Virtual School Meanderings

May 19, 2015

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Distance-Educator.com e-Newsletter – 5/18/15

From yesterday’s inbox…

Distance-Educator.com Newsletter
MAY 18, 2015
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FEATURED ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
A Web-Based Course Assessment Tool with Direct Mapping to Student Outcomes

The assessment of curriculum outcomes is an essential element for continuous academic improvement. However, the collection, aggregation and analysis of assessment data are notoriously complex and time-consuming processes. At the same time, only few developments of supporting electronic processes and tools for continuous academic program assessment and curriculum performance feedback have emerged. In this paper, […]

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RESEARCH-BASED ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
Tablet-Based Math Assessment: What Can We Learn from Math Apps?

In this report, we describe a survey of mathematics education apps in the Apple App Store, conducted as part of a research project to develop a tablet-based assessment prototype for elementary mathematics. This survey was performed with the goal of understanding the design principles and techniques used in mathematics apps designed for tablets. We focused […]

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Linking learning styles and learning on mobile Facebook

With continued development of related technologies, Web 2.0 has become an important site of learning innovation. In particular, social networking sites such as Facebook, which have become popular, have the potential to function as an educational tool enabling peer feedback, interaction, and learning in a social context. Preparing appropriate environments for learners with different needs […]

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A usability evaluation of a blended MOOC environment: An experimental case study

In the past few years, there has been an increasing interest in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as a new form of Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL), in higher education and beyond. Recognizing the limitations of standalone MOOCs, blended MOOCs (bMOOCs) that aim at bringing in-class (i.e. face-to-face) interactions and online learning components together have emerged as […]

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Recommendations on Formative Assessment and Feedback Practices for stronger engagement in MOOCs

Many publications and surveys refer to the high drop out rate in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) which is around 90%, especially if we compare the number of students who register against those who finish. Working towards improving student engagement in MOOCs, we focus on providing specific research-based recommendations on formative assessment and feedback practices […]

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IN THE NEWS
Small College, Big Online Partners

Champlain College is making a surprising play in the online adult learner market, slashing its private college tuition rates for corporate partners to compete for their employees’ tuition assistance dollars. Inside Higher Ed

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U.S. Higher Education Institutions Expected to Spend $6.6 billion on IT In 2015, According to IDC Government Insights

Framingham, MA – May 11th, 2015 – According to a new IT spending guide from IDC Government Insights, U.S. Higher education institutions are expected to spend about $6.6 billion on IT in 2015, much of that driven by investments in enterprise networks and higher end notebook computers. The first guide of its kind, , “Pivot […]

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When Actors Replace Instructors as On-Camera Talent

If your school has been producing course videos the same way for years, it may be time to update your technique to make sure students are still watching. Purdue shares lessons learned from an unconventional approach. Campus Technology

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New Consortium’s Mission: Improve Liberal-Arts Teaching Online

Four liberal-arts colleges on Mondayformed a consortium to share information about their experiments with online education, and more members may soon join in. Wired Campus

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News from the NEPC: Education and Economy — Illuminating Insights, Flawed Assumptions

From yesterday’s inbox…

Research and analysis to inform education policy
and promote democratic deliberation
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Report Rejects Myth that Education Eliminates Inequality, but Claims Education Is Key to Economic Prosperity

Illuminating analysis combined with flawed assumptions and unsupported contentions yield mixed review 

Contact:

William J. Mathis, (802) 383-0058,wmathis@sover.net
Marvin Lazerson, +498022662345 (Germany),marvinlazerson@t-online.de
Ryan Pfleger, (202) 270-0028,ryan.pfleger@colorado.edu

URL for this press release: http://tinyurl.com/mccsq28BOULDER, CO (May 18, 2015) — A recent report from The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution examines several important questions about education’s economic power and includes some useful analyses and interesting conclusions. Its analysis, however, oversimplifies the importance of college degrees in boosting the economy, while rejecting the widely held view that education can substantially reduce economic inequality.

Marvin Lazerson and Ryan Pfleger reviewed Increasing Education: What it Will and Will Not Do for Earnings and Earnings Inequality for the Think Twice think tank review project. The review is published by the National Education Policy Center, housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education.

Dr. Lazerson is a professor of higher education policy at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, and an emeritus professor, University of Pennsylvania. Ryan Pfleger is a doctoral candidate in Educational Foundations, Policy, and Practice at the University of Colorado Boulder.

The Hamilton Project report discusses three commonly held propositions about education’s economic power: (a) education is the critical factor in creating economic prosperity; (b) college and advanced degrees increase the earning power of individuals; and (c) a broad base of increased educational attainment will narrow income inequality. It asserts that the first proposition is true and that the second proposition is accurate, especially at the middle-income-and-below range. The report finds the third proposition inaccurate, concluding that a significant increase in educational attainment is not likely to significantly decrease wage inequality.

Lazerson and Pfleger praise as “illuminating” the report’s empirically based simulation that projects what would happen if an additional 10 percent of the population suddenly received college degrees. They note, however, that theanalysis has important limitations. There is little direct evidence in the report to show that increasing educational attainment is, as the authors contend, “the most effective and direct way” to improve economic prosperity. Also, the report’s data are drawn only from males and no attention is paid to how income gains differ across gender, race, field of study, labor-market conditions, and institutional reputation.

The reviewers stress that no data analysis is provided in the report to support claims about the relative effectiveness of education compared to other ways to address economic problems. Claiming that the primary solution to a wide array of economic problems is to improve “human capital,” the report perpetuates a problematic myth that undervalues alternative ways to address poverty and economic insecurity. Indeed the assumption of the knowledge society narrative, that everything depends upon more education, may itself be flawed.

Though the report’s policy conclusions about education are important, economic and political actions are critical as well in closing income and social gaps. As the authors write, “[u]sing schooling as a quick fix for economic problems is not going to do it.”

Find Lazerson and Pfleger’s review on the NEPC website at:http://nepc.colorado.edu/
thinktank/review-
increasing-education
.
Find

Increasing Education: What it Will and Will Not Do for Earnings and Earnings Inequality by Hershbein, Kearney and Summers and published by The Hamilton Project on the web at:
http://www.hamilton
project.org/papers/
increasing_education_
what_it_will_and_will_not
_do_for_earnings_inequal/
.
The Think Twice think tank review project (http://thinktankreview.org) of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) provides the public, policymakers, and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. NEPC is housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education. The Think Twice think tank review project is made possible in part by support provided by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

The mission of the National Education Policy Center is to produce and disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. We are guided by the belief that the democratic governance of public education is strengthened when policies are based on sound evidence.  For more information on the NEPC, please visithttp://nepc.colorado.edu/.

This review is also found on the GLC website athttp://www.greatlakes
center.org/
.

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The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) is housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education. Its mission is to produce and disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. We are guided by the belief that the democratic governance of public education is strengthened when policies are based on sound evidence.  For more information about the NEPC, please visit http://nepc.colorado.edu/.


 

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May 18, 2015

CEM: WNET/ISTE/SIIA, Follett, Promethean, AASA/NCTM/Amazon, Metiri, Dept of ED, Center on Educational Policy, ASCD, Intel, Verizon, Adobe, More…

From the inbox overnight…

WNET/ISTE/SIIA, Follett, Promethean,AASA/NCTM/Amazon, Metiri, Dept of ED, Center on Educational Policy, ASCD, Intel, Verizon, Adobe, More…
View this email in your browser
Connected Educators: Helping Educators Thrive in a Connected World
We spent much of last week at Penn GSE Business Plan Competition, introducing CEM to the next generation of edtech entrepreneurs, and then the fabulous Oppi Festival, where we saw longtime CEM supporters Gavin Dykes, Lucy Gray, and Ann Leaness, so this week’s edition is going to be a bit shorter and later than usual...Thanks much for your continuing support of our first CEM 2015 sponsor, Google For Education–check out the recordings from their Education On Air conference here,  and be sure to spread the word to your fellow educators and parents alike about Amazon’s free online program to help with summer slump
Featured Connected Educator Month Supporter
Amazon/AASA/NCTM/Remind: Solving Summer Slump–FREE

We all know about summer slump, especially in mathematics–so often, we have to re-cover ground we thought our students understood the spring before. TenMarks has been offering an online solution in mathematics for years that’s personalized for every student, includes real-time interventions, detailed reports for parents, points, levels, and games to motivate your kids (and the ability for parents to set up custom rewards as well).

Amazon recently bought TenMarks and has decided, as part of its contribution to improvements in education to offer this program (formerly $39.95) for free for educators to pass on to parents–learn more here.  The American Association of School Administrators (AASA) and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) are working to get the word out, and we’re hoping you will too.   We’re fortunate to have the help of Remind in this effort–you can join a Remind class dedicated to this initiative here, or if you’re one of the 1 million educators whoalready use Remind, please get the word out to parents directly…

http://bit.ly/amazon_summer_math
http://bit.ly/amazon_sumM_remind
http://bit.ly/remind_cem


Support connected education–support our sponsors! Or become a sponsor yourself–there are many more sponsor benefits this year, and packages to fit any budgetClick here to talk with us about it (or to create your own)…

Google for Education
Features Events & Activities
MacArthur/Educator Innovator: Interactive Fiction
2 PM ET, May 18, Game Design Across The Curriculum: Interactive Fiction-ing (Part 2)  Interactive fiction is a game genre in which players make choices to determine the outcome of a threaded narrative.  In a panel discussion, educator Matthew Farber will discuss his use of IF to teach systems thinking and empathy as well as co-designing with GlassLab’s Erin Hoffman, and Sherry Jones will speak to her use of IF to teach complex philosophical concepts at the college level. They’ll be joined by Chris Klimas, the founder of Twine, and Kae Novak of ISTE’s Metagame Book Club…

http://bit.ly/macarthur_ifiction

Center on Educational Policy: 50 Years of Fed Policy–Lessons Learned
2:30 PM ET, May 18, Lessons Learned From Fifty Years of Federal Education Policy.  Jack Jennings, founder, author, and former CEO of the Center on Educational Policy is joined by Bob Wise, President of the Alliance for Excellent Education, for an examination the federal role in education and the prospects for fundamentally reshaping American education, marking the 50th anniversary of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act…

http://bit.ly/all4ed_50years

Adobe: Superhero Posters, Comic Book Creation
11 AM ET, May 20  Make Super Hero Posters With Photoshop & IllustratorComic Book Creation With Photoshop & Illustrator  Take your pick–for beginners, learn how you and your class can create a professional-looking super hero poster; for more advanced participants, how to create comic book lettering, speech bubbles, and more, with designer and educator Sean Glumace

http://bit.ly/adobe_superhero_posters
http://bit.ly/adobe_comics

Metiri Group/edWeb: Are Your Students Entrepreneur-Ready?
3 PM ET, May 20 Are Your Students Entrepreneur-Ready? 21st Century Skills of Entrepreneurship  (registration) No matter how fierce global competition gets, creativity and entrepreneurship will always be a competitive advantage for your students.  The Metiri Group and edWeb come together to present a webinar led by education star (and Metiri Group CEO) Cheryl Lemke on entrepreneurship, including five skills students need to develop a readiness for entrepreneurship, new thinking about how 21st Century skills are related, and how to integrate strategies that can support students in school and beyond…

http://bit.ly/metiri_entrepreneurship (registration)
http://bit.ly/metiri_entrepreneurship_room (room–open at time of event)

Follett/edWeb: 50 Apps In 60 Minutes
5 PM ET, May 20  There’s An App For That: 50 Apps In 60 Minutes for 2015 (registration)  Follett and edWeb join forces to present a webinar led by all-star librarian Michelle Luhtala (New Canaan, CT) that’s just what it says it is, though you’re strongly welcomed to contribute your own favorite apps to the discussion.A webinar that will benefit K-12 school librarians, classroom teachers, curriculum leaders, and administrators…

http://bit.ly/follett_apps (registration)
http://bit.ly/follett_apps_room (room–open at time of event)

Intel: Living And Learning In 2025
5 PM ET, May 20, Living And Learning in 2025 with Intel Futurist Brian David Johnson Charter CEM organization (and prize provider) Intel hosts its CEM 2015 debut, as futurist Brian David Johnson examines the technological and cultural trends that will shape 2025, exploring their impact on our daily lives. Johnson will take your questions and investigate how, where and what we will learn a decade from today…

http://bit.ly/intel_2025

ASCD: Teach Reflect Learn 
3 PM ET, May 21 Teach Reflect Learn: Building Your Capacity for Success in the Classroom Charter CEM partner (and 2014 theme leader) ASCD presents a special free webinar led by top authors Pete Hall and Alisa Simeral on the “Reflective Cycle” and how you can increase your reflective practices—and effectiveness—no matter what changes in education theory, practice, and policy come down the pike–to take the reins of your own professional learning…

http://bit.ly/ascd_reflect

Promethean/edWeb: Technology-Enabled Formative Assessment
4 PM ET, May 21 Improving Teaching And Learning With Technology-Enabled Formative Assessments (registration) Ed tech leader Promethean and edWeb collaborate on a discussion led by connected education legend Steven Anderson (co-founder of #edchat) that will explore formative assessment through a technology lens and how school leaders can use this data to make effective decisions…

http://bit.ly/promethean_formative (registration)
http://bit.ly/promethean_formative_room (room–openat time of event)

WNET/ISTE/SIIA/Games4Ed: Connecting Past To Present
5 PM ET, May 21 Connecting Past to Present: How an Interactive, Role-Playing Game like Mission US Encourages Students to Care about History (registration) New York public television station WNET, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), Games4Ed, and edWeb come together for an examination of the benefits of integrating interactive, role-based games into the American history curriculum, in both middle and high school, using the free online resourceMission US as a case study…

http://bit.ly/wnet_siia_iste_history (registration)
http://bit.ly/wnet_iste_siia_history_room (room–open at time of event)

PLP: Google Slides Course
May 27, Google Slides.  Slides are Google’s open-source equivalent to PowerPoint.  Powerful Learning Practice, one of CEM’s core partners (PLP’s CEO, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, is one of our co-chairs) is offering the second of its Google Apps 101 courses, starting on May 27.  You’ll learn how to create and collaborate with Slides, compare/contrast Slides with alternatives, learn how the application can enhance curriculum, and more. This is a premium course, but graduate credit is available…

http://bit.ly/plp_slides

Adobe: App Design Mini-Course
May 29, Adobe Generation Professional: App DesignCharter CEM supporter and sponsor Adobe offers another great course for educators, an intense two-week boot camp from which you’ll walk away with a working knowledge of app creation and how to take this process back to your own classroom…

http://bit.ly/adobe_apps

ISTE/Verizon: Developing Your Mobile Learning Landscape
5 PM ET, June 3, Developing Your Mobile Learning Landscape: From Readiness To Digital Citizenship. Meet ISTE (the International Society for Technology in Education) faculty to develop your understanding of mobile learning, and learn about the Verizon Mobile Learning Academy, a free, facilitated 10 week online course for educators funded by ConnectED partner the Verizon Foundation (ConnectED was inspired by and grew out of CEM)…

http://bit.ly/iste_verizon_mobile

Campaign of the Week
We’re joined by the US Department of Education’s Sara Trettin and James Liou to talk about how teachers are moving from isolation to connection, sharing and collaboration–and what this means for the future of education…

http://bit.ly/bam_ED

One of the most talked about sessions in 2012 was Students Speak!, a panel of middle and high school students headlined by student-author Nikhil Goyal.  The kids and their educator audience got so engaged with each other that the students essentially dove off the virtual stage and body-surfed among the educators in the back-channel chat…

http://bit.ly/ce12_students_speak

Getting More Involved
We’re heavily into fundraising mode right now so that we can support CEM 2015 participating organizations and educators around the world better than ever before.

But that doesn’t mean every sponsorship is heavy–check out our proverbial Chinese menu (with all respect and admiration to our Chinese participants)–you’ll see, for example, that the cost to sponsor one of our newsletters (like Google has been doing) is pretty nominal.  And we’re so confident in our ability to help you with outreach that we guarantee we’ll get you the average CPC (cost per click) in education or better, or we’ll keep running your promotions until we do.  We know your creativity can’t be in better hands than with us and our connected educator community.

Thanks, as always, for everything you’ve done and are doing to make CEM a success

To get regular updates on all the latest CEM developments subscribe to our blogsign up for the CEM newsletter, or check in with Connected Educator Radio. For more information on CEM, see our report on the inaugural celebration, and/or this post by US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan…
Connected Educator of the Week

Connected Educator
of the Week

Award winning junior high school science teacher Glen Westbroek gives guidance for connecting not only with other educators, but also for connecting students across distance, redefines project-based learning, shares the impact connected education has had on student achievement in his classes, and more…

edConnectr Connections

Looking for help with:

  • Assessment/Testing?
  • Blended Learning?
  • Classroom Design/Layout?

There are at least one hundred experts on each of these topics in CEM’s cutting edge matchmaking service,edConnectr, as well as hundreds on many other topics in education.  Sign up today!

http://bit.ly/edconnectr

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Unconstrained Faith In Education’s Economic Power Lacks Evidentiary Base, Review Finds

From the inbox earlier this morning…

May 18, 2015

Contact:
Marvin Lazerson, +498022662345 (Germany),marvinlazerson@t-online.de
Daniel Quinn, (517) 203-2940, dquinn@greatlakescenter.org

Unconstrained faith in education’s economic power lacks evidentiary base, review finds

EAST LANSING, Mich. (May 18, 2015) – A recent report from the Hamilton Project sought to study how public investment in education will further long-term prosperity, economic growth, and individual economic security.  The inquiry focused on whether or not a bachelor’s degree or higher education would increase economic prosperity and reduce economic inequality.  A review of the report released today finds that it oversimplifies the importance of college degrees in boosting the economy, while rejecting the widely held view that education can substantially reduce economic inequality.

Marvin Lazerson, professor of higher education policy at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, and emeritus professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and Ryan Pfleger, a doctoral student in Educational Foundations, Policy, and Practice at the University of Colorado Boulder, reviewedIncreasing Education: What it Will and Will Not Do for Earnings and Earnings Inequality for the Think Twice think tank review project of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC), with funding from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

The report examines three possible components of education’s economic power: (1) education is the critical factor in creating sustainable economic prosperity; (2) college and advanced degrees increase earnings power for individuals; and (3) a broad base of increased educational attainment will narrow income inequality.

In the review, the authors find that the report and its assertions are straightforward and use an empirically-based simulation for future projections.  However, the report has several limitations.

Specifically, Lazerson and Pfleger find the following insufficiencies:

  1. there is little direct evidence in the report to show that increasing educational attainment is the most “efficient and effective,” as the report describes, way to improve prosperity;
  2. the data are drawn are only from males, with no attention paid to gender, race, field of study, labor-market conditions, or institutional reputation; and
  3. no data were analyzed to evaluate other ways to address economic problems.

The reviewers note that the findings of the report are illuminating, “because more schooling increases, on average, the income of individuals in comparison to those not receiving advanced schooling.” However, the reviewers contend that more direct actions are necessary, and the use of schools as a lever to improve economic conditions is an indirect method.

The reviewers conclude, “Claiming that the primary solution to a wide array of economic problems is to improve ‘human capital,’ the report perpetuates a problematic myth that undervalues alternative ways to address poverty and economic insecurity.”

Read his full review at:
http://www.greatlakescenter.org

Find Increasing Education: What it Will and Will Not Do for Earnings and Earnings Inequality on the web:http://www.hamiltonproject.org/papers/increasing_education_what_it_will_and_will_not_do_for_earnings_inequal/

Think Twice, a project of the National Education Policy Center, provides the public, policymakers and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. The project is made possible by funding from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

The review can also be found on the NEPC website:
http://nepc.colorado.edu

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The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education, Research & Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develp reasearch-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform.

Visit the Great Lakes Center website athttp://www.greatlakescenter.org/

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