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EVOLVE: California Higher Education Student Summit - STUDENTS, be sure to join us and help us spread the word! We need to hear from you! Online ed: what works, what doesn't, and what can we do to better serve students?

(1) 20 Million Minds Fdn (20MillionMinds) on Twitter

Check out our cool new website and logos! Please share - help us fight the exorbitant cost of college textbooks!

Click on the link to view the new report, "The Right to Educational Access," about online education and bottlenecks in #CA #HigherEd commissioned by the 20 Million Minds Foundation - 20mm.org/...

MIXING CLASSROOM AND ONLINE LEARNING: In Utah, Senate Bill 79 authored by Republican State Senator Howard Stephenson would provide $ 275,000 in grants for pilot programs for up to 10 selected schools blending online and classroom learning, extending teaching year-round and teacher pay; using data to make instruction decisions instruction; and using competency-based education approaches in which students move to the next level through tests rather than just class time.

APPLE'S ITUNES U REACHES ONE BILLION DOWNLOADS! The free educational content service allows professors to create materials for courses from colleges, libraries, museums. Apple announced that it had surpassed 300 million downloads on the service in August of 2010, a little more than 3 years after the service launched with 60 percent of its downloads originating from outside the United States.

CALIFORNIA EDUCATION 2.0: Gov. Jerry Brown focused on "bringing California back" by investing in education. Focused on keeping tuition low at universities and colleges, reducing reliance on student loans, and increasing funding for the 3 public higher education systems.

COLLEGE DEGREES EXPENSIVE AND DON'T EDUCATE STUDENTS: Instead of requiring college degrees, employers should require massive open online courses where students are evaluated based on exams to illustrate t how well they have mastered the course.

CSU TELLS LITTLE HOOVER COMMISSION: Driven by student demands, California State University's Online program has 3 campuses, 6 programs and is fully enrolled.

2-YEAR COLLEGE GRADUATES EARNING MORE THAN GRADUATES FROM A 4-YEAR COLLEGE. According to Georgetown University's Center on Education and Workforce. nearly 30% of Americans with associate's degrees out-earn those who graduated with a bachelor's degree.

20 MILLION MINDS PRESIDENT DEAN FLOREZ AT LITTLE HOOVER COMMISSION: Higher education system needs to find cost effective alternatives by looking at Coursera and Udacity models for students to shorten time it takes to graduate and look at technology to provide solutions. MOOCs can provide alternative pathways when students are waitlisted.

DAPHNE KOLLER AT LITTLE HOOVER COMMISSION: Massive open online courses (MOOCs) give students flexibility as 60% of higher education students are non-traditional. Peer-grading in MOOCs helps reinforce lessons, opens up new ideas and enables discussion. Military veterans receive credit through credit recommendation service the American Council on Education and 5 Coursera MOOCs are credit-bearing.

SEBASTIAN THRUN AT LITTLE HOOVER COMMISSION: Online education should be a compliment to traditional courses. Udacity has a hybrid model with San Jose State UniversityPlus pilot program. Hotlines are available for students to help them with questions and challenges.

ONLINE EDUCATION IS ON THE AGENDA AT THE CALIFORNIA'S LITTLE HOOVER COMMISSION (LHC) today. 20 Million Minds President Dean Florez joins panel on MOOCs and Beyond along with Coursera and Udacity co-founders Daphne Koller and Sebastian Thrun. LHC is an independent California state oversight agency created in 1962 that investigates state government operations and promotes efficiency, economy and improved service through reports, recommendations and legislative proposals.

MOOCs FROM A STUDENT PERSPECTIVE: Andrea Zellner, a PhD student in the Ed Psych/Ed Tech Program at Michigan State University, offers tips on choosing a massive open online course and the challenges that come with it.

INKLING WANTS A BITE OF AMAZON'S TEXTBOOK BUSINESS: The SF-based interactive ebook company has designed a layout engine to re-envision textbooks for tablets, smartphones and the web and developed an eveloped an information architecture based on the concept of “cards” or portions of a chapter. Each card also has its own URL, which means Inkling’s cards are what Google indexes resulting in tthe information in its cards to rise to the top of Google search results and get Inkling's books noticed.

90% GRADUATION RATE IN 2020: For the first time in decades, high school students in the US are on pace to reach a 90 percent graduation rate by 2020. But, minority students continue to lag, with about one-third of African-American students and 29 percent of Hispanic students dropping out before graduation. The report is from Civic Enterprises, a public policy group in Washington, D.C.

PEARSON'S OPENCLASS to focus on teacher-led instruction powered by much more powerful educational support technology and tools than in the past is the future in a setting with low student–teacher ratios -- 1 instructor to between 20 to 50 students, not millions as is the scenario in massive open online courses.

IS IT FAIR FOR POORER STUDENTS TO RECEIVE MORE EDUCATION FUNDING? Governor Jerry Brown's proposed budget calls low-income, English-learning or foster-care students.to receive $ 11,656 per student compared to students who attend school in a wealthier area which would receive $ 8,429 per student annually.

CALIFORNIA BEHIND IN READING, MATH AND SCIENCE: The National Center for Education Statistics studied the results of the National Assessment of Educational Program standardized exams given to 4th- and 8th-graders from from 1990 to 2011 in the 5 largest states: California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas. California has largely trailed the rest of the country.

FORDHAM INSTITUTE: 15 % of children move every year. Students who move a lot usually perform poorly in school. Investing in a shared infrastructure based on a national system of schools and leveraging new technologies to help meet students where they are might help make the educational experiences of mobile students better.

2012 WAS DECADE OF INNOVATION with swift-developments of Massive Open Online Courses happening in just one year. While some believers foresee the arrival an educational golden age, others see the eventual destruction of institutions, Anant Agarwal, president of edX, believes it's about re-imagining the campus with new ways of learning that produce better outcomes. MIT and Harvard fund edX.

A MAN TAKES ON A MOOC: Computer software guru Doug Lautzenheiser takes a Data Analysis course using the R statistical programming language. He blogs about his experience in the link below.

MONEY MATTERS: 2 New York City-areas have 9 of the 10 wealthiest school districts in U.S. where students have higher test scores and 100 percent high school graduation rate and matriculation into college. The secret? Per pupil spending is $ 27,980 compared to the national average of $ 11,764.

TEACHERS AND PUBLIC SERVICE WORKERS may be eligible for STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS in certain situations. Details in link below.

MORE MOOCs AS UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA PARTNERS WITH COURSERA TO OFFER 5 FREE ONLINE COURSES: U of M professors will produce videos and exams in the fields of science, agriculture and healthand offer the massive open online courses (MOOCs) to anyone throughout the state and the world this spring. Republican state Senator Jeremy Miller has introduced a bill to relax regulations on colleges offering MOOCs to Minnesota students.

5 USEFUL COLLEGE APPS for Apple and Android devices to aid students in and out of the classroom.: 1. StudyBlue Flashcards; 2. Evernote Peek; 3. Graphing Calculator; 4. School Helper; 5. Trello.

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON EXPANDS ONLINE OFFERINGS WITH 4 MASSIVE OPEN ONLINE COURSES. Classes are: 1) More than a High Score: Video Games & Learning, 2) Globalizing Higher Education and Research for the "Knowledge Economy,” 3) Human Evolution: Past and Future, 4) Markets with Frictions. Two courses are scheduled to begin this fall, with the other two at a another date to be announced.

METACOGNITION also known as the ability to consider what we know, how to assess what we know, and when to access the appropriate information or call on the skills necessary to be successful at a task or endeavor may make the difference not only in students learning and retaining the material, but in boosting their confidence to learn content in the future.

RICE UNIVERSITY PARTNERS WITH EDX: Rice University has become joined edX, a not-for-profit provider of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Rice joined Coursera last year. Coursera is the first education platform to host content from multiple top research institutions.

REQUIRED CLASSES MOST LIKELY TO BE CLOSED OUT AT COMMUNITY COLLEGES: 1) English Composition I. 2) Science classes of all kinds. 3) Western Civilization I or History 101. All are required at many colleges and universities, regardless of major.

CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY COLLEGE TRANSFER GUARANTEE: 2,000 community college students applying to California State Universities this spring will be guaranteed admission as juniors because they enrolled in the new Associate Degree for Transfer program. Previously, some CSU schools made transfer students retake classes as some campuses randomly decided certain lower-division courses didn't meet standards.

STUDENTS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO RETAKE TESTS USING ONLINE TESTING PLATFORM: 8th-grade teacher Anthony Armstrong, who teaches at Del Mar Middle School in Tiburon, Calif., used QUIA's platform as a testing tool. Quia keeps detailed records of each test and delivers reports immediately so the instructor can identify problem areas. Student who don’t do well the first time study more and come back to retake the test.

ONLINE EDUCATION PROVIDERS ADD UNIVERSITIES FROM U.S. AND OVERSEAS: Coursera recently added 29 universities -- 13 U.S. institutions and 16 abroad -- to the 33 already offering at least one class on the for-profit group's platform. EdX has added 1 U.S. campus, 2 from Canada, 1 from Australia, 1 from the Netherlands; and 1 from Switzerland. Courses are free.

BOSTON UNIVERSITY WILL ADD MORE ONLINE CLASSES. Some to be up and running by the fall 2014 semester. The Boston University Council on Education Technology and Learning Innovation, formed in October of last year, announced it is necessary for BU to be at the forefront of educational technologies developments.

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AFFECTED BY POVERTY AND EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY: Report from the Congressionally-mandated Equity and Excellence Commission “For Each And Every Child.” Introduction excerpt: "While some young Americans — most of them white and affluent — are getting a truly world-class education, those who attend schools in high poverty neighborhoods are getting an education that more closely approximates school in developing nations."

THE EVOLUTION OF MOOCs: As the traditional degree becomes irrelevant, learning becomes a continuous, on-the-job learning process. Then the need for customization will drive toward mini-courses. An approach where users exchange information from each other similar to Facebook will come to dominate online learning with tailored offerings.

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATORS WARNED STATE IS LAGGING IN EDUCATED WORKFORCE: Members of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education were told by National Information Center for Higher Education Policymaking and Analysis that the state is falling behind in meeting a projected need of 3.5 million more college-educated workers by the year 2025.

CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY COLLEGE CHANCELLOR'S OFFICE TO RELEASE SCORECARD: AARC 2.0, short for Accountability Reporting for the California Community Colleges, as mandated by a 2004 state law. Key indicators of success such as persistence rate, unit rate, student progress, skills progress, career technical education and career development will provide data on how well each of the 112 campuses is doing.

BIG NAMES INVEST IN ONLINE EDUCATION STARTUP QUAD LEARNING. Has backing of NEA, Comcast and others. Quad created the American Honors program, which allows community colleges to offer rigorous instruction and personalized advising found usually at top four-year institutions. Cost is $ 6,000. Pilot programs at the Community Colleges of Spokane in Washington state and Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana.

UK MOOCs ALLIANCE FUTURELEARN ADDS 5 MORE UNIVERSITIES AND THE BRITISH LIBRARY: Futurelearn, the United Kingdom's first large-scale alliance of massive open online courses has added 5 more universities, bringing the total number of partners to 18. The 5 are : Bath, Leicester, Nottingham, Queen’s Belfast and Reading Futurelearn wil develop online courses using the library's resources.

MASSIVE OPEN ONLINE COURSES AND TABLETS WILL RESHAPE HIGHER EDUCATION; other trends coming soon include gamification, learning analytics, 3-D printing and wearable technologies, according to the NMC Horizon report on new media in education.

STANFORD PROF: USE EMPIRICAL DATA TO GUIDE/PERSONALIZE DIGITAL LEARNING. Professor Roy Pea says learning sciences, which studies how learning takes place under different conditions, can be used to design massive open online courses. And learning analytics, which collects traces learners leave behind, should be used to improve learning.

MOTIVATION FOR THE FLIPPED CLASS: It's called Just-In-Time-Teaching or JiTT. Educational Researcher Julie Schell writes about a favourite method to motivate students to engage in out-of-class work in the flipped classroom setting.

SPIDERS HELP STUDENTS FIND JOBS: The bite these arachnids have is the ability to search engines and read thousands of online "help wanted" ads in real time. This technology is helping colleges and universities quickly add and update academic programs to prepare graduates for the job market. Information gathered also predicts labor trends so colleges eliminate programs for skills/jobs that are irrelevant.

UNIVERSITIES SEEING SURGE IN ONLINE ENROLLMENT: Nation's leading universities giving away free instruction and awarding credit. Some of higher ed institutions include University of Pittsburgh, Arizona State University, University of Cincinnati, Penn State. More than 12,000 already signed up for one class that won't be offered until summer.

COMMUNITY COLLEGES HELP HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS BE COLLEGE-READY: Long Beach City College is experimenting with "Promise Pathways" and South Texas College has "dual enrollment" programs. Results show these partnerships have driven down remedial placement rates and students were more likely to take and pass credit-bearing, transfer-level courses.

2012-2013 APPLE DISTINGUISHED PROGRAM HONORS UC IRVINE'S SCHOOL OF MEDICINE iMedEd. The iMedEd Initiative focuses on technology-based medical school curriculum, integrating new healthcare-related technology into a digital, interactive learning environment. Students are equipped with iPads, participate in portable ultrasound clinical training, study using textbooks downloaded to the iPads, and use digital stethoscopes.

PRIVATE COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY DOESN'T MEAN MORE EXPENSIVE: According to the U.S. News short list of the 10 least expensive private schools, average tuition and fees was $ 7,558 in 2012-2013 compared with $ 8,176 (in-state) and $ 18,855 (out-of-state) at public institutions.

INTERNET DRAMATICALLY CHANGING HIGHER EDUCATION with the rise of online education experiments to meet student demands for access, affordability and quality. The Minerva Project, EdX and Coursera to name a few.

CA SENATOR KEVIN DE LEON INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO INCREASE $$$ FOR CAL GRANT B: Senate Bills 284 & 285 which would raise about $ 500,000 million doubling the Cal Grant B Access Award by taking advantage of an obscure provision in the federal tax code.

STUDENTS AND SCHOOLS BETTER-SERVED WITH OPEN PLATFORM TO SHARE CONTENT: An open platform with an open application program interface to digitize and deliver education content, would lower the cost for education content and provide a way to identify superior content.

CHEGG RELEASES iOS TEXTBOOK APP to help students solve tricky textbook problems. The new app includes 2.5 million step-by-step textbook solutions from 2,000 popular college textbooks and allows students to search book-by-book and chapter-to-chapter. Textbook Solutions acts like a companion to students’ regular textbooks and offers the kind of answer guide that teachers usually get access to.

EDUCATORS RANKLED BY STATE OF THE UNION REFERENCE TO OVERHAULING THE U.S. ACCREDITATION SYSTEM. One pathway as a requisite for financial aid and consideration for accreditation is competency-based learning -- where students are awarded credit based on what they have learned, and not class time. Already, Southern New Hampshire University offers a $ 5,000 competency-based associate degree.

OPENSTAX/RICE UNIVERSITY RELEASES FREE SAMPLE PDFs FOR CONCEPTS OF BIOLOGY. Books are high-quality and each text goes through an 18-month peer review process. Full and free downloads of this textbook will be available following its initial publication.

OPENSTAX/RICE UNIVERSITY RELEASES FREE SAMPLE PDFs FOR BIOLOGY: The Rice University-based nonprofit, open-education resources publisher announced the free textbook available to students.

FLORIDA WANTS TO OFFER ONLINE EDUCATION for its state university system. The Strategic Planning Committee of the Florida Board of Governors has decided that one of the state's 12 universities will take the lead in creating new degrees and conducting research on online education. The board wants the state to provide high-quality online degree programs to students in the state and around the world.

HIGHER ED CAN BE FREE OR AFFORDABLE. Faculty gathered at a forum organized by the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education (CHFE) discussed 3 reports challenging the notion that tuition at public institutions must continue to rise at a rate greater than inflation due to market and political realities. CHFE is a grassroots campaign that supports access to higher education created by leaders of faculty organizations in 21 states.

DUKE UNIVERSITY TAKES APART ITS FIRST MASSIVE OPEN ONLINE COURSE (MOOC) Bioelectricity: A Quantitative Approach. What researchers found: 600 hours to build and deliver course; 12,000 students from more than 100 countries enrolled; 1/3 students had less than a 4-year degree, 1/3 had a Bachelors, and 1/3 had advanced degrees; course completers typically held a Bachelor’s degree or higher.

OBAMA TO UNIVERSITIES/COLLEGES: LOWER COSTS OR LOSE ACCESS TO FEDERAL MONEY. Value, affordability, performance, and results to be hallmarks of new, alternative accreditation system to be proposed to Congress. Message on college costs and accountability not well-received by college officials.

REPUBLICAN RESPONSE TO OBAMA'S ALTERNATIVE ACCREDITATION PROPOSAL: Senator Marco Rubio says, “We need student aid that does not discriminate against programs that non-traditional students rely on...like online courses, or degree programs that give you credit for work experience.”

CALIFORNIA TO INCREASE NUMBER OF ONLINE COURSES AT PUBLIC INSTITUTION: Gov. Jerry Brown leads the revolution in higher education to increase the number of online course offerings to accommodate more students without expanding campuses to make higher education more affordable and engage students to learn in a tech-savvy environment.

ERASE STUDENT DEBT BY ALLOWING REFINANCING OF STUDENT LOANS: Time for federal policymakers to act. More than 13 percent of students whose loans came due in 2009 defaulted on that debt within three years. Another 26 percent of borrowers at five of the major loan-guaranty agencies became delinquent on their loans—one stop short of default.

LEGISLATIE ANALYST OFFICE: Gov. Jerry Brown should give less, not more money, to University of California and California State University systems because of high cost and poor outcomes.

STATE OF THE UNION 2013 and HIGHER EDUCATION: Affordability and value will determine which colleges receive federal aid. He also mentioned the need to streamline paths to degrees to reduce costs for higher education.

DON'T WORRY, ONLINE EDUCATION WON'T REPLACE TRADITIONAL COLLEGE: Current generation of students already seeking low-cost or free educational opportunities much like this generation downloaded free music from Napster. Online education won't replace the traditional higher education model but it will help those who can't afford a good education.

20 MILLION MINDS MILESTONE: FOUNDATION PARTNERS WITH INKLING TO CREATE 50 OPEN SOURCE BOOKS FOR SENATE BILL 1052. The bill was signed into law by California Gov. Jerry Brown last year to establish a digital library of 50 most popular lower division courses. Inkling also launched new platform Habitat which supports Creative Commons licensing, allowing publishers to create open source content and educational materials.

ONLINE EDUCATION TRENDS IN CALIFORNIA: 1 in 4 community college students takes 1 online course. Half of the 112 community colleges offers online degrees and certificates. CSU launched California State Online last month, offering several degrees. UC is working on UC Online Education to create lower division, high-demand classes. 10 UC campuses offer 170 undergraduate online courses and 80 graduate courses for credit. And, 3 UC campuses offer online master's degree programs.

MYTHS ABOUT ONLINE LEARNING:: It began in the 1960s when scientists at the University of Illinois scientists created a classroom system based on linked computer terminals. It has since evolved from printed assignments to online learning centers that include forums, video and phone conferencing technology. It has come a long way since its inception more than 40 years ago, some myths about online education.

STATE-FUNDED, CROWD-FUNDED AND FREELY-DISTRIBUTED EDUCATIONAL CONTENT will be the model for future digital textbook. California is showing how with Senate Bills 1052/1053 to create 50 free lower-division course textbooks in digital format and EcoDads crowdfunding to adapt state-approved curriculum into apps for use in 6th-grade classrooms to meet the goals of the California Education and Environment Initiative Curriculum (EEI) curriculum.

OPEN MAY NOT BE OPEN AND FREE MAY NOT BE FREE: Some companies are using the term loosely to capitalize on the popularity of the concept. School administrators learning that even when software is "open," still have to consider cost-effective yet high-quality learning management system for hosting, teacher support, implementation, training, and migration services for open-source technologies.

MORE STUDENTS TAKING ONLINE CLASSES. Nearly 1/3 of all students in higher education are taking at least 1 online course. Rate of growth in online enrollments is 10 times that of the rate in all higher education since 2002.

NUMBER OF STUDENTS TAKING CLASSES ONLINE EXPLODES: In 2009, about 29 percent of college students took at least one course online; by 2014, that number is projected to increase to 50 percent. The move from real to virtual is driven by cost and reflected in statistics drawn from the fact that fewer college students reside on campuses and more students are working while going to school.

OER + COPYRIGHTED CONTENT WILL BECOME TEXTBOOK OF THE FUTURE: Open Educational Resources (OER) - a network of freely available content - is quickly changing the publishing industry. The future textbook will be one that is a mix of OER and copyrighted content with governments like California's using state funds to commission the development of open textbooks so the public can have free access to the books.

BUDGET CUTS PUT NEARLY HALF MILLION CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENTS ON WAITLIST: Community college enrollment has risen every year since 2007, but budget cuts forced many campuses to cancel classes leaving students unable to enroll for the very basic classes they need to graduate or transfer to a 4-year higher education college or university.

DEAN FLOREZ, 20 Million Minds President and CEO tells LA TIMES: Move by American Council on Education to recommend credits for Coursera courses a huge step in national higher education. Will encourage higher education institutions in California and elsewhere to move more quickly into online education.

COLLEGE NOT PAYING OFF FOR FULL-TIME WORKERS AGES 25 TO 34. Average earning of 4-year degree graduate dipped nearly 15 percent since 2000, while average tuition and fees have skyrocketed 72 percent at 4-year public institutions since then. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) could hold the answer to academic success without taking on debt for higher education.

MOOCs NOW CLOSER TO ACADEMIC ACCEPTANCE WITH ANNOUNCEMENT OF CREDIT FOR COURSERA COURSES: "We are advancing our mission to offer low-cost, high-quality higher education to more people than ever before," Daphne Koller, co-founder of Coursera. On Feb. 7, 2013, the American Council on Education recommended credits for 5 Coursera courses which could result in the classes being eligible at 2,000 U.S. colleges and universities.

COURSERA GETS CREDITS FOR MOOCs: The American Council on Education, which represents U.S. degree-granting institutions, is recommending credit for 5 undergraduate classes from Coursera: Algebra and Pre-Calculus from the University of California, Irvine; Bioelectricity: A Quantitative Approach and Introduction to Genetics and Evolution and from Duke University; and Calculus: Single Variable from the University of Pennsylvania.

PRIVATE COLLEGE PRESIDENTS CONTINUE FIGHT FOR FUNDING OF FEDERAL STUDENT AID PROGRAMS AT CONGRESSIONAL PANEL: The discussion grew testy at times with Congressional and Education Department staff over regulation, consumer disclosures and the return on investment of a college degree. Rising student debt and defaults cited as reasons for need in increased regulation.

CALIFORNIA LOSING NUMBER ONE SPOT IN HAVING NATION'S MOST COLLEGE-EDUCATED ADULTS: UCLA Senior Economist Jerry Nickelsburg told a California Assembly committee that census data shows the state’s advantage has disappeared among younger workers between 25 and 34.

A DIGITAL GOVERNMENT FOR THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE: Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom talks about the new digital democracy, where ordinary citizens can use data to share information about their city's needs and concerns, creating an enlightened and engaged citizenry. Hosted by Scott Shafer of KQED’s "The California Report." 7 p.m., Feb. 21, Jewish Community Center of San Francisco.

BAY CITIZEN: TAXPAYERS TO PAY BIG FOR LOANS TAKEN OUT BY SCHOOL DISTRICTS/PUBLIC AGENCIES. More than 400 school districts and other agencies have racked up $ 9 billion in capital appreciation bond debt in the past six years. With interest rates as high as 23 times the amount borrowed, taxpayers will be responsible for the next 40 years for the $ 36 billion racked up to repay the the debt.

SAL KHAN TALKS TO CALIFORNIA SENATE DEMOCRATS ABOUT ONLINE EDUCATION: Khan, founder of Khan Academy, which posts video lessons online to help students, spoke to Democratic elected officials at the annual retreat at the Stanford Mansion today. His appearance emphasizes the push online education has been receiving from Gov. Jerry Brown and Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg as a way to educate more students for less.

FREE ONLINE COURSES TO HELP STUDENTS PREPARE FOR EXAMS AND EARN COLLEGE CREDIT. Alex Stenner, a sophomore and human biology major at the University of Wisconsin, used online course content from the Saylor Foundation and Education Portal to study for a “challenge exam.” He passed and earned 3 credits. It cost $ 90.

NO STANDARDIZED TESTING: Teachers at Seattle High School in a direct act of defiance against the Seattle Public School District send letters to parents saying they will not administer the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment to students. Say the MAP tests do not provide useful data on student achievement.

CITY OF BOSTON TO OFFER FRE ONLINE COURSES: The project called BostonX is a collaboration with edX, which was founded by Harvard University and MIT. Free online courses will be made available at the city's community centers, high schools and libraries where internet access is available.

TIPS ON CHOOSING A COLLEGE THAT WILL GIVE COLLEGE CREDIT FOR LIFE EXPERIENCE: Translating knowledge into credits toward a degree could help students shorten time at a higher education institution and result in cost savings.

DIRECT LEARNING VS ONLINE LEARNING. Educators want to learn from the Udacity/San Jose State University partnership where statistics is being taught online. Educators hope to find out from 100 students how they can pick up skills and knowledge, and if, the online model can work just as well as the traditional face-to-face contact of the current model.

$ 5 BILLION MORE THAN PREDICTED IN GOV'S BUDGET. Legislative Analyst Office says schools will benefit from unpredicted surplus.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM KPCC PUBLIC EDUCATION LEADERS' PANEL DISCUSSION ON THE FUTURE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: CCCO's Brice Harris, CSU's Tim White and UC's Mark Yudof discuss budget cuts, faculty salaries, rising higher education costs, qualified students being declined admission, student unrest, online courses, and challenges from for-profit colleges.

BERKELEY PROF. MICHAEL EISEN: UC LEADERS SHOULD ENDORSE FREE PUBLIC ACCESS TO WORKS PRODUCED. Leadership from universities failing students, academia and the public because of limited access to the intellectual output of academic scholars and scientists.

HACK AWAY AND HACK A LOT! Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom in his new book "Citizenville" writes hacking can help put the power back in citizens' hands. Read his chapter on democracy and hacking by checking out the link below.

WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE ENROLLING FOR A FOREIGN-LANGUAGE ONLINE COURSE: Link below provides some pointers to ponder.