news (external)

Why Your Employees and Colleagues Might Be Your Most Important Customers

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-03-10 01:32

Harvard Business Review, Mar 09, 2017

I used to warn people that unless we in public institutions didn't get our online learning act together, companies like Disney would move in and do our job for us. This advertising content (advertorial) from Disney in HBR s a case in point. "at Disney Institute," says the text, "we believe an organization must cultivate internal customer service with the same intentionality as it cultivates external customer service. Providing great customer experiences is not a single department’ s responsibility; it’ s everyone’ s." It's learning, but it's also a certain perspective on work and learning.

[Link] [Comment]

Social Media Production – Reflexive Learning

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-03-10 01:32

Rob Watson, Rob Watson Media, Mar 09, 2017

Rob Watson: "We still seem to be dominated by ‘ instruction’ as the main form of learning practice, especially when it comes to learning how to use media technologies and applications. This limits the focus of learning, in my experience to a ‘ transactional’ approach...  we might be serving the learners better if we can offer them opportunities to discover something about themselves in the process of learning." Yes.

[Link] [Comment]

Who’s speaking at TED2017? Announcing our speaker lineup

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-03-10 01:32

TED, Mar 09, 2017

Someone said to me today that TED would be a good platform for me. This led to a conversation about how TED is careful not to offend rich people (and indeed, to make them feel good about themselves). Why is why TED will never feature, say, the organizers of Occupy Wall Street. Or me. Case in point, this year's TED. The source of the "ideas worth spreading": "the co-creator of Siri, the founder of the world’ s largest hedge fund, a Nobel-winning researcher who helped discover how we age, the head of the World Bank, and one of the greatest athletes of all time." Yeah, let's keep telling people they deserve their wealth

[Link] [Comment]

Arab Universities and MOOCs: Cautious Cooperation

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-03-10 01:32

Sabah Hamamou, Al Fanar Media, Mar 09, 2017

Dood article providing an overview of the two major Arabic-language MOOC platforms,  Edraak and Rawaq. "In the Arab world, as universities struggle to reach thousands of students with few qualified professors, many educators feel that MOOCs still have potential. But the number of available courses is relatively small."

[Link] [Comment]

How Maker Mindsets Can Be An Easy Fit For Rural Schools

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2017-03-10 01:32

Leah Shaffer, Mind/Shift, Mar 09, 2017

Some of you may recall my photo set from the  Metcalfe Fair last October. What struck me at the time was the participation of young people in the events. In a rural community like Metcalfe, to 'make' is to raise a calf, grow a crop, or restore an antique. As this story says, "Rural districts might already be offering a maker program and not realize it. Organizations such as 4-H and Future Farmers of America  teach agricultural education skills that involve a lot of 'making.' Students might be designing, programming and learning about technology under the auspices of such a curriculum." I grew up in Metcalfe, and maybe this is why I don't see 'making' as a new thing.

[Link] [Comment]

Top Fears Shutting the Door on Open Education

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2017-03-10 01:05

By A.J. O’Connell, Campus Technology

Fear and anxiety can keep many educators from embracing open educational resources and open pedagogy. Here, “open” proponents explain common concerns. Open educational resources (OER) and open pedagogy are gaining traction in higher ed, and for good reason — open education expands access to courses, saves students money and invites peer review. But for some students, faculty and administrators, fears about “open” are real, and in some cases, justified. Faculty used to teaching behind closed doors — who are often subject-matter experts without any instructional training — may be worried about opening up their research or pedagogy for the world to see. And students — some of whom may be marginalized and already find themselves targeted by trolls online — may be concerned about completing assignments in the open.

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Steve Martin to Teach Online Comedy Course

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2017-03-10 01:03

by Todd Spangler, MSN

Comedy legend Steve Martin will offer tips, tricks and insights from his 50-year showbiz career in his first-ever online class, set to launch this spring. The class, which will cost $90, will be available through internet-education startup MasterClass. Enrollees will have access to more than 25 video lessons led by Martin, covering topics like finding your comedic voice and nailing an act. The course also includes a downloadable workbook with lesson recaps and supplemental materials, and students will be able to submit videos to the class — some of which Martin will critique.

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Groundbreaking school blends high school and college together

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2017-03-10 01:01

BY DAVE KNOCHE, eCampus News

The 4-year college experience isn’t for every student—and maybe PPEC’s zero student debt, blended pathway can help. Most students complete their high school courses and electives online so students only physically attend school three days a week. Days in school consist of teachers leading project-based learning to complement what students are learning online, as well as helping students master the concepts they are learning in the online courses. Students spend the other two days of the week completing online courses at home, participating in internships or shadowing opportunities, or attending classes on community college campuses.

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xkcd Phone 5 - Fri, 2017-03-10 01:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Open Learning, Open Networks

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-03-09 19:32

Open online learning entered the mainstream with the growth and popularity of MOOCs, but while interest in open online courses has never been greater MOOCs represent only the first step in a broader open learning infrastructure. In this keynote Stephen Downes will describe several key innovations shaping the future of open learning: distributed social networks, cloud infrastructures and virtualization, immersive reality, and personal learning environments. The talk will outline the challenges this evolving model will pose to learning providers and educational institutions and recommend policies and processes to meet them.

SUNY Open COTE 2017, Syracuse, New York (Keynote) Mar 09, 2017 [Comment]

Suny Initiatives Supporting Online Learning Panel

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2017-03-09 19:32

, (Stephen Downes), CC BY-NC-SA, Half an Hour, Mar 09, 2017 Live notes from the SUNY OpenCOTE Conterence, Syracuse, NY.
SUNY Goal: 150K graduates by 2015 (up from 95K this year) SUNY ACSIE Framework - Access, Completion, Success, Inquiry, Engagement 500+ Online programs from 43 campuses Roles: - Leadership - eg. COTE Community of Practice, Early Alerts - Partnership - OERs, Enrollment Marketing - Support - Cross-campus credits, financial aid Photo TLTCOneonta Michele Forte, OpenSUNY, Empire State College - Early Alerts Context: had a Starfish (early alert tool) contract in place through OpenSUNY, and looked for ways to leverage that. The intent was follow up on a previously successful mentor-campus format. This was a new model of a shared service. There was enhanced guidance for campuses, support for mentor campuses, and a community of practice was built. The intent was to built cross-system collaboration, increase efficiencies, capture and scale success, and support the mentor campus model. Tools include the SUNY Commons, and within it the SUNY Starfish Team, and then Basecamp (project management tool) for each campus. Challenges: SUNY campus are diverse and so the use of EA is diverse. The means of identifying cohorts is different on each campus. The tool needs to be evaluated as well as used. Project metrics: ease of implementation, how it's used, minimum configuration, etc. Meghan Dinan, SUNY Enrollment Services - Recruitment Project for Online Programs Puts all the programs on one spot - easy to search, very accessible. This resulted in an increase from 40 to 1800 leads for the programs. (Demonstration of lead processing workflow - feeds into existing 'Campus Connect' online lead system for individual campuses). Campuses reported they wanted faster process time, and they wanted the raw data instead of pre-designed format. Tara Conrad, Genessee Community College - Cross-Registration Automation This initiative was initiated in November, MTP (memo to the president) being drafted, electronic request form being generated. The design team is being asked to: draft requirements, test the new tool, and create documentation and training materials. The first version of the tool will not auto-populate course information, won't scrub addresses, won't have an SIS data stream. But it will sit inside the SUNY federation, so students will already be in the system, and will provide a workflow-type functionality. It should support inter-institution collaborations, eg., uploading and retrieval of transcripts. Possible campus-level actions include: explore opportunities for cross-registration, identify campus contacts, review cross-registration procedures, and adopt processes that facilitate paperless registration requests. [Link] [Comment]

Online classes highlight the importance of student-teacher interactions

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2017-03-09 01:10

by Ashley Sutherland, State Press

According to a Columbia University study, students do not choose to take online courses for “a superior learning experience” and instead most students take what they consider “easy” online classes. “There is actually a lot more that goes into designing, structuring and making everything very clear and laid out in the online class compared to the face-to-face class. You can have more flexibility in the face-to face classroom to modify things on the fly and adapt to your students’ immediate responses as you’re lecturing or as you’re presenting materials,” said Molly Ott, assistant professor in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and coordinator of the Higher and Postsecondary Education program.

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5 innovative strategies to support non-traditional students

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2017-03-09 01:06


The report notes that the number of non-traditional students is projected to increase more than twice as fast as traditional students from 2012 to 2022, according to the CLASP Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success. And because non-traditional students are among the fastest-growing student groups, this means schools face retention challenges. Only 37 percent of at-risk students said they feel confident they will accomplish their educational goals, and 33 percent of those at risk participate in extra-curricular activities, compared to 62 percent of non-traditional students who are not at risk of not graduating. The at-risk group spends less time on campus–10 hours per week compared to the 16 hours per week that non-traditional on-track students spend on campus.

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5 Ways to Combat Loneliness and Isolation in Online Learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2017-03-09 01:03

by Robyn Scott, WQED

Online learning is extremely convenient. It allows me and my students to work from home in pretty much any location in the country; it gives students the opportunity to work with educators who live in other areas and allows adult students to maintain full-time employment while studying. However, many students are feeling the social isolation that comes with this type of learning environment. There are several ways to combat loneliness and still be part of an online academic community.

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Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Wed, 2017-03-08 23:00

Pressemitteilung vom 09. März 2017 - 083/17

0,5 % weniger Schwangerschaftsabbrüche im Jahr 2016

WIESBADEN - Die Zahl der Schwangerschaftsabbrüche nahm 2016 gegenüber dem Vorjahr um 0,5 % ab. Wie das Statistische Bundesamt (Destatis) weiter mitteilt, wurden 2016 rund 98 700 Schwangerschaftsabbrüche in Deutschland gemeldet.

Weitere Auskünfte gibt:

Hans-Jürgen Heilmann,
Tel.: (0611) 75-8145,

zur vollständigen Pressemitteilung
Categories: Science News

Tag der Rückengesundheit am 15.03.2017Motto: Balance halten - Rücken stärken

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Wed, 2017-03-08 23:00
Ausgewählte Informationen zum Tag der Rückengesundheit am 15.03.2017
Motto: Balance halten - Rücken stärken
Categories: Science News

What’s the problem with competency based education?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2017-03-08 22:32

Graham Attwell, Pontydysgu, Mar 08, 2017

I know competences are the next big thing and that a lot of time and money i being devoted to competency-based education, but I can't help feeling uneasy about them. This article identifies some reasons why. First "is the myth that employers always know best... the problem with employers is that they tend to look to the present or the short term future in defining skills requirements." Second is "the relationship between ‘ competence’ and knowledge and how to define performance to meet such competence." Finally, "I would be deeply suspicious of just what they mean by 'tuition model is subscription based'? This seems like just another attempt to package up education for sale in nice chunks: a step forward in the privatisation of education."

[Link] [Comment]

Foreign enrolment surging in China

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2017-03-08 19:31

ICEF Monitor, Mar 08, 2017

It used to be the case that students left China to study abroad. This continues, but a new trend is that students are traveling to China to study. "More than 440,000 international students were enrolled in China last year, an increase of 11.4% over 2015." This would over time be accompanied by increased enrollments in Chinese online learning classes. This poses a challenge to countries like Britain and Australia who have developed an overseas education market. Image: Wikipedia. Related:  cultural experience is a  primary motivator of overseas study.

[Link] [Comment]

Interested in Teaching Online?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2017-03-08 19:31

Open SUNY Center for Online Teaching, Learning (COTE), Mar 08, 2017

Introduced today at the SUNY COTE 2017 conference I'm attending. From the website: "This course is designed to introduce you to teaching online – the concepts, competencies, pedagogies, and practices that are required to plan, develop, and teach an online course. Along with introducing you to these key topics, this course will showcase the perspectives of students, faculty, and instructional designers who have a wide range of experience teaching and learning online." It's still a work in progress, so be kind to the authors.

[Link] [Comment]

OntarioLearn: 24 Public Colleges in Ontario Collaborate

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2017-03-08 19:31

Tracie Marsh-Fior,, Mar 08, 2017

OntarioLearn "is a consortium of Ontario’ s 24 public colleges who partner to share more than 1,200 online courses and several online programs to make them accessible to students across the province and beyond. In 2015-16, there were over 70,000 registrations in their shared online courses." This article provides an overview of OntarioLearn describing recent innovations, benefits, and challenges.

[Link] [Comment]


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