news (external)

With $30 Million More in Hand, IFTTT Looks to the Internet of Things

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2014-08-30 21:17
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Mike Isaac, New York Times, Aug 30, 2014

Forget Google and Facebook. The future will be run by companies like IFTTT: "The way we see the Internet of Things playing out, there’ s going to be a need for an operating system that’ s detached from any specific device,” Linden Tibbets said. “ What we’ re doing now is the foundation for that.”

[Link] [Comment]

Why Learning From Mistakes Is Overrated

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2014-08-30 18:16


Stephen J. Meyer, Forbes, Aug 30, 2014

I'm not sure exactly how I want to respond to this - and after several minutes thinkibg about it decised that this fact makes it work passing along. Here's the author's main point: "Maybe failure is really interesting to explore only after success has been achieved." Before success, people haven't found out what they're good at - and this is what they should focus on. But after success, they've found their niche, and the types of failures they experience are more about process rather than direction. I asked myself, first, have I have some kind of 'success' that I could pin down and identify, and second, is there some 'thing' that I'm good at? Because I do believe I learn from my mistakes, which would mean these two conditions must have been satisfied. But I think that identifying 'success' and the 'thing' we're good at isn't so straightforward - and therefore, neither is this argument.

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Internal emails show LA school officials started iPad talks with software supplier a year before bids

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Sat, 2014-08-30 18:16


Annie Gilbertson, 83.9KPCC, Aug 30, 2014

This is why people don't trust the good intentions of corporations. As Audrey Watters summarizes: "several LA news organizations obtained and published emails between LAUSD, Apple, and Pearson officials. The emails reveal that Superintendent John Deasy began meeting with these companies to discuss the hardware/curriculum purchase almost a year before the multimillion dollar contract went out to bid. The district agreed last year to purchase 700,000 iPads — one for every student in the district. The devices would come pre-loaded with curriculum created by Pearson. The expected cost of this project, including upgrades to the district’ s WiFi: over $1 billion." The deal has since been cancelled - which makes it, I think, the exception rather than the rule.

[Link] [Comment]

Blended learning design advice for collaboration & retention

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2014-08-30 02:09

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

According to a new roundup of case studies spanning multiple universities in Australia, blended synchronous learning can improve student retention rates and ease the concern that online students aren’t getting the same education as on-campus students. However, that’s only if blended learning is done right. Researchers from Macquarie University, Charles Stuart University, and the University of Melbourne identified seven recent case studies from leading universities using diverse technologies in blended synchronous learning to enhance student and faculty collaboration, ultimately leading to better retention rates for online students and more effective learning.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/blended-learning-design-763/

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Trust in online education on the rise

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2014-08-30 02:05

By Ron Bethke, eCampus News

A recent Gallup poll has revealed that Americans are increasingly valuing the quality of online colleges and universities. A growing trust in digital institutions is occurring with online learning. According to a new Gallup poll, more U.S. adults (out of a random sample of about 1,000) agree or strongly agree that online colleges and universities offer high-quality education. The 37 percent of adults polled, who agreed with idea that online instructions offer high-quality education in the Gallup-Luminia Foundation Poll on Higher Education, represent a respectable increase among a similar group polled in 2011, when only 30 percent of those polled responded positively to the question. A neutral stance was taken by 34 percent of those polled.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/trust-online-poll-678/

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5 important higher-ed conversations on Twitter

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Sat, 2014-08-30 02:02

By Michael Sharnoff, eCampus News

See what higher-ed professionals are saying on Twitter about some of the most pressing ed-tech issues. How will colleges and universities find a more sustainable business model in higher ed?  Whether discussing the latest trends in online learning, cybersecurity, or tuition costs, there are plenty of ed-tech conversations to follow on Twitter.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/twitter-higher-ed-382/

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OER Beyond Voluntarism

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-08-29 21:15


Brian Jacobs, Inside Higher Ed, Aug 29, 2014

I don't think panOpen.com's Brian Jacobs gets the concept of OERs. here's what he writes in Inside Higher Ed: "A better way forward is to compensate the stakeholders -- faculty, copyright holders, and technologists, principally -- for their contributions to the OER ecosystem. This can be done by charging students nominally for the OER courses they take or as a modest institutional materials fee." The point of OERs is that you don't charge the students. Yes, the way forward is to compensate OER developers. But the way backward is to start charging end-users again (since they are typically the ones who can least afford it).

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Don't Email Me

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-08-29 21:15


Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed, Aug 29, 2014

I guess everyone has read the story about the professor implementing a no-email policy for his class. He wants to speak to students in person only. He argues that he is "teaching students to be more self-reliant by making them read assignments and the syllabus more closely, and freeing up time for conversations in the classroom and during office hours" but really he's just cutting back on the level of interaction between professor and student. That's not necessarily a bad thing - students like people everywhere will take the greatest advantage of a service possible. But it reflects a failure of imagination.

[Link] [Comment]

Clinical Teaching of Interprofessional Child Development Assessment Skills in a Large Group Setting

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-08-29 21:15


Teresa Carter, Eileen Hanna, Marilyn Swinton, Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, Aug 29, 2014

So what to make of this? As summarizzed, "The research found no discernible difference in student learning between the facilitated and non-facilitated workshops; however, students in the non-facilitated workshop indicated that they would have preferred a more guided discussion." Links: Report  | Appendix.

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It’s Over: The Rise & Fall Of Google Authorship For Search Results

OLDaily by Stephen Downes - Fri, 2014-08-29 21:15


Eric Enge, SearchEngineLand, Aug 29, 2014

You  may have read about the benefits of adding authorship information to your web pages using Google+ functionality, but Google's attempt to incorporate these into search results has been discontinued. "John Mueller of Google Webmaster Tools announced in a Google+ post that Google will stop showing authorship results in Google Search, and will no longer be tracking data from content using rel=author markup." So what went wrong? What always goes wrong with metadata? People weren't making up their pages. Even publishers were disinclined to use author metadata.

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Ein dickes Ding: Extrem massereicher Stern gefunden

ScienceTicker.Info - Fri, 2014-08-29 19:59
Einen Stern mit Seltenheitswert hat eine deutsch-schwedische Forschergruppe entdeckt. Der Riese bringt es auf eine Masse von 100 bis 180 Sonnen. Von den Milliarden erfasster Sterne fallen nur einige Dutzend in diese Gewichtsklasse – derzeit ist nicht einmal klar, wie sie überhaupt entstehen können. Lesen Sie mehr bei Scienceticker Astro
Categories: Science News

What’s better: Skills or degrees?

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2014-08-29 02:09

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

According to a recent national survey on whether employees value their degrees more than skills training, though most employees say higher education is still a must, skills training is what’s more important to their career. Riding the recent waves of criticism from the general public on the high cost of tuition, lack of employment post-graduation, and perceived de-valuing of the traditional degree from employers, many new initiatives in higher-ed have taken root—from competency-based education (CBE) pathways to skills training programs beginning as early as high school.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/skills-degrees-survey-486/

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Critics of online degrees start from a false premise

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2014-08-29 02:06

By PAUL LeBLANC, Concord Monitor

The higher education that tends to most shape our debates is the one of four-year, first-time, full-time students going right from high school to college – the college most often depicted in movies and television and novels and cherished by most who had the privilege of being educated that way. That higher education is about getting a degree and an education, and it is about coming of age. And these students now make up less than 20 percent of all college students in America. Online programs, in contrast, mostly serve working adults who have had all the coming of age they need. For this population, the four C’s that shape adult students’ needs are: credential (getting the right degree that advances their work and careers), completion (getting a degree as quickly as possible while maintaining quality), cost (a major issue for much of this population) and convenience (having delivery methods that work for them).

http://www.concordmonitor.com/home/13187082-95/my-turn-critics-of-online-degrees-start-from-a-false-premise

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Computer Science: The Future of Education

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Fri, 2014-08-29 02:02

by Alison Derbenwick Miller, Edutopia

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2020 there will be 1.4 million new computer science jobs. However, between current professionals and university students, we will only have 400,000 computer scientists trained to fill those roles. Since it can take as many as 25 years to create a computer scientist, and since computer science skills are becoming increasingly integral for jobs in all industries, this skills gap is on track to emerge as a formidable economic, security, and social justice challenge in the next few years. Teachers, schools, parents, and industry must act on multiple fronts to address student readiness, expand access to computer science curriculum and opportunities, and help foster interest in computer science to ensure that it becomes a core component of every child’s education.

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/computer-science-future-of-education-alison-derbenwick-miller

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Writing Skills

xkcd.com - Fri, 2014-08-29 02:00
Categories: Cartoons, Science News

Coursera’s MOOCs Go To Work: What MasterCard Is Learning

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-08-28 02:08

by George Anders, Forbes

An intriguing strategy tweak is taking shape at Coursera, the pioneer of massively open online courses, or MOOCs. While Coursera still opens its (virtual) doors wide to anyone who wants to take a free course for the fun of it, the company also is welcoming big firms such as MasterCard, BNY Mellon, AT&T and Shell, as they seek new content for employee training and development. The business case is obvious.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeanders/2014/08/20/courseras-new-goal-teaching-at-firms-such-as-mastercard/

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CAPS goes digital with new online tutoring

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-08-28 02:04

By Matt Reisen, New Mexico Daily Lobo

This semester a new program will help students bring tutors into the comfort of their own home — electronically. Anne Compton, associate director of the Center for Academic Program Support, said CAPS will debut its new Online Learning Center on Monday, which allows students to receive tutoring from their own computer. The Online Learning Center, a combined effort of CAPS, Extended University and New Media and Extended Learning, will give tutoring to students who may be too busy, or too far removed, to physically go to the CAPS office, but still need assistance, she said.

http://www.dailylobo.com/article/2014/08/caps-online

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Study examines online, face-to-face courses

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Thu, 2014-08-28 02:02

by Phys.org

“The study reveals students actually see online classes as more challenging,” Professor Platt said. “Part of that is the students have to do more to manage their own time and schedule because online courses do not meet at a set point each week and some self-paced courses don’t have regular deadlines.” Students also perceived online classes as having less interaction than face-to-face classes, which Platt said could make the course more challenging for students who rely on extra help from their instructor or their peers. “The main reason the students took online courses was the flexibility of scheduling,” Platt said, noting online courses don’t conflict with scheduled courses in the classroom. “Online courses also can fit in if a student has a part-time job.”

http://phys.org/news/2014-08-online-face-to-face-courses.html

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Awarding Badges in Moodle

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2014-08-27 02:09

By Tim States, Emmett Dulaney, Campus Technology

Organizations like Boys and Girl Scouts have long modeled the significance of having a common language to describe an accomplishment through earning physical badges for completion of preset tasks. The idea of creating a common language for noting student achievement has been embraced by the educational community through the next generation of badging known as digital badges. Moodle offers a central repository to manage and distribute digital badges for an institution. Badges can be awarded at the site level or course level. Site-level badges allow for institutional collaboration on a set of common standards for awarding badges, while course level badges can allow individual instructors to set their own standards for acknowledgment. In this article, we’ll first take a look at why you might want to do this and outline the user experience as an instructor and student.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/08/20/awarding-badges-in-moodle.aspx

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This Flipped Class Is Studying Biology with a $10 Microscope and a Smart Phone

Online learning update by Ray Schroeder - Wed, 2014-08-27 02:05

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Take a smartphone, add $10 worth of plywood and Plexiglas, a bit of hardware, laser pointer lenses and LED click lights from a keychain flashlight and you have a DIY microscope worthy of use in college classes. At least, that’s the idea of an instructor at the Missouri University of Science and Technology who is adding the do-it-yourself technology in her biology lab courses. The project is part of a larger research endeavor at the university to explore the design of instructional labs for science and engineering courses that can be delivered in a blended or online format. The goal of a research is to develop e-learning models to redesign traditional lab courses to work in a hybrid format and to create a handbook for use by instructors that explains how to apply the new models.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/08/19/this-flipped-class-is-studying-biology-with-a-$10-microscope-and-a-smart-phone.aspx

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