Blackboard Announces New MOOC Platform

10 July 2013

Blackboard, a company that makes software that many colleges use to run their classroom and online courses, announced on Wednesday that it was expanding its support for MOOCs, though it is relatively late to the much-talked-about trend of massive open online courses.

“We watched really carefully, and we thought about doing something” sooner, said Ray Henderson, president of Blackboard’s teaching and learning division, in an interview this week. “This is one of those times when we said this is a watch and develop, not jump on it.”

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Testing touchscreen tables in classrooms

9 May 2013

Forget tiny iPads – the classrooms of the future might turn entire tables into interactive touchscreens.

Given that many children can sit rapturously before a glowing touchscreen for hours, such gadgets seem like a natural for the classroom. But as with any new teaching technology, it’s important to make sure it actually helps students learn and teachers teach before getting caught up in its “cool” factor.

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As MOOC Debate Simmers at San Jose State, American U. Calls a Halt

9 May 2013

In the latest salvo in a debate over MOOCs that has drawn national attention, the San Jose State University chapter of the California Faculty Association has thrown its weight behind recent criticisms of the university’s partnerships with outside providers of massive open online courses—specifically, edX and Udacity.

Meantime, on the opposite side of the country, American University has announced a “moratorium on MOOCs.”

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MOOC Teaches How to Cheat in Online Courses, With Eye to Prevention

3 May 2013

In a few weeks, Bernard Bull, assistant vice president for academics at Concordia University Wisconsin, will ask participants in his new course to cheat.

There’s a caveat, though. They’ll have to disclose to the rest of the class exactly how they cheated. “Of course, if the assignment is to cheat, then you’re not really cheating,” Mr. Bull admitted.

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Does Khan Academy help learners? A proposal

12 February 2013

February 11, 2013, 7:45 am

By Robert Talbert

Last week’s flare-up over Khan Academywas interesting on a number of levels, one of which is that we got a new look at some of the arguments used in KA’s favor. Perhaps one of the most prominent defenses against KA criticism is: Khan Academy is free and really helps a lot of people. You can’t argue with the “free” part. On the other hand, the part about “helping” is potentially a very strong argument in KA’s favor —but there are two big problems with the way in which this is being presented by KA people.

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SimCity EDU announced

7 February 2013

Online Community Provides Educators with STEM-focused Curriculum Tools Based on Award-Winning SimCity Videogame

Electronic Arts, in collaboration with GlassLab, today announced SimCityEDU, an online educational community based on the award-winning SimCityTM videogame. SimCityEDU will serve as a resource for classroom teachers who have a strong interest in utilizing digital platforms as a learning tool to drive student interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects*

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Wellesley College teams up with on-line provider edX

5 December 2012

Classes at liberal arts colleges bring to mind small groups of students bunched around a long wooden table, batting around big ideas with a professor.

That tradition would seem at odds with the new trend in higher education, opening courses to the masses via the Internet. But now a new partnership involving Wellesley College is seeking to bridge these two worlds, in a test of how humanities classes will translate into the growing on-line arena.

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