Nano-Degrees as a New Model to Integrate into Higher Education

January 26th, 2015

by Matthew LeBarr, Forbes

Last year, AT&T and the online educational organization Udacity teamed up to offer a “nano-degree” that directly trains students for a job with AT&T. This move is in line with a new government report that suggests that more cooperation between universities and businesses is the key to economic success in the future. However, Michael Roth, the president of Wesleyan University, is skeptical of nano-degrees. The degrees, he claims, are no substitute for a liberal arts degree. The nano-degree is simply a different kind of beast than a liberal arts degree. Nano-degrees are targeted training for a single job, while liberal arts degrees provide skills for a variety of jobs. Dr. Roth shouldn’t fear for his institution, but neither should he dismiss the nano-degrees as useless. The two can coexist and serve different purposes. Comparing the two is inappropriate and only serves to make both look worse.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ccap/2015/01/19/nano-degrees-as-a-new-model-to-model-to-integrate-into-higher-education/

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Online Learning Revolution Brings Business To Emerging Markets

January 26th, 2015

by Seb Murray, Business Because

“One of the biggest transformations in education came about as a result of the ubiquity of [the] internet in our lives,” says Sanjay Sarma, director of online learning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Business schools have adopted the online delivery method, with a host of their programs being flipped online and Moocs being launched. Many of these courses are populated in part by educated and employed users seeking part-time study, but providers have sought to expand learning and bring educational to all. The web has enabled underrepresented groups around the world such as women, youth, the disabled and citizens in rural communities to gain quality education.

http://www.businessbecause.com/news/mba-distance-learning/3044/online-learning-revolution-brings-business-to-emerging-economies

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From Gamification To MOOCs To Cloud, Learning Is Increasingly Tech-Based

January 26th, 2015

By Christine Kern, Business Solutions

Talent LMS, a cloud-based learning management system, has laid out its top 10 online learning trends for 2015 in an infographic. Among these trends are gamification, Big Data, personalization, m-learning, a focus on ROI, APIs (application programming interfaces), automation, augmented learning, corporate MOOCs (massive open online courses), and cloud learning management solutions. All of these technological trends are significant, because they address the changing demands from learners, who increasingly see online, social, and mobile technology as essential features of the learning experience.

http://www.bsminfo.com/doc/from-gamification-to-moocs-cloud-learning-increasingly-tech-based-0001

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Internet college: Some students never set foot on campus

January 25th, 2015

BY SCOTT WUERZ, Belleville News Democrat

Local universities and colleges are increasingly embracing the trend of schools offering more Internet-based courses. Students, in many cases, can now go to school from start to finish and never set foot on campus – unless they choose to walk in graduation ceremonies. McKendree University senior Kyle Green, 30, lives in Joliet. He’s never laid eyes upon McKendree’s campus in Lebanon. But he expects to graduate from the school at the end of the spring semester. “It doubled my speed in finishing school,” Green said. “I’m planning to make my first trip to McKendree in May when I graduate.”

http://www.bnd.com/2015/01/17/3614503/it-doubled-my-speed-in-finishing.html

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Why online learning needs to get serious about apps

January 25th, 2015

by Ryan Craig, Venture Beat

Smartphone users’ sessions are currently 3x longer when they’re using apps vs. browsing websites. Apps are also visited much more frequently than websites. Total time spent on apps is currently growing at an annual rate of over 20 percent, and according to comScore, for smartphone users, apps now account for over 50 percent of total time spent with digital media. 18-24-year-olds are the heaviest app users. Apps are purpose-built. So it’s not a stretch to imagine one app for Economics 101 and another for Psychology 110. Apps are ideal for simulations and gamified learning experiences. They’re also perfect for incorporating real-world inputs (such as location of the student) into learning.

http://venturebeat.com/2015/01/17/why-online-learning-needs-to-get-serious-about-apps/

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6 Alternative Social Media Tools for Teaching and Learning

January 25th, 2015

By Leila Meyer, Campus Technology

Facebook and Twitter may be ubiquitous, but there are many other social media tools out there that can enhance teaching and learning. Here, three educators share their favorites. VoiceThread lets people upload and share images, videos and documents and then have an online conversation about each other’s posts through audio, video or text comments. Alexandra Pickett, director of the Open SUNY Center for Online Teaching Excellence and an adjunct instructor at SUNY Albany, started using VoiceThread in 2006, primarily as an icebreaking activity in her online course. She introduces herself to her students through an informal video of herself at home with her daughter, so her students can get a full picture of who she is, professionally and personally. “One of the things that you want to do initially in an online course is to establish a sense of social presence among the participants in the course and with the students,” said Pickett.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/01/07/6-alternative-social-media-tools-for-teaching-and-learning.aspx

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Badges: A New Measure of Professional Development

January 24th, 2015

By Michael Hart, Campus Technology

Some higher ed institutions are experimenting with digital badges as a way to encourage and document learning among faculty and staff. Badges are quickly becoming acceptable currency in the world of higher education. Purdue University, for example, known for developing and commercializing innovative applications such as Course Signals, has embraced badges with another Purdue Studio project: Passport, a system for creating, issuing and sharing digital badges for learning and assessment. Badges have also found a home with massive open online courses, enabling students to earn credentials for specific work even when they do not complete the entire course.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/01/14/badges-a-new-measure-of-professional-development.aspx

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21st-Century Libraries: The Learning Commons

January 24th, 2015

by Beth Holland, Edutopia

Printed books still play a critical role in supporting learners, but digital technologies offer additional pathways to learning and content acquisition. Students and teachers no longer need a library simply for access. Instead, they require a place that encourages participatory learning and allows for co-construction of understanding from a variety of sources. In other words, instead of being an archive, libraries are becoming a learning commons.

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/21st-century-libraries-learning-commons-beth-holland

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MinecraftEDU and SimCityEDU: Blazing Trails for Interdisciplinary Learning

January 24th, 2015

By Ann Elliott, Edudemic

School-specific versions of two popular video games recently debuted: MinecraftEDU and SimCityEDU. These games require students to apply knowledge in the context of a virtual world, fostering an interdisciplinary learning experience that integrates siloed concepts. MinecraftEDU and SimCityEDU call for skills that transcend curricular boundaries and thus better replicate the real-world intellectual challenges that students will face. Read on to learn how other educators are currently using these games in their classrooms and how you can, too.

http://www.edudemic.com/minecraftedu-and-simcityedu-blazing-trails-for-interdisciplinary-learning/

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Hands-on: Microsoft’s HoloLens is flat-out magical

January 23rd, 2015

by Peter Bright, Ars Technica

Microsoft claims this will replace the computer screen – and they may well be right. HoloLens is an engaging and effective augmented reality system. With HoloLens I saw virtual objects—Minecraft castles, Skype windows, even the surface of Mars—presented over, and spatially integrated with, the real world. It looked for every bit like the holographic projection we saw depicted in Star Wars and Total Recall. Except that’s shortchanging Microsoft’s work, because these virtual objects were in fact far more convincing than the washed out, translucent message R2D2 projected, and much better than Sharon Stone’s virtual tennis coach. The images were bright, saturated, and reasonably opaque, giving the virtual objects a real feeling of solidity.

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/01/hands-on-with-hololens-making-the-virtual-real/1/

Check out the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAKfdeOX3-o

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Vice President Biden announces $25M for cybersecurity ed

January 23rd, 2015

By Allie Gross, Ed Dive

On Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, and White House Science Advisor John Holdren announced that a $25 million grant will be disbursed over the next five years to support cybersecurity education. The money will go toward the creation of a new cybersecurity consortium comprised of 13 historically black colleges and universities, two national labs, and the Charleston County School District. The growth of cyber crime has highlighted the need for cybersecurity experts.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/biden-announces-25m-for-cybersecurity-ed/353388/

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What you need to know about Educause’s latest research

January 23rd, 2015

by Susan Grajek, EDUCAUSE Review

EDUCAUSE presents the top 10 IT issues facing higher education institutions this year. What is new about 2015? Nothing has changed. And everything has changed. Information technology has reached an inflection point. See the URL below for a detailed report.

http://educause.edu/ero/article/top-10-it-issues-2015-inflection-point

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University’s digital badges to certify “discrete” skills

January 23rd, 2015

by eCampus News

Students in Brandman University’s CBE program will earn badges to certify competencies required for workforce success. Brandman University, a private nonprofit institution, has teamed up with Credly, provider of platforms for managing lifelong credentials, in an effort to enable learners to attain, manage, and share portable digital badges and credentials earned through Brandman’s online competency-based degree programs. Brandman, which uses direct assessment as part of the university’s new competency-based education programs, will issue official digital badges to certify discrete skills as students advance through degree-based programs.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/students-digital-badges-632/

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New report evaluates digital courseware’s impact on student learning

January 22nd, 2015

by eCampus News

A new report from SRI Education assesses five years of technology investments in digital courseware. At the request of the Gates Foundation, SRI Education reviewed 137 postsecondary online and hybrid courses and provided a synthesis of the findings, along with implications and recommendations for future investments in learning software for colleges and universities. “Digital courseware has the potential to improve student learning outcomes and catalyze changes in education practice. These two affordances align well with the Gates Foundation’s emphasis on improving college success for underrepresented minorities, low-income students, and first-generation college attendees,” said Barbara Means, Ph.D., director, Center for Technology in Learning, SRI Education. See the link below for a brief summary of the findings.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/report-digital-courseware-392/

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McHenry County employers accepting of online education in hiring

January 22nd, 2015

By ALLISON GOODRICH, Northwest Herald

With more students coming out of higher education today, a few of the larger employers in the area said for them, a degree obtained completely or partially online is hardly a make or break factor when it comes to hiring. At Centegra Health System, Director of Employment and Development Matt Johnson said both online and traditional degrees are recognized equally. If interviewing two candidates with similar experience, the origin of their degrees “wouldn’t be a factor that would weigh real heavily,” Johnson said. Within Crystal Lake School District 47, potential hires with either type of degree also are welcome, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Greg Buchanan said. “We approve online courses through accredited universities, and we do have staff who have degrees where a portion of their credits were earned via online coursework,” he said in an email.

http://www.nwherald.com/2015/01/15/mchenry-county-employers-indifferent-on-online-education-in-hiring/au3ns8j/

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Creating a Sense of Connection: Online Education in the Modern Era

January 22nd, 2015

By Angie Besendorfer, Evolllution

Creating significant connections between students, faculty and staff helps to forge a connection between learners and their online institution, supporting retention and completion. Anyone going back to college will have myriad options, and one of the first choices a new student has to make is between an online program and a classroom experience. The requirement to attend a class at a certain time every week becomes unworkable once you add the demands of a job, children or a spouse. The limits of the traditional approach are leading more students than ever to choose online learning that fits their busy lives. Online learning also has its own drawbacks, such as the potential to feel isolated as a student. One university has found ways to create community among students from all walks of life by connecting them with faculty, fellow students and alumni.

http://www.evolllution.com/opinions/creating-sense-connection-online-education-modern-era/

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Innovator’s MBA: Tech Groups Launch New Moocs For Entrepreneurs

January 21st, 2015

by Seb Murray, Business Because

Two leading technology groups have released a series of Moocs, or massive open online courses, that are designed for entrepreneurs, one focused on big data. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a leading US university, has developed the content with Turkcell, the only listed Turkish company on the NYSE. They become the latest in string of digital education groups to release management content, putting pressure on business schools, which have been slow to adapt their content for the web.

http://www.businessbecause.com/news/mba-distance-learning/3042/learning-tech-groups-launch-new-moocs-for-entrepreneurs

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Notre Dame to launch free online courses

January 21st, 2015

By Margaret Fosmoe, South Bend Tribune

The University of Notre Dame is launching several online non-credit courses that will be available for free to anyone in the world. The classes are called MOOCs — short for massive open online courses — and they’re a hot development in higher education. Many colleges, including Indiana and Purdue universities, have started offering them in the past few years. The first of Notre Dame’s MOOCs, titled I “Heart” Stats, an introductory course to statistics, will start April 15. Other upcoming offerings: Understanding Wireless, starting May 18; Jesus in Scripture and Tradition, June 1; and Math in Sports, June 15.

http://www.southbendtribune.com/news/education/notre-dame-to-launch-free-online-courses/article_c1bc746e-43bb-57c5-95e4-1ac06eb9ded8.html

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Minnesota State Moorhead University mobile apps put higher ed at students’ fingertips

January 21st, 2015

By Grace Lyden, InForum

At MSUM, the desire to create an app came from the ground up. Members of the student senate brought it up about a year ago, said Chief Information Officer Dan Heckaman. The university then began working with Myriad Mobile. About 20-25 students participated in three meetings this past semester to brainstorm features. Students named which functions would be most useful to them: a campus map, dining hall menus, the academic calendar. They also wanted personal features: grades, class schedules and a list of courses they still need to take. Not all of the student suggestions will make it into the final version, Heckaman said, but they will be considered. Some might be added in later versions.

http://www.inforum.com/news/education/3653317-mobile-apps-put-higher-ed-students-fingertips

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Report: Kick back online learning profits to faculty

January 20th, 2015

By Ron Bethke, eCampus News

“What is clear is that relying on the volunteer efforts of a few faculty with entrepreneurial spirits will not bring the widespread change that is going to be effective in the long run.” Want faculty to adopt the latest in tech-enhanced learning? Kick back some of the profits (e.g. revenue from online learning programs), says a new report. According to this new report published by Ithaka S+R with support from the Lumina Foundation, public research universities are cutting costs and increasing access effectively thanks not only to a host of new technologies, but sound implementation and a focus on faculty motivation. Initiated by public research universities, the report, Technology-Enhanced Education at Public Flagship Universities: Opportunities and Challenges, gathered the findings of 214 administrators, online learning directors, chief financial officers, career services staff, and department chairs at 10 major universities.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/technologies/technology-faculty-motivation-606/

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Innovations in Mobile Learning

January 20th, 2015

By Andrew R. McIlvaine, Human Resource Executive Online

Mobile learning may have gotten off to a slow start, but it seems the trend is now getting some momentum. The latest Sierra-Cedar HR Systems Survey report shows mobile-enhanced process adoption grew by 30 percent last year compared to 2013. Survey respondents plan to double their use of mobile this year compared to 2014. A white paper released by Tagoras, a technology consulting firm in Carrboro, N.C., finds 89 percent of 200 respondents to a survey for its Association Learning + Technology report saying their organizations offer some form of e-learning, and a third of them (37 percent) offer a mobile version for at least some of that content. Another 28 percent said they had plans to offer mobile learning this year. One of the most interesting mobile-learning trends witnessed by Steve Fiehl, chief innovation officer at New York-based e-learning provider CrossKnowledge, has been the “mobile first” strategy: Conceptualizing learning experiences for mobile devices first, rather than designing them for the PC and then transferring them to mobile.

http://www.hreonline.com/HRE/view/story.jhtml?id=534358158

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