Classes should do hands-on exercises before reading and video, Stanford researchers say

"A new study from the Stanford Graduate School of Education flips upside down the notion that students learn best by first independently reading texts or watching online videos before coming to class to engage in hands-on projects. Studying a particular lesson, the Stanford researchers showed that when the order was reversed, students’ performances improved substantially."

Change Magazine – September-October 2010

"So here is the punch line: Students differ in their abilities, interests, and background knowledge, but not in their learning styles. Students may have preferences about how to learn, but no evidence suggests that catering to those preferences will lead to better learning. As college educators, we should apply this to the classroom by continuing to present information in the most appropriate manner for our content and for the level of prior knowledge, ability, and interests of that particular set of students."

The World Wide Web: A very short personal history

"The dream behind the Web is of a common information space in which we communicate by sharing information. Its universality is essential: the fact that a hypertext link can point to anything, be it personal, local or global, be it draft or highly polished. There was a second part of the dream, too, dependent on the Web being so generally used that it became a realistic mirror (or in fact the primary embodiment) of the ways in which we work and play and socialize. That was that once the state of our interactions was on line, we could then use computers to help us analyse it, make sense of what we are doing, where we individually fit in, and how we can better work together."

The effect of communication modality on cooperation in online environments

"One of the most robust findings in the sociological literature is the positive effect of communication on cooperation and trust. When individuals are able to communicate, cooperation increases significantly…Our results highlight the importance of striving towards the use of more immediate forms of communication in online environments, especially where trust and cooperation are essential."

How We Lost the Web – Anil Dash

"…one of my central points is that the arrogance and insularity of the old-guard, conventional wisdom creators of social media, including myself, was one of the primary reasons we lost some important values of the early social web. Seeing this resonate with those of us responsible gives me hope that perhaps we can work to remedy our errors."

Reciprocity: Understanding Online Social Relations

This paper examines the concept of reciprocity to think about, and design for, online social interactions. We argue that reciprocal exchange is symbolic insofar as it produces and enacts many forms of social life by drawing individuals into a relation of recognition. Indeed, reciprocal interactions underlie much online activity, and a fuller understanding of the concept explains important aspects of how social life is conducted with others online.

Digital Diploma Mills: The Automation of Higher Education

American universities today is a battle between students and professors on one side, and university administrations and companies with “educational products” to sell on the other. It is not a progressive trend towards a new era at all, but a regressive trend, towards the rather old era of mass production, standardization and purely commercial interests.

1177 Is Technology-Enhanced Learning Effective?

"A recent thorough and methodologically sound meta-analysis[1] by Barbara Means and colleagues for the U.S. Department of Education …. primary concern was to compare the effectiveness of courses with an online component[2] to fully face-to-face courses. " "Means is careful to say, however, that this finding almost certainly does not represent a pure effect of technology, or of the delivery method used in the different courses. Instead, online courses were associated with other instructional conditions, such as increased learning time, different materials, and enhanced opportunities for collaboration, which are the likely mechanisms through which they achieved superior results. "