news (external)

The MOOCs Challenge

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-04-11 16:39
[Slides][Audio]

In my presentation I outline the (real) history of MOOCs, outline design parameters, and sketch future technologies. This is presented in the context of the 'democratization' of knowledge and learning to support international development and educuation.

Education for Development, Philadelphia, PA (Panel) April 11, 2014 [Comment]

Americans’ Trust in Online Higher Ed Rising

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2014-04-11 02:11

by Valerie J. Calderon and Susan Sorenson, Gallup

Online colleges and universities continue to evolve, as do Americans’ and business leaders’ opinions about them. While perceptions about the quality of education at these institutions appear to be improving, attitudes toward community colleges and traditional universities remain far more positive at this point. And although more than half of business leaders and Americans in general say companies might be somewhat more likely to hire an online graduate over an equally qualified traditional college graduate, only about one in eight business leaders and one in seven U.S. adults overall say it is very likely. This represents room for improvement in the online education business.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/168416/americans-trust-online-higher-education-rising.aspx

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How to make an online lab successful

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2014-04-11 02:10

By Crystal Sands, eCampus News

The secret to the OWL’s success lies in its ability to bridge pedagogy with multimedia that engages, not just entertains. When the team at Excelsior College set out to build a new kind of Online Writing Lab, the team focused on using multimedia to reinforce key writing concepts for students. The OWL targets beginning writers who might have little experience with writing or experience so distant the writing process and vocabulary of writing felt foreign to them. The goal was to make writing instruction simple, clear, and more memorable for these students.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/excelsior-writing-lab-523/

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5 must-haves for online assessments

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2014-04-11 02:05

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

“Assessments are the lynchpins of MOOCs,” said David Smetters, CEO of Respondus, a Windows exam creation tool. “If you go to a college campus and sit in the back of a lecture hall, it’s certainly possible to learn things. But when you actually register for the course and take the assessments designed for it, you can demonstrate mastery of the content. An instructor then feels comfortable providing a grade, and likewise the institution is comfortable granting a certificate, a degree or some type of badge. Assessments are the engine of this credibility cycle,” he continued. Smetters also argues that if students are effectively assessed during a MOOC, the credibility of MOOCs goes up.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/must-online-assessments-912/

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Heartbleed Explanation

xkcd.com - Fri, 2014-04-11 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Clemson invests to expand online platform

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-04-10 02:50

By Don Fujiwara, South Carolina Business News

Online education is the future.” So says Clemson University’s Witt Salley. This future holds no classroom desks whose consoles, rocket fins and banks of brightly blinking buttons place them closer to cockpits than actual seating. There will be no matronly robot teachers with extensible pointing sticks in this future. No, in this future we’ll see an increasing numbers of pushes for a tablet in every book bag, like the one in Gov. Nikki Haley’s K-12 Education Reform Initiative. This future is agleam with the prospect of attending precalculus in your pajamas. Witt Salley is director of Clemson Online. The school brought him on board to ramp up its online education program in July 2012, a time when Clemson University “had no collective vision or strategy” for its online program. It didn’t even have a centralized office for its online offering.

http://www.gsabusiness.com/news/51023-clemson-invests-to-expand-online-platform

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Is It Time To Dismantle the Lecture Hall?

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-04-10 02:10

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

In this debate, the question might not be so much about whether online education is effective, but whether it could be any worse than the existing model.  Before the debate — titled, “More Clicks, Fewer Bricks: The Lecture Hall is Obsolete” — began, the audience was definitely on the side of tradition. Fifty-nine percent were against the motion; 18 percent were for the motion; and 23 percent were undecided. Before the debate — titled, “More Clicks, Fewer Bricks: The Lecture Hall is Obsolete” — began, the audience was definitely on the side of tradition. Fifty-nine percent were against the motion; 18 percent were for the motion; and 23 percent were undecided.   People pondering the fate of higher education, concluded Nelson, “don’t need much more data than that to realize that the future of the university won’t be without bricks, won’t be all clicks, but will certainly be far more clicks than bricks.”  By the end of the debate, the number of people who agreed with Nelson and Agarwal grew from 18 percent to 44 percent. And the motion carried.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/04/03/is-it-time-to-dismantle-the-lecture-hall.aspx

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Penn State Names Academic Leader for Online Programs

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-04-10 02:05

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Pennsylvania State University has named Renata Engel associate vice provost for online programs. The new leadership position was established to oversee the academic unit within the university’s World Campus online education division. According to a university statement, Engel will help advance new online undergraduate and graduate offerings, including noncredit programs and massive open online courses, to students across the country and around the world. She will be responsible for all World Campus online programs, academic advising and faculty development, and will work with the university’s academic leaders to increase online enrollments.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/04/03/penn-state-names-academic-leader-for-online-programs.aspx

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The Best of Elearning! 2014 Voting Hits Record Pace

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-04-10 02:02

by Elearning!

Best of Elearning! Awards 2014 invites executives who drive learning, talent and HR development initiatives through employee, customer or channel partners, to nominate their solution providers in this year’s Best of Elearning! Awards. Elearning! and Government Elearning! magazines, the industry voices of the enterprise learning and workforce technology market, announced that the Best of Elearning! Awards 2014 voting has hit a record number of nominations. Voting will continue until May 1, 2014. Celebrating its 10th year, The Best of Elearning! Awards recognizes best-in-class solutions across 27 product and services categories.

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/03/prweb11704211.htm

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Parkinson-Tag am 11.04.2014.

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Thu, 2014-04-10 00:00
Ausgewählte Informationen zum Parkinson-Tag am 11.04.2014.
Categories: Science News

Hits & thoughts ain't evidence

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2014-04-09 10:43


Martin Weller, The Ed Techie, April 9, 2014

As Martin Weller summarizes, "The impact map (http://oermap.org/)  has been developed largely by Rob Farrow and Martin Hawksey, and features lots of Hawksey-goodness. You can do the following on the map:

This is more than I was expecting from the OER mapping project, so I'm pleasantly surprised.

[Link] [Comment]

New experiment in tech retraining blends online learning with in-person mentors

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2014-04-09 02:02

By Erin Carson, Tech Republic

By marrying online tech classes with local volunteer mentors, a new program in Louisville, Kentucky is reshaping the way professionals can get retrained for the next tech jobs. Rider Rodriguez Jr. knows it’s a cliche, but he’ll say it anyway: In the 21st century, if you want to thrive, software development is the skillset that you really need to have. As both the job market and the IT industry rapidly shift, making the match between employers and employees with the latest development skills can prove difficult. To start to solve this problem, Rodriguez and members of the local tech community are taking a grassroots educational approach through a program called Code Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky. Code Louisville is a free 12-week course in which students can learn development skills with the aid of volunteer industry mentors, and an online learning system called Treehouse, available through the local library system.

http://www.techrepublic.com/article/new-experiment-in-tech-retraining-blends-online-learning-with-in-person-mentors/

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Half of New York’s Tech Workers Lack College Degrees, Report Says

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2014-04-09 02:01

By PATRICK McGEEHAN, NY Times

The fast-growing technology industry in New York is often cited as a magnet for graduates of the nation’s top universities. But a new report to be discussed in a speech by a deputy mayor on Wednesday found that almost half of the technology jobs in the city are filled by people without college degrees. The report was commissioned to show just how important the tech sector has become, estimating that it accounts for nearly 300,000 jobs in the city, more than half of them at companies in nontechnology businesses, such as finance and advertising.

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Heartbleed

xkcd.com - Wed, 2014-04-09 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Free report durable Technology Enhanced Learning #Telearning

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-04-08 21:49
Display


Inge de Waard, Ignatia Webs, April 8, 2014

Inge de Waard summarizes "the Beyond Prototypes report provides a UK-based in-depth examination of the processes of innovation in technology-enhanced learning (TEL) with a special emphasis on building online learning solutions that are durable. The focus is also on design-based research." Here's the full PDF. The report's key insights are worth reviewing:

  • "TEL involves a complex system of technologies and practices...it is necessary to look beyond product development and pay close attention to the entire process of implementation.
  • Significant innovations are developed and embedded over periods of years rather than months. Sustainable change is not a simple matter of product development, testing and roll-out.
  • TEL innovation is a process of bricolage... It also requires engagement with a range of communities and practices.
  • Successful implementation of TEL innovation requires evidence that the projected educational goal has been achieved."

This is advice well worth heeding on the part of those funding and sustaining learning technology initiatives.

[Link] [Comment]

Authentic Learning in Primary Science

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-04-08 21:39
Display


Simon Crook, Simon Crook's eLearning Blog, April 8, 2014

It's the little things that count. Note just this: "students recorded myself performing the procedure using their school's iPads, photographed the equipment and also diagrams on the board to assist them in carrying out the experiment themselves." But if you look at the photo, they're all wearing their lab coats. You may think it doesn't matter, but I think that it does - when they look at their videos of themselves, they see themselves as scientists. (p.s. I think a better ice-melting experiment would have been to have them take the temperature of the air before, during, and after the ice has finished melting - this would explain quite nicely how global warming can produce an unusually cold winter).

[Link] [Comment]

EdTech: Startups On Track To Raise $2B Despite Challenges

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-04-08 21:13


Alexander Russo, This Week In Education, April 8, 2014

Interesting. Alexander Russo summarizes Jonathan Shieber 's article in TechCrunch: "What's super-hard to pull off but really attractive to venture capitalists? Edtech, apparently. Creating and sustaining a successful startup is not nearly as easy as it may look, as described recently in EdWeek... And yet, edtech startups raised over $500M in just the first quarter of 20014, according to  TechCrunch." I could probably spend some of that money to good effect...

[Link] [Comment]

What We Really Need To Know About Ed Tech

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-04-08 21:01


helly Blake-Plock, Mind/Shift, April 8, 2014

I'm not sure I agree with every element on the list, but it raises questions that need raising. Here are the five things:

  • There's no such thing as 'free'
  • 'Open' isn’ t so much about content as it is about the distribution arrangement.
  • Ed-tech companies need to make money
  • You are being exploited
  • Most of the important stuff is under the hood.

There is such a thing as 'free' - air is free, language is free, and the ideas that form inside your own head are free. And 'open' osn't about the distribution arrangement, it's about the priorities that went into the thing in the first place. Companies need to make money - but governments don't (at least, not through the sale of products), and we need to keep that in mind.

[Link] [Comment]

What Books Should Every Intelligent Person Read?: Tell Us Your Picks; We’ll Tell You Ours

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-04-08 13:07


Dan Colman, Open Culture, April 8, 2014

I find the lists offered by Dan Colman and Neil DeGrasse Tyson to be a bit parochial, steeped in (their) local culture and issues of the day. Why else include Darwin and de Tocqueville? Why else include the Bible but not the Qu'ran or the Upanisads, or Sun Tzu but not Lao Tze? So, what would my list of (say, top ten) must-reads be? How about this?

  • Rene Descartes, Meditations
  • David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
  • John Stuart Mill, On Liberty
  • Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
  • Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
  • Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
  • Charlotte Brontë , Jane Eyre
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcí a Má rquez
  • On Certainty and Philosophical Investigations, Ludwig Wittgeinstein
  • Confucius, Analects

Why these? Balance. Yet I suppose my list is parochial as well, reflecting a Canadian heritage (and yet, no Canadians) and philosphical background. I regret not adding Gibbon, McLuhan, Kant, Chomsky, Ruark, and many more. And my list would probably be different tomorrow.

[Link] [Comment]

Digital Canada 150

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-04-08 12:35


Press Release, Government of Canada, April 8, 2014

The Canadian government announces its digital economy strategy: "our vision is for a thriving digital Canada, underscored by five key pillars: connecting Canadians, protecting Canadians, economic opportunities, digital government and Canadian content." View the interactive version here, or read the PDF. It is under this umbrella that our LPSS program is being officially announced. Google's Canada blog is mostly positive; CATA says it's a good start; Michael Geist is mostly negative. He writes, "For a strategy document, it is curiously lacking in actual strategy. The government updates Canadians on what it has done and provides some insight into what it plans to do, but there are few new strategies articulated."

[Link] [Comment]

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