Access to higher education has become an increasingly key issue for not just students but also employers, parents, and politicians. The rising costs of tuition, large class sizes, and growing number of unemployed graduates have led many to conclude that there is a fundamental problem with the way higher education is currently run. How do we fix the problem? The Chronicle of Higher Education has written a set of articles addressing many of the challenges that face colleges and universities today.
The ideas proposed run the gamut from changing the way students are assessed to having set tuition rates for students to bringing in more faculty to focus exclusively on teaching rather than research.
Have you tried Prezi yet? An old favorite of Learning Technologies, this online presentation tool is quickly growing in popularity as an alternative to linear slideshow programs. Just last month, they added three new features to the presentation mode that are quite exciting:
Screen Blackout – Need a break from visuals for a moment? While in presentation mode, users can now simply press the B key to temporarily black out their screen. Moving the mouse or pressing any other key will return to the presentation from there.
3D Backgrounds – Users can now add layers to their presentation, creating a 3D effect. Watch the video below to see the feature in action:
Fade-in Animation – Content can now be faded in and out within frames. This is great if you wish to add a hide-and-reappear effect to your presentation. Here’s another video to show you how:
If you’d like to keep up with Prezi as it grows, check out their new feature log, which will be updated when new features are added.
In the spirit of back-to-school season, onlinecolleges.net recently published lists of recommended smartphone apps for students and instructors. We’ve decided to share a few of their favorites–as well as some of ours–with you here:
The recent announcement by a number of universities on offering online courses for free and open to anyone heralds what some call as the beginning of a wave of MOOCs, or massively open online courses. Just what exactly is a MOOC and how does it differ from a typical distance learning course? The video below gives a good summary of how MOOCs work and why they are different from other models of distance learning.