Academic Branding – Your Online Presence, By Design

Establishing an online presence as an academician increases dissemination of research and improves impact.  It also allows for discovery of others with similar interests, potential collaborations, and richer knowledge construction.  This is how PLNs are born and expanded.  The presentation below by Sidneyeve Matrix is full of excellent suggestions.


Social learning is not something you make other people do


People often ask how to make their workplace learning more social.  They set up space and make structure the environment, but it doesn’t happen.  It’s like asking the question “how do I make a video go viral?”   You just can’t force it.  Jane Hart offer the advice below.

You can’t just “add on“ a discussion space to an online course and expect people to be social

You can’t just “design in” social interaction into online courses and expect people to be social

You can’t force people to be social

You can’t enforce social interaction

You can’t equate social interactivity with learning

via Social learning is not something you make other people do | Learning in the Modern Workplace.

Silicon Valley’s Dilemma Over Credentials

The education startup community has been focused on making the acquisition of credentials more open and democratic.  The disrupters – Coursera, Udacity, and others offer alternative credentialing models – which operate on the premise that the same knowledge obtained from courses in a University can be replaced by their own credential.  Perhaps we need more of a paradigm shift, where the focus is on creating good jobs.  Interesting thoughts from TechCrunch.  “With such a labor environment, credentials are becoming even more crucial in differentiating talent, the exact opposite goal we are striving towards today. While it is hardly desirable to reverse our efforts around productivity, if we hope to change the way credentials are used in our economy, Silicon Valley should emphasize more of its resources around rebalancing the labor market rather than merely changing the pieces of paper used.”

via Silicon Valley’s Dilemma Over Credentials | TechCrunch.

Big Data Comes To College

Big, personal data is being collected during the learning process.  We know this.  It is being collected by institutions like Purdue (discussed in this NPR article,) adaptive software companies, software platforms….we have leap frogged regulation and are in unchartered waters.  FERPA cannot help us, and this data, while invaluable to educators and institutions if used properly, is also quite valuable when sold by companies who collect it.  There is where Larry Lessig stepped in when digitization infringed on copyright.  A new digital paradigm called for new digital creativity.  Creative Commons was developed to address the gap between technology’s rapid evolution and established regulation that lagged behind.  When will the Larry Lessig of Big Data appear?   “When students use software as part of the learning process, whether in online or blended courses or doing their own research, they generate massive amounts of data. Scholars are running large-scale experiments using this data to improve teaching; to help students stay motivated and succeed in college; and even to learn more about the brain and the process of learning itself.But with all this potential comes serious concerns. Facebook caused a furor over the past couple of weeks when the company’s lead scientist published a research paper indicating that the social network had tinkered with the news feeds of hundreds of thousands of people in an experiment to see whether their emotions could be influenced.”

via Big Data Comes To College : NPR Ed : NPR.

Higher education: Creative destruction

Higher education evolution, or Creative Destruction as this article calls it, typifies the tendency of costs to soar in industries where labor costs rise as productivity remains the same.  This article in the Economist was surprising in the way it combined MOOCs, which are not for credit – the only MOOC, at Georgia Tech, that is for-credit – and the ASU Online program, which is not a MOOC.  The author predicts a higher ed future of MOOCs, whereas I see them in their current form as an interim solution.  Nonetheless the virtual migration of a good deal of higher ed will most likely continue.  The victims, such as the small towns that rely on universities, will likely feel some pain.   “Whereas the prices of cars, computers and much else have fallen dramatically, universities, protected by public-sector funding and the premium employers place on degrees, have been able to charge ever more for the same service. For two decades the cost of going to college in America has risen by 1.6 percentage points more than inflation every year.”

via Higher education: Creative destruction | The Economist.

What Technology Does What: An #edtech Chart For Teachers (and everyone else)

This thoughtful compilation of digital tools is directed at teachers, but is equally helpful to everyone in education or the workplace.  Applications are separated by functionality, so they can be referred to based on what the user is trying to accomplish.  There’s a link on the page to a living document where readers can contribute as well.  Thanks to TeachThought for putting this helpful list together.  “This is what we hope will be an ongoing collection of the most effective ways to use technology in the classroom. We’d like to see it crowdsourced, so we may convert it to a public document/wiki-type file at some point. We’ll also try to add to it ourselves as technology suggests itself that we haven’t considered or just plain forgot about. We’ll also try to add more links, categorize more neatly, etc.We may even just crowdsource it–open it up as a wiki and let you add your expertise. If a list like this isn’t updated frequently–which takes a crowd–it’s next to worthless in a hurry. If you have an idea on how to optimally format a list like this, let us know in the comments.Maybe something like this? Edit away and let’s see what happens. For now, on to the growing list.”

via What Technology Does What: An #edtech Chart For Teachers.


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