Educational Technology

December 31, 2018

Personalized Learning: Artificial Intelligence and Education in the Future

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:43 am

John Loeffler, Interesting Engineering

It goes without saying that artificial intelligence is changing the nature of industries from transportation to finance, and education is no different with the prospect of personalized learning quickly becoming a reality. As more and more of a student’s education is experienced through a computer, data on their educational progress can be collected, leading to more personalized learning plans while assisting the teacher in identifying problem areas for students. While artificial intelligence in education might appear unnerving for some, the benefits are too great to ignore.

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NWCC Offers Flexible eLearning Classes for On-the-Go Students

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

By Sydney Briscoe and Paige Briscoe, HoddyToddy

Phyllis Johnson, Dean of eLearning said eLearning was implemented at Northwest Community College in 1999. The purpose of online courses is to increase access to Northwest courses by adults and other students who cannot attend campus-based classes because of work, family responsibilities or distance from campus, according to their website. The eLearning program started off with only 100 students but has since grown to 2,500 students. This doesn’t include the 700 dual enrollment high school aged students. The program offers 350 online courses for all types of majors, ranging from speech to business.

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Having a college degree isn’t a must anymore.

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


In 2018, the evidence is stacking up to show that employers are placing a decreasing emphasis on job candidates holding a college degree. Google consistently ranks as one of the top companies to work for in the U.S. As far back as 2014, Laszlo Bock, Google’s Senior VP of People Operations, stated that holding a degree is not a prerequisite for employment with the company. In an interview with the New York Times, Bock indicated that for every job at Google, cognitive ability is the most essential attribute. His points were summed up as “prospective bosses today care less about what you know or where you learned it than what value you can create with what you know.” Google is not alone. Big Four accounting firm EY also stated that a lack of academic qualifications “will no longer act as a barrier to getting a foot in the door.”

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December 30, 2018

Snow Days Become Online Learning Days

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


The school has plotted out a schedule for up to nine snow days. The first three days classes in the classroom are canceled will be “online learning days” for students. The next three snow days will be professional development days for staff. Snow days number seven, eight and nine — if there are that many snow days in the Estherville-Lincoln Central District this season — would be more “virtual days’ for students. The school is making arrangements for students who do not have online access outside of school, so all students can be involved in the learning process during a snow day. If the weather is truly frightful, with power being knocked out in the area, the school will opt for the traditional snow day — and kids in the Estherville-Lincoln Central district will not have to check in online.

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Free online courses prompt students to learn better

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

by DB Post

As free online courses become more the norm of the day, students across city are enrolling for them in large numbers. With availability of over hundred certified courses free of cost in formats like video lectures, students are getting guidance from faculty of reputed universities around the world. By enrolling for online courses, students are able to complete entire degrees as per their flexibility, even in-between jobs or pursuing another regular course. The platform of e-learning is especially helping dropout students because in online course, they can simply enrol for multiple courses while staying at home. Some e-learning sites like Edx, Coursera, Howcast, Cosmolearning, Massive open online courses (MOOCs) and Academic Earth are providing more affordable options than traditional colleges.

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With the expansion of e-learning platforms, lucrative career options are aplenty

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:28 am

Sarvesh Agrawal, the Hindu

The content in e-learning is a crucial aspect of learning, thus, the roles that help develop that content are equally important. The four roles that are involved in content development are subject-matter expert (SME), instructional designer (ID), storyboard artist (SBA), and visual content developer (VCD). To help you understand better, let us suppose developing the content for e-learning is like making a movie. So, the SME would be the scriptwriter, the ID would be the director, the SBA would be the cinematographer, and the VCD would be the final movie editor.

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December 29, 2018

Digital Learning Theories and Models That All Educators Should Know

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

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

You’ve probably heard about the benefits of digital learning: It’s engaging, student-centered, often collaborative, and can increase student achievement.  But here’s the catch:  You and your students won’t reap these benefits if you don’t purposefully plan your use of technology. Too often, teachers think of technology as something to check off of a list. “Does this lesson use technology? Nope…How can I sprinkle some in?” Using technology merely for the sake of using technology isn’t effective teaching.  Instead, here are five digital learning theories and models that can help you tap into the benefits of technology and enhance student outcomes.

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What if personalized learning was less about me and more about us?

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

Chris Berdik, Hechinger Report

The project typifies the mix of personalized and social learning that’s been a mainstay for 25 years at King, a founding member of a school network called EL Education. It sets these schools apart from a more recent wave of personalized learning, which is often dominated by technology and dogged by criticism that it isolates students from each other and from learning’s larger purpose. “We’re at a very important moment, because personalized learning is everywhere right now, and it’s been taken up by big funders, so everybody wants to say they’re doing it,” said Ron Berger, EL’s chief academic officer. “But there’s no common definition yet for what personalized learning actually is.” EL’s definition puts two elements at its core: “expeditionary learning” projects and small groups of students called Crews who stick together from grade to grade and meet daily along with a teacher adviser to support and challenge each other. The model won’t work everywhere, But it’s now used in about 150 schools in more than 30 states, and the nonprofit’s leaders have recently stepped up efforts to spread their approach.

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DeVos Outlines ‘Rethinking’ of Higher Education

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

Andrew Kreighbaum, Inside Higher Ed

Secretary and Education Department officials today outline plans for looming accreditation reform negotiation, describing focus on credit transfer and credential inflation. The department described its priorities in two white papers released Wednesday — on rethinking higher ed generally and on accreditation reform. Recommendations in the brief papers are broad and don’t come with specific policy proposals attached. Department officials said some of the identified issues could be addressed through regulations or changes to current law. Others are a matter of changing the department’s current practices, Diane Auer Jones, principal deputy under secretary of education, said in an interview this week.  “We want to put on the table what we think the challenge is,” she said. “But we are doing negotiated rule making. It isn’t up to us to solve every problem. We would love for people to come to the table with some of their own ideas on how to solve these problems.” Auer Jones said the department wants to give accreditors the ability to craft standards that match the institutions they accredit. It makes little sense, she said, to apply the same outcomes standards to Johns Hopkins University and a nearby community college.

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December 28, 2018

U.S. schools are getting rid of snow days — with Google’s help

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

Aarthi Swaminathan and Adriana Belmonte,  Yahoo Finance

When most people were in school, snow days meant that you essentially received a surprise holiday from mother nature. These days, schools are moving to replace snow days and other extreme weather off days with online learning — and they’re using Google to do it. During inclement weather, all students at Anderson School District 5 in South Carolina now receive assignments electronically through their Google Chromebook, which will not require internet service. The Chromebooks are provided to students by the district at no cost.  The district’s first “eLearning Day” was on Oct. 11, when schools were closed because of Hurricane Michael.

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Principals say Chromebooks will help transform learning

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

by Ruth Campbell, OAOA

Knowing that her campus is going to get 300 Google Chromebooks in January makes Wilson & Young Medal of Honor Middle School Principal Yolanda Hernandez smile. With her school of 1,100 students and limited technology resources, Hernandez has been struggling to schedule time for students’ learning and testing. Students have been allowed to use their own devices, but the donation will give her school a break. Hernandez said the contribution will give her students a chance to use the laptops for research, homework, to work on creative projects, work collaboratively and explore careers.

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Why Study App Quizlet Is Moving Into The Premium Content Market

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

Adam Rowe, Forbes

“Quizlet Premium Content is a planned, natural extension to our free study content, which will always remain, and acts as another avenue to meet our ambitious plans of ultimately serving the 1.4 billion students around the world,” he says. “Because 50 million monthly active users already engage with Quizlet for all their studying needs, it makes sense to add more materials, many of which directly align with textbooks, online courses, and standardized tests, from recognized education experts and brands.” He has a point: Distribution is everything on the internet, and Quizlet’s 50 million users signifies a large funnel that can lead to a reasonable amount of sign-ups for a paid content tier. However, the premium content’s success relies on how many students are willing to make the switch from free to paid.

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December 27, 2018

Start Smart with Data: 10 Steps for Success

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

by Cara Giacomini, EDUCAUSE Review

Within higher education IT departments are well-established partners in the use of business intelligence and analytics to provide enterprise-level data, to support institutional research, and, increasingly, to measure student success. Maturity of data governance, analytical methods, and practices in these areas has increased exponentially over the past decade or more. In contrast, incorporation of data into the decision-making of the IT department itself, as well as the operations of other administrative units, has typically been less extensive. Currently, there is a growing desire for data-informed decision making to permeate all of aspects of higher education. Start smart and you will end up with more than a pretty chart—you will be well on your way to integrating data into the strategic core of your work.

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

Tom Simonite, Wired

The brain is solving a very different problem from most of our neural nets. You’ve got roughly 100 trillion synapses. Artificial neural networks are typically at least 10,000 times smaller in terms of the number of weights they have. The brain is using lots and lots of synapses to learn as much as it can from just a few episodes. Deep learning is good at learning using many fewer connections between neurons, when it has many episodes or examples to learn from. I think the brain isn’t concerned with squeezing a lot of knowledge into a few connections, it’s concerned with extracting knowledge quickly using lots of connections.

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The AI boom is happening all over the world, and it’s accelerating quickly

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

By Nick Statt, the Verge

The second AI Index report finds that commercial and research work in AI, as well as funding, is exploding pretty much everywhere on the planet. There’s an especially high concentration in Europe and Asia, with China, Japan, and South Korea leading Eastern countries in AI research paper publication, university enrollment, and patent applications. In fact, Europe is the largest publisher of AI papers, with 28 percent of all AI-related publications last year. China is close behind with 25 percent, while North America is responsible for 17 percent.

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December 26, 2018

EdTechs and Instructional Designers—What’s the Difference?

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:41 am

Pat Reid, EDUCAUSE Review

In a recent conversation with an assistant vice president (AVP) who manages both educational technologists (edtechs) and instructional designers (IDs), the AVP expressed confusion over the difference between the two roles. In higher education, both roles typically report to the IT department. The confusion, then, should not be surprising. Neither role falls under traditional IT programming, systems analysis, or security roles, and, while the two roles revolve around computer systems and programs, their work is very different from traditional IT tasks. To exacerbate the situation, many IDs and edtechs have experience and skills in both roles, and institutions sometimes post a position for either an ID or an edtech when they’re actually seeking a person for the role they didn’t post.1  It isn’t just IT folks who are confused. A recent Google search for “degree in instructional design” resulted in degrees in “instructional design,” “learning technologies,” and “instructional design and technology.” As these results illustrate, even institutions marketing the degrees see a strong connection between the edtech and ID professions.

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Free educational resources encourage student success at RVCC

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

Donna Stolzer, Raritan Valley Community College

In response to the skyrocketing cost of student textbooks, Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) has launched a pilot program to provide students in 10 different classes with free access to textbooks. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of college textbooks increased 181 percent from 1998-2016, compared to an overall increase of 51 percent in the consumer price index. Textbook prices are creating barriers to student success, forcing some students to delay or even forgo buying the required course textbook.

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What Does a Future Ready College Student Look Like?

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

Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

The effort to ensure that students are “future ready” has gained momentum in recent years as more and more stakeholders have recognized the importance of digital learning tools to ensuring the success of students. And while the effort has largely focused on elementary and secondary education, that does not mean that college students are off the hook. Rather, the same principles that benefit younger students will help college students make the most of their higher education experience. In fact, since one of the main aspects of the future ready movement is ensuring that students are prepared for college and work, the need for college students to have these skills developed is all the more acute. One principle from the future ready movement that can benefit college students is the idea of personalized learning. College students are old enough to take learning into their own hands and ensure that they are maximizing their opportunities.

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December 25, 2018

Strategic IT: What Got Us Here Won’t Get Us There

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:38 am

John O’Brien, EDUCAUSE Review

When it comes to broad, demonstrable acceptance of information technology as a strategic asset, there are—as we say in higher education—”pockets of excellence,” especially colleges and universities that have taken on major digital transformation initiatives with vision from the top and buy-in throughout the organization. On the other hand, some evidence suggests that we may actually be moving in the opposite direction. For example, in the 2017 Campus Computing Survey, the percent of respondents who say that “senior academic leadership understands the strategic value of institutional investments in IT” declined by 10 percent from the previous year. Likewise, the 2017 Leadership Board for CIOs survey reports that board-level involvement in IT governance experienced a “significant drop,” from 26 percent to 17 percent—the lowest level of board engagement in four years.2

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OER Cost Assessment Strategies

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

Nichole Karpel and Bruce Schneider, EDUCAUSE Review
Seemingly, OER are good for faculty, students, and college administrators; so why isn’t every college implementing OER as a priority project? The short answer is that OER cost is just the beginning. The planning, selection, management, and maintenance of OER can propel even the best of planning teams into a quandary of unknown variables and decisions that can consume considerable resources for a potentially favorable outcome. This article examines the decisions, challenges, and lessons learned surrounding the implementation of OER. Although users are permitted to revise OER, which brings other considerations, the amount of research in this area is limited, and we focus here on costs, selection, and maintenance of OER.

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Michio Kaku and Tracey Wilen on Jobs of the Future

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


Dr. Michio Kaku — theoretical physicist, bestselling author, acclaimed public speaker, renowned futurist, and popularizer of science. This co-founder of String Field Theory, joined Dr. Tracey Wilen, a researcher and speaker on the impact of technology on society, work, and careers for a recent edition of his YouTube series. A former visiting scholar at Stanford University Wilen has held leadership positions at Apple, HP, Cisco Systems and the Apollo Group. In this half-hour program, they address Jobs of the Future for college students.

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