Data Mining Exposes Embarrassing Problems for Massive Open Online Courses | MIT Technology Review: "And they have depressing news. They say that 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."
As Chromebooks catch on, 2014 promises more models | Mobile - CNET News: " . . . How popular are they? Well, Chromebooks, such as the Acer C270 and Samsung offering, seem to be ensconced almost permanently at the top of Amazon's bestselling laptop list. And a report from the NPD Group last month showed the Google Chrome-based laptops grabbed about one-fifth of sales in commercial laptop channels -- which the report says is largely shipments to educational institutions -- in a 12-month period, up from virtually nothing the year before. All of the above is spurring the world's largest PC maker, HP, to put more emphasis on Google's Chrome OS. HP now sells both a 14-inch Chromebook and an 11-inch model. One reason for their popularity is price. They're typically priced between $200 and $300. In addition, some organizations, like those in education, only need Google services such as Google Docs and Google Drive, according to NPD. . ." (read more at link above)
Large-scale online courses, hailed as a way to democratize higher education, have so far been plagued by very high attrition rates. . . . [but] even the loudest critics of MOOCs do not expect them to fade away. More likely, they will morph into many different shapes: Already, San Jose State is getting good results using videos from edX, a nonprofit MOOC venture, to supplement some classroom sessions, and edX is producing videos to use in some high school Advanced Placement classes. And Coursera, the largest MOOC company, is experimenting with using its courses, along with a facilitator, in small discussion classes at some United States consulates (source infra)
After Setbacks, Online Courses Are Rethought - NYTimes.com: "Mr. Siemens said what was happening was part of a natural process. “We’re moving from the hype to the implementation,” he said. “It’s exciting to see universities saying, ‘Fine, you woke us up,’ and beginning to grapple with how the Internet can change the university, how it doesn’t have to be all about teaching 25 people in a room. “Now that we have the technology to teach 100,000 students online,” he said, “the next challenge will be scaling creativity, and finding a way that even in a class of 100,000, adaptive learning can give each student a personal experience.”"
Amazon: 5 bold predictions for 2014 | Internet & Media - CNET News: "2. The Kindle, your tutor
Thanks to Mayday, your Kindle Fire can tell you how to change the brightness of your tablet or how to order an e-book. So why couldn't it also teach your kids math? If Amazon's acquisition of TenMarks is any indication, the company may be looking to delve into education. TenMarks creates math practice programs and is a teaching tool. When Amazon purchased it in October, it said TenMarks would develop new education apps for Kindle tablets. It's not a huge stretch to see a potential marriage of TenMarks' education resources and the Mayday service -- perhaps a premium option that allows for tutors to help with math equations via one-sided video tutelage?
Crazy? Perhaps. But just crazy enough for Amazon? Certainly. Couple that with Amazon's newly released free-time features on a tablet designed for penny-pinching parents, and Amazon makes the Kindle the ideal children's tablet."