news (external)

Princeton Review Founder Raises $4 Million for High Quality Online Education

by Chris Brandt, University Herald

John Katzman, founder of the Princeton Review, has raised $4 million through his new education venture, Noodle Partners Inc. The said money will be used to help colleges bring high-quality degree programs online. Katzman believes that online education can have the same quality as those that are taught in traditional classrooms. He also said that it has changed dramatically over the years, especially with the rise of new technology. The problem, however, he added is not about the medium but about the availability of high quality degrees at a lower cost. He also believe that online degree programs can reverse the trend of low enrollment due to the rising cost of college. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, education enrollment has been experiencing a sharp decline for the last five years because colleges and universities, both in the private and public sectors, are getting more and more expensive.

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U-M to Plan Digital Strategy for Future Innovation

By Sri Ravipati, Campus Technology

In an effort to take the next step in teaching, learning and research, the University of Michigan (U-M) today launched an initiative to encourage faculty and staff to embrace digital technology in the classroom. The Academic Innovation Initiative will be led by the Office of Academic Innovation (formerly the Office of Digital Education and Innovation), along with a steering committee, over the next year to “identify investments and solutions that will enhance excellence and impact at the university, and shape the future of education,” according to a statement from U-M. Provost Martha Pollack said the vision for the initiative is to increase opportunities for younger people to get a feel for what higher education is like and become college-ready.

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Online learning: Coursera adds 60k learners a month from India

by Uma Kannan, Deccan Herald

Coursera, a California-headquartered education platform, has been adding about 60,000 members every month with 1.7 million learners already on board in India. Coursera Chief Business Officer Nikhil Sinha, who was in the city recently, told DH that a quarter of its Indian learners are interested in technology skills (Computer Science courses). “Technology and Data Science are the top two areas that are in demand in India, and they are followed by business. India is a very prominent learner market for us because of the combination of a young population with significant aspirations, and where education is the most important mechanism for social mobility, and where there is a large English-speaking workforce, and where people are willing to invest in education,” he said, adding that 20% of Coursera’s users learn only on mobile.

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Attending to the Digital

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2016-10-22 03:14

Audrey Watters, Hack Education, Oct 21, 2016

Interesting article from Audrey Watters, as is so often the case, and I like the focus on the origins of the meaning of the word 'attention' and the oft-cited concern that the digital is creating an attention deficit. "You can see that the noun is accompanied by all sorts of verbs. We pay attention. We give attention. Attract attention. Draw attention. Call attention. Fix attention. At which noun-verb combination are we failing?" Fair enough. And the idea of the 'attention economy', with its values firmly planted in the capitalist ethos, is surely typical of western culture. But I was surprised to see her overlook the sense of 'attend' meaning 'to wait'. That's what the french verb attendre actually means. To wait, and to wait on, to attend. This sense changes the meaning of such phrases as "the tongues of dying men enforce attention like deep harmony." In the words of Arcade Fire: We used to wait. Not any more.

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The problem for people isn’t advertising, and the problem for advertising isn’t blocking. The problem for both is tracking.

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2016-10-22 03:14

Doc Searls, Doc Searls Weblog, Oct 21, 2016

Some good points here following Google's  quiet change of policy to allow personally identifiable web tracking. "Google could now, if it wished to, build a complete portrait of a user by name, based on everything they write in email, every website they visit and the searches they conduct,"  says Julia Angwin. "Tracking is no less an invasion of privacy in apps and browsers than it is in homes, cars, purses, pants and wallets," says Doc Searls. "Our apps and browsers are personal and private. So are the devices on which we use them...Tracking people without their clear and conscious permission is wrong... Claiming that advertising funds the “ free” Internet is wrong." True. But tracking isn't the only problem with advertising. I tried looking at the new map of the Galaxy today and even with ad-blockers turned on couldn't see it behind the barrage of popups and auto-play videos running on news sites.

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Online instructor creates rich learning environment

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2016-10-22 02:05

by IU Kokomo

How do you take an online class on a field trip? Stanley, visiting lecturer in health care management, creates and teaches online classes for one of Indiana University Kokomo’s newest programs, the Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.). Though her classes don’t meet on campus, she wants her students to connect with her and with one another, and to experience the high-quality instruction expected from an IU degree. “When we’re connected, and have trust, they’re willing to take more chances,” she said. “Their papers are richer, and their responses are richer. Some people have the idea that an online class is like a correspondence course. It’s not just power points, a webpage, and a textbook. My online classes are interactive. I want students to feel comfortable reaching out and asking questions. If they’re intimidated or unsure of me, they will avoid making contact. Part of that effort includes virtual field trips.

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California’s New Playbook For Online Education

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2016-10-22 02:02

by Ryan Craig, Forbes

In 2014 the California Community College system created the Online Education Initiative (OEI), managed by Foothill-DeAnza Community College District and Butte-Glenn Community College District with $77M in new state funding over five years. The goal was straightforward: create an online “Course Exchange” by pooling resources across colleges, providing students greater access to the courses they need. While we’re still in the early innings, OEI stands in stark contrast to the failed initiatives of California’s online past, and could provide a roadmap to system-wide initiatives of the future.

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PubSub: W3C First Public Working Draft 20 October 2016

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2016-10-22 00:13

Julien Genestoux, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Oct 21, 2016

From the World Wide Web Consortium, something interesting: "The Social Web Working Group has published a Working Draft of PubSub. This specification describes an open, simple, web-scale and decentralized Publish-Subscribe protocol; and HTTP-based profile which requirements for high-volume publishers and subscribers are optional." According to the protocol page, "As opposed to more developed (and more complex) pubsub specs like Jabber Publish-Subscribe [XEP-0060] this spec's base profile (the barrier-to-entry to speak it) is dead simple."

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Digital Defenders

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2016-10-22 00:13

Kirsten Fiedler, Theresia Reinhold, European Digital Rights (EDRi), Oct 21, 2016

I'm not really a fan of the game-fiction-as-learning format, but I agree that it's a useful effort to provide information to children about online security and personal privacy (11 page PDF). But if you have to use superheroes couldn't their powers be something other than 'mystical powers'? (That's what bothers me about Netflix programming - every time I see something remotely interesting, it turns out that the character has some sort of mystical power; it gets boring). Also, I found it odd that the otherwise very useful list of privacy and security tools and plugins on the last page didn't include any ad blockers. That would be the first tool I'd recommend.

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Embedding is the new linking

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2016-10-22 00:13

Paul Bradshaw, Online Journalism Blog, Oct 21, 2016

Some not-so-surprising aspects to this story: first, people want to see resources from other sites right on the page they're looking at (within reason; there's nothing worse than a page full of embedded YouTube videos), and second, Twitter and YouTube lead the way while Facebook is a distant last. If you want to embed this post anywhere just use the following (the https is necessary in many environments to support security standards):

< iframe src=" format=summary"> < /iframe>

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Welt-Psoriasis-Tag am 29.10.2016

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Sat, 2016-10-22 00:00
Ausgewählte Informationen zum Welt-Psoriasis-Tag am 29.10.2016
Categories: Science News

Open Practices

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2016-10-21 21:13

This post is a response to a request for my thoughts on the value of open practices and methodologies for putting them into practice.

, , Oct 21, 2016 [Link]
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Learning Analytics Webinar

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2016-10-21 21:13

Aaron Silver, Anthony Whyte, Oct 21, 2016

Michael Feldstein  recommends this webinar (66 minute YouTube Video) on  xAPI and Caliper. Good discussion, though I wish Silver's audio quality were better. We  mentioned earlier this month that discussions are being held between proponents of the two specifications on interoperability. "I suspect that  more than the usual care is being taken to make the conversation officially unofficial," said Feldstein. No doubt; there's a lot of overlap. The value propositions look very similar, but there's a "design philosophy difference" (according to Silver) between the two. The second slide looks a lot like the old personal learning environment diagrams. There's a reference to the use of  Apereo's open source LRS technology to support the JISC Learning Analytics infrastructure. Caliper, meanwhile, is "rewriting our spec from top to bottom".

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Analysing ORCID coverage across repositories through CORE

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2016-10-21 18:13

Matteo Cancellieri, Petr Knoth, Nancy Pontika, CORE, Oct 21, 2016

ORCID  (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a system that "provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher...  in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission." This article looks at a study of how widely ORCID identifiers are used through a survey of listings in CORE, an open access research paper aggregation service. In a nutshell: 16 percent of the 5.5 million records listed in CORE use at least one ORCID. Not bad, not great. You can study the CORE database yourself by obtaining the most recent dataset download. If you're wondering: yes, I have an ORCID number (it's 0000-0001-6797-9012), but not all my papers list my ORCID.

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A Network Theory of Power

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2016-10-21 18:13

Manuel Castells, International Journal of Communication, Oct 21, 2016

I revisited this article recently while looking up some references. Manuel Castells has a history of activism infused with a deep knowledge of networks and communications. Here he defines network power and counterpower - "Counterpower is exercised in the network society by fighting to change the programs of specific networks and by the effort to disrupt the switches that reflect dominant interests and replace them with alternative switches between networks." Reading it brings to mind my own work in Hacking Memes. Here is  a video of him explaining his thoughts (I especially appreciate his opening remarks on the role and utility of theory). 

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2016 Student Textbook and Course Materials Survey

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2016-10-21 03:13

Florida Virtual University, Oct 20, 2016

This large (22,000 participants) report (35 page PDF) makes the impact of textbook costs clear: "The findings suggest that the cost of textbooks is negatively impacting student access to required materials (66.6% did not purchase the required textbook) and learning (37.6% earn a poor grade; 19.8% fail a course)." There's no end to the efforts to improve course quality in order to improve outcomes, yet so little effort to address really obvious problems like this.

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Ask 5 Questions About Clubs at Online Degree Programs

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2016-10-21 02:10

By Jordan Friedman, US News

Prospective online students should inquire about how groups communicate and time commitment for activities, experts say. SNHU isn’t the only online program offering student organizations outside of class. Experts say extracurriculars allow online students to a do what they would be able to on campus: build a sense of community, pursue interests and build leadership skills. “Their first thought may not be, ‘How can I get engaged with my peers?’ But I definitely encourage students to take the time to think about that. A strong collegiate experience should be full of something more than just your relationship with your professor and what you’re learning in class,” says Ashley Adams, director of student affairs at Pennsylvania State University—World Campus. The university’s online arm has student groups ranging from honor societies to ones connected to certain majors, such as the economics club.Prospective online students considering joining extracurricular activities should answer the following five questions when researching programs.

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Students ditch traditional classroom, turn to online learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2016-10-21 02:05

by Lauren Delorenzo, Daily News

Online classes have become increasingly popular at Ball State mainly because of their convenience. With many of Ball State’s courses offered both in the traditional classroom setting and online, around 38.9 percent of students chose to participate in online learning last year. The traditional classroom setting isn’t for everyone so some students have turned to the option of taking classes online. Online classes at Ball State have become increasingly popular, with around 38.9 percent of students participating in some form of distance or online learning last year, according to Over 3,000 students took classes exclusively online. Many of the classes available at Ball State are offered both online and in the traditional classroom setting. Students say one advantage of online classes is the convenience.

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Community Colleges Online and Homegrown

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2016-10-21 02:03

y Ashley A. Smith, Inside Higher Ed

California community colleges unveil online program that allows students to take courses across multiple campuses, a project that replaced a failed attempt to tap for-profit online course providers to meet student demand. The California Community Colleges Online Education Initiative will debut this fall. Unlike typical online class systems, the OEI is a collaborative program that allows students to register and participate in online courses across multiple colleges. The program also provides online counseling to students. “Community college systems have actually done a lot with online courses, but it’s always been in silos and each campus having their own program,” said Phil Hill, an education technology consultant and co-publisher of the “e-Literate” blog. “But this is a coordinated systemwide approach where they’re all working together for the first time.” Not only is this the first time the community colleges have teamed up for something like this, but they also created the online exchange.

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Mushrooms - Fri, 2016-10-21 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News


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