When study abroad isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

Many parents and students alike approach higher education like they do vacationing and shopping.  That is, they survey the available options, speak with their friends and neighbors, and make decisions based on a simplistic rationale.  As this post suggests there is usually more to the decision than meets the eye.

We would suggest the following check-list to use before beginning your search for a college or program.

1.  Be aware of the students (or your own) learning style.  Independent learners require less structure, supervision, and person-to-person contact, especially with faculty and mentors.

2.  Assess the maturity of the student.  Leaving home is a mixed blessing for many young college students.  If they are ready to leave, the challenge will be valuable in most cases.  In some it will pose problems that could have been avoided by waiting another year or two.

3.  Distance learning and on-line courses can be attractive and valuable for students who need the support (financial and otherwise) of the home environment.  It also requires that students are computer literate and capable of setting their own schedules and work habits.

4.  Understand the significant differences between public and private institutions, their tuition rates, scholarship programs, and types of students in residence and/or utilizing their online resources.

5.  Consider the importance of accreditation to the quality imperatives of the institution.  Accreditation often assures better governance, internal controls, relevant programs, and financial stability of institutions, especially those located in the United States.

Viewpoint: When study abroad isn’t all it’s cracked up to be | USA TODAY College.

Thanks to USA TODAY College

 

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What Is Competency-Based Education?

While policy makers are praising competency-based education, not enough is being done to ensure that our rules and regulations support it. For example, financial aid rules are generally based on seat time, and accreditation requirements tend to focus on reviews of faculty credentials, course materials, and time measures rather than what students are learning. Moving competency-based education into the mainstream will require a fundamental change in the way we look at higher education in America, but the improvements we will gain in student learning, efficiency, and affordability will be worth it.

via Dr. Robert Mendenhall: What Is Competency-Based Education?.

Thanks to Robert Mendenhall

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Why the NSA loves Google’s Chromebook

The laptop/notebook/tablet conversation is only just beginning.  And Microsoft’s decision to lower it price of its Surface tablets will dramatically change the face of competition for education dolllars.

Why the NSA loves Google’s Chromebook | Ars Technica.

Thanks to Ars Technica

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Universities Go in Big for Big Data

“Big data is going to college.

This semester, a handful of university programs specializing in data mining are starting up. This week, the University of Virginia launched a new research center called the Big Data Institute. Columbia University will also begin offering a new master’s in big data, in a program technically called “Quantitative Studies.” ”

via Universities Go in Big for Big Data – Wall Street Journal – WSJ.com.

Its about time, as they say.  Sooner or later the larger institutions would decide that Big Data is real, important, and worthy of study.

The next big issue will be defining it.  No small challenge.

Thanks to The Wall Street Journal

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Why We Fear MOOCs – The Conversation

Why We Fear MOOCs – The Conversation – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Fear?  Moocs?

“As hybrids, they defy easy categorization and threaten to upset the tidy categories we have for judging who is and is not college-educated. Like monsters, MOOCs threaten to disrupt our social world and bring chaos in their wake.”

The unknown has always challenged our sensibilities.  But the evolution of technology and education has gained significant momentum.  The best strategy is probably to get on board – at some level.  But are traditional bricks and mortar institutions ready to give up the turnstyle and massive investments in concrete and parking lots?

Thanks to  – The Chronicle of Higher Education

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VSB mulls ban on teacher-student Facebook friendships

The Vancouver School Board is mulling a strict social media policy that would ban teachers from friending students on Facebook and other social media sites.

A draft version was presented and debated at a board meeting Tuesday night, including guidelines for friend requests and even personal posting activity.

Trustee Mike Lombardi said certain rules are necessary to ensure teachers use good judgment and act as proper role models for their pupils.

“The problem is we’re letting people stumble in the dark,” Lombardi said. “So we’ve embarked on a process of consulting with our teachers, our students and our parents about what would be an appropriate social policy.”

One measure Lombardi said has already been supported by the BC College of Teachers is a full prohibition on friending students.

“That’s the equivalent of 25 years ago, as a teacher, me asking students for a personal phone number to phone them at home,” he said.

via VSB mulls ban on teacher-student Facebook friendships | CTV British Columbia News.

Thanks to  | CTV British Columbia News

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Udacity Will Offer Masters Degrees in CS From Georgia Tech

Udacity Will Offer Masters Degrees in CS From Georgia Tech – Liz Gannes – News – AllThingsD.

In the world of online education and MOOC, this is BIG news.  Kudos to the institutions involved as they work to sort the multi-tentacled remote student body they will attract to the program.  Smart that they chose a Master’s Program first.  Those students will have most likely benefited from bachelor’s degrees from an accredited institution prior to acceptance into the program.  That’s just a guess, but echoes how we would do it.

Thanks to Liz Gannes – News – AllThingsD

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Why the Tennessee Bill to Punish Welfare Families for Low Test Scores Was Wrong

Why the Tennessee Bill to Punish Welfare Families for Low Test Scores Was Wrong | Diane Ravitch’s blog.

Research is a strange creature.  In the hands of an expert, facts and statistics can be twisted and tabulated to support or attack nearly any segment of the study or inquiry.

Thats why this commentary is especially interesting, especially when research funds flow so quickly to research universities with a particular agenda or known bias.

Thanks to Diane Ravitch’s blog

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Ukraine Establishes Nationwide Learning Platform for 1.5 Million Students

Ukraine Establishes Nationwide Learning Platform for 1.5 Million Students — THE Journal.

“Ukraine has begun the process of implementing a nationwide learning platform for all of the country’s students in grades 5-9, as well as the Ukrainian Knowledge Exchange, a platform that lets the country’s educators publish and share educational content and research. Both projects are part of the Ukraine Open World National Project, the goal of which is to provide the country’s students with a comprehensive educational platform to help them compete globally.”

Curious that they have targeted grades 5-9.  Could those students be pre-BYOD targets  or is it a matter of expense?

Thanks to THE Journal

 

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Who’s afraid of the big bad MOOC?

Who’s afraid of the big bad MOOC?.

The UK weighs in on MOOC.  Great to read unbiased opinions about the movement and to know its global not just a US phenomenon.

Thanks to Steve Wheelers Blogger Blog

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