Librarians, Skillsoft Study, Tinkering, Second Life, Videos, Tweeting Ed. Reporters, PLEs, Groups, Free Media Site

14 Ways K-12 Librarians Can Teach Social Media
by Joyce Valenza, Ph.D
Sept. 21, 2009, Neverendingsearch

“This is the best time in history to be a teacher-librarian. Major shifts in our information and communication landscapes present new opportunities for librarians to teach and lead in areas that were always considered part of their role, helping learners of all ages effectively use, manage, evaluate, organize and communicate information, and to love reading in its glorious new variety. A school’s teacher-librarian is its chief information officer, but in a networked world, the position is more that of moderator or coach, the person who ensures that students and teachers can effectively interact with information and leverage it to create and share and make a difference in the community and beyond.”

“For background, take a look at the Standards for the 21st Century Learner (http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/guidelinesandstandards/learningstandards/standards.cfm) . These information-fluency standards scream inquiry, critical thinking, digital citizenship, creative communication, collaboration, and networking. For librarians, and for most other professionals, the game has changed. There is no textbook for new practice, and it is absolutely true that some of us are a little more retooled than others. Nevertheless, there are at least 14 retooled learning strategies that teacher-librarians should be sharing with classroom teachers and learners in the 2009–2010 school year.

Skillsoft Survey Provides Evidence for Rethinking Learning
by Clive Shepard
July 27, 2009, Clive on Learning

“There’s plenty to ponder in the results of Rethinking Learning (http://www.skillsoft.com/about/press_room/press_releases/June_23_09_UK.asp) , a report published in June by SkillSoft and based on research conducted on their behalf by OnePoll. The survey canvassed 2019 people working in companies with more than fifty employees, evenly divided across eight European countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the UK). Here are some of the findings that grabbed my attention:”

– A large majority (67 percent) would like their employer to offer more opportunities for learning and 76 percent think they could be more effective and productive at work if these were offered.
– Around half of the respondents say that the formal classroom training they had been given was only useful in parts, with an overwhelming majority (87 percent) preferring to learn at their own pace.
– Over half (56 percent) would like more time honing their ‘softer skills’, with Germans and Poles (68 percent and 70 percent) wanting far more tutoring on these skills than the French (43 percent).
– When asked “what helps you to concentrate?”, exactly half say “the facility to go back and revisit parts you didn’t understand”.
– Well over two thirds like to be able to snack and have a drink and/or get up and walk around when they want.
– Only 15 percent think that listening to music helps them to focus.
– Almost five times as many like to study early in the morning compared with late at night.
– Overall 30 percent prefer to learn during working hours.
– Addressing the question: “wat best helps you retain recently acquired knowledge?” there is steady support for continuous testing, visual prompts and interactive learning. However, by far the most important method (71 percent) is putting knowledge into practice as soon as possible.
– Only 35 percent have tried e-learning. Of these, 65 percent would either like to try it or would like to try it but don’t feel they know very much about it.

“Tinkering Toward Utopia”
by Will Richardson
July 20, 2009, Webblogg-ed

In [Phillip Schlechty’s newish book “Leading for Learning: How to Transform Schools into Learning Organizations”], “he makes a pretty compelling case that ‘reform’ is really not going to cut it in the face of the disruptions social Web technologies are creating and that we really do have to think more about “transform” when it comes to talking about schools. There are echoes of Sir Ken Robinson here, and I’ve still got Scott McLeod’s NECC presentation riff on Christensen’s ‘Disrupting Class’ on my brain as well, especially the ‘the disruption isn’t online learning; it’s personalized learning’ quote. And while there are others who I could cite here who are trumpeting the idea that this isn’t business as usual, I think Schlechty does as good a job as I’ve seen of breaking down why schools in their current form as “bureaucratic” structures will end up on the “ash heap of history” if we don’t get our brains around what’s happening. In a sentence:”

“ ‘Schools must be transformed from platforms for instruction to platforms for learning, from bureaucracies bent on control to learning organizations aimed at encouraging disciplined inquiry and creativity.’ “

“To that end, Schlechty refers to past efforts at reform as ‘tinkering toward utopia’ and says that if we continue to introduce change at the edges, we’ll continue to spin our wheels. He says that schools are made up primarily of two types of systems, operating systems and social systems, and makes the point that up to now, most efforts to improve schools have centered on changing the former, not the latter.” . . .

A Learning Community For Teens on a Virtual Island – The Schome Park Teen Second Life Pilot Project
by Julia Gillen, Peter Twining, Rebecca Ferguson, Oliver Butters, Gill Clough, Mark Gaved, Anna Peachey, Dan Seamans and Kieron Sheehy1
June 2009, eLearning Papers

“Virtual 3D worlds such as Second Life2 and online gaming environments are attracting educationalists’ interest. This paper reports upon the first European Teen Second Life educational project for 13-17 year olds: the Schome Park NAGTY (National Association for Gifted and Talented Youth) Pilot. This project aimed to collect evidence about fresh approaches to education beyond the existing curricula of formal schooling through exploring the educational potentials and pitfalls of Second Life. Diverse quantitative and qualitative data sources are drawn upon to investigate issues relating to engagement, development of domain-specific and knowledge age skills as well as challenges for educators.” . . .

“Our experience suggests the importance of understanding the role of teachers in this kind of innovative environment, not as the possessors of relevant knowledge but as facilitators and promoters of a cooperative ethos. We conclude that, despite multiple challenges, there is evidence to support dramatic new possibilities for pedagogic redesigns. Students who engaged with the virtual island, the wiki and the forum demonstrated higher levels of the knowledge age skills of communication, leadership, teamwork and creativity.” . . .

90+ Videos for Tech. and Media Literacy
May 21, 2009, Open Thinking

“Over the past few years, I have been collecting interesting Internet videos that would be appropriate for lessons and presentations, or personal research, related to technological and media literacy. Here are 70+ videos organized into various sub-categories. These videos are of varying quality, cross several genres, and are of varied suitability for classroom use.”

[Here are some I had a chance to look at this afternoon – they are great! These ones here would be great to show as an intro to a faculty training session, as an ice breaker or something like that. There are others that are more educational in nature that I haven’t looked at yet. Chris]

2. Trendspotting: Social Networking (http://www.milkandcookies.com/link/42199/detail/) – Comedian Dimitri Martin will make you laugh as he discusses social networking. This video is useful in deconstructing concepts of friendship and interaction in the age of social networks.
3. Did You Know 3.0 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpEnFwiqdx8) – Widely viewed video by Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod that gives light to the changes imminent in our emerging knowledge-based society. This is an excellent video for framing and introducing the new reality to students, teachers, faculty, and administrators.
4. Introducing the Book (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFAWR6hzZek) – This comedic portrayal of a medieval helpdesk relays the point that each new technology will bring with it challenges of user adoption and a steep learning curve.
5. Mr. Winkle Wakes (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lm1sCsl2MQY) – A great video by Matthew Needleman retelling a classic story about the resistance of schools to change.
8. Web Crash 2007 (http://www.theonion.com/content/video/breaking_news_all_online_data) – This is an excellent, very funny video from The Onion that describes the horrible Internet crash of 2007.
9. Five Minute University (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRBW8eJGTVs) – This is a classic clip from Father Guido Sarducci from Saturday Night Live fame. The video gives humorous critique to learning in higher education. (Suggested by ZaidLearn).

A List of 100+ Education Reporters on Twitter
by Meranda Watling
July 7, 2009, Meranda Writes

For months, I’ve had in mind finding all my education reporter peers across the country on Twitter. I decided this afternoon it was time to finally put together what I’ve gathered and to see how many more I could find. What follows is a somewhat comprehensive list of education reporters on Twitter. I say somewhat because there are a few exceptions.” . . .

“So what is the purpose of spending several hours on my day off putting this together? Honestly, it was kind of selfish. I think it’s interesting to see what other peers on this beat are covering. In many cases, we’re writing about the same things. We struggle with the same FOIA-ignorant officials and try to wrap our heads around similarly incomprehensible state test data. And I figured extending my own network to include more of those folks could help me with ideas, trends to look into, and just some camaraderie.” . . .

7 Things You Should Know About… Personal Learning Environments
May 2009, Educause Learning Initiative

“The term personal learning environment (PLE) describes the tools, communities, and services that constitute the individual educational platforms learners use to direct their own learning and pursue educational goals. A PLE is frequently contrasted with a learning management system in that an LMS tends to be course-centric, whereas a PLE is learner-centric. At the same time, a PLE may or may not intersect with an institutional LMS, and individuals might integrate components of an LMS into the educational environments that they construct for themselves.”

“A typical PLE, for example, might incorporate blogs where students comment on what they are learning, and their posts may reflect information drawn from across the web — on sites like YouTube or in RSS feeds from news agencies. While most discussions of PLEs focus on online environments, the term encompasses the entire set of resources that a learner uses to answer questions, provide context, and illustrate processes. As used here, the term refers not to a specific service or application but rather to an idea of how individuals approach the task of learning.” . . .

10 Rules That Govern Groups
by Jeremy Dean
July 10, 2009, PSYBlog

“Much of our lives are spent in groups with other people: we form groups to socialise, earn money, play sport, make music, even to change the world. But although groups are diverse, many of the psychological processes involved are remarkably similar. Here are 10 insightful studies that give a flavour of what has been discovered about the dynamics of group psychology.” . . .

Open Culture

There are lots of free resources here – “Open Culture explores cultural and educational media (podcasts, videos, online courses, etc.) that’s freely available on the web, and that makes learning dynamic, productive, and fun. We sift through all the media, highlight the good and jettison the bad, and centralize it in one place. Trust us, you’ll find engaging content here that will keep you learning and sharp. And you will find it much more efficiently than if you spend your time searching with Google, Yahoo or iTunes.”

Audio and Podcasts – Free Audio Books, Free University Courses, Foreign Language Lessons, Ideas and Culture, Music, News and Info, Science, Technology, Travel, University – General, Business School, Law School, All
Video – Top Intelligent Video Sites, Best YouTube Collections, Our YouTube Picks, University Videos
Essentials – Podcast Library, Life Changing Books, iPod Learning Gadget, 100 Culture Blogs, Financial Crisis Blogs and Podcasts, ten Unexpected iPod Uses, Learn Ancient History, Learn Spanish, Learn Physics, Free Digital Books, Culture on Twitter

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Librarians, Skillsoft Study, Tinkering, Second Life, Videos, Tweeting Ed. Reporters, PLEs, Groups, Free Media Site

Fall Issue of the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration

The Promise and the Pathway: Marketing Higher Education to Adults
by David S. Stein, Ohio State University, Constance E. Wanstreet, Ohio State University, Charles T. Saunders, Jr., Ohio State University, and Michelle L. Lutz, Ohio State University

“This study analyzed the content of college and university Web site home pages to determine the frequency of marketing messages that might persuade adult learners to enroll at the institution. The findings suggest that colleges and universities in this study do not have adult-oriented marketing messages and are giving scant attention to the decision-making needs of prospective adult learners on their Web sites. The marketing generally appeals to career prospects rather than helping adults make decisions about their futures. The potential of Web marketing to help adults is not being realized. As a result, Web marketing presents the promise of higher education without helping prospective adult learners take the first steps down the pathway. Suggested Web site message improvements include designing messages that appeal to the needs and interests of adult learners; welcoming adult learners through textual content, visual displays, and ease of access to information; demonstrating how an institution will address adult learners’ issues and interests; and convincing prospects that they will achieve their goals by completing their education at the institution.”

The Professional Adjunct: An Emerging Trend in Online Instruction
by Laurie A. Bedford, Capella University

“Expanding enrollment in online programs has concurrently created a demand for qualified faculty to assume the increasing workload. As full-time faculty have been unable to fill the gap due to workload or resistance, organizations are more frequently turning to adjuncts to meet the needs of their online learners. As a result, there has been increasing dialogue regarding the nature of the adjunct-university relationship as well as the quality, rigor, and consistency of courses being facilitated by part-time faculty. Complicating this dialogue are a small but growing number of individuals who do not hold full-time jobs but rely on multiple adjunct positions to fulfill their professional needs. This qualitative study investigates the motivations and demographics of this emerging phenomenon.”

The New (and Old) News about Cheating for Distance Educators
by Scott Howell, Brigham Young University, Don Sorensen, Caveon Test Security, and Holly Rose Tippets, Brigham Young Unversity

“Those in distance education are faced with a formidable challenge to ensure the identity of test takers and integrity of exam results, especially since students are physically removed from the classroom and distributed across the globe. This news digest will provide distance educators not only with a better understanding and awareness of issues surrounding cheating but also suggest solutions that might be adopted to help mitigate cheating in their programs. While technologies, including “braindump” Web sites and cell phones, are associated with the more common cheating behaviors today, the problem of cheating will always beleaguer distance educators; it is their responsibility to stay current on latest developments in the field of academic dishonesty, employ fitting interventions to mitigate cheating, and do everything possible to preserve the integrity of distance education.”

Using a Web-based System to Estimate the Cost of Online Course Production
by Stuart Gordon, Old Dominion University, Wu He, Old Dominion University, and M’hammed Abdous, Old Dominion Unversity

“The increasing demand for online courses requires efficient and low cost production. Since the decision to develop online courses is often affected by financial factors, it is becoming increasingly important to determine, upfront, the cost of online course production. Many of the programs and educators interested in developing online courses underestimate the costs involved in developing and producing an online course. Efficient and reasonable cost estimates can assist institutions and educators to realize the costs of putting a course online and thus can improve strategic planning and budgeting processes. In an effort to facilitate, streamline, and improve the cost estimation process for online course development, the Center for Learning Technologies at Old Dominion University (ODU) has designed a web-based cost estimate system. This online tool enables our institution to determine the estimated costs involved in online course development.”

Alternative Uses for Course Management Systems: They Aren’t Just for Classes Any More
by Jill Ullmann, Purdue University Calumet

“Universities are quickly moving from brick and mortar toward online classroom settings. The online setting provides students with increased accessibility and flexibility to attend classes they would normally be unable to attend. Unfortunately, for those students who never attend classes on campus, many campus resources are not accessible. Students who attend online are often challenged by a lack of access to on-campus resources such as the ability to contact an academic advisor, retrieve forms, obtain timely information, use the writing lab, and technology assistance. Additionally, many adult learners are returning to school to further their education after a long period of time. These students are surprised at their lack of technical skills needed to complete course work. Virtually all courses in the Purdue University Calumet School of Nursing were either hybrids or totally online. Thus the School needed to reach all students equally with student supportive services whether they were attending class on campus or through distant learning.”

Supporting Online Faculty – Revisiting the Seven Principles (A Few Years Later)
by Maria Puzziferro, Colorado State University – Global Campus, and Kaye Shelton, Dallas Baptist University

“Since 2005, the landscape of online teaching and learning has changed as well as the landscape of the academy, and continues to transform before our eyes. These changes are not only a product of technological innovation, but also a result of new and reconceptualized values of higher education, and so we must reexamine what changes to faculty role, position and perspectives best support these new values. Drawing on the Seven Principles of Good Practice, this article visits the need for effective faculty support and development in online education. Online education has forever transformed higher education, and we are learning that quality requires flexibility and the ability to adapt to the changing demands of learners, the new promises of technology, and the new competitive landscape of higher education. If higher education is to remain competitive, we must refocus and redesign our paradigms, as well as design business processes that integrate with quality assurance models.”

Point, Click, and Cheat: Frequency and Type of Academic Dishonesty in the Virtual Classroom
by Donna Stuber-McEwen, Friends University, Phillip Wiseley, Friends University, and Susan Hoggatt, Friends University

“Students who feel disconnected from others may be prone to engage in deceptive behaviors such as academic dishonesty. George and Carlson (1999) contend that as the distance between a student and a physical classroom setting increases, so too would the frequency of online cheating. The distance that exists between faculty and students through the virtual classroom may contribute to the belief that students enrolled in online classes are more likely to cheat than students enrolled in traditional classroom settings. The prevalence of academic misconduct among students enrolled in online classes was explored. Students (N = 225) were given the Student Academic Dishonesty Survey to determine the frequency and type of academic dishonest behaviors. Results indicated that students enrolled in online classes were less likely to cheat than those enrolled in traditional, on ground courses. Aiding and abetting was self-reported as the most frequently used method among students in both online and traditional classroom settings. Results suggest that the amount of academic misconduct among online students may not be as prevalent as believed.”

Factors Influencing the Acceptance of Distance Learning: A Case Study of Arab Open University in Kuwait
by Salah Al-Fadhli, Kuwait University

“The recent revolution in information technology (IT) has significantly challenged society’s perception and thinking about the world in which we live. Because of its many advantages, distance learning has been identified by educators, scholars, academicians, and researchers as one of the most effective ways to improve the quality of learning. This study investigates possible factors that affect student acceptance of distance learning at the Arab Open University in Kuwait. The variables examined in the study include computer self-efficacy, technological factors, instructional design, and instructor characteristics. A descriptive quantitative research design and inferential methods analysis were utilized to examine these variables. Findings suggest that in order to enhance the DL system, DL institutions need to address computer self-competency, technological factors, the social environment, and instructor characteristics.”

Fall Issue of the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration

Net Neutrality, Broadband for Anchors, College Budgets, Free Textbooks, Google Chrome Frame, Hybrids, ID Models

Obama Stumps for Student Loan Plan, Hails New Web Rules
by Christi Parsons
Sept. 21, 2009, Los Angeles Times

“President Obama today called for support of his plan to expand loan and grant programs for college students and also embraced new federal rules that will require Internet providers to treat all Web traffic equally. A White House-backed measure now before the Senate will help more students with financial aid for secondary education and remove banks as the unnecessary “middle man” in the lending process, the president told a crowd gathered at Hudson Valley Community College over the noon hour.”

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Outlines Actions to Preserve the Free and Open Internet
Sept, 21, 2009, FCC

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski outlined the concrete actions he believes the Commission must take to preserve the free and open Internet at a speech today at The Brookings Institution. ‘The Internet is an extraordinary platform for innovation, job creation, investment, and opportunity. It has unleashed the potential of entrepreneurs and enabled the launch and growth of small businesses across America,’ said Chairman Genachowski. ‘It is vital that we safeguard the free and open Internet.’ “ . . .

F.C.C. Seeks to Protect Free Flow of Internet Data
by Saul Hansell
Sept. 18, 2009, New York Times

“In a move to make good on one of President Obama’s campaign promises, Julius Genachowski, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, will propose Monday that the agency expand and formalize rules meant to keep Internet providers from discriminating against certain content flowing over their networks, according to several officials briefed on his plans.”

“In 2005, the commission adopted four broad principles relating to the idea of network neutrality as part of a move to deregulate the Internet services provided by telephone companies. Those principles declared that consumers had the right to use the content, applications, services and devices of their choice using the Internet. They also promoted competition between Internet providers. . . . Meanwhile, new FCC rules due out today are designed to prevent Internet providers from blocking or slowing high-bandwidth traffic that taxes their networks — something that Obama said would unleash the “full power of the Internet” and allow innovation to flourish. The president’s explicit message was about making fundamental changes to the American economy that will not only spur recovery, but also place it on firm ground for future growth.” . . .

Dems Push High-Speed For Anchor Institutions
by John Eggerton
Sept. 21, 2009, Broadcasting & Cable

“House Democrats have made it clear to the FCC, and now the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, that they want the national broadband plan to include getting high-speed broadband service to libraries and other anchor institutions. In an FCC oversight hearing last week, House Communications Subcommittee Chairman Rick Boucher (D-VA), told FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski that the plan should focus on “extraordinarily high bandwidth” to libraries.”

“Libraries typically have free computers with free Internet, and can become Internet hubs for hundreds, while the high-speed fiber can also be a last-mile solution for nearby homes and businesses. Adding their exclamation point were Democratic subcommittee members Doris Matsui and Ann Eshoo both California, and former subcommittee chairman Ed Markey (D-Mass.). In a letter to NTIA, which is handing out billions in government grant money for broadband deployment, adoption and education, the trio urged the administration to put a priority on ‘anchor institutions, including libraries, schools and health facilities.’ “

“They said that a number of those institutions did not apply for that money because they did not fit the categories established by BTOP, and those that did apply found the process “confusing, complicated and discouraging.” The legislators suggested that the anchor institutions needed 100 megabits to 1 gigabit connections to provide distance learning and healthcare services, for example.”

“NTIA set 768 kilobits as a floor for defining high-speed, the same adopted recently by the FCC when defining the minimum for high-speed service. NTIA has said it would learn from the first round and apply the lessons to the second, and perhaps final, round next year. Matsui and company “strongly urged” prioritizing really high-speed connections for those institutions as one of those changes.”

Unprecedented Demand, Dwindling Funding
by David Moltz
Sept. 24, 2009, Inside Higher Ed

. . . “The Education Policy Center at the University of Alabama released a report Thursday based on the responses from state community college officials in 48 states to an extensive set of questions about changes in state funding, the impact of federal stimulus dollars and plans for the future. (http://www.insidehighered.com/content/download/317858/4098893/version/1/file/report.pdf) . . . Though many states have finally been giving community colleges their due, both in terms of public attention and — sometimes — funding, the report finds that this did not help many of them avoid cuts when times got tight last fiscal year. Seventy-one percent of states made midyear cuts to community colleges, compared to the 74 and 75 percent that made cuts to regional and flagship universities, respectively. States whose community colleges aren’t locally funded were more likely to hit those institutions with midyear budget cuts than were states whose community colleges receive local funding.” . . .

Also see “State Directors of Community Colleges See Bleak Financial Times Ahead,” by Jennifer Gonzalez, Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 24, 2009, http://chronicle.com/article/State-Directors-of-Community/48586/?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Free, But at What Cost?
by Jack Stripling
Sept. 24, 2009, Inside Higher Ed

“A program promising free digital textbooks to Florida’s college students has won early supporters, but it’s also sure to worry faculty who fiercely guard the right to select their own course materials. The University Press of Florida, partnering with a state-supported digital library called The Orange Grove, is building an online catalog that the two groups hope will dramatically ease the cost burden on students purchasing textbooks. In addition to allowing students to download textbooks in the digital library for free, the system will also permit them to order a custom printed copy of any book for no more than half the cost of the traditionally printed edition.”

“The library, which now features fewer than 100 titles, includes only those materials licensed through Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization that allows authors to grant copyright permission to their works. The textbooks may have been created as open source documents from the start, or they could be books that were once released by a commercial publisher that has ceased printing editions. Under preexisting agreements, authors will collect royalties only for the printed editions of their work — not the downloaded copies.” . . .

Introducing Google Chrome Frame
Sept. 22, 2009, The Chromium Blog

“Today, we’re releasing an early version of Google Chrome Frame, an open source plug-in that brings HTML5 and other open web technologies to Internet Explorer. We’re building Google Chrome Frame to help web developers deliver faster, richer applications like Google Wave. Recent JavaScript performance improvements and the emergence of HTML5 have enabled web applications to do things that could previously only be done by desktop software. One challenge developers face in using these new technologies is that they are not yet supported by Internet Explorer. Developers can’t afford to ignore IE — most people use some version of IE — so they end up spending lots of time implementing work-arounds or limiting the functionality of their apps.”

“With Google Chrome Frame, developers can now take advantage of the latest open web technologies, even in Internet Explorer. From a faster Javascript engine, to support for current web technologies like HTML5’s offline capabilities and , to modern CSS/Layout handling, Google Chrome Frame enables these features within IE with no additional coding or testing for different browser versions.” . . .

Google Sidewiki

“Next, Google announces sidewiki. Sidewiki lets users post comments on Web pages through the Google Toolbar. This isn’t new – StumbleUpon and Diigo offer similar services. But Google has scope, reach, and the ability to integrate the service quickly into the online habits of users,” George Siemens.

Sustainable Hybrids
by Steve Kolowich
Sept. 22, 2009, Inside Higher Ed

. . . “new research from South Texas College suggests that hybrid courses — those that are offered online but also involve substantial face time — can produce better outcomes than those that are delivered exclusively on the Web or in the classroom. The data showed that, overall, 82 percent of students of hybrid courses were successful, compared to 72 percent of classroom courses and 60 percent of distance courses.”

“These findings require some qualification, Cole said. When broken down by individual instructor, the data show no difference in the outcomes across the different delivery methods — meaning that the overall figures do not account for the grading habits of particular instructors, which could be a confounding variable. (At the same time, the sample size for the instructor subgroup was too small to render statistically significant findings — South Texas has offered hybrid courses only since 2006, and relatively few professors teach in all three modalities.)”

Instructional Design Models
by Martin Ryder, University of Colorado at Denver, School of Education

“Models, like myths and metaphors, help us to make sense of our world. Whether derived from whim or from serious research, a model offers its user a means of comprehending an otherwise incomprehensible problem. An instructional design model gives structure and meaning to an I.D. problem, enabling the would-be designer to negotiate her design task with a semblance of conscious understanding. Models help us to visualize the problem, to break it down into discrete, manageable units.”

“The value of a specific model is determined within the context of use. Like any other instrument, a model assumes a specific intention of its user. A model should be judged by how it mediates the designer’s intention, how well it can share a work load, and how effectively it shifts focus away from itself toward the object of the design activity.”

This site includes articles, examples and Web sites for :
Modern Prescriptive Models: Behaviorism, Prescribed Methodologies, Cognitivist models
Postmodern Phenomenological Models: Constructivist models
Comparative Summaries: Behaviorism vs, Cognitivism vs, Constructivism

Unmuzzling Diploma Mills: Dog Earns M.B.A. Online
by Marc Parry
Sept. 23, 2009, Chronicle of Higher Ed

. . . “GetEducated.com, an online-learning consumer group, managed to purchase an online M.B.A. for its mascot, a dog named Chester Ludlow. The Vermont pug earned his tassles by pawing over $499 to Rochville University, which offers ‘distance learning degrees based on life and career experience,’ according to a news release from GetEducated. He got back a package from a post-office box in Dubai that contained a diploma and transcripts, plus a certificate of distinction in finance and another purporting to show membership in the student council.” . . .

Net Neutrality, Broadband for Anchors, College Budgets, Free Textbooks, Google Chrome Frame, Hybrids, ID Models

Online Course Funding Bill, Broadband, Swine Online, Google Books, A Better Pencil, Social Networks, Statistics, Borrowing

House Passes Student Aid Bill
by Doug Lederman
Sept. 18, 2009, Inside Higher Ed

“The House of Representatives on Thursday approved sweeping legislation to overhaul the student loan programs and redirect tens of billions of dollars to student aid and other education programs, brushing aside Republican opposition and handing President Obama a significant legislative victory. The House’s approval of the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009, which had been a foregone conclusion for months, shifts the action to the Senate, where the outcome is slightly less predictable.”

“The student aid bill, a top domestic priority for the Obama administration, would cease all lending from the bank-based Family Federal Education Loan Program and use the savings the government derives from lending more cheaply for a wide array of purposes, only some of which, to the dismay of some college officials, are in higher education. Among other things, the legislation would:”

– Provide $40 billion over 10 years to increase the maximum Pell Grant to $5,550 and ensure that it would increase annually by the rise in the Consumer Price Index plus 1 percent.
– Greatly expand and alter the criteria for the Perkins Loan Program.
– Pour $10 billion into community colleges in support of President Obama’s American Graduation Initiative, designed to produce 5 million more two-year college graduates by 2020.

[including $50 million each year for ten years to the Department of Education ‘to make competitive grants to, or enter into contracts with, institutions of higher education, philanthropic organizations, and other appropriate entities to develop, evaluate, and disseminate freely-available high-quality online training, high school courses, and postsecondary education courses.’ See section 503 in the legislation http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/R?cp111:FLD010:@1(hr232) ]

– Spend $8 billion over 10 years to strengthen early childhood education.
– Create a College Access and Completion Fund that would give grants to states and institutions with innovative approaches to increasing college going and graduation.
– Provide $4.1 billion to modernize and repair school and college facilities, including those damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
– Make the interest rates on federal student loans variable beginning in 2012, when they are set to rise back to 6.8 percent.
– Simplify the federal financial aid form.

Broadband BTOP and BIP Grant Applications – First Round

The RUS Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) and the NTIA Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) have posted a searchable database of all applications received during the first funding round.

Dodging Swine Online
by Steve Kolowich
Sept. 18, 2009, Inside Higher Ed

. . . “While distance education is growing in popularity, learning how to use course-management tools might not be an intuitive part of preparing for a flu pandemic. But for many colleges and universities, it is as much part of the emergency plan as hand sanitizer.” . . .

“Hails said fact that many universities are encouraging their faculty members to familiarize themselves with available online teaching tools in anticipation of a swine flu outbreak might actually provide the push some reluctant professors might need to start using those tools. “They need a chance to get their toe in the water,” he said, “and for them maybe this would be a good way to get them some experience and not overwhelm them with things.”

Government Urges Changes to Google Books Deal
by Miguel Helft
Sept. 18, 2009, New York Times

“In the latest challenge to Google’s plan to establish the world’s largest digital library and bookstore, the Justice Department said late Friday that a proposed legal settlement between Google and book authors and publishers should not be approved by the court without modifications. The Justice Department said that while the agreement would provide many benefits to the public, it also raised significant issues regarding class-action, copyright and antitrust law.”

“The Justice Department described recent discussions with the parties as “productive,” however, and asked the court to encourage them to continue talks to modify the agreement and overcome its objections.” . . .

‘A Better Pencil’
by Serena Golden
Sept. 18, 2009

“In this electronic age, new writing technologies seem to proliferate and evolve with alarming speed — but of course, people have been coming up with new ways to communicate their thoughts for as long as language has existed at all. Writing itself — writes Dennis Baron — was once the object of much suspicion; Plato wrote that it could attenuate human memory, since writing things down would obviate the need to memorize them. In his new book, A Better Pencil: Readers, Writers, and the Digital Revolution (Oxford University Press), Baron looks at the history of writing implements and communication technologies, and explores the digital revolution’s impact on how we write, how we learn, and how we connect with one another.” . . .

Unweaving The Tangled Web
Sept. 16, 2009, MindHacks

. . . “You need to understand social network analysis because it is becoming one of the most powerful method to understand human behaviour. As we’ve discussed before, the fact that digital communications technology is so common means that we’re constantly creating data trails that can reveal surprising amounts of intimate information with relatively simple methods. For example, the BPS Research Digest just covered a study that could infer about 95% of friendships just from looking at location data from mobile phones – something that is one of the most basic information trails in the rich data stream automatically produced by social media.”

“This approach to understanding human networks is also likely to be increasingly important for human science. The last few decades have seen a massive increase in understanding on how genetics influences our minds and behaviour and social network analysis will see us increasingly linking individual discoveries from biology and cognitive science to the role of our relationships in our lives.”

Are Your Friends Making You Fat?” by Clive Thompson, Sept. 10, 2009, New York Times

The Buddy System: How Medical Data Revealed Secret to Health and Happiness,” by Jonah Lehrer, Sept. 12, 2009, Wired Magazine

Personal Learning Coaches for College Students
by Lanny Arvan
Sept. 17, 2009, Lanny on Learning Technology

. . . “I’ve written elsewhere of the Peter Drucker argument that we should all have two careers, one that is for pay and enables us to put food on the table and a roof over head, the other as a volunteer so we can express our sense of social responsibility. Instituting a program of personal learning coaches for students would be a way to enable that for faculty and encourage students to be reflective about their own learning in a way that is not tied to any particular course. I’m intrigued by this possibility.”

Educational Culture Clash
by Steve Kolowich
Sept. 16, 2009, Inside Higher Ed

“The 1992 Supreme Court case United States v. Fordice codified the idea that states should help their historically black colleges by blocking predominantly white institutions from setting up academic programs nearby that would compete with the those of the black colleges. The justices in the Fordice case worried that such duplication would prompt students to choose colleges — and states to allocate resources — along racial lines, effectively re-segregating higher education. The idea was that if only one of a region’s universities offered certain programs, students would integrate.”

“But in the age of booming online education, things are not nearly so black and white. Morgan State University has objected to a proposal by the University of Maryland University College to create a doctoral program in community college administration. That program, the historically black Morgan State claimed, would be too similar to one it already offers.” . . .

Implications of Online Learning for the Conceptual Development and Practice of Distance Education
by Randy Garrison
Fall 2009, The Journal of Distance Education

Abstract: The purpose of this article is to examine the foundational principles and practices of distance education in the context of recent developments in the areas of online learning. The point is made that online learning had its genesis apart from mainstream distance education. As a result, it is argued that distance education has not fully embraced the collaborative potential of online learning. The paper concludes with the question of whether or not the concepts and practices of distance education can be reformulated and aligned to incorporate the potential and possibilities of online learning.

Projections of Education Statistics to 2018
Sept. 15, 2009, National Center for Education Statistics

Postsecondary enrollment rose by 28 percent between 1993 and 2007, and is projected to increase a further 13 percent with an estimated 21 million students enrolled in colleges, universities and training programs by 2018, according to Projections of Education Statistics to 2018, released today by the National Center for Education Statistics. The Projections report — the 37th in a series first published in 1964 — provides national-level data on enrollment, teachers, high school graduates, and expenditures at the elementary and secondary school level. The report also provides data on enrollments in elementary and secondary schools and high school graduates for the 50 States and the District of Columbia. At the postsecondary level, it includes data on enrollment and earned degrees for the past 14 years and projections to the year 2018.

Google Releases News-Reading Service
by Miguel Helft
Sept. 14, 2009

. . . “On Monday, the company introduced an experimental news hub called Fast Flip that allows users to view news articles from dozens of major publishers and flip through them as quickly as they would the pages of a magazine. Google will place ads around the news articles and share resulting revenue with publishers.” . . .

Fast Flip – http://fastflip.googlelabs.com/

Students Borrow More Than Ever for College
by Anne Marie Chaker
Sept. 4, 2009, Wall Street Journal

“Students are borrowing dramatically more to pay for college, accelerating a trend that has wide-ranging implications for a generation of young people. New numbers from the U.S. Education Department show that federal student-loan disbursements — the total amount borrowed by students and received by schools — in the 2008-09 academic year grew about 25 percent over the previous year, to $75.1 billion. The amount of money students borrow has long been on the rise. But last year far surpassed past increases, which ranged from as low as 1.7 percent in the 1998-99 school year to almost 17 percent in 1994-95, according to figures used in President Barack Obama’s proposed 2010 budget.” . . .

“The new numbers highlight how debt has become commonplace in paying for higher education. Today, two-thirds of college students borrow to pay for college, and their average debt load is $23,186 by the time they graduate, according to an analysis of the government’s National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, conducted by financial-aid expert Mark Kantrowitz. Only a dozen years earlier, according to the study, 58 percent of students borrowed to pay for college, and the average amount borrowed was $13,172.”

American English Dialect Recordings
The Center for Applied Linguistics Collection
The American Memory Project

The Center for Applied Linguistics Collection contains 118 hours of recordings documenting North American English dialects. The recordings include speech samples, linguistic interviews, oral histories, conversations, and excerpts from public speeches. They were drawn from various archives, and from the private collections of fifty collectors, including linguists, dialectologists, and folklorists.

The survey’s documentation covers social aspects of English language usage in different regions of the United States. It reveals distinctions in speech related to gender, race, social class, education, age, literacy, ethnic background, and occupational group (including the specialized jargon or vocabulary of various occupations). The oral history interviews are a rich resource on many topics, such as storytelling and family histories; descriptions of holiday celebrations, traditional farming, schools, education, health care, and the uses of traditional medicines; and discussions of race relations, politics, and natural disasters such as floods.

ArtsConnectEd

ArtsConnectEd is an interactive Web site that provides access to works of art and educational resources from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and Walker Art Center for K-12 educators, students, and scholars. There are over 100,000 images, texts, audio, video, and interactive resources available to visitors to the site. Art Finder, ArtsConnectEd’s searchable environment, is where users can browse the museums’ digitalized items including Works of Art, Texts, Audio and Video, and Interactive Resources. Art Collector empowers users to save, customize, present, and share items in Art Collector Sets. A newly added feature is “Ask an Educator”, which allows users to ask questions of the museum educators at both the Institute and the Walker Art Center.

We Shall Remain

From the award-winning PBS series American Experience comes We Shall Remain, a provocative multi-media project that establishes Native history as an essential part of American history. At the heart of the project is a five-part television series that shows how Native peoples valiantly resisted expulsion from their lands and fought the extinction of their culture — from the Wampanoags of New England in the 1600s who used their alliance with the English to weaken rival tribes, to the bold new leaders of the 1970s who harnessed the momentum of the civil rights movement to forge a pan-Indian identity. We Shall Remain represents an unprecedented collaboration between Native and non-Native filmmakers and involves Native advisors and scholars at all levels of the project.

Virtual-U [Video Game]

“Virtual U is designed to foster better understanding of management practices in American colleges and universities. It affords students, teachers, and parents the unique opportunity to step into the decision-making shoes of a university president. Players are responsible for establishing and monitoring all the major components of an institution, including everything from faculty salaries to campus parking. As players move around the Virtual U campus, they gather information needed to make decisions such as decreasing faculty teaching time or increasing athletic scholarships. However, as in a real college or university, the complexity and potential effects of each decision must be carefully considered. And the Virtual U Board of Trustees is monitoring every move.”

Online Course Funding Bill, Broadband, Swine Online, Google Books, A Better Pencil, Social Networks, Statistics, Borrowing

Teaching After Midnight, Networking, Google, Utah State, Sense of Purpose, Media Literacy, Animations, Science Careers

Teaching After Midnight
by Wick Sloane
Sept. 11, 2009, Inside Higher Ed

. . . “Two thirds of my class this morning enrolled at midnight because all the day, evening and weekend sections were full. The rest have night jobs, most of them at hospitals, and one is a taxi dispatcher. Almost all plan to go on to a four-year college. One loves physics. One is earning the credits to transfer to become a doctor of pharmacology. It was midnight or put their ambitions on hold. Is this a good news story, or what? No. This is a national nightmare. Not a cry but a scream for help from these students. Sure, it’s great that community colleges are finding ways to respond to the huge enrollment increases they are seeing. But, to paraphrase Groucho Marx, do we want to be citizens in a country that forces its poorest students to go to college at midnight?”

“We, the people, are all supporting federal education policies that discriminate against students like my 47 midnight students. There’s federal tax policy, extravagant overhead reimbursement for federally sponsored university research, and fine print for student aid even a CPA can’t figure out. Yes, I rejoice that the Obama team is here. Simplification of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is on the way. But actually providing community colleges with enough money to meet the demands of their very hard working students? Actually give these institutions enough money so that there are professors and classroom space before midnight? No one is really talking about that — and students are being denied sections in massive numbers, nationwide this year.” . . .

Friending a Strike
by Steve Kolowich
Sept. 10, 2009, Inside Higher Ed

“When Oakland University, in Michigan, and the union that represents 600 of its faculty members failed to reach labor agreement last week, the professors went on strike and the university shut down — while representatives from the opposing sides went behind closed doors in downtown Detroit to negotiate. At the same time, a much larger and more eclectic group began discussing the issue in a space that had no doors — just walls.”

“Facebook walls, that is. Faculty officers from the Association of American University Professors (AAUP) created a group on the popular social networking site and began posting updates on the negotiations. They also started using the union’s Facebook fan page to post fliers, press releases, and links to media coverage of the strike. Supporters began leaving messages on the page’s comment wall. Others started chattering on the wall of the university’s official fan page. Soon, a student group devoted to the strike appeared on the social networking site and quickly acquired more than 300 members. Then a Twitter hash tag. Then another. Then a Flickr account. Then a YouTube channel.” . . .

Copyright Office Assails Google’s Settlement on Digital Books
by Miguel Helft
Sept. 10, 2009

“The nation’s top copyright official made a blistering attack Thursday on a controversial legal settlement that would let Google create a huge online library and bookstore. Marybeth Peters, the United States register of copyrights, and David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer, testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday. Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, Marybeth Peters, the United States register of copyrights, said the settlement between Google and groups representing authors and publishers amounted to an end-run around copyright law that would wrest control of books from authors and other right holders.”

“Ms. Peters, the first government official to address the settlement in detail, said it would allow Google to profit from the work of others without prior consent and that it could put “diplomatic stress” on the United States because it affected foreign authors whose rights are protected by international treaties. But David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer, who also testified at the hearing, defended the agreement saying it let authors retain control of their books and would expand access to millions of out-of-print books that are largely hidden in libraries.” . . .

“The $125 million settlement, which is subject to court approval, would resolve suits filed in 2005 by the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers against Google over its plan to digitize millions of books from libraries without approval from copyright holders. The settlement would protect Google from liability and would establish a registry administered by authors and publishers. In concert with Google, the registry would sell access to those books to individuals and libraries. The revenue would be split among Google, authors and publishers.” . . .

Utah State U.’s OpenCourseWare Closes Because of Budget Woes
by Marc Parry
Sept. 3, 2009, Chronicle of Higher Education

“The Utah State University OpenCourseWare project has shut down because it ran out of money, according to its former director, making it perhaps the biggest venture to close in the burgeoning movement to freely publish course materials online. The project published a mix of digital content — lecture notes, syllabi, audio and video recordings — from more than 80 courses before its demise. Its aspiration had been to open up access to materials from every Utah State University course, said Marion R. Jensen, the former director.”

“The cause? The effort ran through grant money from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and $200,000 from the state Legislature. It needed $120,000 a year to keep going. But it failed to secure any more state or university money, Mr. Jensen said, despite being the third-most-visited Web site hosted by Utah State University.” . . .

A Sense of Purpose
Michael Wesch Interview
September/October 2009, EDUCAUSE Review

. . . “I often like to think of the quote from Kevin Kelly, who says: “Nobody is as smart as everybody.” That hangs in my head every time I go into a classroom. I look at the classroom. I look at the students. I start to think about who they are. Throughout the semester, I learn more and more about who they are, and it becomes increasingly evident to me that with all the intelligence and life experiences that they have, they are collectively much smarter than I am alone. Then the goal becomes trying to somehow harness all of that. And I think I’ve finally found the “secret sauce.” It basically comes down to approaching the students as collaborators, co producers, co researchers, or whatever you want to call them — but not as students. So you take away that hierarchy.”

“I still maintain that I’m the most experienced in the bunch — the expert learner, the expert researcher. But the students also have skills to bring to the table, and it’s important to recognize those. Doing so facilitates a feeling of empowerment among them. I try to harness that from the very beginning, pointing out to them that whatever we do is going to contribute to the real world. We’re not just going to be hiding behind the classroom walls and doing our own thing.” . . .

Listen to the full interview at http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/multimedia/WeschInterview.mp3

Howard Rheingold on Essential Media Literacies
Aug. 13, 2009

“Howard Rheingold argues that the digital divide has become less about access and more about knowledge and skills for the digital age. ‘Increasingly I think the digital divide is less about access to technology and more about the difference between those who know how and those who don’t know how,’ says Howard Rheingold in this video captured by JD Lasica over at socialmedia.biz. ‘The ability to know has suddenly become the ability to search and the ability to sift’ and discern. Among the essential literacies he cites are: attention, participation, collaboration, and critical consumption (which includes ‘crap detection’ — we live in an age when you can get the answer to anything out of the air, but how do you know what to trust?).”

Human Physiology Animations Homepage at Connecticut College

This resource from Connecticut College can be used in a variety of settings, and the illustrative animations here are divided into sections that include “Muscle”, “Endocrine”, “Circulatory”, and “Digestive”. Each section has useful animations, and a few also offer short tutorials, fun quizzes, and explanatory sections that talk about the key processes within each system. From the Scout Report.

Science Careers

Features a science job database that is searchable by keywords, U.S. regions, continent, etc. Includes commentary on the science workplace environment, career-focused articles with titles like “Funding Your Future: Publish Or Perish,” Mind Matters: A Low Stress Semester,” “Dealing with Debt,” and “The Evolving Postdoctoral Experience.” Visitors can ask questions about future employment opportunities and career development in the Science Careers Forum. From the journal, “Science.”

AMSER, the Applied Math and Science Educational Repository

High-quality online resources in math and science.

Teaching After Midnight, Networking, Google, Utah State, Sense of Purpose, Media Literacy, Animations, Science Careers