Goodbye Yellow Volvo. ┬áIt was a Gas!

We once owned a yellow Volvo station wagon, 245 series to be exact.  It was a 1977 model and we even personalized the license plate to read “ITZ A 77.”  We were very proud of our first automobile purchase as a married couple and it also became the first car our daughter drove when she was in high school.  It was a very vintage model by then and barely survived until her graduation in 2000.  Let’s just say we like to get our money’s worth and our daughter was just too embarrassed to drive our new 1998 VW Cabrio – too flashy?

But now technology is changing the automotive world.  Volvo seems to be taking the lead.  They have sounded the death knell of the internal combustion engine, saying that all the models it will introduce starring in 2019 will be either hybrid or powered solely by batteries.  The decision is the boldest commitment by any major car company to technologies that represent a small share of the total vehicle market but are increasingly viewed as essential to combating climate change and urban pollution.  Unfortunately, U.S. automakers have continued to churn out S.U.V.s and pickup trucks, whose sales have surged because of relatively low fuel prices.

Maybe so-called President Trump can do something about all this?  But I forgot: he doesn’t believe that climate change is really happening at all.  He is also too busy looking for international enemies wherever they may be?

Ray Myers

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EdTech Europe: What Works Offline Doesn’t Work Online

This may be an obvious characterization of what many EdTech practitioners already know within their own communities.  But there seem to be some key areas that need to be addressed in order to remedy some of the online practices that are not “living up” to their expectations.  In today’s blog I would just like to enumerate some of them, and invite any comment or feedback that could enhance the conversation.  So in the true spirit of America’s Indepemdence Day, Fourth of July, please take a look.

*  Need for a pedagogical shift in the move towards online learning, rather than simply transferring existing teaching models online.

*  Take an active approach to facilitating peer-to-peer engagement, rather than relying on video lectures alone (human interaction is important; advice to MOOC providers).

*  In-classroom education technologies must suit the needs of not only students but teachers.

At the EdTech Europe conference, Jim Deters (CEO, Galvanize), added that  ” we are now in technology ubiquity.”  So what would you advise?  Any comments, perspectives, advice welcome.  I will follow up on this next week.  Thank you.

Ray Myers


Global Learning in the Heart of America

I know I posted earlier this week about MOOCs and online courses at Arizona State University, and I am going to comment on higher education again and one university’s initiative on global learning. There is clearly a difference in this school’s approach to enrich their curricula and expand students and faculty’s ability to collaborate and learn globally. In this case, Missouri S&T appears committed to developing a longer term strategic plan that combines distance and online course delivery rather than offering online courses as simply alternatives to on-campus attendance. They have also instituted an award system for faculty whom excel in teaching online.

For the past academic year, nearly two dozen faculty received Teaching Excellence awards for either outstanding or superior (commendations) performance. I think this is a clear and powerful message from the university’s leadership that they are committed to expanding their global reach through their online and distance learning capabilities.

This is a great paradigm for learning in the 21st Century. Using the power of technology in the service of greater global knowledge and partnership.

Ray Myers