How Virtual Reality Is Changing Education

January 19th, 2017

BY MATTHEW LYNCH, Tech Edvocate

VR allows for high-impact learning experiences and as this new age of affordable VR tech presents itself, the opportunities for improving education abound. Educators are well aware of the positive impact out of classroom experiences have on learning. From K-12 classrooms, to college internships, to undergrad research and studying abroad, high-impact experiences provide increased learning and retention. Unfortunately, these types of programs have traditionally involved a good deal of time, money and personnel. With both the availability and affordability of VR, students nationwide will have access to high-impact educational experiences. From taking a guided tour of the Great Wall of China, to examining world-renowned art in a museum halfway around the globe, these micro experiences are able to shape student learning far more than an in-class lecture. Imagine biology students exploring the Great Barrier Reef firsthand or students in a history class having that ability to observe an ancient Mongolian tribe.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/how-virtual-reality-is-changing-education/

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Why Makerspaces Are Perfect for School and Public Libraries

January 19th, 2017

BY MATTHEW LYNCH, Tech Edvocate

Makerspaces have become one of the latest trends for libraries as they continue to adapt to the changing needs of users. Like other library services, makerspaces have developed as the needs of library users have expanded from print resources and traditional services to include a variety of digital formats and services. As a result, both public and school libraries have moved towards providing access to materials and resources that promote literacy in digital information and technology. Makerspaces can provide librarians and educators with an ideal method for allowing students to develop many of the digital information and technological skills they will need to be successful in society. Makerspaces are collaborative learning spaces, and according to Koh and Abbas in their article Competencies for Information Professionals in Learning Labs and Makerspaces, users can, “explore traditional and digital media, interact with mentors and peers, and engage in creative projects.”

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/why-makerspaces-are-perfect-for-school-and-public-libraries/

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Why Learning to Code is So Important for Children

January 19th, 2017

BY MATTHEW LYNCH, Tech Edvocate

Knowing how to code can secure well-paid jobs in the future, and that means more freedom to choose and say “no” to mediocre positions. So, when children learn to code, they are not only gaining higher-order thinking skills but a chance to choose exciting and more challenging jobs in the future. When children learn how to code, a whole world full of possibilities opens; they can create new solutions in their way. You might think it is hard for kids to learn to code, but in reality, it is quite easy. Learning coding at a young age makes kids better thinkers and communicators. This leads to more innovations, which is certainly beneficial throughout life. Even if later they decide that they want to be musicians, artists or something else, thinking logically can be helpful in the long run. Critical thinking and problem solving are skills that are important way outside computer science.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/why-learning-to-code-is-so-important-for-children/

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VR in universities: don’t believe (all) the hype

January 18th, 2017

by David Matthews, Times Higher Education

You may soon be engulfed by a new wave of predictions that the days of the physical university are numbered. A few years ago, just about every interested publication in print, ran an article that asked a question along the lines of: “will Moocs replace the university?” In 2017, unless we’ve learned lessons from the Moocs hype cycle, expect to read plenty of headlines that ask: “will virtual reality replace universities?” As we detail in a feature this week, advocates of virtual reality are claiming that after donning a headset, students will feel like they really are in a lecture hall speaking with their lecturers and classmates. It could make online learning as engaging and immersive as a campus, they claim, solving the problems that dogged massive open online courses. The trouble with this kind of techno-optimism about new ways to deliver teaching – be it through Moocs or VR – is that it rests on the quaint idea that the main point of going to university is to acquire knowledge.

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/blog/vr-universities-dont-believe-all-hype

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Michigan nurses can earn continuing education credits, receive support in online training series

January 18th, 2017

by WLUC

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Nursing Policy announced the launch of its second of three online Nursing Transition to Practice modules in conjunction with the Michigan Public Health Institute. The second module, Safety in Healthcare, is now available online. The Safety in Healthcare course describes the importance of safe patient care, offers strategies for engaging patients and families in care processes, and provides critical thinking exercises that allow nurses to practice identifying examples of adverse situations, human factors associated with errors, and safe team practices. The first module, Communication in Healthcare, launched in December. The Communications in Healthcare course describes the importance of effective communication in healthcare settings and provides critical thinking exercises that allow nurses to practice applying a variety of communication techniques.

http://www.uppermichiganssource.com/content/news/Michigan-nurses-can-earn-continuing-education-credits-receive-support-in-online-training-series-409800195.html

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How the Internet of Things is reshaping campus IT strategy

January 18th, 2017

by Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Ed Tech profiles Magazine outlines four strategies for campus IT departments preparing for the emergence of the Internet of Things — a phenomenon of online networking providing real-time data on human behaviors and preferences in connection with common items and environments. Addressing campus WiFi performance, improving data security and privacy standards, and training faculty and staff on new technology will be among the most important steps in preparing a campus for new forms of connectivity. For all of the changes, experts recommend that campuses have honest conversations with network vendors about expectations and mandate training as a part of implementation.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/how-the-internet-of-things-is-reshaping-campus-it-strategy/433469/

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Personalizing Professional Development For Teachers, By Teachers

January 17th, 2017

By Pat Phillips, EdSurge

Designing personalized learning experiences for ourselves not only kept us in touch with the needs of our students, but also allowed us the rare opportunity to put ourselves in their shoes as we tested our potential innovations on ourselves. We held ourselves accountable by sharing our individual goals and action steps in their formative stages through engaging in multiple peer feedback protocols and revision loops. Here again, the development of a robust asynchronous environment—which included interactive multimedia, online discussion forums, self-paced learning modules with automated feedback, and badges—was key. This allowed us opportunities to simulate how our teachers might go about developing flexible, personalized blended learning environments.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-01-04-personalizing-professional-development-for-teachers-by-teachers

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The M.B.A. Classroom That Knows When You’re Bored

January 17th, 2017

by PARMINDER BAHRA, Wall Street Journal

In a business school classroom in Spain, a computer alerts the professor that one of her students is losing interest. This is no ordinary lecture hall. It’s the Instituto de Empresa’s “WOW” room, or the “Window on the World,” a place the Spanish business school believes is the future of the master’s in business administration. The room is a physical space where faculty members deliver course modules to an audiovisual mosaic wall of students watching via video camera. A software application scans the video streams and runs a sentiment analysis to gauge students’ reactions. It can, for example, alert a lecturer if someone is losing interest, or is angry.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/disrupting-business-school-m-b-a-classrooms-get-a-digital-upgrade-1483542001

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How to temp test to see if a Master’s degree is really right for you

January 17th, 2017

by Roger Jones, American Genius

The launch of Find Lectures is a boon to the prospective student. In one place, you’ve got a searchable catalog of nearly 26,000 free lectures, many 60-minutes or less, from TED, the Library of Congress, Talks at Google, and more. For those who want more than just an exploratory conversation about a topic, there are multiple colleges and universities who have opened MOOCs, or massive open online courses. MOOCs, many of which are free, can be found for an almost unlimited number of courses, with some leading to degrees, while others allow you to get the knowledge, information, or skill, albeit with no degree path following.

https://theamericangenius.com/business-news/temp-test-see-masters-degree-really-right/

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Women Take Tech in Partnership

January 16th, 2017

by Flatiron School

Flatiron School is launching our Women Take Tech initiative in partnership with female-founded beauty subscription pioneer Birchbox. Through Women Take Tech, we’re dedicating over $100,000 in scholarship funding to increasing opportunity for future female software engineers – in January alone!

The stats surrounding women in tech bear repeating:

Women hold only 25% of computing-related occupations.

That number has been declining since its 1991-high of 36%.

And even when women manage to get their foot in the door of the male-dominated tech industry, they often don’t stay there: 41% of women in tech end up leaving the industry.

That’s 25% higher than it is for men in similar roles, and significantly higher than it is for women in other non-STEM fields.

http://blog.flatironschool.com/announcing-women-take-tech-in-partnership-with-birchbox/
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New Coding Bootcamp Guarantees Jobs for Graduates

January 16th, 2017

by EdSurge

Online learning company Springboard is launching its first data science bootcamp, the Data Science Career Track. The course, which costs between $4,800-$6,000 depending on payment method, promises graduates a job upon completion or a 100 percent refund. (According to Springboard, 50 out of 50 tracked graduates found jobs within six months at places including Amazon, Pandora and Boeing.) The self-paced course takes about 8 to 10 hours a week and runs for around five to six months. Through weekly mentor meetings and 24-7 teaching assistants, students learn skills such as statistics, Python, SQL and Hadoopfor. Springboard also pairs students with a career coach to help with interview prep, resume writing, and building connections to employers.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-01-05-new-coding-bootcamp-guarantees-jobs-for-gradates

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Moving Beyond the Tired Classroom Laptop Debate

January 16th, 2017

By Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

Can we get beyond the tired old discussion about if laptops should be banned from the classroom? The discussion that we should be having is about how we can harness the digital competencies – and the digitally inspired behaviors – that our students bring to their own learning. Have you ever observed a college student watching an online video? They are not passive video consumers. They actively control the in-video watching experience by speeding up and scrubbing through the video. They keep their cursor on the video controller and skip through the “slow” parts. Not only do students compress their video consumption by speeding and scrubbing, they also simultaneously interact with other content while watching. A video will share screen real estate with social media sites. They will chat, post, upload, compose, edit, scan, and scroll while also watching the video. How might we harness these digital video viewing behaviors to improve learning?

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology-and-learning/moving-beyond-tired-classroom-laptop-debate

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Results of the 2016 National Digital Curriculum Strategy Survey

January 15th, 2017

by eSchool News

The Learning Counsel released the results of its third annual Survey of school and district digital curriculum strategy and transformation, sponsored by Ruckus Wireless. A total of 708 U.S. schools and districts responded to the national Survey, which showed a primary point of attention by schools now is on teacher effectiveness in the implementation of digital curriculum. The survey found that 78 percent of students nationally have access to a computing device for a good portion of the school day or the full school day. It also forecasts that district spending on hardware, networks, and major system software will see a slight increase in 2017, rising to $16.2 billion. The top three digital device trends the survey found were the following: 1) tablets are losing popularity; 2) Chromebooks have had the most significant gain in popularity, a trend that is likely to continue; and 3) there is no agreement among schools about the best device based on the age of the student.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2017/01/02/digital-curriculum-survey/

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How does your district’s broadband stack up?

January 15th, 2017

BY LAURA DEVANEY, eSchool News

A free tool from nonprofit EducationSuperHighway is intended to help district technology leaders compare broadband and connectivity information with other districts nearby and across the nation. Compare & Connect K-12, which launched in beta in early 2016 and is now fully launched and available, displays public E-rate application data and lets users explore bandwidth speeds and compare broadband prices with school districts in a specific region or in any state across the country. The goal is simple: transparency regarding school district broadband and bandwidth pricing data in an effort to help school districts get more bandwidth for their broadband budgets.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2017/01/04/district-broadband-tool/

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Dayton high school student thrives in online schools

January 15th, 2017

By Beth Anspach, Dayton Daily News

“We chose to go with K12 because we didn’t like the options given to us by Dayton Public,” Garriet said. “The first 10 years of my school career, I wasn’t the worst student in the world, but I wasn’t the best either. I was just one of those kids that didn’t want to do the work. When I finally got my stuff together, I was in my final year in Kettering.” As a high school junior, Garriet started taking classes through Insight and K12. “After about three months, I found I really liked it (online school),” Garriet said. “I really enjoyed that style of learning.” Garriet began to thrive in the online classroom setting, particularly benefiting from the video technology that the program utilizes.

http://www.mydaytondailynews.com/lifestyles/dayton-high-school-student-thrives-online-schools/7vic4qYdmuYMh0UQNUynnO/

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Augmented and Virtual Reality Shipments to Double Each Year Through 2020

January 14th, 2017

By Joshua Bolkan, Campus Technology

Augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headset sales will see a compound annual growth rate of 108.3 percent from 2015 to 2020, according to a new report from International Data Corp. (IDC). That growth rate will lead to 76 million units shipped in 2020, if the forecast holds true. “2016 has been a defining year for AR as millions of consumers were introduced to Pokemon Go and, on the commercial side, developers and businesses finally got their hands on coveted headsets like Microsoft’s HoloLens,” said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC mobile device trackers, in a prepared statement. “AR may just be on track to create a shift in computing significant enough to rival the smartphone. However, the technology is still in its infancy and has a long runway ahead before reaching mass adoption.”

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/01/03/report-augmented-and-virtual-reality-shipments-to-double-each-year-through-2020.aspx

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How Online Education Can Fix Its Student Retention Problem

January 14th, 2017

by SATESH BIDAISEE, Gilmore Mirror

The recent growth of online education has been astounding. Last year, 35 million people signed up for at least one online class. That’s more than double the previous year’s enrollment. The popularity of online learning is easy to understand. Today, students have access to well over 4,000 courses in a wide array of subjects, from chemistry to philosophy to graphic design. They participate at a time and place that suits their schedule. Many courses are free.

http://www.gilmermirror.com/view/full_story/27340507/article-How-Online-Education-Can-Fix-Its-Student-Retention-Problem?instance=lead_story_left_column

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Government Initiatives to Boost the Global E-learning IT Infrastructure Market Through 2020

January 14th, 2017

by Technavio

Global e-learning IT infrastructure market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 14% during the period 2017-2021. In this research report, Technavio covers the outlook and growth prospects of the global e-learning IT infrastructure market for 2017-2021. The report segments the global e-learning IT infrastructure market into three broad categories including hardware, software, and connectivity, of which the connectivity segment dominated the market with more than 56% of the market share in 2016.

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170102005058/en/Government-Initiatives-Boost-Global-E-learning-Infrastructure-Market

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Many parts of Oklahoma are high-level math, science ‘deserts’

January 13th, 2017

By Jennifer Palmer, Oklahoma Watch

Participation in advanced-level math and science classes in high school is a strong predictor of success in college, regardless of the grade earned in the class or whether it results in college credit, studies show. Yet as many as two-thirds of Oklahoma high schools report they don’t offer calculus or physics, leaving swaths of the state devoid of these classroom opportunities, according to data for the 2014-15 school year, reported by schools to U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. Calculus and physics aren’t needed for a high school diploma, and schools may offer other high-level math and science courses, such as statistics. But calculus and physics are regarded as key concepts used in many other disciplines. And the classes are essential for entry into well-paying careers in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, as well as medicine.

http://www.enidnews.com/news/state/many-parts-of-state-are-high-level-math-science-deserts/article_a358247a-69b0-5e1e-b0dc-516560ae0ae5.html

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The 4 tech trends that will shape 2017, predicted by ZDNet editors

January 13th, 2017

By Jason Hiner , Chris Duckett , Larry Dignan , and Steve Ranger, ZDNet

As we do each week, the editors of ZDNet will continue to put our heads together in 2017 and give you our weekly Monday Morning Opener–an editorial that zooms in on the most important topic in tech for the week. Now that we’re sailing into the new year, we’ve also put a few brain cycles into zooming out on the big issues that will shape the year ahead. So after giving you the 5 biggest tech trends of 2016, we’ve now got the four big ones that will dominate 2017. The real story behind AI is automation, the Internet of Things platform eludes us, the smartphone holds out for the big one, and virtual reality becomes less virtual and more reality.

http://www.zdnet.com/article/the-4-tech-trends-that-will-shape-2017/

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Educators and tech leaders predict where edtech trends in teaching and learning will head this new year

January 13th, 2017

by eSchool News

With every new year comes new ideas. To get a glimpse into what the next 12 months will hold for everything from professional development to digital learning, and from communication to virtual reality, 15 ed tech luminaries looked back on 2016 edtech trends to help predict what’s in store for 2017. Here’s what they said:

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2017/01/02/hot-edtech-trends-2017/

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