Google Expeditions Takes Students on VR Tours of Great Barrier Reef, Buckingham Palace

January 29th, 2016

By David Nagel, THE Journal

Google has added two new virtual reality tours to its Google Expeditions Pioneer Program, a VR platform designed specifically for classroom use and available free for schools. The two new programs include tours of Buckingham Palace and the Great Barrier Reef. The GBR program was developed by David Attenborough and Alchemy VR, which provides a 360-degree tour of the reef and the marine life it supports. For the Buckingham Palace Expedition, Google has also released a YouTube 3D video that’s accessible to the public (seen below). When viewing on a mobile phone, the user can change the point of view of the video fluidly in 360 degrees simply by moving the device around. Settings also allow for stereoscopic 3D for a more immersive experience.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2016/01/20/google-expeditions-takes-students-on-vr-tours-of-great-barrier-reef-buckingham-palace.aspx

Share on Facebook

Turnitin Launches Service Designed to Improve Student Writing

January 29th, 2016

By David Nagel, THE Journal

Turnitin, best known in education circles for its technology designed to detect plagiarism in students’ papers, has launched a new tool that aims to improve those students’ papers during the writing process. According to Turnitin, the technology, called Turnitin Revision Assistant, goes beyond simple grammar and spelling checks and instead provide “actionable comments” on demand, offering feedback on such aspects of their writing as “focus, use of evidence or organization, among many others,” according to the company.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2016/01/21/turnitin-launches-service-designed-to-improve-student-writing.aspx

Share on Facebook

EdTech: Mooc Platforms Force B-Schools To Embrace Blended Online/Campus Learning

January 28th, 2016

by Seb Murray, Business Because

In biz ed, the New Year brings fresh obstacles for the decades’ old institutions trying to stay relevant in a hyper-connected educational landscape. Further disruption beckons for even the world’s top business schools, who face a cocktail of threats from online challengers like Lynda.com, whose whizzy tech platforms are snatching students away from traditional degree programs. The rise of online learning has b-school bosses vexed and excited in equal measure.

http://www.businessbecause.com/news/mba-distance-learning/3729/mooc-platforms-force-bschools-to-innovate

Share on Facebook

Confessions of a MOOC professor: three things I learned and two things I worry about

January 28th, 2016

by John Covach, the Conversation

Roughly two-thirds of my students have been over the age of 25. When we think about college courses, we assume the students are age 18-24, since that’s the usual age at which one gets an undergraduate degree. There are a significant number of people out there, however, who are interested in continuing to learn later in life. Students who take MOOC courses tend to be older and are mostly international. Continuing education courses at colleges and universities have served that public to a certain degree, but it is clear that there is more demand among older students than many might have suspected. Given the chance to learn according to their own schedule and location, many find this option very attractive. MOOC students are mostly international and already college-educated

http://theconversation.com/confessions-of-a-mooc-professor-three-things-i-learned-and-two-things-i-worry-about-53330

Share on Facebook

How Five EdTech Start-Ups Are Using Big Data To Boost Business Education

January 28th, 2016

by Seb Murray, Business Because

Education tech companies including Coursera, edX, Udacity and their b-school and university partners are delving deeper into big data analytics to improve teaching and student learning. Simon Nelson, CEO of online learning company FutureLearn, says: “The potential is incredible — and we are just scratching the surface.” A report to be published in January by the UK’s Higher Education Commission (HEC) envisages that big data will help identify risk of failure; give students instant feedback; and benchmark their performance against peers.

http://www.businessbecause.com/news/mba-distance-learning/3726/edtech-explores-big-data-to-boost-online-learning

Share on Facebook

Ramping Up for the 2016 Mobile Explosion With Wave 1 and Wave 2

January 27th, 2016

By Toni Fuhrman, eCampus News

Lorraine Abraham, CIO and library director of Emory and Henry College (VA), is not taking any chances. “We’re replacing the entire network infrastructure,” she said, noting that E&H will be fully prepared by installing the latest WiFi technology: 802.11ac Wave 2. “When you only upgrade every eight years,” she asserted, “you have to get the latest and greatest.” E&H decided to start now by installing the technology of the future – some of which will not come into play for about a year. With a campus that’s small (1,100 students) and remote (“Our neighbors are cows”) in the beautiful Appalachian Highlands, E&H has to work harder to accommodate its students – 85 percent of whom live on campus. Sean O’Connor, assistant CIO for Worcester Polytechnic Institute (MA), is also opting for Wave 2, but for different reasons. “We want to be more agile for students and faculty,”

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/01/12/ramping-up-for-the-2016-mobile-explosion-with-wave-1-and-wave-2.aspx

Share on Facebook

Tablets to See Slower-Than-Expected Resurgence

January 27th, 2016

By David Nagel, Campus Technology

Tablet sales declined substantially in 2015, but they aren’t down for good, according to one market research firm. Nevertheless, their short-term growth will be slower than previously expected. Although the outlook for tablets has turned slightly grim of late — with sales in 2015 dropping to about $55 billion compared with $68 billion in 2014 — market research firm ABI Research is still calling for a compound annual growth rate of about 3 percent through 2020.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/01/19/tablets-to-see-slow-resurgence.aspx

Share on Facebook

Case studies highlight adaptive learning outcomes

January 27th, 2016

by eCampus News

At the University of Texas at Arlington, a four-year state university, serving approximately 35,000 students, data show strong positive correlations between average MyFinanceLab homework scores and both average Learning Catalytics and average Dynamic Study Module grades. Also, students who earned higher average Learning Catalytics and Dynamic Study Module grades earned higher average exam scores. Specifically, students who completed the most assignments scored eight percent higher on exams than students who skipped more than the average number of assignments. Learning Catalytics is an interactive, classroom-based feature of MyLab and Mastering that uses students’ smartphones, tablets, or laptops to engage them in more sophisticated tasks and thinking.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/adaptive-learning-outcomes-651/

Share on Facebook

Can MOOCs be a successful alternative for community colleges?

January 26th, 2016

By Matt Lawson, eCampus News

While that hype has not panned out, MOOCs did find a good foothold in our nation’s community colleges, where online classes provide scheduling flexibility for nontraditional students dealing with life demands; lower-cost options for students who need more cost-effective alternatives; or a stop-gap remedial solution for students needing help to fill in holes in their educational backgrounds. That last use case has proven to be a top priority for community colleges across the nation. When I was the Director of Enterprise Services for Virginia’s Community Colleges, improving student success was a cornerstone strategic goal for the community colleges. Community colleges face unique challenges with student success: in the U.S., at least 50 percent of entrants need at least one year of developmental education in order to be prepared for entry-level college courses. MOOCs offer the possibility of allowing students to improve their basic skills and test into college‐level courses without having to pay for remedial classes.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/moocs-community-colleges-109/

Share on Facebook

edX now offers complete programmes online, not just individual courses: CEO Anant Agarwal

January 26th, 2016

By Rica Bhattacharyya, Economic Times

MOOCs was earlier about creating individual courses in many areas and people could take them for free. Today, we have broken through in many major dimensions. One big example is today we offer complete programmes, not just individual courses, and we have also made a breakthrough with offering programme credit and certificates. For example, we launched a major data science programme with Columbia University. So, imagine, if you are student or working with a company you can complete a whole program.  You can learn anything on MOOC for free, but if you want a micro masters credential, you have to pay a fee of $200-300 for the entire programme.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/opinion/interviews/edx-now-offers-complete-programmes-online-not-just-individual-courses-ceo-anant-agarwal/articleshow/50632132.cms
Share on Facebook

What’s Hot, What’s Not in 2016

January 25th, 2016

By Greg Thompson, THE Journal

Our expert panelists weigh in on education technology to give us their verdict on which approaches to tech-enabled learning will have a major impact, which ones are stagnating and which ones might be better forgotten entirely. The four panelists in THE Journal’s annual end-of-year survey hit full consensus on just two of 11 topics — giving the “hot” label unanimously to “blended learning” and “student data privacy concerns.” Meanwhile, e-portfolios garnered the least amount of enthusiasm, with two panelists opting for “losing steam” and two for “lukewarm.” Other topics formed a mixed bag, with the “lukewarm” rating suggesting that many technologies/techniques are holding steady, if not exactly lighting the education world on fire.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/01/14/4-trends-that-will-recharge-higher-ed-it-in-2016.aspx

Share on Facebook

4 Trends That Will Recharge Higher Ed IT in 2016

January 25th, 2016

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

These ideas and technologies are jolting the education segment from the outside in. Heavy adoption of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are at the top of many prediction lists. “2016 is the year these puppies will actually roll out to the general public,” declared Yahoo Finance reporter Andy Serwer. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) featured some four dozen exhibitors serving this segment in two separate marketplaces, “gaming and virtual reality” and “augmented reality.” The Consumer Technology Association, which runs that event, expects sales of headsets to reach 1.2 million units this year.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/01/14/4-trends-that-will-recharge-higher-ed-it-in-2016.aspx

Share on Facebook

Online Students Do Not Learn By Video Alone, Finds Study

January 25th, 2016

By Paul Riismandel, Streaming Media

Streamed lectures, it turns out, are a poor replacement for classroom learning. To help students absorb what they hear, add interactive activities to the curriculum. Recently, five researchers from Carnegie Mellon University decided to test out what difference extra activities make on learning outcomes inside a massive open online course, or MOOC. The title of their study belies their conclusion: “Learning Is Not a Spectator Sport: Doing Is Better Than Watching for Learning From a MOOC.” They tested a 12-week introductory MOOC in psychology that featured 10- to 15-minute lecture videos as part of the instructional content along with weekly quizzes to measure progress. Looking just at the final, the average score of the students who used the OLI activities was nine points higher than the students who didn’t: 66 points vs. 57 points. Many more students completed the interactive course, too; 939 of the OLI students took the final exam, while only 215 of the students in the non-OLI version did.

http://www.streamingmedia.com/Articles/Editorial/Featured-Articles/Online-Students-Do-Not-Learn-By-Video-Alone-Finds-Study-108552.aspx

Share on Facebook

Negotiating the Many Definitions of Hybrid, Online Classes

January 24th, 2016

By Bradley Fuster, US News

Be proactive in understanding why a school classifies a course as one or the other. As online education evolves, the ways classes are taught aren’t as straightforward as they might have previously been. In course listings, university registrars generally include a column labeled “instructional type.” Historically, this column has contained basic terms such as “traditional,” “hybrid” or “online.” While traditional instruction requires no further explanation, increasingly the lines between hybrid and online courses have become blurred. For example, at some institutions, if a class meets in person just once, it is listed as hybrid.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-learning-lessons/2016/01/15/negotiating-the-many-definitions-of-hybrid-online-classes

Share on Facebook

The Faculty Role Online, Scrutinized

January 24th, 2016

by Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

Accreditors and the department of education are in charge of determining whether a distance education program meets federal requirements for faculty interaction. The inspector general recently has issued rebukes to both the feds and a regional accreditor for their review of competency-based programs related to this question. Previous audits from the inspector general have questioned whether some competency-based programs should be classified as correspondence courses. That question appears to be at the center of the office’s inquiry into Western Governors, which is a nonprofit.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/01/15/education-departments-inspector-generals-high-stakes-audit-western-governors-u

Share on Facebook

2016 Salary & Job Satisfaction Survey

January 24th, 2016

By David Nagel, Dian Schaffhauser; THE Journal

The numbers are in for our first annual K-12 IT salary survey. While budgeting frustrations hamper much of IT’s work, there’s also a sense that the work they’re undertaking is important. $63,776. That’s the average annual pay for an IT professional of any rank, type of school or district or years of experience in this salary survey. Whether that sounds low to you or high, keep reading. As we’ve learned from hundreds of K-12 IT people who have shared details of their jobs, there’s more to your work than a single number.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2016/01/13/2016-salary-job-satisfaction-survey.aspx

Share on Facebook

Why You Should Care That MOOCs Had a Great 2015

January 23rd, 2016

by Bravetta Hassell, Chief Learning Officer

Massive open online courses were hot last year — growing by more than 17 million students since 2014. Growth is still climbing, as is perceived value and prices. Driven by increased platform connectivity and device-based computing adoption, as well as the emergence of online and collaborative learning and technology personalization, Reportlinker estimates the MOOC market to grow by nearly $7 billion by 2020. Self-paced courses are getting a boost. About half of all courses listed on Class Central don’t have a start date per se, which indicates a growing trend toward customer-friendly services. “In 2016, we can expect to see a lot more credentials and credits,” Shah wrote in edSurge.com post. “But as MOOC providers try to aggressively monetize, early adopters may find that critical components of the learning experience will no longer be free.”

http://www.clomedia.com/articles/6673-why-you-should-care-that-moocs-had-a-great–

Share on Facebook

National survey provides first clear look at competency-based ed

January 23rd, 2016

By Tara García Mathewson, Education Dive

A survey of the shared design elements and emerging practices of competency-based education programs by Public Agenda, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates and Lumina foundations, gives perhaps the clearest view yet of competency-based education in U.S. higher education. According to eCampus News, the more than 170 respondents had near universal agreement on four design elements: using clear, cross-cutting and specialized competencies, having measurable and meaningful assessments, creating proficient and prepared graduates, and being learner-centered. The most commonly experienced challenges of developing CBE programs include using data systems that are automated and compatible with one another, designing pricing models to be compatible with financial aid, and securing the confidence of external stakeholders in the quality of the credential.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/national-survey-provides-first-clear-look-at-competency-based-ed/412134/

Share on Facebook

The Future Of Leadership Development? A Fireside Chat With IESE’s Learning Innovation Unit

January 23rd, 2016

by Adam Gordon, Forbes

Omni-learning continuously and digitally integrates all real and virtual learning sites –classroom, workplace, customers’ premises and beyond. The concept owes much to data-tracking adaptive feedback systems that have emerged in other industries, for example Fitbit wearables that track health and fitness activity and provide ongoing interaction with peers and feedback to doctors. Or, similarly, Waze (a Google company) which aggregates continuous distributed peer imputs about the state of traffic into knowledge that guides driver choices. Kaganer and Aurrichio isolate three key features of omni-learning: Continuous and Cross-Context. Learner-Led. Data-driven.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/adamgordon/2016/01/14/executive-learning-iese/#2715e4857a0b677b408a2b41

Share on Facebook

9 Ed Tech Trends to Watch in 2016

January 22nd, 2016

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Four technology and innovation experts discuss the hottest trends in higher ed tech this year. What should be on your education technology radar? We asked four higher ed leaders to opine on everything from accessibility and competency-based education (CBE) to wearables and virtual reality. Here’s what they told us.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/01/13/9-ed-tech-trends-to-watch-in-2016.aspx

Share on Facebook

Udacity Promises Refund if You Don’t Get a Job

January 22nd, 2016

by Cade Metz, Wired

Udacity, the online educational service founded by artificial intelligence guru and ex-Googler Sebastian Thrun, is offering a new set of tech degrees that guarantee a job in six months or your money back. Starting today, the Silicon Valley-based startup is attaching this money-back guarantee to four of its online courses, courses designed to train machine learning engineers and software developers that build apps for Google Android devices, Apple iOS devices, and the web. These online courses typically span about 9 months and required about 10 hours of study per week, and they’re priced at $299 a pop. That’s about $100 above the company’s usual fee, but the idea is that students will also work closely with specialists that can help them prepare for interviews and find a job after their degree is complete.

http://www.wired.com/2016/01/udacity-coding-courses-guarantee-a-job-or-your-money-back/

Share on Facebook