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Hack Education Weekly News: Heartbleed, Data Insecurity, But Hey Lots of Money for Ed-Tech Startups Nonetheless

Hack Education - 12 Abril, 2014 - 04:06
Oh hey! The Internet is broken! Or at least, the security of sites using OpenSSL has been broken -- for several in fact. The bug, which the NSA has (shocker!) purportedly exploited, means that encrypted transmissions -- the ones you thought were encrypted? -- are vulnerable. While the common advice is OMG CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS, it's best to wait to make sure the sites have actually fixed their own vulnerabilities before doing so. And let's ask some hard questions dammit about why very few ed-tech vendors have issued any information about this to their users. Way to prove the point that ed-tech doesn't give a shit about security, guys.

A new MOOC on how to do blended learning

Tony Bates - 11 Abril, 2014 - 23:38

Kelly, R. (2014) EDUCAUSE and UCF launching blended learning MOOC Campus Technology, 3 April

EDUCAUSE and the University of Central Florida are offering a free MOOC called ‘BlendKit2014 – Becoming a Blended Learning Designer‘, which will run initially from April 21 to May 27.

It is aimed primarily at faculty and instructional designers, will come away with best practices for developing design documents, content pages and peer review feedback tools. In particular it will offer:

  1.  a consideration of key issues related to blended learning and
  2. practical step-by-step guidance in producing materials for a blended course (e.g., developing design documents, creating content pages, and receiving peer review feedback at one’s own institution).

The course was developed and will be taught by two staff members from the UCF Center for Distributed Learning: associate director Kelvin Thompson and department head Linda Futch.

Participants may also choose to pursue an official “UCF/EDUCAUSE Certified Blended Learning Designer” credential. Those who choose this more rigorous option will submit the materials they develop as part of the free MOOC for a portfolio review. This portfolio review is available for a  US$89 fee.

Registration for BlendKit 2014 is open on Canvas Network for the class that begins April 21. Details can be found at and on Twitter at #BlendKit2014.

It should be noted that UCF has a great deal of experience in this field, having offered blended and fully online courses for many years.



Rebuilding a Reader

OLDaily - 11 Abril, 2014 - 22:19

Clarence Fisher, Remote Access, April 11, 2014

I complained at length to a Google representative today about this, so Clarence Fisher's comment is timely: "When Google declared war on RSS and the open web by killing off their reader it was a heavy blow for deep thinking and for blogging. At first, I didn’ t miss it. I still had twitter after all. But over time, I began to realize that relying on twitter only for what I was going to read and learn was like relying on the remote control of my TV. It put me too much at the whim of other people and things I just happened to see."

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Categorías: General

Open Learning Analytics

elearnspace - 11 Abril, 2014 - 22:15

The future of systems such as business, government, and education will be data centric. Historically, humanity has made sense of the world through discourse, dialogue, artifacts, myth, story, and metaphor. While those sensemaking approaches won’t disappear, they will be augmented by data and analytics.

Educators often find analytics frustrating. After all, how can you analyze the softer aspects of learning? Or can analytics actually measure what matters instead of what is readily accessible in terms of data? These are obviously important questions. Regardless of how they are answered, however, ours is a data-rich world and will only continue to become more so. All educators need to be familiar with data and analytics approaches, including machine and deep learning models. Why does it matter? Well, to use a Ted Nelson quote that Jim Groom used during his excellent talk at Sloan-C this week, it matters “because we live in media as fish live in water”. Power and control decisions are being made at the data and analytics level of educational institutions. If academics, designers, and teachers are not able to participate in those conversations, they essentially abdicate their voice.

About five years ago, a few colleagues (Shane Dawson, Simon Buckingham Shum, Caroline Haythornthwaite, and Dragan Gasevic) and I got together with a great group of folks and organized the 1st International Conference in Learning Analytics and Knowledge (complete with a logo that any web users of the 1990s would love). Our interest primarily focused on the growing influence of data around educational decisions and that an empirical research community did not exist to respond to bold proclamations being made by vendors about learning analytics. Since then, a community of researchers and practitioners has developed. The Society for Learning Analytics Research was formed, hosting summer institutes, our annual conference, journal, and a distributed doctoral research lab.

Today we are pleased to announce two new initiatives that we feel will raise the quality of learning analytics, increase transparency around data and algorithms, and create an ecosystem where results can be shared, tested, and validated:

1. Open Learning Analytics. This initiative is based on a paper that we published (.pdf) several years ago. After significant behind-the-scenes work, we are now ready to announce the next steps of the project formally. See here for press release and project scope.

2. Learning Analytics Masters Program (LAMP). The number of masters programs that are offering learning analytics courses, streams or certificates is increasing. Several institutions are in the process of developing a masters in learning analytics. To help provided quality curriculum and learning resources, we have launched LAMP: an open access, openly licensed learning analytics masters program. Institutions will be able to use/remix/do whatever with the content in developing their masters programs. Our inaugural meeting is being held at Carnegie Mellon University in a few weeks to kick off this project and start developing the course content.

If data is the future of education and educational decision making, and in many ways it is, I believe openness is the best premise on which to advance. The projects presented here are our contribution in making that happen.

MOOCs for Development - Day 1

OLDaily - 11 Abril, 2014 - 22:12

Stephen Downes, Half an Hour, April 11, 2014

Notes from the MOOCs for Development Conference April 10-11 at UPenn's International House in Philadelphia.

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Categorías: General

MOOCs for Development - Day 2

OLDaily - 11 Abril, 2014 - 22:10

Stephen Downes, Half an Hour, April 11, 2014

My notes from Day 2 of the MOOCs4D conference.

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Categorías: General

Contact North on Online Learning, Innovation, Flexibility and Open Educational Resources

Tony Bates - 11 Abril, 2014 - 18:51

Contact North’s humble office in Sudbury, Ontario

Contact North continues to produce a range of interesting short pieces on different aspects of online learning. (Disclaimer: I am a Contact North research associate, and have contributed a few times.)

The April 9 edition of Contact North’s Online Learning News contains three such contributions (all these pieces are generally anonymously written):

The What, Why, Where, and How of Open Educational Resources (OER)

Dr. Rory McGreal, Contact North | Contact Nord Research Associate and the UNESCO/Commonwealth of Learning Chair in Open Educational Resources answers these fundamental questions in a series of 10 short, informative videos, Open Educational Resources (OER) – A Video Primer.

There are two available at the moment, with others coming:

  1. What are open educational resources?
  2. Comparing commercial and open educational resources.

How to Design an Innovative Course

This piece suggests some steps that can help faculty and instructors approach the issue of innovative teaching in a systematic way, including

  • being clear on the problem you are trying to solve
  • working in a team
  • applying technology appropriately to address the problem to be solved
  • evaluating and disseminating your innovation

Greater Flexibility as the New Mantra

I have recently visited a Canadian university developing a major strategy around flexible learning, and this short piece (by someone else) suggests a wide range of ways in which institutions can increase their flexibility, including:

  • course design and delivery options
  • learning recognition and credit granting
  • program completion
  • assessment
  • transition from apprenticeship through diploma to degrees to graduate work .

These and many more items can be found on Contact North’s ‘Ontario Online Learning Portal for Faculty and Instructors’, available both in English and French.

Click here if you wish to subscribe to Contact North’s newsletter.

Blackboard Joins Internet2

Campus Technology - 11 Abril, 2014 - 18:46
Blackboard is joining nonprofit education technology consortium Internet2.

PlattForm Introduces Two Enrollment and Program Management Services

Campus Technology - 11 Abril, 2014 - 18:13
PlattForm, a provider of marketing services and enrollment solutions for colleges and universities, is launching two new enrollment and program management offerings: Attribrand and Academic Program Management (APM). 

The MOOCs Challenge

OLDaily - 11 Abril, 2014 - 16:39

In my presentation I outline the (real) history of MOOCs, outline design parameters, and sketch future technologies. This is presented in the context of the 'democratization' of knowledge and learning to support international development and educuation.

Education for Development, Philadelphia, PA (Panel) April 11, 2014 [Comment]
Categorías: General

Heartbleed Vulnerability and Moodle, change your password at

Moodle News - 11 Abril, 2014 - 14:44
If you’re running Moodle over HTTPS with an SSL certificate you may need to patch your Moodle server to remove the vulnerability known as Heartbleed. As stated by Matthew Spurrier, Moodle HQ...

#HangoutON: Uso de Redes Sociales y TIC en Educación

e-aprendizaje - 11 Abril, 2014 - 13:49

Ayer jueves los amigos de HangoutON organizaron un debate a través de Google Hangout junto a Linda Castañeda, Belén Rojas, Esteban Romero y Jordi Adell, sobre el uso de las Redes Sociales y las TIC en educación. Este es el vídeo del debate.

Higher education Online: MOOCs the European way

Open Education Europa RSS - 11 Abril, 2014 - 10:09
Interest Area:  Learning & Society Summary: 

The HOME (Higher education Online: MOOCs the European way) project is aimed at building a sustainable partnership with a view to exchange ideas and experiences related to European MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). This project is focused on dissemination and on developing a sound strategy for sustaining the open network of European MOOCs

Edutec-e. 47 Marin, Lizana y Salinas: Cultivando el PLE: Una estrategia para la integración de aprendizajes en la universidad.

Educación flexible y abierta - 11 Abril, 2014 - 08:43

Jesús Salinas's insight:
En este trabajo se presentan los resultados finales de un estudio que tiene por objetivo el desarrollo del entorno personal de aprendizaje (PLE) de los alumnos, al mismo tiempo que se mejora el aprendizaje de estos. Para ello, se incorpora una estrategia metodológica de integración de entornos de aprendizaje formales e informales. Los participantes de este estudio son alumnos del Grado en Pedagogía de la Universidad de las Islas Baleares (España). Se han valorado los resultados a través de un cuestionario final y entrevistas al alumnado, así como a través del análisis de los mapas del PLE elaborados por ellos. Los resultados se orientan hacia una valoración positiva de la estrategia y al crecimiento incipiente del PLE.

See it on, via Educación flexible y abierta

How to Decide Which Content to Sell and What to Give Away for Free | Copyblogger

Educación flexible y abierta - 11 Abril, 2014 - 08:31

Excerpt from the great article by Chris Garrett and published on Copyblogger:
"How do you decide which content should be freely available and which content you ought to charge for?
Of course the answers will differ between different industries, topics, businesses, and writers.
First, we need to decide what your free content should do for you.

What can you achieve with free content?
The reason you are putting together all these free articles, podcasts, videos, and presentations, is that you want to get attention that grows your business.
With that in mind, here are some benefits that free content can provide for you, and the kinds of content that you should share:

- Free content can attract your specific target audience;
- Free content can encourage sharing your ideas;
- Free content can connect you with peers;
- Free content can inform the audience of your value;
- Free content can position you against competitors;
- Free content can answer objections;
- Free content can show proof and results;
- Free content can provide more reasons “why”;
- Free content can give a “free taste” that builds desire for the full meal;
- Free content can tell your story to show people who you are as a person;
- Free content can reward prospects for their attention;

Here’s when you should hoard information
There is a circumstance where your information is worth holding back and providing only to paying customers.
That is when:

1. People really want the information because it has significant value
If the information could...
- Provide a massive transformation in their life or business;
- Make them a great deal of money;
- Save them lots of time;
- Make them more popular;

...then they will be much more willing to invest in your solution.

2. The information is difficult to acquire
Yes, Google has exposed many things for free that had previously been knowledge reserved for the elite few.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that your prospect can find it, or that the information is even out there and indexed.
Many of the thought leaders and gurus we know are in their positions because they hopped on a shiny new platform or tool and mastered it before anyone else.

Why people buy content
Part of the reason people will pay is because of trust.
It’s a weird psychological factor that people will trust education that they paid for more than something you gave away. The reason is because it has a higher perceived value, and also there is an implied “warranty.”

In addition...
- People will pay for in-depth, step-by-step guidance;
- People will pay for access and tailored advice;
- People will pay for exclusivity;
- People will pay for higher quality and better technology;
- People will pay for experiences;

What you should never give away
It’s difficult to give hard and fast rules, because for each of these ideas someone out there will be the exception.
But in general here is what your free content should not be:
- Free content shouldn’t be too complete;
- Free content shouldn’t give too much of the “how”;
- Free content shouldn’t provide free access;
- Free content shouldn’t involve a high barrier to entry;
- Free content shouldn’t cover advanced topics with many prerequisites;
- Free content shouldn’t require hard work by the reader;

Bottom Line
I don’t believe it is possible to be too helpful or too generous … provided you manage your time and energy, and that people know you are in business.
As mentioned earlier, you can give away everything you know and still there will be people who want to hear it from you, and who will pay you to help them implement it.
So share your best ideas, build your Minimum Viable Audience, and then make offers at the appropriate time.
It works..."

Each point is analyzed with detailed information and external links.

Read full, original and interesting article:

See it on, via Educación flexible y abierta

Powerful Learning Practice | Keeping the Curriculum Context in Connected Classrooms

Educación flexible y abierta - 11 Abril, 2014 - 08:30

Primary teacher Kathy Cassidy shares a year's worth of ideas about how to keep global learning activities in sync with curriculum goals and objectives.

See it on, via Educación flexible y abierta

Tripwire Donates Cybersecurity Analytics Cloud Service to Penn State

Campus Technology - 10 Abril, 2014 - 22:14
Penn State's College of Information Sciences and Technology has received a multi-million dollar donation of software for use in the school's Center for Cyber Security, Information Privacy and Trust.

Ivy Tech Community College Managing IT Services With Eclipse PPM

Campus Technology - 10 Abril, 2014 - 18:12
Ivy Tech Community College, Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution serving nearly 200,000 students annually, is deploying Eclipse PPM project portfolio management software from Solution Q.

U Florida To Build Teacher Network To Support Middle School Math

Campus Technology - 10 Abril, 2014 - 17:30
A "design and build" shop for education at the University of Florida just received a $250,000 grant to build a teacher network to go along with a new tool introduced in 2013 to help students with algebra.