Archive for January, 2017

Boycotting Academic Conferences to Be Held in the U.S.

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017
by Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed
The new target of the academic boycott movement is the United States. More than 3,000 academics from around the world have signed on to a call to boycott international academic conferences held in the United States in solidarity with those affected by Trump’s executive order barring entry by nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries. The ban on entry into the U.S. has left some students and scholars with valid visas stranded outside the country while others are stuck inside it, unable to leave the U.S. for personal or professional reasons for fear they won’t be let back in.
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AZ Lawmakers Move to Ban College Courses on ‘the Problem of Whiteness’ and ‘White Privilege’

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

By Ian Miles Cheong, Heat Street

Arizona lawmakers are debating a controversial new measure to expand the state’s current “ban” on ethnic studies classes to state colleges and universities. The original ban, passed in 2010, extends to Arizona’s public and charter primary and secondary schools. If approved, the new expansion would prohibit colleges and universities in Arizona from holding classes that “promote division, resentment, or social justice toward a race, gender, religion, political affiliation, social class or other class” in addition to classes targeting a single ethnic group. Schools that violate the ban would risk losing up to 10 percent of their funding from the state. The proposed ban takes aim at courses currently taught at Arizona public colleges such as Arizona State University’s “Whiteness and Race Theory” course, which teaches students about “the problem of Whiteness.” It would also ban the University of Arizona’s so-called “privilege walk”.

https://heatst.com/culture-wars/az-lawmakers-move-to-ban-college-courses-on-the-problem-of-whiteness-and-white-privilege/

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MU Extension Launching Innovative Online Program: Leadership Online For Today

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

By University of Missouri Extension Report

University of Missouri Extension has developed an innovative online program with the focus on building better leaders. Leadership Online For Today is an interactive program that allows participants to improve communication skills, build relationships and networks, and develop a collaborative project to benefit a community or organization. The first program is set to begin the week of Feb. 6. MU faculty brainstormed leadership topics and those topics were then brought to millennials for feedback and suggestions. Extension leaders also talked with focus groups comprised of college students, Missouri 4-H members, Missouri FFA members and young professionals – all of who were in leadership positions.

http://www.boonvilledailynews.com/news/20170114/mu-extension-launching–innovative-online-program–leadership-online-for-today

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How does gamification affect the learning process?

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

BY MATTHEW LYNCH, Tech Edvocate

In the context of education, the trend of using game elements in non-game contexts, termed otherwise gamification, aims at increasing the engagement and motivation of students, capturing their interest to continue learning and influencing their classroom behavior. Although games are today often used in educational environments, the trend remains stigmatized and its use limited due for example to (1) inadequate access to technology, (2) lack of professional expertise in integrating new technologies, and (3) resistance to change. In order to change this, we need to understand the way gamification may facilitate learning systematically. Gamification in education may optimize the brain’s processing of new information. This may be facilitated by the general aspects of gamified lessons, with the audio-visual presentation, minimized bites of schematized information, short time lapses, and often repetitive patterns.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/how-does-gamification-affect-the-learning-process/

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8 Lessons Learned From Open Source Development

Monday, January 30th, 2017

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technologies

When Harvard kicked off OpenScholar six years ago, little did it realize the impact the website creation project would have on the university — and the academic world at large.The story of the creation of OpenScholar would be familiar to anybody who’s ever tried to fix a specific problem by addressing the broader underlying need. Gary King, director of Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science, would get requests from faculty and staff for help to build websites, which would end up costing thousands of dollars—”sort of ridiculous,” he said. So members of King’s team began studying scholarly websites. What they learned was that the websites were “structurally identical,” even if they did have unique looks. “They all have a CV; they all have a list of classes; they have a list of papers; they have a picture and a bio. They’re all exactly the same,” King explained. Yet every faculty member would want his or her own look and feel, graphic design and URL.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/01/12/8-lessons-learned-from-open-source-development.aspx

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A new report tracks how data analytics programs are expanding at universities across the nation.

Monday, January 30th, 2017

by eCampus News

Twenty percent of U.S. four-year institutions now offer analytics programs, while just 2 percent of two-year institutions offer such programs, according to new research from data company Tableau. The increase in programs comes from a push to expand analytics offerings to ensure more students are prepared to work with data in their careers. The report, The State of Data Education in 2016, notes that universities also are offering interdisciplinary education in analytics by embedding basic data literacy into other fields–a move that reflects data’s growing importance across all industries.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/big-data/data-analytics-advancing/

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Free Online Course Outlines How to Avoid Bad Technology Choices for Flipped Learning

Monday, January 30th, 2017

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

The Flipped Learning Global Initiative (FLGI) today announced a new program geared toward helping educators, administrators and IT staff with the technology selection process for flipping the classroom. The program begins with a free online training course, “How to Avoid the 17 Deadly Sins of Flipped Learning Technology Selection,” with a larger initiative set to launch at the end January. According to a statement from FLGI, the course “covers the vital considerations that should be part of making any technology purchase for flipped learning.”

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/01/09/free-online-course-outlines-how-to-avoid-bad-technology-choices-for-flipped-learning.aspx

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What Makes a Smart Course ‘Smart’?

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

By Dror Ben-Naim, EdSurge

Online courses are “smart,” one might assume, because they use technology to improve educational outcomes or, at least, create new efficiencies or extend the abilities of faculty and students. Yet, while technology exists in the world of higher education, it’s not clear that technology is actually making courses smarter. And in our rush to move courses online, we’re all too often putting innovation ahead of pedagogy. It turns out that what makes a course smart isn’t necessarily the use of impressive technology or data; it’s about the way technology enhances the practices of good teaching and learning. Here are four key attributes of a smart course:

http://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-01-13-what-makes-a-smart-course-smart

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Ask 3 Career Questions When Choosing an Online Program

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

by Beth Kungel Borck, US News

Pursuing a degree online can be a great solution for those who cannot attend an on-campus program. I decided to pursue my MBA while living abroad in Saudi Arabia as a way to advance my career – and because class sessions for the U.S. program were held late at night for me, minimizing the effect on my family. But before you embark on this journey, you need to determine what your career objectives are and if the online programs you are considering will fulfill those needs. Here are three career-related questions to ask before pursuing an online education.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-learning-lessons/articles/2017-01-13/ask-3-career-questions-when-choosing-an-online-program

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How to get students to use the course forum?

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

by Academia Stack Exchange

Forums are common features of online courses. The software is usually provided by the institution. It is in everyone’s interest to make a course forum useful, maybe even lively; generally we want more posts rather than fewer, and more interaction between those posts, rather than a bunch of individual observations. Using the forum is sometimes counted as part of students’ grades. There are a great number of ways of measuring participation, though; I previously asked How to score class participation, correcting for natural outspokenness? That said, making forum activity part of student grades is not necessarily key to making the forum useful. What is the most effective and practical way of getting students to post in the forum?

http://academia.stackexchange.com/questions/83224/how-to-get-students-to-use-the-course-forum

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Harvard U, MIT Release Updated MOOC Report

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Researchers at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Thursday released the latest version of an ongoing study to analyze the learners in massive open online courses on edX, which the two institutions founded. The study was first released in 2014. The 2017 version contains information about the 4.5 million learners who have participated in edX MOOCs since 2012. Findings include: Participation in edX MOOCs has leveled off since the platform discontinued an option for learners to earn a free certificate of completion. About one-third (32 percent) of the people who participate in edX MOOCs work or used to work as teachers.

https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2017/01/13/harvard-u-mit-release-updated-mooc-report

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Udacity launches deep learning nanodegree foundation program

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

by John Mannes, Tech Crunch

Greater compute power and power efficiency has made deep learning algorithms ubiquitous in our world. Deep learning has found its way into self driving cars, convenience stores and hospitals. Yet the fight for top talent in the space remains fierce and is a bottleneck for reaching new industries and solving tough challenges. To complement Udacity’s previous AI courses, the online education startup is partnering with YouTube star Siraj Raval for a new deep learning nanodegree foundation program that will be co-taught with Udacity’s Mat Leonard. Foundation Programs are going to be a major focus for Udacity in the coming year. They fill a niche for students not quite ready for a full nanodegree program. The new course promises a lot in a short 17 weeks. With just 3-4 hours per week of time, the goal is to equip students with enough knowledge to know how to solve any task with deep learning. Raval explains it as a way of thinking.

https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/13/udacity-launches-deep-learning-nanodegree-foundation-program/

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Higher Education Supplement to the National Education Technology Plan

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

by US Dept of ED

Issued in the last days of the Obama administration, the Department of ED published Reimagining the Role of Technology in Higher Education as supplement to the 2016 National Educational Technology Plan (NETP). It builds on the principles described in each of the NETP’s five sections—learning, teaching, leadership, assessment, and infrastructure—and examines them in the context of higher education. The supplement embraces the themes of lifelong learning, equity, and accessibility and supports the NETP’s assertion that technology must serve the needs of a diverse group of students seeking access to high-quality postsecondary learning experiences, especially those students from diverse socioeconomic and racial backgrounds, students with disabilities, first-generation students, and working learners at varying life stages – all with differing educational goals, but who all share the desire to obtain a postsecondary credential.

https://tech.ed.gov/higherednetp/

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Institutional Analytics and the Data Tsunami

Friday, January 27th, 2017

by Gordon Wishon and John Rome, EDUCAUSE Review

An advanced analytics platform helps prepare your institution for the volume, variety, and velocity of data coming your way. Tremendous opportunities exist from using nontraditional data sources to find new ways to advance student success and institutional performance. The ability to deliver analytic services in the public cloud will force the rethinking of current or future on-premises solutions because of the potential flexibility and innovation offered. While data scientist is the hot new job title, the rest of the institution’s analytics workforce must develop and strengthen their skills and technology tools to engage, evaluate, and leverage these new, impending, and inevitable analytics platforms.

http://er.educause.edu/articles/2016/12/institutional-analytics-and-the-data-tsunami

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3 cost, technology breakdowns for virtual reality in higher ed

Friday, January 27th, 2017

BY ZACK MERTZ, eCampus News

How higher education professionals can get started with virtual reality in websites, including costs, how-to’s, and other important information. There’s a lot of excitement about virtual reality (VR)—and there should be. It’s exciting, in its infancy, and reports say VR will be a $38 billion dollar industry by 2026. But there also seems to be a lot of confusion about virtual reality. What does virtual reality mean? Do universities and colleges even need virtual reality? And if so, how can they affordably integrate virtual reality? How can they make sure that an investment in virtual reality pays off?Virtual reality is a powerful tool, and can provide an experience that’s both memorable and influential. They know that it can be a deciding factor in a student’s decision to schedule a visit, and ultimately submit an application. What are three options and costs to integrate virtual reality into higher education websites. But first, what is virtual reality?

http://www.ecampusnews.com/featured/featured-on-ecampus-news/cost-technology-virtual-reality/

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What are the top in-demand workforce skills for the coming year?

Friday, January 27th, 2017

by Education Dive

Udemy for Business, which is the online marketplace for team virtual learning, released their Learning Index Report, which highlighted the emerging skills and trends that we may see in 2017. There is a growing interest in artificial intelligence and on-demand learning programs that will help move employees into more challenging roles. The Udemy study indicated that: More agile workplaces – this will be facilitated by new technology that requires flexible task management and processes. Soft skills will take the forefront as employees adapt to multiple roles. Increase in personalized learning – employees will increasingly train using on-demand self-service learning models that have a more actionable result. Companies will worry less about credentials, prioritizing skills learned instead. Reality goes virtual – more training will take place in virtual reality environments (think Pokémon Go).

http://www.hrdive.com/news/the-top-in-demand-workforce-skills-for-2017/433729/

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Online Education and Career Goals: Here Are Some Things to Consider

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

By Julio Cachila, University Herald

Online courses can give a great boost to your career, but taking time to study while working needs careful consideration. While online courses do add to your list of credentials, they will likely require more than just your spare time and your desire to learn. Before enrolling in any online course to help boost your career and help you reach your career goals. Students enrolled in online courses will need to manage themselves and balance their time between work and study. They will need to take full charge of how they learn, digital education consultant Debbie Morrison told U.S. News. Online students, since they are taking full charge of their education and career, will also need to learn how to effectively manage their time, dividing it between their jobs and their actual study. It’s crucial for students to create a working schedule and adhere to is so that procrastination will be avoided.

http://www.universityherald.com/articles/59742/20170111/online-education-career-goals-here-things-consider.htm

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Is Online Learning Better for Introverts?

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

By TNT Magazine

According to a recent Forbes article, online learning is still just getting started as an industry. Forbes also made a prediction that a ‘new world of curation and collaboration tools’ will be coming this year. Just imagine the effect on education. Introversion is a personality trait that defines the stimulation a person needs in order to be productive and motivated. Generally, introverts thrive on less stimulating learning environments and prefer solitude. As Indiana University Professor Curt Bonk states, when subscribed to an online course “you can respond an hour later or a day later – whenever you feel you have contemplated on the idea enough”, which takes pressure off the ‘raise your hand’ moment, where introverts often withdraw. Online learning allows students to process their thoughts and formulate questions in their own time. They have a choice to ask for help or browse online resources for the relevant topic or answer. This type of learning can be likened to postgraduate research.

http://www.tntmagazine.com/lifestyle-career/is-online-learning-better-for-introverts

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Is your website prepared for Google’s mobile first index?

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

by Jason Tabeling, ClickZ

This past November Google announced that it was starting to test indexing their mobile index as the primary index above desktop. Prior to this announcement Google was using the desktop version of sites to feed the algorithm despite the fact that user behavior has shifted towards the majority being mobile. We all know as consumers ourselves that this is the pervasive moment towards mobile isn’t going to stop anytime soon. People spend 177 minutes per day on their mobile phone. Google themselves admits that this, like hundreds of others that are ongoing, is just a test. They also have said that they expect various elements to change in their importance throughout this evolution. However for Google, this is a first step towards the future of search engine rankings changes. Are brands prepared and what changes need to be made to ensure that your rankings are preserved or increased?

https://www.clickz.com/is-your-website-prepared-for-googles-mobile-first-index/108858/

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What Effective Blended Learning Looks Like

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

By Dennis Pierce, THE Journal

Blended learning combines the best of face-to-face and online instruction in ways that can customize the learning experience for each student, while making content more accessible. As these diverse models suggest, blended learning can look very different from one classroom to the next. But when blended learning is done well, it typically involves some form of student choice or agency in their own learning, experts say — and there are other commonalities as well. Michael B. Horn, co-founder and distinguished fellow of the Christensen Institute, said at least three-fourths of United States school districts have implemented some form of blended learning — and he estimated about 10 million students are benefiting.

https://thejournal.com/articles/2017/01/11/what-effective-blended-learning-looks-like.aspx

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Redefining Literacy in the Digital Age

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

By Ruth Reynard, Campus Technology

Technology and digital media are changing the meaning of literacy and creating new challenges for teaching and learning. We hear K–12 teachers say on a regular basis that literacy remains a huge challenge for their students. We also hear college instructors talking about how current students seem to have graduated from high school and cannot read or write well. Often, college classrooms and online groups have to spend time addressing literacy skills as well as content. While there are many economic and educational factors involved, it is clear that a collision of conventional and digital literacy has both challenged and redefined what literacy should be and just how it must be taught in any curriculum.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/01/10/redefining-literacy-in-the-digital-age.aspx

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