A nice summary of a recent MIT report on the future of learning here. But, from a cursory glance there's nothing new... networks, open content, spatial metaphors, etc. I guess we'll have to read the report!
With a host of colleges and universities now hosting some of its classes online, historically black universities are now also looking to use that medium to create new avenues for the universities and its students. A 2007 study by the American Education Council concluded that black students comprised just 11% of all higher education enrollment but represented 21% of students at for-profit colleges, where most classes are offered online.
One of the major reasons black colleges are lagging behind in the online courses movement is most are tuition dependent as a result of low endowment and lack the infrastructure to create and maintain online courses. There are also concerns about whether black colleges, with low retention and graduation rates, even need an online platform for its students since most often advertise a personal and intimate environment for its students.
Companies such as HBCUsOnline.com and Education Online Services are leading the efforts to put courses online for students at black colleges. Despite concerns about whether an online platform is needed, the aforementioned companies note they are targeting adult learners over 25 since they represent an ideal market: only 17.5% of blacks in that demographic has a bachelor’s degree and most are working professionals looking for an avenue to continue their education and work full time.
Gmail "killer" or an innovation toward more convenient social networking? Check out this live video about the Facebook press conference! =)
The college application process can be a daunting task for most college bound high schoolers. They have to inform themselves on a lot of relatively new college related information and research hundreds of colleges before narrowing their list. College fairs are attended and colleges are visited; all of these are done as a precaution to ensure that the best possible decision is made and the transition from high school to college go as smooth as possible.
A few admission terms that seem to bewilder some of these applicants is the subject of early action, early decision, early admission, and early colleges. The prospective students who usually explore these “early” decisions are usually high achieving students either eager to receive an early decision or enter college early. Early action and early decision are the two main terms that are usually mixed up and differentiating between the two is crucial.
In early action, applicants are notified of their acceptance to a college earlier than most of the other applicants. Although accepted early, they are allowed to apply to other colleges for regular admission or early action colleges and can decline an acceptance in case they have a change of heart. This liberal approach is part of the reason why most colleges exercise this option. Early decision on the other had requires applicants to apply to only one institution and accepted individuals are required to enroll in that college and not permitted to enroll elsewhere. This term is very binding and the only way to withdraw is usually is financial aid reasons. Some notable colleges and universities that enforce early decision are Brown University, John Hopkins University, Cornell University, Dartmouth University, Duke University, Northwestern University and Emory University, among others. Knowing the difference between these two surely avoids an inadvertent mistake that can ruin a student’s quest for the right college or leave an individual without a college to attend after senior year.
12 states (Connecticut, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Arizona, New York, Massachusetts, and Mississippi) are piloting a new program for high school students that may turn the traditional model on its head.
The program is organized by the National Center on Education and the Economy and is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (which will provide an evaluation of the model). The project is intended to reduce the number of high school grads that are unprepared for college and need to take remedial classes.
Image from k12center.org
The model would allow students to take a test at the end of the 10th grade (a “board exam”), the results of which would lead to several different options. For one, if the results show that a student possesses the equivalent knowledge of 4 years of high school, s/he could receive a diploma/certificate and enter a community college program. Depending on their score, students could also choose to enter into the workforce. The results could also allow students to enter into a 4-year college institution (but they would have to take a more challenging version of the exam). Students who pass the test but want to attend more selective colleges can opt to stay in high school to take more college prep courses.
In one of the participating schools of Mississippi, the dropout rate is 13%. Said the superintendent of this school, Lee Childress, “We know some children just aren't going to go to school past 16 years of age, whether you or I like it or not.”
Childress argues that this model could help fight the dropout rate while introducing more rigor into the high school and 7th and 8th grades as students (and teachers) strive to meet benchmarks.
The model, for all states in the program, will be implemented for the upcoming school year, 2011-2012.
This looks like a provocative panel with some interesting research in the works that might be of interest to some EdLabbers. It seems like there would be plenty of applicable ideas to what we do and can do in raising awareness when appropriate for different EdLab projects. This quote caught my attention:
"Video is the new black in fundraising..."
-- Cara Mertes, Director, Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program
A community college in Maryland is offering classes which begin at 12am. One of the professors who teaches at midnight says: "It was the complete opposite of what I feared, which was going to be trying to drag a dozen students as if they were dead bodies through the mud at 1 in the morning. " Here is the complete article.
How many times do you get up and stretch or walk around during eight hours of work time? How often do you pop an Advil or Motrin over a headache or back pain instead of standing up and leave the building for some fresh air? These questions may seem unrelated to education, but in my opinion, they are the roots of a good education. We need tremendous amount of energy for our brain to absolve, digest and intake information, with poor posture and high stress level- doesn’t matter how precious the information or knowledge is, we won’t be able to take them in.
A study, Activity Level Seems to Decline Throughout College Years shows that as we get into high education, the required physical classes decreases and if we don’t put in an effort to walk and exercise a little more, and as such it’s more than likely that our health is going downhill. There are even programs online available for download just to remind you when to stand up and stretch.