It’s an interesting question.
Several start-ups and their university partners that have been involved in the MOOC explosion of the past year are trying different things to make money with online course offerings such as charging a fee for course completion and/or certification. There aren’t any easy answers – this is unexplored territory – and there is currently lots of experimentation. Tamar Lewin reports about some of the channels that are being explored to monetize the exploding use of online education.
I used Google Docs (now housed in Google Drive) often during my time as a teacher for everything from presentations to worksheets to composing actual tests. The advantages for me were huge. A worksheet could be started on the computer on my desk at school and then continued on my computer at home without having to physically transfer the file or worry about software compatibility (I’ve been using OpenOffice for a long time and only recently purchased MS Office for Mac).
Well it appears that the popularity of Google Apps has caught up with businesses both large and small. While the advantages to businesses are many – cloud storage, collaboration, sharing – the main reason seems to be the bottom line: price. An interesting article in the NYTimes by Quentin Hardy details the gain of Google Apps on Microsoft Office products.
I think it’s a good thing. Did we ever think there would be such a challenge to the dominance of Microsoft Office in our lifetime?
I recently discovered a website through Idealist called Skillshare. I even signed up for a course that caught my eye. Skillshare lets anyone any where, share their skills by teaching a course either online or on-site. In my case, the class was located at the Wix Lounge in San Francisco – a short hop by BART. The courses range from Spread the Cheer: Make Your Own Holiday Cards (online) to iOS Programming Workshop for Absolute Beginners in SF (hmmm…I just might take that one). The is definitely an idea whose time has come. If you have an idea for a course or just want to improve your skills, check it out.
Laura Pappano of the NYTimes has written a very interesting article about the proliferation of MOOCs this past year. A MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course, taught remotely by professors at universities such as Harvard, Stanford and MIT. MOOCs can be found at sites like Coursera, Udacity and edX. The numbers are startling. Some courses have as many as 300,000 students. Are MOOCs the future of higher education? What do you think?
In his recent op ed piece, NY Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof suggested that more “cuddling” is needed to improve America’s domestic problems and especially education. What he means by “cuddling” is early intervention and starting at the beginning of a child’s life to arrest many problems that are passed on generationally such as poverty, also increasing the child’s resilience. Kristof showcased an organization called OneGoal that nurtures at risk students providing them with the support to reach their goals.
Based in Chicago, OneGoal calls itself a college “persistence” program. Their goal is to train teachers to serve under-performing students within low-income communities and assist them in graduating from college.
While this post is not technology related, I think that OneGoal is worthwhile organization, doing important work and I wanted to promote the good that they do.
Windows 8 represents a radical new re-design of the long familiar Windows user interface. This is the biggest major update to the look and feel since the late 80′s. The minimal look offers an option to switch to “desktop” mode which looks and feels like the current Windows interface but you can’t switch to it permanently. In any case, it’s a good way to transition to the new operating system.
Eventually, Windows users will be forced to learn the new interface but how long will adoption/adaption take?
Read more about Windows 8 at NYTimes.com.