Virtual School Meanderings

June 19, 2018

Distance-Educator.com Free e-Newsletter 6/18/18

Another newsletter from yesterday’s inbox.

Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
JUNE 18, 2018
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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Download Report

The cyberlearning community in the United States brings computer scientists and learning scientists together to design and study innovative learning technologies. The Cyberlearning Community Report: The State of Cyberlearning and the Future of Learning With Technology highlights examples of the exciting work our community is engaged in as we integrate the latest innovations in learning […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
Effects of an Open Educational Resources Initiative on Students, Faculty and Instructional Designers

A research and development project was undertaken to document, analyze and report the effects of implementing a free/open educational resources (OER) initiative within Sullivan University’s College of Business Administration. The project involved the redesign of courses using no-cost textbooks and other educational resources, in place of resources costing students hundreds of dollars per course. Quantitative […]

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The Cost of Online Education: Leveraging Data to Identify Efficiencies

In the fall of 2017, the University System of Georgia (USG) embarked upon a robust study to determine the cost of delivering online education at each USG institution. An in depth analysis related to the cost of online course and faculty development; technology and infrastructure; support services and; administrative services was conducted on each campus. […]

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An Evaluation of Critical Thinking in Competency-Based and Traditional Online Learning Environments

Non-term, direct assessment competency-based education (CBE) represents a significant re-imagining of the structure of higher education. By regulating students’ progress through the program based on their mastery of tightly defined competencies rather than based on the time spent learning them, this learning environment affords students far greater flexibility than traditional programs. This focus on defined […]

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Connecting OER With Mandatory Textbooks in an EFL Classroom: A Language Theory–Based Material Adoption

Systemic functional linguistics (SFL) theory focuses on developing language learners’ meta-linguistic understanding of the interrelation among linguistic form (grammar/vocabulary), meaning, and context. Guided by SFL when using a mandatory textbook and open educational resources, this study investigates how exposure to this blended teaching and learning context may impact English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) learners’ adjustment to materials used […]

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IN THE NEWS
Udacity and Google Launch Free Online Career Courses

Google and Udacity have teamed up to offer 12 free career courses for recent graduates, mid-career professionals and those re-entering the workforce. The duo tested out the concept in March, when Udacity launched a “Networking for Career Success” course for 60,000 “Grow with Google” learners in Europe and the United States. Campus Technology

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Seminole County Public Schools Partner With Portfolium on ePortfolios And Digital Badges

SAN DIEGO, Calif., June 13, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS) has selected Portfolium to provide it’s ePortfolio platform to 67,000+ students in an effort to support secondary school student success, as well as a digital badging initiative directed at assessing faculty development among it’s 4,500+ educators. Market Insider

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Free MOOCs Face the Music

Massive open online courses got a little less open with edX’s recent announcement that it is introducing support fees for some of its MOOCs. Midway through an innocuous-looking blog post, Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX, said the nonprofit would be “moving away from our current model of offering virtually everything for free.” Inside Higher Ed

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What is digital twin technology? [and why it matters]

Digital twins are virtual replicas of physical devices that data scientists and IT pros can use to run simulations before actual devices are built and deployed. They are also changing how technologies such as IoT, AI and analytics are optimized. Network World

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June 12, 2018

Distance-Educator.com Free e-Newsletter 6/11/18

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Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
JUNE 11, 2018
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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Download Report:

Full-Time Virtual and Blended Schools: Enrollment, Student Characteristics and Performance This sixth NEPC Annual Report on Virtual Education provides a detailed overview and inventory of full-time virtual schools and blended learning, or hybrid, schools. Full-time virtual schools deliver all curriculum and instruction via the Internet and electronic communication, usually asynchronously with students at home and […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
Do Student-Produced Videos Enhance Engagement and Learning in the Online Environment

Student engagement in online learning remains a challenge for the design of effective coursework. Additionally, few analyses have focused on student-produced activities in the online mode nor upon how such class activity affect student sub-groups differently. We conducted a randomized design experiment with student video production at a large public university. Student background and behavior […]

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Learners Without Borders: Connected Learning in a Digital Third Space

Authentic field experiences are an important aspect of most teacher education programs, yet collaboration often is difficult because of distance and limited resources. This collective case study aimed to explore the experiences of 30 ninth-grade English language arts (ELA) students and 17 preservice English education teachers as they collaborated in a digital Third Space on […]

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The Fallacies of Open: Participatory Design, Infrastructuring, and the Pursuit of Radical Possibility

To better understand the impacts of participatory design in English language arts teacher education, this critical case study focuses on the National Writing Project’s Connected Learning Massive, Open, Online Collaboration (CLMOOC) that engaged educators in playing with the connected learning framework. The authors draw from 5 years of interaction data to question “open” as a […]

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12 Steps Toward Immersive Learning

Learn by being there. It is this sense of presence that powers the promise of immersive learning. That promise-to enhance the acquisition of new knowledge and improve its far transfer-is supported by theory [1, 2]. Research into situated learning reveals the value of coherent frameworks that faclitate exploration and experimental problem solving [3]. Immersive learning […]

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IN THE NEWS
Book review of Transactional Distance and Adaptive Learning

Susan S. Ko OLJ Editorial Board Saba, Farhad and Shearer, Rick (2018). Transactional Distance and Adaptive Learning: Planning for the Future of Higher Education. 212 pages. Paperback: New York: Routledge. ISBN: 9781138302327 ISBN-10: 1138302325 Keywords: book review, transactional distance, Michael Moore, adaptive learning Michael Moore’s theory of transactional distance (TDT) is a fundamental pedagogical theory and systematic […]

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Using Telepresence Robots to Support Students Facing Adversity

Telepresence robotics allows students who are temporarily unable to attend their classes to continue participating remotely. In higher education, we often encounter students who are experiencing unexpected setbacks that impact their ability to attend class. Whether it’s due to a car accident, a family emergency, or an illness, the inability to get to class can […]

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Race and gender biases appear in online education

The potential of online education is uniquely compelling. Its most zealous advocates imagine a world in which there is exceptionally broad access to carefully refined courses delivered with consistent fidelity, including some taught by leading instructors from the world’s most selective colleges and universities. But integral to promises of wide democratization are questions of equity […]

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Industry News: Apple, D2L, IBM, Facebook, Pearson

Apple: Apple’s New Focus: Student ID Cards Tech giant is working with universities to bring the functionality of a student ID card to the iPhone and Apple Watch. Inside Higher Ed Desire2Learn: The Opportunities Industrialization Center of Oklahoma County, Inc. (OIC) Picks D2L Brightspace Selected to Help Reach Every Adult Learner The organization was looking for an […]

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Distance-Educator.com · 6977 Navajo Road · #167 · San Diego, CA 92119 · USA

June 5, 2018

Distance-Educator.com Free e-Newsletter 6/4/18

Another newsletter from yesterday’s inbox.

Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
JUNE 4, 2018
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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
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Teens, Social Media & Technology 2018 YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat are the most popular online platforms among teens. Fully 95% of teens have access to a smartphone, and 45% say they are online ‘almost constantly’ Pew Research Center

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
Will Blockchains Revolutionize Education?

Although most ideas for using blockchains in education are overhyped, carefully designed distributed ledgers show promise. Blockchains, first introduced by Satoshi Nakamoto for use in bitcoin, are now being used across many industries. At their core, blockchains are trustworthy, distributed digital ledgers. Unlike databases maintained by a centralized authority that guarantees data integrity through its […]

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Game mechanics and why they are employed: What we know about gamification so far

This literature review addresses the research surrounding gamification in online learning, focusing on the game mechanics studied in conjunction with the pedagogical aspirations they were employed to support. Findings include frequencies of game mechanics studied, showing a continuum from most studied, badges closely followed by leaderboards, to the least studied, storylines. Pedagogical aspirations fell into […]

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Robotics in Education

Social Robotics Robotics is the current trend. Maybe there is too much emphasis on it. Moreover, the meanings associated with it are different, as shown by the meeting promoted by both Italian Society for Research on Media Education (SIREM) and Elearning, Media, Education and Moodlemot (EMEM) Italia 2016, as well as the more recent conference “Giocare a pensare. […]

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Making Analytics the Campus Modus Operandi

To take full advantage of analytics, a college or university must first develop a data-enabled institutional culture. The mantra “data-driven decision-making” is one that institutions of higher education are adopting at an increasing clip. More than three-quarters of colleges and universities say institutional analytics is a priority. However, as more projects get off the ground, […]

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IN THE NEWS
Purdue’s College of Education to unveil new online master’s program

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue’s College of Education is reaching out to potential students with a new online master’s degree program. The new online Master of Science in Education program is part of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, said Janet Alsup, department head and professor. The program is scheduled to begin with the fall […]

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Market Changes, Missteps and Marylhurst’s Closure

The story of an innovative university’s shutdown says as much about the landscape for online learning as it does about one campus’s decisions. Inside Higher Ed

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Watch A Moodle 3.5 Overview And An Introduction By The Moodler In Chief

The Moodleverse continues to unpack the many new and supercharged features in Moodle 3.5. From Moodle HQ, an Overview video (see above) and a feature playlist give both basic and in-depth looks at how it works. They will be further explored in the upcoming, 3.5-based MOOC starting next June. Finally, HQ CEO Martin Dougiamas took […]

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Where you ask the questions – BBC and OU launch new ‘citizen inquiry’ website

What is citizen inquiry? Citizen inquiry goes a step further than research led by academics in which people have relatively passive involvement. It helps members of the public in learning to be scientists – by proposing, running and sharing their own science investigations. Open University

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Distance-Educator.com · 6977 Navajo Road · #167 · San Diego, CA 92119 · USA

May 30, 2018

Distance-Educator.com Free e-Newsletter 5/29/18

A newsletter from yesterday’s inbox.

Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
MAY 29, 2018
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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Download Whitepaper

The OS.University decentralized platform bridges the gap between businesses and education through ​blockchain ​(used for validating and verifying learners’ credentials) and ​smart contracts(managing content purchases, marketplace transactions and hiring processes). We apply open source technologies and principles of collaboration to re-engineer the current-state educational model by building a system to enable smarter transactions of information […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
Social media as a student response system: new evidence on learning impact

The ubiquitousness of social media renders it a potentially powerful tool in higher education. This study explores the use of Twitter as a tool to enhance active learning and improve feedback during large-sized lectures. Students in a final-year undergraduate accounting course at an Australian university engaged in Twitter-based synchronous activities, including answering in-lecture quizzes and […]

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UK higher education institutions’ technology-enhanced learning strategies from the perspective of disruptive innovation

The publication of institutional strategies for learning, teaching and assessment in UK higher education is practically ubiquitous. Strategies for technology-enhanced learning are also widespread. This article examines 44 publically available UK university strategies for technology-enhanced learning, aiming to assess the extent to which institutional strategies engage with and accommodate innovation in technology-enhanced learning. The article […]

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Exploring lecturer engagement with the VLE [Virtual Learning Environment]: findings from a multi-college staff survey

Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) are important infrastructure and digital educational spaces that are widely used. The lecturers’ voices on VLEs and their use were not adequately captured in the #VLEIreland project. Therefore, following the development and piloting of a questionnaire consisting of a common set of questions, lecturers were surveyed across seven Irish higher education […]

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‘Lessons Learnt’: the student view in the #VLEIreland [Virtual Learning Environment] project

This paper offers an overview of general results and of longitudinal aspects of the data collected to date from student populations which generated from the #VLEIreland project. We argue how results shed light on common misconceptions around VLE usage, and what VLEs can offer from a pedagogical perspective. Building on previously published research results; this […]

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IN THE NEWS
Reggie Smith is CEO of United States Distance Learning Association

The 2009 Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) winner for Community Service has been named CEO/Executive Director of the United States Distance Learning Association. USBE Information Technology Dr. Reggie Smith III Short Bio

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Faculty Development and the ID2ID Program

Instructional designers have a unique opportunity to dive into the intersection between their discipline and faculty development in order to make significant contributions to teaching and learning at their institutions. EDUCAUSE Review

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To balance innovation with protecting students, focus on incentives

Online education is growing fast—but it’s hampered by clunky regulations and outdated definitions. Modernizing regulation is, in part, about stripping away burdensome regulation, but Congress also must focus on aligning institutional incentives with student outcomes eCampus News

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Industry News: Adobe, Apple, Blackboard, D2L

Adobe: Simple But Powerful Creativity, Presentation, and Storytelling Tools FREE for Teachers and Students Apple: Apple brings Everyone Can Code to schools serving blind and deaf students nationwide Blackboard: Blackboard Launches New Website Accessibility Solution Desire2Learn: D2L Launches Emerald Release — the next Generation of Brightspace

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Distance-Educator.com · 6977 Navajo Road · #167 · San Diego, CA 92119 · USA

May 22, 2018

Distance-Educator.com Free e-Newsletter 5/21/18

Another newsletter from yesterday’s inbox.

Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
MAY 21, 2018
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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Download White Paper

Evaluating theImpact of Engaged Philosophy in the Online Classroom: Lessons Learned As an Oregon State Ecampus Research Fellow, I designed and initiated a research study thDowat aimed to: 1) investigate tools and techniques for engaged, experiential online learning with undergraduate philosophy students and 2) propose discipline- specific criteria for evaluating the impact of these pedagogical […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
Creating and Collaborating: Students’ and Tutors’ Perceptions of an Online Group ProjectAlthough collaboration skills are highly valued by employers, convincing students that collaborative learning activities are worthwhile, and ensuring that the experience is both useful and enjoyable, are significant challenges for educators. This paper addresses these challenges by exploring students’ and tutors’ experiences of a group project where part-time distance learners collaborate online to create a […]

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OER Awareness and Use: The Affinity Between Higher Education and K-12Educators within Higher Education (HE) and K-12 share in the need for high quality educational resources to assist in the pursuit of teaching and learning. Although there are numerous differences between the two levels of education, there are commonalties in the perceptions of the purpose, practical uses, and challenges that abide in the use of […]

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Designing Continuing Professional Development MOOCs to promote the adoption of OER and OEPThere is growing interest in the adoption of open educational resources (OER) and open educational practices (OEP) in a variety of contexts. Continuing professional development (CPD) among practitioners in the effective adoption of OER and OEP is critical in this scenario. Massive open online courses (MOOCs), which also grew as part of the open education […]

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The potential role of Open Educational Practice policy in transforming Australian higher educationOpen Educational Practices (OEP) have played an important role in assisting educational institutions and governments worldwide to meet their current and future educational targets in widening participation, lowering costs, improving the quality of learning and teaching and promoting social inclusion and participatory democracy. There have been some important OEP developments in Australia, but unfortunately the […]

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IN THE NEWS
Alaska ramps up efforts to close broadband gap in K-12 schoolsThe state remains a laggard nationally when it comes to school connectivity, but a partnership with EducationSuperHighway aims to fix that. edscoop

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Michigan Has Required Online Classes for K-12 Students for Over a Decade. Is it Working?In 2006, the state of Michigan passed a controversial piece of education legislation known as the Michigan Merit Curriculum. The revamp required students to complete upper level STEM subjects and, among other things, take at least one online class. Known as the online learning requirement, it was intended to onboard students for a future of […]

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Network Neutrality: The End of the Beginning (Again)With federal policy debates currently dominated by tax-and-spending issues along with immigration, one might easily lose sight of the relatively recent, dramatic shift in Federal Communications Commission (FCC) policy on network neutrality. In part, this is because the 2017 FCC order changing the rules on network neutrality has yet to take full effect. On February […]

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How congressional politics drive the net neutrality debateThe ongoing national debate over the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules started a new chapter this week. Senate Democrats, led by Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.), filed a petition that will force a vote on overturning the Commission’s 2017 decision to undo rules from the Obama administration. In doing so, Markey and his colleagues will […]

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