The Brighter Side of Education

Education Illuminated: Reflecting on a Year of Bright Ideas and Emerging Trends with Drs Hassler

September 21, 2023 Dr. Lisa R. Hassler Season 1 Episode 25
The Brighter Side of Education
Education Illuminated: Reflecting on a Year of Bright Ideas and Emerging Trends with Drs Hassler
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In today's episode, we have a special guest joining me as co-host - my husband, Dr. Gregg Hassler, Jr. He's not only a dentist but also a former school board president and, as he always likes to say, my biggest advocate.

We are thrilled to celebrate The Brighter Side of Education's one-year anniversary! A big thank you goes out to all our listeners and guests who have made this first year truly incredible. When we started this journey, we didn't quite know what to expect, but we've learned and grown tremendously along the way and couldn't be prouder of the results.

One of the significant challenges in education today is the struggle many students face with reading and writing. To address this, I took it upon myself to create a workbook-style writing journal based on the successful classroom writing structure I used in my own teaching experience. It's called "My Writing Journal: 15 Weeks of Writing for Primary Grades," and I'm thrilled with how it turned out! This journal is designed to seamlessly complement any Language Arts program for students in first through third grades and is already being used in several classrooms. You can find it on Amazon!

Over the past year, I've had the privilege to attend and present at three national education conferences, which we'll delve into in this episode. Many of the speakers I met at these conferences have graced our podcast, sharing their valuable knowledge and insights. During these conferences, several emerging trends in education became apparent, and we'll discuss the top nine of them: AI, microlearning/nano-learning, online learning (including blended, hyflex, and extended reality), Masterclass/Maestro platforms, independent startups offering homeschool options, vocational and technical courses in high schools, a renewed focus on soft skills, alternative assessments, and how various states are tackling teacher shortages.

Our call to action for you, our listeners, is simple: keep learning, stay involved, and support education in your community. Together, we can make a positive impact on the future of education. Thank you for being part of our journey!






 

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Want to share a story? Email me at drlisarichardsonhassler@gmail.com.
Visit my website for resources: http://www.drlisarhassler.com

The music in this podcast was written and performed by Brandon Picciolini of the Lonesome Family Band. Visit and follow him on Instagram.

My publications:
America's Embarrassing Reading Crisis: What we learned from COVID, A guide to help educational leaders, teachers, and parents change the game, is available on Amazon, Kindle, and Audible, and iTunes.
My Weekly Writing Journal: 15 Weeks of Writing for Primary Grades on Amazon.
World of Words: A Middle School Writing Notebook Using the Writing Process ...

Education Illuminated: Reflecting on a Year of Bright Ideas and Emerging Trends with Drs Hasslers


Dr. Lisa Hassler

Welcome to The Brighter Side of Education. I'm your host, Dr. Lisa Hassler, here to enlighten and brighten the classrooms in America through focused conversation on important topics in education. In each episode, I discuss problems we as teachers and parents are facing and what people are doing in their communities to fix it. What are the variables, and how can we duplicate it to maximize student outcomes? In today's episode, my husband, Dr. Gregg Hassler, Jr. Is joining me again today as co host.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

We are celebrating The Brighter Side of Education's one year anniversary!


Dr. Lisa Hassler

I really want to thank all of our listeners and guests for their support in making this first year truly incredible.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

It's been cool to watch you learn the technical side of producing a podcast.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

Yeah, I didn't know what to expect when I first started. It was definitely a lot of learning and growth, but I couldn't be prouder of the results.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

You're a true podcast professional now that you've been doing it a year.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

Is that what I can be considered? That's pretty amazing.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

I know.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

Well, we've got a lot to discuss.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

Today, so what would you like to focus on today?


Dr. Lisa Hassler

I think after reflecting on our past year is think about what's in the next year. Let's look at our future, what's coming up.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

That sounds great. Let's get started.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

So before we do that, I think you should give a little bit of background about you. Again.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

Sure. Again, I'm a dentist and a former school board president. And lastly, your biggest advocate.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

And you have to listen and talk a lot about education topics with me around. Does that sound about right?


Dr. Gregg Hassler

Yes, to say the least. So today, let's start with what's been happening recently with you before we get into the new hot educational topics. You created a writing book. Do you want to talk a little bit about it?


Dr. Lisa Hassler

Yeah. So I did. I created a writing journal. It's called, "My Weekly Writing Journal: 15 Weeks of Writing for Primary Grades," and it was a result of after doing this podcast for the past year, a lot of reading and writing concerns come up. Reading a lot about the continued struggles that students are facing, and then it makes me reflect on my own teaching practice, like, what did I do specifically that provided positive feedback and results for my students and their parents. And when thinking about this, to be honest, it was the whole process. It wasn't just one thing.

So to fully encapsulate it, I created a writing book for the first through third grade students. And in essence, I just created the book that I really had always wished that I had had for my own students. So it's a workbook style journal designed with the teacher and student in mind, and it really does have the content intended to simplify, support, and streamline the writing process. And it draws upon the structure that I successfully employed in my own classrooms. But what's really different about this is not the process. It's really in the inclusion, because no other writing journal that I've come across has ever combined the entire writing process in one space, making it easy for both the student and the teacher.

I kind of think of it as a grab and go so that it's seamlessly tailored to basically complement any language arts program so you can just conveniently add it to your curriculum.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

What's been the response to the new book?


Dr. Lisa Hassler

Pretty good, actually. Several classrooms are using it, so any first through third grade student, whether it's at home or school, would be able to benefit from using it.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

Yeah, I'm actually holding one in my hand right now. It turned out great.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

It really did. It's cute. I like it. It's colorful.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

You did a great job on it.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

Thanks.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

So how can someone get their own copy for their children or their grandchildren?


Dr. Lisa Hassler

Well, you would go to Amazon. That's where it lives. My best friend Amazon. And you could either just type in, "My Weekly Writing Journal: 15 Weeks of Writing for Primary Grades," or my name, and it should pop up.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

So you've also attended three national education conferences and presented your research. Where did you go?


Dr. Lisa Hassler

Yeah, I went to the OLC Accelerate and Innovate conferences. That's the online learning consortium. So in the fall, I went to Orlando in the spring and went to Nashville, and then in the summer, I went to Georgia and attended the Distance Learning Administration Conference. And they were great.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

How were they? Yeah. You had a good time?


Dr. Lisa Hassler

I did. I was able to present my research, but then really get into topics about how we should be looking at teacher training programs and preparing them for these 21st century classrooms. And I got to meet a lot of amazing people, hear great things that are happening in education, and then be able to invite those people onto the show to spread the information about what they're doing to the listeners. So that was really great benefit.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

Yeah. I know you always have a good time at these conferences, but I know the last part of what we want to talk about today is, what are these emerging educational trends that you learned about while you were at the conference?


Dr. Lisa Hassler

Yeah, so there's a lot of really wonderful things that are happening. I really wanted to focus on nine I think there's nine emerging trends that I'm seeing and hearing a lot about. And so let's dig in.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

So the first one, what are you thinking about? The first hot educational trend for the next three to four years is AI and Chat GPT, right?


Dr. Lisa Hassler

Oh, yeah, AI. You can't get away from that. Everyone's talking about it. Big conversations, keynote speakers. Not only is there a lot of excitement about it and what it can be doing for education, like, teachers can be using it to enhance lesson plans, to create assessments, customize individual learning lessons as well to better meet the needs of our students. But big concerns about children cheating, or students, I should say, using it in a way to get out of writing their own work. And so that's been a big concern. And over the summer, universities were grappling at how and if to change their policies concerning chat GPT and making sure that student work was authentic.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

But I think what's cool is they're already using AI to catch AI.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

Oh, yeah, that's the thing. They have AI integrated on their platforms to be able to detect it. So we'll see if it works. I don't think that they're going to be able to necessarily pinpoint and throw students out necessarily because of this. But it is a concern that maybe they could say, hey, listen, why don't you look back at your work and rewarded or resubmitted. So there's that concern. But I also look at it as an exciting time when we could be better meeting students needs with disabilities to maybe offer them the opportunity to have a college degree when something as simple as not being able to complete a paper for, like, a 101 class would actually hold them back from being able to have a college degree.

So I look at that as a way to maybe scaffold and open up our opportunities for those students that have disabilities. But then I also look at it as a tool that we can be using, kind of like a calculator, where everyone's a little bit of afraid of it at first. But once you realize its limitations and understand how to use it as a tool to support learning that we won't be maybe so taken back by it. But learn how to embrace it. And so some professors have actually taken it out as a challenge to make it work for their class and students favorably by teaching them how to be able to use it correctly to enhance their work, but not to use it to do their work.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

Yeah, it's not going away. So I think we have to learn how to use it for the positive.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

Yeah, absolutely. And the next thing is nano learning or micro learning.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

Yeah, I don't understand much what micro learning or nano learning is. It kind of reminds me of what you were teaching when you were talking about the time we spend in a class and how much information is really needed to give to a student at one given time. Can you elaborate more on that?


Dr. Lisa Hassler

I think that when I look at how I would have aimed my lesson plan timing, I would have looked at the child and said their age plus 1 minute, and that would have been the amount of time that I would have planned for my lesson. Now, what they're saying is, according to a lot of these instructional designers at the conferences, is that the recommended video or lecture or lesson time that we should be exposing students to has actually diminished from ten minutes to six minutes. So ten minutes would have been the chunk that adults would have. You would have aimed a lesson or a video at for, let's say, high school, college level.

And they're saying that now if you're going to use a video to Instruct on, let's say, an online platform that the studies are finding, students don't actually watch anything over six minutes, and attention spans have declined. So students will actually watch it at one and a half or two times speed, if at all.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

Yeah, I find that hard to believe that even at college levels that they were showing that ten minutes is too long. You have to go to six minutes. Yeah, times are changing. It's the age of TikTok videos and shorts and Instagram. It's not like it used to be where you sat down for an hour and just listened to a professor drone on.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

That's right. The ability to engage and to sustain that engagement for longer periods of time is definitely declined. And so when you're thinking about those shorts or reels for TikTok or Instagram or Facebook, those are considered like those nano learning where they're very small, bite size pieces of information that are going to be built upon for your lessons. And micro learning is a form of spaced repetition learning in which lessons are broken up into bite sized chunks and then repeated over time. And it's said to help new concepts and skills sink in for the long term.

So instead of an overload of students with long lectures, they're actually doing these micro learning trends.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

So our next hot educational trend, our third one that we're covering, is online learning. And it's a huge topic in education, and it's been growing the last couple of years. Why don't you go over some of the pros and cons?


Dr. Lisa Hassler

All right, so according to research and markets, the online education landscape is set to become a $319,000,000,000 industry by 2025. And there's three major benefits of online learning compared to offline, and that is the cost, the convenience, and the scale. And when you talk about scale, you're thinking about the ability for one educator to reach an unlimited number of students. I think about moots almost in this, but they have the potential to raise the quality of education as well as the reach. And so that's significant when you think about the major benefits. But then we're looking at the trend for blended and high flex options.

They're really popular right now in higher education. So blended learning is where you're going to have, let's say, a class that has some certain aspects that are going to be maybe online, other ones are going to be face to face. The high flex option is where both environments are completely available to the student, and then they are able to flex between those two environments at their discretion. So, sadly, elementary ed is still not mainstreaming that option. Hopefully you'll see that in the future. I'm a big supporter of the High flex for elementary ed. I think it has a lot of benefits.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

Another section of online learning is this extended reality. Why don't you go into the different parts of that and what extended reality is?


Dr. Lisa Hassler

Yeah, so extended reality has different parts of it. So virtual reality and augmented reality are both parts of extended reality. Overall, the market for this is predicted to grow at nearly 58% through 2027. A 2021 survey from Cause reported that nearly 40% of higher ed is already using a part of XR or that extended reality and at least some of their projects. And the majority of respondents are saying that 90% are going to be using some sort of extended reality in the next five years. So that's pretty big trend.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

Yeah, it's amazing because virtual reality, we've used those Oculus classes, it's kind of neat to be integrating yourself into a separate world, but the augmented reality is really becoming a big thing. I know. We got you a shirt that when you used an iPad with it would actually show the human body and some of the circulatory systems. And the kids loved that way of learning.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

Oh, they did. They loved it because it jumps out to life at them almost. So the medical school students are using VR to dissect human cadavers in Colorado State University right now. And 90% of the students who have used the technology say that virtual reality has helped them to understand spatial relationships, which is a crucial skill for potential physicians. And in 2019, the University of Michigan announced its XR Initiative to plan and fund these different sorts of projects when it comes to leveraging technology and education. So that's virtual reality and augmented and augmented the kids in second grade, boy, do they love that.

But it's also going to be available in textbooks. So we're going to start to see that augmented reality more mainstream in elementary school as well, so that you don't have to get those goggles and the headsets to be able to be immersed into that virtual reality.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

It's a fun way of learning.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

It really is.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

Enjoy it.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

So the next one is Masterclass or Maestro platforms, which have a lot to do with the big name instructors. They are master practitioners who, in my opinion, put an end to the phrase those who can't teach. And here it is, those who can teach. And this is getting widely popular.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

Yeah. So I don't know what people know about it. We watched a couple Masterclass lessons, and it's famous people like Gordon Ramsay teaching how he cooks, R.L. Stein going through how he writes his book. I know you liked that one.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

Oh,I like that one. That was a good one


Dr. Gregg Hassler

How Natalie Portman does her acting. So you're getting famous people who engage you and teach you their craft and how they got into It, but I.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

Think one of the biggest things also is that you're learning from master practitioners. And so, famous or not, it looks like the education platforms are actually tapping into this by having their big name instructors for their courses are actually going to start joining these kinds of platforms.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

And I think these niche education platforms are also coming across in other types of trades as well, like cybersecurity and It. What do you have about that?


Dr. Lisa Hassler

Yeah, so they're able to provide a deep kind of advanced training that's not really broadly available elsewhere. So a lot of it seems to be popping up around It professionals to pass important certifications. Cybersecurity, even hacking. Apparently hacking is something you can learn.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

You can find out online how to learn about hacking.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

I don't know if I would push that one, but it is out there. Okay.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

The next one is kind of near and dear to your heart. You did a whole podcast on it. It's these independent startups offering more homeschool options.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

Yeah, I absolutely did. So this is exciting, especially right now with charter schools all over the country being funded by state money. And so this year, Florida saw a big boom in our charter schools with being able to have monies follow the child where they choose to go. And this is leading to a lot of these new startups or micro schools even. So, not huge charter schools, but even micro schools. So when I interviewed Barb Southwick and the Students with Disabilities are Thriving in Virtual School, she founded Spectrum Ed Inc. And I am now a board member on that.

So that's an exciting development over looking at what is missing, what are the niches in our educational system that we can start to target these students that have a need that the school systems are not really providing? And this is where these new startup homeschooling options are really being able to maximize that student potential and to tap into an area of high need.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

Yeah, I can't believe that the number is what, like 3.4% of students are home schooled now? Yeah, across especially with more and more teachers leaving their jobs to be part of this.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

Oh, yes. With 3.4% of school age children in the United States being homeschooled every year, having these homeschooling options is really valuable.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

Well, I think the next one it's been kind of fun to talk about even before we started the podcast, but it's high schools and vocational and technical courses that are growing again. It feels like we're back in the.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

Is kind of wild. I don't know. They're saying in 2023, high schools will increase resources dedicated to preparing students for future paths that lead to places other than traditional college courses. So vocational and technical courses are teaching a diverse range of skill sets. They're likely to become more popular in schools to work with employers to develop new solutions to problems caused by the skills gap. And so in the United States, the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that 43% of high school graduates go on to study college. But we're really focused on those 43%. We're not thinking really about that.

57%.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

No. I can't wait for shop class, cooking class, wood shop. I want them to come back.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

Did you ever take any of them, Greg?


Dr. Gregg Hassler

I did take a typing class.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

Oh, you took a typing class? I think all of us took a typing class. Was that still part of this is, like, almost pre computer? Well, I'll tell you. Okay, so not in high school, but in my junior high, we did have a wood shop. I carved a mean burn name into a wooden plaque. I had a drafting class, a sewing class, and I can do an amazing Frankenstein stitch like no other. And cooking.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

It's time to bring a lot of that back.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

And when you think about master classes with Gordon Ramsay, those incredible eggs that I now can make off of his master class tutorials the best eggs ever. Yeah.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

On that master class by Gordon Ramsay.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

I think that having these sorts of vocational and technical courses actually could maybe be really interesting for students. Very engaging. Also, I think this is kind of interesting. In Europe, 2023 has been designated the European Year of Skills. Recognizing the focus on vocational education and training alongside traditional academic subject based training. It may be the key to developing new drivers of economic growth in the face of global slowdown or recession.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

Yeah, I think it's time that we stop just focusing on the 43% of people that are going to college and let's make sure everybody gets a good quality education with life skills that they can use on a regular basis.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

Which brings us to the renewed emphasis on soft skills. That's our number seven focus.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

Can you define soft skills?


Dr. Lisa Hassler

Yeah. So soft skills, those are like teamwork communication, problem solving. And so this is actually they're saying that more than 90% of human resource professionals agree that soft skills are very important to the future of recruiting, according to a report from LinkedIn.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

Well, I think if things are, like, turning towards AI and computer generated jobs, then how do we stand out and how do we keep our jobs? How do we keep our jobs?


Dr. Lisa Hassler

Yeah. Right.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

So that human element, how we interact, how we communicate, I think those skills are going to be more and more important than being able to add and subtract big numbers when we have computers and AI to do that for us.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

That's right. So 80% of employers are saying that soft skills are increasingly important to company success. In fact, a study of more than 150,000 students in Chicago public high schools found that building social emotional qualities, such as how to resolve conflict and how to stay motivated to work hard, achieved better results for students than schools that focused solely on test scores. While at DLA, I was actually able to listen to a presentation by Camille Farrell. She's from the University of Central Oklahoma, and she has developed and worked with the university on something called STLR. It's called a student transformative learning record.

And this model is actually being used in 30 US. And international institutions. They consider it a second transcript. And the reason I'm bringing it up is because they are assessing students'employability's soft skill growth in their coursework and their co curricular experiences. So when you think about the renewed emphasis on soft skills at the employer level, and then you look at it from an employability standpoint and what they're looking for, the University of Central Oklahoma is already considering how to take their students'qualifications and make them more workforce ready and employable by looking at what the employers were looking for when it comes to soft skill deficits and being able to fill those deficits by having this second transcript to show how they're able to actually achieve the soft skills that employers are looking for to help them get jobs.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

Yeah, so soft skills are becoming more and more important. It's another way of setting yourself apart.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

Yeah, it really is.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

Okay, so now we're on to the next hot educational trend number eight. Number eight alternative assessments. What can you tell us about the alternative assessments and why are they so important right now?


Dr. Lisa Hassler

All right, so we're seeing some movement, some changes when it comes to summative assessments. So being our acts and Sat requirements for admissions for universities, they are becoming optional. So many universities have either dropped it, they've removed the requirements for admissions, or they've said that standardized tests are optional. So Harvard being one of them through 2026, so that's pretty different. And so what are they doing if they're no longer relying on standardized testing? Well, there is something called a mastery transcript, and this is an option that some high schools are using. And what it does is it records the student's mastery of subjects and their topics.

They're not traditional letter grades, and it's not a one time view about what the student knows and is able to do, but rather it prioritizes higher order skills. And so it'll be looking at things like transferable skills, like self direction and collaboration. How are they applying knowledge? It actually shows evidence and abilities from inside and outside the classroom. And the transcript is being currently accepted by 250 colleges in the United States.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

How about it at the elementary level?


Dr. Lisa Hassler

So elementary teachers have been looking at those standardized tests and cringing every year we have to take that large, one big week long test. And so New Mexico has actually adopted for the elementary school students in their public school something called short cycle tests. And those are shorter tests that are implemented three times a year. So beginning, middle, and end as a way to get away from the one time really big, intense summative tests.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

That's great. I think we added one extra teacher shortages. We have the big problem in education right now. It's not trending or coming up. It's actually been happening.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

It's here. Teacher shortages are already being felt across the country, and the US. Department of Education reported that nearly every state suffers from a shortage of special education teachers. In addition, 44 states have math teacher shortages. 42 states have science teacher shortages. So aside from the pandemic, lack of pay is one of the top reasons why teachers are leaving. Several states are working to address the teacher shortages by raising teacher salaries to entice new teachers to join. Many states are looking to ease their standards for teachers in order to attract new professionals in from different industries.

And Florida legislature actually passed a bill that allowed military members, even those without bachelor's degrees, to teach in a classroom for up to five years. And as a response to that, I know that National Lewis University partnered with the state of Florida just this summer, was able to start a certification program to try and meet those demands and help educate these teachers and get them up to speed and certified.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

That's great. Why don't you throw a little conclusion at us? Bring it all together.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

That wraps up our list of nine top educational trends to watch for. It's exciting to see where the education space is headed. Thank you, Gregg, for joining me today to celebrate our year in podcasting and talk about what's trending.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

Yeah, it's always a pleasure, Lisa, to help out. I love any opportunity to brag about you and how amazing your work is. And I think a good call to action for this episode is to keep learning, stay involved, and support education in your community.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

I agree. And if you have a story about what's working in your schools, especially any of these trending topics in education that we discussed in today's episode, I would love it if you would reach out to me at drlisarichardsonhassler@gmail.com or visit my website at www.drlisarhassler.com and send me a message.


Dr. Gregg Hassler

If you like this podcast, follow rate subscribe and please tell a friend the more people that know, the bigger impact it will have. If you find value in the content in this podcast, consider becoming a supporter by clicking on the supporter link in the show notes.


Dr. Lisa Hassler

It is the mission of this podcast to shine light on the good in education so that it spreads affecting positive change. So let's keep working together to find solutions that focus on our children's success.


Writing Journal
Education Conferences
9 Emerging Education Trends: #1 AI
#2 Microlearning/Nano-learning
#3 Online Learning: Blended, Hyflex, and Extended Reality
#4 Masterclass/Maestro Platform
#5 Independent Startups Homeschool Options
#6 Vocational & Technical Courses in High Schools
#7 Soft Skills
#8 Alternative Assessments
#9 Teacher Shortage Scramble
Wrap Up
Call to Action