Techno-News Blog

June 13, 2017

AI. Machine Learning. What’s the Impact on Digital Marketing Today?

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by Marc Poirier, SEJ Journal

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have been highly predicted trends in marketing and SEO. But how are they changing the industry now? Read on to find out more about the influence of AI on the marketing world in this Search Engine Nerds episode. Marc Poirier, CEO and co-founder of Acquisio, joins SEJ’s Brent Csutoras to talk about how artificial intelligence and machine learning impacts online marketing. Poirier also gives us a primer on how AI is affecting local search, and shares his verdict on the battle between AI and humans in search and marketing.

https://www.searchenginejournal.com/ai-machine-learning-online-marketing-podcast/199462/

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Where do teachers turn for tech help?

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by Matthew Lynch, tech Edvocate

Being a teacher and being a technology expert are two very different professions, and although some teachers are also technology experts, many teachers are left in the dark with regards to technology. Where can teachers go for technology assistance in our very technology heavy 21st century? For some teachers, especially those who have more experience, and are inching towards retirement, advances in technology are happening too quickly for teachers to keep up with the changes.  The first place many teachers are looking for help regarding technology issues is the internet. Within the last 30 years, the internet has become the primary source of information sharing worldwide. According to a 2016 survey taken by the thejournal.com, 37% of teachers go directly online to look for help regarding the use of new technologies in the classroom. The second largest category where teachers seek help is not surprisingly peers at 23%.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/teachers-turn-technology-assistance/

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Going back to school online

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By Tania Kishore Jaleel, Fortune India

Until now, online MOOC courses were mostly popular with students and professionals on a budget looking for an Ivy League education. Thousands of young students took courses in everything from mathematical thinking to mechanics from leading U.S. universities such as Yale or Stanford without ever leaving Indian shores. But, now, leading online course providers such as U.S.-based Coursera and Simplilearn are looking beyond students and talking to the government on digital literacy programmes to help bridge the skill gap in India and prepare workers for the jobs of the future. Some online education providers won’t just train the growing work force but also government employees in the intricacies of everything from data analytics to cloud computing as the country goes increasingly digital.

http://fortuneindia.com/2017/may/going-back-to-school-online-1.10866

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June 12, 2017

When You’re Not Quite Sure If Your Teacher Is Human

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by TASNIM SHAMMA, NPR

A couple of years ago, Ashok Goel was overwhelmed by the number of questions his students were asking in his course on artificial intelligence. Goel teaches computer science at Georgia Tech, sometimes to large classes, where students can ask thousands of questions online in a discussion forum. With a limited number of teaching assistants, or TAs, many of those questions weren’t getting answered in time. So, Goel came up with a plan: make an artificial intelligence “teaching assistant” that could answer some of students’ frequently asked questions. In 2015 he built Jill Watson, his AI TA — named after one of the IBM founders, Thomas J. Watson. “Raising Jill is like raising a young child,” Goel says. “Initially when your child is very, very young, she just remembers all kinds of things she has heard from you, but she doesn’t understand it.” He says the newest version of Jill now understands concepts. Eventually he wants to export these artificial teachers to countries like India to try to boost literacy rates.

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/05/08/524550295/when-youre-not-quite-sure-if-your-teacher-is-human

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Researchers Have Created an AI That Is Naturally Curious

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by Tom Ward, Futurism

Researchers at the University of California (UC), Berkeley, have produced an artificial intelligence (AI) that is naturally curious. They tested it successfully by having it play Super Mario and VizDoom (a rudimentary 3-D shooter), as the video linked below shows. Most current AIs are trained using ‘Reinforcement Learning’ — they are rewarded when they perform a task that helps them to reach a goal or complete a function. This is a useful and effective strategy for teaching AI to complete specific tasks — as shown by the AI who beat the AlphaGo world number one — but less useful when you want a machine to be autonomous and operate outside of direct commands. This is crucial step to integrating AI into the real world and having it solve real world problems because, as Agrawal says, “rewards in the real world are very sparse.”

https://futurism.com/researchers-have-created-an-ai-that-is-naturally-curious/

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The Rise of the Online Higher Education Leader

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BY ADAM STONE , Converge

Not so long ago “online” meant “sidelines” in higher education. Professionals in the field often were treated as second-string players on a college’s administrative team. Things are changing. Online professionals in higher ed today increasingly say they have a seat at the table. They are equal partners in developing institutional strategy, and that new clout is giving them the freedom and the flexibility to experiment with new ideas. It’s “an exciting time to be a professional in our field,” said Khusro Kidwai, assistant dean of distance learning at Northwestern University School of Professional Studies.  Ray Schroeder saw this reflected in a title change two years ago. After nearly two decades with the University of Illinois, Springfield, he got new business cards that read “associate vice chancellor for online learning.” It was a reflection not just of his own seniority, but of the evolving place of online learning. “The role within the university has changed,” he said. “Online used to be held at arm’s length: It was for extension, it was for continuing education. Now it has moved into the mainstream.” In 2001, Debbie Cavalier helped launch Berklee Online, the distance learning arm of the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Today the online program touches 9,000 students a year, more than double the 4,000 annual enrollment of the traditional campus.

http://www.centerdigitaled.com/higher-ed/The-Rise-of-the-Online-Higher-Education-Leader.html

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June 11, 2017

“In future, education will be either blended or fully online” Interview with Amit Goyal, edX India

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by Praggya Guptaa, Governance Now

MOOCs will not replace universities, but rather enhance the quality of education by incorporating blended learning. In future, education will be either blended or fully online. Pure face-to-face education will exist only in history books. In blended classrooms, the on-campus university course can leverage the power of MOOCs to free up classroom time for interactive collaboration and discussion, testing and problem-solving. This model creates better efficiencies in the classroom and can foster a better quality of education overall for the money.

http://www.governancenow.com/views/interview/in-future-education-will-be-either-blended-or-fully-online-amit-goyal-edx-digitisation

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10 Tips for Creating and Selling Online Courses

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by Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead, Small Business Trends

Creating courses to sell online is a great way to funnel your expertise into a rewarding and profitable channel. If you’re an expert, specialist or highly knowledgeable in a certain area, why not share your knowledge to a global audience and earn some money as you do so? Of course, successfully creating and selling online courses takes time, knowledge and commitment. To shed some light on how to effectively create and sell courses online, Small Business Trends spoke to David Siteman Garland, the creator of The Rise To The Top and Create Awesome Online Courses. David helps people create and sell online courses, and has assisted more than 3,500 students in over 100 countries to create successful courses, on everything from baby sleep training to clarinet lessons for adults.

https://smallbiztrends.com/2017/05/creating-and-selling-online-courses.html

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11 ways to make your online course go global | Expert column

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By Sarah Cordiner, Inside Business

I have over 40 online courses, have built close to 1,000 courses for other people and have more than 7,000 students enrolled in my online courses in over 130 countries. Here’s some tips I’ve used to grow my global student base. Break it up into its smallest parts. Consumers are now in control of their knowledge because they have the power to jump onto a search engine and ask “How to xxx.” A great way to rapidly go global is to start providing your audience with those answers. If your content appears as the result for every “how to” question your audience has, then it is your courses they are going to buy. Here’s what to do: Write down every question your audience has on your topic, write a simple “tip” answer to each question and record that answer as a video.

http://pilotonline.com/inside-business/news/columns/ways-to-make-your-online-course-go-global-expert-column/article_43264387-0816-5ae6-be49-7bff487d0b96.html

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June 10, 2017

Asynch Delivery and the LMS Still Dominate for Online Programs

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By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

While a recent research project examined enrollment patterns for online courses, a new survey is looking at broader questions related to online programs, this one based on responses from “chief online officers.” Produced by Quality Matters and Eduventures, the “Changing Landscape of Online Education (CHLOE)” offers a “baseline” examination of program development, quality measures and other structural issues. Most institutions rely on asynchronous delivery for their fully online programs. In fact, 95 percent of larger programs (those with 2,500 or more online program students) are “wholly asynchronous” while 1.5 percent are mainly or completely synchronous. About three-quarters (73 percent) of mid-sized programs (schools with between 500 and 2,499 online program students) and 62 percent of smaller programs are fully asynchronous.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/05/22/asynch-delivery-and-the-lms-still-dominate-for-online-programs.aspx

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Why Professors Shouldn’t Ban Smart Phones

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by Matt Lynch, tech Edvocate

As smartphones have become more common, educators have struggled with the question of what to do with smartphones in the classroom. For K-12 educators, the answer has been to ban smartphones from the classroom completely. College professors have also banned smartphones in increasing numbers. But now there’s some evidence to suggest that banning smartphones in the college classroom isn’t such a good idea. A study conducted by researchers in Singapore found that undergraduate students who were allowed to keep their phones with them actually scored better on tasks that measured their cognitive functioning. Even when they weren’t allowed to use their phones, students who were allowed to keep their phones in their pockets performed better than students whose phones were confiscated.

http://www.theedadvocate.org/professors-shouldnt-ban-smartphones/

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Elon Musk Just Unveiled Breakthrough AI Research. Here’s What You Need to Know.

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by Kristin Houser, Futurism

Elon Musk co-founded artificial intelligence non-profit OpenAI just announced it has created an AI system that can learn to complete a task in reality after watching just one demonstration of that task in a simulated environment. The research company co-founded and chaired by Elon Musk used two separate neural networks to develop its one-shot imitation learning system. The first, a vision network, analyzes an image from the robot’s camera to determine the location of objects in reality. The second, an imitation network, determines the intent of a task it observes a human demonstrating via a virtual simulation. It then imitates the task in the real-world setting. Again, this network was trained on thousands of virtual demonstrations, but none that took place in reality.

https://futurism.com/elon-musk-just-unveiled-breakthrough-ai-research-heres-what-your-need-to-know/

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June 9, 2017

Google’s New AI Is Better at Creating AI Than the Company’s Engineers

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by Tom Ward, Futurism

At its I/O ‘17 conference this week, Google shared details of its AutoML project, an artificial intelligence that can assist in the creation of other AIs. By automating some of the complicated process, AutoML could make machine learning more accessible to non-experts. The AutoML project focuses on deep learning, a technique that involves passing data through layers of neural networks. Creating these layers is complicated, so Google’s idea was to create AI that could do it for them.

https://futurism.com/googles-new-ai-is-better-at-creating-ai-than-the-companys-engineers/

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Southern Cross University education masters borrows from MBA to teach leadership

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by Tim Dodd, Financial Review

As teachers and school principals are faced with increased challenges in leading people and managing organisations Southern Cross University (SCU) has added elements of an MBA degree to a postgraduate course for teachers. The university’s new online master of education, which commences in July is meant to give senior teachers the skills to be a school principal or department head. “Most masters of education do not offer MBA components,” said Jo-Anne Ferreira, who heads SCU’s school of education.

http://www.afr.com/leadership/management/business-education/southern-cross-university-education-masters-borrows-from-mba-to-teach-leadership-20170519-gw8rbj

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9 Steps to Keeping Student Data Safe

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by Matthew Lynch, tech Edvocate

Technology makes accessing student data rather easy. However, all student data needs to be maintained in a confidential manner to protect students’ rights, security, and dignity. At the same time, federal and state laws and guidelines may have certain rules regarding the type of safety precautions that must be taken regarding this data, but they might not specify specific tasks. Unfortunately, not all schools may provide a higher level of interpretation of those guidelines and laws. Therefore, there some steps need to be considered when protecting student data.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/9-steps-keep-student-data-safe/

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June 8, 2017

Report Proposes Ethical Practices for Use of Predictive Analytics in Higher Ed

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By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

The productive use of predictive analytics in higher education is almost a foregone conclusion. Being able to predict whether a student will enroll in your institution, stay on track in his or her studies or need extra support to succeed seems like just the kind of data that can help colleges and universities meet their enrollment goals, better target recruiting efforts and more strategically apply their institutional help. However, the application of data in this way also cries out for a set of ethical practices to prevent its abuse. For example, the same data that can help students succeed could also be used to pinpoint which low-income students not to bother recruiting because their chances of enrollment are smaller than more affluent candidates.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/05/17/report-proposes-ethical-practices-for-use-of-predictive-analytics-in-higher-ed.aspx

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6 VR Trends to Watch in Education

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By Sri Ravipati, Campus Technology

Virtual reality is taking off in higher education. VR devices are expected to increase 85 percent by 2020, with gaming and educational applications driving most of that growth. But what areas of VR should educators specifically focus on and what tech can they look out for? “We can expect to see certain trends in VR to move forward, while others will disappear. As devices continue to shrink we will see the development of augmented and mixed reality experiences that will power compelling visualizations, immersive storytelling, gamified simulations and learning experiences,” said Maya Georgieva, an ed tech strategist, author and speaker with more than 15 years of experience in higher education and global education.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/05/16/6-vr-trends-to-watch-in-education.aspx

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8 Tips for Lecture Capture on a Shoestring

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By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Whether you’re flipping your courses, creating videos to help your students understand specific concepts or recording lectures for exam review, these tips can help you optimize your production setup on a tight budget. Burriel oversees what he calls the “media ecosystem” at his university, a topic on which he speaks nationally. While Oregon State maintains media production units for creating high-quality video, these days, he noted, “everyone’s got a video creation device in their pocket.” In fact, he estimates that 90 percent of the video creation done on campus is user-generated content, whether it’s faculty making videos to help students learn, students creating videos for assignments, webinar production or extension service tutorials made for people out in the field.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/05/17/8-tips-for-lecture-capture-on-a-shoestring.aspx

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June 7, 2017

Building Support for Online Learning at Small Residential Institutions

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By Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

Big time online learning gets all the press. Read the Digital Learning Compass report on online education enrollment and you will see lots of big numbers. In 2015 over 6 million students took at least one online course – 5 million undergrad, a million grad – with bout half of these distance learners are taking courses exclusively online. The real online learning story, however, is not about size. It’s about change. The big online learning story of 2017 is not about the few schools that offer distance education to ten of thousands of students. Rather, it is about the impact that online education can have on teaching and learning at every institution. And this impact may be greatest at our most traditional residential colleges and universities.

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology-and-learning/building-support-online-learning-small-residential-institutions

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Designing Your Online Course: Learning From an Expert

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By Richard Chang, THE Journal

I always start off with this question: “Have you ever felt inept, because you tried to open a door the wrong way?” There are these types of doors called Norman doors. You get confused about whether to pull instead of push, or vice versa. Don Norman was the author of The Design of Everyday Things. In the case of Norman doors, it’s poor design. If you’re opening a door the wrong way, that’s a fleeting moment. But if you start off a course on the wrong foot, because it’s poorly designed, that sets the tone for the whole rest of a student’s experience with the course. We look at a teacher-developed course. We look at that first walking through the door — when the student begins, is there stumbling around? That’s one of the first things we’ll do in that workshop.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2017/05/19/designing-your-online-course-learning-from-an-expert.aspx

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Do Mobile Devices in the Classroom Really Improve Learning Outcomes?

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by Matthew Lynch, tech Edvocate

Mobile devices as teaching tools are becoming a more and more common part of the American education experience in classrooms, from preschool through graduate school. As far back as 2010, reports were surfacing that mobile apps are not only engaging, but educational, for children as young as preschool. PBS Kids, in partnership with the US Department of Education, found that the vocabulary of kids ages three to seven who played its Martha Speaks mobile app improved up to 31%. Abilene Christian University conducted research around the same time that found math students who used the iOS app “Statistics 1” saw improvement in their final grades. They were also more motivated to finish lessons on mobile devices than through traditional textbooks and workbooks.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/mobile-devices-classroom-really-improve-learning-outcomes-2/

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