news (external)

Coursera Brings Everything You Need To Code Into Its Virtual Classrooms

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2016-10-19 02:05

by JARED NEWMAN, Fast Company

Tucked inside one of Coursera’s 1,500 online classes, there’s a multiple choice quiz that’s not like the others. Instead of just asking questions and expecting answers, each challenge includes a text box with a “Run” button next to it. Here, you’re expected to enter the appropriate code in the SQL programming language, so you can grab the database information you need to make the correct choice. Essentially, Coursera has condensed an entire coding environment into a series of boxes on a web page. The hope is that computer science and data science classes will become much more interactive, with the ability to play with your own code in the middle of a reading assignment, video lecture, or quiz. “We want to help learners learn by doing,” says Tom Willerer, Coursera’s chief product officer. “We want people to apply and practice what they’re learning in the readings and the lectures, not just sit passively.”

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Microsoft sponsored new courses from top universities launching on ed

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2016-10-19 02:02

by Pradeep, MS Power UserX

Microsoft offers more than 35 online courses, both Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and professional education courses, on Microsoft today announced that registration is open for five new Microsoft-sponsored courses developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Michigan and The University of Queensland, offered in partnership with edX, the nonprofit online learning destination founded by Harvard and MIT. These courses are designed to help guide K-12 school teachers and staff.

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Future Archaeology - Wed, 2016-10-19 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Immersive Virtual Reality: Online Education for the Next Generation

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-10-18 21:09

Peter Merry, ConVerge, Oct 18, 2016

A fairly light read with a decent number of links, this short article touts the potential of virtual reality (VR) to reshape education. Of course, if past experience is any guide, instead of creating simulations of ERs and submarines, educators will use VR to simulate the typical college lecture theatre. Anyhow, some references to projects here include: Project Sansar, a VR creation platform; High Fidelity open-source VR platform; Facebook’ s social VR, and much more. See also CBC, In VR and AR, Computers Adapt to Humans.

[Link] [Comment]

Ria #29: Dr. Katie Linder On Grant Writing Basics

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-10-18 09:09

, , CC BY-NC-ND, Ecampus Research Unit | Oregon State University, Oct 18, 2016 In this episode, Dr. Katie Linder answers a listener question about grant writing and shares resources for getting started with finding and applying for research funding. [Link] [Comment]

Leveraging distance educators to solve global community challenges

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2016-10-18 02:09


Experts from Excelsior College discuss the endless opportunities for faculty and students to come together to address global issues thanks to distance learning. Leadership at institutions of higher education have historically embraced some level of commitment to the well-being of the communities where they are physically situated. This commitment is typically reflected in the institution’s mission and culture. Having campus-based programs naturally lends itself to this type of stewardship because students, faculty, and administrators live and work together in a relatively defined geographic area. For distance institutions of higher education that embrace community stewardship as part of their mission, the commitment is experienced differently, but with no less vigor.

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5 student opinions about higher education you should know

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2016-10-18 02:06


Today’s student opinions reveal what they really think about online learning, digital resources and much more. As colleges and universities become increasingly focused on student services in order to attract and retain students, it’s never been more important to gauge how students feel about some of the larger, innovative—and often tech-based—initiatives leadership spends copious amounts of time and money supporting on campus. Recent large-scale studies in 2016 have yielded surprising findings on how students feel about a number of trendy higher education projects and implementations, ranging from how they feel about the many components of online learning to the technology offered on campus overall. By informally examining a handful of recent eCampus News stories on these reports, there are five student opinions on growing higher education initiatives that seem especially noteworthy due to the studies’ representative size of students surveyed, as well as their topic focus:

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The future’s looking good for online learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2016-10-18 02:02

By CHASEN SHAO, the Pennsylvanian

Last week, Penn hosted the Third Annual Learning with MOOCs Conference, bringing together leaders in the mass learning system. MOOCs — Massive Online Open Courses — were created in 2008, and since then, various universities have started offering free courses. Through a grant from the United States Department of State, Penn has also begun offering MOOCs. Provost Vincent Price and CEO of edX, Anant Agarwal, were among the panelists who discussed the development of the MOOCs and their visions for the future at the conference on Oct. 6 and 7. Agarwal described MOOCs as a response to what he believes is a broken current educational system. He calls his solution the “unbundling” of the four-year educational system provided by universities and colleges.

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The Moodle ER Diagram

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2016-10-18 00:08

Marcus Green, Oct 17, 2016

Back in May I gave a presentation on 'extending Moodle' and used an entity relationship (ER) diagram of the software. Marcus Green, who created the diagram, wrote to say that "I am continuing to update diagram with each new version of Moodle and I am currently working on the one for Moodle 3.1 with various improvements in detail and content. The most complete recent version can always be found here." So, here it is, with thanks from the community to Marcus. More links: How the diagram was created, Diagram FAQ. See here for an archive of   old versions.

[Link] [Comment]

Ausgaben für Arbeitslosengeld II und Sozialgeld

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Tue, 2016-10-18 00:00

Die im Informationssystem eingespeicherte gestaltbare Tabelle aus der Statistik "Ausgaben für Arbeitslosengeld II und Sozialgeld" der Bundesagentur für Arbeit wurde um das Jahr 2015 ergänzt.

Categories: Science News

Equity, Resilience, and Achievements in High Performing Asian Education Systems

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2016-10-17 21:08

Wing-On Lee, Chenri Hui, Low Ee Ling, Frontiers of Education in China, Oct 17, 2016

Many of the leaders in recent PISA and other academic tests have been from east Asian countries. Why? This month's  special issue of Frontiers of Education in China explores the quantitative results with a set of (mostly) qualitative studies. They are all well-written and accessible. The editorial summarizes them nicely, and the first paragraph especially should be required reading (a task I've made easier for you by  extracting and reformatting that paragraph). But do read the articles themselves; they address issues such as equity in Japan (made possible in part by rotating teachers from school to school each year), civics education in Hong Kong (where teachers are expected to model citizenship), changing administrative structures in Shanghai (and the challenges to equity created by marketplace approaches), hidden racism in Korea, and much more. Image: Peking University.

[Link] [Comment]

Labeling fact-check articles in Google News

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2016-10-17 18:08

Richard Gingras, The Keyword, Oct 17, 2016

I haven't been able to see this actually working yet, but the promise of a 'fact check' option in Google News is intriguing. For now, the actual fact checking will depend on people, and it looks like fact-checking metadata (called Claim Review) will have to be present in the news story. "Publishers who create fact-checks and would like to see it appear with the “ Fact check” tag should use that markup in fact-check articles." The Guardian reports, "In Google News, fact check labels are visible in the expanded story box on the Google News site, on both the iOS and Android apps, and roll out for users in the US and UK first." Presumably those are the places that need fact checking the most. The Guardian also takes a swipe at Facebook: "After sacking their trending topics news team, the social media site was at the center of a storm when its algorithm started promoting fake news." More on fact-checking in Google's help.

[Link] [Comment]

XuetangX: A Look at China’s First and Biggest MOOC Platform

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2016-10-17 18:08

Dhawal Shah, Class Central, Oct 17, 2016

XuetangX is one of the world's top MOOC platforms with more than 5 million registrations. The service is a modified ExX platform, so look-and-feel and navigation will be familiar, even if the overall appearance isn't. This article highlights some of the modifications XuetangX has made, most notable support for mobile learning. Consider, for example, the 'rain classroom': "my class instruction PowerPoint can be viewed on students’ phones in real time.... from a teacher’ s viewpoint, if you can use PowerPoint and WeChat, you can play around with Rain Classroom." Plans for the future include a XuetangX cloud service for universities and a microdegrees program.

[Link] [Comment]

So You Want to Learn Physics...

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2016-10-17 18:08

Susan J. Fowler, Oct 17, 2016

This is an outline of a physics curriculum from first year to graduate studies. It's useful in its own right, but it makes me wonder whether someone could use something like this to actually learn physics. Yes, they would have to be very motivated, persistent, and have a lot of time. But it would have been perfect for, say, someone like me when I was working as a security guard in my early 20s. Now the textbooks in this guide are and therefore expensive - you'd want to replace the material with open content. And there's no community, but maybe one could be made or found. Could it be done? Image: Khan, Physics, inverted.

[Link] [Comment]

Online Learning Consortium Launches Courseware in Context

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2016-10-17 15:05

Leila Meyer, Campus Technology, Oct 17, 2016

This could be really handy for a lot of people. The idea is "to help postsecondary decision-makers make informed selections of digital courseware products, and support effective adoption and implementation of these solutions." The  Courseware in Context (CWiC) Framework is not a framework in the traditional sense, but is composed of the following tools (quoted):

  • A product taxonomy designed to give educators, instructional designers and administrators information about courseware product capabilities and attributes;
  • A list of published research to help instructional designers and administrators make connections between courseware capabilities and related research; and
  • Guides to help administrators assess practices and policies related to effective courseware implementation at the course and institution level.

The resources are available as a PDF and Excel spreadsheet. There are no company or product listings (you have to do that yourself - the tools help you do this). An interactive-web-based version is planned but not yet available. You'll be required to provide name and email in order to access the materials.

[Link] [Comment]

Ed-Tech as a Discipline

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2016-10-17 03:04

Tim Klapdor, Heart | Soul | Machine, Oct 16, 2016

The idea has been making the rounds recently. This article summarizes some comments in favour from Martin Weller, opposed from Audrey Watters, and breezes through some comments take take the discussion in all sorts of directions. "I’ m left with the feeling that maybe a discipline isn’ t what we need," says Tim Kapdor in this post, "but we do need something." Right now PopEdu gets all the attention - Sal Khan and the Gates megamoney. Against this, "Ed-tech and using digital technology for learning is something distinct and relatively new. It’ s not computer, neuro or information science, or humanities or education – it sits outside the normal traditions. It needs staking out, research, evidence and practices in order to take a seat at the table." I get the point - there needs to be a way to weed out the  fads and fashions, the quacks and the cretins. But  pretending that we're physicists isn't the answer either. If  there is to be a centre to this discipline, it needs to be an open centre. Because as Maha Bali says, "I don’ t know how becoming a discipline won’ t again exclude certain people from the table."

[Link] [Comment]

You Can’t Fix Education

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2016-10-17 03:04

Hank Green, Medium, Oct 16, 2016

Education, says Hank Green, is impossible to optimize. Hank and his brother John are the creators of Crash Course, a YouTube educational channel, now being touted on Patreon. "We create free, high-quality educational videos used by teachers and learners of all kinds," says the Patreon description. "That's all we want to do. After 200,000,000 views, it turns out people like this." In this article Green writes about talking to rich people about the success of Crash Course. "They get really excited really fast," thinking they could scale it up and 'fix' education. But there's no one-size fits-all. "Different schools face different problems. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions. You can’ t innovate your way into the kind of traditional cost-savings the internet brings." So instead "we keep doing what we’ re good at… making great content about difficult subjects that help students and teachers." And giving them away for free.

[Link] [Comment]

ET education: Face of college students changes

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2016-10-17 02:04

By Christina Lane, Longview News-Journal

Daniel Horn and Justin Bechard are juniors at LeTourneau University this year, but both transferred from Kilgore College. They each attended the community college, in part, because they said it was an opportunity to save money while also taking classes that are applicable to their eventual bachelor’s or master’s degrees. Horn and Bechard represent a growing trend in college enrollment. More and more students are starting their endeavors in higher education at community colleges then transferring to four-year universities. Along with that, both community colleges and four-year universities are seeing an increase in the number of students taking online classes.

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Executive education moves out of classrooms as online gains traction

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2016-10-17 02:02

by Vinay Umarji, Business Standard

With companies increasingly looking at developing leaders from within the cadres and opting for cost-effective avenues for the same, the executive education market in the country has seen introduction of longer duration online programmes which are finding many takers. Currently offered by the likes of Harvard, Wharton, MIT Sloan, and INSEAD, online programmes are finding interest among the IIMs who are mulling over starting the same too. Online programmes help companies look at long-duration learning journeys for mid- and top-level management personnel, as opposed to 3-4 days short duration classroom programmes.

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Pitfalls amid the online benefits

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2016-10-17 02:01

by the National

It ought to be stated, of course, that there is nothing inherently wrong with these modern forms of communication, just as there was nothing inherently wrong with having pen pals in earlier times. These online platforms have a powerful ability to improve the way we keep in touch and free us from the geographic and social constraints that once applied. The outcomes of these new horizons merely reflect those of the users, who range from the naively honourable to the cynically criminal. The reality is that despite these groundbreaking new apps, young people will sometimes act foolishly and without thinking of the future. As the grey-haired among us can attest, there is nothing new in this phenomenon. What has changed is that content posted online can be copied endlessly and will persist for years into the future. Young people, of course, need to act prudently online, as in any realm of life.

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