Archive for October, 2010

7 Fantastic Free Social Media Online Learning Tools for Teachers

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

by Sarah Kessler, Mashable

The possibilities for social media tools in the classroom are vast. In the hands of the right teacher, they can be used to engage students in creative ways, encourage collaboration and inspire discussion among even soft-spoken students. But we’ve already made our case for why teachers should consider using social media in their classrooms. What about the how?

http://mashable.com/2010/10/16/free-social-media-tools-for-teachers/

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UW System reports rising demand for online learning courses

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

By Nick Paulson, Wisconsin Rapids Tribune

As colleges and universities across the University of Wisconsin System fill with more degree seekers, online courses are becoming increasingly popular. Students are looking for more flexible scheduling options that don’t always involve coming to campus, making it easier to work part time or even full time while still attending school. Online interest is up about 10 percent this year across the UW Colleges, two-year campuses that often are the destination for adults returning to school or those looking to work while attending school. “There will continue to be an increase in the online population nationwide, when you combine the recession, the costs and the savings students can have,” said Jeff Meece, assistant campus dean for student services at UW-Marshfield/Wood County, where there are about 60 online offerings.

http://www.wisconsinrapidstribune.com/article/20101017/CWS0101/10170533/UW-System-reports-rising-demand-for-online-courses

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Online Learning Solution for Sacramento

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

by Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed

In the face of growing demand, limited infrastructure, and diminishing funds for state-supported higher education, some experts believe the only way California’s higher ed system can continue fulfilling its mission is by expanding its online offerings. A new report, released Monday by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, calls for the state legislature to explore a number of moves toward this end — including facilitating the sharing of online courses across public university and community college campuses; evaluating potential online “re-entry” programs for former dropouts looking to finish their degrees; and allowing adult learners who are approved for in-state grants to attend Western Governor’s University, an online institution based in Utah.

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/10/26/california

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Blogging for class credit: Social Media for Journalists to be offered online in spring

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

by Wil Donoy, Laney Tower

Starting in the 2011 Spring Semester, aspiring journalists enrolled in Peralta campuses will be able to take a new online class that will prepare them for the ever-changing landscape of news reporting. “Social Media for Journalists” (Journalism 65) will be taught by Shari Weiss and will focus on the “revolutionary changes going on in global communications and how this directly affects news gathering and distribution,” and will be worth three units. Regarding textbooks for the class, Weiss said she would not have one because the book would most likely be irrelevant now. Instead, Weiss says she is going to create the textbook as she teaches the class and what students will be studying are the most current resources available to journalists online.

http://media.www.laneytower.com/media/storage/paper1008/news/2010/10/14/Features/Blogging.For.Class.Credit-3945017.shtml

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UK media groups enhance online learning

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

By Morgan Rhodes, U. Kentucky Kernel

Most UK students use Blackboard on a daily basis, and many UK students take online summer courses. The Blackboard Blackbelts and the Media Mafia of the Arts and Sciences are two small groups of students that work part-time to help UK instructors in their online classroom endeavors. Members of both the Blackboard Blackbelts and the Media Mafia have found satisfaction in their work for the department. As a program still under a year old, the Blackboard Blackbelts and Media Mafia are setting the standard for the future.

http://kykernel.com/2010/10/14/uk-media-groups-enhance-online-learning/

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Online learning enrollment soars 32.6 percent

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

By Matthew Stone, Kennebec Journal

Enrollment has stayed virtually flat this semester at the University of Maine at Augusta, but the 5,000-student commuter college is seeing a surge in students taking courses online. UMA — which operates campuses in Augusta, Bangor and at satellite campuses throughout the state — has enrolled 5,080 students this fall, a slight rise from the 5,054 it enrolled a year ago, according to enrollment reports released Friday. Students’ average credit load also crept up, according to Jonathan Henry, UMA’s dean of enrollment services. The average student this semester is enrolled in 8.29 credit hours, up from 8.24 last fall and 7.96 in the fall of 2008. A full-time student takes at least 12 credit hours, or four classes.

http://www.kjonline.com/news/university-of-maine-at-augustaonline-enrollmentsoars-32_6-percent_2010-10-15.html

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In Higher Education, a Focus on Technology and Online Learning

Friday, October 29th, 2010

By STEVE LOHR, New York Times

The education gap facing the nation’s work force is evident in the numbers. Most new jobs will require more than a high school education, yet fewer than half of Americans under 30 have a postsecondary degree of any kind. Recent state budget cuts, education experts agree, promise to make closing that gap even more difficult. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and four nonprofit education organizations are beginning an ambitious initiative to address that challenge by accelerating the development and use of online learning tools.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/11/technology/11online.html?_r=1&src=busln

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Take online courses with Professor Google

Friday, October 29th, 2010

By Michael Dippold, Northern Iowan

When we’re young, education can seem like a nuisance that we’re legally obligated to tolerate. During our college years, it often feels like a series of hoops that we have to jump through in order to obtain a diploma – the all-important piece of paper that allows us to find employment and be successful in “real life.” This makes me sad, because it gives education – whether formal or informal – a bad image that it doesn’t deserve. By the time most kids graduate college, they’re ready to sell all of their books, hang up their learning hat and close that chapter of their lives for good. So consider this a wake-up call. Extracurricular learning is not something that’s terribly hard to do. It’s as simple as remembering the things that you have always wished you could do and starting to learn how to do them.

http://www.northern-iowan.org/take-online-courses-with-professor-google-1.2365896

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NIACC, UI enter online learning degree partnership

Friday, October 29th, 2010

By MARY PIEPER, Globe Gazette

Officials from North Iowa Area Community College and the University of Iowa signed an agreement Wednesday that will allow students to complete their first two years of a bachelor’s degree at NIACC and the final two online. Students will be able to take the online classes at NIACC or even at home. Sally Mason, president of the University of Iowa, said the partnership will allow students who already have full-time jobs and family commitments in North Iowa to get their bachelor’s degree from the university without having to “uproot their lives.” The university has entered into similar agreements with several other community colleges in Iowa over the past year.

http://www.globegazette.com/news/local/article_76b11310-d715-11df-b5f7-001cc4c002e0.html

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Blackboard to Sell Online Learning Courses Through New Partnership

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

By Jeff Young, Chronicle of Higher Education

Blackboard announced that it is teaming up with a for-profit education provider, K12 Inc., to sell online courses to colleges that want to outsource their remedial offerings. The companies say their plan will offer a new way for students who lack basic skills to get caught up. Blackboard would sell online courses that are designed and taught by employees of K12. The courses would be delivered on the Blackboard course-management system. It is the first time that the company has sold full courses, rather than just software to deliver them.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/blackboard-to-sell-online-courses-through-new-partnership/27638

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Introducing ilumii.com – New Social Online Learning Community

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

by the PR Web and ilumii.com

The Social Learning Community & Marketplace. ilumii.com gives anyone with the ability to teach a channel. Clickbox Software has unveiled the full commercial release of ilumii.com, the world’s most complete Social Learning Community & Marketplace.   ilumii.com allows individuals to take their knowledge and skills and teach them to people around the globe by offering live, online classes–for fun and for profit–and by connecting those who want to learn with those who want to teach.

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2010/10_ilumii_online_learning/prweb4645504.htm

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UCM partners with PBS TeacherLine to offer online learning for educators

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

by the Warrensburg Community News Service of the Univesity of Central Missouri

With a long history of working with PBS through campus public television station KMOS-TV, the University of Central Missouri is strengthening that partnership while providing professional development opportunities for K-12 educators. The university’s School of Graduate and Extended Studies, College of Education, and College of Science and Technology are participating in PBS TeacherLine. UCM is one of only two partnering institutions in Missouri to provide offerings through this completely online program, and is one of only eight institutions across the country offering graduate credit opportunities.

http://www.digitalburg.com/artman2/publish/UCM_News_72/UCM_partners_with_PBS_TeacherLine_to_offer_online_courses_for_educators.shtml

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Students learning online during school

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Jennifer Solis, The Daily News of Newburyport

Thirty Pentucket Regional High School students are participating in the Virtual High School program this semester by taking online classes during the school day. Courses include astronomy, computational science and engineering, AP government, screenwriting, world religions, AP French, philosophy, entrepreneurship, American popular music and American foreign policy. Virtual High School is a nonprofit organization offering a wide variety of interesting and challenging courses to students across the country and around the world. As part of the partnership with VHS, two Pentucket teachers are now offering online courses.

http://www.newburyportnews.com/local/x935814611/Students-taking-classes-online-during-school

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Boosting science learning online

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

by Maggie Shiels, BBC

One of many groups also trying to elevate science is Nature Publishing Group, the publisher behind Scientific American and Nature magazines. It has launched Scitable, a social network for science research and education. “The big picture view of why we started the site stemmed from a serious concern about the future of science and how science education is working,” said Vikram Savkar, senior vice president and publishing director at Nature Publishing. He is also in charge of the Scitable initiative: “We are the leading publishers of scientific publications and work with researchers trying to solve world problems. As we took a survey of the scientific community we uncovered some serious problems, namely that in the US, 40% of students who start out in their freshman year studying science drop out of science a year later to study another major.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/maggieshiels/2010/10/boosting_science_education.html

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Online Learning for-Profit Fraud? Florida attorney general investigating 5 for-profit universities

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

By Scott Travis, Sun Sentinel

The civil investigation, which opened Monday, focuses on consumer complaints made against Kaplan Inc., the University of Phoenix, MedVance Institute, Argosy University and Everest University. They include allegations that the schools made misrepresentations regarding financial aid and engaged in unfair practices in recruiting, enrollment, accreditation, job placement and graduation rates. The for-profits already are under heavy scrutiny from the federal government because of the large sums they get in financial aid.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/education/highered/fl-florida-investigates-for-profits-20101020,0,3078801.story

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Online Learning?: Cal State Bans Students From Using Online Note-Selling Service

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

By Travis Kaya, Chronicle of Higher Ed Wired

California State University has barred students from buying and selling lecture notes online through a new note-sharing service called NoteUtopia. The university sent a cease-and-desist letter to the San Francisco-based company on September 21, ordering it to stop commercial operations across all 23 of the system’s campuses. Cal State also sent out a systemwide e-mail warning students that selling class notes violates state law and could, in extreme cases, result in expulsion. According to Michael Uhlenkamp, a Cal State spokesman, the service violates the portion of the state education code barring the distribution of lecture records, including “handwritten or typewritten class notes,” for profit. Since the company received the letter last month, Mr. Uhlenkamp said, its officials have “done what we’ve asked them to do,” including stopping active marketing and publishing a disclaimer on their site warning users that selling lecture notes is illegal.

http://goo.gl/eHf9

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Op-Ed: Web 2.0 Code-Switching (using texting slang) in the Online Learning Classroom

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

By Brooks Doherty, Converge

Generally context and company dictate to which code we must shift. One may employ slang when in the company of friends, shift to biz-speak when in the company of professional colleagues, and abandon the grammar rules when trying to cram a message into 140 characters or fewer. But as our interactions grow more virtual in nature, these lines of company and context begin to blur. For example, as I type, I have three Internet tabs open on the monitor next to my Word document: one of Twitter, one of Facebook, and one of the Rasmussen College Online course management system (CMS). I imagine such a page variety is not dissimilar to that found on the laptops of many of our students. As I bounce from this Microsoft Word document, to Twitter, to Facebook, to the online CMS, my company and context do not change. I am still alone in my office, typing on my laptop; however, my audiences, and the codes required to communicate effectively with each, change drastically. Typing “LOL!!” is acceptable on one screen, but not the next. The audience on the receiving end of this screen wants me to write in complete sentences, while another discourages the Queen’s Language in favor of brevity.

http://www.convergemag.com/training/Op-Ed-Web-20-Code-Switching-in-the-Online-Classroom.html

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Online success depends on learning style

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

By D.C. Denison, Boston Globe

Sorting through educational offerings has always been a difficult process, but it’s more complex now with the advent of online learning. Which is best? The immediacy of face-to-face classroom, the convenience of an online course, or a “hybrid’’ course that blends a some of each? Online education is now way beyond a novelty. Some 4.6 million students took at least one online course during the fall 2008 term, or one in four enrolled students, according to the most recent Sloan Report on Online Learning.

http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2010/10/10/online_success_depends_on_learning_style/

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Gates Foundation Launches $20M Grant for Online Learning

Monday, October 25th, 2010

By: Mark Hachman, PC Magazine

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Monday announced a $20 million grant program to improve college graduation rates via technology, which will probably be oriented around online education and learning programs. Next year, the focus will be expanded to K-12 programs, Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft and the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said in a conference call. The initiative, first disclosed last week, will be known as the Next-Generation Learning Challenges, a $20 million “funding round” that will be handed out in grants ranging from $250,000 to $750,000.

http://recessionreality.blogspot.com/

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On-campus and online learning similarly rigorous

Monday, October 25th, 2010

By Marianne Meeker and Virginia Shea, Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology, UNC

As instructors for both the on-campus and Carolina Courses Online (CCO) versions of a systems physiology course, we know first-hand that the two versions of the course are comparable in content and academic rigor. Many of our students report that our online course vastly exceeds their expectations; that student-student and instructor-student interactions are far more educationally valuable than those occurring in comparable lecture courses; and taking the course online prepares them to retain the course content better than any classroom study could. Clearly, their comments do not support the Editorial Board’s contention that online education is “a suboptimal learning environment” and that online classes “have far less educational value”.

http://www.dailytarheel.com/index.php/article/2010/10/oncampus_and_online_classes_similarly_rigorous

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Fisher College considers adding online Learning

Monday, October 25th, 2010

By Dena Beacham, Cardinal Courier

The Student Government Association (SGA), along with Fisher staff, faculty and students, have been discussing the possibility of adding online courses to the College’s curriculum. If you have you ever been closed out of a class that was in high demand, or if you wish you did not have to take courses at neighboring colleges or universities, then the possibility of having such classes may spark your interest. Although there have been no concrete plans yet to add such courses, the College could add online classes as early as fall 2011.Classes being considered would include Master’s level programs in both the nursing and education programs, certificate completion programs, summer course offerings and high demand classes for undergraduates. The addition of such courses would give students the opportunity to work with Fisher faculty instead of having to look elsewhere for a course they need to complete.

http://www.cardinalcourieronline.com/news/college-considers-adding-online-classes-1.1676830

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