Online testing looms

August 30th, 2014

by eSchool News

Next spring, new state exams tied to the Common Core standards in reading and math will be given for the first time in more than 40 states—and there are big questions about whether schools and students will be ready. Students will be taking the exams online, and a lack of technology or training in some schools—especially those in rural areas—could make administering the new tests a challenge. “We could be in trouble,” Donald Childs, administrator of the Unified School District of Antigo, in north central Wisconsin, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “We haven’t had an opportunity to test rural schools that just got wireless access to see if there is adequate bandwidth to administer the exams during the state testing window.”

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/08/22/online-testing-looms-034/

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3 Different Things You Can Do With Google Classroom

August 30th, 2014

By Nikolaos Chatzopoulos, Edudemic

Google’s advance in the education field has brought to schools around the globe affordable devices and effortless access to educational content. Google’s latest solution for learning is called Google Classroom. Although Google Classroom will be available at the beginning of the school year to all schools that have adopted Google Apps for Education, the Mountain View based company granted access to Google Classroom to a select few individuals in July. I was fortunate enough to be one of these early adopters/testers of Google Classroom, and I can honestly say that I am impressed by its simplicity, and its ability to seamlessly integrate Google Docs, Sheets, Drive, Gmail, and more in order to provide a wonderful and highly productive user experience.

http://www.edudemic.com/3-different-things-can-google-classroom/

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Get ready: iOS 8 is almost here

August 30th, 2014

By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

Apple’s new iOS 8 release has big potential for education, but school networks must be prepared, experts say. But as most school IT leaders will agree, iOS 7 posed problems for school networks, in many cases leveling those networks as students attempted to update at least one, and often more than one, device on their school’s network. Apple has a huge stake in the education market, and iOS 8 promises some next-level features for educators and students. A major feature, called “extensibility,” enables apps to work together better and share more information. According to Business Insider, this means less time switching between apps and more time for productivity. Extensibility, coupled with other iOS 8 features, promise to put the latest upgrade at the top of Apple users’ priorities.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/08/22/ios-8-almost-here-376/

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4 Ways to Enhance Your Class with Google Hangouts

August 29th, 2014

By Jennifer Carey, Edudemic

If you are familiar with Google Tools, then you have probably heard of Google Hangouts or even used them yourself. Hangouts is Google’s video conferencing tool, and it’s an incredibly powerful way to engage with others. In addition to standard conference calls, Google Hangouts provide a broadcasting option called Hangouts on Air. This allows you to conduct your Hangout LIVE and record it to post on YouTube. You can participate in a Google Hangout from a web browser on your computer or use one of the free mobile apps for your Apple or Android device. It is important to note, however, that participating in a GHO does require that you enable Google+ (Google’s Social Media Service) and that you be at least 13 years old. However, people of any age may view a GHO broadcast “On Air” or posted to a YouTube channel.

http://www.edudemic.com/4-ways-enhance-class-google-hangouts/

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Why the Future of Education Is Open

August 29th, 2014

By Sean Michael Kerner, eWeek

Anant Agarwal, the CEO of online education platform edX, is on a mission to change the way that people learn. In a keynote address at the LinuxCon conference here, Agarwal explained how open source and big data techniques are being used at edX to help educate millions of people. The edX platform was founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with the promise of redefining the future of education. The edX platform has 2.7 million students around the world. One of edX’s most popular classes is an introduction to Linux course from the Linux Foundation, which has more than 250,000 students.

http://www.eweek.com/cloud/why-the-future-of-education-is-open.html

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August 29th, 2014

Students transition to online learning

by Jesselyn Bickley, Spectrum

As Virgin Valley students gear up to return to school Monday, some teachers are preparing a new type of class. Rob Leete, Virgin Valley High School (VVHS) geography teacher, said he is setting up his class in an online format but with more social interaction. “This year we are going all one-to-one laptop distribution,” Leete said. “It’s going to look the same as the online college classes.” Leete, who has master’s degree, said he did most of his post-secondary education online, so he knows what it should look like. He said he knows the pitfalls of an online class and plans to stay on top of his students and make sure they meet deadlines and get assignments done on time.

http://www.thespectrum.com/story/life/features/mesquite/2014/08/21/students-transition-online-learning/14418747/

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Moocs are free – but for how much longer?

August 28th, 2014

by Chris Parr, Times Higher Education

John Mitchell is vice-provost for online learning and overseer of Stanford’s Mooc programme, which has delivered more than 240 online and blended campus courses to about 2 million people since 2011 – more than 50 of them for free. Professor Mitchell, who is an instructor on a computer security Mooc offered by Stanford on the Coursera platform, said that professional development courses offered universities the best opportunity to grow the income they generate from online courses. “I think [Stanford] will have low cost, high volume, but non-free courses online that will help make our online programmes sustainable,” he said, adding that no college or university was able to continue funding free courses without finding a way to cover the costs.

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/moocs-are-free-but-for-how-much-longer/2015204.article

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Florida Polytechnic University opens with a bookless library

August 28th, 2014

By CAROLYN KELLOGG, LA Times

Florida Polytechnic University is so new that it has only been open for a few days. It’s the latest campus in the Florida State University system, has plans to be part of a new Silicon Valley East, and boasts a striking main building designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The main building is the Innovation, Science and Technology Building, which is where most of the 500 new students will spend their time in class. Its second floor includes the Commons, an area that includes its library services. The Commons does have librarians and Internet connections to all the standard electronic resources of a university library. It provides access to a digital catalog that launched with 135,000 e-books. But take a look around the room, and it’s completely bookless.

http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-florida-polytechnic-opens-with-bookless-library-20140820-story.html

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Online and in-person education — rolled into one

August 28th, 2014

by Samantha Sadlier, the Spectrum

The Washington County School District is working in conjunction with Utah Online School to offer a blended model to middle and high school students allowing them to take some courses online while still attending traditional school. This blended model of online learning while still spending the majority of their time in a traditional classroom is a new “unique” type of education that is being kick started in Washington County School District, said Laura Belnap, Utah Online School director.

http://www.thespectrum.com/story/life/family/2014/08/19/online-person-education-rolled-one/14304299/

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10 privacy steps for every district

August 27th, 2014

By Keith Krueger, eSchool News

It would be hard to name an issue that has taken the education technology world by storm as has student data privacy over the past year. To address this issue, CoSN published our Protecting Student Privacy in Connected Learning toolkit in March to help districts navigate FERPA (Family Education Rights & Privacy Act) and COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act). During the 2014-2015 school year, the Toolkit will be expanded to include additional information on the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) and the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule–rounding out the four federal privacy laws relevant to schools.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/08/20/student-privacy-steps-322/

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Why You Should Be Using Video In Your Classroom

August 27th, 2014

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

Using video in the classroom has come a long way from a TV and VCR on a cart to watch a movie during class (The standard about ten gazillion years ago when I was a student). There are a ton of different ways you can employ video in your classroom, from video feedback to educational videos about specific topics, there is a lot of possibility out there. Even if you know that this way and that are options for including video in your classroom, you might still be wondering why you should be using video in the first place. The handy infographic below takes a look at reasons why video is a great form of engagement

http://www.edudemic.com/video-in-your-classroom/

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Preparing Your Students for the Challenges of Tomorrow

August 27th, 2014

by Judy Willis, Edutopia

Right now, you have students. Eventually, those students will become the citizens — employers, employees, professionals, educators, and caretakers of our planet in 21st century. Beyond mastery of standards, what can you do to help prepare them? What can you promote to be sure they are equipped with the skill sets they will need to take on challenges and opportunities that we can’t yet even imagine? Following are six tips to guide you in preparing your students for what they’re likely to face in the years and decades to come.

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/prepare-students-challenges-of-tomorrow-judy-willis

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Teenagers Seek Out Online Courses

August 26th, 2014

by Larry Press, A New Domain

As you can see, more than 40 percent of incoming freshman UCLA polled had been frequently or occasionally assigned an online course in the past year. More shocking (to me, anyway) was that roughly 70 percent had sought out an online course on their own. Looking more closely at the information, it is clear public school students had slightly more experience with online courses than those enrolling in private colleges. This makes some sense, as public institutions tend to offer more online courses in their own curriculum. The most fascinating part of this poll for me was that incoming freshman to historically black institutions of learning were much more prone to having engaged with online courses than any other freshman group, whether it was assigned or not.

http://anewdomain.net/2014/08/18/teenagers-seek-online-courses/

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Personalizing Instruction With 1-to-1 and Blended Learning

August 26th, 2014

By Dan Gordon, THE Journal

Rich Boettner is the chief technology officer at Hilliard City Schools (OH). Here, he details how his district started with a technology task force and ended up using 1-to-1 computing to facilitate blended learning. This past school year, we created a technology task force to figure out where we should be going. The result was to move forward with a 1-to-1 initiative. But what we heard the loudest was that unless you have a strong vision of what you’re trying accomplish, just buying devices is not going to be a fruitful endeavor. So working with a committee of staff, teachers and principals, we outlined a vision for blended learning as a component of this project.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/08/18/personalizing-instruction-with-1-to-1-and-blended-learning.aspx

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Pequea Valley considers letting students supplement high school with online courses

August 26th, 2014

by CINDY HUMMEL, Lancaster Online

The Pequea Valley School District Board of Directors has reviewed proposed updates to the school’s graduation requirements, including one that would let students add online classes to their course load. Board members discussed a new draft of a policy on graduation requirements which included how online courses would be accepted for graduation credits. Under the proposed changes, high school students could take approved online courses from institutions other than Pequea Valley at their own expense, according to director of curriculum and development Rich Eby.

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/pequea-valley-considers-letting-students-supplement-high-school-with-online/article_8ab20ed4-26ec-11e4-a802-0017a43b2370.html

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Schools grapple with data privacy

August 25th, 2014

by eSchool News

As school leaders turn to software companies for help in collecting and storing student data in the cloud, privacy advocates worry about what will happen to the information—and whether it might be used for marketing purposes. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act governs the use and disclosure of students’ personal information, but it can only penalize schools for non-compliance. The law doesn’t include any direct authority over software providers—which is one reason many policy makers think it’s time to update FERPA for the digital age.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/08/19/schools-data-privacy-951/

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What Will eLearning Look Like In 2075?

August 25th, 2014

By dana.rosen, Edudemic

In just a few years, nearly half of all college classes may be elearning-based. Similarly, over 40% of the global Fortune 500 companies use some form of educational technology to train employees (ELearning Magazine, 2013). So where is all of this going? If we place ourselves in the perspective of the 16th century learners, what could emerge that may not possible be able to imagine today? Futuristic elearning will probably involve technologies and platforms that derive from current trends. In this section I will outline some of the recently popular and emerging trends, which could easily develop into exciting, advanced, and helpful learning models.

http://www.edudemic.com/chalkboards-chat-boards-will-elearning-look-like-2075/

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Online MBA courses ‘no longer second-rate’

August 25th, 2014

By G. Anandalingam, Telegraph

It used to be that online courses were considered second rate; perhaps because the top ranking institutions stayed aloof from the market for so long.  But that’s all changed: with some of the world’s best business schools now offering online MBA programmes (among others) the stigma is gone and, in terms of student experience, online technology’s fast pace of development means student experience has improved enormously. As with almost anything based around technology, it’s a process of continuous improvement: the way universities and students use technology is always evolving, making now a very exciting time to be working and studying in this area.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationopinion/11041456/Online-MBA-courses-no-longer-second-rate.html

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Games: The new learning experience

August 24th, 2014

By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

True game-based learning uses intrinsic experiences and moves away from a more simple extrinsic rewards-based system where students play the game in pursuit of a reward or achievement and are disconnected from the fundamental content. Games combine just the right degree of challenge with just the right amount of engagement, said Lucien Vattel, CEO of GameDesk, a nonprofit focusing on research and development around game-based learning. GameDesk recently launched Educade, an online portal that links students, teachers, and parents to an online resource library full of apps, games, and hands-on activities.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/08/18/games-learning-experience-346/

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Tech Basics for Active, Collaborative Learning

August 24th, 2014

By Leila Meyer, Campus Technology

While every active-learning classroom is unique — based on the physical space itself and the needs of students and faculty — there are features common to many of them. Typically, the instructor has a podium at the center of the room. Surrounding the podium are large, round tables that each seat six to nine students. Movable chairs allow students to easily shift between small groups of three to larger groups of six or nine. Each student table may have its own large display or interactive whiteboard for collaborative work and sharing, and many of the rooms also feature writable walls, where students can collaborate on virtually any vertical surface in the room. This classroom design enables instructors to spend a few minutes guiding the whole class from the center of the room, and then quickly transition students into collaborative work without needing to reconfigure the furniture or organize students into groups.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/08/06/tech-basics-for-active-collaborative-learning.aspx

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Education Boosting Chromebook Shipments to 5.2 Million Units This Year

August 24th, 2014

By Joshua Bolkan, Campus Technology

Chromebook sales will reach 5.2 million shipments this year, largely on the strength of the education market, according to a new report from market research firm Gartner. That’s a 79 percent increase over 2013 sales, and the company predicts the devices will continue to experience impressive through 2017, when it forecasts 14.4 million shipments. Education is far and away the driving force behind Chromebook sales, accounting for 85 percent of shipments in 2013, according to Gartner, and the United States, where 2.9 million of the devices were sold last year, makes up the bulk of the global market.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/08/13/report-education-market-to-boost-chromebook-sales-to-5.2-million-units-in-2014.aspx

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