Small Favor Request from Ray

December 16th, 2014
If you read my postings and live in/are from South Carolina, would you ping me?
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I ask this as an informal poll to help me with an application.  Thanks for following the blog, and I apologize for this tiny interruption.  Best holiday wishes!  @rayschroeder / rschr1@uis.edu  -ray
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Want more diversity in STEM?

December 16th, 2014

By Pooja Sankar, eCampus News

Last week, during Computer Science Education Week, as educators and administrators discussed ways to attract more students—women and minorities especially—to study computer science, we were reminded that it’s not enough to simply encourage under-represented groups to take their first STEM classes. Educators must recognize that they play a major role in keeping these students engaged and supported throughout their academic careers. Traditional class structures can perpetuate feelings of isolation. Attracting women and minorities to computer science is one thing; keeping them there and easing their path to graduation (and beyond) is a separate thing altogether.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/diversity-computer-science-229/

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Robot platform for STEM to inspire next generation

December 16th, 2014

by eCampus News

Educators and students interested in next-level robotics education now have the chance to not only program and design robots, but work with online printable 3D files. iRobot Corp. announced updates to the company’s STEM outreach program, including the launch of Create 2–a pre-assembled robot platform, based off the company’s Roomba® that gives educators, students and developers firsthand robotic programming experience.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/business-news/robot-platform-stem-682/

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How to turn a traditional course into a unique online course

December 16th, 2014

By David Brooks, eCampus News

Turning a college course into an online course requires more than video-recording the lecture.  Creating a college course may not be easy but at least it’s understood; people have been doing it since Socrates lectured in ancient Greece. Creating an online college course is another matter. There’s no Socratic judgement on the relative benefits of asynchronous videos, real-time discussion boards or e-books in the cloud. Those judgments are being created right now, by experience. “We’re trying not to just do old things with new technology,” said Fran Keefe, who as instructional designer for Rivier University works with professors and adjuncts to move existing “face-to-face” courses online, or create new courses entirely online. “I encourage faculty members not to lecture just because that’s what they’ve always done, then videotape it, put it online and make students watch it–but to consider new ways of presenting material.”

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/unique-online-course-191/

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10 Most Popular Teaching Tools Used This Year

December 15th, 2014

by Edudemic

Edudemic published a list of the most essential and popular educational tools used in modern classrooms across the globe. While many of 2013′s contenders retain top spots for 2014, there are a few new and noteworthy tools that made it onto this year’s list, and some of last year’s mentions have shifted in the rankings. We highly recommend taking a look at these “battle-tested” teaching tools; some of them may be a perfect fit for your modern classroom.

http://www.edudemic.com/10-popular-teaching-tools-2014/

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How to Help Students With Nonverbal Learning Disabilities

December 15th, 2014

By Leah Levy, Edudemic

The first time I encountered the term, “nonverbal learning disability,” I was in the middle of an intake call with a parent, and I had no idea what she was talking about. “Is that a kind of autism?” I asked, feeling sheepish. The answer was complex: yes, according to some academics and educators; no according to the DSMIV. That’s probably why I hadn’t heard of it, and many educators still probably haven’t either. Still, squabbles over exact definitions aside, the parent told me, this was her son’s diagnosis. It came with an array of symptoms that certainly fit, and she needed my help. I told her I’d try my best, and immediately began my research.I learned a lot over the next year, both in my preparatory work and as I worked up close with my student, even as the disability was continually redefined by the educational community. Here is what I learned.

http://www.edudemic.com/how-to-help-students-with-nonverbal-learning-disabilities/

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What if a college ditched lecture halls, sports and clubs?

December 15th, 2014

By Nichole Dobo, Hechinger Report

An experiment in higher education uses computers to give every student a virtual front-row seat in the classroom. Classes at Minerva Schools at KGI, a four-year undergraduate program, are conducted entirely through a software program created specifically for the school. During class, there is real-time interaction through the computer between professor and students. They can see each other through the screen. Each class has fewer than 20 students. Professors do not lecture. The virtual experience is recorded each day so it can be reviewed for purposes such as assessment of students and faculty performance. The first 28 students started their freshman year this fall in San Francisco, Calif. They are not required to attend class from any particular physical location, but they live together in buildings leased by the school.

http://hechingerreport.org/content/college-ditched-lecture-halls-sports-clubs_18359/

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Use of Blended Learning and Individualized Education Increases

December 14th, 2014

by Ashley Bateman, Heartland

Global demand for online learning is growing. In 2000, 45,000 K-12 students reportedly took online courses. Less than a decade later, the number had grown to more than three million. Projecting from the increase in online course usage in 2000 to 2009 in the K-12 sector, by 2019 50 percent of K-12 students could be taking online courses. Six years ago the book Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns, by Clayton M. Christensen, changed the nation’s education landscape, introducing bold predictions about innovative technology driving individualized education.

http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2014/12/10/use-blended-learning-and-individualized-education-increases

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MIT Collaborates with New York City Public Schools for Data Literacy Project

December 14th, 2014

By Leila Meyer, Campus Technology

High school students in New York City Public Schools will begin learning data literacy this month through MIT’s new City Digits project, which aims to promote civic engagement among youth while teaching data collection and analysis skills. The first module of the project, called Local Lotto, was released to classrooms in November 2014. Sarah Williams, assistant professor in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning and director of the Civic Data Design Lab in the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, received a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation “to think about how to create a mapping tool that could teach youth about a civic topic while supporting their mathematics education,” according to a news release from MIT. The City Digits project is the result of that grant.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/12/08/mit-collaborates-with-new-york-city-public-schools-for-data-literacy-project.aspx

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Online students give instructors higher marks if they think instructors are men

December 14th, 2014

by North Carolina State University

To address whether students judge female instructors differently than male instructors, the researchers evaluated a group of 43 students in an online course. The students were divided into four discussion groups of 8 to 12 students each. A female instructor led two of the groups, while a male instructor led the other two. However, the female instructor told one of her online discussion groups that she was male, while the male instructor told one of his online groups that he was female. Because of the format of the online groups, students never saw or heard their instructor. At the end of the course, students were asked to rate the discussion group instructors on 12 different traits, covering characteristics related to their effectiveness and interpersonal skills. “We found that the instructor whom students thought was male received higher ratings on all 12 traits, regardless of whether the instructor was actually male or female,” MacNell says. “There was no difference between the ratings of the actual male and female instructors.”

http://esciencenews.com/articles/2014/12/09/online.students.give.instructors.higher.marks.if.they.think.instructors.are.men

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Instructional Designers Must Create Effectual E-Learning Designs

December 13th, 2014

by Training Zone UK

Instructional designers are the ones who create diverse styles of unique instructional courses that are meant for e-learning purposes. E-learning has become a reality in the present world, and the impact of the same can be witnessed in almost all principal arenas of human interests. The functional base of these e-learning processes is created by the instructional designers. They make use of the modern technological tools and formulate inventive instructional design to suit the varied requirements and the targeted audience. In our time, when the real relevance of e-learning and the constant development that occurs in the technological arena are taken into account, instructional designers have a significant role to play.

http://www.trainingzone.co.uk/blogs-post/instructional-designers-must-create-effectual-e-learning-designs/188081

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How Google Glass Might Be Used in Education #infographic

December 13th, 2014

by Open Colleges

The future is now. With Google Glass, teachers and students alike can display information in a smartphone-like hands-free format, while interacting with the Internet via natural language voice commands. With limitless possibilities at its fingertips, the education community can build closer working relationships with students, and allow children to get more involved with their learning experience. Here we take a look at how Google Glass might be used in education.

http://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/google-glasses-education#.VIXfLjHF9hU

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Indiana State Board Of Ed Wants More Info On Whether E-Learning Days Can Replace Snow Days

December 13th, 2014

By KRISTIN MALAVENDA, WBAA

The State Board of Education will take more time before deciding whether more schools might be able to take advantage of using the web to help avoid snow make-up days. The board asked the Department of Education to gather more data on the use of e-learning before the next State Board meeting on January 7th. The board also asked lawyers in state Superintendent Glenda Ritz‘s office to deliver what they believe is the legal authority for Ritz to authorize e-learning in lieu of make-up days, while board members will consult their own lawyers and ask the governor‘s office for potential action from the legislature.

http://wbaa.org/post/state-board-ed-wants-more-info-whether-e-learning-days-can-replace-snow-days

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Future schools: Books to be replaced by online learning by 2030, global survey predicts

December 12th, 2014

by IAN WALKER, the Sunday Telegraph

Books will be a distant memory, social skills will trump academic knowledge, teachers will be guides rather than lecturers and set hours at school will be a thing of the past. This is the vision of what schools will be like in 2030 as seen by experts from across the world. If the predictions from the World Innovation Summit for Education’s global survey are right, then a student’s interpersonal skills will be their most valued asset, with 75 per cent of respondents ranking it number one compared to 42 per cent for academic knowledge. Books will be few and far between with nearly half of respondents saying online content will be king.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/future-schools-books-to-be-replaced-by-online-learning-by-2030-global-survey-predicts/story-fni0cx12-1227145707499

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KnowledgeWorks and iNACOL release policy guide to support next generation educator workforce

December 12th, 2014

by iNACOL

As the education system begins to embrace competency education, schools, teachers and staff will need to be prepared for a more personalized environment that focuses on students’ mastery of academic content and skills instead of seat time. As a growing numbers of states and districts adopt competency-based models and practices, they must also plan to engage and adequately prepare the workforce to excel in these new learning environments. KnowledgeWorks and the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) recently released “Laying the Foundation for Competency Education: A Policy Guide for the Next Generation Educator Workforce” to help the education system prepare the shift to highly personalized, competency-based models.

http://www.seattlepi.com/business/press-releases/article/In-Competency-based-System-Educator-Preparation-5937237.php

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Local students to participate in international Hour of Code online learning event

December 12th, 2014

By Frank DeFrank, The Macomb Daily

Macomb County elementary school students will join 100 million or so of their closest friends next week when they participate in a worldwide event designed to pique their interest in computer science. The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science designed to “de mystify” code and demonstrate that anybody can learn the basics. The event will be held Dec. 8-14 in conjunction with Computer Science Education Week. Organized by Code.org., a non-profit organization dedicated to making computer science more available in schools, the program affords opportunities for students to get involved simply by logging on to a website, accessing tutorials and setting up an Hour of Code event.

http://www.macombdaily.com/social-affairs/20141203/local-students-to-participate-in-international-hour-of-code-online-learning-event

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5 teaching and learning grants you don’t want to miss

December 11th, 2014

By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

School funding is a challenge even in the post prosperous of times, especially when it comes to ed tech–technology is always changing, and maintaining or upgrading initiatives, tools, or resources is not always free. Many educators and administrators rely on school grants to fund important projects and opportunities for students. Each month, eSchool News compiles a list of new education grant opportunities. This month’s grants address early learning, student documentaries, literacy research, and more.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/12/04/teaching-learning-grants-545/

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Game-based math program expands to Denver students

December 11th, 2014

by eSchool News

Denver Public Schools, DIRECTV, and the nonprofit MIND Research Institute are partnering to deliver a computer-based math program to three local Denver schools. The grant from DIRECTV provides the ST Math game-based instructional software to more than 900 students at Carson Elementary, University Preparatory School, and Smith Renaissance School. DIRECTV and MIND Research’s partnership in Denver builds on the DIRECTV Math Challenge, which was launched in Los Angeles in 2014 to drive student achievement and inspire K-12 students to love science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/12/04/denver-math-program-034/

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When worlds collide in blended learning

December 11th, 2014

By Mary Stone, Lewiston Tribune

Idaho teacher Kelsy Colwell said incorporating the online component in her classes has many advantages, including making her more available to help individual students during class because her video lectures and lesson presentations are viewed online as part of a student’s homework. Math problems that used to be done as homework are now calculated during class. “They’re doing their consuming outside of school, then doing work and interacting in class,” explained Theresa Carter, who helps educate teachers who use the Idaho Digital Learning Academy, a state-sponsored online school that contracts with the Kamiah district.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/12/03/worlds-blended-learning-983/

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Coding classes lead to 21st-century skill development

December 10th, 2014

By Jennifer Johnson, eSchool News

Computer coding teaches students problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, math and collaboration, they said. Lewis and Clark students were only on their second session of coding, but have so far enthusiastically embraced the activity, said Tiffany Mannausau, district curriculum tech partner. “Technology isn’t going away,” she said. “Think about how much thinking is going on right now and the math, and tie it into the writing. You can see right now, not one kid is not engaged.”

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/12/04/coding-classes-skills-873/

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Online Courses in High School Could Help with College Prep

December 10th, 2014

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Could online courses help prepare students for the transition from high school to college? A recent study in the United Kingdom suggested that taking online classes especially benefits students’ “self-regulatory behaviors,” which are important for success in higher education. Most of the students were based in the United States, the United Kingdom and India. Virtually all of the students said that learning how to find academic resources online before attending a college is valuable. Nearly eight out of 10 respondents recognized the importance for their college careers of being able to plan and coordinate group tasks using calendars, scheduling and discussion applications. Seven of 10 reported that building relationships with other learners using social networks was an important pre-college learning experience. A similar number found it important to go into college knowing how to use wikis and other online editing tools such as Google Docs for creating shared material.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/12/02/online-courses-in-high-school-could-help-with-college-prep.aspx?admgarea=news

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