Are MOOCs the Future of Online Education?

MOOC, short for Massive Open Online Courses, seems to be the buzz word du jour these days, but what is all the buzz about?

Did you know that $400 billion a year is spent on U.S. universities?
That’s more than the annual revenues of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter combined! All educational institutions want a piece of that pie and MOOCs could jeopardize that. Check out some more stats:

  • 43.4% of MOOC students are undergraduate university and 40.2% are postgraduates
  • 10 million is the estimated number of students who have taken at least one MOOC
  • 28% of MOOCs come from the U.S., and at a distant second, 11% from the U.K., and there are some surprising countries in the top 10 including: Brazil, Greece and Russia!

For more check out the infographic below from our friends at Best Colleges Online:

MOOCs

 

Online Education Around the World

This great infographic on the origins of online education and its development was sent to us from our friends at cheaponlinedegrees.org. It starts with a timeline: from the first computer-assisted instruction system, PLATO, which was developed at the University of Illinois in 1960, to the European consortium beginning to offer free online courses (MOOCs) in 2013. For more on the history of elearning read this post.

On Sept. 25, 2013 the European Commission launched an open education resource website http://openeducationeuropa.eu/ -  this infographic goes on to list institutions affiliated with openeducationeuropa, foreign universities offering online coursework, and ends with top rated world universities with global reputations. Check it out:

Going_Global

Infographic: wasted time in the workplace

Recently the people at TimeDoctor got in touch with us about a great infographic they put together regarding wasted time in the workplace – a massive problem that costs businesses millions (or more) in lost productivity every year. This infographic shows how much time is wasted at work, the ways in which time is wasted, and how businesses attempt to deal with the issue (for example by implemeneting a social media policy).
One thing not covered by the infographic is how much time is wasted in the workplace with disorganized or ineffective methods of communication and collaboration. We’ll be looking into that next time!

Wasted-time-at-work-infographic

The Evolution of Online Schooling Infographic

What humble beginnings begot the massive explosion of online schooling?

How did online schooling evolve into what it is today? Recently we wrote about the history of elearning on our blog (evidence suggests that early forms of elearning existed as far back as the 19th century!) and in this post we explore the evolution of online schooling with a cool infographic.

Did you know that in the 1930s radio education was tried but was unsuccessful or that the military successfully used TV education in the 1940s during WWII? Henry Ford in fact began long-term support of distance learning starting with televised programs – and that was way back in the 50s! Online schooling started to look like what we know it as today with remote lectures at the University of Illinois in the 60s, and even more so after the internet was founded. Check out this infographic for more:

online schooling

Thanks to http://collegedegreesearch.net for sharing this infographic with us!

 

Calling all elearning infographics! – here’s 10 to start with

Infographics have become ubiquitous and they’re a brilliant way to get clear, useful overviews of what’s happening where! Here I’d like to propose a collection of samples relevant to elearning and learning technologies.

  1. Growth of Distance Learning (USA)
  2. Boosting Business Agility (UK, Europe)
  3. Are we wired for mobile learning?
  4. Which Social Network Should You Use — and When
  5. elearning statistics for 2013
  6. Kids and the mobile technology takeover by Edudemic
  7. Technology’s impact on education
  8. Instructional Design
  9. A great set of infographics on social learning
  10. A great set of infographics on elearning

For a closer look at some of our favorite free tools for creating infographics check this post. We also like this article on how infographics can help you produce better elearning courses.

And if you’d like to add your favorite elearning infographic to this list, please put them in the comments below! I feel an infographic on infographics coming on :) ~ @rgogos

5 free tools for creating slick infographics

Infographics (or information graphics) have been around for many years and recently the proliferation of a number of easy-to-use, free tools have made the creation of infographics available to all. They are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly. By presenting information in a compact and creative format, infographics are not only able to quickly convey knowledge but also engage its viewers – and social media sites have allowed for this kind of content to be spread quickly and easily.

There are many reasons to include infographics in your content strategy – 10 good reasons are listed in this blog post:

  1. Infographics are compelling and attractive
  2. Easily scanned and viewed
  3. Viral capabilities
  4. Portable (embeddable)
  5. Worldwide coverage
  6. Brand awareness
  7. Increases traffic
  8. Benefits SEO
  9. Shows an expert understanding of a subject

We have taken a look at some free tools for creating infographics and here are our favorites:

1. Infogr.am

This free web-based tool has a great interface and nice themes. You can create charts using real data and there are some cool chart type options. Inserting and deleting data is child’s play, and you can also add your own images and videos. When you’re done infographics can be instantly shared though social media or you can embed it on a website.

2. Piktochart

Piktochart offers a number of decent free themes (and more for the paid version) for creating simple visualizations. Its customizable editor allows you to change color schemes, fonts, add different shapes, pre-loaded graphics and your own images. The template helps you line up everything and resize and you can also add simple charts using data from CSV or manual entry.

3. Visual.ly

Visual.ly is very user-friendly and helps you create infographics in seconds. It integrates with social networks to analyze Twitter and Facebook data but doesn’t seem to offer much customization. However there’s a marketplace where you can get connected with designers and graphics artists who specialize in infographics “bringing together marketing gurus, data nerds and design junkies.”

4. Easel.ly

With a beautiful interface and slick themes, this tool is suitable for conceptual visualizations and storytelling however you cannot create graphs using real data. The themes are designed to support common purposes and you can upload your own images or choose from a great selection of modern graphic objects (people, maps, transportation, animals, icons etc.). There are also common shapes, connector lines and arrows. A grid allows for a perfect layout and you can customize in a number of ways. Then of course the finished infographic can be downloaded or shared with a link or embed code.

5. Many Eyes

Many Eyes is an IBM research tool that provides a range of visualizations and is suitable if you have your on data on hand (or want to use existing sets of data). If you use your own data you can upload it and create your own visual with different options.

We will follow this post up with a focus on elearning infographics in the coming weeks. In the meantime enjoy – and please add your suggestions in comments! ~ @rgogos