Educational Technology

7 key steps in creating an online learning program

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 00:35

By Vanessa Wrenn, eSchool News

Single district online programs are the largest and fastest-growing segment of online and blended learning. There were an estimated 1,816,400 enrollments in distance-education courses in K-12 school districts in 2009-2010, almost all of which were online courses (Economics & Statistics, 2011). Fueling the growth of district online learning programs are technology initiatives. School districts across the country continue to create technology enable learning environments by providing students and teachers with computing devices, often called one-to-one programs.

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5 gaming dynamics that truly engage students

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 00:30

By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

Students frequently walk away from homework when it is too difficult, but difficult games are another matter–kids walk away from games when they’re too easy. Difficult games present a positive challenge for students. A challenging task “stretches” a student’s brain, and the more a person expects his or her brain to do different things, the more pathways that person’s brain will develop. “Choice is a really important part of this equation, and gaming embodies choice–games are open-ended, and that’s part of the reason they’re so engaging for kids,” Kiang said.

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Hoisted by My Own Petard

Educause - Connect, Technology In Academia - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 16:11

This will be my final post in the “Got a Minute?” blog series: I am wrapping up my time as EDUCAUSE Presidential Fellow. I’ll spare everyone (including me!) the long goodbye; it has been a privilege and an honor to serve in this role advising EDUCAUSE President Diana Oblinger, the staff of this wonderful association, and my colleagues and friends in the membership. I thought, in parting, to leave you with the following story, hoping that it will have value as a cautionary tale. We do live in challenging times. See you around the campus.

Back in December 2013, I wrote a blog post titled “Risk and Compliance: The Threat of Mission Not Accomplished.” Little did I know I was foreshadowing my future. Quoting myself:

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What Happens When Tech-Savvy Teens Help Cyberseniors?

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 00:39

by Katie Lepi, Edudemic

In school settings, teachers are older than students. Thus, there is always much discussion around the concept of what’s changed since the teacher was the student’s age, and what that means for education. We look at generational differences between multiple generations. We talk about the future of education: Is it mostly STEM based? Is it all digital? Sometimes, it is important to remember that all of us need to learn different types of things throughout our lives, and that teachers don’t always take the form of an older, ‘more educated’ person in front of a classroom. The awesome video below is the trailer for a movie called “Cyberseniors”, in which teenagers team up with senior citizens to teach them about the internet. It offers some great takeaways, along with a solid dose of humor.

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5 Tips For Keeping Your School iPads Safe (And Not Cracked)

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 00:36

By Jason Cross, Edudemic

If you run a school that utilizes 1:1 technology tablets, you have no doubt had to deal with a few bumps and bruises. Especially if those tablets end up going home with students. Here are some tips for reducing tablet loss in your program.

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The Digital Lives of Teens: “If You Don’t Have a Plan for Them, They Will Have a Plan for You”

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 00:31

by Matt Levinson, Edutopia

For schools, the challenge is how to bring together kids’ “native” knowledge regarding technology and teachers’ pedagogical experience without entering into a tug-of-war battle that teachers will inevitably and invariably lose when technology is in the ring. A colleague of mine from many years ago gave me sage advice regarding working with middle schoolers: “If you don’t have a plan for them, they will have a plan for you.” There is no truer statement when it comes to deploying technology in schools. Teachers have to design learning experiences around challenging problems where the technology is a tool that needs to be used to solve the problem. If technology sits idly on the side, kids will go in their own direction, gravitating toward games and other “distractions,” and teachers will feel “gamed” by the kids. The kids will make their own plan.

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5 Powerful Videos That’ll Help You Understand Global Education

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 00:37

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

The Global Education Conference is a free, week-long event that connects teachers, students, administrators, and organizations from around the world. This particular conference is really awesome because it happens completely via webinar – so you can participate online. Aside from the advantages the all-webinar format offers, it also allows for a huge breadth of presenters and topics. The 2013 conference was host to over 200 general sessions and 19 keynote speakers, which really means there’s something for everyone in there. We’ve put together a short list of our 5 favorite videos from the 2013 conference – linked below.

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How The World Really Connects To The Internet

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 00:35

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

The internet: Not just for first world countries anymore. While high speed, broadband access may be much more ubiquitous in more developed countries, internet infrastructure and broadband connectivity is much more widespread than you may be aware of. Over the last decade, huge strides have been made, meaning many more students across the globe are being connected to the vast network of students, teachers, and the world. The handy infographic linked below paints a pretty good picture of what internet connectivity looks like around the world. Take a look, and try to imagine how many more people you could be connecting with around the globe in just a few short years.

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Technology will be woven into most courses: Sushil Vachani

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 00:28

by Anirban Sen, Livemint

So, if you look ahead, the education sector is at an inflection point. There are some obvious things—there is an increasing demand for education. But the big change that has occurred already is that technology is creating enormous opportunities for delivery of education. Online education has always been there. But all along, people kind of looked down their nose on online education. But in 2011, Stanford opened up their course on Artificial Intelligence as a MOOC. There were about 160,000 students registered for that course across the world. And only 23,000 completed the course. But there were still 23,000 students who completed it. This was a big deal not because an online course was being offered, but because one of the world’s best institutions was putting its stamp of approval on online education. And then other universities began to wake up. This is a tremendous opportunity, but it’s also a threat. The opportunity is that any university in the world can beam its course around the world. People who couldn’t afford a world-class education, can afford it. The threat is that they can come into your market.

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What will be the next wave of classroom technology?

Educause - Connect, Technology In Academia - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 16:25

By Jonathan Blake Huer, Director of Emerging Technologies, Ball State University

At orientation this past week, I was talking with an incoming freshman and her family about an app we’re working on "for students with smartphones." Her 16-year-old brother's immediate reply was, "who doesn't have a smartphone?" It's hard to believe, but today’s incoming freshmen were going into 7th grade when the iTunes App Store launched. So now that apparently "everyone" has a smartphone, it begs the question of "what's next?"

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The Space Between—and the Secret of Scale

Educause - Connect, Technology In Academia - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 16:12

Understanding how best to scale information technology is a challenge facing all segments of higher education, but perhaps the campus area most critically affected is administrative/enterprise systems.

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Why Udacity CEO Sebastian Thrun is rolling out

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 00:37

by Jason McCormick, Silicon Valley Business Journal

“There’s a huge skills gap. At some level, we’re trying to fill that skills gap,” said Thrun, who also is director of Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. We’re trying to give people a chance to find the right skills and build a pathway for them to learn the latest education in those spaces.” It’s all a part of online education growing up, and reflects a move into the professional skills market we documented back in November. Udacity has partnered in its new program with a number of large employers, including AT&T Inc. and Google Inc. The nanodegree programs will launch in the fall and focus on entry-level Web development and data analytics.

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Online courses future of higher ed

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 00:34

by ALLIE ROBINSON GIBSON, Bristol Herald Courier

Open online courses might be the way of the future for higher education, said a local educator. Rachel Fowlkes, executive director of the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, spoke to the Kiwanis Club of Abingdon this week about MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, which are often free classes taught by professors worldwide. Several prestigious institutions — in Virginia, the University of Virginia is involved — offer MOOCs, and it’s an easy and inexpensive way for folks to take a quality class, Fowlkes said. “We’re constantly looking for new ways” to educate students, she said. “We have and will embrace MOOCs as a way for people to develop their skills and goals.” She said MOOCs won’t replace campus-based education, but can help at places like the Higher Ed Center, which is a collaboration of colleges and universities throughout the state.

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Disruptive Innovation And Education

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 00:30

by Michael Horn, Forbes

What’s exciting here though is that through disruption, we have the opportunity to make a quality higher education fundamentally affordable and thereby allow many more people access to its benefits. The disruptions happening throughout education more generally afford us an opportunity to revisit how we cultivate children’s learning and futures—and hopefully allow us to do it in a way that is even better, given what we now know today. That’s not preordained either, of course, but we have the opportunity. It’s now all of our turn to shape it appropriately.

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Researchers To Study How School Leaders Use Data To Inform Decisions

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 07/13/2014 - 00:39

By David Nagel, Campus Technology

The United States Department of Education has awarded $5 million to three universities to find out how (or whether) school and district leaders use research to inform their decisionmaking. The grant will fund the creation of a new center — dubbed the National Center for Research in Policy and Practice — whose aim is to study how research is currently used in schools and in what circumstances research is used to inform decisions. It will also look to find ways that education-related research “could be made more meaningful for educational leaders through long-term partnerships between researchers and practitioners.” Research will be conducted by investigators at the University of Colorado Boulder, the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University and the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University.

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Report: Universities Struggle To Provide Adequate Bandwidth

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 07/13/2014 - 00:35

By David Raths, Campus Technology

SIIA’s annual survey finds that bandwidth is not keeping up with demand at higher ed institution, but suggests progress on digital content, e-portfolios. As more classroom activities require Internet access, the number of college and university educators who believe they have access to adequate Internet bandwidth levels is declining, suggesting that bandwidth is not keeping up with demand, according to the most recent annual survey by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA). Yet educators noted improvements in other areas, including security measures and e-portfolios.

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For rural school districts, where is new tech training available? Online, of course

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 07/13/2014 - 00:28

By Alexandria Neason, Hechinger Report

For teachers in rural areas, technology training for classrooms can be elusive. It’s one reason why swarms of teachers, smartphones in hand, crowded around a small table covered in bar coded stickers at the annual International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference, eager to learn. They listened intently on Sunday as Terra Graves, a district technology specialist from Washoe County, N.V., explained how to scan quick response (QR) codes for a new massive open online course (MOOC) debuting this August, using Google Hangouts and Google Plus. “Having it online, being able to have them connect with other educators that teach their content really broadened their horizons,” said Graves, one of hundreds of educators who are gathering at ISTE in Atlanta to swap tips and solutions on digital learning.

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The Effect of the ‘New’ E-Learning on Soft Skills Training Premium Content

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 07/12/2014 - 00:39

by Stephen Meyer, ASTD

The pull of the past is strong, but we’re on the cusp of a paradigm shift in soft skills e-learning. Most learning professionals now realize that short form is better. They’re acutely aware that multiconcept learning creates cognitive overload, making it tougher to get users to engage in e-learning, sustain their interest, and retain what they learned. We now have viable models for short-form e-learning, and the recognition has set in that learning events don’t have to present a broad range of concepts; you can learn important things in eight minutes. E-learning’s dirty little secret—poor utilization—is out, and if learning departments want to use e-learning, they’re going to have to demonstrate higher engagement. The new e-learning is the path to an exciting breakthrough.

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Facing New Technologies in the Classroom, Teachers Seek Help Online

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 07/12/2014 - 00:35

By Alexandria Neason, Games and Learning

One of the major challenges facing game developers hoping to get their tools used by teachers is the level to which teachers are comfortable using those technologies. In this story from the Hechinger Report, journalist Alexandria Neason reports from this week’s edtech conference in Atlanta about what some teachers are doing to answer the training gap.

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Learning-Disabled Siblings Graduate Thanks To Online Classes

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 07/12/2014 - 00:29


Melissa was eventually diagnosed with autism and auditory processing disorder. This high-functioning autistic girl started improving in online learning. “This is a platform and technology that makes sense to them,” explains autism expert Tandra Allen with the University of Texas at Dallas. Then there’s Melissa’s brother, William, who’s 22, diagnosed as a youngster with dyslexia and dysgraphia. Those disabilities impair reading and writing, even though he tested in the genius range, according to his mother. William tried online school like his sister. “I was able to pay attention, and didn’t have to deal with people yelling, screaming, using bad grammar,” William said. “Most of the time I was in the living room with my headphones on listening to music.” For students like William, music isn’t a distraction, it’s an aid.

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