Techno-News Blog

March 8, 2017

Google Debuts Troll-Fighting AI Tool to Moderate Online Comments

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By Sri Ravipati, Campus Technology

Trolls are commonplace online, with close to a third of American internet users witnessing harassment online and nearly half personally experiencing it. To help combat internet trolls, Google’s technology incubator Jigsaw and Counter Abuse Technology Team last Friday launched Perspective, “an early-stage technology that uses machine learning to help identify toxic comments,” according to the blog post announcement. Perspective works by reviewing comments and scoring them based on how similar they are to comments that are typically considered negative or “toxic,” the blog post explained. “To learn how to spot potentially toxic language, Perspective examined hundreds of thousands of comments that had been labeled by human reviewers. Each time Perspective finds new examples of potentially toxic comments, or is provided with corrections from users, it can get better at scoring future comments.”

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/02/27/google-debuts-troll-fighting-ai-tool-to-moderate-online-comments.aspx

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Immersive Education: VR Comes of Age

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By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

For virtual reality to succeed in education, there’s more required than just cool experiences. Anybody who has watched the education segment for any length of time also knows that the initial “cool” factor isn’t enough to sustain the market. Last year’s NMC/CoSN Horizon Report on K-12 education gave VR two to three years to hit the tipping point. As a recent FutureSource report noted, a big question is whether this new technology can be integrated deeply enough into the curriculum and help achieve specific learning outcomes in order to drive mainstream adoption.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/02/27/immersive-education-vr-comes-of-age.aspx

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5 Incredible Online Courses for WordPress Beginners

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by WP Explorer

Fortunately, the WordPress community is thriving, and there are many people out there willing to help you learn the ropes. A quick Google search reveals thousands of articles and tutorials, along with dedicated YouTube channels such as WPCrafter, Tyler Moore, and WPBeginner. These resources are fantastic, but often you’ll find the best way to make progress is to take part in a more structured course. That’s why we’re going to recommend five excellent online courses for WordPress in this article. Each is designed with beginners in mind, and will arm you with the knowledge you need to start creating your own websites.

http://www.wpexplorer.com/online-courses-wordpress-beginners/

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March 7, 2017

3 Signs an Online Graduate Certificate Is Enough

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By Chris Foley and Lisa Canada, US News

You don’t always need to commit to a full degree program to advance your career. Shorter and sometimes less costly, a graduate certificate might be a better option to get ahead. Think of a graduate certificate as a set of courses devoted to a specific topic, designed to build on top of a bachelor’s degree. The certificate may be meant to go deeper into topics already explored in the bachelor’s degree – like adding cybersecurity skills to a computer science degree – or to expand into a new area, like adding competency in human resources for someone in management with any bachelor’s degree. Some certificates might not require an undergraduate degree at all – for example, programs may consider work experience instead – and may take 18 or fewer hours of coursework and about a year to complete. Now, nearly one-fourth of the diplomas awarded by colleges and universities are certificates, according to Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.

https://www.usnews.com/education/online-learning-lessons/articles/2017-02-24/3-signs-an-online-graduate-certificate-is-enough

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9 in 10 Students Admit to Cheating in College, Suspect Faculty Do the Same

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By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Kessler International queried 300 students who attend college in person and online and found that nine in 10 (86 percent) admitted to cheating in some way in school. More than half (54 percent) thought cheating was OK, and some suggested that it was even necessary to stay competitive. Among those who acknowledged cheating, nearly all (97 percent) said they’d gotten away with it. What forms of cheating are popular? Three-quarters of respondents (76 percent) said they’d copied text from somebody else’s assignments. Slightly more (79 percent) admitted to plagiarism from internet sources. Nearly as many (72 percent) said they’d used their mobile devices to cheat during class. A smaller number (42 percent) said they’d purchased custom term papers or essays online. And 28 percent said they’d had a “service” take their online classes for them.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/02/23/9-in-10-students-admit-to-cheating-in-college-suspect-faculty-do-the-same.aspx

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Berklee College of Music professor’s online courses provide access for all

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by Sandra Larson, Bay State Banner

“Every time music gets played, someone gets paid,” John Kellogg is fond of saying. The musician, lawyer, book author and Berklee College of Music professor follows the statement with his signature advice for anyone involved in music performance and production: “You should get paid, not played.” Kellogg’s music business wisdom has accrued over a multi-faceted working life that spans songwriting and singing with the band Cameo in the 1970s, decades as an entertainment lawyer representing star R & B and rap acts, and educating students at University of Colorado and now at Berklee, where he also is assistant chair of the music business/management department. So far, nearly 70,000 people from around the world have accessed “Introduction to the Music Business,” a six-week course offered four times per year on the EdX platform, or the shorter “Music Business Foundations” offered every few weeks on Coursera.

http://baystatebanner.com/news/2017/feb/22/berklee-college-music-professors-online-courses-pr/

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March 6, 2017

The Fall Of Manufacturing And Rise Of Technology Makes Lifelong Education More Important

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By Rick Levin, Forbes

President Trump has sounded a note that resonates with many Americans: good middle class jobs are disappearing. He’s right. Adjusted for inflation, the incomes of the bottom 60% of the income distribution are not much higher today than they were 30 years ago. President Trump blames globalization, and in particular the liberalization of trade which has allowed manufacturing jobs to migrate overseas. But the stagnation of incomes for most Americans is not primarily attributable to the loss of jobs in manufacturing. It is new technology — in particular the growing and now ubiquitous use of computers — that has widened the wage gap between higher and lower skilled jobs — not simply in manufacturing, but in the service sector as well. Some of the most in-demand jobs require training in cybersecurity, computer systems operations, web development, data analytics, data science, and digital marketing.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/schoolboard/2017/02/22/the-fall-of-manufacturing-and-rise-of-technology-makes-lifelong-education-more-important/#429c9d25700d

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Lone hacker Rasputin breaches 60 universities, federal agencies

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By Charlie Osborne, ZDNet

A hacker has compromised at least 60 universities and US government organizations, utilzing SQL injections as his weapon of choice. Rasputin, believed to be a Russian hacker, is most well-known for the December 2016 attack against the US Electoral Assistance Commission through an unpatched SQL injection (SQLi) vulnerability. At the time, the hacker offered to sell access to the system to a Middle Eastern broker, and according to researchers, the hacker is also attempting to sell access to systems he has compromised in his latest round of attacks. Universities are a top target, with Cornell University, New York University (NYU), Purdue University, Michigan State University, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and the University of Washington among those affected in the US.

http://www.zdnet.com/article/lone-hacker-breaches-60-universities-federal-agencies/

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Report: Millions of students reveal surprising online learning trends

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BY MERIS STANSBURY, Campus Technology

New study reveals that collaboration is still not a prevalent online learning habit; mobile phones have yet to be used for serious learning. GoConqr surveyed over 2.5 million students and teachers currently using the platform from over 160 countries last year (2016) to better understand their online learning habits and how learning is changing in general. The study surveyed students and teachers ranging from secondary to postgraduate levels. Some of the key findings of the report reveal that students and teachers are using online platforms as an additional source to help with selected subjects. Also, despite the prevalence of social networking, online study tends to be a solitary activity, with 79 percent of those surveyed choosing not to study collaboratively when they are online. However, this percentage is decreasing over time as traditional learning methods are being replaced with online and blended teaching styles.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/online-learning/students-online-learning-trends/

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March 5, 2017

Reimagining education: MIT holds its first Festival of Learning

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by MIT

On Feb 1-2, over 200 students and faculty gathered in MIT’s Building 10 to discuss and share recent advances in education technology. This first-ever — and first of its kind — “Festival of Learning” was co-sponsored by the MIT Office of Digital Learning (ODL), the Teaching and Learning Lab, and the offices of the deans of undergraduate and graduate education. In her welcoming remarks, MIT Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart called the festival an important gathering of scholars and researchers working to reimagine the way we educate 21st century students — from digital content creation, to flipped or blended classrooms, to cracking the learning sciences code. “Clearly, the MIT community is energized about the transformations and experiments happening in this space,” Barnhart said.

http://news.mit.edu/2017/reimagining-education-mit-holds-first-festival-of-learning-0221

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Autonomous, professor-less coding school looks to reinvent teaching and learning

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by Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Brittany Bir, the chief operating officer of the U.S. campus for French coding school 42, says that education should be like children learning to walk and to talk and is better suited in the art of practice and doing, rather than listening under a professor. Bir, a former student of the coding academy, says that a typical day in the school is students receiving an assignment, interfacing with each other and researching online, and setting out to self-teach the curriculum. The Silicon Valley-based campus, which currently enrolls 250 students, is part of 42’s global effort to credential 10,000 learners in five years.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/professor-less-coding-school-looks-to-reinvent-teaching-and-learning/436759/

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Hacker tied to US election controversy infiltrates 25 colleges

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by Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Michigan State University, Cornell University and Virginia Tech are among a list of 25 colleges victimized by international cyberattacker “Rasputin,” who recently hacked 60 domestic institutions and government agencies. According to Recorded Future, the Russian-speaking hacker infiltrated and sold SQL access to the institutions’ organizational network and files. “Rasputin” has also been identified as an agent responsible for hacking the U.S. elections in November.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/hacker-tied-to-us-election-controversy-infiltrates-25-colleges/436749/

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March 4, 2017

Why We Should Invest in STEM Education

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by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

While many careers today require STEM-educated employees, they aren’t necessarily requiring that those employees have a higher education degree. A report done by the Brookings Institution revealed that nearly half of STEM careers available to employees today do not require a four-year college degree, and those jobs pay ten percent higher than jobs that do require a college degree. This evolution in how we view the relation between jobs and education needs to be reflected in our children’s educational priorities. By investing in STEM education in k-12 schools, our education system can work to close the STEM skills gap that has left open a wide opportunity for employment. To ensure that our children and the next generation are job secure and have equal opportunities for their future success, it’s important that we invest in STEM education. STEM programs inspire children, boost creativity and work to create the next generation of scientist, engineers, and computer programmers.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/why-should-we-invest-in-stem-education/

While many careers today require STEM-educated employees, they aren’t necessarily requiring that those employees have a higher education degree. A report done by the Brookings Institution revealed that nearly half of STEM careers available to employees today do not require a four-year college degree, and those jobs pay ten percent higher than jobs that do require a college degree. This evolution in how we view the relation between jobs and education needs to be reflected in our children’s educational priorities. By investing in STEM education in k-12 schools, our education system can work to close the STEM skills gap that has left open a wide opportunity for employment. To ensure that our children and the next generation are job secure and have equal opportunities for their future success, it’s important that we invest in STEM education. STEM programs inspire children, boost creativity and work to create the next generation of scientist, engineers, and computer programmers.

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Campuses are putting IoT into action in advising, services and beyond

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by Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

A University of Southern California project using cameras and sensors to gather analytical data about student engagement and the intersections of teaching and learning is just one of a growing number of initiatives on campuses nationwide to harness the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve outcomes and create innovation within the burgeoning tech sector, Ed Tech: Focus on Higher Ed reported. Schools including Case Western University and Carnegie Mellon University are using IoT to develop innovative ideas, including measuring energy produced by people and machinery, and apps that can be helpful in specific surroundings as a way to improve the campus experience. Syracuse University has been researching machine-to-machine communication for more than a decade, and officials there say the work is a platform for higher education to pioneer technology that can make work and data processing faster and more efficient.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/college-campus-internet-of-things-iot-syracuse-usc-case-western-carnegie-mellon/436668/

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How Net Neutrality Will Fare Under Trump’s FCC

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by Knowledge @ Wharton

Donald Trump’s Federal Communications Commission is expected to roll back hard-fought rules on network neutrality — specifically the decision to make broadband as heavily regulated as landline phone service — but it will most likely take an act of Congress to do so, according to Wharton experts. The new FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, is a noted critic of regulations on net neutrality — the idea that all internet traffic should be treated equally — preferring to rely on competition to put curbs on the industry. Already, he has ended investigations into companies technically in violation of net neutrality because they let their customers stream digital content exempt from their data caps.

http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/how-net-neutrality-will-fare-under-trumps-fcc/

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March 3, 2017

Online Platform Teaches Dying Languages To Save Them From Extinction

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By Holly Brockwell, Gizmodo UK

There are heaps of ways to learn languages online, from intensive tutored courses to fun cartoony apps. You can even learn made-up languages, like Dothraki, Klingon and Esperanto – a fact that must be somewhat frustrating to Inky Gibbens, founder of the Tribalingual platform for dying languages. Gibbens is half Buryat – a subgroup of the Mongols – and set up the platform when she realised that the Buryat language of her maternal grandparents is classified as endangered by UNESCO. A language dies every two weeks according to the UN, with half of the current 7,000 languages expected to be gone by the turn of the century.

http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2017/02/online-platform-teaches-dying-languages-to-save-them-from-extinction/

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CU aims to launch 3-year, fully online degree in 2018

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By Sarah Kuta, Colorado University Daily Camera

The University of Colorado is charging ahead on a plan to create a three-year, fully online degree and hopes to launch the new program in the fall of 2018, according to William Kuskin, vice provost and associate vice chancellor for strategic initiatives. Once the program is fully implemented, a student will be able to get a bachelor of arts degree in interdisciplinary studies by taking online classes offered by all four CU campuses. If they stick to a rigorous course schedule, they can complete their degree in three years, without ever stepping foot inside a classroom, Kuskin said.

http://www.dailycamera.com/cu-news/ci_30808570/cu-aims-launch-3-year-fully-online-degree

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Charting institutional response to a cyberattack

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by Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Campuses should coordinate across departments — including legal, PR, risk management, finance and human resources — to identify the necessary steps to take in the event of a cyberattack on a campus network. A new infographic from Ed Tech: Focus on Higher Ed says that identifying the extent of the breach, the associated costs and the potential victims of an attack are key to developing the internal and external communications about the crisis, and in making sure that all legal elements are understood by the administration and key stakeholders. Containing and eradicating the source of the data breach is critical for IT personnel, and recovering lost data or determining new solutions for networking service the priority in the aftermath of a tech crisis.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/charting-institutional-response-to-a-cyberattack/436558/

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March 2, 2017

Iowa families foregoing classroom for virtual school

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by Mackenzie Ryan, Des Moines Register

Johnson is among a small but growing group of parents that want flexibility in their children’s schooling — and the ability to access it from anywhere, at any time. They are part of a movement to give more education options to Iowa families, and the controversial effort to allow public money to fund it. In 2013, Iowa students first enrolled in virtual schools run by for-profit companies that contracted with two rural districts. The two schools that operate here, Iowa Virtual School and Iowa Connections Academy, are considered public schools. They meet the same regulations as other public schools, such as testing students and requiring Iowa-certified teachers. They also receive state funds. “It offers the curriculum in a different way that allows him to learn well, and return his love of learning,” said parent Michelle Majeski, who enrolled one of her two sons in the Connections Academy. “It’s a great school.”

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/education/2017/02/19/iowa-families-foregoing-classroom-virtual-school/97413100/

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World Bank offers new financing for development MOOC after 32,000 users took the first one

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By Sophie Edwards, Devex

The World Bank is launching a new free online course to teach participants about financing for development in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals, after nearly 32,000 people registered to take part in its first one. The course will address the challenge of finding the additional $2.5 trillion each year that the United Nations estimates developing countries need to achieve the SDGs by 2030. With current political uncertainty surrounding foreign aid and trade flows from the U.S. and other countries, plugging that gap seems more challenging than ever. The course is designed to teach participants where funding for the SDGs is available and how it can be mobilized. It builds on a previous course offered by the World Bank in 2015, its first MOOC, or free massive open online course.

https://www.devex.com/news/world-bank-offers-new-financing-for-development-mooc-after-32-000-users-took-the-first-one-89652

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In our opinion: Higher-education innovation

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Deseret News editorial

Online learning, for example, still needs to become better integrated into college coursework. Requiring each student to take one or more online courses per semester would result in sizable savings. Colleges and universities may also seek to incorporate new education offerings such as computer coding classes. Coding boot camps have proven to be very successful business models that provide students with marketable skills and work-ready job prospects. Educational institutions should be competing in this space, not being disrupted by it. Utah happens to be among the few states with the kind of innovative spirit and openness to possibly embrace these kinds of disruption, and vigorous discussions are already underway to consider new ways to find funds to support K-12.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865673728/Higher-education-innovation.html

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