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September 14, 2012

Stanford U. Releases New Open-Source Online-Education Platform
Alisha Azevedo, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 14, 2012.

There's some code already available and, of course, with the whole thing open sourced there is the potential for the wider community to build something more significant. As the Chronicle reports, "Stanford University is continuing a high-profile push into online education with a new open-source platform called Class2Go, which will host two massive open online courses, or MOOC’s, during the fall quarter."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Traditional and Online Courses, Open Source, Online Learning]

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So, here’s the thing about the video in my Coursera course
Clint Lalonde, ClintLalonde.net, September 14, 2012.

I've done my share of online video production over the years, and if there's one thing I can attest to, even short videos consume huge quantities of time. This one took three of us all afternoon to do. This one was four weeks' solid work. So when these Coursera MOOCs employing video lectures are being launched a dozen at a time, you can be sure video production is taking a hit. "The primary content delivery tool being used is video. Talking head video of the instructor switching to voice over PowerPoint lectures with bullet point slides and diagrams." Well even that's OK if you can go to exactly where you want to go. But that requires true streaming video, which Coursera videos are not.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Video]

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Designing an Exemplary Online Course: Blackboard Announces Open Online Course to be Offered
Jason Rhode, Weblog, September 14, 2012.

As reported by Jason Rhode, "Blackboard has announced a new open online course “Designing an Exemplary Course,” as part of the CourseSites Open Course Series. The course will run from September 26th – October 17th, 2012. Registration is free and opens Wednesday, September 19th." This is Blackboard's latest effort to host a MOOC.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Traditional and Online Courses, Blackboard Inc., RSS]

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Why These Kids Get a Free Ride to College
Ted C. Fishman, New York Times, September 14, 2012.

While our city government here in Moncton can't even keep buses on the road, those in Kalamazoo, Michigan, are stewards of 'The Promise' - free post-secondary education for any student who graduates high school in the city. "After the Promise was announced on the 11 o’clock news, the kids were up celebrating until 2 or 3 in the morning," Ron Cunliffe, a Kalamazoo dad with three children eligible for the Promise, says. "We kept waiting for someone to say it was a joke." There are, of course, detractors. One commenter says "Kalamazoo is still dwindling despite the Promise. What, like promising college to everyone is going to magically change everything and make kids stay in the state?" Of course not. Life intervenes, the students still must make sacrifices, and not everything is perfect. But the promise has had an impact. "High-school test scores in Kalamazoo have improved four years in a row. A higher percentage of African-American girls graduate from the district than they do in the rest of the state, and 85 percent of those go on to college. Overall, more than 90 percent of Kalamazoo’s graduates today go on to higher education." Something for our civic leaders to consider.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, United States, Africa]

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An invitation to join the Future of Education MOOC
Written and Narrated by Dave Cormier. Video by Neal Gillis., YouTube, September 14, 2012.

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So here's the intro video for our Ed Futures MOOC: "From October 8th to November 16, 2012, experts from across higher education are getting together to learn about trends and change patterns that will impact the future of the field... We invite you to learn with us. Each weekly topic will be headed up by one of our partner organizations, but we want you to bring your perspectives and insight to the discussion. Go to edfuture.net to register."

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Public Lab Uses Kickstarter to Bring DIY Spectrometry to the Masses
Jeffrey Warren, PBS, September 14, 2012.

Spectrometry involves shining a light through a sample of material and then analyzing that light to reveal the composition of the materials. It's not exactly in household use - yet. A kickstarter project is planning to distribute $30 spectomoeters that people can use with their iPads. What will they do with them? Examine water for contaminants, snalyse brewed beer or coffee, test soil, and more. Why do I mention this here? It's an example of how ubiquitous computing will enter our lives in unexpected ways, giving us new method to learn about and interact with the world. See also this related article on how your mobile phone is becoming a multi-faceted sensing device.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Project Based Learning, Ubiquitous Internet]

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Wikibook Going "Stale" - How to Revive?
Christopher Scott Wyatt, Kairosnews, September 14, 2012.

There's an interesting sociological story to be told here. Christopher Scott Wyatt reports on a wikibooks project he started last year that now lies moribund, incomplete and apparently largely unread. "This last year (2011-12), I attempted to get my students in a technical writing course to evalute the project and reboot the project. I wasn't successful, as the students argued that nobody knows of Wikibooks and there are plenty of free writing books / content available throught iTunesU and iBooks." It's not a simple thing to complete a collaborative writing project like this; people need to be willing to contribute (often anonymously) to the common project, but for the most p;art people don't work like that.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Books, Project Based Learning]

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Gates, MOOCs and Remediation
Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed, September 14, 2012.

The Gates foundation is soliciting proposals to develop MOOCs in support of remedial learning. Specifically, ti is looking for “high-enrollment, low-success introductory level course that is a barrier to success for many students, particularly low-income, first-generation students.”

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Ed Radio Show Notes, September 14, 2012

Shownotes for September 14, 2012 - more explorations of K-Pop

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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