High school students in Greenfield enjoy opportunities to earn college credit hours through a partnership between Jackson State Community College and Weakley County Schools. The courses are known as “dual enrollment.” The classroom setting remains the same with the exception of an on-line professor and televised college coursework. The measures are in place at all four of the county’s high schools. On a weekly basis, Burt Rutledge teaches physics to students at Westview High School and Gleason School at the same time. Obviously, even on the level of physics, it’s impossible for Rutledge to physically be in two places at one time, but with the recent implementation of new technology in the field of distance learning and dual enrollment courses for high school and college credit, Weakley County schools are breaking new ground on preparing students for the future in an ever-changing and progressing world.
by Keith Pratt and Rena Palloff, Excerpt from The Excellent Online Instructor
This list might apply to any excellent instructor, whether teaching face-to-face or online. The main difference here is that the excellent online instructor accomplishes all of this through the use of technology and, in many cases, without ever meeting his or her students in person. The ability to accomplish all of this through the use of technology is what sets the excellent online instructor apart. See the list of 10 descriptors at the URL below:
The Writing Center in Drinko Library offers online tutoring for students who cannot make it to the library during the day. Online tutoring is a service that allows students to e-mail essays, resumes, theses, or any kind of written document to a tutor to have revised. The tutor reads through the draft, identifies the main problems and writes a response at the bottom of the document. “The purpose of the Writing Center is to help students better their writing, not to ‘fix’ their papers for them,” Ferrell said. “So, the idea is, with the advice I give, a student can improve each paper they write, rather than simply turn in an edited paper.” Demand for online tutoring has grown in the last year.
The Khan Academy defines itself as “A free world-class education for anyone anywhere.” What started with one person tutoring his cousins through the internet is now one of the largest sources for education through participation online. As someone very interested in open learning, I think this website is helping millions of people in ways that were not possible before. It inspires me in how a simple act of innovative thinking (from Sal’s part) transformed, through participation, into one of the leading educational resources available today. Below is more information about the Khan Academy. Explore their website, participate, watch some tutorials and think of how you can be a participating voice in the education of those around you.
For the past three years the University has not only been home to tens of thousands of students, but has also existed in another dimension for users who are able to access the campus virtually. The other realm is Second Life, a three-dimensional environment where faculty and students utilize simulations to enhance learning experiences. Second Life was launched by Linden Research Inc., in 2003 and as of 2011 has more than 20 million user accounts world-wide. Though entertainment for many, it has been used in higher education institutions for the past few years.
At first, Sherrie Kovach was happy just to have reconnected after 30 years with a long-lost friend. How funny that they had both become teachers — she of first-graders at Highcliff Elementary School in the North Hills, where she grew up, and Jennifer Danzi with a second-grade class on Long Island, N.Y. They found each other again through Facebook. That Internet reunion gave them another idea, when Mrs. Kovach began teaching second-graders this year: Why not have their classes meet each other face to face — or as close to face to face as they could get? In the past few weeks, the two teachers have connected their classes through the Internet phone service Skype, which transmits pictures as well as voices, and through handwritten letters in the mail. As the women have become reacquainted, their students have had the chance to learn about other kids and their lives, hundreds of miles away.
Businesses including Sprint Nextel Corp., Levi Strauss & Co. and Mattel Inc. are sponsoring college classes and graduate-level research to get help with their online marketing from the young and hyperconnected. Sprint, for example, supplies a class at Boston’s Emerson College with smartphones and unlimited service in exchange for students working gratis on the company’s local Internet push. Sprint provided students in an online marketing class at Emerson College with 10 smartphones with unlimited wireless access. In exchange, students blogged, tweeted, produced YouTube videos and posted Facebook updates about the launch of Sprint’s 4G network in Boston. “We’re teaming up with the class again this semester it worked so well,” says Sprint spokesman Mark Elliott.
With the help of his smartphone, D. Kirk Richardson taught a class last summer on Edgar Allan Poe’s last hours in Richmond. The walking tour took on a different dimension for his Virginia Commonwealth University students when he augmented his lesson with vintage images from the poet’s day. On his iPhone, they could see Poe haunts that no longer exist and even a menu from a restaurant where he dined during his last 30 hours here in 1849. For Richardson, who teaches focused inquiry classes at VCU’s University College, it was a way of adding context to Poe’s life and “moving history out of books.”
Distance Education alumni share their online learning experiences at Boston University. Topics include the typical routine of an online student, managing coursework and career, and interaction with other students online.
A university’s stockpile of faculty members with Ph.D.s soon could be irrelevant if online learning continues its rapid growth and provides flexibility for students of every age, said Clayton Christensen, an authority on how innovative technologies affect businesses and economies. “The way you define goodness at a university” used to be finding the most educated researchers and teachers to create and teach course material. But with the world “overcome by the amount of knowledge that can be taught” in the digital age, Christensen said, that old model is losing relevance. He said “the traditional way of delivering knowledge” is standardized and inflexible, whereas online college classes allow—even encourage—customization that appeals to a wider audience of students, especially as college degrees become a requisite for career success.
Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen, who also serves on the Deseret News Editorial Advisory Board, has an op-ed in today’s Deseret News related to online learning and legislation pending in Utah promoting greater use of online education in traditional schools. He writes: “Disruptive innovations tend to be simpler and more affordable than existing services at the outset. But little by little, they improve predictably. Online learning fits the mold. At first it was most often used for distance learning. Increasingly, however, online learning is being implemented in brick-and-mortar schools in what is called blended learning; the content is becoming more and more robust for individual learners so that it motivates students to engage in deeper learning, and the communication technology is enhancing the ability of teachers and students to interact.”
In an effort to increase enrollment numbers in online education courses, officials at Purdue University recently announced plans to expand the university’s distance-learning program. Purdue student enrollments in online-learning classes totaled about 8,200 in 2009-2010, with 35 percent in courses originating on the Purdue campus. The university is working hard to augment those numbers. “Our goal is by 2012-13 to create capacity for 10,000 enrollments in online courses for Purdue West Lafayette students,” said Mark Pagano, dean of Continuing Education and Conferences at Purdue. “We want at least 60 percent of those enrollments in courses originating at Purdue. The remaining capacity would be available through partner institutions in the Indiana College Network consortium.”
As budget woes and rising pension and health care costs increasingly cut into the resources for our schools, we have an opportunity to use this crisis to transform them. All students have different learning needs at different times. Most of us know this intuitively. I remember being in high school in Utah and struggling to master a physics concept while my best friend grasped it immediately. Much later in my life, when the same concept was explained to me in a different way, and I had more time to work with it, I understood. We all have friends who excelled in certain classes but struggled in others. Yet our schools are not built to personalize for these different learning needs at different times. There is far more standardization than customization.
Online learning projects developed by National Taiwan Normal University allow Chinese learners to have a fun and interactive learning experience. A research team at National Taiwan Normal University has launched several online classroom projects, targeting learners of Chinese as a foreign language. Using online multimedia platforms such as Wiki, JoinNet and Second Life, the university’s Cool Chinese team hopes to provide fun and effective learning experiences for Chinese learners, NTNU said.
It started a decade ago as a highly controversial online college that trained primary teachers. Now it has grown into a multinational business with over 7,000 students in 30 countries. Hibernia College is now a fast-expanding part of the Irish education scene. While other businesses are laying off employees, and in many cases struggling to survive, the Dublin-based private college recently announced that it was hiring 25 new staff.
Employers are increasingly accepting of diplomas and degrees earned online, as many go back to school hoping to find new opportunities. And a 2008 survey by Vault Incorporated shows online learning is increasingly accepted by employers. The survey found 83 per cent of employers think online degrees are more acceptable than five years ago.
If you’ve ever had to handle the editing of a Google Doc via comments, then you know it wasn’t the best system available. A right side column that showed the edits was effective, but certainly not easy to understand or use. The Google Docs team has been hard at work and with the latest revision, we’re getting collaborative discussions that actually make sense. Oh, and they will also load in real-time, right as a commenter presses the button to show that they are finished. The comments will now be tied to the person who made them, allowing ownership of each one. Discussions are able to be treated a bit like a ticket system now, where persons who are involved with them are able to show whether an issue that has been brought to light is still open, or if it has been resolved and the comment section can be considered closed.
BY: Andy Frost, PLATO through Keeping Pace with K-12
It’s almost impossible to dispute that what Christensen and his co-authors call “disruptive deployment” is very real and has been underway for some time now. In the book, the authors talk about two key areas in which online learning follows the classic disruptive model by “competing with non-consumption:” 1) Credit Recovery and Dropout Prevention and 2) Advanced and non-core courses. In both cases, online learning has been relatively easy for schools and districts to adopt because the most likely alternative is nothing. To validate that this is the case, I don’t have to look any further than PLATO Learning, where I work. PLATO has been helping schools and districts build technology-based credit recovery and remediation programs for decades. For the past 10 years, those programs have been delivered over the Internet.
Research carried out recently among a group of students enrolled on a distance MA Tesol course at Leicester University offers a glimpse into a not-too-distant future when learners distributed around the world but linked via the internet will be able to enhance their learning experience with the use of some simple and low-cost digital tools. Gabi Witthaus, who teaches on the MA Tesol course, collaborated with colleagues in the university’s psychology department on the “Duckling” (Delivering University Curricula: Knowledge, Learning and INnovation Gains) project to find out how a relatively small group of their distance- learning postgraduate students would respond to using audio tools, the Second Life virtual world and e-readers to share and develop their learning. The results have been positive, with e-readers in particular, she says, allowing students to open “little windows of time” to access course content.
A pioneering new course developed and delivered by experts in industry and aimed at professionals working in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, is being launched at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU). The online Quality by Design (QbD) course is an innovative work-based learning programme being taught by experts from leading pharmaceutical and healthcare companies including AstraZeneca, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Bristol-Myers Squibb, and supported by the Pharmaceutical Technologies Research Group at DMU. ‘Quality by design’ is a scientific approach which has been developed to advance product and process quality in industry. The new course is suitable for professionals working in pharmaceutical companies, contract manufacturing and consumer health.
That’s according to Project for Excellence in Journalism’s annual “State of the Media” report. The Internet was the number two platform behind television in terms of adult news consumption — with 46 percent saying they get news online at least three times a week, surpassing newspapers (40 percent) for the first time. Only local TV news is a more popular platform in America now (50 percent) than the Web, and “the trend line shows that gap closing.” According to PEJ, online ad revenue in 2010 is projected to surpass print newspaper ad revenue for the first time, too.