Last week's Do Now asked students to consider whether knowledge on the Internet should be open to everyone or protected by copyright law? This was based on the work by Aaron Swartz whose Internet activism was all about open and unlimited access to knowledge and the wealth of material available on the Internet. He built technology for the open licensing project Creative Commons and sought access to academic and research work which he felt should be freely available to further learning for the greater good.
The arguments about open access in relation to academia are these: JSORT articles are scholarly funded through research grants to academics for the purpose of advancing learning for all. As government funded assets, they should be publicly available. But does this argument apply to other types of information and data? Below are student responses.
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What are the advantages or disadvantages of taking courses online? Would you prefer that classes be given online or in person? Please explain your thoughts.
The virtual classroom is really catching on in the U.S. with more than two million K-12 students taking classes online as an alternative and flexible way of learning.
In California, Governor Jerry Brown strongly supports this move away from the traditional classroom. He sees online college courses as a way to deal with the problem of overcrowded classrooms and hopes that through providing low-cost online classes, education will become more affordable for students. With this in mind, he is fostering partnerships between online learning programs and higher education, such as the partnership between San Jose State University and the startup Udacity. In his budget, he has allocated $17 million for community colleges and $10 million each for the UC and Cal State systems to expand online learning.
But as KQED’s MindShift points out in Where is Technology Leading Higher Education?, these dramatic changes in teaching and learning practices are traumatic for colleges. They are struggling to keep up with the pace of change. “Terms like historic, seismic and revolutionary now pop up in descriptions of the challenges that higher education faces in the coming years.”
Reuter's post Online schools face backlash as states question results claims that in many states, Maine, New Jersey and North Carolina, there has been a backlash with educators and officials questioning and challenging standards in the new cyber-schools.