Educational Technology

Facebook Schools MOOCs on Engagement

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 05/25/2016 - 00:30

By Jason Schmitt, EdSurge

If MOOCs want to build student engagement, they may want to take a lesson from Facebook. That’s the takeaway from a recent study by researchers at Pennsylvania State University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, who found students favor using Facebook groups over MOOC forums in part because they have more positive interactions on the social media site and feel a stronger sense of community there. Trust plays a role; on Facebook the students tended to use their “real” names and could see one another’s profiles. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory analyzed data on student use of forums for three MOOCs from Coursera and course-related Facebook groups, and interviewed instructors and a dozen students. The research was presented at the ACM conference on Learning at Scale.

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Common Misconceptions About Machine Learning in Cybersecurity

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 05/24/2016 - 00:34

by SVEN KRASSER AND DMITRI ALPEROVITCH, Information Management Online

Machine learning has never been more accessible than it is right now. Amazon utilizes it to uncover shopping habits and Netflix uses it to propose personalized movie selections. Many tech giants, both in the consumer and the business-facing arena, are using machine learning to build intelligent processes that can solve everything from creating more targeted search engine results to bigger challenges like climate change and cancer diagnostics. Leaders in the cybersecurity space are utilizing machine learning in a similar fashion. While there is a lot of buzz in the marketplace about the potential of the approach to solve persistent issues like silent failure and false positives, there are many misconceptions about how the technology is being applied in the field.

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How Online Learning Is Shaping the UK Workforce

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 05/24/2016 - 00:31

by Jermaine Haughton,

The appetite for online learning is on the up. Online education provider Coursera revealed it has experienced a 50% increase in new registrations over the last 12 months, with a large majority of this increase coming from workers in their mid-twenties or older who already have strong work experience. “Learning is not just an activity for the young anymore,” said Rick Levin, CEO of Coursera and former President of Yale University. “Over 80% of online learners on Coursera are over the age of 22.

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Tableau Announces New Data Analytics Learning Partnerships With, Pluralsight, Udacity and General Assembly

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 05/24/2016 - 00:28

by Tableau Software

Tableau Software announced new partnerships aimed at helping people more easily acquire data analysis skills needed for today’s workforce., a LinkedIn company, and Pluralsight. In addition, Tableau is partnering with Udacity, an online education company focused on getting jobs for students with over 4 million taking its courses, and General Assembly (GA), the global education company that specializes in the most in-demand skills, to offer deeper training skills to current and future expert data scientists. Demand for data analytics skills has risen globally and employers seek to hire data driven people. In fact, the business social network LinkedIn listed Statistical Analysis and Data Mining as the number two skill in their list of the “25 Professional Skills That Will Be Hot in 2016,” and a joint study from Burning Glass Technologies and General Assembly reported demand for data science skills has tripled over the past five years.

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E-learning makes basic employment skills available to all

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 05/23/2016 - 00:36


The exponential rate of information has led to the creation of a new kind of educator: low-cost, on-demand, short-length education providers, providing courses on everything from gardening to robotics at lower costs than traditional universities and colleges. These are generally divided into two types: immersive educators such as Hack Bright that tend to focus on computer programming and massive open online courses (MOOC) such as Coursera that focus on collaborative and individualised learning. The growth of immersives and especially MOOCs around the world is a sign of how quickly digital innovation is changing the world and jobs market. The skills required for the new jobs on the cutting edge of innovation are changing rapidly and new job types are being created all the time. As innovative as the alternative educators have been, they have targeted the higher-income population group.

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New Workers, New Skills

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 05/23/2016 - 00:35

by Marina Gorbis, EDUCAUSE Review

As the world of work undergoes transformation, new worker categories are emerging—people who, by choice or by necessity, are thinking about making a living in new ways and who are putting work into a very different context. At the Institute for the Future (IFTF), our team of ethnographers has been exploring these new worker categories while conducting in-depth interviews and observations in various locations around the United States. These workers span different levels of skills and different levels of engagement with work, from those who simply rent their assets (e.g., homes, cars) to generate income streams to those who work in new ways full-time. Such workers include micro-workers, dream builders, amplified entrepreneurs, and makers and hackers.

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Penn State Responds to Surge of Interest in Skills-Based Online Teaching Certificate

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 05/23/2016 - 00:30

by EdSurge

Last fall Pennsylvania State University’s World Campus launched a small, free skills-focused certificate program meant to help 30 graduate students develop online teaching abilities—but 350 actually showed up, and now the university plans to shake up its professional development to reflect the swell of interest. Laurence Boggess, director of faculty development for the World Campus, told Inside Higher Ed he believes this reflects a larger shift: “These graduate students who are about to go off and be the professors of the future, they get it. They understand that they’re going to be teaching online at some point, and they understand that online education—for better or worse—is not going anywhere.”

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Using MOOC Data for Your Benefit

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 05/22/2016 - 00:40

by Lee Maxey, Chief Learning Officer

If chief learning officers could tap into research showing how people are learning most effectively online, it could greatly improve learning content. By talking to universities about their approach to, and results from, online learning, CLOs could change the way their learning and development teams design courses and think about learning. For instance, a plethora of schools publish massive open online courses, or MOOCs. Organizations like edX, launched by Harvard University and MIT, have added dozens of leading schools to present free courses online. Coursera and Udacity have, too. Each of these organizations, and the schools that supply courses, extract heaps of data about what people are clicking on to learn, which in turn demonstrates retention rates. If learning leaders want to understand this data, they can start by contacting the person running the MOOCs for, say, HarvardX or the Harvard Business School. Boston’s Berkelee College of Music supplies MOOCs via something akin to a startup, which is run from within the school itself.

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NComputing provides easy access to Windows on Chromebook

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 05/22/2016 - 00:36

by eSchool News

NComputing has launched the Chromebook CX110 and Chrome app, giving U.S. schools the ability to easily run Windows applications on their Chromebooks. More than half of all computers used in U.S. K-12 schools are Chromebooks, and now NComputing Chromebooks – with the vSpace client – provides easy, multi-user access to the Windows, Java or Silverlight applications often necessary for learning and testing applications. vSpace software benefits schools by providing a centrally managed, reliable and scalable solution that delivers as many as one hundred individual Windows desktops from a single computer. This creates a cost-effective and easy-to-deploy solution for schools who can now use a single Chromebook device to access all their ChromeOS and Windows applications.

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Social media’s top 50 colleges and universities

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 05/22/2016 - 00:30


Engagement, impact and responsiveness were all key to landing a spot on the list of the best institutions on social media. Technology and data company Engagement Labs released its 2016 ranking of the top 50 U.S. colleges and universities on social media networks Facebook and Twitter. As the higher education landscape becomes more competitive than ever, social media has become an increasingly important way for colleges and universities to gain an edge over one another. Social media is especially helpful for schools not only with regards to recruitment and retention, but also to communicate with current and prospective students in a timely and effective manner that matches their tastes.

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5 ways adaptive learning is evolving

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 05/21/2016 - 00:40


A new report examines how adaptive learning is changing both the institutional and supplier landscapes. It’s changing the way faculty teach, building new features into technology products for institutions, and is slowly coming out of the test pilot bubble. Learning to Adapt 2.0 notes that institutions will need to address cost, access and quality of adaptive learning tools to ensure success. It also provides an overview of the supplier landscape. In the report, the firm defines adaptive learning as “solutions that take a sophisticated, data-driven, and in some cases, non-linear approach to instruction and remediation, adjusting to each learner’s interactions and demonstrated performance level and subsequently anticipating what types of content and resources meet the learner’s needs at a specific point in time.”

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MIT Adds Supercomputing Center

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 05/21/2016 - 00:35

By Leila Meyer, Campus Technology

The MIT Lincoln Laboratory established a new supercomputing center in April to provide more than 1,000 MIT researchers with access to high-performance computing (HPC) cluster nodes. The Lincoln Laboratory Supercomputing Center (LLSC) features an interactive, on-demand parallel computing system running thousands of processors that will enable MIT researchers “to process larger sets of sensor data, create higher-fidelity simulations, and develop entirely new algorithms,” according to information on the lab’s site. The center is also “extremely” green, with computers running 93 percent carbon-free, according to information from MIT. Albert Reuther, manager of LLSC, said the center is unlike other supercomputing centers because of its “focus on interactive supercomputing for high-performance data analysis” and relatively low carbon footprint.

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Data Security Gap in Computer Science Education

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 05/21/2016 - 00:30

By Vince M. Bertram, Campus Technology

Giving students an early start on computer science education with a focus on security is crucial. And high school is already too late, argues Project Lead the Way’s Vince Bertram. There is a disturbing trend in computer science education today: Not one of the top 10 computer science programs in the U.S. requires so much as a single cybersecurity course as a prerequisite for graduation, and just three of the top 50 computer science programs, as ranked by Business Insider, require majors to complete such a course. Worse still, out of the 121 schools examined in a recent CloudPassage study, just one — the University of Alabama — requires three or more cybersecurity classes to graduate. The IT security company surveyed cybersecurity education at undergraduate computer science programs at top colleges and universities across the U.S.

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Popularity of Online and Community Learning Predicted to Boost the demand for Flipped Classrooms Through 2020, Says Technavio

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 05/20/2016 - 00:39

by Business Wire

According to the latest research study released by Technavio, the global flipped classroom market is expected to record a CAGR of over 37% by 2020. This research report titled ‘Global Flip Classroom Market 2016-2020’, provides an in-depth analysis of market growth in terms of revenue and emerging market trends. This market research report also includes up to date analysis and forecasts for various product segments, including software, hardware, and services. “In the flipped learning model, learning content is provided to the students primarily in the form of video and audio lectures before a classroom session begins. Teachers design lectures that act as study materials for students to ensure that they have some knowledge of the subject before the in-class session.

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Over 50% of Pandora Listeners Consider Online Classes a Top Factor in Choosing a Graduate Program

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 05/20/2016 - 00:35


Research shows that obtaining the right graduate school degree can increase an applicant’s or employee’s level of competitiveness. In fact, a recent survey reveals that 27% of employers want a master’s degree for positions that previously required a bachelor’s degree. And, a graduate degree can also boost salaries by as much as $17,000 a year. Online program options appear to be a factor among would-be graduate students. According to a recent survey of Pandora listeners, 52% consider online classes a top enrollment influencer for graduate programs.

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Lower Income Families Less Likely to Use Online Learning Tools

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 05/20/2016 - 00:30

by Laura Diamond, Georgia Tech

Parents looking to help their children succeed academically can access free online educational programs, games and services to help them outside the classroom. A plethora of these tools have popped up in recent years in an attempt to close the achievement gap and digital divide between the rich and poor. Instead, the gap seems to be getting larger because of these tools, according to a new study from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Cisco systems introduces ‘Internet of Everything’ free online course

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 05/19/2016 - 00:36


CISCO systems, a US multinational technology company, is set to introduce a free online course, focusing specifically on the “Internet of Everything (IoE)”, which it hopes will help address the unemployment crisis in SA. The course is aimed at equipping students with specific information and communications technology (ICT) skills that will be in increasing demand in Africa in the near future. The company said this week that in order to address the unemployment problem, SA will need to rethink its centres of economic growth, which have traditionally been the mining, manufacturing and trade sectors. According to Alfie Hamid, regional manager for corporate affairs at Cisco systems, the company set about introducing the course with the aim of upskilling the South African ICT workforce, “resulting in respectable expert masters in networking”.

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Is this Dallas-area online-only school the next big trend in public education?

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 05/19/2016 - 00:30

by Corbett Smith, Dallas Morning News

Online-only programs can be a boon to families, particularly those with thriving students who can’t make a traditional school schedule work. But don’t expect such schools to gain much ground on traditional schools anytime soon. Growth has been stymied by the Texas Legislature, reluctant to open up the enrollment process or increase the number of operators. “I’m a believer that what we’re growing is choice,” iUniversity Prep’s director Kaye Rogers said. “Brick-and-mortar campuses, they aren’t going to go away. Virtual is growing … but I think it’s a place for certain kids.”

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The opportunities and challenges of digital learning

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 05/18/2016 - 00:39

By: Brian A. Jacob, Brookings

Even with the best implementation, digital learning is likely to benefit students differently depending on their personal circumstances and those of their school. For instance, non-native English speakers might benefit from online instruction that allows them to pause and look up unfamiliar words. Likewise, we might expect an online course to be more advantageous for students attending a brick-and-mortar school with very low-quality teachers. A large IES-funded evaluation of computer-aided instruction (CAI) released in 2007 found that students randomly assigned to teachers using the leading CAI products fared no better than students in control classrooms. Several years later, then graduate student Eric Taylor, decided to reanalyze the data from the study, focusing on whether the impacts of these technologies varied across classrooms. His analysis suggests that the introduction of computer-aided instruction had a positive impact on students in classrooms with less effective teachers and a negative impact on students in classrooms with more effective teachers.

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Dropbox Launches Education Offering

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 05/18/2016 - 00:35

by Inside Higher Ed

The file-hosting service Dropbox is launching a new deployment option specifically for colleges and universities. More than 4,000 institutions already use the company’s cloud-based storage solutions for businesses, but the company saw an opportunity to launch a separate offering for educational institutions, said Jason Katcher, who leads Dropbox’s education efforts. While Dropbox for Business customers pay $149 a year per user, Dropbox Education is priced at $49. Colleges can also earn discounts depending on the size of their student populations. Katcher, previously the head of Google Apps for Education, said Dropbox sees itself playing a supporting role to the learning management systems and collaboration tools that colleges already use.

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