Open education | Page 3

Blended Learning Open education

Google goes MOOC

In addition to the news of the Gates Foundation giving 9 million dollars for “inovative education practices (see: Wired Campus blog post on June 19th), Google has joined the fray for Massively Open Online Courses (see this other post on Wired Campus, a tech blog of the Chronicle of higher education).

The search Internet giant has launched its “Course Builder” as an open source code project (see: See Peter Norvig, director of research at Google explain the project:


Of particular interest is this page about the design process of an online course from Google.

Blended Learning Inspiration Open education

Technology to save Universities

Stephen Laster, Chief Information Officer, Harvard Business School, delivers his Viewpoint in the most receny Educause Review. Insisting on the dire financial situation of students and Universities alike, he stresses that technology offers an opportunity to solve these issues. The Learning Management Systems (LMS) as a plat-form or in the cloud….

Other articles present the top 10 technology issues Universities face as well as some functional requirements of technology applied to education.

In closing, see this article about 2012 top ten trends in academic from C&RL News.

Open education Universities

Launch of EdX – MIT & Harvard’s Open Education Repository

MIT and Harvard announce the launch of a new online education platform called EdX :

[From the press release] Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) today announced edX, a transformational new partnership in online education. Through edX, the two institutions will collaborate to enhance campus-based teaching and learning and build a global community of online learners.

EdX will build on both universities’ experience in offering online instructional content. The technological platform recently established by MITx, which will serve as the foundation for the new learning system, was designed to offer online versions of MIT courses featuring video lesson segments, embedded quizzes, immediate feedback, student-ranked questions and answers, online laboratories, and student paced learning. Certificates of mastery will be available for those motivated and able to demonstrate their knowledge of the course material.

MIT and Harvard expect that over time other universities will join them in offering courses on the edX platform. The gathering of many universities’ educational content together on one site will enable learners worldwide to access the course content of any participating university from a single website, and to use a set of online educational tools shared by all participating universities. []

Here is the video of the press release:

Live Video app for Facebook by Ustream
Interesting questions spring to mind: exactly what technologies will run this initiative “under the hood” of the system? How will it work with Moodle or MOOCs? This notwithstanding, it remains a very interesting development to keep an eye on!

Inspiration Open education

MOOCs and open education

MOOCs, MITx and Udacity. Should university education be open to all and free of cost? These and related questions are explored in two recent blog post on The Guardian’s Higher Education Network blog.

MITx is testing alternate delivery mechanism, with a low-cost course on electronics this semester (and more announced in the Fall). Also of note, Steven Schwartz‘s mention Sebastian Thrun’s Udacity, great examples of open education. But most interesting are the MOOCs.

Bonnie Stewart presents open online learning environments called Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). For an introduction to Moocs, watch this video :


Actually, the initiative is housed at the University of Prince Edward Island – they’ve used the technology to launch a MOOC for new students called

For more information, see this MOOC Guide Wiki.

Hat tips to Bonnie Stewart for her great post and to Steven Schwartz for his Universities leading the way with education technology, both on the (newly discovered) Higher Education Network blog on The Guardian.

Bibliographies Information literacy Open education Videos

Flip’n library instruction

“To flip” is getting a new definition in the education setting: that of delivering lectures via video or other out-of-classroom vehicles and using class time for exercises and other active learning exercises. At least, that’s my sense for a series of articles discussing the developments around Kahn Academy.

First off, Clive Thompson provides a fascinating description of the initiative in August 2011’s Wired Magazine. In a nutshell, Kahn Academy provides free training videos and exercises mainly in the math, sciences or economics fields and has been deploying classroom “operating systems” or dashboards that allow teachers to monitor in real-time the progress of each student. As Thompson points out,

Khan’s videos are anything but sophisticated. He recorded many of them in a closet at home, his voice sounding muffled on his $25 Logitech headset. But some of his fans believe that Khan has stumbled onto the secret to solving education’s middle-of-the-class mediocrity. Most notable among them is Bill Gates, whose foundation has invested $1.5 million in Khan’s site. “I’d been looking for something like this—it’s so important,” Gates says. Khan’s approach, he argues, shows that education can truly be customized, with each student getting individualized help when needed.

Not everyone agrees. Critics argue that Khan’s videos and software encourage uncreative, repetitive drilling—and leave kids staring at screens instead of interacting with real live teachers. Even Khan will acknowledge that he’s not an educational professional; he’s just a nerd who improvised a cool way to teach people things. And for better or worse, this means that he doesn’t have a consistent, comprehensive plan for overhauling school curricula.

More recently, The Economist offers a few articles this week on the subject of education reform (The great schools revolution ), education theory (The horse before the cart) and Kahn Academy (Flipping the classroom).

I have to admit that Kahn Academy is the main inspiration behind the library training videos I’ve built for the John Molson School of Business (with the invaluable help of John Bentley, at Concordia University’s Center for Teaching and Learning).