Nine steps to quality online learning — from Tony Bates


Also see:

  • How [not] to Design an Online Course — from
    Moving a face-to-face credit course to an online environment is far more challenging than one might expect – as numerous experienced and esteemed professors have discovered. In this post learn vicariously through one professor’s experience of ‘what not to do’.


The future of higher education and other imponderables — from by George Siemens


Educators are not driving the change bus. Leadership in traditional universities has been grossly negligent in preparing the academy for the economic and technological reality it now faces. This failure is apparent in interactions I’ve had with several universities over the past several months. Universities have not been paying attention. As a result, they have not developed systemic capacity to function in a digital networked age. In order to try and ramp up capacity today, they have to acquire the skills that they failed to develop over the last decade by purchasing services from vendors. Digital content, testing, teaching resources, teaching/learning software, etc. are now being purchased to try and address the capacity shortage. Enormous amounts of organizational resources are now flowing outside of education in order to fill gaps due to poor leadership. Good for the startups that were smart enough to anticipate the skill and capacity shortage in higher education. Bad for the university, faculty, and support staff.

I have delivered two presentations recently on the scope of change in higher education, one in Peru at Universidad de San Martin Porres and the other at the CANHEIT conference. Slides from CANHEIT are below…


Addendum on 6/20/12:

Addendum on 6/21/12:



Excerpt from website:

Your Classroom Just Got A Little Bigger. OK, A Lot Bigger.
There are millions of people around the globe with a thirst for educational content but have little available to them. You have tremendous educational resources and a desire to reach more people.
The ClevrU platform offers educators the marketplace to reach across the barriers of today’s classroom and out to the rest of the world.  Our service combines the power of a complete online learning environment with a scalable platform designed to handle from 1 to a billion users while adapting to the users language of choice, their available bandwidth, and their type of mobile device or internet access.
We welcome free, open source material as well as fee based learning programs for which we can provide in country e-commerce support.
Excerpt from University? There’s an app for that  — from by Cathy Gulli
A Waterloo start-up provides courses on smartphones
For Tushar Singh, the 32-year-old co-founder of ClevrU and chief technology officer, the potential impact of providing education to those who are too poor or isolated to get one locally is what’s driving the company forward. “Education is a lifeline. It doesn’t just change a person, it also changes a community.”

2011 Year in Review: Global Changes in Tuition Fee Policies and Student Financial Assistance.


All around the world, the pace of change in higher education is accelerating. In the face of continued increases in participation, demographic change and – in the west at least – profound fiscal crises, higher education institutions are increasingly being required to raise funds from students as opposed to relying on transfers from governments. Indeed, the pace of policy change is coming so quickly that it is difficult to keep track of all the relevant developments in different parts of the world.

In this, the second edition of Year in Review: Tuition Fees and Student Assistance, we outline the major changes related to higher education affordability around the world in 2011. In order to keep our sample manageable, we have kept our inquiries to a selection of 40 countries that collectively best represent the global situation:

The G-40 consists of: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea (Republic of), Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam.

Marcucci, Pamela and Usher, Alex (2012). 2011 Year in Review:
Global Changes in Tuition Fee Policies and Student Financial Assistance.
Toronto: Higher Education Strategy Associates.


Some items on math education

Is math education too abstract? — from Audrey Watters

From DSC:
Which reminds me of this iPad-based app
which seeks to take some of that abstration away:


Also see:




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The impact of new business models for higher education on student financing

Financing Higher Education in Developing Countries
Think Tank | Bellagio Conference Centre | 8-12 August 2011

Sir John Daniel (Commonwealth of Learning)
Stamenka Uvali-Trumbi (UNESCO)


The aim of this paper has been to suggest that in discussing student financing we need to look beyond the current standard model classroom teaching to the likely developments in learning systems over the next decade. These have the potential to cut costs dramatically and thereby lessen the challenge of student financing.

That is fortunate because nearly one-third of the world’s population (29.3%) is under 15. Today there are 165 million people enrolled in tertiary education.[2] Projections suggest that that participation will peak at 263 million in 2025.[3] Accommodating the additional 98 million students would require more than four major campus universities (30,000 students) to open every week for the next fifteen years unless alternative models emerge. (emphasis DSC)

Also see:

OER for beginners: An introduction to sharing learning resources openly in healthcare education
The Higher Education Academy (HEA) ( and the Joint information Systems Committee (JISC) ( are working in partnership to develop the HEFCE-funded Open Educational Resources (OER) programme, supporting UK higher education institutions in sharing their teaching and learning resources freely online across the world.

Free Learning: Essays on open educational resources and copyright — by Stephen Downes | National Research Council Canada

From DSC:
Thanks Stephen for this collection of essays, postings, resources, materials.

After reading the first several sections, I feel compelled to add here that I have not accepted any money for my Learning Ecosystems blog; the work I do on this blog is given freely (and this is often very appropriate…as I often curate content from many other sources).

I don’t know if I’ll be able to continue to do this, but I have chosen to post those items that I believe are going to be helpful to others and/or further a conversation or idea or perspective — but have done so free of charge.  I have not been paid to post anything on this Learning Ecosystems blog. 

Anyway, thanks again Stephen for your work and for your worthy goals.



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The Economist World in Figures 2011 Edition -- by The Economist


— Originally saw at Gerd Leonhard’s blog


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Google Building “Global Classroom” in YouTube EDU with 400 Colleges Worldwide — from

About the above video:

Having launched just over two years ago as a hub for college and universitie YouTube channels, YouTube EDU has become a destination for education, providing an index for a broad range of topics and campus activities, says Angela Lin who manages the education program at YouTube. The YouTube site integrates content from 400 colleges and universities in the United States, Canada, Europe, Israel and Australia.

MIT’s new liquid flow batteries — from
MIT’s new liquid flow batteries could make refueling EVs as fast as pumping gas



Also see:

  • Enerkem raises $60M to transform garbage into fuel — from
    Canadian company Enerkem has devised an innovative plan to transform garbage into a source of fuel, and today it received $60 million in new financing to bring its technology to the mainstream.


Also see:


Do you know how plastic bottles are actually recycled? The amount of energy that goes into it is pretty insane, as you’ll see in this video below of the Ecostar recycling facility in Wisconsin. The amount of steps—not to mention electricity, water and manpower—that need to be taken to go from a bale of plastic bottles into safe, useable material is pretty staggering.

What’s even more staggering is that as energy-intensive as recycling is, it still gives off only half the carbon that’s produced when creating virgin materials. It makes you wonder why we don’t spend more time looking at more efficient ways to convey fluids, or if our current system of plastic bottles is really the best thing mankind can come up with.


Also see:



Also see:



Addendum 6-11-11 — also see:


Solar Array

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