news (external)

European Commission launches network to foster web talent through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2014-03-27 12:36

Press Release, European Commission, March 27, 2014

Nick Kearney pointed me to the European Commission's ususual definition of MOOCs: "MOOCs are online university courses which enable people to access quality education without having to leave their homes." I wonder who it was who convinced them that the massive and open aspects of these courses are compleetely incidental. There's a network discussion group that can be found on the European Commission’ s portal Open Education Europa. "The initiative is coordinated by p.a.u. education and in partnership with Iversity." Oh - that's who think the massive and open aspects are incidental.

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The Shifting Role of University Systems

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Thu, 2014-03-27 11:32

Steven Mintz, Inside Higher Ed, March 27, 2014

As the impact of online learning gradually becomes apparent, what becomes of the role of the traditional university system? One person's view: "My personal view is that there is great value in systemness... system can serve as innovation incubators, assisting campuses in building the data-driven strategic enrollment and student lifecycle management infrastructure needed to support education in the 21st century; in advancing next-generation online learning, which will play a critical role in enhancing access, affordability, student success, and institutional sustainability; and leading the way as institutions gradually develop outcomes-driven, competency-based, career-oriented educational pathways."

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Understanding the Learning Personalities of Successful Online Students

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-03-27 01:10

by Tena B. Crews, Sradha Narendra Sheth, and Tamlyn M. Horne; EDUCAUSE

Long studied as a way to help people better understand themselves and others, personality research and theory has evolved to include the use of assessment tools to identify various personality types and temperaments.

These tools have been used in education to identify learning styles, teaching strategies, and opportunities to increase success for both students and teachers.

Building on studies of traditional students, this study uses the True Colors model of personality characteristics to identify characteristics common to successful online students as well as strategies for improving how online courses are designed and taught to better meet the needs of all students.

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Catching a Cheater Online

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-03-27 01:05

by JESSICA LAHEY, the Atlantic

Universities are scrambling to keep up with the novel methods students have found to cheat on these courses. Given that online courses do not require face-to-face student-teacher interactions, colleges have had to resort to all sorts of other safeguards in order to prevent academic dishonesty. Schools are using signature-tracking services and software that identifies a student’s typing speed and style, thereby preventing someone else from typing on a students’ behalf. While these technological safeguards may help catch cheaters, Kimberly Williams, a teaching support specialist at Cornell and longtime professor of education, points out that the key to preventing cheating in the first place, lies in the teaching itself. “We need to make sure what we teach is meaningful to students so that they actually want to learn it or see value in their own learning of it,” she said. “If they don’t, then we’re sunk and they are wasting their time anyway. It is a wake-up call for higher education that we need to teach better and in more meaningful ways so that learners want to learn.”

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Flexible web-based classes are empowering for women

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-03-27 01:03

by Patricia Moore, Arizona Central

The landscape has changed significantly for women since the feminist movement of the 1970s. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, women now outpace men in educational attainment. Women are not only welcome, but sought after in skilled-career paths such as technology and health care, and they experience a much lower wage gap in those fields. While education is a recognized tool for those seeking equality, access to education can be difficult for women for a variety of reasons. Women often take on the role of caregiver for children or aging parents, and, according to a 2013 report from the Pew Research Center, women are increasingly taking on the responsibility of sole or primary wage-earner. Balancing family and work can make it difficult for women to find time for regularly scheduled classes.

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Ausgaben für Arbeitslosengeld II und Sozialgeld

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Wed, 2014-03-26 23:00

Die im Informationssystem eingespeicherte gestaltbare Tabelle aus der Statistik "Ausgaben für Arbeitslosengeld II und Sozialgeld" der Bundesagentur für Arbeit wurde um das Jahr 2013 ergänzt.

Categories: Science News

What All the Outrage Over the Oculus Deal Says About Facebook, the Brand

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2014-03-26 20:46

Simon Dumenco, Ad Age, March 27, 2014

People are really upset that Oculus Rift (a prototype virtual-reality headset) has been acquired by Facebook. Oculus VR, the parent company, got its start on KickStarter via the contributions of some 9,522 backers (who receive none of the $2 billion purchase price). Now they and other supporters feel betrayed. As Minecraft creator Markus Persson, wrote on his blog, "I definitely want to be a part of VR, but I will not work with Facebook. Their motives are too unclear and shifting, and they haven't historically been a stable platform. There's nothing about their history that makes me trust them, and that makes them seem creepy to me. And I did not chip in ten grand to seed a first investment round to build value for a Facebook acquisition." (Emphasis his.) And as  Simon Dumenco writes, "it seems to me that various sentiments... that Facebook is creepy, untrustworthy, unethical, predatory and vaguely desperate... have gone mainstream." Language warning for numerous obscenities in this article.

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Sanfter Riese im Urmeer

ScienceTicker.Info - Wed, 2014-03-26 19:00
Schon vor einer halben Jahrmilliarde schwamm ein Gegenstück zu modernen Riesenhaien durch die Weltmeere. Das Fossil eines kambrischen Meeresbewohners zeigt stachelbesetzte Gliedmaßen, die nicht zum Beutegreifen, sondern als Planktonsieb dienten.
Categories: Science News

How Does PISA Put the World at Risk

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2014-03-26 14:32

Yong Zhao, Creative, Entrepreneurial, , Global: 21st Century Education, March 27, 2014

Three-part series on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA):

Part 1: Romanticizing Misery

Part 2: Glorifying Educational Authoritarianism

Part 3: Creating Illusory Models of Excellence

"While the dispute over PISA’ s technical flaws continues, some argue that even if PISA did everything right technically, it still could not possibly claim to be measuring the quality of entire education systems, let alone their students’ ability to live in the modern world."

[Link] [Comment]

Kenya: Working to break the poverty-education cycle.

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2014-03-26 14:00

Julie Lindsay, E-Learning Journeys, March 27, 2014

Related to the NVCER study is this post on the impact of poverty on early childhood education. From the he UNESCO Education For All Report: "Wealth affects whether primary school children learn the basics... poverty holds back learning in secondary school.... (the) poorest girls face the largest barriers to learning."  Why? "A child whose parents are working means the child is fed, they are literate, they are able to follow up on their child’ s education and learning." Even things like basic nutritional differences between rich and poor students impact learning outcomes.

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Ethics in the Open

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2014-03-26 11:29

Rob Farrow, OER Research Hub, March 27, 2014

Ethics to me depends on epistemology - what counts as right and wrong depends in an important way on what we know and how we can know it. So I haven't said a lot about ethics and learning technology, because there is so little agreement yet as to what constitutes success and what we know about that. This post considers some of the differences in ethics in work carried out inside and outside institutions. For many thee insstitution provides the ethics frameowrk. But what about outside the institution, and what about he wider framework? I think there's room, as suggested here, for an approach based on 'ethics in the open'. "There is a real need for using one’ s own judgment and reflecting on the ethical dimensions of research for oneself.   When working in the open – potentially beyond institutional reach – an awareness of ethical principles and how they should be applied is essential."

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Cloud, Services and the Transformation of Production

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2014-03-26 10:46

Irving Wladawsky-Berger, March 27, 2014

Good article that describes the rise of cloud computing not only as a change in the delivery of online resources, but also as a change in the organization of computing generally, and with it a gange in the organization and understanding of production and work generally. "IT-based tools are bringing major technology- and organizationally-driven productivity increases to services. A fundamental transformation in services in underway."

[Link] [Comment]

Strength in Numbers

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2014-03-26 10:36

Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed, March 27, 2014

It has been a long time since I've had occasion to  refer to XanEdu in thesse pages, but news comes today that "XanEdu and AcademicPub will merge as quickly as the two parties can sign the paperwork -- a response to a textbook market still clamoring for an all-of-the-above solution to course materials." XanEdu always had a good idea, but was eclipsed by self-publishing systems such as LuLu and while quietly building a respeectable market based for its educational publishing products is now looking toward greater access to learning materials directly. Hence the merger.

[Link] [Comment]

Intergenerational mobility: new evidence from the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Wed, 2014-03-26 06:44

Bruce Bradbury, Gerry Redmond, Ilan Katz, Melissa Wong, National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), March 27, 2014

Interesting long-term study of the impaact of education on intergenerational mobility. What this study asks is whether increased access to education, and imporved educational outcomes, lead to changes in students' socio-economic standing: do they get better jobs? Do they assume more influential positions in society? Are they wealthier? The study's conclusion is negative: dispite improving educational outcomes since the 1970s, intergenerational mobility has not improved. Why? Because the reltion works the other way: "Socioeconomic status is a major influence on educational attainment. This was true in 1975 and is still true today... he findings in this report are consistent with the international evidence, which indicates remarkable stability in the level of intergenerational inequalities over time in different countries, despite changes in social and educational policies."

[Link] [Comment]

The Impending Disruption of Traditional Business Schools

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2014-03-26 01:12


Some think B-schools are headed online. Others don’t think B-schools can even teach entrepreneurship. “Half of the business schools in this country could be out of business in 10 years–or five,” is the prediction Richard Lyons, the dean of University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, made to Bloomberg Businessweek not long ago. Robert Lytl, an education consultant at the Parthenon Group, is advising directors at B-schools “to stop dallying and start building [online] programs,” according to the Bloomberg Businessweek article. “Once you get out of the top tier of schools, you’re either already online, on your way there, or dead in the water,” he observes.

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Working adults plug into online education

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2014-03-26 01:05

by BPT, LA Times

Many working adults begin using technology from the moment their alarm clocks go off. From checking emails on a tablet over morning coffee, to sending out social media posts from a smartphone before they get into the office, technology allows people to be efficient and stay connected anytime, anyplace. This same technology is now playing an important role for individuals seeking alternative learning environments to continue their educations or grow their careers. According to a national survey from University of Phoenix, 87 percent of working adults say there are benefits to online learning. Another survey reveals that 54 percent indicate they’ll go back to school in the future and 48 percent are interested in taking an online class. So it is no surprise that universities are adjusting their online classroom offerings to cater to the technology working adults are currently using.,0,426245.adstory

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The Future of Brain Implants

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2014-03-26 01:02

By GARY MARCUS and CHRISTOF KOCH, Wall Street Journal

What would you give for a retinal chip that let you see in the dark or for a next-generation cochlear implant that let you hear any conversation in a noisy restaurant, no matter how loud? Or for a memory chip, wired directly into your brain’s hippocampus, that gave you perfect recall of everything you read? Or for an implanted interface with the Internet that automatically translated a clearly articulated silent thought (“the French sun king”) into an online search that digested the relevant Wikipedia page and projected a summary directly into your brain? Science fiction? Perhaps not for very much longer. Brain implants today are where laser eye surgery was several decades ago. They are not risk-free and make sense only for a narrowly defined set of patients—but they are a sign of things to come.

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t Distribution - Wed, 2014-03-26 01:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Grundsicherung für Arbeitsuche

Gesundheitsberichterstattung - Tue, 2014-03-25 23:00

Die im Informationssystem eingespeicherten gestaltbaren Tabellen aus der Statistik "Empfängerinnen und Empfänger von Grundsicherung für Arbeitsuchende nach SGB II " der Bundesagentur für Arbeit wurden um das Jahr 2012 ergänzt.

Categories: Science News

Coursera and edX Hire New Executives: What about online experience?

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Tue, 2014-03-25 21:05

Phil Hill, e-Literate, March 27, 2014

As Phil Hill writes, there have been some leadership changes at the top of some online course providers. " First, Coursera announced they had hired Richard Levin, former president of Yale University, to be the company’ s new CEO.... On the same day, coincidentally, edX announced they had hired Wendy Cebula as the company’ s new president and chief operating officer." Hill comments that none of the eexecutives as any real experience in online learning. "Stanford, MIT, and Yale are all excellent schools, but just 3.6%, 0.2% and 0.1% of their students take any courses online, according to 2012 IPEDS data." But that is not, in my view, why these people were hired. They were hired for their connections, for their networks. They were hired to help pry loose more VC funding, more foundation funding, more government funding. The product is incidental.

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