Educational Technology

Will liberal arts institutions survive amid growing conservative skepticism of higher education?

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 00:34

by Autumn A. Arnett and Shalina Chatlani, Education Dive

Conservative skepticism around funding for liberal arts education is on the rise, as critics of higher education point out institutions for being “elitist” and “politically correct” centers of student protests that fail to provide skills actually needed for the job market, reports The Washington Post.  With studies showing a majority of Republicans and right-leaning citizens believe colleges and universities have a negative impact on the nation and lawmakers having already cut spending for higher education by 54% since 2008, stakeholders in the industry are now concerned the current congress could lead to further tightening of public funding.  Growing conservative skepticism on whether institutions are sufficiently addressing student ROI comes at the same times congress is considering potential reauthorization of Higher Education Act, which Republicans have already said ought to put the onus of responsibility on institutions to prove they are making college more affordable and worthwhile.

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MUSC program aims to tackle fitness of young people with autism and other disabilities

Educational Technology News Blog - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 00:30

By Mary Katherine, Post and Courier

The group ranges in age from 14 to early 20s. They meet once a week for a variety of fitness classes, including swimming, yoga and spin classes. Instructors are trained to adapt the class. Experts help the teens and young adults with nutritional skills, too. Lisa Riddle, a mentor with Charleston’s Family Resource Center for Disabilities and Special Needs, said typical fitness classes might be daunting for people with autism. Uncomfortable bike seats, locker rooms, the smells and loud sounds of the gym — those things can be a sensory overload for people with these kinds of disabilities, experts said. “For a lot of kids on the spectrum, there aren’t as many opportunities to access fitness,” Riddle said.

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How an Online Personalized Preschool Experiment Could Change the Way Rural America Does Early Education

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 12/03/2017 - 00:39

by the 74 million

Upstart launched in Utah in 2009 as a low-cost option to expand preschool in a state that didn’t have a state-funded program. Since then, it has been a particular boon for the state’s rural areas. About 30,000 Utah children have gone through the program over the past eight years, with about 14,150 participating this school year. It has also now spread to seven other states, where 700 early learners are enrolled. State and federal policymakers are increasingly recognizing the value of early education, especially in keeping the achievement gap more at bay for disadvantaged children before they enter kindergarten. Preschool programs teach younger children early literacy and math skills alongside essential social-emotional skills. About 1.5 million 3- and 4-year-olds were served in state-funded preschool programs in the 2015–16 school year, more than double the number enrolled in such programs in 2002, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research.

How an Online Personalized Preschool Experiment Could Change the Way Rural America Does Early Education

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Scramble for dual-credit certification

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 12/03/2017 - 00:35

By Ashley A. Smith
Some states and colleges are scrambling to offer incentives and develop programs that help dual-enrollment instructors meet a change in accreditation guidelines for teaching the increasingly popular courses. But concerns remain about whether colleges will have enough qualified dual-credit instructors by the time the accreditor’s deadline arrives.
The issue began about two years ago, when the Higher Learning Commission, the country’s largest regional accreditor, issued a policy clarification stating that high school teachers in dual-credit courses, along with all instructional college faculty, must have a master’s degree in the specialty they’re teaching, or they need at least 18 graduate-level credit hours within that specialty. Dual-credit or dual-enrollment courses allow high school students to take college courses and earn credits before graduation. The courses are frequently taught by high school teachers.

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Indian school kids are learning to build robots with DIY kits and online courses

Educational Technology News Blog - Sun, 12/03/2017 - 00:30

by Sushma UN, Quartz

SP Robotic Works (SPRW) is one of the several educational tech startups in India. These firms work to bridge a critical gap in conventional education, teaching technologies such as robotics, the internet of things (IoT), and virtual reality (VR). “The course is very one-to-one,” his mother Meenu told Quartz, describing the structured online classes that include videos and other learning tools. “Although it is online, it is as if (a teacher) is teaching you.” Although robotics is a broad concept including areas such as automation, embedded systems, mechanical engineering, IoT, etc, these ed-tech startups start with the basics. They design small kits containing breadboards, wires, sensors, and other such components, and get children to play with them

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Mapping the emotional journey of teaching

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 12/02/2017 - 00:38

by Emma Jones, KMEL Journal

Abstract: This paper will explore the use of Novakian concept mapping as a means of visualising and tracing the range of emotions inherent within any teaching experience. It will focus in particular on its use within higher education, where the presence of emotion has traditionally been disregarded or seemingly suppressed. The example of undergraduate teaching of the law degree will be used as an area where the role of emotion is particularly under-theorised. This paper will assess the effectiveness of concept mapping as a tool to enable academics to explicitly acknowledge, and reflect upon, the existence of emotion, both in terms of their individual teaching experiences, their collective teaching journey through a course or qualification and their students’ learning journey. It will also consider how use of this technique at a collective level could identify areas of pedagogic frailty, which may arise due to the misinterpreting, mishandling or suppression of emotion. The various opportunities and challenges arising from this application of concept mapping techniques will be discussed, drawing on a small, empirical pilot study, and leading to the conclusion that it has a useful and significant role to play within an emerging field of enquiry.

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IBM Raises the Bar with a 50-Qubit Quantum Computer

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 12/02/2017 - 00:35

by Will Knight, MIT Technology Review

Researchers have built the most sophisticated quantum computer yet, signaling progress toward a powerful new way of processing information. IBM established a landmark in computing last month, announcing a quantum computer that handles 50 quantum bits, or qubits. The company is also making a 20-qubit system available through its cloud computing platform. IBM, Google, Intel, and a San Francisco startup called Rigetti are all currently racing to build useful quantum systems. These machines process information in a different way from traditional computers, using the counterintuitive nature of quantum physics. The announcement does not mean quantum computing is ready for common use.

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Teacher ed programs turn to virtual reality

Educational Technology News Blog - Sat, 12/02/2017 - 00:15

by Pat Donachie, Education Dive

Some future teachers are using augmented and virtual reality programs to gain classroom experience before they ever lead an actual class, according to University Business. The programs, increasingly in use at institutions throughout the country, offer future teachers the opportunity to fail and learn from mistakes in a “low-stakes” setting, according to Penn State Ed Tech Services Director Kyle Bowen. The virtual classroom students have individualized personalities and react to the instruction of the student in the VR space, and supporters say programs say they can be amended to accommodate for changes in student age, background and subject matter.

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3 ways to reimagine learning spaces

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 00:38


As schools depart from traditional instructional methods and environments, some education leaders are discovering how a combination of blended learning and reimagined physical learning spaces can lead to better student engagement and achievement. Redesigning physical learning spaces can lead to brain-friendly learning and encourage students to become more engaged. And when learning spaces are flexible, they provide more modern learning experiences and meet various needs, such as small-group collaboration, large-group instruction, and individual study or review.

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Still? Most teachers feel unprepared to use technology in the classroom

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 00:35


An alarmingly large majority of U.S. teachers–78 percent–say they feel they haven’t received the training they need to teach with technology in the classroom, according to new research. The study from edtech and coding company SAM Labs, conducted online with independent research firm 72 Point, outlines the opportunities teachers see when it comes to technology in the classroom, as well as some of the biggest challenges the U.S. education system faces related to computer science and coding.

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Campuses show major shift in supporting student success

Educational Technology News Blog - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 00:30


Institutions are increasingly focused on supporting student success, with 73 percent of colleges and universities shifting their organizational structure to benefit students, according to a new study. The research study aims to demonstrate how higher education institutions are evolving to support student success and close the student-college digital divide. Unit4, a provider of higher-ed student management systems, conducted the research to ascertain how student success is driving investment in core systems.

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Actualizing the Online Community College

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 00:37

by Kelvin Bentley, EDUCAUSE Review

Regardless of whether California develops and launches its first fully online community college, this topic should inspire all of us working in community colleges to find ways to enhance our approaches to offering online courses and programs. We should begin or continue to research and appropriately adopt good practices in accessibility, course development, course scheduling, faculty hiring and support, OER selection, and the use of analytics to help us offer online learning experiences of the highest quality. Such work is crucial to ensuring that the future of online learning at community colleges truly benefits the students and faculty we strive to serve.

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America’s Digitalization Divide

Educational Technology News Blog - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 00:35


We’ve long heard about America’s digital divide, but the nation is facing a parallel and deepening digitalization divide, too. According to a new Brookings Institution study, this digitalization divide is reflected in the increasingly uneven spread of high-paying digital jobs across the economy and workforce, by gender, race, and ethnicity, and across cities and metro areas. Digitalization has transformed just about everything we do—from the way we work to our entertainment choices, and how we communicate with one another. It’s not just knowledge workers, smart phones, and laptops we’re talking about. Our cars, televisions, and appliances are loaded with software. Smart thermostats like Nest and voice activated “assistants” such as Alexa permeate our homes.

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Personalized Learning Should Start in Libraries

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

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Can a library be the perfect place for personalized learning? We believe the answer is yes. Libraries offer endless resources, space for learning, and individuals who are ready to assist students in the learning and research process. Sometimes when professors’ office hours do not line up with students’ schedules, we often forget, that librarians are here to help us too! That’s why we have libraries and librarians! Even if we think it is intimidating to approach a librarian, it should not be, because they are the experts in libraries! Not only are librarians available to assist us, but they are also available to teach us how to use the resources that the library has to offer.

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9 must-have apps and tools for kids who hate math

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 00:40

by Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

Have a child or student that hates math? You’re not alone. In fact, one of the phrases educators hear most is, “I hate math”, according to Education Consultant Kelly Trotter King.  Don’t fret.  There are many ways that parents and teachers can help a child to start to enjoy math. One way to do this is to make math fun by turning it into a game and/or using apps. Studies have shown that kids improve faster and are more engaged when using apps compared to traditional math worksheets. In no specific order, the 9 must-have apps and tools for kids who hate math are linked below:

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Can Online Credit Recovery Recover?

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 00:35

By Michael B. Horn, Edsurge

A series of articles in Slate has upped the ante on the mounting evidence that online credit recovery has a rigor problem, even as such programs have become nearly ubiquitous across the country. As the reporter wrote, the practice of offering online credit recovery seems to be “falsely boosting graduation rates” at the expense of rigorous learning experiences for students. What’s sad, and often unmentioned, is that we shouldn’t be surprised. People are rationally following their incentives—to boost graduation rates and make sure students have a high school diploma in hand. Because few states tie external, objective assessments for required high school courses to graduation, there is accordingly little attention paid to the underlying quality of online credit recovery courses.

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Making blended learning work in your classroom

Educational Technology News Blog - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 00:30

by Matthew Lynch, tech Edvocate

With the importance of technological literacy rising in colleges and workplaces, it’s about time primary and secondary educators took notice. To prepare students for life after high school, we need to start teaching them in a more futuristic fashion. Incorporating technology along with traditional face-to-face interaction is a practice known as blended learning. There are multiple benefits to adopting this relatively new technique. First, the inclusion of various learning models can help students retain information better. As a result, there have been marked improvements in the test scores of students using blended models. You can also experience easier progress tracking, remediation, and student communication. The question is, how can you make this new approach work for your classroom?

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Textbooks optional: What unbundling and BYOD mean for learning technology

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 00:39


The days of overhead projectors and chalkboards are behind us. Today’s educators are looking to Chromebooks, smartphones and maker spaces to enhance their teaching. Other tools going the way of the overhead projector? The traditional textbook and workbook combination, complete with a #2 pencil. As digital natives, today’s students have grown up with technology integrated into every aspect of their lives, and education is no exception. When it comes to middle schools and high schools, the average classroom looks more like a typical startup office than the traditional classroom of the past.

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These are the 6 must-know strategies for great blended learning

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 00:35


The report, Teaching with Technology, a new report from the Foundation for Blended and Online Learning (FBOL) and the Evergreen Education Group, characterizes blended teaching as using a combination of face-to-face instruction and digital content, tools, and resources. A survey of teachers from 38 states finds that time, thoughtful planning and support at the school- and district-level, and ongoing relevant professional development are key to the success or stagnation of their blended learning efforts.

Teachers: These are the 6 must-know strategies for great blended learning

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STEM education is about hands on experiences

Educational Technology News Blog - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 00:29

by Matthew Lynch, tech Edvocate

The processes of inquiry, reasoning and collaboration required in STEM learning are similar to any experiential activity; learning activities must be hands-on experiences. STEM classes also demand rigor and relevance in a curriculum, and the students who take these classes must learn to think critically as they use science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to solve real world problems through direct learning experiences. Reading does not provide the kind of authentic experiences that students need. Students aren’t likely to be motivated by reading content alone, and as a result, their overall academic performance will likely suffer.

STEM Education is About Hands on Experiences

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