news (external)

Dialogue and discussion: critical for 21st century skills development

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-08-05 16:54

Tony Bates, online learning and distance education resources, Aug 05, 2014

According to Tony Bates, conversation is essential in learning as students (and people generally) struggle consciously to find meaning in the phenomena they experience, and this will change the structure on online learning in the future. "Over time, as more experience is gained, MOOCs are likely to incorporate  and  adapt  for large numbers some of the findings from research on smaller group work. Indeed, MOOCs are likely to develop  new ways to manage  discussion effectively in very large groups. In the meantime, though, there is much work still to be done if MOOCs are to provide the support and structure needed to ensure deep, conceptual learning where this does not already exist in students."

[Link] [Comment]

The insanity of research grant proposals

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-08-05 16:54

Daniel Lemire, Aug 05, 2014

Short cynical commentary (and a secret formula) on funding for research. Daniel Lemire writes, "I do not care what kind of research you do: a predictable breakthrough is no breakthrough at all. The good scientists always have speculative ideas. Sometimes these ideas come out of nowhere, in the moment. Most of these ideas are very bad… but a few represent the real breakthroughs. And that is what research is really about. Trial and error on a massive scale." Related, an  Ottawa Citizen column calls for a refocus of research funding priorities, and Academica reports, that despite an increased focus on government financing for corporate research in Canada, we're seeing "a decline from 9.6% in 2000-01 to 8.1% in 2012-13."

[Link] [Comment]

The Rise of New Institutional Models and Architectures

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-08-05 16:54

Amie Colquhoun, Don Tapscott, Aug 05, 2014

Don Tapscott (or his writer Amie Colquhoun) argues that companies are now encouraging cooperative organization both inside their structures and among competitors. "Smart organizations are encouraging, rather than fighting, the heaving growth of massive online communities, many of which emerged from the fringes of the web to attract tens of millions of participants overnight. Even ardent competitors are collaborating on path-breaking science initiatives that accelerate discovery in their industries." I'd like to believe this but I really need more evidence.

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Mobile Internet Explorer's New User Agent

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-08-05 16:54

Alex Chitu, Google Operating System, Aug 05, 2014

It's ironic. It's sad. And once again, it's an example of corporations that just don't play well together, no matter what it costs their customers. "Google doesn't want to make Windows Phone more popular, so it doesn't release apps for Windows Phone. Google also serves inferior versions of its mobile apps in Internet Explorer Mobile. Gmail's mobile site for Windows Phone has a lot in common with Gmail's site for feature phones."

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How a 20 Year Old Patent Application Could Up-End Canada’s Biggest Trade Deal

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-08-05 16:54

Michael Geist, Aug 05, 2014

Opponents of free trade legislation have long argued that these mechanisms subvert the rule of law in the contracted countries. This has now apparently been proven to be the case in - where else? - patent law. "If the pharmaceutical giant succeeds, it will have effectively found a mechanism to override the Supreme Court of Canada and hold Canadian taxpayers liable for hundreds of millions in damages in the process. The cost to the health care system could be enormous as the two Eli Lilly patents may be the proverbial tip of the iceberg and claims from other pharmaceutical companies could soon follow."

[Link] [Comment]

No More 'Collective Begging'

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-08-05 16:54

Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, Aug 05, 2014

Hard to disagree: "Unless and until faculty, including part-time faculty, hit the streets and occupy the classrooms," said Stanley Aronowitz, a tenured professor of sociology and urban education at the CUNY Graduate Center, "there won’ t be any change of substance." Of course, there's a fundamental contradiction where the person juding your academic progress is aalso your employer paying you below-subsistence wages.

[Link] [Comment]

Blended Synchronous Learning Handbook

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-08-05 16:54

Matt Bower, Gregor Kennedy, Barney Dalgarno, Mark J. W. Lee, Aug 05, 2014

Nice. 190 page PDF. I'll just quote from the email at length: "The Handbook includes a Blended Synchronous Learning Design Framework that offers pedagogical, technological and logistical recommendations for teachers attempting to design and implement blended synchronous learning lessons (see Chapter 14). It also includes a Rich-Media Synchronous Technology Capabilities Framework to support the selection of technologies for different types of learning activities (see Chapter 4), as well as a review of relevant literature, a summary of the Blended Synchronous Learning Scoping Study results, detailed reports of each of the seven case studies, and a cross-case analysis.

"For those who are interested, the BlendSync Final Report and External Evaluation Report are also from the OLT website at the following URLs: here and here.  A list of academic papers and links to recordings of presentations that have arisen out of the project is posted  here . The project team would also like to take this opportunity to invite all those with an interest in area to join the Blended Synchronous Learning Collaborator Network to abreast of events and updates in the future. Instructions on how to do this can be found at"

[Link] [Comment]

Fracking kann schädliche Gase freisetzen

ScienceTicker.Info - Tue, 2014-08-05 10:54
Die in den USA praktizierten Techniken zur Schiefergas- und Schieferölförderung belasten die Atmosphäre mit klima- und gesundheitsschädlichen Gasen. Das berichten Forscher der Universität Innsbruck, die an Messungen der US-amerikanische Luft-und Raumfahrtbehörde NASA beteiligt sind. Lesen Sie weiter bei Scienceticker Umwelt.
Categories: Science News

The Best MOOC Business Courses Starting In August

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2014-08-05 02:09

by JOHN BYRNE, Business Insider

In reality, negotiation isn’t an either-or. It is about creating more. That’s the philosophy behind a new MOOC course from Stanford University: “Introduction to Negotiation.” Taught by David Johnson, a celebrated Silicon Valley attorney. Stanford’s Johnson isn’t alone in pushing for transparency, self-understanding, and mutual benefit. Kirk O. Hanson, a pioneer in the field of ethics, launches his first MOOC: “Business Ethics for the Real World” (along with a sequel, “Creating an Ethical Corporate Culture.”) Case Western Reserve’s Richard Boyatzis returns with another section of his popular “Inspiring Leadership Through Emotional Intelligence.” A highly-regarded author, Boyatzis was ranked as the ninth-most influential thinker in a survey by HR Magazine. Celebrity professor Peter Navarro jumps into the MOOC fray with “Managing Your Time, Money, and Career: MBA Insights for Undergraduates,” a UC-Irvine course designed for college freshmen who are striking out on their own for the first time.

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Illinois Gov. Quinn signs SARA online learning law

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2014-08-05 02:05

by Morton Daily Press

Gov. Pat Quinn on Friday visited the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to sign a law to help boost the quality of distance and online learning programs across Illinois and other states. Senate Bill 3441, sponsored by state Sen. Pat McGuire, D-Crest Hill, and state Rep. Robert Pritchard, R-Sycamore, authorizes the Illinois Board of Higher Education to make agreements with other states to guarantee distance learning programs maintain common standards and that completed course work is recognized by institutions in each state. The agreements will also establish a mechanism for handling complaints and refunds across states and institutions. The new law is effective Jan. 1, 2015. The new law will allow Illinois to join other members of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact to make distance education courses more accessible to students across state lines while also making it easier for states to regulate and institutions to participate in interstate distance education. The Midwestern Compact will interact with other regional compacts across the country.

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The Future of Online Learning and the Real Estate Industry

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2014-08-05 02:02

by Keith Williams, Realty Times

As independent contractors, who are entrepreneurial by circumstance and design, real estate professionals must be competitive in a dynamic and increasingly global marketplace. The best way for these individuals to achieve that goal – the most effective and convenient means for them to leverage and profit from this environment – is through online learning. With the right platform to make this scenario a reality, everyone benefits from the promotion of education, and the engagement of a lively community, which is also a highly successful community. Realtors can take classes from another company’s library of instructional materials, or they can highlight their services about their respective areas of expertise; they can be mentors and sages, commanding generous compensation (in an open marketplace) for the wisdom they possess and the insight they apply to a host of challenges.

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OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2014-08-04 19:51

Philip Kerr, ELTjam, Aug 04, 2014

Good paper that I wish were longer. The last few paragraphs are especially abbreviated. Philip Kerr first addresses the rise of the terms 'learner' and 'learning' in education, these reflecting an increased focus on the role of the learner and an emphasis on process. But correspondingly, there has been a focus on outcomes, especially in commercial learning, and the rise in technology in learning. These suggest that satisfactory outcomes can be achieved merely my the application of the correct learning theory. This, Kerr suggests, is incorrect.

[Link] [Comment]

How to Develop Good Online Learning Habits

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2014-08-04 02:09

By Devon Haynie, US News

During a U.S. News Twitter chat, experts discussed ways students can engage with online courses. Online learning has increasingly become an option for students seeking to earn a degree without having to quit their jobs or relocate to campus. Here’s a look at some highlights of a recent U.S. News Education Twitter chat in which online education experts shared tips for how online students could develop good habits for success. The chat included Ray Schroeder (@rayschroeder), associate vice chancellor for online learning at the University of Illinois—Springfield; academic staff from Pennsylvania State University—World Campus (@PSUWorldCampus) and the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University—Bloomington (@KelleySchool); and Devon Haynie (@DevonHaynie), online education reporter for U.S. News.

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Learning Revolution: Interest In Online And Distance MBAs Grows

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2014-08-04 02:04
by Seb Murray, Business Because The online learning revolution continues to gather steam, as the number of MBA applicants seeking online and distance study has increased for the second consecutive year, while interest in full-time MBA programs has remained roughly flat. Widening pools of MBA candidates are seeking more flexible study options, spurring business schools to roll out more online programs and distance learning options. Interest online learning has risen to a high of 18.3%, according to new data from QS, up from 16.2% last year. Interest in distance learning has also risen to 8.7%, an increase on 2013. Interest in part-time study has risen for the second consecutive year to 28.4% of MBA candidates, while interest in the executive MBA which is often taught at a distance, has risen to nearly 15% of applicants. Share on Facebook var button = document.getElementById('facebook_share_link_11745') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_icon_11745') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_both_11745') || document.getElementById('facebook_share_button_11745'); if (button) { button.onclick = function(e) { var url = this.href.replace(/share\.php/, 'sharer.php');,'sharer','toolbar=0,status=0,width=626,height=436'); return false; } if ( === 'facebook_share_button_11745') { button.onmouseover = function(){'#fff'; = '#295582'; = '#3b5998'; } button.onmouseout = function(){ = '#3b5998'; = '#d8dfea'; = '#fff'; } } }

INFOGRAPHIC: 10 advantages of online courses

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2014-08-04 02:02

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

“Although some would argue that online education is only an awesome alternative to traditional education because of the savings and convenience, there are actually many other advantages,” says Brad Zomick, SkilledUp’s chief content officer. “Only online education fully integrates itself into today’s educational technology. It is also more efficient for fast and especially motivated learners and offers skills that lack resources in traditional education despite high demand from employers (coding and social media marketing are common examples). One could even claim that it isn’t an alternative at all but rather a different path with its own rewards.”

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Thesis Defense - Mon, 2014-08-04 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Tweeting to Learn: Extending Social Classroom Learning Via Twitter

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2014-08-03 02:10

By Debra Beck, Evolllution

There are myriad ways to use Twitter, both to support classroom management and increase student engagement. One example of the latter usage comes from a colleague who asks student peer groups to research topics and share discoveries on Twitter using a common course hashtag (a way to identify messages related to a specific topic in social media). Students not only share what they learn with classmates, expanding the group’s collective knowledge, but with others who read their tweets. This opens discussion and learning opportunities to not only fellow class members but to a larger global audience. Similarly, students can follow content-related hashtags or terms (e.g., #nonprofit or #governance for students in my classes) to access live discussions and news related to topics germane to the course.

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Higher Education Funding Committee Discusses Open Textbook Library for NDUS

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2014-08-03 02:07

By Corina Cappabianca, KXNET

Heavy textbooks could soon be a learning tool of the past for North Dakota University students. The Higher Education Funding Committee discusses partnering with the University of Minnesota to access an online Open Textbook library. Students would be able to visit the website and download their course materials. They could then view the digital files, or print them out. NDUS representative Dr. Tanya Spilovoy says Open Textbooks would help students learn on the go.

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NSA seeks college students to fill cyber professionals shortage

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2014-08-03 02:02

By: Jenna Lyons, USA Today

In response to a shortage of cyber professionals in the U.S., the National Security Agency is reaching out to a younger crowd: college students. Beginning in 2012, the NSA started its National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations Program at select universities across the nation to attract students to the field. On July 14, the agency announced that five new schools would join the program, bringing the number of participating universities to 13. The new recruits include New York University, Towson University in Maryland, The United States Military Academy, University of Cincinnati and University of New Orleans. RAND Corporation released a report in June on the nation’s cyber professional shortage, citing the NSA as the largest and leading employer of cyber security professionals.

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How MOOCs Are Being Used In Europe

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2014-08-02 02:08

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

One of the wonderful things about MOOCs is that they don’t force students to be in a particular location in order to ‘attend’ class. Especially if you’re looking for a course that will help you gain a specific skill, MOOCs allow students access to teachers and other experts they might not have otherwise. The handy infographic below takes a look at how MOOCS are starting to bridge what is usually a gap between higher education and more practical education. Realistically, whether you’re teaching language, science, or math, your students are still going to need at least some of these ‘practical’ technical skills during their working lifetime – along with some others that probably don’t even exist yet.

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