Will you be able to take a picture with Google Glass by just thinking about it?

July 23rd, 2014

By Jiaxi Lu, Washington Post

That’s the promise given by the first version of an app called MindRDR, designed by This Place studio. To use this app, which is free to download, you will also need a pair of Google Glass, and a headset made by the biosensor company NeuroSky called the MindWave, which costs about $120. Dusan Hamlin, the chief executive and founder of This Place, said in a statement that MindRDR could enable some people with disabilities to interact with the world using Google Glass. Here’s how the company claims it will work: Users will need to relax and concentrate when they are trying to take a picture, says the company. The app will analyze user’s brainwaves through the process, and when the level of focus crossed a threshold, MindRDR tells the Glass to snap a photo.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2014/07/11/will-you-be-able-to-take-a-picture-with-google-glass-by-just-by-thinking-about-it/

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Rethinking What a ‘Traditional’ College Education Entails: Five Misconceptions About the Online Learning Experience

July 22nd, 2014

by Tracy Lorenz, Huffington Post

Society’s notions of “traditional students” have become antiquated as yesterday’s nontraditional student has become today’s traditional student. As the student demography and needs change so must our notion of the “traditional college education” experience. In a recent commissioned survey, Zogby Analytics uncovered that, from a student’s perspective, the “University of the Future” needs to be accessible, flexible, innovative and job-focused.

• Accessible — The students want to get and share content online; gone are the backpacks full of textbooks.

• Flexible — A majority of students want courses offered at all times of the day or night and without fixed schedules to accommodate students who work or just prefer learning at different times.

• Innovative — Nearly half want access personalized instruction or tutoring online perhaps rendering the traditional classroom experience less important.

• Job-Focused — Students want a university that is clearly focused on producing students who are prepared to excel in jobs that are needed by industry and society.

Sound familiar? These are the same reasons that drive students to seek degrees from institutions with online programs

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tracy-lorenz/rethinking-what-a-traditi_b_5571263.html

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The 4 Levels Of Learning Analytics

July 22nd, 2014

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

Using data to drive learning outcomes isn’t a new concept, really. For as long as teachers have been giving students assessments, the assessments and results have been used by both students and teachers (even if only loosely) to determine how to move forward. What needs to be reviewed more? What was covered/studied well? Learning analytics takes this concept and kicks it up a notch. Well, more like a thousand notches, especially if you’re considering things like adaptive computer based testing that changes as students use it. The handy infographic linked below takes a look at the four levels of learning analytics, which can be easily applied in your classroom whether you’re using a ton of fancy-schmancy technology or none at all.

http://www.edudemic.com/4-levels-learning-analytics-graphic/

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UMUC considering plan to become independent nonprofit with ties to university system

July 22nd, 2014

By Nayana Davis, The Baltimore Sun

The University of Maryland University College, which has been struggling with declining enrollment, is considering severing some ties with the state university system to avoid burdensome regulations and work more closely with the private sector. Under the proposal, the university would become an independent nonprofit organization that retains an affiliation with the state system. The school’s president, Javier Miyares, said during a Thursday town hall meeting in Largo that the idea came from a task force of experts organized by the university as a response to a shrinking student body. UMUC, a mainly online institution, has struggled with a competitive online education market and a smaller military. Members of the military or their families make up about half of the college’s students.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/education/blog/bs-md-umuc-nonprofit-20140710,0,2434068.story

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Sustainability, Divestment and Debt: a Survey of Business Officers

July 21st, 2014

By Ry Rivard, Inside Higher Ed

The survey, which will be released in conjunction with the upcoming annual meeting of the National Association of College and University Business Officers, is based on the responses of chief financial officers at 438 colleges and universities. Techniques that got the most support: reducing administrative positions (37 percent agreed they would do this in the coming year), eliminating underperforming academic programs (37 percent), have part-time faculty teach more undergraduates (35 percent), giving full-time faculty more classes (30 percent), promoting early retirement for faculty (28 percent), outsourcing administrative services (30 percent), and shifting to a web-based model (35 percent). A majority looked to collaboration to control costs. Over half (55 percent) said they wanted to work with other institutions to provide academic programs. A smaller number (37 percent) wanted to collaborate on administrative services with other colleges.

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/survey/sustainability-divestment-and-debt-survey-business-officers#sthash.fr0lR6dD.dpbs

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The hope and hype of MOOCs

July 21st, 2014

by OCLC Next Space

The wave of excitement and offerings arsound MOOCs is causing libraries to think about the place of open, online learning in their overall mission. Traditionally, libraries have provided access to library services and scholarly resources with an appropriate level of currency, depth and breadth to support the institution’s mission, core themes, programs and services. Distance learning students were entitled to the same library services and resources, including direct communication with librarians, as on-campus students. Should libraries support MOOCs, even though many of the class participants won’t even be attending their university? MOOC enrollments can far outnumber traditional university course enrollment, and many of the participants are not traditional college-age students. Ray Schroeder, who has directed MOOCs with students in 70 countries, believes the role of the library is essential for a successful MOOC experience. “The library can serve as the anchor, that physical anchor with people to help students identify the resources that they need to complete classes.”

http://www.oclc.org/publications/nextspace/articles/issue23/thehopeandhypeofmoocs.en.html

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Creighton University Is Now Offering an Online End-of-Life Course

July 21st, 2014

by Creighton University

Creighton University’s Health Care Ethics program now offers an Ethical Aspects of End-of-Life Care course that is available for both degree seeking and special students. This course examines different end-of-life care practices including forgoing treatment, PAS/euthanasia, palliative care, sedation and decision-making for incompetent patients. Students reflect on their own views of disabilities, aging and dying; examine the merits of policies/legislation; and consider how society at large can come to appreciate those dying in our midst.

http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/2042066

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Minerva Project Mixes Online Learning With World Travel

July 20th, 2014

By KIRK CARAPEZZA, WGBH

Would you attend a college that sends you around the world to live in different cities while taking all of your classes online? Check out a report on The Minerva Project on WGBH’s higher education blog, On Campus. Minerva Project CEO Ben Nelson is banking on the notion that the world is ready for a new and different kind of university. “If you want to have a student experience that is around the concept of a campus, sheltered environment, go to your local football games, fraternities, you have plenty of options,” Nelson said. “But if you want to go to school while really immersing yourself in the best the world has to offer, we are your only option.”

http://wgbhnews.org/post/minerva-project-mixes-online-learning-world-travel

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Online MBA Learning Gathers Pace As Specialist Programs Go Cyber

July 20th, 2014

by Seb Murray, Business Because

Of the world’s leading 50 business schools, few immediately jumped on the online MBA bandwagon. Some of the early movers are seen as second-tier schools. Harvard, MIT Sloan, the University of Virginia’s Darden School and other big-brand US schools have only relatively recently begun experimenting with Moocs. Wharton was one of the first. There are as much as 10% of its two-year MBA core courses online for free access. One enrolled more than 130,000 students. But online MBA programs are not the free courses lambasted as marketing gimmicks or brand-building exercises. Moocs are just one example of the explosion of distance learning enabled over the past few years by leaps in technological advancement. The top business schools have begun spinning their MBA curriculums online by giving students video recordings in a traditional format, but also by providing interactive learning through debates and seminars. Some are even incorporating social media into their online offering.

http://www.businessbecause.com/news/mba-distance-learning/2659/online-mba-learning-gathers-pace-specialist-programs-go-cyber

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Finding a Way to Operationalize Credit for MOOCs

July 20th, 2014

by David Raths, Campus Technology

When the University System of Georgia announced a partnership with Coursera last year, officials at Kennesaw State saw it as an opportunity to give more learners a pathway to higher education as well as drive enrollment for the university. To establish a process that would operationalize credit awards for MOOC participants, in March 2014 KSU created a Virtual Assessment Center (VAC), which processes fee-based portfolio submissions from MOOC students and routes them to departments for evaluation. The university can now offer courses that are open to the public, but also give professionals a clearly defined pathway to credit and potential entry into degree programs.

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/07/10/finding-a-way-to-operationalize-credit-for-moocs.aspx

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Closing the Technology Skills Gap: Can E-Learning Save the Day?

July 19th, 2014

By Kristi Essick, Cisco

Everyone from kindergarten teachers and university professors, to CEOs and government leaders seem worried about the “technology skills gap.” It’s become commonplace to decry that we’re not equipping students with the STEM skills they need to succeed in a tech-centric economy. Companies complain they have thousands of open tech jobs, but can’t find qualified candidates to fill them. From San Francisco and Austin, to Sydney and London, companies say they could grow faster and boost hiring across teams, if only they could fill their open IT positions. A recent study by the Brookings Institution reported STEM job skills are in huge demand by employers, and job openings in high tech fields take much longer to fill because candidates with STEM skills are in short supply. A Manpower study also showed IT workers and engineers were among the hardest positions to fill in the U.S. in 2013.

http://newsroom.cisco.com/feature-content?type=webcontent&articleId=1450825

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One Professor Schemes to Keep Colleges in the Web’s Fast Lane

July 19th, 2014

By Avi Wolfman-Arent, Chronicle of Higher Ed

William Baker, director of the Bernard L. Schwartz Center for Media, Public Policy, and Education at Fordham, proposes a space for nonprofits on the web, akin to the bandwith reserved for public broadcasting. William F. Baker has no quarrel with net neutrality, the principle that says all Internet traffic should be treated equally regardless of substance or source. “Since it looks like we’re heading toward some form of a two-speed American Internet,” Mr. Baker wrote, “why not take some of what the big players will be paying to ISPs for a fast track to consumers and use the money to make sure public media, not-for-profits, and tech innovators get bailed out of the slow lane?”

http://chronicle.com/article/One-Professor-Schemes-to-Keep/147589/

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University of Missouri campuses to test online course sharing

July 19th, 2014

By ASHLEY JOST, Columbia Daily Tribune

The University of Missouri System is implementing a new course-sharing program this fall in an effort to expand access for students at each of the four campuses. The effort serves multiple purposes: to create an online alternative for classes that typically have low enrollment, to broaden access to unique classes and to give partnering faculty members time to work on other projects, such as research, because they’re ideally alternating semesters of teaching their online courses. Through course-sharing, faculty members from two or more campuses partner up on their ideas for unique courses, said Steve Graham, UM senior associate vice president for academic affairs.

http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/education/university-of-missouri-campuses-to-test-online-course-sharing/article_29b8be53-d80b-53f4-9ab4-534e2b3feefe.html

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State Authorization: Dept Education Pauses, Dept Defense Follows, and WCET, UPCEA, OLC, and MHEC Webcasts

July 18th, 2014

by Russ Poulin, WCET Frontiers

WCET partners with the Online learning Consortium, the University Professional & Continuing Education Association, and the Midwest Higher Education Compact’s State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement to offer two informational webcasts – Registration required – these will fill soon!:

August 14: State Authorization for Distance Education: The Future for REGULATIONS

Covers the latest on the state, federal, and military regulations. It also advises colleges on what to do next.

(2:00 PM Eastern / 1:00 PM Central / Noon Mountain / 11:00 AM Pacific)

August 19: State Authorization for Distance Education: The Future for RECIPROCITY

Everything you ever wanted to know about the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA).

(2:00 PM Eastern / 1:00 PM Central / Noon Mountain / 11:00 AM Pacific)

http://wcetblog.wordpress.com/2014/07/17/state-authorization-pauses-webcast/

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Teaching With Tech Across Borders

July 18th, 2014

By Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed

This type of teaching goes by many names – COIL, online intercultural exchange, virtual exchange, globally networked learning, telecollaboration. In this context they all mean more or less the same thing, and that thing is broad: the use of technology, any technology, from email to social media sites to video-chat software to blog platforms to wikis – to facilitate class discussions and do collaborative course assignments across national borders and time zones. The course exchanges can be synchronous or asynchronous, or involve a combination of both. COIL is often described as an alternative to study abroad, a low-cost, easy substitute of sorts for that 90 percent or so of undergraduates who never go overseas. Asked if it’s oversold in that way – after all, study abroad has been characterized as a particularly high-impact educational experience – Rubin said the problem with the language of “alternative” is it suggests a COIL class would be study abroad’s equal. Generally speaking it’s not, he said, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a potentially powerful learning opportunity in itself.

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/07/09/faculty-use-internet-based-technologies-create-global-learning-opportunities

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Try Convincing an Employer to Pay for an Online Degree

July 18th, 2014

by Devon Haynie, US News

When prospective online students approach an employer about tuition assistance, they should do so with confidence in the value of their online degree, Slayter says. “If you come in thinking that there is something that you need to apologize for, you are setting yourself up not to get a ‘yes,’” she says. Most employers will warm up to the idea of online learning, though it may take a bit of extra explanation on part of the prospective student to get them there, says Pamela Tate, president and CEO of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, a group committed to expanding lifelong opportunities for adults.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2014/07/08/try-convincing-an-employer-to-pay-for-an-online-degree

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What “open learning” looks like when it’s for kids who need it most

July 17th, 2014

by Mimi Ito, boingboing

We’ve heard a lot of talk these days about open educational resources and online courses and how these platforms can make high-quality learning available for all. The code.org campaign has been touting the potential of online courses to teach kids how to code. Khan Academy has been the darling of the tech industry because of its potential to disrupt existing models of educational content delivery. It turns out, though, that these offerings are mostly serving already wired, well off, and highly educated families. True “disruption” and access beyond the echo chamber of the digital elites requires more than creating sophisticated educational content and building high-end online learning platforms. We need to spend less effort escalating the tech and bandwidth intensiveness of these platforms and more on meeting diverse kids where they are in their local communities with the resources they have on hand.

http://boingboing.net/2014/07/07/what-open-learning-looks-l.html

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Wi-Fi paving the way for e-Learning in South Africa

July 17th, 2014

by IT News Africa

As the traditional model of education is evolving, schools and colleges are facing increasing challenges to provide higher-speed, more reliable Wi-Fi to students, teachers and staff. According to research conducted by Ambient Insight, South Africa is said to be one of the most dynamic e-Learning markets in Africa, where over the last two years, many countries across Africa have embarked on new initiatives to integrate learning technology into education and training. However, as the growth increases, the technology infrastructure has become key in order to lay the foundational platform for e-Learning and access. And as a result, the traditional education model is changing.

http://www.itnewsafrica.com/2014/07/wi-fi-paving-the-way-for-e-learning/

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Comprehensive research and case study analysis reveals 20 new findings about Flipped Learning

July 17th, 2014

By Meris Stansbury, eCampus News

]As with all types of popular learning models that have the potential to be nothing more than a flash in the pan, it’s important to conduct thorough research on the model’s real potential. And according to a 2014 research and case study review, there are roughly 20 new things higher education faculty and leaders should know about Flipped Learning. The report, “2014: Extension of a Review of Flipped Learning [2],” conducted by George Mason University with the support of Pearson and the Flipped Learning Network [3](FLN), reviews current relevant research—both theory and empirical evidence—to learn more about Flipped Learning’s growth in education, and its effects on student learning faculty teaching.

http://www.ecampusnews.com/top-news/20-new-facts-flipped-learning-higher-ed/

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Instructional Design Strategies for Intensive Online Courses: An Objectivist-Constructivist Blended Approach

July 16th, 2014

by Sue-Jen Chen, JIOL

Due to the time constraints of intensive online courses, instructional design strategies should be modified in order to retain the quality of learning without reducing the quantity of the course content. This paper presents how a blended approach combining objectivist and constructivist instructional strategies was used in the design of an intensive summer online course in the context of a support-based online learning environment. The implementation results revealed that students had a positive learning experience in the course and were highly satisfied with their learning outcomes.

http://www.ncolr.org/issues/jiol/v13/n1/3

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E-Learning Creates Value for Everyone

July 16th, 2014

by Monkey Mike, Degree Jungle

E-Learning is the current trend in turning the collegiate system itself into a business, and the movement is making headway around the planet. Today, striving for-profit companies and accredited universities identify that web-based education and learning can enhance their earnings ten-fold. A multitude of systems are presently being used to deliver academic training on the Internet. With potentials in design improvements, e-Learning has reinvented the concept of online education. Twenty years ago, exposure to web-based courses and accredited degree programs was confined to the lucky few who resided in industrial nations. However, today’s learners, even those found in the most isolated parts of the world, have the ability to locate online courses through sites like Degree Jungle and earn their diplomas from a well-known university.

http://www.degreejungle.com/blog/entry/online-education-e-learning-creates-value-for-everyone

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