Techno-News Blog

April 19, 2018

Are campus innovation centers serving all students?

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by Jarrett Carter, Education Dive
Carnegie Mellon, Brown, Connecticut and Iowa State universities, among others, have invested millions of dollars in creating campus innovations centers. Their goal is to attract nontraditional business students to campus for entrepreneurial development, and to create a pipeline of corporate partnership to the campuses, according to a recent article from the Chronicle of Higher Education.  Between 2008 and 2016, Carnegie Mellon helped to launch 250 companies mostly comprised of faculty members and staff from the college of engineering and schools of business and computer science. This representation, some say, is a limitation for centers as they largely attract white males from STEM disciplines.  Matthew Mayhew, a professor of educational administration at Ohio State University, said in the article that universities should encourage students who become involved with innovation centers to also align with other campus activities, which helps diversify skill sets necessary for entrepreneurial success. “The central idea is still the same,” he said. “Students can actually learn the steps in how to take an idea and roll it out to execution. And those steps aren’t necessarily just about developing a strategic business plan.”

https://www.educationdive.com/news/are-campus-innovation-centers-serving-all-students/520353/

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Trump says he ‘doesn’t know what a community college means’

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by Autumn A. Arnett, Education Dive
In a speech, President Donald Trump expressed a desire to return to the days of vocational schools — both in name and function — saying he doesn’t know what a community college is, other than knowing it’s a two-year school. Touting the need for expanded financial aid to support “short-term training programs that equip Americans to succeed in construction and the skilled trades” during remarks on his infrastructure plan, the president said he knows what vocational “and technical perhaps” mean, but suggested the term “community college” is too nebulous. He again lauded the importance of apprenticeship programs as the key to workforce development, equating them more closely with technical and vocational training.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/trump-says-he-doesnt-know-what-a-community-college-means/520367/

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Report: Instructional Design Support Helps Increase Student-to-Student Interaction in Online Courses

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By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

When instructional designers are involved in online course design, student-to-student interaction goes up, according to a new survey of online education leaders from Quality Matters and Eduventures Research. The survey compared reported student interaction levels at institutions where instructional design support is required for online course development vs. those where such support is absent or optional. Perhaps not surprisingly, respondents perceived interactivity to be significantly higher for the former.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/04/02/report-instructional-design-support-helps-increase-student-to-student-interaction-in-online-courses.aspx

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April 18, 2018

University of Akron to lift the curtain on new esports program at forum in April

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By Joey Morona, cleveland.com
The University of Akron will unveil more details about its new esports program at a forum next month. The purpose of the event is “to discuss how the esports varsity teams and club will function, and how the program will contribute to the greater Akron area through community involvement,” a university spokesperson said in a release. Akron’s esports — or competitive video gaming — program is scheduled to launch this fall with both varsity and club teams. The varsity team will field between 50 to 55 players competing against other universities in games such as League of Legends, Overwatch, CS:GO, Hearthstone and Rocket League. Like other student-athletes, varsity esports players will be eligible for scholarships.

http://www.cleveland.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2018/03/university_of_akron_esports.html

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Why EdTech hasn’t solved education’s problems

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by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Many educators and teachers loudly espouse the innumerable benefits of edtech to solve today’s most prevalent classroom issues. Technology certainly does play a major role in the development of students and academics, but it doesn’t solve everything. In fact, there are a few major issues that still exist in today’s education system that edtech may be unable to solve.

Are you wondering why some of these issues still exist? Check out some of these reasons why edtech falls short in solving some of education’s most significant issues.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/why-edtech-hasnt-solved-educations-problems/

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Roving robot lets UCI student attend classes virtually while on bed rest

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By PRISCELLA VEGA, Los Angeles Times

The robot is self-balancing, with six- to eight-hour battery life. It sells for about $3,000. Members of UCI’s class of 2016 used their senior class gift to buy four telepresence robots for the university. Law and political science professor Rick Hasen described the experience with the Double 2 as unusual, but said it helped instill camaraderie in his class. In past years, Hasen said, classes would be recorded and students would watch later and email him with questions. “It wasn’t bad, but this was much better,” Hasen said.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-uci-robot-20180330-story.html

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April 17, 2018

Asynchronous Discussions, Group Projects Still Dominate in Online Courses

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By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Asynchronous discussions and group projects are the most important techniques currently used for online learning, according to a new survey of online education leaders from Quality Matters and Eduventures Research. When asked which online learning methods were most important at their institutions, respondents pointed to those two activities first, followed by problem-based learning, quizzes and research projects.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/03/30/asynchronous-discussions-group-projects-still-dominate-in-online-courses.aspx

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Working the Online Crowd: Humor and Teaching with Tech

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by Joe Barnhart, Campus Technology

Humor is a tough nut to crack. In the face-to-face classroom, it works great to keep the troops awake and actively breathing. Effective techniques include goofy activities, oddball writing assignments and witty comments. Prodding students into a laugh proved to be a viable strategy and I was very successful at it. What really helped was reading the class’s body language: those subtle shifts in attitude where I could deliver one of my dry zingers, producing the desired jovial results. Those experiences proved to me that humor was a dominating factor when creating an interactive classroom. So, moving to the online format was a little disconcerting. Could humor achieve the same responses online as in real life? Well, I’ve come to find out the answer is, “Absolutely!”

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/03/28/working-the-online-crowd-humor-and-teaching-with-tech.aspx

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Technology isn’t going to replace teachers anytime soon

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by John Sarkar, Times of India

There is this constant and misguided thought of technology as a replacement for teachers. Technology acts in one of two ways. One, it helps students in ways that teachers alone would not be able to, for example, on Toppr experts solve doubts for students at 4am, unthinkable without the platform. Two, technology amplifies the effect of teachers. A good teacher can now reach millions of students where he was earlier limited to the seats in his classroom. While technology will help an increasing number of kids learn better with less dependence on teachers, a teacherless future is very far away.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/people/technology-isnt-going-to-replace-teachers-anytime-soon/articleshow/63546486.cms

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April 16, 2018

What “The Right to Disconnect” Could Mean for Online Training

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By Cait Etherington, eLearning Inside

Last week, New York City Councilor Rafael Espinal proposed a law that would make it illegal for employers to expect employees to log-on to their work email accounts outside official work hours. If Espinal’s The Right to Disconnect bill passes, New York City will become the first North American jurisdiction but not the first jurisdiction worldwide to put the kibosh on after-hours work-related communications. Notably, similar legislation has been in place in France since late 2016.

What “The Right to Disconnect” Could Mean for Online Training

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How EdTech Leaders Can Model EdTech Best Practices

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by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

First, leaders can get serious about privacy and security. This means that they frequently change their passwords, use two-step authentication where it is available, and avoid falling for phishing schemes. Students and other stakeholders will know—sometimes in subtle ways (if they see a prompt for a far-overdue security update) and sometimes in not-so-subtle ways (if a leader has experienced identify theft)—if educational leaders are taking privacy and security seriously. Second, leaders need to demonstrate strong information literacy skills.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/how-education-leaders-can-model-edtech-best-practices/

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Telepresence Robots Give Online Students Better Way to Connect

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by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Distance and online learning are becoming major trends in higher education, as well as in the mandatory years of K12 schooling. When students are unable to make it into the physical classroom setting, they miss out on some of the most important aspects of academics, including making connections with other students through socialization. Connecting via social media or online message forums simply isn’t the same as having face-to-face interactions with like-minded peers. To solve this growing dilemma, developers started to create the basis for telepresence robots. The robots can take multiple forms depending on the model and manufacturer. Some allow for distance learners to show their face but are unable to maneuver themselves from place to place. More expensive models come standard with Segway wheels that can cart these “digital students” from one classroom to the next.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/telepresence-robots-give-online-students-better-way-connect/

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April 15, 2018

Weigh if a Part-Time MBA Program Is the Right Fit

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By Mariya Greeley, US News

There’s growing interest among prospective MBA students to study while working. While enrollment for full-time MBAs decreased significantly in the U.S. between 2005 and 2016, enrollment at part-time programs has risen nearly 20 percent, according to a survey of about 350 accredited business schools from AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Dan LeClair, executive vice president and chief strategy and innovation officer at AACSB, notes that the part-time numbers signal “some really important changes that are happening in higher education.” Increasingly, students seem to value the greater convenience of these programs as well as the ability to keep their jobs and salaries.

https://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/articles/2018-03-29/weigh-if-a-part-time-mba-program-is-the-right-fit

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Student engagement at the heart of new online charter school

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by Mindi Smith, Kokomo Herald
Indiana Agriculture & Technology School is a new tuition-free, statewide charter school that couples online learning with labs and project-based activities on a working farm.  Indiana Agriculture & Technology School is a new tuition-free, statewide charter school that couples online learning with labs and project-based activities on a working farm. Courtesy of Indiana Agriculture & Technology School
Those behind the Indiana Agriculture & Technology School say they’re changing the game for online schools. And they’re doing so by keeping the enrollment low and the student accountability high. IATS is a new tuition-free, statewide charter school that couples online learning with labs and project-based activities on a working farm.

http://kokomoherald.com/Content/Community/Community/Article/Student-engagement-at-the-heart-of-new-online-charter-school/32/759/32852

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Amazon to close TenMarks online education service after 2018-19 school year

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BY TODD BISHOP & FRANK CATALANO, Geekwire

Amazon will close its TenMarks online math and writing learning service after the 2018-2019 school year, the latest surprise twist in the tech giant’s foray into education technology. The company broke the news in emails to customers this week and in a message on the TenMarks website. “We’re winding down,” the announcement reads. “TenMarks will no longer be available after the 2018-2019 school year. Licenses for TenMarks Math and Writing will be honored through June 30, 2019.”

https://www.geekwire.com/2018/amazon-close-tenmarks-online-education-service-2018-19-school-year/

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April 14, 2018

What Motivates Good Teaching?

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by Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed

As it turns out, certain factors predict professors’ intrinsic and “identified” motivation for teaching (the latter form meaning doing something because it’s seen as important), in support of the authors’ conceptual model. And those kinds of “autonomous” motivations in turn predict greater use of proven, effective teaching methods — namely instructional clarity and higher-order, reflective and integrative, and collaborative learning. “Simply put, faculty who teach because they enjoy and value it tend to teach in the most effective ways,” said Robert H. Stupnisky, the study’s lead author and an associate professor of education and human development at the University of North Dakota.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/03/22/study-faculty-motivation-teaching-says-intrinsic-motivation-and-believing-teaching

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All education needs innovation

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by Kevin Miller, Detroit News
When the 21st Century Michigan Education Commission published a comprehensive report, the recommendations were bold. We must take these recommendations seriously. The report aims to position Michigan’s education system as a national leader in education and developing talent. One thing is clear: Innovation is needed, at all levels.

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/2018/03/29/michigan-education-innovation/33365391/

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Best Practices for Rollout of a Digital Device

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by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

When a school district decides to implement more edtech in their curriculum, it comes with a major hurdle everyone must face. How can you roll out all of these digital devices at once with the greatest success rates? This is one of the key issues at the heart of edtech programs in their early stages. However, it is crucial to handle this now so that your school district can take advantage of these helpful devices in the near future. Fortunately, plenty of school districts are already paving the way for the best practices in a digital device rollout. Following the example set by others can help you to implement your own rollout more effectively. You can take a few tips from some of these key concepts to help your device implementation move more smoothly.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/best-practices-for-a-digital-device-rollout/

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April 13, 2018

How can serious games enhance your training delivery?

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by Daniel Braithwaite, Virtual College

‘Serious games’ is one of the widely-used buzz phrases in 2018 digital learning resources, but what exactly does it mean for you and your learners? Many buzzwords and new concepts disappear almost as quickly as they arrive, but are serious games different? We at Virtual College believe that they are here for the long haul and, when used correctly, can have a huge impact on your learning and development strategy.

https://www.virtual-college.co.uk/news/virtual-college/2018/03/how-can-serious-games-enhance-your-training-delivery

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This U of A Indigenous history course is the most popular course in Canada

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by  Kyle Muzyka, CBC News

A course created one year ago by the University of Alberta was the most popular online course in Canada in 2017, and is already making inroads into how Canadians understand the history of Indigenous people. With almost 20,000 people enrolled, the free online 12-module course called Indigenous Canada teaches those from an Indigenous perspective. “A lot of Indigenous experiences in Canada have been silenced by a normative settler vision of Canada and the history of it,” said Paul Gareau, assistant professor with the U of A’s Native Studies program and the academic lead for the course.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/indigenous-canada-university-alberta-course-mooc-1.4598119

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Berkeley offers its fastest-growing course – data science – online, for free

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By Public Affairs, UC Berkeley
The fastest-growing course in UC Berkeley’s history — Foundations of Data Science — is being offered free online this spring for the first time through the campus’s online education hub, edX. Data science is becoming important to more and more people because the world is increasingly data-driven — and not just science and tech but the humanities, business and government. “You’ll learn to program when studying data science — but not for the primary purpose of building apps or games,” says Berkeley computer science Professor John DeNero.

http://news.berkeley.edu/2018/03/29/berkeley-offers-its-fastest-growing-course-data-science-online-for-free/

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