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by CBC News
School snow days should be turned into e-learning days with students attending class online, a Halifax education expert says. Paul Bennett, director of Schoolhouse Consulting and adjunct professor of education at Saint Mary’s University, said the “throw away” days hurt students’ education. He said in 2008/09, Nova Scotia had a record high number of snow days — and test results fell in every board. Bennett said the lack of make-up days means students miss about two weeks of learning each year. In the U.S., some districts have introduced e-lesson days when snow days pile up. In Ohio, it kicks in after five snow days in one year.Share on Facebook
Guest Bloggers: Lisa Ho, Matt Wolf, and Erika Donald, University of California, Berkeleyspywear.jpg Antique.jpg Dumb-Dumber.jpg radical-students.jpg social.jpg
In January’s “Trending Now: Postsecondary” post, Kristen Vogt called attention to a Center for American Progress (CAP) report that pointed to competency-based credentials as a way to provide employers with more confidence in the capabilities of higher education graduates.
By David Nagel, Campus Technology
Smart phones running on Google’s Android OS will approach 1 billion units by the end of this year, according to a new forecast from market research firm Gartner. In 2013, Android phones accounted for 78.4 percent of all smart phone sales to end users worldwide, or 758.7 million units. In 2013, total worldwide smart phone sales were 967.8 million, by Gartner’s reckoning. (Note that we have reported different smart phone statistics in the last couple weeks. Gartner and International Data Corp. both provide worldwide statistics on technology shipments and sales, but the two often differ on their final numbers. IDC had total 2013 shipments at slightly more than 1 billion, with Android phones accounting for 793.6 million units. IDC reported “unit shipments,” while Gartner reported “sales to end users.” Not all devices that are shipped by manufacturers wind up being sold to end users, which may account for some of the variance in the figures reported by the two firms.)Share on Facebook
By Toni Fuhrman, Campus Technology
Once banned in the classroom, mobile devices are becoming more accepted as a teaching and learning tool. Yet teaching methods have not caught up with mobile’s potential, according to Ron Yaros, assistant professor of new media and mobile journalism at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism. “Under the current methods of teaching in higher education, a mobile device can be a distraction rather than a helpful tool,” said Yaros. “Nobody seems to be looking at how to teach with smart devices, while keeping students engaged.” His assertion is backed up by a recent University of Central Florida survey on mobile learning practices in higher education: Among students who owned a tablet, 82 percent said they used the device for academic purposes. But to improve mobile learning effectiveness, the study advised, “students and instructors need help adopting more effective learning and teaching practices across content areas.”Share on Facebook
by Sramana Mitra, Huffington Post
Working with a team of 25 speech therapists and nearly 300 children, the Invention Labs team initially developed a tablet and then an application called Avaz that helped children with autism communicate by replacing words with pictures. FreeSpeech, on the other hand, represents information in a pictorial ‘map’ that captures meaning in a language-independent structure. A FreeSpeech sentence can be fed into a software algorithm called the “FreeSpeech Engine” to convert it into grammatical, well-formed, and meaningful English sentences. It could well revolutionize how language is taught to children with special needs. When Avaz is integrated with FreeSpeech, it addresses the problems not just of children with autism but also those with dyslexia or even aphasia.Share on Facebook
by Jonathan Harper, Language Magazine
The tools for language training are changing. Electronic media, such as online translators and individualized learning programs, are reshaping the learning environment. But for the global industry of language instruction, the nuances of language and culture often require more human interaction and mentorship to be successful. Not only are the tools for teaching language modernizing, the methods through which we train our future instructors are also evolving. One degree program that has stepped up to the demands of an increasingly digital educational landscape is American University’s TESOL Program. In response to the growing needs of an international student body, it has recently launched an online TEFL master’s degree.Share on Facebook
BY MEGAN ERBACHER, Evansville Courier & Press
A digital tattoo, just like a real tattoo, lasts forever and never goes away, even after pressing the delete button. That was a reminder DeLyn Beard delivered during a recent meeting of the Digital Divas, a girls only eLeader Academy club centered on young girls’ needs and interests. Beard, eLeader founder, coach and fourth-grade teacher at Oak Hill, told the girls ages 9 to 11 that the digital footprint is permanent and never leaves, so be aware of what you’re doing online. Throughout the course, Digital Divas will be encouraged to explore computer science-related careers and hobbies, including new techie tools, Internet safety, cyber bullying, Internet literacy and computer programming.Share on Facebook
by Natalie Houston, Chronicle of Higher Ed
If you teach a discussion-based course, you know that sooner or later, there comes a day when you notice that your students’ once-enthusiastic participation seems to have vanished. You can’t know exactly when that day might happen (though flu season and midterms both can be influential factors) so you will have prepared your course material and in-class activities as you always do. And nothing you try to do seems to be working. So what do you do next? Here are a few strategies I think of as akin to the jumper cables in the trunk of my car.Share on Facebook
by Nicole Krueger, ISTE Connects Blog
A school- or district-wide digital learning strategy provides a paddle to help steer your organization toward its learning and teaching goals. It’s the shared vision educators rally around to guide effective technology implementation. In Wisconsin, award-winning ed tech advocate Kurt Kiefer helped develop a statewide digital learning strategic plan that serves as a blueprint for schools as they transition toward digital age instructional models. He recommends addressing the following areas in your digital learning strategy:Share on Facebook
By Jeff Dunn, Edudemic
What good is a nifty new device if you don’t know how to use it? What’s the purpose of loading up your new iPad Air with a gazillion apps if you never figure out how to properly use them in the classroom? What if there was a simpler way to figure out how to use the most popular tech tools in education? That’s the idea behind the new Global Education Database (GEDB) – it’s still in the very early stages but has an aim to be something akin to the ‘Yelp for Education’ thanks to the robust and brilliant education crowd around the globe. Each listing in the GEDB features expert reviews, pros, cons, tips on using each product in the classroom, what the product is good for (flipped classrooms, Common Core, etc.), and more. I’m proud to be one of the folks helping make the ‘Yelp for Education’ dream a reality as it’s something sorely needed in education.Share on Facebook
by L. Lima and V. Lima, EURODL
Measuring the quality of a b-learning environment is critical to determine the success of a b-learning course. Several initiatives have been recently conducted on benchmarking and quality in e-learning. Despite these efforts in defining and examining quality issues concerning online courses, a defining instrument to evaluate quality is one of the key challenges for blended learning, since it incorporates both traditional and online instruction methods. For this paper, six frameworks for quality assessment of technological enhanced learning were examined and compared regarding similarities and differences. These frameworks aim at the same global objective: the quality of e-learning environment/products. As a result we have create a new quality reference with a set of dimensions and criteria that should be taken into account when you are analyzing, designing, developing, implementing and evaluating a b-learning environment. Besides these perspectives on what to do when you are developing a b-learning environment we have also included pedagogical issues in order to give directions on how to do it to reach the success of the learning. The information, concepts and procedures here presented give support to teachers and instructors, which intend to validate the quality of their blended learning courses.Share on Facebook
Guest Blogger: Rich Murphy, Director of Technical Account Management, @BlackStratus
IT Systems administrators working in an academic setting are often faced with the unenviable task of balancing two seemingly disparate priorities: managing and mitigating security risks, and ensuring a user experience that is intuitive, seamless and reliable. This dilemma is not a new one — Frederick M. Avolio, writing at Networkcomputing.com, notes that “security and usability are often inversely proportional.”RichMurphy.jpeg
Of all the things I get to do at the University of Georgia, one of my favorites is my lunchtime reading clubs, which are groups of mid-career IT professionals who get together regularly to discuss an interesting book. Typically, half of each club’s members come from EITS, the central IT organization on campus, and the other half comes from UGA’s schools, colleges, or other units. This semester, one of the clubs is reading Gene Kim’s (@RealGeneKim) The Phoenix Project, and it is leading us through some very productive conversations on what service-oriented cultures really are – and more importantly, what they are not.
by Matthew Lynch, Huffington Post
Digital technology has taken the world by storm – particularly in the past decade. It makes sense that this trend would have an impact on K-12 learning because there is nothing in modern American society that digital technology has not touched. While the names of the mobile applications and computer programs may change, there are some foundational ways that technology has already changed the face of education forever.Share on Facebook
by Sara K. Satullo, The Express-Times
A new classroom on Northampton Community College’s main campus may offer a glimpse into the classroom of the future. The college’s Innovation Lab in the College Center re-imagines the traditional college computer lab with touchscreen laptops for all students and four walls doubling as projection screens and blackboards. Students sit in pods to encourage collaboration and so professors can make sure students are on task. Professors teach from a high-tech pod that, with a swipe on an iPad, allows them to bring what is on their screen onto students’ screens.Share on Facebook
A study shows West Virginia is behind when it comes to making sure low-income students have access to advanced placement classes. The number of low-income students taking Advanced Placement courses around the nation has more than quadrupled in the last decade, according to the College Board. In West Virginia, nearly 52 percent of students receive free or reduced lunches – an indication of poverty – but such students make up only 16 percent of exam-takers. Students can take AP courses online in West Virginia, but being self-paced is often more difficult than a traditional classroom setting.Share on Facebook
By PAIGE SUTHERLAND, Associated Press
While hundreds of thousands of students across the country attend virtual public schools, New England has been slow to adopt the high-tech education model as states weigh how to manage the schools and judge their performance. There are 310,000 students in full-time public K-12 cyber schools in 29 states across the country, but less than 800 of them are enrolled in two schools in New England. Ohio itself has more than 35,000 students in cyber schools, according to October 2013 statistics from Keeping Pace, a nonprofit focused on online learning.Share on Facebook
by NW Tennessee Today
By 2019, 50 percent of all high school courses will be delivered online, according to Disrupting Class authors Clayton M. Christensen and Michael B. Horn. Online learning is very popular in the world of elite amateur athletics, where young competitors have to practice for multiple hours every day and travel around the world for competitions – while still doing their ABCs. “Virtual school is especially well suited to student athletes who desire to compete at the highest level in their sport, yet do not want to compromise on their academics,” observes Dr. Patricia Hoge, executive vice president of curriculum and instruction for Connections Academy. “In the short term, virtual schools offer the flexibility athletes and their families need. But even more important, in the longer term, quality virtual public schools deliver a world-class education that will serve the athletes beyond their athletic careers.”Share on Facebook
by GMA Network
Users of Apple’s iPad tablet can expect to get much more productive as Microsoft continues work on a version of its Office productivity suite for it. The Microsoft Office for iPad suite, presently codenamed Miramar, may even come ahead of Microsoft’s touch-first Office version for Windows, ZDNet reported. “Microsoft officials have acknowledged, in a somewhat roundabout way, that it exists and is coming. Last we heard, it sounded from the words of ex-CEO Steve Ballmer that it was going to arrive some time after Microsoft’s own touch-first, ‘Gemini’ implementation of Office. Gemini is Microsoft’s Metro-Style/Windows Store versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote,” ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley reported.Share on Facebook
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