Creating a structure for non-formal learning events

Though there has been a good deal of research done on informal learning in the workplace, I haven’t seen an attempt to put structure around it (that’s why it’s called informal, right?)  But perhaps informal can still have parameters and structure, and it would be interesting to see how they fit with the literature.  This blog post is from the E-Learning Curve Blog, and covers initiatives such as Lunch & Learns, ‘Brown Bag’ , and Information Sessions.”  It goes on to say they are a great way for organizations to enable staff to find out about (current and proposed) procedures, standards, and best industry practice implemented in any project they are might be involved in. Both the initiative as a whole and the individual events themselves adhere to a comprehensive project plan. There are three phases in the project lifecycle, and each discrete Information Session event is a ‘micro-project’ that broadly adheres to project parameters of the project-at-large (see Table 1).

I might say that Lunch and Learns or brown bag/information sessions are not truly informal learning – but they definitely are less formal than other types of workplace curriculum, so they become something in between that can be planned with overarching goals and defined learning outcomes.

via Creating a structure for non-formal learning events | E-Learning Curve Blog.

5 Higher-Education Trends for 2014

Sophie Quinton from the Atlantic shares what she anticipates will be the 5 top Higher Ed Trends for 2014, and I agree with them in an overarching way.  CBE (Competency Based Education) and PLA (Prior Learning Assessment,) CTE (Career and Technical Education,) Student-Loan Outrage, Data Privacy Concerns, and Teacher Effectiveness.  “A number of education trends made their mark in 2013, from massive open online courses to evaluating colleges based on their graduation rates. The underlying forces that drove change this year aren\’t likely to change anytime soon: declining public funding, changing demographics, advancing technology, and a tough job market.”


via 5 Higher-Education Trends for 2014 – Sophie Quinton – The Atlantic.

Data Mining Exposes Embarrassing Problems for Massive Open Online Courses

MIT Tech Review offers a synopsis of current MOOC studies – completion, etc.  They cite a Princeton study that says “participation falls precipitously and continuously throughout a course and that almost half of registered students never post more than twice to the forums. What’s more, the participation of a teacher doesn’t improve matters. Indeed, they say there is some evidence that a teacher’s participation in an online discussion actually increases the rate of decline.”  There is an art – and best practices – to facilitating discussion boards and I do wonder if these teachers/instructors are ever given that insight before diving in.

via Data Mining Exposes Embarrassing Problems for Massive Open Online Courses | MIT Technology Review.

What’s Your Major? Working Toward the Uninvented Job

Mindshift tells us the most promising majors will be related to cyber-security specialists, mobile application developers, social media managers, stem cell researchers, robotics technicians and simulation engineers.

These jobs didn’t exist 10 years ago. Who’s to know what jobs will exist 10 years from now?

via What’s Your Major? Working Toward the Uninvented Job | MindShift.

8 EduWins of 2013

Edutopia – We’re always hearing about how education is so messed up — so often, the conversation focuses on all the negatives. But there are also plenty of \”EduWins,\” too — awesome ideas, videos, people, programs, practices, products, Tweeters, teachers, and technologies that are making a difference and changing the lives of real students on a global scale.

via 8 EduWins of 2013 | Edutopia.

How Technology Helps (And Hinders) Education

From Edudemic – Use of technology in education is a somewhat problematic premise because it has generated a heated debate on whether it helps or hinders learning. The recent dramatic increases in technology in our society has led to proliferation of technology in the learning institutions (from elementary school to the graduate school level) at a rapid rate. Integration of technology in schools has changed today’s education and also the way teachers and students use their classrooms. These changes have both positive and negative impacts on learning. But does it help more or hinder more?

via How Technology Helps (And Hinders) Education – Edudemic.

Why Do Kids Spend All Day on Social Media? Because They’re Not Allowed Out of the House

From MIT Tech Review and the incomparable danah boyd.  “Kids today! They’re online all the time, sharing every little aspect of their lives. What’s wrong with them? Actually, nothing, says Danah Boyd, a Microsoft researcher who studies social media. In a book coming out this winter, It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, Boyd argues that teenagers aren’t doing much online that’s very different from what kids did at the sock hop, the roller rink, or the mall. They do so much socializing online mostly because they have little choice, Boyd says: parents now generally consider it unsafe to let kids roam their neighborhoods unsupervised. Boyd, 36, spoke with MIT Technology Review’s deputy editor, Brian Bergstein, at Microsoft Research’s offices in Manhattan.”

via Why Do Kids Spend All Day on Social Media? Because They’re Not Allowed Out of the House | MIT Technology Review.