A new MIT report on online education policy analyzes the current state of higher education and consider how advances in learning science and online technology might shape its future.
Donna Farren's insight:
I have heard the term "learning engineer" used before - maybe in the early 2000's when #onlinelearning was really beginning to boom. But I like the way they use it here: "would have expertise in a discipline as well as in learning science and educational technologies, and would integrate knowledge across fields to design and optimize learning experiences." I feel like an elearning specialist with knowledge in educational technologies and optimizing learning experiences, people seem to doubt my content expertise. Either they want me only to design courses with a SME or the teacher wants to put their own course together because they don't believe I have the content knowledge and want me to come in at the end and "fix it up." And let me tell you - that is not easy to do when you were not in on the design. I find this report interesting.
Trying to win over a tough customer? The FoodCorps knows what you’re going through. Founded in 2009, this organization sends young service members to schools in disadvantaged communities with the goal of getting kids to eat more vegetables.
They have their work cut out for them. "We have a culture that is really great at marketing unhealthy food to all of us and to kids in particular," says Curt Ellis, the cofounder and chief executive officer of FoodCorps. Our bodies love salty and sugary tastes, and kids, perhaps for evolutionary reasons, are naturally wary of new foods.
Some research finds that kids need to be exposed to foods a dozen times before they’ll accept them, which is a problem for lower-income families who can’t afford to waste a dozen servings of kale. "If you have a limited budget to spend on food for your kids, you’re not going to buy foods your kids might spit out," says Ellis.
VThe analysis of such situations shows that effective eLearning can take the best from traditional education and even surpass it. Modern learning tools should allow instructors and students to create, edit, and comment on all presented materials. This will encourage discussion and keep everybody updated on the latest news. Webinars and instant messages in chats are especially necessary in the corporate sector, for example when new products are put on the market and the first hands-on experiences are highly valued
At the Nueva School in Hillsborough, Calif., design thinking is built into students' and teachers' everyday lives. The process, which is an approach to learning that includes considering real-world problems, research, analysis, building by hand, and lots of experimentation, is documented and shared among staff.
"Since the late 1990s, the virtual yellow line has been quietly enhancing football broadcasts by giving viewers a live, intuitive guide to the state of play. The graphic is engineered to appear painted on the field, rather than simply plopped on top of the players, so it doesn't distract from the game at all.
The line debuted during a September 27, 1998, game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals. It was developed by a company called Sportvision Inc. and operated by six people in a 48-foot semi-truck parked outside the stadium.
ESPN was the only network that immediately agreed to pay the steep price of $25,000 per game. Before long, other companies began offering the yellow line to the other networks, and now you won't see a football game without it."
The real question we should be asking is not just, how long are they watching? But also, what are they seeing? How is it affecting them? How does what they see challenge their existing beliefs? What sort of cognitive loads and higher order thinking skills do they volunteer themselves for with their online behavior? Do we want them being told a story from a book, or creating their own story in an digital universe where they’re in control? Which one more naturally creates thinking habits and behavioral shifts and skill acquisition that they can transfer to the real world?
"Have massive open online courses emerged from the Trough of Disillusionment to the Slopes of Enlightenment? Wherever MOOCs belong on the Gartner Hype Cycle, one thing is clear: there are more courses and students now than ever before."
Andreas Schleicher, an international education expert based in Paris, attended a summit at the White House last month, and left feeling frustrated by the anti-testing backlash in this country. “I listened to several presentations. You got this impression, if they would only get rid of tests, everything would improve,” said Schleicher, who oversees the education and skills …
This brief compares educational outcomes through the second year of high school for students who took an online credit recovery course and those who took a face-to-face credit recovery course. The authors conclude that online courses must continue to improve to meet the needs of high-risk students seeking to recover credits.
Donna Farren's insight:
Both face-to-face and online credit recovery did not seem to have great results. Lending interest in the blended learning approach for credit recovery.
True innovation starts with ditching the ideal of perfection.
Studies have shown that self-doubt can potentially be a major hurdle to women's success. There's evidence we might not ask for a promotion, apply for a job we're absolutely qualified for or execute on a big idea because we're not as confident in our abilities as men.
Most girls are taught to avoid risk and failure. We're taught to smile pretty, play it safe, get all A's. Boys, on the other hand, are taught to play rough, swing high, crawl to the top of the monkey bars and then just jump off head first.
Very interesting ... especially about the impact it has on narrowing their world views to only people who think like them. The power of the Internet is to connect people with diverse ideas and to think somehow it has become a tool to close people out with different ideas is startling.
The recent sacking of an employee over a Facebook post raises employment law issues, writes Michael Coates.
Donna Farren's insight:
"Employees need to realise that aggressive or abusive posts can come back to haunt them. Employers and recruitment companies often screen social media sites to see what applicants or employees may be saying. It can reflect on your status at work and be a negative to promotion or being hired."
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