Educational Technology

4 ways to update critical thinking skills for a massively digital world

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 07/27/2017 - 00:35


Faced with a flood of information, we are challenged to evaluate and make sense of what we see and read, especially in the digital world. Parents, students, educators, and employers all have a stake in meeting this challenge through the use of critical thinking skills. It is vital that people develop the ability to analyze the information they encounter online and assess whether they can trust the sources behind the content. But how can these important skills be taught and strengthened? Based on my own experiences teaching both high school and college students, here are four suggestions on how critical thinking skills can be taught in the digital age:

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Girls Learn Virtuous Hacking at Tandon School of Engineering

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 07/27/2017 - 00:30

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

The program, Computer Science for Cyber Security (CS4CS), lasts three weeks and will culminate with a cyber-mystery that involves, aptly, the theft of Wonder Woman’s iconic lasso. The students meet daily, Monday through Friday. During the first part of the camp, they receive lessons in programming, depending on their level of expertise. Then they receive an introduction to cryptography, by examining the classic cyphers, frequency analysis, hashing and related topics. From there, it’s onto operating systems, steganography (the study of message concealment) and image analysis, networks, the web, databases and forensics. The program is led by members of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and the Offensive Security, Incident Response and Internet Security (OSIRIS) Laboratory.

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Report: Millennials and Generation Z are Changing Media Habits

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 00:40

By Richard Chang, THE Journal

A recent study states that younger internet users, the so-called Generation Z (ages 13 to 17), are moving away from text-based content online, as well as television, while increasing their time with video and social media. These findings come from a March 2017 survey by content provider and streaming solutions company Fullscreen and market research firm Leflein Associates, which polled 1,173 American internet users from ages 13 to 34. Both the millennials and Gen Z respondents were more apt to say they were “spending more time streaming full-length TV shows and movies, and similar percentages said they were spending more time with short online video,” according to a report by eMarketer.

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Evaluating the Success of Your Ed Tech Program

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 00:35

By Jeff Mao, THE Journal

The United States Department of Education commissioned the creation of an online tool — the Ed Tech RCE Coach — that not only helps you identify what you’re really trying to measure but also will help you crunch the data and analyze it. Using the Ed Tech RCE Coach requires some work and planning and I don’t believe it’s necessary for each and every lesson that you teach. However, if you’re considering adopting a new technology tool for your district, school, or classroom or a significant change in how you teach a skill or concept, taking the extra time to leverage the tool can help you better gauge if you’re moving in the right direction.

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Listen In: The Future of Apps

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 00:30

by eMarketer Daily

In the latest episode of “Behind the Numbers,” analyst Cathy Boyle and researcher Chris Keating discuss the market for mobile apps, and what it means for businesses. Follow link below to the audio podcast.

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10 Best Cheap Online Courses For High School Students

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 07/25/2017 - 00:40

by GABRIELA VATU, Insider Monkey

As the time for college approaches, students may want to look into various courses they can take which could help them decide what they want to do in life, not to mention that any extra classes will look good in the application, so take a look at the best cheap online courses for high school students. While numerous places offer extracurricular classes, especially during the summer, we decided to look at the world’s top universities and see what type of classes they are offering. Even if you end up studying elsewhere, at least you had the chance to learn something from a prestigious school before you even hit the necessary age. In addition to this, you may also want to check out these 10 most popular courses on Udemy right now and see if anything catches your eye.

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10 Apps to Help Students with Their Science Homework

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 07/25/2017 - 00:35

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Science can be hard. Science homework can be harder, especially when the teacher isn’t there to help. Many parents now are struggling to help students with their STEM and Common Core aligned science homework, no matter what specific scientific branch it is. Rather than spend money on a tutor, surf the Internet for hours, or try to squeeze a few minutes out of a teacher’s free time, students can, instead, use these ten apps to help themselves with their homework. This way, students can take charge of their own learning and homework skills.

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Study: Potential earnings not a factor in high school students’ college choices

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 07/25/2017 - 00:30

by ISAAC CAREY, Hechinger Report

Researchers gave students at participating high schools in Virginia access to a state-backed website called, which analyzed the average wage earned by graduates and the average cost of enrollment, sorted by university and type of program. The students used the website rarely, and did not seem to base their academic decisions on it. During the three-year study, researchers were able to see where students ended up going to college, and what type of programs they chose to pursue. There was no evidence that access to salary data had a detectable impact. The next step, Blagg said, is to add information about graduates’ salaries to those larger websites students already use. Most freshmen who entered college last fall ranked “finding a good job” among their principal reasons for going to college, according to a survey by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. Information about what they’ll eventually earn is particularly helpful for high-achieving low-income students, the Urban Institute report said.

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President Trump’s support for apprenticeships puts them back into the spotlight

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 00:40

by Shalina Chatlani, Education Dive

With growing state support, K-12 and higher ed have a role to play in the workforce development model. Though some critics still say that such programs disrupt higher education enrollment and shortchange a liberal arts curriculum that gives students lifelong “soft” skills they need for success, more and more stakeholders in the industry are deciding to embrace it as they see long-run advantages.

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OER Pioneer OpenStax Launches Personalized Learning Tool for 3 Courses

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 00:35

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

The Rice University non-profit that has released almost two-dozen free textbooks into academia is beta-testing a new personalized learning system that works with its materials. OpenStax, which stated that it provides open educational resources to a million students each year, has been developing OpenStax Tutor for three years. The new service will be available this fall for three courses: college physics, biology and sociology. The tutoring service, which is available online, uses web-based OpenStax textbooks to deliver content, simulations, videos, “spaced” practice questions and instant feedback.

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8 Must Have Autism Apps, Tools and Resources for Kids

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 00:30

by Matthew Lynch, tech Edvocate

In America, 1 in 1000 kids will be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This disease is classified as on a spectrum because it impacts children differently. Some children may be high functioning while others may need a lot of assistance throughout their life. For parents, a diagnosis of autism can be an overwhelming challenge. Thankfully, there are a lot of resources, including apps, that can help children with autism develop important social skills. Here is a review of the top eight apps for children with autism.

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Road-Tripping for OER

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 07/23/2017 - 00:39

By Jennifer Goodman, Inside Higher Ed

A math professor takes his ideas for open educational materials to campuses across Georgia to try to help save students millions of dollars. It makes sense that the College of Coastal Georgia math professor and OER advocate German Vargas relies on open educational materials to help reduce textbook and material costs for courses like calculus and trigonometry. But he’s equally passionate about the importance of open materials for courses in economics, philosophy and sociology – and not just for his college’s students. Vargas, who has been assistant vice president for academic student engagement at Coastal Georgia since October 2015, is meeting with instructors and department heads at colleges across Georgia to share his message that OER makes sense in every discipline.

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31 Apps, Tools and Games That Teach Kids to Code

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 07/23/2017 - 00:35

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

In most cases, people agree that a traditional textbook approach is insufficient for subjects like coding. While the idiosyncrasies of the language can be introduced that way, it’s hard to assimilate the information until it is in used entirely. But sticking children in front of a blank screen and having them write line after line, though functional, isn’t very inspiring or even interesting. If you want to capture the interest of young students while giving them access to a valuable skill set, then turning to coding tools and games may be the ideal method. To help you get started, we have compiled a list of 31 apps, tools and games that teach kids to code.

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Helping Teachers Use Technology and Technology Experts Teach

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 07/23/2017 - 00:28

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Although many teachers now have grown-up in the technology age, many traditional or “old-school” teachers are still not feeling equipped to teach in the classroom of the 21st century. Teachers that earned their certificates in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and even the 90’s may or may not feel prepared to operate and utilize today’s education equipment in the classroom. From the replacement of chalkboards with smartboards to the use of iPads in the classroom with apps for learning in English, Math, Science, and many other areas, the advances in technology are taking hold in today’s classrooms. The question remains how do we educate our teachers on how to use the technology?

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Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 07/22/2017 - 00:40

BY RAEGAN JOHNSON, Associations Now

Does your association provide massive open online courses (MOOCs) or virtual continuing education courses to members? Perhaps you should suggest that your members do their learning together. Taking an online class can be solitary experience. But Lifehacker notes that online courses can be turned into group activity. “I say meet up with a couple of friends instead and turn one of these courses into something that feels like a real classroom,” recommends Patrick Allan. Keep participants engaged by facilitating group get-togethers, classrooms, or study sessions. A group setting may make it easier for your members to learn from the material, ask questions, and talk about ideas. “Almost every online course has a forum or some place you can chat with other students, but it’s not the same as having an open debate in person,” writes Allan.

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How to Build a Successful Blended Learning Model

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 07/22/2017 - 00:35

By Tara Beams, THE Journal

When you make the switch to a blended learning model, you find yourself making instructional choices for students that empower them to utilize technology in a very independent and deliberate manner. Defined by the nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank Clayton Christensen Institute as any formal education program in which students learn at least in part through online learning with “student control over time, place, path and/or pace,” blended learning needs to be a purposeful and thoughtful endeavor.

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These 5 Teachers Showcase the Future of Blended Learning’s ‘Station Rotation’ Model

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 07/22/2017 - 00:30

By Clifford Maxwell and Julia Freeland Fisher, EdSurge

The report builds upon over five years of research that the Christensen Institute has conducted on the rise of different blended learning models in K-12 schools. Typically, as schools and classrooms integrate online learning into instruction, the choreography of online and offline learning coalesces into a particular architecture. In 2012, we codified 7 models of blended learning that were cropping up in schools. Among the most popular is the Station Rotation model, which builds on the decades-long tradition of rotating students among “learning centers”—self-contained sections of a classroom where students could engage in various independent learning activities. Increasingly we’ve begun to observe how schools treat these discrete models, particularly the Station Rotation, as a starting point, rather than the finish line. As the teachers we interviewed and observed illustrate, to fit their students needs educators often want elbow room from the strict schedule and flow of a rotation model.

Share on Facebook Releases Free CS Course for Grades 7-9

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 00:40

By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

As promised in March,, which runs Hour to Code, has released new curriculum for grades 7 to 9, along with teacher guidance. “CS Discoveries,” as it’s called, fits between the organization’s existing courses, “CS Fundamentals” (for lower grades) and “CS Principles” (for high school). Students need no experience with computer science or programming; but if they have it, the developers asserted, with the new lessons they’ll be able to review “familiar topics in novel and more challenging contexts.” Each of the six units that make up the curriculum includes lesson plans and “code studio.” The latter are videos and hands-on activities that guide the students through creation of programs. For example, for one early lesson students use visual programming tool Blockly to direct Elsa and Anna from Frozen in creating ice patterns. The video is introduced by Lyndsey, an actor, fashion model and programmer who writes her own apps. After a few test runs, Paola, a developer with Microsoft, steps in to explain looping.

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Evaluating the Success of Your Ed Tech Program

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 00:35

by Jeff Mao, THE Journal

Despite the limitations of the technology back then, I learned a lot from my time at Brewster Academy. One of the things that we did well, that I still recommend to schools today, is to be targeted and intentional about how you use the technology. At Brewster, we measured success one skill at a time and one student at a time. A decade later, I joined the team at the Maine Department of Education that led the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) — a much larger initiative. Whereas Brewster’s total student body was fewer than 350 students, MLTI served about 35,000 students in more than 230 schools.

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President Trump’s support for apprenticeships puts them back into the spotlight

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 00:30

by Shalina Chatlani, Education Dive

In order for the apprenticeship models to work, governors that went abroad saw the importance of private businesses and education leaders actively working together to create the internship spots for students, in addition to working with states to lower regulations on students being able to work. “I think that education leaders are leaders in their communities. I’m not going to be able to tell someone from Yankton what businesses he should be considering doing apprenticeships with; I should be asking him what businesses he thinks would be a good opportunity for apprenticeships,” said Weber. He explains that superintendents ought to know the types of programs that will lead to more success for their students.

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