Techno-News Blog

June 30, 2014

These Six Companies Are Leading The Way In EdTech

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by Drew Hendricks, Forbes

After two decades of progress, and after at least eight years of ambitious educational technology (edtech) startups spending fortunes on R&D (and marketing), the sector has finally reached a modicum of maturity. Top edtech companies are getting the attention of large, traditional education companies as well as venture capital firms. Methods used by edtech are being found effective and are generating profit. Given all that, it’s a good time take to a step back and look at who’s currently at the vanguard of edtech.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/drewhendricks/2014/06/20/these-six-companies-are-leading-the-way-in-tech-education/

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James Franco: How He’s Using The Internet To Educate His Industry

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by Forbes

Recently, Franco took the plunge into the online learning world partnering with Skillshare.com to create a class teaching the next generation of filmmakers the basics of screenwriting. The class is called “Introduction to Screenwriting for Short Films” and it’s available for $25.00. Already over 2,100 people have signed up for it. As part of the class, students have to write an 8-minute screenplay adapted from one of three works selected by Franco. In the following interview, Franco talks about how he originally broke into his industry and formed his company, why he created an online course, the importance of education in his life, how the entertainment industry has changed and his top three tips for success.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2014/06/20/james-franco-how-hes-using-the-internet-to-educate-his-industry/

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This Company May Hold the Secret to the Future of Education

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by Victor Luckerson, Time

Whether people are actually learning new languages effectively with Duolingo is still an open question. von Ahn is careful not to oversell the capabilities of the service. The idea that a piece of software could make a person fluent in a foreign language in mere hours is, in his words, “bull—t.” “If you really want to become perfectly fluent, probably what you need to do is move to that country,” he says. “Learning a language is something that takes years.” Still, he says completing all the lessons in a language course in Duolingo is about the equivalent of taking an intermediate-level language course in college. A study commissioned by the company found that people learned as much taking Duolingo lessons in Spanish for 34 hours as they would in a semester of an introductory college class.

http://time.com/2902109/duolingo-online-education-moocs/

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June 29, 2014

How MOOCs are flattening corporate training and education

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By Erin Carson, TechRepublic

The MOOCs trend is bleeding into other segments of learning too. Saba Software is a learning and talent management provider that aids in compliance needs, as well as talent enrichment. According to Nag Chandrashekar, senior product director, when they ask customers what they want in terms of adding to the Saba framework, it’s MOOCs integration. “It’s the most interesting revelation for us in talking to our customers,” he said. Now, Saba hopes to build partnerships that would bring MOOC content into their system so customers can not only access it but keep track of things like certifications as the idea of continuous education gains ground. And apart from big name MOOC platforms, companies are taking the idea and often the structure of this next iteration of online learning, and creating their own MOOCs, both internal and external facing.

http://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-moocs-are-flattening-corporate-training-and-education/

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University of Southern California Trains Cyber Security Front Lines

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by USC

The University of Southern California (USC) announced it will expand its course offerings for its popular Cyber Security program, part of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Informatics Program. These new courses will be offered online through USC’s top-ranked DEN@Viterbi program, allowing working cyber security professionals to continue full-time careers while pursuing advanced degrees via DEN@Viterbi’s state-of-the-art online delivery capabilities. The new courses that will be offered online include Distributed Systems and Network Security and Secure Systems Engineering, among the roster of online courses currently offered.

http://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwgeeks/article/University-of-Southern-California-Trains-Cyber-Security-Front-Lines-20140619#.U6Y2nZRdVp0

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Report: Online Students Take 5 Forms, Each Calling for Unique Offerings

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By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

Online instruction must become as nuanced as the institutions and high schools delivering it if it is to grow as a force in education, according to a new survey by the Boston Consulting Group. The management firm has identified five distinct types of students who take online courses; each type differs from the others based on the students’ expectations for their learning. The company also examined what schools need to do in order to expand their online programs to attract or retain more learners within each grouping.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/06/18/research-online-students-take-five-forms-each-calling-for-unique-offerings.aspx

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June 28, 2014

Summer online courses becoming more popular

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By Lindsey Clark, Daily Vidette (ISU)

More and more students are enrolling in online courses over the summer because they are convenient and flexible with different schedules. ISU is offering 263 online courses this summer. Online summer classes have been on the rise at Illinois State University and colleges across the country over the last few years. One of the biggest draws of digital classes is that they can help students get the credits they need no matter where their location or other responsibilities. “I believe that online summer courses have become increasingly popular because more online courses are being offered and students are more comfortable with the online learning environment,” Danielle Lindsey, ISU director of academic services, said.

http://www.videtteonline.com/index.php/2014/06/17/summer-online-courses-becoming-more-popular/

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Sprint Supports ConnectED, Boosts e-Learning Scope

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by Zacks Equity Research

Since the launch of the government initiative ConnectED that focuses on expanding online education, telecom service providers have been keen about lending support to this cause. One of the front runners, Sprint Corporation (S – Analyst Report) has already announced its plans in this regard. The company has launched the online ConnectED application and information portal to help educational institutions and school districts in applying and receiving the Sprint Spark high-speed wireless broadband connectivity for up to four years, to further off-campus digital learning opportunities. The initiative will benefit up to 50,000 students across the U.S.

http://www.zacks.com/stock/news/136999/sprint-supports-connected-boosts-e-learning-scope

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Hack Your Classroom – Week Seven: Handing the power over to the learners

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by Claire Amos, Teaching and eLearning

Interestingly, when it comes to teachers not really adopting and embracing technology it often isn’t technical skill or lack thereof that is the problem, it is the teachers need to maintain power and control in the classroom. You hear the panic, the running joke that BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Distraction. Well I hate to break it to you, but if the students are distracted by the technology (particularly after the novelty of access to the Internet has worn off) the problem ain’t the technology – quite possibly your/their teaching and the students lack of ownership of their learning is. *lobs grenade and ducks for cover*

http://www.teachingandelearning.com/2014/06/hack-your-classroom-week-seven-handing.html

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June 27, 2014

It’s Andragogy, Not Pedagogy

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By Andrew Joseph Pegoda, Inside Higher Ed

Some will immediately say this is nothing more than a semantics debate.

Pedagogy: the methods and practice of teaching children.

Andragogy: the methods and practice of teaching adults.

So the question becomes: at what point is a student no longer a child, but an adult? There is no hard-and-fast rule, but for our purposes here, any college student is an adult. Andragogy, a concept dating to the 1960s and Malcolm Knowles, is important because it recognizes that adult learners are different and that these differences are extremely important. And its importance, as a body of knowledge and approach in and of itself, is profound and vastly under-recognized.

http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2014/06/17/essay-questions-use-term-pedagogy-describe-ideas-regard-college-teaching#sthash.B4gpCnT7.dpbs

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For women in technology, a little support goes a long way

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By Laura Raines, AJC

Tanzania Adams saw few women in her classes while earning her engineering degree at the University of Alabama about 25 years ago. There weren’t many women co-workers at Southern Company either, but she’s seeing the numbers grow and doing what she can to support young women entering science, technology, engineering and math fields. Recently promoted to area manager of Statesboro for Georgia Power Co., Adams is one of the corporate advisory board members of the Women in Technology chapter at Gwinnett Technical College. The group launched last year as part of a pilot program to put WiT chapters at Gwinnett Tech, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University and Spelman College.

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/education/for-women-in-technology-a-little-support-goes-a-lo/ngG7J/

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9 Powerful (And FREE) Tools To Boost Summer Learning

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By Lisa Johnson, Edudemic

Rapidly approaching the dog days of summer (give or take a few days or weeks), I felt a need to share a power packed suitcase of tools that could be used to archive your summer highlights and memories. Many educators never really go on vacation. While they may appear to be leisurely sipping daiquiris on the beach, let’s be realistic… their brains are constantly running, reflecting, and mentally archiving away ideas for the next school year. To meet both the recreational and curricular needs of educators, I have concocted a special blend of FREE web tools and apps, highlighting both extracurricular as well as instructional integrations for each. Hopefully, these tools will exceed your souvenir quota and prove to be true digital treasures for the 2014-2015 school year as well.

http://www.edudemic.com/discover-9-digital-treasures/

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June 26, 2014

The case for collaborative learning

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by Michael Moran, HR Magazine

The way we design and structure training courses is in a state of flux as we move into the e-learning era and L&D professionals add “social” to the blend. Today a training course is likely to be a sophisticated, self-managed online programme and when we add a social element we enable a collaborative learning platform. Learning is most effective when students are encouraged to think and talk together, to discuss ideas, question, analyse and solve problems, without the mediation of a teacher. So ‘collaborative learning’ is an umbrella phrase covering a range of approaches involving input from students and tutor. The tutor seeks to create an environment where learners are able to work collaboratively with opportunities to share emerging ideas and understandings. The aim is to stimulate the development of autonomy, responsibility and creativity by engendering meaningful communication and co-operative effort.

http://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/hro/features/1144811/collaborative-learning

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Laboratory as a Service (LaaS): a Novel Paradigm for Developing and Implementing Modular Remote Laboratories

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by Mohamed Tawfik, et al; International Journal of Online Engineering

The increasing adoption of remote laboratories in education along with the shift from eLearning 2.0 towards eLearning 3.0, have demanded several considerations in their implementation and delivery format. In response to these needs, this contribution introduces a novel model, Laboratory as a Service (LaaS), for developing remote laboratories as independent component modules and implementing them as a set of loosely-coupled services to be consumed with a high level of abstraction and virtualization. LaaS aims to tackle the common concurrent challenges in remote laboratories developing and implementation such as inter-institutional sharing, interoperability with other heterogeneous systems, coupling with heterogeneous services and learning objects, difficulty of developing, and standardization. Beyond the academic context, LaaS will facilitate the incorporation of remote laboratories in the ecosystem of the ubiquitous smart things surrounding us, which increases everyday with the approaching Web of Things (WoT) and artificial intelligence era. This, in turn, will create a breeding ground for online control, experimentation, and discovery—in either formal or informal context and with neither temporal nor geographical constraints.

http://online-journals.org/index.php/i-joe/article/view/3654

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Easy Animation for Teaching

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by: John Orlando, Magna Publications

The first thing I look for when I visit a new website is a short video describing what the organization or person does. If I don’t see a video, I consider the site amateurish. Online teaching is no different from other forms of communication. The best communicators take advantage of their medium’s strengths to reach their audience. The Web is a fundamentally visual medium, and videos use this fact to capture our interest. Plus, a teacher must grab the student’s attention right away to motivate the learning, and nothing grabs interest as quickly and easily as animation. It may sound exotic, but new (and cheap) software has made animation simple to produce. In fact, those clever animated videos you see on company websites were created in-house with off-the-shelf programs, not by professionals in studios.

http://www.magnapubs.com/blog/teaching-and-learning/online-learning-20-easy-animation-for-teaching/

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June 25, 2014

50 Ways to Use Twitter in the College Classroom

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by Online Colleges

Twitter has caught fire across many professional fields as well as personally, but it seems to be in the beginning stages in the realm of higher education. The creative ways Twitter users have incorporated microblogging has become inspirational, so the recent trend of using Twitter at college, including at online colleges, is sure to keep evolving into an ever more impressive tool. Make sure you don’t get left behind by incorporating some of these educational and fun ways that Twitter can be used in the college classroom.

http://www.onlinecolleges.net/50-ways-to-use-twitter-in-the-college-classroom/

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Empowering the Next Generation of Scientists

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by Sunnie Toelle, Huffington Post

Our vision at Labster is to “empower the next-generation of scientists to save the world.” Whenever we talk with students and science teachers, we always hear about two things: On one hand, schools tell us how they are challenged by the high costs of science education. On other hand, students are often bored in science classes because they are stuck with old text books and the schools simply cannot afford to carry out real practical lab experiments. By creating Labster’s virtual laboratories, we’ve been able to solve these challenges; Labster reduces schools’ costs by up to 90 percent and creates fun and engaging science education by bringing learnings from the gaming industry into the education sector.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sunnie-toelle/empowering-the-next-online-education_b_5476575.html

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Packed to the Gills, MiraCosta College OK’d For More Online Classes

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BY Ken Stone, Times of San Diego

Many colleges are racing to expand their online course offerings — for purposes of revenue, status and extending their mission. MiraCosta College likes it for a more prosaic reason: real estate. “One of the reasons we are going in this direction is because of access,” said Carlos Lopez, dean of the Mathematics and Sciences Department. “We simply do not have sufficient space to accommodate all of the growth we’ve experienced and expect to experience.” On Friday, the district with Oceanside and Encinitas campuses announced it secured state approval to significantly expand its online course offerings. These would join classes under the umbrella of CyberCosta.

http://timesofsandiego.com/education/2014/06/13/packed-to-the-gills-miracosta-college-okd-for-more-online-classes/

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June 24, 2014

Report: Schools’ Desire for Mobile Technology Outpaces Funds

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by Games and Learning

A new study sponsored by the educational technology firm Amplify highlights the growing presence of mobile technology in the nation’s classrooms and a growing desire by many districts to supply every student with a tablet. “Many districts look to mobile technology to increase student achievement and make learning more engaging and personalized,” the research firm IESD wrote in the full report. “However, many districts also report challenges in implementing mobile technology related to teacher lack of knowledge or experience, need for professional development and implementation support, and mobile device management issues.”

http://www.gamesandlearning.org/2014/06/04/schools-desire-for-mobile-technology-outpaces-funds/

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New free school wants children to spend longer being taught over internet

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By TOM MCTAGUE, Mail

Documents given to the Times Education Supplement reveal how Ark believes the new model will allow teachers’ roles to be ‘revised’. Other schools using the system have introduced new roles that include ‘master teachers’ responsible for ‘leading full-class or small group instruction’ while the computers take on more of the routine tasks. Teachers in the new computer schools could also be responsible for ‘leading small group instruction’ or the ’supervision of online learning’. An ARK spokesman today said: ‘Our plans are at a very early stage, but it is worth reflecting that our blended learning pilot at King Solomon Academy did not mean fewer teachers or bigger classes, but ensuring that pupils have access to the latest in educational technology and techniques. ‘The school is rated outstanding by Ofsted and results have been improving every year, above national averages. High quality teaching is at the core of the ARK approach, and helps our schools to achieve excellent standards.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2657195/Computers-replace-teachers-classroom-2016-radical-plans-considered-new-free-school.html

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Teachers Surveyed on Using Games in Class

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by Games and Learning

Although technology in the classroom is evolving from computers to tablets, a new survey from the Games and Learning Publishing Council highlights that the use of games in the classroom is becoming more common and teachers are increasingly valuing the ability games have to motivate low-performing students. The results are an initial look at a far larger analysis of the state of games in the classroom that will be released in late summer 2014.

http://www.gamesandlearning.org/2014/06/09/teachers-on-using-games-in-class/

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