Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Why the Future of Education Is Open - Sean Michael Kerner, eWeek

Anant Agarwal, the CEO of online education platform edX, is on a mission to change the way that people learn. In a keynote address at the LinuxCon conference here, Agarwal explained how open source and big data techniques are being used at edX to help educate millions of people. The edX platform was founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with the promise of redefining the future of education. The edX platform has 2.7 million students around the world. One of edX's most popular classes is an introduction to Linux course from the Linux Foundation, which has more than 250,000 students. http://www.eweek.com/cloud/why-the-future-of-education-is-open.html

Moocs are free – but for how much longer? Chris Parr, Times Higher Education

John Mitchell is vice-provost for online learning and overseer of Stanford’s Mooc programme, which has delivered more than 240 online and blended campus courses to about 2 million people since 2011 – more than 50 of them for free. Professor Mitchell, who is an instructor on a computer security Mooc offered by Stanford on the Coursera platform, said that professional development courses offered universities the best opportunity to grow the income they generate from online courses. “I think [Stanford] will have low cost, high volume, but non-free courses online that will help make our online programmes sustainable,” he said, adding that no college or university was able to continue funding free courses without finding a way to cover the costs. http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/moocs-are-free-but-for-how-much-longer/2015204.article

4 Ways to Enhance Your Class with Google Hangouts - Jennifer Carey, Edudemic

If you are familiar with Google Tools, then you have probably heard of Google Hangouts or even used them yourself. Hangouts is Google’s video conferencing tool, and it’s an incredibly powerful way to engage with others. In addition to standard conference calls, Google Hangouts provide a broadcasting option called Hangouts on Air. This allows you to conduct your Hangout LIVE and record it to post on YouTube. You can participate in a Google Hangout from a web browser on your computer or use one of the free mobile apps for your Apple or Android device. It is important to note, however, that participating in a GHO does require that you enable Google+ (Google’s Social Media Service) and that you be at least 13 years old. However, people of any age may view a GHO broadcast “On Air” or posted to a YouTube channel. http://www.edudemic.com/4-ways-enhance-class-google-hangouts/

Monday, September 1, 2014

Coursera's MOOCs Go To Work: What MasterCard Is Learning - George Anders, Forbes

An intriguing strategy tweak is taking shape at Coursera, the pioneer of massively open online courses, or MOOCs. While Coursera still opens its (virtual) doors wide to anyone who wants to take a free course for the fun of it, the company also is welcoming big firms such as MasterCard, BNY Mellon, AT&T and Shell, as they seek new content for employee training and development. The business case is obvious. http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeanders/2014/08/20/courseras-new-goal-teaching-at-firms-such-as-mastercard/

CAPS goes digital with new online tutoring - Matt Reisen, New Mexico Daily Lobo

This semester a new program will help students bring tutors into the comfort of their own home — electronically. Anne Compton, associate director of the Center for Academic Program Support, said CAPS will debut its new Online Learning Center on Monday, which allows students to receive tutoring from their own computer. The Online Learning Center, a combined effort of CAPS, Extended University and New Media and Extended Learning, will give tutoring to students who may be too busy, or too far removed, to physically go to the CAPS office, but still need assistance, she said. http://www.dailylobo.com/article/2014/08/caps-online

Florida Polytechnic University opens with a bookless library - CAROLYN KELLOGG, LA Times

Florida Polytechnic University is so new that it has only been open for a few days. It's the latest campus in the Florida State University system, has plans to be part of a new Silicon Valley East, and boasts a striking main building designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The main building is the Innovation, Science and Technology Building, which is where most of the 500 new students will spend their time in class. Its second floor includes the Commons, an area that includes its library services. The Commons does have librarians and Internet connections to all the standard electronic resources of a university library. It provides access to a digital catalog that launched with 135,000 e-books. But take a look around the room, and it's completely bookless. http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-florida-polytechnic-opens-with-bookless-library-20140820-story.html

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Teenagers Seek Out Online Courses - Larry Press, A New Domain

As you can see, more than 40 percent of incoming freshman UCLA polled had been frequently or occasionally assigned an online course in the past year. More shocking (to me, anyway) was that roughly 70 percent had sought out an online course on their own. Looking more closely at the information, it is clear public school students had slightly more experience with online courses than those enrolling in private colleges. This makes some sense, as public institutions tend to offer more online courses in their own curriculum. The most fascinating part of this poll for me was that incoming freshman to historically black institutions of learning were much more prone to having engaged with online courses than any other freshman group, whether it was assigned or not. http://anewdomain.net/2014/08/18/teenagers-seek-online-courses/

Students turn to crowdfunding to pay for college - Jana Shortal, KARE 11

"It does cost somewhere between five hundred dollars a month and one thousand dollars a month for a newborn to start funding for college if you want to fully fund," Natalie Brinkman of Prosperwell Financial pointed out for parents saving now for kids to go into higher education the years down the road. Crowdfunding is social media meets fundraising, and college students are using websites like GoFundMe.com or IndieGoGo.com to raise funds. And now, crowdfunding has become popular with students looking to pay for college. According to data from the website GoFundMe.com, 212 students used the site to raise college funds in 2010. So far in 2014, more than 153,000 students have done it or are doing it. http://www.kare11.com/story/life/family/take-kare/money/2014/08/18/thousands-of-students-turn-to-crowdfunding-for-college-tuition/14148553/

Studying in 2014: could online courses become the new norm? - Marni Williams, Career FAQs

Come in. Sit down. Eyes to the front and no talking in the back please. Just kidding, this is online learning! No one cares where you are and you can talk all you like. It’s your course and you can study it however you want to. Chances are that by now you might know at least one person who has studied online (I’m finishing off a Certificate IV in Fitness this weekend). Or maybe you’re in the middle of a bit of online upskilling yourself. Over the past five years, the online learning sector has gone from being a possible disruptor of traditional learning to a serious challenger. It’s found itself on top of industry watchlists, and with more providers and more government-funded courses on offer every other month, it’s clear that it’s here to stay. So why is online education so hot right now? http://www.careerfaqs.com.au/news/news-and-views/studying-in-2014-could-online-courses-become-the-new-norm/

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Tulane's 'Trauma!' course offers new approach to online learning - Jed Lipinski, The Times-Picayune

The Levees.org mini-course is part of a MOOC called Trauma! that will be offered this fall through Tulane. Charles Figley, director of the Traumatology Institute, said the Trauma! MOOC is structured differently than most MOOCs, which have drawn criticism for their high drop-out rates. While most MOOCs are simply online versions of classroom-style classes, Trauma! consists of 10 one-week mini-courses, or what Figley terms "knowledge blocks." Four of the courses are required, but students are allowed to choose the remaining six. "We're taking a Netflix approach," he said. "All the knowledge blocks will be listed online with information about each one. Popular courses may be listed as 'Trending,' others as 'Recommended for You.'" In another deviation from the typical MOOC format, students at Tulane are allowed to take the course for credit. Every week for 75 minutes, the students will meet in a classroom on campus to discuss the course material, Figley said. http://www.nola.com/education/index.ssf/2014/08/tulanes_trauma_offers_new_appr.html

Online MBA courses 'no longer second-rate' - G. Anandalingam, Telegraph

It used to be that online courses were considered second rate; perhaps because the top ranking institutions stayed aloof from the market for so long. But that’s all changed: with some of the world’s best business schools now offering online MBA programmes (among others) the stigma is gone and, in terms of student experience, online technology’s fast pace of development means student experience has improved enormously. As with almost anything based around technology, it’s a process of continuous improvement: the way universities and students use technology is always evolving, making now a very exciting time to be working and studying in this area. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationopinion/11041456/Online-MBA-courses-no-longer-second-rate.html

Mobile technology lets students create their own classrooms - GILLIAN SHAW, Vancouver Sun

Post-secondary students gearing up to return to the classroom will spend an increasing amount of their learning time online. A recent study by H+K Perspectives, Hill + Knowlton’s research arm, and yconic found that students report spending one third of their time doing schoolwork online. “Mobile technologies are changing the landscape of the classroom, of post-secondary education,” said Prof. Thierry Karsenti, Canada research chair on information technology and communications in education at the University of Montreal. “Simply put students are capable of creating their own classroom, a classroom they can access almost from anywhere, at anytime.” http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Mobile+technology+lets+students+create+their/10128650/story.html

Friday, August 29, 2014

Robo-readers aren’t as good as human readers — in some ways they’re better - Annie Murphy Paul, Hechinger Report

Instructors at the New Jersey Institute of Technology have been using a program called E-Rater in this fashion since 2009, and they’ve observed a striking change in student behavior as a result. Andrew Klobucar, associate professor of humanities at NJIT, notes that students almost universally resist going back over material they’ve written. But, Klobucar told Inside Higher Ed reporter Scott Jaschik, his students are willing to revise their essays, even multiple times, when their work is being reviewed by a computer and not by a human teacher. They end up writing nearly three times as many words in the course of revising as students who are not offered the services of E-Rater, and the quality of their writing improves as a result. Crucially, says Klobucar, students who feel that handing in successive drafts to an instructor wielding a red pen is “corrective, even punitive” do not seem to feel rebuked by similar feedback from a computer. http://hechingerreport.org/content/robo-readers-arent-good-human-readers-theyre-better_17021/

Obama: Everyone Should Be Able to Afford Higher Education - VOA News

U.S. President Barack Obama says he wants to make sure that obtaining a higher education is affordable. The U.S. leader said Saturday in his weekly address that paying for a higher education is a "constant struggle" for too many families and he wants to reverse that with new initiatives. The new measures include a reformed student loan system with more money going to students instead of banks, an expansion of grants and college tax credits for students and their families, and a chance for students to cap their student loan payments at ten percent of their income. http://www.voanews.com/content/obama-everyone-should-be-able-to-afford-higher-education/2415612.html

Twitter Has the Research Chatter - Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Academia.edu, ResearchGate and other websites jostle for the title of go-to social network for researchers, but when faculty members go online to discuss their peers’ work, many of them turn to Twitter. That’s one takeaway from Richard Van Noorden’s study of social media use in higher education, published last week in the science journal Nature. Van Noorden, senior reporter for the journal, surveyed 3,509 scholars worldwide this summer about their online habits, and his results suggest many researchers only use the social networks designed specifically for academics to establish a presence, and not much else. When asked specifically about their use, two-thirds of the scholars said they registered Twitter “in case someone wishes to contact me about my research.” https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/08/19/study-scholars-are-present-professional-networks-engage-twitter

Thursday, August 28, 2014

This online school may replace modern liberal arts colleges - Graeme Wood, The Atlantic

On a Friday morning in April, I strapped on a headset, leaned into a microphone, and experienced what had been described to me as a type of time travel to the future of higher education. I was on the ninth floor of a building in downtown San Francisco, in a neighborhood whose streets are heavily populated with winos and vagrants, and whose buildings host hip new businesses, many of them tech start-ups. In a small room, I was flanked by a publicist and a tech manager from an educational venture called the Minerva Project, whose founder and CEO, the 39-year-old entrepreneur Ben Nelson, aims to replace (or, when he is feeling less aggressive, “reform”) the modern liberal-arts college. Minerva is an accredited university with administrative offices and a dorm in San Francisco, and it plans to open locations in at least six other major world cities. http://qz.com/249771/this-online-school-may-replace-modern-literal-arts-colleges/

Don't Let Your Education End at Graduation - LINDSAY GELLMAN, Wall Street Journal

Then there are online courses, which come in many flavors. iTunes U offers free educational content, including lectures, from colleges and universities. Khan Academy (Khanacademy.org), a nonprofit, is a free platform for original tutorial videos and assessments, and users earn virtual badges for mastering a given subject. Codecademy (Codecademy.com) offers free, hands-on online programming courses and exercises. Coursera (Coursera.org), a for-profit online educator, partners with colleges, universities and other institutions to offer courses that are free to take, but there is typically associated course work—graded via machine or by peers—and there might be a charge for an optional course-end certificate. Know your industry—and know when you need to have a skill officially certified, or when informal learning might be sufficient or even preferable. http://online.wsj.com/articles/dont-let-your-education-end-at-graduation-1408234349

NMSU Works To Elevate Online Courses - KRWG NEWS

With more and more college courses transitioning into online formats, New Mexico State University is working to ensure the quality of its online classes matches the quality of those delivered inside the classroom. To reach this goal, NMSU’s Online Course Improvement Program (OCIP) began in 2009 as a partnership between the Associated Students of New Mexico State University/Student Technology Advisory Committee and the College of Extended Learning. http://krwg.org/post/nmsu-works-elevate-online-courses

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

3 ways online courses could become more like iTunes - Denny Carter, eCampus News

Thanks to MIT, modularization could soon be an oft-repeated phrase in online education. Members of the MIT task force, who were asked to examine ways a college education could become more accessible, more affordable, and more effective, pointed to the concept of “modularization” as a key to improving the traditional web-based class model and the nontraditional massive open online course (MOOC). The task force suggested breaking courses into modules — or learning units meant to be studied in sequence but separately. This approach would mimic a person’s ability to purchase bits and pieces of an artist’s music from Apple iTunes, they said. http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/online-courses-itunes/

Is this the “dark horse” of online education? - Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

It’s a perfect storm of economic factors and available technology that’s making competency-cased online education the real disruptive innovation for colleges and universities, say Michelle Weise, senior research fellow of Higher Education for the Clayton Christensen Institute, and Clayton Christensen, co-founder of the Institute and the Robert and Jane Cizik Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. “Workforce training, competency-based learning, and online learning are clearly not new phenomena,” explains Weise. “But online competency-based education is revolutionary because it marks the critical convergence of multiple vectors: the right learning model, the right technologies, the right customers, and the right business model.” http://www.ecampusnews.com/technologies/online-competency-college-587/

Which massive online courses are women taking? - Denny Carter, eCampus News

Coursera recently sought to answer that question, drilling down into enrollment data to see which classes, exactly, women were taking on the popular Coursera platform. Food and nutrition topped the list of Coursera classes women prefer, with more than 60 percent of enrollees in those classes identifying as female. Teacher professional development ranked second with almost 60 percent female enrollment. Medicine, arts, and health and society came in a close third with more than 50 percent female enrollment. But again, it was STEM courses and related fields that saw low levels of female enrollment and participation, according to Coursera’s findings. http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/women-online-890/