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Cathy Anderson

How do we harness the energy of information? Through Education!!

A #Mooc Life

Written By: Cathy - Apr• 01•14

I have been far too ambitious in my MOOC aspirations of late, I won’t say I am a failure at MOOCs just a MOOC overdoer.  This all came to reality, for me, when I looked at my Coursera course page and realized I was signed up for four MOOCs that were all running simultaneously   For me, at least, there seemed to be some overlap.

 

I will describe the MOOCs I am enrolled in, identify why I think that MOOCs have been successful, and an observation or two on how I think they can be improved.

The four with some description and reason why I enrolled are listed here:

1. Art and Inquiry: Museum Teaching Strategies For Your Classroom:  Intended for teachers (Grades 4-12) from all disciplines, this course will introduce ways to integrate works of art into your classroom by using inquiry-based teaching methods commonly used in museum settings.

This course has since ended and I did not get to participate in it as much as I would have liked.  I did get to read some of the background materials, listen to some lectures, and participate in the forums.  This course is somewhat out of my area of interest, however I did gain some good insight on how to create activity and engagement in the classroom.  While this course may have been focused on K-12 I did think there were some good transferrable insights that would work in any classroom.   I also like the approach of teaching art, communication and critical thinking at an early age using inquiry based teaching/learning.    Furthermore I think there is great value in our education utilizing resources such as museums to broaden the student’s base of knowledge.  If this course comes up again I would recommend it.

 

2.  John Hopkins University;  University Teaching 101

 

The Course description states:

 

Not too long ago, it was believed that anyone who graduated from a doctoral program was capable of teaching. In recent years, however, it has become apparent that teaching is not an intuitive behavior. In addition to content, teaching also involves a complex intellectual process, and to develop the “art” of teaching, professors require guidance and support. As the roles and responsibilities of university-level educators have evolved and expanded in recent years, the preparation of emerging university faculty leaders must focus on the development of the knowledge, skills, and strategies for teaching and learning in higher education. This short course is designed to introduce the strategies and exemplars of university teaching skills necessary to meet these new professional demands for teaching at a university level.

 

This course is now starting its third week.  I am working my way through listening to the lectures.   I do find some overlap between what this course is presenting and the Art of Inquiry, there seems to be some emphasis on inquiry as a learning/teaching process.  The lectures, delivered by Dean David Matthews  Dr. Pam Jeffries, in the first week the  focus is on best practices.      They also bring other faculty who are “Master Teachers” and present their exemplary practices.    They focus on the seven principles of good practices of Chickering and Goodson:

Good practice in undergraduate education:

  1. Encourages contacts between students and faculty.
  2. Develops reciprocity and cooperation among students.
  3. Uses active learning techniques.
  4. Gives prompt feedback.
  5. Emphasizes time on task.
  6. Communicates high expectations.
  7. Respects diverse talents and ways of learning.

 

3.  Commonwealth Education Trust:  Foundations of Teaching and Learning

 

According to the course description this is a:

 

course focused on planning for teaching and learning. We hope you will find this to be an engaging and challenging professional learning experience. In the courses leading up to this one, you have explored important aspects of teaching and learning including what we know and don’t know about learning, the impact of assessment on learning and what makes a good school to name but a few.

 

I am just starting to review the materials for this course.

 

4.  University of Wisconsin-Madison  Globalizing Higher Education for the ‘Knowledge Economy”

 

Universities and higher education systems worldwide are being transformed by new and changing actors, practices, programs, policies, and agendas. From notions of ‘global competency’ and ‘international branch campuses,’ to ever more common perceptions that international collaborative research is a desirable objective, through to the phenomena of bibliometrics, rankings and benchmarking that are framed and operate at a global scale, contexts are changing.

 

I have not been particularly successful at MOOCs lately and I think that is due to a variety of reasons, in fact I would speculate that MOOCs maybe victims of their own success.    What do I mean by this? I will use myself as an example.  My personal interests and my professional interests are at odds with one another.  Here are my personal interests:

 

1.  How to eat healthy and be healthy

2.  Digital art and photoshop

3.  History

 

In the case of health I have been actively finding youtube videos, reading materials, and seeking other resources on health.  This is my personal learning goals, it consumes a lot of time.  If I find an interesting video on youtube I will download it on my Kindle and watch it while I workout on an elliptical.

 

Digital Art and photoshop, practice makes perfect.  I have been at this for years, I have forgotten more than I now know…its evolving.  I read books watch youtube videos, etc., I thoroughly enjoy and lose track of time when I am playing with Photoshop.

 

I am very interested in local and regional history, whether that is where I am from or where I am now.  I collect and read regional history books.

 

These various project motivate and inspire me.  Because of MOOCs many entities are pushing information, education, and sharing resources on the web.  We can develop our own personal learning plans in what interests us, what enriches us and for fun.

 

That isn’t to say that the professional development courses that I find on Coursera aren’t important, they provide essential information for success.  I have only had a few courses that focused on teaching and best practices in teaching so I am always thrilled to have access to those who teach, their experiences and knowledge and MOOCs are powerful tools for that sharing.

 

I participated in my first MOOC in 2008 or 2009.  It was a great experience and great expanded my knowledge.  I spent a time every day on the MOOC and felt I was successful.  As I was analyzing my experience I asked myself what was different about the MOOCs of today versus that early MOOC (facilitated by Stephen Downes, George Siemens, and Dave Cormier), and the answer came to me.  We received a daily newsletter or update.  Every morning when I got up I the newsletter / update was in my email inbox.  it provided links to pertinent resources, feedback to the participants, and blog postings that students had submitted.  These engagement kept me focused and on track,  I loved it! I imagine it was a lot  of work for whoever was tasked with putting it together … but if MOOCs could integrate that into their structure or learning management system somehow, even make it student driven, it would help a great deal.

So that is where I am with MOOCs.  I believe MOOCs have had amazing success especially because they have forced us to open the doors to accessing knowledge and learning freely and openly! I love  MOOCs!

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Benefits of Prior Learning Assessment

Written By: Cathy - Feb• 17•14

I have worked with Prior Learning Assessments for years.  It is part of the GED testing process.  Students are given an assessment of what they know in the GED test areas of Math, Language Arts/Reading, Writing, Social Studies and Science.   If it is determined they are deficient in any area they are then given an opportunity to study material specific in that area and specific to the area where they were deficient.  This means that they do not need to study in areas they already know.

 

Requiring students to study what they need to learn and not relearn what they already know is key to the prior learning assessment and student success.  Student do get bored of they are “relearning” what they already know.   This cuts down on the time it takes for them to achieve their educational goals.  Ultimately what this means is that the students in the program are focused on outcomes not on achieving a certain measure of seat time to achieve their educational goals.

 

If an institution provides students with an opportunity to receive credits for prior learning the benefits to the student are great.  Including what I mentioned above, reduced time to achieve educational goals,  the student does not have to relearn material already learned however it also identifies areas requiring further study.  There are also the following benefits:

  •  Reduce tuition and fees to the student
  • Encourages the student to pursue further education
  • Eases the transition to postsecondary education, as the student recognizes that he/she can learn at that level
  • Validates life work and learning

 

The following benefits may be seen for a post secondary institution:

  • increases student recruitment and retention
  • facilitates access to education for non traditional students
  • allows for more appropriate learner placement in programs and courses
  • provides important services to the business community which is seeking validation for the education and training it provides to its employees
  • students become lifelong learners and lifelong customers of the institution
  • encourages increased partnerships between business and higher education
  • focuses on learning relevant to work
  • provides information regard a students relevant workplace learning and qualifications

Most institutions have, in place, policies which govern the granting of credit hours for prior learning.  Most of these policies are in accord with that granting of transfer credit, or credit from other institutions.  So if a student transfer in credit from another institution that maxes out his/her transfer credits he/she may not earn prior learning credit.  A student may not take a prior learning assessment for a class which he/she took from the institution and failed, they must retake the class.

At some institutions students may receive credit for a certification or credential, however this is not viewed the same as a prior learning assessment. For many programs, especially in technical education students take classes that prepare them for the certification and that are skills based, if they already possess the certification they are granted credit or a pass for the course without actually participating in the course.

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Prior Learning Assessment

Written By: Cathy - Feb• 10•14

On my 20 minute or so drive to work this morning  pondered why it seemed as if we (higher ed) are spinning our wheels of late or maybe its a freefall…as we swirl around trying to figure out next steps.  If MOOCs are out what is in?

 

Maybe it could be personalized education and/or prior learning assessment…all under the umbrella term of competency based education.  CAEL (Center for Adult and Experiential Learning) define prior learning assessment (PLA) as a term used to describe learning gained outside of a traditional academic environment or to put it another way it’s learning and knowledge your students acquired while living their lives working, participating in employer training programs, serving in the military, studying independently, volunteering for a community service, and studying open source courseware. PLA is the evaluation and assessment of an individual’s life learning for college credit, certification, or any activity toward furthering education or training.

 

CAEL is one of the founding organizations behind Learning Counts which is an organization that will assist and teach students in the development of portfolios which can then be reviewed for the evaluation of college credits. Learning Counts has, according to their website, agreements with “hundreds” of affiliated universities.

 

How Does Learning Counts work?

 

The fundamentals of the process for portfolio develop seems simple.  A students identifies what he or she did and how it meets the required outcomes of the course he/she is seeking credit.  Writing a portfolio is not simple.  The student must have college level writing skills in or to succeed.   As the website states:

 

Part of the learning cycle is to clearly define what knowledge you’ve gained, and it’s important to synthesize that information in a clear way. Competency statements should identify actions that are measurable, which are observations of knowledge, skills and abilities within the context of your environment.

 

The student must be able to synthesize what he/she learned, how it meets the outcomes, and articulate all of that in a way that will make sense to other readers.

 

It has been a long standing practice to award college credit for military training.  This process has been implemented by the American Council of Education (ACE).  ACE is affiliated with over 1800 institutions of higher education and is responsible for the GED Test along with Pearson.

 

ACE guides institutions on awarding college credit for the following:

 

1.  Student portfolios

2. ACE Credit recommendations based upon corporate or military training programs

3. Reveiws or exams conducted by individual colleges

4.  Exams used to verify learning achievements:

CLEP

            Excelsior College Exams

             DANTES

     There is also Advance Placement Courses/Exams and international baccalaureate

 

Most higher education institutions, at least the ones I have worked for, give credit for military training.   For a variety of reasons this is just good practice.  ACE also has a “digital warehouse” of information on exams, trainings, and courses and guidelines for providing credit.  This is called The National Guide to College Credit for Workforce Education .   The National Guide to College Credit for Workforce Training contains ACE recommendations for credit given for formal courses offered by various organizations from business and industry to the government and military.    For example for the Straighterline Course in American Government ACE recommends that institutions grant 3 semester credits at the  undergrad  baccalaureate or associate degree level.  Another example is from McDonald’s Hamburger U., for the Business Leadership Practice ACE recommends granting 3 semester hours in management, resource management, or business administration.

 

A quick review of some colleges and universities indicates that they all follow the same process of granting credits via portfolio development (some offer classes in the process), exams,  etc.

 

There are real benefits to students for granting credit for prior learning.  These include:

 

  • Validating learning acquired through work and life experiences

  • Earn credit for accomplishments

  • Eliminates duplication of learning

  • May reduce the cost of education

  • May shorten the time to complete a college program

  • Helps with career development and planning of educational goals

  • Enhances your critical thinking as you articulate you8r knowledge and achievements

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A MINI MOOC Note

Written By: Cathy - Jan• 21•14

I am by no means an expert on MOOCS.  I have taken a few, most of which I have blogged about here.  I have failed at more than a few too.  In my opinion it takes a highly motivated and skilled student to be successful in a MOOC.

 

I was fortunate to enroll in George Siemen’s and Stephen Downes’ MOOCs in 2009 and again in 2010 or ‘11.  The experience was excellent.  Every could of weeks or so they would have a different facilitator offering their perspective on their area of expertise.  I have taken a few others over the years and hope to participate in more.

 

In a recent experiment with MOOCs San Jose partnered with Udacity to bring the MOOC format to their students.

 

In the article  by Steve Kolowich in The Chronicle, San Jose State U. Puts MOOC Project With  Udacity on Hold, 7/19/2013,  one of the courses offered was a developmental math course.

 

Ms. Desousa has taught developmental math in a traditional format for seven years. This spring she and Susan McClory, another math lecturer, taught an adapted version of that course on the Udacity platform.

I have experience working with students in Developmental Studies Program and Basic education programs and it is my experience that attrition rates are high for these student in the traditional classroom and the basic education classroom.  I think it would be  challenge for all but the most highly motivated student to be successful in a MOOC.

  • Regardless of what the future holds for MOOCs we have learned much about online education because of them:

 

  • Instructor and institutional engagement is important, even in online education are key to student success in distance education.

 

  • Technology can expand and ramp up delivery of courses and programs.

  • The integration of social learning (student to student) can enhance a student’s learning.

 

  • Knowledge and information should be open and accessible.

 

  • It has forced higher education to provide degrees at reduced tuition.

 

  • Examine alternate ways to provide education to students.

  • Examine the prevalent business model in higher education.

And many more reasons I have not thought of ..

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oh the randomness!

Written By: Cathy - Jan• 19•14

Call this a transition.  I am going to present some things that are more personal.  A huge transition occurred in my life about eight months ago that resulted in my moving to Seattle WA.  I love it here.

 

In the last three months I have been able to see an opera, attend three movies, attend an awesome Jazz music night at a local restaurant, read books..and oh yes I am employed too.

 

I have never been to an opera before.  The opera I attended was The Daughter of the Regiment.  I think we lose sight of the fact that experiences such as this are educational for us all.  The music, the historical context in which an opera such as this is set, and the opportunity to experience something through the perspective of a different culture and language than our own.   I really did enjoy this.  Since attending this opera I have since learned that the Metropolitan Opera will be presenting Rusalka at the local AMC Theater on March 8. I plan on attending.

 

I also attended three movies.  The Hobbit:  The Desolation of Smaug, 12 Years a Slave and Lone Survivor.  The Hobbit was the first movie I have attended in IMAX.  Ok I am maybe the last person on the planet to not have attended something in IMAX, but I am glad I did.  What a great experience.  I was reminded how long ago it has been since I read these books,   I recall very little of this story.

I am not a movie critic or reviewer and this is the first time I have written about movies here or anywhere.  But what can I say about 12 Years a Slave.  Its a must see.  We need to keep stories like this alive to remind ourselves of the history of this country, that its start was not perfect, and that we cannot improve enough.  Read the book, see the movie and learn from it.

 

Lone Survivor ripped my heart out.  Its been a long time since I have cried at movie but I did at this one.  I am so grateful to Marcus Luttrell for telling his story and to those who made this film for presenting it so incredibly realistically.  Its a must see.  It is something that every American should see so they can understand the sacrifices that men and women in the military make to serve this country, to make informed decisions about the reality of going to war, and ultimately to feel human.

 

I live and work in higher education, that has been and will continue to be the focus of this blog.  The reality is though that we can be educated in many ways and I did learn from each other movies.

 

The most recent book I have read includes Why Teach?  In Defense of Real Education  by    Mark Edmundson.

 

The purpose of this book is better defined by other readers than myself.  Such as the following blogs:

 

Why Teach UVA

 

and  by reviews on Good Reads

For me Edmundson continues to reinforce what I feel about my education.  That I am really glad I went to college 25 years ago and I am not a student going to college, navigating financial aid rules, and seeking a quality education today.  On the one hand I envy the access that a student has today to educational opportunities that I did not have.  What I don’t envy is the standardization of education for testing and assessment and career focus.  That being said I am happy that my education has increased my employability.

I upgraded my Kindle.  I now have a Kindle Fire HDX. I  love it an all the apps you can get for it.  One of my favorite is the Next Issue App.   I just have to give them a plug.  I can read magazines for hours from this app.

 

My latest time waster addiction is Scrabble.  If you like to play against an opponent I suggest you check out WordBiz.

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Vincent Tinto and College Student Retention

Written By: Cathy - Nov• 05•13

I have recently been reading Vincent Tinto’s Complete College:  Rethinking Institutional Action, published in 2012.  Mine is the Kindle Edition.   According to Tinto  63% of students earn a bachelor degree by six years from the time of entering a program, 33% complete the degree in four years,  and 40% complete their associate degree.  Here is a link to a Wikipedia article on Educational Attainment in the US.  If you wish to learn more about strategies for increasing student retention I suggest you buy this book.

 

Tinto defines Student Success simply .. as equal to college completion, which means degree attainment (at least to me).   Tinto also makes the point that an institution which recruits students, provides them with an education and collects their tuition dollars has an obligation to ensure student success.

There are three areas that students need support;  Academic, Financial and Social.    My specific area of interest is focused on academic support.  Faculty are finding that students are spending less time studying, that students need more advising and student support services to be successful.  Institutions and faculty are also being asked to increase a focus on getting the student engaged with their programs and services and to become lifelong learners.

 

Many of these programs and services, for academic support came from   a grant funded program called the First Year Experience.  I have had some involvement in these types of programs throughout my career, and studies show they can make a difference, however the challenge is to get those students who need the support the most to access the services.

 

National Resource Center for the First Year Experience

 

Examples of first year seminars:

University of North Carolina

University of California – Davis

University of Richmond

University of Virginia

Barnard College

 

Linking College Success Courses to Learning Communities:

Tinto Article:   Learning Better Together: The Impact of Learning Communities on Student Success

 

R. Denise Myers article on College Success Programs

 

Tinto notes the importance of advising, calling it the Roadmap to Success.  I have worked in institutions that were either based upon faculty advisors only, professional advisors only, or a blend of the two.  I am an advocate for having a blend.  My reason for this is that there are enough undeclared students, students who need advising when faculty who are off campus and students who need more intrusive advising than faculty can give them to support a blended model.   In researching this blog post I found this great article from the NACADA Journal, 1994 written by Terry O’Banion on Academic Advising.   And finally I strongly suggest you thoroughly review the NACADA website for more information such as this on Organizational Advising models.

 

Career Services:  50% of beginning students are undecided about their educational goals.

 

Career Services Centers are on most college and university campuses such as these examples:

 

University of Wyoming

 

University of New Hampshire

 

American University

 

Arizona State University

 

 

Other direct academic / student support programs include:

 

Supplemental Instruction:   From Wikipedia article   (SI) is an academic support model developed by Dr. Deanna Martin [1] at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) in 1973 that uses peer-assisted study sessions to improve student retention and success within targeted historically difficult courses.[3] The SI program provides peer support by having students who succeeded in traditionally difficult academic courses (e.g., Organic Chemistry, Biology 101, Logic) help other students complete these courses. SI is a non-remedial approach that provides regular review sessions outside of class in which students work collaboratively by discussing readings, comparing notes, working together to predict test items, and sharing ideas for improving class material. Courses selected for SI tend to be “gatekeeper” courses for first and second year students—generally those classes that have a 30% or higher proportion of students who receive a “D”, fail, or withdraw (the DFW rate) from the course. Out-of-class review sessions are led by “SI leaders,” students who took the class already and did well. SI leaders attend all class lectures, take notes, and act as models to those currently taking the course. The SI model is used for selected courses at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional school levels, and has been adopted by colleges and universities in the United States and internationally.[4]

 

 

The International Center for Supplemental Instruction

 

 

Summer Bridge Programs:

 

 

Developmental Education Summer Bridge Programs

 

Summer Bridge to Success Program

 

University of Wisconsin:  10 reasons why you should attend summer bridge program

 

 

Embedded Academic Support:

 

In the book and in the brief, Tinto referred to Washington State’s I-Best  Integrated Basic Education and Skills  Training program, from the Washington State board of Community and Technical Colleges finding the following:

I-BEST pairs two instructors in the classroom – one to teach professional and technical content and the other to teach basic skills in reading, math, writing or English language – so students can move through school and into jobs faster. As students progress through the program, they learn basic skills in real-world scenarios offered by the job-training part of the curriculum.

 

It makes perfect sense to me and a program I would advocate to benefit students and faculty, especially in a technical college environment.  Applying the learning of basic skills to the core of the program the student is enrolled in makes the learning meaningful and motivates the student. The student is more likely to persist without fears of his/her general education courses.

 

I have looked at lot of things education related through this blog and I intend to continue to do so.  This book of Vincent Tinto’s was a return to the beginning of my career in higher education where I managed a student support center.  However no matter what if you work in higher education your priority should be not only enrollment but how to keep students and support them to achieve their goals in their lives and careers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Competency Based Education Series 1

Written By: Cathy - Sep• 08•13

The term “unbundling of faculty roles” is applied to online education and can also be applied to the organizational structure for competency based education, which is usually offered online.  The “unbundling of faculty roles” occurred in online education due to the work and technical expertise that is necessary to develop an online course.  The role of faculty encompasses course developer, program developer, instructional designer, instructor, assessment coordinator, tutor, academic advisor, and more.  These various roles are disaggregated from the faculty to role to several different roles in the online or competency based education organizational structure.

There are various models and terms applied to these roles.  Western Governor’s University posts positions for course mentors, student mentors, and mentoring coordinators.

My daughter is a student at WGU and she says that her student mentor keeps her “on track” and that she has to talk to her student mentor once a week.  Other students report that they work with their mentor throughout their time at WGU.  They find and my daughter finds that advice from the mentor is helpful and necessary to succeed in their programs.

Student Mentors at WGU must hold a master’s degree and have the following job responsibilities:

 

  • Providing direct, comprehensive program guidance to assigned students (normally 80-100 students)
  • Managing students’ academic progress according to university policies
  • Scheduling students’ use of learning resources and degree assessments
  • Maintaining appropriate documentation of all academic transactions
  • Maintaining regular communication with students according to university protocol

 

Student mentors are directly responsible for assisting students in academic planning through to graduation.  They may also evaluate the student’s learning styles and their skills.  The student mentor is also responsible for assisting the student in developing an academic action plan, identify the appropriate learning resources, and assist them in the use of the resources.  The student mentor may also ask as a mediator in resolving academic issues and difficulty and any misunderstandings that may arise.

 

Student mentors are there to motivate, encourage, support and maybe even nag a little. They are also available to resolve problems and identify resources that students need to be successful.    They contact students on a schedule and do so consistently to ensure that the student has communication links to WGU.   Students note that their mentors take the time to understand their level of ability and how fast or how slow they can move through the program.  Mentors act as gatekeepers to the courses and systematically open courses based upon that progress.  Communication is key here; students are enthusiastic about those mentors who have a timely turn around (less than 24 hours) response to emails and inquiries.

 

My daughter has also had contact with course mentors.  She states that “ there’s usually two or three per course and they are there if you need help. I didn’t contact them when I first started and I was looking too hard into the assessment. The mentors will line assignments out with example ideas to make it easier.”  Other students state that course mentors are there to help them work on a game plan for studying for assessments and to make revisions on assigned tasks.  The mentor is there to ensure student success.   One of the mentors’ top responsibilities is to help students complete the enrolled courses within the six-month timeframe.

 

Course mentors are subject matter experts and may hold a doctorate in their field, their main job functions are to:

 

  • Provide expertise in the content area.
  • Respond to student inquiries about content, course of study, learning resource, or assessment.
  • Maintain current and active knowledge in the expertise area in order to bring examples and ideas to students.
  • Communicate professionally, relate well, and share a passion for the content in an effort to motivate a diverse group of students.
  • Coach students to competency development by asking open-ended questions, brainstorming next steps, and maintaining accountability.
  • Provide additional resources to students based on content expertise, while maintaining the students’ responsibility for task competency.
  • Empower students to develop competency by sharing a passion for the subject.
  • Provide relevant information on student tasks based on feedback from graders.

 

Within the online course environment course mentors may also:

 

  • Respond to student questions within discussion threads in a timely manner.
  • Update assessment announcements and live webinar schedule as necessary.
  • Post university announcements including holidays, unique changes and vacations.
  • Respond to student questions generated through “Ask a mentor” in the learning community in a timely manner.
  • Upload and maintain links to recorded webinars (both with audio and as Powerpoints)
  • Remove inappropriate student posts in a timely manner.

 

 

Course mentors are available for one-on-one and one-to-many sessions reviewing content with which students need more help than can be had through independent learning.

 

 

 

WGU also employs assessment specialists who meets with academics from in each college to determine competencies, then designs assessments to measure those competencies.  WGU retains adjunct faculty evaluators whose only job is to grade performance assessments. These evaluators have no contact with the students or  mentors, this lack of contact between the mentors, students and the evaluators ensures the objectivity of evaluation of student work.

 

Northern Arizona University is starting up a competency based program which is defined as personalized learning.  In this program they are hiring faculty which they identify as Faculty Mentors.  Faculty mentors are key to student success in the program.  Faculty actively advise and mentor, using information gained from student assessments, conversations, work experience and academic background to develop individualized strategies for success.  According to the job description:

 

Personalized Learning (PL) a competency-based, self-paced online program that incorporates innovative teaching and learning methods.  The  Personalized Learning Faculty Mentor serves as the primary contact for current Personalized Learning students from recruitment through graduation, providing guidance, motivation, solutions, policy interpretation, and access to NAU resources. The Faculty Mentor does not teach, but is assigned to a caseload of approximately 150 students. Working with subject matter-oriented tutor mentors, academic program faculty, and student services staff, the Faculty Mentor’s role is to foster and support a productive, successful relationship between NAU and the PL student through frequent contact throughout a student’s career.

 

 

A student enrolled in the College for America will, with the help of a coach, progress through

90 competencies.  The student will be given  access to curated learning resources that accompany each task.   SNHU/College for American requires the student to build a network of support.   An SNHU coach  hold the student accountable to his/her own mastery plan; and each learner identifies an accountability partner from the family or community as well as a workplace mentor who also supports, guides and acts as a resource for the student.

 

 

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System has designed a program called “Learn on Demand” or Direct2Degree.   Students will progress through the program at their own pace, without stopping for term breaks. It is the faculty role to assess the progress of individual students using predesigned instruments and rubrics to ensure objectivity in grading.  At the same time, dedicated success coaches provide intensive support for students via videoconferencing and other online communication tools.

 

The biggest change in roles has been on that of the student, in addition to the faculty.  The student is now more responsible for his/her learning than ever before.  Students  in a competency based program must be self-directed and highly motivated. While programs and courses in a competency based learning environment are self-paced it benefits the students, especially financially, to move at a consistent pace through their program

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Some Random Notes on a Random Day

Written By: Cathy - Jul• 10•13

Please feel free to contact me anytime at cathyandersonblog@gmail.com ..thanks!

 

I have been working on this blog for what seems like weeks now.  After writing so steadily for several months it seemed like a good time to step back and self-reflect, however the focus and need to continue to blog about education and the continuous change in education still exists within me.

My life has changed a great deal in the last couple of months and so far I am thoroughly enjoying this change.  One change that I welcome is that I find I am much more active and actively involved in this new community that I have moved to.  This has been the biggest surprise to me..I thought for sure that the move from a more rural area to a more urban area would result in my getting lost, however that has not been the case.  I like getting to know new people and discussing the goals and ideas on how education can improve their communities and help them achieve their goals.

I surprised myself by the realization that I could readily adopt to this change, it’s exciting to consider what the future hold.  I hope to make a positive difference in the lives of those I am coming to know better—we will make a positive difference by working together.

I have also been participating in some MOOCs, they are all great, led by passionate faculty and course developers who really are enthusiastic about their subjects.  I am not sure why but sometimes I feel lost in the MOOC I am enrolled in.  I think right now its timing, I just don’t have the time to devote to the MOOC that I should.  I do gain something new by reading the posts in the discussions, a new technology tool like Eli.  Eli Review is

 

Students use Eli Review to do three important tasks: writing, reviewing, and revising. Writing tasks can be completed by composing in Eli or uploading a file. Reviews are done in Eli, guided by criteria provided by teachers. Students use the feedback they receive to make revision plans, and then revise & resubmit their drafts. The result? Better writing and, more importantly, better writers!

The true magic of Eli Review is the real-time data it produces about the writing process. Instructors can get real-time feedback on how reviewers are doing as it happens and watch as students submit their reviews and respond to each others comments. No other product lets you know when to jump in, to answer questions, or see the best comments as they happen.

 

I was just reading about MOOCs in the Babson Survey of Online Education. They have a few notes on MOOCs about the various platforms:

 

Edx, Coursera, Udacity, Canvas, MitX, and then there are some in Europa: Sakai, iMOOC, Lemill.net and AVO, etc. Some claim that MOOCs are the great disrupter in education, however MOOCs are just an extension of online education (in my opinion) and online education is the ultimate disrupter of education.   I like online and I like MOOCs, my biggest frustration is not having the time necessary to engage as a student in MOOCs I participate in.  To be honest I wanted to design a MOOC, maybe I could give up sleeping!

I have been taking “random notes” in my notebooks about what I wanted to write today.so since I mentioned my notebook I probably should write about it for a minute.  I have been keeping notes on my work, my life and other notes for almost five years now  using a livescribe pen.  The importance of this note taking process has grown over the years to keep track of and develop this blog, emails, plans, etc. I am sure at some point I will gather them all together and reflect back on what has been a very interesting period in my life.  In many ways these notes also illustrate the evolution not only for me personally but the changes that have occurred in the education environment over the last five years or rapid change driven by a changing economy.
A few days ago I started writing about the primary drivers of change in education and identified these five:

  1. Social
  2. Technology
  3. Environment
  4. Economy
  5. Political

Social influences include:  changing demographics, a trend towards a more diverse student body.  Online education has removed the physical/geographical boundaries that were barriers for some students to access educational programs and services.  Because of this how does an institution and an instructor address the various cultural differences in the classroom.

This changing structure and changing the nature of the faculty role has definitely changed the dynamics of learning.  More responsibility is now put upon the student for his/her own learning.  There is also a change in education to more focus on preparing the student for the world of work or a specific career, and those are programs that the student is also looking for as he or she considers their life outside of college.

Those environmental changes depend upon the educational institution’s structure of private or public, the enrollment of the institution, demographics of students and the student-faculty ratio.    The make-up of the student body can be driven by admissions factors, whether or not the institution is selective or open enrollment.

Recent pressure for growth by institutions in higher education has led to more impersonalized, less connection and engagement with faculty, and services and support being more inaccessible, I am not characterizing this as occurring in all institutions, and the needs varies by student.

Because of decreased funding from federal and state government we will see more privatization of entire or parts of public universities.  What this means is that these institutions will increase tuition and fees to be wholly or in part self-supported and off state funding.

Technology is a major driver of change in higher education.  Students demanding an “anytime anywhere” access to their courses and course content is essential.   Students don’t find the use of technology ie) computers, tablets, mobile devices in their education remarkable, just normal part of life.  I watch tv on the Internet, members of my family have dropped cable tv in favor of the internet. The Internet is a primary deliverer of information, entertainment and now education for them.

 

 

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Hybrid Course Posting

Written By: Cathy - Jun• 27•13

I am enrolled in a Massive Online Course, delivered via Canvas, called Hybrid Courses: Best of Both Worlds, led by Elizabeth Falconer, of Renton Technical College, located in Renton, WA.  My participation in this course got me to consider the question, what do I know about Hybrid courses anyway?  This self-reflection led me to the conclusion, I have participated more initiatives related to hybrid courses than I realized, as a student, instructor, and administrator.

During the 1990’s I enrolled in several “interactive television” (The Wyoming Equality Video Network is a two-way, multipoint capable, interactive television video conferencing system which is maintained by the Distance Education Team of the Innovative Connections and Support Unit of the Wyoming Department of Education) courses offered by the University of Wyoming, with the instructor located in Laramie, WY and the students disbursed at several sites across the state.  Many times I was the only student at my site in Rock Springs, WY or Gillette, WY.  Collectively, across the state, we made up a cohort of 20-30 students enrolled in the program.  In addition to the meetings over ITV, we also met 2-3 times a semester, face-to- face.  It was this way that I successfully achieved my goals of obtaining my bachelors and masters degrees. This was before the Internet, online classes did not start being offered by the University of Wyoming until after I had completed my degrees.

As a student I never stopped to consider how the face-to-face meetings were planned into the structure of the courses.  Upon reflections I assume the instructor didn’t stop to consider that they were on the “cutting edge” of implementing delivery of courses and programs that we are discussing today.  Even though these courses were not delivered online they met the common definition of a  hybrid course.

 

Wikipedia definition:  Hybrid courses, also called blended learning, blend face-to-face interaction such as in-class discussions, active group work, and live lectures with typically web-based educational technologies such as online course cartridges, assignments, discussion boards, and other web-assisted learning tools.[1] The degree to which the design of hybrid courses utilize traditional classroom and online learning environments varies, being largely dependent on the subject matter and overall nature of a course. Regardless of design, such courses may be expected to deliver instruction in both an asynchronous and synchronous manner, and are becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s society.

From there I did some teaching for the University of Mary (Bismark, ND) in their accelerated degree programs.  I believe I can “loosely” tie this to a hybrid model, that used no technology.

University of Mary’s accelerated degree program was structured so that the student would progress through a three credit course in four weeks.  Each class met four hours one night a week, I was a course facilitator for a course that was fully developed by a faculty member for the University of Mary.  A majority of the course work was done out of class via team of individual project work, so in other words using the seat time approach—29 hours of a “45 hour,” class were completed via out of class work. Was this a “hybrid course?” Based upon today’s common definition for hybrid courses, that I presented today, it may not be as these courses did not integrate the web based technology of the definition. However I contend that making a hard and fast rule that technology or web based technology as part of the definition for hybrid courses may be limiting to options for institutions in developing hybrid courses.

I have been involved in discussions and planning for hybrid courses as they defined what level of the course must be face-to-face and online in order to define hybrid/online courses.  How the course is defined as hybrid course may be an important consideration in promoting the course for students, financial aid, for veteran students, and international students.

 

Here are some various definitions:

I am enrolled in a Massive Online Course, delivered via Canvas, called Hybrid Courses: Best of Both Worlds, led by Elizabeth Falconer, of Renton Technical College, located in Renton, WA.  My participation in this course got me to consider the question, what do I know about Hybrid courses anyway?  This self-reflection led me to the conclusion, I have participated more initiatives related to hybrid courses than I realized, as a student, instructor, and administrator.

During the 1990’s I enrolled in several “interactive television” (The Wyoming Equality Video Network is a two-way, multipoint capable, interactive television video conferencing system which is maintained by the Distance Education Team of the Innovative Connections and Support Unit of the Wyoming Department of Education) courses offered by the University of Wyoming, with the instructor located in Laramie, WY and the students disbursed at several sites across the state.  Many times I was the only student at my site in Rock Springs, WY or Gillette, WY.  Collectively, across the state, we made up a cohort of 20-30 students enrolled in the program.  In addition to the meetings over ITV, we also met 2-3 times a semester, face-to- face.  It was this way that I successfully achieved my goals of obtaining my bachelors and masters degrees. This was before the Internet, online classes did not start being offered by the University of Wyoming until after I had completed my degrees.

As a student I never stopped to consider how the face-to-face meetings were planned into the structure of the courses.  Upon reflections I assume the instructor didn’t stop to consider that they were on the “cutting edge” of implementing delivery of courses and programs that we are discussing today.  Even though these courses were not delivered online they met the common definition of a  hybrid course.

 

Wikipedia definition:  Hybrid courses, also called blended learning, blend face-to-face interaction such as in-class discussions, active group work, and live lectures with typically web-based educational technologies such as online course cartridges, assignments, discussion boards, and other web-assisted learning tools.[1] The degree to which the design of hybrid courses utilize traditional classroom and online learning environments varies, being largely dependent on the subject matter and overall nature of a course. Regardless of design, such courses may be expected to deliver instruction in both an asynchronous and synchronous manner, and are becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s society.

From there I did some teaching for the University of Mary (Bismark, ND) in their accelerated degree programs.  I believe I can “loosely” tie this to a hybrid model, that used no technology.

University of Mary’s accelerated degree program was structured so that the student would progress through a three credit course in four weeks.  Each class met four hours one night a week, I was a course facilitator for a course that was fully developed by a faculty member for the University of Mary.  A majority of the course work was done out of class via team of individual project work, so in other words using the seat time approach—29 hours of a “45 hour,” class were completed via out of class work. Was this a “hybrid course?” Based upon today’s common definition for hybrid courses, that I presented today, it may not be as these courses did not integrate the web based technology of the definition. However I contend that making a hard and fast rule that technology or web based technology as part of the definition for hybrid courses may be limiting to options for institutions in developing hybrid courses.

I have been involved in discussions and planning for hybrid courses as they defined what level of the course must be face-to-face and online in order to define hybrid/online courses.  How the course is defined as hybrid course may be an important consideration in promoting the course for students, financial aid, for veteran students, and international students.

 

Here are some various definitions:

 

Austin Community College:  Hybrid courses, also called blended learning, blend face-to-face interaction such as in-class discussions, active group work, and live lectures with typically web-based educational technologies such as online course cartridges, assignments, discussion boards, and other web-assisted learning tools.[1] The degree to which the design of hybrid courses utilize traditional classroom and online learning environments varies, being largely dependent on the subject matter and overall nature of a course. Regardless of design, such courses may be expected to deliver instruction in both an asynchronous and synchronous manner, and are becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s society.

 

White Paper from Fayetteville State University, Interim Director Faculty Devleopment, Dr. Bonnie Groehe:   A  Hybrid course is a course that combines “face-to-face classroom instruction with online learning and reduced classroom contact hours or reduced seat time” (Educause Center for Applied Research, March 2004).

 

At FSU, a Hybrid course is a course where no more than 50% of the weekly contact hours are delivered via the Internet and remaining weekly contact hours are delivered face to face.

 

How would an instructor determine when to conduct face to face sessions?  I would consider the following:  assessments, labs for skills based and science courses, logical discussion points such as readings.  The structure needs to be planned out and communicated to students before the class starts so they can plan their schedules.  After the course starts it is very difficult if not impossible to change this schedule.

 

 

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Horizon Reports 2008 and 2009

Written By: Cathy - Jun• 07•13

 

A few months ago I decided to do a quick glance back at the Horizon Reports.   This is the third presentation of mine and it is just a basic overview of what the panel of experts speculated would be up and coming technologies  1 to 5 years out.  The presentation below covers years 2008 and 2009.  In some instances I added some current information..kind of an overview of how that technology is being used today.  Mobile Technology really came to the forefront in these years and as we all know continues to expand today.  I was surprised that it was in 2008 or 2009 when the potential of applications was beginning to be realized in the use of mobile technology.

 

You can find the 2008 report on New Media Consortium.

and the 2009 Report 

2008 Report:

 

Critical Challenges:

Significant shifts in scholarship, research, creative expression, and learning have created a need for innovation and leadership at all levels of the academy.

 

Higher education is facing a growing expectation to deliver services, content and media to mobile and personal devices.

 

The renewed emphasis on collaborative learning is pushing the educational community to develop new forms of interaction and assessment.

 

The academy is faced with a need to provide formal instruction in information, visual, and technological literacy as well as in how to create meaningful content with today’s tools.

 

 

Significant Trends:

 

The growing use of Web 2.0 and social networking—combined with collective intelligence and mass amateurization —is gradually but inexorably changing the practice of scholarship.

 

The way we work, collaborate, and communicate is evolving as boundaries become more fluid and globalization increases

 

Access to—and portability of—content is increasing as smaller, more powerful devices are introduced.

 

The gap between students’ perception of technology and that of faculty continues to widen.

 

 

 

 

One Year Or Less Definition from the report Today’s information  
       
Grassroots Video Almost any device that can access the Internet can play (and probably capture) it. From user-created clips and machinima to creative mashups to excerpts from news or television shows, video

has become a popular medium for personal communication. Editing and distribution can be done easily with affordable tools, lowering the barriers for production. Ubiquitous video capture capabilities have literally put the ability to record events in the hands of almost everyone. Once the exclusive province of highly trained professionals, video content production has gone grassroots.

 

A white paper from the grassroots video research team: Penn State

 

25 best sites for educational videos: Education Videos

 

The Impact of Video in Education:  Infographic

 

 

 

Wikipedia List of Video Sharing Sites

 

 

Top 7 Video Sharing Sites

 

 

Video Sharing Sites

Collaboration Web Tools to support collaborative online work are easy to find and uncomplicated to use.

Any networked computer can serve as a multi-function videoconference room, a gateway to a gathering in

a virtual world, or a joint workstation where several people can author the same documents together. Virtual

collaboration has been made increasingly seamless by a host of complimentary developments in networking

infrastructure, social networking tools, web applications, and collaborative workspaces.

 

Web collaboration provides an organization with the capability to collaborate with customers or internally via the Internet in real time. Web collaboration packages generally consist of Web-based tools within Web sites to assist an organization in the area of sales, new revenue-generation opportunities, and to enhance customer satisfaction. Web collaboration is essentially the back-end software or service that allows your center to share Web pages with customers while offering voice and text chat assistance or to conduct single or multi-user conferences and seminars. Web collaboration can be used in an Internet (IP) environment or integrated with an organizations’ existing telephone infrastructure to provide automated customer assistance for a client’s Web-based inquiries

 

Google Drive

 

Zoho

PB Works

Two – three years      
Mobile Broadband Mobile devices have come a long way in the past few years. From portable (if bulky) telephones they became slim little cameras, audio recorders, digital video recorders, pocket datebooks, photo albums, and music players. Now they are video players, web browsers, document editors, news readers, and more. The technology

and infrastructure have developed to the point where mobile devices are becoming essential tools, bringing the whole of the Internet and all your social connections to the palm of your hand.

 

UNESCO; Mobile Learning

 

MIT Center for Mobile Learning

 

Kineo Mobile Learning Guide:

 

Mobile learning has pushed beyond the ‘what if’ hype to ‘what now’ – how do we make this work for real. Our guide on designing mobile e-learning focuses on just that, with:

10 design tips for designing mobile e-learning to make an impact

10 examples of where and how to use mobile to best effect

It’s part one of a series of free guides on mobile learning in practice.

 

 
Data Mashups Overlay the location of every Flickr photo tagged with “bluejay” on a map of the United States and see where

people are finding blue jays (www.flickr.com/map). See Twitter updates from your geographical area (www.

twittermap.com) or follow the global progress of the public stream (www.twittervision.com). Each of these applications is a mash up: a combination of data from multiple sources in a single tool. Mashups have been around for several years, but in recent months they have captured greater interest, due in part to a broader exposure from their integration with social networking systems like Facebook. While most current examples are focused on the integration of maps with a variety of data, it is not difficult to picture broad educational and scholarly applications for mash ups

 

IBMs Mash up data center feed Data Mashup

 

YouTube Video

 

Beginners Guide to Data Mashups

 

 

 

Mash Up Tools

Four to Five years      
Collective Intelligence Two new forms of information stores are being created in real time by thousands of people in the course of their daily activities, some explicitly collaborating to create collective knowledge stores like the Wikipedia and Freebase, some contributing implicitly through the patterns of their choices and actions. The data in these new

information stores has come to be called “collective intelligence” and both forms have already proven to be compelling applications of the network. Explicit knowledge stores refine knowledge through the contributions of thousands of authors; implicit stores allow the discovery of entirely new knowledge by capturing trillions of key clicks and decisions as people use the network in the course of their everyday lives.

 

Human Brain Cloud

 

Thomas Malone:

 

What does collective intelligence mean? It’s important to realize that intelligence is not just something that happens inside individual brains. It also arises with groups of individuals. In fact, I’d define collective intelligence as groups of individuals acting collectively in ways that seem intelligent. By that definition, of course, collective intelligence has been around for a very long time. Families, companies, countries, and armies: those are all examples of groups of people working together in ways that at least sometimes seem intelligent.

MIT Center for Collective Intelligence

 

IBM Collective Intelligence

Social Operating Systems Social networking systems have led us to a new understanding of how people connect. Relationships are the currency of these systems, but we are only beginning to realize how valuable a currency they truly are. The next generation of social networking systems—social operating systems—will change the way we search for, work with, and understand information by placing people at the center of the network. The first social operating system tools, only just emerging now, understand who we know, how we know them, and how deep

our relationships actually are. They can lead us to connections we would otherwise have missed. As they develop further, these tools will transform the academy in significant ways we can only begin to imagine

 

   
       
 

 

 

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

2009  Key Trends

 

  • Increasing globalization continues to affect the way we work, collaborate, and communicate.

 

  • The notion of collective intelligence is redefining how we think about ambiguity and imprecision.

 

  • Experience with and affinity for games as learning tools is an increasingly universal characteristic among those entering higher education and the workforce.

 

  • Visualization tools are making information more meaningful and insights more intuitive.

 

  • As more than one billion phones are produced each year, mobile phones are benefiting from unprecedented innovation, driven by global competition.

 

 

Critical Challenges:

 

  • There is a growing need for formal instruction in key new skills, including information literacy, visual literacy, and technological literacy.

 

  • Students are different, but a lot of educational material is not.

 

  • Significant shifts are taking place in the ways scholarship and research are conducted, and there is a need for innovation and leadership at all levels of the academy.

 

  • Significant shifts are taking place in the ways scholarship and research are conducted, and there is a need for innovation and leadership at all levels of the academy.

 

  • Higher education is facing a growing expectation to make use of and to deliver services, content, and media to mobile devices.

 

 

One to Two Years      
Mobiles The unprecedented evolution of mobiles continues to generate great interest. The idea of a single portable device that can make phone calls, take pictures, record audio and video, store data, music, and movies, and interact with the Internet — all of it — has become so interwoven into our lifestyles that it is now surprising to learn that someone does not carry one. As new devices continue to enter the market, new features and

new capabilities are appearing at an accelerated pace. One recent feature — the ability to run third-party applications — represents a fundamental change in the way we regard mobiles and opens the door to myriad uses for education, entertainment, productivity, and social interaction

 

Article:  mobile phone 40th anniversary

 

How Cell Phones Have changed our lives

 

12 most influential Cell phones

 

 

 
Cloud Computing The emergence of very large “data farms” — specialized data centers that host thousands of servers — has created a surplus of computing resources that has come to be called the cloud. Growing out of research in grid computing, cloud computing transforms once-expensive resources like disk storage and processing cycles into a readily available, cheap commodity. Development platforms layered onto the cloud infrastructure

enable thin-client, web-based applications for image editing, word processing, social networking, and media creation. Many of us use the cloud, or cloud-based applications, without even being aware of it. Advances in computer science to ensure redundancy and protection from natural disasters have led to data being shared across many different hosting facilities. Improved infrastructure has made the cloud robust and reliable; as

usage grows, the cloud is fundamentally changing our notions of computing and communication

 

   
Two to Three Years      
Geo Everything Everything on the Earth’s surface has a location that can be expressed with just two coordinates. Using

the new classes of geolocation tools, it is very easy to determine and capture the exact location of physical objects — as well as capturing the location where digital media such as photographs and video are taken. The other side of this coin is that it is also becoming easier to work with the geolocative data thus captured: it can be plotted on maps; combined with data about other events, objects, or people; graphed; charted; or manipulated in myriad ways. Devices we commonly carry with us increasingly have the ability to know where they (and, consequently, we) are, and to record our coordinates as we take photographs, talk to friends, or

post updates to social networking websites. The “everything” in geo-everything is what makes this group of technologies interesting, and what will make them so much a part of our lives — geolocation, geotagging, and location-aware devices are already very nearly everywhere

 

   
The Personal Web Fifteen years after the first commercial web pages began to appear, the amount of content available on the web is staggering. Sifting through the sheer volume of material — good or bad, useful or otherwise — is a daunting task. It is even difficult to keep track of the media posted by a single person, or by oneself. On the other hand, adding to the mix is easier than ever before, thanks to easy-to-use publishing tools for every type

and size of media. To cope with the problem, computer users are assembling collections of tools, widgets, and services that make it easy to develop and organize dynamic online content. Armed with tools for tagging, aggregating, updating, and keeping track of content, today’s learners create and navigate a web that is increasingly tailored to their own needs and interests: this is the personal web.

 

   
Four to Five Years      
Semantic Aware Applications The idea behind the semantic web is that although online data is available for searching, its meaning is not:

computers are very good at returning keywords, but very bad at understanding the context in which keywords are used. A typical search on the term “turkey,” for instance, might return traditional recipes, information about the bird, and information about the country; the search engine can only pick out keywords, and cannot distinguish

among different uses of the words. Similarly, although the information required to answer a question like “How many current world leaders are under the age of 60?” is readily available to a search engine, it is scattered among many different pages and sources. The search engine cannot extract the meaning of the information to compile an answer to that question even though it can return links to the pages that contain pieces of that answer. Semantic-aware applications are tools designed to use the meaning, or semantics, of information on the

Internet to make connections and provide answers that would otherwise entail a great deal of time and effort.

 

   
       
Smart Objects Smart objects are the link between the virtual world and the real. A smart object “knows” about itself — where and how it was made, what it is for, who owns it and how they use it, what other objects in the world are like it — and about its environment. Smart objects can report on their exact location and current state (full or empty, new or depleted, recently used or not). Whatever the technology that embeds the capacity for attaching information to an object — and there are many — the result is a connection between a physical object and a rich store of contextual information. Think of doing a web search that reveals not pages of content, but the location, description, and context of actual things in the real world. The means to create, track, and use smart objects has not yet entered the mainstream, but recent advances in identification technology have led to some

interesting proof-of-concept applications that suggest everyday uses are just down the road

 

   
       
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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