Ed Podcasts Sites, Using Technology, Libraries Lending eBooks, Blog Disclosures, WPMu, Historic Places Grants

10 Killer Content Sources for Your iPod Learning Mix
by Jeffrey Cobb
Oct. 14, 2009, Mission to Learn

Here are 10 great ones, in no particular order:

Quick and Dirty Tips – Probably best known for the Grammar Girl podcast, Quick and Dirty Tips offers short and snappy content on a range of other topics, like nutrition, public speaking, investing, and even dog training. http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/

LearnOutLoud – I’ve been a fan of The Philosophy Podcast for a while now, but LearnOutLoud has a lot more to offer. In fact, the site claims to have “the Internet’s first directory for podcasts you can learn from.” And LearnOutLoud also has a great selection of learning resources for kids. http://www.learnoutloud.com/

MindBites – I interviewed MindBites CEO Jason Reneau for a Radio Free Learning podcast a while back. His company’s site offers a large and growing collection of video “instructionals” on topics ranging from sewing to calculus to baby sign language. http://www.mindbites.com/

Radio Lingua Network – Radio Lingua offers the popular Coffee Break Spanish and Coffee Break French podcast series as well as “My Daily Phrase” and “One Minute” podcasts for a number of other languages. http://www.radiolingua.com/ourpodcasts/index.html

iTunes U (Opens in iTunes) – iTunes U is the place for great free content from top universities and other educational institutions. Apple claims there are more than 200,000 educational audio and video files available. Here are direct links to a few of the participating institutions and organizations. Carnegie Melon University, Oxford University, Open University, Stanford University, Edutopia, and Teacher’s Domain (WGBH/PBS) http://deimos3.apple.com/indigo/main/main.html?v0=WWW-AMUS-ITUNESU070521-N48LX (You will have to have iTunes installed for these to work)

Education Podcast Network – The Education Podcast Network bills itself as “an effort to bring together into one place, the wide range of podcast programming that may be helpful to teachers looking for content to teach with and about, and to explore issues of teaching and learning in the 21st century.” Of course, you don’t have to be a teacher to use it! http://epnweb.org/

The Naked Scientists – If you have the slightest interest in science, The Naked Scientists is a site you will want to subscribe to. A project of the BBC, it offers up a continuing stream of interviews with famous scientists along with news and information about science, medicine and technology. http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/podcasts/

Librivox – Librivox is the source for free audio book content on the Web, and it offers a variety of podcast options. You can pull pretty much any audio book on the site into your iPod, or try out one of these five channels for an automated stream of content: LibriVox Books Podcast, LibriVox Community Podcast, LibriVox Poetry Podcast, LibriVox Short Story Podcast, LibriVox New Releases Podcast http://librivox.org/

TED Talks – I’m continually amazed at the stream of high quality content coming out of the Technology, Entertainment, and Design conference. The Web site is very popular, but you might not be aware that you can subscribe to both a video and an audio version of TED talks through iTunes. http://www.ted.com/talks

Teaching Company – I’ve got a bit of a chip on my shoulder when it comes to The Teaching Company. They, along with Amazon and many others, dropped their North Carolina affiliates like a hot potato after the NC Legislature passed a hare-brained new tax law late this summer. Still, if you are willing to pony up the bucks for it, the company offers some pretty amazing, in-depth educational content. “Great courses taught by great professors,” as they put it. http://www.teach12.com/teach12.aspx?ai=16281

Using Technology to Improve the Cost-Effectiveness of the Academy: Part 1
by Tony Bates
Oct. 10, 2009, e-Learning and Distance Education

“Is e-learning failing in higher education? In previous blogs, I have discussed whether e-learning is failing in higher education. To answer the question, I have examined the expectations or goals for e-learning, and whether they are being achieved. Finally, I come to the last goal or expectation: that e-learning will increase the cost-effectiveness of higher education. I will argue that this is the most important and valuable of all the goals for e-learning, but is the one that is furthest from being achieved.”

“Summary of the problem: In Part 1, I argued that the challenge for universities today is that
– Student numbers have increased dramatically,
– Students are much more varied in abilities, age, and culture,
– Quality of teaching, as expressed in overlarge classes, as a result has dropped and continues to drop, despite the addition of technology
– The cost per graduate is increasing
– The teaching and organizational models though have not changed fundamentally to adapt to these other changes.”

Using Technology to Improve the Cost-Effectiveness of the Academy: Part 2
by Tony Bates
Oct. 14, 2009, e-Learning and Distance Education

“Identifying the problem with higher education in the 21st was the easy part (Using technology to improve the cost-effectiveness of the academy: Part 1). Much more difficult is finding solutions to the problem. . . . My view is that technology is a useful tool for creating a new kind of university, but much more important are structural and cultural changes in which technology will play a supporting role. Without these cultural and structural changes, technology cannot change the university on its own. . . . The next step is to move from the vision to the practical implications. So here are some of the implications from my vision.” . . .

Steven Downes summarizes Bates’ model:
– Abolition of the semester system
– Courses will be built around learning outcomes
– Strong emphasis on collaborative learning
– Focus on getting students to do the work: finding material, organizing it (etc)
– Large undergraduate courses will be designed and delivered by a team
– Classes will be broken down into small groups of 20-30 students
– Assessment methods will be through ‘proof of learning’
– Ph.D. students will receive up to six months training in teaching and learning
– Most universities will belong to consortia to allow for automatic credit transfer
– Costs will be driven down

Libraries and Readers Wade Into Digital Lending
by Motoko Rich
Oct. 14, 2009, New York Times

. . . “Eager to attract digitally savvy patrons and capitalize on the growing popularity of electronic readers, public libraries across the country are expanding collections of books that reside on servers rather than shelves. The idea is to capture borrowers who might not otherwise use the library, as well as to give existing customers the opportunity to try new formats.”

“About 5,400 public libraries now offer e-books, as well as digitally downloadable audio books. The collections are still tiny compared with print troves. The New York Public Library, for example, has about 18,300 e-book titles, compared with 860,500 in circulating print titles, and purchases of digital books represent less than 1 percent of the library’s overall acquisition budget.”

“But circulation is expanding quickly. The number of checkouts has grown to more than 1 million so far this year from 607,275 in all of 2007, according to OverDrive, a large provider of e-books to public libraries. NetLibrary, another provider of e-books to about 5,000 public libraries and a division of OCLC, a nonprofit library service organization, has seen circulation of e-books and digital audio books rise 21 percent over the past year.” . . .

New F.T.C. Rules Have Bloggers and Twitterers Mulling
By Kayleen Schaefer
Oct. 14, 2009, New York Times

. . . “Beginning Dec. 1, bloggers, Twitterers and many others who write online product reviews must disclose the receipt of free merchandise or payment for the items they write about. The guidelines, an update of the F.T.C.’s 1980 guide concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, will affect many in the beauty and fashion blogging community, where freebies ($40 eye-shadow palates, $250 clutch purses and, yes, $69 jeans) are rampant. The rules reflect the commission’s concern about how advertisers are using bloggers and social networking sites to pitch their products.” . . .

FAQ for Universities Interested in WPMu
by Jim Groom
Oct. 14, 2009, Bavatuesdays

[Steven Downes writes, “WordPress MultiUser (WPMu) is an attractive way for service providers to offer many people a blogging space, so it is not surprising to see it used by universities. In this item, Jim Groom offers a guide to WPMu. It’s republished from a document offered by David Grogan, Ilene Chen, Stephen McDonald, and Hannah Reeves from the academic technology group at Tufts University”]

“This morning I had a fun conversation with David Grogan, Ilene Chen, Stephen McDonald, and Hannah Reeves from the academic technology group at Tufts University. They had some questions about running a large scale WPMu installation at Tufts University, and below are some of their questions followed by my working answers. Figured I’d republish it here from Google Docs in the event anyone finds it useful, and special thanks to Hannah Reeves for organizing the session, it was a lot of fun, and it’s apparent Tufts has an excellent group that has much to bring to the experimentation with WPMu in education.” . . .

Interpreting America’s Historic Places – Planning and Implementation Grants
National Endowment for the Humanities
CFDA Number: 45.164

Application Deadline: Jan 13, 2010
Award: 18-36 months and typically do not exceed $400,000. Awards up to $1,000,000 are available for Chairman’s Special Award projects.
No Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement

Interpreting America’s Historic Places grants support public humanities projects that exploit the evocative power of historic places to explore stories, ideas, and beliefs that deepen our understanding of our lives and our world. The Division of Public Programs supports the development of humanities content and interactivity that excite, inform, and stir thoughtful reflection upon culture, identity, and history in creative and new ways. Interpreting America’s Historic Places projects may interpret a single historic site or house, a series of sites, an entire neighborhood, a town or community, or a larger geographical region. Grants for Interpreting America’s Historic Places should encourage dialogue, discussion, and civic engagement, and they should foster learning among people of all ages. To that end, the Division of Public Programs urges applicants to consider more than one format for presenting humanities ideas to the public.

Planning grants are available for those projects that may need further development before applying for implementation. This planning can include the identification and refinement of the project’s main humanities ideas and questions, consultation with scholars in order to strengthen the humanities content, preliminary audience evaluation, preliminary design of the proposed interpretive formats, beta testing of digital formats, development of complementary programming, research at archives or sites whose resources might be used, or the drafting of interpretive materials. See application guidelines for Planning Grants.

Implementation grants support the final preparation of a project for presentation to the public. Applicants must submit a full walkthrough for an exhibition, or a prototype or storyboard for a digital project, that demonstrates a solid command of the humanities ideas and scholarship that relate to the subject. Applicants for implementation grants should have already done most of the planning for their projects, including the identification of the key humanities themes, relevant scholarship, and program formats. For exhibitions, implementation grants can support the final stages of design development, but these grants are primarily intended for installation. Applicants are not required to obtain a planning grant before applying for an implementation grant.

Ed Podcasts Sites, Using Technology, Libraries Lending eBooks, Blog Disclosures, WPMu, Historic Places Grants

State Regs, WikiReader, Open Courses, New Literacy, Net Neutrality, Wave, Social Networks, PLEs, Blog Disclosure, Grant, Libraries

Regulation Woes
by Steve Kolowich
Oct. 14, 2009, Inside Higher Ed

“A group of Web-based education administrators, consultants, government officials, and researchers gathered here Tuesday to talk about how to streamline the process by which states approve distance education programs, at a time when more adults need postsecondary degrees and many want to get them online.” . . . “While a new report by the Presidents’ Forum acknowledged that fraud protection was a noble and worthwhile pursuit, its authors called on regulators to trust other states’ judgments and exempt online colleges that had been approved elsewhere from the bureaucratic rigmarole normally required of new higher education institutions. Ed Klonoski, president of Charter Oak State College (tagline: ‘Degrees Without Boundaries’), a public college in Connecticut, compared the current system to requiring truckers to acquire license plates for every state they want to drive in.”

Also see Steve Kolowich’s article, “Border Dispute,” in the October 13 issue of Inside Higher Ed – http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/10/13/forum

Wikipedia Goes All Douglas Adams With Portable E-Reader
by Kit Eaton
Oct 13, 2009, Fast Company

. . . “Meet the WikiReader, developed by Openmoko in official collaboration with Wikipedia and available at retail starting today for $99. As the press release says, it’s a “palm-sized electronic encyclopedia containing the more than three million English language articles of Wikipedia” that works entirely off-line. In a time when people are raving about e-readers, the Wikireader is a neat little piece of lateral-thinking, being part electronic-book, part e-reader…and having the advantage of instant power-on, and cheap price due to its simple components.” . . .

Open Courses: Free, but Oh, So Costly
by Marc Parry
Oct. 11, 2009, Chronicle of Higher Education

. . . “Colleges, too, are grappling with the limits of this global online movement. Enthusiasts think open courses have the potential to uplift a nation of Zieglers by helping them piece together cheaper degrees from multiple institutions. But some worry that universities’ projects may stall, because the recession and disappearing grant money are forcing colleges to confront a difficult question: What business model can support the high cost of giving away your “free” content?” . . .

“Every OCW initiative at a university that does not offer distance courses for credit,” he has blogged, “will be dead by the end of calendar 2012.” . . . “I think the economics of open courseware the way we’ve been doing it for the last almost decade have been sort of wrong,” Mr. [David] Wiley tells The Chronicle. Projects aimed for “the world,” not bread-and-butter clientele like alumni and students. “Because it’s not connected to any of our core constituencies, those programs haven’t been funded with core funding. And so, in a climate where the economy gets bad and foundation funding slows, then that’s a critical juncture for the movement.”

Stephen Downes’ critique of this article: “In a longish article that puts the worst possible spin on open educational resources (OERs) the Chronicle points to the unsustainability of large funding models and asserts that ‘student scribblers’ will be unable to make up for the loss of the big ticket programs. It also describes the phenomenon of open courses being offered (without actually mentioning any) and suggests that universities may start charging money for OERs. Meanwhile, we hear from the president of Western Governors University that “much open courseware is ‘lousy’.”

Free Education — Sustaining Open-Source Curriculum?
by Barbara Kurshan, Executive Director of Curriki.org
Oct. 9, 2009, Huffington Post

. . . “Curriki (www.curriki.org) is a nonprofit social entrepreneurship organization dedicated to improving education by empowering teachers, students and parents with universal access to free, open and shared educational resources. Curriki provides a virtual space for educators to share and collaboratively develop curricula, teaching resources and best practices. The platform we provide is clearly valuable to our community, which has grown to nearly 90,000 educators with another 150,000 Friends of Curriki that receive our monthly newsletters.” . . .

The New Literacy: Stanford Study Finds Richness and Complexity in Students’ Writing
by Cynthia Haven
Oct. 12, 2009, PhysOrg.com

“Today’s kids don’t just write for grades anymore. They write to shake the world. Moreover, they are writing more than any previous generation, ever, in history. They navigate in a bewildering new arena where writers and their audiences have merged. These are among the startling findings in the Stanford Study of Writing, spearheaded by Professor Andrea Lunsford, director of Stanford’s Program in Writing and Rhetoric. The study refutes conventional wisdom and provides a wholly new context for those who wonder ‘whether Google is making us stupid and whether Facebook is frying our brains,’ said Lunsford.” . . .

“While data analysis is ongoing, Lunsford said the study’s first goal was ‘to paint a picture of the writing that these young writers do’ and to portray ‘its richness and complexity.’ Her conclusion: Although today’s kids are “writing more than ever before in history,” it may not look like the writing of yesterday. The focus of today’s writing is ‘more about instantaneous communication.’ It’s also about audience.”

“For these students, ‘Good writing changes something. It doesn’t just sit on the page. It gets up, walks off the page and changes something,’ whether it’s a website or a poster for a walkathon. More than earlier generations, said Lunsford, ‘Young people today are aware of the precarious nature of our lives. They understand the dangers that await us.’ Hence, ‘Writing is a way to get a sense of power.’

Education Advocates Push for Net Neutrality
Oct 12, 2009, eSchool News

“Republican opposition is mounting as federal regulators prepare to vote this month on so-called ‘network neutrality’ rules, which would prohibit broadband providers from favoring or discriminating against certain types of internet traffic flowing over their lines. Educators say a neutral internet is a key in developing and delivering online content to distance learners and students in rural areas, and an unregulated internet would create unfair advantages for large universities that could pay more for faster, more efficient web service.”

“Twenty House Republicans–including most of the Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee–sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski on Oct. 5 urging him to delay the Oct. 22 vote on his net neutrality plan. Genachowski, one of three Democrats on the five-member commission, wants to establish rules to ensure that broadband providers don’t abuse their power over internet access to favor their own services or harm competitors. Democrats say the rules will keep phone companies from discriminating against internet calling services and stop cable TV providers from hindering online video applications.”

“But in a letter to Genachowski on Oct. 5, Rep. Cliff Stearns of Florida, the top Republican on the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, and his colleagues warned that new net-neutrality regulations could discourage broadband providers from investing in their networks. The letter said that if internet service providers can’t manage traffic on their networks to ensure efficient service, consumers could suffer.”

“Wendy Wigen, a government relations officer for higher-education technology advocate EDUCAUSE, said failure to pass a net-neutrality law would mean the country’s largest universities could pay telecommunications companies for preferential treatment, while small community colleges without similar financial means would be at a distinct disadvantage. ‘[Colleges] could pay to be in the fast lane,’ Wigen said. ‘These managed services would take over what we think of as the public internet. … The idea that our content would be discriminated against is disturbing, to say the least. We don’t want whoever pays the most [to get] the best treatment.’ ” . . .

Community Colleges with Foremost Use of Digital Technology Announced!
Oct. 8, 2009, Center for Digital Education

“e.Republic’s Center for Digital Education and Converge magazine have announced the winners of their fifth annual Digital Community Colleges Survey. Those named are the leading community colleges across the U.S. that offer exceptional technology support to students and educators. The survey addressed multiple areas in digital technology, including online registration, distance learning, tutoring and advisory services; technology training for students and faculty; and Web 2.0 social and collaborative capabilities.” . . .

Could Google Wave Replace Course-Management Systems?
by Jeff Young
Oct. 7, 2009, Chronicle of Higher Education

“Google argues that its new Google Wave system could replace e-mail by blending instant messaging, wikis, and image and document sharing into one seamless communication interface. But some college professors and administrators are more excited about Wave’s potential to be a course-management-system killer.” . . . See Google Wave Developer Preview at Google I/O 2009 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_UyVmITiYQ&feature=player_embedded

Facebook ‘Cuts Student Drop-Outs’
by Sean Coughlan
Oct. 13, 2009, BBC News

“Social networking websites such as Facebook are helping to reduce college drop-out rates, it is claimed. Gloucestershire College says social networking is used to keep students informed and in touch with staff. ‘There has been a significant improvement in retention,’ says media curriculum manager, Perry Perrott. Using such teenager-friendly communication tools has a ‘positive effect on motivation,’ says the government’s technology agency, Becta. ‘We’re embracing it rather than fighting it,’ says Mr Perrott. He says Facebook pages for individual courses help the students to bond with each other, work together as a team and maintain their connection with staff.” . . .

Why Email No Longer Rules…And What That Means for the Way We Communicate
by Jessica E. Vascellaro
Oct. 12, 2009, The Wall Street Journal

“Email has had a good run as king of communications. But its reign is over. In its place, a new generation of services is starting to take hold — services like Twitter and Facebook and countless others vying for a piece of the new world. And just as email did more than a decade ago, this shift promises to profoundly rewrite the way we communicate — in ways we can only begin to imagine.” . . .

“Little wonder that while email continues to grow, other types of communication services are growing far faster. In August 2009, 276.9 million people used email across the U.S., several European countries, Australia and Brazil, according to Nielsen Co., up 21 percent from 229.2 million in August 2008. But the number of users on social-networking and other community sites jumped 31 percent to 301.5 million people.”

The History and Evolution of Social Media
by Cameron Chapman
Oct. 7, 2009, Web Designer Depot

Social media has become an integral part of modern society. There are general social networks with user bases larger than the population of most countries. There are niche sites for virtually every special interest out there. There are sites to share photos, videos, status updates, sites for meeting new people and sites to connect with old friends. It seems there are social solutions to just about every need. In this article, we’ll review the history and evolution of social media from its humble beginnings to the present day.

Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship
by Danah M. Boyd, School of Information, University of California-Berkeley, and Nicole B. Ellison, Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media, Michigan State University
2007, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication

Abstract: Social network sites (SNSs) are increasingly attracting the attention of academic and industry researchers intrigued by their affordances and reach. This special theme section of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication brings together scholarship on these emergent phenomena. In this introductory article, we describe features of SNSs and propose a comprehensive definition. We then present one perspective on the history of such sites, discussing key changes and developments. After briefly summarizing existing scholarship concerning SNSs, we discuss the articles in this special section and conclude with considerations for future research.

The Social Media Maze
by Steve Kolowich
Oct. 9, 2009, Inside Higher Ed

. . . “ ‘Put the words ‘social,’ ‘Facebook,’ or ‘Web 2.0’ in the title of any higher education conference session and you are guaranteed a standing room only crowd,’ wrote Jennifer Copeland, general manager of the enrollment marketing firm DemandEngine, in a recent report. But even as more and more colleges create profiles, fan pages, and Twitter feeds, the question of how best to take advantage of these adolescent technologies — and how influential they actually are in terms of recruiting students and prompting donations — remains largely unanswered.” . . .

“Recent research suggests that although prospective students might engage colleges on social networks, they still do most of their research on a college’s Web site. A 2009 report from the education consulting firm Noel-Levitz and several partners, called ‘Scrolling Toward Enrollment,’ polled over 1,000 high school seniors and found that while students believe colleges should maintain a social media presence, their main concern is being able to easily navigate the institution’s Web site. ‘Social networking is certainly no replacement for a solid, well-designed Web site,’ the authors say, ‘but it can support your other e-recruiting efforts.’ “ . . .

The Millennial Muddle: How Stereotyping Students Became an Industry
by Eric Hoover
Oct. 11, 2009, The Chronicle of Higher Education

“Figuring out young people has always been a chore, but today it’s also an industry. Colleges and corporations pay experts big bucks to help them understand the fresh-faced hordes that pack the nation’s dorms and office buildings. As in any business, there’s variety as well as competition. One speaker will describe youngsters as the brightest bunch of do-gooders in modern history. Another will call them self-involved knuckleheads. Depending on the prediction, this generation either will save the planet, one soup kitchen at a time, or crash-land on a lonely moon where nobody ever reads.” . . .

“Arthur E. Levine, a former president of the Teachers College of Columbia University and co-author of When Hope and Fear Collide: A Portrait of Today’s College Student, remains unimpressed. ‘Generational images are stereotypes,’ says Mr. Levine, now president of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. ‘There are some differences that stand out, but there are more similarities between students of the past and the present. But if you wrote a book saying that, how interesting would that book be?’ “. . .

Exploring Personal Learning Environments
by Graham Attwell
Oct. 8, 2009, Pontydysgu

“In September, we organised a symposium on Personal Learning Environments at the Second World Summit on the Knowledge Society (WSKS 2009), ‘an international attempt to promote the dialogue for the main aspects of the Knowledge Society towards a better world for all.’ I rather rashly promised to publish the products from the symposium. It has taken a little longer than I had hoped, but here they are. The slides and links to the full papers are included in the text, the audio recordings of the presentations can be accessed at the bottom of this page.”

Presentations include:
“Using Web 2.0 Applications as Supporting Tools for Personal Learning Environments,” by Ricardo Torres
“Cops to Support Social Learning in DE/Teacher PD through Web 2.0 Environments,” by Cristina Costa
“An Infrastructure for Intercommunication Between Widgets in Personal Learning Environments,” by Tobias Nelkner
“Language Micro-Gaming: Fun and Informal Microblogging Activities for Language Learning,” by Maria Perifanou

Everyday Life, Online: U.S. College Students’ Use of the Internet
by Steve Jones, Camille Johnson-Yale, Sarah Millermaier, Francisco Seoane Perez
Oct. 5, 2009, First Monday

Abstract: The goal of this study was to learn about how college students are using the Internet and to compare their use of it to that of college students as reported in 2002 by replicating and extending previous research. A survey of college students at 40 U.S. higher education institutions was conducted, along with observations and interviews at several Midwestern universities. For comparison to the general population a nationwide telephone survey was undertaken. The study found that Internet use had predictably increased but that college students continued to prefer using multiple methods of communication to stay in touch with friends and family. College students continue to be early adopters of new Internet tools and applications in comparison to the general U.S. Internet-using population. For U.S. college students, Internet technologies have become so ubiquitous as to seem invisible.

FTC to Fine Bloggers up to $11,000 for Not Disclosing Payments
by Adam Ostrow
Oct. 5, 2009, Mashable

Bloggers now have up to 11,000 reasons to disclose when they are being paid to review products. The FTC has updated its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising for the first time since 1980, and among the changes, a requirement that “bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service.” Fines for violating the new rule will run up to $11,000 per post.

Some more details from the FTC’s announcement:
“The revised Guides also add new examples to illustrate the long standing principle that “material connections” (sometimes payments or free products) between advertisers and endorsers – connections that consumers would not expect – must be disclosed. These examples address what constitutes an endorsement when the message is conveyed by bloggers or other “word-of-mouth” marketers. The revised Guides specify that while decisions will be reached on a case-by-case basis, the post of a blogger who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement.”

See the new FCC guidelines at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/endortest.shtm

Insidious Pedagogy: How Course Management Systems Affect Teaching
by Lisa M. Lane
Oct. 5, 2009, First Monday

Abstract: Course management systems, like any other technology, have an inherent purpose implied in their design, and therefore a built-in pedagogy. Although these pedagogies are based on instructivist principles, today’s large CMSs have many features suitable for applying more constructivist pedagogies. Yet few faculty use these features, or even adapt their CMS very much, despite the several customization options. This is because most college instructors do not work or play much on the Web, and thus utilize Web-based systems primarily at their basic level. The defaults of the CMS therefore tend to determine the way Web-novice faculty teach online, encouraging methods based on posting of material and engendering usage that focuses on administrative tasks. A solution to this underutilization of the CMS is to focus on pedagogy for Web-novice faculty and allow a choice of CMS.

EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Program: Inter-Campus and Intra-Campus Cyber Connectivity (RII C2)
National Science Foundation Solicitation 09-569

Full Proposal Deadline Date: Nov. 2, 2009

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will enable NSF to invest $20 million in the Research Infrastructure Improvement Program: Inter-Campus and Intra-Campus Cyber Connectivity (RII C2). Awards made under this program will provide up to $1 million for up to two years to support the enhancement of inter-campus and intra-campus cyber connectivity within an EPSCoR jurisdiction.

These awards are intended to enhance broadband access for academic research and the utilization of cyberinfrastructure consistent with the jurisdiction’s Science and Technology (S&T) plan. The inter-campus and intra-campus connectivity targeted by these awards is expected to broaden individual and institutional participation in STEM research and education activities within and among jurisdictions and to facilitate synergy among NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement activities.

The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is a program designed to fulfill the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) mandate to promote scientific progress nationwide. The EPSCoR program is directed at those jurisdictions that have historically received lesser amounts of NSF Research and Development (R&D) funding.

Libraries Connect Communities 3: Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study 2008–2009
by Denise M. Davis, John Carlo Bertot, Charles R. Mcclure
Sept. 25, 2009, American Library Association

The study finds that America’s 16,592 public library buildings provide communities of all sizes free access to computers and the Internet; formal classes and informal staff assistance using these technology assets; a wide range of Internet services including homework resources, digital reference and e-books; and wireless access to the Internet. Key findings include:

– Libraries serve a unique and important role in providing free access to all types of information and telecommunications services. Just over 71 percent of libraries report that they are the only source of free access to computers and the Internet in their communities. Library staff report an increase in the use of library computers and Internet access for job-seeking and e-government purposes.
– In a time of widespread economic turmoil, 14.3 percent of public libraries report decreased operating budgets in FY2009. Only 38 percent of libraries report budget increases at or above the rate of inflation. More than half (53 percent) of the state library agencies that provide state funding to public libraries report declining state funding in FY2009, according to questionnaires to the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA).
– Public libraries are investing in and improving Internet access speeds, but they still find patron demands are growing faster than their ability to increase bandwidth. Nearly 60 percent of libraries report Internet connection speeds are insufficient to meet needs at some point in the day. Achieving sufficiency of public access to computers and the Internet is an elusive goal.

Executive Brief – http://www.ala.org/ala/research/initiatives/plftas/2008_2009/execbrief.pdf

Postsecondary Institutions and Price of Attendance in the United States: Fall 2008, Degrees and Other Awards Conferred: 2007-08, and 12-Month Enrollment: 2007-08
Oct. 13, 2009, National Center for Education Statistics

This report uses the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) fall 2008 data to examine institutions by such characteristics as tuition, fees, enrollment, and number of degrees conferred during the period July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008 by Title IV postsecondary institutions.

– During 2008-09, full-time, in-state undergraduates at public four-year institutions paid an average of $6,070 for tuition and fees, and out-of-state undergraduates averaged more than twice that amount ($14,378).
– During the 2007-08 academic year, Title IV institutions in the United States reported enrolling 25.9 million individual graduate and undergraduate students.
– About 3.9 million postsecondary awards (degrees or certificates) were conferred by Title IV institutions during the 2007-08 academic year.

State Regs, WikiReader, Open Courses, New Literacy, Net Neutrality, Wave, Social Networks, PLEs, Blog Disclosure, Grant, Libraries

Accountability, Online Teacher Ed, Online Angst, Blogs, Social Stats, Troops Online, Student E-Mail, Decentralizing DE

Community College Accountability
by David Moltz
Oct. 7, 2009, Inside Higher Ed

“Accountability initiatives are not new to community colleges. But because scholars and educators have long disagreed about how to measure and compare the institutions’ success in educating students, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Lumina Foundation for Education announced Tuesday their funding of an effort to create a national, voluntary accountability system for community colleges.”

“The project, which is being funded with $1 million in grants from the two foundations, will gather leaders from groups like the American Association of Community Colleges, the Association of Community College Trustees and select community college districts to hash out what officials call a ‘common set of metrics and data points to evaluate their effectiveness, both internally and against one another, developed specifically for their mission.’ “

“Eight community college sites around the country, mostly from urban areas, will pilot the new accountability system. Then, in two years, the project will expand and pilot in up to 20 more localities. Ultimately, project organizers hope their to-be-created system will be adopted by community colleges across the country to help improve the outcomes of their students.” . . .

An Experiment Takes Off
by Doug Lederman
Oct. 7, 2009, Inside Higher Ed

“When Karen Symms Gallagher ran into fellow education deans last year, many of them were “politely skeptical,” the University of Southern California dean says (politely), about her institution’s experiment to take its master’s program in teaching online.” . . .

“Early results about the program known as MAT@USC have greatly pleased Gallagher and USC. One hundred forty-four students enrolled in the Rossier School of Education program’s first full cohort in May, 50 percent more than anticipated and significantly larger than the 100 students who started at that time in the traditional master’s in teaching program on the university’s Los Angeles campus. And this month, a new group of 302 students started in the second of three planned “starts” per year, meaning that USC has already quadrupled the number of would-be teachers it is educating this year and, depending on how many students enroll in January, is on track to increase it a few times more than that.” . . .

“Other numbers please Gallagher even more. A greater proportion of students in the online program are in science-related fields than is true in the campus-based program, a heartening sign given the pressure on American teacher education programs to ratchet up the number of science teachers they produce.”

“On that and other fronts, Gallagher says, the USC program hopes to be seen as one of several innovative efforts — including others like the University of Texas at Austin’s widely copied UTeach program — that aim to change the way teacher prep programs do business. She says Rossier will, as time passes, look for evidence of the relative strengths of the online and on-ground programs, and seek to improve each with elements of the other, and the institution is undertaking a five-year study comparing the outcomes of its online vs. campus-based students.” . . .

The Misguided ‘Online Skills Laboratory’
by Frederick M. Hess
Oct. 6, 2009, Inside Higher Ed

“While seeking to make college more affordable and accessible, the Obama administration has launched a worrisome but largely unnoticed assault upon the nation’s publishers and the vibrant market in online learning. The U.S. House has approved a White House-backed provision to provide $500 million to develop free, and “freely available,” online college courses.” . . .

“The proposal is both short-sighted and destructive. It’s one thing to encourage providers to develop ”open source” wares and to promote measures that encourage publishers, colleges and universities to reduce costs and save students money. But it’s another thing entirely for the federal government to use taxpayer dollars to provide services that will undercut those offered by self-sustaining private enterprises.”

“First off, it’s not clear what problem the administration hopes to solve. Online courses already exist and are offered by an array of publishers and public and private institutions. Access to online courses is hardly an issue. Online enrollment grew from 1.6 million students in 2002 to 3.9 million in 2007, when the figure equaled more than 20 percent of total enrollment at all U.S. degree-granting institutions. U.S. News and World Report reports that nearly 1,000 higher education institutions provide distance learning. For-profit online providers reported that online enrollment was up more than 25 percent from summer 2008 to 2009.”

“More than half a dozen major textbook publishers, including Pearson, McGraw-Hill, Cengage, W.W. Norton & Co., and John Wiley & Sons, as well as hundreds of smaller providers, develop and distribute online educational content.” . . .

Course Hero or Course Villain?
by Steve Kolowich
Oct. 6, 2009, Inside Higher Ed

. . . “A new breed of study-buddy sites offers these resources to everybody, not just those who have endured Greek initiation rites. Companies such as Notehall, Knetwit, and FindMyNotes.com have long hosted online markets where students can buy or sell class notes. Now, sites such as Course Hero invite students to post and download syllabuses, worksheets, essays, previous exams, and many other course materials.” . . .

“Some professors and administrators, however, have chafed at the idea of a site that encourages students to take professors’ intellectual output, post it without permission, and then allow a company to sell access to it for profit. . . . Course Hero, meanwhile, says it is not liable for any copyright infringements because it explicitly exercises no oversight over posted content. Like YouTube, Course Hero only takes down copyrighted content if there is a complaint.”

M.I.T. Taking Student Blogs to Nth Degree
by Tamar Lewin
Oct. 1, 2009, New York Times

. . . “Dozens of colleges — including Amherst, Bates, Carleton, Colby, Vassar, Wellesley and Yale — are embracing student blogs on their Web sites, seeing them as a powerful marketing tool for high school students, who these days are less interested in official messages and statistics than in first-hand narratives and direct interaction with current students. But so far, none of the blogs match the interactivity and creativity of those of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where they are posted prominently on the admissions homepage, along with hundreds of responses from prospective applicants — all unedited. Not every admissions office has been so ready to welcome uncensored student writing.” . . .

Revealing the People Defining Social Networks
by Brian Solis
Oct. 1, 2009, PR 2.0

“Social Networks are among the most powerful examples of socialized media. They create a dynamic ecosystem that incubates and nurtures relationships between people and the content they create and share. . . . As marketers, it’s your responsibility to peel back the layers of each network to observe and eventually interact with the very people you wish to reach. Each network possesses a vibrant culture and ecosystem that is powered by context and connected by influential social graphs.” . . .

“All stats are from Google Ad Planner unless otherwise noted.”

Broadband Task Force Delivers Status Report on Feb. 17 National Broadband Plan
Press Release
Sept. 29, 2009, Federal Communications Commission

“The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 directed the FCC to submit a National Broadband Plan to Congress by February 17, 2010 that addresses broadband deployment, adoption, affordability, and the use of broadband to advance solutions to national priorities, including health care, education, energy, public safety, job creation, investment, and others. The plan will provide concrete recommendations on how to successfully deliver on the infrastructure challenge of our time: provision and adoption of universal broadband.” . . .

“Adoption: Nearly 2/3 of Americans have adopted broadband at home, while 33 percent have access but have not adopted it, and another 4 percent say they have no access where they live. But large segments of the population have much lower penetration rates, and adoption levels vary across demographic groups. The cost of digital exclusion is large and growing for non-adopters, as resources for employment, education, news, healthcare and shopping for goods and services increasingly move on line. The task force has commissioned its own survey to learn how three key factors affect adoption: attitudes toward broadband and technology, affordability and personal context (home environment, access to libraries, disabilities, etc.). Results are expected in November.” . . .

Defense to Allow Troops, Family Members to Use Social Network Sites
by Bob Brewin
Sept. 29, 2009, Nextgov

“The Defense Department, which had seen some services ban the use of social networking sites, will allow troops and their families to use the popular online communication tools such as Facebook and Twitter on its unclassified networks, according to a draft memo obtained by Nextgov. The memo, written by Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn III and due out in days, solidly backs the use of social network sites, which Lynn calls “Internet capabilities,” for both official and unofficial purposes and envisions these tools as providing an information advantage for Defense.” . . .

Forward Into the Cloud
by Steve Kolowich
Sept. 30, 2009, Inside Higher Ed

. . . “Campuses that have stuck with internal e-mail systems, often to avoid a loss of control, are undermined by students who forward e-mails to outside accounts. Certain information that gets sent on an internal server, such as grades, might be protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which generally bars colleges from releasing educational information about students without permission, said Thomas Iverson, systems technology supervisor at Iowa’s Mercy College of Health Sciences (in the case of Mercy and other medical colleges, e-mails might also contain patient data protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). Mercy currently does not allow auto-forwarding, although Iverson said it is weighing a policy revision as it tries to grow its distance education programs.” . . .

Ask the Administrator: Online and Onsite Treated Differently?
by Dean Dad
Sept. 29, 2009, Inside Higher Ed

. . . “Without giving away too much, I’ll say that I’ve seen both the integrated and the separated approach to scheduling online classes. In the integrated approach, online classes are scheduled by the same people who schedule regular classes. In the separated approach, there’s a czar of online (or a committee, but the function is the same) who schedules online classes across the college. In my observation, the former model offers consistency within a department, and the latter offers consistency between departments. Which is more important probably depends on local conditions.”

“Even your example could be read two ways. If the local chair is fair and wise, then outsourcing the distance ed decisions is a terrible idea. Alternately, if the local chair is an abusive jerk, then outsourcing the distance ed decisions at least offers the potential for some island of fairness.”

“In the separated model, part of the argument is usually from quality control. If many of the faculty were hired before distance learning meant much, then the automatic assumption of competence that applies to the classroom might not apply to distance. (I have a few faculty who have never used email.) If the distance ed czar is fairly competent in distance learning, which I’d certainly hope would be the case, then there’s a reasonable chance of ensuring that the technology is used well. If the department chair isn’t technically literate, s/he might not be able to evaluate a distance ed class.”

“There’s also a non-trivial argument from scheduling coherence. If each department adds online sections as afterthoughts, or mostly according to faculty preference, then the all-online (or mostly-online) students may not be able to get the distribution of courses that they need. Having someone in charge of all online scheduling means that it will be somebody’s job to notice that, say, you have an imbalance between English and Psych.” . . .

“My sense of it is that the separated model makes the most sense during the early rapid-growth phase, when historical patterns haven’t emerged yet and the need for coordination (and targeted development, and faculty development) is greatest. As online courses become more a part of the scenery, and patterns emerge, it would make sense to return the courses to the same routines used for other courses. Depending on where your campus is in its development cycle, either model might make sense.” . . .

Giant List of (Canadian) Dissertations and Theses on Serious Games
by Gary Woodill
Sept. 25, 2009, Workplace Learning Today

Dr. Katrin Becker of Mount Royal University in Calgary, Canada has posted a great list of dissertations and theses on serious games. There are over 50, and so far, they are all Canadian (including Katrin’s own dissertation entitled The Invention of Good Games: understanding learning design in commercial video games.) It seems that Canadians are more than comedians – we have a serious interest in serious games – much more than I was aware of as a Canadian. In the interest of creating a more balanced list, here are some dissertations and theses on serious games from other countries.

National Information Literacy Awareness Month, 2009
Oct. 1, 2009, The White House

. . . “Our Nation’s educators and institutions of learning must be aware of — and adjust to — these new realities. In addition to the basic skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic, it is equally important that our students are given the tools required to take advantage of the information available to them. The ability to seek, find, and decipher information can be applied to countless life decisions, whether financial, medical, educational, or technical.”

. . . “Now, therefore, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 2009 as National Information Literacy Awareness Month. I call upon the people of the United States to recognize the important role information plays in our daily lives, and appreciate the need for a greater understanding of its impact.”

The Forum Network

PBS and NPR have created this online library which features thousands of lectures offered by scholars, authors, artists, scientists, policy makers and community leaders. Lectures are organized by topics and series that are aligned with public station local and national programs, such as NOVA, Frontline, American Experience, Nature, NewsHour, Great Performances. Lectures are contextualized with speaker biographies, related lectures and books, captions and transcripts, and downloadable audio, when possible.

Accountability, Online Teacher Ed, Online Angst, Blogs, Social Stats, Troops Online, Student E-Mail, Decentralizing DE