Florida bill calls for MOOC accreditation, FIU weighs options

April 4th, 2014

by Raul Herrera, FIUSM

Florida law is now requiring universities to accredit massively open online courses, which are currently free and not for credit. Their purpose, according to the University, is to provide an “open learning experience” along with what FIU Online Dean Joyce Elam calls “a taste of some of the leading academic programs at FIU.” The University is now weighing options on how to make for-credit MOOCs. “If FIU doesn’t come up with a process to award course credit for learning done through MOOCs or in other ways, someone else will come up with it, and we’ll just be told to implement it,” said Laurie Shrage, a professor of philosophy who proposed a method for MOOCs accreditation to the Faculty Senate. Florida law wants to stimulate the state’s K-12 and higher education system’s interest in MOOCs.

http://fiusm.com/2014/03/23/florida-bill-calls-for-mooc-accreditation-fiu-weighs-options/

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The Top 5 Things Hiring Managers Look For On Social Media

April 4th, 2014

by MARIANNE STENGER, Lifehacker

The key to landing any job is to present yourself professionally, and these days that includes how you come across online as well. More employers have started using sites like Twitter, Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn in the hiring process, and according to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 43 per cent of hiring managers now use social media to screen candidates. Career advisor Matt Tarpey explains that most employers don’t necessarily visit your online profiles looking for a reason not to hire you, but if they do happen to find one it will almost certainly take you out of the running. Knowing exactly what employers are after when they scrutinise your online persona can help you scrub up your image and hopefully get bumped to the top of the list.

http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2014/03/the-top-5-things-hiring-managers-look-for-on-social-media/

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The Top 10 Google Glass Myths

April 4th, 2014

by Google

Myths can be fun, but they can also be confusing or unsettling. And if spoken enough, they can morph into something that resembles fact. (Side note: did you know that people used to think that traveling too quickly on a train would damage the human body?) In its relatively short existence, Glass has seen some myths develop around it. While we’re flattered by the attention, we thought it might make sense to tackle them, just to clear the air. And besides, everyone loves a good list – see the link below.

https://plus.google.com/+GoogleGlass/posts/axcPPGjVFrb

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Lessons in online learning

April 3rd, 2014

by Erica Cervini, the Age

Just because academics may be brilliant in the lecture theatre, doesn’t mean they make great talent in cyberspace. There also seems to be assumptions that lecturers can magically cope with the online learning technology, including iPads, Turnitin (plagiarism detection program) and learning platforms such as Blackboard. Professor Adelman had a team to grapple with the technology side of his MOOC and teaching assistants to monitor the discussion board. Despite the help, the professor hasn’t offered the subject again. Yet in the millions of words written about online learning, there appears to be little attention paid to how academics cope with online subjects.

http://www.theage.com.au/national/education/lessons-in-online-learning-20140321-357ed.html

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New strategy would drop college textbook costs to zero

April 3rd, 2014

by Carrie Wells, Baltimore Sun

A pilot program, which the university system estimates is saving 1,100 students a combined $130,000, is the latest in a shift on the nation’s campuses toward digital learning. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the California State University system and the Washington State college system are among those that have built libraries of free online course materials in recent years. Still, open-source textbooks, which have been around for several years, face challenges and have not caught on broadly.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/education/bs-md-college-open-source-textbooks-20140322,0,6567208.story

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Cornell Report Notes Promise of Distance Learning but Cautions Against Overtaxing Faculty

April 3rd, 2014

By Kanoe Namahoe, Campus Technology

The future of distance learning, in particular massive open online courses (MOOCs), “holds much promise,” according to a new report released by the Distance Learning Committee (DLC) at Cornell University. The new report advises the institution to develop a scalable, diverse menu of online offerings. “Cornell should pursue a diverse portfolio of distance learning avenues, continually rebalancing it as evidence emerges,” stated the committee in the executive summary of the report. In doing this, though, the institution should take steps to ensure that faculty members do not overextend themselves. “In particular we do not want our faculty making commitments that adversely impact on-campus teaching and research.”

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/03/05/cornell-releases-distance-learning-report.aspx

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4 questions every institution needs to answer

April 2nd, 2014

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.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/featured/featured-on-ecampus-news/questions-institutions-data-882/

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Competency-based learning proving popular

April 2nd, 2014

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.”

http://www.ecampusnews.com/curriculum/competency-based-canvas-020/

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Report: Interest in Flipped Classrooms Surpasses Other Digital Learning Trends

April 2nd, 2014

By Leila Meyer, THE Journal

Flipped classrooms are having a significant effect on teaching and learning, according to a new white paper from Project Tomorrow and the Flipped Learning Network. The white paper, “Speak Up 2013 National Research Project Findings: A Second Year Review of Flipped Learning,” reports on a survey of more than 403,000 K-12 students, parents, teachers, administrators and community members in the fall of 2013. The survey defined flipped learning as using lecture videos as homework while using class time for discussions, projects, experiments and personalized coaching. According to the survey, a quarter of administrators identified flipped learning as having a major effect on teaching and learning, compared to only 21 percent who identified educational games and mobile apps and 19 percent who identified professional learning communities for educators has having a significant effect.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/03/21/report-interest-in-flipped-classrooms-surpasses-other-digital-learning-trends.aspx

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How the world’s 10 richest billionaires are shaping education

April 1st, 2014

By Roger Riddell, Education Dive

Forbes this week released its list of the 500 richest people in the world. Of course, the top of the list was filled with the usual suspects: Gates, Slim, Buffett, Ellison, the Kochs, the Waltons. While these people are probably best known for their business endeavors, they also have a hand in philanthropy. Education consistently finds itself among the industries where the world’s richest people choose to give or (sometimes controversially) exert their influence. Here’s a look at how the 10 richest people in the world have shaped education.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/how-the-worlds-10-richest-billionaires-are-shaping-education/234949/

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

April 1st, 2014

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.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/jobs/Indians-No-2-users-of-MIT-Harvard-e-courses/articleshow/32481530.cms

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A big deal: S.C. ranked 7th in digital learning

April 1st, 2014

By PHIL NOBLE, Savannah Now

No, this is not a typo or misprint. No, we did not leave out a number, and South Carolina is not 27th, or 37th or 47th. We are indeed tied for the seventh spot in the country in overall online learning. Amazing – but true. This is a very big deal – it may be the most important and positive education news about the state in the last five years. First, about the rankings. For the last three years, the authoritative and nonpartisan Foundation for Excellence in Education has produced a Digital Learning Report Card that evaluates each state on 10 different measures of how well they are doing in using new technology in education. (check out your state’s rankinghttp://reportcard.digitallearningnow.com/#grade0)

http://savannahnow.com/bluffton-opinion/2014-03-22/noble-column-big-deal-sc-ranked-7th-digital-learning#.Uy2BqqhdUVI

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7 Ways To Use Google Tools To Maximize Learning

March 31st, 2014

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

There are a boatload of awesome Google tools that we use every day. And they’re free, too, which tends to be a big winner for teachers and students. Free is probably the number one reason for giving Google’s tools a try – you haven’t lost anything but a bit of time if you decide you don’t like the tool. All of the tools also integrate well with one another, have similar user interfaces, and are pretty darned easy to use, so if you can use one, you’re sure to feel right at home using many of the other tools, too. While Google’s search may be their ubiquitous tool, there are a lot of others that you may have not heard about yet. Keep reading at the URL below to learn about the tools and some ideas to use them in your classroom.

http://www.edudemic.com/ways-use-google-tools-maximize-learning/

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Online Course Provider’s Data Shows Low Women in Engineering

March 31st, 2014

by Shawn Wasserman, IMT

Coursera, which partners with major universities, shows female enrollment in science and engineering e-courses is dragging. Its study, however, notes that the proportion of women engaging in online learning is growing overall. March 8 marked International Women’s Day this year. In response to the festivities, Coursera, a for-profit educational technology company offering massive open online courses (MOOCs), released data on female interactions within its MOOCs. The results, for the most part, are promising. Overall, about 40 percent of Coursera’s users are female and the numbers are climbing, though work is still needed to bring women to STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) courses.

http://news.thomasnet.com/IMT/2014/03/20/online-course-providers-data-shows-low-women-in-engineering/

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Entrepreneurship Can Be Taught, & MIT is Prepared to Prove It

March 31st, 2014

by Bill Aulet, BostInno

To all who ask, “Can entrepreneurship be taught?” MIT is here to say, “Yes.” And who better to educate the masses than the school producing alumni and students collectively starting anywhere between 900 and 1,000 companies annually?The Institute unveiled a new massive open online course on the MITx platform, called “Entrepreneurship 101: Who is Your Customer?” The class, now open for registration, is being taught by Bill Aulet, managing director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, and already has a proven track record of success.

http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2014/03/20/mitx-15-390x-course-entrepreneurship-101-who-is-your-customer/

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Focus on high-demand courses in UC online education

March 30th, 2014

by Alexandra Tashman, Daily Bruin

To accomplish the goal of decreasing overcrowding on a long-term basis, the initiative should be targeted toward General Education requirements on all UC campuses. That way, the program would serve as a means of cutting costs because different professors and teaching assistants wouldn’t have to be teaching the same or similar classes at every UC. As it stands, for UCLA students, many of the classes that will be offered through the new program will only count as units toward their degree, as opposed to major or GE requirements. By focusing on the latter, the UC can maximize the impact of the initiative. The Innovative Learning Technology Initiative is a step in the right direction toward providing a better educational experience for students who would otherwise have to enroll in overcrowded classes, or wouldn’t be able to enroll at all.

http://dailybruin.com/2013/11/13/alexandra-tashman-focus-on-high-demand-courses-in-uc-online-education/

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Shai Reshef is bringing the university to the people

March 30th, 2014

By Gregory M. Lamb, Christian Science Monitor

The online University of the People has an immodest goal: Bring higher education to everyone on the planet – and at little or no cost. This spring it’s passing two significant waymarks on the way: Earlier this year, the UoPeople, as it’s called, earned accreditation from the Distance and Education Training Council. And on April 2 the first seven students (four from the United States and one each from Nigeria, Jordan, and Syria) will formally graduate. The nonprofit, online-only university, which began operation in 2009, seeks to reach millions of potential learners worldwide who would otherwise have little or no chance of earning a two-year or four-year college degree.

http://news.yahoo.com/shai-reshef-bringing-university-people-192543885.html

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Wisdom of massive open online courses now in doubt

March 30th, 2014

By Meghan Drake-The Washington Times

“There is a lot of speculation that [MOOCs] were going to change the face of higher education. That’s not what’s happening,” said Jeff Seaman, co-director of Babson Survey Research Group. Mr. Seaman and fellow Babson researcher I. Elaine Allen conducted a survey charting fresh doubts about MOOCs as long-term higher-education supplements. Their study, which polled chief academic officers at 2,831 colleges and universities about online education, reported that 39 percent say they do not believe that MOOCs are sustainable models for their schools — up from 26 percent in 2012. “There still is not a clear business model to why I should do this,” Mr. Seaman said. Coursera co-founder Andrew Ng notes that half of MOOC students who complete the first homework assignment wind up completing the entire course. But skeptics say the virtues of MOOCs also are emerging as vices. “Two words are wrong in ‘MOOC’: massive and open,” Stanford President John Hennessy said in a widely noted interview with the Financial Times.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/feb/9/big-plan-on-campus-is-dropping-out/

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U Arizona Boosts Site Accessibility with Audio Internet

March 29th, 2014

By David Nagel, Campus Technology

One academic department at the University of Arizona is boosting Web accessibility for its students by providing audio navigation tools on its site. UA’s Department of Management Information Systems, which operates out of the Eller College of Management, has adopted Audio Internet Platform 5.0, a cloud-based tool from AudioEye that analyzes site content, normalizes it and then reads information aloud to visitors. It also provides related navigational tools, such as pause and skip, arrow-based navigation, audio prompts for navigation (such as “This carousel contains X items, press left or right to scroll through them”)and optional reader display mode.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/03/20/u-arizona-boosts-site-accessibility-with-audio-internet.aspx

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Change the Homework, Improve Student Achievement

March 29th, 2014

By David Nagel, Campus Technology

A new study from Rice University and Duke University researchers identified a relatively non-invasive approach to improving student achievement — one that doesn’t involve gutting the curriculum or reinventing pedagogy. The researchers found that implementing subtle, technology-based changes to homework resulted in improvements in student performance on tests. The changes included the adoption of a software tool developed at Rice called OpenStax Tutor. According to the researchers, the software is similar to other tools on the market that fall into the broad category of cognitive science-based digital tutors, tools that are designed to differentiate instruction based on the needs of individual students.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/03/20/change-the-homework-improve-student-achievement.aspx

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What the 26 Billion-Thing Internet of Things Portends for IT

March 29th, 2014

By David Nagel, THE Journal

There will be 26 billion “things” making up the Internet of Things within six years, according to a report released by Gartner. The implications for IT are profound — in particular for data center operations. “IoT threatens to generate massive amounts of input data from sources that are globally distributed,” said Joe Skorupa, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, in a statement released to coincide with the report. “Transferring the entirety of that data to a single location for processing will not be technically and economically viable. The recent trend to centralize applications to reduce costs and increase security is incompatible with the IoT. Organizations will be forced to aggregate data in multiple distributed mini data centers where initial processing can occur. Relevant data will then be forwarded to a central site for additional processing.”

http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/03/18/what-the-26-billion-thing-internet-of-things-portends-for-it.aspx

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