Archive for November, 2012

Online learning set to change the education landscape

Friday, November 30th, 2012

by Rajiv Rao, Business Standard (India)

India, with its enormous appetite for — but paltry supply of — quality education, sits squarely in the middle of this upheaval. For instance, for-profit Coursera, the leading player in this market which has signed up close to two million unique users in less than six months and has 206 online courses, says Indians comprise 4.83 per cent of its active student base and are its second-largest cohort, next only to the US and ahead of Britain, Canada and Brazil. It offers courses from 33 of the world’s best colleges — Stanford, Princeton, and the Berklee College of Music included. Here, students have access to the same curriculum, even professors, as on-campus students would at these respective colleges. It’s also completely free. Anant Agarwal’s edX is the other pioneer in this field but, unlike Coursera, it is a not-for-profit entity with 10 classes currently offered on its website. However, much like Coursera, it has begun attracting Indians in waves. Overall, India is the second-ranking location for seven of the eight courses that edX offers (US holds the first rank in these seven). It is also the number-one location for an online course that is the bedrock of any MIT education in its campus avatar — Circuits and Electronics — with 30 per cent of its online students based in India (The US was second with 22 per cent).

http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/online-courses-set-to-changeeducation-landscape/493675/

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Sebastian Thrun, winner of the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award for education is redefining the modern classroom

Friday, November 30th, 2012

By Tom Vanderbilt, Smithsonian Magazine

While he still spends a day a week at Google, where he is a fellow, and remains an unpaid research professor at Stanford University (his wife, Petra Dierkes-Thrun, is a professor in comparative literature), Udacity is the place the 45-year-old, German-born roboticist Sebastian Thrun calls home. Udacity has its roots in the experience Thrun had in 2011 when he and Peter Norvig opened the course they were teaching at Stanford, “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence,” to the world via the Internet. “I was shocked by the number of responses,” he says. The class made the New York Times a few months later, and enrollment surged from 58,000 to 160,000. “I remember going to a Lady Gaga concert at the time and thinking, ‘I have more students in my class than you do in your concert,’ ” Thrun says. But it wasn’t just numbers, it was who was taking the class: “People wrote me these heartbreaking e-mails by the thousands. They were people from all walks of life—business people, high-school kids, retired people, people on dialysis.” Thrun, whose demeanor is a blend of continental sang-froid and Silicon Valley sunniness (he peppers the precise speech you might expect from a German roboticist with intensifiers like “super” and “insanely”), had a moment: “I realized, ‘Wow, I’m reaching people that really need my help.’ ”

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-places/How-Artificial-Intelligence-Can-Change-Higher-Education-180015811.html

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University of Miami Offers First Free Online Learning Class to High School Students to Prepare for the SAT

Friday, November 30th, 2012

by the University of Miami Global Academy (UMGA)

“The online high school’s MOOC approach is unique in that students attending will experience live instruction two times a week and have access to online materials throughout the three-week period.” MOOCs are gaining in popularity since being offered to college students at universities around the country several years ago as collaborative learning events. Offered free of charge, these MOOCs have helped college students from around the world learn new subjects in various subject areas and delivered college-level course information. The format opened a revolutionary new approach to education, with over 100,000 students enrolling in single courses. However, little has been done to provide this access to high school students seeking to learn via this exciting method until now.

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20121120005993/en/University-Miami-Offers-Free-Online-Class-High

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Tuition-Free Composition Courses Offered through Online Learning

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

By Richard Nordquist, About.com

Today’s post is for anyone interested in taking college-level composition courses without actually having to go to a college or pay for it. Both the Saylor Foundation and the University of the People host two-course sequences in English Composition–online, tuition-free, and available to everyone. Although these non-profit organizations are unaccredited and the courses don’t lead to a degree, ENGL 001/002 (at Saylor) and ENGL 0101/1102 (at the University of the People) have been designed by experienced professors of English. If you’re the sort of person who can learn a subject without a teacher by your side, you might want to explore these online opportunities to improve your writing skills.

http://grammar.about.com/b/2012/11/23/tuition-free-composition-courses-online.htm

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More prestigious colleges offer courses online

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

by Stephen Smith, Marketplace

The so-called massively open online course,or MOOC, may change the way students learn not only at Harvard, but also at schools across the United States. As states cut their budgets many public colleges and universities are struggling to teach more students with less money. Schools are looking for ways to cut costs. Terry Moe, a political scientist at the Hoover Intuition at Stanford, says mid-tier colleges ought to tap into the free course-ware from leading universities like Harvard to offer more and better classes to their local students. “Suppose you have some Pulitzer Prize-wining historian who is a fantastic lecturer on the civil war? Why should they take pot luck and walk into some classroom and get some professor whose not nearly as good as this person. OK it’s that kind of thing, but applied across the full range of subjects,” says Moe. Moe says struggling schools could teach classes and more students, but with fewer professors.

http://www.marketplace.org/topics/tech/education/more-prestigious-colleges-offer-courses-online

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Princeton University courses go public with online classes, lectures

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

By Lauren Zumbach, the Times

For the pilot courses, professors create the content — lectures, quizzes, online assignments and discussions — and Coursera provides the audience and infrastructure. Many courses are only provided online, but Adelman’s and a few others are also offered to Princeton University students who attend in person. The online students receive no official credit, but Coursera and other similar companies let anyone with an internet connection access a top-notch education. Gideon Rosen, a philosophy professor and chair of a committee on online learning, said that faculty members feel there’s “a genuine moral reason to make as much pedagogy as possible available to a wider audience.”

http://www.nj.com/mercer/index.ssf/2012/11/princeton_university_courses_g.html

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Gates to fund online courses in community colleges

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

by University World News

Online courses provided by some of the top universities in the United States are going to be used by students at local community colleges, in a project funded by the Gates Foundation, writes Sean Coughlan for the BBC. The edX project, set up by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, announced a plan to “bring a new teaching model to the classroom”. It will blend edX’s online lectures and materials with classroom learning. EdX President Anant Agarwal pointed to the value to tight community college budgets.

http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20121123163359435

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Indiana University eyes global audience in online learning venture

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

by Associated Press

Students from around the world could participate in classes at Indiana University through the Web under the university’s aggressive new online education model. The $8 mil­lion move to massive open online courses, or MOOCs, will offer educational badges to students who complete the courses and master certain skills but don’t enroll in degree programs. IU President Michael McRobbie said the new program, which replaces its School of Continuing Studies, will allow the university “to ‘project’ itself beyond the walls of the campuses, and equally importantly, the walls of the classroom of the 21st century.” “It recognizes that the distinction between ‘traditional’ and ‘nontraditional’ students is increasingly blurred and that it no longer makes sense to use different strategies to reach them,” McRobbie said during his latest State of the University speech.

http://www.courier-journal.com/viewart/20121124/NEWS02/311240098/Indiana-University-eyes-global-audience-online-learning-venture

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A bold step in educating the masses by Internet

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

by the Bellingham Herald

Whether or not somebody from Vancouver who has a love of learning can someday receive course credits from Harvard without leaving their living room remains to be seen. But for now, the idea of taking “Introduction to Astronomy” from Duke University, plus “Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies” from the University of Maryland, plus “A History of the World Since 1300” from Princeton University is a delicious prospect. Learning for learning’s sake is one of the great joys of humanity. Some six centuries ago, Gutenberg’s invention of moveable type transformed the knowledge that was available to the masses, ushering in an era in which literacy became widespread. These days, the Internet is forging a similar transformation. And while the Massive Open Online Course is merely the latest innovation, it makes us eager for the next changes in the way the world learns.

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2012/11/24/2778445/a-bold-step-in-educating-the-masses.html

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IU to offer educational ‘badges’ as online learning venture expands to reach global audience

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Indiana University hopes to reach unlimited numbers of students worldwide through an aggressive new online education model. IU plans to spend $8 million as it shifts from its School of Continuing Studies to massive open online courses, or MOOCs, that will offer educational badges to students who complete the courses and master certain skills but don’t enroll in degree programs. IU President Michael McRobbie says the new program recognizes that the lines between traditional and non-traditional students is blurring.

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/5b6e830c568d4d08aad1d3454a65e114/IN–IU-Online-Learning

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Online Learning: Moving Michigan toward ‘a learning model that fits the times’

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

By Tim Martin, MLive

Online learning options would be expanded. More school funding would be tied to performance. Year-round classes would be encouraged. And an early graduation scholarship system would be designed to offer students who are ready an incentive to graduate early and move on to college. State funding – always a key element in school choice debates – would be more tightly tied to students, even if they’re taking classes from multiple school districts. That’s a more fluid system than the one used now, when most of the money distribution is determined by where a student happens to be sitting on a school count day held each autumn. A goal of the project is to “investigate all possibilities of how we could get to a learning model that fits the times, moving Michigan into the ‘any time, any place, any way, any pace’ model” that Snyder called for last year in a special message on education, Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel said.

http://www.mlive.com/education/index.ssf/2012/11/michigan_school_choice_policy.html

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Online vs classroom learning (infographic)

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

by Silicon Republic

Online learning is more beneficial than traditional books-and-chalkboard learning. That’s the gist of an infographic that compares the two learning styles. The infographic designed by Ben Arboleda that’s published on Visual.ly compares the two learning styles side by side, offering the positive aspects of online learning and the not-so-positive aspects of traditional learning in the classroom.

http://www.siliconrepublic.com/innovation/item/30391-online-vs-classroom/

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MOOCs online learning: End of higher ed as we know it?

Monday, November 26th, 2012

by Dana Blackenhorn, the Street

Here is good news for your children and grandchildren: When the latter are ready for college, the former won’t be pushed into the poor house by it. That’s because of MOOCS (massive open online courses), with which universities provide open access to their learning content through online platforms. These are real college courses, taught online, that take advantage of the Web’s scalability and the video capabilities of modern tablets.An undergraduate education used to be an option for Americans, offering a path to the middle class. Now it’s a hostage situation, required to avoid falling out of it. And because some of the hostages struggle to come up with the ransom, experts anticipate that learning will become increasingly disconnected from the pursuit of a degree — much like songs have become unbundled from albums or CDs.

http://money.msn.com/technology-investment/post.aspx?post=14a3a055-bae6-4245-8280-702689db938b

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US universities launch digital online learning to community colleges

Monday, November 26th, 2012

by Education News

Top universities in the US are teaming up with two local community colleges to roll out online learning courses to students. By using edX – the e-learning platform founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – the faculties intend to transform classroom education in various institutions. Due to begin next spring, the project will offer individuals at the Bunker Hill Community College in Charlestown and MassBay Community College a modified version of edX’s Introduction to Computer Science and Programming class. This will include both in-class instruction at both facilities, while the teaching of three MIT professors will be provided via a digital learning portal to supplement the education.

http://www.educationnews.com/2012/11/22/us-universities-launch-digital-learning-to-community-colleges/

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MIT Appoints First Director of Digital Learning in an Effort to Bring Online Learning into the Classroom

Monday, November 26th, 2012

by Lauren Landry, Bostoninno

The school that pioneered online education is now welcoming its first director of digital learning. MIT President Rafael Reif announced Professor Sanjay Sarma would be filling the role, after spending over 15 years developing new instructional techniques for his mechanical engineering students. Sarma will be helping assess how models of online instruction—such as open-source technology platform edX and the accompanying MITx—can be integrated into MIT students’ on-campus education. The Institute’s OpenCourseWare office will be reporting to Sarma, as well, and will continue to work closely with MIT faculty.

http://bostinno.com/2012/11/21/sanjay-sarma-mits-director-of-digital-learning/

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College of Future Could Be Come One, Come All

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

By TAMAR LEWIN, New York Times

These massive open online courses, or MOOCs, harness the power of their huge enrollments to teach in new ways, applying crowd-sourcing technology to discussion forums and grading and enabling professors to use online lectures and reserve on-campus class time for interaction with students. The spread of MOOCs is likely to have wide fallout. Lower-tier colleges, already facing resistance over high tuition, may have trouble convincing students that their courses are worth the price. And some experts voice reservations about how online learning can be assessed and warn of the potential for cheating.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/20/education/colleges-turn-to-crowd-sourcing-courses.html?_show=all&pagewanted=all

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Who says online learning courses will cause the death of universities?

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

by Tom Katsouleas, Venture Beat

I’d like to offer a couple of metaphors for higher education today. One is to celebrate the rise of massive open online courses (MOOCs) like the onset of the textbooks coupled with public libraries. In theory, this opened the totality of human knowledge to everyone. In reality, though, a lot of knowledge is stored in the minds of scholars pushing the edges of their fields. Which means that at the PhD level, research universities play the roles of powering innovation and passing their knowledge on to the next generation. But those roles are subsidized by the undergraduate and Masters education that pays the salaries of the faculty. It is at the Masters level that traditional universities will first feel the effect of MOOCs. In our visits to corporate partners like Apple and Cisco, it was clear that most top engineers and executives are using MOOCs for their lifelong learning in a way that some used to use corporate sponsored masters programs. Although universities provide individual and team project-based learning that are still difficult to replicate online, a Masters education can be taken anywhere.

http://venturebeat.com/2012/11/21/who-says-online-courses-will-cause-the-death-of-universities/

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Online learning: pedagogy, technology and opening up higher education in UK

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

by Nancy Groves, the Guardian

Higher education has always been fond of its acronyms and they don’t get much more prolific than the current four letters doing the rounds. From the December 2011 launch of MITx Stateside to the University of Edinburgh’s decision to join the Coursera platform, MOOCs (or Massive Open Online Courses) have barely been off the education news menu. Nor was the Observer alone in recently asking: “Do online courses spell the end for the traditional university?” Of course, the provision of off-campus higher education is not a recent development. The Open University has championed open and distance learning since 1969 – from its original correspondence courses and late-night TV broadcasts to the latest research and development conducted by its Institute of Educational Technology.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/higher-education-network/blog/2012/nov/21/online-learning-moocs-pedagogy-technology

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Stanford Tackles Challenges of Digital Learning

Saturday, November 24th, 2012

By R. F. MacKay, Stanford News Service

Amid all the hyperbolic proclamations that massive open online courses, or MOOCs, are poised to take over the educational universe, dispassionate and well-trained minds are needed to assess just exactly what is going on with digital and online learning and what we can reasonably expect. Funny how the Stanford School of Education reached that same conclusion. Throughout this academic year, a 1-unit course called Education’s Digital Future (EDF) is bringing together students, faculty and professionals from Stanford and its community to study how digital education works and which models work better.

http://menlopark-atherton.patch.com/articles/stanford-tackles-challenges-of-digital-learning-6ed5559a

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Online learning education trend expands

Saturday, November 24th, 2012

by Mary Beth Marklein, USA TODAY

Colleges and universities have offered online courses for years, but the embrace by elite higher education was “really a game-changer,” says Ray Schroeder, director of the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service at the University of Illinois-Springfield. “Now we’ve really moved to disruption in higher education.” A looming question: Are MOOCs any good? Schroeder’s center, founded in 1997, is working with the American Council on Education to determine whether MOOCs can improve college completion rates, particularly among low-income young adults and older adult learners. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is supporting that effort, and the edX pilot program with community colleges. Last week, it announced 12 grants totaling more than $3 million to study MOOCs, which “hold great promise, but are not without challenges,” says Dan Greenstein, who directs the foundation’s higher education efforts.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/11/18/more-on-board-with-online-education-trend-of-moocs/1713079/

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Online Learning: The Most Important Education Technology in 200 Years

Saturday, November 24th, 2012

By Antonio Regalado, Technology Review

What’s been the single biggest innovation in education? Don’t worry if you come up blank. You’re supposed to. The question is a gambit used by Anant Agarwal, the computer scientist named this year to head edX, a $60 million MIT-Harvard effort to stream a college education over the Web, free, to anyone who wants one. His point: it’s rare to see major technological advances in how people learn. Agarwal believes that education is about to change dramatically. The reason is the power of the Web and its associated data-crunching technologies.

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/506351/the-most-important-education-technology-in-200-years/

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