Educational Technology

Report: Virtual learning expanding among Michigan’s K-12 public school students

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 00:30

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.

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Do students like your teaching? Try this and find out

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 00:40

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.

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In ‘flipped classrooms,’ teachers lecture online, use class for practice

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 00:35

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.”

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Study reveals tough economic road for young adults

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 03/03/2015 - 00:29

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.

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Collaboration, Partnership, and Student Success

Educause - Connect, Technology In Academia - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 23:05

Diana G. Oblinger ( 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.

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Competency-Based Education Network announces new cohort of member institutions

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 00:39

by C-BEN

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.

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Our Schools: The new era of learning in the digital age

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 00:36

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.

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Innovative learning options can help build workforce

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 00:30

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.

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Take this self-assessment and discover your tech readiness

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 03/01/2015 - 00:38

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.

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More schools using technology to teach character skills

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 03/01/2015 - 00:36

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.

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SUNY’s 3D printing success story

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 03/01/2015 - 00:30

by eCampusNews

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.”

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Achieving the (Often Delicate) Balance between Technology and Information Security

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 02/28/2015 - 00:40

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.

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Enrollment in MITx MOOCs: Are We Educating Educators?

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 02/28/2015 - 00:34

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.

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Are Digital Schools the Wave of the Future?

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 02/28/2015 - 00:30

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.

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How to Get Your Class Online & Maintain Student Privacy

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 00:40

By Amanda Ronan, Edudemic

Hackers, phishing, pharming, spam, adware, spyware, worms, and viruses. With everything that can go wrong online, it’s a small miracle that the Internet is still such a popular resource. Schools are charged not only with educating students, but also with keeping them safe—and nowadays that means protecting them online. Some schools have very tight restrictions about online use, including firewalls that block nearly every potentially interesting website imaginable and content filters so sensitive that “a” and “the” have become bad words. The excessive policing around information accessible only online has many tech-friendly teachers frustrated—sure they understand the importance of protecting student information, but they feel stifled by seemingly inane rules about online use.

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Navigating my way through designing a class: Sharing teaching expertise through technology

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 00:35

by Ian Watkins, the Working Waterfront

A class isn’t about handing a student a thick binder, online or otherwise, of lessons and assessments; it requires the teacher delivering and teach the material. The main task of creating an online class involves substituting this time-tested and highly effective method of delivering content. If you’re not an expert on the topic, you rely on other resources. In using those resources, you must consider how can they be presented and delivered in a coherent way that doesn’t necessarily include a teacher standing in front of a classroom.

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10 Online Programs to Boost Your Business Skills

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 02/27/2015 - 00:27

by Nicole Fallon, Business News Daily

No matter how long you’ve been out of school, you’re never truly done learning. This is especially true of entrepreneurs, many of whom figure out the ropes of running a business as they go. Taking opportunities to improve your business skills is always a good idea, but once you get your startup going, you likely won’t have the time or budget to go back to school and enroll in a traditional university course. The good news is, you don’t have to: There are plenty of online education programs designed specifically for entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to do more than just attend an occasional workshop or seminar.

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Privacy vs. Privacy

Educause - Connect, Technology In Academia - Wed, 02/25/2015 - 22:08

Lisa Ho, Campus Privacy Officer, University of California, Berkeley

It's common to see privacy pitted against security in the form of the question, "How much privacy are we willing to give up for security?" Some call the security vs. privacy debate a false choice and suggest the debate is actually liberty vs. security, or liberty vs. control, or privacy vs. cooperation. At the University of California, Berkeley, we are replacing this longstanding polemic with a triptych of interrelated and overlapping terms: autonomy privacy, information privacy, and information security.

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Building Consortia for Smaller Colleges

Educause - Connect, Technology In Academia - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 19:56

Building multi-institutional consortiums allows smaller colleges to accomplish more than they ever could alone. Ellen Borkowski is CIO at Union College and Raechelle Clemmons is CIO for St. Norbert College. In this podcast, they reflect on how these collaborations have enabled them to create and leverage scale to advance technology initiatives.

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