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The False Promise of the Education Revolution - College, Reinvented

By Scott Carlson and Goldie Blumenstyk Last year, leading lights in for-profit and nonprofit higher education convened in Washington for a conference on private-sector innovation in the industry. The national conversation about dysfunction and disruption in higher education was just heating up, and panelists from start-ups, banking, government, and education waxed enthusiastic about the ways that a traditional college education could be torn down and rebuilt—and about how lots of money could be made along the way. During a break, one panelist—a banker who lines up financing for education companies, and who had talked about meeting consumer demands in the market—made chitchat. The banker had a daughter who wanted a master's in education and was deciding between a traditional college and a start-up that offered a program she would attend mostly online—exactly the kind of thing everyone at the conference was touting. Read beneath the headlines a bit. A 'Mass Psychosis' Unfortunately, Mr. Related:  media aboutEducation & Enseignement : Perspectives et évolutions majeures

What is the theory that underpins our moocs? If you’re even casually aware of what is happening in higher education, you’ve likely heard of massive open online courses (MOOCs). They have been covered by NY Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, TV programs, newspapers, and a mess or blogs. While MOOCs have been around since at least 2008, the landscape has changed dramatically over the past 10 months. In this timeframe, close to $100 million has been invested in corporate (Udacity) and university (EDx and Coursera) MOOCs . Personally, I’m very pleased to see the development of Coursera and EDx. A secondary focus, for me (and far lower on the scale than the primary one mentioned above), is around the learning theory and pedagogical models that influence different types of MOOCs. In 2008, Stephen Downes and I offered an open online course, Connectivism and Connective Knowledge (CCK08). What is the theory that underpins our MOOCs? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Une étude officielle montre l'aggravation des inégalités sociales d'éducation Les inégalités sociale en éducation peuvent avoir plusieurs origines, rappelle cette étude de M Ichou et LA Vallet, publiée par la revue Education Formations du ministère de l'éducation nationale. Il y a "d’une part, l’écart des performances scolaires moyennes entre enfants des différents milieux sociaux ; d’autre part, la variation des décisions d’orientation, à performance scolaire similaire, entre milieux sociaux". L'étude montre sur40 ans , de 1960 à 2000, l'évolution de ces deux facteurs. "Les résultats convergent pour montrer, à la fin du collège comme à la fin du lycée, une augmentation historique de l’importance des performances scolaires dans la production des inégalités sociales de parcours. Cette augmentation est à mettre en lien avec le report intervenu dans la première sélection scolaire, de la fin de l’école élémentaire hier à la fin du collège aujourd’hui", écrivent les auteurs. Revue Education formations n°82

Four Barriers That MOOCs Must Overcome To Build a Sustainable Model Given the hype of national media coverage of massive open online courses (MOOCs), it is refreshing to see more recent analysis looking at important attributes such as revenue models, dropout rates, and instructional design. Steve Kolowich at Inside Higher Ed wrote a revealing and important article looking at early demographic data. Jeff Young at the Chronicle wrote an excellent article about Coursera’s contract with the University of Michigan, along with key insights into Coursera’s and the university’s motivations. Audrey Watters, in response to an article in the Atlantic, asks the tough question of whether we should care about the high dropout rates of current courses offered in this new model. When analyzing the disruption potential of MOOCs, it is easy to forget that the actual concept is just 4 or 5 years old. While the current examples of massive online courses are interesting, the real potential of MOOCs will be revealed in future generations. Google+ Comments

Kids’ apps and ebooks can’t teach them to read without parent and teacher support. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images As touchscreen tablets become the hot holiday gift for children—even for tots still learning to walk and talk—parents can be forgiven for feeling a little confused and skeptical about this new trend, especially when it comes to claims about education. The iTunes App Store boasts more than 700,000 apps and, as the Joan Ganz Cooney Center discovered earlier this year, nearly 80 percent of the top-selling paid apps in the education category are aimed at children. Many of these apps make claims about helping children learn to read. As partners with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, a national coalition examining reading problems, we set out to answer those questions. Most of the top-selling reading apps appear to teach only the most basic of literacy skills. This imbalance comes as research shows that knowing the ABCs and other basic literacy skills, while important, are not enough to help children become strong readers.

Are MOOCs becoming mechanisms for international competition in global higher ed? Link here for the Inside Higher Ed version of this article if you need a better format for printing or sharing (e.g., via Twitter). Are Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) becoming mechanisms for international competition in global higher education? Where are Europe’s MOOCs in the context of the dearth of lifelong learning opportunities in the region, or both the internal and external/global dimensions of the European Higher Education Area? Who will establish the first MOOCs platform that spans the Arabic-speaking world? Are the MOOCs born in the United States (circa 2012) poised to become post-national platforms of higher ed given their cosmopolitan multilingual architects? And will my birth country of Canada ever sort out a strategy regarding MOOCs (a point also made by George Siemens), or will Canada depend on US platforms like it does in many sectors and spheres of life, for good and bad. The UK must be at the forefront of developments in education technology. Udacity (est. Kris Olds

Comment réinventer l’éducation avec le numérique ? At this year’s Futur en Seine digital festival in Paris, Econocom presented the “classroom of the future” , a four-day workshop where visitors could experiment with digital text books, digital whiteboards and tablets, technology which is set to revolutionise teaching as we know it all over the world. Yet the central question remains how to use this new technology to impart knowledge? How to use digital tools to reinvent teaching methods and better address both teachers and students’ needs? Here’s an insight into how digital technology is changing education and the advantages it can bring. Photo ©Benjamin Boccas Are schools lagging behind the digital revolution? Schoolchildren sitting their secondary school diplomas this year will have seen the birth of Wikipedia in 2001, Facebook in 2004, Youtube in 2005, Twitter in 2006, Instagram in 2010, not to mention the explosion of video games, laptops, smartphones and tablets in a hyper-connected world. Digital in the classroom: how does it work?

Higher education: our MP3 is the mooc Fifteen years ago, a research group called The Fraunhofer Institute announced a new digital format for compressing movie files. This wasn't a terribly momentous invention, but it did have one interesting side-effect: Fraunhofer also had to figure out how to compress the soundtrack. The result was the Motion Picture Experts Group Format 1, Audio Layer III, a format you know and love, though only by its acronym, MP3. The recording industry concluded this new format would be no threat, because quality mattered most. If Napster had only been about free access, control of legal distribution of music would then have returned the record labels. How did the recording industry win the battle but lose the war? The story the recording industry used to tell us went like this: "Hey kids, Alanis Morissette just recorded three kickin' songs! The people in the music industry weren't stupid, of course. We have several advantages over the recording industry, of course. But who faces that choice?

The MOOC movement is not an indicator of educational evolution Somehow, recently, a lot of people have taken an interest in the broadcast of canned educational materials, and this practice — under a term that proponents and detractors have settled on, massive open online course (MOOC) — is getting a publicity surge. I know that the series of online classes offered by Stanford proved to be extraordinarily popular, leading to the foundation of Udacity and a number of other companies. But I wish people would stop getting so excited over this transitional technology. The attention drowns out two truly significant trends in progressive education: do-it-yourself labs and peer-to-peer exchanges. In the current opinion torrent, Clay Shirky treats MOOCs in a recent article, and Joseph E. There’s a popular metaphor for this early stage of innovation: we look back to the time when film-makers made the first moving pictures with professional performers by setting up cameras before stages in theaters. Two more appealing trends are already big.

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