Tracking Students to Improve Tutoring and Support

August 20th, 2015

By David Raths, Campus Technology

At South Mountain Community College, a homegrown Learner Support System gathers data on students’ usage of campus resources, streamlining the tutoring process and improving outcomes. With input from several areas of campus, the design team, led by programmer analyst Alan Ziv, created a Web-based application called the Learner Support System (LSS) that tracks students’ usage of campus resources as well as key academic details such as with whom a student worked, how long he or she spent with a tutor, what the focus of the tutoring session was and how effective it was perceived to be. The system provides data at the individual student, course and program level to help inform institutional strategic planning and resource development.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/08/12/tracking-students-to-improve-tutoring-and-support.aspx

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10 Emerging Education Technologies

August 20th, 2015

By Pamela DeLoatch, Edudemic

Are you or your students wearing your Apple Watches to school, and if so, are you using them as part of your curriculum? What about the use of digital textbooks, adaptive learning, collaboration with other schools or flipped classrooms? These technologies represent some of the cutting edge tools and trends in education. While some are being implemented now, regular use of others is on the (not to distant) horizon. We’ve scanned the gurus’ lists and found the top technologies that educators need to prepare for in the next one to five years.

http://www.edudemic.com/10-emerging-education-technologies/

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Can Innovation Be Taught?

August 20th, 2015

by Nick Donofrio, Ed Tech

Fostering skills beyond the classroom setting is just as important as studying theories. “Driving the skills agenda,” a May 2015 report published by The Economist Intelligence Unit, cited 49 percent of teachers who said current curriculum was too rigid to allow time for wider skills to be cultivated. Instead, students tend to participate in internships for a true taste of the working world. While that supplements student studies, the experience is often too brief to provide a fulfilling environment to harbor creativity and innovation. Equally important, training educators ensures that they are up to speed on the latest educational developments and technological advances. While technology continues to influence education in all fields, educators have a tough time keeping up with it. According to The Economist survey, 85 percent of teachers report that advances in technology influence the way they teach.

http://www.edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2015/08/can-innovation-be-taught

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Pittsburgh adopts online badges to reward summer learning

August 19th, 2015

By Kate Schimel, Education Dive

In Pittsburgh, a program called the Pittsburgh City of Learning is giving students digital badges for completing summer educational opportunities. The initiative is a collaboration among a group of nonprofits and city organizations to help give students proof of what they learned over the summer for potential employers or universities. Students get badges for mastering skills and store them in an online portfolio, which can be shared publicly.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/pittsburgh-adopts-online-badges-to-reward-summer-learning/403987/

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Exams for online courses? The library does it

August 19th, 2015

By Mary Rindfleisch, Ridgefield Press

Due to the huge growth in distance learning all around the world, many more students of all ages are earning degrees and certificates without ever setting foot on campus. But they often do still need a secured and supervised setting for taking exams. That’s where the Ridgefield Library comes in. We have long done proctoring for exams on an ad hoc basis, but the increase in demand has prompted us to establish a formal policy, and also a modest fee for this service. We are pleased to be able to support our patrons’ educational aspirations, but we want to make sure that the test-taking environment we provide conforms to the requirements of the institutions of higher learning involved. A $25 charge will now be assessed for each request for exam proctoring.

http://www.theridgefieldpress.com/49827/exams-for-online-courses-the-library-does-it/

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New Web courses make training more accessible to Scouting leaders

August 19th, 2015

By Gretchen Sparling, Scouting

Scouting U’s new online training courses will help volunteers learn what they need when they need it. Listening to feedback from volunteers, Scouting U redesigned its online training for adult leaders, making it more convenient than ever to earn your Trained badge. The new Web-based courses deliver high-quality online learning experiences tailored for each volunteer’s role.

http://scoutingmagazine.org/2015/08/new-web-courses-make-training-more-accessible-to-scouting-leaders/

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6 Questions to Ask About Faculty in an Online Graduate Engineering Program

August 18th, 2015

By Ian Quillen, US News

The life of an online engineering student isn’t that different from an on-ground one. Many online classes, heavily mathematical in nature, lend themselves easily to a live or archived lecture followed by a problem set students have to complete independently. Labs are sometimes more difficult to replicate online, but often students fulfill those with periodic campus visits. Because the course content translates easily, experts say, engineering schools have had a head start on making an online option available for students. But that doesn’t mean students should settle for programs that aren’t thoughtful about how to turn quality in-person instruction into an equally fulfilling virtual experience. Here are six questions to ask that may shed light on the quality of instruction in an online engineering graduate program.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2015/08/10/6-questions-to-ask-about-faculty-in-an-online-graduate-engineering-program

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Can online tutors make anytime, anywhere learning a reality?

August 18th, 2015

By Peter West, eSchool News

Recently, I began dubbing the current generation of students the “Netflix Generation.” They learn when they want, and expect learning resources to be available when and where they need them. This is similar to the way they consume media through streaming services such as Netflix (for movies and television series) and Spotify (for music). However, this now produces other pressures. Learning outside of traditional school hours does not remove the need for teachers. If all that students needed in order to learn was information, schools would have closed once Google and high-speed broadband arrived on the scene. Students continue to need support, a human explanation, encouragement to work through a problem, and insight to take them through a mental barrier to get to the next stage of problem solving. Yet if significant learning is happening outside traditional school hours, who is available to support it?

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/08/11/online-tutors-328/

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Documentation, communication key to online summer PE class

August 18th, 2015

by Grace Paine, Charlottesville Tomorrow

Does physical education need to take place in the school gym? According to staff and students at Charlottesville High School, the answer is “no.” Charlottesville High School recently wrapped up its second year of offering students the chance to fulfill their physical education credit by taking a virtual course over the summer. The program’s goal, administrators say, is to grant students greater flexibility in their schedules so that they can pursue individualized interests during the school year.

http://www.cvilletomorrow.org/news/article/21707-documentation-communication-key-to-online-pe/

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Inquiry-based science platform lets students conduct investigations

August 17th, 2015

by eSchool News

Van Andel Education Institute (VAEI) has launched a new scientific inquiry platform, called NexGen Inquiry — which guides students through the scientific method and lets them conduct investigations and journal their progress. Released in preparation for the 2015-16 school year, NexGen Inquiry includes an interactive teaching and learning platform that supports existing curriculum, integrated teacher professional development, a teacher community and a resource library. Built by teachers for teachers, NexGen Inquiry is the result of more than a decade of work with students and science educators at the Van Andel Education Institute Science Academy in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/08/10/inquiry-based-science-562/

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University moves to give students wireless power

August 17th, 2015

by eCampus News

Powermat Technologies is installing its wireless charging platform at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB), allowing students to charge their mobile phones so they can stay connected to the information and learning resources they need while on the go. CSUSB says it is the first university globally to offer wireless power on campus, and it will soon integrate Powermat technology into high-traffic common spaces, student union areas, study areas, and on campus cafes and restaurants. The second wave will then see broader implementation in the university’s library and classrooms.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/wireless-power-campus-784/

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Scientists Teach AI Machines To Understand Us

August 17th, 2015

by Vlad Tverdohleb, iTechPost

Artificial intelligence (AI) machines will be soon able to sustain a conversation with humans. This is one of the oldest goals in artificial intelligence and soon it might become a reality. Facebook has a chance to be the first company able to achieve this goal. According to Yann LeCun, the head of Facebook’s artificial intelligence lab, the company made progress in revolutionizing artificial intelligence research. After the recent successes in speech recognition and face recognition, now AI researchers are focusing their efforts on deep learning. This field has become a battleground between the high-tech giants, such as Google, Microsoft, IBM and Facebook, in their efforts to bring new AI applications on the consumer market.

http://www.itechpost.com/articles/15559/20150810/scientists-teach-ai-machines-to-understand-us.htm

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The 7 do’s and don’ts of creating your own OERs

August 16th, 2015

By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

Whether you know it or not, most educators have already started creating their own open educational resources (OER) in the form of tests, handouts, and presentations. Bringing them on online to share with other educators is just the natural next step. But there are best practices creating and sharing OERs, which are resources that are freely shared and able to be modified and redistributed. This “grass-roots, bottom-up” approach to content creation enables educators to tailor content to meet students’ needs,” said Tyler DeWitt, an MIT Ph.D. student and a student coordinator for the MIT+K12 video outreach project, during an edWeb webinar, which explored these and other related takeaways and gave several tips for creating OERs that work for educators.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/08/07/creating-oers-722/

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More Guilford students take advantage of online classes

August 16th, 2015

By Marquita Brown, Greensboro.com

More students in Guilford County are studying science, Spanish, SAT prep and other courses. But they’re doing it while getting more screen time than face time with a teacher. Such self-guided classrooms aren’t taking the place of the traditional classroom — at least not yet. They are an increasingly popular way for some students to get an edge on their peers. About 2,000 students have taken online classes in Guilford County Schools each year since 2012, when the system first started its virtual public school. Students don’t have to pay to take the classes.

http://www.greensboro.com/news/schools/more-guilford-students-take-advantage-of-online-classes/article_8be999c0-7963-5e90-bfdb-499cab704a32.html

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University Of Missouri Offers 10% Tuition Discount For Online Degree Programs

August 16th, 2015

by Hanna Sanchez, iSchool Guide

The University of Missouri has decided to offer a 10 percent discount on its online degree programs for the upcoming semester this fall. The tuition drop is an effort to lure more in-state students to take online courses. The University of Missouri is offering in-state students a tuition drop on its online degree program, Mizzou Online, this fall. The school said Missouri students will save 10 percent if they enroll online, which costs about $82.86 per course. To qualify, students also must have attended a public community college in the state and be working on a degree from an undergraduate distance program.

http://www.ischoolguide.com/articles/21236/20150807/university-missouri-10-tuition-discount-online-programs.htm

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Understanding How Students Use and Appreciate Online Resources in the Teaching Laboratory

August 15th, 2015

by Sasha Nikolic, International Journal of Online Engineering

The internet is a great resource student’s use for learning. Reasons include the ease in searching with sites such as Google, or the vast collection of informative videos on YouTube. The teaching laboratory can also benefit from online resources, especially when students are deficient in prerequisite knowledge. The benefits are greatest when there are non-standard learning paths, and multiple entry points into a degree. This study undertakes a mixed methods research approach to try and understand how students use and appreciate an online resource, called the Training Laboratory, designed to support learning in the engineering teaching laboratory. The targeted resources are used to help support students as well as the laboratory teaching assistants (called laboratory demonstrators). The study finds that such resources are used by a substantial number of students to aid learning, increasing productivity, and improving teaching. The availability of such targeted resources leads to an improved student experience.

http://online-journals.org/index.php/i-joe/article/view/4742

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North Carolina School Pilots Online Physical Education Course This Fall

August 15th, 2015

By Hanna Sanchez, iSchool Guide

A North Carolina school is offering an online physical education course starting this fall. The pilot program will become available statewide in 2016 if it is successful in select counties. The North Carolina Virtual Public School will pilot an online physical education course this fall. Instructors will provide a video demonstration and students will be expected to create a video portfolio of the same skills and sports to showcase their progress. If successful, the PE course will become available statewide in 2016. Like Us on Facebook The pilot program will kick off in New Hanover and Macon counties, and will debut at Wilmington Early College and Isaac Bear Early College high schools as neither has a PE teacher, Jace Harr of Education News reported.

http://www.ischoolguide.com/articles/21088/20150806/north-carolina-school-online-physical-education-course.htm

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Paperless: 5 Ways Taking Online Classes Benefits The Environment

August 15th, 2015

by Anum Yoon, Elite Daily

Online learning is a hot topic in today’s schools, but environmental concerns are often left out of the debate. In addition to the positive effects digital classrooms can have on students, they also benefit the Earth. From reducing paper and other waste to conserving natural resources, here are five environmental benefits of a digital classroom you may not have considered. Transportation accounts for 27 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the US, and personal vehicles are our most common mode of transport. A digital classroom eliminates the need for traveling back and forth from a physical school building. Therefore, students and teachers engaged in online learning immediately reduce their carbon footprints.

http://elitedaily.com/life/online-classes-help-environment/1161161/

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7 mobile learning myths no educator should believe

August 14th, 2015

By Meris Stansbury, eSchool News

By now, educators are familiar with the term mobile learning — or mLearning — having experienced its rush in classroom popularity starting as early as 2000. But two researchers say it’s now imperative that educators slough off the myths from the reality to avoid ineffective classroom practice moving forward. “In recent years, many projects have assisted in the maturation of mLearning and much has already been done to integrate mLearning into mainstream education. However, mLearning is still in its infancy and we are merely seeing the tip of the iceberg,” notes Tom Brown, a former associate professor of research and development in tech-enhanced learning at the University of South Africa. Most of the myths identified by Brown and Mbati focus on mobile learning’s oft-described “techno-centric” characteristics, which the researchers say may do a disservice to those educators either interested in implementing mLearning, or have already done so.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/08/05/7-myths-mobile-402/

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Should there be a “driver’s license” for online programs?

August 14th, 2015

By Ron Bethke, eCampus News

Utilizing the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement could be the key to reaching a national standard on recognizing online degree programs. The American Council on Education (ACE) has released a new paper on the importance of implementing a standardized approach to recognizing online degree programs across different states. The paper, titled “A More Uniform Way of Recognizing Online Degree Programs Across State Lines, with SARA as a Focus,” is the sixth in a series of Quick Hit briefs about current and emerging topics in higher education attainment and innovation released by ACE’s Center for Education Attainment and Innovation and funded by the Lumina Foundation.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/online-program-success-085/

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Survey: Professors and Employers Find High School Grads Unready for College or Work

August 14th, 2015

By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

Neither university faculty nor employers believe that American public high schools are preparing students for the expectations they’ll face in college and career. In fact, compared to 2004, the assessment is even more dismal. More than a decade ago, for example, only 28 percent of college instructors stated that schools were doing an adequate job of readying students for what came next after high school. That count is down to 14 percent in 2015. Among employers, 49 percent in 2004 said that schools were adequately preparing students for what they would need for work; in 2015, the count was 29 percent. Part of the challenge, say students themselves, is that their high schools don’t set academic expectations high enough. Fifty-four percent said that they were only “somewhat challenged”; 20 percent said it was “easy to slide by.”

http://thejournal.com/articles/2015/07/27/survey-most-profs-find-hs-grads-unready-for-college-or-work.aspx

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