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Education Secretary Arne Duncan Says Online Ed Brings Huge Possibilities | WiredAcademic

Education Secretary Arne Duncan Says Online Ed Brings Huge Possibilities | WiredAcademic | EdRadar | Scoop.it
On the role of MOOCs, or massive open online courses, in higher education, Duncan said they may help control costs, which are crushing a lot of Americans.
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Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke to reporters at the Education Writers Association seminar at Stanford; he addressed diversity in classrooms, online education and the Obama administration’s preschool plan.

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Be You Innovation Lab: Crazy Enough to Work? Using Mobile to Hack Education | WiredAcademic

Be You Innovation Lab: Crazy Enough to Work? Using Mobile to Hack Education | WiredAcademic | EdRadar | Scoop.it

Sierra Goldstein was a straight-A high school student, but she was bored, “even lazy,” she said. So Goldstein dropped out — or perhaps more accurately, went mobile. Goldstein, 15, is part of Colorado-based Be You Innovation Lab. The lab, started in 2011, is another sign that growing mobile and blended self-directed learning trend, though small, is still gaining momentum and will inevitably have snow-balling repercussions for high education soon.

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Here’s what you need to know:

Policy wise, Be You Innovation Lab works outside the present system as a quasi-homeschool mashup, pursing their interests and educational resources from anywhere.Students are encouraged to follow whatever they are interested in and seek out mentors in those areas.Kids don’t come out with high school diplomas, which means presently they need to seek alternative certification if they want to return to the current construct. Otherwise, they’ll need to find other ways to prove competency. New badge systems like Mozilla’s Open Badgescould be an option.Be You wants to develop an app to help facilitate the self-directed learning.Unclear how many students have gone through, or if there are any metrics (quantitative or qualitative) for success.Their business plan calls for $20 million investment to expand city-wide, with no mention of revenue.The move towards blended learning and self-directed intrinsic based motivated paths is gaining momentum, from Khan Academy’s positive results in California, to Quest to Learn, and School of One in New York City.
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Fidus Writer is a collaborative writing tool custom-built for academia | WiredAcademic

Fidus Writer is a collaborative writing tool custom-built for academia | WiredAcademic | EdRadar | Scoop.it

There are two types of writers in this world: Writers who enjoy working with other people and collaborating on their work and writers who have to suffer through the process of editing and working with someone else no matter how it makes them feel. An increasing number of services are trying to please both parties, allowing writers and editors and whoever to share a document and make it the best whatever-it’s-meant-to-be possible. There’s Google Docs, which allows writers to work in a document being edited in real-time, multi-colored cursors bouncing around as words are added and removed and altered; Editorially, an asynchronous (not-real-time) service meant to improve the process of writing for the Web; and WordPress, the content management juggernaut that recently introduced “Post Locking” andimmediately made the PandoDaily newsroom a happier place.

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And now there’s Fidus Writer, a collaborative writing tool custom-built for academic writing. The service, which is being developed by a team of four and completely boot-strapped, is currently in an open beta and is planning to go version 1.0 sometime this summer.

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Video: Lynda.com — The secret to a good online course (Hint: It’s not technology) | WiredAcademic

Video: Lynda.com — The secret to a good online course (Hint: It’s not technology) | WiredAcademic | EdRadar | Scoop.it

In our second installment of our Skype sit down with lynda.com founder Lynda Weinman, I asked a simple question: What makes a good online course?

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In the current frenzy around online education andMOOCs, we spend a lot of time focused on the science of what technology can enable — and less on the art about what may actually make an online course good.

While lynda.com doesn’t score high marks on interactivity or whiz-bang technology, its over $100 million in annual revenues say a lot about the quality of its courses. In fact, students have always flocked to Weinman’s courses — whether they were in person, via books or online. Even in Lynda.com’s first year of business, the bootstrapped company did nearly $1.7 million in revenue.

What’s her secret? It’s pretty simple: Be a good teacher.

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Trend: Corporate U Employers Offering Just In Time Education To Workers | WiredAcademic

Trend: Corporate U Employers Offering Just In Time Education To Workers | WiredAcademic | EdRadar | Scoop.it
Most companies these days call the executives in charge of training and development “chief learning officers,” and there is even a Chief Learning Officer magazine. Some have their own campuses.
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Arianna Suarez’s first job after emigrating from Cuba as a teenager was as a cashier at a Walmart in Hialeah, Fla.  Thanks in part to college-level classes in business administration that the company provides, she’s since worked her way up to store manager.

“It’s all online,” Suarez says of the courses she takes. “You get credit for some Walmart training classes you take here for your job, and there are some classes you don’t have to take based on your work experience. It’s very attainable.”

It also provides Suarez and other workers with a jumpstart on college degrees toward which the credits may later apply. And it’s as good for the company as it is for the employees.

Rather than waiting for students with the right skills to be produced by conventional universities, which teach business subjects much more broadly, a dozen Fortune 500 companies including Walmart now offer their own in-house training classes that are eligible for college credit, in specific areas they need their workers to know now.

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INFOGRAPHIC: Why Mobile Learning is the Future of Workplace Learning | WiredAcademic

INFOGRAPHIC: Why Mobile Learning is the Future of Workplace Learning | WiredAcademic | EdRadar | Scoop.it

Yes, we get that mobile devices are everywhere and taking over the world. If there was any lingering doubt, Upside Learning, a corporate training consultancy, hammers the point home with this infographic. While we can see the case for learners taking to tablets, we’re not totally convinced mobile phones can serve students in the same way unless there are some ways to expand the interactive footprint through augmented visual field, projection, or simply bigger screens that fold/stow/or in some way give learners a more engaged experience.Independent news source & thought center for the online education community.

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Still, that said, the future is mobile, maybe it’s simply a question of how to harness the wave to provide new learning opportunities that actually fit.

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A Blended Path? How American Honors Cuts Cost of Four Year Degree by Over a Third | WiredAcademic

A Blended Path? How American Honors Cuts Cost of Four Year Degree by Over a Third | WiredAcademic | EdRadar | Scoop.it
The first two years are typically full of classes with large lecture halls with material that’s taught plenty of other places. It’s the second two years where colleges and universities really differentiate.
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Student Aid Can Be Awarded for 'Competencies,' Not Just Credit Hours - Government - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Student Aid Can Be Awarded for 'Competencies,' Not Just Credit Hours - Government - The Chronicle of Higher Education | EdRadar | Scoop.it
In a long-awaited letter, the Education Department spells out how colleges may apply to use federal aid for new models of education.
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My Valuable, Cheap College Degree

My Valuable, Cheap College Degree | EdRadar | Scoop.it

With costs rising and returns falling, a degree for $10,000 makes a lot of sense...Most 10K-B.A. proposals rethink the costliest part of higher education — the traditional classroom teaching. Predictably, this means a reliance on online and distance-learning alternatives. And just as predictably, this has stimulated antibodies to unconventional modes of learning. Some critics see it as an invitation to charlatans and diploma mills. Even supporters often suggest that this is just an idea to give poor people marginally better life opportunities.

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Unfunded Aussie Startup Brainworth Seeks to Turn Higher Education into a Video Game

Unfunded Aussie Startup Brainworth Seeks to Turn Higher Education into a Video Game | EdRadar | Scoop.it
The startup world is seriously displeased with the status quo in higher education. Brainworth, a scrappy startup out of Australia, is the latest to throw its hat in the ring, taking a novel approac...
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Edtech is Shamefully Low-Funded, Says Bill Gates | Course Hero

Edtech is Shamefully Low-Funded, Says Bill Gates | Course Hero | EdRadar | Scoop.it

The Microsoft founder said “We currently only direct about 1 percent of total R&D dollars toward edtech … our investments don’t match our mandates.”  Edtech refers to networked broadband education technology, the ability to bring a high-quality learning experience to a student, wherever they might be.  This technology has the potential to increase the speed at which students learn and their comprehension of the material, making it a crucial aspect of our education system.

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Infographic: Three Factors that Drive Costs for E-Learning Course Development | WiredAcademic

Infographic: Three Factors that Drive Costs for E-Learning Course Development | WiredAcademic | EdRadar | Scoop.it
In case you're more of a visual or auditory learner (vs. the Excel jockey who prefers the itemized spreadsheet of MOOC startup e-learning costs), here's a handy infographic accompanied by a 15 minute podcast to help frame course development.
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Changing the Economics of Education

Changing the Economics of Education | EdRadar | Scoop.it
John Hennessy of Stanford and Salman Khan of Khan Academy talk to Walt Mossberg at The Wall Street Journal's D: All Things Digital conference about how technology might be used to make the college numbers add up...
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INFOGRAPHIC: Why edX is the Top Ranked MOOC | WiredAcademic

INFOGRAPHIC: Why edX is the Top Ranked MOOC | WiredAcademic | EdRadar | Scoop.it

If you had to select the best Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) platforms, how would you do it? You could compile the individual course ratings offered on each system (see coursetalk.org) or you could do what several people do when choosing a program; look at university rankings to give you an indication of the quality of the academic programs.

 

With the help of 9 world university rankings, we rated the top 4 MOOCs platforms (Coursera, edX, Futurelearn and Udacity) by compiling the ratings of the partnering institutions.

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ListedTech put together this nifty infographic as one way to rank MOOCs. It’s a quick easy way to put the various platforms in perspective, but does not take into account variables like which professors actually teach, and differences in platform features. Still, we liked the simple elegance of the idea and the fact that this uses world rankings.

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LearnUp: eLearning Startup’s Potential Cure for Skills Gap and U.S. Unemployment | WiredAcademic

LearnUp: eLearning Startup’s Potential Cure for Skills Gap and U.S. Unemployment | WiredAcademic | EdRadar | Scoop.it

Alexis Ringwald spent six months in the unemployment lines of Silicon Valley. She realized a core problem was that unemployment offices trained people with skills they thought would help them get jobs. But applicants sent resumes and never knew why they were never hired. That’s when Ringwald realized the crucial stakeholder was missing in the training process — who knew better what skills applicants need than the companies themselves?

 

“The skills gap is an information gap,” Ringwald said. ”The current system is broken. Our education system is not adapting quickly enough to keep up with what the labor market needs.”

 

So Ringwald and co-founder Kenny Ma started LearnUp.

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Here's what you need to know:

Pilot in San Francisco Bay area, started in 2011Clinton Global Initiative goal is to give 100,000 young job seekers access to online job trainingEmployers offering training: Staples, Gap, Safeway, Wholefoods, Starbucks, Banana Republic, Wells Fargo, KPMG, and Ringwald says they have a wait list.Rolling out training (most run 2 hours) to partners Corporate Voices and California Community Colleges' 3 million studentsTraining videos free to applicants, revenue comes from employers for successful placements, and perhaps more advanced features.$1.9 million in funding. VC funded by Floodgate (Mike Maples), Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock (Reid Hoffman), NEA, SV Angel (Ron Conway), TechFellows Fund, and other angels.Competitor skilltesting provides more technical competency testing of potential hires.

Bottom line: It's nice to see that LearnUp has partnered with California Community Colleges, but it also begs the question, what is the value proposition for the community colleges? If employers can directly train future employees, this is the further erosion of community colleges. For sure, LearnUp mostly meets the need of entry level positions right now. But is there any reason why the platform doesn't scale up to include more technical or advanced positions? Starbucks and Staples both list manage positions on LearnUp.

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Examining the Thiel Fellowship: Where are they now? | WiredAcademic

Examining the Thiel Fellowship: Where are they now? | WiredAcademic | EdRadar | Scoop.it

In February, Dan Friedman was in a room with Peter Thiel at Founders Fund headquarters in San Francisco’s Presidio. The 21-year-old and his cofounder had reached out to Thiel asking for advice on their education startup Thinkful, and Thiel obliged. The hour-long meeting was wide ranging: How do we scale? How do we get the best talent to mentor our clients? After every question, Friedman would watch Thiel lean back and start, “Well, at PayPal, we did this…”

That was a Monday afternoon. Most people Friedman’s age would be in class. But Friedman is a part of the inaugural class of the Thiel Fellowship, where a cohort of 20 young people chooses to bypass college and instead gets $100,000 over two years to focus on building companies.

 

 

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Weeks before, Thiel had invested in Thinkful, making Friedman the first in his experimental young brood that he would financially back. The company couples online educational videos and lessons in computer programming with mentorship from those in the industry. All told, the company raised $1 million from Thiel’s FF Angel, RRE Ventures and Quotidian Ventures.

 

In about a month, the first members of the 2011 class, Friedman included, will conclude their fellowships. The rest will be finished by August (fellows started at different times). And what have they done with the period of life that Americana has typically reserved for lectures, writing assignments, all night cram sessions, as well as showering in dorm bathrooms wearing flip flops, keggers, and drunken bad decisions that are really good decisions? (Although those bad/good decisions can be made anywhere.)

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How Siri AI Technology Is Making Is Moving From iPhone To Classroom | WiredAcademic

How Siri AI Technology Is Making Is Moving From iPhone To Classroom | WiredAcademic | EdRadar | Scoop.it
Today AI is progressing, most visibly in voice recognition and assistance software like the Siri app for the iPhone. Siri was built to answer questions.
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Have you ever spent any time with Eliza? You can reach her at this link. Eliza was one of the earliest attempts at artificial intelligence and natural language processing: building a computer program that can use language and interact in a conversation, more or less like a human. (The ultimate test of artificial intelligence, as posed by Alan Turing, is the creation of a computer that can carry on a conversation so well that its human interlocutor can’t tell the difference).

The program was written in the 1960s at MIT and embedded with a script following humanistic Rogerian psychotherapy. While Eliza is simply parsing your inputs and coming back with canned responses, (“I feel lonely.” “Why do you say that you feel lonely?”) interacting with it can often feel startlingly authentic, even therapeutic. New versions of Eliza are in use today for customer service.

Today AI is progressing, most visibly in voice recognition and assistance software like the Siri app for the iPhone. Siri was built to answer questions. Some of the scientists behind Siri are currently working for an educational gaming company, Kuato Studios, on a sort of universal tutoring platform: a computer teacher.

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Ryan Craig: The Arizona Breakfast Club & The Molly Ringwald’s of Ed Innovation | WiredAcademic

Ryan Craig: The Arizona Breakfast Club & The Molly Ringwald’s of Ed Innovation | WiredAcademic | EdRadar | Scoop.it
Anyone who attended this week’s confab would confirm that private sector activity in education has outgrown childhood and entered adolescence. So what kind of adolescence can education entrepreneurs expect?
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This week marked the fourth annual Education Innovation Summit in Phoenix, Arizona.  Originally a small conference that attracted a room full of friends who had been toiling for years to make the education private sector something more than an oxymoron, this year’s Summit expanded to three days and moved on up from Arizona State University to the Phoenician resort.  Still it sold out weeks ago, unable to accommodate the more than 1,400 people who wanted to attend.

 

Since we’re educators, let’s look at five archetypal high school students who found themselves in detention one Saturday back in the 80s.

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Classroom participation startup Top Hat Monocle Recruits CFO and CPO Heavy Hitters | WiredAcademic

Classroom participation startup Top Hat Monocle Recruits CFO and CPO Heavy Hitters | WiredAcademic | EdRadar | Scoop.it

Top Hat Monocle launched in 2010, and claims they are profitable, with 250 universities using their service. Now, they’re stepping up their game by adding two movers and shakers to their roster.

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Top Hat has an interesting business model, because instead of charging universities for the service, students are the ones that pay: $20 a semester, or $38 for five years. In addition to classroom participation, Top Hat Monocle has also expanded to online homework assignments that are interactive and allow professors to quiz students.

In February, the company announced it had partnered with Pearson to offer prepared question sets for their professors. We wonder whether Top Hat will expand their asynchronous course feature offerings.

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A Vocabulary Site Shows How to Tailor Online Education | WiredAcademic

A Vocabulary Site Shows How to Tailor Online Education | WiredAcademic | EdRadar | Scoop.it

New York City-based ThinkMap‘s word learning platform, Vocabulary.com, demonstrates some solid improvement on learning analytics and basic gamification applied toward simple online learning tasks. We found it surprisingly addictive, and thought the “Word in the Wild” feature is particularly innovative for learners to see words in actual usage and draw inferential clues.

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ThinkMap’s customers are squarely middle school and high school students right now, but we think there will be opportunity with the personalization algorithms and mechanics they are developing to swim upstream to higher ed. In addition, there’s probably not much of a jump to foreign language learning.

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Anatomy of a Revolution? The Rise of the $10,000 Bachelor's Degree

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BenchPrep adds 400 hours of video courses to all-you-can-eat subscription

BenchPrep adds 400 hours of video courses to all-you-can-eat subscription | EdRadar | Scoop.it
It’s well known that learning styles vary. Some people are self directed learners and can master the most difficult topic by reading a textbook. Others prefer lectures. Many still, are visual, and ...
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Q&A: How Kaplan's TechStars ed tech accelerator plans to get to the head of the class

Q&A: How Kaplan's TechStars ed tech accelerator plans to get to the head of the class | EdRadar | Scoop.it
As Kaplan’s new TechStars-powered ed tech accelerator recruits its first class, Don Burton, the program’s new managing director, talks about the developing industry and opportunities ahead.
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Two interesting points for online education: 1. Digital portfolios 2. smarter pathways

 

"Digital portfolios is [another] big area. How do we represent our competencies as we move to a more competence-based system instead of just a credential or seat-time based system? We’re going to need to capture that in a more effective way.

The last one is smarter pathways. Everyone talks about adaptive learning and personalization and how important that is. But if you look at what’s going on out there today, [it's] just a scratch on the surface of personalization."

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Will “Bring Your Own Device” Bridge Or Expand The US Digital Divide? | WiredAcademic

Will “Bring Your Own Device” Bridge Or Expand The US Digital Divide? | WiredAcademic | EdRadar | Scoop.it
A recent national teacher survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project presented a different picture. First, B.Y.O.T. is clearly happening, maybe even faster than we realize.
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The University vs. the Internet

The University vs. the Internet | EdRadar | Scoop.it
Will online education dampen the college experience? Yes. Will it be worth it? Well...
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MOOCs as compared to distance learning on televisions?

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