Techno-News Blog

June 11, 2019

Improving academic success through service-learning

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Patrick Blessinger, Enakshi Sengupta and Taisir Subhi Yamin; University World News

In short, service-learning is a curricula-based approach to teaching and learning that allows students to directly put academic theory into real-world practice. The specifics of a service-learning project will depend on the institutional mission, the academic discipline and programme, the grade level and course type and the specific learning objectives. The research knowledge base on service-learning shows that it can have a positive impact on student engagement, retention and graduation rates. Service-learning is an approach that complements and enhances traditional classroom (face-to-face, hybrid or online) courses through civic engagement and community development.

https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20190526153905418

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Why Mark Cuban is taking coding classes

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JP Mangalindan, Yahoo Finance

Cuban told Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer in a recent interview he has taken several online courses to stay up-to-date on programming languages and evolving technologies, including machine learning. Doing so arguably makes him a savvier investor when some tech startups pitch him. “I mean, I’ve been on Amazon doing the machine learning tutorials,” Cuban said. “Right now I’m going through… I’ve taken Python online classes.” “I just started JavaScript neural networks,” added Cuban, referring to computing systems that act similarly to biological neural networks and adapt to perform tasks. “There’s a little tutorial where they’ve got most of the libraries … And if you have a background in programming, it’s not hard.”

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/mark-cuban-coding-113412974.html

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7 Strategies to Promote Community in Online Courses

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By: Brian Udermann, Faculty Focus

One of the concerns I frequently hear from instructors considering teaching online is that they will lose the interaction and sense of community they have with their students when they teach face-to-face. That doesn’t have to be the case; many online instructors successfully create a sense of community in their courses. There are a variety of definitions of community. Most include wording or phrases such as “having something in common,” “feelings of being connected,” “shared goals or aspirations,” and “regular interaction.” This article will explore seven strategies faculty can use to promote and increase community in the online environment.

https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/seven-strategies-to-promote-community-in-online-courses/

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June 10, 2019

7 programs that are transforming education

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BY LAURA ASCIONE, eSchool News

Each Transformation Award winner uses online courses and adaptive learning tools to meet the varying needs of their students, who represent different demographic, economic and geographic backgrounds. The winning programs use online learning to overcome challenges in unique and inventive ways, whether through providing students with the means to earn a high school diploma after dropping out, filling teacher vacancies, helping students recover credits, differentiating instruction based on real-time progress data, or providing students with access to a wider variety of elective course

https://www.eschoolnews.com/2019/05/31/7-programs-that-are-transforming-education/

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NCAN Report: Shrinking Options, Growing Affordability Gaps for Low-Income Students Nationwide

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Bill DeBaun, College Access

A new National College Access Network analysis shows that students are right to be concerned: Affordability is decreasing at two- and four-year public institutions, whose mission is to provide a postsecondary pathway to benefit individuals and the public at large. In 2016-17, just 48% of community colleges in our sample were affordable for the average Pell Grant recipient, according to NCAN’s affordability formula. Only 27% of four-year public institutions were affordable. From academic years 2012-13 to 2016-17, the percentage of affordable institutions declined nationally, while affordability gaps rose.

http://www.collegeaccess.org/BlogItem?dg=9c193a4e63164902adadb8d5612ff29e

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How micro-internships work for students and companies

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Riia O’Donnell, Education dive
“Micro-internships,” or project-based internships, are emerging as a way for students to get a foot in the door and for employers to test talent before making a commitment. Lasting just days or weeks, micro-internships can create a more meaningful experience, too, according to Jeffrey Moss, CEO of Parker Dewey, a platform that enables such arrangements. Rather than longer programs that involve a fair bit of busy work, micro-internships often focus on one, substantive project. This could have an intern writing a blog post or compiling research, for example, he said. For many companies, these are tasks that are important, but don’t always get done.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/how-micro-internships-work-for-students-and-companies/556022/

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June 9, 2019

These fake images tell a scary story of how far AI has come

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By Kelsey Piper, Vox

Five years ago, the technique for deepfakes was invented. Here’s what we’re capable of now.  In the past five years, machine learning has come a long way. You might have noticed that Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant are way better than they used to be, or that automatic translation on websites, while still fairly spotty, is hugely improved from where it was a few years ago. But many still don’t quite grasp how far we’ve come, and how fast. Recently, two images made the rounds that underscore the huge advances machine learning has made — and show why we’re in for a new age of mischief and online fakery.

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/5/31/18645993/ai-deepfakes-gan-explained-machine-learning

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These fake images tell a scary story of how far AI has come

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By Kelsey Piper, Vox

Five years ago, the technique for deepfakes was invented. Here’s what we’re capable of now.  In the past five years, machine learning has come a long way. You might have noticed that Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant are way better than they used to be, or that automatic translation on websites, while still fairly spotty, is hugely improved from where it was a few years ago. But many still don’t quite grasp how far we’ve come, and how fast. Recently, two images made the rounds that underscore the huge advances machine learning has made — and show why we’re in for a new age of mischief and online fakery.

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/5/31/18645993/ai-deepfakes-gan-explained-machine-learning

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7 programs that are transforming education

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BY LAURA ASCIONE, eSchool News

Each Transformation Award winner uses online courses and adaptive learning tools to meet the varying needs of their students, who represent different demographic, economic and geographic backgrounds. The winning programs use online learning to overcome challenges in unique and inventive ways, whether through providing students with the means to earn a high school diploma after dropping out, filling teacher vacancies, helping students recover credits, differentiating instruction based on real-time progress data, or providing students with access to a wider variety of elective course

https://www.eschoolnews.com/2019/05/31/7-programs-that-are-transforming-education/

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Could Artificial Intelligence Automate Student Note-Taking?

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Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

What if you could have an artificial intelligence assistant to take down your notes for you? You could just sit back and give your full attention to the lecture secure in the knowledge that at the end of the lecture, you will have everything that was said organized in notes.In the business world, there are already a few companies that have developed solutions to automate note-taking at meetings.  As far as we could ascertain, there is room for the development of AI solutions that would automate note-taking for students. Such solutions, especially if they could summarize the important aspects of a lecture, would be invaluable to students who could then focus all their attention on the lecture while knowing that notes are being created for them.

https://www.thetechedvocate.org/could-artificial-intelligence-automate-student-note-taking/

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June 8, 2019

Universities that are recruiting older students often leave them floundering

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Jon Marcus, Hechinger Report

With the number of 18- to 24-year-olds down and expected to remain flat through at least 2035, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Twenty-nine percent of undergraduate and 77 percent of graduate students are 25 or older, the U.S. Department of Education reports.  Among these older students, more than half are parents, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Two-thirds have low incomes, compared to 36 percent of their traditional-aged classmates. Fifty-seven percent work at least 20 hours a week, versus 39 percent of younger students. And 44 percent, compared to 19 percent of traditional undergrads, enroll part-time.

https://hechingerreport.org/universities-that-are-recruiting-older-students-often-leave-them-floundering/

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New Tech Tests Usability of Virtual Apps

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By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology
A researcher in Germany has developed technology for automatically detecting the usability and user-friendliness of virtual environments. Previously, said Patrick Harms from the Institute of Computer Science at the University of Göttingen, the only way to check these aspects of virtual reality and the virtual world was through manual testing. Harms wrote about his results in the May 2019 issue of ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2019/05/29/new-tech-tests-usability-of-virtual-apps.aspx

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Here’s why understanding adult learners is absolutely critical

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BY LAURA ASCIONE, eCampus News

Adults are quickly taking over a larger and larger part of the student population at colleges and universities–and understanding adult learners is key to institutional success. The idea of the “traditional student,” who graduates high school and enrolls in a university, graduating in four years, is transforming. The majority of today’s learners are adult learners–those juggling school with work or family responsibilities, or those seeking new skills or a complete career change. Many institutions are focusing on adult learner programs to help boost their growth and revenue as enrollment projections decline.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/2019/05/27/heres-why-understanding-adult-learners-is-absolutely-critical/

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June 7, 2019

A Human-Centered Approach to Empowering Faculty for Excellence in Online Course Design

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by Katalin Wargo, EDUCAUSE Review

As at many colleges and universities across the nation, the teaching and learning landscape at William & Mary, a midsized liberal arts institution, is rapidly evolving. Online and hybrid programs are being woven throughout the William & Mary experience at such a fast pace that we have had to stop and ask ourselves what exactly we want that experience to be. As a continuation of our work on a contextualized approach to the digital learning environment, William & Mary’s University eLearning Initiatives created a new model of faculty development for online course design. The model deliberately cultivates human-centered digital learning by emphasizing connection, which we know to be difficult to foster within digital environments without intentional design.

https://er.educause.edu/blogs/2019/5/a-human-centered-approach-to-empowering-faculty-for-excellence-in-online-course-design

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Survey: Most Students Work on a PC in College but Prefer Macs in the Workplace

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By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology
A majority of students prefer Apple’s Mac and view organizations that offer Mac computers as more modern and desirable places to work. That’s the primary finding in a survey sponsored by Jamf, which produces software specifically for managing Apple devices. In a commissioned survey, the company queried 2,244 college and university students in five countries. Sixty percent of respondents work on a PC but a slight majority of those (51 percent) said they’d prefer to use a Mac if upfront cost were no object. Why Mac? A majority said they like “the brand” (64 percent); the “style and design” (60 percent); the “ease of use” (59 percent); and “reliability” (57 percent). Fifty-one percent said they prefer the price of the PC.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2019/05/29/new-tech-tests-usability-of-virtual-apps.aspx

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First Wave of Carnegie Mellon Learning Tools Now Available

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By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology
Carnegie Mellon University has moved forward in its efforts to release education tools into the world. Last week, the institution officially introduced OpenSimon, a community and collection of tools dedicated to “[catalyzing] a revolution in learning and teaching” for higher education and K-12. According to the university, the software that will eventually be made available under open source licenses represents an investment of $100 million in research and development. OpenSimon includes tools for multiple audiences: those teaching as well as those doing research or developing educational technology products.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2019/05/15/first-wave-of-carnegie-mellon-learning-tools-now-available.aspx

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June 6, 2019

Emergence of Blockchain in Higher Education

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Ray Schroeder, Inside Higher Ed

Blockchain is evolving into a robust platform that may shake many aspects of higher ed. We all have heard much about the potential for blockchain, particularly how it might serve as a distribution, validation and secure ledger of transcripts and associated certifications. MIT did the early work on this. Two years ago they began offering the distribution of diplomas via the Blockcerts Wallet app. While that sounds geeky cool, it represents much more than a technological advance. Substantively, it shifts control of transcripts from the registrar to the student. No longer can an unpaid parking ticket delay the delivery of your transcript to a prospective employer.  How can you prepare to adopt blockchain into your institution?

https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/blogs/online-trending-now/emergence-blockchain

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Why Integrated Instruction Is a Must for Today’s Tech-Enabled Learning

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Ruth Reynard, Campus Technology

Those of us in education have heard about integrated instruction for some time. Also known as “interdisciplinary instruction,” the term is used to explain approaches to teaching and learning that support problem solving and critical thinking. Bringing various academic disciplines together can help students think more deeply and more holistically about a topic or a project solution. Therefore, rather than presenting content in a linear fashion with prescribed beginning and ending points, an integrated approach not only encourages, but expects intersection points where related content can be part of the learning process. Topics and subjects are not seen as completely separate entities in an educational journey; instead, they are integrated at points, to make more sense of the whole.

 

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2019/05/29/why-integrated-instruction-is-a-must-for-todays-tech-enabled-learning.aspx

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Watch Samsung’s new AI turn Mona Lisa into a realistic talking head

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Stan Schroeder, Mashable

Need more convincing that it will soon be impossible to tell whether a video of a person is real or fake? Enter Samsung’s new research, in which a neural network can turn a still image into a disturbingly convincing video. Researchers at the Samsung AI center in Moscow have achieved this, Motherboard reported Thursday, by training a “deep convolutional network” on a large number of videos showing talking heads, allowing it to identify certain facial features, and then using that knowledge to animate an image.  (ed note: We all must inform others that this technology has arrived – it has the power to mislead and to bring about very serious consequences).

https://mashable.com/article/samsung-ai-deepfake-video/

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7 Women Leaders in AI, Machine Learning and Robotics

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Rina Caballar, Techopedia

Women make up only 22% of AI professionals worldwide, according to analysis done by LinkedIn and the World Economic Forum for its 2018 Global Gender Gap Report. In the more specialized area of machine learning, only 12% are women, based on a study done by Wired in partnership with Montreal startup Element AI. Artificial intelligence and machine learning continue to be male-dominated fields. But what would an artificially intelligent world designed and led by women look like? From making AI more human to automating the construction industry and reimagining the healthcare sector, here are seven women blazing the trail in the fields of artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics.

https://www.techopedia.com/7-women-leaders-in-ai-machine-learning-and-robotics/2/33884

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June 5, 2019

What Boards Need to Know About AI

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Douglas Merrill, Harvard Business Review

More than half of technology executives in the 2019 Gartner CIO Survey say they intend to employ AI before the end of 2020, up from 14% today. If you’re moving too slowly, a competitor could use AI to put you out of business. But if you move too quickly, you risk taking an approach the company doesn’t truly know how to manage. In a recent report by NewVantage Partners, 75% of companies cited fear of disruption from data-driven digital competitors as the top reason they’re investing. Answering these questions requires expertise in technology. But you can’t just add a tech expert to the board and count on him or her to keep the rest of the board up to speed.

https://hbr.org/2019/05/what-boards-need-to-know-about-ai

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