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By Janice Mak, eSchool News
The support from Google CS First is tremendous. Upon request, they sent a loaner set of 30 headphones and peripheral materials for the students that included passports, sticker-badges for each day’s modules, detailed scripts, certificates of completion, and directions for exercises. All materials are also available for free download from the club site, with coding done in Scratch, a programming language that uses building blocks to form commands. All of these supporting materials make it seamless for anyone, be it a volunteer guru, teacher, or parent to come in and help out. A suggested script, as well as breakdown of time for each activity, is also included.Share on Facebook
By David Raths, Campus Technology
What skills and training will the next generation of CIOs require as technology becomes an essential part of teaching and learning? Where will those CIOs come from? Are they already working in university IT departments? Those are some of the questions that Wayne Brown, vice president and CIO at Excelsior College (NY), has sought to answer as founder of the Center for Higher Education Chief Information Officer Studies (CHECS). Since 2009, the nonprofit CHECS has been surveying CIOs and the technology leaders who work under them, as well as institutional leaders who hire CIOs, to provide insight into the career path of individuals in or aspiring to technology leadership positions in higher education.Share on Facebook
By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology
A recently presented study from the University of California Davis questions the effectiveness of allowing first-time students in community colleges to take online classes. The research examined the completion rates of 217,000 community college students between the school years of 2008-2009 and 2011-2012. The team’s work was led by Cassandra Hart, an assistant professor of education policy at UC Davis’ School of Education. “We found the same pattern of results across all course types,” she said in a statement. Students, on average, have poorer course completion outcomes in online courses. The results were even worse for students taking online courses outside the regular academic calendar and when enrolled in classes with “a relatively low” share of students enrolled through online sections.Share on Facebook
A middle school student in Lawrenceburg is raising money to take online classes through Duke University. Taylor, 13, has received an award from President Barack Obama for excelling at her school work. She recently took the ACT and qualified to take college classes in most subjects. But she needs a little help. Her family has set up a GoFundMe account to raise $500 for a laptop. She’s already reached the mark, but the extra money will go towards her future tuition. Taylor said she hopes to take computer science classes through Duke University this summer.Share on Facebook
By Ronnie Wachter, Chicago Tribune
The future of public education is coming to Stevenson High School, and it could someday blur the lines between who is a Patriot and who is not. The school’s first online class will be offered next year with no additional costs from its traditional counterpart. Advanced Placement teachers Dan Larsen and Andy Conneen, as well as Brad Smith, head of Stevenson’s social studies division, spoke with the board during its April 20 meeting about the version of AP American Government that they will offer digitally in the 2015-16 year, and what it could mean for the rest of the school if it succeeds. The class will be an experiment to see how well, and how many, high schoolers can handle study-at-home freedom, and whether SHS’ existing infrastructure can handle more offerings like it.Share on Facebook
Imagine, if you will, a campus, one that has more than 50 buildings across 1,400 acres, with a wired and wireless network that supports voice, video, data, alarms, and other services. Now imagine that the network team disappears—vanished into retirement or to jobs elsewhere—and efforts to rehire those positions fail. What do you do? How do you operate a network without any network engineers?
By Gene Lucht, Iowa Farmer Today
Nationally, 47.2 percent of rural school districts had no students enrolled in AP courses. The number fell to 5.4 percent for suburban districts and 2.6 percent for urban districts. The New Hampshire researchers found the size of the district wasn’t the only problem. The further the district was from an urbanized area also mattered. And, even where AP classes were offered, small and rural districts had lower levels of both participation and success. It is no secret that smaller districts have a more difficult time finding enough students and teachers to make offering an in-class AP course feasible, Mattingly explains. Rural schools are trying to deal with the problems of size and geography. In Iowa, the state has worked to deal with that problem by offering online AP classes through the Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa.Share on Facebook
By Kethia Kong, Daily Wildcat
The launch of UA Online comes at a timely period in higher education. For years, online learning has seen an unprecedented growth. In addition to the rising popularity of online learning, there is a growing demand for bachelor’s degrees from employers. There are not enough job seekers with bachelor’s degrees, and, as a result, there is a significant credential gap in employment. According to Burning Glass, a database that tracks millions of online job postings and the credentials employers ask for, the credential gap is above 20 percent in management, office and administrative services, business and financial operations, and computer and mathematical jobs. “Both the economy and society are demanding an increase in [bachelor’s degrees],” Del Casino said. “We have to meet certain expectations and demands so that we continue to have active, engaged students who can move the state forward.”Share on Facebook
by Casey Fabris, Chronicle of Higher Ed
For students taking courses online, the endless distractions of the Internet can be a hindrance to success. But using software to limit those diversions can make a big difference. That’s the takeaway from a new study, which found that limiting distractions can help students perform better and also improve course completion. A paper describing the study, “Can Behavioral Tools Improve Online Student Outcomes? Experimental Evidence From a Massive Open Online Course,” was published by the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute this month.Share on Facebook
Diana G. Oblinger (email@example.com) is President and CEO of EDUCAUSE.
As I retire from EDUCAUSE and look back on my time here, I would like to share seven reflections that illustrate beliefs and experiences shared by many of us in higher education information technology. Intertwined with my reflections are the stories of so many of you and how you shared a laugh or an aspiration, lent a hand, or provided encouragement. I hope you find these reflections relevant to your own experience and that you see EDUCAUSE values reflected here. Finally, I hope you see a future even richer than today.
Stephen Colbert is a compelling commencement speaker. If he were to tweet his advice to graduates this year, it might read something like this:
Follow your dreams. Service is love made visible. Life is an improv. And as you walk your path, say “Yes!” as often as you can.
In earlier posts to this blog, I explored Colbert’s thoughts on what it means to follow our dreams and on the notion that service is love made visible. But what is this business about life as an improvisation? And why does Colbert tell graduates to say “yes” as often as they can?
In his address to the graduating class of 2011 at Northwestern University, his alma mater, Colbert said:
By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal
For districts looking to get the most bang for their ed tech buck, devices that fall somewhere between tablets and traditional laptops can be just the right fit. The iPad buying frenzy may be over. The late 2013 introduction of the low-cost Chromebook has given school districts an affordable alternative that they’re gravitating to with gusto. Official numbers from market research firm IDC confirmed the news last December when the company announced that while Apple had shipped 702,000 iPads to educational buyers in the third quarter, Google partners had shipped 715,000 Chromebooks. While some observers might refer to this changing of the guard as a “return of the laptop” or the “tailing off of the tablet,” to those doing the buying, that’s not quite the case.Share on Facebook
By Pamela DeLoatch, Edudemic
Imagine being able to connect with one hundred million people anytime you want. With that many people on Twitter each day (and that’s not counting the additional 184 million users who are on Twitter at least once each month), a great deal of knowledge, perspective, and news is accessible to you, just by clicking a few buttons. It’s no wonder educators are harnessing the power of Twitter to bring cutting edge ideas, trends, research, and best practices to use in their schools and classrooms. But just as Twitter can be a treasure trove of information, it can be overwhelming for new users to figure out how to use it effectively. We’ve compiled this list of the best ways to make Twitter a social media tool that works for you.Share on Facebook
By Nishikant Sonwalkar, Edudemic
Adaptive learning systems organize content based on individual learning preferences and can maximize learning performance through continuous intelligent feedback. Utilizing technology to customize content helps make various modes of learning available in a single classroom, meaning diverse students can learn in ways that best suit their strengths. One example of the promise of adaptive learning comes from Boston-based intellADAPT, which provides user-friendly technology that can be easily integrated into the classroom and into current curricula.Share on Facebook
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