Earlier this week, the California State University System (CSU) announced an online pilot program with Udacity, a for-profit provider of MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses). Udacity will provide a remedial algebra course, a college level algebra course, and a statistics course as part of the pilot that will initially be limited to 300 students at San Jose State University and several local community colleges.
I was a panel participant at a conference last Thursday in Washington, DC. The conference was sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute and was called Stretching the Higher Education Dollar. The five panels that were convened included: The Case for Reform, Opportunities and Obstacles at Existing Institutions, Unbundling College Degrees in Theory and Practice, College in Pieces: Cost Effective Approaches to Student Services and Credentialing, and Implications for State and Federal Policy.
Researchers at Ithaka S+R including William G. Bowen (former president of Princeton University), Matthew M. Chingos (also a fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Brown Center on Education Policy), Kelly A. Lack, and Thomas I. Nygren, have followed Ithaka S+R’s recent report titled “Barriers to Adoption of Online Learning Systems in U.S. Higher Education” with a second that reports the findings of a series of randomized trials related to online learning conducted at six public universities.
An article in the August issue of Wired magazine about the Khan Academy and how it is changing the rules of education prompted me to write. Back in 2006 when my neighbor’s son was a middle school student at McDonogh School, I heard his mother describe how the math teachers at McDonogh had created math instructional videos for the students to use to grasp mathematical concepts.
Recently, I had the opportunity to present two papers at the Association for the Advancement of Technology in Education (AACE) EdMedia 2011 conference in Lisbon, Portugal. One of the keynote speakers was Alec Couros who is Professor of Educational Technology and Media at the University of Regina. Couros’ talk was fascinating for the insights into learning as it is evolving through the utilization of today’s rapidly changing technologies.
Douglas Thomas’ and John Seely Brown’s book, A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change, provides a fresh insight into the rapidly changing learning environment and ways in which technology can enhance the quality of learning outcomes. Thomas is an Associate Professor in the Annenberg School of Communications at University of Southern California (USC) and Brown is a visiting scholar at USC.
I attended the NEST 2011 Conference at the University of Pennsylvania last week. Sponsored by Penn’s Graduate School of Education (GSE) (of which I am a graduate), the conference attempts to match education entrepreneurs with investors, educators, and a policy maker or two. The two day event included a business plan competition sponsored by Penn GSE and the Milken Family Foundation as well as the Startl Prize for Open Educational Resources in partnership with the Hewlett Foundation.
Beth Gray is an Executive Assistant in my office. I asked her to provide a guest article for my blog. Beth is also a regular contributor to the APUS Sustainability Blog.
A couple of weeks ago, I read an interesting article on The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Wired Campus blog. The Wired Campus blog frequently has interesting information on how technology is being used in classrooms.
This past week, I was invited to participate on a panel at the Education Innovation Summit organized by ASU SkySong (affiliated with Arizona State University) and NeXtAdvisors. The goal of the summit’s organizers is to “’curate’ an environment that provides the right mix of wild-eyed education entrepreneurs, value added investors, not-for-profit leaders, progressive policy makers, academic thought leaders, and forward leaning foundations, philanthropists and industry executives.” Based on the attendees that I met as well as my fellow presenters and panelists, I believe that the organizers hit their mark.
I placed a pre-publication order for Curtis Bonk’s latest book, The World is Open: How Web Technology is Revolutionizing Education, and was not disappointed when it arrived. Bonk, Professor of Instructional Systems Technology at Indiana University, identifies ten key trends in technology that are impacting education as we know it. He has coined an acronym, WE-ALL-LEARN, for those trends that are identified as:
• Web Searching in the World of e-Books
• E-Learning and Blended Learning
• Availability of Open Source and Free Software
• Leveraged Resources and OpenCourseWare
• Learning Object Repositories and Portals
• Learner Participation in Open Information Communities
• Electronic Collaboration
• Alternate Reality Learning
• Real-Time Mobility and Portability
• Networks of Personalized Learning