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I've published the fourth article in my "Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2015" series. You can find it here.

I also wanted to make note some of the news items that didn't make the story. So I've decided to include those below.

"A global network of fraudulent online universities is using high-pressure sales tactics and phony scholarships to extract money from students who end up with worthless degrees," reports The Chronicle of Higher Education. MUST University, which boasts that it's the "world's largest university," lists its address in San Francisco. Because of course, where else would you run a scam like that, eh.

Marco Rubio wants to expand for-profit schools’ role in higher education

For-profit “Kaplan University will now offer personalized ‘competency reports’ to its 45,000 students,” says Inside Higher Ed.

Paine College is suspending its football team for two years due to financial and accrediting problems.

Former NFL star Deion Sanders’ Dallas charter school Prime Prep Academy will surrender its charter. The school has been facing financial and accreditation problems for years.

Wisconsin governor (and likely presidential candidate) Scott Walker does not have a college degree. Cue the think-pieces: “Graduating university isn’t evidence of leadership. Neither is not graduating.”

The Colorado Commission on Higher Education says it will standardize how colleges in the state accept “prior learning” for credit.

Can Digital Badges Help Encourage Professors to Take Teaching Workshops?

McGill University’s medical school has been placed on probation and is at risk of losing its accreditation, says the CBC.

Via the Shanker Institute: “How Effective Are Online Credit Recovery Programs?”

Coursera is renaming its verified certificates “Course Certificates.”

According to Inside Higher Ed, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, the University of Washington, the University of California's Davis, Irvine and Los Angeles campuses, and the University of Wisconsin Extension are teaming up to create the University Learning Store for online assessments and microcredentials.

Inside Higher Ed’s Carl Straumsheim wrote about the so-called adaptive software offered by JumpCourse, demonstrating that it was pretty easy to guess one’s way through the coursework, something that can eventually lead to ACE credit: “General Ed Cheap and Easy.” As adaptive learning CEOs are wont to do, the CEO invokes “learning styles” (in part) as to why this is all okay.

A report by iNACOL says that online credit recovery programs, which help students make up high school credits (and help schools maintain their graduation rates) are “in need of improvement.”

Inside Higher Ed looks at coding boot camps, including General Assembly, which have gone through various state regulatory approval processes.

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Faculty Members See Promise in Unified Way to Measure Student Learning.” One test to measure it all. Mmmhmmm.

And the winner for the silliest ed-tech headline this week: “Google, micro-learning & the future of education.” Congratulations, The Next Web, for posting an article by the CEO of a company called Lrn.

World’s First School to Issue Academic Certificates via Bitcoin Blockchain.”

Recent Teacher Of The Year Resigns In Alabama Over Certification Issues.”

Thrun sees nanodegrees as key to ed democratization.”

Udacity and Google announced a co-developed nanodegree in “senior Web development.”

Udacity will soon give all Nanodegree graduates half of their tuition back.”

3 reasons open source needs Open Badges” by Doug Belshaw.

ACE’s Deborah Seymour on the Alternative Credit Project Ecosystem.

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Audrey Watters


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Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2015

A Hack Education Project

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