Tools and Technology

Fancy Shmancy

If you're going to miss the mark, make sure you do it for good reason, that's what I say. However, that isn't the reality when it comes to online learning. Life and responsibilities get ahold of us all and due dates come and pass. Finding a way to prioritize your assignments is key to a successful semester.

UMass Amherst Launches Online Master of Science in Engineering Management (MSEM)

On the new online program news front, this just in from UMass Amherst: their online and blended Master of Science in Engineering Management (MSEM). This ten-course program equips engineers with the fundamental theory, management skills, and practical ideas needed to confidently pursue the growing number of engineering leadership positions across numerous industries.

A Massive OOps Calamity

A planned, tuition-free, six-week Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) intended to reach more than 40,000 students recently unraveled in six days, the reasons for which are painfully detailed in a report from The Washington Post. But as if this online disaster were not bad enough in its own right, guess what the course was intended to be all about? Ready? “Fundamentals of Online Education: Planning and Application.”  That’s right! It was a program designed to teach the fundamentals of how to create an online course.

UMassOnline Founder and Former UMass President Jack Wilson on “Innovation in an Era of Disruptive Change”

Dr. Wallace E. Boston is President and Chief Executive Officer of American Public University System (APUS) and its parent company, American Public Education, Inc. In a recent blog post, he filed a report about a University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education (GSE) conference entitled “Innovation in an Era of Disruptive Change.” At this forum, attendees heard from Dr. Jack Wilson, President Emeritus of the University of Massachusetts, who spoke on the topic: “Evolution or Revolution: Everyone Wants Universities to Change but Exactly How is Not so Clear.”

One Perspective on 2013 Career Trends

Writing for VentureBeat, Gary Swart provides a guest blog post outlining his perspective on 2013 career trends. He, by the way, is the CEO of oDesk which is an organization that enables both buyers and providers of tech services to build business relationships around the world.

It is that time of year, of course. Predictions are everywhere. But some are important; many are valid. This one from Mr. Swart, for example, may influence what and how you study; how you prepare for that career ahead.

Do Men and Women Have Different Online Learning Experiences?

Recently, the flagship institution of the largest university in Malaysia conducted research to see if the online learning experience differed for males and females. More specifically, according to the news account, the researchers were focused on these factors: motivation, self monitoring, internet literacy, internet anxiety and concentration of students when engaging in online studying.

Distance Learning: 1892 through 2012

Think distance learning is a recent phenomenon? If so, you’ll want to examine a recent Forbes article that traces distance learning in America back to 1892. This is especially true if you have friends and family who say distance education is a fad, it’s too new, it’ll never last.  (In Europe, I seem to recall, it may have started even earlier with correspondence courses to learn shorthand…)

Is Universal Adoption of Digital Textbooks a Near-Term Inevitability?

Writing for the Associated Press (AP), Josh Lederman reports on recent comments by U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan who wants to see traditional textbooks rendered obsolete in a few short years. The article, which has a decidedly K-12 perspective (more on that below) notes the potential economic benefits of textbook digitization. It also notes the importance of digital textbooks when it comes to keeping up with educational systems in other countries where this trend is well underway.

Tips Online MBA Students Can Use to Find Mentors in the Digital World

At the “ONLINE EDU” page from U.S. News & World Report, writer Menachem Wecker, through various sources, discusses the challenges facing online MBA students seeking mentors they may never meet face-to-face.

Textbooks versus Technology: The Right Debate?

Here’s a Texas-sized story about an ongoing debate in the Lone Star state over textbooks and technology. It is a K-12 story but it is all about a major question we at UMassOnline face all the time: what is the best allocation of funds for technology; what is the right balance of new and traditional?

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