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Online/Hybrid Learning

A “Small” Approach to Education with Technology

Education and technology have worked for the betterment of larger institutions and universities. The technology used by these institutions help to solve accessibility issues and are a way for both students and faculty to become acquainted, familiar, and experts with using technology for teaching and learning.

However, some smaller institutions, such as Deep Springs College, simply find the use of technology unsuitable for their specific types of studies, which include academics, involvement with a democratic governance, and a labor program. This brings up the question of whether technology is absolutely necessary for the success and quality of these institutions. Will technology always be a benefit, or is it how it can be applied to solve specific and unique problems that can only be found in certain smaller institutions?

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Online Learning: a Manifesto

In an article for Hybrid Pedagogy, Jesse Stommel has written his manifesto for online learning, which includes an outline of online learning pedagogy.

In the article, Stommel points out that the exciting thing about MOOCs is that they have increased the level of discussion of online learning. However, we need to ignore the hype, and instead focus on how and why we learn online. It’s also important that we open the discussions to the students to allow, them to participate in building their own learning spaces.

Stommel then goes on to outline a pedagogy of online learning. Here are a few of the “points of departure” he makes in his outline:

  1. Online learning happens at many different scales. Not all online learning, though, is scalable. The MOOC is one possible approach, and it is neither a panacea nor a pariah. It might function well for certain learners or for certain courses, but it should be viewed as one of many available approaches. Online learning can happen alone or in groups of 2, 20, 500, or 100,000. The scale of the activity, event, or course changes the experience (but does not define the experience). Read More!

MOOCs: Been There, Done That

Thomas M. Rollins, founder of The Teaching Company, has recently written an article on the Chronicle for Higher Education discussing how the MOOC model has been done before.

Rollins points out that he isn’t referring to mail correspondence, radio lectures, or “educational television. Instead he refers to the period from 1998 to 2006 when a number of prestigious universities attempted to get into the online education market, with significant financial backing; all of which ended unsuccessfully. Rollins comments on this stating:

“Über-competent people with big-dog financial backing could not make it work. And back then we had computers, the Internet, and online video, too.”

Now we have MOOCs, with hundreds of thousands of people signing up for them. But anything free and of value will have a huge number of consumers.

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What Tech Experts Expect in 2014

2013 was a year where the intersection of higher education and technology generated much publicity and heated debate among education professionals, journalists, instructors, and many others. MOOCs, data analytics, fully online degrees, and other topics shared the spotlight in many higher education and technology publications. Now that we have entered 2014, experts share their insights on what is to be expected in the new year.

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently spoke with five education-technology experts about what they expect from 2014. Here is what they had to say:

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6 Ways Technology Will Change Education in the Future

Just recently, a group of academics, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs gathered at New York University’s Stern School of Business to discuss educational technologies and their effects on the future of higher education. A critical question was posed about the future of higher education as technology continues to play a crucial role in the accessibility and distribution of education: How will higher education and/or the notion of “college” change as platforms, such as MOOCs, become common for others to use as alternatives to the traditional classroom and campus environment?

Stepping in to learn more about what was discussed during the meeting, Issie Lapowsky, a writer for Inc.com, explains how, even though many posed opposing viewpoints on the topic of technology and higher education, all came to a consensus on the simple fact that higher education will have to be restructured and that the “status quo is not an option”, as stated by NYU’s President John Sexton.

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