Educational Technology

Exercise devised to boost completion rates of some online learning courses: study

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 00:40

by Xinhua

A study indicates that a simple writing activity, lasting about eight minutes, increased completion rates for people from individualistic, but not collectivist, cultures to take online learning courses. While more than 58 million people have enrolled in MOOCs between 2011 and 2016, according to researchers who published their findings in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, course completion rates are only about 10 percent, and just 25 percent for learners categorized as “highly committed.” René Kizilcec, a Stanford University doctoral candidate in communication and the study’s lead author and Geoffrey Cohen, a professor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education and Department of Psychology and the study’s co-author, cite a lack of external or social pressure to complete courses and little support or guidance as reasons for high attrition in MOOCs.

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Google AI experiment may lead to robots that can learn WITHOUT human input

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 00:35

by Tim Collins Daily Mail

And creating robots that can learn without any input from humans is moving ever closer, thanks to the latest developments in artificial intelligence. One such project seeks to pit the wits of two AI algorithms against each other, with results that could one day lead to the emergence of such intelligent machines. Researchers at the Google Brain AI lab have developed a system known as a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN). Conventional AI uses input to ‘teach’ an algorithm about a particular subject by feeding it massive amounts of information. This knowledge can then be employed for a specific task – facial recognition being just one example. GANs seek to generate new content from this learned information, creating digital content like pictures and video based on their understanding of similar real life images and footage.

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A Russian hacker has created his own ’starter pack’ ransomware service

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 00:30

By Zack Whittaker, Zero Day

A new kind of highly-customized ransomware recently discovered by security researchers allows individual criminals to deliver “ransomware-as-a-service”. What sets this ransomware apart from other kinds of file-locking software is that criminals who buy this specialized malware, dubbed Karmen, can remotely control the ransomware from their web browser, allowing the attacker to see at-a-glance a centralized web dashboard of their entire ransomware campaign. That dashboard allows the attacker to manage their fleet of infected victims’ computers, such as by tracking how much money they’ve made. If this figure falls short, the attacker can then bump the price of the ransom they seek. In other words, it’s a “starter pack” for low-level criminals to engage in ransomware campaigns, said Andrei Barysevich, director of advanced collection at Recorded Future, who co-authored the report. “For $175, any script kiddie can carry out ransomware attacks,” he said on the phone. Share on Facebook

Makerspace comes to Case Western Reserve University

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 00:35

by Pat Donachie, Education Dive

Case Western University will soon open the think(box), which will act as a venue for students to engage in innovation and tinker with fresh ideas, according to the Chronicle for Higher Education. The university is encouraging students and others to utilize the new makerspace for construction and experimentation, with one floor housing woodworking tools and 3-D printers, as well as a paint shop and welding station. ​The notion of makerspaces first flourished at engineering schools, but now colleges are all kinds are approaching the spaces through a multidisciplinary lens, encouraging engineers to meet students on other tracks in the hopes of spurring all students involved to new creative heights.

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Technology is key to reducing college education costs

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 00:32

by Brian Mulligan, the Irish Times

In 20 years’ time, fewer school leavers will go to college. Far more study options will be available, many on the internet – and much cheaper than what is offered now. Distance learning and work-based learning, including apprenticeships, will become more available, reducing the total cost of education by allowing school leavers to live at home and “earn while they learn”.

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Online Music Composition Tool Helps Students Engage, Learn and Socialize

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 04/26/2017 - 00:41

By Shelley Emslie, THE Journal

A fifth grade teacher from Montana reflects on how Soundtrap helped an unmotivated, unfocused student discover his voice and passion. One day in class during Genius Hour, I noticed this student really engaged on a Chromebook. He had earphones on, so I could not hear what he was listening to, but the smile on his face went from ear to ear. I had to find out what had him so captivated. After asking him what he was up to, he said, “I’m doing Soundtrap.” I had never heard of it, but soon learned about it from my colleague, Brianne Fuzesy, our music and band teacher. It is an online collaborative music and audio recording studio that runs on multiple platforms, including Chromebooks. Very easy to use, it gives students the tools to create music or podcasts and share them through the web with fellow students within an invited group.

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3 keys to student success with early college programs

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 04/26/2017 - 00:35


Guilford County, N.C., is a national leader in providing early college opportunities for students. Here’s what other districts can learn from its success. In all of these programs, students take high school courses taught by GCS instructors during their first two years. During their junior and senior years, they take college-level courses taught by college instructors, and they can graduate with up to two years of college credit tuition-free.At the STEM Early College at North Carolina A&T University, for instance, students can focus on one of three career pathways: biotechnology, engineering, or renewable and sustainable resources. “For many of our students, this program is their ticket to reaching their goals,” said Principal Jamisa Williams. “Their tuition is covered, and they are two years ahead of their peers when they graduate. That’s money in the bank for them.”

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This is what Gen Z-designed curriculum looks like for the future

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 04/26/2017 - 00:30


Cross-curricular lessons help Generation Z develop the problem-solving skills they will need in an ever-changing world for tomorrow’s jobs. Cross-curricular lessons are one way educators can prepare students for an uncertain future. With the national emphasis on STEM, cross-curricular learning teaches students about history, science, technology, engineering, and math (as well as art and literature), all while inspiring students to explore these subjects and make connections on their own. By making these connections and using multiple disciplines in their learning, students are learning creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills, all of which will be relevant no matter which career path they choose.

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11 Ways to Make Your Online Course Go Global as a Freelance Educator

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 00:40

By Sarah Cordiner, THE Journal

The continued growth of online courses and the introduction of alternative accreditations will spawn a growth in freelance or independent professors. By 2025, all you need to start your own university is a great online teaching style, course materials and marketing plan.” The booming demand for self-study, on-demand and access-anytime training and education is evident through the popularity of platforms like Udemy and Coursera. The online learner is ready and waiting for your course. Many educators are shifting away from their traditional teacher, trainer and professor roles at brick-and-mortar institutions and realizing the benefits of freelancing, such as sharing their expertise beyond the walls of their classroom and earning extra compensation.

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Computer Science Ed Policies: ‘We Have a Long Way to Go’

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 00:35

By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

If understanding of computer science is essential to being an informed citizen, then it makes sense that every child needs an education in the use of computing devices and software, digital literacy and computational processing. That’s the premise of a new report developed by half a dozen organizations that undertook a state-by-state survey of the current state of K-12 CS education. The report, titled “State of the States Landscape Report: State-Level Policies Supporting Equitable K–12 Computer Science Education,” was released during a workshop led by Google, the Education Development Center (EDC), and the Massachusetts Computing Attainment Network (MassCAN) on Google’s Cambridge campus.

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Are some Georgia dual enrollment classes making it too easy to earn an A?

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 00:30

By Maureen Downey, Atlanta Journal Constitution

The state encourages high school students to take college courses through Georgia’s Move on When Ready dual enrollment program. Some high school students have long contended dual enrollment college courses are easier than their school’s AP or IB classes. The AJC’s Will Robinson looked into a report that MOWR classes at a few local high schools awarded an inordinate number of A grades. We are talking all 27 or 28 kids in the class earning an A.

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Seventeen jobs, five careers: learning in the age of automation

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 00:40

by Max Opray, the Guardian

Welcome to the fourth industrial revolution: the economy of always learning. Staying still is more likely than ever to result in obsolescence, as indicated by a report released last month by consultancy firm PwC, which estimated 30% of British jobs could be automated by 2030. As professionals need to update their skills more frequently than ever, so too the education sector is evolving to cater to a new state of affairs in which young people are projected to have 17 jobs over five different careers, according to the Foundation for Young Australians 2015 report, The New Work Order.

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USU-Online to offer accelerated course options

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 00:35

by Mitch Henline, Cache Valley Daily

For students already competent in their field of study, Utah State University-Online is making it possible to get through courses faster – or just test out of them altogether. Starting this summer, USU-Online will be offering a limited number of its courses with accelerated options. At the professor’s discretion, three methods will be offered: A student can take a comprehensive assessment, complete a comprehensive project or complete the course material at a faster pace. USU’s distance education manager Kevin Shanley said competency-based education is a growing trend across the country.

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5 EdTech Tools

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 00:30

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

With thousands of edtech products on the market, consumers are met with the daunting task of picking out products that address the needs of their students, better teaching practices or make the schooling experience better. With over $537 million spent on K12 education in 2015, there is no doubt that this industry is booming and that teaching establishments are investing in edtech more than ever. So, in the hopes of bringing to light some of the best edtech tools in the industry; below are 5 edtech tools that everyone should be using. Some are age specific, but most can be adapted to any classroom.

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Non-profit organization works to end country-wide teacher shortage

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 04/23/2017 - 00:40


The education nonprofit American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence hosted a meeting in Socastee Saturday to inform the public of their online program that certifies users to become teachers in one year. To qualify for the program, you must have any bachelor’s degree from any accredited university. Once registered for the program, all the courses are online. Users just need to take two exams at the end of the year to complete their certification. One of the exams tests individuals on the structure of a classroom and the routines of being a teacher, such as lesson planning. The other exam is targeted specifically to which subject the user plans on teaching. Once the online course is completed and both tests are passed, the user is now a certified teacher (ed. note:  ONLY IN 11 STATES) and can begin work in the county of their choice.

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Online lessons helping Forbes Road student come back from kidney transplant

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 04/23/2017 - 00:35


On a snowy Friday morning in April, 16-year-old Jarrod Danka settled in at a desk in the cozy den of his family’s home in Natrona Heights. The 10th-grader had a 9 a.m. conference call, and he was running a few minutes late. Within moments, his teacher’s face popped up on a computer screen, and the two chatted about Jarrod’s recent assignments and plans for tackling future lessons. He’s excited to work in a rapidly changing field that will give him a chance to keep learning and master evolving technologies. For the past five weeks, online learning and video conference calls have been part of Jarrod’s daily routine. It’s how he keeps up with his studies at the Forbes Road Career and Technical Center in Monroeville while he recovers from a second kidney transplant.

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Lacking a teacher, Atlantic City High School offers chemistry on computers

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 04/23/2017 - 00:30

by DIANE D’AMICO, Press of Atlantic City

he school district advertised three times for a certified chemistry teacher last summer and fall, and three times they failed to get a candidate to accept the job. So they turned to Edmentum, a provider of online courses, to fill the gap. This year, four classes at the high school are being taught via the online course, with backup support from a teacher. “This is the way of the future,” said Assistant Superintendent Sherry Yahn, who said they are looking at other online programs. Not everyone is happy with the shift. Students in the chemistry classes didn’t mind being able to work at their own pace, but almost all interviewed said they would prefer a live teacher.

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Exploring the Benefits and Downsides of Online Courses

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 04/22/2017 - 00:39

by Christina Laderoute, UMass Lowell Connector

According to Mary Barrett, the associate director of Student Services, some benefits of online courses include their extensive flexibility. If a student has access to a computer, they can take classes from anywhere. Online courses provide higher education access to a wider range of students. Julian Zamudio, a senior computer engineering major, says he took online classes during the summer of his junior year, as well as this semester. Zamudio says that the benefits of taking online classes is that “[you are] able to do work under your own time under the restricted timeframe that you have to do it within.” When asked if he would recommend online courses, Zamudio says “Only for winter and summer seasons, because you are away from the distractions of your fellow peers and school activities. Also, you have more control of your comfort setting over the summer and winter and you are only engaged in those [online] classes.

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13 epic stats and facts from The State of Social webinar

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 04/22/2017 - 00:35

by Andrew Warren-Payne, ClickZ

On March 23, ClickZ Intelligence held the webinar ‘The State of Social 2017’ in association with Tracx. As part of the presentation, a huge number of stats and facts were shared about social media, both as a whole and in relation to individual networks. Practical tips given by National Geographic’s Mia Vallo and Shell’s Matt Owen helped demonstrate to viewers how they can apply these to their strategy. So what were the most interesting stats shared in the webinar? We’ve listed 13 of our favorites below.

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Using Google Cardboard to Simulate Virtual Learning Experiences

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 04/22/2017 - 00:32

By Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

The reason that many teachers strive for a more virtual experience instead of the traditional talking points is that the interaction makes the lesson more memorable to the students. Google Cardboard is an interesting and very low-cost solution to creating a virtual experience. You can compare it to the Oculus Rift, but without the $600 price tag for each unit. As the name suggests, the product is from Google, and it is made entirely of cardboard. You construct the equipment (fold the cardboard) into the shape of goggles. Download the app you want to use in your virtual reality lesson, and place the phone within the frame, and you can start seeing the world from the app. It helps you feel like you are in the locations being displayed or are experiencing the events taking place.

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