News & Thoughts
BY LILY O’NEILL, Missourian
Beginning next week, professors will have more incentive to offer free or low-cost textbooks. As part of a University of Missouri System initiative on educational resources that are free to access online, the four campuses will be launching an incentive grant program next week. This is intended to encourage faculty members to incorporate more of these resources in their courses. With the rising cost of college textbooks, UM System President Mun Choi announced the initiative last spring. Scott Curtis, who’s on the system’s Affordable & Open Educational Resources Taskforce, said he hopes the lower costs of textbooks will help students academically.
by Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed
A sprawling new project seeks to change that by creating a centralized database of information about postsecondary credentials — all 250,000 or so of them in the U.S., ranging from Ph.D. to badge, professional license to apprenticeship and certificate. The nonprofit Credential Engine, which is planning a formal launch in December, has tapped a broad range of advisers to develop a common language about credentials, with a focus on the “competencies” people should have after earning them. Credential Engine’s web-based registry allows colleges, professional associations, unions, other credential issuers and state governments to post public-facing information about credentialing programs. The site also plans to feature information about how credential earners fare in the job market, including wage data from state and federal sources.Share on Facebook
In 2017, our annual student technology survey coincides with our biennial faculty technology survey, giving us the opportunity to directly compare the technology attitudes, experiences, and preferences of these two groups. Although there is considerable overlap in student and faculty opinions about technology, the differences highlighted here reflect their respective roles and present the actionable opportunities for IT leaders. Tens of thousands of respondents participated in the EDUCAUSE student and faculty studies to shape the higher education IT community’s understanding of higher education technology use in 2017.Share on Facebook
by JACKIE MADER, Hechinger Report
A report released last month by EducationSuperHighway, a nonprofit focused on improving internet access, found Mississippi has made progress in providing all students access to high-speed internet service. Although Mississippi is still ranked among the bottom five of all states when it comes to connectivity, more than 158,000 students have gained access to high-speed internet since 2015. The improvement comes as many districts are expanding or launching programs that give students access to a digital device each day. At the same time, some schools are using or seeking out technology to increase course offerings and improve access to subjects that have been given the short shrift in an era of standardized testing. Here’s a look at a few efforts to use technology to improve opportunity for students.
By Deirdre Fernandes, Boston Globe
This is the life of a virtual adjunct professor: Teaching is done online, students and instructors are connected by e-mail, and a laptop with a camera is as essential as a textbook. “My office door is always open,” said Bloom, who is currently teaching for George Washington University and preparing to start a course for Ohio University in the coming weeks. In the past, she has also worked for Salem State University. “I’m only an e-mail away,” she said. The portion of online courses taught by adjunct faculty — part-time professors who don’t receive benefits and aren’t on the tenure track — is increasingly significant, said Andrew Magda, manager for market research at Learning House Inc., an education technology company.Share on Facebook
BY LAURA ASCIONE, eSchool News
majority of Americans would like to see technology companies take a more active role in improving U.S. education by creating apprenticeship programs and providing more technology resources, according to new data. The new poll from OZY and SurveyMonkey tracks how technology is impacting post-secondary education and the workforce in the U.S. It also gauges how survey participants feel about free public higher education, online learning, classroom teachers, and more.Share on Facebook
Online college courses offer convenience and flexibility, but they also come with challenges. Wake Technical Community College looked at some of its most popular classes in 2015 and noticed students were not doing as well in the online classes as they were in the traditional “seated” classes. In 2015, 67 percent of students in traditional classes earned an “A”, “B” or “C” grade, while only 58 percent of students in online classes earned the same grades. One of the things we found out is students, even young students, who had grown up as digital natives aren’t as well prepared for taking online classes as you may think,” said Wake Tech Senior Vice President of Effectiveness and Innovation Bryan Ryan.Share on Facebook
BY GENEVRA WALTERS, NICOLE DEVRIES, AND JAMIE HARBIN, eSchool News
Three educators explain how they include career readiness in their 21st-century learning initiatives. Many of you are familiar with the four C’s of the 21st-century learning framework: collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity. But step back for a second and remember why you teach students in the first place–so they can be successful adults who contribute to society and thrive while pursuing a fulfilling career. This is why we add to our list of 21st-century learning skills a fifth C: career readiness. Career readiness can be engrained into the teaching and learning landscape in many ways. Educators across the nation are latching on to project-based learning (PBL) as an effective teaching method for building 21st-century skills. Career-focused PBL gives students the freedom to explore a variety of careers from the comfort of their classroom.
by Richard W. Walker, EdScoop
College students increasingly want more online technology in their learning environments, but many faculty members are wary of incorporating blended learning into their courses, according to the Educause Center for Analysis and Research’s (ECAR) 2017 separately published companion surveys of student and faculty trends in the use of information technology. “The best things in life are free, but students want technology. And they want their instructors to use more of it in their courses,” the ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology 2017 reported. “Resistance is futile. Students’ preferences for courses that assimilate both face-to-face instructional components with technological features of the online environment continue to gain momentum across higher education.”Share on Facebook
by Autumn A. Arnett, Education Dive
When we put this in the context of the #MeToo movement which took off on social media in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein allegations to show the number of women who have been impacted by sexual assault or sexual harassment, and we consider how few women are actually leaders (versus teachers) in the education space, these things all seem connected…. I have had female presidents tell me they’ve been catcalled on their own campuses, by male students who didn’t realize they were in charge. I’ve heard others say they wear men’s clothing and try to dress in ways that do not call attention to their figures when they attend board meetings, because they are often the only woman in the room. One female district leader wrote in to tell me the harassment she had received by male colleagues affected her confidence and the level of position for which she would consider applying — to go further up the ladder, she assumed, she’d face more of this type of behavior as she’d find herself more outnumbered.Share on Facebook
by eMarketer Daily
A September 2017 survey of young adult internet users in select countries painted an interesting—and yet unsurprising—picture of their typical day-to-day interactions. The study from LivePerson, a provider of cloud-based mobile and online business messaging solutions, surveyed 4,013 internet users ages 18 to 34 in six countries: Australia, Germany, France, Japan, the UK and the US. In the US and the UK, nearly three-quarters of respondents said they were more likely to communicate digitally—whether via email, SMS or social media—rather than in person.Share on Facebook
by Mark Hall, Forbes
For many young adults, the process of transitioning into the corporate workforce can be met with a number of difficult challenges. Gaining role-specific education is not easy, particularly if you are trying to avoid being part of the $1.3 trillion student debt crisis. Convincing a great company to hire you without having a track record of success is no simple task either. Landing a highly competitive job without having either a university degree or prior work experience used to be practically impossible, until now. Three Silicon Valley companies are improving how emerging professionals become job-ready by filling the practical skills gap felt by so many workforce newcomers. Coursera, Udacity and Udemy are three alternative education platforms, known as massive open online courses (MOOCs), on a mission to redefine workplace readiness and industry-specific education.Share on Facebook
by SHIVALI BEST, Daily Mail
The idea of a headband you can wear to make you smarter may sound like a device from the latest science fiction blockbuster. But experts have revealed such a device in reality – and claim it could increase learning by 40 per cent. And it may not be long before you can get your hands on one, with the designers predicting its use will be common in just five to ten years. The device, which is described as ‘non-invasive transcranial direct current stimulation’ (tDCS) was designed by researchers from HRL Laboratories and McGill University in Montreal, with funding from the Defense Advance Research Project Agency (DARPA). The device applies a current to an area of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. This causes changes in connectivity between different brain areas, and increases learning.Share on Facebook
By Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal
People researching education technology and learning science — cyberlearning — populate the landscape. A new report from the Center for Innovative Research in Cyberlearning has undertaken the ambitious project of sifting through what those researchers are exploring to uncover the major trends and help us understand where education — pre-K-12 and post-secondary — may be headed over the next decade or two. According to “Cyberlearning Community Report: The State of Cyberlearning and the Future of Learning with Technology,” this work stretches beyond research on whether 1-to-1 programs work or if gaming can accelerate improved learning outcomes. Among the questions those hundreds of research projects are attempting to answer are these: How will students “use their bodies and minds to learn what will be important in the 21st century, such as collaboration, scientific argumentation, mathematical reasoning, computational thinking, creative expression, design thinking and civic engagement?”Share on Facebook
by Conor Griffith, Exponent Telegram
Students and professors at WVU’s Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources are researching new ways to enhance the online and learning experience of West Virginians. At the college’s Advanced Engineering Research Building, work is proceeding on new programs and web robots, or simply bots, which are software applications that run tasks (or scripts) over the internet. Bots perform simple and repetitive tasks at a faster rate than a human could do alone. The bots under development are intended to make online learning more collaborative. Ph.D. student Carlos Toxtli is working on the development of a new kind of automated bot, the Micro Assistance Through Tutorials or MATT bot. The MATT bot, he said, is meant to break down electronic learning into smaller, easily approachable tasks, which is different from the more conventional open online courses people sign up for.Share on Facebook
By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology
The Dallas County Community College District had grown its online learning programs organically for two decades when Terry Di Paolo, executive dean of online instructional services, decided it was time to take a “holistic view” of the programs to assess quality and create an improvement plan that aligned with its accreditation work. Attendance in 2015 at a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS) workshop introduced him to the Online Learning Consortium’s Quality Scorecard. Other institutions at that event assured him that he could use the scorecard system across all seven colleges and various service centers that made up the district.
by Affordable Colleges Online
Tulane Alumni Club of Las VegasSydnee LoganDigital Communication Fellow at FDA and Tulane University Alumna, Class of 2010It is not uncommon to think that the day you receive your diploma is the last day your college or university would help you in your career. This is far from the truth, however. Most colleges and universities across the nation have alumni associations that offer a range of benefits, perks, discounts, and most importantly, networking opportunities and events to help graduates make the most of their hard-earned degree after college. But alumni associations are a two-way street–in order to reap the benefits, graduates must also give back to their alma mater through gifts, membership fees, and volunteering. The following guide takes an in-depth look at alumni associations and their benefits and also helps students and graduates understand how to effectively leverage these networks and give back to future generations.
BY JOACHIM HORN, eSchool News
Worryingly, only 16 percent of students graduating high school are proficient in STEM and also interested in a STEM career. The natural response to such a low percentage would be to prioritize improving STEM education efforts in the classroom. However, this is unfortunately easier said than done. The economic climate in the US has seen both budget cuts and increasingly diverse opinions among educators and administrators about where to spend the money made available to them. We must work to find ways of blending STEM education into all elements of the classroom, inspiring student interest at a young age.Share on Facebook
by Bram Bout, Google for Education
Around the world, education has undergone a technological revolution. Cloud-connected devices and learning applications are shaping new ways of teaching and learning. Across Canada, school districts are using Chromebooks and G Suite for Education to expand learning opportunities for students from diverse communities and backgrounds. And now, Futuresource has reported that Chromebooks are the number-one-selling educational device for Canadian K12 schools. With this news, Canada joins the U.S., Sweden, and New Zealand, where Chromebooks are also the top devices used in classrooms.
By Joshua Bolkan, THE Journal
Nearly half — 42 percent — of children eight years old or younger have their own tablet, according to a new report from Common Sense. That number is up from just 1 percent in 2011. Dubbed the Common Sense Census: Media Use by Kids Age Zero to Eight, the report is based on a survey of 1,454 parents and is the third in a series, the first two installments of which were published in 2011 and 2013.