eLearning and Technology

By the numbers

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2014-07-24 07:27


Melonie Fullick, University Affairs, Jul 24, 2014

Melonie Fullick writes, "I’ m more interested in the answer to a second, unasked question that’ s implicit in “ does it count?” : count for what? In most cases, it’ s an academic job, one with some security and stability; so whether something counts towards tenure is the point, with all the implications this brings." I think this is a good point. While on the one hand we're facing this irresistable desire to reduce everything to economics (which is the essence of the meaning of 'count') on the other hand we're witnessing tensions in the area of goals and objectives.

[Link] [Comment]

Bill Gates Talks Performance Funding and MOOCs in Conference Keynote

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2014-07-24 07:27


Don Troop, Chronicle of Higher Education, Jul 24, 2014

Bill Gates talks about education and everyone listens (one of these days I'd like to go to Redmond to talk to MS face-to-face about these topics). Still, some good bits: like this: "My key message today is that that model will be under challenge. And so, instead of tuning it to find 3 percent here or 4 percent there, which has been the story in the past, there will be dramatic changes." See also IHE coverage. : "He described as 'oversimplistic' the view that higher education is just about getting a job with a certain salary' - 'Citizenship, developing deeper understanding, other things, are all important,' he said."

[Link] [Comment]

A cheaper, faster version of a college degree

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-07-24 02:10

Mary Beth Marklein, USA TODAY

No one appears quite ready to dismiss the value of a college degree, but cheaper, faster alternatives are gaining credibility in the workplace. The latest example: AT&T is working with a for-profit online education provider to develop “nanodegrees,” its name for a series of courses that will take less than a year to complete and lead directly to entry-level jobs at the company related to Web and mobile applications development. The coursework, to be launched this fall by online education provider Udacity, will cost about $200 a month. The only prerequisite: the ability to do high school math. A more advanced learner can skip the courses and go straight to a final project.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/07/11/nanodegrees-alternative-credentials/11236811/

Share on Facebook var button = document.getElementById('facebook_share_link_11645') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_icon_11645') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_both_11645') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_button_11645'); if (button) { button.onclick = function(e) { var url = this.href.replace(/share\.php/, 'sharer.php'); window.open(url,'sharer','toolbar=0,status=0,width=626,height=436'); return false; } if (button.id === 'facebook_share_button_11645') { button.onmouseover = function(){ this.style.color='#fff'; this.style.borderColor = '#295582'; this.style.backgroundColor = '#3b5998'; } button.onmouseout = function(){ this.style.color = '#3b5998'; this.style.borderColor = '#d8dfea'; this.style.backgroundColor = '#fff'; } } }

New Portal to Offer Free Online Courses to Africa’s Managers and Entrepreneurs

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-07-24 02:05

BY LILIAN MUTEGI, All Africa

The African Management Initiative (AMI) has launched the first series of online courses developed with top business schools aimed at reaching one million African entrepreneurs and managers in the next decade. Currently reaching over 800 managers, the first course – Managing Customers and Markets – is available on AMI’s new online learning platform. The course was developed by Strathmore Business School. Other online courses offered by AMI include managing myself, managing rojects, managing customers, financing impacts, managing people, scaling impact, managing customers, designing for impact and managing money.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201407100201.html

Share on Facebook var button = document.getElementById('facebook_share_link_11642') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_icon_11642') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_both_11642') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_button_11642'); if (button) { button.onclick = function(e) { var url = this.href.replace(/share\.php/, 'sharer.php'); window.open(url,'sharer','toolbar=0,status=0,width=626,height=436'); return false; } if (button.id === 'facebook_share_button_11642') { button.onmouseover = function(){ this.style.color='#fff'; this.style.borderColor = '#295582'; this.style.backgroundColor = '#3b5998'; } button.onmouseout = function(){ this.style.color = '#3b5998'; this.style.borderColor = '#d8dfea'; this.style.backgroundColor = '#fff'; } } }

Minerva Project Mixes Online Learning With World Travel

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-07-24 02:03

By KIRK CARAPEZZA, WGBH

Would you attend a college that sends you around the world to live in different cities while taking all of your classes online? Minerva Project CEO Ben Nelson is banking on the notion that the world is ready for a new and different kind of university. “If you want to have a student experience that is around the concept of a campus, sheltered environment, go to your local football games, fraternities, you have plenty of options,” Nelson said. “But if you want to go to school while really immersing yourself in the best the world has to offer, we are your only option.”

http://wgbhnews.org/post/minerva-project-mixes-online-learning-world-travel

Share on Facebook var button = document.getElementById('facebook_share_link_11639') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_icon_11639') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_both_11639') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_button_11639'); if (button) { button.onclick = function(e) { var url = this.href.replace(/share\.php/, 'sharer.php'); window.open(url,'sharer','toolbar=0,status=0,width=626,height=436'); return false; } if (button.id === 'facebook_share_button_11639') { button.onmouseover = function(){ this.style.color='#fff'; this.style.borderColor = '#295582'; this.style.backgroundColor = '#3b5998'; } button.onmouseout = function(){ this.style.color = '#3b5998'; this.style.borderColor = '#d8dfea'; this.style.backgroundColor = '#fff'; } } }

Competency-Based Learning Provides Perks for Online Students

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2014-07-23 02:05

By Devon Haynie, US News

Imagine going to school in an online environment separate from any time requirements — where you could test out of a course in a day if you proved you mastered the content. While still rare, students increasingly have the option to do just that as more online programs embrace something called competency-based learning. Competency-based learning allows students to work through an online course at their own pace, taking less time if they understand the material and more time if they are struggling. When students feel like they can demonstrate their knowledge or “competencies,” they take a test or complete a project to show their mastery.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2014/07/11/competency-based-learning-provides-perks-for-online-students

Share on Facebook var button = document.getElementById('facebook_share_link_11634') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_icon_11634') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_both_11634') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_button_11634'); if (button) { button.onclick = function(e) { var url = this.href.replace(/share\.php/, 'sharer.php'); window.open(url,'sharer','toolbar=0,status=0,width=626,height=436'); return false; } if (button.id === 'facebook_share_button_11634') { button.onmouseover = function(){ this.style.color='#fff'; this.style.borderColor = '#295582'; this.style.backgroundColor = '#3b5998'; } button.onmouseout = function(){ this.style.color = '#3b5998'; this.style.borderColor = '#d8dfea'; this.style.backgroundColor = '#fff'; } } }

A Student-Driven Online Collaborative Learning Environment

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2014-07-23 02:04

By Meg Lloyd, Campus Technology

Marist College’s The FOLD is a student-designed and delivered learning initiative combining a Web site, MOOC and open online community. Marist College has honed its learning technology innovations for decades and is not new to the Campus Technology Innovators award program, having received previous recognitions in 2006 (Identity Quest podcasting) and 2013 (Open Academic Analytics Initiative). Its latest innovative program, launched in February 2014, is a student-driven online collaborative learning environment called The FOLD (Fashion Online Learning Domain).

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/07/09/a-student-driven-online-collaborative-learning-environment.aspx

Share on Facebook var button = document.getElementById('facebook_share_link_11637') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_icon_11637') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_both_11637') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_button_11637'); if (button) { button.onclick = function(e) { var url = this.href.replace(/share\.php/, 'sharer.php'); window.open(url,'sharer','toolbar=0,status=0,width=626,height=436'); return false; } if (button.id === 'facebook_share_button_11637') { button.onmouseover = function(){ this.style.color='#fff'; this.style.borderColor = '#295582'; this.style.backgroundColor = '#3b5998'; } button.onmouseout = function(){ this.style.color = '#3b5998'; this.style.borderColor = '#d8dfea'; this.style.backgroundColor = '#fff'; } } }

Will you be able to take a picture with Google Glass by just thinking about it?

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2014-07-23 02:02

By Jiaxi Lu, Washington Post

That’s the promise given by the first version of an app called MindRDR, designed by This Place studio. To use this app, which is free to download, you will also need a pair of Google Glass, and a headset made by the biosensor company NeuroSky called the MindWave, which costs about $120. Dusan Hamlin, the chief executive and founder of This Place, said in a statement that MindRDR could enable some people with disabilities to interact with the world using Google Glass. Here’s how the company claims it will work: Users will need to relax and concentrate when they are trying to take a picture, says the company. The app will analyze user’s brainwaves through the process, and when the level of focus crossed a threshold, MindRDR tells the Glass to snap a photo.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2014/07/11/will-you-be-able-to-take-a-picture-with-google-glass-by-just-by-thinking-about-it/

Share on Facebook var button = document.getElementById('facebook_share_link_11631') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_icon_11631') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_both_11631') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_button_11631'); if (button) { button.onclick = function(e) { var url = this.href.replace(/share\.php/, 'sharer.php'); window.open(url,'sharer','toolbar=0,status=0,width=626,height=436'); return false; } if (button.id === 'facebook_share_button_11631') { button.onmouseover = function(){ this.style.color='#fff'; this.style.borderColor = '#295582'; this.style.backgroundColor = '#3b5998'; } button.onmouseout = function(){ this.style.color = '#3b5998'; this.style.borderColor = '#d8dfea'; this.style.backgroundColor = '#fff'; } } }

What’s the media got to do with education? The freedom to listen, speak and learn

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-07-22 22:23


Jul 22, 2014 The headline in the title of this post I think neatly ties together the link between media and education (and to a large degree why they are both interesting to me). "Dr Auma Obama, speaking on the following day about the work of the Sauti Kuu Foundation. Working in rural and slum areas in Kenya, the foundation teaches children about their 'light, voice and fire' or, in other words, their right to be seen, to speak, to participate and to challenge." These aren't luxuries; they're basic and core to both learning and society. [Link] [Comment]

The Bitcoins of Learning?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-07-22 22:23


Unknown, Wikispaces, Jul 22, 2014

There isn't time (nor bandwidth in what has become terrible airport lounge wifi over the years) but I think that the concept of a bitcoin for learning is a really bad idea. I get the concept - students are looking for more than just grades; they want a learning 'currency' they can take with them to the workplace. And "currency, ideally, must travel, quickly and simply, and as widely as possible. It's a reductionist, simplistic mode of social interaction." But a substantial proportion of the economic and social woes in today's society stem from the unfettered flow of currency - especially shady currency - into cash hordes in small island nations and banking havens. I am quick to criticize the aristocracies and monarchies currently governing degrees and credentials, but the replacement of monarchy is not libertarian anarchy - that way lies madness - but proper civil and social government. (I have no idea who wrote this; his/her name appears nowhere on it, but it appeared in my twitter stream).

[Link] [Comment]

Bundling and Re-bundling

elearnspace by George Siemens - Tue, 2014-07-22 21:37

I’m at the Knewton Symposium – an event focusing on the future of digital learning. This is the second year that I’ve attended. It’s a small event (last year had ~20 attendees, this year it’s closer to 60+). Knewton brings in a range of speakers and leaders in education, ranging from startups to big edtech companies and publishers to faculty and advocates for some type of change. The conversations are diverse, as can be expected when publishers and open education advocates as well as VC firms and academics share the same stage.

The narrative of educational change is more stable than it was even a few years ago and it’s reflected in this symposium. In 2011, everything was up in the air: universities were dead, faculty would be replaced by MOOCs, California would solve its education crisis by partnering with a small startup, and so on. Now the narrative has coalesced around: 1. economics and funding, 2. access and affordability, 3. innovation and creativity, 4. data and analytics, 5. future university models. While I’m interested in all five of those narratives, particularly the way in which these are being framed by university leaders, vendors and startups, and politicians, I’d like to focus here on one aspect of the conversation around future university models: unbundling.

Unbundling is an appealing concept to change mongers. The lessons of the album and mp3′s is strong with these folks. MP3s lead to newspapers which lead to music and media in general. Since change mongers (a species native to Silicon Valley but now becoming an invasive species in numerous regions around the world. Frankenfish comes to mind) do not have much regard for nuance and detail, opting instead for blunt mono-narratives, unbundling is a perfect concept to articulate needed change.

There are a few things wrong with the idea of unbundling in education:

1. Unbundling is different in social systems than it is in a content only system. An album can be unbundled without much loss. Sure, albums like The Wall don’t unbundle well, but those are exceptions. Unbundling a social system has ripple effects that cannot always be anticipated. The parts of a social system are less than the whole of a social system. Unbundling, while possible in higher education, is not a zero sum game. The pieces on the board that get rearranged will have a real impact on learners, society, and universities.

2. When unbundling happens, it is only temporary. Unbundling leads to rebundling. And digital rebundling results in less players and less competition. What unbundling represents then is a power shift. Universities are today an integrated network of products and services. Many universities have started to work with partners like Pearson (ASU is among the most prominent) to expand capacity that is not evident in their existing system.
Rebundling is what happens when the pieces that are created as a sector moves online become reintegrated into a new network model. It is most fundamentally a power shift. The current integrated higher education system is being pulled apart by a range of companies and startups. Currently the university is in the drivers seat. Eventually, the unbundled pieces will be integrated into a new network model that has a new power structure. For entrepreneurs, the goal appears to be to become part of a small number of big winners like Netflix or Google. When Sebastian Thrun stated that Udacity would be one of only 10 universities in the future, he was exhibiting the mentality that has existed in other sectors that have unbundled. Unbundling is not the real story: the real issue is the rebundling and how power structures are re-architected. Going forward, rebundling will remove the university from the drivers seat and place the control into the re-integrated networks.

Blackboard’s Big News that Nobody Noticed

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-07-22 16:23


Michael Feldstein, e-Loterate, Jul 22, 2014

Reporting from the Blackboard conference, Michael Feldstein writes, "the big corporate keynote had to be one of the strangest I’ ve ever seen." High praise! After a long intro, it became (says Feldstein) "a carpet bombing run of announcements— a series of explosions that were over by the time you realized that they had started, leaving you to wonder what the heck had just happened." (What would education be in the United States without endless military analogies?) So what are the changes? A major user interface revision, a cloud version of the platform, bundles products, and other stuff. These actually make a lot of sense, and respond to (in order) longstanding criticisms, the challenge from MOOC platforms, and D2L's positioning. But you can't say any of that if you're Blackboard, so you mumble generalities and then make the announcements, kiss me quick, it's my birthday.

[Link] [Comment]

Desire2Wha?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-07-22 16:23


Michael Feldstein, e-Literate, Jul 22, 2014

This will be (I hope) the last of the posts on D2L's name change. This post from Michael Feldstein essentially expresses incredulity at the verbiage and scepticism about the business plan (to the point of questioning one of D2L's recent acquisitions). It also includes two substantial references: to THE Journal for summarizing the announcements and D’ Arcy Norman’ s post "for an on-the-ground account of the conference and broader observations about shifts in the company’ s culture."

[Link] [Comment]

Rethinking the nature of inequality and labor: An essay review of Affective Equality

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-07-22 16:23


Eleni Schirmer, Michael W. Apple, education review, Jul 22, 2014

Good review of the book Affective Equality posing the central question, "Have the implemented educational reform policies mis-appraised the requirements of equality itself?" There are multiple "social systems that structure both equality and inequality: economic, political, cultural, and, affective." And example of this (not mentioned in the review) are parental expectations of their children. But this can't be addressed simply by hiring more staff; "it is a dangerous category error to try to squeeze all such labor into the domain of the economic market." You can't simply compensate 'care work' more generously; at the same time, for example, by offloading hands-on care-type work such as tutoring to low-paid instructors, academia overly rewards higher-paid non-care work such as administration and research. Care, according to the authors, must be recognized as a public good.

[Link] [Comment]

Kindle Unlimited

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-07-22 16:23
Display


Maria Bustillos, The Awl, Jul 22, 2014

Normally I use the article title for my own titles, but in this case I've edited it due to the language. So consider this a language warning. That said, I agree with the tome of the article, which asserts in summary that Kindle will now be charging $10 per month for access to six hundred thousand books in its library. As the author responds as a counterpoint, "it is possible to read six million e-texts at the Open Library, right now." And "But it shouldn't cost a thing to borrow a book, Amazon, you foul, horrible, profiteering enemies of civilization." That is, after all, the basis on which the public library was founded (as in, say, New Brunswick). But the publishers and vendors are pushing back against ruling like the recent HathiTrust case, which reasserted the rights of libraries to digitize and lend books from their collections.

[Link] [Comment]

Unbundling Versus Designing Faculty Roles

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-07-22 16:23


Adrianna Kezar, Sean Gehrke, Daniel Maxey, American Council on Education, Jul 22, 2014

Those who follow OLDaily will recall that I've written before on what may be called the 'unbundling' of faculty roles (article, presentation). In my presentations I offer some 27 roles that could be mixed and matched in different configurations. This paper focuses mostly on the distinction between the roles of tutor, presenter and mentor. It's one of those papers that appears to be discussing change, but which I think is fundamentally conservative in its outlook. This becomes most apparent near the end as the author executes a"a pivot in terminology" and begins talking about 'redesigning', rather than unbundling, faculty roles. Via Inside Higher Ed, which points to a related paper on  reimagining business models in higher education.

[Link] [Comment]

Beyond institutions: Stephen Downes at NetworkEDGE

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-07-22 04:23
Display


Sonja Grussendorf, CLT @ LSE, Jul 21, 2014

This is a response to my talk at the London School of Economics. "Here’ s a dedicated anti-establishment guy, who despairs at the capitalist ideology at the core of education; who dislikes that learning is now an industry... of course Downes is no Nietzsche, but there is a certain Nietzschean sentiment in his ideas." Yes there is - what Nietzsche and I share is the Taoist idea that many of the structures and principles we think of as eternal and unchanging are in fact human creations and can be transcended and/or replaced. Of course, I'm no Lao Tzu either. :)

[Link] [Comment]

Stephen Downes on the Personal Learning Environment at the LSE

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-07-22 04:23


Mark Johnson, Improvisation Blog, Jul 21, 2014

There's enough in this post to catch my eye for its different perspective (and yes, a perspective I don't agree with):

  • first, the proposition that it is "ironic" that I would speak at the London School of Economics about shifting the locus of control from institutions "at one of the great institutions of the social sciences (from whom control might be wrested)," to which I respond in a comment
  • the suggestion that PLEs failed because PLEX failed, even though ti was similar to things like the app stores
  • paper framing the questions he would ask me about the personal learning environment, since he and I are both still working on it
  • the "technological reifications" of "idealised learning" are becoming "quite common, and becoming increasingly common in education: we should be worried about this"
  • the assertion that "Downes is stuck because he's obsessed with learning. Yet, all around him he's confronted by evidence that his learning theories cannot be right (MOOCs)."

All good stuff. Well worth reading.

[Link] [Comment]

What "open learning" looks like when it's for kids who need it most

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-07-22 04:23
Display


Mimi Ito, Boing Boing, Jul 21, 2014

The advertorial content in this post promoting MIT Media Lab notwithstanding, what Mimi Ito says at the end is exactly right: "True 'disruption' and access beyond the echo chamber of the digital elites requires more than creating sophisticated educational content and building high-end online learning platforms. We need to spend less effort escalating the tech and bandwidth intensiveness of these platforms and more on meeting diverse kids where they are in their local communities with the resources they have on hand."

[Link] [Comment]

The Ultimate Directory Of Free Image Sources

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-07-22 04:23


Dan Leeman, The Edublogger, Jul 21, 2014

This is exactly what the title says it is. Except, maybe it's not the ultimate list - maybe the penultimate? - but it's the best I've seen. Need free images? Try this site. And if you need to edit images online (maybe you're stuck with a Mac or iPhone) then  this post reviews three top image editing sites. As usual (and as always) cloud applications like this suffer from  upload speed limitations on typical internet service providers (this is something that will have to improve for a fully interactive web).

[Link] [Comment]

Pages

Subscribe to Ulrich Schrader's Website aggregator - eLearning and Technology