eLearning and Technology

Simulated classroom learning

By Robert Klimper, Coyote Chronicle

Online courses sometimes are exactly what a busy college student needs, allowing for a more flexible schedule. Though online courses offer a more flexible schedule, it is not unheard of for students to feel a somewhat of a disconnect to the instructor of the courses as they can just be a wall of text with no face to face interaction. “If it is done well, an online course can connect you in very interesting ways to you students,” said Dr. Mihaela Popescu, communication professor and faculty associate with Academic Technologies & Innovation (ATI). Dr. Popescu sees a purpose in online courses and tries to work around the issue of the disconnect that can come from online only courses. She tries to achieve this through allowing the students themselves to introduce each other through outlets like video or audio so that other students feel a sense of connection.

http://coyotechronicle.net/simulated-classroom-learning/

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eMarketer Unveils New Estimates for Mobile App Usage

by eMarketer Daily

App time will make up nearly 20% of total media time this year. Americans are spending more time within mobile apps and less time within mobile browsers. However, the number of apps being used regularly is dropping, as users concentrate their activities in core apps. In 2017, the average US adult will spend 2 hours, 25 minutes per day using mobile apps, a jump of 10.3% over last year, and slightly higher than previously forecast. That means time spent with mobile apps will reach 19.9% of average daily total media time this year.

https://www.emarketer.com/Article/eMarketer-Unveils-New-Estimates-Mobile-App-Usage/1015611

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What MasterClass Online Courses Pay to Lure Hollywood Stars as Teachers

by Nataley Jarvey, Hollywood Reporter

A hundred grand is entry-level pay for masters including Shonda Rhimes, Aaron Sorkin, Steve Martin and Kevin Spacey dabbling as online instructors: “I would love a class from Elon Musk,” says MasterClass CEO David Rogier. When San Francisco-based MasterClass got underway in 2014, it had a hard time finding big names to teach its $90 online education courses. But the days of co-founder/CEO David Rogier cold-calling author James Patterson to convince him to sign on as an instructor are over. A-listers such as Hans Zimmer, Aaron Sorkin and now Shonda Rhimes are signing lucrative deals to teach, as MasterClass plans to expand into new subjects. MasterClass aims to bring the quality of Netflix to the $100 billion e-learning industry.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/what-masterclass-online-courses-pay-lure-hollywood-stars-as-teachers-993159

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Platforms: A commons-based approach to global collaboration

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2017-04-24 23:54


Alek Tarkowski, Claudio Ruiz, Creative Commons, Apr 24, 2017

Creative Commons is meeting  in Toronto later this week and while I won't be there (I'm not funded for this sort of work any more) I'll be following with interest. This post sets out an ambitious agenda for Creative Commons to devise and deploy a model for collaboration, shared goal-setting, and mobilizing action. These are called 'platforms' and there will be specific sessions  on platforms  related to the  Open Education PlatformCopyright Reform  and  Open GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums). 

[Link] [Comment]

New bill seeks to turn universities into industrial hubs

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2017-04-24 17:54


Kudzai Mashininga, University World News, Apr 24, 2017

This is Development Minister Jonathan Moyo speaking to Zimbabwe’ s state media: "We need radical transformation from our institutions of higher learning. They must move from being certificate-giving universities, to industry-creating hubs because universities must be drivers of the economy. It’ s time to rethink our universities and change their role." There are many different strands of this story - Zimbabwe's economic collapse, Mugabe, issues of academic freedom, diploma mills, privatization, etc. It's every issue rolled into one. Image: HIT.

[Link] [Comment]

Is Your Edtech Product a Refrigerator or Washing Machine?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2017-04-24 14:54


Julia Fisher, Larry Cuban on School Reform, Classroom Practice, Apr 24, 2017

I like the analogy presented in this post because it makes it clear (in a way the Gartner hype cycle does not) that different technologies are adopted very differently. But  Julia Fisher takes it a step further, suggesting that some technologies are adopted more swiftly because they are a better fit for existing conditions. This analogy, though, presumes that new technologies must 'plug in' to existing consitions: the home, in the case of appliances, or the school, in the case of ed tech. Yet from my perspective ed tech has had its greatest impact  outside school, and doesn't need to be plugged in at all.

[Link] [Comment]

Education as Self-formation

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2017-04-24 14:54


Stephen Ball, The BERA Blog, Apr 24, 2017

What do you get when you combine education and Foucault? For Stephen Ball, it's a type of learning as self-care. "education, the teacher and pedagogy are articulated not as skills and knowledges but as the formation of moral subjectivity, a form of politics, and a relation to ethics rather than to truth. This is not liberation but activation." I can't say I agree with this perspective, but I do see in it reflections of things like the duty of care and new feminist epistemologies.

[Link] [Comment]

The Democratization of Machine Learning: What It Means for Tech Innovation

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2017-04-24 02:12

by Kartik Hosanagar and Apoorv Saxena, Wharton

Now we are on the cusp of a new grand leap thanks to the democratization of machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence that enables computers to learn without being explicitly programmed. As recently as 2015, only large companies like Google, Amazon and Apple had access to the massive data and computing resources needed to train and launch sophisticated AI algorithms. Small startups and individuals simply didn’t have access and were effectively blocked out of the market. That changes now. The democratization of ML gives individuals and startups a chance to get their ideas off the ground and prove their concepts before raising the funds needed to scale. There is an effort underway to standardize and improve access across all layers of the machine learning stack.

http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/democratization-ai-means-tech-innovation/

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China’s Artificial-Intelligence Boom

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2017-04-24 02:06

by SARAH ZHANG, the Atlantic

The country’s universities and tech giants are starting to surpass American ones when it comes to researching and implementing AI. China’s rapid rise up the ranks of AI research has people taking notice. In October, the Obama White House released a “strategic plan” for AI research, which noted that the U.S. no longer leads the world in journal articles on “deep learning,” a particularly hot subset of AI research right now. The country that had overtaken the U.S.? China, of course. It’s not just academic research. Chinese tech companies are betting on AI, too. Baidu (a Chinese search-engine company often likened to Google), Didi (often likened to Uber), and Tencent (maker of the mega-popular messaging app WeChat) have all set up their own AI research labs. With millions of customers, these companies have access to the huge amount of data that training AI to detect patterns requires.

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/02/china-artificial-intelligence/516615/

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6 improvement trends spreading like fire across all colleges and universities

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2017-04-24 02:03

BY MERIS STANSBURY, eCampus News

Academic program creation and evaluation is top-of-mind with institutions. This year colleges and universities are looking to diversify their program portfolios, either through offering online or blended learning offerings, through offering micro-credentials, or by placing their bets on emerging programs. What’s also noteworthy this year is that Hanover has gone a step further in identifying the overarching improvement trend of academic program creation and review by including a list of the top high-growth and emerging programs in higher ed at the moment. “Facing declining enrollments and reductions in funding across key academic offerings, higher education institutions are diversifying their program offerings, experimenting with new teaching methods, and emphasizing the value in higher education to key external stakeholders.”

http://www.ecampusnews.com/alternative-pathways/improvement-trends-universities/

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The Omidyar Network and the (Neoliberal) Future of Education

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2017-04-23 17:53


Audrey Watters, Hack Education, Apr 23, 2017

I want to say at the outset that this is excellent work and that I encourage Audrey Watters to keep digging into this subject. Having said that, I want to suggest a realignment of focus. Her focus is on the origin and purpose of funding for "companies and organizations that work in and around education technology." But  everyone is investing in technology. What characterizes these companies is not their investment in technology, it's their investment in entrepreneurship and privatization. There is a lot of good work happening in educational technology being done by people working to achieve social and economic equity. Let's not lump those people in with the red-in-tooth-and-claw neoliberals.

[Link] [Comment]

Heresy?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2017-04-23 17:53


zudensachen, Apr 23, 2017

This post raises the question of whether "what works" really reduces to "what can be measured", and whether the maximization of "cleverness" is replacing other (and possibly more significant) aspects of education. For example, "setting by ability means setting by socio-economic group, and there isn’ t very much mobility between these groups." So maybe the question of  social mobility should be regarded as equally important, even if more difficult to assess. "To ask the question about what our educational aims really are is to raise the possibility that there might be good reasons for preferring and applying mixed ability teaching even if, in terms of the maximisation of cleverness, we had established that it did not ‘ work’ as well as setting." Via Doug Belshaw.

[Link] [Comment]

How We Know

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2017-04-23 02:53


noreply@blogger.com (Stephen Downes), Half an Hour, Apr 22, 2017

It's like recognizing a person. Your mother walks through the train station and you pick her out of the crowd. This recognition is not based on any particular rule or principle, not based on any essential features, not based on any inferential process.

[Link] [Comment]

Training Program Automation & Online Courses Nine Step Cheat Sheet Launched

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2017-04-23 02:05

by Military Technologies

A new nine step cheat sheet has been launched by Training Automation Secrets. The cheat sheet is aimed at trainer, coaches and consultants who wish to learn how to automate their training programs. Training Automation Secrets are offering an exclusive, free cheat sheet filled with the nine most valuable secrets to training business automation. This cheat sheet is aimed at trainers, coaches and consultants. These nine proven steps to automating training businesses online saves business owners time and money. The traditional method of training is to find customers and then train them, before repeating the process. The business owner who provides the training is involved in this process and it is time consuming for them. The cheat sheet explains that traditional offline training is good but by going online and automating the training program, the business owner can expand their business and free up valuable time.

http://www.military-technologies.net/2017/04/08/training-program-automation-online-courses-nine-step-cheat-sheet-launched/

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U of Phoenix-HBCU Partnership Expands

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2017-04-23 02:03

By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Another historically black institution — South Carolina State — teams up with the University of Phoenix to offer online courses to a greater number of students. S.C. State will waive a $35 readmission fee and offer students a 50 percent discount on tuition rates, dropping the cost of a three-credit-hour course to $651. Students can take up to 27 credits from Phoenix. After the university reviews the students’ accounts for academic or financial holds, the academic departments map the courses they need to finish the degree they were pursuing before stopping out to equivalent courses offered by Phoenix. The BARC program is the latest product of an “alliance” that Phoenix and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund entered into in November 2014 to boost online education at historically black colleges and universities.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/04/11/south-carolina-state-latest-hbcu-partner-phoenix-online-education

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eLearning turns a boon for students who skip classes

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2017-04-23 02:02

by THE HANS INDIA

After a year-long practice and competitions in tournaments, Snehit an international table tennis player who barely attends schools, takes a break from his sports activity to appear for his 11th standard final exams. Snehit is always on the move, either for a practice session in Chennai or elsewhere in the world. Yet he manages to get an above average score in his exams. There are many students like Snehit, who could not make it to the classes for various reasons. Some have taken up part-time jobs, some help family businesses, some pursue arts of various forms and others just bunk classes. But when it comes to learning and writing exams, these students have apt tools which help them make up for the classes they missed. Surprisingly, such students fare better in exams than the ones who attend college regularly if not studiously.

http://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/Andhra-Pradesh/2017-04-09/eLearning-turns-a-boon-for-students-who-skip-classes/292106

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Spying on Students: School-Issued Devices and Student Privacy

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2017-04-22 23:53


Frida Alim, Nate Cardozo, Gennie Gebhart, Karen Gullo, Amul Kalia, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Apr 22, 2017

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)  has released a longish (49 page PDF) on student privacy. The report (like the EFF) is mostly focused in the United States. After noting that students and schools "are using technology in the classroom at an unprecedented rate" the EFF reports that "educational technology services often collect far more information on kids than is necessary and store this information indefinitely." Additionally., "We investigated the 152 ed tech services that survey respondents reported were in use in classrooms in their community, and found that their privacy policies were lacking in encryption, data retention, and data sharing policies."

[Link] [Comment]

Net Neutrality Alive and Well in Canada: CRTC Crafts Full Code With Zero Rating Decision

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2017-04-22 20:53


Michael Geist, Apr 22, 2017

Last week we saw an important ruling  in Canada on net neutrality, and as the headline suggests, it was a good ruling. In essence, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) "has crafted a reasonable, pro-net neutrality framework that provides carriers with guidance and users – whether innovative businesses or consumers – with assurances that net neutrality is the law of the land." 

[Link] [Comment]

Marching for Science Internationally

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2017-04-22 02:52


Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, Apr 21, 2017

Let's do this thing. "We want to speak out against the muzzling of government scientists, we want to advocate for evidence-based policy making, we want to see better and more inclusive STEM education. We also want to send a message that science is not and must not be mischaracterized as partisan.” My science is not based on my political views. My political views are based on my science.

[Link] [Comment]

Novel initiative Teach Out: Fake news detecting

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2017-04-22 02:52


Inge de Waard, Ignatia Webs, Apr 21, 2017

A 'teach out' is a lot like a MOOC except that it is a lot shorter and more concentrated. It is (quoted):

  • an event – it takes place over a fixed, short period of time
  • an opportunity – it is open for free participation to everyone around the world
  • a community – it will be joined by a large number of diverse individuals
  • a conversation – an opportunity to give and take ideas and information from people

"What is really interesting is the philosophy behind the teach out, and the history behind the teach out events." It reminds me of the 'teach ins' from my activist days. With any luck, Pepsi won;t turn it into a commercial, and learning companies won't turn it into a product.

[Link] [Comment]

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