Educational Technology

Change the Homework, Improve Student Achievement

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 03/29/2014 - 00:28

By David Nagel, Campus Technology

A new study from Rice University and Duke University researchers identified a relatively non-invasive approach to improving student achievement — one that doesn’t involve gutting the curriculum or reinventing pedagogy. The researchers found that implementing subtle, technology-based changes to homework resulted in improvements in student performance on tests. The changes included the adoption of a software tool developed at Rice called OpenStax Tutor. According to the researchers, the software is similar to other tools on the market that fall into the broad category of cognitive science-based digital tutors, tools that are designed to differentiate instruction based on the needs of individual students.

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What the 26 Billion-Thing Internet of Things Portends for IT

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 03/28/2014 - 00:40

By David Nagel, THE Journal

There will be 26 billion “things” making up the Internet of Things within six years, according to a report released by Gartner. The implications for IT are profound — in particular for data center operations. “IoT threatens to generate massive amounts of input data from sources that are globally distributed,” said Joe Skorupa, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, in a statement released to coincide with the report. “Transferring the entirety of that data to a single location for processing will not be technically and economically viable. The recent trend to centralize applications to reduce costs and increase security is incompatible with the IoT. Organizations will be forced to aggregate data in multiple distributed mini data centers where initial processing can occur. Relevant data will then be forwarded to a central site for additional processing.”

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Google Fiber Shortlist Cities Eyeing Free Gigabit Internet for Schools

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 03/28/2014 - 00:35

By Leila Meyer, THE Journal

Google Fiber is the company’s fiber optic Internet infrastructure being implemented in select cities throughout the United States. Google Fiber is already in place in Kansas City and is set to roll out in Provo, UT and Austin, TX next. Cities on the shortlist for potential future rollouts include Atlanta, GA; Charlotte, NC; Nashville, TN; Salt Lake City, UT; San Antonio, TX; Phoenix, AZ; Portland, OR; Raleigh-Durham, NC and San Jose, CA. Google provides free gigabit Internet to public and nonprofit organizations such as schools, libraries and community centers selected by the city as part of the company’s Community Connections program. Schools can use Google Fiber to provide students with access to online learning resources, as well as for collaboration and communication.

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How Has Technology Changed Younger Students?

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 03/28/2014 - 00:30

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

As mobile device usage has exploded, some people are questioning the proper use of these devices among children. Most teachers and parents agree that this technology is a valuable tool—but are students too “plugged in”? How much screen time is too much. Although schools sometimes struggle to manage smartphone usage in class, they are also embracing the technology as 17% of schools require the use of tablets or other devices in the classroom. Parents seem supportive of the technology with 90% saying that mobile devices make learning fun and 76% believe that tablets encourage curiosity. Even though 71% of parents believe mobile devices provide irreplaceable learning opportunities for their children, 43% still say they need help finding the best apps for education, and 62% worry about the devices as distractions when not used properly.

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The Future of Education: It’s More Sci-Fi Than You Think

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 03/27/2014 - 00:39

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

The equipment that will be available to students may soon be nearly unrecognizable. While laptops and tablets are in some classrooms now, in the future, each child could well have a wrist-mounted computer. More conveniently, students might have a computer chip implanted somewhere on their person that could communicate with whatever serves as the equivalent of the internet in their decade. In such an environment, teachers will need to figure out how to do more than merely direct students to websites for facts and then ask them to regurgitate them. Teachers will need to be able to teach kids how to think critically and apply the information that is available to them in solving problems. With any luck, and the right preparation, the kids of the future will go on to solve world problems such as hunger, environmental degradation, and geopolitical conflict.

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It’s Time To Start Teaching About Sustainable Technology

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 03/27/2014 - 00:35

By Katie Lepi, Edudemic

There’s also lots of green technology out there. That is, technology devoted to alternative resource use, or items being designed to use as little energy and physical pieces as possible. But what about the materials that go into our beloved technology? And what about recycling them? Technology changes so rapidly these days. Our need and desire for the latest model sometimes cause us to quickly discard our once trusted devices for the next best thing or the newer model, leaving outdated gadgets with a shelf life in some cases of a matter of months.The handy infographic linked below takes a look at how our love of technology is affecting our environment and why is it important we alter our recycling habits.

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The Revolution Is Not Being MOOC-ized

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 03/27/2014 - 00:29

By Gayle Christensen and Brandon Alcorn, Slate

At least in their early stages, these courses are not providing the revolution in access that proponents claim. Two-thirds of participants come from the developed world—the United States and other members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the club of leading industrialized countries. This is despite the fact that these 34 countries only account for 18 percent of the world population. And 83 percent of MOOC students already have a two- or four-year diploma or degree, even in regions of the world where less than 10 percent of the adult population has a degree. Meanwhile, 69 percent of them are employed. Furthermore, 56 percent are male, rising to 68 percent in the emerging BRICS nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, and to 62 percent in other developing countries. Even more alarming, the gap between male and female participation is far greater for these courses than in traditional education. The 36 percent gap between male and female uptake in BRICS countries is nearly three times as large as in traditional higher education there. The United States is one exception, where males and females participate in equal numbers in both.

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