The Tell-All Campus Tour
by Jonathan Dee
Sept. 19, 2008, The New York Times
. . . “This month his Web site, called Unigo.com — 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 (OYC.yale.edu, ocw.mit.edu, bu.edu/today/buniverse), all-purpose instruction sites (Rice University’s Cnx.org 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.”
. . . “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 (http://www.asahp.org/journal_ah.htm)]
by Glen Stansberry
Sept. 15, 2008, NETTUTS
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
“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.”