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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.Share on Facebook
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.Share on Facebook
(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.
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.Share on Facebook
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.Share on Facebook
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.Share on Facebook
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.Share on Facebook
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.”Share on Facebook
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.Share on Facebook
Diana G. Oblinger (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
Joan F. Cheverie
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.Share on Facebook
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.Share on Facebook
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.Share on Facebook
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.Share on Facebook
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.Share on Facebook
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.”Share on Facebook
by Ronald L. Vaughn and Tammy Clark, Educause Review
Higher education leaders today face mounting pressure to compete for dwindling numbers of college applicants, account for learning outcomes, embrace technology innovation and disruption, and make key decisions regarding whether to move enterprise applications and infrastructure to the cloud. In the midst of this, there is an equally compelling need to ensure that the balance between information technology and information security is continually adjusted to provide adequate protection for the vast amount of information that is collected, processed, and stored across the institution. Objective assessments of security risks, needs, and considerations must be made clear to institutional leaders who make key decisions affecting strategic planning, budgeting, technology, and data security. The focus of this column is to highlight the advantages that can be gained by achieving that balance.Share on Facebook
by Daniel Thomas Seaton, Cody Coleman, Jon Daries, and Isaac Chuang, Educause Review
Surveys of 11 MITx courses on edX in spring 2014 found that one in four (28.0 percent) respondents identified as past or present teachers. Of the survey respondents, nearly one in 10 (8.7 percent) identified as current teachers. Although they represent only 4.5 percent of the nearly 250,000 enrollees, responding teachers generated 22.4 percent of all discussion forum comments. One in 12 of the total comments were made by current teachers, and one in 16 were from teachers with experience teaching the subject of the MITx course in which they enrolled.Share on Facebook
by Suren Ramasubbu, Huffington Post
What is the verdict then? Is digital schooling better than conventional schools? The question is ideological and is built on the encompassing argument of what education itself is. Although it is easy to denounce the digital school (or brick and mortar school) with compelling reasons, we should be wary of outweighing the interests of technology over other social, cultural, and political concerns (or vice versa). Given that the conventional academy has existed over centuries and withstood the travails of time, there is no reason to believe that “digital schools” would overturn the conventional face-to-face schooling system in the near future, but will undoubtedly serve to complement it.Share on Facebook
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