This week’s cleaning house, the EdTech rattlers

Competency-based degrees, MOOCs and EdTech Innovators

Towson University launches its business incubator, TowsonGlobal, responsible for connecting EdTech companies and entrepreneurs.

Boston becomes the MOOC capital of the Northeast with the recent announcement of BostonX, a joint partnership with EdX offering free online courses.

President Obama commends my alma mater, Southern New Hampshire University on affordable solutions to competency-based degrees. View video here.

Pearson expands blended/online learning with Howard University. Students can now choose up to 25 online degrees with this flagship program.

Cengage Learning pre-negotiates bankruptcy.

NoRedInk, the online grammar tool is $2 million strong. Don’t fear the red pen!


How do you use Pinterest?

I started using Pinterest as a tool to organize recipes, pair outfits together, share art and new styling ideas. This is a way for me to connect with friends and follow content that I enjoy. A few features the company hopes to roll out includes a better, more improved recipe search function. You will still be able to pin an image, but also, I imagine, use a collapsible drop-down to view ingredients. No more redirecting to websites, spam or broken links to finds a grocery list or instructions on those delectable delights my mouth waters over. Another feature Pinterest is adding is an alert when you pin a duplicate post. Something along the lines as Hey stupid, you already pinned that will popup on your screen – thanks Pinterest. In looking at perhaps gluten-free delectable desserts, I found a new EDUCATIONAL way to use Pinterest. Recommended reading lists. Teachability, a product developed by my friends at Pearson is a new online tool for teachers to share ideas and breakthroughs in teaching. I followed Teachability on Pinterest and was brought to a great board of Recommended Reading Lists by Genre. This Pinterest board also has information on the Common Core, STEM foundations, and One-to-One initiatives (promoting digital learning in and out of the classroom). The Digital Classroom, an infographic that encompasses everything I am trying to inundate myself with is below. I think this pretty much sums up where education is going in the future:


Pearson, taking one step further towards digitalization

There is a lot of hupla surrounding technology in higher ed right now and I am only excited to see where it is going next.
Let me break some things down for you first:

BYOD/BYOT (bring your own device/technology encourages students to use their own devices to retrieve information)
MOOC (massive open online course, now being offered at Universities and the Museum of Natural History)

It is inevitable for the textbook industry to, well, ‘budgetize’ their print production to meet the needs of the market. Cengage, Macmillan, and Pearson are making their strides to adapt to a changing market by partnering with CMS providers, creating textbooks that are far less traditional black-and-white paper and more full multimedia experiences and recently, acquiring small startups. Pearson, for example bought Learning Catalytics, software for teachers to collect and track a student’s retention and feedback during a lecture in real-time. [This could be used to prompt classroom discussions in both lower grades and seminars alike]. Pearson also continues to grow their eBook library, offers access codes providing resources to an accompaniment of MyLabs and is surely improving that drag-and-drop feature many like. But if decreasing the needs of traditional books being sold at college libraries and being used across classrooms, eventually focusing on an online curriculum or very best, a blended learning environment, what will this mean for professors? We are redefining the textbook and redefining the classroom experience right along with it. If textbooks are fading, will colleges jump on the wagon to offer MOOC-based curriculums?

Currently EdX, Udacity and Coursera are the three largest MOOC providers. They provide free classes out on the web (hence open courseware) to unenrolled students. ‘Students’ in the broad sense of the word… The Museum of Natural History recently joined Coursera in offering development courses to public school science teachers in NYC and some colleges have adopted the model ”flipping the classroom,” allowing instruction and homework to be done online and classroom discussion meant to facilitate discussion! These three companies will have an undeniable impact on higher ed in the future. It will be exciting and nerve wrecking to watch education transform. There will always be ups and downs. But if MOOC is changing our idea of learning, what does this also mean for the textbook industry? If publishers do not have a say over which titles are being offered, how will content be standardized? How will we regulate the Common Core? If any solution, MOOC providers should work one-on-one with the publishers to ensure content and all needs are met.