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Stephen Downes: The Role of the Educator

Stephen Downes: The Role of the Educator
How often do we read about the importance of teachers in education? It must be every day, it seems. We are told about "strong empirical evidence that teachers are the most important school-based determinant of student achievement" again and again. The problem with the educational system, it is argued, is that teachers need to be held accountable. We are told we must fire incompetent teachers. Not just in the United States, but in the UK and elsewhere, the concern is that bad teachers must go. The problem with focusing on the role of the teacher, from my perspective, is that it misses the point. Let me tell you how I know this. Each of these has contributed in one way or another to an overall approach not only to learning online but to learning generally. It's an approach that emphasizes open learning and learner autonomy. Concordant with this approach has been the oft-repeated consensus that the role of the educator will change significantly. There's no end to such projects online.

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The Future of Online Learning The Future of Online Learning by Stephen Downes July, 1998 Today, and for the last century, education has been practised in segregated buildings by carefully regimented and standardized classes of students led and instructed by teachers working essentially alone. In ten years, this model will be seen in many quarters to be obsolete. Click on a section title to begin reading... Cato Unbound » Blog Archive » Why Online Education Works Oxford University was founded in 1096, Cambridge in 1209. Harvard, a relative newcomer, was founded in 1636. Other than religions, few institutions appear to have maintained their existence or their relative status for as long as major universities.

Learning styles Learning style is an individual's natural or habitual pattern of acquiring and processing information in learning situations. A core concept is that individuals differ in how they learn.[1] The idea of individualized learning styles originated in the 1970s, and has greatly influenced education.[2] Proponents of the use of learning styles in education recommend that teachers assess the learning styles of their students and adapt their classroom methods to best fit each student's learning style. Although there is ample evidence for differences in individual thinking and ways of processing various types of information, few studies have reliably tested the validity of using learning styles in education.[2] Critics say there is no evidence that identifying an individual student's learning style produces better outcomes. David Kolb's model[edit] David A.

The Professors Behind the MOOC Hype - Technology Dave Chidley for The Chronicle Paul Gries, of the U. of Toronto, has taught MOOCs on computer science. By Steve Kolowich What is it like to teach 10,000 or more students at once, and does it really work? Creativity: Music to My Ears With the power to cross borders and languages, music serves as a compelling tool for unlocking creative potential. Creativity: Music to My Ears is a six week course designed to explore several factors that stimulate creativity in individuals, teams, and organizations. In each session we will focus on a different variable related to creativity, such as reframing problems, connecting and combining ideas, and challenging assumptions.

100 Ways You Should Be Using Facebook in Your Classroom Facebook isn't just a great way for you to find old friends or learn about what's happening this weekend, it is also an incredible learning tool. Teachers can utilize Facebook for class projects, for enhancing communication, and for engaging students in a manner that might not be entirely possible in traditional classroom settings. Read on to learn how you can be using Facebook in your classroom, no matter if you are a professor, student, working online, or showing up in person for class. Note: Check out our updated version of this article for even more suggestions on Facebook in your class. Class Projects

Online Educational Delivery Models: A Descriptive View (EDUCAUSE Review Phil Hill is an independent consultant and blogs at e-Literate. Although there has been a long history of distance education, the creation of online education occurred just over a decade and a half ago—a relatively short time in academic terms. Early course delivery via the web had started by 1994, soon followed by a more structured approach using the new category of course management systems.1 Since that time, online education has slowly but steadily grown in popularity, to the point that in the fall of 2010, almost one-third of U.S. postsecondary students were taking at least one course online.2 Fast forward to 2012: a new concept called Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is generating widespread interest in higher education circles. Most significantly, it has opened up strategic discussions in higher education cabinets and boardrooms about online education. What does this emerging landscape of educational delivery models look like?

Why universities should acquire – and teach – digital literacy Students are digital natives. Photograph: Alamy Sebastian Faulks observed recently that ease of access to the internet is leading to a "net loss of knowledge" in this generation of adults, leaving the modern intellectual world in a "kind of catastrophe". But is there another side to this gloomy story? Once time and brainpower are freed up from memorising, will other skills come into play, bringing hitherto unimagined benefits? One such skill is broadly labelled digital literacy. The Evidence on Online Education WASHINGTON -- Online learning has definite advantages over face-to-face instruction when it comes to teaching and learning, according to a new meta-analysis released Friday by the U.S. Department of Education. The study found that students who took all or part of their instruction online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through face-to-face instruction.

#MassiveTeaching mystery captivates, confuses @insidehighered (Note: This story is being updated. See the bottom of the post for the most recent updates.) A massive open online course instructor was removed from his own course last week -- or was he? As confusion brews among students in the half-finished, suspended MOOC, some observers are asking if the instructor orchestrated a social experiment without permission -- or a farce. Paul-Olivier Dehaye’s three-week course, “Teaching Goes Massive: New Skills Required,” reportedly launched without controversy. Its first week featured the video lectures and forum chatter common to most MOOCs.

Any student, any subject, anywhere Mandy has been on a study trip to the Sistine chapel without going to Italy. Tina, while working as a full-time carer, has been taking a free university course in psychology on another continent. And Scott has recently secured a degree from an online university on the basis of learning, largely acquired at work. New web technologies are driving a revolution, not only in the way students consume and institutions deliver higher education, but in the very idea of what makes a university. At its heart is a move to make universities' educational materials, from seminar notes to podcasts and videos of lectures, available free online. Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been doing this for nearly a decade.