Techno-News Blog

August 6, 2017

New guide designed to help Colorado educators combine online courses with traditional teaching

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By MARISSA PAGE, Chalkbeat Colorado

A new guide released Monday seeks to help Colorado schools successfully introduce blending learning, a growing practice combining traditional classroom instruction with online coursework. The Colorado Blended Learning Roadmap, commissioned by state lawmakers, urges school officials to consider three main priorities: effective teacher training and increased support; flexibility in school policies to support the model; and access to quality technology and other tools.

http://www.denverpost.com/2017/07/25/colorado-blended-learning-roadmap-online-courses/

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Now that MOOCs are mainstream, where does online learning go next?

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by ALICE BONASIO, The Next Web

Another trend that will undoubtedly affect the sector is that as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies improve at an ever-faster pace it will enable much better provisions for personalized learning. But as fantastic as our access to knowledge these days would seem to those born a couple of generations before, it will likely pale in comparison to the next wave of immersive technology. Looking to the not-too-distant future, we can already envisage how Virtual and Mixed Reality technologies will increasingly be incorporated into the online learning strategy of major Universities institutions help to make such distance courses more immersive and engaging, blending the real and virtual world seamlessly and thus vastly increasing our ability to learn.

https://thenextweb.com/contributors/2017/07/19/now-moocs-mainstream-online-learning-go-next/

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New report highlights importance of interaction in online learning

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by Roger Riddell, Education Dive

According to a new report from The Learning House, Inc. and Aslanian Market Research, “The Online College Students 2017: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences,” online students want more interaction with instructors and fellow students. The survey included 1,500 students who were currently enrolled in, recent graduates of, or giving serious consideration to online programs, and more than 50% said that interaction is important, while around 25% said more interaction would improve quality and experience. The report recommends that schools improve their programs by better reflecting students’ career and educational goals, place more emphasis on responsiveness from admissions, and adapt approaches to accommodate mobile tech — as 80% of respondents said they used their device during their search for a school, while 40% said they used a mobile device to access coursework.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/new-report-highlights-importance-of-interaction-in-online-learning/447661/

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August 5, 2017

Online learning on the uptake in international education

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By Chuck Chiang, Business in Vancouver

We’ve reached a tipping point, warns industry consultant. While Canada’s bricks-and-mortar institutions have not seen too much impact from online courses and schools, the figurative “tipping point” for students’ acceptance of online education appears to have been reached, says Mike Henniger, vice-president of sales and marketing at ICEF, an international education marketing and recruitment strategy consultancy. Examples include Udacity and MicroMasters, which offer free or paid courses in certain sectors where employers demand a certain skill set. Udacity even guarantees students will find a job upon completing the online program or receive a full refund.

https://www.biv.com/article/2017/7/online-learning-uptake-international-education/

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How to Choose the Right Digital Learning Device

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by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Choosing the right digital learning device can be tricky. As more schools go one-to-one, offering every student a computer or tablet, they are faced with the difficult choice of picking one device that will work for all purposes. It can be tough to find a device that is tough enough to withstand everything students will throw at it, is easy to carry around, and can do everything teachers and students need it to do. Ultimately, there is no one right digital learning device for every school. But there are some basic guidelines that schools can follow to help them choose the right digital learning device for their needs.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/choose-right-digital-learning-device/

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Nobody’s Watching: Proctoring in Online Learning

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By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Using answers provided beforehand to pass online tests; checking a cell phone display to look up a formula in a closed-book exam; conferring with an unseen person in the room for the right responses. This is hardly a new challenge for schools. The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 lays out the rule: An institution offering “distance education” needs to have processes in place for verifying student identity to ensure that the student who registers for a class is the “same student who participates in and completes the program and receives the academic credit.” Jory Hadsell, executive director of the CCC OEI, spoke at this year’s OLC (Online Learning Consortium) Innovate conference and shared the solution: a combination of the use of an automated proctoring application and the creation of a network of colleges across the state that would provide no-cost proctoring on their campuses for students attending any of the member schools.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/07/26/nobodys-watching-proctoring-in-online-learning.aspx

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August 4, 2017

8 principles to help you advance to Flipped Learning 3.0

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BY LAURA ASCIONE, eSchool News

Flipped learning pioneer Jon Bergmann outlined critical steps to building an effective flipped learning school. At ISTE 2017, flipped learning pioneer Jon Bergmann introduced session attendees to Flipped Learning 3.0, and described the 8 principles that are crucial to any school’s flipped learning journey. Bergmann referenced the Flipped Learning Network’s definition as a pretty solid explanation for educators who are unsure: “Flipped learning is a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space, and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter.”

https://www.eschoolnews.com/2017/07/27/flipped-learning-30/

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University leads the way with new $10m Refugee Education Initiative

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BY eCampus News

Southern New Hampshire University’s multi-million-dollar project will bring U.S.-accredited degrees to refugees at home and abroad. Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) has launched a major initiative to bring university degrees to refugees in the U.S. and around the world. Over the last decade, the refugee crisis has dramatically accelerated with 65.3 million displaced worldwide, and globally, less than one percent of refugees have access to higher education. This will be the first large-scale initiative to bring American accredited university degrees to the most marginalized population in the world with a goal of educating 50,000 refugees in 20 locations by 2022. Phase one of the initiative, a $10-million-dollar effort to bring SNHU’s online, competency-based bachelor’s and associate degrees to refugees and others affected by displacement, was made possible by a group of anonymous donors.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/news/university-refugees-education/

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With more students streaming classes online, school plans to sell campus and find smaller facility

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BY TIM FUNK, Charlotte Observer

With a majority of its students now taking classes online rather than on-site, Southern Evangelical Seminary is selling its 10.7-acre campus in Matthews and plans to move into a smaller facility next year. Seminary president Richard Land said that when he came to the school four years ago, 60 percent of its students attended classes at the Matthews site and 40 percent took classes online. Now, he said, those percentages have been reversed: Of the 237 students who were enrolled in 2016-17, about 60 percent of them were online. Most of the seminary’s classes are conducted on the campus at night – between 6 and 10 p.m., Land said. And three-fourths of the seminary’s online students stream those classes in real time.

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/living/religion/article164354757.html

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August 3, 2017

Students list the top 5 benefits of a campus app

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BY LAURA ASCIONE, eCampus News

The right campus app can help support students’ academic success. A new survey reveals that while 38 percent of students are somewhat or very worried they will not graduate on time, students also say their campus app helps them stay on top of their academic responsibilities. The 2017 Student Life and Technology survey comes from DubLabs, a provider of personalized campus mobile applications focused on the student experience. The survey aims to understand today’s postsecondary student experience and it reveals potential barriers to graduation and how students are leveraging campus resources to stay on track.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/campus-administration/top-5-benefits-campus-app/

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Report: AI Will Be in Nearly All New Software by 2020

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By Joshua Bolkan, Campus Technology

Artificial intelligence will be in nearly all new software products by 2020 and a top five investment priority for more than 30 percent of chief information officers, according to a new report from Gartner. The company defines AI as “systems that change behaviors without being explicitly programmed, based on data collected, usage analysis and other observations,” according to a news release. “While there is a widely held fear that AI will replace humans, the reality is that today’s AI and machine learning technologies can and do greatly augment human capabilities.”

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/07/27/report-ai-will-be-in-nearly-all-new-software-by-2020.aspx

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Interest in online programs up drastically, while traditional programs continue to drop

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by Autumn A. Arnett, Education Dive

Robert Atkins, Chief Executive Officer of Gray Associates, told Education Dive in an email that the firm’s analysis of higher ed “inquiry data indicate strong interest in online programs, while demand for campus programs continues to fall.” The conclusions were drawn from an analysis of google keyword search and student inquiry data, which found a 21% increase in searches for online programs over 2016, but a 10% decrease for on-campus programs. Atkins cautioned that “if enrollment growth resumes, it will probably look different than before, and academic leaders should adjust their strategies accordingly.”

http://www.educationdive.com/news/interest-in-online-programs-up-drastically-while-traditional-programs-cont/448119/

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August 2, 2017

More kids are logging on to learn at cyber schools

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By Amy Scott, Marketplace

From the outside, it would be easy to mistake the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School for a place to get your taxes done or mail a package. The downtown Erie branch is tucked away in a strip mall, across from a Big Lots discount store and a U-Haul storage center. But inside, a dozen or so kids are gathered around tables, making colorful sun catchers to understand how a liquid becomes a solid. “We are a real school,” Hayden said. “I think sometimes that isn’t the perception that people have, that we have a bunch of kids sitting in a dark room in front of a computer, isolated from the world, and that’s not what this is.”

https://www.marketplace.org/2017/07/27/education/more-kids-are-logging-learn-cyber-schools

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Hybrid study model is effective

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by Wendy R Kilfoil, Mail and Guardian

The University of Pretoria’s hybrid learning programme proved to be invaluable last year when classes were disrupted by the #FeesMustFall protests. As most of our courses already include robust online components, we were able to make the transition relatively seamlessly to online-only coursework when the campus was closed during the unrest. This flexible approach allowed students to continue their studies uninterrupted and finish their degrees on time.

https://mg.co.za/article/2017-07-28-00-hybrid-study-model-is-effective

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The Future of Learning: Personalized and Curiosity-led

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By Sarah Zak Borgman, Skoll

Why should age be the key determent of where your brain is in its developmental journey? Short changing our students should not be an acceptable standard. We know children are naturally curious. They want to fully understand a topic, and have it presented in a 360 degree manner. Our education systems should follow their lead, not demand students conform to outdated and outmoded models of education. The world is a fundamentally different place now, and our education approaches need to reflect that. Khan Academy has disrupted the education paradigm by providing alternative learning opportunities that both augment what is being taught in the classroom, and allow a user to learn at his or her own pace to master a subject. Khan Academy also collects data on student performance to structure learning models according to student outcomes. Now doesn’t that sound reasonable? From learning to code and art history, to math and financial literacy, the Khan Academy platform continues to expand to meet the needs of learners at all ages and levels.

http://skoll.org/2017/07/27/future-of-ed-personalized-learning/

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August 1, 2017

New OpenStax Tutor Beta Offers Personalized Learning

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By Hillary Miller, eLearning Inside

An initiative of Rice University, OpenStax was first launched in 2012 with the goal of cultivating peer-reviewed, high-quality textbooks that were low-cost in print and entirely free online. Today, the publisher provides titles for over 30 courses, including U.S. History, Macroeconomics, Anatomy and Physiology, and Microbiology. Each book is authored by a team of leading experts from universities all across the United States. The goal of OpenStax Tutor Beta is to provide instantaneous feedback and custom-tailored learning support for every learner. Students utilizing OpenStax Tutor don’t need to download any software to use the product; they simply log on to the OpenStax Tutor website to access their course textbook and complete their assignments.

https://news.elearninginside.com/new-openstax-tutor-beta-offers-personalized-learning/

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Mira Debuts Augmented Reality Headset for iPhone, iPad at $99

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By Sri Ravipati, Campus Technology

Mobile augmented reality (AR) startup Mira earlier this week unveiled an untethered AR headset for iOS. The new Prism headset — available for pre-order at $99 with an MSRP of $149 — aims to be an affordable option “to deliver premium and shareable AR experiences to the masses,” according to a company statement. It’s essentially a shell headset without any tech installed; similar to Google’s Daydream View headset for virtual reality, it only requires a smartphone or tablet to get started. Once an iPhone (6, 6s or 7) or iPad has been secured facing away from the user and Prism is paired with the Mira app, users can view objects rendered in stereoscopic 3D on the transparent visor. Prism also comes with a remote controller that enables users to interact with the AR objects via touchpad, trigger and two buttons.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/07/20/mira-debuts-augmented-reality-headset-for-iphone-ipad-at-$99.aspx

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5 apps to innovate school libraries

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BY MERIS STANSBURY, eSchool News

Convenient and creative apps to virtualize your school library program. Apps can bring technology, functionality, and creativity into your school library program. Since apps are a part of our everyday lives, especially those of students, they have the power to completely change the way students and teachers think about learning—especially in the library. In “Virtual Library Program Development,” Michelle Luhtala, library department chair, New Canaan High School, CT, reviewed an A to Z list of 50 apps to virtualize your school library program.

https://www.eschoolnews.com/2017/07/21/ew-apps-school-libraries/

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July 31, 2017

Online learners say these social perks are program musts

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BY LAURA ASCIONE, eCampus News

A new survey reveals that fully-online students identified interaction with instructors, classmates as paramount to their learning experience. The research, compiled from a survey of 1,500 students who are seriously considering, currently enrolled in or have recently graduated from a fully online program aims to help higher-ed leaders and policymakers better understand both the traits of online college students and what they’re looking for in their educational experience. The Online College Students 2017: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences report, from The Learning House, Inc. and Aslanian Market Research, shows that online students are seeking interaction with their classmates and course instructors. In fact, more than half of survey respondents said interaction with the academic community is important.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/online-learning/social-perks-programs/

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Online Courses Projected to Drive Credit Card Fraud to $24B by 2018

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by Kelly Sheridan, Dark Reading

An underground ecosystem provides cybercriminals with online tutorials, tools, and credit card data they need to commit fraud. An ecosystem of payment card fraud will drive a projected $24 billion in losses by the end of 2018. Cybercriminals are working together to share tools, tutorials, and credit card data to scam victims. It turns out payment card fraudsters learn their skills as many professionals do: through online learning. Researchers at Digital Shadows discovered a Russian carding forum provides a course on how to commit fraud, complete with instructors, syllabus, webinars, and reading material. “We were surprised by the sophistication of the teaching site,” says Michael Marriott, research analyst at Digital Shadows. “There were weekly webinars, course material, links to software [students] could use, interactive Q&A sessions.”

http://www.darkreading.com/endpoint/online-courses-projected-to-drive-credit-card-fraud-to-$24b-by-2018/d/d-id/1329408

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7 Top EdTech Tools for Higher Ed

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by Matthew Lynch, tech Edvocate

Higher education is experiencing a time of rapid change. The traditional picture of a college-aged student sitting in a large lecture hall is no longer. Students complete their education at any age, in a variety of formats, and, sometimes, from multiple institutions. A recent study by the Babson Survey Research Group as reported in US News and World Report found that approximately 5.8 million students took at least one online class in 2014. The average age of someone enrolled in higher education now is 25. This change puts the focus on educational technologies that can provide solutions for classroom management, assessment, microlearning, affordability, and collaboration. These identified areas of need for higher education lead to 7 quality educational technology tools and apps for leading the way in an era of rapid change.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/top-7-educational-technology-tools-apps-resources-higher-education/

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