Techno-News Blog

May 31, 2015

5 conditions that support great teaching

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by eSchool News

Stakeholder group will develop report, advocate for conditions that are conducive to excellent teaching. The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future will lead a collaborative, action-oriented initiative to support great teaching. It will culminate in the release of an upcoming report that will include action steps, policy and practice recommendations, as well as a retrospective look at what has happened in the teaching profession since 1996 following the release of NCTAF’s flagship report What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/05/22/nctaf-great-teaching-097/

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Report outlines how to shift to tech-enabled personalized learning

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by eschool news

New report examines how this type of learning is poised to benefit all students. A new report has combined the recommendations and observations more than 100 educators who gathered last year to compare experiences, discuss common challenges and barriers, explore case studies, and identify potential solutions and models that all must be addressed collectively to scale the implementation of personalized learning through technology. The educators gathered at the Technology-Enabled Personalized Learning (TEPL) Summit hosted by the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University in collaboration with Digital Promise, the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), and the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators (MAISA).

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/05/22/tech-personalized-learning-436/

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May 30, 2015

Robots teach coping and programming

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By Debra Winters, The Record

One New Jersey school district here has a new member of its teaching staff: Nao, an interactive robot that works with students who have autism and those with language impairments. It has been with Wayne Public Schools about three months, and advanced computer science students at Wayne Hills High School have been busy programming and learning about it. The robot, which cost about $8,000 and was obtained with federal funds, was created by a company called Alderbran and was initially researched by Wayne’s Pines Lake Elementary School Principal Jose Celis.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/05/21/robot-programming-schools-985/

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Where is scholarship headed in the digital age?

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by ecampus News

Two academics sound off on what open access really means in higher-ed today, and where the future of scholarship is headed. The tenure system is still built on a publish-or-perish foundation, but what does it mean to “publish” in a digital age? How does an institution appropriately evaluate, and reward, a body of academic work that is collaborative, iterative, and communal in nature? Two well-placed academics join this month’s eCampus News Symposium to discuss how higher education can adopt open access scholarship to the benefit of the faculty, the institution, and scholarship itself. Both writers argue that for open scholarship to truly take hold, cultural changes have to occur in higher education.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/where-is-scholarship-headed-in-the-digital-age/

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UNC creates online program, advising for military students

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BY JANE STANCILL, News and Observer

UNC-Chapel Hill has announced a new push to help veterans and active-duty military pursue higher education. At an event attended by students in uniform Wednesday, Chancellor Carol Folt announced an online education program available to active-duty military, so they can take introductory, general courses that could lead to an undergraduate degree. The program, dubbed UNC Core, will allow soldiers, sailors, Marines and Air Force members to take UNC courses at a distance – from their bases across North Carolina or at military installations around the world.

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article21500364.html

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May 29, 2015

6 steps to a successful BYOD program

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By Bridget McCrea, eSchool News

Bring your own device programs are evolving. It’s time to take a fresh look. Bring-your-own-device and one-to-one laptop/tablet implementations on K-12 campuses usually sound simply enough in theory—but they can actually be quite complex. Lenny Schad, chief technology information office at Houston Independent School District (HISD), has spearheaded a number of successful BYOD rollouts, and frequently distills advice to struggling districts. Here, he gives technology teams his top six strategies for ensuring a smooth implementation and long-term success for a K-12 BYOD initiative.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/05/20/byod-program-425/

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Leaders discuss taking online learning from an alternative to a “must”

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By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

Until recently, online learning has been viewed as either solely for those interested in adult education or as a branding tactic for innovative institutions. And though online learning is still one of the most accessible ways of providing quality postsecondary education to those with diverse backgrounds and commitments, the popularity of blended learning models, and recent trends in cross-institutional collaboration, online learning is experiencing rapid implementation in today’s colleges and universities. Here, eCampus News asked distinguished online learning advocates to give their thoughts on why it’s imperative to take higher education’s perception of online learning from an alternative to a “must.”

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/online-learning-must-989/

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What Disruption? Online Education and the Status Quo

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BY WILLIAM FENTON, PC Magazine

The problem with today’s MOOCs is their elite pedigree and top-down approach to online education. Creating and maintaining a MOOC takes a village—and well-heeled one. From my conversations with faculty who developed online courses for edX and Coursera, I came to understand that an educator couldn’t possibly build an online course without tenure and voluminous institutional support. For example, the aforementioned Coursera class lists 21 contributors, including two pedagogical assistants, two producers, and a copyright consultant, under its course credits. The professor estimated that she spent hundreds of hours developing her first course, and still more time revising it for later iterations. It’s no wonder that large, established institutions dominate the catalogs of edX and Coursera. Udemy is the only platform I have encountered that challenges this paradigm by allowing anyone to create courses. However, its approach is at once logistically and philosophically limited.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2484354,00.asp

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May 28, 2015

Technology in Higher Education: Defining the Strategic Leader

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by EDUCAUSE Review

The higher education IT enterprise has become complex. No longer simply responsible for provisioning IT infrastructure and services, the IT department increasingly helps re-envision business and service models, all in a context of cost and accountability pressures. IT is simultaneously more challenging, relevant, and exciting than ever; leading IT requires unique characteristics and capabilities. But what qualities make for a successful IT leader in this environment? What traits are required to be a strategic player for IT on campus? What are the most significant gaps in required knowledge, skills, and abilities? How do we prepare the next generation to lead? In 2014, EDUCAUSE, the association of IT leaders in higher education in the United States, and Jisc, the national organization supporting the use of digital technologies for higher education and research in the United Kingdom, came together to address a common concern — that insufficient attention is paid to understanding the skills required by technology leaders in higher education, both now and in the future.

http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/technology-higher-education-defining-strategic-leader?

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Stanford researchers develop virtual discussion sections tool

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by Skylar Cohen, Stanford Daily

Stanford researchers have developed a new tool called Talkabout to enhance online learning through the formation of virtual discussion sections — allowing students from around the globe to connect and share ideas. Talkabout is built around Google Hangouts and joins groups of 2 to 9 people in conversation. This feature will facilitate small-group discussion in order to improve massive open online courses (MOOCs), which are offered by Stanford and many other institutions and attract thousands of students from around the world.

http://www.stanforddaily.com/2015/05/19/stanford-researchers-develop-virtual-discussion-sections-tool/

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How (and Why) To Use Student Blogs

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By Kristen Hicks, Edudemic

Blogging has come a long way– once a strange new buzzword, it’s now an important tool for business, education, and personal development. Having a blog doesn’t just mean putting personal diary entries out on the web for the world to see – it can be a way to learn more about yourself and any subject you choose to explore. Blogging is one of the easiest ways to create something meaningful with mixed media. That makes it a perfect fit for the classroom.

http://www.edudemic.com/blog-setup-video/

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May 27, 2015

Discover 4 Unusual Online Bachelor’s Degrees

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by Ian Quillan, US News

Many people know a college student or a working professional pursuing an online degree in business, health care, information technology or education. “People are stepping away from the thought of, ‘You can’t learn that online,’” says Cali Morrison, communications manager at WCET, an organization that advocates for effective technology use in higher education. And now in 2015, it’s possible to get an online bachelor’s degree in fire and emergency services administration, aviation, integrative health or even horticulture.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2015/05/18/discover-4-unusual-online-bachelors-degrees

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Cal Lt. Gov. cites insufficient outreach to faculty in push for online education

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by David Siders, Sacramento Bee

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that he and other proponents of online education, including Gov. Jerry Brown, failed to sufficiently engage faculty members in their longstanding push to expand online course offerings at California’s colleges and universities. Brown has pressed the University of California and California State University systems to expand online offerings for more than two years, hoping to expand the system’s reach and to reduce costs. But his efforts remain largely unfulfilled.

http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article21349020.html

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Video Game Could Transform Middle School Students’ Online Learning

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by Infozine

The Department of Education recently awarded a group of researchers at the University of Missouri $2.7 million to support the development of an educational video game for middle school distance learners. Through playing the game, students will learn lessons about water systems and practice scientific argumentation. Teachers can monitor students’ progress and intervene during the game to support the individual needs of each student.

http://www.infozine.com/news/stories/op/storiesView/sid/61899/

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May 26, 2015

UK Digital Course Provider Claims Biggest Student Uptake

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by Shannon Greenhalgh, MISCO

Classroom overcrowding is not an issue for UK online learning platform FutureLearn. The digital course provider is claiming the biggest online university course ever. The service has reported that 370,000 students have enrolled for its English language British Council course – showing the scale of online learning, says the BBC. The Understanding IELTS (International English Language Testing System): Techniques for English Language Tests course, which prepares students for a recognised English language proficiency test, has overtaken in numbers a US social psychology course from the Connecticut-based Wesleyan University which had 260,000 students.

http://www.misco.co.uk/blog/news/02964/learning-online-digital-course-provider-claims-biggest-student-uptake

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When Your Online Course Is Put Up for Adoption

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by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Ed

For many institutions, online education has been an opportunity not only to increase the number of enrolled students, but also to focus on designing courses that are compelling no matter who is leading them. “You’re seeing more and more of instructors rotating in and out of courses once they’re developed, because obviously the time to develop a course is a lot,” says John Haubrick, manager of instructional design at Pennsylvania State University’s online arm.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/when-your-online-course-is-put-up-for-adoption/56723

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A Semi-Automated System for Recognizing Prior Knowledge

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by Joaquim Moré, et al; iJET

Adaptive e-learning systems are able to automatically generate personalized learning paths from the students’ profile. Generally, the student profile is updated with information about knowledge the student has acquired, courses the student has passed and previous work experience. Unfortunately, dealing with courses that students passed in other learning environments is very difficult, error prone and requires a lot of manual intervention. In addition, the recognition of external courses is a process that all institutions, on-site and online learning organization, must perform during the access of new students, since it can be greatly useful not only for personalization but also for recognizing the courses the students attended. In this paper, we propose an intelligent system that analyzes the academic record of students in textual format to identify what subjects the students studied in the past and therefore are potentially recognizable. In addition, the proposed system is able to enrich the information the institution has about the students’ background, facilitating the identification of personalized learning paths.

http://online-journals.org/index.php/i-jet/article/view/4610

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May 25, 2015

Young Students Learn Better with Mix of Virtual and Real Worlds

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By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

Young learners do up to five times better when instruction combines the real world with the virtual world. That’s the finding from Carnegie Mellon University, where researchers came up with a test to figure out how technology could best contribute to learning. “NoRILLA,” as the testing platform is called, is a mixed-reality set-up that bridges physical and virtual worlds. The system includes software and hardware components, including a computer depth camera (Microsoft’s Kinect for Windows) to provide personalized feedback while experimenting in the real world.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2015/05/11/young-students-learn-better-with-mix-of-virtual-and-real-worlds.aspx

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NASA 3D printing challenge tests creativity and design skills

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by eSchool News

A new 3D printing design contest from NASA is giving K-12 students the chance to design items that could ultimately be manufactured on the International Space Station. The program, called “Future Engineers,” challenges students to create a digital 3D model of a container for space. Astronauts need containers of all kinds,” according to the challenge’s website, “from advanced containers that can study fruit flies to simple containers that collect Mars rocks or store an astronaut’s food.” 3D printing gives astronauts the ability to fabricate necessities on the fly, even in space, opening up new opportunities for research and learning. The container could be intended for use on the International Space Station or for a different, even hypothetical, space mission.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/05/18/nasa-3d-challenge-470/

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Coding in the Classroom: 16 Top Resources

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By Joy Nelson, Edudemic

As cool as technology is, its intricacies and inner workings are sometimes intimidating, especially for young people who may be more interested in what technology can do for them rather than what they can do with technology. However, when students hurdle that obstacle and see the value of computer science — specifically coding — they gain a broadened perspective and the potential for a rewarding career in the tech field. The following resources will help you teach your students the basics of coding and will provide tips on how to keep kids interested as you go.

http://www.edudemic.com/coding-classroom-16-top-resources/

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May 24, 2015

Get Back to Work – Reducing Procrastination in Online Classes

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by Carl Straumsheim, Tomorrow’s Professor

The key to making online students focus on their course work may be making procrastination as unenjoyable as possible, according to a study out of Cornell University. It’s a familiar problem to anyone with a deadline and a computer: the assignment is open on the screen, half-finished, but is quickly lost in a stack of web browser tabs. Upon rediscovery (with an accompanying pang of guilt), the procrastinator resolves to buckle down and type out the last few paragraphs — right after clearing the notification that just popped up and checking just one more website. Richard W. Patterson, a Ph.D. student in policy analysis and management at Cornell, wanted to see if software could reduce procrastination and, as a result, improve students’ grades.

http://cgi.stanford.edu/~dept-ctl/cgi-bin/tomprof/enewsletter.php?msgno=1413

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