Five Ways to Help Students Succeed in the Online Classroom

July 19th, 2016

By: Amy Hankins, Faculty Focus

More and more students are flocking to the online classroom for the convenience of earning college credits from the comfort of their home. However, many of these students are ill-prepared for the dedication and discipline needed to be successful in the online environment. Oftentimes students have misconceptions concerning the rigor of online courses, and they often underestimate the amount of time and discipline necessary to complete assignments, discussions, quizzes, and projects. Therefore, it is important for the instructor to set the tone of the course to help students succeed. So how do you help your students succeed in the online classroom?

http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/five-ways-help-students-succeed-online-classroom/

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Hassan Shibly’s Free Online Course on Islam

July 19th, 2016

By Trevor Durham, ULoop

Hassan Shibly, chief executive director of Florida’s branch of CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), has begun his series of weekly courses on the life of the prophet Muhammad. Offered freely on Facebook, he hopes his series will inform people of Islam’s history- “what Islam is about, as opposed to what is not.” Shibly has been across the news lately, helping to mourn after the Orlando massacre, and to provide support to various Muslims in Florida, and nationally, who have been targeted in hate attacks. Just this week, Shibly and CAIR have been working with the Boca Raton mosque removed as a voting location. A licensed lawyer, Shibly spends a majority of his time giving lecture series on issues relating to Islam,

http://www.uloop.com/news/view.php/207499/Hassan-Shiblys-Free-Online-Course-on-Islam

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Want to learn to code? These 5 apps make it easy

July 19th, 2016

By Christian de Looper, Digital Trends

Some say coding is the new literacy, which makes it pretty important for kids to start learning young — and for adults to learn the basics of coding if they want to be a part of our increasingly digital world. Luckily, there are plenty of great apps out there to help you and your kids learn how to code, whether it be to build an app or to learn how to command a robot. These apps are designed to make the task of learning to code easier, and there’s something out there for students of all ages and skill levels. Here are some of the best learn-to-code apps around.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/the-best-learn-to-code-apps/

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Improving Student Grades Using Dedicated Support

July 18th, 2016

by Edward F Beason and Laura Horton, EDUCAUSE Review

With the objective of improving both accessibility and student retention, the Office of Disability Services at Tennessee Tech developed a plan to improve both the undergraduate experience and retention rates. Students appreciate the one-on-one academic coaching, which provided academic and sometimes social coaching depending on the needs of each student. Appropriate technology aids completed the academic support program by giving students tools they can use to achieve academic success. For students with disabilities, technological resources can play a crucial role in whether basic information presented in a classroom or lab setting is accessible or usable.

http://er.educause.edu/articles/2016/7/improving-student-grades-using-dedicated-support

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Auburn school board adds online learning policy

July 18th, 2016

By Cynthia Williford, Opelika-Auburn Now

Students at Auburn City Schools will have increased access to online courses, following action by the Auburn City Schools Board of Education Tuesday evening. The board unanimously approved the addition of a Virtual Education Option Policy to the Auburn City Schools Policy Manual at their regular meeting. Cristen Herring, assistant superintendent of curriculum, said the policy ensures students have the opportunity to acquire all credits needed for graduation through online courses. The policy was formed after the Alabama Legislature passed a bill in 2015 requiring schools to develop a virtual school plan by the 2016-2017 school year. While Auburn City Schools has offered online courses in the past, the new policy expands the scope of classes available to students.

http://www.oanow.com/news/auburn/auburn-school-board-adds-online-learning-policy/article_32395cce-48a2-11e6-a6fa-c776eddd3e69.html

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Competency-Based Education and Predictive Analytics: Learning from Transfers

July 18th, 2016

by Carlos Rivers and Judith Sebesta, EDUCAUSE Review

The competency-based program at Texas A&M University–Commerce has begun to analyze enrollment data to better understand their transfer student population and make predictions regarding future students. Transfer students entered the CBE program with an average 87 credits and graduated at rates that broke historically negative persistence patterns traditionally affecting part of the transfer student population. Adult learners outpace traditional-age students in pursuing degrees, and enrollment trends strongly suggest that post-traditional students will determine whether colleges reach enrollment targets and fulfill future workforce demands.

http://er.educause.edu/articles/2016/7/competency-based-education-and-predictive-analytics-learning-from-transfers

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5 Best Places For Tackling Online Classes

July 17th, 2016

By Kylie Exline, Uloop

Regardless of your desired location, the point is that you are accomplishing work, all while trying to make your life a little easier. And we all need some “easy” in our lives. So when taking your online classes, have fun with it. Study in a library one day, and a coffee shop the next. The point is to accomplish work, while also not killing yourself with stress. Plus, we all can enjoy some excitement in our lives. I just know it.

http://www.uloop.com/news/view.php/207159/5-Best-Places-For-Tackling-Online-Classes

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Early Days for Drone Use in Higher Education

July 17th, 2016

by Timothy M. Chester, EDUCAUSE Review

Unmanned aircraft systems offer numerous possibilities in the academic environment, from creating programs aimed at UAS design and construction to finding ways to use them in traditional research across academic disciplines. Unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), also known as drones, offer numerous benefits and vast potential in the academic community both for developing new programs of study and for augmenting research in existing fields. However, the realization of these benefits has proved challenging, as the rapidly increasing interest has outpaced the existing regulatory framework. It has also presented institutions with new challenges in terms of accommodating and managing UAS use on campuses. At the University of Georgia we are working to provide support for UAS use in teaching and research. Here, I discuss my experiences and offer an overview of possibilities in higher education and the regulations and issues involved in UAS use.

http://er.educause.edu/articles/2016/7/early-days-for-drone-use-in-higher-education

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Flipping the classroom requires patience, time management

July 17th, 2016

By Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Flipping a classroom requires small-scale goals in changing coursework and reevaluating learning outcomes. Allowing for overage in assignment completion, looking for moments of increased student engagement, and time management are three of the most important elements in successfully flipping a learning environment. Doing less allows students to accomplish more in digesting a syllabus and developing ways to learn the course material.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/flipping-the-classroom-requires-patience-time-management/422522/

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Develop Business Skills Through Online Certificate Programs

July 16th, 2016

by Jordan Friedman, US News

Business certificates, in some cases referred to as “mini MBAs,” become increasingly popular in online education. Experts say the trend is no surprise given that smaller credentials – ranging from digital badges to these certificates – are now prevalent in online learning. “The speed of change in today’s business environment is unprecedented. That sounds like a cliche, but it’s a reality,” says Joe Schaffer, associate dean of executive education at Rutgers Business School. Lifelong business skills, he says, are beneficial for employees who want a competitive advantage. Online business certificate programs, experts say, aim to provide a credential that gives deeper insight into the field than a free online course, for instance, but with less of a time commitment than a full MBA.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2016-07-12/develop-business-skills-through-online-certificate-programs

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Codecademy, the free online coding school, raises another $30M led by Naspers

July 16th, 2016

by Ingrid Lunden, Jonathan Shieber, TechCrunch

Codecademy, an online coding school with 16 million registered users, has built out its footprint without charging its students a penny to use it. Now, as more questions arise about how and when the startup might start monetizing its services, it is announcing $30 million in new funding that could be an indication of what might come next. Naspers, the (for-profit) media giant based out of South Africa, is leading the Series C round, which the company says it will use to continue to expand its product globally and to develop more platforms for using it, such as mobile.

https://techcrunch.com/2016/07/12/codecademy-the-free-online-coding-school-raises-another-30m-led-by-naspers/

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Why e-learning is better than face-to-face

July 16th, 2016

by Ralph LaFontaine, Learning and Development Professional

Many people continue to see e-learning as a poor alternative to face-to-face learning. This is often based on poor experiences with uninspiring e-learning courses that simply plonk a slide presentation or PDF onto a web page, with little thought for engagement or interaction. The question still pervades whether, despite the emergence of new digital learning technology, e-learning can ever be ‘as good’ as the supposed exemplar of classroom learning. The answer is quite simple: e-learning gives us the opportunity to extend learning beyond borders with more benefits than traditional learning could ever offer. Here are four reasons why…

http://www.ldphub.com/general-news/why-elearning-is-better-than-facetoface-learning-219492.aspx

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Using Kinect Sensors and Facial Recognition in the Classroom

July 15th, 2016

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

A project at Carnegie Mellon University promises to change that with the use of sensors in the classroom hooked to software to help TAs — especially those from other countries — refine their teaching skills in STEM courses. Computer-Aided Noticing and Reflection (CANAR) is the project of Amy Ogan, an assistant professor in the Human Computer Interaction Institute, and Ph.D. student David Gerritsen. The work is being supported by a $174,000 National Science Foundation grant. As Ogan explained the problem, “Many of our teaching assistants in universities today come from a wide variety of cultures.”  The ultimate goal of the project is to support improved teaching and learning in university classrooms by bridging cultural divides between students and their teachers.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/07/06/using-kinect-sensors-and-facial-recognition-in-the-classroom.aspx

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Kentucky schools connect with homeschool kids via online courses

July 15th, 2016

BY VALARIE HONEYCUTT SPEARS, Herald-Leader

Wayne County Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Allen Clark is offering a deal to homeschool families: If a homeschool student is willing to enroll in the district taking online courses, the district will pay for the classes. “We assign a teacher from our high school and they work with the child,” Clark said. Wayne County Assistant Superintendent Allen Clark Wayne County Schools. If the student passes the classes, which cost about $100 total, Wayne County can count them in its average daily attendance numbers and receive state funds — about $3200 per student, per school year, according to Clark. About seven or eight of the district’s 75 homeschool students took him up on the offer in 2015-16, and he hopes that 15 to 20 students enroll for 2016-17.

http://www.kentucky.com/news/local/education/article88800107.html

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HIGHER EDUCATION: Why do women lead STEM dropouts?

July 15th, 2016

by Mark Muckenfuss, Press Enterprise

Women are fleeing the lab in larger numbers than men. Despite years of effort to encourage female students to pursue degrees in science, technology, engineering and math – so called STEM fields – a new study by researchers at the University of Missouri finds that gender is a primary indicator in dropout rates for college programs. Education professor Lisa Floresand her team are in the midst of a five-year study of 12 engineering colleges. Preliminary results indicate that while dropout rates seem to vary little along ethnic lines, there is a distinct difference between men and women. No numbers were provided with the preliminary findings.

http://www.pe.com/articles/women-807778-stem-students.html

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How—and Why—We Can Improve the Future of Mobile Learning

July 14th, 2016

By Chuck Cohn, EdSurge

When Massive Open Online Courses (or MOOCs) were first introduced, people quickly realized these platforms could help students learn more effectively at their own pace on their own schedule. “Formal” education was no longer constrained to traditional classroom hours, if it ever was. This development, combined with tremendous growth in mobile device usage due to improved technology, naturally led to a shift in mobile learning patterns. Students were now free to engage with diverse educational content—videos, podcasts, interactive games, and so on—from any location with a cellular signal.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-07-09-how-and-why-we-can-improve-the-future-of-mobile-learning

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Coursera president: bursting the Moocs bubble a boon for us

July 14th, 2016

By Chris Havergal, Times Higher Education

Daphne Koller says online platform reached millions of learners largely because of the publicity, both good and bad, about Moocs. Some academics enjoyed nothing more than seeing the “Moocs bubble” burst. But it turns out that those who scoffed at massive open online courses may have unwittingly been playing into the hands of the innovation they were disparaging. Daphne Koller, president and co-founder of Coursera, told Times Higher Education that the hype around online courses and whether they would destroy traditional universities had been the biggest driver of student recruitment to her company, the world’s largest Mooc platform. Koller said Coursera – which now has 18 million users and 140 course providers, including some of the world’s leading universities – was “making significant, steady progress in democratising access to education”.

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/coursera-president-bursting-moocs-bubble-boon-us

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DIY Co. launches JAM to help kids learn what they don’t in school, with a little help from Cartoon Network

July 14th, 2016

by Lora Kolodny, Tech Crunch

DIY Co., the education tech startup led by Vimeo designer and co-founder Zach Klein, has launched a new online learning platform for kids called JAM.com. The company also quietly closed a $4 million round of venture funding led by Learn Capital, joined by Spark Capital, at the end of 2015 to support the development of JAM, Klein told TechCrunch. Courses on DIY’s new site JAM were created for kids up to age 14. Klein said, “There’s a huge landscape of skills worth kids learning now that schools aren’t teaching, and a new set of teachers who aren’t full-time educators willing to help them.”

https://techcrunch.com/2016/07/08/diy-co-launches-jam-to-help-kids-learn-what-they-dont-in-school-with-a-little-help-from-cartoon-network/

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The Skills You Need To Launch A Data Science Career

July 13th, 2016

By Christopher Watkins, Udacity Blog

People love to make pronouncements about a year. 2016 is the Year of … what? Data? That certainly doesn’t seem possible, given that we’ve been talking about data—both big and otherwise—for some time now. And yet, there was Glassdoor, rating Data Scientist as the #1 Best Job in America for 2016. They weren’t the only ones either. CareerCast.com put Data Scientist at #1 as well. These two studies have been so extensively cited that it’s essentially become a given that Data Scientist is one of THE hot jobs of today, and of the future as well. So how do you prepare for a data science career? Let’s begin by looking at the skills you’ll need.

http://blog.udacity.com/2016/06/skills-to-launch-data-science-career.html

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Low but Steady Engagement in Online Courses Better Than Diminishing Engagement

July 13th, 2016

By Richard Chang, THE Journal

Wisconsin study of high school students in virtual classes aims to provide important information in a field that hasn’t garnered much research. Wisconsin high school students who engaged in online courses for two or more hours per week had better outcomes than students who engaged less than two hours per week, according to a study by Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest and the Virtual Education Research Alliance. The study, conducted in the fall 2014 semester, included all Wisconsin Virtual School advanced placement, core and elective high school course enrollments. The sample included 1,512 student enrollments in 109 online courses, with 1,179 unique students, 170 of whom took more than one online course.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2016/07/07/low-but-steady-engagement-in-online-courses-better-than-diminishing-engagement.aspx

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Should campuses outsource IT security?

July 13th, 2016

By Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Ed Tech Magazine reports data security is becoming an increasing priority on college campuses, and contracting the service allows more flexibility for on-campus IT offices to address other issues. Colleges are among the most-targeted businesses for data breaching, and have growing turnover rates in security specialists who leave for more lucrative positions in the private sector. Managed security service providers (MSSPs) can offer a faster, more comprehensive response to data security challenges, because of familiarity with growing trends in technology and practice, according to Ed Tech Magazine.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/should-campuses-outsource-it-security/422284/

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