education's digital future


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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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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GCU researchers work with Harvard University on Gates Foundation study

A new study by researchers at Glasgow Caledonian and Harvard Universities has found that massive open online courses (MOOCs) miss the opportunity to exploit the knowledge and expertise of those studying in them.

Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, it is the first study to examine the learning behaviours of professionals in MOOCs – free, online courses with unlimited participation offered by some of the world’s leading universities.

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Hack education weekly news: a MOOC master's degree

Udacity, Georgia Tech, and AT&T announced this week a partnership to offer an online Master’s Degree in Computer Science. The degree will cost less than $7000 (significantly cheaper than the MS that the university currently offers, in part because of the financial support for the program from AT&T), although anyone will be able to take the Udacity classes for free via its website.

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What happens when community college students take online courses?

A new report reviews the advent of online courses for community college students.

It was prepared by the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Online courses are popular because they seem to be a way to take courses at home, whenever it is convenient.

This is especially valuable for community college students because they are adults with multiple responsibilities.

What are the results?

Community college students who take online courses perform worse and persist less than those who take face-to-face classes.

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A report from Keith Devlin's and Coursera’s introduction to mathematical thinking MOOC

I’m six or so weeks into Keith Devlin’s  10 week  Introduction to Mathematical Thinking, along with some tens of thousands of others.

Here is a longish thumbnail sketch of the design of the course, followed by two appendices. Appendix 1 concerns peer review. Appendix 2 is what the course web site has to say about grading and certificates of completion.

Comments, questions and corrections would be most welcome.

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US Mooc platforms’ openness questioned

Massive open online courses could be hindering the development of open educational resources because they do not allow everyone to contribute to the innovation of content, a conference has heard.

Patrick McAndrew, professor of open education at The Open University, said that although some online resources were genuinely open in this way, the best known Mooc platforms - such as Coursera and edX - were not.

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Stanford to help build edX MOOC platform

Stanford University will team with a nonprofit founded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University to develop an open-source Web platform for free online college courses.

The Stanford alliance with the nonprofit venture edX, announced early Wednesday, signaled a new twist in what has become a race to open up the highest levels of higher education to the world.

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MOOCs, sensors, apps and games: The revolution in education innovation

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been touted by some as the breakthrough that will transform education. Top universities such as MIT, Harvard, and the University of California at Berkeley are scrambling to make their lectures available online. Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.) described one such program — a trial effort between online course platform Udacity and San Jose State University — as being “about our society, our future and how we can all improve our skills, how we can exercise our imagination.”

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How to make a MOOC, MIT style

Eric Lander is in the thick of lecture 15 for MIT's class 7.012, "Introductory Biology," his voice dropping and rising as he tells the story of recombinant DNA. Every now and then he glances over the heads of the students here in a third-floor auditorium in MIT's Building 46, as if something else has his attention.

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