Online Learning Update

January 3, 2014

Mom, Do Your Homework!

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

By Joe McGonegal, MIT Technology Review

Agarwal says embracing texting has helped him communicate with his own teenage daughter. Parents and teachers both need to accept changing technology, he said in a TedGlobal talk this year. “Let’s embrace technology and the millennial generation’s natural predilections.” Sonal Patel has since enrolled in two more edX courses. In online discussion groups, she found a growing body of MIT parents like herself taking their children’s courses alongside, or soon after, them. She formed an MIT parents Facebook group, whose page has become a place to recommend courses, discuss their children, and praise their favorite professors.Many parents enjoy classes and appreciate the insights they gain about their students’ college lives. “What really drove me to edX, and [certain] classes in particular, was taking a class that I knew that my daughter had taken or would eventually take,” says Ric Cazares, who is the parent of a junior and has completed 6.002x and 2.01x, Elements of Structures. “Even though our respective experiences with the classes are very different, I feel good knowing that I have a feel for a couple of her classes.

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The 50 Best Free Online Education Web Tools Of 2013

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

There’s a wealth of education related web tools out there that can make your life easier and turn your computer, phone, and/or tablet into a teaching and learning powerhouse.  But because there are SO many tools out there, selecting the best ones can turn into a full time job. Downloading a ton of apps, researching, and testing different web tools can take hours – hours that you probably don’t have if you’re busy teaching and having a life.

Thankfully, the folks over at Edublogs have put together this great that is filled to the brim with the best education tools, and the best part is that they’re all free! So you can feel free to try any or all of them out without a huge financial commitment. And they’ve been prescreened for you by folks who have put them to use in the classroom.

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January 2, 2014

UC forging ahead with cross-system online courses

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

By Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times

UC Riverside senior Matthew Emeterio was worried that he might be short of degree credits and have to delay graduation past next spring. But thanks to a soon-to-debut online program linking far-flung UC campuses, he expects to finish on time. Starting next month, the political science major will be enrolled in a UC Davis course on climate change that he will be able to take via his computer mainly at night and on weekends, in addition to a full daytime load of traditional in-person courses at UC Riverside. He will be among the pioneers in an effort encouraging UC students to tap into faculty brainpower and curricula across the UC system while also exploring emerging online education.,0,6798231.story

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An Online Learning Revolution, and It’s Starting in Rural Africa

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:03 am

by Stephan Spencer, Huffington Post

Currently, there are 10 “eSchool360” schools in rural Zambia. They were built and are being run by a NYC-based non-profit called Impact Network. The teachers are given tablets and projectors to deliver e-Learning lessons. The schools are outfitted with solar panels to power these electronics. The eLearning curriculum, created by a Zambian organization called iSchool, was designed to move the country’s educational system away from rote memorization. Teachers are also provided weekly professional development focused on helping them use the technology and enhance their pedagogical skills. Management staff travel to schools by motorbike through areas where formal roads don’t exist.

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Virtual Stress: Dealing with Online Classes

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

By Maria Castaneda, the Prospect

So you want to take a course outside of what your high school has to offer? More often than not, you will find that there is a plethora of courses available online. My high school is relatively new, so there is not a wide variety of courses available, but they did offer me the opportunity to take courses on the Internet. At first I was intrigued by the idea of taking a course online and being part of a virtual classroom, but I soon found out that an online class brings its own set of stress factors. Of all the classes I have taken in my high school career, online classes were the most challenging for me because I had no idea what they entailed. The material was not too difficult, but I did not know how to approach an online class. Taking an online class is simple once you get the hang of it and I am here to give you some tips I would’ve liked to know when I started taking online classes.

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January 1, 2014

2013 in education: The year online learning met market forces

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

by Lauren Hepler, Silicon Valley Business Journal

If 2012 was the year that MOOC madness gripped the education world, then 2013 was a year of maturation in the education technology market. Last year, signing up hundreds of thousands of online students for free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) was enough to generate excitement and, in some cases, eight-figure startup funding rounds. Over the past 12 months, however, education technology purveyors have started to reposition themselves, targeting differentiation and increased revenue in a crowded market. In one noticeable shift, startups are branching out from the higher education sector targeted last year by MOOC providers. The K-12 technology market, for instance, is now booming thanks to the looming implementation of new Common Core education standards.

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Productivity and online learning redux

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:07 am

BY TONY BATES, Online Learning and Distance Education Resources

In previous posts (see end of this post), I tried to identify a range of areas where online learning might enable productivity gains. In this post I will bring them together and state what I believe are the areas that offer the potential for the greatest gains, given current knowledge. At this stage my conclusions are very subjective but I hope they will provide a framework for further studies and for better and more systematic data collection…. The whole purpose of this arduous exercise is to promote debate and discussion about productivity and online learning. So I’d really welcome your comments. It would be great to hear from people with experience in productivity in other areas besides education, and to hear from those in education about the potential or dangers of applying the thinking around productivity to online learning.

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MOOCs in 2013: Breaking Down the Numbers

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

by Dhawal Shah, EdSurge

These courses are known as “MOOCs” (Massive Open Online Courses), a term that has now become a part of our everyday vocabulary. (It was recently added to the Oxford Dictionary.) Over the past two years, MOOCs have been embroiled in controversy with regards to their efficacy and role in relation to traditional in-person university classes. And it’s still not clear whether they have a sustainable business model. However, while the debate rages on, teachers have been busy offering MOOCs and students have been signing up in droves–we estimate at least 10 million people have registered for MOOCs. The number of courses offered has grown from about 100 MOOCs in 2012 to almost 700 starting in 2013, with an average of nearly two new MOOCs starting every day. More than 1200 courses have been announced so far.

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