Techno-News Blog

April 9, 2019

UGA prepares STEM students for rapidly changing future

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Aaron Hale, University of Georgia
The number of University of Georgia undergraduate students in STEM disciplines has risen about 20 percent in the past five years. In fall 2018 along, 11,832 (40 percent of the student body) declared a major in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Combine this surge with the recent launch of UGA’s Innovation District and construction beginning on the I-STEM Research Building, one can see the STEM momentum growing on campus. The increase in STEM-related majors matches national trends.

https://www.onlineathens.com/news/20190329/uga-prepares-stem-students-for-rapidly-changing-future

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10 technologies that will impact higher education the most this year

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Macy Bayern, Tech Republic
Technology is now integral to the learning process for students and professionals. Here are the 10 technologies predicted have the biggest impact on higher ed in 2019. Between online learning and interactive digital classrooms, technology is completely shifting how students are being taught and gaining knowledge. Not only does this technology affect students, but also professionals undergoing corporate trainings or looking for ways to upskill, according to a recent Gartner report.

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/10-technologies-that-will-impact-higher-education-the-most-this-year/

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Creating a voice search experience for your brand

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Emily Alford, ClickZ

Gartner predicts that by 2020, voice search will account for 30% of all web-browsing. Preparing your brand for this unprecedented rise in voice search.  So why are so many consumers clamoring to adopt voice search?  For starters, it’s much simpler to talk to a device than to tap keys or screens. Voice search also makes it much easier for consumers to to find the goods and services they need when they’re driving or otherwise occupied. Easy-to-use voice search is also incredibly appealing to the elderly, people with impaired mobility or sight, and even just younger audiences, who are often quicker to adopt new technologies than their parents.

https://www.clickz.com/creating-voice-search-experience-brand/228146/

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April 8, 2019

The Growing Marketplace for AI Ethics

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Forbes

Unfortunately, there’s no industry-standard, best-practices handbook on AI ethics for companies to follow—at least not yet. Some large companies, including Microsoft and Google, are developing their own internal ethical frameworks. A number of think tanks, research organizations, and advocacy groups, meanwhile, have been developing a wide variety of ethical frameworks and guidelines for AI. Below is a brief roundup of some of the more influential models to emerge—from the Asilomar Principles to best-practice recommendations from the AI Now Institute.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/insights-intelai/2019/03/27/the-growing-marketplace-for-ai-ethics/#429648c44c4b

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How will blockchain transform higher ed? Start with credentials

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BY DENNIS PIERCE, eCampus News

At Central New Mexico Community College (CNM), empowering students is an important goal, says Tobe Phelps, senior director of online college. Giving students a permanent, secure digital record of their accomplishments that they can take with them when they graduate aligns perfectly with this objective. “When we issue a diploma to a student, that diploma still belongs to the college, and the student must get a certified copy from us,” Phelps says. “If they try to get a job or move on to another college, all of those (entities) have to come back to us for validation of the student’s credentials.” By using a technology called blockchain, “we’re able to take that certification and give it to the student as an official record they own themselves,” he says. “We can be completely out of the circle.”

https://www.ecampusnews.com/2019/03/29/how-will-blockchain-transform-higher-ed-start-with-credentials/

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The convergence of 5G and AI: A venture capitalist’s view

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BEN YU, Venture Beat

If AI and 5G had a baby, its name would be “AV.” Autonomous vehicles are essentially data centers on wheels. If you look at them closely, you’ll notice they are loaded with multiple 4G LTE modems, because, with “brains in the device,” they require intelligence at the edge. That requires the rich and rapid movement of data that 5G is uniquely positioned to offer.

But the other thing that excites me about 5G is that it will not only be the protocol that launches a thousand new high-throughput applications and use cases like AVs, it will also drive important new low-bandwidth applications. Put another way, because of the new frequencies opened up by 5G, there will be new opportunities for innovation up and down the spectrum.

https://venturebeat.com/2019/03/31/the-convergence-of-5g-and-ai-a-venture-capitalists-view/

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April 7, 2019

Tech firms scramble to make AI unbiased

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IANS | New Delhi

Google, for example has now established an external advisory council to help the tech giant develop AI technology in an ethical and responsible way. E-commerce giant Amazon this month announced that it was working with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to commit up to $10 million each in research grants over the next three years focused on fairness in AI. “We believe we must work closely with academic researchers to develop innovative solutions that address issues of fairness, transparency, and accountability and to ensure that biases in data don’t get embedded in the systems we create,” Prem Natarajan, Vice President of Natural Understanding in the Alexa AI group at Amazon, wrote in a blog post.

https://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/tech-firms-scramble-to-make-ai-unbiased-119033100113_1.html

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How AI will save us from the mess of big data

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Elad Walach, the Next Web

We are drowning in data that’s supposed to help us. The big data revolution has come from inexpensive data storage and automated data collection, giving organizations exponentially more data than they had in the past. From business logic data like computer log files to detailed weather patterns, purchasing data to TV viewing, we have access to so much data on how the world works and about the lives and habits of individuals. A lot of this data is just sitting in warehouses, either real or virtual, being ignored or occasionally examined for trends. It’s just too much for people to handle. When it comes to healthcare, advanced new diagnostic techniques mean that more information is collected about patients than ever before.  That’s where AI comes in.

 

https://thenextweb.com/podium/2019/03/31/how-ai-will-save-us-from-the-mess-of-big-data/

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How workplace learning can reduce employee stress

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Smart Brief
American employees are under stress. An estimated 1 million American workers are absent every day due to stress, according to The American Institute of Stress. It’s become a chronic issue for employers as they see increasingly poor health, reduced productivity, and low employee morale in their workplaces.   So what can we do? The answer might be easier than we think: Learning.  It turns out that exerting the effort to learn new skills at work can help reduce workplace stress. That’s according to research done by Professor David Mayer of The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, along with co-authors Chen Zhang and Christopher Myers. They discovered that one of the best ways that professionals can relieve stress is to funnel their efforts into education.

https://www.smartbrief.com/original/2019/03/how-workplace-learning-can-reduce-employee-stress

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April 6, 2019

13 Methods For Accelerating The Learning Curve For New Tech Team Members

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Forbes Technology Council

In a growing company, the hiring process alone can be pretty daunting, with a seeming revolving door of new candidates coming in one after the other. There is nothing more relieving than the moment you find an excellent match for an open position. Yet, with each new hire comes a learning curve—no new employee knows all the inner workings of your company. What is the best way to support new tech team members, and why does that specific method work so well? To help you accelerate the new employee learning curve, we asked 13 members of Forbes Technology Council to share their thoughts.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2019/03/29/13-methods-for-accelerating-the-learning-curve-for-new-tech-team-members/#30e3f7e71886

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5 lawsuits that could bring major change to higher ed

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By Natalie Schwartz, Education Dive
This year is already shaping up to be a momentous one for higher education. In Congress, both parties have indicated reauthorization of the Higher Education Act is a priority. The U.S. Department of Education is underway with regulatory overhauls on how colleges are accredited and how they must handle sexual harassment. And President Donald Trump has made headlines with his recent executive order linking research funding for universities to free speech. Change may also be coming through the third branch of government, the courts. Decisions on several current cases could have far-reaching implications for colleges across the U.S., including whether they can consider race in admissions or penalize students for joining single-gender clubs.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/5-lawsuits-that-could-bring-major-change-to-higher-ed/551238/

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What Are the Impacts of Adopting OER?

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LumenLearning
The OER Adoption Impact Calculator helps you understand many of the potential impacts of adopting OER instead of traditionally copyrighted learning materials. The values in the Settings on the left are set to defaults based on the published research referenced below. Change the Settings on the left so that they match the situation at your institution in order to see how replacing traditionally copyrighted materials with OER might benefit your students and institution. The information below will update in real time as you make changes.

https://analytics.lumenlearning.com/impact/

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April 5, 2019

Stanford’s new AI institute is inadvertently showcasing one of tech’s biggest problems

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By Dave Gershgorn, Quartz

AI’s “sea of dudes” or”white guy problem” has been well-documented, and awareness of the topic is becoming more and more mainstream. Diversity and inclusion has become boilerplate language for any major industry event, including Stanford’s own literature on the launch of HAI, and the institute was quick to acknowledge the problems with its faculty makeup. “We know we still have a long way to go to reach everyone who can contribute to HAI’s mission and it is our top priority,” a Stanford HAI spokesperson said in a statement to Quartz, noting that the institute will be hiring 20 more faculty members soon. ”

https://qz.com/1578617/stanfords-new-diverse-ai-institute-is-overwhelmingly-white-and-male/

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Microsoft offers free online Artificial Intelligence classes

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by TechAdvisor UK

Microsoft and INSEAD, an international business school, have launched a package of free online courses to encourage professionals to embrace artificial intelligence (AI).  While the courses are aimed at those in industry, anyone with an interest in the topic can participate in the AI Business School. The course materials feature a host of 10 minute on-demand lectures divided into four subject areas: strategy, culture, responsible AI and technology. Experts at Microsoft will share their own insights and experiences with AI in the lectures.

https://www.techadvisor.co.uk/feature/internet/microsoft-offers-free-online-artificial-intelligence-classes-3694104/

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Mapping the Transforming Role of Continuing Ed on University Campuses

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Kim Scalzo, Evolllution

The higher education industry is evolving rapidly, requiring colleges and universities to adopt new approaches to serve a shifting audience. The traditional market of 18-year-old high school graduates isn’t disappearing. But this market alone will not sustain the majority of colleges and universities operating in this space. In this interview, Kim Scalzo reflects on the changing postsecondary landscape and shares her thoughts on how continuing and professional education (CE) divisions can take the reins to drive this transformation on their campuses.

https://evolllution.com/managing-institution/higher_ed_business/mapping-the-transforming-role-of-continuing-ed-on-university-campuses/

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April 4, 2019

4 myths about accessibility and online learning

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BY REBECCA GRAETZ, eCampus News

Online education is supposed to be inclusive; here’s how to ensure that it is. Those who are in higher education are probably tired of hearing about accessibility. But accessibility awareness is the key point to making courses accessible. Bringing this awareness to faculty on how they design a course had been an ongoing charge for those in higher education that work with course design.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/2019/03/18/4-myths-about-accessibility-online-learning/

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Why online faculty should use a Master Course Shell

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BY REBECCA GRAETZ, eCampus News

In some online learning programs, there is the concept of a “Master Course Shell.” Faculty in a program or who teach the same course get together and design a Master Course Shell that everyone agrees on. Then, at the beginning of a semester, each faculty member copies the content from the Master Course Shell to their live course shell, tweaking it a bit to personalize the course for their students. They may take out an assignment or two or add a discussion or rubric, but the textbook is the same and students across programs get a similar experience.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/2019/03/25/online-faculty-use-master-course-shell/

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Coursera’s Global Skills Index: How Does Your Nation And Industry Compare?

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Jon Younger, Forbes

The Coursera Global Skills Index benchmarks 60 countries and 10 industries for Business, Technology, and Data Science skills. As Coursera explained, “Functionally, our competencies and skills come from Coursera’s Skills Graph, which is a set of skills assembled through both open-source taxonomies like Wikipedia as well as crowdsourcing from Coursera educators and learners on what they are teaching/learning on the Coursera platform.” Coursera found the U.S. and Canada to be middle of the pack of the global rankings and not cutting-edge in any of the three domains. Canada ranked ahead of the U.S. in most areas.  As Coursera notes, “Although the current technological boom started in North America, it prompted a wave of innovation around the world to the point where the United States and Canada no longer lead in Technology.”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonyounger/2019/03/23/courseras-global-skills-index-how-does-your-nation-and-industry-compare/#44ada72e62b6

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April 3, 2019

Digital Transformation: A Caterpillar or a Butterfly?

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by John O’Brien, EDUCAUSE

The technologies that enable Dx (e.g., analytics, artificial intelligence, the cloud, mobile, consumerization, social networks, and storage capacities) constitute only one of the levers involved. True Dx goes far beyond tools to include cultural and workforce changes in how we teach, learn, enroll, and engage in scholarship and research. At EDUCAUSE, we think that what makes digital transformation, well, transformational is a commitment—made by campus leadership far beyond the IT organization—to the belief that the future of the campus will be an unapologetically digital future.

https://er.educause.edu/articles/2019/3/digital-transformation-a-caterpillar-or-a-butterfly

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5 Ways LMS Forums Can Be Used By Educators

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Christopher Drew, eLearning Inside

During the process, one question stimulated extensive conversation. This was the question of how and when to use the LMS discussion forums. From that conversation, the team developed a sketch of the ways LMS forums can be used, and to what end. We found the group analysis of the affordances of forum discussion to be incredibly useful. It helped us to clarify our expectations of our students, and indeed our intentions of how they will go about learning. Below are the 5 means of using LMS forums for learning and teaching that the team identified:

https://elearningindustry.com/lms-forums-used-educators-ways

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Are national universities on higher ed’s horizon?

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Laura Ascione, eCampus News

Grant Thornton’s The State of Higher Education in 2019 identifies a handful of trends and issues that are either emerging or expected to emerge in the coming year–and the biggest of those is the idea of national universities. The report urges those in higher ed to “consider the inevitability of national universities.” Those institutions would, logically, operate on a national scale in order to reach more students and meet their needs. While state-funded higher education has established the colleges and universities we know today (and along with it, academic freedoms, innovation, and diverse offerings), it also has resulted in what Grant Thornton principal Matt Unterman notes are institutional inefficiencies, such as a lack of economies of scale and a siloed delivery on educational mission.

https://www.ecampusnews.com/2019/03/20/are-national-universities-on-higher-eds-horizon/2/?all

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