How Blended Learning and Gamification Increase Student Engagement

February 17th, 2015

by Dan Gordon, THE Journal

Rob Schwartz, a teacher at a blended learning magnet school, says “I took a couple of online courses myself, and one thing I learned is not to just write things up and have the kids read; I’ll record a video. I trained in Adobe software (I’m an Adobe Education Leader) and I’ve created a lot of my own tutorials, because with the online classes I’ve taken, I can see when the professor is really excited about it, and that’s a lot more engaging for me. Nobody wants to engage with content; people want to engage with other people about content. When we learn, it’s a human experience. If we try to remove the humanity too much from it and turn it into just technology, we’re missing out on a really critical part of that experience of learning.”

http://thejournal.com/articles/2015/01/27/how-blended-learning-and-gamification-increase-student-engagement.aspx

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Online Learning Helps Students Shift Career Goals

February 17th, 2015

by iSchool Guide

A 2014 survey found that many students claimed they chose online learning because they wanted to change their career paths. According to an online instructor, an online study offers greater flexibility, especially for working individuals, as traditional schooling requires more sacrifice. A 2014 survey by the Aslanian Market Research and Learning House, a company helping higher education institutions create and provide online degree programs, revealed that 26 percent of undergraduates and 19 percent of graduate respondents said they chose online learning because they wanted a career shift.

http://www.ischoolguide.com/articles/7475/20150210/online-learning-helps-students-shift-career-goals.htm

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Unprecedented Opportunities: Online Learning Explosion Empowers GenDIY

February 17th, 2015

by Michael B. Horn, Huffington Post

More modular, approachable experiences on Khan Academy provide further opportunities, and the promise of exciting announcements from other players loom on the horizon. Adaptive-learning company Knewton, for example, is preparing a free customer-facing portal that would help students learn from the best resource for them at any given time. Higher touch online courses from places like Udemy also provide an accessible education for anyone to learn just about anything. More offerings in the future will allow students to connect synchronously to experts around the world to build social capital and supplement their learning. These experiences will also invite curiosity in the immediate environment around them to prompt students to explore and learn through internships, projects, co-learning experiences, and more. Already co-learning spaces are popping up across the world–led by players like General Assembly and Dev Bootcamp. It’s a brave new world, and the opportunity to piece together each student’s unique lifelong education is already rich.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gendiy/unprecedented-opportuniti_b_6632494.html

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6 Edtech Tools for Black History Month

February 16th, 2015

by Irvin Weathersby, Jr, Edutopia

In today’s classroom, it’s important to embrace diversity and technology. Teaching Black History Month this February with rich activities will help you accomplish these goals. You can teach Black History as American History and World History simultaneously. This will enable you to cross multiple disciplines and meet Common Core standards. Here are some suggestions to help you engage all of your learners with differentiated instruction. Most importantly, these suggestions are all technology-based so that you can keep pace with the demands of the 21st-century student.

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/edtech-tools-black-history-month-irvin-weathersby

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9 coding schools higher ed should keep an eye on

February 16th, 2015

By Keith Button, Education Dive

Coding schools — programs that teach short courses aimed at professionals in programming and developing online and mobile applications — are growing more popular because of their stripped-down approach to teaching high-demand skills that appeal to employers. Regardless, given the popularity of these programs and the competition they present to traditional continuing education, here are nine of the most popular coding schools higher ed should be aware of.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/9-coding-schools-higher-ed-should-keep-an-eye-on/361796/

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Carnegie Mellon and Uber partner on self-driving car research

February 16th, 2015

By Keith Button, Education Dive

Carnegie Mellon University is partnering with Uber to create a new advanced technology center. The center, near Carnegie Mellon’s campus in Pittsburgh, will look to develop driverless vehicle technology, Campus Technology reports. By funding Uber Technologies Center, Uber is setting itself against an investor, Google, which has been a pioneer in driverless vehicle research.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/carnegie-mellon-and-uber-partner-on-self-driving-car-research/362588/

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Did higher education get these trends right?

February 15th, 2015

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

NMC and EDUCUASE release the 2015 Horizon Report, outlining 18 trends in higher-ed technology over the next 1 to 5 years. “Makerspaces” will gain traction long before adaptive learning; and improving digital literacy is a breeze compared to determining how to reward educators for teaching. These are just two of the findings released as part of the New Media Consortium’s (NMC) 2015 Higher Education Horizon Report, jointly conducted with the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. The Report charts the five-year horizon for the impact of emerging technology in learning around the world.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/technologies/horizon-report-trends-215/

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5 Free Tools For Making Digital Portfolios

February 15th, 2015

By Kristen Hicks, Edudemic

Students create a truly outstanding amount of work over the course of a year. Back when everything was done on paper, most of that work was either thrown in the trash, stuffed in a drawer somewhere, or stuck in a box in the garage. How many essays, stories, you labor over during your years as a student that you’ll never see again? Now that so much of what students create in school (and in life) is in the digital realm, teachers have an opportunity to help students value their work more and for longer. Digital portfolios allow students to collect the work they’re most proud of and see their progress over time in a tangible way.

http://www.edudemic.com/tools-for-digital-portfolios/

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Why are Gibault students adding online classes to their already busy schedules?

February 15th, 2015

BY JAMIE FORSYTHE, BND.com

Whether it’s learning a new language or how to do computer programming, students at Gibault Catholic High School had the opportunity this semester to take an online elective class through the Illinois Virtual School. And eight students at Gibault jumped at the chance, even though it meant more work, better time management and collaboration with teachers and classmates across the state. Sophomore Matthew Lock is taking Mandarin Chinese. “It like it,” he said. “It’s actually pretty hard, but I’m enjoying it.”

http://www.bnd.com/2015/02/09/3651429/its-worth-it-gibault-students.html

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School officials: Digital learning initiative gives students individualization

February 14th, 2015

BY CLAIRE BYUN, the Sun News

School districts nationwide are sharpening their own PDL programs, and Ambrose said Horry County was among the first in the state to jump into digital learning. She said student reading skills scores have improved. “Talk to the students, talk to the teachers,” Ambrose said. “The students are engaged, we see a huge difference now.” Horry County schools rely on the Lexile Framework – a national measure to match reading skills to appropriate texts – to help determine student growth and performance. After using PDL programs for a semester, student’s Lexile scores in grades 6-12 improved nearly twice as much as the district anticipated, Ambrose said.

http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/2015/02/07/4774631/school-officials-digital-learning.html

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What can we learn from the badging movement?

February 14th, 2015

by CHRIS BERDIK, Hechinger Report

The digital badge buzz got started when U. S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan called them “a game-changing strategy” that could trigger “a quantum leap forward in education reform.” Badges? Yes, like the Boy and Girl Scouts — but online. A quantum leap forward? I know. But here’s the argument: In today’s world, learning can and should extend beyond school walls — in after-school programs, volunteering, clubs and online — and badges can make all of it count.

http://hechingerreport.org/what-can-we-learn-from-the-badging-movement/

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Snow Days Show Why Schools, Blended Learning Matter

February 14th, 2015

by Michael Horn, Forbes

No, this isn’t another piece about how online learning can allow students to continue to learn even when school is canceled because of snow—although online learning could arguably help a select number of parents who can work from home solve the problem faced when this happens. Instead this is a piece about how important physical brick-and-mortar schools are in our communities and why, even as online learning grows, those schools likely won’t be going away. The insight is one reason why the future for most K–12 schools and students is in blended learning.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelhorn/2015/02/06/snow-days-show-why-schools-blended-learning-matter/

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Why these 5 campus security concerns are high-priority

February 13th, 2015

By Phillip Britt, eCampus News

What IT needs to know to stay one step ahead of cyber attacks and student data leaks. Security of college students is a growing concern for the students themselves; for their parents, relatives and friends; and for colleges and universities. The security concerns are two fold, both for the physical security of the students themselves and for the security of the student data on university systems. Both those seeking to cause physical harm and those seeking to attack data systems continue to advance their techniques, pushing college security experts to continue to evolve security strategies to stay ahead of the threats. To better help institutions keep one step ahead, here are the top five campus IT security trends for 2015.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/campus-it-security-390/

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50 tips to develop and run your online courses

February 13th, 2015

by Andrea Harmon, eSchool News

From getting started to managing the day-to-day business, try these 50 tips for setting up a successful online course for any grade level. As many K-12 U.S. public schools and districts are struggling to compete with 100 percent online cyber charter schools for essential student funding, many universities are struggling to understand the impact of MOOCs on future enrollment. Both of these scenarios point to the one thing that is abundantly clear, online education is having another growth spurt in the second decade of the 21st century and the race to create in-house online content is on. In-house online content is defined here as online course development created by practicing K-12 educators to avoid having to access sometimes cost-prohibitive, commercially-developed online courses.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/02/03/online-course-589/

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And now, online preschool classes. Really.

February 13th, 2015

By Valerie Strauss, Washington Post

It was only a matter of time. Online school classes for toddlers and preschoolers are here. VINCI Education is offering what it calls a “groundbreaking virtual school” for youngsters, which was featured by by Dr. Gadget®, the nationally recognized TV and radio personality, on CBS’s “The Talk” late last month. VINCI Education, according to its Web site,”is a pioneer in providing Blended Learning Curriculum, Assessment Tools and Data Analytics for the Early Childhood Education.” It operates preschools and day-care centers in Los Angeles, Ottawa and Beijing, which use technology and blended learning strategies to, the Web site says, “strengthen the main developmental areas of a child’s mind.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/02/02/and-now-online-preschool-classes-really/

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Global Oneness Project Launches Free Multimedia Resources, Lesson Plans

February 12th, 2015

By Joshua Bolkan, THE Journal

The Global Oneness Project, a curator of multicultural studies, has launched a multimedia initiative for K-12 and higher education that combines free digital stories and lesson plans. “The interdisciplinary stories — in the form of short documentary films, photo essays and articles — examine global themes with a humanistic lens,” according to a news release. “The lesson plans facilitate critical thinking, reflective writing and in-class activities designed for use in the arts, environmental sciences, English, history courses and more.”

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/02/05/global-oneness-project-launches-free-multimedia-resources-lesson-plans.aspx

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California District Deploys 23,000 1-to-1 Devices, Works To Quell Parental Concerns

February 12th, 2015

By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

Manteca Unified School District in California is in the next phase of its $30 million project to outfit its 23,000 students with computers. In response to earlier parental concerns regarding the program, the district posted information on its site addressing the most common questions and held two seminars specifically to educate families about software usage.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2015/02/03/california-district-deploys.aspx

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7 Tips for Harnessing the Energy of Social Media in Class

February 12th, 2015

By Richard Rose, Campus Technology

Social media can be a distraction for students — but used well, it can also invigorate teaching and learning with a relevant, immediate stream of communication. Here’s how to make sure it’s an asset, not a liability. The arrival of social media in today’s university classroom completes the trend. Students sit in class (if they attend class at all) with devices that permit instant two-way communication with anyone in the room or out of it. They often think of themselves primarily as “customers” and believe they owe the institution nothing but politeness and the reasonably timely payment of their semester bills. They reserve the right to evaluate, on a moment-to-moment basis, whether the words of the professor have sufficient entertainment value to justify their continuing attention.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/education/new-uw-madison-web-portal-to-help-adults-take-classes-online-b99436643z1-290942501.html

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4 Tips to Transform Your Learning Space

February 11th, 2015

by Beth Holland, Edutopia

Recently, I wrote about the transformation of libraries from archives of resources to active learning commons that encourage exploration, creation, and collaboration. However, in that post, I profiled a number of locations that made significant financial investments in their redesign. Million-dollar learning spaces are often not a reality for most schools. However, that is no reason to abandon the concept of transformation. Here are four suggestions from librarians and educators who have transformed their learning spaces — even without a budget.

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/tips-to-transform-learning-space-beth-holland

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Why school libraries are transforming into learning commons

February 11th, 2015

By Paul Schott, The Advocate

There is no “shushing” in the International School at Dundee’s library. Students can talk; they can even get a little noisy while tapping away at keyboards, peppering a guest speaker with questions, or giving a presentation to classmates. Head over to the Makerspace and you will hear the rumbling and beeping of 3D printers churning out their latest creations. This is the soundtrack of ISD’s new, transformed library. Here, students do not stop by just to check out and read books. They visit more often, come for a wider range of activities and stay longer. It’s not even called a library anymore. Or a media center. It is now the “learning commons,” a hub for students and teachers.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/02/04/school-libraries-changing-632/

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App Gives Students an Incentive to Keep Their Phones Locked in Class

February 11th, 2015

by Casey Fabris, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Resisting the urge to pull out your phone in class is quite difficult for many students, apparently. There are texts to answer, emails to read, snapchats to send, and rude comments to post on Yik Yak. But two students at California State University at Chico have created something they hope will persuade students to keep their phones tucked firmly in their pockets: An app that rewards them with coupons for local businesses when they exhibit self-control and leave their phones untouched during class.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/app-gives-students-an-incentive-to-keep-their-phones-locked-in-class/55647

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