Educational Technology

Britannica® and Merriam-Webster® Announce Free English Learning App and Site for Spanish Speakers

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 00:36

by Merriam-Webster

Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. and Merriam-Webster, Inc. are pleased to announce the launch of Nglish—a free English language learning app and site designed especially for Spanish speakers. In addition to full bilingual text translation, Nglish offers a unique and tailored learning experience that allows users to learn the words they want to learn, on their own schedule, wherever they are. Nglish includes a comprehensive Spanish-English dictionary with hundreds of thousands of example sentences in English, synonyms, and audio pronunciations by native speakers. Word and sentence translation is available from Spanish to English and English to Spanish. Automatic language detection makes translation fast and easy, with one single search box for both languages.

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Using Voxer to Streamline School Communication

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 00:30

by Alejandro Rivera, Edutopia

Voxer is described as a free app that combines the best of voice, text, and photo messages into a high-tech walkie-talkie, creating a powerful, modern, personal and team messaging tool. As the administrative team at Northern Parkway Elementary School in Uniondale, New York, we’ve found that Voxer has served as a simple yet effective way to improve the following administrative practices.

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From home to Huntsman: Wharton’s online course offerings will draw MBA applicants

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 00:28

By BRYN FERGUSON, Daily Pennsylvanian

Taking Wharton classes online may not earn Coursera students a degree, but it may draw them to Huntsman Hall. Wharton has recently expanded its offerings of Massive Open Online Courses on Coursera with the introduction of the Business Foundations Specialization. The program combines the introductory business classes that were released in 2013 with a new Capstone Project that users complete after successfully finishing the Foundations classes. The top 50 students will have their application fees to the Wharton MBA program waived and, if accepted into Wharton, the top five students will be granted a $20,000 scholarship. “We are hoping someday we can have sponsors to increase the size of the grant,” said Managing Director of the Innovation Group Don Huesman.

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5 Ways to Keep Social Media From Being a Legal Headache

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 00:40

By Bradley Shear, THE Journal

Most states don’t require their school districts to create social media guidelines. However, some states, such as New Jersey, require their schools to draft and implement policies that adhere to certain principles. There is no one-size-fits-all social media policy for students, teachers and school administrators. State law and community standards differ around the country, so what may be acceptable in one jurisdiction may not work in another. If your district decides to draft a social media policy, leaders should discuss the plan with the proper stakeholders to avoid a major backlash when the new policies are implemented.

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How to Crowdfund Your Classroom

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 00:35

By Amanda Ronan, Edudemic

Because of budget cuts, and the need for a tremendous amount of new technology due to the latest testing requirements, a lot of school coffers are running on empty. Teachers who want to do anything beyond sit in the classroom all day with their students reading ancient textbooks have to come up with the money to do so. Some get creative by finding free field trip locations and using public transportation. And still others find help online. In fact, crowdfunding has become an indispensible resource for teachers looking to find money for classroom projects, materials, and field trips. There are several crowdfunding websites out there, a few of which are designed to raise money specifically for educational projects.

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5 Questions to Ask About Online Community College Courses

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 00:30

By Ian Quillen, US News

The vast majority of two-year schools offer at least some online learning options. And as far back as 2008, a third or more of community college students in states like Virginia and Washington took at least one online course during their studies, according to the Community College Research Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College. But online learning at public two-year schools presents some unique challenges students may not expect. So before students choose a partial or fully online route for their community college experience, they might want to answer the following five questions about any potential program.

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Postsecondary Trending Now: Too Many Students Start College But Don’t Finish

Educause - Connect, Technology In Academia - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 19:17


In this post I ask tough questions about persistent gaps in high school graduation rates and how competency-based education could offer an alternate route to the traditional college credential.

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It’s Time to Trash the Terms “Non-Cogs” and “Soft Skills”

Educause - Connect, Technology In Academia - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 16:45



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K-12 Digital Curriculum Growing; Print Shrinking

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 00:39

By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

Curriculum publishers in K-12 have been shifting their product development to digital and away from print, according to Education Market Research, which surveyed around 100 publishers and manufacturers. The most common medium mentioned for delivering supplemental products was “online/digital” delivery; 82 percent of respondents cited that. Print followed with 65 percent. Over the course of 2013, the entire population of digital products grew by 43 percent; non-digital offerings dropped by 8 percent.

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Beyond Programming: The Power of Making Games

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 00:37

By Lisa Castaneda, Manrita Sidhu; THE Journal

“I gained a lot of skills! These skills include more computer skills which I did not have before, along with a different outlook on life. I began to see all of the opportunities in everyday life for different games and ideas. I gained a new perspective on an old picture.” — 8th grade student…. “Creating something out of nothing. It’s the closest thing to magic I can think of.” — Game developer

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Add Coding to Your Elementary Curriculum. . . Right Now

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 00:27

by Matt Harrell, Edutopia

As you well know, teachers are already stretched pretty thin, and often it seems like there’s just no bandwidth to add something new to a very full schedule. Additionally, some schools have few or no computers and/or tablets for classroom use. But the earlier we introduce children to coding, the more comfortable they will be when presented with more in-depth learning opportunities in middle and high school. Also, early exposure to coding helps teach children how important it is to understand computers as the valuable tools they are rather than merely fun playthings.

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5 Tech Implementation Challenges for Teachers

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 03/22/2015 - 00:39

By Kristen Hicks, Edudemic

In all the excitement around what technology can do for education, the frustrations of the teachers faced with using it often get drowned out. Even educators who embrace the idea of using more technology with their students have found that it brings its share of challenges. And many of them feel powerless to address those challenges on their own. The most common complaints teachers have about bringing more tech into the classroom can be boiled down to the five categories below. To fix them, teachers and administrators will have to work together. Obviously, that’s easier said than done, but we’ve got a few ideas to help.

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10 free online resources that will make you more successful

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 03/22/2015 - 00:35

by SUJAN PATEL, Business Insider

We’re never done learning. As an entrepreneur, it’s not hard to feel caught in your own niche — stuck, and feeling your personal growth slow dramatically. Taking time for a class can seem tiring, time-consuming, and expensive. It’s almost too hard to justify. Then these free educational resources came along. For those who think they don’t have the time or resources to spend on a class, think again. I’ve compiled a list of the top free online learning sites for you to choose from.

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Videos Find Their Place In and Out of the Classroom

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 03/22/2015 - 00:30

by Casey Fabris, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Among today’s students, videos as an educational tool are as expected as textbooks. A new study has found that 68 percent of students watch videos in class, and 79 percent watch them on their own time, outside of class, to assist in their learning. Elisabeth Leonard, author of the study and executive market-research manager for SAGE Publications, said many of the students she spoke with said they couldn’t remember a time when videos weren’t part of their educational experience.

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Stanford Chief Wants Higher Ed to Be ‘Affordable, Accessible, Adaptable’

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 03/21/2015 - 00:40

By Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Mr. Hennessy sounded dubious that online credentials would ever entirely replace undergraduate degrees. Those degrees amount to more than a bunch of courses strung together, he said. But he predicted that online-only professional degrees would continue to grow. To be effective, online learning must overcome several challenges, he said. It has to help students learn better, and it needs to offer a customized experience. “In a live classroom, a good instructor can see what works and what doesn’t,” Mr. Hennessy said. Online instruction might be able to do that using real-time data and analytics on how students are engaging (or not) with the material. “We can get instant feedback,” he said.

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Educators: Technology enhances learning

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 03/21/2015 - 00:35

by Paul Penders, Daily Commercial, a nonprofit public charity, released a report weighing the pros and cons of tablets in the classroom. According to the report, some of the benefits of tablet use include: helping students learn more material faster; improved achievements on standardized tests, according to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt which showed students scoring 20 percent higher on standardized tests by using an iPad version of a textbook; and 77 percent of teachers found technology to increase student motivation to learn, according to a Public Broadcasting Service study. The report also listed several downsides to the use of technology.  “Tablets cause distractions; enable students to cut corners or cheat on schoolwork; and shift the focus of learning from the teacher to technology,” according to the study.

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“Become a HTML champ”

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 03/21/2015 - 00:30

by Emmanuel Lund, AppsZoom

You always wanted to learn web development, but you didn’t know how to begin, right? You can begin by downloading “Learn HTML”. Don’t be scared: unlike all those tedious books you’ve tried to read, “Learn HTML” features a fresh and dynamic way to learn the basics of web development. The course will guide you through different lessons. Each lesson is split in topics and each topic is explained in a clear and concise way in video lecture from the most-known online learning site In order to strengthen the new concepts, a quiz question will show up after each video asking for something related to what you just watched. In addition, at the end of the lesson, you’ll have to pass a short quiz test.

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Google launches digital training classes

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 00:39

By Tereza Pultarova, Engineering and Technology

Internet giant Google has launched a six month scheme offering digital skills training to businesses and educators. The multimillion-pound project will see Google opening several ‘pop-up garages’, starting in Leeds this month, running workshops and classes. “While the majority of UK small businesses recognise the importance of having a website and using basic digital tools, less than 30 per cent of small to medium-sized enterprises have an effective online presence,” said Eileen Naughton, Google’s managing director for UK & Ireland. “We want to help jumpstart the other 70 per cent.

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A principal offers insights from his teachers on Digital Learning Day.

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 00:35

by Matt Renwick, Educational Technology

Matt Renwick is an elementary school principal in Wisconsin. Prior to becoming an administrator, Matt was a 5th and 6th grade teacher. You can follow him on Twitter at @ReadByExample and read his blog, Reading by Example. Across the world last Friday, educators celebrated Digital Learning Day by sharing the strategies that have worked in the classroom. Technology’s role in schools includes connecting the informational dots, capturing and reflecting on student artifacts and helping teachers personalize their approaches.

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