Engaging Students with a Mobile App

April 11th, 2015

by Joe Hoff, EDUCAUSE Review

Engaging first-year students in positive experiences can set the tone for the remainder of their educational careers. A major element of engagement is the social side — meeting other students virtually, learning about campus before the first day of classes, keeping up on events, communicating on specific topics, and asking questions quickly and conveniently. A mobile app that facilitates social engagement while letting administrators measure levels of use and track emotional trends and potential problems among the student body serves both communities.

http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/engaging-students-mobile-app

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Online Test-Takers Feel Anti-Cheating Software’s Uneasy Glare

April 11th, 2015

By NATASHA SINGER, NY Times

As universities and colleges around the country expand their online course offerings, many administrators are introducing new technologies to deter cheating. The oversight, administrators say, is crucial to demonstrating the legitimacy of an online degree to students and their prospective employers. Some schools use software that prevents students from opening apps or web browsers during online exams. Others employ services with live exam proctors who monitor students remotely over webcams. But the rise of Proctortrack and other automated student analysis services like it have raised questions about where to draw the line, and whether the new systems are fair and accurate. The University of North Texas Health Science Center, for instance, is partway through a two-year pilot test of Proctortrack involving the 160 students enrolled in its online public health master’s degree program.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/06/technology/online-test-takers-feel-anti-cheating-softwares-uneasy-glare.html

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6 myths about online schooling debunked

April 10th, 2015

By KSL, Mountain Heights Academy

There’s nothing quite like debunking myth and there is, in fact, something extremely satisfying about it. After all, there’s a reason why “Mythbusters” became such a popular TV show. By this time, everyone knows not to believe everything one hears — or reads — online. Let’s set the record straight by dispelling a few myths and misperceptions regarding online schools.

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=1268&sid=34088088

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Caucus 101: Educating the world about Iowa caucuses

April 10th, 2015

by Jeff Charis-Carlson, Press Citizen

Steffen Schmidt has a voracious educational appetite. The Iowa State University political science professor, who answers to the nickname “Dr. Politics,” says he often finds himself digging into two or three MOOCs — massive open online courses — at a time. But he usually treats such online educational opportunities as scholastic snacks rather than full intellectual meals. Schmidt is working to make that user-friendliness a key component of the MOOC he is developing about the subject he knows best: the role of the Iowa caucuses in the presidential nomination process. When the course goes live in September, the Iowa caucuses MOOC will be ISU’s first official massive online offering. To create the course, Schmidt has been working for more than a year with ISU Web designers, technicians, videographers, online curriculum writers and other experts. He touts it as a “short, fun and free” discussion on the past, present and future of Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential contest.

http://www.press-citizen.com/story/news/education/college/2015/04/03/isu-online-course-caucuses/25261229/

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Top universities continue to invest in massive online courses

April 10th, 2015

by CCTV America

When massive open online courses, known as ‘MOOCs’, first emerged there was talk of a new revolution in online learning that would make education more affordable and accessible. Some even suggested it could mark the beginning of the end of college campuses. However recent reports show that ‘MOOCs’ aren’t very effective at keeping students’ attention. Despite the reports, Harvard University continues to heavily invest time and money in releasing MOOCs.

http://www.cctv-america.com/2015/04/03/top-universities-continue-to-invest-in-massive-online-courses

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The Power of Small Data

April 9th, 2015

By Greg Thompson, THE Journal

In order to deliver personalized education, districts have to gather and share students’ statistics. Here’s how the strategic use of data can boost teaching and learning. When it seems like every week brings news of a massive theft of consumers’ private information, “data” is in danger of becoming a four-letter word. But if districts want to provide truly personalized education, gathering and sharing certain types of student data is absolutely necessary. According to Patricia Cotter, a veteran entrepreneur who recently completed her doctorate in work-based learning at the University of Pennsylvania, “Recent technologies like big data, the Internet of Things, mobile apps and improved storage have made it possible to acquire, combine, store, analyze, interpret and report findings during any phase of data management.”

http://thejournal.com/articles/2015/04/01/big-data-is-not-bad-data.aspx

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5 Ways To Use Word Clouds In The Classroom

April 9th, 2015

By Siobhan Tumelty, Edudemic

The popularity of word clouds remains pretty constant in education, and it’s not difficult to see why. They’re a great way for students to distil and summarize information. They help students get to the crux of an issue, sorting through important ideas and concepts quickly in order to see what’s important. And “see” is the operative word here, because word clouds are certainly nice to look at. They speak fantastically to humans’ affinity for the visual, and are particularly useful for visual learners. However, it’s important to remember that the process of creating word clouds is just as important as the resulting resources. They’re fun to make and so do a great job engaging reluctant learners. Word clouds have tons of potential to be used in all types of ways.

http://www.edudemic.com/5-ways-use-word-cloud-generators-classroom/

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8 Tools that Make Citations a Breeze

April 9th, 2015

By Sarah Muthler, Edudemic

“Be sure to cite your sources.” “Give credit where credit is due.” “Don’t plagiarize.” It’s possible all teachers have said these things to students. But what do those directives mean to students who, in all reality, haven’t had to do much citing? What does it even mean to cite your sources? The first step in the process is for students to understand the purpose and importance of citations. We found this great resource outlining that information from The Write Direction. The Internet offers an abundance of online citation tools, from the extremely easy to use, to ones that require more research on the part of the user. We’d suggest teaching students about a few tools and let them decide which one to use to help them successfully cite their research.

http://www.edudemic.com/6-tools-to-help-students-build-bibliographies/

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The 4 C’s of Technology Integration

April 8th, 2015

By Julie Davis, THE Journal

If you Google “four c’s of technology integration” you’ll get links to a myriad of “c-words” including Creativity/Creation, Consumption, Curation, Connection, Collaboration, Communication and Critical Thinking. All of these are important elements of learning and can be enhanced with the use of technology, but for the sake of this article, I am going to focus more on what devices themselves can do, so my four C’s are the following.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2015/04/02/the-4-cs-of-technology-integration.aspx

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For a Better Flip, Try MOOCs

April 8th, 2015
By David Raths, Campus Technology
What happens when you combine a MOOC and a flipped course? More interactivity, more consistency and some interesting avenues of student interaction, according to Bonnie Ferri, professor and associate chair for undergraduate affairs in Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.  Ferri teaches a course called Circuits and Electronics, with 450 students per term split into several sections. A year and a half ago, she developed two MOOCs (delivered through Coursera) in conjunction with the class. “We offer the MOOC videos simultaneously to the public and on-campus students,” she explained.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/04/01/for-a-better-flip-try-moocs.aspx

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How to Integrate Live Tweets Into Your Presentation

April 8th, 2015
By Pamela DeLoatch, Edudemic
Outside of the classroom, Twitter is huge, with 284 million users logging in each month from around the globe. Each one of those users follows and tweets 140-character messages on a regular basis. But can—and should—this real-time social media be used during a classroom presentation? More teachers are beginning to incorporate Twitter into their lesson plans. Educators who use Twitter say it increases classroom interaction and keeps students tuned in.

http://www.edudemic.com/how-to-integrate-live-tweets-into-your-presentations/

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Game-Based Simulations Teach Environmental Science at ASU Online

April 7th, 2015
By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology
To better engage its online learners, Arizona State University is piloting game-based simulations from Toolwire in its ASU Online environmental science courses.
In five story-based games, students “will take on several leadership roles, with increasing responsibility, to help a community address challenging environmental and sustainability issues,” according to a press release. Interactive features include the ability to download digital learning objects, take notes and respond to questions using tools in the game such as mobile phones and e-mails.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/04/01/game-based-simulations-teach-environmental-science-at-asu-online.aspx

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Make a Game Out of Learning

April 7th, 2015
By Chris Berdik, Campus Technology
In MIT’s Education Arcade, classic game consoles line the office corridor; rafters are strung with holiday lights; and inflatable, stuffed, and papier-mâché creatures lurk around every corner. When I stopped by recently, the arcade’s director, Eric Klopfer, and creative director, Scot Osterweil, talked enthusiastically about the surging interest in educational video games, now used by nearly three-quarters of America’s grade-school teachers, according to one survey. But these optimistic, play-loving game gurus have come to despise the biggest buzzword in their field: gamification.   Gamification undermines what they see as the real opportunity for games to radically, albeit playfully, transform education.  Make a Game Out of Learning.  But don’t gamify it.
http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/04/01/game-based-simulations-teach-environmental-science-at-asu-online.aspx
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W3C launches first HTML5 Course in new partnership with edX

April 7th, 2015
by SD Times Newswire
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the global technical standards organization for the Web, announced today that it has joined edX, one of the world’s leading online course platforms, as a new member and will offer its first course on HTML5 on 1 June, 2015. Registration is now open. Under the name of W3Cx, the W3C will develop a number of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), showcasing its authority and expertise across a range of courses on core Web technologies. “W3C’s partnership with edX expands opportunities for Web developers to take courses specifically created for them by W3C,” said Dr. Jeff Jaffe, W3C CEO. “These W3Cx courses will help them increase their skills and empower them to become the next leaders and innovators on the Web.”

http://sdtimes.com/w3c-launches-first-html5-course-in-new-partnership-with-edx/

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10 Most Powerful Uses of Technology for Learning

April 6th, 2015
by Saga Briggs, Innovation Excellence
We now have programs and platforms that can transform learners into globally active citizens, opening up countless avenues for communication and impact. Thousands of educational apps have been designed to enhance interest and participation. Course management systems and learning analytics have streamlined the education process and allowed for quality online delivery. But if we had to pick the top ten, most influential ways technology has transformed education, what would the list look like? The following things have been identified by educational researchers and teachers alike as the most powerful uses of technology for learning. Take a look.
http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2015/03/30/10-most-powerful-uses-of-technology-for-learning/
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Yakima Online: Self-paced learning draws students who are able to work on their own

April 6th, 2015
by Destini Dickinson, Yakima Online
Yakima Online serves a broad range of attendees among its approximately 125 students from sixth through 12th grade. The program is an alternative option to regular, traditional schools like Franklin Middle School or Davis High School. Yakima Online is served by the Advanced Academics site, which is owned by the Baltimore-based online learning company Connections Education. Advanced Academics also serves online schools in several states, and its teachers are based throughout the country.
http://www.yakimaherald.com/news/latestnews/2972923-8/yakima-online-self-paced-learning-draws-students-who-are
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Hundreds of KU class notes for sale online, but buyer — and seller — beware

April 6th, 2015
By Sara Shepherd, LJ World
David Alexander wasn’t shocked when he heard last week that notes from his anatomy lectures were for sale on the internet. At the same time, he wasn’t OK with it. “It looks like I’m going to have to go back to putting on my syllabi that my lecture notes are copyrighted and I don’t want people selling them,” said Alexander, an associate scientist in KU’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. “It’s one thing if you’re providing notes to a friend who was sick, but it’s something else to profit on what is essentially someone else’s intellectual property.” Multiple students’ versions of Biology 240 notes are among hundreds if not thousands of pages of KU class notes for sale on for-profit websites that encourage students to upload their own notes to make money and download other students’ notes to study. Hundreds of KU class notes for sale online, but buyer — and seller — beware.  http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2015/mar/28/hundreds-ku-class-notes-sale-online-buyer-and-sell/
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White House Unveils $240 Million in New STEM Commitments

April 5th, 2015
By Joshua Bolkan0, THE Journal
President Obama unveiled more than $240 million in new STEM commitments this week at the fifth annual White House Science Fair. The new private sector commitments are designed “to inspire and prepare more girls and boys — especially those from underrepresented groups — to excel in the STEM fields,” according to a White House news release. “With the commitments being made today, the President’s “Educate to Innovate” campaign has resulted in over $1 billion in financial and in-kind support for STEM programs.” A new philanthropic effort, led by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Simons Foundation, will launch a Faculty Scholars Program with approximately $150 million over five years.

http://thejournal.com/articles/2015/03/24/white-house-unveils-240-million-in-new-stem-commitments.aspx

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5 Ways to Use StumbleUpon in Education

April 5th, 2015
By Siobhan Tumelty, Edudemic
Whether you’re a StumbleUpon aficionado or have yet to get to grips with this awesome content discovery site, keep reading, because it has the potential to be of real benefit in your classroom. Whilst StumbleUpon isn’t the content discovery powerhouse it was back in January 2011, it’s far from had its day. It’s a powerful, user-friendly, educational tool that can help you become inspired, plan lessons, and connect with your students in a way that’s significant to them. Fourth after Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter for social media referrals, StumbleUpon provides a more focused way of browsing the Internet for useful, relevant material than relying on the attention-vortex that is Google. Just tell it what your interests are, and voila, it serves up a healthy helping of websites, photos and videos.
http://www.edudemic.com/5-ways-teachers-can-use-stumbleupon/
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How To Use Google Voice Commands In Google Drive

April 5th, 2015
By Aiden Wolfe, Edudemic
Since its inception, Google Drive has been a source of excitement for innovation-minded educators. However, as with any new teaching technology, you may find yourself thinking “it sounds intriguing, but will it really make a difference?” In regards to Drive features like audio feedback, the answer to that question is an unequivocal yes. Aside from offering convenience and helping spare teachers from endless amounts of typing, the addition of voice commenting brings with it profound benefits to the learning experience as a whole. Below, you’ll find five compelling reasons to give it a try, as well as a simple guide on how to get started.

http://www.edudemic.com/use-google-voice-commands-google-drive/

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The Changing Cost of Open Source

April 4th, 2015

by Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Rather than committing hours of staff time to develop software, Unizin’s founding member schools (including Indiana University and Colorado State) are committing dollars — $1.05 million each over the course of three years. If it sounds hefty, remember: That’s still a pittance compared to the cost of equivalent digital content services on the commercial market. Unizin is also partnering with commercial entities — “companies that support open standards and open access to content and to data,” said Qazi. That doesn’t necessarily equate to open source, he pointed out. For example, Unizin has locked into the use of Instructure Canvas, a learning management system available to the consortium members under a discount arrangement.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/03/26/the-changing-cost-of-open-source.aspx

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