Educational Technology

State Progress on K-12 Computer Science Ed Policies: ‘We Have a Long Way to Go’

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 00:40

By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

If understanding of computer science is essential to being an informed citizen, then it makes sense that every child needs an education in the use of computing devices and software, digital literacy and computational processing. That’s the premise of a new report developed by half a dozen organizations that undertook a state-by-state survey of the current state of K-12 CS education. The report, titled “State of the States Landscape Report: State-Level Policies Supporting Equitable K–12 Computer Science Education,” was released during a workshop led by Google, the Education Development Center (EDC), and the Massachusetts Computing Attainment Network (MassCAN) on Google’s Cambridge campus.

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Why Gen Z needs librarians now more than ever

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 00:35


Whether guiding research or introducing new technology, today’s librarian gives Gen Z the skills and tools they need to move from ‘getting it right now’ to ‘getting it right.’Librarians and media specialists are in a unique position within schools, since they are very often the person responsible for introducing students to new technologies, and are also on the front lines when it comes to connecting students to meaningful sources for research. Today’s students have never known a world without the smartphone or tablet, and many of them have been using these devices independently since infancy. The answers to their questions have never been more than a click of a button away. In this brave new world of technological innovation and free-flowing information, librarians are now tasked with teaching these digital natives how to navigate these waters with discernment, while still taking full advantage of the opportunities these tools afford them.

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Indiana U Students Save $3.5 Million Through Digital Textbook Program

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 00:29

by Campus Technology

Indiana University (IU) is out with a numbers update for its eText initiative that delivers digital course materials to students: In the 2016-17 academic year, IU students saved an estimated $3.5 million more than what they would have otherwise spent on traditional programs, according to a campus official. The program uses an inclusive-access model that delivers digital course materials directly to students in time for their first day of class. More than 40,000 IU students purchased at least one digital textbook through the initiative in the same academic year. The university launched eText as a pilot in 2009. IU partnered with more than 20 higher ed publishers to drive costs down, while expanding catalogs and providing more options for teachers and students.

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Teaching and Learning Get Personal With Change to Proficiency-Based Grading

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 00:35

by Nora Doyle-Burr, Valley News

Instead of receiving traditional letter grades, students in seventh and eighth grades, and in ninth grade in the core courses of science, social studies and English, were evaluated in certain skills by their mastery — beginning, approaching, proficient and distinguished. Woodstock’s change in its grading system is linked to an imminent statewide change in graduation requirements and an accompanying push to emphasize a more personalized approach to teaching and learning. If Woodstock’s recent experience is any guide, other Vermont school districts should expect hiccups during the transition. In a proficiency-based system, teachers rely on standards such as the Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards and state Education Quality Standards to determine which skills they expect students to master. They use rubrics and “I can” statements to show students what they need to be able to do to become proficient in each skill.

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How to Implement Blended Learning in the K-12 Classroom

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 00:30

by Matthew Lynch, tech Edvocate

First and foremost, educators need to know their students. Teachers at the K-12 level must be aware of the level of access to technology their students have at home. Blended learning will look very different in a school where the majority of students don’t have access to high-speed internet at home versus a school where every student can log in at home. For classrooms where most students can’t get online from home, blended learning is still an option. Teachers can set up a schedule where students alternate between digital and traditional learning modes in the classroom. Two or three days a week could be devoted to completing online activities, while the remaining days might look like a more traditional classroom.

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WV Legislature passes home-school, virtual education bills

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 04/20/2017 - 00:29

by Ryan Quinn, Gazette-Mail

Lawmakers Saturday completed legislation giving home-schoolers access to public vocational education centers, giving them access to public school sports and allowing county public school systems to offer home-schoolers and others full-time K-12 virtual education — while getting state funding for it. Saturday was the last day of the regular legislative session. Gov. Jim Justice still hasn’t signed or vetoed any of the bills that were finished by midnight.

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Using the ‘virtual’ to change the ‘reality’ of education

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 00:40


Jonah Firestone, a Washington State University assistant professor of science education, wants to use the equipment to explore ways that virtual reality can help students, teachers and the education process. “The lab is designed to look at the melding of virtual and augmented reality into education,” he said. The Virtual Integrated Technology for Assessment Learning laboratory opened recently with the help of a $50,000 grant from the WSU Tri-Cities chancellor’s office. Firestone, who spent 20 years teaching in public and private schools, said he became more interested in the role of technological advances in the classroom during his career. Virtual reality is just the latest form of computer technology to make its way into classrooms.

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School innovator incorporates blended learning in teacher training

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 00:35

By Corinne Lestch, EdScoop

Yorktown Community Schools has a culture of “embracing what’s next.” Those are words from the district’s director of eLearning and Curricular Innovation, Holly Stachle. “All of our stakeholders, including students, parents and the administration, are accepting of a 21st century learning environments.” Stachler was named a NextGen Leader by the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) and EdScoop in a national program to recognize rising leaders in K-12 education technology. She will be recognized along with her fellow finalists at the annual CoSN conference this month in Chicago. Stachler plays a key role in development curriculum and policy, and she has to some extent filled the capacity of technology director. She also does all the professional development for teachers on new tools and devices.

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5 Differences Between MOOCs, Online Degree Programs

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 04/19/2017 - 00:30

By Olena Reid, US News

Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, offer a great opportunity for prospective students to learn more about almost any topic imaginable. MOOCs are generally accessible to anyone for free unless you pay for a certificate of completion, and are often created by companies such as edX and Coursera in collaboration with universities. These courses are also an excellent way to test the waters of online learning before diving into a full online program. If you have tried MOOCs and are considering pursuing an online degree, here are some differences between the two you should consider.

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The Hidden Costs of Active Learning

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 04/18/2017 - 00:34

By Thomas Mennell, Campus Technology

Flipped and active learning truly are a better way for students to learn, but they also may be a fast track to instructor burnout. I end every publication and every talk with the catchphrase “I’ll never teach another way again,” and I mean it. Students learn more deeply, more effectively, and they integrate material much more through a flipped/active learning format than with more traditional, lecture-based instruction. To teach in any other way, to me, seems almost unethical — especially given how much money today’s college student spends on his/her education. How could I deliver an inferior product to my students when I know that flipped learning is so much better? That said, there are many days when I wish I’d never heard of flipped learning at all — times when I wish I actually could teach another way again.

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MIT Brings Free Science and Math Video Lessons to Charter High Schoolers

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 04/18/2017 - 00:30

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Now MIT has teamed up with a Massachusetts charter school system for regular access to the free website, which has about 200 videos in its online library for use in science and math courses. All of the lessons are intended to show the use of science and math to solve real-world scenarios. For example, another lesson, “The Fault in Our Cells,” researches chemotherapy resistance; and “I am a Novice Marathoner” looks at how the human body produces energy through food digestion.

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Using Simulations to Create Virtual Learning Experiences

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 04/18/2017 - 00:27

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

There are many types of simulations that can help instruct children, teens, and college students. For example, there are flight simulators that can be used to help highlight different areas, such as the historic flight of Amelia Earhart across the Atlantic Ocean and various Physics concepts. Simulations do not have to be expensive. With a little research, you are likely to find a free or low-cost online simulation that will help students better understand concepts and ideas. For example, you can teach about the stock market, economics, and business management on SimCEO. There are interview simulators to help students get practice when applying for a job. There are even simulations that are designed to help students sympathize with someone being bullied and help to resolve the problem in a positive way.

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Future of Learning Is Here! Online Learning Is Shaping Today’s Education Trends

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 04/17/2017 - 00:40

By Aarzu Khan, DazeInfo

Radio, TV and of course computers themselves have been implemented in schools and universities with a lot of enthusiasm. The results have not been all that impactful. For most of the 20th Century students have been studying in much the same way as they have in the previous century. One of the most exciting things about the current online learning age is the fact that it allows us to be better world citizens. We can find out anything about other nations. Often directly from them in the form of social media.

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Carl Sandburg college offers new online degree with help from robots

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 04/17/2017 - 00:36


Courses like labs and speech caused hurdles for an online degree because those classes were required to be taken in person. Now, students can take those classes and many others through a robot! It’s all made possible by a telepresence that allows students to be enrolled online but go to class in person if they are struggling with a topic or course. Students go to class in person or as the robot through Skype on a wireless computer or tablet on wheels. The robot is controlled by the student on a computer from wherever they choose. “With the robot, it can wheel up and be a part of the group and the student’s face is on the screen. They can talk to the group and the person feel like they are there. It’s really cool,” said Lori Sundberg, President of Carl Sandburg.

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Online classes lack needed interaction

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 04/17/2017 - 00:31

by Elyse Kuhn, the Bon Adventure

Like most students here at Bonaventure, I am not a huge fan of getting up in the morning for class. Online classes seem easy in theory, but after being in one for over half of the semester, I have come to the conclusion it is not anything like you’d think. Online classes seem like they do not require too much effort. You get to sleep in, you never have to leave your bed, and you still get an A (in theory). I am here to tell you that this is the furthest thing from true. The responsibility is specifically on you to remember to always check the website. If you forget to look online, then that is solely on you. If you don’t realize until it’s too late that you had something due, then that’s too bad.

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Survey: To get more women in STEM, hire more female faculty

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 04/16/2017 - 00:40

by Roger Riddell, Education Dive

A recent CDW survey of 300 college women that examined both those majoring in STEM and those who left their STEM major suggests a lack of female role models, including instructors, in these fields is a primary deterrent to their pursuit. Among the survey’s findings are that 63% of female STEM majors question their abilities, close to 50% say their gender resulted in harder experiences, and 20% aren’t sure they’ll remain in STEM majors through graduation, Ed Tech: Focus on Higher Ed reports. Along with providing more female role models, researchers say the image of scientists, engineers and others in STEM fields needs to be broadened beyond negative stereotypes like that of the male “Dungeons and Dragons” nerd.

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Using Robotics to Prepare Students for the Future

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 04/16/2017 - 00:35

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

In today’s’ technology-driven world, it’s important now more than ever to prepare students for the future. Teaching robotics to young students throughout their schooling can increase their ability to be creative and innovative thinkers and more productive members of society. By teaching our students the basics of robotics, we can open a whole new world to them and exciting opportunities that they wouldn’t have access to otherwise. Industries such as the drone industry have grown dramatically and rapidly in the last couple of years. The Economist has reported that more than 15,000 drones are being sold in the US every month. Growing industries such as these are going to need people who can come up with new and innovative ideas, and be equipped with the knowledge to design and create the technology needed.

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Clicking Your Way to Flipping Your Class

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 04/16/2017 - 00:30

by Quentin Vicens*, Tomorrow’s Teaching and Learning

‘Flipping the classroom’ has become a popular endeavour among faculty and instructors¹, ²– it’s a refreshing and most welcome way to change the way we teach. In the process of flipping a class, especially for the first time, ‘clicker’-based peer instruction represents a powerful solution to engaging students in order to promote learning. Why does flipping a class make sense? In a nutshell: students don’t need an instructor to access content and ‘go through the book chapters’, especially when the internet is available 24/7 – but they do need an instructor to help them digest, process, criticize, and know how to apply that information. From a ‘sage on the stage’ in the traditional lecture, the instructor turns into a ‘guide on the side’, whose job is not merely to deliver complicated matter but to promote learning and ensure mastery of key concepts.

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Digital Readiness Gaps

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 04/15/2017 - 00:40

BY JOHN B. HORRIGAN, Pew Charitable Trust

In this report, we use newly released Pew Research Center survey findings to address a related issue: digital readiness. The new analysis explores the attitudes and behaviors that underpin people’s preparedness and comfort in using digital tools for learning as we measured it in a survey about people’s activities for personal learning. Specifically, we assess American adults according to five main factors: their confidence in using computers, their facility with getting new technology to work, their use of digital tools for learning, their ability to determine the trustworthiness of online information, and their familiarity with contemporary “education tech” terms. It is important to note that the findings here just cover people’s learning activities in digital spaces and do not address the full range of important things that people can do online or their “readiness” to perform them.

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Partnerships between bootcamp programs, traditional higher ed a win-win

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 04/15/2017 - 00:35

by Autumn A. Arnett, Education Dive

universities to offer their same lower-cost certification programs through institutions with stronger reputations, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. For the bootcamp companies, which became the targets of employer skepticism recently, partnering with traditional universities offers more “legitimacy” and the benefit of a bigger, more trusted brand. For the institutions, the pairing increases capacity to train students in marketable skills, thus boosting alumni’s chances of finding employment after graduation.

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