In more classrooms, books and lectures are being ditched

June 10th, 2016

by Steven A. Rosenberg, Boston Globe

Finding a textbook in Barbara McNulty’s communications class requires some sleuthing. That’s because the weighty volumes are stacked at the bottom of a dark closet and haven’t been used in 10 years. Pens, notebooks, and lectures? Also scarce. Instead, students in the Groton-Dunstable Regional High School class learn almost entirely through digital platforms. They use computers to research and create projects at their own pace, while McNulty serves as a guide, traversing the classroom and assessing students’ work in real-time from their laptops.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/06/04/paperless-education/LlHobGE7iRIZV3pwN0cR9J/story.html

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Bored with study? The new wave of edubots will find a way to spark your interest

June 10th, 2016

by Tim Dodd, Financial Review

An online learning program which can tell when a student is becoming bored and inattentive is one of the key developments forecast to reshape university education in Australia in the next five years, according to a new report. The 2016 NMC Technology Outlook for Australian Tertiary Education says that so-called “affective computing”, which is able to use video imagery of facial expressions to discern human emotions, will soon be coupled with online learning platforms to encourage students to keep their minds on their work. The report says this is likely to be adopted by universities in the next four to five years. It forecast “online learning situations wherein a computerised tutor reacts to facial cues of boredom in a student in an effort to motivate or boost their confidence.”

http://www.afr.com/technology/apps/education/bored-with-study-the-new-wave-of-edubots-will-find-a-way-to-spark-your-interest-20160602-gpa9em

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Students and Higher Ed Leaders Put Their Faith in Online Classes [#Infographic]

June 10th, 2016

by Meg Conlan, EdTech

As a growing number of students enroll in nontraditional college classes, the value of online education becomes more clear.s cost-effective alternatives to traditional college classes, online learning programs continue to gain steam in higher ed. According to statistics gathered for an Online Learning Consortium infographic, 5.8 million students are now enrolled in online courses, and the majority put tremendous stock in the quality of their education: 90 percent of students say their online learning experiences are the same or better than in-classroom options. College and university leadership agrees: The infographic states that 71 percent of academic leaders say learning outcomes for online courses are the same or better than that of face-to-face classes.

http://www.edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2016/06/students-and-higher-ed-leaders-put-their-faith-online-classes-infographic

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Colorado State bringing AI into online psych courses next fall

June 9th, 2016

By Tara García Mathewson, Education Dive

Artificial intelligence software from Boston-based Cognii will use natural language processing to offer immediate feedback to Colorado State University psychology students on essay assignments. Xconomy reports the software works like voice-command programs on smartphones, where instead of answering a question, the program asks one and then determines how students could improve their response to be more accurate. The software is expected to help students during formative assignments, improving the quality of work they eventually submit to professors, and it will give instructors a new layer of insight into student performance, including analytics data.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/colorado-state-bringing-ai-into-online-psych-courses-next-fall/420305/

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Data Science Curriculum on edX

June 9th, 2016

by Sue Gee, iProgrammer

Data Scientists are in high demand – and now there’s another way to earn relevant accreditation via the Microsoft-designed Data Science Curriculum offered on the edX platform. As this promo video explains, Microsoft has worked with both university and industry partners to put together a “subway map” that guides students through the process of gaining the practical technical skills that employers are looking for.

http://www.i-programmer.info/news/150-training-a-education/9783-data-science-curriculum-on-edx.html

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South Carolina House Introduces Bill to Expand Course Options for Public School Students

June 9th, 2016

by MICHAEL MCGRADY, Heartland

A South Carolina bill to expand public school students’ access to credit-bearing courses from public schools, colleges, nonprofit organizations, employers, and other course providers was introduced in the House on April 14, 2016. The bill failed to progress to the Senate in time to meet the crossover deadline of May 1 for the current legislative session. State Rep. Todd Atwater (R-Lexington) introduced House Bill 5216, the South Carolina Course Access Act. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Education and Public Works on April 14, 2016, but the state Department of Education opposed the bill in its current form. The Course Access Act is designed to provide students state funding and full class credit for completing state-approved courses which are offered by a number of course providers in a variety of formats.

http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2016/06/02/south-carolina-house-introduces-bill-expand-course-options-public-schoo

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6 Questions to Ask About Flexibility in Online Degree Programs

June 8th, 2016

by Jordan Friedman, US News

Many online learners balance their education with jobs and other responsibilities. Therefore, students should ensure an online degree program will allow them to work around their schedules and integrate online learning into the rest of their lives. “Flexibility would be probably the primary reason why anyone would even consider an online program,” says Christine Shakespeare, assistant vice president for continuing and professional education at Pace University. “And that’s because flexibility allows for people to juggle multiple priorities.” As prospective online learners consult school websites and speak with online students, faculty and officials to select a best-fit program, experts say they should ask the following questions.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2016-06-02/6-questions-to-ask-about-flexibility-in-online-degree-programs

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Naspers Invests $60 Million in U.S. Online-Learning Firm Udemy

June 8th, 2016

by John Bowker, Bloomberg

Naspers Ltd., Africa’s biggest company by market value, invested $60 million in online-learning provider Udemy, capital the U.S. startup will use to expand in international markets and add local courses. Udemy has grown significantly over the past year and now offers more than 40,000 courses in 80 different languages, Cape Town-based Naspers said in a statement on its website on Thursday. The deal follows Udemy’s $65 million 2015 fundraising, led by New York-based Stripes Group. The investment is the second to be made out of Naspers’s newly opened office in San Francisco after leading a $15 million injection in education-technology company Brainly last month. Naspers has grown into a 1 trillion rand ($64 billion) company through investing mainly in emerging-market internet companies, notably China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Mail.ru Group Ltd. of Russia.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-02/naspers-invests-60-million-in-u-s-online-learning-firm-udemy

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Report: Virtual Reality Shipments to Rocket up 2,400 Percent This Year

June 8th, 2016

By Joshua Bolkan, THE Journal

Shipments of virtual reality devices will expand by more than 2,400 percent this year according to a new forecast from International Data Corp. (IDC). Screenless viewers will grab the largest market share, according to the research company, at 74 percent. “Virtual reality (VR) is an increasingly hot topic at technology events, government meetings and consumer entertainment events, injecting a boost of much needed excitement into consumer IT and business applications markets,” said Neo Zheng, research manager, client system research, IDC China, in a prepared statement. Areas to watch within the virtual reality ecosystem include components, devices, platforms and content, according to IDC.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2016/06/01/report-virtual-reality-shipments-to-rocket-up-2400-percent-this-year.aspx

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Colorado State U Online brings Artificial Intelligence-powered learning tools to courses

June 7th, 2016

by Colorado State University Online

Students and faculty in several of Colorado State University’s online programs will begin using “intelligent tutoring” technology in courses this fall. This comes as CSU Online announced last week a new partnership with Cognii, Inc., a leading provider of Artificial Intelligence-based educational technology. CSU faculty and instructional designers will work with Cognii to develop learning and assessment tools powered by Cognii’s Virtual Learning Assistant, which is designed to improve students’ learning outcomes, increase instructors’ productivity, and enable high-quality personalized education at a large scale. “The use of Cognii in the classroom is expected to improve learning outcomes, turning assessment into learning while enhancing the effectiveness of the time our faculty devote to teaching,” said Mike Palmquist, CSU’s Associate Provost for Instructional Innovation.

http://source.colostate.edu/csu-online-brings-artificial-intelligence-powered-learning-tools-to-courses/

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Online classes: tips for success

June 7th, 2016

By Thor Mallgren, Michigan State News

Although online classes are different in format compared to traditional ones, that doesn’t make them any easier. According to the MSU Department of Psychology, “taking an online class requires just as much time and effort as class on campus.” With a semester-worth of content compressed together into a measly month and a half, and without any physical lectures to attend, it can be easy to fall behind. Here are some tips to help you get that illusive online 4.0.

http://statenews.com/article/2016/05/tips-for-success-in-online-classes

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Ed tech investment is down, but what does it mean for colleges?

June 7th, 2016

By Tara García Mathewson, Education Dive

Education technology startups have been flush with cash in recent years, thanks to enthusiastic investors ready to “disrupt” higher education, but 2016 has brought a slowdown to the sector that is sure to impact colleges and universities. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports higher ed leaders can expect fewer free or low-cost trials, as well as pitches from companies offering new, innovative products or services — though career services and learning analytics arenas are still growing. The startups that survive in a shrinking market with disruptive business models may present greater threats to traditional higher education because they will prove their strength, like Udacity, which is now valued at more than $1 billion.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/ed-tech-investment-is-down-but-what-does-it-mean-for-colleges/420139/

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The Quiet and Careful Revolution of OER

June 6th, 2016

by Education Dive

It has the capacity to revolutionize the generally accepted model of higher education along with the entire way students learn. It could be one of the most significant advances in teaching since the blackboard, yet few fully understand it and even fewer know how they might apply it. A popular conversation in higher education is in the opportunities provided by Open Educational Resources (OER) and the prospect for educators and students to access open educational learning materials, open licensing and open sourcing to support classroom learning. But if OER is such a game changer, why hasn’t its adoption been central to every classroom and every campus?

http://www.educationdive.com/news/the-quiet-and-careful-revolution-of-oer/420081/

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Are stackable credentials now a necessity?

June 6th, 2016

By Tara García Mathewson, Education Dive

Holly Moore, executive dean of South Seattle College’s Georgetown Campus, believes stackable credentials are a necessity in higher education, both for the success of students who need flexibility and because they can help institutions maintain connections with alumni and improve outcomes. In a Q&A with The Evolllution, Moore says institutional leaders must develop stackable programs based on conversations with employers and create a feedback loop so improvements can be made based on actual outcomes.  Beyond ensuring programs meet federal financial aid requirements, Moore recommends working closely with student services and financial aid departments to secure institutional buy-in for stackable programs and necessary financial support for students who choose them.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/are-stackable-credentials-now-a-necessity/420144/

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Technology in Higher Education: Guiding Aspiring Leaders

June 6th, 2016

by Karen A. Wetzel, EDUCAUSE Review

Today’s institutions need to adopt new models to stay competitive. They need to focus on outcomes, cost-effectiveness, and responsiveness. These needs have combined with the rapid development of technology across all layers of society and throughout the institution. The higher education IT leader stands at the center of all this change, holding a complex and demanding position that requires a range of skills. However, many aspiring technology leaders meet with difficulty in stepping up to a leadership role. The rapid pace of change in technology and higher education alike mean the challenging role of the IT leader will continue to evolve in the coming years. It is crucial to do what we can to future-proof the profession by preparing tomorrow’s higher education IT leaders now.

http://er.educause.edu/articles/2016/5/technology-in-higher-education-guiding-aspiring-leaders

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All Stakeholders Must Engage in Learning Analytics Debate

June 5th, 2016

By David Raths, Campus Technology

Whether they like it or not, members of the educational technology community and faculty members should engage in debates about learning analytics algorithms, transparency and data access. That was the message delivered by George Siemens, executive director of the Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge Research Lab (LINK) at the University of Texas at Arlington, during a recent Future Trends Forum discussion with futurist Bryan Alexander. “You can hate something and still recognize that it is an important factor to think about,” Siemens stressed. “You can think analytics are crap, but you can’t deny they are influential. If we want a future that embodies values that are important to us, then we have to be active participants in the sociotechnical and economic spaces driving that change.”

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/05/31/all-stakeholders-must-engage-in-learning-analytics-debate.aspx

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12 Tips for Gamifying a Course

June 5th, 2016

By Leila Meyer, Campus Technology

Digital games can be powerful learning tools, helping engage students and improve learning outcomes. And while adoption in higher education has been slow, a growing number of college and university instructors are gamifying their courses, either by incorporating existing games or developing custom ones. We asked three game-savvy educators and technologists for their advice on introducing gamification to the college or university classroom.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/06/01/12-tips-for-gamifying-a-course.aspx

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Large-Scale Adoption of Open Educational Resources as an Institutional Differentiator

June 5th, 2016

by Matthew Prineas, Evolllution

The past decade has seen a steady growth in the disruptive potential of open educational resources (OER)—free, high-quality, openly licensed educational materials in a variety of media—to enhance access, improve outcomes and lower costs for students. There is evidence that the movement has reached a tipping point. With major support from the Hewlett Foundation and other funders, the focus has shifted to large-scale—program-wide or even enterprise-wide—adoption of OER as the core or even sole curricular educational content. What is also clear is that fully realizing the potential of OER to achieve these outcomes will require a strategic approach, adequate institutional resources and a willingness to transform more fundamental aspects of the traditional model of delivering education.

http://evolllution.com/attracting-students/accessibility/large-scale-adoption-of-open-educational-resources-as-an-institutional-differentiator/

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The Potential for Stackable Credentials: From 30,000 Feet

June 4th, 2016

by Holly Moore, Evolllution

Stackable credentials are an economic imperative for students today because many learners can’t afford to take the time away from work or invest the capital in one single chunk to do a whole degree program. The programs offer bite-size chunks of education that enable people to gain work-ready skills, where they’re able to go through a series of successive approximations to reach their degree. The other thing that’s really important is that stackable credentials tend to be competency-based and are therefore a stronger signal to employers in regards to the tangible skills they can use on the job.

http://evolllution.com/programming/credentials/the-potential-for-stackable-credentials-from-30000-feet/

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Online learning, how tech is motivating learners to stay connected

June 4th, 2016

by Uma Ganesh, Financial Express

Online learning has been adopted by corporations globally. It is considered to be an important medium for imparting training for their employees recognising factors such as ease of learning, costs involved and standardisation of content. Many organisations have invested millions of dollars in creating content with features such as gamification and simulations in order to motivate the learners. Despite all such efforts, the most cited criticism with online learning model have been linked with lack of personal touch, unidimensional experience and the loneliness factor in self learning. However, lately, technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are energising online format of learning and creating enthusiasm with the learners. Learning designers are excited with the possibilities of the near life like experiences that are possible to be provided with these technologies; thus motivate the learners to stay connected with their learning programmes and more importantly help them gain deep exposure to the subject matters of their interest.

http://www.financialexpress.com/article/industry/tech/online-learning-how-tech-is-motivating-learners-to-stay-connected/268553/

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Madison’s Filament Games has become a leader in the realm of learning-based video games

June 4th, 2016

by ERIK LORENZSONN, The Capital Times

That weird dynamic between in-game and real-life identities, said Norton, is a huge reason that video games are actually valuable tools — not just for play, but for learning. Creating games that make use of that “merged identity” to impart skills and knowledge to children and adults alike is an art that Norton and the team at Filament have been working to perfect for the last 10 years. Consider “Do I Have a Right?” a 2010 game from Filament that strives to teach children about the Bill of Rights. Players take on the role of a lawyer running a law firm. They greet new clients, hear complaints, let people know whether or not their complaint reflects a breach of their constitutional rights, and refer them to attorneys who can best handle their case.

http://host.madison.com/ct/business/technology/madison-s-filament-games-has-become-a-leader-in-the/article_d711fa19-0e1d-5d2b-ae27-df53357ab7c7.html

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