agregador de noticias

Philosophy and the Illusion of Explanatory Depth

OLDaily - Hace 9 horas 59 mins


Justin W., Daily Nous, Feb 22, 2017

After reading this I was motivated to look up  how a toilet works on YouTube. I'm fairly confident I understand the mechanics, but I don't really have an explanation. Why doesn't the bowl simple lose water when the flapper is opened; why does the water rush out as though it is being sucked out of the toilet? Everything in the toilet is actually pulled uphill.  I think it has something to do with pressure differentials or gravity (the way a siphon does) but I'm not sure, and the videos didn't help me. And that's why this article is interesting. Knowing the facts doesn't give me the explanation, which is why a mere presentation of the facts  doesn't change (or inform) opinions. "Confronting and working through the complicated details of an issue... may be the only form of thinking that will shatter the illusion of explanatory depth and change people’ s attitudes."

[Link] [Comment]
Categorías: General

Bots: What you need to know

OLDaily - Hace 9 horas 59 mins


Jon Bruner, O'Reilly, Feb 22, 2017

This is a pretty good overview of the current bot ecosystem (which contains far more than bots) along with a good graphic drawing out the major contenders and relations between them. "Bots use artificial intelligence to converse in human terms, usually through a lightweight messaging interface like Slack or Facebook Messenger, or a voice interface like Amazon Echo or Google Assistant. Since late 2015, bots have been the subject of immense excitement in the belief that they might replace mobile apps for many tasks and provide a flexible and natural interface for sophisticated AI technology."

[Link] [Comment]
Categorías: General

Four Reasons Why a Library Makerspace Makes Perfect Sense

OLDaily - Hace 9 horas 59 mins


Robert Schuetz, Nocking The Arrow, Feb 22, 2017

If a library isn't really useful for storing books any more (because who needs books when entire libraries can be stored on a single flash drive?) then what can we do with the space? In this article Robert Schuetz suggests using it to create a makerspace (what we used to call a project room, workshop or lab). "School media centers provide open, flexible space," he writes. "Collaboration, interaction, and hands-on engagement need space for versatility and movement. Visible, transparent learning will ignite curiosity and interest from teachers and students." At a time when governments are  closing schools maybe they should be thinking of providing better community support instead.

[Link] [Comment]
Categorías: General

‘Rasputin’ Hacker Targets 60 Universities, Government Agencies

Campus Technology - Hace 17 horas 21 mins
More than 60 universities and government agencies in the United States and the United Kingdom have been attacked by a well-known international hacker dubbed “Rasputin."

Have Spare Time? Try To Discover A Planet

OLDaily - 21 Febrero, 2017 - 20:20


Joe Palca, NPR, Feb 21, 2017

I spent an hour last night searching for a planet. I did not discover one. I did, however, look at  lot of bad photographs of stars (at least, to me they were bad photographs; they might be state of the art for all I know). It's a project called  Backyard Worlds: Planet 9. Basically they show you sequences of four photos from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) telescope. Spot the moving dot and you win the prize of being the person to discover the mysterious tenth planet. What's interesting about this project is that it requires the human eye (and human pattern detection).

 

[Link] [Comment]
Categorías: General

4chan: The Skeleton Key to the Rise of Trump

OLDaily - 21 Febrero, 2017 - 20:20


Dale Beran, Medium, Feb 21, 2017

Celebrating the fail is the new win. This is the core value being embraced by 4chan members, alt-right supporters and Trump voters. That's the thesis of this insightful and well-argued essay by almost-loser Dale Beran in this long but engaging read. Those who hold to the (often empty) promise higher education offers should consider this perspective. It forms part of the narrative of failure that defines a substantial body of young men, the same men who constitute things like Anonymous and Gamergate. I am not sympathetic with the 4chan perspective, but I can understand it, having lived through the same broken promises, the same periods of extended unemployment, the same challenges and the same frustrations. But instead of embracing failure I  embraced diversity and equality, and found myself a cause to fight for.

[Link] [Comment]
Categorías: General

Mid-Tier Colleges Do Better Job of Upward Mobility

Campus Technology - 21 Febrero, 2017 - 17:25
An organization using data to understand how to improve the economic opportunities for low-income people has developed a set of "mobility report cards" to rank universities and colleges by how well their students "climb the income ladder."

Room and Board Drive Rising College Costs Too

Campus Technology - 21 Febrero, 2017 - 16:41
According to research by the Urban Institute, charges for room and board at four-year colleges have outpaced inflation, doubling since 1980.

Del clip al clic (Introducción)

Cuaderno de campo - 21 Febrero, 2017 - 12:42

Descarga el libro en pdf, epub, GPlay, Tagus
En el principio era la palabra. No sólo en el Evangelio (Juan 1.1: “En el principio era el Verbo…”) o en el magisterio preliterario de Jesús de Nazaret, Buda o Confucio, que así llegaban a sus discípulos, sino en toda la prehistoria de la escuela. La palabra, la oralidad, es el vehículo de las enseñanzas y los diálogos socráticos que la institución, la profesión y la cultura escolares nunca han dejado de evocar ni de invocar. Sócrates se opuso firmemente a la escritura, según relata Platón en el Fedro: “Ella sólo producirá el olvido en las almas de los que la conozcan, haciéndoles despreciar la memoria […]. [D]as a tus discípulos la sombra de la ciencia y no la ciencia misma. Porque cuando vean que pueden aprender muchas cosas sin maestros, se tendrán ya por sabios y no serán más que ignorantes.” Se invoca constantemente a Sócrates por su pedagogía mayéutica y dialógica (si no fuera por la tradición diríamos interactiva y adaptativa, además de constructivista), frente al carácter transmisor o bancario del libro de texto, pero su rechazo de la escritura es en sí algo equívoco. Para empezar se hace en nombre de la memoria, que para muchos es el elemento bancario por excelencia (más si se alimenta con depósitos). Sobre todo, es difícil no ver en tan iracunda soflama la reivindicación de la exclusividad del maestro frente al alumno, el rechazo de un recurso de aprendizaje en principio ajeno al primero y a su relación con el segundo.La escritura no cambió esencialmente el modelo de aprendizaje. Las tablillas de la escuela antigua o medieval podían servir para practicar las letras, pero no para tomar notas, de modo que el aula siguió mucho tiempo dominada por la palabra del maestro, aunque esta se inspirase cada vez menos en su creación propia y cada vez más en las lecturas ajenas. La lección, la lectio, la lectura para el alumno por parte del maestro (o de otro alumno) dominaría la enseñanza hasta el inicio de la época moderna. En la escuela, el aprendiz es el alumno, alimentado espiritualmente por el maestro; si no va a ser examinado y calificado es un mero oyente, lo que define mejor el proceso de enseñanza (y no, como querríamos imaginar hoy, un lector, por que el lector, lecturer, lecteur, es el maestro). Si la prehistoria de la humanidad es la que precede a su historia escrita, cabe afirmar que la prehistoria de la escuela es la que precede a su funcionamiento por escrito, es decir, que la historia de la escuela que conocemos arranca propiamente con el libro (y, tras él, el cuaderno).Pero, tratándose de la escuela, decir "libro" es decir demasiado o demasiado poco. Podría haber sido efectivamente el libro, con artículo determinado singular, como lo fue la Biblia en las antiguas escuelas abaciales, etc., o lo es todavía el Corán en algunas madrasas; o podrían haber sido los libros, en plural y en general, o algún libro, con el determinante indefinido; pero fue otra cosa: el libro de texto. Es difícil sobreestimar su impacto sobre la escuela. El primer objeto producido masivamente y en serie (medio milenio antes que el Ford T), posibilitó también la escolarización masiva y en serie: contenidos prescritos y homogéneos, aprendizaje dosificado y secuenciado, maestros intercambiables, alumnos comparables… y todo ello con un instrumento fácilmente manejable (en todos los sentidos) y a un precio módico.El nuevo entorno digital ha venido a alterar radicalmente el paisaje. Los currícula siguen fijando los contenidos, pero ni los libros de texto ni cualesquiera otros recursos que pueda prescribir la escuela son ya las únicas vías de acceso a la información ni gozan de una ventaja sustancial frente a otras. Las programaciones proponen secuencias determinadas, pero el hipertexto y los hipermedios no sólo permiten otras sino que las sugieren con la misma o más fuerza. Los educadores se aferran todavía al libro de texto, pero los alumnos ya no ven en él más que una referencia impuesta. La evaluación sigue atada a los contenidos académicos prescritos, pero el nuevo entorno sociotécnico favorece el despliegue de la diversidad y las inteligencias múltiples. Y el precio, desdeñable: equiparable e incluso ventajoso en términos absolutos y por los suelos en términos relativos, con una parte fija asumible y una parte marginal que enseguida tiende a cero.El entorno escolar está sufriendo otras transformaciones no menos importantes, avanzadas pero lejos de haber culminado: de la preeminencia del Estado nacional a la explosión global y la implosión local, del ideal de homogeneidad a la celebración de la diversidad, de la organización industrial taylorista a la coordinación reticular, de los relatos y proyectos de la modernidad a la incertidumbre de la postmodernidad, de la palanca de movilidad social a la espiral de las expectativas frustradas. Junto a estos grandes cambios se sitúa el paso de la galaxia Gutenberg a la galaxia Internet, pero con una diferencia: que este no afecta sólo al entorno del que la escuela recibe y al que debe devolver su material de trabajo, el alumno, sino directamente a su interior y su núcleo mismos, al soporte y transporte informacional sobre el que se ha levantado en gran medida su pedagogía, el libro impreso.El aspecto más inmediato de este cambio es la digitalización, esto es, la digitalización de lo que ya teníamos: el libro de texto digitalizado, las búsquedas en internet en vez de la biblioteca, la web informativa en lugar del tablón de anuncios, la sustitución de los volantes para las familias por el correo electrónico o los SMS, la corrección automática de pruebas estandarizadas… Pero al lado de ello se abre un nuevo mundo de recursos multimedia y transmedia: servicios de redes sociales, nuevos medios digitales, comunidades en línea, dispositivos móviles, aplicaciones de productividad, juegos instructivos, herramientas de simulación, robótica, trazabilidad, datos masivos… Estos nuevos recursos cuestionan a menudo la eficacia y la vigencia de los viejos, pero la escuela es una institución y, como tal, goza de una notable capacidad de autodefensa: conscripción universal eficaz, gran legitimidad social, una profesión fuerte y masiva, un público inmaduro, una cultura organizativa consolidada, funciones latentes tan importantes o más que las manifiestas y una prevención generalizada hacia los experimentos. Esto le ha permitido resistir, hasta el momento, el tsunami digital que ya casi se ha llevado por delante a la publicidad y las relaciones con el cliente, a la prensa escrita y otros medios informativos o a la política tradicional.Existe, por un lado, la conciencia generalizada de que todo va a cambiar, pero también, por otro, una resistencia generalizada a hacerlo si no es con poco riesgo y esfuerzo. Las páginas que siguen analizan la posición de la institución, sus agentes y su público ante el nuevo entorno digital. Quizá no esté de más aclarar que no son un estudio sobre el equipamiento de los centros, ni sobre los efectos de la informatización y la digitalización en el rendimiento académico, ni sobre experiencias innovadoras en los centros. Son, simplemente, un intento de comprender algo de la complejidad de la lenta transición en que nos encontramos.  
El libro se divide en dos partes. La primera, escrita por Mariano Fernández Enguita, está dedicada al proceso general de cambio del tradicional entorno del libro de texto al nuevo entorno digital, con especial atención a problemas como el dsalto generacional, los riesgos antiigualitarios, la difusión de la innovación y las estrategias de los actores colectivos. La segunda, escrita por Susana Vázquez Cupeiro, se concentra en las percepciones y los discursos del profesorado ante esos procesos de cambio. Aun siendo dos textos independientes, son el resultado de un trabajo común basado en fuentes compartidas, desde la revisión bibliográfica, estadística y documental hasta la encuesta y los grupos focales y entrevistas individuales.
Categorías: General

La larga y compleja marcha DEL BIC AL BIT: El acceso a los recursos digitales en la educación

Cuaderno de campo - 21 Febrero, 2017 - 12:14
 

El índice de mi (nuestro) próximo libro, con Susana Vázquez Cupeiro, que publicarán Fundación Telefónica/Ariel y estará en la calle en noviembreLa larga y compleja marchadel clip al clicEl acceso a los recursos digitales en la educación

0 INTRODUCCIÓN            PRIMERA PARTEEL DIFÍCIL TRÁNSITO ENTRE DOS ÉPOCASPOR MARIANO FERNÁNDEZ ENGUITA
1 UN NUEVO ENTORNO, NO UNA CAJA DE HERRAMIENTAS       2 NI ALUMNOS NATIVOS, NI PROFESORES INMIGRANTES          3 LA BRECHA PRIMARIA, EN EL ACCESO, SE CIERRA          4 LA BRECHA SECUNDARIA, EN EL USO, PERSISTE 5 LA BRECHA TERCIARIA, ESCUELA-ENTORNO, SE AHONDA         6 Y EL FORMADOR QUE FORME AL FORMADOR... 7 RUMBO O DERIVA ENTRE UN MAR DE RECURSOS        8 SIN PROYECTO NO PUEDE HABER TRAYECTO9 LOS ACTORES SECUNDARIOS SE POSICIONAN
SEGUNDA PARTEVISIONES DESDE LA PROFESIÓNPOR SUSANA VÁZQUEZ CUPEIRO
10 LOS DIVERSOS DISCURSOS DE LOS DOCENTES11 LA VISIÓN PREVENTIVA DOMINANTE12 ENTRANDO POR LA PUERTA PEQUEÑA
REFERENCIAS
ANEXOS
ANEXO 1: FRECUENCIASANEXO 2: CUESTIONARIOANEXO 3: FICHA TÉCNICA Y PONDERACIÓNANEXO 4: GRUPOS DE DISCUSIÓNANEXO 5: ENTREVISTAS

Categorías: General

Recommended Reading: WCET Survey Report and Tony Bates Commentary

e-Literate - 21 Febrero, 2017 - 03:17

By Phil HillMore Posts (461)

WCET released its survey results on the price and costs of online education last week, focusing on US higher education, and it has caused quite a stir due to the headline, first-look analysis. As Inside Higher Ed described in the article “Online Education Costs More, Not Less”:

The myth that online education courses cost less to produce and therefore save students money on tuition doesn’t hold up to scrutiny, a survey of distance education providers found.

While there is value in countering a myth held by many state legislators and policy makers that online education is a surefire way to save money – and the report does shoot down this myth – it is unfortunate that most of the public discussion is based on the oversimplified summary described above and and entirely-justified pushback that online education does not have to cost more.

The report itself tackles the difficult subject of price (what a student pays) and costs (what it takes to produce) of online vs. face-to-face education with much more nuance and information that gets lost in the conversation. In particular, the “demographics” section is laudable as one of the best description of survey respondents and how this response compares to national averages. And there is text noting discrepancies and limitations to the survey results. 

For price, the report notes that three out of four institutions charge students the same tuition for online courses and enrollment, but when you add in course fees, more than half of institutions end up with student paying more for online. For costs, the report deconstructed an online course “into twenty-one components in four categories (preparing, teaching, assessing students, and supporting faculty and students)”. For these components, the overwhelming conclusion of respondents was that online costs the same or more than face-to-face.

I had planned to do my own analysis of this report, including the areas that are leading to such strong discussion in media (see the comments to IHE article), social media (see this Google+ thread) and private WCET discussion threads. But Tony Bates beat me to it, and his post “What counts when you cost online learning?” should be required reading to help understand the survey. Most of my commentary could be titled “What Tony Said”.

Much of the media coverage has focused on the finding that respondents to the survey on which this report is based were by and large of the opinion that distance education costs more than classroom teaching. But you need to read the report more carefully to understand why respondents responded in this way. It all comes down to how you cost distance education or online learning. In particular, you need to understand the context of the report.

After a valuable summary of the report, Tony gets into his commentary.

Unfortunately, though, for methodological reasons, I fear the report has confused rather than clarified the discussion about costs and price. In particular, by focusing on components that are specific to distance education, such as faculty support, the use of technologies, and the cost of state authorization of DE, the report has clearly given the impression that most educators believe that distance education is more expensive. It can be, but it doesn’t have to be.

It is unfortunate that the report has given this impression because you cannot just look at the costs of specific components of distance education without looking also at specific components of face-to-face teaching that are not represented in the costs of distance education, in particular the very substantial ‘sunk’ costs of buildings, parking, etc. There are better ways of measuring the costs of distance education and online programs – see Chapter 7 in Bates and Sangra (2011).

I would add to this analysis two additional sources of confusion:

  • The report conflates online courses and online programs, at one time describing the intent to obtain “information about the real experiences and expenditures of distance education programs and students” while most detailed analysis were at the course level. But ad hoc online courses occurring within a traditional face-to-face program have different economics than fully-online programs where students do not come to campus. And it is at the program level where online education – when accompanied by changes in business model or assumptions – has the greatest potential to reduce overall costs.
  • The report sets up a monolithic online vs. a monolithic face-to-face model, but this ignores the differences between hybrid courses (that often have the same usage of technology and professional development services and reduce usage of physical facilities) and  traditional face-to-face courses. WCET is not the source of this problem, but the question asked reinforces this online vs. face-to-face viewpoint that can be misleading.

Controversies aside, I recommend reading the actual WCET report, with all of its nuance and description and limitations, as well as Tony Bates’ summary post.

The post Recommended Reading: WCET Survey Report and Tony Bates Commentary appeared first on e-Literate.

Source: Getty Images Top Hat Raises $22.5 Million to Go After Pearson, McGraw-Hill

OLDaily - 20 Febrero, 2017 - 20:17


Gerrit De Vynck, Bloomberg, Feb 20, 2017

Bloomberg offers coverage to this Canadian  company that has set up an  online bookstore for textbooks. Many of the offerings come from OpenStax (Rice University's former Connexions service) and are offered for free while the rest appear to be authored using TopHat's own authoring tool ad sell for various prices. Presumably the company has something else going for it, or they're just a really swell bunch of guys, to account for $40 million in venture capital funding. Top Hat CEO Mike Silagadze "started by selling software tools to professors that help them engage their students, such as smartphone apps that let them tell lecturers if they understand new concepts in real-time."

[Link] [Comment]
Categorías: General

Trust Score (Beta) for Ethereum

OLDaily - 20 Febrero, 2017 - 20:17


Nantium OÜ, Decentralize Today, Feb 20, 2017

I agree with  Nantium OÜ that "decentralization will lead to a more fair society where monopolies lose their stranglehold over some of our key economic sectors (and possibly even government sectors)." I'm less convinced that trust is a key part of this, but I'm willing to listen. In any case, what OÜ has done is to create a (beta) trust mechanism for Ethereum. Basically, it uses the same mechanism for trust as it does for payment: "you can file a complaint through an Ethereum contract that will ultimately penalize the other party’ s score." This mechanism has already been suggested for credentials, such as academic achievement or badges. I'm more inclined to think that trust (and achievement) will be derived by AIs mining publicly accessible data. But we'll see.

[Link] [Comment]
Categorías: General

Global Sentiment in L&D

OLDaily - 20 Febrero, 2017 - 20:17


Donald Taylor, Feb 20, 2017

Donald Taylor has released the results of his 'global sentiments' survey of around 800 people in learning and development from around the world. The main result is that personalization is the top trend, collaboration is dipping, microlearning is becoming more important, and alignment with business (including showing value) is becoming a core concern. I found it odd that all the charts were (to me) backwards, running chronologically right-to-left instead of left-to-right.

[Link] [Comment]
Categorías: General

What counts when you cost online learning?

Tony Bates - 20 Febrero, 2017 - 15:07

Poulin, R. and Strauss, T. (2017) Distance Education Price and Cost Report Boulder CO: WCET

This highly controversial report has generated considerable discussion in WCET’s own Forum, and has received a good deal of media coverage. When you read the report you will see why.

Much of the media coverage has focused on the finding that respondents to the survey on which this report is based were by and large of the opinion that distance education costs more than classroom teaching. But you need to read the report more carefully to understand why respondents responded in this way. It all comes down to how you cost distance education or online learning. In particular, you need to understand the context of the report. 

As always, you should read the report itself, not my summary, especially if you disagree with what’s in my summary.

The context

The context for this report is very political and very American (by which I mean USAnian, i.e. applying specifically to the USA). The report is more about price – what institutions charge students – than it is about cost.

The cost of tuition (the fees students or their parents pay to the institution) continues to increase in the USA way beyond the rate of inflation, and many institutions not only charge the same tuition rates for online or distance education courses, but also add additional fees. In other words, many American institutions increase the price for an online or distance course compared to its face-to-face equivalent.

However, the political perception, especially in state legislatures, is that distance education is cheaper than on-campus teaching, so some states (e.g. Wisconsin and Florida) have introduced legislation or initiatives to reduce the price of online learning courses below that of face-to-face programs.

As the authors note:

Historically, distance education’s mission has been to overcome the barriers of place or time. The mission was not to control costs. In fact, to reach some locations is costly. Distance education should not be held accountable to a mission it was never given.

distance education professionals are caught in a higher education economics ethos that shuns open examination of price and cost…and are expected to answer to a “controlling cost” mission that was not given them in the first place.

It is within this context that WCET decided to do the study in order to challenge some of the assumptions about the price and cost of distance education.

Methodology

As always, you need to know the methodology in order to interpret the results. The report indeed is very transparent about its methodology, which is not tucked away in an appendix or not discussed at all (which seems to be a practice that is increasing in many so-called ‘studies’ these days), but is front and centre in the report.

Definitions

The authors provide the following definition:

  • Price – This is the amount of money that is charged to a student for instruction. The components are tuition and fees. In the questions, we will be clear as to which “price” component (tuition, fees, or total price) is being queried. 
  • Cost – This is the amount of money that is spent by the institution to create, offer, and support instruction. 
  • Distance Education – When thinking of “distance education,” we favor the Babson Survey Research Group definition of 80% or more of the course being taught at a distance.
Sample

WCET surveyed mainly its own members and members of other distance education consortia. Overall, 197 responded.

We had hoped for more participation in the survey. It is important to note that the responses provided represent only the institutional representatives who answered the survey questions. Even though we provide comparisons between the responding population and the overall higher education population, we do not assert that the results may be generalized to the universe of all institutions of higher education in the U.S. and Canada that offer distance education courses.

What can be said is that the response came mainly from distance education and educational technology professionals, rather than faculty or senior administrators, mainly in public HE institutions.

Main results

I will deal with these very briefly, although the detailed findings are more nuanced.

  1. The price of DE is generally higher than for face-to-face teaching. More than half (54%) of the respondents reported that their institution charged more for distance education courses than for on-campus courses.
  2. A majority of respondents believed that the cost of DE was higher than for face-to-face teaching on certain defined components (e.g. faculty development, technologies, instructional design, assessments, state authorization – a long and complex process of ‘accrediting’ DE courses unique to the USA).
  3. ‘Experts’ in the costs of DE tended to disagree that costs of DE are necessarily higher
  4. The experts also noted that cost discussions are often avoided by higher education leadership and that more could be done to control costs, not just in distance education.
The reports main conclusions

The conclusions were split into recommendations for legislators and institutions:

For legislators
  • focus questions on future costs and in particular the likely impact of investing in buildings vs distance education in terms of the impact of the cost to students
  • provide more incentives for institutions to reduce the price to students
  • don’t be prescriptive but help institutions develop a vision for state higher education that is realistic and shared
For institutions
  • pay as much attention to the cost to students as to the cost to the institution of various delivery methods
  • be more open about costs and track them for all modes of delivery
  • changing the cost structure requires structural changes in how we design and deliver programs; this requires leadership from the senior administration.
My comments on the report

The report is right to draw attention to the creeping costs to students (e.g. price) resulting from institutional policies in the USA. What is also apparent is that there is a large disconnect between institutions and government about the cost of distance education. Many educators believe that DE is more expensive; government thinks it should be cheaper. Somewhere in the middle is a discussion about quality: does cheaper mean worse?

Cherry-picking costs

Unfortunately, though, for methodological reasons, I fear the report has confused rather than clarified the discussion about costs and price. In particular, by focusing on components that are specific to distance education, such as faculty support, the use of technologies, and the cost of state authorization of DE, the report has clearly given the impression that most educators believe that distance education is more expensive. It can be, but it doesn’t have to be.

It is unfortunate that the report has given this impression because you cannot just look at the costs of specific components of distance education without looking also at specific components of face-to-face teaching that are not represented in the costs of distance education, in particular the very substantial ‘sunk’ costs of buildings, parking, etc. There are better ways of measuring the costs of distance education and online programs – see Chapter 7 in Bates and Sangra (2011).

Making DE cost-effective

While we can develop cost-effective fully online programs, this normally depends on generating new revenues from new students. Offering online courses as an alternative to already existing students on campus, while increasing access and student flexibility, is much more financially risky.

Again, this can be managed cost-effectively, but it depends on having enough students taking both on-campus and online versions of the course, and the use of additional adjunct professors for online courses with more than 30 students. Bringing in new students who you wouldn’t get without the courses being online is the best bet to ensure economic viability. ‘Diluting’ your on-campus students by offering the same course online will add costs unless the numbers can justify it.

What about the costs of blended learning?

One last point. I think we are going to have a period of considerable cost turmoil as we move to blended learning, because this really does add costs unless there are dramatic redesigns, especially of the large first and second year classes. Carol Twigg of the National Centre for Academic Transformation for many years has been able to bring down costs – or more often increase effectiveness for the same cost – for these large lecture classes by using blended learning designs (although there are some criticisms of her costing methodology).

By and large though, while fully online courses can maybe increase enrolments by 10-15% and therefore help pay their way, we will have major cost or academic time problems if we move to nearly all courses being blended, without increased training for faculty, so they can manage without the same level of support provided by instructional designers, etc. that are normally provided for fully online courses (see ‘Are we ready for blended learning?‘).

Moving forward 

I’m glad then that WCET has produced a report that focuses not only on the costs of distance education to institution but also on pricing policies. There is in my view no economic justification for charging more for an online course than a face-to-face course as a matter of principle. You need to do the sums and institutions are very bad at doing this in a way that tracks the cost of activities rather than throwing everything into one bucket then leaking it out at historical rates to different departments.

Institutions need to develop more rigorous methods for tracking the costs of different modes of delivery while also building in a measure of the benefits as well. If the report at least moves institutions towards this, it will have been well worth it.

Desafio 2.0: Un programa TIC y por desafíos para alumnos de altas capacidades

Desafío 2.0 es un programa de atención a la diversidad del IESO "Sierra la Mesta" que desde el curso 2013-2014 persigue la motivación y el enriquecimiento curricular para alumnos con alta capacidad o alto rendimiento e interés.

Durante el curso escolar, los chicos y chicas participantes se enfrentan a retos o desafíos que culminan en una o varias tareas finales. La experiencia se desarrolla en horario extraescolar y vía online, con algunas sesiones presenciales iniciales.

Nuestro proyecto, desarrollado por profesores voluntarios, es adaptable a todos los centros, adaptando los desafíos al contexto y características de los alumnos, así como a la experiencia y formación de los docentes.

Calling Education to A Count

Hack Education - 20 Febrero, 2017 - 13:01

This article first appeared in the Data & Society publication Points in September 2016. It’s a response, in part, to the organization’s primer on accountability in education: “The Myth of Accountability: How Data (Mis)Use is Reinforcing the Problems of Public Education.”

To be accountable is to be answerable; to be required to justify one’s actions; to be called to account. That reckoning could take the form of an explanation; in an obsolete usage of the word –obsolete according to the Oxford English Dictionary at least – accountability explicitly involves calculation. But this particular meaning isn’t completely lost to us; in its contemporary usage in education policy, “accountability” certainly demands a calculation as well, one derived primarily from standardized test scores.

A Brief History of Accountability

“Accountability” in public education has a long history, but today it's most commonly associated with one of the key pieces of legislation passed under George W. Bush’s presidency: No Child Left Behind, the 2001 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. No Child Left Behind is credited with ushering in, at a national level, an education reform movement focused on measuring students' performance on reading and math assessments.

Of course, standardized testing pre-dates the NCLB legislation – by over a thousand years if you trace the history of testing back through the examinations used in Imperial China to select candidates for civil service. But No Child Left Behind has always been positioned as a new and necessary intervention, one aimed at the improvement of K–12 schools and one coinciding with long-standing narratives about American educational excellence (and the lack thereof). As such, NCLB and its notion of accountability has shaped the public discourse about how we know – or think we know – whether schools are good or bad; and the law has, until its recent re-write as the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, dictated what is supposed to happen when schools are categorized as the latter: these schools will be held accountable.

Carrots, Sticks, and the Bully Pulpit

“Accountability” now provides the framework for how we measure school success. And to be clear, this is a measurement. But only certain things “count” for this accounting.

As the pro-business American Enterprise Institute (AEI) has described these sorts of policies, accountability in US public education in the last few decades has taken the shape of “carrots, sticks, and the bully pulpit.” This includes policies that demand a school’s performance be evaluated annually based on its students’ performance on standardized tests. Depending on how well or how poorly a school performs, it might be rewarded or punished, carrots or sticks – by being allocated more or less funding, for example, or by being prompted to hire or fire certain staff members, or in the most extreme cases, by being shut down altogether. But as the AEI’s phrase suggests, a key part of accountability has become “the bully pulpit” and involves a number of powerful narratives about failing schools, incompetent teachers, underperforming students, and as such, the need for more oversight into how tax dollars are being spent.

There are other shapes that accountability efforts might take (and do take and have taken), no doubt: “Accountability” could refer to the democratic process; that is, elections for local school boards and other education-related offices such as Superintendent of Public Instruction. Accountability could be encouraged through more information transparency, publishing publicly more school data (and not just test scores). Accountability could also be pushed via “markets”; that is offering “choice” or even vouchers to parents so they can opt where they send their children to school beyond simply their neighborhood school. Accountability could focus on mechanisms that reward and punish individual teachers or students (as opposed to entire schools or districts). While that could conceivably involve teachers or students defining their own teaching and learning goals and responsibilities, accountability is often a framework imposed by administrative forces with a narrow set of what educational data and what educational outcomes “count.”

What Accountability Practices are Missing

Accountability tends to focus on the outputs of the school system – by measuring different levels of “student achievement” via standardized testing. As such, it is less apt to examine the inputs – at inequalities of funding, at differences in staffing, and so on. It presumes that students’ success or failure is the responsibility of the school, ignoring or at least minimizing the role of poverty or structural racism. Its calculations posit a highly instrumental view of student achievement, not to mention student learning. To be held accountable, it must be quantifiable.

This instrumentality dovetails quite handily with the increasing use of technologies in the classroom – technologies that collect more and more data on students' various activities. This data collection goes far beyond standardized test scores, making assessment an ongoing and incessant practice. But it’s a practice that, in part because of the very demands of today’s accountability framework, remains focused on surveillance and punishment.

The word “accountability” is related to the word “responsibility.” As public institutions, there is an expectation that schools spend taxpayer money responsibly. Schools are responsible for teaching students; they are responsible for students’ safety and well-being during the school day and, according to our popular narratives surrounding the effects of education, responsible for their success far beyond school. New digital data collection and analytics promise to improve the responsiveness of teachers and schools to students’ individual needs. But it’s a promise largely unfulfilled. So when we think about “what counts” and who’s held to account under public education’s accountability regime, it’s still worth asking if accountability can co-exist with “response-ability” – accountable to whom, how and to what ends; responsible to whom, how, and to what ends.

El nuevo exelearning 2.1.1 ya está aquí

Ya contamos con un nuevo desarrollo de exe: exelearning 2.1.1, disponible ya, para todos los sistemas opersativos en la sección de descargas de exelearning.net. El manual de la nueva versión puede guiarnos y ayudarnos a aprovechar toda la potencialidad del nuevo exe.

La versión 2.1.1 de exe nos ofrece, entre otras novedades, un nuevo editor de texto que nos permite insertar vídeos y audios de manera muy simple así como un nuevo plugin para códigos matemáticos.

exelearning 2.1.1. nos permite además personalizar los idevices que usemos en nuestro proyecto así como editar y modificar algunos de los estilos. exelearning 2.1.1. Un paso más, un nuevo desarrollo para crear una herramienta más abierta y flexible. ¿Te apuntas al nuevo exe?

Geek Career Paths

OLDaily - 19 Febrero, 2017 - 20:10


Tim Bray, Ongoing, Feb 19, 2017

The is a cogent and clear article (laced with some off-colour language because it's tech) on what tech people (programmers, developers, designers) should think about doing later in their careers. The advice was accurate so far as my own experience can attest. Keeping up to date in tech is hard work, because it's constantly changing. The biggest jump for most tech people, I think, is the jump into people-oriented positions, like management or sales. The biggest risk for tech people is exposure to toxic environments, like the world of venture capitalism. And government isn't as bad as people say. Image: Mcleans.

[Link] [Comment]
Categorías: General

Páginas