Educational Technology

How Online Middle School Classes Prepare Your Student for Higher Learning

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 06/24/2016 - 00:30

by the Sequitur

Your child’s middle school educational years are incredibly important. This is the time that students become more independent, more responsible for their education and more vested in their commitment to learning. In seventh and eighth grade, curriculum becomes more rigorous than it was in early educational years. Expectations rise as students are taught to develop and refine their study habits and gain more advanced analytical and problem-solving skills. The priority is to help online learners continue to grow their knowledge base while preparing for the demands they’ll need to meet once they advance to a high school education. Linked below are some of the things online middle school classes are designed to help students achieve:

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The digital-first district where OER meets iPads

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 00:39


Teachers and students at one district are replacing print with digital. By and large, it’s working. For students at Central Valley middle and high schools, accessing classroom lessons rarely involves opening a book. Instead, they power up glowing iPad screens and swipe and tap their way through math problems, the day’s reading or interactive content. In high school math teacher Joe Sowinski’s classes, technology has changed class structure. Students tackle lessons at their own pace as they work in groups to focus on concepts they find most challenging. “I spend less time waiting for students to copy notes and more time helping students work problems,” Sowinski said. Central Valley School District administrators envisioned such a shift when they decided to begin swapping paper textbooks for iPads in the 2012-13 school year.

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Worldwide Smartphone Sales to Grow at Slower Pace in 2016

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 00:35

By Richard Chang, THE Journal

Global smartphone sales will continue to grow, but not in the double digits anymore, according to market research firm Gartner. Smartphone sales are expected to grow 7 percent worldwide in 2016 and reach 1.5 billion units. That is significantly down from 14.4 percent growth in 2015, but it’s still substantial growth, equating to a new smartphone for one out of every five human beings on the Earth. In 2010, smartphone sales hit their highest growth, at 73 percent, Gartner said. In 2020, smartphone sales are on pace to total 1.9 billion units. “The smartphone market will no longer grow at the levels it has reached over the last seven years,” said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner, in a prepared statement.

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Colorado startup seeks to track online learning

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 00:32

by Caitlin Hendee, Colorado Business Journal

When Nicholas Garvin applied for a position at electric-car maker Tesla Motors in 2012, he felt there was really no good way to represent all the knowledge he had in the auto industry. ” We invented the Stackup tool to categorize and score everything you read online,” Garvin said. Stackup is a web application and smart browser extension that currently works with Google Chrome that can be used to track users’ engagement on any given website. Engagement is then scored to provide insight into the time people spend learning on the web. The app is currently gaining steam in the education industry. Several teachers in both the Aurora Public Schools and Denver Public Schools are using it in their classrooms to create assignments asking students to spend time learning on the web.

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New report outlines how the wearables market is set to grow through 2020

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 00:36

by eCampus News

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the “Global Classroom Wearables Technology Market 2016-2020” report to their offering. The report forecasts the global classroom wearables technology market to grow at a CAGR of 36.57 percent during the period 2016-2020. To calculate the market size, the report considers the revenue generated from sales of classroom wearables technology devices such as smart glasses, smart watches, fitness trackers, wearable cameras and VR head gears.

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Deep Learning Isn’t a Dangerous Magic Genie. It’s Just Math

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 00:35

by Oren Etzioni, Wired

Deep Learning is rapidly ‘eating’ artificial intelligence. But let’s not mistake this ascendant form of artificial intelligence for anything more than it really is. The famous author Arthur C. Clarke wrote, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” And deep learning is certainly an advanced technology—it can identify objects and faces in photos, recognize spoken words, translate from one language to another, and even beat the top humans at the ancient game of Go. But it’s far from magic. As companies like Google and Facebook and Microsoft continue to push this technology into everyday online services—and the world continues to marvel at AlphaGo, Google’s Go playing super-machine—the pundits often describe deep learning as an imitation of the human brain. But it’s really just simple math executed on an enormous scale.

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Augmented and Virtual Reality: Where Is the Educational Value?

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 00:32

By David Raths, THE Journal

K-12 schools are beginning to see the educational value of virtual and augmented reality and are investing in these technologies even though price points are still aimed at higher-end markets. In the Methacton School District in a Philadelphia suburb, a high school oceanography class recently visited the Great Barrier Reef, while a Spanish class traveled to cities in Spain and Mexico. Chris Lloyd and Layla Lyons, teachers who work as technology integration specialists in the district, said the expeditions were a nice complement to topics that certain classes were working on and the technology itself was fairly straightforward to deploy. “The teachers were excited once we introduced the concept to them at a faculty meeting,” Lyons said. “When it came time to schedule it, everyone wanted to do it.”

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Behind the Scenes of a Makerspace

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 00:40

By Leila Meyer, Campus Technology

Rutgers University Makerspace has become a hub of creativity on campus. Here’s how it manages operations, equipment, projects and more. Four years ago, Rutgers University in New Jersey opened the Rutgers Makerspace — a place where students, faculty, staff and other members of the community can learn to use equipment such as 3D scanners and printers, laser cutters, cutting and milling machines, electronics, and power and hand tools, for both university-related and personal projects. Here’s how the space has evolved into a bustling hub of creativity on campus.

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3D Printer Shipments Up for Education (and All Other Segments)

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 00:35

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

3D printing is on a growth jag. A new report from International Data Corp. (IDC) finds that the market grew in the United States by nearly 20 percent in 2015 compared to 2014. Printer hardware and materials represented a $2.5 billion market in this country last year. According to the IDC report, “U.S. 3D Printer Forecast, 2016-2020: New 3D Print/Additive Manufacturing Technologies Fuel Growth,” that increase is expected to continue through 2020, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 16 percent. In the education segment specifically, IDC forecasts that 3D printing spending, which includes printers, as well as materials and software, will grow from around $200 million this year to more than $500 million in 2019.

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Are school internet connections fast enough to support personalized learning?

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 00:29

by Joshua Bleiberg, Brookings

Education technologies like personalized learning have tremendous potential to help students learn. To maximize the value of personalized learning, the public and private sectors must increase their investments in training, infrastructure, hardware, and curriculum. Unfortunately progress in each of these areas is uneven. In a recent Chalkboard post, I discussed the potential benefits from broad adoption of personalized learning. A key reason that I remain skeptical about the long-term impact of personalized learning is the lack of bandwidth in the nation’s schools. The available data suggests that school internet speeds continue to rise at a rapid rate, but remain below the levels needed to support broad adoption of personalized learning.

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Designing Learning Spaces for Innovation

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 00:40

By David Raths, Campus Technology

Susan Metros vividly remembers the blank slate that would become the “Garage,” a new learning space for the University of Southern California’s Iovine and Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation. In 2013, entrepreneurs Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre (aka Andre Young) had given $70 million to create a unique undergraduate program that promotes new kinds of learning through cross-disciplinary and hands-on discovery, in a fully immersive and collaborative learning space. The space for the new program, on the fourth floor of the Ronald Tutor Campus Center, was completely undeveloped. “I remember going to a meeting and there was no electricity,” said Metros, associate dean of the academy. “We really got to start from scratch.” The space was an open canvas for innovation, yet the timeline was aggressive — with only three months for design and five months for construction.

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4 Ways Schools Are Overcoming Flipped Learning Equity Challenges

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 00:35

By Bridget McCrea, THE Journal

The race is on to improve digital equity off campus, but will it happen soon enough for teachers, schools and districts that are using flipped learning in the classroom? Maybe, but in the meantime some of them have found ways to work around the issue and successfully administer flipped learning in K-12. Growing in popularity among K-12 teachers, flipped learning includes the use of both pre-made online videos and those made by the teachers themselves. FLN defines flipped learning as “a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter.”

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Relentless data tracking key to MTSU’s success

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 00:31

By Tara García Mathewson, Education Dive

Middle Tennessee State University’s vice provost for student success brings an uncommon perspective to his job, but it is one that is increasingly recognized as having value. Rick Sluder joined the administrative team at MTSU after four years in enrollment management, where it was his job to track application and matriculation data obsessively. The first thing he did when he got to Middle Tennessee State was to set up a data system that would give the university the power to track performance and do so on a weekly basis. When he hears how other schools approach retention or completion initiatives — measuring progress once per year or less — he says he has to chuckle. “The places that are doing retention work the best are doing it the most,” Sluder said.

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UT Austin Offers Teachers Free Computer Science Certification Course

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 06/19/2016 - 00:40

by Julia McCandless, Center for Digital Education

When we think about our greatest resources, we often forget one of the most critical assets to our nation’s future development: teachers. As demands for technology continue to rise, there is an increasing need for teachers and educators in all facets of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). To address this growing demand, the University of Texas at Austin Center for STEM Education is launching a free online computer science certification preparation course to drive professional development opportunities for teachers across the state of Texas. Designed for teachers who have prior experience in programming or coding, the course covers key topics across software design and development, programming language, and technology applications. Once educators complete the course, they are eligible to take the certification test to teach computer science to grades 8-12.

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Survey Says, It’s the Dawn of a New Era in Professional Learning

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 06/19/2016 - 00:35

By Lisa Schmucki, EdSurge

Ask school leaders what is needed to help teachers integrate technology into teaching and learning, and they’ll tell you that teachers need more professional learning and support. At a recent Consortium for School Networking’s (CoSN) conference, educational consultant and retired superintendent Gabe Soumakian summed it up concisely, “It’s not about the tech, it’s about the professional learning.” We’re at the dawn of a new era in professional learning, one brought on by the creation of social networking, content-sharing, and collaborative technology. Providing teachers—and all educators—with the professional learning they need is a daunting task. Online professional development may hold the key.

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Machine learning could help companies react faster to ransomware

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 06/19/2016 - 00:30

By Lucian Constantin, CSO Online

File-encrypting ransomware programs have become one of the biggest threats to corporate networks worldwide and are constantly evolving by adding increasingly sophisticated detection-evasion and propagation techniques. In a world where any self-respecting malware author makes sure that his creations bypass antivirus detection before releasing them, enterprise security teams are forced to focus on improving their response times to infections rather than trying to prevent them all, which is likely to be a losing game. Exabeam, a provider of user and entity behavior analytics, believes that machine-learning algorithms can significantly improve ransomware detection and reaction time, preventing such programs from spreading inside the network and affecting a larger number of systems.

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MIT graphene breakthrough could make chips one million times faster

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 06/18/2016 - 00:40

By Liam Tung, ZD Net

US Army-funded researchers at MIT believe an optical equivalent of a “sonic boom” created using graphene could make chips a million times faster than they are today. Researchers at MIT and several other universities have discovered that graphene can be used to slow light down below the speed of electrons to create an intense beam of light. The researchers call the effect an “optic boom”, since it is similar to the sonic boom caused by shock waves when a jet breaks the speed of sound. In graphene, an electron “spews out plasmons” when it moves faster than the speed of the trapped light. The researchers believe this new way of converting electricity into light could pave the way for light-based circuits in ultra-compact computing devices.

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Campus rape stats rankings stir controversy

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 06/18/2016 - 00:36

By Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

The Washington Post recently compiled a statistical ranking of colleges and universities based upon the number of reported on-campus rapes filed in 2014. The compilation suggests that a high number of reported rapes, with Brown University and the University of Connecticut topping the list with 43 reported cases, could indicate that resources are in action to encourage the reporting of sexual assault crimes and proper reporting to federal crime databases managed by the U.S. Department of Education. Public safety and sexual assault researchers say the ranking creates a false picture of campuses being unsafe, does not factor for incidents which occur off campus and does not separate “reported assaults” versus “actual assaults.”

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Ed Dept targets predatory, financially risky colleges

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 06/18/2016 - 00:30
by Jarrett Carter, Education Dive
U.S. Department of Education officials announced massive monitoring and sanctioning guidelines for colleges and universities posting negative outcomes in student loan defaults and employability. Schools deemed to be “fraudulent” or “financially risky” may have to pay a portion of Title IV funds to the DOE to cover student loan disbursements, will be required to publicly disclose and to inform prospective students of their shaky financial status, and may now be subject to class action lawsuits filed by students and graduates who deem their degrees to be “worthless.” Monitoring will be tied to accreditation status, lawsuits filed by individuals or government, and public information. Share on Facebook

Worldwide PC Market Expected to Slump in 2016 and 2017

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 06/17/2016 - 00:39

By Richard Chang, THE Journal

Worldwide PC shipments are expected to decline by 73 percent year over year in 2016, according to a recent forecast by the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) “Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.” The outlook continues to predict progressively smaller declines through 2017, followed by stable volume in 2018. However, growth in 2016 is now expected to be about 2 percent below earlier projections, as conditions have been weaker than expected. Growth in the first quarter of 2016 came in at -12.5 percent, below IDC’s forecast of -11.3 percent. Impediments such as weak currencies, depressed commodity prices, political uncertainty and delayed projects continue to constrain shipments.

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