Goodbye, Snow Days: Students Study From Home

November 17th, 2014

by Kyle Potter, Associated Press

The early arrival of wintry weather in the Midwest this week gave Grewing an opening to test out a virtual class day at St. Cloud Cathedral high school in central Minnesota, having students whip out laptops or iPads and work from home. After a successful test run, Grewing declared Tuesday that students’ cherished snow days are a thing of the past — at least at Cathedral. “This is what we will be doing every single snow day going forward,” she said. “I’ll be honest. There has been some grumbling.” Private schools like Cathedral — and, increasingly, some public school districts — across the nation are starting to use the flexibility technology provides to work around weather, meeting school mandates without make-up days.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/goodbye-snow-days-students-study-home-26844708

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Columbia Launches Hybrid Learning Initiative

November 17th, 2014

By Michael Hart, Campus Technology

Columbia University has launched an initiative to turn more of its traditional lecture courses into hybrid learning experiences that would incorporate the use of audiovisual materials, social media, flipped classrooms and real-time feedback from students. The Provost’s Faculty Advisory Committee on Online Learning has asked faculty members to submit their proposals to either turn existing courses into hybrid online courses or create new courses. A faculty committee will review the proposals and make recommendations to Provost John Coatsworth, who will announce November 24 which proposals the university will pursue. A second round of proposals will be accepted in the spring.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/11/10/columbia-launches-hybrid-learning-initiative.aspx

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Radical Ideas for Reinventing College, From Stanford’s Design School

November 17th, 2014

BY KYLE VANHEMERT, Wired

At WIRED by Design, Sarah Stein Greenberg, executive director of Stanford Design School, shared a handful of concepts for redesigning college, culled from a year long workshop. Specifically, they look at how to keep the on-campus experience relevant in an age where online learning is becoming increasingly common. One of the provocations, called Open Loop University, wonders what could happen if you gave students six years of college to use whenever they wanted throughout their adult life. This sort of speculative thinking is meant to address growing concerns about the traditional four-year undergraduate track—basically that today’s system makes way for a bunch of well-trained sheep. “This is a generation of students who are incredibly highly structured, but they’re going to be entering an increasingly ambiguous world,” Stein Greenberg says. “We need to be training our students not just to expect that they will be society’s leaders, but also to be our most creative, daring, and resilient problem solvers.”

http://www.wired.com/2014/11/radical-ideas-reinventing-college-stanfords-design-school/

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Online snow days get early trial run

November 16th, 2014

by Kim McGuire, Star Tribune

With vivid memories of the Polar Vortex and its frigid wrath, administrators at Cathedral High School in St. Cloud decided earlier this year that students would work from home online the next time bad weather forced a snow day. To make sure students and teachers were prepared, a “practice” snow day was slated for Nov. 21. But Mother Nature had other plans, dumping nearly a foot of snow on the St. Cloud area on Monday and forcing ­Cathedral officials to do a real-life trial before their test run. “It was sort of ready or not,” Cathedral High School Principal Lynn Grewing said. “But we were ready, and we got everything posted online pretty early.”

http://www.startribune.com/local/282227521.html

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Will MOOCs be Flukes?

November 16th, 2014

BY MARIA KONNIKOVA, New Yorker

MOOCs are a technology with potentially revolutionary implications for education, but without a precise plan for realizing that potential. One way of getting there could be for the leaders of the MOOC movement to look more closely at old methods, from when education was less massive, less open, and entirely offline.

http://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/moocs-failure-solutions

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Six tips for classroom technology success

November 16th, 2014

by eSchool News

An industry advisory panel of educators shares strategies to help teachers – regardless of their tenure – implement education technology in the classroom. The LEGO Education Advisory Panel (LEAP) advises LEGO Education, the education division within the LEGO group, on how to meet the needs of educators and students. The panel consists of 50 educators, across all levels of education, who are experienced with the trials and triumphs of using unconventional teaching tools in the classroom. Drawing from our experience using a wide gamut of education technology, we compiled the following list of tips and tricks to help teachers —regardless of their tenure —implement education technology in their own classroom.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/11/11/lego-technology-classroom-329/

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How to Use Prezi to Create Visual Lessons

November 15th, 2014

By Leigh Ann Whittle, Edudemic

You can create a visual classroom without succumbing to death by PowerPoint. Its interactive features, zooming display, and creative options will enable your visual lessons to engage students without distracting them from lesson objectives. With all those bells and whistles, Prezi might sound complicated, but it’s actually quite simple to use. Follow the link below for more on this innovative tool.

http://www.edudemic.com/how-to-use-prezi-to-create-visual-lessons/

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50 resources for using an iPad, Android tablet in class

November 15th, 2014

by Charlie Osborne, ZD Net

Tablet computers have permeated the classroom in the last few years. Companies including Microsoft, Apple and Samsung have issued free devices, software and services to insinuate themselves into the classroom — not only giving students more access to technology no matter their background, but potentially also to influence the next generation of consumers toward a particular brand or operating system. However, no matter the reasons, technology has the potential to enrich a learner’s experience in the classroom and give teachers more access to resources, lesson ideas and subject matter. Tablets, due to their portability and app support, remove the need to trudge over to a computer room to access the Web — and can stored safely away after a lesson.

http://www.zdnet.com/50-resources-for-using-an-ipad-android-tablet-in-class-7000034700/

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Lyons first to offer CSU online concurrent enrollment classes

November 15th, 2014

By Whitney Bryen, Times-Call

The program, which kicks off in January, will give sophomores, juniors and seniors in Lyons the chance to gain high school and college credit by taking CSU online classes at a discounted rate. This spring, eligible students with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher and a teacher recommendation can enroll in an online sociology or psychology class through CSU. “These students are the high fliers,” Winger said. Each class will cost students about $150 instead of the $800 they would pay if they took the class as a CSU student, said Lyons principal Greg Winger.

http://www.timescall.com/news/longmont-schools/ci_26873830/lyons-first-offer-csu-online-concurrent-enrollment-classes

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5 Skills That Games Teach Better Than Textbooks

November 14th, 2014

By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

Playing games at school can inspire students in ways that nobody could predict. For proof, just take Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. In it, Dumbledore raises his hand for silence and pronounces the memorable line, “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” The victory is decided by the modest 10 points Dumbledore grants to Gryffindor’s Neville Longbottom, and with it comes a lesson worth learning: Following your conscience, even in small ways, can have a big impact. Trying to impart that lesson without the game would most likely have had as much impact as the lunch ladies making a switch from peas to carrots. Because games immerse students in a world outside their daily experience game-based pedagogy can help students learn skills that they could never grasp by reading a textbook. Here are five of them.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/11/05/5-skills-that-games-teach-better-than-textbooks.aspx

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10 ways to create engaging schools

November 14th, 2014

By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

Technology integration and project-based learning are two of 10 strategies that one district technology director uses to help educators create engaging schools and classrooms that excite and empower students. Ninety-five percent of kindergartners are truly enthusiastic about school, but for some reason, that enthusiasm wanes, and only 37 percent of ninth graders are enthusiastic about school and learning, said Robert Dillon, director of technology and innovation for the Affton School District in St. Louis, during an edWeb Connected Educator Month webinar. School leaders must find a way to sustain that kindergarten enthusiasm all the way through high school.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/11/05/10-engaging-empowering-652/

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Professor’s online course delves into all things ‘Doctor Who’

November 14th, 2014

by Anthony Domanico, CNet

A new MOOC, short for massive open online course, from a Syracuse University professor will take “Doctor Who” fans on an epic journey. The course, titled “Doctor Who in the Digital Age,” will be taught by Professor Anthony Rotolo, director of the online masters in communications program at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. It will run from January through April and will explore the history, evolution and cultural impact of the long-running BBC series, Rotolo tells the Daily Orange. The free course will be offered both in-person to Syracuse students as an independent study class and online for Whovians across the universe.

http://www.cnet.com/news/a-new-mooc-dives-into-the-timey-wimey-world-of-doctor-who/

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6 STEM and research grant opportunities

November 13th, 2014

By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

School funding challenges show no sign of abating, and budgets remain 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. This month’s grants are all relevant to research and STEM teaching and learning.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/11/07/stem-research-grant-039/

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Harvard’s ‘active’ system helping other universities improve outcomes

November 13th, 2014

By Ron Bethke, eCampus News

Learning Catalytics, an active learning system developed at Harvard, has led to big improvements for students at the University of North Carolina. Some students at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill have been improving their test scores by more than 3 percentage points on average in the past year, and it’s largely the result of a Harvard-created software that emphasizes active learning. The software, which is called Learning Catalytics, was implemented by Professor Kelly Hogan, the Director of Instructional Innovation for the College of Arts and Sciences and the Senior Lecturer in the Biology Department, in her non-majors Biology class in the fall of 2013.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/technologies/active-learning-harvard-693/

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The growing appeal of a three-year degree

November 13th, 2014

by Bruce Kennedy, Moneywatch

In a trend that began during the depths of the Great Recession, some students who needed get a four-degree without a four-year degree’s cost started trying to complete their courses in three years. But even as the U.S. economy is leaving that devastating slump slowly behind it, that trend is apparently hanging on — and perhaps gaining some momentum. About two dozen private U.S. colleges now offer three-year degree programs. The financial advantages of a three-year program seem obvious. College costs continue to rise, with the median cost of a year’s tuition and fees for undergraduate study at both public and private, nonprofit, four-year institutions currently stands at just over $11,000, according to the College Board.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-growing-appeal-of-a-three-year-college-degree/

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Microsoft refreshes Office for iPad, iPhone; more features now free for consumers

November 12th, 2014

by Mary Jo Foley, ZDNet

Microsoft is releasing updated versions of its Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for iPad and iPhones that make more of the core functionality available for free. The new Office for iPad and iPhone apps are available as of November 6 in the Apple App Store. The new Office for iPad apps will be available here. Word for iPhone, Excel for iPhone and PowerPoint for iPhone are available separately.

http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-refreshes-office-for-ipad-iphone-more-features-now-free-for-consumers-7000035513/

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Once taboo, cellphones now encouraged at some Treasure Valley schools

November 12th, 2014

BY BILL ROBERTS, Idaho Statesman

If you want your Boise district school to start bring-your-own-device instruction, talk with your school principal, says David Roberts, district technology administrator. A student caught with a cellphone at school used to face almost certain doom. There was the trip to the vice principal’s office. Or the administrator slipped the phone into his desk drawer till the final bell rang. Or, worst of all, there was the dreaded call to parents. Teachers and principals once viewed cellphones as distractions and enemies of education. Now, increasing numbers of them are encouraging students to bring their electronic devices to class as an instrument that can deepen their learning.

http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/11/04/3465954/valley-students-cellphones-amp.html?sp=/99/101/

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Getting Started with Google Glass

November 12th, 2014

By Jim Dutcher, Campus Technology

SUNY Cobleskill has embarked on a rigorous pilot using Google Glass for hands-on, experiential learning. To kick off a series of articles chronicling the experience, the institution’s CIO shares the origins of the project, the support team involved and the plans that are already unfolding for future campus and corporate collaborations. From the pedagogical side, we will be focused on discovery and answering:

Does the use of wearable technology speed acquisition of student competency?

What effect does the introduction of wearable technology have on instruction and peer (and patient) interaction?

Does the use of instructor point-of-view video help bridge student understanding of theory to applied practice?

How does the use of wearable technology translate across different instructional programs (Paramedic Training vs. Animal Hoof Health)?

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/11/05/getting-started-with-google-glass.aspx

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Cognitive assessment leaps into the digital age

November 11th, 2014

By Dean Delis, eSchool News

Used in conjunction with other data, cognitive testing is a valuable method for gathering reliable information about a child’s learning ability and cognitive strengths and weaknesses. This testing also is used to determine how these factors can potentially influence a child’s academic progress. School psychologists, in conjunction with educators, use information from cognitive assessments to help create personalized learning plans for students in need of remediation. Thanks to recent technological advancements, today’s cognitive assessments provide on-the-fly data that help determine whether a student’s academic progress is matching his or her ability level. This information, when considered along with other factors such as attention and motivation, can help educators develop appropriate learning plans for a student and advocate for individualized support based on specific needs.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/10/31/cognitive-assessment-digital-429/

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Do states really need an education technology plan?

November 11th, 2014

By Julia Freeland, eSchool News

Last week, the New America Foundation’s Chelsea Wilhelm wrote about a startling trend in state education technology planning: by and large, it’s not happening. As disconcerting as these findings may be, they got me wondering if a technology plan is really the right level of planning to focus on in the first place. Historically, technology planning had to do with wiring schools and making basic hardware and budget decisions. Today, with the rise of K–12 blended learning, technology planning looks more and more like instructional and curriculum planning with technology playing a supporting role in new school and classroom design. States continuing to focus on technology planning—as it’s been done historically—would seem to risk perpetuating the myth that we can cram technology into the existing instructional paradigm and expect new outcomes.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/11/04/education-technology-plan-349/

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Pearson Partners with LPGA to Launch an Online Course to Help Teach Female Golfers

November 11th, 2014

by Pearson

Most of the teaching methods used in the golf industry today were developed by golf professionals based on their experiences teaching men. In an effort to increase instructors’ level of comfort, skills, and teaching methods for the training of women golfers of all ages, the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) has partnered with Pearson to create a new online program called the LPGA Teaching HER Course. The self-paced course, which launches in fall 2014, consists of four one-hour modules with knowledge checks and interactive video segments.

http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/2304050

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