agregador de noticias

Students, Faculty Have Contrasting Views of Classroom Technology, ECAR Surveys Find

Campus Technology - 6 Noviembre, 2017 - 18:03
Faculty and students vary widely in their impressions of technology's impact on campus, and their expectations are evolving rapidly, according to research presented last week at the 2017 Educause Annual Conference in Philadelphia.

Compartir és construir

Educació Demà - 6 Noviembre, 2017 - 17:21

L'equip del Zer Alt Lluçanès ens fa arribar un article molt interessant sobre la seva experiència durant la reunió de famílies. Aquest és el primer de molts articles que trobareu publicats ens el marc de la Crida: Redissenyem les reunions de famílies. Esperem que gaudiu de la lectura i que l'ompliu de comentaris!

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Los 4 ‘Bugs’ Que Más Incomodan A Los Usuarios de Moodle

Moodle News - 6 Noviembre, 2017 - 17:00
This story in English. Esta lista incluye los problemas con el mayor número de “vigilantes” en la plataforma de errores y sugerencias de Moodle, el Moodle Tracker, que aún están...

Pay MUA A Visit At MoodleMoot US 2017-Miami This Monday. More Moodle Users Association News

Moodle News - 6 Noviembre, 2017 - 13:46
Newly appointed President of the Moodle Users Association, Emma Richardson, has followed through on her promise to increase the frequency and quality of communication from the community to the...

LWMN015: The Moodle Education Team, Classroom Anxiety, Quiz Templates | Week of November 6th – 12th, 2017

Moodle News - 6 Noviembre, 2017 - 13:03
Hey there – welcome to the Last Week in MoodleNews, I’m Stephen Ladek from MoodleNews.com. In this episode I’ll be talking about the most important stories from the Moodleverse for the week of...

¡No sin las TI! El reto de alinear las TI a la estrategia institucional de las universidades

Faraón Llorens - 6 Noviembre, 2017 - 09:39
¡No sin las TI! El reto de alinear las TI a la estrategia institucional de las universidades UniverSÍdad (www.universidadsi.es) Faraón Llorens 06/11/2017 En estos tiempos nadie pone en duda que las organizaciones deben abordar su Transformación Digital. Y las universidades saben que la Universidad Digital, en el concepto amplio del término, es un reto ineludible […]

Tercer maratón web #AprendeINTEF en Directo

INTEF - 6 Noviembre, 2017 - 08:27

Si enseñamos a los estudiantes de hoy como enseñábamos ayer, 
les estaremos robando el mañana. 
– John Dewey

Ya está en marcha el tercer maratón web #AprendeINTEF en Directo de y para docentes conectados que lleva por título “Cambios transformadores en centros educativos“. Promovido y organizado por el Área de Formación en Red, Experimentación y Redes Sociales del INTEF, el Tercer Maratón Web #AprendeINTEF de fin de semana se emitirá en directo el sábado 18 y el domingo 19 de noviembre de 11h00 a 14h30 y de 16h30 a 20h00.

Como en ocasiones anteriores, queremos invitaros, mediante una convocatoria abierta y transparente, a hacer vuestro este espacio para dar a conocer los proyectos que hayan generado cambios transformadores en vuestros centros educativos.

¿Qué entendemos por cambios transformadores? En La escuela que queremos. Los objetivos por los que merece la pena luchar, Fullan y Hargreaves nos dicen que “para que un cambio sea efectivo es necesario, por lo menos, que la propuesta educativa sea adecuada para resolver un problema real, que los profesores estén de acuerdo con los cambios propuestos y que existan las condiciones materiales e institucionales para llevarlos a cabo”.

Así pues, nos referimos a cambios físicos y/o estructurales en los centros (aulas, espacios comunes, etc.) que afectan no tanto -o no solo- a la metodología, sino más bien a la mentalidad y planificación del centro y la adaptación de este a las demandas sociales.

Una transformación, resultado del impulso individual y colectivo de los profesionales de la educación y de las escuelas, que actúa sobre la cultura escolar. Un cambio que, sin lugar a dudas, precisa tiempos y espacios para trabajar juntos, así como medios que estimulen y favorezcan la cultura de colaboración que el presente y el futuro nos demandan.

Te animamos a compartir los cambios transformadores de tu centro durante 30 minutos señalando todo lo que se ha llevado a cabo, los pasos que se han seguido, las ventajas e inconvenientes que habéis encontrado, la evaluación que hacéis del mismo, consejos y pautas.

Cómo participar:

Sólo tienes que inscribirte en este maratón en directo en la franja horaria que desees. Las plazas son limitadas. Corre a inscribirte, no pierdas la oportunidad de compartir con el mundo tu buena práctica.

Además, todos aquellos que participen compartiendo su experiencia transformadora en el evento recibirán una insignia digital que reconoce su participación en el evento. Dicha insignia será emitida con posterioridad a la finalización del evento y estará disponible en la mochila de insignias de educalab de cada uno de los participantes: Esta insignia reconoce y acredita cómo la participación en este evento contribuye a alcanzar el nivel C2 de la competencia 5.3 ‘Innovación y uso de la tecnología digital de forma creativa’ del área 5, pues trabaja, entre otros, el siguiente descriptor: «Participo en eventos docentes en línea, cursos, jornadas profesionales donde difundo y formo a otros compañeros docentes en el uso creativo e innovador de la tecnología y los medios digitales educativos.», del Marco Común de Competencia Digital Docente elaborado por el INTEF. De esta forma desde el INTEF se reconoce y se da valor a los docentes que de forma desinteresada comparten y dan a conocer sus buenas prácticas en la comunidad de docentes conectados.

Para que veas en qué consiten te invitamos a ver las ediciones anteriores:

– Primer maratón #AprendeINTEF

– Segundo maratón aprendeINTEF

 

Why Moodle Supporters Should be Concerned

e-Literate - 6 Noviembre, 2017 - 00:47

In Phil’s last post, in which he explained our data gathering methods for our LMS analysis work, he started with a quote from Moodle leader Martin Dougiamas that suggested our numbers were primarily US-based. Because it captured a common misconception about our data (and was based on a fair question), it was a good launching point for the post. But there was more to Martin’s comments on the subject, and we’ve heard various objections from some Moodle advocates about why our numbers are either inaccurate or irrelevant.1

I’d like to review those arguments here. While Moodle is still by far the most widely adopted LMS in higher education globally and is no danger of disappearing any time soon, I believe that our data should give the Moodle community cause for considerable concern about their long-term future and should trigger some soul searching about how the community can ensure it continues to have the development resources necessary to continue to be relevant in the long term.

The Data

Let’s start by reminding ourselves of the data in question. It really boils down to this one chart:

Notice the scope of the chart: It does not include the US and Canada. This is data for Europe, Latin America, and Oceania. So this chart is not biased in any way by US-centric trends.

There are two important caveats here. First, as Phil states in his post, our coverage of these areas of the world are not as complete as they are in the US and Canada, so trends we see in our data for these parts of the world should be considered directional and somewhat provisional rather than pinpoint accurate. That said, we only publish data for regions where we have enough coverage to be confident that our sample is representative. We don’t yet cover China or Africa for this reason. We believe the chart above is directionally correct, but there is a margin of error because we have a sample rather than a close-to-100% complete data set.

The second caveat is that the chart shows new adoptions. When we look at installed base, Moodle still looks formidable:

So the issue we’re talking about is not that Moodle is disappearing but rather that it is losing ground during new adoption cycles.

The three most common arguments we hear from Moodle advocates are the following:

  1. The e-Literate numbers aren’t global or aren’t accurate.
  2. e-Literate is using the wrong adoption measure.
  3. e-Literate’s numbers are irrelevant, because an open source project doesn’t need to worry about growth in the same way that a profit-motivated company does.

Phil’s earlier post addressed the first objection by describing the data we have, how we get it and validate it, and how we try to be transparent about its limitations.

I’d like to address the other two objections in this post.

The Wrong Measure?

We measure higher education institutional adoptions. That means there are Moodle adoptions that we don’t measure or don’t report. We don’t have counts K12 or corporate adoption at all; Moodle has significant uptake in both of these areas. While we have data on secondary higher education adoptions (e.g., adoption by a school of education at a university that uses a different LMS for the rest of the institution), we don’t report these numbers. Nor do we report adoption by individual faculty. All of these are meaningful numbers and we do not dismiss them.

But institutional higher education adoption is a particularly meaningful measure for Moodle’s long-term health. While Moodle is open source, Martin Dougiamas’ company Moodle Pty—more widely known within the Moodle community as Moodle HQ—does most of the development of the core Moodle code and maintains tight control over which code submitted by third parties gets accepted into the code base. This is what is sometimes known as the “benevolent dictator” model of open source, which was popularized by Linus Torvalds, the creator and development leader of the Linux kernel.

Under the current way of doing things, both the direction of Moodle development and velocity at which occurs are largely controlled by Moodle Pty. However much input the company may take from the community, the ultimate decisions and, perhaps more importantly for this post, the work of implementing those decisions, fall under the purview of Moodle Pty, a for-profit company that must generate revenue to pay the employees who actually write that code. Moodle Pty’s revenues mostly come from Moodle Partners, which are companies that are licensed to use the Moodle trademark by Moodle Pty in return for a percentage of their Moodle-related gross revenues.

If Moodle Partners lose paying customers, then Moodle Pty loses revenue. If Moodle Pty loses enough revenue, then at some point it would have to start laying off developers. If Moodle Pty starts laying off developers, then the pace of Moodle development will slow. If the pace of Moodle development slows, then the loss of Moodle-adopting schools may accelerate, creating a vicious cycle.

While we don’t know the percentage of Moodle’s revenues that come from higher education (as opposed to K12 and corporate), we know it’s significant. The anecdotes I have heard from various sources suggest that it may well be the substantial majority of the total financial resources that fund the development of Moodle’s core platform. So, while other kinds of adoption may be great and may bring in new participants in the Moodle community, Moodle advocates should be concerned with higher education institutional adoption if they are concerned with having development resources for the Moodle platform in the long term.

Irrelevant?

Another argument we hear sometimes is that the Moodle community doesn’t need to care about these numbers because, as an open source project, it will fulfill its purpose if meets the needs of its adopters and doesn’t need growth for its own sake the way that a for-profit project does. Martin himself made this argument in the comments referenced above:

Martin ended his comment on this topic by saying what makes our project different is that we are not driven by numbers. We are driven by the needs of our users and that he would be happy if there were only 100 universities using Moodle if we are following that approach.

From an abstract philosophical perspective, this is undeniably true (or was at the time the comment was made, at any rate). An open source project does not need to satisfy investors or meet revenue targets. It just needs to attract enough developer resources to keep the code base viable and up-to-date. But there are a few serious problems with this argument in Moodle’s specific case.

First, Moodle’s growth model was spectacularly successful in its first decade in part because it was a Robin Hood model. In richer countries, adopters could afford to pay hosting or management companies to run their mission-critical instances. A portion of this money would flow back to Moodle Pty and get invested in the salaries of developers who would improve Moodle and continue to release it under an open source license. In poorer countries, they could adopt Moodle without themselves without paying a hosting or support vendor. Moodle has always been unusually easy to install and run on even modest hardware relative to its competition, so poorer schools could still manage to adopt it with the resources that they had. But if Moodle is losing ground in the richer countries (or, more accurately, the countries that can invest and are investing more dollars in educational technology), then it is also losing its development revenue base.

(I would add that the message, “Hey, it’s no big deal to us if we lose some adopters” is not a great one for members of the community who feel like their needs are not being met.)

But the problem is potentially worse for Moodle, because we’re beginning to see a pattern take hold in international markets as they reach a certain level of maturity, and it’s not good a good one for Moodle. In the US and Canada, the big hurdle to LMS migration was the move from self-hosted to cloud. Once institutions became comfortable with cloud hosting, the market changed rapidly, with Canvas in particular taking a strong lead and Moodle (among others) losing ground.

We are seeing early evidence that the same pattern may be beginning to take hold in Europe now. While the data we have are not definitive yet, they are suggestive and are supported by the qualitative research we are doing. And this pattern could easily take hold elsewhere as well. For example, my colleague O’Neal Spicer and I recently had the good fortune to visit Brazil, where Moodle is still very much dominant. But consider this: Seventy-five percent of Brazil’s college students go to for-profit universities, and those businesses are enormous and growing. For example, Kroton, the country’s largest university, has about 2 million students. Given that these organizations are companies with investors and profit motives, there is no particular reason to believe that they are ideologically inclined toward open source. The fact that both Instructure and D2L have offices in São Paolo suggest that they believe they have an opportunity to win over the Brazilian market now that it has gotten big enough to be profitable for them. In other words, Moodle’s Robin Hood model is under threat because whenever a market becomes rich enough to generate significant revenue for Moodle Pty, it also becomes rich enough for universities to consider switching to cloud hosting by one of Moodle’s commercial competitors.

Adding to this pressure is the fact that Moodle Pty just took $6 million in investment money. This is not a grant; it is an investment. However well-aligned and patient those investors may be, they still will eventually need to see a return on their $6 million. When investors do not see the return they expected, they eventually begin to put pressure on the company management to take steps that improve the finances. I don’t know enough about the terms of this particular investment relationship to know what kind of leverage Leclercq has to push for changes in Moodle Pty if they are not happy with its performance, but the fact of the matter is that Moodle Pty now has financial performance targets to meet.

Put all this together, and it strongly suggests that members of the Moodle community should be concerned about the adoption trends we are seeing, for both mission and strategic reasons.

Moodle’s Role

I want to return to the example of Brazil for a moment to show why this matters not just to Moodle advocates but to anyone who cares about education. According to the 2016 Analytic Report of Distance Learning in Brazil published by Brazil’s premiere distance learning association, the Associação Brasileira de Educação a Distãncia (ABED), about three-quarters of a million Brazilians took online or blended courses in 2016. According to our analysis, Moodle has over 80% of Brazil’s higher education institutional LMS market share. It’s entirely possible that we would not have seen that kind of growth in access to education if Moodle had not existed. Yes, one or more other open source LMSs might have been adopted, but the existence of that Robin Hood sustainability engine built by Martin Dougiamas ensured that significant developer resources went to developing a high-quality globally adoptable LMS that could be deployed by even poor institutions. It has been an engine of educational growth.

If the data patterns we are observing hold, then that engine may be under long-term threat. While Moodle has far too broad an installed base to disappear any time soon and just received an infusion of investor money, the fact is that its sustainability model is now in question. That’s bad for everyone. It’s bad for Moodle advocates, it’s bad for people who care about improving educational access for the developing world and economically challenged people in general, and it’s bad for those educational technology companies that have depended on international maturation of markets that open up new commercial opportunities for them.

For everyone’s sake, I hope that the Moodle community—and particularly its leadership—owns up to this potential challenge to its sustainability model and confronts it head-on.

 

  1. The Moodle community is no more monolithic than any other; we have of course heard a wide range of opinions from Moodle advocates about the state of the union.

The post Why Moodle Supporters Should be Concerned appeared first on e-Literate.

Any computer that can be replaced by a teacher, should be

Steve Wheeler - 5 Noviembre, 2017 - 23:45
Photo by Steve Wheeler
Here's my opinion, for what it's worth. I write from more than 40 years experience working in educational technology while observing the rapid development of machine intelligence.

Remember the old Arthur Clarke quote? Any teacher who can be replaced by a teacher, should be. It raises a few smiles because of its wit, but also serves to remind us that teaching is a complex human, relational profession in which emotional connections are made and where teachers don't simply present information.

And what is more, good teachers will never be redundant. They will always be needed because they can motivate and inspire, making all the difference to children's learning and aspirations.

Teachers can do a lot more than even the most sophisticated computer or the most agile robot. And artificial intelligence may be a great tool for high level computation, and even such rich human activities such as interaction, but has little benefits when it comes to emotional intelligence.

Artificial intelligence has been designed to bring us to the point where it replaces human activity. Even cognitive computing has been developed to mimic human decision making and other natural characteristics of being human. But humans have many characteristics it would be impossible to mimic, including empathy, emotion, appreciation for aesthetics, and most importantly deviance - also known as breaking or bending the rules. The latter is something no computer will ever do voluntarily. It would need to be programmed to do so - and that would still confine it to following those instructions without deviation.

Teachers won't be replaced by computers because it is nigh on impossible to describe accurately what teachers do. Much is intuitive or unpredictable and cannot be made into neat algorithms. The mundane stuff can be offloaded into the mindtools that computers and AI offers, so we can expect routine activities to be automatedin the future. But the more specific pedagogical roles of teachers, their refective and critical processes will always remain the remit of the educator. Technology was created to serve our needs as humans, not to replace us.

NB: This post was written while on the move using my smartphone. I guess you could call it moblogging.


Any computer that can be replaced by a teacher, should be by Steve Wheeler was written in Auckland, New Zealand and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's

Information Disorder: Toward an interdisciplinary framework for research and policy making

OLDaily - 5 Noviembre, 2017 - 06:01

Claire Wardle, Hossein Derakhshan, Shorenstein Center, Nov 05, 2017

In view of the epistemic crisis in the U.S. today this report on informaation disorders (109 page PDF) is a timely contribution. But I fear it does little better than identify the problem; the solutions are stale, sterile, and would be ineffective. The analysis is interesting: it proposes that media are being used not for the transmission of information, but rather the conduct of a ritual. "A ritual view of communication does not consider the act of reading a newspaper to be driven by the need for new information. Rather, it likens it to attending a church service. It’s a performance in which nothing is learned, but a particular view of the world is portrayed and confirmed." Or as McLuhan said of newspapers, "You get into them, like a warm bath." But the solutions they propose show no recognition of the consequenses of this analysis. Media collaboration, fatc-checking, metadata sharing, etc., will have no impact on the phenomenon. Via Michael Caulfield.

[Link] [Comment]

The Web Began Dying in 2014, Here's How

OLDaily - 5 Noviembre, 2017 - 02:51

André Staltz, Nov 05, 2017

I don't think that the increasing market share of Facebook and Google by themselves mean that the web is dying, no more than the domination of Internet Explorer and netscape did back in the day. But these two giants have been exerting their influence in less than benign ways, and this is what is injuring - if not outright killing - the web. In both cases, a combination of marketing, the limiting of diversity, and the manipulation of public perception have combined to create a web designed to promote page views and attention to the trivial (and often, the false) instead of to allow us to forge genuine connections with each other.

[Link] [Comment]

A Note on Data Used for LMS Market Analysis

e-Literate - 4 Noviembre, 2017 - 18:54

Recently Martin Dougiamas of Moodle has questioned our data analysis for the LMS market. In some useful notes posted at Moodle.com on two recent Future Trends Forums hosted by Bryan Alexander:

Bryan finished the Future Trend Forum by asking for Martin’s thoughts on the recent article by Phil Hill titled: “Whither Moodle?” [edited] which speculated that Moodle’s growth is slowing down and hitting a plateau.

Martin commented that is not the case from what he is seeing and that a lot of the information contained in the article is US-based where there a lot of more LMS vendors and venture capitalists building learning platforms.

While this description from Martin is inaccurate, the issues raised are representative of some of the questions we occasionally get about our data for our LMS market analysis service. I think it would be useful to share a deeper description in public of how our partners at LISTedTECH collect and organize the underlying data.

What We Measure

The market data are organized in a dataset that captures system usage on a per higher education institution basis. For most schools, a campus is equivalent to an institution. But there are also cases where there multiple campuses per university (e.g. University of Minnesota system with five campuses, or DeVry University with dozens of campuses) and the LMS decision is made at the system level. In these situations, one decision will lead to multiple institutions listed in the data. In the US, the definition of an institution is guided by unique identifiers in the Department of Education's IPEDS data, and each region or even country has its own way of defining institution.

The dataset goes beyond “school X uses system Y”, as it also includes dates of implementation and decommission, usage as primary or secondary system (there may be more than one system in use at a school), and hyperlinks to the public information documenting a system selection or usage. The definition of institutions includes information about its sector (public two-year, private non-profit four-year, etc) as well as student enrollments.

How We Measure

Looking deeper at LMS selection, there are multiple layers of data gathering at different intervals. Some of the sources:

  • Extensive search engine notification such as Google Alerts on product keywords in multiple languages;
  • URL and domain scrapers looking for system information at official school websites; and
  • Targeted human-directed searches.

Each new data point is verified by someone using the associated hyperlinks tied to selection or usage data.

Our North American data is essentially saturated, in that we know the vast majority of degree-granting institutions based on US Department of Education data or Canadian provincial governmental data. We have well above 90% of all schools in the dataset.

For the global regions outside of North America, we are building up the dataset and do not have saturated coverage yet. For example, in Europe we estimate that we have 60 - 75% of institutions. We have less than that in Latin America and more than that in Oceania.

Where feasible, we include on-the-ground subjective coverage by visiting the global regions, testing theses, finding out unique context, and finding local sources who can provide QA to our data.

Besides our home base of North America, we have made multiple trips to Europe and Latin America thus far, and we are currently arguing about who gets to visit Australia and New Zealand.

We plan to expand coverage to additional regions as we develop at least 30% coverage of institutions and have time to do additional research to back up our analysis.

Degrees of Uncertainty

Because higher education data is lumpy and based on extended implementation times, we offer the following caveats:

  • Market share information provided in percentages and trends are more reliable than absolute counts outside of North America. When we do provide absolute numbers, we advise caution for readers or subscribers to not over-interpret the absolute numbers, at least without us providing additional details to keep the data in context.
  • We typically separate North American data from Rest of World data (Europe, Latin America, Oceania) to avoid problem of North America numbers dominating aggregates and obscuring important regional differences.
  • When we have system usage information but do not have accurate implementation dates (per month or quarter), we assign these system records to June. Therefore the summer data for new systems will appear artificially high. We currently have implementation dates for approximately 75% of the listed LMS records.
  • Put another way, annual data is more reliable (i.e. without additional data collection noise) than half-year or quarterly data. The more-granular data is provided to certain subscribers, but we take great care in attempting to describe sources of “lumpiness” in the data that should be understood for any analysis.

Overall, we have LMS data for 4,523 institutions in the US and Canada and 8,824 institutions worldwide.

Back to the Future (Trends)

To see these issues with an example, consider the updated chart of new implementations that led to the Future Trends Forum discussion described above.

What is relevant to the dataset for this chart:

  • The data is based not on North American data - it is based on data from Europe, Latin America, and Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, and surrounding island countries).
  • The data comes from public sources per institution as described above and does not come from vendors;
  • The data is for primary systems - the official campus LMS; and
  • The caveats listed above should apply. Note that we identified a new trend early in 2017 (collapse of Moodle new implementations) that we can update with data through 10 months of the year - the data today is more solid than it was in early summer.

I hope this description will answer some of the questions people have asked about our data.

The post A Note on Data Used for LMS Market Analysis appeared first on e-Literate.

How can online learning help Canadian colleges meet the challenges ahead?

Tony Bates - 3 Noviembre, 2017 - 20:59

Students at Algonquin College, which has a large online program

I was recently asked if I would answer a couple of questions from students in Royal Roads University’s course ‘Leveraging Technology in Higher Education’ in their MA in Higher Education Administration and Leadership.

With the permission of their instructor, Irwin de Vries, and the students, I am sharing my response to the two questions they raised. (I answered the first question yesterday). I have also added a few more comments.

Question 2

2. How must colleges change in the next ten years, in order to remain successful as they face the challenges of declining enrolment, decreased funding and shrinking infrastructures?

I am limiting my comments here to Canada’s two year public post-secondary college system, drawing on some of the results and experience from the recent National Survey of Online Learning and Distance Education.

This is another good question. Resources are always limited, and there is no evidence that online learning leads to significant reductions in costs, at least in the short term. Indeed, the evidence suggests that online learning needs initial extra investment at governmental and institutional level, and also at the individual instructor level, if time is considered a cost.

Questionable assumptions

Nevertheless, I have to challenge the assumptions made in this question. They may apply to some jurisdictions or geographical areas, but not to others (at least in Canada). Decreased funding and declining enrolment apply particularly to some of the Maritime provinces and to northern Ontario and rural Saskatchewan, but not to other parts of Ontario (e.g. the GTA) or the BC lower mainland, for instance.

In terms of funding, the Ontario provincial government in fact has put over $12 million recently into online learning, partly for economic reasons (the government has linked it to the development of 21st century skills and the need for lifelong learning) as well as to increase access, particularly in more remote parts of Ontario. 

The main funding gap is for aboriginal communities, where access to post-secondary education is still limited by cost and distance. However, I have seen signs of increased interest in the development of online programs for aboriginal students that at least consider aboriginal culture and pedagogy. These programs can build on increased federal and provincial funding for high speed networks for remote and rural areas in Canada totalling $150 million.

It also appears there may be an online learning funding issue in Québec, which is the only province in the national survey where online enrolments went down in the college sector (CEGEPs in Québec) over the last five years. In response to another question on the survey, Québec institutions much more frequently reported a lack of government funding as a barrier to online learning compared with institutions in other provinces.

Overall, colleges may complain about lack of resources, but compared to most countries, Canada has an extremely well-funded public college system. Most colleges now offer some form of online learning, and there is plenty of room for expansion.

Becoming more efficient

In the Maritimes, institutions are increasingly looking to online learning to increase enrolments from out-of-province students (the tuition fees in maritime provinces being lower) and to keep the out-of-province students they already have. For instance, Dalhousie University in Halifax is now offering summer online courses for the out-of-province students who tend to return home for the summer, so they don’t pick up courses during the summer from institutions in their home province.

Also in Ontario, through OntarioLearn, the colleges collaborate and share online courses, avoiding duplication and thus reducing costs. Contact North through its network of local learning centres and telecommunications network facilitates the delivery of programs from all Ontario colleges and universities into remote areas of Ontario.

Nova Scotia and New Brunswick already have a single institution for colleges with local campuses across each province, thus somewhat reducing overheads and duplication of courses, but more importantly ensuring common technology standards and delivery across the system. I wouldn’t be surprised if something similar isn’t developed soon for Saskatchewan rural colleges, which are also struggling financially, and generally have low enrolments. Manitoba already has Campus Manitoba, a consortium of Manitoba’s public post-secondary institutions that encourages collaboration and facilitates student mobility in Manitoba.

Co-operation could be expanded further by provincial articulation committees agreeing on a core set of OER that are jointly developed and shared between colleges. However, that needs to be backed up by more or better faculty development on how to develop and/or use OER.

eCampuses or provincial networks provide (or could provide) a number of services that help keep down costs to both institutions and students, such as open textbook projects (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario), promoting/organizing OER initiatives, province-wide technology licenses, shared learning technology support for very small institutions, province-wide faculty development opportunities, and showcasing innovative projects. I suspect that we will see new eCampuses soon for the Maritimes and maybe Québec.

Conclusion

It can be seen that online learning does offer opportunities for cost savings or expanding access more economically, mainly through inter-institutional collaboration and sharing and by avoiding the construction of new campuses (if politicians and presidents can control their edifice complexes) through absorbing extra numbers through hybrid and full online learning.

More importantly, though, from my perspective, to remain successful, colleges will need to ensure students have developed the knowledge and skills they will need in a digital age, and online learning provides a valuable and cost-effective means to enable this to happen (see Teaching in a Digital Age for more details).

Expanding the conversation in education around 'access' to the Internet

EduTech | World Bank - 3 Noviembre, 2017 - 19:05
I don't know exactly what's wrong,
I feel like we're not connecting anymore
Few would argue with the contention that access to the Internet will be increasingly important to teaching and learning (and to learners and teachers) in the future.

Yes, we all know that there was learning before the Internet, and that you can learn without using the Internet. Let's stipulate all of this up front. And yes, there are plentiful examples of the Internet being used in ways that are harmful or which degrade the learning environment -- as well as examples of the Internet not being used at all, even though it is available and paid for. 

That said, it is 2017. No matter where you are, conversations about broadening the access to the Internet to help meet the needs of learners and educators are growing louder in ministries of education, part of broader, related discussions around connectivity in the communities and populations that they serve.

When it comes to providing access to the Internet within educational settings, and for educational purposes:
  • What should we be talking about in 2017 that we haven't talked about in the past?
  • To what extent should we be expanding the access debate -- and to what extent should we be having different debates entirely?
Some technologies are maturing and others are emerging, past failures (of omission and commission) are becoming more apparent, and political will is increasingly in evidence in many places.
  With this in mind, might a 're-think' be in order?
 
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