Techno-News Blog

April 12, 2017

Harvard Medical School Launches First Online Certificate Program

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By WILLIAM L. WANG, Harvard Crimson

Harvard Medical School will launch its first online certificate program this summer for people considering health careers, offering four paid courses on topics in medicine. The program, titled “HMX Fundamentals,” will be open to the public through a brief application and includes courses in physiology, immunology, biochemistry and genetics. Upon completion of a course, students will receive a PDF certificate which will not count for academic credit at Harvard. Unlike Harvard’s edX and HarvardX platforms, which offer their online classes for free, access to HMX Fundamentals will come at a cost. Tuition will cost $800 for a single HMX Fundamentals course, $1,000 for two courses, and $1,800 for all four.

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2017/3/31/hms-launches-first-online-certificate-program/

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Data science and analytics skills critical for today’s workforce

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by Autumn A. Arnett, Education Dive

A new report from PwC is encouraging higher education to “build capacity and attract more students to” data science and analytics coursework, saying “every major industry” needs these capabilities to thrive. The report says hiring needs will shift to include a focus on these soft skills, such as data-driven decision-making, functional analysis, data engineering and data analysis. The report lays out four things higher education needs to do to meet this demand: leverage data analysis to create multidisciplinary hubs vs. discipline silos; promote data literacy for all students in all disciplines; strengthen ties with professional societies; and design courses and curricula to expand pathways for “a diverse analytical workforce.”

http://www.educationdive.com/news/report-data-science-and-analytics-skills-critical-for-todays-workforce/439444/

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Report Urges Schools to Encourage African-American Girls to Pursue Engineering

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By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

In 2015, less than 1 percent of all U.S. engineering bachelor’s degrees went to African-American women. Of the 106,658 engineering bachelor’s degrees awarded that year, 937 went to African-American women, just a third of the number that were achieved by African-American men. That gap, among others, represents “ignored potential,” according to a new paper put out by Purdue University, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), the Society of Women Engineers and the Women in Engineering ProActive Network. As the report noted, STEM jobs are expected to increase by 10 percent by 2020.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2017/03/30/african-american-women-in-engineering-ignored-potential.aspx

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April 11, 2017

Why STEM education could get a transformative makeover—soon

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BY RUSSELL D. SHILLING, eSchool News

Engaging young children in STEM is critical for creating a lifelong love of learning and for developing critical thinking skills which will serve them well across all academic disciplines and prepare them for the 21st Century workforce. The recently released report, STEM Starts Early: Grounding Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education in Early Childhood by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and New America is a summary of current research and makes critical recommendations for both STEM communication to parents and future research in early childhood STEM. The appropriate use of innovative education technologies will be an essential component to bringing STEM to children wherever they live as part of a well-balanced set of active learning experiences with educators and parents.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2017/03/31/stem-education-makeover-soon/

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The absence of internet at home is a problem for some students

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by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

While it may seem like almost everyone has internet access, a shocking number of families lack fast or reliable internet connections. There are roughly 5 million households with school-age children who don’t have broadband internet access at home. That means millions of students are being left behind. There are many ways that a lack of internet access can affect a student’s academic performance. Students without internet can’t connect with teachers or classmates, do independent research, or get online homework help. For families, not having internet access can mean missing out on information or losing out on a direct line of communication with schools and teachers. One of the biggest problems faced by students without internet access at home is their inability to complete homework.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/the-absence-of-internet-at-home-is-a-problem-for-some-students/

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The Myth of the Higher Ed Tech Academic / Administrative Divide

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by Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

Today’s reality is that the line between administrative and academic technology has blurred to such a degree that applying organizational distinctions is no longer useful – and is perhaps actively harmful. The reason for this is that we no longer have a clear line where an academic IT service ends and an administrative IT service begins. Are efforts to leverage learning data to drive student success a task of administrative or academic IT? The answer is that neither the skills of the traditional administrative technology professional or the seasoned academic technology expert are, on their own, adequate to the opportunity. Rather, administrative and academic IT people must work collaboratively – really as a single unit.

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology-and-learning/myth-higher-ed-tech-academic-administrative-divide

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April 10, 2017

UMUC to Offer Free Online Coding Program for Students and Grads

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By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

University of Maryland University College students and graduates can sharpen their coding skills at no cost thanks to a new partnership with technology talent development company Revature. Revature’s online training program is designed to provide a pathway to successful software development careers regardless of a student’s major or technical experience, according to a press release. “Through this partnership, students with non-technical academic backgrounds can expand their career options by mastering the latest software programs and computer platforms,” said Nikki Sandoval, associate vice president for alumni and career services at UMUC, in a statement.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/03/29/umuc-to-offer-free-online-coding-program-for-students-and-grads.aspx

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Higher Ed Analytics Market Is Growing in Complexity

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By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

The availability of analytics products for higher education is on the rise, and the applications tend to fall into two broad camps: learning analytics, designed to be used by instructional staff to examine data tied to student engagement and academic outcomes; and operational analytics, for use by administrators to explore operational and financial areas, such as admission, enrollment and retention. That’s how a new report from Eduventures classifies the more than two dozen offerings it has identified in the current analytics marketplace.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/03/30/higher-ed-analytics-market-is-growing-in-complexity.aspx

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Jump-Start a Career With an Online Graduate Degree

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By Courtney Rubin, US News

New online master’s degree options offer students paths to business, engineering and more. Online graduate education, once a caveat emptor Wild West of questionable quality, has come a long way. “The online degree market is pretty well established, especially in terms of acceptance in the employer community,” says Sean Gallagher, executive director of the Center for the Future of Higher Education and Talent Strategy at Northeastern University and author of “The Future of University Credentials,” published last year. The ability to deliver instruction online has opened up a world of possibility beyond traditional degrees. Both for-profit companies and universities – including elite ones – are racing to market with a range of options, from traditional academic degrees to occupational credentialing and professional development.

https://www.usnews.com/higher-education/online-education/articles/2017-03-29/jump-start-a-career-with-an-online-graduate-degree

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April 9, 2017

Penn State e-Learning Institute broadens focus, renamed Office of Digital Learning

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by Penn State

In recognition of the increasing scope of digital learning, the College of Arts and Architecture’s e-Learning Institute will be renamed the Office of Digital Learning, effective April 1. Gary Chinn, director of the e-Learning Institute, will become assistant dean for digital learning. “A broader conceptualization of digital learning acknowledges that today’s courses can move across a continuum of completely in-person and completely online,” explained Chinn. “Blended learning courses, which utilize a combination of online materials and in-person lectures, continue to grow in popularity. Courses that take place in a lecture hall but feature class assignments that have a strong digital aspect are another example. As students flow in and out of physical classroom spaces and virtual environments, a broader term like ‘digital learning’ better captures this fluidity of learning context.”

http://news.psu.edu/story/458885/2017/03/29/e-learning-institute-broadens-focus-renamed-office-digital-learning

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Why digital learning is re-shaping education

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by Matthew Lynch, tech Edvocate

Technology has changed just about every field, including education. Digital learning is reshaping education in unprecedented ways. The ways in which students learn are changing rapidly thanks to technology, and both students and teachers will benefit from it. There are several specific changes that we can expect to see as digital learning takes over education. For one, the way teachers present information and how students work with that information has changed. Students are asked to be more hands-on and collaborative than ever before. There are also new skills that students must learn, such as digital literacy.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/why-digital-learning-is-reshaping-education/

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Houston Nonprofit Delivers Refurbished Computers, Tech Education to Underserved Youth

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By Sri Ravipati, THE Journal

In the greater Houston area, an estimated 133,000 families do not have a computer at home. To help bridge the digital divide, the nonprofit Comp-U-Dopt has delivered more than 8,600 refurbished computers to Houston students from underserved communities. Comp-U-Dot celebrates 10 years of providing technology access and education training. Its Computer Adoption Program, for instance, involves taking in lightly used, donated corporate computers; converting them to a Linux operating system; loading freeware education programs; and distributing the devices to applicants who demonstrate a need for a computer.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2017/03/27/houston-nonprofit-delivers-refurbished-computers-tech-education-to-thousands-of-underserved-youth.aspx

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April 8, 2017

Supplement or Replacement: Exploring the Role of AI in Teaching and Learning

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by Kyle Johnson, EDUCAUSE Review

These two competing visions of AI in higher education need to be discussed now, before the decisions get made for us. The LAT session brought some important perspective and in-depth conversation around the issue, and I think this is one of the valuable assets LAT brings to the broader teaching and learning community within higher education. I hope that more of these facilitated group-expert discussions can be planned for future conferences so we can continue to grapple with these issues together.

http://er.educause.edu/blogs/2017/3/supplement-or-replacement-exploring-the-role-of-ai-in-teaching-and-learning

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Transforming Our Libraries from Analog to Digital: A 2020 Vision

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by Brewster Kahle, EDUCAUSE Review

By 2020, we can build a collaborative digital library collection and circulation system in which thousands of libraries unlock their analog collections for a new generation of learners, enabling free, long-term, public access to knowledge. Much of modern knowledge still exists only on the printed page, stored in libraries. Libraries haven’t met this digital demand, stymied by costs, e-book restrictions, policy risks, and missing infrastructure. We now have the technology and legal frameworks to transform our library system by 2020. The Internet Archive, working with library partners, proposes bringing millions of books online, through purchase or digitization, starting with the books most widely held and used in libraries and classrooms. Our vision includes at-scale circulation of these e-books, enabling libraries owning the physical works to substitute them with lendable digital copies.

http://er.educause.edu/articles/2017/3/transforming-our-libraries-from-analog-to-digital-a-2020-vision

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CIOs Do It All

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by Jeffrey Pomerantz, EDUCAUSE Review

The job of chief information officer (CIO) has a scope and influence across campus that makes it — according to some, anyway — the best job on campus. Not everyone aspires to the CIO role, however, considering the time, attention, and tolerance for uncertainty required by that level of leadership. Some have argued for eliminating the CIO role entirely and folding its responsibilities into other C-level positions. Yet research has shown that the CIO role is more prevalent and more important in higher education than ever. Data collected by the EDUCAUSE Core Data Service show that 68 percent of institutions of higher education have a position titled CIO; the highest-ranking IT officer at the remainder of institutions may have a different title but performs similar functions. This ubiquity makes it critical for us to understand the nature and scope of the CIO role.

http://er.educause.edu/blogs/2017/3/cios-do-it-all

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April 7, 2017

5 ways to drastically improve the impact from virtual classrooms

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by Ilja Rijnen, Human Resources Online

Since the late 90s, e-learning has been introduced to the world of learning and in the recent times, especially with the arrival of enterprise systems, the digital form of education has become the preferred choice for many organisations due to its perceived benefits: it offers its learners a flexible schedule, cheap and efficient ways of education and convenient ways of offering content on demand. However, the individual learning experiences that are being created seem contradictory though to the social ways in which people learn, which is why many digital forms of learning have failed in the past decade. Nevertheless, by working with the approaches from the social learning theories, it is possible to drive the learner’s intrinsic motivation and involvement. This will drastically improve the effect from virtual classrooms in the enterprise world.

http://www.humanresourcesonline.net/5-ways-to-drastically-improve-the-impact-from-virtual-classrooms/

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Trump budget cuts could hit research universities hard, Moody’s warns

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By Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, Washington Post

The credit rating agency warns that the proposed $5.8 billion cut in funding to the National Institutes of Health would have the most significant impact on higher education. Roughly 80 percent of NIH’s budget supports grants to 300,000 researchers at universities across the country. Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, for instance, was awarded $651 million in NIH funding in 2016, while University of California at San Francisco received $578 million. Moody’s analysts are also concerned about the ripple effects of the proposed elimination of funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Many of the schools rated by Moody’s receive grants from both entities, though the awards are a small portion of their budgets. Still, those grants often fund programs that are appealing to students and donors, who might lose interest in the school if certain arts programs disappear, Fitzgerald said.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2017/03/28/trump-budget-cuts-could-hit-research-universities-hard-moodys-warns/

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Coursera Plans Expansion of Full Degree Programs

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By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Online education platform Coursera has set a goal of offering 15 to 20 degree programs by the end of 2019. The company took another step toward that goal Wednesday, announcing new degree offerings from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and France’s HEC Paris. “This is our coming-out party for online degrees on Coursera,” Nikhil Sinha, Coursera’s chief business officer, said in an interview. HEC Paris plans to launch a master’s degree in innovation and entrepreneurship. UIUC, which already offers two degrees on Coursera, will launch a third: a master’s degree in accounting. The university also offers an M.B.A., known as the iMBA program, and a master of computer science in data science. The programs will launch this fall.

https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2017/03/29/coursera-plans-expansion-online-degrees

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April 6, 2017

Online classes provide students with options

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By John Hoang, The Shorthorn

Learning through online classrooms can give students more options to incorporate into a busy schedule. Flexibility is a strong benefit for students taking online courses, said Jodi Tommerdahl, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, in an email. Students have more room to work and take care of college responsibilities. Students struggling with commuting to campus and work schedules that fall outside most class schedules can be alleviated through technology.

http://www.theshorthorn.com/life_and_entertainment/online-classes-provide-students-with-options/article_b9597dae-13ec-11e7-b0e7-db85e64d9b39.html

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Tackling the ‘learning styles’ myth

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by Tanya Vaughan, ACER

The common myth for learning styles as an effective teaching and learning approach is that students will improve their learning if they are taught in their particular learning style (Evidence for Learning, 2017a). There is a range of different types of learning styles, for example auditory, visual, tactile or kinaesthetic styles (Hattie, 2009). There is very limited evidence for any consistent set of learning ‘styles’ that can be used reliably to identify genuine differences in the learning needs of young people, and evidence suggests that it is unhelpful to assign learners to groups or categories on the basis of a supposed learning style (Evidence for Learning, 2017a).

https://www.teachermagazine.com.au/article/tackling-the-learning-styles-myth

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An Open Online Harvard

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By AKHIL S. WAGHMARE, Harvard Crimson

Thanks to the explosion of the internet, it is now possible to share content with billions of people. This has also allowed for increased access to high quality education through online platforms. Services like Khan Academy have reached millions of students worldwide and offered them resources for the classroom and traditionally expensive test prep for exams such as the SAT. And the rise of Massive Online Open Courses has given universities platforms for offering free, online versions of their own classes. Harvard has produced many of these, replicating almost 100 courses through the edX platform which it cofounded with MIT.

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2017/3/27/waghmare-open-online-harvard/

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