education's digital future

MOOC

Mitchell Stevens on college for grown-ups

STANFORD, Calif. — A CRUEL paradox of higher education in America is that its most coveted seats are reserved for young people. Four-year residential colleges with selective admissions are a privileged elite in the academic world, but their undergraduate programs effectively discriminate on the basis of age. Admissions officers typically prefer that the best and brightest be children.

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Stanford forms new Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning

At Thursday's Faculty Senate meeting, Provost John Etchemendy announced that Stanford will combine several organizations now scattered across campus to establish the Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning.

The senate meeting also included presentations on a faculty survey on undergraduate teaching and on Stanford Athletics.

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Are MOOC-Takers 'Students'? Not When It Comes to the Feds Protecting Their Data

The U.S. Education Department wants to encourage colleges and the tech companies they work with to protect student data from misuse. But the agency’s power to protect the privacy of people taking free, online courses is essentially nonexistent.

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In-flight MOOCs, coming to JetBlue

The massive open online course provider Coursera is taking cloud-based education to its most literal interpretation yet. Coursera's users will soon be able to watch 10 educational videos while flying on JetBlue as part of the airline's Fly-Fi onboard wireless internet service. In a blog post, Coursera said JetBlue will offer content from the Berklee School of Music and the Universities of Edinburgh and Pennsylvania, among other partners. The service should be available on any JetBlue flight by the end of the year.

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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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Education without states

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Information Sciences and Technology professor to address U.S. Department of State about the impact of MOOCs

In recent years, massive open online courses (MOOCs) have enabled millions of people across the world to have access to free higher education. While the original purpose of the MOOC model may have been to make higher education more democratic, it is increasingly being used as a tool to foster mutual understanding between the United States and other countries, and provide an opportunity for students across the world to “test drive” a U.S. higher education experience.

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Does shared governance need to be radically rethought in the era of MOOCs?

I won’t spend the whole week recapitulating Rice’s De Lange conference on “Teaching in the University of Tomorrow” (see yesterday’s post on “Seeding Social Media”) but I did want to draw folks’ attention to one more thing: William Bowen’s talk on technology and changing American priorities related to higher education.

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Coursera expands its MOOC certificate program

Coursera, the online education company, announced on Wednesday that it was expanding a program that awards special certificates to students who pass multiple MOOCs.

The company unveiled the program, called Specializations, earlier this year. The idea was to create certificates that, while not supplanting traditional degrees, carry more weight than a certificate of completion from a single massive open online course.

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MOOC U: the revolution isn't over

Three years ago, this headline appeared in The New York Times: "Virtual and Artificial, but 58,000 Want Course." We all know the rest of the story. When the artificial-intelligence class at Stanford University started that fall, 160,000 students in 190 countries had signed up, touching off MOOC mania on campuses around the world.

Massive open online courses were heralded as the invention that would disrupt higher education’s expensive business model and would become the next big innovation in the tech world. By the end of 2012, the Times declared it "the year of the MOOC."

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