How to Integrate Tech When It Keeps Changing

September 3rd, 2014

by Todd Finley, Edutopia

Asking if technology enhances learning is like asking if dogs are playful. Whether we’re discussing tech or those furry mouth-breathers, the answer is the same: it depends on the situation. Here’s a better line of inquiry: how do you coordinate knowledge, instructional practices, and technologies in order to positively influence academic achievement? By 2015, 80 percent of people accessing the Internet will do so with mobile devices. What other fundamental advances and cultural shifts will come our way? Nobody knows. But here are some guidelines for negotiating those changes:

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/integrate-tech-keeps-changing-todd-finley

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The Device Debate: What Tablet Is Right For Classrooms?

September 3rd, 2014

By Jeff Dunn, Edudemic

We have been examining education technology products for more than 4 years now at Edudemic and it’s given us a unique perspective. We’re able to look back at where things were with vivid detail since it’s all documented right here on this site. In fact, Edudemic launched the same week as the announcement of the iPad! Back in April 2010, though, there was only one tablet. Now, there are a lot of other players in the game. So let’s get the device debate going. What tablet is right for your classroom? In the interest of providing some real-world concrete examples, we’ve tested a few of the tablets we think would make a decent fit in most modern classrooms. We chose one tablet for each major operating system and tried to ensure each had a price that was reasonable for a school or district’s budget. Linked below are some of the newest tablets on the market.

http://www.edudemic.com/device-debate-tablet-right-classrooms/

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Design and Development of Educational Technology

September 3rd, 2014

by MITx

edX is offering a MOOC starting on 8 October 2014 called Design and Development of Educational Technology for anyone who wants to get a deeper understanding of this field. This project-based course explores educational technologies and the theories underlying their development through interviews with experts in the field. To be effective, educational technologies must be designed based on what we know about how people learn. Through interviews with multiple experts in the field, this course examines educational technologies, outlines the theories that influenced their development, and examines their use. The course leads up to a final project – a kickstarter style pitch for a new educational technology – which is worked on iteratively across the weeks. It involves active weekly participation.

https://www.edx.org/course/mitx/mitx-11-132x-design-development-2686#.U_5JnPmwJ-1

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Ten Steps to Using Twitter in the College Classroom

September 2nd, 2014

by Jason Llorenz, Huffington Post

Having experimented with social media for learning — especially Twitter — across my courses, I am convinced that social media offers powerful opportunities to connect with students, by providing new ways for them to own the learning. But doing it well takes a good deal of planning and structure, especially if social will be part of your graded class activities. Below are 10 strategies and tactics for integrating Twitter into your college course.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jason-a-llorenz/ten-steps-to-using-twitte_b_5692021.html

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Parents warned over the use of ‘educational’ mobile apps

September 2nd, 2014

By Emily Bryan, Australian Broadcast News

Parents been warned by an expert that some mobile apps that claim to help children learn have little educational benefit. Recent national test results showed Tasmanian students were well below average in literacy and numeracy. And educational researchers have said teachers and parents embracing technology could be one way to turn that around. However, they have warned that not all educational technology is as useful as developers had hoped.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-26/parents-warned-about-27educational27-technology/5698528

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University of Southern Maine Will Teach Students How to Hack, and How to Stop It

September 2nd, 2014

BY J. CRAIG ANDERSON, Government Technology

University of Southern Maine students are preparing to infect networks with malicious software, hack into hardware, secretly monitor user activity and lure Web surfers to predatory Internet sites. And they’ll even get credit for doing it.

That’s because it will all happen within a controlled setting as part of a new cybersecurity curriculum in which they will examine technical, legal and ethical issues surrounding the collection, sharing and theft of sensitive data. USM’s new Cyber Security Lab, which officially opens at the Portland campus Tuesday, will be a playground for hackers and other students seeking jobs in the booming high-tech industry. But the interdisciplinary curriculum developed in the lab will extend far beyond information technology into areas such as corporate communications, law and even philosophy.

http://www.govtech.com/education/University-of-Southern-Maine-Will-Teach-Students-How-to-Hack-and-How-to-Stop-It.html

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How Students Learn From Games

September 1st, 2014

by James M. Lang, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Kurt Squire, director of the Games+Learning+Society Center at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, says “Games are a good model for introducing a topic and raising interest,” he said, “because they situate content for learners so that they understand why it’s relevant.” The games accomplish that by establishing immediate goals that students can attain only by learning and applying course content. We often spend weeks throwing content at our students, and perhaps by the end of the semester we hope to have convinced them that what they have learned is relevant beyond the classroom. In a simulation game, by contrast, you are confronted immediately with the realization that what you are learning will help achieve a goal, one usually based on a real-world scenario.

http://chronicle.com/article/How-Students-Learn-From-Games/148445/

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Ohio Schools Invest Millions in Classroom Technology

September 1st, 2014

By Jeremy P. Kelley, McClatchy

Kettering City Schools this year received an $8.3 million grant from the state’s Straight A Innovation Fund. The money will be used to upgrade library media centers this year, give each student access to a Google Chromebook or LearnPad tablet next year, and gradually increase distance-learning options with Sinclair Community College and the University of Dayton. Dru Miller, Kettering’s director of instructional services said when each child has a device to use, a teacher can assign an interactive lesson appropriate to one group of students, while the teacher works with others who need help on another skill. Upgrading the library media centers will mean one set of students could be teleconferencing with a Dayton Metro Library librarian, while another group does online research and others work with the library specialist on-site.

http://www.centerdigitaled.com/news/271719691.html

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Virtual Schools Blend Real Experiences with Online Learning

September 1st, 2014

By Tanya Roscorla, Center for Digital Education

Self-directed learning and learning by experience are where education needs to go, said Sarah Luchs, K-12 program officer for Next Generation Learning Challenges. This type of learning allows students to solve real-world problems and prepares them for life as they master competencies, which include explicit, measurable and transferable learning objectives, according to CompetencyWorks. In the EDUHSD Virtual Academy, students have the flexibility to mix and match online courses with traditional face-to-face classes and internships in fields they’re interested in. They can also take classes at Folsom Lake College and other district high schools.

http://www.centerdigitaled.com/news/Virtual-Schools-Blend-Real-Experiences-with-Online-Learning.html

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Auditory Awareness: Are Students Hearing the Lesson?

August 31st, 2014

by Ben Johnson, Edutopia

How many choir performances, or especially school plays have you attended where you could not hear the performers clearly? No matter how well they performed, I benefitted little from the experience if the sound system was poor. Nothing is more frustrating than attending your own child’s performance and not being able to hear them. A while back, I went to International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) here in San Antonio. It was cool to see all the new trends in technology for education, but of the things that I saw planted a seed in my brain. It was simply this: Use technology to make sure every student can hear you in the classroom.

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/auditory-awareness-are-students-hearing-lesson-ben-johnson

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INFOGRAPHIC: Should universities be run like startups?

August 31st, 2014

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

New visuals highlight how leading universities have the same collaborative characteristics as startups. There’s growing momentum around the question as to whether or not colleges and universities should run like startups; in other words, should higher-ed institutions cater more to the economy with collaboration, curriculum, and services to pipeline students for jobs? However, it seems many practices implemented in leading universities may already embody the collaborative startup mentality.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/infographic-universities-startups-228/

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Students: We need coding skills

August 31st, 2014

By Laura Devaney, eSchoolNews

Learning to code and using coding skills appear to be some of students’ top goals. A new report reveals that 59 percent of students who do not know how to code would like to learn, while just 23 percent of students actually know how to code. The survey from StudyMode.com surveyed 1,000 StudyMode.com student members, ranging from K-12 to graduate school, to learn more about students’ computer programming skills. Sixty-one percent of students said they believe coding skills will give them a competitive advantage in the job hunt.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/08/25/students-coding-skills-934/

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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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