We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.  – TED Mission Statement

Richard Saul Wurman and his partner Harry Marks founded TED in 1984 and the Technology, Education, and Design Conference has been held annually since 1990.

Since June 2006, the talks have been offered for free viewing online, under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons license, through their web site at http://www.TED.com

TED is not without detractors (Against TED by Nathan Jurgensen) but, I’ve always enjoyed learning something new from the TED videos. There are so many incredibly interesting topics presented succinctly from some amazing people. As Albert Einstein is quoted: “If you can’t explain it to a 6-year old, you don’t understand it yourself”.

TED Ed : TED Videos and Educational Lessons

Recently, TED Ed was formed and pairs the outstanding TED talk videos with talented animators to give the talks even more impact with complimentary images and graphics. TED Ed has a high-powered advisory board which includes Jackie Bezos, Melinda Gates, Sir Ken Robinson, & Salman Khan.

READ MORE at: http://ed.ted.com/about

What’s YOUR Favorite TED video?

I have SO many favorite TED talks, and if forced to choose only a couple, two I keep coming back to are:

HOW ABOUT YOU? Please leave YOUR favorite TED Talks in the Discussion Box at the end of this post


TED Talks Infographic

Source: http://www.onlineclasses.org/2012/11/05/ted-talks/

How are new digital technologies changing how teachers teach and students learn?

Network & Internet Security company Enterasys published the following Infographic based on a recent survey.

How do the results compare against YOUR institution?

Digital Technology in Education: Adoption Rates of New Styles of K-12 Teaching

Here’s a quick list of their findings:

  • 21% Currently Use Digital TEXT BOOKS; 37% plan to move to DIGITAL ONLY in the near future.
  • 40%+ Network Infrastructure INADEQUATE for Digital VIDEO content
  • 84% CAN monitor Student Network Use (CIPA FCC 11-125)
  • 27% canNOT customize student network by grade level (or with difficulty)
  • 46% of schools that plat to exclusively use Online ASSESSMENT for testing.
  • 43% Currently Use OR PLAN to try FLIPPED CLASSROOMS
  • *33% are currently using SOCIAL MEDIA.

PARTICIPATE in my survey

*IF you’re using Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, or Twitter, will you please participate in my online survey?

I’m looking for REAL examples of teaching and learning with Social Media.

GO TO–> Google Survey form. Please share this survey with others and I’ll share back the results! 


Adoption Rates of New Styles of K-12 Teaching

Source: http://blogs.enterasys.com/adoption-rates-of-new-styles-of-k-12-teaching-infographic/

Minnesota and Coursera

An article from Ars Technica today seems to paint a different picture from the early and emotional headlines regarding the state of Minnesota’s reported “ban” of Coursera’s  free online courses.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reporter Katherine Mangan seemed to start the furor with the headline Minnesota Gives Coursera the Boot, Citing a Decades-Old Law. It was picked-up and spread via Slate’s article:  Free Online Education Is Now Illegal in Minnesota

See Ms. Mangan’s timely updates and reports on the topic here

Most everyone was shocked that Minnesota would want to ban FREE online courses. This will certainly be an interesting story to track and the Ars Technica article provides a different perspective. AS DO the comments found at the bottom of the original article.

Ars Technica article on Minnesota and Coursera:

No, Minnesota did not kick Coursera out of the state (Updated)

Minn. law compels education institutions to register, but Coursera isn’t one.

by Cyrus Farivar (article link)

Despite many media reports that Minnesota has forced online education platform Coursera to forbid Minnesotans from taking classes online, the state official in charge of this policy says it has done no such thing.

On Thursday, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported that Minnesota had “given Coursera the boot.”

It is true that Coursera has changed its terms of service to include a cautionary note advising universities offering courses via the California startup that they could not do so in Minnesota without authorization from state regulators.

“If you are a resident of Minnesota, you agree that either (1) you will not take courses on Coursera, or (2) for each class that you take, the majority of work you do for the class will be done from outside the State of Minnesota,” the terms, which were changed in August 2012, now read.

However, the state official in charge of enforcing this policy told Ars that his office does not have the power to regulate Coursera, as the company doesn’t offer courses directly. Rather, Coursera acts as a middleman for universities (including UC Irvine, Stanford, and many others) that want to offer free courses online.

“I don’t care what they do; we don’t regulate them,” George Roedler, the manager of institutional registration and licensing at the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, told Ars on Thursday.

“I specifically said that [Coursera] didn’t have to put anything on their website. They could do what they wanted. They could ignore it. They chose this route and the reason I believe they did it was to try to protect the schools in their wake. So be it. That’s what they did.”

Indeed, the change of the terms of service appears to be a precautionary measure to skirt potential violations of Minnesota law.

Law designed to protect students

Roedler explained that Minnesota’s state law requires that educational institutions serving Minnesotans must be registered with the state—and pay a fee that can go as high as $12,000—as a means for the state to keep an eye on what’s going on. He added that the law had been around for decades, and that many other states have similar laws on their books.

“It’s a consumer protection law,” Roedler added. “We have had situations where in the past this law was enforced through student complaints. If we register the school, we have some control over the school. We have some standing over them. [We can say]: ‘You’ve mistreated this student—come into compliance.’”

A co-founder of Coursera told Ars that the company was informed of Minnesota’s law in July 2012 and changed its terms of service the following month. In addition, the company does not even know how many Minnesotan students it has.

“While is it up to individual institutions to choose whether to apply for permission, the Terms of Service amendment is intended to protect all of Coursera’s partner universities with respect to Minnesota’s laws,” Andrew Ng told Ars in an e-mailed statement.

UPDATE (Saturday): Some astute commenters have noticed that Slate is now reporting that Minnesota is clarifying its position and doesn’t want to discourage Minnesotans from using Coursera.

Larry Pogemiller, director of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, sent Slate this statement:

“Obviously, our office encourages lifelong learning and wants Minnesotans to take advantage of educational materials available on the Internet, particularly if they’re free. No Minnesotan should hesitate to take advantage of free, online offerings from Coursera.”

“When the legislature convenes in January, my intent is to work with the Governor and Legislature to appropriately update the statute to meet modern-day circumstances. Until that time, I see no reason for our office to require registration of free, not-for-credit offerings.”

As the Online Education Boom has been occurring for over a decade, the reverberations are finally being noticed by the media due to recent developments with major universities who are finally jumping-in full force and legitimizing  online learning, despite years of turning-up their noses at this alternative form of education.

That we’re in a pivotal time in history cannot be denied. For those of us who have been in the trenches since the beginning and to the pioneers prior who realized the power and potential before it became popular, we are in exciting times.

That said, I still find many different views and philosophies about what online learning is and how it should be used.

Behind the scenes of this multi-billion dollar industry, I find most disturbing the business lobbyists who are writing legislation that is passed by states and impacting general education at all levels.  With so much money to be made (mostly “free” taxpayer funds), the potential for abuse is considerable and I hope when the smoke from the BOOM clears, that the results is smarter, confident, competent and successful STUDENTS.

Jump into the “r/evolution” and make a difference!



(press "CC" under the timeline for subtitles) The first episode in the series is an introduction to Online Learning and why we use it in the Nordic Armed Forces.