Did you know that over 50% of parents felt that their children know more about the internet than they do? That can put parents in a precarious position. Just like putting restrictions on TV, chores, bedtimes, parents should be in control of what our child is and isn’t seeing on the internet. From checking parental controls to keeping up with the latest tech, this infographic from TeenSafe is a great place to start in helping parents become more actively engaged with their children online.
Online options are growing, and the classroom format is changing to incorporate the technology. There are a few trends on the cusp of explosive growth in the coming year, including flipped learning, mobilization, personalization and gamification. This infographic from TalentLMS projects the top 10 E-Learning Trends to Follow in 2015.
Reposted from Opensource.com
Giving back to a community is the ultimate gift. Whether it’s code, documentation, bug reporting, project management, designing, or a financial donation, what we give back makes a difference. Four students in a dorm room at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill want to change the way people make online donations. Their mission is to revolutionize the way people give back and reshape conventional views about charity.
Over the last year, they’ve created a platform for donors to help families in need through online product donations. CommuniGift has the spirit of the open source way and would not be possible with open source software and frameworks.
Launched in December 2013, CommuniGift was founded by three students Jake Bernstein (product manager), Thomas Doochin (Chief Operations Officer), and Taylor Sharp (Chief Marketing Officer). A fourth person has joined the team, Jack Wohlfert, as the lead developer for the platform. Here’s how it works: Use the CommuniGift platform to find a family in need, read their story, then purchase gift(s) and stay connected.
Reposted from the Huffington Post:
Stranger danger, online predators, cyberbullying… this is the scary talk you brace yourself for before attending a gathering about online safety, like the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) Conference, “Redefining Online Safety,” held in Washington D.C. last week.
But surprisingly, and thankfully, the online safety conversation is changing. According to a new FOSI study, conducted by Hart Research Associates and presented at the conference, 53 percent of parents surveyed report that the benefits of their kids’ using electronic devices outweigh the potential harms. And 42 percent say the two are about equal.
This research shows that parents are starting to understand that along with technology’s benefits come some inherent, yet manageable, risks. What are these risks? Well, despite heavy media focus on cyberbullying, parents are actually most worried about children being tracked by online marketers and viewing inappropriate or harmful content. There was a very clear consensus amongst the tech industry representatives, policy makers, non-profits, and academics at the FOSI event on the best way to mitigate these risks.
Reposted from MIT News:
When future students come to campus, Sarma says, they might take a few foundational courses with many online elements — perhaps even video games — coupled with instant online assessments that give them real-time feedback on their understanding of a subject. That feedback would also be available to the professors, who can then focus classroom work on concepts students struggle with rather than explaining material already understood. As a result, more class time can be spent on activities like building circuits or robots to explore concepts learned online.
“We want to enable more time for our students to build things and interact more with their professors and peers,” says Sarma, co-chair of the Institute-Wide Task Force on the Future of MIT Education with Professor Karen Willcox and Executive Vice President and Treasurer Israel Ruiz. The group released a report on its findings in August.
Students could also opt to spend a semester abroad, doing field work on a project that ultimately becomes a bachelor’s thesis. And all along they could continue to take online courses, interacting with peers and professors at MIT. “The whole college experience will become much more participatory, more like an apprenticeship,” Sanjay Sarma, director of MIT’s Office of Digital Learning, says.
Reposted from Forbes:
Online learning, also known as e-learning, is booming. Market research firm Global Industry Analysts projects it will reach $107 Billion in 2015. More traditional methods of training or education are not going away, not yet, but organizations of all types, from public schools to corporations, are opting to train and inform via the web. Pluralsight, an online training service for technology professionals, announced today it has closed $135 million in Series B funding.
In 2013, Lynda.com, the online learning giant and arguably the 800-pound gorilla in the e-learning space, took in $103 million in growth equity from Accel Partners and Spectrum Equity. Subscription Content reported that the site already had $100 million in revenues with two million subscribers. The Lynda service has amassed more than 83,000 instructional videos, mainly on software and web development, but a quick look now shows a wider range of design to photography to 3D animation. Content is still the winning card for this market and Lynda just announced the acquisition of Phoenix-based Interface Technical Training; adding more than 2,500 videos teaching business, technology and creative skills to its own collection. They have an annual fee with unlimited access to all its videos.
I think the niche sites and well-organized, curated platforms are going to change how we learn. Author Kio Stark conducted over 100 interviews with independent learners for her book: Don’t Go Back To School and it chronicles how people are using online methods to increase their knowledge base. It hints at why the online learning industry is going to grow beyond $100 Billion. We’ll continue to see investment in this space as startups target new niches or build out deep content wells that bigger players will want to acquire.