Techno-News Blog

February 21, 2019

Georgia Tech Is Creating the Next in Education

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by Ray Schroeder, Inside Higher Ed
With its online master’s in computer science and its recent commitment to a lifetime of education for its students, Georgia Tech challenges MIT as most innovative university.  Georgia Tech’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, Rafael L. Bras, gave the charge to the Commission on Creating the Next in Education that put a focus on deliberate innovation and lifetime education. Part of the final report released last year is a universitywide commitment to lifetime education. Bras says, “Because of the Georgia Tech Commitment, future generations of learners will no longer say, ‘I got out,’ but instead will happily say, ‘I’m forever in.’” I encourage you to read the final report for inspiration.

https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/blogs/online-trending-now/georgia-techs-bid-be-leader-university-innovation-opinion

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Six Strategic Steps to Digital Learning Success

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By John Watson, EdSurge

Shiny new technologies can capture well-meaning educators like insects in amber, but the evidence is clear that digital learning can improve student opportunities and outcomes. The key is building the basic foundation of understanding and planning. Below I outline six strategic steps that will point school leaders as well as classroom teachers toward digital learning success.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2019-02-11-six-strategic-steps-to-digital-learning-success

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IBM invests $2B for SUNY artificial intelligence hub

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Ben Unglesbee, Education Dive
IBM will invest $2 billion in its New York footprint that will help create an artificial intelligence (AI) research center at the SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany, New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last week. The new research hub, dubbed the AI Hardware Center, will focus on computer chip research, development, prototyping, testing and simulation. IBM also plans to expand and extend its partnership with SUNY’s Center for Semiconductor Research by at least two years and potentially through 2028. As part of the plan, IBM will donate $30 million in cash and in-kind contributions for AI research across the SUNY system, with SUNY matching up to $25 million. Empire State Development will provide a $300 million capital grant for SUNY to purchase, own and install tools necessary to support the AI Hardware Center.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/ibm-invests-2b-for-suny-artificial-intelligence-hub/548125/

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February 20, 2019

A Realistic Look at Where AI is Going in 2019

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BY NEIL KINSON, Tech Spective
When companies say “AI,” they are often using it as a catch-all term for a broad selection of technologies from machine learning and predictive analytics to natural language processing, object recognition and more. It’s a bit like that family member who calls any tablet an ‘iPad’, regardless of the actual device they’re referring to. To the user, the capability of the device or solution is more important than the technology under the hood. But the generic use of the term “AI” has left many IT and business professionals confused about what technology they actually need to procure in order to achieve a desired outcome. Most have explored technologies they think hold the promise of “AI,” and, in many cases, have been disappointed in pilots or even full use cases conducted in 2018.

https://techspective.net/2019/02/10/a-realistic-look-at-where-ai-is-going-in-2019/

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Will A.I. Put Lawyers Out Of Business?

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Neil Sahota, COGNITIVE WORLD

What is the law but a series of algorithms? Codified instructions proscribing dos and don’ts—ifs and thens. Sounds a lot like computer programming, right? The legal system, on the other hand, is not as straightforward as coding. Just consider the complicated state of justice today, whether it be problems stemming from backlogged courts, overburdened public defenders, and swathes of defendants disproportionately accused of crimes. So, can artificial intelligence help? Very much so. Law firms are already using AI to more efficiently perform due diligence, conduct research and bill hours. But some expect the impact of AI to be much more transformational. It’s predicted AI will eliminate most paralegal and legal research positions within the next decade.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/cognitiveworld/2019/02/09/will-a-i-put-lawyers-out-of-business/#2bc1715c31f0

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Higher Education Revamps Online Education in 2019 as Traditional Enrollment Declines

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Eli Zimmerman, EdTEch

Students’ concerns about the return on investment in their education, coupled with a demand across industries for graduates with more practical skills, are driving changes in the ways universities offer education, according to a report from the Brookings Institution. According to the report, both students and employers feel higher education institutions are not giving students the skills they need to be desirable employees in the modern workforce. These sentiments are reflected in dropping student application rates at major institutions. Freshman applications to the University of California system in 2019 dipped for the first time in 15 years. Other major institutions, like Michigan State University, are also seeing declines. In response, universities are evolving their programs to allow for more online courses and competency-based learning.

https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/02/higher-education-revamps-online-education-2019-traditional-enrollment-declines

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February 19, 2019

AI is giving companies a fighting chance against cyberattacks

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Venture Beat

The amount of information that we have to pour through in order to identify threats and vulnerabilities and ongoing attacks is growing non-linearly, says Fernando Maymi, Ph.D., CISSP, a security practitioner with over 25 years’ experience in the field for both government and private sector organizations in the US and abroad. Maymi first became a passionate cybersecurity advocate decades ago, when as part of a government project looking at creating the next generation of wearable computing devices for soldiers, he realized there was no way to prevent an adversary from intercepting any communications. The project was ultimately cancelled till it was entirely reimagined some time later to manage for the risk.

https://venturebeat.com/2019/02/08/ai-is-giving-companies-a-fighting-chance-against-cyberattacks-vb-live/

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Report from Learning House and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Reveals Training and Development of Faculty Teaching Online Is Inconsistent

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AASCU / LearningHouse

“Today, online and hybrid courses comprise 38 percent of the courses offered at AASCU institutions, and despite an overall decline in higher education enrollment, the number of online students continues to increase,” said Dr. George Mehaffy, Vice President for Academic Leadership and Change of AASCU. “To meet this demand, institutions are rapidly developing and deploying online courses, but the level of faculty support varies widely, ultimately impacting the quality of both the faculty and student experience.” This report explores the overall landscape of online learning and is focused on five key findings.

https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=235536

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New Chief of California’s Virtual Community College Wants to Help Solve the State’s Work-Force Problem

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By Terry Nguyen, Chronicle of Higher Ed
Heather Hiles will be the new chief executive of California’s fledgling virtual community college, the California Community Colleges system announced on Wednesday. The state’s ambitious first online community college hopes to test its first cohort of students in late 2019. The college, the brainchild of former Gov. Jerry Brown, seeks to reach nontraditional students left behind in the education system — those with some college but no four-year degree, or those who have never been to college at all. The virtual campus will serve primarily adult learners who want to take classes on their own schedules.

https://www.chronicle.com/article/New-Chief-of-California-s/245639

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February 18, 2019

Transforming Big Data Processing Through Blockchain and AI

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Gerald Fenech, Forbes

After years of research at MIT, Endor claims to have invented the “Google for predictive analytics*”, providing automated AI predictions for companies. Endor can process Encrypted Data, without ever decrypting it, on and off blockchain and it enables business users to ask predictive questions and get automated accurate predictions. No data science expertise is required. Endor is a spinoff of MIT. The company started four years ago and commercialized Social Physics building a product that can connect to data sets and allow the owners of these data sets to ask questions about their data automatically and accurately without disclosing anything about the data or the questions.

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/geraldfenech/2019/02/03/transforming-big-data-processing-through-blockchain-and-ai/#907364350562

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Did A Robot Write This? How AI Is Impacting Journalism

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Nicole Martin, Forbes

How do you know I am really a human writing this article and not a robot? Several major publications are picking up machine learning tools for content. So, what does artificial intelligence mean for the future of journalists? According to Matt Carlson, author of “The Robotic Reporter”, the algorithm converts data into narrative news text in real-time. Many of these being financially focused news stories since the data is calculated and released frequently. Which is why should be no surprise that Bloomberg news is one of the first adoptors of this automated content. Their program, Cyborg, churned out thousands of articles last year that took financial reports and turned them into news stories like a business reporter.  [ed note:  How will this apply to students writing research papers?]

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicolemartin1/2019/02/08/did-a-robot-write-this-how-ai-is-impacting-journalism/#6c6fa7207795

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Don’t Fear AI: 16 Ways To ‘Future-Proof’ Yourself As A Professional

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Forbes Coaches Council
Many companies are leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning today, and the impact of these technologies is only expected to increase. While this is great for businesses looking to improve their performance, many employees worry that robots will take over their jobs within the next few years. While AI may certainly change certain types of jobs, they will never fully replace human workers—you just need to know how to maintain and sell your skills. Forbes Coaches Council members shared tips for “future proofing” yourself for an AI-driven working world.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2019/02/08/dont-fear-ai-16-ways-to-future-proof-yourself-as-a-professional/#5f2a02ae4cd3

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February 17, 2019

Report: Colleges must offer digital credentials to stay relevant

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By Natalie Schwartz , Education Dive
Colleges that offer online programs should grow their digital credential options in order to stay competitive, according to a new report from the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE). Credentials are an increasingly popular option for learners, prompting traditional colleges and alternative education providers to increase their offerings to claim a stake in the growing market. Colleges that don’t follow suit could lose out to “nontraditional and tech-savvy organizations” that are dipping into “universities’ traditional spheres of influence,” ICDE warns. Traditional transcripts don’t adequately convey a student’s skills, whereas credentials indicate if an applicant has the required competencies for a job, the working group argues. Credentials will eventually make transcripts irrelevant, they predict, and better align learning outcomes with workplace needs.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/report-colleges-must-offer-digital-credentials-to-stay-relevant/547858/

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Are Digital Devices the Reason Why Kids Can’t Write?

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by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Many parents who look at the messages sent back and forth in their children’s smart phones wonder if schools are even teaching writing these days. After all, the conversations seem to be full of acronyms and emojis, hardly the stuff that made Mark Twain or Louisa May Alcott great writers and less likely to help their children write at all.   The language that kids use for informal chatting and messaging in their digital devices is only one type of writing. Are these digital devices the reason why kids can’t write? If you’re thinking about handwriting, maybe. Cursive handwriting has advantages over typing and IMing, but we’re talking about writing instruction that fosters communication skills and develops critical thinking – and whether or not digital devices help or hinder writing instruction.

https://www.thetechedvocate.org/are-digital-devices-the-reason-why-kids-cant-write/

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The Purdue University Online Writing Lab and Chegg Partner to Make World-Class Writing Education Tools More Accessible

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Purdue University

The Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL) and Chegg, Inc. (NYSE: CHGG), today announced an exclusive agreement to integrate Chegg’s Writing tools with Purdue University’s OWL content to support students on-demand whenever and wherever they need it. This partnership furthers both groups’ shared goal to help students worldwide become better writers. “This underscores the huge opportunity for traditional education institutions and technology innovators to work together to harness the power of subject matter expertise, premium content, intelligent software and the 24/7 access the internet provides,” said Nathan Schultz, President, Learning Services at Chegg.

https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2019/Q1/the-purdue-university-online-writing-lab-and-chegg-partner-to-make-world-class-writing-education-tools-more-accessible.html

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February 16, 2019

Are three-year degree programs the answer?

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BY LAURA ASCIONE, eCampus News

A three-year bachelor’s degree may help students dodge some of the increasingly burdensome debt associated with higher education–that is, if the programs can get off the ground. At least 32 institutions offer programs that help students graduate in three years, and more colleges and universities are expected to follow suit. Many of these three-year degree programs have existed for more than 10 years, notes Paul Weinstein Jr., a senior fellow of the Progressive Policy Institute and director of the Graduate Program in Public Management at Johns Hopkins University, in a report detailing the trend toward three-year bachelor’s degrees. “American college students are facing a triple whammy–out-of-control college costs, record levels of student debt, and declining real earnings for college graduates,” Weinstein contends in the report, yet lawmakers haven’t taken any real action to remedy the issue.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/2019/02/05/are-three-year-degree-programs-the-answer/

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Ironwood, The Last Open edX Version, To Be Released This February

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By IBL News

Big news for Open edX’s developers: Ironwood, the 2019 version of this learning platform, will be released on February. The first release candidate, Ironwood.1rc1, was just made available this week. “Our goal is to release Ironwood in two weeks. In order to do that, I need to hear back from you about how testing is going,” Ned Batchelder, Software Architect at edX announced on Google Groups.

https://iblnews.org/2019/02/07/ironwood-the-last-open-edx-version-expected-to-be-released-this-february/

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Do students understand academic integrity?

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Gina Londino-Smolar, Smart Brief

Since November 2017, 3,000 first-year seminar students in University College at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis have taken a voluntary online course on academic integrity. The average pretest scores were 49%, but when these students finished the course, the post-test score averaged 93%. Our team, which developed the course, wasn’t surprised to find that the course was effective. What was surprising, though, was to discover, through the pre-test, that many students do not have foundational skills of proper citation, setting them up for trouble in their academic and professional careers.

https://www.smartbrief.com/original/2019/01/do-students-understand-academic-integrity

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February 15, 2019

Transforming Big Data Processing Through Blockchain and AI

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Gerald Fenech, Forbes

After years of research at MIT, Endor claims to have invented the “Google for predictive analytics*”, providing automated AI predictions for companies. Endor can process Encrypted Data, without ever decrypting it, on and off blockchain and it enables business users to ask predictive questions and get automated accurate predictions. No data science expertise is required. Endor is a spinoff of MIT. The company started four years ago and commercialized Social Physics building a product that can connect to data sets and allow the owners of these data sets to ask questions about their data automatically and accurately without disclosing anything about the data or the questions.

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/geraldfenech/2019/02/03/transforming-big-data-processing-through-blockchain-and-ai/#907364350562

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Emerging Technologies Need Diversity: Innovative Women in AI / Blockchain to Follow in 2019

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Sandra Ponce de Leon, Forbes

Besides being a hot topic these days, emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain have received a reputation for being especially male-dominated in an already bro-saturated tech world. However, the buzz around artificial intelligence and cryptography isn’t without merit, as these technologies are much more than just one more thing to be mansplained.  With such diverse and far-reaching applications, it is clear that a diversity of perspectives will be necessary to create effective and sustainable solutions. I interviewed some of the most innovative female voices in AI and blockchain to better understand their struggle to ensure that this technology benefits everyone.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/cognitiveworld/2019/02/03/emerging-technologies-need-diversity-innovative-women-in-ai-blockchain-to-follow-in-2019/#14fbd2e9d3ed

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5 ways innovation is inspiring higher ed

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BY LAURA ASCIONE, eCampus News
It’s no wonder institutions are focused on innovation–as students demand more from their schools, institutions must be ready to meet those expectations with new mentalities and a willingness to think and act outside the box. Some schools are rethinking the way they use technologies and are turning to students for inspiration, while others are turning the idea of the traditional campus on its head and are aiming for a complete conceptual redesign. Whatever the action, most higher-ed leaders know they have to be willing to embrace change in order to remain relevant and retain students. Here’s a look at 6 different examples of institutional innovation.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/2019/02/01/5-ways-innovation-is-inspiring-higher-ed/

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