news (external)

Freakonomics author: 4 ways data could be tricking you

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

Stephen J. Dubner, Freakonomics co-author, explains why using data to predict future trends is trickier than you may think. When higher ed leaders discuss big data these days, as well as its potential to help predict future trends and, therefore, courses of action, stories about turkey breasts, hand washing and monkey sex don’t also make the rounds; but according to the Freakonomics author, they should. “What people say they feel or say they do versus what they actually do are often two completely different things,” explained Stephen J. Dubner, journalist, author and this year’s Infocomm 2016 Las Vegas keynoter. “And this is what makes the use of data tricky whenever industry looks to it for answers in behavior.”

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Matching degrees to jobs adds up to much higher lifetime earnings


Recent graduates often wonder whether all the money and time they spent pursuing a degree was worthwhile. Meanwhile, employers across the nation are having difficulty filling millions of jobs because of a mismatch in the skills students have and the skills employers need. As a result, we have people without jobs and jobs without people. Discussions about the value of college need to focus on enabling students to make informed choices that lead to well-paying careers and meaningful lives. This means choosing the right college and the right major. While students have every right to pursue their passions, they should also have information to see what their future might look like if they do.

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Lifeliqe Creator Allows Educators to Create Their Own 3D Content for Free

By Richard Chang, THE Journal

Lifeliqe, a platform for interactive, educational 3D, virtual reality and augmented reality, today launched Lifeliqe Creator, a program that gives teachers the power to create and publish interactive presentations and e-books that integrate 3D models, rather than 2D images. Lifeliqe users can explore objects — such as dinosaurs or the inside of a shark — with interactive 3D views. They can zoom deep into the structure of objects, experience augmented reality, view supplementary text on a subject and change the language for a bilingual view in English or Spanish. With the Lifeliqe Creator feature, any of the 1,000 interactive 3D models can be dragged and dropped right into a presentation, e-book or lesson plan, so teachers can provide students with interactive 3D experiences.

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How to use metaphors to generate badge-based pathways

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - 5 hours 2 min ago

Doug Belshaw, Open Educational Thinkering, Jun 29, 2016

The Periscope video may have expired before you see this (why wouldn't people use Hangounts, which don't expire?) but the overall concept is worth a look. Doug Belshaw describes a workshop that leads people through the use of badhes in the creation of learning paths. "Participants will be expected to come up with as many metaphors as they can which could be used to demonstrate progression," for example, the subway stop metaphor. The metaphors are examined, classified, and (if you're lucky) insights are generated. The point is to reinforce the idea that learning is non-linear, and that there are many (if you will) routes to your destination.

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Looking back to move forward: A process for whole-school transformation

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2016-06-29 22:27

Andrew Robertson, Microsoft in Education blog, Jun 29, 2016

This post from Microsoft highlights "a series of whitepapers which show examples of successful transformation and how technology can enable progress under two broad areas: Leadership and policy and 21st century pedagogy." There's a sweeping agenda behind these documents. The policy agenda proposes "a public-private education partnership (that) has the potential to be a significant catalyst for systemic change" along with the associated technology investment. The pedagogy agenda pushes schools towards "cloud solutions that manage infrastructure with services and learning allows schools to operate more effectively." All of this is cast under the heading of personalized learning, capacity building and "responsive and creative use of technology." There are white papers and more for each of the ten sections. I can see how the presentation would engage school leaders looking for a way to address current trends in learning, but they need to look beyond the single-vendor approach proposed here, and they should be clear that technology companies are service providers who are held accountable for delivery, not partners taking a hand in pedagogical and educational decisions.

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A neural conversation model

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2016-06-29 22:27

Adrian Colyer, The Morning Paper, Jun 29, 2016

One of the key questions in learning and technology, from my perspective, is whether a neural network needs domain knowledge in order to function effectively. This article summarizes a paper describing an effort to create an effective conversational tool that operates without domain knowledge, "a bot that is trained on conversational data, and only conversational data: no programmed understanding of the domain at all, just lots and lots of sample conversations." As we see from the examples, "The surprising thing is just how well it works." It's far enough from reliable, though, that the author concludes "any real service is going to need to some more complex logic wrapped around it."

You might be asking, why is this question so important? The answer is complex, but in a nutshell, if we require domain knowledge in order to learn, then we require memorization; by contrast, if learning can be accomplished without domain knowledge, then it can be accomplished by practice alone, without memorization. You might say "so who cares? Just memorize some stuff." You could do this, but this makes it a lot harder for the learner to correct memorized stuff that is wrong, and makes them less able to learn on their own or think critically. The learner's knowledge becomes based more on their pre-constructed model or representation of the world, not experience or evidence. So if you can get to the same place without rote memorization, that would be preferable.

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Evernote clampdown causes anger

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2016-06-29 19:26

BBC News, Jun 29, 2016

"An Evernote free basic account is now basically useless," wrote Gizmodo's Gerald Lynch. You'd think there would be no need to recite this lesson again, but here it is. "Evernote has restricted the use of the free version of its note-taking app and raised prices for the paid-for ones. But it faces a backlash from users unhappy at being limited to synching notes across two devices - rather than an unlimited number - unless they pay." More. What people really need is their own stand-alone application to manage and sync resources, so this problem doesn't happen to them again and again. I had hoped this would be part of LPSS, but well, you know...

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Here’s how to shape the future of higher education in India

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2016-06-29 19:26

K Vaidya Nathan, The Financial Express, Jun 29, 2016

Based on his experien ce teaching a MOOC this business writer identifies "five trends that stand out to possibly exert a genuinely transformative impact on higher education in the times to come" (quoted):

  • online learning platforms will democratise higher education;
  • benchmarks for classroom teaching are becoming higher because of this democratisation of higher education;
  • industry and academia could come closer with industry folks getting to learn as and when they choose to, on topics relevant for their workplace;
  • platforms like Coursera can disaggregate course content and make teaching assets available to any faculty to use; and
  • enhance our understanding of student motivation, instructional design and the personalisation of learning pathways.

It is, frankly, a narrow vision, and one not always supported by the evidence. The "democratisation" of education cited several times runs counter to learning as a form of workplace training. And Coursera is making it harder, not easier, to make assets available for any teacher to use. Online learning isn't just about making stuff available for teachers to use in classrooms. Funny how it's so hard to convince anyone otherwise, though.

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Amazon Launches 'Inspire,' a Free Education Resource Search Platform for Educators

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2016-06-29 16:26

Mary Jo Madda, EdSurge, Jun 29, 2016

Amazon's e-learning plans - described  earlier this year - are coming to fruition. It's learning  -  Amazon Inspire - has officially launched. "A free, mostly-OER platform (see below for why it’ s “ mostly OER” ), Amazon Inspire works like a search engine for educational videos, lesson plans and games. Users can search by criteria like topics (say, 'fractions' or 'the Constitution'), standards, grade level, and time to complete, as shown below; additionally, they can rate materials with 1 to 5 stars." There was  quite a bit of discussion when it was first announced in February. Something like this is what I had hoped we could have developed with the LPSS program at NRC. More.

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What the Bot Revolution Could Mean for Online Learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2016-06-29 02:10

by Daily bits, Huffington Post

Online learning service with a passion for personal development and daily learning. Many people are betting on bots becoming the new apps. My co-founder and I are two of those people. Before I tell you more about why that is, let’s take a paragraph to explain what bots are. The bots I’m referring to are the so-called chat-bots. They’re “smart” programs that you can have a conversation with, and get help from, via the messaging app of your choice. This could be a bot that sends out a survey to your team and then sends you a recap (check out the bot How.dy for Slack). Or it could be a bot serving you with the best personalized news via Facebook Messenger (check out CNN’s bot for Facebook).

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The Ever-Changing CIO Job Description

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2016-06-29 02:05

By David Raths, Campus Technology

The chief information officer position continues to evolve as technology becomes more central to the mission of the university. How has that affected what the CIO does day to day? Campus Technology asked several longtime IT leaders, including Suess, to reflect on how they have seen the job change during their tenures.

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Higher ed systems expanding access to open-source materials

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2016-06-29 02:03

By Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Several higher education systems in the northeast have launched campus-based publishing imprints and initiatives designed to expand open-source and digital textbook production and usage. The State University of New York and University of New Hampshire systems are encouraging faculty to make broader use of open source publishing for research, teaching titles and learning opportunities to become more familiar with the technology. Programs that have moved from pilot to campus- or system-wide initiatives have begun to yield student savings — about $148,000 at the University of New Hampshire last year.

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New Bug - Wed, 2016-06-29 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Nursing students' knowledge and practices of standard precautions: A Jordanian web-based survey.

NLM - Nursing Informatics - Tue, 2016-06-28 16:23
Related Articles

Nursing students' knowledge and practices of standard precautions: A Jordanian web-based survey.

Nurse Educ Today. 2015 Dec;35(12):1175-80

Authors: AL-Rawajfah OM, Tubaishat A

BACKGROUND: The main purpose of this web-based survey was to evaluate Jordanian nursing students' knowledge and practice of standard precautions.
METHODS: A cross-sectional, descriptive design was used. Six public and four private Jordanian universities were invited to participate in the study. Approximately, seventeen hundred nursing students in the participating universities were invited via the students' portal on the university electronic system. For schools without an electronic system, students received invitations sent to their personal commercial email.
RESULTS: The final sample size was 594 students; 65.3% were female with mean age of 21.2 years (SD=2.6). The majority of the sample was 3rd year students (42.8%) who had no previous experience working as nurses (66.8%). The mean total knowledge score was 13.8 (SD=3.3) out of 18. On average, 79.9% of the knowledge questions were answered correctly. The mean total practice score was 67.4 (SD=9.9) out of 80. There was no significant statistical relationship between students' total knowledge and total practice scores (r=0.09, p=0.032).
CONCLUSION: Jordanian nursing educators are challenged to introduce different teaching modalities to effectively translate theoretical infection control knowledge into safe practices.

PMID: 26043655 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Categories: nursing informatics

Study examines whocj students choose for-profit education

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2016-06-28 02:10

By Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

More than two million students are enrolled in for-profit schools. These students tend to be older, minority students from low-income families with low levels of educational attainment. Typically divided into three categories, for-profit schools enrolled more than 11% of students in enterprises colleges, super systems or internet institutions at the height of their success, but have fallen to just over 9% in recent years. A field study of students at Millennium College revealed executive transparency was a major challenge, but in-person instruction and the fostered accountability and maturity among students was viewed as an asset of the blended online and in-person school structure.

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Higher ed requires drastic changes to remain competitive for students

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2016-06-28 02:05

By Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

More than 50 million Americans owe student loan debt, a number that exceeds the amount of people receiving benefits for Social Security and Medicaid. Demographics suggest the U.S. population is increasingly older and earns a lower median income than it did 10 years ago — a reality that clashes directly with increasing college costs across the country. Not only that, but the population is also shifting from the traditionally white, affluent male student population many schools are used to recruiting and educating to a broader cross-section of the country’s actual population. Competency-based instruction, predictive analytics and online education delivery are the keys to reducing costs and improving student outcomes in the 21st century.

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Law Schools Are Going Online to Reach New Students

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2016-06-28 02:02


Law schools, in the face of marked declines in enrollment, revenue and jobs for graduates, are beginning to adopt innovative new ways of delivering legal education. Some law schools are moving away from relying solely on classic settings and instead are blending classroom learning with online instruction, said Michael B. Horn, a founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute, a research institution in San Mateo, Calif., that explores disruptive innovation in education. “Legal education is confronting the most imminent threat in higher education,” Mr. Horn said. “Law schools are increasingly out of step with shifts in the legal services market.”

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SRI’s Study on Gates Personalized Learning Grants Is Out

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2016-06-27 19:21

Michael Feldstein, e-Literate, Jun 27, 2016

Short note summarizing the Gates Foundation's SRI study (53 page PDF) on personalized learning grants. First of all, Feldstein writes "this is not a report that screams, 'Wow, adaptive courseware works!'" But secondly, and more interestingly, he writes, "Large-scale educational research is incredibly hard and may actually be impossible to do rigorously for certain kinds of questions." Feldstein explains, "one reason the conclusions are murky is because there so many variables in each class— not just each course subject, not just each course at one university, but even with each section of each class taught by one teacher— that really matter." I've  commented on this before.

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Maker Education: Pedagogy, Andragogy, Heutagogy

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2016-06-27 16:20

Jackie Gerstein, User Generated Education, Jun 27, 2016

To be clear, the term 'Andragogy' does not mean (as suggested in this article) "self-directed learning".  The term refers specifically to adult learning - "andr (meaning ‘ man’ ) could be contrasted with pedagogy (paid- meaning ‘ child’ and agogos (meaning ‘ leading’ )". And educators do love their levels and series of progressions, hence the movement in this article from pedagogy to andragogy to heutagogy (from 'heut', meaning 'self). All of that said, the PAH framework (educators do love frameworks) could serve as a useful guide for thought in the area.

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EDEN 2016: Re-imagining Learning Environments

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2016-06-27 16:20

Tony Bates, online learning and distance education resources, Jun 27, 2016

Tony Bates summarizes the recent EDEN conference, writing "I was surprised at how much importance European institutions are still giving to MOOCs. There were by far more papers on MOOCs than on credit-based online learning or even blended learning. Even the Oxford debate this year was on the following motion: We Should Focus in the Short Term More on MOOCs than on OER." The resolution, Bates writes, as to his relief soundly defeated. But I would have won that debate, in my humble opinion, by talking about the critical role OERs play in MOOCs (our MOOCs) and the role MOOCs play to stimulate the use, production and reuse of OERs.

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