Tag Archives: university of the people

EDUKWEST Sunday Review

Sunday Review for the Week of April 14th 2014

In this week’s Sunday Review we learn that experience without humility is not very helpful (when it comes to leading Coursera), that you can earn a MBA without spending a single dollar for tuition, that the SAT is useless, that school children in Ireland code 3D worlds and use the Oculus Rift, that you should not listen to music when you learn and much more.

And Happy Easter from the EDUKWEST team!

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On the Ed - Alpha

On the Ed – Alpha – Episode 002 Lots of Funding, MOOCs and Student Data

Another week, another On the Ed. Though we are still in alpha I think we are slowly but surely getting the hang of it. Google+ Hangouts are still a bit confusing when you invite guests as a page owner but we almost started on time.

Talking about guests, this week Chris and I were joined by my old friend Shiv Rajendran who is currently working on his new startup Affectively. We even got the scoop that he had raised funding which he announces on the show. Also, Affectively are hiring!

Talking about startups, as mentioned in last week’s episode Chris also joined a new edtech startup called TDS Social as Chief Technologist.

Congratulations again to both, and I am sure that we are going to hear more of Shiv and Chris and their respective companies in the coming months.

Naturally, we had to briefly discuss the big tech news of the week: Facebook acquiring WhatsApp for $19 billion USD, but we quickly jumped on the edtech news of the week which you can find below.

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University of the People Accreditation

HEDLINE: University of the People receives Accreditation


University of the People, the world’s first tuition-free university founded by Israeli serial entrepreneur Shai Reshef, announced that it has received accreditation by the Distance Education and Training Council.

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Social Layers in Online Learning

The Pros and Cons of Adding Social Layers to Online Learning

Editor’s Note: This article has first been published on edcetera – straight talk on edtech.

Probably the hardest thing to “mimic” in online education is the experience of meeting peers and professors on campus. Besides making friendships and having the opportunity to directly interact with other people, working together on problems and learning with the help of peers is an important part of the entire experience.

Learning alone has its advantages as well. Students can study at their own pace and from almost anywhere, thanks to mobile Internet or free WiFi in coffee shops. But still, students will most likely end up wishing there was someone else they could ask for help or to keep them motivated.

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University of the People (UoPeople) receives $500k Grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


It looks like 2012 is becoming a great year for UoPeople, the world’s tuition-free, non-profit online university that wants to give everyone access to quality higher education no matter where they are and what financial situation they are in. To date, more than 1500 students from over 130 countries have been accepted to UoPeople.

Today, UoPeople announced new financial support in form of a $500,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“We are working very hard on the attainment of accreditation, and are extremely proud of having the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation partnering with us in this quest. Accreditation is important for us, our students and our graduates to as it will afford students significantly better employment prospects upon graduation – thus further improving their lives.”  – Shai Reshef, President of UoPeople

“UoPeople is a part of an emerging set of programs and institutions that is challenging the status quo and effectively meeting non-traditional student needs by leveraging innovative pedagogical and business practices and providing affordable, quality paths to postsecondary credentials. We are proud to be a part of the next major step for UoPeople: attaining accreditation.” Anh Nguyen, Senior Program Officer on the foundation’s Postsecondary Success team

Besides the growing support from individuals around the globe which was recently manifested in surpassing the 1 million Facebook fan mark, UoPeople also finds support by foundations and in academia as the grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation follows recent awards by the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Intel Foundation.

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