What Google’s virtual field trips look like in the classroom

August 3rd, 2015

By Stephen Noonoo, eSchool News

Google Expeditions are field trips with a virtual reality twist – google-expeditions. Last spring, Hector Camacho guided his high school economics class on comprehensive tours of the New York Stock Exchange, Federal Reserve banks, and the Treasury Building. Students swept their eyes up countless Neoclassical columns before heading inside for a detailed look — all without leaving the library of their Mountain View, California school. The catch? Students were plugged into Google’s latest virtual reality creation — Expeditions, which creates immersive, 360-degree tours out of a cardboard viewer and a smartphone.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/07/23/google-expeditions-class-599/

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Growth of a combined high school, community college program

August 3rd, 2015

by Associated Press

More students flock to program that allows for simultaenous high school diploma, associate’s degree college-diploma. A River Parishes Community College (La.) program that lets students simultaneously earn a high school diploma and an associate’s degree will have its largest freshman class yet when school begins Aug. 10. The Advocate reports more than 100 ninth-graders have enrolled in what’s called the Early College Option program, a partnership of the community college and the Ascension Parish school district.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/07/24/combined-college-program-674/

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University gives students mobile personal assistants

August 3rd, 2015

By Andrew Barbour, eSchool News

Texas A&M at Galveston hopes a new personal assistant app will help students manage their time more effectively, engage more fully with the campus community—and stay in school. Many freshmen find the freedom—and responsibilities—of college overwhelming. Loosed from tightly scheduled lives overseen by hovering parents, they lack the ability to manage their own time and can struggle as a result. Nationwide, about a third of college freshmen drop out every year. Texas A&M at Galveston is hoping that a new mobile app will help address the problem by serving as a personal smart assistant for its students.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/mobile-personal-assistants-299/

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Texas College Tries ‘Drop-in’ AV Setup in Collaborative Space

August 2nd, 2015

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

A Texas college is trying out a “drop-in” audiovisual setup in a collaborative classroom. Lone Star College’s Tomball campus has added technology from TEKVOX that allows small student groups to work together and share their computer screens. The classroom has four student “huddle pods,” each outfitted with the company’s 4K Quadview technology, which enables interactive collaboration for up to six participants tiled onto a single display or shifted to a single high-definition resolution. The pods are integrated with a podium.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/07/24/texas-college-tries-drop-in-av-setup-in-collaborative-space.aspx

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High-tech summer school

August 2nd, 2015

By Lois Ann Baker, Cornwall Standard-Freeholder

As with everything, even the face of summer school is changing. Gone are the days when those students unlucky enough to not quite make the grade have to give up part of their summer, stuck in a classroom in summer school. Classes are still offered, but thanks to modern technology, classes offered in the summer semester are done online. Tim Mills, superintendent of education for Upper Canada District School Board, said this is the first year they have not have any stand-up model, face-to-face classrooms. “The numbers dwindled over the years and really made it difficult to run a quality program,” said Mills. “The numbers were so low.” Mills said they are not the only school board offering online classes.

http://www.standard-freeholder.com/2015/07/24/high-tech-summer-school

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Learning to cope with work in future

August 2nd, 2015

by Diana Clement, NZ Herald

‘The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn,” wrote Alvin Toffler. His predictions are coming true as the very nature of work is changing before our eyes. Technology is disrupting a wide range of professions and the workforce is likely to look very different by the time most workers today hang up their briefcases for the last time. We could even find ourselves sending our avatars or holograms to the office instead of ourselves, says AUT professor Tim Bentley, who heads up AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11486428

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Homeschool and online programs becoming a popular way to educate

August 1st, 2015

By ARRIEL VINSON, Indianpolis Recorder

In 2012, 1,773 school-aged students were being homeschooled, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This was an increase from 2003, with 1,096 homeschooled students and 2007, with 1,520 home-schooled students. Some parents prefer their children not attend public or private schools, in fear of their child not learning at a quick enough pace, falling behind or maybe even being bullied. For these parents, homeschooling was an option they were willing to explore. Online programs and schools are growing in Indianapolis. Some programs are more online-based, while other programs have a blended-learning approach, using online and in-person courses to teach students. Following is a list of online programs in Indianapolis.

http://www.indianapolisrecorder.com/article_6dfb84c7-8d04-5f4b-b396-fc79000e1637.html

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MIT looks to stay in vanguard of digital education

August 1st, 2015

By Nick Anderson, Washington Post

One way to find the future of higher education is to track the brainstormers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who often seem to be a step ahead of the pack. So it matters when L. Rafael Reif, the MIT president, says that an idea for digital innovation is “on the table.” Reif, in a recent visit with The Washington Post, said the institute is pondering whether to launch new online education programs that would generate revenue. “All this is on the table,” he said, “and we’re exploring it.” Such programs, Reif said, could help subsidize the operation of the campus in Cambridge. “Yes, of course,” he said. “That’s the beauty of it.” Reif, a fervent believer in residential education as well as online innovation, said he is continually looking to generate revenue that can “support the mother ship.” Exactly what form these online programs would take remains to be seen.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2015/07/23/mit-looks-to-stay-in-vanguard-of-digital-education/

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MIT Offering Free Poker Class Online

August 1st, 2015

by Ed Scimia, Cards Chat

If you want to improve your poker game, there is an endless supply of books, videos, forums and online streams out there that can help you take your skills to a new level. But few of them have the kind of clout that comes from a class offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The new course, known as Poker Theory and Analytics, is taught by Kevin Desmond. Over the course of eight video lectures, viewers are introduced first to the basic strategies of poker and then to more complex decision making skills. As a graduate-level course, the material can get pretty advanced at times, but there’s plenty of guidance to help you follow along.

http://www.cardschat.com/news/mit-offering-free-poker-class-online-13971

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The new frontier for Advanced Placement: Online AP lessons, for free

July 31st, 2015

By Nick Anderson, Washington Post

On Wednesday, a new sequence of lessons for high school Advanced Placement courses in calculus, physics and macroeconomics went live on a free Web site founded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. The lessons, developed by Davidson College for the site called edX, represent a new step in the evolution of ties between the popular AP college-level program and the “massive open online courses” known as MOOCs.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2015/07/22/the-new-frontier-for-advanced-placement-online-ap-lessons-for-free/

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North Carolina rolls out online physical education classes

July 31st, 2015

by Associated Press

North Carolina’s Virtual Public School will be launching an online high school physical education class this fall. Multiple media outlets report that the state’s Department of Public Instruction announced the plan for the pilot program on Tuesday. The state says students will watch an online video demonstration given by a teacher. Pupils will then be tasked with filming themselves practicing the physical activity or sport. The state says the course could be useful for students trying catching to up on credits or for others who are homebound.

http://www.greensboro.com/news/north-carolina-rolls-out-online-physical-education-classes/article_2f4d3846-3066-11e5-b178-abe7306c3dcb.html

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A Dialogical Approach to Learning Technology Success

July 31st, 2015

by Leif Nelson and Daniel L Gold, EDUCAUSE Review Online

Key Takeaways: A dialogical approach to learning technology initiatives at Boise State University ensures transparency and buy-in from the campus community. Project management methodologies add value to academic initiatives — finding similarities among business and academic processes can help create a common understanding. An ongoing dialogue between business and academic cultures will lead to success in higher education institutions.

http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/dialogical-approach-learning-technology-success

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Hackathons as a New Pedagogy

July 30th, 2015

by Brandon Zoras, Edutopia

Hackathons have become a new way of doing business, creating products, advancing healthcare, and innovation. The energy is high, and so are the stakes. Can you turn an idea into a product over the course of a weekend? But let’s move beyond that. Let’s look at the teaching and learning within a hackathon. Hackathons are really the ultimate classroom. That is why Joe Romano and I (Brandon Zoras) thought it would be great to have a youth-focus hackathon across our school district. Hackathons usually take place over a set time frame such as a weekend, where different people with different skills and abilities work together to propose a solution to a problem. The solutions can be code based, wearable technology, analog, or any type of product imaginable.

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/hackathons-as-a-new-pedagogy-brandon-zoras

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Cal State San Bernardino Powers Up With Wireless Charging

July 30th, 2015

By Rhea Kelly. Campus Technology

Students at California State University, San Bernardino will soon be able to charge their mobile devices wirelessly all over campus. The school is installing the Powermat wireless charging platform in high-traffic common spaces, student union areas, study areas, and on-campus cafes and restaurants to help students stay connected to the information and learning resources they need. The next step will be a broader implementation in the university’s library and classrooms. “E-learning has become part of every student’s lifestyle with course materials, assignments and videos hosted online and accessible via mobile,” said Gerard Au, associate vice president, Information Technology Services at CSUSB, in a press release. “As mobile device usage increases, we need to extend our capability to keep up, and the Powermat platform is an important part of that infrastructure as it will allow our students to stay connected and learning all day long,”

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/07/14/cal-state-san-bernardino-powers-up-with-wireless-charging.aspx

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New Rubric-Based Scoring API Aims To Evaluate Student Performance in Digital Lessons

July 30th, 2015

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

A new application programming interface (API) is designed to enable education developers to introduce scoring analytics into simulations, games and other open-ended assessment items and digital learning objects. The API toolkit, developed by metacog, is intended to be added to programs used by educators to examine the work and thought processes done by students as they interact with digital lessons and assessments. “Our goal with metacog’s scoring service API is to enable a new generation of instruction and assessment products where students create responses instead of merely picking them,” said Owen Lawlor, the company’s chief digital officer.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/07/21/new-rubric-based-scoring-api-evaluates-student-performance-in-digital-lessons.aspx

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Summer Learning Apps

July 29th, 2015

by WBNS

You can find some great resources online to make sure your kids keep learning year round. Many of them are free. Social media behavioral expert Michele Cuthbert with Baker Creative recommends these apps and websites that are not only educational, but fun: Timeforkids.com has a variety of tools to learn, for example, about Antarctica. It also has fast facts, printable items for various grades, a slide show of explorers and info about animals. WBU.com (wild birds unlimited.com): offers live video feeds of all types of birds in their natural habitat. It also teaches kids how to set up their own wildlife habitat. Thekidzpage.com has online color pages, math and number games, picture games and paint puzzles for younger kids.

http://www.10tv.com/content/stories/2015/07/19/columbus-summer-learning-apps.html

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Online learning gets push

July 29th, 2015

By Aziza Musa, Arkansas Daily

Colleges and universities statewide are rebuilding or reinvigorating online offerings in preparation for the fall term. The revisiting of online programs is helping the higher-education institutions to compete in an already crowded field for nontraditional students — students who don’t come directly from high school or who started college but then stopped before graduating. The Arkansas Department of Higher Education has allowed more than 120 distance education providers — both in-state and out-of-state institutions that have online offerings — to operate in the state, officials have said. “There has been a renewed emphasis on improving the college attainment rate, whether certificates or degrees, of adult Arkansans, and online education is an important component of that effort,” said Brett Powell, director of the state’s Department of Higher Education.

http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2015/jul/20/online-learning-gets-push-20150720/

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School saves 150 failing students with quickie online courses

July 29th, 2015

By Susan Edelman, New York Post

Flushing HS put 150 flunking students in quickie online “credit recovery” courses and pressured teachers to reverse failing grades to boost a lower-than-50 percent graduation rate, a stunning internal ­e-mail shows. “Our benchmark of a 60 percent graduation rate in June is nonnegotiable,” ­Patricia Cuti, assistant principal for guidance, insisted in a June 1 missive to staff. With fewer than two weeks before the end of regular classes, all 150 students were enrolled in Apex Learning online courses, where they could get a quick and easy replacement for a semester or year’s work. “With 150 students failing a grad requirement, we are looking at a rate of less than 50 percent,” Cuti wrote. “Every effort to assist these students in reaching all the graduation requirements is necessary.

http://nypost.com/2015/07/19/school-saves-150-failing-students-with-quickie-online-courses/

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Arkansas invests $65 mil. in ultra high-speed internet for schools

July 28th, 2015

By Chad Hunter, Times Record

Fort Smith schools are the first to connect to Arkansas’ improved high-speed Internet system designed to offer speeds 40 times faster than the current statewide average. The $65 million initiative for improved broadband service in Arkansas schools kicked off at a small ceremony held Wednesday afternoon at the Fort Smith School District’s Rogers Center. “This is a big day for Arkansas,” Arkansas Department of Information Systems Director Mark Myers said. “That equipment is expensive and that connection is expensive, but it’s what the students of Arkansas deserve.”

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/07/20/arkansas-internet-695/

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15 Online Resources That Help Improve Essay-Writing Skills

July 28th, 2015

By Julie Petersen, THE Journal

Throughout the journey from kindergarten to 12th grade, students are supposed to gain appropriate vocabulary and grammar skills that need to be successfully implemented into essay writing. Here are some effective online tools that can help you make the art of essay writing more attractive for your students.

http://thejournal.com/Articles/2015/06/25/15-Online-Resources-That-Help-Improve-Essay-Writing-Skills.aspx

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Can Teachers Author Their Own Textbooks on the Fly?

July 28th, 2015

By David Raths, THE Journal

What happens when a school throws out the textbooks and tells teachers that they are going to become authors themselves by creating curriculum in real time as the semester progresses? That’s what the String Theory School, a charter school in Philadelphia and one of only 37 Apple Distinguished schools in the country, is discovering. Why not eliminate those bulky backpacks full of books and instead send teachers straight to iTunes U to find, customize or create their own lessons aligned to standards as they go? “The teachers themselves could expertly design it, align it with standards and have it be personalized for the students,” said DiPaulo, speaking at an ISTE conference presentation in Philadelphia in late June.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2015/07/14/can-teachers-author-their-own-textbooks-on-the-fly.aspx

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