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Education Editor 
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Education

The JUST education section explores media literacy and education as they relate to the needs of learners attempting to interpret, react to, and affect change for their own personal development as well as for the  benefit of their respective cultures and communities.

Richard KroonBob Lasewicz

Education

Monday
Dec052011

The Rational and Empirical Basis for Open Access Initiatives

Monday
Dec052011

Directory of Open Access Journals

The aim of the Directory of Open Access Journals is to increase the visibility and ease of use of open access scientific and scholarly journals thereby promoting their increased usage and impact. The Directory aims to be comprehensive and cover all open access scientific and scholarly journals that use a quality control system to guarantee the content. In short a one stop shop for users to Open Access Journals. Read more...

Saturday
Dec032011

Libraries Offer Tools and Support for Open-Access Publishing

STM Publishing News

As part of its efforts to promote broader access to academic research, Duke University Libraries has announced a new service to help members of the Duke community create and publish peer-reviewed, open-access scholarly journals. Read more...

Wednesday
Oct122011

Peer Tutoring

Bob Lasiewicz
October, 2011 

Peer tutoring is a term that’s used to describe an array of tutoring arrangements, but most of the research refers to students working in pairs to help one another learn material or practice an academic task and so far this highly effective technique hasn’t spread that far beyond the halls of higher education. In this era of educational job-training, and community outreach cutbacks, peer tutoring could greatly extend the impact of available resources.

The benefits of peer tutoring for students include higher academic achievement, improved peer relationships, improved personal and social development, as well as increased motivation. It is more cost-effective than adding teacher time and other educational support programs. Tutors also develop impressive leadership skills. For more details on pertinent research see: “National Tutoring Association Factsheet”.

For success among at-risk students read about the “The Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program – Effective Peer Teaching.” And benefits apply to community-based programs, as well, such as the one featured in  the “Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Training by Health - Connect One” story. The common thread that applies to adults as well as student peer tutors is that people are less threatened and have a higher degree of receptivity to new information when it comes from a trusted peer rather than a traditional authority figure.

Web-based programs such as Innovations for Learning’s are now enabling peer tutoring to expand it’s reach by fostering peer-to-peer engagement in aunique online tutoring program in which volunteers from corporations tutor students over the Internet.

Wednesday
Oct052011

Student Mathematics Learning Through Self-Explanation, Peer Tutoring and Digital Media Production

This exploratory research and development project engages high-school students as student-tutors who create screen-capture videos that demonstrate step-by-step solutions to mathematical problems and explicate the use of interactive applets. The project has three development goals (a model for creating the media, a model for collaboration with teachers, and enhancements to a Lesson Study model) and three research goals (to test conjectures about student change, to analyze reconfigured roles for teachers and students, and to advance a theory of personalized learning communities.) Read more...

Sunday
Sep112011

The Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program – Effective Peer Teaching

One great example of an established cross-age mentoring program is the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program (VYP), The VYP is a research-based, internationally-recognized dropout prevention program that has kept 98 percent of its tutors in school. Incredibly the program has maintained a less than 2 percent dropout rate. Read more...

Wednesday
Jul272011

Bringing the “Wisdom of the Crowd” into the Online Classroom

Bob Lasiewicz
July, 2011 

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are a new breed of on-line course sprouting up around the country that bring the networked free-flowing info/social stew of 21st century digital citizens into the hallowed halls of academia. This approach appeals to those seeking the most current information on a subject, interdisciplinary influences, and self-directed learning.

In many ways, MOOCs are the outgrowth of the “Connectivism” learning theory which assumes that there is more to learn than one individual (teachers included) can possibly acquire, making networks crucial for discovering information on a “need-to-know” basis. Connectivist learning skills include the ability to make connections, publicly share thinking, explore and discover new information, and see connections between fields, ideas and concepts.

With registrations sometimes in the thousands, these “open” courses require a large group of participants to realize the desired “network” characteristics. They usually provide access at no charge while sometimes combining course credit (and fees) for a much smaller group under stricter participation and evaluation requirements.

In MOOCs the traditional role of teacher becomes that of curator, host and publisher. This “participatory pedagogy” heavily incorporates social media (wikis, blogging, twitter, bookmarking, webinars) and best suits a student who is self-directed, inquisitive, and social.

Carried to their logical conclusion, today's MOOCs may turn our traditional educational institutions into hosts of “networks of practice.”  The campus and classroom will evolve from the highly structured lecture model to one of collaborative exploration that extends far beyond the boundaries of the classroom, campus, or country the student resides in.

Wednesday
Jul272011

Online, Bigger Classes May Be Better Classes

Marc Parry, The Chronicle of Higher Education

In his work as a professor, Stephen Downes used to feel that he was helping those who least needed it. His students at places like the University of Alberta already had a leg up in life and could afford the tuition.

So when a colleague suggested they co-teach an online class in learning theory at the University of Manitoba, in 2008, Mr. Downes welcomed the chance to expand that privileged club. The idea: Why not invite the rest of world to join the 25 students who were taking the course for credit?

Read more...

Wednesday
Jul272011

A MOOC in Action: CCK11 - Connectivism and Connective Knowledge 2011

Another way to better understand a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) is to see one created by some of the founders of the "Connectivism" theory of learning that MOOCs are based on that explains "Connectivism" itself. CCK11 was offered January through April of this year. Click on "read more" below to actual the course itself.   Read more...

Wednesday
Jul272011

What is a MOOC?

A “Massively Open Online Course” also known as a “MOOC,” is a model of learning based on the connectivist theory of learning. Simply put participants make connections between ideas, materials, and the facilitators and participants.  The course is part of a way of building learning by creating networks that enable the participants to increase their lifelong learning.

Thursday
Jul072011

Home Schooled from a Distance

Bob Lasiewicz
June, 2011

Distance education is rapidly transforming traditional homeschooling and providing home schooled students with expanded curriculum and learning experiences. An increasing number of virtual campuses are now available to the home schooled child through sources such as “Florida Virtual School.” Before the arrival of these distance learning opportunities if a parent did not feel comfortable teaching certain courses, such as graphic design, they would have limited their child’s options to what they were comfortable teaching. Now this need not be the case.

Home schooled students are, by and large, able to meet the requirements of on-line learning to a greater degree than the general population. The home schooled student is used to the one on one conversation process with the parent/teacher that is a standard online learning methodology, as well as having the self discipline and technological expertise required. The home schooled student is also used to not having a campus and school based friendships -- although online schools promote and create group projects, online clubs and volunteering opportunities. The home schooled student is even used to the stigma attached to alternative learning methods.

However, there are some barriers to expansion of distance learning for homeschooling. States, such as New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have “seat-time requirements” that essentially make it illegal. Teacher unions see virtual campuses as competition and Oregon has gotten the legislature to cap enrollment and mandated face time with teachers. Nevertheless and in spite of such hurdles, home schooling is incorporating the distance learning tools which have become common place in higher education. I invite you to view this month’s research entries to learn more.

Wednesday
Jul062011

Traditional schools aren't working. Let's move learning online.

Katherine Mangu-Ward, Washington Post
March 28, 2010

"...children continue to learn from blackboards and books -- the kind made of dead trees? no hyperlinks! -- rather than getting lessons the way they consume virtually all other information: online.   Read more...

Saturday
Jul022011

Home School Curriculum Advisor Website

A list of many of the online home schooling options available... [and] steps to finding a good online home school option for your child.
Saturday
Jul022011

...Flexibility Draws One Family to Virtual School

By Sara Bernard, originally published on May 17, 2011 in Mind/Shift 

Contrary to the assumption that online learning means replacing teachers with computers — or simply saving money by increasing class sizes... virtual school allows students and teachers to work more closely together.

 Read more... 

Saturday
Jul022011

7 Challenges To Be Aware of When Considering Distance Learning

by K. Walsh, originally published on 5/4/11 in EmergingEdTech

Despite online learning courses being a great option for many, there are some down sides to be aware of. These challenges can affect your chances of success, so it’s important to be aware of them before getting started with online education. These factors include...

Read more...

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