UK’s Most Popular MOOC

May 11th, 2015

by Rebecca Paddick, Education Technology

The British Council’s Exploring English MOOC has so far received more sign-ups than any other online course on the FutureLearn platform. Chris Cavey, Open Learning Manager at the British Council, tells us the secret to its success. The British Council has been involved in English language teaching for more than 70 years and has very successful websites for learners and teachers that attract around five million users a month, so we already have a large online audience. We decided to make the course about UK culture as well as English language because we’re aware, from the work we do, of the huge interest in UK culture around the world. We also thought it was a good idea to focus on an area where everyone who joined the course would have something to share – their opinion about the UK and something about their own culture.

http://edtechnology.co.uk/Article/how-do-you-create-the-most-popular-mooc

Share on Facebook

WiFi on Wheels Puts Two Districts on the Fast Track to 24/7 Access

May 10th, 2015

By Bridget McCrea, THE Journal

Internet-enabled school buses keep students connected on the road, in school parking lots and in their own neighborhoods. School buses used to serve one purpose: getting students to and from school. But driven by a mandate to provide Internet connectivity to all students, some creative districts have deployed mobile wireless technology to transform their buses into moving WiFi zones, stationary hotspots or both. Among the students at Coachella Valley Unified School District (CA), 24/7 Web access is not a given. According to Superintendent Darryl Adams, “Only about 60 percent of the student population has Internet access at home.” To solve the problem, he put his own spin on the concept of mobile learning. “They’re putting WiFi in cars now,” he said, “so I thought, ‘Why not put it on a school bus?’ ”

http://thejournal.com/articles/2015/04/30/wifi-on-wheels.aspx

Share on Facebook

Corinthian Colleges and regulatory neglect

May 10th, 2015

by Ben Miller, Press Democrat

For years, private for-profit colleges were Wall Street darlings. Robust margins and a business model that does best when the economy does worst enabled these companies to add hundreds of thousands of students, all funded by billions of dollars in federal subsidies. What skyrocketed upward is now coming down, and the landing is not pretty. Corinthian Colleges, which a year ago had more than 72,000 students under the Everest, Heald and WyoTech brands, slowly collapsed over the past 10 months before announcing last Sunday that it would close its final 28 campuses. The move leaves 16,000 students scrambling to sort out their educational futures.

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/opinion/3878328-181/corinthian-colleges-and-regulatory-neglect

Share on Facebook

Politicians turn Florida into for-profit college paradise

May 10th, 2015

BY MICHAEL VASQUEZ, Miami Herald

Students are a prized commodity at Florida’s for-profit colleges. Just two dozen can generate a million dollars in tuition by the time they are done. In their zeal to fill classrooms, some schools do whatever it takes. That can mean deploying strippers as recruiters — according to a federal government complaint against Miami-based FastTrain — lying about job placement rates and using high-pressure, boiler-room sales tactics, including a psychological technique called the “pain funnel,” that can reduce a recruit to tears.

http://pubsys.miamiherald.com/static/media/projects/2015/higher-ed-hustle/students.html

Share on Facebook

The Four Negative Sides of Technology

May 9th, 2015

By Pamela DeLoatch, Edudemic

We live in a high tech world—with high tech classrooms. We embrace the benefits of using iPads during class, integrating tweets during presentations, and teaching students while using smart TVs. We know the many benefits of incorporating technology while teaching, such as adding diversity to lessons, increasing student interaction, and to bringing new perspectives and knowledge to the class. But there can be a negative side resulting from inappropriate or overuse of technology, and that negative side can have serious and long-term consequences. To make the best out of tools of technology, teachers and parents must also recognize their downsides and how to avoid them.

http://www.edudemic.com/the-4-negative-side-effects-of-technology/

Share on Facebook

Study provides foundation for the future of digital higher education

May 9th, 2015

by Phys.org

A new, comprehensive metastudy of the role technology plays in higher education urges universities of tomorrow to capitalize on technologies that effectively support student learning, to embrace blended learning environments, and to customize degree programs to serve the needs of students in a digital age. George Siemens, executive director of The University of Texas at Arlington’s Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge Lab, is the lead author of “Preparing for the Digital University: A Review of the History and Current State of Distance, Blended, and Online Learning.” The international study offers strategies and important implications for higher education institutions preparing for the digital wave. It also emphasizes the importance of universities drawing from learning sciences research in preparing new models of teaching, learning, and student assessment.

http://phys.org/news/2015-05-foundation-future-digital-higher.html

Share on Facebook

Stanford Council considers role of technology in teaching and learning

May 9th, 2015

BY KATE CHESLEY, Stanford

Interactive, online technology will play an increasingly important role in improving higher education. But first, credentialing challenges must be overcome; mastery of subject areas must be demonstrated and lower costs must be achieved without sacrificing quality. Those were among the assertions made by President John Hennessy during his annual address to the Academic Council on Thursday. In a talk titled “Technology in Teaching and Learning,” Hennessy also expressed his skepticism about whether online educational experiences can ever replace traditional undergraduate degrees. Technology, he said, can be used specifically to increase access, especially in underserved areas; to reduce costs; and to improve learning and degree completion rates in a cost-effective manner. But the challenge for online education, he said, is that society places a high premium on college experiences offered at schools like Stanford that encompass a broad and coherent collection of courses and that emphasize life skills as well as intellectual achievement.

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2015/may/academic-council-teaching-050115.html

Share on Facebook

Tandem classroom-online course aims to create international network of ‘builders’

May 8th, 2015

by B. Rose Huber, Princeton

This spring semester Jennifer Widner, professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, introduced an online version of her course “Making Government Work in Hard Places.” Offered alongside Widner’s traditional graduate-level course with 19 enrolled students, the nine-week online course reached more than 2,000 learners from around the world. Widner made the online class available through NovoEd, a massive open online course (MOOC) platform, which is geared toward teambuilding and discussion. “A lively exchange among people who live in different countries enriches everyone’s awareness of the challenges that arise when trying to improve government performance,” Widner said. “In both classes, we were aiming to create a network of ‘builders’ — people who value serving citizens well. The MOOC is an especially good foundation for this kind of network.”

http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S42/98/12A55/index.xml

Share on Facebook

7 innovation factors part of new framework for higher-ed leaders

May 8th, 2015

By Ron Bethke, eCampus News

Helping schools set up a culture focused on bolstering innovation is the focus of a new report. A new report from 2Revolutions, EDUCAUSE, and Next Generation Learning Challenges has proposed a highly detailed framework for building and sustaining a culture of innovation in higher education. “Building a Culture of Innovation in Higher Education: Design & Practice for Leaders” is a higher education follow-up to a similar K-12 report from 2Revolutions and The Learning Accelerator in 2014, which explained the factors and importance of innovation culture. It also shared a self-assessment tool that educational leaders can use to better build innovation culture.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/report-innovation-culture-642/

Share on Facebook

College-Bound High Schoolers Finding Favor with Online Choices

May 8th, 2015

By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

College-bound high school students are showing more interest in the blended model of instruction and less interest in going for the all face-to-face approach. That finding surfaces in the latest edition of Eduventures’ annual “College-Bound Market Update Report.” Each year the higher education analyst firm surveys high school sophomores, juniors and seniors to gain an understanding about how they choose a college and what their intentions are. This year the survey questioned more than 20,000 students between December 2014 and January 2015. Of the respondents, nearly seven out of 10 were female; and about a third were first-generation college prospects.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2015/04/30/college-bound-high-schoolers-finding-favor-with-online-options.aspx

Share on Facebook

Research: Short Online Interventions Can Improve Student Achievement

May 7th, 2015

By Leila Meyer, THE Journal

Researchers at Stanford University and the University of Texas, Austin studied the effect of short, online interventions on high school students at risk of dropping out and found that students’ grade point averages increased after only two 45-minute sessions. The researchers used two types of online interventions, one involving the development of a “growth mindset” and the other involving the development of a “sense of purpose.” The growth mindset is the belief that intelligence can be developed rather than being fixed at birth, and that struggling through challenging tasks is an opportunity to improve intelligence. In the study, researchers asked the students to read an article about the brain’s ability to grow intellectually through hard work and effective academic strategies.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2015/04/29/research-brief-online-interventions-can-improve-student-achievement.aspx

Share on Facebook

What are IT leaders worried about? Assessment readiness and money

May 7th, 2015

By Keith Krueger, eSchool News

A CoSN survey reveals CTO concerns about privacy, budgets, and assessment readiness. For the past three years, CoSN—the Consortium for School Networking—has conducted the K-12 IT Leadership Survey seeking to identify major trends and challenges, and provide a picture of these leaders. What are the key technology trends in education according to leadership in our school systems? What do the data tell us? Assessment readiness is again the No. 1 priority for IT Leaders. The growing imperative about being assessment ready isn’t likely a surprise for those living in states adopting the Common Core. However, regardless of where you live, all states are increasingly moving their high-stakes assessments online. And, they are doing it quickly. Yet less than 30 percent report they are fully prepared for online assessments.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/04/28/it-leaders-survey-693/

Share on Facebook

Stanford: Cheating technology is growing, and here’s why

May 7th, 2015

By Carla Rivera, Los Angeles Times

Cheating-friendly technology is becoming more common in competitive higher education settings, some say. Stanford University’s honor code dates to 1921, written by students to help guide them through the minefield of plagiarism, forbidden collaboration, copying and other chicaneries that have tempted undergraduates since they first arrived on college campuses. Exams aren’t proctored and students are expected to police themselves and speak up when they see others committing violations. But there appears to have been a massive breakdown during the recent winter quarter culminating in “an unusually high number of troubling allegations of academic dishonesty” reported to officials, according to a letter to faculty from Provost John Etchemendy.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/cheating-digital-age-652/

Share on Facebook

Report: Utah is ‘one of the best examples’ of quality digital learning

May 6th, 2015

By Morgan Jacobsen, Deseret News

Utah is leading the nation in the way it uses technology to enhance learning among students, according to a national education advocacy group. In a report released Tuesday, Digital Learning Now gave Utah a grade of A- in its overall digital learning efforts. Utah was the first state to earn an A on the report and has done so every year for three years. Florida is the only other state to earn an A this year. The report also praises a Utah program known as the Student Achievement Backpack, which, when fully implemented, will give parents and teachers access to information to better personalize instruction for students.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865627432/Report-Utah-is-one-of-the-best-examples-of-quality-digital-learning.html

Share on Facebook

Is Learning Increasingly Self-Directed in the Digital Era?

May 6th, 2015

by Suren Ramasubbu, Huffington Post

It is vital that educators be trained to recognize and nurture self-directed learning using technology and be capable of creating learning environments that support it. A teacher who encourages freedom of learning and is open to it can accelerate the transition of learning from being teacher-centric to student centric. According to Roger Hiemstra, a scholar of adult learning and self-directed learning, a teacher plays six roles in self-directed learning – she is “content resource, resource locator, interest stimulator, positive attitude generator, creativity and critical thinking stimulator, and evaluation stimulator.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/suren-ramasubbu/is-learning-increasingly-_b_7154164.html

Share on Facebook

China advocates online open courses

May 6th, 2015

by Shanghai Daily

China’s Ministry of Education issued a document supporting further application of online open courses in college education on Tuesday. Colleges have been encouraged to adopt a teaching mode combining the increasingly popular Massive Open Online Course with traditional methods, the ministry said in the concise document. Chinese colleges should develop their own high-quality open courses and promote the courses abroad. Meanwhile, they should also introduce more excellent foreign open course projects, especially those on natural sciences, engineering and technology, according to the document.

http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/article_xinhua.aspx?id=279025

Share on Facebook

UI may extend winter-break classes for two years

May 5th, 2015

by Johnathan Hettinger, Champaign News Gazette

After receiving strong positive responses to online courses offered over winter break, the University of Illinois is considering extending the period for two more years. The educational policy committee of the academic senate passed a proposal at its meetings on Monday, calling the 2014-15 classes “a generally positive undertaking for the campus.” The university offered eight four-week online classes as a part of a pilot program for the first-ever Winter Session. The classes were largely popular electives and had an enrollment of 764 students — 71 percent of the 1,070 capacity — which the proposal called “particularly remarkable.” According to the proposal, the courses would be offered during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 winter break periods. There would be a formal review of the effectiveness of the classes after that.

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2015-04-27/ui-may-extend-winter-break-classes-two-years.html

Share on Facebook

#Infographic on Mobile Learning Techologies

May 5th, 2015

by Citrix

The rapid evolution of technology is changing the way we learn, work and educate. Students want the freedom to learn and study using the latest software or applications on any device, in the location where they feel most productive and inspired. Great data in this infographic.

https://www.citrix.com/content/dam/citrix/en_us/images/info-graphics/infographic-student-mobile-workspaces.pdf

Share on Facebook

Key Strategies to Take Mobile Beyond 2015

May 5th, 2015

By Toni Fuhrman, Campus Technology

In a recent webinar, Gartner research director Chris Silva discussed key strategies to take mobile into the future, including flexibility, general-purpose mobility and unified endpoint management. Ask the right questions. Phase in your mobile implementations. Keep your eye on a unified endpoint management goal. That’s Gartner’s advice to organizations – including colleges and universities – supporting mobile in the IT environment. In a recent public webinar, available as a recording, Gartner research director Chris Silva discussed these and other strategies for keeping up with mobile trends in the coming years.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/04/27/key-strategies-to-take-mobile-beyond-2015.aspx

Share on Facebook

What If Students Could Fire Their Professors?

May 4th, 2015

by Anya Kamenetz, NPR

A bill circulating in the Iowa state Senate would rate professors’ performance based on student evaluations. Just student evaluations. Low-rated professors would be automatically fired — no tenure, no appeals. The bill’s author, state Sen. Mark Chelgren, a Republican, argues that too many students are taking on student loan debt but not getting their money’s worth in the classroom. “Professors need to understand that their customers are those students,” Chelgren told the Chronicle of Higher Education.Though the bill appears unlikely to pass, it has made national news because of the broader debate around student debt, the cost of college and what, exactly, students are getting for their money.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2015/04/26/401953167/what-if-students-could-fire-their-professors

Share on Facebook

Turnitin Announces Availability of Turnitin Scoring Engine for Automated Writing Assessment

May 4th, 2015

by University Business

To begin using Turnitin Scoring Engine, institutions provide their existing rubrics, along with a seed set of de-identified student essays and reliable existing scores. These texts are analyzed to build a custom scoring model for each new writing context. Turnitin Scoring Engine learns to value the same aspects of writing as the instructors at an institution. Turnitin Scoring Engine also automatically tests itself for reliability by comparing the scores it generates to the instructors’ original scores. When this test is passed, the program is easily embedded into existing institutional assessment environments, ready to score any number of new essays or writing submissions. Each student can receive automated scoring for any number of submissions per assignment or writing task.

http://www.universitybusiness.com/content/turnitin-announces-availability-turnitin-scoring-engine-automated-writing-assessment

Share on Facebook