news (external)

Data Show Interactivity Quadruples Effectiveness of E-Learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2015-09-22 02:09

by Sue Pelletier, MeetingsNet

If intuition tells you that an online learning portal that prompts learners with notes and reminders at strategic spots, includes interactive polls and links to resources, and allows learners to take notes and send themselves reminders would be more effective than one that just entails watching the traditional video with periodic polls, you’d be right—times four. At least, that’s what data from a recent comparative effectiveness trial indicates.

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Universities Move to Flat-Rate Textbooks

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2015-09-22 02:05

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Course materials management company Rafter today announced new agreements with several colleges and universities to deploy Rafter360, technology that provides both print and digital textbooks through a flat-rate model. Students at Mars Hill University (NC), Green Mountain College (VT), the Institute of American Indian Arts (NM), Illinois College and Bethany College (KS) will now receive all course materials by the first day of class, for a reduced fee that is incorporated into their tuition. Rafter’s pricing is expected to save students more than 50 percent compared to traditional textbooks. And when students have access to all their course materials up front, their chances of success improve, according to the company.

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Survey: Librarians and Faculty a Mile Apart on Need for Better Communication

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2015-09-22 02:02

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Faculty and librarians don’t see eye to eye. While nearly every single academic librarian (98 percent) thinks there needs to be better communication between the library and faculty, only 45 percent of faculty think the same. They even disagree on whether or not they work together to coordinate course reserves. While 57 percent of faculty say they do, 69 percent of libraries say they don’t. The only place they appear to agree with each other is on the preferred mode of communication — email; almost half of librarians push email to confer with faculty, and 61 percent of faculty do so.

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Digital Game-Based Learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2015-09-21 02:07

By Bill Daggett, Raymond J. McNulty, Brian M. Shulman, SNHSU

Online and digital delivery of K-12 learning, including digital game-based learning (DGBL), is exponentially growing in usage and in functionality. Teachers, who bring hands-on knowledge and expertise to the table, typically welcome a sense of involvement in strategic decision making from administrators. Educational leaders, however, need to be drivers, not passengers, on this journey and guide the evolution of digitally enhanced learning so they can shape and direct its emergence and usage. Both teachers and educational leaders can then use DGBL to focus on their ultimate goal of student growth and achievement. Students can and should be drivers in the process, too. Professional educators need to “own” DGBL so they can make their own larger organizational agendas part of DGBL’s emergence, implementation, and usage.

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Travel Ghost - Mon, 2015-09-21 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

ECTEL2015 Mon a.m. (1): Lisa Marie Blaschke Keynote

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2015-09-20 03:18

Doug Clow, New Technolopgy in Higher Education, [Sept] 19, 2015

I talk a lot about personal learning (and have for a very long time). But I have to be clear that there is also a tradition in self-determined learning, under the name of heutagogy, which has been around since the early 2000s. Here's Lisa Marie Blaschke: "The heutagogical approach can be viewed as a progression from pedagogy to andragogy to heutagogy, with learners likewise progressing in maturity and autonomy. More mature learners require less instructor control and course structure and can be more self-directed in their learning." Doug Clow summarizes Blaschke's keynote at ECTEL 2015. "More institutions are moving towards learning-centred learning and competency-based education. It’ s a powerful combination with Web 2.0 Affordances." Here's a really good bibliography of heutagogy.

[Link] [Comment]

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2015-09-20 03:18

Larry Cuban, National Education Policy Center, [Sept] 19, 2015

Larry Cuban offers four points based on his work with schools:

  • No single way of teaching works best with all students.
  • Small and slow changes in classroom practice occur often. Fundamental and rapid changes in practice seldom happen.
  • School structures influence instruction.
  • No instructional reform imposed upon teachers has been adopted by most teachers and used in lessons as intended.

These are probably all true - they certainly seem true to me, and nothing I've seen really counters any of them. But this is the reason why I think that educational reform, however it's defined, will take place outside schools. For some, this means charter schools (not a measure I support). For others (such as myself) this means the provisioning of informal learning opportunities.


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Are Online College Courses The Way to Go?

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2015-09-20 02:10

by Christopher Ly, elPaisano

If you’re the type of student who doesn’t mind being an individual learner and loves to study by yourself and you usually don’t tend to have issues with reading and understanding what is given to you, then the online classes may suit you. But if you’re very weak in the area of math for example, I’d recommend taking the course in person, in a classroom setting instead of online because the online course limits the amount of help you’ll receive from the professor. I am not very great at math and had issues with learning the subject when I took it online, and as a result ended up dropping the course due to my ability not to understand the problems and finding it difficult to communicate with the professor to help me with the problem that I had. If you are a responsible, self-disciplined student that is computer literate then you should do just fine in an online course.

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Massive open online courses (MOOCs) can help you achieve the next step in your career

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2015-09-20 02:05

By Beth Luberecki, Washington Post

If you’re considering getting a graduate degree, a MOOC (massive open online course) can be one way to check out a university or program. Completing a MOOC can give you an indication of whether you want to enroll in a traditional master’s program. “They can be a great way to find out in a short period of time if that subject interests you or not,” says Elaine Shuck, president of the U.S. Distance Learning Association. These free online courses help give you an indication of a professor’s teaching style and expertise. “You could get a good sense of what a particular faculty member is like and whether or not it’s someone you want to work with,” says Edward Maloney, executive director of the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship at Georgetown University.

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Texas to try free freshman online courses

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2015-09-20 02:03

By The Texas Tribune

The Texas State University System has an idea for future students busy with families and jobs: Don’t even show up on campus freshman year. Starting next fall, the system plans to encourage nontraditional students to take free massive open online courses, known as MOOCs, before arriving on campus. If they take 10 courses and pass tests for college credit, students could show up at school with a year’s work complete before paying a single tuition bill. The courses will be run by the New York-based nonprofit the Modern States Education Alliance through a program called Freshman Year for Free. The group plans to launch a free online portal providing access to about three dozen free online courses next fall.

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The Lure of the One True System

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2015-09-20 00:17

Robinson Meyer, Source, [Sept] 19, 2015

Every few years, it seems, someone comes up with the same great idea: if only everything were put into one over-arching system - learning objects, ontologies, competencies, you name it. All knowledge could be organized and it would be easy to keep track of exactly who knows what (just yesterday, in fact, we had a bunch of people talking about having a central registry for verbs, as though there could be such a thing). It's not going to happen. The idea dates back to the  Encyclopedists of mid-18th century France, led by Denis Diderot, and as this article reports, surfaced again in the 1960s with Xanadu. "Creating an internal system of perfect knowledge, period, is impossible. Everything that people know is constantly being edited, augmented, improved, iterated on, and folded into systems anew." In the design of any educational system, you have to make room for people to know different (and contradictory) things, use words differently, and to create their own knowledge their own way. Not because it's better. But because that's how knowledge works.

[Link] [Comment]

How an 18th-Century Philosopher Helped Solve My Midlife Crisis

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2015-09-20 00:17

Alison Gopnik, The Atlantic, [Sept] 19, 2015

David Hume was one of my early important influences and remains today among my favourite philosophers. Hume is known mostly as a sceptic but the many hours I have spent in his work rewarded me with a philosophy of mind and associationist logic that accords well with what we actually see of humans (and infants, and animals) thinking and reasoning. This article focuses mostly on Hume's thoughts about the self and explores the Buddhist roots in this thinking. It is not unreasonable to suspect such an influence - by the late 1700s the British were well established; the East India Company - for which Hume would later work - had been in place since 1612. And I like the description of the link between Hume's motivations and the author's motivations; they echo my own experience, and for that matter, the experience of most philosophers who really matter.

[Link] [Comment]

Questions about online ‘openness’

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2015-09-20 00:17

Jenny Mackness, [Sept] 19, 2015

Some good questions for an open education practitioner, like "Why invest even longer hours in supporting educational practice? My dentist doesn’ t give me free root canal treatment outside of work?" and "What is in it for those willing to ‘ go open’ ?" Jenny Mackness isn't sure of the answers. "When I joined CCK08, I was really excited by the altruistic sharing of knowledge and learning behind the idea of ‘ openness’ , but recently it has seemed to me to be more about narcissism than altruism – about getting noticed and building up ‘ numbers’ of followers, tweets etc." Good points. I try not to focus on the number of folowers, etc., but it's hard. You don't want to be narcissistic but you don't want to be irrelevant either.

[Link] [Comment]

The University As Ed Tech Startup: UMUC, Global Campus, Texas, and SNHU roll their own

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2015-09-20 00:17

Phil Hill, e-Literate, [Sept] 19, 2015

There's nothing really new in the concept of universities spinning off technology companies - a lot of the internet and supporting technologies, like WebCT, had their origins in the university. The latest round includes an analytics company from University of Maryland University College (UMUC) (See also), a learning management system from Southern New Hampshire University, a competency-based platform from the University of Texas, and another analytics company from Colorado State University System’ s online arm, the Global Campus. As they say, the beat goes on.

[Link] [Comment]

Tag der Zahngesundheit unter dem Motto: "Gesund beginnt im Mund - 25 Jahre Tag der Zahngesundheit" am 25.09.2015

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Sun, 2015-09-20 00:00
Ausgewählte Informationen zum Tag der Zahngesundheit unter dem Motto: "Gesund beginnt im Mund - 25 Jahre Tag der Zahngesundheit" am 25.09.2015
Categories: Science News

10 uncomfortable truths about the con that is University rankings

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2015-09-19 18:15

Donald Clark, Donald Clark Plan B, [Sept] 19, 2015

I rarely report university rankings (or pretty much any rankings) in this newsletter, and any time I do, I add a hearty note of scepticism. Donald Clark outlines the reasons why they should be dismissed as pretty much irrelevant, especially for students. "Aimed firmly at parents and students, they bait and switch. The hook is baited with data on research and facilities, then the message switched to make it look like the teaching experience you’ ll pay for." Worse, the rankings are actually lobbying devices - organizations rank universities based on their priorities, and universities line up (for some unknown reason) to do their bidding. But, of course, it's a rigged game you can never win: "Reputation scores feature in lots of the rankings. You go out and ask people what they think; academics, publishers, employers etc. Of course, given that most of the people asked are from the highly ranked Universities, there’ s an obvious skew in the data."

[Link] [Comment]

School nursing and the digital age.

NLM - Nursing Informatics - Sat, 2015-09-19 15:15
Related Articles

School nursing and the digital age.

NASN Sch Nurse. 2015 May;30(3):144-5

Authors: Duff CL

PMID: 25816432 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Categories: nursing informatics

Surveying ICT use in education in Africa

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2015-09-19 06:13

Michael Trucano, EduTech, [Sept] 19, 2015

It's a picture of a region in transition... "While  initial efforts related to technology use in education in many African countries were supported (and indeed instigated) by outside donors, NGOs and funders, it is notable that today there are increasing numbers of programs conceived locally and led by local groups. ... I would not at all be surprised  if many of the approaches and 'solutions' that emerge as a result of innovations  from such groups and things like MakerFaire Africa."

[Link] [Comment]

Pepper the companion robot has a lot of growing up to do

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2015-09-19 03:12

Roberto Baldwin, Engadget, [Sept] 18, 2015

Obviously there are tons of we-learning applications here, and this article speaks to how close companion robots are coming to reality. "Instead of death machines dragging us off to work in their plutonium mines, we'll get helpful little friends like Pepper from SoftBank and Aldebaran." But they're not quite ready for everyday use. "Right now, talking to Pepper is a little like talking to a two-year-old that's been handed four Red Bulls and a box of chocolate." What I'm wondering is: will we end calling the 'companion robot' a 'cobot'? (You heard it here first!)

[Link] [Comment]


OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2015-09-19 03:12, AmusED, [Sept] 18, 2015

Keynote by Amy Burvall on the influence of art on thinking and learning (and teaching). Slides, Video, Blog post. "“ 'Art washes away from the soul! the dust of everyday life' get in ! a creative habit ... be awed by the ordinary You need to let the! little things that would ! ordinarily bore you ! suddenly thrill you." I can speak from personal experience of the importance of these messages - I have always been inspired by and created art - not music, like Brian and Alan and friends, but design, photography, and of course, words.

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