Archive of ‘distributive learning’ category

elearning market in decline

Global E-Learning Market in Steep Decline, Report Says

By Richard Chang

a recent report released by Ambient Insight Research, a Washington state-based market research firm.

Revenues for self-paced e-learning in 2016 are heavily concentrated in two countries — the United States and China. The growth rate in the U.S. is at -5.3 percent, representing a $4.9 billion drop in revenues by 2021, while in China, the rate is at -8.8 percent, representing a $1.9 billion drop by 2021. The e-learning market in China has deteriorated rapidly in just the last 18 months, the report said.

  • Of the 122 countries tracked by Ambient Insight, 15 have growth rates for self-paced e-learning over 15 percent during the next five years. These countries are heavily concentrated in Asia and Africa, with the two outliers being Slovakia and Lithuania.
  • Eleven of the top 15 growth countries will generate less than $20 million by 2021. Of the top 15, Slovakia and Lithuania are anticipated to generate the highest revenues for self-paced products by 2021, at $55.4 million and $36.5 million, respectively.
  • The growth rates are negative in every region except Africa, where the growth is flat at 0.9 percent. The steepest declines are in Asia and Latin America at -11.7 percent and -10.8 percent, respectively. The economic meltdowns in Brazil and Venezuela are major inhibitors in Latin America.
  • There are 77 countries with flat-to-negative growth rates. The countries with the lowest growth rates are Yemen (-18.7 percent), Brazil (-19.8 percent), Qatar (-23.5 percent) and Venezuela (-26.8 percent).

Self-paced e-learning products include online courses, managed education services, managed training, e-books and learning management systems, according to the report. The author does not consider mobile and game-based learning, which are growing, to be in the self-paced e-learning category.

The news on the self-paced e-learning industry is so bad, Ambient Insight will no longer publish commercial syndicated reports on the industry, the firm says on its website and in the report.


more on elearning in this IMS blog

SPED rules for virtual schools

Feds Say Virtual Schools Need to Follow Special Ed Rules

By Dian Schaffhauser 08/25/16

Dear Colleague” letter issued to virtual schools by the U.S. Department of Education. The agency isn’t creating or imposing “new legal requirements,” is intended to help state education agencies and districts meet their existing obligations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

feedback at

The letter is available on the Education Department website here.

Textbooks on Pay-as-You-Go Basis

New Model Lets Students Rent Textbooks on Pay-as-You-Go Basis

By Michael Hart 04/12/16

Once students register with iFlipd, they can rent digital textbooks for as little as a week. Once they finish using a book, they can move it back into the digital catalogue, making it available to other students. There is a loyalty program that gives points toward free rentals.

iFlipd is also integrated with Datalogics and its interactive Active Textbook e-book system so that students have sharing capabilities. They can share notes on the texts through the platform and access notes made by previous users of the same textbooks. The note-sharing platform allows for highlighting, annotations, audio, video and search.

Regulations for Distance Education

Breaking News on “Teacher Prep” Regulations for Distance Education

It is proposed that a college’s program could fall short in ONE state and lose the right to offer TEACH grants to distance students in ANY state. That might work if every state used the same criteria, but that’s not required. The “Discussion of Costs, Benefits, and Transfers” is a baffling attempt at measuring activity for which there is no good data.

social intranet

New technologies for knowledge sharing

Steve Kelman Mar 28, 2016 at 4:38 PM

Ines Mergel report from the IBM Center for the Business of Government, called The Social Intranet: Insights on Managing and Sharing Knowledge Internally.

co-locating subject-matter experts

traditional technologies have important limitations

when teaching about efforts many agencies are making to break down functional stovepipes, which often involves having functional experts spend significant time in offsite cross-agency teams with “functionals” from other specialties. This has a number of advantages, but creates risks that employees won’t have anywhere to go to get answers to questions or refresh their knowledge base. My students and I also discussed communities of practice, which allowed employees to ask questions to fellow experts not at the same location.

“social intranet” — a one-stop shop where agency employees can go to find or request information in a number of different ways to help them do their jobs. The social intranet consists of wikis; places for people to go to ask questions or solicit collaboration; publicly available conversation threads; central places for blogs; and opportunities for people to create profiles and (in a professional context) “friend” each other. These elements all appear at one web address, with its common home page, to which an employee can link.

These different features work in different ways. Wikis, for example, allow a group of employees to add knowledge to a text that is then accessible to the whole organization — and to which everyone can edit and add. Other employees can subscribe to the updates. Blogs, on the other hand, allow longer text to provide project updates, comment on industry developments, or introduce new issues more transparently than blast e-mail updates can manage.

Most intranet collaboration platforms do not require an approval chain to publish, which lowers the barriers to quick sharing. And while the personal profiles and “friending” often start by providing occasions for social conversations, the intention is for these to be a gateway to knowledge sharing; Mergel quotes a manager as saying, “The social feeds into the professional.”

best podcasts

how to subscribe to a podcast:

These are the best podcasts you should be listening to right now

badges for teachers

start with the teachers, not with the students

OPINION So You Want to Drive Instruction With Digital Badges? Start With the Teachers

Participating teachers advance through a series of inquiry-based professional development modules. Teachers are awarded a digital badge for the successful completion of each 10-hour module. To accomplish this, they must complete the following steps: 1) study module content, 2) participate in a focused discussion with peers working on the same module, 3) create an original inquiry-based global lesson plan that incorporates new learning, 4) implement the original lesson plan in the classroom, 5) provide evidence of classroom implementation and 6) reflect on and revise the lesson created.

The final product of every module is a tested, global lesson plan that articulates learning objectives, activities, assessments, and resources for each stage of inquiry. Upon completion, teachers may publish finalized lessons in a resource library where they can be accessed by other educators. As designed, the HISD badging system will be a four-year, 16-badge approach that equates to 160 hours of professional learning for teachers.

five key features that taken together increase significantly the likelihood that the learning experience for a teacher will lead to results in the classroom for students — which, after all, is the point of professional development:


  • Badging requires demonstrating understanding and implementation of a target content or skill. 
  • Badging provides recognition and motivation. 
  • Badging allows for knowledge circulation among teachers. 
  • Badging can be tracked and assessed. 
  • Badging is a scalable enterprise. 


textbook or not

Zaghab, R. W., & Beckenholdt, P. (2014, June). Textbook-Free Learning: A Framework for Critical Analysis. In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on e-Learning: ICEL 2014 (p. 190). Academic Conferences Limited.

short link:


Textbooks are losing relevance in the higher education classrooms partially due to the high costs and slow speed of textbook publication in the midst of the growing supply of open electronic resources. With trends toward online course delivery, more colleges are considered online resources as a matter of policy without an adequate framework for decision making during times of rapid transformation. The purpose of this paper is to improve the balance and deliberateness of university decision making in considering Textbook-free approaches. The proposed line of inquiry responds to a critical and timely question: Under what conditions might Textbook-free online course resources offer the best approach to a quality higher education learning experience? A three-part analytical framework is proposed to consider resource quality, institutional commitments, and external trends. By distilling the literature, the authors propose: 1) universal quality indicators for online and open education resource selection for a course or classroom; 2) institutional factors and resources that impact the quality of the Textbook-free approach; and 3) the selection of instructional resources based on environmental factors and transformational change influencing fields of study. Punctuated equilibrium theory helps to inform the framework. With the assumption that classrooms prepare students for the world of work, the proposed framework identifies challenges to the identification of educational resources for fields undergoing disruptive change.

online collaborative tools

Google+ posting:

7 Tools for Hosting Online Brainstorming Sessions
Simple Surface is a browser-based tool for collaboratively creating outlines and mind maps.To get started with Simple Surface just click on “use for free now,” double click on the surface, and then start typing. To create an additional thought box just double click anywhere on your board. To make sibling and child thought boxes use the enter and tab keys. You can edit the color and size of fonts. Your boxes can be linked to URLs too. Right-click on your surface to open the full menu of editing options.

NoteBookCast is a free whiteboard tool that will work in the web browser on a laptop, iPad, Android tablet, and Windows tablet. NoteBookCast is a collaborative whiteboard tool. You can invite others to join your whiteboard by entering the code assigned to your whiteboard. You can chat while drawing on NoteBookCast whiteboards. While you can create an account on NoteBookCast, it is not a requirement for using the service. You can create a whiteboard by simply clicking “create a whiteboard” then entering a nickname for yourself to use on the whiteboard. If you do create a NoteBookCast account you can save your whiteboards and create whiteboard templates to re-use.

iBrainstorm is a free brainstorming application for the iPad and the iPhone. The app allows you to record brainstorming sessions using a combination of free hand drawings and sticky notes. You can share and collaborate with other users of iBrainstorm. Sharing notes and drawings between users in a local setting is a simple matter of “flicking” an item to another user.

Realtime Board is a platform for hosting online, collaborative brainstorming sessions. Realtime Board is built with HTML5 which means that it works equally well on your laptop and on your iPad or Android tablet. Realtime Board provides a blank canvas on which you can type, draw, and post pictures. You can connect elements on your boards through a simple linking tool. The boards that you create on Realtime Board can be shared publicly or privately. To help you communicate with your collaborators Realtime Board has a chat function built into every board. Realtime Board grants teachers and students access to all premium features for free. In order to get the premium features for free you do need to complete the form here.

Stoodle is an online whiteboard service supported in part by the CK-12 Foundation. Through Stoodle you can quickly create a collaborative whiteboard space. On your whiteboard you can type, draw, and upload images. You can connect Stoodle to your computer’s microphone and talk your collaborators while drawing, typing, or sharing images. Stoodle does not require you to create an account. Stoodle will work in the web browser on your iPad or Android tablet.

More on online collaborative tools in this IMS blog:

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