Techno-News Blog

December 17, 2016

Rising tuition makes intersession and online courses a priority

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by Daily Campus Editorial Board

As tuition continues to rise at the University of Connecticut, more students seek to graduate early in order to save time and money. Intersession courses are vital to early graduation, with Winter Session courses providing a convenient way to earn credits at an accelerated pace. However, prohibitive cost continues to limit the feasibility of using these courses to facilitate accelerated, affordable graduation. However, as of this coming Winter Session, online courses actually cost more than in-person courses. The Office of Summer and Winter Programs lists a winter online course as costing $1,542 per student, with in-person courses costing $1,482 for the same three-week period. Even with the additional need for online software capable of handling the instruction of large courses, the lack of facilities use and other conveniences afforded by online instruction should mean reduced cost.

http://dailycampus.com/stories/2016/12/8/rising-tuition-makes-intersession-and-online-courses-a-priority

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5 critical considerations for CBE and CBL implementation

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BY DEBORAH EVERHART, eCampus News

As schools begin to invest in competency-based education (CBE) and higher ed institutions set up competency-based programs, two of the big questions often unanswered become “is their focus on education or on learning?” And “what’s the difference?” Educators can argue that the characteristics of CBE call for increased attention to learning: clearly defined competencies, flexible time structures for competency mastery, and teacher and faculty roles for mentoring learners, to name a few. But to what extent is academic culture, even in CBE programs, actually changing to be more learner-centric? How often are educational business decisions made with clear consideration of learners’ perspectives? Are academic credentials simply assumed to represent relevant learning, or do they actually document and verify competencies with evidence of learning? Are we meeting the needs of lifelong learners?

http://www.ecampusnews.com/alternative-pathways/considerations-cbe-cbl/

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December 16, 2016

New Bluetooth Spec Delivers Longer Range, Faster Speed

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By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Next year’s wireless headphones, fitness trackers, glucose monitors and in-car audio traffic navigators are expected to offer a longer range, faster performance and a larger broadcast message capacity with this week’s adoption of Bluetooth 5. Bluetooth is a low-power, short-range wireless standard that shows up in consumer electronics, home automation, medical devices, automotive and a lot of other product categories. It’s the technology that enabled Apple to eliminate its headphone jack from the latest iPhone models; the company’s coming AirPods ear buds rely on Bluetooth to connect to the device. The new specification, officially approved by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), delivers four times the range, double the speed and eight times the broadcast message capacity of the previous standard, Bluetooth 4.x. Version 5 is expected to provide coverage across a house-sized building and deliver more responsive performance (2 megabits per second compared to 4.x’s one Mbps).

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/12/08/new-bluetooth-spec-delivers-longer-range-faster-speed.aspx

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6 Dimensions for More Effective Online Instructional Videos

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By Richard Rose, Campus Technology

Quality instructional videos require a balance of content, design, teaching style and more. Here are six factors to consider. Today, the tools of the online instructional design trade are far easier to work with, and support in using them infinitely more available. Companies are no longer impressed that an instructional design job applicant can create online materials quickly using a set of industry-standard software applications. They are looking for professionals who can put together lean, attractive and highly effective online courseware — and have portfolios to prove it. Today’s designers need to know what separates a merely adequate product from the totally awesome.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/12/07/6-dimensions-for-more-effective-online-instructional-videos.aspx

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RIT launches MicroMasters program in cybersecurity with edX

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by Scott Bureau, RIT

Starting in March, learners can begin the RIT Cybersecurity MicroMasters program with edX. Upon completing the five-part program and earning a MicroMasters credential, learners can apply to RIT and may be awarded nine credit hours toward their degree requirements—making up nearly one third of a master’s program. The program is currently open for enrollment, with the first offering beginning March 21. “We still don’t have enough professionals to protect our infrastructure,” said Bo Yuan, chair of RIT’s Department of Computing Security. “This MicroMasters program is a terrific opportunity for RIT to engage with edX’s more than 9 million global learners and encourage more workers to become qualified in cybersecurity.” RIT’s MicroMasters program in Cybersecurity will provide learners with the expertise in network security and forensics needed for a cybersecurity position in enterprise environments.

http://www.rit.edu/news/story.php?id=58625

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December 15, 2016

A Siri for Higher Ed Aims to Boost Student Engagement

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By Marguerite McNeal, EdSurge

When third-year students in strategy classes at BI Norwegian Business School have a question about their assignments next semester, odds are a robot will provide their answer. A chatbot—a computer program designed to simulate an intelligent conversation—will respond to routine student inquiries and prompt students to complete assignments, mimicking some of the tasks of a teaching assistant. Although chatbots are common in other industries like retail and finance, they’ve only recently made their way into higher-education. The idea is that if a chatbot on an e-commerce site can help with common customer-service scenarios, why not bring a chatbot to a course Web site to answer frequently asked questions from students?

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-12-07-a-siri-for-higher-ed-aims-to-boost-student-engagement

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A Shift Toward Learning Design

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By Edward Maloney, EdSurge

At the university level, course design has traditionally been easy for faculty to manage on their own—until, that is, digital technologies began to play a role and online courses started to take off. What’s more, curricula are growing more complex and variable, employers are broadening their expectations, and students are required to engage intelligently with challenging issues such as social justice and human rights. One way of acknowledging the uniqueness of instructional design in higher education is by marking the shift from instructional design to what is being called “learning design.” As a result, there is a growing demand for pedagogical design experts—instructional designers, learning engineers, and learning designers—to help deepen and enrich the learning experience for students in colleges and universities.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-12-05-a-shift-toward-learning-design-what-it-isn-t-why-it-s-needed-and-if-it-s-right-for-you

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Why the Coming Jobs Crisis Is Bigger Than You Think

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by Knowledge@Wharton

Here is a sobering prediction: over the next 25 years, 47% of jobs will likely be eliminated by technology and globalization, according to WorkingNation. We’re going to have to re-skill the 48-year-olds in this country. Knowledge@Wharton: Some corporations would rather choose to not reinvest in the 48-year-olds; they would rather go with the 22- and 23-year-olds. Venture capitalist Art Bilger founder of WorkingNation says: Individually, even if the corporations want to do it, will they be prepared to be re-educated? We’re running some small projects, and we’re already seeing the resistance level of those 48-year-olds to the concept of going back into a classroom. Now, I think there’s some pretty interesting areas that I’m focused on. The whole area of augmented reality for training and education purposes, I think, is pretty interesting. But you know, that’s an example of how you can train that older workforce without having to sit them down in front of a blackboard or a whiteboard and redo a lot of it.

http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/why-the-coming-jobs-crisis-is-bigger-than-you-think/

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December 14, 2016

Learn to lead education transformation – Microsoft and edX

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by Andrew Robertson, Microsoft

An important part of Microsoft’s commitment to education transformation is empowering school leaders to do more, whether that’s enhancing classroom learning and outcomes for today, or getting schools ready for tomorrow’s challenges. So we’re especially excited to announce that registration is open for our latest professional courses, offered in partnership with edX. Starting in January, these five new online courses are designed to help guide K-12 school principals and headmasters, superintendents and school leaders through the challenges – and opportunities – of education transformation. These brand new courses have been designed to include the latest research, current technologies and proven approaches to learning design. Supported by Microsoft, the content is designed to empower all leaders, in all positions, to help their schools do more, be more, and achieve more. The courses are designed by top universities, taught by leading experts in their fields, and open to everyone. Best of all, they’re completely free.

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/ukschools/2016/12/06/learn-to-lead-education-transformation-microsoft-and-edx/

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Science Course, Lab Options Vary in Online Bachelor’s Programs

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By Jordan Friedman, US News

Online students might complete lab requirements virtually or at home using a kit. “Science is a really, really old discipline, and it’s basically been taught in the same way since its inception,” says Danny Welsch, the American Public University System’s associate dean for the school of science, technology, engineering and math. “Now with the advent of online learning and a lot of the technological tools available, we’re kind of turning that on its head.” Though the concept of online undergraduate natural science courses is still in its infancy, schools such as UF Online, the undergraduate arm of the University of Florida; Oregon State University’s Ecampus; and the University of North Dakota have launched programs in the discipline. In online science classes, professors typically teach in ways similar to other disciplines: Students might interact on discussion boards, view live or pre-recorded lectures and complete readings with quizzes.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2016-12-05/science-course-lab-options-vary-in-online-bachelors-programs

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December 13, 2016

Debunking myths about online learning

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by Tom Frederick, Cincinnati.com

There is much discussion today questioning the viability of online instruction. A colleague recently stated to me that the argument for the effectiveness of online instruction is still up in the air. I argued back that the old-fashioned brick-and-mortar institution might be the pedagogy that is more in danger. Throughout the years, the stylus has replaced pencils; the interactive whiteboard has replaced the chalkboard; word processing programs have replaced lined paper. Families no longer sit around their radio at night to listen to the latest serial. Telephones now follow you, and television is available at your fingertips. More movies are watched at home than in the theater.

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/opinion/contributors/2016/11/29/debunking-myths-online-learning/93907902/

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Ask 4 Tech Questions as a Traveling Online Student

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By Beth Kungel Borck, US News

Prospective online students should check if there are restrictions on internet access in their destination country. We live in a world where we can work alongside our colleagues overseas through digital channels, and it should be no different while pursuing your degree online. When considering an online program as an expat, frequent business traveler or overseas student, ask these four questions to ensure you meet your technology needs. 1. Do you have the right technology to succeed while traveling? Online programs require students to engage with technology in a way that in-person programs do not. Any student should have a reliable computer that is fast enough to watch streaming videos. You may also need a camera if programs require you to record yourself taking exams or work in teams.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-learning-lessons/articles/2016-12-06/ask-4-tech-questions-as-a-traveling-online-student

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6 Anti-Conventional Wisdom Recommendations for Online Learning Programs: What to do and what not to do

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By Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

There seems to be a widespread belief that every college or university is already deeply enmeshed in online learning. The reality is that many schools are still trying to figure out their online learning strategy. If you are thinking about investing in a new online learning program then you will have no shortage of advice. Lots of consultants and online program management (OPM) providers will be willing to share their recommendations. (For a great picture of the OPM market landscape, check out Phil Hill’s e-Literate post from September of this year). I’m here to tell you that much of the advice that you get from the “experts” in online learning will be wrong. And particularly wrong for liberal arts colleges and smaller mission-focused schools.

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology-and-learning/6-anti-conventional-wisdom-recommendations-online-learning-programs

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December 12, 2016

10 most-needed higher education apps for 2017

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BY MERIS STANSBURY, eCampus News

New list of recently added or dramatically updated higher education apps are geared to both campus staff and students and allow for functionalities needed next year and beyond. From apps that manage finances and credit scores to those that find scholarships for all education levels, and from apps that better organize collaborative projects to those that allow for unprecedented organization of scholarly articles, late 2016 saw a boom in higher education apps with major potential for 2017.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/technologies/mobile-and-handheld-technologies/higher-education-apps-2017/

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Technology Use Among Teachers Strong and Growing

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By David Nagel, eSchool News

The vast majority of teachers are using technology daily with their students, and most say their use of technology will increase even more next year, according to a new study involving 2,500 K–12 teachers. The study, conducted by adaptive learning provider Front Row Education, found that 75 percent of teachers use technology with students on a daily basis and that a bit more than half have a 1-to-1 ratio of devices to students in their classrooms (up 10 points from last year’s survey). That increase in student devices is helping to drive an increase in the use of technology, with about 60 percent of teachers surveyed saying they expect to increase the use of technology in the 2016–2017 school year. According to the study, other factors cited as contributing to an increase use of technology included: Positive results from the use of technology with students; Expectations from administrators; and Access to quality software.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2016/11/17/technology-use-among-teachers-strong-and-growing.aspx

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We used these Google tools in our schools and saw tangible results soar

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BY LARRY PAPE AND JOHN WATSON, eSchool News

At Evergreen Education Group we’ve studied K-12 digital education for sixteen years. Among the most important developments we have seen is the proliferation of devices in the classroom, whether through bring-your-own-device, district-led one-to-one programs, or other channels. However, relatively little study to date has examined how devices are successfully deployed and what their impact has been. Over the course of 16 months we spoke with more than 100 district and school leaders in six countries representing more than 880,000 students, analyzed each school’s documents and data, conducted surveys of administrators, teachers and students, and reviewed surveys that the schools conducted. Our goal at every step was to let educators tell their stories, be honest about the challenges and failures, and celebrate the successes in the vein of highlighting these wonderful schools and providing guidance as schools continue down the digital path.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2016/12/01/google-tools-schools/

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December 11, 2016

12 strategies to get your online learning program off the ground

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BY LAURA ASCIONE DEVANEY, eSchool News

A new report looks at online learning’s growth in recent years and recommends ways to bolster these programs’ online-learning-strategies. Online learning is on the rise at private colleges and universities, with 61 percent offering fully online degree programs in some fields, according to to a new report–but what are the strategies that create these successful programs? The increase is a jump from 52 percent of private institutions that reported offering fully online degrees just three years ago, according to the report from from the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and The Learning House, Inc. This growth is in line with growing acceptance of online curricula among faculty, as well as an increase in demand from traditional college-age students.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/online-learning/strategies-online-learning/

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Credo Contributes Analytics to Open edX Platform

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By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Credo today announced that it is contributing reporting, learning outcomes tracking and analytics features to Open edX, the open source learning management system originally developed for edX’s online courses and MOOCs. In particular, Credo has developed the ability to tag questions in edX Studio, the platform’s course-building tool. According to the company, tagging questions allows users to track information across courses, such as students’ mastery of a particular learning outcome. The tracking information is viewable in edX’s Analytics reports, providing a way to measure student comprehension and evaluate the effectiveness of course materials.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/12/01/credo-contributes-analytics-to-open-edx-platform.aspx

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Google and Udacity Intro New Android Dev Fast Track Course

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By Tom Dawson, Android Headlines

When it comes to platforms to develop for, there’s no other that has the amount of users that Android does, and there are few other platforms that can reach as many parts of the globe as Android, either. As such, it should come as no surprise that the majority of developers either already develop for Android, or want to learn how to develop for Android. With more and more people coming online with an Android device, this massive user base is only growing, too, which makes Android a more attractive prospect than it has ever been. Learning how to develop for Android isn’t too difficult, and while it’s tricky to approach as a complete novice, those with some sort of coding experience can transition quite successfully, and this new Fast Track course from Google and Udacity is designed to help those exact users.

http://www.androidheadlines.com/2016/12/google-udacity-intro-new-android-dev-fast-track-course.html

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December 10, 2016

ODU students helping firefighters, law enforcement through drone class

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By Mike Connors, The Virginian-Pilot

Old Dominion University students have spent this semester working with drones – but not to spy on anyone. Rather, they’ve focused on projects to help firefighters find blazes in remote areas and aid law enforcement in navigating water rescues. They’ve worked with crews in Carova, N.C., an Outer Banks community filled with dirt and sand roads and long stretches of beach that aren’t easy to reach. The course is offered jointly by James Madison, George Mason and Old Dominion universities. Forty-one students, 16 from ODU, meet on Wednesday nights, sometimes through videoconferencing.

http://pilotonline.com/news/local/education/public-schools/odu-students-helping-firefighters-law-enforcement-through-drone-class/article_84d13646-c204-54a9-a33a-75c6107ba742.html

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What is Udemy And How Can I Use It For Business?

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by Michael Guta, Small Business Trends

Type “Online marketing courses” in a browser, and you will get 29+ million results with every option imaginable. And one of the search results undoubtedly will be Udemy, an online learning platform. Udemy has a library of over 40,000 courses, 20k instructors, and 12 million students in 190 countries around the world, so it has reach. The question is, in addition to earning money by creating courses, can you use Udemy for a business you already have. The answer is yes, and here are some of the things it can do that can directly increase the presence of your business in the digital world, while earning you money from the courses.

https://smallbiztrends.com/2016/12/what-is-udemy.html

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