Educational Technology

August 11, 2017

5 AR & VR tools for social skills

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:40 am

BY LAURA ASCIONE, eSchool News
As interest in augmented and virtual reality grows, so, too, do the technologies’ potential to help students with special needs. Virtual and augmented reality, once far-off on the classroom horizon, have moved with relative speed into the realm of possible classroom technologies. In fact, recent data indicates that while few teachers are using augmented and virtual reality, it does show some promise. Speak Up Survey data shows that 5 percent of teachers say they are using virtual or augmented reality in their classroom. Higher percentages of high school computer science and technology teachers (11 percent) and science teachers (9 percent) are using augmented or virtual reality.

https://www.eschoolnews.com/2017/08/02/5-ar-vr-tools-social-skills/

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15 real classroom uses for Minecraft

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:35 am

BY LAURA ASCIONE, eSchool News
The sandbox game offers unlimited resources, and nearly unlimited ways to use Minecraft in the classroom. These days, it seems like Minecraft is second-nature for many kids. The beauty of Minecraft lies in its sandbox structure–students can create anything, with limitless resources, and often their creations are astounding. Is it any wonder, then, that educators are incorporating the popular block-based game into their curriculum? With a little creativity, educators can use Minecraft with history, math, writing and language arts, foreign language, and more.

https://www.eschoolnews.com/2017/08/04/15-real-classroom-uses-minecraft/

 

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‘Good Jobs’ Still Exist; Most Require Post-High School Education

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:30 am

by Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Good jobs — those that pay at least $35,000 a year — don’t necessarily require a bachelor’s degree. These good jobs have a median salary of $55,000. And 30 million of them exist in this country, compared to 36 million “good jobs” for workers with four-year college degrees. The share of good jobs held by those without a BA has shrunken from 60 percent in 1991 to 45 percent today. Those are the singular findings of a research project undertaken by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce and supported by JPMorgan Chase & Co to understand the impact of economic change wrought by the Great Recession.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/08/03/good-jobs-still-exist-most-require-post-high-school-education.aspx

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August 10, 2017

Designers Building Businesses Learn Digital Skills From These Resources

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By Tracy Leigh Hazzard, INC

Designers learn business via digital means.  I want to talk about where designers are learning their digital business skills these days because: There might be options available out there you might not be aware of that could benefit you, and; I want you to succeed and I know your chances are higher by taking advantage of the resources available to you. I wasn’t exaggerating when I told you this year’s Design In Tech Report was packed full of great information. Some of the most interesting stats I read were the ones breaking down the truth about where designers are learning their digital business skills because I had some assumptions about this, and they were way off. Let’s put this in perspective: 86% of design students surveyed say they learned their digital skills from resources outside their coursework. And it isn’t only coding or design-based knowledge students are seeking, which I am thrilled to hear, because the more well-rounded you are, in terms of business and communication skills, the more successful you will be.

https://www.inc.com/tracy-leigh-hazzard/where-designers-learn-to-go-digital.html

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LSC-Tomball to Host Event for Students Taking Online Classes

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by The Paper
Thirty-seven percent of all Lone Star College-Tomball students take distance-learning courses, those are classes taken completely online with no face-to-face component. This is 13 percent higher than the Lone Star College average. That’s why LSC-Tomball is hosting an Online On-Boarding event covering the basics of taking online/hybrid classes.  “Although this event is for students taking online/hybrid classes at Lone Star College-Tomball, it is a face-to-face event to answer questions and help students become familiar with the online environment,” Jamroz said. Understanding that some online students are unable to come to campus, the event will also be available to watch online.

http://fatcatwebproductions.com/ThePaper_2014/md-thenews/content/lsc-tomball-host-event-students-taking-online-classes

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Online learning startup Codecademy launches paid Pro courses

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:29 am

by Ryan Lawler, TechCrunch

Codecademy has spent the last several years building a large community of learners with free lessons aimed at teaching its users the basics of how to code. But now it’s betting that many of them will be willing to pay for more intensive courses. Codecademy is launching a paid Pro version of its product, which will offer more intensive courses and more extensive mentoring than it had provided before.  Codecademy determined it would need to come up with something users would be interested in paying for. Since then, the company has quietly been building curriculum and testing it with users to figure out the most engaging lessons and the best price point for a paid product.  The result is Codecademy Pro, which will come in three tiers aimed at capturing different demographics of students with different needs.

Online learning startup Codecademy launches paid Pro courses

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August 9, 2017

America 2.0: Why It’s Time for a Technology Upgrade

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by Knowledge at Wharton

When it comes to upgrading the nation’s infrastructure, Gad Allon, Wharton professor of operations, information and decisions, says that strategic emphasis should be placed on the nation’s major airports and high-speed trains. But he also believes that it is important for long-range prosperity and competitiveness to make sure that every person in the U.S. has access to high-speed internet, ideally fiber optic. “Only a fraction of the U.S. has LTE [wireless coverage]; most people have 4G. When people come from [South] Korea to the U.S., they cannot bear the speed here, so they stop connecting to the internet while they are here. This is, for me, first order.”

http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/america-2-0-time-technology-upgrade/

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WHY ARE LEARNING ANALYTICS SO IMPORTANT?

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:35 am

BY Matthew Lynch, tech Edvocate
The best edtech software relies on learning analytics to help personalize teaching methods and tailor instruction to meet each student’s individual strengths and weaknesses, learning disabilities, and prior subject knowledge. Without a personalized touch, educators would otherwise stick to the traditional model of teaching and tailor instruction not to the individual, but to a mass classroom filled with supposedly homogenous mental make-ups. Thankfully, educators and policy makers have caught on and realized the importance of personalized attention. Everyone’s brain processes information differently and with the help of learning analytics, the model of education is gradually moving away from the unrealistic institution and towards every individual student.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/learning-analytics-important/

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8 MUST HAVE CHALLENGE-BASED LEARNING APPS, TOOLS & RESOURCES

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:30 am

by Matthew Lynch, tech Edvocate
In 2008, Apple designed an education model appropriate for the learners of tomorrow. Their goal was to replace pencils with iPads, worksheets with real-world problems, and grades with societal growth. After implementing challenge-based learning into classrooms across the United States, young minds have accomplished incredible feats.  With challenge-based learning, students locate community-based or nationwide problems – the overuse of plastic bottles, after-school traffic, local pollution – and work to provide original solutions. The goal is for learners to work in group settings to brainstorm ideas, research logistics, conduct surveys, create a budget, analyze data, present their findings and share an original end product with fellow students.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/8-must-challenge-based-learning-apps-tools-resources/

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August 8, 2017

Creators of Second Life Open Sansar Social VR Platform to the Public

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By Sri Ravipati, Campus Technology

The San Francisco-based company behind the social virtual reality (VR) platform Second Life has launched a creator beta for Sansar. According to the announcement from Linden Lab, “Sansar empowers individuals, communities, schools, studios, corporations, brands and others to easily create, share and ultimately sell immersive 3D social experiences for consumers to enjoy on HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Windows PCs.” All creators can now use Sansar’s platform to start creating VR content. “Sansar democratizes social VR,” said Ebbe Altberg, Linden Lab CEO, in the statement. “Until now, complexity and cost has limited who could create and publish in this medium, and Sansar dramatically changes that. It’s been inspiring to see the thousands of virtual creations that have already published with Sansar during our limited preview, and I’m looking forward to the explosion of creativity we’ll see now that we’ve opened the doors in beta.”

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/08/01/creators-of-second-life-open-sansar-social-vr-platform-to-the-public.aspx

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Microsoft Offering Students Flexible Leasing for Surface Devices, Deals on Windows 10 PCs

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:35 am

By Sri Ravipati, Campus Technology

Microsoft on Tuesday revealed a flexible payment plan to lease its Surface computers, and a number of other back-to-school deals and programs for teachers and students. The company calls the Surface Pro its most versatile laptop. First, the company is giving students a 10 percent discount on Surface machines, which double as tablets or laptops, through the new Surface Plus plan. Surface devices aren’t low-priced, with the Surface Pro priced starting at $799 and running as high as $2,999 for the Surface Studio.

Some key features of the Surface Plan include:

Low monthly payments at 0 percent APR over 24 months;

Upgrades to the latest model after 18 months; and

A 30-day hassle-free return policy and access to in-store support.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/08/02/microsoft-offering-students-flexible-leasing-for-surface-devices.aspx

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Twin Falls School District will provide free online classes for homeschoolers

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:30 am

by JULIE WOOTTON, Magic Valley

Twin Falls homeschoolers: You’ll soon have access to free curriculum and online classes through the Twin Falls School District. The district is launching a new partnership with Harmony Educational Services, based in Springville, Utah. An informational meeting for interested families is slated for Tuesday at the Twin Falls Public Library. Families can enroll their kindergarten through eighth-graders in the program through mid-September. The partnership essentially allows homeschoolers the flexibility to pick and choose their curriculum and online classes, and have support from the Twin Falls School District. And it allows the district to receive state funding for each student enrolled.

http://magicvalley.com/news/local/education/twin-falls-school-district-will-provide-free-online-classes-for/article_3f6c5dd7-a5cc-5d6a-a8df-120f6d428e49.html

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August 7, 2017

Online Courses as Good as In-Person Classes

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:39 am

by Fred Lokken, Inside Higher Ed

Transitioning to the virtual learning environment has fostered improved faculty training, student preparation and student analytics. Community colleges have crafted a virtual learning environment that is structured, positive and successful. As someone who has taught online classes since 1999 and managed the online program administration at my campus for 16 years, I am personally aware of the progress we have made, the quality of instruction we do achieve, the access door we have opened wider and the difference we have made in the lives of our students. Traditional and nontraditional students alike have demonstrated a remarkable success in online degree programs. An employer can be confident that graduates of an online program have the same knowledge, skills and abilities as a student in a traditional residential program.

https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/views/2017/08/02/online-courses-good-person-classes

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Instructional Designers – what they do

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:35 am

By Sharon O’Malley, Inside Higher Ed

The practice of instructional design emerged during World War II, when the military assembled groups of psychologists and academics to create training and assessment materials for troops. In 1954, Harvard University psychology professor and author B. F. Skinner introduced the concept of programmed instructional materials through his article “The Science of Learning and the Art of Teaching.” Within a decade, noted academics — including Robert Gagne, widely considered the father of the field of instructional design — had embraced the importance of assessment and learning objectives in teaching and learning. Although higher education typically left course design up to the professors who would teach in traditional classrooms, the popularity of online courses created a need for input from professionals trained in the science of teaching, instructional methods and the technology that would make learning possible for remote students. And now, the field is growing. A 2016 report funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation estimated that a minimum of 13,000 instructional designers work on college campuses.

https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/article/2017/08/02/what-do-instructional-designers-do

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The New Wave in Digital Humanities

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:30 am

By Will Fenton, Inside Higher Ed

The digital humanities have supported a remarkable diversity of teaching, scholarship and service pursued by a diverse group of leaders who are shaping the field’s values and priorities. Inside Digital Learning here showcases the contributions of five rising stars of the digital humanities: Alex Gil, Lauren Klein, Marisa Parham, Miriam Posner and Jacqueline Wernimont. While no selection can represent the full scope of a field, these scholars represent the emergent and promising work within digital humanities. “These scholars demonstrate again and again the promise of digital technologies for exploring the most crucial, critical questions in the humanities,” said Kathleen Fitzpatrick, who until recently was associate executive director and director of scholarly communication at the Modern Language Association. These five rising stars work in alternative-academic and traditional tenure-track positions at public research, liberal arts and Ivy League institutions.

https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/article/2017/08/02/rising-stars-digital-humanities

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August 6, 2017

Mizzou K-12 Online recruits tigers from around the world

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by EDWARD MCKINLEY, Missourian

MU High School, and its Mizzou K-12 Online program, turns international, high school-age students from around the world into Missouri Tigers. “We feel like we are at home,” Luciana Calixto, the coordinator of Mizzou K-12 Online programs at two Brazilian schools, said about being with her students in Columbia. Students in 135 countries participate in MU’s online high school program, Mizzou K-12 Online, run by the College of Education. Other American universities offer online high school programs, but MU’s program is unusual because it is conducted through the education college. For students, the tuition for Mizzou K-12 is a few hundred dollars each month. The price differs depending on the partnerships between MU and different schools. It provides access to classes that international students wouldn’t receive in their home countries, and courses are assigned, completed and graded completely online.

http://www.columbiamissourian.com/news/higher_education/mizzou-k–online-recruits-tigers-from-around-the-world/article_5b2bd57a-72f0-11e7-8c01-932451053c47.html

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Textbooks in the Digital World

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BY MATTHEW LYNCH, Tech Edvocate

For decades, textbooks were seen as the foundation for instruction in American schools. These discipline-specific tomes were a fundamental part of the educational infrastructure, assigned to students for each subject and carried in heavy backpacks every day – from home to school and back again. The experience of students is much different today. As a scholar of learning technologies and a director for outreach and engagement at Ohio State’s College of Education and Human Ecology, we’ve seen how technological advances and an increase in digital curriculum materials have hastened the move away from textbooks. Does all of this technology spell the end of traditional textbooks? And if so, is that actually a good thing for students and teachers?

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/textbooks-digital-world/

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Is it time for a QR code comeback?

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:30 am

by Rebecca Sentance, ZD Net

Remember QR codes? Those blocky, black-and-white graphics that take you to a URL when scanned with your phone were everywhere from about 2011 to 2013. Brands splashed them across posters, put them in shop windows and integrated them into creative advertising. But despite the ostensible usefulness of QR codes in linking the offline and online worlds, QR codes have since mostly died out, due to a combination of poor implementation, subpar technology, and a lack of native support for QR codes in smartphones. In the meantime, QR codes have taken off in China in a way they never achieved in the west, where they’re used for everything from payments to exchanging personal details, proving that it’s possible to make a success of QR codes when they’re approached with a truly mobile-first mindset.

https://www.clickz.com/is-it-time-for-a-qr-code-comeback/112196/

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August 5, 2017

Preschoolers played online games for a year — and became kindergarten-ready

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by Kirsten Clark, Courier-Journal

Karen McLean didn’t want her twins to fall behind in kindergarten. “Kindergarten is not like it used to be,” said McLean, who is a literacy coach for New Albany-Floyd County Schools. “It’s not playtime anymore. It’s academic learning.” That’s why McLean enrolled Andrew and Marcus in Upstart, an online preschool program billed as a way to prepare children for kindergarten “in just 15 minutes a day, five days a week.” Andrew and Marcus were two of roughly a hundred Floyd County 4-year-olds to participate in a pilot program that brought the software to the Hoosier state, where lawmakers hoped it would be a game-changer for the state’s roughly 27,000 low-income children without access to quality preschool.

http://www.nearshoreamericas.com/e-learning-latin-america-solution-talent-shortage/

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New guide designed to help Colorado educators combine online courses with traditional teaching

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:34 am

By MARISSA PAGE, Chalkbeat Colorado

A new guide released Monday seeks to help Colorado schools successfully introduce blending learning, a growing practice combining traditional classroom instruction with online coursework. The Colorado Blended Learning Roadmap, commissioned by state lawmakers, urges school officials to consider three main priorities: effective teacher training and increased support; flexibility in school policies to support the model; and access to quality technology and other tools.

http://www.denverpost.com/2017/07/25/colorado-blended-learning-roadmap-online-courses/

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Why Apple Is Investing So Much in AR and VR

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:29 am

by Kate Murphy, Campos

What’s Apple going to do with the company’s patents and technology? No one knows, but Apple CEO Tim Cook has expressed enthusiasm over AR in particular. “Unlike virtual reality, which closes out the world, AR allows individuals to be present in the world but hopefully allow an improvement on what’s happening presently,” he told the Independent in February. “With AR you can, not be engrossed in something, but have it be a part of your world, your conversation. That has resonance.” Earlier this summer, Apple launched ARKit, a tool that adds augmented reality capabilities to iOS. A soon-to-launch app developed using ARKit called A R Measure, is a good example of what this means to consumers. The app will allow you to measure real-life objects by superimposing virtual measuring tape over the item when you look through your phone screen.

http://blog.campos.com/higher-ed/2017-consumer-trend-analysis-ar-vr-ai

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