Take this self-assessment and discover your tech readiness

March 1st, 2015

by Keith Krueger, eSchool News

CoSN has developed a readiness evaluation tool—the “District Leadership Team Assessment,” which enables your team to identify strengths and opportunities for growth. This free team assessment is part of CoSN’ s Empowered Superintendent initiative, produced with AASA (The School Superintendents Association). Complementing the team assessments, superintendents and CTOs can also measure their own skills on an individual basis through separate personal evaluations—the “Self-Assessment for Superintendents” and the “Self-Assessment for CTOs and Technology Staff.” Combined, these assessments open the door for superintendents, aspiring superintendents, CTOs, and district leadership teams to identify their strengths and weaknesses and build their knowledge, skills, and confidence both from leadership roles and within the entire unit.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/02/19/self-assessment-701/

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More schools using technology to teach character skills

March 1st, 2015

by eSchool News

As schools are increasingly fitted with new technology, the classroom atmosphere is changing. Tablets are replacing textbooks, interactive whiteboards are ousting chalkboards and software discs are going the way of the dinosaur. Amidst all of the change, however, there’s one constant: the pursuit of academic excellence and mutual respect. During the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) Convention, experts from the nonprofit foundation Great Expectations shared best practices for fostering productive classrooms in the presence of increased technology integration. Great Expectations is a school transformation model that emphasizes a climate of mutual respect and academic excellence.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/02/19/character-skills-847/

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SUNY’s 3D printing success story

March 1st, 2015

by eCampusNews

Since SUNY New Paltz opened its MakerBot Innovation Center in February 2014, the university has used it to help establish the Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center (HVAMC) as a premiere hub for advanced manufacturing technology in the Hudson Valley, garnering industry interest and securing funding for further expansion. According to Donald Christian, president of SUNY New Paltz, the MakerBot Innovation Center helped jumpstart SUNY New Paltz’s 3D printing initiative, which has enjoyed “tremendous interest” from students, faculty and the surrounding business community. With the MakerBot Innovation Center, the university forged public-private partnerships with industry to create a “vibrant innovation hub that serves both students and the local business community in unprecedented ways.”

http://www.ecampusnews.com/technologies/sunys-3d-makerbot-765/

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Achieving the (Often Delicate) Balance between Technology and Information Security

February 28th, 2015

by Ronald L. Vaughn and Tammy Clark, Educause Review

Higher education leaders today face mounting pressure to compete for dwindling numbers of college applicants, account for learning outcomes, embrace technology innovation and disruption, and make key decisions regarding whether to move enterprise applications and infrastructure to the cloud. In the midst of this, there is an equally compelling need to ensure that the balance between information technology and information security is continually adjusted to provide adequate protection for the vast amount of information that is collected, processed, and stored across the institution. Objective assessments of security risks, needs, and considerations must be made clear to institutional leaders who make key decisions affecting strategic planning, budgeting, technology, and data security. The focus of this column is to highlight the advantages that can be gained by achieving that balance.

http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/achieving-often-delicate-balance-between-technology-and-information-security

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Enrollment in MITx MOOCs: Are We Educating Educators?

February 28th, 2015

by Daniel Thomas Seaton, Cody Coleman, Jon Daries, and Isaac Chuang, Educause Review

Surveys of 11 MITx courses on edX in spring 2014 found that one in four (28.0 percent) respondents identified as past or present teachers. Of the survey respondents, nearly one in 10 (8.7 percent) identified as current teachers. Although they represent only 4.5 percent of the nearly 250,000 enrollees, responding teachers generated 22.4 percent of all discussion forum comments. One in 12 of the total comments were made by current teachers, and one in 16 were from teachers with experience teaching the subject of the MITx course in which they enrolled.

http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/enrollment-mitx-moocs-are-we-educating-educators

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Are Digital Schools the Wave of the Future?

February 28th, 2015

by Suren Ramasubbu, Huffington Post

What is the verdict then? Is digital schooling better than conventional schools? The question is ideological and is built on the encompassing argument of what education itself is. Although it is easy to denounce the digital school (or brick and mortar school) with compelling reasons, we should be wary of outweighing the interests of technology over other social, cultural, and political concerns (or vice versa). Given that the conventional academy has existed over centuries and withstood the travails of time, there is no reason to believe that “digital schools” would overturn the conventional face-to-face schooling system in the near future, but will undoubtedly serve to complement it.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/suren-ramasubbu/are-digital-schools-the-w_b_6710854.html

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How to Get Your Class Online & Maintain Student Privacy

February 27th, 2015

By Amanda Ronan, Edudemic

Hackers, phishing, pharming, spam, adware, spyware, worms, and viruses. With everything that can go wrong online, it’s a small miracle that the Internet is still such a popular resource. Schools are charged not only with educating students, but also with keeping them safe—and nowadays that means protecting them online. Some schools have very tight restrictions about online use, including firewalls that block nearly every potentially interesting website imaginable and content filters so sensitive that “a” and “the” have become bad words. The excessive policing around information accessible only online has many tech-friendly teachers frustrated—sure they understand the importance of protecting student information, but they feel stifled by seemingly inane rules about online use.

http://www.edudemic.com/how-to-get-your-class-online-maintain-student-privacy-have-fun-doing-so/

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Navigating my way through designing a class: Sharing teaching expertise through technology

February 27th, 2015

by Ian Watkins, the Working Waterfront

A class isn’t about handing a student a thick binder, online or otherwise, of lessons and assessments; it requires the teacher delivering and teach the material. The main task of creating an online class involves substituting this time-tested and highly effective method of delivering content. If you’re not an expert on the topic, you rely on other resources. In using those resources, you must consider how can they be presented and delivered in a coherent way that doesn’t necessarily include a teacher standing in front of a classroom.

http://www.workingwaterfront.com/articles/Navigating-my-way-through-designing-a-class/16236/

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10 Online Programs to Boost Your Business Skills

February 27th, 2015

by Nicole Fallon, Business News Daily

No matter how long you’ve been out of school, you’re never truly done learning. This is especially true of entrepreneurs, many of whom figure out the ropes of running a business as they go. Taking opportunities to improve your business skills is always a good idea, but once you get your startup going, you likely won’t have the time or budget to go back to school and enroll in a traditional university course. The good news is, you don’t have to: There are plenty of online education programs designed specifically for entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to do more than just attend an occasional workshop or seminar.

http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/7780-online-business-education-programs.html

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Drexel and TechGirlz to Create Online Game Design Class for Teens

February 26th, 2015

by Drexel Now

Recent higher education reports have raised questions about the persistence of inequality in gender representation among college students in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines in the last decade. Employment in the technology sector continues to reflect this disparity. Two local groups are taking steps to reverse this trend by increasing access to tech workshops that encourage young women to pursue careers in STEM-related fields. The idea is to make a set of self-contained online instructional videos and educational materials that will guide middle-school and high-school age students –and their teachers- through a basic game design curriculum. Drexel University’s Entrepreneurial Game Studio is working with the Philadelphia nonprofit TechGirlz to create a virtual game design class that will be made available, free-of-charge, to schools and students nationwide.

http://drexel.edu/now/archive/2015/February/ESA-TechGirlz/

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All the World’s a Stage—Becoming a Better E-Learning Designer

February 26th, 2015

by Ethan Edwards, ATD

Too often people seem to think a cookbook procedure combined with the basic knowledge of an authoring tool is sufficient or even desired. In fact, looking for a single restrictive instructional design model to be repeated over and over, and a blind reliance on technology to create learning are two of biggest traps that reliably produce really ineffective training. Efforts in that direction are usually geared toward productivity rather than instruction. (And productivity is a good thing, but it is easy to forget that not only does e-learning have to be delivered, it also has to have some effect.) Fortunately, I find new design insights in the most unlikely places.

https://www.td.org/Publications/Blogs/Learning-Technologies-Blog/2015/02/Becoming-a-Better-E-Learning-Designer

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The New York Times and CIG Education Group Collaborate on New Online Learning Initiative

February 26th, 2015

by the New York Times

The New York Times and CIG Education Group have come together to launch NYT EDUcation, a new education initiative. NYT EDUcation marries The New York Times’s premier content and award-winning journalism to the educational expertise of CIG Education Group, a leader in the development of branded academic institutions. NYT EDUcation will provide innovative courses and programs covering a wide array of subjects, including communications and media, which reflect the authoritative content and intellectual breadth of The New York Times. Courses will be offered on a wide variety of topics, ranging from pre-college level to higher education, continuing education and executive education by incorporating the skills, knowledge and experience of The New York Times.

http://investors.nytco.com/press/press-releases/press-release-details/2015/The-New-York-Times-and-CIG-Education-Group-Collaborate-on-New-Education-Initiative/default.aspx

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ONE way districts are negotiating cheap, reliable internet for themselves

February 25th, 2015

By Bridget McCrea, eSchool News

“The state used an E-rate bid for internet… and wound up saving money across the state,” says Jeff Mozdzierz, Pontiac’s director of field services for Oakland Schools (of which Pontiac is one of 28 districts that together serve 200,000 students in 425 connected buildings). Through ONE, the internet is provided over consortium-owned private fiber into a connection with telecom providers, with all consortium members sharing two 10 Gigabit connections. According to Tammy Evans, chief technology officer for Oakland Schools, the county was an early adopter of the concept of “shared internet” across multiple, geographically-dispersed schools. In 2000, the county rolled out a 36-connection network that links all local public school districts and its technical campus sites.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/02/18/one-internet-418/

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Addressing the data skills gap with bootcamps

February 25th, 2015

by eSchool News

Bootcamps focusing on data science aim to set students up for workplace success. NYC Data Science Academy is conducting a series of training it calls data science “bootcamps.” These full-time bootcamps accept talented students from a wide range of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) backgrounds and equip them with the skills they need to hit the ground running as data scientists on day one. Data science bootcamps are separated from universities by offering more hands-on skills, real work experience, industry connections, and job placement. MGI reports a predicted shortage of 190,000 skilled data scientists, and 1.5 million managers capable of implementing big data insights by 2018 (Big Data: The Next Frontier).

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/data-skills-gap-894/

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Technology-Driven Service Learning: The Instructor’s Role and the Student’s Experience

February 25th, 2015

by Andrew Martin and Lindsey Joyce Chamberlain, EDUCAUSE Review

To enhance student interactions with community organizations in a service-learning course, Ohio State University’s Sociology Department introduced mobile technology, giving its students iPads to use throughout the semester. Working in teams, the students helped local businesses solve specific problems, using the iPads both for in-class research and to communicate with business owners and each other. Far from diminishing the instructor’s role, the use of iPads both enhanced that role and showed how it must change in a course heavily reliant on mobile technology. Course-end surveys show that students benefitted from the technology use, not only in coursework but also in terms of their confidence about using mobile devices and applications in the job market.

http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/technology-driven-service-learning-instructors-role-and-students-experience

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School within a school provides a different approach to learning

February 24th, 2015

by Fox 13

It’s online learning with a human touch, minus the “herd mentality.” “We have the kids all day with us, even though they switch from class to class, we’re still able to meet with them whenever we want,” Kailin said. Twelve-year-old Casey Harkins loves it. “Now I’m getting better grades, and I’m really good at it,” Casey said. This type of blended learning where high-tech meets human interaction is all the buzz in education today. “It keeps me above pace and lets me do my best,” says student Shelton Reid. They all have assignment deadlines, and going above and beyond is common.

http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/story/28122658/2015/02/16/school-within-a-school-provides-a-different-approach-to-learning

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In Emerson, an early lesson in ‘Digital Citizenship’ and online presence

February 24th, 2015

BY ANDREW WYRICH, the Record

Dennis Gordon, a social studies teacher at Patrick M. Villano Elementary School, stood in front of his third-grade class and pointed at a picture of footprints on the board in front of them and asked two simple questions: “What are these and what do they tell us?” The class enthusiastically answered that they were looking at footprints on a beach and those footprints, they said, can show evidence that someone stepped somewhere — but also added that footprints can get washed away by waves. Smiling, Gordon brought up a new slide. This time, an outline of a foot filled with internet company logos such as Google, Facebook and Instagram flashed on the screen. This is a “digital footprint,” he explained to the class as they peered over their Google Chromebook laptops, but a better word to describe what the internet is really like would be “digital tattoo.”

http://www.northjersey.com/news/education/lessons-in-online-citizenship-begin-early-1.1272258

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Virtual learning may make snow days a thing of the past

February 24th, 2015

by Jenn Savedge, Mother Nature Network

Winter has been hammering certain regions of the U.S. this year, burying some cities in foot after foot of snow and resulting in a backlog of missed school days that will have to be tacked on to the schedule in the summer months. But there are some parts of the country where school doesn’t stop for snow days, schools where students are expected to log-in from home so that the learning can continue — even when school buildings are closed.

http://www.mnn.com/family/family-activities/blogs/virtual-learning-may-make-snow-days-a-thing-of-the-past

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Schools Push for More Mobile Devices

February 23rd, 2015

by Julie Wootton, Magic Valley

The Twin Falls School District wants more mobile computing devices — such as laptops and tablets — in its classrooms. Under a five-year technology plan, the district aims to have one device for every two students, director of operations Brady Dickinson told school trustees in December. “If the state allocation for technology continues, I think we can get there.” The district — which recently wrapped up the first year of its technology plan — receives about $200,000 each year in state tech money. Among 13 schools, there are 2,183 mobile computing devices for students to use — one for every four students.

http://magicvalley.com/news/local/schools-push-for-more-mobile-devices/article_1a7a6bc5-e381-5488-b30d-6b5728b8ef7c.html

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Top 10 Ways To Teach Yourself To Code

February 23rd, 2015

by MELANIE PINOLA, LifeHacker

The direction you go in will depend in large part on why you want to learn to code in the first place and how much time you have to devote to learning. If you want to be a professional programmer, signing up for professional courses might be your best bet. (Google has a list of suggested skills and courses for would-be software engineers.) If you want to build websites or games for fun (and possibly profit) in your spare time, interactive tutorials might be better. Bloc has a comparison of course options based on workload, cost, and reason you’re picking up programming.

http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2015/02/top-10-ways-to-teach-yourself-to-code/

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New partnership supports online learning for special education students

February 23rd, 2015

by eSchool News

Learning team to give schools innovative, flexible special education solution. Across the country, schools and districts are leveraging digital learning to overcome staffing and resource challenges to improve outcomes and to address the many needs of their K-12 students—whether to expand course options, to provide assistance to those who need additional help, or to provide an alternative learning environment. Now, through a partnership between PresenceLearning and Fuel Education, schools can use digital learning to address the needs of their special education students, too.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/02/16/special-ed-partnership-753/

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