Jeffrey R. Young

Education Looks Eastward: Snapshots from Beijing's Global Education Technology Summit

Beijing—China is a different world when it comes to education and tech. Teachers are revered, most families spend about a third of their income on their children’s education, and most students spend at least an hour a day on some kind of online learning.

Rethinking the First Two Years of Higher Education

The first two years of college are often treated like something you just have to get through. Even the term “general education,” as the curriculum is called at that point, feels generic—and almost like a commodity.

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LinkedIn Learning Opens Its Platform (Slightly)

A few years ago, in a move toward professional learning, LinkedIn bought Lynda.com for $1.5 billion, adding the well-known library of video-based courses to its professional social network. Today LinkedIn officials announced that they plan to open up their platform to let in educational videos from other providers as well—but with a catch or two.

How Classrooms Can Start Talking About Race in Just 6 Words

For many students, school may be the most diverse setting they experience in their entire lives. And former NPR host Michele Norris is working to use that opportunity to get classrooms talking about race, and to share their “experiences, questions, hopes, dreams, laments or observations.”

Campus Support for OER is Growing, Survey Finds

The number of colleges running efforts to help professors shift from published textbooks to low-cost online materials known as OER is growing rapidly.That was one key finding in the latest Campus Computing Survey, one of the largest annual surveys of college technology leaders in the U.S., which was released today.Nearly two thirds of colleges in the survey—64 percent—reported campus programs to “encourage faculty to use OER content for their courses.” That was up from 34 percent in 2014.

Academics Propose a ‘Blockchain University,’ Where Faculty (and Algorithms) Rule

A group of academics affiliated with Oxford University have proposed a new model of higher education that replaces traditional administrators with “smart contracts” on the blockchain, the same technology that drives Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Free Textbooks Are Not Always Free: New Study Analyzes OER’s Costs to Colleges

When professors shift to assigning Open Educational Resources instead of publisher-produced textbooks, the move typically saves students money (and it can be a significant amount). But OER is not free, since it costs money to develop the materials, takes time for professors to evaluate and adopt them, and typically involves other campus-support services as well.

How to Bring Innovation to Campus Without Cheapening Education

Many professors worry when they hear the word “innovation,” or when they see college leaders looking to the business world to upgrade practices on campus, because they fear it will weaken the quality of education.

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New 2-Year Online College Aims to Grow Quickly (But Without Traditional Gen-Ed Courses)

Alternative higher education programs don’t always work out. But one former Harvard University dean is giving it a try. That former Harvard dean, Stephen Kosslyn, opened an online two-year college this week with an experimental academic program promising something between a vocational education and a traditional general-education curriculum. Among its innovations: no homework.

To Bring Analytics to College Classrooms, New Effort Starts With ‘Data Laundry’

A consortium of 25 universities unveiled a new platform last month that will pull in information from systems across campus to bring richer analytics to college classrooms. But its leaders have found that getting all the data into a form that professors can actually use presents a messy challenge, requiring what one project leader is calling “data laundry.”

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