Educational Technology

Meaningful Interaction in Online Courses

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 08/10/2014 - 00:35

by Nate Sleeter, Inside Higher Ed

Critics of online education, especially in the humanities, often stress the importance of face-to-face interaction. It is face-to-face interaction, the reasoning goes, that makes traditional in-person courses superior to their online counterparts. Without rejecting the premise, it nevertheless seems counterproductive to think of in-person courses and online courses in strictly competitive terms. If online courses are here to stay and we in the humanities are expected to teach them, these vigorous defenses of the in-person course will not make us better online instructors. In other words if we want to make online courses better, then it seems crucial to think about how we can promote “interaction” when “face-to-face” is not an option.

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How Technology Is Helping Students Take Ownership Of Their Work

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 08/10/2014 - 00:30

By mrspepe, Edudemic

After finishing a unit about Newton’s Three Laws we decided to write a children’s book for the iTunes Store about the way that Newton’s Three Laws relate to the rides at Six Flags/Great Adventure Theme Park in Jackson, New Jersey. The students loved working on their books. Once the book was published my students were filled with pride about their work and they are constantly asking me to show them the metrics about how many copies have been downloaded and what is the geographic location of the people who downloaded them. There were so many learning opportunities that presented themselves throughout this process.

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How Teens Are Really Using Social Media

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 00:40

By Katie Lepi, Edutopia

A lot of kids are using social media these days, and even if that isn’t surprising to you, it may be surprising to you just how many of them are using it and just how much. Leveraging these popular social media tools in the classroom is a no-brainer: everything from Twitter and Facebook all the way to Instagram have found their way into lesson plans across the globe. Whether you’re using all of the social media sites, some of them, or none of them at all, chances are that your students are using them. The handy infographic below takes a look at the social media use of teens and tweens

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Students Map Real-World Issues with (Free) Geospatial Tools

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 00:35

by Suzie Boss, Edutopia

Until recently, only a small number of schools have had access to the high-powered geographical information system (GIS) software that enables detailed, layered mapping and analysis of data. Thanks to a recent $1 billion pledge from software developer Esri, free access to cloud-based mapping software is coming to 100,000 K-12 schools across the country. The donation of ArcGIS Online, the same software that governments and businesses use, has been pledged through ConnectED, a White House initiative to improve education in the STEM fields. This sets the stage for students to take learning and problem solving in new directions by developing their geospatial literacy. Being able to analyze data and present information visually are important skills, whether you are investigating global issues or trying to solve problems in your backyard. Adding GIS to the project-based learning toolkit opens all kinds of opportunities for rich inquiry.

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6 Steps to Preparing Schools for Flipped Learning

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 00:30

By Tanya Roscorla, Center for Digital Education

Jonathan Bergmann, who came up with the idea of the flipped class in the 2006-07 school year with fellow teacher Aaron Sams, said, “That’s a good place to start, but we want teachers to go beyond that.” Now the flipped class is giving way to flipped learning, which allows teachers to leave the front of the room and go deeper into learning with strategies such as project-based learning, inquiry and games, Bergmann said. As education leaders consider bringing flipped learning into their schools, flipped learning practitioners suggest at least six steps to go through with their staff to make sure everyone is equipped to implement it.

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Can data analytics make teachers better educators?

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 00:41

By Thor Olavsrud, IT World

Teachers are an excellent example. They’ve always been data workers — assessing students’ understanding of the material based on test scores, classroom engagement, quality of homework, etc., with the goal of improving that understanding. Knowing that individual students learn in different ways, many schools today have adopted the idea of personalized learning as their pedagogical approach: They assess each student on their learning needs, interests, aspirations and cultural backgrounds to create a personalized education program designed to maximize education outcomes.

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1:1 assumptions v. reality

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 00:35

By Steven M. Baule, CIO Advisor

What does 1:1 mean? To many people outside of educational technology, a 1:1 classroom is envisioned as a place where students watch videos and work directly with their computer, tablet or iPad. They imagine a classroom without student-to-student or even student-to-teacher interactions. The vision some have is that 1:1 educational programming will stunt social and emotional growth and lead to a nerdocracy where interacting with a keyboard or touch screen will replace nearly all human interaction. Others simply see the automation of traditional classroom instruction where the device is simply an expensive spiral notebook. In reality, the best 1:1 classrooms are much more engaging.

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Corinthian Colleges Employee: “We Work For The Biggest Scam Company In The World”

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 00:30

By Ashlee Kieler, Consumerist

Corinthian Colleges — the operator of for-profit school chains Everest University, WyoTech, and Heald Colleges — is selling off or shutting down campuses as it faces lawsuits and investigations from multiple state and federal agencies. The allegations involve bogus job-placement stats, grade manipulation, and misleading marketing. We recently spoke to several current and former CCI teachers and admissions staffers who confirmed these bad practices and explained that it was all done in pursuit of billions of dollars in federal aid from taxpayers. As one current CCI staffer puts it, “We work for the biggest scam company in the world.” Like the Corinthian students we recently spoke to, the teachers and employees at CCI schools, despite dedicating themselves to helping students, will live in the failed company’s shadow for years to come.

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E-transcripts accelerate in higher ed

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 00:40

Nancy Mann Jackson, University Business

Some colleges and universities take offering to the next level by tapping data to improve business processes and better serve students. A transcript highlighting the full student experience at Elon University—including study abroad, research and service learning participation—is offered. When an e-transcript request is made, both the traditional one and the Elon Experiences Transcript can be combined into a single PDF file. The process allows administrators to capture lots of valuable electronic data, but the majority of schools are not utilizing that information beyond sending or receiving the transcripts.

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How To Use Social Media As A Learning Tool For Homeschoolers

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 00:34

By Sean Lords, Edudemic

Matching, out-of-date sweatsuits. The ability to recite lines from the Iliad in response to your peers’ discussion of a television show. Parroting your parents’ values. If you’ve paid attention to mainstream depictions of homeschooled children, these images are likely familiar. Homeschooled kids get a bad rap and are too frequently associated with social awkwardness due to a perceived lack of socialization with their peer group. However, with the dawn of social media, more homeschooled students—both those who are being schooled by more “traditional” methods and those who are students are virtual cyber charter schools—are able to better connect with their peers and other members of the homeschooling community.

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How Questions Promote Cognitive, Social, and Emotional Learning Across Subject Areas

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 00:30

by Maurice Elias, Edutopia

In the last blog, we took a look at the perspective of perspective of Irving Sigel on the importance of asking different kinds of questions as a way of deepening students’ social, emotional, and cognitive learning. Coming from a Piaget approach, Irv felt that students needed to go from understanding the material as presented to generating their own thoughts about it. He referred to this as “distancing” — not the clearest term, but a way of saying that questions could be sequenced toward leading to students’ higher order and constructivist thinking by having them take a range of perspectives about a given reading or topic.

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CIOs and Campus IT: Summer Technology Projects, by Theresa Rowe

Educause - Connect, Technology In Academia - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 17:20

Theresa Rowe is CIO at Oakland University.

Summer is a busy and exciting time for advancement of new tech initiatives and tech renewal projects. Campus CIOs generally expect to handle a mix of change-oriented projects during the summer, despite many programs and courses operating all summer. The mix of good weather in many parts of the country and reduced expectations for traditional support make summer an ideal time for change. CIOs shared their summer tech projects in an Educause CIO list discussion.

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