Techno-News Blog

April 24, 2017

Online lessons helping Forbes Road student come back from kidney transplant

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by JAMIE MARTINES, Trib Live

On a snowy Friday morning in April, 16-year-old Jarrod Danka settled in at a desk in the cozy den of his family’s home in Natrona Heights. The 10th-grader had a 9 a.m. conference call, and he was running a few minutes late. Within moments, his teacher’s face popped up on a computer screen, and the two chatted about Jarrod’s recent assignments and plans for tackling future lessons. He’s excited to work in a rapidly changing field that will give him a chance to keep learning and master evolving technologies. For the past five weeks, online learning and video conference calls have been part of Jarrod’s daily routine. It’s how he keeps up with his studies at the Forbes Road Career and Technical Center in Monroeville while he recovers from a second kidney transplant.

http://triblive.com/local/allegheny/12161707-74/on-line-lessons-helping-forbes-road-student-come-back-from-kidney-transplant

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U of Phoenix-HBCU Partnership Expands

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By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Another historically black institution — South Carolina State — teams up with the University of Phoenix to offer online courses to a greater number of students. S.C. State will waive a $35 readmission fee and offer students a 50 percent discount on tuition rates, dropping the cost of a three-credit-hour course to $651. Students can take up to 27 credits from Phoenix. After the university reviews the students’ accounts for academic or financial holds, the academic departments map the courses they need to finish the degree they were pursuing before stopping out to equivalent courses offered by Phoenix. The BARC program is the latest product of an “alliance” that Phoenix and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund entered into in November 2014 to boost online education at historically black colleges and universities.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/04/11/south-carolina-state-latest-hbcu-partner-phoenix-online-education

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13 epic stats and facts from The State of Social webinar

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by Andrew Warren-Payne, ClickZ

On March 23, ClickZ Intelligence held the webinar ‘The State of Social 2017’ in association with Tracx. As part of the presentation, a huge number of stats and facts were shared about social media, both as a whole and in relation to individual networks. Practical tips given by National Geographic’s Mia Vallo and Shell’s Matt Owen helped demonstrate to viewers how they can apply these to their strategy. So what were the most interesting stats shared in the webinar? We’ve listed 13 of our favorites below.

https://www.clickz.com/13-epic-stats-and-facts-from-the-state-of-social-webinar/110510/

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April 23, 2017

Using Google Cardboard to Simulate Virtual Learning Experiences

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By Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

The reason that many teachers strive for a more virtual experience instead of the traditional talking points is that the interaction makes the lesson more memorable to the students. Google Cardboard is an interesting and very low-cost solution to creating a virtual experience. You can compare it to the Oculus Rift, but without the $600 price tag for each unit. As the name suggests, the product is from Google, and it is made entirely of cardboard. You construct the equipment (fold the cardboard) into the shape of goggles. Download the app you want to use in your virtual reality lesson, and place the phone within the frame, and you can start seeing the world from the app. It helps you feel like you are in the locations being displayed or are experiencing the events taking place.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/using-google-cardboard-simulate-virtual-learning-experiences/

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State Progress on K-12 Computer Science Ed Policies: ‘We Have a Long Way to Go’

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By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

If understanding of computer science is essential to being an informed citizen, then it makes sense that every child needs an education in the use of computing devices and software, digital literacy and computational processing. That’s the premise of a new report developed by half a dozen organizations that undertook a state-by-state survey of the current state of K-12 CS education. The report, titled “State of the States Landscape Report: State-Level Policies Supporting Equitable K–12 Computer Science Education,” was released during a workshop led by Google, the Education Development Center (EDC), and the Massachusetts Computing Attainment Network (MassCAN) on Google’s Cambridge campus.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2017/04/10/state-progress-on-k12-computer-science-ed-policies.aspx

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Why Gen Z needs librarians now more than ever

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By GINNY BOUGHTER, eSchool News

Whether guiding research or introducing new technology, today’s librarian gives Gen Z the skills and tools they need to move from ‘getting it right now’ to ‘getting it right.’Librarians and media specialists are in a unique position within schools, since they are very often the person responsible for introducing students to new technologies, and are also on the front lines when it comes to connecting students to meaningful sources for research. Today’s students have never known a world without the smartphone or tablet, and many of them have been using these devices independently since infancy. The answers to their questions have never been more than a click of a button away. In this brave new world of technological innovation and free-flowing information, librarians are now tasked with teaching these digital natives how to navigate these waters with discernment, while still taking full advantage of the opportunities these tools afford them.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2017/04/10/gen-z-needs-librarians/

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April 22, 2017

6 ways to engage alumni using Facebook Live

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BY MICHAEL ELLISON, eCampus News

Launched in April 2016, Facebook Live allows the most-used social network’s users to share up to eight hours of live video with their followers and friends. According to a Facebook spokesperson, the vast majority of these recordings come from people instead of public figures and publishers, and the number of people broadcasting live at any given minute has grown by four times since its launch. Further, users comment over 10 times more on Facebook Live videos than on regular videos, demonstrating that broadcasts engage users with their real-time reactions and comments. Many colleges and universities have already begun integrating Facebook Live into their social media marketing schemes. Out of the 45-school Alumni Monitor coverage group, 36 schools have hosted at least one Facebook Live event within their main university or alumni-focused social media page. For those schools looking to begin (or expand on) their current Facebook Live presence, here are six ideas for engaging alumni using Facebook Live.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/featured/featured-on-ecampus-news/engaging-alumni-facebook-live/

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Indiana U Students Save $3.5 Million Through Digital Textbook Program

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by Campus Technology

Indiana University (IU) is out with a numbers update for its eText initiative that delivers digital course materials to students: In the 2016-17 academic year, IU students saved an estimated $3.5 million more than what they would have otherwise spent on traditional programs, according to a campus official. The program uses an inclusive-access model that delivers digital course materials directly to students in time for their first day of class. More than 40,000 IU students purchased at least one digital textbook through the initiative in the same academic year. The university launched eText as a pilot in 2009. IU partnered with more than 20 higher ed publishers to drive costs down, while expanding catalogs and providing more options for teachers and students.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/04/06/indiana-u-students-save-3-5-million-through-digital-textbook-program.aspx

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New Frontiers in Cyber Security: Locomotives without Wheels, Moats, Deep Learning at the Edge

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by Doug Black, Enterprise Tech

Industry analyst Bob Sorensen recently told us something most IT managers already know deep in their apprehensive hearts: cyber security is in a sorry state. Security at many companies is somewhat marginalized, an unfavored area that lies outside core IT operations and procedures, a focal point at many companies of ineffectuality and denial that can be characterized as: Don’t just do something, sit there! Yet everyone grasps the bottom line and reputation risks of poor security. This anxiousness, coupled with uncertainty about their own cyber security strategies, results in many companies – at least those that haven’t been attacked yet – taking refuge in the feeble rationalization: “We haven’t been breached yet so we must be doing something right.”

Yeah, sure.

https://www.enterprisetech.com/2017/04/09/train-locomotives-without-wheels-moats-cyber-security-innovations/

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April 21, 2017

How to Implement Blended Learning in the K-12 Classroom

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by Matthew Lynch, tech Edvocate

First and foremost, educators need to know their students. Teachers at the K-12 level must be aware of the level of access to technology their students have at home. Blended learning will look very different in a school where the majority of students don’t have access to high-speed internet at home versus a school where every student can log in at home. For classrooms where most students can’t get online from home, blended learning is still an option. Teachers can set up a schedule where students alternate between digital and traditional learning modes in the classroom. Two or three days a week could be devoted to completing online activities, while the remaining days might look like a more traditional classroom.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/implement-blended-learning-k-12-classrooms/

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Using the ‘virtual’ to change the ‘reality’ of education

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BY CAMERON PROBERT, TRI-CITY HERALD

Jonah Firestone, a Washington State University assistant professor of science education, wants to use the equipment to explore ways that virtual reality can help students, teachers and the education process. “The lab is designed to look at the melding of virtual and augmented reality into education,” he said. The Virtual Integrated Technology for Assessment Learning laboratory opened recently with the help of a $50,000 grant from the WSU Tri-Cities chancellor’s office. Firestone, who spent 20 years teaching in public and private schools, said he became more interested in the role of technological advances in the classroom during his career. Virtual reality is just the latest form of computer technology to make its way into classrooms.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2017/04/07/virtual-reality-change-education/

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How to make sure your university’s online content is accessible to all

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BY LAURA ASCIONE, eCampus News

A new whitepaper from 3PlayMedia delves into some of the accessibility issues and offers guidance. Students and faculty who are deaf or have hearing challenges, who are blind or have low vision, who are color blind, or who have physical disabilities or temporary disabilities (such as those due to injury) all require accessibility features to help them consume digital information. Thirty-three percent of students enrolled in four-year institutions complete a bachelor’s degree, compared with 48 percent of students without disabilities. A 2011 World Health Organization report notes that 1 in 5 Americans age 12 or older have hearing loss significant enough to interfere with day-to-day communications.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/curriculum/university-content-accessible/

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April 20, 2017

Researchers find millions of .edu accounts, passwords available on Dark Web

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by Roger Riddell, Education Dive

A recent report from the Digital Citizens Alliance shows 14 million .edu email addresses and email passwords from the 300 largest higher ed institutions in the U.S. were available for sale on the “Dark Web.” Campus Technology reports that 11 million of those uncovered in the most recent search of the Dark Web were found in the last year, and that many of the user names and passwords were likely compromised when users accessed them in non-academic settings. Hacktivist organization Team GhostShell’s leader, a 25-year-old Romanian hacker nicknamed “Dead-Mellox,” provided researchers behind the report with insights on the vulnerability of .edu addresses, as well as the surplus of valuable data, intellectual property and research that higher ed institutions have compared to commercial businesses or government agencies.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/researchers-find-millions-of-edu-accounts-passwords-available-on-dark-web/439711/

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School innovator incorporates blended learning in teacher training

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By Corinne Lestch, EdScoop

Yorktown Community Schools has a culture of “embracing what’s next.” Those are words from the district’s director of eLearning and Curricular Innovation, Holly Stachle. “All of our stakeholders, including students, parents and the administration, are accepting of a 21st century learning environments.” Stachler was named a NextGen Leader by the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) and EdScoop in a national program to recognize rising leaders in K-12 education technology. She will be recognized along with her fellow finalists at the annual CoSN conference this month in Chicago. Stachler plays a key role in development curriculum and policy, and she has to some extent filled the capacity of technology director. She also does all the professional development for teachers on new tools and devices.

http://edscoop.com/school-innovator-incorporates-blended-learning-in-teacher-training-at-indiana-district

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Computing Devices to Remain Stagnant as Traditional PCs Slide Ever Downward

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By David Nagel, Campus Technology

Worldwide, enthusiasm for new computing devices seems to be tapering off. According to a new report from market research firm Gartner, overall device shipments will remain flat in 2017, even as traditional PCs (including laptops) go into a decline that’s forecast to last at least through 2019. According to Gartner, in 2016, 50 million ultramobile premium devices shipped. In 2017, that will climb to 60 million, followed by 72 million in 2018 and 82 million in 2019. Traditional PCs, including laptops, meanwhile, will crumble from 220 million devices in 2016 to 205 million this year, then drop down to 196 million in 2018 and 191 million in 2019.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/04/06/computing-devices-to-remain-stagnant-as-traditional-pcs-slide-ever-downward.aspx

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April 19, 2017

The Hidden Costs of Active Learning

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By Thomas Mennell, Campus Technology

Flipped and active learning truly are a better way for students to learn, but they also may be a fast track to instructor burnout. I end every publication and every talk with the catchphrase “I’ll never teach another way again,” and I mean it. Students learn more deeply, more effectively, and they integrate material much more through a flipped/active learning format than with more traditional, lecture-based instruction. To teach in any other way, to me, seems almost unethical — especially given how much money today’s college student spends on his/her education. How could I deliver an inferior product to my students when I know that flipped learning is so much better? That said, there are many days when I wish I’d never heard of flipped learning at all — times when I wish I actually could teach another way again.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/04/05/the-hidden-costs-of-active-learning.aspx

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Using Simulations to Create Virtual Learning Experiences

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by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

There are many types of simulations that can help instruct children, teens, and college students. For example, there are flight simulators that can be used to help highlight different areas, such as the historic flight of Amelia Earhart across the Atlantic Ocean and various Physics concepts. Simulations do not have to be expensive. With a little research, you are likely to find a free or low-cost online simulation that will help students better understand concepts and ideas. For example, you can teach about the stock market, economics, and business management on SimCEO. There are interview simulators to help students get practice when applying for a job. There are even simulations that are designed to help students sympathize with someone being bullied and help to resolve the problem in a positive way.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/using-simulations-create-virtual-learning-experiences/

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Carl Sandburg college offers new online degree with help from robots

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BY JESYKA DERETA, WQAD

Courses like labs and speech caused hurdles for an online degree because those classes were required to be taken in person. Now, students can take those classes and many others through a robot! It’s all made possible by a telepresence that allows students to be enrolled online but go to class in person if they are struggling with a topic or course. Students go to class in person or as the robot through Skype on a wireless computer or tablet on wheels. The robot is controlled by the student on a computer from wherever they choose. “With the robot, it can wheel up and be a part of the group and the student’s face is on the screen. They can talk to the group and the person feel like they are there. It’s really cool,” said Lori Sundberg, President of Carl Sandburg.

http://wqad.com/2017/04/06/carl-sandburg-college-offers-online-degree-with-help-from-robot-technology/

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April 18, 2017

The 7 Deadly Sins of Online Learning (And 7 Ways to Repent)

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By Sydney Johnson, EdSurge

Education technology is riddled with temptations and false promises. But if you ask Mark Brown, a professor and director of the National Institute for Digital Learning at Dublin City University in Ireland, problems such as falling for hype around new technology is an absolute moral dilemma. He’s caved in before. “I have a personal confession,” Brown admitted in his keynote address at OLC Innovate happening this week in New Orleans. “I am a very big sinner.” Yet like any confessional, Brown also offered ways to repent from what he called “the seven deadly sins of online learning.” Feeling a bit guilty ourselves (and perhaps inspired by the home of the Saints), we caught up with Brown afterwards for some advice on ways to return to the righteous path.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-04-06-the-7-deadly-sins-of-online-learning-and-7-ways-to-repent

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Survey: To get more women in STEM, hire more female faculty

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by Roger Riddell, Education Dive

A recent CDW survey of 300 college women that examined both those majoring in STEM and those who left their STEM major suggests a lack of female role models, including instructors, in these fields is a primary deterrent to their pursuit. Among the survey’s findings are that 63% of female STEM majors question their abilities, close to 50% say their gender resulted in harder experiences, and 20% aren’t sure they’ll remain in STEM majors through graduation, Ed Tech: Focus on Higher Ed reports. Along with providing more female role models, researchers say the image of scientists, engineers and others in STEM fields needs to be broadened beyond negative stereotypes like that of the male “Dungeons and Dragons” nerd.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/women-stem-female-faculty-role-models/439955/

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Online and Digital Education: Enhancing Access to Higher Education in the 21st Century

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by Vistasp Karbhari, The EvoLLLution

The barriers to extending access to higher education are lower than ever with the vast and rapid evolution of online education opportunities, but it’s up to institutions to adopt these offerings and create new pathways to postsecondary credentials.The 1862 Morrill Land Grant Act is often considered the landmark in the democratization of higher education, assuring postsecondary access to more than the privileged few and ensuring, simultaneously, the education of scholars and the training of a highly skilled workforce. Over 150 years later we need to re-envision the implementation of the concepts put forward through the grand purpose of that step and the series of Acts that followed (Hatch Act of 1887, Morrill Act of 1890, Smith-Lever Act of 1914) in light of today’s technology and needs.

http://evolllution.com/revenue-streams/distance_online_learning/online-and-digital-education-enhancing-access-to-higher-education-in-the-21st-century/

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