Linkpile for Wednesday, December 21, 2011:
- A December 19, 2011 Mashable.com post reports that "MIT Announces Platform for Free Online Courses." "MIT is planning to launch an open platform for free online classes, complete with certification for those who demonstrate mastery of their topics."
- The shape of things to come: "College Degree Required For Sixty Percent Of U.S. Jobs By 2018," reports a recent Napsnet.com article. "'The unemployment rate for people who have never gone to college is more than double what it is for those who have gone to college,' says Dr. Mary Hawkins, president of Bellevue University. 'And during the next 10 years, nearly eight in 10 new jobs will require workforce training or a higher education. These statistics make it clear that completing some form of higher education is the best tool to meet the challenges of a 21st century economy.'"
- "Accredited Online Colleges in the Rise," reports a December 20, 2011 Pew Internet piece. "The Internet is revolutionizing higher education: accredited online colleges are growing in size, traditional colleges are adopting online programs, and all trends indicate that distance learning is not only here to stay, but that it will make an unprecedented impact on the educational systems currently in place today. What kind of change will online college courses induce in the paradigms of students, professors, and educational institutions in the coming years?"
- Learning at the speed of thought: "Fast and Furious: The Explosive Growtn of Online Higher Education." "The fact that online higher education has been coming on like gangbusters this past decade is by now old news. The great promise of the Internet was that, among other things, it would liberate everyone from constraints of space. Instantaneity was the the watchword. Megabytes blistering along the speed of light put the world at the fingertips of anyone with a computer and a modem. Space, the final frontier (to quote the intro to the old 'Star Trek' TV show) had been conquered, and conquered also had been its partner in crime, time."
- The proud legacy of the 19th century: "Wired for Sound Learning: Online Universities Carry on the Tradition of Distance Higher Education." "For a long time distance learning in the form of correspondence education was a mere back alley to the heights of humane understanding, whereas traditional residential education remained the royal road. All bets were off, however, once technology advanced to such a state as we find it today, with Internet and wireless communication effectively bridging once insuperable geographic and temporal distances. 'As the world has been ushered into an information age in which technology plays a major role, societal institutions have been affected on all levels,' writes Daphne Jorgensen in her essay, 'The Challenges and Benefits of Asynchronous Learning Networks.' 'One changing paradigm is the role of distance learning in education.'"
- Digital a must: "60% of students say they wouldn’t attend a school without free WiFi," reports a December 20, 2011 TheNextWeb.com article. "A recent study by Online Colleges finds that more US college students prefer a hybrid of online/offline education than a pure experience in either direction. This may be a surprise for those that rave about the pros or perils of online classes, but a hybrid learning environment really helps capture the benefits of each."
- A December 19, 2011 ECampusNews.com piece runs down "The 10 biggest higher-ed tech stories of 2011." "In this special retrospective, the editors of eCampus News highlight what we think are the 10 most significant higher-education technology stories of 2011. To learn how these stories will continue to affect campus decision makers in 2012 and beyond, read on."