The pace has changed -- don't come onto the track in a Model T


From DSC:
If you doubt that…read on…

The New Normal: Universities Sponsoring Online High Schools — from

K12 announced today that they are partnering with George Washington University to launch The George Washington University Online High School. This private high school will serve students from the US and countries around the world January 2011.

Students are constantly trying to find options that will set them apart from others and participating in this rigorous college preparatory program could be the key. In addition to the curriculum, students who attend an online high school connected to a University such as GWUOHS will have college counseling, personalized learning tools, test preparation, even guidance through the scholarship process.

GWU is not the only university sponsoring online high schools. Stanford has the EPGY Online High School. University of Missouri High School and The University of Oklahoma offer year-round and dual enrollment courses. Whether public or private schools, the possibilities are endless for students. Training for sports, starting a business, volunteering, working in the arts,  all can become easier by signing in to your online courses from the nearest computer.

Through major universities in partnership with online providers, students are reaping the benefits of university resources online high schools. It is interesting that we do not see this type of partnership more often.

MIT tries new approach for some OpenCourseWare (OCW) — from The Chronicle by Jeff Young

New MIT OpenCourseWare Initiative Aims to Improve Independent Online Learning — from the NYT by Aurey Watters of ReadWriteWeb

MIT OpenCourseWare is launching five new courses today that mark a new model for one of the world’s premier open educational resources. These OCW Scholar courses are designed for use by independent learners, and like the other material made available through MIT OCW, are freely available for anyone to pursue. These aren’t distance learning classes – there is no instructor, no contact with MIT, no credit. But the courses are meant to be stand-alone offerings, not requiring any additional materials for learning.

Technology Empowering Online Learning at Post-Secondary Level — from TMCNet by Beecher Tuttle

Times have changed, however. With lower budgets, limited physical space and new insight into the effectiveness of online learning, a myriad of highly regarded public and private colleges and universities have begun transitioning their curriculum to a digital world. In fact, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, one of the most well thought-of state institutions on the East Coast, recently announced its plans to offer its prestigious MBA program completely online. The business school’s dean told Mashable that the university made the move because it did not see online learning as a lesser form of education, if delivered properly.

Quick aside from DSC:

Re: that last sentence…please…let’s stop asking the question if online learning is as good as face-to-face learning. That question has been answered time and again.

The question now is, how will face-to-face learning begin to keep up and measure up to online learning as online learning begins to hit its real stride? We haven’t seen anything yet; and at this point, innovation is happening at much faster speeds in the online world. Those professors, teachers, and trainers used to working solely in the face-to-face teaching and learning environments better really start asking themselves how they will innovate, and how they will respond to the K-12 students (and employees) that are  changing right in front of our eyes!

New Web Venture Offers ‘Syndicated Courses’ — from The Chronicle by  Tusher Rae

Omnicademy, a for-profit institution conceived at Louisiana State University, hopes to allow professors to syndicate their courses this fall.

The company’s system will let professors upload material from courses they’re already teaching and offer the courses to students at other colleges through the Omnicademy site, said the company’s founder, Stacey Simmons, associate director for economic development at Louisiana’s Center for Computation and Technology.

Universities can review the courses and decide which ones they want to adopt and offer credit for. When students log into Omnicademy—using a .edu e-mail address—they will only be allowed to select from courses that have been approved by their institution.

If a student wishes to take a course offered through Omnicademy that is not on the list approved by his or her university, Omnicademy will negotiate on behalf of that student with the university, Ms. Simmons added.

2020 Vision — from neXtedu

The MEGATRENDS I see changing the Education Industry are:

1) The Knowledge Economy:
Prediction:  By 2020, Assessment becomes the currency for the Knowledge Economy, not where you went to school.  In other words, opportunity will truly be driven by what you know, not by where your degree is from.

2) Globalization:
Prediction: By 2020, there will be Global Schools like Avenues and Mosaica in the primary and secondary market and an acceleration of Global Universities will be driven by online offerings.  Moreover, study abroad will become a standard part of a college education (up from 1% of the students currently) and will even be an important feature for top-tier private K-12 schools.

3) The Internet: …Web 2.0 is truly about “democratizing” education, not only increasing access and lowering cost but also improving quality.
Prediction: By 2020, all college students will have a “blended” or “hybrid” learning experience, as will nearly all high school students.  Virtual School operators such as K12, Connections Academy and Florida Virtual have millions of students and Arizona State University Online becomes the largest University in the World.  The information that is made readily available by new media education sites such as Center for Education Reform’s “Media Bullpen” and the Education Breakthrough Network create a “dismantling of the Berlin Wall” moment for school choice, with a flood of opportunities coming to parents and students throughout the United States.

4) Outsourcing:
Prediction: By 2020, students in Charter Schools will have more than tripled from 3% to 10% of America’s student body, and it will become standard to integrate specialists, from foreign languages to mathematics, into the “traditional” school. Teach for America becomes a “for profit” as does KIPP, eliminating the ongoing need to raise tens of millions of dollars every year and instead utilize investor capital to sustain and grow their businesses.  I predict over 25% of Universities will have partnerships with outsourced providers to manage their online offering.  Several states will decide to “privatize” their public university system.

5) Consolidation:
Prediction: By 2020, the trend of less power and money from local coupled with a rationalization of the market will see many districts consolidate under either regional or state governance.   As many as 1/3 of the private colleges and universities will either “merge” with other universities or go away.

6) Demographics:
Prediction: By 2020, Education is the #1 national issue driven by minorities understanding that equal access to education is key to their future — and zip code shouldn’t determine a student’s earnings power.  Early stage childcare becomes much more of a national priority with leaders such as Bright Horizons being the model for how corporations and parents work together to provide the early learning needed to be “school ready”.  Gaming will be a standard component of core curriculum and supplementary learning with companies like Dreambox, Tabula Digita , Knewton and Grockit creating powerful adaptive platforms.

7) Network Effects:
Prediction:  By 2020, large learning networks are created in K12, Higher Ed and the Corporate Marketplace driven by gigantic network effects.  Platforms that support “apps” such as digital content, assessment, and social collaboration are supported by three or four large players.

8)  Freemium:
Prediction:  By 2020 some of the largest education companies will be “freemium” models with revenues driven by premium services, sponsorships and ads.  In a world where “assessment is the currency” for opportunity, freemium models that deliver high value knowledge at no cost or a fraction of the cost (like Academic Earth) will be very disruptive to high cost providers.

9) Open:
Prediction:  By 2020, most colleges and universities have abandoned their captive LMS and have adopted open solutions, and service providers such as RSmart and Moodle Rooms are thriving.

10) Brands:
Prediction:  By 2020, institutions with substantial brand equity will have multiple partners to leverage into cash to supplement endowments and flattish tuitions.  As with case studies from other sectors that have created network effects with freemium models, GLOBAL MEGABRANDS will be created with a number of education companies obtaining $10 billion plus market caps.

Arizona State University’s Education Innovation Network

The Education Innovation Network is an open innovation platform where entrepreneurs can find the resources to validate concepts, accelerate growth and reach transformative scale.

From DSC:
Again…do you hear the waves of change crashing on our shores? Do you sense the increased speeds of the “cars on the racetrack”?

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The Coming Golden Age of Open Educational Simulations — from Mike Caulfield

From DSC:
Thanks Mike for sharing this information, these lessons and reflections. Although your posting stopped me in my tracks, it was good to reflect upon. It made me wonder about such things as…

  • If we could get a billion from the fortunes that Gates, Buffett, and other billionaires are donating, could we create open learning objects/courses and make them available worldwide? Or would that not work?
  • Were you all ahead of your time?
  • Where does this leave us? That is, is it a wise goal to create interactive, professionally-done, engaging, multimedia-based applications? If so, under what conditions?
  • If we pursue this goal, who and how should we do it?
  • If open source models are followed, should we move towards the use of consortiums to create the learning objects? i.e. to spread out the development costs?
  • What would you say to instructional designers if they are following similar endeavors/efforts? How can one know all of the context that speaks to each individual taking the course?
  • Will “The Reusability Paradox” be a show-stopper for us?
  • What should our strategy and vision be?
  • Or did I miss the whole point here?!

MIT Opencourseware: Highlights for High School

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Open University chooses Moodle 2.0 as their LMS of the future — from Moodle News by Joseph Thibault

The Open University, after commissioning a survey of the alternative/rival LMSs available, has decided to continue using Moodle as it’s primary Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) moving forward and is now planning it’s site wide upgrade which will be a several phase process over the next 12 months according to Ross MacKenzie.

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The Pivot to Digital Learning: 40 Predictions — from Tom Vander Ark, Partner, Revolution Learning — via EdNet Insights

From DSC:
That posting includes predictions for changes that we’ll see in the next 1, 5 and 10 years…with some excerpts below:

3. Lingering budget woes will cause several districts and charter networks, particularly in California, to flip to a blended model, with a shift to online or computer-based instruction for a portion of the day to boost learning and operating productivity.

9. The instant feedback from content-embedded assessment, especially learning games, simulations, virtual environments, and MMOs (massively multiplayer online games), will be widely used in formal and informal learning and will build persistence and time on task.

10. Adaptive content will result in more time on task (in some cases, two times the productive learning time over the course of a year), and better targeted learning experiences will boost achievement, particularly among low-income and minority students.

11. Comprehensive learner profiles will gather keystroke data from learning platforms, content-embedded applications, as well as after-school, summer school, tutoring, and test prep providers. Students and families will manage privacy using Facebook-like profiles.

12. Most learning platforms will feature a smart recommendation engine, like iTunes Genius, that will build recommended learning playlists for students.

18. All U.S. students will have access to online courses for Advanced Placement, high-level STEM courses, and any foreign language (this should happen next year, but it will take us five years to get out of our own way).

23. Second-generation online learning will replace courseware with adaptive components in a digital content library (objects, lessons, units, and sequences).

27. Most high school students will do most of their learning online and will attend a blended school.

28. More than one-third of all learning professionals will be in roles that do not exist today; more than 10% will be in organizations that do not exist today.

29. The higher ed funding bubble will burst, and free and low-cost higher education alternatives will displace a significant portion of third tier higher education (emphasis DSC).

37. There will be several DIY High options—online high schools with an engaging and intuitive merit badge sequence that will allow students to take ownership of and direct their own learning. They will still benefit from adult assessment, guidance, and mentorship but in a more student-directed fashion.

The 2011 NMC Summer Conference includes four themes:

Threads in these themes include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Emerging uses of mobile devices and applications in any context
  • Highly innovative, successful applications of learning analytics or visual data analysis
  • Uses of augmented reality, geolocation, and gesture-based computing
  • Discipline-specific applications for emerging technologies
  • Challenges and trends in educational technology
  • Projects that employ the Horizon Report or Navigator in any capacity


  • Challenge-based learning
  • Game-based learning
  • Digital storytelling as a learning strategy
  • Immersive learning environments
  • Open content resources and strategies
  • New media research and scholarship
  • Challenges and trends in new media and learning


  • Fostering/Supporting/budgeting for innovation
  • Supporting new media scholarship
  • Collaboration as a strategy
  • Learning space design, in all senses of the words
  • Use, creation, and management of open content
  • Experiment and experience; gallery as lab, lab as gallery
  • Challenges and trends related to managing an educational enterprise


  • Designing for mobile devices in any context
  • Social networking — designing, monitoring, maximizing social tools
  • Experience design
  • Creating augmented reality
  • Creating the next generation of electronic books
  • Optimizing digital workflows
  • Strategies for staying current with new media tools

Schools combine netbooks and open source

Also see:
Laptops All Around! Now What?
— from by Bridget McCrea

So you’ve decided to give tablets and laptops to all your students and faculty. Now how do you support that? Pennsylvania’s Seton Hill University backs up its newly expanded mobile computing program, now consisting of both Apple MacBook Pros and iPads for students and faculty, with a robust support structure modeled after AppleCare.

When Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA launched its freshmen laptop distribution program in 2009, the institution’s IT team didn’t just match the Apple MacBook Pros up with their new owners and hope for the best. Knowing that many universities struggle to provide adequate “service after the sale” on technological equipment, the school took an active stance on the issue.

Open Educational Resources (OER) 101 -- by David Wiley

— Found originally at

A World to Change — Stephen Downes at the Huffington Post

Top 100 Tools for Learning 2010: Final list, presentation and more — from Jane Knight

Yesterday I finalised the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2010 list.  Many thanks to the 545 people who shared their Top 10 Tools for Learning and contributed to the building of the list.   Although this list is available online, I also created this presentation which provides the information as a slideset – embedded below.

My Photo

Jane Hart, a Social Business Consultant, and founder
of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies.

MIT OpenCourseWare: 2009 Program Evaluation Findings Summary — originally from Catherine Shinners at

Note from DSC:
Originally I had made a note that MIT may start charging for these materials but this is not so per a correction/update from Steve Carson who pointed me to this posting: Erroneous Reports of Possible OCW Paywall Appear in News Media

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