Reflecting for Change, From Journaling to Blogging

October 31st, 2014

by Rafranz Davis, Edutopia

On the day of my college graduation, my math education professor cornered me to hand me a gift that would forever set the tone for my career in education. Dr. Vanessa Huse gave me a journal with a note inside telling me to use it for reflecting daily on three things that I could improve upon, as well as three things that had gone great. That was years ago. At the time, I thought that a journal was such an odd gift. Little did I know that this gift from a professor would be my ticket to becoming not only a reflective blogger, but also a growth-minded educator.

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/reflecting-for-change-journaling-blogging-rafranz-davis

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UC Irvine Extension Adds 12 New Distance Courses for Recent Grads

October 31st, 2014

By Joshua Bolkan, Campus Technology

The University of California, Irvine Extension has launched 12 new career readiness courses to be offered as four Coursera Specializations. A Coursera Specialization is “a targeted sequence of courses with an applied final project,” according to information on the Coursera blog. “These courses are designed to provide learners with further skills and abilities to succeed in today’s workplace,” according to a news release. “The UC Irvine Extension courses consist of online training and a sequence of development sessions, intended for new graduates and other professionals who want to learn practical skills that will improve their marketability as employees.”

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/10/16/uc-irvine-extension-adds-12-new-distance-courses-for-recent-grads.aspx

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Homestead students give flex days good grade

October 31st, 2014

By Kevin Kilbane, The News-Sentinel

Several Homestead High School students were nearly unanimous in describing one big benefit of the school’s e-learning flex days — they get to sleep in. But students interviewed said they feel they learn as much as during a regular school day, just in a more time-efficient manner. “It’s actually very, very relaxing,” senior Ethan Snead, 17, said Tuesday morning during break from the online classwork he was doing during Homestead’s second e-learning flex day. Southwest Allen County Schools was one of 12 school districts in Indiana granted state approval to hold e-learning flex days this school year. The district chose to implement the program at Homestead, which has 2,300 students.

http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20141022/NEWS/141029900

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Adaptive Math Learning Platform KnowRe Raises $6.8M

October 30th, 2014

by Catherine Shu, Tech Crunch

KnowRe, an online math learning site for secondary students, has raised a new round of $6.8 million. The funding was led by returning investor SoftBank Ventures Korea, with participation from KTB Network Partners Fund, Partners Investment, and SparkLabs Global Ventures. In a statement, KnowRe co-founder and co-CEO David Joo said the company’s Series A “allows us to scale our distribution in the U.S. on the heels of strong demand from schools and districts at our launch and further our product development and offerings for the U.S., Korea, and broader Asian markets.” KnowRe was first profiled by TechCrunch in January 2013, when it raised $1.4 million from SoftBank Ventures Korea for its adaptive learning platform. The site’s technology personalizes lessons for each student depending on their progress. The platform is intended to be used by teachers as part of homework assignments or with tutors and educators during classes.

http://techcrunch.com/2014/10/22/knowre-seriesa/

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Blended Learning Provides Pathway to Success for High School Students

October 30th, 2014

by Joseph Rapposelli, THE Journal

Many secondary schools are beginning to embrace the idea of distance learning possibilities for their students. Over the past few years, school districts around the country have implemented some type of blended learning into their curriculum. It is clear that an increasing number of school districts are making online and blended learning options available to their students. A 2013 report, “Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning,” commissioned by the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) found that in 2013-14, more than 75 percent of school districts have some online or blended options. With this dramatic increase in online learning programs, school administrators struggle to determine if online learning is as productive as traditional face-to-face formatted classes. Research (Heterick and Twigg, 2003) suggests there is evidence that blended learning has the potential to be more effective and efficient when compared to a traditional classroom model.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/10/22/blended-learning-provides-pathway-to-success-for-high-school-students.aspx

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New online program will instruct teachers on developing, teaching online courses

October 30th, 2014

Indiana University Northwest

Responding to the growing demand for online educators, Indiana University Northwest has announced it will offer a new K-12 Online Teaching Certificate beginning in January 2015. The certificate program, which will be taught fully online, is a 15-credit hour program that will instruct certified K-12 teachers on how to develop and teach online courses geared toward primary and secondary level students.

http://www.iun.edu/news/2014/k12-online-teaching-certificate.htm

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Digital Citizenship: Developing a Culture of Trust and Transparency

October 29th, 2014

by Andrew Marcinek, Edutopia

An acceptable use policy is a document that is present in every school district around the country. The purpose of this policy is to provide safe parameters for exploring digital resources and using school-issued devices properly. It also ensures that schools do their very best to block out the darkest corners of the web. And while these policies are effective and required, they have not evolved in their semantics. Within the development of these school-wide policies, several shifts need to happen. My observation about the need for a semantic shift, probably one of the biggest shifts requited, reflects how acceptable use policies are interpreted by students. Essentially, these policies read more like a legal document rather than a document that students can understand and carry out. Additionally, we need to shift the focus from “you shouldn’t do that” to a sense of empowerment around technology. In short, schools should place a positive connotation around technology use.

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/digital-citizenship-culture-trust-transparency-andrew-marcinek

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EdX To Offer Free Advanced Placement Courses For High Schoolers

October 29th, 2014

by Lisa Winter, IFL Science

EdX is a non-profit website that offers over 300 massive online open courses (MOOCs), providing access to a world-class education to anyone with an internet connection at little or no cost. Initially started as a joint venture between MIT and Harvard, edX has expanded to include partnerships with top universities around the globe including Caltech, Dartmouth, Columbia, University of Queensland, and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. EdX is now embarking on courses for teenagers by offering high school-level options, including Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

http://www.iflscience.com/technology/edx-offer-free-advanced-placement-courses-high-schoolers

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Build Student E-Portfolios Using Evernote

October 29th, 2014

By Edudemic

Although Evernote already is a fairly well-known app, very few educators realize its potential building and sharing student portfolios. Having a well-organized e-portfolio is important: It can follow students from one grade to the next and prepare them to record their future accomplishments. There are plenty of ways to create an e-portfolio, and we feel Evernote is the best. Not only is it a feature-rich platform, but its free price tag also makes it a cost-effective solution for even the most frugal classrooms.

http://www.edudemic.com/the-best-way-to-build-student-e-portfolios/

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Ultimate Guide to the Paperless Classroom

October 28th, 2014

By Edudemic

Many top educators and administrators view the idea of a paperless classroom as an inevitability in education. In today’s digital age, these educators believe that a paperless classroom promotes a more efficient and organized classroom while preparing students for the practical world outside classroom walls. In other words, if every facet of life is becoming increasingly reliant on technology, then why not equip students accordingly? “We need technology in every classroom and in every student’s and teacher’s hand, because it is the pen and paper of our time,” said author and educator David Warlick. “It is the lens through which we experience much of our world.”

http://www.edudemic.com/ultimate-guide-paperless-classroom/

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Technology’s impact on higher education

October 28th, 2014

by Raechelle Clemmons, Green Bay Press Gazette

For anyone who has children in school — regardless of whether they are in elementary school or in college — it seems abundantly clear that technology is changing the way teachers teach and students learn. In some cases, technology has simply offered a new way to complete a traditional assignment, like typing a report on a computer instead of writing it by hand. But in other cases, technology has created opportunities for new methods of teaching and learning, as is the case with mobile devices in the classroom.

http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/money/2014/10/21/technologys-impact-higher-education/17693719/

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Poll Shows Students Choosing Online School to Escape Bullying

October 28th, 2014

by Barchart.com

As part of their initiative to support National Bullying Prevention Month, K12 Inc. engaged Edge Research to repeat a 2013 survey that focused on suitability of online schools as an alternative for students experiencing bullying. Over 2000 parents with children currently enrolled in online schools using the K12 program completed the survey. 21% of all responding parents and 31% of parents with high school students who responded cited bullying as one of the reasons they chose online learning. 97% of the parents who enrolled children for this reason would recommend a K12-powered program to a family with a student who is being bullied.

http://www.barchart.com/headlines/story/3022081/2014-k12-inc-poll-shows-students-choosing-online-school-to-escape-bullying

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Free online AP courses debut on edX Web site

October 27th, 2014

By Nick Anderson, Washington Post

Rice University launched a free Advanced Placement biology course Monday on a Web site overseen by two other elite schools, a potentially significant milestone for a movement that aims to bring college-level courses to high school students. The site, edX, was created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University in 2012 as a nonprofit platform for those universities and selected others to offer massive open online courses, or MOOCs , to the world. AP Biology from Rice is the first MOOC on the site advertised as an AP course for high school students. It is divided into four content segments — the Cell; Genetics; Evolution and Diversity; and Ecology — followed by an exam in April.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/free-online-ap-courses-debut-on-edx-web-site/2014/10/20/6b16c204-5883-11e4-b812-38518ae74c67_story.html

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Real-Time Classroom Feedback Enhances Flipped Learning at Temple College

October 27th, 2014

by Leila Meyer, Campus Technology

Terry Austin, an instructor of anatomy and physiology at Temple College in Texas, has boosted student retention rates in his classes — and he attributes part of that success to the real-time feedback system he’s using in his flipped classroom. His students watch short lecture videos at home, and then they log on to Learning Catalytics to answer a few questions about the concept covered in the video lecture. When the students return to class the next day, they get together in small groups to discuss the same questions and submit group answers. “It makes for some really interesting discussions,” said Austin.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/10/15/real-time-classroom-feedback-enhances-flipped-learning-at-temple-college.aspx

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Overcoming the top barrier to school connectivity

October 27th, 2014

By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

Funding remains the largest and most-cited obstacle when it comes to updating schools’ infrastructure and installing high-speed broadband internet access, according to a survey from the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN). CoSN’s second annual E-rate and Infrastructure Survey, conducted with AASA and MDR, reveals that 58 percent of school districts said monthly recurring and ongoing expenses are their biggest barrier to connectivity. In all, 60 percent of surveyed districts said funding is their biggest challenge when it comes to meeting the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) short-term goal of 100 Mbps/1,000 students.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/10/21/barrier-to-connectivity-030/

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Online, gamified learning is where it’s at in education

October 26th, 2014

by Rebecca Merrett, CIO Australia

Meyerson’s unique approach to teaching is what made her a finalist for the Telstra Business Women’s Award and number 23 on BRW’s innovation list this year. MCI Institute’s eCampus offers accredited Diploma and Advanced Diploma education programs that run fully online. Having launched only a year ago, it has more than 3000 students, with a high completion rate of over 70 per cent. What has made eCampus work so well, says Meyerson, is that she manages to give each student a personalised learning experience through her mentoring initiative. A staff of 12, who are dedicated to only mentoring, schedule in regular meet-ups with students individually through eCampus’s Moodle learning management system.

http://www.cio.com.au/article/557520/online-gamified-learning-where-it-education/

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Marking (Grading) Essays

October 26th, 2014

by Brian Martin, Tomorrow’s Professor

In making marking more enjoyable, I also hope to make learning more enjoyable for students. By getting students to do more work on their own and tackle unorthodox assignments, I hope to encourage student creativity and initiative. I remind myself that for the teacher to work hard often is not all that relevant to student learning. Students learn more when they work hard, and they are more likely to work hard on an interesting assignment. When the assignment is interesting to both students and the teacher, it is a win-win solution.

http://cgi.stanford.edu/~dept-ctl/cgi-bin/tomprof/enewsletter.php?msgno=1360

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‘Flipped class’ concept empowers students

October 26th, 2014

By Sarah Hofius Hall, The Times-Tribune

Class time is flipped at Carbondale Area Junior/Senior High School. In the Advanced Placement calculus class on Wednesday, students questioned their teacher about what they learned the night before. The “flipped classroom” in Carbondale, one of the first in the region, inverts the traditional classroom, empowers students and leads to more independent learning. Nationwide, flipped classrooms are becoming more popular as student success grows. In Carbondale, Principal Joseph Farrell first had the idea when he went to an integrated learning conference. Administrators spent the spring thinking of how it could work, and over the summer, Lewis did more research and preparation.

http://www.poconorecord.com/article/20141018/NEWS/141019431/101108/NEWS

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Start a Reading Revolution: Flip Your Class With Blogs

October 25th, 2014

by Brian Sztabnik, Edutopia

I realized that the traditional English experience needed to be turned upside down. Students should have an opportunity to read in class and a choice in what they read. Rather than answer teacher-generated questions on a study guide, students should be empowered to write what they want in the format they deem fit. My flip, which I first explored two years ago, did all of these things, and created a contagious atmosphere of passionate readers. Its two cornerstones are choice and blogs. This approach has completely changed the way I teach reading, with my students repeatedly saying that it was the best and most important unit of the year.

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/flip-ela-class-with-blogs-brian-sztabnik

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The 5 Most Important Things To Come Out of Educational Summits in 2014

October 25th, 2014

By Leah Levy, Edudemic

Blended learning. Digital literacy. Mobile learning. Game-based learning. When these top educational trends came onto the scene, they sparked a learning revolution. That revolution continued into 2014, but if there was one theme to come out of the top educational summits this year, it was this: smarter use. We take a look at exactly what that means at the link below.

http://www.edudemic.com/5-important-things-come-educational-summits-2014/

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Why Wearables Are the New Gateways to Human Knowledge

October 25th, 2014

By Toni Fuhrman, Campus Technology

The use of Google Glass and other wearable devices in higher education is still experimental, but the technology is opening up exciting new possibilities for teaching and learning. Ray Kurzweil, American author, scientist, inventor, futurist — and now director of engineering at Google — said, famously: “Mobile phones are misnamed. They should be called gateways to human knowledge.” It turns out that gateway is widening, especially on campus, where wearable technology is becoming the latest portal into human knowledge — and the future.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/10/16/why-wearables-are-the-new-gateways-to-human-knowledge.aspx

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