Penn State Names Academic Leader for Online Programs

April 10th, 2014

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Pennsylvania State University has named Renata Engel associate vice provost for online programs. The new leadership position was established to oversee the academic unit within the university’s World Campus online education division. According to a university statement, Engel will help advance new online undergraduate and graduate offerings, including noncredit programs and massive open online courses, to students across the country and around the world. She will be responsible for all World Campus online programs, academic advising and faculty development, and will work with the university’s academic leaders to increase online enrollments.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/04/03/penn-state-names-academic-leader-for-online-programs.aspx

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Technology and the Future(s) of the University

April 10th, 2014

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Introducing innovation in education is easier when the institution is new. Founders can construct their programs however they want to imagine them. That’s not so easy to accomplish, however, when the school has been around for decades or even centuries. Faculty and staff practices and processes tend to get entrenched, and introducing too much change can simply lead to internal revolt. Yet that is the conundrum that must be faced by nearly every university and college in the country that wants to thrive in a new world order where learning can take multiple forms and students have numerous options for achieving formal education. Georgetown University is calling on its entire campus community to explore what the institution of 2030 will look like and to experiment with new ways of educating students. The impact of its discoveries may ultimately end up being felt throughout American higher ed.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/04/01/technology-and-the-futures-of-the-university.aspx

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Is It Time To Dismantle the Lecture Hall?

April 10th, 2014

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

In this debate, the question might not be so much about whether online education is effective, but whether it could be any worse than the existing model.  Before the debate — titled, “More Clicks, Fewer Bricks: The Lecture Hall is Obsolete” — began, the audience was definitely on the side of tradition. Fifty-nine percent were against the motion; 18 percent were for the motion; and 23 percent were undecided. Before the debate — titled, “More Clicks, Fewer Bricks: The Lecture Hall is Obsolete” — began, the audience was definitely on the side of tradition. Fifty-nine percent were against the motion; 18 percent were for the motion; and 23 percent were undecided.   People pondering the fate of higher education, concluded Nelson, “don’t need much more data than that to realize that the future of the university won’t be without bricks, won’t be all clicks, but will certainly be far more clicks than bricks.”  By the end of the debate, the number of people who agreed with Nelson and Agarwal grew from 18 percent to 44 percent. And the motion carried.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/04/03/is-it-time-to-dismantle-the-lecture-hall.aspx

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Half of New York’s Tech Workers Lack College Degrees, Report Says

April 9th, 2014

By PATRICK McGEEHAN, NY Times

The fast-growing technology industry in New York is often cited as a magnet for graduates of the nation’s top universities. But a new report to be discussed in a speech by a deputy mayor on Wednesday found that almost half of the technology jobs in the city are filled by people without college degrees. The report was commissioned to show just how important the tech sector has become, estimating that it accounts for nearly 300,000 jobs in the city, more than half of them at companies in nontechnology businesses, such as finance and advertising.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/02/nyregion/half-of-new-yorks-tech-workers-lack-college-degrees-report-says.html
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New Strategy would Drop College Textbook Costs to Zero

April 9th, 2014

By CARRIE WELLS, McClatchy News

Unlike electronic versions of textbooks sold by publishers, open-source textbooks are made up of materials gathered from various sources and are not protected by copyright. They are often designed to be interactive, with links to source material and multimedia elements. The materials are licensed openly, so anyone with an Internet connection can access them. A pilot program, which the Maryland university system estimates is saving 1,100 students a combined $130,000, is the latest in a shift on the nation’s campuses toward digital learning. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the California State University system and the Washington State college system are among those that have built libraries of free online course materials in recent years. Still, open-source textbooks, which have been around for several years, face challenges and have not caught on broadly.

http://www.centerdigitaled.com/news/New-Strategy-would-Drop-College-Textbook-Costs-to-Zero-cde.html

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New experiment in tech retraining blends online learning with in-person mentors

April 9th, 2014

By Erin Carson, Tech Republic

By marrying online tech classes with local volunteer mentors, a new program in Louisville, Kentucky is reshaping the way professionals can get retrained for the next tech jobs. Rider Rodriguez Jr. knows it’s a cliche, but he’ll say it anyway: In the 21st century, if you want to thrive, software development is the skillset that you really need to have. As both the job market and the IT industry rapidly shift, making the match between employers and employees with the latest development skills can prove difficult. To start to solve this problem, Rodriguez and members of the local tech community are taking a grassroots educational approach through a program called Code Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky. Code Louisville is a free 12-week course in which students can learn development skills with the aid of volunteer industry mentors, and an online learning system called Treehouse, available through the local library system.

http://www.techrepublic.com/article/new-experiment-in-tech-retraining-blends-online-learning-with-in-person-mentors/

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5 Ways To Do EdTech On A Shoestring Budget

April 8th, 2014

By Dawn Casey-Rowe, Edudemic

The word “technology” often send shivers down the spine of the budget office, because it has the potential to be one of the biggest line items on the budget. It’s true, a school needs dollars for dongles to make it all work, but it doesn’t have to break the bank or get put on the back burner when competing choices include “leaky roof,” “broken heating system,” and a million other infrastructure expenses that pop up. Tech doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t have to go by the wayside. Technology is increasingly becoming personal, mobile, and affordable. Most connected people rely on smartphones and tablets rather than desktops and laptops. My smartphone is more powerful than my first computer. Because of this, it’s possible to integrate technology on a shoestring budget.

http://www.edudemic.com/edtech-on-a-shoestring-budget/

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Group urges checks on online learning at MIT

April 8th, 2014

By Leon Lin, the Tech – MIT

Concerned about the pace of change brought about by online learning, an Institute subcommittee is now preparing to recommend a “face-time” degree requirement, strong oversight of on-campus MITx experiments, and a “conservative initial approach” to awarding credit for edX classes. “We’re not against it. Just go slow, and see what’s going to happen,” Professor Susan S. Silbey said of digital learning experiments in MIT classes. Silbey, who heads the anthropology department, is the chair of the subcommittee.

http://tech.mit.edu/V134/N15/mitx.html

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Libraries Test a Model for Setting Monographs Free

April 8th, 2014

by Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Librarians love to get free books into the hands of scholars and students who need them. Publishers love it when their books find readers—but they also need to cover the costs of turning an idea into a finished monograph. Now a nonprofit group called Knowledge Unlatched is trying out a new open-access model designed to make both librarians and publishers happy. Here’s how the “unlatching” works: Participating libraries pick a list of scholarly books they want to make open access. They pool money to pay publishers a title fee for each of those books. The title fees are meant to cover the cost of publishing each book; publishers calculate what they think is fair and share those estimates with the Knowledge Unlatched group.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/libraries-test-a-model-for-setting-monographs-free/51455

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This Is What We Share On Tablets

April 7th, 2014

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

Not long ago, we looked at typing speed on iPads vs laptops. The studies cited found that on average, users typed 2-5 words per minute faster on an iPad than on a traditional keyboard. A couple of years ago, my mother got her first piece of “real” technology. It was an iPad. She was completely tech-illiterate when she bought it, and she felt too intimidated by a desktop or laptop, but felt comfortable enough after playing around with my iPad that she was confident she could learn to navigate it easily enough. Those are just two examples demonstrating why iPads (and other tablets) are so darned popular – they’re super easy to use (among many other things). And as the handy infographic below shows us (brought to you by the awesome guys over at Maz!), social sharing on tablets is huge. But what is actually getting shared? And on what types of social networks? Keep reading at the link below to learn more.

http://www.edudemic.com/tablet-sharing/

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Why (And How) Students Are Learning To Code

April 7th, 2014

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

Coding is more important now than ever before. With computer related jobs growing at a rate estimated to be 2x faster than other types of jobs, coding is becoming an important literacy for students to have and a more integral part of education and curricula. The handy infographic below takes a look at some of the interesting statistics about coding and computer science jobs. So if you aren’t yet sure why learning to code is important, you’ll find out below. Keep reading at the link below to learn more!

http://www.edudemic.com/teaching-students-to-code/

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10 Ways To Start Taking Advantage Of Cloud Storage

April 7th, 2014

By Dan Kemp, Edudemic

The Book Creator for iPad support team answers questions about sharing ebooks every day. We will often default to suggesting Dropbox when we direct people to using cloud storage, but Dropbox is by no means the only option within the cloud storage world. This article looks at some of the main players in this field, giving you the information to help you make your choice.

http://www.edudemic.com/cloud-storage-options/

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NetMath 25 Years Old

April 6th, 2014

By Reema Abi-Akar, Daily Illini

For 25 years, the NetMath program has been breaking down distance barriers in education and making University-based math courses more widely available for students around the world. NetMath is a web-based distance learning interface that is accessible to high school students, college students and anyone else wishing to expand their mathematical knowledge. It provides University credit through a variety of 16-week math courses, from 100-level and below to 400-level courses. Headed by Randy McCarthy, program director of the department of mathematics, the program teaches about 1,000 students per year and comprises over 50 lecturers, TAs, undergraduate mentors and personnel. “The pedagogy is a little different than traditional online classes in that the students are actively engaged with the software,” McCarthy said. “So instead of sitting back and passively watching a video of someone else doing (the exercises and problems), the machine helps you experiment and do it so you can learn by doing.”

http://www.dailyillini.com/lifeandculture/article_a7534ee8-b862-11e3-bf40-001a4bcf6878.html

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MOOC ‘tension’ hits US

April 6th, 2014

by JOHN ROSS, the Australian

Massachusetts Institute of Technology chancellor Eric Grimson said it was impossible to prevent governments from capitalising on online courses to cut costs, even to the extent of closing down local universities. He said the “tension” was already apparent in the US, as authorities sought ways to reduce the higher education costs. “There will be pressure to use online tools to help reduce that cost,” he told the HES during a visit to the University of Adelaide last week. “But I’m hoping (cost) won’t be the sole factor. It would be a race to the bottom to figure out who can do it cheapest. It’s also about how you make learning more effective.”

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/mooc-tension-hits-us/story-e6frgcjx-1226867952774

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Three Factors Influencing Persistence and Withdrawal for Part-Time Adult Graduate Students

April 6th, 2014

By Marian Cohen and Scott Greenberg, Evolllution

In 2011, we looked into institutional and external factors that promoted or hindered the persistence of part-time adult students who completed or were currently matriculated in a master’s degree program at a public state university (The Struggle to Succeed: Factors Associated with the Persistence of Part-time Adult Students Seeking a Master’s Degree). When asked whether they had withdrawn or seriously considered withdrawing from the program at any time, students who answered affirmatively cited three leading reasons:

  1. Feeling overwhelmed by the workload
  2. Problems with faculty/curriculum
  3. Family issues

In this article we explore these factors and suggest how institutions might address them.

http://www.evolllution.com/research/factors-influencing-persistence-withdrawal-part-time-adult-graduate-students/

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US State Department to Offer Massive Online Course for English Language Educators

April 5th, 2014

by IVN

The U.S. Department of State announces the launch of Shaping the Way We Teach English, a massive open online course (MOOC) for English as a foreign language (EFL) educators. The ten-week university-level course was developed by the University of Oregon and is currently available on the Coursera platform. By strengthening the quality of English teaching around the world, the Department hopes to open economic opportunities in science, business, technology, and higher education for more of our international partners and offer skills for a better future. Designed both for professionals already working in the area of EFL and for those pursuing the field as a career, the MOOC aims to assist EFL educators worldwide in updating and augmenting their teaching methods. When educators employ the teaching methods and technologies learned throughout the course, they improve leaning outcomes for their students and build leadership among their peers.

http://www.imperialvalleynews.com/index.php/news/jobs/7835-department-of-state-to-offer-massive-online-course-for-english-language-educators.html

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6 Ways to Be a Better Online Teacher

April 5th, 2014

By Paul Beaudoin, Campus Technology

For over a decade, enrollments in online classes have steadily increased. According to a recent Sloan Consortium report, 7.1 million college students are currently enrolled in an online course — and those numbers are expected to rise. To meet the demand, more and more faculty are being asked to teach blended or online courses — even MOOCs. While most institutions have an online preparedness rubric for students, few have such a rubric for faculty who teach online. It doesn’t take long to discover that teaching in the blended or online learning environment is not a direct transfer of the traditional face-to-face class. The challenges of online learning often require a different set of skills that may not come easily to brick-and-mortar instructors. Here are six tried-and-tested strategies for becoming a better online teacher.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/03/26/6-ways-to-be-a-better-online-teacher.aspx

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Online classes surge in popularity among Michigan K-12 students

April 5th, 2014

By Lori Higgins, Detroit Free Press

The number of K-12 students taking online courses in Michigan surged 52% in the last three years, according to a report released this week that provides a first-of-its-kind — but limited — look at the effectiveness of online learning in the state. During the 2012-13 school year, 55,271 students took at least one online course, up from 36,348 during the 2010-11 school year. The overall number of courses taken surged from 89,921 to 185,053 during that period.

http://www.freep.com/article/20140326/NEWS06/303260121/Michigan-students-online-classes

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Florida bill calls for MOOC accreditation, FIU weighs options

April 4th, 2014

by Raul Herrera, FIUSM

Florida law is now requiring universities to accredit massively open online courses, which are currently free and not for credit. Their purpose, according to the University, is to provide an “open learning experience” along with what FIU Online Dean Joyce Elam calls “a taste of some of the leading academic programs at FIU.” The University is now weighing options on how to make for-credit MOOCs. “If FIU doesn’t come up with a process to award course credit for learning done through MOOCs or in other ways, someone else will come up with it, and we’ll just be told to implement it,” said Laurie Shrage, a professor of philosophy who proposed a method for MOOCs accreditation to the Faculty Senate. Florida law wants to stimulate the state’s K-12 and higher education system’s interest in MOOCs.

http://fiusm.com/2014/03/23/florida-bill-calls-for-mooc-accreditation-fiu-weighs-options/

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The Top 5 Things Hiring Managers Look For On Social Media

April 4th, 2014

by MARIANNE STENGER, Lifehacker

The key to landing any job is to present yourself professionally, and these days that includes how you come across online as well. More employers have started using sites like Twitter, Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn in the hiring process, and according to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 43 per cent of hiring managers now use social media to screen candidates. Career advisor Matt Tarpey explains that most employers don’t necessarily visit your online profiles looking for a reason not to hire you, but if they do happen to find one it will almost certainly take you out of the running. Knowing exactly what employers are after when they scrutinise your online persona can help you scrub up your image and hopefully get bumped to the top of the list.

http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2014/03/the-top-5-things-hiring-managers-look-for-on-social-media/

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The Top 10 Google Glass Myths

April 4th, 2014

by Google

Myths can be fun, but they can also be confusing or unsettling. And if spoken enough, they can morph into something that resembles fact. (Side note: did you know that people used to think that traveling too quickly on a train would damage the human body?) In its relatively short existence, Glass has seen some myths develop around it. While we’re flattered by the attention, we thought it might make sense to tackle them, just to clear the air. And besides, everyone loves a good list – see the link below.

https://plus.google.com/+GoogleGlass/posts/axcPPGjVFrb

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