Educational Technology

5 steps to move technology purchasing into the 21st century

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 03/06/2015 - 00:35

By John Carver, eSchool News

Choosing and buying the right technology can be a daunting process, especially if you don’t know where to begin technology-procurement. With marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, Google Marketplace, AirBNB, and OpenTable, it’s quite conceivable to think purchasing educational technology for the 116,000 schools across the United States in a $12B market would be as easy as buying a toothbrush online. Point. Click. Buy. Rather the opposite is true. Ed tech procurement is a very analog process in a very digital world. I have seen this as Superintendent of the Howard-Winneshiek Community School District (Howard-Winn) in rural northeast Iowa. Investments in ed tech companies reached historic levels rising to $2 billion in 2014. The choice and innovation is great, but finding and buying even simple things can tax our resources.

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Even more higher-ed IT services moving to the cloud

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 03/06/2015 - 00:30

by Laura Devaney, eCampus News

Study highlights IT’s necessary role in moving higher education to the cloud. A new report reveals that 39 percent of surveyed higher education IT services are delivered totally or partially by cloud, and of that 39 percent, 53 percent migrated from traditional delivery and 47 percent started in the cloud. The information comes from CDW’s “Cloud 401: Navigating Advanced Topics in Cloud Computing.” The report measures the successes and struggles that organizations across multiple industries experienced as they deployed data, storage or application services in the cloud. Higher education survey respondents said that of their individual institution’s current cloud resources, they have reserved 39 percent for storage, 33 percent for computing, and 28 percent for applications.

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5 Ways Google Tools Can Make Education More Exciting

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 00:39

By Kristen Hicks, Edudemic

Google’s no stranger to the education space. Teachers have been benefiting from the tools they create for years. Every time Google adds a new product or tool to their offerings, teachers get to work figuring out creative ways their students can benefit from it. Whether or not you’ve been using Google tools in your classroom for years or are just now starting to consider their potential, a little inspiration never hurts. If you want to break outside of some of the obvious uses and give your students something fun and exciting to work on with Google, one of these ideas could do the trick.

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The Web Accessibility in Higher Education Project

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 00:35

by Robert Carr, EDUCAUSE Review

The Web Accessibility in Higher Education Project works across 25 Oklahoma institutions of higher education to provide resources and help campuses meet technology accessibility goals. Decentralized campus technology environments combine with accessibility’s wide reach to create barriers to success. To successfully plan and implement a technology accessibility initiative, campuses need higher-level administrative support, subject matter expertise, a representative team of the appropriate size, and an understanding of how processes work.

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Libraries in the Digital Age? Yes, They’re Still Crucial

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 00:30

by Center for Digital Education

Creative workspaces for people to collaborate on computer-based projects. Shared databases among public school, municipal, state and academic libraries. Help for the unemployed in preparing job applications. Those services already are among the many you can find in libraries that are becoming a one-stop shop for people not only in need of information, but also seeking access to modern information technology. And they may represent just the tip of the iceberg in libraries’ continuing journey beyond the stacks. A panel with librarians, an archivist and an educator last Saturday at St. John’s College helped open audience members’ eyes to the many roles already filled by libraries – a reality, panel members said, that many policy-makers sadly are not that familiar with.

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FCC Votes to Restore Strong Net Neutrality Protections

Educause - Connect, Technology In Academia - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 14:46

(UPDATE, 03/19/15: Please see "Higher Ed/Library Views Impact Final Net Neutrality Order" for information on how higher education/library concerns mentioned below are addressed in the full text of the FCC's 2015 Open Internet Order, which was released roughly two weeks after this post.)

As expected, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a new Open Internet Order last week on a 3-2 vote, with all Democratic Commissioners voting in favor and both Republicans opposed. The Order establishes network neutrality rules that will keep the major retail broadband providers from pursuing practices that would seriously disadvantage higher education online. The major providers, however, will work to overturn the FCC’s action in Congress and the courts.

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Combining online and in-person education improves learning– Anant Agarwal

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 00:40

by Jiby J Kattakayam, DNA India

Rather than an exclusive MOOCs model, why are you pitching for a blended model where the online learning experience and the advantages of having an instructor in the physical classroom are clubbed?

At edX, we are trying to revolutionise the world of education and improve both online and on-campus education. Our aim is to increase access to learning to people around the world who do not have access to a quality education. We partner with some of the best universities in the world, such as MIT, Harvard, Georgetown, Tsinghua from China, and many others, to offer high-quality courses that learners can take for free no matter where they are. Concurrently, our partner universities are using these courses on their own campuses to offer a blended model of learning where they combine the online content and tools with in-person education, thereby creating a better experience for on-campus students as well.

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Ten-year-old is accepted on university course to study maths degree despite not going to school

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 00:35

By MARK DUELL, Daily Mail

She spends her spare time in a similar way to many other ten-year-old girls – playing with Barbie dolls and making loom bands. But the key difference between Esther Okade and other children her age is that she has been accepted to study for a university maths degree – despite not going to school. Esther, from Walsall, West Midlands, has enrolled on an Open University course months after she passed her A-levels – and wants to study for a PhD before running her own bank. The girl, who gained a C grade in her maths GCSE aged six, has joined the course which started this month. Her younger brother Isiah is already studying for his A-levels – also aged six.

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Report: Virtual learning expanding among Michigan’s K-12 public school students

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 00:30

By Izzy Lyman, Watchdog Arena

Over 76,000 K-12 Michigan public school students elected to take one or more virtual courses during the 2013-14 school year, according to a new report from the Michigan Virtual Research Learning Institute, a Lansing-based center for online learning research. A report by the Michigan Virtual Research Learning Institute finds that virtual learning is expanding in the Great Lake State, and rural students are thriving. That’s an increase of 38 percent from the previous year, although only 2 percent of K-12 enrollment is currently delivered online. “The trends are clear that more and more K-12 students will be taking virtual courses in the coming years, and the need to be able to learn in this kind of environment has become an important part of being college and career ready,” states Jamey Fitzpatrick, president and CEO of Michigan Virtual University.

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Do students like your teaching? Try this and find out

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 00:40

By Alan November, eSchool News

We may underestimate our students’ ability to understand their learning styles. A little experiment can help teaching-styles.  What if we asked our students about the type of work they would prefer to do while in class? It may reveal a lot about their personal learning styles. These days, when I meet with students across the country, I perform a little experiment. After informing the class that they are to learn about Romeo and Juliet, and specifically how to go about interpreting the text, I present them with a choice between two teaching styles, in the form of two different teachers, who I call Teacher A and Teacher B.

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In ‘flipped classrooms,’ teachers lecture online, use class for practice

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 00:35

by Jeffrey S. Solochek, Tampa Bay Times

“She makes a video for us and she makes a quiz,” said 9-year-old Justin Velez, who got called over because he forgot to do the lesson. “Then, depending how we do on the quiz, we get separated into groups the next day. I like it.” Sheridan is among a growing number of teachers using a “flipped” classroom structure, in which students learn concepts outside class, leaving more time to practice with teachers and peers during school. She adopted the model last year, and positive results led to an expansion this year into the second and third grades at Sand Pine Elementary in Wesley Chapel. “We see an increase in collaboration,” said Sand Pine principal Scott Atkins, whose daughter participates and has improved her math skills. “I’ve just seen a difference with our kids’ understanding.”

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Study reveals tough economic road for young adults

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 00:29

by Dan DeLuca, News-Press

Millennials are the best educated group of young adults in American history but are earning about $2,000 less per year than their parents did in 1980. That seemingly contradictory equation is among the demographic data revealed in a recent report by the U.S. Census Bureau, “Young Adults Then and Now,” which focuses on the 18-34 age group. The analysis included data from the 1980, 1990 and 2000 censuses as well as the 2009-13 American Community Survey.

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Collaboration, Partnership, and Student Success

Educause - Connect, Technology In Academia - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 23:05

Diana G. Oblinger ( is President and CEO of EDUCAUSE.

Collaboration and partnership are terms we use often in higher education. We believe that working together is the right thing to do. It is mutually beneficial and mutually reinforcing.

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Competency-Based Education Network announces new cohort of member institutions

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 00:39

by C-BEN

Thirteen institutions and two public systems representing 40 campuses join colleges and universities addressing shared challenges to designing, developing, and scaling high-quality competency-based degree programs. The Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN) on Tuesday announced 15 new members. This cohort will join the network, supported by Lumina Foundation and managed by Public Agenda, on March 3 when the national group comprising a total of 30 institutions and four public systems with 82 campuses meets for a three-day working session in Austin. Competency-based degree programs are promising approaches to helping educate more Americans, because they hold potential as a better way to plan, organize, deliver, and support education for students who are not well served by traditional academic instruction. C-BEN was formed a year ago in response to clear demand from colleges and universities that had been building competency-based models in isolation. Today, these leading institutions are working collaboratively to accelerate progress on shared challenges around program design and integrity, business processes and systems, and vendor relations to build models capable of scaling to serve many more students from all backgrounds.

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Our Schools: The new era of learning in the digital age

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 00:36

by Beth Burt, the Huntsville Item Online

What do most high school students have today? They have a phone, or other electronic device. Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) allows students to bring and use their own personal electronic devices to school for educational purposes. However, students must also learn about the importance of exercising good digital citizenship, so at Huntsville High School we are teaching students how to be safe online, what appropriate use of technology is and how to communicate academically and productively. The use of computers, tablets and other digital devices have moved us far past the days of mere word processing and playing games.

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Innovative learning options can help build workforce

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 00:30

by Veronica Stidvent, My San Antonio

According to estimates by the Texas comptroller, between 2000 and 2010, the younger-than-18 population in Texas grew by 17 percent — a full 6.5 percent faster than the U.S. average. Those 979,000 young Texans could become the most skilled workforce in the nation if even half of them attain some level of education beyond a high school degree. Then there are the more than 3 million adult Texans who have yet to earn a college degree. The right education and core competencies in high-demand fields must be met. Texas has quantity, but we need to ensure that the growing population in Texas also includes high quality college graduates. Traditional two- and four-year college degrees are an important part of the solution for developing a quality workforce in these fast growth fields. But we need state leaders to embrace policies and funding that ensure Texans have access to a variety of affordable and flexible options for education and training.

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Take this self-assessment and discover your tech readiness

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 03/01/2015 - 00:38

by Keith Krueger, eSchool News

CoSN has developed a readiness evaluation tool—the “District Leadership Team Assessment,” which enables your team to identify strengths and opportunities for growth. This free team assessment is part of CoSN’ s Empowered Superintendent initiative, produced with AASA (The School Superintendents Association). Complementing the team assessments, superintendents and CTOs can also measure their own skills on an individual basis through separate personal evaluations—the “Self-Assessment for Superintendents” and the “Self-Assessment for CTOs and Technology Staff.” Combined, these assessments open the door for superintendents, aspiring superintendents, CTOs, and district leadership teams to identify their strengths and weaknesses and build their knowledge, skills, and confidence both from leadership roles and within the entire unit.

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More schools using technology to teach character skills

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 03/01/2015 - 00:36

by eSchool News

As schools are increasingly fitted with new technology, the classroom atmosphere is changing. Tablets are replacing textbooks, interactive whiteboards are ousting chalkboards and software discs are going the way of the dinosaur. Amidst all of the change, however, there’s one constant: the pursuit of academic excellence and mutual respect. During the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) Convention, experts from the nonprofit foundation Great Expectations shared best practices for fostering productive classrooms in the presence of increased technology integration. Great Expectations is a school transformation model that emphasizes a climate of mutual respect and academic excellence.

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SUNY’s 3D printing success story

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 03/01/2015 - 00:30

by eCampusNews

Since SUNY New Paltz opened its MakerBot Innovation Center in February 2014, the university has used it to help establish the Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center (HVAMC) as a premiere hub for advanced manufacturing technology in the Hudson Valley, garnering industry interest and securing funding for further expansion. According to Donald Christian, president of SUNY New Paltz, the MakerBot Innovation Center helped jumpstart SUNY New Paltz’s 3D printing initiative, which has enjoyed “tremendous interest” from students, faculty and the surrounding business community. With the MakerBot Innovation Center, the university forged public-private partnerships with industry to create a “vibrant innovation hub that serves both students and the local business community in unprecedented ways.”

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