6 Tips for Creating a 'Mini' MOOC

Not every school is ready to run a massive open online course through one of the larger platforms like edX or Coursera — and maybe that's not what's needed anyway. Sometimes instructors simply want to dabble in order to understand something better. There are ways to allow your institution to experiment with online courses, even if they're not intended to be "massive." An online program manager shares advice.

Time to upgrade from the Walkman in education

Today we can choose an iPod with a touch screen, pay as little as $49 for a slimmed down version, or go with an iPhone, now in its sixth generation, with more computing power than Apollo 11.  Yet, our schools are still failing our students: one in five members of the class of 2015 has dropped out of high school, just two in five will go on to college, and our global competitiveness will pay the price.   While No Child Left Behind made some important strides in tasking schools with tackling long-ignored achievement gaps, the law mandated prescriptive solutions, which prevented schools from implementing better ways to meet student needs.

California's Online Education Initiative Pushes Forward on PD, Student Readiness

The OEI was the child of desperate times for California higher education. Funding for California Community Colleges was cut by $1.5 billion between the 2007-2008 and 2011-2012 academic years, and course offerings statewide were cut by approximately 25 percent, thanks to five consecutive years of deep budget cuts. Those cuts forced community colleges to ration course offerings, which effectively shut 500,000 students out of the system. The OEI was launched in 2014 to solve this accessibility problem, but online education is not new to California colleges; they've been offering courses online for about 20 years.

BYOD Is Shaping Education in the 21st Century

It’s important for education systems to provide students and staff with the tools they need to build proper skills for the 21st century. Perhaps one of the most important lessons schools must accept is that technology integration in the classroom is a must. With technology, everyday learning will be able to meet society’s ever growing expectations and prepare students for the real world. And guess what? BYOD (bring your own device) is being adopted by hundreds (if not thousands) of schools. BYOD is sweeping the nation — and for good reason.

What is a Flipped Classroom?

Although the practice of flipping STEM classrooms is not necessarily new, the education community has been hesitant to adopt this method. STEMwire also noted that over half of STEM educators surveyed still use lecturing as their primary method of teaching. The major drawback being that many educators prefer teaching in the same way they were taught. But with technology evolving, it is important to reach students where they’re most comfortable. That means bridging the digital landscape.

Avoiding a privacy headache

Educators struggle with inherent contradictions in education data. On the one hand, they produce very real benefits. When teachers can identify precisely what students know, they can focus their teaching on areas students still need to master. Today’s educational technology can tell teachers why students are getting the wrong answer, enabling them to provide even more personalized instruction.

Integrating technology and learning

Today is different. Memorization of important information is no longer the most efficient route in school because of the ease of access. Why should students devote hours and hours memorizing the Krebs cycle if they can simply find a diagram and explanation online? Memorizing the cycle would only be useful to students who intend to enter a biology-related occupation, and those students will likely memorize the process anyway because they will use it frequently.

The Allure of Technology for Young Learners

Many child development experts worry that too much time passively consuming entertainment media can limit a child's opportunities to play and interact with others, as well as contribute to health issues, such as obesity, by reducing the child's daily movement and exercise, while offering little value in return. The good news is that there are many active and educational applications of technology that can be beneficial to children.

Next Stop For ESEA Reauthorization: Senate Floor - Elementary and Secondary Education Act

After three days of marking up its ESEA reauthorization bill, the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee unanimously passed the measure last Thursday afternoon. While nearly 60 amendments were considered, many of the most controversial amendments were withdrawn – though they will reappear during floor debate and consideration – and the committee worked in a bipartisan fashion to amend the bill. Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) is pushing leadership to schedule floor time for the measure before the Memorial Day recess.

End of California's Digital Campus Is a Blow for MOOCs

It’s another blow for a movement that promised to offer classes to thousands of students worldwide through MOOCs, which research shows have so far had extraordinarily high dropout rates and have generally cost universities more than they’ve brought in. “There is no business model for MOOCs that makes sense,” says I. Elaine Allen, a professor at Babson College and co-director of its Babson Survey Research Group, which tracks online education. “They have not been shown to bring more students to a school, and they have incredible attrition.”

As Schools Favor iPads Over Textbooks, Educators Adapt

“By going to a digital resource, it provides a much more interactive way to learn,” Villano said on a recent Thursday at Burlington High School. “Too many schools are still stuck in the classroom that looked the way their great-grandparents’ looked. We can’t have that anymore.” However, as schools phase out paper textbooks in favor of digital tools, teachers face a unique challenge: how do they develop, organize and distribute a digital course for the classroom?

3 Reasons Chromebooks Are Shining in Education

The iPad buying frenzy may be over. The late 2013 introduction of the low-cost Chromebook has given school districts an affordable alternative that they're gravitating to with gusto. Official numbers from market research firm IDC confirmed the news last December when the company announced that while Apple had shipped 702,000 iPads to educational buyers in the third quarter, Google partners had shipped 715,000 Chromebooks.

Online Degrees Show Net Positive Campus Impact

Online education is good for the planet and good for the student, according to a new study by sustainability scientists at Arizona State University and Dell. The research found that up to three-quarters of all undergraduate courses at ASU could currently be delivered in an online format and that by 2030, all courses could. The result of so much delivery of online education has numerous social and environmental benefits, according to the researchers.

Over 90 Organizations Sign Letter in Support of STEM Education as an ESEA Priority

The STEM Coalition and over 90 other organizations from across the country have signed a letter to Senate HELP Committee leaders urging support for STEM education as an ESEA priority.  The letter is signed by a diverse array of more than 90 local, state, and national organizations that includes teacher and education groups, and professional and civic societies, and major corporations.

MOOCs: Ensuring equal access to education for all

In a settlement with the US Department of Justice last week, the nonprofit edX, a joint project of Harvard and MIT, agreed to upgrade its website and mobile applications to allow access to people who are deaf or blind or have limited manual dexterity. In theory, so-called MOOCs — short for massive open online courses — should dramatically expand everyone’s educational options, but that’s only true in practice if the basic platform on which students interact with course materials works well for students with disabilities.


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