26 octobre 2012

Startup Udacity Builds Bankroll for Online Learning

By Don Clark. Pessimism about education is easy to find. Sebastian Thrun is a pretty persuasive antidote, and the funding seems to be following.
The German-born Stanford University research professor, programmer, robotics whiz and Google fellow had an impressive resume well before he co-founded the online education company Udacity. His team, for example, played important roles in both Google’s self-driving car and what became the eyewear technology product that started as Project Glass.
But the startup has really elevated his profile, and the financiers have taken notice. On Thursday, Udacity is announcing a $15 million venture-capital round led by the ubiquitous Andreessen Horowitz. The new infusion brings its total raised to date to $21.5 million.
Peter Levine, a general partner at the firm who is joining Udacity’s board, throws out some particularly effusive praise–stating in a blog post that it is sinking money into “a team and company that we’re absolutely convinced will change the world.”
Why the hyperbole? Hasn’t online education been around, in various forms, for more than three decades?
Udacity, which is frequently mentioned along with other new-wave education startups like Coursera, is pursuing a vision that has some fresh elements. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 23:39 - - Permalien [#]

Facing Backlash, Minnesota Decides to Allow Free Online Courses After All

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/wired-campus-nameplate.gifBy Katherine Mangan. Princeton and Stanford can rest easy now that Minnesota higher-education officials have backed away from threats to track down dozens of universities like them for offering free online courses in their state without permission.
On Friday, just hours after an administrator in the Minnesota Office of Higher Education said the state planned to demand registration and fees from universities that were offering the noncredit classes through the online course provider Coursera, the director of his office struck a more conciliatory tone. Technically, the dozens of universities offering courses through Coursera were violating a 20-year-old Minnesota law that requires universities to get permission from the state first, the director, Lawrence Pogemiller, said. But after his office’s tough stance prompted a flurry of complaints and critical blog posts, Mr. Pogemiller said, essentially, Never mind.

Posté par pcassuto à 23:35 - - Permalien [#]

Foreign Students and Tolerance

HomeBy Chris R. Glass and Larry A. Braskamp. Foreign Students and Tolerance - I - Essay on how colleges should respond to racism against international students.
Neo-racism toward international students, such as the recent incidents at Michigan State and Ohio State Universities, highlights the challenges higher education leaders face in creating a positive campus climate for international students. Many international students live in a parallel social world, shut off from friendships with American peers. When a neo-racist act occurs, international students – and all students, except for a few – look to campus administrators and faculty for ethical academic leadership. Even if no major incident has occurred, campus leaders are responsible for creating a positive climate for the burgeoning number of international students arriving at their institutions.
While there is no "one size fits all" approach, we offer for consideration three "educational encounters" that make a positive difference in the lives of international students. Our recommendations are primarily based on analysis of the results from the Global Perspective Inventory (GPI), a multi-university survey that examines the relationship between educational experiences and global learning of over 70,000 U.S. undergraduates, including almost 3,000 international students. We are both involved in this research project. Drawing on key findings from our research, we propose three educational encounters that campus leaders may consider to create more inclusive campus climates for international students. More...
HomeBy Zack Ritter. Foreign Students and Tolerance - II - Essay on deadling with racist ideas of international students
"Would you date someone who was African-American?" The interviewee quickly responded, "No, they will hurt me because they are so big and I don’t like their curly hair and big lips, it’s not my style. It may come from Western aesthetics of blond and white."
These were not the words of a white supremacist, nor those of an anti-immigration advocate, but of a 21-year-old Korean international college student. Her negative perceptions of African Americans were commonplace in my Ph.D. dissertation study of 44 Chinese, Japanese, and Korean international students’ experiences with cross-racial/ethnic interaction at University of California at Los Angeles. Upon reading Elizabeth Redden’s article in Inside Higher Ed, "I’m Not Racist, But," I was reminded how xenophobic and intolerant domestic students can be toward international students. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 23:12 - - Permalien [#]

The government's ideological assault on universities as a public service

The Guardian homeBy . The £1bn funding gap that universities face is not an accounting error – it is a calculated attempt to marketise higher education
The Higher Education Policy Institute has announced that the university sector faces a huge funding gap, which will necessitate cuts to student numbers and hikes in loan repayments. For those who have spent the last two years mobilising against fees and privatisation in education, this announcement will not be a revelation – and it is no longer enough to remark, as many commentators have done, that the government has "got its sums wrong". In reality, the £1bn gap in funding that universities now face is part of a broader, and calculated, policy to shrink higher education through a process of chaotic marketisation.

Posté par pcassuto à 22:58 - - Permalien [#]

Russell Group members 'could lose £80 million' over student shortfall

Click here for THE homepageBy Simon Baker. Undergraduate numbers have dropped at around a third of the institutions in the Russell Group of research-intensive universities, its director general has said.
Wendy Piatt also told a BBC Radio 4 documentary, broadcast this morning, that the shortfall could cost universities in the group around £80 million.
Several universities have struggled to meet targets for student recruitment this year in part due to the government's reforms allowing unlimited recruitment of undergraduates with A-level grades of AAB or above.
Dr Piatt told the Universities Challenged documentary, which charted the progress of the government's reforms to fees and funding: "Having far fewer students than planned does create a real financial hit.
"It's hard to give a very accurate number, but across the Russell Group it may amount to something like £80 million. We're not clear [on the final total] at the moment, but it's a significant amount of money."
The programme also featured an interview with Vince Cable, the business secretary, who said the AAB reforms were "experimental" and designed to try to free up existing "Stalinist" controls on undergraduate numbers.
Makers of the documentary were also given inside access to the University of Bedfordshire, whose former vice-chancellor Les Ebdon was at the centre of a political row over his appointment as the new director of fair access.

Posté par pcassuto à 22:51 - - Permalien [#]

We must not waste our most vital resource

http://bathknightblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/telegraph-logo.jpgBy . Britain still has world-class schools and universities from which our children can benefit.
For all its travails, there is one area where the Coalition is unquestionably on the right path: education. This is fortunate, since it is also the area that will determine whether the Britain of the 21st century thrives or declines.
There is nothing new, of course, in the idea that education matters: think of Tony Blair’s famous incantation of the word in 1996, designed to persuade the middle classes that he shared their burning desire to better their children’s lot. Think, too, of the reaction to Michael Gove’s recent letter to the Radio Times. In it, the Education Secretary apologised to Daniel Montgomery for his “clever-dick questions” and “pathetic showing-off” as a pupil at Robert Gordon’s College in Aberdeen. It struck a chord, with several other public figures taking the chance to apologise to, or simply thank, those teachers who had made a difference in their lives. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 22:47 - - Permalien [#]

TOEFEL - Recruitment database 'broadens pool'

By John Ross. IN a how-come-no-one-thought-of-this-before move, an English language testing giant has turned its student database into a direct marketing tool for colleges.
The “search service” enables colleges to make direct contact with students who’ve completed the Test of English as a Foreign Language, which is conducted in 165 countries and is primarily taken for academic purposes.
Students must agree to be included in the database but it costs them nothing. Some 350,000 had registered within months of the service’s establishment, according to the test’s owner, Educational Testing Service.
“It’s kind of one of those opportunities waiting to happen,” said Australasian head of client relations, Helen Cook.
“We have this huge database of students who (are) already preselected – most intend to study abroad. They’re an ideal group.”
Ms Cook said the idea was based on a long-term arrangement involving ETS’s Graduate Record Examinations test. But this was the first time it had been applied to a large-scale test.
She said it offered a cost-effective alternative to agents, who weren’t allowed to register.
The database would be particularly useful for Australian colleges because it would introduce them to “students they may not have seen before”, Ms Cook said.
She said Australia’s exclusive use of IELTS tests for student visa purposes, which was only overturned mid last year, meant many universities and colleges had had relatively little contact with students who’d taken different tests.
It also meant non-IELTS students hadn’t traditionally looked to Australia as a study destination.
“These are students who want to study overseas and may be less aware of what is available in Australians institutions,” Ms Cook said.
“Frankly, we need new strategies. We need new channels, because the numbers have been pretty difficult of late for most institutions. This is broadening the pool.”
The service costs colleges US$250 ($242) a year plus a “small” fee per student name. Ms Cook said many Australian colleges had sophisticated enquiry management strategies and would be able to minimise their costs by targeting exactly the types of students they were seeking.
They can search on almost 30 different criteria including countries of origin, geographic regions and English language scores.
Precisely how many people take the TOEFL test is a carefully guarded commercial secret, but Ms Cook said the number was growing. The test has more than 27 million graduates worldwide, ETS says.

Posté par pcassuto à 22:41 - - Permalien [#]

Überleben Sie in der Erasmus-WG?

http://www.spiegel.de/static/sys/v9/spiegelonline_logo.pngVon Markus Flohr. Um Europa steht es derzeit gar nicht gut - mit einer Ausnahme: Das Erasmus-Programm feiert Geburtstag. Seit 25 Jahren reisen Studenten damit kreuz und quer über den Kontinent und nisten sich in internationalen Wohngemeinschaften ein. Wir schicken Sie per Quiz in eine solche WG. Können Sie bestehen?
Frage 1 von 9
Der erste Morgen: Wo ist diese Uni? Zu welchen Kursen muss ich gehen? Wie funktioniert das eigentlich alles hier in... ach ja, Rotterdam war es. Ihr Kopf liegt noch in den Kissen und Sie gehen in Gedanken Ihre WG durch. Wen um Hilfe bitten?
Jonathan aus Galway, Irland. Åsa aus Umeå, Schweden. Carlo aus Bologna, Italien. Eylül aus Izmir, Türkei.

Posté par pcassuto à 22:07 - - Permalien [#]
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Bezahlstudium ist durchgefallen

http://www.spiegel.de/static/sys/v9/spiegelonline_logo.pngVon Oliver Trenkamp. Die letzten Bezahl-Bastionen wanken: Bayern und Niedersachsen verlangen Studiengebühren von bis zu 500 Euro pro Semester. Aber wie lange noch? Der Streit über das kostenpflichtige Studium ist symptomatisch für die zerfaserte Bildungspolitik in Deutschland.
Nein, leicht hatten es die Freunde der Studiengebühren nie. Zehntausende Studenten protestierten, Professoren wetterten, und der Streit um das Bezahlstudium ebbte nie ganz ab. Ihr größter Triumph war noch der Sieg vor dem Verfassungsgericht, als sie das bundesweite allgemeine Gebührenverbot kippten. Aber das war 2005.

Posté par pcassuto à 22:00 - - Permalien [#]

Novembre - Mois de l'économie sociale et solidaire

http://alternatives-economiques.fr/blogs/abherve/files/2012-logo-mois.pngLe Mois de l’Economie Sociale et Solidaire en France est une initiative des Chambres Régionales de l’Economie Sociale pour faire découvrir au plus grand nombre, pendant un mois, et au travers d’initiatives les plus diverses possibles, une autre façon de concevoir l’économie. Télécharger le bilan 2011. Mois de l'économie sociale et solidaire 2010. 2009. 2008.
Il existe en effet des entreprises responsables qui se distinguent par leur mode d’organisation et leur finalité.
Elles ont établi depuis plus d'un siècle des règles du jeu originales:
- elles rassemblent des personnes motivées par la mise en œuvre d’un projet,
- elles concilient objectifs d'intérêt collectif et activités économiques,
- elles intègrent dans leur organisation et dans leur fonctionnement démocratie, innovation et développement durable.
Ces entreprises sont les coopératives, les mutuelles, les associations, les structures de l'insertion par l'activité économique, les fondations...
Elles sont présentes sur tous les secteurs d’activités, de la banque à la culture, en passant par le commerce équitable.
En France, elles représentent plus de 215.000 établissements employeurs, soit 9,1% des entreprises farnçaises et plus de 2,2 millions de salariés, soit près de 10% du total de l'emploi salarié en France.
La petite histoire du Mois de l'économie sociale et solidaire...

2003 : naissance du « Mois de l’économie sociale et solidaire » en région PACA : un concept rassembleur pour construire une identité commune

Vitrine de l’Economie Sociale et Solidaire régionale, le Mois rassemble sous son logo, des initiatives émanant de structures d’envergure, locale, départementale, régionale, nationale et même internationales telles que: festivals, salons, colloques, marchés, opérations de sensibilisation ou de promotion, forums, journées porte ouverte, sessions de formation, etc. Couvrant les six départements de la région PACA, le Mois de l’économie sociale et solidaire est une opération de communication et de promotion basée sur un principe de coopération d’acteurs.
2007 : concept étendu à 5 nouvelles régions

En 2007, 5 régions ont rejoint PACA dans l’aventure du Mois de l’économie sociale et solidaire: l’Auvergne, Languedoc-Roussillon, le Limousin, Midi-Pyrénées et la Picardie.
2008 : première édition nationale du Mois de l’ESS

La première édition nationale, en novembre 2008, a donné lieu à près de 950 manifestations qui ont mis en valeur l’économie sociale et solidaire, ses principes, son importance, sa diversité, son dynamisme, sa capacité d’adaptation, son ancrage territorial… 950 manifestations affichées sous un même logo, celui du Mois de l’économie sociale et solidaire, et regroupées dans 21 programmes régionaux coordonnés par les CRES. Les médias qui commencent à être attentifs à notre secteur, dans un contexte de crise financière qui stigmatise les dérives du capitalisme, ont relayé l’information sur le Mois de l’économie sociale et solidaire 2008 à travers 360 articles de presse, 23 émissions télévisées et 70 interventions radiophoniques.
2009 : Sociale et solidaire, l'économie qui sait où elle va

Cette deuxième édition nationale a donné lieu à la conception d'une campagne de communication plus percutante, très appréciée des acteurs de l'économie sociale et solidaire ainsi qu'à la création d'un site dédié interactif pour faciliter l'inscription de manifestations et une recherche personnalisée en fonction de ses centres d'intérêt dans les programmes régionaux du Mois de l'économie sociale et solidaire. L'édition 2009 a permis de conforter l'intérêt d'un tel événement avec l'accroissement du nombre de manifestations, d'organisateurs et de participants et des retombées médiatiques plus nombreuses (près de 600).
http://alternatives-economiques.fr/blogs/abherve/files/2012-logo-mois.png Month of the Social and Solidarity Economy in France is an initiative of the Regional Chambers of the Social Economy to discover more, for a month, and through various initiatives more possible, another way of thinking economy. Download the 2011 balance sheet. Months of the social and solidarity economy in 2010. 2009. 2008.
There are indeed responsible companies that are distinguished by their mode of organization and purpose.

They have been established for over a century original rules:

- They bring people motivated by the implementation of a project,

- They combine community interest objectives and economic activities,

- They fit into their organization and functioning democracy, innovation and sustainable development.

These companies are cooperatives, mutual societies, associations, structures of integration through economic activity, foundations ...

They are present in all sectors, banking culture, through Fair Trade
. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 21:43 - - Permalien [#]