Educational Technology

Online School Offers Real Life Learning

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 00:30

by Good4Utah

Mountain Heights Academy is an online school that helps students achieve real life learning. The school, for students grades 7 through 12, is an accredited, online public charter school that offers real teachers, one-on-one help, even extracurricular activities. The School provides one-on-one teacher and student interaction. Student can reach out to a teacher by email or chat and know the teacher will respond right way. Mountain Heights Academy’s model provides flexibility to students. Students can work at their own pace through each week’s assignments.

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10 data safety principles every school should be following

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 00:40

by eSchool News

Are you following this checklist of best practices for safe data collection and use? The Consortium for School Networking and the Data Quality Campaign have released a new set of 10 principles to help guide schools in protecting the student data they store. The guidelines spell out dos and don’ts of collecting and storing data as well as best practices for sharing and using them appropriately. For example, the new guidelines suggest limiting access to student data, collecting only what’s necessary, and providing training to anyone coming in contact with it. Suggestions for proper governance is also included.

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The Three Best Free Coding Websites for Kids

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 00:33

By Dustin Le, Edudemic

The Three Best Free Coding Websites for Kids. From 2012 to 2022, the field of computer science is projected to grow 22%, which is much faster than average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Computer software is a growing field and allows for a great job outlook as well as entrepreneurial potential. As such, coding skills are incredibly useful for today’s students to learn — but it’s not just due to job prospects. Since today’s most interesting tools and platforms can all be manipulated by coding, having coding skills is also a great jumping off point for greater independence creativity.

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Twitter 101: 5-Step Guide for Social Media in Education

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 00:31

By Sarah Muthler, Edudemic

If you aren’t using Twitter, chances are that you’re reluctant to adopt new technology. Or maybe you’ve used Twitter for years to keep up with friends but now want to use it in the classroom. Either way, you might be hesitant to ask colleagues for help. Fear not. We’ll guide you through the Twitter landscape and show you how to find the best educational resources for both yourself and your students.

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Trust Challenge Awards $1.2M to Digital Projects Building

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 00:39

by US Dept of Education

Thirteen projects have been awarded a total of $1.2 million, as part of the Digital Media and Learning Competition’s “Trust Challenge,” to foster trust in online learning environments. The winners are tech developers, youth-serving institutions, collaborative networks, school systems and universities that will develop innovative digital badge systems, data management platforms, digital learning environments, online learning content and related digital tools to promote trust in connected learning experiences. The awards were announced today by educational innovator Richard Culatta, acting director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology, at the South by Southwest EDU Conference. The Trust Challenge is supported by the MacArthur Foundation and administered by HASTAC.

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5 ways online education benefits students

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 00:35

By DeLaina Tonks, KSL

As technology advances, more junior high and high school students and their parents are turning to more innovative schooling methods. Online classes that were previously associated with collegiate institutions are now beginning to resonate with dedicated millennials who want more flexibility, choices and control in their educational paths. In fact, by 2019, about 50 percent of courses will be delivered online, according to Michael B. Horn, the executive director of education at Innosight Institute. Linked below are five of the many reasons to explore online education:

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Rutgers’ online course tracks your knuckles, face, browser history

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 00:30

By Clive Thompson, BoingBoing

Welcome to online learning at Rutgers! To make sure the person taking the test is actually you, they’ll be tracking your “face, knuckle and personal identification details”, including “all activity in the monitor, browser, webcam and microphone”, according to The Daily Targum.

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How Technology Can Help Close the Skills Gap in STEM Education

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 03/15/2015 - 00:40

by Felix W. Ortiz III, Huffington Post

A new report from the Education Testing Services (ETS) group highlights a relatively silent but highly urgent problem in America: the skills gap in STEM (science, technology, education, and math) education. What we mean by “skills gap” is the mismatch between the kinds of skills employers say they need compared to the skills our students possess. Right now, our students, especially millennials, are losing ground to the rest of the world. ETS’ report found that in numeracy (math) skills, the United States was tied for last among 22 developing countries. In the field of problem solving and technology rich environments (PS-TRE), U.S. millennials also ranked last. Both numeracy and PS-TRE skills are foundational to success in the STEM fields. In the age of rapid digital innovation, companies have huge demand for graduates with STEM skills. Yet institutions of American education are failing to produce the kind of graduates employers say they need. Maintaining America’s global economic competitiveness in the 21st century largely depends on equipping our students with the kinds of STEM skills employers need.

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Accredible Partners With Udacity To Provide Context To Nanodegrees

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 03/15/2015 - 00:35

by Sam O’Keefe, TechCrunch

Accredible, which provides online credentials as a service, is announcing a partnership today to provide digital certificates for Udacity’s burgeoning nanodegree program. The startup has created an API that pulls data from existing online learning platforms — in this case Udacity — and creates an online certificate that summarizes the student’s behavior and learning in a course. For example, while a student’s overall grade and ranking in a course is important, it may be interesting to potential employers to be able to view that student’s code and final presentation and see what types of engagement they had with a community, as well as impressions from mentors or instructors. With Accredible, students can also supplement the certificate with portfolios pieces, personal notes, etc.

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4 Ways to Engage Digitally Distracted Students

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 03/15/2015 - 00:27

by Rony Zarom, edSurge

The demand for digital learning offerings presents new challenges for educators and administrators. One of the biggest is keeping students engaged. In one survey, 74 percent of students reported that the Internet distraction was “significant” and “worrying.” Educators have an opportunity to structure online learning environments in a way that addresses how students already interact online, and in a way that also reduces distraction and increases engagement. Here are four ways to get started.

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3 ways teachers can make learning more interactive

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 00:40

By Mike Broderick, eSchool News

Today’s students are a uniquely interactive group. Most of the 80 million Americans who are part of the millennial generation—a group that comprises the lion’s share of today’s student population—can’t remember a time when they didn’t have instant access to the internet. Educators who want to reach students who favor interactive communication know that integrating digital tools into their lesson plans can be an effective strategy, and many have incorporated technology tools into the classroom in one way or another. But to make a real difference, educators have to integrate technology in a meaningful way. So how can educators use technology in a more meaningful way? Here are three methods educators are successfully using to connect with a new generation of students in the classroom.

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Beyond Programming: The Power of Making Games

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 00:36

By Lisa Castaneda, Manrita Sidhu, THE Journal

Art and creative expression have an interesting way of weaving in and out of classrooms, offering students the opportunity to explore their own ideas and minds. Video games are no different, and while most of the discussion about their use in classrooms centers on play, we at foundry10 wanted to examine the value of making games. Through easily accessible programs such as Scratch and Gamemaker, students from early elementary up through college are creating games and learning while doing it.

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9 IT Best Practices for BYOD Districts

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 03/14/2015 - 00:30

By Bridget McCrea, THE Journal

Districts with successful bring your own device programs share their key strategies for rolling out and managing student-owned devices in school. Allowing students to bring their own devices into the classroom is a relatively new concept to many U.S. school districts. BYOD can help personalize learning by letting students work on devices that they are very familiar with, but it also creates some key challenges for the IT professionals who have to balance the need for computing power with the resources provided by their districts. Here, a handful of district technology heads discuss their BYOD best practices and suggest how others might adopt them.

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10 Free Resources for Flipping Your Classroom

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 00:40

By Amanda Ronan, Edudemic

Thanks to the folks over at Khan Academy, alternative modes of delivering classroom instruction are all the rage. We’ve got face to face models, labs, rotations, online-only, self-blend, and of course, flipped. While there are numerous ways to implement a flipped classroom, the basic components include some form of prerecorded lectures that are then followed by in-class work. Flipped classrooms are heralded for many reasons. For one thing, students can learn at their own pace when they’re watching lectures at home. Viewing recorded lessons allows students to rewind and watch content again, fast forward through previously learned material, and pause and reflect on new material. During traditional face-to-face class lectures, students spend so much time trying to keep up while taking notes they often miss crucial information.

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Why MOOCs Are Great for Teacher Development

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 00:34

By Kristen Hicks, Edudemic

For a while there, the word “MOOC” seemed to be on everyone’s tongue. For many educators who had reached their saturation points, MOOCs were the education world’s version of a song you heard every single time you turned on the radio and little by little grew to hate. In the background of all this oversaturation though, MOOCs have actually been embraced by a lot of great schools and professors. And the courses now available include a number of subjects aimed directly at teachers.

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The Key to Solving the Teacher Labor Shortage: Online Learning

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 00:30

by MyUSA

For more than 50 years, schools across the country have faced a decline in teacher quality and – despite an overall teacher surplus – chronic local and position-specific shortages. New research from the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation shows that online learning could hold the key to providing the quality teacher labor supply that schools so desperately need. Solving the Nation’s Teacher Shortage: How Online Learning Can Fix the Broken Teacher Labor Market unpacks the compounding reasons behind teacher shortages to focus on the solution: online learning. By allowing educators to reach students from anywhere in the country, online learning creates a new degree of flexibility and productivity among teachers, while also making the field more attractive to new teachers.

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Nine Ways to Encourage Faculty Experimentation with New Online Teaching Technologies

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 03/12/2015 - 00:40

By Vickie Cook, Evolllution

Creating an environment where faculty are excited about innovation is critical to institutional growth. Teaching online can be demanding. Faculty teaching online often spend their breaks between semesters refining and rethinking their classes. Because online classes can be developed from anywhere, they are developed everywhere—not just on campus. As such, faculty support to explore new technologies may not be at the top of the to-do list. Once faculty have developed a few tried and true tools that meet their specific teaching needs of online course delivery, instructional designers may find these faculty reluctant to try out new teaching technologies. When I attend professional conferences and talk with faculty, the number one comment I hear is that adequate support for new technologies is not available on their campuses.

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SDSU online classes among the most affordable, study says

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 03/12/2015 - 00:35

By PAT BOWDEN Reporter, the Collegian

In a rapidly increasing field of online education, SDSU is recognized as a remarkably affordable university for degrees earned over the web – ranking in the top 11 schools out of 46 picked in the country – with 499 online courses offered for over 37,561 Internet credit hours. With around 7,500 students (over half the student body) taking at least one online class, some believe that the quality of education gets diluted when a class is converted to online. However, others argue otherwise.“You get the same education and the review process is very stringent, so you’re getting that same caliber of education as you would in an online course,” director of international affairs and outreach Lindsey Hamlin said. “At SDSU we’re looking at a healthy balance of both online and in-person [classes].”

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New Partnership Aims To Facilitate Online Course Creation for Teachers

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 03/12/2015 - 00:30

By Michael Hart, THE Journal

A new partnership between two companies is designed to make it easier for teachers to create their own online courses, tutorials and homework assignments with interactive elements. Versal, a company that has offered an interactive publishing platform for online learning since its founding in 2013, and Wolfram Research, which creates customizable interactive elements such as timelines, diagrams and quizzes, will join forces in three ways:Educators will now be able to directly embed content based on Wolfram technology into courses they create using Versal software — without any coding required; Stephen Wolfram, who founded Wolfram Research in 1987, will join Versal’s board of directors; and simultaneously, new “gadgets,” the building blocks of Wolfram’s interactive learning elements, have been released, bringing the number available to educators to 48.

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EdX Launches Three New Courses from the Smithsonian Institution

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 03/11/2015 - 00:40

by edX

EdX, the nonprofit online learning initiative, will offer three, new, free MOOCs from the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex, founded in 1846. The courses, for students and educators of all ages, will interest fans of superheroes, teachers and American history buffs alike. These first three Smithsonian edX courses, developed with the National Museum of American History, include: Objects That Define America; Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact on Pop Culture; and Teaching Historical Inquiry with Objects. All three courses are currently open for enrollment on

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