My take on the future of MOOCs

I just responded to a post in LinkedIn and I thought I would share this here. I have not spoken about MOOCs much because I still feel we are in very early stages of them. So here are my current thoughts when someone asked if these will replace traditional colleges:

It is way too early to see where MOOCs really fit in. I saw these same conversations in the late 90s when online education first became popular. The problem with MOOCs and other forms of distance ed is that the dropout rates are nearly double that of F2F colleges. Until we can get over that motivation (really self motivation and discipline) barrier I am not sure how these will replace the traditional colleges. That is just one issue of many. MOOCs might solve some problems in higher ed but they also create some as well. Considering most are in experimental phases and the companies pushing them have really yet to test their business model, I would guess that we have a ways to go before we start seeing if there is a UoP or Walden U type success in the MOOC world. I am not saying it will not happen. I am saying that there are a lot of hurdles MOOCs need to first overcome. When I see one of the main companies roll out a proven successful business model, then I will be less skeptical but as of now its way too early to tell.

My latest website – Carefree Organics 100% Organic Skin Care

My latest website is a site that I created for my wife’s new organic skin care business. I used a lot of CSS3 as well as some javascript to create the site. I created the graphics in photoshop except for the logo which I created using illustrator.

One of the cool things about this site was that it was the first time I set up an ecommerce business so that people could ‘add to cart’ and pay right on the site. It was fun to figure out and I will be discussing ecommerce on this blog to describe my experiences. Anyway, check out the site:

Call for proposals: Global Learning Technology Conference (GLTC) now open

Submit Here

GLTC advances awareness of technology for learning and connects educators, technology coordinators, administrators, instructional designers, developers, researchers and scientists who use and study technology for learning. An example of them promoting technology is that they’ve developed their own video conference script, through which, they’ve created their own video conference application. Conference presentations and exhibits will focus on technological innovations and their impact on learning and transforming education and training.

Sessions choices are a hands-on-workshop (90 minutes) or a concurrent session (45 minutes).   Keep the proposal length to a minimum of 250 words.  You will also be asked to supply a statement of what the audience will walk about from your session knowing.   

Submit a proposal on any of the following categories:

The Innovative Instructional Strategies category, instructors/teachers from higher education or k-12 will share and learn methods that are cutting-edge and successful according to research. These sessions may range from strategies for individual domains or interdisciplinary strategies for multiple domains.  The sessions will be identified as k-12 or higher education focused.

The Community Partnership category is for both business and any level educators.  These sessions will be for both business partnerships as well as educators to learn how educators are preparing students as well as the skills businesses require gainful employment.

The Training & Professional Development category will be for the community business members to share training and professional development strategies that are successful in obtaining and keeping employee’s knowledge and skills current while maximizing transfer of knowledge and minimizing cost.

Topics for the above categories may include:

  • Emerging technologies
  • Mobile learning
  • Professional learning
  • Team-based learning
  • Design thinking
  • Assistive technology
  • Social media
  • Virtual learning environment
  • Distance education/e-learning
  • Applied learning
  • Assessment and evaluation
  • Digital Content

Submit a proposal for one of the following types of session

  • Concurrent sessions where presenters speak on their work, research or a subject relevant to the conference theme. There will be time set aside for discussion and questions
  • Workshops where participants are provided an opportunity for hands-on exploration. We encourage proposals where workshops are designed for participants to work around a tool, platform, or concept. Workshops are scheduled should be highly participatory.

We encourage interactive presentations and ask that you describe how your session addresses the theme of the conference in up to 200 words.

Conferences of this sort might often find the need of screening important information on LED screens for the ease of its participants. Visual Impact LED Screen Rentals gives you the option of renting big LED screens for such events. Look them up today.

Yahoo ends telecommuting

I am not sure what to think of this. I get what the CEO is trying to do, unfortunately, she is trying to get it by making her employees unhappy. Telecommuting is a good thing but there is a difference between working from home 100% of the time vs part time. I agree with her that 100% might not be the most convenient strategy but why not part time? Have one day of the week where everyone needs to be in the office. Making employees happy and retaining them is very beneficial to companies. Additionally you want to be attractive if you are trying to recruit the top talent. But why would the top talent go to Yahoo when they could go to Google and work from home if they choose? Yahoo really needs to figure itself out right now. They are a big company with enough money to do some great things yet they invest in the worst ideas.

Spotify and Ford?

Now this is interesting and something that SiriusXM and Pandora need to look out for. Spotify is coming to Ford Sync. For those that do not know what that is, its the ability for your phone to connect to your car and play through its speaker. Now this is just Fords and technically you can do this anyway through bluetooth, but it is something to watch out for.

Microsoft Office for Mac price increased 17%

Seems like a lot to me considering that microsoft is now competing with free software like Google Docs and Open Office. On the mobile front MS is competing with just plain apps from several companies. Article

Now for my students – please remember you get a huge discount at your school on MS products like office (among other software). So before you graduate, go to the bookstore and buy your $20 copy of Office because once you leave the price goes up a few hundred dollars:)

Tweets, not résumés, to get a job?

This is an interesting article in usatoday this weekend. Apparently this company is looking for employees with ‘online personalities’ regardless of what they can do. While I think the article is a bit extreme I do see this becoming a trend. However I just was having a discussion this weekend with a colleague and we were discussing how ‘recommendations’ within social media sites like linkedin were not very valuable as people who did not know either of us had recommended us and added skills to our profile in hopes that we would do the same to theirs. Here is a quote from the article:

“The paper résumé is dead,” says Vala Afshar, chief marketing officer at the tech firm Enterasys Networks that is in the process of hiring a six-figure, senior social media strategist based on tweets. Afshar refuses to even look at résumés. “The Web is your résumé. Social networks are your mass references.”

Beginning Monday, job prospects can begin tweeting for the job, which he hopes to fill by April. “I believe the very best talent isn’t even looking for work,” Afshar says. “They’re mobile and socially connected and too busy changing the world.”

Think of it as a 140-character job interview. Even the folks at Twitter are a bit surprised. “I don’t think we’ve heard of that before actually,” says spokeswoman Alexandra Valasek in an e-mail.”

“It didn’t matter to me what they’re like in an interview setting,” Biebert says. “All that mattered was their online personality.”

What do you think?

Handbrake crashing when scanning DVD?

Here is the solution to a DVD that will not burn. (Keep in mind I am only providing this information for users who legally own DVDs, not pirates).

1. Insert DVD into MAC and let it play.2. When the actual Movie (not commerials/menu/etc) starts playing, move your cursor to the top of the screen where the menu is (might need to press mouse) and choose Go->Title and look down the list to find the title that is checked. Keep that number fresh in your head.
3. Open up Handbrake and press cancel – Do NOT select a source
4. Select File->Open Source->Select your movie
5. Enter the Title number in the box that pops up
6. Now rip away….

Linkedin: Top 1%, 5%, or 10% – Were you in it?

Linkedin recently sent out emails this week letting users know if you were in the top 1%, 5%, or 10% of the most viewed profiles for 2012. Its smart as many people are now tweeting or sharing the fact that they were chosen. So how do the numbers break down? Well there are 200 million users so you can do the math:

1% – 2 million
5% – 10 million
10% – 20 million

I was in the top 5%:)

Link to mashable article about it