7 Tips for Creating Memorable Learning Experiences

February 2nd, 2016

By Patrick Peterson, THE Journal

Memorable learning, said Rushton Hurley, is outside the book, the school bus and the campus; and it’s hands on and engaging and involves talking, being creative and taking risks. “It’s the stuff that sticks. We have a lot of days when things do not,” Hurley said during a workshop at FETC 2016 in Orlando. “Much of what happens in classes is sitting and listening and trying not to fall asleep.” He’s all about Great Projects! Many of those projects involve video.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2016/01/27/7-tips-for-creating-memorable-learning-experiences.aspx

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Ithaca College discusses moving course evaluations online

February 2nd, 2016

By Grace Elletson, the Ithacan

As Ithaca College advances discussions about moving all course evaluations online, there is doubt in local and national conversations on the effectiveness of using course evaluations to judge a professor’s skill. A preliminary discussion was held at the Dec. 1, 2015, Faculty Council meeting about the positives and negatives of conducting course evaluations online collegewide. Benjamin Rifkin, provost and vice president for educational affairs, advocated for the switch. He said moving evaluations online provides more instant feedback for professors, students’ handwriting wouldn’t give away their identity, and the college would save money. Rifkin said the previous school he worked at, The College of New Jersey, had a successful switch to conducting evaluations entirely online.

https://theithacan.org/news/ithaca-college-discusses-moving-course-evaluations-online/

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Integrating Technology into My On-campus Course

February 2nd, 2016

by Brian J. Bushee, UPenn Almanac

In my new approach, I post my video lectures for the day’s topics to Canvas and ask the students to watch the videos prior to class. I also require that they take a five-question multiple choice quiz on the video material prior to class. The quizzes motivate them to watch the videos and provide them with immediate feedback on their understanding of the material in the videos. The quizzes also provide me with feedback on the student’s understanding of the material. I review the quiz results prior to class and start class by covering any questions that the students struggled with. Through this process, I am able to reduce the “lecture” part of class from 20-25 minutes to less than five minutes. Now, I have 20 minutes of extra class time that I can use for more in-depth coverage of advanced material, for additional real-world applications, or for more extensive discussions of complicated issues with students.

http://www.upenn.edu/almanac/volumes/v62/n20/talk-about-teaching.html

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What a Million Syllabuses Can Teach Us

February 1st, 2016

By JOE KARAGANIS and DAVID McCLURE, NY Times

Over the past two years, we and our partners at the Open Syllabus Project (based at the American Assembly at Columbia) have collected more than a million syllabuses from university websites. We have also begun to extract some of their key components — their metadata — starting with their dates, their schools, their fields of study and the texts that they assign. This past week, we made available online a beta version of our Syllabus Explorer,  http://explorer.opensyllabusproject.org/, which allows this database to be searched. Our hope and expectation is that this tool will enable people to learn new things about teaching, publishing and intellectual history.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/24/opinion/sunday/what-a-million-syllabuses-can-teach-us.html

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Creating a Collaboration Hub

February 1st, 2016

By Michael Hart, Campus Technology

It took some time as well as a lot of planning and discussion, but Ribble and his colleagues got what they wanted when the new Center for Sciences and Innovation opened in early 2015. The $127-million, five-story, 280,000-square foot building is home to eight academic departments, the McNair Scholars Program, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship — and “The Cube.” The official name of “The Cube” is the Innovation Center, an approximately 10,000-square-foot glass-enclosed space that ostensibly is the site of the university’s engineering science and computer teaching lab. However, it is best known as the hub of the entire building, a place that Chemistry professor Nancy Mills said offers students and faculty a rare opportunity.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2016/01/20/creating-a-collaboration-hub.aspx

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College admissions now using social media like never before

February 1st, 2016
by Ron Bethke, eCampus News
A new survey reveals that college admissions officers’ use of resources like Facebook and Google to gather more information on applicants has reached an all-time high. According to the results of a new Kaplan Test Prep survey, a higher percentage of United States college admissions officers visit the social media pages of applicants in order to learn more about them.For the 2015 survey, 387 admissions officers from the nation’s top national, regional and liberal arts colleges and universities were polled by telephone between July and August 2015. It was found that 40 percent of admissions officers visit applicants’ social media profiles to research them more in depth, which represents a record high that is also quadruple the percentage of affirmative respondents from when Kaplan first explored the trend in 2008.
http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/admissions-social-media-554/
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14 Tips to Make BYOD Programs Work for You

January 31st, 2016

By Patrick Peterson, THE Journal

Schools that experiment with bring-your-own-device policies have reduced their costs but must cope with a variety of student devices, some of which don’t meet minimum standards for computer instruction. And if a student misuses a device, it could be taken away from him or her, creating the exact opposite situation that benefits education. Naturally, the student who is prone to misuse a device is often a student who needs the device most. Textbooks don’t generate such tricky issues. “How many teachers take away a textbook because students are misbehaving with it?” said West Coast-based educator Susan Brooks-Young, one of a trio of experts who conducted a BYOD workshop at FETC 2016 in Orlando. The educators who attended the workshop listed the pros and cons of having students supply their own computers for schoolwork.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2016/01/19/make-byod-programs-work-for-you.aspx

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New professional development focuses on engagement through gaming

January 31st, 2016

by eSchool News

The ever-increasing omnipresence of digital media in student’s lives can be challenging for teachers as they compete for kid’s attention in and out of the classroom. With this in mind, Teach n’ Kids Learn (TKL) and DimensionU have teamed up to create a robust Online Professional Development course that supports teachers’ instruction in mathematics and language arts through gamification, quickly and easily. Included for K-12 educators who enroll in the course by February 15, 2016, is a free DimensionU Class License (for up to 30 students), through the remainder of this school year.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2016/01/25/new-professional-development-focuses-on-engagement-through-gaming/

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6 apps to help parents and teachers communicate

January 31st, 2016

By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

Educators know that students’ home lives play an integral role in their academic success. Communication between teachers and parents makes it easier for educators to understand the outside challenges students may deal with, and it helps parents understand how they can better support their children in school.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2016/01/22/6-apps-to-help-parents-and-teachers-communicate/

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Wiki Education says 2016 is the Wikipedia Year of Science

January 30th, 2016

by  John Timmer, Ars Technica

We recently published a bit of a rant about many Wikipedia science entries leaving a lot to be desired. In response, we were informed that an effort to improve that situation was already brewing. In fact, we’re now happy to point out that the Wiki Education Foundation has declared 2016 the Wikipedia Year of Science. A variety of activities aim to beef up the encyclopedia’s science content. The Wiki Education Foundation is a nonprofit that helps provide teachers and college-level instructors with the tools they need to get their students engaged in projects intended to improve Wikipedia. For example, the teachers could assign a class to improve entires in a specific topic area and use materials provided by the foundation to help the students edit entries and provide proper references.

http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/01/wiki-education-says-2016-is-the-wikipedia-year-of-science/

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Going The Distance: Part-Time Online Learning Lacking

January 30th, 2016

By AARON SCHRANK, Wyoming Public Radio

At Powell High School, students can blend their classroom learning with an online course or two. “They could be taking a foreign language such as German that we don’t offer,” says Park County Superintendent Kevin Mitchell. “They could be taking science classes that we don’t offer.” The District offers online classes through Florida Virtual School, which serves more than 200,000 students worldwide—most of them part-timers. Mitchell says his district spends about $88,000 a year on online learning—and it’s worth it, not only for the new subject matter, but also because students are learning how to learn online.

http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/going-distance-part-time-online-learning-lacking

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Samsung Opening VR Production Studio in New York

January 30th, 2016

By DAVID MURPHY, PC Magazine

Step one: Make virtual reality headset. Step two: Make virtual reality experiences people can enjoy using said headset. Step three: Sit back and profit. It’s a simple version of what’s likely Samsung’s plan, we’ll admit, but it’s probably pretty close to the truth. According to a new report from CNET, Samsung executives appearing at this year’s Sundance film festival annonuced that the company is going to be opening up a special studio in New York that will be tasked with creating new virtual reality content.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2498343,00.asp

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Personalized Learning: Creating a Relevant Learning Culture for the Next Generation

January 29th, 2016

by Center for Digital Education

Personalized learning – where students take ownership of their learning and collaborate with instructors to design an education plan that works for them – is enticing education leaders as a way to transform the traditional education model, increase student engagement and improve achievement. But while personalized learning is certainly promising, a recent CDE survey of 215 IT leaders in K-20 education shows the concept has not been widely implemented in K-12 or higher education. Just 20 percent of K-12 respondents and 15 percent of higher education respondents reporting having created a personalized learning culture.

http://www.centerdigitaled.com/paper/Personalized-Learning-Creating-a-Relevant-Learning-Culture-for-the-Next-Generation-8132.html

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UGA professor contributes to new science education guidelines

January 29th, 2016

by Kristen Morales, Online Athens

A new report released this week will give lawmakers, school officials and others specific direction when it comes to supporting and strengthening science teacher learning, says a University of Georgia professor who contributed to the effort. The report, “Science Teachers’ Learning: Enhancing Opportunities, Creating Supportive Contexts,” produced by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, assesses and discusses essential learning opportunities for elementary, middle and high school science teachers. The book also recommends new lines of research and steps administrators and lawmakers can take to strengthen science education in the U.S.

http://onlineathens.com/uga/2016-01-23/uga-professor-contributes-new-science-education-guidelines

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Venture Capital In EdTech Is Booming

January 29th, 2016

by Karis Hustad, ChicagoInno

Education technology, or edtech, had an impressive fourth quarter in terms of venture capital investments, according to new KPMG/CB Insights data. There were just over $1 billion in investments in Q4 2015, up 300 percent over the $295 million in investments seen in Q3 2015, and significantly higher than the $474 million raised in Q2, and $694 million raised in Q1, according to the KPMG and CB Insights Q4 Venture Pulse study. So does this mean the beginning of the edtech boom? According to experts it bodes well for certain companies, but the edtech industry still lags far behind most industries when it comes to fundraising.

http://chicagoinno.streetwise.co/2016/01/19/edtech-investments-up-to-1b-in-q4-2015-according-to-kpmg-and-cb-insights/

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School districts equipped with online learning options aren’t hindered by snow closures.

January 28th, 2016

by D. Frank Smith, EdTech

Illinois is taking part in a trend that’s sweeping school districts across the country: Turning snow days into online learning days. When weather becomes treacherous, most districts choose to close schools for the duration. But in recent years, districts that have built up an online infrastructure are able to extend learning beyond the classroom. This means students spend more time learning and less time sledding. Starting this school year, three school districts in Illinois — Leyden High School District 212, Community High School District 94 and Gurnee Elementary District 56 — have schools that are piloting a three-year E-Learning Day program. The program kicks into action when schools must be closed due to “an act or acts of God, or was occasioned by conditions beyond the control of the school district which posed a hazardous threat to the health and safety of pupils,” according to the Illinois State Board of Education.

http://www.edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2016/01/online-learning-options-combat-snow-day-closures-across-country

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Interview with Anant Agarwal, CEO, edX

January 28th, 2016

by Natalie Marsh, PIE News

edX is an online learning destination, our goal is to reimagine the world of education. We were set up as a non-profit four years ago, with the aim as I said of reimagining education. We partner with some of the best universities and institutions in the world who offer courses and programmes on edX and learners all over the world can take these courses. So very simply put, we were set up to create, to be thinking about what should the future of education should look like, both online and at universities. Today we are at six million unique learners all over the world, we have learners from every single country in the world. Depending on who you talk to there is between 196-228 countries and we have learners from every country in the world. We have about 100 institutional partners, about 750 courses on edX and we have over 20 million course enrolments that have been taken.

http://thepienews.com/pie-chat/anant-agarwal-ceo-edx-usa/

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MIT’s 7 Best Free Online Courses: Quantum Physics and Making Video Games

January 28th, 2016

by Jacqueline Ronson, Inverse

You don’t need to go to Cambridge to enjoy all the fun of a wildly expensive education. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a global leader on open-access education. Of course, with so many subjects to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start. We’re here to help. Here are some introductory-level courses, including video lectures, that you’ll probably want to get started on today.

https://www.inverse.com/article/10437-mit-s-7-best-free-online-courses-quantum-physics-and-making-video-games

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eLearning Program Could Bring End to Snow Days

January 27th, 2016

By Sarah Schulte, ABC 7 Chicago

A new e-learning program could mean the end of snow days for some students. The program being tested in three school districts brings a virtual classroom into students’ homes on days when the weather prevents them from going to school. While there haven’t been any snow days for Chicago area students this year, that wasn’t the case the past two winters, when school was canceled several times. Parents say it wasn’t good for their kids. Avoiding the books on snow days won’t be an option this year for Leyden High School District 212. The western suburban school district is one of three in the Chicago area chosen for a new pilot program that allows students to take classes online at home during snow days.

http://abc7chicago.com/education/e-learning-pilot-program-could-bring-end-to-snow-days/1168785/

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Google Offers New Deep Learning Course on Udacity

January 27th, 2016

By A.R. Guess, Dataversity

Jordan Novet reports in VentureBeat, “Google today announced that it’s bringing a deep learning course to massively open online course (MOOC) provider Udacity. Deep learning is an increasingly popular type of artificial intelligence. Generally speaking, it involves training artificial neural networks on lots of data — like pictures — and then getting them to make inferences about new data based on what they know.

http://www.dataversity.net/google-offers-new-deep-learning-course-on-udacity/

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EdTech: Wharton Launches Big Data, Entrepreneurship Moocs With Silicon Valley’s Coursera

January 27th, 2016

by Seb Murray, Business Because

Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has announced it will offer two new online programs through Silicon Valley-based online learning start-up Coursera. The digital courses, focusing on entrepreneurship and financial modelling, are the latest in a stream of tie-ups between elite US business schools and Mooc, or massive open online course, providers. Online learning platforms have delved deeper into entrepreneurial education in recent years, as start-up founders seek the flexibility not afforded by costly, full-time, campus programs.

http://www.businessbecause.com/news/mba-distance-learning/3732/wharton-launches-new-moocs-with-coursera

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