How to Use Prezi to Create Visual Lessons

November 15th, 2014

By Leigh Ann Whittle, Edudemic

You can create a visual classroom without succumbing to death by PowerPoint. Its interactive features, zooming display, and creative options will enable your visual lessons to engage students without distracting them from lesson objectives. With all those bells and whistles, Prezi might sound complicated, but it’s actually quite simple to use. Follow the link below for more on this innovative tool.

http://www.edudemic.com/how-to-use-prezi-to-create-visual-lessons/

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50 resources for using an iPad, Android tablet in class

November 15th, 2014

by Charlie Osborne, ZD Net

Tablet computers have permeated the classroom in the last few years. Companies including Microsoft, Apple and Samsung have issued free devices, software and services to insinuate themselves into the classroom — not only giving students more access to technology no matter their background, but potentially also to influence the next generation of consumers toward a particular brand or operating system. However, no matter the reasons, technology has the potential to enrich a learner’s experience in the classroom and give teachers more access to resources, lesson ideas and subject matter. Tablets, due to their portability and app support, remove the need to trudge over to a computer room to access the Web — and can stored safely away after a lesson.

http://www.zdnet.com/50-resources-for-using-an-ipad-android-tablet-in-class-7000034700/

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Lyons first to offer CSU online concurrent enrollment classes

November 15th, 2014

By Whitney Bryen, Times-Call

The program, which kicks off in January, will give sophomores, juniors and seniors in Lyons the chance to gain high school and college credit by taking CSU online classes at a discounted rate. This spring, eligible students with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher and a teacher recommendation can enroll in an online sociology or psychology class through CSU. “These students are the high fliers,” Winger said. Each class will cost students about $150 instead of the $800 they would pay if they took the class as a CSU student, said Lyons principal Greg Winger.

http://www.timescall.com/news/longmont-schools/ci_26873830/lyons-first-offer-csu-online-concurrent-enrollment-classes

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5 Skills That Games Teach Better Than Textbooks

November 14th, 2014

By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

Playing games at school can inspire students in ways that nobody could predict. For proof, just take Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. In it, Dumbledore raises his hand for silence and pronounces the memorable line, “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” The victory is decided by the modest 10 points Dumbledore grants to Gryffindor’s Neville Longbottom, and with it comes a lesson worth learning: Following your conscience, even in small ways, can have a big impact. Trying to impart that lesson without the game would most likely have had as much impact as the lunch ladies making a switch from peas to carrots. Because games immerse students in a world outside their daily experience game-based pedagogy can help students learn skills that they could never grasp by reading a textbook. Here are five of them.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/11/05/5-skills-that-games-teach-better-than-textbooks.aspx

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10 ways to create engaging schools

November 14th, 2014

By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

Technology integration and project-based learning are two of 10 strategies that one district technology director uses to help educators create engaging schools and classrooms that excite and empower students. Ninety-five percent of kindergartners are truly enthusiastic about school, but for some reason, that enthusiasm wanes, and only 37 percent of ninth graders are enthusiastic about school and learning, said Robert Dillon, director of technology and innovation for the Affton School District in St. Louis, during an edWeb Connected Educator Month webinar. School leaders must find a way to sustain that kindergarten enthusiasm all the way through high school.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/11/05/10-engaging-empowering-652/

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Professor’s online course delves into all things ‘Doctor Who’

November 14th, 2014

by Anthony Domanico, CNet

A new MOOC, short for massive open online course, from a Syracuse University professor will take “Doctor Who” fans on an epic journey. The course, titled “Doctor Who in the Digital Age,” will be taught by Professor Anthony Rotolo, director of the online masters in communications program at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. It will run from January through April and will explore the history, evolution and cultural impact of the long-running BBC series, Rotolo tells the Daily Orange. The free course will be offered both in-person to Syracuse students as an independent study class and online for Whovians across the universe.

http://www.cnet.com/news/a-new-mooc-dives-into-the-timey-wimey-world-of-doctor-who/

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6 STEM and research grant opportunities

November 13th, 2014

By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

School funding challenges show no sign of abating, and budgets remain stretched to the limit. Many educators and administrators rely on school grants to fund important projects and opportunities for students. Each month, eSchool News compiles a list of the most current education grants expiring soon. This month’s grants are all relevant to research and STEM teaching and learning.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/11/07/stem-research-grant-039/

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Harvard’s ‘active’ system helping other universities improve outcomes

November 13th, 2014

By Ron Bethke, eCampus News

Learning Catalytics, an active learning system developed at Harvard, has led to big improvements for students at the University of North Carolina. Some students at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill have been improving their test scores by more than 3 percentage points on average in the past year, and it’s largely the result of a Harvard-created software that emphasizes active learning. The software, which is called Learning Catalytics, was implemented by Professor Kelly Hogan, the Director of Instructional Innovation for the College of Arts and Sciences and the Senior Lecturer in the Biology Department, in her non-majors Biology class in the fall of 2013.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/technologies/active-learning-harvard-693/

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The growing appeal of a three-year degree

November 13th, 2014

by Bruce Kennedy, Moneywatch

In a trend that began during the depths of the Great Recession, some students who needed get a four-degree without a four-year degree’s cost started trying to complete their courses in three years. But even as the U.S. economy is leaving that devastating slump slowly behind it, that trend is apparently hanging on — and perhaps gaining some momentum. About two dozen private U.S. colleges now offer three-year degree programs. The financial advantages of a three-year program seem obvious. College costs continue to rise, with the median cost of a year’s tuition and fees for undergraduate study at both public and private, nonprofit, four-year institutions currently stands at just over $11,000, according to the College Board.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-growing-appeal-of-a-three-year-college-degree/

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Microsoft refreshes Office for iPad, iPhone; more features now free for consumers

November 12th, 2014

by Mary Jo Foley, ZDNet

Microsoft is releasing updated versions of its Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for iPad and iPhones that make more of the core functionality available for free. The new Office for iPad and iPhone apps are available as of November 6 in the Apple App Store. The new Office for iPad apps will be available here. Word for iPhone, Excel for iPhone and PowerPoint for iPhone are available separately.

http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-refreshes-office-for-ipad-iphone-more-features-now-free-for-consumers-7000035513/

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Once taboo, cellphones now encouraged at some Treasure Valley schools

November 12th, 2014

BY BILL ROBERTS, Idaho Statesman

If you want your Boise district school to start bring-your-own-device instruction, talk with your school principal, says David Roberts, district technology administrator. A student caught with a cellphone at school used to face almost certain doom. There was the trip to the vice principal’s office. Or the administrator slipped the phone into his desk drawer till the final bell rang. Or, worst of all, there was the dreaded call to parents. Teachers and principals once viewed cellphones as distractions and enemies of education. Now, increasing numbers of them are encouraging students to bring their electronic devices to class as an instrument that can deepen their learning.

http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/11/04/3465954/valley-students-cellphones-amp.html?sp=/99/101/

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Getting Started with Google Glass

November 12th, 2014

By Jim Dutcher, Campus Technology

SUNY Cobleskill has embarked on a rigorous pilot using Google Glass for hands-on, experiential learning. To kick off a series of articles chronicling the experience, the institution’s CIO shares the origins of the project, the support team involved and the plans that are already unfolding for future campus and corporate collaborations. From the pedagogical side, we will be focused on discovery and answering:

Does the use of wearable technology speed acquisition of student competency?

What effect does the introduction of wearable technology have on instruction and peer (and patient) interaction?

Does the use of instructor point-of-view video help bridge student understanding of theory to applied practice?

How does the use of wearable technology translate across different instructional programs (Paramedic Training vs. Animal Hoof Health)?

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/11/05/getting-started-with-google-glass.aspx

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Cognitive assessment leaps into the digital age

November 11th, 2014

By Dean Delis, eSchool News

Used in conjunction with other data, cognitive testing is a valuable method for gathering reliable information about a child’s learning ability and cognitive strengths and weaknesses. This testing also is used to determine how these factors can potentially influence a child’s academic progress. School psychologists, in conjunction with educators, use information from cognitive assessments to help create personalized learning plans for students in need of remediation. Thanks to recent technological advancements, today’s cognitive assessments provide on-the-fly data that help determine whether a student’s academic progress is matching his or her ability level. This information, when considered along with other factors such as attention and motivation, can help educators develop appropriate learning plans for a student and advocate for individualized support based on specific needs.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/10/31/cognitive-assessment-digital-429/

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Do states really need an education technology plan?

November 11th, 2014

By Julia Freeland, eSchool News

Last week, the New America Foundation’s Chelsea Wilhelm wrote about a startling trend in state education technology planning: by and large, it’s not happening. As disconcerting as these findings may be, they got me wondering if a technology plan is really the right level of planning to focus on in the first place. Historically, technology planning had to do with wiring schools and making basic hardware and budget decisions. Today, with the rise of K–12 blended learning, technology planning looks more and more like instructional and curriculum planning with technology playing a supporting role in new school and classroom design. States continuing to focus on technology planning—as it’s been done historically—would seem to risk perpetuating the myth that we can cram technology into the existing instructional paradigm and expect new outcomes.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/11/04/education-technology-plan-349/

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Pearson Partners with LPGA to Launch an Online Course to Help Teach Female Golfers

November 11th, 2014

by Pearson

Most of the teaching methods used in the golf industry today were developed by golf professionals based on their experiences teaching men. In an effort to increase instructors’ level of comfort, skills, and teaching methods for the training of women golfers of all ages, the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) has partnered with Pearson to create a new online program called the LPGA Teaching HER Course. The self-paced course, which launches in fall 2014, consists of four one-hour modules with knowledge checks and interactive video segments.

http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/2304050

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3 predictors of strong digital learning

November 10th, 2014

By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

Overall, more students than ever before have access to digital learning opportunities, including online and blended learning, but state policies and other factors often limit digital learning’s availability. The 2014 edition of Keeping Pace with K-12 Digital Learning, researched and written by the Evergreen Education Group, examines the state of digital learning today and highlights the need for high-quality, actionable data on the digital learning tools and methods students use. “Digital learning is not really new anymore, [although] it continues to be innovative in all sorts of ways,” said John Watson, founder of the Evergreen Education Group and the report’s main author.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/11/04/pace-digital-learning-378/

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Open, but Undiscovered

November 10th, 2014

By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

When faculty members choose which textbooks to assign to their students, they look for trusted names and a track record of quality — not the price tag, a new survey suggests. While those priorities may stymie the growth and adoption of open educational resources (OER), the Babson Survey Research Group’s report on faculty members’ attitudes and opinions about those resources contains both “terrible” and “incredible” news for proponents of OER, depending on your interpretation. On one hand, faculty see open resources as just as good — if not better — than the products produced by traditional publishers. On the other, few faculty members have actually heard about OER. David Wiley, founder of the OER support provider Lumen Learning, said the disappointing top-level numbers overshadows the fact that many faculty members are satisfied with the quality of open content.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/11/04/open-educational-resources-perceived-high-quality-even-though-faculty-awareness-lags

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Blackmon: Education is vastly different from training

November 10th, 2014

By MYRA BLACKMON, Online Athens

Let’s get something straight. Education and training are not the same thing. Training is about skills to do something, such as a job or physical task. It implies reaction to certain stimuli or situations. Education is broader than that. It is the acquisition of general knowledge, the development of reasoning and judgment. Education is a much more nuanced, deeper concept than training. It requires understanding of theory, of the “why” of things. It requires much more than just being able to do a task, even a complex one. Jay Cross, who is credited with creating the term “e-learning,” explains it this way: “If your 16 year-old daughter told you that she was going to take a sex education course in high school, you might be pleased. What if she announced she was going to take sex training at school?”

http://onlineathens.com/opinion/2014-11-01/blackmon-education-vastly-different-training

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Making math personal

November 9th, 2014

by Sarah Elms, Record-Eagle

Students at the Pathfinder School are adding and subtracting not only with paper and pencil — they’re clicking and typing, too. Teachers at the independent nonprofit school in Leelanau County are using an online learning tool called Khan Academy to help personalize math instruction in first through eighth grade. They piloted the program last year and decided to make it a permanent part of the school’s math curriculum, which already blends classroom instruction, textbooks and group problem-solving. “It’s had a profound impact on the engagement in mathematics,” said Rob Hansen, Pathfinder’s head of school. “It’s the new favorite subject around here.”

http://www.record-eagle.com/news/local_news/making-math-personal/article_1469ec5e-4d7e-54d4-a226-0522726c9ff5.html

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Putting web analytics data to use in higher education

November 9th, 2014

by Karine Joly, University Business

With so much data now available, it is more challenging to choose what to present to decision-makers. In this context, benchmarking data can offer a welcomed reference frame to evaluate the overall performance of your school website. This is why new benchmarking reports, introduced in Google Analytics in September, are such a step forward for digital analytics. The three available reports let you compare the performance of your website with similar higher ed web properties.By selecting a geographic location and a range of average daily web sessions, you can access dashboards to compare your data on digital marketing channels driving traffic to your website, the location of your visitors and how they connected to your site. For a tutorial on accessing these benchmarking reports in Google Analytics, see my four-minute screencast.

http://www.universitybusiness.com/article/putting-web-analytics-data-use-higher-education

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Online learning at school ‘prepares students for university’

November 9th, 2014

by CHRIS PARR Times Higher Ed

Some 78 per cent of those surveyed said they considered it important in university to be able to plan and coordinate group tasks using online tools such as calendars, scheduling tools and discussion applications, and 94 per cent said having the ability to find academic resources online was valuable. More than four out of five (84 per cent) said it was important to be able to set goals to help manage studying time for their university course, and those who had participated in online learning at school said that they had gained proficiency in a range of online learning tools that they were now using as part of their university working practice. The online learning experience had also helped them to develop confidence in using technology to source information and they were more likely to carry out their research online, the researchers found.

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/online-learning-at-school-prepares-students-for-university/2016720.article

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