Five Edtech Companies That Are Taking Gamification to the Next Level

February 18th, 2017

By MATTHEW LYNCH, Tech Edvocate

Gamification has grown in popularity as teachers and educators realize the wealth of potential that games offer their students, no matter the age. Fast fading is the idea that video games are a waste of time. Children these days are among the most tech-savvy people precisely because they have been playing games on a range of devices for nearly their entire lives. Gamification is not a new concept (Oregon Trail was a unique blend of fun and learning back in the 1980s), but it is only recently where educators actually began to embrace it for its potential. As gamification grows in popularity, some Edtech companies have not only embraced it but have found ways to take gamification to a whole new level.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/five-edtech-companies-that-are-taking-gamification-to-the-next-level/

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Disability compliance may emerge as key issue for higher ed

February 18th, 2017

by Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Federal officials have completed amending a section of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which could create new standards of compliance for colleges and universities in their website and IT management duties. The updates include new standards for access of telecommunications equipment, operating systems, screen and sound magnification and access points for websites. The new rules are scheduled to take effect in January 2018, but some observers question if the new administration will be active in forcing timely compliance.

http://www.educationdive.com/news/disability-compliance-may-emerge-as-key-issue-for-higher-ed/435454/

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10 Ways That Professors Can Use Social Media

February 18th, 2017

By MATTHEW LYNCH, Tech Edvocate

Students, whether in grade school or in higher education, are always on social media. They are creating, connecting, networking, and collaborating. Professors can easily take advantage of these platforms to help manage their classroom. Not only will taking advantage of social media help reduce the amount of paper used, but it will also benefit both the professor and the class. By doing so, professors can create a learning environment that becomes an advantage to students and help them learn more networking and collaborative skills for their profession.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/10-ways-that-professors-can-use-social-media/

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Online Education Costs More, Not Less

February 17th, 2017

By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

The survey, conducted by the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET), found that most colleges charge students the same or more to study online. The higher prices — what students pay — are connected to higher production costs, the survey found. Researchers asked respondents to think about 21 components of an online course, such as faculty development, instructional design and student assessment, and how the cost of those components compares to a similar face-to-face course. Virtually every administrator surveyed said online courses are more expensive to produce. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, according to Russell Poulin and Terri Taylor Straut, the authors of the study. Producing an online course means licensing software, engaging instructional designers, training faculty members and offering around-the-clock student support, among other added costs, they point out in the report.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/02/17/study-challenges-cost-and-price-myths-online-education

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3 Signs Online Learning Isn’t Right for You

February 17th, 2017

By John LaMar, US News

In my experience, the online learning environment has allowed me to thrive in ways I was never able to in a traditional classroom. I will concede, however, that online learning is definitely quite a departure from the educational experience most students are used to. From my experience and the conversations I’ve had with others, here are three signs that online education might not be right for you. Those with poor time management skills might want to consider an on-campus program.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-learning-lessons/articles/2017-02-03/3-signs-online-learning-isnt-right-for-you

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Will You Graduate? Ask Big Data

February 17th, 2017

By JOSEPH B. TREASTERFEB, NY Times

At Georgia State’s nursing school, the faculty used to believe that students who got a poor grade in “Conceptual Foundations of Nursing” probably wouldn’t go on to graduation. So they were surprised, after an analysis of student records stretching back a decade, to discover what really made a difference for nursing students: their performance in introductory math. “You could get a C or an A in that first nursing class and still be successful,” said Timothy M. Renick, the vice provost. “But if you got a low grade in your math courses, by the time you were in your junior and senior years, you were doing very poorly.” The analysis showed that fewer than 10 percent of nursing students with a C in math graduated, compared with about 80 percent of students with at least a B+. Algebra and statistics, it seems, were providing an essential foundation for later classes in biology, microbiology, physiology and pharmacology.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/02/education/edlife/will-you-graduate-ask-big-data.html

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Online Master’s Degree Programs Gain National Popularity in the US

February 17th, 2017

by Eleanor Bright, University Herald

In MSU, faculty members teaching online classes are always available to answer questions and to assist students in their lessons, according to The State News. The rising popularity of online master’s degree program will result to several new trends in the field of teaching and learning. Non-traditional credentials might replace traditional ones. Instead of a diploma, a certificate of program completion might be enough. Real time data will be considered and not just test scores. Teachers will check log in times as well as participation. Artificial intelligence will be put into use. Computers might be used to replace a teacher in situations where it will have better outcomes, according to US News Higher Education.

http://www.universityherald.com/articles/62827/20170128/online-master-s-degree-programs-gain-national-popularity-in-the-us.htm

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NMC Horizon Report > 2017 Higher Education Edition

February 16th, 2017

by the New Media Consortium

This 14th edition describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in education. Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six important developments in educational technology are placed directly in the context of their likely impact on the core missions of universities and colleges. Among the technologies that are spotlighted: Adaptive Learning, Mobile Learning, Internet of Things, Next Generation LMS, Artificial Intelligence, and Natural User Interfaces.

http://www.nmc.org/publication/nmc-horizon-report-2017-higher-education-edition/

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Adulting 101: Bellwether unveils online financial ed program for millennials

February 16th, 2017

By: CAROL ROBIDOUX, Manchester Ink Link

Talk to millennials about adulting – the trendy term describing the metamorphosis young people experience when they go from being dependent on their parents to living independently – and they will probably chuckle or give you a knowing smile. Then they will want to know more. More is what Bellwether Community Credit Union is providing with the launch of “It’s a Money Thing,” an online learning center intended for young adults aged 18 to 30. The free online education program provides essential and engaging financial education on topics such as credit scores, loans and budgeting. “One of our younger members said our program was ‘adulting, made easy.’ I was pretty amused by the term, but that was all I needed to hear,” says Mike L’Ecuyer, President and CEO of Bellwether.

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/education/uw-class-on-how-to-spot-fake-data-goes-viral-within-hours/

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Using Gamification in Education Leadership Development

February 16th, 2017

BY MATTHEW LYNCH, Tech Edvocate

The idea of leadership development doesn’t often bring a sense of excitement. Most educators expect training and development activities to remain in the old paradigm with an instructor standing in front of a classroom. Overall, it isn’t a very inspiring image. But, what if there was a better way to get the same information across while keeping everyone engaged in the process? In fact, there is. And it’s called gamification. Gamification refers to the process of bringing in aspects of video games and using them to increase the intrinsic motivation behind completing certain tasks. Often, these systems include aspects like the ability to earn points, reaching new levels, and even advancing on a leaderboard.

http://www.thetechedvocate.org/using-gamification-in-education-leadership-development/

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6 Ways to Sample an Online Degree Program

February 15th, 2017

By Jordan Friedman, US News

For prospective online students, sampling an online degree program is key to determine whether the format is right for them and choose a program based on structure and flexibility, many experts say. These opportunities are often available on a program’s website or by contacting an admissions or enrollment counselor. “I think sometimes, perceptions of students don’t necessarily align with the actual reality of what a program is,” says Vickie Cook, director of the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service at the University of Illinois—Springfield. Online learning requires self-motivation and the ability to communicate with peers and instructors from a distance, experts say. And each program is created differently. Here are six ways prospective online students might sample online degree programs, depending on what’s available at different schools.

http://www.usnews.com/higher-education/online-education/articles/2017-01-26/6-ways-to-sample-an-online-degree-program

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4 Dangers of Cheating Services for Online Courses

February 15th, 2017

By Bradley Fuster, US News

It’s not difficult to imagine the many ways online students might cheat – and all the smart reasons not to do it. Without the watchful eye of a professor or proctor, many online students might be tempted to have a friend take their exam or write their paper, or quickly search the internet to plagiarize assignments. As more online programs employ technological countermeasures to curb and catch cheaters, the new black market of cheat-for-hire services has proliferated. These nefarious services offer to complete as little as one assignment and as much as an entire online course for a negotiated fee. Online cheat-for-hire companies openly advertise online, including sites such as Craigslist, and social media.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-learning-lessons/articles/2017-01-27/4-dangers-of-cheating-services-for-online-courses

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The 2017 Voice Report by VoiceLabs

February 15th, 2017

by Adam Marchick, Voice Labs

In 2016, Amazon Echo evolved from novelty to in-the-home powerhouse, with over seven million devices in households. Google Home launched in November, legitimizing a multi-platform ecosystem of voice-first devices. These two devices (Google Home, Amazon Echo) are simply the start of a much bigger future, where hundreds of millions of consumers will enjoy a more natural way of interacting with machines – conversational voice. Using only your voice, you can now seamlessly play music, turn on your lights, order a pizza and get breaking news. While early innovation is about taking phone and mobile app use cases and porting them to voice-first platforms, in 2017 we will see unique voice-first experiences that will take the world by storm. Get ready for always communicable family members, a personalized home assistant that makes life easier, and a conversational device that anticipates your needs.

http://voicelabs.co/2017/01/15/the-2017-voice-report/

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Some college ‘is better than none’, study suggests

February 14th, 2017

By Jack Grove, Times Higher Ed

First transnational study of how university dropouts fare in the labour market suggests any exposure to higher education is better than none. Is it better to be a university dropout or to not have gone to college at all?While there are often very good reasons for leaving university early, many worry that having “some college, no degree” on their job application will result in their CV being moved to the bottom of the interview shortlist pile. Those university non-completers might wonder if they should have been advised to plunge straight into the job market rather than face a lifetime of explaining why they failed to graduate. However, university dropouts should not write off their time on campus because even a small amount of time in higher education is likely to improve a learner’s life chances, according to a study published in Higher Education Quarterly this month.

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/some-college-better-none-study-suggests

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California Launches the Nation’s Largest Community College Course Exchange

February 14th, 2017

By Marguerite McNeal, EdSurge

Even the most driven students are stuck if the classes they need aren’t available. At best they have to wait another semester to enroll. At worst they run out of financial aid and drop out of school before they have a chance to take the courses. To help students get the credits they need, some colleges are pooling resources on an unprecedented scale. To help students get the credits they need, some colleges are pooling resources on an unprecedented scale. California Community Colleges, the nation’s largest system with 113 institutions, just launched a course exchange so students at one campus can take classes online at another if those courses aren’t available on their home turf.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-10-23-california-launches-the-nation-s-largest-community-college-course-exchange

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Coursera’s New Strategy Takes Inspiration From Netflix—and LinkedIn

February 14th, 2017

By Jeffrey R. Young & Sydney Johnson, EdSurge

Coursera is quietly testing elements of a new strategy, with the goal of moving from a platform for courses to a broader career-building service. It’s part of a continued evolution of MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses. Two Stanford University professors founded Coursera about five years ago, amid a wave of hype that free online courses could one day replace residential undergraduate colleges. That never happened, and since then companies like Coursera have been trying to find their niche—and a sustainable business model.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-01-26-coursera-s-new-strategy-takes-inspiration-from-netflix-and-linkedin

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Online learning improves when you feel like you belong

February 13th, 2017

by Jon Fingas, Engadget

Completing online courses can be daunting, but that’s particularly true if you’re in a developing part of the world. It’s too easy to feel like you don’t belong. Researchers may have a solution, though: giving you activities that help you fit in. An MIT and Stanford study has shown that brief psychological “interventions” can dramatically increase the completion rates for online courses in less developed regions. One of these boosts involved reading testimonials from earlier students who overcame that lack of belonging, while another involved writing a short explanation of how the course reflects and serves their values.

https://www.engadget.com/2017/01/24/online-learning-improves-with-psychological-interventions/

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The future is online

February 13th, 2017

by Pierre Dubuc, FE Voices

Who would be a student today? What was once a relatively carefree occupation – an exciting step into the adult world, the opportunity to study for a career – is now beset by uncertainty over one’s employment chances following graduation, and the certainty that large debts will accrue during one’s studies. Yet change is in the air, and there are many reasons to be optimistic for the future of higher education. It’s true that we face an ongoing skills crisis, rising university fees, and rapidly changing demands in the skills required by business; but the world of skills and online learning is beginning to experience a revolution that promises answers to all these issues.

https://www.fenews.co.uk/fe-voices/the-future-is-online-13095

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Expanding education: Why distance learning is called Alaska’s wave of the future

February 13th, 2017

by Alaska Native Tribal Health Program

In Alaska, post-secondary education can come at a higher-than-usual price — especially for people hailing from rural parts of the state. Besides the usual expenses, students face the steep cost of travel: Flying from a remote West Coast or Bristol Bay community to a university in Anchorage or a training center in Bethel or Fairbanks can be costly. Which is why educational institutions around Alaska are turning to technology to make education accessible for students from every corner of the Last Frontier.

https://www.adn.com/features/sponsored-content/2017/01/23/expanding-education-why-distance-learning-is-called-alaskas-wave-of-the-future/

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Why I Dislike Educational Technology, But Love Online Learning

February 12th, 2017

By Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

How can one dislike educational technology but also love online learning? Simple. Technology has – at least until now – been more of a force for ill than for good in higher education. Our edtech tribe has consistently over-promised and under-delivered on the potential and benefits of technology. We have done too little to put the educator at the center of our efforts. My edtech community has not done what we should to fight for the rights of contingent faculty. We have failed to challenge the higher education productivity narrative, in which it is assumed that technology at scale can substitute for and replace (expensive) educators….As a card carrying member of the edtech establishment, I’m as guilty of these edtech sins as anyone else. While I’m pessimistic about the potential of technology to be a force of good in higher education, I am enthusiastic about online learning…. The reason that I’m a fan is that I’ve yet to witness a more powerful catalyst for advancing residential teaching than online learning.

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology-and-learning/why-i-dislike-educational-technology-love-online-learning

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College hit by tornado turns to online learning

February 12th, 2017

by Associated Press

William Carey University says it will use online systems as much as possible to finish winter trimester classes and to teach students during the spring trimester. The school’s Hattiesburg campus was heavily damaged by Saturday’s tornado in south Mississippi, leading officials to send home 800 students who live on campus and call off classes on Monday for the 3,200 students who study there. Spokeswoman Mia Overton told The Associated Press Monday that William Carey’s medical school is likely to offer classes in a former nursing building recently vacated by the University of Southern Mississippi. USM, which was hit by a 2013 tornado, has pledged support to William Carey. Overton says the Baptist school is trying to find places for other classes that require laboratory work or in-person meetings.

http://www.wtok.com/content/news/College-hit-by-tornado-turns-to-online-learning-411582525.html

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