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Online education

2018

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming relevant for online education, especially in terms of monitoring and personalising the educational experience. Derek Haoyang Li, founder and CEO of Squirrel AI, built an AI-driven online educational platform. This was done in partnership with ‘a global network of educators and participating institutions, including the National University of Ireland, Stanford University, UCLA, UC Irvine, Shanghai Jiaotong University, and Remin University of China.’ It aims to tailor learning to individual participants’ need and rate progress.

In an effort to modernise the education sector and work towards achieving the SDGs, Zimbabwe has launched 10 e-learning kits, including tablets and an overhead projector.The kits were donated by Devtech, a Rwandan organisation. In addition, Zimbabwean president Mnangagwa urged all learners to take advantage of e-learning platforms.

Facebook has launched Learn with Facebook, which offers free resources on digital marketing and career skills. This saw some commentators compare the efforts of Facebook with those of Linkedin when it comes to jobs and support to building skills.

22 Jan 2018 | Predictions for 2018

In the U.S. News article 4 Expectations for Online Education in 2018 Jordan Friedman shares the following predictions for the year ahead: continued overall enrollment growth, use of more modern technologies in courses, more health-related online degrees and courses, and a greater push to teach specific job skill.

The director of educational enterprise at the University of Birmingham in the UK argues that big data analytics holds substantial promise for improving higher education. The increased use of data analytics is hoped to enable students to learn more effectively.

The Open University in the UK, which was established in the 1960s as an distance learning university with the aim of widening access to higher education, is undergoing substantial transformation towards shifting its priorities towards online learning. An article published in the British Guardian looks at the recent changes introduced by the new vice chancellor. These changes are driven by worries over staying competitive and the concern that ‘in the digital age, what happened to newspapers will happen to universities.’ However, critics of these changes fear that the focus will shift from being an academic provider to being a media platform.

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