I have been diligently listening to some of the MOOC recordings and wishing I could participate in person and engage in the dialogue…so much has changed..and that is what this whole experience about experiencing change and discussing the many changes in education. My notes on the MOOC are scattered. I most recently listened to, January 23rd led by Richard DeMillo, Ashwim Ram, Preetha Ram, and Hua Ali. . They discussed the report “The Silent Epidemic–perspectives of high school dropouts, a 2006 report addressing the questions: . Who they are, Why they dropped out, What might have helped them to complete high school.
The statistics illustrated the following;
1) Classes were not interesting (47%)
Those with a high GPA and motivation to work hard especially indicated this
2) Not motivated or inspired to work hard as demonstrated by 60%
80% did one hour or less of homework each day in high school
66% would have worked hard if more had been demanded of them
3) Personal reasons 32% had to go to work
26% indicated becoming a parent
22% being caregivers
4) Spent too much time with people not interested in school 35%
30% could not keep up
43% missed too much school and could not keep up
45% lack of preparation
32% repeating a grade
It was also discovered that dropping out is illustrated through a gradual pattern of disengagements, this may be exhibited from lack of participation in the classroom, attendance issues, poor grades. *Attendance or lack of may be a strong predictor of dropping out.
Solutions: Improve curriculum and teaching to make school more relevant and engage and enhance the connection between school and work. Establish an early warning system which identifies students who have high at risk factors for dropping out, build a school climate that fosters academics, ensure that students have a strong relationship with at least one adult in the school, improve the communication between parents and schools, Parent engagement strategies and individualized graduation plans.
This is important to those of us in higher ed because these are the students we are getting, especially at the community college level. We need to collaborate and work with those in industry and high schools to coordinate instruction at all levels to improve students success.
The slideshow presentation for the MOOC is on this site. Most notable on the site is that colleges and universities are no longer gate keepers of knowledge and information. The advent of the internet and the explosion of “putting the world’s knowledge’ on the web has removed barriers and make access to knowledge and information easier. This does not guarantee that the “knowledge and information” has been vetted and reviewed in any way..this just means that access is easier.
There is and continues to be a high demand for higher education. This increased demand requires scalability in our learning management systems. In India alone it is anticipated that they will have to create over 37,000 universities just to meet the demand from a growing population for education. This will be necessary to meet the needs of over 300 million high school graduates.
Of course one way of doing this is to use those tools which are now readily available including the social networking tools, blogs, and other avenues of delivering, communicating, and having dialogues for learning.
They discussed the impact of social networks on education. The statement was made that “regulations put a hard boundary around what a university can and cannot say about a student in a course.”
Proposed was how to get rid of the “idea of cheating’ and issues of plagiarism.
There are also consequences associated with the scale and nature of the technology that we are using to deliver content. Blogging; a great vehicle, power of scale, openness and power laws.
Reference was made to the University of Mary: Washington and how they use blogs as a way of structuring and presenting the learning activities. Openly publishing what students learn for review by internal and external stakeholders.
Blogs and other aggregators of learning have a basis in “social organizational’ tools that provide for interaction in learning.
Ideas: Forming learning communities that are transparent, instructional based, cross disciplinary. Wandering seminars, creating new knowledge.
Communitiies of practics: open learning
learning by doing (apprenticeships). Power of a community to drive education and learning by teams
I have notes on this blog on the Public Library of Science: Using a publisher’s platform as educational tools. This dialogue, open exchange of ideas may/can accelerate scientific discovery. Redefining what it means to be scientific publication.
About: PLoS (Public Library of Science) is a nonprofit* publisher andadvocacy organization with a mission of leading a transformation in scientific and medical research communication. Everything we publish is open-access – freely available online for anyone to use – which benefits everyone, from researchers, educators, and patient advocates to funders, policymakers, and the public. Sharing research encourages progress – from protecting the biodiversity of our planet to finding more effective treatments for diseases such as AIDS or cancer.
Dr. Preetha Ram and Dr. Hau Ai: Informal discussion notes
Informed us about Open Study: in essence a global, social, interactive study hall, people from all over the world collaborating on study problems and issues. The dialogue enriches a student’s learning experience.
Introduced the term social capital: as a sociological concept which refers to the value of social relations and the role of cooperation and confidence to get collective or economic results. The term is used by different social sciences emphasizing different aspects of the concept. In general terms, social capital is the crux of social relations, and consists of the expectative benefits derived from the preferential treatment and cooperation between individuals and groups.
Although there are a variety of related definitions, they tend to share the core idea “that social networks have value. Just as a screwdriver (physical capital) or a university education (human capital) can increase productivity (both individual and collective), so do social contacts affect the productivity of individuals and groups.”
We need to continue to discuss and revisit the idea behind digital natives, imigrants, etc., etc., let’s be realistic ..some people have access to tech, some don’t, some love it and use it, and some don’t..it’s not a generational thing. It is “motivation” do I have a reason to be motivated to use it?