news (external)

Report: Americans Value College Degrees But Say Higher Ed Falls Short on Delivering Promises

By Sri Ravipati, Campus Technology

Top survey findings include: Slightly more than half (51 percent) of respondents agree that there are well-paying jobs that do not require a college degree; However, there still is widespread agreement across groups that a college degree carries weight in the job market, with 75 percent of respondents answering that it is easier to be successful with one than without one; Most respondents want to see changes made in higher ed, with just 25 percent answering the system is “just fine the way it is” and helps students succeed;

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5 Online Learning Sources to Boost Your Business Acumen

by Dan Scalco, Entrepreneur

There’s never been a better time to be in business. As the world has grown increasingly interconnected, the internet has become a veritable treasure trove of information on how to run a successful company. No matter your industry or experience level, there’s always something new you can learn. Here are five online resources to help you take your business acumen to the next level.

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How Long It Takes to Earn an Online Master’s Degree

By Jordan Friedman, US News

Experts say many prospective online master’s students – who often plan to balance their education with a job – wonder about how much time they will spend earning a degree as they aim to move up in their current role or switch careers. “They want to know how long they should plan on a degree taking as they will be working it into their lifestyle,” says Vickie Cook, director of the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service at the University of Illinois—Springfield. The simple answer: It depends on the program, among other factors including how many courses a student takes each term.

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Face-Face VS Online Courses

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2017-05-27 02:10

by Monique Shifflette, Cactus

Online classes may be more convenient for someone with little free time, as they can access their course at any time of day, and anywhere they have internet access. Online classes provide an opportunity for people with mental or physical disabilities to get their education, or students from different states can enroll into a college without having to go to the campus. Enrolling in an online program at a university can even be cheaper than enrolling as an on-campus student. Some universities provide entire degree programs online, and the tuition is significantly cheaper. However, online classes may not be for everyone. Professors’ who teach online courses can make or break a class for a student.

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College Board: 115-Point Rise with Free Khan Academy Online Class

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2017-05-27 02:04

by 2Paragraphs

The College Board anointed Khan Academy the king of score improvement, releasing data that credit 20 hours spent on the free Official SAT Practice with an average 115-point score lift on the new SAT. The study considered nearly 250,000 test takers using Khan Academy program. Even those students with a less rigorous commitment showed improved scores, with students spending 6-8 hours of Khan practice jumping 90 points on average. The Official SAT Practice at Khan Academy uses video lessons, tips, and practice questions to prepare students for the standardized tests. Khan and The College Board are paired in what they call the “College Readiness Project.” Khan Academy says: “We’re here to help you support your students and children on their path to college. ” Here is Khan Academy founder Sal Khan announcing the results.

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Jordan joins hands with Google to launch Arabic online learning platform

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2017-05-27 02:03

by Xinhua

The Queen Rania Foundation and announced Wednesday that they have joined forces to create an online learning platform for Arabic open educational resources. The online platform will target students from kindergarten to 12th grade and their teachers across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, said the foundation in a statement a copy of which was obtained by Xinhua. The initiative comes at a crucial time to ensure millions of children across the region have access to better education. Presently, an estimated 13 million children in the MENA region, or 40 percent of school aged children, are missing out on an education due to conflict and displacement.

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How Facebook's tentacles reach further than you think

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-05-26 22:31

Joe Miller, BBC News, May 27, 2017

It's frustrating not being able to click on the images in this BBC article to expand them, as the text is otherwise quite unreadable. But you'll be rewarded with much more than super-large images if you follow the references to the Share Lab website. The Facebook article (detailing the close-knit Stanford-Yale nexus infusing that company and much of Silicon Valley) makes it clear that the 'new normal' (as described by Audrey Watters) emanates from  university values into Silicon Valley (and not vice versa). And there's much more: visualizations of browsing histories, maps of propaganda and information warfare, and on and on. [Link] [Comment]

New post

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-05-26 22:08

Matt Bower, May 27, 2017

Matt Bower refers to himself in the third person throughout this blog post introducing us to his work  with the Blended Synchronous Learning project (see He introduces us to the idea of a "blended-reality environment" (which should really just be shortened to 'blended environment'). "Video and sound recording equipment captured activity in a F2F classroom, which was streamed live into a virtual world so that remote participants could see and hear an instructor and F2F peers. In-world activity was also simultaneously displayed on a projector screen, with the audio broadcast via speakers, for the benefit of the F2F participants." This makes sense but in my experience the key is to ensure the video is large enough to display near-life-size avatars or images, and to ensure the audio in each direction is of sufficient volume and timbre to be accepted as being an equal voice. The paper itself is behind a paywall at BJET but there's a (preprint?) copy at ResearchGate. [Comment]

How Your Data is Stored, or, The Laws of the Imaginary Greeks

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-05-26 21:50

Yonatan Zunger, Hacker Noon, Medium, May 27, 2017

I could tell you that this article describes distributed data management as defined by  Leslie Lamport’s invention in  The Part-Time Parliament  (33 page PDF) known as the Paxos algorithm, and  the master election protocol called  Chubby. But it's better to say that this article is an accessible description of different ways people can keep their records up to date. The systems described form the basis not only of modern file management but also distributed blockchain  record keeping in systems like Ethereum. But even better, the article is illustrative of the  kind of thinking it takes to work through an intractable problem in a methodical way.
[Link] [Comment]

OER Pioneer David Wiley Predicts All Community Colleges Will Dump Traditional Textbooks By 2024

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-05-26 20:46

Jeffrey R. Young, EdSurge, May 27, 2017

By 'all community colleges' David Wiley and Jeffrey R. Young no doubt mean 'all community colleges in the United States', because expecting a community college in, say, Namibia, to replace textbooks by 2024 is to expect the very very unlikely. But more, as insightful as Wiley is, I think he is hampered by a basic misunderstanding or misrepresentation of economics. "If it’s 25 percent cheaper to get your business degree here than it is to get it over there, you’re going to go over here," he says. But we know this isn't true: people don't select education based on price, and institutions certainly don't differentiate it by price, not even at community colleges. Perceived quality, location, reputation, networks and more all play a role. So, no, I'm not expecting Wiley's prediction to come true. Not by 2024.
[Link] [Comment]

The Story of Habitat, the Very First Large-Scale Online Role-Playing Game (1986)

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-05-26 19:56

Colin Marshall, Open Culture, May 27, 2017

Without diminishing the historical importance of Habitat., it should be noted that it was not the first  massively multiplayer online role-playing game  (MMORPG). That distinction belongs to the multi user dungeon (MUD). Descended from  Adventure (1975), the first MUD was created in 1978.Habitat was probably the first  graphical MUD (where 'graphical' is understood as 'using graphics rather than text to create images'). But what really makes it distinct is that it was the first  commercial MUD, created by Lucasfilm Games for the    Commodore 64s.  Read the Wikipedia page for more on Habitat. [Link] [Comment]

IEEE P7006 - Standard for Personal Data Artificial Intelligence (AI) Agent

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-05-26 15:43

Ieee, May 27, 2017

Clearly this is an initiative that has multiple applications within the learning space. "This standard describes the technical elements required to create and grant access to a personalized Artificial Intelligence (AI) that will comprise inputs, learning, ethics, rules and values controlled by individuals." The kick-off meeting is June 14. See you there. [Link] [Comment]

The University of Chicago Re-Engages Alumni Through Online Learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2017-05-26 02:10

by Elyse Dupre, DMN

Not every interaction generates an immediate return. Brands often have to engage target audiences multiple times to establish relationships and get them to perform desired actions. Take the University of Chicago, for instance. The school is exploring the benefits of engaging former students through an online learning community to drive donations later down the line. Emily Bembeneck, associate director of pedagogical innovation for the University of Chicago’s Graham School, said the school’s alumni weren’t “super connected” to their alma mater. Bembeneck wanted to re-engage the university’s alumni and create an “enduring” learning community that would remind them of the positive experiences they had on campus, which would, ultimately, help the University of Chicago meet its long-term fundraising goals.

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How to Sell Your Online Course

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2017-05-26 02:05

by Greg Rollett, Entrepreneur

Have you created an online course that could really make a difference, and then been disappointed to find it isn’t selling? In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Greg Rollett explains three reasons why your product might be failing and how to correct it. First, have you spent enough time and resources on marketing your product? Too many people spend all their time on content creation — thinking that if they just create a perfect product, it will sell itself. It won’t. Watch the video to learn more about how to market your product and to learn the other two reasons why your online course isn’t selling.

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4 Things You Might Not Know About Online Education

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2017-05-26 02:02

by Stephanie Larson, US News

When you are deciding whether to pursue your education online, there are more than a few things to consider. The flexibility of online students’ schedules and the fact that they can be anywhere in the world are great when you are traveling for business or the military, or if you just want that added convenience. Before you sign up, here are four things you might not know about online programs that can help you decide if one is right for you.

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Anti-Drone Eagles - Fri, 2017-05-26 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Education that Matters

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-05-25 22:39

Joel Westheimer, Canadian Journal of Education, May 27, 2017

The Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE) and the Canadian Journal of Education (CJE) have a bouncy new website, and even better, open access to their articles, including this one (15 page PDF). It's a statement-of-principles sort of article that speaks to progressive ideals and contemporary challenges. "education in Canada and elsewhere should always embrace certain goals unique to democratic societies... Students must be exposed to multiple perspectives and taught to think and to dialogue in the kinds of expansive ways on which democracy thrives." Quite so. Now - if only the site would get an RSS feed so I can learn about new articles when they're posted - oh! here it is - unadvertised and still under construction. [Link] [Comment]

Privileging an ideology of individualism

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-05-25 22:23

Scott Mcleod, Dangerously Irrelevant, May 27, 2017

Scott Mcleod comments on Audrey Watter's post (see below) remark that "These new technologies, oriented towards consumers and consumption, privilege an ideology of individualism," replying that "how we balance collective societal good versus individual learning and life success needs is incredibly challenging." It's obvious that it's challenging, of course, but also, the distinction between 'individual' and 'collective' is too simple to be useful. In the past I have offered the idea of the network as a half-way point - supporting autonomy, but creating means and mechanisms to function as a community. What other models are there? Where are the ideas? Educators and technologists have a responsibility here that goes beyond saying it's "incredibly challenging". [Link] [Comment]

Education Technology as 'The New Normal'

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-05-25 22:15

Audrey Watters, May 27, 2017

A few things in this post from Audrey Watters are worth noting. First, from Ursula Franklin, a wide concept of technology. “Technology involves organizations, procedures, symbols, new words, equations, and, most of all, a mindset.” Second, the analysis (once again) of the "new normal" in education technology. "What might be subverted? What might be lost? (That is, who will lose?)" And finally, what this new normal looks like: "Silicon Valley’s ways also include individualism, neoliberalism, libertarianism, imperialism, the exclusion of people of color and white women from its workforce," she writes, "Silicon Valley’s ways and Silicon Valley’s technologies are readily subverting the values of democracy and justice." Maybe - but then what? What do we do about it. We can't simply 'resist technology' - we need to be smarter than that. What's the alternative vision? What should new educational technology look like? I've tried to articulate a vision - and I wish Watters would do the same. [Link] [Comment]

Web Developer Security Checklist

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-05-25 21:58

Michael O'Brien, Simple Security, Medium, May 27, 2017

In these days of multiple hacking scandals it's easy to suppose that developers should simply create more secure websites. But as Michael O'Brien argues, "Developing secure, robust web applications in the cloud is hard, very hard." This post will give readers an indication of how hard the task is as O'Brien offers a checklist of dozens of items a developer needs to check or ensure in order to secure a website. The best point is the last: "Have a practiced security incident plan. One day, you will need it." [Link] [Comment]


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