Educational Technology

Instructor burnout a concern under flipped learning models

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 04/15/2017 - 00:30

by Roger Riddell, Education Dive

Bay Path University Associate Professor of Biology Thomas Mennella writes for Campus Technology that current approaches to active learning must be rethought to avoid instructor burnout. Mennella began using a flipped classroom approach around four years ago, shortly after his institution began providing all incoming freshmen with an iPad — and while he praises the amount of professional development instructors received, he says adopting a flipped approach has greatly increased the amount of assignments he must grade, as well as the number of hours he spends interacting with students. Though Mennella notes that no one is forcing him to use a flipped approach, a dynamic and active learning experience is something that students have come to expect, and he feels the days of the “sage on the stage” are over.

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Higher ed still lagging on digital accessibility

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 04/14/2017 - 00:40

by Roger Riddell, Education Dive

Higher ed institutions are behind in ensuring accessibility for all students with digital material and platforms, as detailed by a new 3PlayMedia whitepaper. According to eCampus News, 11% of students have disabilities, but the shift to digital has left them in a particular bind as multimedia materials have expanded faster than accessibility initiatives designed to comply with federal and state laws. When working to establish accessibility for all students, institutions should consider compliance across hardware, software, digital text documents, web design, audio and video, and course design.

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What is the state of virtual reality in the classroom?

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 04/14/2017 - 00:35

by Matthew Lynch

Virtual reality sounds like a far-off futuristic concept. When we hear the words “virtual reality” we may think of people wearing big helmets that transport them to another location from the comfort of their home (or classroom). However, virtual reality is slowly becoming a reality in the classroom. It doesn’t look quite like what you might imagine, but it is improving all the time. The potential benefits of virtual reality in the classroom are endless. Students from schools all over the world could have access to the same resources and experiences through virtual reality, creating an even playing field like we’ve never seen before in education. Students could use virtual reality to travel back in time and see history come to life, or to take field trips to far-off locations that would cost hundreds to travel to in real life.

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How deep learning is changing the game for both advertisers and consumers

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 04/14/2017 - 00:30

by Daniel Surmacz, ClickZ

AI has forever changed digital advertising. As marketers, it already allows us to decide how to best engage potential customers and markets like never before. But there’s room to grow. Deep learning tools are the next major area of AI-based research, and it will spark a wave of future innovation in every industry – bringing a new era of marketing which both advertisers and end-users will benefit from. Our interfaces have already adapted to fit a user’s interests on a personal level, matching industry insights and behaviours with display advertising – or personalization. But deep learning algorithms will achieve even more.

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UI makes winter-session classes permanent

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 04/13/2017 - 00:41

by Julie Wurth, News-Gazette

A pilot program that allowed students to take courses during winter break for the past three years will now be part of the permanent schedule at the University of Illinois. A winter class session will be added to the academic calendar starting in 2017-18, following the campus Academic Senate’s approval of the change Monday. The UI has had summer-session and “intersession” classes — between summer classes and the spring or fall semesters — for many years. In 2014-15, the UI experimented with a new winter session: online courses offered by UI faculty during the four-week break between the fall and spring semesters, from Dec. 22, 2014, through Jan. 16, 2015.

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WV House Ed passes bill to expand online classes, allow online diplomas

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 04/13/2017 - 00:35

by Ryan Quinn, Gazette-Mail

The House Education Committee on Tuesday passed a bill that would allow West Virginia county school systems to offer full-time K-12 virtual education and “an online pathway for earning a high school diploma,” while also receiving the full per-pupil state school aid formula funding for each student who participates. Kanawha County Schools Superintendent Ron Duerring spoke to delegates Tuesday in favor of the bill (SB 630). He said the bill also would allow participating students, including home-schoolers, to participate in sports and other public school-related activities.

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Six reasons you may not graduate on time

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 04/13/2017 - 00:28

by MEREDITH KOLODNER, Hechinger Report

There’s at least one issue that Americans aren’t divided on – going to college has become both more necessary and less affordable for most students over the last several years. And cost is one of the major reasons that only 41 percent of students actually earn a four-year degree within four years. But finishing in four years matters, because research shows that the longer it takes, the less likely a student is to make it to graduation. A quarter of students drop out after four years, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Here are the six roadblocks most cited, and ways to tackle the problems.

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Examining the possibilities of university-run community schools

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 04/12/2017 - 00:40

by Autumn A. Arnett, Education Dive

A recent EWA blog post details the success of USC Hybrid High College Prep, a non-selective charter high school run by the storied institution, which aims to guarantee 100% college admission for all of its graduating seniors every year. School officials credit individualized attention from teachers, weekly office hours, and daily advisory periods for the students’ success, in addition to a rigorous curriculum and a focus on self-guided thesis study, bringing a higher ed model into the high school classroom. The dean of USC’s Rossier School of Education also serves as head of Ednovate, Inc., the parent nonprofit group responsible for USC Hybrid High, ensuring close collaboration between the two schools.

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Taking Classes Online

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 04/12/2017 - 00:30

by Joanna Kristine Ninal, Cougar’s Byte

Sometimes, life can get in the way of people pursuing their education. It can be personal, family related or work related, but it still prevents them from getting a degree. Kean Online is the perfect way for students to find an internet connection and complete their coursework. There are a few degrees offered at Kean Online, so it might work for any prospective student who needs to take classes virtually. “Kean Online was created with the community college graduate in mind, making it easy for students and graduates from community colleges in New Jersey to apply,” excerpted from Kean Online.

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Virtual course proposed for Wilton High School

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 04/12/2017 - 00:29

By Wilton Bulletin

As part of the district’s initiative to personalize learning and utilize blended learning platforms to create virtual learning experiences for its students, Wilton High School Associate Principal Donald Schels has proposed a new course for next school year called Virtual High School. The Virtual High School is a nonprofit entity that provides rigorous online instruction delivered by certified teachers that allows students to engage with coursework at times most convenient to them. One current Wilton High School teacher would instruct a Virtual High School course part-time, according to the course proposal presented at the Board of Education’s March 23 meeting. In return, the high school would get 50 seats in the Virtual High School at a discounted rate, allowing up to 50 students to take an online course.

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Ethics and the IT Professional

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 04/11/2017 - 00:40

by Melissa Woo, EDUCAUSE Review

As IT professionals, what should we do when we encounter potentially murky situations? Sometimes existing laws or institutional policy will guide ethical behavior; sometimes they won’t. What many people often do not understand is that what is legal is not always ethical. I believe it is our responsibility as IT professionals to act in an ethical manner in the performance of our work duties. To inadvertently do otherwise risks losing the trust of our students, faculty, staff, communities, and the general public. Without such trust I have difficulty imagining how IT professionals can continue to perform their duties effectively.

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​How Can Educators Strike a Balance Between Blended and Social-Emotional Learning?

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 04/11/2017 - 00:35

By Jen Curtis, EdSurge

While many of the present educators seemed to embrace blended learning as not only inevitable but necessary, an anxiety around technology—and a nagging suspicion that something is missing from the conversation—made itself known. For many in attendance, social-emotional learning (SEL), or students ability to recognize and manage emotions and build healthy relationships, seemed to be that missing piece. Throughout the conference, panelists and attendants spoke of the importance of “whole child” education and the need for schools to prioritize developing SEL skills. But while SEL skills were touted as critical to student success, the focus on academics—and quality digital resources—remained central. It raised the question: how exactly should schools balance blended and social-emotional learning in the 21st century classroom?

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Data science and analytics skills critical for today’s workforce

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 04/11/2017 - 00:29

Autumn A. Arnett, Education Dive

A new report from PwC is encouraging higher education to “build capacity and attract more students to” data science and analytics coursework, saying “every major industry” needs these capabilities to thrive. The report says hiring needs will shift to include a focus on these soft skills, such as data-driven decision-making, functional analysis, data engineering and data analysis. The report lays out four things higher education needs to do to meet this demand: leverage data analysis to create multidisciplinary hubs vs. discipline silos; promote data literacy for all students in all disciplines; strengthen ties with professional societies; and design courses and curricula to expand pathways for “a diverse analytical workforce.”

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Hackers are attacking Word users with new Microsoft Office zero-day vulnerability

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 04/10/2017 - 15:35

By Zack Whittaker

The bug affects all supported versions of Microsoft Word, but will be fixed this week. Attackers are exploiting a previously undisclosed vulnerability in Microsoft Word, which security researchers say can be used to quietly install different kinds of malware — even on fully-patched computers. Unlike most document-related vulnerabilities, this zero-day bug that has yet to be patched doesn’t rely on macros — in which Office typically warns users of risks when opening macro-enabled files. Instead, the vulnerability is triggered when a victim opens a trick Word document, which downloads a malicious HTML application from a server, disguised to look like a Rich Text document file as a decoy. The HTML application meanwhile downloads and runs a malicious script that can be used to stealthily install malware.

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Report Urges Schools to Encourage African-American Girls to Pursue Engineering

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 04/10/2017 - 00:41

By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

In 2015, less than 1 percent of all U.S. engineering bachelor’s degrees went to African-American women. Of the 106,658 engineering bachelor’s degrees awarded that year, 937 went to African-American women, just a third of the number that were achieved by African-American men. That gap, among others, represents “ignored potential,” according to a new paper put out by Purdue University, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), the Society of Women Engineers and the Women in Engineering ProActive Network. As the report noted, STEM jobs are expected to increase by 10 percent by 2020.

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Why STEM education could get a transformative makeover—soon

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 04/10/2017 - 00:35


Engaging young children in STEM is critical for creating a lifelong love of learning and for developing critical thinking skills which will serve them well across all academic disciplines and prepare them for the 21st Century workforce. The recently released report, STEM Starts Early: Grounding Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education in Early Childhood by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and New America is a summary of current research and makes critical recommendations for both STEM communication to parents and future research in early childhood STEM. The appropriate use of innovative education technologies will be an essential component to bringing STEM to children wherever they live as part of a well-balanced set of active learning experiences with educators and parents.

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The absence of internet at home is a problem for some students

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 04/10/2017 - 00:30

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

While it may seem like almost everyone has internet access, a shocking number of families lack fast or reliable internet connections. There are roughly 5 million households with school-age children who don’t have broadband internet access at home. That means millions of students are being left behind. There are many ways that a lack of internet access can affect a student’s academic performance. Students without internet can’t connect with teachers or classmates, do independent research, or get online homework help. For families, not having internet access can mean missing out on information or losing out on a direct line of communication with schools and teachers. One of the biggest problems faced by students without internet access at home is their inability to complete homework.

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UMUC to Offer Free Online Coding Program for Students and Grads

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 04/09/2017 - 00:40

By Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

University of Maryland University College students and graduates can sharpen their coding skills at no cost thanks to a new partnership with technology talent development company Revature. Revature’s online training program is designed to provide a pathway to successful software development careers regardless of a student’s major or technical experience, according to a press release. “Through this partnership, students with non-technical academic backgrounds can expand their career options by mastering the latest software programs and computer platforms,” said Nikki Sandoval, associate vice president for alumni and career services at UMUC, in a statement.

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Canadian Researchers Design Bendable Sensors for Next-Gen Touchscreen Devices, Wearables and More

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 04/09/2017 - 00:36

By Sri Ravipati, Campus Technology

Imagine folding up a tablet and putting it in your pocket or purse after using it. This may be a possibility for the next generation of touchscreen devices, wearables and other items, thanks to a flexible and stretchable touch sensor being developed at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada.  A recently published paper in the journal Science Advances explained that the sensor works by using stretchable and ionically conductive hydrogel electrodes. A highly conductive gel is squeezed between layers of bendable silicone (created through a simple molding process to generate films). It projects an electric field above the sensor to detect different types of touch — even while it is bent.

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Virtual HS Adds Solar Energy Design, Cryptography Classes

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 04/09/2017 - 00:30

By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

High schoolers will have the chance to learn solar energy design, cryptography and chemistry in three new courses added to the offerings by the Virtual High School (VHS). VHS is a Massachusetts-based non-profit that offers online courses to students in any state and many countries for a fee. The new classes being offered are all part of the summer school program, intended for credit recovery and enrichment.

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