Educational Technology

A new technology is fundamentally changing learning–here’s how

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 03/18/2017 - 00:29


Middle school students across the U.S. are learning how the body works by studying the anatomy of a frog, a vertebrate with an organ system similar to that of humans. But unlike school lab work that uses real specimens or images of a virtual frog on a screen, a new approach to this standard experiment is taking the act of learning to a unique interactive level, thanks to the use of technology known as blended reality. Blended reality combines the physical and digital with augmented reality that takes sensory inputs – sounds, scents, sites and haptic or “touch” feedback–to blur the lines between the real and virtual worlds.

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Embrace the Unexpected: New Tools Transform Teaching and Learning

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 00:40

by Dave Doucette, EdTech Magazine

This notion — that “faculty resistance” is so pervasive that instructional designers would benefit from advice on how to overcome it — speaks volumes about this relationship. Faculty and technical staff have great potential for collaboration, but there’s a decent chance that friction may occur instead. Bridging this gap may require more than simply teaching faculty to use new tools. For some instructors, adopting significant changes to the teaching profession requires a deep shift in thinking and in culture. It’s worth understanding where faculty may be coming from. It’s also worth remembering that everyone on campus has the same objective: giving students the best education possible and preparing them for rewarding futures.

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Personalized Scam Emails on the Rise

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 00:35

By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed

Smaller institutions report an increase in sophisticated attempts to gain access to financial and personal information. Hackers are taking the time to get to know smaller colleges. IT departments at smaller institutions are reporting that they are spending increasing amounts of time protecting against the kind of sophisticated, personalized attacks that once plagued mostly large research universities. Gone are the days of typo-ridden emails with questionable grammar addressed to “Dear Sir.” In their place are emails seemingly from legitimate senders — administrators and local businesses among them — that seek to gain access to financial and personal information. The fraudulent emails often asks recipients to double-check a payment, forward copies of tax paperwork or initiate a wire transfer. “You can’t just hide behind your small size,” said Nathan Phillips, chief information officer at Marylhurst University, a private liberal arts university just outside Portland, Ore. “What seems to have changed in the last year or two is that the attacks seem to be more directed. People are clearly doing research on who they’re targeting.”

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Helping faculty tackle STEM tech ed issues

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 00:30

by Madeline Patton, Community College Daily

The $20,000 grants, which AACC provides with support from the National Science Foundation, allow faculty, with the support of their institution’s administration, to test ideas to resolve issues that may have been lingering for years or that may be emerging with new technologies. To encourage innovation, AACC’s staff provides attentive, flexible support and resources. Mentors offer advice upon request and ask motivational questions. Faculty at the three community colleges featured today executed ambitious, multi-faceted plans that evolved during the past two years to meet the needs of students and communities.

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Virtual Schools Market in North America Expected to Grow 13% by 2021

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 03/16/2017 - 00:38

By Richard Chang, THE Journal

The virtual schools market in North America is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of almost 13 percent from 2017 to 2021, according to a new report by market research firm Technavio. The report states that Technavio analysts forecast the virtual schools market in North America to grow to more than 1 billion enrollments by 2021, though there are fewer than 1 billion people residing in the United States and Canada, the researched countries. Technavio analysts provide the following three factors that are contributing to the growth of the virtual schools market in North America:

Increase in online content development and digitization;

Demand for cloud-based e-learning; and

Rise in custom learning methods.

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Immersive Education: AR Comes of Age

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 03/16/2017 - 00:34

By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

Despite all the headlines and conference coverage of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) for education over the last year, the technology is still gaining speed — residing at that sweet spot in the hype cycle where, when you place headsets on people and gently guide them to turn around to gain a full view, they tend to gasp and say, “Oh, wow.” So imagine how your students would respond if, in that next geography lesson, instead of handing them a flat map of Peru, you pass out pre-loaded smartphones to each table along with a $15 Google Cardboard and ask them to pull up a walking tour that places them in Machu Picchu. “Seeing is believing,” said Colin Messenger, a senior market analyst with a focus on education at FutureSource Consulting.

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Amazon extends AI development race to college classrooms

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 03/16/2017 - 00:29

by Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

Amazon is betting that college students will help them to discover new frontiers with its Alexa technology, and is using college fellowship programs to recruit the nation’s best and brightest engineering students to develop intellectual property for the company. The Alexa Fund Fellows program is currently in schools like Carnegie Mellon University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Southern California and Waterloo University. It pairs students with professors to help develop innovation in voice recognition technology and is backed by a $100 million investment from the company’s foundation.

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4 good computer habits every teacher should have

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 03/15/2017 - 00:40


During the past two years, I’ve visited Apple’s Genius Bar eight times. I’ve watched a student cry in front of her PC after she found a Word document she had worked on for days corrupted. I’ve witnessed someone spill coffee on my colleague’s MacBook, and then felt enraged when he had to spend almost half its price to make the thing work again. Now you may ask me: What’s going on with our computers? Well, there is nothing wrong with the computers. It’s us. It’s our bad habits that led to these tragedies. That’s what I’d like to share with you today: four good computer habits every teacher should have in the digital age. These habits may affect your productivity, data security, and health. Health…seriously? Yes: A survey claims that Americans spend two hours a week waiting on their slow computers, which are sources of immense frustration and constant stress.

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The 2 edtech fields with the most potential under Trump

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 03/15/2017 - 00:36


Edtech investors and users could see significant growth in specific areas if the Trump administration sees its campaign rhetoric through.Though it’s too early to predict what impact the administration’s higher ed policies will have on the education technology sector, last year’s electoral campaign and executive actions in the early weeks of the administration may offer some insight into education priorities, pointing attention—and, potentially, funding—toward workforce development and institutional accountability. Neither area is a major departure from longstanding trends in higher education, but the administration’s emphasis will create opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors alike.

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Groundbreaking school blends high school and college together

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 03/15/2017 - 00:30

BY DAVE KNOCHE, eCampus News

The way we prepare students for the future is beginning to change because our economy is undergoing a makeover. The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce published a report stating that by 2020, 65 percent of our economy’s jobs will require post-secondary education or training beyond high school. That means that students without these post-secondary milestones will only be applicable for 35 percent of jobs. Because of this, it is important to create programs that encourage students to pursue post-secondary education. However, a four-year degree may not be the right path for every student.

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Students cash for notes a gray area

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 03/14/2017 - 00:42

By Jaime Adame, Arkansas Online

The promises from San Francisco-based StudySoup painted a rosy picture: cash for taking notes. But a University of Arkansas student said she ended up getting in trouble last fall for violating the school’s academic integrity policies after working as a notes-taker. UA faculty members are now debating how to best deal with the selling of lecture notes. The talks come after what one administrator described as increased calls from concerned faculty members and from students wondering if they are free to work with online study resource companies that are known for their aggressive recruiting tactics.

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Spotify points the way to new models of online business education

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 03/14/2017 - 00:35

by: Jonathan Moules, Financial Times

Scott DeRue, dean of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, thinks his employer needs a new business model. His idea sounds a lot like the music streaming service Spotify. The university earns about $80m a year from licensing and option agreements on 160 patents and 422 invention reports. It has also taught more than 5m students through the creation of massive open online courses available on the Coursera platform — but the revenue from Moocs is minimal as most are offered for free. Prof DeRue’s vision is akin to Spotify’s offering to music fans, with users able to download lectures and teaching material for a small subscription fee.

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Why Raspberry Pi is the future of computing devices

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 03/14/2017 - 00:30

By Jason Hiner, ZDNet

With the Internet of Things on pace to grow from 6 billion devices in 2016 to over 25 billion in 2020–according to Gartner and IDC–we’re entering an era where technology will become smaller, cheaper, and far more inconspicuous. Perhaps the flagship device of this new era is the Raspberry Pi. Launched by University of Cambridge computer scientists in 2011 as a $35 board for DIY projects, the Raspberry Pi erupted into a global phenomenon that has sold over 12 million units. Originally, the Cambridge team didn’t expect to sell more that a 1,000. Last week, the latest Pi hit the market–the Raspberry Pi Zero W, a $10 device that you can transform into a working computer with a little bit of modest tinkering (and your own keyboard, mouse, and monitor).

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Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 03/13/2017 - 00:40


A study by the Josephson Institute of Ethics interviewed 23,000 high school students and asked them a variety of questions about academic ethics. Of the teens surveyed, 51 percent said that they had knowingly cheated at some point on an exam but that they had no qualms about the behavior. A Common Sense Media survey found that 35 percent of students had cheated via cell phone, though the parents surveyed in that particular study did not believe their kids had ever cheated. In many cases, students did not realize that tactics like looking up answers on a smartphone were actually cheating at all. In today’s K-12 classrooms, students who cheat are rarely caught. There are no formulas written on in the insides of hands or students looking across the aisle, or whispering answers to their classmates.

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1 Million Interactive Flat Panels Sell in 2016

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 03/13/2017 - 00:35

By Richard Chang, Campus Technology

Interactive flat panel displays (IFPDs) did well in the education and corporate markets last year, selling one million units in 2016, according to a recent report by market research firm Futuresource Consulting. By the fourth quarter 2016, 68 percent of all interactive display sales were IFPDs. The growth has been considerable, with a compound annual growth rate of 59 percent from 2013 to 2016, and the growth is forecast to continue. On the other hand, the interactive whiteboard (IWB), the predecessor to IFPDs, is on the decline. Yet, the two technologies combined contributed to 1.6 million displays in 2016, the report said.

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Virtual program helps students stay on pace

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 03/13/2017 - 00:30

By Mark Haney, Daily Telegram

Emma Dennison is a sophomore at Blissfield High School. Even when she’s taking her classes in Georgia. John Fowler remains a junior and an athlete at Blissfield High School, even in a school year littered with hospitalizations and doctor’s appointments.That’s because both are taking full advantage of the district’s virtual learning program offered through Pearson GradPoint. The program lets students remain connected to the high school while taking some or all of their classes online. The Dennisons went to Blissfield High principal Steve Gfell before the school year started, asking what they could do for Emma. The family was going to spend an extended time in Georgia helping with an ailing grandson.

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Parent Alert! Your Child Just Skipped Class

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 03/12/2017 - 00:38

by Anya Kamanetz and Cory Turner, NPR

Peter Bergman and Eric W. Chan of Teachers College, Columbia University: “In a field experiment across 22 middle and high schools, we [sent] automated text-message alerts to parents about their child’s missed assignments, grades and class absences. The intervention reduces course failures by 39% and increases class attendance by 17%.” That’s from a draft paper they’ve just released. They say the intervention was especially helpful for students who were struggling academically. The students’ GPAs improved by a quarter of a point on a four-point scale. And students were more likely to stay in school. Bergman told NPR Ed that he has been researching the power of texting parents for about six years. In a previous study in Los Angeles, he tapped out the texts by hand.

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How Do Online Courses Work?

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 03/12/2017 - 00:35

By Danni White, ULoop

Students unfamiliar with distance education may find themselves asking, “Well, how do online courses really work?” The truth is, online courses work much the same way as traditional courses. It is the same (in some cases, a higher) level of course requirements and high expectations. And why shouldn’t it be? Students who take courses online do not want to feel as if their education is inferior to those who take the traditional route. And down through the years, educators, lawmakers, and policy setters have worked hard to make that the case.

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Proposed law: Minnesota schools could replace snow days with e-learning days

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 03/12/2017 - 00:29


If there’s one thing Minnesota students look forward to each winter, it’s a snow day. No school and tons of fresh snow to play in – what could be better? Well, Minnesota lawmakers are now considering a bill that would keep school closed on days of inclement weather, but keep class in session. H.F. 1421 would give school districts the option to hold up to 5 “e-learning days” that would replace the typical no-school snow days and count as a day of instruction.

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Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 03/11/2017 - 00:35


Technology in the classroom can be so much more and so much better than the stereotypical cell phone going off in the middle of class. Technology can actually be a major tool, both in terms of pedagogical resources and in terms of connecting with the younger generations. But how does this work? The top seven important concepts to understand when examining the use of technology for educational or instructional purposes are linked below.

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