Helge Scherlund's eLearning News

Helge Scherlund's eLearning News

Link to Helge Scherlund's eLearning News

50 Impressive iPad Apps to Fuel Lifelong Learners

Posted: 13 Aug 2012 08:02 AM PDT

Larry Dignan has been in touch to remind us about this article below.

Photo: Online College Courses

Long after degrees have been conferred and careers have been launched, many folks just can't seem to quit school. For them, life provides an overstuffed cornucopia of educational opportunities that don't necessarily require hefty loans and navigating different professorial strategies.

Those with a lust for learning who happen to also enjoy testing the limits of what the iPad offers definitely don't have to worry about finding resources to pique their fancy. Hundreds, if not thousands, of apps are out there just twitching for users to fire them up and absorb a mental nugget or two.

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Thanks to Larry.
Enjoy your reading!

Why Online Education Won't Replace College—Yet by David Youngberg

Posted: 13 Aug 2012 07:09 AM PDT

Photo: David Youngberg
David Youngberg, assistant professor of economics at Bethany College writes, "When I decided to become a professor, I was comforted by its employment projections. Professors hired to teach the baby boomers are retiring: It'll be a seller's market. Now I'm told Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOC's, threaten that rosy future."

Photo: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

One person can teach the whole world with a cheap Webcam and an Internet connection. Sebastian Thrun, a Stanford University research professor and co-founder of the MOOC provider Udacity, told Wired that in 50 years there will be only 10 institutions in the whole world that deliver higher education.

I was scared. So in early 2012 I joined 90,000 other students who enrolled in one or both of Udacity's first two courses. I selected CS101: Building a Search Engine. What with video lectures, online discussion boards, and learning from the field's top minds, it was easy to believe that online education was the beginning of the end for the ivory tower. But I came to realize that MOOC's have five fundamental problems.

1. It's too easy to cheat. While Udacity encouraged students to help one another on the discussion boards, we weren't allowed to post answers. The honor code worked, but only because we couldn't get college credit. The incentive to cheat was very weak.
Make the class count for credit, or serve as the first step to a good job, and phantom forums and answer keys will follow. Despite our best efforts, the proliferation of cheating is higher education's dirty little secret. Take away the classroom and you've made a bad situation much worse.

2. Star students can't shine. It became immediately clear to me that even if I excelled at this course, no one would know who I was. Networking, either with my fellow students or with the professors, was virtually impossible.
In traditional academe, I know my best students well enough to write recommendations describing their personalities and accomplishments in detail. Online anonymity results in references that mean virtually nothing. The best Udacity can offer is to pass on résumés of top students to interested employers. If just 1 percent of students in Udacity's two courses were exceptional, that's 900 recommendations to write. And none of them would be worth reading.

Source: Chronicle of Higher Education

A classroom on wheels for Delhi’s slum kids

Posted: 13 Aug 2012 07:25 AM PDT

Raja Kumar, 13, hadn't dreamt he would ever go to school. He lived on Delhi's streets, rummaging through garbage for a living and playing with other street kids. Today the boy has got admission in a government school – thanks to a mobile learning centre.

Photo: Hill Post
Kumar, a resident of a slum in Okhla area here, received basic elementary education at the mobile centre launched last month by Save the Children to educate street and slum children.

"My father is the only earning member. In a family of five siblings, we just survive. I have to do my bit to support my family," Kumar told IANS at the New Sanjay Camp near Okhla in south Delhi.
"I was lucky to get a chance to study… I don't think I ever could have.

Housed in a gleaming, swanky yellow bus, the learning centre is bridging the gap between streets and schools for children usually found ragpicking or begging. It equips children with preparatory and elementary education.

The school may be on wheels but everything in the classroom is conventional– roll call, attendance register and teachers.

Source: Hill Post 

Helping Education with Interactive whiteboards

Posted: 13 Aug 2012 05:57 AM PDT

Today I have Sam Niel as guest blogger. Please be sure to check out his unique guest post. Guest posts are always welcome, please contact me.

Education being the cornerstone of any country gets top priority and has become a big business for many equipment manufacturers.  The world as of now has evolved into the practice of using ICT to aid the learning process. A case of such a practice is the use of Interactive whiteboards in many schools as a replacement for traditional whiteboards and flipcharts. This adaption brings the need to standardize and regularize this aspect of education.

The use of Interactive whiteboards has improved the performance of students and has also proven to be of great assistance to the teachers Elementary and Middle Schools have reaped benefits through the use of visual aid programs, the option to save a lesson, the ease of getting immediate response from students and the assistance for distance learning programs The research done by SMART Technologies Inc. in 2009 shows that education sector in US consists of 63.5% of interactive whiteboards users. This has not only facilitated educators in acquiring a deeper understanding of educational needs but also has developed new parameters for these interactive whiteboard manufacturers. The manufacturers of whiteboards, who compete on prices, quality, dimensions and design, are the biggest players and often control the provided features and parameters. There is a need for the designers of the class rooms and whiteboard providers to collaborate and fine tune the teaching process so that the features and parameters are aligned with the teaching requirements.
To better understand the concept of these whiteboards we can simply take the example of a vendor that provides such a solution. For instance, Panasonic provides "Panaboards" of different sizes and varieties that cater to the need of every learning environment.  In one of the schools in Los Angeles, the Panasonic whiteboard provided the option that assisted 3 users at a time. A teacher at an elementary school viewed the use of Interactive Whiteboards as a necessity for modern education, "The school is using a PanasonicUB-T880 in one class and Panasonic UB-T880W in the conference room, the results and responses of the students differ significantly, only on the reason that the UB-T880W provides an extra large screen."
It is very clear from the above statements that the students are well aware of the technology and have made it a part of their lives. It's not the time to step back, rather it is an opportunity to set a few guidelines that could help the effective use of whiteboards. The Education sector is still on the second step in adoption of this revolutionary product is regularizing the use of the product in educational institutes. This will allow the teachers to set professional and educational benchmarks for educators across the country and define roles for each player in the current educational setup.
The Author Sam Niel has been in the teaching profession for the 5 years and has been a great advocate of using ICT to the benefit of teachers and students. His work has been of great influence at local level.

Many thanks to Sam.
Enjoy your reading!