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August, 2013:

Most Parents Still Value College

A very informative post was written recently by Sara Lipka for The Chronicle of Higher Education detailing statistical information about parents’ perceptions on the importance and value of a college education for their children, despite the rising and obvious financial costs.

Originally written by the Wall Street Journal, the survey shows some positive and negative viewpoints parents have about the value of their children’s college education when faced with sometimes daunting financial concerns. For example, almost 9/10 parents said that college was an important investment for their children’s future. On the other hand, while parents wanted their kids to go to college, 79% of parents expressed some worry and concern about having enough money to make that happen.

Percentages about how parents fund their children’s college education, the various types of loans available for students and parents to use, and even the common confusion and lack of knowledge parents have about loans were also discussed.

 

For more information about this article, please click here.

MOOCs are no longer “disruptive”

Steve Kolowich recently wrote an article for The Chronicle of Higher Education discussing the declining interest and appeal for MOOCs (Massive open online courses) in California.

There are many reasons as to why this is occurring to MOOCs, a once promising solution for the accessibility and democratization of higher education that garnered an immense amount of attention and publicity.

Much of it has to do with the actual numbers and results that have shown up publicly. Those numbers show some underwhelming results and rather low success and retention rates.

Another reason has to do with the fact that many universities who allowed students to gain academic credit by completing MOOCs are now starting to implement their own internal online courses and find no reason to utilize MOOCs anymore.

Read More!

A New Presentation Platform Worth Looking At… Reveal.js and http://Slid.es

Tired of the same old PowerPoint presentations? So over the hype about Prezi? Want to be able to share presentations quickly without the hassle of attaching files or using services like Slideshare that may mess up your slide formatting?

Meet Reveal.JS and http://slid.es.

Reveal.JS is a platform created by Hakim El Hattab for web-based, HTML presentations. Its design is simple and elegant, and it has many of the features you look for in PowerPoint and Prezi. The best part: the presentation is right in your browser. No more dealing with proprietary .pptx files.

For those who just want to plug in text and images (and don’t want to mess around with coding), check out the web-based platform for quick WYSIWYG editing: http://slid.es.

For those with coding skills in HTML, CSS, and Javascript, the source code is available at Github.

Give it a look and let us know what you think. How would you use this as a student or teacher? What new possibilities does this make available?

Research on Flipping Study Habits for Better Understanding

In a recent post written in the Computing Education Blog, two studies were presented discussing the benefits of changing, reversing, and/or flipping the classroom model in order to increase student comprehension. In these studies, data was collected on how well students understood concepts when they were tested on the materials before studying and how beneficial hands-on learning and experimentation was before individual studying took place.

The first article, written by Daniel Willingham (Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia), talks about how students gain a better understanding in what they are learning when they try to generate the answer on their own first before reading and learning about it in books and other resources. As a result, there is a higher chance that students will retain and better understand concepts when they invest some initial effort in solving the problem. In essence, students benefit more from experimenting and doing rather than just studying.

When students are interacting with materials and concepts in the classroom, there is a direct connection present between the student and the subject being taught. When reading from a book or studying individually, students have a more distant relationship with the concepts because the students are invested in reading about the subject and not actually doing the experimentation.

Read more!