Creating Engaging Assignments

July 6th, 2015

by L. Lamar Nisly, Sarah Cecire, Melissa Friesen, and Amanda Sensenig, Tomorrow’s Professor

Miller (2011) defined student engagement as “students’ willingness to actively participate in the learning process and to persist despite obstacles and challenges. Indicators of student engagement include class attendance and participation, submission of required work, involvement in the learning environment, and participation in the extra-curricular learning opportunities provided on their campus” (2). Each of the three case studies presented here details an example of course assignments that led to significant engagement by students.

http://cgi.stanford.edu/~dept-ctl/cgi-bin/tomprof/enewsletter.php?msgno=1424

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Teachers’ Perspectives and Practices in Applying Technology to Enhance Learning in the Classroom

July 6th, 2015

by Tantri Sari Safitry, et al; iJet

The use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the classroom activities has become more famous to the teachers over the last decade. This study tries to investigate the teachers’ perspectives and practices toward the use of ICT in their classroom activities. A survey was conducted to collect the data of the research. Using a revised expectancy-value theory called the Technology Implementation Questionnaire (TIQ), a questionnaire was administered among 20 elementary teachers. The findings revealed that there are still teachers who have more than 10 years experiences in teaching but they never got any formal training on using ICT. The lack of proficiency in ICT such as in using software, lack of technical support from the school also make them feel stressed out even though they have positive perspectives in applying ICT in their classroom activities.

http://online-journals.org/index.php/i-jet/article/view/4356

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Apple Watch, wearable technology raising cheating fears at universities

July 6th, 2015

by Larissa Garza, Phoenix Business Journal

The Apple Watch is being banned in universities and standardized testing centers worldwide to prevent cheating. The Apple Watch, along with other wearable technology, is forcing a number of universities and colleges to institute bans on the technology to curb potential cheating on exams and tests. While no university in Arizona has instituted such bans on wearable tech, the Chronicle for Higher Education reports that universities in Australia have recently placed restrictions on smart watches. The University of New South Wales also banned wristbands during exams.

http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/news/2015/06/23/apple-watch-wearable-technology-raising-cheating.html

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Digital Curriculum Results in Greater Achievement for Boston Public Schools

July 5th, 2015

PR News Wire

Boston Public Schools (BPS) recently announced a historic milestone with the graduation rate at the highest level in recorded history. Data released by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) shows the 2014 four-year graduation rate stands at 66.7 percent, up from 65.9 percent in 2013 and continuing an upward trend since 2006 when that figure was 59 percent. The data also shows the district’s annual dropout rate has dipped to a record low at 3.8 percent. Director of Online and Blended Learning for BPS High Schools, Janice Manfredi, attributes the increase in achievement in part to the use of Apex Learning digital curriculum for the district’s credit recovery program, which targets students most at-risk of dropping out.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/digital-curriculum-results-in-greater-achievement-for-boston-public-schools-300103845.html

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Online Learning with a Social Twist, Learnquiq.com Launches to Give Teachers Income and Students Knowledge

July 5th, 2015

by Digital Journal

It’s free to access and free to teach. How did education get so simple? Launched in May with an innovative approach, Learnquiq.com combines social networking with online learning. Quite literally becoming an ‘information super highway’ the new platform already offers over 75 self-paced courses and an education-based newsfeed. Illuminating students on everything from self-improvement to technology one could ask, what’s in it for the teachers? Answer being, a commission-based payout structure and the satisfaction of working with students hungry to learn.

http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/2594775

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More steps toward online school

July 5th, 2015

by The Virginian-Pilot

Every Virginia student enrolling in high school this fall must take a course online, or part of a course, in order to fulfill state-mandated requirements for graduation. The move, approved three years ago by state lawmakers, was designed to familiarize students with technologies reshaping education, business and every other aspect of contemporary life. Online learning has grown exponentially in the past decade, particularly in higher education, where more and more colleges and universities have embraced the flexibility it allows. And Virtual Virginia, the commonwealth’s online high school program, is poised to recruit as many as 100 students to pilot the state’s first full-time online diploma program.

http://hamptonroads.com/2015/06/more-steps-toward-online-school

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Designing Learning Spaces for Both Online and On-Campus Delivery

July 4th, 2015

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

It isn’t easy to set up a production learning space on campus for the online learner. Even harder is setting up a classroom that can accommodate the remote learner while also handling presentations for face-to-face students. That was the challenge handed over to Phil Conrad, director of technical operations for the Engineering Professional Education program at Purdue University. The program delivers courses online and in person to working professionals who are pursuing a graduate degree in engineering via distance learning. In Spring 2015 it encompassed nearly three dozen classes and 10 different departments catering to about 610 students.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/06/24/designing-learning-spaces-for-both-online-and-on-campus-delivery.aspx

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Personalized eLearning: A Customized Approach To Accelerated eLearning

July 4th, 2015

by Marina Arshavskiy, eLearning Industry

The concept of “Personalization” can easily be understood from taking a closer look at some of the existing digital technologies that all of us use. For instance, from the browser that you use to roam the Internet, to the email and messaging systems that you use to stay connected with friends and family, to the digital boxes you use to watch TV shows and movies online – they all offer personalization and customization options. However, when it comes to eLearning systems, “personalization” takes on a whole new meaning. Personalized eLearning is the act of customizing:

The learning environment (e.g. how the content appears to the learner – font sizes, colors, backgrounds, themes etc.)

The learning content itself (e.g. audio, video, textual, graphical etc.)

The interaction between facilitator, student and the learning content (e.g. mouse, stylus, tap/swipe, keyboard; e.g. using “Gaming”, Quizzes, Online discussions, Demonstrate-do-check-reinforce, Adaptive learning approaches, Tutorials)

http://elearningindustry.com/personalized-elearning-customized-approach-accelerated-elearning

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Harvard, MIT Presidents Share Lessons From Online Learning Experiment

July 4th, 2015

by WGBH The Takeaway

Three years ago, Harvard University and MIT embarked on a unique experiment when they launched a nonprofit called edX. The start-up promised a free online education, with university-level classes for anyone living anywhere across the globe. The massive open online courses (MOOCs) offered by edX held the promise of potentially revolutionizing higher education and helping with the problem of skyrocketing college costs. The Takeaway talks with Drew Gilpin Faust, the president of Harvard, and Rafael Reif, the president of MIT, about the most important lessons they have learned from their pioneering venture.

http://blogs.wgbh.org/on-campus/2015/6/23/harvard-mit-presidents-share-lessons-online-learning-experiment/

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Report: Ed Sector Target of More Malware Events than any Other

July 3rd, 2015

By Joshua Bolkan, THE Journal

More than a third of all malware events in 2014 occurred within the education sector, according to NTT Com Security’s 2015 Global Threat Intelligence Report (GTIR). The report, which analyzed more than 6 billion attacks for trends, points to the rise of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs. “[C]onnecting large amounts of users to public networks through a variety of devices (laptops, tablets, smartphones), cyber criminals know to target this vulnerable audience segment, resulting in this sector having the most detected malware-related events,” according to a news release. “Students and staff use these vulnerable networks to check grades, schedule meetings, log into financial assets and more, opening up their personally identifiable information to criminals.”

http://thejournal.com/articles/2015/06/23/report-ed-sector-target-of-more-malware-events-than-any-other.aspx

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Future of textbooks increasingly looks digital

July 3rd, 2015

By Lee Shearer, Athens Banner-Herald

Students and teachers in some University of Georgia introductory biology courses experimented with using a free digital textbook instead of expensive paper texts in fall 2013 courses, and liked it. About 86 percent of nearly 700 students surveyed after the courses said their online textbook was as good as or better than a traditional paper textbook. But that experiment was just a fraction of what’s coming, according to Houston Davis, executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer of the University System of Georgia.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/future-digital-textbooks-563/

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Common Core in Action Series

July 3rd, 2015

by Edutopia

Grade-level and subject-specific resources for Common Core-aligned lessons. This collection of blog posts highlights lesson plans, ideas, and other useful resources to help you bring Common Core-aligned lessons into your classroom. We’re actively building this repository of ideas every week, so make sure to bookmark this page. You can also follow #CCSS or #CCSSChat on Twitter for the latest updates.

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/common-core-in-action-series

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New bill would support innovative internet pilots for students

July 2nd, 2015

By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

New legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate would support innovative methods to give students access to the internet and digital tools outside of classrooms. The Digital Learning Equity Act of 2015, introduced by Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), would support pilot initiatives that increase student access to digital resources, increase student, parent, and educator engagement, and improve students’ chances to participate in new learning models. It also provides for a national study of data related to the digital divide, including barriers to students’ home internet access, how educators confront that reality in their classrooms, and how no at-home internet access can impact student engagement.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/06/23/bill-internet-plans-784/

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Virtual reality STEM program helps special needs students

July 2nd, 2015

by eSchool News

On a typical day at Lee Mathson Middle School in East San Jose, California, students can explore the inside of a volcano via a three-dimensional, holographic image. The Mathson students are just completing their first year learning with the zSpace STEM lab, which includes a set of student virtual reality stations and a teacher station, each outfitted with an interactive stylus as well as a wide variety of educational software ranging from science and physics to engineering. Virtual-holographic images can be “lifted” from the screen and manipulated with the stylus. The impact of zSpace for students and teachers is exciting, particularly because many students using the system have special needs, and have experienced frustration learning in the traditional way.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/06/24/san-jose-virtual-093/

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New Research Links Online Support With Increased Course Completion and Better Retention for Community College Students

July 2nd, 2015

by Marketwatch

Conducted over a two-year period across four community colleges, the study found that access to online tutoring had a significant impact on retention rates, and student performance within selected courses. Over 1,600 students enrolled in college algebra, introductory statistics and introductory English composition courses participated in the research. College completion has gained nationwide prominence in recent months, with an intense focus from the White House and lawmakers, as community college completion rates hover at just 20%. According to the study, the use of online tutoring had a significant impact on student persistence, cutting in half the percentage of students who failed to return in the subsequent semester. The study also found that that Tutor.com’s effect on retention persisted beyond just one semester. After one year 61% of students who used Tutor.com sessions returned, while only 51% of those students who did not use Tutor.com sessions returned.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-research-links-online-support-with-increased-course-completion-and-better-retention-for-community-college-students-2015-06-23?reflink=MW_news_stmp

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Virtual Reality Helps Bridge the Gap Between Online and In-person Learning

July 1st, 2015

by Noelle Phansalkar, Outer Places

Since the recent surge in virtual reality development, experts from all fields have been eager to study its potential impacts. Most recently, Conrad Tucker, Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Design at Penn State, conducted a study to test whether using virtual reality would have a significant impact on online learning. Tucker selected the Oculus Rift for his purposes, undoubtedly due to its relative inexpensiveness and accessibility. He also fitted participants with a haptic glove, which allows the wearer to simulate the feel of virtual objects. The participant sample consisted of 54 undergraduate engineering students who were tasked with assembling a virtual coffee pot from a number of disparate pieces. Half undertook this task with the help of the virtual reality hardware, while the other half used a simple computer program. The results were unsurprising; the mean completion time for the control group was 49.04 seconds, while the mean time for the group using V.R. was 23.21 seconds – less than half the time.

http://www.outerplaces.com/science/item/9154/virtual-reality-helps-bridge-the-gap-between-online-and-in-person-learning

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Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Market 2015-2020

July 1st, 2015

by Marketwatch The MOOC’s market is exhibiting great potential to grow exponentially over the next few years. In 2015, the technology is poised to see substantial uptake due to the growing number of connected devices, high enrolment rates in MOOCs, the increasing acceptance of MOOCs based training in enterprises around the globe and the increasing demand for low cost, high quality and globalised education. Consumer devices such as smartphones, tablets, wearable gadgets and eReaders are currently enjoying high adoption rates across the globe. With the ever increasing number of connected devices, MOOCs has the potential to disrupt higher education through widespread uptake of distance learning. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/massive-open-online-course-mooc-market-2015-2020-meducation-distance-open-e-learning-in-higher-education-enterprise-2015-06-22

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Creative Destruction in Teaching (and the Ongoing Relevance of Teachers)

July 1st, 2015

by Don Wettrick, Edutopia

More technological tools exist in education today than at any time in history. We have great apps such as Skype and Google Hangouts for collaboration, literally hundreds of educational games for learning, and YouTube videos and blogs for gaining and sharing knowledge. In my class, students are encouraged to use all of these tools to explore their passions and test their ideas. Using technology, they learn independently and in small groups, very often without my guidance. For some educators, the fearful question is: “Could those apps and tools ever replace teachers?” The answer lies in how we define teaching. Or learning. Or innovation.

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/creative-destruction-ongoing-relevance-teachers-don-wettrick

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Internet of Things Heading Toward $1.7 Trillion by 2020, Set to Rock ‘IT Status Quo’

June 30th, 2015

By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

As the Internet of Things (IoT) infuses life and work, the dimensions of the market are coming into clearer focus for those who study its momentum. According to IT research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), IoT is expected to grow from $656 billion in 2014 to $1.7 trillion in 2020, representing a compound annual growth rate of nearly 17 percent. That’s considerably smaller than IDC forecasted in 2013, when IoT was anticipated to generate global revenues of $8.9 trillion by 2020. More than two-thirds of the current 2020 market value will be made up of devices, connectivity and IT services. Modules and sensors (the devices) will single-handedly represent almost 32 percent of the total.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2015/06/22/2020-1.7-trillion-iot-market-will-rock-it-status-quo.aspx

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8 Absorbing Apps and Websites for Informal Learning

June 30th, 2015

By Graphite, THE Journal

Common Sense Media’s service Graphite, which offers independent ratings and reviews of learning apps and websites, has compiled this list of apps and websites that help students learn informally over the summer. For complete reviews, and for each app’s “Learning Rating,” visit the Graphite website.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2015/06/09/8-absorbing-apps-and-websites-for-informal-learning.aspx

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U Colorado Boulder Arms STEM Teachers with Game Design Concepts

June 30th, 2015

By Joshua Bolkan, The Journal

A group of about 100 K-12 teachers has completed a week-long summer institute, dubbed Scalable Game Design, at the University of Colorado Boulder focused on using game design to teach computer science. The group of STEM and language arts teachers also learned about teaching computational, critical thinking and problem solving literacy through activities such as student demonstrations of video games made with fruit, Play-Doh and USB cables. Funded by the National Science Foundation and Google CS4HS, the institute provides free training to accepted teachers from the United States at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2015/06/17/u-colorado-boulder-arms-stem-teachers-with-game-design-concepts.aspx

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