news (external)

The Ultimate Directory Of Free Image Sources

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-07-22 04:23


Dan Leeman, The Edublogger, Jul 21, 2014

This is exactly what the title says it is. Except, maybe it's not the ultimate list - maybe the penultimate? - but it's the best I've seen. Need free images? Try this site. And if you need to edit images online (maybe you're stuck with a Mac or iPhone) then  this post reviews three top image editing sites. As usual (and as always) cloud applications like this suffer from  upload speed limitations on typical internet service providers (this is something that will have to improve for a fully interactive web).

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My Very Own Voyant Workshop

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-07-22 04:23
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Geoffrey Rockwell, Theoreti.ca, Jul 21, 2014

What's interesting about this item - aside from the fact that you can play with it - is that it signifies how people will be able to run their own analytics tools themselves on their own servers. Here's the item text: "a workshop on My Very Own Voyant. The workshop focused on how to run VoyantServer on your local machine. This allows you to run Voyant locally... You can download VoyantServer and read instructions here." Voyant basically takes text or URLs and analyzews word frequency, producing a word cloud. It does more as well, but you'll have to play with it.

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Rethinking What a ‘Traditional’ College Education Entails: Five Misconceptions About the Online Learning Experience

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2014-07-22 02:10

by Tracy Lorenz, Huffington Post

Society’s notions of “traditional students” have become antiquated as yesterday’s nontraditional student has become today’s traditional student. As the student demography and needs change so must our notion of the “traditional college education” experience. In a recent commissioned survey, Zogby Analytics uncovered that, from a student’s perspective, the “University of the Future” needs to be accessible, flexible, innovative and job-focused.

• Accessible — The students want to get and share content online; gone are the backpacks full of textbooks.

• Flexible — A majority of students want courses offered at all times of the day or night and without fixed schedules to accommodate students who work or just prefer learning at different times.

• Innovative — Nearly half want access personalized instruction or tutoring online perhaps rendering the traditional classroom experience less important.

• Job-Focused — Students want a university that is clearly focused on producing students who are prepared to excel in jobs that are needed by industry and society.

Sound familiar? These are the same reasons that drive students to seek degrees from institutions with online programs

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tracy-lorenz/rethinking-what-a-traditi_b_5571263.html

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The 4 Levels Of Learning Analytics

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2014-07-22 02:05

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

Using data to drive learning outcomes isn’t a new concept, really. For as long as teachers have been giving students assessments, the assessments and results have been used by both students and teachers (even if only loosely) to determine how to move forward. What needs to be reviewed more? What was covered/studied well? Learning analytics takes this concept and kicks it up a notch. Well, more like a thousand notches, especially if you’re considering things like adaptive computer based testing that changes as students use it. The handy infographic linked below takes a look at the four levels of learning analytics, which can be easily applied in your classroom whether you’re using a ton of fancy-schmancy technology or none at all.

http://www.edudemic.com/4-levels-learning-analytics-graphic/

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UMUC considering plan to become independent nonprofit with ties to university system

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2014-07-22 02:02

By Nayana Davis, The Baltimore Sun

The University of Maryland University College, which has been struggling with declining enrollment, is considering severing some ties with the state university system to avoid burdensome regulations and work more closely with the private sector. Under the proposal, the university would become an independent nonprofit organization that retains an affiliation with the state system. The school’s president, Javier Miyares, said during a Thursday town hall meeting in Largo that the idea came from a task force of experts organized by the university as a response to a shrinking student body. UMUC, a mainly online institution, has struggled with a competitive online education market and a smaller military. Members of the military or their families make up about half of the college’s students.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/education/blog/bs-md-umuc-nonprofit-20140710,0,2434068.story

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Youth Voice and Positive Identity-Building Practices: The Case of ScienceGirls

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2014-07-21 04:20
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Jrène Rahm, Audrey Lachaîne, Ahlia Mathura, Canadian Journal of Education, Jul 20, 2014

The  current issue of the Canadian Journal of Education is focused on  youth voices inside and outside of education. I especially appreciate the latter focus; as I commented on Friday during my talk, learning takes place every conscious moment and the social environment is at least as important as the classroom in determining educational outcomes. This  this essay (in situ) on the Science Girls: "in ScienceGirls, we have a choice; we choose the themes and subthemes, whether it is for the newsletter or the science fair project, so we have more choices. We make decisions by ourselves; it helps us develop our personal curiosity, autonomy and independence." How important is that, not just to science learning, but learning in general? See also the article  Science isn’ t just what we learn in school by Allison J. Gonsalves.

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Five Steps to Making Your Content Mobile Ready

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2014-07-21 04:20
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Dawn Piulos, Xyleme, Jul 20, 2014

Some good stuff in this article on adapting your learning content to mobile delivery, including a nice table listing the impacts of different media on mobile devices. Performance support was the leading application, followed by videos and assessments. Virtual classrooms and course modules were at the bottom. Also, there's the observation that "the mobile delivery of learning content does not need to be a monolithic event. It can come in phases, just like adoption," which I think is a good point. There's more; if you're interested in mobile learning this is a good post.

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A Critique of Connectivism as a Learning Theory

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2014-07-21 04:20
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Cybergogue, M.C. Wade, Jul 20, 2014

Here are a couple of things I hadn't seen before, courtesy of this post scooped by Susan Bainbridge
into the Connectivism resource base. It's essentially an extended argument against the idea that connectivism is a learning theory, and is notable because of a long background on just what counts as a theory. There's also this  slide show from Vilimaka Foliaki from Tonga comparing connectivism and constructivism.

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Sustainability, Divestment and Debt: a Survey of Business Officers

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2014-07-21 02:03

By Ry Rivard, Inside Higher Ed

The survey, which will be released in conjunction with the upcoming annual meeting of the National Association of College and University Business Officers, is based on the responses of chief financial officers at 438 colleges and universities. Techniques that got the most support: reducing administrative positions (37 percent agreed they would do this in the coming year), eliminating underperforming academic programs (37 percent), have part-time faculty teach more undergraduates (35 percent), giving full-time faculty more classes (30 percent), promoting early retirement for faculty (28 percent), outsourcing administrative services (30 percent), and shifting to a web-based model (35 percent). A majority looked to collaboration to control costs. Over half (55 percent) said they wanted to work with other institutions to provide academic programs. A smaller number (37 percent) wanted to collaborate on administrative services with other colleges.

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/survey/sustainability-divestment-and-debt-survey-business-officers#sthash.fr0lR6dD.dpbs

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The hope and hype of MOOCs

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2014-07-21 02:03

by OCLC Next Space

The wave of excitement and offerings arsound MOOCs is causing libraries to think about the place of open, online learning in their overall mission. Traditionally, libraries have provided access to library services and scholarly resources with an appropriate level of currency, depth and breadth to support the institution’s mission, core themes, programs and services. Distance learning students were entitled to the same library services and resources, including direct communication with librarians, as on-campus students. Should libraries support MOOCs, even though many of the class participants won’t even be attending their university? MOOC enrollments can far outnumber traditional university course enrollment, and many of the participants are not traditional college-age students. Ray Schroeder, who has directed MOOCs with students in 70 countries, believes the role of the library is essential for a successful MOOC experience. “The library can serve as the anchor, that physical anchor with people to help students identify the resources that they need to complete classes.”

http://www.oclc.org/publications/nextspace/articles/issue23/thehopeandhypeofmoocs.en.html

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Creighton University Is Now Offering an Online End-of-Life Course

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2014-07-21 02:02

by Creighton University

Creighton University’s Health Care Ethics program now offers an Ethical Aspects of End-of-Life Care course that is available for both degree seeking and special students. This course examines different end-of-life care practices including forgoing treatment, PAS/euthanasia, palliative care, sedation and decision-making for incompetent patients. Students reflect on their own views of disabilities, aging and dying; examine the merits of policies/legislation; and consider how society at large can come to appreciate those dying in our midst.

http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/2042066

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Luke

xkcd.com - Mon, 2014-07-21 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Fusion 2014 – Unconference and Day One Recap

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2014-07-20 04:18


Jon Kruithof, All The Young (edu)Punks, Jul 19, 2014

I want to include this post because it's such a clear example of marketing fail. Jon Kruithof  attended the D2L Fusion conference and so was there for the John Baker keynote announcing the name change. First, he gets the name wrong - Brightside, Brightspace, what's the difference (I confess, I had to look it up to write this post, else I would have written Brightstream). But second, he settles into the natural abbreviation for it. You know, like how Desire2Learn becomes D2L. And Brightspace? BS. Oh my.

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Minerva Project Mixes Online Learning With World Travel

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2014-07-20 02:10

By KIRK CARAPEZZA, WGBH

Would you attend a college that sends you around the world to live in different cities while taking all of your classes online? Check out a report on The Minerva Project on WGBH’s higher education blog, On Campus. Minerva Project CEO Ben Nelson is banking on the notion that the world is ready for a new and different kind of university. “If you want to have a student experience that is around the concept of a campus, sheltered environment, go to your local football games, fraternities, you have plenty of options,” Nelson said. “But if you want to go to school while really immersing yourself in the best the world has to offer, we are your only option.”

http://wgbhnews.org/post/minerva-project-mixes-online-learning-world-travel

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Online MBA Learning Gathers Pace As Specialist Programs Go Cyber

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2014-07-20 02:04

by Seb Murray, Business Because

Of the world’s leading 50 business schools, few immediately jumped on the online MBA bandwagon. Some of the early movers are seen as second-tier schools. Harvard, MIT Sloan, the University of Virginia’s Darden School and other big-brand US schools have only relatively recently begun experimenting with Moocs. Wharton was one of the first. There are as much as 10% of its two-year MBA core courses online for free access. One enrolled more than 130,000 students. But online MBA programs are not the free courses lambasted as marketing gimmicks or brand-building exercises. Moocs are just one example of the explosion of distance learning enabled over the past few years by leaps in technological advancement. The top business schools have begun spinning their MBA curriculums online by giving students video recordings in a traditional format, but also by providing interactive learning through debates and seminars. Some are even incorporating social media into their online offering.

http://www.businessbecause.com/news/mba-distance-learning/2659/online-mba-learning-gathers-pace-specialist-programs-go-cyber

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Finding a Way to Operationalize Credit for MOOCs

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2014-07-20 02:02

by David Raths, Campus Technology

When the University System of Georgia announced a partnership with Coursera last year, officials at Kennesaw State saw it as an opportunity to give more learners a pathway to higher education as well as drive enrollment for the university. To establish a process that would operationalize credit awards for MOOC participants, in March 2014 KSU created a Virtual Assessment Center (VAC), which processes fee-based portfolio submissions from MOOC students and routes them to departments for evaluation. The university can now offer courses that are open to the public, but also give professionals a clearly defined pathway to credit and potential entry into degree programs.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/07/10/finding-a-way-to-operationalize-credit-for-moocs.aspx

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Free Learning from a Development Perspective

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2014-07-19 04:17
[Slides][Audio]

The slides in this presentation address: first, the relation between connectivism and free learning; second, the development of our understanding of networks and network technology; and third, the policy framework needed to enourage and promote free learning for development. The audio doesn't finish the slides but is an engaging discussion between myself and DFATDC staff.

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada seminar, Gatineau, Quebec (Keynote) Jul 18, 2014 [Comment]

Closing the Technology Skills Gap: Can E-Learning Save the Day?

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2014-07-19 02:05

By Kristi Essick, Cisco

Everyone from kindergarten teachers and university professors, to CEOs and government leaders seem worried about the “technology skills gap.” It’s become commonplace to decry that we’re not equipping students with the STEM skills they need to succeed in a tech-centric economy. Companies complain they have thousands of open tech jobs, but can’t find qualified candidates to fill them. From San Francisco and Austin, to Sydney and London, companies say they could grow faster and boost hiring across teams, if only they could fill their open IT positions. A recent study by the Brookings Institution reported STEM job skills are in huge demand by employers, and job openings in high tech fields take much longer to fill because candidates with STEM skills are in short supply. A Manpower study also showed IT workers and engineers were among the hardest positions to fill in the U.S. in 2013.

http://newsroom.cisco.com/feature-content?type=webcontent&articleId=1450825

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One Professor Schemes to Keep Colleges in the Web’s Fast Lane

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2014-07-19 02:04

By Avi Wolfman-Arent, Chronicle of Higher Ed

William Baker, director of the Bernard L. Schwartz Center for Media, Public Policy, and Education at Fordham, proposes a space for nonprofits on the web, akin to the bandwith reserved for public broadcasting. William F. Baker has no quarrel with net neutrality, the principle that says all Internet traffic should be treated equally regardless of substance or source. “Since it looks like we’re heading toward some form of a two-speed American Internet,” Mr. Baker wrote, “why not take some of what the big players will be paying to ISPs for a fast track to consumers and use the money to make sure public media, not-for-profits, and tech innovators get bailed out of the slow lane?”

http://chronicle.com/article/One-Professor-Schemes-to-Keep/147589/

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University of Missouri campuses to test online course sharing

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2014-07-19 02:02

By ASHLEY JOST, Columbia Daily Tribune

The University of Missouri System is implementing a new course-sharing program this fall in an effort to expand access for students at each of the four campuses. The effort serves multiple purposes: to create an online alternative for classes that typically have low enrollment, to broaden access to unique classes and to give partnering faculty members time to work on other projects, such as research, because they’re ideally alternating semesters of teaching their online courses. Through course-sharing, faculty members from two or more campuses partner up on their ideas for unique courses, said Steve Graham, UM senior associate vice president for academic affairs.

http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/education/university-of-missouri-campuses-to-test-online-course-sharing/article_29b8be53-d80b-53f4-9ab4-534e2b3feefe.html

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