IAE Blog

Information Age Education (IAE) is an Oregon not-for-profit corporation founded by David Moursund in August 2007. The IAE Blog was started in August 2010.

MOOC Enrollment Continues to Grow

The first really large enrollment Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) was run by Stanford University in 2011. During the subsequent four years, the success of these courses as measured by completion rate has been very low. However, the courses have continued to be improved and enrollment in these courses has grown remarkably. Quoting from an article written by Dhawal Shah (12/28/2015):

Student enrollments in MOOCs doubled this year. In fact, more people signed up for MOOCs in 2015 than they did in the first three years of the “modern” MOOC movement (which started in late 2011—when the first Stanford MOOCs took off). According to data collected by Class Central, the total number of students who signed up for at least one course has crossed 35 million—up from an estimated 17 million last year.

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College and Job Readiness of U.S. High School Graduates

The very first Information Age Education Blog entry is titled, Are High Schools Seriously Misleading Our Students? (Moursund, 8/22/2010). At that time, about 21% of U.S. students were dropping out before completing their four high school program in four years (on-time graduation), and about 68 percent of the on-time high school graduates were going on to college. Since then the number of students not completing on-time high school graduation has decreased by about two percentage points. The percentage of the on-time graduates going on to college declined a small amount and then recovered. In October 2014, 68.4 percent of 2014 high school graduates were enrolled in colleges or universities (U.S. Department of Labor, 4/16/ 2015.)

Here are three questions important to secondary school students and their parents/guardians:

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Distance Learning: Potentials and Perils

In this IAE Blog entry, I discuss distance learning, learning in face-to-face environments, and learning as one views and interacts with nature and other aspects of the world. The main focus is on the first two, so let me briefly dispense with the third.

Long before we had schools and the three R’s, people learned by themselves through their interactions with the natural world in which they lived. We are built to learn from what we see, hear, smell, taste, and touch in “nature.” A human teacher can help in this mode of learning, but each of us is innately able to learn through interaction with the natural world.

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Nearly 4,000 MOOCS

 

A MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course. Such courses have received a lot of attention during the past four years, and huge amounts of money have been spent in their development. Quoting from Ellen Wexler’s article, MOOCs Are Still Rising, at Least in Numbers (Wexler, 10/19/2015):

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Openly Licensed Educational Resources

My 10/21/2015 Google search of the expression Openly Licensed Educational Resources produced more than 640 thousand results. Openly Licensed Educational Resources (usually referred to as OER) are defined as:

Teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge. [Bold added for emphasis.] See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_and_Flora_Hewlett_Foundation.

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Some Characteristics of Extra Capable Students

I enjoy browsing the Quora website https://www.quora.com/. A wide variety of questions are posed, answers are submitted, voting occurs to determine the most liked answers, and an answer is posted on the site. Readers can provide responses to the answer. Some of the topic areas covered include Wisdom, Intelligence, Education, and Psychology of Everyday Life.

The following question recently caught my attention:

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Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is devastating to the people who have it, and to their families and other loved ones. However, significant progress is occurring in the treatment of this disease.

Quoting from a Mayo Clinic Staff website (2015):

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A Personal Challenge: Turning Educational Research Results into Effective Practice

Imagine you are reading, viewing, or listening to information about some educational research that is relevant to your interests in education. The material seems to you to be both credible and valid. You think to yourself: “That seems reasonable to me.”

Now what? You might think, “They should do something about that.” The they in this case is someone other than yourself. It might be students, teachers, parents, schools, school districts, the state, the country, or the world.

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Kindergarten Curriculum

Kindergarten is now well entrenched as a component of precollege education in the United States.

“Since 1977, the percentage of [U.S.] kindergartners enrolled in full-day (in contrast to half-day) programs has nearly tripled, increasing from 28 to 77 percent between 1977 and 2013” (Child Trends Data Bank, n.d.).

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Research-based Uses of Technology to Improve Education

The MIT Review is one of my favorite sources of STEM information. This IAE Blog entry is based on an MIT Review article that discusses some of the difficulties encountered by Kentaro Toyama, a computer scientist and educator, as he attempted to use computer technology to improve India’s educational system (Bergstein, 4/15/2015). You can learn more about Toyama and his Microsoft-funded research in educational uses of technology by viewing his TEDx-Tokyo Talks (Toyama, 5/15/2010).

Since his 2010 presentation, Toyama has joined the world of academia and devoted his research and teaching efforts to help inspire more research on effective educational uses of computer technology. Toyama is now an associate professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan.

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