Online education is here to stay

August 4th, 2015

by HARI K. RAJAGOPALAN, the Hindu

I work in a small public university in South Carolina, U.S., and we pride ourselves on providing an excellent liberal arts education. The School of Business is accredited at the highest level by AACSB, an international accreditation body. The 2008 recession and the resulting slump in the economy caused enrolments in the MBA programme to drop. The first thing we did was take a survey of our former students and companies in our area who pay for their employees to do an MBA. The most important feedback was that attending classes from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. after a full day’s work was not convenient for them. Online programmes, they pointed out, were convenient and more suitable for working adults. Online learning is here to stay and I believe it will revolutionise the education industry. It will make learning more accessible, cheaper and might enhance the learning experience for students if done properly. It is important, however, to ensure that the learning experience is legitimate and implemented correctly.

http://www.thehindu.com/features/education/college-and-university/online-education-is-here-to-stay/article7464376.ece

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Get with the program: the coders offering training for free

August 4th, 2015

by Kit Buchan, Guardian

‘Why are we not doing more to have coding colleges and technical, vocational education alongside university education?” This question, raised by Labour’s Yvette Cooper during an interview with the Observer in May, reflects a wide concern about the availability and equality of software training, an area with a reputation for being elusive, exclusive, expensive and overwhelmingly male. Calls to improve the state of digital education in the UK have become commonplace, with new coding initiatives appearing all the time. The international Hour of Code claims to have given millions of Britons a taste of programming, while the government declared 2014 the official Year of Code”. Female programmers can join Girls who Code’ or Ladies who Code’ programmes; the BBC recently launched its Make it Digital’ campaign; and even the online grocer Ocado has thrown its hat in the ring with a scheme called Code for Life’. But while the national curriculum now includes programming for children as young as five, there is still a dearth of affordable, vocational options in higher education, despite a rocketing number of well-rewarded jobs for software developers.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jul/26/founders-coders-coding-free-training-london

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Universities explore credit options for online learning courses

August 4th, 2015

by Timna Jacks, Syndney Morning Herald

Oscar Cooke-Abbott is halfway through an undergraduate course in Physics at elite Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Oh, and he’s 16. He is one of an estimated 2000 school students in Australia studying courses at the world’s top universities for free, through an online platform called Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). Oscar and his friends believe the platform is “the future of the classroom”. And the Australian tertiary sector appears to agree. Universities are now exploring options to give students like Oscar credit for their hard work. Vice Chancellor of the Australian National University Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington is lobbying Australia’s state-based school assessment authorities to accredit the university’s Astrophysics MOOC, taught by Nobel Laureate and Vice Chancellor-to-be Brian Schmidt.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/universities-explore-credit-options-for-online-learning-courses-20150725-gikbg5.html

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Mobile Data Usage To Reach 52 Million Terabytes This Year

August 3rd, 2015

By Joshua Bolkan, THE Journal

Mobile data usage will increase 59 percent this year over last to reach 52 million terabytes, according to a new report from market research firm Gartner. The company predicts that growth will continue through 2018, when mobile data usage will reach an estimated 173 million TB. “Mobile data traffic is soaring worldwide, more than tripling by 2018,” said Jessica Ekholm, research director at Gartner, in a prepared statement. “New, fast mobile data connections (3G and 4G) will grow more slowly, from 3.8 billion in 2015 to 5.1 billion in 2018, as users switch from slower 2G connections and consume more mobile data.”

http://thejournal.com/articles/2015/07/22/mobile-data-usage-to-reach-52-million-terabytes-this-year.aspx

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U.S. expanding internet access to 200k low-income kids

August 3rd, 2015

By Corinne Kennedy, McClatchy

A new program to connect low-income households in public housing with internet access and internet-capable devices announced July 15 will aim particularly at children and include training to help program participants maximize their use of the new devices and technology. ConnectHome will link 270,000 households, and 200,000 children, with broadband access in 28 communities including the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma. “It’s not just making the internet more accessible,” Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro told reporters as the White House unveiled the program. “It’s making it more meaningful for students and parents by providing digital literacy training.”

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/07/23/internet-communities-942/

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Online learning can address Texas talent dilemma

August 3rd, 2015

Veronica Vargas Stidvent, chancellor of WGU Texas, My San Antonio

To meet our present and future workforce needs, Texas employers must look beyond the 18- to 21-year-old “traditional student” cohort. In the U.S. in 2011, only 29 percent of students enrolled in a four-year public or nonprofit college were full-time students of standard college age. We need a broader solution, one that provides ample opportunity for nontraditional students — Texans who work full time and cannot logistically or financially afford to leave careers to enroll in college full time. Many Texans may have started, but were unable to complete, their undergraduate or graduate degrees for a variety of personal or professional reasons. It isn’t feasible for many of these potential students to stop working to pursue additional education. They need flexibility. We’re hopeful that employers, state leaders and our colleagues in higher education will recognize the promise of online learning and competency-based education for a workforce that demands flexibility and affordability.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/commentary/article/Online-learning-can-address-Texas-talent-dilemma-6404293.php

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Making an Impact With Self-Service Video Recording

August 2nd, 2015

By Meg Lloyd, Campus Technology

Penn State’s One Button Studio has changed the meaning of “video literacy,” giving students and instructors the tools to create professional-looking videos without technical assistance. One Button Studio is just that simple: You walk into the studio and plug in your thumb drive, which triggers the lights to come on and all the equipment to start up, ready for recording. Get your mind on your presentation and your toes on the mark. Hit the big silver button when you want to begin … and again when you want to end. Thoughtfully designed studio presets assure a high-quality recording and the most bang for the buck from single-camera-angle recording. While there’s nothing new about recording studios, the One Button Studio has broken new ground with its foolproof simplicity and rock-solid dependability. Now any student, professor or staff member can successfully produce videos with absolutely no technical assistance.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/07/23/making-an-impact-with-self-service-video-recording.aspx

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I Flipped my Classroom the Hard Way – But You Don’t Have To!

August 2nd, 2015

By Pasha Souvorin, GPB Blog

I did this the hard way – by spending hundreds of hours recording my own video tutorials and building them into a website. The exciting news I have to share is that this is no longer necessary. PBS LearningMedia has put together one of the most amazing collections of instructional videos I’ve ever seen. At this point, there are over 100,000 digital resources on their website. There are several powerful ways to use these tools. First of all, teachers can browse for videos by standards. If you have a series of curricular standards that you need to teach, you can easily find videos tailored to those standards. Teachers can also create storyboards, assignments, and even quiz questions to go along with the videos. Once teachers have built an online “lesson” around some PBS LearningMedia resources, it’s easy to share that lesson with classes. Plus, all of the material is the high quality work of PBS. If you are a teacher who is thinking about flipping something – an assignment, a unit, or even a whole class, PBS LearningMedia is a great place to start.

http://www.gpb.org/blogs/education-matters/2015/07/24/i-flipped-my-classroom-the-hard-way-you-don%E2%80%99t-have

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Disruptive Innovations In Higher Ed Emerging From Outside Mainstream

August 2nd, 2015

by Michael Horn, Forbes

In education, online learning is the first disruptive innovation since the advent of the printing press. Combined with competency-based learning—in which students progress upon true mastery of their learning, not because of an arbitrary time-based measure— there is a big opportunity to transform our higher education system into a more affordable, student-centered one that is able to serve many more students. True to form, we are seeing a variety of potentially disruptive organizations powered by online learning emerge from outside traditional higher education. These upstarts are reaching those students who need more education but for reasons having to do with convenience and accessibility, simplicity, and cost, are, at that point in their lives, nonconsumers of traditional higher education. The organizations are generally simpler, more focused institutions than our traditional colleges and universities.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelhorn/2015/07/23/disruptive-innovations-in-higher-ed-emerging-from-outside-mainstream/

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Program to train female Saudi online teachers

August 1st, 2015

by RASHID HASSAN, Arab News

The National Center for e-Learning and Distance Education has come up with a comprehensive e-learning program to prepare Saudi female graduates as faculty members and institutional administrators for the development of online education in the Kingdom. The center announced the program on Monday in partnership with the Open Education Consortium, the network for open education committed to advancing its impact on global education. According to the plan, the core of the yearlong program is to build on principles of online learning in the US to prepare female faculty and university leaders with skills in online and blending learning, which is a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through delivery of content and instruction via digital and online media with some element of student control over time, place, path and pace.

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/780236

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31 Elite Colleges That Offer Free Online Learning

August 1st, 2015

by Business2Community

Whether you’re a high school grad looking for a challenge or an adult who wants to indulge in world-class learning on their own time, there’s probably something for you in the long list of MOOCs offered by these institutions. The education experts at StartClass sifted through the top ranked schools to find those who offer MOOCs. They highlighted a few interesting examples of classes and detailed the platform each school uses. Note that these courses aren’t for credit.

http://www.business2community.com/us-news/31-elite-colleges-that-offer-free-online-learning-01284554

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Has E-Learning Gone Wild Again?

August 1st, 2015

by Josh Bersin, CLOmedia

E-learning is back with a vengeance. Digital learning today is more exciting, dynamic and relevant than ever. Video, social experiences, gaming and online accreditation are all common. And this time, e-learning really works. Our research shows that most large companies today are in the middle of a digital renaissance; they desperately need to re-engineer their employee learning experiences to accommodate this new, refreshing, exciting market. You should take e-learning seriously. It will disrupt many of the systems you have. It will force you to shift to learning experience design. It will put stress on your learning management system and infrastructure. But its value has increased, which is why being a CLO or learning leader is more exciting now than it has been in years.

http://www.clomedia.com/articles/6386-has-e-learning-gone-wild-again

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Recognizing Online Degree Programs Across State Lines

July 31st, 2015

by the American Council on Education

A More Uniform Way of Recognizing Online Degree Programs Across State Lines, with SARA as a Focus (PDF) 1 MB (http://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Documents/Quick-Hits-State-Authorization-Reciprocity-Agreement.pdf)

The process for regulating postsecondary online courses and programs needs to become more uniform nationally in order to safeguard students and ensure that institutions can provide quality education at a reasonable cost. Learn more about recognizing online degree programs in this “Quick Hit” paper.

http://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Pages/Quick-Hits-SARA.aspx

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Anytime and Anywhere: A Case Study for Blended Learning

July 31st, 2015

by Rachael Hains-Wesson, Sophie McKenzie, and Shaun Bangay; EDUCAUSE Review Online

Using live streaming with blended learning helps engage off- and on-campus students in real time and enhances the off-campus experience by incorporating synchronous activities in addition to the usual asynchronous interactions. Research into the effective use of blended learning frameworks offers opportunities to create course experiences that are personal, relevant, and engaging. Challenges include integrating appropriate technology and managing it effectively throughout the course. Results from practical experiments will likely guide future learning and teaching endeavors using technology for inclusive, interactive, and collaborative learning for on- and off-campus students.

https://www.educause.edu/ero/article/anytime-and-anywhere-case-study-blended-learning

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7 Common Mistakes About Open Online Education

July 31st, 2015

Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

There is huge excitement on our campuses about the research in how people learn, in new methods to improve learning, in the use of data to bring evidence to our teaching designs, and in new technologies to support teaching. The scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL) is taking off in a big way. Learning is hot. Educators are cool. And MOOCs deserve some of the credit. The hype around MOOCs played the same role as the dot com bubble. MOOCs helped lay the groundwork for a sustained conversation about how people learn and how we teach

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology-and-learning/7-common-mistakes-about-open-online-education

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New Registry Will Demystify Badges, Credentials and Degrees

July 30th, 2015

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

George Washington University, Southern Illinois University and Workcred, a nonprofit affiliate of the American National Standards Institute, are teaming up to build a “credential registry” that would increase the transparency and value of industry credentials and degrees. The registry “will allow users to easily compare the quality and value of workforce credentials, such as college degrees and industry certifications, using a Web-based system with information provided directly by the institutions issuing the credentials,” according to a press release. The work recently received a $2.25 million grant from the Lumina Foundation. The credential registry project aims to create a coherent credentialing marketplace with information on what the credentials mean, what stands behind them and how they relate, that all users can understand and use effectively.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/07/09/new-registry-will-demystify-badges-credentials-and-degrees.aspx

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Purdue Faculty Help Each Other Learn Steps of Tech Transfer

July 30th, 2015

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

To help innovators at Purdue University convert their technology ideas into commercial endeavors, the university is running a mentoring program where faculty help other faculty. Deliberate Innovation for Faculty (DIFF) is a team of faculty members who have already had success in moving an invention into commercialization. The seven DIFF mentors come from all over the institution — the college of technology; the school of management; the schools of biomedical engineering, chemical engineering and mechanical engineering; the college of engineering; and the Homeland Security Institute. Help may include guiding research proposals or collaborations from the beginning of new projects, providing early stage discovery or startup direction and proposing funding sources, market research and business planning.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/07/06/purdue-faculty-help-each-other-learn-steps-of-tech-transfer.aspx

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How online education could narrow the global skills gap

July 30th, 2015

by Anant Agarwal, Fortune

While the primary mission of our colleges and universities should remain focused on education, rather than skills training, many influencers in both higher education and the private sector have acknowledged the skills gap and are experimenting with new approaches—sometimes teaming up on initiatives to augment the college experience. Business leaders and educators alike are turning to new technologies, and skills-based assessment practices, to find and train the workforce needed today. The skills gap is a real threat to productivity in the U.S. The education world and the professional world can address this issue by finding ways to work together with the help of online education, opening up more avenues to learners and employees alike based on skill and ability.

http://fortune.com/2015/07/20/how-online-education-could-narrow-the-global-skills-gap/

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Reuters Exclusive: Education company Blackboard seeks $3 billion sale – sources – LIANA B. BAKER, GREG ROUMELIOTIS AND MIKE STONE, Reuters

July 29th, 2015
Blackboard Inc, a U.S. software company that provides learning tools for high school and university classrooms, is exploring a sale that it hopes could value it at as much as $3 billion, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.  Blackboard’s majority owner, private equity firm Providence Equity Partners LLC, has hired Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE) and Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) to run an auction for the company, the people said this week. Blackboard has annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of around $200 million, some of the people added. Two of the people said that Blackboard could fetch a valuation between 14 times to 17 times EBITDA, up to $3.4 billion, based on current multiples of subscription-based software companies.
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Online Classes on the Rise

July 29th, 2015

By Jim Anderson – Illinois Radio Network

The University of Illinois is heavily invested in offering courses online, but the president doesn’t want the on-campus environment to suffer. But President Timothy L. Killeen says the college campus should not be seen as an anachronism. “Learning in group settings, learning through access to experts who are providing tutorial information, explanatory information, looking at case studies, the discourse that takes place on a campus, just the vibrant atmosphere of a campus, including things such as athletics and clubs and events and so forth, makes for a rounded citizen,” he said. But he’s all-in on distance education, saying it’s good for real people with real lives, including members of the military. However, he says it’s important that the U. of I. maintain the same standards for quality online that it keeps on campus. Killeen insists there is not competition between on-campus and online education, at least within the University of Illinois, which has been offering online courses since 1997.

http://www.riverbender.com/news/details/online-classes-on-the-rise-182755.cfm

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Carts Before Horses: Growth in Online Learning for Students, but Who Will Teach Their Instructors?

July 29th, 2015

by Barbara Kurshan, Forbes

By 2003, 81% of colleges had at least one online class, and from 2002 to 2008 there was a 187% increase of students taking online classes. In 2010, 83% of CEOs and small business owners considered an online degree to be as credible as one earned traditionally, and today, 96% of traditional universities offer online courses. In 2013, President Obama pledged over $500 million for the creation of online course materials as part of his commitment through ConnectED. We contend that the real issue — and the one that largely goes unaddressed — is that the majority of people who teach online are given virtually no assistance in learning how to teach online. Professional development for these instructors is limited to lunch ‘n’ learns, basic learning platform support, and other technology-related resources, but generally fails to expose instructors to the best techniques for online instruction.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/barbarakurshan/2015/07/20/carts-before-horses-growth-in-online-learning-for-students-but-who-will-teach-their-instructors/

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