Techno-News Blog

November 23, 2017

Building a Three-Dimensional Record of Student Learning

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by David Raths, Campus Technology

According to Helen Chen, director of e-portfolio initiatives in Stanford’s Office of the University Registrar, that dissatisfaction with the limitations of the basic transcript has spurred the university to launch several projects to explore new representations of the student record that might do a better job of conveying a student’s learning as well as co-curricular activities. One prototype sought to organize the student record not chronologically, but according to learning outcomes. “Our general education courses define learning outcomes,” Chen said. “What if you could organize the student record according to those outcomes rather than an emphasis on courses and grades?” Another effort called “Edusalsa” wondered what would happen if students could color-code their transcripts based on interests, strengths and weaknesses, to facilitate internal advising conversations.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/11/15/building-a-three-dimensional-record-of-student-learning.aspx

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5 reasons why analytics tech is a game-changer for universities

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BY GEORGIA MARIANI, eCampus News

Nine years ago, like many university IR offices, Alabama’s was manually pulling information, printing it on pieces of paper, and transcribing that information into spreadsheets that were distributed as responses. It was a tedious and time-consuming process. Now, the OIRA team monitors things like the graduation rates of our students, and the fail and withdrawal rates associated with specific courses. They look at time-to-degree information, faculty teaching loads and salary analyses for Alabama compared to peer institutions. In addition, they receive 500 to 600 information requests annually, which they attempt to answer within 10 working days. Much of the time, they respond within 24 hours because many requests seek similar information.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/campus-administration/analytics-game-changer/

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AI Boosts Personalized Learning in Higher Education

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by David Hutchins, EdTech

Personalized learning, which tailors educational content to the unique needs of individual students, has become a huge component of K–12 education. A growing number of college educators are embracing the trend, taking advantage of data analytics and artificial intelligence to deliver just-right, just-in-time learning to their students. Data-driven insights are becoming integral to business and financial decision-making by institutional leaders, and educators are quickly finding ways to leverage analytics to increase student retention. Applying data analytics to adaptive learning programs is proving to be another smart application. In adaptive learning, educators collect data on various aspects of student performance — from engagement with course content to exam performance — and tailor material to each student’s knowledge level and ideal learning style.

https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2017/11/ai-boosts-personalized-learning-higher-education

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November 22, 2017

How Online Instructors Can Avoid ‘Burnout’

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By Tina Nazerian, EdSurge

There’s a correlation between burnout and health-care costs, Stout said. But burnout also leads to low employee morale, a reduced likelihood that an instructor will stick with an institution and a lesser likelihood that an instructor will be engaged. Disengaged instructors are less likely to care about their students. And what’s more, a burnout might result in an instructor objectifying students. “That person is no longer a person, it’s just a name on a screen,” Stout said. Stout told the audience about the Maslach Burnout Inventory test, which quantifies burnout into three subscales: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and (reduced) personal achievement. It’s the most-commonly used instrument to measure burnout, she said, and there’s even one that’s tailored to measure burnout among educators.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-11-16-how-online-instructors-can-avoid-burnout

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How Udacity Localizes to Meet the World’s Booming Demand for Technical Skills

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by Eden Estopace, Slator

Leah Wiedenmann, Udacity’s Marketing and Communications Manager in Europe, told Slator that all courses are available in English but select courses are available in Brazilian Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese, and Arabic. “Students across Europe and India take Udacity’s courses in English. In China and Brazil, nanodegree programs and courses are translated into Mandarin Chinese and Brazilian Portuguese, respectively,” she says. “Udacity also has widespread localized course offerings in Arabic, Bahasa, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish. [More importantly,] beyond localization of content, we also localize our services.”

https://slator.com/features/udacity-localizes-meet-worlds-booming-demand-technical-skills/

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Campuses See Value of Digital Learning, but Lack a Plan

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By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

In a recent survey, most chief academic officers (CAOs) at 359 two- and four-year institutions (86 percent) agreed that digital content and learning can improve the student experience. Eighty-seven percent of CAOs said digital learning resources “make learning more efficient and effective for students”; and 74 percent agreed that digital content would provide a richer and more personalized learning experience over print resources. However, a big hold-up to going “all digital” is a lack of student access to devices.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/11/15/campuses-see-value-of-digital-learning-but-lack-a-plan.aspx

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November 21, 2017

How edtech is transforming executive Education

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BY MATTHEW LYNCH, tech Edvocate

Educational technology has been disrupting traditional instructional practices in executive education, and for good reason. Learning was once the exclusive domain of schools and universities, especially when it came to delivering executive education in business schools. That meant either taking a sabbatical from your job or choosing a B-school near you. You had to be physically present in the classroom. Edtech, however, is changing that approach by providing customization and interactive experiences for learners. Educational technology also delivers learning at lowered costs.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/edtech-transforming-executive-education/

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Four tips for adult digital learners

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by Guy Dixon, Globe and Mail

MOOCs have become another option, along with the plethora of online courses already offered directly by postsecondary institutions, for busy adults looking to dip into online learning, whether for work or pleasure. And as a result, this has led to rapid changes in adult learning. The design of online classes has evolved dramatically in the past five years. And what is required of students online has also changed dramatically. Prospective students who choose to study online have a few key issues to consider.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/four-tips-for-adult-digital-learners/article36984396/

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Faculty Members at One More University Push Back at Online Programs

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By Beckie Supiano, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Faculty unions at Eastern Michigan U. distributed fliers objecting to the university’s deal with a provider of online courses. Professors at Eastern Michigan University are objecting to its partnership with a private company to market and support online programs, making it the latest institution to grapple with questions about the quality of online instruction. The unions representing Eastern Michigan’s faculty members and lecturers are asking campus leaders to stop marketing online programs with the company, Academic Partnerships, until they can review the arrangement. And they’re rolling out an advertising campaign in an effort to build public support for their position.

http://www.chronicle.com/article/faculty-members-at-one-more/241788

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November 20, 2017

The bubble is going to burst for colleges and universities, professor says

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by JARRETT LYONS, Salon.com

Half of the colleges and universities in the United States are in danger of bankruptcy over the coming decades.
Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen said that the number — up to 2,000 schools could be affected over the next 10 to 15 years — is thanks to online education. In Christensen’s most recent book, “The Innovative University,” he and co-author Henry Eyring theorized that online education will dominate the marketplace for higher education and drive more traditional schools into bankruptcy. At the a recent Salceforce.org Higher Education Summit, he said “If you’re asking whether the providers get disrupted within a decade — I might bet that it takes nine years rather than 10,” according to CNBC.

https://www.salon.com/2017/11/15/the-bubble-is-going-to-burst-for-colleges-and-universities-professor-says/

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November 19, 2017

9 ways that technology boosts student confidence in the classroom

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by Mattew Lynch, tech Edvocate

The inclusion of technology in the classroom has been shown to improve student participation, information retention, and overall test performance. One reason for the success of educational tech is that it boosts student confidence. Students who are secure in their abilities, work harder and take their educations seriously. You may wonder how technology boosts student confidence in the classroom. Well, here are nine ways.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/9-ways-technology-boosts-student-confidence-classroom/

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Google Just Revealed How They’ll Build Quantum Computers

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by Karla Lant, Futurism

Quantum computing: it’s the brass ring in the computing world, giving the ability to exponentially outperform and out-calculate conventional computers. A quantum computer with a mere 50 qubits would outclass the most powerful supercomputers in the world today. Surpassing the limits set by conventional computing, known as achieving quantum supremacy, has been a difficult road. Now, a team of physicists at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) and Google have demonstrated a proof-of-principle for a quantum computer that may mean quantum supremacy is only months away.

https://futurism.com/google-just-revealed-how-theyll-build-quantum-computers/

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(Mostly) Free Online Courses to Increase Your Digital Skills

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By Brittany Loeffler, Uloop

You don’t need a classroom anymore to learn essential skills to jumpstart your career. Millennials are taking online courses to learn important skills in our now-digital world. They are studying skills that are not taught in classrooms, right from the comfort of their own home, for free. Millennials are known for rejecting the standard 9-5 job in an office and taking on more freelance work. Taking online courses to learn and increase digital skills gives recent college graduates the ability to work from home with multiple clients and make a living on their own terms. Interested in learning more about how you can make money right from your computer? Take a look at the list of online courses and platforms linked below to get started.

https://www.uloop.com/news/view.php/252563/Mostly-Free-Online-Courses-to-Increase-Your-Digital-Skills

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November 18, 2017

How Much Hollywood Glitz Should Colleges Use in Their Online Courses?

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By Jeffrey R. Young, EdSurge

The move is part of a trend—led by for-profit providers but done by some traditional colleges as well—to glitz up course materials, in some cases bringing in celebrity guests. This new approach juxtaposes video models created by most professors today, adding a production crew, producers, lights and angles to video instruction.  Some nonprofit colleges that produce MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, have experimented with different production methods. Researchers at MIT, for instance, did an analysis of various online courses in 2013, and one finding suggested “videos that intersperse an instructor’s talking head with PowerPoint slides are more engaging than showing only slides.” In other words, it might help to show someone’s face during online videos, whether they’re a celebrity or not. Some of the most popular teaching videos online are the most low-fi. A few videos on Khan Academy, for instance, have attracted millions of views, even though they are essentially voiceovers of Sal Khan explaining concepts while he draws on a screen or annotates images.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-11-08-how-much-hollywood-glitz-should-colleges-use-in-their-online-courses

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30% Harder to Design for the Online Learning Environment

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by Nanette Miner, ATD

In fact, it is 30 percent harder to design training for the online environment because there is one more entity that needs to be designed for—the technology. By using classroom training design as the benchmark, we know that learning is typically designed for two entities: the facilitator and the participant. The facilitator’s role is to lead the class and make logical connections between the segments of content. The participant’s role is to practice with the content and interact with one other learners during any activities that are designed to bring the content to life. In the online environment, though, the facilitator’s and participant’s roles are a bit different. What’s more, there is the third role of the technology itself, and perhaps someone who is managing the technology in a supporting capacity.

https://www.td.org/Publications/Blogs/Learning-Technologies-Blog/2017/11/30-Percent-Harder-to-Design-for-the-Online-Learning-Environment

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Why edtech companies should care about Amazon’s emergence in education

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by Matthew Lynch, tech edvocate

Amazon is a recent newcomer to education, and edtech companies should take note and care about this new direction for the global retailer.  In an arena where Microsoft, Apple and Google have been the main players, Amazon is quickly moving ahead in education. As the world’s largest retailer, Amazon’s mission has been clear: reach out globally, put the customer first, and offer the greatest product selection with the best service. That’s what they are doing in education, too. Now edtech companies can take advantage of Amazon’s strategy by partnering with Amazon Web Services.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/edtech-companies-care-amazons-emergence-education/

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November 17, 2017

OER will storm campuses in next 5 years

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BY LAURA ASCIONE, eCampus News

Eighty-two percent of institutions say open educational resources (OER) will be an important source of course content in 5 years, according to a survey of CIOs detailed in an annual report that takes a look at campus IT. [Read last year’s Campus Computing results here “CIOS: 5 campus IT priorities for 2016 and beyond.“] The results of the report were released during the recent EDUCAUSE 2017 conference held in Philadelphia, Pa. This year saw small gains in formal institutions support for using OER in course materials, but faculty concerns remain about the quality of OER and updates surrounding the materials, according to the annual Campus Computing Project.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/it-newsletter/report-oer-video-take-lead-campus/

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Do students buy into maker culture?

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BY LAURA ASCIONE, eSchool News

Maker culture is going mainstream. The maker industry is projected to grow to more than $8 billion by 2020, and with the maker movement infiltrating classrooms, after-school clubs and homes, it’s no wonder. But where is the maker movement strongest? A new report from robotics and open-source hardware provider DFRobot aims to find out by analyzing DIY-labeled products hosted on Kickstarter.

https://www.eschoolnews.com/2017/11/09/students-buy-maker-culture/

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Universities should ban PowerPoint — It makes students stupid and professors boring

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by Paul Ralph, The Conversation

Do you really believe that watching a lecturer read hundreds of PowerPoint slides is making you smarter? I asked this of a class of 105 computer science and software engineering students last semester. An article in The Conversation argued universities should ban PowerPoint because it makes students stupid and professors boring.

I agree entirely.

http://www.businessinsider.com/universities-should-ban-powerpoint-it-makes-students-stupid-and-professors-boring-2015-6

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November 16, 2017

Texas A&M Offers Art History Video Game as Credit-Bearing Course

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By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

A video game about 15th and 16th century art is the center of a new course this fall at Texas A&M University. Offered in the College of Architecture’s Department of Visualization, ARTS 489: World of Medici combines faculty-led lectures with ARTé: Mecenas, an art history game developed by Triseum in collaboration with the department’s LIVE Lab to immerse students in the course subject matter. Students are given many attempts to complete the game, which requires them to learn and retain the course material as they build and maintain a financial empire in Medici-era Florence. Those who achieve 100 percent mastery in the game earn one credit hour.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/11/08/texas-a-m-offers-art-history-video-game-as-credit-bearing-course.aspx

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Hyperledger Goes to School

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By Danny Bradbury, Distributed

Hyperledger , the blockchain reference framework launched by the Linux Foundation , is nearly two years old. It is starting to gain commercial traction, underpinning projects such as Everledger , the blockchain to track the provenance of high-value items like diamonds.  Now, participants can enroll in ” Blockchain for Business – An Introduction to Hyperledger Technologies .” It is an introduction to the Hyperledger ecosystem, which consists of various frameworks. They should expect to walk away with an understanding of common Hyperledger use cases, how to install its various frameworks and how to build simple applications on them. One useful takeaway will be information on how to contribute to the open-source project.  Why was Hyperledger launched anyway and why should you care? The problem with the blockchain is that there are no standards for it. There may be heavily adopted and supported projects, such as the Bitcoin blockchain and Ethereum, but the Linux Foundation, which specializes in reference implementations, wanted code that would effectively be the Linux of the blockchain world.

http://www.nasdaq.com/article/hyperledger-goes-to-school-cm872546

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