Archive for December, 2011

M.I.T. Game-Changer: Free Online Education For All

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

by James Marshall Crotty, Forbes

According to the New York Times, in order to prevent confusion, the certificate will be a credential bearing the distinct name of a new not-for-profit body that will be created within M.I.T. The new online platform will look to build upon the decade-long success of the university’s original free online platform, OpenCourseWare (OCW), which has been used by over 100 million students and contains course material for roughly 2,100 classes. The new M.I.T.x online program will not compete with OCW in the number of courses that it offers. However, the program will offer students a greater interactive experience. Students using the program will be able to communicate with their peers through student-to-student discussions, allowing them an opportunity to ask questions or simply brainstorm with others, while also being able to access online laboratories and self-assessments.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesmarshallcrotty/2011/12/21/m-i-t-game-changer-free-online-education-for-all/

Share on Facebook

Online learning students produce online radio

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

by Cottage Country Now Canada

Radio VLC is a student-run online radio station providing entertaining content 24/7 to anyone with an Internet connection. It also provides valuable experience to the students involved. Though they may never meet in person, together a class of virtual learning students produces an online radio station that can be heard around the world. Twenty Grade 10 students at their homes throughout Trillium Lakelands District School Board and beyond, including Hamilton, Ottawa and London, create podcast interviews, ads, apply for music licences, search out free content and set up schedules to keep Radio VLC streaming 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

http://www.cottagecountrynow.ca/news/article/1267473–virtual-learning-students-produce-online-radio

Share on Facebook

Online learning courses get high marks in China

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

By Zhang Yue and Guo Shuhan (China Daily)

On Nov 9, 18 Chinese universities quickly moved to offer distance-learning courses to the public. It is the latest effort by the Ministry of Education to enable college students across the country to access lectures from top scholars. Of the first batch of 20 courses, most featured humanities subjects and are available on NetEase, China Network Television (CNTV) and icourses.edu.cn. Up to 100 online open courses will be offered by the end of the year, and as many as 1,000 courses will be available by the end of 2015, the ministry says. Cyberspace lectures have gained in popularity in China over the past two or three years, relying mainly on courses from foreign universities, subtitled in Chinese.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2011-12/22/content_14304110.htm

Share on Facebook

SF State students design learning in online game to explore ecosystems

Friday, December 30th, 2011

by SF State University

Ilmi Yoon, an associate professor in the SF State Computer Science Department, says Beast Reality can also help ecologists unravel the complex relations within and between ecosystems. At the same time, the players benefit by learning important aspects of ecosystem nurturing and food-web stability while producing significant amounts of scientific data for ecologists that would not be feasible for them to produce themselves. “Multiplayer Online Game style is a new multi-faceted medium of communication to reach the masses effectively that fosters healthy interaction and team cohesion,” Yoon said. World of Warcraft is a popular game from this category. Beast Reality is partially similar to Farmville, which focuses primarily on team collaboration to build and nurture an ecosystem, and partially similar to StarCraft, where two teams battle for survival. As Yoon’s students soon find out, development of a multiplayer online game like Beast Reality requires understanding the technical components of computer graphics, 3D modeling, game engine scripting, network, client-server architecture, database, quality assurance and software engineering. At the beginning of the semester, the students are divided into teams to complete the project, much like they would be in a game design company.

http://www.sfsu.edu/~news/2011/fall/61.html

Share on Facebook

Online learning systems ‘to help detect medical conditions’

Friday, December 30th, 2011

by the Virtual College UK

Medical professionals in America have embraced online learning tools and have launched a new system to help those in the industry detect Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), which affects around ten million US citizens. The Society for Vascular Nursing (SVN) has announced that it will use its e-learning solution, entitled the Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) comma to encourage doctors and nurses to be more aware of the symptoms of this widely-spread condition. If left untreated, PAD can lead to heart attack, stroke, amputation and death, according to the SVN, which suggested that the new tool would aim to reduce fatalities. Marge Lovell, past chair of the PAD Coalition and president elect of SVN, said: “Creating an interactive platform for online learning will allow healthcare professionals the flexibility to access the course information at any time and will be an avenue to promote awareness, detection and treatment of PAD.”

http://www.virtual-college.co.uk/news/Online-learning-systems-to-help-detect-medical-conditions-newsitems-801247573.aspx

Share on Facebook

MIT Online Learning Courses: What Does it Mean?

Friday, December 30th, 2011

By Rhett Allain, Wired

What is MITx? Here are all the details from MIT. Let me just point out some key aspects.

  • Free. Free as in “Grab a brew. Don’t cost nothin.”
  • This is not just course materials (like the Open Courseware Project). It also includes online learning tools. I guess if you think of Open Courseware as a textbook, MITx would be the whole class.
  • Oh, and open source learning tools.

There will be some type of MIT-based certificate based on student mastery. It isn’t quite clear yet, but the announcements does say “mastery” and it does not say “grades”. This could be a great opportunity to move away from grades.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/12/mit-online-courses-what-does-it-mean/

Share on Facebook

Online learning revisited: death knell for the lecture

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

by Katharine Beals, Out in Left Field

Perhaps the best reason for claiming that the lectures are dead, or inappropriate for 21st century classrooms, is that online learning modes offer better alternatives. This is the case made by Daphne Koller, a professor in the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory who teaches one of Stanford’s three online computer science classes, and who is also the author of a recent Science Times article entitled Death Knell for the Lecture: Technology as a Passport to Personalized Education. Presenting content in short, bite-size chunks, rather than monolithic hourlong lectures, is better suited to students’ attention spans, and provides the flexibility to tailor instruction to individual students. Those with less preparation can dwell longer on background material without feeling uncomfortable about how they might be perceived by classmates or the instructor.

http://oilf.blogspot.com/2011/12/online-learning-revisited-death-knell.html

Share on Facebook

B.C. online learning program offers independence to people with intellectual disabilities

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

by ADRIANA BARTON, Globe and Mail

Ms. Parker is enrolled in an eight-month course at the University of British Columbia designed to help people with intellectual disabilities find their own way. Launched in September, the Canadian Inclusive Lives Learning Initiative (CILLI) is a pilot program in which participants learn about decision-making, employment, financial literacy, legal matters and how to access outside resources. Throughout the course, which wraps up in June, Ms. Parker will devote about 10 hours a month to online learning modules and telephone sessions with facilitators, joined by her father, Michael Parker.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health/new-health/health-news/bc-program-offers-independence-to-people-with-intellectual-disabilities/article2274543/

Share on Facebook

Liberty University Creates Online Learning Communities to Help Connect Students Around the Globe

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

by Liberty University

As the world’s largest Christian university, Liberty University has the notable challenge of trying to bring together its more than 70,000 online and on-campus students into a unified college community. To meet this need, the university has created a variety of online outlets to give students an opportunity to interact, ask questions and connect with Liberty no matter where they live. Liberty has a strong social media presence with Twitter accounts, a YouTube channel and several official Facebook pages, including one created especially for students enrolled with the online Christian college option, Liberty Online. The university uses these channels to communicate events and announcements, and students use them to receive updates and get in touch with other Liberty students.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/12/19/prweb9046171.DTL

Share on Facebook

What Students Want in Online Learning

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

by Kathleen Sheridan, National Louis University

National Louis University’s Kathleen Sheridan, Ph.D., associate professor in the National College of Education, discusses what traits students are looking for in online learning. As the use of technology and the Internet increases in early childhood and middle school classrooms, traits for effective instruction online will become needed skills for teachers.

http://youtu.be/TSxHayW4jg8

Share on Facebook

SAVE THE EARTH, TAKE CLASSES ONLINE

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

More and more individuals are embracing web based classes as a credible place to obtain a college degree, mainly because of the evolving technology as well as the benefits they bring. Education naturally can be a wasteful industry, plenty of paper and oil is used in teaching people. Consider the amount of paper that is used in conventional education, and also the amount of gas that is utilized to get students both to and from school. Those who take classes online use barely any paper at all plus they are cutting back on gas given that they do not need to travel to get their education. Altogether, 5.6 million individuals are taking university classes according to a recent survey. Over 15 million trees would be saved if the 5.6 million college students took their classes online as opposed to at a conventional university. A university student taking online university courses is using substantially less paper and also gas, therefore helping the environment. A university campus uses up big amounts of land to build large buildings and dormitories, and also a lot of land is spent on parking lots. An internet based school doesn’t need a huge campus, everything the school has to offer can be accessed with a simple internet connection.

http://atlantadjpartyentertainment.com/2011/12/save-the-earth-take-classes-online/

Share on Facebook

MIT to Expand Online Learning

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

by Sue Gee, i-Programmer

MIT has announced an online learning initiative that will offer its courses through a new interactive learning platform that will enable students to participate in simulated labs, interact with professors and other students and earn certificates. The MITx initiative is being led by MIT Provost L. Rafael Reif. According to Provost Reif: “Students worldwide are increasingly supplementing their classroom education with a variety of online tools. Many members of the MIT faculty have been experimenting with integrating online tools into the campus education. We will facilitate those efforts, many of which will lead to novel learning technologies that offer the best possible online educational experience to non-residential learners. Both parts of this new initiative are extremely important to the future of high-quality, affordable, accessible education.”

http://www.i-programmer.info/news/150-training-a-education/3504-mit-to-expand-online-learning.html

Share on Facebook

Collaborative Online Learning Environments to Foster Creativity, Reuse and Sharing of OER

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

by Paolo Tosato and Gianluigi Bodi, EURODL

The popularity of ICT within teachers has operated a shift between an individual way of producing resources to be used in class and a social way of doing it. Nowadays teachers do not have to be passive users, but reflective practitioners. To do so it is necessary to foster collaboration between teachers and find a way to improve the circulation of knowledge. We believe that Online Community of Practice could be a place in which, not only teachers can share their knowledge on their professional domain, they can also work collaboratively to create-reuse-remix-share Open Educational Resources (OER) to be used by everyone. Furthermore, Online Communities of Practice are the perfect place where the individual creativity and the social creativity can dialogue and give life to new Best Practices. This paper present a project called CREA.ti in which the individual dimension of each teacher is linked to the social dimension of its practice.

http://www.eurodl.org/?p=special&sp=articles&inum=2&article=461

Share on Facebook

Learner Generated Content: Quality Criteria in Collaborative online Learning

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

by Maria Pérez-Mateo, et al; EURODL

This study focuses on quality in a Learner Generated Content (LGC). The main objective is to identify and describe the criteria supporting the quality of the creation of content by those learners working together in an online environment. Contrasting a literature review and learners’ perception, we propose a quality criteria framework for LGC organized in three clusters: content, format and process. Emphasis on both process and end product highlights the LGC’s twofold intention of being useful as a creative new pedagogical strategy and as a way to share educational resources imbued with the learner’s voice and perception.

http://www.eurodl.org/?p=special&sp=articles&inum=2&article=459

Share on Facebook

Exploring OER: Internet Information Literacy, Problem Solving and Analogical Thinking

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

by Cinzia Ferranti, EURDL

In adult learning education contexts, the Internet Information Literacy (IIL) process comprises not only of fundraising for its immediate use, but in particular conditions it also requires to “shed light” on a problematic condition using open educational resources (OER) that incorporate analogical thinking into professional problem solving. This paper presents a model to apply analogy in problem solving (PS). Based on studies, on experimental evidence found in specific literature, and on empirical data obtained from a case study, the model focuses on the awareness level that professional adults engaged in learning activities have in applying this thinking process. Their use of the web and of OER serves multiple purposes: for self-guided training, to plan educational activities, to solve problems or to express their creativity. Field experience conducted during three annual editions of teaching IIL in the specialisation course Social software and Web 2.0 for didactics and education highlighted the importance of setting up online, problem oriented activities which focus on analogical thinking and a creative use of OER.

http://www.eurodl.org/?p=special&sp=articles&inum=2&article=454

Share on Facebook

On-Demand is the Future of Online Learning

Monday, December 26th, 2011

by Bill Cushard, Mind Flash

TIVO and DVRs completely changed the way we watch television. People no longer have to watch a program at the exact time it’s aired, since it’s so easy to record it and watch whenever you have the time. So what can workplace learning professionals learn from the TIVO generation about the future of learning?

http://www.mindflash.com/blog/2011/12/on-demand-is-the-future-of-online-learning/

Share on Facebook

Oxford Open Learning Announces Distance Online Learning Courses Are More Popular Than Ever

Monday, December 26th, 2011

by Digital Journal

School bullying is something that a lot of children have to endure, for many the only answer is to leave school and study from home. According to Oxford Open Learning, an increasing number of students (and celebrities) opt to continue or complete their education by taking distance learning courses. Bullying is a term that stands for overbearing, intimidating or aggressive treatment. Everyone has had to face it at least at one point in their lives and we all know how it feels. The environment in which it manifests most frequently is education, with students who had been bullied as teenagers saying that they had suffered long term, harmful effects lasting into adulthood.

http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/530014

Share on Facebook

2011 Was an Inflection Point for Digital Online Learning

Monday, December 26th, 2011

by Tom Vander Ark, Huffington Post

In November 2010, in his most important speech, Arne Duncan called for more productivity during this ‘new normal’ period of lower revenue. As our second ‘new normal’ year draws to a close, the challenges are numerous but the inflection is clear — the shift to personal digital learning is on and innovations in learning are accelerating!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-vander-ark/digital-learning_b_1162183.html

Share on Facebook

Open Online Learning: Will MITx Disrupt Higher Education?

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

By Robert Talbert

Of course there are a lot of questions about MITx that are yet to be answered. What is the “modest fee” they plan to charge, and is it really affordable? How exactly will the credentialing process work? (It’s interesting that the certification will be handled by a non-profit organization to be formed within MIT. Is this a kind of outsourcing of grading?) How will one “demonstrate mastery” and what will MITx define as “mastery” in courses that are not strictly skills-based? Will there eventually be a full enough slate of courses offered to make the whole system compelling for learners? And perhaps most importantly, what will employers, graduate schools, and even undergraduate institutions make of applicants who come in with some of these MITx certifications? Without external buy-in, MITx will likely be just another continuing education program like hundreds of others.

http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/castingoutnines/2011/12/20/will-mitx-disrupt-higher-education/

Share on Facebook

7 key questions to ask about ed technology, online learning

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

by Cathy N. Davidson, Washington Post

The outcry against exploitative online for-profit education is growing at roughly the same rate as the clamor for increasing amounts of educational technology — laptops, tablets, smart boards — from preschool to life-long learning. Unfortunately, a lot of the conversation is sliding into the “pro” and “con” mode of contemporary punditry. What we most need right now is to pause before we pontificate and to patiently untangle the many intertwined strands in the arguments for and against ed tech. By separating out different threads in this conversation, we can make better decisions about if, when, and in what situations we can really learn effectively online. Here are seven key questions designed to help any parent or student sort out the competing interests that currently drive technology into our schools — or keep technology out of some other schools.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/7-key-questions-to-ask-about-ed-technology-online-learning/2011/12/14/gIQAZ8XouO_blog.html

Share on Facebook

Online Learning at Acadia University

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

by Acadia University

Students, professors, and staff speak about the online learning experience offered by Open Acadia at Acadia University.

http://youtu.be/VnmiIYHhDYA

Share on Facebook