About Anything

The personal blog of Al Stevens. Focus is overrated.

Archive for January 28th, 2009

University of the People announces tuition free online higher ed

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In April 2009, Shai Reshef (pdf bio), Chairman of Cramster is opening a tuition-free, internet-based academic institution.  Called University of the People, the non-profit venture has announced that it will provide universal access to college studies—even in the poorest parts of the world.  According to the press release while tuition is free, UoP plans to charge nominal application and examination fees ($15-$50 and $10-$100 respectively), which may be adjusted on a sliding scale based on the economic situation in the student’s country of origin. The school will be open to any student with access to a computer and Internet connection who can submit a certificate of graduation from secondary school and demonstrate proficiency in English. While they anticipate tens of thousands of students enrolling within the first five years of operation, they will cap enrollment at 300 students in the first semester.

Press release: Blackboards Without Borders

Website: University of the People

Written by Al Stevens

January 28th, 2009 at 3:40 pm

Sloan Consortium reports significant growth in K-12 online learning

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The Sloan Consortium, an association of institutions and organizations committed to quality online education and administered through Babson College and Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering has issued a report that estimates  more than 1 million K-12 students are now taking classes online — a 47% increase from the Sloan Consortium’s original study done two years earlier. Of those students taking classes online the data show that the vast majority (69%) are enrolled at the high school level. The top reasons reported for the importance of online learning are:

  • Meeting the needs of specific groups of students
  • Offering courses not otherwise available at the school
  • Offering Advanced Placement or college-level courses
  • Permitting students who failed a course to take it again
  • Reducing scheduling conflicts for students

The study was conceived and developed by Anthony G. Picciano, Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and Jeff Seaman, Babson College. Funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, it consists of responses from 867 public school district chief administrators representing every region and all 50 states in the country.

Press release: Online Learning Takes Off in K-12 Schools

Report: K–12 Online Learning: A 2008 Follow-up of the Survey of U.S. School District Administrators

Written by Al Stevens

January 28th, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Posted in Educational Things

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