Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The World Of Massive Open Online Courses

The World of Massive Open Online Courses
Presented By: Online Colleges


The Johns Hopkins University is joining a group of elite universities that will offer free online courses through a company called Coursera, a collective leap that could open higher education to a broader audience.
Though Johns Hopkins already offers courses online, Coursera is considered a potential game changer, because its classes will be available to unlimited numbers of students around the world. Some experts believe so-called "massive open online courses" could de-centralize higher education.
Hopkins officials say the courses will offer a mere taste of the education offered to full-time students. "It isn't really comparable to coming and taking a full degree program," said James Yager, associate dean for academic affairs at the university's Bloomberg School of Public Health.
But Yager said that the effort could be "transformative" in distributing public health information from Bloomberg to people who would never be able to attend the school full-time.
Stanford professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller founded Coursera last year with the goal of bringing high-level courses to far more students worldwide. They said 680,000 students from 190 countries signed up for the initial wave of 43 classes offered by Princeton, Stanford, the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania.
Hopkins was one of 12 universities to join the company on Tuesday; others include Duke, Georgia Tech and the University of Virginia. Coursera is mostly funded by private investors, though Penn and the California Institute of Technology have contributed $3.7 million to the for-profit venture.
In a statement Tuesday, Koller said, "We're fortunate to have the support of these highly-respected academic institutions as we move toward our shared goal of providing a high-quality education to everyone around the world."
Hopkins will not pay to participate in the venture other than by donating staff time and course designs, and the university will not receive compensation from Coursera. If the company eventually becomes profitable, it will share proceeds with the participating schools.
Initial course offerings this fall from the Bloomberg School of Public Health will come in areas such as data analysis, biostatistics and "the principles of obesity economics." Classes could include online lectures, discussion groups and exams.
Though some of the participating universities will offer credits through Coursera, Hopkins will not. Yager said the courses will not offer the level of interaction with professors or the sophisticated evaluations the university demands in for-credit offerings.
But Bloomberg Dean Michael J. Klag said the effort fits his school's mission of "sharing our research and knowledge with the world."



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Friday, July 13, 2012

The Controversy Behind Teachers Unions & Tenure

The Controversy Behind Teachers Unions & Tenure
Brought to you by: BestCollegesOnline.com

Teacher tenure is the increasingly controversial form of job protection that public school teachers in all states receive after 1-7 years on the job. As of 2008, 2.3 million teachers have tenure. 

Proponents of tenure argue that it protects teachers from being fired for personal or political reasons, and prevents the firing of experienced teachers to hire less expensive new teachers. They contend that since school administrators grant tenure, neither teachers nor teacher unions should be unfairly blamed for problems with the tenure system.

Opponents of tenure argue that this job protection makes the removal of poorly performing teachers so difficult and costly that most schools end up retaining their bad teachers. They contend that tenure encourages complacency among teachers who do not fear losing their jobs, and that tenure is no longer needed given current laws against job discrimination.


Teacher tenure is the increasingly controversial form of job protection that public school teachers in all states receive after 1-7 years on the job. As of 2008, 2.3 million teachers have tenure. [10]
Proponents of tenure argue that it protects teachers from being fired for personal or political reasons, and prevents the firing of experienced teachers to hire less expensive new teachers. They contend that since school administrators grant tenure, neither teachers nor teacher unions should be unfairly blamed for problems with the tenure system.
Opponents of tenure argue that this job protection makes the removal of poorly performing teachers so difficult and costly that most schools end up retaining their bad teachers. They contend that tenure encourages complacency among teachers who do not fear losing their jobs, and that tenure is no longer needed given current laws against job discrimination.
Prior to the introduction of teacher tenure, teachers were often fired for non-work related reasons. Teachers could be dismissed if a new political party took power or if a principal wanted to give jobs to his friends. Calls for special protections for teachers coincided with the women’s suffrage movement and labor struggles during the late 19th century. The National Education Association issued a report in 1885 advocating for public school teachers to receive tenure to protect against political favoritism and discrimination based on gender and race. In 1886, Massachusetts became the first state to pass a pre-college tenure law. [1]When nearly 10,000 teachers arrived in Chicago for the 1887 NEA conference, teacher tenure was one of the main discussion topics. In 1909, New Jersey passed the first comprehensive K-12 tenure law (90 KB)  in the US. Proponents of the teacher tenure law in New Jersey argued that it would attract more qualified teachers and eliminate political favoritism, while opponents warned that tenure would make it more difficult to remove ineffective teachers. [18]


After the Great Depression, teachers began to organize politically in order to receive funding and job protections. [35] Teachers unions negotiated for tenure clauses in their contracts with state and individual school districts. By 1940, 70% of K-12 public school teachers had job protections. [4] In the mid-1950s, the number grew to over 80%. [4] 


Education and tenure reform became a national issue following the release of A Nation at Risk (131 KB) , a 1983 report of President Ronald Reagan’s National Commission on Excellence in Education that found "the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people." [36] The report prompted states to look at reforming tenure, strengthening educational standards, and increasing the use of standardized tests.

Following the release of a 1985 report by the Illinois State Board of Education showing that only three tenured teachers were dismissed on average per year, the Illinois legislature changed their tenure laws to make it easier to dismiss underperforming teachers. [18] In the 18 years following these changes, only 39 tenured teachers were dismissed. [18]
In 2000, Georgia Governor Roy Barnes, a Democrat, successfully pushed a law through the legislature eliminating tenure for new teachers. Barnes told a joint session of the General Assembly, "Most of the time, tenure means a principal doesn't even try to dismiss a bad teacher because, even if the principal bucks the odds and succeeds, the cost in time and money is staggering.” [37] When Barnes was up for reelection in 2002, teachers refused to support him, helping Sonny Perdue to become the first Republican Governor of Georgia since 1872.







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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Straight Facts on American Teachers


Created by GoEd Online - Teaching Materials

Studies prove that a great teacher can impart a year and a half’s worth of learning to a student in one year. Good teaching over a sustained period can [help students] overcome the disadvantages of poverty. 77 percent of U.S. adults feel teaching is among the most under-appreciated professions in the U.S. 76 percent agree that many of the smartest people in society don’t go into teaching because being a teacher doesn’t pay enough. 46 percent of teachers in public schools leave the profession within five years. 14 percent of teachers leave the profession each year; in urban districts, the turnover is higher: 20 percent. High turnover of American teachers costs our country over $7 billion every year. Teachers are priced out of home ownership in 32 metropolitan areas. Only 4.7 percent of college juniors would consider teaching at the current starting salary. 68 percent of college students said they would consider the teaching profession if it paid 50 percent more than the current occupations they were considering. Teachers work an average of ten hours per day. 92.4 percent of teachers spent their own money on their students or classrooms during the 2007-2008 school year. 62 percent of teachers have second jobs outside of the classroom. 




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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Update: Major Announcement Coming Soon

english language logo
english language logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As Promised! Only a Matter of Days
Before We Make Our Major Announce-
ment. 


You Can Get In On The Action Now!
We are Giving Away Free Prizes


All you need to do is enter your Name     
& Email. You must be a resident
of Thailand. All winners will be 
announced on Mother's Day 
12 August 2012. 



We are excited to say that we are partnering with a large English Language Online Interactive Company to offer learners of English, teachers, schools, universities and private companies the world’s first 100% entertainment-focused online resource for helping people around Thailand improve their English language skills. Full details coming soon.


The site enables learners to move the lexical items seen in the learning units from short-term into long-term memory - the only way to truly retain them - thanks to a range of addictive Learning Games that provide repeated exposure to (and use of) the new vocabulary. Learners practice with games that are generated dynamically each time a new content unit is played.


English-language learning service specifically designed for the digital generation. Our approach features a worldwide community of learners of English;  and uses short-session online entertainment to encourage frequent digital immersion in real everyday English, with fresh content published daily.


English programs allows learners of English to improve their language skills contextually with video clips from blockbuster movies, hit TV series, music videos and television news reports ; online games ; and thematic visual dictionaries. They can also practice their developing English language skills within the site’s global social network of learners of English. Users have a choice between an English-language interface and a version with navigation, help texts, tutorials, a dictionary, and other resources in 19 other languages, allowing easier access to the site’s unique pedagogical approach.



Ajarn Donald's, founded in 2001, has been a leading English Language Service business for over 10-years. Our mission is to provide best-in-class language services to global companies, enabling their employees to live and work successfully Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Lao and Myanmar. Our services include language training, cultural training, translation solutions and expatriate relocation services.

We are headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand with an office located in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Together, we successfully fulfill our clients' requests.

Ajarn Donald's Educational Services is owned by Donald Patnaude and Supawan Inbunna. Donald Patnaude who is from Chicago, Illinois U.S.A. has more than 20-years experience in business including 11-years in English Language Services. He has been to 14-countries (mostly in Southeast Asia). Supawan Inbunna who is Thai, has more than 20-years experience in business including about 10-years in English Education.





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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

How To Have a Meaningful 4th Of July Celebration

This image was selected as a picture of the we...
This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Malay Wikipedia for the 26th week, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



The Fourth of July:


Polls reveal that Americans know surprisingly little about their country's history. Education World remembers --- and celebrates America's struggle for independence with 13 patriotic activities, one for each of the original colonies! 

See additional lesson ideas on our special Fourth of July Holiday page.


  • In a recent Constitution Poll commissioned by the National Constitution Center, fewer than 50 percent of the respondents knew how many U.S. Senators there are; only 6 percent could name the four rights guaranteed by the First Amendment; and 84 percent thought the Constitution states that "all men are equal."
     
  • An American History quiz among 1000 adults in the United States revealed that two-thirds of respondents didn't know that the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia and one-third didn't know that the Fourth of July is celebrated to mark the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
As the nation prepares to celebrate another July 4th, Education World has searched the Web for sites that will help teachers plan some fascinating -- and memorable -- lessons around the day and documents that shaped our country. 

LET THE FIREWORKS BEGIN! 

First, get in the mood at Happy Birthday America (Independence Day on the Net). Here you'll find "The Story of America's Independence," the text of the Declaration of Independence, and even a recipe for "Mom's Apple Pie" set to patriotic music and surrounded by fireworks displays.
Then, ignite your students' interest with the following activities:
History -- make a timeline. Have students explore To Form a More Perfect Union to learn about the events leading up to the Declaration of Independence and the writing of the Constitution. Then ask them to create a timeline of the most important events.
Geography -- make a map. Invite students to go to ushistory.org and witness the founding of our nation via a virtual tour of Philadelphia.
Language -- create a class book. Provide each student with the name of one or more delegates to the Constitutional Convention and ask them to explore classroom, library, and online resources to find information about their assigned delegates. Then have students write brief biographies about the delegates and combine the biographies into a book. Repeat the above activity for the signers of the Declaration.
Technology -- create a Web page. Have students read U.S. History Timeline, a description of a project created by 5th grade students in Oregon. Challenge your students to create their own Web pages on a topic related to the Revolutionary period.
American government -- take a quiz. Invite students to take a Declaration of Independence Quiz. (Or try alternate quiz 1 or alternate quiz 2.)
Reading for meaning -- write a constitution. Have students study the U.S. Constitution atThe Constitution of the United States of America and then write their own.
Play a game. Have fun with the ecard, puzzles, and more at Kids' Turn Central: Independence Day.

Article by Linda Starr
Education World®
Copyright © 2008 Education World





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