International comparisons are never easy and they aren’t perfect. But PISA shows what is possible in education, and it helps countries see themselves in the mirror of the education opportunities and results delivered by the world’s leaders in education. Even those who claim that the relative standing of countries in PISA mainly reflects social and cultural factors must now concede that improvement in education is possible. In mathematics, countries like Brazil, Mexico, Tunisia and Turkey rose from the bottom; Italy, Portugal and the Russian Federation advanced to the OECD average or close to it; Germany and Poland rose from average to good; and Shanghai-China and Singapore have moved from good to great. Indeed, of the 65 participating countries, 40 saw improvement in at least one of PISA’s three subject areas. These countries did not change their culture, or the composition of their populations, nor did they fire their teachers; they changed their education policies and practices.
The MOOC market (Massive Open Online Courses) has exploded. This month Coursera landed another $20M in funding, bringing their total investment to $63M (even more than edX's original $60M funding by MIT and Harvard).
Through the writings and research of pre-eminent online learning expert, Dr. Tony Bates (Instalment 1 of an 8 part series)
For almost 50 years, Tony Bates has been a consistent, persistent and influential voice for the reform of teaching and learning in post-secondary education, notably through the effective use of emerging technologies. Author of 11 books and 350 research papers in the field of online learning and distance education, Tony Bates is also an advisor to over 40 organizations in 25 countries, and publisher of what is arguably the most influential blog on online learning with over 20,000 visits a month. A Contact North | Contact Nord Research Associate, Dr. Bates has helped educators, academic administrators and policy makers grasp key concepts, trends and challenges in online learning. This posting is one of a series that looks at Tony’s perspectives and advice on key issues in online learning.
This series was researched and developed by Contact North | Contact Nord Research Associates, Dr. Jane Brindley and Dr. Ross Paul.
Although educators tend to feel like they are left all on their own to deal with students that are getting crazier by the day, there are plenty of technology resources that can make their teaching job more effective.
"Education used to be a slice of life, something you did as a child through college, and then spent the rest of your life working, and then death," said Udacity CEO Sebastian Thrun, on stage at DataBeat. “Everything is about to change. I believe education will become something that fits seamlessly into life, and we will take big clunky things like degrees and college and fit them into a weekend.”
Thrun discussed how data science, and specifically Udacity, is changing higher education industry to make it more relevant and affordable.
Seven Trends. As we explore in a new free e-book Navigating the Digital Shift, a confluence of forces has created the best opportunity we've ever had to dramatically boost achievement and completion rates. Seven of the trends reshaping edu-jobs include:
1. The shift to digital
2. The gradual shift from education as a place to learning as a service is resulting in an unbundling of offerings.
3.The growing number of formal and informal learning options is introducing more consumerization
4.differentiated staffing--specialists teaching in multi-level teams with new extended reach strategies and leadership roles.
Sebastian Thrun, godfather of the massive open online course, has quietly spread a plastic tarp on the floor, nudged his most famous educational invention into the center, and is about to pull the trigger.
Nearly every major educational institution in the world now hosts its own collection of videos featuring news, lectures, tutorials, and open courseware. Just as many individuals have their own channel, curating their expertise in a series of broadcasted lessons.
These channels allow instructors to share information and blend media in unprecedented and exciting new ways. From teaching Mandarin Chinese to busting myths about Astronomy, the educational possibilities are virtually endless pun intended!
Because we can now sift through thousands of resources while navigating a single repository, the potential for inspiration and growth in the field of education has reached a new height.
Here are the top channels worth following based on views, subscriptions, and quality of content:
Warning - this is long! It was originally written for my Organisational Development paper.
“The fact is that given the challenges we face, education doesn't need to be reformed - it needs to be transformed. The key to this transformation is not to standardise education, but to personalise it, to build achievement on discovering the individual talents of each child, to put students in an environment where they want to learn and where they can naturally discover their true passions.” (Robinson, 2009, p. 238)
Currently many schools can still be described as fitting the so-called ‘factory model’. These schools were born out of the industrial era and for the most part have failed to adapt to the needs of learners who exist in what can be defined as the knowledge or creative age. There are a number of areas that schools can develop so as to better meet the demands of the 21st century learner. But as Ken Robinson states it is not simply a matter of subtle change or reform, the education system needs to be transformed.
Schools in the modern era need to become increasingly student-centred, providing student choice and developing 21st century skills through blended learning modes and flexible spaces and structures. This transformation requires collaborative, student centred leadership, committed to a continuous cycle of improvement and change underpinned by inquiry.
San Francisco's Exploratorium is more than a museum, it's a twenty-first-century learning laboratory, an eye-opening, always-changing, playful place to explore and tinker. Dive in and discover what we’re all about.