Educational Technology

June 11, 2018

Amgen Foundation And Harvard Team Up To Offer Free Online Science Education Platform

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:30 am

The Amgen Foundation and Harvard University today announced plans to launch a free online science education platform uniquely designed to level the playing field for aspiring scientists. The LabXchange platform, which will launch with a focus in biology, will offer digital instruction and virtual lab experiences to high school and college students, enabling them to gain meaningful exposure to the scientific process. It will also include online networking focused on collaboration and mentoring.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/amgen-foundation-and-harvard-team-up-to-offer-free-online-science-education-platform-300656825.html

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June 10, 2018

California Connections Academy provides education outside a classroom setting

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:40 am

by Ridge Crest California

Most of the coursework is done in a virtual classroom environment via the Internet. As an online public school, it’s a tuition-free program, with all required texts and instructional material provided at no cost. The expenses students and families might face are related to field trips (which are optional) and school supplies like notepads, pens and pencils. Rowe said that past available options were chaotic and sometimes not well-managed and didn’t foster a positive environment. David said it isn’t a struggle to reach out to the teachers in order to get help. “Sometimes the teachers are just a phone number away or a click of a button,” David said. “You don’t have to wait until the next day to talk with your teachers.”

http://www.ridgecrestca.com/news/20180530/learning-in-virtual-environment

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Missouri students may soon get option of free online courses

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:36 am

by Associated Press

New legislation passed in Missouri means as early as next year public school students in kindergarten through 12th grade could have the option to take free online courses. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Missouri House and Senate approved this month what’s been dubbed the Missouri Course Access and Virtual School Program. If Gov. Eric Greitens signs it, the law could go into effect next summer.

http://www.wpsdlocal6.com/2018/05/29/missouri-students-may-soon-get-option-of-free-online-courses/

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Seven strategies for minimizing tech services staff issues

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by Mark Rowh, University Business

Tackle issues head-on and promptly. This may be especially important for tech staff who ignore policies, fail to carry their load or can’t seem to get along with co-workers. “Don’t let the bad behavior of a few poison those who want to work,” says CIO Yvette Brown Koottungal at Barry University in Florida. She is also vice president for technology at the university, where she manages a team of 63.

https://www.universitybusiness.com/article/seven-strategies-minimizing-tech-services-staff-issues

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June 9, 2018

VR Ed Company Targets Low-Cost Oculus Go for Science Units

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:39 am

By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal
VictoryVR, a company that creates virtual reality curriculum for grades 5–12, will be making its science content available for the Oculus Go beginning this summer.
VictoryVR, a company that creates virtual reality curriculum for grades 5–12, will be making its science content available for the Oculus Go beginning this summer. At $199 for the 32 GB edition, the Go is being promoted as “VR for everyone,” serving as an entry-level alternative to pricier options, including the Oculus Rift, which sells for $399. A 64 GB version of the Go is $249.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2018/05/09/vr-ed-company-targets-low-cost-oculus-go-for-science-units.aspx

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How to Use Games to Juice up Science Lessons

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:36 am

By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

The use of gaming for student-centered learning eliminates constraints, increases engagement, boosts collaboration and empowers students to find answers through deep and rich experiences. The idea of using games to facilitate student-centered learning doesn’t eliminate “good teaching,” said Meenoo Rami, author, trainer and teacher and, currently, manager for Minecraft: Education Edition. “The content doesn’t go away. It’s more about meeting the students where they are, taking their passion and turning it into an opportunity for learning.”

https://thejournal.com/articles/2018/05/23/how-to-use-games-to-juice-up-science-lessons.aspx

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Report: Smartphone Sales Swing up Following Recent Decline

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By Joshua Bolkan, THE Journal
Worldwide shipments of smartphones grew 1.3 percent, year over year, in the first quarter of 2018 following a decline in sales the previous quarter, according to a report from Gartner. Smartphones made up 84 percent of the total mobile phone market, accounting for nearly 384 million of the 455 million units sold. Much of that good news came at the low end of the market, however. “Demand for premium and high-end smartphones continued to suffer due to marginal incremental benefits during upgrade,” said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner, in a prepared statement.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2018/05/30/report-smartphone-sales-swing-up-following-decline.aspx

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June 8, 2018

Teachers Shouldn’t Have To Work Alone — And Now They Don’t Have To

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:40 am

Michael Horn , Forbes
With the rise of online learning in schools—what educators call blended learning—what teachers do daily is changing in big and small ways.  A central question is what will teaching look like in the future, as online learning can increasingly help students learn knowledge personalized to their specific learning need. Enter a new research paper titled “Innovative Staffing to Personalize Learning: How new teaching roles and blended learning help students succeed” from Public Impact and the Clayton Christensen Institute.  Today’s traditional teaching role asks a lot of teachers. It creates a job that is not that supportive of teachers or their practice. In the future though, there are ample opportunities to leverage blended learning and change the status quo to create more sustainable teaching jobs that also better serve students.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelhorn/2018/05/29/teachers-shouldnt-have-to-work-alone-and-now-they-dont-have-to/#1bc4bf9b6157

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The Problem With “Learning Styles”

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:31 am

by Cindi May, Scientific American

A recent review of the scientific literature on learning styles found scant evidence to clearly support the idea that outcomes are best when instructional techniques align with individuals’ learning styles. In fact, there are several studies that contradict this belief. It is clear that people have a strong sense of their own learning preferences (e.g., visual, kinesthetic, intuitive), but it is less clear that these preferences matter. Research by Polly Hussman and Valerie Dean O’Loughlin at Indiana University takes a new look at this important question. Most previous investigations on learning styles focused on classroom learning, and assessed whether instructional style impacted outcomes for different types of learners. Some might argue that, in this era of flipped classrooms and online course materials, students master more of the information on their own. That might explain why instructional style in the classroom matters little. It also raises the possibility that learning styles do matter—perhaps a match between students’ individual learning styles and their study strategies is the key to optimal outcomes.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-problem-with-learning-styles/

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How to Use Google Slides in the Classroom

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:29 am

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Google Slides is a presentation product; it is quite similar to the more-familiar PowerPoint. But since it is part of the Google suite of products, it is free to use. It can be a powerful classroom resource. Here are six ways to use Google Slides in the classroom: First, there is simply no justification for giving a lecture in the age of Google Slides. Teachers can supplement what they are saying with a visual presentation that, research shows, will make it far more likely that students will remember what they have been taught since they will not only have heard but also have seen the information. Visual aids can also be added.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/how-to-use-google-slides-in-the-classroom/

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June 7, 2018

KCS teacher professional development includes micro-credentials, Google

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:40 am

by RICK WAGNER, Kingsport Times-News
rwagner@timesnews.net
Is your child’s teacher a holder of at least one micro-credential and/or certified proficient with Google tools?  If so, he or she may be part of two overlapping groups of educators in Kingsport City Schools. The micro-credential educators in Kingsport City Schools and across Tennessee are in a pilot program of the state Department of Education, which two local educators said is designed to help teachers improve their ability to teach.

http://www.timesnews.net/Education/2018/05/27/Teacher-professional-development-includes-Micro-Credentials-and-Google

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Help Me, Laptop: What’s the Best Touch-Screen Chromebook?

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:35 am

By Rami Tabari. Laptop
If you’ve ever gone to college, you might know the pain of being a broke college student. That pain gets even sharper the moment your professor tells you need to cough up several hundred dollars for a super-specific textbook. Now replace “textbook” with “laptop,” and you know how our forum member The Phoenix is feeling. Aside from the touch screen and price limit, The Phoenix has a few more requirements for their notebook. They also want a system with at least a 2.0-GHz dual-core or 1.6-GHz quad-core processor, 4GB of RAM and a 32GB SSD with upgradable storage.

https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/best-touchscreen-chromebook

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How to Future Proof Your School Districts’ Ecosystem

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:30 am

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

It takes time and attention it takes to get your digital network functioning seamlessly, but this investment is not just important for today but for the future as well. We can be sure that technology will continue to change, but if a basic tenant of your network is that all content and systems adheres to inoperability standards like the one created by the IMS Global Learning Consortium, then wherever the future leads us, your system will be able to follow. The Houston Independent School District (HISD) had a hodgepodge of separate systems in use and digital content from a variety of publishers with proprietary data formats and unique usernames and passwords. While they were in the process of purchasing a new Teaching and Learning System (TLS), they came across the concept of interoperability and decided to make it a district goal. They wanted teachers and students to be able to purchase content from different publishers but to have it all available in one location, one central “hub.”

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/how-to-future-proof-your-school-districts-digital-ecosystem/

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June 6, 2018

Virtual learning could help solve school closures issues

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:35 am

By Anna Quinn, News Times

Virtual learning and at-home assignments may change the way kids see snow days in Connecticut.  Danbury-area students have spent nearly two weeks or more out of the classroom this year due to snow and storm school closures.  Ridgefield, for example, has requested a waiver from the state to end the year with 179 days — one day short of the required 180 — due to a record-breaking 14 school closures caused by three March snowstorms and the recent macroburst that left thousands without power for days. Other local districts have also requested state waivers.

https://www.newstimes.com/local/article/Virtual-learning-could-help-solve-school-closures-12944984.php

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‘Square pegs’ avoid ‘round holes’ at online school

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:33 am

By Kari Bray, Herald Net

This is the school’s second year. It is publicly funded through a partnership with the Mary M. Knight School District north of Elma, and considered an alternative learning experience by the state. The program must meet the same standards — including certified teachers and standardized tests — as other public schools. There were 1,037 students enrolled statewide as of Jan. 31, including 105 from Snohomish County. Enrollment has more than doubled from last year. The online program started with kindergarten through 8th grade and is gradually adding high school levels. By 2020, Washington Connections Academy expects to have its first graduating class, Principal Michael Lunde said.

‘Square pegs’ avoid ‘round holes’ at online school

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Using Google Classroom to Flip Your Lessons

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:31 am

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Flipping the classroom is a simple concept. While a traditional model involves students learning new material during class time and then practicing it at home, a flipped classroom reverses things so that students learn new material at home—typically by watching a video or other presentation–and then practice during class time. There are two main advantages to flipping the classroom: students seem to be more engaged with their homework when it is a video than when it is a worksheet and, secondly, practice is normally more productive when the teacher is available to helps students who need guidance. Of course, this is a radically different approach to instruction, and adopting it requires significant effort on the part of the teacher.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/using-google-classroom-to-flip-your-lessons/

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June 5, 2018

2018 K–12 IT Salary & Job Satisfaction Survey

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:39 am

By David Nagel, THE Journal
With only three exceptions, salaries are up across the board for technology professionals in K–12 education in the last two years. The biggest gripe continues to be (not terribly surprisingly) budgets. For technology professionals, education has been a rewarding place to work over the last year. Salaries are up for the most part; job satisfaction is high; and the outlook for the future is positive — these according to the results of our third-annual K–12 IT Salary & Job Satisfaction Survey. Overall, the average salary for technology professional in education (excluding classroom teachers) was $66,640 in 2017 — up about $3,000 from 2015 (fig. 1, click to enlarge).   While C-level salaries were up on the whole ($100,400 in 2017 versus $99,045 in 2015), CIO salaries themselves declined from $105,469 in 2015 to an even $100,000 in 2017. That, however, is a slight recovery from 2016’s average of $99,583. (C-level includes CIO, CSO, CTO and CDO.)

https://thejournal.com/articles/2018/05/24/it-salary-job-satisfaction-survey.aspx

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Everything you knew about Chromebooks is wrong

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:35 am

By Mike Elgan, ComputerWorld

Google’s slow, limited, browser-only, cloud-centric laptop platform is now the most powerful and capable user platform on the planet. Yeah, I said it. Apple fans laugh at this idea, saying that a MacBook Pro can run the Chrome browser and gain all the benefits of a Chromebook, as well as all the benefits and leading-edge content-creation tools of a far more elegant, better designed and better engineered device.  Windows users carp that Chromebooks are cute, but not serious business tools. The Surface Book 2 is also a tiny laptop, they say, but a real computer. Linux developers concede Chromebooks are interesting but argue they can’t be used for software development. But these obsolete stereotypes are not compatible with the new reality of Chromebooks.

https://www.computerworld.com/article/3276329/chrome-os/everything-you-knew-about-chromebooks-is-wrong.html

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Designing a school for next-century learning

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:30 am

BY W. TYLER WHITEHEAD, eSchool News
Sartell High School will feature cutting-edge Learning Labs, makerspaces, and more to empower students and spark creativity.  Sartell-St. Stephen Independent School District, located in central Minnesota, is one of many school districts across the country that recognized a need to dramatically evolve traditional classrooms to create a variety of specialized and flexible learning environments to meet the needs of next-century learners. Cuningham Group Architecture, in collaboration with engineering and architecture firm IIW-Minnesota, is designing a new 1,350-student high school that is scheduled to open in the fall of 2019.

Designing a school for next-century learning

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June 4, 2018

NC State to Work with IBM on Quantum Computing Research

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:40 am

 

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology
North Carolina State University is joining the IBM Q Network, a collaboration of companies, academic institutions and national research labs working to advance quantum computing, making it the first university-based IBM Q Hub in North America. Members of the network get early access to IBM Q commercial quantum computing systems for research purposes, via the IBM Cloud. The goal: exploring practical applications important to business and science, according to a news announcement. “Hubs within the network are critical for accelerated industry collaborations, learning, skills development and implementation of quantum computing, globally,” the announcement explained.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2018/05/24/nc-state-to-work-with-ibm-on-quantum-computing-research.aspx

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Assistive Technology to Help Students with Down Syndrome Succeed Academically

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:35 am

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

For students with Down Syndrome, assistive technology provides adaptations that make accessing curriculum goals and completing tasks easier.  Assistive technology allows Down Syndrome students to complete assignments quicker than if they had tried the tasks on their own. Other benefits include

Giving students control of their learning
Promoting success rather than focusing on failure
Offering individualized adaptability
Providing control over pace and number of tasks
Encouraging both verbal and nonverbal responses

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/assistive-technology-to-help-students-with-down-syndrome-succeed-academically/

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