Online Learning Update

February 21, 2019

Georgia Tech Is Creating the Next in Education

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:12 am

by Ray Schroeder, Inside Higher Ed
With its online master’s in computer science and its recent commitment to a lifetime of education for its students, Georgia Tech challenges MIT as most innovative university.  Georgia Tech’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, Rafael L. Bras, gave the charge to the Commission on Creating the Next in Education that put a focus on deliberate innovation and lifetime education. Part of the final report released last year is a universitywide commitment to lifetime education. Bras says, “Because of the Georgia Tech Commitment, future generations of learners will no longer say, ‘I got out,’ but instead will happily say, ‘I’m forever in.’” I encourage you to read the final report for inspiration.

https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/blogs/online-trending-now/georgia-techs-bid-be-leader-university-innovation-opinion

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Six Strategic Steps to Digital Learning Success

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:08 am

By John Watson, EdSurge

Shiny new technologies can capture well-meaning educators like insects in amber, but the evidence is clear that digital learning can improve student opportunities and outcomes. The key is building the basic foundation of understanding and planning. Below I outline six strategic steps that will point school leaders as well as classroom teachers toward digital learning success.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2019-02-11-six-strategic-steps-to-digital-learning-success

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Bill & Melinda Gates 2019 Annual Letter: We didn’t see this coming

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

In this year’s annual letter, we’re highlighting nine more things that have surprised us along this journey. Some worry us. Others inspire us. All of them are prodding us to action. We hope they do the same for you, because that’s how the world gets better.

https://www.gatesnotes.com/2019-Annual-Letter

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February 20, 2019

More states are recognizing the importance of non-degree credentials

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

BY LAURA ASCIONE, eCampus News

Although no state has comprehensive data about all types of non-degree credentials, including certificates, licenses, and industry certifications, states are improving their data-collection practices around non-degree credential attainment, according to Measuring Non-Degree Credential Attainment from the Workforce Data Quality Campaign. States are most likely to have data about public for-credit certificate programs, registered apprenticeship certificates, and licenses. Thirty-six states report having most or all individual-level data on for-credit certificates from public two-year institutions in their state. Twenty-seven states report having most or all data about registered apprenticeship certificates, and 22 states report having most or all licensing data.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/2019/02/12/more-states-are-recognizing-the-importance-of-non-degree-credentials/

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Preparing workers for the new economy

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:03 am

BY AACC 21ST CENTURY CENTER

A Virginia grant program is leading to increased credentials and wages for participants. The grants tie in with the FastForward program, which provides short-term training courses at community colleges. Through the program, students can work toward credentials in health care, skilled trades, welding and manufacturing, education, logistics and transportation, information technology and business and customer relations. Programs take between six and 12 weeks to complete and are built so students can get their education while they work. To date, the program has a 90 percent completion rate. The Virginia General Assembly created the New Economy Workforce Credentials Grants program in 2016, allocating $12.5 million for the program’s first two years.

http://www.aacc21stcenturycenter.org/article/preparing-workers-for-the-new-economy/

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IBM invests $2B for SUNY artificial intelligence hub

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:00 am

Ben Unglesbee, Education Dive
IBM will invest $2 billion in its New York footprint that will help create an artificial intelligence (AI) research center at the SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany, New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last week. The new research hub, dubbed the AI Hardware Center, will focus on computer chip research, development, prototyping, testing and simulation. IBM also plans to expand and extend its partnership with SUNY’s Center for Semiconductor Research by at least two years and potentially through 2028. As part of the plan, IBM will donate $30 million in cash and in-kind contributions for AI research across the SUNY system, with SUNY matching up to $25 million. Empire State Development will provide a $300 million capital grant for SUNY to purchase, own and install tools necessary to support the AI Hardware Center.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/ibm-invests-2b-for-suny-artificial-intelligence-hub/548125/

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February 19, 2019

A Realistic Look at Where AI is Going in 2019

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

BY NEIL KINSON, Tech Spective
When companies say “AI,” they are often using it as a catch-all term for a broad selection of technologies from machine learning and predictive analytics to natural language processing, object recognition and more. It’s a bit like that family member who calls any tablet an ‘iPad’, regardless of the actual device they’re referring to. To the user, the capability of the device or solution is more important than the technology under the hood. But the generic use of the term “AI” has left many IT and business professionals confused about what technology they actually need to procure in order to achieve a desired outcome. Most have explored technologies they think hold the promise of “AI,” and, in many cases, have been disappointed in pilots or even full use cases conducted in 2018.

https://techspective.net/2019/02/10/a-realistic-look-at-where-ai-is-going-in-2019/

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Will A.I. Put Lawyers Out Of Business?

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:06 am

Neil Sahota, COGNITIVE WORLD

What is the law but a series of algorithms? Codified instructions proscribing dos and don’ts—ifs and thens. Sounds a lot like computer programming, right? The legal system, on the other hand, is not as straightforward as coding. Just consider the complicated state of justice today, whether it be problems stemming from backlogged courts, overburdened public defenders, and swathes of defendants disproportionately accused of crimes. So, can artificial intelligence help? Very much so. Law firms are already using AI to more efficiently perform due diligence, conduct research and bill hours. But some expect the impact of AI to be much more transformational. It’s predicted AI will eliminate most paralegal and legal research positions within the next decade.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/cognitiveworld/2019/02/09/will-a-i-put-lawyers-out-of-business/#2bc1715c31f0

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Higher Education Revamps Online Education in 2019 as Traditional Enrollment Declines

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

Eli Zimmerman, EdTEch

Students’ concerns about the return on investment in their education, coupled with a demand across industries for graduates with more practical skills, are driving changes in the ways universities offer education, according to a report from the Brookings Institution. According to the report, both students and employers feel higher education institutions are not giving students the skills they need to be desirable employees in the modern workforce. These sentiments are reflected in dropping student application rates at major institutions. Freshman applications to the University of California system in 2019 dipped for the first time in 15 years. Other major institutions, like Michigan State University, are also seeing declines. In response, universities are evolving their programs to allow for more online courses and competency-based learning.

https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/02/higher-education-revamps-online-education-2019-traditional-enrollment-declines

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February 18, 2019

Making it easier to discover datasets – Google releases Google Dataset Search

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:12 am

Natasha Noy, Google Blog

In today’s world, scientists in many disciplines and a growing number of journalists live and breathe data. There are many thousands of data repositories on the web, providing access to millions of datasets; and local and national governments around the world publish their data as well. To enable easy access to this data, we launched Dataset Search, so that scientists, data journalists, data geeks, or anyone else can find the data required for their work and their stories, or simply to satisfy their intellectual curiosity.

https://www.blog.google/products/search/making-it-easier-discover-datasets/

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The AI research agenda for the next 20 years is being made now

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

KHARI JOHNSON, Venture Beat

  • Better understanding of human intelligence and emotion
  • Training robots to learn by example
  • How people interact with AI systems

Recommendations are still being gathered and refined but include:

  • An open national AI platform
  • Broaden AI education in high schools and colleges
  • Create contextually intelligent AI that act as a lifelong assistant

https://venturebeat.com/2019/02/08/ai-weekly-the-ai-research-agenda-for-the-next-20-years-is-being-made-now/

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Report from Learning House and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Reveals Training and Development of Faculty Teaching Online Is Inconsistent

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:04 am

AASCU / LearningHouse

“Today, online and hybrid courses comprise 38 percent of the courses offered at AASCU institutions, and despite an overall decline in higher education enrollment, the number of online students continues to increase,” said Dr. George Mehaffy, Vice President for Academic Leadership and Change of AASCU. “To meet this demand, institutions are rapidly developing and deploying online courses, but the level of faculty support varies widely, ultimately impacting the quality of both the faculty and student experience.” This report explores the overall landscape of online learning and is focused on five key findings.

https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=235536

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New Chief of California’s Virtual Community College Wants to Help Solve the State’s Work-Force Problem

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

By Terry Nguyen, Chronicle of Higher Ed
Heather Hiles will be the new chief executive of California’s fledgling virtual community college, the California Community Colleges system announced on Wednesday. The state’s ambitious first online community college hopes to test its first cohort of students in late 2019. The college, the brainchild of former Gov. Jerry Brown, seeks to reach nontraditional students left behind in the education system — those with some college but no four-year degree, or those who have never been to college at all. The virtual campus will serve primarily adult learners who want to take classes on their own schedules.

https://www.chronicle.com/article/New-Chief-of-California-s/245639

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February 17, 2019

Did A Robot Write This? How AI Is Impacting Journalism

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

Nicole Martin, Forbes

How do you know I am really a human writing this article and not a robot? Several major publications are picking up machine learning tools for content. So, what does artificial intelligence mean for the future of journalists? According to Matt Carlson, author of “The Robotic Reporter”, the algorithm converts data into narrative news text in real-time. Many of these being financially focused news stories since the data is calculated and released frequently. Which is why should be no surprise that Bloomberg news is one of the first adoptors of this automated content. Their program, Cyborg, churned out thousands of articles last year that took financial reports and turned them into news stories like a business reporter.  [ed note:  How will this apply to students writing research papers?]

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicolemartin1/2019/02/08/did-a-robot-write-this-how-ai-is-impacting-journalism/#6c6fa7207795

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Don’t Fear AI: 16 Ways To ‘Future-Proof’ Yourself As A Professional

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

Forbes Coaches Council
Many companies are leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning today, and the impact of these technologies is only expected to increase. While this is great for businesses looking to improve their performance, many employees worry that robots will take over their jobs within the next few years. While AI may certainly change certain types of jobs, they will never fully replace human workers—you just need to know how to maintain and sell your skills. Forbes Coaches Council members shared tips for “future proofing” yourself for an AI-driven working world.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2019/02/08/dont-fear-ai-16-ways-to-future-proof-yourself-as-a-professional/#5f2a02ae4cd3

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Could Congress Pass a New Higher-Education Law Before 2020?

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:03 am

By Eric Kelderman, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Republican of Tennessee, confirmed on Monday that he hopes to get the Higher Education Act reauthorized within the next year. Doing so could cement his legacy as a bipartisan dealmaker as chairman of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Speaking in a panel discussion at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, and later on the floor of the Senate, the former college president and U.S. secretary of education laid out three broad strokes of a proposed bill. At the top of Alexander’s list is his long-term goal of simplifying the Free Application for Federal Student Aid by paring the number of questions a student must answer from 108 to 25 or fewer.

https://www.chronicle.com/article/Could-Congress-Pass-a-New/245614

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February 16, 2019

Online learning advances at Marquette

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

Emma Tomsich, Marquette Wire

With the goal of educating a greater and more diverse student body, Marquette University is working to expand its online learning programs, David Schejbal, vice president and chief of digital learning, said.  Schejbal said enhancing the online learning program and creating more opportunities for students can allow Marquette to become more technologically and socially advanced. Schejbal was hired in August after administration showed interest in developing the program, he said. “One of President Lovell’s interests and goals of the university’s Beyond Boundaries plan is to engage more with the greater Milwaukee community,” Schejbal said. “Marquette is very interested in developing its online presence and expanding its scope to attract a more diverse student body, which would include adult and nontraditional students both in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin.”

https://marquettewire.org/4006107/news/online-learning-advances-at-marquette/

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Report: Colleges must offer digital credentials to stay relevant

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

By Natalie Schwartz , Education Dive
Colleges that offer online programs should grow their digital credential options in order to stay competitive, according to a new report from the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE). Credentials are an increasingly popular option for learners, prompting traditional colleges and alternative education providers to increase their offerings to claim a stake in the growing market. Colleges that don’t follow suit could lose out to “nontraditional and tech-savvy organizations” that are dipping into “universities’ traditional spheres of influence,” ICDE warns. Traditional transcripts don’t adequately convey a student’s skills, whereas credentials indicate if an applicant has the required competencies for a job, the working group argues. Credentials will eventually make transcripts irrelevant, they predict, and better align learning outcomes with workplace needs.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/report-colleges-must-offer-digital-credentials-to-stay-relevant/547858/

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Higher Education Revamps Online Education in 2019 as Traditional Enrollment Declines

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

Eli Zimmerman, EdTech

Massive open online course companies have given way to a new breed of digital class providers: online program management organizations. These businesses provide a hub for students to take online courses developed by universities and major corporate partners seeking to help students develop in-demand skills at low cost. Recently, Google and IBM announced new online data science programs that will be delivered through OPMs. Students can use these resources directly, or professors can incorporate them into face-to-face classes. “These efforts will not only fuel a new generation of data scientist, but provide a meaningful credential to employers for searching and hiring them,” write Martin Fleming, chief analytics officer and chief economist at IBM, and Seth Dobrin, vice president and chief analytics officer for the company.

https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/02/higher-education-revamps-online-education-2019-traditional-enrollment-declines

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February 15, 2019

If taught well, online law school courses can pass the test, experts say

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:08 am

BY STEPHANIE FRANCIS WARD, ABA Journal

The skills for teaching online law school courses are not unlike those needed for the practice of law. Both require concise writing, well-organized outlines and the ability to speak without appearing that you’re reading from a script, says Ellen Murphy, assistant dean of instructional technologies and design at Wake Forest University School of Law. And despite the stereotypes about online offerings being low-quality, Murphy says that when the courses are done well, students and professors may have a better connection than they would with in-person classes. With online learning, she adds, “you can’t hide in the back row.”

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/are-online-law-school-courses-good-that-depends-experts-say

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Ironwood, The Last Open edX Version, To Be Released This February

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

By IBL News

Big news for Open edX’s developers: Ironwood, the 2019 version of this learning platform, will be released on February. The first release candidate, Ironwood.1rc1, was just made available this week. “Our goal is to release Ironwood in two weeks. In order to do that, I need to hear back from you about how testing is going,” Ned Batchelder, Software Architect at edX announced on Google Groups.

https://iblnews.org/2019/02/07/ironwood-the-last-open-edx-version-expected-to-be-released-this-february/

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