zuckerberg, its chief executive, and Sheryl Sandberg, its chief operating officer. Mr. Zuckerberg is the founder and technology strategist, while Ms. Sandberg, an economics major with a Harvard M.B.A., oversees Facebook’s operations.”

via Management in a Digital Economy – NYTimes.com.