Allowing Technology To Amplify Quality Teaching

May 2nd, 2016

By Frank DiMaria, THE Journal

Today school districts are looking to mobile devices and laptops to revolutionize education. Without question these devices have the potential to be effective tools. However, without quality adult supervision they are merely cognitive candy, warns Kentaro Toyama, W.K. Kellogg Associate Professor of Community Information at the University Of Michigan’s School of Information. Toyama spent a decade designing technologies for education and witnessed technology implementation strategies that worked and ones that failed. Over the years he’s developed the “Law of Amplification,” which districts and teachers can follow to ensure their technology works harder and smarter.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2016/04/20/allowing-technology-to-amplify-quality-teaching.aspx
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Is Your District Future Ready?

May 2nd, 2016

By Jeff Mao, THE Journal

In November of 2014, President Obama challenged district superintendents to sign the Future Ready Pledge. By signing it, they committed to working with teachers, families and community members to transition their districts to “personalized, digital learning.” Since then, over 2,000 superintendents representing roughly three out of 10 students in America have signed. A coalition led by the Alliance for Excellent Education, the U.S. Department of Education and the LEAD Commission held 13 Future Ready regional summits across the nation to provide support for those districts and build a network of leaders. This led to the release of the newest National Education Technology Plan: Future Ready Learning: Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2016/04/19/future-ready.aspx

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City schools to add online school, reinstate positions

May 2nd, 2016

by Courtney Day, Mansfield News Journal

In a move designed to bring students enrolled in online charter schools back to Mansfield City Schools, the district is contracting with an outside company to offer online courses starting next year. The district board of education approved a contract with Online Education Ventures under which the district will pay OEV to provide curriculum, administrative and technical support as well as products and services necessary for the online program. Students in all grades living both inside and outside the district will be able enroll in one one or more OEV courses at no cost to the student.

http://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/story/news/local/2016/04/19/city-schools-add-online-school-reinstate-positions/83234790/

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Online calculus class attracts big numbers

May 1st, 2016

By Jay Panandiker, the Lantern

How many people can take a calculus class? The limit does not exist. Calculus is a class that people take as a prerequisite for dozens of majors around campus and at colleges across the country. One course, titled Calculus One or Mooculus, functions as an introduction to calculus both for those who are new to the subject and those who just want to review concepts. So far, hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in the course on Coursera, an online-education website that partners with universities around the country, and more than 250,000 have participated through the OSU website, said Jim Fowler, an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics. The YouTube channel also just recently surpassed 1 million views.

http://thelantern.com/2016/04/online-calculus-class-attracts-big-numbers/

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It’s time GW finds its footing in online learning

May 1st, 2016

y GW Hatchet Editorial

There’s a change in tide for higher education. The way students learn isn’t always in conventional, face-to-face classrooms anymore: More students are taking classes online, especially graduate students. Online learning will probably expand more at GW in a few short years. This fall, GW will reach 99.8 percent of its enrollment capacity. Because this capacity – 16,553 full-time students on campus – was determined as a part of the University’s 20-year agreement with D.C., the school can’t just build another residence hall. To continue enrolling more students and making more money from tuition, the University will need to move more of its programs online.

http://www.gwhatchet.com/2016/04/24/staff-editorialits-time-gw-finds-its-footing-in-online-learning/

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Stanford research backs visual math lessons

May 1st, 2016

By Tara García Mathewson, Education Dive

Researchers at Stanford are encouraging teachers to embrace more visual approaches to math, like letting students use their fingers while learning, to support greater math achievement in the long-term. According to eCampus News, new brain research finds people naturally visualize math problems when working on them, and helping students develop skills to improve that visualization can improve learning. These findings challenge modern math instruction that focuses on memorization and abstract thinking, discouraging students from using their fingers to count.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/stanford-research-backs-visual-math-lessons/417781/

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Securing online identities with keystroke dynamics

April 30th, 2016

By Tara García Mathewson, Education Dive

In higher education institutions, which are more vulnerable to cyberattacks than those in other industries, identifying people by how they type could be another key privacy tool for IT administrators. Ed Tech reports keystroke dynamics are a low-cost layer of user authentication that doesn’t require individuals to learn anything new or memorize complicated instructions. While malware that logs keystrokes presents a challenge for adoption, KeyTrac CEO Thomas Wölf says no one can type the exact same way twice, meaning identical keystrokes are relatively easy to recognize as coming from a keylogger.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/securing-online-identities-with-keystroke-dynamics/417778/

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Tracking student emotions ‘could improve online retention’

April 30th, 2016

By Chris Havergal, Times Higher Education

Monitoring the emotions of students during online learning could help to improve retention and course design, researchers believe. Academics at the Open University are developing tools to analyse learners’ emotional responses to online programmes, using either self-reporting or automated technologies. These could include using webcams to monitor engagement and emotions via students’ facial expressions or eye movements. But Bart Rienties, reader in learning analytics at the OU, told Times Higher Education that students would need to be convinced that the educational benefits of monitoring emotions outweighed the potential loss of privacy.

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/tracking-student-emotions-could-improve-online-retention

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Drawing up the Details of Classroom AV Systems

April 30th, 2016

By Mike Tomei, Campus Technology

From floor plans and lighting zones to mounting specs and viewing angles, detailed AV design drawings will help keep your classroom audiovisual installation on track. The design development phase of the project lays out mechanical, electrical, plumbing, structural and architectural details relating to the audiovisual systems. The technical AV system design drawings are also created at this time. The phase relies on the deliverables from the schematic design phase (the AV program report and opinion of probable cost) as the basis of subsequent design. This is why the schematic design phase, and more specifically the AV program report, are so important: Working off of a structured, thorough and approved program report/OPC is key for the design development phase deliverables and can really reduce the number of revisions made in the process.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/04/20/drawing-up-the-details-of-classroom-av-systems.aspx

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Bandwidth Hogs: What’s Clogging Up Campus Networks?

April 29th, 2016

By David Nagel, Campus Technology

Tablets, mobile phones or traditional computers: Which are the biggest bandwidth hogs on campus? According to a new report from the Association for College and University Technology Advancement (ACUTA) and the Association of Colleges and University Housing Officers-International (ACUHO-I), the answer for most campuses is traditional computers. The study, “2016 State of ResNet,” surveyed IT leaders, housing officers and business officers at more than 360 U.S. colleges and universities about their residential network practices and policies. Survey results indicated that traditional computers (desktops and laptops) narrowly edged out tablets and phones as devices forecast to consume the most bandwidth over the next couple years.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/04/22/bandwidth-hogs.aspx

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Expand access to high-speed broadband across the state

April 29th, 2016

Russ Feingold, USA Today Network Wisconsin

Internet access at home is bad. Not just annoyingly slow, but truly bad enough that students can’t complete their schoolwork. So what do students do? Late into the evening, they head to the now-closed library parking lot and sit in their cars to get the Wi-Fi signal. It’s almost hard to believe. But it’s far too common. Just this week, I heard the same thing from students at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College’s regional campus in Oconto Falls. Nearly a million Wisconsinites may lack adequate Internet access — access critical for education and commerce in areas outside of larger cities. FCC estimates claim more than half of rural Wisconsinites lack access to broadband. This must change. Rural Wisconsinites deserve the same level of Internet access as those in cities like Madison and Green Bay. How do we make that a reality?

http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/story/opinion/columnists/2016/04/23/expand-access-high-speed-broadband/83408428/

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Dual enrollment: High school meets college

April 29th, 2016

By Scott Carpenter, The Union Democrat

Classes allow high schoolers to sample college before graduating. In some cases, even freshmen can earn college credit. It takes 60 credits to graduate with an associate’s degree from Columbia College. By the time Sheri Gempler’s two oldest daughters graduated from Summerville High School, they had nearly 30 and 40 credits apiece. That equates to about a year of college. Both had taken advantage of online courses offered at Summerville High, part of a collaboration with nearby Columbia College to grant high schoolers more access to college classes. Because of the credit boost they gained from it, neither spent much time at Columbia College as actual undergrads. Kylie, the oldest, transferred to Minot State and graduated from Southern Oregon University. Cassidy leapfrogged to a semester abroad in Denmark. She stayed, in total, just half a year at Columbia.

http://www.uniondemocrat.com/localnews/4238210-151/dual-enrollment-high-school-meets-college

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5 Questions to Ask Before Pursuing an Online Associate Degree

April 28th, 2016

By Jordan Friedman, US News

​An online associate degree program might not be a fit for everybody, but experts say there are benefits to choosing this route to an education. In a lot of cases, prospective students may want a degree but are unsure if they will have time for a bachelor’s, says Megan Foster, an admissions counselor at Pennsylvania State University—World Campus. “They’ll start with an associate’s, get that credential a little bit quicker to help them get a bump up in their job, and then they might consider a bachelor’s afterwards,” Foster says. In the 2014-2015 school year, the number of students enrolled in online classes at community colleges continued to rise, increasing by 4.7 percent – the same rate as the previous year, according to a 2015 survey ​by the Instructional Technology Council, which is affiliated with the American Association of Community Colleges.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2016-04-22/5-questions-to-ask-before-pursuing-an-online-associate-degree

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Get On The Machine Learning Bandwagon With Google

April 28th, 2016

by Lucy Black, iProgrammer

You can’t help but notice the surge of interest in anything to do with machine learning. Now Google has launched a series of videos presenting machine learning recipes. And this adds to an existing heap of resources. AlphaGo’s historic victory against the Korean Go champion Lee Sedol has had consequences. One is a worldwide shortage of Go boards due to an upsurge of interest in the game, which is recognized as the most difficult to play. Another is that we all want to get involved with machine learning, amplifying a trend that has already been evident for a couple of years. The latest way to gain some insight into what machine learning does and how you can use it comes from Josh Gordon, who presents a series of short (7 minutes) videos that aim to get you started with machine learning using two open source libraries, scikit-learn and TensorFlow, which Google open sourced having developed it in-house.

http://www.i-programmer.info/news/105-artificial-intelligence/9662-get-on-the-machine-learning-bandwagon-with-google.html

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How to know if you should enroll your student in an online course

April 28th, 2016

by NEIL MORAN, METROMODE

It used to be that if your child attended a high school with a limited number of electives and only a couple advanced placement classes, there were only so many options available for them to explore their interests and prep for college. Not anymore. With online classes, many students now have access to a learning tool that reaches across school districts. That doesn’t mean signing up your student is a no brainer. Adding online courses to a student’s workload is often a difficult decision, especially with the great variety of options, from subject matter to instructor. Like traditional courses, the quality can vary and is only as good as the instructor who prepares and administers the program. For parents deciding if online courses are right for their child, here’s some things to consider.

http://www.semichiganstartup.com/features/online-class-michigan-042016.aspx

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Adaptive engineering course opens up engineering fundamentals to all

April 27th, 2016

by eCampus News

The University of New South Wales Australia and adaptive learning provider Smart Sparrow have unveiled what they call the world’s first-ever open adaptive engineering course designed to unlock access to high-quality courses for learners of all backgrounds. The course, Through Engineers’ Eyes: Engineering Mechanics by Experiment, Analysis and Design, was developed by Professor Gangadhara Prusty and Robin Ford, a retired Associate Professor, both from the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing at UNSW. It is the first Engineering MOOC to leverage Adaptive Technology. Adaptive Tutorials built on the Smart Sparrow platform have been incorporated to engage students with real-life simulations and personalised course materials, addressing the low completion rates in MOOCs and high failure rates in introductory engineering.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/online-learning/moocs/adaptive-engineering-course/

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Bellevue U approaches online learning with liberal arts classroom model

April 27th, 2016

By Tara García Mathewson, Education Dive

Bellevue University in Nebraska takes a liberal arts approach to online education, focusing on small class sizes and high-touch faculty who provide oversight and guidance to students, and, in turn, improve retention. According to eCampus News, the school requires faculty to take a course about online teaching strategies before leading their first classes, and they are then monitored by senior faculty and deans; a performance-based approach to student progress avoids automation of some competency-based programs. While programs map curricula and outline outcomes and performance skills students must master, it is a combination of tests and other assessments, like video presentations, that allow students to prove their skill — and while the programs are largely self-paced, students must meet major milestones to stay largely in step with one another.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/bellevue-u-approaches-online-learning-with-liberal-arts-classroom-model/417870/

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New law alters online class graduation requirement (but details murky)

April 27th, 2016

by Leslie Postal, Orlando Sentinel

Lawmakers altered online-class requirement for high school graduation. Now, you don’t need to take a class.. Florida students must pass one online course to earn a high school diploma, a rule that kicked in starting with the class of 2015 and has had its detractors (including students who said a virtual class wasn’t their academic cup of tea). The Florida Legislature, which put the rule in place, has altered it a few times since it was first adopted — and did so again in its session that wrapped up in March. Embedded in its multi-pronged education bill (HB 7029) are a few more ways for students to meet the online-class requirement, including not taking a so-called virtual class at all. The law says students can now pass certain tests and use those scores to meet the requirement, even if they don’t take an online class.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/school-zone/os-new-law-florida-online-graduation-requirement-20160420-story.html
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Report: Blended Fits Nicely To Re-Engage Dropouts

April 26th, 2016

By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

Each year about 485,000 people leave high school before they get a diploma. Students drop out for myriad reasons: They struggle in classes, have personal or family obligations, don’t see the connection between school and their lives or, quite simply, the school environment has become unsupportive. A new report examines the use of blended learning as a strategy for pulling these students, aged 16 to 24, back into high school for completion or an equivalent credential. As the report explained, the blended model of education combines in-person and online or virtual instruction and supports. The analysis was written by America’s Promise Alliance, a non-profit organization begun as a multi-president initiative in 1997 that runs a program focused on raising national graduation rates.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2016/04/11/report-blended-fits-nicely-to-reengage-dropouts.aspx

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Mixing It Up in the Design Lab: The Virtuality-Reality Continuum

April 26th, 2016

By Mary Grush, Campus Technology

Established in 2015, the Mixed Reality Lab at Oklahoma State University focuses on research and instruction in augmented reality, virtual reality, and digital prototyping for design. It provides space and infrastructure for both students and faculty researchers to work on design-related projects that incorporate AR, VR, and 3D printing tools. The lab helps students, researchers, and, through outreach activities, the broader community learn how to apply these technologies in design. CT asked Tilanka Chandrasekera, an assistant professor in the department of Design, Housing and Merchandising at OSU, about the Mixed Reality Lab’s goals for research and instruction.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/04/19/the-virtuality-reality-continuum-in-design.aspx

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Online Vs. Traditional: Which is the Better Platform?

April 26th, 2016

By Stefanie Schmude, ULoop

Picture this. Two friends go out to eat for lunch; friend number one discusses the hard work of being a college student and juggling class schedules with work. Friend two discusses the same struggles, but whether or not they are going to attend their American Literature class on the couch or in bed. With the rising popularity of online courses, students are starting to think about not only where they want to go, what they want to do career wise, but how they are going to receive that education: online or traditional. Personally, I have done schooling in both mediums and I don’t find either one to be better than the other. I prefer one to the other because one option (online) works best for me. But there are pros and cons to each one, and to look at those, I took the Rasmussen College model, which broke it down into four simple categories.

http://www.uloop.com/news/view.php/198063/Online-Vs-Traditional-Which-is-the-Better-Platform

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