Open Pedagogy: Connection, Community, and Transparency: A Q&A with Tom Woodward

November 19th, 2014

by Mary Grush, Campus Technology

Open pedagogy, as defined by David Wiley, focuses primarily on the relationship between the open licensing of content and the additional options students and instructors then have to remix that content as part of the work of the course. He stresses the move away from “disposable assignments.” That is undoubtedly important and powerful. Still, a broader consideration may be useful. Looking at open pedagogy as a general philosophy of openness (and connection) in all elements of the pedagogical process, while messy, provides some interesting possibilities. Open is a purposeful path towards connection and community. Open pedagogy could be considered as a blend of strategies, technologies, and networked communities that make the process and products of education more transparent, understandable, and available to all the people involved.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/11/12/open-pedagogy-connection-community-and-transparency.aspx

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New Video Collaboration Wall Unveiled at Boston University

November 19th, 2014

By Michael Hart, Campus Technology

Two Boston University graduates have invented a technology that led to a state-of-the-art video collaboration wall that is now installed in the lobby of the university’s College of Engineering. Prysm, a company that designs and manufactures video wall systems and is led by Amit Jain (‘85) and Roger Hajjar (‘88), has installed the video wall system using a technology they invented, laser phosphor display (LPD). LPD uses a laser engine and a phosphor panel to create images with low-power, solid-state lasers. It differs from LED- and LCD-based technologies, according to Jain, because it offers higher image quality with canvas-wide uniformity and a smaller environmental footprint.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/11/13/new-video-collaboration-wall-unveiled-at-boston-university.aspx

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4 Common E-Portfolio Mistakes To Avoid

November 19th, 2014

by David Raths, Campus Technology

Electronic portfolio projects have great potential to impact learning, assessment, and professional development. Yet expanding e-portfolios campuswide and sustaining the program isn’t easy. Here are four pitfalls to watch out for. CT spoke with Hepler and Teggin Summers, who was associate director of the e-portfolio program at Virginia Tech for six years before recently becoming director of that institution’s Innovation Space, about what it takes to roll out e-portfolios campuswide. Although their experiences are quite different — e-portfolios have taken hold in every college on Virginia Tech’s campus — both Hepler and Summers offered some observations on the key challenges of e-portfolio diffusion.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/11/12/4-common-e-portfolio-mistakes-to-avoid.aspx

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Microsoft pushes ahead with its quest to make apps more intelligent

November 18th, 2014

by Mary Jo Foley, ZDNet

Last year, one Microsoft exec showed off a prototype of what email could look like in the future if it were to embed contextual information supplied by Bing on the back-end. A “Bingified” version of Outlook could allow users to see entity information right inside their e-mail. The same way that Microsoft Office apps currently alert users with a squiggly line to a potentially misspelled word, a Bing-enriched mail app could show users information about entities embedded in their e-mail messages — things like bands, venues, nearby restaurants and more. It sounds like Microsoft is continuing its efforts on this front. Last week, at a private press event, Microsoft showed off a coming Windows phone app called “Revolve,” according to Fast Company. That app “melds aspects of a calendar and contact manager, and presents you with information about people you’re going to meet with that it’s collected from multiple sources.”

http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-pushes-ahead-with-its-quest-to-make-apps-more-intelligent-7000035605/

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Flexible Option: A Direct-Assessment Competency-Based Education Model

November 18th, 2014

by Aaron Brower, EDUCAUSE Review

Although the need for more college degrees among the U.S. population is widely acknowledged, meeting that demand in the face of dramatically increased higher education costs, decreased state funding, and increasingly varied student demographics is a huge challenge. To address this, the University of Wisconsin (UW) launched its Flexible Option (UW Flex) direct-assessment CBE model, through which students can earn degrees and certificates from UW institutions. UW Flex focuses on assessment rather than credit hours, letting students undertake academic work at their own pace and prove mastery of required knowledge and skills through rigorous assessments. To help ensure student success, UW Flex supports students through an optimal blend of materials, people, and technology.

http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/flexible-option-direct-assessment-competency-based-education-model

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Aurasma: Augmented Reality for Your Classroom

November 18th, 2014

By Ann Elliott, Edudemic

After weeks of comparing reviews and conducting trials in my classroom, I can say unreservedly that Aurasma offers the best augmented reality (AR) experience for classrooms of any iOS or Android app. The Aurasma app is more versatile and classroom-friendly than any AR app; it enables teachers to bring curriculum to life, turning almost any environment into a classroom or object into a lesson.

http://www.edudemic.com/aurasma-for-your-classroom/

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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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