Educational Technology

Students Map Real-World Issues with (Free) Geospatial Tools

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 00:35

by Suzie Boss, Edutopia

Until recently, only a small number of schools have had access to the high-powered geographical information system (GIS) software that enables detailed, layered mapping and analysis of data. Thanks to a recent $1 billion pledge from software developer Esri, free access to cloud-based mapping software is coming to 100,000 K-12 schools across the country. The donation of ArcGIS Online, the same software that governments and businesses use, has been pledged through ConnectED, a White House initiative to improve education in the STEM fields. This sets the stage for students to take learning and problem solving in new directions by developing their geospatial literacy. Being able to analyze data and present information visually are important skills, whether you are investigating global issues or trying to solve problems in your backyard. Adding GIS to the project-based learning toolkit opens all kinds of opportunities for rich inquiry.

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6 Steps to Preparing Schools for Flipped Learning

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 00:30

By Tanya Roscorla, Center for Digital Education

Jonathan Bergmann, who came up with the idea of the flipped class in the 2006-07 school year with fellow teacher Aaron Sams, said, “That’s a good place to start, but we want teachers to go beyond that.” Now the flipped class is giving way to flipped learning, which allows teachers to leave the front of the room and go deeper into learning with strategies such as project-based learning, inquiry and games, Bergmann said. As education leaders consider bringing flipped learning into their schools, flipped learning practitioners suggest at least six steps to go through with their staff to make sure everyone is equipped to implement it.

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Can data analytics make teachers better educators?

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 00:41

By Thor Olavsrud, IT World

Teachers are an excellent example. They’ve always been data workers — assessing students’ understanding of the material based on test scores, classroom engagement, quality of homework, etc., with the goal of improving that understanding. Knowing that individual students learn in different ways, many schools today have adopted the idea of personalized learning as their pedagogical approach: They assess each student on their learning needs, interests, aspirations and cultural backgrounds to create a personalized education program designed to maximize education outcomes.

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1:1 assumptions v. reality

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 00:35

By Steven M. Baule, CIO Advisor

What does 1:1 mean? To many people outside of educational technology, a 1:1 classroom is envisioned as a place where students watch videos and work directly with their computer, tablet or iPad. They imagine a classroom without student-to-student or even student-to-teacher interactions. The vision some have is that 1:1 educational programming will stunt social and emotional growth and lead to a nerdocracy where interacting with a keyboard or touch screen will replace nearly all human interaction. Others simply see the automation of traditional classroom instruction where the device is simply an expensive spiral notebook. In reality, the best 1:1 classrooms are much more engaging.

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Corinthian Colleges Employee: “We Work For The Biggest Scam Company In The World”

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 00:30

By Ashlee Kieler, Consumerist

Corinthian Colleges — the operator of for-profit school chains Everest University, WyoTech, and Heald Colleges — is selling off or shutting down campuses as it faces lawsuits and investigations from multiple state and federal agencies. The allegations involve bogus job-placement stats, grade manipulation, and misleading marketing. We recently spoke to several current and former CCI teachers and admissions staffers who confirmed these bad practices and explained that it was all done in pursuit of billions of dollars in federal aid from taxpayers. As one current CCI staffer puts it, “We work for the biggest scam company in the world.” Like the Corinthian students we recently spoke to, the teachers and employees at CCI schools, despite dedicating themselves to helping students, will live in the failed company’s shadow for years to come.

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E-transcripts accelerate in higher ed

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 00:40

Nancy Mann Jackson, University Business

Some colleges and universities take offering to the next level by tapping data to improve business processes and better serve students. A transcript highlighting the full student experience at Elon University—including study abroad, research and service learning participation—is offered. When an e-transcript request is made, both the traditional one and the Elon Experiences Transcript can be combined into a single PDF file. The process allows administrators to capture lots of valuable electronic data, but the majority of schools are not utilizing that information beyond sending or receiving the transcripts.

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How To Use Social Media As A Learning Tool For Homeschoolers

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 00:34

By Sean Lords, Edudemic

Matching, out-of-date sweatsuits. The ability to recite lines from the Iliad in response to your peers’ discussion of a television show. Parroting your parents’ values. If you’ve paid attention to mainstream depictions of homeschooled children, these images are likely familiar. Homeschooled kids get a bad rap and are too frequently associated with social awkwardness due to a perceived lack of socialization with their peer group. However, with the dawn of social media, more homeschooled students—both those who are being schooled by more “traditional” methods and those who are students are virtual cyber charter schools—are able to better connect with their peers and other members of the homeschooling community.

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How Questions Promote Cognitive, Social, and Emotional Learning Across Subject Areas

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 00:30

by Maurice Elias, Edutopia

In the last blog, we took a look at the perspective of perspective of Irving Sigel on the importance of asking different kinds of questions as a way of deepening students’ social, emotional, and cognitive learning. Coming from a Piaget approach, Irv felt that students needed to go from understanding the material as presented to generating their own thoughts about it. He referred to this as “distancing” — not the clearest term, but a way of saying that questions could be sequenced toward leading to students’ higher order and constructivist thinking by having them take a range of perspectives about a given reading or topic.

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CIOs and Campus IT: Summer Technology Projects, by Theresa Rowe

Educause - Connect, Technology In Academia - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 17:20

Theresa Rowe is CIO at Oakland University.

Summer is a busy and exciting time for advancement of new tech initiatives and tech renewal projects. Campus CIOs generally expect to handle a mix of change-oriented projects during the summer, despite many programs and courses operating all summer. The mix of good weather in many parts of the country and reduced expectations for traditional support make summer an ideal time for change. CIOs shared their summer tech projects in an Educause CIO list discussion.

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Roane State professor develops online course he will teach while living under the sea

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 00:40


Cantrell and faculty member Jessica Fain will live and teach from an underwater habitat for 72 days this fall. While they live in a space the size of a college dorm room submerged about 25 feet, Cantrell and Fain will host weekly shows titled “Classroom Under the Sea.” The shows, presented in partnership with the Marine Resources Development Foundation in Key Largo, Florida, will feature scientists and explorers and will cover topics such as underwater archeology and ocean exploration. In addition to the weekly programs, Cantrell will also teach his dream class online, BIOL 2600: Living and Working Under the Sea. Enrolled Roane State students can register for the class now, but only 30 spots are available.

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A Collaborative for Student Success and Institutional Comparisons

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 00:30

By Mary Grush, Campus Technology

The Predictive Analytics Reporting Framework (PAR, began in 2011 as a research project to investigate the potential of learning analytics for student success, and was administered by WCET under the auspices of the Western Interstate Commission of Higher Education (WICHE). Now in 2014 PAR is set to receive its 501.c.3 nonprofit status by the end of the year and is operating on its own as a member-supported, not-for-profit, analytics-as-a-service provider. PAR’s innovative work includes software and database development, but focuses more on community rather than developing new software tools. Joined by more than 20 member institutions to date, the organization is a growing collaborative venture that pools normalized (and anonymized) data to support research and create predictive models and strategies for intervention.

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SEMO: Online courses enhance class offering

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 00:30

By Ruth Campbell ~ Southeast Missourian

Depending on whom you ask or what you read, online programs mean easier access to higher education — or the end of brick-and-mortar colleges and universities, especially in these times of limited state funding. For Southeast Missouri State University, online education falls into the former category, and it’s helped the university reach students it might not otherwise. Provost Dr. Bill Eddleman said online courses and majors have become a key component of the school’s offerings.

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