education's digital future


What Will Truly Change Higher Education: Online Degrees That Are Seen as Official

Three years ago, technology was going to transform higher education. What happened?

Over the course of a few months in early 2012, leading scientists from Harvard, Stanford and M.I.T. started three companies to provide Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, to anyone in the world with an Internet connection. The courses were free. Millions of students signed up. Pundits called it a revolution.

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New LinkedIn feature lends credibility to MOOCs

LinkedIn — the social network for the working world — has been working on launching various tools to increase the usefulness and engagement of its platform to its 300m+ users. Today sees the launch of the latest of these. LinkedIn is unveiling a self-service certification feature, aimed both at helping education businesses and institutions spread their name in a more legit way on the site, and for users to enhance their profiles at the same time.

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The iTunes of higher ed

It’s nearly impossible to get into MIT, very expensive to enroll there, and exceedingly hard to graduate, which are some of the reasons why MIT degrees are so coveted. But very soon you’ll be able to take a series of online courses in computer science and earn an official certificate from one of the most prestigious engineering schools in the world, all for only a few hundred dollars—and without having to meet any admissions requirements. MIT will be launching these XSeries Certificate programs in the next few months, including one in “supply chain management.”

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More competition for online certificate students

An online course provider will this spring introduce bundles of courses created by top-tier universities that can be completed for certificates. That description fits both Academic Partnerships and Coursera, and both programs are called “Specializations."

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Badging from within

The University of California at Davis is creating what may be higher education’s most promising digital badge system. But the badges are no threat to the university’s degrees. They’re add-ons – perhaps valuable ones for students.

“Badges can tell a different story,” says Joanna Normoyle, the experiential and digital media learning coordinator at the university’s Agricultural Sustainability Institute. She says they allow students to “differentiate themselves and tell a narrative.”

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To measure a MOOC's value, just ask students

What's the value of my university's name on the "statement of accomplishment" that students just earned for passing my first massive open online course? Is it at all enhanced by the robo-signature of their new favorite MOOC professor? Or, as Samuel Goldwyn probably didn't say about verbal contracts, is it just not worth the paper it's written on? (And might it be of higher value if the students print it out using a laser printer instead of an inkjet?)

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Feb 5, week 5: what happened in class EDF forum - college credentials in the digital future

California State U. will experiment with offering credit for MOOCs

State universities in California, looking for creative ways to reduce education costs at a time of budget stress, are turning to MOOCs to offer low-cost options for students.

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American Council on Education May Recommend Some Coursera Offerings for College Credit

The American Council on Education has agreed to review a handful of free online courses offered by elite universities and may recommend that other colleges grant credit for them.

The move could lead to a world in which many students graduate from traditional colleges faster by taking self-guided courses on the side, taught free by professors from Stanford University, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and other well-known colleges.

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German University Offers MOOC with Credit

A public university in Germany is joining the MOOC movement with a course that will come with "university credit points" that it said could be accepted by degree programs. Leuphana University, based in Northern Germany, will be offering its first massive, open, online course for students around the world starting on January 9, 2013. The topic: creating the ideal city of the 21st century.

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