Techno-News Blog

September 16, 2017

Chicago’s Path to Become a ‘City of Learning’

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LINDA POON, City Lab
Four years after launching a digital platform to connect students with out-of-school programs, researchers are reaping the benefits: a large pool of data to study the inequity of informal education.  Chicago’s 400,000 public school students are shuffling back into classrooms this week for ice breakers, syllabus rundowns, and the first lessons of the school year. For some, though, the learning never really stopped in the summer months, thanks to the thousands of sports camps, coding academies, art lessons, and other programs available to children in the city. Similar after-school programs are key to keeping kids off the streets year-round—but that’s only the case if the students are able to access the programs designed to serve them. Nearly four years ago, in an effort to help connect students to extracurricular offerings, Mayor Rahm Emanuel launched the Chicago City of Learning online platform (CCOL). It’s something of a one-stop shop that allows kids to easily search through hundreds of out-of-school programs based on their interests.

https://www.citylab.com/solutions/2017/09/chicago-after-school-programs-digital-youth-network/537591/

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New report illustrates challenges part-time students face

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by Pat Donachie, Education Dive

Higher education institutions are failing to adequately service part-time students, with only about a quarter of such students attaining a degree within the eight years they begin college, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress, with four out of every ten students who enrolled exclusively part-time in their first year not returning for their second. Part of the issue is due to a lack of comprehensive data at the national level, according to Marcella Bombardieri, the author of the report and a senior policy analyst on the postsecondary education team for CAP. She noted that often community college administrators, when asked about what they were doing to assist part-time or transfer students, would respond that “everything” they do is for those student groups, because they often make up the most significant proportion of community college enrollees.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/new-report-illustrates-challenges-part-time-students-face/504501/

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How online graduate programs offer degrees at significant savings

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by PBS

As technology evolves and more online graduate programs become available at a much lower cost, should we reconsider traditional higher education in a classroom setting? Hari Sreenivasan reports on how some students earning master’s degrees at Georgia Tech are paying little or nothing for online courses from a top program.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/online-graduate-programs-offer-degrees-significant-savings/

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September 15, 2017

6 Study Hacks To Help You Ace Your Online Course

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by SOPHIE NICOLAS, Junkee

Studying online can actually be pretty fun. You don’t have to endure any awkward first day ice breakers, or sit through boring lectures. In fact, you can literally just skip the boring bits and cut to the chase. You pretty much run your own schedule.  But sometimes without uni friends to motivate you, or without an attendance record to force you to go to class, it’s easy to feel a bit blasé about your study. Here are six study hacks you need to ace your online course.

http://junkee.com/6-study-hacks-to-help-you-ace-your-online-course/122035

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Online classes take teaching from stage to screen

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Thomas Klassen, Toronto Star

University and college students will soon be back in their classrooms. However, more and more students now study online, rather than in a classroom. This is both positive and worrisome. I know, as earlier this summer I taught my first online university course. Online education is a transformative disruption in teaching and learning. Freed from physical constraints, learning becomes more accessible and teaching techniques more innovative. More than one-quarter of post-secondary students in Canada have registered in at least one online course.

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2017/09/05/online-classes-take-teaching-from-stage-to-screen.html

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Coursera’s Online MBAs Could Be Big Business

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Adam Lashinsky, Fortune

Coursera and its ilk—Udacity and Minera Project are two examples—are an appropriate topic of conversation on the day after Americans honor those who work. Coursera’s take is that higher education is too expensive and too airy-fairy to meet the needs of today’s students. What’s needed are specific classes that serve the needs of today’s students, like courses on how to code specific software languages and brand-new fields like machine learning and data science. Coursera also is working with individual employers like Google to design classes that employees and developers need to succeed on their platforms.  Coursera sells access to groupings of courses it calls “specializations,” sold as a subscription for $49 a month. It also has created online degrees with prestigious universities, including a $20,000 MBA from the University of Illinois (my alma mater) that Maggioncalda says would cost $118,000 in person.

http://fortune.com/2017/09/05/courseras-online-mbas-could-be-big-business/

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September 14, 2017

Future Higher Ed IT Spending Will Be Driven by Cloud and Mobile

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by Meghan Bogardus Cortez, Education Dive
This year, IT spending across industries will increase by 4.5 percent, rising to $2.1 trillion, and then increase by another 4 percent in 2018. IDC, which conducted the research, indicates that cloud infrastructure and mobile devices will be the source of the upswing. “Cloud and mobile are still the big drivers for IT spending, despite the attention devoted to new technologies like augmented reality, artificial intelligence and robotics,” says Stephen Minton, IDC vice president for customer insights and analysis, on Campus Technology. Universities are also prioritizing cloud and mobile as they update their technology. A survey last year indicated that 81 percent of university IT leaders were planning to increase their cloud spending. In 2016, 39 percent of their applications were cloud-based, but that number is expected to rise to 62 percent by 2021.

https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2017/09/future-higher-ed-it-spending-will-be-driven-cloud-and-mobile

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The Rise of the Online Exam Proctor

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By Cait Etherington, e-learning Inside

It’s a fact: Sometimes students cheat on exams. This is why exam proctors remain necessary at all levels of the education system. In most cases proctors are anonymous individuals who pass out exams and then pace up and down watching you while you write. The proctor is also the person who typically says time is up and retrieves your exam…whether or not you’ve completed it. In short, they are the eyes and ears of the education system in testing situations, but the days of human proctors may be numbered.

https://news.elearninginside.com/the-rise-of-the-online-exam-proctor/

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Learning to learn could be built into online courses

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by Punch
Why do some of us learn easily and quickly, while others struggle, left behind plodding along? Part of the answer, at least in the online learning space, is that learning is a real skill in and of itself, and some people are more skilled at it than others. And the good news for the plodders is that it is a skill that can be readily grasped when we break it down. I’ve analysed the data from over 100,000 learners on the University of Melbourne’s various MOOCs or massive open online courses – every click, tap, swipe they make, every document they consult and every word they write in chat forums and exercises. What emerged was a remarkably consistent pattern of which learning behaviours work and which don’t. It means that it should be possible to design online learning systems that not only teach skills and knowledge, but also at the same time teach students how best to learn.

http://punchng.com/learning-to-learn-could-be-built-into-online-courses/

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Is Your School Prepared for the Future of Education

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by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

The future of education is digital. We live in an increasingly digital world, where technology is a part of our lives in so many ways. Now more than ever, it is crucial that we incorporate digital technology into education. To prepare students for higher education and future jobs, we must ensure that they are familiar with technology.  Administrators who want to prepare their K-12 school for the future of education should look at the ways they use technology in the classroom. Schools that are future-ready are those that blend technology with learning seamlessly and include technology in nearly every lesson. To prepare for this digital future, many schools are adopting a one-to-one program. In this type of program, there is one computer or tablet for every student. Schools with one-to-one programs have seen a boost in students’ achievement, especially when it comes to their 21st-century skills.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/school-ready-future-education/

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September 13, 2017

These are the ‘robot proof’ jobs of the future: Pew Research

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by Beth Corsentino, CNBC
A recent study found that more than half of Americans are afraid they will lose their job to a robot. While plenty of jobs could be in jeopardy, there are certain fields that could be considered “robot proof.” Lee Rainie, director of Internet and technology research at the Pew Research Center, calls these positions “high touch jobs” that are not in danger of being outsourced, he explained to CNBC’s “On The Money” recently. Fox example, positions like hair stylists, doctors, nurses or even physical therapists could turn into high growth industries. “Anything that involves dealing directly with the public and taking care of them, either their needs in health or other places” are likely to survive the robot onslaught, Rainie said.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/01/these-are-the-robot-proof-jobs-of-the-future-pew-research.html

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Revolutionizing the university for the digital era

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By Michael S. Roth, Washington Post

At its core, the new education Cathy Davidson envisions creates a platform for student-centered, active learning. Technology will be a part of that, but only if it enhances student agency. She cites approvingly the conclusion of Tressie McMillan Cottom, a sociologist of technology: “If you believe technology is the answer to everything that plagues higher education, you probably don’t understand technology or higher education.” “The New Education” provides strong examples of successful academic innovations.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/revolutionizing-the-university-for-the-digital-era/2017/09/01/c82386a2-6740-11e7-8eb5-cbccc2e7bfbf_story.html

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Schools launch online learning options

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By Carol Paur, Lake Geneva News
The Lake Geneva school district is expanding its online options for students in the middle schools and Badger high school. Introduced in May, the district is offering what it calls Lake Geneva Online Learning Options (LGOLO) as another choice for their students. These courses will supplement, not take over classroom instruction. “This came out of a need to expand course selections,” said Russ Tronsen, Badger High School principal. “This will be a potential tool for us.”

http://www.lakegenevanews.net/news/schools-launch-online-learning-options/article_12e58ab4-9a1f-5768-b673-41782b261692.html

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September 12, 2017

Technology Moves to the Head of the 21st Century Classroom

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by MIT Technology Review

Tomorrow’s jobs will demand collaborative workers steeped in hands-on problem solving. To that end, digital learning is leveling the playing field for far-flung disadvantaged students who previously would have had no chance to be part of this new workforce, as well as boosting the skills of students and workers closer to home. Cloud, virtualization, and software-defined networking—along with consumer electronic devices—are among the many advanced technologies enabling this development.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/608774/technology-moves-to-the-head-of-the-21st-century-classroom/

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High schools now offering online classes

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By Dani Anguiano, Chico Enterprise-Record
Not so long ago, if a high school student wanted a job, they were limited to working after school, on weekends or during the summer. Now, through a relatively new program in Chico Unified School District, students who want to work, as well as students who have health issues that prevent them from going to school and those who just don’t want to be on campus, have another option available to them.  The school district is for the second year offering the Panther Online Academy and the Viking Online Academy, which allow students to take some or all of their classes online. The program came about as district staff, led by former Director of Secondary Education Dave McKay, tried to find ways to better serve students and keep those students connected to the district, CUSD Director of Secondary Education Jay Marchant said.

http://www.chicoer.com/social-affairs/20170831/high-schools-now-offering-online-classes

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Free online professional development courses being offered

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by Wichita State
Wichita State is offering free online professional development badge courses.
Badges are designed for working professionals who want to learn new skills and technologies to keep up with the needs of employers. Any non-degree seeking person can take a course. Wichita State University is offering full scholarships for anyone wanting to enroll in one of 35 undergraduate online professional development badges. Badges are designed for working professionals who want to continue learning new skills and technologies to keep up with the needs of employers. The self-directed online courses allow students to go at their own pace each semester. Anyone who enrolls for one undergraduate-level badge now through Friday, Sept. 15, will have the full cost of the badge covered.

http://www.wichita.edu/thisis/stories/story.asp?si=3764

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September 11, 2017

Online classes help high school students graduate

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by Mark Wilson, Fox 13

“We pulled our data to find our students that were off track last year, that were in danger of not graduating and we met with them and their parents and then we started the program,” said Wesley Chapel High Assistant Principal Kelly McPherson.  And it’s been successful. “Of the 19 seniors we enrolled in [the program], 18 did graduate, so that was really exciting,” said McPherson. Dr. James Hatten is a USF professor who specializes in this kind of education. He emphasizes that this track to a diploma is not easier than a regular classroom. “People think wrongly that an online course is easier to take for a student. Often times it’s more difficult for a student because there’s no way to hide in an online course. There’s no way to not participate. You either have to be active or you’re not active,” said Dr. Hatten.

http://www.fox13news.com/news/local-news/277873279-story

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Mass. has tools to lead in online learning — but doesn’t

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By Julie Young, Lowell Sun
For two years running, Bloomberg’s State Innovation Index has hailed Massachusetts as the country’s most innovative state economy. Looking at such metrics as R&D; concentration of science, technology, engineering, and math employment; and numbers of science degrees, it’s no wonder that the commonwealth placed first.  But it’s not just postsecondary education that makes Massachusetts a leader in innovation. Its K-12 public schools also boast some of the most dynamic and thoughtful approaches to brick-and-mortar education, providing a model for the rest of the country. Despite these successes, Massachusetts struggles to keep pace with innovative online educational offerings that have helped students thrive throughout the nation.

http://www.lowellsun.com/news/ci_31267702/julie-young-mass-has-tools-lead-online-learning

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Weigh an Online Course That Uses Adaptive Learning

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by Brad Fuster, US News

One challenge for me as a professor when teaching introductory classes is assessing what students already know and what they don’t, and then presenting course material in a way that is simultaneously helpful and rigorous. An online course that uses adaptive learning technology may be a great fit, especially for older students with previous work experience. But these classes also have limitations.  Adaptive courses, which are gaining popularity and offered mainly at larger online universities, individually adjust each learner’s experience in real time based on the student’s progress. For example, a three- to five-minute lecture might explain how to solve a mathematical equation. This lecture is followed by a quiz that presents the student with one problem at a time. A computer program assesses how the student answers each question, and then, based on whether they answered correctly, determines the next question.

https://www.usnews.com/education/online-learning-lessons/articles/2017-09-01/weigh-an-online-course-that-uses-adaptive-learning

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September 10, 2017

How digital badges are shaking up teacher PD

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BY JOHN JENNINGS AND BEN ROOME, eSchool News

The topic of teacher professional development has dominated discussions about teacher quality and retention for years. While some progress has been made, there is still no standardized means for teachers to develop a portfolio of credentials aligned with the always-evolving set of skills and strategies they bring to their classrooms. Digital badging has arrived on the scene as a leading contender to close this gap and help provide teachers with a clear path to professional growth, and the micro-credentials to prove it. This is an important breakthrough for a profession in which a lack of career mobility too often leads to top talent leaving for administration roles or private sector jobs.

https://www.eschoolnews.com/2017/08/31/digital-badges-shaking-teacher-pd/

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‘Smart’ Campuses Invest in the Internet of Things

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By David Raths, Campus Technology
Forward-thinking CIOs are exploring the potential of IoT technologies in higher education and heading off challenges along the way. At Sun Devil Stadium on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe, sensors connected to the WiFi and cellular network collect temperature, humidity and noise data for use by facilities staff. As part of a longstanding cheering contest, the noise data analysis identifies the section of the stadium that is making the most noise and puts the results on a big screen. Sensors can identify if a faucet anywhere in the stadium is left running after a football game is over, to help cut water usage. ASU also is exploring providing information through a mobile app on the availability of parking and wait time estimations for concession lines and restrooms.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/08/24/smart-campuses-invest-in-the-internet-of-things.aspx

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