With an infusion of money from U.S. stimulus spending, groups like the Gates Foundation, and the private sector, the technological landscape in higher education is changing rapidly. The emphasis in classroom tech now seems to focus on open courseware and analytics to monitor student behavior. For example, in the first of two rounds of grants funded by the Gates Foundation’s Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) awarded $10.6 million to 29 organizations, close to half of which went to open courseware projects that seek to publish adaptable Web-based courses for the public. The funded initiatives focus on four areas: open courseware, blended learning, “deeper learning” (the use of social media and virtual worlds to increase student engagement), and learner-analytics software.
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