Techno-News Blog

April 21, 2018

What is the future of online learning in higher education?

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by Matthew Lynch, TechEdvocate

With over six million students currently enrolled in online learning programs, there is no future in higher education except in online education. As universities adapt to better serve a growing population of digital learners, there will no doubt continue to be monumental progress made in educating all students, everywhere. Online learning is the future of education–at all levels, but especially in higher education. As the concept of distance learning evolves from cassette tape and telephone learning to high-speed, interactive Internet lessons, more doors are opened for students for whom traditional classroom learning simply does not work. The following trends will likely take hold in the next five years, allowing more students access to high-quality education from any location.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/future-online-learning-higher-education/

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Apple Introduces Apple Teacher For Teachers To be Inspired, Build Skills And More

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by WCCF Tech

Apart from the hardware and apps which Apple has announced recently, Apple Teacher is an immensely productive tool for teachers. Apple Teacher is basically an online professional learning program for teachers. Teachers will have the ability to improve their teaching through various means.  All in all, with the program, teachers will be able to build and learn new skills, show their progress and will be inspired to do great work. Apple will reward teachers with badges which will be offered in different styles, denoting different aspects of the system.

https://wccftech.com/apple-introduces-apple-teacher-an-online-professional-learning-program-for-teachers/

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Amid speculation, Amazon continues to inch its way into e-learning

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by Riia O’Donnell, Education Dive
Following the hire of a Stanford University leader in learning science, Candace Thille, speculation rose that e-tail giant Amazon was moving into the e-learning space. A new report by CNBC suggests the company is looking at its cloud to build a corporate training service. Although the company denies any move into the online education space, job postings from Amazon since April 2017 have advertised for people who could help build a “learning platform.” As recently as December, an ad for a solution architect cited an opportunity to “enable hundreds of thousands of businesses in 190 countries around the world to transform and scale their learning initiatives.” Representatives for the company told HR Dive recently, “[Thille] is serving as the Director of Learning Science and Engineering within our Global Learning and Development team. Her remit is to help scale and innovate workplace learning at Amazon.”

https://www.hrdive.com/news/amid-speculation-amazon-continues-to-inch-its-way-into-e-learning/519891/

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April 20, 2018

Digital Learning Strategies for Rural America: A Scan of Policy and Practice in K-12 Education

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by Distance Educator.com

For many, discussions of rural America can summon images of rolling farmland, two-lane roads stretching on for miles, community picnics, and baseball. This nostalgia runs in stark contrast to the contemporary phenomenon of “rural America as political football” playing out on television screens each night—unemployment,
addiction, hopelessness. Whether you subscribe to the Mayberry or the Beattyville concept of rural life, there is a common trait shared between them—that a high-quality education can open a world of opportunities to their children. Just as Canada responded to the educational needs of remote students throughout its Provinces— rst through correspondence courses, today through online courses—the United States, too, has begun to level the playing eld of quality curricula and educational opportunities for students across the country via digital learning.

http://distance-educator.com/download-report-digital-learning-strategies-for-rural-america-a-scan-of-policy-and-practice-in-k-12-education/

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With FCC approval, all systems are go for Starlink global internet

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by Mark Austin, Digital Trends
Not satisfied with merely ferrying cargo to and from the International Space Station (and putting a red Tesla into orbit around Mars), SpaceX now wants to provide high-speed internet to everyone in the world. SpaceX CEO and flamethrower enthusiast Elon Musk envisions Starlink as a network of thousands of satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) that will provide broadband internet access to the entire planet. That plan took a big step forward this week when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the company’s request to provide broadband satellite services.

https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/spacex-starlink-gets-fcc-approval/

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5 Technology Tools in the Higher Education Classroom

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by Meghan Bogardus Cortez, EdTech
University students are coming to class with more than just a college-ruled notebook. Modern classes look nothing like what they did just 10 years ago, thanks to an increase of technology in higher education classrooms. As digital tools have reshaped the world around us, Susan Smith Nash, a blogger, educator and early ed tech adopter, isn’t surprised that technology has become a major part of the higher ed classroom. “The classroom should be a laboratory for life,” she says.

https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2018/03/5-technology-tools-higher-education-classroom-perfcon

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April 19, 2018

Are campus innovation centers serving all students?

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by Jarrett Carter, Education Dive
Carnegie Mellon, Brown, Connecticut and Iowa State universities, among others, have invested millions of dollars in creating campus innovations centers. Their goal is to attract nontraditional business students to campus for entrepreneurial development, and to create a pipeline of corporate partnership to the campuses, according to a recent article from the Chronicle of Higher Education.  Between 2008 and 2016, Carnegie Mellon helped to launch 250 companies mostly comprised of faculty members and staff from the college of engineering and schools of business and computer science. This representation, some say, is a limitation for centers as they largely attract white males from STEM disciplines.  Matthew Mayhew, a professor of educational administration at Ohio State University, said in the article that universities should encourage students who become involved with innovation centers to also align with other campus activities, which helps diversify skill sets necessary for entrepreneurial success. “The central idea is still the same,” he said. “Students can actually learn the steps in how to take an idea and roll it out to execution. And those steps aren’t necessarily just about developing a strategic business plan.”

https://www.educationdive.com/news/are-campus-innovation-centers-serving-all-students/520353/

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Trump says he ‘doesn’t know what a community college means’

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by Autumn A. Arnett, Education Dive
In a speech, President Donald Trump expressed a desire to return to the days of vocational schools — both in name and function — saying he doesn’t know what a community college is, other than knowing it’s a two-year school. Touting the need for expanded financial aid to support “short-term training programs that equip Americans to succeed in construction and the skilled trades” during remarks on his infrastructure plan, the president said he knows what vocational “and technical perhaps” mean, but suggested the term “community college” is too nebulous. He again lauded the importance of apprenticeship programs as the key to workforce development, equating them more closely with technical and vocational training.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/trump-says-he-doesnt-know-what-a-community-college-means/520367/

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Report: Instructional Design Support Helps Increase Student-to-Student Interaction in Online Courses

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By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

When instructional designers are involved in online course design, student-to-student interaction goes up, according to a new survey of online education leaders from Quality Matters and Eduventures Research. The survey compared reported student interaction levels at institutions where instructional design support is required for online course development vs. those where such support is absent or optional. Perhaps not surprisingly, respondents perceived interactivity to be significantly higher for the former.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/04/02/report-instructional-design-support-helps-increase-student-to-student-interaction-in-online-courses.aspx

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April 18, 2018

University of Akron to lift the curtain on new esports program at forum in April

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By Joey Morona, cleveland.com
The University of Akron will unveil more details about its new esports program at a forum next month. The purpose of the event is “to discuss how the esports varsity teams and club will function, and how the program will contribute to the greater Akron area through community involvement,” a university spokesperson said in a release. Akron’s esports — or competitive video gaming — program is scheduled to launch this fall with both varsity and club teams. The varsity team will field between 50 to 55 players competing against other universities in games such as League of Legends, Overwatch, CS:GO, Hearthstone and Rocket League. Like other student-athletes, varsity esports players will be eligible for scholarships.

http://www.cleveland.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2018/03/university_of_akron_esports.html

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Why EdTech hasn’t solved education’s problems

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by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Many educators and teachers loudly espouse the innumerable benefits of edtech to solve today’s most prevalent classroom issues. Technology certainly does play a major role in the development of students and academics, but it doesn’t solve everything. In fact, there are a few major issues that still exist in today’s education system that edtech may be unable to solve.

Are you wondering why some of these issues still exist? Check out some of these reasons why edtech falls short in solving some of education’s most significant issues.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/why-edtech-hasnt-solved-educations-problems/

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Roving robot lets UCI student attend classes virtually while on bed rest

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By PRISCELLA VEGA, Los Angeles Times

The robot is self-balancing, with six- to eight-hour battery life. It sells for about $3,000. Members of UCI’s class of 2016 used their senior class gift to buy four telepresence robots for the university. Law and political science professor Rick Hasen described the experience with the Double 2 as unusual, but said it helped instill camaraderie in his class. In past years, Hasen said, classes would be recorded and students would watch later and email him with questions. “It wasn’t bad, but this was much better,” Hasen said.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-uci-robot-20180330-story.html

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April 17, 2018

Asynchronous Discussions, Group Projects Still Dominate in Online Courses

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By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Asynchronous discussions and group projects are the most important techniques currently used for online learning, according to a new survey of online education leaders from Quality Matters and Eduventures Research. When asked which online learning methods were most important at their institutions, respondents pointed to those two activities first, followed by problem-based learning, quizzes and research projects.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/03/30/asynchronous-discussions-group-projects-still-dominate-in-online-courses.aspx

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Working the Online Crowd: Humor and Teaching with Tech

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by Joe Barnhart, Campus Technology

Humor is a tough nut to crack. In the face-to-face classroom, it works great to keep the troops awake and actively breathing. Effective techniques include goofy activities, oddball writing assignments and witty comments. Prodding students into a laugh proved to be a viable strategy and I was very successful at it. What really helped was reading the class’s body language: those subtle shifts in attitude where I could deliver one of my dry zingers, producing the desired jovial results. Those experiences proved to me that humor was a dominating factor when creating an interactive classroom. So, moving to the online format was a little disconcerting. Could humor achieve the same responses online as in real life? Well, I’ve come to find out the answer is, “Absolutely!”

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/03/28/working-the-online-crowd-humor-and-teaching-with-tech.aspx

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Technology isn’t going to replace teachers anytime soon

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by John Sarkar, Times of India

There is this constant and misguided thought of technology as a replacement for teachers. Technology acts in one of two ways. One, it helps students in ways that teachers alone would not be able to, for example, on Toppr experts solve doubts for students at 4am, unthinkable without the platform. Two, technology amplifies the effect of teachers. A good teacher can now reach millions of students where he was earlier limited to the seats in his classroom. While technology will help an increasing number of kids learn better with less dependence on teachers, a teacherless future is very far away.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/people/technology-isnt-going-to-replace-teachers-anytime-soon/articleshow/63546486.cms

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April 16, 2018

What “The Right to Disconnect” Could Mean for Online Training

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By Cait Etherington, eLearning Inside

Last week, New York City Councilor Rafael Espinal proposed a law that would make it illegal for employers to expect employees to log-on to their work email accounts outside official work hours. If Espinal’s The Right to Disconnect bill passes, New York City will become the first North American jurisdiction but not the first jurisdiction worldwide to put the kibosh on after-hours work-related communications. Notably, similar legislation has been in place in France since late 2016.

What “The Right to Disconnect” Could Mean for Online Training

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How EdTech Leaders Can Model EdTech Best Practices

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by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

First, leaders can get serious about privacy and security. This means that they frequently change their passwords, use two-step authentication where it is available, and avoid falling for phishing schemes. Students and other stakeholders will know—sometimes in subtle ways (if they see a prompt for a far-overdue security update) and sometimes in not-so-subtle ways (if a leader has experienced identify theft)—if educational leaders are taking privacy and security seriously. Second, leaders need to demonstrate strong information literacy skills.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/how-education-leaders-can-model-edtech-best-practices/

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Telepresence Robots Give Online Students Better Way to Connect

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by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Distance and online learning are becoming major trends in higher education, as well as in the mandatory years of K12 schooling. When students are unable to make it into the physical classroom setting, they miss out on some of the most important aspects of academics, including making connections with other students through socialization. Connecting via social media or online message forums simply isn’t the same as having face-to-face interactions with like-minded peers. To solve this growing dilemma, developers started to create the basis for telepresence robots. The robots can take multiple forms depending on the model and manufacturer. Some allow for distance learners to show their face but are unable to maneuver themselves from place to place. More expensive models come standard with Segway wheels that can cart these “digital students” from one classroom to the next.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/telepresence-robots-give-online-students-better-way-connect/

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April 15, 2018

Weigh if a Part-Time MBA Program Is the Right Fit

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By Mariya Greeley, US News

There’s growing interest among prospective MBA students to study while working. While enrollment for full-time MBAs decreased significantly in the U.S. between 2005 and 2016, enrollment at part-time programs has risen nearly 20 percent, according to a survey of about 350 accredited business schools from AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Dan LeClair, executive vice president and chief strategy and innovation officer at AACSB, notes that the part-time numbers signal “some really important changes that are happening in higher education.” Increasingly, students seem to value the greater convenience of these programs as well as the ability to keep their jobs and salaries.

https://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/articles/2018-03-29/weigh-if-a-part-time-mba-program-is-the-right-fit

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Student engagement at the heart of new online charter school

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by Mindi Smith, Kokomo Herald
Indiana Agriculture & Technology School is a new tuition-free, statewide charter school that couples online learning with labs and project-based activities on a working farm.  Indiana Agriculture & Technology School is a new tuition-free, statewide charter school that couples online learning with labs and project-based activities on a working farm. Courtesy of Indiana Agriculture & Technology School
Those behind the Indiana Agriculture & Technology School say they’re changing the game for online schools. And they’re doing so by keeping the enrollment low and the student accountability high. IATS is a new tuition-free, statewide charter school that couples online learning with labs and project-based activities on a working farm.

http://kokomoherald.com/Content/Community/Community/Article/Student-engagement-at-the-heart-of-new-online-charter-school/32/759/32852

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Amazon to close TenMarks online education service after 2018-19 school year

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BY TODD BISHOP & FRANK CATALANO, Geekwire

Amazon will close its TenMarks online math and writing learning service after the 2018-2019 school year, the latest surprise twist in the tech giant’s foray into education technology. The company broke the news in emails to customers this week and in a message on the TenMarks website. “We’re winding down,” the announcement reads. “TenMarks will no longer be available after the 2018-2019 school year. Licenses for TenMarks Math and Writing will be honored through June 30, 2019.”

https://www.geekwire.com/2018/amazon-close-tenmarks-online-education-service-2018-19-school-year/

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