MIT online course will teach you to design a robot that moves

October 7th, 2014

by Nidhi Subbaraman, Beta Boston

Walking, jumping, running robots like Big Dog and Atlas are equal parts amazing and terrifying. And look how they’ve grown: MIT’s Cheetah bot, once a tethered machine on a treadmill, can now bound across an open field unchained. A few makers of the sophisticated moving robots that are starting to pop up in public more and more are going to be sharing their wisdom with the masses. MIT’s online course on moving robots is open for business. “Algorithms for Walking, Running, Swimming, Flying, and Manipulation,” a 10-week course, is led by researchers at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratories and hosted at EdX, the MOOC platform that MIT is a member of.

http://betaboston.com/news/2014/10/01/mit-online-course-will-teach-you-to-design-a-robot-that-moves/

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What It Takes to Keep Student Information Safe in the Digital Age

October 7th, 2014
By Gary Langsdale, Evolllution

Security has kept pace with the innovations but security has not kept pace with the sophistication of potential intrusions. They’re moving faster than the innovations themselves. There’s always a willingness to work with the security operations folks to do what you can to make sure that our systems that are online and elsewhere stored externally are secure. The sophistication of the intruders has become exponentially more sophisticated and more frequent as evidenced by some of the breaches in payment systems in retail within the last six months or a year. IT leaders should take a fresh look to make sure everyone is looking at every system they’re planning to update or put into place. I’m very wary of cloud-based solutions for business programs because of their vulnerability as well. It’s up to the IT leaders and the other business leaders within the university to push the vendors very hard on the vendors’ responsibilities to make sure to safeguard the systems and to accept responsibility [when breaches occur].

http://www.evolllution.com/distance_online_learning/audio-takes-student-information-safe-digital-age

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4 Radical Ideas for Reinventing College, Drawn From Stanford Research

October 7th, 2014

by MARGARET RHODES, Wired

Technology and data are reshaping every aspect of our jobs, at an astonishing speed. Yet our higher education system still clings to a format created about 800 years ago: a teacher, in front of a classroom full of students, giving a lecture. This dichotomy is at the heart of a current national debate over the value and cost of higher education, and how that education gets delivered. At issue is how institutions long wedded to a rigid teacher-classroom format can better prepare students to become what Sarah Stein Greenberg of the Stanford University d.School calls “daring, creative, and resilient problem solvers.”

http://www.wired.com/2014/10/4-smart-proposals-reinventing-college-stanfords-design-school/

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Online class gives high school students a taste of college

October 6th, 2014

by Valorie Eversole, Daily Union Editor

Windsor High School seniors have a chance to learn what it’s like to take an online college class. This is the first year a college bound English literature course has been offered as an alternative to English 4 at the school. The course also frees students’ schedules so they make take another course. English instructor Shanna House has received training for instructing an online class. She said the students have received the online class well. The course requires independent work and projects and yet get the one-on-one feedback.

http://www.shelbyvilledailyunion.com/community/education/article_0cf8a914-48d2-11e4-a27c-dfbe357cbbca.html

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Are you Ready for Online Learning?

October 6th, 2014

by Arthur F. Kirk, Huffington Post

A question that prospective online students often ask us is “how do I know if I’m ready for an online course?” For adult students who may be juggling full-time jobs, families or other obligations the answer almost always involves time commitment. Online classes offer more flexibility, but flexibility does not mean less rigor. In fact, an online degree program can sometimes be more challenging than the traditional classroom. So, how do you know if you are a good candidate for an online class? Consider these 10 tips before enrolling.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-arthur-f-kirk-jr/are-you-ready-for-online-_b_5900886.html

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Online School: Is It Homeschooling?

October 6th, 2014

by Kate Patrick, Heartland

Homeschooling has been around for centuries, but online school is a comparatively recent innovation. In the last decade, all kinds of online education options have popped up, providing homeschooling parents with more options than there are curriculum stands at a homeschool convention. From Christian online academies to state online schools to post-secondary classes, the avenues for homeschooling seem infinite. The new question is: Do online classes “count” as homeschooling? Some parents whose kids take online classes consider themselves homeschoolers, but others do not.

http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2014/09/30/online-school-it-homeschooling

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MOOC U: The Revolution Isn’t Over

October 5th, 2014

By Jeffrey Selingo, Chronicle of Higher Ed

These remain the early days of MOOCs. Remember the early days of the web? “No one knew what web search would become in 1998,” Ryan Baker, an associate professor of cognitive studies at Teachers College, Columbia University who has taught a MOOC, told me. “We had Infoseek and AltaVista, and Yahoo tried to do it like a phone book. And then Google came along, and that’s how we remember search today.” It’s during this time, after the phase of the initial and unrealistic hype, that the primary players—Coursera, edX, and their college sponsors—need to answer three fundamental questions about the position of MOOCs in the academic ecosystem if the technology is ever to deliver on some of its promises.

http://chronicle.com/article/MOOC-U-The-Revolution-Isnt/149039/

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Student computer use raises privacy questions

October 5th, 2014

by Lisa Black, Chicago Tribune

School districts moving to “one-to-one” programs, which provide students with computers they can take home, increasingly find their officials navigating new cyber territory, aiming to keep students safe while juggling privacy issues as advances in technology increase their ability to monitor their students’ online work at all hours. In Barrington, District 220 officials field emails sent by “cyber security agents” hired to monitor student activity, alerting them to inappropriate words or suspicious phrases that can indicate such things as sexting or bullying. “There is going to be some difficulty in balancing the rights of student privacy against the legitimate rights of the school to understand how the devices are being used,” said Jacqueline Wernz, a lawyer with the Chicago firm Franczek Radelet. For school districts, she said, “it might be a matter of protecting themselves.”

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-school-tablets-privacy-met-20140928-story.html#page=1

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Researching And Assessing QualityLow-Cost Online Colleges Dedicated To Student Success

October 5th, 2014

by Affordable Colleges Online

The continued rise in tuition and fees has many students and parents carefully analyzing the cost of college. Does community college make sense for two years? Is the private school worth the extra cash? Finding low-cost opportunities can be the key to more students getting the higher education they deserve. However, every family preparing to take the post-secondary plunge should make sure all college options on the table, especially the most affordable ones, have the proper accreditation. No matter which type of college, accreditation indicates a school has passed certain peer-based assessments and maintains faculty, staff and curricula dedicated to high-quality education. The following page examines low-cost colleges — both traditional and online — and how accreditation ensures that even the least expensive colleges maintain certain quality standards.

http://www.affordablecollegesonline.org/cheap-online-colleges/

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How To Bridge the IT Communication Gap

October 4th, 2014

By Michael Hart, Campus Technology

A little finesse goes a long way in communicating with tech-challenged users — and more important, it can bolster IT’s strategic role across the university. Failed communication is just one symptom of the chasm that sometimes exists between IT professionals and the faculty, students and administrators they serve. And while it’s tempting to blame the user, the truth is it’s up to IT to find a way to get the right messages across. “You’ve got to go to where people stand,” exhorted Joanna Young, vice president and CIO at Michigan State University. In other words, put yourself in the user’s shoes; listen as much as you talk or fix; and learn how to speak on his terms.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/09/25/how-to-bridge-the-it-communication-gap.aspx

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Wikipedia grows up on college campuses

October 4th, 2014

By Bruce Maiman, eCampus News

A trusted bromide in academia is that you become a better student when you become a teacher. Gradually and informally, educators who repeatedly warned students to avoid Wikipedia like the plague began making it part of their course curriculum, assigning students to contribute content, either by writing original Wikipedia articles or editing existing ones. Since the program’s launch in 2010, nearly 10,000 students in some 500 classes have contributed 44,000 printed pages of content, editing thousands of existing articles and creating 1,900 new ones, all of it overseen by academics while students get credit. Participating schools run the gamut from Ivy League to community college. The California contingent includes Berkeley, Davis and San Francisco, the California Maritime Academy and Pomona College.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/wikipedia-grows-college-campuses/

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New tech offers virtual field trip to an aquarium tank

October 4th, 2014

By Cynthia Sewell, eSchool News

A Boise, Idaho, company is taking armchair adventuring and learning to a new level by letting anyone on the internet take command of a remotely operated underwater vehicle. The LiveDiver device from Reach-In is now installed at the Aquarium of Boise. By logging into the aquarium’s website, users can control a small mini-submarine in the shark and fish tank to get a diver’s perspective of the marine life.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/09/29/virtual-trip-aquarium-090/

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New analytics could help measure content efficacy

October 3rd, 2014

by eSchool News

New analytics tools from uClass aim to give users a better picture of what instructional materials their teachers are using—and whether these resources are effective.  Learning analytics have become a key feature within many school software programs. These tools can help educators understand trends and patterns in student learning, helping them target their instruction more effectively to improve achievement. Most of these tools focus on analyzing student performance—but what if educators had tools that could measure the effectiveness of the instructional resources they’re using as well? That’s the idea behind new analytics tools developed by an ed-tech company called uClass.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/09/25/analytics-content-efficacy-283/

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School stakeholders urge FCC to adopt net neutrality

October 3rd, 2014

by eSchool News

An overwhelming majority of comments from education stakeholders pushed for stronger net neutrality rules. Letting broadband companies charge more for content providers to stream their services at faster speeds threatens ed-tech innovation, thousands of school stakeholders argue. The Federal Communications Commission’s latest “net neutrality” proposal has stirred controversy because it would allow companies like Google, Netflix, and Skype to pay extra to ensure faster transmission of their content online. But this proposal threatens the existence of smaller companies that can’t afford to pay these higher rates, many critics say—including ed-tech startups that don’t have the resources of larger, more established competitors.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/09/26/fcc-net-neutrality-534/

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K-12 students find success in virtual school

October 3rd, 2014

by the Democrat

With more school choices than ever and the evolution of technology, students are redefining their own pathway to a successful K-12 education. More families are building complete, harmonious educational experiences for their children by choosing schools that meet their needs at a point in time – whether the school is traditional brick and mortar, private or charter. Over the past decade, families have added fully online and blended schools to their list of options – making online learning one of the fastest growing forms of education in the U.S. today.

http://www.thedemocrat.com/71932/2368/onlinefeature/474656/education-pathways-k12-students-find-success-in-virtual-school

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Resources for Connected Educator Month 2014

October 2nd, 2014

by Edutopia

Edutopia is one of the many organizations, companies, and communities participating in the third annual Connected Educator Month (CEM), a celebration of online communities of practice originally developed by the U.S. Department of Education with partners. As with previous years, October 2014 is sure to include an array of rich opportunities for informal professional development, both for educators with established professional learning networks (PLNs) and for those just getting started. Explore the resources below as a guide to connecting, sharing, and collaborating with your network during October and all year long.

http://www.edutopia.org/connected-educator-month-resources

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Library offers extra help for students taking online

October 2nd, 2014

by Monique Brand, Cove Herald

I noticed over the last few weeks one particular patron stuck out like a sore thumb whenever we come to the Cove library. This patron always had an overstuffed bookbag, tons of books on the table, and every once in a while, would step outside to take a few sips of coffee. His name was Owen, a Marine veteran who by day was on the computer taking online classes at the library, only to travel to Temple to his job where he worked in a warehouse at night. It sparked my curiosity incredibly. Per Kevin Marsh, the library’s director, the Cove library has aided in patrons who want to continue their education, even those who do not have a personal laptop or computer at home. “Not many people think we have the resources to cater to those patrons but we do,” said Marsh. From special library time limits for students to books that are used inside accredited institutions, patrons who want to continue their education, even if feel they don’t have the resources, can no longer make an excuse.

http://kdhnews.com/copperas_cove_herald/community/library-offers-extra-help-for-students-taking-online-courses/article_13559cf8-445a-11e4-912f-0017a43b2370.html

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Palmyra Area School District figuring out how to calculate GPA for online courses

October 2nd, 2014

by Monica Von Dobeneck, PennLive

High school Principal Benjamin Ruby brought the issue to the school board Thursday night. He said some students are taking extra courses because they want to graduate early or just because they want the extra challenge. But the online courses cost $400, and some parents might be unwilling to spend that money. If the extra courses are calculated into GPA, that could boost a student’s class rank and help get college scholarships. But that might not be fair to those students who can’t afford the extra classes, Ruby said. Sometimes the GPAs of top students are separated by thousandths of a point, but the best scholarships only go to the top one or two in a class. School board members were divided between wanting to encourage students who have extra drive and being fair to those who can’t afford it.

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2014/09/palmyra_school_district_tackli.html

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How iPads Can Refresh Traditional Classrooms

October 1st, 2014

by Jenny_Collins, Edudemic

Following the trend of mass mobile device adoption, educators increasingly contemplate possibilities of using iPads in classroom. State-of-the-art mobile technology is getting more and more popular in different settings and schools are no exception. Adoption of mobile devices is transforming traditional classrooms into a place that delivers real-world knowledge using efficient tech resources.

http://www.edudemic.com/learning-ipad/

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Five-Minute Film Festival: Culturally Responsive Teaching

October 1st, 2014

by Keyana Stevens, Edutopia

The changing racial and cultural landscape of America is certainly a much-discussed topic — some researchers studying U.S. Census data and demographics even say that America could be a “minority majority” country as early as 2050. While the barriers between countries continue to come down, and globalization continues, how can teachers address the needs of students from a variety of cultural backgrounds and upbringings? This collection of videos introduces culturally responsive teaching (CRT), and includes some techniques that you can use to help students from diverse backgrounds succeed together.

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/five-minute-film-festival-culturally-responsive-teaching

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Coursera Co-Founder Promotes Artificial Intelligence ‘Deep Learning’ at SEAS

October 1st, 2014

By KAY LU, Harvard Crimson

Andrew Y. Ng, co-founder of Coursera, talks in a crowded lecture hall on Thursday at Maxwell Dworkin about deep learning in computer programs, inspired by human neural networks. Deep learning, a subfield of computer science, is currently being developed by computer scientists to handle massive amounts of information and data, which can be applied to speech and image recognition. Ng, who is also the chief scientist at the Chinese search engine Baidu and an associate professor of computer science at Stanford University, said that the main goal of his presentation was to “share with [the audience] some strategic views about deep learning and give [them] some general ideas about whether to work on deep learning in the future.”

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2014/9/26/ng-deep-learning-talk/

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