Educational Technology

Gamification Vs. Game-Based Learning

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 11/28/2018 - 00:35

by ATD

Gamification is more than a buzzword; it is a trend that is shaping how content providers connect with users and keep them engaged in the long-term. In the world of e-learning, people use game mechanics and game design elements to create a new learning experience adapted to the expectations of today’s learners. These game mechanics are typically found in video games to make the whole process fun, engaging, and social. Game-based learning is often confused with gamification. Game-based learning is about acquiring new knowledge and applying new concepts by playing games. Some companies develop mobile or desktop-based games for training purposes. These games are typically simulations of situations learners will encounter in the workplace. For instance, a game that requires learners to play through scenarios where they have to choose from different dialogue options to achieve a desired outcome can improve customer relations skills.

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‘AI for everyone’: Coursera tackles training for the nontnical

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 11/28/2018 - 00:32

by Hallie Busta Alex Hickey, Education Dive

In a move to democratize artificial intelligence (AI), Coursera co-founder and AI expert Andrew Ng announced an “AI for Everyone” program for nontechnical business leaders, coming to the online learning platform in early 2019.  Engineers and data scientists might handle the technical details of AI, but business leaders also need to understand application opportunities for machine learning and deep learning in their organizations, as well as what the technology can’t do, Ng wrote in the announcement. The course will help nontechnical leaders build “a sustainable AI strategy” and serve as a resource for technical employees to suggest to managers to promote understanding of the technology. Domain experts and engineers are critical to harnessing the potential of AI. But the industry also needs millions of business leaders, managers, sales and marketing professionals, financiers and designers that can apply AI in their communities and businesses, Ng said.

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Statewide Data on OER Savings

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 11/27/2018 - 00:35

By Mark Lieberman

North Dakota students saved more than $1 million on textbooks after the state invested just $110,000 to help instructors use open educational resources. Audit identifies successes and ongoing challenges. As of last fall, at least 650 courses across the system exclusively use OER, affecting at least 15,000 students. Auditors estimate that students saved between $1.1 million and $2.4 million in textbook costs during the first two years of the initiative. That savings number reflects only a portion of the courses that included OER: the actual figure is likely much higher. The audit also excluded summer sessions from its calculations due to lower enrollment numbers.

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Breaking Down Barriers: How Design & Technology Can Assist with Learning

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 11/27/2018 - 00:31

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Imagine not being able to hear at a crowded networking event, a loud social; or not being let in beyond the velvet rope to a party. For you, it may only be a burden in the moment, but for many who require accommodations or additional accessibility, this remains a part of their everyday life. For example, wheelchair users are unable to enter many shops, malls, restaurants; public places that don’t have wheelchair access or ramps. A lack of accessibility can’t be excused at schools, campuses or student facilities. When it comes to education, a lack of accommodation can hinder students from engaging in class, and being present in the way necessary to succeed or be their best. Accessibility in education plays a vital role in providing accommodating learning environments. Below are five education design ideas to assist and enhance the capabilities of students who need learning accommodations.

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Data center automation: 2 acronyms you should know

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 11/27/2018 - 00:30

by Jason Hiner, ZDNet

If you want to understand what’s driving data center automation, here are the two acronyms to start with:


The move toward the Software-Defined Data Center is using virtualization, containers, DevOps, and other advances to give IT a lot more flexibility and control over the backend systems that power the organization. Because software is some much faster and easier to adapt than hardware, this gives IT a lot more levels to pull.


Data Center Infrastructure Management software provides insights on servers, building facilities, and operational status to help optimize for radical efficiency in utilization, energy use, connectivity, and other resources that were previously split across multiple departments. Better managing and automating these resources allows IT to focus on adding more value with SDDC.

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AI will only succeed when people learn to trust it

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 11/26/2018 - 00:35


“If you look at how many people rely on their phone or Siri to set up a calendar, or call someone, or book an appointment, there is a level of trust on technology that indicates that AI and technology is becoming more reliable,” he said. As the head of a context-as-a-service company that’s all about AI, Rahnama believes that humans will learn to trust automated assistants more as they become more helpful. Salesforce recently found that 61 percent of people worldwide believe that AI offers positive opportunities to society. That still leaves 39 percent of people unconvinced that the robots are here to do good — and not all opportunities are created equal, either. Take self-driving cars, for instance. Only 46 percent of customers report liking or loving the idea of AI taking over that activity. When asked about email spam filters and credit card fraud detection, however, the positive customer sentiment was above 80 percent.

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Improving workplace e-learning for employees

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 11/26/2018 - 00:29

Jean-Marc Tassetto, ET

Sapiens author Yuval Harari has written that the kinds of skills we need in the workplace are radically shifting, with Artificial Intelligence (AI), bioengineering and other emerging technologies making both our lives and what we do between 9 to 5 look very different.In his latest book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Harari is also now warning us that the future of education is going to be as equally disrupted, given how young people already have far too much information, and that what’s needed instead is to coach people in “the ability to make sense of information, to tell the difference between what is important and what is unimportant, and above all to combine many bits of information into a broad picture of the world.”

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Assistive Technology to Help Students with Aphasia Succeed Academically

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 11/26/2018 - 00:27

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Students who suffer from aphasia have a significantly impaired ability to understand or communicate with those around them. This can make the classroom setting more difficult for both the student and the teacher. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools available to help make learning and communicating easier for everyone. Assistive technology can create a more productive learning environment. Teachers and parents who work with these students will want to know what types of assistive technology could be available. These top tools could be just the thing you’ve been looking for to improve daily life.

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South Carolina Offering Free Online Coding Courses for All Residents

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 11/25/2018 - 00:39

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

South Carolina has introduced free coding education for all of its residents through an agreement between the state’s Department of Commerce Office of Innovation and Build Carolina, a nonprofit that generates internships, apprenticeships and other education endeavors in innovative fields. “SC Codes,” as the program is called, currently provides basic online courses for JavaScript, command line basics, Ruby, Ruby on Rails and, soon, Java and React.js. Beyond the training, the SC Codes website connects students with industry mentors, local events for coders and job openings in tech-related fields.

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Students Facing Physical, Learning, and Mental Health Challenges Can Rise Above with Disability Guides

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 11/25/2018 - 00:35


College and university are hard enough without the added challenges faced by those with disabilities, be they learning, mental health, or physical. To assist students, especially those off campus in online learning situations, has released these Disability Guides:

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Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 11/25/2018 - 00:30

A new online course can help to change students’ mindset about their own abilities in math, researchers say. From an early age, children are conditioned to think they fall into two categories: “math-minded people”—those who naturally have a way with numbers and non-“math-minded”—those who hate numbers. But Jo Boaler, a professor of mathematics education at Stanford University, believes this mindset can change. In the course, students work together to come up with solutions to different problems and learn about how math is everywhere around us.

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A Look into China’s EdTech Landscape

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 11/24/2018 - 00:35

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Technology has gained traction in the education sector. China is home to the world’s biggest education market comprising over 400 million students. Even though China is a world leader in technology, the sheer size of the country’s education sector initially made advancements in digital learning quite slow. Nevertheless, the country has been able to integrate technology in its instruction techniques and curriculum in recent years. Through technological adoption in education, China has been able to use fully participatory methodologies in its learning institutions. The country is experiencing an EdTech boom, which has seen some of its universities ranked among the best globally. The presence of many institutions where educational technologies can be piloted makes China a lucrative market for EdTech entrepreneurs.

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Learning Commons Innovative Tutoring plans for students

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 11/24/2018 - 00:28

Kejuan Coleman, CWU Observer

Consortium is an adapted online tutoring component that is in its first-year use this fall quarter. The program is compiled from a network of every community college in Washington along with 4-year institutions (EWU and WSU). According to Boswell, the goal for CWU is to be able to support students who don’t have the opportunity for in-person tutoring, and for the past few years we’ve had online tutoring that hasn’t been the best, so this past year we negotiated with e-tutoring Consortium. PALs tutoring and Consortium online tutoring are both funded from the same $5 mandatory fee that every student is charged quarterly. However, minimum wage will be increasing to $12 per hour which would make funding for tutoring scarce.

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Understanding the Needs of Part-Time Faculty at Six Community Colleges

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 11/24/2018 - 00:27

By: Susan Bickerstaff & Octaviano Chavarín, Columbia University TC

Six ATD leader colleges were selected through a competitive process to receive funds and technical assistance to develop and pilot scalable strategies to engage and support some of their part-time faculty. Using interview, focus group, and survey data, this brief explores the experiences of part-time faculty at these colleges. It also describes several categories of supports offered to adjuncts through this pilot project and draws connections between these supports and part-time faculty needs as identified in the analysis.

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New Teaching Techniques Explored in Indianola Schools

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 11/23/2018 - 00:40

Andrew Swadner, KNIA
The online learning center at the Indianola Community School District will open next fall, but preparations for the center are well underway. Superintendent Art Sathoff tells KNIA News several teachers are going through training to develop new online courses, and it will make learning much more efficient for the student. “We have instructors that will videotape lectures so the students can watch at home, go back and listen, rewind, do anything so they don’t miss any information. Then when they do get into the classroom and get face-to-face with the teacher’s it’s more problem solving and a lab-type environment.”

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China introduces world’s first AI news anchor

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 11/23/2018 - 00:35


News anchors, beware. The robots are coming for your jobs, too. China’s state news agency has debuted a virtual anchor designed to be able to deliver the news 24 hours a day. Xinhua unveiled its “artificial intelligence news anchor” Wednesday at an internet conference in the eastern city of Wuzhen.  Developed by Xinhua and Chinese search engine company Sogou, the anchor was designed to simulate human voice, facial expressions and gestures. The AI news reader “learns from live broadcasting videos by himself and can read texts as naturally as a professional news anchor,” according to Xinhua. The news agency said the simulations can be used on its website and social media platforms and will “reduce news production costs and improve efficiency.”

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Predictions 2019: Expect A Pragmatic Vision Of AI

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 11/23/2018 - 00:30

Michele Goetz, Forrester

In 2019, Forrester predicts that firms will address the pragmatic side of AI now that they have a better understanding of the challenges and embrace the idea that “no pain means no AI gain.” The AI reality is here. Firms are starting to recognize what it is and isn’t, what it can do and what it cannot. And they are seeing the real challenges of AI versus what they assumed the challenges would be. Firms will focus their attention on the data foundations, take creative approaches to building and holding on to AI talent, weave intelligence into business processes, and begin to establish the mechanisms to understanding why AI is acting the way it is.

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Penn State leads CoAction Learning Lab

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 11/22/2018 - 00:41

Ray Schmitt, Penn State
A worldwide collection of universities and colleges have joined together to explore technology’s potential to define the prospects of teaching and learning. With its debut, this collaboratory called the CoAction Learning Lab will create an online library of original and curated resources that will support higher education innovators.

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Blazing a trail in environmental education for the young

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 11/22/2018 - 00:35

UN Environment

In September 2018, UN Secretary-General António Guterres launched the UN Youth Strategy which seeks to engage 1.8 billion young people in driving global efforts to promote a peaceful, just and sustainable world. Education innovator Natalie Kyriacou from Australia is doing just that. She has developed Kids’ Corner, a digital classroom inspiring children and educators to participate in wildlife and environmental conservation and sciences through a range of curriculum-approved learning technologies, games and programmes.

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Facebook says it’s fighting ‘online terrorist propaganda’ with machine learning

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 11/22/2018 - 00:30

Jeff Parsons, Metro


The company says it has removed three million pieces of terrorism-related content from Facebook in the last quarter of 2018 alone. In total, it has stripped away more than 14 million ‘pieces of terrorist content’ from January to September this year. ‘We now use machine learning to assess Facebook posts that may signal support for ISIS or al-Qaeda,’ explained Monika Bickert, Global Head of Policy Management, and Brian Fishman Head of Counterterrorism Policy at the company.

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