Techno-News Blog

August 23, 2017

‘Children shouldn’t waste their summer just climbing trees – they need to spend more time online’

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by Bridget Beale, TES

This week Robert Hannigan, former head of GCHQ, the government intelligence agency responsible for digital listening, surprised parents across the country by suggesting that children should spend more time online to “save the country”. He believes parents shouldn’t feel guilty if teenagers spend their summer holidays in front of a screen. You’d be right to feel at least a small level of unease with this notion. It flies counter to received parental wisdom about encouraging children to explore and better understand the world by scraping their knees and climbing trees. However, the truth of the matter is that in the past 10 years the world has changed at a much more accelerated rate than at any other point in human history. In the next few years alone, it’s set to change beyond our wildest childhood imaginations, as we usher in the age of driverless cars and “machine learning”.

https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-views/children-shouldnt-waste-their-summer-just-climbing-trees-they-need

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The Top 15 Traits Educators Need To Teach Successfully Online

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by Robyn Shulman, Huffington Post

n a recent Global Shapers Survey, out of 25,000 young people internationally, 77.84% of students reported having taken online courses in the past. Online learning may be the future of education in various ways as our world connects through technology.

Students who take online education courses must have strong organization skills, self-motivation, and maintain flexibility. Teachers must also have many traits to successfully serve their students. Online teaching and learning isn’t for everyone.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-top-15-traits-educators-need-to-teach-successfully_us_598c6cf4e4b08a4c247f28b3

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Why AI is going nowhere without help from colleges and universities

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BY ANIL KAMATH, eCampus News

According to Carnegie Mellon University’s Dean Andrew Moore, AI students are “worth somewhere between $5 million and $10 million to a company’s bottom line.” It’s no wonder, then, that big companies are heavily recruiting PhD candidates. Over the past 10 years, nearly 20 percent more data science PhD students have taken industry jobs. Collaborating on data science projects is a great way to connect university students to real-world opportunities and private companies to the talent they are looking for. By sharing their resources and data libraries, researchers and companies are much more likely to discover AI solutions that improve human lives. A machine-learning model at Stanford sorted through 50 million images in two weeks—a task that would take a human 15 years. Researchers are using such unprecedented computational power to solve real-world problems.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/curriculum/ai-help-colleges-universities/

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August 22, 2017

6 Must Have Apps, Tools, and Resources for Gifted Children

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by Matthew Lynch, tech Edvoate

When you have 25 students in your classroom, it’s challenging to differentiate instruction for varying ability levels. As you work to help struggling students catch up, your gifted students may be twiddling their thumbs, having long ago completed the “easy” assignment. It’s important to continue challenging these gifted students. Otherwise, they may become disengaged and fail to reach their fullest potential.  These 6 must have apps, tools, and resources for gifted children can help you keep your brightest students engaged and challenged—without using too much of your limited time.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/6-must-apps-tools-resources-gifted-children/

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Nonprofit Encourages African American Girls and Women to Stay Afloat in STEM

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By Sri Ravipati, THE Journal

A new nonprofit science education organization based in Baltimore, MD wants more African American girls and young women to explore marine-related research and pursue careers in aquatic-based STEM fields. The Black Girls Dive Foundation (BGDF) operates the STREAMS program, which integrates science, technology, robotics, engineering, the arts and mathematics with scuba diving. The program (open to Baltimore-area girls ages 9 or older through college-age freshmen) focuses on structural, mechanical and electrical technologies, with some exposure to optical, biotechnical, thermal and fluid technologies.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2017/08/09/nonprofit-encourages-african-american-girls-and-women-to-stay-afloat-in-stem.aspx

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New Tech Taps Blockchain to Secure Student Data

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By Sri Ravipati, THE Journal
Sony Corporation and Sony Global Education have finished developing a cloud-based platform built on IBM Blockchain that allows a secure exchange of educational data. Blockchain technology records and keeps information safe by creating a decentralized record of data that can be confirmed and validated without relying on a single authority. IBM Blockchain underpins Sony’s new education platform, which harnesses IBM Cloud and The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric 1.0 blockchain framework. “Blockchain technology has the potential to impact systems in a wide variety of industries, and the educational sphere is no exception when educational data is securely stored on the blockchain and shared among permissioned users,” said Masaaki Isozu, president of Sony Global Education, in a prepared statement.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2017/08/10/sony-and-ibm-to-secure-student-data-records-with-blockchain.aspx

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August 21, 2017

I’m a woman in computer science. Let me ladysplain the Google memo to you.

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by Cynthia Lee, Vox

In the end, focusing the conversation on the minutiae of the scientific claims in the manifesto is a red herring. Regardless of whether biological differences exist, there is no shortage of glaring evidence, in individual stories and in scientific studies, that women in tech experience bias and a general lack of a welcoming environment, as do underrepresented minorities. Until these problems are resolved, our focus should be on remedying that injustice. After that work is complete, we can reassess whether small effect size biological components have anything to do with lingering imbalances. For today — given what women in tech have had to deal with over the past week — try pouring a cup of coffee for a female coder in your office, and asking her about the most interesting bug she’s seen lately.

https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/8/11/16130452/google-memo-women-tech-biology-sexism

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7 Brain Training Apps and Tools

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by Matthew Lynch, tech Edvocate

Every day, hundreds of thousands of people go to the gym. They go to exercise their muscles and get stronger. But many of these same people neglect the one thing they really should be strengthening—their brain.  Brain training apps and tools are designed to help your brain be better. The idea is that by practicing daily, the brain, like your muscles, can grow stronger over time. If you’re going to take the time to work out your brain, however, you want to make sure you’re using the most effective tools possible. Let’s take a look at 7 of the best brain training apps and tools.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/7-brain-training-apps-tools/

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How can schools better target adult and first-generation students?

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by Pat Donachie, Education Dive

With most college students having at least one “non-traditional” characteristic, colleges and universities need to amend their recruiting and advertising strategies to attract potential applicants, including first-generation college students as well as adult learners, according to a recent op-ed in University Business. Some colleges and universities are reaching out to students in K-12 schools, with the belief that earlier support can help first-gen students in the process of selecting a school. For example, Colorado State University offers a number of different tutoring, instruction and professional development services in high schools and middle schools.  Schools should also consider featuring more adult learners in online and promotional materials about the institution, as it could make adult students returning to the classroom feel more welcome. And many of these students will likely want to complete their schooling as quickly as possible, so schools could consider offering accelerated courses.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/how-can-schools-better-target-adult-and-first-generation-students/448809/

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August 20, 2017

The fascinating link between Minecraft and SEL

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BY LAURA ASCIONE, eSchool News

A new report, How Minecraft Supports Social and Emotional Learning in K–12 Education, published by Getting Smart, investigates the connection between classroom use of Minecraft and the SEL outcomes of K– 12 students. The report is based on interviews, a global survey and case studies as it offers an overview of SEL, an insight on gaming in education, and advice from educators on how to support a school-based SEL program. Almost all of the teachers surveyed (97.7 percent) said problem solving is the top SEL skill their students learn from in-school and extracurricular Minecraft participation.

https://www.eschoolnews.com/2017/08/11/link-minecraft-and-sel/

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Amazon’s Alexa: Your Next Teacher

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By Cait Etherington, eLearningInside News

To date, Canvas, like most learning management systems, can be accessed via a computer, mobile phone or tablet. With the Alexa addition, Canvas can now be accessed by voice and not simply via a keyboard. This means that students will be able to ask Alexa key questions (e.g., What were the main points made in today’s class?), and Alexa will be able to offer a summary. Students will also be able to ask Alexa to quiz them on key concepts in preparation for an upcoming quiz or test. Of course, students will also be able to ask other pressing questions, including “What is the homework for tomorrow? Do I have any readings? Where are the readings…are they posted on the website?” If an instructor has posted any videos online, students will now also have the option of watching them on their television rather than on their computer, smart mobile phone, or tablet. For instructors, the new feature will also enable them to carry out routine tasks, including providing student feedback, without spending hours hunched over a keyboard typing.

https://news.elearninginside.com/amazons-alexa-your-next-teacher/

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Virtual Classrooms Are the Future of Teacher Education

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by Matthew Lynch, tech Edvocate

The virtual classroom is a brand new technology that’s quickly spreading to teacher education programs across the nation. The concept is a bit like a flight simulator that a pilot might use before getting into a real plane. Teachers are placed in a virtual classroom full of virtual students and must teach as if they were really in the classroom.There are two main options for teacher education programs looking to implement the virtual classroom in their curriculum. A company called Mursion has developed a virtual classroom that is used by school districts and teacher education programs around the U.S. There’s also TeachLive, a virtual classroom program developed at the University of Central Florida. Both programs are fairly similar, offering some of the same benefits for teachers in training.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/virtual-classrooms-future-teacher-education/

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August 19, 2017

Thoughts On How Online Data Science Courses Stack Up To A Master’s Degree

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by Gregory Ferenstein, Forbes

University degrees are really, really expensive and there are plenty of new startups in Silicon Valley offering job readiness training for much cheaper. So, how does a $100,000 graduate degree in statistics stack up to an online course for 1/100th the price? The short answer is that I think for many jobs, an online certificate in data science from a quality online education provider is comparable to a more traditional graduate statistics degree. For the past year or so, I’ve been sampling various online degree providers, including Udacity, Coursera, DataCamp, and EdX to see how they compare to my (much pricier) Master’s in Mathematical Behavioral Sciences from the University of California, Irvine. I still have a lot of courses to take and will be doing more reviews in the future, but I think I now have enough experience to draw a few conclusions.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/gregoryferenstein/2017/08/10/thoughts-on-how-online-data-science-courses-stack-up-to-a-masters-degree/#36b84c982c88

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Bootcamps expanding at traditional universities, but efficacy of model still unstable

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by Shalina Chatlani, Education Dive

Over the last two years, bootcamps — not just for coding, but also for intensive skill development in other fields, like healthcare and accounting — have grown in popularity among traditional nonprofit, four year insttitutions, reports EdSurge. Though bootcamps are proliferating throughout higher ed, it is still unclear whether the model will be successful as an alternative credential pathway model, as Reuters reports that many of these for-profit schools are shutting down. For example, the well known Dev Bootcamp announced in July its plans to shut down for lack of a viable business model, even though there has been growth in enrollment.  Though some bootcamps are closing, others are thriving, like Flatiron School, which has a 97% job placement rate and has its student outcomes audited by Massachusetts, according to Reuters — highlighting not only that success of such programs are heavilly tied to ROI beyond graduation, but also that the traditional education pathway with accountability for student outcomes is here to stay.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/bootcamps-expanding-at-traditional-universities-but-efficacy-of-model-stil/449143/

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CBE programs face challenges of growth at many institutions, report finds

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by Pat Donachie, Education Dive

For mainstream colleges and universities, competency-based education programs remain the exception to the norm, and “program stability and institutional readiness” are vital to their success, according to the second annual report on CBE programs from Eduventures, in conjunction with Ellucian and the American Council on Education.  The report found the most successful programs come from the institutions where CBE programs where not brand new, but were receiving revived interest from institutions and educators. The schools with effective programs also more often used experienced individuals from within the institution, rather than outside hires or consultants.  The analysis concludes that progress on instituting new CBE programs in a widespread manner will be “incremental,” with the heads of many CBE programs reporting that they had become used to the halting momentum of creating such programs. Schools working to institute these options should conduct a “self-assessment of institutional readiness” in order to prepare, the report stated.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/cbe-programs-face-challenges-of-growth-at-many-institutions-report-finds/449114/

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August 18, 2017

To save students money, colleges are looking to the Open Educational Resources movement

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by PAT SCHNEIDER | The Capital Times

One national study in 2013 found that 65 percent of students said they decided against buying a textbook because it was too expensive, even though nearly all of them worried it would hurt their grade.  An appreciation for how the costs of textbooks and other learning materials make it harder for many students to pay for college has prompted universities across the country — and some university systems — to adopt policies to create or adopt what are called open educational resources, or OER. Most simply, OER are textbooks and other learning materials produced under a copyright that typically allows their use and adaptation free of charge rather than prohibiting use or requiring payment of a fee. The movement has a way to go. Only 5.3 percent of courses nationwide used an open textbook in 2015-2016, according to the Babson Survey Research Group.

http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/education/university/breaking-free-to-save-students-money-colleges-are-looking-to/article_eebc0888-2f1f-5faf-ace3-6264b52b8512.html

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Penn State World Campus Taps VR for Educating Teachers

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By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology
A project at Penn State World Campus immersed teachers into a virtual classroom as part of a graduate-level special education course. Students could use a virtual reality headset to watch 360-degree videos or view them as regular videos on YouTube.  The course, “Special Education 801,” helps teachers learn how to respond to challenging behaviors. The 360-degree view allows them to be placed into the classroom virtually to view a teacher explaining how she has arranged the space for learning. The videos were created using a 360-degree video camera and uploaded into the course in just a few days, Penn State World Campus representatives said.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/08/08/penn-state-world-campus-taps-vr-for-educating-teachers.aspx

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3 Ways IT Is Impacting Student Success

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By David Raths, Campus Technology

Over the past several years, student success initiatives have burst onto the scene as academic officials have sought to respond to pressure to improve retention and graduation rates. Philanthropic groups such as the Gates Foundation and state legislatures have made student success a point of emphasis. Many universities don’t have the technology infrastructure to respond to the needs of these new programs, which raises the question of the CIO’s role in designing solutions. Why should CIOs be proactive on the issue of student success? “It is important to be engaged in things that are important to the overall mission of the university,” said Scott Winslow, practice manager at EAB, a consulting firm and technology platform provider.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/08/10/3-ways-it-is-impacting-student-success.aspx

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August 17, 2017

Report: Faculty want more OER-here’s why

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BY LAURA ASCIONE, eCampus News

The study, Launching OER Degree Pathways: An Early Snapshot of Achieving the Dream’s OER Degree Initiative and Emerging Lessons, was released by Achieving the Dream (ATD) and conducted by SRI International and the rpk GROUP. The report indicates that faculty at colleges participating in ATD’s OER Degree Initiative are changing their teaching and that students are at least as or more engaged using OER courses than students in non-OER classrooms. Eighty-four percent of faculty members surveyed said students in the new OER courses had the same or a higher level of engagement with the learning materials as compared to courses they have taught using traditional course materials. Meanwhile, faculty with experience in using open resources who received assistance from technology specialists and librarians in developing their courses were most likely to report changes in their teaching, the report says.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/curriculum/report-faculty-oer/

http://achievingthedream.org/press_release/16735/after-one-year-largest-initiative-to-promote-the-use-of-open-educational-resources-for-degree-completion-finds-robust-course-development-strong-faculty-support-and-broad-based-leadership-for-oer-use

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Doctors and Distance Learning: Randomized Controlled Study of a Remote Flipped Classroom Neuro-otology Curriculum

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by Markets Insider

A new study published in Frontiers in Neurology examining remote clinical neuroscience education shows that distance learning has the same outcomes as classroom learning for training healthcare professionals. New study finds that the Carrick Institute model of distance learning has the same outcomes as classroom learning for training healthcare professionals. [Randomized Controlled Study of a Remote Flipped Classroom Neuro-otology Curriculum, Frontiers in Neurology, 2017]  Dr. Frederick R. Carrick, founder of Carrick Institute and his team at Bedfordshire Centre for Mental Health Research in association with the University of Cambridge, Harvard Medical School’sHarvard Macy and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Institutes, conducted a randomized controlled trial of contemporary medical education. The research demonstrates methods and practice of teaching clinical neurology remotely, which has resulted in doctors demonstrating successfully improved diagnostic and treatment skills.

http://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/Doctors-and-Distance-Learning-Randomized-Controlled-Study-of-a-Remote-Flipped-Classroom-Neuro-otology-Curriculum-1002246226

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Nearly 1.5 million college students to use free textbooks this school year

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By eCampus News
Students are expected to save an estimated $145 million in the 2017-18 academic year by using free textbooks from this platform. Nearly 1.5 million U.S. college students are expected to save an estimated $145 million in the 2017-18 academic year by using free textbooks from OpenStax, the Rice University-based publisher of open education resource materials. “The adoption of OpenStax nationally is taking hold and saving students and families money,” said Daniel Williamson, managing director of OpenStax. “Individual faculty as well as institutions can make tremendous gains in college affordability by using OpenStax textbooks.” OpenStax projects this year’s savings to be nearly double last year’s impact on students’ wallets. Since 2012 OpenStax has saved nearly 3.5 million students more than $340 million by offering 29 textbooks for the most-attended college courses.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/business-news/million-students-free-textbooks/

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