e-Education:  The Shocking Future

Bob Jensen at Trinity University

Table of Contents

Overview of The Future of Higher Education
Introductory Quotations
Long-Term Future of Education and Education Technologies
(including cloud computing, grid computing, Blogging, Podcasting, and video games
Test Drive Running a University ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#TestDrive 
Computing, 2016: What Won’t Be Possible?
Motivations for Distance Education and Enrollment Data  
Updates on the Quality and Extent of Distance Education in the United States
Models for Distributed/Distance Education
Classroom and Building Design --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Design 
Comparative Advantages of Colleges and Universities
Corporations and Universities Sign Partnership Pacts
Corporations Sign Pacts With Professors Affiliated With Prestige Universities
Universities Partner With Each Other
Degree and Certificate Programs Online

MOOCs, SMOCS, Future Learn, iversity, and OKI Free Learning Alternatives Around the World
 
Technology Aids for the Handicapped and Learning Challenged  
University of California's XLab  
A Crystal Ball Look Into the Future (including Concept Knowledge)
Babson College's experiments with "Tailor-Made Degrees" 
A Cloudy Crystal Ball
Distance Education Magazines and Journals  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm#Resources 
The term "electroThenic portfolio," or "ePortfolio," is on everyone's lips. What does this mean?
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#ElectronicPortfolio
Is your distance site operating within the law in terms of access by disabled students?
Schools must demonstrate progress toward compliance.
Bob Jensen's threads on blogs and listservs are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm

Social Networking for Education:  The Beautiful and the Ugly
(including Google's Wave and Orcut for Social Networking and some education uses of Twitter)
Updates will be at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm

"A Time Traveler's Journey Through Education Technology," Center for Digital Education, May 29, 2013 ---
http://www.centerdigitaled.com/news/A-Time-Travelers-Journey-Through-Education-Technology.html

 

 

Introductory Quotations

"CONVERSATION WITH BOB JENSEN," by Joe Hoyle, Teaching Blog, October 8, 2013 ---
http://joehoyle-teaching.blogspot.com/2013/10/conversation-with-bob-jensen.html

Related Links:

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology and learning theory ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm 
 
Bob Jensen's threads on listservs, blogs, and social networking ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm

 

Bob Jensen's Threads on Shared Open Courseware (OCW) from Around the World: OKI, MIT, Rice, Berkeley, Yale, and
Other Sharing Universities (OKI. MOOCs, SMOCs, etc.)-
--
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

 

Bob Jensen's threads on Higher Education Controversies ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

 

Bob Jensen's Home Page ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/

"The History of Ed Tech Shows It's Not About the Device," by David Thornberg, T.H.E. Journal, July 24, 2014 ---
http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/07/24/the-history-of-ed-tech.aspx

In June 1997, THE Journal published an article called Computers in Education: A Brief History.” That article is still one of the most popular on our website, but — to put it mildly — a lot has changed in ed tech since then. This is less a sequel to that article than a companion piece that dips back into the past, traces the trends of the present and looks to the future, all with an eye toward helping districts find the right device for their classrooms. 

When thinking about the role of technology in education, the logical starting point is exploring why the connection between computers and education was ever made in the first place. My starting point is Logo, an educational programming language designed in 1967 at Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN) by Danny Bobrow, Wally Feurzeig, MIT professor Seymour Papert and Cynthia Solomon. This language was a derivative of the AI programming language LISP, and ran on the PDP-1 computers from Digital Equipment Corp. Seymour Papert had studied with constructivist pioneer Jean Piaget, and felt that computers could help students learn more by constructing their own knowledge and understanding by working firsthand with mathematical concepts, as opposed to being taught these concepts in a more directed way.

In 1973 the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center introduced the Alto computer, designed as the world’s first personal computer. At Xerox, Papert’s push to turn kids into programmers led to the development of Smalltalk — the first extensible, object-oriented programming language — under the direction of Alan Kay. Because these early computers were captive in the research lab, local students were brought in to explore their own designs.

Another path to educational technology began that same year, when the Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium (MECC) was started in an old warehouse in Minneapolis. Part of the state's educational software push, the original programs were simulations designed for a timeshare system running on a mainframe, with terminals placed in schools. Using this system, students could take a simulated journey along the Oregon Trail, for example, and learn about the importance of budgeting resources and other challenges that faced the early pioneers. Another simulation let the students run a virtual lemonade stand. Years later, the MECC software was rewritten for early personal computers.

In the early days, educational computing was focused on the development of higher-order thinking skills. Drill-and-practice software only became commonplace much later, with the release of inexpensive personal computers. By the late 1970s, personal computers came to market and started showing up in schools. These included the Commodore PET (1977) and Radio Shack TRS-80 (1977), among many other systems. But the computer that ended up having the greatest impact on schools at the time was the Apple II, also introduced in 1977. One characteristic of the Apple II was that it used floppy disks instead of cassette tapes for storing programs and also supported a graphical display, albeit at a low level. The first generation of computers in schools was not accompanied by very much software, though. The customer base was not yet big enough to justify the investment.

The Uses of Ed Tech, Past and Present

In 1980, Robert Taylor wrote a book, The Computer in the School: Tutor, Tool, Tutee. The underlying idea in this book was that students could use computers in three different ways: 1) As a tutor running simulations or math practice, for example; 2) as a tool for tasks like word processing; or 3) as a tutee, meaning the student teaches the computer to do something by writing a program in Logo or BASIC. This model touches on several pedagogical models, spanning from filling the mind with information to kindling the fire of curiosity. Even though technologies have advanced tremendously in the intervening years, this model still has some validity, and some contemporary technologies are better suited for some pedagogies than others.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology ---
http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/07/24/the-history-of-ed-tech.aspx

Bob Jensen's threads on the history of computers and networking ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob2.htm#---ComputerNetworking-IncludingInternet

 


Is the Lecture Hall Obsolete?: Thought Leaders Debate the Question ---
http://www.openculture.com/2014/04/is-the-lecture-hall-obsolete.html

For Motivated Students Studies Show Pedagogy Alternatives Don't Differ Significantly
The No-Significant-Differences Phenomenon ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm#AssessmentIssues

Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade (including classroom flipping) ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

 


From Hapless to Helped
"autodidacts disadvantaged by distance" (Don't you love love alliteration as a memory aid?)  In the quotations below, contrast and compare the impact of the interactive Internet and ebullient email on evolving education from 1858 versus 2001.  

The Year 1858

When the University of London instituted correspondence courses in 1858, the first university to do so, its students (typically expatriates in what were then the colonies of Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, and South Africa), discovered the programme by word of mouth and wrote the university to enrol.  the university then despatched, by post-and-boat, what today we would call the course outline, a set of previous examination papers and a list of places around the world where examinations were conducted.  It left any "learning" to the hapless student, who sat the examination whenever he or she felt ready:  a truly "flexible" schedule!  this was the first generation of distance education (Tabsall and Ryan, 1999):  "independent" learning for highly motivated and resourceful autodidacts disadvantaged by distance. (Page 71)
Yoni Ryan who wrote Chapter 5 of
The Changing Faces of Virtual Education --- http://www.col.org/virtualed/ 
Dr. Glen Farrell, Study Team Leader and Editor
The Commonwealth of Learning


Columbia University's Open Syllabus Project Gathers 1,000,000 Syllabi from Universities & Reveals the 100 Most Frequently-Taught Books ---
http://www.openculture.com/2016/01/the-open-syllabus-project-gathers-1000000-syllabi-from-universities.html

These are 51/200 hits at at http://explorer.opensyllabusproject.org/  after filtering on "Business"

1 444 87.4
Corporate Finance
Ross, Stephen A.
2 348 74.5
Intermediate Accounting
Kieso, Donald E.
3 232 75.9
Investments
Bodie, Zvi
4 220 58.2
Managerial Accounting
Garrison, Ray H.
5 201 48.2
Fundamentals of Corporate Finance
Ross, Stephen A.
6 199 88.8
Marketing Management
Kotler, Philip
7 129 81.9
Principles of Corporate Finance
Brealey, Richard A.
8 127 74.8
Organizational Behavior
Robbins, Stephen P., 1943
9 126 34.5
Essentials of Investments
Bodie, Zvi
10 123 41.0
Fundamentals of Financial Management
Brigham, Eugene F., 1930
11 96 26.0
Accounting Information Systems
Romney, Marshall B.
12 96 92.2
Project Evaluation
Due, Jean M.
African Studies Review
13 94 49.8
Statistics for Management and Economics
Keller, Gerald
14 91 59.9
Real Estate
Case, Frederick E.
15 90 96.1
C : How to Program
Deitel, Harvey M., 1945
16 84 32.6
A Random Walk Down Wall Street
Malkiel, Burton Gordon
17 83 24.5
Cost Accounting : A Managerial Emphasis
Horngren, Charles T., 1926
18 77 100.0
The Elements of Style
Strunk, William, 1869-1946
19 77 27.1
Financial Management : Theory and Practice
Brigham, Eugene F., 1930
20 75 20.3
Fundamental Accounting Principles
Wild, John J.
21 68 31.8
International Marketing
Cateora, Philip R.
22 65 72.5
Management
Drucker, Peter F. (Peter Ferdinand), 1909-2005
23 65 60.4
Good to Great
Collins, James C. (James Charles), 1958
24 63 19.6
Corporate Finance
Berk, Jonathan B., 1962
25 59 24.1
Retailing Management
Levy, Michael
26 59 23.9
Fundamentals of Corporate Finance
Brealey, Richard A.
27 58 19.4
Financial Modeling
Benninga, Simon
28 58 72.7
Options, Futures, and Other Derivatives
Hull, John, 1946
29 57 15.5
A Framework for Marketing Management
Kotler, Philip
30 56 67.1
Principles of Marketing
Kotler, Philip
31 54 17.3
Financial Accounting
Libby, Robert
32 54 13.1
Marketing Management
Winer, Russell S.
33 47 29.9
Global Business Today
Hill, Charles W. L.
34 44 18.9
International Financial Management
Eun, Cheol S.
35 43 19.2
Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management
Reilly, Frank K.
36 43 15.0
Analysis for Financial Management
Higgins, Robert C.
37 43 38.9
International Business : Competing in the Global Marketplace
Hill, Charles W. L.
38 40 67.6
Leading Change
Kotter, John P., 1947
39 40 12.7
Personal Financial Planning
Gitman, Lawrence J.
40 38 26.9
Marketing : An Introduction
Armstrong, Gary
41 38 9.7
Intermediate Financial Management
Brigham, Eugene F., 1930
42 37 23.4
Asset Pricing
Cochrane, John H. (John Howland)
43 36 84.3
Getting to Yes
Fisher, Roger, 1922-2012
44 36 44.3
The Basic Practice of Statistics
Moore, David S.
45 35 10.3
Federal Tax Research
Raabe, William A.
46 35 24.8
Pocket Guide to APA Style
Perrin, Robert, 1950
47 35 6.1
Marketing : The Core
Kerin, Roger A.
48 35 12.4
Foundations of Financial Management
Block, Stanley B.
49 34 30.6
On the Folly of Rewarding A, While Hoping for B
Kerr, Steven
The Academy of Management Executive (1993-2005)
50 34 41.5
Contemporary Strategy Analysis
Grant, Robert M., 1948
51 34 5.0
Spreadsheet Modeling in Corporate Finance
Holden, Craig W.

Continued up to 200 at http://explorer.opensyllabusproject.org/  after filtering on "Business"

Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

 


"What You Need to Know About MOOC's," Chronicle of Higher Education, August 20, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/What-You-Need-to-Know-About/133475/

. . .

Who are the major players?

Several start-up companies are working with universities and professors to offer MOOC's. Meanwhile, some colleges are starting their own efforts, and some individual professors are offering their courses to the world. Right now four names are the ones to know:

edX

A nonprofit effort run jointly by MIT, Harvard, and Berkeley.

Leaders of the group say they intend to slowly add other university partners over time. edX plans to freely give away the software platform it is building to offer the free courses, so that anyone can use it to run MOOC’s.

Coursera

A for-profit company founded by two computer-science professors from Stanford.

The company’s model is to sign contracts with colleges that agree to use the platform to offer free courses and to get a percentage of any revenue. More than a dozen high-profile institutions, including Princeton and the U. of Virginia, have joined.

Udacity

Another for-profit company founded by a Stanford computer-science professor.

The company, which works with individual professors rather than institutions, has attracted a range of well-known scholars. Unlike other providers of MOOC’s, it has said it will focus all of its courses on computer science and related fields.

Udemy

A for-profit platform that lets anyone set up a course.

The company encourages its instructors to charge a small fee, with the revenue split between instructor and company. Authors themselves, more than a few of them with no academic affiliation, teach many of the courses.

The Big List of 530 Free Online Courses from Top Universities (New Additions) --- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2012/09/new_additions_to_our_list_of_530_free_online_courses_from_top_universities_.html

"The Future Is Now?" by Joe Hoyle, Teaching Blog, August 13, 2012 ---
http://joehoyle-teaching.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-future-is-now.html

Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs, MITx, and Courses from Prestigious Universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education and training alternatives in general ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on asychronous learning ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm


Believe it or Not

Jima Ngei: “I had this unrelenting fear that this miracle of free access might evaporate soon.
"250 MOOCs and Counting: One Man’s Educational Journey," Chronicle of Higher Education, April 20, 2015 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/250-MOOCsCounting-One/229397/?cid=wb

If the MOOC movement has faded, nobody told Jima Ngei. Mr. Ngei, who lives in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, has completed and passed 250 MOOCs, all through Coursera, since September 2012. His self-styled education has included courses in English common law and Chinese history, data science and Latin American culture, social epidemiology and the life of Thomas Jefferson, to name a few. (Nikki Garcia, a spokeswoman for Coursera, confirms that he has passed 248 courses, 83 of them with distinction, and Mr. Ngei says he just passed two more.)

Mr. Ngei, who went to college but didn’t graduate, says he has worked as an artist, a secretary to a tribal king, and an occasional consultant and producer of school-management software for elementary and secondary schools. Now unemployed, he volunteers as a community teaching assistant for Coursera courses.

MOOCs, he says, have given him a high-quality education that he never could have imagined, and a new outlook on life. Mr. Ngei discussed his experiences via email with Carolyn Mooney; here is an edited version of their conversation.

How did you happen to take your first MOOC, and what was it?

My love for MOOCs began when I started accessing materials from MIT OpenCourseWare. Then, two and a half years ago, I attended a social event and tried to join in a conversation but discovered I could barely understand what people were talking about. I realized I had to get re-educated fast — and soon. I also perceived my lower socioeconomic status more glaringly than ever.

I enrolled in two edX courses: "Circuits and Electronics" and "CS50x: Intro to Computer Science." But I couldn’t complete either, because of the high bandwidth demands. Next I took a Udacity course, but I found the complete absence of deadlines and social space difficult to work with. Then I discovered Coursera and completed "Introduction to Operations Management" and "Organizational Analysis" during the fall of 2012.

You managed to complete well over 200 MOOCs, and you earned statements of accomplishment, which many Coursera courses award those who meet the course requirements, for 233 of them. What inspired you to keep going?

Taking MOOCs through Coursera was the only way I could get a high-quality education, and I had this unrelenting fear that this miracle of free access might evaporate soon.

Continued in a long article

This Harvard Course is Free
Harvard MOOC:  edX: Introduction to Computer Science
---
 https://www.edx.org/course/introduction-computer-science-harvardx-cs50x

Bob Jensen's threads on other free MOOC courses from prestigious universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI


"MOOCs haven't lived up to the hopes and the hype, Stanford participants say," by Dan Stober, Stanford Report, October 15, 2015 ---
http://news.stanford.edu/news/2015/october/moocs-no-panacea-101515.html
Thank you Glen Gray for the heads up.

October 17, 2015 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Glen,

Is the message that learning from Stanford professors is not worth the price of $0?

Actually I think the message is that for many folks who try MOOCs the work of learning is too intense and time consuming given their lack of commitment to keeping up with the class.

Richard Campbell once revealed to the AECM that when he tried to learn from a MOOC it was like "trying to drink from a firehose." I dropped out of a C++ programming course because my heart just was not in keeping up with the class. Ruth Bender revealed to the AECM that completing a MOOC was one of the hardest things she ever tried.

In my viewpoint MOOCs are not a good model for introductory students where more hand holding is generally needed. MOOCs are better suited to highly specialized advanced courses for learners who are way above average in terms of aptitude and prior learning.


"A Billion People in the Dark:  Solar-Powered Micro Grids Could Bring Power to Millions of the World's Poorest," by Kevin Bullis, MIT's Technology Review, October 24, 2012 --- Click Here
http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/429529/a-billion-people-in-the-dark/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20121029

The village of Tanjung Batu Laut seems to grow out of a mangrove swamp on an island off the coast of Malaysian Borneo. The houses, propped up over the water on stilts, are cobbled together from old plywood, corrugated steel, and rusted chicken wire. But walk inland and you reach a clearing covered with an array of a hundred solar panels mounted atop bright new metal frames. Thick cables transmit power from the panels into a sturdy building with new doors and windows. Step inside and the heavy humidity gives way to cool, dry air. Fluorescent lights illuminate a row of steel cabinets holding flashing lights and computer displays.

The building is the control center for a small, two-year-old power-generating facility that provides electricity to the approximately 200 people in the village. Computers manage power coming from the solar panels and from diesel generators, storing some of it in large lead-acid batteries and dispatching the rest to meet the growing local demand. Before the tiny plant was installed, the village had no access to reliable electricity, though a few families had small diesel generators. Now all the residents have virtually unlimited power 24 hours a day.

Many of the corrugated-steel roofs in the village incongruously bear television satellite dishes. Some homes, with sagging roofs and crude holes in the walls for windows, contain flat-screen televisions, ceiling fans, power-hungry appliances like irons and rice cookers, and devices that need to run day and night, like freezers. On a Saturday afternoon this summer, kids roamed around with cool wedges of watermelon they'd bought from Tenggiri Bawal, the owner of a tiny store located off one of the most unstable parts of the elevated wooden walkways that link the houses. Three days before, she'd taken delivery of a refrigerator, where she now keeps watermelon, sodas, and other goods. Bawal smiled as the children clustered outside her store and said, in her limited English, "Business is good.

Continued in article

Jensen Question
Will this also become a giant market for specially-designed MOOC courses?
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

 


You can read about the early knowledge portal experiment at Columbia University that offered great hopes by failed early on.
Fathom was one of the early on initiatives to create an academic knowledge portal somewhat similar to Wikipedia, although Columbia and its prestigious university partners were taking on responsibility for content rather than users. Fathom was not a Wiki.

Bob Jensen's threads on Fathom and Other Knowledge Portals ---
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/portals.htm
Note that this page was written before Columbia and its partners abandoned the costly effort.

Fathom Partners



"A Pioneer in Online Education Tries a MOOC," by Ann Kirschner, Chronicle of Higher Ed, October 1, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/A-Pioneer-in-Online-Education/134662/?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

MOOOOOOOOC! Surely "massive open online course" has one of the ugliest acronyms of recent years, lacking the deliberate playfulness of Yahoo (Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle) or the droll shoulder shrug suggested by the word "snafu" (Situation Normal, All Fouled Up).

I'm not a complete neophyte to online learning. Back in 1999, I led the start-up team for Fathom, one of the earliest knowledge networks, in partnership with Columbia University and other institutions here and abroad, and I'm a board member of the Apollo Group. So I was understandably curious about these MOOC's. With fond memories of a thrilling virtual trip a dozen years ago to Ephesus, Turkey, via a multimedia-rich, self-paced course created by a professor at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, I decided to check out a MOOC for myself.

Coursera, a new company that offers free online courses through some of the world's best-known universities, had the widest and most impressive selection. I blocked my ears to the siren call of science fiction, poetry, and history and opted for something sober: "Health Policy and the Affordable Care Act." It's taught by the Emanuel brother who isn't the Chicago mayor or the Hollywood superagent—Ezekiel Emanuel, an M.D. and Ph.D. who teaches at the University of Pennsylvania. For the next eight weeks, I was part of a noisy, active, earnest, often contentious, and usually interesting group of students. There didn't seem to be any way to gauge the number enrolled, but I learned about the students from a discussion group. There were quite a few lawyers, doctors, and other health-care professionals. Some were struggling with personal health disasters and wanted tools to predict how the health-care act would affect their futures. Some were international researchers doing comparative studies. Others were higher-education folks like me, testing the MOOC waters.

The quality and format of the discussions were immediate disappointments. A teaching assistant provided some adult supervision, but too many of the postings were at the dismal level of most anonymous Internet comments: nasty, brutish, and long. The reliance on old-fashioned threaded message groups made it impossible to distinguish online jerks from potential geniuses. I kept wishing for a way to break the large group into small cohorts self-selected by background or interests—health-care professionals, for instance, or those particularly interested in the economics of health care. There was no way to build a discussion, no equivalent to the hush that comes over the classroom when the smart kid raises his or her hand.

If you believe the sage's advice that we learn much from our teachers and colleagues but most of all from our students, MOOC's will be far more effective when we are able to learn from one another.

Not surprisingly, enterprising MOOCsters are already organizing themselves outside the online classroom, using social-media tools like Google Hangouts and Facebook. In New York, students schedule meetings in Starbucks; in Katmandu, a group relies on Meetup to get together. Some course providers are facilitating external interaction: Udacity has offered Global Meetup Day with Sebastian Thrun, the Stanford University computer scientist (and Udacity co-founder) known for his course on artificial intelligence. Coursera threw a giant barbecue in Menlo Park, Calif., complete with volleyball and beanbag tossing.

Of course, peer learning takes you only so far: At some point, somebody has to know something about the subject. Professor Emanuel was a presence only in videos, but these were uniformly excellent. The cameras caught him walking briskly around an actual lecture hall, and I liked the presence of shadowy classmates sitting in Philadelphia, as if this were happening in real time. The videos were pleasantly peppered with pop-up quizzes. No embarrassment for the wrong answer, and I was ridiculously pleased at correctly guessing that the proportion of health-care costs in the United States that goes to prescription drugs is only 10 percent. For those in a rush, watching at twice normal speed is sort of fun— don't you secretly wish you could sit through some meetings at double speed?

I was a faithful student for a few weeks, until I fell prey to my worst undergraduate habit, procrastination—only now my excuses were far more sophisticated. I have to finish a manuscript! I have a board meeting! I have to meet my mother's new cardiologist!

In a MOOC, nobody can hear you scream.

I might have abandoned the charming Professor Emanuel altogether had the Supreme Court's decision to uphold President Obama's health-care program not injected the spice of real-time action into the discussion and refreshed my interest.

Somewhere between the videos and the readings and the occasional dip into the discussion groups, I found myself actually learning. I was particularly interested in how malpractice contributes to health-care costs but was instructed by my professor that the potential savings there amounted to mere "pencil dust." And who knew about the proposed National Medical Error Disclosure and Compensation Act of 2005, which would have reduced the number of malpractice cases, accelerated their resolution, and lowered costs by two-thirds?

To earn a certificate, I would have had to submit several essays for a grade, and I stopped short of that (see excuses above). Essays are peer-graded, and it won't surprise anybody who has ever taught undergraduates to hear that the student evaluations can be fierce. On the discussion boards, there was considerable discussion of grade deflation, plagiarism, and cheating. Alas, academic sins do follow us into the land of MOOC's, despite a nicely written honor code. Bad behavior in any classroom, real or virtual, should be no more surprising than gambling in Casablanca. In fact, brace yourself for a breathtaking new form of voluntary identity sharing: Your fake student avatar, now available for a small fee, will take your class for you.

Looking back, I suppose Fathom was a proto-MOOC, and I confess to some surprise that the Coursera format has evolved little beyond our pioneering effort of a decade ago. Yet when it came time to assess the course, I found myself rating it pretty highly, and concluded that aside from the format, the failings were mostly mine, for lack of focus. Like many MOOC students, I didn't completely "finish" the course. However, the final evaluations seemed mostly enthusiastic. From the comments, most of the students seemed to find the course long on substance: "comprehensive," "a good balance between the law, policy, and economics," "rich with multiple perspectives on health-policy issues."

Now, I could have read a book or done this on my own. But you could say the same thing about most education. A course is not a book but a journey, led by an expert, and taken in the company of fellow travelers on a common quest for knowledge. My MOOC had those elements, albeit in a pretty crude form.

You'd have to live under a rock not to know that crushing student debt, declining state support, and disruptive technologies have made it imperative to look at new models for teaching. The competitive landscape for higher education is changing every day. China recently declared the goal of bringing half a million foreign students to its shores by 2020, and is investing in programs friendly to Americans and other international students. American MOOC's may point the way to retaining the best students and faculty in the world, while adding the lively and collaborative components of technology-enhanced teaching and learning.

It is true that nobody yet has a reasonable business plan for these courses, and there is concern over completion rates and whether colleges are "giving away the farm," as a recent MIT alumni-magazine article put it. It is not hard to anticipate the end of free and the start of the next stage: fee-based certificate programs built around MOOC's. But for now, the colleges leading those efforts are making relatively modest—and rare—investments in research and development. Their faculty members are excited about the opportunity to experiment. Let's give this explosion of pent-up innovation in higher education a chance to mature before we rush to the bottom line.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs and other free courses, videos, tutorials, and course materials from prestigious universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI


Educating the Masses:  Coursera doubles the number of university partners
"MOOC Host Expands," by Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, September 19, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/09/19/coursera-doubles-university-partnerships 

Coursera continued its ambitious expansion in the growing market for MOOC support today, announcing accords with 16 new universities to help them produce massive open online courses — more than doubling the company’s number of institutional partners and pushing its course count near 200.

The new partners include the first liberal arts college, Wesleyan University, to leap formally into the MOOC game, as well as the first music school, the Berklee College of Music.

Coursera also announced deals with name-brand private universities, such as Brown, Columbia, Emory and Vanderbilt Universities; some major state institutions, such as the University of Maryland System, the Ohio State University and the Universities of Florida, and California at Irvine; and several international universities, such as the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and the Universities of British Columbia, London, and Melbourne.

The company already boasted the most courses and student registrations of any MOOC providers, having registered 1.3 million students for its courses (although far fewer have actually stuck with a course). Andrew Ng, one of its co-founders, said Coursera will probably double its university partnerships at least one more time before it stops recruiting new institutions.

“I think we’ll wind up with at least twice the universities that we have now, but we’re not sure what the number is,” said Ng in an interview.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs and free courses, videos, and course materials from prestigious universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI


"African Students See China as a Path to a Prosperous Future," by By Ryan Brown, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 10, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Many-Africans-Look-to-China/134246/

In 2011, Gontse Nosi, a South African, was working for an electricity company here when he heard about an unusual opportunity—to earn a master's degree in China, paid for by the Chinese government. He applied and was accepted to a program at the Beijing University of Technology to study renewable energy. There was just one problem. The program was taught entirely in Mandarin, and Mr. Nosi didn't speak a word of it.

So for the first year of his studies, the Chinese government arranged for him to live in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where he attended intensive language classes for 10 hours a day. And although that may seem like a winding path to a degree that Mr. Nosi could have earned at home, the added investment, he says, was worth it.

"There are Chinese businesses in South Africa now, and South African businesses in China," he says. "Studying there will really open doors for me when I want to find a job."

Mr. Nosi is part of a growing cadre of African students whose pursuit of an internationally recognized university degree has taken them not to Europe or the United States but to China. The country hopes to become a major destination for international students, with some 293,000 currently enrolled in its universities—more than 20,000 of them from Africa.

The figures are small but rising rapidly: As late as 2006, African students made up only 2 percent of foreign students in China. And nearly one-third of the scholarships given by the Chinese government to foreign students now go to Africans. American colleges, by contrast, have failed to raise their enrollments from Africa, which have hovered around 36,000 since 2006, or about 5 percent of the total international-student population.

African students are being lured to China by a free education or low tuition (around $4,500 per year), the hope of a job with one of the Chinese corporations scattered across Africa, or simply an escape from overcrowded domestic universities. Whatever their motives, African students also hold a symbolic importance for leaders both on the continent and in China itself.

Over the past decade, China has risen to become Africa's single largest trading partner, and its stake in the continent is mushrooming. From 2003 to 2011, China's direct investment in Africa rose from $100-million to $12-billion. Like Chinese-built superhighways in Kenya or Chinese corporations mining diamonds in Zambia, drawing African students to China offers a way for the country to shore up its diplomatic and financial relationship with the continent.

And Chinese educational investment—whether in the form of drawing African students to China, the building of Chinese-language institutes across the continent, or Chinese aid to African universities—has a special potency on a continent scarred by European colonialism. It offers a new channel of international educational opportunity for African students, one that sidesteps the West altogether.

"Not just the universities but the country of China itself is a learning experience for students from my country," says Yilak Elu, an Ethiopian who completed a master's degree in international development at Beijing's Tsinghua University. "We go there to see how a country can develop itself quickly." A Complicated History

Although Africans have flocked to Chinese universities in significant numbers only in the past decade, the history of diplomatic relations between Beijing and the continent is littered with attempts to recruit African students.

In the 1960s, the Chinese government began to sponsor a small cadre of international students from new postcolonial states to foster solidarity in the so-called third world. Flush with revolution and full of newly emerging socialist states, Africa became an obvious target for this new educational exchange, and in 1961 the first group of 118 African students arrived to great fanfare in Beijing.

The experience did not end well.

Blindsided by racism and isolation, 96 of the original group of students returned to their home countries by the following year.

China's Cultural Revolution also cut short those first feeble exchange programs, but when the government reinstated its scholarships for African students, in the 1970s, they began to return. In the decades that followed, African students continued to filter into China, drawn by the undeniable lure of a free education.

The pace quickened in the mid-2000s, when the newly founded Forum on China-Africa Cooperation began to endorse the expansion of Chinese government scholarships for African students as part of its bid to improve diplomacy with the African continent. From 2000 to 2007, 12,000 African students received government scholarships to study in China. In 2009 alone, more than 4,000 African students won Chinese funds for their degrees. And as they arrived in the country, paying students began to follow.

Many paying students come not because they are particularly drawn to China, but because they have struggled to find institutions to meet their needs in their home countries. And they often steer clear of Western universities because they are wary of the cost and the maze of immigration bureaucracy that awaits them there.

"Whatever you pay, a degree is a degree," says Rowena Ungen, a South African student who earned her medical degree from Shandong University. "People see that, and that's why they don't want to go to England anymore."

And visas for most African students are far easier to come by in China than in Europe, creating an added draw.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
One of the most popular languages to study on the Trinity University campus is Chinese. This in large measure is due to student perceptions that their hiring and promotion prospects might one day increase due to knowledge of the Chinese languages.

Having said this, it must be recognized that over the last 200 years or more the global language of commerce and diplomacy evolved as English. It is the most widely taught second language around the world from Europe to Africa and Asia.

Hence, if China wants to play a larger role in educating the world, the Chinese must consider two major strategies.


The MOOC Model Revisited
"Massive Open Online Courses: How: 'The Social” Alters the Relationship Between Learners and Facilitators'," by Bonnie Stewart, Inside Higher Ed, April 30, 2012 --- Click Here
 http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/university-venus/massive-open-online-courses-how-%E2%80%9C-social%E2%80%9D-alters-relationship-between

We're getting close to the tail end of the 36-week-long experiment called #change11, or “the mother of all MOOCs.”

How can I tell?

First, I'm getting ready to facilitate my week, exploring Digital Identities. I'm second-last in the lineup, so the fact that I'm on deck means the whole undertaking is drawing to a close.

But it's also clear we're winding down because the #change11 conversation hubs have begun to resemble, uh, ghost-towns.  Once there were lively debates and intense exchanges. As the winter wore into the spring of the year, though, the tumbleweeds began to tickle.

Note to self: next time you facilitate a MOOC module, pick Week #2, not Week #35.

Any course that runs from September through May requires stamina. When that course is voluntary on the part of both learners and facilitators, and runs as a series of totally separate modules, the drop-off can be fairly significant. Erm, even my own participation as a student has crawled to a stop over the last month or two.

I find myself wondering if the other learners will be keener than I've been? Am I going to throw a MOOC and have nobody show up?

I suppose it doesn't matter. I'm a teacher at heart. I'll put the work into developing my one-week course whether there are going to be 3 students or 300. But as I'm preparing, I'm thinking about what it means to facilitate in a truly social, networked, voluntary environment like #change11.

Or the internet.

As the awareness of the MOOC experiment grows, the term is being increasingly applied to grand-scale enterprises like the Stanford AI course and MITx. While heady, this blurs some very important distinctions.

The MOOC model from which #change11 originates was built on the connectivist learning theory of George Siemens and Stephen Downes. Highly social in format, these courses tend to be experimental, non-linear, and deeply dialogic and participatory. Contributions from participants frequently direct the course of discussion, and the connections and ideas built between learners can be considered as valuable as the knowledge expounded by the facilitator.

On the other hand, the MOOC models offered by the big universities tend towards formalized curricula, content delivery, and verification of completed learning objectives.

Far more embedded in traditional paradigms of knowledge and teaching, these courses only harness the connectivity of social media insofar as they enable masses of people to link themselves to the prestige of a big-name institution. They offer discussion boards, but their purpose is content-focused, not connection-focused.

If I were teaching in an MITx-style course, I'd have a very different module ahead of me, one far more familiar to me as a higher ed instructor.

I've been teaching for eighteen years. I profess to be in favour of learner-centered classrooms. But until this MOOC module, every single course I've taught has on some level obliged the students to be there. I am accustomed to having the institutional powers of status, credentialism, and grading backing me in the classroom.

In the connectivist MOOC model, I don't.

There is no bonus for learners who participate in my week of #change11. They won't get a badge at the end, and there is no certification announcing they completed anything. There's nothing specific for them to complete, unless I design an exit goal as part of the week's activities. But that would be MY exit goal: not theirs. They don't get to put the word MIT on their CV. And while some weeks of the #change11 MOOC have allowed participants to connect with leaders in the learning and technologies field – Howard Rheingold, Pierre Levy – I'm among the less well-known of the 30-plus facilitators in the year's lineup. They won't even get the relational perk of engaging with somebody famous.

Continued in article

April 29, 2012 message from Mark Lewis
This is an interview with Sebastian Thrun, formerly of Stanford and still associated with Google. In my ideal world, every faculty member and a large fraction of the administration and staff would watch the last half of this video. The first half is worth watching if you have an interest in Google Glass, autonomous cars, or Google X projects in general. The second half talks about his views and what he is doing in education. He is the person who taught an AI course online that had 160,000 students enroll and had 23,000 students complete it. In this interview he describes how this impacted him so much that he left his tenured position at Stanford. The lack of personal contact he talks about in his classroom does not apply in most Trinity classrooms, however, a cost of $0 for something that many students find as more personal than a large lecture hall does have the potential to change the economics of higher education.

 
http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/12321
 
Mark

 The Big List of 530 Free Online Courses from Top Universities (New Additions) --- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2012/09/new_additions_to_our_list_of_530_free_online_courses_from_top_universities_.html

Bob Jensen's threads on these issues are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

Especially note
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#MITx


MOOC --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mooc

"Who Takes MOOCs?" by Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, June 5, 2012 ---
 http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/06/05/early-demographic-data-hints-what-type-student-takes-mooc

Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, are popular. This much we know.

But as investors and higher ed prognosticators squint into their crystal balls for hints of what this popularity could portend for the rest of higher education, two crucial questions remains largely unanswered: Who are these students, and what do they want?

Some early inquiries into this by two major MOOC providers offer a few hints.

Coursera, a company started by two Stanford University professors, originated with a course called Machine Learning, which co-founder Andrew Ng taught last fall to a virtual classroom of 104,000 students. Coursera surveyed a sample of those students to find out, among other things, their education and work backgrounds and why they decided to take the course.

Among 14,045 students in the Machine Learning course who responded to a demographic survey, half were professionals who currently held jobs in the tech industry. The largest chunk, 41 percent, said they were professionals currently working in the software industry; another 9 percent said they were professionals working in non-software areas of the computing and information technology industries.

Many were enrolled in some kind of traditional postsecondary education. Nearly 20 percent were graduate students, and another 11.6 percent were undergraduates. The remaining registrants were either unemployed (3.5 percent), employed somewhere other than the tech industry (2.5 percent), enrolled in a K-12 school (1 percent), or “other” (11.5 percent).

A subset (11,686 registrants) also answered a question about why they chose to take the course. The most common response, given by 39 percent of the respondents, was that they were “just curious about the topic.” Another 30.5 percent said they wanted to “sharpen the skills” they use in their current job. The smallest proportion, 18 percent, said they wanted to “position [themselves] for a better job.”

Udacity, another for-profit MOOC provider founded by (erstwhile) Stanford professors, has also conducted some initial probes into the make-up of its early registrants. While the company did not share any data tables with Inside Higher Ed, chief executive officer David Stavens said more than 75 percent of the students who took the company’s first course, Artificial Intelligence, last fall were looking to “improve their skills relevant for either current or future employment.”

That is a broad category, encompassing both professionals and students, so it does not lend much nuance to the questions of who the students are or what they want. And even the more detailed breakdown of the students who registered for Ng’s Machine Learning course cannot offer very much upon which to build a sweeping thesis on how MOOCs might fit into the large and diverse landscape of higher education.

Coursera has since completed the first iterations of seven additional courses and opened registration for 32 more beyond that. Many of those courses — which cover poetry, world music, finance, and behavioral neurology — are likely to attract different sorts of people, with different goals, than Machine Learning did. “I'm expecting that the demographics for some of our upcoming classes (Stats One, Soc 101, Pharmacology, etc.) will be very different,” said Daphne Koller, one of Coursera’s founders, in an e-mail.

Continued in article

"Coursera Tops 1 Million Students," Inside Higher Ed, August 10, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2012/08/10/coursera-tops-1-million-students

Coursera, the company that provides support and Web hosting for massive open online courses at top universities, announced Thursday that more than 1 million students have registered for its courses. The company now serves as a MOOC platform for 16 universities and lists 116 courses, most of which have not started yet. The students registering for the courses are increasingly from the United States. Coursera told Inside Higher Ed earlier this summer that about 25 percent of its students hailed from the United States; that figure now stands at 38.5 percent, or about 385,000 students. Brazil, India and China follow, with between 40,000 to 60,000 registrants each. U.S. students cannot easily get formal credit through Coursera or its partners institutions, but some universities abroad reportedly have awarded credit to students who have taken the free courses.

Educating the Masses:  Coursera doubles the number of university partners
"MOOC Host Expands," by Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, September 19, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/09/19/coursera-doubles-university-partnerships 

Coursera continued its ambitious expansion in the growing market for MOOC support today, announcing accords with 16 new universities to help them produce massive open online courses — more than doubling the company’s number of institutional partners and pushing its course count near 200.

The new partners include the first liberal arts college, Wesleyan University, to leap formally into the MOOC game, as well as the first music school, the Berklee College of Music.

Coursera also announced deals with name-brand private universities, such as Brown, Columbia, Emory and Vanderbilt Universities; some major state institutions, such as the University of Maryland System, the Ohio State University and the Universities of Florida, and California at Irvine; and several international universities, such as the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and the Universities of British Columbia, London, and Melbourne.

The company already boasted the most courses and student registrations of any MOOC providers, having registered 1.3 million students for its courses (although far fewer have actually stuck with a course). Andrew Ng, one of its co-founders, said Coursera will probably double its university partnerships at least one more time before it stops recruiting new institutions.

“I think we’ll wind up with at least twice the universities that we have now, but we’re not sure what the number is,” said Ng in an interview.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs and free courses, videos, and course materials from prestigious universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

"What You Need to Know About MOOC's," Chronicle of Higher Education, August 20, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/What-You-Need-to-Know-About/133475/

"Online Courses Should Always Include Proctored Finals, Economist Warns," by David Glenn, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 10, 2011 ---
Click Here
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/online-courses-should-always-include-proctored-finals-economist-warns/31287?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

The Big List of 530 Free Online Courses from Top Universities (New Additions) --- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2012/09/new_additions_to_our_list_of_530_free_online_courses_from_top_universities_.html

Udacity --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udacity

Udacity to Launch 5 New Courses on June 25. Shooting for Largest Online Class Ever.--- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2012/06/udacity_to_launch_5_new_classes.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpenCulture+%28Open+Culture%29

 

Pearson PLC --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearson_PLC

"Udacity to partner with Pearson for testing: What does this mean?" by Robert Talbert, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 2, 2012 --- Click Here
http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/castingoutnines/2012/06/02/udacity-to-partner-with-pearson-for-testing-what-does-this-mean/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

 


Some things you did not know about the latest technology
Did You Know video --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ILQrUrEWe8

A Vision of Students Today (Video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGCJ46vyR9o


The Year 2007

Classroom of the Future Is Virtually Anywhere
The university classroom of the future is in Janet Duck’s dining room on East Chocolate Avenue here. There is no blackboard and no lectern, and, most glaringly, no students. Dr. Duck teaches her classes in Pennsylvania State University’s master’s program in business administration by sitting for several hours each day in jeans and shag-lined slippers at her dining table, which in soccer mom fashion is cluttered with crayon sketches by her 6-year-old Elijah and shoulder pads for her 9-year-old Olivia’s Halloween costume. In this homespun setting, the spirited Dr. Duck pecks at a Toshiba laptop and posts lesson content, readings and questions for her two courses on “managing human resources” that touch on topics like performance evaluations and recruitment. The instructional software allows her 54 students to log on from almost anywhere at any time and post remarkably extended responses, the equivalent of a blog about the course. Recently, the class exchanged hard-earned experiences about how managers deal with lackluster workers . . . It’s instructive for a skeptic to talk to Dr. Duck’s students — online, of course. They point out that online postings are more reasoned and detailed than off-the-cuff classroom observations. Students learn as much from one another’s postings, informed by the real business world, as they do from instructors, they say. And Kevin Krull, a technology executive, pointed out that introverts reluctant to speak up in class can strut their stuff.
Joseph Berger, "Classroom of the Future Is Virtually Anywhere," The New York Times, October 31, 2007 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/31/education/31education.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education and training alternatives are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm

Jensen Comment
There's not much new in the above article. Both online and major onsite universities have been teaching like this for years. Most notably all-canpus award winning Amy Dunbar has been teaching graduate tax courses from her home at the University of Connecticut. Denny Beresford has been teaching graduate accounting courses at the University of Georgia online for years. A quotation from Amy Dinbar is shown below:

The Year 2001

The combination of asynchronous and synchronous materials in the WebCT environment worked well for my students. I felt closer to my students than I did in a live class. When I loaded AIM and saw my students online, I felt connected to them. Each student had an online persona that blossomed over the semester. The use of emotions in AIM helped us create bantering communication, which contributed to a less stressful learning environment. 

At then end of the six-week course, I was tired, but I was equally tired at the end of the live six-week course last summer. I don’t think the online environment made my life easier, but it made it more fun. The students appreciated the flexibility, and they liked not having to drive to downtown Hartford for classes. Although many of my students would have preferred a live class, they performed well in this online class. I did not attempt to statistically compare their performance with my past live classes, but the exam distributions appear similar to past classes. I was happy with the overall class performance. 

One student concluded, “Just reading the material without having anyone explain it to you makes it more difficult to understand at first (at least for me). I waffled between wanting online and in person teaching … . Ultimately I chose online because this way we can do it at our own pace and we always have the ability to go back to where we might not have understood and do it over.” 

Thus, flexibility appears to outweigh what to the student appears to be an easier way to learn.
From "Genesis of an Online Course" by Amy Dunbar Amy Dunbar, August 1, 2001 
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/002cpe/Dunbar2002.htm

A free audio download of a presentation by Amy Dunbar is available at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/002cpe/02start.htm#2002 


Online you get to know your students' minds, not just their faces.
Harasim, L., Hiltz, S.R., Teles, L., and Turoff, M. (1995). Learning Networks: A Field Guide to Teaching and Learning Online. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 
As quoted at http://www.vpaa.uillinois.edu/tid/report/tid_report.html 


LARSON: You can't get further from MIT than Singapore. Singapore from here is this way [points straight down]. We use Internet2 for connectivity. There's no statistical difference in performance between distance learners and classroom learners. And when there is a difference, it favors the distance learners
"Lessons e-Learned Q&A with Richard Larson from MIT," Technology Review, July 31, 2001 --- http://www.techreview.com/web/leo/leo073101.asp


For those of you who think distance education is going downhill, think again.  The number of students switching from traditional brick-and- mortar classrooms to full-time virtual schools in Colorado has soared over the past five years…

"Online Ed Puts Schools in a Bind:  Districts Lose Students, Funding," by Karen Rouse, Denver Post, December 2, 2004 --- http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36%257E53%257E2522702,00.html 

The number of students switching from traditional brick-and- mortar classrooms to full-time virtual schools in Colorado has soared over the past five years.

During the 2000-01 school year, the state spent $1.08 million to educate 166 full-time cyberschool students, according to the Colorado Department of Education. This year, the state projects spending $23.9 million to educate 4,237 students in kindergarten through 12th grade, state figures show.

And those figures - which do not include students who are taking one or two online courses to supplement their classroom education - are making officials in the state's smallest districts jittery.

Students who leave physical public schools for online schools take their share of state funding with them.

"If I lose two kids, that's $20,000 walking out the door," said Dave Grosche, superintendent of the Edison 54JT School District.

Continued in the article

Update in 2005

Distant distance education
Ms. Salin is part of a new wave of outsourcing to India: the tutoring of American students. Twice a week for a month now, Ms. Salin, who grew up speaking the Indian language Malayalam at home, has been tutoring Daniela in English grammar, comprehension and writing. Using a simulated whiteboard on their computers, connected by the Internet, and a copy of Daniela's textbook in front of her, she guides the teenager through the intricacies of nouns, adjectives and verbs.
Saritha Rai, "A Tutor Half a World Away, but as Close as a Keyboard," The New York Times, September 7, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/07/education/07tutor.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1126191549-1Ydu+7CY89CpuVeaJbJ4XA

The Blackboard:  A tribute to a long-standing but fading teaching and learning tool
From the Museum of History and Science at Oxford University
Bye Bye Blackboard: From Einstein and others
--- http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/blackboard/
Bob Jensen's threads on the tools of education technology are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

Update 2008

Question
How can you best publish books, including multimedia and user interactive books, on the Web?
Note that interactive books may have quizzes and examinations where answers are sent back for grading.

My Answers --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

Update 2009

Could Google Wave Replace Course-Management Systems?

Google Wave --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Wave

Video:  Internet Real Time Communication and Collaboration (1 hour, 20 minutes)
Google Wave --- http://code.google.com/apis/wave/
Google Wave is a product that helps users communicate and collaborate on the web. A "wave" is equal parts conversation and document, where users can almost instantly communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more. Google Wave is also a platform with a rich set of open APIs that allow developers to embed waves in other web services and to build extensions that work inside waves.
Developer Preview --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_UyVmITiYQ

Course Management Systems (like Blackboard, WebCT, Moodle, ToolBook, etc.) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Course_Management_System

A virtual learning environment (VLE) is a software system designed to support teaching and learning in an educational setting, as distinct from a Managed Learning Environment, (MLE) where the focus is on management. A VLE will normally work over the Internet and provide a collection of tools such as those for assessment (particularly of types that can be marked automatically, such as multiple choice), communication, uploading of content, return of students' work, peer assessment, administration of student groups, collecting and organizing student grades, questionnaires, tracking tools, etc. New features in these systems include wikis, blogs, RSS and 3D virtual learning spaces.

While originally created for distance education, VLEs are now most often used to supplement traditional face to face classroom activities, commonly known as Blended Learning. These systems usually run on servers, to serve the course to students Multimedia and/or web pages.

In 'Virtually There', a book and DVD pack distributed freely to schools by the Yorkshire and Humber Grid for Learning Foundation (YHGfL), Professor Stephen Heppell writes in the foreword: "Learning is breaking out of the narrow boxes that it was trapped in during the 20th century; teachers' professionalism, reflection and ingenuity are leading learning to places that genuinely excite this new generation of connected young school students - and their teachers too. VLEs are helping to make sure that their learning is not confined to a particular building, or restricted to any single location or moment."

"Could Google (Wave Replace Course-Management Systems?" by Jeff Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 7, 2009 --- Click Here
http://chronicle.com/blogPost/Could-Google-Wave-Replace/8354/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en 

Google argues that its new Google Wave system could replace e-mail by blending instant messaging, wikis, and image and document sharing into one seamless communication interface. But some college professors and administrators are more excited about Wave's potential to be a course-management-system killer.

"Just from the initial look I think it will have all the features (and then some) for an all-in-one software platform for the classroom and beyond," wrote Steve Bragaw, a professor of American politics at Sweet Briar College, on his blog last week.

Mr. Bragaw admits he hasn't used Google Wave himself -- so far the company has only granted about 100,000 beta testers access to the system. Each of those users is allowed to invite about eight friends (who can each invite eight more), so the party is slowly growing louder while many are left outside waiting behind a virtual velvet rope. But Google has posted an hour-long video demonstration of the system that drew quite a buzz when it was unveiled in May. That has sparked speculation of how Wave might be used.

Greg Smith, chief technology officer at George Fox University, did manage to snag an invitation to try Wave, and he too says it could become a kind of online classroom.

That probably won't happen anytime soon, though. "Wave is truly a pilot right now, and it's probably a year away from being ready for prime time," he said, noting that Wave eats up bandwidth while it is running. Google will probably take its time letting everyone in, he said, so that it can work out the kinks.

And even if some professors eventually use Wave to collaborate with students, colleges will likely continue to install course-management systems so they know they have core systems they can count on, said Mr. Smith.

Then again, hundreds of colleges already rely on Google for campus e-mail and collaborative tools, through a free service the company offers called Google Apps Education Edition. Could a move to Google as course-management system provider be next?

Bob Jensen's threads on the history of course authoring and management systems ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/290wp/290wp.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on tools and tricks of the trade ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

 

What's Online Learning Really Like in a Government and Not-for-Profit Accounting Class?

The Chronicle's Goldie Blumenstyk has covered distance education for more than a decade, and during that time she's written stories about the economics of for-profit education, the ways that online institutions market themselves, and the demise of the 50-percent rule. About the only thing she hadn't done, it seemed, was to take a course from an online university. But this spring she finally took the plunge, and now she has completed a class in government and nonprofit accounting through the University of Phoenix. She shares tales from the cy ber-classroom -- and her final grade -- in a podcast with Paul Fain, a Chronicle reporter.
Chronicle of Higher Education, June 11, 2008 (Audio) --- http://chronicle.com/media/audio/v54/i40/cyber_classroom/

Jensen Added Comment
It wasn't mentioned, but I think Goldie took the ACC 460 course --- Click Here

ACC 460 Government and Non-Profit Accounting

Course Description

This course covers fund accounting, budget and control issues, revenue and expense recognition, and issues of reporting for both government and non-profit entities.

Topics and Objectives

Environment of Government/Non-Profit Accounting

Fund Accounting Part I

Fund Accounting Part II

Overview of Not-for-Profit Accounting

Current Issues in Government and Not-for-Profit Accounting

Bob Jensen's threads on asynchronous learning --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education training and education alternatives --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on free online video courses and course materials from leading universities --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials
Edutainment and Learning Games --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment
Open Sharing Courses --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI
The Master List of Free Online College Courses ---
http://universitiesandcolleges.org/



Long-Term Future of Education 
and Education Technologies


"Educating Minds Online:  An outstanding new book provides a road map for truly effective teaching with technology," by James M. Lang, Chronicle of Higher Education, December 8, 2014 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Educating-Minds-Online/150743/?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Bob Jensen's updated threads on education technology ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


4 Ways Digital Tech Has Changed K-12 Learning ---
http://thejournal.com/articles/2015/05/20/4-ways-digital-tech-has-changed-k12-learning.aspx

  1. Collaboration
  2. Information Gathering
  3. Remote Learning
  4. Teacher Prep

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology:  The Bright Side and the Dark Side  ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


At 3,100 Colleges and Universities
Tuition and Fees, 1998-99 Through 2013-14 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/TuitionFees-1998-99/142511/


Arizona State's Freshman Year MOOCs Open to All With Final Examinations for Inexpensive Credits

"Arizona State and edX Will Offer an Online Freshman Year, Open to All," by Charles Huckabee, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 24, 2015 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/arizona-state-and-edx-will-offer-an-online-freshman-year-open-to-all/97685?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Arizona State University is joining with the MOOC provider edX in a project that it says “reimagines the freshman year” and opens a new low-cost, low-risk path to a college degree for students anywhere in the world.

The project, called the Global Freshman Academy, will offer a set of eight courses designed to fulfill the general-education requirements of a freshman year at Arizona State at a fraction of the cost students typically pay, and students can begin taking courses without going through the traditional application process, the university said in a news release on Wednesday. Because the classes are offered as massive open online courses, or MOOCs, there is no limit on how many students can enroll.

. . .

The courses to be offered through the Global Freshman Academy are being designed and will be taught by leading scholars at Arizona State. “These courses are developed to their rigorous standards,” Adrian Sannier, chief academic officer for EdPlus at ASU, said in the release. “Course faculty are committed to ensuring their students understand college-level material so that they can be prepared to successfully complete college.”

Students who pass a final examination in a course will have the option of paying a fee of no more than $200 per credit hour to get college credit for it.

Mr. Agarwal and Mr. Crow are scheduled to formally announce the project at a conference in Washington on Thursday.

 

Jensen Comments and Questions
The real test is how well these credits are accepted by other universities for transfer credit. It probably will not be an issue for graduate school admission since there are three more years of more traditional onsite or online credits. But it could be a huge issue for example when a student takes the first year of ASU MOOC credits and then tries to have these credits accepted by other universities (such as TCU) that still resist accepting any online courses for transfer credit.

Question
What are the main differences between MOOC online credits and traditional online credits such as those documented at the following site?
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/CrossBorder.htm

For example, at many universities these days there are multiple sections of a course where some sections are onsite and some are online. Often they are taught by the same instructor. The online sections are usually as small or even smaller than the onsite sections because online instructors often have more student interactions such as in instant messaging not available to onsite students ---
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant_messaging

Answer
These are the following obvious differences between MOOC online credits and traditional online credits.

The bottom line is that it appears that the ASU freshman year MOOC course credits will be little more than competency-based credits. This will be controversial since many faculty in higher education feel like credits in general education core  courses should  entail class participation, including first-year core courses. For example, at Trinity University there is a first-year seminar that all new students take in very small classes that require a lot of class participation in discussions of assigned readings and the writing of term papers. I think some sections of this seminar don't even have examinations. I did not have examinations when I taught a section of this seminar for two years.

In traditional large lectures courses on campus students typically are broken out into accompanying recitation sections intended for class participation and interactions with a recitation instructor.

Jensen Note
I never anticipated competency-based credits in the first-year of college. I think these will be wildly popular in advance-level training courses such as a CPA examination review course in the final (fifth) year of an accounting program. Using competency-based courses for first-year general education courses is more controversial.

Bob Jensen's threads on competency-based credits ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm#ConceptKnowledge


Library directors at liberal arts institutions are losing their jobs as they clash with faculty and administrators over the future of the academic library

"Clash in the Stacks," by Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed, December 10, 2014 ---
https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/12/10/rethinking-library-proves-divisive-topic-many-liberal-arts-institutions

Several library directors at liberal arts institutions have lost their jobs as they clash with faculty and administrators over how much -- and how fast -- the academic library should change.

None of the dismissals, resignations or retirements are identical. Some have resulted from arguments over funding; others from debates about decision-making processes or ongoing personal strife. One common trend, however, is that several of the library directors who have left their jobs in recent years have done so after long-term disputes with other groups on campus about how the academic library should change to better serve students and faculty.

The disputes highlight the growing pains of institutions and their members suddenly challenged to redefine themselves after centuries of serving as gateways and gatekeepers to knowledge.

“For the entire history of libraries as we know them -- 2,000 or 3,000 years -- we have lived in a world of information scarcity," said Terrence J. Metz, university librarian at Hamline University. "What’s happened in the last two decades is that’s been turned completely on its head. Now we’re living in a world of superabundance."

As their reasons for departing are different, so too are the factors current and former library directors said triggered the disagreements. In interviews with Inside Higher Ed, the library directors pointed to the shift from print to digital library materials, which they said is raising questions about who on campus is best-prepared to manage access to the wealth of information available through the internet. The financial fallout of the recent economic crisis has only inflamed that conversation.

“To my mind, all of this hubbub is probably exacerbated by the fact that libraries are trying to figure out what they are and what their future is and what their role is,” said Bryn I. Geffert, college librarian at Amherst College. “Every time you have a body of people going through this kind of existential crisis, conflict is inherent. As you’re trying to redefine an institution, you know there are going to be different opinions on how that redefinition should happen.”

The most recent case, Barnard College, presents a symbolic example of the shift from print to digital. There, the Lehman Hall library is about to be demolished to make way for an estimated $150 million Teaching and Learning Center. The new building means the library’s physical collection will shrink by tens of thousands of books.

Last month, the debate about the new space intensified when Lisa R. Norberg, dean of the Barnard Library and academic information services, resigned. In an article in the Columbia Daily Spectator, faculty members were quick to jump to Norberg’s defense, saying the administration “hobbled” and “disrespected” her.

Norberg did not respond to a request for comment, but her case resembles others in the liberal arts library community. As recently as this September, Patricia A. Tully, the Caleb T. Winchester university librarian at Wesleyan University, was fired after less than five years on the job. Tully and Ruth S. Weissman, Wesleyan’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, had for more than a year argued about how the library could work with administrators, faculty members and IT staffers.

“We just seemed to have different ideas about the role of the libraries,” Tully said then.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
There's an analogy here between the rise of air power vis-a-vis infantry, but perhaps this should not be pursued too far. Libraries are literally moving to the clouds while old and musty books gather mold untouched in stacks on the ground, increasingly unused by students and faculty. It's not that college libraries failed to keep pace with technology just like infantry soldiers are equipped with the latest in communications and ground weapons technology.

Libraries increasingly have expensive subscriptions to knowledge databases. But as such they are becoming bases for launching students and faculty into the clouds. Libraries increasingly give up space for student coffee shops, multimedia conference rooms, and computer labs. Reference librarians increasingly help students navigate in the clouds rather than in the stacks.

And thus libraries are somewhat caught in the middle of the budget disputes over spending for more air power or more ground power. Air power will probably keep getting increasing shares of resources relative to "books on the ground." We must now redefine what we mean by the terms "library" and "librarian." More importantly we need to define these terms on the basis of what sets them apart from the rest of the resources on campus.

Of course we also need to redefine what we mean by courses in the clouds versus courses on the ground.

Jensen Comment
Bowdoin College in Maine is perhaps the last liberal arts college that I predicted with promote outsourcing to distance education.
Bowdoin College --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowdoin_College

Bowdoin is the latest liberal-arts institution to offer an online course developed elsewhere—an experiment that has seen mixed results at other residential colleges.
"At Liberal-Arts Colleges, Debate About Online Courses Is Really About Outsourcing," by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 13, 2014 --- Click Here
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/at-liberal-arts-colleges-debate-about-online-courses-is-really-about-outsourcing/55151?cid=wb&utm_source=wb&utm_medium=en 

Lifetime residents of Maine tend to look askance at people who are “from away,” an epithet reserved for transplants, summer vacationers, and college students. Such people might mean well, the thinking goes, but ultimately they do not belong.

Bowdoin College, a 220-year-old institution in Brunswick, Me., takes a similarly protective view of its curriculum. At a time when online education has blurred campus borders—and institutions face growing pressure to train students for specific jobs—Bowdoin and many other liberal-arts colleges have held the line. When I matriculated there, a decade ago, Bowdoin didn’t even have online course registration. (The college finally added it last year.)

So it was a significant move last week when Bowdoin decided to offer, in the spring, a partly online course in financial accounting led by a professor at Dartmouth College’s business school.

For more stories about technology and education, follow Wired Campus on Twitter.

As many as 50 Bowdoin students will take the course, for credit, from the Maine campus. The Dartmouth professor, Phillip C. Stocken, will teach largely from his post in New Hampshire, holding weekly class sessions and office hours online. Meanwhile, an economics professor at Bowdoin will lead weekly face-to-face sessions on its campus. Bowdoin will pay $60,000 for the course—significantly less than it would cost to develop a course “of this quality” from scratch, according to Scott Hood, a spokesman.

Not surprisingly, the Dartmouth course has met with resistance from some faculty members at Bowdoin; 21 professors voted against the decision to offer it as a one-semester pilot.

“I am skeptical of how a course like this reinforces the student-faculty dynamic, and remain to be convinced that it can,” wrote Dale A. Syphers, a physics professor, in an email interview.

In the grand scheme of online education, Bowdoin’s collaboration with Dartmouth is relatively conservative. Many traditional institutions now offer fully online courses, and have done so for a long time. But liberal-arts colleges, which stake their prestige on the offer of an intimate, residential experience, have been wary of fielding courses with significant online components, even on a trial basis—especially if those courses are “from away.”

2U, a company that helps colleges put their programs online, tried last year to build a coalition of elite colleges that would develop online versions of their undergraduate courses that students at member institutions could take for credit. But Duke University, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Rochester all dropped out after faculty members objected, and the remaining colleges voted to dissolve the consortium.

Other experiments in sharing online courses among liberal-arts colleges have produced more-encouraging results. Last year a theater professor at Rollins College, in Florida, taught an online course on voice and diction to students at Hendrix College, in Arkansas. Eric Zivot, the Rollins professor, used high-definition videoconferencing technology to hold class sessions, where he appeared on a projection screen at the front of the Hendrix classroom.

Only once did the professor visit his Hendrix students in person, said Amanda Hagood, director of blended learning at the Associated Colleges of the South, a consortium that has continued to facilitate the exchange. When Mr. Zivot does visit, “it’s always an underwhelming moment because the Hendrix students always feel like they already know him,” said Ms. Hagood. “It’s not a big deal that he’s there in person.”

Another consortium, the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, has supported an online calculus course, led by an associate professor at Macalester College, that is open to students at the association’s 14 member colleges.

The eight-week course had its first run in the summer of 2013. Sixteen students enrolled, hailing from eight colleges in the consortium. “We were never in the same place, ever,” said Chad Topaz, the professor. One student took the course while traveling in India, Mr. Topaz said.

He taught the same course again this past summer. Mr. Topaz said the course went well both times, but it is still in a pilot phase. He said he had yet to be told whether he would be teaching it again next summer.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs, SMOCS, Future Learn, iversity, and OKI Free Learning Alternatives Around the World ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Bob Jensen's threads on fee-based distance education and training courses and degrees ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/CrossBorder.htm

Video on One Possible Future of Higher Education ---
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gU3FjxY2uQ


Technology Integration (integrating education technology into the classroom) ---  http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning --- http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/index

Community College Research Center --- http://ccrc.tc.columbia.edu/ 

Bob Jensen's threads on general education tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#EducationResearch

Sad message of the January 30, 2004 Week from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu]  

ERIC CLEARINGHOUSES CLOSE

After over thirty years of service, the U.S. Department of Education's ERIC Clearinghouses, and the AskERIC service, permanently closed at the end of December 2003. ERIC is a national information system funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences to provide access to education literature and resources. The Clearinghouses, stationed at various educational institutions, provided documents and reference services on educational topics ranging from Elementary and Early Childhood Education to Urban and Minority Education to Adult, Career, and Vocational Education.

The new ERIC uses one URL (http://www.eric.ed.gov) to:

-- search the ERIC database,

-- access the ERIC Calendar of Education-Related Conferences,

-- link to the ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS) to

purchase ERIC full-text documents, and

-- link to the ERIC Processing and Reference Facility to

purchase ERIC tapes and tools.

ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) --- http://eric.ed.gov/ 

Community College Research Center --- http://ccrc.tc.columbia.edu/ 

Continuing Education --- http://www.rand.org/topics/continuing-education.html

 

Bob Jensen's threads on education research and teaching helpers ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob2.htm#EducationResearch

 


"SUNY Outlines First Degrees in Its New Online Initiative," Inside Higher Ed, January 15, 2015 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2014/01/15/suny-outlines-first-degrees-its-new-online-initiative 

Open SUNY -- through which the State University of New York plans to take existing online programs in the 64-campus system and to build on them, making them available for students throughout the system -- has its first degree programs. In her annual address on the state of the university, Chancellor Nancy Zimpher announced the first degree programs and the campuses that are producing them. The offerings include associate, bachelor's and master's degrees. Two SUNY institutions -- Empire State College and SUNY Oswego -- are each offering two programs. The others are being offered by Broome Community College, Finger Lakes Community College, SUNY Delhi and SUNY Stony Brook.

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#KnowledgePortals

Bob Jensen's threads on asynchronous learni8ng ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm 

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


AT&T Tech Channel (exciting future of technology) --- http://techchannel.att.com/showpage.cfm?ATT-Archives

Museum of Science & Industry: Education --- http://www.msichicago.org/education/

University of Oklahoma: History of Science Collections --- http://digital.libraries.ou.edu/homescience.php

Education for Life and Work: Developing Transferable Knowledge and Skills in the 21st Century ---
http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13398


From the Center for Digital Education
10 Top Ed Tech Stories for 2013



1. Why the 'Maker Movement' is Popular in Schools
A number of forces are driving schools to rethink the way they teach students.

2. Google's 80/20 Principle Applies to Students
Educators from Canada to Mexico give students 20 percent of their time to pursue projects they are passionate about.

3. 7 Tips for School Leaders New to Twitter
Whether you have already started exploring the educational community on Twitter or have yet to set up an account, here are some tips to help you on your journey.

4. What College Students Really Think About Online Courses
Education leaders and politicians often make decisions about online learning without seeking student input. And since students are their customers, that's a big mistake.

5. 6 Emerging Technologies in Higher Ed
The 2013 NMC Horizon Project lists six technologies that could be adopted in colleges and universities over the next five years.

6. Top 5 Preschool Apps for 2013
A speech-language pathologist from Baltimore City Public Schools shares her app recommendations.

7. Google's 80/20 Principle Gives Students Freedom
A group of seniors spends 20 percent of class time on their own projects.

8. 6 Emerging Technologies in K-12 Education
The annual Horizon Report highlights six emerging technologies that could become mainstream in K-12 education.

9. The Higher Education Short List of Emerging Technology
The NMC Horizon Project will choose six technologies that could be adopted over the next five years.

10. The 'Maker Movement' Inspires Shift in STEM Curriculum
Science, technology, engineering and math curriculum is starting to emphasize projects including app development.

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

 


"The Future of Higher Education:  Shaking Up the Status Quo:  Chronicle of Higher Education, October 4, 2013 ---
http://chronicle.com/section/NEXT-The-Future-of-Higher/751/?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

. . .

3 Big Ideas on Campuses

The Student 'Swirl'

Today's students often attend multiple institutions and mix learning experiences. But is academe ready for them?

Reinventing the Academic Calendar

Colleges are offering many new options to encourage flexibility.

Competency-Based Degrees in the Mainstream

The University of Wisconsin's new flexible-degree option is being watched closely.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education hopes and horrors ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

 

 


Keyboard College (NPR on Education Technology) --- 
http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/tomorrows-college/keyboard-college/


A public library keeps no intentional secrets about its mechanisms; a search engine keeps many.
"'Tip-of-the-Tongue Syndrome,' Transactive Memory, and How the Internet Is Making Us Smarter," by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, September 13, 2013 ---
http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/09/13/clive-thompson-smarter-than-you-think/

Jensen Comment
What I found is that the Internet makes me aware of knowledge that I certainly would not have stumbled upon before the days of the Internet. Some may argue that this is like learning a little bit about a lot of things. But I'm currently writing a technical article invited by a journal. The Internet has most certainly helped me drill deeper and deeper to learn more about an angel on the head of a pin.


I saw an segment on ABC News where San Antonio has a new public library without books.

"A Bookless Library Opens in San Antonio:  The all-digital space – stocked with 10,000 e-books and 500 e-readers –resembles an Apple store. But is that really a library?" by Josh Sanburn, Time Magazine, September 13, 2013 ---
http://nation.time.com/2013/09/13/a-bookless-library-opens-in-san-antonio/ 

Bob Jensen's threads on ebooks are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ebooks.htm

 


Video
Year's ago Ray Kurxweil appeared on the then very, very popular TV show called "I've Got a Secret" ---
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4Neivqp2K4

Probably the best way to get an idea about futurist Ray Kurzweil is to search for his name on YouTube ---
http://www.youtube.com/

"Will Google's Ray Kurzweil Live Forever? In 15 years, the famous inventor expects medical technology will add a year of life expectancy every year," by Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., The Wall Street Journal, April 12, 2013 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324504704578412581386515510.html?mod=djemEditorialPage_h

Ray Kurzweil must encounter his share of interviewers whose first question is: What do you hope your obituary will say?

This is a trick question. Mr. Kurzweil famously hopes an obituary won't be necessary. And in the event of his unexpected demise, he is widely reported to have signed a deal to have himself frozen so his intelligence can be revived when technology is equipped for the job.

Mr. Kurzweil is the closest thing to a Thomas Edison of our time, an inventor known for inventing. He first came to public attention in 1965, at age 17, appearing on Steve Allen's TV show "I've Got a Secret" to demonstrate a homemade computer he built to compose original music in the style of the great masters.

In the five decades since, he has invented technologies that permeate our world. To give one example, the Web would hardly be the store of human intelligence it has become without the flatbed scanner and optical character recognition, allowing printed materials from the pre-digital age to be scanned and made searchable.

If you are a musician, Mr. Kurzweil's fame is synonymous with his line of music synthesizers (now owned by Hyundai). As in: "We're late for the gig. Don't forget the Kurzweil."

If you are blind, his Kurzweil Reader relieved one of your major disabilities—the inability to read printed information, especially sensitive private information, without having to rely on somebody else.

In January, he became an employee at Google GOOG -0.04% . "It's my first job," he deadpans, adding after a pause, "for a company I didn't start myself."

There is another Kurzweil, though—the one who makes seemingly unbelievable, implausible predictions about a human transformation just around the corner. This is the Kurzweil who tells me, as we're sitting in the unostentatious offices of Kurzweil Technologies in Wellesley Hills, Mass., that he thinks his chances are pretty good of living long enough to enjoy immortality. This is the Kurzweil who, with a bit of DNA and personal papers and photos, has made clear he intends to bring back in some fashion his dead father.

Mr. Kurzweil's frank efforts to outwit death have earned him an exaggerated reputation for solemnity, even caused some to portray him as a humorless obsessive. This is wrong. Like the best comedians, especially the best Jewish comedians, he doesn't tell you when to laugh. Of the pushback he receives from certain theologians who insist death is necessary and ennobling, he snarks, "Oh, death, that tragic thing? That's really a good thing."

"People say, 'Oh, only the rich are going to have these technologies you speak of.' And I say, 'Yeah, like cellphones.' "

To listen to Mr. Kurzweil or read his several books (the latest: "How to Create a Mind") is to be flummoxed by a series of forecasts that hardly seem realizable in the next 40 years. But this is merely a flaw in my brain, he assures me. Humans are wired to expect "linear" change from their world. They have a hard time grasping the "accelerating, exponential" change that is the nature of information technology.

"A kid in Africa with a smartphone is walking around with a trillion dollars of computation circa 1970s," he says. Project that rate forward, and everything will change dramatically in the next few decades.

"I'm right on the cusp," he adds. "I think some of us will make it through"—he means baby boomers, who can hope to experience practical immortality if they hang on for another 15 years.

By then, Mr. Kurzweil expects medical technology to be adding a year of life expectancy every year. We will start to outrun our own deaths. And then the wonders really begin. The little computers in our hands that now give us access to all the world's information via the Web will become little computers in our brains giving us access to all the world's information. Our world will become a world of near-infinite, virtual possibilities.

How will this work? Right now, says Mr. Kurzweil, our human brains consist of 300 million "pattern recognition" modules. "That's a large number from one perspective, large enough for humans to invent language and art and science and technology. But it's also very limiting. Maybe I'd like a billion for three seconds, or 10 billion, just the way I might need a million computers in the cloud for two seconds and can access them through Google."

We will have vast new brainpower at our disposal; we'll also have a vast new field in which to operate—virtual reality. "As you go out to the 2040s, now the bulk of our thinking is out in the cloud. The biological portion of our brain didn't go away but the nonbiological portion will be much more powerful. And it will be uploaded automatically the way we back up everything now that's digital."

"When the hardware crashes," he says of humanity's current condition, "the software dies with it. We take that for granted as human beings." But when most of our intelligence, experience and identity live in cyberspace, in some sense (vital words when thinking about Kurzweil predictions) we will become software and the hardware will be replaceable.

Which brings us to his father, a gifted musician and composer whose early death from heart disease left a profound mark on Mr. Kurzweil. Understand: He is not talking about growing a biological person in a test-tube and requiring him to be Dad. "DNA is just one kind of information," Mr. Kurzweil says. So are the documents his father left behind, and the memories residing in the brains of friends and family. In the virtual world that's coming, it will be possible to assemble an avatar more like his father than his father ever was—exactly the father Mr. Kurzweil remembers.

"My work on this project right now is to maintain these files," he adds, referring to Dad's memorabilia.

Mr. Kurzweil grew up in Queens, N.Y., and went to MIT. Looking back on his inventions, a common theme since that first music composer has been pattern recognition—which he believes is the essence of human thinking and the essence of the better-than-human artificially-enhanced intelligence that we are evolving toward.

The same work now continues at Google. Last July, Mr. Kurzweil was hunting investors for a new project. He pitched Google co-founder Larry Page. Mr. Page's response was to ask why Mr. Kurzweil didn't pursue his project inside Google, since Google controlled resources that Mr. Kurzweil surely would not be able to replicate outside. "Larry was actually more low-key and subtle than that," Mr. Kurzweil says now, "but that's how I interpreted the pitch. And he was right."

To wit, the knowledge graph—Google's map of billions of Web objects and concepts, and the billions of relationships among them—would be immeasurably handy to Mr. Kurzweil's ambition to recreate human-style pattern recognition, especially as it relates to language, in computers. The two agreed on a one-sentence job description: "to bring natural language understanding to Google."

Mr. Kurzweil and his Google team will be tackling a project begun by IBM's IBM -0.72% Watson, which fed its brain by reading Wikipedia. What Watson understood is hard to say, but—helped by brute processing power—Watson was famously able to beat all-time "Jeopardy" champions to intuit that, for instance, "a tiresome speech delivered by a frothy pie topping" was a "meringue harangue."

Mr. Kurzweil's goal is to enable Google's search engine to read, hear and understand human semantics. "The idea is to create a system that's expert in everything it has read and make that expertise available to the world," he says.

Mr. Kurzweil, at age 65, claims he has become just another Googler living in San Francisco and "riding the Google bus to work every day." But his employer also wants him to remain a "world thought leader"—a term not so grandiose as it seems when you consider all the Davos-type pontificators who exercise global influence without having hatched an original thought.

Continued in article

Jensen Links to Ray Kurweil
Ray Kurzweil, Father Of The Singularity, Is Going To Work At Google ---
http://readwrite.com/2012/12/14/ray-kurzweil-father-of-the-singularity-is-going-to-work-at-google

Video
Ray Kurzweil, Futurist: 10 Questions About What’s Coming Next (Technology) --- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2011/04/ray_kurzweil_futurist.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpenCulture+%28Open+Culture%29

Speeding Up Evolution:  Implanting microprocessors in the biological brain
"Brave New World: the Evolution of Mind in the Twenty-first Century," by Ray Kurzweil
http://www.kurzweiltech.com/WIRED/#THE GROWTH OF COMPUTING 

What does it mean to evolve? Evolution moves towards greater complexity, greater elegance, greater intelligence, greater beauty, greater creativity, greater love. And God has been called all these things, only without any limitation: infinite intelligence, infinite beauty, infinite creativity, and infinite love. Evolution does not achieve an infinite level, but as it explodes exponentially, it certainly moves in that direction. So evolution moves inexorably towards our conception of God. Thus the freeing of our thinking from the severe limitations of its biological form is an essential spiritual quest.

By the second half of this next century, there will be no clear distinction between human and machine intelligence. On the one hand, we will have biological brains vastly expanded through distributed nanobot-based implants. On the other, we will have fully nonbiological brains that are copies of human brains, albeit also vastly extended. And we will have a myriad of other varieties of intimate connection between human thinking and the technology it has fostered.

Ultimately, nonbiological intelligence will dominate because it is growing at a double exponential rate, whereas for all practical purposes biological intelligence is at a standstill. By the end of the twenty-first century, nonbiological thinking will be trillions of trillions of times more powerful than that of its biological progenitors, although still of human origin. It will continue to be the human-machine civilization taking the next step in evolution.

Before the next century is over, the Earth’s technology-creating species will merge with its computational technology. After all, what is the difference between a human brain enhanced a trillion fold by nanobot-based implants, and a computer whose design is based on high resolution scans of the human brain, and then extended a trillion-fold?

Most forecasts of the future seem to ignore the revolutionary impact of the inevitable emergence of computers that match and ultimately vastly exceed the capabilities of the human brain, a development that will be no less important than the evolution of human intelligence itself some thousands of centuries ago.

Ray Kurzweil is the author of: the following books and tapes:

"The Next Economic Revolution," by Alex Planes, Financial Education Daily, November 23, 2011 ---
http://paper.li/businessschools?utm_source=subscription&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=paper_sub 

"When Computers Beat Humans on Jeopardy Artificial intelligence is developing much more rapidly than most of us realize," by Ray Kurzweil, The Wall Street Journal, February 17, 2011 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704409004576146542688952206.html

Over the past three days,the TV show "Jeopardy!" featured a showdown between a clever IBM computer system called Watson and the two greatest "Jeopardy!" champions. Watson won handily. It won the preliminary practice round, tied Monday's opening round, and won by large margins on Tuesday and Wednesday. The point has been made: Watson can compete at the championship level—and is making it more difficult for anyone to argue that there are human tasks that computers will never achieve.

"Jeopardy!" involves understanding complexities of humor, puns, metaphors, analogies, ironies and other subtleties. Elsewhere, computers are advancing on many other fronts, from driverless cars (Google's cars have driven 140,000 miles through California cities and towns without human intervention) to the diagnosis of disease.

Watson runs on 90 computer servers, although it does not go out to the Internet. When will this capability be available on your PC? The ratio of computer price to performance is now doubling in less than a year, so 90 servers would become the equivalent of one server in about seven years, and the equivalent of one personal computer within a decade. However, with the growth in cloud computing—in which supercomputer capability is increasingly available to anyone via the Internet—Watson-like capability will actually be available to you much sooner.

Given this, I expect Watson-like "natural language processing" (the ability to "understand" ordinary English) to show up in Google, Bing and other search engines over the next five years.

With computers demonstrating a basic ability to understand human language, it's only a matter of time before they pass the famous "Turing test," in which "chatbot" programs compete to fool human judges into believing that they are human.

If Watson's underlying technology were applied to the Turing test, it would likely do pretty well. Consider the annual Loebner Prize competition, one version of the Turing test. Last year, the best chatbot contestant fooled the human judges 25% of the time.

Perhaps counterintuitively, Watson would have to dumb itself down in order to pass a Turing test. After all, if you were talking to someone over instant messaging and they seemed to know every detail of everything, you'd realize it was an artificial intelligence (AI).

A computer passing a properly designed Turing test would be operating at human levels. I, for one, would then regard it as human.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
But it truly is not a question of computer versus human. The beauty is that it is a question of human with the computer as a tool --- Hal 9000 is not here yet and probably will never be here until humans are extinct on earth and Hal is in outer space.

However, what we are probably not anticipating is how well we will one day be able to program creativity into the computer where eventually the computer will create original works of art, music, opera, ballet, literature, elegant (rather than brute-force) mathematical proofs, science experiments, aircraft designs, chess playing strategies, and even computers not yet conceived by humans.


I suspect that credit must be given to humans who can program creativity into a machine to a degree that it can invent things. The debate of "creativity" will one day boil down to a chicken versus the egg question.

.
Or put another way, when God says to the Devil "make your own dirt," can the "computer" truly create unless a human provides the "dirt?"

 


"10 Top Education Companies of 2013," Center for Digital Education, February 14, 2013 ---
http://www.centerdigitaled.com/news/10-Education-Companies-2013.html

Fast Company issues its annual list of the most innovative companies in education. The 2013 list includes nine companies and one community college.

In its annual list of top companies, the magazine broke down the organizations that have the most impact on education. Not surprisingly, the top three slots were filled by online course providers that partner with universities. They earned their spots for disrupting traditional university course delivery methods by offering classes at no charge to students.

1. Coursera

2. Udacity

3. EdX

4. Rio Salado Community College

5. Amplify

6. GameDesk

7. Duolingo

8. InsideTrack

9. FunDza

10. ClassDojo

But while the list includes the word company, not every organization included is a company. For example, Rio Salado Community College in Arizona came in fourth.

Rio Salado designed a custom course management and student services system that helps students stay on track with their education. Through predictive analytics, the college shows professors which students could be at risk of dropping out and need more attention. It also alerts professors when a student doesn't show up to class regularly or skips an assignment. The system allows educators to recognize at-risk students early and take action to help them.

For more information about what these companies did to be on the list, check out Fast Company's story.

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

 


"10 Hottest Ed-Tech Stories of 2012," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 2, 2013 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/10-hottest-ed-tech-stories-of-2012/41413?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Articles about how free online courses, or MOOCs, could disrupt higher education dominated the headlines last year here at the Wired Campus blog, and they were the most popular with readers as well. Several articles about e-textbooks also topped our list of most-read articles of 2012, highlighting what has been a time of change, and anxiety, for colleges and universities.

Coursera and Udacity appear most frequently in this year’s top headlines. Both offer MOOCs, or massive open online courses, and both were founded by Stanford University computer-science professors who are now on leave. Together, they now claim more than two million students, though some of those sign up but never complete work in the courses.

The most popular episode of our monthly Tech Therapy podcast highlights another anxiety among college leaders—how much raw time all this personal technology use eats up. The podcast includes a classic line by Freeman Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, about how frequently he uses his smartphone: “I am connected to this device for communication in the same way that I am always connected to my mind,” he said. “I’m constantly expressing or receiving.” Whatever he’s doing is working: Mr. Hrabowski was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of 2012.

Here are the 10 top Wired Campus stories:

1. Stanford Professor Gives Up Teaching Position, Hopes to Reach 500,000 Students at Online Start-Up

2. Could Many Universities Follow Borders Bookstores Into Oblivion?

3. Minnesota Gives Coursera the Boot, Citing a Decades-Old Law

4. Khan Academy Founder Proposes a New Type of College

5. Elsevier Publishing Boycott Gathers Steam Among Academics

6. Coursera Announces Big Expansion, Adding 17 Universities

7. 3 Major Publishers Sue Open-Education Textbook Start-Up

8. Students Find E-Textbooks ‘Clumsy’ and Don’t Use Their Interactive Features

9. Now E-Textbooks Can Report Back on Students’ Reading Habits

10. Udacity Cancels Free Online Math Course, Citing Low Quality

And here are the three most popular Tech Therapy episodes:

1. Campus Leaders Drink Big Gulps of Technology

2. Giving Everyone at College a ‘Domain of One’s Own’

3. Why the Man With the Open-Source Tattoo Now Works for Blackboard

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


"Google 2012: The Machines Are Getting Smarter," by Jon Mitchell, ReadWriteWeb, December 27, 2012 ---
http://readwrite.com/2012/12/27/google-2012-the-machines-are-getting-smarter

Google was full of surprises in 2012. It outdid Apple easily in mobile OS features. It rolled out a whole line of Nexus Android devices that are undeniably top notch. And it launched the Knowledge Graph, a watershed moment between the keyword-searching past of the Web and a future Web that understands whole concepts.

2012 was also the year that Google unified its offerings under a single privacy policy, a move that freaked out lots of people, but which was totally rational from Google's perspective. If we're going to have a data-driven future offering pervasive, free technologies in exchange for better targeting of advertisements, we'll have to accept that companies like Google have an eerily accurate, real-time profile of us.

As if to hammer that point home, Google hired futurist and Singularitarian Ray Kurzweil right before the Holiday break. Looking back at 2012, it looks like Google's brave new world is almost upon us.

Knowledge Graph: Search The World

The most important Google story this year was the launch of the Knowledge Graph. This marked the shift from a first-generation Google that merely indexed the words and metadata of the Web to a next-generation Google that recognizes discrete things and the relationships between them.

Now, when you search Google for certain kinds of things, you get an answer or an explanation in return, rather than a link to a Web page containing the answer. That's made possible by Google's new semantic intelligence. Google learned how to learn from the Web and its vast oceans of linked information, but now it's figuring out how to put the information itself to work for its users.

Web pages are a part of it. People are also a part of it, so Google built Google+ to get people on the Web to identify themselves, each other and their relationships. Maps are also a part of it, so Google can understand questions about location. The Web used to be an index of pages, but now it just looks like the world.

Google doesn't mince words about wanting to build the Star Trek computer - you know, one that you can talk to - and the Knowledge Graph is the most important component of that computer's mind.

Android: Google's Cyborg Army

What's always been clear about Android is that Google wants everyone to have a mobile device at all costs. By giving away the operating system, Android has taken over the market in terms of raw numbers.

But it hasn't always been clear whether Google cares that everyone has a great mobile experience. That finally came into focus in 2012. The Android 4.1 and 4.2 updates made the mobile operating system more powerful in some ways, cleaner and simpler in others. The pure Google mobile experience, for those without third-party cruft piled on top of their Android devices by device manufacturers, is now a world-class experience.

The new flagship Nexus devices are among the finest mobile computers on the market. The Nexus 4 is a hit phone, despite its lack of LTE connectivity, because it hits such a sweet spot of power and price. The Nexus 7 tablet is inexpensive and solid enough to inspire confidence - and powerful enough to keep around all day. The Nexus 10 is the only non-Apple device as good as an iPad, period. Where the iPad is refined and precious, the Nexus 10 is durable and hardy. It's purely a matter of preference.

Even more amazingly, Google managed to out-design Apple on Apple's own platform this year. Its updated Search app adds Knowledge Graph answers that blow Siri away. And the new apps for YouTube, Gmail, and especially Maps have heavy Google users on iOS breathing sighs of relief.

For Google, the point is to get as many people as possible using Google out in the world, whether on Google's own operating system or not.

Continued in artilce

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


Rebooting the Academy (not a free book)
Chronicle of Higher Education
2012
https://www.chronicle-store.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ID=79485&WG=350&cid=rebootWC

Rebooting the Academy: 12 Tech Innovators Who Are Transforming Campuses, tells the stories of a dozen key figures who are changing research, teaching, and the management of colleges in this time of technological change. The e-book features essays by each of the 12 innovators, explaining their visions in their own words and providing more details on their projects, plus The Chronicle’s profiles of them.

Among the highlights: Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy, riffs on how video lectures can improve teaching; Dan Cohen, of George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media, asks whether Google is good for the study of history; and Jim Groom, an instructional-technology specialist at the University of Mary Washington, argues against the very premise of the collection, noting that the best innovations come from groups, not individual leaders.

You will receive a confirmation email immediately after your Digital Edition order is placed allowing you to download the e-book to any of your preferred reading devices (includes formats for the Kindle, Nook, and iPad).

Wow!
Finance Learning Modules at the Khan Academy ---
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9F0B2DF69976D8FE

Introducing KA Lite: An Offline Version of the Khan Academy That Runs on Almost Anything --- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2012/12/introducing_ka_lite_an_offline_version_of_the_khan_academy_that_runs_on_almost_anything.html

GeoGebra (resources, including software, for teaching and learning mathematics) --- http://www.geogebra.org/cms/en/

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


"Episode 100: How Colleges Talk About (Tech) Reinvention," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 31, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/techtherapy/2012/10/31/episode-100-how-colleges-talk-about-reinvention/

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


The Digital Revolution and Higher Education --- http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/College-presidents.aspx

Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2012 --- http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1826214
Note especially the "Internet of Things"

Question
What is near-field communication (NFC) and why is Japan leading the way?

"Technology 2012 Preview: Part 1 Experts explain what should be at the top of your tech wish list for the new year," Journal of Accountancy, November 2011 ---
http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Issues/2011/Nov/20114310.htm

University of Capetown's  Centre for Education Technology --- http://www.cet.uct.ac

Bob Jensen's technology trends archives are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

New Learning Institute --- http://newlearninginstitute.org/


Higher Education Bubble --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_bubble

Guide to MIT Open Courseware, July 6, 2012 ---
http://diyscholar.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/guide-to-mit-open-courseware/

Educating the Masses:  From MITx to EDX
Harvard and MIT Create EDX to Offer Free Online Courses Worldwide --- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2012/05/harvard_and_mit_create_edx_to_offer_free_online_courses_worldwide.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpenCulture+%28Open+Culture%29

It all started early last fall. Sebastian Thrun went a little rogue (oh the audacity!) and started offering free online courses under Stanford’s banner to mass audiences, with each course promising a “statement of accomplishment” at the end. Hundreds of thousands of students signed up, and universities everywhere took notice.

Since then we have witnessed universities and startups scrambling fairly madly to create their own MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), hoping to gain a foothold in a new area that could eventually disrupt education in a major way. In December, MIT announced the creation of MITx, promising free courses and a “certificate of completion” to students worldwide. Sebastian Thrun left Stanford to create Udacity, and another Stanford spinoff, Coursera, gained instant traction when it announced in April that it had raised $16 million in venture capital and signed partnerships with Princeton, Penn and U Michigan.

Now comes the latest news. MIT has teamed up with its Cambridge neighbor, Harvard, to create a new non profit venture, EDX. To date, Harvard has barely dabbled in open education. But it’s now throwing $30 million behind EDX (M.I.T. will do the same), and together they will offer free digital courses worldwide, with students receiving the obligatory certificate of mastery at the end. The EDX platform will be open source, meaning it will be open to other universities. Whether EDX will replace MITx, or sit uncomfortably beside it, we’re not entirely sure (though it looks like it’s the former).

Classes will begin next fall. And when they do, we’ll let you know … and, of course, we’ll add them to our massive collection of 450 Free Online Courses.

For more information, you can watch the EDX press conference here and read an FAQ here.

Introducing a List of 50 Free Courses Granting Certificates from Great Universities --- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2012/10/introducing_a_list_of_50_free_university_courses_with_certificates.html
See the list at October 2012 list at  http://www.openculture.com/free_certificate_courses

"Will MITx Disrupt Higher Education?" by Robert Talbert, Chronicle of Higher Education, December 20, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/castingoutnines/2011/12/20/will-mitx-disrupt-higher-education/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

MIT OpenCourseWare: Introduction to Computer Science and Programming
http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-computer-science/6-00sc-introduction-to-computer-science-and-programming-spring-2011 

MIT & Khan Academy Team Up to Develop Science Videos for Kids. Includes The Physics of Unicycling --- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2012/05/mit_khan_academy_team_up_to_develop_science_videos_for_kids.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpenCulture+%28Open+Culture%29

Wow!
Finance Learning Modules at the Khan Academy ---
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9F0B2DF69976D8FE

GeoGebra (resources, including software, for teaching and learning mathematics) --- http://www.geogebra.org/cms/en/

Introducing KA Lite: An Offline Version of the Khan Academy That Runs on Almost Anything --- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2012/12/introducing_ka_lite_an_offline_version_of_the_khan_academy_that_runs_on_almost_anything.html

Get the Math (real world uses of math) --- http://www.thirteen.org/get-the-math/

"Innovations in Higher Education? Hah! College leaders need to move beyond talking about transformation before it's too late," by Ann Kirschner, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 8, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Innovations-in-Higher/131424/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Bob Jensen's threads on free courses, lectures, videos, and course materials from prestigious universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI


"Online Courses Should Always Include Proctored Finals, Economist Warns," by David Glenn, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 10, 2011 ---
Click Here
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/online-courses-should-always-include-proctored-finals-economist-warns/31287?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Udacity --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udacity

Pearson PLC --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearson_PLC

"Udacity to partner with Pearson for testing: What does this mean?" by Robert Talbert, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 2, 2012 --- Click Here
http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/castingoutnines/2012/06/02/udacity-to-partner-with-pearson-for-testing-what-does-this-mean/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Online educational startup Udacity, with whom I had a very positive experience while taking their CS 101 course, is taking things a bit further by partnering with Pearson. They’ll be using Pearson VUE testing centers worldwide to provide proctored final exams for some of their courses (presumably all of their courses will be included eventually), leading to an official credential and participation in a job placement service.

Before, students watched the videos and did homework assignments online and then took a final exam at the end of the semester. In the first offering of CS 101, the “grade” for the course (the kind of certificate you got from Udacity) depended on either an average of homework scores and the final exam or on the final exam alone. Most Udacity courses these days just use the final exam. But the exam is untimed and unproctored, and there’s absolutely nothing preventing academic dishonesty apart from the integrity of the student.

That’s not a great recipe for viable credentialing. For people like me, who want the knowledge but don’t really need the credentials, it’s enough, and I found their CS 101 course to be exactly the right level for what I needed to learn. But if you’re an employer, you’d want to have something a little more trustworthy, and so this is a logical move for Udacity. It’s also a significant step towards establishing themselves as more than just a web site with instructional videos.

The natural question for people like me is, what does this mean for traditional higher education? Personally, I’m not worried, because I teach at an institution that provides way more than just credentialing for job placement. That’s not to downplay the importance of credentialing or job placement — but that sort of thing is fundamentally different than a university education, or at least a university education that hasn’t forsaken its mission. Higher ed is a rich and complex ecosystem, and universities don’t really compete in the same space as providers like Udacity even with the sort of credentialing they’re describing. In fact there could be opportunities for useful partnerships between universities and online providers. Udacity certainly makes use of the university professoriate to power its content delivery.

On the other hand, Udacity’s move should be a warning to those institutions who have moved toward a credentialing + job placement model: Your space is being invaded by a viable competitor who can offer the same product for much less money.

Onsite Versus Online Education (including controls for online examinations and assignments) ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm#OnsiteVersusOnline

Bob Jensen's threads on Udacity and other alternatives for educating the masses ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

 


"Purdue Kicks Off Global Online-Education Project," by Nick DeSantis, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 11, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/purdue-kicks-off-global-online-education-project/36339

Purdue University today joined the group of universities that have recently announced plans to experiment with online courses aimed at a global audience.

The new effort, called PurdueHUB-U, will serve up modular online courses with video lectures, interactive visualizations, and tools for students to interact with their peers and the professor. The project’s leaders hope it will improve face-to-face classes and bring in revenue by attracting students around the world.

PurdueHUB-U grew out of a course taught this year on Purdue’s nanoHUB, a collaborative platform for nanotechnology research. The course, on the fundamentals of nanoelectronics, was broken into two parts that lasted a few weeks each. It attracted 900 students from 27 countries, most of whom paid $30 for the class and a certificate of completion. Students also had the option to turn their certificates into continuing-education credits for an additional $195.

Timothy D. Sands, Purdue’s provost, called that pricing model a “low outer paywall” that was much cheaper than traditional credit-hour charges, but not quite free. He added that the project will first focus on developing online course materials to transform the university’s face-to-face classes. Mr. Sands said the course modules could also be offered to Purdue alumni, allowing them to continue their education after they graduate.

Continued in article


Advanced Technological Education
ATE Projects Impact --- http://www.ateprojectimpact.org/index.html

The Advanced Technological Education (ATE) projects featured here exemplify the National Science Foundation-supported initiatives for technicians in high-technology fields of strategic importance to the nation. Two-year college educators have leadership roles in the projects, which test ways of improving technician education or of improving the professional development for the faculty who teach technicians. The projects� collaborative work with industry partners and educators from other undergraduate institutions and secondary schools perpetuate innovations that deliver highly-skilled technicians to workplaces. While each ATE project has its own goals, all the projects are part of a national effort to ensure that the technical workforce in the United States has the capacity to compete globally.

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm


"The European Higher Education Area: Retrospect and Prospect," by Kris Olds, Inside Higher Ed, March 22, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/globalhighered/european-higher-education-area-retrospect-and-prospect

The Modernision of Higher Education in Europe, 2010-2012 ---
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201012/ldselect/ldeucom/275/275.pdf


"Treating Higher Ed's 'Cost Disease' With Supersize Online Courses," by Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 26, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Treating-Higher-Eds-Cost/130934/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Oh my God, she's trying to replace me with a computer.

That's what some professors think when they hear Candace Thille pitch the online education experiment she directs, the Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University.

They're wrong. But what her project does replace is the traditional system of building and delivering introductory college courses.

Professors should move away from designing foundational courses in statistics, biology, or other core subjects on the basis of "intuition," she argues. Instead, she wants faculty to work with her team to put out the education equivalent of Super Bowl ads: expensively built online course materials, cheaply available to the masses.

"We're seeing failure rates in these large introductory courses that are not acceptable to anybody," Ms. Thille says. "There has to be a better way to get more students—irrespective of where they start—to be able to successfully complete."

Her approach brings together faculty subject experts, learning researchers, and software engineers to build open online courses grounded in the science of how people learn. The resulting systems provide immediate feedback to students and tailor content to their skills. As students work through online modules outside class, the software builds profiles on them, just as Netflix does for customers. Faculty consult that data to figure out how to spend in-person class time.

When Ms. Thille began this work, in 2002, the idea was to design free online courses that would give independent novices a shot at mastering what students learn in traditional classes. But two things changed. One, her studies found that the online system benefits on-campus students, allowing them to learn better and faster than their peers when the digital environment is combined with some face-to-face instruction.

And two, colleges sank into "fiscal famine," as one chancellor put it. Technological solutions like Ms. Thille's promise one treatment for higher education's "cost disease"—the notion, articulated by William G. Bowen and William J. Baumol, that the expense of labor-heavy endeavors like classroom teaching inevitably rises faster than inflation.

For years, educational-technology innovations led to more costs per student, says Mr. Bowen, president emeritus of Prince­ton University. But today we may have reached a point at which interactive online systems could "change that equation," he argues, by enabling students to learn just as much with less "capital and labor."

"What you've got right now is a powerful intersection between technological change and economics," Mr. Bowen tells The Chronicle.

Ms. Thille is, he adds, "a real evangelist in the best sense of the word."

Nowadays rival universities want to hire her. Venture capitalists want to market her courses. The Obama administration wants her advice. And so many foundations want to support her work that she must turn away some would-be backers.

But the big question is this: Can Ms. Thille get a critical mass of people to buy in to her idea? Can she expand the Online Learning Initiative from a tiny darling of ed-tech evangelists to something that truly changes education? A Background in Business

Ms. Thille brings an unusual biography to the task. The 53-year-old Californian spent 18 years in the private sector, culminating in a plum job as a partner in a management-consulting company in San Francisco. She earned a master's degree but not a doctorate, a gap she's now plugging by studying toward a Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania.

She has never taught a college course.

Ms. Thille wasn't even sure she'd make it through her own bachelor's program, so precarious were her finances at the time. Her family had plunged from upper middle class to struggling after her father quit his job at the Lockheed Missiles and Space Company because of his opposition to the Vietnam War. But with jobs and scholarships, she managed to earn a degree in sociology from Berkeley.

After college, Ms. Thille followed her fiancé to Pittsburgh. The engagement didn't last, but her connection to the city did. She worked as education coordinator for a rape-crisis center, training police and hospital employees.

She eventually wound up back in California at the consultancy, training executives and helping businesses run meetings effectively. There she took on her first online-learning project: building a hybrid course to teach executives how to mentor subordinates.

Ms. Thille doesn't play up this corporate-heavy résumé as she travels the country making the case for why professors should change how they teach. On a recent Tuesday morning, The Chronicle tagged along as that mission brought Ms. Thille to the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she was meeting with folks from the university and two nearby community colleges to prepare for the development of a new pre-calculus course.

It's one piece of a quiet but sweeping push to develop, deploy, and test Open Learning Initiative courses at public institutions around the country, led by an alphabet soup of education groups.

The failure rate in such precalculus courses can be so bad that as many as 50 percent of students need to take the class a second time. Ms. Thille and her colleagues hope to improve on that record while developing materials of such quality that they're used by perhaps 100,000 students each year. Facing Skepticism

But first the collaborators must learn how to build a course as a team. As Ms. Thille fires up her PowerPoint, she faces a dozen or so administrators and professors in Chicago. The faculty members segregate themselves into clusters—community-college people mostly in one group, university folks mostly in another. Some professors are learning about the initiative in detail for the first time. There is little visible excitement as they plunge into the project, eating muffins at uncomfortable desks in a classroom on the sixth floor of the Soviet-looking science-and-engineering building.

By contrast, Ms. Thille whirls with enthusiasm. She describes Online Learning Initiative features like software that mimics human tutors: making comments when students go awry, keeping quiet when they perform well, and answering questions about what to do next. She discusses the "dashboard" that tells professors how well students grasp each learning objective. Throughout, she gives an impression of hyper-competence, like a pupil who sits in the front row and knows the answer to every question.

But her remarks can sometimes veer into a disorienting brew of jargon, giving the impression that she is talking about lab subjects rather than college kids. Once she mentions "dosing" students with a learning activity. And early on in the workshop, she faces a feisty challenge from Chad Taylor, an assistant professor at Harper College. He worries about what happens when students must face free-form questions, which the computer doesn't baby them through.

"I will self-disclose myself as a skeptic of these programs," he says. Software is "very good at prompting the students to go step by step, and 'do this' and 'do that,' and all these bells and whistles with hints. But the problem is, in my classroom they're not prompted step by step."

Around the country, there's more skepticism where that came from, Ms. Thille confides over a dinner of tuna tacos later that day. One chief obstacle is the "not-invented-here problem." Professors are wary of adopting courses they did not create. The Online Learning Initiative's team-based model represents a cultural shift for a professoriate that derives status, and pride, from individual contributions.

Then there's privacy. The beauty of OLI is that developers can improve classes by studying data from thousands of students. But some academics worry that colleges could use that same data to evaluate professors—and fire those whose students fail to measure up.

Ms. Thille tells a personal story that illustrates who could benefit if she prevails. Years ago she adopted a teenager, Cece. The daughter of a drug user who died of AIDS, Cece was 28 days' truant from high school when she went to live with Ms. Thille. She was so undereducated, even the simple fractions of measuring cups eluded her. Her math teacher told Ms. Thille that with 40 kids in class, she needed to focus on the ones who were going to "make it."

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
In a way we already have something like this operating in colleges and universities that adopt the Brigham Young University variable speed video disks designed for learning the two basic accounting courses without meeting in classrooms or having the usual online instruction. Applications vary of course, and some colleges may have recitation sections where students meet to get help and take examinations ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#BYUvideo

Although BYU uses this no-class video pedagogy, it must be recognized that most of the BYU students learning accounting on their own in this manner are both exceptionally motivated and exceptionally intelligent. For schools that adopt the pedagogies of Me. Thile or BYU, the students must be like BYU accounting students or the pedagogy must be modified for more hand holding and kick-butt features that could be done in various ways online or onsite.

Perhaps Ms. Thille is being somewhat naive about turf wars in universities. Certain disciplines are able to afford a core faculty for research and advanced-course teaching with miniscule classes because teaching large base courses in the general education core justifies not having to shrink those departments with almost no majors.

Where Ms. Thille's pedagogy might be more useful is in specialty courses where its expensive to hire faculty to teach one or two courses. For example, it's almost always difficult for accounting departments to hire top faculty for governmental accounting courses and the super-technical ERP courses in AIS.

Bob Jensen's threads on courses without instructors ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#NoInstructors
Of course Ms. Thille is not exactly advocating a pedagogy without instructors. There are instructors in her proposed model.

Bob Jensen's threads on competency-based learning and assessment ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm#ECA


"Study: Little Difference in Learning in Online and In-Class Science Courses," Inside Higher Ed, October 22, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2012/10/22/study-little-difference-learning-online-and-class-science-courses

A study in Colorado has found little difference in the learning of students in online or in-person introductory science courses. The study tracked community college students who took science courses online and in traditional classes, and who then went on to four-year universities in the state. Upon transferring, the students in the two groups performed equally well. Some science faculty members have expressed skepticism about the ability of online students in science, due to the lack of group laboratory opportunities, but the programs in Colorado work with companies to provide home kits so that online students can have a lab experience.
 

 

Jensen Comment
Firstly, note that online courses are not necessarily mass education (MOOC) styled courses. The student-student and student-faculty interactions can be greater online than onsite. For example, my daughter's introductory chemistry class at the University of Texas had over 600 students. On the date of the final examination he'd never met her and had zero control over her final grade. On the other hand, her microbiology instructor in a graduate course at the University of Maine became her husband over 20 years ago.

Another factor is networking. For example, Harvard Business School students meeting face-to-face in courses bond in life-long networks that may be stronger than for students who've never established networks via classes, dining halls, volley ball games, softball games, rowing on the Charles River, etc. There's more to lerning than is typically tested in competency examinations.

My point is that there are many externalities to both onsite and online learning. And concluding that there's "little difference in learning" depends upon what you mean by learning. The SCALE experiments at the University of Illinois found that students having the same instructor tended to do slightly better than onsite students. This is partly because there are fewer logistical time wasters in online learning. The effect becomes larger for off-campus students where commuting time (as in Mexico City) can take hours going to and from campus.
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm

 


Khan Academy --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khan_Academy
Khan Academy Home Page --- http://www.khanacademy.org/

Khan Academy Releases New App for iPhone & iPod Touch, Giving You Mobile Access to 3600 Videos ---
http://www.openculture.com/2012/11/khan_academy_releases_new_app_for_iphone_ipod_touch.html

Wow!
Finance Learning Modules at the Khan Academy ---
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9F0B2DF69976D8FE

Introducing KA Lite: An Offline Version of the Khan Academy That Runs on Almost Anything --- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2012/12/introducing_ka_lite_an_offline_version_of_the_khan_academy_that_runs_on_almost_anything.html

"Khan Academy Tracks Users’ Mastery of Math," by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 2, 2013 --- Click Here
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/quickwire-khan-academy-unveils-personal-homepages/46977?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

On March 11, 2012 CBS Sixty Minutes broadcast a great module on the Khan Academy ---
Khan Academy: The future of education?  Click Here
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57394905/khan-academy-the-future-of-education/?tag=contentMain;cbsCarousel
 

With the backing of Gates and Google, Khan Academy and its free online educational videos are moving into the classroom and across the world. Their goal: to revolutionize how we teach and learn. Sanjay Gupta reports. Web Extras

Khan Academy: The future of education? Khan Academy: School of the future Khan Academy in the classroom More »

(CBS News) Sal Khan is a math, science, and history teacher to millions of students, yet none have ever seen his face. Khan is the voice and brains behind Khan Academy, a free online tutoring site that may have gotten your kid out of an algebra bind with its educational how-to videos. Now Khan Academy is going global. Backed by Google, Gates, and other Internet powerhouses, Sal Khan wants to change education worldwide, and his approach is already being tested in some American schools. Sanjay Gupta reports.

The following script is from "Teacher to the World" which aired on March 11, 2012. Sanjay Gupta is the correspondent. Denise Schrier Cetta, producer. Matthew Danowski, editor.

Take a moment and remember your favorite teacher - now imagine that teacher could reach, not 30 kids in a classroom, but millions of students all over the world. That's exactly what Sal Khan is doing on his website Khan Academy. With its digital lessons and simple exercises, he's determined to transform how we learn at every level. One of his most famous pupils, Bill Gates, says Khan -- this "teacher to the world," is giving us all a glimpse of the future of education.

35-year-old Sal Khan may look like a bicycle messenger, but with three degrees from MIT and an MBA from Harvard, his errand is intensely intellectual. In his tiny office above a tea shop in Silicon Valley, he settles in to do what he's done thousands of times before.

 

[Sal Khan: We've talked a lot now about the demand curve and consumer surplus. Now let's think about the supply curve.]

 

He's recording a 10-minute economics lesson. It's so simple - all you hear is his voice and all you see is his colorful sketches on a digital blackboard.

Watch Internet phenomenon Sal Khan's video lessons

[Khan: In this video we are going to talk about the law of demand.]

 

When Khan finishes the lecture, he uploads it to his website - where it joins the more than 3,000 other lessons he's done. In just a couple of years he's gone from having a few hundred pupils to more than four million every month.

 

Sanjay Gupta: Has it sunk in to you that you are probably the most watched teacher in the world now?

 

Khan: I, you know, I try not to say things like that to myself. You don't want to think about it too much because it can I think paralyze you a little bit.

 

[Khan: So if we get rid of the percent sign, we move the decimal over...]

 

He's amassed a library of math lectures...

 

[Khan: 12 plus four is sixteen...]

 

Starting with basic addition and building all the way through advanced calculus.

 

[Khan: We are taking limited delta x approach to zero. It's the exact same thing.]

 

But he's not just a math wiz, he has this uncanny ability to break down even the most complicated subjects, including physics, biology, astronomy, history, medicine.

 

Gupta: How much reading do you do ahead of time?

 

Khan: It depends what I'm doing. If I'm doing something that I haven't visited for a long time, you know, since high school I'll go buy five textbooks in it. And I'll try to read every textbook. I'll read whatever I can find on the Internet.

 

[Khan: Let's talk about one of the most important biological processes...]

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Important takeaways from this video is that there are currently 40-50 million users of Khan Academy. This has to be the future of learning technical modules, although inspiration, learning motivation, and learning certification (e.g., grades) must have other sources. I might note that the video modules used in the Khan Academy are very similar to the Camtasia Videos that I prepared to teach technical details to my students in accounting theory and AIS ---
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/acct5342/
These videos may not run on Windows 7 machines because of something bad that happened with Windows 7 ---
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/VideoCodecProblems.htm

The $50 million grant from the Gates Foundation enabled the Khan Academy to hire some sophisticated engineers who, among other things, have written software for tracking learning progress of users.

The most wonderful feature of the technical learning modules at the Khan Academy is that there are thousands of them and they are all free. Students aged 10-100 can learn a vast amount of technical things if they are inspired and motivated to do so for learning's sake. They are great supplements for courses being taken for grades and transcripts. But they still only cover selected disciplines in math, science, technology, and social science. The coverage is still lacking in fields like accounting, law, and business except where quantitative methods like statistical analysis may come into play. But the Khan Academy is not finished adding new modules by any means.

I might add that I found some relatively advanced-level accountancy modules at the Khan Academy such as CDO accounting and fair value accounting. But the Khan Academy still does not come close to covering what we teach in accountancy, auditing, tax and AIS relative what is taught in a mathematics curriculum.

I suspect it may one day become a little like YouTube where experts will add video modules to Khan Academy. However, the postings to Khan Academy will no doubt be subjected to quality control filters.

This is the wave of technical learning in the future. Video modules will not, however, replace the importance of team learning, studies of complicated cases that do not have definitive solutions (e.g., Harvard Business School Cases), and interactions with faculty and students that inspire and motivate students to want to learn more and more and more.

Lastly, I want to note that I don't see any way possible not to love Sal Khan. He's an inspiration to the world.

Get the Math (real world uses of math) --- http://www.thirteen.org/get-the-math/

MIT & Khan Academy Team Up to Develop Science Videos for Kids. Includes The Physics of Unicycling --- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2012/05/mit_khan_academy_team_up_to_develop_science_videos_for_kids.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpenCulture+%28Open+Culture%29

Introducing KA Lite: An Offline Version of the Khan Academy That Runs on Almost Anything --- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2012/12/introducing_ka_lite_an_offline_version_of_the_khan_academy_that_runs_on_almost_anything.html

Saylor.org: Free Education --- http://www.saylor.org/

TED, Known for Idea Talks, Releases Educational Videos --- Click Here
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/ted-known-for-idea-talks-releases-educational-videos/35745?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Khan Academy Home Page --- http://www.khanacademy.org/

Introducing KA Lite: An Offline Version of the Khan Academy That Runs on Almost Anything --- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2012/12/introducing_ka_lite_an_offline_version_of_the_khan_academy_that_runs_on_almost_anything.html

Free lectures, videos, courses, and certificate credit from prestigious universities (including MITx) ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

GeoGebra (resources, including software, for teaching and learning mathematics) --- http://www.geogebra.org/cms/en/

MIT OpenCourseWare: Introduction to Computer Science and Programming
http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-computer-science/6-00sc-introduction-to-computer-science-and-programming-spring-2011 


Khan Academy --- https://www.khanacademy.org/about

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MCAT

"Khan Academy Launches First Round of MCAT Videos," Inside Higher Ed, October 28, 2013 ---
 http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2013/10/28/khan-academy-launches-first-round-mcat-videos

Bob Jensen's threads on with wonderful free Khan Academy that now partners with selected schools to provide free video tutorials that fit into curricula ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI
Scroll down to find tidbits on the Khan Academy


Free Math Helper Site

June 7, 2013 message from Julia

Howdy Bob,

I'm a struggling retired teacher over here putting together my first web site. I was just wondering, if it isn't too much to ask, could you please take a quick look at my web site and see if it meets your standards for your Math Bookmarks area. All of my materials are free and aligned to the core curriculum.

http://www.mathworksheetsland.com/ 

It has been really tough trying to get the word out there to teachers. Everyone is so busy. Who has time? I appreciate your work and time.

A 1,000 Thanks,

Julia Retired Middle School Math Teacher,
Mom of 3, Grandma of 4, and Tired

June 7, 2013 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Julia,

These should make great PDF supplements to Khan Academy videos. They must have taken an incredible amount of time to produce.

Thank you for open sharing.

I will add your link at least in the following pages (near the Khan Academy links). Please be patient. I may not get my revised pages down to my Texas server until the next edition of Tidbits comes out on June 11.

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI 

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/CrossBorder.htm 

Respectfully,
Bob Jensen


The Always-Popular Open Sharing Salmon Khan
"An Outsider Calls for a Teaching Revolution," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 26, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/An-Outsider-Calls-for-a/130923/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

In just a few short years, Salman Khan has built a free online educational institution from scratch that has nudged major universities to offer free self-guided courses and inspired many professors to change their teaching methods.

His creation is called Khan Academy, and its core is a library of thousands of 10-minute educational videos, most of them created by Mr. Khan himself. The format is simple but feels intimate: Mr. Khan's voice narrates as viewers watch him sketch out his thoughts on a digital whiteboard. He made the first videos for faraway cousins who asked for tutoring help. Encouraging feedback by others who watched the videos on YouTube led him to start the academy as a nonprofit.

More recently Mr. Khan has begun adding what amounts to a robot tutor to the site that can quiz visitors on their knowledge and point them to either remedial video lessons if they fail or more-advanced video lessons if they pass. The site issues badges and online "challenge patches" that students can put on their Web résumés.

He guesses that the demand for his service was one inspiration for his alma mater, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to start MITx, its self-guided online courses that give students the option of taking automatically graded tests to earn a certificate.

Mr. Khan also works the speaking circuit, calling on professors to move away from a straight lecture model by assigning prerecorded lectures as homework and using class time for more interactive exercises, or by having students use self-paced computer systems like Khan Academy during class while professors are available to answer questions. "It has made universities—and I can cite examples of this—say, Why should we be giving 300-person lectures anymore?" he said in a recent interview with The Chronicle.

Mr. Khan, now 35, has no formal training in education, though he does have two undergraduate degrees and a master's from MIT, as well as an M.B.A. from Harvard. He spent most of his career as a hedge-fund analyst. Mr. Khan also has the personal endorsement of Bill Gates, as well as major financial support from Mr. Gates's foundation. That outside-the-academy status makes some traditional academics cool on his project.

"Sometimes I get a little frustrated when people say, Oh, they're taking a Silicon Valley approach to education. I'm like, Yes, that's exactly right. Silicon Valley is where the most creativity, the most open-ended, the most pushing the envelope is happening," he says. "And Silicon Valley recognizes more than any part of the world that we're having trouble finding students capable of doing that."

 

Khan Academy Home Page --- http://www.khanacademy.org/
This site lists the course categories (none for accounting)

2,300+ YouTube Free Educational Videos from Salman Khan
"Salman Khan: The Messiah of Math:  Can an ex-hedge fund guy and his nonprofit Khan Academy make American school kids competitive again?" by Bryant Urstadt, Business Week, May 19, 2011 ---
 http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_22/b4230072816925.htm?link_position=link3

In August 2004, Salman Khan agreed to help his niece, Nadia, with her math homework. Nadia was headed into seventh grade in New Orleans, where Khan had grown up, but she hadn't been placed in her private school's advanced math track, which to a motivated parent these days is a little bit like hearing your child has just been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. In particular, Nadia was having trouble with unit conversion, turning gallons into liters and ounces into grams.

Math was something Khan, then 28, understood. It was one of his majors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, along with computer science and electrical engineering. He had gone on to get a master's in computer science and electrical engineering, also at MIT, and then an MBA from Harvard. He was working in Boston at the time for Daniel Wohl, who ran a hedge fund called Wohl Capital Management. Khan, an analyst, was the only employee.

Being a bit of a geek, Khan put Yahoo!'s (YHOO) Messenger to work to help Nadia, using the Doodle function to let him illustrate concepts for his niece as they spoke on the phone. Then he wrote some code that generated problems she could do on a website. With Khan's help, Nadia made it into the fast track, and her younger brothers Arman and Ali signed on for Khan's tutoring as well. Then they brought in some of their friends. Khan built his site out a little more, grouping the concepts into "modules" and creating a database that would keep track of how many problems the kids had tried and how they had fared, so he'd know how each of his charges was progressing.

Messenger didn't make sense with multiple viewers, so he started creating videos that he could upload to YouTube. This required a Wacom tablet with an electronic pen, which cost about $80. The videos were each about 10 minutes long and contained two elements: his blackboard-style diagrams—Khan happens to be an excellent sketcher—and his voice-over explaining things like greatest common divisors and equivalent fractions. He posted the first video on Nov. 16, 2006; in it, he explained the basics of least common multiples. Soon other students, not all children, were checking out his videos, then watching them all, then sending him notes telling him that he had saved their math careers, too.

Less than five years later, Khan's sideline has turned into more than just his profession. He's now a quasi-religious figure in a country desperate for a math Moses. His free website, dubbed the Khan Academy, may well be the most popular educational site in the world. Last month about 2 million students visited. MIT's OpenCourseWare site, by comparison, has been around since 2001 and averages 1 million visits each month. He has posted more than 2,300 videos, beginning with simple addition and going all the way to subjects such as Green's theorem, normally found in a college calculus syllabus. He's adding videos on accounting, the credit crisis, the French Revolution, and the SAT and GMAT, among other things. He masters the subjects himself and then teaches them. As of the end of April, he claims to have served up more than 54 million individual lessons.

His program has also spread from the homes of online learners to classrooms around the world, to the point that, in at least a few classrooms, it has supplanted textbooks. (Students often write Khan that they aced a course without opening their texts, though Khan doesn't post these notes on his site.) Dan Meyer, a high school math teacher and Stanford University PhD candidate in education, puts it this way: "If you're teaching math in this country right now, then there's pretty much no way you haven't heard of Salman Khan."

Continued in article

"Video: Salman Khan @ Google 'Free World Class Virtual School(s)'," Simoleon Sense, March 28, 2011 ---
http://www.simoleonsense.com/video-salman-khan-google-free-world-class-virtual-schools/

Salman Khan is the founder and faculty of Khan Academy http://www.khanacademy.org/ a not-for-profit educational organization. With the stated mission “of providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere”, the Academy supplies a free online collection of over 2,000 videos on mathematics, history, finance, physics, chemistry, astronomy, and economics.

In late 2004, Khan began tutoring his cousin in mathematics using Yahoo!’s Doodle notepad. When other relatives and friends sought his tutorial, he decided it would be more practical to distribute the tutorials on YouTube. Their popularity there and the testimonials of appreciative students prompted Khan to quit his job in finance in 2009 and focus on the Academy full-time.

Khan Academy’s channel on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/khanacademy has 45+ million views so far and it’s one of YouTube’s most successful academic partners.

In September 2010, Google announced they would be providing the Khan Academy with $2 million to support the creation of more courses and to enable the Khan Academy to translate their core library into the world’s most widely spoken languages, as part of Project 10^100, http://www.project10tothe100.com/.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing tutorials and videos ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI


Separating Fact from Hype and Wishful Thinking about Education Technology
"Hurdles Remain Before College Classrooms Go Completely Digital," by Dave Copeland, ReadWriteWeb, February 20, 2012 ---
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/hurdles_remain_before_college_classrooms_go_comple.php

OnlineUniversities.com came out with an optimistic infographic last week about how college classrooms are going digital.

But as someone who makes as much as a quarter of his income from teaching college classes in any given year, and who also spends a good amount of time speaking at conferences trying to help professors incorporate technology and social media into their curriculum, the view from the trenches is very different than the iPad-in-every-backpack proponents would have you believe.

This is not to say that tech isn't changing the way we teach and the way students learn: it most certainly is. But probably not as fast as some people outside of higher ed think it is.

Since 2006, Mashery has managed the APIs for more than 100 brands such as The New York Times, Netflix, Best Buy and Hoovers. Powering the more than 10,000 apps built upon these APIs, Mashery enables its customers to distribute their content, data or products to mobile devices and web mashups.

 

People who say we're at the dawn of a new way of learning at the college level are overlooking some rather significant economic and cultural hurdles. At the same time, academic freedom means professors can choose to implement technology a lot, a little bit or not at all into their curriculum. And implementing it "a lot" isn't always a good thing, particularly if it isn't used in a way that boosts learning outcomes.

We (Don't) Have The Technology

If you were to visit the library on the campus where I teach, you would see students waiting to use outdated desktops in the computer labs and library, particularly around midterms and finals week. It seems odd at first, considering the school has a laptop requirement for all undergraduates. That means you have to have a laptop computer when you enroll, and presumably, as an instructor, I can require my students to bring them to any class.

But here's the reality: laptops break, and students can't afford replacements.

The mainstream media has sold us a myth of college still being the place for the ultra-elite, for kids who start compiling "brag sheets" in the fourth grade and have parents that shell out five figures to hire a college admissions coach.

But in practice, most college students these days are like the ones I teach at a four-year state college: they are, by-and-large, the first in their family to attend college. Almost all of my students work, and many work full-time or multiple part-time jobs. Some are parents. An increasing number are so-called nontraditional students and are enrolling after an extended break from education. These students often support families and, in many case, have college-aged children who need their own laptops.

Now factor in that the fastest growing segment of higher education are community colleges, which by-and-large draw kids from working class backgrounds or cater to people who have been laid off and are trying to get trained for a new career.

For a lot of students, replacing a broken laptop is a choice between skipping a rent payment or sucking it up and waiting in those long lines at the computer lab. Asking them to shell out for an iPad on top of the laptop just isn't feasible for many college students, and that means its going to take longer to get everyone on board with the tech revolution in higher ed.

Tenure Doesn't Equal Tech Savvy

One of the concerns among students on the campus where I teach is that the university employs an alert system that sends them text and email messages if there is a life-threatening emergency on campus (think Virginia Tech in 2007). But what are they supposed to do, these students ask, if they're in a class where the teacher bans them from using smartphones and laptops?

Academic freedom means professors get to run their classrooms in the way they want, and that includes choosing the tools they use to teach. Having sat in meetings where faculty members have threatened to file union complaints because email means students can - GASP! - contact them at any time, I think we're a ways off from blanket incorporation of social media and tablet textbooks across the curriculum.

These same professors, many of whom predate the Internet era in higher ed, never concede that email also means fewer student visits during office hours for simple questions, which means more time to get actual work done. This isn't meant as a knock on them, but there are varying degrees of enthusiasm for incorporating tech into teaching and, unlike high schools, tech enthusiasm can't be mandated by a curriculum committee.

High School's Chilling Effects

Career academics are not, however, the only ones to blame. A lot of students come to college with backward views of what social media is and what it can accomplish. And most importantly, what is and isn't acceptable on social media.

And why shouldn't they? They come from schools where teachers can be reprimanded or even fired for connecting with students on social networks. Several schools across the country are implementing bans on teachers friending not only current students but former students on Facebook.

There's no easy fix for overcoming these preexisting biases. Step one, as a professor, is make sure you don't use Facebook for classwork: even though it's the default social network for so many of us, there's still too much of a creep factor in crossing that student-professor line (and, frankly, with Facebook's ever-shifting privacy policies, even if you think you're protected you may end up seeing stuff about your students you'd be better off not knowing about).

But that leaves us to decide which social network we should use with our students. Dedicated social networks like the one being rolled out for students by Microsoft seem like a good idea, but my own experience is that a site students check for reasons other than school tends to produce more frequent check-ins and a more organic discussion about classwork, which is exactly what I want to accomplish with social media in my classes.

I tried using Google+ last September, only to be thwarted in a freshman writing class where some of the students were not yet 18. Google has since relaxed its age restrictions, but the social network is still too new for students to gravitate toward it. In my experiment, students found it confusing, or at least less intuitive than Facebook, and I was finding most would only use it if I mandated it.

I've had the best luck with Twitter, including the use of it in a film class so we can discuss the film as we're screening it each week (for a sample, see this storify of tweets from the class discussion of Shawshank Redmeption). But, again, only about half of my students will use it if I don't require it. And of the students who start using it because I require it in my class, fewer than 10% will continue to use it when the semester ends.

Hope On The Horizon: The Kindle Effect

The people I thought would be stingiest about adopting technology in their classrooms have, in many cases, been the most willing to change. I now see a lot of those seemingly stodgy old English professors walking around campus with a Kindle tucked under their arm.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on the hope and hype of education technology ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side of education technology ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm


January 10, 2011 message from David Albrecht

HETL is a professional organization dedicated to advancing teaching and learning in higher education.  It got its start on LinkedIn with discussion groups.  To participate in the discussion group, a collegiate teacher (and now doctoral students) would have to apply.  If the applicant had 2-5 years experience teaching in higher education (and met certain disclosure requirements on their profile), they were admitted.

LinkedIn membership is now over 10,000 and rapidly climing.  I believe it is the largest LinkedIn discussion group.  Knowing me, you'd probably expect that I'd get involved in the discussions.  I have.  I answered a call for volunteers, and am now a reviewer for its publications.  There are two refereed venues.  One is for commentary pieces on higher education.  So far, contributors have been well-known academics such as Dee Fink.  The other is an on-line journal.

Currently, HETL has a call out for volunteers to expand its editorial and review boards.  Information can be found at the HETL portal (
http://hetl.org).  While there, you can see that an option is to join with a paid membership ($60 per year).

I really like the give and take with profs from around the world.  There were over 450 comments on a thread about whether or not to be a Facebook friend with a student.

You can find out more information about the group from the web site:
 http://hetl.org

Dave Albrecht

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology and learning ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm


US News Rankings --- http://www.usnews.com/rankings

US News Top Online Education Programs --- http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education
Do not confuse this with the US News project to evaluate for-profit universities --- a project hampered by refusal of many for-profit universiteis to provide data

Methodology: Online Bachelor's Degree Rankings ---
http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2012/01/09/methodology-online-bachelors-degree-rankings

. . .

Data collection commenced on July 14, 2011, using a password-protected online system. Drawing from its Best Colleges universe of regionally accredited bachelor's granting institutions, U.S.News & World Report E-mailed surveys to the 1,765 regionally accredited institutions it determined had offered bachelor's degree programs in 2010.

Continued in article

"'U.S. News' Sizes Up Online-Degree Programs, Without Specifying Which Is No. 1," by Nick DeSantis, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 10, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/US-News-Sizes-Up/130274/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

U.S. News & World Report has published its first-ever guide to online degree programs—but distance-education leaders looking to trumpet their high rankings may find it more difficult to brag about how they placed than do their colleagues at residential institutions.

Unlike the magazine's annual rankings of residential colleges, which cause consternation among many administrators for reducing the value of each program into a single headline-friendly number, the new guide does not provide lists based on overall program quality; no university can claim it hosts the top online bachelor's or online master's program. Instead, U.S. News produced "honor rolls" highlighting colleges that consistently performed well across the ranking criteria.

Eric Brooks, a U.S. News data research analyst, said the breakdown of the rankings into several categories was intentional; his team chose its categories based on areas with enough responses to make fair comparisons.

"We're only ranking things that we felt the response rates justified ranking this year," he said.

The rankings, which will be published today, represent a new chapter in the 28-year history of the U.S. News guide. The expansion was brought on by the rapid growth of online learning. More than six million students are now taking at least one course online, according to a recent survey of more than 2,500 academic leaders by the Babson Survey Research Group and the College Board.

U.S. News ranked colleges with bachelor's programs according to their performance in three categories: student services, student engagement, and faculty credentials. For programs at the master's level, U.S. News added a fourth category, admissions selectivity, to produce rankings of five different disciplines: business, nursing, education, engineering, and computer information technology.

To ensure that the inaugural rankings were reliable, Mr. Brooks said, U.S. News developed its ranking methodology after the survey data was collected. Doing so, he said, allowed researchers to be fair to institutions that interpreted questions differently.

Some distance-learning experts criticized that technique, however, arguing that the methodology should have been established before surveys were distributed.

Russell Poulin, deputy director of research and analysis for the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, which promotes online education as part of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, said that approach allowed U.S. News to ask the wrong questions, resulting in an incomplete picture of distance-learning programs.

"It sort of makes me feel like I don't know who won the baseball game, but I'll give you the batting average and the number of steals and I'll tell you who won," he said. Mr. Poulin and other critics said any useful rankings of online programs should include information on outcomes like retention rates, employment prospects, and debt load—statistics, Mr. Brooks said, that few universities provided for this first edition of the U.S. News rankings. He noted that the surveys will evolve in future years as U.S. News learns to better tailor its questions to the unique characteristics of online programs.

W. Andrew McCollough, associate provost for information technology, e-learning, and distance education at the University of Florida, said he was "delighted" to discover that his institution's bachelor's program was among the four chosen for honor-roll inclusion. He noted that U.S. News would have to customize its questions in the future, since he found some of them didn't apply to online programs. He attributed that mismatch to the wide age distribution and other diverse demographic characteristics of the online student body.

The homogeneity that exists in many residential programs "just doesn't exist in the distance-learning environment," he said. Despite the survey's flaws, Mr. McCollough said, the effort to add to the body of information about online programs is helpful for prospective students.

Turnout for the surveys varied, from a 50 percent response rate among nursing programs to a 75 percent response rate among engineering programs. At for-profit institutions—which sometimes have a reputation for guarding their data closely—cooperation was mixed, said Mr. Brooks. Some, like the American Public University System, chose to participate. But Kaplan University, one of the largest providers of online education, decided to wait until the first rankings were published before deciding whether to join in, a spokesperson for the institution said.

Though this year's rankings do not make definitive statements about program quality, Mr. Brooks said the research team was cautious for a reason and hopes the new guide can help students make informed decisions about the quality of online degrees.

"We'd rather not produce something in its first year that's headline-grabbing for the wrong reasons," he said.


'Honor Roll' From 'U.S. News' of Online Graduate Programs in Business

Institution Teaching Practices and Student Engagement Student Services and Technology Faculty Credentials and Training Admissions Selectivity
Arizona State U., W.P. Carey School of Business 24 32 37 11
Arkansas State U. 9 21 1 36
Brandman U. (Part of the Chapman U. system) 40 24 29 n/a
Central Michigan U. 11 3 56 9
Clarkson U. 4 24 2 23
Florida Institute of Technology 43 16 23 n/a
Gardner-Webb U. 27 1 15 n/a
George Washington U. 20 9 7 n/a
Indiana U. at Bloomington, Kelley School of Business 29 19 40 3
Marist College 67 23 6 5
Quinnipiac U. 6 4 13 16
Temple U., Fox School of Business 39 8 17 34
U. of Houston-Clear Lake 8 21 18 n/a
U. of Mississippi 37 44 20 n/a

Source: U.S. News & World Report

Jensen Comment
I don't know why the largest for-profit universities that generally provide more online degrees than the above universities combined are not included in the final outcomes. For example, the University of Phoenix alone as has over 600,000 students, most of whom are taking some or all online courses.

My guess is that most for-profit universities are not forthcoming with the data requested by US News analysts. Note that the US News condition that the set of online programs to be considered be regionally accredited does not exclude many for-profit universities. For example, enter in such for-profit names as "University of Phoenix" or "Capella University" in the "College Search" box at
http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/university-of-phoenix-20988
These universities are included in the set of eligible regionally accredited online degree programs to be evaluated. They just did not do well in the above "Honor Roll" of outcomes for online degree programs.

For-profit universities may have shot themselves in the foot by not providing the evaluation data to US News for online degree program evaluation. But there may b e reasons for this. For example, one of the big failings of most for-profit online degree programs is in undergraduate "Admissions Selectivity."

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education training and education alternatives are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on ranking controversies are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#BusinessSchoolRankings

 


Wow, this is an Amazon-centric list
"8 Ed Tech Predictions for 2012," by Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed, December 22. 2011 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/8-ed-tech-predictions-2012

1. Tuition and Campaigns:  The cost of higher ed will become a major campaign issue in 2012.  Candidates will have competing diagnoses for the issue, and competing plans to make higher ed both more affordable and more available. Educational technology and blended/online learning will receive lots of attention.  

2. For-Profits and Open Education: The (welcome) surprise of 2012 will be an existing for-profit higher ed provider making an important and significant contribution to the open education movement. For-profits will step up to open learning for purely practical and self-interested reasons, namely the need to improve brand positioning and status, but this will not matter as all lifelong learners will benefit.

3. Kindle Subscription Model: Amazon will surprise the doubters and finally introduce an "all-you-can-read" KIndle subscription model.  The price point will be high enough ($1 dollar a day) to exclude all but the most dedicated biblioholics, but the program will be way more successful (in terms of people signed up and Kindle devices sold) than Amazon could predict.

4. Media Management and Lecture Capture Tie-Up:  We will see a merger between some lecture capture company (Echo360, Panopto, MediaSite, Tegrity) and some media management player (Kaltura, Ensemble, ShareStream). This tie-up might be a merger, but more likely will be the result of a purchase by a larger company (publishing or tech) or an investment from a private equity group.   

5.  A LMS Data Loss Event: Someplace, somewhere, something very bad will occur. This will be the loss of a significant number of courses with the associated course data -- and these courses will not be retrievable. This event will accelerate the adoption of cloud-based, LMS-as-a-service models, as local LMS installs are at higher risk than industrial grade distributed LMS/database cloud services.

6. China Investment:  A Chinese company (backed by the state) will make a major investment in a U.S. ed tech company and/or a for-profit EDU provider. The Chinese higher education market is currently huge but poor, in the future it will be both bigger and richer. China will not be able to build enough campus-based universities to meet demand, and will need to find methods to quickly scale postsecondary blended and online higher ed. These will be strategic investments on the part of China.

7. Academic Library / Amazon Breakthrough: 2012 will be the year that academic librarians and Amazon finally enter into a productive relationship. Amazon will figure out that today's college students are tomorrow's e-book buyers, and will finally understand that the academic library is an incredible resource and partner.

8.  Amazon Purchases: Amazon will get into the digital textbook and digital coursepack market in a big way with a major purchase (XanEdu or Study.net or Atavist or Inkling or some other). My money is on Amazon also buying Netflix or Hulu, solidifying its position as the great content aggregator and distributor of the early 21st century.

Wow, this is an Amazon-centric list
.

 

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


"Rethinking the Digital Future:  In 1991 a Yale professor David Gelernter envisioned a lot of what we now do on the Internet. Future computing, he thinks, may be organized around a concept called 'lifestreams," by Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., The Wall Street Journal, December 3, 2011 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203833104577072162782422558.html?mod=djemEditorialPage_t

Mr. Gelernter, a professor at Yale, is already destined to be remembered as the man nearly murdered by the Unabomber. After a painful recovery, he blossomed as a conservative social critic and continued to pursue his personal vocation of painting. He's also written books on subjects as diverse as the future of technology, the meaning of Judaism, and the 1939 World's Fair. Today, the still-revolutionary opportunities of computing are again taking a central place among his varied interests.

To him, Facebook and Twitter are partial fulfillment of something he's been writing about and thinking about since the early 1990s, an evolution of the Internet into a form far less chaotic and more useful than today's. His preferred term is "lifestream." Whatever you call it, the cybersphere as it now exists is due for an overhaul.

Prophecy comes naturally to Mr. Gelernter. He is credited in some circles for having coined the term "the cloud." But what preoccupies him is the inadequacy of our conventions and practices for organizing the wildly expanding array of digital objects that populate the cybersphere.

On the desktop, he says, "The file system was already broken in the early '90s, the hierarchical system. Namespaces were saturated. I was sick of making up names like nsfproposal319. The file system got too crowded and people started crowding their desktops with icons."

On top of this complexity soon arrived the complexity of the Web, the mass of digital objects we know today, connected by hyperlinks but organized in a way satisfying to no one, except possibly Google. "The current shape of the Web is the same shape as the Internet hardware," says Mr. Gelernter. "The Internet hardware is lots of computers wired together into a nothing-shaped cobweb. The Web itself is a lot of websites hyperlinked together into a nothing-shaped cobweb."

The failure of the Internet to organize itself into a more useful metaphor is precisely what needs fixing. "It is impossible to picture the Web. It's a big fuzzy nothing. I sort of tiptoe around tiny areas of it shining a flashlight."

We sit in his family's modest, woodsy home a few miles north of New Haven. Because the Unabomber experience has so colored the press's interest in him, Mr. Gelernter, in profiles, tends to come across as grim. He's anything but grim. He's a bit of a comedian, in a deadpan sort of way. He cites the "most talked about" part of one of his books, but quickly adds, "not that any part was greatly talked about."

In that book, 1991's "Mirror Worlds," Mr. Gelernter described a future in which all our activities would be mirrored on the Web. Almost as soon as it was published he began thinking about a radical new way to organize our digital mirror world. He started a company to pursue his vision, but it was not well conceived and went out of business after a few years. Today its patents, now owned by an investor group, are at the center of a major lawsuit with Apple.

The idea, though, of lifestreams has been catching on. A lifestream is a way of organizing digital objects—photos, emails, documents, Web links, music—in a time-ordered series. A timeline, in essence, that extends into the past but also the future (with appointments, to-do lists, etc.). Facebook, with its "wall" constantly updated with postings by you and your friends, is a lifestream. Twitter's feed is a lifestream. "Chatter," developed by Salesforce.com for internal use by client companies, is a lifestream.

Mr. Gelernter believes streams are a more intuitive, useful way to organize our digital lives, not least because, as the past and future run off either side of our screen, at the center is now—and now is what the Internet really is about.

Eventually business models based on streaming will dominate the Internet, he predicts. All the world's data will be presented as a "worldstream," some of it public, most of it proprietary, available only to authorized users. Web browsers will become stream browsers. Users will become comfortably accustomed to tracking and manipulating their digital objects as streams rather than as files in a file system. The stream will become a mirror of the unfolding story of their lives.

"I can visualize the worldstream," says Mr. Gelernter, explaining its advantages. "I know what it looks like. I know what my chunk of it looks like. When I focus on my stuff, I get a stream that is a subset of the worldstream. So when I focus the stream, by doing a search on Sam Schwartz"—a hypothetical student—"I do stream subtraction. Everything that isn't related to Schwartz that I'm allowed to see vanishes. And then the stream moves much more slowly. Because Sam Schwartz documents are being added at a much slower rate than all the documents in the world. So now I have a manageable trickle of stuff."

A stream is any stream you care to describe. "These very simple operations, which correspond to physical intuitions, are going to give people a much more transparent feeling about the Net. People will understand it better, and the Net itself will support what is clearly emerging as its most important function, which is to present relevant information in time."

His son Daniel, a recent Yale graduate, sits in on our interview. His apparent dual mission is to tout the inevitable triumph of a new company the two are working on while making sure Mr. Gelernter doesn't say anything to queer his former company's pending lawsuit against Apple.

Mr. Gelernter himself grew up in the suburbs of New York, visiting Brooklyn regularly where both sets of grandparents lived. He believes America, and especially its educational system, has gone downhill in some ways since then. He recalls a time, in the 1960s, when poets like Robert Frost and painters like Jackson Pollock were as closely followed by the "educated middle class" as TV celebrities are today.

Mr. Gelernter's father studied physics and became a pioneering researcher in artificial intelligence at IBM, so growing up Mr. Gelernter was "familiar with software and found it a comfortable topic." His ambition, from a very early age, was to be an important painter, but at Yale he pursued computing "as a path to supporting a family, which is a very important obligation in Judaism. Computing in the 70s and early 80s," he adds, "was not a path to absurd wealth. It was a path to well-paying jobs, compared to people in the English department."

There followed happy days and nights in the computing lab, which might have come straight from the memoirs of Bill Gates or other computing superstars. His early work on parallel computing—in which many computers cooperate on tasks—made him a superstar too.

His targeting by Theodore Kaczynski, living in a shack in Montana and waging his deranged war against modernity, has been told often enough. Mr. Gelernter was lucky to survive a mail bomb that tore open his chest and abdomen, mangled his right hand and eye. His blood pressure is said to have been undetectable by the time he stumbled from his office to a Yale clinic nearby. Today the glove on his right hand, mentioned in every media account, I learn is not a concession to those around him, but a prosthesis. "It allows me to get some use out of the hand. It's all ripped up and stuff, patched together."

He takes medicine for pain and visits a pain specialist regularly, but he has come to see himself as lucky compared to other chronic pain sufferers—able to "operate in the world, and do the things you want to do. It could have been a lot worse," he says.

The question posed at the top was meant whimsically. Mr. Gelernter, by any measure, is living a rich life. He has been making paintings since childhood. Lately he has allowed his work to be sold and next year will bring what he calls "an important event for me," his first museum show at Yeshiva University Art Gallery. He sees his work building on the "discoveries" of the New York abstract expressionists as well as the flat panels of Medieval devotional art. Interestingly, he also sees a similar new-old artistic potential in the high-definition video display: "Since the richness of stained glass emerged in the late 12th century, for the first time there is a new luminous art medium—a medium for creating glowing art."

Mr. Gelernter sold his first company, Mirror Worlds Technologies, and its intellectual property to an investor group years ago. The buyer insisted on giving him a small stake in the outcome of its patent lawsuits, and last year a jury handed down an eye-popping $625 million verdict against Apple for infringing lifestream-related patents in its Macintosh and iPhone operating systems. In April, the judge in the case overruled the jury and tossed out the award. The matter is now under appeal.

Mr. Gelernter says the former company has no relation to a new venture he and Daniel are working on—though Daniel is quick to note that they will be obtaining a license for the Mirror Worlds technology, as Apple supposedly should have done.

The new venture, for which Mr. Gelernter is just beginning to seek funding, will focus on developing a lifestream product for the Apple iPad. "We like the pad," he says. "A particular goal is to create a lifestream which aggregates the most popular social network streams, and includes email and stuff like that. It will generate revenues the way Twitter and Facebook do—by getting huge numbers of users, beginning at the place we know, Yale University undergraduates, who love glitzy new software. They tell their parents, who are big shots because their kids are students at Yale." The new product will spread virally, forming a vast audience that can be sold to advertisers.

If this sounds familiar, it should. Facebook started at Harvard and branched out to other universities before conquering the world. Facebook, which has evolved into a stream by which users tell their own stories and read each other's stories, is "plugging a very important gap in the cybersphere, but I don't think it's plugging it in an elegant way," says Mr. Gelernter. "I don't think Facebook will be around forever."

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's technology updates ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


Open (Free) Yale Courses --- http://oyc.yale.edu/

Open Courses and Materials at MIT, Harvard, Yale, Rice, UC Berkeley, and Other Prestigious Universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI


"Does all this new technology make a difference? This new report from The Chronicle looks at the realities behind the hype," Special Report from the Chronicle of Higher Education, 2011 (not free at under $10 depending on option chosen) ---
https://www.chronicle-store.com/Store/ProductDetails.aspx?CO=CQ&ID=78055&PK=at2511


Technology Student Association --- http://www.tsaweb.org/

Bob Jensen's threads on Education Technology --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


"QuickWire: Top 10 Trends in Academic Libraries," by Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 16, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/quickwire-top-10-trends-in-academic-libraries/31796?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en


Educause:  Emerging Trends in Education Technology --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/02/09/qt#250713

Educause and the New Media Consortium have released the 2011 Horizon Report, an annual study of emerging issues in technology in higher education. The issues that are seen as likely to have great impact:

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


From the Scout Report on February 14, 2011

Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project: Trend Data [pdf]
http://www.pewinternet.org/Home/Static%20Pages/Trend%20Data.aspx

The Pew Internet & American Life Project has created this terrific site
which brings together many of their data sets, charts, and graphs in one
convenient location. Here visitors can look over ten different data sets,
including "Who's Online", "Online Activities", and "Daily Internet
Activities". Some of these data sets are available as Excel files, and they
will be of tremendous benefit to journalists, educators, and public policy
scholars. Visitors are encouraged to use this data for a variety of
reporting purposes and other needs, and they may also wish to click on the
"Research Toolkit" as well. Here they will find experts, additional data
sets, and survey questions from previous surveys
.

 


Question
Why is the annual Educause Conference "weird?"

"ProfHacker Goes to Educause," Chronicle of Higher Education, October 21, 2010 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/profhacker-goes-to-educause/27941

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT --- http://www.rle.mit.edu/


"Singapore's Newest University Is an Education Lab for Technology With vital input from MIT—and China—an unorthodox idea takes shape, with implications beyond the city-state's borders," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 28, 2010 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/

Every year automakers roll out "concept" cars, which incorporate novel design elements that may become standard years from now. Singapore has taken the rarer step of building a concept university, one meant to road-test the latest in teaching theory and academic features.

Singapore University of Technology and Design, now under construction, is a big gamble for a high-tech city-state that considers a globally competitive work force its key to national survival. Government officials are betting more than $700-million that the new venture will cultivate the next generation of innovators in architecture, engineering, and information systems.

One selling point of the institution, which is to start classes on a temporary campus in 2012, is that it is associated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. On many renderings of the logo, the words "Established in collaboration with MIT" appear in red letters, suggesting that the new venture expects to replicate the prestigious U.S. university.

But it will be anything but a carbon copy. MIT researchers are treating Singapore's new university as an education laboratory where they can try out new teaching methods and curriculum, some of which may then be taken back to Cambridge.

"Our guiding philosophy has been to try to establish something that's very distinctive," says Thomas L. Magnanti, the Singapore institution's first president, who is a former dean of engineering at MIT. "If we just went and decided to build a new comprehensive university, in 20 years we may not stand out."

MIT has had mixed success in exporting its brand. It was forced to close branch campuses of its Media Lab in Ireland and India after only a few years of operation, after they failed to gain enough financial support. But it has long worked well with universities in Singapore. For years the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology has supported joint research, and MIT helps run the thriving Singapore-MIT Gambit Game Lab to explore video-game design.

The Singapore leaders are not counting only on MIT, though. The new university has also forged a link with a top Chinese research institution, Zhejiang University, which will design some courses, provide internship opportunities, and conduct joint research. Singapore is even importing an ancient Chinese building, donated by the movie star Jackie Chan, to remind students of Eastern design traditions.

"Singapore within the region seems to be stepping into the deeper waters of the global-university phenomenon," says Gerard A. Postiglione, a professor of social science at the University of Hong Kong and director of China's Wah Ching Centre of Research on Education. He speculates that government leaders in Singapore may hope that the unconventional institution will spur educational innovations that can be adopted by the nation's other universities as well.

The "design" in the new university's name does not mean fashion design. Engineering is the focus, and "design" was used to suggest the mission of taking on real-world problems and quickly moving research from the lab to the marketplace.

Will this "distinctive" new university prove to be a model for the future of education in engineering and design, or will some of its methods prove not ready for the open road?

No Boundaries Sitting in a conference room in the university's temporary office space on a recent afternoon, Pey Kin-Leong, associate provost, outlines the venture's unusual model. On the wall behind him hang blueprints of buildings that will one day rise on the future campus.

From Day 1, students will be encouraged to apply what they've learned to their own designs, and to find applications for the theories they learn in class, he says.

Traditional disciplinary boundaries will be played down. For the first three semesters, all students will go through the same battery of courses, whether they want to end up as architects, technology-systems managers, or mechanical engineers. That's one semester longer for the core curriculum than at MIT.

In their junior and senior years, students will choose one of four "pillars": architecture, engineering product development, engineering systems, or information systems. Those will be the closest things to majors at the new university, which won't have traditional academic departments.

All students will be required to work in teams to create a final design project and bring it to life.

If a team decided to design a "smart house," for instance, an architecture student would draw the blueprints, technology designers would plan the sensors and other electronics, and the engineering-systems concentrators would help it all work together.

"We want our students to be able to communicate and interact, and cut across the pillars," says Mr. Pey.

Zhejiang University is designing five elective courses for the Singapore institution, all focused on familiarizing students with the cultural aspects of China as an increasingly influential economic power. Among the proposed course titles: "Business Culture and Entrepreneurship in China," "Sustainability of Ancient Chinese Architectural Design in the Modern World," and "History of Chinese Urban Development and Planning."

"Because the Chinese market is huge, this is an opportunity that we are going to give to our students," says Mr. Pey. "If we can understand their mind-set, when our students do the design, the design will be very appealing to people in the Chinese market."

The Singapore university will also connect its students with internship opportunities in the United States, in China, and at a group of major technology companies in the city-state that have agreed to take part.

"The uniquely Singapore part is we have a chance to expose ourselves to multicultural influences," says Mr. Pey. "We're a cross point between East and West."

The university has already selected its first class of students (82 said yes out of 119 who were admitted), mostly from Singapore, some of whom delayed starting college to wait for these doors to open. Eventually, an enrollment of 4,000 undergraduates and 2,000 graduate students is expected; the university says it will meet a government requirement of admitting 20 to 30 percent of its students from abroad.

Government officials would not reveal the venture's exact price tag, but Chong Tow Chong, the provost, says the government is spending at least one billion Singapore dollars—about $771-million—to build the campus and hire professors from around the world. Enlightened Self-Interest Singapore chose MIT to collaborate in the new university after reviewing bids from several major institutions in the United States and Europe. For MIT, the draw was to upgrade its own curriculum, says Sanjay Emani Sarma, an MIT professor of mechanical engineering who directs its role in the collaboration.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


Rick Lillie's education, learning, and technology blog is at http://iaed.wordpress.com/


"Enrollment in Online Courses Increases at the Highest Rate Ever," by Tavis Kaya, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 16, 2010 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/enrollment-in-online-courses-increases-at-the-highest-rate-ever/28204?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Despite predictions that the growth of online education would begin to level off, colleges reported the highest-ever annual increase in online enrollment—more than 21 percent—last year, according to a report on an annual survey of 2,600 higher-education institutions from the Sloan Consortium and the Babson Survey Research Group.

In fall 2009, colleges—including public, nonprofit private, and for-profit private institutions—reported that one million more students were enrolled in at least one Web-based course, bringing the total number of online students to 5.6 million. That unexpected increase—which topped the previous year’s 17-percent rise—may have been helped by higher demand for education in a rocky economy and an uptick in the number of colleges adopting online courses.

Although the survey found sustained interest in online courses across all sectors, there was a spike in the number of for-profit institutions—a 20-percent increase over last year—that said online education is critical to their long-term strategies. However, more public colleges than  private for-profits—74.9 percent versus 60.5 percent—say it’s part of their long-term plans.

Elaine Allen, associate professor of statistics and entrepreneurship at Babson College and co-director of the Babson Survey Research Group, said that the disproportionate increase in the for-profit sector may mean that online programs are becoming their “bread and butter.” Colleges are telling themselves that “if we want to grow and have profits, we need to be in the online sector,” she said.

Increased government scrutiny of the for-profit sector has complicated plans for expansion online. Approximately 32 percent of for-profit institutions—compared with about 17 percent of public colleges—said it will be difficult to comply with government regulations on financial aid. Those new regulations include a pending “gainful employmentrule that could cut off federal aid to programs with high levels of student debt relative to what students make after graduation—a move that could slash revenue for institutions dependent on student-aid money. “For the first time, we saw the government regulate financial aid and some kind of return on investment,” Ms. Allen said. “The for-profits are feeling the pressure there.”

Administrators also continue to wrestle with the question of quality in online education. According to the survey report, “Class Differences: Online Education in the United States, 2010,” 66 percent of college administrators say that online education is the same as or better than face-to-face classes—a slight decline from last year. Still, Ms. Allen said it appears that more faculty members are warming up to online education as a quality alternative to face-to-face learning and are finding new ways to use the technology.

Ms. Allen expects Web enrollment to plateau as more competitors—whether they are Web programs from established universities or from new for-profit institutions—hit the market. And for-profit colleges will probably take advantage of their more-nimble business models to expand much more rapidly online than will their government-reliant public competitors. As more budget cuts loom, public institutions are already beginning to “feel competition from the for-profits,” she said.

Bob Jensen's threads on online training and education alternatives are at ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/CrossBorder.htm


Asia:  The Best and the Worst of Education Technology

"Closing Thoughts From a Monthlong Ed-Tech Tour of Asia," by Jeff Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 30, 2010 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/college20/closing-thoughts-from-a-monthlong-ed-tech-tour-of-asia/27305

Jensen Comment
One of the biggest issues when the West views the East, is the alleged failure of many parts of the East to honor the West's copyrights and patents on advances in technology and the failure to not only pay royalties but to profit from distribution of the West's books and software and some hardware.


"Ed Tech Trends to Watch in 2010," by Converge Staff," Converge Magazine, June 14, 2010 ---
http://www.convergemag.com/classtech/2010-Ed-Tech-Trends.html

School districts and college campuses across the country are trying to grab students' attention and teach them in ways they learn best. That means they're adding social media features to learning management systems, offering more online and blended courses, and taking advantage of mobile devices.

Check out the top  trends in learning management systems, online learning and mobile computing identified in a 2010 Software & Information Industry Association report released this month.
 

Learning management systems

In 2008, 35 percent of the K-12 schools surveyed said they had no plans to buy a learning management system, but lower prices and higher federal accountability requirements will change their minds, according to the report. And when they do change their minds, they'll be looking for digital content and professional development to go along with the systems.

They'll also be looking for tools including curriculum planning and lesson management. These tools allow them to create detailed lesson plans for individual students and assign digital curriculum lessons to students.

In higher education, professors increasingly rely on digital content and use social media to teach their students. They're also adding more online classes and reducing administrative costs. As a result, learning management systems should be incorporating rich Internet applications, social media, user-generated content, mobile devices, Software as a Service and business process management systems.

Faculty members expect to do a number of tasks in learning management systems:

Online learning

The e-learning market has been expanding steadily, and over the next four years, forecasters predict that K-12 online learning will advance at a compound annual growth rate of 17 percent, while higher education will grow at 8 percent.

In online learning, blended or hybrid classes that combine face-to-face and online instruction are popping up, particularly in higher education. And the expansion of open source content on sites such as Flatworld Knowledge, Curriki and CK12 give teachers and professors more options to potentially save money.

Mobile devices, WiMAX technology, podcasts and software tools allow students to learn any time, anywhere. And that mobile computing experience is what they're looking for.

 

Mobile computing

In the past two years, netbooks have arrived on the scene, but their sales are already growing more than 200 percent per year.  K-12 schools adopt them at a higher rate because many of them provide devices for their students. Netbook trends include 10-inch screens, faster processors, longer battery life and built-in wireless wide area networks.

Laptop use is still growing steadily, but not as fast as it was previously. Laptop trends include LED backlights, backlit keyboards, more rugged mechanical designs, larger hard drives, newer processor designs and increased availability of 3G/4G wireless wide area network support.

Meanwhile, tablet computers are becoming more popular in postsecondary education, and companies are creating smartbooks that have long battery lives of about two days.

More people view Web pages through smart phones and cell phones than through computers. Cell phones have become widely accepted in postsecondary education, while many K-12 districts still ban them in the classroom.

As far as operating systems go, Microsoft Windows leads the pack on desktop and laptop systems. But Mac OS X from Apple, Windows Mobile, iPhone OS, Symbian, Linux and Android have entered the mobile market.

On the connectivity side, most postsecondary campuses have robust WiFi, but less than 30 percent of K-12 classrooms have robust WiFi access. While WiFi has been around for more than 10 years, WiMAX is coming on the scenes as a 4G wide area data service in the U.S. And don't forget the cellular 3G and 4G data services for smart phones.

While these are some trends that are happening now and in the next year or two, the report also forecasts what education technology will look like in the future. In the next five years, the report predicts that cloud computing, cell phone use and 3G and 4G data plans will become mainstream in education.

Will these forecasts come true?

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

Tools and Tricks of the Trade ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

The dark side of education technology ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm

 


"National Ed Tech Plan Advocates Radical Reforms in Schools,"by David Nagel. T.H.E. Journal, March 5, 2010 ---
http://thejournal.com/articles/2010/03/05/national-ed-tech-plan-advocates-radical-reforms-in-schools.aspx

If there were any doubts about the Obama administration's intentions toward education technology, the United States Department of Education settled them Friday with the release of the first public draft of the National Education Technology Plan (NETP). The 114-page document reveals an intent not only to infuse technology throughout the curriculum (and beyond), but to implement some major--sometimes radical--changes to education itself.

The plan, titled "Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology," sets forth, in part, a manifesto for change, questioning many of the basic structures of American education, enumerating the principles of change that are the foundation for the plan, and setting goals and recommendations for achieving this change.

Questioning Assumptions and Establishing Principles
Some of the assumptions the plan questions are foundational in public education, including age-determined grade levels, measuring achievement through "seat time," keeping students in the same classes throughout the year, and even keeping individual academic disciplines separate. It also, however, seems to advocate a "more is more" approach, continuing Education Secretary Arne Duncan's previous call for longer school days and school weeks (spent in physical classrooms), in addition to the extension of learning though technological means.

The draft also seems to question, at times, the basic premise that K-12 should be limited to the confines of kindergarten through 12th grade. The plan advocates tighter integration between K-12 and higher education, using the phrase "K-16" on a few occasions and referencing "K-12" generally (but not exclusively) in relation to higher education, and, in particular, in the context of collaboration between secondary and post-secondary institutions.

For example:

Postsecondary education institutions--community colleges and 4-year colleges and universities--will need to partner more closely with K-12 schools to remove barriers to postsecondary education and put plans of their own in place to decrease dropout rates.

And elsewhere:

The Department of Education should promote partnerships between two- and four-year postsecondary education institutions, K-12 schools, and educational technology developers in the private and public sectors to design programs and resources to engage students and motivate them to graduate from high school ready for postsecondary education. Support should start as soon as possible in students' educational careers and intensify for students who need it. States, districts, and schools should experiment with such resources as online learning and online tutoring and mentoring, as well as with participatory communities and social networks both within and across education institutions to give students guidance and information about their own learning progress and their opportunities for the future.

Meanwhile, the guiding principles behind NETP, as stated in the draft, follow along these lines as well, rejecting many current practices and favoring new approaches to everything from teaching and assessment to the role of the federal government in education.

At the core is the principle that technology should be the driving force behind implementation of the education plan. As stated in the NETP draft:

The model depends on technology to provide engaging and powerful learning content, resources, and experiences and assessment systems that measure student achievement in more complete, authentic and meaningful ways. Technology-based learning and assessment systems will be pivotal in improving student learning and generating data that can be used to continuously improve the education system at all levels. The model depends on technology to execute collaborative teaching strategies combined with professional learning strategies that better prepare and enhance educators' competencies and expertise over the course of their careers.

The model also depends on every student and educator having Internet access devices and broadband Internet connections and every student and educator being comfortable using them. It depends on technology to redesign and implement processes to produce better outcomes while achieving ever-higher levels of productivity and efficiency across the education system.

The document also lists several other principles on which the plan is based, including:

  1. The education system is failing in large part owing to a failure to engage students.
  2. Learning experiences need to change with the times.
  3. Assessment needs to be more formative.
  4. Data collected on students would be better used if it could be shared amongst agencies.
  5. There should be new approaches to teaching, including collaborative teaching teams and technology-driven distance programs.
  6. Groundwork should be laid to make learning resources available everywhere at all times to all students.
  7. Industry can serve as a model for leveraging technology.
  8. The federal government has a larger role to play in education than it has in the past.

Goals and Recommendations
NETP sets out goals in five broad areas: learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure, and productivity.And it lays out 23 recommendations to help achieve those goals.

In the category of learning, NETP strongly advocates a 21st century skills approach . . .

Continued in article

The link to the NETP report is http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/os/technology/index.html

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology (the good and the bad) are linked at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

.


"6 Emerging Technologies That Will Impact College Campuses," by Tonya Roscorla, Converge Magazine, February 2, 2010 ---
http://www.convergemag.com/edtech/6-emerging-technologies-that-will-impact-college-campuses.html?elq=8cd644f3f9b44e4e93beed8e724a9706

As students increasingly learn on the go, they demand that their colleges and universities stay up to date on the latest technology.

"Technology’s like the golden goose, and it’s improving at this rate that’s unprecedented, but I’m concerned that the academy will fall behind," said Adrian Sannier, vice president, university technology officer and professor of computing studies at Arizona State University.
 
That's where the 2010 Horizon Report comes in. The annual report of the New Media Consortium's Horizon Project describes  up and coming technologies that college campuses will likely mainstream within the next five years, as well as key trends they are experiencing and critical challenges that they will face.

6 technologies to track

 Time to adoption horizon: One year or less

1.       Mobile computing

Smart phones, netbooks, laptops and other devices that access the Internet through cellular-based, portable hotspots and mobile broadband cards have already become mainstream on many campuses.

At Georgetown University, the administration texts short messages to students, and profesors use screen recording software to create podcasts of their lectures that can be downloaded onto mobile phones, said
Betsy Page Sigman, a professor who teaches management information systems, databases and electronic commerce at the university's McDonough School of Business.
 

2.       Open content

As textbook prices have soared over the years, educational resources have popped up online at no cost to the students and faculty who want to use them. Open content has had a huge impact on the way colleges do business, said Brian Parish, the president of iData Inc, a higher education technology consulting and software solutions firm based in Virginia.

However, some educators resist open content because they want to protect their
intellectual property, not because they don't like the technology.

“A lot of people want to use open content on the faculty and staff side, but they don’t want to make their stuff open content,” Parish said.


 Time to adoption horizon: Two to three years

1.       Electronic books

Consumers have already mainstreamed electronic readers, including the Kindle, which was Amazon.com's best selling product in 2009. Campuses have not adapted the readers as quickly, but as more academic titles become available, they are piloting e-books.

Eight colleges and universities are currently in the middle of a pilot program with the Kindle DX, a larger format version of the reader that is designed for academic texts, newspapers and journals. Those schools include Arizona State University, Ball State University, Case Western Reserve University, Pace University, Princeton, Reed College, Syracuse University and the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. 

And they're not the only ones. Northwest Missouri State University and Penn State have started pilot programs with the
Sony Reader.
 

2.       Simple augmented reality

When Sannier was researching augmented reality eight or nine years ago, it seemed far flung, but now it's right around the corner. Through mobile computing and cameras, people can fuse the digital world and the physical world, which is really cool, he said.

The technology basically allows someone to point a smart phone at an object and find out information about it. For example, Sigman could take her smart phone to a place with a lot of plants, hold the camera up to one of them, and find out what kind of plant she was looking at. 

Within a week of seeing a
Droid phone, university President Michael M. Crow asked Sannier if he could create an augmented reality layer over the campus so that people could find out what things are, what's going on inside buildings, find their way around and really melt the walls.

“For a university president to be as in touch with an emerging trend as that, I think it really speaks to how central technology is becoming on the academic side,” Sannier said.
 


 Time to adoption horizon: Four to five years

1.       Gesture-based computing
 

The iPhone, iPod Touch, Nintendo Wii and other gesture-based systems have become popular in the consumer industry because they allow users to control what the device does with their body movements. Devices with these systems could make the Internet come alive and "very likely lead to new kinds of teaching or training simulations that look, feel and operate almost exactly like their real-world counterparts," the report states.

“it’s clear that people have become more open to interacting with devices in a lot of different ways,” Sannier said. "I think the challenge there is less technology than it is practice.” 
 

2.       Visual data analysis

This technology basically combines advanced computational methods with sophisticated graphics engines. Oftentimes when someone looks at a straight list of data, it's hard to see the outliers, which are the points that are farther away, Sigman said. But with visual data analysis technology, that person can put the data in a 3-D chart that will make it easy to see where the outliers are.

 

2 Obstacles to overcome

While universities may have an easier time replacing pens and notebooks with laptops, they will have a tougher time as they integrate technologies such as gesture-based computing, which represent a completely new way of providing information, Sannier said. These technologies will challenge the existing university structure, and universities need to respond to by accepting the idea that they don't have to control or provide these technologies.

At Arizona State University, Sannier is preparing for this switch by taking the following steps:

·         Move away from directly providing the network and allow an outside company to provide that network at a larger scale. The university now uses Gmail and is working with cloud computing providers.
 

·         Make both wired and wireless networks easily accessible 
 

·         Integrate technology in a functional way. The university is working with Facebook to bring one of its applications onto the social networking site and is also working with Google to offer Google Apps for Education to their students, which will give them a new way to create and view material.
 

·         Shift the focus from direct provisioning to applying commercial technologies to the academy
 

1. Change the culture
Preparing for the challenges that new technologies bring will require more than just a change in mindset.

“The real challenge is to change the culture of the academy," Sannier said. " We need some lighthouse institutions to do some amazing things with these technologies in classrooms and change them, and then to propagate those.”

Academies can change their culture by sharing best practices among each other and looking at how for-profit colleges and universities are able to succeed, he said. The success of the for-profit institutions will put competitive pressure on the universities for possibly the first time, and that could be a powerful change agent for universities.
 

2. Prepare the faculty and staff
That's not the only change that the universities will have to make. They also have bring their faculty and staff up to speed on the latest technologies because students will bring devices to school and already know how to use them, Sannier said. Parish from iData agreed.

“They expect to be able to use their mobile phone, they expect open content, they expect to use their e-books," Parish said. "It’s the staff and the organization of the university that needs to be prepared to provide that to them, and that’s the real challenge.”

At Arizona State University, Sannier is focusing on making the consumer technologies that are coming on campus easy to use instead of trying to train people how to use them. The university is also deploying online resources that allow people to push a button that will make the technology work.

Back at Georgetown University, Sigman plans on experimenting with any technology that comes along, and she sees possibilities in these emerging technologies.

“What an exciting time we live in, and what an exciting time it is for professors to be teaching," Sigman said. "There’s just so many wonderful tools that we have at our fingertips.”

 "6 Technologies to Watch in Education," heads up by Tracey Sutherland (Executive Director of the American Accounting Association). Her link is on the restricted-entry AAA Commons, so I will link directly to the Chronicle of Higher Education URL.

"'Horizon Report' Highlights 6 Technologies to Watch in Education," by Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 14, 2010 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogPost/Horizon-Report-Highlights-6/20525/
The main Horizon report is at http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2010-Horizon-Report.pdf

Table of Contents

Executive Summary....................................................................................................................................... 3

Key Trends

Critical Challenges

Technologies to Watch

The Horizon Project

Time-to-Adoption: One Year or Less

Mobile Computing..................................................................................................................................... 9

Overview

Relevance for Teaching, Learning, or Creative Inquiry

Mobile Computing in Practice

For Further Reading

Open Content.......................................................................................................................................... 13

Overview

Relevance for Teaching, Learning, or Creative Inquiry

Open Content in Practice

For Further Reading

Time-to-Adoption: Two to Three Years

Electronic Books...................................................................................................................................... 17

Overview

Relevance for Teaching, Learning, or Creative Inquiry

Electronic Books in Practice

For Further Reading

Simple Augmented Reality....................................................................................................................... 21

Overview

Relevance for Teaching, Learning, or Creative Inquiry

Simple Augmented Reality in Practice

For Further Reading

Time-to-Adoption: Four to Five Years

Gesture-Based Computing...................................................................................................................... 25

Overview

Relevance for Teaching, Learning, or Creative Inquiry

Gesture-Based Computing in Practice

For Further Reading

Visual Data Analysis................................................................................................................................ 29

Overview

Relevance for Teaching, Learning, or Creative Inquiry

Visual Data Analysis in Practice

For Further Reading

Methodology................................................................................................................................................. 33

2010 Horizon Project Advisory Board.......................................................................................................... 35


I must be psychic, because I've been saying this all along --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm
So has Amy Dunbar --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/002cpe/Dunbar2002.htm

"The Medium is Not the Message,"  by Jonathan Kaplan, Inside Higher Ed, August 11, 2009 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2009/08/11/kaplan 

A few weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Education released a report that looked at 12 years' worth of education studies, and found that online learning has clear advantages over face-to-face instruction.

The study, "An Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies," stated that “students who took all or part of their class online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction.”

Except for one article,
on this Web site, you probably didn’t hear about it -- and neither did anyone else.

But imagine for a moment that the report came to the opposite conclusion. I’m sure that if the U.S. Department of Education had published a report showing that students in online learning environments performed worse, there would have been a major outcry in higher education with calls to shut down distance-learning programs and close virtual campuses.

I believe the reason that the recent study elicited so little commentary is due to the fact that it flies in the face of the biases held by some across the higher education landscape. Yet this study confirms what those of us working in distance education have witnessed for years: Good teaching helps students achieve, and good teaching comes in many forms.

We know that online learning requires devout attention on the part of both the professor and the student -- and a collaboration between the two -- in a different way from that of a face-to-face classroom. These critical aspects of online education are worth particular mention:

At Walden University, where I am president, we have been holding ourselves accountable for years, as have many other online universities, regarding assessment. All universities must ensure that students are meeting program outcomes and learning what they need for their jobs. To that end, universities should be better able to demonstrate -- quantitatively and qualitatively -- the employability and success of their students and graduates.

Recently, we examined the successes of Walden graduates who are teachers in the Tacoma, Wash., public school system, and found that students in Walden teachers’ classes tested with higher literacy rates than did students taught by teachers who earned their master’s from other universities. There could be many reasons for this, but, especially in light of the U.S. Department of Education study, it seems that online learning has contributed meaningfully to their becoming better teachers.

In higher education, there is still too much debate about how we are delivering content: Is it online education, face-to-face teaching, or hybrid instruction? It’s time for us to stop categorizing higher education by the medium of delivery and start focusing on its impact and outcomes.

Recently, President Obama remarked, “I think there’s a possibility that online education can provide, especially for people who are already in the workforce and want to retrain, the chance to upgrade their skills without having to quit their job.” As the U.S. Department of Education study concluded, online education can do that and much more.

But Kaplan above ignores some of the dark side aspects of distance education and education technology in general --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm
The biggest hurdle, in my opinion, is that if distance education is done correctly with intensive online communications, instructors soon become burned out. In an effort to avoid burn out, much of the learning effectiveness is lost. Hence the distance education paradox.

Kaplan also ignores some of the strong empirical support for online learning, especially the enlightening SCALE experiments at the University of Illinois --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm#Illinois

August 11, 2009 reply from Steve Markoff [smarkoff@KIMSTARR.ORG]

Bob:

I've always believed that the role of the teacher is one of FACILITATOR.  My role in the classroom is making it EASIER for information to move from one place to another - from point A to point B.  This could be from textbook to student, it could be from the outside world to the student, from another student to the student, from the student him or herself to that same student AND from teacher to student (me to them).  In defining the word 'teaching', I think many people overemphasize the last transition that I mentioned, thinking that the primary movement of information is from them(the teacher) to the students.  In fact, it constitutes a minority of total facilitated information flow in a college classroom.  I think this misunderstanding leads many to underestimate the value of other sources in the education process other than themselves.  Online content is just one of many alternative sources. 

Unfortunately, online formats do allow certain professors to hide behind the electronic cloak and politely excuse themselves from the equation, which greatly hurts the student.  Also, online formats can be fertile ground for professors who lack not only the desire to 'teach' but the ability and thus become mere administrators versus teachers.

steve

Hi John and Pat and Others,

I would not say that out loud to Amy Dunbar or Denny Beresford that they’re easy graders ---
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/002cpe/02start.htm

I would not say that out loud to the graduates of two principles of accounting weed out courses year after year at Brigham Young University where classes meet on relatively rare occasion for inspiration about accountancy but not technical learning --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#BYUvideo

Try to tell the graduates of Stanford University’s ADEPT Masters of Electrical Engineering program that they had an easier time of it because the entire program was online.

There’s an interesting article entitled how researchers misconstrue causality:

Like elaborately plumed birds … we preen and strut and display our t-values.” That was Edward Leamer’s uncharitable description of his profession in 1983.

“Cause and Effect:  Instrumental variable help to isolate causal relationships, but they can be taken too far,” The Economist, August 15-21, 20098 Page 68.

It is often the case that distance education courses are taught by non-tenured instructors, and non-tenured instructors may be easier with respect to grading than tenured faculty because they are even more in need of strong teaching evaluations --- so as to not lose their jobs. The problem may have nothing whatsoever to do with online versus onsite education --- ergo misconstrued causality.

I think it’s very rewarding to look at grading in formal studies using the same full-time faculty teaching sections of online versus onsite students. By formal study, I mean using the same instructors, the same materials, and essentially the same examinations. The major five-year, multimillion dollar study that first caught my eye was the SCALE experiments on the campus of the University of Illinois where 30 courses from various disciplines were examined over a five year experiment.

Yes the SCALE experiments showed that some students got higher grades online, notably B students who became A students and C students who became A students. The online pedagogy tended to have no effect on D and F students --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm#Illinois

Listen to Dan Stone’s audio about the SCALE Experiments --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/000cpe/00start.htm

But keep in mind that in the SCALE experiments, the same instructor of a course was grading both the online and onsite sections of the same course. The reason was not likely to be that online sections were easier. The SCALE experiments collected a lot of data pointing to more intense communications with instructors and more efficient use of student’s time that is often wasted in going to classes.

The students in the experiment were full time on campus students, such that the confounding problems of having adult part-time students was not a factor in the SCALE experiments of online, asynchronous learning.

 

A Statement About Why the SCALE Experiments Were Funded
ALN = Asynchronous Learning
We are particularly interested in new outcomes that may be possible through ALN. Asynchronous computer networks have the potential to improve contact with faculty, perhaps making self-paced learning a realizable goal for some off- and on-campus students. For example, a motivated student could progress more rapidly toward a degree. Students who are motivated but find they cannot keep up the pace, may be able to slow down and take longer to complete a degree, and not just drop out in frustration. So we are interested in what impact ALN will have on outcomes such as time-to-degree and student retention. There are many opportunities where ALN may contribute to another outcome: lowering the cost of education, e.g., by naturally introducing new values for old measures such as student-faculty ratios. A different kind of outcome for learners who are juggling work and family responsibilities, would be to be able to earn a degree or certification at home. This latter is a special focus for us.

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation's Program in
Learning Outside the Classroom at 
http://w3.scale.uiuc.edu/scale/
 

Another study that I love to point to was funded by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Read about when one of the Chronicle’s senior editors took a Governmental Accounting Course at the University of Phoenix during which the instructor of the course had not idea that Goldie Blumenstyk was assessing how difficult or how easy the course was for students in general. I think Goldie’s audio report of her experience is still available from the Chronicle of Higher Education. Goldie came away from the course exhausted.


Distance Education:  Stanford Center for Professional Development
Stanford University was probably the first prestigious university to offer an online masters degree in engineering in a video program called ADEPT. That has since been replaced by an expanded online program in professional development that offers certificates or full masters of science degrees in selected programs, especially engineering. The program is highly restrictive in that employers must be members of Stanford's Corporate Education Graduate Program. For example, to earn a masters of science degree the requirements are as follows:

For details go to
http://scpd.stanford.edu/home

I don't think the Stanford Graduate School of Business has anything comparable to this online professional development program. Most other top universities in the USA now have selected online certificate and degree programs offered in their extension programs. Go to a university of interest and search for "extension." It's still rare to find an online doctoral program at a top university. For-profit universities offer more online doctoral programs, but these tend not to be accepted very well for employment in the Academy. In fact it may be better to not mention such doctoral degrees when seeking employment in the Academy.

Bob Jensen's threads on fee-based education and training alternatives ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/CrossBorder.htm


The Chronicle's Goldie Blumenstyk has covered distance education for more than a decade, and during that time she's written stories about the economics of for-profit education, the ways that online institutions market themselves, and the demise of the 50-percent rule. About the only thing she hadn't done, it seemed, was to take a course from an online university. But this spring she finally took the plunge, and now she has completed a class in government and nonprofit accounting through the University of Phoenix. She shares tales from the cy ber-classroom -- and her final grade -- in a podcast with Paul Fain, a Chronicle reporter.
Chronicle of Higher Education, June 11, 2008 (Audio) --- http://chronicle.com/media/audio/v54/i40/cyber_classroom/

·         All course materials (including textbooks) online; No additional textbooks to purchase

·         $1,600 fee for the course and materials

·         Woman instructor with respectable academic credentials and experience in course content

·         Instructor had good communications with students and between students

·         Total of 14 quite dedicated online students in course, most of whom were mature with full-time day jobs

·         30% of grade from team projects

·         Many unassigned online helper tutorials that were not fully utilized by Goldie

·         Goldie earned a 92 (A-)

·         She gave a positive evaluation to the course and would gladly take other courses if she had the time

·         She considered the course to have a heavy workload

 

"U. of Phoenix Reports on Its Students' Academic Achievement," by Goldie Blumenstyk, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 5, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/daily/2008/06/3115n.htm?utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

 

The 2006 National Survey of Student Engagement, released November 13, 2006, for the first time offers a close look at distance education, offering provocative new data suggesting that e-learners report higher levels of engagement, satisfaction and academic challenge than their on-campus peers --- http://nsse.iub.edu/NSSE_2006_Annual_Report/index.cfm

"The Engaged E-Learner," by Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, November 13, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/11/13/nsse


Full-Length BBC Video (I had an annoying problem with buffering of this production, but it was did not stop me from watching most of this)
"Full Documentary: The Secret Life Of Chaos," Simoleon Sense, February 3, 2010 ---
http://www.simoleonsense.com/full-documentary-the-secret-life-of-chaos/

“Chaos theory has a bad name, conjuring up images of unpredictable weather, economic crashes and science gone wrong. But there is a fascinating and hidden side to Chaos, one that scientists are only now beginning to understand. It turns out that chaos theory answers a question that mankind has asked for millennia – how did we get here? In this documentary, Professor Jim Al-Khalili sets out to uncover one of the great mysteries of science – how does a universe that starts off as dust end up with intelligent life? How does order emerge from disorder? It’s a mindbending, counterintuitive and for many people a deeply troubling idea. But Professor Al-Khalili reveals the science behind much of beauty and structure in the natural world and discovers that far from it being magic or an act of God, it is in fact an intrinsic part of the laws of physics. Amazingly, it turns out that the mathematics of chaos can explain how and why the universe creates exquisite order and pattern. The natural world is full of awe-inspiring examples of the way nature transforms simplicity into complexity. From trees to clouds to humans – after watching this film you’ll never be able to look at the world in the same way again.”

 

 


Education Tutorials

Free Images from the U.S. Government --- http://rastervector.com/resources/free/free.html

From PBS:  Touch Table Computing Video --- http://www.pbs.org/kcet/wiredscience/video/231-touchtable.html

Free Federal Resources in Various Disciplines --- http://www.free.ed.gov/

Bob Jensen's threads on general education tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#EducationResearch


Education Technology Award Winners

"Teaching Toolbox: 57 Ways to Upgrade Education," by Tanya Roscorla, Converge Magazine, January 4, 2010 ---
http://www.convergemag.com/edtech/The-2009-Edublog-Awards.html?elq=4768d02be55741bb9e3e0bc860e41996

This year, spruce up your teaching toolbox with some of the top education blogs, tweets, wikis and more, as voted on by educators in the Edublog Awards.

On these sites, you'll be able to connect with other educators, see what's going on in classrooms around the world and find out what technology tools you can use in your classroom.

 

Best individual blog

  1. Winner: Free Technology for Teachers
    Google certified teacher Richard Byrne reviews free technology resources and shows educators how they can integrate those resources into their teaching. He also won the best resource sharing blog award.
     
  2. First Runner Up: Kathy Schrock's Kaffeeklatsch
    Technology administrator Kathy Schrock covers ed tech tools, techniques and tricks of the trade.
     
  3. Second Runner Up: Larry Ferlazzo's Websites Of The Day For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL
    Larry Ferlazzo teaches English Language Learners and native English speakers in Sacramento, Calif.. He provides links to sites that help educators teach English to non-native speakers. He also won best resource sharing blog award.

 

Best individual tweeter

  1. Winner: web20classroom
    From Winston-Salem, N.C., technology educator Steven W. Anderson interacts with other educators by sharing links to online resources and participating in conversations about real issues in education.
     
  2. First Runner Up: russeltarr
    Russel Tarr teaches history in Toulouse, France.
     
  3. Second Runner Up: courosa
    Alec Couros teaches educational technology and media in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

 

Best group blog

  1. Winner: MacMillian Dictionary Blog
    As the English language constantly changes, five authors take the pulse of the living language and share how it is used around the world.
     
  2. First Runner Up: I.N.K.: Interesting Nonfiction for Kids
    Authors and illustrators give readers a behind-the-scenes look at how they research, write and integrate art into their books. 
     
  3. Second Runner Up: SCC English
    The English Department of St. Columba's College in Whitechurch, Dublin 16, Ireland posts news, poems, drama, essays, podcasts, book recommendations and more. 

 

Best new blog

  1. Winner: Kirsten Winkler
    Kirsten Winkler started blogging about online education in January and takes readers on a quest to find better education.
     
  2. First Runner Up: Look At My Happy Rainbow
    A male kindergarten teacher shares stories from his classroom in Maine. As for the blog title, one of his students shouted, "Look at my happy rainbow!" one day after he drew a rainbow with four or five crayons in one hand.
     
  3. Second Runner Up: Teach Paperless
    Shelly Blake-Plock shows educators how to teach with interactive technology and provide real-world learning opportunities for their students.

 

Best class blog

  1. Winner: Billings Middle School Tech Class Blog
    From Seattle, Technology Integration Coordinator Jac de Haan shines a spotlight on students' adventures with digital tools and discussions about the social, political, environmental and moral impacts of technology.
     
  2. First Runner Up: Mrs. Yollis' Classroom Blog
    Third graders from Linda Yollis' class learn and share what they're learning on their blog.
     
  3. Second Runner Up: English With Rosa
    Rosa Fernández Sánchez helps her students from Coruña, Galicia, Spain, practice English.

 

Best student blog

  1. Winner: Civil War Sallie
    A Boyd's Bear named Sallie Ann travels to classrooms, museums and battlefields to learn about the United States Civil War, and then shares what she learns on her blog. The person who created Sallie Ann is a student from St. Patrick School in Carlisle, Pa.
     
  2. First Runner Up: Universo
    Eighteen-year-old Néstor Aluna Maceda Pacheco writes about botany from Rio Blanco, Veracruz, México.
     
  3. Second Runner Up: Moo
    A college student majoring in photography shares photos and commentary. She also happens to be the daughter of The Scholastic Scribe, which earned first runner up in the best teacher blog category.

 

Best resource sharing blog

  1. Winner: Free Technology for Teachers
    Voted the best resource sharing blog for the second straight year. Google certified teacher Richard Byrne reviews free technology resources and shows educators how they can integrate those resources into their teaching. He also won the best individual blog award.
     
  2. First Runner Up: Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day
    Larry Ferlazzo teaches English Language Learners and native English speakers in Sacramento, Calif.. He provides links to sites that help educators teach English to non-native speakers.
     
  3. Second Runner Up: Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day
    Social learning consultant Jane Hart features an ed tech tool each day.

 

Most influential blog post

  1. Winner: "Heads in the Cloud" from Anseo.net
    This post shows how one school uses cloud computing through Google Apps as a communication tool for the staff and board of management.
     
  2. Joint First Runners Up:
    "This, This, That" from Dear Kaia and Skyelar
    Three-year-old Kaia explored the desert near her home in Qatar, took photos of what she saw and created a photo essay that she posted on her blog. She wrote the post with her dad, teacher Jabiz Raisdana, who then sent it out to his Twitter network. 

    The link made its way into the Twitter stream of technology teacher William Chamberlain, who asked the eighth grade students in his class to comment on the blog post.

    The story doesn't end there. The eigth-graders had some questions about Kaia and her dad's life in Doha, Qatar, so Raisdana skyped into their class. The students also created video comments that they sent to Kaia (read the complete story on Raisdana's blog).

    On top of that, professor John Strange from the University of South Alabama saw the post and passed it on to the students in his educational media class. They commented on Kaia's photo essay as well and wrote more than 50 blog posts in response to the photo essay (read this part of the story in Raisdana's words).


    "Tech addiction 'harms learning' ... really??? $24.99 and I am no wiser" from Wishful Thinking in Medical Education
    After seeing tweets about a BBC News Education story in her Twitter stream, general practitioner and clinical lecturer Ann Marie Cunningham checked out the research that prompted the above headline.

    She had to pay to find out what was in the report "Techno Addicts: Young Person Addiction to Technology, and what she found was 'poor research.' She gives her analysis in this blog post.
     

Jensen Comment
My threads on educator use of Twitter are at  
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm

Most influential tweet / series of tweets / tweet-based discussion

  1. Winner: #edchat
     Through Twitter, educators discuss real education issues on Tuesdays at noon EST and 7 p.m. EST using the hashtag "edchat."
     
  2. First Runner Up: Blogworthy Tweets
    English teacher Claudia Ceraso from Buenos Aires, Argentina, publishes some of her tweets on the blog ELT notes.
     
  3. Second Runner Up: #teachertuesday
    Every Tuesday on Twitter, educators and others recommend teachers to follow through the hashtag #teachertuesday.

 

Best teacher blog

  1. Winner: Two Writing Teachers
    Ruth Ayres and Stacey Shubitz share their tools, ideas and experiences with educators who teach kids how to write.
     
  2. First Runner Up: The Scholastic Scribe
    A high school journalism teacher writes about life inside and outside of her District of Columbia classroom. She is the mother of the college student behind Moo, who earned first runner up in the best student blog category.
     
  3. Second Runner Up: Cool Cat Teacher
    Vicki A. Davis from Camilla, Georgia, shares her experiences with technology as well as how students are collaborating globally through activities including the Flat Classroom Project

 

Best librarian / library blog

  1. Winner: Never Ending Search
    Joyce Valenza writes about technology, research, search engines and more from Springfield Township High School in Oreland, Pa. Check out the school's cool virtual library.
     
  2. First Runner Up: Bright Ideas
    The School Library Association of Victoria run this blog, where school library staff can share how they use the latest research tools in their libraries.
     
  3. Second Runner Up: Library Media Tech Musings
    Gwyneth A. Jones passes on education links and resources, among other things, with a sprinkle of snark, as she puts it.

 

Best educational tech support blog

  1. Winner: iLearn Technology
    Technology teacher Kelly Tenkely wants to help teachers "fall in love with technology the way that their students have," and she does that by giving them ideas for how to integrate new technology into their classrooms.
     
  2. First Runner Up: Langwitches
    This blog follows Silvia Tolisano as she discovers the magic of learning on her journey as a technology integration facilitator.
     
  3. Second Runner Up: Life Feast
    Ana Maria Menezes shares what she's learning about using Internet tools to enhance her classes and change up the daily routine for her EFL students in Brazil.

 

Best elearning / corporate education blog

  1. Winner: MPB Reflections — 21st Century Teaching and Learning
    From Teaching Without Walls, co-owner and educational consultant Michelle Pacansky-Brock posts her thoughts about changes in higher education, with an emphasis on online learning.
     
  2. First Runner Up: Angela Maiers
    After a 20-year career in education, Angela Maiers became an independent consultant who focuses on literacy education, and through her blog, she encourages teachers to be great learners.
     
  3. Second Runner Up: e-learning, conocimiento en red y web colectiva
    This blog covers e-learning, network knowledge and the collective Web.

 

Best educational use of audio

  1. Winner: Xyleme Voices Podcasts
    A podcast library on the evolution of training, featuring interviews with top industry analysts, consultants and practitioners in the field of learning.
     
  2. First Runner Up: Musical Blogies
    Ignacio Valdés posts audio and video of his students, who play music from a secondary education institution in the Spanish principality of Asturia.
     
  3. Second Runner Up: My Audio School
    Children can download more than 150 classic books and listen to more than 200 radio and television broadcasts on My Audio School. While this Web site was originally designed to help dyslexic students, it can be used for any students.

 

Best educational use of video / visual

  1. Winner: Bitácora de Aníbal de la Torre
    Aníbal de la Torre compiles short educational videos on his blog from Palma del Rio, Cordoba, Spain.
     
  2. First Runner Up: The Longfellow Ten
    Middle school students create and share stop-motion films that depict academic terms and concepts. They're definitely not boring.
     
  3. Second Runner Up: Inanimate Alice
    Through text, sound, images and games, writer Kate Pullinger and digital artist Chris Joseph tell the story of a girl named Alice and her imaginary digital friend, Brad. Pullinger teaches creative writing and new media for De Montfort University in Leicester, United Kingdom.

 

Best educational wiki

  1. Winner: Greetings From The World
    Teachers and students tell others about their countries by sharing glogs on this wiki.
     
  2. First Runner Up: Soar 2 New Heights
    A fourth-grade class shares books and themes that they enjoy.
     
  3. Second Runner Up: HUMS3001: Censorship and Responsibility
    From the University of South Wales, the students in Ben Miller's class on censorship and responsibility work together to build the pages in this wikispace.

 

Best educational use of a social networking service

  1. Winner: English Companion Ning
    English teachers help each other on this network, which high school English teacher and author Jim Burke created.
     
  2. First Runner Up: EFL Classroom 2.0
    This Ning provides a space for English language teachers and students to ask questions, share answers and find resources to help them learn. 
     
  3. Second Runner Up: RSC Access and Inclusion Ning
    The Regional Support Centre for North and East Scotland allows educators to discuss, share and join with other colleagues as they work with learners who need additional support in higher education.

Jensen Comment
My threads on educator social networking are at 
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm

Best educational use of a virtual world

  1. Winner: Virtual Graduation at the University of Edinburgh
    While some education students graduated at McEwan Hall in November, other students graduated online in Second Life. Those students completed their Master of Science in E-learning, which is a distance learning program.
     
  2. First Runner Up: Virtual Round Table Conference
    This Ning is dedicated to a virtual conference on language learning with technology that LANCELOT School coordinated.
     
  3. Joint Second Runners Up:
    ISTE's Second Life Island
    Second Life Education New Zealand

Jensen Comment
My threads on Second Looks and virtual learning are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#SecondLife

Lifetime achievement

  1. Winner: Karl Fisch
    Karl Fisch has been teaching for 21 years and is currently director of technology at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo. He was previously a middle and high school math teacher.
     
  2. First Runner Up: Will Richardson
    Will Richardson is the "learner in chief" at Connective Learning and author of Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms.
     
  3. Second Runner Up: Larry Ferlazzo
    Larry Ferlazzo teaches English Language Learners and native English speakers in Sacramento, Calif. On his blog, he provides links to sites that help educators teach English to non-native speakers.

 

For more ways to learn online, check out these resources:

Bob Jensen's threads on educator blogs, social networks, and tweets are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade (including Edutainment) are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


"U. of Manitoba Researchers Publish Open-Source Handbook on Educational Technology," by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 19, 2009 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3671&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Technology is changing the way students learn. Is it changing the way colleges teach?

Not enough, says George Siemens, associate director of research and development at the University of Manitoba’s Learning Technologies Centre.

While colleges and universities have been “fairly aggressive” in adapting their curricula to the changing world, Mr. Siemens told The Chronicle, “What we haven’t done very well in the last few decades is altering our pedagogy.”

To help get colleges thinking about how they might adapt their teaching styles to the new ways students absorb and process information, Mr. Siemens and Peter Tittenberger, director of the center, have created a Web-based guide, called the Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning.

Taking their own advice, they have outfitted the handbook with a wiki function that will allow readers to contribute their own additions.

In the its introduction, the handbook declares the old pedagogical model—where the students draw their information primarily from textbooks, newspapers, and their professors—dead. “Our learning and information acquisition is a mash-up,” the authors write. “We take pieces, add pieces, dialogue, reframe, rethink, connect, and ultimately, we end up with some type of pattern that symbolizes what’s happening ‘out there’ and what it means to us.” Students are forced to develop new ways of making sense of this flood of information fragments.

But Mr. Siemens said that colleges had been slow to appreciate this fact. “I don’t see a lot of research coming out on what universities might look like in the future,” he said. “If how we interact with information and with each other fundamentally changes, it would suggest that the institution also needs to change.”

Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning ---
http://ltc.umanitoba.ca/wikis/etl/index.php/Handbook_of_Emerging_Technologies_for_Learning

Preface

This Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning (HETL) has been designed as a resource for educators planning to incorporate technologies in their teaching and learning activities.

Introduction

How is education to fulfill its societal role of clarifying confusion when tools of control over information creation and dissemination rest in the hands of learners[3], contributing to the growing complexity and confusion of information abundance?

Change Pressures and Trends

Global, political, social, technological, and educational change pressures are disrupting the traditional role (and possibly design) of universities. Higher education faces a "re-balancing" in response to growing points of tension along the following fault lines...

What we know about learning

Over the last century, educator’s understanding of the process and act of learning has advanced considerably.

Technology, Teaching, and Learning

Technology is concerned with "designing aids and tools to perfect the mind". As a means of extending the sometimes limited reach of humanity, technology has been prominent in communication and learning. Technology has also played a role in classrooms through the use of movies, recorded video lectures, and overhead projectors. Emerging technology use is growing in communication and in creating, sharing, and interacting around content.

Media and technology

A transition from epistemology (knowledge) to ontology (being) suggests media and technology need to be employed to serve in the development of learners capable of participating in complex environments.

Change cycles and future patterns

It is not uncommon for theorists and thinkers to declare some variation of the theme "change is the only constant". Surprisingly, in an era where change is prominent, change itself has not been developed as a field of study. Why do systems change? Why do entire societies move from one governing philosophy to another? How does change occur within universities?

New Learners? New Educators? New Skills?

New literacies (based on abundance of information and the significant changes brought about technology) are needed. Rather than conceiving literacy as a singular concept, a multi-literacy view is warranted.

Tools

Each tool possesses multiple affordances. Blogs, for example, can be used for personal reflection and interaction. Wikis are well suited for collaborative work and brainstorming. Social networks tools are effective for the formation of learning and social networks. Matching affordances of a particular tool with learning activities is an important design and teaching activity

Research

Evaluating the effectiveness of technology use in teaching and learning brings to mind Albert Einstein’s statement: "Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted". When we begin to consider the impact and effectiveness of technology in the teaching and learning process, obvious questions arise: "How do we measure effectiveness? Is it time spent in a classroom? Is it a function of test scores? Is it about learning? Or understanding?"

Conclusion

Through a process of active experimentation, the academy’s role in society will emerge as a prominent sensemaking and knowledge expansion institution, reflecting of the needs of learners and society while maintaining its role as a transformative agent in pursuit of humanity’s highest ideals.

 

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


Bob Jensen's threads on Education/Learning Applications of ListServs, Blogs, Wikis, Social Networking, and Twitter in education are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm

June 5,  2009 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu]

ARE LOWER GRADES LINKED TO FACEBOOK USE?

When doctoral student Aryn Karpinski's unpublished study connecting students' heavy Facebook use and lower grades was presented at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association in April it created a "media sensation" both in the press and among academic blogs. Not everyone found her conclusions convincing.

Three researchers attempted to replicate Karpinski's findings using three datasets: (1) a large sample of undergraduate students from the University of Illinois at Chicago, (2) a nationally representative cross sectional sample of American 14– to 22–year–olds, and (3) a longitudinal panel of American youth aged 14–23. They report (in "Facebook and Academic Performance: Reconciling a Media Sensation with Data," by Josh Pasek, Eian More, and Eszter Hargittai, FIRST MONDAY, vol. 14, no. 5, May 4, 2009) that "[i]n none of the samples do we find a robust negative relationship between Facebook use and grades. Indeed, if anything, Facebook use is more common among individuals with higher grades."

The article is available at
http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewArticle/2498/2181

First Monday [ISSN 1396-0466] is an online, peer-reviewed journal whose aim is to publish original articles about the Internet and the global information infrastructure. It is published in cooperation with the University Library, University of Illinois at Chicago. For more information, contact: First Monday, c/o Edward Valauskas, Chief Editor, PO Box 87636, Chicago IL 60680-0636 USA;
email: ejv@uic.edu;
Web: http://firstmonday.org/

 See also:
"Study Finds Link between Facebook Use, Lower Grades in College"
http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2009/05/facebook.html

Poster of Karpinski's study
http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/facebook2009.jpg

......................................................................

 LEARNING IN VIRTUAL WORLDS

 "Virtual worlds as educational spaces--with their three-dimensional landscapes and customizable avatars--seem so similar to video games that educators may assume . . . that students will become as motivated by virtual worlds as they are by video games. However, these same similarities may also lead students to perceive virtual worlds as play spaces rather than as innovative educational environments. If students feel that learning opportunities offered in such spaces are not valid, they are likely to feel that they are not learning."

      -- Catheryn Cheal, "Student Perceptions of a Course Taught in Second Life"

 The June/July 2009 issue of INNOVATE (vol. 5, issue 5) focuses on the theme of virtual worlds and simulations in education. The papers reflect the maturing of the study of virtuality in education that grew out of early discussions and the formation of the League of Worlds, a conference whose mission is to "stimulate and disseminate research, analysis, theory, technical and curricular developments in the creative, educational, training-based and social use of role-playing, simulations and virtual worlds."

 The journal is available http://innovateonline.info/ Registration is required to access articles; registration is free.

 Innovate: Journal of Online Education [ISSN 1552-3233], an open-access, peer-reviewed online journal, is published bimonthly by the Fischler School of Education and Human Services at Nova Southeastern University.

The journal focuses on the creative use of information technology (IT) to enhance educational processes in academic, commercial, and governmental settings. For more information, contact James L. Morrison, Editor-in-Chief;
email: innovate@nova.edu;
Web: http://innovateonline.info/

 For more information about the League of Worlds, go to http://www.ubiqlab.org/low/

......................................................................

 IP POLICIES AND E-LEARNING

 "When we contrast the face-to-face learning environment with the online

(e-learning) environment, nearly all assumptions about IP [intellectual property] and copyright are called into question. Virtually all materials that contribute to e-learning are (or can be) digitized, retained, archived, attributed and logged. This single fact raises questions about IP [intellectual property] ownership, responsibility, policies, and procedures that are newly on the table."

In "Intellectual Property Policies, E-Learning, and Web 2.0:

Intersections and Open Questions" (ECAR Research Bulletin, vol. 2009, issue 7, April 7, 2009), Veronica Diaz discusses how online learning has necessitated revising IP policies that were created for face-to-face instructional settings. She notes that higher education IP policies need to go beyond the assumption that "e-learning is contained within an institutional system" as Web 2.0 technologies and social networking expand the reach of the learning environment.

 The report is available online to members of ECAR subscribing institutions at http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ecar_so/erb/ERB0907.pdf
To find out if your institution is a subscriber, go to
http://www.educause.edu/ECARSubscribingOrganizations/957

 ECAR (EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research) "provides timely research and analysis to help higher education leaders make better decisions about information technology. ECAR assembles leading scholars, practitioners, researchers, and analysts to focus on issues of critical importance to higher education, many of which carry increasingly complicated and consequential implications." For more information go to
http://www.educause.edu/content.asp?SECTION_ID=4

......................................................................

 NEW JOURNAL COVERS HIGHER ED INFORMATION LITERACY

 The NORDIC JOURNAL OF INFORMATION LITERACY IN HIGHER EDUCATION, published by the University of Bergen, is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal created to encourage "research-based development of information literacy teaching within the educational programmes of universities and higher education colleges" and to establish "a forum for the investigation and discussion of connections between information literacy and general learning processes within subject-specific contexts."

 Papers in the inaugural issue include:

 "A New Conception of Information Literacy for the Digital Environment in Higher Education" by Sharon Markless  

 To provide an information literacy (IL) framework for a virtual learning environment, the author considered the "relevant principles of learning, the place of student reflection when learning to be information literate, what IL in higher education (HE) should encompass, the importance of context in developing IL, and the influence of the digital environment, especially Web 2.0."

 "Google Scholar compared to Web of Science. A Literature Review" by Susanne Mikki

 According to the author, "Google Scholar is popular among faculty staff and students, but has been met with scepticism by library professionals and therefore not yet established as subject for teaching." In her paper, Mikki makes a case for including Google Scholar as a library resource by comparing it favorably with the more-highly-regarded Web of Science database.

 The journal is available at https://noril.uib.no/index.php/noril

 Nordic Journal of Information Literacy in Higher Education (NORIL) [ISSN 1890-5900] is published biannually by the University of Bergen Library. For more information, contact: Anne Sissel Vedvik Tonning, University of Bergen Library, Psychology, Education and Health Library, PO Box 7808, N-5020 Bergen, Norway; tel: +47 55588621; fax: +47 55884740;
email: anne.tonning@ub.uib.no;
Web:  https://noril.uib.no/index.php/noril

......................................................................

 NEW JOURNAL ON DIGITAL CULTURE

 DIGITAL CULTURE & EDUCATION is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal devoted to analyzing the "impact of digital culture on identity, education, art, society, culture and narrative within social, political, economic, cultural and historical contexts." Readers can interact with the authors by posting online comments on the journal's website. Paper submissions can include scholarly reviews of books, conferences, exhibits, games, software, and hardware. 

Papers in the first issue include:

 "Revisiting Violent Videogames Research: Game Studies Perspectives onAggression, Violence, Immersion, Interaction, and Textual Analysis" by Kyle Kontour, University of Colorado at Boulder

 "Look at Me! Look at Me! Self-representation and Self-exposure through Online Networks" by Kerry Mallan, Queensland University of Technology

 "Playing at Bullying: The Postmodern Ethic of Bully (Canis Canem Edit) by Clare Bradford, Deakin University

 Digital Culture & Education (DCE) [ISSN 1836-8301] is published as an ongoing journal with content added to the journal's website as papers are accepted. For more information, contact: Christopher Walsh, Editor;
email: editor@digitalcultureandeducation.com;
Web: http://www.digitalcultureandeducation.com/

......................................................................

 HELPING COMPUTER-LITERATE STUDENTS BECOME RESEARCH-LITERATE

 "While college students may be computer-literate, they are not, as a rule, research-literate. And there's a huge difference between the two."

In "Not Enough Time in the Library" (THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, May 14, 2009), Todd Gilman, librarian for literature in English at Yale University's Sterling Memorial Library, offers faculty suggestions for partnering with their campus library staff to help their students become research-literate learners.

Some of his tips include:-- have a librarian conduct a session on effective search strategies that help students "avoid frustration and wasted time."

 -- provide an assignment that applies what the students have learned i nthe session, one that will "incorporate a component that challenges students to evaluate the quality of information they find."

 -- schedule library tour that takes students beyond the study areas and into the reference and stack areas

The article is available at
http://chronicle.com/jobs/news/2009/05/2009051401c.htm?utm_source=pm&utm_medium=en

(Online access may require a subscription to the Chronicle.)

 The Chronicle of Higher Education [ISSN 0009-5982] is published weekly by The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inc., 1255 Twenty-third Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037 USA; tel: 202-466-1000; fax: 202-452-1033;
Web: http://chronicle.com/

......................................................................

TWO VIEWS OF ONLINE INSTRUCTION

 "The Excellent Inevitability of Online Courses" by Margaret Brooks

THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION May 29, 2009 http://chronicle.com/free/v55/i38/38a06401.htm?utm_source=pm&utm_medium=en

 "Within our lifetimes, technology has fundamentally changed the way we get the news, make purchases, and communicate with others. The Internet provides a platform for learning about and interacting with the world.

It should be no surprise that students line up for courses that make the best use of technologies that are so integral to their lives. It's not just the economy. It's not just the convenience. It's the integration of technology within society that's driving the development of online courses."

 "I'll Never Do It Again" By Elayne Clift
THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, May 29, 2009
http://chronicle.com/weekly/v55/i38/38a03302.htm?utm_source=cr&utm_medium=en

 "I trained for it, I tried it, and I'll never do it again. While online teaching may be the wave of the future (although I desperately hope not), it is not for me. Perhaps I'm the old dog that resists new tricks. Maybe I am a technophobe. It might be that I'm plain old-fashioned. This much I can say with certainty: I have years of experience successfully teaching in collegiate classrooms, and online teaching doesn't compare."

......................................................................

 RECOMMENDED READING

 "Recommended Reading" lists items that have been recommended to me or that Infobits readers have found particularly interesting and/or useful, including books, articles, and websites published by Infobits subscribers. Send your recommendations to carolyn_kotlas@unc.edu for possible inclusion in this column.

"How People are using Twitter during Conferences"

By Wolfgang Reinhardt, et al.
http://lamp.tu-graz.ac.at/~i203/ebner/publication/09_edumedia.pdf

 (Draft version. Originally published in: CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION COMPETENCIES ON THE WEB, Hornung-Prahauser, V., and M. Luckmann, (Ed.), pp. 145-56.)

Bob Jensen's threads on the pros and cons of education technology, including distance education, can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on Education/Learning Applications of ListServs, Blogs, Wikis, Social Networking, and Twitter in education are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm


So much learning now takes place online, including faculty office hours, study groups, and lectures.
What extra value are you going to need to offer to bring the students of the future to your college?
Read the new report, "The College of 2020: Students," from Chronicle Research Services.

"THE COLLEGE OF 2020: STUDENTS," The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 2009 ---
http://research.chronicle.com/asset/TheCollegeof2020ExecutiveSummary.pdf?utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

This is the first Chronicle Research Services report in a three-part series on what higher education will look like in the year 2020. It is based on reviews of research and data on trends in higher education, interviews with experts who are shaping the future of colleges, and the results of a poll of members of a Chronicle Research Services panel of admissions officials.

To buy the full, data-rich 50-page report, see the links at the end of this Executive Summary. Later reports in this series will look at college technology and facilities in 2020, and the faculty of the future.

Our Compassless Colleges --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#Berkowitz

 


July 1, 2009 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu]

EDUCATING THE NET GENERATION

"A number of authors have argued that students who are entering the higher education system have grown up in a digital culture that has fundamentally influenced their preferences and skills in a number of key areas related to education. It has also been proposed that today's university staff are ill equipped to educate this new generation of learners -- the Net Generation –- whose sophisticated use of emerging technologies is incompatible with current teaching practice."

EDUCATING THE NET GENERATION: A HANDBOOK OF FINDINGS FOR PRACTICE AND POLICY (Australian Learning and Teaching Council, 2009, ISBN:

9780734040732) reports on a collaborative project that began in 2006, between staff at the University of Melbourne, the University of Wollongong, and Charles Sturt University. Some of the findings of the study included:

      "The rhetoric that university students are Digital Natives and university staff are Digital Immigrants is not supported."

      "[E]ven though young people's access to and use of computers and some information and communications technologies is high, they don't necessarily want or expect to use these technologies to support some activities, including learning."

      "The use of publishing and information sharing tools, such as wikis, blogs and photo sharing sites, positively impacted on many students' engagement with the subject material, their peers and the general learning community."

      "[M]any Web 2.0 technologies enable students to publicly publish and share content in forums hosted outside their university's infrastructure. This raises complex questions about academic integrity including issues of authorship, ownership, attribution and acknowledgement."

The handbook is available at http://www.netgen.unimelb.edu.au/

The Australian Learning and Teaching Council works with 44 Australian higher education institutions "as a collaborative and supportive partner in change, providing access to a network of knowledge, ideas and people." For more information, contact: Australian Learning and Teaching Council, 4-12 Buckland St., Chippendale, Sydney NSW 2008 Australia; tel: 02 8667 8500; fax: 02 8667 8515;
email info@altc.edu.au;
Web: http://www.altc.edu.au/

......................................................................

STUDENT COMPUTER SKILLS: PERCEPTION AND REALITY

"The ubiquitous use of computers in homes and schools has aided the perception that more students are computer literate than past generations. There is a potential 'perfect storm' manifesting between students' perceived proficiency of computer application skills and the actual assessment of those skills."

 By administering survey and assessment instruments to over 200 business school students, researchers Donna M. Grant, Alisha D. Malloy, and Marianne C. Murphy compared students' perceived proficiencies in three computer skills areas -- word processing, presentation graphics, and spreadsheets -- with their demonstrated skills. Their research results showed "some differences in the students' perception of their word processing skills and actual performance, no difference in perception and performance for their presentation skills, and a significant difference in perception and performance for their spreadsheet skills.

The study led to a redesign of an introductory business school course to remedy students' deficiencies.

The paper, "A Comparison of Student Perceptions of their Computer Skills to their Actual Abilities" (JITE, vol. 8, 2009, pp. 141-60), is available at http://jite.org/documents/Vol8/JITEv8p141-160Grant428.pdf

The peer-reviewed Journal of Information Technology Education (JITE) [ISSN 1539-3585 (online) 1547-9714 (print)] is published in print by subscription and online free of charge by the Informing Science Institute. For more information contact: Informing Science Institute,

131 Brookhill Court, Santa Rosa, California 95409 USA; tel:

707-531-4925; fax: 480-247-5724; Web: http://informingscience.org/

 [Editor's note: At the time this article was written, the JITE website and this paper were accessible; at the time of this mailing, they are not. I have notified the JITE webmaster of the problem in the hope that the site will soon be back online.]

......................................................................

 NEW ONLINE JOURNAL ON INSTRUCTION

 The first issue of the online peer-reviewed JOURNAL OF INSTRUCTIONAL PEDAGOGIES [ISSN: 1941-3394], published by the Academic and Business Research Institute, is available at http://aabri.com/jip.html

 Papers in this issue that are related to instructional technology and e-learning include:

 "Student Perceptions of How Technology Impacts the Quality of Instruction and Learning" by Thomas Davies, et al.

"The Effects of Self-Regulated Learning Strategies and System Satisfaction Regarding Learner's Performance in E-Learning Environment" by Jong-Ki Lee

 "Student Performance in Online Quizzes as a Function of Time in Undergraduate Financial Management Courses" by Oliver Schnusenberg

 "Student Satisfaction in Web-enhanced Learning Environments" by Charles Hermans, et al.

 The Academic and Business Research Institute supports the research and publication needs of business and education faculty. For more information about the journal, contact: Raymond Papp, Editor;
email:
jip@aabri.com

......................................................................

CRITIQUE OF E-LEARNING IN BLACKBOARD

 "Just as utopic visions of the Internet predicted an egalitarian online world where information flowed freely and power became irrelevant, so did many proponents of online education, who viewed online classrooms as a way to free students and instructors from traditional power relationships . . ."

 In "A Critical Examination of Blackboard's E–Learning Environment"

(FIRST MONDAY, vol. 14, no. 6, June 1, 2009), Stephanie J. Coopman, professor at San Jose State University, identifies the ways that the Blackboard 8.0 and Blackboard CE6 platforms "both constrain and facilitate instructor–student and student–student interaction." She argues that while the systems have improved the instructor's ability to track and measure student activity, this "creates a dangerously decontextualized, essentialized image of a class in which levels of 'participation' stand in for evidence of learning having taken place.

Students are treated not as learners, as partners in an educational enterprise, but as users."

The paper is available at

http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewArticle/2434/2202

First Monday [ISSN 1396-0466] is an online, peer-reviewed journal whose aim is to publish original articles about the Internet and the global information infrastructure. It is published in cooperation with the University Library, University of Illinois at Chicago. For more information, contact: First Monday, c/o Edward Valauskas, Chief Editor, PO Box 87636, Chicago IL 60680-0636 USA; email: ejv@uic.edu; Web:

http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/

......................................................................

GOOGLE BOOK SEARCH BIBLIOGRAPHY

Charles W. Bailey, Jr. has just published the 4th version of the "Google Book Search Bibliography." "It primarily focuses on the evolution of Google Book Search and the legal, library, and social issues associated with it. Where possible, links are provided to works that are freely available on the Internet, including e-prints in disciplinary archives and institutional repositories." The bibliography is available at http://www.digital-scholarship.org/gbsb/gbsb.htm

Links to Bailey's other extensive publications, including "Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography" and the "Open Access Webliography," are available at http://www.digital-scholarship.org/

......................................................................

 RECOMMENDED READING

"Recommended Reading" lists items that have been recommended to me or that Infobits readers have found particularly interesting and/or useful, including books, articles, and websites published by Infobits subscribers. Send your recommendations to carolyn_kotlas@unc.edu for possible inclusion in this column.

OASIS: Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook By Alma Swan and Leslie Chan http://www.openoasis.org/

"OASIS aims to provide an authoritative 'sourcebook' on Open Access, covering the concept, principles, advantages, approaches and means to achieving it. The site highlights developments and initiatives from around the world, with links to diverse additional resources and case studies."

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce.htm


Question
What are the latest emerging technologies to teaching, learning, research, and creative expression.?

From PBS:  Touch Table Computing Video --- http://www.pbs.org/kcet/wiredscience/video/231-touchtable.html

2009 Edition of the Horizon Report --- http://wp.nmc.org/horizon2009/

The annual Horizon Report describes the continuing work of the New Media Consortium (NMC)’s Horizon Project, a long-running qualitative research project that seeks to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have a large impact on teaching, learning, research, or creative expression within learning-focused organizations. The 2009 Horizon Report is the sixth annual report in the series. The report is produced again in 2009 as a collaboration between the New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), an EDUCAUSE program.

Each edition of the Horizon Report introduces six emerging technologies or practices that are likely to enter mainstream use in learning-focused organizations within three adoption horizons over the next one to five years. Challenges and trends that will shape the way we work in academia over the same time frame are also presented. Over the six years of the NMC’s Horizon Project, more than 200 leaders in the fields of business, industry, and education have contributed to an ongoing primary research effort that draws on a comprehensive body of published resources, current research and practice, and the expertise of the NMC and ELI communities to identify technologies and practices that are either beginning to appear on campuses, or likely to be adopted in the coming years. Through a close examination of these sources, and informed by their own distinguished perspectives, the 2009 Advisory Board has considered the broad landscape of emerging technology and its intersection with the academic world as they worked to select the six topics described in these pages. The precise research methodology is detailed in a special section following the body of the report.

The format of the Horizon Report reflects the focus of the Horizon Project, which centers on the applications of emerging technologies to teaching, learning, research, and creative expression. Each topic opens with an overview to introduce the concept or technology involved and follows with a discussion of the particular relevance of the topic to education or creativity. Examples of how the technology is being — or could be — applied to those activities are given. Each description is followed by an annotated list of additional examples and readings which expand on the discussion in the Report, as well as a link to the list of tagged resources collected by the Advisory Board and other interested parties during the process of researching the topic areas. Many of the examples under each area feature the innovative work of NMC and ELI member institutions.

The 2009 Horizon Report is
a collaboration between
The New Media Consortium
and the
EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative
An EDUCAUSE Program

© 2009, The New Media Consortium.

Permission is granted under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license to replicate and distribute this report freely for noncommercial purposes provided that it is distributed only in its entirety.

"'Horizon Report' Names Top Technology Trends to Watch in Education," by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 22, 2009 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3569&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

More services will be running on cellphones or handheld computers, and more devices will be able to broadcast their location to others, says a new report from Educause's Learning Initiative and the New Media Consortium.

The "2009 Horizon Report," the latest edition of the annual list of technology trends to watch in education, is compiled based on news reports, research studies, and interviews with experts.

Topping the list of hot technologies are smart phones and other mobile devices. The authors noted that smart phones can now run third-party applications, which could revolutionize how such devices are used in education by consolidating numerous teaching, learning, and administrative tools into devices that fit into the palms of students' hands.

Another top trend identified in the report is cloud computing, which refers to Web-based applications and services. Such services, many of which are free, will allow campus users to access more tools and information at a lower cost—although it may make users increasingly dependent on their hosts, the report says.

The prevalence of electronics that have "geo-locators"—that is, that are capable of knowing where they are—could have important applications for field research, specifically with regard to tracking the movement of animal populations or mapping data sets to study weather, migration, or urban development patterns, the report says. Similarly, “smart” objects—which are aware not only of their locations but of themselves and their environment—are already used in some libraries for tracking and tagging materials and may have analogous applications across a number of academic disciplines.

Though the Internet has proved to be a helpful resource for many students and professors, the sheer volume of its content can make finding relevant information a tedious chore at times. According to the report, the personal Web—i.e., widgets and services that help connect individual users to the Web-based information relevant to them—will allow students, professors, and administrators to use the Web more efficiently.

In a similar vein, semantic-aware applications will emerge to allow students to use one of the Internet’s more popular features—Web search—more efficiently, the authors predict. Semantic-aware applications refer to technology designed to analyze the meaning of phrases typed into search boxes, rather than just the keywords. Beyond search technology, the report says that semantic-aware applications may eventually help researchers organize and present their findings in ways that more easily describe conceptual relationships among collected data.

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


There were an estimated 130 million works licensed under Creative Commons
Creative Commons --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons

Creative Commons Home Page ---  http://creativecommons.org/

"Response to ASCAP’s deceptive claims," by Eric Steuer, Creative Commons, June 30th, 2010 ---
http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/22643?utm_source=ccorg&utm_medium=postbanner

Last week, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) sent a fundraising letter to its members calling on them to fight “opponents” such as Creative Commons, falsely claiming that we work to undermine copyright.*

Creative Commons licenses are copyright licenses – plain and simple. Period. CC licenses are legal tools that creators can use to offer certain usage rights to the public, while reserving other rights. Without copyright, these tools don’t work. Artists and record labels that want to make their music available to the public for certain uses, like noncommercial sharing or remixing, should consider using CC licenses. Artists and labels that want to reserve all of their copyright rights should absolutely not use CC licenses.

Many musicians, including acts like Nine Inch Nails, Beastie Boys, Youssou N’Dour, Tone, Curt Smith, David Byrne, Radiohead, Yunyu, Kristin Hersh, and Snoop Dogg, have used Creative Commons licenses to share with the public. These musicians aren’t looking to stop making money from their music. In fact, many of the artists who use CC licenses are also members of collecting societies, including ASCAP. That’s how we first heard about this smear campaign – many musicians that support Creative Commons received the email and forwarded it to us. Some of them even included a donation to Creative Commons.

If you are similarly angered by ASCAP’s deceptive tactics, I’m hoping that you can help us by donating to Creative Commonsand sending a message – at this critical time. We don’t have lobbyists on the payroll, but with your support we can continue working hard on behalf of creators and consumers alike.

Sincerely,
Eric Steuer
Creative Director, Creative Commons

"MIT Tops List of College Copyright Violators," by Erica R. Hendry, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 17, 2009 ---
http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/article/3833/mit-tops-list-of-college-copyright-violators

Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Bob Jensen's threads on the dreaded DMCA ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm#Copyright


"Educause Names Top Teaching with Technology Challenges for 2009," by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 9, 2009 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3547&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Educause, the higher-education technology group, has released its list of top teaching and learning challenges of 2009.

The top five challenges were selected by a combination of focus groups, surveys of interested professionals, face-to-face brainstorming, and a final vote. The challenges are:

1. Creating learning environments that promote active learning, critical thinking, collaborative learning, and knowledge creation.
2. Developing 21st-century literacies — information, digital, and visual — among students and faculty members.
3. Reaching and engaging today’s learners.
4. Encouraging faculty members to adopt, and innovate with, new technology for teaching and learning.
5. Advancing innovation in teaching and learning with technology in an era of budget cuts.

Educause officials say they will now begin soliciting a volunteers to collaborate on solutions for each challenge using the project’s wiki.

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


John Seely Brown was a computer enthusiast since before most people knew what personal computers were. His work as former director of the Xerox Corporation’s famed Palo Alto Research Center landed him in the computer Industry Hall of Fame. Jeffrey R. Young sat down with Mr. Brown at a recent event celebrating the history of NSFNet, a precursor of today’s Internet, and recorded this podcast interview, in which he talks about how computer networks — and now Web 2.0 —
From the Chronicle of Higher Education, December 12, 2007 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=2605&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en
John Seely Brown was a keynote speaker at the conference and video archives are available at http://www.nsfnet-legacy.org/archive.php


Bob Jensen's threads on blogs and listservs are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm

Note the excellent tutorial course at http://newmediaocw.wordpress.com/


-----Original Message-----
From: Carolyn Kotlas [mailto:kotlas@email.unc.edu]
Sent: Friday, October 03, 2008 2:54 PM
To: Jensen, Robert

TL INFOBITS September 2008          No. 27            ISSN: 1931-3144

About INFOBITS

 INFOBITS is an electronic service of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ITS Teaching and Learning division. Each month the ITS-TL's Information Resources Consultant monitors and selects from a number of information and instructional technology sources that come to her attention and provides brief notes for electronic dissemination to educators.

NOTE: You can read the Web version of this issue at  http://its.unc.edu/tl/infobits/bitsep08.php

You can read all back issues of Infobits at http://its.unc.edu/tl/infobits/

......................................................................

Virtual Worlds in Higher Education Instruction
Games and Learning 
Distance Learning
Journal Archives Now Online 
Carolina Conversations
Recommended Reading

Bob Jensen's related threads are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

......................................................................

EDITOR'S NOTE: Normally, Infobits does not focus on a single topic or theme, However, the recently-published abundance of papers, reports, and articles on using games or virtual worlds for teaching and learning has prompted me to devote most of this issue to these resources.

......................................................................

 VIRTUAL WORLDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION INSTRUCTION

 "Clearly there is a large and growing group of educators who believe that many good things, many very good things, are connected with virtual worlds. There are also still staunch critics yelling about what is wrong with virtual worlds. With many people engaging in this robust conversation today, it would be a great disservice to both the local and the global community not to have more institutions participating in the discussion."

      -- A. J. Kelton, "Virtual Worlds? 'Outlook Good'"

 The theme of the September/October 2008 issue of EDUCAUSE REVIEW is learning in virtual worlds. In "Higher Education as Virtual Conversation" Sarah Robbins-Bell explains how "using [virtual worlds] requires a shift in thinking and an adjustment in pedagogical methods that will embrace the community, the fluid identity, and the participation--indeed, the increased conversation--that virtual spaces can provide."

Cynthia M. Calongne ("Educational Frontiers: Learning in a Virtual World") draws on the experience of teaching nine university courses using Second Life to discuss what is required for success in this teaching environment.

In "Drawing a Roadmap: Barriers and Challenges to Designing the Ideal Virtual World for Higher Education," Chris Johnson provides a "roadmap for designing an 'ideal' virtual world for higher education, pointing decision-makers in a general direction for implementing virtual worlds and noting various barriers along the way."

These and other papers and articles are available online at  http://connect.educause.edu/apps/er/index.asp?time=1222867545

 

EDUCAUSE Review [ISSN 1527-6619], a bimonthly print magazine that explores developments in information technology and education, is published by EDUCAUSE (http://www.educause.edu/ ). Articles from current and back issues of EDUCAUSE Review are available on the Web at http//www.educause.edu/pub/er /

See also:
"B-Schools in Second Life: It's More Than Just Fun and Games; It's the Confluence of Playing, Learning, and Working," By Vivek Bhatnagar, THE SLOAN-C VIEW, vol. 7, no. 8, September 2008 --- http://www.sloanconsortium.org/viewarticle_SL  

 "The Mean Business of Second Life: Teaching Entrepreneurship, Technology and e-Commerce in Immersive Environments," By Brian Mennecke, Lesya M. Hassall, and Janea Triplett, JOURNAL OF ONLINE LEARNING AND TEACHING, vol. 4, no. 3, September 2008 http://jolt.merlot.org/vol4no3/hassall_0908.htm

JOURNAL OF VIRTUAL WORLDS RESEARCH --- http://jvwresearch.org/  
This new open access, peer-reviewed publication, hosted by the Texas Digital Library consortium (http://jvwresearch.org/) is a "transdisciplinary journal that engages a wide spectrum of scholarship and welcomes contributions from the many disciplines and approaches that intersect virtual worlds research."
The theme for volume 2, number 1, to be published in March 2009, will be "Pedagogy, Education and Innovation in 3-D Virtual Worlds."

 

Bob Jensen’s related threads are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#SecondLife

......................................................................

 GAMES AND LEARNING

The theme of both Fall 2008 issues of COMPUTERS AND COMPOSITION and COMPUTERS AND COMPOSITION ONLINE is "Reading Games: Composition, Literacy, and Video Gaming" -- "a look at the computer and video gaming industry and its influence on our literacy practices. Articles include a variety of interesting topics, from encouraging reflective gaming/play, to adapting games for writing courses, to writing in World of Warcraft, to collaborative writing in Alternate Reality Games, and more." Although the theme is the same for both publications, there is no overlap in their contents.

Computers and Composition: An International Journal [ISSN: 8755-46150] is a refereed online journal hosted at Ohio State University and "devoted to exploring the use of computers in composition classes, programs, and scholarly projects. It provides teachers and scholars a forum for discussing issues connected to computer use." While all papers are available online only by subscription, your institution may provide access through Elsevier's ScienceDirect eSelect ( http://www.sciencedirect.com/ ); check with your campus library for availability. For more information and to access current and back issues, go to http://computersandcomposition.osu.edu/

Computers and Composition Online is the companion journal to Computers and Composition. Current and back issues are available at no cost at http://www.bgsu.edu/cconline/

See also:
"Teens, Video Games, and Civics," By Amanda Lenhart, et al, September 16, 2008 --- http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/263/report_display.asp

The Pew Research Center recently reported that "virtually all American teens [97% of teens ages 12-17] play computer, console, or cell phone games and that the gaming experience is rich and varied, with a significant amount of social interaction and potential for civic engagement."

"The Civic Potential of Video Games," By Civic Engagement Research Group at Mills College, September 7, 2008 --- http://www.civicsurvey.org/White_paper_link_text.pdf

"Although it shares some text and findings with the Teens, Games, and Civics report, it provides a more detailed discussion of the relevant research on civics and gaming. In addition, this report discusses the policy and research implications of these findings for those interested in better understanding and promoting civic engagement through video games."

"Literacy through Gaming: The Influence of Videogames on the Writings of High School Freshman Males," By Immaculee Harushimana , JOURNAL OF LITERACY AND TECHNOLOGY, vol. 9, no. 2, August 2008, pp. 35-56 --- http://www.literacyandtechnology.org/volume10/harushimana.pdf  

 "While videogames often evoke concerns among parents, politicians, and educators, they pervade the lives of the youth in today's world and constitute a major component of the 'new literacy studies' field. In an era when young generations are digital-friendly and video game savvy, the role of video gaming in children and adolescents' cognitive development must not be overlooked. Educating today's generation of learners requires an understanding of the new digital environment into which they were born."

 Bob Jensen’s related threads are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment

......................................................................

 

DISTANCE LEARNING JOURNAL ARCHIVES NOW ONLINE
The complete archives (1986-2008) of THE JOURNAL OF DISTANCE EDUCATION are now online and searchable at http://www.jofde.ca/  
Papers in the current issue include:

"Disciplinary Differences in E-learning Instructional Design, " By Glenn Gordon Smith, Ana T. Torres-Ayala, and Allen J. Heindel

"Teacher and Student Behaviors in Face-to-Face and Online Courses:  Dealing With Complex Concepts, " By C. E. (Betty) Cragg, Jean Dunning, and Jaqueline Ellis

"The Effect of Peer Collaboration and Collaborative Learning on Self-efficacy and Persistence in a Learner-paced Continuous Intake Model," By Bruno Poellhuber, Martine Chomienne, Thierry Karsenti, The Journal of Distance Education [ISSN: 1916-6818 (online), ISSN: 0830-0445 (print)] is an "international publication of the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE) [that] aims to promote and encourage Canadian scholarly work in distance education and provide a forum for the dissemination of international scholarship." For more information, contact: British Columbia Institute of Technology, Learning & Teaching Centre, 3700 Willingdon Ave., Burnaby, BC, Canada V5G 3H2; tel: 604-454-2280; fax: 604-431-7267; email: journalofde@gmail.com ; Web: http://www.jofde.ca/  

......................................................................

 CAROLINA CONVERSATIONS

Carolina Conversations, launched in September 2008, is a series of live interviews with members of the UNC-Chapel Hill community conducted in the virtual world, Second Life. Guests will discuss their work and interests and will also respond to questions from the Second Life audience attending in-world. The next interview will be on October 7, 2008. For more information, to get the SLurl, or to view videos of past conversations, go to http://its.unc.edu/tl/conversations/

Carolina Conversations is sponsored by UNC-Chapel Hill Information Technology Services' Teaching and Learning division, the group that publishes TL INFOBITS.

......................................................................

 

RECOMMENDED READING
"Recommended Reading" lists items that have been recommended to me or that Infobits readers have found particularly interesting and/or useful, including books, articles, and websites published by Infobits subscribers. Send your recommendations to carolyn_kotlas@unc.edu for possible inclusion in this column.

"Is Stupid Making Us Google?"  By James Bowman, The New Atlantis, no. 21, Summer 2008, pp. 75-80 ---
http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/is-stupid-making-us-google

 "Generally speaking, even those who are most gung-ho about new ways of learning probably tend to cling to a belief that education has, or ought to have, at least something to do with making things lodge in the minds of students--this even though the disparagement of the role of memory in education by professional educators now goes back at least three generations, long before computers were ever thought of as educational tools. That, by the way, should lessen our astonishment, if not our dismay, at the extent to which the educational establishment, instead of viewing these developments with alarm, is adapting its understanding of what education is to the new realities of how the new generation of 'netizens' actually learn (and don't learn) rather than trying to adapt the kids to unchanging standards of scholarship and learning."

 Editor's note: The article "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" mentioned in Bowman's article was the June 2008 Infobits "Recommended Reading" suggestion (http://its.unc.edu/tl/infobits/bitjun08.php#7 ).


"Is Stupid Making Us Google?"  By James Bowman, The New Atlantis, no. 21, Summer 2008, pp. 75-80 ---
http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/is-stupid-making-us-google

Generally speaking, even those who are most gung-ho about new ways of learning probably tend to cling to a belief that education has, or ought to have, at least something to do with making things lodge in the minds of students--this even though the disparagement of the role of memory in education by professional educators now goes back at least three generations, long before computers were ever thought of as educational tools. That, by the way, should lessen our astonishment, if not our dismay, at the extent to which the educational establishment, instead of viewing these developments with alarm, is adapting its understanding of what education is to the new realities of how the new generation of 'netizens' actually learn (and don't learn) rather than trying to adapt the kids to unchanging standards of scholarship and learning.

A prominent librarian utters dire warnings about new media
"Mass Culture 2.0," by Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed, June 20, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2007/06/20/mclemee

 

Jensen Comment
Yikes! When I'm looking for an answer to most anything I now turn first to Wikipedia and then Google. I guess James Bowman put me in my place. However, being retired I'm no longer corrupting the minds of students (at least not apart from my Website and blogs --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm
I would counter Bowman by saying that Stupid is as Stupid does. Stupid "does" the following:  Stupid accepts a single source for an answer. Except when the answer seems self evident, a scholar will seek verification from other references. However, a lot of things are "self evident" to Stupid.

Scholars often forget that Google also has a scholars' search engine --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm#ScholarySearch
For example enter the search term "bailout."
How experts/scholars search the Web are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Searchh.htm#Scholars

There is a serious issue that sweat accompanied with answer searching aids in the memory of what is learned --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/265wp.htm
But must we sweat to find every answer in life? There is also the maxim that we learn best from our mistakes. Bloggers are constantly being made aware of their mistakes. This is one of the scholarly benefits of blogging --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm

 


June 6, 2008 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu]

"In contrast to earlier e-learning approaches that simply replicated traditional models, the Web 2.0 movement with its associated array of social software tools offers opportunities to move away from the last century's highly centralized, industrial model of learning and toward individual learner empowerment through designs that focus on collaborative, networked interaction"

-- McLoughlin and Lee, "Future Learning Landscapes"

The future of learning is theme of the June/July 2008 issue of INNOVATE. Articles include:

"Future Learning Landscapes: Transforming Pedagogy through Social

Software" by Catherine McLoughlin and Mark J. W. Lee

"McLoughlin and Lee posit that future learning environments must capitalize on the potential of Web 2.0 by combining social software tools with connectivist pedagogical models."

"Rhizomatic Education: Community as Curriculum" by Dave Cormier

"In the rhizomatic model, knowledge is negotiated, and the learning experience is a social as well as a personal knowledge creation process with mutable goals and constantly negotiated premises."

"A Singular Vision for a Disparate Future: Technology Adoption Patterns

in Higher Learning Through 2035" by Robert G. Henshaw

Henshaw "examines factors likely to influence technology adoption within U.S. higher education over the next 30 years and their impact on education providers and consumers." [Editor's note: the author of this paper is my colleague at UNC-Chapel Hill ITS Teaching and Learning division.]

The issue is available at http://innovateonline.info/index.php

Registration is required to access articles; registration is free.

Innovate: Journal of Online Education [ISSN 1552-3233], an open-access, peer-reviewed online journal, is published bimonthly by the Fischler School of Education and Human Services at Nova Southeastern University.

The journal focuses on the creative use of information technology (IT) to enhance educational processes in academic, commercial, and governmental settings.
For more information, contact James L. Morrison, Editor-in-Chief
; email: innovate@nova.edu ;
Web:
http://innovateonline.info/

......................................................................

OPENNESS AND LEARNING IN TODAY'S WORLD

How open access and interactive Web 2.0 applications are changing the learning environment is focus of the latest issue of ELEARNING PAPERS.

The papers' authors consider the impact of these technologies both on individual learners and the institutions that facilitate the learning process. Papers include:

"Web 2.0 and New Learning Paradigms" by Antonio Bartolome

"This article is sceptic about the current changes at eLearning institutions and businesses, but points out some of the changes that will take place outside their courses and programmes."

"Universities and Web 2.0: Institutional Challenges" by Juan Freire

"Teachers, researchers and students started some years ago to use social software tools, but in few cases these experiences have allowed any scaling from the individual to the institutional level. The promises and potential of web 2.0 in universities need an adequate strategy for their development which has to confront the bottlenecks and fears common in these institutions, which could explain the lack of adaptation."

"Is the world open?" by Richard Straub

"The rise of social networking sites, virtual worlds, blogs, wikis and 3D Internet give us a first idea of the potential of the 'interactive and collaborative web' dubbed Web 2.0. Now we have the infrastructure and tools to operate in new ways in open systems. While many of the thoughts about openness and the need for more open social systems have been around for some time, this new infrastructure and new tools accelerate the movement."

The issue is available at http://www.elearningpapers.eu/index.php?page=home&vol=8

eLearning Papers [ISSN 1887-1542] is an open access journal created as part of the elearningeuropa.info portal. The portal is "an initiative of the European Commission to promote the use of multimedia technologies and Internet at the service of education and training."

For more information, contact: eLearning Papers, P.A.U. Education, C/ Muntaner 262, 3rd, 08021 Barcelona, Spain; email:

editorial@elearningeuropa.info ;
Web:
http://www.elearningpapers.eu/

......................................................................

CRITIQUING THE CLAIMS OF E-LEARNING

"Critical theory designates a philosophy and a research methodology that focuses on the interrelated issues of technology, politics and social change. Despite its emphasis on technology, critical theory arguably remains underutilized in areas of practical research that lie at the confluence of social, political and technological concerns, such as the study of the use of the usability of information and communication technologies (ICTs) or of their use in educational institutions."

In "Critical Theory: Ideology Critique and the Myths of E-Learning"

(UBIQUITY, vol. 9, no. 22, June 3-9, 2008), Norm Friesen uses critical theory to de-mystify three claims of e-learning:

-- "that we live in a 'knowledge economy'"

-- "that users enjoy ubiquitous, 'anywhere anytime' access"

-- "that social and institutional change is motivated by a

number of fixed 'laws' of progress in computer technology"

The paper is available at http://www.acm.org/ubiquity/volume_9/v9i22_friesen.html

Ubiquity [ISSN 1530-2180] is a free, Web-based publication of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), "dedicated to fostering critical analysis and in-depth commentary on issues relating to the nature, constitution, structure, science, engineering, technology, practices, and paradigms of the IT profession." For more information, contact: Ubiquity, email: ubiquity@acm.org ;
Web:
http://www.acm.org/ubiquity/

For more information on the ACM, contact: ACM, One Astor Plaza, 1515 Broadway, New York, NY 10036, USA; tel: 800-342-6626 or 212-626-0500;
Web:
http://www.acm.org/

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


"The 10 Emerging Technologies of 2008:  Technology Review presents its annual list of the 10 most exciting technologies," MIT's Technology Review, March/April 2008 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Infotech/20249/?nlid=882
They're listed at http://www.technologyreview.com/specialreports/specialreport.aspx?id=25

Past 10 Emerging Technologies:
2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2001


"How Cloud Computing Is Changing the World:  A major shift in the way companies obtain software and computing capacity is under way as more companies tap into Web-based applications," Business Week, August 4, 2008 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/aug2008/tc2008082_445669.htm 

At first, just a handful of employees at Sanmina-SCI (SANM) began using Google Apps (GOOG) for tasks like e-mail, document creation, and appointment scheduling. Now, just six months later, almost 1,000 employees of the electronics manufacturing company go online to use Google Apps in place of the comparable Microsoft (MSFT) tools. "We have project teams working on a global basis and to help them collaborate effectively, we use Google Apps," says Manesh Patel, chief information officer of Sanmina-SCI, a company with $10.7 billion in annual revenue. In the next three years, the number of Google Apps users may rise to 10,000, or about 25% of the total, Patel estimates.

San Jose (Calif.)-based Sanmina and Google are at the forefront of a fundamental shift in the way companies obtain software and computing capacity. A host of providers including Amazon (AMZN), Salesforce.com (CRM), IBM (IBM), Oracle (ORCL), and Microsoft are helping corporate clients use the Internet to tap into everything from extra server space to software that helps manage customer relationships. Assigning these computing tasks to some remote location—rather than, say, a desktop computer, handheld machine, or a company's own servers—is referred to collectively as cloud computing (BusinessWeek, 4/24/08), and it's catching on across Corporate America.

The term "cloud computing" encompasses many areas of tech, including software as a service, a software distribution method pioneered by Salesforce.com about a decade ago. It also includes newer avenues such as hardware as a service, a way to order storage and server capacity on demand from Amazon and others. What all these cloud computing services have in common, though, is that they're all delivered over the Internet, on demand, from massive data centers.

A Sea Change in Computing Some analysts say cloud computing represents a sea change in the way computing is done in corporations. Merrill Lynch (MER) estimates that within the next five years, the annual global market for cloud computing will surge to $95 billion. In a May 2008 report, Merrill Lynch estimated that 12% of the worldwide software market would go to the cloud in that period.

Those vendors that can adjust their product lines to meet the needs of large cloud computing providers stand to profit. Companies like IBM, Dell (DELL), and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), for instance, are moving aggressively in this direction. On Aug. 1, IBM said it would spend $360 million to build a cloud computing data center in Research Triangle Park, N.C., bringing to nine its total of cloud computing centers worldwide. Dell is also targeting this market. The computer marker supplies products to some of the largest cloud computing providers and Web 2.0 companies, including Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, and Yahoo (YHOO). "We created a whole new business just to build custom products for those customers," Dell CEO Michael Dell says.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on cloud computing are at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen/245glosf.htm#Cloud

 


"Which Technologies Will Shape Education in 2008?" by Dave Nagel, T.H.E. Journal, February 2008 --- http://www.thejournal.com/articles/21972

Mobile broadband, collaborative Web technologies, and mashups will all significantly impact education over the next five years, along with "grassroots" video, collective intelligence, and "social operating systems." This according to a new report released last week by the New Media Consortium and the Educause Learning Initiative, the 2008 Horizon Report.

The report focuses on the six key technology areas that the researchers identified as likely to have a major impact on "the choices of learning-focused organizations within the next five years," broken down into the technologies that will have an impact in the near term, those that are in the early stages of adoption, and those that are a bit further out on the horizon.

In the near term--that is, in the timeframe of about a year or less--the technologies that will have a significant impact on education include grassroots video and collaborative Web technologies. Grassroots video is, simply, user-generated video created on inexpensive consumer electronics devices and edited and encoded using free or inexpensive consumer- or prosumer-grade NLEs. Internet-based services supporting the sharing of these videos have allowed institutions to mingle their content with consumer content and "will fuel rapid growth among learning-focused organizations who want their content to be where the viewers are," according to the report. The second near-term trend, collaborative Web technology, is already in wide use in education at all levels. The complete report (see link below) provides further details.

In the mid-term, mobile broadband and data mashups will make their mark on education. Mashups, according to the report, will largely impact the way education institutions represent information. "While most current examples are focused on the integration of maps with a variety of data," the report said, "it is not difficult to picture broad educational and scholarly applications for mashups." Mobile broadband too is in the early stages of adoption for educational purposes, from project-based learning activities to virtual field trips.

Further down the road, according to the report, come "collective intelligence" and "social operating systems." Collective intelligence includes wikis and community tagging. A social operating system is "the essential ingredient of next generation social networking" and "will support whole new categories of applications that weave through the implicit connections and clues we leave everywhere as we go about our lives, and use them to organize our work and our thinking around the people we know," according to the report. The time to adoption for these last two will be four to five years, the report said.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on education technologies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm 


New Media Consortium (NMC) is an "international 501(c)3 not-for-profit consortium of nearly 200 leading colleges, universities, museums, corporations, and other learning-focused organizations dedicated to the exploration and use of new media and new technologies." For more information, go to http://www.nmc.org/

"2008 HORIZON REPORT ON EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES," New Media Consortium, 2008 --- http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2008-Horizon-Report.pdf

The annual Horizon Report describes the continuing work of the New Media Consortium (NMC)’s Horizon Project, a five-year qualitative research effort that seeks to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have a large impact on teaching, learning, or creative expression within learning-focused organizations. The 2008 Horizon Report, the fifth in this annual series, is produced as a collaboration between the NMC and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), an EDUCAUSE program.

The main sections of the report describe six emerging technologies or practices that will likely enter mainstream use in learning-focused organizations within three adoption horizons over the next one to five years. Also highlighted are a set of challenges and trends that will influence our choices in the same time frames. The project draws on an ongoing primary research effort that has distilled the viewpoints of more than 175 Advisory Board members in the fields of business, industry, and education into the six topics presented here; drawn on an extensive array of published resources, current research, and practice; and made extensive use of the expertise of the NMC and ELI communities. (The precise research methodology is detailed in the final section.) Many of the examples under each area feature the innovative work of NMC and ELI member institutions.

The format of the Horizon Report reflects the focus of the Horizon Project, which centers on the applications of emerging technologies to teaching, learning, and creative expression. Each topic opens with an overview to introduce the concept or technology involved and follows with a discussion of the particular relevance of the topic to education or creativity. Examples of how the technology is being—or could be—applied to those activities are given. Each description is followed by an annotated list of additional examples and readings which expand on the discussion in the Report, as well as a link to the list of tagged resources collected by the Advisory Board and other interested parties during the process of researching the topic areas.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Key Emerging Technologies

The technologies featured in the 2008 Horizon Report are placed along three adoption horizons that represent what the Advisory Board considers likely timeframes for their entrance into mainstream use for teaching, learning, or creative applications. The first adoption horizon assumes the likelihood of entry within the next year; the second, within two to three years; and the third, within four to five years. The two technologies placed on the first adoption horizon in this edition, grassroots video and collaboration webs, are already in use on many campuses. Examples of these are not difficult to find. Applications of mobile broadband and data mashups, both on the mid-term horizon, are evident in organizations at the leading edge of technology adoption, and are beginning to appear at many institutions. Educational uses of the two topics on the far-term horizon, collective intelligence and social operating systems, are understandably rarer; however, there are examples in the worlds of commerce, industry and entertainment that hint at coming use in academia within four to five years.

Each profiled technology is described in detail in the body of the report, including a discussion of what it is and why it is relevant to teaching, learning, and creative expression. Specific examples are listed there for each of the six topics, consistent with the level of adoption at the time the report was written (December 2007). Taken as a set, our research indicates that all six of these technologies will significantly impact the choices of learning-focused organizations within the next five years.

Grassroots Video.
Virtually anyone can capture, edit, and share short video clips, using inexpensive equipment (such as a cell phone) and free or nearly free software. Video sharin sites continue to grow at some of the most prodigious rates on the Internet; it is very common now to find news clips, tutorials, and informative videos listed alongside the music videos and the
raft of personal content that dominated these sites when they first appeared. What used to be difficult and expensive, and often required special servers and content distribution networks, now has become something anyone can do easily for almost nothing. Hosting services handle encoding, infrastructure, searching, and more, leaving only the content for the producer to worry about. Custom branding has allowed institutions to even have their own special presence within these networks, and will fuel rapid growth among learning-focused organizations who want their content to be where the viewers are.

Collaboration Webs.
Collaboration no longer calls for expensive equipment and specialized expertise. The newest tools for collaborative work are small, flexible, and free, and require no installation. Colleagues simply open their web browsers and they are able to edit group documents, hold online meetings, swap information and data, and collaborate in any number of ways without ever leaving their desks. Open programming interfaces allow users to author tools that they need and easily tailor them to their requirements, then share them with others.

Mobile Broadband.
Each year, more than a billion new mobile devices are manufactured1— or a new phone for every six people on the planet. In this market, innovation is unfolding at an unprecedented pace. Capabilities are increasing rapidly, and prices are becoming ever more affordable. Indeed, mobiles are quickly becoming the most affordable portable platform for staying networked on the go. New displays and interfaces make it possible to use mobiles to access almost any Internet content—content that can be delivered over either a broadband cellular network or a local wireless network.

Data Mashups.
Mashups—custom applications where combinations of data from different sources are “mashed up” into a single tool— offer new ways to look at and interact with datasets. The availability of large amounts of data (from search patterns, say, or real estate sales or Flickr photo tags) is converging with the development of open programming interfaces for social networking, mapping, and other tools. This in turn is opening the doors to hundreds of data mashups that will transform the way we understand and represent information.

Collective Intelligence.
The kind of knowledge and understanding that emerges from large groups of people is collective intelligence. In the coming years, we will see educational applications for both explicit collective intelligence—evidenced in projects like the Wikipedia and in community tagging—and implicit collective intelligence, or data gathered from the repeated activities of numbers of people, including search patterns, cell phone locations over time, geocoded digital photographs, and other data that are passively obtained. Data mashups will tap into information generated by collective intelligence to expand our understanding of ourselves and the technologically-mediated world we inhabit.

Social Operating Systems.
The essential ingredient of next generation social networking, social operating systems, is that they will base the organization of the network around people, rather than around content. This simple conceptual shift promises profound implications for the academy, and for the ways in which we think about knowledge and learning. Social operating systems will support whole new categories of applications that weave through the implicit connections and clues we leave everywhere as we go about our lives, and use them to organize our work and our thinking around the people we know. As might be expected when studying emerging phenomena over time, some of these topics are related to, or outgrowths of, ones featured in previous editions of the Horizon Report.

Grassroots video (2008), for example, reflects the evolution of user-created content (2007); it has been singled out this year because it has emerged as a distinct set of technologies in common use that has broad application to teaching, learning, and creative expression.

Similarly, we have followed mobile devices with interest for the past several years. In 2006, multimedia capture was the key factor; mobiles became prolific recording devices for video, audio, and still imagery. Personal content storehouses were the focus of mobile in 2007; calendars, contact databases, photo and music collections, and more began to be increasingly and commonly stored on mobile devices over the past year. Now for 2008, we are seeing the effect of new displays and increased access to web content taking these devices by storm. Nonetheless, while there are abundant examples of personal and professional uses for mobiles, educational content delivery via mobile devices is still in the early stages. The expectation is that advances in technology over the next twelve to eighteen months will remove the last barriers to access and bring mobiles truly into the mainstream for education.

Critical Challenges

The Horizon Project Advisory Board annually identifies critical challenges facing learning organizations over the five-year time period covered by this report, drawing them from a careful analysis of current events, papers, articles, and similar sources. The challenges ranked as most likely to have a significant impact on teaching, learning, and creativity in the coming years appear below, in the order of importance assigned them by the Advisory Board.

These challenges are a reflection of the impact of new practices and technologies on our lives. They are indicative of the changing nature of the way we communicate, access information, and connect with peers and colleagues. Taken together, they provide a framing perspective with which to consider the potential impacts of the six technologies and practices described in this edition of the Horizon Report.

Significant Trends

Each year the Horizon Advisory Board also researches, identifies and ranks key trends affecting the areas of teaching, learning, and creative expression. The Board reviews current articles, interviews, papers, and published research to discover emerging or continuing trends. The trends are ranked according to how significant an impact they are likely to have on education in the next five years.

Continued in article


Virtual Learning --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#SecondLife

Other Tools and Tricks of Education Technology --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#SecondLife


February 1, 2008 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu]

TECHNOLOGY AND HIGHER EDUCATION'S FUTURE

A new year has brought new publications that contemplate the future effects of technologies on education. Three of these documents are presented here.

In "How Technology Will Shape Our Future: Three Views of the Twenty-First Century" (ECAR Research Bulletin, Issue 2, 2008), Thomas L. Franke "explores three of the most compelling views of our longer-term future, the role of technology in those possible futures, and the impact these alternative futures might have on higher education. The alternatives range from a future of extreme constraint and possible collapse . . . to one of unprecedented abundance, where most of the current work of higher education will be automated. . . ."

The report is available online to members of ECAR subscribing institutions at http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ecar_so/erb/ERB0802.pdf. To find out if your institution is a subscriber, go to http://www.educause.edu/ECARSubscribingOrganizations/957.

ECAR (EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research) "provides timely research and analysis to help higher education leaders make better decisions about information technology. ECAR assembles leading scholars, practitioners, researchers, and analysts to focus on issues of critical importance to higher education, many of which carry increasingly complicated and consequential implications." For more information go to http://www.educause.edu/content.asp?SECTION_ID=4.


"The Great Debate: Effectiveness of Technology in Education," by Patricia Deubel, T.H.E. Journal, November 2007 ---
http://www.thejournal.com/articles/21544

According to Robert Kuhn (2000), an expert in brain research, few people understand the complexity of that change. Technology is creating new thinking that is "at once creative and innovative, volatile and turbulent" and "nothing less than a shift in worldview." The change in mental process has been brought about because "(1) information is freely available, and therefore interdisciplinary ideas and cross-cultural communication are widely accessible; (2) time is compressed, and therefore reflection is condensed and decision-making is compacted; (3) individuals are empowered, and therefore private choice and reach are strengthened and one person can have the presence of an institution" (sec: Concluding Remarks).

If we consider thinking as both individual (internal) and social (external), as Rupert Wegerif (2000) suggests, then "[t]echnology, in various forms from language to the internet, carries the external form of thinking. Technology therefore has a role to play through supporting improved social thinking (e.g. providing systems to mediate decision making and collective reasoning) and also through providing tools to help individuals externalize their thinking and so to shape their own social worlds" (p. 15).

The new tools for communication that have become part of the 21st century no doubt contribute to thinking. Thus, in a debate on effectiveness or on implementation of a particular tool, we must also consider the potential for creativity, innovation, volatility, and turbulence that Kuhn (2000) indicates.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm


"21st Century Learning: 'We're Not Even Close'," by Dave Nagel, T.H.E. Journal, November 2007 --- http://www.thejournal.com/articles/21543

Without incorporating technology into every aspect of its activities, no organization can expect to achieve results in this increasingly digital world. Yet education is dead last in technology use compared with all major industrial sectors, and that has to change in order for schools to meet the challenges of 21st century learning--this according to a paper released Monday by the State Education Technology Directors Association (SETDA), the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills at the SETDA Leadership Summit and Education Forum in Washington, DC.

"How will we create the schools America needs to remain competitive?" the paper asks. "For more than a generation, the nation has engaged in a monumental effort to improve student achievement. We've made progress, but we're not even close to where we need to be."

The paper, Maximizing the Impact: the Pivotal Role of Technology in a 21st Century Education System, calls on education leaders to incorporate technology comprehensively in school systems in the United States to boost 21st century skills, support innovative teaching and learning, and create "robust education support systems."

The paper reported that there are two major conceptual obstacles preventing schools from taking full advantage of technology as a catalyst for improvements in teaching and learning: a narrow approach to the use of technology and an unfounded assumption that technology is already being used widely in schools in a comprehensive and effective manner.

According to the paper:

To overcome these obstacles, our nation's education system must join the ranks of competitive U.S. industries that have made technology an indispensable part of their operations and reaped the benefits of their actions. This report is a call to action to integrate technology as a fundamental building block into education in three broad areas:

1. Use technology comprehensively to develop proficiency in 21st century skills. Knowledge of core content is necessary, but no longer sufficient, for success in a competitive world. Even if all students mastered core academic subjects, they still would be woefully underprepared to succeed in postsecondary institutions and workplaces, which increasingly value people who can use their knowledge to communicate, collaborate, analyze, create, innovate, and solve problems. Used comprehensively, technology helps students develop 21st century skills.
 

2. Use technology comprehensively to support innovative teaching and learning. To keep pace with a changing world, schools need to offer more rigorous, relevant and engaging opportunities for students to learn--and to apply their knowledge and skills in meaningful ways. Used comprehensively, technology supports new, research-based approaches and promising practices in teaching and learning.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

 


The 2006 National Survey of Student Engagement, released November 13, 2006, for the first time offers a close look at distance education, offering provocative new data suggesting that e-learners report higher levels of engagement, satisfaction and academic challenge than their on-campus peers --- http://nsse.iub.edu/NSSE_2006_Annual_Report/index.cfm


"The Engaged E-Learner," by Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, November 13, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/11/13/nsse

The 2006 National Survey of Student Engagement, released today, for the first time offers a close look at distance education, offering provocative new data suggesting that e-learners report higher levels of engagement, satisfaction and academic challenge than their on-campus peers.

Beyond the numbers, however, what institutions choose to do with the data promises to attract extra attention to this year’s report.

NSSE is one of the few standardized measures of academic outcomes that most officials across a wide range of higher education institutions agree offers something of value.Yet NSSE does not release institution-specific data, leaving it to colleges to choose whether to publicize their numbers.

Colleges are under mounting pressure, however, to show in concrete, measurable ways that they are successfully educating students, fueled in part by the recent release of the report from the Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education, which emphasizes the need for the development of comparable measures of student learning. In the commission’s report and in college-led efforts to heed the commission’s call, NSSE has been embraced as one way to do that. In this climate, will a greater number of colleges embrace transparency and release their results?

Anywhere between one-quarter and one-third of the institutions participating in NSSE choose to release some data, said George Kuh, NSSE’s director and a professor of higher education at Indiana University at Bloomington. But that number includes not only those institutions that release all of the data, but also those that pick and choose the statistics they’d like to share.

In the “Looking Ahead” section that concluded the 2006 report, the authors note that NSSE can “contribute to the higher education improvement and accountability agenda,” teaming with institutions to experiment with appropriate ways to publicize their NSSE data and developing common templates for colleges to use. The report cautions that the data released for accountability purposes should be accompanied by other indicators of student success, including persistence and graduation rates, degree/certificate completion rates and measurements of post-college endeavors.

“Has this become a kind of a watershed moment when everybody’s reporting? No. But I think what will happen as a result of the Commission on the Future of Higher Ed, Secretary (Margaret) Spelling’s workgroup, is that there is now more interest in figuring out how to do this,” Kuh said.

Charles Miller, chairman of the Spellings commission, said he understands that NSSE’s pledge not to release institutional data has encouraged colleges to participate — helping the survey, first introduced in 1999, get off the ground and gain wide acceptance. But Miller said he thinks that at this point, any college that chooses to participate in NSSE should make its data public.

“Ultimately, the duty of the colleges that take public funds is to make that kind of data public. It’s not a secret that the people in the academy ought to have. What’s the purpose of it if it’s just for the academy? What about the people who want to get the most for their money?”

Participating public colleges are already obliged to provide the data upon request, but Miller said private institutions, which also rely heavily on public financial aid funds, should share that obligation.

Kuh said that some colleges’ reluctance to publicize the data stems from a number of factors, the primary reason being that they are not satisfied with the results and feel they might reflect poorly on the institution.

In addition, some college officials fear that the information, if publicized, may be misused, even conflated to create a rankings system. Furthermore, sharing the data would represent a shift in the cultural paradigm at some institutions used to keeping sensitive data to themselves, Kuh said.

“The great thing about NSSE and other measures like it is that it comes so close to the core of what colleges and universities are about — teaching and learning. This is some of the most sensitive information that we have about colleges and universities,” Kuh said.

But Miller said the fact that the data get right to the heart of the matter is precisely why it should be publicized. “It measures what students get while they’re at school, right? If it does that, what’s the fear of publishing it?” Miller asked. “If someone would say, ‘It’s too hard to interpret,’ then that’s an insult to the public.” And if colleges are afraid of what their numbers would suggest, they shouldn’t participate in NSSE at all, Miller said.

However, Douglas Bennett, president of Earlham College in Indiana and chair of NSSE’s National Advisory Board, affirmed NSSE’s commitment to opening survey participation to all institutions without imposing any pressure that they should make their institutional results public. “As chair of the NSSE board, we believe strongly that institutions own their own data and what they do with it is up to them. There are a variety of considerations institutions are going to take into account as to whether or not they share their NSSE data,” Bennett said.

However, as president of Earlham, which releases all of its NSSE data and even releases its accreditation reports, Bennett said he thinks colleges, even private institutions, have a professional and moral obligation to demonstrate their effectiveness in response to accountability demands — through NSSE or another means a college might deem appropriate.

This Year’s Survey

The 2006 NSSE survey, which is based on data from 260,000 randomly-selected first-year and senior students at 523 four-year institutions(NSSE’s companion survey, the Community College Survey of Student Engagement, focuses on two-year colleges) looks much more deeply than previous iterations of the survey did into the performance of online students.

Distance learning students outperform or perform on par with on-campus students on measures including level of academic challenge; student-faculty interaction; enriching educational experiences; and higher-order, integrative and reflective learning; and gains in practical competence, personal and social development, and general education. They demonstrate lower levels of engagement when it comes to active and collaborative learning.

Karen Miller, a professor of education at the University of Louisville who studies online learning, said the results showing higher or equal levels of engagement among distance learning students make sense: “If you imagine yourself as an undergraduate in a fairly large class, you can sit in that class and feign engagement. You can nod and make eye contact; your mind can be a million miles away. But when you’re online, you’ve got to respond, you’ve got to key in your comments on the discussion board, you’ve got to take part in the group activities.

Plus, Miller added, typing is a more complex psycho-motor skill than speaking, requiring extra reflection. “You see what you have said, right in front of your eyes, and if you realize it’s kind of half-baked you can go back and correct it before you post it.”

Also, said Kuh, most of the distance learners surveyed were over the age of 25. “Seventy percent of them are adult learners. These folks are more focused; they’re better able to manage their time and so forth,” said Kuh, who added that many of the concerns surrounding distance education focus on traditional-aged students who may not have mastered their time management skills.

Among other results from the 2006 NSSE survey:

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education and training alternatives around the world are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm


It's been 10 years since IBM's Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov in chess. A prominent philosopher asks what the match meant.

"Higher Games," Daniel C. Dennet, MIT's Technology Review, September/October 2007 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Infotech/19179/

In  the popular imagination, chess isn't like a spelling bee or Trivial Pursuit, a competition to see who can hold the most facts in memory and consult them quickly. In chess, as in the arts and sciences, there is plenty of room for beauty, subtlety, and deep originality. Chess requires brilliant thinking, supposedly the one feat that would be--forever--beyond the reach of any computer. But for a decade, human beings have had to live with the fact that one of our species' most celebrated intellectual summits--the title of world chess champion--has to be shared with a machine, Deep Blue, which beat Garry Kasparov in a highly publicized match in 1997. How could this be? What lessons could be gleaned from this shocking upset? Did we learn that machines could actually think as well as the smartest of us, or had chess been exposed as not such a deep game after all?

The following years saw two other human-machine chess matches that stand out: a hard-fought draw between Vladimir Kramnik and Deep Fritz in Bahrain in 2002 and a draw between Kasparov and Deep Junior in New York in 2003, in a series of games that the New York City Sports Commission called "the first World Chess Championship sanctioned by both the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE), the international governing body of chess, and the International Computer Game Association (ICGA)."

The verdict that computers are the equal of human beings in chess could hardly be more official, which makes the caviling all the more pathetic. The excuses sometimes take this form: "Yes, but machines don't play chess the way human beings play chess!" Or sometimes this: "What the machines do isn't really playing chess at all." Well, then, what would be really playing chess?

This is not a trivial question. The best computer chess is well nigh indistinguishable from the best human chess, except for one thing: computers don't know when to accept a draw. Computers--at least currently existing computers--can't be bored or embarrassed, or anxious about losing the respect of the other players, and these are aspects of life that human competitors always have to contend with, and sometimes even exploit, in their games. Offering or accepting a draw, or resigning, is the one decision that opens the hermetically sealed world of chess to the real world, in which life is short and there are things more important than chess to think about. This boundary crossing can be simulated with an arbitrary rule, or by allowing the computer's handlers to step in. Human players often try to intimidate or embarrass their human opponents, but this is like the covert pushing and shoving that goes on in soccer matches. The imperviousness of computers to this sort of gamesmanship means that if you beat them at all, you have to beat them fair and square--and isn't that just what ­Kasparov and Kramnik were unable to do?

Yes, but so what? Silicon machines can now play chess better than any protein machines can. Big deal. This calm and reasonable reaction, however, is hard for most people to sustain. They don't like the idea that their brains are protein machines. When Deep Blue beat Kasparov in 1997, many commentators were tempted to insist that its brute-force search methods were entirely unlike the exploratory processes that Kasparov used when he conjured up his chess moves. But that is simply not so. Kasparov's brain is made of organic materials and has an architecture notably unlike that of Deep Blue, but it is still, so far as we know, a massively parallel search engine that has an outstanding array of heuristic pruning techniques that keep it from wasting time on unlikely branches.

True, there's no doubt that investment in research and development has a different profile in the two cases; Kasparov has methods of extracting good design principles from past games, so that he can recognize, and decide to ignore, huge portions of the branching tree of possible game continuations that Deep Blue had to canvass seriatim. Kasparov's reliance on this "insight" meant that the shape of his search trees--all the nodes explicitly evaluated--no doubt differed dramatically from the shape of Deep Blue's, but this did not constitute an entirely different means of choosing a move. Whenever Deep Blue's exhaustive searches closed off a type of avenue that it had some means of recognizing, it could reuse that research whenever appropriate, just like Kasparov. Much of this analytical work had been done for Deep Blue by its designers, but Kasparov had likewise benefited from hundreds of thousands of person-years of chess exploration transmitted to him by players, coaches, and books.

It is interesting in this regard to contemplate the suggestion made by Bobby Fischer, who has proposed to restore the game of chess to its intended rational purity by requiring that the major pieces be randomly placed in the back row at the start of each game (randomly, but in mirror image for black and white, with a white-square bishop and a black-square bishop, and the king between the rooks). Fischer ­Random Chess would render the mountain of memorized openings almost entirely obsolete, for humans and machines alike, since they would come into play much less than 1 percent of the time. The chess player would be thrown back onto fundamental principles; one would have to do more of the hard design work in real time. It is far from clear whether this change in rules would benefit human beings or computers more. It depends on which type of chess player is relying most heavily on what is, in effect, rote memory.

 

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on edutainment can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment


Is Facebook the New MySpace?
 MySpace has an impressive lead today, but things can change quickly in the fluid world of mass-market social networking sites. Just ask Friendster. First Friendster was everybody's favorite social networking site. Then Friendster fell out of vogue--precipitously--and people stopped going there. In its place, MySpace became the darling of the Web. MySpace provided not only a free place to host your own online identity, but a full set of tools for meeting and interacting with others. Now everybody is talking about Facebook, which fits the same description, but in a very different way. Will Facebook become the next MySpace? I think so, and here's why.
 Mark Sullivan, PC World via The Washington Post, July 20, 2007 --- Click Here


June 1, 2007 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu]

TECHNOLOGY AND CHANGE IN EDUCATIONAL PRACTICE

"Even if research shows that a particular technology supports a certain kind of learning, this research may not reveal the implications of implementing it. Without appropriate infrastructure or adequate provisions of services (policy); without the facility or ability of teachers to integrate it into their teaching practice (academics); without sufficient support from technologists and/or educational technologists (support staff), the likelihood of the particular technology or software being educationally effective is questionable."

The current issue (vol. 19, no. 1, 2007) of the JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY & SOCIETY presents a selection of papers from the Conference Technology and Change in Educational Practice which was held at the London Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education, London in October 2005.

The papers cover three areas: "methodological frameworks, proposing new ways of structuring effective research; empirical studies, illustrating the ways in which technology impacts the working roles and practices in Higher Education; and new ways of conceptualising technologies for education."

Papers include:

"A Framework for Conceptualising the Impact of Technology on Teaching and Learning"
by Sara Price and Martin Oliver, London Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education

"New and Changing Teacher Roles in Higher Education in a Digital Age"
by Jo Dugstad Wake, Olga Dysthe, and Stig Mjelstad, University of Bergen

"Academic Use of Digital Resources: Disciplinary Differences and the Issue of Progression Revisited"
by Bob Kemp, Lancaster University, and Chris Jones, Open University

"The Role of Blogs In Studying the Discourse and Social Practices of Mathematics Teachers"
by Katerina Makri and Chronis Kynigos, University of Athens

The issue is available at http://www.ifets.info/issues.php?show=current.

The Journal of Educational Technology and Society [ISSN 1436-4522]is a peer-reviewed, quarterly publication that "seeks academic articles on the issues affecting the developers of educational systems and educators who implement and manage such systems." Current and back issues are available at http://www.ifets.info/. The journal is published by the International Forum of Educational Technology & Society. For more information, see http://ifets.ieee.org/.


Soaring Popularity of E-Learning Among Students But Not Faculty
How many U.S. students took at least on online course from a legitimate college in Fall 2005?

More students are taking online college courses than ever before, yet the majority of faculty still aren’t warming up to the concept of e-learning, according to a national survey from the country’s largest association of organizations and institutions focused on online education . . . ‘We didn’t become faculty to sit in front of a computer screen,’
Elia Powers, "Growing Popularity of E-Learning, Inside Higher Ed, November 10, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/11/10/online

More students are taking online college courses than ever before, yet the majority of faculty still aren’t warming up to the concept of e-learning, according to a national survey from the country’s largest association of organizations and institutions focused on online education.

Roughly 3.2 million students took at least one online course from a degree-granting institution during the fall 2005 term, the Sloan Consortium said. That’s double the number who reported doing so in 2002, the first year the group collected data, and more than 800,000 above the 2004 total. While the number of online course participants has increased each year, the rate of growth slowed from 2003 to 2004.

The report, a joint partnership between the group and the College Board, defines online courses as those in which 80 percent of the content is delivered via the Internet.

The Sloan Survey of Online Learning, “Making the Grade: Online Education in the United States, 2006,” shows that 62 percent of chief academic officers say that the learning outcomes in online education are now “as good as or superior to face-to-face instruction,” and nearly 6 in 10 agree that e-learning is “critical to the long-term strategy of their institution.” Both numbers are up from a year ago.

Researchers at the Sloan Consortium, which is administered through Babson College and Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, received responses from officials at more than 2,200 colleges and universities across the country. (The report makes few references to for-profit colleges, a force in the online market, in part because of a lack of survey responses from those institutions.)

Much of the report is hardly surprising. The bulk of online students are adult or “nontraditional” learners, and more than 70 percent of those surveyed said online education reaches students not served by face-to-face programs.

What stands out is the number of faculty who still don’t see e-learning as a valuable tool. Only about one in four academic leaders said that their faculty members “accept the value and legitimacy of online education,” the survey shows. That number has remained steady throughout the four surveys. Private nonprofit colleges were the least accepting — about one in five faculty members reported seeing value in the programs.

Elaine Allen, co-author of the report and a Babson associate professor of statistics and entrepreneurship, said those numbers are striking.

“As a faculty member, I read that response as, ‘We didn’t become faculty to sit in front of a computer screen,’ ” Allen said. “It’s a very hard adjustment. We sat in lectures for an hour when we were students, but there’s a paradigm shift in how people learn.”

Barbara Macaulay, chief academic officer at UMass Online, which offers programs through the University of Massachusetts, said nearly all faculty members teaching the online classes there also teach face-to-face courses, enabling them to see where an online class could fill in the gap (for instance, serving a student who is hesitant to speak up in class).

She said she isn’t surprised to see data illustrating the growing popularity of online courses with students, because her program has seen rapid growth in the last year. Roughly 24,000 students are enrolled in online degree and certificate courses through the university this fall — a 23 percent increase from a year ago, she said.

“Undergraduates see it as a way to complete their degrees — it gives them more flexibility,” Macaulay said.

The Sloan report shows that about 80 percent of students taking online courses are at the undergraduate level. About half are taking online courses through community colleges and 13 percent through doctoral and research universities, according to the survey.

Nearly all institutions with total enrollments exceeding 15,000 students have some online offerings, and about two-thirds of them have fully online programs, compared with about one in six at the smallest institutions (those with 1,500 students or fewer), the report notes. Allen said private nonprofit colleges are often set in enrollment totals and not looking to expand into the online market.

The report indicates that two-year colleges are particularly willing to be involved in online learning.

“Our institutions tend to embrace changes a little more readily and try different pedagogical styles,” said Kent Phillippe, a senior research associate at the American Association of Community Colleges. The report cites a few barriers to what it calls the “widespread adoption of online learning,” chief among them the concern among college officials that some of their students lack the discipline to succeed in an online setting. Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents defined that as a barrier.

Allen, the report’s co-author, said she thinks that issue arises mostly in classes in which work can be turned in at any time and lectures can be accessed at all hours. “If you are holding class in real time, there tends to be less attrition,” she said. The report doesn’t differentiate between the live and non-live online courses, but Allen said she plans to include that in next year’s edition.

Few survey respondents said acceptance of online degrees by potential employers was a critical barrier — although liberal arts college officials were more apt to see it as an issue.

November 10, 2006 reply from John Brozovsky [jbrozovs@vt.edu]

Hi Bob:

One reason why might be what I have seen. The in residence accounting students that I talk with take online classes here because they are EASY and do not take much work. This would be very popular with students but not generally so with faculty.

John

November 10, 2006 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi John,

Then there is a quality control problem whereever this is a fact. It would be a travesty if any respected college had two or more categories of academic standards or faculty assignments.

Variations in academic standards have long been a problem between part-time versus full-time faculty, although grade inflation can be higher or lower among part-time faculty. In one instance, it’s the tenure-track faculty who give higher grades because they're often more worried about student evaluations. At the opposite extreme it is part-time faculty who give higher grades for many reasons that we can think of if we think about it.

One thing that I'm dead certain about is that highly motivated students tend to do better in online courses ceteris paribus. Reasons are mainly that time is used more efficiently in getting to class (no wasted time driving or walking to class), less wasted time getting teammates together on team projects, and fewer reasons for missing class.

Also online alternatives offer some key advantages for certain types of handicapped students --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm 

My opinions on learning advantages of E-Learning were heavily influenced by the most extensive and respected study of online versus onsite learning experiments in the SCALE experiments using full-time resident students at the University of Illinois --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm#Illinois 

In the SCALE experiments cutting across 30 disciplines, it was generally found that motivated students learned better online then their onsite counterparts having the same instructors. However, there was no significant impact on students who got low grades in online versus onsite treatment groups.

I think the main problem with faculty is that online teaching tends to burn out instructors more frequently than onsite instructors. This was also evident in the SCALE experiments. When done correctly, online courses are more communication intent between instructors and faculty. Also, online learning takes more preparation time if it is done correctly. 

My hero for online learning is still Amy Dunbar who maintains high standards for everything:

http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/002cpe/02start.htm

http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book01q4.htm#Dunbar

Bob Jensen

November 10, 2006 reply from John Brozovsky [jbrozovs@vt.edu]

Hi Bob:

Also why many times it is not done 'right'. Not done right they do not get the same education. Students generally do not complain about getting 'less for their money'. Since we do not do online classes in department the ones the students are taking are the university required general education and our students in particular are not unhappy with being shortchanged in that area as they frequently would have preferred none anyway.

John

Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing and education technology are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on online training and education alternatives are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm

Motivations for Distance Learning --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#Motivations

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side of online learning and teaching are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm


 

A Serious New Commercial Advance for Online Training and Education

"Opening Up Online Learning," by Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, October 9, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/10/09/cartridge

This has not exactly been a season of peace, love and harmony on the higher education technology landscape. A patent fight has broken out among major developers of course management systems. Academic publishers and university officials are warring over open access to federally sponsored research. And textbook makers are taking a pounding for — among other things — the ways in which digital enhancements are running up the prices of their products.

In that context, many may be heartened by the announcement later today at the Educause meeting in Dallas that three dozen academic publishers, providers of learning management software, and others have agreed on a common, open standard that will make it possible to move digital content into and out of widely divergent online education systems without expensive and time consuming reengineering. The agreement by the diverse group of publishers and software companies, who compete intensely with one another, is being heralded as an important breakthrough that could expand the array of digital content available to professors and students and make it easier for colleges to switch among makers of learning systems.

Of course, that’s only if the new standard, known as the “Common Cartridge,” becomes widely adopted, which is always the question with developments deemed to be potential technological advances.

Many observers believe this one has promise, especially because so many of the key players have been involved in it. Working through the IMS Global Learning Consortium, leading publishers like Pearson Education and McGraw-Hill Education and course-management system makers such as Blackboard, ANGEL Learning and open-source Sakai have worked to develop the technical specifications for the common cartridge, and all of them have vowed to begin incorporating the new standard into their products by next spring — except Blackboard, which says it will do so eventually, but has not set a timeline for when.

What exactly is the Common Cartridge? In lay terms, it is a set of specifications and standards, commonly agreed to by an IMS working group, that would allow digitally produced content — supplements to textbooks such as assessments or secondary readings, say, or faculty-produced course add-ons like discussion groups — to “play,” or appear, the same in any course management system, from proprietary ones like Blackboard/WebCT and Desire2Learn to open source systems like Moodle and Sakai.

“It is essentially a common ‘container,’ so you can import it and load it and have it look similar when you get it inside” your local course system, says Ray Henderson, chief products officer at ANGEL, who helped conceive of the idea when he was president of the digital publishing unit at Pearson.

The Common Cartridge approach is designed to deal with two major issues: (1) the significant cost and time that publishers now must spend (or others, if the costs are passed along) to produce the material they produce for multiple, differing learning management systems, and (2) the inability to move courses produced in one course platform to another, which makes it difficult for professors to move their courses from one college to another and for campuses to consider switching course management providers.

The clearest and surest upside of the new standard, most observers agree, is that it could help lower publishers’ production costs and, in turn, allow them to focus their energies on producing more and better content. David O’Connor, senior vice president for product development at Pearson Education’s core technology group, says his company and other major publishers spend “many hundreds of thousands of dollars a year effectively moving content around” so that ancillary material for textbooks can work in multiple course management systems.

Because Blackboard and Web CT together own in the neighborhood of 75 percent of the course management market, Pearson and other publishers produce virtually all of their materials to work in those proprietary systems. Materials are typically produced on demand for smaller players like ANGEL, Desire2Learn and Sakai, and it is even harder to find usable materials for colleges’ homemade systems. While big publishers such as Pearson and McGraw-Hill have sizable media groups that can, when they choose to, spend what’s necessary to modify digital content for selected textbooks, “small publishers often have to say no,” O’Connor says. As a result, “there are just fewer options for people who aren’t using Blackboard and WebCT, and more hurdles to getting it.”

Supporters hope that adoption of the common cartridge will allow publishers to spend less time and money adapting one textbook’s digital content for multiple course platforms and more time producing more and better content. “This should have the result of broadening choice in content to institutions,” says Catherine Burdt, an analyst at Eduventures, an education research firm. “Colleges would no longer be limited to the content that’s supported by their LMS platform, but could now go out and choose the best content that aligns with what’s happening in their curriculum.”

Less clear is how successful the effort will be at improving the portability of course materials from one learning management system to another. If all the major providers introduce “export capability,” there is significant promise, says Michael Feldstein, who writes the blog e-Literate and is assistant director of the State University of New York Learning Network. “This has the potential to be one of the most important standards to come out in a while, particularly for faculty,” says Feldstein, who notes that his comments here represent his own views, not SUNY’s. “It would become much easier for them to take rich course content and course designs and migrate them from one system to another with far less pain.”

But while easier transferability would obviously benefit the smaller players in the course management market — and ANGEL and Sakai plan to announce today that their systems will soon allow professors to create Common Cartridges for export out of their systems — such a system would only take off if the dominant player in the market, the combined Blackboard/WebCT, eventually does the same. “I’m not sure how excited Blackboard would be about making it easier for faculty to migrate out of their product and into one of their competitors,” says Feldstein.

Chris Vento, senior vice president of technology and product development at Blackboard, was a leading proponent of the IMS Common Cartridge concept when he was a leading official at WebCT before last year’s merger. In an interview, he acknowledged the question lots of others are asking: “What’s in it for Blackboard? Why wouldn’t you just lock up the format and force everybody to use it?” His answer, he says, is that by helping the entire industry, he says, the project cannot help but benefit its biggest player, too.

“This will enable publishers to really do the best job of producing their content, making it richer and better for students and faculty, and more lucrative for publishers from the business perspective,” says Vento. “Anything we can do to enable that content to be built, and more of it and better quality, the more lucrative it is eventually for us.”

Blackboard is fully behind the project, Vento says. Having endorsed the Common Cartridge charter, Blackboard has also committed to incorporating the new standard into its products, and that Blackboard intends to make export of course materials possible out of its platform. “Exactly how that maps to our product roadmap has not been finalized,” he said, “but in the end, we’re all going to have to do this. It’s just a question of when.” There will, he says, “be a lot of pressures to do this.”

That pressure is likely to be intensified because of the public relations pounding Blackboard has taken among many in the academic technology world because of its attempt to patent technology that many people believe is fundamental to e-learning systems. O’Connor of Pearson says he believes Blackboard could benefit from its involvement in the Common Cartridge movement by being seen “as the dominant player, to be someone supporting openness in the community.” He adds: “There is an opportunity for them to mend some of the damage from the patent issue.”

Like virtually all technological advances — or would-be ones — Common Cartridge’s success will ultimately rise and fall, says Burdt of Eduventures, on whether Blackboard and others embrace it. “Everything comes down to adoption,” she says. “The challenge with every standard is the adoption model. Some are out the door too early. Some evolve too early and are eclipsed by substitutes. For others, suppliers decide not to support it for various reasons.”

Those behind the Common Cartridge believe it’s off to a good start with the large number of disparate parties not only involved in creating it, but already committing to incorporate it into their offerings.

Yet even as they launch this standard, some of them are already looking ahead to the next challenge. While the Common Cartridge, if widely adopted, will allow for easier movement of digital course materials into and out of course management systems, it does not ensure that users will be able to do the same thing with third-party e-learning tools (like subject-specific tutoring modules) that are not part of course management systems, or with the next generation of tools that may emerge down the road. For that, the same parties would have to reach a similar agreement on a standard for “tool interoperability,” which is next on the IMS agenda.

“This is only one step,” Pearson’s O’Connor says of the Common Cartridge. But it is, he says, an important one.

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology and distance education are linked at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


 

The Global Technology Revolution 2020 ---
http://www.rand.org/pubs/technical_reports/2006/RAND_TR303.pdf

Questions
What are the most significant changes expected in higher education by the Year 2025? 
What major universities are now experimenting on the leading edge of such changes?


Answers
Answer 1  --- Cluster and Grid Computing!  The first test linked Caltech, Fermilab, 
                      UC San Diego, the University of Florida, and the University of Wisconsin
                      Also Google Cloud Computing
 

First see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grid_Computing

What's Microsoft been up to in grid/distributed computing? The company's not talking, but we've ferreted out some interesting details about the hush-hush "Bigtop" project. Our sources say it involves loosely coupled machines, and perhaps even a new version of Windows. Read our story for more details on what "Bigtop" could be, and when to expect it.
Jim Lauderback, What's New from Ziff Davis, December 30, 2004

From Syllabus News on September 24, 2002

Stanford Online Press Gets 'Clustering' Software

Stanford's HighWire Press, an online publisher of scientific and medical publications for researchers and institutions, has licensed "clustering" software that will allow it to organize its content into easy-to-navigate clusters for end-users. HighWire licensed the Clustering Engine and Enterprise Publisher from Vivisimo, Inc. to organize search results and publish larger document subsets on its master site. HighWire will offer the products to its own publishing customers for use on their journal websites. "HighWire Press now has 13 million online articles, so researchers need tools to reduce, refine, and tunnel into search results," said John Sack, director of HighWire. The new software, he added, "will help liberate readers from the need to make overly specific queries. Instead, they can recognize interesting topic clusters and drill down from there, in the `I know it when I see it' style."

For more information, visit: http://highwire.stanford.edu .

Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2012 --- http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1826214
Note especially the "Internet of Things"

Note especially how technology forecasts have changed since the turn of the 21st Century. Back in 2002 Gartner foresaw the explosion of grid and cluster computing but die not seem to foresee the explosion in mobile computing. Now all that has changed somewhat at least.

 

"What Is Grid Computing, Anyway?" by Tim McDonald, NewsFactor Network July 24, 2002 --- http://www.newsfactor.com/perl/story/18722.html 

One good way to gauge a new technology's degree of acceptance is to observe whether it has moved out of the laboratory and onto store shelves -- from science to commerce. According to that measure, grid computing is just coming of age.

Often called the next big thing in global Internet technology, grid computing employs clusters of locally or remotely networked machines to work on specific computational projects.

One well-known example of grid computing -- sometimes called distributed or clustered computing -- is the ongoing SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) project, in which thousands of users are sharing their unused processor cycles to help search for signs of "rational" signals from outer space.

From Science to Commerce

Grid computing traditionally has been useful to researchers working on scientific or technical problems -- much like the SETI project -- that require a great number of computer processing cycles or access to large amounts of data.

But while this technology was once exclusively the province of academics in fields like biomedicine and weather forecasting, it has recently been making a strong foray into potentially lucrative e-commerce sectors. Although clustering has been used for several years as a load-balancing technique by server Latest News about server hardware manufacturers, grid computing now seems to be coming of age for other applications as well.

"Grid computing has advanced to the point now that there are products out there like Sun's Grid Engine Enterprise Edition," Aberdeen Group analyst Bill Claybrook told NewsFactor.

Much like a load-balancing server cluster, Sun's Grid Engine software lets organizations create networked grids to share resources on a wider scale and to allocate processing resources according to department priorities.

Grid Computing Components

Essentially, grids are built from clusters of computer servers joined together over a local area network (LAN) or over the Internet.

While several grids that run over the Internet -- like the SETI project -- have been built with proprietary software, there are several development tools that can facilitate the growth and adoption of grid computing.

One of those tools is Globus, a research and development project focused on helping software developers apply the grid concept.

The Globus toolkit, the group's primary offering, is a set of components that can be used to develop grid applications. For each component in the toolkit, Globus provides an API (application programmer interface) for use by software developers.

Power to the People

Research scientists historically have been attracted to grid computing because it uses the power of idle computers to work on difficult computational problems.

Proponents of grid computing say the technology will enable universities and research institutions to share their supercomputers, servers and storage capacity, allowing them to perform massive calculations quickly and relatively cheaply.

In line with those expectations, HP recently announced that a 9.2-teraflop supercomputer Latest News about supercomputer soon will be connected to the Department of Energy's Science Grid. When installed, it will be the largest supercomputer attached to a grid anywhere in the world, according to the company.

Sharing Data

Until now, the problem with grid computing has been a lack of common software for developers to work with, largely because grids rely on Internet-based software.

In an effort to spur broader adoption of grids, the National Science Foundation established the US$12.1 million Middleware Initiative last year, and the agency has recently released software and other tools designed to make working on grids easier for scientists and engineers.

"Scientists are now sharing data and instrumentation on an unprecedented scale, and other geographically distributed groups are beginning to work together in ways that were previously impossible," according to the Grid Research Integration Deployment and Support Center.

First Gaming Grid

In a real-world example of grid computing, IBM (NYSE: IBM) Latest News about IBM and Butterfly.net announced in May that they would soon release a computing grid for the video game industry. Butterfly.net spent two years building the grid, which distributes games across a network of server farms using IBM e-business infrastructure technology.

Massively multiplayer games (MMGs) historically have been run on mirrored servers that essentially duplicate copies of the MMG universe to balance user loads.

While this technique is designed to reduce latency for all users -- so that each set of servers behaves responsively to user actions -- the mirroring technique limits the number of players who can participate at one time in the same game universe.

When load balances increase, the typical MMG response has been to add more servers, copy the game universe and spill the extra load into that new copy.

Now, however, Butterfly.net's grid technology provides "cross-server sentinels" that supports the interaction of millions of players in one world, with server boundaries invisible to players. According to the company, the extension of grid computing to the gaming world lets game developers support a limitless number of users in their MMGs.

'Taking Hold of an Industry'

Companies are lining up to jump on the Butterfly bandwagon. This week, for example, software development site CollabNet announced it will work with Butterfly.net to develop an online environment that lets game developers test their games.

"IBM's been extremely busy on a number of fronts in grid, in terms of investing resources and winning new partners and customers," IBM spokesperson Jim Larkin told NewsFactor.

"Butterfly is one of the key examples thus far of how IBM has worked with another company to help develop a computing grid that is in the commercial arena," Larkin said. "It's a clear example of how grid is taking hold of an industry."

"Digipede to Showcase .NET Grid Computing Solutions at Securities Industry Association Technology Management Conference," PR Web, June 19, 2006 --- http://www.prweb.com/releases/2006/6/prweb400497.htm

"Grids Unleash the Power of Many," by John Gartner, MIT's Technology Review,  January 14, 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/01/wo/wo_gartner011405.asp?trk=nl 

Computer scientists in three states -- West Virginia, North Carolina, and Colorado -- are each combining their technology resources into separate computer grids that will give researchers, universities, private companies and citizens access to powerful supercomputers.

The project designers say these information aqueducts will encourage business development, accelerate scientific research, and improve the efficiency of government.

"Grid computing will provide 1,000 times more business opportunities than what we see over the Internet today," says Wolfgang Gentzsch, managing director of grid computing and networking services at MCNC in Research Triangle Park, NC.

MCNC is spearheading North Carolina's statewide grid development that currently includes seven universities including North Carolina State, Duke, and the University of North Carolina.

The North Carolina project -- which has a goal to link 180 institutions -- is encouraging business development through its Start Up Grid Initiative, which allows fledgling companies to plug into the grid for up to nine months free of charge and afterwards at discounted rates, Gentzsch says.

Because raising capital and acquiring technology takes up most of a new company's time, "Startups usually only get to spend 10 percent of their time executing their idea," says Gentzch, who has launched seven companies.

According to a 2003 report by Robert Cohen, a Fellow at the Economic Strategy Institute, North Carolina's grid could create 24,000 jobs and boost the state's output by $10.1 billion by 2010 if effectively implemented.

Before statewide grids can become a realit, the software used to share and manage resources needs to be improved to include more standard communication protocols. Gentzsch says the expected release of version 4.0 of the open source Globus Toolkit, which he estimates is used by 90 percent of grid projects, will greatly simplify connecting computers to the grid.

Securing a location's computing resources so that only specified resources are made available for sharing is a significant challenge, Gentzsch says. To protect data files, institutions must "encrypt everything," and configure the grid network so that "the CPU cycles are separated from the disk resources."

Gentzsch estimates that advanced computing resource utilization is just 25 percent, and grid computing could increase the efficiency to 75 percent.

"Back to Basics and the Next Big Thing," by Phillip D. Long, Syllabus, August 2002, pp/ 10-11 --- http://www.syllabus.com/syllabusmagazine/article.asp?id=6590 

Grid Computing: The Next Big Thing

The next big thing to transform the Internet is likely to come from work going on with the grid. The grid is an infrastructure that enables flexible, secure, coordinated resource sharing among dynamic collections of people, institutions, and resources.

It may be useful to recall that the birth of the Web came from a desire to share research papers among large numbers of particle physicists doing “big science” at CERN, the Swiss research center. Tim Berners-Lee’s vision has changed all our lives. In the world of international science, its impact has been staggering. Recognizing this, the Joint Information Systems Council (JISC), the UK analog of the National Science Foundation, has embarked on a £98 million project called the Core e-Science Programme, managed by the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) on behalf of the UK Research Councils. The e-Science project proposes to connect scientists with expensive remote facilities, teraflop computers, and information resources stored in dedicated databases. Add to these resources higher level services such as workflow, transactions, data mining, and knowledge discovery, and you begin to glimpse what’s envisioned. The grid is the architecture proposed to make this a reality.

What kinds of research are we talking about? Everything from particle physics (what goes around comes around) to basic medical investigation. For example, our understanding of even basic human physiology remains terribly limited. We don’t know how multiple parameters interact over time in fundamental processes like heart rate, blood pressure, and other cardiovascular indicators. Imagine if 100,000 people volunteered to wear real-time monitoring devices so that their daily metabolic functions were recorded and analyzed in real time. The volume of data is enormous but that’s just the beginning. We would want to compare how the data relate to the activities of the people as they went about their daily lives. In the end, predicting the likelihood of an impending physical problem becomes a potential reality. Just like the work underway to provide predictive intervention for the replacement of computing hardware, you can imagine high risk heart patients wearing proactive monitors that page them to head for a cardiac care unit because the data indicate a potential problem in the next 24 hours. Today it may seem like science fiction, but with research using the grid, it’s emerging into possible science fact.

This may seem far a field from the classroom. How far it is remains to be seen of course, but there are people working today on applying the potential of the grid to learning management or virtual learning environments. Better descriptions about teaching processes and the learning objects needed, along with work on metadata for educational objects, are underway. So stay tuned for more about the “next big thing” in future columns.

References

Laurillard, D. The Changing University. 1996.
http://itech1.coe.uga.edu/itforum/paper13/paper13.html

Metadata for Education Group
www.ukoln.ac.uk/metadata/education/regproj

The full article is at http://www.syllabus.com/syllabusmagazine/article.asp?id=6590

CLUSTER AND GRID COMPUTING REFERENCES --- http://www.ic.uff.br/~vefr/research/clcomp/clustrefs.html 


Google's Cloud Computing

Before reading the module below it may be best to go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing

"Google and the Wisdom of Clouds:  A lofty new strategy aims to put incredible computing power in the hands of many," by Stephen Baker, Business Week, December 13, 2007 --- http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_52/b4064048925836.htm?link_position=link2 

One simple question. That's all it took for Christophe Bisciglia to bewilder confident job applicants at Google (GOOG). Bisciglia, an angular 27-year-old senior software engineer with long wavy hair, wanted to see if these undergrads were ready to think like Googlers. "Tell me," he'd say, "what would you do if you had 1,000 times more data?"

What a strange idea. If they returned to their school projects and were foolish enough to cram formulas with a thousand times more details about shopping or maps or—heaven forbid—with video files, they'd slow their college servers to a crawl.

At that point in the interview, Bisciglia would explain his question. To thrive at Google, he told them, they would have to learn to work—and to dream—on a vastly larger scale. He described Google's globe-spanning network of computers. Yes, they answered search queries instantly. But together they also blitzed through mountains of data, looking for answers or intelligence faster than any machine on earth. Most of this hardware wasn't on the Google campus. It was just out there, somewhere on earth, whirring away in big refrigerated data centers. Folks at Google called it "the cloud." And one challenge of programming at Google was to leverage that cloud—to push it to do things that would overwhelm lesser machines. New hires at Google, Bisciglia says, usually take a few months to get used to this scale. "Then one day, you see someone suggest a wild job that needs a few thousand machines, and you say: Hey, he gets it.'"

What recruits needed, Bisciglia eventually decided, was advance training. So one autumn day a year ago, when he ran into Google CEO Eric E. Schmidt between meetings, he floated an idea. He would use his 20% time, the allotment Googlers have for independent projects, to launch a course. It would introduce students at his alma mater, the University of Washington, to programming at the scale of a cloud. Call it Google 101. Schmidt liked the plan. Over the following months, Bisciglia's Google 101 would evolve and grow. It would eventually lead to an ambitious partnership with IBM (IBM), announced in October, to plug universities around the world into Google-like computing clouds.

As this concept spreads, it promises to expand Google's footprint in industry far beyond search, media, and advertising, leading the giant into scientific research and perhaps into new businesses. In the process Google could become, in a sense, the world's primary computer.

"I had originally thought [Bisciglia] was going to work on education, which was fine," Schmidt says late one recent afternoon at Google headquarters. "Nine months later, he comes out with this new [cloud] strategy, which was completely unexpected." The idea, as it developed, was to deliver to students, researchers, and entrepreneurs the immense power of Google-style computing, either via Google's machines or others offering the same service.

What is Google's cloud? It's a network made of hundreds of thousands, or by some estimates 1 million, cheap servers, each not much more powerful than the PCs we have in our homes. It stores staggering amounts of data, including numerous copies of the World Wide Web. This makes search faster, helping ferret out answers to billions of queries in a fraction of a second. Unlike many traditional supercomputers, Google's system never ages. When its individual pieces die, usually after about three years, engineers pluck them out and replace them with new, faster boxes. This means the cloud regenerates as it grows, almost like a living thing.

A move towards clouds signals a fundamental shift in how we handle information. At the most basic level, it's the computing equivalent of the evolution in electricity a century ago when farms and businesses shut down their own generators and bought power instead from efficient industrial utilities. Google executives had long envisioned and prepared for this change. Cloud computing, with Google's machinery at the very center, fit neatly into the company's grand vision, established a decade ago by founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page: "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible." Bisciglia's idea opened a pathway toward this future. "Maybe he had it in his brain and didn't tell me," Schmidt says. "I didn't realize he was going to try to change the way computer scientists thought about computing. That's a much more ambitious goal."

Continued in article


"Time to Hop on the Gridwagon," by Daithí Ó hAnluain, Wired News, July 26, 2002 --- http://www.wired.com/news/infostructure/0,1377,54098,00.html 

"Grid computing was the reserve of 'big science' five years ago," says Catlett, "But in five years, it will be completely pedestrian. I was working on a Cray Supercomputer in 1985, and my laptop would blow it away now!"

That's for the future. In the meantime, Grids are currently deploying among Fortune 2000 companies to deal with everything from batch analysis of financial data, trend analysis of point-of-sale data, and design, engineering and manufacture automation. Oh, and collaboration as well.

This last may seem a surprising tangent to the pure processing power that grids typically deliver, but collaboration and data analysis are two sides of the same logistical coin. Engineers or scientists are increasingly collaborating on projects and testing their theories across the same grid. They are also dealing with terabytes of data.

It's one of the moves that makes integration with Web services so obvious to grid gurus, like IBM's Irving Wladawsky-Berger, VP of technology strategy.

"Grid computing is really the natural evolution of the Internet. This is really looking at the Internet, with all its promise of universal connectivity and reach, and making it work far better by bringing the qualities of service that people are used to in enterprise computing, and ... (what) we all have gotten used to in utilities like electricity (and the) telephone."

Ultimately, then, the grid could provide computing power on a utility model for consumers or one-off projects or simply as a means to outsource processing.

Nonetheless, big science will still be a major part of the grid's future. A case in point is the TeraGrid, which goes live next spring and is set to steal the No. 2 spot from IBM's ASCI White in the world supercomputer rankings.

"The Earth Simulator is essentially a big computer grid," Catlett says. "A bunch of computers put in a grid to get the power. It's a short step from putting supercomputers in a grid across the room to doing it across the country, or across the world."

When completed, the TeraGrid will include 13.6 teraflops of Linux Cluster computing power distributed at the four TeraGrid sites, capable of managing and storing more than 450 terabytes of data. It will be connected through a network 40 Gbps, which will become a 50 to 80 Gbps network or 16 times faster than today's fastest research network.

It will be used for National Science Foundation-sponsored projects and commercial applications.

So where will it all end? Nowhere in sight, that's for sure.

"We have the genome sequence and now we're working on the protein folding, and it won't be long before the life sciences are looking at whole life systems," Baird says. "The nature of grid computing is going to allow for bigger and bigger science applications. As long as we keep on putting out more power, people will design better applications for it."

There will be one paradigm shift that may be noticed only for what's missing: the end of technology.

"We're entering the post-technology age where users will be able to get on with what they want to do without worrying about making the technology work," IBM's Hawk says.

"It used to be cool to change your own oil. Now it's not. Soon people won't have to worry about the technology. Grid computing is what will make that happen."

The other parts of this article are at http://www.wired.com/news/infostructure/0,1377,54098,00.html 


"The future of computing:  The next big thing?" The Economist, January 15, 2004 --- http://www.economist.co.uk/business/displayStory.cfm?story_id=2352183 

IT is increasingly painful to watch Carly Fiorina, the boss of Hewlett-Packard (HP), as she tries to explain to yet another conference audience what her new grand vision of “adaptive” information technology is about. It has something to do with “Darwinian reference architectures”, she suggests, and also with “modularising” and “integrating”, as well as with lots of “enabling” and “processes”. IBM, HP's arch rival, is trying even harder, with a marketing splurge for what it calls “on-demand computing”. Microsoft's Bill Gates talks of “seamless computing”. Other vendors prefer “ubiquitous”, “autonomous” or “utility” computing. Forrester Research, a consultancy, likes “organic”. Gartner, a rival, opts for “real-time”.

Clearly, something monumental must be going on in the world of computing for these technology titans simultaneously to discover something that is so profound and yet so hard to name. What is certainly monumental, reckons Pip Coburn, an analyst at UBS, is the hype, which concerns, he says, “stuff that doesn't work yet”. Frank Gens at IDC, another tech consultancy, quips that, in 2004 at least, “utility” computing is actually “futility” computing.

Yet as a long-term vision for computing, what the likes of IBM, Microsoft and HP (and Oracle, Sun, etc) are peddling is plausible. The question is, how long will it take? Some day, firms will indeed stop maintaining huge, complex and expensive computer systems that often sit idle and cannot communicate with the computers of suppliers and customers. Instead, they will outsource their computing to specialists (IBM, HP, etc) and pay for it as they use it, just as they now pay for their electricity, gas and water. As with such traditional utilities, the complexity of the supply-systems will be entirely hidden from users.

ER meets the Matrix The potential for a computing infrastructure such as this to boost efficiency—and even to save lives—is impressive. Irving Wladawsky-Berger, an in-house guru at IBM, pictures an ambulance delivering an unconscious patient to a random hospital. The doctors go online and get the patient's data (medical history, drug allergies, etc), which happens to be stored on the computer of a clinic on the other side of the world. They upload their scans of the patient on to the network and crunch the data with the processing power of thousands of remote computers—not just the little machine which is all that the hospital itself can nowadays afford.

For its nuts and bolts, this vision relies on two unglamorous technologies. The first is “web services”—software that resides in a big shared “server” computer and can be found and used by applications on other servers, even ones far away and belonging to different organisations. Mr Wladawsky-Berger's hospital would be getting the patient's info from his home clinic through such a web service.

The second technology is “grid computing”. This involves the sharing of processing power. The best-known example is a “search for extra-terrestrial intelligence” project called SETI@home, overseen by the University of California at Berkeley. Nearly 5m people in 226 countries have downloaded a screensaver that makes their computer available, whenever it is sitting idle, to process radio signals gathered from outer space. The aim is to find a pattern that may be from aliens. Mr Wladawsky-Berger's hospital would similarly crunch patient-data using the internet, or grid, as if it were a single, giant virtual microprocessor, but for a more earth-bound purpose.

Both technologies have made great strides recently. Web services, for instance, need common standards and protocols. Some basic standards already exist—awkward acronyms such as XML, SOAP and WSDL provide a rudimentary grammar to let computers talk to each other. But the sticking point, says Phillip Merrick, boss of webMethods, one of the pioneers in the field, has been the many other fiddly but necessary protocols for security, transaction certification, and so on. A breakthrough occurred in October, when the two superpowers, IBM and Microsoft, simply got up on a stage together and declared what protocols they will use. Dubbed “WS splat” by the geeks, this ought to speed up the adoption of web services.

Web services are currently most visible in the business model of so-called application service providers. These are firms that offer to host software applications and databases for customers for a monthly fee—an analogy would be for firms to do their e-mailing via Yahoo! or their buying via eBay. The most successful is Salesforce.com, a San Francisco firm that, as the name says, specialises in software for managing customer information and marketing leads. It says that it was poaching so much business from a more traditional seller of customer-relations software, Siebel Systems, that Siebel had to adopt the model itself. In October, Siebel teamed up with IBM and now also offers its software as a service over the internet.

Nonetheless, this particular form of web services is overhyped, says Rahul Sood of Tech Strategy Partners, a consultancy in Silicon Valley. Such services appeal mostly to small businesses and firms that do not need to customise their applications very much. For the grander vision—the on-demand, adaptive, seamless, ubiquitous, organic sort—a lot more needs to happen.

At the core of the vision is flexibility—a firm must be able to make its operating costs, and therefore its computing and information costs, totally variable so that they go up and down with business volumes. Firms can improve cost flexibility today, says Mr Sood, but only if they stick with one vendor, such as IBM, or if they make only one of their many computing functions (data storage, say) flexible. But for computing to be bought and sold as a utility, firms must be able to switch vendors, to do it for all their computing functions, and with meter-based pricing. All of this will take a few more years to get right.

Continued in the article.


The Video Game Revolution (also available from PBS on videotape) ---  http://www.pbs.org/kcts/videogamerevolution/ 

 

This is the story of how a whimsical invention of the 1960s helped spawn the computer industry as we know it. Video games have influenced the way children live and play, forever altered the entertainment industry, and even affected the way wars are fought. See how it all began and find out what it means for the future.


When recruiting teens for college and/or particular careers such as accounting, here's one of the competitive tools that we have not successfully exploited.  This type of thing is also being successfully employed in recruiting and training, but does not seem to have widespread success in educational institutions.

Question
What has become the most successful and most controversial recruiting tool of the U.S. Army? 

Answer

I viewed the answer to the first question of television.
I watched this while eating breakfast on March 31.
CBS News on March 30, 2004 proclaimed that an Internet game has become a major recruitment tool.  The game that is especially successful is called America's Army.  The official version of this game is at http://www.americasarmy.com/ 

"Army Recruits Video Gamers," CBS News, March 30, 2004 --- http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/03/30/eveningnews/main609489.shtml 

The soldiers are real. But they're also actors, staging scenes for the Army's latest war game.

It's a video game created by the U.S. Army to win over the hearts and minds of American teenagers.

And, as CBS News Correspondent Jim Acosta reports, judging by these faces, mission accomplished.

Game player Rob Calcagni believes the game is going to work on a lot of guys his age.

"Definitely, because it's a fun game," says Calcagni.

The game, "America's Army" has become such an overnight hit, the Army staged a tournament in New York. Recruiters were waiting at the door.

"This is a fantastic recruiting opportunity," says Lt. Col. John Gillette. "We would like to sign up as many as possible. We are looking for five to ten."

One of these teens enlisted after playing the game, the other two are thinking about it, which is exactly what the creator of "America's Army" had in mind.

"We look at all the things that the Army is doing that is under the control of the Army that captures people's attention and the game is number one," says the game's creator Col. Casey Wardynksi.

America's Army has surpassed even the Pentagon's expectations. It's now the number one online action game in the country. The Army hasn't seen a recruiting tool this effective since "Be all that you can be."

But psychology professor Brad Bushman of the University of Michigan, a critic of violent video games, complains "America's Army" isn't real enough.

"War is not a game," he says.

"The video game does provide a sanitized view of violence," says Bushman. "For example, when you shoot someone or when you are shot you see a puff of blood; you don't see anyone suffering or writhing in pain."

"Kids aren't stupid," says Wardynski. "They know if they come into the army there is a reason that we have rifles and tanks and all that stuff."

The players insist they understand the meaning of "game over."

"If you are going to join the Army, you know the risk," says one gamer, Bart Koscinski. "In this game you might die like eight times in like 15 minutes. In real life people know what they are getting themselves into."

New editions of "America's Army" are now being developed for home video game systems -- a move that will deploy even more young cyber-soldiers to the military's virtual battlefield.

CombatSim.com --- http://www.combatsim.com/ 

Welcome to the web's largest resource of professionally-written articles and news about military combat simulations and strategy games. Our archives of news and articles span the golden age of this category of games from January of 1996 to February of 2003.

DEFENSE COMBAT SIM OLYMPICS –METHODOLOGIES INCORPORATING THE “CYBER GAMING CULTURE” bu Flack Maguire, Michael van Lent, Marc Prensky, and Ron W. Tarr --- http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/IITSEC%20Paper%202002%20(536%20V2-Final).pdf 

There have been many changes in the past twenty years in the implementation of simulation and computer games, including game development, usage in fixed locations, and event-based experiences both in the civilian and commercial spaces. This paper examines each of these three areas individually in order to predict their likely future developments. It then evaluates the dynamic potential for the military that lies at the crossroads where these trends are merging, and relates their interaction to the growing popularity of the online computer gaming experience.

Although far from a complete study, this paper aims to add to the discussion of these industry trends.

The paper proposes that there is a strong benefit to the military for recruiting, pre-training, and training of active duty members through the combination of :

· Choosing, building, or modifying effective combat simulation games for military use.

· Operating computer game competitions with significant military presence – similar to the air shows of

today – for event-based and location-based computer gaming competitions

· Using the combined venues of (a) online gaming competitions, (b) location-based game centers, and (c)

large scale gaming competitions

· Operating under the sports model of Leagues (by appropriate military warfare specialty for each League)

and further dividing the Leagues into competing Divisions.

By reaching out in this way to a wider spectrum of possibilities for including the cyber entertainment culture, the military will, we predict, experience benefits in recruiting, pre-training, and training, making further use of the compelling attraction of computer games that has been demonstrated by games’ recent rise to a predominant role for military age people in our society.

"Computer Games Liven Up Military Recruiting, Training," by Harold Kennedy, National Defense Magazine, November 2002 --- http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/article.cfm?Id=967 

Computer games—which entertain millions of U.S. teenagers—are beginning to breathe fresh life into military recruiting and training.

Earlier this year, for example, the U.S. Army launched a new computer game—called “America’s Army”—over the Internet.

Aimed at encouraging teens to join up, it enables players to experience both basic and advanced training, join a combat unit and fight in a variety of environments, including arctic Alaska, upstate New York and a third-world city.

Players can fire on a rifle range, run an obstacle course, attend sniper school, train in urban combat and parachute from a C-17 transport.

The game accurately depicts military equipment, training and the real-life movements of soldiers, said Lt. Col. George Juntiff, Army liaison officer to the Modeling, Virtual Environment and Simulation (MOVES) Institute, at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., which developed the game.

“America’s Army” features sound effects by moviemaker George Lucas’ company, SkyWalker, and Dolby Digital Sound. In addition, sound effects from the movie “Terminator II” were provided at no charge.

The game is getting considerable attention. During its first two weeks, more than a million Americans downloaded the game for free, Juntiff said.

“That’s an enormous number,” he said. “It’s the largest release in computer game history.”

Even more people are likely to acquire the game starting in October, Juntiff said, when the Army was scheduled to begin distributing it as a free CD set to a target audience over the age of 13. The developers plan to upgrade the game every month to attract new players, he said.

Actually, “America’s Army” consists of two separate games—”Soldiers,” a role-player based on Army values, and “Operations,” a shooter game that takes players on combat missions. It was developed and distributed at a cost of $7.5 million by MOVES and the U.S. Military Academy’s Office of Economic and Manpower Analysis at West Point, N.Y.

The computer game is a “very cost-effective” way to reach potential recruits, especially compared to television advertising, said Maj. Chris Chambers, OEMA deputy director. “It is also a more detailed means of showing the American people what we do.”

The game also puts the Army in a positive light, said Juntiff. “It lets people know the Army is high-tech. It’s not what they see in the movies.”

The game, in addition, raises ethical issues, Juntiff said. “The game sets rules of engagement, and if you violate those rules, you pay the price.”

Once they enlist, recruits, these days, can expect to encounter computer games throughout their military training, said Michael R. Macedonia, senior scientist for the U.S. Army Simulation, Training and Instrumentation Command (STRICOM), headquartered in Orlando, Fla. Even well-known commercial games have been adapted for military use, he told National Defense.

That process began, he said, in the 1980s, when the Army modified the Atari tank battle game, “Battlezone,” to let it have gunner controls similar to those of a Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle. The idea, he explained, was to enhance the eye-hand coordination of armor crews.

Then, in the mid-1990s, the Marines edited the commercial version of the three-dimensional game “Doom” to create “Marine Doom,” to help train four-man fire teams in urban combat.

More recently, the Army’s Soldier Systems Center, in Natick, Mass., has commissioned the games developer, Novalogic, of Calabasas, Calif., to modify the popular Delta Force 2 game to help familiarize soldiers with the service’s experimental Land Warrior system.

The Land Warrior system includes a self-

contained computer and radio unit, a global-positioning receiver, a helmet-mounted liquid-

character display and a modular weapons array that adds thermal and video sights and laser ranging to the standard M-4 carbine and M-16A2 rifle.

A customized version of another computer game, Microsoft Flight Simulator, is issued to all Navy student pilots and undergraduates enrolled in Naval Reserve Officer Training Courses at 65 colleges around the nation. The office of the Chief of Naval Education and Training has installed the software at the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, Texas, and plans to install it at two other bases in Florida.

LB&B Associates, of Columbia, Md., has modified the game engine from author Tom Clancy’s best-selling computer game, “Rainbow Six Rogue Spear,” to train U.S. combat troops in urban warfare. The game—marketed by Ubi Soft Entertainment, of San Francisco—is based one of Clancy’s military novels.

The new version—which is still being developed—will not be used to improve marksmanship, but to sharpen decision-making skills at the small-unit level, said Michael S. Bradshaw, LB&B’s Systems Division manager. LB&B has completed a proof-of-concept version, which “worked brilliantly,” Bradshaw said. The project, he explained, has been turned over to the Institute for Creative Technology for final development.

Continued in the article

October 4, 2005 Message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu]

PAPERS ON THE UNIVERSITY AND THE INTERNET

EDUCAUSE is making available online, at no cost, THE INTERNET AND THE UNIVERSITY: FORUM 2004. The book is a collection of papers from the Forum's 2004 Aspen Symposium. The papers cover three areas: technology and globalization, technology and scholarship, and technology and the brain. The book is available in PDF format at http://www.educause.edu/apps/forum/iuf04.asp .

The Forum on the Internet and the University "seeks to understand how the Internet and new learning media can improve the quality and condition of learning, as well as the opportunities and risks created by rapid technological innovation and economic change."

EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology. The current membership comprises more than 1,900 colleges, universities, and educational organizations, including 200 corporations, with 15,000 active members. EDUCAUSE has offices in Boulder, CO, and Washington, DC. Learn more about EDUCAUSE at http://www.educause.edu/.

......................................................................

ACADEMIC COMMONS

In August the Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts at Wabash College launched the Academic Commons -- a website offering "a forum for investigating and defining the role that technology can play in liberal arts education." In addition to publishing essays and reviews and showcasing innovative projects, the site also offers the Developer's Kit, an area for sharing project descriptions and pieces of code, and LoLa Exchange, which shares high-quality learning objects. The Academic Commons is available at http://www.academiccommons.org/ .

The mission of the Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts at Wabash College is "to explore, test, and promote liberal arts education . . . [and] to ensure that the nature and value of liberal arts education is widely understood and to reestablish the central place of the liberal arts in higher education."

For more information about the Center: email: liberalarts@wabash.edu ; Web: http://www.liberalarts.wabash.edu/ .

......................................................................

MORE ON GAMES AS LEARNING TOOLS

The July 2005 issue of CIT Infobits presented a roundup of articles on computer games as learning tools ("Games Children Play," http://www.unc.edu/cit/infobits/bitjul05.html#4 ). For more on this topic, see the special issue of INNOVATE (vol. 1, issue 6, August/September 2005) which is devoted to the "role of video game technology in current and future educational settings." Papers include:

"What Would a State of the Art Instructional Video Game Look Like?" by J. P. Gee, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Changing the Game: What Happens When Video Games Enter the Classroom?" by Kurt Squire, Assistant Professor of Educational Technology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Game-Informed Learning: Applying Computer Game Processes to Higher Education" by Michael Begg, David Dewhurst, and Hamish Macleod, University of Edinburgh

The entire issue is available online at http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=issue&id=9 . You may need to register on the Innovate website to access papers; there is no charge for registration and access.

Innovate [ISSN 1552-3233] is a bimonthly, peer-reviewed online periodical published by the Fischler School of Education and Human Services at Nova Southeastern University. The journal focuses on the creative use of information technology (IT) to enhance educational processes in academic, commercial, and government settings. Readers can comment on articles, share material with colleagues and friends, and participate in open forums. For more information, contact James L. Morrison, Editor-in-Chief, Innovate;
email: innovate@nova.edu ; Web: http://www.innovateonline.info/ .

Bob Jensen's threads on edutainment and learning games (including video games) are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment 


Important Distance Education Site
The Sloan Consortium --- http://www.aln.org/
The purpose of the Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) is to help learning organizations continually improve quality, scale, and breadth according to their own distinctive missions, so that education will become a part of everyday life, accessible and affordable for anyone, anywhere, at any time, in a wide variety of disciplines.


January 25, 2005 message from News Update [campustechnology@newsletters.101com.com

Internet Study Predicts Aptitude Will Drive Class Composition

A sweeping survey of nearly 1,300 technology experts and scholars on the future of the Internet has concluded - not surprisingly - that the Internet would reach into and influence every corner of American life over the next 10 years. The study, released under the auspices of Elon University and the Pew Internet & American Life Project, paints a picture of a digital future that enhances the lives of many but which also contains some worrisome notes.

For instance, over half of the respondents predicted the Internet would spawn "a new age of creativity" and that formal education would incorporate more online classes, with students grouped by interests and skills, rather than by age. At the same time, two-thirds predicted a devastating attack on the country's network infrastructure would occur or in the next 10 years, and that government and business surveillance would rise dramatically.

Full results of the survey can be found on the Web at http://www.elon.edu/predictions 


TechKnowLogia --- http://www.techknowlogia.org/ 

TechKnowLogia is an international online journal that provides policy makers, strategists, practitioners and technologists at the local, national and global levels with a strategic forum to:

Explore the vital role of different information technologies (print, audio, visual and digital) in the development of human and knowledge capital;
Share policies, strategies, experiences and tools in harnessing technologies for knowledge dissemination, effective learning, and efficient education services;
Review the latest systems and products of technologies of today, and peek into the world of tomorrow; and
Exchange information about resources, knowledge networks and centers of expertise.
  • Do Technologies Enhance Learning?
  • Brain Research, Learning and Technology
  • Technologies at Work for: Critical Thinking, Science Instruction, Teaching Practices, etc...
  • Interactive TV as an Educational Tool
  • Complexity of Integrating ICTs into Curriculum & Exams
  • Use of Digital Cameras to Enhance Learning
  • Creating Affordable Universal Internet Access

Bob Jensen's threads on education technologies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


Corporations are starting to salivate over grid computing's potential for massive storage and processing power. Its creators -- tech and science geeks -- look forward to a new era --- http://www.wired.com/news/infostructure/0,1377,57231,00.html 


For years, connecting university and research-center supercomputers so they could share resources simply wasn't feasible. New standards are changing that and opening the door to new research possibilities --- http://www.wired.com/news/infostructure/0,1377,57265,00.html 


Answer 2  --- The Intellectual Supermarket as Conceived Today by 
                      Fathom (Columbia University and its Fathom Partners)

"The Intellectual Supermarket," by Ada Demb, Educause Review, July/August 2002, pp. 12-22 --- http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0240.pdf 

Higher education requires a new model, one that can operate alongside the old model but that will expand the capacity and explode the boundaries of the industry with its new assumptions:

  1. Higher education can be accessed directly by any individual, without the intermediary of an institution.  Supported by technology, higher education can achieve society's long-term goal of population-wide, universal access.
  2. The demand for educational programming will far exceed the capacity of current institutions.  Designers of educational programs are unlikely to know the characteristics of the learners who will be accessing their material.
  3. Educational programming will be of a more general nature--modularized and accessible to a general audience, much as is television.
  4. In the context of lifelong learning, individuals will seek education intermittently, as somewhat unrelated "events," over a  much longer timeframe than is commonly associated even with part-time degree work.  The learner's objectives are likely to be situationally defined by personal or professional knowledge needs.
  5. Attracted by this potential market, and enabled by the lower barriers to entry, new providers will enter the market--providers from outside the current educational system.
  6. The value of a brand name will be determined by the value to the learner as much as it will be by a third party that seeks certification.
  7. As a result, radically new ways of assessing and "certifying" learning outcomes will be needed.

The Supermarket Analogy

By contrast with the assumptions of the current system--a very orderly context in which quality has been tightly controlled--the proposed assumptions for the new model may appear to lead to a chaotic mix of undisciplined entrepreneurial efforts.  To examine whether this new model might be a future worth pursuing, we need a radical analogy for the higher education industry.  The analogy should be consistent with the new assumptions and should also raise provocative questions about possible future scenarios.  An unlikely possibility can offer insights and images for exploring this new territory: the food-retailing industry--in particular, the supermarket.  Nine characteristics of the supermarket yield a provocative comparison with higher education:

  1. Most products in the supermarket can be characterized as commodities: there is a minimum standard of quality the product must meet in order to be fit for sale; beyond that minimum, competition occurs on the basis of price and of perceived differences in quality.  Profit margins on individual products are very small; profits are generated by volume of sales.
  2. The supermarket manager and the customer are always looking for better-tasting, cheaper, more-nutritious goods yielding larger profit margins.
  3. The supermarket represents the quintessential example of the movement from full-service to self-service.  The customer chooses the fruit, weighs the fruit, packages the fruit, and then takes the fruit to the check-out line to pay.
  4. The supermarket does not take responsibility for the quality of the customer's diet or overall physical or financial health.  The supermarket offers a fantastic array of goods, but it is up to the customer to make order from that array and to select items that form some sort of coherent diet or meal plan.
  5. The supermarket tailors its product line to the geographic area it serves, but generally it offers both low- and high-end products.
  6. The customer's safety and capacity for judgment are supported by related regulation and markets: (a) the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and state departments of health, which oversee the food supply from point of origin through processing and packaging to store delivery and purchase; (b) labeling, which details the nutritional value of foods on packaged goods as required by law; and (c) nutrition, food, and diet consumer education, which is supplied through a variety of media, including schools, public programming, and private publishing groups such as hospitals and for-profit publications on diet and health.
  7. Consumers can turn to a range of services for more personalized attention, from health spas to personal nutritional advisors, books and magazines, or simply restaurants.
  8. Brand names, including supermarket brands, are related to quality and are supported by both research and advertising.  They are evaluated by independent consumer groups, although not systematically.
  9. Food producers and processors are, for the most part, independent of the distribution system in the United States.  The "system" that has brought Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup into supermarkets for almost one hundred years is held together by buyer-supplier market relationships.

The power of the supermarket analogy is revealed more fully when undergraduate education and lifelong learning skills are considered separately from graduate education or professional certification.  Undergraduate education as presently offered in the United States is a commodity.  The larger higher education institutions opened up access and kept costs (and therefore tuition) down by creating lecture courses that could accommodate many students at one time.  Even when these lecture courses are broken down into recitation sessions or when these institutions hire more faculty to offer smaller classes, the basic curriculum remains the same.  This is "mass education"--higher education in the manner of Henry Ford.  There are certain minimum standards that must be met; however, beyond those, students are choosing on the basis of price and perceived differences in brand names.  Separating undergraduate education into its two primary components--general education and the major--and then applying the perspective of the supermarket analogy leads to some startling conclusions about possible transformations of the production and distribution system for higher education at the undergraduate level.

Continued at http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0240.pdf 

To this I might add the increasing movement for colleges and universities to offer certificate programs in addition to traditional degree programs.  In Fall 2002, the graduate school of business at the University of Rochester commenced a six-course certificate program to complement its two-year MBA program.  Major universities such as Stanford University, Columbia University, and Carnegie-Mellon are now trading on their prestige names to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars in training programs, especially in computer science, engineering, and information technology training courses.  Virtually all of the top business schools have executive development certificate programs both onsite and online.  

By the Year 2025, traditional degree programs may account for less than ten percent of the revenues of major universities who become part of the trend for education as well as training certificates.  The "traditional one-size fits all" bachelor, masters, and PhD degrees will fade in importance as resumes of the future will be built upon education achievement certificates in humanities, science, and the professions.

Top Ten Emerging Technologies According to CFO Magazine

THE NEED-TO-KNOW LIST
1. XBRL
2. Business Intelligence
3. Wireless Connectivity
4. Grid Computing
5. Multivariable Testing (MVT)
6. Digital Cryptography
7. Rich Media
8. Internet2
9. Biometrics
10. Small Technology

I used the following quotation in 1994 at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/215ach06.pdf 

No one has been more wrong about computerization than George Orwell in 1984. So far, nearly everything about the actual possibility-space that computers have created indicates they are not the beginning of authority but its end. In the process of connecting everything to everything, computers elevate the power of the small player. They make room for the different, and they reward small innovations. Instead of enforcing uniformity, they promote heterogeneity and autonomy. Instead of sucking the soul from human bodies, turning computer users into an army of dull colons, networked computers --- by reflecting the networked nature of our brains --- encourage the humanism of their users. Because they have taken on the flexibility, adaptability, and self-connecting governance of organic systems, we become more human, not less so, when we use them. 
                                                                                           Birkerts, S. (1994). “The electric hive: two views,” Readings, May, 17-25.

August 23, 2002 reply from Miklos Vasarhelyi [miklosv@ANDROMEDA.RUTGERS.EDU

Education and its future Prospects (Trends)

Institutional 

  • Consolidation of educational institutions (universities will merge) 
  • States will tend to bring its several university entities together · Super state consortia will emerge · There will be a “career university sector” with 
    • For profit universities 
    • Virtual Universities (associated or not with existing ones) · 
  • New copyright policies, royalties for distance learning a la the sale of a book 
    • Faculty that develop a course will have royalties rights to it 
    • Universities will have the right, without paying royalties, to use these courses either locally or in any extended activities 
  • Organizations will have to emerge to take education to the outer limits of current civilization 
    • The economics are such that the incremental cost of providing usage over broadband of highly sophisticated learning materials is very small 
    • Consequently once packages are assembled, and their production is very expensive, their marginal cost of utilization is close to zero 

    • Consequently model will emerge from free to free for ‘used materials’, to name your price, to pay over your professional career 

    • Content pricing models as currently evolving over the net and e commerce will also rule education 

    • Some states may decided to develop or acquire educational content and make it available for free 

  • Alternate professor’s career will emerge 
    • Tenure will become less common 
    • A  large number of faculty will emerge as supporting faculty for modules prepared and delivered from elsewhere

Pedagogic 

  • Extensive usage of distance methods to ‘extend the classroom’ even in traditional courses 
  • Usage of mixed extended medium with many tools 
  • Change in the nature of faculty control 
    • Less prep time 
    • Modularized content re-used in different modules 
    • Different delivery approaches 
  • Separation of content and delivery 
    • The best deliverers are not the best content preparers 
    • Substantive investment in packaging the modules (that will go into several courses) · 
  • Link between courses and content for courses will be broken 
    • Package and offer content resources in varying sizes and depths in unlimited combinations 
    • Publishers are moving now to build large databases of content on the Web 
    • These databases of content are attractive portals for discipline knowledge · 
  • The nature of assessment will substantially change from block tests to micro testing and learning diagnostic tools that dynamically change the students tasks based on the measurement of their progress thru the distance learning materials 
    •  There will be tremendous demand for the development of both intelligent learning assessment tools (e.g. devices that can read an open ended exam answer, comment on it and assess it) and information / knowledge structure along which atoms of knowledge can be measured and learning modules re-required for students.

Tools

  • Teaching and learning management software systems will be linked to their back office administrative systems 
    • Web course management tool 
    • Student tracking and collaboration tools 
  • An entire suite of learning aids, personal bots will emerge 
    •  Personal digital assistants 
    • Summarizers, finders, connectors, learners 
  • The wide gulf between students and practitioners will be narrowed by education coming to the desktop and practicing experts made available for testimonials, examples, actual observation of behavior through broadband methods 
    • For example a lesson about geology and oil exploration may bring students to visually observe man at work on oil platforms, or drilling, or analyzing data, etc. 
    • For example, while discussing strategy for dot.com companies the CEO’s of these companies can be brought in through broadband to state their views or video prepared showing facilities, products, customers buying, etc..
  •  Translation automation will allow for substantial expansion of content markets. 
    •  Language will continue to be a barrier for ubiquitous education · Physical libraries will be transformed into study areas for students in residential colleges (much reduced in number) while enormous digital libraries with most books also encompassing video and audio and collaboration settings will be made available for students everywhere

Faculty 

  • Highly more specialized researchers and content developers will complement each other
  • Subsidy for research thru blind funding of faculty salaries will become more difficult once legislators realize that much of the delivery will come form elsewhere

Environment 

  • Tools for teaching and learning will become as portable and ubiquitous as papers and books are today 
    • Teaching and learning anywhere any time 
    • A larger percentage of content will age rapidly 
  • Alternate models for paying for education will evolve with less of government subsidies and more on the desk training paid by employers 
  • Students will be savvy consumers with substantive amount of choice 
    •  Increased level of student activism 
    • Degrees may be obtained with a much increased level of institutional mix (courses from multiple universities) 
    • Learning is moving off campus: to the home, the workplace, the field, or wherever the learner is 
    • Students will pick up and piece together certifications, skill sets, and knowledge sets

You can read about the early knowledge portal experiment at Columbia University that offered great hopes by failed early on.
Fathom was one of the early on initiatives to create an academic knowledge portal somewhat similar to Wikipedia, although Columbia and its prestigious university partners were taking on responsibility for content rather than users. Fathom was not a Wiki.

Bob Jensen's threads on Fathom and Other Knowledge Portals ---
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/portals.htm
Note that this page was written before Columbia and its partners abandoned the costly effort.

Fathom Partners

  • Columbia University
  • London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Cambridge University Press 
  • The British Library
  • Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History
  • The New York Public Library University of Chicago
  • American Film Institute
  • RAND
  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution



"A Pioneer in Online Education Tries a MOOC," by Ann Kirschner, Chronicle of Higher Ed, October 1, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/A-Pioneer-in-Online-Education/134662/?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

MOOOOOOOOC! Surely "massive open online course" has one of the ugliest acronyms of recent years, lacking the deliberate playfulness of Yahoo (Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle) or the droll shoulder shrug suggested by the word "snafu" (Situation Normal, All Fouled Up).

I'm not a complete neophyte to online learning. Back in 1999, I led the start-up team for Fathom, one of the earliest knowledge networks, in partnership with Columbia University and other institutions here and abroad, and I'm a board member of the Apollo Group. So I was understandably curious about these MOOC's. With fond memories of a thrilling virtual trip a dozen years ago to Ephesus, Turkey, via a multimedia-rich, self-paced course created by a professor at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, I decided to check out a MOOC for myself.

Coursera, a new company that offers free online courses through some of the world's best-known universities, had the widest and most impressive selection. I blocked my ears to the siren call of science fiction, poetry, and history and opted for something sober: "Health Policy and the Affordable Care Act." It's taught by the Emanuel brother who isn't the Chicago mayor or the Hollywood superagent—Ezekiel Emanuel, an M.D. and Ph.D. who teaches at the University of Pennsylvania. For the next eight weeks, I was part of a noisy, active, earnest, often contentious, and usually interesting group of students. There didn't seem to be any way to gauge the number enrolled, but I learned about the students from a discussion group. There were quite a few lawyers, doctors, and other health-care professionals. Some were struggling with personal health disasters and wanted tools to predict how the health-care act would affect their futures. Some were international researchers doing comparative studies. Others were higher-education folks like me, testing the MOOC waters.

The quality and format of the discussions were immediate disappointments. A teaching assistant provided some adult supervision, but too many of the postings were at the dismal level of most anonymous Internet comments: nasty, brutish, and long. The reliance on old-fashioned threaded message groups made it impossible to distinguish online jerks from potential geniuses. I kept wishing for a way to break the large group into small cohorts self-selected by background or interests—health-care professionals, for instance, or those particularly interested in the economics of health care. There was no way to build a discussion, no equivalent to the hush that comes over the classroom when the smart kid raises his or her hand.

If you believe the sage's advice that we learn much from our teachers and colleagues but most of all from our students, MOOC's will be far more effective when we are able to learn from one another.

Not surprisingly, enterprising MOOCsters are already organizing themselves outside the online classroom, using social-media tools like Google Hangouts and Facebook. In New York, students schedule meetings in Starbucks; in Katmandu, a group relies on Meetup to get together. Some course providers are facilitating external interaction: Udacity has offered Global Meetup Day with Sebastian Thrun, the Stanford University computer scientist (and Udacity co-founder) known for his course on artificial intelligence. Coursera threw a giant barbecue in Menlo Park, Calif., complete with volleyball and beanbag tossing.

Of course, peer learning takes you only so far: At some point, somebody has to know something about the subject. Professor Emanuel was a presence only in videos, but these were uniformly excellent. The cameras caught him walking briskly around an actual lecture hall, and I liked the presence of shadowy classmates sitting in Philadelphia, as if this were happening in real time. The videos were pleasantly peppered with pop-up quizzes. No embarrassment for the wrong answer, and I was ridiculously pleased at correctly guessing that the proportion of health-care costs in the United States that goes to prescription drugs is only 10 percent. For those in a rush, watching at twice normal speed is sort of fun— don't you secretly wish you could sit through some meetings at double speed?

I was a faithful student for a few weeks, until I fell prey to my worst undergraduate habit, procrastination—only now my excuses were far more sophisticated. I have to finish a manuscript! I have a board meeting! I have to meet my mother's new cardiologist!

In a MOOC, nobody can hear you scream.

I might have abandoned the charming Professor Emanuel altogether had the Supreme Court's decision to uphold President Obama's health-care program not injected the spice of real-time action into the discussion and refreshed my interest.

Somewhere between the videos and the readings and the occasional dip into the discussion groups, I found myself actually learning. I was particularly interested in how malpractice contributes to health-care costs but was instructed by my professor that the potential savings there amounted to mere "pencil dust." And who knew about the proposed National Medical Error Disclosure and Compensation Act of 2005, which would have reduced the number of malpractice cases, accelerated their resolution, and lowered costs by two-thirds?

To earn a certificate, I would have had to submit several essays for a grade, and I stopped short of that (see excuses above). Essays are peer-graded, and it won't surprise anybody who has ever taught undergraduates to hear that the student evaluations can be fierce. On the discussion boards, there was considerable discussion of grade deflation, plagiarism, and cheating. Alas, academic sins do follow us into the land of MOOC's, despite a nicely written honor code. Bad behavior in any classroom, real or virtual, should be no more surprising than gambling in Casablanca. In fact, brace yourself for a breathtaking new form of voluntary identity sharing: Your fake student avatar, now available for a small fee, will take your class for you.

Looking back, I suppose Fathom was a proto-MOOC, and I confess to some surprise that the Coursera format has evolved little beyond our pioneering effort of a decade ago. Yet when it came time to assess the course, I found myself rating it pretty highly, and concluded that aside from the format, the failings were mostly mine, for lack of focus. Like many MOOC students, I didn't completely "finish" the course. However, the final evaluations seemed mostly enthusiastic. From the comments, most of the students seemed to find the course long on substance: "comprehensive," "a good balance between the law, policy, and economics," "rich with multiple perspectives on health-policy issues."

Now, I could have read a book or done this on my own. But you could say the same thing about most education. A course is not a book but a journey, led by an expert, and taken in the company of fellow travelers on a common quest for knowledge. My MOOC had those elements, albeit in a pretty crude form.

You'd have to live under a rock not to know that crushing student debt, declining state support, and disruptive technologies have made it imperative to look at new models for teaching. The competitive landscape for higher education is changing every day. China recently declared the goal of bringing half a million foreign students to its shores by 2020, and is investing in programs friendly to Americans and other international students. American MOOC's may point the way to retaining the best students and faculty in the world, while adding the lively and collaborative components of technology-enhanced teaching and learning.

It is true that nobody yet has a reasonable business plan for these courses, and there is concern over completion rates and whether colleges are "giving away the farm," as a recent MIT alumni-magazine article put it. It is not hard to anticipate the end of free and the start of the next stage: fee-based certificate programs built around MOOC's. But for now, the colleges leading those efforts are making relatively modest—and rare—investments in research and development. Their faculty members are excited about the opportunity to experiment. Let's give this explosion of pent-up innovation in higher education a chance to mature before we rush to the bottom line.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs and other free courses, videos, tutorials, and course materials from prestigious universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

 

 


Answer 3 --- Podcasting and Blogs

Weblog (Blog) 

 Weblog = Blog = What?

Also see Podcasting at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen/245glosf.htm#ResourceDescriptionFramework

Answer from Whatis.com ---

A Weblog (which is sometimes written as "web log" or "weblog") is a Web site of personal or non-commercial origin that uses a dated log format that is updated on a daily or very frequent basis with new information about a particular subject or range of subjects. The information can be written by the site owner, gleaned from other Web sites or other sources, or contributed by users. A 

Web log often has the quality of being a kind of "log of our times" from a particular point-of-view. Generally, Weblogs are devoted to one or several subjects or themes, usually of topical interest, and, in general, can be thought of as developing commentaries, individual or collective on their particular themes. A Weblog may consist of the recorded ideas of an individual (a sort of diary) or be a complex collaboration open to anyone. Most of the latter are moderated discussions.

Listing of Accounting Blogs
 Among the millions of Web logs permeating the Internet, there are some by and for accountants worth checking out. This article includes an Accounting Blog List that you can download, bookmark or print.
 Eva M. Lang, "Accountants Who Blog," SmartPros, July 2005 --- http://accounting.smartpros.com/x49035.xml

 

Bloggers will love TagCloud
 Now, many bloggers are turning to a new service called TagCloud that lets them cherry-pick articles in RSS feeds by key words -- or tags -- that appear in those feeds. The blogger selects the RSS feeds he or she wants to use, and also selects tags. When a reader clicks on a tag, a list of links to articles from the feeds containing the chosen keyword appears. The larger the tag appears onscreen, the more articles are listed.
 Daniel Terdiman, "RSS Service Eases Bloggers' Pain," Wired News, June 27, 2005 --- http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,67989,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_8

Weblog software use grows daily -- but bloggers abandon sites and launch new ones as frequently as J.Lo goes through boyfriends. Which makes taking an accurate blog count tricky --- http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,54740,00.html 

Some eight million Americans now publish blogs and 32 million people read them, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. What began as a form of public diary-keeping has become an important supplement to a business's online strategy: Blogs can connect with consumers on a personal level -- and keep them visiting a company's Web site regularly.
Riva Richmond, "Blogs Keep Internet Customers Coming Back," The Wall Street Journal, March 1, 2005; Page B8 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110963746474866537,00.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace 

Want to start your own blog?     BlogBridge --- http://www.blogbridge.com/ 

What Blogs Cost American Business, Ad Age
 What Blogs Cost American Business In 2005, Employees Will Waste 551,000 Work Years Reading ThemBy Bradley Johnson LOS ANGELES (AdAge.com) -- Blog this: U.S. workers in 2005 will waste the equivalent of 551,000 years reading blogs. About 35 million workers -- one in four people in the labor force -- visit blogs and on average spend 3.5 hours, or 9%, of the work week engaged with them, according to Advertising Age's analysis. Time spent in the office on non-work blogs this year will take up the equivalent of 2.3 million jobs. Forget lunch breaks -- bloggers essentially take a daily...
 Bradley Johnson, "What Blogs Cost American Business, Ad Age, October 25, 2005 ---
 http://adage.com/news.cms?newsId=46494#

Time Magazine's choice of the 50 Coolest Websites for 2005 --- http://www.time.com/time/2005/websites/

How do we come up with our 50 best? Short answer: we take your suggestions, probe friends and colleagues about their favorite online haunts and then surf like mad. This year's finalists are a mix of newcomers, new discoveries and veterans that have learned some new tricks
 

The List: Arts & Entertainment
The List: Blogs
The List: Lifestyle, Health & Hobbies
The List: News & Information
The List: Shopping

 

Question
Does blogging hurt my chances for advancement?

See "Serious Bloggers," by Jeff Rice, Inside Higher Ed, February 20, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2006/02/20/rice

 

Blog Navigation Software
 Blog Navigator is a new program that makes it easy to read blogs on the Internet. It integrates into various blog search engines and can automatically determine RSS feeds from within properly coded websites.
 Blog Navigator 1.2 http://www.stardock.com/products/blognavigator/

It's easy to start your own blog.  Jim Mahar's great blog was set up at http://www.blogger.com/start
 
You too can set one up for free like Jim had done.
 There are many other alternatives other than blogger.com for setting up a free blog.  See below.

BlogBridge --- http://www.blogbridge.com/ 

Microsoft will open a free consumer blogging service, its latest attempt to attract more users to its MSN online service and away from rivals such as Google.

Question
A four-letter term that came to symbolize the difference between old and new media during this year's presidential campaign tops U.S. dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster's list of the 10 words of the year.
What is that word?

Answer

BLOG 
The other nine top words are discussed at CNN, November 30, 2004 --- http://edition.cnn.com/2004/TECH/internet/11/30/words.of.the.year.reut/ 

April 22, 2005 letter from Amy Dunbar [Amy.Dunbar@BUSINESS.UCONN.EDU]

I would like some advice on what news aggregator to use for RSS feeds.  I read the BusinessWeek Online article on blogs this morning, and it piqued my interest

 http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_18/b3931001_mz001.htm?c=bwinsiderapr22&n=link1&t=email

 The BusinessWeek Online blog, http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/blogspotting/  gave a link to various blog RSS feed in a side menu:

 http://directory.google.com/Top/Reference/Libraries/Library_and_Information_Science/Technical_Services/Cataloguing/Metadata/RDF/Applications/RSS/News_Readers/

 Is anyone using blogs in classes?  Any advice on how to set up links to RSS feeds?

 Thanks,
Amy Dunbar
UConn

Reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Amy,

I don’t use blogs in class and only find time to visit a few each week

For RSS feeds, look at the left hand column at http://www.rss-specifications.com/blog.htm  

 Bob Jensen 

"MBA Blogs," Business Week, September 12, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/MBAblog 

You're invited you to join BW Online's new MBA Blog feature as a guest blogger

STORY TOOLS Printer-Friendly Version E-Mail This Story

Our upcoming MBA Blog feature is an online community where you can interact and share your pursuits of an MBA, job search, life as a grad student, and much more. Whether you want to create your own web log online, exchange advice, or launch a professional network - come join our MBA Blog --- http://mbablogs.businessweek.com/

 

The innovation that sends blogs zinging into the mainstream is RSS, or Really Simple Syndication. Five years ago, a blogger named Dave Winer, working with software originally developed by Netscape, created an easy-to-use system to turn blogs, or even specific postings, into Web feeds. With this system, a user could subscribe to certain blogs, or to key words, and then have all the relevant items land at a single destination. These personalized Web pages bring together the music and video the user signs up for, in addition to news. They're called "aggregators." For now, only about 5% of Internet users have set them up. But that number's sure to rise as Yahoo and Microsoft plug them.
 Business Week, April 22, 2005 --- , http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/blogspotting/  

"Controversy at Warp Speed," by Jeffrey Selingo, The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 29, 2005, Page A27

The deluge of messages left Mr. Corrigan wondering how so many people had found out about such a small skirmish on his campus.  So his assistant poked around on the Web and discovered that six days after the protest, a liberal blog (http://sf.indymedia.org) run by the San Francisco Independent Media Center had posted an article headlined "Defend Free Speech Rights at San Francisco State University" that included Mr. Corrigan's e-mail address.

It was not the first time that Mr. Corrigan has been electronically inundated after a campus incident.  Three years ago he received 3,000 e-mail messages after a pro-Israel rally was held at the university.

EVERYONE HAS A BEEF

Conflicts on campus are nothing new, of course.  But colleges today are no longer viewed as ivory towers.  Institutions of all sizes and types are under greater scrutiny than ever before from lawmakers, parents, taxpayers, students, alumni, and especially political partisans.  Empowered by their position or by the fact that they sign the tuition checks, they do not hesitate to use any available forum to complain about what is happening at a particular institution.

In this Internet age, information travels quickly and easily, and colleges have become more transparent, says Collin G. Brooke, an assistant professor of writing at Syracuse University, who studies the intersection between rhetoric and technology.  Many universities' Web sites list the e-mail addresses of every employee, from the president on down, enabling unencumbered access to all of them.

"That was not possible 10 years ago," Mr. Brooke says.  "Maybe I'd go to a library, find a college catalog, and get an address.  Then I'd have to write a letter.  Now it's easy to whip off a couple of sentences in an e-mail when it takes only a few seconds to find that person's address."
Continued in article

 

Student Blogs

"What Your College Kid Is Really Up To," by Steven Levy, Time Magazine, December 13, 2004, Page 12

Aaron Swartz was nervous when I went to interview him.  I know this is not because he told me, but because he said so on his student blog a few days afterward.  Swartz is one of millions of people who mainstream an Internet-based Weblog that allows one to punch in daily experiences as easily as banging out diary entries with a word processor.  Swartz says the blog is meant to help him remember his experiences during an important time for him --- freshman year at Stanford.  But this opens up a window to the rest of us.

Continued in the article.

See http://www.aaronsw.com/ 

"Microsoft Begins Free 'Blogging'," by Robert A. Guth, The Wall Street Journal, December 2, 2004, Page D7 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110194455538888633,00.html?mod=technology_main_whats_news 

Microsoft Corp. today will open a free consumer "blogging" service, its latest attempt to attract more users to its MSN online service and away from rivals such as Google Inc.

Called MSN Spaces, the service will allow consumers to create Web logs, or blogs, that include pictures, music and text. Blogs are personal Web sites and opinion journals that have gained popularity in recent years. Early blogs focused largely on technology and politics, but millions of computer users have now at least experimented with the form.

It's been said that newspapers write the first draft of history, but now there are blogs. These days, online scribes often get the news before it's fit to print --- http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,56978,00.html 

Blogs Help You Cope With Data Overload -- If You Manage Them," by Thomas E. Weber, The Wall Street Journal, July 8, 2004, Page B1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,personal_technology,00.html 

If you're an information junkie, you've probably discovered the appeal of reading weblogs, those online journals that mix commentary with links to related sites. Obsessive blog creators scour the Internet for interesting tidbits in news stories, announcements and even other blogs, culling the best and posting links. A good blog is like the friend who always points out the best stories in the newspaper.

More and more, though, the growth of blogs is increasing rather than reducing information overload. By some estimates, the number of blogs out there is nearing three million. It isn't just amateurs either: Start-up media companies are creating blogs, too. Gawker, for example, publishes the gadgets journal Gizmodo ( www.gizmodo.com ) and Wonkette ( www.wonkette.com ), devoted to inside-the-Beltway gossip.

To help juggle all those blogs, I've started playing around with a relatively new phenomenon called a newsreader. Rather than forcing you to jump from one blog to another to keep up with new entries, newsreaders bring together the latest postings from your favorite blogs in a single place.

That's possible because many blogs now publish their entries as news "feeds." These are Web formats that make it easy for a newsreader program (or another Web site) to grab and manipulate individual postings. For a blog publisher, it's like sending out entries on a news wire service. To tell whether a site offers a news feed, look for a small icon labeled "RSS" or "Atom."

I've tested a number of popular newsreaders. At their best, they give you a customized online newspaper that tracks the blogs you're interested in. But using them is only worthwhile if you're willing to invest some time upfront getting organized.

Newsreaders come in several varieties. One is a stand-alone software program you install on your PC. In that category, FeedDemon ($29.95 from Bradbury Software) is especially powerful, with extensive options for customizing the way news feeds appear on your screen.

Other newsreaders integrate news feeds into your e-mail on the theory that mail has become the catchall information center for many users. NewsGator ($29 from NewsGator Technologies) pulls feeds into Microsoft Outlook, while Oddpost (www.oddpost.com) combines blog feeds with an excellent Web-based e-mail service for $30 a year. For Mac users, Apple just announced it will include newsreader functions in the next version of its Safari Web browser -- a sign of how important the news-feed approach is becoming.

Overall, I had the best experience with a service called Bloglines, and I recommend it, especially for beginners. Bloglines (www.bloglines.com) works as a Web service, which means there's no software to install and you can catch up with your blogs from any Web browser. You're no longer tied to the bookmarks on a particular PC, so you can check postings from home, work or on the road. The service is also free. Mark Fletcher, CEO of Trustic Inc., which operates Bloglines, tells me the site will use unobtrusive Google-style ads to bring in revenue.

After starting an account, you enter the blogs you want to track. When you visit Bloglines, your blog list will appear on the left side of the screen, along with a notation telling the number of new postings since your last visit; clicking on a blog pulls the new postings into a right-side window. The beauty of this is that you don't waste time visiting blogs that haven't posted new entries.

Of course, it's all pointless without interesting blogs to read. The best way to find great blogs is to follow your curiosity, tracking back links on blogs you visit. Here are a few to get you started:

GENERAL INTEREST: Boing Boing (www.boingboing.net) is one of the Web's most established blogs, and one of its most popular, too. By "general interest," I mean of general interest to your average Internet-obsessed technophile. The focus isn't explicitly on technology, but expect it to skew in that direction -- over a recent week, posting topics included robots, comic books and a cool-looking electric plug.

ECONOMICS: EconLog (econlog.econlib.org) offers a thoughtful and eclectic diary of economics, tackling both newsy developments (the real-estate market, taxes) and theory. It also includes a list of other good economics blogs -- there are more than you might think.

GADGETS: Engadget (www.engadget.com) can be counted on for a good half-dozen or more news morsels each day on digital cameras, MP3 players, cellphones and more. When it isn't the first to stumble across something good, it isn't shy about linking to another blog with an interesting post, so it's usually pretty up to date.

POLITICS: WatchBlog (www.watchblog.com) has stuck with an interesting concept for more than a year now. It's actually three blogs in one: separate side-by-side journals tracking news on the 2004 elections from the perspective of Democrats, Republicans and independents.

TECHNOLOGY: Lessig Blog (www.lessig.org/blog). OK, this one's about politics too. More specifically, it covers the intersection between regulation and technology. Its author, Stanford law professor and author Lawrence Lessig, weighs in on copyright, privacy and other challenging topics in high-tech society.

Blogging we will, blogging we will go!  In Iran?
So what would a really interesting and exciting piece of qualitative research on blogging look like? And how would it get around the problems of overfamiliarity with the phenomenon (on the one hand) and blogospheric navel-gazing (on the other)? To get an answer, it isn’t necessary to speculate. Just read “The Vulgar Spirit of Blogging: On Language, Culture, and Power in Persian Weblogestan,” by Alireza Doostdar, which appears in the current issue of American Anthropologist. A scanned copy is available here. The author is now working at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, where he will start work on his Ph.D. in social anthropology and Middle Eastern studies.  “Weblogestan” is an Iranian online slang term for the realm of Persian-language blogs. (The time has definitely come for it to be adapted, and adopted, into Anglophone usage.) Over the last two years, Western journalists have looked at blogging as part of the political and cultural ferment in Iran — treating it, predictably enough, as a simple manifestation of the yearning for a more open society. Doostdar complicates this picture by looking at what we might call the borders of Veblogestan (to employ a closer transliteration of the term, as used specifically to name Iranian blogging). In an unpublished manuscript he sent me last week, Doostdar provides a quick overview of the region’s population: “There are roughly 65,000 active blogs in Veblogestan,” he writes, “making Persian the fourth language for blogs after English, Portugese, and French. The topics for blog entries include everything from personal diaries, expressions of spirituality, and works of experimental poetry and fiction to film criticism, sports commentary, social critique, and of course political analysis. Some bloggers focus on only one of these topics throughout the life of their blogs, while others write about a different topic in every new entry, or even deal with multiple topics within a single entry.”
Scott McLemee , "Travels in Weblogestan," Inside Higher Ed, March 29, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/03/29/mclemee 

 

Top Executives Are Finding Great Advantages to Using and Running Blogs

 

"It's Hard to Manage if You Don't Blog Business embraces the new medium as executives read—and write—blogs,"  by David Kirkpatrick, Fortune Magazine, October 4, 2004 --- http://www.fortune.com/fortune/technology/articles/0,15114,699971,00.html 

 

Jonathan Schwartz, president and COO of Sun Microsystems, has recently criticized statements by Intel executives, mused that IBM might buy Novell, and complained about a CNET.com article—all by writing a blog on a Sun website.

Yep, blogs—which are a way to post text to a website—have found their way into business. Schwartz is the highest-ranking executive yet to embrace the new medium, which is burgeoning globally. About 35,000 people read his blog (http://blogs.sun.com) in a typical month, including customers, employees, and 

competitors. Schwartz encourages all Sun's 32,000 employees to blog, though only about 100 are doing it so far. But they include at least three senior managers other than Schwartz as well as development engineers and marketers.

The company's most popular blogger is a marketer known as MaryMaryQuiteContrary. Her blog ranges from rhapsodies about "proxy-based aspect-oriented programming" to musings about her desire to become a first-grade class mother. Says Schwartz: "I don't have the advertising budget to get our message to, for instance, Java developers working on handset applications for the medical industry. But one of our developers, just by taking time to write a blog, can do a great job getting our message out to a fanatic readership." He adds, "Blogs are no more mandated at Sun than e-mail. But I have a hard time seeing how a manager can be effective without both."

Over at Microsoft, some 1,000 employees blog, says a spokesman, though no top executives do. Robert Scoble, Microsoft's most prominent blogger, says via e-mail that "I often link to bloggers who are not friendly to Microsoft. They know I'm listening, and that alone improves relationships." Other tech companies with company blogs include Yahoo, Google, Intuit, and Monster.com. Even Maytag has a blog.

But businesses are learning—sometimes the hard way—that this new medium has pitfalls. David Farrell, Sun's chief compliance officer, notes that the company will soon require employees to agree to specific guidelines before starting blogs. Companies are also worried about unflattering portrayals and leaks. Last year a Microsoft contract employee posted a photo of the company receiving a dockful of Apple computers; he was promptly fired. A Harvard administrator and a software developer at Friendster were also recently fired after personal blog postings. (Microsoft, Harvard, and Friendster declined to comment.)

But some managers find that even more important than writing blogs is reading them. During a recent conference for Microsoft software developers, top company executives huddled backstage reading up-to-the-minute blogs written by the audience to get a sense of how their messages were being received.

While most people agree on Web logs' value for promoting student expression and critical thinking in schools, there's no consensus on the amount of control over access and content that educators should exercise.  Blogs may become more of an issue in college courses when and if students begin to keep Weblogs of day to day classes, teacher evaluations, and course content.

"Classroom Blogs Raise Issues of Access and Privacy," by Kevin J. Delaney, The Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2004 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB109882944704656461,00.html?mod=technology%5Ffeatured%5Fstories%5Fhs 

First graders at Magnolia Elementary School used a Web log earlier this year to describe their dream playgrounds. Monkey bars were heartily endorsed, and live animals and bumper cars also made the cut.

Students in a handful of other classes at the Joppa, Md., school also used blogs, some trading riddles about book characters with peers at a school in Michigan.

Now, county administrators have frozen the use of blogs in the classroom amid concerns about oversight of what students might post online. Michael Lackner, a teacher who jump-started blog use at Magnolia last year, is optimistic that a technological fix will be found.

But the school's experience highlights some of the issues that educators and parents face as blogs -- simple Web sites that follow a diary-like format -- gain entry into the nation's classrooms. While most agree on blogs' value for promoting student expression, critical thinking and exchange, there's no consensus on the amount of control over access and content that educators should exercise. As blogging spreads, it could revive debates over student expression similar to those that have cropped up around school newspapers.

The issues surrounding blogging and related technology in the classroom are "pretty much uncharted," says Will Richardson, an educational-blogging advocate and supervisor of instructional technology and communications at Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington, N.J.

The use of blogs in schools remains limited but is growing, as scattered programs piloted by tech-savvy educators generate buzz and followers. Teachers are attracted to blogging for some of the same reasons blog use has exploded among techies, political commentators and would-be pundits. Blogs are cheap, thanks to free or inexpensive software packages and services -- Hunterdon, for example, pays just $499 a year for software to run hundreds of student blogs. And their simple format makes them easy to set up. Using tools from Six Apart Ltd., Google Inc. and others, consumers can create a blog in less than 10 minutes and post messages to it over the Web or by e-mail. By some estimates, five million or more Americans already have created their own blogs, with some prominent bloggers even influencing the news and political agendas.

Students in Mr. Richardson's high-school journalism classes, for example, never turn in hard copies of their homework. They post all assignments to individual blogs. Their blogs also notify them when other students complete writing assignments, so they can read and comment on them.

Meredith Fear, 17 years old, has created two blogs for classes taught by Mr. Richardson. The 12th grader says posting her work online for others to see motivated her to do better and increased her parents' involvement in her education. "I don't often get a chance to talk with her about school, so having the opportunity to check her blog and see what she was up to was a great way for me to keep up on things," says Jonathan Fear, Meredith's father. He adds that was one factor in overcoming his wife's original concerns that ill-intentioned outsiders could see Meredith's writings through the blog.

Recognizing such worries, some teachers at Hunterdon protect blogs with passwords so only they and their students can see them, particularly for creative-writing classes for which the subject matter is more likely to be personal. There are other blogging precautions: Parents have to sign releases giving permission, and only students' first names are used online. Mr. Richardson says the school has hosted more than 500 student blogs in the past three years without incident.

Mr. Richardson is planning a session with parents later this fall to teach them about the technology and set up blogs and Web-text feeds so they can gain access to a broader range of information from teachers and see what their children are up to. "Kids like it. And I can see more enhanced learning on their part," Mr. Richardson says.

At Magnolia, teachers were happy with their classroom blogging and had plans to expand it this school year. But Harford County public school officials notified them this summer that such projects appeared to fall afoul of policies regulating student communication. In particular, they were concerned that students and others could post comments to the blogs before they were reviewed by a teacher.

"What we want to see is a Web log where a teacher has final control, acts as a filter for any postings or comments," says Janey Mayo, technology coordinator for Harford County Public Schools. "We're trying to be very cautious with this because we're working with kids." School administrators also want to see further research on whether blogging has educational value at the elementary-school level, but so far haven't found any.

Mr. Lackner believes there is potentially a quick technical fix to the problem: A blogging service could add a function that would forward any online comments to a teacher for review before posting them.

Continued in the article

 

July 1, 2004 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu

THE EDUCATED BLOGGER

According to David Huffaker (in "The Educated Blogger: Using Weblogs to Promote Literacy in the Classroom," FIRST MONDAY, vol. 9, no. 6, June 2004), "blogs can be an important addition to educational technology initiatives because they promote literacy through storytelling, allow collaborative learning, provide anytime–anywhere access, and remain fungible across academic disciplines." In support of his position, Huffaker provides several examples of blogs being used in classroom settings. The paper is available online at http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue9_6/huffaker/index.html.

First Monday [ISSN 1396-0466] is an online, peer-reviewed journal whose aim is to publish original articles about the Internet and the global information infrastructure. It is published in cooperation with the University Library, University of Illinois at Chicago. For more information, contact: First Monday, c/o Edward Valauskas, Chief Editor, PO Box 87636, Chicago IL 60680-0636 USA; email: ejv@uic.edu; Web: http://firstmonday.dk/.

-----

Suzanne Cadwell and Chuck Gray of the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill's Center for Instructional Technology have compiled two feature comparison tables that describe three blogging services and four blogging applications.

Blogging Services Feature Comparison

Using a blogging service generally doesn't require any software other than a web browser. Users have no administrative control over the software itself, but have some control over a blog's organization and appearance. Depending on the particular service, blogs can be hosted either on the service’s servers or on the server of one’s choice (e.g., www.unc.edu). Users purchasing a paid account with a service typically will have no banner ads on their blogs, more features at their disposal, and better customer support from the service. The Blogging Services Feature Comparison chart is available http://www.unc.edu/cit/blogs/blogcomparison/services/.

Blogging Applications Comparison

Downloadable blogging applications require the user to have access to server space (e.g., www.unc.edu). Most of these applications are comprised of CGI scripts that must be installed and configured in a user’s cgi-bin folder. Although they are packaged with detailed instructions, applications can be difficult to install, prohibitively so for the novice. Blogging applications afford users fine-grained control over their blogs, and most applications are open-source or freeware. The Blogging Applications Comparison chart is available at http://www.unc.edu/cit/blogs/blogcomparison/applications/.

 

Question
What services are available to help you create a blog?

Answer from Kevin Delaney

"Blogs Can Tie Families, And These Services Will Get You Started," by Kevin J. Delaney, The Wall Street Journal, June 10, 2004, Page B1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,personal_technology,00.html 

Online Web logs, or blogs, have long been a bastion of techy types, those prone to political rants, and assorted gossips. But now they're making inroads among families who want to keep up on each other's doings.

Blogs are personal Web sites where you can post things, including photos, stories and links to other cool stuff online. They resemble a journal, with information arranged chronologically based on when you post it. The simple form is a major virtue -- you don't have to think too hard about how to organize your blog.

I've used a variety of Web sites in recent years to share photos of my children with their grandparents and other family far way. Lately, I've wondered if it wouldn't be better to put photos, digital videos and other links I want to share with my family on one Web site, making it easier to manage and access them from afar.

With this in mind, I've been testing three of the most popular blogging services, which are available free or for a small monthly fee.

Blogger, a free service from Google at www.blogger.com, promises you can create a blog in "three easy steps." After selecting a user name and password, I chose a name and a custom Web address. Then I selected a graphic look -- "Dots," a simple design with a touch of fun that seemed right for a family site -- from 12 attractive templates. After that, Blogger created my blog. Within a few minutes, I was able to put a short text message on the site and have Blogger send e-mails to alert my wife and father of the blog's existence.

Blogger, like the other services, lets you further customize the organization and look of your site and put several types of information on it. Sending text to the blog is as easy as sending an e-mail. (In fact, Blogger and the other services I tested even let me post text to my blog using standard e-mail.) A Blogger button on Google's toolbar software, which must be downloaded and activated separately, offers the useful option of posting links to other Web sites on your blog as you surf the Web. Another nice feature lets you designate friends or family members who can post to the main blog.

To put photos on any blog hosted by Blogger, you have to download another free software package from Picasa called Hello. Hello blocks connections to computers operating behind what's known as a proxy server, which is a pretty typical corporate configuration. As a result, I couldn't upload photos from my work PC, though I was able to do so from home.

Blogger lacks some advanced features other services offer. But its main shortcoming is that it doesn't let you protect your site by requiring visitors to use a password to enter. I don't want strangers to look at photos of my kids or search notes I'm writing for family members. A Google spokeswoman declined to comment on any plans for such a feature, citing restrictions related to the company's planned initial public offering.

TypePad from Six Apart, at www.typepad.com, provides a higher-powered service for creating blogs that does let you password protect your site. You can also upload a broader range of files, including video clips. But the tradeoff is a level of complexity that is unnecessarily frustrating.

The company offers three monthly subscription rates starting at $4.95. It costs $8.95 a month for the version that allows you to create photo albums, a feature that I consider essential for a family blog. Albums allow you to avoid filling up the main blog site with strings of photos. If you choose to password protect your blog, though, TypePad won't let you link your blog directly to photo albums. It's a surprising shortcoming, and Six Apart doesn't disclose it on its site. Its support staff gave me complicated instructions for another way to make such a link, but they never worked for me.

Six Apart Chief Executive Mena Trott says the photo-album-linking problem is a bug the company is working to fix. She acknowledges that parts of the service could be easier to use, and says improvements will be made. She also says that in practice Six Apart lets most users exceed the company's miserly limits on blog storage space, which are 100 megabytes for the $8.95-a-month plan.

AOL's Journals service, which requires an AOL subscription, is about as simple to use as Blogger. It allows you to restrict public access to your blog and provides nice albums for grouping photos. If you do decide to restrict access, your visitors will have to register with AOL. That registration is free, though, and many people already have an AOL "screen name" because they use the company's instant messaging service.

But other advanced features, such as the button in Blogger for easy linking to Web sites, are missing. In addition, the layout templates aren't nearly as attractive graphically as Blogger's and TypePad's. AOL says it's working on all of these issues, and expects to add a Web linking button and phase out the registration requirement later this year.

I'm not completely satisfied with Journals, and I would be happy to use Blogger or TypePad if they manage to work out their issues with photo albums and passwords. In the meantime, though, I've chosen AOL's Journals to create my family blog.

"WEBLOGS COME TO THE CLASSROOM," by Scott Carlson, The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 28, 2003, Page 33

They get used to supplement courses in writing, marketing, economics, and other subjects

Increasingly, private life is a public matter.  That seems especially true in the phenomenon known as blogging.  Weblogs, or blogs, are used by scores of online memoirists, editorialists, exhibitionists, and navel gazers, who post their daily thoughts on Web sites for all to read.

Now professors are starting to incorporate blogs into courses.  The potential for reaching an audience, they say, reshapes the way students approach writing assignments, journal entries, and online discussions.

Valerie M. Smith, an assistant professor of English at Quinnipiac University, is among the first faculty members there to use blogs.  She sets one up for each of her creative-writing students at the beginning of the semester.  The students are to add a new entry every Sunday at noon.  Then they read their peers' blogs and comment on them.  Parents or friends also occasionally read the blogs.

Blogging "raises issues with audience," Ms. Smith says, adding that the innovation has raised the quality of students' writing;

"They aren't just writing for me, which makes them think in terms of crafting their work for a bigger audience.  It gives them a bigger stake in what they are writing."

A Weblog can be public or available only to people selected by the blogger.  Many blogs serve as virtual loudspeakers or soapboxes.  Howard Dean, a Democratic presidential contender, has used a blog to debate and discuss issues with voters.  Some blogs have even earned their authors minor fame.  An Iraqi man--known only by a pseudonym, Salaam Pax--captured attention around the world when he used his blog to document daily life in Baghdad as American troops advanced on the city.

Continued in the article.

"Weblogs: a history and perspective," Rebecca Blood, Rebecca's Pocket, September 7, 2000 --- http://www.rebeccablood.net/essays/weblog_history.html 

In 1998 there were just a handful of sites of the type that are now identified as weblogs (so named by Jorn Barger in December 1997). Jesse James Garrett, editor of Infosift, began compiling a list of "other sites like his" as he found them in his travels around the web. In November of that year, he sent that list to Cameron Barrett. Cameron published the list on Camworld, and others maintaining similar sites began sending their URLs to him for inclusion on the list. Jesse's 'page of only weblogs' lists the 23 known to be in existence at the beginning of 1999.

Suddenly a community sprang up. It was easy to read all of the weblogs on Cameron's list, and most interested people did. Peter Merholz announced in early 1999 that he was going to pronounce it 'wee-blog' and inevitably this was shortened to 'blog' with the weblog editor referred to as a 'blogger.'

At this point, the bandwagon jumping began. More and more people began publishing their own weblogs. I began mine in April of 1999. Suddenly it became difficult to read every weblog every day, or even to keep track of all the new ones that were appearing. Cameron's list grew so large that he began including only weblogs he actually followed himself. Other webloggers did the same. In early 1999 Brigitte Eaton compiled a list of every weblog she knew about and created the Eatonweb Portal. Brig evaluated all submissions by a simple criterion: that the site consist of dated entries. Webloggers debated what was and what was not a weblog, but since the Eatonweb Portal was the most complete listing of weblogs available, Brig's inclusive definition prevailed.

This rapid growth continued steadily until July 1999 when Pitas, the first free build-your-own-weblog tool launched, and suddenly there were hundreds. In August, Pyra released Blogger, and Groksoup launched, and with the ease that these web-based tools provided, the bandwagon-jumping turned into an explosion. Late in 1999 software developer Dave Winer introduced Edit This Page, and Jeff A. Campbell launched Velocinews. All of these services are free, and all of them are designed to enable individuals to publish their own weblogs quickly and easily.

The original weblogs were link-driven sites. Each was a mixture in unique proportions of links, commentary, and personal thoughts and essays. Weblogs could only be created by people who already knew how to make a website. A weblog editor had either taught herself to code HTML for fun, or, after working all day creating commercial websites, spent several off-work hours every day surfing the web and posting to her site. These were web enthusiasts.

Many current weblogs follow this original style. Their editors present links both to little-known corners of the web and to current news articles they feel are worthy of note. Such links are nearly always accompanied by the editor's commentary. An editor with some expertise in a field might demonstrate the accuracy or inaccuracy of a highlighted article or certain facts therein; provide additional facts he feels are pertinent to the issue at hand; or simply add an opinion or differing viewpoint from the one in the piece he has linked. Typically this commentary is characterized by an irreverent, sometimes sarcastic tone. More skillful editors manage to convey all of these things in the sentence or two with which they introduce the link (making them, as Halcyon pointed out to me, pioneers in the art and craft of microcontent). Indeed, the format of the typical weblog, providing only a very short space in which to write an entry, encourages pithiness on the part of the writer; longer commentary is often given its own space as a separate essay.

These weblogs provide a valuable filtering function for their readers. The web has been, in effect, pre-surfed for them. Out of the myriad web pages slung through cyberspace, weblog editors pick out the most mind-boggling, the most stupid, the most compelling.

But this type of weblog is important for another reason, I think. In Douglas Rushkoff's Media Virus, Greg Ruggerio of the Immediast Underground is quoted as saying, "Media is a corporate possession...You cannot participate in the media. Bringing that into the foreground is the first step. The second step is to define the difference between public and audience. An audience is passive; a public is participatory. We need a definition of media that is public in its orientation."

By highlighting articles that may easily be passed over by the typical web user too busy to do more than scan corporate news sites, by searching out articles from lesser-known sources, and by providing additional facts, alternative views, and thoughtful commentary, weblog editors participate in the dissemination and interpretation of the news that is fed to us every day. Their sarcasm and fearless commentary reminds us to question the vested interests of our sources of information and the expertise of individual reporters as they file news stories about subjects they may not fully understand.

Weblog editors sometimes contextualize an article by juxtaposing it with an article on a related subject; each article, considered in the light of the other, may take on additional meaning, or even draw the reader to conclusions contrary to the implicit aim of each. It would be too much to call this type of weblog "independent media," but clearly their editors, engaged in seeking out and evaluating the "facts" that are presented to us each day, resemble the public that Ruggerio speaks of. By writing a few lines each day, weblog editors begin to redefine media as a public, participatory endeavor

Continued at  http://www.rebeccablood.net/essays/weblog_history.html 

 The Weblog Tool Roundup, by Joshual Allen, Webmonkey, May 2, 2002 --- http://hotwired.lycos.com/webmonkey/02/18/index3a.html 

But then personal sites went from being static collections of bad poetry and award banners to constantly updated snippets of commentary, photography, sounds, bad poetry, and links. The popularity of this format grew (for a good primer on where weblogs came from and how they evolved, try Rebecca Blood's Weblogs: A History and Perspective), and people started building applications to simplify the process of maintaining a content-heavy personal site.

These applications have grown in number and sophistication over the years, and with some major upgrades appearing over the past few months (Blogger Pro, Movable Type 2.0, Radio UserLand 8.0), I thought the time was nigh to talk about what they do, why you might care, which one would best suit your needs, and how they can keep you company on those long, lonely nights, so empty since you were abandoned for someone who could write Perl scripts.

Continued at  http://hotwired.lycos.com/webmonkey/02/18/index3a.html 

"Will the Blogs Kill Old Media?" by Steven Levy, Newsweek, May 20, 2002, Page 52

From Yahoo Picks of the Week on December 3, 2002

blo.gs http://www.blo.gs/ 

Weblogs continue to grow in popularity, no doubt in part to their immediacy. Denizens of the Internet enjoy the opportunity to drop by and catch an up-to-the-minute account on their favorite blog. However, nothing is more frustrating than encountering a cobwebbed blog that hasn't been updated in weeks. To remedy such situations, this site offers a minute-by-minute account of over 50,000 weblogs. It doesn't get fresher than this! For utility's sake, the site offers a tiny java applet that sits on your desktop and continually refreshes, keeping the weblogs whirring. You can also stop by the most popular blogs to see what kind of content is piquing the interest of others. Whether you're a neophyte or veteran blogger, you're sure to find an intriguing site or two to scour.

Some time ago, Glenn Reynolds hardly qualified as plankton on the punditry food chain.  The 41-year-old law professor at the University of Tennessee would pen the occasional op-ed for the L.A. Times, but his name was unfamiliar to even the most fanatical news junkie.  All that began to change on Aug. 5 of last year, when Reynolds acquired the software to create a "Weblog," or "blog."  A blog is an easily updated Web site that works as an online daybook, consisting of links to interesting items on the Web, spur-of-the-moment observations and real-time reports on whatever captures the blogger's attention.  Reynold's original goal was to post witty observations on news events, but after September 11, he began providing links to fascinating articles and accounts of the crisis, and soon his site, called InstaPundit, drew thousands of readers--and kept growing.  He now gets more than 70,000 page views a day (he figures this means 23,000 real people).  Working at his two-year-old $400 computer, he posts dozens of items and links a day, and answers hundreds of e-mails.  PR flacks call him to cadge coverage.  And he's living a pundit's dream by being frequently cited--not just by fellow bloggers, but by media bigfeet.  He's blogged his way into the game.

Some say the game itself has changed.  InstaPundit is a pivotal site in what is known as the Blogosphere, a burgeoning samizdat of self-starters who attempt to provide in the aggregate an alternate media universe.  The putative advantage is that this one is run not by editors paid by corporate giants, but unbespoken outsiders--impassioned lefties and righties, fine-print-reading wonks, indignant cranks and salt-'o-the-earth eyewitnesses to the "real" life that the self-absorbed media often miss.  Hard-core bloggers, with a giddy fever not heard of since the Internet bubble popped, are even predicting that the Blogosphere is on a trajectory to eclipse the death-star-like dome of Big Media.  One blog avatar, Dave Winer (who probably would be saying this even if he didn't run a company that sold blogging software), has formally wagered that by 2007, more readers will get news from blogs than from The New York Times.  Taking him up on the bet is Martin Nisenholtz, head of the  Time's digital operations.

My guess is that Nisenholtz wins.  Blogs are a terrific addition to the media universe.  But they pose no threat to the established order.

Mobile weblogging, or moblogging, is the latest trend in the world of blogs. New software allows users to update their weblogs remotely with cell phones and other handheld devices --- http://www.wired.com/news/wireless/0,1382,57431,00.html 

The meteoric rise of weblogging is one of the most unexpected technology stories of the past year, and much like the commentary that populates these ever-changing digital diaries, the story of blogging keeps evolving.

One recent trend is "moblogging," or mobile weblogging. New tools like Manywhere Moblogger, Wapblog and FoneBlog allow bloggers to post information about the minutiae of their lives from anywhere, not just from a PC.

The newest of these tools, Kablog, lets users update their weblogs remotely with cell phones and other handheld devices like wireless PDAs.

Kablog works on any device running Java 2 Platform Micro Edition, or J2ME, a version of Java for mobile devices. Those devices include cell phones running the Symbian operating system, many Sprint PCS phones, the Blackberry from RIM, and many Palm handhelds running OS 3.5, such as Handspring's Treo.

Todd Courtois, creator of Kablog, offers the program for free as shareware and says that word-of-mouth has already generated several thousand downloads in the short time it has been available.

What distinguishes Kablog from other moblogging software is that it does not use e-mail or text messaging for updating weblogs. Other programs such as FoneBlog enable users to e-mail posts from a cell phone or PDA to a server, which uploads the entry onto a site. Kablog lets those who use Movable Type as their weblogging software log directly onto their sites for updating.

Continued in the article.

September 2, 2004 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu

RHETORIC, COMMUNITY, AND CULTURE OF WEBLOGS

The Department of Rhetoric at the University of Minnesota has created "Into the Blogsphere," a website to explore the "discursive, visual, social, and other communicative features of weblogs." Educators and faculty can post, comment upon, and critique essays covering such areas as mass communication, pedagogy, and virtual community. The website is located at http://blog.lib.umn.edu/blogosphere/ 

For more information on weblogs in academe, see also:

"Educational Blogging" By Stephen Downes EDUCAUSE REVIEW, vol. 9, no. 5, September/October 2004, pp. 14-16, 18, 20-22, 24, 26 http://www.educause.edu/pub/er/erm04/erm0450.asp 

"The Educated Blogger" CIT INFOBITS, June 2004 http://www.unc.edu/cit/infobits/bitjun04.html#1 

January 2005 Update on Blogs

Eric Rasmusen (Economics, Indiana University) has a homepage at http://www.rasmusen.org/ 
His business and economics blog is at http://www.rasmusen.org/x/ 
In particular he focuses on conservative versus liberal economics and politics

Gerald (Jerry) Trites (Accounting, AIS) has a homepage at http://www.zorba.ca/ 
He runs an e-Business blog at http://www.zorba.ca/blog.html 
His site is a great source for updates on research studies in e-Business

Some Blog Directories

categorized directory of blogs and journals.

www.blogarama.com - 17k - Cached - More from this site

a blog directory where users can submit and find blogs.

www.blogcatalog.com - 23k - Cached - More from this site

... Weird is our choice blog this week, straight out of ... Blogwise often find a blog that stands out for its ... be featuring a new blog every week in this slot ...

www.blogwise.com - More from this site

... Download the Blog Search Engine Toolbar. The blog Search Engine is a web search resource for finding ... Free Video Game and Online Game Directory Web Conferencing Small Business Forum ...

www.blogsearchengine.com - 15k - Cached - More from this site

blog search engine and directory.

www.getblogs.com - 7k - Cached - More from this site

Bloghub.com - Your local blog directory! ... Bloghub.com is an international online blog directory and community where members from around the world gather here ... site to our directory, search our blog directory or join us for ...

www.bloghub.com - 64k - Cached - More from this site

features a directory of political blogs covering all viewpoints.

directory.etalkinghead.com - 9k - Cached - More from this site

... My Subscriptions Search The Web Subscribe To URL. Directory. Share. Home > Feed Directory. See Also: Most Popular Feeds | Most Popular Links ... View: Feed Directory | User Directory ...

www.bloglines.com/dir - 19k - Cached - More from this site

... and trackback services, and a Blog O the Week feature. Blog Universe. Blog directory categorized by genre ... like you. British Blog Directory - BritBlog. A directory of blogs written ...

www.lights.com/weblogs/ directories.html - 16k - Cached - More from this site

The BLOG page at Marketing Terms.com - Internet Marketing Reference. ... Blog. weblog. ---------------------------- (Requires JavaScript ... eatonweb.com - blog directory and portal. ...

www.marketingterms

"The Bottom Line on Business Blogs:  Entrepeneur.com, August 9, 2004 --- http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/0,4621,316638,00.html 
They've moved beyond the realm of diarists and techies to benefit mainstream businesses.  

Anybody can go slogging, but it is most common among teenagers
 
Thomas Claburn discusses the new concept of "slogging," or slanderous blogging, about someone you know or wish you didn't. In my youth, we used to call this "gossip," and the cardinal rule was never to put anything in writing for fear our ill-tempered musings would be forever etched in stone and, worse, overheard or seen by the person being dissed. But getting "caught" by the subject is apparently the entire point of slogging, as I understand it. I would have thought in our overlitigated society that the voice of reason (if not politeness and/or basic human decency) would trump that of nastiness, but I would have been wrong.
 InformationWeek Newsletter, August 31, 2005

 

June 1, 2006 message form Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu]

THE ROLE OF EMOTION IN THE DISTANCE EDUCATION EXPERIENCE

"Presence, a sense of 'being there,' is critical to the success of designing, teaching, and learning at a distance using both synchronous and asynchronous (blended) technologies. Emotions, behavior, and cognition are components of the way presence is perceived and experienced and are essential for explaining the ways we consciously and unconsciously perceive and experience distance education." Rosemary Lehman, Distance Education Specialist Manager at the University of Wisconsin-Extension, explores the idea that understanding the part emotion plays in teaching and learning "can help instruct us in effective teaching, instructional design, and learning via technology." Her paper, "The Role of Emotion in Creating Instructor and Learner Presence in the Distance Education Experience" (JOURNAL OF COGNITIVE AFFECTIVE LEARNING, vol. 2, no. 2, 2006), is available online at http://www.jcal.emory.edu/viewarticle.php?id=45

Journal of Cognitive Affective Learning (JCAL) [ISSN: 1549-6953] is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal published twice a year by Oxford College of Emory University. To access current and back issues go to http://www.jcal.emory.edu/ . For more information, contact: Journal of Cognitive Affective Learning, c/o Prof. Ken Carter, Oxford College of Emory University, 100 Hamill Street, Oxford, GA 30054 USA; tel: 770-784-8439; fax: 770-784-8408;
email:
kenneth.carter@emory.edu


USING BLOGGER TO GET STARTED WITH E-LEARNING

In "Using Blogger to Get Teachers Started with E-Learning" (FORTNIGHTLY MAILING, May 25, 2006), Keith Burnett discusses how "[s]imple class blogs can be used to post summaries of key points, exercises, links to Web pages of value, and to provide a sense of continuity and encourage engagement with the material." He includes a link to an online blogging tutorial and to examples of how some instructors are using blogs in their classes. The article is online at http://fm.schmoller.net/2006/05/using_blogger_t.html 

Fortnightly Mailing, focused on online learning, is published every two weeks by Seb Schmoller, an e-learning consultant. Current and back issues are available at http://www.schmoller.net/mailings/index.pl. For more information, contact: Seb Schmoller 312 Albert Road, Sheffield, S8 9RD, UK; tel: 0114 2586899; fax: 0709 2208443;
email: seb@schmoller.net 
Web: http://www.schmoller.net/

 


BOOKS VS. BLOGS

"Why would I write a book and wait a year or more to see my writing in print, when I can blog and get my words out there immediately?" In "Books, Blogs & Style" (CITES & INSIGHTS, vol. 6, no. 7, May 2006), Walt Crawford, both a book author and a blogger, considers the different niches and purposes of the two communication media. The essay is online at http://cites.boisestate.edu/civ6i7.pdf 

Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large [ISSN 1534-0937], a free online journal of libraries, policy, technology, and media, is self-published monthly by Walt Crawford, a senior analyst at the Research Libraries Group, Inc. Current and back issues are at available on the Web at http://cites.boisestate.edu/ . For more information contact: Walt Crawford, The Research Libraries Group, Inc., 2029 Stierlin Ct., Suite 100, Mountain View, CA 94043-4684 USA; tel: 650-691-2227;
Web:
http://waltcrawford.name/ 

 

Podcasting at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen/245glosf.htm#ResourceDescriptionFramework


Video Games

Answer 4 --- Serious Learning Applications of Video Games

Question
Have video game technologies changed learning styles?  I might add that this may also be true of women past their teens since there is now a larger target market for these women vis-à-vis young males who are often thought of in relation to game addiction.

Answer
In the next edition of New Bookmarks, I address how serious educators are predicting that video-style games will become a leading pedagogy for learning in the near future.

A new industry poll reveals that more women than teen boys are behind video game consoles. The poll also finds that lacking a better alternative, adult women prefer war themes over the light 'n' fluffy doll games now offered.
Wired News, August 27, 2003 --- http://www.wired.com/news/games/0,2101,60204,00.html 

August 28, 2003 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu

VIDEOGAMES -- THE NEXT EDUCATIONAL "KILLER APP"?

In "Next-Generation: Educational Technology versus the Lecture" (EDUCAUSE REVIEW, vol. 38, no. 4, July/August 2003, pp. 12-16, 18, 20-2), Joel Foreman, professor in George Mason University English Department, proposes a "fringe idea" with the potential to revolutionize the educational system. He believes that "large lecture courses may someday be replaced by the kind of immersive digital environments that have been popularized by the videogame industry. Viewed in this light the advanced videogame appears to be a next-generation educational technology waiting to take its place in academe."

Foreman illustrates his idea with a hypothetical Psychology 101 course that uses an immersive environment to engage students in "learning through performance." Using the videogame model, students would progress through several "levels" of the course as they build upon their knowledge of the material and meet the course's learning goals. The article is online at http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0340.pdf.

EDUCAUSE Review [ISSN 1527-6619], a bimonthly print magazine that explores developments in information technology and education, is published by EDUCAUSE, 1150 18th Street, NW, Suite 1010, Washington, DC 20036 USA; tel: 202-872-4200; fax: 202-872-4318; email: info@educause.edu; Web: http://www.educause.edu/. Articles from current and back issues of EDUCAUSE Review are available on the Web at http://www.educause.edu/pub/er/.

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education technologies are linked at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm 

Inspiration:  Games Versus Teachers
"Creator of 'The Sims' Talks Educational Gaming," Chronicle of Higher Education, July 14, 2009 ---
http://chronicle.com/media/video/v55/i41.5/wright/?utm_source=at&utm_medium=en
Introduction to (video) Game Design 2009 --- http://pod.gscept.com/intro2gd2009.xml
Bob Jensen's threads on networked learning simulations --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Simulation
Bob Jensen's threads on edutainment and learning games --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment
Bob Jensen's threads on virtual worlds in education are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#SecondLife

NEXT-Generation:  Educational Technology versus the Lecture, by Joel Foreman, EDUCAUSE Review, July/August 2003, pp. 14-22 --- http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0340.pdf.

Chris Dede, Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies at Harvard University, predicts that "shared graphical environments like those in the multi-user Internet games Everques or Asheron's Call" will be the learning environments of the future.  Henry Jenkins, Director of MIT's Games to Teach Project, leads an effort to "demonstrate gaming's still largely unrealized pedagogical potentials" and to explore "how games might enrich the instruction...at the advanced placement high school and early college levels."  And Randy Hinrichs, Group Program Manager for Learning Science and Technology at Microsoft Research, claims that game technology (among other innovations) "will move us away from classrooms, lectures, test taking, and note taking into fun, immersive interactive learning environments."

These pronouncements are based on some incontestable facts.  First, the world is now populated by hundreds of millions of game-playing devices.  Second, the videogame market, approximately $10 billion in 2002, continues to grow rapidly and to motivate the push for increasingly sophisticated and powerful interactive technologies.  As in other areas of IT development, these technologies are maturing and converging in novel and unexpected ways.  Text-based MUDs (Multi-User Dungeons) and MOOs (MUDs Object-Oriented) have evolved into massive multiplayer online communities such as Ultima and The Sims On-line, in which hundreds of thousands of players can simultaneously interact in graphically rendered immersive worlds.  And previously standalone game devices, such as Sony PlayStation2 and Microsoft X box, are now Web-enabled for geo-distributed multiplayer engagements.  Imagine that all of these networked "play stations" are "learning stations," and you can begin to sense an instructional revolution waiting to happen.

Still, some might argue that higher education students already have networked learning stations in the form of the Web-enabled PC.  What value is added by a game-based "learning station"?  The major difference is that game technologies routinely provide visualizations whose pictorial dynamism and sophistication previously required a supercomputer to produce.  These visualizations, best referred to as immersive worlds, can bring a student into and through any environment that can be imagined.  Instead of learning about a subject by listening to a lecture or by processing page-based alphanumerics (i.e., reading), students can enter and explore a screen-based simulated world that is the next-best thing to reality.

Continued in the article.

"Can Grand Theft Auto Inspire Professors?" by Scott Carson, The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 15, 2003, Page A31
Educators say the virtual worlds of video games help students think more broadly.

"People ought to use Grand Theft Auto in the classroom to think about values and ideology," James Gee a distinguished professor of education at the University of Wisconsin at Madison says.  "There are lots of things people could learn from games."

This isn't the talk of a hobbyist or an eccentric, but of a serious scholar who is taking a lead in an emerging field.  Mr. Gee thinks that video games--even those like Return to Castle Wolfenstein, in which players run around and blast Nazis--hold the key to salvaging American education.  His argument was recently delivered in a compact book: What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy (Palgrave Macmillan).

Although Mr. Gee's colleagues suggested that he was wasting his time when he started looking into video games, in the past two years he has found that he is part of a new and growing academic field.  "In the time that I was writing my book, the interest in games in academe went way up," Mr. Gee says.  "It's clear that by accident, I had entered an area where a wave of interest was coming up--and is still coming up."

New conferences and essays dedicated to games appear all the time.  Respected scholars, like Henry Jenkins, a professor of media studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, discuss the cultural value of video games in the popular press.  And graduate students and professors are designing games for use in the classroom.

Despite the swell of interest, Mr. Gee and others say the academic study of video games is still controversial.  While some scholars embrace research on the games, others are recoiling.

Celia Pearce is the associate director of the Game Culture and Technology Lab at the University of California at Irvine, where two years ago the faculty rejected a proposal for a minor in game design.  A professor on the committee that made the decision called the idea of a video-games minor "prurient," she says.

She finds it "baffling" that schools these days use a "pre-information-society model" in teaching.  "Kids are playing games when they are not in school.  They are going from this digital environment into the classroom, and they're suddenly in Dickens."  Teachers and professors don't know what games are, or how to use them to their own advantage, she says.  "At the worst they fear games, and at the best they are completely ignorant of them."

Until a few years ago, Mr. Gee was himself clueless about video games.  He became interested in the subject as he watched his son, then 6 years old, play a game called Pajama Sam.  Mr. Gee wondered what a game for adults would be like.  So he bought a game called The New Adventures of the Time Machine, which was loosely based on the work of H. G. Wells.

"I was floored by how long and how difficult it was," he says, sitting in his office, one wall of which is now covered with posters of video-game characters.  He realized that the gaming industry makes more money than Hollywood, which means that millions of people are plunking down substantial amounts for games that take on average 50 to 100 hours to complete--roughly the amount of time spent in semester of college courses.  "Some young person is going to spend $50 on this, yet they won't take 50 minutes to learn algebra," he says.  "I wanted to know why."

He says that game manufacturers deal with compelling paradox from which educators can learn.

Games have to be challenging enough to entertain, yet easy enough to solve--or at least easy enough for the player to feel like he or she is making progress.  "To me, that was the challenge schools face," he says.  "I wanted to see why these game designers are better at that."

September 8, 2003 message from Jon Entine

-----Original Message-----
From: Jon Entine [mailto:runjonrun@earthlink.net
Sent: Monday, September 08, 2003 11:11 AM
Subject: Research audit on "Body Shop" available

For anyone studying or teaching The Body Shop, I've posted on my website my internal 48-page audit of the company, which I've previously only provided by email.

http://www.jonentine.com/reviews/Body_Shop_Roddick_audit.doc

It's an extremely detailed account of the practices of this company. It analyzes Body Shop over a range of areas including its environmental practices, its marketing and ethics, its franchise relations, corporate governance, product quality, etc. It's based on more than 100 interviews, most of them recorded (and available for fact checking).

It was first written in 1996 and has been updated slightly. A lot of it deals with the historical practices of the company, such as Anita Roddick's brazen stealing of the concept, name, logo, and products from the original Body Shop, the one founded in Berkeley and San Francisco in 1970 that Roddick visited, then ripped off without attribution, then lied about. The report is very revealing about the character of Roddick and the sad, dysfunctional, ethically-challenged multi-national corporation she has created and continues to oversee.

The backgrounder was prepared when Body Shop's lawyers (Lovell White Durrant...Robert Maxwell's ex corporate swat team) and its PR team (Hill & Knowlton ... The tobacco lobbyist PR firm) were hired to counter articles by me, New Consumer in England, In These Times, Stephen Corry of Survival International, and other progressives who published fact-based accounts of the ethical dysfunctionality of this company.

Please feel free to use it in your research.

Regards,

-- Jon Entine
Miami University
6255 So. Clippinger Dr.
Cincinnati, Ohio 45243 (
513) 527-4385 [FAX] 527-4386

http://www.jonentine.com

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education technologies are linked at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm 


Answer 4  --- Distance Education Becomes Mainstream 
                      Both Off Campus and In Courses On Campus

Distance Education Soared in the Latter Part of the 1990s

Distance Education at Degree-Granting Postsecondary Institutions: 2000-2001, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), July 2003 --- http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2003017 

This report presents data on distance education at postsecondary institutions. NCES used the Postsecondary Education Quick Information System (PEQIS) to provide current national estimates on distance education at 2-year and 4-year Title IV-eligible, degree-granting institutions. Distance education was defined for this study as education or training courses delivered to remote (off-campus) sites via audio, video (live or prerecorded), or computer technologies, including both synchronous (i.e., simultaneous) and asynchronous (i.e., not simultaneous) instruction. Data were collected on a variety of topics related to distance education, including the number and proportion of institutions offering distance education courses during the 2000–2001 12-month academic year, distance education enrollments and course offerings, distance education degree and certificate programs, distance education technologies, participation in distance education consortia, accommodations in distance education courses for students with disabilities, distance education program goals, and factors that keep institutions from starting or expanding distance education offerings.

Introduction

This study, conducted through the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Postsecondary Education Quick Information System (PEQIS), was designed to provide current national estimates on distance education at 2-year and 4-year Title IV-eligible, degree-granting institutions. Distance education was defined for this study as education or training courses delivered to remote (off-campus) sites via audio, video (live or prerecorded), or computer technologies, including both synchronous (i.e., simultaneous) and asynchronous (i.e., not simultaneous) instruction.

Key Findings

The PEQIS survey provides national estimates for the 2000–2001 academic year on the number and proportion of institutions offering distance education courses, distance education enrollments and course offerings, degree and certificate programs, distance education technologies, participation in distance education consortia, accommodations for students wit h disabilities, distance education program goals, and factors institutions identify as keeping them from starting or expanding distance education offerings.

The report's summary is continued at http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/peqis/publications/2003017/ 


October 31, 2003 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu

TRENDS IN DISTANCE EDUCATION

The American Federation of Teachers publication, AFT ON CAMPUS, is running a series of articles on distance education trends.

In "Trends in Distance Education" (September 2003, http://www.aft.org/publications/on_campus/sept03/technology.html ) Thomas J. Kriger, State University of New York, writes about how "critics of asynchronous courses and programs within higher education have recently found unexpected support in the corporate sector." Learners in corporations are increasingly expressing dissatisfaction with online-only classes. This is leading to the creation of "blended learning" -- courses that combine "face-to-face teaching with software and Web-based teaching." Such courses also allow faculty to retain greater control in their distance classes.

The October 2003 issue continues the theme with "Making the Pedagogical Case for Blended Learning" by Cynthia Villanti, assistant professor of humanities at Mohawk Valley Community College, New York ( http://www.aft.org/publications/on_campus/oct03/technology.html ). She presents five primary pedagogical arguments for blended, or hybrid, courses. These arguments include: -- enabling a balance between faculty-centered and student-centered models; -- enabling faculty and students to develop a strong sense of classroom community both online and in person; -- allowing for both the "reflectiveness of asynchronous communication and the immediacy of spoken communication;" -- helping to alleviate faculty concerns about academic dishonesty and plagiarism.

AFT On Campus is published eight times a year by the American Federation of Teachers, 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001 USA; tel: 202-879-4400; email: online@aft.org ; Web: http://www.aft.org/  Current and back issues are available at no cost at http://www.aft.org/publications/on_campus/index.html

......................................................................

NEW RESOURCE ON ELEARNING AND COURSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

This month, SYLLABUS magazine began a new, free email publication, CMS REVIEW: A RESOURCE ON ELEARNING AND COURSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS. This bi-monthly newsletter will provide information, analysis, case studies, and technical tips on course management systems (CMS) in higher education. To subscribe, go to http://info.101com.com/default.asp?id=2978 

Syllabus [ISSN 1089-5914] is published monthly by 101communications, LLC, 9121 Oakdale Avenue, Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311 USA; tel: 650-941-1765; fax: 650-941-1785; email: info@syllabus.com; Web: http://www.syllabus.com/ . Annual subscriptions are free to individuals who work in colleges, universities, and high schools in the U.S.; go to http://subscribe.101com.com/syllabus/  for more information.


Bob Jensen's links on online training and education programs can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm 

Other documents related to this topic are linked at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm 

 

Answer 5 --- The Future of Textbooks

The future of text books?
From Jim Mahar's blog on June 16, 2005 --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/

The future of text books?
Megginson and Smart
Introdcution to Corporate Finance--Companion Site

Wow.
I think we may have a glimpse into the future of text books with this one. It is the new Introduction to Corporate Finance by William Megginson and Scott Smart.

From videos for most topics, to interviews, to powerpoint, to a student study guide, to excel help...just a total integration of a text and a web site! Well done!

At St. Bonaventure we have adopted the text for the fall semester and the book actually has made me excited to be teaching an introductory course! It is that good!!

BTW Before I get accused of selling out, let me say I get zero for this plug. I have met each author at conferences but do not really know either of them. And like any first edition book there may be some errors, but that said, this is the future of college text books!

Check out some of the online material here. More material is available with book purchase.

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

 

 

Computing, 2016: What Won’t Be Possible?

"Computing, 2016: What Won’t Be Possible?" by Steve Lohr, The New York Times, October 31, 2006 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/31/science/31essa.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Computer science is not only a comparatively young field, but also one that has had to prove it is really science. Skeptics in academia would often say that after Alan Turing described the concept of the “universal machine” in the late 1930’s — the idea that a computer in theory could be made to do the work of any kind of calculating machine, including the human brain — all that remained to be done was mere engineering.

The more generous perspective today is that decades of stunningly rapid advances in processing speed, storage and networking, along with the development of increasingly clever software, have brought computing into science, business and culture in ways that were barely imagined years ago. The quantitative changes delivered through smart engineering opened the door to qualitative changes.

Computing changes what can be seen, simulated and done. So in science, computing makes it possible to simulate climate change and unravel the human genome. In business, low-cost computing, the Internet and digital communications are transforming the global economy. In culture, the artifacts of computing include the iPod, YouTube and computer-animated movies.

What’s next? That was the subject of a symposium in Washington this month held by the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, which is part of the National Academies and the nation’s leading advisory board on science and technology. Joseph F. Traub, the board’s chairman and a professor at Columbia University, titled the symposium “2016.”

Computer scientists from academia and companies like I.B.M. and Google discussed topics including social networks, digital imaging, online media and the impact on work and employment. But most talks touched on two broad themes: the impact of computing will go deeper into the sciences and spread more into the social sciences, and policy issues will loom large, as the technology becomes more powerful and more pervasive.

Richard M. Karp, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, gave a talk whose title seemed esoteric: “The Algorithmic Nature of Scientific Theories.”

Yet he presented a fundamental explanation for why computing has had such a major impact on other sciences, and Dr. Karp himself personifies the trend. His research has moved beyond computer science to microbiology in recent years. An algorithm, put simply, is a step-by-step recipe for calculation, and it is a central concept in both mathematics and computer science.

“Algorithms are small but beautiful,” Dr. Karp observed. And algorithms are good at describing dynamic processes, while scientific formulas or equations are more suited to static phenomena. Increasingly, scientific research seeks to understand dynamic processes, and computer science, he said, is the systematic study of algorithms.

Biology, Dr. Karp said, is now understood as an information science. And scientists seek to describe biological processes, like protein production, as algorithms. “In other words, nature is computing,” he said.

Social networks, noted Jon Kleinberg, a professor at Cornell, are pre-technological creations that sociologists have been analyzing for decades. A classic example, he noted, was the work of Stanley Milgram of Harvard, who in the 1960’s asked each of several volunteers in the Midwest to get a letter to a stranger in Boston. But the path was not direct: under the rules of the experiment, participants could send a letter only to someone they knew. The median number of intermediaries was six — hence, the term “six degrees of separation.”

But with the rise of the Internet, social networks and technology networks are becoming inextricably linked, so that behavior in social networks can be tracked on a scale never before possible.

“We’re really witnessing a revolution in measurement,” Dr. Kleinberg said.

The new social-and-technology networks that can be studied include e-mail patterns, buying recommendations on commercial Web sites like Amazon, messages and postings on community sites like MySpace and Facebook, and the diffusion of news, opinions, fads, urban myths, products and services over the Internet. Why do some online communities thrive, while others decline and perish? What forces or characteristics determine success? Can they be captured in a computing algorithm?

Social networking research promises a rich trove for marketers and politicians, as well as sociologists, economists, anthropologists, psychologists and educators.

“This is the introduction of computing and algorithmic processes into the social sciences in a big way,” Dr. Kleinberg said, “and we’re just at the beginning.”

But having a powerful new tool of tracking the online behavior of groups and individuals also raises serious privacy issues. That became apparent this summer when AOL inadvertently released Web search logs of 650,000 users.

Future trends in computer imaging and storage will make it possible for a person, wearing a tiny digital device with a microphone and camera, to essentially record his or her life. The potential for communication, media and personal enrichment is striking. Rick Rashid, a computer scientist and head of Microsoft’s research labs, noted that he would like to see a recording of the first steps of his grown son, or listen to a conversation he had with his father many years ago. “I’d like some of that back,” he said. “In the future, that will be possible.”

But clearly, the technology could also enable a surveillance society. “We’ll have the capability, and it will be up to society to determine how we use it,” Dr. Rashid said. “Society will determine that, not scientists.”


 

Motivations for Distance Education 

Little Red Hen Motivations
(Those professors who go it alone without much institutional support.)

Explosive Growth in Online Enrollments in the United States


"SUNY Outlines First Degrees in Its New Online Initiative," Inside Higher Ed, January 15, 2015 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2014/01/15/suny-outlines-first-degrees-its-new-online-initiative 

Open SUNY -- through which the State University of New York plans to take existing online programs in the 64-campus system and to build on them, making them available for students throughout the system -- has its first degree programs. In her annual address on the state of the university, Chancellor Nancy Zimpher announced the first degree programs and the campuses that are producing them. The offerings include associate, bachelor's and master's degrees. Two SUNY institutions -- Empire State College and SUNY Oswego -- are each offering two programs. The others are being offered by Broome Community College, Finger Lakes Community College, SUNY Delhi and SUNY Stony Brook.

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#KnowledgePortals

Bob Jensen's threads on asynchronous learni8ng ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm 

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


"10 Top Education Companies of 2013," Center for Digital Education, February 14, 2013 ---
http://www.centerdigitaled.com/news/10-Education-Companies-2013.html

Fast Company issues its annual list of the most innovative companies in education. The 2013 list includes nine companies and one community college.

In its annual list of top companies, the magazine broke down the organizations that have the most impact on education. Not surprisingly, the top three slots were filled by online course providers that partner with universities. They earned their spots for disrupting traditional university course delivery methods by offering classes at no charge to students.

1. Coursera

2. Udacity

3. EdX

4. Rio Salado Community College

5. Amplify

6. GameDesk

7. Duolingo

8. InsideTrack

9. FunDza

10. ClassDojo

But while the list includes the word company, not every organization included is a company. For example, Rio Salado Community College in Arizona came in fourth.

Rio Salado designed a custom course management and student services system that helps students stay on track with their education. Through predictive analytics, the college shows professors which students could be at risk of dropping out and need more attention. It also alerts professors when a student doesn't show up to class regularly or skips an assignment. The system allows educators to recognize at-risk students early and take action to help them.

For more information about what these companies did to be on the list, check out Fast Company's story.

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


"The Future of Higher Education:  Shaking Up the Status Quo:  Chronicle of Higher Education, October 4, 2013 ---
http://chronicle.com/section/NEXT-The-Future-of-Higher/751/?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

. . .

3 Big Ideas on Campuses

The Student 'Swirl'

Today's students often attend multiple institutions and mix learning experiences. But is academe ready for them?

Reinventing the Academic Calendar

Colleges are offering many new options to encourage flexibility.

Competency-Based Degrees in the Mainstream

The University of Wisconsin's new flexible-degree option is being watched closely.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education hopes and horrors ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

 


"Distance Ed Continues Rapid Growth at Community Colleges," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, April 7, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/04/07/distance

Community colleges reported an 18 percent increase in distance education enrollments in a 2007 survey released this weekend at the annual meeting of the American Association of Community Colleges, in Philadelphia.

The survey on community colleges and distance education is an annual project of the Instructional Technology Council, an affiliate of the AACC. The survey is based on the responses of 154 community colleges, selected to provide a representational sample of all community colleges. Last year’s survey found community colleges reporting an increase in distance education enrollments of 15 percent.

This year’s survey suggests that distance education has probably not peaked at community colleges. First there is evidence that the colleges aren’t just offering a few courses online, but entire programs. Sixty-four percent of institutions reported offering at least one online degree — defined as one where at least 70 percent of the courses may be completed online. Second, colleges reported that they aren’t yet meeting demand. Seventy percent indicated that student demand exceeds their online offerings.

The top challenge reported by colleges in terms of dealing with students in distance education was that they do not fill out course evaluations. In previous surveys, this has not been higher than the fifth greatest challenge. This year’s survey saw a five percentage point increase — to 45 percent — in the share of colleges reporting that they charge an extra fee for distance education courses.

Training professors has been a top issue for institutions offering distance education. Of those in the survey of community colleges, 71 percent required participation (up from 67 percent a year ago and 57 percent the year before). Of those requiring training, 60 percent require more than eight hours.

Several of the written responses some colleges submitted suggested frustration with professors. One such comment (included anonymously in the report) said: “Vocal conservative faculty members with little computer experience can stymie efforts to change when expressing a conviction that student learning outcomes can only be achieved in a face-to-face classroom — even though they have no idea what can be accomplished in a well-designed distance education course.” Another response said that: “Our biggest challenge is getting faculty to participate in our training sessions. We understand their time is limited, but we need to be able to show them the new tools available....”

In last year’s survey, 84 percent of institutions said that they were customers of either Blackboard or WebCT (now a part of Blackboard), but 31 percent reported that they were considering a shift in course management platforms. This year’s survey suggests that some of them did so. The percentage of colleges reporting that they use Blackboard or WebCT fell to 77 percent. Moodle showed the largest gains in the market — increasing from 4 to 10 percent of the market — while Angel and Desire2Learn also showed gains.

The survey also provides an update on the status of many technology services for students, showing steady increases in the percentage of community colleges with various technologies and programs.

Status of Services for Online Students at Community Colleges

Service Currently Offer Offered a Year Ago
Campus testing center for distance students 73% 69%
Distance ed specific faculty training 96% 92%
Online admissions 84% 77%
Online counseling / advising 51% 43%
Online library services 96% 96%
Online plagiarism evaluation 54% 48%
Online registration 89% 87%
Online student orientation for distance classes 75% 66%
Online textbook sales 72% 66%

Rate of Growth in Online Enrollments --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm#OnlineGrowthRates

Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials
Edutainment and Learning Games --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment
Open Sharing Courses --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI
The Master List of Free Online College Courses ---
http://universitiesandcolleges.org/


Update on the Roaring Online Nonprofit Western Governors University (WGU) founded in 1997 by the governors of 19 states
A competency-based university where instructors don't assign the grades --- grades are based upon competency testing
WGU does not admit foreign students
WGU now has over 30,000 students from sponsoring states for this nonprofit, private university

Western Governors University (WGU) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WGU

Competency-Based Learning --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm#ConceptKnowledge

The article below is about WGU-Texas which was "founded" in 2011 when Texas joined the WGU system
"Reflections on the First Year of a New-Model University," by Mark David Milliron, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 1, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Reflections-on-the-First-Year/134670/?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Western Governors University Texas, where I am chancellor, is not an easy institution to describe to your mother—or even your hip sister. It just doesn't fit the profile of most traditional universities, even the newer for-profit and online ones. It brings the work of a national, online, nonprofit university into a state, and it embraces a competency-based education model that is rarely found on an institutionwide level.

Even for seasoned educators, WGU Texas feels different. And in a year that has seen flat or declining enrollments at many traditional colleges, reports critical of for-profit institutions, and continuing debate over the perils and promise of online learning, our story, and our growth, has been unique. As we hit our one-year anniversary, it's worth taking a few moments to reflect on the ups, downs, challenges, and champions of this newest state model. I'd offer three key reflections on lessons we've learned:

Building a strong foundation. Western Governors was founded as a private, multistate online university 15 years ago by governors of Western states. Texas is only the third state model within the system, following WGU Indiana and WGU Washington. Before our opening, leaders of Western Governors took time to make sure the idea of this state university made sense for Texas. The intent was to add high-quality, affordable capacity to the state's higher-education system, particularly for adult learners, and to localize it for Texans and their employers.

This outpost was poised to "go big" in one of the biggest of states, offering more than 50 bachelor's and master's degrees in high-demand fields in business, education, information technology, and health professions. WGU's online-learning model allows students to progress by demonstrating what they know and can do rather than by logging time in class accumulating credit hours.

In meetings across the state, the idea of WGU Texas gained the support of the state's political, legislative, and higher-education leaders, as well as the Texas Workforce Commission and the Texas Association of Community Colleges. Rushing to roll out was not the goal; entering the education ecosystem with solid support of the model was.

I came on board as chancellor in December 2011. Having served on WGU's Board of Trustees for six years, I knew the model, and having graduated from and worked for the University of Texas at Austin, I knew Texas.

In the past six months, we have hired key staff and faculty, formed a state advisory board, opened a main office and training center in downtown Austin, launched our first wave of student outreach, begun working with employers in different metro regions, and started connecting online and on the ground with students. After absorbing WGU's 1,600 existing Texas students, WGU Texas grew by more than 60 percent in this first year, entering August 2012 with more than 3,000 students.

In about eight weeks, we'll hold our first commencement in Austin, celebrating the graduation of more than 400 students. We're moving quickly now, but it's the firm foundation of outreach, support, and systems that served us well as we took on the next two challenges:

Confronting conflation. WGU Texas is laser-focused on a student population that is typically underserved. We see ourselves as a good fit for adult learners who need an affordable, quality, and flexible learning model, particularly working students who want to attend full time. We are especially focused on the more than three million Texans who have some college and no credential—students like Jason Franklin, a striving adult learner in a high-demand IT field who had gone as far as he could in his career without a degree. He earned a bachelor's and a master's degree through Western Governors, and is now working on a master's degree from WGU Texas.

We'd like to help these students reach their goals and get on a solid career and lifelong-learning path.

However, in offering a new model like ours, you quickly find the conflation problem a challenge. Some assume that you're trying to compete for the fresh-from-high-school graduates who want a campus experience. Others assume that because you're online, you must be a for-profit university. Still others put all online education programs in the same bucket, not distinguishing at all between a traditional model online and a deeply personalized, competency-based learning model.

Fighting conflation by clearly differentiating and properly positioning our university has been essential. We've had to be clear—and to repeat often—that our approach is designed for adult learners who have some college and work experience. We're absolutely OK with telling prospective students, partner colleges, and state-policy leaders that for 18- to 20-year-olds looking to embark on their first college experience, we are probably not the right fit. In fact, first-time freshmen make up less than 5 percent of our student population.

The for-profit conflation has been even more interesting. Many people assume that any online university is for-profit. We are not. And even when we assure them that our nonprofit status keeps us deeply committed to low tuition—we have a flat-rate, six-month-term tuition averaging less than $3,000 for full-time students, which our national parent WGU has not raised for four years—they have a hard time getting their minds around it.

Others are sure we are nothing more than an online version of the traditional model, relying entirely on adjunct faculty. When we explain our history, learning model, and reliance on full-time faculty members who specialize in either mentoring or subject matter, it takes some time. But once people embrace the idea of a personal faculty mentor who takes a student from first contact to crossing the graduation stage, they warm quickly to the model.

Synching with the state's needs. While forming the foundation and fighting conflation are important, I'd say the key to WGU's state-model successes is the commitment to synching with the economic, educational, and student ecosystem of the state.

On the economic level, we've been able to work directly with employers eager to support our university, advance our competency-centered model, and hire our graduates. Educationally we have been fortunate to have smart and strategic partners that have guided our entry into the state. For example, our Finish to Go Further transfer program, in partnership with the Texas community-college association, motivates students to complete their associate degrees before transferring. This strategy supports the goal of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board of significantly improving postsecondary access and success in Texas.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment (including competency-based assessment) ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Assess.htm

Jensen Comment
WGU is neither a traditional university nor a MOOC. It started as an experiment to deliver a quality education without having the 19 states have to build and/or maintain physical campuses to deliver college education to more students. Admittedly, one of the main incentives was to expand learning opportunities without paying for the enormous costs of building and maintaining campuses. WGU was mostly an outreach program for non-traditional students who for one reason or another are unable to attend onsite campuses. But the primary goal of WGU was not and still is not confined to adult education.

WGU is not intended to take over onsite campus education alternatives. The founders of WGU are well aware that living and learning on an onsite campus brings many important components to education and maturation and socialization that WGU cannot offer online. For example, young students on campus enter a new phase of life living outside the homes and daily oversight of their parents. But the transition is less abrupt than living on the mean streets of real life. Students meet face-to-face on campus and are highly likely to become married or live with students they are attracted to on campus. Campus students can participate in athletics, music performances, theatre performances, dorm life, chapel life, etc.

But WGU is not a MOOC where 100,000 anonymous students may be taking an online course. Instead, WGU courses are relatively small with intimate communications 24/7 with instructors and other students in most of the courses. In many ways the learning communications may be much closer online in WGU than on campus at the University of Texas where classrooms often hold hundreds of students taking a course.

There are some types of learning that can take place in live classrooms that are almost impossible online.
For example, an onsite case analysis class (Harvard style) takes on a life of its own that case instructors cannot anticipate before class. Students are forced to speak out in front of other students. A student's unexpected idea may change the direction of the entire case discussion for the remainder of the class. I cannot imagine teaching many Harvard Business School cases online even though there are ways to draw out innovative ideas and discussions online. Physical presence is part and parcel to teaching many HBS cases.

Competency-based grading has advantages and disadvantages.
Competency-based grading removes incentives to brown nose instructors for better grades. It's unforgiving for lazy and unmotivated students. But these advantages can also be disadvantages. Some students become more motivated by hoping that their instructors will reward effort as well as performance. At unexpected points in life those rewards for effort may come at critical times just before a student is apt to give up and look for a full time McJob.

Some students are apt to become extremely bored learning about Shakespeare or Mozart. But in attempting to please instructors with added effort, the students may actually discover at some unexpected point something wonderful about Shakespeare or Mozart. Mathematics in particular is one of those subjects that can be a complete turn off until suddenly a light clicks and student discovers that math is not only interesting --- math can be easier once you hit a key point in the mathematics learning process. This definitely happened with me, and the light did not shine for me until I started a doctoral program. Quite suddenly I loved mathematics and made it the central component of my five years of full-time doctoral studies at Stanford University.

Thus WGU and the University of Texas should not be considered competitors. They are different alternatives that have some of the same goals (such as competency in learning content) and some different goals (such as living with other students and participating in extracurricular activities).

I wish WGU well and hope it thrives alongside the traditional state-supported campuses. WGU in some ways was a precursor to MOOC education, but WGU is not a MOOC in the sense that classes are small and can be highly interactive with other students and with instructor. In a MOOC, students have to be more motivated to learn on their own and master the material without much outside help from other students or instructors.

There are many ways to teach and many ways to learn. WGU found its niche. There's no one-size-fits-all to living and learning.

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

 


The Next Thing in For-Profit Education:  Bourgeoisie (Elite) versus Proletariat (Commoner) For-Profit Universities
Both alternatives onsite or online, however, are more expensive than traditional public universities like the University of Texas for in-state students
Minerva, however, wants to serve top-of-the-line student prospects at lower costs than prestigious private universities like Harvard, Yale, and Stanford

"Venture-Backed Enterprise Seeks to Satisfy Global Demand for an Elite Education, Onlinem" by Nick DeSantis, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 3, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/new-for-profit-seeks-to-satisfy-global-demand-for-elite-education/35938?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Elite American universities maintain their prestige by turning away a huge percentage of applicants every year. And the education entrepreneur Ben Nelson sees an opportunity in this demand for top-flight education: He wants to reach talented students across the world and to build a new university that could remake the image of Ivy League education.

Mr. Nelson, founder of a start-up called the Minerva Project, believes the minuscule acceptance rates at prestigious institutions leave some college-bound students without a place where they can pursue a blue-ribbon degree. So his for-profit enterprise seeks to satisfy that demand by offering a rigorous online education to the brightest students around the world who slip through the cracks of highly selective admissions cycles.

Mr. Nelson said his company, which is calling itself “the first elite American university to be launched in a century,” will disregard the barriers that might put the Ivy League beyond the reach of qualified applicants.

“We don’t care about geography, we don’t care about how wealthy you are, we don’t care if you’re able to donate or have donated in the past, or legacy or where your ancestors went to school,” he said. “We really just want to equalize the playing field.”

The start-up, based in San Francisco, plans to do so by charging tuition rates “well under half” of those at traditional top-tier institutions, Mr. Nelson said. The new university is seeking accreditation, Mr. Nelson added, and will welcome its first class in 2014. Though he did not specify how big he expects Minerva’s student body to be, Mr. Nelson said his goal is to make sure no qualified students “get rejected because we say we’re full.” He added that he expects Minerva to be “far better represented internationally than a typical American university.”

The company can afford to charge cheaper tuition, Mr. Nelson said, in part because it expects incoming students to have already mastered the material that makes up everyday introductory courses. For instance, Minerva may offer Applied Economic Theory instead of Economics 101, he said.

“What we expect to teach is how you apply and synthesize that information and how you do something with it,” Mr. Nelson said.

To create these advanced courses, Minerva will break down the role of professor into two distinct jobs instead of simply poaching faculty members from other universities. The company will award monetary prizes to “distinguished teachers among great research faculty,” Mr. Nelson said, who will team up with crews to videotape lectures and craft innovative courses when they are not teaching at their home institutions. (Mr. Nelson declined to elaborate on the size of the prizes.)

Minerva will then hire a second group of instructors to deliver the material. Mr. Nelson called them “preceptors,” who will typically be young graduates of doctoral programs—they will lead class discussions online, hold office hours, and grade assignments.

After its students graduate, Mr. Nelson said the university plans to help alumni connect with their peers to create businesses, do research, and find jobs.

“The Minerva education isn’t just about getting your four-year degree and then going to work for Goldman Sachs and crossing your fingers and hoping you’ll do really well,” he said. “It’s actually playing an active role in facilitating your success afterwards.”

Mr. Nelson’s challenge to the Ivy League is already flush with cash: The prominent Silicon Valley investment firm Benchmark Capital has pumped $25-million into Minerva’s coffers—the firm’s richest seed-stage investment ever.

And the company has attracted some high-profile advisers. Lawrence H. Summers, the former U.S. treasury secretary and Harvard University president emeritus, is the chair of Minerva’s advisory board, which includes Bob Kerrey, the U.S. Senate candidate from Nebraska who is a former president of the New School, among other education luminaries.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
There are enormous hurdles that Minerva must leap over before its graduates compete with graduates of the Ivy League. Among the major hurdles are the thousands and thousands of Ivy League alumni. Many of those alumni are now in positions of hiring power, and these executives are not totally unbiased. Executives of Wall Street firms, for example, have their favorite places to recruit new employees, and these favorite places are typically their alma maters.

For example, one of the main reasons many applicants apply to the Harvard Business School or the Stanford Graduate School of Business at MBA or doctoral level is have access to the tremendous alumni networking systems of the HBS or GSB. It will take many years for elitist startups like Minerva to establish competing alumni networks.

There are other hurdles --- especially accreditation issues. For example, the AACSB just does not accredit for-profit universities in North America. This has been a tremendous barrier to for-profit university success in accounting, finance, and business degree programs.

I think Mike Milken and the Welches (Jack and Suzie) had something like Minerva elitism in mind when they established their "prestigious" online business universities, but thus far none of these elitist efforts have been very successful. Failing to get AACSB accreditation and alumni networking of note have taken their toll on Mike, Jack, and Suzie. Donald Trump's Trump University was a loser from get go.

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education education and training alternatives are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm

 


"New Book by Pollster John Zogby Says Online Education Is Rapidly Gaining Acceptance," Chronicle of Higher Education, August 12, 23008 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3236&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

John Zogby, president & CEO of the polling company Zogby International, says that American students are quickly warming up to the idea of taking classes online, just as consumers have taken to the idea of renting movies via Netflix and buying microbrewed beer.

In a new book by Mr. Zogby released today, he said that polls show a sharp increase in acceptance of online education in the past year. For more on the story, see a free article in today’s Chronicle.

National surveys show that a majority of Americans think online universities offer a lower quality of education than do traditional institutions. But a prominent pollster, John Zogby, says in a book being released today that it won't be long before American society takes to distance education as warmly as it has embraced game-changing innovations like microbrewed beers, Flexcars, and "the simple miracle of Netflix."

The factor that will close that "enthusiasm gap" is the growing use of distance education by well-respected universities, Mr. Zogby predicts in the book, The Way We'll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream (Random House).

The book, which is based on Zogby International polls and other studies, also touches on public attitudes toward politics, consumer habits, spirituality, and international affairs, and on what men and women really do want from each other. Mr. Zogby says polls detect signs of society's emerging resistance to big institutions, and its de-emphasis on things and places. "We're redefining geography and space," he says—and a widening acceptance of online education is part of the trend.

Today there is still a "cultural lag" between the public's desire for flexible ways to take college courses and what the most-established players offer, Mr. Zogby said in an interview with The Chronicle on Monday. "There's a sense that those who define the standard haven't caught on yet," he said.

But Mr. Zogby writes that polling by his organization shows that attitudes about online education are changing fast. His polling also points to other challenges that colleges will face as they race to serve a worldwise generation of 18-to-29-year-olds that Mr. Zogby calls "First Globals."

In one 2007 poll of more 5,000 adults, Zogby International found that 30 percent of respondents were taking or had taken an online course, and another 50 percent said they would consider taking one. He says the numbers might skew a little high because this poll was conducted online and the definition of an online course was broad, including certificate programs or training modules offered by employers.

Only 27 percent of respondents agreed that "online universities and colleges provide the same quality of education" as traditional institutions. Among those 18 to 24 years old, only 23 percent agreed.

An even greater proportion of those polled said it was their perception that employers and academic professionals thought more highly of traditional institutions than online ones.

Rapid Shift in Attitude

Yet in another national poll in December 2007, conducted for Excelsior College, 45 percent of the 1,004 adults surveyed believed "an online class carries the same value as a traditional-classroom class," and 43 percent of 1,545 chief executives and small-business owners agreed that a degree earned by distance learning "is as credible" as one from a traditional campus-based program.

Mr. Zogby said that differing attitudes in two polls within a year show that "the gap was closing"—and he said that wasn't as surprising as it might seem. As with changing perceptions about other cultural phenomena, "these paradigm shifts really are moving at lightning speed."

That, says Mr. Zogby, is why he writes about online universities in a chapter—"Dematerializing the Paradigm"—that discusses the rise of car-sharing companies like Flexcar (now merged with Zipcar), the emergence of Internet blogs as a source of news and information, and the popularity of microbrewed beer.

And while it may be true that microbrews and Zipcars, at least, are still very much niche products, Mr. Zogby says they are signs of transcendent change—just like the distance-education courses that are being offered by more and more institutions across the country. "When you add up all the niche products, it's a market unto itself," he says.

In the book, Mr. Zogby also highlights the emerging influence of the First Globals, whom his book calls "the most outward-looking and accepting generation in American history." First Globals, he says, are more socially tolerant and internationally aware.

It is these First Globals, he writes, who are shaping what he says is nothing short of a "fundamental reorientation of the American character away from wanton consumption and toward a new global citizenry in an age of limited resources."

Higher education, he said in the interview, needs to take notice and adapt. These days, he said, students are much more likely to have experienced other cultures firsthand, either as tourists or because they have immigrated from someplace else. Whether college for them is a traditional complex of buildings or an interactive online message board, said Mr. Zogby, "there is a different student on campus."

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education are at the following sites:


"How to Be an Online Student and Survive in the Attempt," by Maria José Viñas, Chronicle of Higher Education, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 11, 2008 --- Click Here

The lives of many online college students are not easy. They have to combine jobs, house chores, family life and, on top of all that, do some actual studying. To help online students cope with this burden, a blog sponsored by Western Governors University offers survival tips.

The Online Student Survival Guide, a program that kicked off in May, is meant to give online students tips on adjusting to online learning and staying motivated throughout the courses, while balancing life and school. Following the famous Latin maxim “mens sana in corpore sano”, the bloggers also write posts on healthy eating—not only for the online students, but for their families, too.

Once again, the link to the Survival Guide is http://onlinestudentsurvival.com/

August 31, 2007 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu]

REDUCING ATTRITION IN ONLINE CLASSES

"Attrition rates for classes taught through distance education are 10- 20% higher than classes taught in a face-to-face setting. . . . Finding ways to decrease attrition in distance education classes and programs is critical both from an economical and quality viewpoint. High attrition rates have a negative economic impact on universities."

In "Strategies to Engage Online Students and Reduce Attrition Rates" (THE JOURNAL OF EDUCATORS ONLINE, vol. 4, no. 2, July 2007), the authors provide a review of the literature to determine methods for "engaging students with the goals of enhancing the learning process and reducing attrition rates." Their research identified four major strategies:

-- student integration and engagement

Includes "faculty-initiated contact via phone calls, pre-course orientations, informal online chats, and online student services."

-- learner-centered approach

Faculty "need to get to know their students and assess each student's pre-existing knowledge, cultural perspectives, and comfort level with technology."

-- learning communities

"[S]trong feelings of community may not only increase persistence in courses, but may also increase the flow of information among all learners, availability of support, commitment to group goals, cooperation among members and satisfaction with group efforts."

-- accessibility to online student services.

Services might include "assessments, educational counseling, administrative process such as registration, technical support, study skills assistance, career counseling, library services, students' rights and responsibilities, and governance."

The paper, written by Lorraine M. Angelino, Frankie Keels Williams, and Deborah Natvig, is available at http://www.thejeo.com/Volume4Number2/Angelino Final.pdf

The Journal of Educators Online (JEO) [ISSN 1547-500X ]is an online, double-blind, refereed journal by and for instructors, administrators, policy-makers, staff, students, and those interested in the development, delivery, and management of online courses in the Arts, Business, Education, Engineering, Medicine, and Sciences. For more information, contact JEO, 500 University Drive, Dothan, Alabama 36303 USA; tel: 334-983-6556, ext. 1-356; fax: 334-983-6322; Web: http://www.thejeo.com/ .

Jensen Comment
Attrition rates are high because online students are often adults with heavy commitments to family and jobs. Initially they think they are going to have time for a course, but then the course becomes too demanding and/or unexpected things happen in their lives such as computer crashes, a change in job demands (such as more travel), family illness, marital troubles, etc. Sometimes online students initially believe the myth that online courses are easier than onsite courses and, therefore, take less time. About the only time saved is the logistical time waster of commuting to and from a classroom site.

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education are at the following sites:

 

The Dark Side of Education Technology and Online Learning --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm


Updates 2007

Question
What is the rate of growth in online enrollments in the U.S.?

"More Online Enrollments," by Andy Guess, Inside Higher Ed, October 23, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/10/23/sloan

More students than ever are taking courses online, but that doesn’t mean the growth will continue indefinitely. That’s the takeaway from the Sloan Foundation’s latest survey, conducted with the Babson Survey Research Group, of colleges’ online course offerings.

With results from nearly 4,500 institutions of all types, the report, “Online Nation: Five Years of Growth in Online Learning”, found that in fall 2006, nearly 3.5 million students — or 19.8 percent of total postsecondary enrollments — took at least one course online. That’s a 9.7-percent increase over the previous year, but growth has been slowing significantly: last year, the jump was 36.5 percent.

But compared to the growth rate for enrollment overall (1.3 percent), the report notes, the online sector is still rapidly expanding. Most of that expansion is happening where online classes are already being offered.

“The number of new institutions entering the online learning arena had definitely slowed [by last fall]; most institutions that plan to offer online education are now doing so,” the report’s authors wrote.

The institutions surveyed seem to believe that the most important reason for offering online courses is to improve student access, while the top cited obstacles to more widespread online offerings are student’ discipline or study habits, followed by faculty acceptance.

The survey focuses solely on what it classifies as “online” courses: those offering 80 percent or more of their content over the Internet. As a result, trends in so-called “blended” or “hybrid” courses, in which students occasionally meet in person with their professors while also receiving considerable instruction online, are not covered in the report.

The importance of online courses varies widely depending on the type of institution. Public universities, for example, view online education as much more critical to their long-term strategies than private or even for-profit institutions. And not surprisingly, two-year colleges have shown the most growth, accounting for a full half of online enrollments over the past five years:

Four-Year Growth in Students Taking at Least One Online Course

  Enrollment, Fall 2002 Enrollment, Fall 2006 Increase Compound Annual Growth Rate
Doctoral/Research 258,489 566,725 308,236 21.7%
Master’s 335,703 686,337 350,634 19.6%
Baccalaureate 130,677 170,754 40,077 6.9%
Community colleges 806,391 1,904,296 1,097,905 24.0%
Specialized 71,710 160,268 88,558 22.3%

The importance to online strategies is broken down in the following chart:

% Saying Online Education Is Critical to Their Institutions’ Long-Term Strategy

  Public Private Nonprofit Private For-Profit
Fall 2002 66.1% 34.0% 34.6%
Fall 2003 65.4% 36.6% 62.1%
Fall 2004 74.7% 43.8% 48.6%
Fall 2005 71.7% 46.9% 54.9%
Fall 2006 74.1% 48.6% 49.5%

Even if online growth can’t go on at this pace forever, most institutions still see room for increasing enrollments:

% Saying They Expect Online Enrollments to Increase

  Doctoral/Research Master’s Baccalaureate Associate’s Specialized
Expecting increase 87.5% 84.0% 75.6% 87.8% 75.3%

Tables From “Online Nation: Five Years of Growth in Online Learning”

The study also found that most growth was expected at institutions that are the most “engaged” — that is, “currently have online offerings and believe that online is critical to the long-term strategy of their organization. These institutions, however, have not yet included online education in their formal strategic plan.”

 


 

In theory, distance education is supposed to open up an era when all students have a range of options not limited by geography. But a new report from Eduventures finds that most distance students enroll at distance programs run by institutions in their own geographic regions, and that more than a third of these students take online courses offered by an institution within a 50-mile radius.
Inside Higher Ed, March 28, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/03/28/qt

More and more prestigious universities are sharing course material and lecture videos, but MIT was the first major universities to make course materials from most of its courses freely available online ---  http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/home/home/index.htm

MIT now has most of its entire curriculum of course materials in all disciplines available free to the world as open courseware. This includes the Sloan School of Business Courses ---  http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/home/home/index.htm
 

MIT OpenCourseWare (MIT OCW) has formally partnered with three organizations that are translating MIT OCW course materials into Spanish, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese --- http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Global/AboutOCW/Translations.htm

Question
What is the most popular download course at MIT?
Answer: According to ABC News last week it's the Introduction to Electrical Engineering Course.

Other major universities now have huge portions of their curriculum materials available --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI 

If you want to try something quite different, you might consider some online business and accounting courses from the University of Toyota --- http://www2.itt-tech.edu/st/onlineprograms/  (These are not free).

Other online training and education programs are listed at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm

Bob Jensen

MIT OpenCourseWare: Ethics (updated)
http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Linguistics-and-Philosophy/24-231Fall-2009/CourseHome/index.htm
Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI


Sharing School of Business --- https://mitsloan.mit.edu/MSTIR/IndustryEvolution/Pages/default.aspx

Question
Is a MIT online certificate worth more than most any comparable course grade from a North American college or university?

"Will MITx Disrupt Higher Education?" by Robert Talbert, Chronicle of Higher Education, December 20, 2011 ---
http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/castingoutnines/2011/12/20/will-mitx-disrupt-higher-education/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

MIT has been doing online access to education a lot longer than most people, largely due to their invaluable OpenCourseWare project. (Here’s an interview MIT did with me last year on how OCW strongly influenced my inverted-classroom MATLAB course.) Now they are poised to go to the next level by launching an online system called MITx in Spring 2012 that provides credentialing as well as content:

Mr. Reif and Anant Agarwal, director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, said M.I.T.x would start this spring — perhaps with just one course — but would expand to include many more courses, as OpenCourseWare has done. [...]

The M.I.T.x classes, he said, will have online discussions and forums where students can ask questions and, often, have them answered by others in the class.

While access to the software will be free, there will most likely be an “affordable” charge, not yet determined, for a credential.

“I think for someone to feel they’re earning something, they ought to pay something, but the point is to make it extremely affordable,” Mr. Reif said. “The most important thing is that it’ll be a certificate that will clearly state that a body sanctioned by M.I.T. says you have gained mastery.”

The official FAQ reveals a couple of additional points. First, the content of MITx courses will be free — which seems to imply that MITx course content will be different than OCW course content, and not just a certification layer on top of existing resources — and you’ll only pay money for the certificate. Second, there will be no admissions process. If you want a course, you just take it and then pay for the credentialing if you feel like you’re up to it.

I think this last point about having no admissions process may be the most significant piece of MITx. It seems to represent a complete shift from the traditional way of providing access to higher education. As far as I can tell, there will not even be a system of checking prerequisites for MITx courses. If that’s so, then if you feel you can step into, say, an Algorithms class and keep up with the material and demonstrate your mastery, then nobody at MIT will care if you haven’t had the right courses in basic programming, data structures, discrete math, or whatever. MIT is basically saying, we won’t be picky about who we let take these courses — if you can afford it and live up to our standards, we’re happy to credential you.

Of course there are a lot of questions about MITx that are yet to be answered. What is the “modest fee” they plan to charge, and is it really affordable? How exactly will the credentialing process work? (It’s interesting that the certification will be handled by a non-profit organization to be formed within MIT. Is this a kind of outsourcing of grading?) How will one “demonstrate mastery” and what will MITx define as “mastery” in courses that are not strictly skills-based? Will there eventually be a full enough slate of courses offered to make the whole system compelling for learners? And perhaps most importantly, what will employers, graduate schools, and even undergraduate institutions make of applicants who come in with some of these MITx certifications? Without external buy-in, MITx will likely be just another continuing education program like hundreds of others.

We’ll hear a lot more about this in the future, but for now this seems to have the potential to be genuinely disruptive in higher education. What do you think?

"MIT Expands 'Open' Courses, Adds Completion Certificates," Inside Higher Ed, December 19, 2011 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2011/12/19/mit-expands-open-courses-adds-completion-certificates

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- which pioneered the idea of making course materials free online -- today announced a major expansion of the idea, with the creation of MITx, which will provide for interaction among students, assessment and the awarding of certificates of completion to students who have no connection to MIT.

MIT is also starting a major initiative -- led by Provost L. Rafael Reif -- to study online teaching and learning.

The first course through MITx is expected this spring. While the institute will not charge for the courses, it will charge what it calls "a modest fee" for the assessment that would lead to a credential. The credential will be awarded by MITx and will not constitute MIT credit. The university also plans to continue MIT OpenCourseWare, the program through which it makes course materials available online.

An FAQ from MIT offers more details on the new program.

While MIT has been widely praised for OpenCourseWare, much of the attention in the last year from the "open" educational movement has shifted to programs like the Khan Academy (through which there is direct instruction provided, if not yet assessment) and an initiative at Stanford University that makes courses available -- courses for which some German universities are providing academic credit. The new initiative would appear to provide some of the features (instruction such as offered by Khan, and certification that some are creating for the Stanford courses) that have been lacking in OpenCourseWare.

MIT OpenCourseWare: Introduction to Computer Science and Programming
http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-computer-science/6-00sc-introduction-to-computer-science-and-programming-spring-2011 

Bob Jensen's threads on open source video and course materials from prestigious universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology in general ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

THE COLLEGE OF 2020: STUDENTS  ---
https://www.chronicle-store.com/Store/ProductDetails.aspx?CO=CQ&ID=76319&PK=N1S1009

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on online training and education alternatives ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm


Distance Education.org or DistanceEducation.Org is a Great Helper Site
Ben Pheiffer in San Antonio forwarded this link to a terrific listing (with pricing estimates) of online training and education degree programs and courses from respectable universities --- http://www.distance-education.org/Courses/
Both graduate and undergraduate degree programs are listed as well as training courses (some free).

Free online tutorials in various disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm/#Tutorials

Education & Learning: Asia Society --- http://www.asiasociety.org/education-learning

Latino Distance Education
American RadioWorks: Rising by Degrees [iTunes] http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/latino_college/index.html

The Master List of Free Online College Courses --- http://universitiesandcolleges.org/

 

 

"MIT's Management School Shares Teaching Materials (Cases) Online," by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 27, 2009 ---
Click Here

Though some business schools charge for the “case studies” they develop as teaching aids, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced today that it is making a set of teaching materials available free online.

MIT’s Sloan School of Management has unveiled a set of case studies, videos, interactive teaching tools, and teacher’s notes on a new Web site called MIT Sloan Teaching Innovation Resources --- https://mitsloan.mit.edu/MSTIR/IndustryEvolution/Pages/default.aspx

The announcement comes eight years after MIT created its OpenCourseWare project, which makes instructional materials for courses available online for free.

What distinguishes the new site, according to JoAnne Yates, deputy dean for programs, is that whereas OpenCourseWare allows visitors to browse a linear series of resources and notes for a specific course, the management-school’s site allows them to search for specific “teaching artifacts”—e.g., case studies or simulation models—that might be applied to any number of courses. Those artifacts will be searchable by concept or business problem, like sustainability.


Jensen Comment
MIT actually shares materials from hundreds of courses. The materials are entirely free online. Although other universities are now more sharing with videos of all course lectures online, MIT spearheaded the Open Knowledge Initiative that led to such open sharing.

MIT's Open Courseware Home Page --- http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/home/home/index.htm

MIT's Video Lecture Search Engine: Watch the video at --- http://web.sls.csail.mit.edu/lectures/

 


Education Balance: Even Resident Students Can Benefit for Life With Some Online Courses

"Latest Twist in Distance Ed," by Elia Powers, Inside Higher Ed, August 9, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/08/09/american

Turns out, the American University online program is somewhat of a hybrid. While the university marketed that first course, about terrorism and the legal system, to all sorts of groups in an effort to gauge outside interest, all but two of the 27 students who took the class were its own. Many of the students were away from Washington for the summer, living abroad or at home

“The most important information we’ve gathered is that our distance learning courses are most attractive to our own students,” Ettle said. “Students know they can use credits toward a degree, whereas some students [outside] might be unsure how they could use the credits.”

As distance education continues to evolve, American’s model will likely become more common, according to Diana Oblinger, vice president for Educause, the nonprofit group that deals with technology issues in higher education.

“It makes absolute sense,” Oblinger said. “Both institutions and students are concerned about the time-to-degree. If you can take a course while you are away and when it’s convenient, that helps you progress toward graduation. From an institution’s perspective, why allow your student to take someone else’s course?”

This summer, American is offering 25 online courses, none of which are longer than seven weeks. The condensed schedule works well for students who are either amidst or have just finished study abroad programs or summer jobs and want to extend their stays away from campus while earning credits, Ettle said. It’s also popular with students who take on internships during the year and want to go to school in the summer without having a full course load.

American provides incentives for those who are part of the distance learning program. Starting several summers ago, the university began giving professors whose online course proposals were accepted a $2,500 course development grant. Summer teaching at American isn’t a substitute for teaching an academic year course, and the additional compensation is only monetary incentive to teach in the summer online. Students receive a discounted rate on summer distance courses, and the price hasn’t changed in four years. A three-credit course costs $2,200, which is about 30 percent cheaper than a graduate course and about 25 percent cheaper than an undergraduate course, Ettle said.

There are other obvious cost savings: Students don’t have to pay for campus housing, and the university frees up space for other uses. The overhead cost of running a distance education course is also significantly less than it is for a normal classroom-based course, Ettle said.

“We’re utilizing our facilities more efficiently,” she said. “We want repeat customers — it’s good for them and it’s good for us.”

Still, American limits students to two distance courses per summer to prevent those who are working or studying elsewhere from overloading their schedules. The university places no limits, though, on the number of summers a student can take an online course.

Oblinger said it’s becoming more common for a university to either require or strongly suggest that its students take an online course as a way to prepare them for how learning often takes place in the workplace.

Continued in article


Updates 2006

Open Sharing Catching on Outside the United States
Britain’s Open University today formally begins its effort to put its course materials and other content online for all the world to use. With its effort, OpenLearn, which is expected to cost $10.6 million and is supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the university joins Massachusetts Institute of Technology and institutions in several other countries in trying to put tools for learning within the reach of otherwise difficult to reach populations.
Inside Higher Ed, October 25, 2006

Open2 Net Learning from Open University (the largest university in the U.K.) --- http://www.open2.net/learning.html

Soaring Popularity of E-Learning Among Students But Not Faculty
How many U.S. students took at least on online course from a legitimate college in Fall 2005?

More students are taking online college courses than ever before, yet the majority of faculty still aren’t warming up to the concept of e-learning, according to a national survey from the country’s largest association of organizations and institutions focused on online education . . . ‘We didn’t become faculty to sit in front of a computer screen,’
Elia Powers, "Growing Popularity of E-Learning, Inside Higher Ed, November 10, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/11/10/online

More students are taking online college courses than ever before, yet the majority of faculty still aren’t warming up to the concept of e-learning, according to a national survey from the country’s largest association of organizations and institutions focused on online education.

Roughly 3.2 million students took at least one online course from a degree-granting institution during the fall 2005 term, the Sloan Consortium said. That’s double the number who reported doing so in 2002, the first year the group collected data, and more than 800,000 above the 2004 total. While the number of online course participants has increased each year, the rate of growth slowed from 2003 to 2004.

The report, a joint partnership between the group and the College Board, defines online courses as those in which 80 percent of the content is delivered via the Internet.

The Sloan Survey of Online Learning, “Making the Grade: Online Education in the United States, 2006,” shows that 62 percent of chief academic officers say that the learning outcomes in online education are now “as good as or superior to face-to-face instruction,” and nearly 6 in 10 agree that e-learning is “critical to the long-term strategy of their institution.” Both numbers are up from a year ago.

Researchers at the Sloan Consortium, which is administered through Babson College and Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, received responses from officials at more than 2,200 colleges and universities across the country. (The report makes few references to for-profit colleges, a force in the online market, in part because of a lack of survey responses from those institutions.)

Much of the report is hardly surprising. The bulk of online students are adult or “nontraditional” learners, and more than 70 percent of those surveyed said online education reaches students not served by face-to-face programs.

What stands out is the number of faculty who still don’t see e-learning as a valuable tool. Only about one in four academic leaders said that their faculty members “accept the value and legitimacy of online education,” the survey shows. That number has remained steady throughout the four surveys. Private nonprofit colleges were the least accepting — about one in five faculty members reported seeing value in the programs.

Elaine Allen, co-author of the report and a Babson associate professor of statistics and entrepreneurship, said those numbers are striking.

“As a faculty member, I read that response as, ‘We didn’t become faculty to sit in front of a computer screen,’ ” Allen said. “It’s a very hard adjustment. We sat in lectures for an hour when we were students, but there’s a paradigm shift in how people learn.”

Barbara Macaulay, chief academic officer at UMass Online, which offers programs through the University of Massachusetts, said nearly all faculty members teaching the online classes there also teach face-to-face courses, enabling them to see where an online class could fill in the gap (for instance, serving a student who is hesitant to speak up in class).

She said she isn’t surprised to see data illustrating the growing popularity of online courses with students, because her program has seen rapid growth in the last year. Roughly 24,000 students are enrolled in online degree and certificate courses through the university this fall — a 23 percent increase from a year ago, she said.

“Undergraduates see it as a way to complete their degrees — it gives them more flexibility,” Macaulay said.

The Sloan report shows that about 80 percent of students taking online courses are at the undergraduate level. About half are taking online courses through community colleges and 13 percent through doctoral and research universities, according to the survey.

Nearly all institutions with total enrollments exceeding 15,000 students have some online offerings, and about two-thirds of them have fully online programs, compared with about one in six at the smallest institutions (those with 1,500 students or fewer), the report notes. Allen said private nonprofit colleges are often set in enrollment totals and not looking to expand into the online market.

The report indicates that two-year colleges are particularly willing to be involved in online learning.

“Our institutions tend to embrace changes a little more readily and try different pedagogical styles,” said Kent Phillippe, a senior research associate at the American Association of Community Colleges. The report cites a few barriers to what it calls the “widespread adoption of online learning,” chief among them the concern among college officials that some of their students lack the discipline to succeed in an online setting. Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents defined that as a barrier.

Allen, the report’s co-author, said she thinks that issue arises mostly in classes in which work can be turned in at any time and lectures can be accessed at all hours. “If you are holding class in real time, there tends to be less attrition,” she said. The report doesn’t differentiate between the live and non-live online courses, but Allen said she plans to include that in next year’s edition.

Few survey respondents said acceptance of online degrees by potential employers was a critical barrier — although liberal arts college officials were more apt to see it as an issue.

Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing and education technology are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on online training and education alternatives are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm

Motivations for Distance Learning --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#Motivations

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side of online learning and teaching are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm

Update in 2005

Distant distance education
Ms. Salin is part of a new wave of outsourcing to India: the tutoring of American students. Twice a week for a month now, Ms. Salin, who grew up speaking the Indian language Malayalam at home, has been tutoring Daniela in English grammar, comprehension and writing. Using a simulated whiteboard on their computers, connected by the Internet, and a copy of Daniela's textbook in front of her, she guides the teenager through the intricacies of nouns, adjectives and verbs.
Saritha Rai, "A Tutor Half a World Away, but as Close as a Keyboard," The New York Times, September 7, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/07/education/07tutor.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1126191549-1Ydu+7CY89CpuVeaJbJ4XA

The Blackboard:  A tribute to a long-standing but fading teaching and learning tool
From the Museum of History and Science at Oxford University
Bye Bye Blackboard: From Einstein and others
--- http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/blackboard/
Bob Jensen's threads on the tools of education technology are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

Controversies in Regulation of Distance Education

"All Over the Map," by Elia Powers, Inside Higher Ed, December 8, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/12/08/regulation

As the distance learning market continues to grow, state agencies charged with regulating the industry continue to operate in a “fragmented environment,” according to a report presented Thursday at the 2006 Education Industry Finance & Investment Summit, in Washington.

One of the main questions these agencies must consider is what constitutes an institution having a “physical presence” in their state. In other words, what is an appropriate test to determine whether regulation is needed?

More than 80 percent of agencies that are included in the report said that they use some sort of “physical presence” test. But few agree on how to define the word “presence,” in part because there are so many elements to consider.

That’s clear in “The State of State Regulation of Cross-Border Postsecondary Education,” the report issued by Dow Lohnes, a firm with a sizable higher education practice. (The firm plans to release an updated report early next year after more responses arrive.)

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side of education technology are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm

 

 


November 2, 2007 message from Carolyn Kotlas [KOTLas@email.unc.edu]

STATISTICS ON THE STATE OF EDUCATION, U.S. AND WORLDWIDE

The Sloan Consortium's "Online Nation: Five Years of Growth in Online Learning," a report on the state of online learning in U.S. higher education, is "aimed at answering some of the fundamental questions about the nature and extent of online education." These questions include:

-- How many students are learning online?

-- Where has the growth in online learning occurred?

-- What are the prospects for future online enrollment growth?

-- What are the barriers to widespread adoption of online education?

The report, and previous years' editions, can be downloaded at no cost at http://www.sloan-c.org/publications/survey/index.asp  

The Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) is a consortium of institutions and organizations committed "to help learning organizations continually improve quality, scale, and breadth of their online programs according to their own distinctive missions, so that education will become a part of everyday life, accessible and affordable for anyone, anywhere, at any time, in a wide variety of disciplines." Sloan-C is funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. For more information, see http://www.sloan-c.org/ 

. . . .

Each year, since 2001, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) publishes the "Education at a Glance" report, an "annual round-up of data and analysis on education, providing a rich, comparable and up-to-date array of indicators on education systems in the OECD's 30 member countries and in a number of partner economies." Main areas covered in the reports are:

-- participation and achievement in education

-- public and private spending on education

-- the state of lifelong learning

-- conditions for pupils and teachers

The current and all past "Education at a Glance" reports are available online at no charge at http://www.oecd.org/document/30/0,3343,en_2649_39263294_39251550_1_1_1_1,00.html 

The OECD's mission is "to help its member countries to achieve sustainable economic growth and employment and to raise the standard of living in member countries while maintaining financial stability -- all this in order to contribute to the development of the world economy." As one of the world's largest publishers in the fields of economics and public policy, OECD monitors, analyzes, and forecasts economic developments and social changes in trade, environment, agriculture, technology, and taxation. For more information contact: OECD, 2 rue Andre Pascal, F-75775, Paris Cedex 16 France; tel: +33 1.45.24.82.00; fax: +33 1.45.24.85.00; email: webmaster@oecd.org ; Web: http://www.oecd.org

RECOMMENDED READING

"Recommended Reading" lists items that have been recommended to me or that Infobits readers have found particularly interesting and/or useful, including books, articles, and websites published by Infobits subscribers. Send your recommendations to carolyn_kotlas@unc.edu for possible inclusion in this column.

"The Basement Interviews: Peter Suber" October 2007 http://poynder.blogspot.com/2007/10/basement-interviews-peter-suber.html 

Journalist Richard Poynder writes on information technology and online rights issues. In a series of interviews he speaks with leading advocates in the open source movement. One of his recent interviews was with Peter Suber, a leading proponent of the open access movement and author of SPARC Open Access Newsletter and Open Access News. (Suber's SPARC OPEN ACCESS NEWSLETTER is available at
http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/newsletter/archive.htm )


USC Enters the Picture
Not too long ago, officials at the University of Southern California’s education school approached Katzman about endowing a chair in educational entrepreneurship. Katzman laughed out loud, he admits, about the idea of a chair in “entrepreneurship” housed at an education school, given the reputation of teacher training academies as innovation backwaters. But Gallagher, who has sought to remake the Rossier school since becoming dean at USC in 2000, ultimately sold Katzman on her vision of an innovative education school, noting among other things that she had eliminated both its Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs, refashioned the Ed.D. and re-established a tiny Ph.D. program, and wiped out the college’s undergraduate teacher education program in favor of its master’s program. “We’re not afraid as a faculty to make decisions that are innovative, that we think can solve specific problems, even if no one else is doing them,” Gallagher says. One of those “problems,” she notes, is the “sense of urgency about coming up with innovative solutions to the shortage of teachers in high-need schools.”
Doug Lederman, "Online Learning, Upscale (and Scaled Up)," Inside Higher Ed, September 12, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/09/12/2tor
Jensen Comment
This article also deals with the controversy of for-profit higher education.

Bob Jensen's threads on the current turmoil in various doctoral program areas (e.g., education, accounting, business, and nursing) are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#DoctoralPrograms

 


"New Book by Pollster John Zogby Says Online Education Is Rapidly Gaining Acceptance," Chronicle of Higher Education, August 12, 23008 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3236&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

John Zogby, president & CEO of the polling company Zogby International, says that American students are quickly warming up to the idea of taking classes online, just as consumers have taken to the idea of renting movies via Netflix and buying microbrewed beer.

In a new book by Mr. Zogby released today, he said that polls show a sharp increase in acceptance of online education in the past year. For more on the story, see a free article in today’s Chronicle.

National surveys show that a majority of Americans think online universities offer a lower quality of education than do traditional institutions. But a prominent pollster, John Zogby, says in a book being released today that it won't be long before American society takes to distance education as warmly as it has embraced game-changing innovations like microbrewed beers, Flexcars, and "the simple miracle of Netflix."

The factor that will close that "enthusiasm gap" is the growing use of distance education by well-respected universities, Mr. Zogby predicts in the book, The Way We'll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream (Random House).

The book, which is based on Zogby International polls and other studies, also touches on public attitudes toward politics, consumer habits, spirituality, and international affairs, and on what men and women really do want from each other. Mr. Zogby says polls detect signs of society's emerging resistance to big institutions, and its de-emphasis on things and places. "We're redefining geography and space," he says—and a widening acceptance of online education is part of the trend.

Today there is still a "cultural lag" between the public's desire for flexible ways to take college courses and what the most-established players offer, Mr. Zogby said in an interview with The Chronicle on Monday. "There's a sense that those who define the standard haven't caught on yet," he said.

But Mr. Zogby writes that polling by his organization shows that attitudes about online education are changing fast. His polling also points to other challenges that colleges will face as they race to serve a worldwise generation of 18-to-29-year-olds that Mr. Zogby calls "First Globals."

In one 2007 poll of more 5,000 adults, Zogby International found that 30 percent of respondents were taking or had taken an online course, and another 50 percent said they would consider taking one. He says the numbers might skew a little high because this poll was conducted online and the definition of an online course was broad, including certificate programs or training modules offered by employers.

Only 27 percent of respondents agreed that "online universities and colleges provide the same quality of education" as traditional institutions. Among those 18 to 24 years old, only 23 percent agreed.

An even greater proportion of those polled said it was their perception that employers and academic professionals thought more highly of traditional institutions than online ones.

Rapid Shift in Attitude

Yet in another national poll in December 2007, conducted for Excelsior College, 45 percent of the 1,004 adults surveyed believed "an online class carries the same value as a traditional-classroom class," and 43 percent of 1,545 chief executives and small-business owners agreed that a degree earned by distance learning "is as credible" as one from a traditional campus-based program.

Mr. Zogby said that differing attitudes in two polls within a year show that "the gap was closing"—and he said that wasn't as surprising as it might seem. As with changing perceptions about other cultural phenomena, "these paradigm shifts really are moving at lightning speed."

That, says Mr. Zogby, is why he writes about online universities in a chapter—"Dematerializing the Paradigm"—that discusses the rise of car-sharing companies like Flexcar (now merged with Zipcar), the emergence of Internet blogs as a source of news and information, and the popularity of microbrewed beer.

And while it may be true that microbrews and Zipcars, at least, are still very much niche products, Mr. Zogby says they are signs of transcendent change—just like the distance-education courses that are being offered by more and more institutions across the country. "When you add up all the niche products, it's a market unto itself," he says.

In the book, Mr. Zogby also highlights the emerging influence of the First Globals, whom his book calls "the most outward-looking and accepting generation in American history." First Globals, he says, are more socially tolerant and internationally aware.

It is these First Globals, he writes, who are shaping what he says is nothing short of a "fundamental reorientation of the American character away from wanton consumption and toward a new global citizenry in an age of limited resources."

Higher education, he said in the interview, needs to take notice and adapt. These days, he said, students are much more likely to have experienced other cultures firsthand, either as tourists or because they have immigrated from someplace else. Whether college for them is a traditional complex of buildings or an interactive online message board, said Mr. Zogby, "there is a different student on campus."

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education are at the following two sites:


Soaring Popularity of E-Learning Among Students But Not Faculty
How many U.S. students took at least on online course from a legitimate college in Fall 2005?

More students are taking online college courses than ever before, yet the majority of faculty still aren’t warming up to the concept of e-learning, according to a national survey from the country’s largest association of organizations and institutions focused on online education . . . ‘We didn’t become faculty to sit in front of a computer screen,’
Elia Powers, "Growing Popularity of E-Learning, Inside Higher Ed, November 10, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/11/10/online

More students are taking online college courses than ever before, yet the majority of faculty still aren’t warming up to the concept of e-learning, according to a national survey from the country’s largest association of organizations and institutions focused on online education.

Roughly 3.2 million students took at least one online course from a degree-granting institution during the fall 2005 term, the Sloan Consortium said. That’s double the number who reported doing so in 2002, the first year the group collected data, and more than 800,000 above the 2004 total. While the number of online course participants has increased each year, the rate of growth slowed from 2003 to 2004.

The report, a joint partnership between the group and the College Board, defines online courses as those in which 80 percent of the content is delivered via the Internet.

The Sloan Survey of Online Learning, “Making the Grade: Online Education in the United States, 2006,” shows that 62 percent of chief academic officers say that the learning outcomes in online education are now “as good as or superior to face-to-face instruction,” and nearly 6 in 10 agree that e-learning is “critical to the long-term strategy of their institution.” Both numbers are up from a year ago.

Researchers at the Sloan Consortium, which is administered through Babson College and Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, received responses from officials at more than 2,200 colleges and universities across the country. (The report makes few references to for-profit colleges, a force in the online market, in part because of a lack of survey responses from those institutions.)

Much of the report is hardly surprising. The bulk of online students are adult or “nontraditional” learners, and more than 70 percent of those surveyed said online education reaches students not served by face-to-face programs.

What stands out is the number of faculty who still don’t see e-learning as a valuable tool. Only about one in four academic leaders said that their faculty members “accept the value and legitimacy of online education,” the survey shows. That number has remained steady throughout the four surveys. Private nonprofit colleges were the least accepting — about one in five faculty members reported seeing value in the programs.

Elaine Allen, co-author of the report and a Babson associate professor of statistics and entrepreneurship, said those numbers are striking.

“As a faculty member, I read that response as, ‘We didn’t become faculty to sit in front of a computer screen,’ ” Allen said. “It’s a very hard adjustment. We sat in lectures for an hour when we were students, but there’s a paradigm shift in how people learn.”

Barbara Macaulay, chief academic officer at UMass Online, which offers programs through the University of Massachusetts, said nearly all faculty members teaching the online classes there also teach face-to-face courses, enabling them to see where an online class could fill in the gap (for instance, serving a student who is hesitant to speak up in class).

She said she isn’t surprised to see data illustrating the growing popularity of online courses with students, because her program has seen rapid growth in the last year. Roughly 24,000 students are enrolled in online degree and certificate courses through the university this fall — a 23 percent increase from a year ago, she said.

“Undergraduates see it as a way to complete their degrees — it gives them more flexibility,” Macaulay said.

The Sloan report shows that about 80 percent of students taking online courses are at the undergraduate level. About half are taking online courses through community colleges and 13 percent through doctoral and research universities, according to the survey.

Nearly all institutions with total enrollments exceeding 15,000 students have some online offerings, and about two-thirds of them have fully online programs, compared with about one in six at the smallest institutions (those with 1,500 students or fewer), the report notes. Allen said private nonprofit colleges are often set in enrollment totals and not looking to expand into the online market.

The report indicates that two-year colleges are particularly willing to be involved in online learning.

“Our institutions tend to embrace changes a little more readily and try different pedagogical styles,” said Kent Philli