Weekly Report for Educators
Elaborated by the Observatory of Educational Innovation of Tecnológico de Monterrey
Tuesday September 30, 2014
Contact us at observatorio@itesm.mx
Stephen Downes: ‘This is the Next Era of Learning’
Online Educa Berlín
  • Stephen Downes, pioneer of major e-learning developments, introduces the next generation of learning technologies: ‘learning and performance support systems’ (LPSS).
  • The LPSS develops the idea of learning support based on personal and individual needs. It's not simply ‘personalised’ learning. Rather than offering a customised version of some generic offering, it enables each learner to develop their own custom programme.
  • At the core of LPSS is a system called the ‘personal learning record’ (PLR). A person’s LPSS system keeps track of everything related to learning – exercises followed, tests taken, games and simulations attempted, work read – and stores that all in a single location.
  • The PLR is also combined with a learner’s personal library and their personal e-portfolio, and links to credentials offered by and stored by learning institutions, employers, and social network activities, such as badges.
  • Launching in beta this month, the technology is expected to take the online learning experience to a whole new level.
Ir a la nota: http://bit.ly/Downeslpss

Palabras Clave: Conectivismo, educación abierta, tecnología educativa
New Movement in Learning Analytics Could Change Education
eCampus News
  • In a truly comprehensive report, Stanford's Learning Analytics Workgroup (LAW) calls for a new movement in learning analytics based on it's massive potential. 
  • According to Roy Pea, lead investigator of the report, the technology behind analytics has progressed faster than education’s ability to use it. “What we are calling for is an even newer specialization, ‘education data science.’" explained Pea.
  • Incorporating emerging technologies to further enhance analytics would be a must. For example, sensing systems for learning, or sensors for interaction, could use data beyond measuring cognitive abilities to include indicators of student interactions during learning activities.
  • It’s what Pea calls an evolving “predictive learner model,” which could “get the greatest percentage of learners to competency in the shortest time at the lowest cost.”
  • Not only could learning analytics make it possible to personalize all students’ learning on a massive scale, fundamentally transforming how students are taught, but could also change how teachers are prepared, how research is conducted, how education-related information is used and managed, and how funds are allocated.
Ir a la nota: http://bit.ly/LrningAnalytics

Palabras Clave: Analíticas de aprendizaje
Portland Community College Launches Web Accessibility MOOC for Educators
Campus Technology
  • Portland Community College (PCC) has teamed with a private partner to launch a massive open online course (MOOC) for educators that will address Web accessibility concerns associated with online learning. 
  • The course "Web Accessibility MOOC for Online Educators," is designed to provide "an activity-based professional development opportunity" for teachers concerned about accessibility in their online classes. 
  • "We realize many institutions are faced with resource challenges and we are excited that this free MOOC on accessibility teaches educators some of the best practices we use at PCC to make educational content accessible to students," said Loraine Schmitt, director of distance education at PCC.
Ir a la nota: http://bit.ly/MOOCeducators

Palabras Clave: MOOC, docencia
Udacity Raises Fresh $35M to Expand the ‘University of Silicon Valley’
  • Silicon Valley companies often clamor about the shortage of qualified STEM workers. But those days may be coming to an end.
  • Udacity is focused on building a talent funnel to help its fellow Silicon Valley neighbors. And to grow, it’s raised a fresh $35 million round from names not commonly seen in U.S. edtech funding circles.
  • Building a bigger tech workforce has become a hot business. Sebastian Thrun, Udacity's CEO, said that he chose these investors “not just for capital, but for strategic importance” as industries around the world search for technical talent.
  • Udacity’s product focus is now on “nanodegrees,” credentials created with industry partners for technology skills. Thrun's long-term vision is that any nanodegree holder will qualify for a relevant entry-level position.
  • For $200 per month, students can enroll in nanodegree programs and get classes, mentoring, project feedback and certified examinations--all of which can be done remotely. Most students are expected to take six to 12 months to finish.
Ir a la nota: http://bit.ly/Udacitynanodegrees

Palabras Clave: Udacity, Edtech, STEM
New Doctoral Degrees Bring Industry, Academia Closer
University World News
  • Over the last 20 years, new forms of doctoral degrees combining higher education studies with practical working experience have emerged. This is the case of professional or industrial PhDs-doctorates or ‘modern doctorates’.
  • Their distinctive trait is an emphasis on applied research. In these programmes, doctoral students (or employees) work on research projects while operating at the premises of the funding company (or employer).
  • By establishing close cooperation between universities and businesses, and by combining work, learning and research, these forms of modern doctorates have a three-fold added value.
  • Notwithstanding, there is insufficient awareness of the great potential that these educational paths could have as a lever for local development, competitiveness and innovation.
Ir a la nota: http://bit.ly/NewPhDs

Palabras Clave: Posgrados, investigación, doctorados, academia
Why Academics Stink at Writing
The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Why should a profession that trades in words and dedicates itself to the transmission of knowledge so often turn out prose that is turgid, soggy, wooden, bloated, clumsy, obscure, unpleasant to read, and impossible to understand? The most conspicuous trait of the American professoriate: the prose style called academese.
  • The most popular answer inside the academy is the self-serving one: Difficult writing is unavoidable because of the abstractness and complexity of our subject matter. Another explanation shifts the blame to entrenched authority. People often say that academics have no choice but to write badly because the gatekeepers of journals and university presses insist on ponderous language as proof of one’s seriousness.
  • Other major contributor to academese is a cognitive blind spot called the Curse of Knowledge: a difficulty in imagining what it is like for someone else not to know something that you know.
  • Exorcising the curse of knowledge is not an easy task but here are some tips to defeat the self-conscious academic writing style.
Ir a la nota: http://bit.ly/Academicwrtingstinks

Palabras Clave: Academia, escritura, lenguaje
Scientists Make an Invisibility Cloak Using Off-the-Shelf Optical Lenses
  • Most invisibility cloaks require fairly exotic technology to work, such as fiber optics or light-altering metamaterials. The University of Rochester has developed a cloak that only needs run of the mill optical lenses to hide objects from view. The system really boils down to clever math.
  • By positioning two pairs of lenses in the right order, researchers can bend light in a way that hides almost everything you put in the middle of this arrangement.
  • The lens-based system could eliminate blind spots in vehicles, or let surgeons see through their hands during delicate operations. Those uses are a long ways off at this early stage, but the relative simplicity of the technique makes them very plausible.
Ir a la nota: http://bit.ly/Invisibilitycloaklenses

Palabras Clave: Investigación, física, óptica
OBSERVATORIO DE INNOVACIÓN EDUCATIVA | Reporte Semanal para Profesores es elaborado por el Observatorio de Innovación Educativa del Tecnológico de Monterrey con las notas más destacadas sobre innovación, tecnología y educación. Si está interesado en obtener mayor información sobre alguna nota, favor de enviar un correo a: observatorio@itesm.mx. TECNOLÓGICO DE MONTERREY, 2014.

Observatory of Educational Innovation

Tecnológico de Monterrey's Observatory of Educational Innovation: We identify and analyze the educational innovation trends that are shaping the future of learning and education. 

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