eLearning and Technology

IS ONLINE COLLEGE ABOUT TO SKYROCKET?

by Laura Hollis, World Net Daily

What threatens to disrupt the traditional business model of a four-year college education? Online education. I’ve watched for more than two decades as online education has morphed from being an option of last resort to entire programs offered online at respected research institutions. Stanford was among the first to offer a massively open online course and now offers several hundred online courses. Ohio State, Penn State and Arizona State universities offer nationally ranked, completely online bachelor’s degrees. The University of Illinois, among others, has an online MBA program. The business model of higher education needs to change, for the sake of our future graduates as well as our own survival. As history has shown, either you anticipate the disruption or you are made obsolete by it.

http://www.wnd.com/2017/03/is-online-college-about-to-skyrocket/

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For Online Class Discussions, Instructors Move From Text to Video

By Jeffrey R. Young, EdSurge

Many instructors see discussion boards as drudgery as well. “The threaded discussion felt always like the wrong medium for learning,” says Joyce Valenza, an assistant teaching professor at Rutgers University’s School of Communication and Information, who has been teaching online since 2001. “When you think about the larger world, people are not sending each other threaded responses,” she adds, noting that as a result, classroom text forums feel “inauthentic.” For Valenza and a growing number of instructors, the answer is video. They’re asking students to send in short video responses to questions or share their arguments by submitting short video presentations. To show me what that looks like in a recent online course she taught about how to manage school library programs, Valenza invited me to a Google Hangout so she could share her screen as we talked.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-03-17-for-online-class-discussions-instructors-move-from-text-to-video

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U Northern Colorado Nursing professors research civility in online learning

by Trevor Reid, Greeley Tribune

Participants reported agreement with a set of behaviors as to how disruptive they were, and how often they occurred in the last year. Faculty and students report incivility as a generally mild problem at UNC, but that uncivil behaviors were committed by both faculty and students. There was widespread agreement on definitions of egregious behavior — such as name calling, racial slurs, plagiarism/cheating or lack of timely responses from students or faculty. Those surveyed agreed these behaviors were disruptive to learning, and that they were relatively rare. However, there was a disconnect between what faculty and students perceived to be more subtle “uncivil” behavior. Students ranked behavior such as changes to a syllabus or assignment, or not providing helpful feedback on an assignment, as uncivil.

http://www.greeleytribune.com/news/local/unc-in-focus-nursing-professors-research-online-learning/

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Quality for news is mostly about solving the reputation issue

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2017-03-25 19:39


Monday Note, Medium, Mar 25, 2017

I hear this sort of sentiment a lot, and also with respect to learning resource quality as well. The idea is to be sure you're depending on authoritative sources, or at the very least, reliable sources. But how is this established. "A close look at a precise set of signals can reveal a lot about journalistic quality," says the authors. What signals? Awards, newsroom size, years of operation. But wait, I say to myself. Awards can be manipulated, you have to pay to qualify, and they reward conformity and compliance, usually. Continue to the bottom and you see the advertisement for the data journalism awards. Coincidence? As it turns out, no. The author, Frederic Filloux, is  affiliated with the awards, and is on  the board of Global Editor News, the sponsor of the awards. OK, it's not Watergate. But this is how you evaluate whether whether journalism is credible.

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Students should learn to code because it is the language of the future

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2017-03-25 01:10

BY MATTHEW LYNCH, Tech Advocate

Programming is now required in many jobs, and most students have free access to PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Many of the projected STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) jobs involve computers, and there is an increasingly high demand for employees who can write computer programs. This means that students should learn to code while still in school because it is the language of the future. Today, the schools teach students how to utilize ICT (information and communications technology) as a consumer, rather than using it as a programmer. On the other hand, the tech-savvy world tends to develop technological innovations by building and encouraging literacy in keeping with modern living.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/students-should-learn-to-code-because-it-is-the-language-of-the-future/

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What will edtech look like in 100 years?

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2017-03-25 01:06

BY MATTHEW LYNCH, Tech Edvocate

We can predict that instead of using pens and pencils to write on paper or keyboards to write on computers and tablets, one day, children will use Google glasses (or its successor) to transfer their thoughts and notes on a computer. Other futuristic thoughts include new tools to protect devices from viruses, Cloud Learning (which would eliminate paper), increased use of e-communities, hologram lessons, and international collaboration.While these are only predictions, some of the technologies mentioned here are either in their research phase or are being used in a beginning phase. What is certain is that education will change greatly in the next century. There will be numerous innovations, and we should put them to use carefully while trying to eliminate and minimize any side effects that occur along the way.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/what-will-edtech-look-like-in-100-years/

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7 Things You Should Know About the 2017 Key Issues in Teaching and Learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2017-03-25 01:02

by EDUCAUSE ELI

Each year since 2011, ELI has surveyed those involved with teaching and learning in higher education to take the pulse of the group about what’s most exciting, pressing, consequential, and relevant. Looking at the ELI Key Issues over time shows which areas hold our attention and time year after year, and it shines a spotlight on issues that rise sharply on the list or fall down the ranking. This issue of the 7 Things You Should Know series consists of short commentaries on the top 7 issues from the survey. These short meditations provide focus, serving as brief, guided tours of that issue’s particular landscape: Accessibility Blended Learning Change Management Competency-based Education (CBE) Digital Literacy Faculty Development Information Literacy Online Learning Teaching and Learning.

https://library.educause.edu/resources/2017/2/7-things-you-should-know-about-the-2017-key-issues-in-teaching-and-learning

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Twitter exploring premium subscription service

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-03-24 13:38


Mike Murphy, Market Watch, Mar 24, 2017

The suggestion is that Twitter might roll out an enhanced 'tweet-deck' application for a monthly fee. "The premium version would be aimed at marketers, journalists and professionals." Twitter is stalled at just over 300 million users and low ad revenue. This news comes on the heels on an announcement that Medium will start charging a 'membership' fee no long after officially giving up on an ad-supported business model. The move has drawn some  harsh criticism from pundits. But here's the problem: it's really hard to find any other sustainability model. I suggested a  number of possibilities a decade ago, but most do not fit the private enterprise VC-funded model.

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EdX brings students together to brainstorm online improvements

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2017-03-24 01:10

by Maya Goldman, Michigan Daily

The Office of Academic Innovation partnered with edX, a massive online open course provider, on Tuesday evening to hold a Design Jam for University of Michigan students. The event was held so edX could hear from students about its program and get a new perspective on the issues within their platform they want to solve. MOOCs are online higher-education classes available to learners at all levels and with all interests. The University partners with edX, as well as with other providers like Coursera, to create classes taught by University professors for the platform. The event aimed to facilitate the discussion of solutions and creation of prototypes to solve some of the challenges edX faces within their company. According to Rachel Niemer, director of the University’s Gameful Learning Lab and the organizer of the event, design labs are important because they allow students to enter conversations about innovation that are traditionally faculty-based.

https://www.michigandaily.com/section/academics/design-jam-brings-together-students-and-edx-developers

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The Future of EDUCAUSE: Expanded Partnerships and Collaboration

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2017-03-24 01:05

by John O’Brien, EDUCAUSE Review

Over the five-year period covered in our strategic plan, EDUCAUSE will work to promote stronger, more collaborative relationships between IT leaders and other senior campus leaders. As technology solutions extend across campus and IT risks intensify, it’s crucial to make connections and elevate the strategic role of information technology and also of IT leaders. With this in mind, EDUCAUSE will work at two levels. On the ground, we will expand access to resources that help our members connect the dots on campus and tell the IT story effectively. Beginning in July, we will be able to do that even better when our new membership model opens up ELI and ECAR resources to all members.

http://er.educause.edu/articles/2017/3/the-future-of-educause-expanded-partnerships-and-collaboration

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Understanding the Faculty Role in Digital Accessibility

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2017-03-24 01:02

By Doug Lederman, Inside Digital Learning

The decision last week by the University of California, Berkeley, to take years’ worth of video and audio lectures out of the public realm because of federal requirements on accessibility for people with disabilities was decried by many accessibility advocates. In the context of Berkeley’s decision, Inside Digital Learning asked a group of digital accessibility experts how they balance the essential goal of making digital courseware accessible while respecting faculty independence and avoiding deterring professors who may already be daunted by the prospect of creating digital academic materials. Among the questions we asked them to address are: *Are there practices that you have found work (and don’t) in assuring the creation of accessible digital materials? *Are there decisions to be made about what you have faculty members themselves do, versus the institution’s technology specialists? *What issues should administrators and faculty members alike be thinking about as they navigate this terrain?

https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/article/2017/03/15/digital-accessibility-experts-discuss-how-they-approach-faculty

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Voice Is the Next Big Platform, Unless You Have an Accent

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-03-23 16:38


Sonia Paul, Backchannel, Mar 23, 2017

I have mixed feelings about the importance of voice commands. Yes, we will need voice - we frequently need to communicate with a computer when we are otherwise occupied, as for example when we are driving. And a computer can be a participant in a conversation, as for example on Star Trek. But voice commands can be appropriate in crowds and public spaces, or for activities where privacy is important. Also, voice, like a lot of things, depends on artificial intelligence (AI), and as this story suggests, bias can be built into AI. Hence Alexa's inability to understand an accented voice. This will eventually become a security feature, as voice learns to train on specific voices, accent and all. But for now it's a problem.

[Link] [Comment]

This Article Won’t Change Your Mind

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-03-23 16:38


Julie Beck, The Atlantic, Mar 23, 2017

Some time about 20 years ago I decided that i would stop arguing, and start explaining. It was no longer about convincing others, it was about making my own reasoning clear. Why? because after almost two decades in philosophy I concluded that nobody is convinced by argumentation. Yes, I have relapses, because I'm temperamentally argumentative, but these are exclamations, not exhortations. "Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point..." This, in a nutshell, is the history of philosophy. What will change minds? Personal experience, interactions with friends, and cognitive dissonance. That's why to teach really is 'to model and demonstrate'. Anyhow. Good article. Won't change your mind, but is worth reading in any case.

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Brace Yourself For The Bitcoin Hard Fork

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-03-23 13:38


Rob Blasetti, Decentralize Today, Mar 23, 2017

There's a lot of history behind this one, but essentially  the split is between the original developers, who want to keep the size of a block limited, and Bitcoin miners (ie., the people who actually encrypt the blocks), who want the size of the block to grow. This can happen in distributed systems. It's not necessarily a bug; think of it as being like mitosis, where a simple network begins to develop into a complex network. But the short term message is risk. Lots of it, because this sort of thing hasn't happened a lot yet (though  it has happened to Ethereum).

[Link] [Comment]

Thoughts on the UMUC IT Spin Off

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-03-23 01:38


Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed, Mar 22, 2017

This article offers reflections on a recent University of Maryland University College (UMUC)  initiative to spin off its IT department into a for-profit company.  Joshua Kim writes, "The new company, to be called AccelerEd, will be made up of the 100 or so professionals who work for UMUC’ s Office of Information Technology. This moves follows the previous spin off of UMUC analytics unit into a for-profit company called HelioCampus." What about online learning, though? "In online learning, there is not a place where teaching ends and technology starts. How do you separate the two?" I don't see this experiment working out well.

[Link] [Comment]

Scholars Behind Bars

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-03-23 01:38


Jonathan Zimmerman, New York Review of Books, Mar 22, 2017

Summary and discussion of two books about teaching college classes in prison. "Just as a poor education transports people into prison, a rich one can transform them beyond it." It's focused especially on the  Bard Prison Initiative (BPI). It shades into an interesting discussion of the value of an arts-focused education as compared to business or trades.

[Link] [Comment]

Universities scramble as political climate threatens international enrollment

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2017-03-23 01:07

by Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Approximately 40% of domestic colleges and universities participating in a recent higher education survey are reporting a decrease in applications from international students, a trend that some observers attribute to the changing political climate in the United States, travel restrictions, and growing perceived animus against international student presence on some campuses, Inside Higher Ed reports. 35% of the 250 participating schools reported increases in applications from foreign countries, while 26% reported no change. Applications from Middle Eastern nations were the most reduced according to a recent study of international students by Royall & Company, but interest from students in Canada, Asia and Europe is also declining. Respondents indicated the federal travel ban, the attitudes from the White House about foreign students, and a perception of unwelcoming campus climates as the top reasons for their decreased interest.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/universities-scramble-as-political-climate-threatens-international-enrollme-1/438060/

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4 trends poised to transform the future of higher education

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2017-03-23 01:05

by Autumn A. Arnett, Education Dive

Association of Governing Boards associate managing principal for institutional strategies Jim Hundrieser speaking during the 99th annual American Council on Education meeting in Washington, DC said,“Students are no longer buying that whole college” experience, said Hundrieser, using the example of having to buy an entire album for one or two good songs, prior to the profusion of digitized media. As such, certificates, credentials, and job-related curricula are becoming increasingly more important considerations for leaders of traditional institutions. Not only that, he said, but despite what recent data show, MOOCs were not just a flash in the pan. Instead, we’ve seen “inning one of a nine inning game,” Hundrieser said, adding that MOOCs are still “absolutely” poised to disrupt the traditional higher education marketplace, as courses, particularly around college prep, increase.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/4-trends-poised-to-transform-the-future-of-higher-education/437923/

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Smartphones Outpacing Humans in Literacy

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2017-03-23 01:03

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

“Illiterate people are more likely to be poor, lack education, miss out on opportunities to participate fully in society and the workforce,” Project Literacy stated on its website. “Sadly, their choices in life are far too limited.” Currently, 758 million adults around the world and 32 million Americans are illiterate, according to a new report issued by the project, “2027: Human vs. Machine Literacy.” These are individuals who are unable to read “a road sign, a voting form or a medicine label.” At the same time, technological advances in artificial intelligence and voice recognition will soon enable more than two billion smartphones to read and write. Natural language processing capabilities will “begin to outpace the reading skills of millions of people,” asserted the authors.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/03/09/smartphones-outpacing-humans-in-literacy.aspx

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Linked Data Notifications

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2017-03-22 22:38


World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Mar 22, 2017

Linked data Notifications (LDN) is a little standard with big potential. It's very simple: you send a message to a server. I receive a notification. I access the server and retrieve the message. That's it. It sounds a lot like email, but it isn't email. In many ways it's better than email. It can be used to announce publications. It can be used to build a decentralized  social network like sloph. From where I'm sitting, it could help a MOOC communicate with a PLE.

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