Online Students Fare Better than Face-to-Face – Dept. of Ed Study, Program to Fund Free Online Courses

Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies
May 2009
U.S. Department of Education
Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development
Policy and Program Studies Service

A systematic search of the research literature from 1996 through July 2008 identified more than a thousand empirical studies of online learning. Analysts screened these studies to find those that (a) contrasted an online to a face-to-face condition, (b) measured student learning outcomes, (c) used a rigorous research design, and (d) provided adequate information to calculate an effect size. As a result of this screening, 51 independent effects were identified that could be subjected to meta-analysis.

Here are some of the key findings:

– Students who took all or part of their class online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction. Learning outcomes for students who engaged in online learning exceeded those of students receiving face-to-face instruction, with an average effect size of +0.24 favoring online conditions.

– Instruction combining online and face-to-face elements had a larger advantage relative to purely face-to-face instruction than did purely online instruction. . . . the observed advantage for online learning in general, and blended learning conditions in particular, is not necessarily rooted in the media used per se and may reflect differences in content, pedagogy and learning time.

– Studies in which learners in the online condition spent more time on task than students in the face-to-face condition found a greater benefit for online learning.

– Most of the variations in the way in which different studies implemented online learning did not affect student learning outcomes significantly.

– The effectiveness of online learning approaches appears quite broad across different content and learner types.

– Blended and purely online learning conditions implemented within a single study generally result in similar student learning outcomes. When a study contrasts blended and purely online conditions, student learning is usually comparable across the two conditions.

– Elements such as video or online quizzes do not appear to influence the amount that students learn in online classes. The research does not support the use of some frequently recommended online learning practices. Inclusion of more media in an online application does not appear to enhance learning. The practice of providing online quizzes does not seem to be more effective than other tactics such as assigning homework.

– Online learning can be enhanced by giving learners control of their interactions with media and prompting learner reflection. Studies indicate that manipulations that trigger learner activity or learner reflection and self-monitoring of understanding are effective when students pursue online learning as individuals.

-Providing guidance for learning for groups of students appears less successful than does using such mechanisms with individual learners. When groups of students are learning together online, support mechanisms such as guiding questions generally influence the way students interact, but not the amount they learn.- Few rigorous research studies of the effectiveness of online learning for K–12 students have been published. The systematic search of the research literature found just five experimental or controlled quasi-experimental studies comparing the learning effects of online versus face-to-face instruction for K-12 students. As such, caution is required in generalizing to the K-12 population because the results are for the most part based on studies in other settings (e.g., medical training, higher education).

See the article, “The Evidence on Online Education,” by Scott Jaschik in the June 29, 2009 issue of Inside Higher Ed –

U.S. Push for Free Online Courses
by Scott Jaschik
June 29, 2009, Inside Higher Ed

“Community colleges and high schools would receive federal funds to create free, online courses in a program that is in the final stages of being drafted by the Obama administration. The program is part of a series of efforts to help community colleges reach more students and to link basic skills education to job training. The proposals are outlined in administration discussion drafts obtained by Inside Higher Ed. A formal announcement could come in the next few weeks. In addition to the free online courses, the plan would provide $9 billion over 10 years to help community colleges develop and improve programs related to preparing students for good jobs, and a $10 billion loan fund (at low or no interest) for community college facilities.”

“John White, press secretary for the Education Department, said Sunday that the department would discuss the plans “when the time is right.” He said that there is a lot of “high level discussion and excitement” around these ideas related to community colleges. The funds envisioned for open courses — $50 million a year — may be small in comparison to the other ideas being discussed. But in proposing that the federal government pay for (and own) courses that would be free for all, as well as setting up a system to assess learning in those courses, and creating a “National Skills College” to coordinate these efforts, the plan could be significant far beyond its dollars.”

“The draft language suggests that the administration is throwing its weight behind the movement to put more courses online — and offer them free — and is also pushing that movement in the direction of community colleges.” . . .

Online Students Fare Better than Face-to-Face – Dept. of Ed Study, Program to Fund Free Online Courses

Cybergrunts, Marketing, Training, Etiquette, Funding, Cheating, Broadband, Twitter, Blogs, Gaming, New Literacy

Community Colleges Mobilize to Train Cybersecurity Workers
by Marc Parry
June 26, 2009, Chronicle of Higher Education

. . . “Community colleges like Anne Arundel want to train people to reach the other side of that fence — legitimately, as workers. With Barack Obama stressing the importance of such colleges and a new White House cybersecurity push that points to a need for work-force training, some experts foresee an increasing role for two-year colleges that can supply government agencies and private companies with workers steeped in cybersecurity.”

“But the colleges face a fire wall of obstacles as they attempt to educate those cybergrunts, most seriously the struggle to train and retain qualified teachers. Seven years ago, virtually no community colleges offered cybersecurity programs. In recent years, though, cybersecurity education has spread across the two-year-college sector, spurred by federal grants and a post-9/11 focus on infrastructure security.”

“Now more money may be coming. President Obama’s proposed 2010 budget includes what would be the biggest increase in recent memory for the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education program: a $64-million budget, up from $51.6-million. The program’s many technician-focused projects have included laying a foundation for cybersecurity education at community colleges.” . . .

The Online Ad That Knows Where Your Friends Shop
by Stephanie Clifford
June 25, 2009, New York Times

“IF a marketer asked people to hand over a list of all their friends so it could show them ads, few would comply. On social-networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, though, friendships are obvious, and advertisers are beginning to examine those connections. Two companies in particular, 33Across and Media6Degrees, are analyzing such connections, and they are not interested in basic friend lists, but in interactions on the sites, taking note when a user visits a friend’s page, sends a video or exchanges an instant message. In turn, they can identify people who are friends with a company’s existing customers, and then advertise to them.” . . .

UNT Professors Use Simulated Classrooms to Train Teachers, Boost New Teacher Retention
Press Release
June 23, 2009, University of North Texas

“Less than 50 percent of first-time teachers remain in the field for more than three years, according to Dr. Tandra Tyler-Wood, an associate professor of educational psychology at the University of North Texas. Retention of teachers is essential in the ongoing battle against the national shortage of special education teachers. Tyler-Wood and her colleagues in UNT’s College of Information are working to develop teaching methods that will produce more qualified teachers, and subsequently improve beginning teacher retention.”

“Tyler-Wood and her colleagues are evaluating simSchool, an on-line classroom simulator that allows students to practice their skills in a low-pressure environment. Tyler-Wood says that getting students acclimated to the classroom environment earlier than their senior year is essential to improving teacher quality.” . . .

Mind Your BlackBerry or Mind Your Manners
by Alex Williams
June 21, 2009, New York Times

. . . “As Web-enabled smartphones have become standard on the belts and in the totes of executives, people in meetings are increasingly caving in to temptation to check e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, even (shhh!) But a spirited debate about etiquette has broken out. Traditionalists say the use of BlackBerrys and iPhones in meetings is as gauche as ordering out for pizza. Techno-evangelists insist that to ignore real-time text messages in a need-it-yesterday world is to invite peril.” . . .

“The phone use has become routine in the corporate and political worlds — and grating to many. A third of more than 5,300 workers polled in May by Yahoo HotJobs, a career research and job listings Web site, said they frequently checked e-mail in meetings. Nearly 20 percent said they had been castigated for poor manners regarding wireless devices. Despite resistance, the etiquette debate seems to be tilting in the favor of smartphone use, many executives said. Managing directors do it. Summer associates do it. It spans gender and generation, private and public sectors.” . . .

Higher Education: Online Classes Backed, Despite Cost
by Stephanie Tavares
June 20, 2009, Las Vegas Sun

“Even as university system regents were consumed Friday by discussion about how to manage major budget cuts by the state in higher education, they took time to discuss how to increase student access to higher education — even though it might cost more. Increasing the number of distance-learning courses — classes taken online from home or a remote classroom — could attract more students to the system and help those enrolled complete their programs more quickly, system administrators said.”

“At least a quarter of students in the state’s higher education system have taken at least one online course and some campuses offer entire degrees and certificates via the Internet. The regents are interested in expanding the programs, even though they sometimes cost more than traditional courses.” . . .

Students Say Using Tech to Cheat Isn’t Cheating
by Meris Stansbury
June 18, 2009, eSchoolNews

“A new poll conducted by the nonprofit organization Common Sense Media suggests that students are using cell phones and the internet to cheat on school exams. What’s surprising, however, is not just the alarming number of students who say they cheat, but also the number of students who think it’s OK to do so. Common Sense Media commissioned the research and consulting firm Benenson Strategy Group to conduct a poll of teenagers and parents on the use of digital media for cheating in school.” . . .

“Of the teens who admit to cheating with their cell phones, 26 percent say they store information on their phone to look at during a test, 25 percent text friends about answers during a test, 17 percent take pictures of the test to send to friends, and 20 percent search the internet for answers during tests using their phones. Also, nearly half (48 percent) of teens with cell phones call or text their friends to warn them about pop quizzes.”

“What’s more, just over half of students polled (52 percent) admitted to some form of cheating involving the internet. Twenty-one percent of students say they’ve downloaded a paper or report from the internet to turn in, while 50 percent have seen or heard about others doing this; 38 percent have copied text from web sites and turned it in as their own work, while 60 percent have seen or heard this; and 32 percent have searched for teachers’ manuals or publishers’ solutions to problems in textbooks they are currently using; while 47 percent have seen or heard this.”

“Even more concerning is that many students do not consider this behavior as cheating. Only about half of students polled admit that cell phone use during tests is a serious cheating offense, and just 16 percent say calling or texting friends to warn them of a pop quiz is cheating; instead, they believe they’re simply helping a friend. Students who cheat using the internet generally view plagiarism as more serious an offense than other types of cheating, yet more than a third of teens (36 percent) said downloading a paper from the internet was not a serious offense, and 42 percent said coping text from web sites was a either a minor offense or not cheating at all.” . . .

Home Broadband Adoption 2009
by John Horrigan
Jun 17, 2009. Pew Internet and American Life Project

“An April 2009 survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project shows 63 percent of adult Americans now have broadband internet connections at home, a 15 percent increases from a year earlier. April’s level of high-speed adoption represents a significant jump from figures gathered by the Project since the end of 2007 (54 percent).”

“The growth in home broadband adoption occurred even though survey respondents reported paying more for broadband compared to May 2008. Last year, the average monthly bill for broadband internet service at home was $34.50, a figure that stands at $39.00 in April 2009.”

– Senior citizens: Broadband usage among adults ages 65 or older grew from 19 percent in May, 2008 to 30 percent in April, 2009.
– Low-income Americans: Two groups of low-income Americans saw strong broadband growth from 2008 to 2009.
– Respondents living in households whose annual household income is $20,000 or less, saw broadband adoption grow from 25 percent in 2008 to 35 percent in 2009.
– Respondents living in households whose annual incomes are between $20,000 and $30,000 annually experienced a growth in broadband penetration from 42 percent to 53 percent.
– Overall, respondents reporting that they live in homes with annual household incomes below $30,000 experienced a 34 percent growth in home broadband adoption from 2008 to 2009.
– High-school graduates: Among adults whose highest level of educational attainment is a high school degree, broadband adoption grew from 40 percent in 2008 to 52 percent in 2009.
– Older baby boomers: Among adults ages 50-64, broadband usage increased from 50 percent in 2008 to 61 percent in 2009.
– Rural Americans: Adults living in rural America had home high-speed usage grow from 38 percent in 2008 to 46 percent in 2009.

Iran and the “Twitter Revolution”
June 15-19, 2009, PEJ New Media Index, The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism

. . .“The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism took a special look this week at the role of Twitter and other social media to find out in an expanded version of the weekly New Media Index. From blogs to “tweets” to personal Web pages, the topic dominated the online conversation far more than in the mainstream media as users passed along news, supported the protestors and shared ideas on how to use communication technology most effectively.” . . .

“And last week, fully 98 percent of the links from Twitter were about Iran. The tweets took on multiple functions, from spreading unfiltered, albeit often unverified, news around the world to organizing support for those involved in the struggle. As is the case in many conflicts, the “fog of war” made verifying the quality and sources of information difficult last week. Alongside praises over Twitter’s role, some analysts downplayed the site as an organizing tool and there was speculation that tweets purportedly from protestors may have been part of a disinformation campaign. While the original source and location of Twitter links in this analysis is often unclear, the message of these tweets clearly reflects an online activism fostered by new technology.” . . .

“YouTube was another avenue through which to disseminate information about events in Iran last week. The two most viewed news videos on YouTube contained eyewitness footage of the protests in the streets of Tehran, although, as many media outlets who relied on such amateur video noted, it was impossible to independently confirm their accuracy.”

Colleges Consider Using Blogs Instead of Blackboard
by Jeffrey R. Young
June 1, 2009, Chronicle of Higher Education

“Jim Groom sounded like a preacher at a religious revival when he spoke to professors and administrators at the City University of New York last month. “For the love of God, open up, CUNY,” he said, raising his voice and his arms. “It’s time!” But his topic was technology, not theology.”

“Mr. Groom is an instructional technologist at the University of Mary Washington, and he was the keynote speaker at an event here on how to better run CUNY’s online classrooms. The meeting’s focus was an idea that is catching on at a handful of colleges and universities around the country: Instead of using a course-management system to distribute materials and run class discussions, why not use free blogging software — the same kind that popular gadflies use for entertainment sites?”

“The approach can save colleges money, for one thing. And true believers like Mr. Groom argue that by using blogs, professors can open their students’ work to the public, not just to those in the class who have a login and password to a campus course-management system. Open-source blog software, supporters say, also gives professors more ability to customize their online classrooms than most commercial course-management software does.” . . .

Top 100 Learning Game Resources
by Abhijit Kadle
June 24, 2009, The Upside Learning Solutions Blog

“Do You Need Games In Your Elearning Mix? When writing the whitepaper about Casual games, I did a fair bit of research and looked at several hundred web links. While doing so, I documented a few of the better ones. I’d been mulling posting these to the blog. So here they are – a Top 100 Learning Game Resource list. If you are already developing learning games, these links will broaden your horizons, as they did mine. If you are contemplating beginning – it might help to look at links that interest you to get some grounding ideas.”

“This list isn’t categorized in any way, and it’ll stay that way until I figure out a good way to tag and qualify them in some way. Most often such a list brings up debate about the quality of content linked to. In putting this list together, I worked with Tony Karrer and his eLearning Learning site extensively to match links that are popular based on social signals, specifically in the Games and Simulation categories.” . . .

New Literacy in the Web 2.0 World
by Daniel Churchill

The presentation discusses emerging literacies and argues that school curriculum must be revised to teach students to manage information, make meaning from multimodal text and represent knowledge and information. The session also introduces an idea of social networking literacy.

Cybergrunts, Marketing, Training, Etiquette, Funding, Cheating, Broadband, Twitter, Blogs, Gaming, New Literacy

Job Training, Piracy, US News Directory, Twitter/Social Networks, Glogster, Writing, Kindle, Library Issue Briefs, Ed Tech Philosophy, Archives and Historical Publishing Grant

Obama’s Community College Booster: $
by Mark Silva
June 17, 2009, Chicago Tribune

“President Obama soon will be announcing a plan to substantially boost funding for the nation’s community colleges, with an aim of helping more workers get the job-training they need in the coming decade. Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, outlined the goals of this program in an address today to the Democratic Leadership Council. ‘In the next couple of weeks, you will see a major announcement by the president on community colleges and job training and the rewriting of all the legislation related to job training and community ed. in the country – but, most importantly, in the area of community colleges,’’ Emanuel told the DLC.” . . .

Online Trends and Insight: Annual Report 2008
2009, Bay-TSP (Bay-Area Track, Security, Protect)

Bay-TSP; a California-based company that offers tracking applications for copyrighted works, has released its annual report which provides an analysis of data collected using piracy-network crawling software. The company does not track all instances of Internet-based piracy, but monitors violations of movies, videos, TV shows, or software that clients ask the company to follow. Bay-TSP’s clients include motion-picture studios; software, video-game and publishing companies; and sports and pay-per-view television networks. According to the report:

P2P – BitTorrent and eDonkey expanded their dominance as the preferred P2P protocols for downloading pirated content, according to a threat level research project tracking unauthorized downloads of BayTSP client content. Second tier and older P2P distribution protocols, like Ares, Gnutella and DirectConnect, continued to decline in 2008 and account for close to 10% of infringement found during the year.

Streaming – Youtube continued to have the highest number of infringements of BayTSP client content in 2008 and MySpace increased toward the end of the year. Infringements found on Google Video dropped substantially by the end of the year because they stopped hosting their own content. Stage6 disappeared completely due to potential copyright litigation and significant costs in keeping the site running.

The ten US universities with the most infringements: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Washington. Boston University, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, Vanderbilt University, University of Massachusetts, Purdue University, Iowa State University, Amateur Radio Digital Communications.

New Business for ‘U.S. News’
by Scott Jaschik
June 17, 2009, Inside Higher Ed

“U.S. News & World Report is on the verge of officially announcing a major expansion of its rankings Web site. The announcement will focus on the new “University Directory” that has been in beta. The directory has a broader focus than the rankings — with extensive listings in distance education and adult continuing education, not just the four-year residential colleges that are the focus of the rankings.”

“At the end of a draft of the announcement is a brief reference to U.S. News entering a partnership with Bisk Education Inc. — a company that provides online instruction in professional education areas for various colleges — to manage the advertising on the new site.”

“What is only hinted at is that U.S. News is (through Bisk) entering the “lead generation” business, in which entities sell colleges lists of names of prospective students. While experts predicted that some colleges may well buy the new options U.S. News is offering, several also said that the move reinforced their sense that U.S. News is primarily interested in making money — and that this could add to concerns about manipulation of rankings and the kinds of decisions colleges make to look good in the magazine.” . . .

“The lead generation will take place when a Web site user is looking at the details on a given college or program. There is a button that someone can click for more information. Currently, with the rankings, this takes the user to the college’s home page. For colleges paying for lead generation, this will lead to a page where they will be asked questions based on what the college wants to know about them. In lead generation, such questions typically may focus on academic or personal interests, academic achievement, demographics and so forth. Then the college gets not only the information that a student is interested in the institution, but some sense of whether the student is a good candidate. That’s the “validation” portion of the magazine’s pitch, and is generally a hot area in lead generation, which is by no means unique to higher education.” . . .

Glogster EDU Partners with SchoolTube to Enable School-Safe File Sharing
Press Release
June 16, 2009, Glogster EDU

“Glogster EDU, the education platform from that provides teachers and students with a revolutionary way of expressing their mood, feelings and ideas, today announces a partnership with SchoolTube, a leading website that provides students and educators with a world-class, safe, and free media sharing environment.”

“The partnership allows the students and teachers using Glogster EDU” now more than 450,000 around the world” to share their Glogs using the popular SchoolTube sharing site, and also allows them to easily import multimedia elements found on the SchoolTube site into their Glogs. All student-created materials on SchoolTube must be approved by registered teachers, follow local school guidelines, and adhere to the company’s high standards. This partnership reflects Glogster EDU’s tremendous growth as an important education tool for teachers of any subject.” . . .

Studies Explore Whether the Internet Makes Students Better Writers
by Josh Keller
June 15, 2009, Chronicle of Higher Ed

. . .“The rise of online media has helped raise a new generation of college students who write far more, and in more-diverse forms, than their predecessors did. But the implications of the shift are hotly debated, both for the future of students’ writing and for the college curriculum.”

“Some scholars say that this new writing is more engaged and more connected to an audience, and that colleges should encourage students to bring lessons from that writing into the classroom. Others argue that tweets and blog posts enforce bad writing habits and have little relevance to the kind of sustained, focused argument that academic work demands.”

See Alex Reid’s response posted to his blog on June 16

Student Beats Cheating Charges for Posting Work Online
by Marc Beja
June 15, 2009, Chronicle of Higher Education

“A student majoring in computer science at San Jose State University said he fought against a professor who had tried to force him to remove his homework from the Internet, and won.”

“On his blog, Kyle Brady explained that he had posted his computer code assignments online after the due date, in an attempt to help others and serve as a reference for future employment. But Mr. Brady says his professor, Michael Beeson, demanded he remove the content, or he would fail the course for breaking the university’s policies for cheating. Mr. Brady said the professor said students in the future would be explicitly forbidden from publishing their work in other courses. Professor Beeson did not respond to messages requesting comment.” . . .

The Kindle Factor
by Charles Crowell
June 15, 2009, Inside Higher Ed

“Recent announcements of a series of new experiments with Amazon’s Kindle reader have prompted much discussion about how it can be used to help students learn and, perhaps, save money at the same time. Naturally, some academics — having been burned before — are dubious of claims of technology revolutionizing instruction. But as one who has been using Kindle well before the recent announcements, I think there is real promise. Here’s what I’ve found.” . . .

How Tweet It Is
by Scott McLemee
June 17, 2009, Inside Higher Ed

“Only during the final week of 2008 did it become clear to me that Twitter is now a full-fledged widget within the discursive apparatus of academe. I had opened a Twitter account a few months earlier. (Everyman his own panopticon administrator.) But it was the Modern Language Association convention in San Francisco that made me conscious, for the first time, that microblogging was something more than just another way for the Internet to get me to write things for free.” . . .

Comment from Christopher Phelps, “I believe that is the longest column ever written on tweeting.”

Social Networks Spread Defiance Online
by Brad Stone and Noam Cohen
June 15, 2009, New York Times

“As the embattled government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appears to be trying to limit Internet access and communications in Iran, new kinds of social media are challenging those traditional levers of state media control and allowing Iranians to find novel ways around the restrictions.”

“Iranians are blogging, posting to Facebook and, most visibly, coordinating their protests on Twitter, the messaging service. Their activity has increased, not decreased, since the presidential election on Friday and ensuing attempts by the government to restrict or censor their online communications.” . . .

Social Network Analysis: An Introduction
by Alexandra Marin and Barry Wellman
June 11, 2009, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto

“Social network analysis takes as its starting point the premise that social life is created primarily and most importantly by relations and the patterns formed by these relations. Social networks are formally defined as a set of nodes (or network members) that are tied by one or more types of relations (Wasserman and Faust, 1994). Because network analysts take these networks as the primary building blocks of the social world, they not only collect unique types of data, they begin their analyses from a fundamentally different perspective than that adopted by individualist or attribute-based social science.”

“For example, a conventional approach to understanding high-innovation regions such as Silicon Valley would focus on the high levels of education and expertise common in the local labour market. Education and expertise are characteristics of the relevant actors. By contrast, a network analytic approach to understanding the same phenomenon would draw attention to the ways in which mobility between educational institutions and multiple employers has created connections between organizations (Fleming et al., forthcoming). Thus, people moving from one organization to another bring their ideas, expertise, and tacit knowledge with them. They also bring with them the connections they have made to coworkers, some of whom have moved on to new organizations themselves. This pattern of connections between organizations, in which each organization is tied through its employees to multiple other organizations, allows each to draw on diverse sources of knowledge. Since combining previously disconnected ideas is the heart of innovation and a useful problem-solving strategy (Hargadon and Sutton, 1997), this pattern of connections — not just the human capital of individual actors — leads to accelerating rates of innovation in the sectors and regions where it occurs (Fleming et al., forthcoming).” . . .

U.S. Public Libraries and E-Government Services
June 2009, American Library Association

U.S. public libraries are on the front lines of connecting people with essential government resources – including unemployment benefits, federal and state emergency assistance, tax filing and more. “U.S. Public Libraries and E-Government Services” describes the increased use of online government information and services, the critical role of public libraries in helping provide access and assistance using these resources and the challenges that must be addressed to improve e-government at the local, state and federal level.

Supporting Learners in Public Libraries
March 2009, American Library Association

The public library is a key agency in supporting the educational and learning needs of every person in the community. Libraries offer vital resources for early literacy development, homework help, homeschool families, continuing education and lifelong avocations. “Supporting Learners in U.S. Public Libraries” outlines many of the technology resources public libraries provide learners of all ages, challenges libraries face in meeting growing demand, and describes how sustained funding enables public libraries to offer increased assistance and services to their communities.

Job-Seeking in US Public Libraries
February 2009, American Library Association

Library staff in 10 states report increased use of library computers for job-seeking as more and more employers – from grocery stores to casinos to state governments – require people to apply for jobs online. Americans are depending on libraries not only for free access to computers and the Internet, but also for the assistance and training library staff offer every day. “Job-seeking in U.S. Public Libraries” discusses the range of library resources available to job seekers and challenges to maintaining these services.

Internet Connectivity in U.S. Public Libraries
March 2009 (Updated, Originally published April 2008), American Library Association

Today’s public libraries are thriving technology hubs that millions rely on for Internet access. In addition to providing free access to computers and the Internet, the majority of public libraries offer Wi-fi access, digital reference and downloadable media. As online services and programs become more sophisticated, the need for higher Internet access speeds for libraries grows. “Internet Connectivity in U.S. Public Libraries” describes the varied opportunities and obstacles facing libraries in acquiring and providing high-speed Internet access in rural, suburban and urban libraries.

Paulo Freire and Ivan Illich: Technology, Politics and the Reconstruction of Education
by Richard Kahn, University of North Dakota, and Douglas Kellner, University of California, Los Angeles
2007, Policy Futures in Education

Abstract: This article examines the theories of education and technology held by two of the most important philosophers of education during the last few decades, Paulo Freire and Ivan Illich. These two related thinkers each charted a unique approach to the questions surrounding modern education and technology, and despite their widely acknowledged brilliance, and in Freire’s case the establishment of an entire field of critical pedagogy throughout North America, almost no attention has been paid to examining their views on educational technology.

This article fills that important gap and attempts to dialectically mediate their two positions towards a broader critique of media culture and the role of educational technology generally. By utilizing both Freire and Illich, it is argued, a critical pedagogy of technology can be reconstructed that is capable of speaking to today’s needs, and this critical pedagogy itself can be reconstructive of the current terrain in education as it works to overcome inequalities through the appropriate use of technology and the establishment of critical consciousness on the issues surrounding technology and society.

Professional Development Grants for Archives and Historical Publishing
National Historical Publications and Records Commission
CFDA No.: 89.003

Application Deadline (Optional Draft): Aug. 3, 2009
Application Deadline (Final): Oct. 6, 2009

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission seeks proposals to improve the training and education of professionals in the archival and historical publishing communities. Projects can be for professional education curriculum development; for basic and advanced institutes; or research seminars. Surveys, focus groups, and other activities to understand these professions and their educational and training needs are also eligible. This program does not support requests from individuals for their own training, education, or professional advancement.

Award Information: A grant normally is for one to three years and up to $150,000. The Commission expects to make up to 4 grants in this category, for a total of up to $300,000 during the two competitions.

Eligibility: Nonprofit organizations or institutions with IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt status; Colleges, universities, and other academic institutions; State or local government agencies; Federally-acknowledged or state-recognized Native American tribes or groups

Cost sharing is required. It is the financial contribution the applicant pledges to the cost of a project. Cost sharing can include both direct and indirect expenses, in-kind contributions, non-Federal third-party contributions, and any income earned directly by the project. The NHPRC ordinarily provides no more than 50 percent of the total project costs for Professional Development projects.

Job Training, Piracy, US News Directory, Twitter/Social Networks, Glogster, Writing, Kindle, Library Issue Briefs, Ed Tech Philosophy, Archives and Historical Publishing Grant

Summer 2009 Issue of the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration

The summer issue of the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration is available online. I have included the abstracts the authors wrote below. See

Attrition in Online and Campus Degree Programs
by Belinda Patterson and Cheryl McFadden, East Carolina University

The purpose of this study was to examine how the mode of instructional delivery, campus face-to-face or online, affected dropout relative to students’ academic and demographic characteristics. A quantitative study was conducted to analyze the academic and demographic characteristics of newly admitted, matriculated degree-seeking students (N = 640) from Fall 2002 to Fall 2004 in the Master’s of Business Administration and Master’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders at a national research university in the southeastern United States. Demographic variables analyzed were age, gender, and ethnicity. Academic variables analyzed were program delivery mode, undergraduate grade point average, graduate grade point average at time of dropout or completion, admission test scores, and number of terms to degree completion or number of courses completed at time of dropout.

Results of the study found that online students were significantly more likely to dropout than campus based students. Age was found to have a significant unique affect on dropout in both programs with older students more likely to dropout. Academic and demographic variables were not found to be significantly associated with dropout in the online formats of either program. Variables related to dropout for the campus based groups of both programs differed. Campus MBA students who dropped out were older and had higher GMAT scores while campus CSDI students who dropped out had lower undergraduate GPA’s and GRE scores. Logistic regression analyses showed age and delivery format to have significant unique effects beyond other predictors on dropout in the MBA program overall while age and undergraduate GPA had significant unique effects beyond other predictors on dropout for the CSDI program.

Adjunct Outreach Strategies to Bridge the Virtual Distance and Increase Student Retention
by Maryann Lamer, University of Phoenix

“There are hundreds of studies that address ‘no significant difference’ in the quality of online versus on-ground instruction, yet it is clearly the instructor who makes the difference. While there is considerable research on student retention practices for university recruitment and enrollment departments, there seems to be little written on student outreach and retention strategies for online adjuncts. This paper is based on existing research on the philosophies of adult education, a review of current literature related to online education and the writer’s own eight years of experience teaching online at for-profit universities as a baseline for offering online adjuncts five adjunct outreach strategies to bridge the virtual distance and increase student retention.”

Valuing the Institution: An Expanded List of Factors Influencing Faculty Adoption of Online Education
by Madhavan Parthasarathy and Marlene A. Smith, University of Colorado Denver

We find that faculty consider their self-interests, those of their students, and the value to their institution when deciding whether to adopt online education. Our sample of business school faculty at a public urban university suggests that faculty who perceive online education as contributing to a desirable image for the business school, and that online education allows the school to meet changing market needs, are more likely to deliver one or more of their courses online. Because our study includes two populations of faculty — those who have taught online and those who have not — we are able to statistically measure the link between perception and behavior using multiple discriminant analysis (MDA). The statistically significant relationship between institutional considerations and adoption of online education provides university administrators with a new glimpse of what motivates faculty to participate in online education.

The Ties that Bind: How Faculty Learning Communities Connect Online Adjuncts to Their Virtual Institutions
by Angela M. Velez, Northeastern Illinois University

“Online faculty can and do become “professional online adjuncts” and make a decent living doing so; because of this, feeling a sense of belonging, a sense of collegiality with the university and other faculty is important (Orlando & Poitrus, 2005; Puzziferro-Schnitzer, 2005). Involving faculty in academic decisions (Betts, 1998), or recognizing them in some way for a job well done might be two ways to do this (Wolcott & Betts, 1999; Maguire, 2005). However, since no study had confirmed how online faculty operationalize the construct of collegiality, universities may not be doing it right or doing it at all. Creating a feeling of collegiality and connection is not an easy feat for virtual universities, but it can be done (McLean, 2006). Creating a greater sense of collegiality is a form of faculty support; currently many institutions only offer technical and instructional design support to their faculty (Gates, 2000) instead of getting a wider picture of what the faculty may need besides those two important areas. Once new faculty are comfortable with online teaching, they need less technical and teaching support, but need encouragement and recognition for their efforts, which is part of developing a collegial relationship (Clay, 1999).”

Continuous Course Improvement, Enhancements, & Modifications: Control & Tracking
by Vickie Booth, Georgia WebBSIT, Larry Booth, Clayton State University, and Fred Hartfield, Southern Polytechnic State University

The WebBSIT, a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, is a fully online degree offered through a consortium of five University System of Georgia institutions. This paper begins by describing the evolution of the WebBSIT and the results of an insightful vision that placed an emphasis on developing a curriculum rather than just a set of discrete courses. To maintain, grow, and improve the program, analysis of data must lead to planned curriculum revision. The balance of this paper develops an innovative process that employs roles and business rules to define a change management system for continuous improvement, enhancement, and modification of an online curriculum.

Lost in Translation: Importance of Effective Communication in Online Education
by Kristen Betts, Drexel University

Approximately 3.9 million students enrolled in at least one online course in fall 2007. According to Allen and Seaman (2008), online education growth rates have continued to outpace total higher education growth rates and there are no signs of online growth slowing down. As higher education institutions offer increasing numbers of online and blended programs, it is important that administrators integrate communication theory and methods into training and professional development for online faculty. This paper will provide a comparative overview of communication research as it relates to online education. Moreover, this paper will provide recommendations for integrating effective online communication into programming and instruction to increase student connectivity, engagement, and retention. Faculty and student data/feedback collected from Drexel University’s online Master of Science in Higher Education Program will be shared to highlight the importance of effective communication in online education.

Evaluation of Hybrid Online Instruction in Sport Management
by Frank Butts, University of West Georgia

The movement toward hybrid, online courses continues to grow in higher education in general and in sport management curricula in particular. However, questions remain as to the effectiveness of this direction. The rapid growth may be market or economically driven as contrasted to student learning centered. The purpose of this study was to collect insight into the value of hybrid courses in sport management, from the student perspective and achievement. This study gathered information from students in a regional, state university to evaluate two courses taught hybrid style and the same taught traditional lecture, in a sport management curriculum. Students identified both desirable and undesirable attributes with hybrid courses. There was no significant improvement in content mastery or in end of course teacher evaluation scores when contrasting teaching techniques.

Comparing the Impact of Televised and Face-to-Face Dual Enrollment Programs on Student Satisfaction and Subsequent Enrollment Choices
by Daniel R. Judd, David R. Woolstenhulme, Karen Jo Woolstenhulme, and Vincent J. Lafferty, Utah State University

A concurrent enrollment partnership (CEP) offers qualified students in high school the opportunity to take university courses. A CEP is usually between a postsecondary institution and a school district. In a CEP the postsecondary institution is contracted to provide college-level courses in the district’s high schools and is called the sponsoring institution. Concurrent (dual) enrollment courses may be distance delivered via televised broadcasts or face-to-face. Prior research concluded that CEP programs benefit all stakeholders, including the sponsoring postsecondary institution, which receives early access to qualified students to encourage their continued enrollment. However, research is not clear on whether televised distance delivery of CEP courses is as successful in attracting CEP students to the sponsoring institution as face-to-face courses. For this study, researchers collected data from 153 high school students taking CEP classes face-to-face and 212 high school students taking televised CEP classes. Results showed that students in the two groups were equally motivated to attend college or a university. However, a higher percentage of CEP students receiving televised CEP classes felt less prepared for college, felt that their classes were not equivalent to on-campus classes, and were less satisfied with the education that they received through the dual enrollment program. Also, fewer students taking televised CEP classes distance-delivered said that they planned on attending the sponsoring institution.

Summer 2009 Issue of the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration

QUEST Web site – Videos, Slides, Radio Clips to Share with Your Science and Other Faculty

QUEST – A KQED Multimedia Series Exploring Northern California Science, Environment and Nature

This Web site is an incredible educational resource for your science and other faculty – it includes fairly short clips in a variety media formats. Most are fairly short and each video/program has a link so they would be easy to embed into an online class. The list below is only the most recent list of offerings.

“QUEST utilizes all of our media platforms, educational resources and extraordinary partnerships. QUEST includes a half-hour weekly HD television program, weekly radio segments, an innovative website and unique education guides. QUEST’s geographic coverage spans from Mendocino to Monterey and from Sacramento to Santa Clara, and focuses on nine content areas: astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, environment, geology, health, physics and weather.”

The Sweet Science of Chocolate
Play this TV Story Air Date: Jun 16, 2009 (9:54)

Local chocolate makers explain the elaborate engineering and chemistry behind this tasty treat. And learn why it’s actually good for your health!

Turkey Vultures
Play this TV Story Air Date: Jun 16, 2009 (2:00)

Ever wonder why a vulture’s head is bald? QUEST visits the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek, CA, to meet their resident Turkey Vulture and learn about what life is like in the Bay Area for these bald “beauties.”

Where’s my Hydrogen Highway?
Play this Radio Report Air Date: Jun 15, 2009 (5:30)

Five years ago, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his vision for the Hydrogen Highway, an ambitious program that promised to launch an alternative energy revolution in California. Right now, that highway is not as smooth as planners had hoped and government funding is in danger of drying up.

Web Extra: Hydrogen Highway Slideshow
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Five years ago, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his vision for the Hydrogen Highway, a bold and ambitious program that promised to launch an alternative energy revolution in California. Check out images of fuel cells cars and more from this radio story.

Cash for Clunkers
Play this Radio Report Air Date: Jun 8, 2009 (5:30)

How would you like the government to help you buy a newer, more fuel-efficient set of wheels? That’s the idea behind a so-called Cash for Clunkers program that Congress is considering. But is it a boon for the environment or just a hand-out to Detroit automakers? The plan is not so novel. California has had a similar program for a decade.

Crash Landing
Play this Radio Report Air Date: Jun 1, 2009 (5:30)

NASA scientists in Mountain View are building a spaceship that they will deliberately crash into the moon in 2009, sending up a 37-mile high cloud of debris. Their goal? To possibly find water in the form of ice buried deep within one of the moon’s poles.

QUEST Quiz: Sewage
Play this TV Story Air Date: May 26, 2009 (2:00)

If you live in Oakland, how long does it take for sewage to flow from your house, through the EBMUD plant and into the bay?

Wastewater Woes: Sewage Spills in SF Bay
Play this TV Story Air Date: May 26, 2009 (11:03)

What happens when you flush the toilet? For most of us, what’s out of sight is out of mind. But large numbers of sewage spills into San Francisco Bay are forcing cities, water agencies and the public to take a closer look at wastewater and its impacts on the health of the bay.

Sea Lion Rescue
Play this Radio Report Air Date: May 25, 2009 (5:30)

Next month, the Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands opens its doors to the public for the first time in four years. The Center treats sea lions, elephant seals, and other marine mammals that run into trouble along our coast. They swallow fishing lines, get hit by boat propellers and, increasingly, come down with a bacterial infection that scientists say they still don’t understand.

Web Extra: Sea Lion Rescue Slideshow

Scenes from a sea lion rescue on San Francisco’s Ocean beach, the Marine Mammal Center’s new $30 million facility, and the triumphant return of three healed animals back to the ocean — and more, in our slide show.

Illegal Seahorse Product For Sale: Seahorse Sleuths
Play this TV Story Air Date: May 19, 2009 (10:00)

Seahorses are some of the most enchanting and mysterious creatures in the ocean. They are struggling to survive in threatened habitats around the world, while large-scale trading of seahorses for the traditional Chinese medicine market goes unchecked. Meet the Seahorse Sleuths – local scientists who are working to save them from extinction.

Web Extra: Raising Seahorses in Captivity
Play this TV Story Air Date: May 19, 2009 (6:13)

Seahorse aquarist Jonelle Verdugo of the Monterey Bay Aquarium talks with Quest about the biology of seahorses on some of the challenges of raising them in captivity.

Asthma: What Brought on the Epidemic?
Play this TV Story Air Date: May 19, 2009 (10:00)

The rates of childhood asthma in the United States rose 160 percent from 1980 to 1994 and have remained high ever since, making this chronic lung illness the country’s third most common pediatric disease. QUEST meets Bay Area researchers who are investigating possible environmental and social culprits.

Web Extra: Can We Prevent Asthma?
Play this TV Story Air Date: May 19, 2009 (4:56)

Can parents do anything to help prevent their kids from getting asthma? QUEST takes a look at some leading hypotheses.

QUEST Lab: The Resonator
Play this TV Story Air Date: May 19, 2009 (2:25)

Quest goes to the Exploratorium to learn how and why helium changes the sound of your voice.

Do-It-Yourself Mini-Satellites
Play this Radio Report Air Date: May 18, 2009 (5:30)

NASA will soon attempt to launch an unusual satellite. Most satellites are the size of a car, but this one is small enough to fit inside a glove compartment. Mini-satellites are reaching space in increasing numbers, thanks also to a do-it-yourself satellite program at Stanford University.

Web Extra: Mini-Satellites Slideshow
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Mini-satellites are reaching space in increasing numbers. Check out a few of the satellites built by Stanford University and others.

Your Photos on QUEST: Randy Davis
Play this TV Story Air Date: May 12, 2009 (2:02)

Randy Davis and his adopted dog, Lucky, explore the far reaches of the Bay Area via mountain bike. Once there, Randy photographs spectacular locations that are typically hard to access by car or foot. His eye for light and shadow show a different side of CA’s state parks that most visitors don’t get to see.

Coho Salmon – California’s Lost Salmon
Play this TV Story Air Date: May 12, 2009 (10:58)

Because of a sharp decline in their numbers, the entire salmon fishing season in the ocean off California and Oregon was canceled in both 2008 and 2009. Quest looks at efforts to protect the coho in Northern California and explores the important role salmon play in the native ecosystem.

Coho Eggs – Saving California’s Salmon
Play this TV Story Air Date: May 11, 2009 (5:11)

You may not think of salmon when visiting Muir Woods, but it’s home to endangered Coho Salmon. Meet the volunteers working to restore Redwood Creek and bring back salmon habitat after decades of human influence.

Sudden Oak Death
Play this Radio Report Air Date: May 11, 2009 (5:30)

Sudden Oak Death is devastating oak forests along the coast, killing trees that are key to the ecology of the coastal hills. Researchers have found a way to inoculate individual trees from the disease, but are struggling in their search to find a more sweeping answer to the threat.

Swine Flu and You
Play this Radio Report Air Date: May 4, 2009 (5:30)

Why are health officials so worried about swine flu? A major reason is that against it, we are almost defenseless. Apart from the drugs Tamiflu and Relenza, which must be taken in the first 48 hours, swine flu is untreatable. The swine flu scare is only the latest chapter in an ongoing arms race between humans and viruses. But some scientists believe the end may be in sight.

Let’s Weatherize
Play this Radio Report Air Date: Apr 27, 2009 (5:30)

It’s easy to get excited about installing solar panels on our houses, but most of us could significantly cut our energy bills for less with a simple trip to Home Depot. Thanks to the new federal stimulus package, $411 million is coming to California to help the state’s buildings become more energy efficient.

Web Extra: Weatherization Slideshow
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Thanks to the new federal stimulus package, $411 million is coming to California to help the state’s buildings become more energy efficient. One program, which helps low-income families weatherize their homes, is seeing its budget triple. Check out images from our radio story as one home is weatherized.

Goodbye to the Bevatron
Play this Radio Report Air Date: Apr 20, 2009 (6:40)

Fifty-five years after its construction, the Bevatron, a landmark particle accelerator at Lawrence Berkeley National Labs that helped pioneer physics discoveries and win several Nobel prizes, is about to be demolished. Why was it so important?

Web Extra: At the Core of Climate Change
Play this TV Story Air Date: Apr 17, 2009 (21:23)

How do we know that the climate is changing? In this video, provided by scientist Kendrick Taylor, learn how 8-foot long ice core samples extracted from deep in the ice layer of Antarctica hold key evidence of rapidly changing climactic conditions.

Climate Watch: California at the Tipping Point
Play this TV Story Air Date: Apr 17, 2009 (22:20)

The world’s climate is changing and California is now being affected in both dramatic and subtle ways. Get an in-depth look at the science behind climate change as we explore the environmental changes taking place throughout the state.

Smart Grid at Home
Play this Radio Report Air Date: Apr 13, 2009 (5:30)

President Obama’s stimulus plan set aside billions for clean energy. Funding will go to some familiar projects – like wind and solar power – and to some not so familiar ones, like the smart grid. So what is the smart grid? And how will it affect your home energy use?

Web Extra: Smart Grid Technology Slideshow
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California is leading the way in a new smart grid. Check out some of the new technology and some of the not-so-new energy tools from decades past in this slideshow.

QUEST Quiz: The Moon
Play this TV Story Air Date: Apr 7, 2009 (2:00)

In an average lifetime, a person experiences about 936 full Moons. So, how old is the Moon? How was it formed? Take the QUEST Quiz to find out how much you REALLY know about Earth’s Moon.

QUEST Web site – Videos, Slides, Radio Clips to Share with Your Science and Other Faculty