Posts Tagged ‘Teaching and Learning’

Technology in the Classroom: Assets and Liabilities

By Stephen S. Davis

After reading the Faculty Focus Special Report “Social Media Usage Trends Among Higher Education Faculty” I was spurred to share a best practice regarding the use of technology in the classroom. In my work as the director of faculty development I’ve been observing the ubiquitous and pervasive infusion of technology in education over the past 20 years, but at a seemingly accelerated rate during the past five years with the advent of wireless networks, smart phones, tablets, and increasingly more powerful laptops. I’m sure this trend will not abate or slow, which begs the questions, what are we educators going to do about it?

I work in a college of osteopathic medicine and we run two curricula; a fairly traditional PBL model and a Case Based model. Both consist of small (7 or 8), intact (for each quarter) groups with one facilitator. The major difference between them is that the PBL model does not include traditional lectures and all student work is done around the cases while in the Case Based model students have a more traditional lecture/lab set up. Also, in PBL the cases are unfolded slowly and the students identify their own learning issues while in the Case Based model the instructors identify the case learning issues though authored questions and new cases are used each week. The facilitators in both models have very similar roles and come from all disciplines.

It is my contention that as educational and classroom leaders we have a responsibility to set clear expectations, which is Job One of all good leaders. I’d like to share one practical strategy we used to do just that in terms of communicating our expectations for using technology in the classroom.



Learning from MOOCs

March 15, 2012 2 comments

By Audrey Watters

MOOCs. They’re all the rage these days, it seems — so much so I’d make them an early pick for one of the major ed-tech (startup) trends for 2012. Of course, describing MOOCs as an “ed-tech startup trend” and associating it with 2012 overlooks the history of Massive Open Online Courses that’s not associated with Silicon Valley startups — heck, that’s not associated with Silicon Valley at all.

But it’s the story of the “success” of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence class last fall that seems to dominate the mainstream narrative surrounding MOOCs. The 160,000 students that enrolled in Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrun’s class was certainly a watershed moment — most of all for Thrun, who announced at the DLD conference in Munich that he couldn’t go back to teaching at Stanford and was founding his own online education startup, Udacity.

The “this changes everything!” excitement about MOOCs is echoed in the media, no doubt.

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A Pixelated Portrait of Labour

From The Economist

Official statistics can tell you how many workers were jobless last month, how many had college degrees and how many worked in construction. But they cannot tell you how many know Hadoop, a software for managing data that is much in demand these days.

LinkedIn, however, says it knows that, and much else gleaned from the profiles of its millions of members. The social-media website for professionals can tell you that one of the fastest-growing job titles in America is “adjunct professor” (an ill-paid, overworked species of academic).

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Fast Pace of Higher Education Enrollment Growth Predicted to Slow

By Yojana Sharma

A combination of demographic and economic changes will resize the global higher education landscape by 2020, according to a new report by the British Council. The largest higher education systems are likely to be China with some 37 million students, India with 28 million, the US with 20 million and Brazil with nine million. However higher education, currently one of the fastest growing sectors globally, is predicted to experience a significant slowdown in the rate of growth in enrolments in the coming decades.

This is according to the report The Shape of Things to Come: Higher education global trends and emerging opportunities to 2020, drawn up for the British Council by Oxford Economics. It is to be published officially next month, but a preview was released ahead of the British Council’s “Going Global” conference being held in London from 13-15 March. The study forecasts enrolments to grow by 21 million students by 2020 ¬– a huge rise in overall numbers and an average growth rate of 1.4% per year across 50 selected countries that account for almost 90% of higher education enrolments globally.

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Reasons Not to Go to Grad School

By Scott Jaschik

Three years into an economic downturn that worsened an already tough academic job market, a blog called “100 Reasons NOT to Go to Graduate School” has become popular with grad students seeking to vent.

Anonymously produced for two years by someone who says the blog is “the result of long experience,” the steadily increasing number of comments on posts testifies that its point of view is resonating with many. The posts are a mix of analysis of the job market (“There are very few jobs”), the realities many see in graduate school (“Graduate seminars can be unbearable”) and the impact of grad school on individuals’ personal lives (“The one-body problem”).

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Faculty-Salary Increases at Public Colleges Trail Those at Private Ones

By Andrea Fuller

Salaries for faculty members across all disciplines rose by 1.9 percent this year, nearly matching the 2-percent rise in senior administrator salaries, according to an annual report released this week by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources.

But a divide remains between public-college faculty members and those at private colleges, according to the report, which reflects data for 813 public and private colleges. Private-college faculty members received a median salary increase of 2.3 percent for the 2012 fiscal year, compared with 1.1 percent for public-college faculty members.

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Global Citizenship – What Are We Talking About and Why Does It Matter?

By Madeleine F. Green

During the past decade higher education’s interest in internationalization has intensified, and the concept of civic education or engagement has broadened from a national focus to a more global one, thus expanding the concept that civic responsibility extends beyond national borders.

As Schattle (2009) points out, the concept of global citizenship is not a new one; it can be traced back to ancient Greece. But the concept and the term seem to have new currency and are now widely used in higher education. Many institutions cite global citizenship in their mission statements and/or as an outcome of liberal education and internationalization efforts. Many have “centers for global citizenship” or programs with this label.

Additionally, national and international organizations and networks have devoted themselves to helping institutions promote global citizenship, although they do not necessarily use that term. For example, the Association of American Colleges and Universities sponsors a series of programs concerned with civic learning, a broad concept that includes several goals for undergraduate education: strengthening U.S. democracy, preparing globally responsible citizenry, developing personal and social responsibility, and promoting global learning and diversity. The Salzburg Seminar’s International Study Program provides week-long workshops for faculty to consider the concepts of global citizenship and their integration into undergraduate education. It also provides college students with programs on global issues. The Talloires Network is an international alliance formed in 2005 that includes 202 institutions in 58 countries “devoted to strengthening the civic roles and social responsibilities of higher education.” The Talloires declaration refers specifically to “preparing students to contribute positively to local, national, and global communities.” Founded in 1985, the oldest of these networks, Campus Compact, retains its predominant, but not exclusive, focus on the United States.

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