News & Thoughts
By IBL News
edX Inc. continues analyzing the viability of launching stackable, customizable MicroBachelors’ degrees, which could be priced at $10,000. Anant Agarwal, CEO at the organization, spoke recently about it in a conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts, according to the South China Morning Post newspaper. This is not the first time edX considers this credential, which, if successful, would be adopted by multiple universities. On January 26, IBL News reported about this idea, after the edX organization received a $700,000 grant from the Lumina Foundation.Share on Facebook
Michael Bernick, Forbes
Earlier this year, we looked at the new upskilling approaches at two of the leading Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Coursera and Udacity. Now it is time to turn to a third online education giant, Udemy, and its empire of skills, and hear from Udemy CEO Kevin Johnson. Udemy is the most market-based of the online giants, in that it eschews the traditional education gatekeepers. It encourages individuals to develop courses without regard to where they might have gone to school or taught, and allows the market to determine value. It focuses on skills, far more than certifications or degrees. As of October 2018, Udemy had over 24 million registered users since the site launched in 2010, with over 80,000 courses posted on the site, by 35,000 instructors.Share on Facebook
Kerri Anne Renzulli, CNBC
Taking time at work to focus on mastering a new skill, learning a new software program or tool, or even just reading widely about your industry can do wonders for you mentally — as well as professionally. New research conducted by LinkedIn found that the best way to ensure that you’re happy at your job is to spend more time learning. Among the professionals surveyed, those who were “heavy” learners — devoting more than five hours a week to things like reading, taking classes and watching online courses — reported being happier, less stressed, more productive and more confident than those who spent less time learning.
by Ray Schroeder, Inside Higher Ed Digital Learning
Much is written about strengthening the link between education and employment. Jobs are changing and likely to continue to evolve over the coming decades. Education must evolve, too. I really appreciated the approach (and title) of an Indianapolis Recorder report, “Don’t Let Your Diploma Hit Its Expiration Date”; it succinctly sums up the situation. Long gone are the days that a diploma marked the end of necessary education. The learning in many, if not most, fields “expires” and becomes dated due to the advances in technology and changing needs of society. We should recognize the 60-year-learner vision that Harvard’s Hunt Lambert, the University of Washington’s Rovy Branon and other leaders in our field have championed as an approach to meet the evolving needs in our field.
By Chris Havergal, Times Higher Education
FutureLearn course will offer certificates from both Deakin and Coventry. Two universities on opposite sides of the world have launched a co-created online postgraduate degree. In one of the first collaborations of its kind, Australia’s Deakin University and Coventry University in the UK are offering a postgraduate course in entrepreneurship on the FutureLearn platform, drawing on research and expertise at both institutions. This model of collaborative degrees is seen by some as the next step in online learning, and a possible threat to the attractiveness of some campus-based institutions that do not embrace this sort of partnership.
Roman Saini, Hindustan Times
In a country as diverse as India, along with overcoming the infrastructure barrier, there needs to be a focus on overcoming the barriers of language and content. The education divide in India with respect to quality and accessibility has existed for far too long. The Indian education system has remained more or less the same, since last 150 years. It is difficult for the existing physical infrastructure to meet the learning needs of the burgeoning population of our country which will touch 1.5B by 2030 and 1.7B by 2050 (equal to the population of China and USA combined). Digital is gaining acceptance across numerous sectors and it is only right that the education sector too reaps benefits of this digital transformation.Share on Facebook
By Jeffrey R. Young, EdSurge
So far LinkedIn Learning plans to work with five partners: Harvard Business Publishing, getAbstract (which includes book summaries and TED talks), Big Think, Treehouse (which features courses on coding) and Creative Live. So it’s not like just any course library will be integrated, though the company said it plans to add others in the future. LinkedIn officials say it will not be selling subscriptions to the other services. “Many of our customers use LinkedIn Learning, but they also use other content,” said James Raybould, director of learning product at LinkedIn. “They want to bring that one front door to the learners.”Share on Facebook
By Shereesa Moodley, Memeburn
Dubbed Learn with Facebook, the company describes the platform as “a career development site that provides an introduction to both the hard and soft skills people need to advance in today’s digital workforce”. The lessons, which feature “case studies, insider tips and resources from industry experts”, are free to access online and include topics such as Ace Your Interview and Manage Your Content Marketing.
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by Wendy McMahon, EdSurge
Real world problems are exciting to solve but devilishly hard to assess, especially when there are many students involved. Yet that’s just the approach that Mark Schneider is helping lead at NAIT, a 40,000-student polytechnic school that offers one of Canada’s biggest apprenticeship programs. What’s made the work possible, Schneider says, is a special combination of online learning tools that is helping NAIT educate students so they are prepared for the complexities and responsibilities of real world situations from the day they graduate. Schneider, an Educational Technology Specialist at NAIT, sat down with EdSurge to share the top lessons he’s learned as he’s built NAIT’s online learning offerings over the past five years—including why delivering the kind of education that students crave is helping NAIT produce the kinds of graduates that employers want.
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By James Paterson, Education Dive
As the debate over the direction of higher education shifts between calls for emphasizing student learning in either hard or soft skills, a new report from the Strada Institute and labor market analytics firm Emsi contends liberal arts students need both — and more. The report says students need a mix of technical and human skills and that it’s the role of colleges and universities to help students identify what combination they need. The study used data from more than 100 million social and professional profiles and resumes as well as more than 36 million job postings. Leadership, communications and problem-solving are among the most-needed skills in the job market, and liberal arts graduates can add value to their workplaces by combining them with basic technology skills such as data analysis and digital fluency. The report notes there is “discernible labor market demand” for such workers.Share on Facebook
Jonathan Lehrich, Evolllution
With their increased granularity, transparency and portability, digital credentials are quickly supplanting the paper certificate as a means of non-degree skills verification in leading-edge continuing and professional education units. They enable a greater understanding of academic accomplishment and provide academic leaders with a means of unbundling degree requirements; however, as Jonathan Lehrich notes, their use on a broader institutional level is slow in the making. In the first of this two-part interview, Lehrich discusses the growing value of digital credentials to employers, educational institutions and job-seekers alike, and explains what it’s going to take for them to be better recognized by traditional academic departments and faculties.Share on Facebook
by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate
Technology has gained traction in the education sector. China is home to the world’s biggest education market comprising over 400 million students. Even though China is a world leader in technology, the sheer size of the country’s education sector initially made advancements in digital learning quite slow. Nevertheless, the country has been able to integrate technology in its instruction techniques and curriculum in recent years. Through technological adoption in education, China has been able to use fully participatory methodologies in its learning institutions. The country is experiencing an EdTech boom, which has seen some of its universities ranked among the best globally. The presence of many institutions where educational technologies can be piloted makes China a lucrative market for EdTech entrepreneurs.Share on Facebook
by Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed
Those watching LinkedIn’s evolution now have a little bit more grist for the mill. LinkedIn Learning, which is what Lynda.com has morphed into, on Nov. 9 announced a series of developments that show the company to be gradually expanding its footprint in the education and training space. Over the last 18 months, LinkedIn Learning, to which many companies, government agencies and colleges subscribe to provide technical and other skills to their workers and students, has been letting those clients add their own content (say, an internal training video or short course a company has created) to the LinkedIn platform so their workers or students can view it alongside the LinkedIn content (which numbers roughly 13,000 courses now).Share on Facebook
Bob Ubell of NYU, McGraw Hill
Bob Ubell is Vice Dean Emeritus at the NYU School of Engineering, and Dr. Robert Feldman is Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst – and he is also the Chair of the McGraw-Hill Learning Science Advisory Board. The conversation between Bob and Robert ranges from benefits and criticisms of digitally-driven teaching to the connection between Thoreau’s Walden and modern progressive education.Share on Facebook
By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology
In the coming year, IT organizations in colleges and universities expect to be grappling with “data-enabling” their institutions, funding, and setting up their units as institutional leaders and change agents. That’s what IT leaders told Educause in its latest survey to determine the top 10 IT issues for higher education.Share on Facebook
By Ashley A. Smith, Inside Higher Ed
A report released Wednesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that New York community colleges engaged widely with employers. Two-year institutions routinely work with local employers to help shape work-force training programs offered by the colleges and build students’ skills for future work-force needs. However, community colleges administrators said in a survey administered by the Federal Reserve that they do not have enough financial resources or staff to expand their efforts, especially in rural areas of the state.
By Emily Mertz, Online Global News
Schools have been offering them for years, but a recent surge in popularity of online university classes means even the most prestigious institutions are more accessible. These online courses are often referred to as MOOCs — Massive Open Online Courses — through an educational platform like Coursera. “And not just people who can afford to pay the tuition here — although of course that’s my job is to teach those students — but it’s really important to make sure that we educate society as a whole.”Share on Facebook
By Cait Etherington, eLearning Inside
In an era of rising student debts, a growing number of people are concluding that higher education simply isn’t worth the financial risk. While this may be understandable, as student debt loads rise, there is at least some hope on the horizon. Over the past decade, online education has rapidly expanded, and there is growing evidence that it is making higher education more affordable.Share on Facebook
by Karen Hao, MIT Technology Review
In the broadest sense, AI refers to machines that can learn, reason, and act for themselves. They can make their own decisions when faced with new situations, in the same way that humans and animals can. As it currently stands, the vast majority of the AI advancements and applications you hear about refer to a category of algorithms known as machine learning. These algorithms use statistics to find patterns in massive amounts of data. They then use those patterns to make predictions on things like what shows you might like on Netflix, what you’re saying when you speak to Alexa, or whether you have cancer based on your MRI. Machine learning, and its subset deep learning (basically machine learning on steroids), is incredibly powerful.Share on Facebook
By Jacob Demmit, Roanoke Times
Virginia colleges are beginning to embrace the idea of blockchain diplomas, as Virginia Beach-based ECPI University has joined a group of early adopters that distribute student degrees through the same kind of decentralized computer networks that power Bitcoin. Virginia Tech, meanwhile, is in the early stages of considering its own launch, according to Tech spokesman Mark Owczarski. The concept behind the technology is virtually unchanged, except ECPI is using the blockchain to issue digital degrees instead of digital currencies.