MOOC Sightings 007: The Battushig Factor in College Admissions

MOOC Sightings2

The difference between SAT scores of students from the lowest (<$20K) and highest (>$200K) income brackets is approximately 400 points. This point difference is mirrored in comparisons between the lowest (<high school) and highest (graduate degree) parental education levels.1

Battushig Myanganbayar

Battushig Myanganbayar

This correlation seems immutable. Parental education and income levels impact SAT scores and determine who gets into the most selective colleges. Then along came Battushig — Battushig Myanganbayar of Mongolia, that is, “The Boy Genius of Ulan Bator” — who, in June 2012, at 15, “became one of 340 students out of 150,000 to earn a perfect score in Circuits and Electronics, a sophomore-level class at M.I.T. and the first Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC.”2 His accomplishment didn’t go unnoticed, and he is now a research student at the MIT Media Lab.

Battushig is, of course, a rare exception, but his success adds to the already enormous potential of MOOCs and raises the possibility that they could become a factor in college admissions. In an editorial yesterday, Pitt News broaches this very idea: “Universities sometimes directly accept a student that excels in one of their MOOCs…. If not, the student may still choose to list the MOOC on his or her resumé under skills or relevant education. A completed MOOC is a valuable asset, comparable to a week-long leadership conference.”3

The message for parents and students is clear: MOOCs are poised to clear their current wildcard status and earn credibility as a key factor in college admissions.
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1 Zachary A. Goldfarb, “These Four Charts Show How the SAT Favors Rich, Educated Families,” Washington Post, 5 Mar. 2014. Also see Josh Zumbrun, “SAT Scores and Income Inequality: How Wealthier Kids Rank Higher,” WSJ, 7 Oct. 2014.

2 Laura Pappano, “The Boy Genius of Ulan Bator,” NY Times, 13 Sep. 2013. Also see her “How Colleges Are Finding Tomorrow’s Prodigies,” Christian Science Monitor, 23 Feb. 2014.

3Massive Open Online Courses Better Depict Student Potential,” op-ed, Pitt News, 23 Mar. 2015.

A Network for Under-served Populations

By Bonnie Bracey Sutton
Associate Editor

The article below is from a dear friend, Joyce Malyn-Smith. Please send her names and interests. We are trying to get funding for programs and grants for more minorities.

A Network for Under-served Populations

By J. Malyn-Smith

Joyce Malyn-Smith

Joyce Malyn-Smith

I want to expand my own professional network in order to share information and opportunities I come across in my work to build the next generation of technology enabled citizens and workers. As someone who has spent many years working with under-served populations I am particularly concerned that persons of color, Hispanics and Native Americans may not be aware of many of these opportunities, or may learn of them too late to participate. For example, I am working with NSF’s Cyberlearning and ITEST resource centers, both hosting workshops in June aimed at helping people, who have not received Cyberlearning or ITEST funding, to develop strong NSF proposals.

The first goal for the expansion of my own professional network is to do what I can to ensure that these workshops are accessible to persons of color, Hispanics and Native Americans. To that end, I am asking you to help me expand my network so that I can forward relevant information, answer questions they might have about the events, and make sure a diverse group of potential participants are aware of when applications open so that these types of events are more accessible to them.  Continue reading

Digital Equity and Social Justice

VicSutton80By Vic Sutton

The challenges of digital equity and social justice were recurrent themes in two recent meetings looking at ways to leverage technology to improve education.

“Digital equity” is shorthand for the bundle of problems that prevent many from accessing online resources, in particular the Internet.

Some would-be users live in areas that do not have broadband access. Other users, even in areas where there is high-speed broadband, cannot afford it. Yet more people have simply not gotten around to getting online.

As Dr. Louis Gomez of UCLA put it, we are facing “epic inequality.” The U.S. education system, Dr. Gomez maintained, “is marked by racial and class inequality.” He added that poor educational performance “has persisted for decades for large swaths of the U.S. population.”

Dr. Gomez was speaking at this year’s Cyberlearning 2015 conference, organised by the Center for Innovative Research in Cyberlearning (CIRCL) and held in Arlington, VA, on 27-28 January.  Continue reading

Ed Week Free Livestream 3/18/15 at 8am ET: Delisle & Fullan

edweek2 Meet This Year’s Most Innovative Education Leaders
Brought to you LIVE on Wednesday, March 18, 2015,
from 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM (ET), from Washington, D.C.

Deborah S. Delisle, Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, and Michael Fullan, Adviser to the Premier and Minister of Education in Ontario, Canada.

Deborah S. Delisle, Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, and Michael Fullan, Adviser to the Premier and Minister of Education in Ontario, Canada.

Learn the secrets. Repeat the results. Register today for FREE live access to this exclusive event, featuring keynoters Deborah S. Delisle, Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Education and Michael Fullan, Adviser to the Premier and Minister of Education in Ontario, Canada.

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Join us live from Washington, D.C., as the Leaders for 2015 reveal the keys to their successes through engaging presentations, discussions, and Q&A.

As a virtual attendee you’ll view the action live from your computer and takeaway all of the insights on what it takes to make huge impacts in school systems from San Francisco to rural Georgia.

Register now for free access to the Leaders To Learn From 2015 live event

Preparing Your Child for a Robotic Future

Don’t Let a Robot Take Your Child’s Future Career: Roboticist’s Book Offers Educational Advice for Parents

Illah NourbakhshIllah Nourbakhsh says robots and artificial intelligence will increasingly displace people from many conventional jobs. The professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University has even written a book about it, called “Robot Futures.”
It’s enough to make parents despair over their children’s career prospects, he acknowledged, and that’s why he’s publishing a pair of follow-up books, “Parenting for Robot Futures.” Part 1: Education and Technology is now available on Amazon.com.

The key, he said, is to raise children who are “technologically fluent.”

“If we want our children to flourish in a technology-rich future, we need them to understand technology deeply— so deeply that our kids influence the future of technology rather than simply being techno-consumers, along for the ride,” he writes.

“There are no shortcuts to developing tech fluency, and there is no way to outsource the parent’s role to school, after-school or video games,” Nourbakhsh writes.

In the 64-page first volume, Nourbakhsh provides an overview to help parents understand the strengths and shortcomings of technology education in schools, including the movement to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, digital learning and massive open online courses, or MOOCs.

Continue reading

Secretary Duncan’s Discussion with Maryland Teachers to Be Streamed Live 9:50AM (ET) 2/18/15

Secretary Arne DuncanU.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will visit Maryland on Wednesday to highlight the progress that the state’s schools and students have made through the hard work and leadership of parents, teachers, principals, as well as local and state officials.

He will visit two schools and then end his day with a speech about the importance of local and school-level leadership in continuing efforts to improve education. In his speech, Duncan will talk about the need to support states’ efforts and expand investments, progress and opportunity for all children through reauthorizing a new Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Earlier in the day, Duncan and State Superintendent of Schools Lillian Lowery will visit classrooms at Ducketts Lane Elementary School and meet with teachers from there and Thomas Viaduct Middle Schools to hear how teaching and learning is changing during the transition to higher standards and how that has contributed to schools’ and students’ success in Maryland. The discussion with teachers will be streamed live on the Howard County Public School System website, www.hcpss.org.   Continue reading

Literacy, Bullying, North Korea

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Literacy Through Photography for English-Language Learners by Tabitha Dell’Angelo in Edutopia (12/1/14)
The author explores the link between imagery and language and promotes a broader definition of literacy.

Digital literacy an elementary skill by Ellen Ciurczak in The Clarion-Ledger (11/30/14)
The teachers at Petal Upper Elementary School believe that you can’t start too early teaching students how to acquire a variety of skills using computers, from Internet safety to keyboarding skills.

A valuable lesson on bullying in observer-reporter.com (11/30/14)
Bullying and cyber-bullying are serious problems that many young people have to deal with.  Elissa McCracken, Miss Ohio 2012, chose cyberbullying as the issue she would focus on during her term because she was a victim of bullying herself.

North Korea’s Cyber Skills Get Attention Amid Sony Hacking Mystery by Elise Hu at NPR All Tech Considered (12/4/14)
A rather bizarre hacking story related to Sony, North Korea, and the soon-to-be released movie, The Interview.