Monday, December 23, 2013
After only two years of practical experience with MOOCs and related technologies, it is too early to tell whether substantial gains in the quality of instruction, access, achievement, and cost will be realized. But there is no question that the new technologies offer the potential for expanding access for millions of Americans, not only to college degrees, but to a wide range of effective and low-cost training modules and courses that might assist in providing the vocational skills that a twenty-first century workforce needs. To be truly successful in promoting both expansion of access and improvement in the quality of education, the MOOCs and their relatives will need to (1) employ excellent technology, (2) foster excellent pedagogy, (3) apply the results of learning science, (4) deploy new techniques of big data analysis to provide rapid feedback to teachers and learners, and (5) cultivate an online social ecosystem to enhance peer-to-peer learning and teaching. Although the jury is out, and there are legitimate reasons to be skeptical, PCAST believes that all of these conditions for success can potentially be met.Read the full report at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/PCAST/pcast_edit_dec-2013.pdf
The recommendations that follow reflect PCAST’s thinking about how the Federal Government might most effectively contribute to achieving the potential of MOOCs to help address the Nation’s challenges in higher education. Going forward, we intend to explore the potential of information technology to improve K-12 education, technical training, and adult education as well as higher education, and we will report on our findings in the future.
Friday, December 20, 2013
While the information we present in our Transparency Report is certainly not a comprehensive view of censorship online, it does demonstrate a worrying upward trend in the number of government requests, and underscores the importance of transparency around the processes governing such requests.
The report also includes a link to a safe browsing page detailing how many malware and phishing websites Google detects each week, how many users they warn, and which networks around the world host malware sites. Google also has a series of videos that describe malware infections and the cleanup process.