news (external)

The Top Eight Things You Need To Know About Online Education

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2014-10-15 02:09

by Tom Lindsay, Forbes

There is a variety of opinions in the media these days regarding online learning. Depending on what you read, online education can appear to be either a cure-all or cancer. In an effort to cut through the smoke, here are the top eight established facts you need to know.

1) Online learning is here to stay. Since 1986, when the first online degree program from an accredited institution was offered (by John F. Kennedy University in Orinda, California), growth has been exponential. Today, one-third of America’s 21 million enrolled students are taking some or all of their instruction online. The eleven-year study by the Babson Survey Research Group shows over seven million online enrollments in the fall semester of 2013.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomlindsay/2014/10/08/the-top-eight-things-you-need-to-know-about-online-education/

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SIUE to offer online classes over winter break

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2014-10-15 02:05
by SCOTT WUERZ, BND Southern Illinois University Edwardsville will offer new winter session courses to begin Dec. 15, the school announced. The four-week courses will be taught online so students can go home for winter break and still earn credits. SIUE provides financial incentive for students interested in winter session. Students, who enroll and complete winter courses, will be eligible to waive the $50 per credit off-campus fee. They also may be awarded up to $150 in scholarship to use toward the winter session. The total savings adds up to $300 for a three-credit course.

http://www.bnd.com/2014/10/08/3444234/siue-to-offer-online-classes-over.html

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Online Mooc courses deliver Ebola health advice

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2014-10-15 02:03

By Sean Coughlan, BBC

Online courses are delivering health advice about preventing the spread of Ebola to thousands of people in West Africa. The so-called Mooc providers – massive open online courses – are using their reach to provide information about the deadly virus. So far, 10,000 people have completed a free online course, Understanding the Ebola Virus and How You Can Avoid It. The provider, Alison, has 250,000 students using courses in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak has caused 3,400 deaths, mostly in West Africa, and the online course teaches about the signs and symptoms of infection and how to avoid getting infected. The course, which can be accessed on a mobile phone, is aimed at people living in regions affected by the virus and there are assessments on how the virus can be transmitted and treated.

http://www.bbc.com/news/education-29521360

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Where Do Birds Go

xkcd.com - Wed, 2014-10-15 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

The Cargo Cult of Game Mechanics

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-10-14 14:03
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Steven Wittens, Hackery, Math & Design, Oct 14, 2014

Really interesting article and really interesting presentation. The thesis is essentially this: game design today has devolved into moneymaking systems that depend on "whales", that is, a small number of compulsive users who will pay to keep playing the game. This is "gaming as serious media." "It generally involves taking away choice, using scripts instead of simulations, with mini-games and quick-time events thrown in to amuse your hindbrain. It's tacitly saying that real storytelling, real human comedy or tragedy, can't happen while a player is in control. It's non-sense of course, plenty of games have done so before." The analogy with serious games in learning is clear, and I think the case is well made. See also this deconstruction of Chrono Trigger.

[Link] [Comment]

Could a Newly Launched Metaphorical Search Engine Really Work?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-10-14 14:03
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Neurobonkers, Big Think, Oct 14, 2014

I spent a little time playing around with Yossarian Lives, a search engine that produces metaphorical results for search queries. The idea is, you pit in a search term, it responds with a set of images, and you can select an image, give it a title, and add an explanation. You can then save your idea to a list, and view other people's ideas. I had mixed results, but some of the ones others have produced were quite good. Sadly, the service is really only useful as a toy, as the image sources are commercial libraries and any actual use could get expensive quickly.

[Link] [Comment]

Experts offer new resources for competency-based education

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2014-10-14 02:08

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

Competency-based education (CBE) is making the rounds in higher education as colleges and universities eager to explore alternative pathways discuss the model’s potential. However, many initiatives have already laid extensive groundwork, offering multiple resources covering everything from CBE’s basic definition to implementation best practices. According to Michael Offerman of Offerman Consulting, during an EDUCAUSE 2014 panel, a number of national initiatives dedicated specifically to CBE have partnered together to provide as many diverse resources as possible for institutions ranging from the simply curious to those in final implementation stages.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/competency-resources-cbe-467/

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XPrize focuses on open adaptive learning, but will it succeed or fail?

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2014-10-14 02:06

By Julia Freeland, eCampusNews

The Global Learning XPrize is aiming to spur the design of software that can serve students in as direct, unmediated manner as possible. The goal: to handsomely reward the team that develops the best open source, scalable adaptive software to help children in developing countries teach themselves basic literacy and math. As I’ve written about before, prizes are effective pull mechanisms to expedite R&D across a field and to in turn fill a gap that the market is currently failing to supply at scale. Unlike so-called push mechanisms that reduce the cost of R&D by directly funding research upfront, pull mechanisms incentivize private sector engagement and competition by creating viable market demand for specific products to solve specific problems. The XPrize is a good example of a pull mechanism, as are government Challenge Grants and social impact bonds.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/technologies/xprize-succeed-fail-423/

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Bricolage by smart people

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-10-14 02:03


Daniel Lemire, Daniel Lemire's Blog, Oct 13, 2014

I've argued 'Against Digital Research Methods' in the past. Daniel Lemire summarizes the same point nicely: "It is fascinating how we have a hard time dealing with the fact that R& D is in fact nothing else but bricolage done by smart people."

[Link] [Comment]

The 10K Hour Rule: Deliberate Practice leads to Expertise, and Teaching can trump Genetics

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-10-14 02:03
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Mark Guzdial, Computing Education Blog, Oct 13, 2014

This is a pretty good article, not only because it invokes the classic 'make a PBJ' example, and not only because it cites the  proper source for the 10,000 hours of practice rule (hint: not Gladwell), but also because it provides an intelligent discussion of how the rule applies, offers a telling argument against the counterproposal (that skills are innate and not learned), and teaches us the value of focus and reflection in learning. But there's a not-so-subtle shift from "people can learn" to "people can be taught" and an invocation of the  mysterious "power of a great teacher to go beyond simple rote practice to create deliberate opportunities to learn," as though no other means were possible to accomplish the same thing by oneself, or with the aid of friends, projects, life experience or software. See also: Practice Does Not Make Perfect.

[Link] [Comment]

The digital divide with online learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2014-10-14 02:02

by Daytona Beach News Journal

The future is now for the Class of 2015. Unfortunately, many Florida high school students, including at least half the graduating seniors in Volusia and Flagler counties, are stuck in the past trying to catch up. It’s another lesson in the gap between what Tallahassee mandates for education and how school districts execute them. In 2011, state lawmakers passed the Digital Learning Act requiring students to pass one online course to graduate. This year’s seniors are the first class that must fulfill that requirement.

http://www.news-journalonline.com/article/20141006/OPINION/141009741

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An MBA Your Way: Flexible And Online Programs Beat The Clock

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2014-10-13 02:10

by Seb Murray, Business Because

The business education market has had to adapt to meet the needs of today’s business world, according to Federico Frattini, director of the Flex EMBA program at MIP Politecnico di Milano, the Italian business school. “These factors together conspire to make it extremely difficult to attend face-to-face MBAs and executive MBAs,” he says. An obvious alternative is the EMBA, designed for more senior workers and spread out over a longer period. But these programs are also risky. “In the case of our EMBA participants, leaving their job carries a risk, given their seniority and what they have accomplished in their careers,” says Paula Robles associate director of marketing at INSEAD. The rise of flexible and distance learning, where students use online platforms to study from the comfort of their work desks or even at home on the sofa, means there is now a wealth of choice available.

http://www.businessbecause.com/news/mba-distance-learning/2825/an-mba-your-way-flexible-online-programs-beat-clock

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Arizona State U. Accepts 1,800 Starbucks Employees

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2014-10-13 02:05

by Inside Higher Ed

Both Arizona State University and Starbucks are reporting a rush of new applicants after the coffee giant announced it would reimburse employees who took their junior and senior years through the institution’s online arm. The university has already accepted 1,800 Starbucks employees (whom it referred to as “partners” in a press release), among whom about 1,000 have enrolled in the second fall session. The university noted the applicants, who represent every state and every retail role at Starbucks, are scattered across its 40 degree programs, although psychology, lifestyle coaching, mass communication and media studies and English ranked as the most popular. About 70 percent of the students will enroll as juniors or seniors, meaning they will be covered by Starbucks’ tuition reimbursement plan.

https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2014/10/07/arizona-state-u-accepts-1800-starbucks-employees

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Facebook’s Identity Authentication Is Broken

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2014-10-13 02:02


Alec Couros, Open Thinking, Oct 12, 2014

Centralized systems eventually break down. In the current case, it's Facebook's identity service. As Alec Couross has described in the past (here’ s the original post  which outlines the problem and here is the followup) he has been beset with an endless series of people faking his account. "These profiles have shown up on sites such as Twitter, VK.com, Match.com, Christian Mingle, and most prominently, Facebook." And now, to add insult to injury, he writes, "while I have successfully had Facebook take down hundreds of profiles, apparently they no longer believe that I am Alec Couros."

[Link] [Comment]

Ello and Academic Social Networks

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2014-10-13 02:02

by Anastasia Salter, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Ello is being billed as the new alternative to Facebook, but if anything, it reminds me more of Tumblr. Currently, much of the action is in the idea of “Noise”–the equivalent of following someone on Tumblr or Twitter, without necessarily having any reciprocal relationship with them–and the variety of content there is just that. With no real-name identity association (which definitely has its benefits, ala Tumblr), it does have some potential as a space for emergent conversations and random discovery. I’ve used Tumblr for research, and I could potentially see Ello working similarly if it catches on.

<br>

Visit Ray’s ello page http://ello.co/rayschroeder

<br>

http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/ello-and-academic-social-networks/58211

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Lightsaber

xkcd.com - Mon, 2014-10-13 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Tag des weißen Stockes am 15.10.2014

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Mon, 2014-10-13 00:00
Ausgewählte Informationen zum Tag des weißen Stockes am 15.10.2014
Categories: Science News

Is It Ever Okay to Make Teachers Read Scripted Lessons?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2014-10-12 17:01
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Terrance F. Ross, The Atlantic, Oct 12, 2014

I guess that if the teachers were completely unqualified, and the students unable to read, then there might be a benefit to reading scripted lessons. But I think the benefits would be pretty minimal, and as critic Kate Redman says, “ Such an education is unlikely to spur the imaginations of the students or encourage critical thinking or social mobility. It is more likely to lead to rote-learning, and would likely leave little flexibility. There is no evidence it can serve as a permanent approach.” Nonetheless, such an approach has been taken by Bridge International Academies, a for-profit company that has has more than 350 locations and 100,000 students in Kenya. And if it's true that "at the only schools available to these families there was very little education being delivered," then this is better than nothing. But I still think (from a very distant first-world perspective) that they money they take from the system could be better spent. Via Doug Belshaw / Audrey Watters.

[Link] [Comment]

Online Learning: Outcomes and Satisfaction among Underprepared Students in an Upper-Level Psychology Course

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2014-10-12 02:10

by Colleen McDonough, Ramona Palmerio Roberts, Jessamy Hummel; OJDLA

This research suggests that outcomes and student satisfaction do not differ in any meaningful ways in traditional, online, and hybrid college courses. These findings underscore the quality and value of the online learning platform for institutions of higher learning, educators, parents, students, and the general public – not only is student performance similar to traditional courses, but students enjoy it as well. Given that the scholarship of online learning seems to be here to stay, it is reassuring to know that its effectiveness is similar to traditional courses at the undergraduate level. Student engagement and course involvement online may play a role in their outcomes, however, so students who tend to procrastinate or who lack intrinsic motivation might be better suited to traditional courses.

http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/fall173/mcdonough_roberts_hummel173.html

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Professors teach online from Keys underwater habitat

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2014-10-12 02:05

by Associated Press

Two Tennessee college educators have submerged in an underwater habitat in a Florida Keys lagoon to teach online classes and attempt to break a record for the longest human underwater habitation. Roane State Community College associate professor Bruce Cantrell, 63, and adjunct professor Jessica Fain, 25, dove 25 feet to Jules Undersea Lodge Friday. While underwater, they are to host a weekly live online program about marine science open to all students via YouTube. In addition, Cantrell is to teach a college credit class online for Roane State students.While underwater, they are to host a weekly live online program about marine science open to all students via YouTube. In addition, Cantrell is to teach a college credit class online for Roane State students.

http://www.wtsp.com/story/news/weird/2014/10/04/professors-teach-underwater-habitat-key-largo/16710533/

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