Are today’s MOOCs akin to the first generation of smart phones? Is edX / Coursera circa 2017 comparable to original (and largely forgotten) touch screen mobile phone / communications & computing device - the 1994 IBM Simon? There is a possibility that for all the wonderful benefits of open online education - and there are many - that MOOCs are an idea that is ahead of our time.
Technology has disrupted industry after industry, changing the landscape and usually resulting in lower costs to consumers. Ride-sharing platforms like Uber and Lyft and the lodging app Airbnb are just a few examples. So here's an interesting question -- is technology, in the form of online courses, about to dramatically lower the soaring cost of higher education?
Just as they have in manufacturing, defense, aerospace, transportation and dozens of other industries, robots and artificial intelligence are revolutionizing how humans teach and learn. Manifestations of robotic and AI teaching technology can already be seen in the educational sphere.
The Education Week survey found 59 percent of fourth-grade math teachers in high-poverty schools had received training within the past two years on integrating technology into instruction, compared to 69 percent for the wealthiest schools. The difference “may be fueling a new digital divide that threatens to exacerbate long-standing inequities and separate education’s haves and have-nots along new fault lines,” the researchers wrote.
Last summer the world’s largest online retailer launched Amazon Inspire, touting it as a hub for educators to exchange lesson plans and other Open Education Resources. But a year later, the site remains in limited, invitation-only beta. Some wonder when it will be open to the wider education community (and what the company’s broader education strategy is).
In a profession most readily associated with the printed word, school librarians have embraced what may seem like an unlikely tool. Librarians in public schools across the country are mixing new technologies like iPads and the internet with old to teach their students fundamental skills, while also preparing them for the digital age. But their progress is threatened by a familiar problem in education: funding.
Despite the potential for innovative uses of data to dramatically transform K-12 education in the United States for the better, time and time again, promising efforts to improve how the education system uses data are met with contentious opposition. Parents understandably value the privacy of their children and thus are sensitive to programs that collect and analyze student data.
So, your school district has bought a device for every student, or you just opened your network for students to bring their own devices. Now what? What should you have students do with those devices -- take notes, surf the internet or do research?
Chun’s district is at the forefront of a national movement to turn K-12 librarians into indispensable digital mavens who can help classroom teachers craft tech-savvy lesson plans, teach kids to think critically about online research, and remake libraries into lively, high-tech hubs of collaborative learning — while still helping kids get books.
The Department of Education’s Virtual Reality expo brought educators from across the state to discuss how they’re using virtual technology in their curriculum. “The idea is to be able to create an environment where learners at all levels can use gestures and natural movements of their hands to make and explore mathematical figures,” said Justin Dimmel, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education & Instructional Technology at the University of Maine.