As Online Classes Take Off at Community Colleges, Battle Brews Over Local Control

September 17th, 2014

by Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, California Report

A proposal to make it easier for students to take online community college classes offered by any California campus is running into opposition from local faculty. As students seek classes to accommodate busy schedules and campuses look to expand without constructing new buildings, virtual courses have been multiplying in the state’s massive community college system. The latest idea from Sacramento would create one portal for community college online classes and establish phone and online support for students, regardless of which campus offers the courses.

http://www.californiareport.org/archive/R201409090850/d

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Online education company edX offering free high school courses

September 17th, 2014

By Matt Rocheleau, Boston Globe

The online-learning collaborative edX, a partnership between Harvard University and MIT, is expanding its reach beyond higher education and will begin offering courses geared toward high school students. The 26 high school courses were created by 14 institutions — including MIT, Georgetown and Rice universities, the University of California Berkeley, Boston University, Wellesley College, and Weston Public High School. The online classes, available to anyone in the world, will cover such subjects as computer science, calculus, geometry, algebra, English, physics, biology, chemistry, Spanish, French, history, statistics, and psychology.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/09/09/online-education-company-edx-expanding-offer-free-courses-aimed-high-school-students/wWdR6XQakRKIxAhaH580ZP/story.html

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8 simple tools for creating engaging infographics

September 17th, 2014

By Kelly Maher, eSchool News

Information graphics, also known as infographics, provide a way to express complex data, ideas, or other information graphically. Human beings are visual and adept at identifying patterns and trends quickly. Therefore, infographics often aid our understanding of otherwise dense, multifaceted, or complicated material. Anyone can use infographics to further their understanding of a topic, and you can also create your own for use in teaching or presentations. Here are some infographics generators to consider the next time you need to teach a difficult concept or illustrate intricate information.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/09/08/tools-engaging-infographics-298/

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Chromebooks Surge in K-12 as Tablets Drop Off

September 16th, 2014

By David Nagel, THE Journal

Personal computing devices are continuing to surge in K-12, but tablets have lost a lot of their momentum. According to a new report, notebooks — especially Chromebooks — are back on top as tablet shipments were decimated in the latest quarter. A total of 2.4 million personal computing devices were purchased by schools and districts in the second quarter, a 12 percent increase over Q2 2103. But according to market research firm Futuresource Consulting, tablet shipments in K-12 fell off 10 percent in the second quarter of 2014 from Q2 2013, the first year-over-year decline for tablets.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/08/26/chromebooks-surge-in-k-12-as-tablets-drop-off.aspx

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5 Accessible Design Tips for Blended Courses

September 16th, 2014

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Blended learning typically involves an element of student control over when, where and how learning takes place. Research there has found that when blended courses address the needs of students who learn differently, average students benefit as well. Dahlstrom-Hakki and his colleague Manju Banerjee, vice president and director of Landmark College’s Institute for Research and Training, shared what they’ve learned from their students during a presentation delivered at the July Online Learning Consortium (formerly the Sloan Consortium) Blended Learning Conference. Here are five techniques for making sure blended courses work for everybody.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/09/03/5-accessible-design-tips-for-blended-courses.aspx

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Phablet Sales To Top Mobile PCs This Year, Tablets in 2015

September 16th, 2014

By Joshua Bolkan, Campus Technology

Global sales of phablets, smartphones with screens between 5.5 and 7 inches, will top sales of portable PCs in 2014 and surpass sales of tablets in the next year, according to a new forecast from market research company International Data Corp. (IDC). The company predicted that 175 million of the large smartphones will be sold this year, topping sales of portable PCs by about 5 million units. IDC predicted that next year 318 million of the devices will be shipped, outperforming the 233 million sales forecast for tablets in 2015 by a significant margin. Strong growth will continue throughout the forecast period, according to IDC, as phablet shipments increase from 14 percent of smartphone sales in 2014 to 32.2 percent in 2018.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/09/04/phablet-sales-to-top-mobile-laptops-this-year-tablets-in-2015.aspx

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Trying Out Gamification In the Classroom? These Tools Are For You

September 15th, 2014

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

Getting students actively engaged and learning by leveraging the power of gamification in the classroom is a hot trend these days. The idea of getting students learning, sharing, and laughing by using gamification shows great promise, to be sure. But where should you start in terms of finding the tools that will actually help you out?

http://www.edudemic.com/trying-gamification-classroom-tools/

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Brush Up On Your EdTech Vocabulary With This Cheat Sheet

September 15th, 2014

By Jeff Dunn, Edudemic

Do you know what a flipped classroom requires? How about a 1:1 classroom? If you’re a regular reader of Edudemic, then you probably are more than informed about what these terms mean and how they’re implemented in modern classrooms. That’s probably because we started Edudemic many moons ago on the same day Apple launched the iPad. Since then, a lot has changed in the world of education technology. For one, the edtech vocabulary has expanded quite a bit. As a modern educator, you’ll need to know what a lot of key phrases mean and how they could affect your day-to-day activities. This visual guide from Boundless is just for you, then. The guide is designed to help you understand “the latest trends in educational technology” but really – let’s be honest – it’s a great way to finally figure out what a lot of terms mean before your next staff meeting.

http://www.edudemic.com/brush-edtech-vocabulary-cheat-sheet/

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Can technology solve K-12 budgetary deficits?

September 15th, 2014

By Norman Rozenberg, Tech Page One

While technology has transformed K-12 education for the better — including innovations that go beyond conventional PowerPoints and Smart Boards and novelties that help children with autism communicate — it is a luxury for many districts. But perhaps technology can be leveraged to lower the costs of education. Blended learning, which combines traditional brick-and-mortar schooling with online education, could help stem these rising costs and ease the burden on schools.

http://techpageone.dell.com/technology/can-technology-solve-k-12-budgetary-deficits/

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Open-Source Texts Take Root At Md. Colleges

September 14th, 2014

by Alissa Gulin, Associated Press

The majority of participating students and faculty reported an overall positive experience and said they’d work with open-source materials again, according to the system’s recent review of the program, which was launched in collaboration with Lumen Learning LLC, an Oregon-based provider of open-source educational materials. Students saved a cumulative $130,000 in textbook costs, based on the prices of books that would have been assigned for those 11 courses. “Higher education needs to be more efficient at handling resources and course materials,” said Zachary McGee, a senior at Towson University and president of the University System of Maryland Student Council, which developed the idea for the MOST Initiative. “And I think this is the answer.”

http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2014/09/07/open-source-texts-take-root-at-md-colleges/

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Class of 2015 is first required to pass a digital learning course

September 14th, 2014

By Kimberly Wiggins, Fox Orlando

The race is on for the class of 2015. This year’s Florida seniors are the first who must complete an online course to graduate, but numbers show many students still need to squeeze in the class. Call it a sign of the times. Sanjana Pratti is logging on for her school lesson. The 16-year-old is taking three courses at Florida Virtual School or FLVS. “Chemistry, Physics, Latin,” said Pratti. The Freedom High School senior enrolled in her first online course three years ago.

http://www.myfoxorlando.com/story/26462837/class-of-2015-is-first-required-to-pass-a-digital-learning-course

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So how will online P.E. classes work, exactly?

September 14th, 2014

by Randy Stapilus, Idaho Press

Here’s a concept to get your mind around: online physical education in schools. That is, taught from outside of school. Or something. This unlikely idea surfaced at the Lapwai School District after voters there on Aug. 26 turned down a quarter-million dollar one-year levy. It wasn’t close; just 41 percent of voters approved it. It was the second recent levy failure after voters rejected a larger one in May. Afterward, district Superintendent David Aiken said the effects will include elimination of in-person physical education. The school gym and equipment will remain available but, he told the Lewiston Tribune, “the teacher is on the other side of the computer.”

http://www.idahopress.com/members/so-how-will-online-p-e-classes-work-exactly/article_0e80a1f4-3574-11e4-9752-001a4bcf887a.html

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5 Ways Technology Is Disrupting Education

September 13th, 2014

by JESS BOLLUYT, Tech Cheat Sheet

In today’s classrooms, stacks of heavy paper textbooks, battered notebooks, and worn-down pencils are giving way to e-readers, tablets, laptops, and a multitude of digital tools, apps, and software that are completely changing the way that students learn. These new tools don’t just change the delivery of the same material, though. Instead, they’re kicking off an array of changes to how students engage with what they’re learning, how they collaborate, how they receive feedback from teachers, and even how they learn to think and interact with the huge amount of information available to them. Here are five big ideas about how technology is disrupting education, and some of the resources pushing them ahead.

http://wallstcheatsheet.com/technology/5-ways-technology-is-disrupting-education.html/?a=viewall

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Students at Maine’s online public school complete first week

September 13th, 2014

By Nell Gluckman, BDN

Students at the school, called Maine Connections Academy, finished their first week of online classes Friday. A breakdown detailing which school district each student came from — dated Sept. 2 — showed that 281 students from 88 different districts were enrolled. That list is expected to increase to up to 297 students as more complete the lengthy process of enrolling.

https://bangordailynews.com/2014/09/06/education/students-at-maines-online-public-school-complete-first-week/

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Smart Glasses Are More Than Just Google Glass

September 13th, 2014

By eduglasses, Edudemic

Today I am going to highlight the four main large companies in the mix of SmartGlasses, along with their estimated release dates. The following companies have patented, finalized, and developed working prototypes of their smartglasses and have presented their technology at recent summits. This means that within the next year or two these technologies will be over inundating the market…. so as educators we need to be ready to meet the needs of the students. (Not to mention these will be priced within reason for the modern consumer).

http://www.edudemic.com/smart-glasses-just-google-glass/

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Are College Students Really Obsessed With Technology?

September 12th, 2014

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

Not too long ago, I read a post written by a teacher that said “Our students get younger every year”. While this is obviously not true unless you’re measuring their age in relation to yourself, as you move further and further away from being a student, your students may be harder to ‘get’. Every year, the re:fuel agency College Explorer does a huge study among all types of students in the 18-24 and 25-34 year old age groups. The key findings have been summed up in the handy infographic linked below that they’ve made to accompany the study. Keep reading and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what college students are looking like these days – in so many different aspects!

http://www.edudemic.com/college-students-really-obsessed-with-technology/

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Top 5 Tips For Blended Classrooms

September 12th, 2014

By Reannah Sartoris, Edudemic

What is a blended classroom? The blended classroom learning model combines face-to-face teaching with technology enhanced instruction. This includes having students use Apps, QR codes, websites, surveys, and videos integrated into the lesson. Effectively and efficiently blending the classroom with these technologies can increase student engagement, motivation and build a sense of community as students collaborate more together. Fortunately, if the students are using a school’s wireless network, many inappropriate sites are blocked; however, for students with 3G and 4G capabilities, unblocked content and social media access is still a concern. So, before you have your students take out their phones or devices, consider these suggestions to seamlessly turn your classroom into a blended classroom.

http://www.edudemic.com/top-5-tips-blended-classroom/

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Online learning offers pros, cons

September 12th, 2014

by Jennifer Pallay, Northwest Indiana Times

College professors and students agree that while online courses have their challenges, they also have many benefits. At Indiana University Northwest, the online classes fill up sooner than face-to-face ones, said Alicia Wright, a lecturer in IUN’s Department of Communications. “We were surprised by that,” she said. “I’m trying to get everyone in the department to learn about it and teach these classes. In the communications department, it’s a hard sell but it’s actually what the students want.” Wright, who was recently honored with IUN’s Online Design and Delivery Award, originally felt online courses would be too difficult for some topics, but since taking online teaching courses through the university and creating three classes of her own over the past year, she has seen the light, she said.

http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/online-learning-offers-pros-cons/article_5b61663d-2472-526e-9799-a779dac381cb.html

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6 ways texting can improve school communications

September 11th, 2014

By Barbara Palmer, eSchool News

A written note home can get lost, “eaten by the dog,” or sit on the kitchen counter to be used as a coaster for weeks on end. eMails get sent to spam, accidentally deleted, or aren’t read in a timely manner. And, honestly, how often do people pick up the phone anymore? Students touch their cell phones 43 times a day and send about 60 texts, showing that mobile technology is the best way to reach them. And with 91 percent of adults owning cell phones, texting is actually the most efficient means of communication with parents, too—especially for schools. Here are six ways that SMS texting can help improve your school’s communication with both parents and students.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/09/03/texting-school-communications-392/

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Mobile learning’s major impact

September 11th, 2014

By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

As mobile learning cements its place in U.S. education, its impact continues to expand throughout school districts across the nation. Last year, Apple’s education sales broke $1 billion for the first time ever, and iPads continue to hold the market share among education tablets. Mobile learning leverages the power of the internet to expand students’ learning opportunities. In fact, 92 percent of teachers said they have greater access to educational content, resources, and material due to the internet.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/09/03/mobile-learning-impact-309/

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5 education grants you don’t want to miss

September 11th, 2014

By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

School funding difficulties show no sign of abating, and school budgets are stretched to the limit. Many educators and administrators rely on school grants to fund important projects and opportunities for students. Each month, eSchool News compiles a list of the most current education grants expiring soon—from a focus on STEM learning to funding for financial education programs. You don’t want to miss out on these school funding opportunities for teachers, students, parents, and administrators.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/09/05/september-education-grants-032/

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