news (external)

UW-Madison joins consortium to improve digital teaching and learning

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

by the University of Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is joining Unizin, a consortium of like-minded universities that are developing a common set of improved digital tools for teaching and learning. Unizin collaborators are developing flexible digital teaching and learning infrastructures that share common standards and support experimentation. Unizin will offer an evolving set of digital tools that allow faculty to design effective learning experiences and improve how course content is created and delivered to students. The consortium was officially established in July 2014 with Indiana University, Colorado State University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Florida as the charter members. In addition to UW-Madison, Oregon State and Minnesota are also joining at this time.

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Proteins - Mon, 2014-10-06 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Updated Report Version 3: Personalization vs. Differentiation vs. Individualization

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2014-10-05 04:45

Barbara Bray, Personalize Learning, Oct 04, 2014

We're getting into the leading edge of a terminological whirlwind as technology increasingly offers us ways to personalize, I mean individualize, um, whatever, education. Now when I write about 'personal learning' I don't mean any of these things, though there is some overlap in concept. I have my own explaining to do, but meanwhile, this post (which links to a PDF) is a useful account of the distinction between three major approaches to learning. Each of these describes ways a teacher responds to the distinct needs of a student.

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Constructivist Ship In A Bottle

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2014-10-05 04:45

Matthias Melcher, x28’s new Blog, Oct 04, 2014

I think Matthias Melcher quite rightly points to the constructivists' objectivist problem. Quoting Potter: "Constructivists, analogously, do not realize the extent to which they work with objectivist ideals in objectivist contexts." But he then suggests that connectivism has the same problem. "All the notions of gradual, slow emergence of such patterns, or of 'seeing' them, makes no more sense for the explicit knowledge now extant." I wish he had drawn out this point in more detail, so I could see just where the problem lies for him. For me, for example, mathematics is just the formalized recognition of operations, similar perhaps to the process outlined by Kitcher. Our developing a knowledge of it is no more mysterious a natural phenomenon than is the development of a path to the ocean by rainwater in the form of a river.

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Let’s get systematic, baby…

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sun, 2014-10-05 04:45

Brian Lamb, Abject, Oct 04, 2014

Good overview of a number of posts looking at the post-LMS LMS, which (to me at least) seems like the same old LMS, but with a cloud back-end and maybe some social. I think he could have mentioned our non-LMS (ie., our LPSS personal learning environment) but we need to stretch its legs a bit before claiming any street cred.

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Proving Grounds for a New Model for Higher Education

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sun, 2014-10-05 02:09

by John P. Imlay Jr., Huffington Post, Dean of Computing at Georgia Tech

The key point is that the online nature of the degree is affirmed to be immaterial: the online classes are fully the equivalent of on-campus ones, in terms of both education and credentials, at a fraction of the cost. Having the coursework constitute a Georgia Tech master’s degree is the only way we could have credibly put the Institute’s reputation behind the rigor and quality of our online courses. But now that the point has been made, we expect the next wave of online higher education to include not only additional degrees offered online, but also individual online courses that are treated no differently from their on-campus equivalents. Indeed, students will be able to tailor courses of study to their individual needs. For example, they could begin with a few online courses, then transition to a year or two of on-campus courses before pursuing the last stretch of their degree program online so as to be able to combine it with work experience.

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Building the University of the Future

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

by Vala Afshar, Huffington Post

“Higher education is now ground zero for disruption,” said Todd Hixon in a Forbes column, questioning the value, cost, and the antiquated business model of higher education. That said, there are a number of brilliant CIOs in higher education who are actively leading digital business transformation projects, aimed at minimize institutional disruption and improving the experience of the student, faculty and administration. With the underlying forces of mobile, social, cloud and the rising costs of higher education coming to a head, Georgetown University appointed the former CIO for the US Marshals, Lisa Davis, to lead IT and business transformation across the 225 year-old institution.

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E-learning has ‘potential to save charities time and money’

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

by Virtual College (UK)

As the demand for charity services grows, the pressure on learning and development (L&D) budgets increases. This means it is now more important than ever for organisations to find cheaper ways to deliver training programmes and e-learning could provide the solution. Online courses provide an unparalleled level of flexibility, meaning staff can work towards self-development at their own convenience, and ensures the workforce isn’t depleted while employees are away on training days.

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Marriott fined $600,000 by FCC for blocking guests' Wi-Fi

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2014-10-04 19:44

Katia Hetter, CNN, Oct 04, 2014

What a lot of people do, including me, is use their mobile phone as a wireless access point. Mobile LTE sppeeds are good enough now to support at least minimal internet access. But hotels, who have historically overcharged for internet access, find this to be unreasonable competition. So they've been blocking the signals. This turns out to be against the law, at least in the U.S. (and probably in most places). This is good for students, and not so good for people who are trying to control access (like schools). Just don't tell them about Firechat. It may be too much for them.

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A Straightforward Guide To Creative Commons

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

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

Creative Commons licenses allow any internet user to easily understand how they can (and can not) share what they find on the web. The licenses are visual, and if you aren’t sure of what you see on the work you’d like to use, you can refer back to the CC website to see. The handy infographic linked below gives a pretty thorough overview of the licenses and what they mean. Whether you have a personal blog, a class blog, or your students want to use a photo they’ve found in a presentation, this guide will be super handy!

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5 ways to work video into the learning system

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2014-10-04 02:06

By Ioanna Opidee, University Business

A large part of implementing an institution-wide video strategy is creating procedures for incorporating the medium into courses—specifically, into learning management systems that can serve as a campus video repository for video and other course material. But some faculty and administrators are much more comfortable with, or interested in, using the technology than are their colleagues. So although there are LMS features and add-on tools to make integrating video into the course system simpler, there are still challenges to ensuring faculty are using video. The following are five best practices for effectively integrating video into course collections at the campuswide level.

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Managing Competency-Based Learning

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

By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Southern New Hampshire University, seeing an opening in the market for a learning management system designed around competency-based education, is spinning off the custom-made system it built to support College for America.  The university is spinning it off as Motivis Learning and writing the for-profit subsidiary a $7 million check. In its first phase, LeBlanc said, the company will further develop its platform based on how other institutions are approaching competency-based learning.

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Ed Radio Reimagined

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-10-03 22:43

Stephen Downes, Ed Radio, Oct 03, 2014

I find it interesting to note that audio podcasting has almost dropped off the internet map. For someone like me, audio is a lot more useful than video, and almost any time of the day, unless I'm actually in a meeting, I'll be listening to something online (in my car I still listen to radio, but my mobile phone connects to it by Bluetooth and gives me a lot more content). Bryan Alexander has listed  a number of podcasts he listens to, so I'm not alone.

So. I've been puttering away off and on for the last few months to convert Ed Radio into something that's fresh and valuable, and not just playing canned content. So I've set up my aggregator to harvest a number of ed tech podcasts; these in turn are used to create a single podcast feed you can subscribe to, an M3U and PLS file you can download as a playlist, and a live Shoutcast stream you can listen to over your computer or mobile phone. I've also set up an AudioBoo account as one of the sources. There's new content every day, and I have the capacity to broadcast live events. I love radio, and even if nobody ever listens, I love being able to create something like this.

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Academy of Art University student's CS6 licenses canceled

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-10-03 22:43

David Lawrence, Creative Cow, Oct 03, 2014

You used to buy software on a disk and it would always run. But software companies are convcerting to an annual license model, where there's no disk, and like content streaming, you get to use the software only so long as you keep paying for it. I've bought movies this way, but to this day I can't even watch the movies I've paid Microsoft for (which to me means that they've simply stolen several hundred dollars from me). No appeals, no refunds. That's just entertainment. When you have a similar dispute over software worth thousands of dollars, and on which your career depends, you can find yourself in a difficult position if the purchase goes south.

That's what's happened to students at Academy of Art University in San Francisco. They were told that their tuition would purchase Adobe Creative Suite licenses. "We were told," they write, "that these licenses would never expire and all forms of professional and student work were permitted." But Adobe doesn't work that way any more, and so has started cancelling the students' licenses. The students (quite rightly, in my view) are crying foul. But they have no rights, and no appeal. They're upset, and I don't blame them. More here, and some  press coverage here.

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State boards of nursing and the bridge to quality.

NLM - Nursing Informatics - Fri, 2014-10-03 13:42
Related Articles

State boards of nursing and the bridge to quality.

J Nurs Educ. 2014 Jul 1;53(7):379-86

Authors: Meyer G, Moran V, Cuvar K, Carlson JH

The 2003 Institute of Medicine report, Health Professions Education: A Bridge to Quality, delineated a set of core competencies for health care professionals-providing patient-centered care, working in interdisciplinary teams, using evidence-based practice, applying quality improvement processes, and using informatics. The purpose of this study is to examine the extent to which these core competencies have been incorporated in the rules and regulations of state boards of nursing in the United States as required curricular content for professional nursing programs. A research team compiled state boards of nursing regulations related to prelicensure nursing curricula from all 50 states, and content analysis was performed. Eight states incorporated all five competencies in their regulations. Other states incorporated some of the five competencies; evidence-based practice and informatics were the competencies most frequently excluded from state regulations. The lack of emphasis on these competencies has implications for the ongoing development of the profession of nursing.

PMID: 24971732 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Categories: nursing informatics

Hack This Book: Announcing Open Music Theory

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-10-03 13:42

Kris Shaffer, Hybrid Pedagogy, Oct 03, 2014

While I still have my criticisms of  this textbook (music notation is not my thing) I think it represents a useful innovation and, I hope, further undermines the traditional publisher paradigm of university textbooks. It's not just that the published books cost money (though there is that) but also that they convey a single authoritative voice. These open textbooks disrupt that. "OMT is open-source and not simply open-access. We have made it legally and (as much as we can) technically possible for instructors, and even students, to contribute to the text, translate it, publish it in other formats, copy it— in a word, to hack it."

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LinkedIn University Rankings

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-10-03 13:42

Various authors, LinkedIn, Oct 03, 2014

This has to be better than the made-up rankings provided by entities like U.S. News & World Report, or Macleans in Canada, but even so the purpose remains the same: the rankings reflect the values held by the ranker, and are intended to push the rankees into pursuing those metrics (hence, the U.S. News rankings, for example,  push universities away from opening access to lower income students). Just so, the LinkedIn rankings are "based on career outcomes". The  LinkedIn blog defines outcomes based on "desirable jobs," for examples, where "we define a desirable job to be a job at a desirable company for the relevant profession. For example, we define desirable finance jobs as finance jobs at companies desirable for finance professionals." So my university, the University of Calgary, which educated me very well indeed, would fail, because I did not get my (not so desirable) desirable job as a philosopher.  More from PS Web. Via Academica.

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New York Times Plans to Eliminate 100 Jobs in the Newsroom

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-10-03 13:42

Ravi Somaiya, New York Times, Oct 03, 2014

The New York Times was one of the earliest and most prominent news sources to set up a paywall and opt for subscription-based online services. Though the newspaper has consistently claimed that the move was a success, it's not clear that it has been. This latest item suggests that the digital option is not paying its way. The  economic model has peaked - the newspaper isn't getting any more new subscribers, and it's niche mobile products aren't expanding its reach. As Matthew Ingram tweets, "The NYT's apps are like untargeted mini paywalls -- they were built to serve the paper's needs, not users' needs." It's the  software driving the journalism, argues Financial Times editor Lionel Barber. Links via American Press Institute.

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Google unveils Drive for Education

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-10-03 13:42

Charlie Osborne, ZDNet, Oct 03, 2014

Google continues its push to commoditize learning management. It "said Tuesday that the academic version of its online storage solution can be used with Google Apps for Education and boasts unlimited storage with transfer support for files up to 5TB in size. In addition, the cloud storage system includes reporting and auditing tools, as well as encryption both from the device and between Google data centers to keep files safe." People will probably want to use this; the question is whether any applications other than Google tools will be able to make use of the service.

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Salon Culture: Network of Ideas

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-10-03 13:42

Andrian Kreye, Edge, Oct 03, 2014

The first three quarters of this article offer an interesting outline of the history of salon culture, that is, the fomenting of ideas through the social gatherings of thinkers and intellectuals. The last quarter devolves into dreck promoting things like TED. Leaving aside the (paid?) placement, however, the article is worth a look. And leave aside the idea that salons are reserved for intellectuals. One of the great things the coffee-house culture did was to (to a degree) democratize the salon. In Canada, every city has dozens of Tim Hortons Coffee outlets where, arguably, our real society is forged. The internet democratizes the salon even more. TED and similar congresses are attempts to countervail that, returning to the idea of salon culture as reserved for the elites. For that reason, they should be resisted.

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