Educational Technology

Richland 1 school district launches first-of-its-kind virtual school in South Carolina

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 00:41

By Paul Bowers, Post and Courier

Richland County School District 1 launched its Virtual Program this fall, offering a full slate of high school courses to students who can now opt out of ever setting foot in a traditional classroom. A spokeswoman said the district set aside $500,000 for the program in its first year but is not spending the full amount. The new virtual school aims to serve “home schoolers, teen parents, and the academically gifted student, as well as aspiring professional dancers, artists or athletes who must train or practice during the day,” according to the school district website. It is open to students inside and outside of the district.

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Clay students log onto learning with expanded technology, access to educational resources

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 00:35

By Teresa Stepzinski, Tallahassee News

Clay County schools Superintendent Addison Davis recently visited with third-grade students and teachers at Tynes Elementary School in Middleburg to get their opinions about online learning tools. The district has upgraded its technology, expanded WiFi access in classrooms and increased the number of Google Chromebooks for students to use during classroom lessons.  The district expanded access for students and teachers to instructional technology for the 2017-18 school year. Each core classroom districtwide now has WiFi access. The district currently has a total 2,951 WiFi access points — an increase of more than 1,000 installed by its information technology team since the first day of classes.

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9 ways that technology boosts student confidence in the classroom

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 00:30

by Mattew Lynch, tech Edvocate

The inclusion of technology in the classroom has been shown to improve student participation, information retention, and overall test performance. One reason for the success of educational tech is that it boosts student confidence. Students who are secure in their abilities, work harder and take their educations seriously. You may wonder how technology boosts student confidence in the classroom. Well, here are nine ways.

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Online Learning in the K-12 Classroom: Advantages & Disadvantages

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 11/18/2017 - 00:39

by Kristilynn Turney,

The boom of online learning for K-12 began in the 1960’s. The University of Illinois began the movement by creating an Intranet where student could access course materials and listen to recorded lessons. By 1999, universities began offering online courses and in 2009 the number of online learners grew by 187%. Wow! During this time, online learning became commonplace for K-12 learning as well. In this lesson, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of online learning. We’ll also go over some techniques for success with elementary and secondary students in online learning.

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Google Just Revealed How They’ll Build Quantum Computers

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 11/18/2017 - 00:35

by Karla Lant, Futurism

Quantum computing: it’s the brass ring in the computing world, giving the ability to exponentially outperform and out-calculate conventional computers. A quantum computer with a mere 50 qubits would outclass the most powerful supercomputers in the world today. Surpassing the limits set by conventional computing, known as achieving quantum supremacy, has been a difficult road. Now, a team of physicists at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) and Google have demonstrated a proof-of-principle for a quantum computer that may mean quantum supremacy is only months away.

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Newly Published Data Highlights Fraud Complaints Against For-Profits

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 11/18/2017 - 00:30

by Joseph Hong, Diverse Ed

For-profit colleges drew attention again this week after troves of newly public data showed the overwhelming impact the institutions have had on student borrowers. The Century Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank, published data acquired through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, consisting of nearly 100,000 applications for loan relief filed by students who say they have been defrauded by their colleges or universities. The data collected includes all complaints filed as of August 15, 2017. According to the accompanying report, nearly 99 percent of these complaints were submitted against for-profit schools.

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(Mostly) Free Online Courses to Increase Your Digital Skills

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 00:41

By Brittany Loeffler, Uloop

You don’t need a classroom anymore to learn essential skills to jumpstart your career. Millennials are taking online courses to learn important skills in our now-digital world. They are studying skills that are not taught in classrooms, right from the comfort of their own home, for free. Millennials are known for rejecting the standard 9-5 job in an office and taking on more freelance work. Taking online courses to learn and increase digital skills gives recent college graduates the ability to work from home with multiple clients and make a living on their own terms. Interested in learning more about how you can make money right from your computer? Take a look at the list of online courses and platforms linked below to get started.

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30% Harder to Design for the Online Learning Environment

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 00:35

by Nanette Miner, ATD

In fact, it is 30 percent harder to design training for the online environment because there is one more entity that needs to be designed for—the technology. By using classroom training design as the benchmark, we know that learning is typically designed for two entities: the facilitator and the participant. The facilitator’s role is to lead the class and make logical connections between the segments of content. The participant’s role is to practice with the content and interact with one other learners during any activities that are designed to bring the content to life. In the online environment, though, the facilitator’s and participant’s roles are a bit different. What’s more, there is the third role of the technology itself, and perhaps someone who is managing the technology in a supporting capacity.

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Why edtech companies should care about Amazon’s emergence in education

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 00:30

by Matthew Lynch, tech edvocate

Amazon is a recent newcomer to education, and edtech companies should take note and care about this new direction for the global retailer.  In an arena where Microsoft, Apple and Google have been the main players, Amazon is quickly moving ahead in education. As the world’s largest retailer, Amazon’s mission has been clear: reach out globally, put the customer first, and offer the greatest product selection with the best service. That’s what they are doing in education, too. Now edtech companies can take advantage of Amazon’s strategy by partnering with Amazon Web Services.

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Report: Scaling and Sustaining Competency-Based Education Competency-Based Education

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 00:40

By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal
It’s no longer enough to simply begin the journey of competency-based education. Enough schools are trying to implement CBE that it’s time to write the second chapter by building on what is already known to work. That’s the idea behind a new report from CompetencyWorks, which lays out a course for scaling and sustaining K-12 CBE along four lines: equity, quality, meeting students where they are, and policy.  CompetencyWorks is a collaborative organization that promotes personalized, competency-based education in K-12 and higher education. The initiative is managed by iNACOL, a non-profit focused on K-12 competency-based, blended and online learning.

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Do students buy into maker culture?

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 00:30


Maker culture is going mainstream. The maker industry is projected to grow to more than $8 billion by 2020, and with the maker movement infiltrating classrooms, after-school clubs and homes, it’s no wonder. But where is the maker movement strongest? A new report from robotics and open-source hardware provider DFRobot aims to find out by analyzing DIY-labeled products hosted on Kickstarter.

Do students buy into maker culture?

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Universities should ban PowerPoint — It makes students stupid and professors boring

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 00:30

by Paul Ralph, The Conversation

Do you really believe that watching a lecturer read hundreds of PowerPoint slides is making you smarter? I asked this of a class of 105 computer science and software engineering students last semester. An article in The Conversation argued universities should ban PowerPoint because it makes students stupid and professors boring.

I agree entirely.

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Report: Children using mobile devices increases

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 00:40

by Ashley Rose, Cleaburne Times-Review

Whether it’s playing video games or doing homework, children are spending more time on their mobile devices. According to a new report, it’s up to about two hours a day on average. The nonprofit gave about 1,500 parents, with children ages birth to 8, a survey that focused on their children’s media usage, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The questionnaire was a continuation of two that were completed in 2011 and 2013. Officials found that those children spent an average of two hours and 19 minutes a day using mobile devices — an amount that has tripled in the past four years, according to CSM.

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Longhorns need fewer online learning tools, not more

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 00:35


Students are well-adjusted to completing homework assignments online, watching lecture videos from the comfort of their room and checking their grades over the internet. Yet however useful they may be, the programs bring an unwelcome price.  It’s senseless to require students to pay for a single program used for attendance purposes, let alone three. Paid programs can, without a doubt, serve a vital role in expanding educational opportunities. What must be changed is the sheer number of programs that professors expect students to pay for. Quest, another online learning tool, and Squarecap were both developed either here at UT or by Longhorn alumni. Shouldn’t we support university-born programs and encourage their usage by our staff? Of course, these two programs alone can’t cover the needs of all professors on campus, but encouraging their standardization on campus would reduce both the inefficiency and cost of the laundry list of programs that Longhorns are currently expected to use.

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10 free edtech tools for teachers

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 00:29

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate
Implementing edtech in your classroom while feeling constrained to your personal or professional budget is difficult. Luckily, there are plenty of edtech tools free for teachers! We scoured the internet and found over 100 free apps, websites, and educational programs. Here are our top 10.

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It’s All in the Data

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 11/14/2017 - 00:39

By Mark Lieberman, Inside Higher Ed Digital

The University System of Maryland’s campuses boast diverse student bodies in terms of race, income and college preparedness. Officials believe new data collection standards will improve retention and graduation rates.  “We [needed] to understand … what does it mean when we put interventions into place?” said M.J. Bishop, director of the system’s center for academic innovation, during a panel at last week’s Educause conference here. “How do we know whether or not we’re making a difference when we put these interventions into place?” What followed was a process of introspection and realignment that the system’s leaders believe has moved the campuses toward a level playing field: standardizing disparate definitions for student success data and identifying areas where students need more help than they’re getting, particularly in the classroom and before they arrive on campus for the first time.

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As Pedagogy Changes, Learning Spaces Are Transforming Too

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 11/14/2017 - 00:35

by Dennis Pierce, THE Journal

As a student, Anthony Johnson hated school. He hated sitting still at one of several cramped desks aligned in precise rows, listening to his teachers talk for hours. It’s why he dropped out of school before ultimately earning a GED, going on to college and becoming a teacher himself. “My own experience in school was awful,” he said, “and I decided that my classroom wasn’t going to look like that.” In Johnson’s classroom at H.D. Isenberg Elementary School in Salisbury, NC, students can choose from a variety of seating options. There are tables for students to collaborate in groups of four, as well as bar-style seating on taller stools and even a few couches where they can sit comfortably while they work or read independently. The school provided the tables, and Johnson supplied the rest of the furniture himself.

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Stunning: Research shows intense spike in children’s media use

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 11/14/2017 - 00:30


New research has unearthed a dramatic increase in the number of young children who have their own tablet device–42 percent compared to 1 percent in 2011. The research from Common Sense, which examines media use by kids ages 0-8 and is the third installment in an ongoing series that tracks media and technology use, also uncovered an increase in the amount of time children spend with mobile devices–48 minutes, up from just five minutes in 2011. The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Kids Age Zero to Eight is based on a large, nationally representative sample of respondents and replicates methods from 2011 and 2013 to gauge how media environments and behaviors have changed over the years.

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Survey highlights student-faculty divide on classroom tech

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 00:40

by Shalina Chatlani, Education Dive

Students and faculty have somewhat differing views when it comes to technology use in the classroom, according to an Educause Center for Analysis and Research survey with responses from 11,141 faculty members and 35,760 students across the nation, reports Campus Technology.  When it comes to learning management systems, the survey found most faculty are satisfied with it, but students become more frustrated with it as the tasks become more difficult and complicated. And while many students report their teachers have adequate technology skills, they say that few faculty use this technology for more sophisticated purposes. While at least 80% of students said they found student success systems moderately helpful, the survey found most faculty don’t use them. And, when survey authors reported to Campus Technology on how CIOs could support faculty members, they stressed explaining student demands would not sway faculty. Rather, explaining research on effectiveness and learning outcomes to faculty on technology use would be more effective.

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Higher ed is becoming more entrenched in tech — what does this mean for CIOs?

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 00:35

by Education Dive

Higher education campuses are hotbeds for cybersecurity threats — college and university servers house countless pieces of data on current and past faculty, students and other stakeholders. But as institutions become more and more technologically entrenched — and customers demand that the college experience be more modern, while still guaranteeing safety — securing this data and ensuring that members of the institution’s community do not inappropriately handle ed tech becomes more of a daunting task for administrators, in particular CIOs.

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