by Jeff Grabill, Director of MSU Hub and Associate Provost of Teaching, Learning, and Technology at Michigan State University

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When we left campus in March of 2020, few of us imagined more than a year of learning and working from home. But that is precisely what we are facing. Unhappily. Personally, I am unhappy. I haven’t hugged my mom and dad in nearly 8 months. My children are away at school and in “bubbles,” so I can’t hug them either. I miss my colleagues. I miss seeing and talking with students. …


by Jeff Grabill, Director of MSU Hub and Associate Provost for Teaching, Learning, and Technology at Michigan State University

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There are all sorts of fun things embedded in that sentence. Can higher education institutions change? History shows us they do (see my first blog post), but can they do so reasonably quickly? Can higher education change in response to needs that move faster than the time it took to develop the modern research university? Then there is the ethical imperative in “should.” Why should we? And who gets to decide? Which brings us to the “we,” of course. Higher education institutions tend to be slow, by design, and hierarchical, by design. …


by Makena Neal

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#iteachmsu Commons is a social and professional development platform created by and for Michigan State educators.

Our mission: create a way for Michigan State University educators to connect, share, and growth in their teaching practice.

Ultimately, we created a platform model that places educators in the designer seat and leads to a product they will use.

At a large, decentralized institution, it can be challenging to recognize and leverage the high impact practices of educators in varying roles working in discipline focused units and departments. Through recent history however, we knew that there was a desire amongst this group to engage in ongoing professional development. We also knew that some really outstanding practices were being implemented by individuals, but our institution lacked a way to connect those educators with others to share ideas. With inspiration and a foundational starting point from a Twitter-based hashtag, we worked with educators across our institution to build the #iteachmsu Commons: a place for educators to share ideas, connect with one another, and grow in their practice. This effort served multiple goals including the delivery of an educator development platform, but also aimed to ignite a culture shift at our institution. …


Michigan State University is offering a new training for educators to solve community challenges through basics of design and coding within the iOS ecosystem. Using Apple’s Challenge Based Learning curriculum, this training guides educators in understanding the app development process, practicing coding in Swift, and designing viable prototypes.

Computing in the 21st century

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U.S. society is surrounded by the Internet, apps, social media, and a multitude of other technologies. …


“To provide students with transformative experiences at Michigan State University, the Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology commits to advocating for design practices that support equitable learning opportunities.”

At the Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology, we recognize that the higher education system we are a part of contributes to social inequities, racism, and violence. We recognize in the recent protests against police brutality and racial injustice the demand to think and act differently. We acknowledge that the design methodologies we utilize with partners on campus to define, develop, and deliver learning experiences are themselves embedded within paradigms of privilege and oppression. …


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There is no question that higher education in the US faces significant challenges. An October 22, 2019, Inside Higher Education story is typical in naming those challenges. The article presents survey results from the American Council on Education, Huron Consulting Group and the Georgia Institute of Technology that indicate our lack of preparedness for issues like demographic change, continued defunding of public education, cost pressures for both public and private institutions, and the opportunities and challenges of educational technologies. Then, of course, we have the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, which will reverberate for years.

Historically Dynamic Higher Education

Higher education faces significant challenges, but we also have plenty of ideas to address them. In The New Education, for instance, Cathy Davidson calls for a redesign of higher education, a project that seems impossible given scale and the commonplace assumption that universities haven’t — and cannot — change. Yet that assumption isn’t true. …


A pile of multicolored crayons
A pile of multicolored crayons

We must design for what education needs now. At this extraordinary COVID-19 moment, the Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology (the Hub), in collaboration with many units, colleges, and individuals from across the university, has been supporting Michigan State University (MSU) in its move to online teaching, learning, and working. It has been heartening work: lean teams banding together to deliver what’s needed to help this university move. It’s inspirational. It’s necessary.

But we’re not just talking about the design of online programs (though we are involved in many right now).

About

MSU Hub

MSU Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology

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