E-learning to become one of the biggest education innovations in the Kazakh education system

Helge Scherlund reports on a recent news report from Kazakhstan where eLearning is being introduced where they believe that by 2020 all students will be using the internet and social media in their learning.

Kazakhstan’s entire educational and scientific system involving around 18 thousand organisations and almost half a million of teachers are designed to hit the target, with a third of the country’s population striving to obtain high-quality knowledge.
Teachers are fully capable of coping with the challenge. For every teacher there are slightly more than 10 pupils out there. The government invests tremendous funds because innovations in many areas depend on educational innovations.

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Web 2.0 seeds set roots in Rwanda

From the CTA Web2 for Dev Gateway blog, they review the efforts in the past year where during series of workshops and other initiatives, participants were introduced to a range of web2.0 technologies and networks, exploring what could be done using them. They have a range of activities for the last quarter of 2012 including within existing agricultural business and communities.

One year on and the impact of these sessions has far exceeded expectations. MINAGRI has consolidated its presence on Facebook and Twitter, and CICA run two on-the-job training for MINAGRI and projects’ staff. A total of 50 individuals (42% of whom were women) were trained in the use of VoIP, online mapping and professional / corporate social networking in 2012.

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Why Anyone Who Cares About the Metaverse Needs to Move Beyond Second Life; Now, Not Later

Fleep Tuque who is well known in both online education and virtual worlds communities expresses her passion for the concepts of virtual worlds and issues a plea to develop virtual worlds beyond the experiences and platforms of the last few years. She reflects on her experiences and hopes whilst she began to explore 3d virtual worlds seeing an open metaverse where anyone could develop in virtual worlds and improve theirs and others prospects in the real world too. She spent a lot of time developing and using Second Life for education but feels a hostage as she is not able to reuse her content anywhere else

Imagine you are writing that novel you’ve always dreamed of writing, the novel that will change the world. And it’s early on in the development of software for writing novels, so there are only one or two platforms that allow you to even do it. One of the downsides of these early platforms is, you can only ever work on your novel on their servers, and the only copy that exists of your novel only exists on their servers. But hey, there aren’t any other good options out there, so you dive in, pouring your heart and soul into writing the best novel you can.

The more you add to your novel, as the years pass, the more attached you become, until one day something terrible happens. You lose your job, or you get sick, or the stock market crashes, whatever the reason, suddenly you can’t afford to pay for access to your novel. And just like that, all that work, all that effort, gone in a blink. Or one day the company changes its mind and decides it doesn’t even want to host novels anymore, novels are not their target market now, who needs these novel writing people! And just like that, all that work, all that effort, gone in a blink

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Language – Regional or Global

Eduvichar looks at the different demands for learning English but also for regional language teaching in India and looks at the differences for what might be useful in employment. He notes the importance of learning a regional language in early childhood but also the pressure on students in university who are learning in English.

Mere language cannot hold back capable engineers and doctors, or even philosophers. They have to be given a chance to break through their barriers, and the support to do so.

Therein lies the problem. We do not have external or internal pathways to traverse language barriers.

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Wither Higher Education in Sri Lanka

Garvin Karunaratne provides a detailed overview of his experiences in education and other sectors in Sri Lanka, taking a look at higher education there today.  He looks at the impact of IMF and fiscal policy. He provides examples where he has worked with universities encouraging manufacturing industries and employments which later turned to importing instead.

Sri Lanka happens to be perhaps the only country in the world today to offer free Tertiary education. If University education was not free I could not have found the money to become a graduate. Even the UK., which had a free University education system till a few years ago has given up and  today a graduate has to pay over 10,000 pounds as fees alone per year.   It is my opinion that if we are to continue free University education it becomes an incumbent necessity to ensure that the University studies does contribute to the development of our country

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College Beyond Grades

Elise Young posts on Inside Higher Ed, about a new book by Ken Bain which explores student learning and how this has been affected by changes in higher education.

today’s education climate makes it difficult for teachers to avoid fostering surface or strategic approaches, he says. “A lot of traditional education does in fact foster a very strategic or surface approach to learning rather than that deep approach.”

For example, advisers perpetuate the strategic approach by telling students about certain courses they must “get out of the way.”

Does the American elite want real public education

Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism posts a video from the Real News Network which looks at the broader societal and financial implications of policies being proposed by US presidential candidates in the upcoming election.

It has provoked an interesting discussion including

It is not a coincidence that the US was amongst the first countries anywhere to pursue mass _public_ education as a matter of policy, since initial European settlements in the parts of the USA where that was pursued had much smaller class distinctions than Europe as a whole, and in particular had relatively few truly rich individuals. But even in that regard, ‘men of property’ in the US have never supported public education as an entire class.


Is Blended Learning a silver bullet?

Diane Ravitch refers to a recent decision by Indianapolis to open 19 new charter schools based on the concept of blended learning. She questions the decisions which refer to both the cost savings involved and how test scores were more positive.  She believes that a good teacher is the best of all technologies

My old-fashioned brain says that what matters most in a classroom is a teacher who engages in a deeply human way with students: to encourage them, enlighten them, inspire them, teach them. There is a place in every classroom for technology. I use it every day. And certainly students can use their computers to do research and writing and explore.

But in the current environment of high-stakes testing, computers are geared to passing the tests

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Is effective schooling being delivered by efficient schools? New-Age vs Traditional Schools

Ravi Lochan Singh questions what is a good school or a good education

There are other questions about the readiness to step into the world of higher learning. It is being said that the new college entrant today is able to voice opinions but is not able to justify them in a reasoned manner. In their schools, the students who have been identified as promising public speakers are trained to speak at structured public debates. But making scintillating public speeches is quite different from arguing rationally on a daily basis in real life.

He mentions a new project which will be focused on quality in education and hopes for an open dialogue about what this could mean.

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