Hu+ Project is Revitalizing China’s Rural Schools

February 27th, 2017

by Yahoo Finance

According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, more than 400,000 elementary and secondary schools in China have faced the threat of closure in the past two decades, due to their geographically remote locations and limited educational resources. Twenty years after China’s national education reform, however, rural schools are undergoing a radical change for the better. Local school enrollment rates have improved dramatically through the adoption of online learning models. So much so, in fact, that even students from nearby urban centers are traveling to rural areas for a better education. What is it that is making such a huge impact?

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/hu-project-revitalizing-chinas-rural-143600571.html

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Chicago suburban summer online classes continue annual growth

February 27th, 2017

by Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun

A Local online learning consortium is on pace to enroll 1,500 high school students for its summer classes this year. Kip Pygman, director of the Expanding Learning Opportunities consortium known as eLo, said since registration opened on Jan. 18, 900 students have signed up for at least one of the six classes offered through the three-district partnership between Indian Prairie District 204, Naperville District 203 and Wheaton Warrenville District 200. Last year at the same point, 700 students had signed up. “Based on those numbers, I anticipate will need close to 50 teachers this summer,” Pygman said of the projected 1,500 students. Last summer, there were 1,300 students.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/naperville-sun/ct-nvs-eschool-consortium-st-0219-20170217-story.html

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Strategies for Seamlessly Integrate Technology into Class

February 27th, 2017

by tech Edvocate

Technology-focused education is based on a constructivist approach to learning. As described earlier, the teacher in a technologically advanced classroom is seen as a facilitator rather than a pure instructor. A teacher’s function is to help students use the technological resources appropriately to find the information rather than presenting it to them. Students need to learn how to find the information they need and take ownership of their own learning. Working in small groups is also a crucial factor in acquiring these skills. Small-group instruction versus massive class instruction provides opportunity to develop a group dynamic, to make group decisions, and to share knowledge. Classes working under these principles promote cooperative rather than competitive group dynamics. The degree of ease with which you’ll incorporate technology into your teaching methods will depend on how much technology you’ve been exposed to during the course of your life.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/strategies-for-seamlessly-integrating-technology-into-class/

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Could digital cadavers revolutionize med school administration?

February 26th, 2017

by Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

A growing number of medical schools are using virtual reality to train students on vital surgical procedures, a new wave of teaching and learning that could reshape the way medical schools operate and the expenses it creates for students. Ed Tech: Focus on Higher Ed profiles the University of Illinois at Chicago, which uses Oculus VR technology to teach students in its geriatrics course to help students build empathy for elderly patients and needs. Some observers believe that virtual reality will be a necessity in all medical courses, but for most institutions, the question of how to afford and to maintain the technology will be a pressing issue.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/could-digital-cadavers-revolutionize-med-school-administration/436465/

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Free computer class for people with developmental disabilities

February 26th, 2017

by KVAL

A new computer class in Lane County is bridging the digital divide for people with developmental disabilities. Less than half of people with disabilities have access to the Internet, according to the Arc of Lane County, an organization that offers services for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Angela Phinney, Director of Employment Services, says that is a big barrier to finding work. “Most of the jobs you have to apply for online, you have to create a resume, fill out applications, all those types of things,” Phinney says. The Arc’s new computer learning lab is aimed at fixing that. The learning lab was made possible by a $15,000 grant from Comcast.

http://kval.com/news/local/free-computer-class-for-people-with-developmental-disabilities

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Florida Virtual School model shows online learning can be engaging

February 26th, 2017

by Tara García Mathewson, Education Dive

The eSchool Media and Xirrus Innovate to Educate awards program has identified the Florida Virtual School as a community winner for its strategy engaging elementary students in the online learning environment. According to eSchool News, the ClassTime model uses live video lessons to get students and teachers interacting online twice per week while students are expected to work independently with their parents three times per week. Students can collaborate with each other and their teachers using discussion tools, online voting, chat boxes and breakout rooms, and FLVS elementary principal Sarah Sprinkel said every lesson begins with an engagement activity that helps develop relationships.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/florida-virtual-school-model-shows-online-learning-can-be-engaging/436354/

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10 reasons why blended learning is exploding

February 25th, 2017

BY MERIS STANSBURY, eCampus News

Infographic delves into recent education trend data to explain why blended learning is taking off. Blended learning, like many other buzzwords in education, is getting thrown around in ed-tech conversations as one of the hottest trends taking over course instruction and luring prospective students to colleges. But just like the current backlash against MOOCs, it’s important to know why a trend occurs in order to gauge its shelf life. Blended learning is constantly evolving, with most of the innovations and refinements developed to support student-centered learning, explains DreamBox Learning, creator of the infographic.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/online-learning/blended-learning-exploding/

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How universities are leveraging online video technology for no-boundaries learning

February 25th, 2017

BY GARY WEIS, eCampus News

In the wake of the travel ban, here’s how video can help support global learning for students interested in curricula from U.S. institutions. One of the reasons online learning is so successful is because it is powerful enough to bridge time and distance, allowing colleges and universities to share education across borders to students all over the world. That valuable ability to time shift becomes even more important in the face of unexpected events. The recent travel ban, for example, has some schools advising students not to travel outside the U.S. as they may not be able to return to finish their education. In situations like this, colleges and universities are turning to unique video technology solutions to ensure learning isn’t disrupted.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/ed-tech-leadership/online-video-technology/

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What’s Stopping Education IoT?

February 25th, 2017

BY TOM RUFF, eCampus News

College and University campuses could greatly benefit from the Internet of Things, so why is adoption in higher ed lagging? The proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices is on a steady rise. Analysts predict that from now through 2020, the number of connected “things” will grow from 13.5 billion units to 38.5 billion units, a growth of over 285 percent. While many people think of consumer devices, like smart TVs and thermostats, as making up the bulk of IoT devices, their role in education should not be overlooked. More and more, everything on a campus is connected to the Internet. And, just as IoT connected devices are improving consumers’ lives, enterprises’ business and public sector organizations’ services, IoT could benefit the entire education ecosystem in numerous ways.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/it-newsletter/whats-stopping-education-iot/

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Free Tool Helps Schools Do Quick Impact Studies of Ed Tech Usage

February 24th, 2017

By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

A new, free online tool is expected to help school administrators perform “quick, low-cost evaluations” to make better decisions about educational technologies. “Rapid-Cycle Evaluation (RCE) Coach” is the creation of Mathematica Policy Research and the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education. RCE is a scientific approach promoted by Mathematica as an alternative to traditional program evaluation. The goal is to help schools conduct “high-quality, low-cost, quick-turnaround, policy-relevant studies.”

https://thejournal.com/articles/2017/02/16/free-tool-helps-schools-do-quick-impact-studies-of-ed-tech-usage.aspx

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La Crescent-Hokah snow days could soon be online learning days

February 24th, 2017

by Alex Graaff, Houston County News

By the end of January, La Crescent-Hokah School District had three snow days. Two could be re-categorized as back-to-back ice days, and the third was a school board gamble to make up for an error on the school’s calendar in early January. It is only a guess as to how many more snow days this school year will see. In preparation for next year’s winter, La Crescent-Hokah Superintendent Kevin Cardille has put together a plan for the future years’ potentially excessive snow days: requiring students to work online, rather than losing an entire day of learning. “At my last district, they were already doing this one year before I came here,” he said. “We already have Lancer Learning HD; electronic learning. It’s an expansion of what we are already doing in the district.” La Crescent-Hokah Secondary School Principal Steve Smith also sees the sense in a transition to online learning days on those snowy winter days.

http://lacrossetribune.com/houstonconews/news/local/la-crescent-hokah-snow-days-could-soon-be-online-learning/article_ff2b2ff6-520d-5f0a-b6c2-a47bbc200bff.html

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How to Decide if an Edtech Product Is Worth Using

February 24th, 2017

BY MATTHEW LYNCH, Tech Edvocate

The Edtech industry is booming, and while this is good for a sector that promises to make everyone smarter, it can be overwhelming for teachers and schools. With the numerous choices on offer and constant innovation, it can be difficult to know what is trendy and what is worth bringing into the classroom. Not only is making a decision difficult but teachers are also met with the growing pressure to improve their teaching practices and engage with students who live more than ever in the virtual world. So, how do you know if an Edtech product is worth using? Below are some factors that are important to look at before buying and investing effort into an Edtech product.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/how-to-decide-if-an-edtech-product-is-worth-using/

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A Guide to Picking a Learning Management System: The Right Questions to Ask

February 23rd, 2017

By Mary Jo Madda, EdSurge

As University of Central Florida’s Associate Vice President of Distributed Learning, Tom Cavanagh, wrote in an article for EDUCAUSE, “every institute has a unique set of instructional and infrastructure circumstances to consider when deciding on an LMS,” but at the same time, “all institutions face certain common requirements”—whether a small charter school, a private university or a large public school district. Thus, garnered from conversations with both K-12 and higher education administrators, the following checklist provides a starting point for any educator interested in prepping for the inevitable task of choosing an LMS for the 2017-2018 school year. (And for some additional help, each educator has offered rationales for why those checklist items should be included.)

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-02-14-a-guide-to-learning-management-systems-the-right-questions-to-ask

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Online courses in high school?

February 23rd, 2017

By ABBY KESSLER, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

As the world becomes increasingly more digital, schools face the decision about whether or not they will offer online courses for credit. ConVal offers blended learning labs, which include online courses that provide students with options based on their needs. The district offers four types of online courses, two of which allow students to obtain high-school credit, one that offers credit recovery, and another that offers high-school credit and an adult high school diploma program. As of Friday, there were about 203 students enrolled in one of the four online programs. The majority of those students, 133, are enrolled in the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School, or VLACS, which provides students with more than 120 courses, 28 college courses and with 16 AP courses.

http://www.ledgertranscript.com/cvOnlineEducation-ml-021417-8026920

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Teach Kids to Code and Secure Their Future

February 23rd, 2017

by MATTHEW LYNCH, Tech Edvocate

Software applications are part of our everyday existence, and that means the language used to create them is only more important. It is also a language that is somewhat universal, as programming languages are used worldwide. This means code has the ability to make our vast world feel smaller as we use it to find common ground. Learning to code is a hands-on experience. While certain key aspects of a language can be introduced in textbooks, the true learning experience happens when children have the opportunity to use what they know to create simple programs. Additionally, they receive the benefits of fast feedback when their code is executed. In most cases, a kid will know if mere moments if their code contains errors.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/teach-kids-to-code-and-secure-their-future/

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Build a Makerspace That Engages Students Across Every STEAM Subject

February 22nd, 2017

By Stephen Noonoo, THE Journal

Melissa Fernandez is the instructional supervisor for industrial education and technology education for the Career and Technical Education Dept. at Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Florida — and a huge proponent of makerspaces. Back when she was an engineering teacher, she turned her entire class into an instructional makerspace, and saw students bloom in ways she never could have imagined. “STEM and STEAM are so important these days,” said Fernandez, who recently presented at the TCEA 2017 conference in Austin in a session about reimagining learning using makerspaces. “We often drive students to the idea that they’re good in some subjects and not others. Makerspaces allow you to break down these walls.” Makerspaces are big at Miami-Dade, which even designates certain schools as STEM- or STEAM-focused.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2017/02/09/build-a-makerspace-that-engages-students-across-every-steam-subject.aspx

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Infected Vending Machines And Light Bulbs DDoS A University

February 22nd, 2017

by Lee Mathews, Forbes

IoT devices have become a favorite weapon of cybercriminals. Their generally substandard security — and the sheer numbers of connected devices — make them an enticing target. We’ve seen what a massive IoT botnet is capable of doing, but even a relatively small one can cause a significant amount of trouble. Infected Vending Machines And LightA few thousand infected IoT devices can cut a university off from the Internet, according to an incident that the Verizon RISK (Research, Investigations, Solutions and Knowledge) team was asked to assist with. All the attacker had to do was re-program the devices so they would periodically try to connect to seafood-related websites. By training around 5,000 devices to send DNS queries simultaneously (for those who aren’t familiar, DNS is what allows your computer to turn a name like Forbes.com into an IP address that it can connect to). In this particular case, those devices included everything from drink vending machines to street lamps.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/leemathews/2017/02/13/infected-vending-machines-and-light-bulbs-ddos-a-university/

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Report: Number of Ransomware Attacks Grew Nearly 17 Times Larger in 2016

February 22nd, 2017

By Joshua Bolkan, Campus Technology

Ransomware surged 16,700 percent from 2015 to 2016, though unique malware samples declined over the same period, according to a new report from network security firm SonicWall. That growth of nearly 17 times represents a swell from about 4 million ransomware attacks in 2015 to approximately 638 million last year. Internet of Things (IoT) devices were also “compromised on a massive scale,” according to SonicWall, owing to poor security design. “2016 could be considered a highly successful year from the perspective of both security professionals and cyber criminals,” according to information released by the company.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/02/07/report-number-of-ransomware-attacks-grew-nearly-17-times-larger-in-2016.aspx

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10 Faculty Perceptions of Lecture Capture Technology

February 21st, 2017

By Pamela Vande Voort, Campus Technology

In a study of faculty experiences using lecture capture systems in the classroom, responses reveal 10 primary themes around how the technology is impacting the education process. Lecture capture, a teaching and learning tool that allows faculty to record and post the audio, video and presentation content of classroom lectures and the classroom experience, is a boon for students who want to access the material at their convenience for review and supplementary instruction. And it can be a life saver for students who miss all or part of class, or who discover their notes are incomplete. But how do faculty perceive the technology in today’s higher education classrooms, and what impact is it having on the educational process?

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/02/08/10-faculty-perceptions-of-lecture-capture-technology.aspx

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How to Deal with Difficult Students

February 21st, 2017

by Dan Spalding, Tomorrow’s Professor

The brief posting below gives some good pointers on how to deal with challenging students is from How to Teach Adults: Plan Your Class. Teach Your Students. Change the World, by Dan Spalding. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco. Never attack the student. Model how to deal respectfully with those who act disrespectfully. After all, just because this one student questioned a new activity, or said something homophobic, doesn’t mean that other students didn’t have the same thoughts. By addressing this person courteously you show that the class is (still) a safe place for everyone to learn. It also demonstrates your confidence. Listen and validate. Listen to the student with your whole body. Don’t roll your eyes or cross your arms. Let the person say his or her piece (within reason) and, if possible, validate the concern: “It sounds like you’re frustrated with the pace of class. I’m definitely feeling tired after ninety minutes of class tonight. Is anyone else feeling tired?” (Four more strategies at link below)

https://tomprof.stanford.edu/posting/1542

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How Teachers Can Gamify Math

February 21st, 2017

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Gamification is the process by which game elements, like competition and badges, are used in conjunction with other tasks to increase motivation and engagement. Games have emerged as a powerful tool for teachers due to their ability to provide students with a hands-on method to engage with the curriculum. For educators, gamification can be applied to a variety of subjects, including math, to increase student’s motivation and subsequently increase student proficiency. Gamifying math lessons does not have to be difficult; teachers can use a variety of techniques to add game elements to their courses. Educators primarily use one approach for gamifying math; they incorporate math-based games into the existing curriculum by inserting them into relevant lessons to replace less engaging content. There are several game elements that are of particular importance to the motivation and engagement of students including competition, rewards, cooperation, self-driven pace, and feedback.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/how-teachers-can-gamify-math/

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