Educational Technology

February 22, 2017

Build a Makerspace That Engages Students Across Every STEAM Subject

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By Stephen Noonoo, THE Journal

Melissa Fernandez is the instructional supervisor for industrial education and technology education for the Career and Technical Education Dept. at Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Florida — and a huge proponent of makerspaces. Back when she was an engineering teacher, she turned her entire class into an instructional makerspace, and saw students bloom in ways she never could have imagined. “STEM and STEAM are so important these days,” said Fernandez, who recently presented at the TCEA 2017 conference in Austin in a session about reimagining learning using makerspaces. “We often drive students to the idea that they’re good in some subjects and not others. Makerspaces allow you to break down these walls.” Makerspaces are big at Miami-Dade, which even designates certain schools as STEM- or STEAM-focused.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2017/02/09/build-a-makerspace-that-engages-students-across-every-steam-subject.aspx

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Infected Vending Machines And Light Bulbs DDoS A University

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

by Lee Mathews, Forbes

IoT devices have become a favorite weapon of cybercriminals. Their generally substandard security — and the sheer numbers of connected devices — make them an enticing target. We’ve seen what a massive IoT botnet is capable of doing, but even a relatively small one can cause a significant amount of trouble. Infected Vending Machines And LightA few thousand infected IoT devices can cut a university off from the Internet, according to an incident that the Verizon RISK (Research, Investigations, Solutions and Knowledge) team was asked to assist with. All the attacker had to do was re-program the devices so they would periodically try to connect to seafood-related websites. By training around 5,000 devices to send DNS queries simultaneously (for those who aren’t familiar, DNS is what allows your computer to turn a name like Forbes.com into an IP address that it can connect to). In this particular case, those devices included everything from drink vending machines to street lamps.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/leemathews/2017/02/13/infected-vending-machines-and-light-bulbs-ddos-a-university/

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Report: Number of Ransomware Attacks Grew Nearly 17 Times Larger in 2016

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By Joshua Bolkan, Campus Technology

Ransomware surged 16,700 percent from 2015 to 2016, though unique malware samples declined over the same period, according to a new report from network security firm SonicWall. That growth of nearly 17 times represents a swell from about 4 million ransomware attacks in 2015 to approximately 638 million last year. Internet of Things (IoT) devices were also “compromised on a massive scale,” according to SonicWall, owing to poor security design. “2016 could be considered a highly successful year from the perspective of both security professionals and cyber criminals,” according to information released by the company.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/02/07/report-number-of-ransomware-attacks-grew-nearly-17-times-larger-in-2016.aspx

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February 21, 2017

10 Faculty Perceptions of Lecture Capture Technology

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

By Pamela Vande Voort, Campus Technology

In a study of faculty experiences using lecture capture systems in the classroom, responses reveal 10 primary themes around how the technology is impacting the education process. Lecture capture, a teaching and learning tool that allows faculty to record and post the audio, video and presentation content of classroom lectures and the classroom experience, is a boon for students who want to access the material at their convenience for review and supplementary instruction. And it can be a life saver for students who miss all or part of class, or who discover their notes are incomplete. But how do faculty perceive the technology in today’s higher education classrooms, and what impact is it having on the educational process?

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/02/08/10-faculty-perceptions-of-lecture-capture-technology.aspx

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How to Deal with Difficult Students

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by Dan Spalding, Tomorrow’s Professor

The brief posting below gives some good pointers on how to deal with challenging students is from How to Teach Adults: Plan Your Class. Teach Your Students. Change the World, by Dan Spalding. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco. Never attack the student. Model how to deal respectfully with those who act disrespectfully. After all, just because this one student questioned a new activity, or said something homophobic, doesn’t mean that other students didn’t have the same thoughts. By addressing this person courteously you show that the class is (still) a safe place for everyone to learn. It also demonstrates your confidence. Listen and validate. Listen to the student with your whole body. Don’t roll your eyes or cross your arms. Let the person say his or her piece (within reason) and, if possible, validate the concern: “It sounds like you’re frustrated with the pace of class. I’m definitely feeling tired after ninety minutes of class tonight. Is anyone else feeling tired?” (Four more strategies at link below)

https://tomprof.stanford.edu/posting/1542

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How Teachers Can Gamify Math

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

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Gamification is the process by which game elements, like competition and badges, are used in conjunction with other tasks to increase motivation and engagement. Games have emerged as a powerful tool for teachers due to their ability to provide students with a hands-on method to engage with the curriculum. For educators, gamification can be applied to a variety of subjects, including math, to increase student’s motivation and subsequently increase student proficiency. Gamifying math lessons does not have to be difficult; teachers can use a variety of techniques to add game elements to their courses. Educators primarily use one approach for gamifying math; they incorporate math-based games into the existing curriculum by inserting them into relevant lessons to replace less engaging content. There are several game elements that are of particular importance to the motivation and engagement of students including competition, rewards, cooperation, self-driven pace, and feedback.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/how-teachers-can-gamify-math/

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February 20, 2017

Physics Revival at Virginia Union

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By Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed

At a time when a number of small colleges and universities are rethinking and shrinking their curricula due to budget, enrollment and other concerns — in some cases shuttering programs in what are traditionally viewed as core disciplines — developments at Virginia Union University stand out. The university recently reintroduced its physics major. “Physics is the basis of all sciences — that’s why so many departments do service courses for chemistry majors, or teach physics for math or biology,” said Shaheen Islam, a professor of physics at Virginia Union who won a $100,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to reopen the physics department. “Everybody knows this, so hopefully now we’ll start to see the trend move the other way.”

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/02/06/time-some-fear-closure-physics-programs-virginia-union-starts-one

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On principal training, are colleges failing secondary ed?

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

by Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

In a recent survey conducted by the School Superintendent’s Association, 80% of more than 400 responding secondary system leaders indicated that education and training programs for aspiring principals are in need of significant overhaul. Their sentiment is part of a growing movement among education advocates suggesting that colleges do a better job of training school leaders to adapt to 21st century needs in leadership and education compliance. Program are lacking insight on what some of the daily rigor of the job entail, including how to help shape attitudes about education among students and teachers and serve as a primary point of contact in the community and for system leadership. Only 17 states use at least three of five desired selectivity metrics for principal training curricula, which include a rigorous selection process, state oversight, field experience, partnerships between districts and local universities and a required number of years in the classroom.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/on-principal-training-are-colleges-failing-secondary-ed/435528/

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Personalized Learning Gets Boost From Federal Reviewers

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

by Leo Doran, Inside Sources

The research arm of the federal Department of Education (DoED) released a report buttressing the marketing claims of one ed-tech product in particular, Odyssey by Compass Learning. Compass Learning was recently purchased by a Scottsdale, Arizona-based company called Edgenuity. As a result of the acquisition, Odyssey Math itself is no longer on the market, but according to the company, many of the features of the old product have been folded into Edgenuity’s new math software product: “Pathblazer.” The federal report, issued by the What Works Clearinghouse, a branch of the DoED’s Institute of Education Sciences, states that “Odyssey Math was found to have potentially positive effects on mathematics achievement for primary students.”

http://www.insidesources.com/personalized-learning-boost-federal-reviewers/

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February 19, 2017

National Adult Learner Coalition Created to Advance Student Success

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

by Bezinga

Four major associations join together as a cohesive voice advocating for adult students and the institutions that serve them. With support from Lumina Foundation, the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), Presidents’ Forum, and University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) are pleased to announce the National Adult Learner Coalition. “For more than a century, UPCEA has advocated for adult learners,” said Robert Hansen, CEO, UPCEA. “Once a small minority, adult and non-traditional learners now constitute up to 85 percent of today’s students.” “Our coalition is dedicated to help realign federal policy with this new higher education landscape, advocating for the expansion of access, innovation, and creative solutions.”

https://www.benzinga.com/pressreleases/17/02/p9009921/national-adult-learner-coalition-created-to-advance-student-success

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How Coding Should Be Taught to Kids

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:37 am

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Parents and educators across the country understand the importance of teaching kids how to code. Not only can it help them learn valuable skills that they can use into their technology-driver future, but it also helps them learn to approach problems differently. But determining the best method for teaching a child to code isn’t always obvious. In most cases, people agree that a traditional textbook approach is insufficient for subjects like coding. While the idiosyncrasies of the language can be introduced that way, it is difficult to assimilate the information until it is in use fully. But sticking children in front of a blank screen and having them write line after line, though functional, isn’t very inspiring or even interesting. If you want to capture the interest of young students while giving them access to a valuable skill set, then turning to games may be the ideal method.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/how-coding-should-be-taught-to-kids/

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How online games are helping prepare local students for STEM careers

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

by Kendi A. Rainwater, Times Free Press

Learning Blade was developed by Chattanooga entrepreneurs Shelia and Dane Boyington, both chemical engineers, and it is being used in most of Hamilton County’s middle schools and more than 525 schools statewide. Thanks to the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network and through the support of lawmakers, Learning Blade is now available to any middle school in the state at no cost. Shelia Boyington said she and her husband developed the program to meet a need, as many students across the state are graduating high school not prepared for the increasing number of well-paying STEM jobs in the region. “This program exposes them to those jobs,” she said, adding that interesting kids in STEM fields at a young age is one of the best ways to strengthen the workforce.

http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2017/feb/10/learning-blade-works-prepare-middle-school-st/412154/

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February 18, 2017

B9lab Offers Blockchain Online Course for CTOs

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

by Chain-Finance

B9lab has announced the launch of its online course for CTOs, covering blockchain technology and decentralised infrastructure. Elias Haase, co-founder of B9lab, said: “Blockchain has the potential to change the way companies, customers and authorities interact in many industries. Companies, and especially CTOs, need to understand the nature of the technology to understand and plan for the potential impact on their business.” It covers the protocols Bitcoin, Ethereum, Hyperledger among several others. Beyond the technological landscape the material also goes into change management and future trends, both socially and technologically. The certificates are verified through the Ethereum Network, showcasing one of the current successful uses of the technology. The certificates have been integrated into LinkedIn and anyone can click through to see the unique B9lab verification and certification.

http://blockchain-finance.com/2017/02/10/b9lab-offers-blockchain-online-course-for-ctos/

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How Teachers Can Gamify Science

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

BY MATTHEW LYNCH, Tech Edvocate

Gamification of all subjects has become increasingly popular in K-12 and higher education. The introduction of games and technology into the classroom provides many unique experiences for children that enhance subject area knowledge. Gamification is the process of adapting elements of game-play to other activities, like learning a new concept, to foster engagement with that activity. There are many subject areas that can be gamified; however, games can be particularly helpful when teaching students science-based lessons. Educators can use two primary methods to gamify a particular subject or curriculum. Teachers can incorporate science-based games into their curriculum, or they can find ways to create a game-like experience within the structure of the coursework. The first method, adding games into the curriculum, can be easier for teachers to incorporate into lesson plans.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/how-teachers-can-gamify-science/

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9 EDTECH TOOLS TO TRY

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

BY MATTHEW LYNCH, Tech Edvocate

As the edtech industry grows, so should our curiosity to try new products. EdSurge, a website that matches teachers’ needs to Edtech product has over 2,000 Edtech products in its Product Index. This staggering number represents a fragment of the number of edtech products that are on offer to educators and administrations. So, if you are interested in incorporating a new product into the classroom or just curious about what is on the market; here are “9 Edtech Tools to Try.”

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/9-edtech-tools-to-try/

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February 17, 2017

The state of the campus IT professional

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

by Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Campus Technology released its annual earnings and job satisfaction survey of IT professionals at colleges and universities, revealing interesting trends about perceptions of job security and campus investment. The average annual IT salary was more than $77,800, but earnings among professionals at public institutions remained the same from the prior year, while private institution employee earnings increased by more than $8,000. An overwhelming majority of surveyed professionals reported satisfaction with their jobs and a positive outlook on the future of the industry, but 13% of professionals believe that IT is in slow decline at their institutions, and cite departmental budget constraints as the top area of dissatisfaction.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/the-state-of-the-campus-it-professional/435441/

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The 4 Common Characteristics of Personalized Learning

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

by Leila Meyer, THE Journal

Over the last decade, technology has radically altered the way we live, work and communicate, yet many schools continue to follow the industrial age model of education established more than 100 years ago. Personalized learning presents the opportunity to shift education by tailoring the learning experience to an individual student’s needs and interests while helping them gain the knowledge, skills and experiences they need to succeed in college and career, according to a new report from iNACOL. The report, What’s Possible with Personalized Learning? An Overview of Personalized Learning for Schools, Families & Communities, aims to “inform schools, families and communities about the potential of personalized learning and empower them with ways to support the shift to student-centered learning.”

https://thejournal.com/articles/2017/02/03/the-4-common-characteristics-of-personalized-learning.aspx

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New law aims to keep expelled students from falling behind

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

by SHARON SALYERKARI BRAY, Everett Herald-Net

Generally, students who have been suspended or expelled cannot be on campus during normal school hours. When possible, though, the district tries to get them on campus after school for instruction, Taylor said. This may be limited depending on the offense that got the student suspended. Teachers or administrators also can meet with students at public locations such as the library. Students in the Arlington School District can log on to an online system to get homework or parents can get the information from teachers. If students don’t have access to the internet at home, they can drop by their school to pick up assignments, said Kathy Ehman, assistant superintendent. “With the new law in place, we’re looking at alternatives,” she said. “You’ll probably see a lot more in-school interventions, but have some adult there to help support them.”

http://www.heraldnet.com/news/new-law-aims-to-keep-expelled-students-from-falling-behind/

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February 16, 2017

A third of UK parents say their kids are better off learning how to use computers than reading

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by Pakistan Daily Times

A third of parents think it would be better for pupils to learn how to build a website than the works of Shakespeare, a survey found. A study claims a pushy 44 percent of UK parents believe it more vital for their youngster to learn digital coding in school than a foreign language like French or Spanish. While shockingly it also found 33 percent even claimed teaching kids computer skills was more enriching for their education than studying English Literature. Yet the research, from digital learning provider Open Classrooms, showed parents secretly and constantly worry about technology’s influence on their offspring. Nine in 10 parents fear for their children’s safety online while 43 percent admit their kids spend more time on their devices than with their family.

http://dailytimes.com.pk/infotainment/29-Jan-17/a-third-of-parents-say-their-kids-are-better-off-learning-how-to-use-computers-than-reading

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Education initiatives move forward

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

by Del. Kirk Cox, Progress-Index

I am also carrying HB2311 that creates the Online Virginia Network aimed at providing a new pathway for students to complete a college degree. The bill establishes an online consortium of classes from various state universities. It is a one-stop shop for scheduling, registering, and taking online classes. Higher education institutions in Virginia have focused primarily on enhancing enrollment, retention, and graduation rates in pursuit of preparing a highly skilled workforce for the Virginia economy. The same emphasis needs to be directed toward identifying those individuals with some college credit, but who have not attained a degree. Dual enrollment credits provide a great opportunity for students to begin working on their undergraduate degrees while still in high school.

http://www.progress-index.com/news/20170129/education-initiatives-move-forward

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How Technology Can Benefit Physical Education Classes

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:32 am

BY MATTHEW LYNCH, Tech Edvocate

Tech tools and physical education can go hand in hand. Take the use of Google, for instance. Incorporating a lesson in which students move from various stations, working on a QR code scavenger hunt. Codes can be created with goo.gl URL shortener linking to Google Slides that have information relating to the course, with accompanying exercises that must be completed before moving along. An activity such as this lends itself to student collaboration and allows the instructor to interact with small groups for a personalized experience. A scavenger hunt, or similar type of activity, could easily include any number of mobile apps to increase student engagement.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/how-technology-can-benefit-physical-education-classes/

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