Barbie should break the geek ceiling

December 9th, 2014

by Chicago Tribune

Q:How many young women does it take to design and program a computer game?

A. None. Only boys know how to do that.

This, believe it or not, is the message to 4- and 5-year-old girls in the Barbie book, “I Can Be … a Computer Engineer.”

Written for beginning readers, the book tells the tale of a teen Barbie who is creating a computer game but crashes her laptop. She immediately gives up on the idea of solving the problem herself. Barbie also confesses to little sister Skipper that she can’t write software code. “I’ll need Steven’s and Brian’s help to turn it into a real game!” Barbie says.  The Barbie book, published in 2010 and available on Amazon.com, has taken a recent pummeling on the internet as misogynistic trash. Amazon last week showed 165 reviews–148 gave the book one star. One critic created a website called Feminist Hacker Barbie that invited contributors to, er, revise the book’s message by rewriting scenes.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/12/02/barbie-geek-ceiling-372/

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College students: These are the top 6 trends in higher education

December 8th, 2014

by eCampus News

Annual survey reveal what college students increasingly value about their higher-ed experience. 68 percent of students said the availability of online classes would be important to their educational experience, and campus administration is all about collaboration. These are just two interesting findings from a recent annual survey of more than 500 currently enrolled colleges students about what they value most in education, as well as what changes they’re seeing in campus management. The survey, conducted by Vital Source Technologies, Inc., Ingram Content Group’s e-textbook solution, revealed that today’s college students increasingly value online, social and mobile technology as essential educational tools. Fielded by Wakefield Research, an independent research consultancy, the survey of more than 500 currently enrolled college students also found more students are turning down certain colleges because the cost of tuition is too high and they worry about paying off student loans.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/technologies/trends-student-technology-289/

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Learning online worth the cost?: Expanding borders of traditional education

December 8th, 2014

By Amanda Achtman, Winnipeg Free Press

While coding may be the most obvious skill to learn online, there are many other attempts to experiment with the possibilities and limits of online skills training and education across all fields and disciplines. Online education, far beyond learning how to write code, competes with and may even raise the standards of traditional education. One hopes online learning opportunities will retain the traits that make it a worthwhile supplement rather than a replacement of traditional classroom learning.

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/analysis/learning-online-worth-the-cost-284293851.html

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Regular classrooms replaced with online distance-learning in war-hit eastern Ukraine

December 8th, 2014

by Balint Szlanko, The Associated Press

Like most children his age, Denis Akimov spends hours daily on his computer surfing the Internet. It isn’t just for fun. As schools are forced to limit operations in the conflict-battered eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, educators are turning to the Web to keep their charges learning. “It’s not comparable to normal school, because there is no proper atmosphere for studying,” said Akimov, 15, sitting in front of a laptop in the living room of his home. “Very often you get distracted because of all kinds of things, like websites.” Schools and kindergartens haven’t been spared death and destruction in the last seven months of fighting between government forces and Russian-backed separatists.

http://www.cp24.com/news/regular-classrooms-replaced-with-online-distance-learning-in-war-hit-eastern-ukraine-1.2126681

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Tech-Savvy Teaching: How Online Learning Helps Students & Teachers

December 7th, 2014

By RACHEL MORELLO, Indiana Public Media

President Obama is pushing for schools to increase their use of technology in the classroom. Teachers nationwide are introducing “Bring Your Own Device” policies, and beginning to use tools like Skype to bring in guest lecturers from around the world. Teachers in Indiana are being recognized for paving the way when it comes to new technology, but effectively incorporating it into teaching can be a challenge.

http://wbaa.org/post/tech-savvy-teaching-how-online-learning-helps-students-teachers

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A Flexible Future

December 7th, 2014

By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Some of the country’s most rigorous research universities have a new obsession: flexibility. Institutions such as Duke and Harvard Universities and the Georgia and Massachusetts Institutes of Technology are laying the groundwork for curricula that will be delivered through a combination of face-to-face instruction, blended courses and distance education. A common goal is to offer students “flexibility” — a word several administrators used to summarize their institutions’ aspirations. Regardless of the definition, flexibility has much in common with MIT’s plans to “modularize” education — breaking courses down into smaller modules that can be taken on their own or shuffled and rearranged into a more personalized experience. In a preliminary report released last year, MIT toyed with the idea of “unbundling education and blurring boundaries” — combining distance and in-person instruction to the point where students could one day spend as little as two years on campus.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/12/02/some-research-universities-flexibility-and-modularity-influence-long-term-plans

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5 Things to Share With Your Teachers About Educational Technology

December 7th, 2014

by Rob Furman, Huffington Post

Even today, we still have teachers across the country fighting the integration of educational technology into their classrooms. Many use similar excuses as to why they should not waste their time learning technology. The simple fact is that they typically are nervous to learn something new and possibly failing. I think everyone can understand that feeling (especially in front of our peers and our students). So… they make up a variety of reasons why they think it is a bad idea to spend time on technology use, or they simply just close their door and leave the technology in the corner of the room. What do we do? Here is a list of the top 5 things you should share with your teachers in regards to educational technology.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rob-furman/5-things-to-share-with-yo_b_6218982.html

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2014 Innovating Pedagogy Report

December 6th, 2014

by The Open University

The annual Innovating Pedagogy report explores new forms of teaching, learning and assessment for an interactive world, to guide teachers and policy makers in productive innovation. Produced by the Institute of Educational Technology at The Open University, the report identifies ten educational terms, theories and practices that have the potential to provoke major shifts in educational practice in the near future.

http://www.openuniversity.edu/news/news/2014-innovating-pedagogy-report

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Learner Revolution in, Ed Tech Revolution out

December 6th, 2014

by Ron Bethke, eCampusNews

New report suggests investors should focus on companies servicing the “Learner Revolution,” which creates pathways of success that guide individual students. The Ed Tech Revolution is on its way out, and something new is set to take its place: The Learner Revolution. According to a new Education Design Lab report released during the recent National Education Week conference in Washington

D.C., investment in education has been mostly relegated to surface-level areas where returns are quick, but which are unfocused on the personal experiences of students. As a result, the report suggests that investors should shift their focus to companies leading the charge towards utilizing mobile, software, and analytical platforms in order to offer services that create pathways of success and assistance for the individual learner.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/technologies/learner-revolution-invest-522/

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4 best practices for Flipped Classroom implementation

December 6th, 2014

By Matthew Stoltzfus, Campus Technology

Professor condenses what he’s learned about implementing Flipped Learning over the last three years. The flipped classroom model has undeniably become a go-to learning model in the digital age of higher education, but what have educators learned since the model’s debut? What are the best practices that work? As a form of blended learning, the flipped classroom model typically requires students to study new content by reading or watching video online before class, leaving class time for discussion and other activities that can be customized to focus on content that students are struggling to understand. I’ve been utilizing the flipped classroom model for my chemistry course at Ohio State University (OSU) and have seen great results. Based on what I’ve been reading and hearing about in education, it looks like I’m not alone.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/technologies/4-best-practices-flipped-classroom-implementation/

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MOOC Evolution and One Poetry MOOC’s Hybrid Approach

December 5th, 2014

by David Poplar, EDUCAUSE Review

Based on the theory of connectivism, MOOCs originally sought to leverage the Internet as a collaborative communications platform to facilitate connections among learners and dissolve traditional ideas of “knowledge giver” and “knowledge receiver.” Today’s MOOCs have drifted far from this vision and typically treat the communications platform as simply a new tool for delivering the same old content rather than as inseparable from pedagogy itself. The University of Pennsylvania’s ModPo MOOC takes a hybrid approach, adopting contemporary MOOC structures — such as a detailed course syllabus and discussion forums — while also taking advantage of the platform’s ability to create a massive global community of interacting learners and incorporating this dynamic into the pedagogical approach.

http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/mooc-evolution-and-one-poetry-mooc%E2%80%99s-hybrid-approach

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Rural kids get fewer AP classes

December 5th, 2014

By Catherine Candisky & Jim Siegel, Columbus Dispatch

Students in Dublin schools can pick among dozens of rigorous courses such as Advanced Placement studio art, computer science and calculus, along with engineering design, statistics, theater and a variety of International Baccalaureate classes. In all, Dublin offers 92 advanced courses to students. That’s 10 times as many as are available to Hamilton Local students on the other end of Franklin County. According to state data, they have nine available. Some state legislators want to take a more serious look at ways to level the field, including interactive distance learning, in which a teacher can present a class to students in a number of districts. State data show that 99 percent of high-school courses are taught face to face.

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/11/30/rural-kids-get-fewer-ap-classes.html

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The Real Disruptive Innovation in Education

December 5th, 2014

by Brandon Busteed, Executive Director of Gallup Education

We may learn that the real disruptive innovation in education is the need for a human support system and deep learning experiences. Though colleges and universities might be threatened by disruption from online courses, they should have an advantage on fundamentals like mentoring, caring professors and deep and experiential learning. But institutions will only capitalize on these advantages if they intentionally invest in them. So far, most are not. In a world entrenched in technology, we need to work harder to be more human — and we need to be more human than ever before. Colleges and universities that make intentional efforts to embrace the fundamentals of human development will thrive. Online courses can help lower costs and increase efficiency and effectiveness in certain aspects of learning. But online learning will never reach its full potential — much like higher education itself — unless there is human-driven emotional engagement and deep experiential learning at its core.

http://www.gallup.com/businessjournal/179564/real-disruptive-innovation-education.aspx

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What is a Small Private Online Course?

December 4th, 2014

by Phillip Dawson, Phys.org

If you have studied an online course at a university over the past couple of decades, you’ve probably already experienced a SPOC, or Small Private Online Course. SPOC is a new term for an old concept, which appears to be frustrating members of the distance education community. The first two letters of SPOC are intentionally the opposite of the first two letters of MOOC, or Massive Open Online Course. MOOCs are massive, taught to thousands or tens of thousands of students at once, whereas SPOCs are small, and studied by tens or hundreds. MOOCs are open and free, whereas SPOCs are private and sometimes costly. Both are online courses.

http://phys.org/news/2014-11-small-private-online.html

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edX joins ConnectED efforts with PD courses for teachers

December 4th, 2014

by eSchool News

Answering President Obama’s call to help schools embrace technology and digital learning in U.S. classrooms, edX will offer professional development courses for teachers. As part of ConnectEd, edX partner universities and colleges will offer teacher professional development courses, along with courses to prepare students for AP exams. “EdX and our university partners are pleased to stand with President Obama to offer U.S. teachers and school districts free, innovative resources to improve teaching and learning outcomes,” said Anant Agarwal, edX CEO. “These courses will empower teachers to use technology in the classroom in creative and personalized ways.”

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/11/21/edx-connected-pd-632/

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10 best Apple and Android Apps for research

December 4th, 2014

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

One of the biggest perks to including mobile devices in the classroom is also one of the most basic—conducting research with the touch of a finger. And outside of downloading Google’s search app, many apps cater intuitively to finding articles and annotation sources, which is helpful for any student, educator or librarian. From showing examples of how to cite multimedia sources to being able to annotate any kind of document on a mobile device, and from creating customized online searches of scholarly publications to being able to log into your computer files from your phone, these apps are a plus for anyone interested in conducting meaningful research.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/best-apps-research-337/

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Some schools to avoid snow days through e-learning

December 3rd, 2014

by Kristine Guerra, Indianapolis Star

The Internet is bringing an end to snow days for some Indiana schoolchildren. Northwestern Consolidated Schools in Shelby County is among 29 public school systems and eight private schools that have received approval from the Indiana Department of Education to use a virtual learning option on days when students have to stay home from school due to inclement weather. On those days, Northwestern students at Triton Central, Triton Middle and Triton Elementary schools will use their school-issued iPads and Chromebooks to do their homework, work through lessons and communicate with their teachers.

http://www.indystar.com/story/news/education/2014/11/28/schools-avoid-snow-days-learning/19619607/

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Private companies want to scoop up your child’s data enrolled in MOOCs

December 3rd, 2014

By CAITLIN EMMA, Politico

Massive open online courses, first envisioned as a way to democratize higher education, have made their way into high schools, but Washington is powerless to stop the flood of personal data about teenage students from flowing to private companies, thanks to loopholes in federal privacy laws. But when middle and high school students participate in classes with names like “Mars: The Next Frontier” or “The Road to Selective College Admissions,” they may be unwittingly transmitting into private hands a torrent of data about their academic strengths and weaknesses, their learning styles and thought processes — even the way they approach challenges. They may also be handing over birth dates, addresses and even drivers license information.

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/11/online-education-run-amok-113208.html

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UC fight more over control than money

December 3rd, 2014

by Dan Walters, DT San Diego

Were it just about money, it could be resolved easily, as are other budgetary issues. Those involved would work out a compromise. Occasionally, this perennial friction erupts into open conflict — basically over who’s really in charge — and this is one of those occasions. During his first governorship four decades ago, Brown suggested that college professors should be content with “psychic income” rather than pressing for higher salaries, which reverberated through academe. Brown 2.0 has been even tighter with a public buck and pressed both UC and the state university system to become more efficient by adopting new technology, such as online learning. “We are going to have to restrain this (UC) system in many, many of its elements,” Brown said in 2012, “and this will come with great resistance.”

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/nov/28/dan-walters-uc-brown-budget/

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Online courses have huge potential to expand access

December 2nd, 2014

by Pete Cannell, the Scotsman

We are in the midst of a digital revolution. Anyone with a suitable device and access to the internet has a vast range of information at their fingertips. At the same time mobile technology has opened up new channels of communication, through social media. All this has happened in less than two decades. What does this mean for education, and in particular, for adult education and lifelong learning?

http://www.scotsman.com/news/digital-learning-revolution-underway-1-3617060

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Research: People Ignore Security Warnings through Habit

December 2nd, 2014

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Don’t be so sure that you pay sufficient attention to messages delivered by your computer warning you about unsafe surfing activities. An experiment at Brigham Young University in Provo found that users “routinely ignore security warnings.” One reason we do that is because we tend to get “habituated” to certain common messages on the screen and overlook them to our peril. Researchers Bonnie Anderson, Brock Kirwan and Anthony Vance conducted the project to explore how people deal with online security risks. While users declared that they “care” about keeping their computers secure, their behavior suggests otherwise.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/11/20/research-people-ignore-security-warnings-through-habit.aspx

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