news (external)

Heiß-kalte Sprengkraft

ScienceTicker.Info - Wed, 2014-04-02 19:00
Asteroiden sind von einer lockeren Decke kleiner Gesteinspartikel bedeckt. Verantwortlich dafür ist der Wechsel von Tag und Nacht: Die starken Temperaturschwankungen auf den luftlosen Himmelskörpern zersprengen Gesteinsbrocken effektiv in kleinere Teile. Lesen Sie mehr bei Scienceticker Astro
Categories: Science News

Why VCs Usually Get Ed Tech Wrong

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2014-04-02 08:29

Michael Feldstein, e-Literate, April 2, 2014

Michael Feldsetin writes, "The combination of the obsession with disruption and the phobia of institutions is a particularly bad one for the education markets... it leads to consistently unprofitable investment decisions." It leads to direct-to-consumer strategies, he argues, hence avoiding institutional and educational system complexities. "But in education, complexity is unavoidable, which means strategies that attempt to avoid it usually result in risk-increasing ignorance rather than risk-avoiding safety." Good post, mostly correct, and includes an also-recommended link to  Rethink Education’ s Matt Greenfield. I have just one caveat. My observation is that VCs invest in people, not products. So in the case of education, it's not the case they are investing in the wrong ideas, but rather, they are investing in the wrong people. What people? Well (and here is where Feldstein is right) exactly those people who eschew complexity and recite what are now mantras about disruptive innovation and (yes) "some Ayn Randian fantasy where technology unleashes the power of the individual."

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Competency-based learning proving popular

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2014-04-02 02:05

By Jake New, eCampus News

Canvas’ new competency-based gradebook is part of a larger trend toward alternative student assessment competency-assessments-learningAt a January conference in Washington, D.C., two representatives from Western Governors University claimed that the institution had transitioned from an experiment in competency-based learning to a “proof of concept.” “We know from that different people learn things at different rates,” Sally Johnstone, vice president for academic advancement at the university, said. “We also know that the same individual may learn different subjects at different rates. We can use competency-based education and online tools to accommodate that. We are no longer in a position where we have to ask all students to do the same thing at the same time at the same pacing.”

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19 leaders emerge in new degree programs

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

by eCampus News

Colleges and universities have come together to discuss the future of competency-based degree programs and business models degree-competency-colleges. The Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN) has selected 19 colleges and universities to address shared challenges to designing and developing competency-based degree programs and related business models. This initial cohort of institutions either offer degree programs with well-defined learning outcomes and rigorous assessment, or are on their way to creating them. The network was established to support institutions that have an interest in accelerating progress on their models and contributing lessons to the field through structured collaboration involving rapid-cycle testing of practices, processes, and concepts.

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4 questions every institution needs to answer

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2014-04-02 02:01

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

According to a new report, there are basic questions institutions, with access to internal data, need to be able to answer—for themselves and for prospective students and the community. It’s up to institutions, notes the report, to help combat rising college costs and stagnating rates of completion through better collection and dissemination of data. The report, “Mapping the Postsecondary Data Domain: Problems and Possibilities,”produced by the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, says that while seemingly straightforward questions, such as “Which students have access to which colleges,” can’t easily be answered with current data available.

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Thinking About Mozilla

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-04-01 10:09

Erin Kissane,, April 1, 2014

Mozilla - the organization that makes Firefox - has been roiled recently by the appointment of a new CEO who supports a Californian law called 'Prop 8', which eliminates same-sex marriage.  Erin Kissane makes it clear that the concept of 'open' is central to Mozilla and are enshrined in the principles of the organization. And yet opposition to same-sex marriage seems to run counter to this. It's the classic dilemma of openness - what happens if people use the open system to promote some way in which it should be closed? What if (to ciite Socrates) people use democracy to argue for dictatorship? The answer is, in my view, that the meanings of 'freedom', 'openness' and 'democracy' are not so clear that they are beyond debate. We need to be constantly testing what we believe these things to be. If we do not allow the opponents of some right or freedom to make their case as well as possible, we risk others using those same laws to stifle those people arguing for more freedom. 'Open' means allowing people to advocate unpopular positions, even if they are CEO. If it really bothers people, they can vote him out. But, you know, people can have redeeming features despite being wrong on important issues.

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edX announces partnership to bring MOOCs to K-12 students

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2014-04-01 02:10

By Sean Griffey, Education Dive

edX and GEMS Education announced a partnership during the Global Education & Skills Forum to bring MOOC courses to pre-university students. While edX has previously worked with Davidson College and The College Board to launch AP modules in calculus, macroeconomics, and physics, GEMS will be the first exclusive K-12 provider on its platform. Currently, only 5% of edX’s 2 million world-wide users are K-12 students. The first GEMS courses are scheduled to rollout in late 2014. Marc Boxser, GEMS Director for External Relations & Strategic Initiatives, indicated that the organization has not yet determined which group of students they will target with initial offerings but anticipates the focus will be on late secondary education.

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UF won’t disclose consultant fees for UF Online

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2014-04-01 02:04

by Jeff Schweers,

The University of Florida had to pay an education consulting company cash up front before it could help get the Legislature-mandated and state revenue-funded UF Online up and running. But UF officials have been mum on how much the university is paying Pearson Learning, the largest “enabler” of online education for nonprofit universities. In response to a public records request from The Sun, the university this week released heavily redacted documents that blot out the amount of money UF will pay Pearson over the life of the 10-year contract — saying that information is a trade secret exempt from the public records law.

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Indians No. 2 users of MIT-Harvard e-courses

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Tue, 2014-04-01 02:02

Sujit John,TNN Times of India

Over 2.5 lakh Indians have registered for courses on edX, the massive open online course (Mooc) platform founded by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University in May 2012 to host online university-level courses. This makes Indians the second largest community, after Americans, to register for these courses, said edX president Anant Agarwal, an Indian American who grew up in Mangalore and who has been teaching the circuits & electronics course in MIT for 26 years. The courses have been put together and are led by some of the finest professors in the world. Students require just an internet connection. The courses are free, can be normally completed within a duration of 4 weeks to 12 weeks, and those who complete them receive a certificate from the university that provides the course.

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Lorenz - Tue, 2014-04-01 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Mitgliederstatistik der (Landes-) Zahnärztekammern

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Tue, 2014-04-01 00:00

Die im Informationssystem eingespeicherten gestaltbaren Tabellen aus der "Mitgliederstatistik der (Landes-) Zahnärztekammern" der Bundeszahnärztekammer Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Deutschen Zahnärztekammern e.V. wurden um das Jahr 2012 ergänzt.

Categories: Science News

The Secular Problem of Evil

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2014-03-31 21:51

James Paul Gee, Weblog, March 31, 2014

James Paul Gee looks at the problem of evil from a secular perspective and comes up with the old Taoist maxim that life in the balance is the recipe for good. "Cooperation on a large scale— that is, any sort that could lead to cultures, institutions, cities, and states— requires solving what I will call 'hard continua problems'.  These are problems where too much of something is bad and too little of it is bad, but finding the 'middle-ground' is hard." But this isn't the answer to the question of why there is evil - it's the answer (or an answer) to the question of why it's so hard to eradicate. But if he wants the answer to the deep question, it's this (also, I would say, found in ancient Taoist texts): good and evil are something we create. The world is neither inherently good nor evil, but as soon as we begin to describe it, we begin dividing according to our perceptions, tastes, and objectives and needs. And hence we create out of natural events the classification of 'good' and 'evil'. And, over time, it becomes something we recognize, more like a feeling than like a law.

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Open Access Research

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2014-03-31 21:39

Adam Cooper, Cetis Blogs, March 31, 2014

Adam Cooper reports: "Last week was a significant one for UK academics and those interested in accessing scholarship; the funding councils announced a new policy mandating open access for the post-2014 research evaluation exercises. In the same week, Cetis added its name to the list of members of the Open Policy Network, (strap-line, 'ensuring open access to publicly funded resources')." One day, maybe my employer will adopt the same policy.

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Young Canadians in a Wired World, Phase III: Experts or Amateurs? Gauging Young Canadians’ Digital Literacy Skills

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2014-03-31 21:26

Valerie Steeves, MediaSmarts, March 31, 2014

As we suspected: "Canadian youth are not as digitally literate as adults may think they are, according to new research released today by MediaSmarts. Though today’ s young people have grown up immersed in digital media, they still rely on parents and teachers to help them advance their skills in areas such as searching and verifying online information." 64 page PDF.

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Canadian Researchers’ Publishing Attitudes and Behaviours: A Phase 5 Report

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2014-03-31 09:47

Press Release, Canadian Science Publishing, March 31, 2014

This survey released by Canadian Science Publishing suggests that for scientists "open access was 8 times less important than impact factor and 13 times less important than journal reputation when selecting a journal." These results aren't surprising whn you consider that "The sample for this survey was drawn from two databases maintained by Thomson Reuters: BIOSIS and Web of Science." Even so, if you read the survey itself (36 page PDF) you find significant and growing support for open access publishing (interestingly, Canadian Science Publishing is what became of the  NRC Press after it was privatized a few years ago; it has adopted a form of author-pay open access publishing).

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NL government to reduce student debt burden by replacing all student loans with grants

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Mon, 2014-03-31 09:19

Press Release, Canadian Federation of Students, March 31, 2014

The story is in the headline. The Newfoundland government is also freezing tuition. It's rare enough in Canada to be worth highlighting here (by contrast, I lived in oil-rich Alberta for 17 years, faced nothing but rising tuition rates and accumulated $25K in student debt it took me decades to repay). More, via Academica: Budget, Budget Highlights, CBC News.

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How to make flipped learning work in higher education

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2014-03-31 02:09

by Campus Technology

Once the domain of the most innovative and experimental faculty members, the flipped classroom model has made its way into higher education’s mainstream as students offer their approval in droves. There remains some confusion as to what constitutes flipped learning, though educators who have deployed the model for years have created replicable best practices that can be used at small colleges and large universities alike. With the generous support of Adobe, we’ve assembled this collection of stories and resources to help you make flipped learning a success on your campus.

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8 Ways Tech Has Completely Rewired Our Brains

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2014-03-31 02:04

by Rebecca Hiscott, Mashable

Technology has altered human physiology. It makes us think differently, feel differently, even dream differently. It affects our memory, attention spans and sleep cycles. This is attributed to a scientific phenomenon known as neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to alter its behavior based on new experiences. In this case, that’s the wealth of information offered by the Internet and interactive technologies. Some cognition experts have praised the effects of tech on the brain, lauding its ability to organize our lives and free our minds for deeper thinking. Others fear tech has crippled our attention spans and made us uncreative and impatient when it comes to anything analog. Every emerging study and opinion piece is hotly disputed, yet each brings us closer to understanding how tech can fundamentally alter our minds. Below, we list some of the major ways tech has rewired our brains, for better or worse.

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The Best of Elearning! 2014 Voting Begins

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Mon, 2014-03-31 02:02

by Elearning!

In previous years we processed more than 4,000 nominations, and we expect an even higher volume this year. Elearning! and Government Elearning! magazines, the industry voices of the enterprise learning and workforce technology market, has announced that the Best of Elearning! Awards 2014 voting is now open. Celebrating 10 years of success, The Best of Elearning! Awards recognizes best-in-class solutions across 27 product and services categories. Executives leveraging learning and workplace technologies, including readers, practitioners, and community members from both the private and public sectors, are invited to cast their vote for best-in-class solutions starting March 15.

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Shouldn't Be Hard - Mon, 2014-03-31 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News


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