news (external)

Flipping Large Classes: Three Strategies to Engage Students

By: Barbi Honeycutt, Faculty Focus

“How can I flip a large class?” I like this question because it’s not asking whether you can flip a large class, but rather what’s the best way to do it. Faculty who teach large classes are challenged not only by the sheer number of students but also by the physical space in the classroom. Having 100, 200, or 400+ students in class means teaching in large lecture halls with stadium seating and seats that are bolted to the floor. It’s not exactly the ideal space for collaboration and group discussions, so the types of flipped and active learning strategies you can use are more limited. Often, faculty fall back on the “think, pair, share” format or use clicker questions to encourage student engagement. But there are other techniques we can deploy in these large classrooms to engage students and involve them in higher levels of critical thinking and analysis.

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How workforce learning trends may shape higher ed

By Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Technology is reshaping the way industries and corporations are training employees to increase productivity, according to EdSurge, and that new focus, designed to engage younger employees, could have impact on higher education academic delivery models. Organizations are substituting theory-based models in exchange for scenario-based, practical instruction to help learners be more attuned to instruction. Lessons are delivered through simulations that are light on lectures and heavy on opportunities for learners to engage with online content and cohort members to learn information. Adapting teaching modules presents the biggest challenge in workforce development; about 61% of corporate executives say moving employees towards self-directed education is a difficulty in developing an environment of continuous learning.

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Online Learning: Fashion Education’s Next Frontier

by Helena Pike, Business of Fashion

Over the last decade, online learning has reshaped the global education sector by improving access to knowledge and institutions, and enabling students to overcome geographical or financial limitations to access the best lecturers, curricula and institutions in the world. Initially, online learning was held back by concerns over quality and legitimacy, but as use of technology and access to the Internet has improved, and awareness of the convenience and standard of courses has grown — spurred on by the entrance of prestigious institutions like Harvard, MIT, Yale, Berkeley, Oxford and Cambridge University — the market has evolved rapidly. Online education has the potential to be equally game-changing for the fashion education sector. Previously, to get a good education, students had to be free to attend classes on a physical campus — meaning they had to live nearby and be able to afford not only institutions’ fees, but also not working a paid job for the duration of their studies.

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Podcast Club Development – Rob’s Social Ideas Exchange

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2016-08-27 20:02

Rob Watson, Rob Watson Media, Aug 27, 2016

This post offers me an opportunity to plug Ed Radio. I started Ed Radio in 2003, right at the  beginning of the age of podcasts. Here's what it  looked like back then. Today I harvest RSS feeds, extract the references to MP3 files, and redistribute the collection of links in the form of a daily podcast feed. If you are producing a podcast in the field of learning, new media, or education technology, drop me a line and I'll add it to my list.

This post is Rob Watson describing his upcoming podcast "based around the idea of what it means to be sociable in the Twenty-First Century." he's investing in audio quality, as he should: "I’ ve invested in some recording equipment, with a Zoom H6 multichannel recorder with four mono microphones, and a line-in feed for music input. I’ m also hoping that we can use a friends coffee shop as our base for recording the sessions, as its a great environment to relax and chill." I'm looking forward to it.

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Charter Schools: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2016-08-27 20:02

John Oliver, YouTube, HBO, Aug 27, 2016

John Oliver examines the performance of charter schools in the United States and finds enough wrong with them to fill an 18 minute comedy video. As we can see from this report, while government may be less efficient, businesses are much less likely to behave responsibly or obey the law, which means the private sector cannot be trusted with high-stakes enterprises like education. Actually, as we see in this report, government is not less efficient either, with charter schools accounting for some of the worst outcomes in the school system. There are ways to promote choice, but privatizing the school system isn't among them.

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3 Ways Virtual Reality Can Enhance Learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2016-08-27 02:08

3 Ways Virtual Reality Can Enhance Learning

by Emory Craig, Maya Georgieva, EDUCAUSE Review

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Microsoft Updates Office 365 Education

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2016-08-27 02:05

By Michael Hart, THE Journal

Microsoft has added new features to its Office 365 Education portfolio of products for students and teachers. In April, the company released Microsoft Classroom, which provides course management operations for teachers. For school IT staff, an updated Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer tool would let them set up shared devices in bulk for classroom scenarios where students share devices. Finally, an updated release of Windows 10 offered Windows Ink, a technology that enables the user to write on his or her device as if it were paper. Now, Microsoft has introduced two new features in time for the new school year. First, a version of Microsoft Classroom and a new software product called School Data Sync will help IT administrators connect existing school systems to Office 365, enabling a single sign-on for teachers and students while automating Microsoft Classroom set-up. Share on Facebook var button = document.getElementById('facebook_share_link_19238') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_icon_19238') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_both_19238') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_button_19238'); if (button) { button.onclick = function(e) { var url = this.href.replace(/share\.php/, 'sharer.php');,'sharer','toolbar=0,status=0,width=626,height=436'); return false; } if ( === 'facebook_share_button_19238') { button.onmouseover = function(){'#fff'; = '#295582'; = '#3b5998'; } button.onmouseout = function(){ = '#3b5998'; = '#d8dfea'; = '#fff'; } } }

Report: 3D Printing Market to Double by 2020

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2016-08-27 02:02

By Joshua Bolkan, THE Journal

The 3D printing market will reach $35.4 billion in 2020, according to a new report form International Data Corp. (IDC). That total is more than double the revenue projected for this year and would constitute a 24.1 percent compound annual growth rate over the course of the period forecast. “While 3D printers and materials will represent nearly half the total worldwide revenues throughout the forecast, software and related services will also experience significant growth,” according to a news release. “Revenues for computer-aided design (CAD) software are forecast to triple over the five-year forecast period while the market for on-demand parts services will nearly match this growth. The gains in both software and on-demand parts printing are being driven by the rapidly expanding use of 3D printing for design prototyping and products that require a high degree of customization in non-traditional environments.”

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Why No One Remembers Those Who Struggle for Peace

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2016-08-26 19:51

Adam Hochschild, Utne Reader, Aug 26, 2016

I was at the football game last night, and as usual, there was the tribute to the troops. We should reconsider who we set up role models in society. If the only people we honour for service to the public are those who go to war, there will be a ceaseless demand for more war. I can think of many more who make sacrifices for the pubic good: doctors, postal workers, embassy officials, environmental activists, child welfare advocates, and many many more. Children learn by adopting role models, and we want to make sure they have as many anti-war advocates to choose from as they do warriors.

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Once a fad, gaming is gaining steam in higher education classrooms and in research

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2016-08-26 02:10

by Laura Devaney, eCampus News

Gaming in education has traditionally belonged to the K-12 sphere, but in recent years higher education has taken a vested interest in this learning approach, from taking a game-based approach in classrooms to ensuring future educators learn the merits of it. In recent years, gaming has gained momentum in higher education. Research indicates it is a viable learning approach, with faculty gamifying lessons and student teachers learning how to use the approach with future students. MIT, Penn State, and UC Irvine are all among schools leveraging game-based learning.

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How an Aussie teaching innovation was backed by Bill Gates and swept US universities

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2016-08-26 02:04

by Tim Dodd, Financial Review

Dr Ben-Naim said he was very pleased to be bringing the adaptive learning delivered courses back to Australia where Smart Sparrow’s technology was developed. “It’s an Australian innovation which has had significant success in America and now we are able to bring it back to Australia. For us it’s very exciting,” he said. He said that the teacher’s role was not diminished by using the adaptive and multi-disciplinary approach to learning in the Inspark network, where students absorbed the key concepts online outside of the classroom. “They [students] still come to class and compare work, they work in small groups on a different problems, and the teacher has the opportunity to talk about something more advanced,” Dr Ben-Naim said. “We can make more students smarter in less time. We optimise the learning and the teacher time.”

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North Dakota University System sees gains in online courses

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2016-08-26 02:02

by Wade Rupard, Bismark Tribune

As students within the North Dakota University System continue to take more online classes, schools within the system are working to enhance those courses. In a presentation to the North Dakota Legislature’s Interim Higher Education Committee on Friday, Richard Rothaus, the university system’s vice chancellor for academic and student affairs, outlined how the system is accommodating students who take non-traditional classes, such as those online. The construct of what makes a typical student in today’s technology-filled world has been blurred, Rothaus said, noting 21,824 students systemwide took online courses in fall 2015. Some of those students took classes entirely online, while others enrolled in both traditional and nontraditional courses.

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Linear Regression - Fri, 2016-08-26 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

WhatsApp users to receive adverts

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2016-08-26 01:42

BBC News, Aug 25, 2016

Readers of my social network accounts will know that I have shuttered my Facebook accounts and ceased using that service. The reason is that Facebook disabled the ad blocker I use in Firefox in order to force advertisements into the news stream. I have also made sure to uninstall WhatsApp (which is owned by Facebook) from my phone. You should too. It's not just that WhatsApp will start sending you advertisements (and remember, you are paying for the data transfer WhatsApp uses). WhatsApp is also going to  share your phone number with Facebook, according to newly updated terms of service. Facebook asserts, "Nothing you share on WhatsApp, including your messages, photos, and account information, will be shared onto Facebook or any of the Facebook family of apps for others to see." But it should be noted that, according to the BBC report, "Facebook will still receive data in some situations." So there's that.

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Adobe E-Learning Community

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2016-08-25 19:41

Adobe, Aug 25, 2016

Adobe has launched a new e-learning community which they say is "a place where you can connect with peers, engage with a universe of experts, and pick top Adobe brains on just about anything. From blogs, tutorials, and product conversations, to event notifications, news and updates and much more." It seems mostly focused on Captivate, which is not surprising given their push to market their Captivate LMS, which  was announced last year. Here's a  review from last December. The site encourages you to "play all kinds of content seamlessly with our Fluidic Player that also allows note-taking to facilitate revision.  Foster a learning culture using gamification and mobile learning." Here's a  marketing piece from Adobe on the LMS.

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Not Your Grandfather’s Corporate Training: 5 Trends Changing Workforce Learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2016-08-25 02:09

by Mary Frenson, edSurge

The shift away from lecture-based, theory-heavy learning models has been on the rise for some time. However, it is now taking off in a new way: Adult learners want to see how the theory is applied in experience so that they can apply it easily in their everyday life. Case studies and visual simulations are becoming more common ways of providing this type of experiential learning. In a Deloitte survey respondents identified a variety of learning tools that they felt can contribute to their development within their company, these included external certificates at 32 percent, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) at 18 percent and external, self-directed learning powered by social media at 14 percent. These various ways of training account for 64 percent of the learning tools identified by the respondents in this study, which is more than significant.

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Department of Ed greenlights workforce development experiment

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2016-08-25 02:04

By Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

The U.S. Department of Education has announced a pilot program in which eight colleges and eight for-profit companies will collaborate on workforce development for low-income students. The pilot relaxes federal standards, which do not allow institutions to receive aid for courses where more than 50% of curriculum is taught by an ineligible entity. The partnerships are centered around strategic tech and manufacturing jobs. Institutions were selected for their ability to guarantee affordable access to diverse student bodies, third-party quality assurance of the academic and technical curriculum, and protections for students and public funds in the form of student aid.

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Online Education: A New Approach To Teaching And Learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2016-08-25 02:02

by Emily Marks, University Herald

Online education is fast gaining popularity for the convenience and flexibility that it provides students. Coursera offers short video lectures, interactive quizzes and peer graded assignments, among others, which is perfect for working adults. Coursera has about 170,000 students around the world that have signed up for it. While online education has been around for a long time, with top universities offering courses for a high fee, classes, called MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses, are expected to revolutionize higher education. These online courses are different because they use new technology, feature well-known professors and they don’t cost anything. Educational institutions that have partnered with Coursera are: the University of Chicago, University of Washington, Duke University, Stanford University, Princeton University and University of California, among others.

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Folk Psychology as a Theory

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2016-08-25 01:27

Ian Ravenscroft, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Aug 24, 2016

Given a substantive revision this past week, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's article on folk psychology is well worth reading. The idea behind folk psychology is that we can explain the behavior of humans in terms of their possessing mental states. For example, we say that a person 'knows' what the capital of Paris is, that he 'believes' Paris is in Europe, or that she 'wants' to go there. These mental states are representational states and can be thought of as holding 'mental content'. Most everyone believes some version of this theory (hence it's title as a 'folk' theory) and it permeates educational theory. That's why it's important to study this article. And it should also be noted here that my own 'belief' is that the theory is wrong, that there are no representations, mental contents, etc., and that cognitive processes are not linguistic, logical or computational processes. See eliminative materialism.

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On the value or otherwise of SAMR, RAT etc.

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2016-08-24 22:25

David T. Jones, The Weblog of (a) David Jones, Aug 24, 2016

This is a topic that could occupy the rest of your day if you let it. Don't.


Here is the argument: "SAMR is not a model of learning.... SAMR does not relate to skills; it does nothing to develop the higher order skills  of Bloom’ s revised taxonomy: creativity, evaluation, analysis – the areas that we clearly need to focus on and develop with our young people." SAMR (Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition) may indeed may be derived from RAT (Replacement, Amplification, and Transformation). But the  criticism is that SAMR lacks "a body of appropriate, peer-reviewed academic research,  demonstrating  the benefit of the SAMR model in improving outcomes for learners." Contrary to what the critics say, references to SAMR are to be found in peer reviewed literature - here, for example, or here, here, here, and on for several pages in Google Scholar (hard to find because 'Samr' is also a popular first name).

But all the above is pure straw man argument. Here's the real argument, as offered by Charlie Love: "the SAMR model degrades/demeans meaningful technology based learning activities and directs teachers to think of their use of technology as insufficient if it is not 'transformative'." And this version I've seen a lot. I've even used it. For example: "it is a waste of time and technology to simply use Second Life to recreate the classroom experience." Or "digital technology could be used much better than simply recreating flashcards for memorization." Against that Love argues, "the whole reason to bother with substitution/augmentation tasks is to gain the efficiencies of time, reduce the level of administration and reduce opportunities for learners to go down the wrong path." That's fine - but there is a ton of literature showing you can and should use technology to go beyond your original teaching task. 

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