Archive for August, 2012

Online Learning: How Big a Deal Is Apple’s iTunes U Course Manager?

Friday, August 31st, 2012

By Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

In the future I expect that the features available in Apple iOS Courses will improve. FaceTime seems like a natural addition – so students and instructors could easily jump into a video chat when spending time with the educational content. Some sort of assessment and survey engine should be a relatively straightforward addition. Perhaps Apple will add polling, so the iOS Course can be used to complement a face-to-face class. Despite these challenges, I see the evolving Course Manager and iTunes U Courses as a compelling development. We have struggled to find a robust way to deliver a combination of text and multimedia curricular content that is organized around a course narrative to mobile devices.

http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology-and-learning/how-big-deal-apples-itunes-u-course-manager

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Open Online Learning: The MOOC-Led Meritocracy

Friday, August 31st, 2012

By Kevin Carey, Chronicle of Higher Education

The difference comes down to risk and money. Society invests a lot of money in traditional institutions, and going to college is a high-stakes affair. Students who graduate enter a far more hospitable job market, while dropouts represent large amounts of wasted resources, public and private, along with, increasingly, unmanageable debt. MOOC’s, by contrast, aren’t publicly supported and risk nothing but their students’ time. A free, low-stakes, open-access system has far more license to operate as a pure meritocracy. That meritocracy will serve as a powerful mechanism for signaling quality to an uncertain labor market. Traditional colleges rely mostly on generalized institutional reputations and, in a minority of cases, admissions selectivity to demonstrate what graduates know and can do. The opacity of most collegiate learning processes (see again, lack of standards) and the eroding force of grade inflation have left little other useful information.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/conversation/2012/08/23/the-mooc-led-meritocracy/

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Four Education Leaders Partner Up to Disrupt the Already Disruptive Free, Online Learning Course Market

Friday, August 31st, 2012

by Lauren Landry, BostInno

Although dozens of companies have been playing around in the massive open online course (MOOC) space, MIT OpenCourseWare sparked the movement. They’ve published over 2,000 courses, allowing people from around the globe to access syllabi, lecture notes, assignments and videos of virtually all MIT course content. And now, they’re ready to push the envelope even further, having announced a partnership with OpenStudy, Codecademy and Peer 2 Peer University to develop a “mechanical MOOC.”

http://bostinno.com/2012/08/23/mit-opencourseware-partners-with-codecademy-openstudy/

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UT Considering Massive Open Online Learning

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

by Reeve Hamilton, Inside Higher Ed

The University of Texas at Austin is considering getting into the MOOC — massive open online course — game. During a special presentation Wednesday to the University of Texas System Board of Regents on blended and online learning, Harrison Keller, the university’s vice provost for higher education policy, said that UT is in negotiations with Coursera and edX, two of the most prominent companies engaged in the mass distribution of course content from elite universities for free online. “We are looking into this with great interest,” UT President Bill Powers told the Tribune.

http://www.texastribune.org/texas-education/higher-education/ut-looking-massive-open-online-courses/

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Open Online Learning: EdX Announces Free Online Courses for Fall Launch

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

by Ryan Lytle, US News

Although more than 120 universities worldwide have expressed interest in collaborating with the service, edX will begin offering courses from three universities in fall 2012; the University of California—Berkeley being the third. “EdX will actively explore the addition of other institutions from around the world to the edX platform, and we look forward to adding more ‘X Universities’ as capacity increases,” according to the edX FAQ page. The not-for-profit service has announced seven course offerings thus far for its fall launch, ranging from computer science to chemistry to public health.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2012/08/23/edx-announces-free-online-courses-for-fall-launch

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SWGTC offers more online learning classes

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

by Stephen Abel, WALB

One South Georgia technical college now has a record number of students enrolled in online courses. Southwest Georgia Technical College saw a nearly 20 percent increase in online classes offered and signed up for over the last two years. School officials attribute the jump to the economy, new technology, and convenience. “That really is the trend today for convenience. You know students are busy with part-time jobs or extracurricular activities. And just because that convenience, our college, like most, if not all colleges, is having to offer more online courses,” said SWGTC President Dr. Craig Wentworth.

http://www.walb.com/story/19345040/swgtc-offers

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Learning Online: Three Kinds of MOOCs

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

BY LISA, LisaHistory

At the Ed-Media conference, I attended a session by Sarah Schrire of Kibbutzim College of Education in Tel Aviv. In her discussion of Troubleshooting MOOCs, she noted the dificulties in determining her own direction in offering a MOOC in the “Stanford model” MOOCs versus the “connectivism” MOOCs. I found myself breaking it down into three categories instead.Each type of MOOC has all three elements (networks, tasks and content), but each has a goal that is dominant.

  • Network-based MOOCs
  • Task-based MOOCs
  • Content-based MOOCs

http://lisahistory.net/wordpress/2012/08/three-kinds-of-moocs/

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Cal State Adopting Online Learning, Slowly

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

By Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed

The largest public university system in the United States is finally realizing a vision of a centralized online hub — but is doing so in a relatively contained way, at least at the start. The California State University System has announced that Cal State Online will begin offering classes next January, in partnership with Pearson. The 23 campuses in the system have offered virtual courses for years, but unlike numerous other public university systems in the country — see Penn State World Campus and UMass Online — Cal State has been slow to coordinate those offerings in a centralized way.

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/08/22/cal-state-rolls-out-next-stage-its-online-effort

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Education Leaders See MOOCs, Distance Online Learning as the Future of Higher Ed

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

If you were to gather together a thousand academics, researchers, university IT and instructional technology leaders, institutional librarians, technology and media company executives, authors, journalists, futurists, association presidents, and other interested people and ask them to consider the possible impact of the Internet on higher education, the outlook you’d get would closely resemble the rich patchwork of perspective offered in a recent report from Elon University’s School of Communications, as part of its “Imagining the Internet” project. Most of them would say there’s a lot of change coming.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2012/08/20/education-leaders-see-moocs-distance-learning-as-the-future.aspx

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Online and On the Move

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

by Emily Boles, Evolllution

The explosion in popularity of mobile devices raises a host of new possibilities for higher education providers, but there are a number of questions that still need to be answered. Mobile learning, devices and apps are hot topics in education. Though I tend to become very excited about the potential of new technologies and, to be honest, their “cool factor,” it is important to remember the purpose for implementing them. Does the technology assist students in achieving the objectives of the course? Does it improve outcomes? Increase learning? Improve access? As educators we should carefully consider the move toward mobile learning.

http://www.evolllution.com/media_resources/online-and-on-the-move

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Why Would Someone Cheat on a Free Online Learning Class That Doesn’t Count Toward Anything?

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

By Torie Bosch, Slate

Last week on the Chronicle of Higher Education, Jeffrey R. Young reported that “dozens” of cases of plagiarism have been detected in classes offered by Coursera. According to the Chronicle, many of the alleged plagiarism incidents were caught by peer reviewers—students checking one another’s work. Apparently, some Coursera class discussion boards have hosted spirited debates in which users complain about plagiarism—or, in some cases, defend it, saying that since the class isn’t for credit, what’s the big deal? That question should be flipped: If the class isn’t for credit, why bother cheating?

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2012/08/20/coursera_plagiarism_why_would_students_cheat_in_a_free_online_class_that_doesn_t_over_academic_credit_.html

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Big Fat Online Learning Myths – Students Cheat Like Weasels in Online Classes

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

by Vicky Phillips, GetEducated.com

I have taken many tests for courses, both online and on-campus. Online, I’ve been subjected to a final exam proctoring process where I was required to take the exams in person at a local testing site, with a photo ID, under a watchful supervisory eye. I was graduated from a residential liberal arts college Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude, and I can assure you no one, not once in all my years of residential learning, ever checked my I.D. when I sat down to take an exam. Now which system was it again that encourages cheating? But enough of my opinion. There’s real research on this matter.

http://www.geteducated.com/elearning-education-blog/big-fat-online-education-myths-students-cheat-like-weasels-in-online-classes/

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Online Learning, Teaching and Misleading Opinions

Monday, August 27th, 2012

by Michael Horn, Forbes

A couple of pieces in the New York Times and Washington Post have attracted some attention over the past couple of weeks for their descriptions of online and blended-learning environments–and both have made the mistake of assuming that just because one experience is a certain way, that all experiences in these environments are that way. As I have said countless times, just because an experience is online or blended, does not make it necessarily good or bad, just as just because an experience is in a “traditional” face-to-face environment does not make it good or bad. I wrote letters to the editors about both. Given that the editors chose not to publish them, I have chosen to publish them below.  (please see URL)

http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelhorn/2012/07/26/online-learning-teaching-and-misleading-opinions/

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Online Learning for Kindergartners?

Monday, August 27th, 2012

by Caity Doyle, Technapex

Programs such as Los Angeles-based KIPP Empower Academy and San Jose-based Rocketship Education are working to provide online education for low-income elementary school students. These K-4 and K-5 programs, respectively, incorporate online tools in the classrooms, with students working on computers at their own pace or in small groups for part of the day. Teachers can keep track of student progress by glancing at a dashboard, so if a particular student is struggling with a concept, they can stop to help that particular student. Allowing students to work at different paces permits children who have mastered concepts quickly to move ahead. So far, KIPP seems to be getting results: 36 percent of KIPP Empower Academy kindergartners were reading at a proficient or advanced level before implementing the blended learning program. By the end of the year, 96 percent were reading at a proficient or advanced level.

http://www.technapex.com/2012/08/online-learning-for-kindergarteners/

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Online Learning without Instructor? Free Online Course Will Rely on Multiple Sites

Monday, August 27th, 2012

By TAMAR LEWIN, NY Times

A group of online-learning ventures is collaborating on a new kind of free class to be offered this fall, known as a mechanical MOOC (for “massive open online course”), that will teach a computer-programming language by patching together existing resources from open-learning sites. Unlike courses already available online, the new class will not require a traditional instructor, or a large start-up investment. The new course, “A Gentle Introduction to Python,” will blend content from M.I.T.’s OpenCourseWare, instant-feedback exercises and quizzes from Codecademy, and study groups organized by OpenStudy, and will be coordinated through an e-mail list operated by Peer 2 Peer University.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/21/education/mechanical-mooc-to-rely-on-free-learning-sites.html

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Broadband: Huge potential, but access barriers to online learning remain

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

by Laura Devaney, eSchool News

Broadband internet access is crucial for student learning as online and blended learning expand throughout the country, but obstacles such as digital access and policy roadblocks must be addressed, said panelists during an Internet Innovation webinar on broadband’s potential in education. A broadband backbone is invaluable for expanding learning quality and opportunities for students and teachers when it comes to differentiated instruction, content, communication, and administrative needs, said David Teeter, director of policy for the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL).

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2012/08/20/broadband-huge-potential-but-access-barriers-remain/

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Learning Online: High-Tech Study Habits

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

by Kate Knibbs, Mobiledia

As universities, high schools and other learning centers implement more technology, they are discovering how digital tools can help reinforce solid study habits by monitoring online time, preventing plagiarism and even increasing attendance. 98 percent of student respondents use a laptop in the classroom or for educational purposes, underlining how essential portable digital devices are for even basic classroom preparedness. Besides taking notes in the classroom, students use the Internet on and off campus to expand their learning opportunities, joining online study halls and webcam tutoring.

http://www.mobiledia.com/news/160093.html

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Are online learning courses more susceptible to cheating problems?

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

by Maureen Downey, Atlanta Journal Constitution

The Chronicle of Higher Education has an interesting story about plagiarism related to Coursera, a new consortium of colleges offering free, non-credit courses. Among the 16-member participant universities are Georgia Tech, Stanford, Duke, Princeton, University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins. As the Chronicle story notes, plagiarism is a problem even in conventional classrooms, but poses additional challenges in mass-enrolled online courses that rely on peer review and grading of assignments, as does Coursera.

http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2012/08/20/are-online-courses-more-susceptible-to-cheating-problems

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Online Learning / Cloud Learning: Learning is in the air

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

by Keeli Cambourne, Sydney Morning Herald

Weeks away from becoming a reality … a classroom in the clouds. A classroom in the cloud sounds like the stuff of fantasy but for students and staff at TAFE New England Institute, the concept is only weeks away from becoming reality. working on what they hope will become a learning tool of the future and could change the way students learn around the world. Taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by access to high-speed broadband, the Cloud 9 project aims to create a ”classroom in the cloud”, encompassing at least nine different technologies to provide a collaborative, experiential and self-motivated learning environment.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/learning-is-in-the-air-20120819-24gc8.html

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Education’s next wave: ‘Deeper’ learning, online grading, (eventual) end of FCAT

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

BY ANNIE MARTIN AND LINDA TRIMBLE, News-Journal

All Florida students can now take some, or all, of their classes online. This year’s sophomores, and younger students, are even required to do so. Many homeschooling families are also turning to virtual classes. About 200 Florida children skipped the traditional first-day-of-school fanfare by completing their first year of school through online courses. Kindergarten students were able to enroll in full-time virtual kindergarten classes for the first time, with a parent or another adult replacing a classroom teacher as a “learning coach.” Oliva foresees that some schools and students may choose a “blended” model where students split their time between a brick-and-mortar building and their online courses. Whether people are purchasing a car or a hamburger, they expect to customize the final product. It seems education may soon be the same way.

http://www.news-journalonline.com/news/local/east-volusia/2012/08/19/educations-next-wave-deeper-learning-online-grading-eventual-end-of-fcat.html

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The Rise of the New “Online Learning” and the Race for Profits

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

by Jim Farmer, e-Literate

It is unlikely University of Virginia Rector Helen E. Dragas realized the national impact of the email exchanges among the Board of Visitors, made public by the Richmond Times, would have on the public’s perception of online learning. Coursera has become the new expectation of “online learning.” Without any reference either to prior art or to costs and benefits, the press has documented an assessment of why and how online should be widely implemented. Online courses are, they report, very effective, high quality, very low-cost instruction matched to the needs of Internet savvy schedule-constrained students. The expected wave of technology becomes, as one report said, “a tsunami.” Silicon Valley and private equity now appears to be leading the national expectation for the “reform” of higher education. Their impact on the future of higher education will depend upon how immediately and how well higher education responds.

http://mfeldstein.com/blackboard-inc-the-rise-of-the-new-online-learning-and-the-race-for-profits/

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