Sunday, March 29, 2015

Learning How to Practice Medicine—Virtually - Alia Wong, the Atlantic

Soon, an aspiring Physician's Assistant might be able to complete nearly all this coursework online—and through an Ivy League to boot: Yale. Yale announced earlier this month that it’s partnering with 2U, Inc.—a firm that helps selective nonprofit universities develop virtual degree programs—to launch its online PA initiative. The project is still pending approval by the accrediting commission for PA schools and from various state licensing agencies. But if it gets the green light, it would likely be the country’s first fully online PA degree. (Some programs are considered "hybrid" and entail a combination of on-campus and online coursework.) It would also become Yale’s first fully online master’s program and join the university’s existing on-campus PA program, which was launched in the early 1970s.

Report: To Unlock Potential of Ed Tech, Use a 'Closed-Loop' Instructional Approach - Joshua Bolkan, THE Journal

A new report from the World Economic Forum and Boston Consulting Group finds skills gaps in language arts, math science, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity and curiosity among a range of countries and income levels and suggests that technology could help address the issue. The report argues "that for technology to reach its greatest potential it needs to be better integrated into an instructional system we call the 'closed loop.'" The closed loop system suggested in the report includes creating learning objectives, developing curricula and instructional strategies, delivering instruction, embedding ongoing assessment, providing appropriate interventions, tracking outcomes and learning, then feeding the results back into creating new learning objectives.

Why and how communicators should create infographics - Tess Pajaron,

Visual storytelling captures attention and delivers messages that stick in viewers' minds. Here are some fundamental approaches, along with tools to streamline the process. Together with the predicted rise of content marketing, it's likely that during the next couple of years we'll witness a growing interest in brand infographics. Infographics are a smart content feature. They provide lots of valuable information and tips in a visually inspiring form. How can you create great infographics that will captivate your audience and clearly communicate your message?

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Local college to let students decide on-the-fly to go to class in-person or online - Lauren Hertzler, Philadelphia Business Journal

Peirce College has a new program that takes its historically flexible schedule to the next level. For the past year, the college has been testing a model where students can decide on-the-fly to attend class in person or online. It’s aimed at the students that primarily make up Peirce’s population — the working adults that are often hit with last-minute tasks for a job or for their family. If they can’t make it to class due to a sudden engagement, they can read up on all the lecture notes at a later date and even, in some cases, receive audio feedback on assignments and turn in assignments online. For online students, it allows them the opportunity to go to class for that extra in-person interaction if need be.

Masters Level Computer Science From Udacity - Sue Gee, i-programmer

Applications for the Fall 2015 admission to Georgia Tech's Online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMS CS) are due before April 17, 2015. But if you don't want to wait you can follow along for free with Udacity. President Obama visited Georgia Tech last week and pointed to the OMS CS as an example of the kind of innovation needed by the United States to address the rising costs of higher education. This is because, with tuition entirely online, students are charged as little as $6,600, less than one-sixth of the cost of an on-campus equivalent at $45,000.

Anyone Can Be a Teacher in This Online School - JONAH BROMWICHMARCH, NY Times

Susan Orlean was considering giving up teaching. She had taught courses at New York University and at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference at Middlebury College but was finding it difficult to maintain a consistent class schedule while fulfilling her obligations as a staff writer for The New Yorker. “I just started thinking, well, maybe there’s a different way to do this that doesn’t tie me to a physical location,” she said. “And right around that time, Skillshare contacted me.” Skillshare is an online video platform that allows anyone to sign up and teach a class. The company has proved adept at recruiting experts to teach on its website. Aside from Ms. Orlean’s class on creative nonfiction, the website has a class on visual storytelling from the design maven Debbie Millman and a marketing course taught by the entrepreneur Seth Godin. The company allows users to determine the courses they want to teach and take. A thousand courses are available for $10 a month.

Friday, March 27, 2015

For Online to Really Matter in Education, We Need to Re-Define Competency - Ryan Craig, Wired

In a decade, online education may be recognized not for making higher education accessible to anyone with a smartphone—but as the midwife who delivered competency-based learning into the world. Like so many other technology-driven advances, competency-based learning is theoretically possible in a paper-pencil world. Global positioning is, after all, feasible without a handheld GPS. But it’s not nearly as appealing, and a long way from a mass-market product. Competency-based learning turns higher education on its head – starting not with the curriculum, but rather the competencies one should exhibit upon completion (according to, say, employers).

Instructional Designers by the Numbers - Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

CNN Money says that being an Instructional Designer is the 38th best job in America. According to CNN Money (2012) there are 217,700 Instructional Designers. Expected job growth over 10 years is 28.3 percent. says that Instructional Designers rate a 5 out of 5 in the “extremely satisfied” category. 70 percent of Instructional Designers have been on the job less than 10 years, 38% less than 4. Women outnumber men 61% to 39% The national average salary for an Instructional Designer is $61,000. The highest paid Instructional Designers are in San Francisco (a 23% wage premium), Washington (22%), Los Angeles (18%) and Seattle (16%). The most senior Instructional Designers, those with 10 to 20 years of experience, have average salaries between $70,000 and $80,000.

New Free Guide Offers Expert Advice for Achieving Competency-Based Ed - Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

A new report from two organizations that focus on converting schools and districts to the use of blended learning and the competency model lays out a roadmap to help school leaders begin the transformation. "Maximizing Competency Education and Blended Learning: Insights from Experts" from CompetencyWorks and the International Association of K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), culls advice from 23 experts who attended a workshop specifically to discuss "how to accelerate the transformation of districts and schools to personalized, competency-based, blended learning models."

Thursday, March 26, 2015

EdX Partnership with Microsoft, Smithsonian Could Provide Professional Preparation - HANNAH SMATI, Harvard Crimson

EdX, a massive open online course platform founded by Harvard and MIT in 2012, will launch seven courses on programming and cloud technologies in collaboration with Microsoft. A motivation behind the partnership might have been to reach edX’s student audience, according to Ray Schroeder, associate vice chancellor for online learning at the University of Illinois Springfield. Schroeder said there is an increasing number of employers looking for students that have specific technical skills for entry-level jobs, and so collaborating with edX would be a good way to target potential employees.

LinkedIn Expands Efforts to Help Colleges Keep in Touch With Students and Alumni - Casey Fabris, the Chronicle of Higher Ed

LinkedIn is doing more these days to attract college students, and to work with colleges to use the website to get better data on what their students do after graduation. The social-networking company announced on Wednesday a new feature that allows college students and graduates to add their college affiliation to the education section of their profile by clicking a button on the college’s website or in an email from the college. When they do that, public information from their profile, such as where they live and work and what they do, is then compiled into college-specific metrics.

Britannica® and Merriam-Webster® Announce Free English Learning App and Site for Spanish Speakers - Merriam-Webster

Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. and Merriam-Webster, Inc. are pleased to announce the launch of Nglish—a free English language learning app and site designed especially for Spanish speakers. In addition to full bilingual text translation, Nglish offers a unique and tailored learning experience that allows users to learn the words they want to learn, on their own schedule, wherever they are. Nglish includes a comprehensive Spanish-English dictionary with hundreds of thousands of example sentences in English, synonyms, and audio pronunciations by native speakers. Word and sentence translation is available from Spanish to English and English to Spanish. Automatic language detection makes translation fast and easy, with one single search box for both languages.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Market 2015-2020 - MarketWatch

MOOCs appears as a very lucrative and commercially interesting solution for many companies looking to implement effective training programs for employees, MOOCs have the potential to revolutionize the corporate learning industry. Visiongain believes that 2015 will be a pivotal year and one of significant growth for MOOCs market as vendors address demands of higher education providers, schools and organizations. Not only will the MOOCs market flourish across education & learning sector. This growth will also generate additional demand across many industries especially wireless infrastructure, big data and cloud computing. The IT sector will also witness huge growth through widespread implementation of Big Data to derive maximum value from the valuable data collected via MOOCs and Cloud services for the seamless delivery of MOOCs no matter where you are located. As a consequence, Visiongain expects global MOOCs revenue to reach $1.5 billion in 2015.

5 Questions to Ask About Online Community College Courses - Ian Quillen, US News

The vast majority of two-year schools offer at least some online learning options. And as far back as 2008, a third or more of community college students in states like Virginia and Washington took at least one online course during their studies, according to the Community College Research Center at Columbia University's Teachers College. But online learning at public two-year schools presents some unique challenges students may not expect. So before students choose a partial or fully online route for their community college experience, they might want to answer the following five questions about any potential program.

Access free online courses with your L.A. County library card - Colleen Park, My LA News

Everyone with a Los Angeles County library card now has access to free online video courses teaching business, technology and creative skills, the county’s lead librarian announced Tuesday. The new program, dubbed, can be accessed remotely and on mobile devices, allowing users to learn at their own pace. “All you need is a county public library card and PIN to access’s vast collection of courses,” County Librarian Margaret Donnellan Todd said. “Our patrons can take an unlimited number of classes with 24-7 access on their computer or smartphone.”

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

People Who Use Firefox or Chrome Are Better Employees - JOE PINSKER, the Atlantic

Cornerstone’s researchers found that people who took the test on a non-default browser, such as Firefox or Chrome, ended up staying at their jobs about 15 percent longer than those who stuck with Safari or Internet Explorer. They performed better on the job as well. (These statistics were roughly the same for both Mac and PC users.)

24 Data Science Resources to Keep Your Finger on the Pulse - Cheng Han Lee, Udacity

There are lots of resources out there to learn about, or to build upon what you already know about, data science. But where do you start? What are some of the best or most authoritative sources? Here are some websites, books, and other resources that we think are outstanding.

Online course aims to put public gardens on a community mission - Alex Koeberle, Cornell Chronicle

Cornell has joined an effort to teach public garden educators how to use natural assets as a resource for learning and social change within their communities. Crnell has joined a national online education effort designed to help public garden educators transform their natural assets into community resources for scientific knowledge and social change. The first online class co-hosted by Cornell, a free six-week online course called EECapacity for Public Garden Educators, wrapped up last month and is part of an ongoing national environmental education training program. Lectures were delivered as a series of live videos, with opportunities for participants to answer questions and provide feedback on Facebook.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Engaging Faculty in Online Education - Karen H. Sibley and Ren Whitaker, EDUCAUSE Review

By drawing on direct experience, facilitating learning from peers, and exploring engagement practices, Brown University's online development team is creating an online learning "adoption wave" among faculty. The online development team continues to introduce ways of helping faculty and senior administrators more fully understand and expand on the opportunities online learning presents. An institution steeped in the traditions of residential education and initially dubious of online education now builds on its early success with online learning.

Faculty Success Means Student Success: Supporting Online Faculty - Mary Grush, Campus Technology

The push for "student success" is all around us. Today, new campus IT implementations, software development efforts, and academic program redesigns all seem conceived in the popular context of student success, or they are in some significant way connected to it. But what about the notion of "faculty success"? Michael E. Cottam is Webster University's Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Director of its Online Learning Center. He has moved innovative support programs for online faculty forward there and in his previous posts with very large online programs at higher education institutions including Rio Salado College and Mount St. Mary's University Online. Michael Cottam: I think faculty are the most important piece in achieving student success. In spite of all the supports we might provide (advisors, success coaches, counselors, tutors, and so forth) I do not believe that student success will happen without really effective faculty.

Higher ed gets a new domain in .college - Tara GarcĂ­a Mathewson, Education Dive

XYZ, the company that owns .college, is opening the first sales period for its domain today to registered trademark holders looking for matching .college addresses. The “sunrise” period lasts until April 17 and will offer domain registry for free, XYZ announced today. XYZ is announcing its sales push for .college domains as a way to open opportunities for colleges and universities that were previously restricted by the regulations surrounding .edu. Accredited, post-secondary, U.S.-based institutions were the only ones with access to .edu, while .college will be available to higher education institutions, organizations trying to recruit the campus community, and individual professors, departments, or programs, according to XYZ. Back in 2013, XYZ CEO Daniel Negari said he expected .college to supplement .edu, not replace it. That is probably a safe bet as .college sales get underway this week.