Techno-News Blog

November 21, 2018

So You Think You Need a Chief Digital Officer?

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Knowledge@ Wharton
Back in 2000, many enterprises wondered whether they needed a head of e-commerce. Today, the question has become: Do you need a chief digital officer (CDO) to drive business in the digital age? But that’s not the fundamental question, write Scott A. Snyder and Shaloo Kulkarni in this opinion piece. “By making sure you start with the right questions instead of the answer you will be more likely to put yourself on a path towards being a digital leader,” they add. Snyder is a senior fellow at Wharton and a partner, digital and innovation, at Heidrick & Struggles. Kulkarni is principal, digital transformation, at the firm.

http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/do-you-need-a-chief-digital-officer/

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Penn State leads 19 colleges exploring uses for new tech in higher ed

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By Natalie Schwartz , Education Dive
Penn State University announced this week that it is leading a group of 19 colleges in an effort to explore how emerging technology can be used to shape teaching and learning. The project, called the CoAction Learning Lab, involves a mix of public and private colleges including Arizona State University, the University of Central Florida and Western Governors University. The group’s first goal is to curate an online library of openly licensed resources to help institutions integrate new technology into their teaching. The collection could include sets of questions for colleges to ask vendors about learning analytics or how to implement more open-source materials in the classroom, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/penn-state-leads-19-colleges-exploring-uses-for-new-tech-in-higher-ed/541669/

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Virtual Reality Is Unlocking Learning Potential Like Never Before

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ALLISON SANCHEZ, UProxx

Virtual reality doesn’t just have the capacity to transport us to new worlds, it has the ability to help us more fully understand our very existence. The futuristic medium is compelling, visceral, and deeply immersive. And while these are all words to describe VR, they’re also words we wish got used more often to describe education. Bringing lessons to life — that’s the dream for most teachers. But taking words on a page or in a lecture and helping students really feel them can be a challenge. Which is why incorporating Virtual Reality in schools has become a huge priority for many educators. VR allows learning to cross over into the emotional cores of students in new and exciting ways. It’s a groundbreaking time for education, where what is possible is constantly shifting.

https://uproxx.com/life/virtual-reality-education-potential/

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November 20, 2018

‘Outcast mavericks’ teach traditional universities a few things about online education

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DAINA LAWRENCE, GLOBE AND MAIL

Online and distance education have been the bread and butter for decades for some Canadian postsecondary institutions, including Athabasca University in Alberta and Victoria-based Royal Roads University. But the country’s traditional halls of higher learning, known more for their on-campus offerings, are increasing their online programs as well to ensure they don’t lose or inconvenience students who want the flexibility of taking classes and programs online. Now, Canada’s traditional universities are knocking on the doors of Dr. Grundy and his online-centric counterparts to see what they can do to adopt more e-learning into their academic models. “We’ve certainly been open with people who want to explore the way we do it and there’s certainly increasing interest, for sure, from everybody,” he says.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-outcast-mavericks-teach-traditional-universities-a-few-things-about/

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Online Education Ascends: New Record Enrollments Nationally

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Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed

The Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics, published Tuesday shows that while overall postsecondary enrollment dropped by almost 90,000 students, nearly half a percentage point, from fall 2016 to fall 2017 — confirming data previously published by the National Student Clearinghouse — the number of all students who took at least some of their courses online grew by more than 350,000, a healthy 5.7 percent. The proportion of all students who were enrolled exclusively online grew to 15.4 percent (up from 14.7 percent in 2016), or about one in six students. The share of all students who mixed online and in-person courses grew slightly faster, to 17.6 percent in 2017 from 16.4 percent in 2016. And the proportion of all students who took at least one course online grew to 33.1 percent, from 31.1 percent in 2016. That last data point represents a steady march in the normalization of online learning, as the proportion of all enrolled students who had studied online stood under a quarter in 2012. But while fans of online learning are likely to be heartened by that slow but sure rise in acceptance, the pure increase in online enrollments — at a time of overall dips in postsecondary attendance — may be just as noteworthy.

https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/article/2018/11/07/new-data-online-enrollments-grow-and-share-overall-enrollment

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Putting Standardization Second (or Lower) in Online Learning

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Scott Moore, Inside Higher Ed

The primary goal should be to deliver an excellent learning experience. The definition of “excellent” will vary by program, by institution, by faculty member and by student. You have one set of needs in a liberal arts undergraduate program and a different set in a master’s engineering program. However, the common goal should be the same: to deliver an excellent learning experience. It’s not that budget and standardization aren’t important, but there is such a thing as focusing on them too early and placing too high a priority on them.

https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/views/2018/11/07/online-learning-should-prioritize-quality-and-mission-over

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November 19, 2018

Virtual avatars learned cartwheels and other stunts from videos of people

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BY MARIA TEMMING, Science News

Animated characters can learn from online tutorials, too. A new computer program teaches virtual avatars new skills, such as dances, acrobatic stunts and martial art moves, from YouTube videos. This kind of system, described in the November ACM Transactions on Graphics, could render more physically coordinated characters for movies and video games, or serve as a virtual training ground for robots. “I was really impressed” by the program, says Daniel Holden, a machine-learning researcher at Ubisoft La Forge in Montreal not involved in the work. Rendering accurate, natural-looking movements based on everyday video clips “has always been a goal for researchers in this field.”

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/virtual-avatars-learned-cartwheels-and-other-stunts-videos-people

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5 questions CEOs are asking about AI

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by Jill Dyche, CIO

Recently in a risk management meeting, I watched a data scientist explain to a group of executives why convolutional neural networks were the algorithm of choice to help discover fraudulent transactions. The executives—all of whom agreed that the company needed to invest in artificial intelligence—seemed baffled by the need for so much detail. “How will we know if it’s working?” asked a senior director to the visible relief of his colleagues. Although they believe AI’s value, many executives are still wondering about its adoption. The following five questions are boardroom staples:

https://www.cio.com/article/3318639/artificial-intelligence/5-questions-ceos-are-asking-about-ai.html

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4 ed tech trends colleges should be ready for

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Hallie Busta, Education Dive
The blockchain and artificial intelligence are among several technologies and practices poised to impact higher ed. The way America goes to college is changing. Rising tuition and new workforce development pathways are encouraging prospective students to consider alternative post-secondary education options. Meanwhile, higher education is consolidating and the colleges remaining are taking programs online to reach a wider audience. And technologies such as augmented and virtual reality are changing the nature of instruction. Yet interest in addressing and even capitalizing on these changes has been measured among higher education leaders. Just 12% of college presidents ranked institutional research in information technology as an important area of development in the American Council on Education’s (ACE’s) latest American College President Study, according to ACE President Ted Mitchell during a presentation at Educause’s annual convention last week in Denver. That’s not to say transformation isn’t quietly underway. “It’s currently happening, and right under our noses,” said Mitchell.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/4-ed-tech-trends-colleges-should-be-ready-for/541384/

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November 18, 2018

College students at risk of cyberbullying

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By: Adán Rubio, Daily Toreador

Hateful comments, hacking or threats are just some forms of cyberbullying one may endure. With the use of technology on college campuses, students may be more susceptible to this issue. With college students consistently being plugged in, cyberbullying may be a problem they have to face, whether it be on social media or through email. Most people may associate any kind of bullying with student interactions in high school or middle school. But anyone, college student or not, could fall victim to cyberbullying.

http://www.dailytoreador.com/news/college-students-at-risk-of-cyberbullying/article_0c745e24-e087-11e8-aafa-07fda0fcc38a.html

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An Online Mentoring Model That Works

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By: Mary Jane Pearson, Faculty Focus

Recent findings indicate that higher education enrollment is being outpaced by online enrollments while overall enrollment in higher education has declined over the last three years (Betts, 2017). Data analyzed from the U.S. Department of Education confirm that enrollment in online courses in higher education has more than tripled in the years from 2002 to 2014: 2002, 1.6 million; 2014, 5.8 million (Poulin & Straut, 2016). Robinia (2008), in a study on the efficacy of online teaching faculty, found that effective faculty supported the value of instructional expertise and peer/mentoring support. Mentoring adjunct faculty is beneficial as it helps them become connected and part of a community; they feel valued and inspired, and they are invested in the university in which they teach (Linton, 2017). Moreover, such mentoring should exist throughout the retention of the adjunct faculty member, and not be limited to only new adjunct faculty, to continue to achieve positive results with students.

https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/an-online-mentoring-model-that-works/

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How artificial intelligence and virtual reality are changing higher ed instruction

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Natalie Schwartz, Education Dive
Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) are rapidly expanding opportunities for teaching and learning, and they are giving college administrators new and different ways to track student outcomes. To learn more about the impact of these technologies, we attended a handful of panels on the topic led by higher education and technology leaders at Educause’s annual conference in Denver this week. From teaching with VR to tracking student success with AI, we explore how colleges and universities are using new technologies to conduct research, teach students and create smarter campuses.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/how-artificial-intelligence-and-virtual-reality-are-changing-higher-ed-inst/541247/

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November 17, 2018

Evidence on Value of Personalized Learning Still Needs to Catch Up

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By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology
Although educators have enthusiastically promoted personalized learning, there’s still “imperfect evidence” that it leads to improved outcomes for students. Likewise, curriculum for personalized learning is “underdeveloped,” and policies still exist that could “hinder” its success. In other words, it could be set up to fail, according to a recent RAND Corp. perspective. As the assessment suggested, educators “who want to use rigorous research evidence to guide their designs will find many gaps and will be left with important unanswered questions about which practices or combinations of practices are effective.”

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/11/05/evidence-on-value-of-personalized-learning-still-needs-to-catch-up.aspx

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IT Security Tops Educause Issues List 4 Years Running

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By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

In the coming year, IT organizations in colleges and universities expect to be grappling with “data-enabling” their institutions, funding, and setting up their units as institutional leaders and change agents. That’s what IT leaders told Educause in its latest survey to determine the top 10 IT issues for higher education.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/11/05/it-security-tops-educause-issues-list-4-years-running.aspx

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Harvard or MIT? Choice may become obsolete with ‘stackable’ online degrees custom-built like Lego, edX CEO says

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by Peace Chiu, South China Morning Post

Speaking in Cambridge, Massachusetts last week, edX founder and CEO Professor Anant Agarwal said the firm was working towards launching “stackable” MicroBachelors courses in three years. “You can think of education as Lego,” said the electrical engineering and computer science expert, who was recently awarded a Yidan Prize for his innovations in education development. He said MicroBachelors courses could be used to customise an undergraduate degree and shorten study time.

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/education/article/2171613/harvard-or-mit-choice-may-become-obsolete-stackable-online

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November 16, 2018

Amazon Wants to Teach Kids to Code

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by Dorothy Gundy, VOA

Amazon wants to get more young people to consider becoming computer engineers. The American technology company this week launched a program that aims to teach more than 10 million students a year how to code. Amazon says it will pay for summer camps and other costs for young people from low-income families. It also will offer teacher training at low-income schools. The program is called Amazon Future Engineer. Amazon hopes the programs will help bring more African-American, Hispanic and female students to the field of computer science.

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/amazon-wants-to-teach-kids-to-code/4638850.html

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Ignore AI Fear Factor at Your Peril: A Futurist’s Call for ‘Digital Ethics’

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by Doug Black, Enterprise Tech

This time, AI isn’t fooling around. This time, AI is in earnest, and so are its related technologies: robotics, 3-D printing, genomics, machine/deep learning, man-machine interface, IoT, HPC at the edge, quantum – the gamut of new data-driven technologies. In decades past, AI has gotten off to hyped false starts, but not this time, the building blocks are in place for the convergence of data-driven power evolving toward an AI supernova that will bring with it profound changes to human existence over the decades to come. With this expectation has come serious thinking – and worrying – about AI’s potential negative impacts. Naturally, AI investors and developers are going full speed ahead while airily dismissing AI fear as generally baseless. Rarely from within the industry do we hear voices – Elon Musk’s is an exception – calling for controls on AI.

 

https://www.enterprisetech.com/2018/11/03/ignore-the-ai-fear-factor-at-your-peril-a-futurists-call-for-digital-ethics/

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Make sure you’re not investing in zombie AI

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DAN ROTELLI, Venture Beat

Among the throngs of zombie AI systems, though, exist a few quality AI systems. These systems are highly intelligent, and though they have some minor human dependencies, they produce incredibly reliable results. The developers of these systems want customers to have a good grasp of the ‘magic’ behind the intelligence – ‘magic’ that really amounts to specific settings, mechanics, controls, even known limitations. True AI can be recognized by its interactivity and trainability. These systems combine intuitive interfaces with algorithms, instructions that tell the robotic brain what logic to use. And with a little coaching along the way, true AI gets smarter and learns to differentiate right from wrong. Compared to zombie systems, true AI systems require more time investment initially but are typically more sustainable in the long run because the coaching continually improves them over time.

https://venturebeat.com/2018/11/03/make-sure-youre-not-investing-in-zombie-ai/

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November 15, 2018

Artificial Intelligence Is Not A Technology

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Kathleen Walch, Forbes

Artificial intelligence is not a technology. Asking the question whether or not some particular technology is or isn’t AI is missing the point. Artificial intelligence is the journey. It’s the quest for the intelligent machine. All the technologies we’ve developed on the route to that quest are things that are individually useful, but all together, have not yet gotten us to the goal. This is why it’s important to understand that artificial intelligence is not a technology, in much the same way that the Space Race is not a technology.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/cognitiveworld/2018/11/01/artificial-intelligence-is-not-a-technology/#2bec67d45dcb

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Colleges Grapple With Teaching the Technology and Ethics of A.I.

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by Alina Tugend, NY Times

David Danks, a professor of philosophy and psychology at Carnegie Mellon, just started teaching a class, “A.I, Society and Humanity.” The class is an outgrowth of faculty coming together over the past three years to create shared research projects, he said, because students need to learn from both those who are trained in the technology and those who are trained in asking ethical questions. “The key is to make sure they have the opportunities to really explore the ways technology can have an impact — to think how this will affect people in poorer communities or how it can be abused,” he said.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/02/education/learning/colleges-grapple-with-teaching-ai.html

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Why Higher Education Needs More Chief Innovation Officers – Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

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Only a quarter of top higher education schools across the country have established Chief Innovation Officer roles, which may leave you wondering if colleges and universities need CIOs. his senior leadership position not only works closely with the university president but must also reach out to all the departments at the campus to foster collaboration, collegiality, and innovation. These outreach activities can include encouraging incubators, identifying funding opportunities for research and scholarship promoting discoveries, and improving the culture and rapport between departments. The Chief Innovation Officer is integral to overall university success by assisting with funding, building collaboration, and promoting innovation.

https://www.thetechedvocate.org/why-higher-education-needs-more-chief-innovation-officers/

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