Educational Technology

New professional development focuses on engagement through gaming

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 01/31/2016 - 00:35

by eSchool News

The ever-increasing omnipresence of digital media in student’s lives can be challenging for teachers as they compete for kid’s attention in and out of the classroom. With this in mind, Teach n’ Kids Learn (TKL) and DimensionU have teamed up to create a robust Online Professional Development course that supports teachers’ instruction in mathematics and language arts through gamification, quickly and easily. Included for K-12 educators who enroll in the course by February 15, 2016, is a free DimensionU Class License (for up to 30 students), through the remainder of this school year.

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6 apps to help parents and teachers communicate

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 01/31/2016 - 00:30

By Laura Devaney, eSchool News

Educators know that students’ home lives play an integral role in their academic success. Communication between teachers and parents makes it easier for educators to understand the outside challenges students may deal with, and it helps parents understand how they can better support their children in school.

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Wiki Education says 2016 is the Wikipedia Year of Science

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 01/30/2016 - 00:40

by  John Timmer, Ars Technica

We recently published a bit of a rant about many Wikipedia science entries leaving a lot to be desired. In response, we were informed that an effort to improve that situation was already brewing. In fact, we’re now happy to point out that the Wiki Education Foundation has declared 2016 the Wikipedia Year of Science. A variety of activities aim to beef up the encyclopedia’s science content. The Wiki Education Foundation is a nonprofit that helps provide teachers and college-level instructors with the tools they need to get their students engaged in projects intended to improve Wikipedia. For example, the teachers could assign a class to improve entires in a specific topic area and use materials provided by the foundation to help the students edit entries and provide proper references.

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Going The Distance: Part-Time Online Learning Lacking

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 01/30/2016 - 00:35

By AARON SCHRANK, Wyoming Public Radio

At Powell High School, students can blend their classroom learning with an online course or two. “They could be taking a foreign language such as German that we don’t offer,” says Park County Superintendent Kevin Mitchell. “They could be taking science classes that we don’t offer.” The District offers online classes through Florida Virtual School, which serves more than 200,000 students worldwide—most of them part-timers. Mitchell says his district spends about $88,000 a year on online learning—and it’s worth it, not only for the new subject matter, but also because students are learning how to learn online.

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Samsung Opening VR Production Studio in New York

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 01/30/2016 - 00:30


Step one: Make virtual reality headset. Step two: Make virtual reality experiences people can enjoy using said headset. Step three: Sit back and profit. It’s a simple version of what’s likely Samsung’s plan, we’ll admit, but it’s probably pretty close to the truth. According to a new report from CNET, Samsung executives appearing at this year’s Sundance film festival annonuced that the company is going to be opening up a special studio in New York that will be tasked with creating new virtual reality content.,2817,2498343,00.asp

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Personalized Learning: Creating a Relevant Learning Culture for the Next Generation

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 01/29/2016 - 00:39

by Center for Digital Education

Personalized learning – where students take ownership of their learning and collaborate with instructors to design an education plan that works for them – is enticing education leaders as a way to transform the traditional education model, increase student engagement and improve achievement. But while personalized learning is certainly promising, a recent CDE survey of 215 IT leaders in K-20 education shows the concept has not been widely implemented in K-12 or higher education. Just 20 percent of K-12 respondents and 15 percent of higher education respondents reporting having created a personalized learning culture.

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UGA professor contributes to new science education guidelines

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 01/29/2016 - 00:35

by Kristen Morales, Online Athens

A new report released this week will give lawmakers, school officials and others specific direction when it comes to supporting and strengthening science teacher learning, says a University of Georgia professor who contributed to the effort. The report, “Science Teachers’ Learning: Enhancing Opportunities, Creating Supportive Contexts,” produced by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, assesses and discusses essential learning opportunities for elementary, middle and high school science teachers. The book also recommends new lines of research and steps administrators and lawmakers can take to strengthen science education in the U.S.

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Venture Capital In EdTech Is Booming

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 01/29/2016 - 00:30

by Karis Hustad, ChicagoInno

Education technology, or edtech, had an impressive fourth quarter in terms of venture capital investments, according to new KPMG/CB Insights data. There were just over $1 billion in investments in Q4 2015, up 300 percent over the $295 million in investments seen in Q3 2015, and significantly higher than the $474 million raised in Q2, and $694 million raised in Q1, according to the KPMG and CB Insights Q4 Venture Pulse study. So does this mean the beginning of the edtech boom? According to experts it bodes well for certain companies, but the edtech industry still lags far behind most industries when it comes to fundraising.

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School districts equipped with online learning options aren’t hindered by snow closures.

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 00:38

by D. Frank Smith, EdTech

Illinois is taking part in a trend that’s sweeping school districts across the country: Turning snow days into online learning days. When weather becomes treacherous, most districts choose to close schools for the duration. But in recent years, districts that have built up an online infrastructure are able to extend learning beyond the classroom. This means students spend more time learning and less time sledding. Starting this school year, three school districts in Illinois — Leyden High School District 212, Community High School District 94 and Gurnee Elementary District 56 — have schools that are piloting a three-year E-Learning Day program. The program kicks into action when schools must be closed due to “an act or acts of God, or was occasioned by conditions beyond the control of the school district which posed a hazardous threat to the health and safety of pupils,” according to the Illinois State Board of Education.

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Interview with Anant Agarwal, CEO, edX

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 00:34

by Natalie Marsh, PIE News

edX is an online learning destination, our goal is to reimagine the world of education. We were set up as a non-profit four years ago, with the aim as I said of reimagining education. We partner with some of the best universities and institutions in the world who offer courses and programmes on edX and learners all over the world can take these courses. So very simply put, we were set up to create, to be thinking about what should the future of education should look like, both online and at universities. Today we are at six million unique learners all over the world, we have learners from every single country in the world. Depending on who you talk to there is between 196-228 countries and we have learners from every country in the world. We have about 100 institutional partners, about 750 courses on edX and we have over 20 million course enrolments that have been taken.

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MIT’s 7 Best Free Online Courses: Quantum Physics and Making Video Games

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 00:30

by Jacqueline Ronson, Inverse

You don’t need to go to Cambridge to enjoy all the fun of a wildly expensive education. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a global leader on open-access education. Of course, with so many subjects to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start. We’re here to help. Here are some introductory-level courses, including video lectures, that you’ll probably want to get started on today.

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eLearning Program Could Bring End to Snow Days

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 00:40

By Sarah Schulte, ABC 7 Chicago

A new e-learning program could mean the end of snow days for some students. The program being tested in three school districts brings a virtual classroom into students’ homes on days when the weather prevents them from going to school. While there haven’t been any snow days for Chicago area students this year, that wasn’t the case the past two winters, when school was canceled several times. Parents say it wasn’t good for their kids. Avoiding the books on snow days won’t be an option this year for Leyden High School District 212. The western suburban school district is one of three in the Chicago area chosen for a new pilot program that allows students to take classes online at home during snow days.

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Google Offers New Deep Learning Course on Udacity

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 00:35

By A.R. Guess, Dataversity

Jordan Novet reports in VentureBeat, “Google today announced that it’s bringing a deep learning course to massively open online course (MOOC) provider Udacity. Deep learning is an increasingly popular type of artificial intelligence. Generally speaking, it involves training artificial neural networks on lots of data — like pictures — and then getting them to make inferences about new data based on what they know.

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EdTech: Wharton Launches Big Data, Entrepreneurship Moocs With Silicon Valley’s Coursera

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 01/27/2016 - 00:31

by Seb Murray, Business Because

Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has announced it will offer two new online programs through Silicon Valley-based online learning start-up Coursera. The digital courses, focusing on entrepreneurship and financial modelling, are the latest in a stream of tie-ups between elite US business schools and Mooc, or massive open online course, providers. Online learning platforms have delved deeper into entrepreneurial education in recent years, as start-up founders seek the flexibility not afforded by costly, full-time, campus programs.

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Google Expeditions Takes Students on VR Tours of Great Barrier Reef, Buckingham Palace

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 01/26/2016 - 00:36

By David Nagel, THE Journal

Google has added two new virtual reality tours to its Google Expeditions Pioneer Program, a VR platform designed specifically for classroom use and available free for schools. The two new programs include tours of Buckingham Palace and the Great Barrier Reef. The GBR program was developed by David Attenborough and Alchemy VR, which provides a 360-degree tour of the reef and the marine life it supports. For the Buckingham Palace Expedition, Google has also released a YouTube 3D video that’s accessible to the public (seen below). When viewing on a mobile phone, the user can change the point of view of the video fluidly in 360 degrees simply by moving the device around. Settings also allow for stereoscopic 3D for a more immersive experience.

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How to really erase any drive — even SSDs — in 2016

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 01/26/2016 - 00:31

By Robin Harris, ZD Net

You may already know that “deleting” a file does nothing of the sort. Securely erasing drives before you sell a computer keeps your personal information from falling into the wrong hands. Good news: it’s easier than ever to fully erase data. There are easier and safer methods for erasing hard drives – including SSDs – than 10 years ago. Windows has two easy methods and Mac OS X has another. They are built into the operating system and are free to use. But I also include another method for regulated industries or frequent erasures.

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Mozilla co-founder unveils Brave, a browser that blocks ads by default

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 01/26/2016 - 00:28

by Sebastian Anthony, Ars Technica

Brave will replace blocked ads with its own ads, taking a 15% cut of revenues. Brendan Eich, co-founder of Mozilla and creator of the JavaScript programming language, has unveiled his latest project: Brave, a Web browser that blocks ads by default… and then replaces those blocked ads with its own ads. Brave Software, the company behind the eponymous browser, will take a 15 percent cut of the ad revenue generated in this way. Brave is an open-source Web browser. If you want to try out Brave, you have to download and build the browser from a GitHub repo. You can sign up to be a beta tester, which presumably grants you some pre-built binaries, but there’s currently a waiting list.

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EdTech: Mooc Platforms Force B-Schools To Embrace Blended Online/Campus Learning

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 01/25/2016 - 00:40

by Seb Murray, Business Because

In biz ed, the New Year brings fresh obstacles for the decades’ old institutions trying to stay relevant in a hyper-connected educational landscape. Further disruption beckons for even the world’s top business schools, who face a cocktail of threats from online challengers like, whose whizzy tech platforms are snatching students away from traditional degree programs. The rise of online learning has b-school bosses vexed and excited in equal measure.

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Lubbock ISD offers some high school classes online

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 01/25/2016 - 00:34

By Karen Michael, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the school day, but Lubbock Independent School District offers options for motivated students through its Online School for Advancement. The online school is available to all students who have completed the eighth grade. Students from other districts are also able to take the courses, with 20 classes ranging from professional communication to physical education to Web technologies.

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Robert Burns: Literary lovers offered free online poetry course

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 01/25/2016 - 00:30

by STV

Robert Burns: University launches a free online course. A new free online Robert Burns course is being launched by the University of Glasgow on Burns Day. Around 5000 people from five continents have already signed up for the university’s new syllabus on January 25. The Robert Burns Poetry and Song Legacy online course allows literary students to work in their own time. The course takes place over three weeks but learners can take longer to complete if required. Professor Gerard Carruthers, director of the Centre for Robert Burns Studies at the University of Glasgow, said: “The course is essentially an introduction to Burns and it covers three broad areas: poetry, song and then what we are calling afterlife which relates to Burns’ reputation after death and the way in which he becomes an icon. So it is the life and times and also the afterlife.”

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