State Budget Woes Could Prevent Arizona From Offering Free Community College

January 17th, 2015
by Alexandra Olgin, KJZZ
President Barack Obama announced a plan called America’s College Promise Friday in Tennessee. The proposal would offer eligible students two years of community college for free. Arizona has 21 community colleges and about half a million students. The Maricopa County Community College District is the biggest in the state and one of the largest in the nation, enrolling half of all community college students in Arizona.  State Senator Carlyle Begay is on the legislative education committee. “The biggest obstacle will obviously be the budgetary restraints that it would place on the state,” Begay said. “We’re coming off the heels of reducing funding for community colleges by over over 50 percent.”
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PHM replaces snow day with eLearning: How did it go?

January 16th, 2015

by Annie Chang, WSBT

For the Springman family in Osceola, Mom is the teacher today. The classroom is the kitchen table. And the teaching assistant is a very vocal terrier. Cora Springman and her children, first-grader Riley and kindergartener Nick, are tackling the coursework assigned for eLearning Snow Day 1. Cora says Riley got 17 pages of homework, Nick got 11. “Just looking at it, it seems like quite a bit of work,” Cora says. “Knowing what they bring home in a day, paper work, this does seem a full day of school work to me.” The eLearning is meant to take up at least five hours for K-5, six hours for 6-12 graders. Cora works full time, but took the day off so she could help the kids get the homework done right away.

http://www.wsbt.com/news/local/phm-replaces-snow-day-with-elearning-how-did-it-go/30620262

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Demand High for Online Learning in North Carolina

January 16th, 2015

By North Carolina Public Charter Schools Association

“With over four million K-12 students enrolled in online learning options nationwide, it’s clear that the traditional school model isn’t a best fit for all children,” said Kara Kerwin, president of The Center for Education Reform.  “Not only that, but there’s a clear demand for more and better learning options from North Carolina parents, with over 5,500 applications for approximately 2,400 scholarships in the North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship Program’s first year, and home schooling increasing by 27 percent compared to two years ago” continued Kerwin. “It’s time for North Carolina to put aside its bias against virtual charter schools and listen to families who want and deserve access to this learning opportunity for their children.”

http://ncpubliccharters.org/demand-high-for-online-learning-in-north-carolina/

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Digital Libraries Provide Books To Impoverished Schools, Replace Old-School Ways

January 16th, 2015

By Eleanor Goldberg, Huffington Post

After realizing the overwhelming need at schools — and how costly and ineffective book drives are — Tanyella Evans and Rebecca McDonald founded Library for All, a digital literacy platform. Established in 2012, the New York-based group stocks struggling schools with cloud-based digital libraries that are suitable for grades K-12. The organization raised more than $100,000 through a Kickstarter campaign in 2013 to build and pilot the program in Haiti where only 49 percent of the population is literate and less than 15 percent of schools have libraries. Library for All debuted its program at Respire Haiti, a Port-au-Prince school that services 530 students. A majority of them are former child slaves.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/06/library-for-all_n_6418388.html

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Curious much? This e-learning site may have the answer

January 15th, 2015

by Dara Kerr, CNet

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based e-learning site offers more than 10,000 curated short-form, interactive videos taught by 1,000 teachers on a variety of esoteric topics, ranging from macrame to triathlon training to calculus to the martial arts. That approach puts Curious.com in the middle of the online-learning spectrum: between YouTube — with its ocean of video tutorials that may (or may not) teach something useful — and more formal, classroomlike sites such as Lynda.com and Coursera that focus on academic or professional topics. The so-called e-learning market is experiencing a boom as people find new ways to cram learning into their already full days. Worldwide revenues in the field are forecast to hit $51.5 billion by 2016, according to a March 2014 study by Docebo (PDF), which builds e-learning management systems for businesses.

http://www.cnet.com/news/curious-much-this-e-learning-site-may-have-the-answer/

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itslearning launches new mobile app

January 15th, 2015

by eSchool News

In order to help students be better prepared for learning and improve teacher-student communication, itslearning has created a mobile app for iPhones and Android phones. Available for free download from the Apple App Store and Google Play, the itslearning app gives students a quick and easy overview of their upcoming tasks and events and also lets them send and receive messages.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/01/08/itslearning-mobile-app-263/

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CES 2015 Wrap Up

January 15th, 2015

by Shelly Palmer Blog

I loved CES this year. Everything about it was interesting, awesome and inspiring, except… the traffic, the shuttle queues and the cab lines. Here’s a quick, very short list of things that got my undivided attention this year.

http://www.shellypalmer.com/spb/2015/1/11/ces-2015-wrap-up

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Open Educational Resources Meet Instructional Design

January 14th, 2015

by Andrew Marcinek, Edutopia

Once you’ve started sketching out your instructional design, you can begin seeking out resources for content. Since I first started writing about open educational resources a few years ago, there has been a flood of new sources that educators can seek out for content. But more doesn’t always mean quality. I have never been one to suggest 300 apps for the iPad, or 378 Chromebook extensions for the classroom. Rather, find one or two apps or resources that work best for you, become an expert with them, and focus on student learning rather than app harvesting. Below you will find two sources that I have used personally and recommended over the past four years. Both iTunesU and OER Commons are well-respected OER sites, and both offer a wealth of vetted, credible information that can be integrated into your instruction.

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/open-educational-resources-instructional-design-andrew-marcinek

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4 grants for innovation, libraries, and active learning

January 14th, 2015

By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

School funding is a challenge even in the post prosperous of times, especially when it comes to ed tech–technology is always changing, and maintaining or upgrading initiatives, tools, or resources is not always free. Many educators and administrators rely on school grants to fund important projects and opportunities for students. Each month, eSchool News compiles a list of new education grant opportunities. This month’s grants address learning environments, innovation, and more. Check out these funding opportunities for teachers, students, parents, and administrators–there’s likely to be a grant that’s relevant to your needs.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/01/09/january-school-grants-923/

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Subtext: For Sharpening and Expanding Language Arts Skills

January 14th, 2015

By Edudemic

After testing the app for three weeks and weighing online feedback from other educators, I can recommend Subtext as the best collaborative digital reading app for iPads. Relative to its competitors, Subtext has a more expansive in-app library and offers the widest array of features for teachers and students. With Subtext, educators can leverage technology to encourage students to read closely and critically and to engage with literature at a deep level. Because of its myriad built-in tools to enhance digital content, Subtext stands out from the competition. Read on to learn more about the app’s capabilities and what makes it the preferred e-reading educational tool

http://www.edudemic.com/subtext-for-sharpening-and-expanding-language-arts-skills/

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Stanford students illustrate public online ‘Adventures in Writing’ class

January 13th, 2015

BY KATHLEEN J. SULLIVAN, Stanford

After a team of Stanford writing instructors created storyboards for an online class to teach writing skills to high school and college students, they turned to a team of Stanford undergraduates to bring their stories to life as a graphic novel. Adventures in Writing, a non-credit course, was made available to the public starting Jan. 12 through Stanford Online. The course is aimed primarily at 16- and 17-year olds through age 20.

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2015/january/writing-adventures-illustrated-010815.html

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Massive Open Online Courses progress at University of Michigan

January 13th, 2015

By CARLY NOAH, Michigan Daily

Three years ago, the University was one of four founding partners of Coursera, a digital platform that hosts Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, which allow individuals from across the world to take academic courses online. Though a relatively new idea in higher education at the time, now 15 University professors teach courses on the platform and have reached a collective 1.5 million students worldwide, according to the University’s department of Digital Education and Innovation. For University students and faculty, MOOCs have been a key example of digital education’s growth and change both on campus and beyond — one that’s been met with both enthusiasm and caution.

http://www.michigandaily.com/news/university-sees-both-enthusiasm-caution-advent-moocs

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The 9 Best Ideas From CES 2015

January 13th, 2015

by Shelly Palmer

You won’t find a journalist alive who covers the annual Consumer Electronics Show and doesn’t find it a miserable experience. You’re basically trapped in the bowels of Las Vegas casinos, staring at 200 identical TVs and trying to distinguish the difference. But it’s all almost worth it. Because every year, a few standout products pave the way for an entire industry of innovation. These are nine artifacts, seemingly sent back from the future to show us what’s coming next.

http://www.shellypalmer.com/2014/2015/1/8/the-9-best-ideas-from-ces-2015

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The Globalized Classroom: 18 Key Resources for 2015

January 12th, 2015

By Edudemic

All humans are citizens of the world, and teaching that fact to children in school can make them more sensitive to global issues and inspire them to look outside their own walls. A globalized classroom helps students to see the local significance of international events. How can you help your pupils adopt such a broad point of view? The following resources will inspire you to plan lessons that foster global awareness.

http://www.edudemic.com/globalized-classroom-2015/

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16 of the Best Blended Learning Resources

January 12th, 2015

By Edudemic

In February 2014, Edreform.com published a paper on digital and blended learning that points out over “68 percent of parents support digital learning” and “digital learning has tri-partisan support, with 61 percent of Republicans, 65 percent of Independents, and 67 percent of Democrats in favor.” Such strong support may make blended learning the future standard for education. How can you make blended learning a success in your school or classroom? The following resources explore the topic from various angles.

http://www.edudemic.com/16-of-the-best-blended-learning-resources/

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Schools use cold day to try out ‘e-learning’

January 12th, 2015

By Naomi Pescovitz, WTHR

Many school districts canceled classes Wednesday so students wouldn’t have to stand at bus stops in the extreme cold, but several districts decided not to call a snow day – they had e-learning days instead. Students got lessons and did their course work on their computers at home instead of going to school – 30 minutes online for each course. “I was a little stressed,” said Jacquie Chitty, a senior at Frontier Junior Senior High School in Chalmers. “I didn’t think the teachers were going to give us that much on the second day back from school.” Last year, Jacquie’s district had to make up more than 10 snow days by extending time in school. This year, each student rented a slim laptop to do the work from home, and principal Jeff Hettinger said “attendance” is required.

http://www.wthr.com/story/27785328/schools-use-cold-day-to-try-out-e-learning

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Deep Learning: Gaze into the Web Abyss, and It Gazes Also into You

January 11th, 2015

by John Hayward, Reuters

Americans are accustomed to the dominance of Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo as search engines, but on the global stage, a Chinese service called Baidu is now second only to Google in popularity. Baidu hasn’t announced any firm plans to move into the U.S. market yet, but, in addition to the huge market in China, they’ve expanded services to countries such as Egypt, Thailand, and most recently Brazil. They’ve also recently hired away one of Google’s top researchers, Andrew Ng, a specialist in artificial intelligence who has taught courses at Stanford University.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/01/05/deep-learning-gaze-into-the-web-abyss-and-it-gazes-also-into-you/

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The future of online learning

January 11th, 2015

by the Telegraph

When you can speak another language, your world becomes bigger, richer and more inspiring. And, say the Babbel founders, it should be easy and effective. The lessons are quick, bite-sized and entertaining and 50pc of Babbel users learn with apps as their primary resource. Witte says, “This mobile language learning supports Babbel’s idea of easy learning. The touch display allows for much faster rehearsal of vocabulary, simply by swiping cue cards left or right and users can check their pronunciation or record a speaking role in a dialogue, which contributes to stilling the fear of talking in an unfamiliar language.” Says Witte, “Online language learning owes a big part of its popularity to being easily accessible. It allows for getting your feet wet, to get started with learning without devoting too much time, money, or energy to organising a language class.” It’s the ultimate tool for the modern, time-pressed worker.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/education/learn-new-language/11327933/The-future-of-online-learning.html

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Purdue University, edX Join Hands For High-Tech Online Courses

January 11th, 2015

by iSchoolGuide

According to Education News Org. the partnership between Purdue and edX, which will run for two years will bring in advanced undergraduate and a few graduate-level courses.  Like Us on Facebook “From science and art to technology and nanoenginereering, edX is pleased to partner with Purdue and its impressive lineup of online classes offered by some of the best professors in the world,” said Anant Agarwal, chief executive officer of edX. “Edx invites everyone anywhere to access our peer-to-peer social learning tools to connect with smart and passionate people from around the world.”

http://www.ischoolguide.com/articles/5895/20150105/purdue-university-edx-high-tech-online-courses-science-art-technology.htm

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Outsourced Online Learning Trial Period

January 10th, 2015

By Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

Like most colleges, online institutions are under pressure to improve their graduation rates. Some are getting more selective about which students they admit, turning away those who appear less likely to complete. But rather than just shutting its virtual doors to applicants, Western Governors University has begun referring underprepared students to StraighterLine, an unaccredited online course provider that does not offer degrees. “We can hand those students off,” said Daren Upham, vice president for enrollment at Western Governors, “to help them gain those skills at a much lower cost than we can provide.”

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/01/06/western-governors-deepening-partnership-straighterline-creates-new-path-completion

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Free, Online Courses Through Siouxland Libraries

January 10th, 2015

by Sammi Bjelland, KELOland

If you’re looking for something to do indoors on this cold, snowy night, there’s a new online education program offered through Siouxland Libraries. The online courses are now available to anyone with a library card, and it could help you further your career. With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and the occasional inclement weather, it can be hard to try new things. But a new program through the Siouxland Libraries website is designed to make that easier. It’s called Gale Courses. This online program allows you to sign up for classes, taught by credible teachers, for free. “Libraries are really about education. And this is one way that we can share the role that we play in education,” Mary Johns, Director of Siouxland Libraries, said.

http://www.keloland.com/newsdetail.cfm/free-online-courses-through-siouxland-libraries/

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