Campus Tour, Celebrity Academic, Teens and Gaming, Blended Learning, Javascript Tips, e-Portfolios, Learning and Cognition, Student Content, Stats

The Tell-All Campus Tour
by Jonathan Dee
Sept. 19, 2008, The New York Times

. . . “This month his Web site, called — a free, gigantic, student-generated guide to North American colleges for prospective applicants and their families — went live for the benefit of tens of thousands of trepidatious high-school students as they try to figure out where and how to go to college. Not coincidentally, it also aims to siphon away a few million dollars from the slow-adapting publishers of those elephantine college guidebooks that have been a staple of the high-school experience for decades.” . . .

“On Unigo, the information is all free — “free,” of course, understood as a synonym for “accompanied by advertisements” — and with the exception of brief editorial overviews of each of the 267 colleges featured at start-up, all of it is voluntarily provided by current students at those colleges. ‘For so long, the colleges have been able to have this stranglehold on the P.R. image of their school,’ Goldman said recently in his office, decorated boy-workaholic-style with nothing but an open box of Frosted Flakes and a toy robotic dinosaur. ‘It’s just harder to look at them as the main source of information. If you’re a college student, you are as much of an expert on being a student at that college as anyone.’ ” . . .

The Camera-Friendly, Perfectly Pixelated, Easily Downloadable Celebrity Academic
by Virginia Heffernan
Sept. 19, 2008, The New York Times

. . . “Many online lectures are now listed on various platforms, including iTunes U, university sites (,,, all-purpose instruction sites (Rice University’s and OERCommons .com) and general-interest video clearinghouses like YouTube.”

“Given the difficulty of calculating ratings Webwide, the viewership for these lectures is typically gauged by how they perform on iTunes U, where each video must be fully downloaded (and not merely clicked on) before it earns a popularity point. The top of the iTunes U chart features some self-help fluff on abs and guitar instruction, but it also brims with provocative titles like “How Did Hannibal Cross the Alps?” by Patrick Hunt of Stanford (audio only); “String Theory: What Is It Good For?” by Sera Cremonini of the University of Michigan; and “What Makes a Terrorist?” by Alan B. Krueger of Princeton (also audio only).”

“Recently, I set out to learn something — anything, as long as it was a little bit impressive — from lecture videos online. Though some of the audio-only tracks on iTunes U interested me, I chose to focus on lectures I could also watch. I didn’t know how to be systematic, so I wasn’t. Instead, I watched lectures that seemed prestigious, popular, both and neither; I followed my interests and I followed other peoples’ interests. I got a particular kick out of seeing lecturers — like Harvey Mansfield of Harvard — that I’d heard were legendary and whose disquisitions I’d insecurely imagined as conspiratorial meetings in which it was formally decided that those present were truly educated and the rest of us weren’t. And so, finally, I would be in on the secrets! And truly educated! Herewith, the five charisma-senseis that no online student should miss.” . . .

Teens, Video Games and Civics: Teens’ Gaming Experiences are Diverse and Include Significant Social Interaction and Civic Engagement
by Amanda Lenhart, Joseph Kahne, Ellen Middaugh, Alexandra Rankin Macgill, Chris Evans, Jessica Vitak
Sept. 16, 2008, Pew Internet and American Life Project

“The first national survey of its kind finds that virtually all American teens play computer, console, or cell phone games and that the gaming experience is rich and varied, with a significant amount of social interaction and potential for civic engagement. The survey was conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, an initiative of the Pew Research Center and was supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The primary findings in the survey of 1,102 youth ages 12-17 include:”

“Game playing is universal, with almost all teens playing games and at least half playing games on a given day. Game playing experiences are diverse, with the most popular games falling into the racing, puzzle, sports, action and adventure categories.”

“Game playing is also social, with most teens playing games with others at least some of the time and can incorporate many aspects of civic and political life.”

“Another major findings is that game playing sometimes involves exposure to mature content, with almost a third of teens playing games that are listed as appropriate only for people older than they are.”

MU Researcher Studies Effectiveness of Traditional and Blended Learning Environments
Sept. 16, 2008

. . . “In her latest study, “The Effectiveness of Blended Learning Environments for the Delivery of Respiratory Care Education,” Strickland compared the course delivery methods in two respiratory therapy courses taught by the same teacher. One group of students completed the course in a traditional environment, while the other group completed the course in a blended environment. The method of course delivery, the final examination grade and the course grade were recorded for each student. Strickland studied the students’ satisfaction with the course through the information provided by each student on a standardized student evaluation of the course.”

“Strickland discovered that there were few statistical differences between the effectiveness of a traditional course delivery method and a hybrid one. The student satisfaction evaluation also revealed that students in the hybrid classrooms are more frequently confused regarding course requirements. It also was noted that the students who completed the course in a traditional setting were more pleased with the course outcomes than the students who completed the blended course.”

[Strickland will publish the results of her study in the April 2009 issue of the Journal of Allied Health (]

10 Smart Javascript Techniques to Improve Your UI
by Glen Stansberry
Sept. 15, 2008, NETTUTS

“Javascript can add a lot of special effects that can really improve the user’s experience. Here are 10 simple and clever Javascript techniques that add an extra dose of usability to any webpage.”

“Javascript is typically used as an aesthetic language in web development. This means that web developers should almost always be using Javascript for one thing only: Improving the visitor’s experience. There are many clever and useful ways to improve a site from the user interface perspective. A developer can find nearly any snippet of Javascript to achieve what he or she wants to accomplish.”

Effective Practice with e-Portfolios: Supporting 21st Century Learning
Sept. 9, 2008, JISC

“The publication explores good practice in the use of e-portfolios as a support for learning. It is being launched in conjunction with an e-portfolios infoKit4 which covers the main drivers, purposes, processes, perspectives and issues around e-portfolio use — created by JISC infoNet. “The infoKit and publication draw together the lessons that we have learnt through the many excellent initiatives in this area and highlight some emerging practice that can inspire us as we move forward in the coming years.” ”

“These resources provide information about e-portfolios and why they are becoming the subject of increasing attention across all educational sectors. ‘Effective Practice with e-Portfolios’ focuses on the beginning processes of learning through ongoing dialogue and exchange of feedback with peers and tutors. Leading through to personal development planning and the potential for developing and receiving feedback on application to higher education as well as the development of skills of critical self-appraisal as a professional.” . . .

Learning and Cognition in Education Class
by Curtis Bonk, Instructional Systems Technology, Indiana University
September 2008

“I tried something unique this past week for my P540 Learning and Cognition in Education class (i.e., a learning theories class) and posted 8 lectures for it since I am teaching it online. Yes, talking head stuff and not interactive–there were no students with me in the room. I did not bring my normal array of props either (just a few). Still, the content may be of use for some who read this blog. . . . Cost of these educational videos = zero, nada, nothing. These are available without a password — so any instructor teaching a course on learning theories or instructional design can use them if he or she wishes. I think that these are all I will do. They are a set.”

– Week 1: Introduction to Theories of Learning and Instruction and brief info on the course/syllabus

– Week 2: Behaviorism (Ivan Pavlov, John Watson, and B. F. Skinner with some associated information on with Hermann Ebbinghaus and Edward Thorndike)

– Week 3: Social Cognitive Theory and Self-Efficacy from Albert Bandura

– Week 4: Cognitive Information Processing (CIP)

– Week 5: Motivation and Self-Regulated Learning

– Week 6: Meaningful Learning and Schema Theory

– Week 7: Constructivism to Instructivism: Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, Jerome Bruner, and Robert Gagne (as well a practice test of 30+ items comparing cognitive constructivism (i.e., Piaget) and social constructivism (i.e., Lev Vygotksy))

– Weeks 8-9: Constructivism, Social Constructivism, Learner-Centered Instruction, and PBL

In Search of Student-Generated Content in Online Education
by John Sener, Sener Learning Services
Oct. 8, 2007, e-mentor

Enabling students to create their own educational content increases engagement, improves learning, and can result in products of lasting value. Topics of discussion include:

– What is student-generated content?

– Why is student-generated content valuable?

– Increasing student engagement

– Improving learning effectiveness

– Creating products of lasting value

– Why are good examples so hard to find?, and

– Expanding the use of student-generated content in online education.

Postsecondary Career/Technical Education: Changes in the Number of Offering Institutions and Awarded Credentials from 1997 to 2006
Sept. 23, 2008, National Center for Education Statistics

“This issue brief examines trends from 1997 to 2006 in the number of sub-baccalaureate postsecondary institutions that offer programs in career/technical education (CTE), and the number of sub-baccalaureate CTE credentials awarded by postsecondary institutions.”

“Trends were examined by institutional sector, focusing on the three sectors most commonly offering CTE: Public two -year institutions, for-profit less-than-two -year institutions, and for-profit two-year institutions. In 2006, these sectors collectively accounted for 87 percent of the less-than-four-year institutions that offered CTE and awarded 94 percent of all sub-baccalaureate CTE credentials. Overall, the number of less-than-four-year institutions offering CTE increased 3 percent from 1997 to 2006, and the number of sub-baccalaureate CTE credentials awarded increased 24 percent. Over this time period, there was a shift in both CTE-offering institutions and CTE credentials, from public two-year institutions to for-profit two-year and less-than-two-year institutions.”

“Although the number of credentials awarded grew at a faster rate among for-profit institutions than among public two-year institutions, the latter still awarded most sub-baccalaureate CTE credentials in 2006 (58 percent) while for-profit two-year and less-than-two-year institutions combined awarded 35 percent.”

Projections of Education Statistics to 2017
Sept. 17, 2008, National Center for Education Statistics

“This publication provides projections for key education statistics. It includes statistics on enrollment, graduates, teachers, and expenditures in elementary and secondary schools, and enrollment and earned degrees conferred expenditures of degree-granting institutions. For the Nation, the tables, figures, and text contain data on enrollment, teachers, graduates, and expenditures for the past 14 years and projections to the year 2017. For the 50 States and the District of Columbia, the tables, figures, and text contain data on projections of public elementary and secondary enrollment and public high school graduates to the year 2017. In addition, the report includes a methodology section describing models and assumptions used to develop national and state-level projections.”

Background Patterns

Campus Tour, Celebrity Academic, Teens and Gaming, Blended Learning, Javascript Tips, e-Portfolios, Learning and Cognition, Student Content, Stats

2Tor, Blackboard, Engine Room, eBooks, Common Craft Video, Twitter, Internet Junkies, eLearning on a Shoestring, Web 2.0 Wiki, What Works

Online Learning, Upscale (and Scaled Up)
by Doug Lederman
Sept. 12, 2008, Inside Higher Ed

“Katzman [the founder of Princeton Review] is set to unveil a new endeavor, and its not-so-modest ambitions are simply these: to merge the best of what for-profit and high-end nonprofit higher education have to offer; to show academically exclusive colleges that they can succeed, and dramatically increase their “scale,” online; and, oh yes, to change the face of teacher education.”

“In the coming years, Katzman and his new company, 2Tor, aim to become the online platform for some of the most successful graduate, professional and other programs at leading universities in the United States. Under this model, 2Tor will provide both the technological platform and the student services so that programs that are now highly selective (and often serve comparatively few students) can be delivered much more widely. Katzman, who foresees an investment of $15 million, from his own pocket and private investors, to finance the company, envisions creating such partnerships with one university’s M.B.A. program and, say, another’s psychology program. A high-prestige bachelor’s degree is in his sights, too.)” . . .

Blackboard Customers Consider Alternatives (requires subscription)
by Jeffrey R. Young
Sept. 12, 2008, Chronicle of Higher Education

. . . “Blackboard has become the Microsoft of higher-education technology, say many campus-technology officials, and they don’t mean the comparison as a compliment. To them the company is not only big but also pushy, and many of them love to hate it. . . .  LeTourneau’s contract with Blackboard ends this year, and campus officials may join the growing number of colleges switching to Moodle, a free, open-source course-management system, or Sakai, another free program. Those systems have grown feature-rich enough to pose serious challenges to Blackboard. Giants like the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of California at Los Angeles, along with smaller colleges, like Louisiana State University at Shreveport, have made the jump.”

“There are a lot of institutions right now that are upset with Blackboard, to say the least, and looking for alternatives,” says Michael Zastrocky, vice president for research at Gartner Inc., a consulting firm that tracks trends in higher-education technology. “They caused a backlash that’s been very difficult for them to overcome. Blackboard is heading for a showdown with the free-software movement, according to some observers. Although Blackboard remains the clear market leader – about 66 percent of American colleges use its software as their standard, says the Campus Computing Project, an annual survey – there are signs that open-source alternatives are starting to gain ground. The survey found that the proportion of colleges using Moodle as their standard rose from 4.2 percent in 2006 to 7.8 percent in 2007, and that about 3 percent of colleges have selected Sakai. A recent survey by the Instructional Technology Council, which promotes distance learning, found that the proportion of its member colleges using Moodle jumped from 4 percent last year to more than 10 percent this year. The proportion using Blackboard fell slightly.” . . .

Like ‘The Real World,’ With More Computers
by Stuart Elliott
Sept. 10, 2008, New York Times

“For years, MTV has been bringing together eclectic groups of young adults to live together in loftlike spaces on the series “The Real World.” Now, with the backing of a major technology marketer, the network has gathered 16 youthful creative types in a loft in Brooklyn for a contest that can be watched on TV or online. Beginning on Monday, MTV and its mtvU channel, which is aimed at college and university students, will join forces with Hewlett-Packard to present “Engine Room,” an original series that will follow the 16 contestants, divided into four teams, as they produce digital art using — of course — PCs, work stations, monitors and other products sold by H.P. Episodes of “Engine Room” run from five to seven minutes each, and the series is scheduled to last seven weeks. At the end, one team will win prizes that include $400,000 in cash and a chance to program the giant MTV screen in Times Square for a night.”

Sony Donates 100 Readers to Penn State Study
by Craig Morgan Teicher
Sept. 8, 2008, Publishers Weekly

“Sony donated 100 of its e-book readers to a year-long initiative at Penn State University that will examine e-book usage in a higher education setting.  A collaboration between Penn State’s University Libraries and its English department, the study will examine the use of ebooks in several contexts, including within the library, in undergraduate and graduate classes, as research tools, and as tools for people with disabilities. Five readers will be made available for monthly loan from the library and loaded with books in popular categories, such as bestselling fiction.”

” ‘We want to be at the front end of this new technology and to help Sony’s technology team create a product that will be useful for how our students work with literature,’ said Robin Schulze, head of Penn’s English Department. The study seeks to find out why readers ‘have been resistant to reading full-length books in electronic form’ in an academic setting,’ and ‘to have a much better understanding of the ways that our students and faculty will want to use eBooks,’ according to Mike Furlough, assistant dean of Scholarly Communications at Penn.”

Making the Election Video: Behind the Scenes
by Leelefever
Sept. 2, 2008

“People often ask for a look at how we make the videos. When we were putting together the “Electing a US President” video, I made a special point to take photos of the process. Here’s how it works: Every video starts with a script. If there is “secret sauce” it happens in writing the script because the script drives the video. We use Google Docs to collaborate until we feel like the script is close to finished. Then, we start looking at a thumbnail storyboard.” . . .

Social Networking in Higher Education
by Shannon Ritter
Sept. 4, 2008, Terra Incognita from Penn State World Campus

“At Penn State, twitter has changed the culture on campus and has given us ways to connect across our university that we couldn’t have imagined. We’ve used twitter to ask for help, work on projects, discuss topics during conferences, schedule impromptu lunches, and offer things for sale. We’ve planned meetings, found opportunities to collaborate and have become a much more connected, intelligent, communicative group that now includes people from several Penn State campuses, departments and academic colleges. We are IT professionals, professors, advisers, learning designers, and students. We have used twitter to build a community that now thrives at Penn State.”

A New Addiction: Internet Junkies
Sept. 8, 2008, University of Montréal

“While compulsive gambling is only beginning to be addressed by mental health professionals, they must now face a new affliction: Internet addiction. “The problem isn’t widespread but we know of serious cases in which teenagers don’t leave the house, don’t have interpersonal relationships, and have been isolated in front of their computer screen for the past two or three years, and only speak in the language of the characters they play with in network video games,” says Louise Nadeau, a professor at the Université de Montréal’s Department of Psychology.”

E-Learning On a Shoestring
Resource Kit for Creative Community Engagement
Australian Flexible Learning Network

“In this resource kit, community organisations can find helpful online guidance, ideas and tools for developing and facilitating e-learning in communities and regions. The kit includes suggestions and options on the why and how of e-learning. You’ll find guidance on low cost tools and technologies, as well as ideas and stories to help you get started. There are a number of different ways to access this information depending on what you are looking for. You can start with planning, explore tech n tools, try out activities, view case studies, access networks and mentors, or, visit useful links.”

Stephen Downes writes, “This doesn’t look like much at first glance but if you keep following the links you’ll find a wealth of practical information. I really like the idea of e-learning advice that doesn’t begin, buy an LMS. “You’ll find guidance on low cost tools and technologies, as well as ideas and stories to help you get started.” There’s a menu bar across the mid-top of the page that aids navigation (it’s a bit difficult to spot). It would be nice if it were licensed as open content, as the authors no doubt availed themselves of a lot of freely shared material in order to create this resource.”

Web 2.0 and Emerging Learning Technologies

From Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection, a collaborative effort of students from universities in China, Taiwan, Malaysia, and the United States all collaborating during the fall of 2007. “Anyone is welcome to join us in our efforts here.”  Here is the table of contents.

Part I: Foundations: Introduction and Historical Background Information: What is the Web 2.0? What does emerging technologies mean?, Legal, Cultural, Social, and Political Issues in the Web 2.0, Nontraditional, Alternative, and Informal Learning with the Web 2.0, Global and International Education and Interaction, Overcoming the Digital Divide (e.g., One Laptop Per Child, The Global Text Project)

Part II: Learners: The Next Generation of Learners, Learning Styles and Diverse Learners, Web 2.0 Learning Styles

Part III: Instructional Design and Pedagogical Issues: Innovative Pedagogies with Technologies, Emerging Web 2.0 Related Learning Theory: Student Generated Content, Peer-To-Peer Learning, Connectionism, etc., Instructional Design Models and Emerging Learning Technologies, Assessing and Evaluating the Impact of Web 2.0 and Emerging Learning Technologies, Research on the Impact and Effectiveness of the Web 2.0 and Emerging Learning Technologies, Professional Development and Overcoming Instructor and Administrative Assistance

Part IV: Environments and Tools: Cool Web 2.0 Tools: Virtual Worlds, Language Learning, Podcasting, Wikis, Blogs, Social Networking, Online Communities, Emerging Learning Technologies: Mobile, Wireless, Collaborative, Interactive, Virtual, Ubiquitous, etc, Use of Geographic Information Systems, Visualization Tools, and Online Maps, Technologies for Different Sectors: Business, Higher Education, Schools, Military, and Government, The Role of Online Books and Libraries

Part V: Fostering Successful Learning with Personalized Learning Environments (PLEs): Introduction of PLE, Definition & History of PLE, Facilitative Tools of PLE, Methods of Personalized Learning Environments (PLE), Case Study of Personalized Learning Environments (PLE), Social Network Analysis

Part VI: The Future: Emerging Technology for Special Needs, Technology Tools Currently in Development and Beta, The Future: Tools, Technologies, and Trends in the Coming Decade

What Works Clearinghouse (WWC)
National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance

From practice guides to intervention reports and quick reviews, the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) has released 17 publications throughout the summer. The U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) created the clearinghouse in 2002 to provide educators, policymakers, researchers, and the public with a central and trusted source of scientific evidence of what works in education. Geared toward K-12, topics include, beginning reading, elementary school math, English language learners, middle school math, early childhood education, dropout prevention, and character education.

2Tor, Blackboard, Engine Room, eBooks, Common Craft Video, Twitter, Internet Junkies, eLearning on a Shoestring, Web 2.0 Wiki, What Works

Chrome, Rep. Platform, IM, Connectivism, Storytelling, Facebook, CCs, Dropout Rates, Digital Conversion, Wikis, Cell Phones, PhysClips, NSF

Serious Potential in Google’s Browser
by David Pogue
Sept. 2, 2008, New York Times

“Does the world really need another Web browser? Google thinks so. Chrome, its new browser, was developed in secrecy and released to the world Tuesday. The Windows version is available for download now at; the Mac and Linux versions will take a little longer. Google argues that current Web browsers were designed eons ago, before so many of the developments that characterize today’s Web: video everywhere, scams and spyware, viruses that lurk even on legitimate sites, Web-based games and ambitious Web-based programs like Google’s own Docs word processor. As Google’s blog puts it, ‘We realized that the Web had evolved from mainly simple text pages to rich, interactive applications and that we needed to completely rethink the browser.’ “. . .

The 2008 Republican Party Platform
by Andy Guess
Sept. 2, 2008, Inside Higher Ed

. . . “Proponents of distance education, who have had supporters within the Spellings Department of Education, receive direct treatment in the platform, which opposes legal differentiation between online and on-campus learning: ‘As mobility increases in all aspects of American life, student mobility, from school to school and from campus to campus, will require new approaches to admissions, evaluations, and credentialing. Distance learning propelled by an expanding telecommunications sector and especially broadband, is certain to grow in importance — whether through public or private institutions — and federal law should not discriminate against the latter.’ ”

When IM is the Best Way to Stay on Top
Aug. 29, 2008, Inside HigherEd

“[Ivy Tech Community College] which serves more than 115,000 students a year on 23 separate campuses across the state, adopted an instant messaging platform called Pronto, from the collaborative learning software company Wimba. Like a turbocharged AOL Instant Messenger or Google Talk, it lets students chat online with their professors in text, audio or video form, for virtual office hours or impromptu question-and-answer sessions. Unlike the free IM clients students are already familiar with, though, the software integrates with existing course management systems, such as Blackboard and Moodle, so that their buddy lists are populated with the classmates already signed up for a specific course. Students also see each other’s real names, with identities that are validated through the system — no “sk8rdude21″ who may or may not be your group partner — and they can save their chats for later consultation.” . . .

New Structures and Spaces of Learning: The Systemic Impact of Connective Knowledge, Connectivism, and Networked Learning
by George Siemens, University of Manitoba
to be presented on Oct. 10, 2008, Universidade do Minho

“Since Illich’s 1970 vision of learning webs, society has moved progressively closer to a networked world where content and conversations are continually at our finger tips and instruction and learning are not centered on the educator. The last decade of technological innovation – mobile phones, social media, software agents – has created new opportunities for learners. Learners are capable of forming global learning networks, creating permeable classroom walls. While networks have altered much of society, teaching, and learning, systemic change has been minimal. This presentation will explore how potential systemic responses leverage the transformative potential of connective knowledge and networked learning.” . . .

The Secrets of Storytelling: Why We Love a Good Yarn
by Jeremy Hsu
to be published Sept. 18, 2008
Scientific American Mind

. . . “Popular tales do far more than entertain, however. Psychologists and neuroscientists have recently become fascinated by the human predilection for storytelling. Why does our brain seem to be wired to enjoy stories? And how do the emotional and cognitive effects of a narrative influence our beliefs and real-world decisions? The answers to these questions seem to be rooted in our history as a social animal. We tell stories about other people and for other people. Stories help us to keep tabs on what is happening in our communities. The safe, imaginary world of a story may be a kind of training ground, where we can practice interacting with others and learn the customs and rules of society. And stories have a unique power to persuade and motivate, because they appeal to our emotions and capacity for empathy.” . . .

Will Colleges Friend Facebook?
by Andy Guess
Aug. 19, 2008, Inside Higher Ed

“As colleges have worked over the years to solidify their Web 2.0 presence and reach out to students where they’re most likely to congregate online, there’s often a glaring omission from their overall Internet strategies: social networks. That’s not so much an oversight as a hesitation, with many institutions still debating whether to adopt social networking capabilities of their own or grit their teeth and take the plunge into Facebook, with all the messiness and potential privacy concerns that would imply.”

“A new start-up company [Inigral] believes colleges’ wariness about joining the Facebook fray — despite the advantages they could theoretically reap from keeping tabs on alumni, soliciting donations and marketing to would-be applicants — leaves an opening in the market for an application that would combine the ubiquity of the social networking site with the privacy and authentication sought by institutions.” . . .

Findings From Community Colleges: A Special Supplement to The Condition of Education 2008
National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
August 2008

Among the report’s findings:

▪ In 2006-07, there were 1,045 community colleges in the United States, enrolling 6.2 million students (or 35 percent of all postsecondary students enrolled that year).

▪ Average annual community college tuition and fees are less than half those at public 4-year colleges and universities and one-tenth those at private 4-year colleges and universities.

▪ About two-thirds of these immediate community college enrollees reported that they planned to pursue a bachelor’s degree or higher when they were still high school seniors; the other one-third reported that they expected an associate’s degree or less would be their highest attainment.

▪ Community colleges enroll larger percentages of nontraditional, low-income, and minority students than 4-year colleges and universities.

▪ In fall 2006, about 62 percent of community college students were enrolled part time compared with a quarter of students at 4-year institutions.

▪ Compared to 4-year institutions, community colleges rely more heavily on part-time faculty and staff. In addition, compared with the faculty and staff at 4-year institutions, the main activity of a greater percentage of community college faculty and staff is teaching compared to research or administrative duties.

Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 2006
National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
Sept. 3, 2008

“This report builds upon a series of National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports on high school dropout and completion rates that began in 1988. It presents estimates of rates for 2006 and provides data about trends in dropout and completion rates over the last three decades (1972-2006), including characteristics of dropouts and completers in these years. Report highlights include: The averaged freshman graduation rate (AFGR), which provides an estimate of the percentage of public high school students who graduate with a regular diploma 4 years after starting 9th grade, was 74.7 percent for the class of 2005. Students living in low-income families were approximately four times more likely to drop out of high school between 2005 and 2006 than were students living in high-income families. In October 2006, approximately 3.5 million civilian noninstitutionalized 16- through 24-year-olds were not enrolled in high school and had not earned a high school diploma or alternative credential.”

Most Aware of Deadline for Digital TV Signal
by Ryan Kim
Aug. 17, 2008, San Francisco Chronicle

“With six months to go before television broadcasting makes its long-awaited switch from analog to digital, the emphasis is shifting from simple awareness to action. Broadcasters, government leaders and community groups are finding that most over-the-air TV viewers – about 34 million people – are aware that their set will go dark on Feb. 17 unless they make the switch to digital. The challenge now is getting the holdouts to take a step to ensure they don’t get left with a blank TV screen. The government has set aside 33.5 million $40 coupons that, when redeemed, allow consumers to purchase a converter box for about $20 – the simplest, least expensive option to continue service. The box will take in a digital signal and convert it to analog so older televisions can continue to receive it. The last holdouts are more likely to be low-income, non-English speaking, minority or disabled viewers, said Todd Sedmak, a spokesman for the coupon program.” . . .

University of New Hampshire Cell Phone Study
by Chuck Martin, Whittemore School of Business and Economics

[According to this survey of 707 students at the University of New Hampshire,] “Students . . . want pragmatic and practical feature on their cell phones. Their top current uses of cell phones are to make phone calls, text message, and use their phone as an alarm clock. These practical features on the cell phone are similar to the practical features students are looking for on the cell phone of the future. Students are not looking for a high tech phone. Now and in the future, students ranked the most technologically advanced features as the least used and the least desired. Features like music, global positioning satellite (GPS), email, and video messaging were among the lowest used features on current cell phones. This was a similar trend when they were asked about the features they would want on a future cell phone. Features such as video editing, a friend locator, and using the cell phone as a credit card were all ranked low in regards to the importance of being a feature provided on future cell phones.”

Wikis in Higher Education: Pros, Cons, and How-Tos
by Olga Hart, University of Cincinnati
Dec. 12, 2006

This paper includes an outline with: definition, characteristics of a Wiki, Wiki features, important characteristics of Wikis as social software, examples of Wikis in higher education, uses in teaching, benefits for the teacher, challenges for the teacher, benefits for students, challenges for students, how to start a Wiki, additional sources for this presentation, and related readings.

written and presented by Joe Wolfe, multimedia by George Hatsidimitris
School of Physics – The University of New South Wales and the Australian Learning and Teaching Council

A multimedia introduction to mechanics and areas of electricity and magnetism. For mechanics, it covers approximately the syllabus of an introductory university course in that discipline. Because it starts from the beginning, it also covers much of the material taught in high school physics courses. Physclips works at three levels: elements, introductory presentations and supporting pages.  The site includes film clips, animations, still photos, montages, diagrams, and supporting Web pages.

NSF and the Birth of the Internet
April 29, 2008

Includes timelines, images, videos, interviews, etc.  “The Internet is now a part of modern life, but how was it created? Learn how the technology behind the Internet was created and how NSFNET, a network created to help university researchers in the 1980s, grew to become the Internet we know today.”

Chrome, Rep. Platform, IM, Connectivism, Storytelling, Facebook, CCs, Dropout Rates, Digital Conversion, Wikis, Cell Phones, PhysClips, NSF

Two Grant Programs to Support Participatory Learning: Application Deadline Oct. 15, 2008

Innovation In Participatory Learning Awards
Digital Media and Learning Competition
Sponsored by HASTAC and the McArthur Foundation
Application Deadline: Oct. 15, 2008, 8:00pm EDT

Award Amounts: $30,000-$250,000
Funds Available: $1.8 million

Innovation in Participatory Learning awards are designed to support the most promising and dynamic projects that enable and enhance innovative participatory learning. These pioneering projects will demonstrate new modes of participatory learning in a variety of environments, by creating new digital tools, modifying existing ones, or using digital media in some other novel way.

Innovation in Participatory Learning awards are intended to appeal to designers of new learning environments, which might include major adaptations of existing models of gaming, world building, social networking or other virtual environments; or the development of entirely new programs. In all cases, awarded projects must demonstrate a strong commitment to making possible new ways of valuable participatory learning, as opposed to simply creating new content.

Innovation in Participatory Learning awards are for large-scale projects that will typically involve teams of collaborators. These awards, particularly those with the largest budgets, will go primarily to institutional projects rather than to individuals. Collaboration is strongly encouraged (though not required) in the Innovation in Participatory Learning award category. International collaborations are particularly welcome, provided that the primary applicant meets eligibility requirements.

Eligible applicants: primary applicants must be institutions or organizations registered in Canada, India, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, Nigeria, The People’s Republic of China, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom, or the United States. Legal U.S. residents whose principal place of residence is in the U.S. are eligible to apply as individuals.

Grant Term: one year beginning between June 1, 2009 and Sept. 1, 2009.

Budgets may include the costs of project staff, technological consultants, software, hardware, meetings, travel, and up to 15% indirect costs to be calculated on direct costs. Applicants are also required to budget for airfare (or other transportation), transfers, lodging and meals for a two-day “showcase” event in Chicago to be held at the end of the grant HASTAC

Young Innovator Awards
Digital Media and Learning Competition
Sponsored by HASTAC and the McArthur Foundation
Application Deadline: Oct. 15, 2008, 8:00pm EDT

Award Amounts: $5,000-$30,000
Funds Available: $240,000

Young Innovator awards are targeted to innovators aged 18-25. These awards will support smaller-scale, forward-thinking, conceptually exciting and original participatory learning projects. The aim of this category is to encourage young innovators to think boldly about “what comes next” in participatory learning and to contribute to making it happen. These awards are designed to support young innovators in bringing their most visionary ideas from the “garage” stage to implementation.

Young Innovator awards consist of two components:

1. Support for project development, including the awardee’s independent work on the proposed idea, and

2. An internship with a sponsoring organization that would be beneficial to the awardee’s project. Internships can involve physical placement with a sponsoring organization or a mentoring relationship maintained by other means, including online communication.

The project and internship should complement one another. Winners will develop their projects over the course of the entire grant term, a period of one year.

The internship will occur at any time within the grant term, so that winners may be working on their projects prior to, during, and/or after their internships, depending on the internship schedule. The internship must be between 10 weeks and one year in duration, depending on what is appropriate for the awardee and project. Interns will not be paid by the sponsoring organization and must support themselves during the internship period with the Young Innovator award or other funds. Funds from the award cannot be used to subsidize mentoring and/or placement with a sponsoring organization.

Eligible Applicants: individuals aged 18-25 at the time of application. Applicants must be legal U.S. residents whose principal place of residence is in the U.S.

Grant Term: one year beginning between June 1, 2009 and Sept. 1, 2009. An internship lasting 10 weeks to one year must occur within the period of the grant term. The internship should not extend beyond the grant term unless mutually agreed with the sponsoring organization; however, no award funds will be distributed after the close of the grant term.

Budgets may include both the costs of project development and living expenses as necessary. Items to be budgeted for project development may include software, hardware, or consultation. Living expenses to allow work on the project are also appropriate. As the internship is unpaid, award funds should be budgeted accordingly for living and/or moving expenses during that period. Applicants are also required to budget for airfare (or other transportation), transfers, lodging and meals for a two-day “showcase” event in Chicago to be held at the end of the grant term.


The MacArthur Foundation

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation launched its five-year, $50 million Digital Media and Learning initiative in 2006 to help determine how digital technologies are changing the way people, especially young people, learn, play, socialize, and participate in civic life. Answers are critical to developing educational and other social institutions that can meet the needs of this and future generations. The Digital Media and Learning initiative is marshaling what is already known about the field and seeding innovation for continued growth. Initial grants have supported research projects, design studies, pilot programs, and responses to policy implications. The MacArthur Foundation is supporting the Digital Media and Learning Competition as part of its Digital Media and Learning initiative.


HASTAC (pronounced “haystack”; the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory) is an international network of educators and digital visionaries committed to the creative development and critical understanding of new technologies in life, learning, and society. HASTAC’s dual dedication is to ensure that humanistic and humane considerations are never far from technological innovation, and that education and learning are at the forefront of new digital innovation. HASTAC is committed to the idea that this complex and world-changing digital environment requires the lessons of history, reflection, introspection, theory, equity, and access that the modern humanities (broadly defined) have to offer. The Digital Media and Learning Competition is administered by HASTAC.

Two Grant Programs to Support Participatory Learning: Application Deadline Oct. 15, 2008