Techno-News Blog

May 27, 2018

How Can We Improve Accessibility Through Instructional Design?

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By Michael Sano, EdSurge

Regardless of how they represented their concepts, #DLNchat-ters agreed: accessibility starts at the beginning of the design process. Phyllis Brodsky put it this way, “The commitment to accessibility should be authentic, not rote, and up front, not an afterthought… Applying sound pedagogy that drives design and truly integrates UDL is foundational.”  Part of this process is considering the platform in which the course will be designed. As Albat pointed out, “Just the LMS can be a challenge in itself. Screen readers have an awful time with the separate sections.”

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2018-05-09-how-can-we-improve-accessibility-through-instructional-design-dlnchat

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Where Are All the Faculty in the Open Education Movement?

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By Jasmine Roberts, EdSurge

Open educational resources (OER) are gaining increasing popularity. And as an active member in what advocates define as the “open education movement,” I frequently hear about the growing dissatisfaction of textbook costs and pedagogical concerns among faculty about outdated course materials. When I attend professional gatherings on open education, however, instructors like myself are often the minority. Yet open educational materials impact faculty and students alike, and many instructors are using these resources today. So why are there so few practitioners actively involved in increasing open education?

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2018-05-16-where-are-all-the-faculty-in-the-open-education-movement

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Using Google to Maximize Student Organization and Productivity

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by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

In recent years, Google has positioned itself as a powerful presence in the educational sector. Since an increasing number of students are using Chromebooks and other Google products, it makes sense to select organization and productivity tools from Google to ensure compatibility. Here are four ideas for using Google to maximize student organization and productivity:

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/using-google-to-maximize-student-organization-and-productivity/

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May 26, 2018

20 skills that are quickly gaining traction in the freelance job market — and the online courses to learn them

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Mara Leighton, Business Insider

Freelancing is a competitive field, and without face-to-face interactions, it can be disproportionately difficult to discern what employers want from you. Upwork, the world’s largest freelancing site, compiled a list of the 20 fastest-growing skills in the freelance job market in 2018. Below are the 20 top skills accompanied by online courses you can take to develop and demonstrate your ability.

http://www.businessinsider.com/best-freelance-skills-to-get-jobs-upwork-2018

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Indications that EdTech May Not Be a Strategic Investment

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By Cait Etherington, eLearning Inside

The edtech market has seen rapid growth over the past decade, but is edtech actually a good investment? On the one hand, the rapid growth in some areas of the edtech market suggests that it is a strong investment option. The coding academy market, for example, has seen over 900% growth since it first appeared around 2011. Many MOOC and LMS companies such as Coursera, Udacity, and Instructure also continue to perform well. On the other hand, there are signs that edtech may not offer returns high enough to ultimately attract and hold the interest of big investors. On this account, two recent events are especially alarming.

Indications that EdTech May Not Be a Strategic Investment

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The Good Life and Open Online Learning: MOOCs after the hype.

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By Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

MOOCs are one more platform that faculty can use for public engagement. An advantage of MOOCs is that this public engagement can be interactive, two-way, and participatory. Good open online courses have high levels of engagement. Much of the connections formed in a MOOC are between and across learners. Still, these are real learning communities. There are many other complementary advantages to open online education. Well run MOOC programs will help advance the core residential, blended, and online teaching on the campuses in which they originate. MOOCs can be opportunities to develop new materials – such as simulations and assessments – that can be re-purposed for traditional (small-scale) courses.

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology-and-learning/good-life-and-open-online-learning

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May 25, 2018

A future proof degree? Artificial Intelligence is now a major at this university

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By Greg Nichols, ZD Net

The new degree is touted as the first of its kind in the nation, and it takes dead aim at a high-salary computer science job market primed for growth. It’s also in line with a trend toward increasing specialization within American undergraduate computer science programs.  Numbered are the days when BS candidates choose among a small handful of computer science tracks and graduate as generalists. “Specialists in artificial intelligence have never been more important, in shorter supply or in greater demand by employers,” according to Andrew Moore, dean of the School of Computer Science.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/a-future-proof-degree-artificial-intelligence-is-now-a-major-at-this-university/

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Google Duplex beat the Turing test: Are we doomed?

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By David Gewirtz, ZD Net

Google’s new Duplex AI sounds human, with stammers, pauses, and all. It could be a useful addition to Google Assistant or the harbinger of something much more dark and worrisome. Two years before his death, Turing was thinking about the relationship between human and computer intelligence. Today, that concept is part of everyday life, as AI permeates everything from GPS to video games to the behavior of apps on our phones. Back then, the idea that a device the size of a house designed to break codes could, someday, imitate human intelligence was about as far thinking as you could get. Turing not only understood and pioneered the idea of AI, but created some metrics by which we could judge whether we’d actually gotten to the point where AI was intelligent.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/google-duplex-beat-the-turing-test-are-we-doomed/

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The Quantum Internet and Quantum Computers: How Will They Change the World?

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by TU Delft, edX

There is no doubt that quantum computers and the quantum internet will have a great impact on our world. But we don’t yet know quite how. As with traditional computers – we will only see the effects in the decades to come. This course will provide you with a basic understanding of quantum computing and the quantum internet. Together, we’ll peek into the fascinating world of quantum phenomena, such as qubits, superposition, and entanglement. We’ll envision the potential impact of quantum computing and the quantum internet.

https://www.edx.org/course/the-quantum-internet-and-quantum-computers-how-will-they-change-the-world

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May 24, 2018

What are higher-ed’s analytics priorities?

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BY LAURA ASCIONE, eCampus News

Higher-ed leaders are increasingly focused on institutional analytics, despite challenges associated with implementing enterprise-wide programs, according to a new Ellucian survey of 200 college presidents, provosts, CFOs, CTOs, and CIOs. Fifty-eight percent of surveyed leaders say institutional analytics that improve operational efficiency are of greater priority than learning analytics that will improve student outcomes, according to What Will It Take to Build an Analytics-Driven Campus? Analytics priorities seem to differ by role, with presidents, CFOs, and CIOs focusing on improved learning outcomes; provosts are focused on improved retention and completion; and CTOs are concerned with improved operational efficiency.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/ed-tech-leadership/hed-analytics-program/

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Unbundling the 4-year degree: How to design education for the future

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BY KELSEA KIERSTEAD, eCampus News
Countless organizations are rethinking how students learn and earn skills in postsecondary education.  Employers are in desperate need of skilled workers to address current employee shortages and prepare for projected disruption in the workplace. For example, artificial intelligence will create 2.3 million jobs while eliminating 1.8 million by 2020, according to a 2017 Gartner report. To fill jobs now while preparing for the future, countless organizations are rethinking how students learn and earn skills in postsecondary education. Such a change requires new mindsets for institutions and businesses.

Unbundling the 4-year degree: How to design education for the future

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How to overcome 10 digital learning challenges

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by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Digital learning is becoming almost commonplace in classrooms across America; however, you will still come across opposition. While studies suggest digital learning is changing education for the better, it does not mean that digital learning is without problems. Ask any teacher who has ever attempted to use technology or digital resources in his or her classroom, and you will be told about a time when technology let them down. And, yet, even with the digital learning challenges teachers face, most are willing to deal with them to make their classroom a digital learning environment. Today, let’s take some time to look at some of the more common digital learning challenges and discuss ways to overcome them.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/how-to-overcome-10-digital-learning-challenges/

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May 23, 2018

Racial Diversity in EdTech: Little Data Available and A Lot of Work Ahead

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By Cait Etherington

It is a widely known fact that in tech, the vast majority of employees in tech and leadership roles are still White and male. An April 2018 article posted on Recode reported that at Microsoft, Intel, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google, Black employees across genders represent less than 5% of the workforce and Latinx employees represent less than 10% of the workforce. In leadership and tech roles, the numbers are even more dismal. At Google, for example, Black and Latinx employees represent only 2% of the leadership team and only 1 and 3% of tech roles respectively. But does racial diversity in edtech reflect the numbers in the tech sector at large?

Racial Diversity in EdTech: Little Data Available and A Lot of Work Ahead

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Robot U: The First American A.I. Undergrad Program is Here, and Already Incredibly Elite

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by Foster Kamer, Futurism

As if the point needs belaboring, but sure: The future of technology, no matter how far down the line you trace it, will inevitably run into A.I. at some point. So it’s fitting — if not overdue — that an established, esteemed American university would offer up an undergraduate degree in artificial intelligence. And that school is Carnegie Mellon University, of course. Per the MIT Tech Review, the program will be run out of the college’s School of Computer Science. It’ll involve the social and ethical impacts of A.I. as much as it will computational learning, along with the technical knowhow to have a decent grasp on what the future of A.I. is going to be, and maybe practical work on some of it, too (as a precursor to joining CMU’s top-flight status as the graduate school for A.I.).

 

Robot U: The First American A.I. Undergrad Program is Here, and Already Incredibly Elite

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What Do These Business School Deans Really Think About The Online MBA?

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by Marco De Novellis, Business Because

Online MBA programs have traditionally been seen as secondary to campus-based courses. But now more and more UK business schools are investing in online. Today’s business schools have woken up to the importance of flexible, affordable alternatives to classroom-based study. In the workplace, everything is online. So why shouldn’t business education be too? Still, every business school is different. Some schools offer 100%-online MBA programs; some offer online MBA programs with residential components; some schools don’t offer online MBA programs at all. BusinessBecause caught up with business school deans and MBA directors across the UK—one of the more developed markets for distance-learning—and asked them one simple question: what do you really think about the online MBA?

https://www.businessbecause.com/news/mba-distance-learning/5280/business-school-deans-online-mba

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May 22, 2018

46 states, 56 countries represented in UI iMBA’s first graduating class

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by Adalberto Toledo, News Gazette
On Saturday, May 12th, the University of Illinois hosted a graduation ceremony for dozens of MBA students who may have never set foot on campus before. These aren’t your typical MBA students. They’re “iMBA” students, part of an online-only, UI-taught MBA program, and 73 percent of them don’t live in Illinois. Most of these mothers, veterans and first-generation college students have life constraints preventing them from doing traditional coursework on campus. The average student brings 12 years of professional experience and is between 22 and 61 years old.

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2018-05-09/46-states-56-countries-represented-ui-imbas-first-graduating-class.html

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The best 3D printers for the K-12 classroom

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by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

3D printing has created many exciting activities for the classroom, and teachers are itching to get their hands on one. And, who can blame them? 3D printers allow teachers to bring lessons to life in a way that students can see. Plus, kids love them! Even better, they are now much more affordable than when they first hit the market making it possible for schools to purchase them for makerspaces or individual classrooms.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/best-3d-printers-for-the-k-12-classroom/

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Online Programs Gain Users in Arkansas

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by Marty Cook, Arkansas Business

LaTonya Cockrell is one of Michael Moore’s favorite success stories. The success, of course, is Cockrell’s, but Moore loves what her story illustrates about the power of online learning. Moore is chief academic and operating officer at eVersity, the University of Arkansas System’s online-only university, and loves to show how the availability of online education can change lives. Cockrell, 43, was working as a server at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute atop Petit Jean Mountain in Morrilton when she decided she wanted to go back to college and earn a degree. Her options were limited; she had two young children at home, limited resources and no desire to sit in a classroom for hours when she could be working or raising her son and daughter. Cockrell, who had attended college in the early 1990s, earned an associate’s degree and will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in information technology in December. She won’t be job hunting, though, because the institute hired her in February as an IT associate to help run its myriad conferences and symposiums.

http://www.arkansasbusiness.com/article/121896/online-programs-gain-users-in-arkansas

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May 21, 2018

Stackable degrees could be the future of higher education, experts say

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by Shalina Chatlani, Education Dive
The alternative credential market is growing and the pace will not slow down, higher education experts said during a Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board briefing last week about the Higher Education Act. One of the panelists, Scott Pulsipher, president of Western Governors University, said that around “two-thirds of jobs are going to require some postsecondary credential, while only about 42% of adults currently have any postsecondary credential of any sort.”  Van Ton-Quinlivan, vice chancellor of the California Community Colleges, added to these sentiments during the briefing, noting that she has seen the demand for “booster shot” credentials in the workplace especially as new technologies continue to be introduce. “As we begin to see the economy shift in that direction,’ she said, “people will be building up portfolios and reputations that are beyond how we treat credentials in the current day.”

https://www.educationdive.com/news/stackable-degrees-could-be-the-future-of-higher-education-experts-say/

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Columbia College is eliminating book costs, fees for adult students

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by Ian Nickens, KOMU

Adult classes at Columbia College are now going to cost just one fee for courses, and that fee covers everything. Starting in the 2018 fall semester, evening and online undergraduate students will only pay $375 per credit hour for classes, and that includes books. “We found a way to essentially negotiate in bulk with the publishers,” said Columbia College President Scott Dalrymple. “The college itself is buying the textbooks and we’re passing those savings along to the students.” Columbia College calls this new way of charging tuition “Truition.” The program is meant to give students who are also balancing a job an easier way to afford their education. “Truition applies to all the other students we have across the country who are generally coming part-time and for whom fees and books are significant costs and barriers to going to college,” Dalrymple said.

http://www.komu.com/news/columbia-college-is-cutting-tuition-for-adult-students

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State of the Commons

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by Creative Commons
The past few years have been transformative for Creative Commons. In 2015, we set out with an ambitious new strategy to nurture a vibrant, usable Commons powered by collaboration and gratitude. Our ambition is fueled by our technology projects and an energetic and productive global community. Each of CC’s initiatives works in support of this goal, unleashing the potential of the Commons through the work of our committed global communities. In 2017, we hosted our largest Global Summit yet, organized by our community and supported by new sponsors and donors. With your guidance, we redesigned the Creative Commons Global Network in a massive, collaborative, international process, and we built new online infrastructure to support this unprecedented expansion of the movement for sharing. Our new engineering team shipped the CC Search beta and established new partnerships to expand our reach. We launched an exciting certification program, meeting demand for the course from librarians and educators around the world. We fought against the TPP and for copyright reform in Europe, and helped national governments adopt open education policies.

https://stateof.creativecommons.org/

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