Online learning

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Low-income teens are unable to participate in social media conversations of their wealthier peers. Phone image via

Teens without smartphones encounter a new digital divide

With low-income kids unable to participate in the social media conversations of their wealthier peers, a new form of digital inequity is emerging.
Tablets can be a novel reading experience for parent and child. Goodluz/Shutterstock

What we know about tablets and how your child learns to read

A recent US survey commissioned by the children’s books publisher Scholastic found that 65% of 6-11 year olds prefer to read print books even when e-books are available on tablets. In the UK, a National…
What is a Small Private Online Course? And how is it different to a MOOC? Shutterstock

Explainer: what is a Small Private Online Course?

If you have studied an online course at a university over the past couple of decades, you’ve probably already experienced a SPOC, or Small Private Online Course. SPOC is a new term for an old concept…
People argue over whether learning should take place online or face-to-face, but does it have to be one or the other? Flickr/Noticias UFM

Online vs face-to-face learning: why can’t we have both?

Ever since the invention of the printed word, academics have been arguing about the proper place of technology in teaching. On one side are those who I’ll call the traditionalists who insist on the primacy…
Getting practice in early. Online learning via Syda Productions/Shutterstock

Online learning at school helps prepare teens for university

Online learning has been around for more than 30 years, but recent excitement around Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) has brought it fully into the public eye. In schools, online learning used to be…
A ‘library’ today is as much digital as it is bricks and mortar. stevecadman

If learners live online, teachers and textbooks must follow them

Ten years after the launch of Facebook and eight years after the launch of Twitter, social media has become more pervasive and our use of it more sophisticated. It’s no longer a place where we report what…
Many students drop out of online degrees because they don’t feel a sense of belonging with the course or university. Flickr/Fleep Tuque

‘Sense of belonging’ enhances the online learning experience

For the past couple of years Australian universities' enthusiasm for online learning has increased, following the lead of international universities in realising the potential of MOOCs to replace traditional…
Is this the university experience students will be paying a premium for? Flickr/Vin Crosbie

Higher ed changes will lead to higher fees, more online delivery

It’s a brave new world for higher education in Australia. We will soon have an open market and an overall reduction in government expenditure per student. This means universities will need to find alternate…
Technology has now reached a point where it is conceivable that an education experience on the internet can be comparable to one on a university campus. shutterstock

The campus is dead: long live the campus?

With technology changing the landscape of higher education, The Conversation this week is running a series “Re-imagining the Campus” on the future of campus learning. Here, Jason Lodge ponders the future…
Does my £9,000 get me a tablet? BillyONeal

For £9,000, students expect their classes to go digital

Students in the UK are now paying annual fees of up to £9,000 – and they expect more for their money. This is a radical change from the situation a couple of decades ago when student grants provided the…
Will the hype around free high quality higher education last? Online image from

From MOOCs to HARVARDs: will online go mainstream?

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) draw a spectrum of responses. Should we be spruiking MOOCs? Spooked by MOOCs? Or hoping the hype will fade and the fad will pass? Most of us know the headlines. Free…
Traditionally, students took exams on site at a university. But how does assessment work with online courses? Exam image from

Proving knowledge by degrees: MOOCs and the challenge of assessment

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have certainly got higher education folks talking. These free online courses, often from prestigious universities, have prompted one obvious question: why should students…

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