I work in the Learning and Performance Support Systems program at the National Research Council, a multi-year effort to develop personal learning technology and learning analytics. I am one of the originators of the Massive Open Online Course, write about online and networked learning, have authored learning management and content syndication software, and am the author of the widely read e-learning newsletter OLDaily.

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Common Sense Media Census Measures Plugged-In Parents

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This is a nice corrective to the recent panic about children's screen time. Their parents account for more than their own fair share! "On any given day, parents of American tweens and teens average more than nine hours with screen media each day. Eighty-two percent of that time (almost eight hours) is devoted to personal screen media activities such as watching TV, social networking, and video gaming, with the rest used for work." It has not helped them spot fake news. The full report (52 page PDF) is available, but you may have to go through an intrusive spam info collection registration process. See also coverage on KidScreen.

Today: 215 Total: 215 Michael Robb, Common Sense Media, 2016/12/09 [Direct Link]

Online Learning Consortium Unveils Expanded Quality Scorecard Suite for Benchmarking Online and Blended Learning Programs

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According to this news release, "the OLC Quality Scorecard uses research-based benchmarks and standards of excellence to help higher education institutions evaluate their online and blended learning programs." By demail, Jennifer Mathes wrote, "OLC has announced that our Course Design Review (through a partnership with SUNY) and the new Quality Course Teaching and Instructional Practice (QCTIP) Scorecard are available on the OLC website with our full Suite of Quality Scorecards.  These tools are available in a PDF format for anyone to download." These should be useful to a wide audience.

Today: 181 Total: 181 Press Release, Online Learning Consortium, 2016/12/09 [Direct Link]

Educational Content Development Process in "CleverUniversity": Our Dynamic Adaptive Hypermedia Environment

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This is a pretty good paper, though readers will no doubt find significant flaws. The authors propose an architecture for a CleverUniversity learning management system based on modeling and then matching resources across three sets of models: the domain model, which classifies and orders the subject of enquiry; the learner's model, which classifies learning styles, and the pedagogic model, which proposes a set of teaching frameworks. Now none of these models is without problems (I have argued in the past that the model is just the wrong sort of approach for this sort of work). But surely the mapping across these three dimensions isn't flawed, not even (and perhaps especially not) for informal and self-directed learning. By the same authors see also this article on learning styles and this article on learner models.

Today: 287 Total: 287 Ahmed Bouchboua, Rabah Ouremchi, Mohammed El Ghazi, International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (IJET), 2016/12/08 [Direct Link]

Factors Affecting the Acceptability of Online Degrees: Evidence from Two Arab Countries

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When I've worked in the Arab world the question has come up frequently about the public perception of the quality of online learning. This study of respondents from the business sector in Oman and Egypt confirms that there are doubts about the quality of online learning in the region. "Traditional degrees are still more preferable than online degrees in the Arab world for many reasons, such as the reality of online interaction between students and the instructor and among students, accessibility resources, credibility of online universities, and quality of content."

Today: 298 Total: 298 Alaa Sadik, International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (IJET), 2016/12/09 [Direct Link]

Frederick County’s Call to Administrators: Focus on the “Innovator” and “Early Adopter” Teachers, First

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I am asked this question a lot: how do we convince staff in our institution or district to adopt an innovation? This article describes exactly the response I give: focus on the early adopters and enthusiasts, support them by bringing them together and providing resources, and have them serve as the model and insiration for the remainder of the staff. It's only when people decide for themselves to implement change that new technology or processes can be implemented. Sure, you can force people to comply, but you can't force innovation and enthusiasm. Related: Change takes time.

Today: 279 Total: 279 Kevin Cuppett, EdSurge, 2016/12/08 [Direct Link]

CoverGirl's Influencer Chatbot Is Smart, Funny and Responsive

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These developments usually ripple into education. "Mobile commerce will be colossal using bots," said David Jones, former Havas global CEO and founder of You & Mr Jones. "In 12 months there will be thousands of these. Traditional ads can cost thousands per click -- this is a conversation on Kik." Take a teaching chatbot, give it the background intelligence of something like Wolfram Alpha, and you have a wonderful teaching tool for young learners.

Today: 324 Total: 324 Emma Hall, Advertising Age, 2016/12/08 [Direct Link]

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.