Tag: Edtech

Will language translation tech ring a death knell for modern language learning?

“100 billion words a day? It is nearly unfathomable that Google’s neural machine translation can accomplish this”

Humans have been trying to find better ways of deciphering different languages for centuries, but it wasn’t until 1949 that the concept of “machine translation” really became a possibility.

According to a paper written by John Hutchins, Yehoshua Bar-Hillel was one of the first ones to take an interest in the field. He led a Georgetown University machine translation team and in partnership with IBM performed a demonstration of an automatic translation machine in 1954 known as the Georgetown-IBM experiment.

It was the height of the cold war, and the machine was capable of translating roughly 250 words from Russian into English. At the time, the demonstration generated a lot of interest, and it was predicted that machine translation would be perfected before 1960. However, computers weren’t advanced enough at this time to handle the complexity of translation, and subsequent experiments for the following few decades were lacklustre at best.

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MOOCs: Still Big News for International Learners

“We shouldn’t underestimate how important MOOCs can still be for global students”

 

Clarissa Shen, vice president of Udacity, recently declared MOOCs dead, “a failed product,” sparking yet another round of commentary in the blogosphere. While it is true that MOOCs have neither saved nor destroyed higher education as we know it (as was predicted early on), they are far from dead, writes Laurie Pickard, author of “Don’t pay for your MBA” and nopaymba.com.

The number of online courses continues to grow, and the number of students registering for and completing them continues to tick upward. More than 23 million people registered for a MOOC in 2016. 2017’s numbers haven’t yet been published, but data from the MOOC search engine Class Central suggests that more than 80 million people have taken at least one MOOC. Importantly, people around the world are still learning that MOOCs exist. For these new learners, MOOCs aren’t old news. They are still exciting, new, and full of potential.

I still remember my own excitement when I first learned that top-tier universities were offering free versions of their classes. I felt I needed a business education to further my career, but I wasn’t interested in getting into debt to fund an MBA.

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Why MOOCs and executives don’t mix

“Expecting executive learners to stay the (online) course based on a cobbled together jumble of videos, articles and chat rooms is farfetched”

Paul Hunter, director of IMD’s Corporate Learning Network, argues that MOOCs aren’t best suited to executives, and offers some tips about making virtual learning more appealing.

After the scurry of educational providers scrambling to be part of MOOC mania, the hype has all but dissipated, primarily due to low traction rates and lackluster results.

Undoubtedly, MOOCs have their place for disciplined and curious individuals with an iron will, available time and a natural predisposition to persevere. However, for time-stretched executives juggling high-pressure professional objectives and increasingly scarce personal time, MOOCs have not provided the hoped for panacea.
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Paul Hunter is the Director of IMD’s Corporate Learning Network. He is also Vice-Chair of ELIG (European Learning Industry Group), and a steering committee member of EFMD’s CLIP (Corporate Learning Improvement Process).

Making e-learning a force for social inclusion at a global level

“E-learning is different. It’s about creating tools that simultaneously engage the learner and challenge their ways of thinking”

Jeremy C Bradley is the Director of Academic and Student Affairs at InterActive, a global e-learning service provider. He has experience working in an educational hedge fund that provides scholarship and resource capacity to historically black colleges and universities; at an independent day school; and as Creative and Development Director for a multi-state educational and social services organisation.

‘We need to bring learning to people instead of people to learning.’ – Elliot Masie

Learning has never been so easily accessible and flexible as it is now. Thanks to online learning, today’s students, professionals and corporations enjoy a completely different relationship with education than the previous generation did less than two decades ago. But, certainly, there is a lot more to it.
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