Techno-News Blog

October 18, 2018

Online Classes: Interactive or Inactive?

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Mackenzie Peterson, Stoutonia

Online classes are something that is offered at many schools. They are convenient and flexible with busy schedules, there is zero commute, and it can help improve student’s self discipline. Yet, many students tend to not utilize this option and stick with traditional classes. There are many different reasons why students may not incorporate online classes into their schedule. One reason many students agreed upon was that they aren’t as interactive as they would like them to be.  Some professors gave their views as well. Professor of communication and emerging media Mitchell Ogden has taught many online classes in the past. He said, “I think online learning can really foster the discipline and habit of independent learning and exploration that can sometimes be harder to promote in a face-to-face classroom.”

http://stoutonia.com/online-classes-interactive-or-inactive/

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Online classes are as good as in-person classes

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BY TAYLOR NEWMAN, Daily Texan
We’ve all heard that online classes don’t work — you’re probably going to forget to watch them, zone out from your bed and won’t get direct student-professor engagement. But the reality is, the majority of online classes at UT are designed with this in mind and prove to be more beneficial than disappointing. Online classes yield a result heavily reliant on what students put into them. In remotely taught classes, students are less likely to reach out to their professors as they would in a physical classroom. Students may also be hesitant to respond in a class chat with hundreds of students watching. But students who do choose to engage in online classes and dedicate the necessary time to succeed in any class are just as, if not more, successful. Overwhelmingly, students responded that both of these courses were beneficial. In Government 312L, 84.4 percent of students said they “agreed or strongly agreed” with the statement that they “learned a great deal in the course” and for Psychology 301 it was 83.5 percent.

http://dailytexanonline.com/2018/10/08/online-classes-are-as-good-as-in-person-classes

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A Course Experiment Tackles Textbook Costs

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By Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed
Students in a political science class at California Polytechnic State University embarked on an unusual challenge last year. They drafted legislation to see if they could get it passed by the state Legislature. The bill became law this past summer. In the process, the students learned how lawmaking works and got invaluable experience on using the political process to push for change — even if it’s only incremental change — on a higher ed issue close to their hearts. The students in the California Bill Project class set out to write a bill that would benefit fellow California students but not cost the state any money.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/10/10/california-students-take-publishers-legislatively-reduce-textbook-costs

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October 17, 2018

Nearly all states slashed college funding over last decade

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James Paterson, Education Dive
Adjusted for inflation, state funding for higher education has fallen by more than $7 billion since 2008, before the Great Recession caused deep cuts in spending on public two- and four-year colleges, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).  While state revenues have largely returned to pre-recession levels, higher education funding has been slow to increase. Funding was largely flat from the 2017-18 to 2018-19 academic years, with an average 3.4% increase per student in 18 states and an average 2.6% decline in 31 states.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/nearly-all-states-slashed-college-funding-over-last-decade/538941/

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5 things helping schools implement high-speed internet

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BY LAURA ASCIONE, eSchool News
State leaders and better infrastructure are helping schools connect students to the high-speed internet necessary for digital learning.  More and more students have access to high-speed internet in schools, but there are still students left without the connectivity they need to grow and learn, according to the annual State of the States report from the nonprofit EducationSuperHighway (ESH). Today, 98 percent of public schools have next-generation fiber infrastructure, and 96 percent have enough internet connectivity to make digital learning possible in classrooms, says ESH CEO Evan Marwell in the report’s introduction.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/10/09/ivy-tech-cc-rolls-out-interactive-adaptive-digital-biology-course.aspx

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Ivy Tech CC Rolls out Interactive, Adaptive Digital Biology Course

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By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana recently announced it will use BioBeyond as the standard course for all of its online introductory biology courses. The college, which has more than 40 campus locations serving nearly 71,000 students, piloted the digital biology course over the summer, and now plans to use it in 37 online sections. BioBeyond “takes students on a journey to learn how life works,” according to a company statement. Designed to replace traditional textbooks, the course offers 56 adaptive lessons, using virtual field trips, interactive simulations and other inquiry-based materials to teach students to make observations, test hypotheses and engage with science. “This new course is a game changer, both in how students engage with and understand the course material, and the insights instructors gain on students’ grasp of concepts throughout the semester,” said Reid Morehouse, assistant professor of life and physical sciences at Ivy Tech, in a statement.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/10/09/ivy-tech-cc-rolls-out-interactive-adaptive-digital-biology-course.aspx

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October 16, 2018

Four Keys to a Modern IT Approach in K-12 Schools

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by Andrew Graf, Tech Edvocate

The majority of school district IT departments are short on time and resources, and this makes it hard to implement technology effectively. In a recent survey of K-12 IT leaders, 45 percent said they don’t have enough IT employees to support their existing technologies well, never mind trying to add new devices and systems. This problem has serious implications for student success. As education becomes more personalized and data-driven, teachers and administrators are increasingly reliant on technology to help them diagnose students’ precise learning needs and deliver highly targeted instruction to fill these knowledge gaps. If school district IT departments are going to support the demand for new technologies successfully, they will have to learn how to do more with less. Fortunately, IT staff can work more intelligently and use their existing resources more effectively by become more proactive in their approach.

 

Four Keys to a Modern IT Approach in K-12 Schools

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Falling Confidence in Higher Ed

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By Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed
Just under half (48 percent) of American adults have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in higher education, according to an analysis released by Gallup. That figure is down from 57 percent in 2015 and represents a larger than typical decline in confidence in an American institution in a relatively short time period, according to Gallup. The largest confidence drops were found among Republicans. And based on this year’s responses, higher education enjoys more confidence than do many other institutions (including the presidency, Congress, newspapers and public schools). Only the military, small business and police enjoy more confidence than does higher education.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/10/09/gallup-survey-finds-falling-confidence-higher-education

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AI is perhaps the biggest revolution of the modern age

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by Sebastian Thrun, Live Mint

For me, AI is perhaps the biggest revolution of the modern age. The fundamental innovation is that in the past, the computer would blindly follow rules. But with the use of AI, and Machine Learning in particular, the computer can now get examples and find its own moves. It takes years of training to become a good doctor or a lawyer but with AI, we could turn people into instant experts on day one. For example, we trained an AI system to recognise skin cancer–it became as good as a certified doctor who has spent years and years in training.

https://www.livemint.com/Technology/ANftFSfsFkfZm1GcehZ0IO/AI-is-perhaps-the-biggest-revolution-of-the-modern-age-Seba.html

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October 15, 2018

First-Generation University Adult Learners and the Choice of an Online Learning Model

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by Yoram Neumann, Diverse Learning

The question remains whether or not online education can play a significant role in leveling the playing field and eventually reducing income inequality. According to the U.S. Department of Education and the Center of Education at Georgetown University, about a third of undergraduate students in U.S. universities and colleges are first-generation learners whose bachelor degree graduation rates within six years from starting their studies are only 25 percent. About 54 percent of these first-generation students are adult learners (ages older than 24). 4.5 million undergraduate students are both first-generation and low-income and their bachelor degree completion rate is only 11 percent.

First-Generation University Adult Learners and the Choice of an Online Learning Model

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9 ways college is different for millennials than it was for previous generations

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Hillary Hoffower, Business Insider

According to the Pew Research Center, the number of college-educated young adults with a bachelor’s degree is at its highest point yet — 40% of millennial workers aged 25 to 29 had a bachelor’s degree in 2016, compared to 32% of Gen Xers in 2000 and 26% of baby boomers in 1985. But they’re attending college in a different environment. From the price of college textbooks to online learning opportunities, here’s how college differs for millennials.

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-college-is-different-now-then-millennials-vs-baby-boomers-2018-9

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October 14, 2018

The Evolving World of Community Colleges: Market Position, Competition and the Future

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Ian Roark, Evolllution

Our industry often subscribes to the notion that community college enrollment is inversely tied to the business cycles of the American economy: We tend to cling to this notion as if it must continue to be this way; as if it’s immutable. While the business cycle is one factor among many in our enrollment patterns, it may be counterproductive for community college leadership to say that a bad economy is good for community college enrollment—and conversely, to blame low enrollments on a booming economy.  A second trend that we need to keep in mind is the impact of artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT) and automation. That is, we need to address the notion that, “The robots are coming!” A recent study from the McKinsey Global Institute stated that 30 percent of all Americans could be displaced by advanced technologies by 2030.

The Evolving World of Community Colleges: Market Position, Competition and the Future

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What is Machine Learning?

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Chris Meserole, Brookings

The core insight of machine learning is that much of what we recognize as intelligence hinges on probability rather than reason or logic.  Recognizing someone, planning a trip, plotting a strategy—each of these tasks demonstrate intelligence. But rather than hinging primarily on our ability to reason abstractly or think grand thoughts, they depend first and foremost on our ability to accurately assess how likely something is. We just don’t always realize that that’s what we’re doing. Back in the 1950s, though, McCarthy and his colleagues did realize it. And they understood something else too: Computers should be very good at computing probabilities.

What is machine learning?

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What is Artificial Intelligence?

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Darrell M. West. Brookings

Today, AI generally is thought to refer to “machines that respond to stimulation consistent with traditional responses from humans, given the human capacity for contemplation, judgment, and intention.” According to researchers Shubhendu and Vijay, these software systems “make decisions which normally require [a] human level of expertise” and help people anticipate problems or deal with issues as they come up. As argued by John Allen and myself in an April 2018 paper, such systems have three qualities that constitute the essence of artificial intelligence: intentionality, intelligence, and adaptability.

What is artificial intelligence?

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October 13, 2018

The 5 Keys for Developing Effective Online Learning Courses

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Christopher Pappas, Business2Community

Customers are busier than ever — in fact, more than 60 percent of people work at least 40 hours a week on top of countless hours of housework. Even with this full plate, they still must make well-informed buying decisions and find ways to familiarize themselves with brands. As a result, your organization should provide personalized customer online training resources that audiences can peruse at their own pace. With eLearning course development, you can tailor your brand to tech-savvy customers instead of relying on traditional strategies that feel more intrusive. Developing effective online learning courses isn’t easy — especially when you’re just starting out. It’s important to consider a few circumstances before implementing an online training course.

https://www.business2community.com/strategy/the-5-keys-for-developing-effective-online-learning-courses-02127651

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Community colleges see success with varied semester start dates

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BY LAURA ASCIONE, eCampus News
Flexible semesters could help nontraditional students complete degrees at community colleges.  Nontraditional students make up more than half of today’s higher-ed student body, and community colleges are stepping up to meet their unique needs in big ways. Research from the American Council on Education shows that almost 60 percent of U.S. undergraduate students are nontraditional, meaning they are 25 or older, work full-time, and have work, family, or other obligations that require flexibility in their educational options.

Community colleges see success with varied semester start dates

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Does your college have a math concierge?

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BY ANGELA PASCOPELLA, eCampus News

The Math Emporium at an Arizona community college pairs technology with human help to increase student success. The Math Emporium, located on the campus of Rio Salado College in Phoenix, Arizona, is an informal, cafe-style study and practice space to help students navigate basic math. But that’s not all. The emporium is staffed by a math “concierge” who acts as tutor, small-group presenter, and coach. As with many community colleges, some Rio Salado students tend to be older than the average college student and/or some left high school early, so they have little memory or knowledge of math concepts. “Less than 20 percent of students can get into and pass a college-level math class,” says John Jensen, faculty chair of mathematics. “A lot of them need practice with lower-level and developmental math; they simply lost [the knowledge] due to lack of use.”

Does your college have a math concierge?

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October 12, 2018

FutureLearn launches fully online BA

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by Patrick Atack
FutureLearn, the online learning platform attached to the British Open University, has launched its first undergraduate full degree program, in partnership with the University of Newcastle, Australia. The degree will be available across four subject areas of: Film, Media and Cultural Studies; English and Writing; History; and Sociology and Anthropology. Students will choose major and a minor subjects, picking individual courses accordingly. “It’s an important expansion of the university’s long history of flexible delivery” Each of the programs will consist of 12 weeks of teaching, broken down into four, three-week courses.

FutureLearn launches fully online BA

 

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A comparison of human-machine working hours for 2018 and 2022.

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Future of Jobs Survey 2018, World Economic Forum

Will we humans lose more jobs than we gain when machines take over the world of work, or will it be just the opposite? The experts are still trying to figure that out. In December 2017, a report from management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, “Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained: Workforce Transitions in a Time of Automation,” predicted that between “almost zero” and a third of work activities could be displaced by 2030, with wide variation among countries. (The more advanced the economy, the more likely the impact of automation.) While workforce transitions could hit between 75 million and 375 million people, overall, McKinsey found, more occupations will change than will be lost in a machine-driven world.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/10/03/the-future-of-work-when-machines-take-it-over.aspx

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Houston CC Opens Online Campus

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By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology
When one Texas community college system launched its seventh campus, the ceremony was digital: At the appropriate moment, event attendees armed with tablets were invited to swipe their fingers across their screens to “cut” the virtual ribbon on Houston Community College’s new online college. HCC Online launched with 31 fully online programs, including 15 associate degree-level and 16 certificate offerings in both academic and workforce areas. It expects to expand the total to 70 by fall 2019.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/10/04/houston-cc-opens-online-campus.aspx

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October 11, 2018

Older students are the new normal at college. The reason? The recession and new technology

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Leigh Guidry, Lafayette Daily Advertiser]

American universities are becoming less traditional — or at least their students are. People over 25 or those with children are enrolling in college classes — so many that nearly 74 percent of American undergraduate students are “nontraditional.” They’re compelled by a recession that especially hurt less-educated employees, along with the worry that advancing technology could leave them without a job. Nontraditional students now outnumber those who start as 18-year-old freshmen supported by their parents, according to data from RTI International, a North Carolina think tank.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/10/03/adult-older-nontraditional-college-students-louisiana/1504180002/

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