Techno-News Blog

April 30, 2017

Exercise devised to boost completion rates of some online learning courses: study

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by Xinhua

A study indicates that a simple writing activity, lasting about eight minutes, increased completion rates for people from individualistic, but not collectivist, cultures to take online learning courses. While more than 58 million people have enrolled in MOOCs between 2011 and 2016, according to researchers who published their findings in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, course completion rates are only about 10 percent, and just 25 percent for learners categorized as “highly committed.” René Kizilcec, a Stanford University doctoral candidate in communication and the study’s lead author and Geoffrey Cohen, a professor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education and Department of Psychology and the study’s co-author, cite a lack of external or social pressure to complete courses and little support or guidance as reasons for high attrition in MOOCs.

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1042970.shtml

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Google AI experiment may lead to robots that can learn WITHOUT human input

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by Tim Collins Daily Mail

And creating robots that can learn without any input from humans is moving ever closer, thanks to the latest developments in artificial intelligence. One such project seeks to pit the wits of two AI algorithms against each other, with results that could one day lead to the emergence of such intelligent machines. Researchers at the Google Brain AI lab have developed a system known as a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN). Conventional AI uses input to ‘teach’ an algorithm about a particular subject by feeding it massive amounts of information. This knowledge can then be employed for a specific task – facial recognition being just one example. GANs seek to generate new content from this learned information, creating digital content like pictures and video based on their understanding of similar real life images and footage.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4420804/Experiment-lead-machine-s-learning-without-humans.html

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3 Reasons to Consider MOOCs Over an Online Degree

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By John LaMar, US News

Massive open online courses allow prospective students to gauge their interest in different majors at no cost. Having now also completed an online bachelor’s program at Oregon State University Ecampus, I feel it might be helpful for other prospective students to understand the benefits and challenges of a MOOC, and when it might make more sense to enroll in a more structured online degree program.

https://www.usnews.com/education/online-learning-lessons/articles/2017-04-17/3-reasons-to-consider-moocs-over-an-online-degree

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April 29, 2017

Online Learning and Institutional Resilience and Business Continuity

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By Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

Should every institution develop some capacity for online learning? What about small residential colleges, places that differentiate around an in-person residential learning experience? I’ve argued that small-scale online and low-residency programs are a way to build on institutional strengths, grow the knowledge and skills of our educators, and reach new groups of students. Online learning can also be a catalyst for organizational change, as the impact of traditional and open online learning programs on improving residential teaching and learning has been consistently under-appreciated. Need another reason to invest in online learning? How about institutional resilience. Will your institution be able to keep going if a black swan lands on your campus?

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology-and-learning/online-learning-and-institutional-resilience

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A Russian hacker has created his own ’starter pack’ ransomware service

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By Zack Whittaker, Zero Day

A new kind of highly-customized ransomware recently discovered by security researchers allows individual criminals to deliver “ransomware-as-a-service”. What sets this ransomware apart from other kinds of file-locking software is that criminals who buy this specialized malware, dubbed Karmen, can remotely control the ransomware from their web browser, allowing the attacker to see at-a-glance a centralized web dashboard of their entire ransomware campaign. That dashboard allows the attacker to manage their fleet of infected victims’ computers, such as by tracking how much money they’ve made. If this figure falls short, the attacker can then bump the price of the ransom they seek. In other words, it’s a “starter pack” for low-level criminals to engage in ransomware campaigns, said Andrei Barysevich, director of advanced collection at Recorded Future, who co-authored the report. “For $175, any script kiddie can carry out ransomware attacks,” he said on the phone.

http://www.zdnet.com/article/a-russian-hacker-has-created-his-own-starter-pack-ransomware-service/
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Makerspace comes to Case Western Reserve University

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by Pat Donachie, Education Dive

Case Western University will soon open the think(box), which will act as a venue for students to engage in innovation and tinker with fresh ideas, according to the Chronicle for Higher Education. The university is encouraging students and others to utilize the new makerspace for construction and experimentation, with one floor housing woodworking tools and 3-D printers, as well as a paint shop and welding station. ​The notion of makerspaces first flourished at engineering schools, but now colleges are all kinds are approaching the spaces through a multidisciplinary lens, encouraging engineers to meet students on other tracks in the hopes of spurring all students involved to new creative heights.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/makerspace-comes-to-case-western-reserve-university/440666/

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April 28, 2017

Will higher ed funding hit $0 in New Mexico in 2018?

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by Autumn A. Arnett, Education Dive

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed 100% of higher education funding for next fiscal year, The Washington Post reports, and the legislature won’t be able to overturn her veto. Public colleges and universities in the state have seen a 32% drop in funding since the recession. Increases to the state’s public school system were also a part of the veto package, continuing a downward trend that has amounted to a 14% cut in public school funding since the recession. Martinez expressed frustration over the state Senate’s failure to schedule confirmation hearings for her Board of Regents nominees. New Mexico State University President Garrey Carruthers decried the idea that the state’s public universities are getting “caught up in political strategy,” and Democratic leaders in the legislature are planning to sue the governor over the veto.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/will-higher-ed-funding-hit-0-in-new-mexico-in-2018/440659/

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Why Richard Culatta Will Be the New ISTE CEO

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BY TANYA ROSCORLA, Converge

The Rhode Island innovation leader hopes to use his new position to tackle tech challenges related to digital equity, next-generation assessments and transitions between high school and college. After 18 months as Rhode Island’s first chief innovation officer, Richard Culatta will become the new CEO of the nonprofit International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) on May 1. The ISTE Board of Directors* had been looking for a new CEO since Brian Lewis’ employment ended last September. Out of a 42-person interview pool, Culatta earned that spot because of his proven innovation record at the U.S. Education Department and the state of Rhode Island, along with a good grasp of the needs of ISTE’s members, who hail from more than 92 countries and number upward of 17,000.

http://www.centerdigitaled.com/higher-ed/Why-Richard-Culatta-Will-Be-the-New-ISTE-CEO.html

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Technology is key to reducing college education costs

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by Brian Mulligan, the Irish Times

In 20 years’ time, fewer school leavers will go to college. Far more study options will be available, many on the internet – and much cheaper than what is offered now. Distance learning and work-based learning, including apprenticeships, will become more available, reducing the total cost of education by allowing school leavers to live at home and “earn while they learn”.

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/education/technology-is-key-to-reducing-college-education-costs-1.3045100

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April 27, 2017

This is what Gen Z-designed curriculum looks like for the future

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BY DARREN FAUST, eSchool News

Cross-curricular lessons help Generation Z develop the problem-solving skills they will need in an ever-changing world for tomorrow’s jobs. Cross-curricular lessons are one way educators can prepare students for an uncertain future. With the national emphasis on STEM, cross-curricular learning teaches students about history, science, technology, engineering, and math (as well as art and literature), all while inspiring students to explore these subjects and make connections on their own. By making these connections and using multiple disciplines in their learning, students are learning creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills, all of which will be relevant no matter which career path they choose.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2017/04/17/gen-z-designed-curriculum/

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Researchers examine the effectiveness of a psychological strategy on online learners

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by Milenko Martinovich, Phys.org

While online education has opened access to learners worldwide, new Stanford research suggests that a single approach to teaching everyone in an online class may not yield the best outcome, especially when it comes to course completion. The key, the Stanford researchers say, is to recognize cultural differences among class participants, especially the difference between cultures that celebrate the power of the individual versus those where the good of the group comes first. Instructors can then tailor teaching strategies to best meet the learners’ needs. In a new study published last week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, results support the need for tailored strategies – based on cultural backgrounds – that can be scaled and help millions of learners worldwide.

https://phys.org/news/2017-04-effectiveness-psychological-strategy-online-learners.html

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Online courses make up more than half of CPS’s revenue

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By Liz Konneker, GW Hatchet

The College of Professional Studies is earning more than half of its revenue from online courses – making the college a leader in online learning at GW.Fifty-four percent of the college’s revenue comes from students enrolled in online programs or courses and 60 percent of its students took at least one online course this academic year, Ali Eskandarian, the dean of the college, said at the April Faculty Senate meeting. Faculty said the school has embraced online learning because many of their students are non-traditional, meaning they already have professional jobs or families that take up a significant amount of time. The school began offering online courses a decade ago, and since then online learning has become a dominant part of the school’s mission, Eskandarian said in an email.

https://www.gwhatchet.com/2017/04/17/online-courses-make-up-more-than-half-of-cpss-revenue/

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April 26, 2017

11 Ways to Make Your Online Course Go Global as a Freelance Educator

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By Sarah Cordiner, THE Journal

The continued growth of online courses and the introduction of alternative accreditations will spawn a growth in freelance or independent professors. By 2025, all you need to start your own university is a great online teaching style, course materials and marketing plan.” The booming demand for self-study, on-demand and access-anytime training and education is evident through the popularity of platforms like Udemy and Coursera. The online learner is ready and waiting for your course. Many educators are shifting away from their traditional teacher, trainer and professor roles at brick-and-mortar institutions and realizing the benefits of freelancing, such as sharing their expertise beyond the walls of their classroom and earning extra compensation.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2017/04/11/11-ways-to-make-your-online-course-go-global-as-a-freelance-professor.aspx

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Seventeen jobs, five careers: learning in the age of automation

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by Max Opray, the Guardian

Welcome to the fourth industrial revolution: the economy of always learning. Staying still is more likely than ever to result in obsolescence, as indicated by a report released last month by consultancy firm PwC, which estimated 30% of British jobs could be automated by 2030. As professionals need to update their skills more frequently than ever, so too the education sector is evolving to cater to a new state of affairs in which young people are projected to have 17 jobs over five different careers, according to the Foundation for Young Australians 2015 report, The New Work Order.

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/apr/15/seventeen-jobs-five-careers-learning-in-the-age-of-automation

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China’s Artificial-Intelligence Boom

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by SARAH ZHANG, the Atlantic

The country’s universities and tech giants are starting to surpass American ones when it comes to researching and implementing AI. China’s rapid rise up the ranks of AI research has people taking notice. In October, the Obama White House released a “strategic plan” for AI research, which noted that the U.S. no longer leads the world in journal articles on “deep learning,” a particularly hot subset of AI research right now. The country that had overtaken the U.S.? China, of course. It’s not just academic research. Chinese tech companies are betting on AI, too. Baidu (a Chinese search-engine company often likened to Google), Didi (often likened to Uber), and Tencent (maker of the mega-popular messaging app WeChat) have all set up their own AI research labs. With millions of customers, these companies have access to the huge amount of data that training AI to detect patterns requires.

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/02/china-artificial-intelligence/516615/

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April 25, 2017

The Democratization of Machine Learning: What It Means for Tech Innovation

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by Kartik Hosanagar and Apoorv Saxena, Wharton

Now we are on the cusp of a new grand leap thanks to the democratization of machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence that enables computers to learn without being explicitly programmed. As recently as 2015, only large companies like Google, Amazon and Apple had access to the massive data and computing resources needed to train and launch sophisticated AI algorithms. Small startups and individuals simply didn’t have access and were effectively blocked out of the market. That changes now. The democratization of ML gives individuals and startups a chance to get their ideas off the ground and prove their concepts before raising the funds needed to scale. There is an effort underway to standardize and improve access across all layers of the machine learning stack.

http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/democratization-ai-means-tech-innovation/

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6 improvement trends spreading like fire across all colleges and universities

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BY MERIS STANSBURY, eCampus News

Academic program creation and evaluation is top-of-mind with institutions. This year colleges and universities are looking to diversify their program portfolios, either through offering online or blended learning offerings, through offering micro-credentials, or by placing their bets on emerging programs. What’s also noteworthy this year is that Hanover has gone a step further in identifying the overarching improvement trend of academic program creation and review by including a list of the top high-growth and emerging programs in higher ed at the moment. “Facing declining enrollments and reductions in funding across key academic offerings, higher education institutions are diversifying their program offerings, experimenting with new teaching methods, and emphasizing the value in higher education to key external stakeholders.”

http://www.ecampusnews.com/alternative-pathways/improvement-trends-universities/

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Training Program Automation & Online Courses Nine Step Cheat Sheet Launched

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by Military Technologies

A new nine step cheat sheet has been launched by Training Automation Secrets. The cheat sheet is aimed at trainer, coaches and consultants who wish to learn how to automate their training programs. Training Automation Secrets are offering an exclusive, free cheat sheet filled with the nine most valuable secrets to training business automation. This cheat sheet is aimed at trainers, coaches and consultants. These nine proven steps to automating training businesses online saves business owners time and money. The traditional method of training is to find customers and then train them, before repeating the process. The business owner who provides the training is involved in this process and it is time consuming for them. The cheat sheet explains that traditional offline training is good but by going online and automating the training program, the business owner can expand their business and free up valuable time.

http://www.military-technologies.net/2017/04/08/training-program-automation-online-courses-nine-step-cheat-sheet-launched/

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April 24, 2017

Online lessons helping Forbes Road student come back from kidney transplant

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by JAMIE MARTINES, Trib Live

On a snowy Friday morning in April, 16-year-old Jarrod Danka settled in at a desk in the cozy den of his family’s home in Natrona Heights. The 10th-grader had a 9 a.m. conference call, and he was running a few minutes late. Within moments, his teacher’s face popped up on a computer screen, and the two chatted about Jarrod’s recent assignments and plans for tackling future lessons. He’s excited to work in a rapidly changing field that will give him a chance to keep learning and master evolving technologies. For the past five weeks, online learning and video conference calls have been part of Jarrod’s daily routine. It’s how he keeps up with his studies at the Forbes Road Career and Technical Center in Monroeville while he recovers from a second kidney transplant.

http://triblive.com/local/allegheny/12161707-74/on-line-lessons-helping-forbes-road-student-come-back-from-kidney-transplant

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U of Phoenix-HBCU Partnership Expands

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By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Another historically black institution — South Carolina State — teams up with the University of Phoenix to offer online courses to a greater number of students. S.C. State will waive a $35 readmission fee and offer students a 50 percent discount on tuition rates, dropping the cost of a three-credit-hour course to $651. Students can take up to 27 credits from Phoenix. After the university reviews the students’ accounts for academic or financial holds, the academic departments map the courses they need to finish the degree they were pursuing before stopping out to equivalent courses offered by Phoenix. The BARC program is the latest product of an “alliance” that Phoenix and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund entered into in November 2014 to boost online education at historically black colleges and universities.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/04/11/south-carolina-state-latest-hbcu-partner-phoenix-online-education

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13 epic stats and facts from The State of Social webinar

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by Andrew Warren-Payne, ClickZ

On March 23, ClickZ Intelligence held the webinar ‘The State of Social 2017’ in association with Tracx. As part of the presentation, a huge number of stats and facts were shared about social media, both as a whole and in relation to individual networks. Practical tips given by National Geographic’s Mia Vallo and Shell’s Matt Owen helped demonstrate to viewers how they can apply these to their strategy. So what were the most interesting stats shared in the webinar? We’ve listed 13 of our favorites below.

https://www.clickz.com/13-epic-stats-and-facts-from-the-state-of-social-webinar/110510/

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