Online Learning Update

November 7, 2019

A look at how Arizona State, Fresno State are using blockchain

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

Hallie Busta, Education Dive

The blockchain is a decentralized, internet-based digital ledger onto which organizations can record transactions. In the case of higher education, those transactions are academic accomplishments: courses completed, badges earned, degrees obtained. Blockchain is more widely used in other fields, such as logistics. And interest from the business community has spurred colleges to add the topic to their curriculum. Advocates of blockchain in higher ed say it can help give students more control over their records, allowing them to share the records in parts or fully with future employers or educators throughout their lives. For instance, MIT and Central New Mexico Community College offer students digital versions of their transcripts.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/a-look-at-how-arizona-state-fresno-state-are-using-blockchain/565226/

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November 6, 2019

A Fresh Look at Blockchain in Higher Ed

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 9:12 am

Ray Schroeder, Inside Higher Ed

Blockchain is advancing in higher education, as it is in all of society, with some interesting new applications and ramifications. Perhaps most importantly, blockchain will facilitate the difficult shift in higher education that we are now navigating. We are moving from a degree-centric environment in which the university is engaged in the life cycle of the student while on campus to one that is more of a supply-chain design providing lifelong learning. In the emerging mode, the university will engage the student prior to their first arrival on campus (or online) through their degree experience and far beyond.

https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/blogs/online-trending-now/fresh-look-blockchain-higher-ed

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At Educause, a Push to Monitor Student Data is Met with Concerns About Privacy and Equity

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

By Rebecca Koenig, EdSurge

Digital redlining, as Gilliard defines it, comes in many forms. One is denying students at community colleges access to academic journal subscriptions or using parental controls on websites, a practice that intends to block objectionable material but may also impede research on topics of valid scholarly interest. Another is digital surveillance, through tools that track eye movement while students read, document their paths across campus or, as some companies are trying to encourage, monitor their electrical brain activity while they sit in class.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2019-10-17-at-educause-a-push-to-monitor-student-data-is-met-with-concerns-about-privacy-and-equity

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When employees stop learning they start job hunting

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

Nigel Davies, Real Business
Worried about your employees wandering to greener pastures? Keep them interested by making sure that learning, development and creativity are part of your retention strategy and your culture. As an employer, I’m sure you have a modest employee development scheme in place. However be warned, recent research by global skills organisation Kineo has revealed that, while employees have a strong appetite for learning, they are inhibited by a lack of accessible, appropriate and engaging training opportunities.

https://realbusiness.co.uk/employees-stop-learning-start-job-hunting/

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States are cutting university budgets. Taxpayers aren’t interested in funding campus kooks

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

Glenn Harlan Reynolds, USA Today

Times are bad for higher education, and higher educators are beginning to notice it. But the industry’s problems are mostly of its own making. The latest “cri de coeur” comes from University of North Dakota’s Sheila Liming, who writes, “My University is Dying; And soon yours will be, too.”  She notes: “Starting in 2016, our state university system endured three successive rounds of annual budget cuts, with average 10-percent reductions resulting in a loss of more than a third of the system’s overall funding. Additional cuts, even, were on the table this past year. And while our state legislators ultimately avoided taking yet one more stab at the dismembered body of higher education, there has been no discussion of restoring any of those funds.”  And it’s not just North Dakota.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/10/14/universities-making-budget-cuts-taxpayers-interested-funding-campus-kooks-column/3970822002/

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November 5, 2019

Pew Report: State and federal spending on higher ed has nearly converged

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

Natalie Schwartz, Education Dive

During the past two decades, federal support for higher education rose while state support dropped, explains a report released Tuesday from The Pew Charitable Trusts.  Although states have historically accounted for the bulk of spending on higher ed, their per-student funding fell 31% from 2000 and 2015. As a result, the gap between state and federal higher ed spending narrowed from 100% to 12% during the period.  Federal and state policy decisions will determine whether the “funding convergence” will be a “temporary or more lasting reconfiguration,” the authors note.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/report-state-and-federal-spending-on-higher-ed-has-nearly-converged/564973/

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3 ways to expand higher education opportunities for rural

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

Natalie Schwartz, Education Dive

A new report from the Institute for Higher Education Policy outlines three strategies rural communities are using to increase the college-going rates of their population.  Understanding local barriers to attending college, using innovative means to recruit and serve students, and forming partnerships between schools and the workforce are all critical to boosting completion rates, the researchers found. The report comes as workforce development has become a growing need in rural regions, which often have few college options and low levels of credential attainment.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/3-ways-to-expand-higher-education-opportunities-for-rural-students/564894/

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First Amazon, now Google (again)

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

BY MATTHEW DEMBICKI, AACC 21st Century Center

El Centro College in Dallas hosted Google’s announcement that the company will expand a six-month training program it developed for people who don’t have experience or a college degree for entry-level information technology (IT) jobs. El Centro is among 30 community colleges that currently offer the program. “These schools play a vital role in creating economic opportunities for the people they serve, and we’re excited to be a part of that with the IT Support Professional Certificate program,” Lisa Gevelber, vice president for Grow with Google, wrote of community colleges in a blog post about the expanded effort.

http://www.aacc21stcenturycenter.org/article/first-amazon-now-google-again/

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November 4, 2019

Broadband adoption is on the rise, but states can do much more

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:09 am

Lara Fishbane and Adie Tomer, Brookings

Broadband, which enables high-speed internet access, is essential infrastructure in our digital age. However, with 19 million disconnected households across the country, it is impossible to capitalize on broadband’s full economic and social impacts. While a presidential platform can incentivize policy reform at the federal level, the road to change is still a long one, slowed by political infighting and congressional discord. Instead of waiting for the stars to align in Washington, we should focus on states as an important middle ground. States have access to a range of tools and resources—independent of federal action—to promote broadband availability and adoption within their borders. The question is whether they will actually use them.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2019/10/10/broadband-adoption-is-on-the-rise-but-states-can-do-much-more/

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At Tech’s Leading Edge, Worry About a Concentration of Power

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

By Steve Lohr, NY Times

Computer scientists say A.I. research is becoming increasingly expensive, requiring complex calculations done by giant data centers, leaving fewer people with easy access to the computing firepower necessary to develop the technology behind futuristic products like self-driving cars or digital assistants that can see, talk and reason. The danger, they say, is that pioneering artificial intelligence research will be a field of haves and have-nots. And the haves will be mainly a few big tech companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, which each spend billions a year building out their data centers. In the have-not camp, they warn, will be university labs, which have traditionally been a wellspring of innovations that eventually power new products and services.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/26/technology/ai-computer-expense.html

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How eLearning Providers Can Help Students Who Struggle Online

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

Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Research has shown that whereas online courses can improve access, they are also challenging, especially for the least well-prepared students. These students don’t do well in online courses; they still perform better in face-to-face classrooms. Research has found that while online learning could potentially, through artificial intelligence, provide the optimal course pacing and content to fit each student’s needs. In reality, the vast majority of online courses still mirrors face-to-face classrooms. eLearning has excellent potential, but eLearning providers will have to rethink course design and educational support so students can be more comfortable doing online courses. Let’s look at some ways that this can be achieved.

https://www.thetechedvocate.org/how-elearning-providers-can-help-students-who-struggle-online/

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November 3, 2019

Demystifying Artificial Intelligence in the Corporation

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

Randy Bean, Forbes

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is top of mind for leading corporations these days – 96.4% of top executives reported earlier this year that AI was the number one disruptive technology that they were investing in, up from 68.9% just two years ago. In addition, 80% of these executives identified AI as the most impactful disruptive technology, up from 46.6% two years earlier.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2019/10/09/demystifying-artificial-intelligence-ai-in-the-corporation-forbes/#2da0efdc6016

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How does blockchain work in 7 steps — A clear and simple explanation.

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

Jimi S, Good Audience

And this technology, blockchain, still holds huge potential. Now could be the time for business developers, entrepreneurs and curious individuals to jump on the blockchain train and to be inspired. But such inspiration will require a better understanding of how the technology works first. Unfortunately, most of the current explanations out there are either covered in complex technical jargon or are way too shallow and lack in-depth details, neither of them which leads to a clear understanding. So where to start? Allow me to suggest you to start here. This ten minute read will explain what is considered so revolutionary about this technology. It will be well worth your time. Enjoy reading.

https://blog.goodaudience.com/blockchain-for-beginners-what-is-blockchain-519db8c6677a

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How a Massive Online University Markets Itself

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

Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed

Southern New Hampshire has used a mix of speed and efficiency to build its online enrollment from 3,000 students in 2003 to around 132,000 students today. But the hundreds of millions of dollars it has spent on advertising and student recruitment have played a major role, too. As competition for students increases, SNHU faces two options to continue growing: spend even more or innovate. With a marketing spend of more than $139 million last year, President Paul LeBlanc is attempting the latter.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/10/08/how-marketing-helped-southern-new-hampshire-university-make-it-big-online

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November 2, 2019

How Edtech Will Improve the Way Businesses Train Employees

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

Howard Goldstein, Business.com

Edtech, like many other industry-specific offshoots of technology, has been disrupting the complex and diverse world of education, changing the way learners and their instructors interact in the process. First embraced by schools, colleges and universities, edtech, short for education technology, has gradually found its way into the corporate world, perhaps as a testament that learning and self-development don’t often stop on graduation day.

https://www.business.com/articles/edtech-improve-business-training/

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How Student Debt is Disrupting Life Chances and Widening the Racial Wealth Gap

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

Institute on Assets and Social Policy – Brandeis University

The current higher education financing regime sediments and exacerbates inequality, and
student loans adversely affect the Black-White racial wealth gap.6 Black students—and students at for-profit universities, who are more likely to be students of color—often face the greatest challenges as they try to finance their degrees with student loans. They take on more loans, amass higher amounts of loans, and experience greater difficulty in paying off loans.7 Frequently without family financial wealth to support repayment and facing ongoing discrimination in the labor market,8 Black borrowers are much more likely to experience longterm financial insecurity due to student loans. Would anybody knowingly design a system where, two decades after starting college, many Black borrowers still are paying on virtually all of their student loans, while for the typical White borrower, a minimal debt burden remains?

https://heller.brandeis.edu/iasp/pdfs/stallingdreams-how-student-debt-is-disrupting-lifechances.pdf

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Using “Deep Learning” To Foster “Deeper Learning”

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

Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

When we teach students, the hope is that they will use their knowledge for the rest of their lives. However, this isn’t always the case. In more recent years, there’s been a higher focus on what’s called “deep learning.” Deep learning is described as a method of learning so that one piece of knowledge can be used in another subject. For example, if a child is taught critical thinking in terms of historical events, deep learning would imply that the child could use the same critical thinking in their day-to-day lives.

https://www.thetechedvocate.org/using-deep-learning-to-foster-deeper-learning/

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November 1, 2019

Ed Dept issues final rules on accreditation and state authorization

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 11:26 am

By Natalie Schwartz, Education Dive
The U.S. Department of Education on Thursday published its final rules for accreditation and state authorization for distance education, which it says will foster innovation and reduce the regulatory burden on colleges and accreditors. Critics of the rules, however, say they will reduce oversight on colleges and universities and potentially harm students.  Most of the final regulations are identical to proposals released earlier this year, although the department changed language that observers say will lead to reduced state oversight of online institutions. The rules are expected to go into effect on July 1, 2020.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/ed-dept-issues-final-rules-on-accreditation-and-state-authorization/566386/

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Russia Is About to Disconnect From the Internet: What That Means

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:07 am

Adam Smith, PC Magazine

On Nov. 1, Russia is poised to disconnect from the internet—in theory. That is when a long-planned internet bill will go into effect and lay the foundation for a national network whereby internet service providers are controlled by Roskomnadzor, Russia’s telecom agency. The goal is to give Russia the power to disconnect from the global internet in the event of a cyberwar and, in the interim, serve up a walled-off version of the web sanctioned by the Russians. It also gives President Vladimir Putin greater control over Russian citizens.

https://www.pcmag.com/news/371347/russia-is-about-to-disconnect-from-the-internet-what-that-m

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Can States Meet the Demand for Computer Science Classes?

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

Kipp Bentley, GovTech

A new report, “2019 State of Computer Science Education: Equity and Diversity,” from Code.org and the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), shows a marked uptick over the past year of states that are getting behind CS in their schools. However, though support for CS is high among parents — 90 percent want their students to take CS classes — only 45 percent of high schools offer these courses. The new report defines the current CS status for each state and outlines what’s needed to address the overall nationwide CS shortfall, as well as the field’s equity and diversity issues. But fixing these problems won’t be easy or fast, because schools face many challenges.

https://www.govtech.com/education/k-12/Can-States-Meet-the-Demand-for-Computer-Science-Classes.html

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Some colleges seek radical solutions to survive

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

Jon Marcus, Hechinger Report

More than 400 colleges and universities still had seats available for freshmen and transfer students after the traditional May 1 deadline to enroll for this fall, the National Association for College Admission Counseling reports. More are likely to go under; Moody’s projects that the pace of college closings will soon reach 15 per year. Yet some campus leaders, asked what steps they’re taking to avoid this fate, responded like the president of one small private liberal arts college in Pennsylvania. His school, he said, would “continue to graduate students who will make a tangible and constructive difference in the world.”

https://hechingerreport.org/some-colleges-seek-radical-solutions-to-survive/

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