Here’s how to shape the future of higher education in India

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 07/02/2016 - 13:00

K Vaidya Nathan, The Financial Express, Jul 02, 2016

Based on his experien ce teaching a MOOC this business writer identifies "five trends that stand out to possibly exert a genuinely transformative impact on higher education in the times to come" (quoted):

  • online learning platforms will democratise higher education;
  • benchmarks for classroom teaching are becoming higher because of this democratisation of higher education;
  • industry and academia could come closer with industry folks getting to learn as and when they choose to, on topics relevant for their workplace;
  • platforms like Coursera can disaggregate course content and make teaching assets available to any faculty to use; and
  • enhance our understanding of student motivation, instructional design and the personalisation of learning pathways.

It is, frankly, a narrow vision, and one not always supported by the evidence. The "democratisation" of education cited several times runs counter to learning as a form of workplace training. And Coursera is making it harder, not easier, to make assets available for any teacher to use. Online learning isn't just about making stuff available for teachers to use in classrooms. Funny how it's so hard to convince anyone otherwise, though.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Amazon Launches 'Inspire,' a Free Education Resource Search Platform for Educators

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 07/02/2016 - 10:00

Mary Jo Madda, EdSurge, Jul 02, 2016

Amazon's e-learning plans - described  earlier this year - are coming to fruition. It's learning  -  Amazon Inspire - has officially launched. "A free, mostly-OER platform (see below for why it’ s “ mostly OER” ), Amazon Inspire works like a search engine for educational videos, lesson plans and games. Users can search by criteria like topics (say, 'fractions' or 'the Constitution'), standards, grade level, and time to complete, as shown below; additionally, they can rate materials with 1 to 5 stars." There was  quite a bit of discussion when it was first announced in February. Something like this is what I had hoped we could have developed with the LPSS program at NRC. More.

Judy O'Connell comments, "By introducing its new education site, Amazon joins other tech industry giants in an enormous push to expand the use of technology in public schools. It’ s all about the market territory really, under the guise of support." Inside Higher Ed's Joshua Kim writes, "the last thing higher ed needs is another digital learning object repository. We are so over digital learning objects."

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Categories: Miscellaneous
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