I am so over this cold.  That is all.

Competency-based learning gets boost from Gates, primary liberal org to create competency pathways. “(T)he focus on competencies is an upmarket migration of some of the approaches used in competency-based programs that so far are almost entirely confined to adult-serving, open-access online institutions.” Related: institutions pitch competency plans to feds. All the cool kids are doing competency. 

Not in the MOOC for this: Chronicle of Higher Ed: MIT and Harvard release MOOC study as promised with the edX MOOC initiative launched in 2012.  The study shows what was expected: completion rates are low, enrollees are likely to have degrees already, students are heavily male.  The authors call for better screening of students’ goals ahead of time to see if the courses are meeting their expectations, which likely differ from those who attend traditional, in-person courses. First working paper here, links to others found at original link.

Survey captures online learning attitudes in higher ed. Nutshell version: if you’re doing online or blended, you tend to like it. If you don’t do it, then you don’t like it.  I wouldn’t call it trench warfare, but there is a definite hardening of the positions.  Report is here.

Intel launches new tablet, notebook for school use running Windows 8

Alabama considers $100,000,000 bond issue to replace textbooks with tablets.  At 738,000 students (2011-12 school year) that works out to about $135 per student, not taking into account students who already have them, or if students below a certain grade level do not acquire them. The textbook budget works out to less than $50 per student per year. While it is great to see the interest, a sudden roll-out at this scale could prove to be problematic. Fortunately, there are resources to help with such a large-scale implementation. 

US News: 10,000 teachers sign up for Hour of Code and other STEM-related newsbits at the link

NY Governor calls for “Corrective Action” on Common Core implementation.  Will NY and Florida changes undo or alter CCSS? Stay tuned.

BONUS LINK: with the Winter Olympics coming up, watching this never gets old.

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