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by Jose Ferreira, Knewton Blog
Education, like many industries before it, is now having its internet moment. There are two great phases unfolding. The first is the shift to digital materials for use either in blended learning courses or as a replacement for the printed textbook. This shift is now well underway in the U.S. Before long, there will be no more printed textbooks. The second phase is the shift of part of every student’s coursework to purely online formats. This phase is now beginning to seriously pick up steam, as evidenced by increasing numbers of for-credit online courses, MOOCs, and archived video lesson repositories like Khan Academy. And what we’re seeing now is only the beginning. There are so many implications of all these changes that one can be forgiven for thinking it is hopeless to make sense of them. But the alternative — not worrying about it at all — probably isn’t the right answer either.Share on Facebook
By Carla Rivera, Los Angeles Times
California State University is moving aggressively to offer web-based science labs, a systemwide virtual campus and online advising as remedies for “bottlenecks” that impede student progress and graduation rates, officials said Tuesday. Some of these efforts will be ready to roll out this fall. The detailed strategies were presented in a meeting of the Cal State Board of Trustees in Long Beach as a response to Gov. Jerry Brown’s call for the Cal State and University of California systems to improve student performance in exchange for long-term funding increases. Brown’s 2013-14 budget provides $125 million in new funding each for the two systems, including $10 million each to boost online learning and develop other technologies to help students attain degrees faster.Share on Facebook
by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed
Half of sociology departments are offering at least one course online, and most are using more than one new technology teaching tool in classrooms, according to a new survey. The survey, by the American Sociological Association, was conducted of the chairs of departments that award bachelor’s degrees in the field, and responses were obtained from 645 of 1,025 potential respondents. The association periodically conducts such surveys, and focused on technology this year, in light of the widespread public discussion of new methods of teaching and learning. While much of that discussion has noted the way fields such as business or computer science use technology for teaching, the sociologists’ survey suggests considerable change in a traditional liberal arts discipline.Share on Facebook
By Adam Heckler, Fractus Blog
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rug for the past couple years, you know that MOOCs are a pretty big deal. And you also know that Coursera is one of the biggest MOOC organizations out there. While Coursera offers some great classes, they were mostly centered on things like physics, statistics, computer science, and so on. Recently though, Coursera unleashed a bucket of awesome on the edtech crowd when they debuted a new “Teacher Professional Development” section. Here are some of the great new classes I spotted!Share on Facebook
by Michael Yudin, acting assistant secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the U.S. Department of Education
The Mission Middle College educational program is a collaboration of Santa Clara Unified School District and Mission Community College. The program takes on a student-centered learning environment where seniors can complete required high school courses while accumulating college credits. Each student focuses on individual educational choices and academic and vocational studies relevant to future goals. The idea is to provide learning choices and empowerment for students. The program is inclusive of all students, with or without a disability. Some of the students have print and learning disabilities that impede their ability to easily read and comprehend grade-level text and complex curricula in print. Many of these students felt stuck and considered dropping out of school. Their instructors believe in every student’s learning potential and set high expectations. They teach students first to choose appropriate reading technologies for their learning needs, and then to find the reading assignments in digital accessible format, such as DAISY text and DAISY audio.Share on Facebook
By Tanya Roscorla and Paul Williams, Center for Digital Ed
In an Algebra and physics class called Scientific Studies, students are using a donated 3-D printer for their projects this year. “We can build things now that we could only imagine before.” He challenged one student to create a hypercube, which is similar to a 3-D cube, but has four or more dimensions. “My teacher, Mr. Carlton, he’s a big fan of hypercubes,” said Addison Williams, a junior at Napa New Technology High School. “I personally am not an expert as to what they are. But he showed me a model on the computer, and he said, ‘If you can print this, I’m going to give you extra credit.’ So that’s what I’ve set out to do. Addison and other students design objects in Google SketchUp, run them through a software program called MakerWare and watch as the printer executes their designs with melted plastic. “You can actually see and, like, touch and feel what you’ve created, what you’ve printed, and it kind of gives you a better sense of what’s really going on.”Share on Facebook
By Colin Wood, Center for Digital Ed
The STEM shortage problem, however, won’t be solved by simply throwing money at it – U.S. education needs quality control, says Herb Schroeder, founder of the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP). Starting with a single student in 1995, the program has grown over the years and seen about 250 native graduates. Currently, it has about 1,000 native students, from grade six through graduate school. More than 83 percent of its students complete Algebra 1 by the end of the eighth grade, compared to a national average of 26 percent. And more than 70 percent of ANSEP students who begin a four-year degree in a STEM field graduate. The program has also been replicated in at least 11 other locations around the country, Schroeder said, and in some cases with better results than seen in Alaska.Share on Facebook
by the News Leader
From checking the weather forecast ahead a group trip to emailing a friend some of the latest pictures of their grandchildren, the silver surfers of one Co Armagh community club are well and truly online after a free iPad training course. Diamond Senior Citizens’ Club in Maghery and the local youth group teamed up to show that both the young and young-at-heart can appreciate the benefits available at their fingertips. Thanks to funding from the Southern Trust the club was able to purchase 10 iPads and take part in a six-week course entitled iPads for Beginners with BT Connected Communities.Share on Facebook
by David Andrade, School CIO
I use my Android smartphone, Nexus 7 tablet, Chromebook and desktop computers, along with apps like Evernote (essential to going paperless), email, online faxing and signing, Google Docs and Drive, Dropbox and Sugarsync and PDF tools, a Boogie Board electronic notepad, a Livescribe Sky Smartpen, and a scanner (Fujitsu Scansnap) to go as paperless as possible. Going paperless—it’s good for the trees, good for budgets, increases efficiency and organization, and makes life easier in many ways. But how do you go paperless? I used to use paper planners (Franklin Quest) until I got my first PDA (Palm IIIxe) in 2000. I also try to go paperless in as many other ways as possible.Share on Facebook
by School CIO
In the last hundred years students have gone from attending one-room schoolhouses with handheld slates, to classrooms with handheld devices of a more high-tech sort. Yet, one thing hasn’t changed — the use of expensive and, in many cases, outdated textbooks as their main source of content. The Internet has made it possible for teachers and experts to share a wide variety of open educational resources (OER), but organizing, managing and delivering this content has been an arduous, time-consuming challenge. Now that may be changing. Net Texts is a free, web-based system that provides teachers access to a library of OER content, which they can then combine with their own resources to create and publish lessons directly to students’ iPads, Android tablets, or computers. Schools can save up to $250 per student per year by reducing or eliminating costs for textbooks and curriculum materials. “Our teachers are delivering content in ways our students find interesting and engaging, and outside the classroom it’s really no different than if they took their teacher home with them. It is simply amazing,” said Patty Childs, principal of St. Jude the Apostle, one of the Atlanta schools that piloted the system in 2011 as part of a Diocesan 1:1 iPad initiative for eighth grade students.Share on Facebook
by Course Hero
From smartboards to immersive virtual environments like Second Life, higher education is fertile ground for new learning technologies. These technologies will have a lasting impact on the way students learn, the way teachers teach, and everything in between. They are designed to make use of the incredible advances in information communication and collaborative consumption technologies, and they will prepare students to live in the modern world. Education technology, or edtech, comes in many forms. Let’s take a look at a few of the major ways it will change our educational system.Share on Facebook
by Educare Lab
A growing number of universities are now offering online courses which have come as a boon for working professionals looking to continue their education. There is a lot of flexibility in online courses, and they are accessible to anyone with an internet connection. However, since the setup is different than a traditional classroom, students of online courses need to strategize their learning process in a different way than traditional courses. Since the classes are all online, one of the most common problems of online learning is that students tend to procrastinate in the absence of supervision. Only a self-motivated student can successfully complete an online course. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of an online course.Share on Facebook
by Herman Berliner, Inside Higher Ed
Last Tuesday, I attended the middle school concert, which included my younger daughter who is a clarinet player in the band. The band section of the program was second on the schedule and I was hoping that the first part of the program would be brief. But once the players started playing, what came second in the program was no longer the major focus of my attention. It turned out that the first part of the program was the middle school IPad band and they were great. Their selection was Sunshine of My Love by Cream and it was as well performed as I had ever heard it. Ten middle schoolers with IPads and a mixing board had redefined what constitutes a band performance.Share on Facebook
By Michael P. Ryan, Inside Higher Ed
Undergraduate students should join professors in selecting the content of courses taught in the humanities. This is the conclusion I came to after teaching Humanities on Demand: Narratives Gone Viral, a pilot course at Duke University that not only introduced students to some of the critical modes humanists employ to analyze new media artifacts, but also tested the viability of a new, interactive course design. One semester prior to the beginning of class, we asked 6,500 undergraduates — in other words, Duke¹s entire undergraduate student body — to go online and submit materials they believed warranted examination in the course.Share on Facebook
In this podcast, Stephen Landry discusses attending a Gartner Symposium, disruptive technologies, and how higher education IT reflects the corporate world.
by Open Education Database
Both online and traditional higher education has pros and cons. In the end, it is up to each individual to figure out how much time he or she will have to devote to earning a degree, what type of degree program he or she is interested in, and how much he or she can spend on education. For some, online programs are a perfect fit. Those who need a more structured learning environment, though, should try a traditional college degree program instead. However, it is also possible to have the best of both worlds in a hybrid program, in which some of your courses are online and some face-to-face. It’s also possible that individual courses themselves may contain both elements of interaction. The choice will depend on a student’s individual academic needs.Share on Facebook
by Brittany Corona, the Foundry
Idaho has established the first statewide pilot of the Khan Academy. Thanks to donations from the J. A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, nearly $1.5 million in grants will be awarded to 47 Idaho schools for technology, professional development, and research. With this private donation, 10,000 students in nearly four dozen schools across Idaho will be using the Khan Academy in the 2013–2014 school year. The Khan Academy believes that the focus on mastery learning allows students to move at their own pace, creating ownership and responsibility in learning. The Khan Academy began when Sal Khan, an MIT and Harvard graduate, began recording math lectures and delivering them to his cousin who was struggling with traditional learning techniques. He eventually began posting the lectures online—after getting over his initial concern that “YouTube is for cats playing pianos, not serious mathematics.”Share on Facebook
By KECIA BAL, Daily American
Administrators at The Learning Lamp have expanded their online tutoring program to any student from kindergarten to 12th grade, and they are hoping the idea catches on with parents who want to give their kids an educational boost. “I think when people think of online tutoring, they’re thinking it’s just something where you log on and play a game or two,” said Kristi Emerick, assistant director of tutoring and special services at The Learning Lamp. “With our program, there’s an actual tutor who logs on and works one-on-one with students. We thought it was a really convenient option to add.”Share on Facebook
Recently the higher education IT community suffered a great loss when Dewitt Latimer was tragically taken from us after a motorcycle accident in Montana. The news of Dewitt’s accident spread quickly through the institutions he served: Clemson, Kent State, the University of Tennessee, Notre Dame, and Montana State. This quickly led to an outpouring of stories on social media and mailing lists from those who knew Dewitt and the impact he had on higher education IT.
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