Educational Technology

ASU offering rapidly deployable online courses to refugees, displaced people

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 03/12/2019 - 00:35

Mary Beth Faller, ASU
Education for Humanity partners with local groups for access to higher education
Every day, more than 44,000 people are forced to flee their homes as a result of persecution, conflict or generalized violence. Millions cross borders into new countries seeking safety, bringing with them a determination to positively contribute to their new communities. More than 85 percent of these refugees flee to developing countries, often without the ability to continue their education or get jobs. Restricted to a refugee camp or trying to make ends meet in an urban center, many want to gain skills that will benefit them in their new communities and also when they return to their countries and rebuild. Education for Humanity, an initiative of Arizona State University, is meeting that need by offering online courses to refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Uganda and Rwanda. Soon, the program will expand to Ethiopia and Kenya.

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Education and training in the ‘gig’ economy

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 03/12/2019 - 00:29

Brent Orrell, AEI

This “gig” approach to training has advantages and disadvantages. First, it is far cheaper for the companies compared to sending employees to classroom training. Many of the firms profiled offered little or no financial incentive for upskilling, viewing it as the employee’s responsibility. This sounds somewhat harsh but it is an important test: is the employee sufficiently committed to learning to invest their own time and money in skill development? This reflects the reality that self-motivation and persistence are as highly valued in the labor market as the technical skills gained through the training. Of course, an employee who invests their own time and discretionary income in building up skills, without some sort of contribution from their employer, may also feel fewer doubts about ditching their current job for another company offering marginally higher wages.

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5 things you don’t know about K-12 virtual learning

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 03/11/2019 - 00:40

Online learning has come a long way since its early champions saw it as a supplement to classroom learning. Skeptics initially questioned the viability of the new model, wondering if it would provide the right levels of support, curriculum, and engagement needed to ensure student success. And while online learning has more than proven itself to be both an alternative to and complementary offering for traditional classroom instruction, some misconceptions still persist. For example, because virtual instructors aren’t physically present in a classroom, their qualifications and expertise can come into question. The subject matter itself—often thought of as “boring” or “unengaging”—is another area where myths persist. And finally, online skeptics are still talking about issues like lack of teacher support and low student success rates.

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Universities Mobilize To Meet Explosive Demand For Tech Talent and Leadership

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 03/11/2019 - 00:35

Randy Bean, Forbes

Employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations, resulting in 557,100 new jobs.[1] This is an incredible statistic to contemplate. Given extraordinary leaps in computing power, massive proliferation of data, and emergence of practical AI applications, the demand for qualified technical expertise can be expected to grow exponentially. There are a few paths to address this talent gap, but one approach that is being taken is to recruit greater numbers of women and under-represented minority groups into the technology field, particularly since these groups are under-represented in the technology field and represent a largely untapped talent pool.

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Report: Three-fourths of U.S. workers need on-the-job training as nation’s labor pool tightens

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 03/11/2019 - 00:30

by Wesley Brown, Manufacturing News Briefs

As the U.S. job market continues to tighten with the national unemployment rate at 4%, employers are spending more time training new hires as they enter the workforce or switch jobs, according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The new report, issued on Feb. 21, shows that on-the-job training was required for a whopping 76.8% of all civilian workers in 2018, The average length of that training was 34 days, the study shows. The preparation time required for a typical worker to learn the techniques, acquire the information, and develop the facility needed for average performance in a specific job can range between a short orientation demonstration to more than 10 years. Preparation time includes formal education, pre-employment training, on-the-job training, and prior work experience.

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Active-Learning Classrooms, Seven Tips for Higher Education

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 03/10/2019 - 00:37

Eli Zimmerman, EdTech
Universities are investing heavily to transform lecture-style classrooms into active-learning environments in order to boost student engagement and improve retention and recruitment rates.  Research from institutions such as Indiana University and Yale University finds that active-learning classroom environments can be beneficial for student outcomes, giving universities more reasons to consider active-learning strategies in their classroom design. With the numbers to prove that active-learning classrooms are effective, universities are now pressed to find the best way to design innovative spaces. While these innovative classrooms differ depending on the needs of the university, a recent CDW white paper outlines active-learning best practices all institutions can use.

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LinkedIn: 94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer for this reason—and it’s not a raise

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 03/10/2019 - 00:35

Abigail Hess, CNBC
In 2018, workers quit at the highest rates since 2001, and experts predict that the trend will continue into 2019. According to the most recent Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), over 3.5 million Americans quit their jobs every month, about 2.3 percent of the labor force. Analysts pointed to sluggish wage growth and a tight labor market that’s encouraged workers looking for higher salaries to find new opportunities as the driving force behind this trend. But according to LinkedIn’s 2019 Workforce Learning Report, 94 percent of employees say that they would stay at a company longer if it simply invested in helping them learn.

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Does Gen Z value a degree over a digital connection?

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 03/10/2019 - 00:30

Internet, or education? If you ask Gen Z, the internet wins: an astonishing 64 percent of Gen Z would rather have unlimited internet access and no college degree than a college degree and no internet access, according to a new study. According to Reality Bytes: The Digital Experience is the Human Experience, it seems the internet and being connected are absolutely necessary for Gen Z-ers. The study, conducted by The Center for Generational Kinetics and commissioned by WP Engine, is a follow-up to a 2017 study.

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Teacher Confidence in Ed Tech on the Rise, But Not Feelings About the Profession

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 03/09/2019 - 00:40

By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal
Teacher confidence in the use of technology is rising incrementally. Some 99 percent of teachers and school leaders in a recent survey reported that they’re using digital technology in their classrooms. And nearly as many (96 percent) said they’ve seen benefits from its use. The survey was conducted among 1,281 teachers on behalf of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt by public opinion survey company YouGov. The goal of the survey was fourfold: to understand where educators are feeling both optimistic and concerned about the state of their profession, how they use technology and what they perceive as its impact, what kind of professional development they get to prepare them for the use of digital learning resources and how equity is playing out across districts with and without sizable achievement gaps.

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Six Countries Leading the AI Race

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 03/09/2019 - 00:35

Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Artificial intelligence recognizes faces, delivers better online search results, and steers autonomous cars. The AI trend has been hailed as the next industrial revolution. While AI transforms the world beyond recognition, six countries are taking the lead in the AI race.

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How we reduced mobility and improved outcomes in low-performing schools

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 03/09/2019 - 00:30

This large Louisiana district used data to fix the way mobility negatively impacted performance.  Several schools in the district had been identified by the state as failing and the state needed to see progress. With high poverty and high mobility, finding solutions to address the needs of this community required out-of-the-box thinking, good data, and community support. Rapides Parish identified 12 buildings and roughly 10,000 students that were in a high-mobility, high economically disadvantaged area. Each move was causing school disruption. Three community zones were created in a part of the overall district that had low performance and high mobility. They used GuideK12 geovisual analytic software to create scenarios and maps and share the zones with the community so they could visualize the proposals and understand the dynamic changes.

How we reduced mobility and improved outcomes in low-performing schools


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With AI at Hand, Don’t Stop Learning!

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 03/08/2019 - 00:38

Vint Cerf, Forbes

Steve Case calls it the Third Wave. Others call it the fourth industrial revolution. Whatever we call it, the new jobs it creates will require new skills and new learning. Someone will have to program the billions of devices of the Internet of Things. Someone will have to re-program them when bugs are found. Someone else will have to install and configure them. Others will make them. And still more will invent new ways to use programmed devices, to outfit them with new AI capabilities. We are entering the endless world of software, where anything that you can program is possible. It is very important to recognize that the people whose jobs evaporate, because of AI or automation or invention in general, may not be prepared to do the newly created jobs unless they get retraining… again and again.

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5 Hurdles to Technological Innovation in K–12 Education

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 03/08/2019 - 00:35

By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal
Innovating in education, especially with technology, doesn’t come without its hurdles. These may be organizational; they may involve people not knowing what to do or having a lack of resources, but the result is a slow-down in the adoption of innovation. The top one, however, is growing the innovation once it has been proven, according to a new report. The report was produced by the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), which has taken over the work from the New Media Consortium’s Horizon K-12 reports, a decade-long series that ended in 2017 when that organization ceased operations.

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Rural Libraries Hosting Movable Makerspaces

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 03/08/2019 - 00:30

By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal
The Nebraska Library Commission is using a $531,000 grant to purchase “mobile” maker labs and spread them into rural communities for five months at a time. Nine libraries have been chosen to host what’s being called “Library Innovation Studios.” These join 18 other libraries that were previously selected for the same program in 2017. The Studios project provides a rotating set of makerspaces that contain creative tools like 3D printers, laser cutters and film and photography equipment. The project uses makerspaces hosted by the public libraries to offer participatory learning experiences to local residents.

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The Maturing MOOC

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 03/07/2019 - 00:30

By Ray Schroeder, Inside Higher Ed

In the summer of 2011 we produced eduMOOC — a constructivist massive open online course about online learning with the help of a small group of talented and expert professionals at the University of Illinois Springfield as well as colleagues around the country who were then, and continue to be, among the leaders in our field of online learning. By the time it concluded in August, eduMOOC had reached 2,700 learners in 70 countries — making it among the largest such classes produced up to that time.  MOOCs will continue to evolve. The groundbreaking work of Ashok Goel at Georgia Tech in developing a virtual teaching assistant is a key milestone in enabling these large-scale classes to engage students and to potentially personalize learning. In the meantime, the essential online, at-scale characteristics will make them affordable and attractive to students around the world.


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On Red Alert

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 03/07/2019 - 00:30

by Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed

Chinese hackers are ramping up their efforts to steal military research secrets from U.S. universities, new cybersecurity intelligence suggests. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Hawaii, Pennsylvania State University, Duke University and the University of Washington are among 27 institutions in the U.S., Canada and Southeast Asia to be targeted by Chinese hackers, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. The Chinese hackers targeted institutions and researchers with expertise in undersea technology as part of a coordinated cybercampaign that began in April 2017. Some of the institutions mentioned above may have been compromised in the attacks, though none have confirmed this publicly.

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Online program good for schools

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 03/07/2019 - 00:28

Franklin News Post
As enrollment in Franklin County Public Schools declines, homeschooling has been on the rise. The school district has been examining an alternative solution by adding an online program. This would allow the district to increase its state subsidy because enrollment would increase in grades 6-12, which are the target grade levels for the online program. Students enrolled in the program would be required to take Standards of Learning tests before receiving a high school diploma from Franklin County High School. Bringing homeschool students into the system — even if only virtually — is one way to bring enrollment figures back up.

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See how other colleges support active learning

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 03/06/2019 - 00:35


At Dawson College in Montreal, Canada, there are three active-learning classrooms that the college calls “smart classrooms.” These rooms are designed with group tables and interactive whiteboards around the perimeter of the room. Two of the rooms have SMART Board technology while the third, and newest, has eight Nureva Walls that stretch around the room, providing 56 feet of digital workspace. It is the largest installation of Nureva visual collaboration solutions in a single classroom. eCampus News spoke with Chris Whittaker, physics professor and coordinator of Dawson’s smart classrooms, about active learning and what goes on in a smart classroom.

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U.K. Government To Fund AI University Courses With £115m

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 03/06/2019 - 00:35

Sam Shead, Forbes

The U.K. government is planning to fund thousands of postgraduate students that want to study a Masters or a PhD in artificial intelligence as it looks to keep pace with the U.S. and China. AI is poised to become the most significant technology for a generation but there are only so many people that know how to develop the technology, which could have a huge impact on industries such as healthcare, energy, and automotive. Business Secretary Greg Clark and Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright announced on Thursday that the government will commit up to £115 million towards training the next generation of AI talent.

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One Year Closer to the Death of Flash—A Case Study

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 03/06/2019 - 00:30

By Tanya Seidel, ATD
We’re yet another year closer to the official death of Flash, and while Adobe plans on ending their support of it at the end of 2020, there’s no telling when browsers will pull the plug. Have you started converting your old Flash courses to HTML5? While this technological storm is slow-moving and won’t arrive for another two years, there are plenty of people who haven’t even started their preparation. How do we know, you ask? Because we talk to learning managers who have libraries full of old e-learning courses that were either published to Flash or have Flash elements in them, and they’ve done nothing about them.

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