Techno-News Blog

August 31, 2014

10 Free Online Courses That Every Professional Should Take

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by RICHARD FELONI, Business Insider

We asked Salman Khan, founder, executive director, and lead tutor of Khan Academy, for the top 10 lectures professionals in any industry would appreciate, and included them below. Not every lecture is the first one in its respective series, but Khan thinks each is a good indicator of whether you’d like to spend more time going through all the videos and exercises in that course.

http://www.businessinsider.com/essential-khan-academy-courses-2014-8?op=1

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Blended learning design advice for collaboration & retention

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By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

According to a new roundup of case studies spanning multiple universities in Australia, blended synchronous learning can improve student retention rates and ease the concern that online students aren’t getting the same education as on-campus students. However, that’s only if blended learning is done right. Researchers from Macquarie University, Charles Stuart University, and the University of Melbourne identified seven recent case studies from leading universities using diverse technologies in blended synchronous learning to enhance student and faculty collaboration, ultimately leading to better retention rates for online students and more effective learning.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/blended-learning-design-763/

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August 30, 2014

5 important higher-ed conversations on Twitter

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By Michael Sharnoff, eCampus News

See what higher-ed professionals are saying on Twitter about some of the most pressing ed-tech issues. How will colleges and universities find a more sustainable business model in higher ed?  Whether discussing the latest trends in online learning, cybersecurity, or tuition costs, there are plenty of ed-tech conversations to follow on Twitter.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/twitter-higher-ed-382/

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Get ready: iOS 8 is almost here

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By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

Apple’s new iOS 8 release has big potential for education, but school networks must be prepared, experts say. But as most school IT leaders will agree, iOS 7 posed problems for school networks, in many cases leveling those networks as students attempted to update at least one, and often more than one, device on their school’s network. Apple has a huge stake in the education market, and iOS 8 promises some next-level features for educators and students. A major feature, called “extensibility,” enables apps to work together better and share more information. According to Business Insider, this means less time switching between apps and more time for productivity. Extensibility, coupled with other iOS 8 features, promise to put the latest upgrade at the top of Apple users’ priorities.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/08/22/ios-8-almost-here-376/

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Critics of online degrees start from a false premise

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By PAUL LeBLANC, Concord Monitor

The higher education that tends to most shape our debates is the one of four-year, first-time, full-time students going right from high school to college – the college most often depicted in movies and television and novels and cherished by most who had the privilege of being educated that way. That higher education is about getting a degree and an education, and it is about coming of age. And these students now make up less than 20 percent of all college students in America. Online programs, in contrast, mostly serve working adults who have had all the coming of age they need. For this population, the four C’s that shape adult students’ needs are: credential (getting the right degree that advances their work and careers), completion (getting a degree as quickly as possible while maintaining quality), cost (a major issue for much of this population) and convenience (having delivery methods that work for them).

http://www.concordmonitor.com/home/13187082-95/my-turn-critics-of-online-degrees-start-from-a-false-premise

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August 29, 2014

Computer Science: The Future of Education

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by Alison Derbenwick Miller, Edutopia

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2020 there will be 1.4 million new computer science jobs. However, between current professionals and university students, we will only have 400,000 computer scientists trained to fill those roles. Since it can take as many as 25 years to create a computer scientist, and since computer science skills are becoming increasingly integral for jobs in all industries, this skills gap is on track to emerge as a formidable economic, security, and social justice challenge in the next few years. Teachers, schools, parents, and industry must act on multiple fronts to address student readiness, expand access to computer science curriculum and opportunities, and help foster interest in computer science to ensure that it becomes a core component of every child’s education.

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/computer-science-future-of-education-alison-derbenwick-miller

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4 Ways to Enhance Your Class with Google Hangouts

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By Jennifer Carey, Edudemic

If you are familiar with Google Tools, then you have probably heard of Google Hangouts or even used them yourself. Hangouts is Google’s video conferencing tool, and it’s an incredibly powerful way to engage with others. In addition to standard conference calls, Google Hangouts provide a broadcasting option called Hangouts on Air. This allows you to conduct your Hangout LIVE and record it to post on YouTube. You can participate in a Google Hangout from a web browser on your computer or use one of the free mobile apps for your Apple or Android device. It is important to note, however, that participating in a GHO does require that you enable Google+ (Google’s Social Media Service) and that you be at least 13 years old. However, people of any age may view a GHO broadcast “On Air” or posted to a YouTube channel.

http://www.edudemic.com/4-ways-enhance-class-google-hangouts/

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Why the Future of Education Is Open

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By Sean Michael Kerner, eWeek

Anant Agarwal, the CEO of online education platform edX, is on a mission to change the way that people learn. In a keynote address at the LinuxCon conference here, Agarwal explained how open source and big data techniques are being used at edX to help educate millions of people. The edX platform was founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with the promise of redefining the future of education. The edX platform has 2.7 million students around the world. One of edX’s most popular classes is an introduction to Linux course from the Linux Foundation, which has more than 250,000 students.

http://www.eweek.com/cloud/why-the-future-of-education-is-open.html

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August 28, 2014

Moocs are free – but for how much longer?

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by Chris Parr, Times Higher Education

John Mitchell is vice-provost for online learning and overseer of Stanford’s Mooc programme, which has delivered more than 240 online and blended campus courses to about 2 million people since 2011 – more than 50 of them for free. Professor Mitchell, who is an instructor on a computer security Mooc offered by Stanford on the Coursera platform, said that professional development courses offered universities the best opportunity to grow the income they generate from online courses. “I think [Stanford] will have low cost, high volume, but non-free courses online that will help make our online programmes sustainable,” he said, adding that no college or university was able to continue funding free courses without finding a way to cover the costs.

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/moocs-are-free-but-for-how-much-longer/2015204.article

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Coursera’s MOOCs Go To Work: What MasterCard Is Learning

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by George Anders, Forbes

An intriguing strategy tweak is taking shape at Coursera, the pioneer of massively open online courses, or MOOCs. While Coursera still opens its (virtual) doors wide to anyone who wants to take a free course for the fun of it, the company also is welcoming big firms such as MasterCard, BNY Mellon, AT&T and Shell, as they seek new content for employee training and development. The business case is obvious.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeanders/2014/08/20/courseras-new-goal-teaching-at-firms-such-as-mastercard/

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Florida Polytechnic University opens with a bookless library

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By CAROLYN KELLOGG, LA Times

Florida Polytechnic University is so new that it has only been open for a few days. It’s the latest campus in the Florida State University system, has plans to be part of a new Silicon Valley East, and boasts a striking main building designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The main building is the Innovation, Science and Technology Building, which is where most of the 500 new students will spend their time in class. Its second floor includes the Commons, an area that includes its library services. The Commons does have librarians and Internet connections to all the standard electronic resources of a university library. It provides access to a digital catalog that launched with 135,000 e-books. But take a look around the room, and it’s completely bookless.

http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-florida-polytechnic-opens-with-bookless-library-20140820-story.html

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August 27, 2014

Why you should care about gamification in higher education

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By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

gGaming in education has, for the most part, been a K-12 trend, with its popularity relegated to supplemental learning for elementary school students. But gamification, from its implementation at MIT to its praise from the job industry, has much more serious implications for college students—and perhaps it’s time higher education got serious about incorporating game design. Today’s course design is under incredible pressure from popular practices favored by students—practices like the inclusion of interactive mobile technology, blended learning, Flipped Learning, and the integration of peer community forums—and according to experts, understanding the reasons why students prefer these methods of instruction can be gleaned from taking part in gaming.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/gamification-higher-education-028/

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This Flipped Class Is Studying Biology with a $10 Microscope and a Smart Phone

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By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Take a smartphone, add $10 worth of plywood and Plexiglas, a bit of hardware, laser pointer lenses and LED click lights from a keychain flashlight and you have a DIY microscope worthy of use in college classes. At least, that’s the idea of an instructor at the Missouri University of Science and Technology who is adding the do-it-yourself technology in her biology lab courses. The project is part of a larger research endeavor at the university to explore the design of instructional labs for science and engineering courses that can be delivered in a blended or online format. The goal of a research is to develop e-learning models to redesign traditional lab courses to work in a hybrid format and to create a handbook for use by instructors that explains how to apply the new models.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/08/19/this-flipped-class-is-studying-biology-with-a-$10-microscope-and-a-smart-phone.aspx

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Why You Should Be Using Video In Your Classroom

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By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

Using video in the classroom has come a long way from a TV and VCR on a cart to watch a movie during class (The standard about ten gazillion years ago when I was a student). There are a ton of different ways you can employ video in your classroom, from video feedback to educational videos about specific topics, there is a lot of possibility out there. Even if you know that this way and that are options for including video in your classroom, you might still be wondering why you should be using video in the first place. The handy infographic below takes a look at reasons why video is a great form of engagement

http://www.edudemic.com/video-in-your-classroom/

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August 26, 2014

Hot technology trends in higher education

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By Bob Burwell, eCampus News

Enterprise-level technology continues to evolve at a furious pace, and with the growing operational and technological complexity of our higher education institutions, school administrators and executives charged with IT responsibilities can be left scratching their heads trying to understand and navigate their options. Higher education decision makers are eyeing ways to better understand, plan for, and execute around the technology trends that will impact their organizations in 2014. Based on our own first-hand conversations with education leaders and executives, and observations during the first half of the year, several top-of-mind themes and challenges consistently emerge.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/technology-higher-education-031/

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Teenagers Seek Out Online Courses

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by Larry Press, A New Domain

As you can see, more than 40 percent of incoming freshman UCLA polled had been frequently or occasionally assigned an online course in the past year. More shocking (to me, anyway) was that roughly 70 percent had sought out an online course on their own. Looking more closely at the information, it is clear public school students had slightly more experience with online courses than those enrolling in private colleges. This makes some sense, as public institutions tend to offer more online courses in their own curriculum. The most fascinating part of this poll for me was that incoming freshman to historically black institutions of learning were much more prone to having engaged with online courses than any other freshman group, whether it was assigned or not.

http://anewdomain.net/2014/08/18/teenagers-seek-online-courses/

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Studying in 2014: could online courses become the new norm?

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By Marni Williams, Career FAQs

Come in. Sit down. Eyes to the front and no talking in the back please. Just kidding, this is online learning! No one cares where you are and you can talk all you like. It’s your course and you can study it however you want to. Chances are that by now you might know at least one person who has studied online (I’m finishing off a Certificate IV in Fitness this weekend). Or maybe you’re in the middle of a bit of online upskilling yourself. Over the past five years, the online learning sector has gone from being a possible disruptor of traditional learning to a serious challenger. It’s found itself on top of industry watchlists, and with more providers and more government-funded courses on offer every other month, it’s clear that it’s here to stay. So why is online education so hot right now?

http://www.careerfaqs.com.au/news/news-and-views/studying-in-2014-could-online-courses-become-the-new-norm/

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August 25, 2014

Mobile technology lets students create their own classrooms

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BY GILLIAN SHAW, Vancouver Sun

Post-secondary students gearing up to return to the classroom will spend an increasing amount of their learning time online. A recent study by H+K Perspectives, Hill + Knowlton’s research arm, and yconic found that students report spending one third of their time doing schoolwork online. “Mobile technologies are changing the landscape of the classroom, of post-secondary education,” said Prof. Thierry Karsenti, Canada research chair on information technology and communications in education at the University of Montreal. “Simply put students are capable of creating their own classroom, a classroom they can access almost from anywhere, at anytime.”

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Mobile+technology+lets+students+create+their/10128650/story.html

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Twitter Has the Research Chatter

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By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Academia.edu, ResearchGate and other websites jostle for the title of go-to social network for researchers, but when faculty members go online to discuss their peers’ work, many of them turn to Twitter. That’s one takeaway from Richard Van Noorden’s study of social media use in higher education, published last week in the science journal Nature. Van Noorden, senior reporter for the journal, surveyed 3,509 scholars worldwide this summer about their online habits, and his results suggest many researchers only use the social networks designed specifically for academics to establish a presence, and not much else. When asked specifically about their use, two-thirds of the scholars said they registered Twitter “in case someone wishes to contact me about my research.”

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/08/19/study-scholars-are-present-professional-networks-engage-twitter

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Robo-readers aren’t as good as human readers — in some ways they’re better

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By Annie Murphy Paul, Hechinger Report

Instructors at the New Jersey Institute of Technology have been using a program called E-Rater in this fashion since 2009, and they’ve observed a striking change in student behavior as a result. Andrew Klobucar, associate professor of humanities at NJIT, notes that students almost universally resist going back over material they’ve written. But, Klobucar told Inside Higher Ed reporter Scott Jaschik, his students are willing to revise their essays, even multiple times, when their work is being reviewed by a computer and not by a human teacher. They end up writing nearly three times as many words in the course of revising as students who are not offered the services of E-Rater, and the quality of their writing improves as a result. Crucially, says Klobucar, students who feel that handing in successive drafts to an instructor wielding a red pen is “corrective, even punitive” do not seem to feel rebuked by similar feedback from a computer.

https://people.uis.edu/rschr1/onlinelearning/wp-admin/post-new.php

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August 24, 2014

Games: The new learning experience

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By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

True game-based learning uses intrinsic experiences and moves away from a more simple extrinsic rewards-based system where students play the game in pursuit of a reward or achievement and are disconnected from the fundamental content. Games combine just the right degree of challenge with just the right amount of engagement, said Lucien Vattel, CEO of GameDesk, a nonprofit focusing on research and development around game-based learning. GameDesk recently launched Educade, an online portal that links students, teachers, and parents to an online resource library full of apps, games, and hands-on activities.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/08/18/games-learning-experience-346/

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