news (external)

Bob Braun Reports that Pearson Is Spying on Social Media of Students Taking PARCC Tests

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2015-03-14 18:06
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Diane Ravitch, Mar 14, 2015

The site that broke the story has  been "attacked and closed", but this is what Bob Braun wrote: "Pearson, the multinational testing and publishing company, is spying on the social media posts of students– including those from New Jersey– while the children are taking their PARCC, statewide tests." The original post is  here (link still down) and the full text of the article has been reposted here. The spying appears to be sanctioned by the Department of Education (DOE) in the U.S. also from Bob Braun: "Hmmmm. Coming to a school near you. http://www.tracx.com/... Pearson Streamlines Social Media Listening and Monitoring With Tracx." More from Daily Kos. Jersey Jazzman  says the story "proves the inferiority of their (Pearson's) products." After a bit of a delay, the story has broken on the Washington Post Blog and... well, that's it.

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How to calculate the real costs of developing and delivering MOOCs

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2015-03-14 01:10

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

Researchers at Brown and Columbia attempt to determine not just costs associated with MOOC production, but faculty time, marketing, and IT development…and if it’s all worth it. Is a MOOC worth anywhere between $39,000 to $325,000 in development and delivery costs to your college or university? How do you know? For colleges and universities already on alert thanks to uncontrollable costs associated with higher ed, the decision whether or not to spend hundreds of thousands on MOOCs should be an intimidating one.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/calculate-costs-moocs-878/

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Course Design that Meets More Learners’ Needs

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2015-03-14 01:05

By Dennis Pierce, Campus Technology

ECU is one of three North Carolina universities taking part in a grant-funded project called College STAR, which aims to support students with learning disabilities. These challenges might include dyslexia, dyscalculia and problems with focusing or memory recall, among others. One way College STAR supports these students is by training faculty and instructional designers in the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a framework for creating flexible learning environments that can accommodate a wide variety of learning styles. The project’s goal is to “help our universities be more welcoming places for students with learning differences,” said Sarah Williams, principal investigator.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/03/04/course-design-that-meets-more-learners-needs.aspx

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Here’s What Will Truly Change Higher Education: Open Online Degrees That Are Seen as Official

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2015-03-14 01:02

by Kevin Carey, NY Times

In the long run, MOOCs will most likely be seen as a crucial step forward in the reformation of higher education. But their true impact won’t be felt until students and learners of all kinds have access to digital credentials that are also built for the modern world. Then they’ll be able to acquire skills and get jobs for a fraction of what colleges cost today.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/08/upshot/true-reform-in-higher-education-when-online-degrees-are-seen-as-official.html

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Welt-Down-Syndrom-Tag am 21.03.2015

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Fri, 2015-03-13 23:00
Ausgewählte Informationen zum Welt-Down-Syndrom-Tag am 21.03.2015
Categories: Science News

The digital ducking stool

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2015-03-13 15:04
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Helen Lewis, New Statesman, Mar 13, 2015

Another article looking at the phenomenon of mass retaliation on this internet, this time depicting it as public shaming. "To me, public shaming is a symptom of institutional failure. It flourishes when people feel there is no accountability or possibility of redress through other channels. As our legal system matured and the concept of due process developed, we were content to outsource punishment to the state. Now, with trust in our institutions failing, we want to take matters into our own hands again."

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OER World Map

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2015-03-13 12:04
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Various authors, Mar 13, 2015

A year and a half or so ago UNESCO launched an OER mapping project. It has now come to fruition. "Using local knowledge to describe the OER ecosystem, the OER World Map will visualize the world of OER and support a range of widgets and tools, including powerful statistical analysis." Here's the OER World Map blog.

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Southern New Hampshire President to Advise Education Dept. on Competency-Based Learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2015-03-13 01:10

by Casey Fabris, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Paul LeBlanc, president of Southern New Hampshire University, will take a three-month leave of absence to join the Department of Education as a senior adviser to the under secretary of education, Ted Mitchell. Mr. LeBlanc will be involved with the department’s innovation agenda, specifically its experiments with competency-based education and with establishing new accreditation methods for innovative programs. Southern New Hampshire University has been at the forefront of competency-based education with its College for America program, which was the first competency-based degree program approved by the department to award student aid based on the direct assessment of student learning.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/southern-new-hampshire-president-to-advise-education-dept-on-competency-based-learning/55973

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Udacity launches Nanodegree program for iOS developers

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2015-03-13 01:04

by Daniel Terdiman, Venture Beat

Last year, online education provider Udacity launched its Nanodegree program. In partnership with AT&T, the initiative’s goal is to help people develop focused vocational specialties in a short period of time. Now, Udacity, created by Google X founder Sebastian Thrun, has started an iOS developer Nanodegree. “This Nanodegree program will teach you the skills required to become an iOS developer,” Udacity writes on its site. “It’s an exciting occupation, as writing apps for the iPhone and iPad opens a world of opportunity. Developing for iOS … allows you to connect users around the world in interesting and innovative ways. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that iOS developers are in-demand and lucratively paid.”

http://venturebeat.com/2015/03/05/udacity-launches-nanodegree-program-for-ios-developers/

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5 steps to help CBE topple the credit hour

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2015-03-13 01:02

by Ron Bethke, eCampus News

Colleges and universities weary of the barriers currently associated with the credit hour may find an alternative CBE solution within a new framework. The adoption of competency-based programs has become increasingly appealing to higher education institutions, as CBE, done right, could provide better learning opportunity’s for today’s students and their bank accounts. A new report released by Tyton Partners in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, titled “Evidence of Learning: The Case for an Integrated Competency Management System” proposes an integrated and transparent competency management framework.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/competency-framework-help-240/

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Terry Pratchett

xkcd.com - Fri, 2015-03-13 01:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

CRC Blog

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2015-03-12 18:04


Various authors, Centre for Research Communications (CRC), Mar 12, 2015

From the email lists: a new CRC blog. "The Centre for Research Communications (CRC) at the University of Nottingham works nationally and globally with researchers, funders, institutions and publishers, on challenging and exciting opportunities in opening access to research.  The recently-launched CRC Blog http://thecrcblog.wordpress.com will provide updates on all the SHERPA Services (RoMEO, JULIET, OpenDOAR and FACT) and projects (SHERPA/REF, OARR and JoRD)."

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Half of Canadians wish they had sought more career planning advice, survey finds

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2015-03-12 15:03


Press Release, Canada NewsWire, Mar 12, 2015

According to this article, "One in two Canadians who have not had career counselling say they would have sought professional career planning or employment advice if they could do it over again, a new survey has found." Of course, it's easy to find regret about the past in any population. I would be curious to know how people who followed career planning advice would have responded. In my case, had I followed the advice, I would have had a career in the military. So what would have happened? Would I today be a general, an unhappy sergeant, or perhaps lost out on a battlefield some place? Regrets, I would have had a few. Maybe. The survey was commissioned by the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC). Via Academica.

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Why I Cancelled My Kindle Unlimited Subscription

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2015-03-12 15:03


Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed, Mar 12, 2015

"The reality of Kindle Unlimited ended up being wildly divergent from all the hype," writes Joshua Kim. While he awaits the long-promised audiobooks, the selection currently available, he says, is nothing he would want to read. "The selection on Kindle Unlimited is shockingly bad.   Amazon seems to have been completely unable to persuade authors or publishers to join the program." (You can stop reading at the 'wish list' what begins with 'The Sellout: A Novel'; the articule does not resume after that long list).

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Can We End 'The End of College' Already?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2015-03-12 15:03
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John Warner, Inside Higher Ed, Mar 12, 2015

More pushback against the 'end of college' theme (ironically in an issue of Inside Higher Ed that also discusses the  closure of Sweet Briar college). This post addresses Kevin Carey's argument (discussed here) on 'The End of College'. I'm generally critical of Carey, but I'm really put off by the tone of this article, which seeks mostly to belittle him. Warner's criticism is, essentially, "In Carey’ s formulation, because an already highly educated professional can pass an online Biology course, we are on the cusp of a revolution." Perhaps Warner should recall that, not so long ago, it would have been very difficult even for a highly educated professional to take a course in biology. Belittling Carey won't change what is happening in the environment.

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Wharton’s New Online Courses Include Incentives

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2015-03-12 01:10

By LINDSAY GELLMAN, Wall Street Journal

Acing an online course could lead to a Wharton degree. The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School last month unveiled a new series of courses, dubbed the Business Foundations specialization series, through online-education platform Coursera. The business school said it would waive the application fee to one of its graduate business programs for each of the online program’s top 50 performers in a given year. Wharton also said it would offer up to five $20,000 scholarships to admitted M.B.A. students “who have excelled in completion” of the series in the previous 12 months.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/whartons-new-online-courses-include-incentives-1425515596

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Online education myths busted

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2015-03-12 01:06

By Amaka Abayomi, Vanguard

Globally, online learning is on the rise. According to a 2013 report by the Babson Survey Research Group, over 6.7 million post-secondary students were enrolled in, at least, one online class in 2011, compared to only 1.6 million in 2002, and higher-education institutions continue to refine and enhance their online curriculum. Myth #1: Employers don’t value online degrees/certificates :  It is falsely believed that employers don’t value online degrees or certificates but the truth is that they do value and are often bound to respect accredited online degrees or certifications. Most respected companies really appreciate their employees taking the initiative of earning degrees online.

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/03/online-education-myths-busted/

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Education institutions lag in data protection

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2015-03-12 01:02

By Tara García Mathewson, Education Dive

A new report from Evolve, an IT services company selling cloud space, shows education institutions are more likely to lose critical data than their peer organizations in the business, government, and nonprofit sectors — and more likely to lose it forever. Respondents cited budget constraints for their poor outcomes, according to Campus Technology, and only 42% of respondents thought they had enough money in their disaster recovery budgets. That’s in contrast to 63% of respondents, who thought so in the for-profit realm.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/education-institutions-lag-in-data-protection/371507/

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Debunking the Myth about a Creative Destruction of Higher Education with Technology as the Driver

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2015-03-11 18:02


Unattributed, Contact North, Mar 11, 2015

The central premise of this post is that "while it is the case that technology is sneaking into the nooks and crannies of the post-secondary system, it is not producing transformative change." Looking at the evidence itself - from the structure of universities to the nature of assessment - the author argues that little has changed in universities. The author also identifies several reasons for the "stasis" seen in the system, things ranging from government funding, collective agreements and faculty resistance. My view is different. I don't think we can look inside the system for signs of change - it will remain static right up to the last moment. We have to look outside for the trends which will produce a 'sudden' crisis in the system. MOOCs, for example, produced little change inside universities - big surprise! - but took the world outside universities by storm, signifying several latent trends building up in momentum. People in universities will think that credentialing and government funding will keep them static - right up to the moment they don't. Mark me on this.

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Milchstraße: Neun neue Begleiterinnen

ScienceTicker.Info - Wed, 2015-03-11 11:26
Neun Satellitengalaxien der Milchstraße haben britische Astronomen entdeckt. Die Winzlinge wurden erst bei der computergestützten Analyse von Teleskopbildern gefunden, nämlich als statistische Auffälligkeiten in der Sterndichte. Lesen Sie mehr bei Scienceticker Astro
Categories: Science News

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