Techno-News Blog

February 3, 2018

Report: For many adult learners, going to college is desirable but unaffordable

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by Jeremy House, Education dive

Adult learners without college degrees are apprehensive about the cost of higher education and the quality of online courses, but they expressed a desire to return to school, according to a nationwide survey from Champlain College Online. Respondents said they prefer traditional face-to-face learning over online courses, but acknowledged that online education can be effective if administered using the industry’s best practices. Adult learners who responded to the survey also said they believe that more college education can unlock new career opportunities, but most felt that going back to school was not financially feasible.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/report-for-many-adult-learners-going-to-college-is-desirable-but-unafford/

 

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6 ways hackers will use machine learning to launch attacks

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by Doug Drinkwater, CSO
Machine learning algorithms will improve security solutions, helping human analysts triage threats and close vulnerabilities quicker. But they are also going to help threat actors launch bigger, more complex attacks. Defined as the “ability for (computers) to learn without being explicitly programmed,” machine learning is huge news for the information security industry. It’s a technology that potentially can help security analysts with everything from malware and log analysis to possibly identifying and closing vulnerabilities earlier. Perhaps too, it could improve endpoint security, automate repetitive tasks, and even reduce the likelihood of attacks resulting in data exfiltration.

https://www.csoonline.com/article/3250144/machine-learning/6-ways-hackers-will-use-machine-learning-to-launch-attacks.html

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February 2, 2018

Online Course Enrollment Sees Relentless Growth

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By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology
According to the Babson Survey Research Group’s latest annual report on distance education in the United States, online student enrollment has grown for the 14th year in a row. Nearly a million additional students took distance education courses in 2016 compared to 2012, a count consisting of both people who took online classes (or other forms of distance ed) exclusively as well as those who took a mix of online and face-to-face courses. That translates to more than 30 percent of colleges students — 6.4 million in total — who took at least one distance education course during the 2015-2016 academic year. Conversely, a million fewer students came to campus for their college education in 2016 than in 2012.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/01/22/online-course-enrollment-sees-relentless-growth.aspx

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Pew survey highlights need for K-12, university partnerships in STEM promotion

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by Shalina Chatlani, Education Dive
Half of American adults believe students don’t pursue STEM degrees because the field is too difficult, according to the results of a Pew Research Center survey.  Pew reports only about a third of workers over the age of 25 have an undergraduate degree in a STEM field; but while only 13% of the U.S. workforce was employed in a STEM job in 2016, 40% of non-STEM workers said they were interested in the field at some point. When asked why they didn’t pursue a STEM career or degree, 27% of respondents said they thought it was too costly and time-intensive to pursue, while only 14% said it had to do with classes being too difficult — statistics that reflect how lack of opportunities of promotion at the K-12 level may be a greater barrier to STEM participation in college and career.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/pew-survey-highlights-need-for-k-12-university-partnerships-in-stem-promot/

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If Your Employees Aren’t Learning, You’re Not Leading

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by Mark Murphy, Forbes

There’s a strong positive relationship between how much people learn on the job and how much they love their job. Employees who score high on survey questions like “I will have to learn new skills to achieve my assigned goals for this year” have higher scores on such questions.   Unfortunately, we know from the study “Are SMART Goals Dumb?” that only 42% of workers say they are always or frequently learning on the job, while another 39% percent say they are never or rarely learning.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/markmurphy/2018/01/21/if-your-employees-arent-learning-youre-not-leading/#2b1ae7319478

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February 1, 2018

Google starts certificate program to fill empty IT jobs

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by Kim Hart, Axios
There are 150,000 open IT jobs in the U.S., and Google wants to make it easier to fill them. Today the company is announcing a certificate program on the Coursera platform to help give people with no prior IT experience the basic skills they need to get an entry-level IT support job in 8 to 12 months.

https://www.axios.com/google-starts-it-certificate-program-to-fill-empty-jobs-1516053831-ea04b5f6-eb8a-4eef-b628-43feca19effc.html

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If you really want to design useful edtech, start with the students

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by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

All instruction begins with students. Educators call this student-centered learning, and if you’re going to design a useful edtech product, you’ll start with students, too. This design approach isn’t too different from a business model in which you create a product that provides solutions for consumer problems. Begin at the grassroots level. Designing useful edtech is a lot less about creating what you like than it is about providing what students need. They need human-centered design, which is an approach that begins with people.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/really-want-design-useful-edtech-start-students/

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How to engage digitally distracted students

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by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Students today are more distracted than ever before. Why is this happening? To explain it simply, they are immersed in their digital devices. In the classroom, this becomes an even larger problem. A recent Pew Research Study found, “87% say these technologies are creating an ‘easily distracted generation with short attention spans’ and 64% say today’s digital technologies ‘do more to distract students than to help them academically.’” While it is clear that digital technology is distracting students, the technology is here to stay. For example, while most teachers agree the best way to turn digital distraction is to not allow mobile devices in the classroom, these same teachers agree this is ineffective in the long run. Instead, educators must be proactive and teach proper digital device usage in the classroom. Therefore, teachers must find ways to engage digitally distracted students.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/engage-digitally-distracted-students/

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January 31, 2018

Schools around the world are now teaching kids to spot fake news

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by Siyi Chen, Quartz

Do students need to learn about fake news? And more generally, should they learn how news is created and how to evaluate its credibility? Thousands of schools all over the world believe the answer is yes. Over 3,300 educators from all 50 states in the US and 69 countries outside the US have adopted a curriculum to teach kids how to distinguish facts from fiction. The curriculum was developed by a US nonprofit called the News Literacy Project. It has 12 lessons which teachers can incorporate into their current classes and a virtual classroom with online courses and exercises.

https://qz.com/1175155/a-special-class-how-to-teach-kids-to-spot-fake-news/

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Education technology is a global opportunity

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by Emmanuel Nataf, Tech Crunch

$8.15 billion. That’s the amount global investors staked in edtech companies in the first 10 months of 2017. Education used to be simple: there was a blackboard, a teacher and desks in a classroom. Today, a student can practice English online, upload homework through a portal and learn chemistry through 3D immersion — such is the rise of educational technologies. And nowhere is the advent of edtech climbing more quickly than in Asia.

https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/19/education-technology-is-a-global-opportunity/

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Prediction: 2018 Will See More Blended Learning, Alternative Credentials and International Competition

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By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Over the next year, the higher education segment can expect to see a major shift to blended learning; an innovative education stack from an existing institution to “rival” the bachelor’s degree; and serious inroads to cross-border online learning. Those are the predictions for 2018 from Eduventures, a membership advisory service for colleges and universities. The company said it expects a “regionally accredited four-year institution” to put together “a creative combination of pedagogy, experience, assessment and delivery mode” that will offer an alternative to the traditional undergraduate degree — but in a shorter amount of time and for less money. “This year, we expect a credential newcomer that will really shake things up,” said Richard Garrett, Eduventures’ chief research officer.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/01/19/prediction-2018-will-see-more-blended-learning-alternative-credentials-and-international-competition.aspx

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January 30, 2018

Recent CSU Report Describes Benefits, Challenges, and Potential of Online Courses

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By Henry Kronk, eLearning Inside

One of the most glaring issues with the current state of online courses among CSUs is that very few students enroll in online courses at different campuses. To be exact, an average of just two full-time students per campus enrolled in another campuses’ course in the fall semester of 2015. To be clear: many CSU students enroll in online courses. At some campuses, it’s as many as 1 in 10. One possible explanation for this is that the online database of every CSU online class is not exactly easy to find or use. Another issue which has probably larger consequences is that many CSU campuses use different learning management systems, making it more difficult for students unused to the interface. In answer, Steenhausen recommends adopting a single CSU-wide LMS.

https://news.elearninginside.com/recent-csu-report-describes-benefits-challenges-potential-online-courses/

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Online Courses Are Harming the Students Who Need the Most Help

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By SUSAN DYNARSKI, NY Times

A single teacher can reach thousands of students in an online course, opening up a world of knowledge to anyone with an internet connection. This limitless reach also offers substantial benefits for school districts that need to save money, by reducing the number of teachers. But in high schools and colleges, there is mounting evidence that the growth of online education is hurting a critical group: the less proficient students who are precisely those most in need of skilled classroom teachers. Online courses can be broken down into several categories, and some are more effective than others.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/19/business/online-courses-are-harming-the-students-who-need-the-most-help.html

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8 Must have classroom presentation apps and tools

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by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

It’s important for teachers to master the art of presenting engaging lectures that keep kids interested in the material as the weeks wear on. However, it’s equally important for students to master the same trade. As kids progress through school, higher education and, eventually, their professional lives, they’ll need tools besides PowerPoint to effectively pitch ideas and communicate dense material to seminars of bored classmates. We’re breaking down 8 must-have presentation apps to help both teachers and students find their inner aesthetic and create drool-proof, prize-winning presentations.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/8-must-classroom-presentation-apps-tools/

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January 29, 2018

How does a peer-to-peer blockchain learning system operate?

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by the Merkle

Blockchain is changing the way people complete transactions. This technology is no longer associated only with cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin as organizations look for new ways to improve people’s lives with blockchain technology. As blockchain becomes more widely used, it is changing the way industries operate and get things done. For example, significant technological advancements are occurring in the education industry. This process has long been touted as the next stage of evolution in education. So, what if blockchain became the basis for these advancements changing the future of online learning?

https://themerkle.com/how-does-a-peer-to-peer-blockchain-learning-system-operate/

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Google’s Self-Training AI Turns Coders into Machine-Learning Masters

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by Will Knight, MIT Technology Review

Automating the training of machine-learning systems could make AI much more accessible. Google just made it a lot easier to build your very own custom AI system. A new service, called Cloud AutoML, uses several machine-learning tricks to automatically build and train a deep-learning algorithm that can recognize things in images. The technology is limited for now, but it could be the start of something big. Building and optimizing a deep neural network algorithm normally requires a detailed understanding of the underlying math and code, as well as extensive practice tweaking the parameters of algorithms to get things just right. The difficulty of developing AI systems has created a race to recruit talent, and it means that only big companies with deep pockets can usually afford to build their own bespoke AI algorithms.

 

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/609996/googles-self-training-ai-turns-coders-into-machine-learning-masters/

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Cloud computing: Why a major cyber-attack could be as costly as a hurricane

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By Danny Palmer, ZD Net

The economic costs of a large cyber-attack could be as large as the impact of a major natural disaster.  “To compare the degree of economic cost, estimates now are that if attackers took down a major cloud provider, the damages could be $50bn to $120bn, so something in the range of a Sandy event to a Katrina event,” said John Drzik, president of global risk and digital at insurance broking and risk management company Marsh, speaking at the launch of the World Economic Forum.

http://www.zdnet.com/article/cloud-computing-why-a-major-cyber-attack-could-be-as-costly-as-a-hurricane/

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January 28, 2018

Pearson shares drop on gloomy outlook for US college textbook market

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by Alys Key, City AM

Publishing group Pearson was among the companies leading a fall in the FTSE 100 this morning, after it issued a trading statement. While the firm said its profits would reach the top end of guidance at as much as £606m, it revealed it was still grappling with the US textbook sector. Sales in the unit dropped three per cent in the nine months to the end of 2017. This contributed to a four per cent decline in North American and the overall two per cent drop in underlying revenues. The group only expects the US higher education market to get tougher, due to “lower college enrolments, increased use of Open Educational Resources and attrition from growth in the secondary market driven by print rental”.

http://www.cityam.com/278934/pearson-shares-drop-gloomy-outlook-us-college-textbook

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What does a future-ready educator look like?

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by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

As new technology emerges and most work is done online, it is more important than ever to teach students how to adapt in the ever-changing digital world they live. This is where “Future Ready” schools and “Future Ready” educators become essential.  The Alliance for Excellent Education describes, “Future Ready is a free, bold new effort to maximize digital learning opportunities and help school districts move quickly toward preparing students for success in college, a career, and citizenship.” As school districts invest in developing Future Ready schools, educators must also make sure they are preparing to embrace digital learning to be “future ready” educators. What does this look like?

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/future-ready-educator-look-like/

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Google Offers Online Course in Jobs Push Amid Concerns About AI

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By Mark Bergen, Bloomberg
Alphabet Inc.’s Google is launching a new online education program to certify people for work in information technology support, part of the internet giant’s philanthropic push around job training. Google has poured billions into artificial intelligence, a technology that many expect will render jobs across several fields obsolete. Last year, Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai introduced a companywide initiative focused on employment. He announced Google would give $1 billion over five years to nonprofits in the field. The new program, developed with online education firm Coursera Inc., is designed to help people without formal training or college degrees find IT jobs at large companies. “As technology advances change or replace more jobs, we must create more pathways for people to jump into the new, high-paying careers of the future,” Jeff Maggioncalda, Coursera’s CEO, said in a statement.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-16/google-offers-online-course-in-jobs-push-amid-concerns-about-ai

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January 27, 2018

The power and promise of game-based learning

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by Matthew Lynch, tech Edvocate

From young learners to adults, games can be used to increase learning. Games have been used by teachers for centuries, and probably thousands of years as a way to engage students in learning. Who doesn’t like games? Perhaps a few people don’t like games. However, games are an excellent way to capture the attention of your students and encourage learning. Why are games beneficial in the learning process, and why do we love them?

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/power-promise-game-based-learning/

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