Elite universities’ online play — from insidehighered.com by Steve Kolowich


Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor have teamed up with a for-profit company to offer free versions of their coveted courses this year to online audiences. By doing so, they join a growing group of top-tier universities that are embracing massively open online courses, or MOOCs, as the logical extension of elite higher education in an increasingly online, global landscape.

Princeton, Penn and Michigan will join Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley as partners of Coursera, a company founded earlier this year by the Stanford engineering professors Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng. Using Coursera’s platform, the universities will produce free, online versions of their courses that anyone can take.

Also see:

50 best sources of free STEM education online — from onlineuniversities.com

From DSC:
A solid listing covering universities, lectures, tutorials, educational media, free courses, and reading materials.

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Blackboard launches Open Source Services Group — from Blackboard
Company will support both commercial & open source systems

WASHINGTON – March 26, 2012 – Blackboard Inc. today announced the launch of Blackboard Education Open Source Services, a new effort to support clients using open source education technologies. With the announcement, the company will continue to focus on its flagship Blackboard Learn platform as well as ANGEL and Edline, while also helping institutions successfully manage open source learning management systems (LMS) including Moodle and Sakai.

The move complements Blackboard’s existing focus on supporting the entire education experience with products and services for learning management as well as mobility, real time collaboration, analytics, campus services and notification, and other needs. Blackboard already serves hundreds of institutions that use Moodle, Sakai and other LMS systems in tandem with these additional education-focused solutions. In extending its focus to include open source options, Blackboard can support a wider variety of approaches to online learning and help institutions increase the value they get from technology of all kinds.

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From DSC:
Arguably, Sal Kahn has become the most famous, influential educator on the planet today — his videos are watched millions of times a day now.  The question — which Eric Schmidt answers in the piece — I couldn’t help but ask was, “Why didn’t this type of innovation come from someone who was working in education at the time of their innovation?”

My thanks to Dr. Kate Byerwalter and her colleagues for passing along this resource.
The tags/associated categories for this posting point out the relevant areas covered.


Khan Academy: The future of education?

Also see:

  • Khan Academy: The future of education?
    (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.

From DSC:
A relevant graphic comes to mind with what Sal is trying to achieve with analytics:

i.e. Highly-effective diagnostic tools for the educators and trainers out there!



Khan Academy enters next era with iPad app — from FastCompany.com by Greg Ferenstein
Offline learning is the latest tool for the unorthodox education organization. Here’s how that and other new features will power Khan Academy’s new app.

Khan Academy now has an iPad-based app

Beyond the college degree, online educational badges— from the New York Times by Tamar Lewin


With the advent of Massive Open Online Courses and other online programs offering informal credentials, the race is on for alternative forms of certification that would be widely accepted by employers.

By the end of this year, Mr. [David] Wiley predicted, it will become familiar to hear of people who earned alternative credentials online and got high-paying jobs at Google or other high-visibility companies.


Who decides what gets sold in the bookstore? — from paidcontent.org by Seth Godin


I just found out that Apple is rejecting my new manifesto Stop Stealing Dreams and won’t carry it in their store because inside the manifesto are links to buy the books [at Amazon.com] I mention in the bibliography.


From DSC:
By the way, some nice quotes from the Stop Stealing Dreams page:

  • The economy has changed, probably forever.  School hasn’t.
  • Our kids are too important to sacrifice to the status quo.

From DSC:
This is exactly what I was getting at with The Forthcoming Walmart of Education (2008) and it points out, again, that innovation is much faster and stronger in the online world than it is in the face-to-face world. The tools being developed to engage, track, diagnose, and adapt continue to be developed. What may have once been poo-pooed continues to pick up steam. (Christensen, Johnson, & Horn are right on track.) The trend will be towards more team-based endeavors that can be made available at a greatly reduced price. They will be multimedia-based, highly-interactive, and state-of-the-art (technically and pedagogically).

Treating Higher Ed’s ‘Cost Disease’ With Supersize Online Courses — from The Chronicle by Marc Parry

Excerpt (with emphasis from DSC):

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 [from DSC — a TEAM-based approach] 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.

From DSC:
Such learner profiles will most likely reside in the cloud and eventually standards will be established to insert new data into these profiles. The access to view/edit these profiles will be controlled by the individual learners (hopefully!).  What if learners could selectively grant corporations access to this type of profile as their new resume?

For items concerning team-based approaches, see this recording (June 2009) as well as this collection of items.

For items concerning consortia and pooling resources, see here and here.



openstaxcollege.org -- Access. The future of education.

Free courses, elite colleges — from InsideHigherEd.com by Steve Kolowich


Robert Garland, a professor of classics at Colgate University, is not accustomed to discussing Greek religion with the lifeless lens of his MacBook’s built-in video camera. But that was how Garland spent Wednesday afternoon: in his home study, recording lectures on his laptop in 20-minute chunks.

Garland, a novice to online teaching, says it is difficult to think of these solitary sessions as lectures. “I think of them more as chats,” he says.

Garland’s gear is lo-fi: just the laptop, which he owns, and a microphone mailed to him by Udemy, the company that roped him into this.

The Faculty Project - January 2012

From DSC:
I originally saw this at:

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