Techno-News Blog

February 29, 2016

HOW ONLINE DEGREE PROGRAMS FACTOR INTO HIGHER ED’S FUTURE

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by Kitty McConnell, Columbus CEO

The Internet has disrupted every sector, and higher education is no exception. Online programs are changing the way students earn degrees at brick-and-mortar colleges and universities. Many of central Ohio’s academic institutions are investing in online initiatives to stay competitive. As eLearning gains wider acceptance among students and administrators, academic institutions and faculty are wrestling with the hows and whys of integrating online courses into traditional college curriculums.

http://www.columbusceo.com/content/stories/2016/02/higher-elearning.html

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MasterClass Raises $15 Million For Online Classes Taught By Celebrities

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by Connie Loizos, Tech Crunch

MasterClass, a San Francisco-based online education platform that’s luring some of the most talented professionals in their respective fields to teach, has raised $15 million in Series B funding led by New Enterprise Associates. What investors are backing is certainly interesting. MasterClass, which charges $90 for each “MasterClass,” currently features five options, including five hours of acting class that are taught by Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman; two hours of advanced tennis techniques taught by tennis great Serena Williams; 22 lessons on writing taught by bestselling author James Patterson; and 16 video lessons by entertainer Usher on the art of performance.

http://techcrunch.com/2016/02/23/masterclass-raises-15-million-for-online-classes-taught-by-celebrities/

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These Six EdTech Ventures Are Deploying Big Data To Improve Digital Business Education

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by Seb Murray, Business Because

A Harvard Business School MBA is launching an edtech venture that will utilize big data analytics to improve students’ online learning. Ashwin Damera has teamed up with MIT Sloan School of Management, Columbia Business School, and Tuck School of Business to bring their world-leading content further into the digital realm. The Emeritus Institute of Management is the latest in a long line of start-ups biting into the rapidly growing online education market — expected to reach $107 billion last year, according to Docebo. Many are utilizing analytics to improve both teaching and learning. The crunching of data, along with a focus on virtual communication and teams, and on the skills needed for managing in the digital economy, are what sets the Emeritus Institute apart, Ashwin said.

http://www.businessbecause.com/news/mba-distance-learning/3800/edtech-improves-online-business-training

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February 28, 2016

8 MOOCs for Better Technology-Enhanced Teaching

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By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

These free courses will help update your skills with blended, OER, Universal Design and more. Let 2016 be the year you revamp your understanding of technology-enhanced teaching or add a new skill for helping students learn. We’ve culled through hundreds of massive open online courses (MOOCs) that are starting in or after February 2016 to identify seven free courses for fine-tuning the instructional practices in your classrooms.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/02/10/8-moocs-for-better-technology-enhanced-teaching.aspx

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Video Chat Your Way Into College: How Tech Is Changing The Admissions Process

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by Anya Kamenetz, NPR

Two new companies, Kira Academic and YouVisit, market novel applications of technology to colleges that want to find the best overseas students and vice versa. Kira Academic is a video-based real time admissions platform that works like a virtual interviewing tool. The company saw the potential market in higher education, and it now works with 140 universities around the world. Kira works with colleges to come up with a specific battery of questions. YouVisit produces video-based virtual reality “tours” of hotels, travel destinations and colleges, including Harvard and Yale. Shot in high-definition video, the VR tours give students the opportunity to explore a campus while feeling as if they’re really there.

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/02/10/465583808/video-chat-your-way-into-college-how-tech-is-changing-the-admissions-process

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The major momentum behind micro-credentials

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BY JENNIFER KABAKER, eSchool News

Over the past two years, Digital Promise has been building an ecosystem of micro-credentials to provide competency-based recognition for the skills educators develop throughout their careers in both formal and informal contexts. Supported by the Open Badge Standard (developed by Mozilla) and digital badging technology, these micro-credentials provide educators with concrete validation of their learning that can be used as a type of currency in professional learning. To earn a micro-credential, an educator can select either a single micro-credential or a stack that is aligned with his or her interests or students’ needs, collect the required evidence to demonstrate competency, and submit it online for assessment. An assessor will download the video, and evaluate it through the publicly available rubric.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2016/02/16/the-major-momentum-behind-micro-credentials/

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February 27, 2016

What does research really say about iPads in the classroom?

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by Jeanne Carey Ingle and Tanya Moorehead, eSchoolNews

So for the past year and a half, we’ve both been working with teachers and university students integrating iPad technology into the classroom in a controlled way. While doing this, we came across several outcomes that made us question and dig deeper into what the research actually says about using them in the classroom. Do students and younger teachers use them more effectively? Do they work better for some student populations? It’s probably not giving much away to say that the most important learning outcome we found was that experience is the greatest teacher.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2016/02/15/what-does-research-really-say-about-ipads-in-the-classroom/

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Coursera Adds Mentors, Project-Based Courses to Online Offerings

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by EdSurge

Coursera began offering mentors for 10 of its courses, Class Central reports. For $248, students can receive 1:1 feedback, email and forum support, and live weekly “office hours” with mentors—professionals from industries relevant to each course. While companies including Udacity and General Assembly have offered mentor-guided courses for years, the space is mostly new for Coursera, whose other guided-course initiative (a peer-to-peer tutoring pilot in 2014) was short-lived.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-02-19-coursera-adds-mentors-project-based-courses-to-online-offerings

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How to Make the Most of Online Learning

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by Demetra Katsifli, CMI

CMI chief executive Ann Francke said: “Many employers need to rethink how they go about helping their managers learn new skills. Just dumping textbooks onto smartphones is a dumb way to upskill managers. Managers want personalised bite-size content, to share knowledge and learn from connected peer networks, to ask questions and get feedback in real time. Why? Because it’s now part of how we work and live.” Today, online distance learning is no longer a poor cousin of the classroom. In fact, recent research has shown that people taking online courses are developing additional skills ¬– such as discipline, focus, accountability and troubleshooting – precisely because this method of learning requires them to be more organised and manage their own educational experience. A key feature of online distance learning is that the students are at the centre of the learning process and they have to take a more proactive role.

http://www.managers.org.uk/insights/news/2016/february/how-to-make-the-most-of-online-learning

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February 26, 2016

3D Technologies Add Another Dimension to Learning

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By Dennis Pierce, THE Journal

In Scott Nichols’ Principles of Engineering course at Pikesville High School in Maryland, students had a creative idea that could help people in developing countries receive better medical care. Through research, the students discovered that people who suffer trauma might not get the attention they need because of a lack of doctors. They realized that if they could create a three-dimensional template for a generic arm cast, they could alter the file based on an individual patient’s arm measurements. With a small investment, developing countries’ medical facilities could buy a 3D printer that would cost much less than having a doctor on staff — and they could print a customized cast based on the patient’s measurements. Using a new 3D scanning and modeling tool from HP, called Sprout, the students used three-dimensional scans of their arms to create a model cast file that could be altered based on the measurements of a patient’s arm and then sent to a 3D printer for creation.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2016/02/17/3d-technologies-add-another-dimension-to-learning.aspx

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Thousands of Refugees to Receive College Credit Online through edX Partnership with Kiron

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by edX

As part of a joint effort to improve the lives of thousands of newly arrived Syrian and other refugees in Europe, edX today announced a partnership with Kiron that offers a pathway to earn free college credit. The collaboration, which begins April 2016, will provide online learning opportunities for thousands of current and new Kiron students who seek better lives after escaping Syria and other war-torn countries. Kiron, whose mission is to enable access to free higher education for refugees, independent of national and/or personal and financial situations, will integrate 300 edX courses into its learning platform. EdX will issue free verified certificates for specific courses, translating to college credit with Kiron’s university campus partners. The full slate of offerings will include introductory as well as university-level specialty courses.

http://news.sys-con.com/node/3684967

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Columbia creates new administrative position for online education, expands online programming

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BY JESSICA SPITZ, Columbia Spectator

Sandesh Tuladhar will work to centralize efforts to incorporate online education across the University as the new director of online education. Various forms of online education have been present at Columbia for years, including massive open online courses, certification programs, and “flipped” classrooms, which incorporate online resources into a course’s curriculum. However, with the recent creation of a new position for a Director of Online Education and the opening of the Center for Teaching and Learning, Columbia looks to expand the scale of online educational programming even further.

http://columbiaspectator.com/news/2016/02/18/university-hires-first-director-online-education-online-education-efforts-rapidly

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February 25, 2016

Online textbooks add content, save money: Schools adapting to newer technology

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By Ron Bridgeman, Gainsville Times

Teachers at the school have collaborated using Google Classroom to create course materials. Textbooks are disappearing in the Hall County schools — and saving the system more than $1 million a year. But county teachers also use technology to “crowd source” and develop curriculum that can go beyond a text. Textbooks are disappearing in the Hall County schools — and saving the system more than $1 million a year. But county teachers also use technology to “crowd source” and develop curriculum that can go beyond a text. Hall County has not purchased a full “core” subject of textbooks in about six years, Kevin Bales, director of middle and secondary education, said. Such a purchase would be $2 million to $3 million, he said. Hall County has $700,000 budgeted for the current fiscal year, Bales said.  Aaron Turpin, Hall County technology executive director, said teachers make suggestions and provide copies of course materials that can be used by others in the field. That material could have a lot of sources, he said — “you can’t do this with a text.” “With digital textbooks and digital resources, students often have the advantage of thousands and thousands of pages of information on a specific topic, whereas hardback textbooks are much more limited,” Bales explained.

http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/section/6/article/115230/

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Students compare online, on-campus classes

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by Sophia Oswald, WASHBURN REVIEW

Whether or not you prefer online courses or taking a class in person depends on who you are and how you learn. There are many advantages to both types and the preference really depends on each individual student. When students decide to learn in the classroom, they are able to learn face-to-face and can ask questions as soon as they get stumped. These can be difficult for some people because you have to be on campus and are responsible for being there at a certain time. When students decide to enroll in an online course, they aren’t required to be in a class at a certain time and they don’t have to commute to be there. This type of course can help people who work a lot and have tight schedules.

http://www.washburnreview.org/opinion/students-compare-online-on-campus-classes/article_e01c0d60-cec1-11e5-ba95-f391fa677f4c.html

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Hack Club!

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By Greg Thompson, THE Journal

High school students have started taking charge of their own computer science education. One of them, Zach Latta, an 18-year-old who was named to Forbes’ “30 Under 30″ list for 2016, has helped to create a network of coding groups (“Hack Clubs”) that have spread to 12 states and six countries so far. The purpose: to get kids coding regardless of background or prior technical knowledge. While the familiar “maker movement” tends to focus on manipulating three-dimensional objects, the burgeoning “hack culture” is making its mark primarily in 2D. Also known as “coding,” the act of “hacking” is merely solving a problem through the use of any and all computer programming languages.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2016/02/18/hack-club.aspx

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February 24, 2016

Higher ed ‘revolution’ hard to predict, but on the way

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By Tara García Mathewson, Education Dive

While it’s hard to say when higher education will be on the other side of a major shift and what, exactly, it will look like then, Richard DeMillo, Georgia Tech computing professor and author of “Revolution in Higher Education: How a Small Band of Innovators Will Make College Accessible and Affordable,” believes the ‘revolution’ is inevitable. Campus Technology reports that DeMillo sees a major shift toward online programming and digital technology to better serve students at colleges and universities across the country, both the well-known and more obscure. A reimagined Physics 101 course at Georgia Tech replaced overcrowded labs with videos, made by students who go out into the world to conduct experiments and then report back, creating an entirely new experience for students — not simply an online version that doesn’t have space limitations.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/higher-ed-revolution-hard-to-predict-but-on-the-way/414114/

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Collecting the right data isn’t enough — colleges must know how to use it

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By Tara García Mathewson, Education Dive

Data collection around student performance has exploded in recent years, and many schools have figured out how to use the data to improve retention rates, make advising more efficient, strengthen classroom pedagogy, and offer the right services to meet student needs. But still, Jeff Ralyea, senior vice president of product management at Ellucian, sees that many campuses are lost. “What we have found is that the schools, even if they have the data, they just don’t know where to start in terms of using the data,” Ralyea said. Ellucian has been working on a set of guided analytics solutions that use heuristics to “teach” the program to anticipate desired analyses based on prior searches and user profiles. The higher education software and services company sees a strong desire for data-driven decision-making among its client institutions. This software makes it possible for a wider range of people to interpret the data in ways that can be meaningful for the organization.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/collecting-the-right-data-isnt-enough-colleges-must-know-how-to-use-it/414040/

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Explore the Pros, Cons of Gamification in Online Education

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By Jordan Friedman, US News

To keep students engaged, some faculty incorporate game-design elements into online classes. For gamification to be effective, students need to view it as a serious form of learning, experts say. In his online course on ethical decision-making, Greg Andres, a philosophy lecturer at the University of Waterloo in Canada, has students compete for the top spot on the class’ leader board. As they answer questions about how they would respond to various ethical dilemmas, they receive a certain number of points depending on how Andres views their responses in a given context. The goal is “to make course concepts concrete – here’s how it actually plays out in real life,” Andres says. Andres’ class is an example of gamification, a term that generally refers to the implementation of different game-design elements – such as competition or the earning of points or badges – into various settings.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2016-02-17/explore-the-pros-cons-of-gamification-in-online-education

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February 23, 2016

Teaching and Learning and IT Issues: Exploring the Intersections

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by Veronica Diaz and Malcolm Brown, EDUCAUSE Review

Optimizing Educational Technology, #2 on the EDUCAUSE Top 10 IT Issues list, closely aligns with several of the ELI Key Issues. Faculty development (ELI Key Issue #1) is about improving practice and enabling faculty members to support learning with the effective use of technology. Academic transformation (ELI Key Issue #2) is about using information technology creatively to support new teaching and learning models. Learning analytics (ELI Key Issue #5) refers to studying data about learners and their contexts in order to understand and optimize learning and the environments where it occurs. Finally, working with emerging technology (ELI Key Issue #3) is about having an ongoing awareness of innovations, developing an effective process by which to discover them, utilizing pilots, and considering full-scale implementation.

http://er.educause.edu/articles/2016/1/teaching-and-learning-and-it-issues-exploring-the-intersections

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Finding Our Voice: Instructional Designers in Higher Education

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by Sandra L. Miller and Gayle K. Stein, EDUCAUSE Review

A New Jersey workshop on instructional design gave attendees the opportunity to learn about instructional designers’ roles at different institutions and brainstorm good ideas, tips and tricks, important contributions to the field, and how to overcome shared challenges. Instructional technologists and video production coordinators also are involved in the instructional design process, helping faculty learn how to use instructional tools. A major challenge for instructional designers is faculty resistance to new pedagogies and deliveries — not just to hybrid and online courses. Institutional acknowledgement of skill acquisition in their professional development can lead faculty to place a higher value on technology integration in teaching and learning.

http://er.educause.edu/articles/2016/2/finding-our-voice-instructional-designers-in-higher-education

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HUD’s Castro Looks to Tech Sector to Connect 275,000 Poor Families to Broadband

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By John K. Waters, THE Journal

More than half of all low-income families in this country are not currently connected to the Internet, according to Julián Castro, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. The ConnectHome initiative is building on the existing ConnectED project to change that statistic and ensure that the Internet “follows young people home.” It is widely understood among K-12 educators and administrators that students need high-speed broadband access to the Internet, both at school and at home, to take full advantage of the online learning resources that have become a fundamental part of the 21st century classroom. But it’s also dawning on a growing number of employers that broadband access in the home might be as essential as school access to the development of a tech-savvy workforce.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2016/01/28/huds-julian-castro-looks-to-tech-sector-to-connect-275000-low-income-homes-to-broadband.aspx

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