As a digital media education researcher, Erin Reilly helps educators find ways to integrate student participation and technology — Google Maps, Wikipedia, digital photography and other programs — into a curriculum. Reilly explained, digital education and 21st century literacy aren’t solely about computer labs or smart boards. The focus should be on finding ways to let students participate in learning. Reilly said being able to sample and mix content comes naturally to students, who watch and hear examples daily.
The News-Herald posed the question of whether teachers should use Facebook to community members on our website and social networking sites. Most respondents’ vehemently opposed teachers interacting or befriending students on Facebook. Some, however, think it should be a way for teachers to communicate about school-related matters. Click the title header for some reader responses to the question posed on The News-Herald’s Facebook page.
Thousands of CMS students are already taking classes online, in settings ranging from the small all-online Performance Learning Center to large schools such as Independence and Olympic. The new e-Learning Academy takes the e-volution a step further. Online education “is the difference between the horse and cart and the motor car,” says Cynthia Wellner, who’s in charge of those classes at Independence. More than 200 students there are enrolled in everything from remedial classes to college courses. Logging on from home won’t work for everyone. But CMS leaders say the e-Learning Academy could prove a great option for highly motivated teens whose work schedules, learning styles or health needs don’t mesh with going to school every day.
by Peter J. Stokes, Harvard Education Publishing Blog
Depending on the sources you turn to for your higher-education reading, you might come away with the perception that online learning is a risky experiment taking place in the margins of higher education—largely under the oversight of profit-seeking, fly-by-night diploma mills. The reality is that a quarter of all students currently enrolled at colleges and universities are taking at least one course online, and one-in-ten is enrolled in a degree program that is delivered entirely online.
The Texas higher education agency is embracing Gov. Rick Perry’s challenge to develop bachelor’s degree programs (featuring online learning and credit for prior learning) costing no more than $10,000, including textbooks. “It’s entirely feasible,” Higher Education Commissioner Raymund Paredes said today. “It’s something we are going to pursue aggressively.” Speaking at a meeting in Austin of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Paredes said a sizable portion of the state’s growing population of low-income students will “simply be left out” of higher education if affordable options are not developed. He said such options might not be appropriate for all degree plans and for all students.
Many stories have been hitting the Twitter wire these days about the pros and cons of online learning. Those from traditional education environments often struggle to see the value in “detached classrooms.” Those in charge of education budgets see an avenue to offset budget shortfalls while continuing to deliver required curriculum. The online world sees benefit in maximizing access points to educators and classmates from around the world for those students who require flexible, innovative education. As an adjunct professor for a University’s online program, I have seen both sides and can say unequivocally that the benefits far outweigh the concerns.
This is one of an occasional posting of student and faculty member comments on online learning. In this case a University of Wisconsin Superior faculty member Greg Trudeau of the Sustainable Management Degree discusses online learning class participation.
More Artists, musicians, carpenters and professionals in a wide variety of other fields may be surprised to learn that a growing number of institutions are offering online learning opportunities in their industries. As web-based learning becomes more popular, educators are aiming to provide students with an array of nontraditional course offerings. For example, Edward Weiss, a pianist and composer, recently launched a website on which users can access New Age piano lessons, according to a press release. The genre of music, which was most popular during the mid-1980s, is making a comeback, notes Weiss.
Interview with Richard Culatta about the importance of developing interactive online learning. Online learning should connect learners with each other and with experts and not just content. The more online leverages social learning practices the more effective it will be. Instructional design is essential to effective online learning.
It is becoming ever apparent to me that those of us who are online learning professionals prefer networks. Networks like we have on Twitter or other electronic spaces where we can share short snips of conversations and where our ideas are met with like minded support and agreement. The advantages of networking are many. I can be very visible and yet still quite passive in my learning. I can talk and talk and talk and never have to walk or put action to my ideas. I even get my need for belonging met (Maslow) and self esteem. And sometimes I meet others and from there we create a community where we do act collectively. For me, that is the key. If all I do is network I do not shift or grow because I am missing the opportunity to go deep and actually learn by doing. It takes both: Networks and Community. Online, global communities of practice and f2f learning communities in my local context.
The third annual conference at Oakland University will examine specific examples about how openness is implemented in higher education and the importance of increasing the transparency and accessibility of knowledge. We will offer three tracks, Open Education (open educational resources), Open Access (library journals) and Open Source (open computer code and ramifications) , to further explore this topic as it relates to faculty, librarians and instructional technologists respectively. Our keynote speaker is Ray Schroeder, Professor Emeritus of Communication, and founding director of the Center for Online Learning, Research, and Service at the University of Illinois at Springfield. He will speak about The Open Future of Higher Education.
More than 60 percent of professors at private colleges and universities plan on using online learning in their future curriculum, according to a new study by Babson College. The eight-year study by the Babson Survey Research Group released these findings in a report called “Sloan Survey of Online Education,” which focused on identifying attitudes and implementation of online education (defined as any course that delivers at least 80 percent of the content online) at higher education institutions.
DC-based Potomac College believes that money talks when it come to enticing students back to its online programs. Beginning May 2011, Potomac College will offer a 20% discount on tuition to encourage its former students to try its revamped online programs. Following a sabbatical, Potomac College — and many students and alumni — welcomed back Marcus Palmore as the college’s Director of Students. Now it’s Palmore’s job to revitalize the college’s online program and help busy adults to complete their degrees.
Across the United States, more than 1.5 million K-12 students are taking at least one course online. Many families are seeking online learning options because they democratize access to a quality teacher. Education researchers have found that access to a quality teacher at the top of his or her game can equate to an entire year of additional learning for a student. Being subjected to an ineffective teacher, by contrast, can spell disaster for the learning trajectory of a child. Moreover, online learning can ensure that a child living in a rural area, for example, has access to a great physics teacher or even a native French teacher. It can also meet a wide range of student learning needs, from a child who needs remedial education to the child who wants access to Advanced Placement courses.
Taking an online class is no longer a novelty on college campuses, no longer the sole domain of long-distance learners sitting in their living rooms in between jobs and kids. More college students than ever before are demanding it as an option when they register for classes — even traditional students who live on campus. Many are mixing online and conventional classes for convenience or as a way to avoid getting locked out of an overbooked course. At Purdue University, 35 percent of the 8,200 students who took an online class last year lived on the West Lafayette campus. There’s been a similar uptick at Indiana University, which is developing a strategic plan to include online learning in the traditional campus offerings in Bloomington.
About two years ago, the chancellor at University of Wisconsin-Madison developed a campus initiative that needed student support. But social media connections with students were almost nonexistent. While the university had a Twitter account, it streamed nothing but news content. “At that point, we realized we needed to make more meaningful connections to folks,” said John Lucas, university relations specialist and institutional social media manager. Lucas started managing the Twitter account and promoting the campus initiative, which succeeded. And once the university saw that success, the administration realized how instrumental social media could become on a number of different levels.
Over the last four years, Dawley and Haskell have set up the department’s virtual world presence in Second Life. At “EdTech Island,” the department has offered more than 15 graduate courses so far, which generated more than $300,000 of tuition. Along with virtual worlds and quest-based learning, the department is heavily exploring augmented reality and mobile learning. Because mobile devices can go with us everywhere, they’ll change the way we interact with our environment, Dawley says. By using augmented reality, our phones can provide information about what’s around us. EdTech has already had one mobile learning class focused on devices, applications and pedagogy. But the class wasn’t taught on a computer. It was taught on a cell phone.
High school students can get a little more college experience with a new program offered by Brigham Young University Idaho. The university will offer five online courses that count as credit starting in this fall. The new program will target Juniors and Seniors who feel prepared to begin taking college courses, especially those who plan to attend BYU – Idaho as full-time students in the future. Online Degrees Manager Jason Meldrum said it’s their way of preparing those students now.
The Kansas Online Learning Program, an online learning program for Kansas students provided through the Centre School District, is proud to announce their newest service in Kansas education, the Adult Learner Program. “We are very excited to offer adults of all ages a way to get their high school diploma,” said KOLP coordinator Vickie Jirak. “Our online courses allow students to work at their own pace, around their schedule, and from the comfort of their own home. Now that applies to adult students who want to complete their high school education and take control of their future.”