Good morning and happy Monday! This week, we look at some recent concerns that have been popping up about the many uses of technology in education. Sometimes, certain innovations are built to aid in efficiency, or to replace classroom altogether, but is the objective really achieved?
We begin with foreign language learning and a popular education software program, the Rosetta Stone. Many independent foreign language learners (including yours truly for Korean) have used this fairly expensive method to either supplement or even replace classroom instruction. But how successful is this method? This Chronicle of Higher Ed. writer has raised some concerns, as he reveals a study from the Assoc. of Dept’s of Foreign Languages claiming that the Rosetta Stone is “not a viable option” for learning. Why? The report says that inflexible mechanics, and a weak theoretical foundation in pedagogy are to blame. Others, however, beg to differ and claim that this learning could replace classroom learning for the first two years of foreign language learning. Although the idea of an adult learning a language like a child, may seem “flawed,” those representing the software company have claimed that any negative feedback is based on one’s own experience and therefore lacks validity. The director of the Rosetta Stone, Ms. Jean Ku, also stated that in reality, this program is not meant to replace online learning in the first place. Instead, it should and often is used as a supplement to learning that occurs in the classroom.
Rosetta Stone Is No Replacement for In-Class Learning, Study Finds (Chronicle of Higher ED)
In Online Partnerships, Legal Compliance Is Key (Chronicle of Higher ED)
As more and more universities and colleges expand into MOOC’s and online learning, there is a need to ensure that legalities are not ignored. This is especially true for ensuring compliance with the False Claims Act, which awards whistle-blowers pretty heavily. Most of these claims started occurring in this department since 2006, but they have been greatly increasing as the rewards are great for the accuser.
Technology and Ethics (Education Week)
Sometimes the greatest difficulty with online or hybrid learning, is knowing who is actually taking the assessments, and/or doing the homework for the online portion of the course. Recently, some concerns have been raised about how much parents help their children during this portion. It is important to remember that ethics are key regardless of the environment, and the main goal of any pedagogical endeavor is to ensure that the learner is truly learning.
New GED Tests Stir Concerns, Draw Competitors (Education Week)
The GED has been a good alternative to enable American non-traditional and older students to receive an equivalent to a high school degree. However, due to some recent innovations in technology, gone is the traditional practice of a paper-and-pencil test, replaced by a computer-based version. But the concern is, how accurate will these new assessments be?
Have a great week! In other news…
IMF Launches Online Economics Learning for Global Classroom (IMF Survey Magazine)
Computer Coding Lessons Expanding for K-12 Students (Education Week)
MOOCs for Credit, Aussie-Style (Inside Higher Ed.)