NYC tech takes on the classroom | Crain’s New York Business

New boost for interactive content:

Partly spurred by its concentration of intellectual talent, New York is also becoming a hotbed of innovation in educational technology. Venture capital investment in education-related startups in the metro area totaled $95 million in 2011—an 84% spike over the prior year, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers/National Venture Capital Association. The number of startups receiving investment money rose to 14, up from eight in 2010.In the long run, newfangled interactive textbooks like the ones Apple and its publishing partners previewed last Thursday are likely to be a minor aspect of education’s digital revolution. But Apple’s entry is certainly helping the revolution along.

All doesn’t seem to be well, however:

In the fourth quarter, VC financing in the New York area plunged 40%, compared with the prior quarter, to $545.1 million.

But experts say the tech-education industry is just getting started. The U.S. business for e-learning products and services in the pre-K to 12-and-higher education markets will grow to $11 billion in 2015, from $7.6 billion in 2011, according to research firm Ambient Insight.

(Via NYC tech takes on the classroom | Crain’s New York Business)

Hat Tip: Samudra Sen

Advertisements

No Next Button – Some Examples | MinuteBio

Having seen my share of eLearning courses, built a few, and reviewed quite a few, this link was interesting to read.

No Next Button – Some Examples | MinuteBio

The Back/Next navigation, which relegates interaction outside the content has been done to death, almost like PowerPoint. The learner is a passive consumer of the content – the said interaction is no interaction, but a chore to push the passive state of content from one screen to another. There is no excitement in the “interaction” and the said “interaction” is in a frame that contains the interaction.

Instructionally, this imposes a way of navigating on the learner, that leaves no scope for discovery or exploration. More often than not, moving media (animations, video clips) embedded in the content is often passed for interactive content. This is, at best, active content.

Not all samples in this link are the best in terms of instructional design, but they definitely make a case for breaking away from frame-based navigational interaction.

Hat Tip: Stephen Downes

Technology & Teachers

“The technology is simple, open source and so available for anyone who wants to make and sell it, which ensures that it is priced low. He says it will not make ‘one laptop per child’ outdated or irrelevant. A child can take it home. This complements it by introducing group learning, he says. Where does that leave the teacher? In the background.”

It’s the “In the background.” that I take exception to. The word background in this context is a bit vague and may mean many things. Especially if you are a teacher. There is enough scepticism from teachers (that it replaces them) about the use of technology in classroom.

Technology in education does not put the teacher in the background – it put’s them in better control to manage a class better.

Via Sreelatha Menon: The teaching table

The Single Tune

Bavatuesday has an interesting take on iTunes U – obviously not impressed.

Not only is iTunes a less than intuitive program to begin with, but it’s primarily a product and a brand, and I think we have had enough of them on campuses throughout the US over the last 10 years. I think it’s time to introduce applications more concerned with open, accessible, and easily re-purposed content, rather than cornering market share and selling units.

It is indeed interesting to note that many products, which do just one of the many things about online learning, seem to become the entire online learning experience.

Further, compare this thought with the post below.

Hat Tip: Stephen Downes

Podcasting Needs Help!

So it has been determined that in itself, Podcasting Has No ‘Inherent’ Pedagogic Value.

“Podcasting does not contain any inherent value. It is only valuable inasmuch as it helps the instructor and students reach their educational goals, by facilitating thoughtful, engaging learning activities that are designed to work in support of those goals.”

The lecture in a classroom even (delivered live) has much more interactivity and subtext which a standalone audio file cannot carry. Not so much the problem of the podcast itself, perhaps, the device(s) lack the versatility?

Paul McCloskey, “Consensus: Podcasting Has No ‘Inherent’ Pedagogic Value,” Campus Technology, 7/9/2007, http://www.campustechnology.com/article.aspx?aid=49018