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emPower eLearning: August 2010

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

'Red Flags Rule' Applicability to Physicians Challenged

By Sheri Porter

The Council of Medical Specialty Societies, or CMSS, recently filed a motion to intervene on behalf of all physicians in an existing case filed by the AMA, the American Osteopathic Association and the Medical Society of the District of Columbia. The case involves the applicability to physicians of an antifraud identity theft federal regulation known as the "Red Flags Rule."

The rule, which was originally drafted in 2008 in connection with the implementation of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, requires financial institutions and creditors -- including physician practices -- to address the risk of identity theft by implementing identity theft prevention programs.

The AAFP is one of 26 medical organizations seeking to be specifically added as plaintiffs pursuant to the CMSS motion to intervene in the existing case, which seeks to prevent the Federal Trade Commission, the government agency charged with upholding the rule, from applying it to physicians.

According to an Aug. 17 notice posted on the CMSS website, the Red Flags Rule "imposes significant burdens on physicians, particularly solo practitioners and those practicing in small groups."

Norman Kahn, M.D., EVP and CEO of CMSS, said in the press release that his organization took the lead on this issue "to protect all physician members of the CMSS societies from the unintended consequences of the Red Flags Rule."

"Adhering to the policies of the Red Flags Rule would substantially drain the financial resources of physicians, particularly those whose support systems are limited," said Kahn.

The Academy's General Counsel Tom Robinett, J.D., said in an interview that the AAFP would like to see a ruling on CMSS' motion to intervene and the AMA lawsuit by the end of the year.

"A positive ruling on the case would provide a definitive decision that will apply to all physicians and will exclude physicians from the application of the Red Flags Rule and the hassles that go along with being a creditor," said Robinett.

"This rule shouldn't apply to physicians who take a credit card or bill a patient for services and thus extend credit to that patient," said Robinett. The Red Flags Rule was an outgrowth of identity theft problems associated with financial institutions and credit card companies and was never intended to include America's physicians, he added.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia recently ruled in favor of an American Bar Association request to exempt lawyers from the Red Flags Rule.

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Online Learning Is On the Upswing—In the Public Mind At Least

Of all the innovations and policy reform proposals in education, it is online learning that is gathering public support most rapidly.  In just one year—from 2009 to 2010—the percentage of Americans who think that high school students should be given credit for courses taken online has jumped from 42 percent to 52 percent.  Opposition has dropped from 29 percent to 23 percent, with the balance taking a neutral position.  Despite the reluctance of teachers to support the idea, and despite its cost-saving implications, Democrats are more favorable to the teaching of high school courses online than Republicans are.

All this is reported in the 4th annual survey of public opinion on educational issues by Harvard’s Program on Educational Policy and Governance and Education Next, which I, with William Howell and Martin West, help to direct.  We also found that support for letting middle school students take online courses for credit moved upward from 35 percent to 43 percent, with opposition falling from 34 percent to 26 percent.  (Results from the full survey—covering a wide range of educational issues–were released today.)
The shift in opinion is noteworthy.  On most issues, public opinion is fairly stable from one year to the next.  Support for charter schools, for example, ticked upward by just 2 percentage points—from 42 per cent to 44 percent—between 2008 and 2010. Opposition decreased from 19 percent to 16 percent over the interval, while those neither supporting or opposing slipped somewhat.

When it comes to virtual learning, I would like to make the case that most Americans have read Clay Christenson and Michael Horn’s new book, Disrupting Class or my account of virtual learning in Saving Schools: From Horace Mann to Virtual Learningbut book sale figures suggest that something larger must be  at work.  When Bill Gates announces that the best college courses will be delivered online within five years, high schools—and even middle schools—will not go unaffected.  Keep your eye on one of the biggest forces for change yet to hit public education—technological innovation.

Source: educationnext.org

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Presentation Summit 2010

Quite a few months ago I became familiar with an annual conference held in San Diego in October, called The Presentation Summit. It seemed a little different than the usual conferences that eLearning folks attend, which piqued my interest.

It’s relevant to our field because many of the sessions focus on working with the visual, multimedia, and informational design aspects of presentation software, which many eLearning designers do every day.

I’ll be speaking there to present design guidelines that work with our cognitive architecture and I’m really looking forward to attending many of the sessions. As a way of introducing you to the conference, I interviewed the conference creator, who is also the author of Why Most PowerPoint Presentations Suck, Rick Altman.

Coach: Rick, can you tell us what the Presentation Summit is all about?
Rick: We are the annual gathering for those who owe their livelihood to creating or delivering presentation content. Our patrons run the gamut from presentation designers to public speakers to PowerPoint junkies. You’ll find some instructional designers there too!

Coach: So not all of them are PowerPoint junkies?
Rick: Well, just about everyone who attends uses PowerPoint in some fashion or another, but we don’t assume that everyone attends just to learn more about PowerPoint. In fact, that was one of the reasons for our rebrand (from PowerPoint Live to the Presentation Summit)—we are about so much more than just the software.

Coach: Can you give us a little background on how this all got started?
Rick: I have been hosting conferences for over 20 years and we are pretty good at small to mid-sized events. Our cap is 225 people. Up until 2003, our focus was on graphic software—the Corel products in particular. But as that universe was getting smaller and Death by PowerPoint was becoming rampant, it became evident to me that a change was in the wind. We saw a need and filled it.

Coach: How can eLearning designers and developers benefit from the conference?
Rick: Several members of our presenting team are deeply vested in the eLearning community and we often devote sessions to instructional design topics. But we don’t try to pass ourselves off as an eLearning conference and it would be an insult for us to presume to know more than those who live and breathe it daily.

But most eLearning content pivots around PowerPoint and nobody does PowerPoint better than we. Instructional designers need well-designed content and the designers on our presenting team, like Nancy Duarte, Nigel Holmes, and Julie Terberg, are without peer. And good instructors have to be comfortable in front of an audience, and we offer a pretty deep dive into presentation skills. So we cover many of the disciplines that orbit eLearning and it is no accident that we attract several dozen from that space each year.

Coach: For those interested in visual design, what topics will be featured this year?
Rick: We have Connie whatshername…I hear she’s pretty good. Let’s just say that you will be one of several prominent authors and noted visual designers on the team. That starts with our Monday keynote speaker, Nigel Holmes, the former art director for Time magazine. Nancy Duarte is like the rock star of our industry, with such clients as HP, Cisco, Apple, and of course Al Gore. Julie Terberg has become famous for her makeovers—she takes the work of our patrons and transforms it before their eyes. It’s amazing stuff.

Coach: What topics will appeal to the technical-minded participants?
Rick: Just as we devote a track to presentation design, we also have one for nuts-and-bolts instruction on PowerPoint. We will offer sessions on animation, layouts and themes, triggers and hyperlinks, and several how-did-they-do-that workshops. High on the list, we suspect, will be sessions devoted to version 2010, which is still a curiosity to many. And while it’s certainly not our job to shill for Microsoft— and we don’t!—we think that version 2007 users will be quite pleased with the 2010 version.

Coach: I get the sense that this conference is rather unique. What makes it so special?
Rick: First of all, my mother runs registration. But beyond that, the conference is known for its intimate feel and sense of community. You see, we are not meeting planners by trade; we don’t crank out 12 conferences a year. We do one, and we have learned how to do it really well.

Because we limit enrollment, we do not risk becoming a faceless trade show and we avoid cattle calls. Everyone gets face time with the presenters and with the reps from Microsoft, and we know how to create an environment in which meaningful relationships can be formed.

Coach: Is it true that there’s been a conference marriage?
Rick: Try three of them. When you bring 200 people together, all of whom share a common pursuit and passion, extraordinary things can happen and we are experts at making sure that they do. There’s a reason why we get so many repeat attendees and why there are a handful of people who have attended every single one. We show the presentation industry that there is a community for them to join that they likely never knew existed.

Coach: That could be as important as the learning.
Rick: That’s right. To some of our patrons, it is. The learning component is second to none, I really believe that. But indeed, it is the sense of community that we have created that makes me the most proud. There is just no better feeling than seeing people make meaningful connections and knowing that you had a hand in that.

The Presentation Summit 2010 will be held from October 17 to 20 in San Diego. Please let me know if you’ll be there! And check out Rick’s book, Why Most PowerPoint Presentations Suck.

Source: theelearningcoach.com

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Blackboards to Blackberries: Mobile Learning Buzzes Across Schools and Universities

While educators today are grappling with new terms like “coursecasting” and “tweetup,” the mobile generation has begun to flex opposing digits in ways that imply evolution has taken another dramatic leap forward.

The benefits of utilizing technology to advance learning methods have been hashed, rehashed, and largely swallowed. What is still being seen is how institutions adapt their pedagogies to deliver educational content in a way that exploits these technologies effectively.

Generation M: Students with cell phones

Today’s students live in a world enveloped by the Web. They read their news from online publications, publish their content on blogs, and share up-to-the-minute updates using Twitter.

And for the last few years they’ve been doing all this on their phones.

In the 2009 Parent-Teen Cell Phone Survey, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates, 75% of 12 to17-year-olds own cellphones (up from 45% in 2004).

With advances in technology, this decade has seen a leap in mobile content delivery, resulting in a new generation of mobile learners, distinct from the communities of “tethered” e-Learning.

American students spend 7.5 hours a day absorbing and creating media – as much time as they spend in school. They multitask across screens to cram 11 hours of content into those 7.5 hours. And most of these activities are happening on smartphones equipped with audio, video, SMS, and mobile applications (Kamenetz, 2010).

Student nomads: The extended learning environment

Mobile learning is based on utilizing the functionalities of both handheld computers and mobile phones. When the iPod came out, “Podcasting” created new ways to distribute content. Similarly, convergent devices like the iPhone and phones using the Android operating system are extending the boundaries of education.

While teaching methodologies were initially borrowed from pedagogies used in e-Learning, mobile learning has expanded into the converged space of Internet and telecommunications, creating a wider net of in-class and out-of-class learning opportunities. (See Figure 1.)



Figure 1: Mobile learning has created a wider net of learning opportunities.

New forms of content dispersion like coursecasts, mblogs, and Twitter feeds have become popular with the ubiquitous availability of technology across campuses. These new “bytes” of learning enable both faculty and students to take education beyond the classroom experience, changing how students now conceive terms like “classroom” and “content.”

Hotspots: Mobile learning on campus

Duke University was the first to use mobile devices to access symposia, class material, and school news through iTunes. The program, called iTunesU, enabled faculty and students to create and carry course material with them on their iPods (Brown & Metcalf, 2008).

iTunes U is now used by several institutions, including MIT, Stanford, and University of California Berkeley, offering access to courses, faculty lectures, interviews, and more.

In 2008, Abilene Christian University launched the first-in-the-world mobile learning initiative. This initiative was created to provide opportunities for students and faculty to experiment with new forms of social, informational, and media access on next-generation digital platforms including the iPhone and iPad (Abilene Christian University, 2008 – 2009).

Ninth grade teacher, Ashley Wilbur from the Howard School of Academics and Technology, Tennessee, began looking for learning alternatives when she realized her students had the same English texts they had used the previous year.

Working in partnership with Emantras and Hamilton County Virtual School, Wilbur now uses Mobl21, an application which enables teachers to create and publish text, video, and audio content in the form of short quizzes, flash cards, and guides.

Teachers were able to use Mobl21 to complement courses, and make learning assets easily available to users and groups, through desktop, social platforms, and iPhone / iPod Touch.

Future-speak: teaching the digital natives

As many in the mobile learning industry state, several challenges exist that need to be addressed in order for mobile learning to have a permanent place in mainstream education. These include technology limitations of teachers, costs of devices and infrastructure, and the slow rate of adoption in educational institutions.

What is equally true is that mobile learning has moved beyond the hype. The ubiquitous availability of technology, the growing potential of smartphones, and the thousands of learning applications have brought m-learning into our daily lives.

Today more people turn to their mobile phones to look up answers, search for information, and consume e-books. Side by side with these capabilities, is a generation of digital natives steadily moving towards graduation, and bringing with them, comfortable familiarity with technology.

These developments will soon push more schools and institutions into the interactive sphere of mobile learning, enabling teachers to move from being deliverers of knowledge to the more active role of mentors in student education.

References

Parent-Teen Cell Phone Survey. (2009) Princeton Survey Research Associates International.


Kamenetz, Anya. A Is for App: How Smartphones, Handheld Computers Sparked an Educational Revolution. (2010) http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/144/a-is-for-app.html


Brown, Judy & Metcalf, David. Mobile Learning Update. (2008) Judy Brown, David Metcalf. http://masieweb.com/p7/MobileLearningUpdate.pdf


Mobile-Learning Report (2008-09) Abilene Christian University. http://www.acu.edu/technology/mobilelearning/documents/ACU_Mobile_Learning_.pdf

http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/508/blackboards-to-blackberries-mobile-learning-buzzes-across-schools-and-universities

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Key To Success: Online Education

It is common to hear college students agonizing over the studies. “Oh, it is very hard!” “It is very tough!” some can pre-warn prospective students. In fact, either in the classroom or online, discipline is 50 percent of success. A lot of students are undisciplined. In case you look around your classroom, you will know who they are at once. They will miss class, come in late, submit late assignments, forget about their assigned readings, wait until the final minute to begin working on their assignments, chat on MSN on laptops during lectures, plus this list goes on. Some will suffer from hangovers as well. For courses online, they are those forgetting about assignments, continuing to chat with their friends while listening/watching to online lectures, plus leave your readings for the final minute. You cannot absorb chapters on chapters of info or intensive lectures within several hours. It doesn’t take a rocket researcher to know that doing all mentioned affects your success and grade. That’s why discipline is the half of your success. You should be disciplined plus do everything you are supposed to, as well as the other 50% will come itself. But there may be time when you don’t understand the matter, and problem could be intensified if it is a course online and an instructor is not available. Yes, this happens but it is the exception than the rule. Also, you should never underestimate the impact your being punctual and attentive can have on the instructor. Professors are people, and they’re influenced by the factors than the quality of your paper and exam answers.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

E-Learn 2010 FINAL CALL (October 18 - 22, 2010 Orlando, Florida)

E-Learn 2010 -- World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, & Higher Education is an international, annual conference which serves as a multi-disciplinary forum for the exchange of information on research, development, and applications of all topics related to e-Learning in these four sectors.


All presentation proposals are reviewed and selected by a respected, International Executive Advisory Board and Program Committee, based on merit and the perceived value for attendees. Accepted proposals will be included in the conference program and Proceedings, available on EdITLib - Education & Information Technology Digital Library.

E-Learn spans all disciplines and levels of education and attracts more than 1,000 attendees from over 60 countries. We invite you to attend E-Learn and submit proposals for presentations.


Click here for Color Poster PDF to Print & Distribute


Keynote & Invited Speakers and Workshops

Keynote Speakers
Tony Bates, Tony Bates Assoc. Ltd, Canada
Paul Kim, Stanford University, USA
Gardener Campbell, Baylor University, USA
Michelle Selinger, Cisco Inc., Australia
Invited Speakers
Vanessa Deneen, Florida State University, USA

Chuck Dziuban, Joel Hartman & Patsy Moskal, University of Central Florida, USA
Lawrence Johnson, NMC, USA

Colla Jean MacDonald, University of Ottawa, Canada

Andrew Ross, Florida Virtual School, USA

Brent Schlenker, eLearning Guild, USA

Michael Searson, Kean University, USA

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Bill Gates: In Five Years The Best Education Will Come From The Web

Bill Gates thinks something is going to die too. No, it’s not physical books like Nicholas Negroponte — instead, Gates thinks the idea of young adults having to go to universities in order to get an Online education is going to go away relatively soon. Well, provided they’re self-motivated learners.


“Five years from now on the web for free you’ll be able to find the best lectures in the world,” Gates said at the Techonomy conference in Lake Tahoe, CA today. “It will be better than any single university,” he continued.

He believes that no matter how you came about your knowledge, you should get credit for it. Whether it’s an MIT degree or if you got everything you know from lectures on the web, there needs to be a way to highlight that.

He made sure to say that educational institutions are still vital for children, K-12. He spoke glowingly about charter schools, where kids can spend up to 80% of their time deeply engaged with learning.

But college needs to be less “place-based,” according to Gates. Well, except for the parties, he joked.

But his overall point is that it’s just too expensive and too hard to get these upper-level educations. And soon place-based college educations will be five times less important than they are today.

One particular problem with the education system according to Gates is text books. Even in grade schools, they can be 300 pages for a book about math. “They’re giant, intimidating books,” he said. “I look at them and think: what on Earth is in there?“

According to Gates, our text books are three times longer than the equivalents in Asia. And yet they’re beating us in many ways with education. The problem is that these things are built by committee, and more things are simply added on top of what’s already in there.

Gates said that technology is the only way to bring education back under control and expand it.

http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/06/bill-gates-education/

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How E-learning Solution helps Organizations, Schools and Colleges?

E-learning tools are the best way to help organizations, colleges, universities in providing online training courses at vast scale. The value of e-learning solution increased when Swine Flu became a show stopper this year to many small businesses due to which on-demand training became a cost effective solution.

With the help of e-learning software employees hit by Swine Flu were able to participate in online meetings and conferences. It helped the organizations as well as their employees to maintain the momentum of business without affecting the revenue.

E-learning Solution came in handy for students also as they could continue their studies with proper care and hygiene from their homes. Now many colleges and universities are providing online course materials, recorded DVD of lectures and web conferencing facilities.

E-learning Systems are known with different names such as Learning Management System, Learning Content Management System, Online learning Centre and more. These systems have evolved over time and have been bringing lots of flexibility in their usage and interfaces.

With the advancement in the technology On-demand e-learning services are occupying the market because they can be deployed in minutes and do not require instructors & institutions to run their own servers which are making them a popular choice.

For successful implementation of e-learning in an organization or institution we have to first understand what motivates our trainees to learn and grow only then we can create e-learning solution that is focused on achieving employees as well as the organizational goals. E-learning solutions facilitates to gather online trainings and also hold web-meetings successfully.. It allows training professionals to build, deliver, and manage e-learning solutions for their employees, customers and partners

Source: techlifes.net

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Career Training Through Online Education and E-learning by 2010

The appeal of an online education through distance learning as an educational alternative is ever increasing. “Its presence will continue to grow”, say curriculum directors, who expect that by 2010 nearly a fifth of students will be taking some of their career training coursework through online education or E-learning at an online university or college.


Technological advances in medicine, aerospace, agriculture, the environment, communications and education permeate the world we live in. We have new drugs and vaccines, new ways to strengthen the immune system, the International Space Station, alternative crop and livestock systems, renewable energy sources, personalized information technology and E-learning, online education and distance learning.


• With the introduction of $100 Laptops by MIT, E-learning will reach millions of children in developing nations like Brazil, China, South Africa, Egypt and others.


Nicholas Negroponte, co-founder of the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is working on a plan to distribute the laptops to schoolchildren. A goal of the project is to make the low-cost PC a grassroots movement like Linux or Wikipedia. The laptops will have a 500MHz processor, 1GB of memory and an innovative dual-mode display that can be used in full-color mode, or in a black-and-white sunlight-readable mode. Power for the new systems will be provided by electric current, batteries or by a windup crank attached to the side, since many countries do not have power in remote areas. The systems will be Wi-Fi and cell phone-enabled and will include four USB ports for connectivity. “The idea is simple. It’s an education project that will make online education a simple reality.”


Research has predicted that in the future more people will complete their studies at home as distance learning concepts continue to evolve. Over two million students enroll for online university and online college courses each year. Just as the world continues to change so must the conditions in which we live and learn. In a fast paced society we will see E-learning designed to accommodate busy students – time flexible, geographically independent, competitive cost and value and learner-centered. E-learning offers both synchronous and asynchronous modes of learning thus enabling a student to access information anywhere and at anytime. The numerous features and benefits of an Online Education and E-Learning will play a major role in post secondary career oriented education.

• E-learning is self-paced and gives students a chance to speed up or slow down as necessary


• Geographical barriers are eliminated, opening up broader education options


• 24/7 accessibility makes distance learning easy and allows a greater number of people to attend classes


• Travel time and associated costs (parking, fuel, vehicle maintenance) are reduced


• Online education fosters greater student interaction and collaboration


• E-learning is self-directed, allowing students more control over their learning process, leading up to a 60% faster learning curve.


• Web-based products allow instructors to update lessons and materials across the entire network instantly.


• Develops knowledge of the Internet that will help learners throughout their careers


• Exposure to resources not commonly found in standard classroom settings


Wireless technology has paved way for Mobile Learning, where one can easily access learning materials anywhere and at anytime. Instructional and communication techniques create an interactive online education environment including case studies, demonstrations, role-playing, simulations, streamed videos, online references, discussion groups, personalized coaching and mentoring, chat rooms, bulletin boards, tutorials, FAQ’s and wizards.


Collaborative education will play an important role in developing future Online Education and E-learning strategies. Almost all Learning Management Systems (LMS) conforming to E-learning standards offer collaborative networks, enabling students from remote areas to share knowledge and communicate ideas with fellow classmates from around the country and the world.


Virtual and Augmented learning will gradually replace existing scenarios thus giving a new dimension to knowledge management. Certain concepts which are difficult to imagine or simulate can be implemented using augmented learning.

Source: online-college-universities.com

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Open Course in Education Futures

The Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute (TEKRI) at Athabasca University and the EdITLib-Education & Information Technology Digital Library(EDITLib) are pleased to announce an open online course on Future(s) of Education.

What is an open course?

Open courses extend the concept of "open educational resources" by making not only the content but also the learning and interaction within a course freely available.

How does it work?

Each week, a series of readings, videos, or podcasts, will serve as a conversation starting point. Discussions can be held on this site (once you've created an account, you can use the blogging service within this site or the discussion forum), existing blogs, forums, or other sites. Please tag all contributions with "edfuture" so they will be discoverable.

Daily emails will be sent to course participants who have signed up for the newsletter.

Weekly live conversations will be held in Elluminate.

What's the course about?

Discussions and proclamations of the future of education, learning, training, and development are popular topics at conferences and in publications. For educators, leaders, and administrators, it's easy to "get lost" in the numerous predictions. What is the next wave of technological change? Are learners really different today? Is our current model of education unsustainable? What can educators do to anticipate and respond to trends?

Unfortunately, predictions of the future are often more of a guessing game than a rigorous process. This course will utilize methods of futures thinking to explore a variety of trends and statistics and provide a series of potential scenarios and future directions. Participants will be actively involved in tracking critical trends, exploring their educational impact, and plan for ways to prepare for important changes.
In order to explore potential paths for education, elearning, and training, we will spend time developing a framework for analyzing trends and for generating and evaluating scenarios.

The course will focus on developing methods and mechanisms for making sense of change patterns. Future-focused thinking is an important skill for all educators, leaders, and administrators. During the eight-weeks of this course, we will explore approaches to separating "the nonsense" from "the potential" proclamations of education's future.

Who will be facilitating the course?

This course will be facilitated by Dave Cormier (UPEI) and George Siemens(Athabasca University).
Source: edfutures.com

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