Techno-News Blog

February 19, 2018

How Penn State student government aims to lower textbook prices, accomplish semester goals

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by Anshika Agrawal, The Daily Collegian

“We are trying to work with different universities in the state to address how we can lower the cost of textbook prices, whether that be using an older edition of a textbook or using online editions,” said Andrew Ahr, the UPUA College of Arts and Architecture representative. One of their initiatives involves lowering textbook costs, known as Open Educational Resources. “[OER is] a huge thing that schools across the Big Ten… are looking into right now because they’re trying to make a huge shift [from] print resources towards online, more affordable resources,” UPUA At-Large Representation Sophie Haiman said.

http://www.collegian.psu.edu/news/campus/article_472f8e3c-0b7e-11e8-8688-df19262c0491.html

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A Teen Ahead of His Class

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By: Taylor Williams, Wabash Valley]

It’s certainly not the way most teens do it, but this 15 year old started and ended high school in the same school year, all without stepping foot in a classroom. On most days this is where you’ll find 15 year old Walter Wildman, typing away on his computer. But Walter is not your typical 15 year old. In January Walter graduated high school. “Are you sure? Most of the reactions are, are you sure it’s accredited or are you lying,” Walter Wildman said.   But it’s true.

http://www.mywabashvalley.com/news/a-teen-ahead-of-his-class/952948375

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Distance Learning Discussed at MU

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By BETSY SMITH, KBIA

The University of Missouri Board of Curators discussed problems and goals of distance learning and collaboration among campuses at a meeting on Friday morning at the Columbia Campus. Choi wants to increase the number of online courses and programs offered. The board of curators says more online classes are necessary for student flexibility. Curator David Steelman says the four campuses need to find a way to use distance learning so students can graduate on time. The board of curators’ task force will work on solving problems and removing boundaries from online courses among the four campuses.

http://kbia.org/post/distance-learning-discussed-mu#stream/0

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February 18, 2018

As companies step up to train workers in rapidly changing technologies, can universities keep up?

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by Patti Zarling, Education Dive
Apple’s co-founder joins growing pool of tech wonks launching independent programs to fill skills gap. Steve “Woz” Wozniak, a co-founder of Apple, has joined a growing pool of business leaders looking to take matters to upgrade higher education to meet the needs of today’s tech industries into his own hands. As businesses — including those outside of Silicon Valley — require employees with specialized computer, engineering and tech skills, alternative education programs are popping up to provide training for 21st century jobs some say traditional colleges, mired in 19th century teaching styles, aren’t prepared to meet.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/as-companies-step-up-to-train-workers-in-rapidly-changing-technologies-can/514208/

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Ten Habits of Tech-Savvy Schools

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by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Here are the ten habits of tech-savvy schools so you can see how yours measures up.

  1. They make ongoing professional development a priority. When it comes to technology, last year’s hot new trend is this year’s old news. Successful schools provide ongoing, quality training to help educators keep up.
  2. They invest in the right equipment. Tech-savvy schools make solid investments in equipment that meets their needs, whether it be interactive whiteboards, tablets, and/or a Chromebook for every student. Funds are allocated thoughtfully and wisely.
  3. Technology use is frequent and widespread. When you visit the classrooms in a tech-savvy school, you see that almost everyone is using technology in some form, whether it be the middle-school Social Studies teacher giving a PowerPoint presentation or a third-grader using an app to predict the weather….. See the link below for the rest.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/10-habits-tech-savvy-schools/

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Experts Answer: Who Is Actually Going to Suffer From Automation?

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by Kristin Houser, Futurism

High-risk fields are retail, fast food, agriculture, customer service,  accounting, marketing, management consulting, investment management, finance, higher education, insurance, and architecture. Specific jobs include security guards, long-haul truck drivers, manual laborers, construction workers, paralegals, CPAs, radiologists, and administrative workers. Technology is going to continue to advance, and in reality, all of us are going to have become life-long learners, constantly upgrading our skills. The most important skills to have will be knowing how to be highly efficient at iterative learning — “unlearning and relearning” — and develop high emotional and social intelligence.

Experts Answer: Who Is Actually Going to Suffer From Automation?

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February 17, 2018

Your New Best Friend: AI Chatbot

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by Kristen C. French, Futurism

Today, the Replika chatbot is available for free for anyone over the age of 18 (it’s prohibited for ages 13 and younger, and requires parental supervision for ages 13 to 18). More than 500,000 people are now signed up to chat with the bot. To do so, users tap the app icon — a white egg hatching on a purple background — on their smartphones and start the conversation where they left off. Each Replika bot chats only with its owner, who assigns it a name, and, if the user wants, a gender. Many users are members of a closed Facebook group, where they share screenshots of text conversations they’ve had with their Replikas and post comments, claiming their Replika is “a better friend than my real friends ” or asking “Has anyone else’s AI decided that it has a soul?”

https://futurism.com/ai-chatbot-meaningful-conversation/ 

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4 Steps to driving a successful digital transformation

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by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Digital transformation in our schools is no longer just something it would be nice to have in the future. The rapid changes in the world around us make it a necessity here in the present. If your school or district has not yet undertaken the task, there is a good chance your students are leaving school unprepared for the challenges they will face in the 21st century. But the process is far from easy. When you take into consideration concerns about the budget, infrastructure, and training, it can seem impossible.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/4-steps-driving-successful-digital-transformation/

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New Cybersecurity Course Teaches Teens the ABCs of (Ethical) Hacking

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By Stephen Noonoo, EdSurge

The key to better online security—as with other social problems and malaise—is better education, argues one education entrepreneur who believes that schools are in a unique position to reach both tomorrow’s consumer and potential security expert. “Pretty much every week you’ll hear about a major hack in the news,” says Jeremy Keeshin, the CEO of CodeHS. “And most people don’t know even the ABCs of how to create a secure password.” Keeshin’s company is perhaps best known for a series of introductory coding courses it offers on programming languages such as Javascript and Python. But starting this fall it’s adding something new to its roster: a cybersecurity course for high schoolers.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2018-02-02-new-cybersecurity-course-teaches-teens-the-abcs-of-ethical-hacking

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February 16, 2018

Goodwill®, Google.org And Coursera Join Forces On Tech Support Training

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by Goodwill Industries

Goodwill is kicking off a collaboration with Google.org and Coursera, a leading online education provider, to help people obtain the skills they need to start careers in IT. Eighteen local, autonomous Goodwill organizations are now recruiting applicants age 17 and older to earn the Google IT Support Professional Certificate. This credential is designed to take beginning students to job readiness in 8 to 12 months using a Coursera platform, with content created exclusively by Google. Google.org is providing financial assistance to 10,000 learners over the next year. The scholarships will be awarded through nonprofit partners, including Goodwill organizations across the country.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/goodwill-googleorg-and-coursera-join-forces-on-tech-support-training-300592293.html

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How to sharpen your students’ digital citizenship skills

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by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Teachers have a significant role in teaching students’ digital citizenship skills that will extend beyond the classroom. Digital citizenship is using technology responsibly and ethically. As students use digital tools regularly, they need to understand the importance of using digital content appropriately. Therefore, teachers need to implement lessons on digital citizenship into the classroom. Digital citizenship skills should be taught beginning in elementary school with these skills growing and sharpening as students move towards high school and college. In this article, we will focus on explaining three goals to help students become mindful digital citizens.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/sharpen-students-digital-citizenship-skills/

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Startup Of The Week: Quizlet

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by Tomas Laurinavicius, Forbes

Meet Andrew Sutherland, the founder and CTO of Quizlet, the user-powered learning platform used by more than 30 million students and teachers each month. Andrew founded Quizlet in 2005 while a sophomore at Albany High School in California, originally building a simple website to help himself study French vocabulary. He studied computer science at MIT, which he left after three years to continue working on Quizlet. As CTO, Andrew is in charge of building the technology that powers more than 200 million study sets and allows millions of students to learn more efficiently. In 2012 and 2013, he was featured in Forbes Magazine’s 30 under 30 List for Education.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomaslaurinavicius/2018/01/30/startup-of-the-week-quizlet/

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February 15, 2018

Is Amazon dipping into higher ed?

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By Shalina Chatlani, Education Dive
Candace Thille, a leading expert in learning science and education technology, has taken a leave of absence from Stanford University to be Amazon’s director of learning science and engineering, according to Inside Higher Ed.  Thille — who is the founding director of the Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University — is to work with Amazon’s Global Learning Development Team to enhance workplace learning for employees, though a company spokesperson told Inside Higher Ed that Thille is “taking time away” to work on another project she is “not really at liberty to discuss.”

https://www.educationdive.com/news/is-amazon-dipping-into-higher-ed/515837/

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Harvard Is Offering a Popular Online Architecture Course for Free

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By Jessica Stewart, Modern Met

Ever wondered what it would be like to take a class at Harvard? If you’re interested in architecture, you’ll be thrilled to hear that Harvard’s Graduate School of Design is offering its popular course, The Architectural Imagination, for free online. From the comfort of your own home, you’ll get the benefit of Harvard’s world-class faculty teaching the fundamentals of architecture. The 10-week course is designed to teach you “how to ‘read’ architecture as a cultural expression as well as a technical achievement.” Students can elect to enroll in the online course free of charge or pay $99 to receive a verified certificate upon completion. And, if you are an architect enrolled in the American Institute of Architects, the course can be used toward continuing education credits.

Harvard Is Offering a Popular Online Architecture Course for Free

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February 14, 2018

Knewton Releases $44 Adaptive Digital Textbooks

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By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Ed tech company Knewton has launched a collection of digital courseware that integrates its adaptive technology with open education resources, with the intention of selling directly to instructors and students. Previously, the company licensed its adaptive functionality to textbook publishers for integration with their course content. Under the new strategy, the company noted, it could own “all aspects of the user experience” and “make a greater impact on outcomes and affordability.” Each title in the new line costs $44 for two years of digital access.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/01/25/knewton-releases-44-adaptive-digital-textbooks.aspx

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5 ways edtech is democratizing education

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by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Technology permeates every aspect of our lives today. So it’s not surprising that these advances are now revolutionizing our educational system, too. The results are more far-reaching than anyone could have predicted. Here are some of the ways in which edtech is levelling the playing field, making quality educational experiences available to all.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/5-ways-edtech-democratizing-education/

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5 ways to stay motivated when you are distance learning

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by Study International
Distance learning is on the rise. But with online learning comes a need for (plenty of) self-motivation. Learning from home comes with many great benefits. You have near-total flexibility over your working hours, you don’t have to change out of your pyjamas if you don’t want to, you can have snacks whenever you want and, more importantly, you can even pursue other ventures like work or travel. But it isn’t without it’s drawbacks too. In the world of online learning you need to be dedicated, focused and committed. So here are five tips to keep yourself in tip-top shape.

5 ways to stay motivated when you are distance learning

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February 13, 2018

Boot camps saw 50% growth in 2017

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The boot camp industry shouldn’t be counted out, despite a year plagued by a number of closures and bad press, Inside Higher Ed reports. Estimated growth of the sector topped 50% last year, according to Course Report. Despite some setbacks in 2017, the industry is growing, not shrinking, and still leaving its mark on higher education as a whole — and potentially encroaching on some of the available public and private funding available to provide career and technical training to low-income students. The new Forever GI Bill signed into law by President Donald Trump in August 2017 takes effect this year, and provides for a $75 million experiment to allow nontraditional credential providers — including boot camps — to train veterans for tech careers. The House version of the PROSPER Act also includes proposals to make Pell grants and other funding available to those who want to attend boot camps and other nontraditional programs.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/boot-camps-saw-50-growth-in-2017/515990/

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A Product at Every Price: A Review of MOOC Stats and Trends in 2017

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by Dhawal Shah, Class Central

The MOOC landscape has grown to include 9,400 courses, more than 500 MOOC-based credentials, and more than a dozen graduate degrees. The total number of MOOCs available to register for at any point of time is larger than ever, thanks to tweaks in the scheduling policy by MOOC providers. However, for the first time we are seeing a slowdown in the number of new learners, which is a direct result of a shift in priorities towards users who are willing to pay. According to data gathered by Class Central, around 20 million new learners signed up for their first MOOC in 2017. That’s fewer than the 23 million new learners who registered for a MOOC in 2016. The total number of MOOC learners is now 78 million.

A Product at Every Price: A Review of MOOC Stats and Trends in 2017

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Navigate an Online Course’s Learning Management System

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By Jordan Friedman, US News

Online education typically isn’t any easier than learning on a physical campus. Rather, it’s a different type of experience. Instead of attending classes in person, students in online degree programs primarily complete coursework and communicate virtually through a platform referred to as a learning management system. Online students can generally access course materials, contact student services, track their progress in classes and submit assignments, among other things. “The learning management system for an online course is the student’s campus, to a certain extent, or their classroom,” says Karen Ferguson, vice provost at Colorado State University—Global Campus.

https://www.usnews.com/higher-education/online-education/articles/2018-01-29/navigate-an-online-course-learning-management-system-as-a-student

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February 12, 2018

What Role for Higher Ed in an AI World?

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by Grace Bird, Inside Higher Ed

A little more than half of both blue- and white-collar American workers think they’ll need more education to find a similar job if they lose theirs to new technology. However, only 18 percent of employed Americans feel “extremely confident” about securing this additional education. To Joseph Aoun, president of Northeastern University, colleges need to adapt to the impending artificial intelligence revolution. This means institutions must teach humans to become “robot-proof” (as the title of Aoun’s book suggests) or in other words, “to do the jobs only humans can do.” “Universities with the audacity to change represent humanity’s best chance to win the jobs of the future,” Aoun wrote.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/01/31/many-americans-feel-positive-about-artificial-intelligence-study-says

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