Engaging Learners in a COVID World

This page will serve as a resource for an Osher class (#3574) at Carnegie Mellon for the Winter 2021 term. The links and materials shared can be used by any person according to the Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution.


Zooming into Tomorrow with Justin Swanson and Ani Martinez
Overview:  Jason Swanson and Ani Martinez will share the results of the Tomorrow campaign powered by Remake Learning. They will talk about why it was created, how the campaign developed and then share out some insights from the forecast. The Osher participants will engage in interactive discussion with Jason and Ani and will add their ideas to expand the campaign to meet the needs for a senior adult community.
Remote Robotics with Tom Lauwers
Overview:  Tom Lauwers will engage the Osher class in a series of remote programming opportunities to interact with virtual robots developed at the CREATE. Lab at CMU. We will use Finch 2.0 along with BirdBrain’s newly developed Remote Robots technology to allow you to remotely move and program a Finch from your home while you watch the robot over video chat. No programming or robotics experience is required!
Virtual World of Learning and Work with Stephen MacIsaac and NLA students
Overview:  Stephen MacIsaac and Debra Smallwood will bring a team of high school students to share how the Neighborhood Learning Alliance (NLA) transformed a traditional career placement program into a virtual work world. The NLA team will lead the Osher participants in a series of virtual experiences around the nature of modern day work and learning through an exemplary program called High School U.
Virtual Art and Wellness with Jessica Lee
Overview:  Jessica Lee will share her training for a “healthy voice – healthy body – healthy life” and how this can all be taught virtually.
Pivoting and Meeting the Needs of Today’s Learners with Justin Aglio
Overview:  Justin Aglio will outline how THE Readiness Institute at Penn State will usher in a new era of learning linking higher education, the business community, and K-12 into real-world endeavors. He will share ideas for how each learner, younger as well as older, can become more successful using a Growth Mindset and how things like Artificial Intelligence will continue to grow and become part of the educational landscape. Osher participants will generate their own ideas for the Hope Moonshot mission.
Final Projects 
Overview: Osher students will take at least two ideas or projects from the first five weeks of the class and create their own personal project. The final project will share how the lessons learned can make an impact on some form of learning relevant to the Osher student’s life.
Special Thanks:
I want to thank Doug Levine from
LevineMusic for the music he composed for my presentations and my video project for the class. I also want to express my gratitude to my wife, Judy, my stepson, Jacob, and my long-time friend, Randy Joseph, for their help testing out my presentation, movie, and other tools for the class.Download