Educational Technology

Syracuse University offering free,

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 03/30/2014 - 00:32

Syracuse University offering free, online class about lava

by Dave Tobin, Syracuse

Want to learn about lava? For free? Two Syracuse University professors are teaming to teach their first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) together. It’s called “The subject is Lava.” Bob Wysocki, assistant professor in the department of art, and Jeff Karson, professor in the department of earth sciences, have become a lava-making celebrity team, holding monthly lava pours on SU’s campus, and being reported on by national media outlets like Earth magazine and Gizmodo. Their lava project website has received more than 5 million hits in the last 18 months, said Karson, so they are expecting a large turnout for the class. The seven-session, non-credit, online class will be offered between April 7 and May 26. People who enroll can take their sessions whenever they want during that period. Students can post questions and suggestions for experiments and take quizzes.

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18 Shreveport students face expulsion after allegedly hacking grades

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 03/29/2014 - 00:40

by Melody Brumble, Gannett

Eighteen Southwood High School seniors face expulsion after allegedly changing grades in a online learning program used by Caddo Parish schools. The Caddo Parish school system and Southwood administrators started investigating the situation Friday after school officials discovered that grades were changed in the Edgenuity E2020 system. Middle and high school students can take courses not available at their schools or retake a failed course required for graduation. Southwood, in Shreveport, piloted the program three years ago before other Caddo schools adopted it as Principal Jeff Roberts sought ways to compete with growing virtual schools. E2020 draws up to 300 students at Southwood now. Participating schools have administrative access to the online learning program. Part of the investigation focuses on whether the students gained administrative privileges, he said.

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U Arizona Boosts Site Accessibility with Audio Internet

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 03/29/2014 - 00:35

By David Nagel, Campus Technology

One academic department at the University of Arizona is boosting Web accessibility for its students by providing audio navigation tools on its site. UA’s Department of Management Information Systems, which operates out of the Eller College of Management, has adopted Audio Internet Platform 5.0, a cloud-based tool from AudioEye that analyzes site content, normalizes it and then reads information aloud to visitors. It also provides related navigational tools, such as pause and skip, arrow-based navigation, audio prompts for navigation (such as “This carousel contains X items, press left or right to scroll through them”)and optional reader display mode.

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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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