Educational Technology

March 19, 2019

APPRENTICESHIPS: AN EMERGING COMMUNITY COLLEGE STRATEGY FOR WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

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Association of Community College Trustees

Policymakers focused on economic recovery also have taken note of the potential of apprenticeships to connect people to postsecondary education and careers, thus ultimately improving their opportunities for prosperity. At the federal level, both President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama have called for increased investments in registered apprenticeships, especially by expanding across states and into new industries. This paper provides an overview of registered apprenticeship programs, including pre-apprenticeships and youth apprenticeships, and describes their recent growth.

https://www.acct.org/files/Publications/2019/ACCT_Apprenticeships_2019.pdf#overlay-context=

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Google Launches AI Platform that Looks a Lot Like Raspberry Pi

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Brian Benchoff, Hackaday
Google has promised us new hardware products for machine learning at the edge, and now it’s finally out. The thing you’re going to take away from this is that Google built a Raspberry Pi with machine learning. This is Google’s Coral, with an Edge TPU platform, a custom-made ASIC that is designed to run machine learning algorithms ‘at the edge’.

https://hackaday.com/2019/03/05/google-launches-ai-platform-that-looks-remarkably-like-a-raspberry-pi/

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The high cost of college textbooks, explained

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Gaby Del Valle, Vox

Textbook publishers, for their part, have begun acknowledging that textbooks and other course materials have become so expensive that some students simply can’t afford them, even if it means their grades will suffer as a result. Publishers claim that new technologies, like digital textbooks and Netflix-style subscription services, make textbooks more affordable for all. But affordability advocates say that if anyone is to blame for the fact that textbook costs have risen more than 1,000 percent since the 1970s, it’s the publishers — and, advocates claim, these new technologies are publishers’ attempt to maintain their stranglehold on the industry while disguising it as reform.
https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2019/3/6/18252322/college-textbooks-cost-expensive-pearson-cengage-mcgraw-hill

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March 18, 2019

Why we love our coding & robotics tools

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BY ELLEN ULLMAN, eSchool Ness

According to Code.org, the majority of Americans want schools to teach computer science, but only 35 percent of high schools teach it. And even though 15 states have adopted a policy to give all high school students access to computer science courses, universities prepare way fewer computer science teachers than we need. It’s more abysmal in the younger grades, with only six states giving all K-12 students access. For teachers who would like to bring computer science into their classrooms, there are several great resources to assist. Code.org’s free online courses teach programming languages or how to create games, apps, and websites. The site also features a database of in-person programming classes and opportunities.

https://www.eschoolnews.com/2019/03/07/why-love-coding-robotics-tools/

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The rise of voice search

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by Emily Alford, ClickZ

According to Gartner, 50% of search will shift to voice search by 2020. And in the cases of personal assistants, if your business doesn’t come in first, it comes in last. Marketers scrambling to make sure they’re optimized to take those top spots ranked voice search high on their list of 2019 priorities, with 36.1% naming voice search a top trend. Holmes says that as voice search becomes more common, search queries will most likely get more specific and companies need to start anticipating those queries sooner, rather than later.

https://www.clickz.com/business-ready-search-trends-2019/226655/

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6 fun programmable robots for K-12

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BY LAURA ASCIONE, eSchool News

Introducing a robot into the classroom is a surefire way to grab students’ attention–but robots do more than excite. When educators use programmable robots for K-12 learning, they’re helping students develop important skills such as critical thinking and teamwork. Robots are accessible for students of all ages–even younger students who don’t yet have strong coding and programming skills. Research says students are more likely to maintain their interest in coding if they’re exposed to it at an early age. One engaging solution: robots for K-12 classes.

https://www.eschoolnews.com/2019/03/06/6-fun-robots-for-k12/

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March 17, 2019

Meeting Human Needs in the Virtual Classroom

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By Cynthia Clay, TD

Training participants often log into our virtual classrooms ready to passively observe a monologue. It’s up to us to create the kind of learning environment that shifts them from passive to active learners. As you prepare to deliver an online training experience, think about the human needs of your participants: the need to be included, the need to feel safe, the need to be right, the need to be competent, and the need to be appreciated. More importantly, think about what a skilled virtual facilitator should do to meet those needs. Let’s take a closer look at each need.

https://www.td.org/insights/meeting-human-needs-in-the-virtual-classroom

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Want To Learn Coding? Check Out These Resources Recommended By Tech Experts

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Forbes Technology Council\Expert Panel, Forbes Technology Council

Successful CIOs, CTOs & executives from Forbes Technology Council offer firsthand insights on tech & business. Nearly everywhere you look—from business management, to customer engagement, to product development—technology plays a massive role. As such, tech-related skills—and coding in particular—are excellent additions to nearly any professional’s resume. A variety of books, apps and websites make it easy for even busy professionals to get a start on learning the fundamentals of coding. But which entry-level resources are the most effective? Below, 13 experts from Forbes Technology Council share their recommendations for beginners interested in learning coding.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2019/02/22/want-to-learn-coding-check-out-these-resources-recommended-by-tech-experts/#6ca423a05d6f

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SXSW EDU 2019: Taking OER to the next level

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By Hallie Busta, Education Dive

Mike Silagadze, CEO and co-founder of Top Hat, a digital learning company that offers OER, acknowledges those issues. The solution, he said, is creating a peer-led community around producing OER content. “Until that happens, OER is going to continue not being up to par with what the textbook publishers are providing,” he said. Last spring, the company hired a chief product officer to help it find new revenue opportunities. The company has reached more than 2.8 million students at North American institutions.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/sxsw-edu-taking-oer-to-the-next-level/549850/

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March 16, 2019

5 blended-learning myths to bust in 2019

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BY JENNY WHITE & CHELSEA WAITE, eSchool News

In February 2016, the Christensen Institute debuted the Blended Learning Universe (BLU)—an online hub of blended learning resources—in response to more and more schools across the U.S. implementing a blended-learning strategy for students. Researchers at the Institute define blended learning as a formal education program that must have three components: it must be part online, with students having some control over the time, place, path, or pace of their learning; it must occur, in part, in a brick-and-mortar location away from home; and the modalities along a student’s learning path must be connected to provide an integrated learning experience.

https://www.eschoolnews.com/2019/03/07/5-blended-learning-myths-to-bust-in-2019/

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A big reason rural students never go to college: Colleges don’t recruit them

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by AARON GETTINGER, Hechinger report

Colleges and universities prefer to recruit at high schools in communities where the average family income is above $100,000, while forgoing visits to those where it’s $70,000 or lower, according to a study of 140 institutions conducted by researchers at UCLA and the University of Arizona. They also concentrate disproportionately on private schools. Rural areas usually have neither wealthy families nor private schools. This anemic outreach is among the reasons comparatively low numbers of high school graduates from rural high schools end up in college the following fall — 59 percent, compared to 62 percent of urban and 67 percent of suburban high school grads, according to the National Student Clearinghouse, which tracks this.

https://hechingerreport.org/a-big-reason-rural-students-never-go-to-college-colleges-dont-recruit-them/

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Snitch Switch: Smart Assistants With “Moral AI” Could Call Police on Owners Who Break Law

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by Selwyn Duke, the New American
Snitch Switch: Smart Assistants With “Moral AI” Could Call Police on Owners Who Break Law. Call it Terminator meets the second-grade tattletale, but some “experts” have suggested that electronic home assistants could be programmed with moral artificial intelligence (AI) that could decide whether to report its owners to the authorities for breaking the law.  In reality, “moral AI” is currently just a proposal by a small group of scientists who may (or may not) want publicity as much as greater knowledge, and news organs certainly crave the traffic reporting on such stories brings. The deeper issue, however, is that a prerequisite for moral artificial intelligence is moral natural intelligence.

https://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/item/31620-snitch-switch-smart-assistants-with-moral-ai-could-call-police-on-owners-who-break-law

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March 15, 2019

Can you tell the difference between a real face and an AI-generated fake?

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By James Vincent, the Verge
Earlier this month you may have seen a website named ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com doing the rounds, which uses AI to generate startlingly realistic fake faces. Well, here’s the sequel: WhichFaceIsReal.com, which lets you test your ability to distinguish AI-generated fakes from the genuine article. Just head to the site and click on who you think is the real person!  WhichFaceIsReal.com also has a higher purpose though. It was set up by two academics from the University of Washington, Jevin West and Carl Bergstrom, both of whom study how information spreads through society. They think the rise of AI-generated fakes could be trouble, undermining society’s trust in evidence, and want to educate the masses.

https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/3/18244984/ai-generated-fake-which-face-is-real-test-stylegan

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Outlook 2019: Tulsa County leads the way in preparing kids for career tech, college while in high school

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By Randy Krehbiel, Tulsa World
Gov. Kevin Stitt has made cooperation among the state’s public education systems a priority for his administration. In his first State of the State address, he called for tearing down the “silos” separating common education, career tech and higher education. In Tulsa County, that work has been going on for decades. Key players in those efforts are Tulsa Community College and Tulsa Technology Center. Through a variety of initiatives, they connect high school students with post-secondary education and the workforce while also serving many adult students. One of those connections is concurrent enrollment, which allows students to enroll in college courses while still in high school. TCC, the state’s largest two-year college, also has the largest concurrent enrollment in the state.

https://www.tulsaworld.com/business/outlook-tulsa-county-leads-the-way-in-preparing-kids-for/article_e3aa0dc9-6e66-5b3f-a415-003bbcfcb0e6.html

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Posties using virtual reality headsets to learn how to avoid being dog attacks

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By Stephen Hayward, The Missor (UK)
Royal Mail has used the system more then 750 times since November after a string of horrific attacks in which rogue pets have bitten off fingers, thumbs and even a nose.  Posties are using ­virtual reality headsets to learn how to avoid being attacked by dogs. The gadgets provide a 360-degree street view scene and advice on how to deal with aggressive pets on their rounds. Self-defence training shows a postie dropping to one knee to protect herself and using her postbag as a shield. The move comes after a string of ­horrific attacks in which rogue pets have bitten off fingers, thumbs and even a nose. The new “dog byte” computer program urges posties to look for signs that a pet is present and not to take at face value assurances that an animal is harmless.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/posties-using-virtual-reality-headsets-14077547

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March 14, 2019

STUDY CONFIRMS PERSISTENCE OF RURAL DIGITAL DIVIDE

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By Cait Etherington, eLearning Inside

Croft and Moore’s report, Rural Students: Technology, Coursework, and Extracurricular Activities, is based on a data collected from two different student surveys administered to selected students who wrote the ACT in 2018. The primary survey focused on technology access and included over 6,000 respondents. In addition to the students who completed the online survey, a random sample of students who either did not start the survey, or started but did not finish the survey, were sent a paper copy of the survey to complete. The second survey, which was completed by approximately 5600 students, asked students about their coursework during high school. Croft and Moore’s finding suggest that rural students are still at a great disadvantage when it comes to access to both technology and the course options that are most likely to set them up for success when applying to competitive colleges.

https://news.elearninginside.com/study-confirms-persistence-of-rural-digital-divide/

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Proposed study group would look at bringing ‘e-learning’ to Iowa

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by Caroline Cummings, KHQA

Record snowfall this winter has left Iowa students out of school and state lawmakers are weighing if there’s a better way to make up for lost teaching time. Sen. Charles Schneider, R-West Des Moines, introduced a bill that would establish a committee to look into virtual learning as an option when inclement weather keeps Iowa students out of the classroom. “We need to do what we can to utilize technology not only to help out kids learn today but to prepare for the workforce of tomorrow,” said Schneider, who said he looked into a proposal after a school official in his district reached out.

https://khqa.com/news/local/proposed-study-group-would-look-at-bringing-e-learning-to-iowa

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Digital Learning and the Importance of Usability

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by Matt Lynch, Tech Edvocate

The needs of users should always be the top concern when it comes to digital solutions. While usability is the most important aspect of any digital solution no matter the product, it’s especially true of digital learning. It won’t matter how many resources the system provides if it’s not easy for learners to use them. Data security, rich feature lists, and back-end interoperability are all important. But if user experiences are unpleasant because the system is difficult to use and incompatible with the applications they’re accustomed to, then learners won’t engage and the system will fail. Companies like Netflix and Apple have set a high bar for everyday usability, so learners expect a lot from digital solutions.

https://www.thetechedvocate.org/digital-learning-and-the-importance-of-usability/

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March 13, 2019

Online Degree In AI: What Does It Mean To Employers

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Srishti Deoras, Analytics India

The bottom line is that there is no online or offline, formal or informal education, the best researchers are mostly self-taught, whether they have a degree from an Ivy League college or no. There is no denying that formal education in institutes is the best, but online courses can also provide the same knowledge required to practically solve problems. What ultimately matters is the skills that a candidate pose to be fit in the tech-driven AI industry and bring newer innovations.

https://www.analyticsindiamag.com/online-degree-in-ai-what-does-it-mean-to-employers/

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EDUCAUSE 2019 Horizon Report Preview

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The EDUCAUSE Horizon Report Preview provides summaries of each of the upcoming edition’s trends, challenges, and important developments in educational technology, which were ranked most highly by the expert panel.  Opportunities for learners to blend their formal education with modularized online coursework, at an affordable cost, are establishing a learning continuum along which an evolving workforce can easily upskill. Badges and certificates provide prospective employers with evidence of skills gained through a wide range of educational opportunities and venues. Institutions that develop partnerships with online course providers or otherwise create a variety of options for students to master content at their own pace are responding to the needs of learners who want more control over learning pathways when earning a certificate or a degree.

https://library.educause.edu/-/media/files/library/2019/2/2019horizonreportpreview.pdf

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Advanced Educational Technology Eliminates the Gap Between Masters and the Masses

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Futurism
When it comes to education, the internet has made distance nearly irreverent, leveling the playing field for millions of individuals who don’t have easy access to schools or universities. But aside from distance, the advanced educational technology is also helping solve two other issues that plague education: scarcity and exclusivity. While everyone wants to learn from the best in a particular field, it’s usually physically impossible and economically infeasible to do so for all but a privileged few. But thanks to modern educational technology, the best and the brightest can impart their valuable insights to a virtually unlimited amount of students, and can do so at an affordable cost. That’s where MasterClass comes in. From Daniel Negreanu to Gordon Ramsay, Masterclass online courses allow world renowned experts to share their valuable knowledge and experience to anyone, anytime, anywhere.

https://futurism.com/masterclass-online-courses-gordon-ramsay/

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