news (external)

Best Practices for Long Scrolling

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2017-01-17 00:50

Nick Babich, UX Planet, Jan 16, 2017

It's worth taking note of how the display of page content has changed over the years. The rise of mobile devices and touchscreens has been influential. Today it makes more sense to design pages that respond to swipes rather than clicks (while keeping mouse options in play). The long-scroll does that. This article highlights some design patterns you've probably already come to recognize. At some point I'll explore more deeply how to create these (though that said they're available in most standard CSS template collections).

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World's eight richest people have same wealth as poorest 50%

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2017-01-16 15:50

Larry Elliott, The Guardian, Jan 16, 2017

This is a placeholder for when I need to respond to arguments like "we can't afford free tuition" or "OERs must be sustainable". The money does exist, however, it has been concentrated into the hands of a very few, where it serves nobody but them. In Canada the situation  isn't really better where just two people (pictured) have the same wealth as a third of the rest of the Canadian population. This also explains why education alone will not solve poverty and inequality; we need policy changes at a higher level.

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Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Mon, 2017-01-16 07:00

Die im Informationssystem eingespeicherten gestaltbaren Tabellen (ohne Länderbezug) aus dem Bereich "Pflegestatistik" des Statistischen Bundesamtes wurden um das Jahr 2015 ergänzt.

Categories: Science News

Best Jobs in America – Mobile App Developer Tops the List

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2017-01-16 01:09

by CNNMoney/PayScale


Rank Job title Median pay 10-year job growth

1 Mobile Applications Developer $97,100 19%

2 Risk Management Director $131,000 7%

3 Landman $93,600 7%

4 Product Analyst $74,900 19%

5 Information Assurance Analyst $98,900 18%

6 Quality Assurance Coordinator (RN) $69,000 16%

7 Clinical Applications Specialist $77,000 21%

8 Hospital Administrator $120,000 17%

9 Database Analyst $70,100 11%

10 Finance & Administration Director $97,300 7%

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Online Course Providers Put Their Money Where Their MOOC Is

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2017-01-16 01:05

By Eleanor Lamb, MeriTalk

EdSurge’s report states that no major venture funding rounds were awarded to MOOC providers in 2016, as they were in previous years. This year’s lack of funding meant that providers had to make more money through their courses. As a result, certain features, such as certificates, graded assignments, and content, were no longer offered for free. “That means for many providers, monetization became a priority,” Shah said. “All the major providers already have or plan to launch courses that are paid only. And it seems to be working. The “Big Three” MOOC providers—Coursera, Udacity, edX—combined have potentially made around $100 million in 2016.” The variety of courses also increased in 2016. This past year, 2,600 new courses were announced among cloud providers; 1,800 new courses were released in 2015. As of now, 6,850 courses are offered across 700 universities.

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Scaling Up With Adaptive Learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2017-01-16 01:02

by David Raths, Campus Technology

Last year, eight universities across the country embarked on a bold experiment to see if they can scale up the use of adaptive courseware to increase retention and graduation rates. With support from the Association of Public Land-grant Universities (APLU), these schools have set a target of using adaptive courseware for 15 to 20 percent of general education course enrollments between spring 2017 and fall 2019. APLU’s Personalized Learning Consortium is overseeing the grant program, which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Tailoring a course to adaptive learning can be difficult, as we learned when Campus Technology interviewed faculty members involved in pilot implementations of the technology. Despite being encouraged by the results, those pioneers reported being exhausted by how much work is involved in retrofitting their courses to the adaptive platforms. We spoke with two executives participating in the grant program about their goals and the early challenges they see.

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Trash - Mon, 2017-01-16 01:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

4 ways your institution can combat ransomware

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2017-01-15 01:09


Education has a much higher rate of ransomware attacks than other industries, according to a recent report that analyzes how different sectors are managing the security challenges these attacks pose. The rate of new ransomware attacks has jumped in recent years, as numerous industries, including higher education, fall victim to the attacks and struggle to fight them off, according to the report. Thirteen percent of the higher education sector has been infected with ransomware, according to The Rising Face of Cyber Crime: Ransomware, a BitSight Insight Report. In fact, advanced strains of ransomware encrypt data on an organization’s network or lock users out of their devices. Hackers then demand a ransom, usually in the form of Bitcoin, before they’ll restore data to normal. Some hackers use “ransomware-as-a-service,” which offers malware-construction kits designed to be easily deployed even with little hacking experience.

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Competency exam certificate now available for MITx Introduction to Biology course

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2017-01-15 01:05

by MIT Office of Digital Learning

The new option for online learners tests subject mastery and provides meaningful certificates for one of the most popular MITx courses. One of the most popular MITx on edX courses now challenges online learners to put their knowledge to the test. MITx 7.00x (Introduction to Biology – The Secret of Life), which has been an exciting educational option for learners to engage with biology since 2013, now offers a rigorous competency exam certificate. The next competency exam opens on Feb. 21 and is available to learners enrolled in the verified-certificate track. The competency exam is designed to test a learner’s mastery of the course learning objectives, tying together techniques and materials from different topics to provide a more thorough and robust means of evaluating online learners — and a more meaningful certificate for those who excel.

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Why online learning works for these Indiana kids

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2017-01-15 01:02


Online schools offer opportunities that can be life-changing for children who need flexible learning, even though the schools have broadly demonstrated a poor track record in Indiana so far. Indiana Connections Academy, along with every online school in the state that tested students in 2016, received an F grade from the state last month. But the Neiers and Taylors, who have been with Indiana Connections Academy since it opened in 2010, are happy with their choice. They said the self-paced nature of virtual learning, the lack of social distractions and the ability to learn anytime, anywhere, have given their kids the environment they need to be successful. The families — who are from Franklin and related — learned about virtual schooling when Stephanie Neier, a mother of five, enrolled her kids after hearing rave reviews of Connections Academy from a friend. Her oldest son has autism, and traditional high school wasn’t working for him, she said.

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Community Tracking in a cMOOC and Nomadic Learner Behaviour Identification on a Connectivist Rhizomatic Learning Network

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2017-01-14 18:49

Aras Bozkurt, Sarah Honeychurch, Autumm Caines, Maha Bali, Apostolos Koutropoulos, Dave Cormier, Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, Jan 14, 2017

The difference between the reserach we see in a connectivist MOOC (cMOOC) and those offered by Coursea, Udacity, etc. (xMOOC) is striking, and nowhere better exemplified by this detailed diagram we see in this paper. The best we get from the xMOOCs are demographics and completion rates. Here we get visible evidence of interactivity and social presence. The authors actually call for similar research to be undertaken for xMOOCs. The authors argue "cognitive presence has a critical function for meaningful learning experiences" and report "findings that reveals (sic) high cognitive presence, higher order learning skills and low dropout/high completion rate (in cMOOCs) when compared to other MOOCs." Note: found via OERCommons, which reports the author as 'Anonymous', which is an injustice to the actual authors.

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The Evolving Economics of Educational Materials and Open Educational Resources: Toward Closer Alignment with the Core Values of Education

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2017-01-14 18:49

David Wiley, iterating toward openness, Jan 14, 2017

Overall this is a pretty good article from David Wiley on some of the basic concepts behind the use of open educational resources (OERs). I have a couple of quibbles (which should not be taken as detracting from the overall value of the article). First, Wiley defines "education" in economic terms. "Ideas, knowledge, skills, and attitudes are public goods," he says. "This means they are nonrivalrous and nonexcludable." I don't see the world that way, which makes me impatient about the whole concept of licensing in education to begin with. Secondly, he writes that copyright law concerts digital resources into "club goods". Why doesn't he say they just become "private goods", which is what they were when they were physical resources? He explains, "Club goods are resources that are nonrivalrous but excludable, like cable or satellite TV." I think this is a distinction without a difference.

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MOOC enrollment drops at HarvardX and MITx after free certifications disappear

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2017-01-14 18:49

Devin Coldewey, TechCrunch, Jan 14, 2017

This article gleans the relevant datum from the  recent study of Harvard and MIT MOOCs. This year saw enrollments drop at each "to about 540,000 at HarvardX and 670,000 at MIT." This is against a background in MOOCs generally where enrollment (as reported by Class Central) doubled over last year. What makes the different at Harvard and MIT? "The leveling off of interest probably has a lot to do with the schools’ choice early in 2016 to no longer offer certain certifications for free — a choice those in charge almost certainly knew must negatively impact enrollment."

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5 Big Ideas In Education That Don't Work

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2017-01-14 18:49

Anya Kamenetz, NPR Ed, Jan 14, 2017

When you say things "don't work" you have some idea of what it would look like if they "worked". In education, however, this definition of an outcome has remained elusive. In simplistic terms, "worked" might mean "got better grades", but according to this article "setting achievement standards" isn't one of the things that works. One might define "worked" as "grew relative to one's previous state", but this implies a direction of growth, which is thus far undefined. Many people prefer growth toward specific "content knowledge", but I think that's only because it's easier to measure (and standardize). Measurement against content knowledge fails, however, when evaluating class size, because the benefit of smaller class size is to personalize the direction of growth toward student interests and inclinations. Similarly with spending; wouldn't "what works" depend on how that money is spent? All this could have been discussed in this article, but wasn't. Pity, as the end result is the generation of misinformation rather than knowledge.

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Survey finds children are going online at younger age

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2017-01-14 01:08

by RTE Ireland

A new survey has found that children are starting to use the internet from a younger age. Pupils in first class started to go online from under the age of five, compared to their sixth-class peers who on average first used the internet at the age of 7.7, the study found. The School Digital Trend Report from online safety firm, Zeeko, found 86% have access to a smart phone, tablet or iPod. Two thirds of sixth-class children use smart phones to access the internet, play online games, use apps, etc. However, younger children depend mostly on tablets for their online access, with laptops, games consoles, iPods, e-books and smart TVs also widely used by pre-teens to access internet-based content.

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How technology will shape new trends in college learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2017-01-14 01:04

by Jarrett Carter, Education Dive profiles several areas of tech engagement that will help to attract and retain students in a climate where enrollment may shrink due to high costs and waning confidence in higher education. Officials say education should become more personalized through distance learning and tutoring systems, virtual learning environments which can help with professional development, and gamification to induce increased participation from diverse student populations. Microlearning, or reducing traditional lectures into smaller video tutorials, may also prove to be a change agent in keeping students’ attention and improving learning outcomes.

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3 greatest edtech challenges specific to state universities

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2017-01-14 01:02


Most Higher Ed IT departments face similar challenges with budget restraints, hiring and retaining talented staff, and balancing the maintenance of existing systems with the need to implement emerging technologies. As if that weren’t enough, IT departments at state universities also run into a variety of specific problems that can further complicate how they operate. From a decline in state funding, to the needs of an evolving student base, there’s a lot that state university IT departments need to keep in mind, but there are ways to make edtech challenges easier. Let us walk you through some of those challenges so that your state university IT department can compete against Higher Ed’s most pressing issues on more equal footing.

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Connectivism and Learning

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2017-01-14 00:48

Stephen Downes, Federica.EU, Jan 13, 2017

This is my next MOOC; it starts January 30 and runs for 10 weeks. It provides an overview of my version of connectivism as it applies to teaching and learning. It covers a lot of the ground I've covered in my talks and papers, but as a single structured unit. Unlike my previous MOOCs, I've prepared a ton of video content ahead of time, so you can follow the course at your leisure. I'll probably want to do events and things during the course but I haven't planned these yet. But there will be opportiunity for interaction and participation. Meanwhile you can sign up at the Federica.EU web site - they host the course and designed the site.

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Find Lectures

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-01-13 21:48

Gary Sieling, Jan 13, 2017

Interesting site. It looks like they've scraped the talk and lecture listings of conferences, universities and some other major players and created these listings. I think this is only the surface - there's probably ten times or more lecture-type content available for free out there. You can also read more on the  Find Lectures Blog (including the 'launch story' from December (actually, that's the only post)). It got a  little push from Amazon.

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Cours en ligne ouverts et massifs : État des lieux et adoption au Canada français

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-01-13 18:48

Robert Gregoire, Réseau d’enseignement francophone à distance du Canada (REFAD), Jan 13, 2017

This is a substantial report (182 page PDF) on the state of the art in MOOCs and their adoption in French Canada. Please note that the report is written in French. Robert Gregoire does justice to the origin, development and original intent of MOOCs (if I say so myself). The latter part of the report summarizes a survey on the adoption and use of MOOCs by French-language institutions in the country. The document is also supported with a number of direct interviews with representatives from those institutions.

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