Educational Technology

The Technology Disruptions of Today

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 04/14/2014 - 00:39

By Tanya Roscorla, Center for Digital Education

In the last five years, disruptive technology has widened the generation gap faster and further than it has in the past. Tech columnist David Pogue from Yahoo Tech talked about disruptive technology that is changing our lives in the closing keynote at the CoSN annual conference on Friday, March 21. Some of the technologies he highlighted include augmented reality, the Internet of Things and self-driving cars. The augmented reality app Word Lens, for example, translates words on a sign through live video, showing the English translation on the device’s screen. And the Internet of Things allows people to remotely control and monitor Web-connected devices like thermostats and security cameras.

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5 Education Problems that Superintendents Face

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 04/14/2014 - 00:35

By Tanya Roscorla, Center for Digital Ed

If we don’t change the way we teach, we could face a student revolt that will cause seismic shifts in how education works in the United States. Superintendents say this is just one of the things that has them concerned. Several shared their thoughts before and during a panel discussion at the 2014 CoSN (Consortium for School Networking) conference. When it comes to technology challenges, superintendents worry about device selection, student data privacy and helping educators get comfortable with technology tools. Let’s find out what problems they face and how they plan to deal with them.

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Can Online Teaching Improve Face to Face Instruction?

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 04/14/2014 - 00:30

by Michael L. Rodgers and Mary Harriet Talbut, Tomorrow’s Professor

In general, online courses require greater planning, more extensive resources, more formalized communication, and more detailed organization than do face to face courses. But, the work that goes into creating an online course, and the insights forthcoming from comparison of online and face to face versions of the course, can make the face to face course better in many ways.

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Whoa. Education Is A 7 Trillion Dollar Industry

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 04/13/2014 - 00:39

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

Education is a huge industry. It touches nearly everyone out there, so it should be. But often times when we think of ‘big industries’ we think of things like banking, cars, or consumer electronics. Well did you know exactly how big of an industry education is? And just how rapidly and how much the industry is changing because of new technologies? The handy infographic linked below, from Knewton and Column Five Media takes a look at some of these questions and more. Learn how digital education is poised to transform the way teachers teach and how students learn.

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Why Feedback Needs To Be Integrated Into Flipped Classrooms

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 04/13/2014 - 00:35

By David Matheson, Edudemic

The need for teachers to develop quality material outside class time is a genuine drain on their limited time and becomes a significant obstacle to the uptake of flipping. In a seemingly unrelated topic research is making an ever stronger case that effective feedback in a clear and timely manner has a significant influence of the achievement of student outcomes. This is especially the case for students facing high stakes examinations toward the end of their school experience. Summative evaluation through examinations is far from a new idea nor is returning papers and suggested answers. However, the merging of flipped classrooms and examination feedback may shed new insights and opportunities.

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Five Biometric Alternatives To The Password

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 04/13/2014 - 00:29

by CNN Wire

There are many things that make you special: Your sense of humor, your dance moves, your personal style, the shape of your ear. That’s right, your ear. The password has had its moment, but those hard-to-remember strings of number and letters are increasingly insecure and clumsy to manage. The next wave in computer security will be biometric authentication, the futuristic practice of using unique behavioral and biological traits such as fingerprints, gait and yes, even ear shape to confirm your identity. You might already have the necessary equipment to detect some of these your pocket.

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The business of ed-tech: From blue lights to mobile apps

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 04/12/2014 - 00:35

By Denny Carter, eCampus News

Among TapShield’s most popular features has been the Yank technology, which, when activated, sends an emergency signal to campus authorities if a user’s headphones are pulled from a mobile device. Within 10-15 seconds of the incident, campus police can dispatch responders to the scene. The Yank feature, Johnson said, has proven popular among college students who enjoy an evening run that can find them along on campus late at night. “The problem comes when you’re using headphones on run at night and you don’t have situational awareness around you because one of your greatest senses is diminished. You can’t hear,” he said. “It makes a student very vulnerable.”

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5 education grants you don’t want to miss

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 04/12/2014 - 00:34

By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

School funding difficulties show no sign of abating, and school budgets are stretched to the limit. Many educators and administrators rely on school grants to fund important projects and opportunities for students. Each month, eSchool News editors compile a list of the most current education grants expiring soon—from a focus on professional development for arts educators to funding that helps improve school leadership. You don’t want to miss out on these April school funding opportunities for teachers, students, parents, and administrators.

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The Cyberbullying Issue (And What Teachers Can Do To Help)

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 04/12/2014 - 00:30

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

Cyberbullying poses a problem for students that teachers and parents often can’t help with – because they don’t always know. The internet (and mobile technologies) has brought bullying to a place outside the easy access of adults, who can’t intervene if they don’t know there’s a problem. With over 80% of teens using cell phones and social media sites, technology is connecting our students in ways they may be unable to escape. The handy infographic linked below takes a look at some statistics about cyberbullying, along with some tips for both parents and educators. Keep reading to learn more.

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What Does Learning Look Like? A Look At Physical And Digital Spaces

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 00:38

By Tom Daccord, Edudemic

I would like you to concentrate on the first image that comes to mind. Ready? Here is the question: What does learning look like? Did you picture a classroom? Was there a teacher? What were students doing? Were they working quietly and individually? Or were they noisily collaborating? Were they sitting passively and listening? Or were they actively constructing something? When I pose this question to groups of educators, I’m struck by the diversity of learning visions. For some, there is no teacher with the students, and the students are learning entirely on their own. For others, there is not even a classroom and students are helping students. In a world of ubiquitous mobile devices, where we can connect with information and people anywhere and any time, limiting student learning to a traditional classroom environment seems increasingly shortsighted.

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10 Things To Know About Education Around The World

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 00:34

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

Education is a concern to most people around the globe. Whether you’re pursuing your own education, worrying about the education of your child, or educating others, education really is a pretty universal concern. Those concerns, however, vary widely depending on where you are in the world and the background you come from. The last thirty years or so have seen great increases in educational opportunities, participation in education, and the quality of education. But what are the numbers really looking like? Where has the most improvement happened? Or the least improvement? What about the gender gap? The handy infographic linked below (From CourseHero) takes a look at these questions and more. Keep reading to learn more.

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How To Use Google Voice In Education

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 00:31

By Jen Roberts, Edudemic

Education is about communication, but few educators are willing to hand out their personal mobile number. With Google Voice you don’t have to. When you go to you can set up a new number with Google. It will ask you for a forwarding number. This must be an actual landline or mobile number in the US. (You can turn off the forwarding once you are set up.) With Google voice, incoming calls can forward to multiple numbers; say ring your home phone and mobile phone at the same time. Or you can turn off the forwarding and have all your calls go to Google Voice. All voicemails get transcribed and sent to your Gmail address. Text messages also go to your Gmail.

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Wyoming Teachers Look To Boost Effectiveness of Assistive Technologies

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 00:39

By Joshua Bolkan, THE Journal

Some teachers in Wyoming are learning how to better use assistive technologies thanks to a new program launched by the University of Wyoming’s (UW) Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND). Dubbed Echo-University of Wyoming (Echo-UW), the initiative builds on the University of New Mexico’s Project Echo by focusing on “the use of technology to leverage scarce resources; improving outcomes by reducing variations in care and sharing ‘best practices’; case-based learning; and monitoring of outcomes,” according to a UW news release.

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Bandwidth for All

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 00:35

By Greg Thompson, THE Journal

With more and more students using mobile devices for learning, districts are finding creative ways to provide enough bandwidth for everyone to do their work outside of school. The Internet has reached virtually every American school, but problems of bandwidth and connectivity persist. Despite more than 17 years of government subsidy via E-rate, a recent Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) survey revealed that a whopping 99 percent of districts still “needed more bandwidth.” Rich Kaestner, project director for Washington, DC-based CoSN, attributed the bandwidth shortfall to a relentless need to feed the digital beast. Digital curricula, 1-to-1 programs, bring your own technology (BYOT) initiatives and Common Core textbooks are driving a growing crowd of students and teachers online, both at school and at home. But what can schools do about those homes that don’t have Internet connectivity?

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Technology and the Future(s) of the University

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 00:30

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Introducing innovation in education is easier when the institution is new. Founders can construct their programs however they want to imagine them. That’s not so easy to accomplish, however, when the school has been around for decades or even centuries. Faculty and staff practices and processes tend to get entrenched, and introducing too much change can simply lead to internal revolt. Yet that is the conundrum that must be faced by nearly every university and college in the country that wants to thrive in a new world order where learning can take multiple forms and students have numerous options for achieving formal education. Georgetown University is calling on its entire campus community to explore what the institution of 2030 will look like and to experiment with new ways of educating students. The impact of its discoveries may ultimately end up being felt throughout American higher ed.

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New Strategy would Drop College Textbook Costs to Zero

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 00:40

By CARRIE WELLS, McClatchy News

Unlike electronic versions of textbooks sold by publishers, open-source textbooks are made up of materials gathered from various sources and are not protected by copyright. They are often designed to be interactive, with links to source material and multimedia elements. The materials are licensed openly, so anyone with an Internet connection can access them. A pilot program, which the Maryland university system estimates is saving 1,100 students a combined $130,000, is the latest in a shift on the nation’s campuses toward digital learning. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the California State University system and the Washington State college system are among those that have built libraries of free online course materials in recent years. Still, open-source textbooks, which have been around for several years, face challenges and have not caught on broadly.

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Throwing the book at the high costs of college textbooks

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 00:34

By Sarah Rohrs, Times-Herald

The high cost of textbooks is a problem, which adds to debt and other financial loads students must carry, according to the California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG). Meanwhile, as costs of textbooks continue to soar, a CALPIRG study at UC Davis showed that 65 percent of student have opted out of buying a college textbook due to high prices. Further, nearly half say textbook costs often dictate whether students take a course of not. Over the past decade textbook prices have increased by 82 percent, or at three times the rate of inflation, according to CALPIRG. The organization recommends federal government, states and individual campuses to support and invest in alternatives, including open textbooks. These are books written by faculty members but free online, free to download and affordable in print.

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5 Ways To Do EdTech On A Shoestring Budget

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 00:31

By Dawn Casey-Rowe, Edudemic

The word “technology” often send shivers down the spine of the budget office, because it has the potential to be one of the biggest line items on the budget. It’s true, a school needs dollars for dongles to make it all work, but it doesn’t have to break the bank or get put on the back burner when competing choices include “leaky roof,” “broken heating system,” and a million other infrastructure expenses that pop up. Tech doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t have to go by the wayside. Technology is increasingly becoming personal, mobile, and affordable. Most connected people rely on smartphones and tablets rather than desktops and laptops. My smartphone is more powerful than my first computer. Because of this, it’s possible to integrate technology on a shoestring budget.

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Group urges checks on online learning at MIT

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 00:40

By Leon Lin, the Tech – MIT

Concerned about the pace of change brought about by online learning, an Institute subcommittee is now preparing to recommend a “face-time” degree requirement, strong oversight of on-campus MITx experiments, and a “conservative initial approach” to awarding credit for edX classes. “We’re not against it. Just go slow, and see what’s going to happen,” Professor Susan S. Silbey said of digital learning experiments in MIT classes. Silbey, who heads the anthropology department, is the chair of the subcommittee.

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Social Media Vital to Professional Development

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 00:35

By Debra Beck, Evolllution

Formal degree and training programs provide the foundation for our career paths, but long-term professional success depends largely on the quality of our personal learning networks (PLNs). We all have basic PLNs, whether or not we recognize them as such. They typically encompass a diverse set of relationships that provide information, understanding and context for personal and professional development questions. Many of our key PLN relationships are with individuals we know and interact with on a regular basis. But adult learners are no longer limited to face-to-face interactions, thanks to a range of technology-driven environments that facilitate international networking and sharing.

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