In case you missed it – a snapshot of this week’s academic tech news from around the web.

Are Courses Outdated? MIT Considers Offering ‘Modules’ Instead

“However, the underlying facts are inarguable: that the rising cost of education, combined with the transformative potential of online teaching and learning technologies, presents a long-term challenge that no university can afford to ignore.”
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All Things in Modulation

“The goal is to bring more voices into the MOOC, rather than relying only on the voices of a few instructors, so that the expertise of a much broader community is reflected in the course,” Jesse Stommel, the assistant professor of liberal studies and the arts who teaches the course, said in an email. “The measure of success for this Virtual Shakespeare MOOC (or any MOOC) is if it builds a persistent community that continues to interact after the course is over.”
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Why This Professor Is Encouraging Facebook Use in His Classroom

“In short, Mr. Dougherty says, the class’s Facebook group helped “turn 250 strangers that happen to sit in a class together into a community.”
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Tech Basics for Active, Collaborative Learning

“While every active-learning classroom is unique — based on the physical space itself and the needs of students and faculty — there are features common to many of them. Typically, the instructor has a podium at the center of the room. Surrounding the podium are large, round tables that each seat six to nine students. Movable chairs allow students to easily shift between small groups of three to larger groups of six or nine. Each student table may have its own large display or interactive whiteboard for collaborative work and sharing, and many of the rooms also feature writable walls, where students can collaborate on virtually any vertical surface in the room.”
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