Techno-News Blog

June 19, 2018

How to Create Successful and sustainable Makerspaces in Low-Income and Rural Schools

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by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

What if you could offer students in low-income and rural schools a technology-based opportunity to develop the creative genius you know they have? You’d provide a makerspace where students could explore, create, invent, and learn through authentic experiences. To make a dream like this successful and sustainable, the key ingredient lies in finding ways to make it tangible.  Although the idea behind the makerspace is to promote playful exploration, developing pathways within the space can improve sustainability. Sustainability in your makerspace will lead to success, but the caveat here is to monitor the pathways to eliminate possible stereotyping and inequalities. Examples include pathways that are gender or race exclusive. Instead, the focus must remain on inclusiveness, even allowing makers to opt in and out of pathways.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/how-to-create-successful-and-sustainable-makerspaces-in-low-income-and-rural-schools/

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What do online students want

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By Goldie Blumenstyk, Chronicle of Higher Ed

What do online students want? According to a new survey, they want to conduct more of their course activities on their mobile phones or tablets, and they’d like better career-planning services. Their biggest regrets? They all relate to not having done enough research about the college and what it would cost before they enrolled. The survey, produced by Learning House and Aslanian Market Research, is based on responses from 1,500 past, current, and prospective online students.

https://www.chronicle.com/article/What-Do-Online-Students-Want-/243653

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Free MOOCs Face the Music

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By Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed

In its quest to find a sustainable business model, online course provider edX will test charging users for access to previously free content. Observers say the move was inevitable. Massive open online courses got a little less open with edX’s recent announcement that it is introducing support fees for some of its MOOCs. Midway through an innocuous-looking blog post, Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX, said the nonprofit would be “moving away from our current model of offering virtually everything for free.” On May 3, edX began testing the introduction of a “modest support fee” that will “enable edX and partners to continue to invest in our global learning platform.” Adam Medrox, edX COO and president, said in an interview that the support fee was just one option being explored to ensure the long-term sustainability of the MOOC provider.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/06/14/edx-introduces-support-fee-free-online-courses

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June 18, 2018

eLearning for Refugees: Three Programs Making a Difference

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by Cate Ethington, eLearning Inside

On June 20th, the United Nations will mark World Refugee Day. According to the United Nations, over 65 million people worldwide are now living as refugees. Millions of these refugees are children under 18 and many more are people in their late teens to mid-twenties who, under other conditions, would be enrolled in university. To address the growing need for flexible forms of education, eLearning continues to be brought to refugee camps around the world. As we prepare for World Refugee Day 2018, eLearning Inside News takes a look at just some of the organizations currently engaged in offering eLearning for refugees.

eLearning for Refugees: Three Programs Making a Difference

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​Affordable Learning Exchange works to increase access by reducing costly course material: Goal is to save students $10 million by 2020

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By: Chris Booker, the Ohio State University

The Ohio State University is working to move textbooks off the shelves and online to make learning more affordable and accessible to students. An update on the university’s Affordable Learning Exchange program was presented to the Academic Affairs and Student Life Committee at the June Board of Trustees session on Thursday. The program works with Ohio State faculty to find or develop high-quality, open and affordable alternatives to conventional, high-cost textbooks. “A focus has been placed on the cost of textbooks. We talk about the cost of tuition and fees. We talk about housing and dining. We talk about the other costs of school as well,” Executive Vice President and Provost Bruce A. McPheron said. “Sometimes it’s that last dollar that makes a difference if a student is successful or not.”

https://news.osu.edu/news/2018/06/08/affordable-learning-exchange-works-to-increase-access-by-reducing-costly-course-material/

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Take that leukemia: Andrew Jones cleared to take online classes, move into dorm

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BY WILLIAM WILKERSON, Star-Telegram

Longhorns sophomore guard Andrew Jones, who is battling leukemia, has been cleared to enroll in online classes this summer and will move into a dorm room on campus, the university announced Thursday. “We’re really happy that Andrew Jones has been approved to enroll in web-based coursework for the first session of summer school today,” Texas head coach Shaka Smart said. “Andrew continues to receive treatment, but this is another positive step in his recovery. He will move into a dorm room, which will allow him to have a home base here during the times he is on campus. It will be great to have him around more, as he continues his fight.”

http://www.star-telegram.com/sports/college/big-12/university-of-texas/article212810319.html

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Here’s How Higher Education Dies

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by ADAM HARRIS, the Atlantic

Futurist Bryan Alexander says the industry may have nowhere to go but down. What does the slide look like? In the spring of 2013, there were 19,105,651 students enrolled in higher ed; this spring, there were 17,839,330, according to recently released data from the National Center for Education Statistics. That represents a roughly 7-percent decrease—and is driven largely by declining enrollments in the for-profit and community-college sectors, as well as stagnant enrollments among four-year non-profit public and private institutions. And the trend of declining enrollment in higher education is likely to continue, he argues, for a couple of reasons, but most notably, a declining birth rate means that there will be fewer 18-year-olds entering academe, and there are fewer international and immigrant students to fill those seats. Why is the dip in enrollment such a big deal? Well, quite plainly, the business model for a lot of colleges is dependent on enrollment.

https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2018/06/heres-how-higher-education-dies/561995/

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June 17, 2018

In the digital age, the standard lecture may not be enough

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By Shalina Chatlani, Education Dive
For the time being the traditional lecture format still works for higher education, but as “other organizations can create credentials of equal or greater value, universities, as they are currently structured, are in trouble,” wrote Steven Murphy, the president of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, in a guest post for The Globe and Mail.   Murphy contends that while most institutions are trying to experiment, the industry as a whole is lagging behind with innovation, especially as pressure mounts to improve efficiency and reduce operational costs.  To confront this challenge, Murphy offered three pieces of advice. First, institutions should partner with the private sector “to enhance experiential learning.” Second, they should turn risk management into an opportunity for embracing change, where disruptive technological advances can be beneficially leveraged; and, finally, institutions ought to educate administrators and boards of governors on how to prepare for disruption, setting “benchmarks to measure innovation outcomes.”

https://www.educationdive.com/news/in-the-digital-age-the-standard-lecture-may-not-be-enough/524499/

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Bootcamps Go To College

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Matthew Rascoff, Evolllution

Rather than viewing bootcamps as a threat, higher education should integrate the bootcamp model into the undergraduate experience to prepare graduates with the combinations of knowledge and skills they will need in their careers and lives. While the intensity, flexibility and experiential learning of bootcamps are compelling, those features are complementary to four-year undergraduate education. For most colleges, bootcamps are a sustaining innovation that can be absorbed into the core—not a disruptive innovation that must be developed or acquired and protected on the margins. Bootcamps haven’t undermined the bachelor’s degree, for which the return on investment is an annualized 15 percent per year—performance that would make any Wall Street investor envious.

Bootcamps Go To College

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New free online courses launched to help Syrian refugees continue their education

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by Future Learn
The first two in a series of twelve new free online courses to assist refugees affected by conflict in the Middle East start on June 18th. The courses are designed for tens of thousands of young people whose education has been interrupted by wars such as that in Syria, helping to prevent a ‘lost generation’ in the region. King’s College London has produced two new free online courses, Basic English 1: Elementary and Basic English 2: Pre-Intermediate so refugees and displaced people in Jordan and Lebanon can learn basic English for everyday situations in order to gain transferable skills and/or help proceed into higher education.

https://www.fenews.co.uk/press-releases/17525-new-free-online-courses-launched-to-help-syrian-refugees-continue-their-education

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June 16, 2018

Virtual lab to extend reach of science education

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by Harvard Gazette

“There are many millions of students who, as a result of economic or geographic limitations, simply do not have access to one of the most central aspects of being a scientist, which is working in a laboratory,” said Robert Lue, principal investigator of LabXchange and professor of the practice of molecular and cellular biology at Harvard. “LabXchange addresses this issue with a platform that integrates dynamic experimental simulations with background curriculum and social networking — all created to more effectively expose students of varying backgrounds to the authentic and engaging experience of scientific discovery.”

As founding sponsor, Amgen has awarded $6.5 million in grant funding to Harvard to develop, launch, and grow LabXchange. Amgen will be engaged throughout the development, and its scientists with industry experience will play key advisory roles.

Virtual lab to extend reach of science education

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Facebook, Google offering tech, career courses

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By Jean Dimeo, Education Dive
Facebook is partnering with community colleges to share curriculum for digital advertising and media training, skills that a growing number of small business owners and staff say they lack, according to Inside Higher Ed.  Facebook recently announced partnerships with two-year institutions Des Moines Area Community College, Greenville Technical College and Central New Mexico Community College, and more partnerships are expected to be announced this week, Inside Higher Ed reported. Meanwhile, Google announced this week that it partnered with Udacity to offer free career and tech courses to recent graduates and mid-career professionals, according to Tech Crunch. Udacity and Google tested an online course in March; they now will together launch 12 free courses.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/facebook-google-offering-tech-career-courses/525069/

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Andrew Ng Is Probably Teaching More Students Than Anyone Else on the Planet. (Without a University Involved.)

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By Jeffrey R. Young, EdSurge

In fact, three of the 10 most popular courses on Coursera aren’t produced by a college or university at all, but by a company. That company—called Deeplearning.ai—is a unique provider of higher education. It is essentially built on the reputation of its founder, Andrew Ng, who teaches all five of the courses it offers so far. Ng is seen as one of the leading figures in artificial intelligence, having founded and directed the Google Brain project and served as the chief scientist at the Chinese search giant Baidu, as well as having directed the artificial intelligence laboratory at Stanford University. He also happens to be the co-founder of Coursera itself, and it was his Stanford course on machine learning that helped launch the MOOC craze in the first place.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2018-06-07-andrew-ng-is-probably-teaching-more-students-than-anyone-else-on-the-planet-without-a-university-involved

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June 15, 2018

An Inside Look at Online Carding Courses for Cybercriminals

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Digital Shadows, Bank Info Security
As customers spend more and more money online each year, the opportunities for fraud increase in parallel; experts project a loss of $24 billion to payment card fraud by the end of 2018. Payment card fraudsters rely on a sophisticated ecosystem and support network that provides a wide range of credit card details, fraud tools and online tutorials. This whitepaper lifts the lid on e-learning credit card fraud courses. These programs coach aspiring criminals to make $12,000 in monthly earnings and point to the increased sophistication of the professional cybercriminal ecosystem as fraudsters seek to up-skill themselves. Think: High-paying job with a degree in cybercrime and membership to Bad Actor Fraternity from Fraudster University.

https://www.bankinfosecurity.com/whitepapers/inside-look-at-online-carding-courses-for-cybercriminals-w-4397

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Startup Uses AI and Human Augmentation for Video/Audio Transcription

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By Dian Schaffhauser, Camapus Technology
A startup based in Israel has raised $11 million to expand the growth of its solution for doing artificial-intelligence-powered transcription. Verbit technology, according to the company, will be helpful to schools in addressing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulation. The transcription process for videos and audio recordings typically relies on a combination of approaches: fully automated transcription, which tends to produce partially accurate results, and/or manual transcriptions, which require a much longer turnaround. Verbit has developed Verbatizer, a transcription system that uses a combination of AI technologies for automatic speech recognition algorithms and human-augmented refinement. The corrections made by human transcribers are fed into the Verbit algorithms through machine learning technologies to continuously improve the formulas.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/06/04/startup-uses-ai-and-human-augmentation-for-video-audio-transcription.aspx

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6 Reasons Blended Learning Works

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By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology
Research suggests that blended learning is more effective than both face-to-face and online education, according to a new e-book released by the Online Learning Consortium and academic publisher Routledge. Online & Blended Learning: Selections from the Field brings together advice and best practices from a number of scholarly publications related to online and blended learning; topics covered include the basics of the blended model, differences between online and on-campus learning, strategies for teaching with technology, data analysis techniques, policy issues and more.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/05/23/6-reasons-blended-learning-works.aspx

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June 14, 2018

Harvard Hosts 60-Year Curriculum Symposium

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By Cait Etherington, eLearning Inside

In a 2017 interview with the University Professional and Continuing Education Association, Dean Hunt Lambert, who leads Harvard’s Division of Continuing Education, emphasized that the 60-year curriculum recognizes that people begin their learning careers in earnest in their teens, continue learning throughout their work years, and even continue their educations during their retirements. Continuing education programs evidently play an integral part in the learning lives of most adults, but this will expand as the need to reskill increases over the coming decades. As several recent studies have found, in today’s disrupted economy, life-long learning is no longer just for ambitious upskillers. To survive in today’s economy, everyone needs to commit to reskilling on a constant basis. The idea of 60-year curriculum captures this shift, and this weekend’s symposium is a chance for thought leaders to begin exploring its far-reaching implications on higher education.

Harvard Hosts 60-Year Curriculum Symposium

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Ideas for Creating an Effective Syllabus for Online Learning

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By: Danielle Geary, Faculty Focus

Online students need to feel an instructor presence in their classes. Thorough explanations and effective communication help fulfill this need and can transform a mediocre online course into a great one—and it all starts with the syllabus. Structure and communication. That’s what I’ve found to be the keys to an effective online course syllabus. Well, that, and something I call a chapter checklist, to go along with the syllabus. I’ve discovered both to be essential to my asynchronous online foreign language course.

https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/ideas-for-creating-an-effective-syllabus-for-online-learning/

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India’s top universities can now offer full degree programmes online – but there are concerns

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by Scroll India

On May 24, the University Grants Commission, India’s higher education regulator, approved new regulations for online education. The regulations are yet to be formally notified but the commission said they “will be made applicable from the academic session 2018-19”. The regulations clear the way for universities that rank high in the government’s ranking and rating systems to offer even degree programmes online. In theory at least, a student will be able to earn a bachelor’s degree without attending college. Lectures will be recorded or delivered through video-conferencing and discussed in an online discussion forum; e-content will replace textbooks and there will be a provision for self-assessment.

https://scroll.in/article/880977/indias-top-universities-can-now-offer-full-degree-programmes-online-but-there-are-reservations

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June 13, 2018

Bill Gates wants everyone to take this free online course because it explains origin and future of humans

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by Shweta Ganjoo, India Today

We all know that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is an avid reader. Over the years the business manganate has shared numerous book recommendations on his blog. The list of his recommended books include Walter Isaacson’s Leonardo Da Vinci, Kate Bowler’s Everything Happens For A Reason and Neal Stephenson’s Sebeneves among others. And now Gates in his blog has listed another recommendation. But this time it’s not a book but an online course. Gates, in a recent post on his blog, recommended an course online titled “Big History” by an Australian historian Christian David. Interestingly, unlike most online courses this one is absolutely free. “As the creator of Big History- my favorite course of all time- David is well-suited to write about how we came to be,” he wrote in his blog praising the author.

https://www.indiatoday.in/technology/news/story/bill-gates-wants-everyone-to-take-this-free-online-course-because-it-explains-origin-and-future-of-humans-1247768-2018-06-01

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Here are 10 top college majors, according to Princeton Review

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By Ann Marie Barron, SILive
Trying to choose a college major that’ll pay off down the road? Computer science, communications and political science top the list, according to the most recent study by the Princeton Review. Research conducted by the college admission services company resulted in a list of the top 10 college majors based on a few different things, including job prospects, alumni salaries and popularity. And while those three topped the list, other majors on it also offer myriad benefits and opportunities, researchers said.

https://www.silive.com/news/2018/06/college_majors_here_are_the_to.html

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