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“I wanted to take the best of what we have learned from Ning, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others and understand how to apply them in a Higher Education environment.”
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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
‘The economic and educational achievements of the Pacific region in the past 50 years are spectacular – unprecedented in fact. They lay a foundation for the next 50 years – a much better foundation than exists in many Atlantic systems – but the mix of factors that brought those achievements will not be capable of meeting the challenge ahead.’ This long essay by Sir Michael Barber, Katelyn Donnelly and Saad Rizvi assumes the near certainty that the Pacific region will take primary leadership of the global economy in the near future and explores the implications for their education systems, calling for a ‘whole-system revolution’ in the structure and priorities of teaching and learning in the region. ‘What is clear, though, is that education – deeper, broader and more universal – has a significant part to play in enabling humanity to succeed in the next half century. We need to ensure that students everywhere leave school ready to continue to learn and adapt, ready to take responsibility for their own future learning and careers, ready to innovate with and for others, and to live in turbulent, diverse cities. We need perhaps the first truly global generation; a generation of individuals rooted in their own cultures but open to the world and confident of their ability to shape it. ‘The growing pace of change and increasing complexity mean that global leadership will no longer be merely about summits behind closed doors. In an era of transparency, leaders will find themselves constantly in dialogue with those they purport to lead. Meanwhile, innovations which transform societies can and will happen anywhere. Leadership, in short, will be widely dispersed and will require increasing sophistication.’
The Institute for Public Policy Research
The insights shared through this article build on data collected in real life situations. The work described here attempts to understand how trust can be used as leverage to support online learning and creative collaboration. This report explores this understanding from the teacher perspective. It examines trust commitments in an international setting within which learners from different European countries collaborate and articulate their learning tasks and skills at a distance. This research endeavour aims to recognize both individual and group vulnerabilities as opportunities to strengthen their cooperation and collaboration. We believe that by understanding how to assess and monitor learners’ trust, teachers could use this information to intervene and provide positive support, thereby promoting and reinforcing learners’ autonomy and their motivation to creatively engage in their learning activities.
The results gathered so far enabled an initial understanding of what to look for when monitoring trust with the intention of understanding and influencing learners’ behaviours. They point to three main aspects to monitor on students: (1) their perception of each others’ intentions, in a given context, (2) their level of cooperation as expressed by changes in individual and group commitments towards a particular activity; and, (3) their attitudes towards the use of communication mediums for learning purposes (intentions of use, actual use and reactions to actual use).
Engagement may be a precursor to meaningful interaction among classmates, and between instructors and students. Disengaged students often have limited interaction with course materials. Online educators may need to deliberately incorporate learning activities aimed at increasing student engagement. Arts-based learning activities can foster student social and academic engagement as they assist students and instructors in becoming more “real” to one another in the online learning milieu. Examples of arts-based learning activities that may facilitate student engagement include Photo Cascades, “My” Music Moments, and Word Sculptures.
IN THE NEWS
The United States faces a growing economic challenge – a substantial and increasing shortage of individuals with the skills needed to fill the new jobs the private sector is creating. Throughout the nation and in a wide range of industries, there is an urgent demand for workers trained in the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — yet there are not enough people with the necessary skills to meet that demand. Our nation faces the paradox of a crisis in unemployment at the same time that many companies cannot fill the jobs they have to offer. In addition to the short-term consequences for businesses and individuals, we risk these jobs migrating from the U.S., creating even bigger challenges for our long-term competitiveness and economic growth.
The Inter-Organizational Task Force on Online Learning, consisting of representatives from six different national organizations for online and e-learning in higher education, has released a report outlining the steps it plans to take to advance online learning in higher education.
Early one morning in April 1860, a rider carrying a precious cargo of mail spurred his horse and galloped out of the stables at St. Joseph, Missouri. He would ride for about 100 miles, changing horses every 10 miles, before relinquishing the mail sack to the next rider. That ride began the famous Pony Express, which carried mail from Missouri to Sacramento, California. To create the Pony Express, the business owners hired station masters and riders, purchased and distributed supplies, and built stations with stables across 1,900 miles of the daunting landscape of the American West. The Pony Express was an instant success, reducing delivery time for letters from 22 to 10 days. Yet just nineteen months later, in October 1861, the company was bankrupt, replaced by the transcontinental telegraph. The Pony Express, a colorful and famous service that is well known even now, 150 years later, became the victim of technological change. Today, we would describe what happened to the Pony Express the result of disruptive innovation, a term popularized by Clayton Christensen, who has studied industries transformed by technology.
Online versions of college courses are attracting hundreds of thousands of students, millions of dollars in funding, and accolades from university administrators. Is this a fad, or is higher education about to get the overhaul it needs?
MIT Technology Review
The spread of cheap and powerful videoconferencing tools had led to widespread adoption of the technology in an effort to lower costs and put resources to better use. But Education Consultant and Executive Director of Academic Programs and Faculty at Daymar Colleges Group Ruth Reynard argues that it can improve teaching and learning as well.
Colleges that offer online courses across state lines, after fighting a federal rule they call unnecessary and outdated, now are concerned about states’ regulatory power in deciding how schools should comply with existing regulations.
Farhad (Fred) Saba, Ph. D.
Founder and Editor
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