Techno-News Blog

June 24, 2017

Apple Just Unveiled A Breakthrough Artificial Intelligence System

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by Futurism

Siri intelligence will automatically display information that is relevant to you on the face of the watch using advanced machine learning technologies that improve and “learn” over time. Ultimately, this means that the more you interact with the watch, the smarter it gets. The Mac will be called “High Sierra,” and he outlined that Safari will rank in as the world’s fastest desktop browser with High Sierra. Safari will also be able to block all autoplays on videos, and it will have “intelligent tracking prevention,” which is machine learning tech that allows it to identify trackers and, thus, protect your privacy. Just 7 inches tall, the HomePod is the first major Apple hardware product that has been unveiled since the Apple Watch.

https://futurism.com/apple-just-unveiled-a-breakthrough-artificial-intelligence-system/

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Centralia College Instructors Develop App to Help Students Succeed

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By The Chronicle

Two Centralia College instructors have created a cellphone app that gives students a visual representation of their skills, allows them to see exactly how they’re doing in a class and informs them what they need to work on to improve their grades. Alisha Williams, an English instructor, and Gordon Gul, a computer science instructor, recently won the 2017 Connie Broughton Leadership and Innovation in eLearning Award from the Washington State eLearning Council for their app, according to a press release from the college. “We wanted to help students focus more on achieving the course outcomes, so we decided to link the things they are learning to the grades they are earning,” Gul said. “We needed a way to show students the correlation between their skills performance and their score on an assignment or quiz.” This resulted in an interactive app called Grade Outcomes Assessment Learning Strategy, or GOALS, that uses the Canvas online learning platform to access course information to create a color-coded, interactive chart.

http://www.chronline.com/news/centralia-college-instructors-develop-app-to-help-students-succeed/article_83e1c830-4816-11e7-859e-2776981e7d4e.html

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Creating a Makerspace on a Budget

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by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

The ultimate goal of any good teacher is not just to teach his or her content, but to mold young men and women who will be productive, contributing members of society who can solve problems and, hopefully, make the world a better place. It’s not always important that a student can, in isolation, recite the Pythagorean Theorem or a list of prepositions. Instead, it’s important to use the tools and the knowledge learned in the classroom to positively impact the world around us. And that’s where Makerspaces come in! A Makerspace is a way to bring rote learning to life, to teach students to become lifelong learners, and to encourage problem-solving skills.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/creating-makerspace-budget/

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June 23, 2017

UC San Diego Undergrads to Create VR, AR Content in New Lab

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By Sri Ravipati, Campus Technology

The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) last month opened the doors to its Virtual Reality (VR) Lab, a new facility for undergraduate students to develop content for virtual environments. The space looks like “a cross between a classroom and a tech pavilion at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas,” according to a university prepared statement, with “25 standalone systems combining an Oculus Rift head-mounted display, two controllers for navigating inside VR environments, a computer workstation equipped with a high-end graphics card, various peripherals and a custom-made breakout box for plugging in and unplugging cables.” In addition, the lab has several 360-degree cameras, hand-tracking devices from Leap Motion and an HTC Vive VR system” that were previously purchased using a $20,000 grant from a campus-wide program.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/06/01/uc-san-diego-lab-to-focus-on-vr-content-creation.aspx

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Steve Hargadon Wants Tech — and Individuals — to Revolutionize Education

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By Richard Chang, Campus Technology

The Learning Revolution is an attempt to bridge the conversations on learning. I’m surprised at how we lost the ability to have those deep conversations. The whole concept of shifting from command and control to agency. Going from a read/write medium to user-produced content. We take those things for granted now. We’re not under the control of books by monolithic organizations. There’s the ability for individuals to contribute, and re-shape at a grassroots level. Social media plays a part in that. [Teachers] could get their professional development from other teachers. They have access to other teachers all over the country and the world. The free flow of information on the web — the ability to take control of their own learning. Khan Academy is a good example.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/05/31/steve-hargadon-wants-tech-and-individuals-to-revolutionize-education.aspx

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Explaining Cybersecurity to Students in an Interconnected Era

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By Jacob Batchelor, Campus Technology

Computer hackers, also known as cybercriminals, are infiltrating our world with ever-increasing sophistication. In October 2016, hackers disrupted service to Twitter, Netflix and other major websites. And just last month, another group compromised the online data of thousands of people and businesses — including hospitals and other emergency services. Despite the increasing prevalence of these breaches, we still tend to disregard cybersecurity as something for someone else to worry about. But in just a few years, experts predict the so-called “Internet of Things” (IoT) will comprise 20 to 50 billion gadgets. This web of interconnected devices will reach everywhere — both in and out of school — leaving students’ and teachers’ personal data vulnerable to hackers.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/06/01/youve-been-hacked-explaining-cybersecurity-to-students-in-an-interconnected-era.aspx

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June 22, 2017

Penn State aims to create research opportunities for online students

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by Penn State

In an effort to create more research opportunities for Penn State World Campus students, Penn State is offering a new professional development course to encourage faculty to work with online students. The course, “Conducting Research with Your Online Students,” which starts June 11, was offered for the first time this spring. “The aim of the course is to give faculty the confidence that they can translate their face-to-face research into an online environment,” said Brian Redmond, the lead faculty member for organizational leadership at Penn State World Campus who helped create the course. Redmond said the ultimate goal is to create publishable research opportunities for students and faculty. “We want to translate Penn State’s reputation for research into the online world,” he said.

http://news.psu.edu/story/470190/2017/06/01/academics/penn-state-aims-create-research-opportunities-online-students

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The best online learning gets personal

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by JOHN PEMBROKE, CUES

Last month, a group of people got together to learn. The presenter shared her expertise about the topic. The participants broke out into small groups to tackle learning exercises. The speaker visited each breakout group to facilitate discussion. Attendees gave the session high marks, noting comments like “great speaker” and “the class and resources were very user friendly and easy to follow.” Many said they’d recommend the program to a friend. It all sounds familiar, right? But here’s the twist: All of this learning was hosted online. The session was “Women in Leadership: Finding Your Voice,” offered through CUES Elite Access™: Virtual Classroom. And it was quite different from what many of us think of as online learning—very unlike the “click for more graphics and text” courses or the webinars of the past.

https://www.cuinsight.com/best-online-learning-gets-personal.html

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3 Costs Online Education Saves Students

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By Darwin Green, US News

When I went back to college as a bill-paying, responsible and supportive member of a family, I became aware of financial considerations I hadn’t paid much attention to as a teenager. I knew enrolling in an online bachelor’s program would require me to pay different fees than a traditional college would, but I couldn’t attend school on a physical campus given my status as a stay-at-home father. When comparing the costs of my different options, I realized I could avoid unnecessary costs by applying to an online college. Here are some costs that traditional students often must pay but that can be avoided by pursuing an online degree. Pursuing a degree online eliminates room and board fees and money spent commuting to campus.

https://www.usnews.com/education/online-learning-lessons/articles/2017-06-02/3-costs-online-education-saves-students

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June 21, 2017

What’s now and next in analytics, AI, and automation

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by McKinsey Global Institute Executive Briefing

Innovations in digitization, analytics, artificial intelligence, and automation are creating performance and productivity opportunities for business and the economy, even as they reshape employment and the future of work. Rapid technological advances in digitization and data and analytics have been reshaping the business landscape, supercharging performance, and enabling the emergence of new business innovations and new forms of competition. At the same time, the technology itself continues to evolve, bringing new waves of advances in robotics, analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI), and especially machine learning. Together they amount to a step change in technical capabilities that could have profound implications for business, for the economy, and more broadly, for society.

http://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/digital-disruption/whats-now-and-next-in-analytics-ai-and-automation

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What next for blockchain?

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by McKinsey&Company

Blockchain technology is a distributed ledger. It allows for the permanent and immutable transparent recording of data, essentially, and transactions specifically. That can be used to exchange any number of things that have value, whether that’s an actual item [or something else]. It could be tea leaves making their way to the final tea maker. Or it could be me sending you a payment person to person without the need for intermediaries. I think of Bitcoin as being the entry point to a digital future where everything of value can and likely will be exchanged in digital format. Central banks will look to the Bitcoin experience to build central-bank-backed digital assets.

http://www.mckinsey.com/industries/high-tech/our-insights/what-next-for-blockchain

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Google uses machine learning for new security features in Gmail

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by Steve Ragan, CSO

Google has pushed four new security features to enterprise users on G Suite, the search giant’s hosted business offering. The new protections come shortly after Citizen Lab report exposed a Russia-linked Phishing and disinformation campaign using Google services, including Gmail. Google makes no mention of the Citizen Lab report in their posts on the new security features, but many of the protections take aim at common Phishing techniques used to steal data and credentials. The Citizen Lab report describes a Phishing and disinformation campaign by Russian actors, which targeted more than 200 people across 39 countries. Among those targeted were “a former Russian Prime Minister, members of cabinets from Europe and Eurasia, ambassadors, high ranking military officers, CEOs of energy companies, and members of civil society,” the report notes.

http://www.csoonline.com/article/3198996/security/google-uses-machine-learning-for-new-security-features-in-gmail.html

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June 20, 2017

Facebook is letting Groups create online learning courses – what could possibly go wrong?

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by MATTHEW HUGHES, the Next Web

Facebook, a brand with an untarnished reputation and a pedigree for reliability, is getting into the e-learning game. The social media behemoth is quietly testing a feature that would let anyone running a group to create their own online classes, which would include units and discussions. I have no idea how this could possibly backfire in any way. This move puts Facebook in the same game as more established sites, like Udemy and Udacity. From what I can tell, there are some key features missing from this newest offering. There’s no way to monetize classes, for example. It’ll also be interesting to see how Facebook reconciles its light-touch approach with the moderation challenges inherent with running an e-learning platform.

https://thenextweb.com/facebook/2017/06/01/facebook-letting-groups-create-online-learning-courses-possibly-go-wrong/#.tnw_UJhmHdlq

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Experts Say AI Has a 50% Chance of Beating All Human Intelligence Within 45 Years

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by Karla Lant, Futurism

Researcher Katja Grace at the University of Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute and a team surveyed 1,634 of the leading artificial intelligence researchers. 352 of the experts responded, and the team then calculated median responses. The experts predicted that within the next decade, AI will outperform humans in tasks like driving trucks (by 2027), translating languages (by 2024), and writing high school essays (by 2026). The consensus was that other tasks such as writing a bestseller (2049) or carrying out surgeries (2053) wouldn’t be quite so imminent. Interestingly, the experts (who answered in 2015) predicted that AI would not surpass humans at Go until 2027 — yet that’s already happened.

https://futurism.com/experts-say-ai-has-a-50-chance-of-beating-all-human-intelligence-within-45-years/

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What are augmented reality apps, and how can they be used for marketing?

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by Rebecca Sentance, ClickZ

Over the past couple of years, augmented reality has emerged from relative obscurity to become one of the hottest topics in marketing. Historically, it has always been mentioned in the same breath as virtual reality (the two are usually referred to collectively as “AR and VR”), but next to virtual reality’s almost mystical potential, it was sort of the awkward cousin that no-one quite knew what to do with. But while VR is still finding its footing in the consumer market, AR has been launched into the limelight. With the viral success of Pokémon Go in 2016, everyone was suddenly talking about the possibilities of AR; and it now looks like it might be the next big trend in social media, with first Facebook and now Instagram showcasing innovative new uses of AR.

https://www.clickz.com/what-are-augmented-reality-apps-and-how-can-they-be-used-for-marketing/111330/

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June 19, 2017

Does your campus have a strong video culture? Here’s why it should

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BY ROB LIPPS, eCampus News

A recent study from Wainhouse Research revealed the ability to capture lectures as video for student access is a key success factor in increased retention and graduation. From lecture capture to flipped classrooms to streaming education, video technology is a key driver of advancements in higher education. But what drives the successful use of video on campus? How do you facilitate a campus-wide shift to leveraging video strategically? More importantly, how do you instill a strong video culture on your campus?

http://www.ecampusnews.com/curriculum/campus-strong-video-culture-heres/

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5 ways to use predictive analytics in an ethical manner

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BY LAURA ASCIONE, eCampus News

Institutions are increasingly turning to predictive analytics to help determine if students will enroll, and if so, whether or not they’ll need support to stay on track for graduation. But this data use begs the question–are decision-makers using the data ethically? The pressure to recruit and retain students grows daily in higher education, where institutions strive to ensure students earn diplomas. Predictive analytics–analyzing past student data to predict various things about current and prospective students–can help institutions meed enrollment and financial goals, according to a new policy paper from New America. Because without ethical practices, the use of student data could end up hurting students’ academic progress instead of helping it.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/news/predictive-analytics-ethical/

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How Blockchains Can Transform Colleges in a Networked World

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by Richard DeMillo, Evolllution

With rising third-party costs for colleges and universities as well as students’ “less traditional” educational trajectories (jumping between traditional university coursework, online and employer certifications, and other new alternatives to the “course unit”), it seems that the American system of transcripts is due for a digital overhaul. That’s where blockchains come in. Blockchain technology borrows from the infrastructure that was invented to enable cryptocurrencies like BitCoin™ to function independent of central authorities. What if universities ditched the traditional, musty transcript in favor of a single, secure, global, distributed “registrar” to record all educational achievements? Utilizing blockchain technology, it is now possible to create a decentralized transcript.

http://evolllution.com/programming/credentials/this-will-go-on-your-permanent-record-how-blockchains-can-transform-colleges-in-a-networked-world/

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June 18, 2017

Higher ed stepping in to fill cybersecurity gaps

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by Pat Donachie, Education Dive

In recent weeks, a pervasive ransomware attack affected systems throughout the world, causing chaos in National Health System hospitals in Great Britain and continuing to cripple hundreds of thousands of computers. The increase in cyberattacks has led to an increase in demand for qualified cybersecurity employees in government and private industry. Colleges and universities throughout the country are responding by offering degrees, certificates and tutorials in the burgeoning field. Texas A&M University at College Station recently instituted a minor degree program, while other institutions continue to find increased support and interest in cybersecurity degrees.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/higher-ed-stepping-in-to-fill-cybersecurity-gaps/443370/

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10 Virtual Tools for the Math Classroom

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by Matthew Lynch, tech Edvocate

It is no secret that many students are not passionate about math. Students feel disconnected from what is taught in class, unsure of the benefits of math and reluctant to pursue careers in the field. Edtech is trying to change these attitudes by providing them with new ways to engage with numbers. Many companies have developed virtual tools for math, which allow students to learn, practice, and have fun with different math concepts. We will discuss ten of the best on the market.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/edtech-tools/

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The future of school in India is online

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by Maria Thomas May, Quartz

By 2021, the country’s online education industry is expected to be worth $1.96 billion, a huge jump from just $247 million in 2016, according to a new report by Google and KPMG. While re-skilling and online certification courses constitute the biggest category today, particularly popular among IT workers, the report forecasts that it’s primary and secondary supplemental education that will dominate in a few years. That’s because students from smaller towns and cities will benefit from increasing access to the internet. Titled Online Education in India: 2021, the report also forecasts that test preparation courses will be the fastest-growing category as engineering and government service aspirants look to better their chances at entrance exams.

https://qz.com/994196/the-future-of-school-in-india-is-online/

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