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Phil Hill
Works at MindWires Consulting
Attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Lived in Las Vegas, NV
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Update to e-Literate TV

In these two episodes of e-Literate TV, we shared how Arizona State University (ASU) started using Khan Academy as the software platform for a redesigned developmental math course[1] (MAT 110). The program was designed in Summer 2014 and ran through Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 terms. Recognizing the public information shared through e-Literate TV, ASU officials recently informed us that they had made a programmatic change and will replace their use of Khan Academy software with McGraw-Hill’s LearnSmart software that is used in other sections of developmental math.
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New post by +Michael Feldstein at e-Literate

This post has nothing to do with educational technology but everything to do with the kind of humane and truly personal education that we should be talking about when we throw around phrases like “personalized education.” Prior Learning Assessments (PLAs) go hand-in-glove with the trendy Competency-Based Education (CBE). The basic idea is that you test students on what they have learned in their own lives and give them credit toward their degrees based on what they already know. But it is often executed in a fairly mechanical way. Students are tested against the precise curriculum or competencies that a particular school has chosen for a particular class. Not too long ago, I heard somebody say, “We don’t need more college-ready students; we need more student-ready colleges.” In a logical and just world, we would start with what the student knows, rather than the with what one professor or group of professors decided one semester would be “the curriculum,” and we would give the student credit for whatever college-level knowledge she has.

It turns out that’s exactly what Empire State College (ESC) does. When we visited the college for an e-Literate TV case study, we learned quite a bit about this program and, in particular, about their PLA program for women of color.

SNIP and key point:

What’s going on here? Why is PLA more impactful than average for women and people of color? In addition to the fact that our institutions are not always prepared to recognize real-world knowledge and skills, as in the Apartheid example, people in non-privileged positions in our society are tacitly taught that college is not “for them.” That they don’t have what it takes to succeed there. By recognizing that they have, in fact, already acquired college-level skills and knowledge, PLA helps them get past the insults to their self-image and dignity and helps them to envision themselves as successful college graduates.
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This is excellent: humans, not algorithms. And I had not heard this phrase student-ready college before. We need to hear that more often!
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+George Station I'll be the one with wife & daughter & dog :}
Get Your Tickets! Enjoy a memorable day (or two!) of drinking some of the best beers around. Your tasting ticket gets you: (Day 1) Unlimited beer tasting from local and regional breweries; (Day 1) Entrance to Cider City and unlimited tasting from 15 craft cider makers; (Day 2) Unlimited beer ...
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Hack Education Weekly News http://ow.ly/OQHBc includes classic +Michael Feldstein  quote :}
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Another new post on e-Literate

I can’t remember the last time I read one of D2L’s announcements without rolling my eyes. I used to have respect for the company, but now I have to make a conscious effort not to dismiss any of their pronouncements out-of-hand. Not because I think it’s impossible that they might be doing good work, but because they force me to dive into a mountain of horseshit in the hopes of finding a nugget of gold at the bottom. Every. Single. Time. I’m not sure how much of the problem is that they have decided that they need to be disingenuous because they are under threat from Instructure or under pressure from investors and how much of it is that they are genuinely deluding themselves. Sadly, there have been some signs that at least part of the problem is the latter situation, which is a lot harder to fix. But there is also a fundamental dishonesty in the way that these statistics have been presented.
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In which +Audrey Watters  wanders into the heart of MOOCness and finds T&A and unbearable lite-ness http://ow.ly/OKcDv
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Google Classroom Addresses Major Barrier To Deeper Higher Ed Adoption -e-Literate http://ow.ly/OWNHr
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I read that one too. I definitely understand the quest for good materials but I just don't buy the cognitive overload thing. The real problem I think is BOREDOM. If people are actually excited and into the learning experience, it's not a problem that some effort is required, including the effort to learn the space/system etc. But if students are just jumping through hoops (the ominous "busywork") then they have no patience for learning how to use a space. So, my first suspicion if someone complains about the space being complicated is that the learning tasks themselves are dull, and that is what needs to be fixed: simplifying the learning space might remove the frustration but the underlying boredom and lack of engagement can still remain.
Admittedly, just my personal take on that... I prefer complex/challenging to frictionless/boring.
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New post at e-Literate, mostly on transparency of process

When we contacted schools to line up interviews on campus, it is natural to expect that the staff will tend to find the most positive examples of courses, faculty and students to share. As described above, we admit that we looked for schools with thoughtful approaches (and therefore courses), but we needed to try and expose some contrary or negative views as well. This is not to play gotcha journalism nor to create a false impression of equally good / equally bad perspectives. But it is important to capture that not everyone is pleased with the changes, and these skeptics are a good source of exposing risks and issues to watch. Below is the key section of the email sent to each school we visited.
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Release of Empire State College Case Study on e-Literate TV

We are adding two episodes from Empire State College (ESC), a school that was founded in 1971 as part of the State University of New York. Through a lot of one-on-one, student-faculty interactions, the school was designed to serve the needs of students who don’t do well at traditional colleges. What problems are they trying to solve? How do students view some of the changes? What role does the practice of granting prior-learning assessments (PLA) play in non-traditional students’ education?
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If you watch the video, this takes a condescending view of faculty design. "It doesn't scale", and negative views of the faculty thinking through outcomes and designing pathways for students. Funny, but I'm seeing one of the bigger improvements in design using online tools lately to be exactly that - faculty thinking through student pathways. Does this mean D2L does not think UDL is a good concept?
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I'm sorry - that domain is now owned (by me, but I'll figure out how to add you).
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New post on e-Literate

Like the Lone Star example, I find a real problem with misleading marketing. D2L could have been more precise and said something like the following:

"We acquired a tool, LeaP, that when integrated with another LMS was shown to improve academic performance in a controlled experiment funded by NSERC. We are now offering this tool with deep integration into our learning platform, BrightSpace, as we hope to see similar gains with our clients in the future."

Instead, D2L chose to use imprecise marketing language that implies, or allows the reader to conclude that their next-generation LMS has been proven to work better than a traditional LMS. They never come out and say “it was our LMS”, but they also don’t say enough for the reader to understand the context.
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Looking forward to "Upgrading Online 2015" keynote by +Laura Gibbs  in 20 minutes! http://ow.ly/OHhfF 
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I did prayers to the Adobe Gods this morning!
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Educational technology consultant, analyst, speaker and writer
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  • MindWires Consulting
    Founder, partner, 2012 - present
  • Delta Initiative
    Executive VP, 2008 - 2012
  • HBO Systems
    Founder, 2000 - 2008
  • Datacube
    VP Engineering, 1996 - 2000
  • Perot Systems
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Las Vegas, NV - Salt Lake City, UT - Atlanta, GA - Chapel Hill, NC - Peachtree City, GA - McLean, VA - Troy, NY - Albuquerque, NM - Satellite Beach, FL - Newburyport, MA - Raleigh, NC - Los Gatos, CA
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I find educational technology news and try to make sense of it.
Introduction
Educational technology consultant, market analyst, family man
Education
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Electrical Engineering, 1984 - 1989
  • Langley High School
    1982 - 1984
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