21st Century Teaching & Learning Resources

Recorded Books Adds All-You-Can-Watch Streaming Video Library Service

Binge-viewing could be coming to a library near you. RBmedia, which owns Recorded Books, has released an unlimited streaming video service for libraries, as well as a new version of its app to allow patrons to access multiple content services, including the streaming shows. RBdigital, the specialized streaming video service, will give library users the chance to view videos from RBmedia's licensed content in the same way they watch shows on Netflix. They'll be able to watch as many shows as they like in a seven-day period while the library pays for a single checkout.

New College Promise Programs Heading Astray

A new Century Foundation analysis of existing and proposed College Promise programs has warned that the kinds of "policy design choices" made by policymakers will affect how well their Promise programs meet the goals they've set. In some states policymakers have begun to include requirements in their programs "to pursue objectives less directly related to the core goals of financial aid or college affordability measures." As a result, those states may not reach the people who most need the Promise help and their states may fail in closing gaps in enrollment and attainment rates for specific subgroups of students.

The Intrusion of Social Media in Learning

Social media has evolved into a tool for creating and promoting the "self," creating a tension between encouraging individual expression and overemphasizing the self in a collaborative setting.

Wiki Profiles Open University Innovations

A wiki developed by Contact Nord, a nonprofit funded by the government of Ontario, describes the "breakthrough innovations" being tested at open universities around the world. TeachOnline.ca profiles the work of 66 open universities dedicated to increasing access to courses for those who want higher education, no matter what their backgrounds.

Closing the STEM Gap

Generally girls lose interest in STEM careers as they get older. But, according to a new study, small changes at school and at home can have a profound impact on how girls perceive STEM careers, how confident they feel in class and how likely they are to pursue STEM academically and into their careers.

Unizin Partners with McGraw-Hill Education for Inclusive Access Program

Unizin, the nonprofit consortium of 25 member universities, has teamed up with McGraw-Hill Education to combat the high cost of textbooks. The deal will make the company's digital learning materials available to nearly 1 million students through an "Inclusive Access" model, which automatically provides students with their course materials on the first day of class for a low, flat fee.

New Digital Textbook Company Includes Audiobook Versions

The digital textbook market has a new entrant. Lead Winds has launched two digital textbooks on an online platform with chapter-by-chapter access to the written textbook, an audiobook version, videos that teach the chapters, slideshows and extra videos of students and instructors sharing study notes and tips for each chapter. The cost: $35 per student.

On Change and Relevance for Higher Education

Phil Long, a veteran strategist in technology and learning, comments on some of the most asked-about challenges for higher education institutions today.

U Missouri System Gets 38 Percent Discount on McGraw-Hill Education E-Books

Students in the University of Missouri System have access to more affordable course materials, thanks to a new agreement with McGraw-Hill Education that lowers the cost of the company's electronic textbooks by 38 percent. The books will be offered through the university's AutoAccess program, which provides e-books through U.M.'s learning management system as part of its Affordable & Open Education Resources initiative.

Rice Joins International Credit for MOOCs Program

Rice University and 10 other institutions in Europe, Asia and Australia have agreed to be part of a three-year "Credits for MOOCs" program that allows students from the participating schools to enroll in specific free online courses from the other member schools and receive transfer credits for passing them. When it's fully up and running, the pilot effort will feature from three to 10 credit-bearing online classes from each institution for the "virtual exchange." The program, which is in its second semester for the 2017-2018 academic year, currently features 18 courses.

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