Hands-on: Microsoft’s HoloLens is flat-out magical

January 23rd, 2015

by Peter Bright, Ars Technica

Microsoft claims this will replace the computer screen – and they may well be right. HoloLens is an engaging and effective augmented reality system. With HoloLens I saw virtual objects—Minecraft castles, Skype windows, even the surface of Mars—presented over, and spatially integrated with, the real world. It looked for every bit like the holographic projection we saw depicted in Star Wars and Total Recall. Except that’s shortchanging Microsoft’s work, because these virtual objects were in fact far more convincing than the washed out, translucent message R2D2 projected, and much better than Sharon Stone’s virtual tennis coach. The images were bright, saturated, and reasonably opaque, giving the virtual objects a real feeling of solidity.

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/01/hands-on-with-hololens-making-the-virtual-real/1/

Imagine the education potential as you check out the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAKfdeOX3-o

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Looking back and looking forward at higher-ed CyberSecurity

January 23rd, 2015

By Bruce P. Burrell, eCampus News

What went very wrong in 2014; what are concerns for 2015? According to various reports, including those from BreachLevelIndex.com, PrivacyRights.org, and Secure Computing, there were at least 154 data breaches in the U.S., .edu realm in 2014, and another 36 in .edu-related healthcare facilities. It may not sound like a shocking number at first blush, but within those breaches, there were ultimately 2,608,038 known records exposed with the number of records compromised ranging from a single record to over 309,000. These records were compromised in a variety of ways; some were accidentally released, others the result of malicious insiders or outsiders.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/safety-and-security/2015-cybersecurity-data-288/

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5 ed-tech highlights from CES 2015

January 23rd, 2015

By Phillip Britt, eCampus News

From extremes like robot teachers to soon-to-be ubiquitous technologies like wearable devices, CES 2015 did not disappoint. The annual International Consumer Electronics Show is the showcase for newer technologies already in the marketplace and those soon to debut. “What is popular in the consumer market is becoming more of the backbone of education, because that’d what students bring in,” said Kerry Goldstein, producer of TransformingEDU, the show’s education track. “There’s no place better than CES to look at what is going on with technology.”

http://www.ecampusnews.com/technologies/ces-highlights-education-377/

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7 reasons why your school should teach robotics and game design

January 23rd, 2015

By Lynn Paul, eSchool News

My school didn’t know what to do with them so I decided to fix them up and make them useful. Then I started thinking, “What else can I do?” I read something about Arduino and soon I was tinkering with parts, building, and programming anything I could get my hands on. It became a hobby. When I moved to Plaquemine High School, near Baton Rouge, our principal had just written a big grant for the Dow Corp. to create a STEM program featuring elective classes in robotics and game design for 9-12th graders. When we got it, he asked me to design the curriculum, attend trainings, and teach the courses. It was a dream come true. Now I get to help students develop the creativity, logic, critical thinking, and career skills they need for the future. Here are seven reasons why every school should consider doing the same.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/01/13/robotics-stem-166/

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FCC urges tech industry to reinvent textbooks, teaching

January 22nd, 2015

By Jason Shueh, eSchool News

Federal agency voices support for tech industry to help create engaging and innovative teaching material.  On the heels of its Dec. 19 decision to raise internet connectivity funding for schools by $1.5 billion, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urged Silicon Valley to couple funding with innovative educational material. FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel spoke to the audience of tech entrepreneurs at Airbnb’s San Francisco headquarters on Jan. 8, highlighting the FCC’s recent efforts and encouraging the digital disruption within teaching and the textbook industry. The event was hosted by the tech advocacy group CALinnovates.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/01/15/fcc-reinvent-textbooks-546/

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Google launches Classroom app

January 22nd, 2015

by eSchool News

Google Classroom users have another way to access the tool with the Jan. 14 launch of the Classroom app for both Android and iOS. Teachers also have two new tools at their disposal–a teacher assignments page and the ability to archive classes, according to a Google for Education blog post by Jorge Lugo, a software engineer for Google Classroom. Google Classroom launched 6 months ago, and in that time, students and teachers have turned in more than 30 million assignments–enough to stretch from New York to Los Angeles if they were paper assignments laid end-to-end, Lugo noted.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/01/15/google-classroom-app-237/

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Google Glass Pilot: Lessons Learned So Far

January 22nd, 2015

By Jim Dutcher, Campus Technology

In the early days of piloting Google Glass for hands-on, experiential learning, SUNY Cobleskill’s CIO shares what IT and faculty are learning from the project. Our Project WAVE-ExSEL pilot began with an initial baseline project plan as per the grant requirements (and more importantly as needed in any proper IT management capacity). But once any project starts, it inevitably needs to be changed as circumstances and environmental factors dictate. So far we are in the implementation stages of the project, before we go live with Google Glass in academic labs this semester. We have to go through a number of technology iterations during these initial sprints. With each iteration, we want to be able to reflect on what went right and what could be improved. Plus, just being reminded of the lessons learned/re-learned helps establish good long-term habits.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/01/14/google-glass-pilot-lessons-learned-so-far.aspx

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Growth in Flipped Learning

January 21st, 2015

by eLearning Marketplace

In last couple of years we have seen significant growth in the number of teachers who are using the flipped model of blended learning. This shouldn’t really be a surprise as the majority of teachers using this model give very positive feedback about the impact on learners and results. What is interesting though is the fact that the flipped learning model is not generally driven by leaders of schools, colleges or businesses, but initiated by the teachers themselves. In the infographic below 93% of the 2,358 teachers surveyed said they started the flipped model using their own initiative. This contradicts what we would always advise that learning and development strategy driven by leaders is the most effective way of achieving change within an organisation. In the case of the flipped model it appears that teachers themselves are driving the change.

http://www.elearningmarketplace.co.uk/growth-in-flipped-blended-learning/

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Donor seeks to offer ‘freshman year for free’ through online college courses

January 21st, 2015

by Nick Anderson, Washington Post

A New York philanthropist announced a $1 million donation Wednesday that aims to make that possible through an online venture overseen by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. Steven B. Klinsky’s idea is for students to take foundational courses through the online venture edX that would prepare them for College Board examinations in various subjects. Those who pass enough Advanced Placement or College-Level Examination Program tests conceivably would be able to enter college as sophomores. That would cut the price of a bachelor’s degree by a quarter. Klinsky’s vision — “freshman year for free” — echoes in spirit what Obama proposed last week. The president wants Congress to approve $60 billion over the next decade for a partnership with states that would eliminate community college tuition for “responsible students” who get adequate grades and make academic progress.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/donor-seeks-to-offer-freshman-year-for-free-through-online-college-courses/2015/01/14/e4599b38-9c11-11e4-a7ee-526210d665b4_story.html

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Favorite Feedback: Fact and Fiction

January 21st, 2015

by Turnitin

A very interesting infographic, Exploring the Disconnect between Students and Educators, has been produced by Turnitin. Educators work hard to give their students thoughtful feedback on their work. But how helpful do students find that feedback? The infographic below explores the disconnect between their views, as shown in our study of over 2,000 students and educators (September 2014).

http://www.turnitin.com/assets/en_us/media/favorite-feedback/

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These 6 questions determine if you’re technology rich, innovation poor

January 20th, 2015

By Alan November, eSchool News

Think your school is innovative with tech? Answer these 6 questions and prepare to reassess innovation. questions. At the start of a webinar I recently conducted for school leaders, I asked attendees if they felt they were leading an innovative school as a result of the implementation of technology. More than 90 percent responded that they were. At the end of the webinar, when polled again, only one leader claimed to be leading an innovative school. The complete reversal was due to a presentation on the six questions that you will read about in this article—a list of questions that were developed to help clarify for educators the unique added value of a digital learning environment, and whether their assignments were making the best use of this environment. Want to test your own level of innovation? The questions we ask to evaluate implementation and define innovation are critical.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/01/13/questions-innovation-303/

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Teaching Rudimentary Coding Concepts to Students

January 20th, 2015

By Edudemic

After I tested Lightbot for a week in my classroom and analyzed other online reviews, I can unreservedly endorse it as the best educational programming game for iOS and Android. Relative to competitors, Lightbot has a stronger educational orientation and simpler explanations of complex concepts. With Lightbot, educators can not only familiarize students with basic programming, but can also hone students’ problem-solving and logical-reasoning skills. Lightbot is a cut above similar apps, thanks to its simple design and pedagogical focus. Read on to learn how Lightbot works and what makes it the preferred programming education tool.

http://www.edudemic.com/lightbot-teaching-rudimentary-coding-concepts-to-students/

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15 E-Learning statistics you need to know for 2015

January 20th, 2015

by Training Zone

It’s the beginning of a new year and 2015 looks set to be an exciting one for E-Learning! Just before Christmas, we brought you 10 Key E-Learning Trends for 2015 and today we’ve compiled for you a handy infographic with the fifteen E-Learning statistics you need to know for 2015. The digital learning scene changes and expands so fast, it can hard to keep up sometimes. We hope our statistics will help give you an idea of the power of E-Learning and the traits of leading learning organisations!

http://www.trainingzone.co.uk/blogs-post/15-e-learning-statistics-you-need-know-2015/188198

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San Jose State, Cisco High-Tech Deal Ran Into Problem at Outset

January 19th, 2015

By Katy Murphy, The Oakland Tribune

San Jose State got a steep discount on Cisco products for a $28 million technology upgrade it launched in 2012, but there was a catch: The deal was good for only six months. In the first four weeks alone — for a project expected to span five years — San Jose State ordered more than $16 million worth of products and services from Cisco reseller Nexus IS and later stashed the gear in storage areas across the campus. An investigation by this newspaper reveals how that acquisition spree set the stage for what happened next: a theft that cost the campus roughly $800,000.

http://www.centerdigitaled.com/news/San-Jose-State-Cisco-Problem.html

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Identity and the Itinerant Online Learner

January 19th, 2015

by Marguerite Koole, IRRODL

This paper outlines a preliminary study of the kinds of strategies that master students draw upon for interpreting and enacting their identities in online learning environments. Based primarily on the seminal works of Goffman (1959) and Foucault (1988), the Web of Identity Model (Koole, 2009; Koole and Parchoma, 2012) is used as an underlying theoretical framework for this research study. The WoI model suggests that there are five major categories of “dramaturgical” strategies: technical, political, structural, cultural, and personal-agential. In the data collection, five online master of education students participated in semi-structured, online interviews. Phenomenography guided the data collection and analysis resulting in an outcome space for each strategy of the WoI model. The study results indicate that online learners actively employ a variety of strategies in interpreting and enacting their identities. The outcome spaces provide insights into ways in which online learners can manage their identity performances and strategies for ontological re-alignment (reconceptualization of oneself). Further study has the potential to elucidate how learning designers and online instructors might facilitate such identity-work in order to shape productive online environments.

http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/1748

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Where the Internet of Things Could Take Society by 2025

January 19th, 2015

By Tanya Roscorla, Center for Digital Education

Picture this: A world flooded with a sea of data from every connected device on the planet — devices found in and on human bodies, in homes, around communities, in products, and in the natural environment. And these devices on the Internet of Things are sharing information constantly with the promise of making people’s lives better. But the government, corporations and criminals can all tap into these data streams and use what they find for evil, if they so choose. And that tension comes through loud and clear in a report on the Internet of Things that includes opinions from more than 1,600 experts.

http://www.centerdigitaled.com/news/Where-the-Internet-of-Things-Could-Take-Society-by-2025-.html

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Lack of home internet access hinders students with school-provided iPads

January 18th, 2015

By Joan Garrett McClane and Tim Omarzu, Chattanooga Times Free Press

Replacing some Hamilton County students’ textbooks with iPads was a move intended to boost faltering public education performance. Tablets were more engaging that their printed predecessors, and they opened up a world wide web of opportunity. Have a question? Just Google it. Plus, they prepared students for the ever-changing work world, in which even jobs flipping hamburgers require an application online. But school officials say there is one big problem. Many of the students, once home with their brand-new devices, don’t have internet access and likely won’t get it.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/01/12/schools-students-access-783/

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5 ed tech predictions for 2015

January 18th, 2015

By Stephen Noonoo, eSchool News

Ed tech policymakers and experts weigh in on the year ahead.   Last year, in addition to the tremendous attention on Common Core’s ups and downs, educators also found time to weigh the merits of greater access to broadband in (and out of) the classroom, as well as gaming and learning, the use of Google tools, and the power of data to make decisions. The changes—both political and technological—had a great impact on educators everywhere. Likewise, this year, with the recent expansion of the federal E-rate program and impending switch to online testing, we can certainly expect more of the same. But where else will educators turn their gaze in the coming months?

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/01/12/ed-tech-predictions-201/

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How to Use Social Media as a Learning Tool in the Classroom

January 18th, 2015

By Edudemic

Social media is an ingrained part of today’s society. Our students are constantly on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and likely many sites we’re not hip enough to know about, and by reading this blog, you’re interacting with social media at this very moment. If you want to bring the “real world” into the classroom, consider integrating social media into your lessons. When used carefully, social media can be a useful tool rather than a distraction. A recent Edutopia blog post argues that using social media not only brings current technology to the classroom, but it also helps bridge the digital divide among lower-income students. These students may not have the constant access to social media that their counterparts do. Why should they be left behind as technology continues to march forward?

http://www.edudemic.com/how-to-use-social-media-as-a-learning-tool-in-the-classroom/

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Virtual school offers alternatives to Sanilac students

January 17th, 2015

by Syeda Ferguson, Times Herald

An online public school for grades 6-12 is opening up alternatives to the traditional public school model in Sanilac County. Blue Water Virtual School is the result of a partnership between Carsonville-Port Sanilac and Croswell-Lexington Community Schools. In its second full year, the school has an enrollment of 28 students. It targets students who either are home-schooled or not attending public school. Students who are attending traditional middle school or high school also can take online courses through Blue Water Virtual for high school credit. Blue Water Virtual School was a money-saving move, the school’s coordinator, Russell Clark, said.

http://www.thetimesherald.com/story/news/local/2015/01/11/virtual-school-offers-alternatives-sanilac-students/21605181/

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E-books, textbooks duel for top spot in class

January 17th, 2015

BY MACKENZIE ROSS, Crimson White

In recent years, products like tablets, Kindles and iPads have changed the way people read books and the way students access information. Many publishers now offer both traditional hard-copy books and 
electronic books, known as e-books. “E-books have not grown as fast in the past years as most thought they would,” said Bernadette Chavira-Trull, senior associate director of books at the SUPe Store. “Most 
customers still prefer a printed book.” Amanda Riley, manager of Tuscaloosa’s Off Campus Bookstore, estimated sales of hard-copy books outnumber e-books three to one. She said professors like to offer students an option, but classes are using e-books more frequently.

http://www.cw.ua.edu/article/2015/01/e-books-textbooks-duel-for-top-spot-in-class

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