eLearning and Technology

Net Neutrality Offensive

By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Colleges and universities, higher education associations and ed-tech companies aren’t always in agreement on issues facing academe, but on the topic of “net neutrality,” they are sending a clear message to the federal government: Don’t touch the internet. One by one, many of these stakeholders have declared their support for net neutrality, the concept that all traffic on the Internet should be treated equally, whether generated by academic research, reputable news outlets or streaming video. That idea appeared to be cemented in a set of regulations approved in 2010 by the Federal Communications Commission, but an appeals court earlier this year found those rules illegal, casting the future of internet regulations into confusion.

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/07/11/higher-education-and-library-groups-present-net-neutrality-principles

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7 Programs For Enhancing Course Content Online

By sameer.b, Edudemic

Creating online content isn’t just for teachers that teach exclusively distance courses. Putting some course content online can be useful in any type of blended learning scenario, or even just to have the information available to in-person students for their use as they need it throughout the year. That said, putting your course content online can feel like a daunting task if you aren’t a “web person” per se. There are so many options out there for making online course content. Below are a handful of options.

http://www.edudemic.com/creating-online-course-content/

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Confound it! Correlation is (usually) not causation! But why not?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2014-07-27 19:36
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gwern branwen, LessWrong, Jul 27, 2014

When somebody proposes a simple mechanism to improve (say) learning outcomes, they're most always wrong. But why? It's because they have ascribed a simple cause-effect relation onto a complex phenomenon. But why should complexity impact causation? Complex phenomena are densely connected networks where correlations are increasingly likely to be the result of underlying conditions rather than the result of one thing causing another. This article makes the point, with mathematics, and a good example drawn from the literature on cancer research.

[Link] [Comment]

The top 10 ways college students plagiarize

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2014-07-27 02:06

By Dennis Carter, eCampus News

Data reveals the ten most common forms of plagiarism in higher education. When it comes to plagiarizing, students who use the unethical shortcut seem to be all in: Copying and pasting a research paper word for word is now the most common form of plagiarism. Those findings, along with the ten most common forms of plagiarism in higher education, were detailed in a national ranking of plagiarism incidents released this month by Turnitin, an online company that makes software designed to detect cheating in homework assignments and research papers.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/college-plagiarism-students-682/

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Pedagogy, Andragogy, and Technology

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2014-07-27 02:05

by Patricia Pedraza-Nafziger, BellaOnline

The old method of teachers instructing students has morphed into more of a shared learning environment. The new teaching and learning theory is called andragogy, or adult-leading, as opposed to pedagogy, or child-leading, according to American educator Malcolm Knowles. Key attributes associated with adult learners are motivation fueled by a need to know, an acquired foundation of experience, self-concept, and a readiness or willingness to learn. Teaching methodologies tailored for andragogy are quite common at the college level, particularly in distance and online learning environments, because many students today are already working full-time jobs and hope to acquire higher positions by gaining advanced degrees. These adult students seek the most efficient and time-saving methods for furthering their educations, and distance learning is at the top of the list.

http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art173983.asp

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Online University Courses Have Growing Pains, But Are Supported By Secular Trends

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2014-07-27 02:02

by Equities.com

MOOCs continue to gain ground on their traditional peers, driven by some of the forces identified above. We believe that MOOCs will secure acceptance by more and more institutions for transfer credit, and that the emergence of a blended online/offline program such as that envisioned by Mr. Agarwal is likely. The preeminence of degrees that require the investment of years of study may also come to be challenged by targeted micro-programs, which could come to be highly regarded by employers. What’s increasingly certain is that the university education of the future will not be tied to what we know from the past — and that will be good for students and employers alike.

http://www.equities.com/editors-desk/stocks/technology/online-university-courses-growing-pains-secular-trends

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Municipal nets, municipal electric power, and learning from history

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2014-07-26 19:32
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David Weinberger, Joho the Blog, Jul 26, 2014

David Weinberger writes, "The debate over whether municipalities should be allowed to provide Internet access has been heating up. Twenty states ban it. Tom Wheeler, the chair of the FCC, has said he wants to “ preempt” those laws. Congress is maneuvering to extend the ban nationwide." This is not just a U.S. issue because similar pressures exist worldwide. There`s a good list of four lessons from the deployment of electricity: private firms won't provide universal service (or even close to it); unregulated growth leads to the emergence of huge monopolies; these monopolists will use their wealth to influence policy; and the best way to keep process low and service high is to ensure competition from the public sector. All these are also true of learning and learning resources.

[Link] [Comment]

MOOCs get schoolified: Two reports predict MOOCs will simply be absorbed

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2014-07-26 07:32


Mark Guzdial, Computing Education Blog, Jul 26, 2014

You have to actually read this to realize how silly this sounds. Here it is: "MOOCs are like free gyms, says Mr. Kelly. They might enable some people— mostly people who are already healthy and able to work out without much guidance— to exercise more. But they won’ t do much for people who need intensive physical therapy or the care of a doctor." Well of course, then, MOOCs will just be absorbed by the syste... wait. What?

If we actually read this analogy, it is suggesting that the vast majority of us need constant and ongoing intensive physical therapy or the care of a doctor. If health and fitness worked that way, we would all die. But what is actually the case is that we only occasionally need these specialized services, can access a gym if we need, but for day-to-day purposes have a wide range of (generally free or low cost) games and activities, parks and recreation, or tools like balls, bats, bicycles, etc., which we decide how to use for ourselves. Oh yes, I can see the objection - "sports and recreation would never work in society - just think of all the training required just to learn the rules!" Yeah, it's a hurdle all right.

[Link] [Comment]

I am a young person who solves crossword puzzles and maybe you should be one too

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2014-07-26 07:32


Boone B Gorges, Teleogistic, Jul 26, 2014

It's probably not for everyone but as Boone Georges says, crossword puzzles are great for augmenting pattern recognition skills. I don't solve nearly the number he does, but I enjoy my Sunday Times crossword - I save them and solve them on flights to Montreal or Toronto (which gives me about a two-hour window). I don't always finish them in that time but I usually do.

[Link] [Comment]

Responses to Personalization and Monopolies

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2014-07-26 07:32


David Wiley, iterating toward openness, Jul 26, 2014

I'm not enthusiastic about David Wiley's definition of personalization (" personalization comes down to being interesting") but I think he shares a great example of personalization done wrong: " Imagine if your only option for watching movies was to login to Netflix and watch the movies it recommended to you, in the order it recommend them. Who wants that? Who would pay for that?" Exactly. That's why I use the term "personal" learning: to disassociate myself from systems like that.

[Link] [Comment]

Help Joy help you. On the unusability of internal systems.

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2014-07-26 07:32
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Leisa Reichelt, disambiguity, Jul 26, 2014

I went through SAP training a couple of weeks ago and now I inhabit the same world Joy does - working with a software system with a paper notebook by my side (I also took extensive digital notes, which means I will have two support systems). "You’ ll find that notebooks like Joy’ s are not uncommon. They’ re everywhere." This is why we need integrated personal support systems - so the assistance we need is accessible seamlessly within the software we use.

[Link] [Comment]

Ten useful reports on MOOCs and online education

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2014-07-26 07:32


Unattributed, ICDE, Jul 26, 2014

Like the title says. Some of these have been previously covered here; others are new.

[Link] [Comment]

Retired Ann Arbor Physician and Professor Wields New Media to Teach Health Science

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2014-07-26 02:10

by Midland Daily News

If Dr. Lawrence Power has his way, the innovative new online learning program he has just launched at http://www.HealthYourself101.com will expand people’s understanding of the causes, consequences, and management of visceral obesity. Power has set out to provide a health education platform on this modern epidemic and its ill effects that’s actually – dare we say it? – entertaining to dig into and learn from. “The program,” says Power, “aims to engage the remote learner – the solitary individual signing on from a desktop, laptop, or smart phone. Its content addresses the obesity epidemic through interactive options like social media, a playfully simulated rocket launch, and game play.” “Who knows?” Power adds. “This could serve as a model for the online learning methodology that higher education has been seeking.”

http://www.ourmidland.com/prweb/retired-ann-arbor-physician-and-professor-wields-new-media-to/article_16ffbba5-b3d4-548f-a025-99b57d3615f6.html

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IS E-LEARNING ALL IT’S CRACKED UP TO BE?

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2014-07-26 02:06

By Maria Mirakaj Brownsell, Community College Campus News

All in all, online classes seem to be helpful for certain lifestyles, but seem to disappoint many. If someone is looking for an easy class where they won’t have to devote much time, they may wrongly turn to e-learning. If someone is looking for a way to take a class in between other activities but has plenty of time to put into, then they shall succeed!

http://cccnews.info/2014/07/13/is-e-learning-all-its-cracked-up-to-be/

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Scientists want to get their latest findings to those who can use them: parents and caregivers

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2014-07-26 02:02

By DONNA GORDON BLANKINSHIP, Associated Press

Scientists have learned a lot about the preschool brain over the past decade. But unless they read medical journals, most parents and others who care for their young children have yet to hear about those discoveries. Researchers at the University of Washington and a group of nonprofit partners are trying to change that by making outreach and education a bigger part of their work. A variety of new efforts have begun: from a Facebook page with photos of parents and kids demonstrating learning activities to a free online mini-university explaining the science in a way that everyone can understand and apply it.

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/d215eb98c422430998ddbcf4f04cdc7a/WA–Parenting-101

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Don't Send Your Kid to the Ivy League

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-07-25 04:31


William Deresiewicz, http://www.newrepublic.com/article/118747/ivy-league-schools-are-overrated-send-your-kids-elsewhere, Jul 24, 2014

As I commented on Twitter the other day, I rarely agree with what I read in New Republic, but this article hits much more than it misses. So while you shouldn't consider this post to be a blanket endorsement of everything in the article, it is certainly recommended. "The more prestigious the school, the more unequal its student body is apt to be," writes William Deresiewicz. And as the selection process bcomes more rigorous it becomes more unequal as parents spend the time and money necessary to position their children for admission. "Elite colleges are not just powerless to reverse the movement toward a more unequal society; their policies actively promote it."

[Link] [Comment]

Chapter 2. The nature of knowledge and the implications for teaching

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-07-25 04:31


Tony Bates, B.C. Open Textbooks, Jul 24, 2014

This is chapter two of an open textbook being developed by Tony Bates, but I confess that i would have approached the subject matter - the nature of knowledge - very differently. The debates over the yeaars concern less the classification of knowledge and are concerned more about the nature, creation and justification of knowledge. And I'm especially concerned about this conclusion: "What is changing then is not necessarily the nature of academic knowledge, but the nature of everyday knowledge, which is very much influenced by the explosion in communications and networking through the Internet." One of my criticisms of the academic world is that if the nature of academic knowledge is not changing, then it should be changing, and I feel, is changing. And it is changing, not as a direct result of technology, but because of what technology enables (just as astronomical knowledge changed not because we invesnted the telescope but because of what we could see through it).

[Link] [Comment]

Submitting a doctoral thesis on online learning? Some things to keep in mind

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-07-25 04:31


Tony Bates, online learning and distance edcuation resources, Jul 24, 2014

I can't imagine doing a project in the manner described by Tony Bates, and was well into full-blown scepticism after reading the section on sampling and statistics when I encountered this question: is the PhD process broken? Bates writes, "it is probably the most costly and inefficient academic process in the whole university, riddled with bureaucracy, lack of clarity for students, and certainly in the non-quantitative areas, open to all kinds of challenges regarding the process and standards." For my own part, I take the fact that I could not obtain a PhD at this point without a lengthy 4- or 5-year process to be prima facie evidence that the system is broken.

[Link] [Comment]

Facing the Facts: Facial Recognition and E-Learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2014-07-25 02:06

Facing the Facts: Facial Recognition and E-Learning

by Kate Everson, Chief Learning Officer

Facial recognition software developer KeyLemon has released a new program that applies its product to online education. Not only will it identify users when they first log into a program, it will confirm whether they’re the one taking the test. It also tracks eye movement to make sure learners are paying attention to a lecture instead of just half-heartedly listening while playing a gripping game of Tetris. For learning leaders, this development means they can add some integrity to online development programs that are plagued by plagiarism and cheating. It also means they can make e-learning more personal and responsive by giving the administrator a firmer grasp on what students are paying attention to during lecture.

http://www.clomedia.com/blogs/2-from-the-editors/post/5717-facing-the-facts-facial-recognition-and-e-learning

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So You Think You Can Educate Adults?

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2014-07-25 02:02

by Alexander Russo, edSurge

Indeed, adult education is experiencing a much-needed surge of interest from the innovation and entrepreneurial communities, according to experts, observers, and providers. They hope that this interest will develop new human capital, improve outcomes, and attract additional resources. Some of the developments – flipped, blended, gamified, mobile learning – are familiar trends generally mirroring those taking place in other sectors. Others trends and concepts – contextualization, “braided” funding, and “bridge” programs – are more specific to the needs of low-skill adults and adult education programs who serve them. Here’s a roundup of some of the most interesting trends and innovations in adult education from our interviews with experts and leaders in the field.

https://www.edsurge.com/n/2014-07-11-so-you-think-you-can-educate-adults

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