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by Inside Higher Ed
The board of the National Education Association, which represents college faculty members in addition to elementary and secondary school teachers, on Friday approved a new statement on digital learning that is likely to be adopted as official policy for the union by its Representative Assembly in July. The policy, which applies to both K-12 and higher education: Endorses “hybrid” teaching — involving both technology and teachers — as the best approach. “Optimal learning environments should neither be totally technology free, nor should they be totally online and devoid of educator interaction,” the statement says. Calls for teachers to be centrally involved in decisions about how to use technology in classrooms.Share on Facebook
Sharmila Mann, a senior policy analyst at the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) association, issued the following announcement this week on SHEEO's freshly updated state authorization resources, including its guide to the authorization regulations, processes, and contacts for various states. Note that she also discusses the process and timing for the next round of updates, which SHEEO plans to start in January 2014. (Many thanks to our friends at WCET for sharing Sharmila's announcement with us.)
By Susan Galer, Business 2 Community
The business world is ripe for an e-learning explosion as the number of qualified experts can’t keep pace with innovations like mobile, cloud, and Big-Data. Arming employees with the latest skills and knowledge so they can function with excellence is a strategic imperative for every business regardless of size, location, and industry. Institutions of higher education are corralling more and more students in online study sessions (officially known as Massive Open Online Courses—MOOCs). Now the business world is finally entering the fray. This past winter, I took the plunge by attending an eight-week social media course offered by the International Association of Business Communications (IABC). Here are the highs and lows based on my experience.Share on Facebook
by ALVA NOË, National Public Radio
Colleges and universities are communities with their own local cultures, values and ways of doing things. In the face of budgetary pressure, how will these communities withstand the temptation to give up the hard work of making knowledge and, instead, just subscribe to courses being produced and packaged elsewhere? One might object that MOOCs are no different from textbooks. What is a textbook, really, but a programmed course template, a whole course in a box? Have popular textbooks destroyed local learning communities and entrenched established hierarchies? No. This is an important point and it brings out how complicated the issues are. So often with new technology we simply reenact old battles. But maybe the comparison with textbooks breaks down. Textbooks are limited in ambition. They don’t replace the whole curriculum; they give it a grounding. Good teachers use textbooks. Will they come to use MOOCs the same way?Share on Facebook
by Wagdy Sawahel, Univesrity World News
The African Virtual University (AVU) and the International Council for Open and Distance Education, or ICDE – a global body for the open and distance education community – have launched an e-learning partnership aimed at providing cost-effective and efficient tools to promote access to higher education in Africa. The initiative was announced on 23 April, according to an ICDE press release. “The partnership between the AVU and the ICDE will help in promoting e-learning, online learning and mobile learning as an ideal tool for expanding university access in Africa, as in other parts of the world,” Gard Titlestad, secretary general of the Norway-based ICDE, told University World News.Share on Facebook
By Jason Gallaher, CSUN SUN
CSUN is in the beginning stages of figuring out how a proposed interstate reciprocity system for online courses could affect online education at the university. The Commission on the Regulation of Postsecondary Distance Education released a report in April proposing a new system to authorize institutions to teach online courses to out-of-state students. Currently, higher education institutions have to be authorized by the states in which out-of-state students who take online courses reside. “Providers of distance education now have to meet 50 different state policies,” said Terri Taylor, a policy and legal advisor who worked with the commission on creating the interstate reciprocity system. “This proposal would create baseline requirements that are the same for all states participating in this.” Under the agreement, every institution would be authorized to teach students based on standards created and monitored by that institution’s home state.Share on Facebook
by Larry Gordon, LA Times
While Jennifer Clay was at home taking an online exam for her business law class, a proctor a few hundred miles away was watching her every move. Using a webcam mounted in Clay’s Los Angeles apartment, the monitor in Phoenix tracked how frequently her eyes shifted from the computer screen and listened for the telltale sounds of a possible helper in the room. Her computer browser was locked — remotely — to prevent Internet searches, and her typing pattern was analyzed to make sure she was who she said she was: Did she enter her password with the same rhythm as she had in the past? Or was she slowing down? In the battle against cheating, this is the cutting edge — and a key to bolstering integrity in the booming field of online education.Share on Facebook
by David F. Carr, Information Week
The panel on MOOCs included three CIOs: David Baird of Wesleyan University, Gayle Barton of Amherst College, and Patricia Schoknecht of Rollins College. Each school has a different approach to MOOCs. Wesleyan is active in Coursera, the for-profit MOOC that has so far accumulated the longest list of university partners. Amherst was recently in the news after faculty shot down a proposed partnership with edX. Rollins will offer a MOOC-style course, but do it independently.Share on Facebook
by Virtual College (UK)
In order to meet the demands of different learning styles, teachers should launch a protected online learning environment for students. This is according to Carolyn Lewis, managing director at Vocational Innovation, who wrote in an article for Training Zone that launching such a platform would also allow educators to integrate various resource types, such as video, audio and games, into one location. She claimed technology offers pupils the freedom of independent learning, but there are skills that need to be developed first to achieve this. “Most of all, technology can make learning more varied, interesting, fun and well-supported, but if learners haven’t experienced it how can they express it as their preferred learning style?” Ms Lewis added.Share on Facebook
by DEBBIE CAFAZZO, News Tribune
Students at many Washington community and technical colleges will have more access to low-cost or free textbooks and class materials following completion of a project known as the Open Course Library. Students and teachers at two-year schools in the Tacoma area are leading the way. Launched in 2011, the OCL project is a collection of online materials – everything from course activities to readings and assessments – developed by teams of educators from the state’s two-year colleges. The courses include digital textbooks that are either free or cost no more than $30, offering the potential for big savings for students. “Students are clearly the winners,” said Marty Brown, executive director of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.Share on Facebook
By Krysten Cooper, Prospectus News
Online learning offers many advantages to students, but most have limited experience with this type of environment. If you’re using online components in a traditional class or taking a full course over the Web, keep these tips for success in mind:
Start by making sure you understand the structure of the online components. For example:
Do you need to blog?
Will you watch videos?
How do you upload or download different file types?
If there are any unfamiliar requirements, work with your instructor or other students to understand everything before you start the class. In addition, make sure you have a plan B if any of the technology isn’t working when you need it.Share on Facebook
The U.S. Department of Education's Office of the Chief Privacy Officer kicked off Information Management Week (May 7-9, 2013) with a keynote panel discussion on "Big Data, Small Data, Apps & Analytics: Can We Transform Education Without Sacrificing Privacy?" CPO Kathleen Styles opened the event by commenting on the explosion of online data and communications and the shift from when data was only collected for decision-making purposes to an era when virtually everything related to our use of technology devices is collected - often without our knowledge and occasionally with no intial intended use in mind. She also described the impact of our mobile devices that are with us every where that we go, and most ot them include geolocation tools.
Richard Culatta, Acting Director of the Department's Office of Educational Technology, set the stage by describing the challenges that we face in education:
On April 24, 2013, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte (R-VA) announced that the Committee would conduct a comprehensive review of U.S. copyright law over the coming months. The goal of these hearings will be to determine whether the current law is still workable in the digital age. Many believe that the existing copyright law lags behind the rapid pace of technology, forcing policymakers to make decisions based on outdated rules.
The Department of Commerce used the occasion of the annual conference of the Schools, Healthcare, Libraries and Broadband (SHLB) coalition to announce the release of a new NTIA Broadband Adoption Toolkit. Larry Strickling, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information, delivered the keynote address where he highlighted federal investments that have benefited anchor institutions. For example, he reported:
by Associated Press
A leading platform for the popular “massive open online courses” offered by elite universities is moving into a new realm: the expansive field of continuing education for teachers. Coursera, the California-based for-profit platform for MOOCs from 62 leading universities such as Stanford, Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania, planned to announce Wednesday a new range of partners that include education schools and, in a first, non-degree granting institutions such as the American Museum of Natural History that help train teachers. The announcement would give teachers pursuing their continuing education requirements, or courses that could give them a salary boost, a new set of options to learn from master professors at leading education schools such as Vanderbilt and the University of Virginia, along with a handful of museums and other institutions.Share on Facebook
BY BRETT SAMUELS, the Daily Orange
As the end of the semester approaches, students at Syracuse University are turning to their computers in order to fill out course evaluations. The Office of Institutional Research and Assessment at SU organizes this process for many academic departments on campus. Seth Ovadia, the office’s assistant director, said in an email that most departments that use OIRA for processing course evaluations have switched from paper to online evaluations. As of the spring 2013 semester, Ovadia said there are only 12 departments on campus that work with OIRA and don’t use an online evaluation system.Share on Facebook
By TAMAR LEWIN, NY Times
In Bunker Hill’s modified program, though, students come to class twice a week, pay tuition and get credit. So Anant Agarwal, president of the M.I.T.-Harvard online collaboration, edX, calls the community college pilot program a SPOC, for “small private online course.” “On campus, it’s not about bringing it to scale,” Dr. Agarwal said. “It’s about improving the pedagogy, finding the best way to teach the material. On campus, we can blend online videos and interaction with professors.” The blended course, teaching Python computer programming, is being tried at both Bunker Hill and MassBay Community College, but at different paces. The Bunker Hill class moves slowly, taking two weeks on each week of M.I.T. material. MassBay, whose students have more computer background, matches the M.I.T. pace.Share on Facebook
Rather than waiting for a data breach to happen, consider using an incident checklist to establish a campus incident response team, review your institution's readiness, and develop (or adjust) your incident management and response roadmap. In a recent Security listserv discussion, one campus was seeking an incident response decision tree or process flow to help determine when it's appropriate to perform forensic analysis of a compromised machine that accesses or stores sensitive data.
By Sophie Quinton, National Journal
New technologies become disruptive when they enter the traditional classroom—and they get colleges thinking about whether the existing model will suffice. In many ways, online education isn’t that different from old-fashioned instruction: Algebra is still algebra, no matter how you do your scratch work. But online tools allow educators to personalize learning in ways that weren’t possible before. This is good news for a system of higher education that’s straining to provide opportunity to everyone who wants to learn. Access to education means being able to pay for it, and it means being able to succeed academically in a college setting. “You can’t look at the cost question, the attainment question, the quality question in isolation,” said Candace Thille, director of the Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University. Different technologies will serve different students best, she said, just as no single brick-and-mortar university is right for everyone.Share on Facebook
BY BOBBY BLANCHARD, Daily Texan
This semester, more than 20 journalism and computer science students entered senior journalism lecturer Robert Quigley’s new Mobile News App Design class. All of them will leave the class as developers, with an app either already in the Apple App Store or on its way. The class represents an ongoing trend for journalists: the need to become a jack of all trades. In the class, computer science and journalism students were grouped into five different teams. This wasn’t a class students could just register for — they had to apply to prove both their worth and interest. Once accepted into the class, students were paired up and immediately sent to work on their apps. They had to have an app ready to pitch by the second class day, and then they immediately began developing it.Share on Facebook
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