eLearning and Technology

What Classes Should I Take?

By Laura Helmuth, Slate

We at Slate have a lot of opinions about the most worthwhile classes you can take in high school, college, and adult education, and like anybody, we like to give unsolicited advice, so welcome to our week of guidance counseling! We’re rolling out 17 class recommendations, starting with five today. These are the classes that taught us the most important lessons—even if we didn’t realize it at the time. Take a look at this week’s schedule, below. What’d we miss? On the final day of this series, we’ll collect readers’ best advice. Please let us know what was the most important class you ever took—or the one you wish you’d taken. Email us at classes@slate.com with up to 200 words advocating for your class. And please add your recommendations to the comments section or share them on Twitter using the hashtag #TakeThisClass.

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/classes/2015/08/what_classes_should_i_take_geology_coding_geography_math_poetry_acting_anatomy.html

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Colleges embrace the question ‘How can we do that online?’

By Amy Lane, Crain’s Detroit Business

“The challenge is keeping up with the pace of advances, and technology, and try not to follow the fads, and just stick to what is good for our students, and their success ultimately,” said Ahmad Ezzeddine, associate vice president for educational outreach and international programs at Wayne State University. One approach to improved online learning is to present course information in smaller segments, Ezzeddine said. “When someone is online, the attention span is a lot shorter. You need to maintain the interest of students, so having them watch a three-hour lecture is not going to be effective,” he said. Students want “more action-oriented learning, in smaller doses,” and clear relevance, said Ed Borbely, director of the University of Michigan’s Integrative Systems and Design graduate degree-granting division housed in the College of Engineering. “There’s less tolerance for ‘Just sit back, someday you might use this.’ ”

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20150830/NEWS/308309995/colleges-embrace-the-question-how-can-we-do-that-online

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Massive online courses grow; what’s in it for the universities?

by Kirk Pinho, Crain’s Detroit

Depending on whom you ask, universities benefit in a few different ways. For some, the upside is that the courses may sow seeds for the MOOC students to eventually enroll at the university, generating revenue. For others, there are educational benefits in that they give professors a sort of educational sandbox in which they can experiment with new and emerging methods of delivering content and course themes. And some argue that the benefit is largely social in nature by offering high-level educational opportunities to a group of students that may otherwise be unable to afford them. “They provide the general populace with an opportunity to have lifelong learning experiences and exposure to new content,” said Geralyn Stephens, associate professor, clinical, in teacher education in Wayne State University’s College of Education.

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20150830/NEWS/308309998/massive-online-courses-grow-whats-in-it-for-the-universities

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This Robot Tutor Will Make Personalizing Education Easy

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2015-09-04 23:24


Issie Lapowsk, Wired, [Sept] 04, 2015

Wired is still on the Knewton bandwagon. "Personalizing a lesson means creating even more work than already time-strapped, under-resourced teachers can handle... Jose Ferreira and his company, Knewton, have spent the last seven years working on a way to fix that problem with technology. Today, they’ re launching the results of that work: a new, free tool that aims to automate personalized instruction for teachers."

[Link] [Comment]

Welcome Videos For New Students

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2015-09-04 23:24


Ashley Budd, Higher Ed Live, [Sept] 04, 2015

This is a selection of some of their favourite welcome videos (I confess I did not survey the field and so cannot comment on whether they are actually the best). "Summer sessions come to a close and college campuses are buzzing with new students. Many institutions  capture the spirit of Move-in Day, freshmen induction ceremonies  and the first days of classes than with a short sharable video that is sure to put a smile on the faces of students, parents, staff and alumni."

[Link] [Comment]

Revisiting Vernor Vinge’s “predictions” for 2025

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2015-09-04 23:24


Vernor Vinge, [Sept] 04, 2015

Of all the predictions outline here, this is the one that seems most interetsing: "people can send silent messages without talking or (openly) typing. It does feel like the kind of application that could take off." It's the soprt of invention that would start out not very usefully - you could send a 'ping' subvocally. But before long we will  be sending copyrighted thoughts subvocally. Then what?

[Link] [Comment]

From Possibilties to Priorities: Inspiring a Vision for Learning

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2015-09-04 23:24


Johnny Bevacqua, Connected Principals, [Sept] 04, 2015

One of the lings we learn bout in philosophy is the phenomenon whereby the questuion contains the answer it is seeking. Here's one: “ What should teaching and learning look like at the school in its next century?” Why would we suppose education in the next century would take place in schools?

[Link] [Comment]

Getting an MBA while you’re on the road: How to pull it off

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2015-09-04 02:10

by Anne Fisher, Fortune

Studying on the fly will present some challenges, but it can be done. Lara Martini, who is Microsoft’s director of commercial markets strategy for Latin America, finished her MBA last fall despite traveling more than half the time. (In fact, when I spoke to her, she was at the airport in Miami, headed for Bogota.) “Travel is really the main reason most of my fellow students and I were enrolled in online programs,” she says. “People have become accustomed to working remotely, so this is really an extension of that.”

http://fortune.com/2015/08/28/mba-business-school-online/

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More work needed in blending online and onsite learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2015-09-04 02:05

by Peta Lee, University World News

Although the traditional lecture hall is unlikely to ever disappear completely, it is increasingly being supplemented – and in some cases replaced – by technology. And while a combination of both online and onsite learning as a teaching means is proving successful, more work is needed for this combination to truly internationalise the global learning experience. The digital revolution has turned conventional teaching and studying on its head, affecting students, academics and campuses worldwide. The role of digital learning is analysed in Internationalisation of Higher Education, a study focusing on 10 countries from within Europe and seven from without, commissioned by the European Parliament committee on culture and education.

http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=2015082715255084

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New qualitative research explores students’ MOOC concerns

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2015-09-04 02:03

By Tara García Mathewson, Education Dive

A new qualitative study asks traditional college students what they think about massive open online courses, finding a number of concerns that mirror those of administrators. According to eCampus News, the students found reason for concern when it comes to the accuracy of course content and instructor quality, responding that it is nice that people with information can share it in a MOOC platform but also a drawback to the system because their teaching materials are not necessarily peer-reviewed. Almost a quarter of interviewees said outcomes were a major concern, pointing to course credit for MOOCs as a way to legitimize them for students.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/new-qualitative-research-explores-students-mooc-concerns/404459/

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How to Think Visually

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2015-09-03 20:19


Rabndy, Cool Infographics, [Sept] 03, 2015

In case you haven't seen this before, or are just beginning your career and an education consultant, here's a graphic represention of a couple dozen or so graphical representations of data. You too can feature the sandwich, universe or rollwer coaster in your slides.

[Link] [Comment]

Penn State launches new program to teach grad students to teach online

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2015-09-03 18:46

By Hilary Appelman, Penn State

Graduate students traditionally teach the way they were taught. But more and more they are finding themselves teaching in online classrooms, where the old rules don’t necessarily apply. A new Graduate Student Online Teaching Certificate program is being offered to Penn State graduate students for the first time this fall with the goal of improving the quality of instruction online. Larry Boggess, director of online faculty development for Penn State World Campus, had hoped to attract 30 students to the course. So far, more than 350 have enrolled from across Penn State’s colleges and campuses.

http://news.psu.edu/story/367847/2015/09/02/academics/penn-state-launches-new-program-teach-grad-students-teach-online

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The Best of August 2015

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2015-09-03 14:14


Jane Hart, Learning in the Social Workplace, [Sept] 03, 2015

I like this format from Jane Hart. She highlights the best of her posts and tweets from the months into a substantial newsletter broken into major topics emerging through the month, in this case, into these four: the need to revamp training, whether we should call people 'learners', the efficacy of self-directed learning, and organizational culture.

[Link] [Comment]

Penn State Starts Network for Entrepreneurs With Focus on Online Learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2015-09-03 13:27

by Mary Ellen McIntire, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Education-technology companies are hot these days. So are online programs by universities. Pennsylvania State University hopes to tap into both trends with a new effort to turn its campus into an innovation hub for ed-tech companies. The effort is called the EdTech Network, and officials hope it will spark entrepreneurship around the campus geared toward improving services for online students, said Craig D. Weidemann, the university’s vice provost for online education. That could help Penn State reach its 10-year goal of increasing enrollments in its online World Campus to 45,000 students.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/penn-state-starts-network-for-entrepreneurs-with-focus-on-online-learning/57321

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UMUC to eliminate textbooks

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2015-09-03 02:05

by Associated Press

The University of Maryland University College plans to eliminate textbooks this fall to save students money by using resources online. Kara Van Dam, a vice provost, said Thursday students will be able use a variety of materials like readings and videos online at no cost. Van Dam says the change will save students thousands of dollars over their academic program. She says other universities are taking similar steps, but UMUC is a front runner in making a transition of this magnitude.

http://www.wusa9.com/story/news/local/maryland/2015/08/27/maryland-university-eliminate-textbooks/32484205/

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OpenStax texts predicted to save students $25 million

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2015-09-03 02:02

by eCampus News

Rice University-based nonprofit OpenStax College has unveiled three new textbooks and said its growing catalog of free textbooks will save students an estimated $25 million in the 2015-16 academic year. OpenStax College uses philanthropic gifts from major foundations to produce open educational resources — full-color, peer-reviewed online textbooks that have the same look and feel as books that cost $100 or more. All OpenStax College textbooks are available free online and at low cost in print. The publisher, which launched with two titles in 2012, today offers 15 titles that have been used by more than 540,000 students and adopted by instructors in more than 2,000 courses worldwide. Its three newest titles — Algebra and Trigonometry, College Algebra and Chemistry — reflect OpenStax College’s commitment to publish titles for the most-attended college courses.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/open-texts-students-672/

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I'm Jane McGonigal, Game Designer and Author, and This Is How I Work

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2015-09-02 20:10


Andy Orin, LifeHacker, [Sept] 02, 2015

Everybody works a little bit differently and there is no perfect recipe for us to follow. But people need good role models, and so I like articles like this, which point to outstanding examples of successful people and delve into their day-to-day habits, thoughts and feelings. In this article, Jane McGonigal points to the importance of pursuing non-work objectives in order to accomplish work objectives. "Completing a training run each day helps me feel productive and accomplished, even on days where I hit stumbling blocks or unexpected challenges with the work project." This is the same for me. A good cycling run (like yesterday's) makes me feel accomplished even when nothing of significance was otherwise achieved. “ The opposite of play isn’ t work. It’ s depression.”

[Link] [Comment]

Faculty at Work

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2015-09-02 20:10


Alex Reid, Digital Digs, [Sept] 02, 2015

I think we are in a golden age of music. As I site here in a Tim Hortons typing this I am listening to the  second of six versions of  Girl Crush on my Google Music application (website version; let's keep the net neutral). Sure, the music publishers took a hit, and maybe some big stars are making a few fewer millions, but there has been a proliferation of independent talent, especially talent from outside the mainstream. This is what we wanted from the internet, isn't it? So it's hard for me to be as concerned as people like Jonathon Rees, who thinks the flipped classroom is "professional suicide", or Alistar Scott, who is worried that universities are dumbing down. If faculty could reimagine what they think their "work" is, they could be more open to the huge vistas ahead. This is really a wonderful time to be an intellectual. It wasn't always thus.

[Link] [Comment]

Survey: 87 Percent of Parents Are Concerned About Student Data Security

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2015-09-02 20:10


Christopher Piehler, THE Journal, [Sept] 02, 2015

Your school might not be concerned about your privacy. But your parents are. "According to the survey, 87 percent of parents expressed concern that their child’ s electronic education records could be hacked or stolen. For this reason, 85% of parents said that their willingness to support the use of student data and technology in education must be coupled with efforts to ensure security." And if they can't keep Ashley Madison data private, how likely are they to keep LMS data secure?

[Link] [Comment]

Samsung's creating its own curated news app for Galaxy devices

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2015-09-02 17:10


Nick Summers, Engadget, [Sept] 02, 2015

The partitioning of the web into corporate empires continues.  Apple is  creating an  iOS-only news application. Not to be outdone,  Samsung is creating one of their own. And Facebook, as noted here before, already has their own. And let's not forget Twitter. This whole net neutrality thing is being, as the saying goes, rendered quaint. Via American Press Institute.

[Link] [Comment]

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