Online Learning

Bill Gates greeted by standing ovation from…teachers?

Patti Freudenberg works for the Clear Creek Independent School District in the Houston-Galveston area, where she is the “Teaching American History Grant Specialist,” currently leading groups of history teachers to historical sites around the US on a Department of Education grant. Clad in leopard print, she arrived bright and early Thursday morning to sit in the […]


The five most important ed-tech trends at SXSWedu

I’ve been on the ground in Austin for the South By Southwest Education Conference & Festival for 22 hours. In that time, I’ve interviewed six people, chatted with many more, and hit the Java Jive in the Hilton four times. Here’s what I see as the biggest trends coming out of the conference. Data and […]


Big data and schools: Education nirvana or privacy nightmare?

InBloom, a nonprofit start-up founded with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Carnegie Corporation, is taking center stage and spreading around some significant funds as an official sponsor of the South by Southwest Education conference in Austin, Texas this week. It hosted the official opening night party on Tuesday, is sponsoring a “networking […]


A wonk’s take on the MOOC crash

There’s a vibrant discussion in the blogosphere about the lessons learned from the MOOC crash that I’ve been writing about. Slate’s Will Oremus wrote about how the debacle may be heralding an anti-MOOC backlash. (Thanks for the hat tip Will). Will also cites a wonky blog by Debbie Morrison, who is an instructional designer, and […]


Addendum to MOOC crash

An hour after I posted about the MOOC crash, a spokesman for Georgia Tech, Matt Nagel, emailed a response. Nagel made clear it was a Georgia Tech’s decision to kill the class because of both quality and technical issues. “With any experiment, sometimes one has to press pause and reset, which we are doing,” Nagel […]


My first MOOC: Online class about how to create online classes failed miserably

This story also appeared at: At a recent event, a bigwig at McGraw-Hill, the textbook publisher, urged the audience to take an online course so that we’d have a sense of the future. As a journalist who covers online education, I was embarrassed not to be enrolled in one. So, a couple weeks ago, when […]


Online testing is heading to New Jersey schools

The future of state testing is starting to be felt in New Jersey’s school districts, as schools push to get up to speed with the technology that will be needed for the new online assessments. The testing — which is being developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) — […]


New online venture promises small classes and college credit

The race to capture a potentially vast market for college courses provided online has taken another big step with the announcement today by 10 top universities that they’ll offer such classes for college credit—something earlier collaborations have struggled to do. Semester Online envisions not huge, 100,000-student online courses such as those already being offered by […]


Online learning conference growing rapidly — like the industry

The most ironic conference in the U.S. is arguably the Virtual School Symposium. Its organizers and attendees promote online education and want more American students to be learning their school subjects over computers. Nonetheless, over 2,000 online educators, administrators and businesses felt the need to meet face-to-face in New Orleans for four days, starting Sunday. […]


Online education needs to hold itself to higher standards than traditional classrooms, report warns

The International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNacol) issued a report Tuesday calling for online schools and providers of online courses to hold themselves to a higher standard than traditional brick-and-mortar schools. The association also said it would launch a pilot project with three to five states to collect data that measures online-education quality. “We […]